Discharge day tomorrow then to shelter and who knows...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Night Owl Mama, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. I am gearing up for some hard days ahead. Tomorrow is the day they've planned to discharge my son from the crisis unit. He will have to go to the shelter until Job Corps or something else opens up. He will need to manage his own medications, and find his own way to appointments. I did ask his caseworker about getting a bus pass through Medicaid but don't know the status of that.

    He tried to call me twice today from the unit and I missed the calls. He didn't leave a message. I did call back the once and he wasn't available. While I don't want to engage too much with him, I don't want him to feel totally rejected and unloved either.

    I know I am going to have to really figure out what I am and am not willing to do for him. A ride? A meal? Washing his clothes? He has always been the kid that if you give him an inch, he takes a mile so that is my worry. It may seem cruel but I think he sort of needs to be hungry, tired, etc. He has burned so many bridges, lost so many opportunities in the past...I think only a state of total desperation will keep it from happening again.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    This describes my son to a 'T'. His mindset is that he will do whatever the H he wants for as long as he can get away with it. When he gets caught, he pulls out the mental illness card and says he can't help it.
  3. I was able to speak to him this morning and I am hopeful! He sounds good, determined to succeed, and not being entitled or asking me for anything (other than storing some things he won't be able to carry). It sounds like he has some good supports in place too. He has a bus pass to get to appts, and is set up to go to the medication clinic daily for dosing. He will be spending his weekdays in a day program for mentally ill adults who do service projects, crafts, etc. So he will only be sleeping at the shelter at night. His appointment with Job Corps is tomorrow and he has outpatient therapy after. I said he is welcome to shower and do his laundry here if needed and he appreciated that. I feel ok about that, and if it gets too stressful or seems to trigger anything for either of us I can always say no.

    Fear is being replaced by hope. He has everything in place to succeed and now it is up to him. I know he can do it if he wants to! I feel like I can breathe a sigh of relief and get to focusing on other things in my life.
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  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Night Owl - that is wonderful news! I would be optimistic too. Maybe this what your son needed. I am so happy that he did this on his own and for himself.

    What a great feeling for you. It it were me, I'd enjoy this time right now.
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  5. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    NightOwl, great news! Work hard to claim this great news and your positive phone call with him. One day at a time. One interaction at a time. So glad for this positive news. Hang in there, and keep yourself flexible and open to whatever is next. Don't expect perfection or even a bunch of positive steps in a row. Just accept what is, as best you can, and keep yourself true to yourself. You matter here too. Letting him go and letting him figure it out is the best possible scenario with encouragement and one or two positive supports/actions from you. We're so glad! Warm hugs today. Celebrate!
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  6. Yes, one day and one experience at a time. I expect rough spots...it may even just totally fall apart BUT knowing he has the things in place to succeed gives me peace because then it's totally on him and I can release any guilt I feel.

    When my addicted, mentally ill brother was suffering from leukemia he left treatment a number of times. I was very involved in getting him into his last chance option and when he left that after 2 days, I was very sad, knowing he would now die, but I had personal peace that *he* had made that choice, and had had every opportunity to get better if he chose to. It released me from guilt.

    I am trying to transfer some of that hard earned wisdom to this situation with my son (who watched my brother's choices and knows how that worked out!) and allow that even when everything is lined up for their success, I have zero control over whether they take the opportunity or not. But it's nice knowing the support is there, and I am proud of the steps he's taken so far. I can rest in that for now.
  7. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Glad to hear Night Owl Mama and I hope for the best for your son and the plan that is in place. I think that was a nice, simple gesture to shower and do laundry at your home.
  8. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    He will take every inch of a mile if you give him an inch. I can't imagine how difficult that is going to be for you, but it is the right thing for the both of you. Just as important as the lines you draw in the sand is keeping them, consistently. If you tell him something like "no money", but then sporadically give him money for whatever reason, he is not going to appreciate the rest of your lines. I don't know what you should/should not do for him as far as food, and washing clothes, etc. My aunt still washes my twin sister's laundry when she asks, has her over for dinner, etc. My uncle and I disagree with it, but... My aunt is the boss.

    Just make sure that whatever help you do provide doesn't make it possible for him to skate by on not doing what he should be doing. Don't give him money for rent so that he can continue not working or paying his rent. Don't constantly feed him so that he no longer has to worry about it. He needs to stand or fall on his own decisions, and behavior, and thinking. If he does fall, he will hopefully learn from the experience. It isn't cruel to expect an adult to be independent. It's cruel NOT to. And dysfunctional. You need to stand firm in regards to whatever boundaries you lay out, and the consequences if he steps out of those lines. If the message is strong enough, he will slowly stop expecting you to do :censored2: he should be doing for himself. The more firm you stand your ground, and with enough time, he will no longer think of you fixing his :censored2: as possible, and wont try.
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  9. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member


    Great news. I think a day program will be a helpful. Usually they work on transitioning into the community. I am glad for the bus pass. Until your update I was going to say, "If it were me I would buy him a buss pass."

    With laundry, I would set limits, so that you don't have him moving back in by increments. Maybe you could set up something like you can come over on a certain day each week and do your laundry, we will have dinner, then we will take you back to the shelter. I would, of course, always qualify that with expected behavior.

    Anyway, this sounds like a positive step. I hope Job Corps works out,
  10. Thank you for the reminders to keep my boundaries clear and strong. It can be easy to let things slip a bit when he is doing well. We picked up his extra things from the crisis unit to store for him until he is settled into Job Corps housing. Just some clothes and stuff he doesn't have space for while living out of his backpack. He was polite and friendly when we saw him, but I sensed a bit of tension. My guess he is feeling anxiety and trying to not let it show too much, bless him. He was due for discharge in just about an hour.

    One boundary that I plan to let him know is he can only be here in the home when me and hubby are both home. Hubby works a lot so this will help limit his time here without putting me on the spot. He is donating plasma to pay for food and medications and I will expect him to use his money wisely enough he can feed himself. Like Darkwing said, it's not cruel to expect him take care of his own basic needs.
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  11. Well it's not going to be so simple. One night at the shelter and he is desperate to come back here. He is approaching it logically, and came up with a written safety plan and behavior contract for us to consider. He would be gone during the day and never here without a parent home. Take his medications and see his counselor weekly. Willingly help with chores, no negative attitude, no bickering with siblings or us, no disrespectful behavior. Pretty much anything we have ever nagged him about in the last two years is on that list he wrote. He also said he will provide his own food and transportation. If he violates any part, the agreement is immediately void.

    I am not sure what to do. I see his point. The shelter is far away, and we are close to where all his programs and appointments are. He is sleeping at the shelter again tonight as I told him I need time to think and I don't want to feel pressured. I am thinking I may want to talk to the Job Corps rep and get a firm timeline. Son is saying 2-3 weeks. He doesn't have a bedroom here (we moved things around after he left) so he would just be sleeping on the couch. I don't know....I feel we have been down this road so many times. Still, he has never had such a clear cut plan in place before. Thoughts?
  12. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    If he only has to stay at the shelter at night, what is it that bothers him so? Is it because it is far away from your location and his day time activities? Is there a non-profit sober house or even faith- based transition home (if you are open to that) or such in your area that you could pay the rent for him to stay there at nights for a month until the Job Corps? And would he be open to that?

    It would be worth it to me for my peace of mind and heart to pay for him to stay elsewhere, and know everyone (him and you folks) were safe. The thought of you allowing him back into your home does not sound best to me. It could be cracking open a host of other doors to places you don’t want to go.

    Take care Night owl ~~
  13. DarkwingPsyduck

    DarkwingPsyduck Active Member

    This is not a bad suggestion, though you should be cautious with this. He may let you pay for his rent for a month, then NOT go to Job Corps as promised. You certainly should not allow him to stay in your home. That would set a very bad precedent. It comes back to standing firm, and not sending contradictory messages about what is and is not an option. First and foremost, coming back to your home. You could help find him somewhere to sleep without sacrificing your resolve.
  14. His objection is they keep the lights on for safety all night. It took him hours to fall asleep because of that and he slept very poorly he said. The bed is a thin mat, a towel for a pillow. I suggested he get a sleep mask and offered him a pilow to take back there tonight but he declined it. Maybe he is just playing on my sympathies. There is another shelter in our area...maybe it would suit his needs better. I am totally open to alternatives, religious or otherwise. I have left it up to him to figure out considering how poorly he tends to respond to my ideas. I may at least find him some contact info.

    I have been taking the stance of "you reap what you sow" and not getting in the way of his life's lessons anymore. Isn't having to stay at the shelter for two weeks part of his life lessons? That uncomfortable experience may just keep him in a Job Corps when the going gets tough because he will remember the alternative! That's kind of what I am thinking...but I so don't want to deal with the drama and guilt of it all. Grrr.
  15. And what it really comes down to is, I really don't want him to ever think if he quits Job Corps he can come here. I don't want him to have that as an option in the back of his mind. That is a big fear, that he will let himself blow it because he thinks he has other options when he doesn't. He is really motivated right now but I have seen him do an about face over the smallest setback. His Borderline (BPD) reactivity is going to be a hurdle for him... "this is the best place ever" to "I hate everyone here I'd rather die than stay here" . That's been my experience with other family members with Borderline (BPD) and while I am trying to be positive and hopeful, I know it's a possible outcome. Fear of the shelter and homelessness may be the only thing that makes him push through and not bail (or get kicked out).
  16. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Right on, Night Owl,
    Your last two posts really show your strength and insight about the situation and about your son. You've got this ! I am learning much from reading your hard-learned wisdom.
    Stay steadfast. You are going to be alright ~
  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Shelters are hard. But they play a role in our DCs lives', them having the experience of a shelter.

    NO, I would go slowly here, as you are doing. Don't react to his push for an immediate solution. If you are willing to perhaps help fund another temporary living spot for him, let him find the place. Let him make the phone calls to some sober living houses. Let him do the legwork. There is no solution without some skin in the game. Let him have some skin in the game. You can usually get a halfway house for about $100 or $125 a week. They aren't perfect either. My son was in one a couple of times, and got kicked out.

    However, allowing him to explore options---NOT YOUR HOUSE----is part of his journey. He needs to take responsibility as much as possible for part of this.

    I agree that your instincts are very good about him not coming there. Also, if he decides to totally reject the shelter without another solution, and is on the street, that is again his choice. You don't have to save the day from that choice here. Sometimes that is exactly what it takes, and believe me, it won't kill him to sleep on the street for a few weeks.

    Hang in there. We're here for you. We know how hard this is. You have a good head on your shoulders here. We're here for you.
  18. I think the only thing holding me back from telling him no way no how is that I don't want to discourage him. In parenting him as a kid with autism, we used a series of rewards and consequences. I was taught by his doctors and therapists to keep the consequences short (ground him for an hour, not a day or a week, etc) and as soon as his behavior corrected, to respond positively. This did seem to help a lot. So I guess when I see all these positive steps he's taking, and I still hold to the original plan, it's feels harsh and I am not sure he will understand it. I may be expecting too little of him though. He isn't a little kid anymore.
  19. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Night Owl, this is my biggest concern. My first inclination, when I started reading the thread, was that he is trying and that should be acknowledged and rewarded. But the ultimate message you send, if you give him that chance, is that IF he tries HARD ENOUGH, perhaps things can go back to the way they were. It unfortunately isn't just about him, it is about the safety and security of the rest of the family.

    In my humble opinion, if we are involved, the times when motivation is high are when we need to PUSH them. When motivation is low, pushing does no good. I am all for him finding other arrangements, especially when the outcome of Job Corps is still uncertain. I agree with COM that he needs to have some skin in the game as far as finding it, but I would help him if he were invested in the search himself.
  20. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member


    I think you are right. Initially, I was thinking, "the shelter is a rough place, he has neuro issues," but I think that you are right.

    I think the shelter being unpleasant, and knowing he can't stay in your home might make him see Job Corps in a better light. I might just keep telling him, "Keep pushing the Job Corps people to get you out sooner."

    I also agree that if he feels in this situation that he has your home as a fall back, he may feel that he has it in all situations. Maybe in knowing that your home is never going to be an option is will make him work towards something else.

    I don't have personal experience with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), so correct me, please, if I am mistaken, but people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) tend to be very "black and white" concrete in there thinking, right?

    That has to be quite a challenge along with Borderline (BPD) who tend to be black and white with their emotions!