Devastated and numb

With the understanding that addiction is a disease and the realization that we are powerless over it as well as over people's lives, we are ready to do something useful and constructive with our own.

Then, and only then can we be of any help to others.

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FacingFear
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Devastated and numb

Post by FacingFear » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:02 pm

I'm new to the site which I stumbled onto this weekend. I just discovered that my adult son is an addict and I'm completely overwhelmed. He currently lives a couple of states away, with his dad. I knew he smoked pot and would sometimes take pain pills due to back issues, but to learn he was a heroin addict - and has been for some time -- has sent me reeling. I don't have a big family to rely on emotionally (I am an only child and my son is an only child) and I would never place the burden of this knowledge on my elderly mother. I am married, but again, this is not something I would even share with my husband because I know what his reaction would be and I simply cannot deal with his judgment and anger on top of my grief and depression.

I also do not have the resources to put my son into a in-patient facility, but in just one day of reading the forums I'm trying to grasp that "I" can't do anything. He has to do this for himself. But what do you do when they call you in pain and begging for money? This is just so opposite of what mothers are supposed to do. We're supposed to be there and make it better.

I have SO much to learn, but how do you make it through the initial shock. I'm walking around my home in a daze, feeling like I'm slogging through molasses. I'm so lost and unable to function normally. I can't eat because I am literally sick to my stomach. I can't sleep because my mind won't stop whirling round with ways I can "fix" it, then realizing I can't, then starting the loop again. I can't wait for my husband to go to sleep at night so I can cry.

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mkcf
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by mkcf » Sun Mar 27, 2016 12:33 pm

Welcome to the forum. It is good that you found it. I, too, recently learned that my son is an addict. He had such promise, he was young and vital with a good education and a good job. Drugs took hold, he lost his job, lost his girlfriend, found friends who also did drugs, lost his car, his apartment,etc. He moved back home and stole from us. He stole from friends. We were a heartbeat away from pressing theft charges against him. We told him that he could't live with us anymore. His best friends in the world talked to him and told them they were done with him if he didn't get help. He made plans to stay with some one in Phila that we never met. He said he didn't want to live anymore. I was scared to death. Our choices were to press charges and get him into drug court or have him involuntarily committed for psych evaluation...or he could go to inpt rehab. He chose rehab.
I so understand when you say that you feel like you have to help your son. That is what mothers do. But two days ago I realized that I had to do whatever it took for my son to see what his life with drugs has done. He was only allowed to sleep on our porch. He was not allowed to eat our food unless we offered it. At first, I felt like we were treating him like a dog, but it wasn't us treating him like a dog. The drugs were doing it. And the drug dealers. He is sick, but he can get help if he chooses it. I will not again finance his drug use. If I knew who the slimy piece of crap that my money went to for these drugs, I don't know if I could restrain myself.
If decided that if I had to put my son in jail to keep him alive, then that was exactly what I was going to do. My husband and I struggled with this, but it didn't take long to realize that we were not able to help without letting our son go. He needed to make the decision.
Keep coming back here. It helps a lot. There may be an Al Anon group or Naranon group in your community. Find them. Go to a meeting. We understand.

FacingFear
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by FacingFear » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:03 pm

Thank you so much for your response. I'm stuck in the "what did I do wrong" mode and even if I could figure out the whys and whens, I know I can't go back to change it. I can, however, look back now and see the lies he told and how the money I kept giving was going to drugs. But even last week when I realized what was happening and the extent of it, I still sent him money because he was in pain and crying and begging! I have SO much to learn.

He has evidently managed to get off of heroin on his own and is buying something off the street ... suboxone? I search the Internet as much as I can handle at a time and am overwhelmed with drugs I know nothing about - the methadone, the drugs like the one above. I don't understand antagonists, I don't even know if that it the right word.

I'm sorry to be babbling, but it feels like I'm drowning right now.

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grateful
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by grateful » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:27 pm

Welcome to the Forum. Although I know the sound of our grown kids' voices crying in pain starts our Mom juices flowing, if they are asking for money, they are asking us to help finance their drug use in most cases. They are asking us to help them poison themselves. Just like a 2 year old wants to run wherever they want to run and do whatever they want to do, our parenting skills says "No" to helping them do that - even if they throw themselves on the ground and turn blue because the screaming doesn't result in getting want they want - we say "no" to our grown kids desire for us to help them use.

My son is also an A. Being there for him in my case has often been saying "No" to much of what the disease in him wants. I couldn't do that by myself. I had to attend meetings in earnest, use program literature, educate myself on addiction both in meetings and outside of them, find a good sponsor who had much time on me in dealing with an addicted adult child, and work things through with her.

Honestly, my son dried out and stayed true to program work because he was motivated to do it in his mid-20s. Then, he chose to get involved with a gal in the program who said she was a sponsor but ended up being his downfall by taking advantage of his newness to the program and his vulnerability. Regardless, he still had experienced a total change in his life when he was working the program and following the directions of his counselors. My job was simply to support his recovery. When he made the choice to go back to using, I did what I needed to do which was to continue with my own program work so that I could say "no" to the many tricks and emotionally charged lies the disease in him spewed. Those choices did not and have not made a difference when it comes to his disease and his unwillingness to return to what he knows works because it did. My choices did help me stay out of his drama, keep my home safe and free of all things drug related, and peaceful and content as I could be in my personal and professional life. If he chooses recovery for himself again, then I can change the boundaries I needed to erect to protect myself from being used or abused by this baffling, cunning and powerful disease.

I'm sorry you are being faced by what is a reality in your life. Please know there is hope and peace for you - whether or not he keeps using. Nar-Anon (or Al-Anon if no Nar-Anon in your locale) can help you with all that you have shared if you keep an open mind and are willing to do what we have done who also loved As and chose not to let the disease destroy us.
Seek beauty

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SDIN2T
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by SDIN2T » Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:40 pm

I had one of those things we call here an Ah Ha moment. When the light goes on and you realize something significant.

Once I dove into the Naranon program I realized that everything I was doing for my addicts was wrong. It was counter intuitive as a spouse and as I parent. I provided cover for my addicts when the consequences of their behavior was experienced by friends, family, co workers. I provided and endless stream of money for rehabs, lawyer fees, cars and insurance. The list goes on.

The epiphany was realizing everything I was doing was enabling them to continue their drug use in the comfort of their little bubbles. Dang! I thought I was helping! I learned that "No" is a complete sentence.

:JR
And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life - JK Rowling

FacingFear
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by FacingFear » Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I've been searching and we have no Nar-Anon near us (I live in a small community). I have been reading the board on this site and found a book that was recommended. I will order it to help me get started (and understand) the 12 Step Program.

lynn2015
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by lynn2015 » Sun Mar 27, 2016 7:40 pm

I was alone and in agony over my son also when I found this forum. Thank God for it. I wasn't able to stop enabling until I read a post that said that every dollar you give an addict is just another nail in their coffin. My son never asked for money, he didn't have to as I was throwing money at him left and right thinking I was helping him. Once I got that image in my head, that every dollar equaled a nail, it was easy to stop. He ended up losing everything, his apartment, his car, all his possessions. It was hard as the devil to just sit here and watch all that unfold and do nothing. Probably harder for me than it was for him because he stayed high all the time and didn't care where he slept. Well, he ended up sofa surfing at the wrong place (actually in hindsight, the right place!) and everyone in the house was arrested. He spent a while in jail and then was ordered to drug court. He's staying clean, going to meetings, and has a full-time job with his sponsor's company. It honestly could not have worked out better. I'm so thankful that I learned about enabling and the damage I was doing without even realizing it. I'm so glad I stopped interfering and got out of the way so the natural consequences could take place.

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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by MarieW » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:11 pm

Welcome to the Forum. The very first thing I learned here was:

I did not cause this.
I cannot control this.
I cannot cure this.

My 23 year old son is a heroin addict (also started with pills). I have been dealing with his addition for five years now. Without this program, I would be a basket case. If there are no Nar-Anon meetings in our area, try Al-Anon. It's not quite the same, but I have always felt welcome there. The principles are exactly the same, and I'm sure you will meet other parents of addicts.We also have on-line meetings here four nights a week. Check the announcement post for days and times.

There are many resources, free and low cost, available to addicts. My son has health insurance through the expanded medi-care program and went to out-patient treatment. But really, he got the most from free NA and AA meetings.

They have their program, and we have ours. The very best thing I can do is get myself healthy, and work the program I wish my son would work.

Keep coming back.
The only wrong way to work this program is to not work it.

lynnlky
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by lynnlky » Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:13 pm

I am so glad you found this Forum. I know exactly how you feel. My son has been addicted to heroin for 4 years now. I was so shocked and devastated that he could be a heroin user. I felt so depressed and sad. I hid it from my family and thought I could help him recover. For the first year I paid for his attorney, court fees, rode him to probation, and spent time trying to look for jobs for him. I also felt ashamed.....how could my son turn out like this??

He lived with us and I still hid it from my immediate family. In hindsight I wish I would have let them all know as soon as I was aware of it. He ended up breaking into our neighbors house.....a older lady (84 years old)that had known him since he was a toddler. He was lucky he didn't get shot by her son who heard him. It was snowing that night and the footprints led straight to our house. If that wasn't enough the news contacted her and it was shown on television before I even saw it. Later that year at Christmas he stole an expensive ring from his cousin and also money from others purses who were there. The drug takes over.......they will do whatever they have to do to get it.

All this while I kept letting him living here.....he stole my credit cards and pawned everything valuable in our house. He has been in jail twice for 2 months at a time but I kept letting him come home. He just recently got locked up for shoplifting once again and he may be there for months. All I know whenever he gets out he is not coming here! I was just giving him a place to sleep, eat, and use drugs.

I came to this Forum a while back but did not stay. I plan on staying this time. I have been to Al-Anon and Naranon meetings...but this Forum helps me more. No one understands but those who have been through it. I love reading all the posts. Keep coming Back!!!!

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hopefulNE
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by hopefulNE » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:37 am

Sorry for what brings you here, but glad you found us.
When I first got here, I wasted a LOT of time in the guilt and shame mode.
Here I learned the 3 C's: we did not cause this, can't control it, and can't cure it.
But we can contribute to it. That's where enabling comes in.
I also unwittingly enabled my then AD. But once I realized what was going on, and the existence and extent of her drug problem, my new mantra became NO CASH EVER. And I stuck to it.
I did help her out in other ways, that didn't seem to me to be enabling...feed her a hot meal, bring her out to lunch...but that was the extent of it. It kept the family connection alive during some dark times.
Please take care of yourself, and keep coming back.
Pat
"Keep Calm and Carry On" - British Ministry of Information, WWII

FacingFear
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by FacingFear » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:55 am

It is so helpful for me to hear from others, what you have gone through, what you are currently going through. I don't feel so alone and lost. Last night I downloaded one of the Nar-Anon book (SESH-Sharing Experience, Strength & Hope) and every time I woke up I tried to focus on reading another passage in it to keep my mind focused until I could fall back asleep instead of getting caught up in an endless loop of worrying. I'm still in shock at the enormity of the situation and it feels like I've been snatched up, plunked down in some foreign country where I don't even understand the language. It's surreal, yet at the same time I look back and see things in a different light and find myself putting pieces together. I'm just sick at how I've been enabling my son.

With your sharing, I am slowly beginning to understand the reality of working the steps. At this point, reading them is like reading a technical book, but your experiences are showing me how they actually work, how to put them in action. Thank you all so much.

Jennypac
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Re: Devastated and numb

Post by Jennypac » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:51 am

Hi! I'm new to this site, and this is my first post. I needed someone to talk to to help clear my head, and get some insight to knowing how to help my daughter who is an addict with two young children. She is 26, and has struggled with heroin addiction with a period of being clean for quite a few years about 8. She had used other substances before that. After being really upset with her after she relapsed last year from using suboxone for quite a few years, she met a guy who she said wasn't an addict. After I met him, I felt she wasn't telling me the truth, and found out not long after he was on Methadone, and she let him move in, and they both were using heroin at that point, and her life began spinning out of control. All of a sudden she became nasty to me, didn't want me to come around, always wanted the father to take the children on the weekends so she could have her own time, and was not caring about much more than using and her boyfriend. I got really upset especially for the children, and told her if she didn't get help I was going to take custody of the children. She chose methadone as her way out. Since that choose was made by her, she has been beaten up by the boyfriend with a broken collarbone, and a daughter with a concussion and staples in the back of her head. She kicked the boyfriend out. She pressed charges on him, and she's still on the methadone with going to the clinic daily taking 85mg. Liquid, and I feel this is just as much of an addiction as the other only legal by the government. They also have her on a assortment of other medicine for mental health, migraines, side effects from the methadone. She looks terrible, can't hold down a job, always dosing off, always half falling asleep, and not able to pay bills, barely able to take care of the kids. I am very concerned!! Her daughter is 8, and her son is 2. For months she's been asking us to pay numerous bills, pay for gas, and cigarettes, and we try not to give cash. We both need help. We're both very frustrated, angry at times, and very concerned for the children. I have my granddaughter over a lot. Thanks for sharing!!

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