P.S. You can and you will heal. You must take care of and nourish yourself, whatever that means and whatever it takes. Do not let anything prevent you from nourishing and loving yourself, and remove what you must to enable that to happen. In our darkest moments and in our deepest pain, we are in fact closest to God.
Charlie, thank you for writing your blog. I’m the mother of an alcoholic son. My baby, my first born. He’s 28 with a new baby. They live with my husband, younger son and I and for years he has made my life a living hell on earth. He has abused and hurt every family member and friend he has. The only reason I allowed him to move into our home is because of my new grandson and the fear I had of what would happen to him. He’s now in rehab for the 3rd time and I hope this time will work. My husband threw him out of our house yesterday because after several warnings he kept being verbally abusive to me but Monday it was going to get physical. My heart is broken and I don’t know if it will heal. I know it’s just the alcohol but he ALWAYS makes it about him and ALWAYS turns himself into the victim. To be honest, I’m ashamed because when he put his hands on me and asked me if “you wanna throw some punches” and told me I was “messing with the wrong devil” I punched him in the jaw!! That’s when my husband had enough. He was so drunk he couldn’t form a correct sentence or stand straight yet he drove home!!!! Please tell me there’s hope. The worst thing is that his girlfriend (the baby’s mother) is currently in jail and an opioid drug abuser and in turn heroine addict. What a drama I have. Why doesn’t my son see the big picture and why does he hate me so much?
He doesn’t hate you. He lashes out at you to avoid the truth about himself. Addicts and alcoholics have the most anger towards those who love them the most because a) we care what you think of us more than anyone else and b) you are usually the only people who stand in the way of us killing ourselves and using/drinking the way we want. As well, we use anger as a narcissist uses it, to turn the situation around in an effort to distort and change reality. It’s a petulant defensive mechanism, that by projecting what we are onto others and turning everything around on them, we can successfully avoid who and what we are, what we are doing, and most importantly, responsibility for our actions.
Imagine the shame he would feel if he suddenly woke up sane, clear and healthy? It’s almost as if we are so ashamed that we are blind to it. We bury our shame and lock it up in a box to pretend we are not crazy, abusive drugs addicts who are doing wrong by so many. Feeling shame, of course, would be the best thing for him, despite what you hear from these progressive nutjobs about how there is no shame in addiction and there is nothing immoral about it. Yeah, okay. Talk to some moms, some dads, some children and some spouses and then come talk to me. Everybody (including addicts) knows it’s wrong to use drugs, lose control and behave this way. He needs to be humbled in order to get better.
He is delusional, and the lashing out is standard addict behavior. None of it means anything and it certainly doesn’t mean he hates you. In fact, as nuts as it sounds, it most likely indicates that he loves you. Addicts often start fights with their loved ones purely in an effort to continue using, drinking and doing whatever we damn well please. We believe we have the right to drink and use drugs even if that comes at the expense of abusing you. I suspect that if he has the capacity to be honest with himself and ever took steps, he will deeply regret the way in which he has treated you – his mother, the woman who birthed him, sacrificed herself, raised him, changed his diapers, fed him, nurtured him, comforted him, loved him and tirelessly worked to protect and nourish him. So it is not you. His alcoholism and his behavior has nothing at all do to with you or your husband. Zero. He is simply insane and broken and by his own hands.
Addicts engage in this degree of narcissism when their minds and spirits are broken and their selfishness reaches its peak. The only way we can justify our lunacy is by seeing ourselves as (fake) victims and turning everybody who disagrees with us or who is honest with us or who tries to help us into the enemy. Addicts are the ultimate snowflakes. I will pray for him, that he in fact reaches new depths of hopelessness and finally sees the futility in alcohol as a solution… and then reaches out to God with all that is in him.
I also will pray that his pathological selfishness and abusive behavior does not scar his son to any lasting degree. To have a child as an active addict is the ultimate sin – the sin being the failure to get better, stay better, grow up and act like a responsible adult for the sake and life of your child. To me, the idea that addicts have children and fail to get better shows an unparalleled degree of cowardice, let alone immaturity and self-centeredness. That their comfort and using drugs/alcohol remains more important than the well-being of a child is nothing short of abomination.
That said, I believe with all my heart that anybody who can be honest with themselves can recover. The only people who cannot recover lack the capacity to be honest. Psychopaths. So the truth is that every addict or alcoholic out there who is capable of honesty but fails to recover, especially the ones with children, are simply cowards.
May God comfort you, nourish you, guide you and give you strength. Your resolve and your tough love is absolutely the right approach. He will ride the train as long as anyone will put up with it, as long as his loved ones will continue to shower him with privileges such as food, money, housing etc. Only when we remove these things from addicts might they have a chance to question themselves and their fate. Otherwise, his only priority will remain self-comfort and drinking alcohol. That said, I’m so happy to hear your grandson is under your roof, not only given the condition of his father but that of his mother as well. Much could probably be said about her own lack of courage and duty as a mother as well, I’m sure.