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Where Do You Draw the Line?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

As some of my Sparkfriends know, my son is an addict/alcoholic. He went through outpatient rehab and seemed to be doing well. He got a job and made some new friends. Then he lost his job because he couldn't keep up with the pace( bussing in a busy, touristy restaurant). About two weeks after that we discovered he was drinking again. I'm sorry to say we believed him when he said he had it under control. I told him we would not buy his alcohol.
Then one night I got up around 1 in the morning to use the bathroom and saw his car was gone. When he got home, he couldn't figure out how to unlock the front door. He was coherent, but had no memory of a conversation he had with his father an hour before. He went to his room and passed out.
The next day he was very hung over. I told him we would talk when he felt better, but I took his car keys.
It was another 24 hours before we could talk. DH and I said no driving after sundown (which is when he usually drinks). We also told him no drinking at all if he wanted to continue to stay with us.
Friday was his two week anniversary of being sober again. We were considering giving him back nighttime driving privileges ( he is 21, but we own his car). Yesterday he went out to buy dinner. He was back for about a half hour and chatting with us when he said, "Oh, I forgot I left my jacket in my car." I was immediately suspicious.
Of course, when he came back in the house, he was carrying his jacket rolled up like a football. I let him take it in his room, then when he was prepping his dinner I asked him what was in the jacket. He told me he had bought a beer a few nights ago and left it in his car until last night. I told him to bring it to me. He said he used his own money. I told him too bad and if he couldn't follow the rules he can't stay. He told me to go in his room and get the beer. I did and it was ice cold, which of course means he had just bought it that night. I called him out on his lie and reminded him again about following the rules.
This young man has no job, almost no friends and is pretty seriously depressed but is now refusing help. I know it's only a matter of time before he drinks since he said he doesn't understand why he can't. Do I wait until he drinks and then throw him out or is last night the last straw? The thought of leaving him homeless is horrifying but the stress he is putting on me, DH and our relationship is also not okay.
Thanks for letting me vent and if anyone has been through this and has some advice, I would appreciate it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sorry to hear this and I have never been through it. But I will say that you can't keep him sober. Only he can do that. And to have him drive a car that you own, is putting everything you have at risk. If he hurts someone, it's all on you and your husband. You set rules and he can't follow them, then he needs to live somewhere else. Alcoholic Anonymous should also be a requirement, But like I said, he won't stop until he is ready to stop. You can't stop him from drinking.
    985 days ago
    Very sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for all of you. As already stated, it is something that effects the entire family. It has effected my own family. Unfortunately, he has to be ready to quit and he has to make the decision. If only we could decide for our loved ones!! But we cannot. Please do seek help for yourself through Al-anon and/or Nar-anon. emoticon
    985 days ago
    I am so sorry for your struggle. My best friend is going thru the same thing with her 30-year-old son. He was fired from his long-time job because of his drinking. She put him in rehab. Then at some point she moved him up near her and her DH and he got involved in drugs. He lived with them for a bit until it was too difficult and they paid for a motel room for him for a month, then back to rehab. He is back in their house again. She has to keep a constant eye on him for drugs and drink and can't let him drive since he is a danger to himself and others. RARTMAN is right, addiction impacts the lives of everyone. emoticon
    991 days ago
    I hope you have a support group to help you deal with this trouble. I went through the same troubles with my son.It is very heartbreaking. I watched my son couch surf and be homeless . You have the right to a peaceful home with your own rules HUGS
    993 days ago
    My heart is heavy for you! You are not alone in your struggles. It was my father and not my son but I've heard the same lies many times. Three rehabs later, we still couldn't trust him. One thing they taught us in Al Anon meetings is we have to do "tough love" and not be an enabler. Unfortunately, it sounds like you are an enabler. With no job, where does he get the money to buy beer? Gas, for the car? It sounds like you have given ultimatums before (such as kicking him out) but did not follow through. I would sit him down and let him know you are not going to enable him anymore. If you catch him drinking, he must leave. It may happen (I will pray for you to be strong) but you know as a parent, you have done your best. He is an adult young man and must learn. Once he proves himself, you can always allow him back in your home.
    993 days ago
    I've walked this road too. Nar-anon and Al-anon saved me. You have to decide what is right for you, but it helps to attend meetings and hear others' stories. It really helps you gain serenity and improves your relationship with your "qualifier."
    994 days ago
    Firstly,God Bless you all. You are not alone in this. It sucks that your son is hurting that much. I pray he finds peace and healing and you find faith and understanding. I had to bury my ex in December from alcoholism. He was 36. Seek help in anyway
    994 days ago
    once hes done some sort of program or rehab. Letting him stay... is it enabling him or would there be a way to keep him accountable and at home? Its a tough situation. Wish you all the best.
    994 days ago
    I went through this for decades with my brother. Rehab, halfway houses, ambulances because of over doses. Only you can say where to draw the line. Visit the NIH.gov website for some tips. Addiction impacts the lives of everyone who knows the addict
    994 days ago
    I am sorry hear. It sounds like its been wearing on awhile now. I know addicts have to recover when they choose to, not when they feel forced or cornered. Putting him out may make his life bad for awhile, but you can always offer to have him back
    994 days ago
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