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When do I let go?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Debz, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Debz

    Debz Member

    My son is 33, he's stolen all my jewelry, my bank card withdrawing 1300 out of my account. Steals items he can sell from my house. Ive kicked him out countless times, he comes back with promises of stopping the drug use. Its never stopped yet. My guess is hes been using about 1 year, maybe more. Where do i draw the line, how do i let him live on the streets? Bouncing from one place to another. I'm lost at this point, I'm so angry at him, I don't know how to react, I don't know what to do anymore to help him, I've given him so many chances already. Please help.
  2. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @Debz hello and welcome. so sorry you're going through this. it can be so hard when a child is stuck in active addiction. i'd say it's important that you get yourself a solid support system. addiction takes a toll on the family, as you know.... so having some consistent support for YOU can help.
    some attend groups like al-anon or nar-anon. there you can get yourself a sponsor and work through the 12 steps.... to heal, and grow, and learn how to set and keep boundaries. your life shouldn't have to suffer on account of a child's addiction...
    I’ve found a wonderful resource called Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) that helps loved ones of addicts by using a positive, relationship-based approach. Helps me learn how to stay in a relationship with my loved one without losing my sanity or peace or enabling their addiction. It helps me learn to set new boundaries and communication in ways that foster empathy and healing. It teaches me that I don’t have any control over my loved one’s addiction, but I can influence change in my relationship with my loved one.
    It’s based upon the book, BEYOND ADDICTION: HOW SCIENCE AND KINDNESS HELPS PEOPLE CHANGE.
    There’s also a 20 minute online guide (free) for parents and partners of addicts:
    https://the20minuteguide.com/
    I've known parents who had to ask adult children to leave due to addiction. they set boundaries and those boundaries got crossed, so the consequence was "move out". sometimes that helps...but not everyone can or should do that...
    are you able to see a counselor? might help you navigate this time better.
    wish i could offer more help....
  3. Debz

    Debz Member

    @Dominica, As much as I appreciate your quick reply and advice, I truly didn't expect to be forwarded to a "buy this" solution. Just looking for support and advice on how to handle this, not knowing if kicking him out is the "right" way to handle it. After all, he is 32, he's not a teenager, but a full fledged adult. I've given him many chances to come home and get on his feet again, each and every time he took advantage of that and me. And his habit has continued. He's now homeless, landing wherever he falls for that night. I just don't see how that's going to help him, yet, I know if I let him come back that it's just going to enable him further. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place, not knowing the right thing to do.
  4. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @Debz there's no easy or fast answer to your situation. i share what i've learned from hearing this type of situation time and time again, and the response from loved ones who used the CRAFT Method (described in the book) is why i promote it. it's not quite black and white...but there's a grey area, and various factors are involved....

    maybe look at the 20 minute guide online. it's free, and it might help you gain some insight into your dilemma.
    Debz likes this.
  5. Debz

    Debz Member

    Thank you, and yes, I did read the "free guide, and appreciate your input on the "craft method" and plan on buying the book as well. I'm at an unbearable loss here and i am open to ANY advice or recommendations. Thank you Kindly for your responses. Truly Apprieated .
  6. Dominica

    Dominica Author, Writer, Recovery Advocate Community Listener

    @Debz you are quite welcome. here if you need to chat anytime...
    Debz likes this.
  7. deanokat

    deanokat DrugAbuse.com Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Debz... No offense, but @Dominica was just trying to help. As the father of a 28-year-old son who has struggled with addiction and depression for the last 13 years, I can relate to much of what you're feeling. I, too, gave my son chance after chance after chance to straighten his life out. Every time he'd steal something and trade it for drugs, or stole money from his little brother's piggy bank, I'd give him another chance. But you know what? His unacceptable behavior continued. Because if nothing changes, nothing changes. Our lives ended up like the movie Groundhog Day. We kept living the same scenario over and over and over again. Every. Single. Day. It wasn't until my wife and I gave our son an ultimatum--go to treatment or leave our home for good--that things started to change for the better. For everyone.

    Al-Anon and Nar-Anon teach us this about a loved one's addiction: You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it. Those are tough words to digest, but they are 100% true. Even with our children, addiction is something we can't fix. And that's frustrating for a parent.

    There's a passage from a wonderful book called Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction that finally spoke to me about the 100th time I read it. I want to share it with you here (and I am not suggesting you go buy the book):

    "Like many in my straits, I became addicted to my son's addiction. When it preoccupied me, even at the expense of my responsibilities to my wife and other children, I justified it. I thought, How can a parent not be consumed by his child's life-or-death struggle? But I learned that my preoccupation with Nic didn't help him and may have harmed him. Or maybe it was irrelevant to him. However, it surely harmed the rest of my family--and me. Along with this, I learned another lesson, a soul-shaking one: our children live or die with or without us. No matter what we do, no matter how we agonize or obsess, we cannot choose for our children whether they live or die. It is a devastating realization, but also liberating. I finally chose life for myself. I chose the perilous but essential path that allows me to accept that Nic will decide for himself how--and whether--he will live his life." --David Sheff

    If you haven't attended an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon meeting, I'd highly recommend that you check one out. You can learn a lot from others who know exactly what you are going through and feeling. I would also recommend seeing a therapist. My therapist helped me tremendously when my son was in the throes of his addiction. In fact, I think she saved my life.

    Lastly, that Beyond Addiction book is amazing. It's a book I wish would've been around 10 years ago when I was out of both energy and answers. It would've saved me a lot of trouble, I think.

    My best advice to you is this: Take care of YOURSELF. Because YOUR life matters, too. In fact, YOUR life matters most of all.

    I will keep you and your son in my thoughts and prayers. I know what you're going through is horrible. But all we can do is take things a day at a time.