Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Imposing

An update, our son is in jail for a probation violation. On good behavior his release would be Nov. 29. If he has troubles he will stay longer. This time so far has given me a chance to deliberate upon my own problems and actions concerning his addiction.

It is difficult for me to recognize that my son is an adult and responsible for his own actions. I think that comes with the territory of being a parent. As many of you know that follow this blog he is 21 years old. It is easy to recognize that age as an adult in others but with him and for me I struggle at times. This I must do for him to get better.

Most of you know I am a control freak, I have written about that many times and it helps when I am able to write and do a third party analysis on my own behavior and thoughts. As a part of my efforts to control I impose upon my son. I try to impose my lifestyle, my interests, my values and my "words of wisdom". I think that is OK and may work when they are young but when they get older and begin developing their own life it think it doesn't work as well.

When he is released it will be difficult. The urge to help him and push him into doing what is right is strong but those tactics have been an abysmal failure to date. It is time for us to allow him to succeed or fail on his own. I believe this time if he fails it will be catastrophic but I'm not sure mom or dad have to power to prevent his fall. Nor do we have the power to make him succeed.

I must not impose upon him what I believe. He will figure on his own what works and doesn't. I'm not sure I have anything left to tell him or teach him that I haven't already tried.

It is time for life and others to provide the lessons.

11 comments:

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Whew! I really know how you are feeling and I also am a self-proclaimed "control freak". My son is 23 and I have continued to treat him as if he were 12. I always placated myself by thinking he started doing drugs at about 13-14 and therefore his maturity level is not that of a 23 year old. It doesn't matter, I have to get "out of his way". He has his own lessons to learn and life to live. The more I practice keeping my opinions to myself, letting him make the moves I know will bring him traumatic results without stepping in, the more I know I am doing what is right for him, not for me. We tend to want to hold on to them, keep trying and trying because we are afraid literally for their lives. Once we accept we are powerless and actually are probably doing more harm than good, it gets a little easier to step back and bite the tongue. You are great parents and I will continue to send light and peaceful thoughts your way.

Gin said...

As hard as it may be for you, your line of thoughts are exactly right. I hope that he will get his act together for his own sake.

Marsha said...

I think one of the hardest parts of having an adult child is knowing when to be hands off versus hands on. It's hard to stop viewing them as that child we knew and accept that they are who they choose to be. It's a tough one.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Well Dad, we seem to be in the same boat. My son is most likely in for 6 months for violating parole. There is a slim chance he will be offered drug court but he probably won't take it even if he is. Its very hard for me, he's only 18, not even out of high school. Knowing him and his attitude this is just the beginning of a long road ahead of drug use and jail time. He blames everyone else for his problems. I am tired of trying to be understanding and helpful. I officially give up. I'll visit him once a week but if he starts bitching at me I will get up and leave. I will take his collect calls, but if he starts blaming me for his problems, I'll hang up.

Chic Mama said...

I know exactly what you mean....it's so hard not to accept that 'we' can't fix this.
Good luck....it seems to be very hard to 'let go' for 'us' left behind to deal with these emotions.

Madison said...

I think you're on the right track when you realize that you've said it all, over and over and over again. If he gets right back up and does the same thing, maybe catastrophic will speak to him.

big Jenn said...

I agree with you completely. He is a man, whether you think of him that way or not.If you keep treating him like a "child" then he'll keep acting like a child. I mean really, if mom and dad always take up the slack, then thinking through decisions isn't neccesary.That also takes some practice if you've never had to do it. Guess what? He'll make some mistakes until it becomes too painful to pay the price. Just sayin' jeNN

Lou said...

With my son it depended on what he wanted. That was in direct proportion to how much he would pretend to listen to my "words of wisdom."

GG said...

Hard as it is, I think you are doing the right thing for your son and yourself. I wish you serenity in this time of trial. I thought I'd share with you the last lines of the Serenity Prayer. It helps keep me steady in times of stress and sorrow.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as HP does, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Syd said...

It helps to accept that the only person I can change is myself. I can't control anyone else.

Anonymous said...

My 31 year old son is a bi-polar/addict. I could write a book on the last five years although it began about 16 years ago. I live in South KC...and am taking care of his two children that he got custody of in his divorce. He completed 120 days in St. Joe..I made him live in a halfway house after his release...but when he got a job in his educational field (he's NOT a stupid person)..I allowed him to live in my home. I lost the ability to trust anyone a very long time ago...and somehow I still have moments where I blame myself for some things...because I was his 'chief enabler'...but...I had two little ones I had to watch out for also.
I wish we could sit an talk sometime..our stories are so similar..I journal some things..I saved all my letters..and his when he was locked up. He's lost his job now...I'm afraid of what's going on behind my back ...I tell myself I can't 'fix' this...I tell myself I can't 'care' so much or it will kill me.
Sometimes I feel so helpless.