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Addict son wants to move back in

Old 10-31-2007, 09:25 AM
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Addict son wants to move back in

Okay, I am freaking out this week, so please forgive my little rant (that's all this is, a rant; I don't expect any magical solutions).

My wife and I just went to visit our son (age 23), who is has been in prison since last spring for DUI (heroin) and car theft. He has been in and out of various jails since the middle of last year. He told us that it looks like he will be getting out on parole much sooner than expected. (He had an outstanding arrest warrant due to running away from a halfway house in another state, but it looks like that state isn't interested in extraditing him anymore.) He also indicated that expects to move back in with us when he gets out, and has already put down our home address as his "parole location."

We immediately told him this was unacceptable. He got very hurt, angry, and upset and begged for "another chance" (I've lost track of how many "another chances" we've given him already). My wife went into codependent mode and started negotiating ... in a matter of MINUTES she proposed to let him live with us 6-8 weeks while he "gets back on his feet." I said did not agree to this, and instantly my son began complaining bitterly that I was interfering with his recovery. We didn't resolve this and left the prison in a very tense mood.

I don't know what to do. I can't face the prospect of having him live under our roof and turning our lives upside down. The idea that he'll "get back on his feet" is ridiculous and we all know it; he'll spend his time sleeping, staring at the TV, and hanging out with the few doper friends he's got left. He'll trash the house, leave dirty dishes everywhere, and search through our personal belongings while we're at work (looking for checks, credit cards, and things he can sell). Our phone bills will be filled with weird long-distance calls made in the dead of night. And, of course, my codependent wife will spend gobs of money buying whatever he wants to "start his new life." (He's learned that saying the words "start a new life" triggers a shopping spree.)

My wife suggested writing him a letter telling him how I feel ... but if I do, he'll call my wife (collect, of course) and say "boo-hoo, Dad wrote me a mean letter, now I'm too discouraged to go on," and once again I will be cast as the villain in his little drama.

I am seriously thinking of moving out just so I don't have to watch this slow-motion train wreck. I deeply resent that my son would screw up my marriage just so he'd have a couch to sleep on for a while, but I am running out of options.

That's all. Thanks for reading ... like I said, no magical solutions, but I thought some of you on this board would understand.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:31 AM
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Find him a halfway house. I just read on here yesterday that some one else's son just finished six mos. at a Salvation Army rehab. Compromise with your wife. Tell her NO he can't live here but she or both of you can invest. alternatives. This are county fee based programs that are on sliding scale and he'd need to get job at their req. to pay his share. OXFORFD houses are all over the country set up the same way. He'd need to be sober to be at these or get kicked out. They are better equipped to let him know the conseques. and enforce them. Your house is not.
You have every right to say NO
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Spiritual Seeker View Post
Find him a halfway house. I just read on here yesterday that some one else's son just finished six mos. at a Salvation Army rehab. Compromise with your wife. Tell her NO he can't live here but she or both of you can invest. alternatives. This are county fee based programs that are on sliding scale and he'd need to get job at their req. to pay his share. OXFORFD houses are all over the country set up the same way.
Thank you so much for the advice and support! Yes, he should go to a halfway house. He was in one for a few days last spring but stole a car from another resident and ran away. He says halfway houses "don't work" for him (translation: they expect him to get a job and he's allergic to jobs). But as I see it it's either halfway house or live on the street!

Thanks also for the tip on Oxford Houses ... looks like there are some in our area so I'll check into that!

Last edited by amnesia57; 10-31-2007 at 09:49 AM. Reason: correct typo
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:12 AM
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What a mess. I don't have any kids but I can tell you that this "child" is 23 so is an adult. While your wife would likely disagree, he is old enough to live on his own. If he cannot get a job he will end up on the street or back in prison.

I would stand firm on not letting him come home, or, if you have no say (who's name is on the deed anyway?) then moving out is a good idea I think. Yes, it means your marriage but, honestly, won't having him live with you cost you your marriage anyway?
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:17 AM
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i do understand. my a.s. & then my grandson caused my husband & me alot of problems. i was smart enough to see what it was doing to our home & i will not let my son ( not my husbands) or my grandson stay with us anymore. maybe u can talk to your wife about this & she will understand how u feel.it is really bad when the addict spits up a perfectly happy home. they can do it if we let them. it takes a couple working together to stay together. one of you can ot do it alone.is your wife in recovery? set your boundries with your son,you are doing the right thing. prayers, hope
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:12 AM
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I know you love him, but he needs to stand on his own. It will help his self esteem and keep you out of any drama. I vote a stiff NO (based somewhat on my experiecnes!!)
prayers for you and your son
susan
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by caileesnana View Post
I know you love him, but he needs to stand on his own.
Yes, that's what it comes down to ... I love him, but you can love someone without trusting them or taking ownership of their problems.

Thank you
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:37 AM
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He has shown you that he is not to be trusted in your home. He can earn that trust back by doing the work to be trustworthy. If he moves home there is no incentive to do the work to clean up the wreckage of his past. Doing the work means being in a recovery program to deal with addiction. Being sober in jail does not constitute a revcovery program. If you and your wife are not attending now I suggest you go to Al-anon mtgs. In my county there are 8 just for parents of addicts. It has been a life-saver in helping me to set my boundaries, understand addiction and to see and do something about my part in it.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:52 AM
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make all conversation/correspondence from you and your spouse - stand united...

he needs a halfway, it's his best chance.

hugs, k
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:23 PM
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We couldn't let either of our kids come home - it was a set up for them to start using again.

It wasn't good for us, but because we were codependents, we ignored that part. So how about this... it wasn't good for THEM. It was almost a sure way to ensure my kids WOULD screw up.

So they both went to Oxford House (google the term). They needed 30 days clean and since both went directly from rehab, that wasn't so much an issue. It was a great way for my immature, non-working kids to figure out how to live on their own as adults.

And at 23... your son is truly an adult.


I wish you well. (((hugs)))
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:22 PM
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I am a recovering addict.. but I also wittnessed what my parents went through with my sister (heroin addict).. Nope, they never let her come home.. My mom didn't want her home but my DAD did..

It also sounds like your son is trying to play the "blame game." He said your interfering with his recovery..no; I don't think so.. Addicts like to play the "blame game."

Halfway house..

It breaks my heart to see what us addicts do to family members; if we don't stop the cycle.. it really does..

I will pray that everything works out for you..
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:39 PM
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Boy, have I ever been where you are. Only, I am fortunate to have TWO sons like this!
The oldest is the least troublesome, but he did get out of jail about 2 months ago. I told him he could stay with me 30 days drug free. But, he HAD to get into a halfway house. He immediately got a job. He's done well. And last week he got into a halfway house. He doesn't like it, but that's too darn bad. He's a good kid at heart, but got mixed up with drugs and ruined his life. Now he has to pay. It hurts me, but pushing him to take care of his own self is the best thing I can do for us both.

I hope things don't get out of control for you. I just find that having an active addict in the house only brings torment, chaos and unending grief. I deal with it much better from a distance.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:43 AM
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I also KNOW where you are with your son. My AS is now 41 & back in jail again for like the 10th time. The MAIN reason my 87 yr old parents kept enabling him. Stick to your guns. A Half-Way House is the best place for him.
Another thing the calls from prison cost a fortune.............I have a collect block on my phone . I tried to give him a chance many times if he would limit his calls to once a week........but he never stuck to it so now I keep a collect block on my phone.
Wishing you the best of luck with your wife. Can you get her to come to SR? Has she ever gone to a Nar-Anon mtg? If you could get your wife on the same page you are on regarding your son he would stand a much better chance.
Diane
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:04 AM
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amnesia57,
I was your wife. The codependent, begging, pleading lady who always wanted to give our addicted sons one more chance.
My husband is not a codependent and never will be one, saw the situation for what it was.


It took me quite a while, but now my husband and I are on the same page.
Changing my codependent behaviors started when someone here told me that "I could enable my son to his death"
That sentence and attending meetings changed my outlook.

Will your wife attend meetings with you?

Hugs,
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:23 AM
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I can totally relate to what you are saying. I am the co-dependent in our family. My AS is 20 your story sounds identical. Just this morning I went to the mail box thank goodness I closed my account the few days I let him in the house he tried to cash over 300,000 worth of cheques. They will destroy marrages, the whole family unit. It is an illness the three C's. My son has pitted my spouse and I against each other numerous times. A master at manipulation. Each time it was going to different, one more time. Every time I let him back in he slept all day, paced at nite, stole everything from us, smashed up our vehicle the list goes on. There are halfway homes, my son is in a shelter believe it or not if he is living with us the welfare will not help him find a place if he is homeless he has more of a chance. Weve done the letter thing, I even had him sign a contract of boundaries. That was a joke lated two days. Each time I have asked him to leave it kills me. I will no longer put our family through that. it seems wherever they are there is chaos. Trust is a learned thing and i have told my son no money cigarettes, nothing. I told him find a job show us that he can work daily get a room for rent and then just maybe some trust may start developing. As my spouse said this kid is not going to dictate our lives anylonger. We need to work on our recovery. i know he is your son and there is nothing worse in the world then to watch them destroy themselves. But they need to take some responsibility. Good Luck
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:56 AM
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Something I think is important to remember...We are NOT their only option. We have no special power to save them, fix them or love them into recovery. If we did, not one of us would be here.

I am the mother of an addict who let my son come home too many times, each time with promises and good intentions and not once did it end in less than a war zone. I can no longer do that to myself or even take the chance, it almost killed me first time through.

Halfway houses or Oxford Houses are much better options than moving home, for them and for us.

In Canada we have a group called the John Howard Society that helps newly released prisoner find a place to live and find a job with an employer that knows the background and is willing to give them a chance. Maybe check to see if there is anything similar where you live.

My prayers go out for both of you, I know how hard this is. And as Moose said, meetings were where I found the courage to take care of myself and let go of my son, before I loved him right into the grave.

Hugs
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:07 AM
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I don't know what to do. I can't face the prospect of having him live under our roof and turning our lives upside down. The idea that he'll "get back on his feet" is ridiculous and we all know it; he'll spend his time sleeping, staring at the TV, and hanging out with the few doper friends he's got left. He'll trash the house, leave dirty dishes everywhere, and search through our personal belongings while we're at work (looking for checks, credit cards, and things he can sell). Our phone bills will be filled with weird long-distance calls made in the dead of night. And, of course, my codependent wife will spend gobs of money buying whatever he wants to "start his new life." (He's learned that saying the words "start a new life" triggers a shopping spree.)
Wow! My husband and I have been where you and your wife are at.
This "rant" sounds all too familiar and just like what my husband use to say.
We're on the same page now, btw.
It takes us moms a little longer to "get" it.
I love my son more than life itself, but have given his care and keeping over to God, so that hubby and I can live the rest of our lives in a semi-peaceful state.
Sending prayers that a halfway house or Oxford house has an opening for your son and he can begin his recovery journey by standing on his own two feet without mom and dad leading him by the hand. I'm all for supporting recovery for our loved ones, but there comes a time when we need to just step back and give them room to sink or swim.
I pray your son decides to swim.
Hugs from someone who's been there.


Linda
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rozied View Post
Another thing the calls from prison cost a fortune.............I have a collect block on my phone . I tried to give him a chance many times if he would limit his calls to once a week........but he never stuck to it so now I keep a collect block on my phone.
Oh, wow. I am actually relieved to hear that SOMEBODY out there hates the endless, expensive collect calls. It drives me nuts whenever I pick up the ringing phone and there's that recorded message telling me it's from a "correctional institution." We have told him "once a week," but of course he doesn't follow that. I didn't realize you could block collect calls; I'll check into that!
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by katie44 View Post
I can totally relate to what you are saying. I am the co-dependent in our family. My AS is 20 your story sounds identical. Just this morning I went to the mail box thank goodness I closed my account the few days I let him in the house he tried to cash over 300,000 worth of cheques. They will destroy marrages, the whole family unit. It is an illness the three C's. My son has pitted my spouse and I against each other numerous times. A master at manipulation. Each time it was going to different, one more time. Every time I let him back in he slept all day, paced at nite, stole everything from us, smashed up our vehicle the list goes on. There are halfway homes, my son is in a shelter believe it or not if he is living with us the welfare will not help him find a place if he is homeless he has more of a chance. Weve done the letter thing, I even had him sign a contract of boundaries. That was a joke lated two days. Each time I have asked him to leave it kills me. I will no longer put our family through that. it seems wherever they are there is chaos. Trust is a learned thing and i have told my son no money cigarettes, nothing. I told him find a job show us that he can work daily get a room for rent and then just maybe some trust may start developing. As my spouse said this kid is not going to dictate our lives anylonger. We need to work on our recovery. i know he is your son and there is nothing worse in the world then to watch them destroy themselves. But they need to take some responsibility. Good Luck
I think our sons are clones of each other!

We went through the exact same things. We had him sign a written agreement during his last trip through rehab -- what a JOKE! Why the counselors at the rehab facility suggested that, I have no idea.

And the pacing at night ... that's one thing I will never forget, the sound of his footsteps going endlessly back and forth while the rest of the family was sleeping.
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