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My Son.. The Addict

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Jess1107, May 22, 2019.

  1. Jess1107

    Jess1107 Member

    My son is 25 yrs old and living on the street's in our community. He's on probation. Isn't following through with any of the number of things stipulated in his probation. And has yet to be violated. Regardless of the fact that we have called police on him ourselves. And tried effortlessly to contact his probation officer. Who will never return our calls or answer us.

    He comes home long enough to take a shower, give me his dirty laundry in exchange for clean laundry. Let me fill his backpack/s with food. And repair the tire on yet a different bike in his possession.

    I go day's and weeks without hearing from him. I call hospitals, jails, morgues, police stations, and file missing person reports. When he does show up.... He always has a story. He's been shot at, robbed (over 50 times, I might add) of his measly possessions, he's been beat up, his tent set on fire, his multiple phones stolen and broken, he's been knifed, his foodstamps stolen (we've replaced 4 cards and I currently hold it in my possession so he cannot use it to exchange for drug's and as a way to lure him home, so I know he's alive).

    When he does come home for brief periods of time, he smells like a dumpster, his eye's are dilated, he talks a mile a minute about conspiracy theories, aliens chasing him, shadow people, and other odd things I cannot begin to wrap my head around. Sometimes he's just talkative. Other time's he's sad and depressed and wants to sleep for hour's and days on end. And on some occasions he's volatile. He's attacked me in the past. Throws violent temper tantrums and outbursts.

    He tells me he uses "meth" to stay awake on the street's. That he does it solely for this purpose. Because he's afraid to fall asleep.

    He was a beautiful baby. I was a terrible mom. I loved him. Very much. But I was young. I was not equipped to raise a baby. And so my parents adopted him. They loved him unconditionally. They more than provided for his every need and desire. He went to the best school's. He had the best toys. The best vacations. My father adored him. My parents loved him beyond measure. He grew up with the love of music and drawing. And could play the guitar and the piano. He made beautiful artwork. And wrote amazing poems and song lyrics.

    He was always a little different. He would crawl from his room at 2 years old and climb the counters. You'd find him on top of the refrigerator. Or he'd stack chairs and unbolt every extra lock on the door and run deep into the corn field's in the dead of night. He was beyond curious. He was diagnosed ADD, then ADHD, then Bipolar, then Schizophrenic.... He saw the best doctor's. It's Attachment Disorder. It's Maniac Depression. Medication after medication. Dropping out of school. And boy was he smart. Almost too smart. He truly could have been anything he set his mind to. A doctor, a lawyer, a scientist, a pilot... Anything. But he chose dope. He chose the streets. He chose to be homeless. He rebelled against any type of authority.

    We've put him in rehabs. He leaves. We take him to appointments.. He won't follow through. We set time's and places... He won't show up. We search for him around all the places we know to look and he hides.

    I continue to try because I feel guilty. Even though he says he forgives me and how much he love's me... Is he still angry at me?! Am I not doing enough?! Did I fail him?! Am I still failing him?! Maybe this time I'll get through to him?! I'm his Mom... I gave up once. I can't give up again.

    He has a daughter of his own. He lost custody. They both did. They loved the street's and dope more. She is almost 5 now. Does he think about her? Does he regret his choices? Does she look like him?

    My husband and I have an 11 yr old at home still. The older children understand more. His sister's try to help him. His 17 yr old brother keeps his distance, because it hurts too much. But our 11 yr old doesn't see the drugs and the street's. He knows. But all he sees is the brother that play's video games with him. The brother that teaches him to draw. And talks Pokemon with him. And then he leaves, as suddenly as he showed up. Leaving us with all the unanswerable questions. Like... "Where is he going?", "When will he be back?", "Why won't he stay?", "Where does he live and what does he do?". So we're honest. What more can we be? He understands far too much for his age. But he has something we've begun to lose.... Hope.

    We live in a society that if you are foreign and sneak into our country... You are offered anything and everything for free. But if you were born here, have mental health issues, and/or drug and alcohol addictions... You are not allowed the same services. Yes, there is MediCal community based programs that offer little to no help. He meets every criteria for their help and he's still denied. And private rehabilitation... That blows my mind. Yes, they accept some personal health insurance.... $1000 a day for detox and $850 a day thereafter for treatment. What mentally handicapped or drug and/or alcohol abusing person has maintained a job to afford insurance, let alone the cost of what private pay would be?!?! For Godsakes, his PO has the ability to commit him to inpatient treatment and won't! Instead we are told "don't enable him", "tell him no", all while I watch my phone for the last phone call I might get. How do I get up every morning and just wait?! What do I tell my poor mother, every time she calls me in tears about him? What do I tell my children about their brother? What do I tell myself?!

    I don't even know this boy anymore. He doesn't even know himself. Who could he be? Is he even still in there? Has he done so much damage, that even if God willing he got help, would he ever be "normal"? Could he function in society without constant help? I ask myself these questions and 100 more just like it, everyday. How do I save my son while protecting my other children and myself?

    He's only 25. He should have his whole life ahead of him. 25. And all I can think, is I'm going to outlive my child. I'm going to do what no mother... Myself or my own mother... Should have to do.
  2. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    @Jess1107 a truly heart wrenching verbal and visual picture you have laid out.I have not yet read any post about a loved one that hits the heart the way you have here and ive been posting and commenting for approx 2 years.Others will reply once the sun comes up who are better with support and encouragement,i myself struggle to overcome addictions grasp but it wasnt until about 2 years ago i started to want sobriety,started to want my life back and i have to be honest this site has been the best thing ive found as far as support,encouragement and there has never been any judgement and from an addicts perspective i cant explain enough how important these things are to keep hope present.You said you were a terrible mom and i simply do not agree with you,though you were young you did the loving thing,the correct thing,you made the hard decision and gave him up for adoption so he could have a better life...That is Love True Love so dont be so hard on yourself.You feel you failed him and you wonder if you are still failing him?In my opinion you did not and are not failing him,a person who has failed someone does not come on here and post some of the most painful thoughts and concerns,fears and scenarios which keep you up at night,these things come from a place of love and all i can tell you is its clear to see and easy to feel the love you have for your son.You asked is he still in there?The answer is YES but you nor anyone else can pull him back,he must decide on his own he wants to come back,come back to reality,come back to his true self.I hurt for you and i will do my best to be supportive,to be a shoulder to lean on,a sympathetic ear that will always do my best to say the correct thing as best i can.Maybe i can supply some comfort as a recovering addict as i do understand both sided because ive been on both sides.Im still in a bit of a fight myself with addiction but im not actively using to get high or messed up unfortuanetely i have used for so long that i get sick if i go to long without a small amount just to break even but i push myself until i am startinmg to get very sick and then i take a very small amount and im not trying to say that makes it ok as i have been fighting to get over that threshold for quite some time but i know i caused this and this is the fight to redemption so to speak.I Will Be Praying For Your Son And Your Family.STAY STRONG AND GOD BLESS
  3. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    @Jess1107 Thank you for sharing your story about your son. Your love for him shows in your words. I know it's hard to not be able to help him make better choices and get the help he needs. Have you tried attending Al Anon meetings for yourself? You need to take care of yourself and your other kids. I know it hurts and is frustrating but you have your other kids and yourself to worry about. The guilt will eat you alive. Addiction can hit anyone no matter how they were raised and no matter their socioeconomic status. Plus mental illness and addiction go hand in hand. Keep coming here for support. These are a great group of people who will have your back. Welcome to the community.
  4. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Welcome to the community, @Jess1107. I'm very sorry to hear about your son. I think @True concern and @DoxyMom have given you some excellent advice and insight. I would try to do the same, but I'm not in the best place right now. You see, I'm also the parent of an adult son who struggles with addiction. He has for 15 years. And on Monday night, he overdosed and almost died. I'm still trying to process it.

    The best piece of advice I can give you is: Take care of YOURSELF first. YOUR life matters, too. And definitely check out Al-Anon. They are a helpful, comforting group. You are not alone.

    Praying for you. Hard.
    Joshstillclean, Dominica and Jess1107 like this.
  5. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @Jess1107 hey there. thank you for sharing your story. i'm so sorry about this... i can't imagine how incredibly challenging this must be. the others have given great advice... and support.

    i agree you are not a bad mom. surely he knows why you let your parents raise him...and he did have a good life, but that doesn't guarantee someone won't become addicted to drugs. as far as the guilt, seek help for yourself on that or you'll drive yourself mad. are you able to see a counselor? and as @DoxyMom suggest, attending a support group can help a lot. i know they helped me at various times. al-anon or nar-anon...

    you're not letting him down. he is an adult. yes, he has a diagnosis and a disease called addiction.... but you are not responsible for him. don't put that heavy weight on your shoulders... if it makes you feel better, surely do what you're doing making sure he has food and such. i know as a mom, it's tough to think your child is not eating, etc.

    have you read any books on the topic? maybe from other parents who have been there? don't let your kids kill you comes to's an easy read.

    we will be here for you... he is young and he does deserve a good life free from addiction... and you deserve a good life too, LIVING it with as much peace as you can considering...

    come here anytime to share.
  6. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Jess1107... Just wondering how you're doing, my friend. Also, I wanted to share this blog post with you. It talks about some terrific books that I think may help you. The Beyond Addiction book is especially good.

    6 Essential Books for Those with an Addicted Loved One

    FYI, you can access a PDF version of the Beyond Addiction book here:

    There's also a companion "20 Minute Guide" that you can access here:

    Definitely check them both out. And remember that you are not alone.

    Sending hugs your way.
    Jess1107 likes this.
  7. Jess1107

    Jess1107 Member

    @deanokat @Dominica @DoxyMom @True concern I apologize for the slow response. It's been a rough few days. But first and foremost I appreciate everyone's kind word's and suggestions. I am going to most definitely start some reading.
    Unfortunately and fortunately at the same time, my son was arrested a couple day's after I posted this. He is already on felony probation. And now is facing an additional felony and 2 misdemeanors. I'm not exactly sure what happened. He has court on the 7th. He has yet to reach out to me. I just know that there's a felony burglary charge. And drug paraphernalia. I'm glad to know where he is and know that he's not got access to drugs. But I'm so sad for him and the thought that he could be facing 3 to 5 years. And jail will keep him sober, but not get him the help he so desperately needs.
    I am so incredibly greatful that you responded with such kindness, at a moment I was feeling so hopeless. I have my good day's, where I can push it deep in my thoughts and then there are days that I am so filled with sadness and guilt. And I am very thankful to have found other's who can share and understand my emotions.
    I will keep you posted as the day's go by. And again... I think I'm going to start reading!
    True concern likes this.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I'm sorry to hear about your son's arrest, @Jess1107. But jail has helped a lot of people see the error of their ways and helped them get and stay sober. Is it an ideal situation? Absolutely not. But maybe, just maybe, this will serve as a monumental wake-up call for your son. I hope that's the case. And I hope you can maybe relax a little while you know where he is and that he's safe. Definitely do some reading and focus on self-care. You can't let your son's disease take you down, too. Remember: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it.

    Saying a prayer now for you and your son. We're always here. And we care.

    Love and light and hugs coming your way.
    Jess1107 and Joshstillclean like this.
  9. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    Hi, I'm josh. I'm a recovering heroin addict(among other addictions).
    The reason I have not responded to your thread is because the others have given excellent advice. And I am a son that caused my mother terrible grief for a decade. For several years she raised my son for me while making sure I was still alive and fed. I was too ashamed to post anything.
    However I think now I can be of help to you. First off I want you to know that it is true your son wants to be a part of the family. No addict wants to be an addict. You can take that to the bank.
    I was arrested and ironically for felony burglary. (Truth is I took a bogus burglary charge because I was looking at 20 years on multiple drug charges if I didn't plead out to the burglary. Plus believe it or not I had not done time before and could,plead first offender.) so I have no criminal record now(no felonies) only misdemeanor is 1 dui.
    I say this because I want You to know at the time my situation was really looking grim...I was hanging around people snorting hairspray, doing dope in houses with doors closed off because we were not sure if the person in the next room was an od or not. I was lost. I was brought up right, and I left God but thankfully God never turned His back on me, otherwise id be dead.
    So I got ten years in big boy jail-prison.
    That was actually a blessing. Then on top of that for good behavior I got three for one. Then for overpopulation my number was pulled for early release. A ten year burglary sentence I did 6 months. But I didn't know I was only gonna do months and I got scared straight from A lot of the things I was doing. It still took a few years for me to get to where I'm at now but where I'm at is a successful single father and productive part of society.
    I give to the homeless now and volunteer (and am grateful,im able) rather than take from people and go hungry. I've been on both sides of the tracks. I've put my family through nar-anon, my sister put my mom through al-anon(my dad would have gone too but was on chemo during the time.)
    By the way my sister will be a Dr in a few months. So her story is a happy one too. My mom always said I could have been anything, why did I turn out an addict.
    To this day I cannot answer that. But me and my sister have battled addiction. We both new better. My dad came back from Vietnam a heroin addict. So he has always been there because he understands kind of. So is it genetic? I don't know.
    But I'm 31 I turned 31 in November and have full custody of my son (9), my own buisness, yesterday my parents and my sister and myself talked and ended up signing paperwork giving me power of attorney over my parents farm and retirement, ect. in case something happens.
    I only say that so you can see how much of a change can happen in your son still. By the way when I was using I was diagnosed bi-polar 1and2, paranoid schizophrenic, and something else that turned out to just be nothing. I'm just quircky. It was the drugs.
    I will pray for your son and you and your whole family. My mom put cans of soup in my backpack when I came home. My dad would drop off packs of underwear and socks at the homeless shelters. Plural because he didn't know which one I might show up at. And even though the drugs had me that meant so much to me. I know it does to him,too.
    I hate what drugs do. You can be so appreciative, but the drug won't let you express it. I'm thanking you for him. And lets all pray one day he will thank you his self. I believe he will.
    I'm praying for you tonight.
    DoxyMom and deanokat like this.
  10. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    What an inspirational story, @Joshstillclean. I'm so happy that you're here with us to share your experiences and wisdom. You are helping a lot of people. I'm sure of it.

    Happy Friday, my friend. :)
    Dominica and Joshstillclean like this.
  11. DoxyMom

    DoxyMom Community Champion

    Even though it's not ideal jail may be the best place for him. They offer lots of programs and something may stick. Thank you for updating us.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  12. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    I don't know If you have noticed, but often times I think on things for a while and sometimes days before I respond.
    Sometimes it's to see what people will say after they respond to me. I weigh peoples character very much by what they say.
    Remember I sent both you and @Dominica a PM "honesty please".
    Well thank you both for answering me honestly.
    To get to my point, I noticed you tagged me rather than just replying. You wanted to make sure I read this. And its all encouraging, and I believe heartfelt.
    You sent me this because you wanted me to know I mattered. This means a lot to me. And Dominica, your honesty and the encouraging words you always have for me put a smile on my face as well. Thanks you guys.
    deanokat and Dominica like this.
  13. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    deanokat and Joshstillclean like this.
  14. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Joshstillclean... We like you. We really like you!

    BTW, what happened with that really big tree that fell on your house?
    Joshstillclean likes this.
  15. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    I got it all cut up. I sold it for firewood. But I had to cut so much to that I ended up only making enough to buy a new chainsaw because I had to cut so much wood my saw finally wore out. So anyway I got a new chainsaw out of it.
    As far as the damage to the house goes they told me after I got the limb off then take pics of the damage so Oh did and they sent another guy out and he did an estimate on repairs and they are sending another check for that.
    I did framing for a while, so I can build a house a do the roofing, its just a lot of work because I've got to keep up my other job while doing this.
    But totally worth it. If I can save a penny I will!
    I have the roof dried in and tar papered right now. Tomorrow ill try and lay shingles.
    But hey I got 1740 dollars and a new chainsaw! Yay for trees squashing houses!
    deanokat likes this.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Every cloud has a silver lining!!! :p
    Joshstillclean likes this.