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My Son is a Recovering Herion Addict, Is it Normal for Him to Still be so Self Consumed and Not Recognize Feelings of Others?

by Elizabeth

My son is a recovering heroin addict. He has struggled for the past eight years with drug addiction ... he is 24 years old. We are very proud of his recovery as he is working full time and has now been able to obtain his own apartment. Although his finances have been a real struggle, and I continue to help him financially ... I have a situation that I don't understand.

I have helped him for the past eight years paying for 4 rehabs, always being there for him, visiting him in jail when he spent 4 months for possession and I did all of these things because I love him and wanted to be there for him (he's been clean for 1 year and 4 months).

But this holiday went by and he did not even recognize me with a simple card ... now I don't want you to think that I need a gift but a little note would have been nice - just saying 'hey Mom, thanks for all you do.'

Maybe I'm missing something here - do the drugs make you so self absorbed that you can't think of anyone else even after you stop taking them?

My brother, his uncle, said today I can't believe he came to my house picked up his gifts and out the door he went and not even a Merry Christmas ... can you give me any insight? Answer

Hi Elizabeth

Part of the reason your son could be so self-absorbed is that you've basically given everything to him on a platter - and so he's come to expect it, rather than appreciate all you do for him.

A heavy drug problem, like heroin addiction, can stunt a person's emotional development. Being a drug addict is essentially all about being totally self-absorbed - the drugs come first to the exclusion of everything else.

You don't say how long your son has been in recovery from his drug addiction so maybe with a bit more time he'll start to mature and start showing some more appreciation, especially if he's working a proper program.

But don't be shy to say anything and make it clear how you feel to your son. Tell him you'd like him to show appreciation for everything you do for him because you aren't obliged to do all those things - and that if he doesn't make more of an effort you may have to review things.

'Mom' is often taken for granted - in all sorts of different contexts - so try not to take it too personally. It doesn't make it right, but hopefully it's something that can be easily fixed by communicating your feelings like you've done here.

Good Luck

Comments for My Son is a Recovering Herion Addict, Is it Normal for Him to Still be so Self Consumed and Not Recognize Feelings of Others?

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Jan 26, 2011
Addicted to your childs addiction
by: Chrissy

I just wanted to mention a book that really helped me with my family addiction.
You need help too.
Even though you aren't the one doing the drugs or alcohol or what not, you need to get treatment from your child.
You are addicted to him just as much as he is to the bottle or the drugs...You need to realize you can't enable him anymore. You need help for yourself.
Of course your his mother and would do anything for him. You are amazing!
But check out Lisa Espich's book, Soaring Above Co-Addiction.
You will really enjoy it.

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