Copa, a continuation on spiraling out of control

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Copa, coming back to something you wrote:
Part of my despair is because I listen to friends. I have a friend who is a psychologist that spoke with my son several times. She became convinced that J was psychotic.

She told me that I was cruel to insist that he do (or not do) things, that he was unable to do. She said I was cruel to believe he has a choice.
This has been the single most difficult thing for me with my son. The mega catch-22. My mother guilt of what could I have done differently, what should I have said differently, here there and everywhere has run second place to trying to figure out what my son can or cannot do. Trying to figure out what he actually understands or does not of reality.

From my experience there is a degree of psychosis just like there is a degree of so many other things, depression, optimism and such. Add to it how someone you know does not think straight but can seem perfectly lucid with other people who have not had long term or intimate connections with them then things get really dicey. In my son's case, he knows how to act respectfully and considerate with people in general, but not with anyone who has expectations of him.

He also seems to have acquired the ability of pulling on helpful people's heartstrings, like I've said before. I don't like to say my son is manipulative, because I don't think he purposely sets out to gain from others but I do think he really resonates with that victim roll. Mainly because he see's it as solving his problems for him, takes away his basic guilt, but really doesn't get him in an easy spot But if it worked forever it would let him stay put as he is forever, except it won't.

I've spent many a day, way before things went really sideways, with family therapists that worked with my son and myself. But once my son turned 16 it became ~ one hour a week, got a plan, okay whew, let's to this. Only to have it blown apart by my son by the next week. And then okay, got a plan again, ....wash, rinse, repeat.

My son was taking his medications, supervised by me back then. But afterwards I found out he was also smoking "bath salts" a synthetic pot which not only cancelled out his anti-psychotic and mood stabilizing medications but also put him on major tilt. The psychologist never recognized that anything was actually going on no matter how many times I told him thing seemed to be really off.

So three points:
1. I was called "cruel" by a friend of mine's mother one time when I sent my son to his room when he was acting out during a neighborhood birthday party for him when he was young. I knew he was testing if he could get away with acting like a jerk because it was his birthday. He learned he could not, he quietly and quickly got himself back in control by apologizing and was back with everyone after an hour. I know if I had let that continue it would have been a nightmare for the rest of the day, and many other days. Also, he was medicated for his bipolar disorder and not into drugs at that time, he was younger.
2. Psychologists only get part of the picture and only for a small slice of time, from anyone they see, and they should know that. I feel very strongly that any psychologist who calls a concerned, involved parent "cruel", for any reason, needs to address their own unaddressed issues. They are supposed to be in therapy, ongoing, for exactly this reason. People don't go into the therapy business for no reason, they do it because of their own drive to solve their past experiences.
3. My son's father also had Bipolar disorder. There was a time when he took some drug while he was also heavily into drinking and smoking pot where is subsequently became anyone's description of totally psychotic. He thought his own mother was the devil and that he was supposed to kill her. Luckily back then the insurance companies didn't "protect the rights of mentally ill" so they couldn't refuse liability as in long term help, as they do today. He was loaded into a car by his brother and cousins and was admitted until he was actually stable on medication, a two month admittance. The bottom line here is my son's father told me he "knew" he was not acting right, he knew he was confused and off balance but knew the problem was him. He's told me a number of times from his discussions with my son that he was sure my son knew he had something to deal with, and it had nothing to do with me or anyone else. He told me there were a few times he was not as bad as when the incident happened when he went to the hospital for 2 months when he also knew he had to do something for himself. I know for sure of all things my son's father was not stupid. A real pain in the butt for the most part, selfish and so on. But if he said he knew something about someone else he certainly knew it, because his focus was not typically on anyone else but himself.

So trying to put this together as I try to do, if my son's father is to be believed, which I do ~ your son like mine knows something is off with him. He probably doesn't meet the DSM diagnosis of psychotic but has strong traits in some areas. He is the guy and the only guy who can accept help for himself. But he will take you down to unsuccessfully try to save himself if allowed to when he's at his worst. He loves you but can't see past his own issues to regard you as anything but a means to an end at this point. It's sickening to realize this, unacceptable to us. As I see it we have no choice but to stand back and hope and pray others, who most likely have been there, step in to give them the right guidance they need. A guidance we would give but are not capable of because we are the mom's.

My current rambling thoughts are going like ~ As young boys they were the light of our lives, our loves, the absolute amazing boys they were. But a man cannot truly be the light of their mom's lives and still be a man. That's what I'm thinking. They can be men we are proud of. We can be proud of them, with all of their challenges, for making it this far in life and anything extra is a bonus considering our sons as they are. For them, they can stand up to their own lives, whatever they choose them to be. We, on the other hand, can only pray they remember the lives they have come from are etched enough into them where they use those parts which serve them for a more fulfilled life as they choose their future paths, for a best life for themselves, whatever that path means to them. Yeah, a rambling, a rambling in the chaos but I'm looking for a direction, not for my son much, his direction is up to him, guess an acceptance no matter where he lands from one moment, day, month, yeah, whatever, maybe a pipe dream.


Well-Known Member
Dear Deni

Thank you very much. If there would be an Odyssey for mothers in our straits, your post would be it.

Thank you for your kindness. I will be reading and re-reading this.

The past 24 hours have been very hard. I keep thinking about how alone he is. He has alienated everybody. What would that be like, feel like? I have been alone and lonely. I have felt that I had no family to turn to. I know what that feels like. I would never have thought I would turn my back on my own son.

It feels like self-preservation, but it is something different and more. It is a basic human choice, which I think is your main point. That as human beings we have a basic and necessary instinct and even purpose to turn away from the dark side, from extinction, from that which will hurt not only us but which is generically hurtful. Even when it is our family, our children.

It's to go against life to permit somebody to be destructive, to enter or stay in a relationship, where you consent to be hurt or mistreated. All of us do it, act meanly or accept meanness, for a time, for a moment, for a year; but the trajectory of life is not to perpetuate this. It is to reject it. Even for mothers.

Somehow your post allows me to understand this at a deeper level.

My intention now is to go to a place or level inside of me, where I am strong enough to bear what I must, whatever it is. I believe that we are called in life. And the only way I can understand this so as to not be in despair is to see this as a calling of this sort, to find my purpose and the meaning of my life.

I will always be grateful to you for this post, and others, Deni.

Thank you,

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Sending good vibes...

My heart aches for all you are going through. Sometimes it hurts so bad you just wish you could move far away where no one can find you. But we know we can't because part of the problem is us. We hold so tight to control. There's no way we'd detach completely because we then wouldn't know what's happening. But it is important for you to detach "with love" for your own well being. Try small increments. 5-10 min. and then extend that amount to longer periods where you focus on something else other than your worries and concerns for your son. If you will, picture God standing right over your son encircling him with His love and protection. Remember that He loves your son as much as you do.

Also, therapeutically and just for yourself, write down in your journal a moment, a time of a future wish and dream of you and your son. Maybe having a cup of coffee or tea at your kitchen table, laughing and sharing good memories. He visits and you each can speak kindly and be heard by each other, after he's ready to leave you exchange a hug and you know when he leaves it will be a safe place he's going to, warm and with food and that he is not mad at you or angry anymore but has peace within himself. Make the scenario specific to your vision. Hold that close and pray for it.

Someday you may be able to have even that simplest of dreams come true and it gives you something to hope for.

I will continue to pray for you and your son. Sending hugs and good thoughts your way.


New Member
Dearest have helped me in these unreal circumstances we have found ourselves in. I wish you peace, a little serenity and a heaping amount of grace for yourself..if only hour by hour..if need be minute by minute.

You are not alone.


Well-Known Member
Hi Ms. Lulu, mouse, JP and everybody. Thank you all very, very much.

I am better. We believe my son is out of the area for now. That makes it easier to bear. I will have to be very, very strong. Because my son is on a downward spiral which is escalating. There may be other, stronger drugs involved. He shows no insight, self-awareness or desire to live any better than he is. He is so visibly degraded in his appearance and behavior M and I both agree that he may begin to have criminal involvement, just by his condition and the perceptions of others about him.

Ms. Lulu. I know you asked about me, but my sadness has turned more to fear. I only ask that he live. I know i don't have to face everything all at once, but i do fear for his health, his liver. I guess I am bargaining with G-d. Please G-d, let him live so that I may live. That's what it has come to.

Except increasingly I am not making myself contingent. Increasingly I am able to hold onto myself. Which is to say I am better. I have returned to myself. Most of today I was hopeful and calm. Even accepting and knowing that things will probably get very bad indeed. But I will live my life. I won't forfeit it. It's enough already of that.

Thank you everyone.
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Well-Known Member
Hi Copa,
You sound better, calmer. I truly hope that is the case.

As you have counselled me many times, there is nothing for you to do here - only hope and pray for his health and safety, while keeping yourself safe (mentally as well as physically.) He will do what he will do and all you can control is you. So, you have to focus on looking after yourself. Of course, that is easy to say. Hard to do. I know this. Nevertheless, we have to try. What else can we do?

I hope you are able to get some respite from your fear and pain by distracting yourself with things you enjoy. When I'm really stressed I find listening to a podcast or an audiobook can help - or watching a movie. I have work (which I love) to lose myself in. I hope you have work, study or leisure activities that you can distract yourself with.

When I'm very anxious, I come here often - even when I don't write posts of my own. There's solace in just being among others who understand.

Thinking of you and your son tonight,

L xx


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

Thinking of you and praying for your son to be enlightened and praying for his safety. Praying for your peace.

He will do what he will do and your worry will not change anything and not help him but only hurt you. We know this but we do it anyway. We have to remind ourselves of this daily. I still worry about my son and I use up a lot of energy.