A letter to my son

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Poetry
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 1:59 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Poetry » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:15 pm

Hello Paulette and welcome. Do stay with us. I have found the forum to be such a support. My son is addicted to alcohol, heroin and crack, out of touch and psychotic when he occasionally does make contact. So far, no jail, but I do expect it. We have all been though Hell, but it is not our Hell; we do not belong there. I don't really have any advice except to endorse what Gloria said. They have a CHOICE. No-one will EVER convince me otherwise, no matter how hard deciding in favour of exercising that choice for Good might be. Look after yourself. Try not to let this take you down too. Poetry

Paulette
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:29 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Paulette » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:20 pm

Thank you both. I've had months of the psychotic phone calls, trips to A&E, inpatient at acute mental health hospital....not to mention the demands for money,food, rent. As I live in a different town it's made it more complicated. I am sure I have enabled in the past...and even now, sending him clothes to prison. Today is a bit better, and I'm taking each day as it comes. Sounds silly, but it's the simple question from neighbours, people in the shops, (how are you?) that finishes me...Tho today, the man in the post office, who I did not know, was incredibly kind and helpful. The kindness of strangers, like you both, reminds me that my life is worth living.

storm88
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:32 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by storm88 » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:30 pm

So heartbreaking and so true. I like others feel I could have written this.

Paulette
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:29 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Paulette » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:19 am

My son will be 37 tomorrow. It will be the second time he has a birthday in prison - the first time he was 22 and overseas. I've sent a card and an email to him, reminding him of his strength, intelligence and resourcefulness. Of course I feel incredibly sad
I've now agreed to go and clear out his flat - next week. He had rung to beg me to do that - said he could not bear the thought of leaving prison with nothing. I had to pay an additional months rent in order to be allowed access to the flat! (Landlady has got me over a barrel...his name was in the local paper so I had to be honest with her about the situation). He has clothes, but most importantly, passport and driving license. I'm dreading it. The drive up, the facing the landlady, what the place will be like..lugging his things down 2 flights of stairs (I'm 65 with back problems..) and the drive back. My sister is coming with me, so I won't have to face this alone, but I am still dreading it. Also dreading the thought of all his things being at my home because I know I can never let him back here with me.
Has anyone else had to do this? How did you cope?

Bette
Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:43 am
Location: UK

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Bette » Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:05 pm

Hi Paulette
I like your words
"his strength, intelligence and resourcefulness." A positive, loving message! I will remember them when I need to use similar with my son.

I think I would have done the same in your position, especially if important documents are involved and considering that it will mean that your son's release will be a little easier if he has his belongings.

I have faced a similar situation once when I helped an FA friend clear out his son's flat, and I have attempted to clean and tidy up my son's places a number of time in the past, in an attempt to "help him" have a number of new starts! (That was pre FA days!) Nothing would shock me now, after seeing the chaos, filth and utter mess. I hope what you face will not be so bad.

If, by any chance, the location is in the South Wales area, I can help you too. Please send me a Private Message if so. I would be more than willing to help. Many hands and all that! I've had experience! This is a genuine offer.

I wonder, if it is possible, whether storing your son's belongings somewhere other than your own home would be an option. There are a number of storage facilities around these days. Just a thought. It may be a better, more comfortable option for you.

Yes, sadness is the main emotion that I am left with. I am sure we are not alone in this.
Sending you strength.
Thinking of you
Wlitf
Bette

Poetry
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 1:59 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Poetry » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:02 pm

Paulette, I can imagine how you are dreading this. It is the pathos of it and not knowing what to expect. My husband did it (I said I'd go, but he said why put two of us through it). He had to clear our son's belongings from a room in a lovely flat which we had acquired for him, at the enabling-but-not-realising-it stage, when he abandoned his co tenants, leaving unpaid bills, and went off to be with his usual "friends".

We took his stuff to charity shops, along with other items he had dumped on us since being part -homeless. We did not want it on our premises and he did not respond, ever, to our offers to reunite him with suitcases full of clothes and so on. I will never forget the sight of my husband, setting off for the charity shop, with a case full of his much loved son's discarded belongings. It was beyond anything which the word " pitiful" covers.

I do hope your sister is able to accompany you. What a kind offer from Bette, even if you are not near. You are not alone. Look after your back. Try to do something for yourself after this ordeal, just something to contrast with the sadness, even if just a cup of tea and a cake. Poetry x

Paulette
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:29 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Paulette » Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:02 pm

Thank you both for your replies. The day after I have to go is my birthday so cake is a good idea! Not that I feel like celebrating. It's so helpful to know that I'm not alone and that others have had to face the same horrors. It is a life sentence. And it changes us. I'm hoping to find the positives from those changes in time.

Poetry
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 1:59 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Poetry » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:41 pm

Paulette, I think you will. We CAN live with this tragedy, and find a kind of peace in the midst of it. I HAD to give it over to God, whatever is meant by that, and although I feel I have probably lost my son to this horror, I feel I am protected and being held up at my worst times. Our addicts at present are unwilling to give in and ask for help from a Higher Power, but we are not. I am astounded, but it really does work, with daily vigilance and the willingness to change our thought processes. Giving up is not what we are used to, We are mothers. So it takes practice. I think the phrase is Surrender to Win. Let us know how you get on. Poetry. x

Bette
Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:43 am
Location: UK

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Bette » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:50 pm

Hello Poetry
I agree totally with your words
"it really does work, with daily vigilance and the willingness to change our thought processes".
That is how the FA program has worked for me too.

The brain is the most powerful organ in the body. I think of it as the motherboard. Changing my thought processes regarding the situation surrounding my son's addiction was crucial to regaining my health and well being. As the years have gone on, and I have worked through the 12 steps, I am aware that I now adopt this strategy in other situations too. I will be forever grateful to this program.

We say, at the end of every meeting
"And keep coming back! It works if you work it. It won't if you don't, so work it, you're worth it!"
So keep coming back peeps!
Keep an Open Mind.
You don't have to accept the unacceptable.
One Day at a Time.
Worry Is Optional.
Let Go With Love.
Listen and Learn.

Just a few of our FA slogans.

I would say that if you don't "get it" at first, just keep reading the literature, sharing on here and going to meetings if at all possible. If there is no FA meeting within travelling distance, maybe an Al-anon meeting is an option.
Best Wishes everyone
Wlitf
Bette

Paulette
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:29 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Paulette » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:54 am

Well I managed to clear my son's flat. I'm now surrounded by the debris of his life. Piles of filthy and smelly clothes, unpaid bills, and his passport and other documents. I am trying to stay strong. I've been reading the FA literature, and your messages. But I'm finding it hard. Last night I almost collapsed. Managed a bit of sleep but not very much.
My sister and youngest son helped yesterday, but, as with so many hard things in life, bad times tend to bring out the worst of all of us, so although their help was needed and welcome, the downside was that my youngest, in his distress, took it out on me, my sister, trying to be helpful, ended up making everything more complicated and I found myself totally unable to be the peacekeeper and sensible person, which is my usual role. I thought, just once, please could you let me all be weak and hold me up, but they couldn't. When they'd left my flat I howled, but not for very long, because I frightened myself. This morning I'm washing his clothes, towels and bedding. He hasn't been sentenced yet, so I am not sure how long things will need to be stored - once I know that I think I can make a decision about what to do with everything, including potentially giving things away.
This is not a great way to spend a birthday, but I've promised myself an 'official birthday' (like the queen) when I feel better. At least I know I will feel better.
There is no FA meeting near me, but I'm going to see if I can attend an Al anon meeting as there is one nearby.
Thanks to all of you here. At least I know there are people who do understand what I'm going through. That means a great deal to me
P

Bette
Posts: 742
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:43 am
Location: UK

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Bette » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:46 pm

My dear P
I know! I have done my share of washing my son's clothes on several occasions, that were collected from his various places.
The sight and smell was overpowering. I felt that my washing machine needed a boil wash afterwards to clean it out. In fact, that's what I did!

And yes, I have watched in horror and with sadness when friends and relatives have reacted in ways that were not helpful at all.
I guess, looking at it from their perspective, they are also struggling to make sense of something that has no sense. They are angry to see the affect it has on us, and resent the addict because of that.
And they may not have the support of FA either, so that would make it even worse I expect!

I hope you will feel better about it all soon. In my experience, as time passes and the days go by, the emotional pain lessens slowly. I hope the same for you.

Howl again if you feel like it! Do whatever the think you need to.
I also know that feeling of howling so intensely that I shocked myself when the realisation hit.

The most important thing now, in my opinion, is to look after yourself. That official birthday will be well deserved! Enjoy! The Al-anon meeting is a great idea! I hope you find it supportive.
I have sent you a PM.
Wlitf
Bette

comfort blanket
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:59 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by comfort blanket » Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:33 am

Hi Paulette
My heart is aching for you right now. I am sure a lot of us have been where you are now - cleaning and sifting through their possessions and realising that they have nothing of value anymore - their life is a mix of dirty clothes, forgotten dreams and despair !! I have been you - washing and pressing dirty, smelly clothes through tears and in a bit of a haze. Thinking that I could cleanse their life I suppose, and if I gave them clean laundry then somehow they would be cleansed ................
All I can say is yes, it does get easier - with time and our own acceptance that we cannot live their lives for them. It truly is a journey for us as much as them and it is one of the most difficult journeys we will ever find ourselves on.
Please make use of this forum as you travel on this journey as we are all with you x I suppose we are all at different stages on this road but without this forum, I do not think I would have got to where I am now. We can all relate to what you are going through, give advice if requested but above all, give you strength to deal with what is a living nightmare at times.
It is not easy, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and we will all try and help you and guide you to it.
Take care x

gloria1953
Posts: 794
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:47 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by gloria1953 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:37 pm

Dear P

That howl was as they say in Irish - keening. A cry of despair from the very depth of your soul. I did it myself today.

I am so deeply anguished myself right now that I really can't articulate my support for you but be assured that it is there.

G

Paulette
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:29 am

Re: A letter to my son

Post by Paulette » Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:15 pm

I know you are. Thank you x

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