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question for parents

Old 06-04-2009, 12:30 PM
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question for parents

I have not posted recently but I would appreciate some thoughts.
My adult son , in the past six months, asked us to do some things for him and now I am wondering if we were being used , to an extent.
In a nutshell, he completed 14 months of rehab. successfully. He then, on his own, selected a halfway house. He found employment and was trying to pay his way. He rec. good reports from the staff but because his pay wasn't much he did need assistance to stay current and remain in the program. We assisted. In Dec. he said he wanted to leave the program earlier than was agreed upon, because he said he was tired of communal living and other things. An example was he was given a work truck and his work truck was vandalized and he almost lost his job because of this. It was parked where the halfway house was and was pretty much trashed. The police report verified this and it was just a tough situation all the way around.
So he asked for his xmas gift if we would contribute x amount to pay off his halfway house bill so he could move to a place by himself. He at that time had a home group but no sponsor. Against our better judgement , our family agreed and he continues the same job and has a small apartment.
Recently the company truck became an issue because of the expensive repairs it needed. We had a very old car, over 150,000 miles, so our son saved the $$$ for insurance and we gave him the car so he can keep his job and have transportation to work.
Since that time he calls us less often, hardly at all. We don't call him simply because we feel he needs his space. I can't say I really believe anything is wrong but I just began to wonder if perhaps we did too much.
Again every indication we have is that he is working his job, paying his own rent not asking us for anything else financially.
Do you think this is a favorable report other than us wishing he'd call us occasionally? In other words preferring that he would initiate the contact rather than it always coming from us? We make it a point not to ask anything regarding his recovery so basically I don't know if he is going to meetings or not. Looking back, i just wondered if it was appropriate to do the car and pay the outstanding bill which in essence allowed him to leave the halfway house.
Thank you for any thoughts regarding this.
dixied
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:06 PM
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All I can think is Let Go and Let God
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:14 PM
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you are right and that was a very kind comment. I appreciate it and I am going to continue to hope for the best. I pray every night for God to continue to watch over him. It is just hard when you don't hear too much from them and you don't want to be the one always calling asking how they are doing. Anyway, you were very thoughtful to reply and it was most appreciated. my best to you, dixied
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:43 PM
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((Dixied))

You did what you thought was the best at the time - Please remember that YOU do not have the power to mess up God's plan. Whether he stays sober or not - it will not be because of anything you did - not because you gave him a car, money or anything else.

BUT what you can look at - or what I should say is what I have learned to do in dealing with my daughter is - if doing something for her makes ME feel uncomfortable later on - if I begin to regret it - then maybe next time I will not do so much.

I try to ask myself "Can I freely give this money, food, clothes, shelter expenses, or whatever and if she relapses tomorrow - will I be ok with what I have done? Or will I beat myself up thinking I have done the wrong thing"

So when my daughter was out of jail last spring - I took her shopping - we had a WONDERFUL day together - I bought her clothes - lunch and we spent the entire day together - It was wonderful - I enjoyed every moment. Less than 4 wks later she had relapsed and was back in jail.

I was glad I had asked myself those questions - I had given what I could give for that day. I didn't give her any money but I had spent money on her - because she's my daughter, I love her regardless and I wanted to. I could live with what I had done with NO regrets.

Honey, it's about what you can do and YOU be ok - not so much about them being ok.

Prayers for you & your family!!
HUGS,
Rita
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:45 PM
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dixied,
I can imagine if I was in your situation my anxiety could be high wondering if I did the right thing. But looking back on the past doesn't do much for us today. At the time, with the situation at hand, you and your husband did the best you could with what you knew. I would try not to be hard on yourself wondering if you went to far. Ultimately it is your son's responsibility to stay clean and on the path of recovery. Your involvement could have helped him or hindered him, but there's no way to really know at this point and it seems from what we know it has helped him.
I'm sorry he doesn't stay in contact with y'all as much as you would like. Perhaps that will change in the future, or maybe it won't.
I guess all I can say is that in the future, don't let your anxiety about his situation compel you to do things for him that he could and should do for himself.
If you genuinely help him, make sure that you can emotionally, physically afford to do so and that its not going to hurt you later down the line should he decide to use again.
I always try to help the addicts in my life with the mindset, 'If he goes out and uses next week am I going to regret this?'
If I am then I decide not to do it because it seems to me that my helping is really my form of trying to control the situation.
I'm putting a condition on my helping by wanting him to stay clean because I helped him.
Sorry for rambling I'm not sure if it makes sense but I just wanted to say that I will be thinking about you and your family.
You sound like you're doing a wonderful job. Just remember to put yourself first. Take care of you. That beautiful woman inside you is most important and when you nurture her, everything else will fall into place.
Keep us updated!
Love,
Holly
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:47 PM
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I agree with letting it go. You helped him because he was trying at the time to get better. Now it is up to him to continue. Hugs, Marle
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Old 06-04-2009, 03:34 PM
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I guess I thought he was doing well and giving him the opportunity to keep his job by providing the car made sense. I couldn't see how that would hurt. I am going to keep trying to focus on myself and I thank those that have continued to encourage me. I really am trying. By not contacting him sometimes I see that as him perceiving I am not interested and that puts guilt on me pretty heavily. I know I have a long way to go but I will continue to try.
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dixied View Post
By not contacting him sometimes I see that as him perceiving I am not interested and that puts guilt on me pretty heavily.
dixied
I know what you mean...

I try to use the same rule of thumb that I would use with any other family member or friend...I call and say hello when I am thinking of them and feel like reaching out...

I don't let myself ask questions every time I call and I try to wait until he volunteers info and then ask one (or two tops!) follow-up questions
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Old 06-04-2009, 07:59 PM
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A true gift has no strings attached. No expectations that might lead to tomorrow's resentments.

I've learned that lesson since getting into recovery... and found it is VERY difficult to give true gifts. But I am getting better.

If the car was a gift, then no worries. It is hard, but I have learned (mostly) to let go of the idea of "why" something was given, and just enjoy the thought that it was given selflessly.

Your son may well be in relapse, or in some process prior to relapse, or maybe just changing how he deals with everyone in his world. Knowing before I need to know is another of my faults. And so far, knowing something early has not brought me much happiness.

I do wish you well. ((hugs))
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Japic05 View Post
((Dixied))

You did what you thought was the best at the time - Please remember that YOU do not have the power to mess up God's plan. Whether he stays sober or not - it will not be because of anything you did - not because you gave him a car, money or anything else.

Rita
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Old 06-04-2009, 08:25 PM
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No need to 2nd guess yourself.
it sounds like your son is making progress
You treated your son like he was not an addict...and that his his goal too.
I know we worry about the silent periods when our sons have been addicts
Learning how not to worry...that is our challenge. When things are going well all we have to do is be grateful and get our focus on all the positive things in life.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:19 AM
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Dixie,

Were you sitting at my kitchen table last night? C'mon...were you??

Mr. Hangin' and I were having a conversation about what to do or what not to do for RAD. And some of that conversation referred to the past and what we had done and had not done. Lordy have mercy, I can beat a dead horse sometimes.

I agree with what others have said: What's done is done. Let that go. Can't do anything about it now.

Regarding the future, what I have to do with my RAD now is look at the situation and see what I am comfortable with doing. And I always, ALWAYS ask myself this question now: If I do so 'n' so, will it help my RAD learn to be the responsible adult I want her to be, and will it help her to learn to live life on life's terms?

There is a situation where I could pay for some certain expenses of my 26 yr old RAD. She's about to get married, sober 6 years, working fulltime as a waitress and going to school full time. Needless to say, a few extra dollars would help her out regarding her bills. But as I look at those expenses, I am telling myself that a responsible 26 yr old adult needs to learn to prepare for upcoming expenses such as dentist, annual check-ups, saving for tires for the car, etc.

Now, I don't know about you, but with me the only way I ever learned anything was by doing it. As long as someone else was footing the bill for me, the "payment" just didn't affect me that much. So that's what I go on as far as dealing with my RAD. I go on my knowledge and always apply the question of "Would it help her grow up and be mature or would I take away from her the opportunity to learn what she needs to learn?" Early on I took away far too many opportunities where I should have let her learn.

Oh, and I might add I look at the decision and see if it will cause me a resentment down the road. Man, oh man, I HATE the feeling of resentment and I never want to set myself up that for those feelings again. And if I do something for her because whatever she says pulls on my heart strings and I cave, and then after it's done I regret my decision, I feel resentful and kick myself because most likely my mama's gut told me not to do it in the first place.

Regarding not hearing from him, we can try all day long to figure out why they are calling, why they aren't calling, why the said this or that, etc. We cannot figure them out. I do know I can let myself slip and get right back into that stinkin' thinkin', worrying about what my RAD is doing. And THERE GOES MY GOOD DAY! I still have to work on that, one day at a time. I'm just much happier when I'm concentrating on my life and leaving my RAD to hers.

Good seeing you again. Miss talking with you.

Hugs,
Hangin' In
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Old 06-05-2009, 04:27 PM
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Oh....my....I don't know if I have any advice, just offering support! My fiance has always told his son that he will receive support if he is in rehab/recovery, but not while he is actively using and being verbally abusive to the whole family.

Hugs, HG
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