It’s called rubbernecking baby…(edited to say #5 not #4)

I am failing miserably. I am unable to detach when J lives here at home. He appears to be clean but nothing is changing. He sleeps late, has no job and no motivation to get one. It was much easier to detach and not get emotionally invested when he didn’t live with us. Now it’s there laid out in all it’s ugliness and I can’t turn my head away from the scene. I am a rubbernecker! I am watching him throw another year of his life away and there is not a damn thing I can do about it! Court still hangs gloomily over his head with no end in sight and none of that has been resolved yet. Court is on the 20th, my husband is going to have to take a day off from work because depending on J to get there would lead to an ulcer for both of us. We are hugely financially invested in this court outcome and will not allow him to walk away from this and throw more money down the drain. If that is enabling then so be it… In hindsight should we have assisted him by paying for a lawyer. I honestly don’t know?  I still have hope that J is going to squeak through all of this and put his life back together.

Secret wishes still remain:

  1. That he goes to college
  2. Finds a fulfilling job
  3. Finds happiness again
  4. Finds a girl who will love him as much as he love her
  5. Learns to be independent and take care of himself

Now I guess reality is pray fiercely for number 5 and hope that one day the other secret wishes will follow.


About madyson007

I am a mom of 4 who thought she was home free when my oldest son went off to college. My serious blunder? Genetics and being naive or maybe just plain stupid.
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15 Responses to It’s called rubbernecking baby…(edited to say #5 not #4)

  1. Carol says:

    Secret wishes still remain…
    And they never go away.
    I can honestly say tho, that jail has been the BEST thing for my J. So, if your J ends up there, do not fear. There is a reason for everything.

  2. Syd says:

    Secret wishes are good as long as they aren’t expectations. Those seem to get me in trouble and on a downward slide.

  3. Ajb says:

    I am saying a prayer for you and J. Is there any reason that would prevent him from getting a job at this time other than he just has no motivation? Would he be willing to go to a therapist and/or doctor that might treat him for possible depression? My son is seeing a therapist/psychologist using DBT since he has voiced suicidal thoughts over the past 3 years. He has depression and severe anxiety and we don’t know what came first but do know that there are medications that help with these illnesses..he just has to be willing to accept he needs this as opposed to self medication in anyway shape or form. My son was put on medication after medication but due to his drug abuse we could never see an improvement. Instead we saw him becoming off the wall with anger and very self destructive behavior. This therapist has reached him to a point. He didn’t see her all through December when he was continuing his downward spiral. She called him and convinced him to resume his therapy. Last Spring we were able to get him off al medications except paxil which was slowly increased. It made a huge difference in his anxiety problems but not depression. If it wasnt for his part time internship he would have lived in his bed. The day after the internship ended he went right back to using drugs. I don’t know if your son has ever been evaluated or has been willing to get evaluated, but if he is, maybe you will be able to find someone. I like dbt therapy because my son does have a certain amount of access to his psychologist if he feels he is about to engage in destructive behavior. She has talked to him at night too. If you would ever want to talk to me about this just let me know. My son is in a very precarious time now as he actually started working (called in sick 2nd day of work due to ‘not feeling well’ from drugs taken night before) but he is trying and wants to try to stay clean. After lowering the dose of his medication last summer against the advice of his drs, he has finally went back to the dose he was on. He is no longer living with us.. My husband helped him find a room in a house for $500/month. He now must work or be homeless. My husband went down to social services to see what he will have to do should he not be able to work since he has been diagnosed with a mental illness–mjor anxiety disorder, depression. My son does not want to do this at this time but should he not be able to work then he must find another way. He cannot live with us due to the insanity he brings here when under the influence of drugs. If i can help you in any way with any informaton you might want, i would be glad to. I know there is no easy answer for any of this, but from all i read i keep seeing the advice over and over again that there must be some responsibilty on the part of the addict to find their way out. It’s the finessing on the part of the parent that is so difficult–just knowing how much to let go and how much to support. I wish i could help you. I struggle every day with this too and feel tremendous fear with regard to my son’s future.

  4. sheila says:

    Hi Madyson,

    I haven’t posted in a while, but I feel your pain. My daughter is doing much the same thing as your son. She’s living at home. I think she’s clean, more or less. She goes through a series of minimum wage jobs but never lasts more than a few months at the most. Says she’s returning to college but never quite gets it together. Has a series of loser boyfriends. Stays up all night and sleeps all day. Trashes the house. This has been going on for 15 months now, since she was diagnosed with mental illness and substance abuse while away at college.

    Sometimes she stays on her meds. Doesn’t stick with counseling long enough to do much good.

    I was unable to detach while living with her. My marriage split up almost a year ago, due in part to all the stress of her outrageous behavior while living at home, and the fact that my husband would not work with me to learn about her mental illness or set consistent consequences and limits for her behavior.

    So she continues to live in the house with him. He works out of town several days a week, and she is there doing nothing. He pays for her needs and far too many of her wants. He is a huge enabler and he probably always will be, out of some misguided sense of love or guilt or something.

    I am in an apartment struggling financially and emotionally but making a decent new life for myself. A good therapist and alanon helped me to detach, but I still mess up sometimes.

    I have been blessed to find a good man to love who understands my issues and is supportive. He lives two hours away from the town where my daughter is, but I am probably going to move in with him soon. Part of me feels like I am abandoning her, but it is time for her to stand on her own, if she can, and if my soon to be ex will allow her to (which is pretty darn unlikely).

    It is a special type of hell that we parents of troubled kids live in. It aches when I see my friends’ kids succeeding in college, in work, in relationships, in life, and then I look at how my daughter is floundering. But I try to remember that I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it.

    Wishing peace and detachment to all of us parents,

    • Cheri says:


      I relate to what you’ve shared here. I have two sons who got involved with drugs. One is still floundering, though a bit better. The other got help and is doing better.

      Would you mind if my husband and I pray for your daughter and your family?


  5. Ron Grover says:

    Work is a psychological need of human beings, I firmly believe that.

    J laying around and doing nothing is not good for his mental well being or any recovery he has begun.

    I read the rules for a Clean Live Facilityy that stated you are required to have a full time job at all times or you are required to volunteer at a charitable organization full time.

    I thought that was an excellent idea, especially with the economy as it is today and most of the residents probably had some type of crimnal background so finding a job was not something that happened overnight.

    Maybe you could adopt that rule for your “clean living facility”, aka HOME.

    As far as taking him to court. We alsways took Alex to court when he ask us too because we felt, using or not ,if he is going to court that is some kind of accountability and he had no accountablility in any other parts of his life.

  6. parent says:

    I think Ron’s idea is excellent…full time work or donating the free time to a charity…

    Lying around is not going to help with sobriety. Getting a job etc builds self esteem…

  7. Cheri says:

    Hi Madyson,

    I have to agree with Ron and “Parent”‘s advice about a job or donation of time to a charity. And I know from personal experience that you likely already have more advice than you need, so I’ll leave it at that.

    I do want to offer some encouragement as to #4 … it can happen. Check our my recent blog post ( ). It can happen.

    Hang in there!

    We’re praying with you,
    Cheri and Wayne

  8. Dad 4 Truth says:

    It sounds like he lacks motivation primarily due to Post Accurate Withdrawal (PAW) which means he is presently in relapse and it is only a matter of time before he begins using again. Now is the time to work with your AOD counselor and have a relapse plan in place for the family. You have no control over the disease and the only control you think you have is what the disease wants you to believe you have. And NO you should not have paid for his lawyer! Ask your AOD counselor to work with you and dad on “grieving” the loss of the child of your dreams, he is not ever to return as that child.

    In prayer for your family.

    • Jeff says:

      Great comments Dad! Just great. I feel like a dope not having thought of PAWS myself. Madyson: PAWS can and often does produce huge depression. It can last up to a year or more. It very often involves lack of motivation, not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to do anything, absolutely no energy, and heavy depression. Many think that it is actually PAWS that often “force” an addict back into using again. Unfortunately, Suboxone, while it can be a miracle drug to those who stay on it and take it like they should, is notorious for PAWS unless the patient does a long and slow taper off of it – I’m talking three months taper minimum. The relapse rate for addicts under the age of 30 who stop their Suboxone and are not actively involved in aftercare is near to 100% over the long term.

      I could say so much more but I have agreed, upon your request, not to. I just could not let Dad’s comments go by without saying something. You don’t have to listen to me but please listen to him!

    • madyson007 says:

      THERE is no counselor my life is a fucking mess. I can’t get him out of bed, let alone see a counselor. PAWS is definitely what he is suffering from, I am very familiar with it and so is he, naming it doesn’t change a damn thing about it. He is on an anit-depressant that is the best i could manage. A relapse plan???? Are you kidding me. What plan? what AOD counselor. I can not get anyone on board for anything remotely logical…including my husband. Quite frankly every single time we did get him into a meeting or a rehab or detox he made new connections for future use.

      • Dawn M. McCoy says:

        I’m really sorry. It sounds like your life is spiraling out of control. There is an adage that says Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes. I hate to be the bearer of the raw and unadulterated truth, but I will be.

        Sweetie, your son WANTS to use. he will continue to use. he will continue to destroy both your sanity and your family.

        YOU are the only one who can take control of YOUR situation. you have to get him out of the house, and have as little to do with him as possible. Fine, you have a huge financial investment in him appearing in court, protect your investment, take him to court and then walk. Let the court do whatever it is the Court decides. If it’s jail, then so be it. If it’s rehab, okay. But don’t BE THERE either way. Let the judge and prosecutor know that you are revoking his bond (if that is the financial investment) and get off the hook financially.

        Go back home, get a family counselor for the rest of you in the family, someone who is familiar with the FAMILY OF AN ADDICT. I don’t even recommend an addiction counselor, they are usually all about the addict and the addict’s recovery. This needs to be ABOUT HOW THE FAMILY CAN REPAIR THE DAMAGE SUFFERED FROM DEALING WITH AN ADDICT SON, BROTHER, SISTER, NEPHEW, GRANDCHILD!!!

        I cannot stress this enough. Your family is disintegrating before your very eyes. Do not be blind to the disintegration. Do not ignore it, it WILL NOT get better on it’s own, or go away all by itself.

        There are some kids who profit from family intervention. Your son just does not sound like one of them. That’s really hard to hear, but needs to be said. You can continue to try, and lose everyone in your family, screw up the rest of the kids or take control of the situation and devote the effort to saving yourself and the other members of the family.

        It’s crucial decision time. Sucks, but there you have it. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt.

        Anything you now do for your son is a waste of time, emotions, energy and will not work. Save the rest of what’s left of your family.

  9. Barbara says:

    Just read this today so am hoping you update us with the news from the court hearing. I always attend Keven’s court hearings with him.

    I know that having my son OUT of the house is the only way I will ever experience any peace. Unfortunately it costs money for him to live in a sober living home so I guess we are paying to have peace until he can support himself. Keven could not find a job so he will be volunteering full time and continue looking for employment.

    If J won’t work, will he volunteer? It doesn’t have to be something like manual labor, Keven goes to a school for brain damaged adults and gets to work with them, he loves it.

  10. Barbara says:

    I just re-read my comment to you and it sounds so stupid. I’m sorry. Can I just change my answer to say: I feel your pain, I’ve been there, its sucks _____ _____. I hope there’s a change soon. Please forgive me for my lame comment.

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