difficult child sent a message, cold, desperate, scared

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My difficult child sent me a private message on FB. He sent it last night at 10:00 but I was already in bed.

    Here's what he said: I might freeze to death tonight. I do love you and I miss you I don't wanna die. I'm really scared mom I'm sorry I was a scrappy son I love you

    Here's my response: I am just now getting this message 6:30 my time on Tuesday night. I'm sorry you are having a rough time and I hope you were able to find some shelter. Know that Dad and I love you very much and we keep you in our prayers.

    Who knows if or when I will get a response. It is so frustrating that he only reaches out when he's desperate.

    I looked at his FB page and he posted the following to general public:
    I need help. Please I have no way to stay warm someone stole everything I had I need help please

    About 3 hours after that post he commented the following:
    I got housed up by some really cool guy. Restored my faith in humanity another traveller. I need a change in my life!

    I'm glad he was able to find a place to stay for the night.

    My husband and I had a nice little chat about the whole thing and we are both on the same page. The only thing we can offer our difficult child is love and prayers. We will no longer offer advice, been there done that, have the battle scars from it and money is NOT an option.

    I am just so grateful that I found this site. To have a place that I can share and vent to others who truly understand what I'm going through.

    I'm will continue to protect myself!!
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  2. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Amazing Tanya. That worked out so well. You kept your boundaries up and he found some place to stay. Thank God for facebook at times like this. You definitely have kept your word. Good for you! Hugs and love Tanya!
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good for you Tanya. To get to the place you've arrived takes us so long.......to be able to take the internal stand that "the only thing we can offer is our love and prayers" is borne out of all the suffering we did before we learned how to accept what is. And, as I have learned, nine times out of ten, if not ten out of ten, when we refrain, they find their own answers.

    We have to acknowledge ourselves in this odd territory we find ourselves in.........toast yourself for your strength and resolve.......you done good girl........real good........
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  4. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Good for you, Tanya!

    To me, this is exactly what we want them to see, what we thought they would see before it got to the point they are now. But he sees it, at least for last night. That is a good thing!

    Amen. I love the way you kept your barriers in place and communicated your love.
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  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi Tanya

    I am with you in spirit. It's true that they reach out to us when they are in crisis. I'm just packing up some stuff and driving to try and find my son now. It's 7 a.m. here and freezing cold and dark.
    I'm glad your son found somewhere to stay and things turned out OK. In my experience that's always been the case with my son. He sends me 'crisis' messages and I worry and worry and then I hear that he's fine and hasn't even thought to let me know, because probably he's forgotten the 'crisis' message that he sent me that set me in a spin.

    As RE says, 9 times out of 10 they find their own answers...

    No advice, no money, I agree with you totally on that.

    Things are much better with me and my son since I stopped the advice and stopped the money and just accepted him as he is.

    Hugs x
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thank you all so much for your kind words of support, they have touched my heart and means so much to me.
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  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Tanya, bless you for staying the course despite that message. I know how hard that is on every single level.

    It takes us being completely broken. Them and us. Completely broken, without any tangible material possessions to offer, just love and encouragement and prayers, before we all realize---them and us---that we can't control life. Or people, place or things.

    By the grace of our Higher Power, we can only control ourselves. We stand with our hands out and open and empty. That is a good place for them to be. That is a good place for us to be. I know that this experience of the past five years with my son has been a "refining fire" as the song say, for me. I am not the same person I was, but I hope I am a better person.

    I don't know when the time is right for us to offer assistance. In my son's case, at this point, he began working full time at a McDonald's while still being homeless. Sometimes he walked to work 2 hours one way starting at 2:30 a.m. He was sleeping on benches in the rain.

    We did not offer anything until he had been doing that about 8 weeks. At that point, my ex-husband, his father, started talking to him about helping him find a place to live.

    So far, so good. It isn't always pretty or neatly tied up in a bundle like we would like and like we would hope, but somehow, he seems to be moving forward, one day at a time.

    Perhaps that is all we can ever hope for. I don't know. I continue to struggle with it all.

    He makes $8 an hour and his rent is $525 for an efficiency apartment. People can barely make it on that kind of money. Especially if they have felonies like he does and get turned down a lot because of that.

    But somehow, again, he is making it forward with a little help from us. We try not to step in too much and let him carry the heavy freight. He has two probations and fines and all kinds of mess to clean up.

    It will take a long time, and I just pray he can keep going forward.

    Maybe, just maybe, all of those long nights in the cold, in the rain, with barely anything, are what he remembers when he gets discouraged, tired or doesn't know what to do next. Maybe that is what had to happen before he had the guts, character, maturity, persistence, whatever it is, to turn, and begin to walk in a new direction.

    I know there are no guarantees about tomorrow and anything can happen. In my fear, I try to remind myself to continue to let go and let God. What else is there to do, really?

    Warm hugs to you on this morning. I am praying for your son to do the next right thing for him.
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  8. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I will return the support - seems like we are kind of in the same boat. As hard as it is, congratulations to you for holding your boundary. When I hear these homeless in the cold stories it always make me wonder - why don't they go to the shelters that are opened when it is too cold to sleep outside? (shaking head)
    And it has to make you wonder what was oh so important the that freezing day, that he didn't take the time to find a place to sleep for the night before night time rolled around.
    Any who glad you held tight!
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good job, Tanya. I'm glad your difficult child is safe for now.

    I can so relate to this. Accepting this pattern is part of what helped me get to the land of detachment. I've learned to squash my initial PTSDish reaction to a difficult child "crisis," and to instead take a deep breath and tell myself to wait 24-48 hours before even giving it much thought. Things change quickly, so my worry is wasted energy most of the time.
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  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    So I checked my FB to see if he had responded to my message and was not suprised to find that he hadn't. I looked at his page and he had posted that he found a job. I wanted so bad to comment but chose not to. It's one thing if he sends me a private message, I will respond to that but I will not make comments when it's to the general public.

    I will always have hope that someday he will get his life together and that we can have a viable relationship but I am a realist and will need to see tangible proof that he has changed.

    It's such a fine line we walk as to when to communicate with our difficult child's.

    I do wish him well in whatever job it is that he found but lets just say my optomism is very guarded, it's like major deja vu.

    (a little back history here: my difficult child has several FB accounts all with crazy names. He had unfriended me on one of the accounts over a year ago, then a couple of weeks ago sent me a friend request under one of his other alias names. The reason I chose to accept goes back to my hope that someday........... but I am also very careful. I have my security settings set to where he can see nothing on my wall, no photos, no comments, none of my personal info so basically he can communicate with me via private messages only. Again, I do hope that someday he will get his life together but until then I will keep a safe distance)
  11. CinderMCG

    CinderMCG New Member

    Tanya - I had one of those messages a few years back, he texted me when he was about 3000 miles away (at one of those festivals) to tell me that he think's he is o'ding and he needs me to set up a flight for him to get home ASAP. He was using someone else's phone and I could not make contact with him again. Talk about a sleepless night, I called the festival they could do nothing, all I could think of was him in a field laying dead.

    Well about 8 hours later I received another text message saying he was fine and I kid you not "cozy" in one of their medical tents.

    Hearing your story (and others) helps me to try not to have a heart attack when they present their emergencies.

    I could never imagine doing that to my mother.

  12. JKF

    JKF Well-Known Member

    Wow Tanya. Your difficult child sounds exactly like mine. Exactly. From the homelessness to the crisis messages to the multiple Facebook pages. There are currently 9 that I know of and I'm sure many more that I don't know of.

    I've come a long way in my detachment but I'm still not quite 'there' yet. I still have major PTSD when he messages me and tells me he's cold and dying etc. It's difficult for me to be comfortable in my warm, cozy home when I know my son is sleeping on the streets in freezing cold temperatures. Today I took a call from him and he very realistically told me that things will never change and it's a vicious cycle to get out of and he has no hope for his future. It was very sad to hear him say that with such certainty. I agree that it's a vicious cycle - especially with the mental illness factor - but in my opinion he truly doesn't try hard enough to get help. He's had recent opportunities to get off the streets but he doesn't want to go to an unknown town, leave his friends, etc, etc. There is always some excuse as to why he can't. It's frustrating but it helps me realize that it's his choice and it must not be that bad if he's refusing shelter when it's available.

    Anyway, thank you for posting and sharing your experiences. Your strength gives me strength.
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    @JKF thanks for your message. Yes, it is a vicious cycle that our difficult child's are in but it is of their own making. I will always have hope for my difficult child that he can turn his life around but it's his life and his choice and I have to accept that and while I have hope I won't hold my breath (I would surely pass out)

    I too have had difficulty while I'm warm and safe in my home and thinking about him out in the cold and I just have to keep reminding myself that he chose to live that way.

    It's so comforting to know that I'm not in this alone.
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