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maureenc 10-19-2015 01:29 PM

Frustrated with my 25 year old son...long.
Hi. I'm new to this forum and only recently found it. I read a lot of your posts and for the first time in a long time I don't feel alone. I know I have to find an Al Anon group but I wanted to write to you all as well. My son is 25 and has been struggling with alcohol addiction for some time now. I'd say at least since age 19-20 (that I know of, but I now know it's been going on before that). For the last 5 years or so, it's been like walking on eggshells for me because any time I am around him, he's some level of drunk. It could be as little as a couple of beers or as much as several beers and a half a 1/5 of Jack Daniels or something. He is a very angry drunk and I tend to be his verbal punching bag when he's drunk and it seems to be worse when he drinks the hard liquor vs the beer. He's verbally abusive to me to the point that he calls me names that no child should ever call their mother. He's yelled at me and disrespected me in public where he just gets loud and wants the other people around to hear him. It's humiliating. He's screamed at the top of his lungs at me in the car and it's worse if I refuse to take him to buy more booze or take him to a place that serves alcohol. He blames me for all that's wrong with his life, he blames me for choices I made when he was young. Don't get me wrong, the child never wanted for anything and I'm sorry I was a single mom but it is what it is. I had to work two jobs and he resents me for all of it. I can't change the past and did the best I could with what I was dealt. When around others he's rude, starts swearing and running his mouth, shows no respect for anyone around him. It's gotten so bad that quite honestly I really don't want to see him right now or for the foreseeable future. Nobody wants to be around him. It's so hard because as a parent you want to help your kid but I know I've been enabling him. He also lays such guilt trips on me that I feel like I need to help him. He's on his second DUI and he has a whole army of designated drivers; so he just gets 3 sheets to the wind constantly. He hides nippers in his pockets so even if he's just drinking beer suddenly he's a huge jerk and I know he somehow got the hard liquor into himself. I'm so beyond frustrated, angry, hurt. I'm tired of being disrespected and yelled at by him. He's had a recent loss in his family which is just making this 10x worse. I'm at my wits end and so is my sister who also spends a lot of time with him and helped me raise him. But the bottom line is he needs to get help or he's going to lose everyone around him. I'm worried he's going to do something to hurt himself or someone else. I've never dealt with anyone before who acts like this and sadly he's my child. He's always had major OCD issues and I just fear this is another manifestation of that. He lives with his grandmother (father's mother) who is a Class A enabler and refuses to see it. I'm getting blamed by her and others in that family and told that me and his father (we are divorced since my son was 2) have to "do something about it". I can't let him live with me. There is no way as he lies and is untrustworthy. Not to mention my husband would divorce me because he hates the way my son treats me. Sorry for the long vent but I just needed to put this out there and once I started typing I couldn't stop. This is just the tip of the much more to each and every point above. Thanks for listening...

jenm 10-19-2015 02:58 PM

Hi maureenc!

First of all, welcome. And no worries about the long post, I've seen (and done) way longer. No biggie. You're safe here, it's all good. I'm so sorry that you have to deal with this. Al-anon is a wonderful idea. I recommend finding a meeting near you as soon as possible.

I can only speak as a recovering alcoholic. By the grace of God, I'm sober today. I have been 'your son' so to speak though. When I was active in drinking, I would physically/emotionally/mentally abuse anyone that got in the way of my drinking. My own mom and dad included.

The first thing you must do is take care of you. Al-anon or whatever you need. You cannot get your son sober - he must come to the end of himself (however that may be) and want to get help on his own. Although I do not deal with alcoholic children (praise God), I have a teenager who does not attend school and who I have let get away with too much. As a single mom, I have experienced the 'guilt' of raising him by myself with his brothers, my past experiences and choices with drinking, the divorce, his absent father, the list goes on. As much as I love him, I have to set boundaries today. Boundaries out of love. I absolutely agree with you in not letting him live with you.

I have written about this in other threads, but today my heart breaks and I am praying for my own brother. He had cirrhosis of the liver and nearly died as a result of his alcoholism. Long story short, he received a life saving liver transplant and was given a new chance at life. One year after transplant, he started drinking again and has been doing so ever since. He got a drunk driving after hitting and ruining a parked car. That was a year or more ago. Now he is out and going to bars and drinking and driving again. I love him, but I have to set boundaries with him too. I cannot get him sober.

I'm sorry that I don't have that much advice to give, but please know we are here to listen, anytime. When we enable someone in active addiction, it almost seems as though we are encouraging him or her in the disease. It makes it even harder as a parent - we take on the responsibility like it is our fault. When it fact it is not. I pray for my brother, I pray the Lord will bring him to the end of himself - even if that means another drunk driving charge. I pray it isn't something worse than that, but again it is something over which I have no control. Please write as much as you need to, and I'm sure others will be along with good advice or suggestions as well. In the meantime, get to an al-anon meeting! These people have been where you are right now and experienced it first hand. It is such a good feeling knowing that we are not alone. Take care! Jenm

maureenc 10-19-2015 03:40 PM

Thanks so much Jen. You have no idea how much just hearing others are going through this or went through this means to me. I harbor so much guilt for being a single mom and not being able to give him the Beaver Cleaver kind of a family life that his friends at the time had. He knows how to push those buttons. He's an only child and for many years was the only nephew, son, grandchild etc. and needless to say he was spoiled rotten. I struggled with setting boundaries for him then with so many grandparents etc. it was like spitting into the wind. The grandmother he lives with had an alcoholic boyfriend who only just recently died and my son though of him as a grandfather, idol etc. He also lived with an uncle who up until a year or so ago was a raging alcoholic as well. Suddenly it's my fault and I should do something about it! I moved to NJ when I got remarried about 8 years ago and my son had a choice then to move with me or not. He chose not but I have gone out of my way to try and spend as much time with him as possible as I still work in CT a few days a week. We have tried to take him on family vacations thinking that it would be a good family experience and he would get drunk and sneak out of the hotel room during the night etc. He ruined an expensive trip to Disney once doing this and we swore we'd never take him again. Sometimes I find myself wanting to cave hoping maybe if I keep doing things with him and spending time with him, he'll realize the errors of his ways but it just seems to get worse. 2 steps forward, 10 steps back as they say. This past weekend, my sister had a Halloween party for her middle school aged daughter and my son promised he wouldn't be drunk as he was supposed to help her. Not only did he come preloaded, he was drunk, making lewd comments to 13 year old girls and acting like an ass. My sister was mortified, she screamed at him and so angry that he lied to her and disrespected her like that. We're at our ropes end with him. His last outburst at me was 2 weeks ago and I haven't spoken to him since. He appreciates nothing, expects everything and doesn't see that he has a problem. When we try to tell him he needs help, I'm just a "bitch".

crackingBozo 10-19-2015 04:15 PM

I've never really experienced being disrespected by my own child...and I beg the heavens this never happen to me. But I do know how this looks like, my uncle behaved the same way. The sun's barely up and he's already drunk. Yelled at my grandma if food wasn't on the table yet, blaming her for things that didn't make any sense like - his early marriage (and the early destruction of that marriage), not forcing him to college (my grandfolks funded his education but he wasted that and went drinking instead of attending his classes). He called my grandma irresponsible and useless, pointing at her amputated leg. Even as a child, I felt my grandma's misery, and all I could do was give her a hug.

You are putting up with a lot so don't think you're a bad mother. We can only do so much for people who refuse to help themselves. It's difficult to see any progress happening to him in the near future, especially around enablers. Eventually, even his grandma will grow tired of enabling him. At that point, you have to be stronger... do not give him money or buy more booze. He doesn't need those stuff to survive...he needs them to be comfortable. Allow me to quote a former addict:

"If I don't want to stop getting high you still can't strap me down and cure me. It IS up to the person that is an addict to want to get clean and go down that path. That is why we destroy our lives and everyone's around us until we have nothing left to destroy. An addict has to be ready and willing to quit, no one else in the world can persuade them otherwise."

As hard it is to accept, but it's the truth. We can only hope that he "wakes up" soon and reach out for help. Don't allow him to destroy you too, because when he is good and ready, he will need a family to get back to. he will need you to be there. When that time comes, my advice is to get him professional help. There are a lot of treatment programs out there using different approaches.

I wish you all the best. I hope I was able to help.

R. Lee 10-20-2015 11:53 AM

maureenc, Welcome to the site. You are in a good place here.

Your son has got to want to get sober for himself. Until he does you can get help from a site like here & support groups like Al Anon. You do not have to live around his addictions. You have options. Remove yourself if you feel it is too much.

Keep coming back & posting.

Have a great day.

jenm 10-20-2015 03:43 PM

Hi MaureenC!

Is there such a thing as a Beaver Cleaver family? ;) You have to be able to take care of yourself. Over time, I have had to work through some of the guilt that I held because of being a single mom. If I don't set and teach boundaries, how are my sons ever supposed to know what they are?

You do not deserve to be treated like this by anyone, ever. My brother called me 7 times yesterday. He wants me to set him up with a girl I work with. I told him no. His priority, Lord willing, should be getting sober, getting healthy, and no woman/job/person/thing will ever be able to that for him. Ever. I cannot get him sober. I can, however, be an example of Christ's love and live by example.

We are here for you, always. Write as much as you want. We get it! Jenm

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