I'm new...I recently had to put my son out..trying to cope.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by GMStrength02, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. GMStrength02

    GMStrength02 New Member

    Hello. I'm new to this sight. I'm the mother of three (9,12,19) and I recently had to make a choice to either continue to enable my 19 yr old son or finally stop. The breaking point was the disrespect that he showed to my mother (his grandmother). Enough was enough here at my home. Everything from talking back, refusal to really try to gain employment,not keeping jobs that my friends helped him get, not respecting my house or rules, leaving doors unlocked, having friends over when told not to, sometimes irrational behavior in my opinion due to drug use and absolutely not taking any responsibility for his actions and blaming others. He added stealing cash out of my room to the mix and he had to go. That's when my mother stepped in and offered for him to stay with her. That went ok for about 2 months and he recently started to disrespect her. ( I never ever thought he would.) He basically refused to follow her rules about coming and going from her home. Long story short my brother came down in a flash and removed him from her house. He tried talking to my son for the 10,000th time, but with no success. My son stated that he's not trying to gain anyone's respect. My guess is he is very angry and what life has dealt him, no good absentee father, a step father that was not a true father figure and losing my father, his grandfather whom he adored. I take full responsibility for my part and my choices in life,which were not always the best. Staying in a marriage for the sake of children for example. But he has had sooooo much positivity, support and love. People have constantly been on his side and encouraging him to do the right things. He was truly blessed, own room,TV, cable, phone.(Those comforts I eventually took away when he was here) But at the end of the day what we think and how we think is not what matters. It's what and how he thinks. Anyways...He came to my home ringing the doorbell and banging on my back window non stop. I called the police and they took him to a friends who's mom would not allow him to stay there. He slept at a park near my home and I don't of his where abouts now. It's been 3 days. I know I did what had to be done but my motherly instincts and guilt keep kicking in. He is not a bad person and I love him dearly. This is harder than I thought it would be, mostly on the heart but I'm trying to be strong. I did not go to work today as I've not slept well and not eating much. Does is it get better or any easier to cope? (sorry if this was long.)
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    First - (((Hugs)))

    Second - I don't think it's a matter of things getting "easier", as much as you learn to accept that your adult son's choices are HIS and his alone.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome GMS02. I'm sorry you are going through this difficult time with your son. Your story is not unlike many of our adult children's behaviors and the choices we have to make around that. We do understand the heartache and how challenging it is. I'm glad you found us.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. It's helpful. You may also, at the point it feels right, put in a bio at the bottom of your posts, as you see we have done, so it can allow us to remember you and key in to you and your son's issues. You can do that at the top right of this page under settings, then scroll down and look left for the profile, bio, etc.

    One thing that is very helpful for us is to get support for our journey though this. It can be easy to forget that our kids can do damage to us and our family and it becomes necessary for us to take very good care of ourselves. Often, for many, that involves therapy, 12 step groups, parent support groups and if your son has some mental or emotional issues, there is an organization called NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which can provide you with much support and resources. They can be accessed online and have chapters everywhere. You will be much better able to cope and feel good about your choices and learn the tools of detachment if you have a good support system for yourself.

    Once our kids are grown, our control in their lives diminishes. Detachment is a process which takes time and commitment. You seem to have made some healthy choices and yet I know how hard it is to maintain those choices and cope with our fears for our kids. That's where support for YOU comes in.

    I think to answer your question, it can get better and easier to cope as time goes by and we get the support necessary and begin the journey of detachment and the acceptance of exactly what it is that we really can't control. Often the powerlessness to effect chance in our children's lives and the fears that brings up, as well as the guilt and sorrow we feel, can be very difficult to navigate through. But time and time again, what I've seen is the remarkable resourcefulness of our kids abilities to survive and get through life on their own unusual terms.

    All of this takes time. Detachment is not easy, but in many cases, it's necessary. There are shelters in most towns, your son could try to get in, but some of our kids can't follow the rules in the shelters either.

    You must take care of yourself, sleep, eat, rest and find ways to nurture and support yourself while you go through this with your son. Your health and well being are equally as important as your son's. Continue posting, it helps. I'm sorry you find yourself here but I'm glad you found us. I wish you peace.
  4. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Hello, GM. I'm sorry this is happening to you, and to your family. It's so hard to know how to respond to our kids. Of all the things we try, nothing seems to work. It's so discouraging, and we begin to feel that there must be something, some important piece we missed.

    You are doing fine, and I think you are doing all the right things. I was glad to read that the uncle came to rescue the grandmother. That is important. In that the uncle did not automatically condemn your son, but tried to talk to and teach him, it sounds like your family is functioning well.

    You mentioned drug use.

    I have a son who was such a fine boy, GM. One day, just like that, everything changed. We knew there was some drug use but, as it seems you are doing, too...we ignored the drug part and instead, began checking off all the wrong things that had happened in his life to cause him such pain and rage. We believed he might be reacting to the problems we'd had with our daughter. We believed he was reacting to the "desertion" he claimed he felt from me, as I reacted to what was happening with our daughter. We hadn't been divorced, so it couldn't be that...but maybe it could be that we were such horrible parents that....

    Do you see where I am going with this?

    It wasn't us. It wasn't anything we had done.

    It was drugs. When you interact with someone actively using drugs, you are interacting with the drug, not the person.

    By the time we stopped blaming ourselves, our son's drug use had become a lifestyle. It cost us thousands and thousands of dollars to learn that lesson.

    If I had it to do again, I would bring the real problem out into the open. Is it possible for your son to stop using on his own? If not, he will need to go into treatment. Unless he agrees to go into treatment, you cannot help him. The problem isn't his upbringing. The problem is his drug use.

    That is what happened, to our son.

    If we had been on top of that in the beginning, he would not have lost all those years when we kept trying to help him get on his feet without knowing what the real problem was.

    Holding a good thought for you and your family, GM.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He is an adult now. Lots of kids have less than perfect homes and parents are human. He is making his own choices and disrespecting you and Grandma and stealing and using drugs (the key factor here) are all his own choices and he does not sound like "not a bad person." Maybe he wasn't before the drugs, but he is what he is NOW and you did the right thing. So did your brother.

    The art of detachment is truly wonderful and freeing. If you are up to it, Nar-Anon groups are great support systems. So is NAMI. You need to talk to other adults who are going what through you are. Enabling your son will not make him choose to make good choices. He has to stop the drugs first. He may be more involved with drugs than you know. Drug users/addicts lie, steal and disrespectful people and social norms. Been there/done that.

    You can't save him. Only one person can make him change...himself. And he has to WANT to change. Right now it seems he'd rather sleep on a park bench than change. He is not alone. It puzzles us, but to them it makes sense. The drugs are more important than anything else. And until they desperately want to quit, their priorities will continue to be skewed.

    YOU on the other hand deserve to have a good and peaceful life and not be bogged down by your adult child's horrible choices and drama. I'm sure there are others in your life who love you and will treat you well. And of course you need to learn to love yourself too. Be good to yourself and try to pull away from this grown child's catastrophic lifestyle. You can't help him by worrying or by begging with him. He will come to you if he wants to change and, if he is sincere, then you can help him. Not until. Hugs :) I know it's hard.
  6. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    There are a lot of great books out there on enabling, detachment that are a tremendous help. I also suffered from guilt from a bad marriage and I let my son use it against me. You can't change the past and they look for any excuse to continue their lifestyle. My son stole from me and helped his friends steal from me. I tried everything, anything I did just made him angry at me.

    I just went to a family get together this past weekend and a 30ish relative had stolen from the company he worked for and was caught on camera, charged, and fired. Well, his dad is a manager in the same company and has finally said enough is enough and the young man is own his own to work this out.

    Some of the family are outraged asking how can he turn his back on his own son. I've been through that judgment myself! Until people actually have a full blown difficult child in their home it's difficult for them to comprehend the stress we go through each day. I also have several 35yo's that work when they want to and spent it on drugs and alcohol and their family fusses, but they are still living at home.

    in my opinion, as long as you let it, your son will continue in the path he is comfortable in. I know all of the things I have done to help my adult son really have not made a difference at all, it just allowed him to spend his time and money on drugs and alcohol.

    My son is 35 and after he was conning me for money, hacked into my computer, had to call the police to stop his girlfriend's harassment, I finally drew the line in the sand and stopped. He threatened suicide and went no contact with me for almost a year.

    It was painful for me, but I took the time to really look at my enabling habits. The stress was causing health issues for me. He contacted me recently and I can honestly report that he is doing better after I stopped 'helping' than he was before.

    My daughter told me last week that she hoped my son can get his life together to enjoy some of it. That may never happen, but it is his choice alone and I will not live my life according to the daily decisions he makes.

    There's help out there for them when they decide to ask for it, if they don't, either way it's their decision. Take care of yourself.
  7. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    Welcome to a terrific support forum. I understand your pain
  8. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    Recently I have read a couple of articles about "millenials" and was both surprised and disgusted at how many 18- 30 somethings are living with their parents these days. One of the articles said that in a survey of parents of adult children, 50% of the parents said it was okay for adult children to move back home no matter what their ages. in my opinion difficult child or not, 18 years old or HS graduation (whichever comes later) you are an ADULT, and unless you are going to college, you are a big boy/girl now and you are on your own. When I graduated from college, my mother gave me a check for $2000 and said "You're on your own now son." Sure there are good adult kids who live with mom and dad and pull thier weight, but regardless, in my opinion, letting them continue to live at home just allows them to continue to be teenagers indefinitely. It's even worse if drugs and/or behavioral problems are involved. Despite my talking a good game, our son lived with us twice as an adult, not by my will, but because I let my wife brow beat me into allowing it. His behavior at our house absolutely disgusted me. How DARE a grown man sit on my couch all day smoking pot and eating my food, and being disrespectful to us. The second time when he lived with us (21-22 years old) He actually had the nerve to tell us that he didn't understand why we wouldn't just support him. The absolute nerve of someone who is supposed to be a grown man to say something like that. He's 31 now and still a screw up. But that's his problem and not mine. He will get no help from us as long as my wife and I stay married, and I am well past the point of feeling any guilt about it.

    At 18 to say 21 or 22, when you threaten to kick them out, don't believe the threats about sleeping on a park bench, behind a dumpster, etc. These are idle threats and it's not going to happen. Young adult difficult children are very adept at couch surfing. We kicked our son out twice, and he NEVER spent a night sleeping on the street.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    GMStrength...I think it gets better. It seems counterintuitive to do the tough love thing with our children. But our difficult children seem to be clueless when it comes to being grateful, wanting to pull their own weight, being appropriate, being accountable and responsible, understanding logical consequences....etc. some young adults seem to get with the program rather easily with few errors...but others like our difficult children make every mistake in the book and repeatedly. It is in our best interest and THEiRS to insist on respect, to establish boundaries and to push them out of the nest. Sounds like you are making the right moves. Job well done...and NOT easy!It is EXTREMELY hard, but your son's only chance for improvement. Consider joining a group like Parents Anonymous and getting counseling for yourself as this is emotionally draining

    Scott....I often think our difficult children do NOT see themselves as grown men or women...not one bit. They are forever little children, jealous of younger siblings, entitled and ungrateful. It is hard to even give them a wake up call by throwing them out onto the street. I disagree with you only a tiny bit...in that my difficult child has actually slept in the park once or twice. And it was shocking. But in our case, she has a mental illness diagnosis. My husband and I have a great relationship, but had to get some counseling to stay on the same page when it came to our difficult child. They are so DRAINInG!!!!! I totally agree, parents have to nix the entitlement attitudes of their difficult children. Serves NO good for anybody!!!! Wishing you and your wife well!
  10. GMStrength02

    GMStrength02 New Member

    Thank you all for your responses. I'm learning that this is going to take a lot more time and strength than I thought. It is very easy to get sucked back in thinking you can help or maybe something has changed only to find out it's worse. I've probably made some mistakes recently that have not helped him (by me trying to help). My help led to him pawning some of my and his little brothers things : ( I will read the articles suggested here and look into the other suggestions for support. I never thought about the fact that I've have to learn to detach from my kids. I never thought I'd have a reason to have to. I see that I'm going to have to learn how to do that for my sake and the sake of my other 2kids. For his sake as well. I wish you all well in your lives. GOD Bless!