difficult child is back

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Ca Mom Losing Hope, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. His brother lives in a trailer on the side of our house. Started off good, it was too help him out temp, but they are similar, so we have had issues. He is 25. difficult child is 23 and his brother, the ones in the trailer, went up north and got him and brought him back here. Tonight, difficult child is sleeping in his brothers van in the wal mart parking lot. At least that is what he told my husband. We are livid, I am scared. Right now it is peaceful, all seems well. The one that lives here is in his trailer. What will tomorrow bring? So worried. We served the 25 year old a 30 day notice on Tuesday.
  2. Just re read my first post here from March of last year. It helps to give me strength. I cant go back to that hell. I need to sleep but I can't. Reading your posts does help. One of you suggested that the gift this board gives us, is a history trail. It is good, as it keeps me from forgetting what he is capable of. His brother believes that since he is on medications, lithium, that he is better. He has only been on then a couple weeks, and yes he does sound better, but I need more. And he did leave me one of those, "I don't ever want to hear from you again voicemails" just two days ago. We were having nice conversations from afar at that time. I just can't trust him. I can't get past that feeling of what is going to happen next? He flips on a dime and we have a baby. I want to run.
  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I'm so sorry. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and you are setting boundaries. That is always a good thing for us in all relationships (especially with DCs) but you know they really don't like boundaries---especially new boundaries---at all and there will be a lot of pushback.

    It can be exhausting....but so can "helping" a Difficult Child who never takes over the reins for himself or herself.

    You have learned a lot, and perhaps you are ready to reclaim your own life? Our kids are grown (yours and mine). It's time for us to step back and focus on ourselves.

    I'm glad you have a good supportive husband and another child to focus on. Let that be your focus from now on.

    You have done everything you can do to help your grown sons launch. now it's up to them.

    Hang in there. We're here for you.
  4. Yes, boundaries are tough for both sides. Our DCs have never had them and we really find it difficult to set them and hold to them. Last year I started setting strong boundaries with Difficult Child but I think I could do better with DCs older brother. I am going to work on that. He has the 30 day notice and it is time he spreads his wings and doesn't come back, at least not to live here. He has a job, he can do it. I keep telling myself, part of why I am in this situation is because I didn't project to them that they could do it, they are capable of taking care of themselves. The older one knows he is, but I still see fear. My Difficult Child is doing better with the medication. He even told me "I am not incompetent" when we were talking about him going down to social services and getting his medical permanent. Those were good words to hear. The next call was when he went off and told me to never call him again, but we had good calls before that.

    So we told DCs brother last night, that Difficult Child is not allowed on the property. I told him this very clearly over the last week. I told him he needs more time and so do I. I also told him we can't have anyone around the baby that is doing drugs. He says he isn't but I said, only time will tell if you continue to be clean.

    I am actually happy his brother is helping him. Everyone needs someone to help them. If you read my first post, it is all about how his brother went off on him, beating him in his sleep even, in Indiana. So he knows what his brother is capable of. We will see what happens next.

    I know one thing, I am not sitting around waiting for it to happen.
  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Ca Mom,
    I have been where you are. Reading your post brings a flood of memories back, the hope, the desperation, the misery. We tried over and over again to reach out, to help.

    I remember when I was a teenager, I use to look at my parents as if they were some kind of alien. They tried to help me stick to the straight and narrow, I dabbled with drugs and partying, let my grades slip, skipped school, had a friend who was on the same path.
    We were dependent, independent.Wanting to live our lives our own way, but still dependent on our parents for support.
    I did not look at my parents as....human? They were the voice of authority, trying to rein me in, but I wanted to do what I wanted to do.
    By the grace of God I came out of it.

    Now, I think our d cs are stuck in that time. They are not teenagers, they are adults. Each time we took them in, it started out somewhat ok. Their desire to do what they wanted to do, overruled everything. While trying to help them, it became apparent that they did not look upon us as...humans. We were things. Things helping them, but at the same time...in their way.

    When a relationship is like this, one or two people giving everything, the recipient of the help, our d cs, viewing us as sub human, in the way of them doing what they want, we become targets. They use us. They do not see us with eyes of love, as we see them. It is a by product of their using drugs.
    Using drugs, using us.

    There is much to be said here, what stands out, your d c son is 23, an adult.

    You are livid and scared. I remember this feeling. It gets all tangled up with our desire to help, the loss of peace in our lives, in our homes.

    This is you understanding that things are so much calmer when your 23 year old adult d c son is not at home.

    This is you remembering all that has occurred in the past. It is so troubling, struggling with the desire to help and the understanding of how impossible that is.

    It is so true Ca Mom, you can't trust him. How sad for all of us this is. And we struggle with the feeling of not knowing what will happen next, both when they are with us, and when they are not.
    They are adults and have to learn from the consequences of their choices. When they are home with us, we suffer those consequences. This does not matter to them. They do not see us with the loving eyes, as we are seeing them. This is an unbalance. It causes disruption and turmoil within us, within our homes.

    I was right where you are Ca MOm. My son was newborn and my oldest was home, in all of her stuck in that teenage "my parents are not human" mindset, she was 21. Stubborn, moody, ornery. It was hell. Here I had a newborn infant. I was dealing with the exhaustion of caring for my infant, and the ugly, horrible reality of an addicted 21 year old despising me. I can remember looking at that babe in my arms and thinking "All of this love, and work, and sleepless nights....." .....looking at my sneering 21 year old..."and this is the end result?"

    I am glad that by God's grace, I came out of that quickly and realized that all of our children are different and walk different paths.

    What happened was, my beautiful baby lived the better part of his life in the drama go round of two sister d cs coming and going, robbing the peace and serenity from our home. Stealing money, jewelry, sanity, time. And there was my son. My loving, kind sensitive son.

    I think what kept me enabling my d cs was looking at them and seeing them as children. I would look at my son and remember raising them. Remember all of the good times we had with them before they became d cs. I was remembering my responsibility to them as a mother of young children.
    And I was wrong.
    They were not children anymore.They were adults. Adults in the throes of addiction making very bad choices, going down their paths, and taking all of us with them.

    I would think, I cannot give up on them. I will keep helping.
    This is what kept me in the enabling mode, the thought that detaching was giving up.

    I posted a thread the other day- I won't give up.
    It would seem at first impression, the meaning of that is "I am going to keep stepping in to rescue them."
    It is quite the opposite.
    I did not give up on them. I gave in to the realization that helping them is not helping them.
    I did not give up on them by detaching. I gave in.

    There is still hope for them, but not in my house.
    Yes, Ca Mom, I do remember this feeling. I did not want to go home. It wasn't home anymore.
    I had troubled adult d cs there, looking at me as they do, manipulating, mood swinging, using drugs, using me.
    It is a toxic relationship, and the poison of it, wreaked havoc on my household.

    Why should I run? Why should I not feel peace in my own home, and why should I keep subjecting my now 14 year old son to this insidiousness?
    The clear answer came. I should not.

    And I did not give up.

    My d.cs have been out for four months now. Their birthdays have come and gone. I have no contact. It is hard sometimes. But I do not let the hard take over me. I say a quick prayer, reminding myself, that I gave these two back to a higher power, and in that, is my faith that He is the one who can help them. Many years of the toxic by product of their addiction in my house proved that. I could not, did not, help them.

    It is hard detaching, but the peace enfolding my house now is so worth it. The smiles on my sons face, as he is able to relax in his home, is worth it.

    My d cs are out there, figuring out their own paths, their own lives.
    Maybe, just maybe, they will be able to look at me as human one day.
    Only time will tell.
    For now, my focus is on my young son, as it should be. Also, I realize the need to figure myself out, to find me. We mothers can get lost in the act of mothering, can't we? We forget that we need to take time to refresh, to replenish.
    We cannot give, if our cup is not full.This does not mean we become self absorbed and forget our duties, but we do need time to regroup.

    I hope Ca Mom, you have time for you, to regroup. The exhaustion of all of this and caring for a baby can empty you. Making decisions and standing your ground is hard from empty.

    You have value and worth. I hope you can find some time for yourself. To breathe.

    Just remember, detaching is not giving up.

    You are not alone dear, I am sure there are others on this site who are either right where you are now, approaching it, or have been there.

    All of my best wishes and prayers to you. I see so much of what you are going through, as where I have been.
    Hold on to your baby, focus on you and working towards a peaceful future.

    You will get there, one day at a time.

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  6. After we got the eight month old chickenpox baby lathered in calamine after a baking soda bath, I finally had a chance to breathe. To think back on the day, the weeks, the month I have had.

    Today tested my resolve. During multiple text message responses to my son about him not having any food, I agreed to pick him up from his brothers van, where he has been sleeping, to take home to Taco Bell. I looked in his eyes. I saw such sadness, despair, and loss of self worth. I bought him his food, asked questions about things he needs to take care of and watched. Watched this sad man, who I see as a boy despite him being six foot two and twenty three years old, feeling unloved. He tells me his brother has to go on a work trip and will be gone with the van for a few days. I ask if he will stay in the shelter those nights, he says no. I don't push. I know this is just the foundation to his next push to try and stay with us.

    I buy him a gift card and some food, drop him off at the van. As I was washing our beautiful baby son and trying to comfort him from the itching, I can only think of how cold my other son must be.

    Before the baby is even asleep, I have a text asking if he can sleep in the dog house in the back yard. What would be the big deal with that?

    I have set two very clear rules. Both of which he tries daily to get me to break.

    1. Neither of my two older sons will ever live in my house again. They are 23 and 25. Each have proven over and over again that they will fall back into their same abusive (mentally and verbally) behavior toward me. They always start off nice and sweet. This last time with the older brother, I had to pay him to leave. Legal signature required and received.

    2. No cash.

    Now that the baby is down all I can do is cry. I am so worried about my poor middle child. I finally got out of bed and started reading this forum and Feelings 'my son is homeless' thread from where I had left off in December. So much of the abuse and feelings that Feeling expressed, echo's in my ears. My middle son was the most abusive. Drugs, violent rages, constant requests for money, etc. He has recently gotten help for his mental issues, and does seem better, but it has only been three months. I read one of feelings posts where she talked about how scared she is. I am very scared as well. Scared one day, even though things are going well, he will also.... But he is doing better and my poor baby (middle child) right?

    Then I reread this post. And I think I can get through tomorrow's No. I will not put my baby through that. He deserves to live in a peaceful house. It doesn't have to mean I don't help, but I do not break the rules listed above.

    I might have to reinstate healthy communication rules too. Previously it was his profanity and obsessive requests via phone and text. The language is better...

    I am wearing down. Oh so very quickly. Everything is going back to the way it was before he left over a year ago. I am to blame. I am so weak.

    Thanks for tonight's strength.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You're not weak. He's your child. We do tend to see our children, when they are unhappy, as little kids. It's important to remember that they are not and that, unless they are disabled in which case they can apply for and receive disability, they can and should work. We are being good parents if we withdraw most of our "help" which doesn't really help them at all but continues to keep them feeling dependent. Trust me, they are resourceful and there are places to eat, wash up, and get warm even if they are homeless. But they have to follow the rules, just as they should in our homes. Drug use is dangerous on many levels...their "friends" could be dangerous to us or to our other children if drug addicted adult children tick them off or owe them money. Make no mistake about that. If a drug using child lives with you, you are a possible target as is anyone also living there.

    I wish you good luck in finding the strength. Your boys will choose what to do with their lives as you chose what to do with yours. You may not like their choices. THEY may not like their choices. But you can't control them. They have to do it.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
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  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Ca Mom, hang in there.

    They are not babies. They are grown men. Don't get confused about that. I know it's hard, because in my deepest grief, I used to walk around the house and look at his baby pictures and just sob and sob. I continued to see him as my "poor little baby" and that was not good for me or for him.

    We have to get real. People have choices. They have choices and we have choices. We have a right to our choices and so do they, as we are all grown adults with all of the rights and responsibilities thereof.

    I like how SWOT often says that 18 year olds go to war, for goodness sake! Why would a 23-year-old grown man, unless he is psychotic or disabled, think that mommy is going to take care of him?

    One reason is we keep on taking care of them. We make progress, but then we stumble and fall. That is normal, and we should feel no guilt about that, but it's important for us to see ourselves clearly and understand that we send mixed signals often.

    "I know you can do it."

    "But let me go and get you some food."

    I know how incredibly hard it is to hear our own children, even grown men who they are, say they are hungry. It goes to the very core of us.

    But let's again, see it for what it is. They are texting us or calling us to still take care of their own basic needs, like they did and like we did when they were babies and little boys.

    That time is long gone. The more we can find the strength, courage, patience and new skills to step back, step away, and allow them to deal with their own lives and live with the consequences of their own decisions, the sooner they will gain more skills and have a chance to progress.

    Hang in there. We're here for you. If you can, cut back on the communication with them, and allow yourself some space to have breathing room and rest. Focus on your precious baby with chickenpox. He truly needs you right now. Warm hugs today.
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Ca Mom, I am so sorry for your continued struggles with all of this. Two d cds out of the house, baby with chicken pox is quite a combo. I feel your pain through this post, and know how hard it is. Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.
    You sound strong as well. If I am reading correctly, you have had both sons out of the house, and will not have them back home. This is huge, for all of you. It is uncomfortable, for me, a roller coaster of emotions similar to when my two were at home, but not as intense. My two have been out four months now, I wrote that last post, I think I was in a fog.....since September. But, unlike your situation, they do not contact me. This must be very wearing on you CaMom. Your post is strong, and you write beautifully of your two d cs and your determination.
    I am glad you found solace in reading Feelings post, she has been through much, and still worries for her son, but, in another thread, she has posted that her son has gone to see a doctor, something she had tried to get him to do, but he refused at home. Even though our d cs may have mental challenges, they fare much better out of our homes. Maybe not at first, but they have to find their way.
    Healthy communication rules would be good. Even if the language is cleaned up, the constant asking to come home is hard on you. It is not fair to you.

    I think part of detachment means taking our lives back, in every aspect. Caught up in the whirlwind of our d cs drama, our brains were trained to constantly think, ruminate, and feel for them. When we have them leave, it takes some time to change that pattern. I look at it as emotionally detaching, not that I don't love my two, just not so tangled up in their lives and worry for them. If I start to overthink on them, I say a quick prayer, then..."They will be okay, they are out there, finding their way."
    You wrote that you have reason to be scared of your middle son, are you safe enough, CaMom? I hope so, dear.
    Please take care, make sure you are getting enough rest, and eating well. I hope you are able to have some time to relax.
    My youngest girl had chicken pox at 5 months, poor dear, she was absolutely covered with them. I hope your baby is not too bad. That is tough when baby's are miserable. It was a 24/7 job to make sure mine did not scratch, even in her sleep....
    Hang in there CaMom keep posting and let us know how you are doing. It helps to share and know we are not alone.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It might help you feel better if you find the address of shelters and give them to him. He doesn't have to sleep in the cold. I used to volunteer at a homeless shelter and it was warm with very good food cooked by church ladies. The catch was, you had to be sober to get in. There are also places that give food. Street people watch out for one another and give help.

    I like how you don't give him any cash. Good job! He'll use cash for drugs.
  11. Thank you all. Many of you are the same people that were here when I first joined in 2014. I don't know if that is comforting or discerning. I do know your words are almost the only thing that gets me through these moments.

    Yes they are both out of the house. The older son is not talking to me because I won't give in to his and his brother's demands to let him stay at the house. Not even for a cold and rainy night. But I can't help but think that is the top of the slippery slope. My husband is my strength when I am weak.

    We are in California, as my username says. It is uncommonly cold and rainy right now. This morning my middle son texted and asked again why he couldn't stay in the dog house. I again said no and that it would not change. He said he will continue to ask. Then asked if he could come by for a shower, I had told him yesterday on a weak moment that he could. I told him no, the baby is too sick. He said well then he would just not take his medications so he doesn't sleep. I ignored that and said I was working and couldn't respond. Maybe tomorrow. He then said, well I will be off my medications by then. Sounded like a threat. Just like his old suicide threats when he was in Indiana.

    We have regressed and it is my fault for getting to close. My hubby said he is just not stable enough for that mother son relationship. He is right. Now I will be strong but I know he will escalate. He does know I will call the cops in a heartbeat. I found a NAMI support group that meets Wednesday. I will try to make it. I am strong but wearing thin.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It is your choice, but you don't have to read his manipulative texts or listen to his phone calls. You can choose to wait for two days before reading or delete them altogether. You can decide when you are in the right frame of mind to deal with the nonsense, or not to deal with it at all.
    As a Wisconsinite, I had a slight chuckle at the "cold" of California ;) Not making light of what he is not used to, but, hey, you don't know COLD there...hehe.

    Take good care of yourself, ma'am. You are worth it. Only listen to what you WANT to hear.And you don't have to answer their abuse or respond to threats. If they threaten suicide though I'd call 911 every time. Then at least you did your best, and I'll bet the suicide threats will stop.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    please do not be so hard on yourself. Of course we want to be there for our adult children, it is our nature, to want to nurture. The trick of all of this, I think is that there is that imbalance, and our d cs, do not think of us, the same way we think of them. It is not loving , or kind to blame ones consequences of choice on their parents. To manipulate and target their parent, to make threats, or say we do not care. We do care, but we have done our job as parents. For whatever reason, our d cs have failed to launch from under our roofs, and will go to great extremes, to get back in, and to guilt us into thinking it is our fault, that they make the choices they do.
    It is a threat, and unfair to you. He needs his medications, and needs to take responsibility for himself. I agree that you may need to stop viewing his texts for awhile and to distance yourself. For your own health and well being. It is good you will go to the NAMI meeting. I think it will be good for you to be amongst folks who are going, or have gone through this.
    Did you mean concerning, or discerning? I think folks are still here posting, for many reasons. Some have ongoing issues with their d cs, others have received great comfort, have developed camaraderie with fellow posters, and also find solace in trying to help others, the way CD helped them. I think for me, being here this short while, it has been a help to post and share, it is a way, too of reaffirming decisions made to stop enabling. I also feel a closeness, to those who have helped me along the way. Whatever the case may be, I think this is possibly one of the hardest trials to go through as a human being, to have children grow up, become adults, and choose this path. I am feeling a bit better, but I won't sugar coat it, it has been a roller coaster of emotions. I am thankful for everyone that is here, both long time warriors, and new members. It is a way for me to process everything I have gone through with my two. Also, it is good to know that I am not alone. I would not wish this on anyone, but am grateful for the honesty and stories presented here. I certainly do not hear similar stories from my workmates, and feel sometimes, like a lone ranger, when they are talking about their "well" children, and how wonderful their lives are. I do not resent their happiness, just can't share about my two, with them, like I can here. I hope you continue to post, and share your story, because as you say, it does help you, and it also helps others. I am glad you have been strong in your stance of no money, not coming home. It must be very difficult to have your heartstrings tugged at, constantly. I would have a hard time with that, myself. I am sorry for the pain you have endured, and are feeling right now. I hope you are able to attend the meeting tomorrow night, and find comfort there. I think you are way stronger than you have written here, you must be exhausted caring for your ill baby, and dealing with all of this to boot. Hang in there warrior mom, you are not alone, and we are all pulling for you. May you find peace of heart and mind. {{{HUGS}}} leafy
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Ca Mom, the continued texts are so hard. If you can, step away from those for a few hours or a day. Block the number if you can or have to. Taking a break will help you get back to level ground.

    Like New Leaf said, it is a threat. My son used to do that all the time. "Well, then, I'll just...." Whatever it was. How juvenile and how cruel and how painful for us. It's just where they are right now, and we can't plug enough holes in their "dam" to keep them from doing whatever they are going to do. Release him to his own decisions and choices again.

    It's not your fault. I see us as fully human here on this board. We ache and we cry and we grieve and we are encouraged by any small glimmer of hope and we want the best for them. That is what it is to be fully human, and it hurts a lot. This is what normal looks like. Drawing the line between being encouraging and being enabling is our work, I believe. That is where we have to put our focus and our energy. Because enabling people hurts us and it hurts them.

    Yay! Please go. Make it a priority if you can. This is the pathway to peace, using the tools that are available to us to get stronger and develop more skills.

    We're here for you. We've been here and we'll stay here because this forum is a tool that we use to strengthen ourselves in this journey.

    Warm hugs this morning. It's cold here in the South too!