Need Board support!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    So I get phone call from difficult child tonight. Should he reschdule his appointment with Link card office, which is in west side suburb where he was living before? Sure. Ask them which documents you need. If on a wednesday, I can go with you.

    Then, discouraged about job hunt. Had phone interview, feels he didn't do well. Had job offer but hours late and inconsistent with house curfew (3-1130) plus in close in north side college town suburb so transportation??? (no car). Plus safety late at night???

    Then, the best for last. He's depressed. He's lonely. He misses everybody. He wants to move home. He misses his friends.

    But Mike, I said to him, you can't stand your dad. And you want to move home now? Oh, I've been working on that, he says. (His issues with dad have been going on for the last 5 years, since he'd been acting up, since dad refused to enable him).

    To recap, difficult child was in very restrictive halfway house/recovery program from March 2013 until last month when he moved to more liberal halfway house facility on north side of the city.. It is close to transportation, lots of jobs, lots of social services, and his sister, aunt and uncle, and cousin are not far away. We are on the south side. Friends are on the south side.

    I told him he is 27 years old and he needs to make a life for himself, we are not going to be here forever, he cannot drink (or use) anymore, ever again, we love him but he is going to have to learn to live his own life, we will be here and support him but he needs to learn to make it on his own.

    I told him he needs to start interacting and meeting with people at the meetings and at yoga (he started going to yoga. I got him a mat, yoga pants, a backpack a water bottle and a towel for his birthday and he actually signed up. He says it relaxes him.) He admitted he had not been going to meetings when i talked to him last week. I let the house manager know, and they really got on his case about it.

    I feel bad for him, and I can feel myself starting to sway, just a little bit. But I can't. And my husband...talked to him to and is so supportive of him despite the not good way difficult child has treated him...doesn't want him home either.

    It 's a problem. Even when he went away to school, he was home on the train or the bus every weekend. (His sister? never came home unless there was a party or something).

    I'm calling his therapist. My therapy appoinment isn't for three days so I need you guys to fill in!!!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    Disclaimer: All of this is just my thoughts/my opinions. Take anything you feel is useful and discard the rest. As always, I could be way off here.

    Sorry that your difficult child is trying to manipulate you again...we have all been there and will keep on being there again and again. The fact is, difficult child is not trying very hard to either stay clean or get a job. He is tugging at your mommy heartstrings by making excuses about curfew/safety, etc. I am wondering if this halfway house, that doesn't seem to have a clue what he is doing, would extend his curfew if he were out later because of work. Has he asked? The fact is, especially with jobs tough to get, many young adults do evening and night shift work. Some don't have cars and have to rely on public transportation. While driving in a car, he could get killed in a car accident, especially if intoxicated. He admitted he has not been going to his meetings. That's not a good sign that he wants to change for the better.

    "I am depressed" may be very true. After all, most would be depressed living his life. Does he comply with treatment for his depression? Take medication? Abstain from recreational drug use? Go to therapy once a week? Depression is quite treatable, but you have to comply. Also, "I am depressed" is a mommy heartbreaker and he knows it. I always feel bad for my kids if I think they are depressed and I assume most other moms do too. But we're dealing here with a difficult child...

    in my opinion he is just making more excuses not to grow up and he is getting perilously close to thirty years old. He still does not have a stable work history and can not function as an adult. He has to learn how and you would do him no favors giving in to his attempts at buying your pity if you let him wallow away at home. Nothing would change either. Our difficult children are like a merry-go-round. They go up and down and round and round and never get anywhere...and so do we, unless WE change and keep hard and fast to the changes we make toward their merry-go-round behavior.

    You don't want to still be dealing with this when he is 36. Trust me, you don't. I wish I'd have taken a harder stance earlier. Worse, I wish my son's enabling father had not enabled him for so long. It did him no favors and he still can not deal with the world.

    I have no idea why you are calling your son's therapist. I am not sure the therapist can even talk to you, but my guess is your son has been feeding him a load of crapola too. So you'd probbly hear what you heard from difficult child today, if indeed he will even speak to you. I do think it is VERY positive to talk to your own therapist and work on yourself and your peace of mind. When they rattle us, we are really tested. It is so hard to stay strong and steady. But, in the end, we don't help our adult kids by helping them (no pun intended).

    These difficult children are so resistant to both doing things themselves and growing up. My autistic son, who has a middle-low IQ, and many challenges is harder working and far more desirous of independence than my 36 year old honor student with the superior level IQ who is both emotionally dependent on me yet often very abusive toward me. It's so puzzling...but we do need to live our own lives in spite of their attempts to keep us in "mommy" mode forever...

    Light and love to you and hoping you have some peace tonight. You're doing really well!
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  3. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I hate it when I think my difficult child is sad and defeated. I don't know why I hate it so much, but it is totally incapacitating to me. I am much better when I think he is stubborn but cheerful.

    Your difficult child sounds frustrated and discouraged. We all get that way. It is part of the human condition. If he doesn't learn how to manage those feelings and situations himself, then he will be doomed to forever quitting jobs/leaving girlfriends/leaving housing/moving/asking for help because he will have never learned to persevere or overcome. Just like our babies had to learn to self soothe and deal with a little frustration (remember "I want that NOW!") before they could go to first grade, so our adult kids have to learn to manage the hard periods.

    What would you do if you were he? You would talk to the half way house about hours (most do make job exceptions), and if that avenue was closed, you would start looking for another job. YOu would discuss with your therapist, and with your loved ones but you wouldn'task your loved ones to BE the answer, only to be a sounding board.

    Can you be that? be just the mirror, the sounding board? It sounds like you do engage with him quite a bit...maybe just stick with "that must be hard for you" "I see what you mean" "its hard having a job that is so far away" and "hmmmmm?"

    I think Child posted a list of useful phrases for those conversations.

    He has to stand on his own. You can be kind but not be the answer, or the counsellour.

    I am sorry for your hurting mommy heart. Remember there are no good days without bad, if there were not darkness we would never see the stars, no mud, no lotus...all those are true and useful.

    Good luck to you, and keep posting.

  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry IAD. I know how we can get wobbly. Hang in there, we're here and lately we're pretty continuously circling our wagons around each other, so you're not alone!

    MWM and Echo have given you very good advice, I think they've covered the important points.

    The rest of it, in my opinion, is to take that focus you have on your son and place it on you. I know how difficult that can be, especially when our kids have mental issues, however, for your own peace of mind, taking care of YOU has to be the priority.

    Can you get yourself to a CoDa meeting near you? If you can get to a book store or library, I am getting a lot of good support from the books Living Beautfully and Living with Uncertainty by Pema can find guided meditations on Youtube to listen to............ that can put you back on track and help you relax.......get as much support as you can right now...........and walk outside or do yoga or meditate or exercise...........get a lot of sleep.

    For me, continuing to amp up my own self care has been very important. Even when you think you are doing so much for yourself, do more. In addition to meditating, exercising and sleeping and eating right, some of the things that have helped me are yoga, acupuncture (terrific way to find deep relaxation which changes our focus), massage, reflexology, a parent group lead by a therapist well versed in the issues we face and of course, seeing your own therapist, which you are doing. Have you contacted NAMI? (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) They are a wonderful source of support and resources for parents.

    Stay the course IAD, this path is filled with holes we fall in to, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and start walking.........take excellent care of YOU, keep posting, take deep breaths...........we're here for you.......
  5. Childofmine

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

    Daze, this is the most important thing you wrote. Focus on that. You are 100 percent correct. He doesn't need to be calling you every day, five times a week, three times a week, whatever it is, to talk about his fears, problems and issues. That is what meetings are for. That is what sponsors are for. Does he have a sponsor? A good sponsor will cut through that stuff in an instant. He will say: Get up off the couch, go out there, ask questions, make something happen, and solve your own problems. Quit calling your mommy.

    That is what he needs, Daze. And he knows that. But as long as he has you, a very soft place to land (listening-wise and advice-wise), he's not going to do that.

    That is what we have to do to grow up. Be sad, be mad, be discouraged, be scared, be alone. Then learn to deal with it all. These are hard things to hear from your difficult child. I know that. It pushes all of our buttons and releases all of our own fears. I understand why you are shaky and I would be to.

    That is why I am limiting my contact with difficult child son right now. I am working hard to keep contact at a very minimum. Is it scary for me? Yes. As I posted here, I didn't hear a word from or about him from Wednesday morning of last week until he posted on FB Sunday afternoon at 4. He is homeless. All of my worst fears were raging (dead in a ditch, passed out in a crack house, etc. etc.). I wanted to DO SOMETHING to at least know if he was alive. I didn't do it Daze.

    My rational mind knows that THIS is a chance for him to do something different, IF I can stay out of the way. My ex-husband is staying out of the way. My older son is staying out of the way. Mommy/Me is the last line of defense between him and the big old world.

    But Daze, he's nearly 25 years old. If not now, when?

    Here is my immediate advice:

    1. Set limits on contact. Once a week for 5 minutes by phone is adequate during a tough time. He is shaky right now. He needs to find firm footing. That is up to HIM. You talking to him all the time interferes with this key life lesson he has to learn.
    2. Don't go anywhere with him, appointments, etc. I don't know what LINK is, but why would you need to go? ?????
    3. Don't call his therapist or anybody associated with him. That is up to him. If he doesn't do it, then he doesn't do it.
    4. REMEMBER---you can't make him sober or keep him sober. You can't Daze. It sounds like he is doing much better than perhaps he was, and that is GREAT. He is still having to learn some life lessons, obviously (job, meetings etc.). Let him learn them or not.
    5. He has to have Skin in the Game. I know you are so excited when he wants to do something positive (like yoga) and you want to encourage that. I get that. I would be the same way. But Daze, let him handle the mat, the class, the water bottle. That way, he builds pride in himself. If he starts to think it's too much trouble to go today, he remembers that he's spent money on this and he needs to do it. If YOU paid all of the price, what is his motivation? That goes for all extracurriculars.
    6. If you are paying money for anything else, start to decrease that, Daze. Yes, he is faltering. That's when he needs to be MORE responsible for himself, not LESS.
    7. Staying busy is GOOD for him. Working two jobs, if that is what he has to do, is GOOD for him. Busier is better.
    8. You can't figure out his transportation to work or his curfew or what people will allow or not allow. He has to open his mouth and ask. Read #1 again.

    Daze, this is a tough time for him and thus for you, as you are scared. I know, believe me I know.

    Turn your energy to yourself. Force yourself to stay out of his life. He is learning something new. Let him.

    Read #1 again.

    Blessings and peace and hugs for you today. Keep talking to us. Take what you like above and leave the rest. I know it's hard, but Daze, this is the pathway to health for all of us---you and him.
  6. Childofmine

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

    Daze, one more thing. We know what love looks like when our kids are young. It's completely taking care and being responsible for them.

    What does love look like now? For difficult children like ours, it's staying out of the way. That is what love looks like. When we have very limited contact with them right now, it is saying little, saying I love you and I know you will make good decisions.

    That is all we need to do. That is what love looks like right now.

    Maybe one day it will be different, Daze, but right now, this is greatest gift we can ever give them. And it is the hardest thing we will ever do.

    We are having to learn something new too, Daze, just like they are. We relapse, just like they do.

    But when we know better, we work really really hard to do better. You know better, Daze. You can do better, too.

    Said all above with a very warm and gentle heart for you.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member are an amazing, articulate and very wise board member. I am so glad you are here. You inspire me and remind me. Even I didn't have the heart to say that I didn't think she should go with difficult child to get his services. But I didn't feel it was a good idea. He is big enough to go on his own. I was surprised at the therapist too. With HIPPA and him being 27, the only way OP can talk to him/her is if he signed a paper allowing it. I think therapy is private once people are adults and parents should not be involved nor add any input nor hear what difficult child said. Therapists by the way can be tricked too. I have seen therapists since my 20's and I'm 60 now. They are just as easily fooled as you and me. Some have very liberal leanings politically. I do too. But not when it comes to teaching grown children to stand on their own. That's where we part company. I've had a therapist tell me I had to trust my daughter more. Really????? She told me this too and I said, "I disagree. You have to earn my trust. Stealing, lying and sneaking around is not going to earn you any trust, no matter WHAT the therapist thinks. It's just his opinion." And it is.

    My daughter, who used meth, did a lot of growing up because nobody was there to hold her hand. Her father worked full time and was not interested in enabling her drug use. I was in another state. Her brother, whom she lived with, was a hard nose toughie with no sympathy for her plight and with demands that she work even if she walked back and forth in the rain and snow, and she did. Anything Daughter did in Chicago, including getting clean, getting a job, going back to school, etc. was all her own and with some appropriate assistance from her SO. She did not have a car. There was no public trans where she lived. She walked to a Subway and back and that was how she had money. She was eventually moved up to Manager. She quit her drugs alone. She quit smoking cigarettes. She got her life together. She has her own life. She and SO have been together now for eleven years. She is pregnant and being very responsible and won't even take an aspirin. Trust me, before she did this, she was so thin and sickly looking I thought she was going to either end up in prison or die.

    My daughter would tell all difficult children to man up and save themselves. She was going nowhere when she had our compassion, our housing, and our money.Our enabling. She would just "play" us...say she quit, but not really quit.

    "Give them roots to grow and wings to fly." Then let them fly their own way.
  8. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member



    Hi everyone, as usual you are so supportive and so wise...

    Told him to do this. He says he left voice mail with the place. Don't know if buses run late at night. Told him to find out.

    (quote) Does he comply with treatment for his depression? Take medication? Abstain from recreational drug use? Go to therapy once a week? Depression is quite treatable, but you have to comply. Also, "I am depressed" is a mommy heartbreaker and he knows it. Yes, MWM, it is a mommy heartbreaker and is does get me down. He's going to therapy twice a week (I know, get the statments) and he says he is taking his medications (he used to be non compliant or would play with the doses and admit it but he swears he's taking them now)

    I saw my girlfriend today. I had my family over for dinner Sunday. I feel SO much better when I do things like this!

    Read more:

    He called me and asked me to put money in his account early. Stated he was going out to dinner with some friends from a rehab he was in.(I think this might be manipulation...poor me, I have no friends, now I have a chance to socialize but I can't unless you front me the money) I told him no, need to live within your means and redouble efforts to get a job.

    Son asked me if I had spoken to therapist (therapist had called me as I had sent him history summary and neurospych report) and said it was ok if I did . I saw my therapist today who said I could call therapist once a month to get a recap on what they are working on and to give support and encouragement to difficult child.

    Thanks, MWM. You've given me such wise and sound advice as usual.You've been through it and you know what you're talking about.

    I'll post more tomorrow. Been working a lot, now have to run off to choir practice/mass.

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  9. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Sorry guys, that quote feature has me flumoxxed...I hope you can make heads or tails out of my post. Maybe I can try to fix it later???