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Unread 04-02-2008, 11:06 AM   #1
centrino
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I need to tell my 23 y/o son he can't drink or come home drunk while living with me. I have to tell him it's either live at home without drinking or move out so I don't have to see and hear him drunk. It's killing me because he can't afford not to live at home. It breaks my heart to tell him this, but I can't watch him destroy himself. I know he will say things to make me feel bad and guilty, so I need to know how to answer him and be strong while telling him. What are some things he may say to me and how can I answer him?
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Unread 04-02-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
jerryg
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centrino

You already know he will twist the reality to get you to feel guilty.
He may say "how can you be so mean?" or "you're not being fair!".
It really doesn't matter what he say's, what matters is that you do not snap at the bait.
He is being manipulative and dishonest.
Try to avoid defending your position. I have noticed that the first step to being manipulated is to assume a defensive stance. And he will attempt to put you on the defensive.

State your position clearly and be direct. If he tries to get you sucked into an argument or muddy the waters with unrelated issues, repeat your position that his drinking behavior is the issue and either he leaves or he gets some help.
If you hold fast and stay focused he will likely get upset, angry or maybe even throw a tantrum.
He will pull every trick in the book to get you off topic. Ignore the tricks, .
Calmly restate, "Either you get help to stop the drinking or you must leave." Be mindful of your tone of voice, you are making a statement, not a request. Don't ask him to leave, this is not a request.
This not about being nice, you are not being nice. You may be saving his life and from a world of undesirable consequences.

If he does concede, and begins to admit he has a problem, give him a probationary period.
A week, two weeks, maybe a month. If he has not taken steps to to make changes he's out.
You really have to take a detached stance. He will try to make you feel this is "personal", and unfair, clearly remind him it's not about fair or unfair.
You may feel badly about confronting him and setting the limit but he has been taking advantage of your love for him.
If you are prone to feeling guilty it will be painful, but you will better in the long run.

Most important, be consistent. Don't make any statements you are not willing to follow through with!
Expect this to be painful, and stressful, but then again if you are staunch and clear he may get the message and begin to work with you. Miracles do happen.

I know this sounds cold-blooded but he sounds out of control.
Boy I hope this helps.
All the best.
Jerry
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Unread 04-03-2008, 01:09 AM   #3
dixie
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Hey Centrino, I read your post and Jerry's response and felt compelled to write you a note just to say that this will be very, very hard time for you but you can do it. I think the key is to become "detached", like Jerry said. I know it's hard to relate the word detached with parent, but you will have to do it. I have a very similar situation with my son and the last few months have been like nothing I've ever been through but it has improved...at least we understand each other now (most days, anyway). I'd just like you to know that you aren't alone - I know I felt like I was the only person going through it at the time - so it was comforting to know that I could come here and be understood and helped. Just stay focused and you will get through it...knowing that you are quite literally saving his life will help to strengthen you. Take care and let us know how things are going...Dixie
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