I had to tell my adult son (28 yrs old) and his new girlfriend to leave my home for similar reasons. He suffers from Bipolar disorder and it worried me to do this. But, I couldn't take it anymore after a quiet argument I had with him about bringing strangers to my home.I regret it everyday; but I could no longer continue with the mental abuse he was putting me through. He was blaming me for all of his mistakes , when the truth was that he chose to live the life of alcohol and drug use along with not completing college or keeping a job. I looked the other way because I still had hope he would see his ways. Then that fateful day- I told him to leave. I miss him and wish he was near , but now he lives with a new girlfriend out of state. According to what I understand is that she is very controlling and encouraging him not to contact me. This hurts because I raised him on my own and made him my number one priority in life. I forgot about me and today, I do not know who I am anymore. I have a home and income , but feel alone because he's not around. It's been two years now. I see family members posting pictures of their children's graduation or birth of grandchildren. I feel like a failure. So, I smile and act like everything is ok, but it's not. I see a therapist who has told me that I had no control on the decisions he has made or makes in life. That it's time to focus on me. But how? I have no friends- just my two giant dogs.JPG, this is exactly what so many of us are going through. The FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that keeps us doing things for our kids, even when we know we are enabling rather than helping.
I’m glad to hear you’re in therapy. It is very helpful to develop boundaries with your adult children. I know it’s hard to cut off support when you’ve been providing it for a long time, but you will probably find that your son will not make progress towards taking care of himself as long as you are providing money. I have a policy I try to keep that I only provide help when it goes towards a one-time expense that looks like it will provide a step forward towards more independence. (Though as you can see from my recent threads, that doesn’t always pan out.) in general, I do not provide money towards daily upkeep. I’ve broken that occasionally when something seems especially dire, but my kids know by now the answer will usually be no. They also know I don’t do bail, legal fees, court costs, tickets, or other bailouts from self-inflicted problems. That one I’m firm on. So, need help getting set up in sober living or need books for trade school? Sure, that’s what moms are for. Perpetually need gas money or come up $150 short on the rent every month? Sorry, that’s on you to manage your life better. Does that make sense? Like I said, I’m not perfect at this - but this is the balance I’ve been striving for personally.
Your son is going to have to arrange for his own support. No job is beneath someone living in his car. He’s going to have to lose the attitude, the pride, or the chip on his shoulder that’s keeping him from waking into the local subway or similar and talk to the manager or turn in an application. Getting a little hungry or running out of gas may be just the incentive he needs. Prepare for him to be mad. Don’t let a tantrum destroy your resolve. For many of our kids, this is the only way they will learn. If he gets mad or abusive hang up the phone, ignore the texts and wait for him to calm down.
I understand all to well the guilt that comes from raising kids in an abusive and chaotic environment. We did the best we could do. We can’t change the past. All we can do is move forward.
I also understand the worry. It’s so hard having a son that is homeless. A car would be a step up for mine. We have to remember that their lives are the result of their own choices, though, and the power to change their circumstances lies with them, not with us.
Did you read the article on detachment? I have found it really helpful. I have to go back to it often.