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Dear Dr. DeFoore,
I stayed in a volatile, violent relationship with my first love who I was trying to help with his drug problem to the detriment of my son. He was not my son's dad, but is my daughters. He died in 2007.
From the day he died, my son (who previously smoked cannabis) went quickly on to heroin. He has been in a young offenders program three times and has just finished a 12 month sentence.
To try to help my boy, we have moved to a new area 150 miles away from our home town to try to make a fresh start. He really doesn't want to be on drugs and in and out of prison all his life (or worse, dead). But he is full of anger towards my ex and probably more--and rightly so--towards me.
I should have protected my boy and I let him down in the worst way possible. The 12 months he was inside the young offenders program, he had no drugs at all. He was released on 13 Jan 2010. However, two nights ago, we had an argument and he packed his bags to go back to our home town. He didn't have enough money to get there.
While out he came across some drug addicts and bought dehydracodine. The bottom line is when he gets angry he wants drugs because they take the anger and the pain away. He is such a nice lad and just wants to get a job and get on with his life, which is great, as that's half the battle. However he really needs help asap.
I hope to hear from you soon,
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Catriona, and thanks for telling your story on this site. It is clear that you love your son very much, and want what is best for him. I will try to help you.
Unfortunately, I can't help him, because it's not him that I'm writing to. You asked for help here, not him.
You say he is a good lad, and wants to do the right thing. I suggest that you let him go, and don't try to help him in any way. Love him, pray for him (if that works for you), but do not help him. Your efforts to help him will probably do more harm than good at this point. He needs to grow up and take total responsibility for his life, and interacting with you will make him feel like a kid, not a man.
Focus on yourself, and let go of your guilt (I'll help you with that in a minute). Helping out of guilt never helps. Focus on what makes you happy, and what betters you as a person. That is where all of your attention needs to go. Leave your son's well being to him.
Meanwhile, do the journaling processes you will find on this page, and that will help you in shifting your focus. Write about your own personal history. And write a letter of apology to your son--but don't give it to him. Just do this for yourself.
Then, in order to deal with your own past pain, use these imagery processes for emotional healing, and that will help you tremendously.
You also need to forgive yourself, Catriona. "Fixing" your son won't do it. That's his job.
Believe in yourself Catriona, and believe in your son--and let him go.
My very best to you,
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