Need some advise...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tracyf551, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. tracyf551

    tracyf551 New Member

    Iknow what I need to do but I need some help from everyone. Here's the situation. difficult child has been coming to my door every so often asking if he can sleep here. (oh yeah, it's usually around 1 or 2 in the morning) He says he has no place to go. Everyones gone home or no one is around.
    My problem is the guilt I feel because it is getting cold out. (suppose to be about 32 tonight) I know I should not feel guilty especially after everything he has put us thru, but it's hard when you have 2 other children sleeping warmly in thier beds to know 1 of your children is out litterly inthe cold. As I said before I did let him stay one night but made him leave when I left for work at 6:30am. It wasn't as cold then.
    Has anyone got any advise on this? I thought he would break by now It's been almost a month and a 1/2 since he' been out. I don't know which way to go here.:confused:
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Tracy, it took my Rob several years before he was able to turn a corner. He was homeless for over a out of a car...during winter and snow and ice....and showering at the local truck stop.

    Nothing else got through to him. It nearly broke my heart to see him have to go through this but he had to go through this to learn some very difficult life lessons and to learn the gift of hard work and appreciation.

    I'm sorry that your son seems to be stuck in that same revolution. This is the time for you to be strong and sometimes that is agonizing.

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I think Suz is right. But I know it's got to be tearing your heart up to know it and have to watch him go thru it.

    Can you locate some shelters that he could go to when he doesn't have a place to stay? Instead of inviting him in, you could simply hand him the list.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It really does hurt to know our kids want our help. The only way I got through it was to remind myself that the goal was to get the message across that her way was not working and if I caved in and let her come home even for a night, I was truly helping her think her way was working. Definitely not the goal I was seeking.

    Did I cry when I told her she couldn't come home? You better believe it! It tore me into a million pieces. She's now working and in an apartment with a roommate. She comes to visit (I think to get some sleep since her apartment seems to be party central) and things are relatively pleasant. She's not filling the dreams I had for her but she is succeeding on her terms this time around. I don't think this would be the case had I caved in.

    Fnd your goals for your son. Does letting him come home and sleep there for a night or two help or hinder those goals? Something tells me that it hinders, otherwise he wouldn't be dropping by after midnight for a place to crash -- he's getting to party and, when all else fails, comes to stay with mommy. Works well for him, but does it work well for what you want for him?
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i have to give you all credit. you are so strong i'm in awe at times when i read the posts. i guess i could do it too if i had to. yet i can't imagine how it must tear you up inside.

    i wish i had some advice but this is out of my league. i just wanted to offer some support and a hug.
  6. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    I don't have any advise really - I never faced this most difficult of situations.

    I would not appreciate ANYONE knocking on my door at 2 am. That's just plain rude.

    I like the idea of finding local homeless shelters. Even in our small town, we have a shelter. But, let me tell you, they have to be in before 2 am.

    I'm sorry. This would have to be one of the hardest things ever for a parent to do. Hugs.
  7. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I have been in your shoes. It is so hard to do. I cant say I did everything right either. It seems we always took him back in only to wind up in the exact same situtation every time which was not good. So I would suggest asking if he is ready for help and if not take him to a shelter or if it is in the morning do what your heart tells you - even if you have to put blankets in a car - you are strong. I feel for you and know exactly what you are going through. He is your son and it seems so crazy but as long as their life is crazy and they refuse to follow your direction something has to be done to get their attention. The sad part is no one knows when they will ever get it. Take care.
  8. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I like the idea of handing your difficult child a list of local homeless shelters. If there's any way you can talk to him other than at 1 or 2 am, maybe you could talk about it with him when he's not looking to crash, and give him the list. They do have rules, ie often they open around 6 pm and fill up then, and 'clients' have to leave by 8 am. If there's a soup kitchen nearby people will often go right at 4 or 5 o'clock, get dinner, and then get a bed at the shelter. Partying doesn't fit this schedule very well, but your difficult child would then have a decision to make. He might not choose the shelter but at least you'd know that he is aware of it.

    Another thing to check into is the possibility of transitional housing. Our small town has an office that runs the Homeless Assistance Program (out of county government). They find emergency shelter, then transitional housing for up to 18 months - this is shared rooming or apartments, but it's housing. Meanwhile they assign a case worker to the individual and try to help him/her get needed services, skills training, etc. People on the program even get free public transportation while looking for a job. The goal is to help the individual get working and find a sustainable housing situation. I know programs of this sort will vary a lot from county to county but it's worth checking whether anything similar is in your area.

    So sorry for your anguish. I understand; and I'm not sure I'd be strong enough myself. But having as much info as possible will surely help.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Tracy, I too think that handing your difficult child a list of available shelters seems like a good approach.

    With so many of our kids, the short-term help is directly to their long-term detriment. I've seen a sharp deterioration in my difficult child's behaviour every time he's been allowed to come home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/Assisted Living for a visit, even for an afternoon. He seems to see it as license to do whatever he wants with no consequences for it.

    I'm so sorry for your anguish. It's so very hard, but sometimes it's the only way. If he has somewhere safe to crash, he has no incentive to stop partying. If he has to be in the shelter before closing hours and follow all the rules there to be allowed to stay, then he might find himself cleaning up his act all that much sooner.

    I know that the shelters in my city won't allow people in if they're drunk or high. For many, having a warm bed was enough motivation to not drink or get high that night.

    {{{HUGS}}} for your hurting mommy heart.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Hugs - because I think this absolutely is the hardest thing we face with living, breathing, seemingly clueless difficult child's. I often have sat straight up in bed at night with the thought - What WOULD I really do if Dude showed up here at my house, saying "I'm homeless, I'm cold, I'm tired." and my answer after a few sleepless nights was to be prepared.

    First - MOST difficult child's live for the element of surprise. It's as if they have a sense that the rest of the world does not possess no matter HOW much you practice. They seem to have this instinct and ability to catch the rest of the "trusting" world off guard and they THRIVE there. It's sorta like (in my mind) watching street people go to person after person begging for money for food, and see several people hand them money - and then they go to the liquor store and get booze. If they used the talents they had or could use the talents they have in our minds they could get a job, support themselves etc. Some are quite capable. Some that I talk to don't know anything other than begging. THAT is what my brain struggles with regarding my son.

    I want to know - DOES HE REALLY KNOW how to live and is just too lazy? Or is he really on the edge of mentality and not able to do -other than how he's been doing? Maybe asking yourself that question of your son will help you form a decision of which way to progress to help your son. Can he do this if he just HAD to OR can he not do this at all ever, not even if it meant him freezing in a snow bank?

    The other question I have for you echos Golden Guru's admonishment of knocking on my door at 2Am - (You had BETTER be in some trouble to wake me up at that untimely hour) There again - ask yourself not as a Mom but as a person watching this go on across the street with a friend...(remove yourself) from the situation for a moment and ask "WHY 2 AM? Was he looking for a place to sleep at 5pm, 6pm, 8 pm, 10pm.....or was he out having fun, partying at someones house and someones girlfriend said "Oh he's not staying here AGAIN tonight is he?" and got kicked out or was it 1:30 AM and the party was over - and he was too embarrassed of his own behavior which put him in a homeless situation to say "I have no where to go - OH yes I do - I'll go to my Moms - she's a s*ucker - I have a place." Dont take the sucker comment wrong either - We've all been there. If suckers were people I'd be that BIG HUGE colorful swirelled one from the Not a small one like they give you at the bank.....

    I have a list of local shelters, Salvation Armys, soup kitchens, labor force day pay/day work, bus routes, and I hate that piece of paper....I HATE IT. I hate it because I know someday difficult child is going to show up, ask for the help but NOT want to do the work - and maybe this time he is serious about saying "OH Mom I'll do it all your way." and we all know how that goes - 1-2 days of helpy help guy and then BLAMO - back to the usual person that we put out in the first place.

    I'm with Suz on this, and I have been here a while -long enough to know the story of her son Rob, and the fact that she LOVES him, and always has. Putting her son out didn't make her any less of a person, or a Mom, or a friend to her son. What it DID do was make her son realize - Mom wasn't so bad, home wasn't so bad, if I want to live life on my terms - there is the door but you can't have it both ways. You can't ALWAYS come home, but you can always have my support and encouragement.....and HOW DID those showers at the truck stop shape your life and respect for me working 10 hour days to pay the electric, water and mortgage - not easy is it?

    And when they (our kids) get THAT reality in check - then yes - maybe then a more humbled child could come to hang for a transitional period.

    I hate that this happens to any of us and our children....but this is a situation where you stand up and say "You made your bed, now you have to lay in it. Wherever that is in the cold, or heat." and if it bothers you that much go read the Ant and the Grasshopper. I swear I should have read that story to my own son. I'm an ant - he's a grasshopper. And the only way to make the grasshopper SEE that everyone isn't going to take care of him his whole life - was to just cut him loose.

    I cut mine loose into a foster home - so I like the idea Katya had of transitional housing - but SUGGEST it - on that paper - and one offer to take him there - because most times our kids get taken to places like that and they do the "I can't live here" thing - and you think "WHY did I waste my day/time/energy to HELP you find a place that you can't live at EITHER.?" grrrrrr

    It's like baptism by fire - I'm just not sure which party gets burnt the worst because as a Mom? I'm genetically predispositioned to worry. But you have to remember his behaviors and choices put him out of YOUR house - HIS home....he can't have it both ways. (I hope I can remember my own words if IF that day comes for me)

    Hugs for the hard day and hurt you are facing.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others. This is the hardest part of parenting. It has taken me forever. Mine is now thankful for a roof and a floor without holes. Oh...and running water and electricity. Never mind he doesnt have a fridge or stove or even a toilet...he can turn on a light and the heat works! Dont even ask me how he is

    Now is the time that I dont mind him coming home...oh excuse MY house to get a bit of a hot cooked meal from time to time...or to take a shower or wash a load of clothes because he is really trying. He has worked his arse off getting into this place in less than a month. He isnt even coming here to ask for food every day which tells me something. He is really working hard on being on his own. If I hadnt made this happen, it wouldnt have.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sending strength and many hugs for your hurting mommy heart [strings].

    ps: I also like the list idea. At this point, even providing him with blankets in your car is enabling, isn't it? Maybe you can catch him not at 1/2 in the morning and give him the list. Keep a few copies on hand for when he loses it. I'm sorry for your worries...