It’s the fourth morning that son 1 has been exiled. Sons 2 and 3 and I have been busy, the Den has been cleaned and rearranged so that Son 2 can have his band practice in there, and son3 can use the running machine and gym equipment. Now that it’s no longer a health hazard, filthy and messy (and coincidentally has, at last proper windows and a lockable hardwood door) they are re claiming their share of what was always supposed to be a shared space for the kids.

I have blitzed son1’s room, reorganised, cleaned and removed unnecessary stuff. A trip to the dump will be required at the weekend, but home feels calmer, cleaner and more settled.

On a less positive note, after two nights my ex husband says he cannot have son1 any longer and turns up on Thursday evening on my doorstep with son1 and his stuff. Son1 is defiant, unrepentant and angry. He refuses to apologise, ex husband reiterates that he ‘cannot’ have son1 at his mothers house any longer. I, massively put on the spot, say that he will be welcome home when he can accept and live by my rules. Son1 stomps off.


Now that the threat of having to actually step up and get on with it is passed exH back tracks and says ‘of course he CAN stay’ … but son1 has made his way to my mothers house. This is better for him, since Granny will be sympathetic, will look for excuses for his behaviour, is a soft touch, and has WiFi ….

this is BAD for my relationship with her, for my brothers relationship with both son1 and her, and potentially for my brothers relationship with me, which, given that he is my most important source of sensible, unbiased, relevant advice fills me with dread.

All of us, stuck between a rock and a hard place, forced there by the unacceptable behaviour of a 19 year old messed up kid.

and what of him? My sponsor made a perceptive comment yesterday, she asked me if I was going to talk to him about his drug addiction? I hadn’t heard thought of him as a drug addict. And she pointed out that his drug taking has already had significant consequences for him, he’s lost his place to live… and when I think of it like that they have been other consequences too …. there is an addiction and recovery chart that I used with my sponsor, I’ve reproduced it below…

Now I don’t know how far down that slippery slope he is, but certainly some apply .. “work and money troubles”; “unreasonable resentments” and “excuses”…

I know he will say he’s not physically dependent, and I agree with that, but I’m beginning to look at him not so much as a recalcitrant, obstinate, lazy, teenager, but as a troubled, psychologically dependent addict.

And I know a bit about addiction.

I’m not so arrogant and stupid (or Co-dependent) that I think I can fix him, (and I will need to guard against this) but this relationship breakdown is probably at least partly about his compulsion to manage his frustration and emotion by numbing it with drugs …

Of course it’s partly about my stronger, more focussed self laying down boundaries and insisting on them being respected. That’s a change, and it takes some getting used to for the children.

So he will be visiting us later, for a “talk” … and I think I will start with that chart, which at least opens up a conversation…

wish me luck !



  1. Hug
    Remember. He is young and still experimenting, trying to both find himself and defy the world.
    The likelihood he would accept being called an addict is very low, and choosing sobriety or abstinence also very unlikely.
    Discussing harm reduction and personal safety is definitely worthwhile, however.

    As for your family…my only advice is to refuse to discuss son1 with any of them. You have made your requirements for him to live with you clear. They must do the same.

    Hugs and love

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are right, he is young and I don’t expect him to embrace sobriety , but the conversation about consequences is a slight re-framing of his ‘harmless’ marijuana smoking … 🙂 Lily xx


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