Friday, June 18, 2010

SS DD

It rips your guts out to do what you have to do when parenting an addict. And it really seems strange to talk about parenting a 22 year old man. But his actions are of a child and he treats us as parents that are suppose to provide for him so I really don't know what else to call it. Someone please, if you have a better term or phrase enlighten me.

Spoke with my son last night and he was begging and pleading to be allowed to come home if he could find someone to bail him out. I held my stance, he cannot live in our home again as long as he is the way he is as an active addict. He tried everything he knew to say including the homeless issue. Mom didn't even come straight home from work last night because she could not deal with the phone ringing constantly from jail. He doesn't seem to get that this time was a breaking point for Mom too. Mom is having a hard time, she can't even talk about it but I think she is processing and will come out better this time.

I need to read Truth # 7 again:

7. Homelessness May Be The Path He Chooses

Mom works in downtown Kansas City. When you drive down there you see homeless people with signs and some of them living under the bridges. They are dirty and hungry. They very likely are addicts, alcoholics or suffer from a mental illness. The one common denominator for all of these men and women living alone and homeless is that at some point in their life they had people that loved them. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends to someone. That doesn’t change their situation. They made choices that got them to this point. They can make other choices, and there are people and organizations to help them change. The key is, they must make the decisions. If our son makes the decision to live this way, it will hurt me terribly but he will do this until it is time for him to change, I cannot change him or those circumstances. It will not help him for me to give him a bed in my home if he continues to live the lifestyle.

Even though I wrote these truths that I have come to believe, I still have to go back to re-enforce what is reality for us each day.

The fairness issue is one I struggle with each day. I know that life is not fair and live that reality each day but rationalizing is hard when dealing with an addict. As an example, in our family our son has cousins the same age. These young adults are not addicts, they are going to school, working and some have even graduated college and preparing to get married. They are living at home. With the economy and schooling and a multitude of other reasons it is perfectly legitimate for them to live in the family home. This is not unique to our family it is a reality all across our nation. In fact many parents are praised, not just in our family, for helping out their adult children 20-25 years old get on their feet after college and while they look for a job or get established in a job to build the money for buying their own place. As the parent of an addict you are not afforded the same respect when you try to care for a sick young adult that is addicted. Comments of, "Why are you letting him live with you?" by others hurt you. I guess from the outside it is hard for some people to understand that it is possible to love an addict. We love our addicts just as much as we love our other children. We love our addicts just as much as other people love their non-addicted children. I think that is why it is especially hard for us to treat this disease the way we must to ensure we all come out on the other side healthy as possible. If I could go back to living where I believed that addiction was just a choice by people with poor character it would be easy to kick him out. But when you understand that addiction is a disease of the brain then it is awfully hard to turn out a sick child with no place to go.



For those that don't know, SS DD, Same Shit, Different Day

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel for you and your wife...

After numerous treatments, a gazillion second chances, and prayers...my 22 year old addict son reached the point where he had no place to go...and chose to be homeless on the streets of a neighboring town...

I wish I could say it fixed things right then...but he had to repeat it again later...

Friends didn't understand...most of the family did not understand...but I was thankful for the support from the few that did...because this was the hardest thing I had ever done...

My son still has a long way to go...but the time he spent surviving...on his own...and thinking...made a huge impact like nothing else had done before...

Annette said...

Wow, I can just hear the raw pain that you are feeling. There are so many issues surrounding the living at home dilemma that we all face. Sometimes I feel like I am so fortunate that I have younger kids to consider because if it was just my husband and myself it wouldn't seem so paramount that we protect those in our home. We are adults, we could handle it...maybe.

When I look at the living at home, or not, issue I view it as a means to an end. If their behavior has robbed them of the privilege to live in our loving and secure home then maybe it will be the denial of that privilege that will push them to make better choices for *themselves.*

The good news is that you don't have to make a decision this minute. You can think on it, pray on it if you do that sort of thing, mull it over and see what comes up.

I am so sorry. There are just no words that can describe how damn hurtful this whole thing is.

Fractalmom said...

ron, it's just plain painful, no matter which way you go.

bcjaremine said...

My heart goes out to you and Mom. I am in the early stages, having a son who I believe with everything in my being is an addict. He denies it emphatically...don't I know marajuana is not addictive. He is almost 21, floundering in school (when he goes), inconsistent when it comes to his job (hasn't lost it yet), and totally irresponsible at home. I have 2 younger boys who watch what he is doing-and getting away with-and just pray they are seeing the bad parts and listening. I die a thousand tiny deaths every day and know I don't have the strength to go through this again. My husband doesn't see what I see, or chooses not to. He hates conflict...so I get to be the bad guy. Please repost or direct me to the 'Truths'...your words have been helpful.

Dad and Mom said...

Dear bcjaremine,

You can find them in 2 places. I first put them on my blog when I wrote them look under Shortcut to Popular Posts or just go to:

http://parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com/2009/07/caution-truths-ahead-enter-at-own-risk.html

In addition I gave them to post on The Partenrship For A Drug Free America website in the Intervene area. There are many otehr good writers on that site too writing about addiction:

http://intervene.drugfree.org/2009/11/7-truths-about-my-addict-that-took-5-years-to-learn/

Syd said...

I am sorry Ron. I know that both of you are hurting. I hope that your son will eventually decide to surrender and accept that drugs have beaten him and he is truly ready to quit.

Kelly said...

Dear Mom and Dad..
I am so sorry.. I know those words don't mean much.. but I am at a loss for anything better. Keep yourselves healthy. Recently we got a msg on our machine about the counselor and head of the recovery center wanting to meet with us. She is considered an adult now and there is very little communication with the "parents". So we immediately thought.. she is getting kicked out... I am thankful my son was here, shaking his head saying no.. no.. she can't come back. If you let her, I will leave. He is my reality check now.. I wish I could help you more.. be strong..
Kelly

VJ said...

Few situations are as sad as what has been described here. I have experienced this pain. I have taken calls from jail and my heart broke as my son cried and begged me to bail him out. Screaming he was in great danger and no parent would ever leave someone they love in a place like jail. His final words were, "Why are you doing this to me?" I responded, "Because I love you."

I am in my 18th year of experiences with an addicted child. like you and your wife, I also love my son and will continue to do so, just as you will. I will pray for your son and your family daily.

Vj

Barbara said...

Great post, Ron. I don't know what I can say to add here so I won't even try.

Addiction--Mom trying to Detach with Love said...

For me, this was the hardest choice I ever came across in my life. It is just so painful and goes against ever fiber of a parent's natural instinct to help and protect their kids. I agree about the disease aspect of addiction and how an "outsider" does not see it that way, heck I didn't either for the longest time. It just sucks being so powerless. I hope Alex makes some choices towards recovery soon and that Mom and you find some peace because you both deserve it so.

parentofanaddictcdcb said...

My heart breaks for you and Mom. This is a stance I don't want to have to take. But I have told my daughter and the director of the treatment center where she is that if she gets kicked out or leaves early she cannot come back home. It's going to be so hard to do if I need to do it. But as much as it's going to hurt it's what will have to be done. I just pray it doesn't happen.
I don't have anything else to add except to say that I feel your pain and I am so sorry.
Carolyn

Gledwood said...

It sounds all very grown up to talk about "choices". A choice in this context being a rational decision freely taken. Those homeless people don't get there by choice. What choice is involved in schizophrenia? Drug addiction is not a choice. Trying the stuff in the first place ~ that is a choice. Once addiction becomes entrenched the idea that using is any kind of rational free choice, like the choice to have sugar in your espresso ~ this goes totally out of the window. To an addict, using drugs is as automatic as breathing. And to stop using a drug like heroin is considerably more difficult than giving up eating. At least if you do that you'll die. An addict without drugs has to live ~ and that is a far, far more frightening prospect...!

Heather's Mom said...

I am so sorry you and Mom are dealing with this situation, that you even have to. The pain comes out in the words written, and I want to reach through and give you guys a hug. This is a trying time for your family, and I am praying for you all. Fortunately you and Mom have a good relationship to stand together and to support and comfort each other.

Anna said...

Has he been homeless before? Has he tried methadone or suboxone therapy? Has he been in a 12 step halfway house? These are all options that help people. Peachford halfway houses will take him in with no deposit. They will get him working immediately in day labor. Maybe this is a way for him to go. You can google them or better yet he can google them.

Jail seems superior to me than being out taking heroine.

I am sorry this is happening to you. I have kept my daughter out of our house numerous times. I will put her out again if she starts getting in trouble again but this time I will do all in my power to keep at least a roof over her head even if it is not my roof. Sometimes though, nothing works. You too have a right to a peaceful life. Tell Mom I get it and I am sorry.

Her Big Sad said...

It's so hard, Ron. Hug on Mom and hold her tight... I hope you reach a boundary you are both in agreement with and can support each other through maintaining it. Your #7 truth above, is indeed truth. Hugs and prayers!

Anonymous said...

I keep coming back here because I can relate. Our son is almost 21 years old and has been getting into trouble since he was 15. He left home, met a girl from an undesireable family (family of druggies) and has been on a downward spiral ever since. It doesn't help that they have a child and now another on the way. That's one thing you can at least be thankful for is that he doesn't have a child. Once that happens you now have another person to worry about and it's soul crushing. Hugs to you both.