Been a long time.... things are still bad unfortunately!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Winnielg, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    Hi Everyone -
    After much discussion and more violent episodes, we have moved difficult child out of the house. I feel like there is so much to say, and I do not know where to start. Here are the highlights (or low-lights depending on how you look at it!)
    • Due to some issues with some college money his grandparents put into a trust when he was born, I still cannot get difficult child on Medicaid or SSI. So - working on that. However, I was able to find an agency that I can pay for community habilitation services until he is on Medicaid (services include organization, adapting to community, hygiene, living issues, etc.)
    • We moved him to an apt on the busline, near the community college he wants to attend and are paying for it and all of his expenses with the trust money until we can get it down to a Medicaid allowed number - hopefully August. So, in other words not really kicked out, but placed elsewhere because he is too violent to live in our home.
    • The move was terrible - he was verbally abusive the whole week before, was not prepared and disappeared the day before not contacting us and did not come home until the middle of the night.

    The results - HORRIBLE. He decided in his delusional world, that he is an independent adult, can live in filth, does not have to talk to us, the service providers, his extended family (not returning ANY calls), etc. We kicked him out, so we do not deserve to know of his existence. So, after two weeks, we gave him a list of expectation which included the minimal things he needed to adhere to in order for us to pay for 8 credits of community college (he thinks he is a musical prodigy destined for greatness) and for safety reasons, minimal things he needs to do in order for us to keep him in an apt. These are (in his mind ridiculous and demanding things):

    All appointments for services (listed all out in detail) must be kept
    Active participation in the college pilot program and the Community Hab programs
    All phone calls (or facebook conversations) received from parents, landlord and service providers (again listed out) must be returned within 24 hours with no exceptions
    We expect you to take your medicine as prescribed. Your pill container will be checked weekly by a parent or service provider
    Apartment must be secure every time you leave; this includes doors locked, downstairs curtains closed, and bike secured
    Landlord must be notified within 24 hours of apartment issues/repairs needed
    You must be actively looking and applying for employment and get a job
    Maintain reasonable sanitary conditions in residence (we listed a few things - the landlord has a pest inspection monthly)

    Well difficult child FLIPPED out - said he would not go along with any of it and told us to F off. We said if he decided not to, that was his choice, but then we would not pay for any credits. Anyway, as you can imagine, this conversation went from bad to worse and we left.

    Fast forward to this past Saturday, two weeks later. He was again not speaking with us. My husband had one good interaction with him (so 1 day of 30) last week where difficult child was a bit self deprecating and admitted he needed help with some of these living things. But then nothing - he missed his therapy appointment and did not respond to phone calls from her. We are positive he is not taking his medications (includes Lithium, Lamictal, Abilify and Welbutrin) and now I am waiting for him to become violent in the community and get arrested. Then Saturday he called and my husband had a thoroughly abusive conversation with difficult child, where my husband was calm and concise (I was very impressed and proud of him) explaining to difficult child what he needed to do for us to continue to support him financially with difficult child yelling and screaming at him in full rage, blame deflection aggressive menacing mode. The only difference between this and past interaction is - it was on the phone so no violent ending! That is the one positive thing in ALL of this - we can come home whenever we want and do not have to fear for our lives on a regular basis - can once again sleep at night not worrying he will hurt us while we sleep.

    But, my husband continually beats himself up even though EVERY service provider continually tells us we have done more and have gone over and beyond what they normally see in their clients and families.

    The problem now is that at 18 he can refuse services, all have to be voluntary - which I already knew from reading so many of your posts - witsend, JKF, recovering enabler... :)

    I have no clue what is going to happen next or how to prepare my husband for the fact that difficult child might end up being homeless because he is refusing all help. My husband was like "well I have no issue paying for the apt until the trust $$ runs out". My response - "And then what??"

    I know I am leaving out TONS, but that is pretty much it in a nutshell.

  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You guys are both doing great! I am so happy for you to not have the worry of if you will be safe every day of your life!!!!

    Stay strong.....he will come around. Let others handle much of the instruction. You 2 should step back a bit more.
  3. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Everyone, even parents of difficult children, has the right to be able live in their home without fear that they will be harmed. You have gone above and beyond. Though Son, turned 17 last week, has not made me feel afraid for my physical safety, I am fearing what will happen when he turns 18. As it is now, EVERY DAY I have to chase him down to take his medications. He has vowed to stop taking them when he's 18. That makes me fear for him and for us. difficult child's thinking is "out there" when on medications, I shiver to think about if he stops.

    Bottom line is that your difficult child is ultimately in charge. If he ends up being homeless, it will ultimately be from his choices.

    *Stay strong and DO NOT allow him back on your home.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have literally done everything you can do. I understand hoping that independence might help and then realizing that it's just not likely to happen. I have no answers, of course, but am sending supportive hugs your way. DDD
  5. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    The hardest thing, next to the pain of watching our children suffer and fall, is faulting ourselves for what is happening to them. I found your requirements for your difficult child to be entirely appropriate. I think it was very helpful for difficult child that you listed the requirements clearly and simply.

    Maybe they resent our help so much because they know, on some level, that it is the difference in themselves that makes this kind of help necessary, and so they rail against it. It makes sense that your son would have come to believe his problems would all be behind him, once he became an adult. It must be frightening to understand you are not going to grow up and be fine, after all.

    Do you think he might be more accepting if you put a time limit on the requirements? Like, if he cooperates with the check-ins and is doing well for three months, then you would require the checks every other month for the next six months?

  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh boy Winnie, I am so sorry you have had all of this on your plate for so long, whew, what a remarkably challenging path you've been on. I have to acknowledge you for taking this on when he is not your bio son, God bless you for that, you have done an exemplary job, and if there is a notch above exemplary, you've actually done that...............and your husband too. I wish I could wave a wand over both of you and proclaim this experience officially over so you both could let go and rest and not think you have more to do.

    I have empathy for husband beating himself up over his son's behaviors, I've done that, I know many of us have done that, but it does nothing but offer suffering...........tell that to husband, he did everything he could possibly do and now it's time to accept what is, forgive yourself for any real or IMAGINED wrong doings or responsibilities and let go. At some point there is a time when you have to say to yourself, I have done enough, I am done. I hope you and your husband have received counseling and professional help along the way to keep yourself supported,.......... this is a horribly draining, devastating path to be on without support,.......... having someone to be there for YOU TWO, giving you reality checks and making sure you really understand that you've done all you can do is, in my opinion, essential.

    You know that statistically speaking there is a high percentage of folks diagnosed with Bipolar and in fact many different mental illnesses who are not medication compliant, often make extremely poor choices not in the realm of reality and bring much pain to their families with their choices and behaviors,............ so you are on a treacherous path with your son, he is likely to continue this behavior until he meets the streets or the law, whichever one comes first.

    You have been living in a kind of hell few people can really understand. Being on the inside of mental illness lends itself to much self doubt, self searching, trying and trying to find answers and fix it, when sometimes there really is nothing we can do. And that level of powerlessness for us parents is very, very difficult to accept. But not accepting it is even more crazy-making.

    Whether your husband spends the trust money for your sons needs or not isn't going to matter much in the big picture, as you said, "and then what?" husband may need some serious counseling to get behind detachment, it sounds as if you have a better handle on it then he does. He is not responsible for this and he is going to run out of options to help at some point and will be faced with some difficult choices,............ having a professional to assist when those choices arise will help enormously.

    You've made a very good choice in removing difficult child from your home so you can be safe. Detachment comes in stages, you may want to read the article at the bottom of my post and print it out for your husband too. Gosh I feel bad for you guys, as you know, I have had my own connections with mentally ill folks so I really understand the level of chaos and despair this brings and I imagine what you wrote is only the tip of iceberg too. Hang in there, you're doing an excellent job, you're making healthy choices,........... sometimes we can't save them from themselves no matter how hard we try. Your husband is not superman, I am not superwoman, but I know how much we want to be to help our kids. Letting go is so hard, but it is absolutely necessary too.

    *You may need help in "preparing" your husband for the almost inevitable outcome, don't take that on by yourself, get help so you two can heal from this, so you can find comfort and be heard and understood and helped to really understand that you will be coming to a point where there truly is nothing more you can do. I am really sorry.

    Keep posting Winnie, let us know how it's going, we understand just how monstrous this is for you..........I'm sending you many gentle and understanding hugs..............and wishing you peace.................
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  7. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    Thank you EVERYONE!

    Busywend - we are both trying to put things in place so eventually we can be totally out of all and MAYBE have a nice interaction once in awhile.

    Dazed - Sorry - I know how scary the 17 to 18 shift can be! My husband and I are both in strong agreement he is not ever coming back to live with us. I feel even more strongly about it now that he is gone. I agree with you about "If he ends up being homeless, it will ultimately be from his choices.", but I fear my husband is starting to slip a bit on that and will want to continue to financially support him, to which I am opposed. I am working on getting him on Medicaid and SSi so that he will have an income, so to speak. Also working on getting someone else to be the payee - in other words NOT US!

    Scent of Cedar - yes - we have spoken about the time limit idea - but I like the way you put it - will have to maybe try that! He is not really speaking to us at all right now except to curse or shout. But we did tell him once he shows the service provider he can do something (mastered it, so to speak) then they will not try to help him with that specific task. Honestly we have hardly called him, knowing he will not respond and therefore violate the safety agreement, trying to wait out the beginning bumps. But the bumps have turned into mountains and now the service providers are considering him an at-risk young adult in the community.

    Recoveringenabler - we are going to talk to difficult children spectrum therapist next week so we can better understand expectations, what our role should be moving forward, time frame, etc. And hopefully so my husband understands that if difficult child should refuse all help offered he might end up homeless and there is little we can really do. It is ironic - before difficult child was out my husband was more definite about things than me - but now he is like "well I cannot make him homeless" to which I respond, you, and we would not - only difficult child can make that happen!

    We assume if he keeps monkeying with his medications he will end up getting into trouble with the law in community and possibly be committed to psychiatric ward.

    Thank you for the article on detachment - going to print that out and share with hubby.

    And again - thank you guys so much. I know how hard everyone has it and it has been a tremendous support over the last few months, since I found this site, to read of others struggles and to know we are not alone. Our family and friends really just do not 'get it' and I feel like they must think we are nuts sometimes. I think you can never really understand it until you live it - and no one really wants to live it!

  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We had a really hard time when our difficult child was 17. I remember a police officer telling us that was very typical. The difficult child thinks that they are old enough to be able to do whatever they want to and legally you can't kick them out so your hands are tied.

    Your therapist is right. You and your husband have done much more than many families would in that situation. Hopefully your difficult child will realize that he really does need help with basic life skills when he realizes he is out in the big bad world now.


  9. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    It sounds like you have done everything you could for, and much much more. I don't blame you for moving him into an apartment. Having had moments here where I have been afraid in my own home (unfortunately, difficult child is only 14, so moving him into an apartment isn't an option yet) I know exactly how you feel and how nice it is to know that when you come home you have nothing to fear.

    I was curious about something. What does having the service providers considering him "an at-risk young adult in the community" do for him?