Monday, February 9, 2009

A Difference In Our Thoughts

Mom and Dad haven't had a good evening. Our discussions break down. 

Our son calls from jail. Mom talks to him and agrees to take care of things for him. He needs papers he told Dad he had already done. He needs Mom or Dad to speak to his lawyer for him. He has to be in jail at least 2 extra weeks because he didn't do what he was suppose to do during house arrest. Mom has sympathy for him.

Dad 's feeling is he needs something different from us than to do his dirty work to get him out of jail faster.

Dad and Mom disagree. I see this from a male perspective and Mom is being a mom. (of course this is from dad's perspective so I must be right.   LOL)

Our son got caught stealing. He went to the judge and pleaded guilty to theft. On Christmas Eve he was dropped at our door under house arrest. He was here for 3 weeks and started using again. Violated house arrest by using. We caught him using and I threw him out. That action put him in violation of house arrest and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was picked up at our house and taken back to jail.

After a few minutes of elevated volume discussion I ask a simple question and the answer told me more than I knew. I ask Mom, "Why is he in jail?" Her answer, because he used drugs and you threw him out of the house. 

My answer to the same question back to her was: "He is in jail because he is a thief and a threat to society." 

She cannot see my point at all, in fact she absolutely disagrees with my point. I understand her point but cannot agree the reason he is in jail is because of our actions of throwing him out. 

I think we may not be on the same page.

Any words of wisdom for me?



Athena said...

Whose fault is it that this friction exists between you, why you are debating AT ALL about jail or addiction?

That's the insidiousness of it all - you and mom doing the best you can with a situation neither of you asked for or deserve - It is so unfair to you as parents; as a couple... and there is no textbook to follow :-(


cw2smom said...

As a mom, I can so relate to her thinking. I haven't yet got to the point that I can put my addicts/alcholics out of my home. It has to be tearing her up. I couldn't possibly give you answers or recommendations. Al-Anon would be helpful to you both and if you are already attending, perhaps a sponsor would be the best person to ask. But...obviously, HIS behavior got him where he is. YOU didn't cause it in any way, shape or form. Blessings, Lisa

Auburn~haired~artist said...

Without a doubt, he is in jail because of his addiction driven choices - His fault.

However, the question is, how much assistance do you and mom think is fair. My rule of thumb: *I'll help with things like that, IF it's not too much trouble for me. (I am NOT driving all over town and tracking down paperwork etc.but I will make a call to his lawyer, or forward paperwork if he is detained here in town)
*Secondly, I will ONLY consider helping him if his requests are made in a humble and respectful way. (I will not tolerate manipulative bullying or hysterical ranting - if he gets rude with me, I'm done)
* And finally, I will not do anything that is illegal or dishonest.

There is a very fine line between tough love and being a resentful jerk. I've already concluded that jail does not impress my son enough for him to change his ways, makes no difference if it's four days or four months, might as well move forward and keep things as uncomplicated as possible.

Heather Kincaid said...

One of my first tastes of Al-Anon was someone defining enabling to me. The woman said it was doing ANYTHING for an addict that the addict can do for themselves or should do for themselves. Man that hit me right square in the stomach. I had always sorta thought of enabling to be giving the addict money or a looking the other way at using but this definition was so clear to me. I remember think damn! I am an enabler! It took me quite some time having to stop and think to myself, can he do this for himself? Should he be doing this for himself? Most times it was yes. Of course he either did or did not do them for himself if I said no, but either way he learned. He learned that he is capable of more than he thought he was or he learned that if you don't do the things you have to do you suffer the consequences. Sometimes I suffered the consequences too, which is the catch 22 of life with an addict.
I have been reading about codependency, I hate that word, lol. I read a list of codependent behaviors and was shocked. I swear to you if you had given me the list without labeling it codependent behaviors I would have thought it was a list of things that define a good mother and wife, truly I would have. I am learning everyday.

mother of drug addict said...

I think it is totally his own fault. I have called the cops when my daughter was using here though it got me nowhere, I called her PO and got no where. after she realized I wouldnt put up with it she left onher own and got busted for felony theft and forgery. She still doesnt get it that it was her own doing that got her where she is now. (jail. Don't let anyone tell you you are wrong, you are RIGHT!

kristi said...

Ugh...dealing with an addict is hard. It is hard on my marriage and it is my brother who is the addict. Hubs and I don't really even talk about him because we argue every single time.

I think you were right to throw him out. I am a Mom but him using in your home WHILE under house arrest? Unacceptable.

Annette said...

My husband and I have had these go rounds before. What I have learned to do (some of the time) is to step back and let him do it his way. Even when I don't agree and I know it will only prolong our agony. Why? Because we each have to reach our end of helping and enabling in our own ways and in our own time frame. It took me a lot of doing the same things my husband has wanted to do...paying fines, gathering papers, mailing things, etc. All of the crap that goes along with this. I also fully believe that I can't *make* my husband see it my way or do it my way. I can only live my life according to my own convictions.

Most of the time my husband and I do work well together. But recently we had a court situation come up...the DA made an offer that required some things be paid for. Our daughter did not have the means to do this, I was fine with it not getting done then, which would have put her in jail for 10 days. Husband couldn't do it. He paid for what needed paying and I had to let it go.

The whole thing is unfair and it sucks, but you both have been married partners for many years now. That is huge and she may need to "hit her bottom" as far as your son is concerned. In my experience all I could do was step back, after making my opinion known, and letting my husband know that I wouldn't particpate, but he is always free to do as he feels is right. Without having a chip on my shoulder or any kind of "I told you so" when it doesn't work....because I always think I am right too, because I am the wife! :o)

Foodiewife said...

I'm sorry that I'm behind in keeping up with you. I took a "mental vacation". You've gotten so much wisdom here-- much of it mirrors what I would say.

I do understand Mom AND Dad. Are the two of you seeking counseling on your marriage? I'm serious! My husband and I are seeing an MFT. We've only been married for 3 years (my son is from a previus marriage) and we are holding strong as a couple very much inlove. HOWEVER, when it comes to my son, there can be tension. The logical side of what to do is exactly what you feel. The mom/nurting side wants to makes things better. I gave my son one last chance (he's there, now) even though we said if he used again, he was OUT. It was heart-wrenchingly painful for me to throw my son out.

Just yesterday, my son admitted that he faked a phone call where he was going to sell his golf clubs (that his dad paid over $2500.00) to buy. He admitted that he knew I wouldn't want that to happen. I stupidly helped to pay off his dealer, for fear that he'd shoot him.

I know...I know... that is the manipulation of addiction.

I hope that you and your wife are willing to get into counseling, to keep your marriage intact. Addiction destroys trust, families, marriages... so much.

I guess I should post something on my blog. I will... I am just mentally tired. So far, my son is clean. Just for today....


~Christina~ said...

My suggestion:
Drive Mom to an AA or NA meeting NOW and ask some of the folks there how much enabling helped them.

Helping addicts to ease their consequences is hurting them.

Good luck!

Unknown said...

tell her to call me. Get her to a Nar Anon meeting where there are OTHER MOTHERS.

she has NO CLUE. She is stuck in 'i'm going to save my baby mode'.

It's a dead end street.

I actually love my idiot daughter, but it took me 8 years of being used before I got over the trying to save her crap. IT also sent us into bankruptcy, and almost killed me.

It's a dead end street.

Stress kills.

Talk to your doctor. Go to FAMILY COUNSELING, you and her.

Do NOT let this child do any more damage to your relationship.

you have GOT to be on the same page.

Her Big Sad said...

Presenting a united front is essential. And it's the hardest thing for DH and I to do. I can't tell you the last fight we had, that WASN'T about her. Sigh.

My daughter is not in jail because we finally said "no, you can't live here and do this inside our home any more." She was kicked out for crossing the boundaries we had established in our home. After she was kicked out, she continued to cross the boundaries that society had erected. And she got caught.

On a very basic brain level, I understand that. But my heart argues with my head....


Jazzmin said...

Dad's are cerebral in their's think with their hearts...sometimes I WISH I could think more clearly regarding my addict son. When my son was born he was perfect in my eyes and could only grow up to be the president...or an accomplished musician..a great heart surgeon...but...NEVER a drug addict !! My heart is the first thing that 'hears' when i talk to him..not my ears. I think this is something only a mother can totally understand...and no matter how hard we's always the same. I'm learning now to SNAP out of it more quickly...and 'think' about what I'm hearing...and I'm now separating the boy that I love from the addict...but it's one of the hardest things I've ever had to learn.