Abandonment? Trying to get in his head again...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bluebell, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Please help me with this. We kicked my son out almost 6 weeks ago. He had somewhere to stay but that has dried up and things are getting dicey. My husband let my son in last night to do laundry with a specific time to be gone. I was against letting him in. We couldn't get him to leave.
    Yes, he was being pleasant enough (actually asleep at the appointed time to leave), but he said he was dropping his TV and game station off at first. Then he hooks it up and starts updating something. When asked to leave, he takes the TV and PS4. So it seems to me he never intended to leave.
    He threw a fit, called my husband names, accused us of stealing from him, slammed doors, left a pile of trash. Said he felt like we were treating him like a fugitive. His own family! That other people were allowed in 'his' house that aren't even family (my daughter's boyfriend). Family, family, family. He certainly knows what I value...
    I feel like I've abandoned him. I know why in my head but I'm thinking of what is going on in his head again. It probably makes no sense why he can't stay - just for one night (he says)! He just doesn't get it.
    I just need a few words of encouragement. That I'm not abandoning my adult son. This is his choice. Right?
  2. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Its very much his choice. He has treated you in a manner that has destroyed trust but still expects to have that trust. It doesn't work that way. You still love and encourage your son? You will still help if he wants help, not a handout? Then you most definitely haven't abandoned him. He's throwing a temper tantrum because he isn't getting his way.
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  3. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Yes, jabberwocky! Thanks for coming to my rescue. I asked him yesterday right when I got home and saw him if he was ready for help, and he said 'I don't need any help.'. So I offered, he refused. We have a treatment facility all lined up ready to go. I know it may not work, but I don't see how he would change without it.
  4. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I've seen some drug users change without treatment but they are the exception, not the rule. The simple truth of the matter is that HE has to want it or all of your efforts are wasted. You cant change him, treatment cant change him, only he can.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Bluebell, you did not abandon him. Understand that when we "liberate" our adult difficult children from our homes, they will ramp things up.
    He is trying to guilt you into letting him move back in.

    Understand that even if you did let him move back in the result would be the same. He would not follow your rules and your would end up "liberating" him again.

    I prefer the word liberate as to kicked out. Our kids will use those words against us.
    ADC: "Well if you hadn't kicked me out I wouldn't be in this mess"
    Parent: I did not kick you out, I liberated you so you can live your life on your terms.

    This is something that our kids just don't understand, it's not their house. They did not pay the mortgage. They live with us as we raise them then they are supposed to launch into adulthood and start their own life living in their own house or apartment.

    Please do not feel bad. If my son were to show up on my doorstep today, I would not invite him in. Family or not, if I can't trust the person then I don't want them in my home.

    I'm pretty sure your son thought once he was in that you'd let him stay. He is finding out that you are serious with the boundaries you've set.

    Stay strong and hold firm.

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  6. RN0441

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

    My son only went to treatment because he did not want to be homeless. Then we did not let him return home. Best thing we ever did for all involved.

    He is better but still struggles and I still am a mess at times. I find having a therapist helps me keep the strength.

    This is not for the faint of heart! You want him to change. If you don't do something different and make him uncomfortable, why would he change?
  7. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    I forgot about your 'liberating' explanation Tanya! I must keep this in my mind as I go forward. It's just that I'm sure in that moment of time, it does seem ridiculous to kick out a kid who is just doing laundry and playing video games. But it is so much more than that. I try so hard to live in the moment but that is all my son knows, he's like a 4 year old in so many ways. I know the abuse, guns, drugs, miscreants and everything that goes along with him would be right back soon enough!
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    One thing I have learned is our difficult adult children can be quite convincing in regards to them "changing" their behavior.
    I have been duped by son too many times. One time it lasted a year!
    They can play the part from saying all the right things to getting a job BUT if they are not sincere in what they are doing it will be short lived. Trust me, the crash after "trusting" them again is really painful.
    I do believe there is a part of our kids that really do want to change, they just don't want to do the work that's involved and until they realize they have to put forth the effort, nothing will change for them.
  9. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    He put you in a bad position. You were kind enough to let him come over, and he immediately pushed the boundaries by not leaving as agreed. I assume you told him ahead of time what time he had to leave? If so, then you did your part (let him do the laundry, as agreed) and he, once again, didn't do his (leave as agreed). He ever intended to, right? We know that. He figured, correctly, that once you let him in it would be hard for you to make him leave. He was shocked when you stuck with the plan and he escalated, as Tanya pointed out. They always escalate when they start to realize we mean business.

    You didn't abandon him. You are steadily, firmly, kindly creating a world of consequences so that he can start, belatedly, to understand how to deal with people. Stick to it. You are doing a good job of parenting. Also...you have a right to peace in your house. A 20 year old doesn't have the right to come make everyone stressed and uncomfortable just because he wants to be there. Not the deal.

    Good luck. These are hard days. The more cleanly you can stick to the plan, the better and faster it goes by. PS, I agree with you...I wouldnt' have let him come do the laundry. Well, actually, I would have...the first 20 times...but the 21st time I would finally have known better! Give your husband a hug. You are on the same side. Its hard all around.

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  10. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Thank you all. I have just located my son about 2 hours away, currently traveling. I guess he is leaving town like he said he was. I am terribly relieved.
  11. Catmom

    Catmom Member

    Totally understand that you are relieved. It will be good to have some time to process your emotions without him being right there. I thought our roller coaster ride would be over by now, right? Hang in there.
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son makes a practice of doing this. A few weeks ago when I called him on it he accused me of treating him like "an animal." Stupid me. I was hurt.

    I am glad your son has left town.
    And deal with life and the real world.

    This is all so true I wish it fit on a tattoo:
  13. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Yes, we were duped also. He had a job for almost a year and he was doing ok. Not perfect, he was smoking pot but no 'rage' incidents, only few visitors and they were really hanging out, not doing deals. He had money, bought a beater car and enrolled in school this fall. Then it all unraveled again. Quickly. Such a cruel trick....
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This speaks again to detachment.

    Life is ups and downs, back and forth for EVERYBODY. Nobody learns except by trial and error. Why is it so hard to remember this with our sons and daughters? I know why....but I do not always remember.
  15. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    Update: I won't go into details, because they are long and typical, but my son is apparently in a very bad situation with the law. This breaks my heart to think of him running away like this. He kept telling me he would never get caught - I have the recording from a week ago. I have tried to reach out to him to offer help again, but he is not using his phone anymore. I have talked to the kid he was living with yesterday (and take it with a grain of salt), and he said he's been in touch but that he is strung out on benzos and the guy he's with can't get him out of the motel bed. I feel like things are slipping into despair and I fear for his life, he is with someone who has hurt him physically in the past. I'm afraid if I show the full extent of my fear, my husband will set off to save him and I really don't think that is the answer.
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  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Do you know the motel where he staying? If you do you might consider calling the police. Even though he's in trouble with the law, he would be better off being in jail than strung out.
    I know how hard this is and I'm so sorry you are having to deal with it.
    Hang in there!!
  17. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Tanya, i was thinking of that too. Just call and say you havent heard from your son and to please do a welfare check.
  18. bluebell

    bluebell Active Member

    husband and I discussed calling the police. We have decided not to for now. I really can't explain why, I know I am fearful of the police here. We called them once when son was out of control and my husband was arrested and it nearly ruined his career, he couldn't work for 2 years until we could get the charge expunged. I realize this is different, but I just hesitate. We don't know exactly where he is for one thing and I'm afraid if we do get that involved with this, husband will blow a gasket and head up there. I'm not sure if he even has a warrant. I don't know how this works, but he was arrested a few weeks ago and listed this as his address. I figured if he did have a warrant, the police would show up here first? Am I wrong? This would be a serious federal charge, by the way.
  19. Catmom

    Catmom Member

    Bluebell, I am sorry for what you are going through right now. Sending prayers your way. It's okay if you and hubby decide to ride things out for a few days before making a move if you even do. I wish I could say "Don't stress out about it" but sometimes we can't control it. That being said, try to not let it consume your thoughts.
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  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I validate this completely, if you feel there are risks. There are stories on this forum where parents called police and lost control of the situation.

    The issue here is this (however horrible it is and feels): You have no control to help or save your son.

    However many times you may intervene to protect or to try to control the situation, he will and can undue, if he wants.

    Trust me. I have tried and tried and tried to do so in my own life, with my own child. He will only do what he wants, when he wants. He will undue every single thing I try to impose or override.

    If you were successful in getting the police to the motel, and they took him forcibly to the hospital, your son would get out, and if he wanted to he would get himself to a different motel and do the same exact thing.

    The change that needs to happen is to stop seeing yourself a the PIVOT point in his life. He is not 2 years old. He is not 5 years old.

    He is the PIVOT in his own life now. Like it or not, this is what I am facing now.

    Somehow I have not gotten this extremely basic point until now.

    And I am the PIVOT in my own life. I have the option to not destroy myself, or allow myself to be destroyed in the service of saving my son (who will NOT BE saved unless he wants to save himself and does the work to do so.)

    How in the world I missed this, or resisted this essential reality, I cannot know. But I did.

    Your family has ALREADY suffered enough at the altar of this misconception that you have control or can control what he does.

    My son has issues too, where he can die. It is very, very hard to accept that I cannot stop him from dying. I am not a religious person. But I realize now, that my son's life is in g-d's hands, not my own.

    I have learned to pray. To pray that my son stay alive and to pray that he stay safe. To pray to g-d to protect my son. This gives me a measure of peace.
    This is so horrible! Your husband, you, your home, your family MUST BE protected. This is foremost. Sacrificing more is the WRONG thing to do; putting yourselves at risk again would only serve to HURT your son. When he recovers, he will feel it is his fault.

    You are valuable to you. Our homes, ourselves--we must be protected, held of value, for our children to RETURN when they choose to do the work to do so. Sacrificing ourselves does not work.

    My heart goes out to you. Please, please find comfort from our care.
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