Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Same old story, different house

We had a family meeting with the three-quarter house program director on Monday. Me, my wife, and our son. This was a meeting to discuss our son’s progress; or, as it turns out, the lack thereof.

We thought things had been going pretty well with our son. He had sent us text messages saying that he thought he might want to stay at the three-quarter house longer than 30 days. On Saturday he came home for a short visit and packed up more clothes and personal items (books, CDs, etc.) to take back to the house with him. And late Saturday night, he even sent my sister an e-mail telling her that the place wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, that he had awesome roommates, etc. That e-mail really gave us hope.

Unfortunately, it seems my son has spent the last few weeks at the three-quarter house just hanging out, and not doing everything he should’ve been doing. The list of “violations” that we heard sounded all too familiar: Not getting up on time. Not looking for employment regularly. Not doing chores, or not doing them properly. Etc. It sounded like my son had taken his same old behaviors and just transferred them to another house. Which, I think, is why he thought the place wasn't so bad. But, as the program director stressed, the three-quarter house is not a place to “hang out.” There’s a routine that needs to be followed. And our kid was not following it.

The director of the house my son is staying in wanted him gone on Monday. The program director read us a text message that the house director had sent him that morning. It said our son “has to go.” But, after some discussion, the program director decided to give our son one more week to see if he can turn things around. Our son, who was pretty upset about everything that was going down, reluctantly agreed to that. To be perfectly honest, though, I’m not sure he’ll be able to turn things around, primarily because it doesn’t seem like he wants to.

So, we have another meeting scheduled for this coming Tuesday. That’s “D-Day.” If our kid has turned things around and is starting to get with the program, we’ll write a check for another month's rent and he’ll stay at the three-quarter house longer. But if he hasn’t started to turn things around by Tuesday, he’s done there. And we’ve told him that if that happens, he’s not coming home. I’m not sure where he’ll go—maybe a shelter or something—but my wife and I have pretty much come to the conclusion that we can’t keep living the way we’ve been living with our son at home. It’s just a drain on everyone. And I don’t think we can take it anymore. Now, if he turns things around, and then wants to come home, that’s something we can probably work out. But if he thinks he’s going to come back home and crawl right back into the same rut he was in before he left, he’s going to have a wake-up call coming.

I pray to God that my son will figure some things out over the next few days and start acting like someone who wants to change; who wants to mature; who wants to turn a corner and start living the way someone his age should live. But I’m not sure it’ll happen. And I’m terrified to think of what we’ll have to do if it doesn’t.


  1. It's Kristen... I just wanted you to know that you are all in my thoughts every day. many hugs

  2. Ugh. I get it. I've also decided that my son can NOT come home, as much as I would like HIM home, I don't want to take any chance that the ADDICT in him will return. Easier to keep them out than to kick them out.

    I hope this was a wake up call to your son. Does he know he can't go home?

    I feel really sad all of a sudden. I think its sadness for all the parents who's lives are thrown into this turmoil if they like it or not. Not how most of us planned on spending this part of our lives.

  3. I want to scream at your kid. In his face. On your behalf. I'm sure you've done that.....repeatedly. We love you.

  4. I think I wrote this post.

    Our son went into his first Rehab program about 2 years ago. A couple more programs and several 3/4 houses we are again.
    He has been in his current 3/4 home for a week. Before this , it was about a month on the streets.
    Every new 3/4 house, I think "This is it. This one and these people will make the difference."
    In reality, it is my son that will make the difference.
    Detachment has been easier the past year as he is now about 4 hours away. Coming home is not an easy option.
    Praying for you and your son and all of us affected by this disease.
    My God can move mountains, I pray that today, he will move my son.