Emotionally Bankrupted

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Jacquelina2, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Jacquelina2

    Jacquelina2 New Member

    I'm a mother of a son who has paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I've been trying to help my son become self sufficient for the past 4 yrs by helping him utilize community resources. From endless court appearances, doctor's visits, you name it, I've done it. My son cooperates 90% up until it's time to cross the finish line to obtain medical treatment, become approved for a men's shelter or group home, comply with probation ... then he suddenly backs and stops showing up for appointments to sign paperwork or get evaluated. This has been a never ending vicious cycle and it's emotionally exhausting for me. My family and I are at odds and do not have a healthy relationship because they feel like I simply need to sign a lease for him to get him off the streets so that he's no longer homeless. I'm not financially capable of taking such a risk when my son has acted irresponsibly. He can't live with me cuz he's been physically violent towards his siblings. All I do now is continue praying for him, feed him if he comes over and send him on his way. This helps me cope with knowing I'm no longer enabling him. I'd wish my family would stop blaming me for his resistance to accept help and realize that I no longer have parental authority over him cuz he's an adult.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    Yes, once they become adults, there is very little we can do unless THEY want it to happen. Lots we can do to support them when they are moving forward, but... we are not in control.

    The mental health support systems are... well, I don't know what word to use, exactly, because there isn't an accurate one... messed up, ineffective, a :crap:shoot.

    And if the rest of the family doesn't "get" this? WE do. There is a line that cannot be crossed - and that is safety. Your own, and your other kids. Which is also his safety, really. If the situation brings out his violent tendencies, then it's best for him to not be there.

    You are doing well. You know that he is mentally ill. It isn't his fault that this is so. As a result, you do what you can. You feed him when he comes over. And IF the day comes when he actually wants medical help and appropriate shelter... I'm sure you won't mind helping him navigate the system. But you can't do that unless HE wants it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As Insane Canadian said, this is the fault of our horrible mental health systems, NOt YOU. You can not live with a violent child. The fault is with the government that offers nothing, and, as always, it makes me sick. Maybe he is too ill to even know he needs help.

    I am so very sorry.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. Jacquelina2

    Jacquelina2 New Member

    I totally agree. Safety for my other children is a major concern and I shouldn't feel as if I have to jeopardize their safety. My adult son won't even take his medications. So I'm not surprised that his behavior is erratic which makes me on high alert all the time. They're not the ones taking time off work to attend court hearing, doctor appts, counseling appts and advocating on his behalf. I firmly believe in my heart tat my son Corie had become a burden by showing up regularly so to avoid not dealing with him .. they're too ashamed to say so. Just wanna redirect the blame elsewhere
     
  5. Jacquelina2

    Jacquelina2 New Member

    YES, YES. I've been trying forever to get a mental fitness hearing for my son. He's been found unstable 4 times but this last time he was found stable after being on medications for several weeks. I haven't had much support from local resources because tour state sucks! (Illinois)
     
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, it almost doesn't matter much where on the globe you live - mental health resources are almost non-existant. Most of us are in the same boat.
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There is no safe place for your son. Pathetic.

    Also pathetic that when he was finally on medication, he was declared stable and unworthy of help, as if he were cured.

    There are many people to blame, BUT not you. You didn't empty the mentally ill from hospitals nor forced them on the streets since they then had nowhere to go. Like 'all of us moms, you have and are trying to find him a suitable place to live. You are a hero trying to keep everyone safe.

    Be sure to be good to yourself and give yourself "me" time. All of us need to recharge by doing nice things just for ourselves. You do too. Be good to you so you don't get overwhelmed.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Jacquelina. Welcome. I want to say, too, that you are doing the right thing. We have a mother on the board, Feeling Sad, who allowed her son to stay until he was in his mid 30's. And finally she was forced to get a restraining order because of fears her son would hurt her, her other son, or worse. She has suffered mightily but has come to believe her son would have been better off had she forced him to leave. He would have needed to face the challenges of real life, with a better chance of becoming treatment compliant. His illness, too is paranoid schizophrenia.

    As others have said there are no good options with this disease. Your primary responsibility like you said is to protect your ill son, from hurting you or his siblings. He would never want to do that, if he were not ill. Protecting you and your family is to protect him.

    Increasingly there are effective treatments, except that the paranoia, is the very thing that makes them leery to accept it. If he is out in the community he has a far better chance of making the connections, to be open to treatment. In your house, or subsidized by you he will not have this incentive.

    I am glad you are here. I hope you stay. Keep posting. It helps
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Jacquelina, I wanted to tell you to be careful and to try not to be so hard on yourself. It is the situation that is failing you, not the reverse. It is not you that is failing. To accuse yourself of being "emotionally bankrupt" is wrong and cruel to you. What you are is trapped, without support, and without real understanding by others who have not walked in your shoes. How could they understand, really?

    But you, you do know how much you have tried, how much you have stood by your son, what has been the cost. So you do not deserve these hard words. What you are is tired and sad. And maybe momentarily you feel hopeless and defeated. But you rest, and restore yourself and you begin to try again.

    There has to be a new relationship with you. A kinder and more supportive one.

    Personally, with respect to trying over and over again to get son into apartments, programs, etc.--which over and over again he undermines, it is time to back off. Let him take charge in the way that he can.

    There is an article on detachment on this website. Look for it. It will help you back off a bit. It will be good for the both of you.

    What are ways you can keep contact with your son in a way that will be safe and supportive, and even sustaining, for the both of you? Are there public places where he feels less anxious? Somehow the zoo or a large public park come to mind. Or someplace in nature where there are people around. But I guess I am thinking back to where I was raised and no longer live now. It is my safe place (in my mind.)
     
  10. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    Jacquelina,

    I'm sorry. Schizophrenia is a soul killing illness.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  11. karisma

    karisma Member

    Hi Jacquelina. Welcome. I am sorry for your pain. My son also bipolar since age 3 and almost 100% sure he has developed paranoid schizophrenia around age 24. He's 26 now. Mine won't even listen to me talk about him getting help. He does not want it, but he doesn't possess the ability to make a decision like that either. How crushing it must feel for you that he partially engages in helping himself only to sabatoge it later. I know what it feels like to have hope then lose it, over and over again. I'm so glad you found us here. This forum has gotten me through some black days. I find relief by my pain being shared by all of the parents here. Most people can't understand what we experience, often blaming us for our d c's condition, adding insult to injury. People who have a child, of any age, with a terminal physical illness at least receive support and understanding. That is what I have found here, and hope you do too. Many hugs and most sincere prayers for you and your family
     
  12. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Jacquelina. We are here. We get it.
    Copa's right, it sounds as if you have put many supports under him only to have him reject them. We tried this also. Our son would "go along" to continue to receive our assist and as soon as he needed to be at appointment/training on his own, he would quit. "don't need their help, I can do it myself". But he never did. For him, it was asking too much to do the work to drug test clean or even get up by 10am. saying "I was up all night, I'm sick today" over and over. It is/was never too much work to ask us for money though. If we had a dime for every time we drove to pick him up (at agreed upon time) only to have him not bother to be awake...I see such foolishness on our part. People who have not been in this don't get it. That's a fact for sure. Ignore them, knowing in your heart that YOU have done all that's possible.
    Yes, yes, yes--this is what's possible now. No lease signing, no money-no more. A different relationship that's for sure, but still a relationship. I will continue to pray for our son, feed him if he comes over and send him on his way---good advice today from you to me. Thank you. Prayers.
     
  13. Childofmine

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

    Jacquelina2 welcome...we're glad you're here. We get it.

    This is the most exhausting and frustrating thing in the world to have to deal with. Nearly every single one of us on this board went round and round and round with our DCs---regardless of the situation and diagnosis---with this exact scenario. This is the path of mental illness and addiction, inability/unwillingness to do the VERY THINGS that would lead them to a better life.

    I finally was literally and figuratively down on my knees coming to an understanding of this. All of my efforts---every single thing I did for years and years---was for NOTHING unless he was willing to help himself. This was my pathway to complete powerlessness.

    Please know we're here for you through this.

    And, in terms of other people, I find it helpful to develop a few things to say in situations like these, such as:

    1. I'm sorry you can't understand what I've been through and how I got to this place.

    2. You may be right.

    3. Yes, I'm sure it IS hard for you to understand. You'd have to live it first.

    Getting to the place where you have rote answers that you can state calmly and quietly...and then let it be, walk away, be done with the conversation. Just repeat them over and over and over again.

    There is no way on God's green earth that someone else can get this. They think there is no way they could turn out their precious child, no matter what. We're here to tell you that we are past "no matter what". There is a land past that place that all of us have lived in for years and years. That's the land of finally...no more.

    We are all loving, caring, warm people here. We aren't different from the rest of the world. We have just been through the horror of loving someone so very much and watching them self-destruct for years and years and years. Finally, we have to stop.

    Welcome.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  14. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I do not have any experience with this but just want to offer you support and prayers.
     
  15. Jacquelina2

    Jacquelina2 New Member

    Thank you all so very much. I read comments about detachment which I found quite intriguing. I feel like detaching and living at a distance will help me. I know being self declared as emotionally bankrupted is very strong but I'm literally all cried out. Counseling and NAMI classes never really helped u til I found this site accidentally while browsing online. It truly does help knowing that there are other parents who actually can relate. I simply love this site cuz I know the advise is heart felt.

    Jacquelina 2
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This was a beautiful and wise post, COM.

    The love never stops. The belief we can control stops, and the need to save stops--that only ever got in the way. Because the saving, the controlling, really only had to do with us. Our needs.

    I still try to control--but both of us, my son and I are so weary of it, it soon peters out.
     
  17. Jacquelina2

    Jacquelina2 New Member

     
  18. Jacquelina2

    Jacquelina2 New Member

    Yes this is wise and straight forward advice. I'm learning to not blame myself for not being a good enough mother. I simply can't believe that there is so little awareness and support for mental health illnesses. So many people are suffering and how can a mom save her child who doesn't want to be saved? Detaching is the first step towards empowering and not enabling. Outsiders will not understand this concept. Thank all of you wonderful ladies.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
Loading...