Thursday, March 22, 2012


I'm not sure if I've mentioned this in my blog before, but I'm a catastrophizer. That is, I usually expect the worst possible outcome in every situation. Kind of like a pessimist on steroids. My therapist "diagnosed" me as such a few years ago, and she hit the nail right on the head. I'm not a "glass half full" guy. I'm not even a "glass half empty" guy. I'm more like a "glass just about empty" guy. I've tried to overcome this negativity, but it's something I just can't seem to shake. I do continue to work on it, though.

So, what does this have to do with my son's situation? Because all day today, I kept thinking about his coming "home" yesterday and the circumstances around it. I kept thinking about everything he told my wife and me. That he had friends who lived in a house nearby. That they are all in recovery. And that they were willing to let him stay with them. Then I thought about him not wanting a ride to this house. And refusing to tell us where the house even is.

After thinking about it over and over, and processing everything through my brain, the catastrophizer in me came to this conclusion: I don't believe my son. That's a horrible thing to say, but I still don't trust him. I've been lied to too many times about too many different things over the years.

Obviously, my son is staying with someone close by. That's indisputable. But I'm not sure if I buy the part about him staying in a house with three other people in recovery. That sounds like something he might've concocted so that we'd say yes to his idea. I would not be at all surprised to find out that he's living with someone else. Say, another friend who may not be in recovery.

I hope I'm totally wrong about this and that it's just the catastrophizer in me messing with my head. But I can't help but think there's something fishy about the whole story. I mentioned my theory to my wife today, prefacing it with, "I hope you don't think I'm being too negative, but..." Her reply? She has her doubts about the whole story, too.

Sooner or later, the truth will come out and we'll find out if our son is lying or not. If his story turns out to be true, maybe I'll start to trust him ever so slightly for the first time in a long time. But if his story does indeed turn out to be fabricated, I will be incredibly disappointed. Whatever the outcome, though, I will learn from it and move on.


  1. First of all,..I'm so sorry for what you're going through & your son's latest situation. I can relate to it very much. And it's easy to see why your thoughts first fly to the negative. In fact,..I find it's a form of mental discipline (that's not natural ) to get myself to not go w/ the negative thoughts of what will next occur for my son. I have to sometimes force myself to replace the negative scenario in my mind with another positive image/thought that I've come up with,...just for this purpose !

    But really,...don't apologize for not trusting your son. I'd think it wouldn't be sensible to trust him now. He could be telling you something true,...but it also could be total b.s.. That's what using addicts do,...lie. It's just the reality of how the disease works. Obviously we all hate it & it hurts.

    I'll be thinking of you & checking back here & have added your son to my prayer list. You said it best when you said that really, only other patents of addicts understand. We do,..& we care

  2. trust is something earned...
    when we have a child with an addiction; trust is so far down the list...

    like you said time will tell; and you have every right to be disappointed....

  3. It is so hard because you gave him to enjoy and live to its fullest...not to self destruct. He has made the choice not to take the bull by the horns and see the great things he could be achieving, but it is not too late. He is young and resilient and has a great support system if he chooses to turn his life into a wonderful and spectacular journey of sobriety. Until then, it is not your responsibility to make him whole. He has to want that and work for it. Whether or not he is lying to you doesn't matter because he is an adult and needs to have the freedom to make choices, albeit they might be bad ones. He also needs to deal with the consequences of those choices and not seek the rescue or approval of you and your wife. Once he learns you are alright with him living however HE chooses, maybe he will want better things for himself. This is just an outsider looking in and I can't imagine how desperately you want to fix the problems he has but unfortunately it is out of your control. You can't and won't be able to do it for him. Much love and faith to you all!!!

  4. You know what? He's an adult. He should get no reward from you for behaving like an adult; that should be the *expectation.* Therefore, where he's living is, in a sense, immaterial, because it's his business because he's an adult and it's his life. You certainly can be disappointed in his choices, and feel sad about his choices because you love and care about him, and you can be angry if he lied to you (and since you said it first, the story sounded fishy to me, too). But just like YOU get to make the rules about YOUR home, so does he.

    *HOWEVER*...if someone wanted to come to my home but didn't allow me to go to their home (or even know where it is!), they would probably NOT be welcome in my home. Because I'm an adult and that's MY choice. People shouldn't expect to be treated better than they treat others (and you learn THAT lesson on the playground).

    My long-winded point is (and I'm sorry if I sound like I'm lecturing; I'm trying to give you tough love and strength): You cannot control what he chooses to do. You CAN control what you allow him to do to YOU and yours, including taking advantage of you. And you SHOULD take action to limit the hurt he can cause you, for his sake as well as everyone else's. Ultimately, he loves you back and really doesn't want to hurt you; it's the disease that is the enemy, not him.

    I KNOW that's all easy for me to say, and not even remotely easy to actually do, because you love and care and worry and feel his pain no matter what. But I say it because I think you need to hear it over and over. It's ultimately in his best interests, your best interests, and your family's best interests.

    And it SUCKS. So does being a catastrophizer, believe you me. But recognizing that fault is the first step, right? ;)

  5. I see things sort of differently in regards to my recovering adult son who is currently in a sober home. Yes, he is an adult. Yes, he is free to make his own decisions. No, he is not allowed to have secrets when it comes to major recovery issues. Why? Because his dad and I have helped support his recovery financially, emotionally and just about every other way. We have a right to know, if only out of parental respect. That doesn't mean we can necessarily tell him yes or no, provided he isn't asking for any help from us...but he is not allowed the privilege of privacy at this point.

    People who have nothing to hide, hide nothing.

    I hope your son finds his way, and that you find the strength to not "go there" in your head. I struggle with that constantly myself.