It's been a long time...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by db52, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. db52

    db52 New Member

    I used to post under Ian's Mom - I haven't visited in a while because (surprise!) life has gone through some changes but it seems to be coming around full circle.

    I have a 30 year old son who is diagnosed bipolar, ADD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He was diagnosed when he was 24 and is also an alcoholic. He has had numerous relapses since rehab but has been clean and sober for a year now and even quite smoking three months ago. He has a 21 year old girlfriend who is very supportive and has never been a drink or drug user - but she does baby him and he takes full advantage of it. Ian has been on SSI since he was 24 and used to work with his Dad here at home making furniture. A girlfriend ago and four years have past since he lived either with us or near us. He went "to college" with his current girlfriend and has spent only 4 months out of the last four years working - coffee shop and retail. He worked days here and there with his Dad when they came home on vacations.

    I've read posts on this on what's going to happen to these difficult child's when they grow up. Well, I don't think Ian will ever grow up. He is much better than ever before but he has never matured like his younger easy child brother. He is just as easy to push over the edge maybe even easier but we don't walk on eggs any more. We've gotten to the point that we don't believe Ian will ever really change so we just avoid what freaks him out. If you don't allow the situation to come up then you don't have to deal with it when it does. Not a perfect situation but nothing will ever be with him. He is treating with a private psychiatrist who is starting from the beginning again with him and he believes that once he has been treating him for a while, he will be able to tell us what we can expect from Ian.

    The worst legal problems he has gotten himself into in the last four years is two speeding tickets so we are making progress there. His girlfriend handles all his finances and has taken on a lot and still has gotten a 4.0 at college. I'm feeling that she is the stabilizing person who has him at the level he is at now. I am grateful for her love for him.

    I wish I could tell you that Ian has blossomed into a full functioning adult with goals and dreams and ambitions. But he is just content to live a very basic, simple life with his girlfriend and no more.

    We do have periods of him getting mad at us and we have to make contact with him to have him speak to us and he is quick to forget. Unfortunately, his short term memory seems to be less clear as he gets older but maybe that is a side effect of the six years of a pretty intense medication cocktail his doctors put him on. Currently he only takes Lexapro - which he only started last month so we don't know how that will work out over the long run.

    I don't mean to sound pessimistic - we are happy he is where he is but like all mothers, I wanted more for him and it does make me sad that I don't believe he will ever have any job that isn't forced on him. It's the no dreams, no goals thing that bothers me the most. But that is the hand that is dealt us and I'm just so thankful he is not in jail which was a real possibility in the past.

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It is sad that we have to "settle." I dreamed of high school graduation, college graduation, engagement, marriage to a college grad with like ambitions/drives, grandkids.

    High school graduation is out the window. Right now, I'd be thrilled with a GED. A boy friend who actually has a job would be nice. I'd prefer no grandkids any time in the next 10 years or so.

    She's not in jail, she's not pregnant, she's not using drugs. She can keep a job when I'm there to push her to go to work on time every day. It's not what I wanted, but it is much better than what could have been or even what was 2 months ago.

    Ian may not be where you wanted but he's not a failure, either. You aren't supporting him and the government wouldn't be, either, if they didn't see a real need to do so. He has a wonderful young woman who loves him and cherishes who he is.

    On the job front, he's not that different from a lot of young people of his generation: they work if they have to but are quite happy to not work.
  3. Skylark Matrix

    Skylark Matrix New Member

    Thanks for posting Diane. It is so hard to give up our hopes and dreams for our children. I know that is a big part that breaks my heart too. There is so much more for them out there that they just don't access because they can't/ won't. We have to hold on to the positive no matter how small that is. I have been thankful for some very strange things the past 2 years !!!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I remember has been a long time. Although I'm not 100%
    sure that I really "know" what you're feeling, I absolutely can
    relate to it. With our first set of kids we have two that we
    worried might not even survive to adulthood. Both are adults and
    the lifestyle chosen by one is unconventional but has brought peace to that adult. The other is unsatisfactory in many ways
    but appears to be a lifelong pattern set.

    Our perceptions and goals were very different for each of them.
    We would not, as unrelated adults, opt to be close friends with
    either. on the other hand, we are happy for the one who is happy. We still
    are trying to keep our distance from the other.

    Life is strange, isn't it? Welcome back. DDD
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Diane, HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :salute:

    I remember you and Ian well. Please put in a signature and write "formerly Ian's Mom" in it so other oldtimers will be able to recognize you.

    Interesting parallel.....Rob's current girlfriend is 6 years younger than he is and takes care of him in many ways, too. Rob doesn't see it as such and that's probably just as well. Compared to his last girlfriend, this young woman is a doll so I'm not complaining.

    I hope you hang around. There are many who will benefit from your experience.

  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Hi Diane, how nice to see you again.
    I'm glad Ian has found a woman who can be his support. I know what you mean about not walking on eggshells anymore.
    I hope your son finds his peace and a niche that works for him. Not living with a difficult child every day has given me more patience and acceptance. We see small steps forward but our difficult child's move at their own pace and are missing some key parts to living a full life.

    It's nice to see you and I hope Ian finds his way.
  7. db52

    db52 New Member

    Hi Suz! I was hoping you would remember me. Hello Fran, too. And to everyone else.

    I am feeling a little better today - I have those bad days once in a while - probably because I wonder if anything happens to us, what will become of Ian. Having his current girlfriend makes me feel much better and it's probably their living situation which will change next summer that is making me a little off the wall (that and menopause - phew, what next). She will graduate from college and then they are both looking forward to coming back to our area. Of course, she comes from a very dysfunctional family and her grandparents are trying to support three grown children and all their grandchildren and while they have money, it is taking a real emotional toll on her grandfather. They have decided to rent their house, move to a small mobile home for the summers and then travel in the winters so they can't take anyone else into their home. So long story short, Ian and his girlfriend will probably be coming back to live with us. So hopefully, we can build a little addition to our garage and they can live over it but the economy being what it is, well, the house is big enough to fit them but we all know what living in the same house is like. So, I'm trying to convince myself to cross that bridge when I come to it and just live for the day.

    Ian is a really sensitive, talkative guy but he is still so hypersensitive that it is that that pushes him over the edge. His girlfriend has a pet rabbit which he worries endlessly about - "why isn't he eating, is he sick, I wish we never got him because I can't stop worrying about him." It is that obsessing that you have to not listen to and then even he forgets it. But overall I am very happy with his progress or I should say stabilization because I think the progress will come when he tries to work on at least a more frequent basis. His psychiatrist says he has failed so many times that he may be afraid of trying again. He also has begun to treat Ian alone - meaning that we used to all go in together but Ian wouldn't say anything. Then we went through the stage that Ian just went in alone and still wouldn't not say anything. Pretty expensive silence. But the County Mental Health Unit which is covered did not do anything but encourage him to stop taking his medications. I know that sounds hard to believe but that is what happened. Last winter Ian realized he needed something so when he came home this summer (they are currently living with her grandparents until they leave in the fall) he went back to the private psychiatrist. At least he will see him for half hours instead of whole hours and a lot gets accomplished. The trade off was Ian was supposed to work with his Dad to offset the costs but he freaked out and couldn't take the stress so I told his girlfriend, since she was working and was agreeing with Ian that he didn't need to work if it upset him, she would have to make the payments. Of course, that didn't go over too well but he is now making progress with the psychiatrist and taking his medications. So if I have to be the bad guy to get positive results, I've got no problem doing that.

    I'm rambling - but I really do appreciate your words of support and always tear up when I first visit again after so long. I'm willing to add my experiences whenever I can to make another mom or dad feel as good as I always did when someone would add a shoulder for me here. Love you guys, Diane
  8. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Being the bad guy is what we seem to have to be at this point.
    I asked my difficult child if he wanted me to just stop all the nudges. He said no. He knows that if I didn't nudge him, he would end up not moving forward. So he blames me and rages at times, he acknowledged he needs me to do this for him.

    I also offered to have him move home. He said it was tempting but he thinks it would be too easy to never become more independent. He has come a long way but he has a long way to go.

    He verbalized Friday that he may want to try a vocational program because he doesn't want to be known as the guy with learning disabilities that almost dismisses him as having anymore value. I think he is conquering his anxiety but he has a lot of obstacles yet.

    Our kids don't have easy lives. Some of it is their neurobiology, some of it is their personalities and some of it is their anxiety. I wish I could unravel which was which so that I can hold him accountable for those things he could control and change.

    I'm glad you feel like you can be "at home" when you stop here. Stick around. I'm sure I'll have a really crappy day next week or even tomorrow.
  9. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    hi there, old pal. glad you popped in. I have to say your love of Ian is a nice asset he has :wink:
    it can be so heartbreaking to watch their lives at times. at some point we get to acceptance. sounds like you made it. trying to get there also with ant.