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I’m So Tired of Fighting and Living Like This

couple tension woman's fists clenched

AiR member mlb2t wrote in about her son and feels she’s at the end of her rope:

“After almost 15 years of going through living with a drug addict I am giving up on my middle son. I believe he is beyond hope. Just when I think things can't get any worse or he can't do anything more to hurt the family he does one more thing. His sense of entitlement is beyond belief and living with him I find it hard to believe that drug addiction is a disease. I recently had total knee surgery and as much as I tried to hide the pain medication and carry it with me at all times he stole half of it. How can one feel for a person like this and how can I even call him my son or have any love for him? I feel terrible saying this, but he is not the son that I raised at an earlier age. The son that was so brilliant that he wanted to become a vet. Now all he can boast is that he is a drug addict and a thief. He not only steals from me but he also steals from his brother. He blames me for everything in his life.

I have given up my life and spent it trying to help him. I want to live and enjoy the rest of my life. When I thought I was safe because I had no more pain med he stole gabapentin from me. He knows how bad a neuropathy I got from the surgery because he saw me in tears many a morning before it was prescribed to me and he just steals it. I have lost it so much with him lately screaming at him, hitting him and even spitting at him once. I know this is not the proper behavior and I just beat myself up after I do it. He has no remorse, calls me names and says that I never gave him anything but that I still give my daughter everything. She has a good job and pays for everything herself. If we do anything together we split the bill.

I am so tired of crying, I am so tired of fighting and living like this. I am at the end of my rope. I have given up.”

(For the history of our Discussion with mlb2t, see My Son’s Going Nowhere and He Refuses to Leave)

How you have held up through the alcoholism of your husband, and the drug addiction of both your sons is beyond comprehension. For those of us who struggle with the substance problems of a loved one, imagine what it would be like to have three in the family.

Your middle son has stolen from you, and it feels deeply personal. He took pills you need to relieve your pain. How could anyone who truly loves you do that?

Explaining the inexplicable

How to explain this shocking and hurtful behavior? Active addiction takes over the mind and body. It screams “GET THAT DRUG!” and the body vibrates with the command orchestrated from deep within. “GET OUT OF MY WAY!” Mind/body/soul are wracked with discomfort. Seeking relief becomes the sole objective, overriding any rational thought.

Families are easy targets: the jewelry, the bank accounts, the medicine cabinets.  “You are the problem,” your son says. He blames you and plays with your emotions by comparing your treatment of your daughter with your treatment of him.

So scream, spit at him, and forgive yourself for being so tired you couldn’t rise above it.

Lock the door and take care of yourself. Get your strength back. For today, give up.

Then, when you’re ready …

When you’ve recovered some strength, take a fresh look at the post we wrote earlier in response to your situation.  It lays out how to get a Loved One out who refuses to leave home. 



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)