Thursday, November 12, 2009

My name is Debby, and I struggle with codepedency, anger and being the mother of a drug addict

My son called and said he was ready to go to a meeting with me. We wen tto our Celebrate Recovery at our church.  Several women remembered me, from a year ago. B didn't know anyone, but I noticed that he easily walks up to strangers, gives his name and chats with them. He's just like his mom...

It's a long meeting, though.  6:30pm worship and a testimony. 7:30-8:30, open groups, b gender. Then, coffee and dessert afterwards.

The header today is how I introduced myself.  I left, wondering if I could handl sitting and listening to people talk about their problems. Many talked about their victories. One thing that really stuck out for me, is when the person who gave her testimonial on anger and control said that she has finally learned to let someone else's anger be their own.  Yes, I have a tendency to do that. My husband is angry at my son, and I'm upset about it. That's codependent behavior. Textbook. I'm a people pleaser, and I hurt when I've offended someone.

B said he liked the meeting, but he was anxious to leave at 8:30pm. I wasn't sure if I could do this every Wednesday night. This morning, I've decided to give this a few more meetings. I need to see if I can handle getting home 30 minute before my bedtime. That's also two nights in a row of racing home from work, going to a meeting and then coming home.

Madison, I want you to know that what you wrote yesterday has really spoken to my heart.  I am having to reexamine why I feel compelled to help my son.  I would hope that nobody attacks you for what you've said.  I'm a codepedent, who is struggling with knowing the difference between warranted help and enabling. I need to hear these things, because I have never heard any of what you say at an Al-Anon meeting.

As a sidenote, my son says he is in Day #4 of detox. He is using methadone. How he got it, I would imagine is off the streets.  How he paid for it...

I need to work on not allowing my son to put fear into me to bail him out of any debts for street drugs.

My name is Debby, and I am a codependent.  I need to get to work, now. I don't want to hear from my son for a while. I need to take another look at my boundaries. I have a  lot of thinking to do.


clean and crazy said...

have you read any of melodie beattie? she wrote the book 'co-dependent no more' and she has a daily meditation book called 'the language of letting go'
i think this is all the help i can give on this as me myself being the addict to my mother and father who have now passed away. i have been clean now for almost 5 years though and narcotics anonymous is what works for me. take care of you i hope all your comments are positive, structured and written with the best intentions, i hope those with anger and malice choose to channel that in their posts and not here as you have enough to be negative about. i have not read what madison wrote, i have had a busy week myself, but she is an amazing blogger who i love hearing from as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby,
I read your posts daily (or when you post). I have written to you before about how parallel our lives are. My husband and I paid off one of my sons drug dealers yesterday. The dealer was texting my son threatening messages. I feel as you do. I'm not sure when I'm enabling and when the help is warranted. My son seemed so relieved when he paid off the dealer. We know our son needs to get out of this town, we are even encouraging him to join the military. I'm not sure what his chances are being an addict. My thoughts are with you often. I know how you feel when you prefer not to hear from you son for a while. Take care.

Cheri said...


I hope you take all the time you need to sort out your feelings. (The Melodie Beattie (sp?) books are good ones, by the way.) Only you and God can determine your motives for helping, and when it is or isn't enabling. Every person is different and unique, and you must listen to the still, small voice of God for your unique circumstance.

At some point in time, B will have to "own" his addiction and take 100% responsibility for it, and for taking the steps to get help and stay clean, if he so desires. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you won't be a support to him in the process. That's how it happened with our son, who is now 3 1/2 years sober. Ultimately, it was his own decision to admit to himself that he had a problem and he wasn't willing to live like that anymore. But we were there in full support, praying him through, as it were, while he was in rehab.

Sorry to prattle on. You and yours are in our thoughts and prayers,

Cheri and Wayne

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I have a question. You said "My husband is angry at my son, and I'm upset about it. That's codependent behavior. Textbook. I'm a people pleaser, and I hurt when I've offended someone." To me most people would be upset in this situaton...wouldn't they? I know I am co-dependent too I just have such a hard time knowing when my feelings are natural human reaction and when they fall under the category of co-dependent. I mean, we do relate and depend on each other to some degree. This is one reason I have such a hard time with labels....I don't know too many people that would not be upset it their spouse was angry, etc. etc. I'm just looking for clarity.

Debby, you are a wonderful mother who loves her son and is doing her best and that's all we can do. The important thing is to try and make our "best" better all the time and you are doing that!!!

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

For me, it is always a "dance" to try and stay out of my son's way. Out of his way to learn his own lessons whatever that means. Out of his way to figure out employment, school, addition, recovery, life in general. Out of his way so I can pay attention to what I am supposed to be doing to care for me. It is the hardest dance to learn and I have many more steps to incorporate. I hope your dance with your son starts flowing like a beautiful waltz.

Midnitefyrfly said...

I think Mom of Opiate Addict put it very well. I personally believe that there will never be that "one size fits" all and so you must continue to figure out what fits you.

We all make mistakes, regress, learn, try again. You and your son are both doing this, but it does seem as though you are taking a lot of steps forward and not just back.

“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” -C.S. Lewis