I can't!

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Maisy, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    My son'S favorite words. I can't. I can't hold a job. I can't handle a relationship. I can't get anywhere on time. He struggles with anxiety and depression but it has gotten to the point where he tells himself that he cannot do anything. My husband finally got him to go back to his apt. I couldn't handle haVing him at home. I think my husband is afraid of tough love and so am I but I believe it must happen for my son to move forward at 23. Any suggestions to get overy the I can'tell stuff? He just started counseling.
     
  2. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Can't stuff. I hate auto correct sometimes!!
     
  3. culturanta

    culturanta Member

    He is an adult. Why are you and your husband treating him like a helpless child?

    When he is forced to grow up and accept responsibility, he will.

    If he needs to work to eat, he will work.

    Who pays for the apartment?

    In addition to seeking counseling for yourself and your husband, if he will go, to assist you in letting go of your adult child, you may wish to seek out Codependents Anonymous meetings in your area. This is a free 12 step support group assisting people who have trouble saying no to loved ones, and who continue enabling the poor life choices of loved ones even when they know they need to stop.

    I apologize if this sounds harsh. Good luck.
     
  4. RN0441

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

    Maisy:
    Welcome but sorry you have to be here. Read through other's posts and you will gain knowledge and hopefully strength. We're all dealing with something in one way or another.
    :notalone:
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Do you remember when he was a baby and was learning to crawl? He cried and cried because he wanted something. If you gave it to him all the time, he would have forever sat in one place. Eventually he wanted something enough that he started to try to move toward it. And he learned to crawl. Then he cried because he wanted something up higher than he could reach from his hands and knees, so he stood up, and eventually that wasn't enough so he learned to walk.

    You let him cry and experience frustration and he learned to do for himself rather than to just sit and cry. Now, he is a man and you are allowing him to be a child. It isn't fair to HIM to have you allow him to not feel anger and frustration. You have to let him feel those uncomfortable, unpleasant feelings and learn to cope with them. It isn't fun or pretty, but through those feelings he will learn to figure things out, to work for what he wants, and to be an adult. This is hard for both of you, but it MUST be done. It isn't 'kicking him out' or 'tough love'. It is parenting a young adult and it is just as hard as parenting a toddler was. It is a new skill set for both of you, so it isn't easy, but it is a valuable learning experience and great new skill set to have - for all of you.

    Please, let him struggle. Let him learn that to hunger, to struggle, and to act through your fear is what life is all about. Until he is allowed to fail and pull himself up, he won't really be an adult. He won't really feel any true success if you constantly rescue him from his struggles. Living as a young adult isn't easy. He is used to the luxury at your house - the air conditioning, the cable, the internet and the yummy easy to fix food or the food that is fixed for you. He doesn't know the true cost of those things because he pays no bills. Life in his apartment isn't easy - no Mommy to do the laundry, no Mommy to cook, no free cable or wifi. He must earn those things. But isn't that life? If he truly wants those things, he will get a job if you refuse to treat him like a child. But as long as you continue to support him, he won't work and he won't believe he CAN work. By not supporting him, you tell him that you believe that he CAN support himself, that he CAN figure things out, that he CAN get through the anxiety and fear.

    We all feel anxiety and fear, and we go to work anyway because we don't have a choice. Unless you truly don't think he is capable of working, of being an adult, of being self reliant. In which case, what you are doing will make that come true. Tell him you believe in him, in his ability to solve his own problems, in his capability - let him fall and pick himself back up, let him struggle, and be an adult. Cut him off and tell him that you KNOW he can do this.
     
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    A real life example: We allowed my son to come home. After 4 years away. It worked for a while. He worked with us doing remodeling which for him was a good trade to have the luxuries to which susie refers. After a while, he stopped being motivated, either to control his behavior or to adhere to our rules. It was too easy.

    We threw him out. Within a week he was in a residential treatment center. He knew he no longer wanted to be on the street. Because he had already lived that way two years. How would he have known he did not want the street, had he not lived it? How would he reach the point of seeking out treatment (he found it and arranged it, himself) if I had kept sheltering him?

    Comfort, excuses, support and tolerance do not help these kids. Babying them because they are sad does not help. Natural consequences, the costs of their behavior to them, is what teaches them. To know what you want you have to know what you do not want. Actually, the latter is more motivating than is the former, I think.

    You can do this. I kicked my son out at 23. He is now 27. It took years before he was motivated to begin changing. He suffers, too, from anxiety and depression. I told him to leave because he did not want to do anything. He quit his job. No school. No social life. Just lay around like a lump. I locked the door and locked him out. He banged on the windows the first night. It was very hard. But I did it. The second night he went to a shelter. A week later he had left our county with a free bus ticket. For two plus years he freeloaded. Then homelessness. And SSI for mental illness. I was not happy with his choices. But they were his. Not mine. He will survive because he has to. When he sees himself surviving, he will grow in competency and self-respect and self-control. I believe that.

    I hope you keep posting. It helps. Take care.
     
  7. ISO_Detachment

    ISO_Detachment New Member

    Great story, Copabanana!
     
  8. Lulu348

    Lulu348 New Member

    Hi Maisy, I think getting him into counseling is a great start! When DS was in the middle of his awful teens years,mi made an appointment with his psychologist. It was the one that diagnosed him with ADD-not otherwise specified, he was a child/teen doctor. I went to him to help me find out questions like yours and give me some tools to work with, which he did. If was the best money I had spent in awhile. I would make a similar appointment. with his counselor.

    Is your son on medications for his depression and anxiety?
     
  9. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    It has been awhile since I have been online here. I really appreciate all of the advice and scenarios that everyone has been giving me. My son is not on medication for depression and anxiety and due to past poor results, is hesitant to try again. My husband is going to encourage him to go to the doctor. I understand what everyone is saying about letting my son figure this out on his own. His issues are so deep seated and my husband and I are so scared and unsure. What everyone says to do makes so much sense but as we all know, so hard to do. Should we have him apply for SSI? Draw the line and and stop all support?
     
  10. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    How old is your son? How long has he been dealing with these issues? What medications has he tried? Has he been hospitalized? Does he work? Or go to school?

    If you like, creating a signature about your son and the family can be helpful.
     
  11. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    My son is 23. He has been dealing with anger issues, ADHD and anxiety since he was small. He cannot take SSRIs and ADHD medications due to side effects. Has tried Geodon. Lamictal-rash. Never been hospitalized but spent a night at a psychiatric hospital because he threatened suicide and my husband called the cops. They released him next day. He does not work but takes a couple of dance classes and volunteers as a Lion Dancer with a Chinese dance troupe. He has about sophomore level college credits. He seems to think that he should perfect his skills in dance and acting before he pursues any kind of work. Gets depressed frequently and anxious about others' perceptions of him. Has been seeing a therapist for about 5 weeks now.
     
  12. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    My son is 23. He has been dealing with anger issues, ADHD and anxiety since he was small. He cannot take SSRIs and ADHD medications due to side effects. Has tried Geodon. Lamictal-rash. Never been hospitalized but spent a night at a psychiatric hospital because he threatened suicide and my husband called the cops. They released him next day. He does not work but takes a couple of dance classes and volunteers as a Lion Dancer with a Chinese dance troupe. He has about sophomore level college credits. He seems to think that he should perfect his skills in dance and acting before he pursues any kind of work. Gets depressed frequently and anxious about others' perceptions of him. Has been seeing a therapist for about 5 weeks now.
     
  13. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    I am really struggling with the whole issue of how to handle my son's issues. I know in my heart that we need to stop allowing him to rely on us financially but not sure I can cut him off entirely. I just know that we have to figure out a way to do it. Plus my husband wants to go slowly because he feels our son is making progress and he does not want to hinder that plus he wants to get my son on some medication before we reduce our financial help which will force our son to get some work. Just feel so frustrated with the injustice of it all and my anxiety is so acute right now...
     
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ever think of letting him use community supports such as financial asstance or Disability, food stamps and medical assistance? He would get his medical needs and medication covered. You can't support him forever and he is unrealistic to think he can m a ke a living dancing. If he is deemed disabled, workforce development will help him get a job plus he can collect social security. It's better than what's going on now.

    None of us can stay alive forever to take care of our grown kids. They need to learn to do it without us.
     
  15. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    I believe that we are getting to that point. Guess we did not want him to think that he did not ever have to work. Right now he does not seem capable of regulating his moods. Up and down. Which increases his anxiety and anger. We hope he will agree to try
    medications again. We hope to downsize and move out of state next year so not sure how we should handle that issue with him.
     
  16. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    To give you an example. Today he texted me asking to stay with us for a few days. Said that he was not doing well at his apt. We said that he could stay until Tuesday but we would need to talk about what was going on. He declined and said that maybe he would be better off staying put. Said to give him space. I said ok. We love you. His response was "If you say so". Have not heard back.
     
Loading...