I hope I can do this...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Drowninginthis, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Drowninginthis

    Drowninginthis New Member

    Hi all. So thankful to have found this. Like you I have a difficult child, but the twist is he was adopted internationaly as a teen. This adds so much more guilt for me as he was already abandoned and I don't want him to feel that again. He has many problems that all have initials..Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), ODD, ADHD, and it is getting worse as he gets older. Now As I have been researching personality disorders, it seems to fit as well. We weren't equipped for this and of course the depth of his issues were glossed over by the orphanage. My son is 23 now, lives outside our home since he was 19 when we moved him to his own apt because he would not obey the rules and our lives were a living hell. ( he had a job making very good money and we have helped him out) I practically lived in my bedroom for 3 years, from the moment he came home from school, because I couldn't take being around him, I was on the verge of a breakdown and it was my only safe spot. My husband is non confrontational and my son owns him. My son is a master manipulator with artificial charm. He lives to push my buttons and see how long it will take. I am the brunt of most of this as husband checks out and always backs him. (Much resentment there) This forum isn't long enough for all his behaviors, police involvements, chaos and drama he brings to our lives even after we moved an hour away. Well after continued attempts to modify his lack of respect and abusive way he talks to me, it all came to a head on Christmas. We were going out on a boating excursion for the day and all was happy. I had pulled into a busy parking lot and had to back it out on to a busy street. Well he is loud and talks all the time so I said shush to him as I needed to concentrate. He went off yelling at me so then I yelled at him to shut up as an accident was pending. Well he became enraged, we had a big argument and towards the end he looked at me and called me a :censored2: and a whore. I was in shock. This has crossed the line. Something in my brain popped and that was the moment that I couldn't take it any more. I'm drowning alone and my mental health can no longer do it. I can't help him anymore. If he feels abandoned so be it. There is nothing left, i wish not to speak, see him, or have him to my house. I have to stay strong now because he is unemployed, probably be kicked out soon, lacks money for necessities (all because he got fired and just won't look for a job...doesn't want to work) WHO DOES THAT??? Every instinct in me says help him but if I do it will never end. Its been a couple weeks so far. Sorry so long.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Drowning.

    There are elements of your story I identify with. My adopted son is 27. I adopted him when he was 2 years old. He was in an orphanage here the states. I am a single Mother although I have had a partner for 6 years.
    When my son was in his teens the acting out began.

    I withdrew to my bedroom, too. I could not bear to be in the house which my son dominated.

    I kicked my son out when he was 23. I could stand no more. I had to push him to do everything. He had a good job for over a year but let it go.

    Since that time my son has been homeless off an on. He has had multiple hospitalizations. He applied for SSI, for mental illness and it was granted.

    I no longer want him in my home. He calls the cops on us to get us arrested. He gave my partner a black eye. In his last few visits he has taken things.

    All of that said we are doing way, way better. Everything changed for me when I realized that I had no control what so ever over him. As long as I stayed attached I would be sick. (I was in constant pain when he was around me.)

    Our sons are adults. I faced that. I accepted that I deserve a life where I feel safe and content and happy. My son deserves to be respected as an adult with his own life path.

    Setting limits is not abandonment. Actually, it is the most loving thing you can do for an adult child. I do not see your son's age but I am assuming he is in his early 20's.

    He is the person who will have to come to grips with his own life. Not you. Actually, you cannot do it for him. There is no place for guilt or blame here.

    Your son is trying to break free because that is the nature of things. It is a biological imperative for young me to leave home, to emancipate. Let him.

    Once you set healthy limits, his behavior towards you might improve. My own son's behavior towards me changed. Once I took control.

    I did not want to accept that my son had been damaged prenatally and in his early years. I refused to. I believed that my love would make all the difference. It did make a big difference, but genetics, early environmental influences, and a million other things, influence our children in ways we cannot control and for which we are not responsible.

    Meanwhile, the most important thing is to stop blaming yourself and holding yourself responsible. Making yourself his hostage...hiding in your own home does not help him. It is horrible for you.

    Keep posting. Post a lot. That is what I did. Post on your own threads and on as many others threads as time permits. Believe me, it helps. Other parents have been through exactly what you are going through. They will support you every step of the way. You are not alone. You are here with us, now. Little by little you will change this and your son will begin to take responsibility for his own life, as he should.

    Others will come along soon. Perhaps tomorrow morning. Most people are in the Central States or the East. Some in Europe and even farther afield.

    Take care.

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  3. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hello Drowninginthis,
    Welcome to this wonderful forum group. You have come to the right place. I am just acknowledging your post to tell you that you are not alone. The folks here understand and have been through similar situations. Copacabana has shared wise guidance from her experience. Read the Article on Detachment at the top of this board. Others will also be along soon to share and respond to you.

    Your feelings about not wanting to be in proximity with your son are understandable - that you don't want to see him or have him in your house. You do not like the person your son has become. Do not feel guilty about this. I know that feeling. It is not how we raised them to be. It is not how we had our hopes and dreams set for them. All that needs to be released. It is normal for you to have these feelings that you do not want to be in contact with him. This "nonfeeling" for him is a way to protect yourself. I am sorry your husband is not more supportive of your situation. Setting firm boundaries for contact with your son is necessary.

    This forum is a safe place. Read the other threads and you will see so many people are in just different variations of similar troubles, trying to stay afloat, and we are helping each other here, just by listening and understanding.

    You are most definitely right, stating the truth that you cannot help him anymore, and that your health must be your priority. Take care and take heart. The fact that you have found this site and have shared your situation is a huge start to getting the clarity and understanding and resolve needed, and that you want, in order to be able to do what you need to do. It doesn't happen all at once, but this beginning will hopefully strengthen you and bring some hope (and certainty) that you can do this, that you can do what you need to do for yourself, because you are the only one that you have any control over helping.

    Some things I had to learn to do, and am still working on, one day at a time:
    · Stop trying to encourage change or fix someone who doesn’t want to change.
    · Stop giving repeated chances to someone who abuses/takes advantage of forgiveness and support.
    · Stop trusting nice-sounding words (often lies) while ignoring/tolerating destructive actions.
    · Stop giving any of your strength and effort toward a relationship that isn’t reciprocated.

    Keep posting. It helps. Others will soon come along also. Stay with us. You are going to be alright. Kalahou ~
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    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  4. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Drowning, welcome to the forum, so sorry for your need to be here, but you have come to a good place.
    Your son is a man, an adult, he should be fending for himself. He was able to find a job making good money, with this, he has proven he is capable.
    This is unacceptable and abusive. I have been called bad names, too. Our d cs don't seem to understand respect for their parents, so we have to teach them, all over again, by having boundaries and expectations of proper behavior.
    There are limits in life, and consequences for bad choices. When we stand up, and do not allow this from our adult children, they have to learn not to mistreat us. They are also learning a valuable lesson, it is called respect for others.
    I will not allow my d cs, ever again, to verbally abuse me. It is against my principles.
    This is a consequence of his actions, Drowning. It is right for you, to protect yourself. It is imperative. Our health is at stake in this, truly, the stress is too much. This is not abandonment. He is an adult, who chooses to be on his own, he will not follow your rules. You are helping him, by not helping him. He will have to believe in himself, and take steps to fend for himself. This is a good thing. You have done your job, your parenting.
    Your home is your sanctuary. Keep it that way.
    We all need a place to relax and call home.
    The same thing happened to me, when my d cs were in my house, it was not a home anymore. I did not want to go to my house after work, it got so bad. I have since, gotten rid of the excess bureaus and such, that would allow my d cs to come back again. I said, enough, is enough. It is one thing to accommodate adult children who are helpful and cooperative. Times are hard. But, if we try to help, and it is not appreciated, and we are disrespected in our own homes, this is unacceptable.
    You are quite right in your thinking here, Drowning.
    We all have to try our best to be strong, to stand up for ourselves.
    It is in our nature to want to nurture, but it is true, that if we help, it turns into over helping.
    We want our adult children to be able to take care of themselves, we will not be around forever to pick up the pieces.
    Many will tell you, that in helping our d cs, we are not helping them, we are just prolonging dependency.
    There is a good article on detachment, that has helped me;
    Reading it over and again, helps to reaffirm loving detachment. It is freeing for us, and our d cs.

    Keep posting here, it really helps. Writing out our stories, helps to work out the pain of it, and the replies you receive, are from people who are traveling a similar journey, all in different stages. We help each other, because we know how it feels to be where you are, and we care.
    You are not alone.
    I am so sorry for your hurting heart.

  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Drowning,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through and I'm glad you found us here. You will find much needed support within these pages from parents who have fought the battle and survived.

    What a wonderful and loving thing you did by adopting him. Know that there is no guarantee that things would have turned out differently if he was your biological child. There are many here on this site that have bio-kids that are just as difficult as those kids who were adopted.

    You have done your best and that is all any of us can do. It's just so hard because we have given our heart to these kids and they have broken them. My son has shattered my heart more times than I can remember. I do not trust him and don't know if I ever will be able to. It hurts but it is what it is and over time I have come to accept it. The life I had hoped for my son is not what he wants for himself and accepting that fact has allowed me to free myself from the chaos of his choices.

    We cannot control or change our Difficult Child, we can only change ourselves and how we choose to respond.

    The most important thing you can do is to take very good care of yourself. Do things that you enjoy and know that it's ok be happy and live your life for yourself. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

    Our Difficult Child are masters at manipulation and they are counting on us to feel guilty so that we will give in to their pleas for money or whatever it is they are looking for. Again, you have nothing to feel guilty about.
    Your son has shown that he can hold a job and make a decent living so now it's up to him. His life, his choice as to how he will live it.

    Stay close to this site as we can be your life preserver. ((HUGS)) for your hurting heart.