Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by welcometowitsend, Dec 16, 2012.
Sorry, my computer is acting strange. difficult child is sleeping in an ATM vestibule - at least he did last night. He says he is actually pretty calm about it and doesn't mind. He is strangely ok with it.
I called around and found 2 shelters that would take him and he can walk to. I called him and gave him the information. I also told him that he could come here if he could follow our 3 rules. He said thanks, it was nice of me to get that information for him.
He was texting friends to see if anyone was available to hang out but seemed happy enough to talk to me on the phone for quite a while. I don't think he knows where he is sleeping tonight. I have a feeling he won't go to either of the shelters. Sigh.
I spoke to a worker at one of the shelters. Apparently I can not get him admitted to hospital for mental health issues just because he is choosing to be homeless. One less option. I asked her what she thought of husband and I paying for an apartment or room for him to live in. She didn't advise me either way but basically let it be known that she'd never seen any good come from parents trying to help their kids like that. It often results in a huge party, difficult child getting evicted, parents left holding the financial bag.
When I told the worker where he stayed last night I just started to sob. Saying it out loud made it very real and that was awful. I just can't even try to understand this child. He is not living in our world. He is living in the world of 'freedom at all costs'. He is walking around with soaking wet feet, doesn't have his winter coat because he left it at his friends place, his jeans are ripped to the knee for some reason. I keep trying to 'get it' so I can try to fix it but I can't.
(((Hugs))) he knows he has options if he wants to sleep in a warm bed.
I'm so sorry. That is the worse feeling...wanting so badly to be able to "fix it"....when we know our kids don't want our solutions.
Oh WTW, I am so very sorry, I too understand exactly how your're feeling, ...........not understanding, wanting so much to fix it, putting yourself in your difficult child's shoes and feeling so much empathy and sorrow..........I know. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make him not only conform to the reality within which we all live, but also to feel comfortable in that reality. I've spent the last 12 some years trying not only to understand my difficult child, but to try to make her life bearable from my point of view. Often, from her point of view, she is just fine. I can't explain that to you, I wish I could. For me, this has been the most difficult experience of my life and I've had to shift my own thinking in ways that felt like I was trying to move an immovable mountain, and yet it can be done. So much of it is taking the focus off of them and putting it on ourselves. As I write that, I am struck by how simple that sounds in theory............and yet, as mothers, it's like asking us to stop breathing. If you haven't already, find yourself a therapist, counselor or group which specifically is supportive of these issues. As you likely know, I have been involved in the codependency side of a huge Chemical Dependency program run through the HMO I belong to. I also used to attend codependency anonymous 12 step groups. I've attended NAMI (National alliance on Mental Illness) parent groups, I've read scores of books, I meditate and exercise, go to an acupuncturist, have massages.........in other words, I do A LOT for ME so that I can stay balanced and healthy in the midst of such a sad situation which I am powerless to change. All of that helps me to be able to stay sane and stay (mostly) joyful in the midst of so much chaos which I cannot fix. I know how you feel ...sigh...and I am saying a prayer for you to find peace, detachment and acceptance. Many big gentle hugs coming your way WTW, from my heart to yours.......
It so so hard! I can tell you from experience that when my difficult child was about 20 I cosigned for an apartment for he and his girlfriend. It didn't last 2 months!
The first experience was not their fault (never is!) because a group of uninvited males friends came over drinking and the neighbors complained. Police came and send everyone home.
Next month they were exvicted, same thing. I lost my desposit but at least the apartments had a waiting list so I wasn't liable for the next 4 months rent.
To this day my 34yo will ask me to cosign for him. They never give up! But that was my first and last! I should have known better then.
Stay busy, there truly is nothing you can do, it is his life. Mine has no contact with me now, everything is my fault, it always is when I refuse to give him money. I use the time at the gym on the bicycle to read and reread self help books.
(((huggs an blessings for us all)))
Thanks everyone. I talked to the pediatrician today - referred me to the hospital. Talked to the psychiatrist today - referred me to the hospital - wants the hospital to refer us to an urgent clinic.
Took difficult child to the walk-in clinic to get his blood sugar checked - thankfully the parched, dry mouth he has is because of the medications not diabetes. Phew. Then went to the hospital. Waited 4 hours then difficult child decides he's not waiting anymore. So, we left. Thankfully a friend of my husbands wife works at the urgent clinic - she is going to meet us back at the hospital tomorrow and see if she can get us seen asap. Crosses fingers. Probably best that we left anyway because the psychiatrist on call is horrible (we've seen him before). I called our friend and she told us to leave also because he was on call and everyone she knows thinks this psychiatrist is terrible. Worse that he's a child psychiatrist, eh?
difficult child seemed pretty happy and amiable except he was ticked about the wait time. He also admitted to me that he has pretty wild mood swings, even on his medications - which he apparently is not taking as consistently as I thought. Sigh. He says he's happy doing what he's doing. He has decided to stay at one of the homeless shelters for now. Living at the homeless shelter is better than living at home because we have our few rules. uh, ok.
So, then he tells me he is still walking around with cash money. Bad idea in a homeless shelter - so I took him to the bank to deposit the money we'd given him.
His plan for now is to stay in the homeless shelter. He isn't really going to school, doesn't seem to care much. Whatever, that's the least of my worries right now. He'll go back to the hospital with me tomorrow because he agrees that the mood swings are an issue. He doesn't see his homelessness or his current choices as a problem though. So, hopefully we will get seen tomorrow. If not, difficult child feels it can wait until we get back from holidays. He really doesn't seem to worried about it - but I guess that's part of him not realizing he even has a problem.
Sometimes I am ok and sometimes not. It's a bit of a roller coaster ride. Seeing him today was actually helpful despite his filthy clothes, ripped jeans and dirty hair. He was in good spirits, was kind to me, joking around - pleasant really, except when he got tired of waiting. I'm going to get freshened up and meet my hubby for dinner at a friends place. I don't really want to go but a glass of wine and some pleasant company sure won't hurt.
Thank you again for your thoughts, cyberhugs and prayers.
An afterthought - have any of you seen The Big C? The bipolar brother is reminding me a lot of my own difficult child.
My difficult child told me he "slept on a bench behind the bank." Sigh..... There's a homeless shelter he could have utilized, but no.....
When he told me, I just gritted my teeth and told him to '"beware the booger bears." Sigh....
To each his own I guess. You are doing great with supporting him minimally. I would move mountains to get medical help for my difficult child as well. Stay strong and let him figure out life on his own like he wants to. It is best.
You have been through the wringer. Consider it a glimmer of encouragement that you are able to say you are up and down. For some, it would be nothing but down. It's a testament to your strength - and a good sign for your future - that you are able to even pull it together for a few minutes.
I'm glad he's going to a shelter, and sad that this is something you have to deal with. Most of us here have found ourselves - at various times - bewildered at what has become our normal.
Your son is very lucky to have you. Even though you know you can't fix it, remember that.
If he's prepared to work with you on the medical front... you're a long ways ahead of many.
He recognizes he needs medications, and maybe different ones? There's hope.
And if he can get his mind stable, it should help the rest of his stability as well.
Hang in there. You're a good Warrior Mom.
Thank you all, again. The support here is much needed and I'm so grateful for it.
Today was good. I made a lot of phone calls this morning and got difficult child the referral to the Family and Child Clinic at the hospital. They sound great - psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, anger management, behavioural therapy, dialectal therapy (I've heard of this for bipolar but haven't done research yet), all encompassing. He will age out of it in 14 months but it's definitely a start. The pediatrician agreed to refer to them thankfully so hoping to get a call soon with an appointment. Hope the wait time isn't too long.
Next step is to get difficult child a Case Management Program set up through CMHA (our version of NAMI). They will assign him a worker to keep track of his diagnoses, medication prescriptions, history, side effects, everything. Then this worker will help him navigate the system and advocate for him for as long as he needs it. This will be a relief - it'll be like having a partner for myself in all of this work and will take the pressure off of me.
Sheila - I am so sorry your difficult child would rather stay outside than at the shelter. I think if the weather was warmer mine might too but he is safe for now and can stay there for 4 months if he follows the rules.
Busy - Thanks. I agree about moving mountains for the medical help. Everything else I leave him to his own devices pretty much. I did call the shelters but it was up to him to get there.
Dash - Thank you. It feels good to know that you think I"m doing pretty good. The social worker and one of his teachers that I spoke to today both asked me what I was doing to take care of myself. They both seemed more concerned about me than difficult child. It makes me realize that we really do need this vacation. I will say that packing was hard today and I cried quite a bit knowing I would not be with difficult child for Christmas for the first time.
Insane - I agree. I feel very blessed to have him compliant with medication and wanting to adjust medications or add something new in to stabilize his moods. I'm hoping that a mood stabilizer might also help him start to see that his thinking has been distorted and then maybe we can start to work on getting him help with that. One thing at a time right now.
We are all packed and ready to leave tomorrow morning. I had lunch with difficult child again today and he was really good - mood was excellent, he was happy. Apparently he's been letting down a lot of classmates at school but that's not seeming to phase him at all. Anyway, we had a nice visit and texted again this evening. So, we are heading out on a positive note with no anger between us and difficult child. I still think this is going to be hard on me but I'm determined to find a new normal and participate in life in addition to trying to deal with/help difficult child.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you. Thank you again for all of your support. I wish each of you peace, happiness and health. I wish this for all of our children as well.
Have a wonderful, joyful, relaxing, peaceful and fun holiday...........I hope you can let go and really enjoy yourself.......sending you lots of happy hugs and wishes for peace...........
Separate names with a comma.