Re: Swift kick in the rear

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JKF, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I reached out to the director of homeless outreach at the MHA yesterday. This woman originally worked with me last year to help difficult child get off the streets. I wanted to touch base with her because I was curious if she could help difficult child in any way. I was also curious if he's reached out to the MHA like he said he did.

    Anyway, she said that difficult child has not reached out for help. She tried calling him at the number I gave her and he never responded.

    Then she said - "J" what more do you think we can do for him?

    And I said - I really don't know but at this point probably nothing.

    She was SO nice but reinforced the fact that unless HE wants help they can't help him.

    She asked me about his last few placements:

    Her: Before he was 18, he was in a group home placement, what happened there?
    Me: He lied, stole, wouldn't follow the rules and got kicked out.
    Her: What happened at the homeless shelter in PA?
    Me: He lied, stole, wouldn't follow the rules and got kicked out.
    Her: What happened at the mission in NJ?
    Me: He lied, stole, wouldn't follow the rules and got kicked out.
    Her: What happened at Safe Haven?
    Me: He lied, stole, wouldn't follow the rules and got kicked out.
    Her: What happened at the motel placement?
    Me: He lied, stole, wouldn't follow the rules and got kicked out.
    Her: What happened in Idaho?
    Me: He lied, stole, wouldn't follow the rules and got kicked out.

    Of course she knows the history and wasn't asking for any other reason except to drill into my head that every time he's had an opportunity to be helped he gets kicked out for lying, stealing, and refusal to follow any rules.

    She said she's a mother too and she knows how horrible this must be but that unless he wants the help and is willing to take medications and go to therapy there's only so much anyone can do. Of course I already know that but sometimes I need that extra reinforcement and the more I hear it from people the more it truly sinks in.

    She was kind and gentle but she really gave me the swift kick in the rear that I needed yesterday!
  2. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    I just noticed I typed "Re: Swift kick in the rear" as my title. I'm at work and was drafting emails before I posted this hence the "Re:"! My brain sure is fried! Hahahhaa
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    RE: I am at work too!

    So glad you got ahold of someone and got that kick you needed. I think it is time to be hands off and let difficult child do his own thing.
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  4. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Hahaha dstc! All I have to say is TGIF!!!!

    And I agree. Hands off! No more.

    Day by day I'm getting stronger and between all of you wonderful people here on the forum and the people in my RL who understand and keep me in check, I'm getting there. Just call me a work in progress! lol
  5. Childofmine

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

    JKF, I went to the day shelter today where difficult child goes sometimes to drop off some shirts for him. I talked with Heather, the social worker there. The room was filled with people, mostly men of all ages, who were sitting in chairs, some slumped over sleeping, some just sitting (maybe waiting for something), many with filled black trash bags or backpacks. There were a few women. Nearly all of the older people looked like they have lived very hard lives by the lines on their faces and their expressions.

    difficult child wasn't there. I haven't heard from him since yesterday when he was texting me about the shirts, and I decided to just drop them off and leave them with Heather, and not to try to meet him there.

    Heather said he had been there today for lunch but hasn't been there much this week. She was thinking he is trying to stay away from the usual crowd there. I told her about my interactions with him this week and that as the days tick by, and there has been no definitive change (that I can see) that I am thinking same old, same old.

    She listened empathetically. She said she had offered to write him a letter to the rehab place. I asked her if it was likely he had a job interview at a recycling place, like he said, and she said yes, a lot of their people get jobs there.

    I told her about him telling me his friend panhandled one day this week, got $70, and they got a hotel room. I told her he said, I can't stoop to panhandling, but that his voice was excited about the amount of money and I am thinking that he may be stooping already himself.

    We confirmed that there is nothing I can do.

    She said, you are doing all of the right things, by staying away, but being encouraging and letting him do whatever he is going to do.

    She said I know it's really hard on you but you have to take care of yourself.

    You and I both heard it again today, JKF, and it has reinforced us once again. We need reinforcement, friends, this road is way, way too hard without it.

    The professionals---those trained in this field---are confirming that stopping enabling, detaching with love, and accepting what is, is the best path for all. Not just us. For them too. It is good to keep on hearing it.

    Also, talking to people who know our difficult children just to assure ourselves that there IS help out there IF they want to ask for it, is good. We know it already, but it's good to hear it over and over again.

    Thanks for posting JKF. It helps to hear it many, many times.
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  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    that lady was awesome. She told you just what you needed to hear in a way you could hear it.

    I remember when people started saying that to me...when the tone shifted from "what can we all do to help difficult child?" to
    "difficult child is responsible for engaging with us and following the rules to get the help he needs. If now...there is no help."
    I was shocked, hurt, mad. I still saw him as a cute little boy with disabilities...they saw him as a big bearded recalcitrant man who wouldn't do for himself.


    They were right.

    It took me about a year, but eventually I figured out that no one was just going to "take difficult child on" as they had when he was little. That was over.

    So scary and upsetting for me.

    You took it well.

    I'm glad she said it.

    It resonates for all of us.

    Hugs today,

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  7. Childofmine

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

    JKF I was thinking of you this morning and wanted to check in and see how you are doing.

    Please post when you can. Warm hugs.

    Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app
  8. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you're getting the same message from the director of homeless outreach as you are getting from us here JKF. It reinforces the confirmation that we all need from time to time, that our detachment and acceptance method of dealing with our offspring, is best for us and the only way for them.

    She didn't seem to suggest that there was anything to be particularly concerned about with your son at the moment, so that's good. She's not one of these 'do-gooders' that is out of touch with reality, so that's good. She empathised with you, as a mother herself, and wasn't judgemental, so that's good. She'll be there for him when he reaches out for help and she sounds like someone you could put your faith in as an ally, so that's good.

    I haven't got one of these amazing homeless workers to interact with, but it's very useful to get this reinforcement second-hand.

    I've been reading a book called 'Tunnel People'. It's a follow-on from 'Mole People' that I read recently. It says that people who choose to be homeless and live on the streets are generally much better off than those who use homeless shelters, because they are not dependent and have much better coping skills and life skills. It also said that many homeless people, such as those who live in the subway systems of cities and other places (like ours under bridges and in treehouses) do not consider themselves homeless because "they have a home" - it just doesn't conform to our ideas of what a home should be. It's a very interesting book.

    Are you doing anything nice this week JKF? I've been spending some time with my youngest daughter as it's the school holidays here. We got up at 'silly-o'clock' (as she called it) yesterday and went for breakfast in a cafe at the beach. There's nothing better than the sound of crashing waves to accompany a pot of tea. I hope you're managing to have some 'me-time' and relaxing and switching off from your difficult child worries. x