Done, so why do I feel worse?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by allydem, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. allydem

    allydem New Member

    I finally did it. I kicked my 20yr old ADHD son out of the house. So why do I feel worse despite reading the multitude of responses I received ( I posted on the verge of a nervous breakdown)? Although this decision was excruciating, I'm not convinced he's 'better off' as he's chosen to live with his dad whom I haven't spoken to in over 12 yrs. But the one thing I don't understand is this: why is it that what he says, and what he does are polar opposites? Can someone explain this to me? I hear him saying how much he wants to succeed in life, and be someone, but he continuously makes poor choices. He's on his medications, which are suppose to help him make good choices, but it's been one disappointment after another. He feels bad that he makes these poor choices, and I hear him saying that he really wants the family to be proud of him. My fear is that he's so depressed that someday, he may do something to harm himself. I suggested he get counselling, but his father, who is a big influence in his life right now, doesn't believe in counselling and has openly said that it's quackery. And because he has taken every opportunity to put me down, my son doesn't believe the advice I'm giving him when I say to go see a doctor. What should I do? I'm finding it hard to believe that there's nothing I can do at this point.
  2. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    The morning after my son left, I spent hours scouring the Internet-looking for something to make sense. These words in an essay by Norma Bourland hit home to me. “Each day I wake feeling an urgent need to do something, and then I realize there’s nothing I can do. The emptiness just has to be.”Stay busy if you can. I play a lot of iPhone Scrabble. Racking my brain for words leave little room for agonizing lol Link to essay here -has a Christian bent to it:
    Kid’s Bad Decisions Do Not Mean We Are Bad Parents
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are illegal drugs in the picture? IF so, that's a big part of why. And the ADHD medications won't help him if he is either drinking a lot or doing other drugs with the medications. If he is on drugs, he probably would like to have a great life, but is hampered by the drugs, which can be hard to quit. However, you do him no favors keeping him home while he engages in dangerous behaviors as that will only encourage him to do them more, since he has a comfortable place to sleep. Nobody is stopping him from getting help. He won't accept it.

    There IS nothing you can do for an adult child unless HE wants the help. You can bug him, but you can't make him do the work it takes to get the treatment he needs. It's very frustrating. I have been there done that and had to finally admit that I am powerless in my daughter's poor choices. She did not stop using drugs and did not change he life until SHE wanted to, in spite of all our support.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    There could be a multitude of reasons why he says one thing and does another - most of it boiling down to probably being at conflict within himself. He surely wants to do those great things, but cannot find the confidence, or initiative to do them.

    I know how hard it is to kick a kid out - and how hard it is when they then chose to live with their Dad. *sigh* However, for Matt, it took him 3 months before he got completely over "living the dream" haha at Dad's house - and that was a huge eye opener for him. I think he had always fantasized that living with Dad would solve everything - instead he ended up in the worst darkness of his life. It was a big turn around for him in his life.

    As for what to do with the emptiness inside - stay BUSY. Get into counseling if you are not already there. Support groups, arts and crafts groups, take up some new hobbies, etc. I am not the poster child for dealing with emptiness, or loneliness, so I will stop rambling - just know we are here for you.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    First, I'm sending caring and supportive hugs your way. That is foremost because you have agonized over your decision and I believe that your choice was not spur of the moment or uncaring. Don't second guess yourself. Living with you he was not making progress. Maybe...just the new environment he will. Fingers crossed.

    As to the "reasons" why his intentions and his actions don't jive? It could be alot of things. I have raised three ADHD kids. My first known as GFGmom on the Board is now in her mid forties. She has developed into a pita of major proportions but...she needed a very structured work environment because she just can't go from A to Z with-o
    alot of structure. My Ex was the one who suggested she work for the State as a CO. I was aghast, quite truthfully, and thought he was nuts. Believe me he is not my cup of tea. on the other hand she functioned adequately because she had very strict rules of behavior at the prison so her ADHD wasn't really allowed to flare. My grandsons are a different version. The older one (now 24) does best with alot of structure too...but due to a bunch of different reasons he thinks like a leader but lives as a follower. The younger one (almost 21) has Asperger's etc. plus the ADHD. He wants a job so badly but misreads situations and ends up "shooting himself in the foot" as he randomly has ideas that do not jive with his capabilities.

    None of them have Executive Functioning abilities although each is unique. They "want" alot but don't know how to get it. It is a sincere desire followed by almost no action because they can't figure out what action to take. Maybe that is the problem with your son...maybe not. But it is frustrating and painful to have a child that you love who just can't "get their act together". Keep hoping for the best and stay prepared for the worst. Hugs. DDD
  6. allydem

    allydem New Member

    I don't think giving birth was anywhere as difficult as coming to terms with the decision to kick my own flesh and blood out of the house. I would gladly go back and give birth again, at least accompanying the pain is hope and the promise to a better tomorrow. Yet, the decision I had to make and execute this weekend only brings pain. I don't see the hope or promise as I don't see my son getting his life on track. He's gone from a structured environment here with me to an unstructured environment at his dad's. Dad didn't have the patience to parent his son when he was younger, so he stayed away for 9 yrs, only to return once my son turned 18 thinking the "parenting" role was completed. Little did he know that it's far from over as a couple of years ago, my son moved back with him and it lasted a total of 4 months. I thought things would get better with my ADHD son once he connected with his father, but it only got worse, much worse. In the 2 yrs he reconnected with dad, my son become more resentful to my attempts at keeping structure.
    If there"s one thing I get from everyone's posts here is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I'm grateful to everyone's response and input, and sometimes, looking for answers that aren't so straight forward and only receiving sympathetic virtual hugs keeps me going from day to day. It makes the effort to type through the tears all the more worthwhile. Thanks to everyone who responded. I will continue to come back to read more responses as I find a bit of peace knowing I'm not alone.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    I dont' ahve any words of wisdom on this so I'm just sending you some ((((HUGS)))) and thoughts of strength to get you through.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You dont know me from Adam's house cat but when I was young I was a huge difficult child. Heck, I still am, Im just way too old and tired to act out I had huge plans but didnt have the follow through. I got in my own way every single time. My life is a mess because of myself. Well, I dont know if I can actually say thats true. I might not have the life that one would have picked out for me knowing the background I came from and what I was capable of as a child, but I eventually met someone who adores me and I have three great kids...yes, difficult child's...but they are great kids none the less. If I had done everything right and become some high powered executive who married some other high powered executive, he might have left me at the first sign of trouble in either the kids or me, cause Im pretty sure trouble would have showed up. Im bipolar and I have a host of physical ailments. I needed a partner who could handle that. Many wouldnt have.

    So...sometimes those who get a slower start might not be the most outwardly okay but they might be doing okay for them. I know my dad worried about me for years but eventually he got to the point that he felt comfortable with me. I was glad.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    'Each day I wake feeling an urgent need to do something, and then I realize there's nothing I can do. The emptiness just has to be.'

    Thank you, I needed to hear this today.

  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Awww, Nancy - I am glad it spoke to you too (though I guess I wish it made no sense to any of us) I refer back to it a dozen times a day. It describes exactly how I feel each and every day.

    Growing up -- I was taught/I learned to "sleep on things" because problems often seemed less problematic or solutions became more evident in the morning. Unfortunately, sleeping isn't helping my situation. I wake up and realize it's 1 more day that difficult child has been gone and that we're no closer to a resolution. I try to journal as my way of answering my "URGENT need to DO something"- but that's starting to seem fruitless too. It's nice to have someone who understands. My H keeps saying "concentrate on the 2 kids you have left" - like that's supposed to make me feel BETTER? Clueless!

    by the way-my post was a hot mess - my fault for posting from my phone at PC14's FB game. Here's the CORRECT link to the entire essay -- I should disclose that it's from a "Christian Perspective" - Kid’s Bad Decisions Do Not Mean We Are Bad Parents
  11. Bean

    Bean Member

    Ah yes. That line speaks to me as well.

    To the OP - I've had to kick my daughter out. It was excruciating and liberating at the same time. I say that because it WAS horrible. It WAS unimaginable. It's been quite some time since I laid that gauntlet down and I still struggle with it. Unnatural is how it feels to me. But necessary, too. I felt relieved when I made that move, because I knew it was what needed to be done. But it was scary because my false sense of control was threatened. But, I think I needed to understand (just as much as she does/did/is) that she is responsible for her actions, her decisions. That I can not save her. That her decisions are what will shape her life. She wasn't able to understand that at home, and there was a part of me that can't either. If we provide a loving, structured home - as much as possible - won't that make everything better? It defies the laws of logic, really. Why were her decisions so out of whack when her guidance was right in front of her? Isn't love enough? Shouldn't that "cure" all that ails her? It didn't, it doesn't. It sustains her to some degree, but it isn't enough to keep her from making some of the decisions she's made, not then, not right now.

    There are still bumps for us, but my daughter is doing better learning that her decisions are her own, and they are independent of me or anyone else. She's very slowly growing up. Still making decisions that flip-flop my stomach and make me groan. But she's lessened up on the blame game and is navigating her own life.

    Hang in there.
  12. allydem

    allydem New Member

    Wow, I read the article you sent. It spoke volumes.... and I know that although it makes perfect sense, it's going to take time before I can truly in my heart believe it. Thank you. I have it saved and read it before I go to bed. It brings me comfort in these dark times.
  13. allydem

    allydem New Member

    So today I finally received a text from my son. First communique in 4 days. He texted me to let me know that he moved into his frat house and that his dad is going to pay all the expenses right down to groceries and his bus pass. All I could think of is the fact that 1. dad and his wife didn't want my son to live with them as he would cause ruccus under their roof and 2. better to pay up to keep him shut up. I feel that by letting him live at a frat house is like waving alcohol to a recovering alcoholic. It doesn't make sense. It's bad enough that my difficult child had to travel for his supply of pot, but now, he's got it under his nose all the time! If there's one thing that keeps comimng across is the fact that it's completely out of my control now. And all I can do is wait to see what the next poor choice will be.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Too bad your ex is enabling your son and, yes, throwing temptation AND peer pressure to drink and do drugs and have sex in his face. Is there any way to get through to him? Do you have any communication with him at all?
  15. allydem

    allydem New Member

    My ex walked out of his kids' lives 13 yrs ago because he couldn't handle the responsibility of being a father. He was newly married at the time, and it didn't take a second thought when his new wife, a social worker who abandoned her own kids, suggested he leave his own kids to mom to raise. He believed if he walked back into his kids' lives when they turned 18, they'd take him back. By that time, he wouldn't have to "parent" them anymore as they were grown up. Well, it worked for my son, but my daughter who is now 18 would rather see him 6 feet under than at our doorstep trying to make ammends. Despite the fact that I have tried numerous times to inform him of his son's actions, he has never responded to my emails, but instead, had slagged me to my son, claiming that I'm only trying to create a wedge between them. I even mailed my son's marajuana pipe to his house as proof that his precious innocent son is into drugs. No reply. He too is ADHD, but refuses to believe the condition exists. I really feel like I'm caught between a hard place and a rock here.
  16. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi Ally,

    We're in similar places right now. My 19.5 yo difficult child is away at school, in an apartment with a room mate who is a self proclaimed "wild party animalll!!!" doing heavens-know-what with goodness-knows-who.

    My difficult child's father and I are happily married and (mostly) on the same page. My son does not have ADHD. We did not kick our son out of the house -- rather we told him we wanted him to stay at home and get his act together. He chose to leave without any financial support or tuition assistance. I know these seem like noteworthy differences - but they're not. Because the differences in our backgrounds and the different way we went about it -- didn't make a d@mn bit of difference for our sons. In some ways it's reassuring - because - like you - I question each and every decision I recently made wondering where I screwed up.

    You and I both have kids who want to be out of our control who are making really bad choices and there is nothing we can do or say to convince them otherwise. And we have absolutely no ability to physically get between them and the stupid stuff they are doing. And we know it won't end well. And we constantly wonder where their bottom will bottom out. And yet we can't do anything. It's out of our hands. And it's an awful awful feeling.

    These were the babies we carefully buckled into car seats, slathered with sunscreen and insisted upon bike helmets, and shin guards and cell phones "just in case".

    Easier said than done, but stop second guessing yourself. There are no answers and there is nothing we can do but wait it out. And hope and pray that the morals and values we tried to instill will take hold somewhere in their psyche.

    You're not alone {{{hugs}}}
  17. allydem

    allydem New Member

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you signorina..... for sharing your personal experiences. You're dead on correct when you say that these kids are the same kids we painstakingly kept safe as children and are now out of control. I've never prayed so much as I have recently, hoping to God that at the very least he remains safe while he's out of my house.

    I'm not sure how I came across this website, other than devine intervention. I was literally at the end of my rope, desperate for answers to my dilemma. Someone must be looking over my shoulder.

    To every person on this site who's offered words of advice or hugs, I cannot begin to express how grateful I am that you've touched my life in a way that you cannot imagine.

    {{{{hugs to all }}}}}}
  18. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Ally - I have so been there... not sure if you have seen the threads about my son. He too is 19... will be 20 in a month.He too is into drugs and out of control. It is so heartbreaking for us and I think we all probably go through that stage of what shouldve, couldve with all the 2nd guessing and rehasing in our minds the past and what mistakes we made. Fact is all that is past and you did the absolute best you could. You love your son and that shows and deep down he kows it too. Your son is now legally an adult (even if emotionally and mentally he is not) and now there is nothing you can do except love him, and be there for him when he wants help. If you can stay in touch with him, but gently, not a lot of questions and not mom to the rescue. Your ex is doing that right now but my guess is that will get pretty old quick when it starts costing him big bucks with no return on his investment. Sometimes you have to just let go and let nature take its course... or the legal system.

    We have been through the wringer with my son. At times he has absoultely hated me. We too had to kick him out of the house and not let him come back. It has been terribly hard.

    At the moment I have hope. He is currently inpatient on a psychiatric unit. It was a voluntary admission on his part and they are looking for residential substance abuse tx for him. He is starting to understand he has some deeper mental health issues and he wants tx for those... to do that though he needs to be 30 days sober which he is not. So he is doing what he needs to do to get that tx... of course all that may change. A few weeks ago I was close to giving up and resigning myself to the fact he would probably spend a good part of his life in jail or on the streets.

    I have no idea what will happen in our case but what I do know is that loving them, letting you nkow you love them, accepting that it is now their life and they need to be in the drivers seat, and not enabling their bad choices is the absolute best thing you can do... and in fact it is the only thing really.

  19. allydem

    allydem New Member

    Thanks TL for your insight. What I don't understand is this. I NEVER had a problem with my son while he was actually in high school. He had decent friends, was involved in band and the school plays, did various other dramatic performances as well as various sports. It's not until he connected with his dad 2 years ago, that he plummeted. He became angry at the world, smoking, drinking and doing drugs. I wish I could understand this. It's said in virtually every psychology journal that kids need both parents. So why is it that this is happening now? He was better off when dad wasn't in the picture!
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I started not to post this because you seem to be in pain and I didn't want to add to it, but realized.....nothing anyone can really say to you about asking your son to leave will ever give you comfort. So I'll share our story. Our son, now 21 and me ----left a severely abusive relationship when he was 4 years old. His bio father is past description. If he could have been raised by Charles Manson? It would surely have been an improvement ten fold. No joke, the man did things that were absurd. So I left, took my son - went into hiding and managed to stay off the radar for years - and in that time? We went to extreme therapy, and my son was in and out of psychiatric hospitals, group homes, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, foster care and sadly eventually jail- more out than in. I think in 12 years I had a few birthdays, two Christmases and one Easter at home. The rest? Institutional settings leaving each time choking back tears while trying to smile and assure him this was for the best. It really was. We (fiance (DF) and myself were told we were absolutely raising a psycho/sociopath who had antisocial personality disorder and if we wanted to give him any chance? This was how to do it.

    So fast-forward to age 16 and he is kicked out of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or Group home # I dunno - a lot, and pending jail charges for suspected I can't remember. We bail him out, bring him home from the hell-hole Group home and lay out the rules, consequences and it wasn't even fifteen minutes that he was home and we knew we had made a HUGE mistake. HUGE. Mosntrously huge. We just spent about our entire savings on bail, took him to breakfast on the way home from 1.5 hour drive one way - and stopped to get him necessitites, underclothes - a few outfits - all his had been taken...and WHAM----the "I will do what I want to do when I want to do it and you can say jack about it" guy showed his ugly head - I mean we had JUST had the family meeting about THE RULES.....and then Jerkface shows up - LIKE -----WTH? Thanks for nothing.

    So this persisted for about two weeks, and we finally found a placement for him - sent him off and I bawled. I will never forget thinking how sad he must have been as the state came to pick him up and the counselor told me later that day in fact our son said "Thank God you came and got me when you did - I don't think I could have spent another hour in that house with HER." - I was crushed, scared - I mean you'd have to have known him at the time to know - that could have meant anything and I was already sleeping in a locked room. So off he went. Then from there when he got kicked out - he went into foster care. He stayed there, and got in to MORE trouble with the law and somewhere in all that? I had a stroke. He was looking at 30 to life at age 16 - It was nuts. Foster care promised to watch him and basically collected a paycheck and said - be back by midnight.

    So when THEY couldn't handle him? They had a secret meeting and kicked him out and he was either going to be homeless -----and I mean in November....(and we did look at parks, shelters) and there was none open due to high unemployment or he would have gone. So we bit the leather strap again and brought him home- EVEN THE DOGS were back to being a wreck. The only thing that had changed this time? Was me. I was not so reactive to his BS, I had been in therapy so long I had a good control on my anger.....until that one fateful day I snapped after he called me names that were so foul my biker DF had his mouth hanging open ---and said things about me personally that were so derrogatory I just was in shock...some words you just can not ----and I mean not - over look - and what he said? Was foulest of foul. So I threw a handfull of change at him from across the room - WWIII ensued and now I'm farily certain my neighbors think I should be locked up - but the rock border around my flower beds was being lobed at my son who was out in my yard destroying my beautiful yard, bird feeders, bird baths - It was beautiful ----and he stomped it all down and pulled it all out - and kicked and broke everything and I threw 3lb rocks at him ---not near him AT him. DF tried to stop us and made the bad mistake of getting in the middle and after that? The two of THEM were trying to I was off my nut. Not joking. Years and years of being a fantastic, sacrificing, consciencious Mother - willing to do any and everything to save her son who constantly flipped her the bird of life-----came out and by the time it was done? My son all 6' and 180 lbs of him - was so freaked out that HIS Mother could twist and bend, and stoop to the same obscenities as gutter rats, while hurling boulders at his body? Just stood there shocked out of his pants. The ONLY thing that saved him that morning was DF telling him to get out of the yard.

    When he came back? He was still smart mouthed - and I was in no mood for a smart ***** apology... THERE WAS no apology you could utter -----I don't think years from now there will be an apology for this.....but I was shoving his stuff into trash bags.....and told him he was going - OUT --didn't care where......didn't care how. I had SOooo had it with him talking about "wonderful daddy disney" you know - the drug riddled, crack head, who sells drugs, beats women, dogs, and steals - lives off others like a parasite and then can't even send a nickle for his own child in 15 years on his own volition because I never asked for support. Yeah that slob...well he found him and he was GOING TO GO LIVE WITH HIM. I said good -----Took him to the train station - BOUGHT his ticket as a Christmas present - and told him to ENJOY -

    He came back two weeks later telling all the wonderful stories of Daddy Disney - How nice he was, and how great he was, and how he had missed his son due to the evil Mom. Then said he was going to live there. OMG NO,,,this just can't happen. The man is a virus. (sigh) Then I talked to a cousin who said "the man saw his son, stole his money and tried to beat him to death with a ball bat." AND THIS is the man that he chose to live with? WOW.

    That was nearly 3 years ago.......He got OVER the Disney part of Daddy - and saw him for who he really was/is. He finally had his 'out' with him or so I'm told and has written him and said "I want nothing to do with you ever again." and explained in detail why. It was very strong - and I'm proud of him. He's been on his own, making a way - not asking for a thing - except help with some clothes for an interview and a couple bucks every now and then. He has been homeless, tempted by drugs and alcohol, starving.....eating out of dumpsters, living in a park, showering at the beach........and no....That wasn't what I had in mind for him when I said - "You don't like it can have it ANY WAY YOU WANT===at your own place." But you know what? I was thanked, told I was right, told he understood my choices after years and years of fighting me (re: Daddy), and while it's not perfect? And I don't know what he's going to do? I'm detached from him, his problems, his crisises, his self-inflicted troubles......and the fall out. I get calls and texts regularly - they're nice, I get NICE long lasting conversations without rude language or behavior - and I showed him - What I would and WOULD NOT tolerate.......even if......EVEN meant loosing him....because the most important person IN YOUR LIFE -------has to be you - because NO ONE - is going to take care of you like you do, no one is going to CARE about you -----like you do. NO one will WALK on you ---unless you allow it - and that includes our kids. I didn't set the bar so high he couldn't reach it ----I just set it high enough -----so that someday? We could both jump over it together....

    What I can give him now? Is prayers....hope, encouragement, and an example of HOW to NOT allow people to bend your principals no matter who they are. He'll respect you for that more than you know .......and if he does not? Then you never really had the heartache that would have come with keeping him in your home and stomping on your heart with your permission.

    My point is ------I couldn't make my son understand his biofather-----or my choices. He had to see it for himself first hand. He did, and now a lot of that anger? Is gone. Sometimes they just need to go and do these things for themselves while you live your life - and eventually with hope ------you meet back in the middle and have a good rest of your lives.

    As far as what he feels for his Father? I would say that the anger? The anger he expresses to you? Is because he is very comfortable with you - and knows NO MATTER WHAT -----you'll be there for him. With the Dad person? He already left once, so he had better play it safe......and not upset him or he'll leave again. So naturally everything now that he WANTS to say to this man - but won't - is going to come back to you in some form or another. You don't see him screaming about his Dad to the guy at Dunkin Doughnuts right? ----Okay then good - because if /when that happens? Then you get him 911 to the ER.....past that? You just find a way to talk to him about things OTHER than his Dad......that chapter CLOSED in YOUR LIFE-----Give supportive but vague replies - like - You're a smart kid - you'll figure it out. I'm sure you'll think of something. Things like that. But I wouldn't ask a single ? or talk about his Dad to him -----nope. What he wants to know about his Dad? He should be asking his Dad.