Feeling heartbroken and helpless

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, May 30, 2018.

  1. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I've posted before about our 28 YO son but just a quick review: Biracial, adopted him at 4 mos. He has lived with us three separate times after college and finally moved to another state two years ago. Had an assault charge in early November 2017. Since then, we have found out that his birth mom was Bipolar and used substances during the pregnancy.
    Not knowing about the Bipolar background until recently, we assumed until the assault charge, that he was dealing with just regular depression. I also assumed that since he had no physical or learning disabilities that the drug/alcohol exposure had not affected him.
    He has now estranged himself from us. When I text him, he is verbally abusive, disrespectful, profane, and even blasphemous. He tells me that we never cared for him, did nothing for him, made him live in crappy towns (my husband is a pastor), and that we're miserable people who he can't stand. I don't even recognize this person anymore. I try and try to reach him and nothing I say has any affect on his rage, hostility, and abuse. I can tell him that we love him, that our hearts are broken, that we want his life to be good, etc. and I get, "I don't care at all," "F**K off" "I can't stand either of you." I have explained to him that he has the genetics of Bipolar and has been exposed to substances, and of course, he can't see it, and gets really angry. He wants nothing to do with us unless we're willing to give him money or help him get another car.

    I know that we have done too much. I realize that now. The fallacy is that you think, "If I just do this one thing, that will be the thing that makes the difference." Nope, that's wrong.

    I am at my rope's end. My husband has made the decision not to initiate contact but to only respond if he texts. I, on the other hand, don't seem to be able to stop myself from trying over and over and over, all with the same result. I end up being verbally assaulted and I feel like I am in a deep pit. The pain and shock of seeing this happen with someone we have loved so much is more than I can bear. I ask myself, "What was it all for? All the love and the sacrifices we made, what was it for?" I don't know what to do. I know that any contact I have with him ends up with me feeling like my insides have been ripped out, and my husband gets annoyed with me when he knows I've been texting our son. But I just can't seem to "let go." The thought that I may never see him again, never talk to him, and just completely lose him is incredibly painful.
    What is the right thing to do here? Other than fearing that I will never see him again, I also fear that if I step back and no longer initiate contact, that it will be like giving up on him and there will be no chance that he may one day get treated and be at least somewhat the person we loved. Sometimes I don't even want to live anymore. I would welcome any insight and counsel from those of you who have dealt with Bipolar adult children. thank you.
     
  2. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am so sorry for what are you going through and the pain this is causing you. Your son sounds like he is an angry young man, and of course when there are problems they blame us all. Sometimes, I think we need to step way back and change the dance. By you continuing to contact him he has the power over you and knowingly uses it to be disrespectful, hurtful and quite frankly abusive. People treat us the way we allow them to treat us. Do not allow this to happen as it wont stop. I would stop contact and let him contact me. Set the boundaries with him. I know now that you think you will never see him again, but chances are quite likely you will. Please get some help and support for YOU. You have another son who is in the picture and I am sure is heartbroken by seeing how much you hurt. You need to take care of you right now. Hugs.
     
  3. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    beta, please excuse the one fingered typing and grammar. i broke my arm badly in 3 places, so i haven't been posting.
    of course, this is heartbreaking and painful. i have two of three adult children who struggle with mental illness and who have been verbally abusive and are now estranged.

    i am sure you have been the best parent you could be, knowing that none of us are perfect. you will probably keep doing what you're doing until you are able to change your thinking. with that often comes both relief and grief.

    like you, i kept helping and reaching out. it was magical thinking that one more thing would make my two understand how much i love them.

    i now put the focus on me: counseling to challenge my readiness to feel guilt and blame, coda 12 step to work on boundaries, reading and posting here, self-care, and more.

    your son has his own path and higher power. you deserve kindness and respect.
     
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    This could be partly bipolar but may be largely the brain damage from prenatal substance abuse. I adopted a child who had substance abuse in utero and it affects them. It could also be attachment disorder...look it up. Common with adoptees. I adopted one kid who walked off after marrying and it's been fifteen years...haven't seen him since. Attachment disorder. He was in an orphanage for six years. He never felt a part of our family no matter how much we loved him.

    I have three other adopted kids of various races who are extremely close to me, including one who was substance abused in utero. But I also had the boy who walked away. Adopted kids have extra potential for problems. It is not your fault. I doubt if only one issue is going on with him. My substance abused son is very loving but he does have high functioning autism. Fortunately he is working, in his own place and gets adult supports.

    With our complicated adoptees, the answers are often difficult to pinpoint.

    In the meantime you need to take care of you and your other boy. You can do it. I think therapy is very useful. Try it?
     
  5. RN0441

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

    So sorry you are dealing with this and it is very sad.

    I agree with the others that you should get into therapy to work through your pain. I think a good therapist can help you see that this is not your fault and it's nothing that you did. Perhaps setting some healthy boundaries for your heart would help you deal with this. It could be long term or it could change at some point.

    In the meantime you should focus on your husband and your other son and things that make YOU happy. We cannot control our adult children. Period.

    Hugs.
     
  6. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I just want to say we are in a similar situation - not identical, but similar. In our case we are dealing with estrangement from two sons. Both are still minors - one turns 18 this summer and the other one is 16. They do not live with us, obviously. I am the stepparent and my wife is their biological mother.

    The older one simply ignores my wife's attempts to communicate with him via text. The younger one will either ignore or respond abusively, as your son does. Several times the younger child has called my wife to scream obscenities and hateful words to her.

    I am mostly detached from the situation as I have accepted there is nothing we can do about it. Obviously as their mother it's different for my wife. Like you she reaches out for contact even knowing that the younger one is likely to respond abusively, if he responds at all. Like you my wife worries that she will never see her child(ren) again. The reality is that probably, we will see them again eventually. But there are no guarantees and the fear is valid, particularly since neither child is willing to engage in any kind of therapy or other means of resolving their differences with my wife.

    All we can do, it seems to me, is go on with life and be happy. They will either choose to be part of our lives, or not. We cannot control our children's choices.

    I have no answers, just wanted to say that my family is going through something much like yours.
     
  7. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Thank you, each of you, for taking the time to respond to me and my pain. This site has helped me so much, just knowing we are not alone in this. I read and re-read posts, especially when I'm really down, to be encouraged and for resolve to be strong.
    I know a lot of what I think in my head is "magical thinking" and I know I am being co-dependent in many ways. Typically what happens is I will back off for a few days, or a week or so, and I'll start to feel better (sad but in an accepting way, not like this), and then I start thinking that maybe his heart has softened and that he might want to be contacted, and the whole sorry process starts again. It would be great to talk to a therapist, but it's not in the budget at this time, so this site is my "therapy" for the moment.
    Sometimes I wonder if my attempts to reach him are doing more harm than good and are delaying what God might be trying to do in his life. I wonder if he experiences no initiating contact from us for a period of time, if that might make a difference.
    Again, thank you for your encouragement and counsel. I feel stronger to back away and take care of myself, my husband, and our younger son. I will continue to check back.
     
  8. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I can only share my family's situation: the more my wife chases her children seeking contact with them, the further and faster they run in the opposite direction.

    I cannot speak for what might be motivating your son, but in our case, our sons do not love us and really, truly do not want us in their lives. At least that is the case now. Hopefully in time that will change. But we cannot control the past or future, or the behavior of anyone except for ourselves.

    When your son wants to contact you, he will.

    I hope your faith is a source of strength for you.
     
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    For me, I started out chasing after my son who married and left. His wife was a big part of the problem. I am sure it was her idea. But he was 28 and an adult and he went along with it. They archived my loving letters in the computer and made fun of me. Eventually with therapy I stopped and took solace in my four other loving kids and my husband.

    I am sorry. My advice...let him chase you.
     
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  10. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    My son just sent me several abusive texts, one after another. I replied that I would be willing to have a conversation but only if he is able to be civil and respectful. I told him not to text me with abusive and disrespectful text messages, that I wouldn't put up with it any more. Being on this site today gave me the resolve to do that.
    Yes, my faith is a source of strength for me. I know that God loves him more than I do, so I pray a lot. And yes, I think you're both right, I need to let him alone to discover what life is like without caring people in it.
    I don't know if he really doesn't love us or whether the Bipolar has taken over so much that he doesn't remember or feel love. Who knows. One thing I know is that I need to stop torturing myself with memories of him in his childhood, when things were good. The contrast is so painful. I have to keep telling myself that this is not THAT person; the person we knew and loved is gone, at least for now.
     
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  11. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    The hardest part for all of us is reconciling the loving, cheerful children we remember with the reality of who they have become - which too often is someone we don't recognize or even wish to know, frankly.

    Stick around - we ALL get it, and we're here for you.
     
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  12. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I feel for you. We also adopted our children and I think adoption issues add a whole other layer. It is also possible your son is using substances which may make his mental health issues worse. I know my son feels some anger towards his birth mom for giving him some difficut genetics. So your son may have some anger towards his birthmom that he is laying on you. It sounds like you have done everything you can to let jim know you love him and are there for him. My guess is he will contact you if he needs something. An alternative to a therapist would be a sipport group for parents either through alanon or nami. Letting go is hard but its important for you to live and enjoy your life no matter what he is doing
     
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  13. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I have a similar problem, but my adopted granddaughter is not really abusive, just inconsiderate. She doesn't contact us unless she needs something. She is "staying with friends" or friend of the week.

    I used to try to text her at least every other day. Now, I am down to once a week. I just keep it opened ended...hope you are doing well... You got some mail... We will be gone this weekend... Etc.

    I usually just get a "thanks" or "working quite a few shifts" "see you later"

    I try not to bring up anything... I try not to take the bait that she dangles. She tries to make open ended sentences... Like "I am really mad at..." Or "I can't stand so and so at work". I have learned if I ask what happened... I get a long story...and if I respond with suggestions, she has multiple excuses why it won't work.

    Also, I go to AlAnon because younger DGD has addiction issues... But it helps me so much with her older sister who is probably bipolar...as a teen she was diagnosed with mood disorder. Her mom also used massive amounts of alcohol. She has normal IQ, no facial features of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)...but has all the other issues....ADHD, ODD, very scattered an unorganized. Not able to follow thru or plan for future. Lives in the day... Not for next week.

    Keep praying... At night, I say a little prayer and "hand" it off to God.

    It's tough..

    Ksm
     
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  14. Deni D

    Deni D Member

    Hi Beta, I’m so sorry for all of the pain this is causing you. I can tell you about my situation, how I feel and what I’m doing about it. We are all different so take what’s useful, leave the rest.

    My son is Bipolar, 23 years old, was diagnosed at a very early age. Right now he’s not taking medication. From experience with him I know he is in what’s called a mixed state, that means hypomanic and depressed at the same time. Some people with Bipolar disorder behave in an angry, selfish, arrogant, verbally abusive way when they are unstable. They are not self aware and seem to not understand the effect of their behavior on the people around them. In my son’s case I know he has some control because he gets in trouble with people here and there but saves his really nasty mouth for me, the one person who he knows cares the most for him. The assault charge has no bearing on a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder, doesn’t mean he has it, doesn’t me he doesn’t. Also if he is Bipolar, if you had found out about it when he was younger that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be exactly where he is right now. My son had the best Psychopharmacologist for childhood Bipolar on the east coast, had tons of therapy and education about Bipolar, yet here we are.

    To hear my son tell the story of his life I never wanted him and let him know it every day. I paid no attention to him and “shoved” pills down his throat to keep him quite. I beat him up, gave him black eyes, locked him in the basement and so on. I threw him out of the house because that’s how I have fun, I messed with him and threw him on the street to watch him suffer.

    For a long time he spoke to me as if his “life’s story” is true and has come up with some real doozies to throw at me verbally. He has said things to me that were so outrageous and vile I will not share them here, but I’m sure you get the picture.

    Right now he is calm and respectful with me but is looking for what he calls a “full apology” from me, for me having him removed from my home in January and for his fictional childhood. I’ve told him if he goes to the therapist at least 10 times then I’ll go with him to have a discussion with him and the therapist but I’m not discussing it otherwise. We can talk about how his job is going and what he’s been up to and that’s about it. I do not reach out to him at all and limit the calls from him to about once a week currently. If, probably when, he gets nasty with me again then I will not answer calls from him for at least a couple of weeks and will hang up on him unless he is respectful. Also I no longer provide financial assistance to him other than uber rides and copays if he chooses to go to the doctors or dentist. He’s in an okay living situation right now and gets rides to a job he’s had for a couple of months so he’s not trying to guilt/shame me into providing for him. Since I had him removed from my house in mid January I have wanted to reach out to him but haven’t because I didn’t want to slip backwards from the agreement we’ve had in court.

    I remember though the years before with him when he was in the middle of one of his crises (always of his doing) and looking for me to rescue him how I would get served a load of nasty guilt tripping bull, or be told he was too busy to bother with me. At that time I felt that if I continued to show love and concern for him no matter how badly he acted towards me he would eventually get it. Kind of like the golden rule, treat people how you want them to treat you, I actually felt like I had to “show” him proper behavior, as if he was still a young child. But then little by little it dawned on me that if I was teaching him anything it was that he could treat those closest to him horribly and they were required to take it and be fine with it. I think it was also teaching him that if he made things bad enough for himself I would have to rescue him, because I did it so many times. I’ve also come to the realization that there is no need for me to debate reality with him. Any accusations thrown at me do not mean I need to address them, at all. I am convinced my son knows the truth but feels ashamed of himself for his behavior so he quickly goes to his stories. And with that, my not putting up with any more bad behavior is helpful to him so he’s not piling more on himself to be ashamed about.

    I was very worried too that he really would starve to death, be attacked and die on the street or commit suicide. So I wanted to talk to him to give myself a sense of relief, for just a little bit. And I thought if he would just listen to me he would have a much nicer life. But the bottom line is just as I can’t make him do anything I can’t keep him out of danger. As far as him listening to me, that’s not going to happen until if/when he’s taking care of his own business and not looking to manipulate me into rescuing him. Even though I hear from him now, prior I came to realize if he’s going to be okay I need to get out of the way. I came to terms with the thought that I’m good with the possibility that he never speaks to me again if that’s what he needs to stand up and take life on and take care of himself. And if that’s the way it goes in the future I’m still okay with it. I talk to God about him often and ask him to help. He’s come through with the stable living situation and a good male role model, for now, hoping my son doesn’t blow it.
     
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  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Just a heads up. Doctor's often call any bad, unstable behavior bipolar. Many doctors don't know that much about personality disorders. In time that should change.

    Bipolar alone, which I have a mild form of, is controllable quite well with medication and doesn't cause meanness. I am not mean.

    If medications don't work, chances are you are possibly dealing with either antisocial personality disorder (aversion to rules, abuse, tricky, not nice or caring unless it serves them, lack of empathy), narcisism (love of self more than anyone, lack of empathy, abuse, vile behavior) or borderline personality disorder (moody as hell but moody anger does not go away with medications, nice one minute and horrible the next, fear of being alone, self harm, lack of empathy and very often misdiagnosed as bipolar or co existing with bipolar). Horrid behavior that is off the charts with no caring is not bipolar, and won't go away with medications. These Cluster B personality disordered people need to know they are sick and gets years of therapy to change. It is not a parent's fault if a child develops this. Safety is important with this. All three can co exist with bipolar but the bipolar is quite treatable.

    Watch out for your interaction with your son and maybe I am wrong (shrug). These personality disorders are more new and many doctors are not as familiar with them as bipolar so patients are nabbed as bipolar when it isn't true or is not the whole picture. And personality disordered people can be dangerous.

    I have borderline in my family. It is very difficult.

    Love and light.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so sorry Beta, your heartbreak and despair are obvious.

    There are no easy answers to how to respond when someone we love wants nothing to do with us. I would encourage you to seek out counseling, or any form of support which works for you. Perhaps contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they offer excellent courses for parents. As others have mentioned, Al Anon, Families Anonymous or Narc Anon are very helpful for some members.

    Unfortunately, you've allowed your son to hold your life hostage with his behavior......which in addition to the profound grief you feel, only adds powerlessness, fear and guilt. We have no control over how others behave or respond, we only have control over our own responses. It's challenging to change our responses, however, it is necessary if we want a quality of life, joy, and peace of mind.

    My sister, whom I raised, had been diagnosed with Bi Polar, Aspergers & a few others. She blamed everyone in my bio-family for unspeakable abuses when she was in her mid thirties.... ....previously, everything was fine.....one by one we were all blamed and then cast out. 18 years ago she threw me overboard completely. It broke my heart. She refused to speak to me and told everyone lies about me. We were completely estranged for those 18 years. She contacted me recently to give me a blow by blow account of my "crimes" and now wanted me to own them and apologize. I talked to my therapist about it and read her the actual text my sister had sent with the description of the alleged abuses. My therapist told me that in her professional experience, she believed my sister to have Schizoaffective disorder which produces specific kinds of hallucinations which ended up fitting perfectly with my sisters beliefs and accusations. It all started to make sense.

    That piece of knowledge about the schizoaffective disorder liberated me out of the lifelong quagmire of mental illness which captured my parents, 2 siblings, quite a number of cousins and nieces and nephews..... and my only child...Throughout my life I was stuck in the enabling, the caregiving, the relentless struggle to find out what I did wrong, or what I could do, or what I didn't do, or what I should have done, or something, anything where I would have the power to heal/fix/repair/help/ so that the deep and unrelenting guilt, fear, worry and sorrow I felt would subside. Somehow finding out that my sister likely has this illness which produced dramatic and cruel hallucinations was what it took for me to truly understand, right down to my toes, that this has NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS, I DID NOT CAUSE IT, I CANNOT FIX IT NOR CAN I CONTROL IT.

    Mental illness is a family issue, it impacts the entire family and can fracture it. It is very difficult to see clearly and determine the correct course of action. However, what I've learned over 60 some odd years living with mental illness all around me, is that you cannot allow someone to use their mental illness as a battering ram to your heart.....you cannot allow them to get away with cruel and manipulative behavior. You must have strong boundaries and respond in clear and extremely straightforward ways. Sometimes it requires disengagement. As our resident poet Leafy says, LOVE SAYS NO.

    Beta, you matter too. Your life matters. Your feelings and heart matter. It is not OK to allow another, whomever it is, to treat you the way your son is treating you. He has told you what he wants. For whatever reason, drugs, mental illness, just being a big jerk.....it almost doesn't matter why.....the bottom line is you don't deserve it and one reason we take it is because we believe on some level that we are to blame, or we could've, should've and didn't give them what they needed. But it doesn't work that way. You loved him and gave him a good life. What he does with it is up to him, not you. The past is over and the future isn't here yet......all you can do is stay in this moment and do your level best to accept what you can't change.

    Give your son over to your perception of a Higher Power if that feels right.....get as much support as you can, keep posting, read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here, read the book Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie, it's a good resource book.......focus all of your attention on your needs and your desires....find where your joy is and do what brings you joy......

    Hang in there.....we understand.....you're not alone.
     
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    Last edited: May 30, 2018
  17. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    To those of you who responded yesterday, thank you for sharing your stories and your insight. Each of your stories are sad to hear, and I grieve for you, as well. Many of the insights and counsel you've shared are things that I have (slowly) come to realize. But it's a process I guess. Some days I'm good, others not so much. I am looking into talking with a counselor in a nearby town who actually has reasonable rates, even if its only for one session, just to bounce this off of someone with experience as a mental health professional. I think when I contact my son, I may be doing more harm than good. It's definitely not good for me to be verbally assaulted, but I think it is also harmful for him. I have resolved to step back and just pray and wait for the time being. I think that eventually he will contact us on his own. We'll see what happens.
     
  18. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    HI Beta, I am sorry for what you are enduring. It is so difficult when our adult children go off the rails. It is a train wreck that we cannot stop. Take the time to honor your feelings. I think that is so important, allowing ourselves time to grieve.
    Going through a similar journey with my two, I understand how devastating this can be. Whether it be drugs, mental illness, or a combination, it is a shock to the system when our beloveds travel this path. I can say that it is more difficult than having a loved one pass. There is a way to get through to the other side, that starts with allowing yourself time to grieve and understanding that you didn't cause this, can't change or control it.
    Do little things to lift yourself up, when you have the strength. I found it so helpful to give my two back to God, knowing that I cannot control what their choices are. They are out there somewhere, living their lives, and I ask daily that He look after them and help them to realize their potential. That has helped me to the point where I can look back at those good times, and be thankful for what we once had, know that the good memories I have, are also within them, somewhere. If my mind wanders to the terrible awful things that may happen to my two, I pray. It helps to calm me, and take away the worry, which does nothing to help anyone.
    This is what I am focused on now. I think too, of the blessings that I did have raising them, so many people either can't have children, or lose their young children to illness or unforeseen circumstances.
    Our adult kids grew up and made choices. Some folks here have been fortunate to be able to get their loved ones to accept treatment, and they turn a corner. There are those of us here who are on a different path, due to their beloveds continued missteps and choices that lead them elsewhere.
    That is my story with my two. I figured out awhile back, that I was not the one to "fix" them, and putting my life on hold until they decided to choose differently, was not an option.
    No amount of sacrificing self on our part will change things.
    I keep writing this to parents in our situation. It is a reminder to me, too. What we wish the most for our adult children, is that they take good care of themselves, live a good life, find peace and joy.
    My two are out there somewhere finding their way. It is not what I had imagined when I was raising them.
    When they started down this path, they seemed to lose more and more of their true selves.
    So did I. I became lost, despondent, depressed, angry, anxious. I wanted things to change, and thought that I could be a part of that. There was and is nothing further from the truth. My two have shown me over and again that they will choose as they please, no matter what I wish, no matter what is happening in my life.
    Our adult children have a way of trying to place blame on us, the way they were raised, our parenting mistakes, for their choices, or their ill treatment of us. For a time, I reeled those tapes and would find times that I wished I had done better. The fact is, no one is perfect, and yes, I did make mistakes along the way.
    My well children helped me through this.
    I cannot change the past. Whatever my children choose in their adult lives, is their responsibility.
    It came to the point where I realized that going down with their "ship" made absolutely no sense at all. I envisioned myself as a lighthouse, standing stalwart and strong upon the cliffs, shining my light. Or, as the captain of my own ship, finding my way through the storm and hoping they will, too.
    That is my mission now, finding my way back to my self.
    We have this one shot at life. Life is short, often times we face hardships, but it is still beautiful.
    Even though our kids may be floundering, we have our own lives to live, as they do theirs.
    It is a large dose of it is what it is.
    You can do this Beta, grab your life back and set your course.
    I believe that is the greatest thing we can do for ourselves, and our beloveds.
    Showing them by example, that no matter what happens, despite all the odds, being true to ourselves, living the best rest of our lives, is possible.
    My deepest sympathy and understanding goes out to you and others like us, who face this challenge. Learning to let go is a daily exercise.
    Some days will be harder than others, but each step we take, be it therapy, reading, posting, exercising, practicing self care is a step towards regaining our strength and finding our peace.
    You have a small army here, standing beside you.
    You are not alone, we all understand how hard this is, but you can do it.
    You matter, your life matters.
    (((HUGS)))
    Leafy
     
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is much grief in the process of learning to let go of the behaviors and choices of our adult troubled kids. In my experience it is imperative to allow oneself to honor and express this grief because to not allow it, invites it to stay on, unconsciously running and likely ruining our present lives. One of the biggest pieces of grief for me was to let go of the dreams I had for my daughter....and in doing so, it became clear to me that they were just that, MY dreams for her. She has her own dreams about her life which are very different from mine, however, I learned to acknowledge and honor them which became quite a bit easier as I let go of MY dreams for her life, which like most of us, began the day she was born.

    I'm glad you've chosen to attend at least one private therapy session. Remember that many therapists do offer sliding scale so you might ask your therapist if that is an option. If that doesn't work, you can check out these sites for therapists in your area and perhaps some of them will offer sliding scale. Look for "finding therapists."
    goodtherapy.org
    The Psychology Today website
     
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I do not have time right now to respond at length or read the other replies but want to send hugs.

    Our situations are very similar. Son 29. Drug exposed. Both birth parents drugs. Both parents diagnosis. Son also off the rails in late teens. Me: the same torment and heartbreak as you.

    That said. I say this to both if us: if there was ever the time for your faith it is now. If there was ever a moment for prayer it is now. If there was ever the need to surrender it is now.

    The fear. The loss. Desperation. Heartbreak. You are writing the end of the story. More. You are trying to control the story.

    You know this: these are not our stories to write. We write our own stories with our lives. Here, in this place, is your potential for control. Your place. The worth of your life. How will you act? Given this great challenge presented by life?

    This is what my son would tell you: mom. It's existential.

    While mental illness is certainly a factor. While drug exposure is certainly a factor. What is also a factor is their histories. That they need to come to grips with their stories. And overcome them.

    The abandonment. In my son's case the rage about abuse, about having been damaged by parents drug abuse. His mocking me for rescuing him. accusing me as motivated by the need to redeem myself. Finding a sense of value.

    All of this they are having to work through. And us with them.

    Oh. how I know how hard this is. Oh how I know the despair.

    We have to find ways to live centered in ourselves. Not them. They cannot carry our need. Not of them. Nor of our need to be reassured. That all is not lost.

    Our lives are valuable. We are valuable. Without condition. With or without them. Just as they are to us.

    We are really on the same journey as are they. To connect with our intrinsic belovedness, independent of our stories. In spite of them. Happen what happens. In a 12 step group these hard, hard moments would be celebrated as lessons. I am thinking of going.

    Take care.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018