21 year old son in and out of house

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by youngmomwithadultson, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. my son was kicked out of HS when he was 18 in the last 3 months of 12th grade because he brought a knife to school. He was also kicked out of his father's house where he was living because he held that same knife to his father's throat. He chose to live with his dad when we got divorced and that hurt me very much. Before 12th grade he bounced around to different schools in the area not able to stick to one, but by the grace of god he was able to finish high school at a special needs school that let him finish his last 3 months there. His grand mother had to let him stay with her where the special needs school was. The school district in my area would not let him attend. After he graduated from HS, he was accepted into an art school but he failed out after one semester. I took him in then. He was with me for one year. We had some pretty simple rules that he had to have at least a part time job or be in school. He got fired from at least five different jobs before I insisted he go into a on the job training program. It paid him pretty decently. He didn't do well with that either though. He had other rules to keep his area of the house clean and he didn't do that either. He'd get mad when he was asked or if we complained that things were messy or if things smelled. He refused to pay any bills or pitch in around the house so things escalated to the point where we insisted on a date that he had to leave and since we scheduled a date for him to go he got mad and up and left that day. He purchased a car on his own. After he left the car was repossessed.

    Although it seems like at least he has a job I can't get him to keep a job or pay a bill. He's mean and nasty with me all the time. He talks to me like i'm his enemy and says he blames me for his life being so horrible and hard. He's completely delusional. He says he has been out on the street since he was 15. He tells stories about how people blame him for other peoples deaths. He thinks he's a karate champion. None of these things are true. He manipulates his way into staying with us longer by saying he's going to move to California. So, he'll need to save up money. He does have a job right now that he has had for two months. He comes home from work smelling terrible and he downright refuses to wash his clothes himself so I do it for him.

    We let him come back here with us just two weeks ago but with new rules that he's only allowed to be here from 10pm to 730am hoping it will be uncomfortable. I gave him the date that he needs to have his own place by sept 1st but that doesn't look like its going to happen. The thing is WE ARE moving this time and my fiancé will not have him come with us and I believe that is the right decision.

    I look at the posts and the advice and I see that people get a lot of the same advice from their families. They say that no matter what we are to keep putting a roof over their heads, that we need to keep making sure they have food to eat. I'm just not sure that's the best advice anymore.

    I saw another person who has had similar experiences say.. JUST QUIT cooking them meals, JUST QUIT doing their laundry, JUST QUIT allowing them to emotionally drain you.. and let them do for themselves and I read the detachment post. Its time to take back my life. I just need the right kind of support.

    I feel so guilty for divorcing his father. I feel so guilty for being so young I'm 38 and he's 21. I feel guilty that I don't have more money to give him. I feel guilty that I didn't do whatever it is that he wants me to do and I don't even know what it is. I feel guilty that I don't WANT to take care of him anymore. HELL, I feel guilty that I don't want to feel guilty anymore. BUT when does it end?
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  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I am so sorry for your hurting mommy hearat. I do have a few questions.

    1/He would be like this even if you hadn't divorced his father, right? And I assume your marriage was bad? Why feel guilty about that? Half of all kids lived in divorced homes and do not act like your son over it.

    2? Why do you want to give him money? He is capable of working. He just doesn't really want to work. What would he spend the money on if you gave it to him? Drugs? Toys? You don't know?It does not make our grown children's lives better when we throw money at them. If your family thinks you should, let them do it. In the end, they will see what you see. It doesn't matter what they think, if you can remember that. I don't feel it is ever good to listen to family advice from the clueless.

    3/why would you take care of a twenty year old man? He is old enough to fight for his country. why does he still need a mommy? You are his mother now, not his mommy. It's different.

    It ends for many of us when we join groups or get into therapy that help us realize we are not responsible for anyone except us. we can't control other people, including our adult children. Like we did, they have to walk their own path and learn from thier mistakes, but nobody can save them .did your family take care of all your financial needs at his age and beyond? Until you get serious help either from a Twelve Step Group or a private therapist for YOU or both, it is hard to end it because we are not objective and we act out of emotion. We really do need support!

    Sounds to me like he just doesn't want to follow any rules, but life isn't like that and you can't fix it. I'm sure you tried and it didn't work. "The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again when you keep getting the same results."

    Your son displayed dangerous, aggressive behavior. in my opinion you shouldn't let him live with you, especially if other children live there, but to protect yourself too!

    P.S.--I would never do his laundry. If he stinks, he stinks. He will suffer natural consequences from that. He knows how to do the laundry.
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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  3. Thank you for responding! I read a lot of your posts and find you have much experience and wisdom that I find comforting. That scares me a little because I don't like to put that on people. (my search for comfort) its kind of like a person drowning (me), you can annoyingly scratch your lifeguard while searching for breath. I see clearly, you won't let anyone take you under but I think you get my point. I find it hard to be a mother at 38 to a man at 21 because when I search for "like" experiences there really isn't much, however I also have a gift. I get to have the gift of your wisdom and experience. I hope that's not offensive because it surely is not meant to be.

    I think your point is that I can't live my life according to other people's standards. You can read these words from a list of motivational speakers forums but they don't mean much until you live them like you have. I'm living them now too.

    The answers to everyone of your questions really comes down to one main thing, to appease everyone else's judgment, his, my families, what i consider the public's, but in the end what i have done is damage my health and my relationships and my stability.

    I do not believe that allowing him to continue to live with us, and continuing to support his financial needs, or continuing to tolerate his manipulation will benefit him, and so i start my journey towards my own independence or detachment because its only ME i can control.
  4. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi, I'm so sorry that you are in this situation, but you know what you need to do. You are right, it is time to take back your life and time for him to step up and live his own life, make his own choices and deal with his own consequences.

    It ends now hopefully. Plenty of children experience the divorce of their parents, it doesn't give them the right to treat their parents the way that your son is treating you. He's 21, an adult, you're not supposed to take care of him anymore.

    I am glad that you have found this site and I hope that you gain much insight and strength from reading all the stories on here.

    Your posts are full of strength and wisdom. You sound as if you know the answers already to what you need to change. Actually making those changes can be hard, but keep posting and we will all be following along beside you and supporting you.
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  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    youngmom, you are VERY young to be going through the perils of an adult difficult child and if I can help anyone, then I am paying back those who helped me. I used to think that if I put myself first in any situation I was being a selfish person. Of course, who told me that? Why, my family...mom, dad, sis, bro...lol. I was the family black sheep who could never do anything right. Worse, somehow I got labeled "selfish." I let my family of origin tell me what I was. I believed I was selfish!!!

    Now I have many flaws! Being selfish has never been one of them. I'm the opposite, foolishly so, although I have learned. In the days I was being told I was selfish, I used to stash $10 bills in beggar's cups. I was too naive to think that maybe I should offer a sandwich instead because mostly likely I was funding their drug habit, but my heart just would bleed for any hurt I saw or heard about. Yet since my mom, sister and brother called me "selfish" Dang It I was selfish. That only made me try even harder to do everything for everyone, which didn't work out very well for me and didn't change their opinion. At about your age, maybe a few years older, I started to catch on that maybe they were wrong about me and that nobody had a right to define me but me, but I had been in therapy and Twelve Step since age 35. It helped me a lot. It took a long time before I could actually believe it was ok to think about myself at all, let alone first. And that I didn't have to fix everyone else, including my growing oldest son who was almost an adult by then and not doing well. I have to take my hat off to CODA Codependents Anonymous and my cognitive behavioral therapist...they started my walk to freedom. As time went on, I slowly let go of members of my family of origin. Too bad I chased after my uncaring, mean mother almost until she died. I will never try to please anyone who can't be pleased again. Ever. Nor will I do things against my better judgment just to please another person. I don't even tell people about my problems anymore. That's private. I save my stories for group therapy and my therapist. Nobody except my husband is otherwise entitled to know the inner me. My "family" (long story) is not trustworthy and Ibarely see the few of them that are still alive.

    To start your journey, I highly recommend a 12 Step Group, even if you're not religious. I also suggest a therapist who is focused on teaching you coping skills to deal with your son and your family and to boost your self esteem. At 38 you have so many years to enjoy. Why let your family's criticism and your son's bad behavior ruin the rest of your life? You can take control of your own life. In fact, you have 100% control only over one person...you. You have 0% over anyone else. But since you have 100% control over you, you can choose who to confide in, who to talk to, what topics you are willing to explore with other people, how often to talk to anybody, if you talk to somebody or decide not to, how you react to your son's nonsense comments about you that are for his own benefit and you can hold your head up high and feel good about how you are now taking care of yourself.

    Most of us are fixers and pleasers, but that becomes so stressful (because it doesn't work) that we have to find another way. Read the article about detachment. You may like this fresh idea. The first time I heard about detachment I thought the people who were talking to me about it were picking on me in a tag team way and I left this woman's group in tears and never returned. I thought, "They are so selfish! How can you think about yourself when so many people are suffering?" Too bad we are no good to anyone else when we are so stressed out ourselves that we are ready for the loonybin. And, yes, I have been in a psychiatric hospital more than once and I'd call them good learning experiences. On top of people pleasing and fixing, I also have a serious mood disorder, now under control.

    Be good to you. Do something sinfully wonderful tonigiht like eat a three scoop hot fudge sundea with cherries, marshmellows and nuts on top. Then go dancing and wink at the sexiest man there (unless you are in a relationship). You deserve FUN. And remember we are here to help. The good part about us is we are here 24/7 and don't even take off Christmas and somebody is usually awake even in the wee hours of the morning.

    Hugs again and hope you stick around.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  6. Thank you to everyone who responded, I appreciate your support. Its truly what got me through another day. After getting off of here today I called a therapy group in my area because I'm interested in getting counseling. I read the article on detachment and I'm going to read that again tonight before I go to sleep. Its been a long time since I've had a good night's sleep and I'm going to see if that will help me get through a night.

    I understand what you mean MWM about people putting labels on you and you seem to just fall into those labels as if its just the easy thing to do. There are so many different ones for me. I'm going to take this evening and really think deeply about all of the things you have said, not just to me but to others in other posts. I feel very differently having this support forum and my fiancé already notices the difference in me. I will be back on tomorrow to post again.
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Young Mama,

    read what MWM said and take it to heart. She is wise. If your ways of trying to fix and please were going to work...well, they would have by now.

    My parents are divorced. I am too. It is a bit sad for my kids...but I have 3 pcs and one difficult child. A lot of people on the board have both PCs and difficult children...some have only difficult children. There is no knowing what causes that...all I know for surei s that I don't have the power to make a easy child, and I don't have the power to make a difficult child. And you don't either.

    Does your son have a diagnosis? Does he use drugs? He sounds like both those things may be true...it doesn't change what I think you need to do (detach from him) but sometimes it helps with the conversation.

    Also..stop doing his laundry. Like, yestarday. I haven't done any of my kids' laundry in 4 years (my youngest is 16).

    We will look for your posts tomorrow. Good job looking for some help, both here and from professionals.

    Echolette, warrior mom
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  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    It's not. It is counter-cultural, especially for moms and their adult sons and daughters. We just keep on taking care of, on and on and on and on, and one day we wake up and say, "What the heck?" This person is 40 years old, and I'm 60 years old and what in the world was I thinking?

    We can decide to stop the madness before that but it takes a whole new way of thinking and acting and we have to learn how to do it.

    People who "don't have a program" and who aren't in recovery themselves---recovery from enabling----can't imagine not taking care of their children, regardless of their age. It's unfathomable to them.

    I have tried to share enough information about Al-Anon and recovery thinking with my immediate family so that they have an inkling of the thinking. I also sent my parents the Courage to Change devotional book---I have no idea if they read it. My brother is an alcoholic and it would help them, but that is their decision.

    We have to be sick and tired enough to seek out and search out a new way of living. For many of us, that new way of living is a 12-step program.
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  9. uh oh, so i'm sorry, I thought someone explained it that a difficult child was a general term of gift from god.. i'm confused now. I was using it instead of his name for anonymity. I think you tried to tell me what a difficult child and easy child is here but I need it spelled out a little more. Can you help me so that I don't offend anyone? Thank you.
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    You are fine, YM.

    difficult child is gift from God---tongue in cheek. We are being a bit sarcastic here, but also talking about our "challenging" kids.

    easy child is perfect child---again tongue in cheek. We are talking about our "good" kids here.
  11. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Yes, YM, you are totally fine, I'm not even sure where you are afraid you might have offended! No offense here o_O
  12. I wanted to say that, not knowing what anything means.. I wanted to make sure for future reference that I didn't offend anyone. Thank you for helping with the lingo. I think I understand now. I do still feel like a newbie though but that's ok. There was only one first day.
  13. day two after reading over the detachment article several times and taking to heart the advice I was given and reading over the stories I have seen here things have really started to click. I finally feel like I am on the outside of the nightmare, instead of inside trying to wake myself up. Does anyone remember their ah ha moment? Since i'm in the middle of mine, I really would love to hear about your ah ha moments too.

    Oh please don't get me wrong, my heart still hurts. It still aches. I'm still weak but man do I get it now. I'm not in charge of my sons life. I can't make him do whats best for him. I'm upset that he won't do what's best for him but I have to stop setting these rules that he makes a good life for himself. I have to start setting rules that I make a good life for MYSELF and oh my god, how things are changing, my inner light has come back on. I set the appointment for the therapist too for next Tuesday. I scheduled our big move to West Palm Beach Florida for Nov. 1st. Yea, i'm semi retiring to Florida at 38.. that's kind of a joke, you can punch me for that, not the moving part, i'm really doing that!

    Now that I get it, I've read so many stories about what to say when he starts using his manipulation tactics to get his way, or when he wants to use me as his mental punching bag.

    MWM told me to do something nice for myself and I can't figure out what that is YET lol but as soon as I do.. i'm gonna do that so hard.. (that's what the kids say)
  14. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My 'ah ha' moment probably came back in February not long after I found this site. Echolette posted on my thread about her son. We are on opposite sides of the globe, but everything she said set a lightbulb off in my head. So many things about her son seemed the same as mine. I no longer felt so isolated. I realised that I wasn't the only person dealing with this grief, there were loads of us. I started really paying attention to the advice on here and I stopped the behaviour that I'd been doing for years and that had ended me up in a black pit of despair.

    I hope you've managed to find something nice to do!
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    YoungMom, I honestly had no "aha" moment that happened with my oldest difficult child, which was when I was living in agony, wondering how I produced this uncaring child, wondering if my family was right about me, trying to make my mother love me (an impossible task I wasted half my life on). It actually took reading a book to kick me awake. I know that sounds silly, but I read and read and read and I put it down and thought, in a very puzzled, out-of-it way, "I don't have to live through my son? I can let his problems go and make him responsible? B-b-but he can't do it. He has so many problems. He is mentally ill, and that's why he's mean to me. And it's my responsibility!" I read the book a little at a time and then I joined a CODA group )Codependents Anonymous). Now the CODA join was not even because of my son. My first husband was a very sick man. He had a syndrome nobody has ever heard of (if anyone is interested it is called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia IIB). I am probably the onlyl person I know that has even heard of it, let alone can spell it and explain it. In a very quick and simplistic explanation, there is cancer involved and it is much like the Elephant Man's Disease, only the tumors form on the endocrine glands on a person's insides, so they can't be seen. They do get cafe lait spots, as they also do is neurfribomotosis (which is ELephant's Man Disease, spelled wrong). He was sure he'd die soon and I felt so guilty he was sick (like I had anything to do with his genes) that he could be as horrible to me as he wanted and I felt I couldn't defend myself because he was "sick." by the way, he is 66 and still alive, but that's a whole other story. He HAS been sick with this, however he is no longer my husband.

    CODA was where I heard others talking about how they felt they could fix their dystunctional family/friends/co-workers/kissing cousins and how they had always blamed themselves, but that it was not only not our fault, it was not our responsibility to try to fix them BECASE IT ISN'T POSSIBLE.

    Wow. What a novel thought. It was a long time before I could digest it. Remember, that woman's group when I ran out of it in tears. But this was different. I was about your age and was ready to listen because I felt as if I was losing my mind and I was so depressed I had thought of suicide so SOMETHING had to change. CODA gave me many moments and time to digest the changes I was feeling and also gave me the companionship I needed to act on what I now understood to be true...that even if somebody is sick or your child neither has a right to abuse anybody. There is no excuse for abuse and we shouldn't have to take it. But, trust me, this was no walk in the park. Some peopl may have had a quick moment. For me it was an evolving thing. And I still tried to chase after my mean mother who eventually died and disinherited me. So my kindness to her, the love letters, my apologies that I didn't know what I was apologizing for, the willingness to take responsibility for a relationship that was not 100% all bad because of me was wasted. She slapped me from the grave. THAT taught me a BIG lesson and maybe it was the closest I came to an "aha" moment. I realized that no matter what I did, she still didn't respect me, care for me, or even consider me her child. It still took more time, but I did "get" that if somebody wants you out of their life, then you are wasting your self respect and your other facets of life if you focus everything on trying to make yourself worthy of them. Never again. Not even with my kids.

    Youngmom, at age thirty, my ex and I (at the time I was in denial that our marriage stunk) adopted a wonderful, cute, brilliant little six year old boy from Hong Kong. Too bad, although he had no bad behaviors, he never bonded to us. In his 20's he suddenly left us all. I was able to use my new copoing skills to get over it faster. It took about two years to accept he was gone and not coming back, but they were not as bad as my longing for Mommy. And now I am completely over it. Ok, well, 98%. He is living a very expensive and decent lifestyle and is healthy. If he doesn't want me in his life, hey, I have four other children and two grandchildren who do love me. Focus on them. Must.focus.on.them. Also, hey, have a nice hubby too and myself. I needed therapy to get over my son and to understand he had attachment disorder and that none of this was my fault. I'm a BIG believer in therapy and getting help. I think we ruminate if we hold it in and don't heal as fast.

    My life since after Psychokid left has been pretty drama free and good. I even did really well with Psychokid and was able to stay calm and get help for my younger children, who are now adults and still doing great. My life is full of blessings and I am very content and happy now.Every so often 36 tries to toss a blip into my happiness, but I just let his drama be HIS drama. Since I've clamped down on his abusive talk, he has not done it. He also seems to be slowly improving. I say that with mucho caution. He seems to have a more rational plan for his future life, since he got rid of his crazy girlfriend (that's a whole other story and 100% on him). I hope he means it. I may even visit my grandson this year, but not by myself.

    YoungMom, you had a lot of responsibility at a very young age and its time for you to have some fun. You are obviously extremely mature. You took the responsibility of your son seriously, even though you were not grown up yourself when you had him. You are a ch ampion; a winner. Please understand that genetics plays a part in our children too. Perhaps his father is like him? Even if he didn't know his father, he is 50% his father's genes. We all have to learn to have a good life even if we are dealt some bad genes (cards). Or we choose not to. That doesn't give those who choose not to try the right to take everyone else down with them.

    As for your family, bet you feel like a little girl again when you talk to Mom. I always did. Be careful how often you talk to your worst critic, no matter who it is. Be careful what you say. It is also within your rights to say, in a gentle way,"The topic of "Joe" is off limits. We can talk about anything else, but not him. If you can not respect this boundary, I will gently hang up (or leave). You can decide not to discuss your son with anyone else because, frankly, whatever goes on between you and your son is not their business, even if he tells them. He doesn't have to share that boundary with you. He can talk to whoever he wants to try to grab sympathy. But you can put your foot down in a kind way and tell them, "He is not a topic I will discuss with anybody anymore." And then mean it. So far, their advice hasn't worked, has it? This criticism will only undermine your confidence.

    You are on the right track and you are smart and you deserve a great life. Stick around, like I did. We all care about you. We are holding your hand. See, we have all been there/done that/have the tee-shirt. We are here.
  16. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Young Mama, I don't really remember my ah ha moment. I do remember finding the site, and that my first post here was about how I had finally gotten some calm when I decided that if my difficult child dies on the street that my solution would be to kill myself. I still remember how logical and easy that seemed at the time. MWM, dammitjanet kicked my butt a bit over that...Cedar and RE came along, and all added comfort and support. Child started soon after me, then Seeking and Lucy...all feel like friends now, known to me, good to talk to, sometimes predictable, always generous.

    Something about the repetition of the stories, the safety of knowing there were people to listen to whatever I had to say, even the awful stuff, and some of the worsd sof wisdom, which I sometimes printed and kept by my computer...they got me over some edge that I have never fallen back from. I finally understood, through the forum, that if difficult child could be saved by me it would have happened already, because I had tried everything. That no matter what I had done wrong, and there was plenty, I didn't cause his crazy, and I couldn't undo it. I finally got in my gut that my efforts were toxic to me and useless, completely utterly useless, to him in the long wrong...because he needs to learn to be a man, not a child, not a pet, not a patient. And that as long as he flatly refuses that opportunity...my role as a parent is over.

    So many good quotes, so many shared experiences, so much support. Lesson learned, but wounds not healed. My aha moment happened late last fall. I hope yours was yestarday.

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  17. I guess its our relationships with our children's fathers that can make our relationships with our kids so complex. I think just like you, my ex husband had an illness, he is bipolar. I think they consider it aggressive bipolar. I forget now. My difficult child and I suffered through his abuse and it was very confusing. Its just like what you said. Since he had an illness you felt you had to let him be as horrible to you as he wanted. I'm not deciding that the incidents were the exact same i'm just saying the thought that since he is sick, I have to let him keep doing these mean things, Until one day I said no more. The problem for my difficult child is he worshiped his dad no matter what and excused his dad's bad behavior because he was sick and even felt it was cool when he did mean things. Then one day he imitates his dad's mean behavior back onto his dad and his dad kicks him out. That's where my difficult child is mentally I believe. He's suffering from the loss of his relationship with his father. That's a very complex situation though, that I am unable to fix. Its the reason he clings to me. Its the reason he verbally abuses me. He wants me to make it all better. I have tried so hard to make him feel better and I have failed and I have simply been unable to comfort him. I know I will never be able to.

    Your story about your adopted son has really touched me today too. I imagine the adoption part of it holds some significance however it doesn't seem to be the big factor. I do have another son who does not speak to me at all. He hasn't spoken to me since his father and I officially divorced in 2011. We spoke very briefly this January when his father went to jail and I called him, my son, to see if he needed anything. He refused my help. He and I never had a single argument in the past. I imagine his father has turned him against me but that is only a guess. I'm sure its a pretty good guess.

    To have someone remove himself from your life that you loved so much is a great loss, it comes with greif that doesn't make a lot of sense and doesn't have any normal path with a normal end or at least or normal progression. I'm not sure I will ever see my youngest son again. I just know that I have to make sure I spend more time enjoying my life than I do grieving those I have lost.

    You have given me so much advice that I am going to use. The parts about your mom and the parts about my family seeing me as a little girl. I don't have a whole lot of strength today to go into how they still see me as a 14 year old little girl which does not help.

    I have to start eating a normal diet again so that I have the energy to accomplish more. My appetite hasn't come back yet. I have such a hard time getting the right amount of food in. I'm working on it.
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What you have gone through touches me. I hope you stick around. I think we warrior moms can get you through this.

    I am sorry about your other son's refusal to talk to you. I know this sounds outrageous, but I have come to decide that it is best that my son-who-left stays there. He and I are so different and he thinks I'm a failure because me and my new husband do not have money, which is all that he cares about when evaluating a person, along with...are you a very, very, very Moody Bible type Christian. He doesn't even consider a person who goes to a Lutheran or any denominational church as a real Christian. He does talk to his father, but his father inherited a shoot ton of money and is a Christian in his church, although not nearly as close-minded as my son...he is fine with those who do not share his views (my ex is). My son isn't. So what would we talk about if we DID get together? He freaks out if somebody so much as lets out a swear word or forgets and says "Oh my God!" and drinking is absolutely forbidden...lots of stuff that I don't think most Christians care about.

    I adopted my two most wonderful children when I was 40 and 43. I call them Sonic and Jumper. Both have been nothing but a joy as is my second husband. I am also close to my daughter from my first marriage...she was adopted from Korea and has a gorgeous baby right now...I am over the moon over that baby. But two of my children...one does not talk to me; one is a major difficult child. He talks to me. He is overly attached to me. But he almost drove me to a nervous breakdown just last year an d I had to once again remember to use my learned skills, step back, and set boundaries. I would get a funny feeling in my stomach when his name popped up on my phone and it was always popping up. He was going through a custody battle for his son and was certain he would lose (total pessimistic) and his ex is as disturbed as he is. In the end he won 50/50 so all that abuse he heaped on me was for nothing. However, by the end of that ordeal, I had stopped talking to him that often and was hanging up if he got abusive. When 36 is not under pressure, he can be fine. He is a good father so far. His son adores him. But when he is under pressure, he is terribly abusive and threatening. And when he l ived with me, he was dangerous at times.

    I have to always remember that I can never be alone with him. It is so sad to feel that fear toward your own child. But when he loses it, and one can never tell what will set that off, he changes like Jekyll/Hyde and I do believe he could assault me or anyone. He has come close. Guiltily, I am glad he lives two states away, however I do want to get out to see my grandson more. I will take my husbnad with me when I go. We will stay at a hotel, not his house, although he has a big house and plenty of room.

    Sad, sad, sad.

    You will make it, like the rest of us. You may even decide to have a new family, like I did in my 40's. I am so grateful every day for Sonic (an autistic young man who is kinder than anyone I know and a harder worker than anyone I know too...he is pretty independent) and Jumper (we adopted her from the hospital and she is just a superstar...couldn't ask for a more fun or loving young woman, now eighteen and at school). These PCs can heal your heart. So can just a good relationship with yourself, which I finally have. I am finally my own best friend, not relying on everyone else to like me :) You can do it too.
  19. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    In my humble opinion it actually does the opposite of benefitting them. It allows them to go on being children indefinitely. My son is 32 years old. Physically he is a grown man. Mentally and emotionally he is still 15 years old. While I certainly share some blame, his mother has been a very big enabler for his entire adult life.
  20. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Young Mom, welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    You've been offered some very sound advice from our warrior parents......you sound ready to move onto a new landscape now, open to new thoughts, gleaning a lot from the experience of those who have walked in the same shoes......when we become ready to change, I believe in that adage, 'when the student is ready, the teacher appears.' That is what happened to me, I became ready and all of these teachers showed up to show me the way. Thank goodness.

    I found this forum in the middle of one of those horrible sleepless nights when you feel alone, isolated and scared for your child, blaming yourself, feeling guilty, filled with sorrow and remorse for real and imagined wrongdoings.........and there on the page were the stories.......so similar to mine, it was an amazing gift in the middle of a hurricane of anguish. I was not alone.

    Then I found a 2 year long intensive course in codependency recovery through a huge HMO here in CA. Signing up for that program changed my life.

    I think that ah ha moment came one day when my daughter was living with us and making both my husband and myself feel like we were going crazy. We left and took a drive to a different town about an hour away. In that hour we vented to each other about the reactions we were both having about my daughter's bad, negative, manipulative, angry, awful behavior. The difference for me is that I had raised her alone and I never had another person validate and acknowledge my feelings in that precise way, someone who was living with the same insanity I was. A part of me was stunned. You mean all of those internal feelings and observations I had were REAL, were RIGHT, were indisputable? Wow. Before that I could deny a lot, tell myself I had exaggerated it or it wasn't that bad, or maybe I didn't really understand, maybe it was me, maybe it was my fault, maybe I could do more.......

    My husband effectively dispelled all of that. It was like eating a truth grenade. I recall him saying this to me......."it's as if you and your daughter are in a sinking boat full of holes and while you are frantically bailing out the water, your daughter is busy drilling new holes." It felt like I was hit with a bat and it jarred my brain. I got it. From that day forward, it all began to change.

    Having someone acknowledge the TRUTH of what is, validates our experience and starts to pull us out of the FOG. It hurts and is liberating at the same time. It is the beginning of our letting go, of our detaching from the level of insanity we've become accustomed to living. It is time to check out of the Bates motel and start to LIVE once again.

    Hang out here with us Young Mom, you will find us a welcoming and inclusive tribe of wounded warriors who've lived through a war and come out a little ragged, a lot exhausted, yet still able to laugh and find joy in our lives.................even though our kids have gone off the rails......we're learning to value the preciousness of our own lives.

    I'm glad you're here.