VERY disheartening...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by baymama, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. baymama

    baymama New Member

    Hello...I haven't posted in probably three years and don't remember my password so am posting under a new "handle." Until I get my new profile updated, for anyone who cares, my previous posts are under "CAmom."

    So, what I meant by disheartening is coming back to this forum after a couple of years and seeing so many names I recognize. I had thought to come back and hoped to read that there were at least some happy endings, but judging by the familiar names and the few posts I've read so far, it certainly doesn't look like it.

    My son is now 25 years old, still living with me (my beloved husband died five months ago from early-onset Alzheimer's), and I'm still waiting for him to decide what he wants to be when he grows up.

    Throughout these past years, he's been on and then quit drugs a couple of time and was seriously injured (broke both legs) while abusing his anti-anxiety medications. He has been left at least a minor physical disability in addition to his mental health issues due to bipolar and ADHD.

    He treats himself with marijuana but stays away from anything stronger. He and I have both been traumatized after caring for my husband, his dad, during the seven years that Alzheimer's slowly took him away from us. My son was there by my side most of that time, sometimes a help, but many times a burden but I was determined to care for my husband in our home, and did, and we both were by his side when he took his last breath.

    My son is struggling with his father's death, and I understand that. However, when I question him about when he's going to try to find some work he's able to do, or go back to school to learn some skills, he tells me he simply can't deal with it yet. He also has chronic pain from one badly damaged ankle which is already causing arthritis and affecting not just his ankle and leg, but his hip as well.

    So, basically, other than doing grocery shopping and helping around the house, he does nothing. I provide him with a car and a small "allowance" for his help, and he seems perfectly happy (?) being able to buy a gallon or two of gas, a pack of cigarettes, and his pot (which he uses now for anxiety and pain).

    Again, I was hoping that some of you had come up with a miracle formula after dealing with your own problem child/ren after so many years. I'm certainly just about at my wit's end...
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I remember you. Didn't you give a lot of money to your son at one time? I remember when your husband was first showing symptoms of Alzheimers...I am soooooo sorry. I am sorry your son is a grown man and still at home with no ambition. It is common here. Many, however, were thrown out of the house and we on PE help one another learn to live our own lives and not through our damaged adult children. I am so sorry about your husband.

    If you stick around, rather than just hearing gloom and doom you will hear some success stories, meaning that many of us are doing quite well in spite of having a personality-disordered, difficult adult child. We have learned how to take care of our own needs and to put down boundaries and limits and to expect more of our grown children. These are stories about how WE are doing well, not necessarily our grown children, but US! And it is worth celebrating because WE matter and we can control ourselves, not our grown kids. They control themselves, we control us. Some of us have happy, peaceful lives now. I am one :)

    I personally do not believe for one nano-second that pot helps any mental health condition and I believe it is a legal excuse to smoke it. Pot zaps your motivation, as you see with your son. It does not seem to be doing him any good. You can't control him about the pot, but you can tell him you don't want the smoke or smell in your house and that he has to do it somewhere else. Or you can do even more. You can set a timeline about where you expect him to be at a certain time and then enforce it, if you wish to do so.

    The miracle formula for the adult child to get help has happened here. My daughter was on drugs and quit on her own and is happy, responsible, went to college on her own dime, and now has a beautiful child and a wonderful SO. She decided to turn her life around. The miracle answer is that your own son has to become motivated enough, for whatever reason, to get the help he needs to get off the couch, get off the pot, and get a job. It is within him to do this. It is within all of us. Many of our adult children are still sleeping at noon while other men their ages are serving our country, working full time and supporting families, buying their first house, etc. The more you give him, the less motivation your son has to take those steps to become the man that he is supposed to be. How would he behave without your money, your car, your financial support?

    That would probably motivate him to get a job. I am not surprised your son has not gotten better. There were no expectations of him and he got anything he wanted. Trust me, you aren't the only person who has done that, but, as you can see, it doesn't work. If anything, he has gotten into additional trouble and now has some injuries which should not be an excuse for not working. There is something you CAN do: You can get courageous and tell him you are no longer supporting him, the car, the internet, the cell phone...that he is a man and has to do it himself. Maybe he will if you change tactics.

    If not, you can still decide YOU matter and deal with your son in ways you haven't done before. You can not change your son one wit, but you can change how you react to his laying around the house doing nothing. You can set new boundaries that give him hard choices to make...that every grown man should make. You can even choose to tell him to get a job in three months or he will have to find another place to live. You don't have to do this, but you do have to take care of yourself. You've been through a lot. I, and I'm sure the rest of us, hope you have a happy rest-of-your-life, not a babysitter for life.

    I know you are not young. Life is precious. Savor it. Savor yourself. Let your son write his own story and you continue writing yours and make it a beautiful story at that. Again, sorry for your loss and remember this is just my opinion.
     
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  3. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Baymama, I have no miracle formula but I am thinking about you. So sorry to hear about your loss. You have been through enough. MWM's advice is so sweet. I hope you focus on doing just that.
     
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    baymama, I am so sorry for your loss.

    I agree with everything MWM said. There are success stories here for the parents. In some cases, our kids have not changed. But for quite a few of us, we have emerged out of the dark place our kids dragged us into and found our own joy and our own peace.

    I would invite you to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. And to find support for yourself, to find a place you can go to express your feelings and receive guidance on how to proceed with your son. Many here find solace in 12 step groups like Al Anon, Families Anonymous or Narc Anon. Most of the time, we have to change how we respond, we have to set strict unbreakable boundaries, we have to stop the money flow and all the help and insist on them taking action for themselves. If they refuse to do anything to help themselves, then for many of us, that opens the door for us to evict them.

    It's a process, we usually need help to make the changes necessary. I'm sorry you're struggling. Keep posting. it helps. Focus on YOUR needs. Take care of YOU. It's time for your son to grow up.
     
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