Difficult child is falling apart

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    To recap, two weeks ago he was buying frozen food at Walgreen's and putting it on the Express Pay credit card instead of paying for it himself out of his own funds. He did this because his LINK card was out of money, for some inexplicable reason. We told him he was not to do this anymore.

    Then the texts started about how he was going to starve. And how he lost his Lyrica prescription which can't be called in. (It is an off label treatment for anxiety. Read the reviews...wonderful wonderful. But not for difficult child. Almost everything he takes, he finds some intolerable side effect. He's tried so many different drugs, very few work out for him.)

    I told him to call about the lost prescription. Did he do that? No. Instead he started taking some Gabapentin, which he had left over,which is a weaker form of the Lyrica, but not enough to treat his anxiety, because he says both these medications cause some cognitive symptoms like word finding difficulties, even though he said the Lyrica was helping him focus at work.

    So now he is having problems at work with extreme restlessness and inability to focus, even though it is a repetitive no brainer job. And some woman at work is bullying him. I implored him to call the employment specialist at the social service agency and get her involved.

    He called me Tuesday night and it was very unsettling.

    He called my husband yesterday, said he had called off work because he was too depressed and anxious to go in. Asked him if he wanted to see a movie. Husband was able to take off work early, took him to a movie and out for a sandwich. He felt better. He went to the gym and a meeting that night.

    He wants to move back home. I told him no. My therapist and his caseworker also advised against this.

    House manager told him he needs a higher level of care. THERE IS NO HIGHER LEVEL OF CARE. Supported apartment/group home has been applied for. The waiting list is 2 to 3 years long. This is in Illinois.

    He meets with caseworker every week. They went over finances. He is spending a third of his disposable income on cigarettes. He says no supplements lately. The other third is for netflix, pandora, podcast. I told him he could feed himself on 60.00 a week. I may take him shopping and show him how this weekend.

    Part of the issue is that he's got this non verbal learning disability which makes it hard for him to organize his time. He gets overwhelmed very easily by the demands of everyday life. This causes stress, anxiety, and depression.

    Maybe I should just quit my job and take care of him.

    I'll post more later. Going shopping with girlfriend now. Husband and I had some wine last night. We are focusing on ourselves, because it seems that the drama will never end anyway!
  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Daze, I'm sorry.

    I read extreme stress in every single line you wrote.

    My general response is this: Do not, under any circumstances, quit your job and try to take care of your son. How in the world would you even begin?

    I just read your signature and see that he graduated from college. He CAN DO IT. He HAS DONE IT.

    You deserve a life, and he is a grown man, albeit with a lot of problems.

    You can't solve them.

    I know your pain is immense and I am sorry. I love the last sentence of your post. Do more and more and more of that.

    Let the calls go to voice mail as much as you can. Say this: I love you honey, and I am sure you can figure it out. Over and over and over again.

    I would type out a list of what I was going to say and carry it in my purse so I could whip it out if I decided to answer the phone. Otherwise, I was a jumbled mess.

    You must focus on your own life as much as you can. Your son is getting services and he can choose to invest himself in getting all he can from those services...or not. It's completely up to him.

    Please keep posting. We are here for you. Warm Hugs.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    ((HUGS)) to you!!

    You are doing all you can. How nice of you to suggest the movie and that your husband was able to take him.
    I know how hard it is when they ask for help, like moving home. It's hard and easy at the same time to say NO. No matter how detached we become there is still the "mommy" in us that wants to wipe away their tears and make everything ok. I know for me I have to remind myself that I am not responsbile for my son any more.

    It's good that he meets with his caseworker each week, there are so many that wouldn't even do that.

    I'm wondering how he listens / watches Netflix & Pandora? If it's on a phone or tablet I wonder if there's a calander that you could help program to remind him and help him organize his time.

    I hope you had fun shopping with your girlfriend. Sometime a little retail therapy helps.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh IAD, I'm here too, reading along. I'm sorry, I know how hard this is on you. You're doing a good job under extraordinary circumstances. All any of us can do is let go, accept and live right here in the present moment. Expand those moments where things are uneventful and calm........focus on them, that helps me. Sending you big hugs and lots and lots of warm wishes for serenity to find you.......
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  5. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    You are right, COM.

    He takes some of the advice but not all of it. At least he takes some of it.

    Yes, have told him over and over to use the calendar app on his phone. Maybe it will sink in one of these days.

    Yes, Tanya, bought some new furniture and a rug today! (This was a planned purchase. Been saving up. Redoing the family room). It was fun and a great distraction!

    Thanks, RE. It's always a work in process, isn't it? This detaching and living in the moment is something we need to do to keep our lives on somewhat of an even keel but it's not easy.
  6. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Wow, you are really stuck since he has so many mental health problems. I always have so much sympathy for mom's whose child has mental illness vs personality disorder because like diabetes it must be managed. You do say he also has a personality disorder - borderline perhaps? This one usually goes along with all the anxiety issues. Here's hoping for the best for you! I agree, do more of the fun things for yourself.

    No, you should not do this. First once he is out of the house and in a program - it becomes his social workers job to get him the services he needs. Once you take him back in there will be no reason for social services to help him with anything. Also your job, whatever it is, probably gives you a reprieve from the ongoing drama caused by this difficult child.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    OMG. The worst thing you can do is quit your job and care for him like he is a small child. he has a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) (like me...I have a very bad one...verbal 120 and performance 85). Yes, I am disorganized. Thankfully I was taught to use post its, a bulletin board and my phone and he can learn these coping skills too. I also grew up very depressed. It took me a long time to find the right medication, and I was medication sensitive too, but I never stopped trying and I never quit therapy and I'm really a happy person today. Do not let him give up on himself by admitting to him that, yes, he is a total invalid. He's not. These are not the worst things an adult can have and they can be greatly helped. He should NOT refuse to go to work due to depression and anxiety. I understand. There were days I was terrified I'd have a panic attack and go crazy in a store or in front of my co-workers, but I pushed. I did not substance abuse either. I had a hard time getting out of bed sometimes, but I kept and kept going for help. I would not give up on me, but I may have if my mom would have taken care of me like I was ten years old. She didn't. She had no pity. It was for the best that she made me stand on my own or I wouldn't be where I am today. My mom was mean and she did not mean to be nice to me by not helping me. She meant to be vicious. But she actually helped me...haha, Mom :p Really, it was best that my parents did not give me a place to fall or I would have used it. It was the easy way.

    Your son can do better. He just won't. He knows he can overplay it and you'll feel badly for him, but that won't help him. He needs to get out and do what he needs to do to become the man he is. Fretting over it and saying "I can't" does not work when you are of legal age.

    Just...please don't quit your job to be his "mommy."

    Hugs for all of your hurt and pain. He can do this. You can do this too.
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  8. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Personality disorder not otherwise specified with elements of borderline and schizoid (hence his flipping out and tendency to isolate.)

    That's for sure! I almost enjoy going to work these days! There is lots of drama between the patients, and the staff, (so much politics in a hospital) and it keeps my mind occupied. I don't think I would quit my job to take care of him, that was just a flip remark coming from all the frustration.

    MWM, I actually mentioned you to him, telling him you raised 5 special needs kids. He has a 37 point difference between the verbal and performance, so similar to yours. He had an MRI of the brain in November. It was normal.

    I totally agree.
  9. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    This "stuff" is so, so difficult. My son, 23 left our house for the umpteenth time last Saturday. He is Borderline (BPD) and a poly substance abuser. His therapist also (according to Difficult Child) diagnosed him as ptsd. Haven't heard from him since 12/21 when he came to the house to get some things. I've wondered if we (I) didn't create some of this mess by constantly rescuing him from his bad choices. Did I unknowingly tell him, yes, you're an invalid, we will rescue you? I worry a lot but have been trying not to beat myself up so much anymore. My family, during my difficult years didn't do ANYTHING for me (and not in a nice way either)- but- I knew then that I had only myself to rely on. This forced me to go to my job, pay my rent and not become a drug addict as it was up to me to sink or swim. I did the opposite of my parents- I told my kids I love them everyday, gave them every opportunity we could afford and stupidly, bailed my doctor out more times than was healthy. Now he blames us for everything and has cut all contact. I dunno..
    I'm sure glad for you guys but bummed that any of us have to be here.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry, QS. Obviously, his choices are his own fault, but he doesn't want to own this, which shows a lack of maturity. Trust me, when he needs something, he will be back. For now, enjoy the peace and be good to yourself.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  11. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi QS, it has been a week now, and no word. This sounds like my two. Same m.o.....It is a hard road we are all on. That is for sure.
    We all go through a time of review and questioning, if we had -done this, done that, not done this, not done that......it is a grieving, and we are sifting through every little thing trying to answer an unanswerable question. Why?
    When the real answer is that our d c's may or may not have mental health issues, but they do have free will. They have chosen this path, and we as parents, have absolutely no control over their choices. We can step in and try to help, try to fix, try to rescue, but it is never enough, because they have to want change for themselves.
    I agree with SWOT, he will contact you, be back in your life.
    I will echo this, be good and kind to yourself Quick, build yourself up and try not to fall into the guilt and blame game.
    You did the best job you could as a loving parent. You have bent over backwards to try to help.
    It is up to him to take the steps to figure his life out, thusly, for all of our adult d c's regardless of their issues with mental health.
    Enjoy the peace, focus on yourself, your husband and daughter.
    A New Year is coming!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Maybe you did unknowingly tell him that...maybe not...and maybe either way it was the right thing to do. That will be up to him.

    I think we all have done what we have done with the very purest of intentions -- to want to spare our children the mistakes we ourselves made. Please, please don't beat yourself up anymore. Can't stop the worrying a lot part! We all do that!

    I agree with the others, if he came by the house to get some things he will be back into your life soon.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with all of the others.

    He is trying to rope you in. Resist. With everything you have in you.

    He can live on $240, easily. Do you guys have the 99 cents store? We buy nearly all vegetables and fruits there. Even frozen.

    Most of our kids have this variety of diagnoses. It is they who have to learn to live. Not us for them.

    He knows better than to use your card at Walgreens.

    I was in a similar situation with my son. He kept losing his SSI debit card and being without money half way through the month. Or that was the story. I went so far as to going to Social Security with him, and his asking that I be his payee.
    They said no. I was desperately worried that he would starve. Fast forward 9 months later. He is still alive. I guess he managed to solve it.

    My son will not take psychotropic medications, believing that marijuana is the cure all, which is legal where we live, under some circumstances. I have learned to let go with that too.

    Nothing at all I do will help.

    I have been thinking a lot about my missing Kindle Fire, and the electric shaver he lifted out of the box, where it was waiting in the front hallway to be returned. He has not been here to my home for 4 months, and I have not seen him.

    If he talks again about visiting, I will mention that directly. I do not feel good about you visiting. I will mention the stuff. Is that wrong?

    Sometimes I just hate the way we have to live.

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015
  14. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Copa, the start of this thread was from last February, Quicksand posted a few back from yours just today, thought I'd let you know......
  15. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi Copa

    Here's an update.

    Difficult child has only done it once since February. He has stopped asking us for money. We managed to resist his claims that he was starving, even though it just about killed me (not so much husband. He is a lot stronger than I am). Turns out he was spending his money on kratom. He went to rehab in September and has been clean since. He knows he cannot start abusing this stuff again or he may come down with serotonin syndrome, which is life threatening. He goes to work every day, takes his medications, and goes to therapy, and is very diligent and serious about it, according to his therapist.

    So, just for now, things are trending up. It helps that he's getting excellent mental health care and that he's willing to go.
  16. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Lol...my kid's still alive 10 months after he told us he was starving.

    I am my adult son's payee. If it ever comes up, maybe you could try a different SS office. You may get a different answer.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Wow, In a daze. That is great. It is what all of us are hoping for.
    Thank you for letting me know.

  18. Coping11

    Coping11 New Member

    In a daze, this is wonderful news! This is what every parent here wants to hear. I hope this is just the first step on a road to improvement and a better life.
  19. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Ha! You guys. I answered this before reading long enough to know this was posted in February, that problem turned out to have been about abuse of medications, and has already been addressed.

    The answer was a really good one though? So, I am going to post it anyway.

    It helped me very much, to understand that perfectionism component and how it plays into anxiety.

    Another way to see this kind of anxiety is: perfectionism. That your child is overwhelmed by fear, not that he will not be adequate, but that he will not be perfect ~ which none of us is. Think about the Arabic rug weavers who design a flaw into the rug because nothing, ever, will be perfect. When we find ourselves in the position your child is in now, the bravery it takes to meet the day anyway ~ to try, anyway ~ is astounding. There is no pleasure in succeeding, only the horror of the next perfection, and the next, and there is never a feeling of honor or reward.

    I learned these things from reading Brene Brown's work on coping with overwhelming feelings. I will reference some of the books for you, IAD. Maybe, one of them could help your son see himself as what he is: Someone coping bravely with challenges other people would be crushed beneath.

    How we see ourselves and our struggles can make a difference.

    I am sorry this is happening to him. I remember how hard it was for him to try, and how hard he did try, at the grocery store.

    I am glad you and D H are together in this.

    It is still very hard.


    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Daze, good to hear good news about your son.
    WOW, I had to look up kratom, never heard of it before. How the heck does this stuff keep showing up? I am glad he is clean now, hoping for that for my two.

    The WILLING to go, is the best part.

    Take good care and Happy Holidays!