Can't take it anymore...I can't...I can't...I can't

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG. My life would be so peaceful except for 35. But that's a big if. I really don't know how much longer I can take it, Al-Anon or not. If I just let him go, he's going to kill himself. Not over drugs. Over this custody battle, which is crazy. His ex makes him seem like Prince Father. She is determined, with all that is in her, to stop my son from having his son in his life at all, even refusing to list him as a contact when she signed J. up for school. She put down her boyfriend and called him Stepfather. She likes to pretend J. doesn't have a father at all and that her boyfriend has married her. It's sick. My son had to go to school to correct it, but THAT is her attitude. And the court favors women.

    In the meantime, I am making sure I don't take all of 35's calls, but ANY time I talk to him it's too much. He is not abusing me right now so it is harder to detach. He is frantic, crazed, sure he will lose the custody battle. My own ex, who is paying for 35's lawyer, called the lawyer today to ask about charges and 35 thinks his father is going to stop paying and hang him out to dry so that he doesn't get his son anymore. I am in shock at how the courts are when it comes to custody and how his ex refuses to mediate or settle with him on ANYTHING. Honesty, family court regarding custody is simply a forum for lawyers to make money. Even the GAL is a lawyer.

    Ok, so let's get to the nitty gritty. 35 is perfectly capable of killing himself if he loses this battle and it's not a battle I can help out with. I have no money. His father does. If his father pulls the plug, then he's out of luck. As of now, although he drinks too much, he is not dying of alcoholism. He is far from that. If he kills himself, it is due to mental illness. He is not unwilling to get help. He is unable to afford help. And the county/sliding scale mental health centers won't take him. His income is too high, even though he is out of money because of excess expenses, child support, and daycare and legal fees. For a child who he may barely get to see if his ex gets legal custody. (I know that doesn't mean he can't see his son legally, but she will find a way to make sure he doesn't). And he will never be able to afford to hire a lawyer again, no matter what his ex does to exclude him from his son's life. And without a lawyer, if the other one has one, you can't win. And ex will not compromise at mediation is not an option. Ok, so he could die of mental illness. My son could die of mental illness, as many people have. This particular fight is enough to put a totally stable person over the edge, but he has an anxiety and mood disorder.

    For me, that makes it so much harder to detach. It wasn't hard for me to give Daughter a kick in the tail when she was using drugs. But it is hard for me to kick this mentally ill kid of mine who the system is failing. In this country that we live in,that doesn't offer health care, he has to chose between his mental health being treated or fighting for his son. He can't do both. It's not affordable.

    I picked up my Al-Anon literature and tried to get it to help me. All I kept hearing in the back of my mind was, "He won't die of alcoholism. This is a whole different issue." So it didn't help me tonight. I was undecided as to whether or not to post this. If you see it, you know what my decision

    I wish there was an on and off switch to switch off love so that the hard times of our kids did not hurt so much.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    MI is a tough road... at the best of times.
    Is there a NAMI chapter around? or other MI-based groups?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They are advocacy groups. They can't help him.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I don't know if this is really is an entirely different issue than al-anon. Different, to be sure. But the roadblocks are similar. I know that for us and M, it all hangs by a thread, too. What to do to make it better? I have no clue. He's depressed at the best of times, and as we know, there's no sympathy from society for that if you can't pick yourself up by the bootstraps which is the problem in a nutshell.

    As far as talking to them or helping? Are we the anchor that ties them down or the apron string? I think it's extra frustrating four us and our difficult child's because we have been up and down this road too many times to believe we have the cure, and somehow we still hope they can find the cure if they just... something. I wish I knew. All I can say is that I hope you both will be well.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    The really bad part is that if he would just listen to you and calm down and behave rationally he would likely do fine in court even without a lawyer - there are federal and state guidelines for parenting that the judge would have to justify deviating from, he wouldn't just lose his son outright unless he completely went batty right there in front of the judge or whatnot. And as a parent I know how frustrating and heartbreaking that alone has to be, when you know if they'd just listen and do what they're told...
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, he needs a lawyer or he will lose now that there is an investigation going on. If one parent has a lawyer a nd the other doesn't, it's almost a slam dunk for the one who does. Nothing is black and white in divorce court.

    But the point is, I am simply falling apart myself. I can't listen to this yet I feel guilty if I don't. If he had started out stable and had become a drug abuser, I'd feel he did it to himself. But he was never that stable. It isn't even about my grandson anymore to me. I barely know my grandson. It's about how much his terrible problems have invaded my life at such a level that I walk around with his ex in my head. And the fear of suicide too. I don't know how he will handle it other than to yell and lose it if his father stops paying, and his father is going to have to put out a good $50K or more if he actually supports 35 through all of this. That's what contested custody cases where one person won't settle tend to cost. He could pull the plug at any time.

    I think my son needs mental health suppport, not my support. This morning he called and I was too tired and worn out to support him t o the level he wants and needs so he hung up! Maybe that's the key. I can't do it anymore the way he wants me to so I can just act as tired as I feel about this and he won't expect me to be his therapist. BUT WHY IS THERE NO FREE MENTAL HEALTH FOR ANYONE WHO NEEDS IT? Why do you have to make $30K a year to get it? His money means nothing at t his point. It's just a number. With expenses, he has no money and his insurance doesn't cover much of mental health care. I'm very PO'd about this right now. As well as with him for scaring me with his "kill myself" threat. In a way it's manipulation. But I know he could do it too.

    I have group therapy for myself today. Couldn't have come at a better time. I'm leaving my phone at home. If I let myself focus on 35 today, it's going to be to try to call the county mental health facility in his area to see if he is telling the truth and absolutely can not get services due to his income.

    Today I need to regroup and talk to my therapist and the other women in my therapy group. Tomorrow is Al-Anon and the Twelve Step concept usually helps me. There is a lady in Al-Anon whose son died from alcohol. In the end, does it matter HOW the child died? I am starting to know her pretty well. I am thinking of asking her to be my sponsor. I need day-to-day reminders of how I can't change any outcome for 35, even if his main issue is mental illness.

    Being a parent can be soooooooooo hard.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I think the most you could really do is suggest he call a suicide hotline when he starts talking like that. He could do that for free and talk to someone. Yes, I know, I doubt he would do it, too. But it is an available free option for him.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Good advice, Haozi.
  9. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    You can, you can, you can (and will) get through this! I hope therapy went well for you today.
  10. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    The suicide part is so very scary! When girlfriend from hell called and said my difficult child was suicidal and I called the police (in another state) he told the police he was not and that was all that was done.

    I called the support numbers numbers in difficult children area and also the clinics, gave the numbers to him, nothing done........

    If your son is serious about getting help it's out there, he just has to look for it, and then go for it.

    It is another issue that is out of your control. For some reason, difficult children love to vent to the ones that love them. He may be more rational with a counselor. I would keep referring him to a counselor, tell him it upsets you and there is nothing you can do, so you will not listen to it any more. Which is the absolute truth!!!
  11. MWM - Big hugs to you. I know how you feel in some ways. My difficult child has threatened suicide 3 x in the last year and ended up arrested and committed to the hospital involuntarily for a week last fall. He played their game, got out and nothing changed.

    I don't think our health care system is any better than yours, maybe worse if you have decent insurance.

    Then there's the fact that when you do find the help for difficult child (at least mine) he refuses to take it. I hope you got some answers today from his local mental health clinic. I hope you found someone or a program that can help him and that he decides he is willing to take the help being offered. That is the crux, isn't it? Will he take the help? Will he go to AA? I know he doesn't admit to being an alcoholic but maybe if you put it in the context that he can get some counselling to help him use the 12 steps to coping with the stresses of his life?

    It is so hard to know where to draw the line with a mentally ill child. I'm always looking for someone to tell me what to do, what to say, how to act to get through to difficult child so it can be fixed.

    Hugs to you. I hope you find some answers today.
  12. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I think this is so ridiculous they will go through this contested debate about custody and at the end of the day it will most likely be joint custody anyway. One person might have primary and I understand your son wants that to be him, but generally unless you live in Ohio the father has a bunch of rights and every chance to be a parent. If she messes up its custodial interference and it gets costly again quickly for her because they might make her pay the fees for unneeded litigation.
    Nothing about his situation is laughable but I generally think its laughable when people pull the "I'm going to take custody from you" it's almost impossible to take full custody and you end up paying a **** load for them to tell you what the **** divorce decree would say without the costly court battle.

    I believe you when you say she is worse then he is but at the same time, how on earth is he going to care for a child when he is barely functioning? I am not throwing stones as god knows my mental health has been questionable at times and hubs is a straight wild card, very straight laced and proper one second and totally out of control the next. I worry for our children as I don't really know what the expectation for my hubs getting better is.

    As for you, are you friendly with your ex that is paying the bill? I would call and tell him your perception and fears, and your sons fear he will stop paying. Share the burden if you can, you are both his parents and concerned for his well being being able to lean on the other parent when your child is having such a difficult time sharing your thoughts, fears and exasperations may help you! And not just you but your son also since he isn't articulating well on his own behalf to someone he owes a great deal of gratitude to and whom he is so dependent on for his continued support. At least if ex does stop paying, you will know you did all you could by talking to ex.

    But you can not continue to let this drag you to the depths! You have other children, husband and a house to take care of.

    You have to realize he DOES have options to attend to his own mental health he is choosing yes I said CHOOSING not to avail himself of those options. Alanon is free and from what I'm seeing so is NAMI some kind of group would at least be a step. Continuing to drink and calling you and ranting it out is not caring for himself.

    MWM you spend so much time on this board helping others and pushing them in the right direction and talking about detachment you should realize if he isn't WILLING to get help he's going to continue to spiral and at this rate he's taking you with him. I understand you don't want to lose him like you lost Scott but you have to look out for yourself right now. Pass on the message to your ex that 35 needs to seek some treatment and maybe he, since he has leverage you don't ie: money, can convince him.

    I'm a really blunt person, but it is really hard "seeing" you in a tail spin about this. So I'm sorry if any of it is offensive as that is the last last last thing I want to do.
  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    MWM---custody is NOT decided the way it was years ago. Almost all parents have joint custody. Both parents have a say in where the child lives, where he goes to school, and all other aspects of the child's life. My son is also going through this. What his ex is doing is illegal in the eyes of the court. It can cost her primary custody if she continues to play these games.
  14. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    lighting a candle and rattling the beads...
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It's not the custody and who gets it that I'm worried about. Grandson will not win with either scenario. These are two very damaged parents who do not have their acts together. His ex is probably a sociopath with some histronic and borderline thrown in and she has also suffered from depression and has had brain surgery that may have impacted her ability to be rational. She has screaming fits and does not treat her family any better than 35 treats me when he is having one of his adult fits. So Grandson will not be in stable hands either way, nor is either parent to the point where this child will be taken away, is being neglected, or is being physically abused. So Grandson is, as they say, pretty much screwed and there's nothing I can do about that.

    This is my main worry. I'm worried about my son surviving this. It's easier when he's abusing me. When he isn't, then the mom feelings come back and I'm sick with worry.

    Today I told him that I can't listen to him talking about suicide or I couldn't give him ANY support. He said, "I'm not going to do it." But I'm not so sure. Still, I hope he stops because it's my biggest fear. If he's going to do it, do it. I can't stop him. He never says "I'm killing myself NOW" so I can't even call 911. It's always sometime in the future. Well, I don't want to hear about it anymore unless you took pills or have a gun to your head, then I can call 911. I don't need to worry about sometime in the future.

    Thanks for all your kind thoughts. I do try to help. Sometimes I can't take my own advice, I guess. I'm better with kids who use drugs than with this mental illness bit. I have no problem being tough on a normal person who screws up life by taking drugs or drinking too much, but I have a real issue with abandoning somebody who has struggled with mental illness all of his life. He had to drop out of college because, even though he was gifted, he couldn't stop himself from counting and counting...every word the professors said he had to count. It drove him nuts. It drove me nuts. He was in ER all the time with panic attacks. He was on SSDI for three years.

    Then he went into remission until the panic attacks came back. God help me. Why did I breed with all this garbage on my family tree?? I wonder what little gifts my Grandson will get from both of his parents (shudder). Right now, he seems ok.

    Thanks for letting me vent. Soon enough 35 will swear at me or call me a horrible name again and that will make it easier to detach (sigh).

    I'm planning a trip to Chicago with Jumper to see my daughter Julie and that will be very good for my nerves. "The girls" (what we three call ourselves) always have a good time together. I need the break badly.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    MWM, you may have to resort to dealing with threats of suicide as we would have when they were acting out as teens. Give him fair warning that if he discusses suicide again you're going to call 911 and let them deal with it. I know his heart is breaking over this, really, I do. He'll get nowhere by talking about negative responses to it. And of course, their son deserves better. I'd try to make a deal with him that you won't talk to him unless he has at least one constructive idea to discuss, even if it is a seemingly impossible pipe dream.

    You are right about the baby being the loser here. How is your relationship with her parents? Maybe if you guys can get along and somehow stay above the fray you can offer your grandson a chance at a glimpse of stability.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My friend...please don't let him determine your "present" or "your future". You have worked hard for 34 years and you DESERVE to enjoy your victories and the right to skip over the results that are/were less than desired. Taking someone down with you is not an acceptable goal. I truly hate that you are getting absorbed in his abnormality. DDD
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Witz and DDD, I don't know why but your touching posts made me cry. You're both right. And things are getting worse for 35. My ex is not going to keep paying his court costs. He most certainly will lose his son without a lawyer. I can't control ex. I can't control any of this. I didn't like his ex...he picked her, I didn't.

    I can not tell you how much it means to me to have this board right now. I will do the 911 threat.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM, I am so sorry. You are in the throes of all of the delusions mental illness brings, it is an unreal and desperate place to be, I understand. You've received good advice. I found NAMI parent groups and the social workers there very helpful for ME. All I can say is that I so empathize with you and try to keep yourself in daily support, whether it's 12 step groups, NAMI groups, therapy, it doesn't matter, just as long as you keep focusing on yourself. Mental illness muddies the waters but nourishing yourself through this is still a healing balm which works. Sending you gentle and caring hugs along with prayers for you and your son and your whole family............
  20. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    MWM, you are not superhuman. There is no phrase or series of words that will take those thoughts away, for your son. You can comfort him. You can listen, like you did when he was a little boy, and tell him everything is going to be alright. You can tell him that, while you don't know what to do, you DO know how frightened he must be, how scary it must be to have repetitious thoughts about harming himself.

    You might even suggest that, for just a few minutes, he envision putting those thoughts in a locked box. Whenever the thoughts come back, he can envision putting them in the locked box. After 5 minutes, he can take them out. It sounds so simple? But it may give him some control over the frequency and the intensity of the thoughts.

    Everything is so much scarier when we feel out of control about when it comes or how long it lasts.


    Here is another thing that might help.

    DDD just posted about writing responses to our difficult child kids on index cards and placing the cards near the phone.

    That way, we are not caught unprepared.

    If we feel prepared, if we understand the parameters of the situations we find ourselves in with our difficult child kids, we will panic less. That whole mess of feelings swirling around and making us dizzy will be less intense.

    It's like we've given ourselves a place to stand, something to say, some way to respond to a situation where there IS no correct response.

    There is nothing you, or anyone, could ever say that could take this pain away for your son, MWM.

    I'm so sorry. I wish I could know how to help.

    What I am going to do is write a few responses I found for you on the internet. Others of us may have responses for you to use, too. I did this (used the cards) with my difficult child son, and it helped me. (Not over the issue of suicide ~ which would be so much worse, because it's scarier.)

    In fact? It helped so much that my difficult child son came to hate this site! :O)

    The cards kept ME more focused. No panic. I knew already that whatever I needed to say was right there in front of me.

    Please try them.


    First, a website:


    That you are alive means part of you really, really wants to live.

    Maybe, honey, what you want is not so much death as that you want the pain to end.

    Those are the only two I could come up with on short notice. husband is agitating for me to come outside. Others of us may have other phrases for you, MWM. Remember, just listening is such a relief when we are frightened and alone.

    Holding you and your son too, in my thoughts tonight.