Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by savior no more, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    I guess it is finally time to tell my story after reading the boards for a year. Thank goodness for this forum or I absolutely would have gone crazy. There are days I wish this nightmare I have lived with my son would end but it has been going on since he was three years old and I don’t know if there is an end in sight. He is my Difficult child. When he was three he had mood problems and would say he wanted to die. Throughout the years he has been diagnosed with ADD, Bipolar, Asperger’s, Tourette’s, and learning disabilities. When he has fourteen he discovered marijuana and now that he is 19 he has discovered other drugs.

    He against all odds graduated from High School (mainly because he was in jail). I advocated for him at every turn of the hat because I was told by the “experts” that he needed that and I still advocate on his behalf to let the authorities who are now dealing with him know of his intellectual disabilities. His last two years have been spent in and out of jail for various drug charges, burglary of a habitation (his dad’s house), and is now in jail because he was in the car with three young adults who robbed a convenience store with a weapon. He hasn’t been formally charged but faces many years in prison if he is convicted.

    Frankly, I don’t know of a place in society for him other than prison that is safe. I offered to help him get in a halfway house after being in jail for seven months ago after the burglary of his dad’s house. He was at the Halfway House two weeks before coming straight back to the town we live and getting back with the drug dealers last July. Since that time, he has had a motion to revoke his probation for this charge but the court is not quick. He has been beat up several times and robbed by the thug drug dealers he associates with and then kidnapped one night by a group of people. It’s amazing he didn’t get killed that night.

    He has the processing speed of a severely MR – 56 – however his language IQ and other IQ’S are higher thus he appears normal. Even with advocating for him, there really are only two places in society where he might be safe – a state mental/MR institution or prison. At some point, though, he is nineteen and knows right between wrong, so I am of the opinion that it will be up to him to decide what his life will be about. It isn’t because he hasn’t been given every chance. I sent him to a Residential Treatment Center and ended up paying cash because insurance wouldn’t pay to the tune of almost $90,000. I’m not rich – I do believe in the power of treatment. He has a court appointed lawyer and that will be what he has to have. I maintain contact with him via the phone and am trying to make sure the attorney has his medical records, etc. I’m just at a point where no matter what Difficult Child says I don’t have an answer until he is willing to do the work – not me.

    I have a 23-year-old daughter who is a delight and has graduated from college. Being raised with him has left her with scars. When he was young she acted much like an older “protector” but since he has been taking on the life of glamorizing drugs and crime she has distanced. There are times during all of this he will ask me “Mom – what is wrong with me? I keep being given opportunities and just mess them up.” There is a side of him that struggles. This is the way I seemed to be sucked in again to “help” him.

    I attend Al-Anon and have since 1984. All the knowledge in the world didn’t help me change this child’s existence. The meetings help, but I have not found anyplace except this forum with people who understand what it is like to have a child like him. His dad and I are divorced. His dad loves him but doesn’t know what to do either. His dad has mental health issues himself and wasn’t really able to cope with this child as he exhibited every negative aspect that he himself has. How I deal with it today mostly is to pray and let it go as I’m not sure there is one more thing I can do other than to be there and let him know that I love him and when he is ready he has a family. There’s a part of me that worries he’s not capable of being different. I guess even he isn’t I need to come to the point of acceptance that my life can be good even if his isn’t.
  2. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    this is such a hard task with a child that you know has deficits. We had and continue to have such a difficult time due to feeling we don't know what he's capable of in taking care of himself. But, the truth is that we all have deficits of some sort and learn through life to make accomadations, don't we? For us, it boiled down to "does he know right from wrong"? Our son has chosen "wrong" many times through impulsiveness, laziness or a sense of entitlement, so now he is living with the consequences of his choices. We all do that also, and learn from it. Will our sons learn from their choices? They need lessons one hundred times over-keep your hope, this may be only #99, but ALSO keep your boundary so that the life you've been given can be good in the meantime. Prayers.
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Saviornomore, so glad you have started your thread. What a long journey we all have been on. I wonder about my two, have had issues from young teen on, not as rough as your sons, but looking back their choices make me think that something else is underlying the addiction.
    Reading through your post I see that you have battled for your son and done the best you could to try to help him. Challenges from three on, God bless you dear, that is rough.
    I also rely on prayer to help me cope. The issues with my daughters are way more than I could ever handle.
    Despite the challenges and choices our beloved adult children make, I do believe we are meant to live the best we can. It is a testimony to the kids that they can live well, too.
    Some have written that they feel guilty if they are doing well when their kids are not. I went through a time of feeling that it was not possible to lift myself up while my girls were out their floundering. Then I realized that my going down simultaneously with them does not do anyone any good.
    You are strong SNM. Keep the faith and keep taking good care of yourself. The end of the story has not been yet written for your son. He is young yet. My eldest is 37, I still hope for her to walk a different path.
    Thank you for posting, your presence of mind and strength is inspiring. Stay with us and keep sharing. You have helped me be a little braver today, with your example and your story.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is he declared disabled? Can he receive outside services? He does sound disabled and possibly too naive to not go along with negative peer pressure and an IQ of 56 is way below average. Mindblowing that he cant get government help except jail time.
    Is he per chance adopted? I am thinking of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder which so many adopted kids come to us with. I see he does have aspergers on top of a low IQ. It makes me almost sad enough to cry that this young man really has no appropriate support place to live and be monitered. I an so sorry. My heart hurts for your entire family. I am, like you, not convinced he CAN make good decisions. If you pray, my prayers are with you. Wish I could help more. Certain disabilities make it difficult for people to do the right things on their own. Not everyone is equally able to navigate life.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I really hate to have to say this as so many people on this board hope for their child to be arrested so they will be safe, but as a 24 year veteran of Department of Corrections I can assure you that our prisons are a far cry from safe. I currently work at a minimum security prison and so far this year we've had a murder, multiple assaults, and God only knows how many fights. Drugs are rampant here. Granted, things like heroin are harder to get and more expensive but they are still available. There are times I feel that K2 is more common that tobacco.

    That being said, I'm not trying to scare you. I just want you to understand that there are dangers here. That being said, there is also help to be had. We have drug treatment programs, anger management programs, mental health programs, and many others. Offenders simply need to take advantage of them and get the help they need. Unfortunately, as you have found out, more often than not they don't want the help. He has to want the help. Even if they force him into programs, and this happens regularly, he wont get much out of it unless he listens.

    Your son seems to be very similar to mine and Lil's son. The only real difference that I can see is the IQ. Our son is very intelligent, sometimes too smart for his own good. Our son has never been diagnosed but we are positive that he is high functioning Aspergers. We know he is fond of marijuana, going on rants from time to time about how its ok that he uses it because it SHOULD be legal. We also know he has used synthetic marijuana although I don't think he has done this for a while. He also likes to drink which can sometimes be the most concerning issue since his bio-dad was an alcoholic. I don't know that he's done anything harder that what I've listed, but wouldn't be surprised to find out that he had done so.

    The point is, at almost 21, our son is FINALLY starting to get a clue. He's held his current job since November and is slowly getting more hours. He has an apartment with his girlfriend. Granted, he promptly started making arrangements for his druggie friend to move in, but as the friend is still unemployed almost two months later HOPEFULLY he will figure out that he isn't really a friend and kick him out. He's almost paying his bills. Long story, will probably start my own thread on that if Lil decides to pay his past due electric bill for him. But he is trying. Not as hard as he should, not as smart as he should, but he IS trying. Hopefully your son will start to grow up as well. As truly hard as it is to do, sometimes you need to step back and let them fall then let them pick themselves up again. Its how people learn. I wish I could tell you the magic formula that would make your son turn his life around but unfortunately, that formula doesn't exist. Good luck and keep posting.
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  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    Developmental and mental illness challenges. Add in drugs. Stir. Go crazy.

    The whole IQ thing is a major challenge. Kids who are developmentally different sometimes can't even be assigned an IQ score, because they don't fit the parameters that make the test valid.

    ADD and learning disabilities often go with Asperger's. They are just specific labels that assist in specific interventions - if those are available.

    The original problem is the developmental challenge. Then came mental illness - and the combination is majorly difficult. At this point, the only kids who will tolerate having him around are the druggies. I understand how he got to where he is.

    You say he understands right from wrong. Maybe. If he is an Aspie, he will be able to rattle off all of the "rules" - but may not really understand how each rule applies to every real-life situation. The black-and-white Aspie thinking is really different.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the internet. I'm glad that you shared and really glad that you have been drawing strength from reading here for over a year.
    What a tumultuous journey you have been on.
    There are just no easy answers for any of us here. We all do the very best we can. We hope, we pray, we cry, we scream, and we are still left wondering what else can we do.
    You have done so much for your son and yet nothing is helping or changing. This is the cross roads we all face at some point. We come to realize that our helping isn't helping.
    Perhaps you can work with a social worker, they may be able to direct you to some type of group home that your son could live in.
    I wish I had a magic answer for you. None of this is easy.

    ((HUGS)) to you.......................
  8. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    Thank you for the encouragement. I have put on weight - 50 lbs.- and seem unable to take it off during this ordeal and your comment about guilt made me think this is an outward sign of the guilt I'm certain I am carrying around. I am so glad I found this group and have ventured to tell my story.
  9. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    Yes - I finally had to come to the conclusion through many posts on this forum that my son will have to learn and acomodate in spite of his faulty wiring in the brain. My pity of him through the years I'm certain has helped cripple him more, too.
  10. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    You are right about the Aspie black and white thinking. I guess I say he knows right from wrong as this is the standard Texas has set for intellectual disability. It is very low and probably one of the worst states when it comes to dealing with the judicial system and mental impairment. I ride the bandwagon in many ways for all people with cognitive impairment as I worked on the stroke/neuro floor and deal with "perfect" people who begin to exhibit all sorts of problem behaviors when the brain has injury. On top of his lower functioning, adding drugs to the mix only makes it worse. Sometimes I just have to shrug and say, " A mind is a terrible thing." and old take on the NAACP commercial that used to say " A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
  11. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    I think I need to learn how to reply to individual messages. My replies showed up at bottom of thread. ugh :/
  12. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Here's a tip for you: If you want to reply to someone's post click and drag over the text to highlight the part you want respond to.
    A little dialog box will pop up with the option of quote or reply. If you select reply it will automatically put that in the "reply box"
    I prefer to the quote option. With the quote option you can select multiple text and from different messages, then you would go to reply box and you will see a little box that says "insert quotes"

    It will show up like this. Also, when you "quote" someone they will be notified that you quoted them.

    Hope this helps. :p

    You can also click on the little smiley face to insert fun stuff.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I had a hard time too. I practiced. Now it is simple.

    For me the reply button is useless. With the quote box you highlight only what you want to reply too, one quote at a time. Then when you want to respond, you go to the bottom and you will see a button that says something like include quotes. Then you will receive another prompt and you will see the comments within quotes. You can reply one after another.

    It will be easier to for now just do one quote at a time. It will become natural.

  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The prompt down below will say insert quotes. You will see a blue message when you highlight something and push quote that says, added to multiquote.
    When you are ready to respond you will see a message that says: review selected messages. It will be self-explanatory.

  15. Childofmine

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

    Savior no more, we're so glad you are here and welcome.

    You sound so wise to me. You have been around the world that is clear. I so wish there were an answer in this world to situations like yours. I really do.

    What else can you do? Living someone else's life for them just plain does not work. Ultimately, they have to live it themselves. We can't inhabit their bodies, even though we wish we could.

    I'm just so sorry. Please know we are here for you. Warm hugs.
  16. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    He had an IEP and recieved disability services in school. I could write a textbook on the perils of advocating for a child in the public school system. They told him if he would act right then he could go to the resource room for math. That is when I had a full neuropsychologist evaluation along with SPECT imaging done on him. Disability Rights helped me at that point, but as he matured through school the DAEP placements kept coming. He developed a "bad" Spencer persona. It is interesting, though, that most people and teachers dearly love this child and know he has a heart of gold when he isn't on drugs.
    When we went to get help for him to get help from DARS the lady told me he had to be drug free. Well there you go - he wasn't going to give up pot. I understand their point - with limited funding they want to pick the applicant with the most ability to make good of the assistance.
    Now with people in law enforcement they just see the number of times he's been jailed and can't see beyond that. To me that speaks volumes of his impairment. I have co-workers with children impaired like mine and said that I have to protect him at all costs. What they don't understand is I don't have the money or even legal ability to do that. He

    He is not adopted. We lived in a home that had toxic mold when I was pregnant with him that I believe contributed to his neurocognitive impairment - on top of strong family genetics for learning disabilities and mental health issues.

    Thanks for the encouragement and kind words - in the end that is what has gotten my by this last year.
  17. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    I often think of the people that deal with people incarcerated. It must take a special type to even tolerate and appreciate the role they play in society. We see them in healthcare, too. I am glad to have your perspective and insight.
  18. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    A significant portion of, well successful anyway, Correctional employees tend to be prior military. Used to high stress levels, used to being treated abusively. I will remember the first question from my Corrections Officer interview till the day I die because I guarantee that the question caused a LOT of people to walk away right then and there. "How do you feel about being considered expendable?" Especially in the infantry, you knew you were expendable.
  19. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Thank you for your post as I can relate to it as my child too has mental impairment from meningitis at age 21 and drug issues which resulted in his incarceration. This only made his judgement worse as he also had ADD and was severely learning disabled. My son was eventually released to a group home which would have given him a chance to change his lifestyle. However, he was thrown out a few wks ago when he returned to his previous lifestyle. I struggled for years with being his advocate to letting him be his own voice despite his difficulties. In the end, the choice was made for me when he became so violent one day I had to call the police and have him removed from my home. He went to jail which caused me all sorts of pain as I didn't feel that was the right place for him as I wanted him to get help for his mental issues. Once released he went to the group home but as I've mentioned he was thrown out 3 wks ago for going back to his previous life of drugs and illegal activities. Part of his conditions were no contact with me. I don't have the answers for you but I want you to know you're not alone in your struggles. I am thinking of you and your son.