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:(

Posted by Trapped on 15 July 2014.

Trapped in a well where I can't reach or help my son... and trapped because I can't walk away :(

My son is 17, Ive been a single parent since his birth.  His father had minimal contact (1hr a week) which came to an end when my son was 5yrs old.  There was no contact at all for the next 11 years.  On starting high school in a new area my son struggled to make friends and was the victim of bullying for just over a year.  The school didn't want to accept that bullying went on in their school and just swept the problems under the carpet.  Teachers witnessed the bullying but failed to protect my son.  Eventually I involved the police and they dealt with the problem although not in the most appropriate fashion.  They mentioned to the main bully that my son was feeling suicidal as a result of the bullying and so as to be expected the bully told others at school and before the day was over everyone was talking about it.  My son lost all respect for the teachers, his behaviour became challenging and disruptive in the classroom and he started to self harm.  The school called in an educational psychologist to carry out an assessment who recognised the failings of the school during all the bullying as being a major contributing factor and referred my son to CAMHS.  Now being able to show they ticked all the boxes the school then felt justified in throwing him out the system 2 years early and so my son suffered further alienation and ultimately lost out on an education.   My son attended CAMHS but wouldn't open up and share his thoughts.   He started smoking which in later years lead to cannabis.  Throughout these troubled years he displayed a great deal of repressed anger particularly towards me.  He said because he knew I was the only person in the world he could say what he really thought knowing I would never give up on him and walk away.  Everyone else had.  He completed 2 years of college, two separate courses but struggled with his behaviour with both.  People either love him or hate him.  He has little respect for most adults.  He is very articulate and expresses his feelings/annoyance at any behaviour that the adult displays that he considers to be unjust or just plain wrong.  He finds it impossible to tow the line and this has made him an outcast.  He has no real friends and so the few he does hang around with invariably use drugs.  I have given him all the love, care, attention, time that I possibly can.  I feel such a failure as a mother.  I have never taken drugs or smoked and I very rarely have a drink so these are not learnt behaviours yet I still feel responsible.... for disciplining him too much... or not enough.  For not doing more about the schools actions (even though I was at the school most days).  For foolishly thinking that I could raise my son single handedly into a fine young man without the involvement of his father.  For being naive and not appreciating the impact an absent father would have on his teenage years (even though this was out of my control as his father wasn't interested).  My son is now much taller and bigger than me and can be quite intimidating when he thumps walls and doors in anger.  A couple of months ago he told me he owed a drug dealer £600 for throwing drugs that were being given to his friends into a river.  I didn't believe his story but believed he owed the money.  He was given 2 days to pay and was quite distraught about the possible consequences of not being able to pay.  Rightly or wrongly I came to the decision that I would rather know it was lies but pay the money to ensure his safety than call his bluff and end up putting flowers on his grave.  So I gave him the £600.  A few weeks ago whilst he was upstairs in bed he text me... admitting to an addiction to cannabis and methadrone as well as dabbling with cocaine and ecstasy.  Whilst I was suspicious of some drug use I didn't imagine this.  I felt like my heart had been ripped out.  I took a deep breath and went up to his room and laid on his bed next to him and just cuddled him whilst he cried and apologised.  I reassured him of my love and support.  The following day my son text me saying things were not quite as bad as perhaps he had made out and that his problem was just with cannabis and methadrone.  We went to the GP who referred my son for drug counselling, this took a week or so to come through by which time my son had gone off the idea and decided he didn't need the help.  He has nothing to fill his days.  He is bored and very depressed.  He is desperate for work but can't find any.  He doesn't appreciate or realise how much money he gets from me but whatever I give is never enough.  I hate giving money because Im terrified Im possibly funding a drug habit and I don't want to completely withhold money incase he isn't spending it on drugs at all.  He is in my opinion at rock bottom.  He texts (as he finds this easier) me often saying how he doesn't want to live like this, how he hates waking up.  I can't make him accept help and of course I have to respect patient confidentiality.  I don't really want to go down the route of discussing a formal admission as I work in the healthcare profession and know firsthand what this would be like and I honestly and truly in my heart know he wouldn't cope.  I am at my wits end.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I think about it day and night and all of the above has not happened without much tears and heartache.  All his anger is directed at me, he is so rude and abusive and I can't tell you how much that hurts :( and Im ashamed to admit I put up with it because I know all this pent up anger is because he is hurting even more than me.  And Im afraid I will lose him :( that he will be pushed to the brink and give up completely.  Lights out.  The thought of that makes me feel like I can't breathe.  Im not coping.  Im working full-time but Im not sure how much longer I can keep this act up.  Sometimes, more recently very often, I feel like getting in my car and driving a million miles.  I can't fix this and so instead I fantasise about running away.  I tell him everyday that I love him.  He tells me everyday that he loves me.  The troubles we have overcome have meant we have a very strong bond... but its not enough is it :( He knows how much I love him but yet I can't do anything to make his world a better place and he's so low he's not doing anything to help himself because he doesn't think its possible.  If anyone has managed to read this far... thank you :( I apologise for the incredibly long post. Ive just rambled without re-reading. Im just feeling very down and desperate and am sat here crying :( I guess tomorrow is another day x

Comments

CANT TAKE NO MORE
15 Jul 2014

Oh hunni...you are a great mother, and your son has been through alot to get to the point he is at now...BUT his behaviour is not right...and to continue to give him money just means he continue to do drugs...Im not surprised he is angry, he has been let down badly by those at school that should have looked out for him...Have you thought about private therapy for him????? I too have felt like getting in the car and driving away from it all, but thats not the answer...I have stopped enabling my son..which means I give him nothing...Its hard, but when the light went on I knew it was the right thing to do......Is there anyone you can confide in....just having someone to talk to can help, or check out parent groups......It does make it easier to cope..sending hugs xxxx

Franticmum
16 Jul 2014

hi love I totally agree with my good friend above, we have both been where you are many times, I too have looked back wondering where I went wrong, the truth is as I have come to realise I did nothing to cause my sons actions, I have 3 sons who all had a stable loving family growing up, my husband and I have been married now for over 37 yrs, neither of us have ever smoked let alone tried drugs, I am very proud to say that 2 of my sons are now married with children of their own ( this is my main lifesaver what keeps me going) sadly my other son from leaving school drifted from job to job he started smoking cannabis then moved on to harder drugs I wont go into details as Ive already posted most of them on here over the last year, I will say that since finding this site although the s**t is still happening I find comfort in being able to connect with people going through the same, and I have a very good counsellor who I am able to call upon when times are really tough, I also have now stopped enabling my son and he knows that handouts are not available any more from any of the family, he at the moment is truly on his own, he knows where we are if he decides to give that way of life up, its very hard and my heart pounds every time the phone rings but what he does now is his choice and I will not be any part of it, I hope I'm not sounding too hard because truly thats not the case its just that for nearly 18 yrs now I have tried everything to help him, please access all the professional help you are offered because just maybe they will be able to help, as I have found out you cannot live someones life for them he has to do it himself, 
I hope I have helped in some small way, I too am a rambler, taking care of yourself is the most important thing for you to do, you deserve a life too, 
take care hunny, keep strong 
love n cyber hugs 
Sue Xxx

Trapped
16 Jul 2014

You are both so lovely. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and reply.  Both your replies made me cry.  I have no-one to talk to so your words of support and encouragement touched my heart.  It just hurts so much :'(   I don't feel strong enough to deal with this.  I would rather fall asleep and not wake up than watch him do this to himself :'( 
I will try to find my way round this site and read your stories, but another night I think, when I'm not feeling quite so fragile.  Because everything is so raw at the moment that I'm crying for all of us :'( 
Thank you for caring enough to respond, I really appreciate it xx

Milan Heavy
16 Jul 2014

Hi I am Chris and like you all I am looking for advice and if i can reciprocate I am happy to do so. Trapped if you prefer this name so be it, the first thing you need to understand is that your story is one that many, perhaps millions of us in different languages share, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. your son is like so many of our sons  and have become I am dealing with a step son who since 2002 was thown to me when his mum became tired (with reason of his addiction) and then while I tidied him up and got him back on the rails an SMS would arrive, come home and he would leave until he was thown out again and guess who picked him up at the railway station or the crossroads at midnight, me, just like you. You cannot give him money, it will be used for drugs even €10 euro is enough. I sent mine away this weekend having stolen 2 iPhones and some money (actually quite a lot) Sunday night to get heroin while our families here in Italy were watching the World Cup Final. He thought I did, nor Ana my partner that he was taking his Minias but we went to check up on him and he had stolen €50 from her handbag thinking he could get back go to bed with "a bad stomach" before we returned home from our next door neighbours and we would not notice. NAH wrong mate!   I went to check if he was Ok but no he was gone car keys money, i told him 1-2 but not three, expelled now what do we do with him, tonight he sleeps under the trees in Northern Italy, that is his choice with 2 packs of cigarettes and a car he stole from his Mum, could we do something more for him, yes i could but i would welcome your thoughts, thanks.

Milan Heavy
16 Jul 2014

Hi I am Chris and like you all I am looking for advice and if i can reciprocate I am happy to do so. Trapped if you prefer this name so be it, the first thing you need to understand is that your story is one that many, perhaps millions of us in different languages share, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. your son is like so many of our sons  and have become I am dealing with a step son who since 2002 was thown to me when his mum became tired (with reason of his addiction) and then while I tidied him up and got him back on the rails an SMS would arrive, come home and he would leave until he was thown out again and guess who picked him up at the railway station or the crossroads at midnight, me, just like you. You cannot give him money, it will be used for drugs even €10 euro is enough. I sent mine away this weekend having stolen 2 iPhones and some money (actually quite a lot) Sunday night to get heroin while our families here in Italy were watching the World Cup Final. He thought I did, nor Ana my partner that he was taking his Minias but we went to check up on him and he had stolen €50 from her handbag thinking he could get back go to bed with "a bad stomach" before we returned home from our next door neighbours and we would not notice. NAH wrong mate!   I went to check if he was Ok but no he was gone car keys money, i told him 1-2 but not three, expelled now what do we do with him, tonight he sleeps under the trees in Northern Italy, that is his choice with 2 packs of cigarettes and a car he stole from his Mum, could we do something more for him, yes i could but i would welcome your thoughts, thanks.

Trapped
17 Jul 2014

Hi Chris, I've read your post a few times now and have been staring at a blank text box not knowing what or how to respond.  I am certainly not in a position to give any advice.  But for what it's worth I feel for you and your dilemma.  I have total admiration for the fact that you have done as much as you already have for your 'stepson' when you are no longer even with his mother.  What a wonderful father you are.  Your stepson is so incredibly lucky to have you.  It's early days for me, I'm still of the mindset of desperately wanting and trying to change my sons behaviour.  All in vain maybe but I'm still trying to make sense of everything and accept what's happening. So, right now for me the idea of giving up and walking away (whilst in my thoughts) in reality is not an option.  I'm just not strong enough and see my son as being too vulnerable.  I'm afraid if I push him away and if he gives up because of that that I would be totally responsible and consumed with guilt.  I'm sorry Chris that I cannot offer you any wise words of advice but I wanted you to at least know that I'm thinking of you x

MissLCM
26 Jul 2014

Just read the post by Trapped and it has me in floods of tears as it is identical to mines except my son is 20 and has had drug issues for around 3 years. I honestly thought we were over the worst until recently when I discovered he was now dabbling in cocaine. I can totally relate to you Trapped as I do the same as you with your son, we talk, we cry and he opens up but within days its all back to silent treatment and secrets. I also work in healthcare and had to be signed off by the doc as just cant focus anymore. My thoughts are with all of you :) x

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