Very scared

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by shiela, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. shiela

    shiela Member

    Hello, I posted a few months back about my 34 yr old son and his girlfriend who has been in a mommy and me program. I am kind of shy but read all your wonderful posts. We set our son up in a room an hour from us, he started a good job. It only took a few weeks, and he lost his job, didn't tell us and is now in his last day at a week long mental health stay at a hospital in one of the worst cities in US. My husband and I did leave for FL last week, and he got more angry and depressed to think we went ahead with our plans.
    Tomorrow he will get discharged and go to city social services, being homeless. I am trying so hard to follow through with letting go, yet, my thoughts of how suicidal he has been and not seeing his baby makes me feel he will commit suicude or be killed in this horrid city. We have done everything to help him over these past 12 years. He is back at less then zero. He called from hospital and asked if we could western Union him money, we are not. My husband and I are so sad and emotionally sick...we both have heart issues. We are 67 and 62 years old. I have been crying off and on every few hours, grieving. Tomorrow will be worse, when he leaves hospital to homelessness. But, we can no longer afford motels, halfway homes. Nothing we ever did helped. He needs long term rehab, but doesn't want it. He is now diagnosed bipolar. Dr said 50 percent of adhd children get that, that was alarming to me. Praying for all our children. Thank you.
     
  2. shiela

    shiela Member

    Even when we know what we should do for ourselves, it is a hell that no one should experience. My sisters and brother have no contact with him, even when he moved within minutes from him. That hurt me, they could have called him or at least met him for a meal. I may be irrational , but, It hurts. And it made him feel more lonely when he was trying.
     
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry this is happening, Sheila. You are here with us, now.

    Have you heard from your son since he was discharged?

    Cedar
     
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    ((((((((HUGS))))))) It hurts. It is so not what we wanted for our children.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, you and your dear husband are not young anymore nor healthy and one day he will be alone. If you have left anything for him in your will, you know how fast it will be gone. On top of that, you have put yourself ahead of him your entire lives and even now you set him up in a place, he got a job and (my guess) he is back to using drugs or doing what destructive things he does that get him into trouble. You know it doesn't work to "help" him and you also know, in the back of your mind, that it hurts you and your husband and perhaps other loved ones who are furious at him from intruding on your golden years. How selfish of him to be bothering you at this time in your life. Most adult kids are starting to look after their folks by your ages (I am 61). Dang, NOBODY is going to do me out of wonderful golden years!!! And nobody should do you out of yours. Yes, you love him, but does he care about YOU? Does he ever offer to help YOU or even ask how you are with any caring in his voice?

    Frankly, if I was a loving sister to you and saw this man abusing you and taking, taking, taking for your entire life, I probably would not have the stomach to sit down and eat with him either. I don't blame your sister. It's your son's fault that people are turning from him.

    ADHD is so common. Not all ADHD kids get into trouble and he's NOT A KID. He's a man.

    In my opinion, enough. If he is homeless, he can get a job, even flipping burgers. If he calls you horrible names for not supporting him, well, at this stage of my life I had made a decision to take no abuse from anybody and my difficult son knows this. I told him I will gently hang up if he so much as raises his voice at me and I do. Things are nicer over the phone now. He is 37. Time for him to grow up and if he wants the privilege of talking to me, he has to treat me as nicely as a stranger would. Now he hasn't been in jail (he is one lucky duck), but he was living out of motels once, funded by his father (we are divorced and he has the money, not me). It was painful, but I was in my 40s and I could handle it. I'd visit him at whatever dive he was currently in and sometimes bring McDonalds or peanut butter. But I would not even do that at my age and at his age. He is a man now, a middle age man, and he'd better learn how to do life himself because I can't live forever. And I won't let him shorten my life. I want to dance at my granddaughter's wedding and she's only seven month (the child of a different child).

    If your son is on drugs, I higly recommend Al-Anon or some recovery support group to help you cope and to give you real life camaraderie. Remember, you have 0% control over anybody except yourself, and that includes your son. You do have 100% control over you, and how you choose to deal with this and how to nurture yourself and how to live the rest of your life. Killing yourselves for this man will not help him. Enjoying the rest of your life will help YOU. You no longer have to be a mommy. Your son is too old to need one. Let him figure it out himself...or not. That is his path; his story; his personal journey. You can't alter it.

    "Today is the First Day of the Rest of your Life." Live it! ;)
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • List
  6. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    It IS so painful when we try another way that in our heart we know it is the right thing to do for us - but leaves the adult "child" out on his own. I feel for you and what you are going through mentally and emotionally right now. You state that you have tried everything you can to help your son and nothing you have done it the past has helped in the long term so you are doing the right thing is so much as the saying goes "crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". You also state that you and your husband have health problems. You simply can not live a highly stressed life (caused by the actions of your son) and be healthy at the same time. Cutting him off and cutting yourself some slack is the best thing that you can do for you and your husband and your health. If you follow the board for a while, or search "Homeless" you will be amazed at how well these supposed "sick" people do on their own, homeless. Somehow they do manage to survive. At 34 your son has become adapt at manipulating you to do for him. I can not say enough how much I support you in doing the right thing by saying no to him and sticking to it. My daughter is 40 and was about your son's age when I went through the trauma (it was emotionally traumatic for ME) of realizing what she is and how she will never change. It is a painful step in the right direction to reclaiming your own lives. So have a pity-party, cry it out, whatever it takes to move beyond the frightening thoughts and the feelings of responsibility. Get those emotions out and remember just because you are "normal" by having them, doesn't mean you have to do a thing to change his situation. Get in the groove of actually feeling your own feelings, mostly real life grieving of the son you wanted but will never have. As I like to say: "You don't get through something by going around it, you must go THROUGH it to get to the other side"
     
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    ((HUGS)) to you. I know the pain you are dealing with.

    MWM is correct. Your son created the situation he's in.
    Our adult children can be good at the playing the victim, they want us to feel sorry them and then we wonder "why isn't anyone helping him"
    My son is on and off again homeless. He manages to couch surf but that only lasts so long. He can be very charming but eventually his "true" nature comes out then he's off looking for the next person to "feel sorry" for him.
    My D H and went above and beyond what anyone should do to try and help him and thankfully we finally got to the point enough is enough. Put a fork in me, I'm DONE!! It's a good place to be. I have successfully detached. This does not mean that I don't care or love my son, I do, but I will no longer allow him to hold my emotions hostage.

    This is a crystal clear indication that it's time to let go. At 34 he should be happy for you.
    We as parents cannot allow our lives to be hi-jacked by our out of control adult children. You and your husband have every right to go to FL or anywhere else you want to without your son trying to make you feel guilty.

    I know your your heart hurts for him but there is nothing you can do for him. He needs to do it for himself.

    Hang in there....
     
    • Winner Winner x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Did you relocate to Florida or is this a vacation? (If it is a vacation, maybe you should consider moving there)

    Either way, you should be enjoying your time there. Don't let your adult child to ruin your time. He in the situation he is in because of his poor choices.

    You have tried to help him many times and it hasn't worked. He is a serious addict and until he gets off of the drugs and stays off, nothing you do will work. It may just enable him to continue his addictions.

    Maybe hitting rock bottom will be the only thing that can save him. Maybe then he will go to rehab, if there is nothing left.

    A bi-polar diagnosis is not so terrible as it seems right now. My 27yo daughter was diagnosed at age 18 and has managed to get her Masters Degree (on time) while working and paying her own way and has a great job, wonderful long-term boyfriend, and a great life. She has been with the same psychiatric. the whole time and has worked hard with her to find the right medications and stick with them, and manage her symptoms. She has chronic medical problems also, and she manages them as well. Bi-polar is not a death sentence, and it doesn't hold a person back from living a great life unless they let it.

    Please try to stop stressing and have a good day. You and your hubby both have heart conditions, so you really need to relax and let go. Don't let things you can't do anything about put your health in jeopardy.

    Hugs
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  9. shiela

    shiela Member

    Thank you too all of you wondrous warriors that gave their advice to my husband and I. We read your responses together, and the tears flowed from our eyes. Today was so difficult. My son called from the hospital and sounded very fearful. They let him out on the street after a week. We denied his request for money and pray he will be safe from all the elements. After reading all your posts, I took my husband to an Art Walk in Vero Beach this evening. After, we went to my husbands veteran hall where we did laugh at some trivia questions. On the way home, we teared up again, but am so grateful for the time spent this evening that had us smile. Your comments today helped us more then you will know. God bless us all and our children.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  10. shiela

    shiela Member

    My husband fell asleep and my mind is running . I am cleaning, it helps me not think of ..if our son is sheltered from the north cold. All your comments, I read and reread. Thank you.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I know how hard that was for you to deny his request for money and I know how hard it is to try and not worry about where he is and what he's doing. You are beginning to take your life back. How wonderful that you and your husband took some time together to do something that afforded you some joy.
    I can tell you that these adult children of ours are very resourceful. I have had those desperate messages from my son telling me he's going to freeze to death or starve to death and yet he always manages to find a place to stay or food to eat. Each time you say no to a request for money, food, a ride, whatever it may be, you get a little stronger and the pain you feel lessens.
    I've had people accuse me of being cold hearted saying things like "how could you allow your son to be homeless" to which I replied, "I didn't allow him to be homeless, he did that all by himself. He's capable of working and chooses not to, his life his choice"
    The old saying "don't judge me until you've walked a mile in my shoes" is very true for us parents that have these issues with our adult children.
    Stay close to this site, there is always some one here that can offer you support. There is also an article at the top of this forum on detaching, take some time to read that.
    :notalone::staystrong:
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  12. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    These are the realistic "shoulds". I like this: avoid the would've, could've should'ves". Those are the things that keep us stuck doing the wrong things under feelings of obligation that "should've" ended long ago. The fact is the things you did for your selves recently are the kind of things you "should" be doing. You have a RIGHT to live a normal life and enjoy yourselves. It is important to accept that you "would've or "could've" done something but that "would've" only put a bandage on an ongoing problem - no change for the long term. "Could've" helped, sure and the cow "could've" flown over the moon. What I hear you saying is that you can no longer continue to bail out your son - you are free to stop doing so and I congratulate you on taking the first steps in doing so. Think of all the "would've, could've, should'ves" you could have done with all that money you have wasted on your son trying to help him in the past. Oh if you "could've" have all that money back - because spending it didn't change his life one iota! He "should've" had his life together a long time ago if he "would've" valued any of the help you have given him over the years. You "should've" cut him off long ago - but now through painful growth, you are ready to, so BRAVO!
    :staystrong:
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I love this. This must be where I am, what I am learning, now. I do feel little pricks of resentment and I don't try to talk myself out of them, now. I don't wonder so much what kind of mother (or person) thinks like this as often as I find myself saying, "Stop it."

    My son needed to learn to stand for himself too, Sheila. If we don't believe in them, if we don't believe in our hearts that they can and should and must do for themselves as the adult men they are, what kind of message are we sending?

    We are their mothers.

    What we say, how we say it, what we expect of them ~ all of this matters.

    It took forever (and I am still hard at work, here on the site), but I am learning the words to say. I am learning to discipline my thoughts. I am able to identify when I begin to spiral into panic or guilt or worry or that deep and awful sadness that seems to leach the color from everything. One (sometimes really small) step at a time, I am learning a different, healthier, and ultimately, more respectful way of seeing both my children and myself.

    I am still pretty shaky if there has been a time of peace, because I revert back to myself. But that's okay.

    Here are some of the words to say:

    "Oh, no, honey! I'm so sorry this is happening. What are you going to do?"

    "Oh, no honey! I'm so sorry this is happening. You are smart and strong and I know you will come through with flying colors."

    "No money. I am not subverting your life or independence any more. You can do this, and I expect you to succeed."

    "I expect you to behave like the man your father and I raised you to be."

    "You are a man. You do not need your father and I to support you. When we do give you money or worry about where you will live, or take responsibility for you in any way, it weakens you and makes you dependent. We are not doing that any more. Not to you, and not to ourselves. We want to see you in charge of your life. We want to see you living your life like the man we raised you to be."

    "No money."

    "Addiction is a terrible thing. I love you too much to watch you self destruct."

    "Addiction is a terrible thing. It breaks my heart to know you have to fight such a hard battle. I will not help you destroy yourself with drugs. No money. No help with housing or medical. Stop using. Your addiction is destroying my life."

    (This part, the part about the difficult child addiction destroying our lives, is new. As I am working so hard to be healthier, I am coming to resent the pain and the terrible, endless, bottomless sadness ~ years and years of it.)

    "You father and I loved you, taught you, sacrificed for you; we dreamed wonderful dreams for you. We deserve better. Stand up."

    I know how hard this is, but I liked reading that your intention is to put the sadness aside for a time. That is how we get through: we put the sadness away, for a time. In time, we have more happiness than sadness in our lives, again.

    Wishing you a wonderful day with much gentle laughter, and with healing in it.

    Cedar

    This helped me. It is a Buddhist practice, I think. I still do this, in the bad times. In the shower, with the warm water splashing and coursing over you, think:

    "Grasp the vine. Cup your hands, and...drink."

    Then, hold your hands, palms up, beneath the flow of the water. Cup your hands, and drink.

    This practice calms and centers and nourishes me, somehow.

    Another:

    When we get socked with bad news, we (I do, anyway) go into a kind of shock. We cannot think rationally. We fixate and circle and worry. Unless the news has been really bad, this helps me:

    This is a Buddhist practice too, I think.

    So, take a deep, slow breath. Say: "I never did mind, about the little things."

    Whatever it is, that is what you say after the slow, deep breath: "I never did mind, about the little things."

    Then, you smile.

    That's it.

    This helps me very much, when I can remember to do it before I am overwhelmed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  14. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    "Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed." I love that quote. I could be a professional photographer...
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  15. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    These are powerful words, Cedar. Thank you for sharing them--it helps that you can articulate what I've been wanting to say to my son.

    Shiela, I'm wishing the best for you and your husband as you discover how to regain the happiness in your lives.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sheila, I'm so sorry this continues for you. It is a terrible thing to watch on the sidelines as our troubled kids make poor choices and live the consequences of those choices.

    Like you, and many other parents here, I chose to detach from my daughters requests, from her lifestyle choices, and in some ways from her. Little by little I got through the emotions of it and little by little she picked up the slack I once provided. Little by little our relationship improved, in direct proportion to my letting go of the reigns of her life and offering them back to the rightful captain of her ship.

    At some point, our parenting of them in the old way ceases to be a positive and starts to be a negative. Even our troubled kids are supposed to get onto their own path, follow their own dreams, live their own destiny's. Even if those destiny's lead them to what we consider a terrible place, or a place to fear. I had to come to grips with the sheer powerlessness of my place in my daughter's life and her choices. It was not easy. I had to override my strong desire to save her, protect her, support her and take care of her. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Like you, I cried a lot. I kept putting one foot in front of the other and getting as much support as I could. The support helped me so much, kept me on the straight and narrow, kept me from falling back time and time again, reminded me that this was not my life to live, this was her life, her choice. I had to let go of so much, my dreams for her, my desire for her to be happy and safe, my wish to have a close connection to her........I had to let her go in to her own fate, recognizing that I could not go with her and she could not live effectively here in my world either. I had to let go of my judgements of her life and realize that I don't know what is best for her. I let her go in to the loving sphere of my perception of a Higher Power, to find her own way. She is still homeless........and she is okay.

    Our kids have their own lives to live. We have our lives to live. Once they are grown adults, the valley between those two can become a vast region of the unknown, of uncertainty. I've had to learn to live within that uncertainty and be (relatively) okay with it. It's been a challenge and a blessing as well. Life is uncertain and chaotic so in learning to let go, it's given me new tools to live a more peaceful life. There is a saying I've become fond of lately, "Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional." We have the power to move beyond the suffering and choose to have a peaceful and joyful life in spite of the choices our kids make. That was my intention. I can't control what my daughter does. I didn't create it, nor can I change it. Accepting that was hard, but in the acceptance of it, my life changed. So did hers.

    Going through the grief of it is essential. As 2m2r said, there is no way to get to the other side, but through. You are making good healthy choices in my opinion. Choices that don't necessarily feel good. However, choice by choice, your load lightens, step by step, it gets easier. Whatever happens, you've already done ENOUGH. That is an important place to get to. We need to know we did all we could. You did. So did I. So, let go and have faith that everyone is in the exact appropriate place they are meant to be for their own souls' growth. We don't know what that is. But, we owe it to ourselves to take our own lives and live them as fully, as joyfully, as peacefully and as lovingly as we can.

    Stay close to the board, stay the course, get as much support as you can and be VERY, VERY kind and nurturing to yourselves (you and your husband) Take care of yourselves, put the focus on yourselves now.........it's time to let go...........I'm glad you're here........
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  17. shiela

    shiela Member

    Thank you all. Last evening, I made us do something fun. Today, my mind is sad, so sad. I know this may be a normal pattern. It seems so many thoughts bring me back to his innocence, his joke telling, his laugh...his laugh. Today he called, said he was on the streets, wasn't room in shelter. Don't know what happened, his mind is not well. He again is in the hospital. Stay strong, stay stron..I repeat every few minutes. One thing made me laugh tonight, he called from nurses station and asked if we could order him a pizza!! We are in Fl, he up north. God love us all and protect and heal us please. Thank you all for your strength and hand holding. I wasn't laughing at my son, but, the request did. They never stop asking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  18. shiela

    shiela Member

    Thank you, your words give me hope. I am trying to learn how to navigate this site, and would like to message you. Hugs you are so strong.
     
  19. shiela

    shiela Member

    Your reply, was so heartwarming, and full of truth. These words you sent, made me cry. Sorry, I am in my crying phase. But, if you were next to me, I would hug the hell out of you, dear friend for delivering these words to me. Thank you! Hugs
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  20. shiela

    shiela Member

    You have been my backbone, thank you. I wish you were here with me so we could speak, but, your reply to me is so very informative and I just want you to know that your comment runs through my mind every few minutes. Your words are a Godsend.. You are a friend. Hugs to you. Thank you.
     
Loading...