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Old 05-31-2007, 07:24 PM
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I'm New...

Hello. This is my first post and after living with an addicted son for five years, this is the first time I've posted about this anywhere. I feel very alone right now, even though I have a supportive husband and family. Maybe it's the "mother thing," or maybe I just love too much. In either case, I am suffering to the point that I feel I need to share my story with others who understand.

My son will be 19 next month and just like your children, he's a bright, handsome, sweet, good child. I will always believe that about him, although he continues to engage in criminal activity to support his habit and is in fact, due in court in a few weeks. He was a darling little boy, who won awards for academic achievement in school and was the MVP of his little league team.

Five years ago, on the eve of starting high school he began to use drugs. Of course, his father and I did not know this. We began to see that he was no longer interested in school and started stealing our money and credit cards. Unbelievably, we suspected only that he was having behavioral issues and took him for counseling. Throughout the ensuing five years his grades continued to plummet, he continued to steal from us, including most of my jewelry and barely went to school. Naive parents that we continued to be (and shame on me for not recognizing it - I grew up in the '60's), we dragged him to three different psychiatrists and five psychologists. All to no avail.

When he began to steal our car (he had no license, let alone a learner's permit) along with that of a 90-year old woman who was his friend, we took him to an adolescent psychiatric hospital and tried to get him admitted. The psychiatrist there set us straight and told us point-blank that he had a major drug problem, needed inpatient rehab immediately and suggested we install a lock on our bedroom door. He also said we should have him arrested the next time he steals from us, but a psychiatric hospital was not the right place for him.

Incredibly, my health insurance refused to pay for inpatient care and referred him for "intensive outpatient." What a waste of time that turned out to be. Three outpatient treatment centers later, he began to steal from us in a new way. We were on the verge of buying a house and were ready to go to contract. Imagine my horror when I went to the bank and dsicovered he was forging our checks. It seems he had no trouble breaking through the lock on our bedroom door. It was at this point that we had him arrested. Over the five years my son had stolen thousands upon thousands of dollars from us. He took cash, credit cards, jewelry, checks, electronics, you name it. BTW, he never did graduate high school.

The worst day of my life was when I brought my son to the police station and had him arrested. He spent the night in jail, at age 18, because he couldn't be arraigned until the following day. That was the second worst day - seeing him in court, in handcuffs. Our purpose for doing this was not to get jail time, but to seek court-mandated drug treatment that he couldn't get out of.

Fortunately, we were able to buy the house anyway and moved out of the toxic neighborhood we were living in. All of his drug buddies were there and we knew moving him out of the environment would help. As he awaited his court date, which is in mid-June, he enrolled himself in a full-time outpatient program that he appeared to like and be successful in, at least for several weeks. I didn't feel the need to install a lock on my bedroom door, not that it helped anyway. Until we discovered last weekend that he has stolen from us yet again and has clearly relapsed.

When I discovered that over a hundred dollars was missing from an envelope that was hidden in my bedroom I confronted him. Of course, he lied but ultimately 'fessed up. I must tell you - I went crazy. All of the anger and rage that has been pent up in me for so long was unleashed and I said the most horrible things to him. Of course, I am sick with guilt and he is not speaking to me. Worst of all, I am terribly, terribly angry and not just a little depressed.

The one thing he kept saying over and over the day he was caught was that addiction is an illness, it's a disease. While I understand that, it doesn't make me feel any less angry or violated when he steals from me over and over and over again. He just does it - like he has no conscience, yet I know that he does, somewhere deep down. I have to believe that.

Though he hasn't had his next court appearance they have been involved in his treatment. I know they will mandate 18 months of inpatient, which includes getting his GED, etc. if he is not successful in an outpatient program. He is scared to death of this. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I appreciate your reading my story and I know it's so similar to many of yours. It helped me to write it, so thank you for that. I'm just so saddened by the thought that it's not just my child.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:29 PM
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Hi,
You are in the right place. They are MANY MOMS here that have the same type stories, heartache and pain. I have been on here for only 3weeks but I am much stronger and more sane than in 5 years. My heart breaks for you, and I also know they rage and anger.

One thing I am sure of there is faith, hope, and love, "and the greatest of these is love". Keep posting, go back and read about all our kids and you will feel right at home. There is a lot of wisdom and kindness here.
Welcome,
susan
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:38 PM
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Tryingveryhard,
Welcome to Sober Recovery, I am so glad you found us.
Your story sure is similar to my story, I also had our oldest son (now 33) at age 14, admitted for a Neurological consult in the Cleveland Clinic, and for some strange reason, they didn't do ANY drug testing. They said he had...ready...."Adolescent Adjustment Disorder" cute, huh? So naturally, I thought it was an adolescent thing.
It wasn't. It was drug addiction.

Meanwhile, he never graduated either. And went on to a life of trouble, trouble, rehabs, jail, rehabs, prison, AND now is sober, and in recovery.

I also have another son who is a recovering addict, although he decided on recovery at a much younger age.

I hope your son flunks his outpatient program, although it sounds like he already has, and then he can get into the 18 month inpatient.

Hopefully, you can attend some meetings in your area, I attend Alanon, nut either Alanon, or Naranon will do. Lots of support for you there, and we're here.

Hugs to you from one mom to another,
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:42 PM
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just wanted to send you some (((hugs))), you will find lots of great support here. i'm fairly new too and SR has become lifesaver for me. i don't have too much wisdom to share with just know that you are not alone. i will keep you and your son in my thoughts.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:44 PM
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Welcome to SR, Trying,
You came to a great place here. There are many of us, myself included that have addicted children. Mine is a son, 28 yrs old. It's so heartbreaking, isn't it?
I learned that enabling only makes it worse, so I quit. They lie, steal and cheat everyone just to get high.
I love him to death, and I know he has a good heart. It's just that he can't say no to a high, then does all the evil things associated with drug users.
He finally got busted and just went back to jail for the second time. He was out on probation, and couldn't pass a pee test. It's horrible to see your children in jail.
But, if this is what it takes, then so be it. Plus, as much as I hate to admit it, it's been the most peace I have had in years.
He has got to suffer the consequences of his actions with out me interfering or he will be 50 years old and doing the same thing.
Keep coming back. It's a great help to post and vent.
Did you read the sticky on "what addicts do"? It's very informative. All the sticky notes are!
Keep coming back.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:22 PM
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Hi Trying... another mom here. Both kids addicts, but daughter's meth addiction nearly took me off the planet.

Our inpatient rehab refused my daughter initially... sent her home to intensive outpatient treatment - which I also believed to be a waste of time. Then I found out that likely they knew that insurance wouldn't pay for inpatient without a FAILED outpatient first. So they needed her to complete that hurdle.

Plus, my kid was SOOOO resistant - she would have run and that would have been a mess (they were 150 miles from my home). So they sent her home... BUT, she was SOOO desperate that she PROMISED if she failed IOP, she would return for a 30-day inpatient.

And she did. And then she came home and relapsed... and went again for 30 days and went on to a Recovery House and was kicked out at 2 monhts...and then went to a faith based rehab and was kicked out after three days and then was arrested for shoplifting and the court ordered her to rehab in April 2004. She did relapse after that one, but this time she really WANTED sobriety (for the first time, I think). And she worked very hard after that relapse... she entered an Oxford House ... and was kicked out after abouty 6 weeks.

She moved in with her boyfriend and has been sober now for 2 years.

It was a long long road for Mr. Big and me. Lots of pain... lots of chaos... lots and lots and LOTS of rage.

What we discovered, is that neither of our addicted kids COULD stay sober at our home. For them, I think it kept them in "kid mode" instead of "take responsibility for myself and my actions mode" that adults have. So even though our son completed over a year of recovery in an Oxford House following a 30-day rehab, he has returned to using and drinking... but he is functional. He pays a house payment and truck payment and works two jobs.

I can see how he is not getting ahead... but he isn't suffering terrible consequences (in part, because his drugs of choice are pot and alcohol and they have a slower decline than meth)... so I am ok with letting the universe teach him.

Anyway... for us, having the kids in our home was bad. Bad for us and bad for them. And I know my kids at 17 and 18 (the ages we kicked them out) were emotinally about 14 years old... with no job skills, no maturity and no experience. But living on their own IS giving that back to them.

I do think this is a wonderful place to start on YOUR journey, and I wish you the best.

((hugs))
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:49 AM
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Another mom here. Daughter 21. Living with her 37 year old crack addicted boyfriend. He buys the drugs. She just sits around and uses. Also a bright, beautiful girl at one time. Graduated 6th in her class, college scholarships, etc. Finished almost 2 years before the addiction made it impossible for her to continue. When we stopped enabling she found the boyfriend. She has never stolen from us but that is because she did not live at home when she was in active addiction. She has been to one rehab for 5 days. Of course we thought she was cured. We had our daughter to counselling, on anti-depressants, etc. until we found out that her problem was drugs. Now I practice hands off and let go, let God. I will be praying that your son gets the in-patient program. Sounds like IOP is not working for him. Hugs from one mom to another, Marle
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:24 AM
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Welcome to SR, Trying.

The addict in my life is my exhusband (exah). We have an 8 yr old son together.

I am so sorry to hear about your son. The anger can be overwhelming sometimes, can't it? You've come to a great place. As you can see, there are lots of moms here who struggle with their child's addiction. Even though the addict in my life is my exhusband, I think many of the struggles and issues are the same. This site has been such a blessing to me. I've learned alot about addiction...and found a way to reclaim some sanity and peace in my life regardless of my exah might do. Even with all of the priceless knowledge that I've gained here, I have to say that the best part has been sharing my experience with people who really 'get it'. I remember feeling so alone...like no one could possibly understand what I was feeling or going thru...until I found SR.

I hope you get as much from this site as I have. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Welcome again...
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:22 AM
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Welcome to SR. Another mom of a 22 year old addicted son. I believe he's been using since about 18 or 19. He has been in an impatient rehab for over 3 weeks and is coming home today. I have mixed feelings about his homecoming. He hasn't been living under our roof since February, and I do miss the old boy that I used to know. But I still have this feeling of dread. I know he'll be fine for a couple of weeks, but when he has the pressure of finding a job, basically the pressures of life, he'll start to medicate again.

He stole from us too. Luckily he never got to the check books. It was mainly cash and change. And he also sold whatever of his he could get his hands on. My son too is a handsome, friendly, nice person when not using. He has a clean cut look so no one would ever suspect he is a drug user and no one in our family knows except my husband and his sisters. I told him if he goes back to using again, I can't protect him anymore. It's off to the rehab and then finding somewhere else to live.

I know all of us moms have this terrible heartache and I love that I found this forum. It helps to know there are so many in our shoes. Good luck with your son, and thanks for sharing your story, as painful as it is.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:45 AM
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Sorry you have to join us under these circumstances.

Sorry to have to say this, but your son is 18 and is an adult. He has, like so many addicts, violated the decent people around him to maintain his habit. He is doing all the things that addicts do.

As an adult, it is time for him to not live at home and to face all the consequences of his actions. Hiding behind "addiction is a disease" is not any sort of step to help himself. Actions speak more than words. He has to want to stop.. want to lck the disease.. and want a better life. Without those words and those actions the rest means nothing.

He has to do this and he has to want to.

I cannot begin to imagine the heart ache for you. I can certainly understand the anger. Anger is a reasonable reaction to the unreasonable situation of addiction.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:46 AM
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Welcome to SR, though I am sorry you have the situation that caused you to find us. We all know your pain and can relate to the nightmare that you have been living in. There is a lot of useful information available on this site along with a lot of good people who can offer helpful advice or just listen if you need to vent. Keep reading and keep posting, we are all here for each other.
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:57 AM
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nice to meet you, trying. i have a 23 year old daughter with drug and alcohol addiction, so i can really relate to your story and feelings. are you going to alanon or any private counseling? both really me and my husband. keep posting. blessings, k

(by the way, your son is lucky to have such a caring mother)
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:11 AM
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((((((TVH)))))))

I'm and welcome to sr. I'm Linda and the mother of a 25 yo addict son.
Everyone here has experienced similar/exactly the things you discribed when
telling your story about your as. Your definitely not alone anymore.
That said...This is the time to start your own recovery.
Recovery from codependency. Reading literature, attending Alanon/Naranon
meetings, learning to detach with love, and how to not enable the addict
is the beginning of a journey that will set you free.
Free from guilt, remorse, acceptance, and finally (hopefully) serenity.
Join us on this road of recovery and learn to love yourself, your son, and your life.
It's the only one ya got. You can make it the best it can will...with recovery.
Love from one mom to another,
Linda
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:29 AM
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Hi & hugs, tryingveryhard~
It's true that addiction is a physical disease, but the medicine is not more forgiveness. After all, forgiving somebody's blood clot won't make the clot disappear.
And, as so many folks here know, you cannot love someone into sobriety. If that were the case, my own son, so sweet and smart and full of promise, would not be walking in the rain somewhere today, coming down from oxy.
Are there any Al-anon or Nar-anon groups in your area? You might try a few. (They are all different flavors, just have to find one you like.) ~ Love~ Nitelite
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:37 AM
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Trying, I am so happy you found us, as you can see there are many moms here who have experience the situations as you. My boyfriend is the addict in my life and we have a child together it may not be the same situation but I understand your pain and frustration.

Hope to see more of you!

Jewel
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:52 AM
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Trying....welcome but sorry for what brought you here.
I am not a mother. The addict in my life is my exhusband. Living with an addict is exhausting and frustrating. Your anger was going to erupt sooner or later. One big thing that I learned here is that no matter how painful it is to watch our addicted loved one suffer consequences we must let them suffer them. Otherwise they would've learned nothing. Why would they want to stop if we continue to cushion their falls, allow them to steal from us, provide them with a warm safe place to retreat back to after a drug run? You are doing what you have to do and unfortunately the things we have to do are not always pleasant.

Congratulations on the move. But I feel I must say, not that your move was a wasted one, understand that, that's just geography. Moving somewhere new won't solve his drug problem. There are drugs no matter where you go and addicts find them easily - - which always gets me because I've been living in my neighborhood for 3 years and I still wouldn't know where a person could get drugs.

Hugs to you for being so strong.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:30 AM
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I am glad that both of us found SR. It has helped to know that I am not alone and that there are lots of people who are much more wise about handling situations that arise than I am.

The addict in my life is my 29 year old son. I have not dealt with his addiction for as long as you have, only since October of last year, but I have felt intense emotional and physical pain and suffering as a result. My son not been in jail (yet), but his lifestyle is quite self-destructive.

My thoughts and prayers go to all moms who are dealing with addicted children. Other contributors have offered suggestions to guide you toward your own recovery. I wish you didn't have to suffer so.

Hugs to you and your family today.
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:06 PM
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Happy you found us, you are not alone there are many parents here who can share and understand what you are going through.

Do you attend naranon or alanon, there is also support in those groups with others going through what you are going through.

I am glad to see you sharing what you are going through it can be ruff when all you have is your husband and family and want your privacy from the outside world. You have a safe place here to open up and share and learn and learn some more about addiction and recovery.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:32 PM
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I'm new here...

Thank you so much to everyone who responded! Your kind words, wishes and the things you said really hit home with me. I know the feeling of dread Louise54 spoke of and the opinion that BigSis has, that her kids would not recover in her home. I also agree with Cupicake when she said that geography is not the answer. I have no doubt that my son has found new contacts here. I also appreciate the advice Wascally Wabbit (GREAT screenname) gave me - to look at the sticky, "What Addicts Do."

Last night he let me know how hurt he was by the things that I said to him and that he would never forget them. He kept referring to "the addiction" like it was an entity. He admitted that he is nowhere near the point in his recovery where he can accept responsibility for his actions and could not understand why I couldn't just understand that his stealing isn't personal. He just doesn't get it. It's very personal, whether he wants to admit it or not.

I intend to be an active member of this forum because I realize that you're my lifeline right now. No one else gets it but you. As Caileesnana said, "There's a lot of wisdom and kindness here." :-) (first smile in a long time).
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:34 PM
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Glad you found us.
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