Enabling? Or just plain weak??

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Mouseyone, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    Hi All -

    I wrote a little while ago regarding my mentally ill son. He is 22. He has been hospitalized for the past 3 weeks, while I try to get him in a program called AOT where he is court mandated to take his medications. The court proceeding is tomorrow. He currently has a criminal court case which is ongoing. He was kicked out of my ex-husband's house for not following rules, drug abuse, and violent behavior. He now has a restraining order against him. Once at the shelter, he stole a cell phone from someone and proceeded to have a fight and got sent to the emergency room. He is totally non compliant with his medications and I fear once he gets out, he will just turn to drugs again. I have been considering renting a room for him as it is extremely cold in the eastern part of the US. But, upon talking with him, I realized that he has no self awareness about his condition or even care. He is extremely difficult to deal with, even while being in the hospital and medicated. My Momma's heart is having a hard time knowing that if I do not get him a room he will be homeless. I know he won't follow the rules of the shelter and could get hurt. I don't believe he will follow rules in anyone's home either. It is a difficult choice. Would I be enabling? This has been going on for about 4 years now. I am exhausted, on anti-depressants, medication to sleep as well as high blood pressure medicine. I feel as though I don't have anything to work with as he doesn't acknowledge any of his own doing in why he is where he is.
  2. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Technically speaking, yes you would be enabling. That being said, its about what you can live with. My wife and I fought with this particular issue ourselves although it wasn't nearly this bad weather wise at the time. In the end, we co-signed a six month lease for our son rather than allow him to be homeless. This was done when he had employment and with the agreement that he would be paying the rent himself. Less than a week after co-signing the lease our son quit his job. He never got another and never paid any rent. We ended up eating the whole six months rent but it did get us to summer where his mom had no issue with telling him to sleep in the park, rain wont kill you. We put the stipulation on the co-signing that if he screwed us on it we would never do that for him again. We've stuck to that. Do what you need to do to get YOU through the day and eventually, hopefully, you will be in a place where you can allow him to suffer the consequences of his actions. Unfortunately, this is the only way he will ever learn from his mistakes.
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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is one of those times when you need to listen to reason and not your heart. Please consider the long term effect. Getting him a room will not solve his issues and you could be putting yourself at financial risk. If he were to cause damage to the room you might be held liable for repair charges.
    Also, how long would you pay for his housing, a month, two, three, a year, the rest of his life?
    I know your heart is hurting but by paying for his housing is a temporary band aid.

    There are also rules at hotels and motels, no smoking, no drugs.

    Yes, this is enabling but you can only do what you can live with. Whatever you decide, there is no right or wrong answer but you must consider all the ramifications of doing this.

    Dear lady, you need to put your own health first. Please take care of yourself.

    This is the fork in the road we as parents come to. We can continue enabling them and allowing them to deplete our energy and bank accounts, or we can stop and choose to take a different path.

    Sending you ((HUGS)) and good thoughts.
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  4. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I think what is enabling depends on the situation. Do you think your son’s struggles with reality would keep him from being independent, even if he stayed sober? Could he even keep in his working knowledge the notion that his housing is contingent on medication compliance? Is he consciously trying to manipulate you so he can underfunction or use?

    Depending on the answers, it might not be enabling to help him stay housed. It would just be a parent helping to support an adult child too disabled to support himself.

    To Tanya’s points, though, is it feasible for you to house him long term? Is he capable of being a tenant?
  5. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Hi MO

    You have had a lot of great advice and guidance here. Do in your heart what you can bear to do.

    Be good to yourself and take care of your health.

    Dealing with a dual diagnosis is so very difficult. They can seek help if they choose to. You are doing everything you can. It is difficult when our hearts battle with our healed. That’s what breaks us down as parents.
  6. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    Thank you all for your replies. They really helped my hurting heart. It helps to know you are not alone. I am so very tired of fighting this battle. When I arrived at court, he was belligerent, unkind and then ignored my by putting his sweatshirt over his head. I had to testify that he needs his medication or he is violent. He then proceeded to tell the court that he doesn't live with me anyway. Once court proceeding was over, he let everyone know in the waiting room that I snitched on him at court and I was wrong. He was granted the court order, however, the court wants to know where he will live. I don't have an answer for that. He has been medicated for the past 3 weeks, yet still shows no signs of trying to acknowledge the disorder, or how it impacts his family. The way it looks now is that if I start taking care of him, it will be for the rest of his life and mine. It will be a constant battle still to get him to the doctor, to not do drugs. He does not care. My family thinks I should let go. I am having such a hard time with that. But, my health is at stake and it is getting to be a choice. I told him that I would arrange housing if he stuck to a program. He told me he only wanted to make enough money to manage his addiction to weed.
  7. RN0441

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


    Welcome and sorry you have to be here but glad you found us.

    What is your son's mental illness and how long has this all been going on?

    Do you have any support for yourself? A spouse? Other children?

    I would think it would be beneficial for you to get in to see a therapist for yourself to help you deal with your son's behaviors. You need to take care of yourself first. No matter how much we worry, it does NOT help our young adult children at all. I know I'd gladly worry more if it did.

    You will get good advice here and support. You are not alone.
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  8. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    Thank you RN - I have a daughter and husband who is not my son's father. I have been in therapy for the last year and 1/2. My son has schizophrenia. I believe it was bought on by his weed smoking. It seems as though his whole personality has changed.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    As I said in my previous post, you have to do what you can live with.
    What you have outlined is a life of misery for yourself to take care of an adult child that does not care about you.
    A hard truth to keep in mind is that you will not be here forever. What happens then? Here's how I look at it, by paying for his housing whether it's an apt. or motel room, you are prolonging the inevitable. At some point he will have to deal with his life on his own.

    Your family is concerned for your well being and health.
    There is a reason the flight attendant tells us to put on our own oxygen mask first before assisting a child. If you don't, you could pass out before you would be able to assist the child.
    You need to put yourself first. You need to take care of you.

    I think you have your answer here. It would be one thing if he expressed that he wanted to work on getting help or was willing to take his medications but he's not.

    You know your son, you know how this will play out. I know how much your heart is breaking from all of this, I've been there. All who are here have been there.

    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this.
    This journey we are on is not an easy one but you are not alone.

    The best thing you can do is to take care of yourself.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just read an article about schizophrenia and weed that was dated this year in some medical mag. I wish I had scribbled down the name of the magazine but I was sort of passing time in a doctor's office....sorry. it was interesting though. It stated that pot is proven to sometimes activate a latent schizophrenia gene and that nobody with schizophrenia should smoke weed at all. It is sad that your son is so dependent on his worse enemy. Sadder still that he can't be forced into treatment. I can't imagine your pain.

    If your son wasn't violent I would truly understand trying to keep him home as he is very sick. But his violence makes that unsafe. Someone asked if you live alone. Do you? Will he live in a home for the mentally ill.
  11. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    Mouseyone. I am so so sorry you are going through this. My son as well developed schizophrenia which I believe was brought on by drug use. We could no longer have him in the house due to violent episodes and the impact on the family. Add to that, he was kicked out of several apartments we rented for him due to noise, drug use and violent behavior. With an inheritance I went so far as to purchase a condo for him to live in while he sought treatment and went back to school. Guess what? Even that didn't work out. He committed a criminal act there, was given a restraining order etc. That was my end point. He did go to rehab and was finally diagnosed with schizophrenia and put on the proper treatment with the social supports as well. He now lives in a group home. Is this what I expected? No. But it is what it is. There are tough choices we must make. Only when I finally got of his way, and looked after me first did things begin to change. Be brave, be strong, we are all behind you but as others have said look after you first. Hugs!!!!
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  12. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    I sit here tonight and feel your pain, truly I do. I have no words of wisdom only to say that as hard as it is I wonder if you need to stand firm and not do it. I think that maybe it just moves the inevitable further along.

    My son (19) got thrown out of ours, both sets of grandparents, 1st houseshare leaving £3k damage, a friends mum for stealing, a homeless hostel for not abiding by rules and only today he has left his 2nd houseshare after being given notice at the weekend, once again for not abiding by the rules. Tonight he is once again homeless but is with his girlfriend for a night. Tomorrow who knows? It hurts. It hurts more when he asks why I won’t help him. He too does not seem to understand actions and consequences and I worry about his mental health. I ask myself ‘how many times? When will he get it? Understand?, where and when will this end’. He hates being alone and I hate it for him but what else can one do.
    Maybe, just maybe, as they sit alone with nothing and no one will they ‘get it’. It’s a gamble, a painful one and not one I am totally comfortable with but I have no more ideas for any of us! Hang in there, you are not alone!! Xxx
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mouseyone, I'm sorry you continue to struggle with your son's mental illness. My heart goes out to you. My brother is schizophrenic and my sister struggles with what we believe to be schizoaffective disorder, so I understand how difficult this is for you. My daughter struggles with some form of mental illness or conduct disorder as well. It is a very difficult path to watch our loved ones go off the rails when there is nothing we can do to save them.

    You may already be aware of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, but if you are not, you can access them online, they have chapters in many cities. They offer parent courses, which many here, including me, have taken. I'd encourage you to take their parent course, it offers guidance, support, information and resources for you and perhaps, for your son. If it feels right to you, give them a call. They may be able help you with options you have not considered.

    You may gain some clarity and solace from the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

    Try reading a book entitled, Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie as well, it's helpful.

    Meditation helped me. You can go on YOUTUBE and search guided meditations for letting go, grief, sorrow, acceptance.....it helps to quiet the relentless fears about or kids.

    Give this a lot of thought before you make any commitments. Look back at the last years, that is what is going to continue because your son is not willing to change. Ask yourself if that is what you want and if you are willing to take care of him WITHOUT resentment.

    As everyone has said, you can only do what your heart can bear. I know how hard it is to let go, I've had to let go of most of my family members......it's devastating. And, it is often necessary for our health and well being. Continue to look at options. Step back for now. Don't make any long term commitments. Give it time. Take care of yourself now.

    He's telling you what he is willing to do. It doesn't sound as if he has any commitment to his own health and well being.

    This is hard stuff Mouseyone. I know it sounds weird in the midst of your son's pending homelessness, but it is imperative that you take care of yourself now......it's good that you are in therapy, many of us here need that level of professional support. Make sure you cover the basics, get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, exercise, take walks outside so you can feel the sun on your face, put yourself in supportive environments where you feel seen and heard and safe....every step of this journey is filled with mine fields.....get yourself a solid support system, continue posting here, take very good care of yourself, develop a "tool box" of things you do when you are blindsided by your son's behaviors.....things you can do to make yourself feel better.....

    Hang in there, you're not alone. We're here for you.
  14. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    Thanks again all for your replies. It does really help. His doctor is pressuring me to find him housing or he won't get the Assisted Outpatient Treatment. He wants an answer by tomorrow. I am sitting with it and praying for clarity. The insight shared from others really does help.
    I know fully what I am getting into. It ultimately won't work. But the choice is am a willing to do it without resentment. (That may be a no - thanks Recovering). My mother and father were drug addicts - I took care of them. My son's father is an alcoholic - I left him. Now my son the most difficult of all. It's just horrific to have to make this choice. It's comforting to know that I am not alone.
  15. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I have posted a few excellent article here in the past regarding the up regulation and cause of Schizophrenia from cannabis. My son is psychotic on cannabis at times, I know the pain of this. If you can't find them in a search let me know and I will try to find them for you. Pot is not OK for everyone.
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  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry the doctors are so pushy with you. I don't have any real advice. I just wanted to send support.
  17. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    Thank you all. It is deeply appreciated.
  18. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    Annd....The saga continues.

    Son was discharged out of the hospital yesterday. Was sent to a shelter that deals with Mentally ill individuals. His father drove him to the shelter. He calls me today, saying that he didn't have a bed at this shelter had to go to their main intake facility. I happened to have the shelter information and called. I was told he needed to be inside the shelter by at least 9 to get a bed. He was there at 7. I was also told if he had gone through the intake, he would have had a bed. Prior to him meeting his dad, I offered to send him an uber to the facility. He didn't want that as he told me he was trying to sell something to get cash. I don't know if he had gotten high. When we spoke today, he played of course with my emotions - he has no where to go, I said I would get him a room. I feel as though I am being manipulated terribly. I also am sad. I am going to stand my ground and tell him to go back to the shelter. But it is difficult. But something has to change.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stand your ground Mouseyone, have him go back to the shelter. He will get better care at a facility that deals with Mentally Ill individuals.
    Nothing changes if nothing changes. Remember, he won't make the changes, you will have to do that and then perhaps he will or perhaps he won't...but all YOU can do is change yourself, his changes are up to him.......you don't need to go down the rabbit hole with him.

    Instead of putting all your energy into your son, take a break for a little while today and do something nourishing for yourself.
  20. Mouseyone

    Mouseyone New Member

    I am trying. Thank you.
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