First new thread in a while....hoping for support.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Copabanana, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    About 6 weeks ago my son arrived back here at our house from the residential treatment center. After 2 months gone I agreed that he could come back here provisionally and with conditions. He felt where he was (the 2nd of 2 facilities) was not worth being in, and I was concerned about the costs that were mounting.

    The conditions we imposed were few (but really, I admit it--inappropriate and unenforceable.) After all, he is 28 years old and has a right to live as he chooses. I get that.

    The conditions: no marijuana or drugs in my house or near me. Get into treatment. Take care of your health (liver) and do something productive or work towards it. Meanwhile he agreed to work for us.

    He did work for us (half-heartedly most of the time) but as far as I can see did not do much else. 11 days ago I confronted him and gave him an ultimatum--that he would have to leave. He had done nothing. He was heavily using the marijuana.

    We gave him 10 days to get a clean drug test, and get a therapist and an appointment.

    Yesterday was D day, the day we had specified he had to have arranged therapy and get drug tested. He replied, there is no point as he would not be clean. He said he had not used in 4 days and that we should trust his goodwill. He said he was trying hard to find a therapist, but nobody returned his calls except one person (are you laughing yet?) Somebody was willing to see him in about 3 weeks, but it was tentative. I looked up the Blue Cross website and I saw that there were 74 therapists within a 1 hour drive and 34 in my town that were preferred providers and countless more that were not.

    M is afraid that my son will descend into heavy drug use if we push him away again (as did his own brother.) I am afraid that if we do not push him away I will have a deadbeat middle aged son living with me for the rest of my life. I care less for myself than I do for him. After 18 months here on CD, I have not, it seems, yet gotten the essential point.

    I had led on this post with a description of a painful event with my sister that just occurred. I have moved that piece of the post to FOO where it rightfully belongs. I had reached out to her and she rejected me, tidily and completely. If anybody has time or inclination to read that post, I would be grateful.

    I think the central point that underlies both of these circumstances, with my sister and with my son, is this: I am the one with value here, which is not to say that they do not. But I am responsible only to protect myself. Their own value is their own concern. Not mine. Unless I decide to hurt them which I have not. I am the central person of worth and whose worthiness needs to be protected and extended.

    If this is threatened by any body at all I need to be defended and protected by myself. Not in any hurtful or self-justificatory way, but by my own esteem and acts of kindness and affirmation towards myself. Not because I am better or lesser, but because I am worthy as any other person is. No more than that.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son just called. He said he found a therapist who will see him next week once his insurance is verified. He wanted to come home.

    I told him something like this: I do not have the strength anymore for this. I realize it is inappropriate for me to request/demand you do things that you do not want to do. You are a grown adult who can do what he wants. No mother can or should make conditions about your life. I can only make conditions about my own life and space. And it is all too much for me to want things for you that you do not want for yourself, and to have to do battle with you over conditions in my own home. I have grown weary wanting for you what you do not want for yourself.

    He tried to speak but could not find the words. I guess there was nothing more really to say after words no longer worked.

    I gave the phone to M. They spoke a minute or so. I heard M say to him, Ok, come.

    M said, he really wants to change. The next drug test will decide things.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2016
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    We had something happen here on a much smaller scale.
    Daughter was breaking rules, being impulsive, ungrateful, obnoxious and so forth
    We presented our daughter with a small compromise on our part, but also set boundaries for her to follow.
    Hubby and I discussed the real possibility that she would walk away and decided that this would be difficult, but we would live through it.
    By some miracle, she took the bait and is obeying the boundaries.
    I'm not sure if it was our attitude (sort of like going in to buy a car and wanting a good discount and being very willing to walk away if you don't get it)
    What is terribly upsetting, is I know in our case, I never ever ever know how long these "things" will last.
    A week from now she might become manic and decide not to follow the rules...decide she is a full functioning adult (NOPE) and shouldn't have to live within out boundaries.
    I suppose I'll cross that bridge if and when and when and when I have to.
    I like the idea of regular + irregular drug testing for your son.
    Love the idea of him seeing a therapist and being productive in some way, shape or form.
    Maybe he could work 3 or 4 days a week. Have one full day off for therapy and time to relax.
    He is unwell mentally. HOpefully, if he has time to relax, but not TOO much time, he can do a little better. Perhaps a part time job in a field he likes would be better. Working at Whole Foods PT? Plus weekly therapy. Some combination that will keep him busy/productive and give him time to process all his issues/needs. Tough calls.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you for responding, Nomad. I hope you are well.
    Sounds good, Nomad. Thank you for your support. I think they really do get it when we are at the point almost of indifference, truly accepting that the consequences are their own, not ours.

    I am not there yet but my son seems to understand that I am weary and fed up and no longer want to carry the burden for him. That I cannot.

    As far as regular work for him, he is fearful of losing his SSI. While he talks about It as temporary, he seems to have been unwilling or unable to make a plan and sustaining action that will lead him away from dependency.

    I am glad to see that your daughter Is playing ball. What ever happened with the older lady who befriended her?
  5. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Copa, you are one of the most thoughtful posters here.
    I wish I were half as inciteful.
    It sounds as though you are on the verge of a break through as far as setting a firm boundary with your son. I don't know who M is, but it sounds as though your inclination to not allow your son back in has been vetoed. Was that okay with you?
  6. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Copa...your line of thought is right on.

    As one of those families who has "let him back home", we learn everyday. It is not over..we learn everyday.

    It is beyond painful seeing them DO NOTHING, not only for themselves, but for future and current family assisting them.

    Random drug testing is great..we do it, now his job does's a double consequence...home and job could be lost.

    I will read your other post...hugs
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  7. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member


    Maybe it is time that your son apply for subsidized housing from the state, which would allow him to be independent from you. He can then make his own rules to a point, and you won't have the stress and struggle of trying to regulate his behavior when he doesn't want to change. It takes a long time to get housing, so it would be good to get started sooner rather than later.

    At some point, he needs to be able to live without you and M, since neither of you will be around forever.

    In the meantime, his going to counseling is a great step! Sounds like he is trying to comply in some way.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Copa, thanks for sharing with us. I think what you told your son was the truth with love. I'm glad he's willing to now see a therapist.
    My concern and note that my concern is for YOU, is your son is only willing to do this at the 11th hour. I appreciate M's concerns, however I wonder if it's just fear that is driving them, fear of what happened to his brother will happen to your son.
    This is such a delicate dance. How much to help and is it really helping or is your son continuing to manipulate. If your son truly wants to change then he will put forth the effort to work with his therapist and stop using drugs and only time will answer that.
    The ups and downs, twist and turns that our adult children bring into our lives is something we all could easily just close the door on only it's not that easy. We say "that's it!, I'm done" and we give them another chance. Some might say we are weak for doing this, I don't think that's true. The timing of when we are truly done is very personal and unique, there are many contributing factors. I lost count of how many "2nd" chances I gave my son.
    My heart goes out to Copa as you continue to traverse this journey. One thing I do know for sure is you have grown much stronger than when you first came here and you are putting yourself first.
    I'm keeping good thoughts for your son that he truly will put in the work needed to turn his life around.

    ((HUGS)) to you dear lady!!
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  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you everybody for your wisdom and for your support.

    Somebody asked about M, who he was, and how I felt about being overruled by him. (I am headed out of the house and do not have time to search back, who, for their direct quotes. Sorry.)

    M is the man I have lived with for almost 8 years. While he met my son when he was 18 or 19, he has become like a father to him, and is considered such by my son, who I adopted as a single Mother, when he was not yet 2 years old.

    You see, M's voice, represents one part of myself. How could I not fear my son hitting bottom, more than he has? How could I not want to fight for that part of my son to strengthen that will have hope and fight and motivation? How could I not want to keep my son close to feel the deepest love for him, which is the greatest love of my life?

    Except I grow weary. It is my heart that breaks, daily, or at least weekly. M has his own children, lots of them, who are almost all of them whole and successful--who largely reject him, partly because he left the family due to marital problems and partly for M's often difficult and harsh personality.

    So our lives together are a second and third and fourth chance for each of us. In a sense our relationships, our inter-relationships are defined by hope.

    So how can I veto and not support the very spirit that has defined our lives together?

    That is how I feel about being overruled by M. He speaks to my best and strongest self. Hope and love.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Apple. Many times I have suggested my child apply for subsidized housing, and he has balked. I guess I could try to force him, but...

    I think he resists independence. He wants to be near us.

    He speaks about SSI as being short-term and expects that he will get it together within the next few years to be able to leave the support behind.

    Contradictory and paradoxical.

    I think he is in the process of deciding to take a stand about himself and his life. At least that is my hope.
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Copa, I wish I had words of wisdom. I'm afraid that right now I can't be objective. As I sit here typing, I'd give much for my son to be back, willing to go to therapy. I'm feeling rather lost right now. But you know, no matter what, you have my prayers and my support.
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  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Of course, they will never do what is in their best interests.

    Life would be much easier for them if they would, but then, they wouldn't be difficult....sigh.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Our daughter is also very afraid of losing her SSI. She absolutely does need it and relies on it, so I can understand this. I think you can earn up to $800 a month and still collect disability. I'm unsure if the number differs depending on the state or if this is a federal law. Interestingly, in our particular case, I don't think our daughter could work more than a maximum of 10-12 hours a week. Even this could be tricky/taxing. So, I have suggested that she try to find a job of approximately 10 hours a week. She is mentally ill and has a mild-moderate physical disability due to brain surgery.

    Perhaps your son could work three days a week for M and have one day to go to the therapist. He can have one day for something else like to go to the gym, a hobby, cleaning his place, etc. Bottom line...a routine that would be simple, but allow him to take responsibility for his life. Maybe he could be paid a stipend. Of course, none of this works if he doesn't buy into it and in my humble opinion if he is not GRATEFUL for such a wonderful opportunity. Lack of appreciation / gratefulness seems to be a running theme with "our" kids.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you for responding, Nomad.
    Nomad, hi.

    Except the problem is, at least with my son, he believes that by demonstrating any capacity to work--he sows the seeds of complete loss of benefits. There is such disinformation and gossip out there about just what will happen, in this situation and that--the whole idea of working (and reporting it) even for an hour--he runs from.

    That is why we never paid him for working, but did help him and bought a nice gift.
    You are right. The core amount paid by the federal government is the same across the country. I think not much more than $600. But each State can offer a supplement of sorts; my son receives slightly more than $900.00
    M is refusing to let him work for him. My son is arrogant and at heart indifferent. Frequently he will use the necessity to work for M, as the excuse for not doing essential things for himself. Nothing gets done and he can fly the flag that it is our fault--or he can avoid working by saying he needs to take care of his own essential needs.

    He obfuscates and he denies and he creates chaos. Better to have things simple: don't help us. Don't work with us at all. Take care of your own life, in the way you choose. Except keep this in mind: no drugs; until we decide otherwise, nobody in the apartment with you; clean the space and keep it clean; reimburse me for utility bills; for an indeterminate time, you will not pay rent.

    But for that hand up you are expected to make a life for yourself that involves productive work of some sort, constructive social relationships and recreation, and goals. You can determine what you do and how to do it.

    But I determine if and when your efforts prove unsatisfactory to me, this agreement ends, just as you have no commitment to me. You can leave any time you wish.
    You see, Nomad, this is exactly the problem. He is not grateful. Not only does he see it as his due, he believes we are so stupid and feeble-minded that he can confuse us and enchant us with a few flashy words.

    Like "therapist" or "college" or "martial arts" or see, "I don't owe anything." All of this means (I will translate here): Both of you are idiots who I can control and deceive. I know everything. You know nothing. And your only reason to be in my life, is to serve me. Remember that and remember your place: I am in charge of you.

    And his favored tools to do this:

    divide and conquer.
    repetition to wear us out.
    confusion and obfuscation.
    intimidation and sarcasm to inspire anger, and resulting capitulation.

    His favorite, of everything: in the end of the day they will obey me because they love me and they are afraid. They do not want me in danger or dead.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son with autism and social security is allowed to make $1100 a month. Hee has two part time jobs

    Sonics friends tend to have some challenges but they ALL work. Many, like Sonic, live alone and do not seem to be overly needy not do they feel sorry for themselves.

    I think a lot of how they face challenges is personality. Many people with no real challenges complain more than them and work less.

    This comment is not for copa but for all. My oldest, brightest son has a victim mentality and is sure the world is his ememy. He is not a hard worker, in spite of a good job
    He wants me and his father to solve his problems. He is almost 40. He demands advice then scorns it and gets abusive. Personality.

    My other three kids are fighters. This one only fights us, the parents, and won't claw and dig to make his life better. He'd rather blame others.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  16. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    ^Does he not win a lot of money because that is a amazing job he has. I love those kinds of jobs there the best. I keep telling you suggest your child to find low stress jobs where little to not work is done like security guard, maintenance man a IT guy you know things like that.
    They will get rewarded for almost no work like they want and no more asking "mom" for money.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My oldest daughters SO is in IT. Take it off the list of no stress. He has to perform well each day, get along well with his boss and co workers and fix everything thrown at him. Since IT is overcrowded, there is always somebody younger, who they can pay less, to take his place. It has happened. I know he is tired when he gets home.

    Heck. I am a restaurant host and I come home dead tired. Its VERY phyical.

    One of my duties for my minimum wage, which I accept happily, is to be very kind and friendly to the customers. I love it. I am having a spiritual awakening and believe that the Universe is God and I am here to live in this life and that our energy or consciousness live on and and that we come back. My job allows me to make others smile and laugh, but it's not an easy job in all. Still, it is fun.

    There are few if any easy jobs. Life itself is a job that many of our loved ones struggle to perform. Every job has expectations, even restaurant work, including hours you may not want to work and many employers drug and alcohol test and don't want pot users even if its legal. That is the employer, not laws about what is legal to use. That is perfectly okay in the U.S.

    I am so thrilled and happy with my.non denominational spiritual awakening so I elatedly spoke of it, but please....

    .In no way do so mean to change anyone's path. I respect all beliefs even if they are not mine. To me my path was proven to me. But all kindness for any reason is good for us and everyone else we know. And anger, jealousy, defeat is no longer in my life as I see everything as a lesson that we signed up for pte-birth. And I don't believe we die.

    Letting go.of an outcome that is bigger than us is a huge way to find peace, regardless of your beliefs or even if you are an atheist. The more you let go, the happier you are because you know your children are on the path that is supposed to be. They can change it, but they must go through it. Or they wouldnt.

    Trying to control our kids is exhausting and, as many have seen, useless. Let go, let go, let go. What happens is up to the other person as we all have free will.

    Love and light to everyone. We are strong. We can do this. It is supposed to be this way or it would not be.

    Hugs! Love yourself today. A lot. You are all brave soldiers and kind people. The law of attraction. Look it up. It is so true :)
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi A Dad: When you tell me, I listen. When I tell him, he does not.

    You see, he wants to keep the free money coming in from the government, as long as he can. There is a disincentive to work, or to work on the books, where the earnings will be reported. As by working, he fears he will demonstrate that he can work, thus the money will be cut off.

    He could work and earn some money, but there is a lot of paranoia and gossip going around that creates fear--to do any paid work at all.

    I fear that it is a circular process--as long as he gets the money he will remain arrogant and it will did-incentivize working. And he will not work, and remain arrogant, and stuck.

    I have kicked him out of the house again. What else is new? He is out in the cold without a coat, a sleeping bag, and I fear, with no money. I do not know where he is, and he has no phone. What he does with his money, I do not know. It is mid-month. He should have money. I did not ask for rent. He said his debit card was destroyed. We thought it was a ploy to stay here. What if it wasn't?

    He has always landed on his feet. But you can understand my fear, and my anguish. I miss him so much. There is no place to stand in this place where we live.

    As always, thank you for your response, A Dad.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Copa, I'm sorry. It's always hardest when they first leave. You'd think they'd move out on their own eventually just because of the uncertainty of whether we'll let them stay for long. But I guess where we see uncertainty, they see a short-term solution. I'd be worried to death if I was constantly under pressure of the possibility of getting kicked out. But they see it as "well, I'll have a roof for as long as I can and worry about it if it happens."

    I've been so worried about my son in Colorado. He finally called this week, and he's staying in a dorm with some college girl he met and seems to be fine. At least, he called to tell me about the $12 cheeseburger he ate that was "the best cheeseburger ever". :rolleyes: If I were homeless I'd be spending my time looking for stability. He apparently spends it looking for the perfect burger.

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  20. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Well what is the point of being homeless without the perks. :D