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Old 10-05-2007, 05:02 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Thanks Susan, I didn't look it up, but I get that I'm codependent and by that I mean, if my son is healthy and happy, I am too. If he's not, I'm not. I get it that, that is not an ok way to live.

The part I don't get is what I need to do or not do. I've known over the years that he was using. I've accepted that I could not control that. For most of this time he was a minor and I wasn't going to put him out on the street because I "knew" he was using. "Knew" is in quotes because the vast majority of the information I have comes directly from him. He's never been in trouble with the police. He's never been in trouble with a dealer, at least not that came to my attention. He's never been in trouble with school or with the dorm. He's very high functioning. He's banged his car up, I'm sure at least some of it was under the influence of something. The police were never involved. He's asked to have it fixed, I've told him it would get fixed when he pays for it himself.

I think where I'm going with this is, I accept I cannot control his drug use. Because I have a very clear view of alcoholism, I've never really tried. The "detoxes" we've gone through have been when he came to me and asked for supervision. I don't approve of the drugs. But I committed to college and he's doing college and he's doing it very, very well. He's the only kid we've had entering their second year with enough credits to be a jr. and in an honors program and with an academic scholarship still in place. Pulling the plug on college and "reasonable" (ie. not drugs costs) expenses feels to me like trying to impose my demands on someone else. Does that make sense? Does that sound reasonable? Or does it sound codependent and like rationalizations. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:31 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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We are mothers first and foremost and we love our kids!

I don't know what to say about college. Education is very important to me also and I don't know that I would "pull the plug". My son went one semester, quit and joined the military! He went to Iraq, did 6 years and is home w/ full custody of his daughter. My AD, that's another story!!

As intellilgent as he is, he knows what he is doing and the danger that goes along with it. It sounds like ya'll have a good relationship, you could try and talk to him, face to face, w/ boundries set.

I know from experience that they lie, and the worse my daughter got into drugs the more she lied. She followed every step in Chapter 8 of the big book! So for me to talk to her wasn't worth the time! I suspected for several month, thought it was a phase, etc. I had no idea how bad it had gotten so quickly.

She has tried them all, liked them all, and her counselor says she could be addicted to licking frogs! I realize now I will never understand and can't fix her, accepting that was hard. I love her, but don't help her unless there is proof she is moving forward.

Just be prepared for the lies, manipulation, and that little voice that says you know better. If it quacks like a duck, it usually is! I am new in recovery and just learning so much, but there are many wise folks here. I hear from my home group the same things that are on this forum. In my group, Overcomers, we have addicts, alcholics, etc w/ parents, siblings, etc. so I hear from them and learn from them. The addict doesn't think like a normal person, there main objective is the next drug! They are consumed with it. YOu know your son and if the changes fit. Read the sticky's they were an eye opener for me!

Glad you're here in our "family". There really are some great people here!
prayers,
susan
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:23 PM
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I have never suggested you stop paying his tuition as long as he performs the task at hand (does well in school). THEY will pull the plug if he doesn't.

I do suggest you pull the plug on spending money he has not earned and on the manipulation to get more spending money out of you. No one should be rewarded for lies.. and the problem is that, by your own admission, you do not know what is true and what is not. This is typical in relationships with addicts. We enable them to use by providing out of love or guilt or other various reasons. They manipulate and we stay in denial and want to believe.. and Oh I would be Thousands of Dollars ahead of where I am today if I had not played into the manipulation, put my head in the sand pile of denial and my XABF might be clean if I had not enabled him.

And my x husband might be alive today if I had not enabled him and been in denial for YEARS about his alcoholism. My "love" was as poisonous to him as alcohol and Rx pills.

My parents had no money for me for college. They were too busy trying to keep the mortgage paid, go to work, and provide food to be giving me money for college. The deal was that I had to go to college. I had to go for 4 years. I had to pay for it myself.

I did all of those things and graduated with it all paid for and with money in the bank. Wasn't easy but I did it. I worked three jobs.. and owned my own exterior painting contracting business and I was tired and it was hard but I did it.

Then I went back later and took engineering and math and chemistry courses.. and aced them and paid for them while running a farm and working full time.

so, that is what I mean and I understand your dilemma and your pain.. I truly do. We want so badly to do the right thing so our addicts can do the right thing. We want them to succeed.

some do in spite of the drugs.. but then some alcoholics function too. Doesn't make them any less addicted or alcoholic.

I do wish you well in this. Others here offer wiser advice.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:10 PM
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Pulling the plug on college and "reasonable" (ie. not drugs costs) expenses feels to me like trying to impose my demands on someone else. Does that make sense? Does that sound reasonable? Or does it sound codependent and like rationalizations. Thanks.
HI - Welcome...I'm another mom whose 19 year old daughter was also an honor student, athlete, artist, show jumper, worked to cover her incidental expenses, on a scholarship etc. I was aware she smoked pot, but pretty oblivious beyond that. Things came tumbling down very, very quickly when what I found out later was occassional coke use then turned into someone suggesting if you like snorting, try snorting heroin.

I know now that I fell far too often for the stories similar to those you relayed - loosing her wallet, unexpected expenses for the animals, etc. I also know I did the best I could with what I knew. And as I read more about addiction, went to Naranon meetings and came here, I learned to say no. I helped with tuition when she went back to college after a semester off - I thought college was a good place to immerse herself and keep her away from using "friends." I don't regret that. I would not, however give her extra "luxury" money and I learned lots of ways to say no when my gut told me I was being manipulated.

I understand your desire to pay for his schooling...I think your conversation with your son was great...he has a problem with spending, whether due to drugs or being irresponsible with money, and he has to figure out a solution to how he can make it through the school year on a budget for necessities and occassional treats. Going through that much money in a matter of days isn't just occassional rewards; I don't think you should feel at all concerned about establishing some boundaries. Good for you to tell him he needs to come up with a plan. It took me quite awhile to realize I denied my kids the chance to grow from both their successes and failures when I did for them and cushioned their lives...Addiction or no addiction.

Keep reading and sharing- glad you've joined us. If you can make it to a few Naranon or Alanon meetings, I'm sure you will find them beneficial.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:30 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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I agree with all the wise advice given but i also understand where you are coming from....

my son's addiction spiraled during his college years...by the time he came home (4 years later...after graduation) it became apparent to us that he was in active addiction

I have spent much time wondering if earlier intervention could have helped us avoid some of the tragedies we (he) faced in the following years...

research has shown that those addicts who are diagnosed early and get treatment sooner have the best chance at recovery....

in that sense I'd follow the advice of "get between your child and the drug"
do whatever you can to promote early intervention....(IMO...intervention is not enabling)
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Old 10-06-2007, 05:52 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
I do suggest you pull the plug on spending money he has not earned and on the manipulation to get more spending money out of you. No one should be rewarded for lies.. and the problem is that, by your own admission, you do not know what is true and what is not. This is typical in relationships with addicts.
[B]I may not have been all that clear in my originial post. I'm limiting his access to my funds to school expenses or at least making every effort to do so. What I'm unclear on is whether I should limit access to his funds. He gave me his summer earnings to hold so that he wouldn't "blow" them. But as I dole them out per his requests he's going through them at an alarming rate. It seems to me that if I am supposed to be treating him as an adult, I should be giving him HIS money when he asks for it, whether I "know" or "feel like" it's being used for drugs or not? At this point I've asked for a budget for his spending of his own money. That feels to me like guidance, but it feels like more guidance than I should be providing at this point.

On the lying, this has been true since he could talk. I remember very clearly backing him into a corner and demanding that he admit to an act of vandalism when he was 7years old. He looked me straight in the eye and denied it. I frightened a classmate so badly that, that child confessed. It was 5 years before my son admitted it had been him and not the child who took the punishment. I've heard a lot of alcholics in AA, say they were born alcoholic. Could be. Could also be that there's more at work in our lives than just addiction issues.
B]
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Old 10-06-2007, 06:36 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by lil516 View Post

I have spent much time wondering if earlier intervention could have helped us avoid some of the tragedies we (he) faced in the following years...

research has shown that those addicts who are diagnosed early and get treatment sooner have the best chance at recovery....

in that sense I'd follow the advice of "get between your child and the drug"
do whatever you can to promote early intervention....(IMO...intervention is not enabling)
Thanks, unlike me my son has the benefit of having a mother who shared her experiences with addiction. (my own mother died in the closet). And so he's been well aware from an early age of the risks and I think for the most part has not been in denial about his own drug use. Although I do see a little of the, "I can quit anytime I want to, I know I've done it hundreds of times." I hope this helps him at some point.

As for intervention, I've had no experience that makes me think outside interventions work so I doubt I would try one. If our son asks we'll probably give him one rehab on our ticket, but I don't have much hope for that route either. It seems to me that people get clean or sober when they're ready to do it and that some of them happen to be in rehab at the time.
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post

My parents had no money for me for college. They were too busy trying to keep the mortgage paid, go to work, and provide food to be giving me money for college. The deal was that I had to go to college. I had to go for 4 years. I had to pay for it myself.
We've been blessed and so we give our children 4 years of college as a part of their entitlement. The ride starts in Aug. following hs graduation and ends in May 4 years later. There are no sabbaticals no leaves of absence. Our plan has been met with mixed success.

#1. Got a full ride on an athletic scholarship and blew it off in favor of marriage after 2 years.
#2. Quit. Entered the military which then paid for their graduate and undergraduate degrees.
#3. Quit after the first semester. Works manual labor and always will.
#4. Quit after the second semester. Put themselves through on the job training and works in finance.
#5. Is working on their masters, that they are paying for.
#6. Needed an additional semester to finish their undergraduate. Had to pay for it themselves and is currently in graduate school that they are paying for by working ft. Advice to the next youngest was, "When they say 4 years, they mean 4 years."
#7. Might actually get a year of graduate school in under the 4 year limit, if the drugs don't get him first.

::sigh:: And whether or not it is clear to me, undoubtedly the universe is unfolding, exactly as it should.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:37 PM
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((((easeful)))
Welcome!!
I can relate to all you are saying. My Ad, 21, is a junior at a university 100 miles from home. She is considered an adult by the school and therefore I have no access to her grades or what she does while at school. She was in the top 10 of her HS, she graduated with honors from a community college while living at home. She took various drugs throughout HS and CC. She graduated to heroin in CC and used for the first (last) year at University. And she is either using financial aid or loans to pay for her schooling, I don't pay for it.
She had her own money for drugs as she worked during HS and CC and last year. She tried detoxing at home a few times, she always went back to drugs. This summer she finally had enough and went to detox and rehab, she has been clean over 100 days now. It's hard when all the kids in her apartment at school are drinking or doing drugs. She told everyone at the beginning of the year that she does not do drugs or drink, anymore.
It's hard to control them when they are home and almost impossible when they are away. Is your son in a sober dorm? If not the chances are that he is doing something, but that depends on how strong he is. A sober dorm might be the answer for him.
If he is spending a lot of money and you have some control over it, I would limit the amount to $100 a week. If he runs out, oh well, sorry that's all you get. If he loses a book, runs out of gas, breaks his glasses, can't go on expensive dates then he will learn to live without. He will survive. Or turn it all over to him and tell him your money; make it last.
Part of my problem was I felt that I was still responsible for my daughter even though she was not responsible for herself. Then I realized that she had to learn sometime and now was the time. If I did it she didn't have to do it. Wrong way to think. If she has money and blows it, too bad get a job and earn more. If she blows it on clothes, food, drugs or whatever, I don't care. Her problem, not mine.
If this sounds harsh, it may be, but I call it learning the hard way. Was it hard for me to let go, it sure was, but it has helped her and it has helped me even more.
It's a mom thing I know, but he's a big boy and he needs to be pushed out of the nest. It's very hard when you know the kids are very intelligent and they do such dumb things............
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by blue pansy View Post
((((easeful)))
Is your son in a sober dorm? If not the chances are that he is doing something, but that depends on how strong he is. A sober dorm might be the answer for him.
If he is spending a lot of money and you have some control over it, I would limit the amount to $100 a week. If he runs out, oh well, sorry that's all you get. If he loses a book, runs out of gas, breaks his glasses, can't go on expensive dates then he will learn to live without. He will survive. Or turn it all over to him and tell him your money; make it last....<snip> .......It's very hard when you know the kids are very intelligent and they do such dumb things............
Thanks Blue, a lot of your daughter's story sounds like my sons. Congrats to her on staying sober and telling friends that she's not drinking/using. I know that's got to be tough. On the sober dorm thing, I'm not sure what that means. Are there dorms that are like AA dorms? The University is officially dry, even for students over 21, so I don't think they'd admit that drinking is rampant by establishing a dry dorm. At any rate he lives in an Honors Community and couldn't be surrounded by more serious students anywhere else on campus.
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Old 10-07-2007, 08:29 AM
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My addict is my 21 year old daughter. We basically went through the same thing when she went to her first year of college. We did not know that she was using and so we believed the stories of losing her gas card ($100 and never used), losing her ID card, needing money for gas, etc. She also had a job and she and the bf were going through incredible amounts of money. It was not until she quit college (with 57 credits and a 3.87 GPA) and moved into an apartment in our town with the boyfriend that we discovered the real reason why she went through so much money. I tried everything to stay in front of her to prevent the use and to follow around behind her and clean up the mess. Nothing worked. When she got tired of mom being in her business, she took up with a 37 year old crack addict who made good money and bought all her drugs. She does not work or go to college anymore. She and the boyfriend live with his mom in a one bedroom apartment. The mom is a big enabler and out of 4 adults living there, she is the only one who works. The crack addict boyfriend can no longer hold down his 6 figure job. Moral of the story: Your son is going to do what he is going to do and college or no college, it will not make a difference except in your pocketbook. I know that I wanted my daughter to go to college so badly that I overlooked the warning signs that she was headed for trouble. If your son is using it will not be long before the chaos catches up to him and he no longer will be able to hide it. Hugs and prayers, Marle
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:54 AM
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P.S. I would give him back his money and tell him that when it is gone get a part-time job. That way he is in control of what he does with it and you can shut off the access to your wallet. Sounds like he has the basics covered and the rest is a priviledge which someone who uses drugs is not entitled to. Hugs, Marle
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