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My 24 Year Old Son Was In Rehab For Heroin a Little Over a Year Ago and Is Still Very Mean

by Lisa

I have three children. My oldest is 24 years old and the only one who has been difficult since the age of 12. He has had alcohol and drug issues through his teen age years. I have two younger children and kicked him out when he was 18.

At the age of 19 he had a child and cleaned up his act for a couple of years (of course, there were some bumps in the road) by working and supporting the mother of his child and his child. He needed a car and a co-signer. Seeing that he was growing up and making an effort, I co-signed to help.

The child is almost 5 now. Two years ago my son wanted to go back to school (college). He was making great strides. My husband and I let him and his daughter move in with us. He started school and completed two semesters. We did not charge him rent and he only had to pay for his car. Things were going well.

My brother in law committed suicide. Two weeks later I receive a call from the police they have my granddaughter in custody and my son in jail because he had her with him when he was purchasing heroin. I was devastated and angry. Shortly after, he cleaned out my bank account. I pressed charges and kicked him out.

His grandmother took him in. He stole from her and she pressed charges. We cut him off for several months and he was living in this car. Finally, he called us crying and we got him in rehab. He spent 45 days in rehab, went to a recovery house and was attending meetings. I paid for his rent and living expenses for two months. It was difficult for him to find a job because of his record and attitude.

I kept the car in the garage for a year. He has been working and supporting himself and I agreed to give him the car back two months ago as long as he kept up with the payments. He is on probation for 6 years and is drug tested often by a probation officer, so I don't think he is using or he would be in jail.

So, last month he paid the car payment and 6 days later asks me for an $80 loan until pay day. Of course, I was upset about this. Then I found out his insurance lapsed (Note: the car is in both of our names so I am responsible as well). He reinstated the insurance thank goodness and did pay back $80 two weeks ago.

Things were going ok. We were not fighting and had some nice conversations. Last week he kept calling about his turbo tax refund and if it arrived at my house (the house he does not live at). I told him I wasn't sure if mailman would deliver his mail since I had marked a lot of his threatening mail when he was not living there "Return to Sender".

He started screaming at me and was so angry. I didn't understand why he was yelling at me. I didn't do anything wrong. All I am thinking is I didn't tell you to stick a needle in your arm. I didn't tell you to take a 3 year old to the city to buy heroin. I didn't tell you to commit a felony by stealing checks.

He started going on about how horrible his life was and how good mine is. Well, I got angry and texted him back that he has been given tools to succeed. What he has been doing is obviously not working and needed to get off his ass and start going to meetings and counseling.

My life is good because I worked hard. I have never had an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but I went to counseling in my early 20s which helped out so much.

He has been angry since and we have not had a conversation. I texted him today requesting his car payment (that I paid on the 15th). He got angry and said he would have it. I asked why he was so angry. He said that all I cared about was money. He owes me close to $10,000 not including the car payment every month because of all the bull shit he has caused over the years.

I haven't given him a substantial amount of money since he has been out of rehab (rent and food), but he has put me in debt but for some reason he thinks I am rich. He says I bitch and complaint when he needs help. He said I am his mother and he owes me nothing. I am so confused by this mentality and don't know what to do.

I officially cut him off and think I should do so for at least a year. It is just a matter of time before he needs or wants for something, money, babysitting, etc. I told him if I do not receive the car payment I would contact the probation officer (and I will) which really got him upset. He is only nice to me when he needs or wants something or during the holidays. I would say he is still in the selfish stage of addiction.

So, I guess I am writing this to get another take on the situation. My friends tell me I am a good parent. The other two kids (14 and 17) have given me no issues at all. Yes, I feel guilty of course like I did something to make this madness happen.

Am I wrong if I cut him off for at least a year. No money, no holidays, no gifts, no conversation, take the car back if he doesn't pay for it, etc. even if he gets on his hands and knees and apologizes and cries for the 100th time? (Side Note: I did keep the car in my garage for one year so he knows what it is like to be without it). I attended Nar-Anon meetings every week for over a year to give me the strength to deal with all of this nonsense and learned a lot.

I have rambled on enough, thank you for listening. I feel better for getting it off my chest. Answer

Don't beat yourself up Lisa ... you've been a good parent and did everything you could to help and support your son. Unfortunately he still think the world owes him something and is unable yet to take total responsibility for his life and choices. But given time and a bit of maturing hopefully that will change.

If you think cutting ties for a year is the right way forward, then go for it. It's not like you haven't tried other avenues. It may be good for you son to actually have to learn to stand on his own two feet ... without Mom always there to back him up and stop him from falling when things get hard.

Never fail to let your son know you love him and want the best for him - but make it clear you can't keep continuing with this insanity and that's why you want the time out. Remind him of everything you've done for him and you did those things because you care, but now it's time for him to stand on his own two feet.

In part he may have become so dependent on you and you being able to bail him out whenever he needed - that you became an enabler. That may be in part why he's showed no appreciation for all you've done. Age may also play a part, and maybe as he gets older and matures that will change.

So do what you have to do. Your son is an adult and you aren't responsible for the choices he makes any longer. And if he's going to be a stumbling block to your happiness and well-being because of his attitude, then you have every right to say 'no more.'

Don't doubt yourself, even though it's easier said than done sometimes. Like you said, your son has all the tools to deals with his heroin addiction and make the mental, emotional and spiritual changes he needs to to make a success of his life. So let go and let him do it. And take that time to start focusing on yourself and your happiness again.

Best of Luck

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