What to do....

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Tmejia, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Tmejia

    Tmejia New Member

    My 22 year-old stepson has recently been diagnosed with Bi-Polar, PTSD and depression. He has been living on his own but would only have minimal contact with us until recently. Now, he is without a job and has been living with his girlfriend's parents. Over the last month, we've given him over $500 (which has severely stretched our budget) to get his car payments up to date. We told him that he could live with us for up to a month - IF he had exhausted all other options for living arrangements. We wanted him to be pro-active into finding a place to live on his own. Last weekend, we had to call the police twice because he was out of control and threatening in the presence of our daughter and our grandchildren. After that, I am not comfortable with him moving back in with us. But - the guilt has set in. He texts us constantly telling us he feels unloved and that we've deserted him. I do not know what to do. I can't understand why his case worker can't be more helpful with disability and finding a place to live. Our son just tells us that there's a waiting list for everything. I feel that he's not trying to help himself - he just wants to focus on his condition and nothing else.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tmejia, I'm sorry for your struggles with your stepson.

    It doesn't sound like a healthy idea for him to live with you. You might try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they can offer you guidance, support, information and resources. They have excellent courses for parents which may offer you suggestions and guidance as to how to proceed. You can reach them online and they have chapters in most cities. There are shelters and food banks in most cities that he can avail himself to. On the Parent Emeritus forum here, there is an article on detachment that you might find helpful now.

    It's very difficult when our adult kids are mentally ill, it creates a situation for the families which is challenging at best. The best advice I can offer is for you to find support as soon as you can. Most of us here have therapists, or groups, or some form of counseling and support because this is a difficult path. Most often WE are the ones who change, WE are the ones who need to make a distinction between helping and enabling and often we need guidance in making those choices.

    My sister, brother and daughter all have mental illness, diagnosed and not. It's been a long journey learning how to detach and accept what is without making it my responsibility or something I can control or fix. I would look at all the options before I would allow your stepson to live with you, once he is there, it may be problematic to have him leave, not to mention the emotional damage he could possibly do to the rest of the family.

    Give NAMI a try if that feels right to you. Continue posting here too, it helps. I'm glad you're here, we do understand.
  3. Tmejia

    Tmejia New Member

    Thank you!
  4. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Tmejia. So sorry you have to go through this all. It certainly sounds as if he should not live with you for everyone's good.
    Please try to breathe-nothing has to be done right this minute. The urgent texts/calls can feel unbearable though. Many here warned me that when we set firm boundaries, the begging would ramp up and it did. Try for some distance. With our son we blocked texts and stopped answering phone, figuring he could leave voicemail if it was urgent. Maybe you could do one/both of these? In this way, I didn't see in print the drama. It's been months and we still rarely answer his calls. It is simply too upsetting for us. If he does leave voicemail, we will call him back to answer questions unless he's asking for $ or sounds impaired.
    I am sure, like many here, you've told him repeatedly that you love him. He knows. You are not deserting him---You are saving you, your daughter and grands. You deserve better. He's made adult choices, our son did also and detaching seemed more difficult to me because he had "limitations". Mental illness or not, I realized he did know right from wrong. I was excusing him over and over. Give your son the respect of holding him accountable for his actions.
    Hugs to you today, it's so hard. You can do this, you're worth it. Prayers.
  5. Tmejia

    Tmejia New Member

    Thanks everyone. It has (again) escalated this week. We are trying to be strong but it's so hard when you receive the hateful/mean texts telling you that you don't care and that you've pushed him to his limit. I'm not sure how he thinks living with us will make it better - if we can push him to his limit when we respond to his text messages. So sad. So hard.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Most times when we stop enabling, when we say no, the hateful, manipulative, ugly communications begin from our kids. They want us to stay responsible for them and when we say that's now over, the usual first response from them is what you described.

    Stay strong. Refrain from responding to the ugliness. Take a deep breath and go out and do something to change the energy, take a walk, call a friend, get support for YOU.

    Hang in there, once he realizes you won't change your mind, this part will end. Boundaries are absolutely essential.
  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I am starting to get the same calls. I have had to change my phone #.