New here today - will it ever get better?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WMNancyinCA, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. WMNancyinCA

    WMNancyinCA New Member

    I was sitting at my desk just feeling so hopeless. Asking God for SOME resource to help me. And God and Google sent me here.

    I read a few posts and went searching for the meaning of "difficult child". When I saw what it meant I knew I came to the right place.

    Although my difficult child is causing me so much pain right now, he IS a difficult child and I can't ever forget that.

    He's 26, living with his GP as he was asked to leave our house this past summer. He has lived in his car and hotels with money we gave him to "get started on his life". So far he has not. Has one thing on his mind - school and work is not on his agenda. Today he was asked to leave his GP's house and as of Sunday he has no income, no place to live, no plans. According to him this is all our fault and we "will have to answer" for what we have "done" to him. He is Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) - always right, never wrong, never ending procrastination, etc. etc.

    I can't do this anymore ......
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the internet Nancy. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of your favorite drink, sit down and know that you have now found a great group of folks who understand where you are coming from.

    I urge you to read through our posts to see where we have all been and how we got here. There is some great wisdom on this board. Especially here on the PE board. We are some tired but wise warrior parents.

    Here is a list of some good websites that may help you with detachment which is so very difficult.

    Detachment practice
    setting boundaries book

    Again, welcome. I hope you stick around to tell us more. Oh, and please if you could, go to UserCP above and make a signature with your information like you see in other peoples (it doesnt have to be as in depth as mine!) so we can remember the details. We are
  3. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Been there done that - still doing it! Just say no! you are right.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Life lessons are the best way to learn.

    At his age, difficult child is more than old enough to "man up" and learn to cope with life on his own. It's the only way they really learn, as tough as it is to watch them go thru it.

    In answer to your question..........YES! It can get better. Many of our difficult children have made huge strides toward PCdom. There is always hope. :)

    Welcome to the board. :)
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. Many of us have been in your position. It is hard to watch the child you loved and raised make decisions that you know will lead him down a path to destruction...and really all you can do is sit back and watch...there is nothing you can do to change things. And it hurts. And it makes you sad. The way you survive it to try and detach yourself from the situations and the drama they cause themselves. You learn to say things like, "I'm sorry to hear that. What are you going to do?" You learn to look for ways to enjoy life. You look for new hobbies. You do whatever you can to NOT think about what to do to help your child. Because the only thing you can do to help, is to sit back and wait for him to want to change.
  6. WMNancyinCA

    WMNancyinCA New Member

    Thank you all.

    I have printed out the "Detachment" article and I already have the "Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children" book. I can't seem to do that!

    Just knowing that others don't have easy child is such a relief!

    I am SO tired of fighting this fight. I MUST give it up!

    The fear of what might happen (always the worst) is so overwhelming; however I am at that point where I know I must let go no matter what!

    Knowing isn't doing; however, and I hope you guys can convince me I MUST for my difficult child!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. So sorry you had to come here, but, yes, we understand.

    Does your son have a drug or alcohol problem? Is he in legal trouble? Did he finish school, have any skills, etc?

    Whatever the answers are, he is 26. You in my opinion should not be giving him any money at all. If you want to, I'd buy him some groceries and bring them to him, but he will not grow up unless he has to. As for "you'll answer to this" I would not respond to threats.

    The best thing you can do is to learn to detach, which isn't easy but is necessary. He isn't going to learn anything if dad and mom keep picking him up, although he's a grown up. And he obviously isn't motivated to work, and it's all the easier not to work when he knows you'll give him money.

    He lives in a car at times? That is his choice. He certainly CAN get a job, man up, and get a cheap place to live. He just won't do it, so he is choosing to be homeless. He is apparently no joy to live with either. You in my opinion should make sure YOU don't drown in his dysfunction. You need a life, friends, hobbies, to move forward. Concentrate on yourself, your hub, your other kids if you have any, your friends, and taking good care of yourself.

    So many of our kids drive us crazy when it's actually time for us to relax and finally live life for ourselves. I would do it. You can't change your son. He has to change himself.

    God great me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change, (your son and his choices)
    The Courage to change the things I can, (Your response to his choices and your life focus)
    and the Wisdom to know the difference

    Good luck!
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wanted to add my welcome to the mix. You've come to a great, supportive place, where so many of us have walked in your shoes. Janet's given you some great resources to start.

    Remember he is responsible for his own choices. When you say he has "one thing on his mind," what is that one thing? Drugs/alcohol? That's frequently what it is, I know, and if so, Al-Anon/Nar-Anon can be a great resource as well.

    Many hugs. Come back and check in when you can, and tell us more about you and your difficult child, and the rest of your family :)
  9. WMNancyinCA

    WMNancyinCA New Member

    Here's more information.

    In his Junior year in high school he became depressed, was prescribed Prozac for a while, stayed in his darkened room - scared me to death. Senior year he was better but barely graduated. Began Junior college and struggled a bit his first year, then at the end of t his third year he had two AA degrees. Went to University, did well academically the first two years and then the third struggled mightily. He is ONE class away from one degree and a couple classes from another. THAT is the one thing on his mind - finishing school. However, we have declined him money to do that because he wasted that last year at University. He kept saying he was depressed and had access to FREE counseling from the University but would not take advantage of it. He wanted US to make it possible for him to leave college for a semester and "do something different" because he was burned out. Something different would be an Overseas program or a month or two. We told him no. So he says "I asked for you help over and over and you did nothing to help me so that is why I did so poorly in school. Therefore, it's OUR fault.

    Socially he has changed since high school. In HS he had a large circle of friends, was popular, attended parties, went on trips with friends, etc. In Junior college he decided his friends weren't on the same path he was (Academically) so he slowly distanced himself from them. (They were all really good boys - typical teenagers - but they are all now living on their own.) At the time I thought oh that's responsible because GFT was trying to get through college and the friends were half going to school but stilll way into the social scene however looking back I can see that that is where things really got weird. He never made any new friends, now he has NONE so I am his only communication. He often says "I have no one else to talk to". This is NOT the way I want it. I would LOVE for him to have friends, girlfriend, etc. and be social.

    To answer your questions about drugs/alcohol no he isn't into them. He will drink an occasionaly glass of wine but remember he has no money to buy either! He has a high set of moral standards (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) tendencies).

    He is so focused on SCHOOL but yet NOT focused. He attends classes but isn't registered! His professors LOVE him. He is able to go because I have been giving him gas money and the University hasn't told him NO!

    I believe he thinks he can't do school AND work and we, his parents are OBLIGATED to see that he gets his degrees. We have supported him through six years of higher education and we feel that is enough.

    He often hangs up on me during phone conversations - I know I must not allow that - however I can't seem to put up those boundaries.

    I fear that he will harm himself if I detach. In anger he has said he would "blow his brains out" but he has never had a plan.

    I welcome feedback ..... more later .....
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Bare with me as I've been up since 4am after only 3 hrs of sleep and spent the day in nursing clinicals. So I hope I can put this right, instead of having it come out wrong or harsh. Cuz honestly, I'm not meaning it to.

    I am a fulltime college student and am in my 4th year. I'm a nursing student and also on the cusp of attaining 2 associates degrees at the same time. (sort of an accident there. lol) I am a wife, a mother, and a grandmother as well. My husband has been unemployed twice since I've been back in school, and currently still is.

    My point, and one you need to remember when difficult child attempts to lay this school guilt trip on you......... If the boy really wants to go back and finished those degrees, nothing will stop him from working to make it happen.

    My easy child works fulltime, is a wife, a mother to 2 with one on the way, is a full time student earning her bachelor's degree in nursing going to school full time. (already has her associates).

    Yup. It may be hard, but if you want it bad enough it can be done. That' is the bottom line. It isn't up to you to make it happen either with motivation or finances.

    Maybe difficult child was burnt out with school. My easy child, now 25, has never stopped going to school fulltime since hs. I know she's burnt out. And I've finally convinced her to take a year off once she graduates in sept. But his being burnt out had nothing to do with you. You didn't force him to go to university once he finished Jr college. That was his choice. His doing poorly in classes to bomb out of his last term was also his choice.

    Yes, he may or may not have been depressed. But as you so accurately pointed out to him the school provided services he could have used and he chose not to. The reason he chose not to tells me that he was burnt out, not depressed. Huge difference. I wonder if he's playing the depression card to gain your sympathy and is not happy it doesn't seem to be working?

    Having to pay to his own way, or find funding (FASFA which he does qualify for at his age) is a natural consequence for messing up his last term. I know I wouldn't even consider handing money to a kid that threw it away like that to risk having it happen a 2nd time around.

    Of course he could have me for his mother and I would've made him pay his way the 1st time around. lol I flat out refuse to pay for college for any of my kids, yet all 3 are currently enrolled in college. So even with us horrible parents who won't pay the bills, kids somehow manage to get an education. lol

    Sounds like difficult child has got some entitlement issues going on. And those, trust me, you want to nip in the bud as they only get much worse as they grow older. When difficult child has a snit, and he most certainly will, you need only to calmly to remind him that he is an adult and responsible for his own actions.

    As for the friends............sounds like he was so hyper-focused on school for so long they just drifted away. Pretty normal. Odds are he was just too busy with school to worry about replacing them. And now that he has nothing to do, he's come face to face with the fact his social life is basically nil. Also not your problem. Nor does it necessarily point to depression. I don't attempt to maintain a social life while in school, easy child doesn't either.......can't really say my youngest 2 do for that matter. If it isn't depression, once he starts working or whatever, he'll begin to make friends again. My tactic would be to make myself less available to him.

    I haven't a feeling your difficult child's biggest problem is that while going to school all that time.........he simply didn't realize that he grew up and became a bona fide adult along the way. He is no longer a kid with Mom and Dad to save him, but a man who must make up his mind what he wants out of life and to go after it. This can be a scary realization for many adult kids.

    Learning to detach takes practice. No one is an expert at it right off the bat, it's a process. So don't beat yourself up if you stumble and fall along the way.

  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Adding my welcome to a fellow Californian!