Do you tell them why you won't help them?

Old 10-15-2013, 06:23 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Posts: 3
Do you tell them why you won't help them?

Hello. I'm a long time reader and only posted once or twice in the past (I think my previous posts got lost somehow).

I have learnt a lot from this site so thank you to everyone for all the advice I have received. It has been extremely helpful. At one stage I thought I was addicted to the forum as I was reading it so often!

My addicted son (not sure of his drug of addiction), has been giving our family serious grief for 7 years now.

He is 24 years old. He can't hold down a job, was kicked out of our home due to his behaviour quite a few years ago (abusive, smashing things up) and has caused a lot of heartache to our family. My husband and I are in the middle of separating but living in the same house at the moment. Life is not fun.

My son called my husband tonight asking for money. My husband did not agree to giving him any so he called me asking the same. I told him I won't give him any money. He became aggressive and threatened to come and rob us and called me a terrible name (the last time he was threatening I told him not to contact me again). This has been his normal, terrible behaviour with everyone he is close to including my parents. It is very distressing.

My son ended up coming to our house tonight, walked in with an aggressive demeanour and again asked for / demanded money allegedly for food and petrol. I stayed calm (I have to admit that I am a little frightened of him these days) as I didnít want to set him off. Anyway, long story short, everything became rather heated in our house. There was yelling from my husband (he is extremely stressed due to our separation and starting a new job), and my 21 year old daughter also started yelling at my son. She is over his behaviour and says she was sticking up for us. She has been very supportive over the years and is very mature. Her yelling tonight was out of character but she says she has had enough. As I explained to her, she needs to stay calm and not get involved as he is unpredictable and I am worried about what he is capable of.

Anyway, I offered him food, whatever he wanted out of the cupboard. Of course there was nothing that took his fancy and he ended up taking a loaf of bread.

When he loses his mind he gets angry there is no reasoning with him and becomes verbally abusive. He is very unpredictable. I was concerned for my daughter as he has become physical with her in the past (a bit of a shove with yelling). She normally keeps out of it but she has had enough of his disrespectful ways and felt like she had to intervene.

My question is: When he asks for money, what should we tell him why we donít give him any? Of course we would like to be able to give him assistance, but we know we canít as it will not help him get better. Your help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:45 AM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: TX
Posts: 731
No is ok to say without a reason....but you can tell him that until he is clean and respectful that ie need to not come around. Sounds like the police should be called if you are threatened...

Its so difficult to be a parent of an addict
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:28 AM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St. Louis, Mo. USA
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Scoopenator, You did well ! Really well.

To start with No, is a complete sentence. Just keep playing the broken record over and over. When he gets angry it is because he is not getting what he wants. You need to stay calm. If the AS threatens you or anyone in your home cal 911. If the AS threatens to kill himself, call 911.

If they say they need money for food cook them a meal or take them out to eat. that way you know it was food and they got to consume it. Any other reason for money , they need to get a job and get there own.

Another rule of thumb I use is "wait 24 hours." Yes wait 24 hours before you answer or return their phone calls. It is amazing what issues they can get through themselves when your not jumping to their wants and needs. It also gives them time to calm down before confronting you, And you are confronting them on your terms not theirs. ....Stop letting him control your life. Make time for him when you are safe, comfortable, and not busy with something. He will start controlling his own.

I know it is hard detaching with love. You'll tend to question yourself sometimes. But if it is not good for you or your peace, if it will only make things easier (for them or you) then don't do it.

Remember "NO" is a complete sentence. You do NOT have to explain yourself to him he is you son, not your spouse or parent. He asked a question and got an answer, no mater how he phrases it the answer will be no all week long.

Stay strong, don't let him play the mom against dad game with you two. Your going to have to be on the same page and same answers to the addict.

Be well,
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:56 AM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
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I would and have said "Don't ask me for money anymore as I won't be giving you any. In the past when I have given you money you have spent it on drugs so your dad and I have decided not to give you any more."

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Old 10-15-2013, 12:23 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
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No is a complete sentence.

You are the adult, you donít need to explain your reason of why, period.

You mentioned that you are frightened of him, he has smashed things in your home prior, he is threatening to everyone in your family, he is aggressive and demanding, verbally abusive and you worry about what he is capable of doing.

To me it sounds like you are allowing the addict to run the show, to set the scene for chaos and abuse to everyone in your family.

You want your daughter to be passive like you, walking on eggshells as to not set him off and not get involved with someone who comes into HER home and THREATENS HER safety and security?????

How about you donít let him into your home, how about you stop taking his abusive phone calls, protect yourself and your daughter from all of the above.

How about you call the police next time he threatens you, how about you obtain a restraining so that if he does continue to threaten and be verbally abuse or destroys your property heíll finally once and for all pay the consequences for his behavior.

Your asking for an answer to cushion HIS RESPONSE when you finally tell him no and the longer you put that cushion down for yourself and for him the longer all of his behavior will continue.

Tuff love! And NO is a complete sentence. And meaning it is a sign of becoming healthy.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:41 PM
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For the year or so before my son went into the Salvation Army ARC, he was not allowed in my home. I did explain it to him and he understood I think. I told him that my house was my serenity zone and I would protect my serenity with all my might. MY recovery was more important to me than his recovery.....because it was what I could control. He was struggling toward his own recovery at that point when the explanation occurred. He was receptive. I chose my timing carefully.

Trying to talk to someone in late stage active addiction is like hitting your head against the wall. They often cannot hear what you SAY but they do hear what you DO. This is why boundaries are so vitally important.

gentle hugs
From another Mom
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:50 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
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Hi Scoopenator, I think you should defend your daughter. Call the police if he becomes violent. Best wishes to you. Take care of yourself.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:39 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
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Thank you all for your advice. Much appreciated.

I like the 'No' is a complete sentence and I will definitely tell him he is not able to come into our home until he cleans up his act. I too need to make this home our 'serenity zone'.

We have become a lot better at pushing back and saying no but still a way to go. I certainly haven't given him anything except a birthday present for many many months.

I agree that both parents need to be on the same page. It's a little tricky now as we are going through this separation and my husband thinks the world is against him. I will have a chat with him about this.

My son has threatened to kill himself a number of times. Police have been involved a number of times. The thing is, we keep our guard up for a while, things start getting a little pleasant again, guard goes down and the merry-go-round starts again. I want to get off!

I am curious as to how people stick with the 'no contact'. Last time my son became aggressive I sent him a message saying I don't want to see him until he is off the drugs and can be pleasant. That lasted a little while until the guilt got the better of me and I arranged to have dinner with him for his birthday. All of a sudden I'm on the contact list again and he has his foot in the door again.

I am going to make some changes. Thank you so much again.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:17 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
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Stay strong. I have a younger daughter too and she does not allow anyone to disrespect her. I told my AS that he will not disrespect her or me. My son, too, in the past has threaten with suicide, etc. Now my answer is that you if he is bold enough to do that, then I have to take it as a serious threat and have no choice to call the police. My other son and daughter are also on the same page because you never know, and I don't want to take a chance.
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