May 27, 2010

And the grief work & guilt continues

I went to the family group meeting at the rehab my son is at last night with my husband.  It was odd but last night everyone seemed to be in a down funky mood.  Much was discussed about mothers/fathers and our relationships with them, or lack thereof, the regrets for mistakes made and taking parents for granted.  After the meeting we spoke with my son and of course he asked me for something, it just seems never ending.  He wanted to do some work for us to get his cell phone turned on for a month.  He is leaving the rehab on Monday for a sober living house.  He told me he needed the phone because he would be looking for work and he couldn't give out the house number to prospective employers.  He told me he wouldn't be able to call his sponsor everyday or stay in touch with us.  I told him no and he became upset and we parted.  He called after we arrived home to apologize and then explain some more why he needed the phone, I again said I couldn't help him with it.  He called back again and it ended badly.  By the third phone call I almost didn't answer, but I did.  He apologized again, but much more sincerely and we left it at that.  I cried all the way home.  As a mother, it just doesn't feel right ever to tell my son I can't help him with something, even if I know he is probably lying to me about the need.  I held my ground, but I am sad.  I am sad that I have to question every move I make with him to keep myself in check, make sure I am not enabling, not reacting out of my own fear, or fear of feeling guilt and fear.  It has been exhausting saying no but I am getting through it.  I just pray that I will get better at knowing when I should say no and when I should reach out and lend a hand. 

Surgery in the morning, thank you all for the well wishes, say a prayer around 10 am PST for me:)  I will be checking in while I am off work and miss you all.



Her Big Sad said...

Renee, I wish I could give you a hug! I hope you're feeling more peaceful about the decision you made and that you're able to turn your attention to taking care of you, as you go through the surgery.

It seems odd, that he can't use the sober home phone for employers, etc. Here in SoCal, every sober home (and unfortunately there have been dozens) my daughter has been in, have had a phone and an answering machine. You were not able to tie up the phone long for personal calls, as it needed to be "open" for probation to reach the tenants, and for prospective employers to call them. Everyone did their part answering the phone and taking careful notes and numbers down, and the machine snagged the calls when no one was home. Not that my daughter wasn't thrilled the day I did give her a very cheap phone as a birthday present (she had to pay to keep it on, not me!), but she had no problems giving out the number of the sober home, and getting reached by probation, or job calls. I hope that your son's sober home has a phone situation like that - and I'm praying that he does well there. I'll be praying for you through your surgery!

Barbara said...


I hear your frustration. Its agonizing wondering what the true motives are behind every request. Sometimes its okay to help our adult children, but with an addict you just never feel 100% sure (at least I don't. I just handed Keven a $10 and even though I trust him with it...I still get a flash of fear).

Maybe you can come up with a compromise to the phone thing (one of those prepaid phones?) I don't know. Sigh. Its just not black and white.

Please get some good rest tonight. I will be praying for you tomorrow morning.

Sherry said...

I hope your surgery goes well today and that you feel more peaceful! I have those same feelings also...not sure if I did the right thing sometimes.

Brother Frankie said...

i will pray for your surgery. (as well as all the other stuff ;)

Chic Mama said...

Thinking of you....well done for sticking to your guns.
I hope the surgery goes well. Take care. X

clean and crazy said...

so proud of you for telling him no. it has nothing to do with what his intentions are for that phone, he is a grown man he needs to tend to his responsibilities period. you need to look at it that way.

you are in my prayers today as always. you did a great job, he is like a fish out of water when you tell him no and mean it.

Kristin said...

Renee, Good luck with the surgery. I am glad that you are taking care of yourself. Too often, we don't because all our excess energy goes to worrying about everything/body else. Maybe you can even take advantage of this to take it easy and not be available for a couple of days.

I am sure that the house has a phone available to the tenants but I'm guessing that your son doesn't want his calls monitored and is concerned that he won't be able to hide his whereabouts. Maybe he doesn't want everyone to know where he is living. I went through this for years with my daughter in various treatment centers. I think you should stick to your guns and let him work with what is available. I have found that less communication is sometimes better, fewer players in the mix. Without a phone so readily available, it caused my daughter to focus better on the here and now.
I'll be thinking of you,
xx kris

Dad and Mom said...

I was going to leave a comment on here about what you wrote but your posting was so inspiring I wrote on my blog about your post along with a couple others. I put a link on my post to your posting so others can read your writing in full.


Syd said...

I hope that your surgery goes well. Will be thinking of you. Rest up and trust in yourself. You are doing the right thing by not enabling him. One of these days, the guilt will go away. Just hang in there.

Annette said...

That is so hard Renee. I hate saying no to anyone, but especially to my kids. I knew that H was in a good place though when I could say no to her and she could respect that as *my choice* and let it go. Just because I am her mom didn't mean that I *had* to do everything she asked of me. I could say no "just because" if I wanted to. The times she fought me on it, as awful as this may sound, I knew I was right to say no. If she pushed and manipulated, I knew we were on rough ground.

Maybe in time you will be able to help out with the phone...but right now his recovery is too fresh. Its ok for you to set a limit. His response shows he has some more work to do and that is ok too. Just as our happiness can not be dependent on if our child is using or not, their happiness can not be dependent on us giving them everything they ask for. We *all* are learning to live independent lives.

Prayers going up for the surgery and a speedy recovery. ((HUG))

Heather's Mom said...

What you wrote is very similar to what I PLAN to write about in my next post (if I can get my act together and just write it!)... saying no and feeling miserable about it, and in my case confused too, and all the other things you wrote. I will commiserate and say how much this stinks! If I wasn't feeling the same way you are right now I could probably have more encouragement to pass along, at least you know you are not alone!
I hope the surgery went well today and you are now home resting. I've got you in my prayers.
God bless.

Bristolvol said...

Renee, I feel you pain. It is never easy trying to figure out what to do. I struggled myself with it for years. By now you should be through your surgery and I am praying that it went well. Hugs.

T C said...

It's so hard when you can't follow your instincts as a mom and who doesn't want to help their children. Sending you support. Not giving my daughter things when she asks is the hardest part of this for me and something I struggle with. It has gotten easier.

Jan said...

you did the right thing. I gave Stevie his phone. He used the phone to contact old acquaintances, and started to use again. He will have resources at the sober living house. Yes, he has to share the phone. Yes he might not get his messages, but yes you did the right thing. Entitlement tends to be a common theme these days.

Concentrate on your own recovery from surgery! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

We have all been there. And we will continue to go there. Hold on to the fact that he is an adult and that it isn't your job to provide for every single little thing anymore. He may be mad, but he will be fine. Try to let go of the guilt. (Easier said than done I know, as witnessed by my daughter's demands form treatment.)
I hope your surgery went well. And I am praying for you and your recovery.

A Mom' Serious Blunder said...

It is all so hard...please hang in there. I am praying.