A soft place to land once again...5 years later

Hello everyone, I remember many of you from 5 years ago when my son turned 18. Star, Janet - I cannot imagine how many parents you have helped through the years since we last spoke. Don't remember how to tag you ;) With your support, advice, honesty and especially knowing I was not alone got me thru some very difficult times. I never forgot this group.

So hear I land again. When my son turned 18, with support from a dear friend throughout his life, I accomplished my biggest goal as a parent, for him to graduate, on time, with a diploma and he did. From the time he was 12 thru 18 through temporary and long term placement, many doctors and therapist, years of involvement with the legal system, in an out of the youth home and jail, court ordered boot camp somehow with a friend and teacher that went to the wall for him also, he finished school. He had an IEP and was catagorized IE.

I reached out to this group when my son ended up in jail for the first time as an adult. I was going thru a divorce, he did not live with me but we were still very close. I told myself then I will give him 5 years to get on his feet as a young adult. 5 years of help, which ended up 5 years of enabling, I will admit to a large degree. My rule was I will help you if you help yourself, such as you have a job and a roof over your head. Did I bring him food when he ran out at times, sure. Did I give him my dependable car when he got his license back, sure. Our relationship became not of mom and son anymore though in the last 2 years, no quality time - although he claimed to miss me. I was mom the bank, you know when the phone rings and you think what now as it is never Hi mom, how ya doing? My son had went thru over 7 jobs in 5 years but he was no longer violent, he lost his license and got it back again twice, just got off probation last August. He had not been on medications for 5 years but I discovered had been self medicating and drinking. 2 months ago things began to spiral when he lost 2 jobs in 2 months, was showing far worse emotional and mental signs that I just found out from the people he lived with. I appreciated their honesty but wish they would have told me sooner.

He turned 24 in December and what brings me here today is to keep me strong in my decisions and to know I am once again not alone. As of yesterday my son is homeless. I am so sad to even write that sentence here 5 years later. I called my dear friend who was my son's horse therapy trainer, his teacher in high school his advocate and his 2nd mom. How lucky I was to have this support all his life.I said tell me we did everything we could while he was growing up. Why is this happening? His friends he lived with tell me he was showing signs of schizophrenia these last few months. I went into denial mode, how dare you diagnosis my son you are not doctors. But I have to understand they care and are being brutally honest.

So I told my son yesterday when I spoke with him I will take him to an intake/assessment, I will help him to get the help he needs. He refused and all of a sudden wants to spend time with me, where is the love mom? Why can't I live there? I don't know if he found shelter last night. I am not physically well from the stress. Just reading some of the posts in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep gave me some great advise right now. I am choosing not to tell my mom or siblings about my son's serious situation for now, which is so hard as my mom asks about him all the time, she lives out of state. I cannot be made to feel guilty on top of everything else because my son cannot live here. I read that some of you have experienced that from family members. We tried this before, he of course wants another chance mom. It breaks my mommy heart but I will try to detach while helping to get him support if he is willing. Thanks for listening. Hugs:cheerful:


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome back. I was here under a different name. Does your son show signs of psychosis that is not related to drug use? Does he think people are chasing him (the CiA and FBI are common in schizophrenia), does he think he is being poisoned or does he see or hear things that are not There? Why do his friends feel he has psychosis? Is his cognitive function getting worse? Without, say, meth which causes psycosos?

I suggest even bribing him to see a psychiatrist if he is psychotic. Psychotic disorders often develop around 25 and do not just go away. His best chance, if this is it, is getting help and maybe placement in a group home so his medication can be monitored can happen.

I am sorry you had to find us again and hope this is not an end, but a beginning to getting the proper help for your son. Hugs!!


Well-Known Member
Welcome back! (But sorry, as always that you have to be here.)

My son is 28 and has not demonstrated over time the kind of efficacy that has your son. Yes. He has turned over in jobs, etc. But he did, he he functioned.

I see what is happening now as the same thing you have gone through over the last years: except for the elephant in the living room, the "diagnosis" from roommates who are in no position what so ever to make such a claim. I agree with you: thank you but no thank you.

The current circumstances DO NOT call into question all you have done. It does not make all of a sudden "bad". Personally, from what you describe, you do not deserve to hurl the insult "enabler" onto yourself. You supported your son. Period. Because he is struggling now, does not mean you did wrong.

Now. What to do? I will only speak to what I would do. Not what you should

First. I would not bring my son home. I believe this could be regressive for him, and for a parent.

Second, if he is demonstrating what could be a serious mental illness, he needs expert diagnosis and treatment. At his age he should still be on your insurance or qualify himself for Medicaid or Obamacare. I would urge him to treatment and I would make any assistance I give conditional on his obtaining treatment.

I forgot if you mentioned about drug use. Drug use can mimic psychosis, and actually can create a psychosis that for many people will recede in time IF drug use stops. Has he been drug tested?

I kicked out my own son when he was 23 and mentally ill. Was it the right thing? I do not know. But sometimes there are only the LEAST BAD alternative and it is difficult to know at the time which that is. Because our kids write their own lives too. We cannot determine the path they choose nor the consequences.

So to wrap up, I am glad you are back. I would approach my son this way:

1. What treatment are you going to get? These to me seem to be the options.

2. Treatment will determine your living choices. There are crisis programs that offer 3 day intervention. There are longer term residential treatment programs. There is voluntary hospitalization (or involuntary). You can call the mental health crisis team to get him evaluated if you feel he is unable right now of taking care of himself.

3. Once he gets stabilized he can go to a program like Job Corps (if in USA) where he is housed, fed and trained for free.

There are options for him. But you are not it. I am glad you are back.

Take care.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Welcome Back! Well 5 years have passed and in that time you did all you could to help your son. I'm glad that you realize it's time to detach. I also understand not wanting to share with family members. You do not owe them any answers and you most certainly do not need to defend your choices. It's always so easy for others to tell us what they think we should do but until they live in our shoes and live through the chaos we have lived, they have no clue.
I have found when people whether it's friends or family that offer their "advice", a simple reply of "thank you for your suggestion" is enough. You can also tell them that you have done all you can and if they feel they can do better then by all means step in and take charge. They will quickly find out how difficult it truly is.

You are very brave and very strong. You are making a choice to offer your son one last olive branch of help. Now it's time for you to take your life back. Do things that bring you joy and never ever feel guilty about living your life for yourself.

((HUGS)) to you....................
Thank you all for the kind words and been there advise. I do feel assured I have done all that I could. I have taken advice here and told my son that I will help to get him to an intake if he is willing to go, but that is all I can do, followed by a group home or hopefully job corps in the near future. I had a close friend, the one that has helped me with my son growing up, reach out to him to make sure he made it through the weekend at a friends or somewhere I knew he at least had shelter. She has moved out of state but has always told my son he has a place with her and her family if needed but we both agreed he is not well enough to go.

He told my x tonight that I would pick him up there and take him to this friends house to live. I informed my x I did not make that agreement and that he needed to be taken to a 24 hour intake. These are the kind of things my son is doing, manipulating people to help him and making up lies in the process to get them to believe he has a "plan". When I spoke with my son briefly I said you do know our family friend does not live here anymore and that you and I made no arrangements for me to take you out of state tonight. He said yes he knows she is out of state but could I please come get him and take him there asap. He could not stay at my x's house tonight either. I believe he is having, even as a young adult, some serious abandonment issues that he cannot handle himself.

My soft place to land has proven to help me tremendously once again. I will keep on keeping on and come back and read some other posts for insights and strength tomorrow. Thanks again Somewhere, Copa and Tanya.


Well-Known Member
You have been given good advice, better than I can. Just wanted to add an item or two. First off, this is his last year of eligibility for Job Corps. They will waive the maximum age if he has a documented disability. Second, as far as family goes, its not really their business. They have NO idea what you are going through and because of this their advice, while probably well meant, is fairly useless. Our current line to family and friends is that our son is "finding himself in Colorado" and usually not much more than that.
Thank you Jabber. Although my son does not receive disability, the job corp people in our state said if he gets into the program this year he will not age out. Doing a lot of research, but this may be his only option so far that I can find.