Basic Questions

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hopeful30, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Hopeful30

    Hopeful30 New Member

    I was in denial for a long time regarding my son's diagnosis. When I was told to read up on bipolar i read thinks like hallucinations, etc. It scared me and I said this is not my son. He did not have them, as far as I know. He was diagnosed ADHD in 2nd grade I think and that was about all I could handle. He was diagnosed at 12 with bipolar but unfortunately the docs I were involved with also said he was epileptic which turned out to be completely false which added to my disbelief of his bipolar diagnosis. At 16, while in an intensive outpatient rehab, he was once again diagnosed bipolar. I took it with a grain of salt. I think inside I hoped he would grow out of this behavior.

    He's 24 and, well, that does not seem to have happened, although i think he might be a little better than before, but what age am I really comparing to? I feel like I am starting this from the beginning and need assistance. His behavior is somewhat odd and questionable. Simple things as a parent, seem to upset him and he has never accepted authority. Just a little while ago I told him I don't want him working tomorrow, if the opportunity arises (which is rare) because it is suppose to be so cold. He was totally insulted, how dare I tell him such a think.. After all, he is a 'grown man'! It seems when ever I try to give him parental direction or advise, he shuns me and says he won't discuss any further. (this is where I fell he has grown up - he used to argue unbearable with me). He moved back home a month ago. Has worked only one day since, will not take a job that is 'below him' but has no problem spending my money or taking from me. I will give him, he shoveled today, before it would have been pulling teeth, another sign of growing up.

    I was talking to a friend yesterday and he said he is having a hard time watching what is happening from afar. He said he thinks my son is taking advantage of me and I am teaching him this behavior of not be responsible for himself. I understand what he is saying, but my son has also agreed and is looking forward to his doctor appointment later this month. Not currently on medications, and does not want to take any, seeing this doctor regarding his sleep disorder. He is an insomniac and only alcohol helps him to sleep, although it doesn't and he is often drunk when I wake up.

    The reason my friend is saying these things is because I had rules for when he moved back in and he has broken them all. (1) no lying (2) no hard alcohol (3) no smoking in the house, plus since he has moved in I added no candles because he leaves them burning and falls asleep.

    My sister said I can't expect him to 'behave' while not on medications but it is positive that he is willing to go to he doctor. He is just so stubborn I am not sure he will accept medication.

    He had a dream that an old woman was in his room, ragged and twitting, her dress changing colors as she twitched This scared him terrible. When he googled he found the 'old hag dream' and sent me a picture of this woman whom he said is who he saw. He swears he was awake but could not move his body. Is this sleep paralysis? Did he hallucinate or is this a common dream? Is he worse then I thought, is he doing well. I don't know any more and not sure what to do?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I have a few thoughts and you can take them or disregard them.

    You shouldn't be telling him not to work because it's too cold. My autistic son is twenty and I would never tell him not to go to work because of the cold. He takes a cab too. But he is twenty and has to learn to do things on his own and make his own decisions. I am proud of him and he wants to move out next year and I'm happy he is embracing independence. Your son is right to be upset if you still treat him like he is a minor child.

    On the other hand, bipolar or not, he has to learn to take care of his disorder and needs to eventually move out, be respectful to you, take his medication, and keep your house peaceful. He needs to do his chores and help you, his mother. I think he should pay rent too. Why do you still support him? So what if he expects it? He shouldn't. Can he get disability? He should be moving toward Independence as none of us can live forever and all of us deserve to have lives where we put our own needs first. We should not be 60-70 and still supporting our grown kids for ANY reason. There are services to help disabled adults.

    Your son may have hallucinations or night terrors. Does it matter which? It is up to him to seek treatment for either/or. You can't take care of him anymore. He is of age and legally responsible for his own treatment. I would insist, as a condition of living at home, that he see a psychiatrist and comply with his medication. If not...well....he can't live at home.

    If this were my son, no way would HE call the shots.I agree with your friend that he should comply with your rules. Your house/your rules.He should either have to go to work or move out. He should either have to take his medications every day or move out. He should either be respectful to you or move out. He should not be dictating the rules to YOU. You can find the shelters in your area, hand them to him, and he can live there if he can't be nice to you and do what other 24 year olds do such as work and take care of their healthcare. As for your sister saying he CAN'T comply without medication...well, I don't know if I buy this is true, but, if it is, just one more reason why taking his medication and seeing a psychiatrist NOW, not a month away, should in my opinion be mandatory in order to be living in YOUR house (it is not his house).

    At 24, you would probably feel better if you learn to detach, which is a process in of itself. You do not mention if your son uses recreational drugs but he drinks and wakes up drunk. I would guess he has an alcohol problem, whether or not he claims it is to get hm to sleep. There are better medications, prescribed, to help him sleep. I believe he is playing you. I would go to a Al-anon meeting to learn how to live with somebody who has substance abuse issues and to detach. I'd also go to NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) as a caregiver of an adult child with bipolar to get suggestions. But I truly think you need to stop enabling his behavior and start taking better care of YOU. Your son is no longer your baby. He is a grown adult man. He has to grow up or he will never grow up. And you DESERVE a peaceful, good of this adult child's drama. This is my opinion based on my real life experiences. So take what you will and leave the rest.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  3. Hopeful30

    Hopeful30 New Member

    Wow, MWM, that was certainly straight forward to to the point. I think I needed you to say this and totally appreciate it. Thank you very much.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I hope I did not hurt you.

    Thank you for your thank you :) We are here to support you if you need up.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I think the others have given you good advice. And I would like to call attention to the fact that great difficulty sleeping is ver common with bipolar illness.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Hopeful.

    I am so glad you found us. We have all been through some version of what is happening between you and your child. We know how hard this has been, for both of you. How are you taking care of yourself during this time, Hopeful?


    Has your son applied for help through Social Services? Even if he has, it would be a good thing for you to call them yourself. Your son should not be living with you. He has broken the terms of the contract, and it has only been one month. He needs to be on his own.

    That is the thing you need to devote your energy to making happen, for your son's sake, and for your own. I don't imagine he is proud of the way he is treating you. From what you said (other than the alcohol part) it seems like he is trying to be better than he was. How shaming for him, and how hurtful, for you. Your son needs more help than you can give him right now, Hopeful. Those are just the facts. You both need to go into this with your eyes open.

    He needs help.

    This isn't working.

    No judgment, no blame. Just what needs to come next, for both your sakes.

    Start with Social Services. Look in the blue Government pages of your phone book. Then, find your county. Dept of Health and Human Services will be listed, there. Just call the first number you come to and tell them your concerns. They will connect you with someone who can give you accurate information about what your options are or are not. You can remain anonymous. Just tell them, when they ask for a name, that you do not want to give your name. They will help you, anyway.

    There is an organization: NAMI that is a country-wide, volunteer-driven organization of families affected by mental illness. They do free classes for families, to help them understand and cope with the illness of a loved one. They offer peer support groups for those experiencing a mental illness. They do weekly support meetings.

    NAMI is a wealth of information and compassion.

    There are local chapters throughout the United States. There may be one in your city. On their sites, you will find information relative to the various diagnoses.

    Hang in there, Hopeful. I know you love your son. You will find your way through this. It will probably continue to be so hard. Post as often as you are able. It helps so much to post.

    AH! One more thing, Hopeful. Unless your sister is willing to take your son in, you will need to learn to 1)expect this kind of thinking from family and 2) learn to disregard it. No one who has not been through this can begin to have a clue about what we go through, how much we love our troubled kids, how desperate we are to help them. Sister does not understand. That is okay. But try not to take what she says to heart. She is one of the fortunate ones who has not had to live through what you and your son are living through, now.

    Here on the site, we are all living through it, but that's okay. Our kids are worth it, we are worth it, and we are all going to be just fine, one way or the other.


  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Hopeful...I agree with what the others wrote. Look at yourself, at him, and at your house...this isn't working. It works better for him than the other options do (managing on his own) so HE isn't going to change it, he is just going to struggle against the parts he doesn't like (rules, like all our difficult child's) while persisting at the parts he does like (living at home for free). He won't change it. You must. 24 is too old to be living at home, illness, slowness, ADHD, bipolar, sleep paralysis or not. You owe it to yourself to be independent of your adult child. You owe it to him to finish your parenting task and let him know that you expect him to stand on his own two feet.

    Its really hard.

    But the alternative is to live as you are doing for a long long time. Then eventually something will happen to you, and he'll be 50 instead of 24, and he still won't have figured out how to stand on his own. You will have done no one a favor when that happens.

    I do feel for you, I'm just feeling a bit battle bruised myself lately, so I may sound brusque.