He's out.

It's been close to a year without changes on our adult son's part, and what a year it's been? He said he talked to the doctor and said he was going to see a counsellor, or so the doctor recommended, said he got a note for disability, but none of that happened, he continued on in his ways living in our home and continuing to use. He wouldn't go to Rehab because he denied having an addiction. When I asked him if he was seeing a counsellor he said he was handling it on his own. Recently he pushed it partying in our home mid week during morning hours without respect for our house rules. My husband had enough and told him he had to move. He went willingly, said he was with friends and ended up in another family member's home. Problem is, the family member is also a user, so I am very discouraged that unless he comes to his own senses, he isn't going to change for the better anytime soon.

I feel such sadness with all of this, we tried so hard to help and our way didn't work. It just caused the relationship between us to become tense, there was so much tension in our house followed by anger on our part because we just couldn't get through to him to help him He was always close , but became a stranger while he was here. It also caused some upset among other relatives who felt we should keep him in our home, because where will he go and what if he does something? I came to the terms that it didn't make any difference, since he was using while in our home. I knew that couldn't go on under our roof. We couldn't control it. I miss him being here, but don't miss what he was doing.
He had been by a couple of times since to visit me (short visit). Will we ever become a normal family again, or will he always be upset with us for asking him to leave. If he only would know how much we love him? Maybe that is why it hurts so bad?
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  • My heart goes out to you in your situation. We, too, are parents of an addict. Setting boundaries is the easy part. Sticking to them is a whole different beast. You will always face criticism from others. It's very easy for them to hand out advice when they are not the ones living and enduring it. As far as your family goes, suggest to them that if they feel so strongly he needs a place to stay and someone to patiently stand by and condone his behavior, perhaps they could offer him their home and mentoring.

    I am sure that you came to this decision with great angst. I'm sure you have decided that perhaps this is the path that will help him...maybe not. However, this is really about you and your needs. You have put those on the back burner a long while. We have been there, ARE there. We have the same resolve as you. And I can tell you right now no badgering from family or friends, or even strangers will expedite or delay our decisions. It is a personal journey, just as it is with the addicts in our lives.

    Do not feel guilty, although I know you will. Do not doubt yourself, although I know you will. Forgive yourself of any decisions you feel may have been wrong, including this one. You are doing the best you can in a very emotional situation. There is no manual for this crap. We are all dealing the best we can.

    God bless you and thank you for giving the time and love that you have to your addict. You must be wonderful people with big hearts.
  • @scandoit hello there. i'm sorry you're having to contend with this. i know it's not easy... i agree with raisingcain...don't beat yourself up. you have got to take care of you and a child's addiction shouldn't have to make your life miserable.

    i'm sure you did take some time to think about your decision, and your son does need to face consequences for his actions...or breaking boundaries.

    continue to practice self-care.... reach out for help when you need. i pray your son will come to a point where he will want and reach out for help!

    thank you for the update.
  • @scandoit... I think @RaisingCain's comment was spot on. @dominica's, too. You have to take care of yourself first and foremost. And it's not like you didn't give your son a chance. I know what you did isn't easy. But you did what's best for you and no one should question that. Your life matters, too.

    Sending you love, light, and hugs today. Please be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
  • Thank you all for your kind thoughts. While I do have my moments of missing him, I think and know my husband did the right thing. He wanted to make this decision long ago to help him to take action to help himself and to be accountable for his actions, but I stood in the way because I didn't want him to get thrown out in winter so it went on and on. We have given him so many chances, over and over again. Our son, through this addiction or illness did not relate to our rules, we would tell him not to do this or that in our home, he would hear us out and even agree but he didn't follow through. We have given him almost a year of chances, less a month. a year of our patience and understanding,, a year of forgiveness ( we are still forgiving him and allowed him to start over and over again, but he couldn't for whatever reason, he could not see his faults and he could not change.. What that seemed to do is cause him to lose respect for our word, for us and our home, as we told him over and over again, if he doesn't get help, he is out. Everytime he failed, there were no consequences, only more lectures and more chances. I think his addiction s responsible. I've learned to recognize his lies, his desperation, his secrets, and taking calls and texts in another room. his sores, his sniffing, his shakes, his passing out on blvds, the strange things in his cupboard that indicated drug use, the company he kept, his stories of tall tales saying if he doesn't get the money, someone is threatening to come after him and those close to him, his begging for money, his strange behavior, his losing large sums of money and his valuable possessions or so he said, his constant borrowing and never paying anyone back, his disrespect of other people's property, his inability to be responsible for his actions, his involvement with the law, his need to sell everything although, that may have been, not only to support his habit, but to have spending money as well, that is what happened when he no longer wanted to work but slept all day, and was out for most of the night. We just couldn't let him keep doing that under our roof, is that selfish of us, God help him and us. If I feel bad, it's because I just posted what was happening in our house and in front of us, If he should read this, I don't intend to hurt him with my words but to help him to see himself. Have we given up on him, absolutely not, we want more than ever for him to get help, to be happy again, to be at peace again, and to have a life full of purpose and meaning. He just doesn't have any idea how much he means to us?
  • @scandoit hey there. i know you gave him so many chances... and your boundaries or asking him to leave doesn't mean you don't love or care for him. it means you DO. continue to get support for yourself....as i know it's not easy to have a child out there addicted... continue to read books for loved ones of addicts... i believe they can help with the emotional toll it can take on you. and of course, we're here.
  • @scandoit As I just read your post, I feel as if I wrote them myself. You were telling our story.....I too have a son that is an addict. He recently was in rehab but I'm certain he has relapsed. We too have given chance after chance. He no longer lives with us either. We have told him he can't come back, he has to make it on his own. We spent four years trying to help him and give him so many chances. I so wish I could offer some great words of encouragement, but right now, I'm just barely keeping my head above the water. I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone. The people here are so encouraging. This is a great place to pour your heart out. I hope one day I will be able to offer encouragement to you myself.
    Like @DeanD and @dominica said, try to take care of yourself.....I haven't quite got that one mastered, but I'm working on it. Big hugs to you as you walk this hard road!
  • @scandoit @tiredmom we can't save them... but we can love them...sometimes it may have to be from a loving distance or lovingly detached... and helps me to pray for them... ask God to reveal himself to them .... draw them near... remember WHO they are...

    i appreciate both of you here in the forum...thank you for being here, sharing this journey with others.

  • To all you parents in this thread (or anyone that loves an addict), we surely are not alone. We have each other and our faith to carry us through. Please, everyone, do work on self care. I, too, am still learning to do that. I can honestly say that me improving myself, caring about me has actually helped our son. This isn't only because he has to be more self reliant, but also because it sent him a message, a wake up call and is setting a good example of a happy, purpose driven life. It was a confusing message we sent before as we sat stagnant and expected him to move forward when we were not doing so. I pray that our children will overcome as we set an example of how to do that.

    Prayers and hugs to all.
  • @scandoit... What you're doing is NOT selfish. It's something that's necessary in order for you to keep your sanity. Always remember: YOUR life matters, too. <3
  • Thank you all for your thoughtfulness and advice, Most if not all of you also have your pain to relate. but here you are helping me. Thank you so much.

    Today my tears were flowing, but even if we took him back, nothing has changed, give it a day or two and everything would be back to the way he was while here?.
  • @scandoit... If nothing changes, nothing changes. You are doing what you have to do. Yes, it's hard. But don't doubt your decision.
  • totally agree with Dean on this.... @scandoit what you want and need matters.
  • @scandoit... How are you doing? Just want you to know I'm thinking about you today.
  • @scandoit your September 3 post is exactly what happened in my house, while mine was a partner not a son. Thank you for articulating it so well. I too kept moving the line in the sand... Until I just couldn't anymore. It's been less than a week but I'm so much less stressed. I hope you find peace as well.

    I still love my addict with all my heart, but I do love me more, and I couldn't keep living like that.
  • @scandoit hope you are staying strong and finding peace in your decision.
    Peace and serenity are in my prayers for you today.
  • Thank you for your concern, ..well actually I've had a surprisingly tearful weekend. Just sad, terribly sad. I still don't think he understands why he was asked to leave? I find it very painful that our family seems to be divided now. Not only with his situation but with those who are coddling him and continuing to support him. Then, it makes me feel, like maybe we did the wrong thing, but when I think about it, I know it could not continue the way it was in our household. Maybe he is behaving better there, maybe not?. There is a New Addiction Clinic opening that he can come as a walk in if he is interested? Will have to tell him that, it may not be the thing he wants to hear, but at least he will know about it.
    I don't want this family split over our decision, do you all think we can still keep him in the fold and invite him to dinner on special occasions without taking him back to stay here? Right now, I know he is hurt and reluctant to come here, but even though he was asked to leave doesn't mean we don't care or love him?
  • @scandoit you are right in saying that just because you asked him to leave doesn't mean you don't love him. in fact, you love him immensely. you set some firm boundaries, were not willing to enable him, and followed through. this is GOOD PARENTING... others will think what they want. not everyone can understand, so try not to let their thoughts bother you.

    and i do think it's fine to invite him to dinner...or to visit sometimes. of course that is totally acceptable...as long as he is respectful and such. not letting him live there is one thing, but that doesn't mean there can't be some sort of relationship between ya'll. lovingly detaching is different than cutting him off. lovingly detaching means you practice self-care (peace in our home).... and you can still communicate or have some sort of relationship with someone. (with boundaries).

    hope this helps.
  • @scandoit... I concur with @dominica. In her book Codependent No More, Melody Beattie says that detaching doesn't mean that you stop loving, caring about, or supporting someone; it just means that you learn to do those things without making yourself crazy. You could not continue doing what you were doing without inflicting pain on yourself. Period. Remember: If nothing changes, nothing changes. I absolutely believe that you're doing the right thing.

    As far as how others are treating your son... If they are coddling him, they are likely enabling him. And that's not a good thing. Maybe you should suggest they read the book Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change. It's a great book for loved ones of people struggling with addiction. And it might help them understand the situation better; that what they think is "helping" your son really isn't. Just a thought.

    Yes, you can invite your son over for special occasions, or for visits from time to time. After all, you are not disowning him. You are simply changing a situation that was detrimental to your personal well-being. And there's nothing wrong with that. Remember: YOUR life matters, too.

    We are here for you. Always. So call on us whenever you need to.

    Sending you big hugs.
  • Thank you both for your kind words. I do hope it gets easier in every each way. I hope that he will one day forgive us for the choices we had to make on his behalf, and not resent us for it .
  • @scandoit we hope this along with you.... and i believe he will one day thank you for it.... understanding the why....
  • Thank you for the advice, you know the advice about detaching is starting to make sense. Even though he was asked to leave our home, doesn't mean that he still can't come here to visit, we want him to still feel like a loved family member. Does a recovered addict ever feel grateful to their parents or to those who helped them, or do they hold unto the hurt and bitterness of being denied, and asked to leave. Was a trust permanently broken? Will he ever forgive his parents for throwing him to the wolves as the saying goes?
  • @scandoit I'm glad that you're understanding more about detaching with love. It's tough to answer your question, but I do believe many adult children eventually learn that their parents have done their best to help them become responsible, thriving human beings. I wouldn't worry too much about this. Trust that when you uphold your boundaries, while still giving unconditional love and acceptance, he will one day understand and respect you for it. (and perhaps even thank you!)

    Here's a link to a parent's 20-minute guide that has a section in it concerning how you can best support your child. It's geared more toward the children who are in recovery, but I think there's plenty of valuable information regardless of whether your son is an active recovery or not. Hope it helps!

  • @scandoit... From my experience, I think the vast majority of addicts in recovery are incredibly grateful that their parents or others helped them. I know my own son is. And we had some horribly rocky times while he was struggling with his addiction. We even gave him the ultimate choice: Go to treatment or move out of our house permanently. He wasn't happy back then, but he appreciates what we did to help kickstart his recovery.
  • Thank you for the link and the encouragement. I know that you all went through these trials as well and that it is not an easy thing to go through. You know. at first, for many months we acted kindly, supportive and understanding, but when we seen him getting worse, out of frustration we started to lecture and threaten that if he doesn't change, he is out, well, he took it with a grain of salt, and would go back to what he was doing (literally) For a long time, we never acted on our threats to put him out, and I really think he believed that we wouldn't do it, until his dad put him out, but I seen it coming for a long time. In the past for the most part, I was quite passive and didn't push, and when I did, he denied and wouldn't tell me anything anyway? All I know is that something had to be done, but our intentions of hoping that he would get help doesn't seem to have accomplished anything, because he is still using to my knowledge and living comfortably elsewhere?
    Thank you for the hope that maybe one day he will try to get help and hope that our relationship will be restored to a better place than it is now?
  • @scandoit Hey there. We will continue to hope with you that one day he will reach out for help and that your relationship with him will be healed. That is the intent that we will hold with you for sure.

    And just know that we are always here to listen and offer you the support that we can. Sending a big hug your way!
  • Sending you tons of positivity and hope today, @scandoit. I hope you have a nice weekend.
  • Thank you both, you are so kind. Hugs...
  • Anytime, @scandoit. That's what we're here for. <3
  • Since my son has been put out, I pray for him, and also for his friend who is known to be a cocaine addict. My son came over the other night, and I asked him how his friend is doing?. He told me he is in the hospital and will be there for a while. Upon inquiring more, he told me he has checked himself into Rehab. I am beaming with happiness for him, he is a good kid with a bad habit that needed help. Hopefully the prayer for my son will also be answered soon!
  • @scandoit That is wonderful news. I hope everything works out for you and your son. It's a step in the right direction.
  • I'm happy to hear your son's friend is in rehab, @scandoit. Maybe that will inspire your son to make some changes. I will pray for your son. And for you.
  • @scandoit I think I misunderstood your post. I thought your son was checking himself into rehab. Well his friend going to rehab might get your son thinking at least.
  • @scandoit Thank you for that update! I'm super glad that he checked himself into rehab, and your son gets to witness that. Even though your son may not say much about it, i'm sure that it speaks to him. We are praying and believing for your son with you!
  • Thank you for the prayers and the encouragement. I am hoping that his friend's decision to get help will also rub off on him. My son went and put in a resume to get a job, but it's not going as he had planned. They checked with his former bosses, who did not give him good references for good reason? Hoping that doesn't give him an excuse to keep on using? Hopefully one day he will become reliable again as well.
  • @scandoit Hopefully that setback doesn't give him an excuse to keep on using. In my own experience with my son and other addicts, they sometimes look for any excuse to justify their using. Perhaps if he talks to you about it, you can very gently remind him that his using is what caused his past employment problems and if he could get clean all that could be turned around at some point in his future. Hopefully he can see that from a good point of view and not as a reason to use. Have a good evening.
  • Thank you tiredmom...your screen name says it all. Sorry you are going through this with your son.
    Yes, I could say something again, but I think it would go on deaf ears because he denies he is using, but he lets it slip every once in a while, saying ya he took this and that but he's not addicted and we just don't understand him. There has been so much confusion since this all started with his denial. Just when we think he is ready to take our advice and get help, he says again...ya, but I don't have an addiction problem. His life and everything that has gone wrong for him since, is like a trainwreck that has already happened. Sadly it's everyone else's problem, never his.
    When he comes over now, I do very little questioning...I am worn out, I just ask him general questions to see how he is doing. He is actually filling me in more on his own. Right now I am too worn out to be encouraging. I've come to the point that it's hard to listen when he doesn't make good on his word, so I will just wait until he shows me, that way I can believe him.

    One day I need to make the time to read more of the posts on here, Thank you.
  • @scandoit Well everything you said sounds pretty familiar. It is especially difficult when they don't even acknowledge they have a problem. You are very strong in being able to put him out. I still have my son with me at home and haven't got to the point where I feel I can put him out. He literally would have nowhere to go. Even our city missions are full. He isn't using all the time, but he is still slipping up. I'm exhausted too, and I am hoping to use this forum to get stronger and get some much needed emotional relief. Hopefully the day will come when your son wants to make a change.
  • @scandoit... I'm sorry your son didn't get a good reference from his former bosses. I hope he can overcome this setback and try to improve himself going forward. Just remember: You don't have any control over him. The desire to change has to come from within himself.

    Sending you more love, light, and hope today.
  • First of all tiredmom, I can relate so much to what you are feeling. I know how very hard it is to be in your shoes. There are days that I feel strong and know putting him out was the right thing to do to nudge him to open his eyes and want to get help. It was warm outside when he was put out. Now that it is getting really cool at night, I revert and think if the enablers wouldn't have taken him in, then he would be freezing somewhere on the street. I would never have wanted him to freeze, Just wanted him to get some help. Maybe if he wasn't coddled by others, he would have taken action by now and got the help he needed. If he was still here, I would never have been able to agree to ask him to leave in cold weather.
    Hope my reply isn't too discouraging to anyone. The one thing I know is he needed help and was stuck in a pattern in our house that was only getting worse and worse for him and for us.
    DeanD his former bosses were so good to him in trying to help him,. Lately he has been through more than one job and more than one boss. . He was able to talk himself out of a bad reference before, but now I guess it's catching up with him? .
    He never had this problem before. Before he had a full time job for many years and was well liked and respected.

  • @scandoit I know it is extremely hard to put them out and that is why I admire you that you were able. I know exactly the rut you are talking about. They keep doing the same thing over and over every day and nothing you say makes one bit of difference. Perhaps the people who took him in will eventually tire of the situation. Having my son in my home is sometimes like torture! When he is under the influence of his drugs he gets on my nerves so bad it is like 100 people in a room running their fingernails down a blackboard. My anxiety and tension gets so bad that there are mornings I wake up and every muscle is aching because I was probably so tensed the night before. Over the years I have seen a lot of addicts and ones that just used the drug, and I have never seen anyone become as weird as my son. He uses heroin and actually becomes extremely manic! You would think he was on some kind of speed or something. It's bizarre! I love him so much but there are times I feel like I hate him! It's just a hard way to live as I am sure you know. But I think you are doing the right thing. I hope the day comes I have the strength to do it also if he doesn't continue to improve.
  • @scandoit My entire post didn't go through, so here is the rest of what I wanted to say. It is a good thing he is at least trying to get a job. Some won't even work and aren't even capable of going to a job even one day a week because they are so deep into the drugs. Maybe this happening can be one more wake up call for him. Hopefully it will give him something to think about at least. And yes it seems their actions do catch up with them eventually. If only they would learn from them sooner rather than later......
  • Thinking of you today, @scandoit. Hope your weekend has been at least a little bit relaxing. Sending you much love and strength. Always.
  • @scandoit I understand that having him leave was challenging, and you thought long and hard about it before it came to that. Having firm boundaries isn't always easy, but necessary for some people to learn valuable lessons. I pray that your son will desire to make some big changes in his life for the better.
  • @scandoit Sorry to hear that. What's going on? Do you need to vent?
  • @scandoit awww, what's going on?

    please know that we are here to listen...
  • @scandoit... I'm sorry you're not doing well. If you'd like to share what's going on with us, we will listen. Getting things off your chest might be a good thing. But only if and when you want to.

    Praying for you. Hard.
  • @scandoit hey there! just popping in to see how you're doing. know that we're here for you!
  • Thank you all and hope you are all doing okay. I can't talk about just yet, I'm speechless about it. . Thank you for understanding.
  • That's o.k. @scandoit sending you a hug!
  • Totally understood, @scandoit. You can talk about it if and when you are ready to. No pressure. Just know that we are here to help, support and listen. <3
  • Best wishes to all in the New Year, wishing you all lots of strength and patience in your journey in your lives, and in the lives of your loved ones to overcome addiction. May each and everyone be successful.

    As for my son, we were so happy when he came to join us for the holiday meals and gift openings but it saddens me, he is still using. Only God knows how much we want to help him and hold unto prayers that God will reach him so he will want to help himself. May He protect him in the meantime from serious harm.
  • Best wishes to you also @scandoit I'm glad he came for the holidays. I can guess how much you want to help him, and maybe a day will come when he will want it to. You can only hope and pray. Hope this year will be a good one for you.
  • Thank you and the same to you.
  • @scandoit thank you for the well wishes. i am glad your son was able to come enjoy the holiday with you... i feel for you regarding his continued use. we will uphold him in prayer with you.... yes, that God will protect him...and give him the desire to reach out for the help he needs....

    happy new year to you!
  • Happy New Year, @scandoit. I'm glad you got to see your son. Just remember: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. As much as you'd like to, it's up to him to change his life.

    Praying for you guys.
  • Thank you for the reminder. You know for a short time when I thought he was improving really did wonders to ease my stress levels, but now that he is staying with other family members, my stress levels are up again, because he is repeating the same thing over there and it's affecting the health of my elderly mother in law. Still I don't think they understand our reasons for putting him out, that he was put out to help him to raise awareness of his addiction, but when he went there, he was treated to everything he needed, so why would he even try to change? Now, they are sharing in the same stress we went through. I don't know how to help them, even suggested to husband to take him back to spare my mother in law's health. He said "NO!
  • That's a tough spot to be in @scandoit . I'm assuming you or your husband have spoken to your mother in law and explained exactly what you were trying to accomplish with your son. Perhaps you could go to some Nar Anon meetings and take her with you. I can see how your husband wouldn't want to bring him back home, but I feel he also needs to protect his mother. The stress on dealing with an addict is terrible, but would be even harder for someone who is elderly. I think your husband needs to talk with his mother and he should tell your son that it's bullshit he is still doing the same old things and is hurting his grandmothers health. I would tell him he is not going to do that to his mother and to get out and find somewhere else to live and take advantage elsewhere. And you could always call the local Agency for the Aging if you get desperate. They will come and look into the situation. Just a thought. Hope things get better for you.
  • @scandoit... I think @tiredmom's suggestion to take your mother-in-law to a meeting with you is a good one. She needs to know exactly what's going on. I also agree that he shouldn't be making life difficult for your MIL. That's just not fair. And I'm sure your MIL is probably way easier for him to take advantage of, too. Not a good situation at all.
  • My MIL is too ill to go anywhere. She is not alone in the house. She is starting to get better, yet she wouldn't go even if she could because she can't speak english. Even if I brought someone in of her language, she would be hurt that I brought in someone to deal with a personal family matter. My SIL thinks she can fix him. We've had several discussions about this and have passed on counselling information. My family members were told over and over again why we did what we had to do, they say they now understand and can see what we went through because they are going through the same, but they are still not listening or willing or ready to let him go on the streets? Personally if he wasn't there, I would be worried too, because it's freezing outside? We asked them repeatedly not to enable him but they have a hard time with that. They said they know but they can't put him out. For the most part he is now spending a lot of time at his gf's house, but still stays at their house occasionally and comes by to borrow things like money and a vehicle. Right now , I am still hoping and praying for change and for full recovery. I really worry about him, because he is still our kid, a sick one. that we can't help but that hasn't stopped us from loving him.
  • @scandoit... I know you probably know this already, but the fact that your family is lending him money and their vehicle is classic enabling. Giving someone who struggles with addiction money is the worst thing you can possibly do. Do they understand that?

    I will pray for your son and your family. They may think that they're helping him, but they're really not.
  • @scandoit hey there. i'm sorry to hear this. i'm sure it's disheartening... it's true there are enabling behaviors going on... can be a tough spot to be in for sure.

    we are praying and believing with you for a full recovery. for the desire to change...and for the specific healing path for him!! i know you love him very much!!
  • How are you doing, @scandoit? Just want you to know I'm thinking about you and sending lots of positive energy in your direction.
  • @scandoit I don’t have a lot to add except my well wishes and prayers for you. We are all here for you!
  • Still thinking about you, @scandoit. Hope things are alright with you.
  • Thank you for keeping us in mind. . Hope you are all doing okay? Had a little trouble finding my way back, but here I am. As for an update on my son, unfortunately there is no change. He is still addicted and someone told me to even a stronger drug, yet doctor prescribed. but I am pretty sure he is buying off the street since his doctor only allows so many per month. He was getting some help on an outpatient basis for his addiction last year, for only a few months, he dropped out saying he didn't have the money to continue, but I don't know how true that is? We would have helped him, but we do not see or hear from him for several months at a time. The money we did give before that, I don't think went to what it was supposed to, but went instead to feed his addiction. He is , supported by his gf and till a couple of weeks ago I didn't even know where he was. I think his life is a real mess, and he is in trouble with the law, arrears for child support, driving without a licence, As for us, seems all we can do is pray. I have said many a prayer and shed many a tear for God to help set him free from his addiction and keep him safe, nothing changes, so we wait. and pray nothing worse happens to him? Thanks for listening, and hope you are all hanging in there.
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