37-Year-Old Son about to be homeless

MercuryF17

New Member
I am a 63-year-old woman with a 37-year-old son who is about to be thrown out of my house tomorrow and I a sick to my stomach over it. His father and I divorced when he was only a year old, and to this day I have been enabling him out of guilt. He was a pretty happy kid, loved sports, had friends, and three entire families who doted on him - my family, his father's family, and his stepfather's family. I noticed when he was about 9 years old that he changed. Didn't want to hang out with his friends anymore and became very withdrawn. I finally took him to a psychiatrist at his pediatrician's urging and at 11 years old he was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed Zoloft. He was on this medication and seeing a therapist until his senior year of high school. What I was too stupid to realize was that he also doing drugs - including heroin - and even almost died from an overdose. He has been to rehab twice, but will never go back. He has wrecked four cars. I paid for an apartment for him for 7 years, but with this economy, I could not do it anymore. He has had about 20 minimum wage jobs that he quits after a month. He's a talented guitar player with several digital albums out there that he created by himself, but the music is strange and not for everyone, if anyone. Although I think it's okay, but then, I'm his mother! He was finally evicted in February, and so I begged my current fiancee to let him stay with us for a few months because it is too cold in New Jersey in the winter to sleep outside. (My second marriage suffered tremendously because of him, but not only because of him. I'm twice divorced, something he loves to remind me of.) Tomorrow is D-Day - he has to leave, still has nowhere to go, won't work, won't go to rehab, won't go to a homeless shelter, won't see a therapist, won't go to Social Services. I even found a tent city type place that a priest helps to run, and he won't contact him either. He has alienated my whole family, his father's whole family, and I'm not sure he even has any real friends. NOBODY will take him in, nor should they. I am looking for strength to pack his stuff and put him out on the street, because I know how much of an enabler I am, I know this is unhealthy, and I know he will never change his views. He blames me for everything that is wrong with him. God give me strength!
 

ANewLife4Me

Active Member
I am a 63-year-old woman with a 37-year-old son who is about to be thrown out of my house tomorrow and I a sick to my stomach over it. His father and I divorced when he was only a year old, and to this day I have been enabling him out of guilt. He was a pretty happy kid, loved sports, had friends, and three entire families who doted on him - my family, his father's family, and his stepfather's family. I noticed when he was about 9 years old that he changed. Didn't want to hang out with his friends anymore and became very withdrawn. I finally took him to a psychiatrist at his pediatrician's urging and at 11 years old he was diagnosed with depression and was prescribed Zoloft. He was on this medication and seeing a therapist until his senior year of high school. What I was too stupid to realize was that he also doing drugs - including heroin - and even almost died from an overdose. He has been to rehab twice, but will never go back. He has wrecked four cars. I paid for an apartment for him for 7 years, but with this economy, I could not do it anymore. He has had about 20 minimum wage jobs that he quits after a month. He's a talented guitar player with several digital albums out there that he created by himself, but the music is strange and not for everyone, if anyone. Although I think it's okay, but then, I'm his mother! He was finally evicted in February, and so I begged my current fiancee to let him stay with us for a few months because it is too cold in New Jersey in the winter to sleep outside. (My second marriage suffered tremendously because of him, but not only because of him. I'm twice divorced, something he loves to remind me of.) Tomorrow is D-Day - he has to leave, still has nowhere to go, won't work, won't go to rehab, won't go to a homeless shelter, won't see a therapist, won't go to Social Services. I even found a tent city type place that a priest helps to run, and he won't contact him either. He has alienated my whole family, his father's whole family, and I'm not sure he even has any real friends. NOBODY will take him in, nor should they. I am looking for strength to pack his stuff and put him out on the street, because I know how much of an enabler I am, I know this is unhealthy, and I know he will never change his views. He blames me for everything that is wrong with him. God give me strength!
Welcome MercuryF17, so very sorry that you have to deal with this. 🤗 You have a very good head start of understanding the role you have played by enabling, most do not come to this idea or do not accept it. Even though we play a part in what goes on, we are not the decisions makers, they are. We cannot control them in any way and he is refusing all types of help to make himself more self sufficient. I liken it to my daughter, she wants her cake and eat it too and we know this cannot happen.

It sounds to me you have absolutely done everything you can for him and are at the very same point as me. Once my daughter gets out of jail, she too will be homeless and on the streets. Your son and my daughter may need this final push into a horrible situation to finally make them understand how good they really had it….oh I pray for both of them that they do! 🙏

It’s going to be the very worst day of your life tomorrow but really needs to be done. The guilt you will feel, the sadness…we have all been there. It’s time that through all of your personal struggles with divorces and he took part in ruining the second one. My daughter has mental issues and loved to see her Dad and I very unhappy and fighting with the other.

My daughter last March decided to leave our home by herself although we were almost to the point of kicking her out again. After the shock and tears wore off my home is a much happier and peaceful place to live. You deserve the peace of mind as well, he has options to help himself and refuses them. You ARE doing the right thing! After tomorrow keep coming back and writing it all out, you will be amazed how many of are share your feelings and are right there with you. 🤗
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
he has to leave, still has nowhere to go, won't work, won't go to rehab, won't go to a homeless shelter, won't see a therapist, won't go to Social Services.
These decisions are his entirely. My son is 35. He has been homeless for many years. I have done everything I can think of to provide housing, and to urge him to avail himself of drug treatment, mental health and medical care, job training, and job placement. And anything else I can think of. He only gives the illusion or promise he's doing any of these things, to get what he wants to get. It's always on his terms.

Finally, I woke up and smelled the coffee. Now he feels I don't love him. Well, his idea of love is very, very one-sided.
I know he will never change his views. He blames me for everything that is wrong with him.
This is ridiculous. You don't know if he will change his views. Everybody has the capacity to change. And blaming you for his problems? Laughable.

He is a full-grown adult who is responsible for himself and for the consequences of his decisions. Living the life he thinks he wants, is the only way he will learn to make better choices. If he doesn't want to change, what in the world can you do? His life is his. Not yours.

There is no reason at all for guilt. The change must come from you.
 

Nomad

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome, Mercury! So much of what you wrote resonates with me and our situation and so many others that I have read on this board. And the pain us parents feel is tremendous. I'm fairly sure not everyone can relate to the deep hurt these situations cause us. It is profound.
Do you happen to know if your son's bio father has a mental illness? It's just a curiosity, because perhaps medications of a certain type could help your son. But, I recognize that he is not very likely to be compliant.
I see that you already understand that enabling just doesn't work. And, I know for myself, it's a weird and complicated process...because at times, nothing seems to work. What Copa said about our children then feeling like we don't love them when we finally say "enough" of the enabling really resonated with me. And it seems your son blames YOU for everything ....it all seems to meld together...as I've experienced this too and seen it before.
They struggle (to put it mildly) understanding that their life and how it comes together, depends on THEM. Sometimes, parents will give an "assist" especially if an adult child falls on hard times through no fault of their own.
But, refusing medication, therapy, taking illegal drugs, quitting jobs, getting evicted...well...this is his fault, period.
You must let go of the guilt. Your son seems to be making zero effort. And no matter how severe his mental illness is, he should be able to do better than this.
After MUCH chaos we let our daughter go for a long time and other than her cell phone, we did not help her at all and in her case was near homeless several times. Perhaps being female, this scared her. She was able to get money from friends for hotels during this period of time. We stayed out of it. It was hard.
After this experience , time and much disengaging on our part.... If our daughter meets us half way and is respectful, we help her here and there with certain things, particularly therapy and ubers to the doctors office. We added these things when she did "better." We also continue to pay for her cell phone, and it's one thing we probably will continue with for safety reasons. Our help is limited and in a certain way, I'm pleased we got to this point. I hope she appreciates it. I'm not certain. In our case, even though we are helping a little bit more, she is not back in our lives.
These days, she hesitates to be disrespectful to us or to blame us. This is something. And I believe she learned this after coming insanely close to being homeless. If it weren't for some kind friends...she absolutely would of been.
So, even though I thought it was impossible for her to learn even under dire circumstances because her cause and effect reasoning is soooo limited, I do think she learned a little with (in her case) being near homeless. It isn't NEARLY what a "healthy" person would learn, but it is a little something. So, perhaps there was a tad of learning that took place when she found herself in dire straits. I believe after being near homeless (again, being female I think might be scarier, just a guess) she now has a tiny understanding of her need to try to help herself and that blaming us doesn't "fly." Tiny is better than ZERO.
I highly recommend the "Anonymous" programs that are available for families. I know AA has them and perhaps NA does as well. We went to Families Anonymous for a short time and got a lot out of it. I understand they have on-line classes too.
I personally also believe my spiritual beliefs are of some help and I, on occasion, she a counselor when things are simply over the top. Be strong...you are not alone.
 

Beta

Well-Known Member
Welcome MercuryF17. I'm sorry you have to be here in the first place. I need to update my profile info but I don't know how so the info on me is outdated from when I first came to CD. We have a 34yo son who is homeless in Phoenix, while we live in the southeast. No phone, no i.d. Haven't heard from him in three months. The characteristics you described from your son sound so familiar. I agree that it does sound as though you have done absolutely everything you can do, and your son just refuses to do anything to help himself. So now you have to protect the peace of your home and your mental health, and it's incredibly painful after a lifetime of loving and sacrificing for him. I am so sorry. I'm glad you've found this site though; it's been a lifesaver for me for the last seven years.
 
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