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In alanon, not doing well

Old 12-22-2012, 10:23 AM
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In alanon, not doing well

Tuesday night, my 16-year-old son snuck out of the house. I locked him out for 30 minutes, then texted him he could either come home or stay out and get to school on wednesday--that if he didn't come home and wasn't in school, i would call the police and he could deal with them. he came home, i gave him a drug test, and it was positive for THC.

wednesday, strum and drang in household. we were ready to send him to his father's but i backed down because he is doing well in this school and to move him now might disrupt that, and also because--really--i'm going to send my son away because he smokes pot? really?

i decided to try to live with the fact that my son smokes pot and give it over to god. my husband said he would talk to him--this happened on tuesday, and so far, no talk--and that our position would be that it's not okay to smoke pot in our home, but that we cannot control is behavior and that he would have to live with whatever consequences going forward. (this is no different from what was said after he came home from rehab in january.)

thursday, same thing.

friday, his best friend came over. i had said i would take them to the mall. i was in my room and they said they were ready. i opened my bedroom door and was blown away by the smell of pot.

all my alanon training evaporated. (haven't been going that long but go each week, read the literature, etc. no sponsor because there is no sponsor available but i have numbers.)

can you believe it, i took them to the mall? and let him sleep over the friends house? and now, my husband, who has no idea of any of this, is taking him to his girlfriend's house?

this is all me--i have learned nothing at alanon. and now, i am so angry i cannot see straight. i am angry at him for lying to my face this morning about it, and i am angry at myself because, despite my love for my son, i am a ****-poor parent. i am a ******* idiot. what the **** is wrong with me?

he went to hug me before he left, and i stepped out of his embrace. i do not want him to touch me--more manipulation, while all the while he despises me. he told me that he did not want to go to meetings, that he thought meetings were stupid, and he was only going to please me.

so i will not force him to go to meetings. i do not want to talk to him. i think i am going to go my husband's route--just don't talk to him. the less we talk, the less i have to listen to his lies. i want him to get good grades, do his chores, and not talk to me.

so much other stuff is affecting me too--the fact that i let my husband talk me into getting him a laptop when i didn't think he deserved one. the fact that his using puts me at risk--what if i get sued and lose my home for something he does while high? the fact that he lies, lies, lies, right to my face.

everything y'all talk about every day here.

i am on a dry drunk. i am having a tantrum--i have to get it out. i talked to my sponsor, who is also a member of alanon; called an alanon contact; will pray after i post this. but the fact is, i do not want to be around my son right now, do not want to talk to him, and i despise his lying. i have no respect for him at all.

and yet, i was drinking at 16. my parents never knew. the cops never came to my door. yes, i know he's a different person than me. he has adhd, but last night was the first day his med dosage had been upped, and it did not result in a good choice.

everyone smokes pot. my parents eat pot brownies (my 74-year-old dad loves pot, and it helps my mom's back.) my husband would smoke pot if he weren't subjected to random drug tests. my husband's daughter's baby daddy smoked it at a party we held for my husband's father last night. so my son smokes pot too. what's the big deal? i am wondering. maybe it's not so bad after all?

i am so confused. this is so overwhelming. i do not understand what i feel, or why i feel it. all i know is that i do not want to talk to my son for awhile.

if he's going to smoke pot, i want him not to do it in my house, and not come home high. i will not buy him cigarettes any more. i am not going out of my way to do anything for him, except take him to job interviews and meetings.

we've tried grounding him, taking away his electronics, everything you might suggest. i know the three c's. i know, i know, i KNOW, but i don't know beccause i am not living it right now. and i just have to get it out in a safe place. this is the only place i know.

there is nothing i can do but surrender and i am unable to do that at this moment. i do know that surrender is the only solution. sorry if this is garbled but i am so angry and in despair and so confused and waiting for someone at alanon to call me back.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:51 AM
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Wow this sounds like crazy all around. I dont even know what to say other than its going to be hard to put values into your son about weed when everyone around him either smokes or something else.
This is a very sensitive situation. If you put boundaries on your son....you must learn to put boundaries on everyone else. It seems you are in the middle recovering yourself around all the chaos of everyone elses lack of or in sobreity. Be the change in you that you want for everyone else. I am glad you ade not buying cigarettes for him anymore....I dont know why you were before but glad you are no longer enabling destructive behavior . Keep not enabling. Keep boundaries. Push yourself .
Good luck
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:20 AM
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my parents live far away from us...my son has no idea about them. he doesn't know about the others, either. i just meant that so many other people smoke pot, that it's hard to tell my son not to. of course, they have not experienced the consequences that he has, and they're all much older and have earned the right to make their choices. they also are responsible, have jobs, etc. they haven't made their pot smoking into a problem for everyone else in their household.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:30 AM
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one more thing: just because he smokes pot, does it mean he needs rehab? again, i am getting hung up on what others do, and what he does. plenty of people smoke pot and go on with their lives. plenty of people smoke pot and are wastes of space.

does he need rehab, or do i just need to chill on that idea? in my heart of hearts, i don't think he needs rehab or that it would do him any good. i am serious--if he doesn't want meetings or recovery, it's stupid to insist that he go--it's like forcing an atheist to go to church.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:36 AM
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Way back when... I still remember a friends pot smoking dad telling all us friends "you shouldn't be smoking it because you abuse it."

Abuse is where I draw the line with just about everything these days.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:47 AM
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How is your conscious contact with your higher power today?

God never moves away from me; I move away from him, and that's when I can really get lost in chaos.

Many hugs of support to you.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:29 PM
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Ok breathe.......

I do understand how disturbing it is when the minor living your home smokes pot. That is where my son started but he was a lot sneakier about it. I do understand the confusion you are feeling since everyone around us smokes pot. I live in a State that just "legalized" it (ha......how can a State legalize something that is against Federal Law--the can of worms that has been opened is ridiculous). It's hard to say something is "wrong" when a majority of voters disagrees. It's easy to begin to doubt ourselves when we're in the minority (or so it seems).

So....what to do.....I don't have answers for you. He may grow out of it. He may not. I think the most important thing I could have done early on with my son is to not enable him (which I did...unfortuantely). I wish I had allowed him to deal with the consequences of his decisions early on. But I was always there sweeping up the messes he made for himself.

I think the thing I would stress to you more than anything from your post is you are NOT a bad mother. You're a mother who wants the best for her son. But unfortunately we can't control another human being. Please......do the best that you can......and don't beat yourself up. That doesn't do anyone any good.......particularly not you.

Keep going to your meetings. Keep taking care of you. He will either "get it" or he won't. Stay calm because getting all worked up does nothing but fuel the fire. I have found the calmer I stay, the more impact my words and actions have........anger is an illusion of control.

I remember how difficult it was when I first found my son was smoking pot and drinking. It was exacerbated because while my husband and I were spouting "say no to drugs" jargon, my AXH was passing him a joint.

Take care of you.

gentle hugs
ke
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:40 PM
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anger is an illusion of control
oh god, yes it is. i feel helpless. (in aa we say we are powerless, but not helpless...and yet "helpless" is how i feel in this moment.)

and it's because i'm powerless over the decisions he makes.

only thing to do is climb back in the saddle. first things first--i need to take care of me. still waiting for an alanon member to call me back but your post calmed me down a lot. i hear the sanity in it.

thank you so much.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:13 PM
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The bottom line for me would be that he is using an ILLEGAL drug in my home and since he is a minor, I would be held responsible. I don't have any suggestions for handling a rebellious teenager, I'm afraid, but I would not, no way, no how be that disrespected in my own home.

I am sorry you are having to endure this sort of treatment.
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:23 PM
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The bottom line for me would be that he is using an ILLEGAL drug in my home and since he is a minor, I would be held responsible.
short, sweet, sane and reasonable. and yet, i could not come up with that on my own. seriously, i couldn't. i am wondering why, but i figure alanon will get me there, sooner or later.

anyway, i'm going to adopt this as my own. thank you for making it so completely clear. this helps a LOT.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ISOHumility View Post
one more thing: just because he smokes pot, does it mean he needs rehab? again, i am getting hung up on what others do, and what he does. plenty of people smoke pot and go on with their lives. plenty of people smoke pot and are wastes of space.

does he need rehab, or do i just need to chill on that idea? in my heart of hearts, i don't think he needs rehab or that it would do him any good. i am serious--if he doesn't want meetings or recovery, it's stupid to insist that he go--it's like forcing an atheist to go to church.
I think that this bothers you because he is your son and a minor because im sure youve seen people make terrible decisions and your a mother who wants the best for her child. Should you chill out? I think you should work the program but be true to you....if it bothers ypu set boundaries and keep what you find unacceptable or acceptable. Regardless what he does. You are in power of your values as a parent and he is a minor. Do what you feel is best. But I do think there should be some leniency but with some boundaries. Best to you and your familand fyi I dont think your parents smoking is an issue. My father smokes weed and im ok with thst. Hes responsible too but what I expect in my home is up to me .
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:38 PM
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Sounds like your entire family is into the drug scene, must be considered acceptable behavior, being passed on from generation to generation.

Not everyone smokes pot. I for one, don't, never have, never will and I do not allow drugs of any type in my home.

A drug is a drug. He is only 16, for many that age, pot is a gateway drug and can lead to harder drugs.

Your rewarding him for his bad behavior makes no logical sense to me.

Hopefully, somehow your son will find his way down the right path.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:02 PM
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dolly-do,

i welcome constructive advice and suggestions, but after reading your response carefully, i can't see that you offered any. excuse me if i can't find any value in condesending pronouncements from on high.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:27 PM
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anyway, i have calmed down for the day, which is almost over. it's been a tough one but i've received valuable suggestions that have helped me a great deal. wanted to offer my thanks.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:08 PM
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ISO,
My son starting using drugs at a very early age. BUT mine was also stealing, skipping and failing school. Some adults were buying alcohol for them and I went to the police about that - nothing was done.

I agree that you can not make him attend any kind of treatment. It is a waste of time and money if he doesn't want to go, or isn't ready to change his life style.

You said he is making good grades, attending school, and doing his chores?? My son also smoked at that age, not in my house and he had a job to pay for his own.

IMO pot is going to be legalized in many states soon (prob never mine as I live in the middle of the Bible Belt lol).

At 16yo, in my state, it is against the law to buy cigarettes and alcohol and they are pressing charges in our area. During this time of the year the paper always has several stories of drunk teen in accidents and the parents of the home where the party took place arrested.

All of that said, there is no way in heaven that you can stop him if he does not want to stop! But I would be firm about not smoking or drinking in my home. I had to say this quite a few times to mine and in front of his friends. They were only allowed outside on the patio if I wasn't home. When you say this you have to make sure you will back it up if they test you, and teens will! This is your home and regardless what everyone else does, if you don't feel comfortable with the activities, make them stop.

I also know hardworking people that smoke pot AFTER their job to relax. But they are adults. Have to tell you I have 'pot head' young men in my family that really don't appear to be too ambitious.

As I have gotten older I can reflect on the many ways I enabled my son when I thought I was not at the time. None of us are perfect and as I read in a book, 'no parent stays up at night plotting ways to screw up liitle Johnny or Sally's life'. Stuff that we can't control just happens!

(((huggs I know how stressful it can be)))
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:42 PM
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The whole pot thing is so incredibly frustrating...

ISOHumility, I commend your honesty about all this. I had such a crazy-hard time with my AD from 14 to her 18yo OD last year. I don't know what I could have done to change the outcome because I did everything I could do with the skills I had then. Work your own recovery, keep your rules clear, and pray for his safety & that of others he is around. Most rehabs won't accept pot users...or at least the ones I found. The teen rehab program we tried when she was 15 was completely ineffective because she was so convincing and cunning...she doesn't have addiction issues, they said. Fast forward 3 years...and you just never know what is going to ring their bell. She is an addict, and a tender recovering former heroin user now, and she is very lucky to be alive.

Here's what all this jabbering is meant to convey: take your recovery VERY seriously right now. That is my biggest regret looking back. Commend yourself for what you are doing right now to talk to a sponsor, get feedback here,and for any other introspection and behavior change you are working towards--good job! You are a very fine mother doing her very best. Please don't beat yourself up. The world does that for us mothers anyway! You are in my thoughts and heart today!
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:54 PM
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as i write this, my husband is taking the gf home. i am calmer. i need to process what part i played in this situation, which has been playing out since Tuesday.

If I had grounded him Tuesday, when he tested positive, I would not have had to deal with today. Even if I'd failed Tuesday, yesterday, when i smelled that pot, i could have taken his friend home and grounded him for the rest of the weekend.

but i got confused. actually, i got scared, and i wanted to not feel scared. Taking him to the mall mitigated my own anxiety. taking him to the mall was for me. Selfish behavior. Survival behavior.

i guess that's why it's important to define your boundaries. because they are immutable, once you define then you can remember what they are and stick to them. every time you stick to them, you honor yourself. you're not selling yourself down the river.

I know that this is a big "duh" to many of you here, but it is a revelation to me.

i plan to write out my boundaries after i post this. i don't even really understand what boundaries are--not because i don't know the definition or haven't read the literature, i just don't know what they are for me. i feel sad about that.

Every week, when i go to my alanon meeting, i am baffled. i don't understand how they know that much about themselves. i find myself literally analyzing their shares. it is difficult for me to understnd how they manage to talk more about how the program helps them, than about the addict in their life. i still can't do that.

AA was so much easier to "get" than Alanon. But then I remember that drinking was but a symptom.

Today perhaps for the first time, I understood how codependence feels. To me, it feels scary--like I don't exist. I am struggling for words--bear with me. I think i thought that if my son was okay, i was okay. And what does okay mean? For my son, it means, "normal." For me, it means, "safe." But what is "normal?" What is "safe"?

But my son doesn't have to be okay for me to be okay. In fact, that thinking has hurt us both.

I can see that I've been codependent in past relationships, but not with addicts or alcoholics. I've been fortunate that way. When you're codependent with your own kid, it feels shameful. Parenting is supposed to come naturally. It never has, for me. I think too much, talk too much--I have never just "acted like a parent." And now I can see that maybe he felt stronger than me. I always felt stronger than my mother. My contempt for her made her wilt. And my son's contempt for me has done the same.

If I had recognized my codependence earlier, set strong boundaries, not felt the need to fix and control and lecture and make sure he was "okay"--for me!--maybe he would be more independent. i surely would have saved myself much anguish.

The thing that most convinced me of my codependence today was that--even though i had been angry at my son--i was worried about whether he and his girlfriend were bored. I felt like I had to entertain them. Even I can see that this is diseased thinking.

Man, I have a lot to learn. Not him. Me. I never again want to feel the way I did today.

Your support has been a blessing today.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:07 PM
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Is the laptop a Christmas gift? I was wondering about that if it is and he hasn't gotten it yet you could always wait.

I feel like you at meetings sometimes I analyze everything in life over analyze always have a friend of mine calls me Bones because of that TV show.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:20 PM
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Hi CB,

Glad you're back!

My husband knows about Tuesday, but not yesterday. To tell him now would be counterproductive, so even though my son doesn't deserve the laptop, he will get it.

But he will probably have it taken away in the next week or two, when he smokes pot again.
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:22 PM
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I may sound naive but how would telling hubby about yesterday now be counterproductive?
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