New and Lost

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by meener, May 15, 2014.

  1. meener

    meener New Member

    I am new here, very new. Thought that this was as good a time as any to introduce myself, and tell a bit of my journey.
    My difficult child son is 20. When he was younger he was (and, somewhat unfortunately, still is...) brilliant. Brilliant, kind, funny, personable... He had plans for his life, and had proven that he could make them happen. He was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, an anxiety disorder and bi-polar. I wept for him at the time, as I was mostly concerned with the hypothyroidism and the reality that he would need to take medication daily for the rest of his life... I was less concerned with the anx and BiPolar (BP), as he was well researched and we had created a great safety net for him if it was needed.
    He then was involved in a mva that injured him, and completely restricted his ability to do the things that he previously did. Things like ride a bike, sit for any length of time, stand for any length of time, etc... The pain increased his anxiety, which led to sleep deprivation, and then drug use and experimentation as a coping mechanism. Because of his brilliance, he was always able to explain his actions and behaviours.
    He was unable to finish college and went into trades. He graduated, but after finding a job in his field he was unable to continue due to his pain. During this time he was completely non compliant in taking his medications and doing his physio.
    He went back to college, but was unable to complete it again, even though he was completing only 1 single class...
    He spends wildly, and then doesn't have the $$ for food, rent, transport, etc...
    Recently (within the last month) he decided to ingest a high number of his prescription medications and alcohol. He had researched this and had found out that there has been no recorded deaths (or bodily harm) from this particular drug/alcohol mix. It would only result in a short coma-like state and a deep sleep... During this time, he called the crisis line and his counselor and told them both that he wanted to sleep forever, and maybe he would be the first not to wake up... I was called in and convinced him to go to the hospital, where he was admitted into psychiatric. He was not pleasant during his stay there, but eventually began to "play the game" (his words), and was out within 4 days of entering.
    He has described to me how he has been feeling uncontrollable urges to kill himself... like those you might feel when you have a mosquito bite that you HAVE to itch. You might not WANT to, but you HAVE to. There is nothing that I can do for him... he refuses to attend group therapy, BUT as a plus: HAS continued to see both his psychiatrist, his psychologist and his family doctor. But this also leads to a problem in that he is non compliant, and he is being prescribed controlled drugs which he is abusing.
    This morning his ex roomate/best friend called me, as my son had again taken a number of medications with alcohol. His friend was worried as difficult child's behaviour was erratic and he was taking about suicide. His friend asked if I would come over to talk to difficult child. I did. He was unresponsive when I arrived, but I was able to wake him up and find out what drugs he had taken. It turns out the he had taken the same ons that he had taken before. I stayed with him while he slept it off, and when he woke up he was angry that I was there and "ruined his night". I walked away...
    Now difficult child is pissed, and has told his friend that he has lost respect for both him and I, and that when he decides to kill himself, he will not be thinking about our tears when he does it.
    I am lost. This is my son. I want to help him. I also know that any help that I can offer is not going to be of any use unless he seeks it out. I have no idea how to function any way than that of a mom who is supportive of his choices. But I'm not anymore.
    I'm just looking for some real advice.
    If you have made it this far through this rant, thank you!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I am so sorry for your hurting mommy heart.

    I am going to share a little and then give you my own opinion, which is pretty much agreed upon with MOST people here. Because it's the ONLY thing that we can guarantee...that we can only control ourselves, not anyone else, not even if our adult kids do dangerous, life-threatening things or not, although you can call 911 every time he tries and you know about it. I sure would. That automatically puts him in the hospital where he is safe for a while.

    I have a pretty serious mood disorder which was not as well controlled when I was in my 20's as it is now. I spent three stays in a psychiatric hospital. The patients on the floor of one of them were pretty young...late teens to twenty-somethings. I remember once we had a discussion about how we should have the right to kill ourselves if we like and that nobody should stop us. I did not agree, but many did. One young woman, who had been depressed most of her life and medications did not seem to help her, had broken up with her boyfriend because he had called the hospital when he found her overdosed on the bathroom floor. Her parents were distraught. She knew this, but insisted that if she wants to kill herself, nobody should have the right to stop her. None of these people were serious substances abusers. They were mentally ill.

    This conversation stayed with me and I have thought about it often. I think we should do all we can if we think somebody is a danger to themselves, but there is only so much we CAN do. Mentally ill people have "rights" now and nobody can keep them unless they ACTIVELY are suicidal or homicidal and then I think it can only be for 72 hours or the doctor has to go to court and get a court order. If a doctor can not stop this kind of behavior, how can we? More specifically, how can you? All of us have a latent fear that our adult children will kill themselves one day. Most of them live on the edge and do things that can kill them intentionally or unintentionally. It is a fear we have no choice but to learn to live with because nobody can stop a really determined person from doing that horrible final act. I know that isn't comforting. We all had to realize that. If you can get him to agree to go into a drug rehab and TO FOLLOW THE RULES (be compliant) chances are he will feel better and not want to kill himself. Ah, but that's the catch. We also can not force them to go into rehab and we can not make them lay off the recreational drugs and we can't force them to become compliant so that they have a chance to improve. THEY have 100% control over that. WE have 0% control over that. They are not us. We are not them. The laws are what they are. It is impossible to controll even a beloved grown child because the legality of it is, he can screw up his life if he wants to. He can refuse treatment. It is not different than if he had cancer, and thank God he does not, but some people refuse chemotherapy and that is their right.

    I think that perhaps you should take your journey to another place and learn how to live a good, happy life even though your adult child is struggling. You DO have control over yourself and your happiness. Do you have other kids who need and love you? A spouse? Family and friends? You need to be healthy of body and mind for them and for yourself as well. I highly recommend starting to go to Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings along with joining the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). You will learn coping skills from others in both places. You'll get real life, logical advice. You will not walk alone and you will learn to take a little time off from worrying about that which you can not chan

    Maybe he will get arrested one day. Jail has helped some of our kids.

    If he suffers depression of any kind, any sort of fly-by-night drug abuse makes that worse. But he needs to see this and try to get well and it is unlikely you can talk him into it. It hasn't worked so far. You can try an intervention. I've heard mixed reviews on that. Since he is actively suicidal, it is worth a try. You'll only know if it works for him if you do it.

    Your son would do very well in a dual diagnosis hospital, but he has to be willing to go and to COMPLY both psychoanalytically and on the drug abuse/alcohol abuse front and nobody can do that for him but him.

    Meanwhile, why not call a loved one and take a walk or have coffee or do something else you love to do? And do go to Nar-Anon and NAMI. It really does help.

    I'm so sorry and sad for you. It sounds horrible.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome, meener.

    I'm sorry this is happening to you, and to your son. It is a frightening place to be.

    At the top of this site meener, is a posting about a theory called "detachment". Please take a moment to read through it. Though the theory goes against a mother's intuitive understanding, its practice does help us establish healthy boundaries for both ourselves and our children.

    That is a beginning for us, and for the kids.

    Have you been conscientious about taking care of yourself during this time, meener?

  4. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    My son has made 3 suicide threats, all of which I took seriously and called 911. As it turns out he had taken nothing or had and spit it out. Your son knows the combination is non-toxic. With my son he acts out in this way when he gets in trouble, caught in a lie or doesn't want to go to work. This is really the cruelest form of manipulation. Once a doubt or idea like that is introduced into a parents mind, life with a difficult child is never the same. I feel your hurt as my 25-year old difficult child is on the verge of another breakdown. I see all the signs and am helpless to stop them. When confronted they are so quick to anger. I wish you luck and send prayers your way. It's agony. Keep posting and reading. It helps.
  5. meener

    meener New Member

    Thank you, all. It is a tough go, and I appreciate the perspectives. I will be getting in touch with Nar-Anon.
  6. Childofmine

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

    Hi Meener, and welcome. I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling and sorry that your son is struggling so much.

    It is almost intolerable to stay close to a situation like this and watch it. When we love that person so very much.

    I would do these things in this order:

    1. Start taking care of you---today. Start by writing a gratitude list---things you are grateful for in your life. Take five minutes and write down five things. Do it every day. It will change everything. Do something nice for yourself today and every day---a bubble bath, a nap, a walk, flowers.

    2. Start working a program. It sounds like your son is a drug addict. You need recovery yourself if that is the case. Drug addiction is a family disease and it affects everybody and everything. Good advice from MWM. There are multiple 12-step programs that will show you a pathway to peace. Mine is Al-Anon.

    3. Start writing. Dumping out your fears and your thoughts is a huge step toward healing. It empties your mind for the moment and decreases anxiety. Write here, write in a Word document, write on paper---just dump it out, uncensored. It is very cleansing.

    4. Sit and read these forums. Go back and back and read lots of posts. You will hear many of the same things---the same thinking---and it will start to make more sense to you over time. At first I couldn't imagine thinking, feeling or doing many of the things others do here but today I embrace them.

    Ultimately, this is about letting go. This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but along the way, I am becoming a much better person. That is the fruit from the Tree of Pain that has been the journey with my precious son over especially the past five years.

    Hugs to you today and many prayers and blessings. There is hope, joy, peace, contentment and serenity regardless of what he does, if you do the work.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so so sorry meener. You are on a tough path. Others have given you very good advice, if you've read some of our stories, you'll see we all have similar experiences with our kids. It can be devastating and heartbreaking.

    That article Cedar mentioned is at the bottom of my post here, it's a helpful description of a choice many if not most of us on the PE side make. It's a tough one but there does come a point where we realize that we have absolutely no power over the choices that others make. We are powerless. We have no control. We can't fix it or change it. We usually hit a wall called enabling where we see that we are working harder then they are and it's going nowhere.

    COM gave you very good advice, if you do those things, life will get easier for you. This is the hardest thing any of us has ever done. You are not alone. We are here with and for you. We will circle our wagons around you. Keep on posting, it helps. We're glad you're here.