relatives wanting to know where he is

Old 02-04-2010, 07:47 AM
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relatives wanting to know where he is

I am the mother of a 23 year old intravenous opiate user, who is currently in jail (5th time). He has been using for 6 years.

When I divorced my son's alcoholic/drug using, cheating father, his family stopped communicating with me. I truly loved his parents as though they were my own and it hurt.

Last year, when my son was attempting sobriety, he told his father that he no longer could be in his life, because he is a bad influence. They used to get high together and his father has had so many DUI's, he had to have one of those gizmos that you have to blow into to start your car. My ex-husband is so warped, he also used to pick up women in bars, bring them home and have sex in front of my son and my son's friends.

During the past six years of my son using, he has been in and out of jail and consequently out of touch with my ex's family for most of the holidays. This past Thanksgiving and Christmas, evidently my son never called his grandparents, aunts or uncles. Tomorrow is my son's birthday.

Last night, one of my son's aunts called looking for my son. (I haven't heard from her in 10 years). She left a message on my phone that they had not heard from him for quite some time and were really concerned and would I please call her back.

I know that they all love my son, but I am not sure if it is my place to call her back and inform them of his addiction and that he is in jail. I am not sure what my son's father has told his own parents, brothers and sisters, about our son. My ex-husband is a pathological, compulsive liar and is excellent at covering up problems.

What should I do? Call them and tell them or let sleeping dogs lie. I know this will break their hearts, but I am not comfortable telling them about my son's problems.

Any advice?
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:58 AM
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All you have to say is:

"I will be happy to pass on your message and if he wants to contact you he will."

That way, you are not telling him where he is at, that is up to him. When and if you write your son, you can tell him his aunt called, and you will have fulfilled your obligation.

You do not have to give them any information, as that is up to your son .................... even though he may not have been acting like it, he is an adult .......................... his choice to contact or not.


Love and hugs,
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:09 AM
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helpformyson: I too have a young adult addict son. I can only tell you some of the inklings i've learned along the way.

I too would wonder if it is my place to call back and relate this kind of information. I've learned that with people who are not in recovery with me, with any message I give I can somehow get blamed for whatever decisions my son has made. Especially if the request comes from people who distanced from me to begin with. I can just imagine my ex-inlaws using any kind of response from me as the gossip-of-the-week material.

If i had a message like that on my machine, i too would ponder on how to respond. Ignore it totally? Call back with some very vague details about the addict? What if this aunt had called and I was home - would I ignore the name when i saw it on the caller ID? I don't know, i guess (because this came from the family that had estranged me) i would just ignore the message. This aunt is not calling with a desire to help you son nor is she calling to say she has herself gotten involved in Alanon. She is just calling for the latest stuff.

One of the things I try to use as a guide is whether I am creating undue tentacles for my son to have to deal with when the time comes that he chooses to be clean, sober, and in recovery. I try not to give details about his life that he might not want other people to know.

That's my random thoughts. Hope it helps.

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Old 02-04-2010, 09:41 AM
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Lauri & Sojourner,

Thank you both for the insight. I know that my ex-in-laws are truly concerned about why they have not heard from him, but I do feel that any information would definately become gossip.

I don't think they know what is going on, but may just suspect his drug use.

I just keep thinking, what if they were so concerned, that they would set up an intervention? I tried it (Marchman Acted him), but it didn't work. Does family pressure ever work?

I feel that if I return the call, I may get put on the spot and not know how to answer.

I also feel bad that I know they truly care....but to what degree and would their knowing benefit my son.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:21 PM
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I agree with what Anvil said above, you owe nobody anything here. Take time to think about what feels "right" for you, and then go with that. You are under no obligation to be a "conveyor of messages" to and from jail or anywhere, for anyone.

If you do choose to respond, then I like Laurie's suggestion...

"I will be happy to pass on your message and if he wants to contact you he will."
I am selective about discussing my son with people, and I no longer squirm when I say "I am not comfortable discussing this" and change the subject.

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Old 02-04-2010, 12:27 PM
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That's a tough one. It it were me, I'd not return the call at all. My personal thoughts on that are the son is an adult. He does adult things, he is in adult jail. His life. I'm not a secretary.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:32 PM
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I also think one of your options would be to drop a brief note to this woman. Be polite -and the great thing is that you get to totally choose what to say. I would think a carefully-worded message would get you off the hook, ease any guilty conscience, and communicate that further communication is not likely to happen.

I being me, would also probably try the "call when you suspect no one will answer" tactic. I personally would not really want to not return the call, nor would I want to engage in a discussion about my son.

I know that my first-cousin has fallen off the wagon numerous times. I happen to have a good relationship with his father, however, when we see each other and are catching up, all he needs to say is "Brent isn't doing too well right now" and no details need be disclosed.

Just an idea.
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