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Having 2nd doubts-Need support & feedback please

Old 07-23-2010, 05:39 PM
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Question Having 2nd doubts-Need support & feedback please

AS doesn't get it. Acts like nothing will be different come Monday. Figure he can just keep his keys and come back. (haven't told him about changing locks)

I'm feeling confused, unsure again. Guess I'm in shock that he won't do anything to prepare for another place to go while he can use my phone, internet, etc. Am I wrong in still hoping he'll say or do something to show he wants to change?

I'm feeling guilty because I didn't just leave him at the rehab and let him take it from there.

Intellectually I believe this is the right thing, but am I being too harsh. Other members write about months/years with their addicted child before getting to this point.

Part of me feels rushed into doing this because others say it's the right thing to do. I mean he did just do 9 days in detox and has made baby steps to getting better.

Yet the other part of me knows he's not really doing that much to break the cycle or do much with his life, ie. calling to get on a list at a rehab, calling friends for a place to stay, taking care of money matters...compleing his paperwork for unemployment.

I think I'm doing this hoping he'll come to his senses, more than I'm doing it for me. I don't think that's trying to control the outcome. As parents we do have to give consequences for actions.

I haven't really firmly established boundaries with him all this time because he was trying or wrestling with stopping and recovering and doing many of the right things to do so. Now I feel like I'm punishing him for his efforts to do better and giving him the wrong message. Who am I to insist that rehab is the only way for him?

I feel like I would like to give him one more week to make and follow a postitive constructive plan to stop using drugs and do something constructive and productive with his life and taking responsibility for himself. He would have to demonstrate and provide proof of doing those things, like actively applying for jobs, seeking out and participating in some steps to stop using drugs, save his money and open a bank account, etc.

Of course I have encouraged him to do these things during the 3 months he has been staying here, but I didn't mandate it as a condition of being here, like other parents have done with their addict children.

Is it really so unfair to lower the boom on him just because he didn't go to rehab? He really wanted to go back to his original residential program, but they are the ones that insisted he go to the rehab in the mountains as a condition to coming back. That had a lot to do with why he didn't want to go there and felt forced.

Maybe I'm not as strong as I thought. Maybe I still am not done trying to 'save' my son or give him another chance. Maybe I need to detach more gradually myself.

I have been homeless and it is extremely hard to rise up from it, even when drugs and alcohol aren't responsible. I don't feel I am ready to inflict that on my son yet. On the other hand, intellectually I know he needs a hard dose of reality staring him in the face to maybe get it. If he would just say he really does want to stop using or ask if he could stay a little longer so he can get into a rehab or get a job or something....but he's not. I think he figures he can just come back here next week if he can't talk his girlfriend into letting him stay there awhile. ( I really hope she will. Maybe he'll do it for her or maybe he'll finally get the impact his drug use has on his relationship with her.)

I thinkI'm in shock because he's so nonchalant about the whole thing. Or does that mean I'm doing the right thing?

I really struggle with this detachment business. I know I posted earlier how I felt so enlightened. It's just at a real gut mom level I'm doubting my decisions and I would welcome more feedback.

You all have been very helpful. I will see about some more meetings too. I meet with my FA group next Tuesday which will help.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:52 PM
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He probably won't change unless something drastic happens to him. It's all about comfort -- for him. If things are great for him why should he change? He gets to keep his habit, his shelter his food his warmth and everybody is thrilled right? He won't change unless he's desperate enough to see that drug addiction leads to nowhere. One of the best tools to prevent relapse is remembering the pain of the addiction. If there is no pain or consequences what kind of tool will he have... other than addiction is wonderful. You can keep on providing him everything so that's he's extra comfortable or you can release him to find his tools. It's not easy but growth doesn't happen without pain.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:59 PM
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He is not going to stop using until he is ready. Having a home to come to, a bed to sleep in, food to eat regularly, a shower every day, clean clothes to wear, a phone and computer to use are all enabling him to live comfortably while he continues to use. You already know this, but, just like the addict, you won't stop enabling him until you are done. He hasn't yet pushed you to your limit. What would he have to do in order for you to be done?
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:46 PM
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Vaya - You have to make decisions that you can live with. Nobody is going to TELL you what to do (well, they might but they shouldn't). This is your family, your home, your life. YOU decide.

Our job here is to share our experience, strength and hope. I'll share my experience with you because you sound about where I was mentally about a year ago.

We found my son was doing drugs while he was in high school. Our #1 priority was to get him graduated and we did that and he seemed pretty stable thru his senior year. He actually made honor roll for the 1st time ever. Odd. He had a summer job but other than that he had no responsibilities. He had a car, gas and insurance -- all paid for by mom and dad. His money was his own to spend. Guess what he spent it on? But still it looked to us like he was "just" smoking marijuana and he wasn't in trouble otherwise, so we let it slide. (Mistake #1) The month he started at community college and turned 18, he was arrested for spraying graffiti, on a Tuesday afternoon when he should have been in class. We bailed him out of jail (Mistake #2) and paid for a lawyer to get him off the hook as best he could (Mistake #3). He ended up basically flunking out of his first semester, but we gave him a good scolding <rolleyes> and signed him up for a second semester (Mistake #4). Keep in mind that we did this for the same reasons you want to keep your son afloat.... we kept hoping that a magic fairy would sprinkle dust on him that would suddenly make him "do something constructive and productive with his life and take responsibility for himself. " (mistake #5) Looking back on it, this is almost laughable at how naive we were. The only consequences he ever faced for acting like an idiot was "a good scolding". (Mistake #6) Oh brother!!

Anyway, he of course flunked out of his second semester then wrecked his car. This is when we shipped him off to rehab. Again we thought the magic fairy ...the one we just paid $30,000...was going to make him whole and well. (Mistake #7) And she did! ...for about 2 days. He talked us into coming back home instead of going to sober living (Mistake #8) in another town by promising to attend meetings, get a job, save some money, BLAH BLAH BLAH. After rehab he was right back where he left off within a couple of weeks. So off to sober housing he went.... except that mommy was paying the rent, buying his food and paying for his gas and insurance! (Mistake #9) WTH was I thinking??!

Long, long story short....many more mistakes...and one year later (now) he has made -ZERO- progress in any meaningful way. In fact, because he is just now facing any real consequences, he seems to be sliding backwards... he has no idea how to cope other than to manipulate and do more drugs and he's 20 years old.

Yes, you can decide to go easy on him, give him the benefit of the doubt, "make him" get a job and act responsibly, but there's about a 95% chance that he won't do any of those things. And chances are that you'll jack around like this for another year or two and you'll be in this very same position, only much poorer, a lot more crazy, and your son will be just that more enmeshed in the world of addiction. I think the other parents will back me up on this...but yeah, you can go easy on him but in a year or two you will wish you had followed the standard advice given here and in most recovery communities.

But, hey, it's your life. You do what you want with it. We'll be here for you no matter what you decide and that's a fact you can count on.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by vaya View Post


AS doesn't get it. Acts like nothing will be different come Monday. Figure he can just keep his keys and come back. (haven't told him about changing locks)

Have you told him he has to find somewhere else to live?


I haven't really firmly established boundaries with him all this time because he was trying or wrestling with stopping and recovering and doing many of the right things to do so. Now I feel like I'm punishing him for his efforts to do better and giving him the wrong message. Who am I to insist that rehab is the only way for him?

We can only establish boundaries for ourselves. When we attempt to do so for others, we are indeed trying to control them.

I feel like I would like to give him one more week to make and follow a postitive constructive plan to stop using drugs and do something constructive and productive with his life and taking responsibility for himself. He would have to demonstrate and provide proof of doing those things, like actively applying for jobs, seeking out and participating in some steps to stop using drugs, save his money and open a bank account, etc.

Of course I have encouraged him to do these things during the 3 months he has been staying here, but I didn't mandate it as a condition of being here, like other parents have done with their addict children.

Sounds like a warden's job to me.

Is it really so unfair to lower the boom on him just because he didn't go to rehab? He really wanted to go back to his original residential program, but they are the ones that insisted he go to the rehab in the mountains as a condition to coming back. That had a lot to do with why he didn't want to go there and felt forced.

Maybe I'm not as strong as I thought. Maybe I still am not done trying to 'save' my son or give him another chance. Maybe I need to detach more gradually myself.

I have been homeless and it is extremely hard to rise up from it, even when drugs and alcohol aren't responsible. I don't feel I am ready to inflict that on my son yet. On the other hand, intellectually I know he needs a hard dose of reality staring him in the face to maybe get it. If he would just say he really does want to stop using or ask if he could stay a little longer so he can get into a rehab or get a job or something....but he's not. I think he figures he can just come back here next week if he can't talk his girlfriend into letting him stay there awhile. ( I really hope she will. Maybe he'll do it for her or maybe he'll finally get the impact his drug use has on his relationship with her.)

I thinkI'm in shock because he's so nonchalant about the whole thing. Or does that mean I'm doing the right thing?

I really struggle with this detachment business.
We all have and /or do.
It does not sounds like you have hit your own rock bottom with all of this.

Trying to control someone else is all about our ego and has very little to do with the person whom we seek to control. Accepting this is humbling.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:45 PM
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The expression that helped me through times like you are experiencing was "Say what I mean; mean what I say, but don't say it mean." If I stopped focusing on my daughter and what she was doing and focused on me and what I said I was going to do, it helped me to not get sucked into the drama. I had to be true to what I established was best for me. So "no I am sorry; I am not going to do that" then walking away, became my response. Once my daughter knew that I meant it and it was no longer my usual idle threats or ranting and anger,(followed of course by giving in, because I felt guilt and shame for my behavior) she stopped relying on me to enable her addiction.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:17 PM
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In my experince my little AD wouldn't belive me when I changed because I used to threaten and not follow thru. He is most likely not making plans because he doesn't beleive you are really going to kick him out. It is not a magic bullet, this booting them out, but at least your home would be calm. My daughter is still using, but I don't have to worry who is at my house, about the drama, or the front row seat to her self destruction. It has been really hard, but it has moved from my head to my heart and i know this is what I need to do.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:51 PM
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You must do what you must do. It's just that simple.

Now, with that said, don't be suprised if your enabling just extends his fall to his bottom.

To me you are going thru the guilt/what if game. Guilt is a self imposed emotion, we humans have imposed this on ourselves to reason out our behavior, to make bad decisions livable/acceptable to us. What if I do this. Oh, I will feel so guilty.

In the meantime, in your case, your son is pulling every trick out of his hat, so, that you will do what he wants, and of coarse if you don't, that old guilt miester steps in, so, you cave.

I will just repeat what I have posted before: "It's now or never"...this will not get any better until you do whats best for him...stand up, stand firm, let him grow up and face his addiction straight in the face.

Just my two cents. The bottom line is that it is your decision, no one can make it for you.

I wish you enlightenment and peace.
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