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Old 04-19-2010, 10:26 AM   #1
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What can we do?

I am new to the boards and I need someone to talk to. I just do not know who to talk to about this. My situation is regarding my son in-law who is addicted to pills.

He just got out of the hospital after a 7 week stay due to pancreititis that almost killed him. He is only 26 years old as is my daughter. This is not the first time he has been in the hospital for this but the longest and the closest to death.

My daughter is ready to get a devorce as she has had enough but is so worried that he will just kill himself with drinking and pills.

I just found out that in November he broke into my daughter's employers house looking for pills and that he also broke into the neighbor's house for the same reason, he was caught both times. I am devistated by this news.

I think my daughter deserves a new life, we have had a tough almost 4 years as my son was in an accident that left him paralized.

I am also afraid that my son in-law will just kill himself with out my daughter and I am also afraid that he will hurt her as he is just not stable. He has never been violent with her ever, but you see it in the news all the time.

I want the best for both of them but I am afraid that he is not ready to change and with his pain he is now on pills everyday and was back in the hospital due to taking too many pain pills!!!

I just want to cry and I just feel so empty, all we ever wanted was a good life for our kids and now we have one that will never walk again and one that is living in hell.

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Old 04-19-2010, 11:37 AM   #2
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Re: What can we do?


Sorry for your situation.

Just wanted to share with you that we can not let someone's addiction paralyze us into no action. It is not healthy for anyone involved.

I suggest that you and daughter get to some Nar-Anon or Al-anon meetings pronto to gain understanding and knowledge that will help you develop a plan of action. At these meetings you will gain not only insight, but also comapassion and understanding from others who are or have been in the same boaI don't know if Daughter's marriage can be saved, but I do know that if this it not addressed, she will die spiritually more and more each day.

Best wishes

Old 04-19-2010, 01:07 PM   #3
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Re: What can we do?

Wow 2ndmom! I am so terribly sorry for everything that you and your family have been dealing with these last 4 years. It sounds like it has been a really tough road for all of you!!!! My heart just breaks when I read stories like yours.

I am Secrets and it's a pleasure to meet you. You have found the right place! There are so many wonderful members on this board that will help you along the way. I am a recovering pain pill addict myself. It's been a really long and horrible road but I have learned a lot along the way.

Your son in law obviously has a problem and I am sorry to hear that! It's unfortunate "how" many of us pain pill addicts have become addicted. For most of us (I don't know if this is the same for your son in law) we had an injury or illness that we medically needed pain medication for. We had to be on the pain pills due to severe pain and never intended to have a problem, it just happened. I swear one day I didn't have a problem taking my pills as prescribed and the next day BAM, something changed and I went from getting pain relief and feeling groggy and tired to feeling like a million bucks and that I was super woman. I had never felt better in my life and from that moment on, I was hooked. A lot of the stories are very similar to mine so I was just wondering if his was too. A person can recover from this though when "they" are truly ready and unfortunatly not until then.

I feel very terrible for the situation your daughter is in!!! First and foremost she needs to take care of herself. That is the BOTTOM LINE. I am glad he is not physically abusive but the mental anguish he is causing her is far more damaging in my opinion. I understand that you both fear that if she leaves him he will die but you can't put that on yourselves. He is a grown man and HE has to be able to take care of himself. If he is not ready to seek help and get treatment than I think it's time for your daughter to put her foot down and stand up for herself. Maybe it's time to move on because too much damage has been done to be able to repair?? That is something only she will know the answer to. I always am one to fight to the end for a marriage but certain situations are just not healthy to be in.

Now, being he has this medical condition that he needs the pills for it makes it tough for her to say "If you don't stop taking the pills I am going to do X, Y or Z" I assume he will not have to be on pills everyday for the rest of his life??? Maybe I am wrong. You said he was back in the hospital because he took too many pills?? Is that why his pancreas acted up? I would assume that if he was in the hospital because of the pill addiction than his Dr's would know about this problem? If so, I would think they would be monitoring him closely. Maybe you could elaborate more on that for us. The more info we know the better advice can be given.

I just am still so saddened by your story. I am sorry to hear about your son's accident! What a tragic thing to have happen. I am thankful he survived but that is a very difficult situation to live with. Your family must be so strong.

Please make yourself at home here and feel free to ask any questions.. We are here for you! Hang in there and please know I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Also, I would suggest your daughter and maybe even yourself to show support for her attend some Nar-anon meetings. She will learn so much and have great support there.


Old 04-19-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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Re: What can we do?

Thank you for your replys. My son in-law's doctor knows about his addiction and yes he did have an illness many years ago, cancer as a child. As got older his pancres ducts did not devleop fully, he was told not to drink.

Taking pain pills for his first bout with pancreities got him hooked before that he was abusing Jack Daneils and that was what got him sick.

When my son was in icu the first few days my son in-law was so upset he ened up in the ER due to his pancres, so stress does set it off also.

He now just destroyed his health and will never be the same as part of his pancres is dead. We are still not sure of the long term affects as he is still on a feeding tube. He is staying with his mother who is a nurse for the time being, oh and she was a pill addic also!

My son is so upset about this also as he would give anything to be healthy and up walking around and living a full life with a wife and a home. This is just too much for all of us.

I have advised my daughter for weeks now to go see a counsler, she just is so busy, she works a full time job and works 3 nights a week at a 2nd job, son in-law does not work, fired 2 yrs ago for taking too much time off.

son in-law was over this week-end for a few hours to visit my son,they are very close. He told my husband that he wanted to go to school and was done with all the other stuff. That is easyer said then done, and he made no mention of going for treatment.

My daughter has been so angry this past year and she is so unhappy, she loves children and wants a family and to fix up thier little house, and it is a very little 2 bedroom. She has 2 college degrees and really wants to start living her life.

When in college she worked 2 part-time jobs and school full time and she graduated with honors. She is a very hard worker and she does not give up easy and really she told me she is 78% sure she wants to be alone.

I have no idea where the 78% came from! Anyway she has more money now then when he was home and I will tell you I had to help them out every month. He just drains money out of all of us and is sucking the joy out life for all of us.

My husband is very matter of fact we have to stay out of it and I am but it is so painful. And my son in-law when upset does come to me and crying and I help him as much as I can.

I just feel so sad and listless and I am on anti depressents already due to the trauma of my sons accident.

Well I really do not want to talk to my family or friends about this situation so thank you very much for being here.

Old 04-20-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Re: What can we do?

Ok today I am mad, I am mad at my daughter for staying with this person for so many years. They started dating in high school and he was never respecfull to me or my home and was not very nice to my son back then either.

Why would she date someone who was not nice to her family and after high school he did not get a job as his father said he has his whole life to work so take a year off. Guess who paid for everything? my daughter, and anyone else he could borrow money from.

I always felt sorry for him as his mom was not in the picture and I bought things for him and when they got an apartment it had to be the best!!!

He did get a job then and I still had to help out every month, I did not have to and I did so that was my fault. I never should have done that I spent alot of money that I could have used.

Over the years he was resentful of our family as he said his family was no good, I would say his father is no good but his mother and her family all own their bussiness or are in professional positions???? His father brain-washing him against his mother.

He is so screwed up and needed couseling before all this. And he called now looking for the house key to his house I have the spare as I go take care of the dog. He is out with his dad and they want to get something to eat!!!!

His stomach meds are there, why isn't he going to see someone about couseling, marriage or other wise????

That's another thing today I was going to go to my daughter's house and clean out her garage as spring pick-up is this week and she has a ton of things to get rid of so she can put her car in the garage.

Why am I doing this??? I am 54 years old and I want and I need to live along time for my son, I need to out live him so I can not deal with this kind of stress. It is killing me.

I love them all do not get me wrong, I do love my son in-law but I just want to strangle him. Why, why can't he just want to live a good proud life?

I have always taken pride in my honesty and work eithic and being a good person who is always learning something new.

I like to party, I was in the bars at 17 and still like my beer but I control it and my family comes first not my self so no way would I be able to be an addic as my son needs me too much.

Oh and my son is in constant pain but likes to have his mind clear to think and do things so he does not take any pain pills of any kind. Once in awhile he smokes some pot as that helps.

He is a smart kid and he wants to be able to think clearly, I guess my son in-law would rather not think and just lay around thinking he is cool.

Well I have left alot here and I do want some answers as to why???

Old 04-20-2010, 12:57 PM   #6
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Re: What can we do?

Even though you can't see it, your family has been enabling him. I know that you don't mean to, but without intervention your whole family will continue the enabling cycle.
Have you thought of therapy? There are some low cost but terrific counseling offices that offer one on one and family therapy. At the very least you yourself need some support.

I'm not saying it will be easy by any stretch, but you and your daughter and your son will have to get on the same page and stop rescuing him. You can learn how to do that with counseling. It will be a team effort- if one of you "caves" then it is useless.

Good luck to you, and please seek help! (its out there!). I wish you some solace and the very best. I am very sorry about your son and his accident. Take care.

Last edited by River rocks; 04-20-2010 at 12:57 PM.

Old 04-20-2010, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: What can we do?

I've come to learn from reading here that I am not as giving as many people are. The thing is, I'm generous to a fault ( to my determent ) when the person I am giving to is deserving of my help. But when that person has shown time and time again that they are not going to pick up and help themselves, I move on. This is something that I've changed to as I've aged. I wasn't this way even 10 years ago. But after years of being used, I've learned that fate tossing you into life with someone at 20 does not mean you have to sacrifice yourself to them and be in their same pain[/U] at 40.

Basically I sometimes think that relationship expire. It certainly sounds like your daughter was trying to fix this fellow and he's not getting fixed. If he doesn't want to get better, what more can your familiy do? It sounds like your daughter is growing away from him and ready to stop carrying the load of trying to fix another adult who doesn't want to be fixed.

In your SIL's defense, he is in a terrible situation where he had real pain and a terrible family situation to support him to manage it. But then you circle back and realize a lot of his issues were caused by his earlier abuse of Jack Daniels and other things. At some point he has to man up and face his own burden.

None of it's easy. But it's really your daughter's first call. If she stays with him, you have to deal. If she leaves him, then you have to help her move on. I do not envy your situation.

Old 04-20-2010, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: What can we do?

I didn't read everybodies respnonses so I hope I dont repeat anything but I did see the one where you said you were mad at your daughter for staying with her husband for so long. My mom was very angry with me after my husband died because of the boyfriend I ended up with. He was bad.....alcoholic, drug addict....really really bad. And I stayed with him. I'm pregnant now, and it wasnt until this happened that I was able to look around and say OMG! This is a bad situation and I need out! Im still ashamed, and embarassed of my behavior, and what I put my family through. But I was so lonely, and so afraid that it didnt matter anymore who it was, just that somebody was there. I cant say exactly why your daughter stays, but if my guess is correct, it is fear of the unknown. Many times I thought about throwing my ex out but I was afraid of being alone again so I didnt. You can support her, and tell her that everything will be ok like my mom did for me, but until she gets completely fed up and realizes for herself that the fear of the unknown isn't half as bad as what she is going through, she wont be able to make that change. Who knows how long that could take, it could be tomorrow or 10 years from now. You see, you can try to comfort her, but at the end of the day, she's goes to bed alone with all of the fear, and it swims around her and paralyzes her. You have two options. You can either pull some sort of intervention with her....but I'm against it because a lot of people come around just for the drama of it all and promise a lot of things that sound great but they dont follow through. In 2 weeks, everybody elses life is back to normal but hers is still torn apart. Your other option is to just absolutely, 100% be there for her, assure her every step of the way, and let her know that no matter what happens you love her and will be there. Someday, reguardless, things will change. Nothing ever stays the same forever. Stay strong and best wishes.

Old 04-20-2010, 05:00 PM   #9
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Re: What can we do?

All of you are right, we need counseling and we need to stop helping him. I think my daughter is ready to move on she said since he has been gone, in the hospital, she has been much happier and has lots more money to pay bills.

I am afraid for him and I guess I really need to just think of my daughters well being and happyness. I know she will be fine once she moves on I can not say the same about him.

Today going to the house and he was trying to get something, has he wondered how the house is, no, has he talked about counseling, no. So we are just banging our heads against a brick wall. No matter what I will do what I can to get him to counseling.

His father told him his long stay in the hospital was his therapy!!!! He just does not get it and wants to baby his son. That is the last thing he needs.

I do not want to get in the middle of anything if he will not seek help with my guidance then I will back away. I will always be there for my daughter no matter what.

Part of greiving is the anger and it helps in order for me to have them both stand on thier own two feet.

Man up is what my sons always says and that is a fact of life.

Thanks everyone I will do my best.

Old 04-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #10
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Re: What can we do?

One more thing to add. There is no sense in waiting around for someone to decide to get help. Thay may never do it, and you are left with your lives on hold, picking up the pieces while you "wait" for their change.
What does make sense is to change what you have control over. You personally can go to counseling. Learn how to stop the cycle of enabling, understand your part in the cycle, and maybe you can convince your daughter too seek counseling to learn also. She sounds ready...ready to move on. May be this is the time to encourage her to seek support. You both need to learn the tools to be strong when he continues to live his life without changing.
You can change, and thats all you can do. Your change will shift the dynamic of his dendancy on you (and the whole family) who had been used to giving into him.

Last edited by River rocks; 04-21-2010 at 09:03 AM.

Old 04-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #11
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Re: What can we do?

I do think that we will have to be the ones to seek counseling as I talked to him the other day and suggested he be the one to find a marriage counselor and he thought that was a great idea and he was going to do it. yeah right. He called the next day and did not mention it and was planning on coming over to visit my son.

It seems that as long as he thinks something is a good idea then he is doing the right thing by not even doing it but just thinking about it. He is staying at his mothers as she is a nurse and he still has the feeding tube in. He was thinking of going home to his and my daughter's house next week, she is not ready.

He is not ready, his mother is out of town for a few days and his father will be taking care of his pills as he told me he still does not trust himself. My daughter will not be able to live with that, if she has to baby sit him and the fact that he still has the feeding tube in.

I really want my daughter to go to counselings but so far she has only looked up some names and has not made the call yet. She just does not want to deal with it and is trying not to think about it.

There is only so much I can do and I do not want to get in the middle of thier marriage as we all know that can cause more harm then good and resentment by all parties.

I wish she would just tell him that she is not ready for him to come home and that he has to make some major changes to show he wants to change. They need to work together on this.

He needs to at least talk to a marriage counslor and so should she. And if it takes a year before he goes home so be it, he needs to have at least a part-time job or be going to school as he has said he has wanted to do for years. We have a very good tech. shcool here and I did pay for one class last summer for him to attend. I am not sure he finished it he said he did but I am not so sure about that.

I have the day off so I am going out of town to visit a cousin and get away. It seems I am the only one trying to deal with the situation here and the two people who should be are just hoping it goes away!!!

Old 04-23-2010, 10:55 AM   #12
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Re: What can we do?

Enjoy your day away!! You need it :-)

You said it right... you can only do so much. You can beg, plead, cry even demand, but if someone won't get help you have no control over it.
I know you hate seeing your daughter in a bad situation. Thinking of my own daughter it would kill me to see her in such madness- with a man who is plainly addicted and destructive.
All you can do is continue to encourage her to seek help and to make boundaries with him. You can even go so far as to help her make the appointment with a counselor. But of course you can't make her absorb the information or really grasp what the couselor tell her...that will have to up to her.
Encouraging her to do the right thing and get help, and supporting her as your daughter is fine..but you have to draw a line between that and allowing her actions to suck you in and bring you down with her. By her actions, what I mean is her inaction, dragging her feet or pretending everything will work out. Not taking action is a choice...and its a bad one.
Its a tough spot for a mom. You just want to comfort your children even as adults.. you just want them to be happy. But what happens when they refuse to take actions to ensure their own happiness? As hard as it can't change it. All you can do is talk to her, say a prayer for her (and for him) and encourage them.
You'll have to set boundaries now yourself. Its hard... but it sounds like at this time the only one willing to see change is you.
Hang in there...and keep us posted.

Last edited by River rocks; 04-23-2010 at 10:58 AM.

Old 04-23-2010, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: What can we do?

he needs more than a marriage counselor, he needs an addictions counselor, and possibly rehab, and your daughter doesn't need a marriage counselor, she needs a good divorce lawyer. Sorry, I just don't see him changing.....
I hope your daughter gets strong and does the right thing.

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