20 year old ready for next step...and I would love some transitional housing ideas.....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by startingfresh, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    I have not posted in what feels like ages. Yet I follow along and catch up when I can. I wonder if anyone can offer suggestions on a next step idea for my now 20 year old son. After years of out of control teenage years and incessant pot smoking he has come a long long way but has a long way to go. After moving out over a year ago, he checked himself into the hospital for suicidal thoughts and after that we let him come home and worked hard to help him get back with a therapist, medications, a job, etc. He decided not to go to college and works 30 hours a week with a long commute. He hates the job so that feels unsteady and is often late. I doubt he will keep the job for much longer. As a matter of fact, he is oversleeping right now and I am not going to wake him up and rescue him which of course is hard on me but he is snoozing away without a care in the world. I still worry about him incessantly as he has spurts of reckless behavior that indicate that he is still a far far cry from ready to be on his won. I struggle with what to do now because I am very impressed and encouraged with how far he has come but there are still major problems that can't be ignored. Like he binge drinks alone, and just acts weird enough that I am suspicious ALL the time. Oh and no longer on his medications or seeing the therapist.

    ANytime my husband and I discuss how to handle him we end up in an argument. As you all can imagine the up and down roller coaster of living with my son is beyond stressful. He has a much better relationship with all of us and needs the support of family/friends. But I am certain what he needs now is to live on his own. Yet with some supports. I looked into job corp but he doesn't qualify. I am searching the internet looking for a place he could live with support. I have looked into renting a place for him and helping him get started with the costs but its just not feasible. We live in a very expensive metro area and finding anything below $1500 a month is impossible.
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome back.

    Ugh wash, rinse, repeat.

    He knows he has a roof over his head so that may be why he isn't too worried about his job. My son is back also after being away from us for a long time (in my signature). It is very hard indeed!

    I would make it clear that he must NOT quit his job until he has a new one lined up. That is what we have instilled in our son now and he complies. He never would even look for a job before his stay at Teen Challenge. He literally lived on our couch all day until he'd binge and then he'd be in his room. Awful way to live.

    We are also trying to help him be independent and will only support him while moving forward - which so far he's been doing pretty well at. Not perfect.

    Does he have any friends he can move in with as a roommate situation?

    My son has made it clear he does not want to live alone but we suggested a roommate - a platonic female would be ideal - because he is non-confrontational so someone could take advantage and he may be more inclined to handle a female than a stronger male - is our thinking. He is okay with that idea.

    That would be my only suggestion as I have gone through all ideas myself also.

    I would consult a therapist as a couple if you can to try to work through this rather than attacking each other. Of course attacking is easier LOL - we did it too.
  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Even under the best of circumstances, living with your parents at age 20 is miserable. I couldn't afford my own place because I was still in college. I was a good kid and was still miserable at home at that age. Even a big house doesn't give parents and kids enough space from each other at that age.
  4. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Thank you RN and Crayola for the feedback. It is not fun for any of us to live here together and for all of our sakes he needs to move out! I remember the years of coming home from college and having to follow my parents rules and counting the days until I could go back. Its not even so much the education that my son is missing by not going to college but the transition into being independent with supports. I have dreamed of a similar type program that focuses more on life skills and boundaries that would help him in so many ways. I am that person now and it is NOT a good match. Its unnatural for your mom to be mothering you at 20. And I end up having to back off things so we are not fighting constantly but its not right. Because we deserve for our things not to be touched, rooms where we all relax not to be filled with old food and mess. etc, you get the idea. We work really hard to have our home and as we all have said its our sanctuary and should be peaceful. Yet, he isn't using drugs or doing anything that would honestly merit kicking him out. He just needs a place to go that would help push him along. I was watching Queer Eye on Netflix and they had an 18 year old who had been homeschooled and they helped him to get ready for his next step. That is what my son needs!!!! if only!!!
  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    But that's the thing. If Kay hadn't married I think she would still want to be here. I am so happy that never happened. We would probably just be beginning to make her leave. We were horrible enablers.

    I think they know how to transition and don't like it. Work? No way. Peers are all working and they know it and know that making money is the ticket out. But these unusual young people are happy letting us continue to care for them. And they don't follow our rules anyway so rules we set down are not a motivating factor. They are Peter Pan adults, some as old as 40. Some are Peter Pan forever. They don't wanna grow up, like in the Peter Pan song "I Won't Grow Up." Check the lyrics.

    Its not hard to figure out steps to be able to move. And that it is easier not to. in my opinion that is the reason they don't do it, not lack of knowledge about how to do it.

    I once cared a lot about college too. I am no longer interested in that. Just help Kay grow up! Work? Be rational? That's all. She can flip burgers and I would consider that a huge step.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Our son actually likes living with us most times because he is our only son together and we have lost many years due to his addiction issues.

    For the most part it works fine for us but I do look forward to the day that he can be on his own - for HIM.

    I will say we are pretty tough on him though and that is just fine by me.

    He will be able to save for his own home pretty quickly once he finishes his welding schooling. Homes are very affordable here so why waste money on an apartment.
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    RN, could you share how you are tough on your son? I got 2 adult children living at home and I make them clean room once a month and ask for chores like emptying the dishwasher etc when it needs to be done. They do it .23 year old without complaints, 20 year old while balking which I ignore.
  8. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    The best way to describe it is that we remind him constantly that he is a grown man now and living with us is temporary and that we are only helping HIM get himself sorted out and live with us until he gets trained in a trade (he chose welding and the classes are free since we are on the coast and there is a high demand) and has time to save for a down payment on a home (will only need $7k). Also remind him of what is expected of him to be allowed to live with us. For the most part he is compliant but I do still see some entitlement. He is our youngest and we gave him too much growing up (like many of us here).
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  9. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I like that a lot, reminding them they are grown now, because it is holding them accountable as the adults they are. And it is empowering as in he can do this . I will start mentioning this more to my son. He sleeps every day until 2-3 pm and stays up all night on the laptop. His part time job should be coming through soon now. He interviewed and is waiting for the call .He should have the job as he worked there before .

    He will buy my Dad's car as soon as he is working as his car was totalled by a friend whom he let drive the car while they were both high. I want him to go through a bank as I do not feel comfortable loaning him money after everything he put us through while he was at college.

    Once he is working, I will have him contribute 1/4 of the electric bill and $25 a week to groceries . I also would like him to start paying for his own phone .

    I like the reminders that he is here because we are helping HIM out . He is very entitled also which is my fault as I spoiled both of my kids rotten. Lesson learned.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    When he was using he bought a new Iphone without our permission and we are making him pay that back by mowing the grass weekly until it's paid off and then we'll find another reason for him to mow.

    It's sometimes hard not to want to coddle a bit because he has been through a lot (his own doing) and I feared we'd lose him to drugs but he has come so very far and we're both so happy and proud but I hold tight onto my stance and keep reminding myself that I am doing it for HIM. Someday when I'm sure this is all far behind us I will tell him what I feel in my heart as now I know at times he finds me harsh which is so opposite of the mother I am. I always tell him to have high standards and strive for perfection which I know sounds crazy when I write that but I just cannot let him slip a little bit into where he was. It's so much work for me to be this way.

    I do see that he has a lot of pride in things he pays for. He put a down payment on his truck and takes very good care of it. He makes the payments and just loves it. We're thinking when he gets his own place he'll do that also because now he realizes how hard it is to make a living which is truly priceless. He so needed to learn that lesson. I don't think that he has a clue how much he hurt us or maybe he just doesn't want to face it but he will be vindicated by making something out of himself and his life.

    We also take him to church every weekend and I'm the driving force in that because I feel that he really needs it; well we all do actually.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    There are sober living homes for which he would qualify. If. He stopped drinking. My son went and he paid $400 or $450 a month. Of course it would vary according to prevailing rents, but typically these places are reasonable.
    This is serious, to me.

    My way of thinking about my own son is that if I allow what I consider to be unhealthy substance abuse, while he is living with me, I am condoning it. My son does not drink. He uses mj which is legal here.
    To me, this would be serious too. Given that he has had this incident with suicidal ideation, that he handled responsibly, I might add, I would be very concerned if he did not follow through with therapy. Again, by my not insisting, I would see this as condoning his neglecting this essential thing.

    I will tell you that I lack a whole lot of confidence in what I say. Because I have adhered to what I believed was right and this has meant that my son has been in and out of my home and a rental home I own. And his leaving is very, very hard on him and I. He acquires bad habits when he leaves. And he is largely homeless. And I worry a great deal. But I have not felt a lot of choice here. But maybe I've been wrong. I don't know.

    This is how I feel. We as their parents have to stand for something. We have to stand for their raising the bar. It can't be okay for them to be drugged or drunk all day in our house or property. It can't be okay that they do not seek or get mental health treatment if they need it. They have to be willing to play ball with us, to live with us, because this is the way of the world. Everything has a cost. And the cost of my son living with me or in a property I own, is that he do what he needs to do to be healthy and to become productive and self-sustaining. He knows where I stand. If he does not consent, then don't come back. That is how I feel.

    Actually. This has not worked so good. But I keep sticking to my guns.

    I think you are thinking correctly about this situation. I know how hard it is to negotiate this with another parent or interested adult, who may have different views.

    I don't know why your son does not qualify for Job Corps. My son went. My understanding is that the cut off age is 26. My understanding is that there are NOT qualifications. Except about active drug use. Are you sure your son does not qualify? I think Job Corps is wonderful. My son was not so thrilled. But he did complete the program. I told him he could not come home if he did not. So he did.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  12. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Hi Copa,

    Yes, I agree with you on so many things here. Things need to change and its up to him. I feel exactly as you do, that I need to stand for something. To stand for the the type of life he should be living and the healthy person that he can be if he works at it. And right now standing for that, means nagging and nagging and I don't want to be doing that anymore. I am exhausted and plain tired of this back and forth. The only option I can see is to help him get somewhere else to live. He has always kind of lived in this spot. The spot of not being quite enough of a problem to get help. In school, he needed help but squeaked by with ok grades and was never a behavior problem so he fell through the cracks. And now as a 20 year old, he for certain is using substances to self medicate but does it now in bits and spurts, gets into himself into a mess but somehow recovers. I am encouraged by the progress he has made but it is soo sooo slow. Just ready for next step. I will look again into job corps and sober living. I remember you recommended it before and had good things to say about the program. Thank you for your advice!!
  13. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, the best way to get a built in, free, lifetime support system is to apply for and receive SSI.
  14. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    Sorry I didn't read everyone else's responses. There are mental health organizations out there who help and support people with mental health diagnosis's whether they are on disability or not. For example a case worker who will help with funded housing, and a community center where people can go to meetings and for other support like life coaching and such. They are just not highly publicized, NAMI in your area might be a good place to start to ask about programs and organizations.
  15. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    I can't imagine he would qualify for SSI. I double checked on job corps and you have to have meet their low income requirements. He does work 30 hours a week at $15 an hour so that puts him above the low income requirements. The description of this program is EXACTLY what I think he needs right now. I fully expect him to become an independent adult with some support at the beginning. Also at this moment in time he would not meet the active court case criteria. He was arrested for drunk in public and underage drinking back in April. He had to hire himself an attorney($2,000 of the money he earned) and the charges will be dismissed once he completes 50 hours of community service. I wish they would have been able to see he has a problem and then they could have required treatment. This is the type of stuff he does. Gets into trouble and spends the next several months and loads of his hard earned money to fix it.
  16. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Ok. If he can work easily and does he wont qualify.

    What your son does is close to what all our kids do. They self sabatage and find trouble in varying degrees. Often they are bright and able bodied yet homeless. Its puzzling. Take heart that your son works. Kay will not work.

    A DUI can be a red flag for alcoholism. Binging is a very strong sign of alcoholism. Does this fit him? If so there are rehabs. I hear they can help if the person works the program.

    Remember to think about yourself. You can't force your son to act as smart as he likely is. Trust me. I know!

    What kind of supports do you think your son needs? What can't he do for himself? Maybe we know where to seek it out. Has he been formally diagnosed with mental illness by a psychiatrist? Usually you need the paperwork to get supports. I am in NAMI because of Kay. She doesn't qualify for anything...no diagnosis. She won't get one.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  17. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Hi Busy! Thank you for your thoughts. He was partying at the lake with friends when he got arrested. No driving was involved . In my city,which happens to be a college town they crack down hard on drinking in public, especially underage. That was in April and he has been fairly quiet in terms of getting into trouble since. Before that it was a marijuana charge in Nov. And before that he totaled his car in Aug.2018. So just when I begin to relax and see him getting his life together he seems to mess up.

    I don’t know if I’d say he is an alcoholic but binges and gets in trouble. And so i’d say that he has a problem. I forgot a few weeks ago he got into an argument while drinking that ended a friendship. So yes a problem drinker. Maybe I should look at sober living. He can’t seem to control himself. He needs people who understand and can help him stop self sabotaging and stop bingeing. Any recommendations on sober living ? We live on the East coast.

    Thank you for the reminder to self care. It sounds like you have been through a lot. Hugs to you.
  18. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    We have. I hate thinking about it.

    I don't know much about actual rehabs or sober livings anywhere because Kay won't even consider it. We never looked into it. Just a mention of addiction sent her into a rage.
  19. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Ah yes, we get the same reaction when we try and talk to him about needing help. So much that we put off conversations just to have peace in our home. He has been diagnosed as having depression and anxiety.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Gosh. They must have changed the rules because my son went when he was 18 and living with me and I was making a huge amount of money. Are you sure???