need reminder that I am only a money machine to my difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JustCantWin, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. 4now

    4now Member

    difficult child has been flipping out since last week. Had been staying at the Salvation Army but had to leave. ( I think he was kicked out). Then he managed to get back in after 2 nights with no where to go. Now he's been kicked out again and escalating.

    Calling my phone, texting, pleading begging and making everyone's life miserable. Called both me and his dad my ex and told us his probation officer insisted that we had to help him find a place to stay and help him. my ex called his bluff and phoned his po and of course she said none of this was remotely true. That she is trying to get him to accept help for his mental health but he is "non- compliant" My ex asked why she had not violated him for failing his drug test, not paying his fines and generally not doing anything he was required to do for his DUI ( which by the way was for prescription medications and not alcohol) and got no good answer. My belief is they don't want to have to deal with or pay for his mental health issues if they violate him!

    After 3 days of all his pleading, crying, threatening, escalating I told him that the only help I was willing to offer was to drive him to the next town over that has an excellent shelter that would give him a bed and help him hook up with resources to get him back on his feet. So I get a message from him late this afternoon saying to please give him a ride, he's ready to go because he's all out of options here, wants a shower and a bed.

    After calling the shelter to make sure he wasn't lying and that they would take him if I drove him there ( they said they would take him). My husband and I agreed to drive him there. I wasn't really looking forward to the drive and his nonstop whining and verbal assaults but I agreed to drive him because I thought he was worn out and maybe really wanted a place to stay and wanted the help. . I pulled in to Mcdonalds to pick him up and he was on the phone. Bad sign, I knew that he wasn't probably at his bottom so I told him to either get in the car or I was leaving because I didn't have time for any more cr** from him.

    Long story short, he had changed his mind and didn't want to go. He had a friend (someone who had scammed him before and had just got out of jail for stealing her mothers Valium drugs that was going to give him a ride) besides, he doesn't want to go stay 20 miles away with strangers with his anxiety and all! Are you flipping kidding me!!! I know that he probably told her he had his anxiety medication scrip but didn't have the money to get it filled (I refuse to pay for his medicine anymore since he only wants the anxiety medications but refuses his psychiatrist's mood stabilizers and antidepressants ) to get a place to stay and someone to use with.

    I was able to calmly tell him all right just get out as I have things to get done, however, this just strengthens my resolve that he is NOT ready and truly doesn't desire anything from me besides money to get him his medications and or drugs. I wasn't even really surprised, I just get caught up in all the tears and sadness and Hope that this time that he really just wants help.

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  2. lostmyson

    lostmyson Member

    So sorry. Dealing with desperate difficult child tonite also. Tense and sick. What next.
  3. 4now

    4now Member

    Thanks lost my son. it so hard when they sound so desperate. I've tried not reading the text and answering the phone but it is draining and very hard to deal with the constant pressure and desperation. Sorry you are going through this also. It is so incredibly hard and always tugs on my mommy heart strings when they say they are hungry.

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  4. Childofmine

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

    JCW how old is difficult child? I can't remember. I am so sorry for your dashed hopes. It sounds like to me that you handled it all great.

    Your difficult child is swallowed up by his addiction and until he truly truly wants to stop more than he wants his substances this will continue.

    As SO says, he ain't done cookin' yet.

    I hope you can again detach and just stand back and stand down and observe, being supportive as you can.

    Take care of you. And we will all just hope and pray that he comes through this storm sooner rather than later.

    I am so sorry for your pain. Keep moving forward. Big hugs.

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  5. lostmyson

    lostmyson Member

    Wondering if he wiil get dropped off here like he said. Locked the doors. Phone by bed what a way to live. Thinking of keeping shoes handy. Don't think he will show but never thought he would be who he has become. Don't know what goes thru his head. Tell him I do love him but have my own life to get on with. Just because I love him doesn't mean I will put up with verbal abuse and stealing. Laying in bed listening for car. We live on little traveled road. So glad I never knew when he was young and life was good the outcome. My 5 year old daughter is a saviour. So sweet and kind. She saw him get arrested in may. Stealing scrap from burnt mobile home for drug money. In jail for 6 weeks. Told him not to come back. Staying with druggie friends past month. Falling out who knows. Many desparate calls and texts. I am losing my mind. Heart already broken. Won't have s soul left soon. Sorry rambling. Adrenaline rush . 5 year old staying with relatives a few days not to worry. I have plan if he shows but hate to think of it.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so so sorry. It is terrible way to live. I hope your husband is with you tonight. If he comes to your house, call the police. You may want to get a restraining order. You may want to block his calls and his texts so you don't get sucked in to his dramas. You may want to let him know you will only speak to him once a week, every other day, for 5 minutes as long as he is respectful, whatever works for you, as long as you set the boundaries and he abides by them. Do not accept disrespect or abuse from him.

    Please get yourself some support. 12 step groups. NAMI, (National Alliance for Mental illness, which can be accessed online-they have excellent courses for parents) private therapy, some kind of counseling and support for YOU. YOU will need to get support so you can shift your responses to your son. You have to be the one to change, he won't. YOU have the power here, you must take it. Do not allow him to keep you in this hamster wheel, this roller coaster ride to hell, it will ruin your life.

    Your son is a grown man in his 30's, he is far beyond the age of a child who needs his mommy and daddy to take care of him. Step back from this ledge you're on and walk in the opposite direction for a little while so you can gain some perspective. It is almost impossible to do that when you are right in the middle of the fray. Step back, take deep breaths, get a plan going as to what your next steps are and follow through with them. Do not continue down this road, you will be pulled out of your center into the world of insanity each and every time. Don't do it.

    Take the focus off of him and put it onto you. Do that and get help for you. Once you begin that journey you will begin to feel better. You heart will begin to mend. You will feel joy again. This insanity will end. But YOU have to be the one who does it. YOU have to change how you respond. You can do it. One moment at a time, one day at a time, and then all those moments and days will run together and you will wake up one day and feel better, a lot better. Take care of YOU. Start right now.

    Sending you warm thoughts and prayers for this issue tonight to resolve and for you to find the strength to detach and accept what you cannot change.
  7. 4now

    4now Member

    So sorry Lost my son! It sounds like your difficult child has been putting you through the ringer. I have had my difficult child show up here and ring the doorbell at 3 am in the middle of the winter. I refused to even answer the door, even though my heart was breaking. I spent the rest of that night worried that he was going to freeze to death and crying like my heart would break. I have also had him show up here last week and this week begging for a place to stay or a place to rest. Each time I had to refuse him because every time I help him he stops trying to help himself. He is also 33 and long past the age where he should be needing my help. However stressful it is for me to refuse him, I am not really afraid of him or what he might do if he comes here. It is more just the stress and heartbreak of having to turn him away and fear that he may lose hope and feel like no one cares. I have also told him( like you have your son) that I love him but he is a grown adult and I need to live my life without the stress of dealing with his choices and problems. Not the least of which is his mental illness which he refuses to treat or acknowledge.

    It is so sad that we have to struggle with the calls and verbal abuse that our difficult child's seem to wish to inflict. I pray that you are able to get through your night without your difficult child showing up. I am praying for you and your difficult child. hang in there, and please know that I am with you in spirit.

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  8. 4now

    4now Member

    You are right COM, my husband says the same thing. Even though he sounds so desperate he is simply not ready. He is a 33 year old mentally ill man child. It seems like the more I detach the harder he tries to keep connecting but in a non- healthy way. It is really quite sad but he is becoming more and more of a stranger to me with his bizarre demands and behavior. I love my son, but it is really hard to show any kind of concern or affection for this grown man who wants to be taken care of like a child.

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  9. 4now

    4now Member

    Thanks Recovering, everything you said is correct. My son is an adult who is well past the age where he should be needing a mommy. I have noticed on this journey to detach from his drama that the more successful I become at stepping away from his drama and detaching, the more frantic he becomes and the more extreme his behavior. The bottom line is I am finally sick of the roller coaster ride and finally willing to detach to preserve my life and my sanity.

    I think that for me the biggest regret is that I didn't reach this point while he was younger. I had some a hangup with the mental illness aspect and thought that it wasn't fair and that if he had an illness it was my duty as a mother to try and help him become well again. If he had cancer I would drive him to chemo so I didn't see how trying to help him receive treatment for his mental illness was different. I realize now that it wasn't helping and that it has probably made things worse and at the very least prolonged his dependency far past an appropriate age.

    I know I am like every other parent on this site, in that we deeply love and care for our children no matter what the age, and would move heaven and earth to help them if it were in our power and control.

    I have finally in the last year reached the stage where I won't allow difficult child to abuse me verbally and I do hang up and refuse to take his calls when he is abusive. I have also stopped reacting to his text and calls and try to take time to figure out how I want to respond or if I even want to respond. What is still hard is that he keeps grasping for me and reaching to me for what he says he needs which is my love and support of him.

    As the situation continues and I am able to view things less emotionally, I do see that what he says he wants from me and what his actions he shows me are completely different. It really boils down to the fact that he wants money. Money to get his medicine, money for shelter, money for food, money for shoes, clothes. It is never ending and it is all things that at 33 years old he should be able to provide for himself

    I am no longer willing to substitute money for love and concern. The only help he is going to get from me is loving him enough to detach and let him realize that he is able to fix his own life. I am working hard and remaining lovingly detached from his neediness and drama while trying to enjoy my life and move forward. With the help and support of the members of this site. Thank god there are people that understand and can offer words of support, advice and encouragement .

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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry for your hurting heart. Please understand that in order to stay at any shelter or the Salvation Army mission, the person has to follow rules. I read an interesting autobiolography about a young man who lived on the streets. He kept getting thrown out of a mission because he did not want to follow their rules and ended up in a tent city, which he liked very much. Yup, he liked it. Although the mission would not allow him to sleep there, he was still allowed to eat th ere and they all (all the street friends he made) knew where and how to get food. They even got a free new tent that, he says, was awesome. Your son does not want to follow the rules in place at these places. Often that is because there is a curfew, which they don't like (they think they should be able to stay out as late as they like) or they have conditions to getting food (such as listening to a preacher at the mission or going to NA) or they just plain don't want to spend a night sober and drugs and being high is forbidden. Learned a lot by that young man's book. He was fine being homeless, even turned down his sisters offer of a home several times. He never went without food or even cigarettes. If necessary, he panhandled and was fine with it.

    Our difficult children do not think like we do nor do they share our values. Unless they change, they will not fit in anywhere that has rules, including our homes. Many are ok with stealing from us and are verbally abusive or physically abusive or both. They have to look around and decide their lifestyle is horrible in order to put effort into change a nd we can't control when or if that happens.

    The author of the "I Was Homeless" book thinks his homelessness was a good experience. I wonder how he is doing now, but there is no information. He did eventually go live with his sister, but, from reading his book, I wonder if that worked out. He was so used to playing by his own rules. I wish I still had the name of that book, but I don't.

    Usually when our grown kids sound desperate, they are...desperate for drugs. But they know we won't send them money for drugs so they pull at our heartstrings and say they need food.
  11. 4now

    4now Member

    The book about homelessness sounds very interesting MWM. I will have to read it. It seems as though you have been spending your time educating yourself about these issues we face with our difficult child's and that is definitely something I should be doing also. I just cannot seem to wrap my brain around the way they think sometimes because it so against everything I think and believe. Growing up in a chaotic alcoholic home I swore I would never live that way as an adult and made sure my kids were never exposed to that kind of chaos and drama. Now two out of my 3 sons are active addicts with mental illness thrown in. I always tried to warn them of the genetic components of addiction but of course it fell on deaf ears. I think maybe I was spared the gene or was so traumatized as a child by the drama that I knew since childhood that it wasn't a path I wanted to take. Thank you for your wise words and reading suggestions. I need all the information I can gather.

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  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    JustCantWin, the idea of wanting to be homeless so that they don't want to follow anyone's rules is so weird to me that I can't relate, but I do understand now. I tend to do research on anything that I find interesting and I used to work in a homeless shelter as a volunteer. Although we fed them good and gave them a place to sleep, many if not most made no progress. We had social workers willing to help them get aid and find places to live. We were in touch with sympathetic employers. Seemed that every time we made appointments though, the clients did not show up. The offers to help them were there. We had clothes for job interviews. We had donated coats and boots and gloves for winter. We gave them free bus passes to go from shelter to shelter...different churches volunteered certain that they never had to be out in the cold at night. They took the free stuff. They just didn't do anything to improve their lives. I'd say close to 100% of them were drug addicts. And although most would not tell us the truth about anythng, including sometimes even their names, the little we got out of them that seemed genuine was that they have burned every bridge as far as where to stay and they simply did not want to quit using drugs or could not get along with anyone and eventually got thrown out. Many had been through MANY family members and well meaning friends who thought that their family had been appallingly mean by throwing them out. and learn.
  13. Childofmine

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

    I think this is a very important can anyone be homeless? The better we can see into that world that many of our difficult children occupy the more we can accept them and their choices whatever they are.

    Just sitting and talking to difficult child and his two buddies a week ago was illuminating to me. I had built images in my mind that have begun to fall down. Great info MWM
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Maybe we should start a new thread discussing it. It's an interesting topic and until I started actually doing research, which wasn't available before the internet when I made two of my adult children leave, I only thought about the horror of it and how lonely and hungry and tired our kids must be. It's not like that if one actually chooses street life. There is a whole community out there of other homeless people who know the ropes and will take you in as part of their "family." They are others who don't want to live with societal norms in place and they learn how to live without having to follow society's values. Being a bit of a rebel myself, I can almost relate to the sentiment. What I can't relate to is breaking the law (I'm a real moral stickler about rules and laws) and preferring to rough it rather than have a predictable, safer lifestyle. Our adult kids, and others who live on the street chronically, have chosen not to follow ANY rules, including ones that shelters and other help organizations put into place and have decided it is better to be on their own. It seems to be very intertwined with drugs, at least in the United States. I guess in some places, where the young people are more concerned with world issues (let's face it, OUR young people don't think about things like the environment or poor people in other countries)...I think the commonality about the chronically homeless in the US is drug abuse. I could be wrong. That's why the topic should be open :)
  15. 4now

    4now Member

    That sounds like a great idea MWM.

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  16. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Debt is another reason, many have debts that they want to leave behind. They want to disappear from the radar of debt-collectors. No fixed abode, no tax record, no employer = unable to trace, unable to prosecute, unable to hassle for repayment.
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I have a sick to my stomach feeling that my youngest would prefer jail and homelessness rather than conform to anyones rules. Even in jail he refuses to follow the rules. He spends most of his time in solitary.