Guilt Ridden

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jcs, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. jcs

    jcs jcs

    My wife and I just kicked out my 21 yr old son. 2 days ago. No work for 2 yrs. No school. Just finished HS about 5 months ago thru a correspondence HS. Has severe anger issues. Physical with his older siblings (24 yr old sister). Damages and breaks things at home. I know it was the right thing to do but I am extremely guilt ridden. My wife has disconnected emotionally. It's tearing me up. He doesn't have a lot of friends. Does have a girlfriend. Good girl. Trying to fix him. Help!
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board. I hate to wade in with questions, but here goes. Does he have any diagnoses? Has he ever been medicated? Has he ever been in trouble with the law and if so is he still under anyone's jurisdiction? Who is it that is trying to fix him?

    I hate to say it, but your wife is right on track being "disconnected emotionally". This is a grown man who physically harms the weaker people in your house. He shouldn't be there.

    Hopefully you will get plenty of advice on how to cope with the tumult. Can you post some more information about your situation so that we can offer more comprehensive help?
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    jcs, please post a signature. It will make your life here much easier to not have to repeat your story each time you post.

    That said, welcome. You might be guilt-ridden about kicking your son out but I get the feeling, even from your short post, that you tried everything and gave it a lot of thought before you did it. Please tell us more.

  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I threw my son out for the first time when he was 17. He came home shortly after and toed the line for a while. At 19, we made him leave again. This time he got himself in a lot of trouble. I disconnected emotionally but my husband had a hard time. Allowing him to suffer the consequence of his choices did more good than anything else we did including programs and hospitals and medications and doctors. He is by no means perfect, but who is. But he works everyday, is helpful around the house, treats the family with respect. It was a tough few years, but I know making him leave and allowing him to hit bottom was the most loving thing I could have done for him.
  5. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    We had to kick my dtr out when she was 18. As in Everywoman's case it turned out to be the best thing we could have done for her and the rest of the family. We had done everything, including sending her to an extremely expensive Residential Treatment Center (RTC) out in Utah, outpatient therapy, anti-depressants, etc. We were so focused on her and helping her that the other kids had to kind of raise themselves. There was no time or energy left for them.

    It wasn't til she had to leave home and we made it very clear she could never live with us again that she came around. She does not live the kind of life I envisioned for her when she was little but it is a life she has chosen and she no longer depends on us financially. We have a good relationship now because we are no longer enmeshed financially or emotionally and she is 3000 miles away so I can't rush to rescue her.

    I think you have done the right thing and it is healthy that your wife has been able to disconnect emotionally. You will get there too. Let us know how we can support you.

  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I kicked my Oldest out at 19. She still has many issues, but she has survived quite well really ... and my household was much more peaceful without her there.

    Based on what you've shared, I think you made the right decision. If he's not been working for two years, sounds like you waited a long time before coming to this .... so I imagine you are worn out. We've all been through the guilt.. but truly, some children leave us no choice. It would be much worse had you let him stay and continue his destructive behavior, worse for your household AND for him, because he needs consequences for his actions.

    Hang in there. Hope to read something from you again soon.
  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi jcs and welcome to our ranks.

    There comes a time when it is not only appropriate, but absolutely vital to show our children the door. The lesson that you are teaching him is that: you must work to eat, and you may not threaten to hurt those who love you. You may not destroy property.

    You have absolutely done the most loving thing you could do for your out of control son. Now he has to figure it out.

    Come here and post often. We're good listeners.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree it would be good to know more. How long has he been a problem? Is he on drugs? Is he delayed in any way?
    If he is refusing to get help, refusing to work, and destroying your home, you have no choice, for all of your safety, but to make him leave. If he is on drugs, a good resource is Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meetings where you can talk to other parents in the same boat.
    Welcome here, although I"m sorry you had to come.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board! As you can see you are not alone. This is a good place for support.
  10. jcs

    jcs jcs

    Thanks to all. Not sure how everything is posted and all but to share a few things about him... he's now 21 years old. From 10-14 he was hospitilized a couple of times for threats of suicide (verbal). Was diagnosed with major depression (but the dr wasn't 100% sure) Possibly bipolar but his readings were on the low end and the dr didn't think that was the case. Was on Welbutrin and others(?). Stopped said ok. I don't have a lot of confidence in these dr.s It seems it's all a crapshoot. But this is what we are dealt with. He was fine for a couple of years... and then was arrested for pot. He's been clean for over a year. Was diagnosed with ODD. I believe that is the correct diagnoses. He wants to come back home... but shows no remorse for his actions. I know this is the right thing to do BUT I am so fearful of what may happen to him. Is he able to cause harm to himself to others while he is 'out on his own'? What did you all do when he came knocking at the door and pulled all of the triggers to cause you guilt? How did you stay firm? We told him last night that he had to make some changes and 1 of them was to pursue counseling. That HE had to make the call and the appointment. I am so emotionally on a roller coaster. Thanks again for your assistance. JCS
  11. jcs

    jcs jcs

    I am trying to stay on the logical mindset. Could someone share with me what many of the abbreviations stand for? Also, I found a list of shelters along with a list of different counselors in the area that my difficult child can call. He HAS to make the calls. But I have got to tell you all this has been rather difficult. I have a job and responsibilities and this has affected my work. I've taken a day and a half off this week. How long did it take you all to go over the emotional freefall? Thanks for your support....jcs
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    John, if you go to the FAQ/Board Help Forum you will find out what the acronyms mean and all kinds of other things. Here's the link:

    As for how long it takes to get over the emotional freefall (great description), to be honest, some of us never get over it. You can't be hypervigilant day in and day out for years on end with it not affecting you long term.

    My difficult child's problems and the stress related to it ultimately cost me my 25 year marriage, among other things. Ex and I heard Rob's therapists tell us over the years to keep a "date night," to not forget the "US" in our marriage, to keep ourselves healthy physically and emotionally, but we didn't do a good job of it and it took its toll over the long haul.

    How is your wife holding up?

  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The only way I got through it was with support .... you might look up parents anonymous and get to a meeting. Even Al-anon, if there is a history of substance abuse. Tough Love, too. There are many support organizations to help you through this .. and of course, keep writing here... many of us understand.

    I kept (and keep) reminding myself of something a therapist said to me long ago (which I've repeated here many times) ... "what you do to help [him] now, will only hurt [him] later." It became my mantra at times.
  14. jcs

    jcs jcs

    Well, after seeking counsel with a few different sources my wife and I created a non-negotiable - zero tolerance list for my sons return. He told us that he would like to come back home. We met with him at a restaurant and was 'stone cold sober' - an impression that my pastor told us we need to exhibit-poker face if you will. He asked for our help. We had a good meeting. Did not pull any punches and told him to live in our house was a privilege not a right. For the first time in an awful long time he had remorse in his face. He tried to barter with some of the rules but we stood steadfast. We then told him to think about it for a day. (Hard part-I told him he couldn't come home for at least another day). We wanted to make sure he truly understood that we were changing the song and dance routine. He came home yesterday BUT he did not accomplish the first non-negotiable rule--that being an apology to his sister. I told him without this he could not stay. What he wrote to her BLEW me away. There was REMORSE in his words. Something that he has NEVER really done before. I know it's only a baby step but at least it's a step in I think the right direction. He has said that he had an appointment with an Air Force recruiter this Friday. I know I am rambling on but THANK YOU to all of you who replied to my fears... One day at a time. I am also going to seek counseling after the first of the year to address some of my weeknesses. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. John
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Was your son ever evaluated to identify the problems? Now he is a full adult that wouldn't be an option for parents to try to force but I am curious if with his earlier issues a neuro/psychiatric evaluation was done.

    Hang in there. You'll find lots of support here. DDD
  16. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    You have taken some very good steps toward re-establishing the rules in your home. It sounds like your son understands that this time, you are taking the lead position and sticking to it. I was impressed that you found the numbers and locations of local shelters. From what I can see, you are doing everything that needs to be done, and your son is listening. There is no magic answer for any of us, but taking control of our homes is a very important first step in regaining our own senses of self worth. I am sure the counseling sessions will help you and your spouse, as well. When we are faced with these kinds of difficult decisions regarding the children we love, it tears something out of US. Rationally, we can see why we must go forward in the way we have chosen. The day to day misery of the kind of parenting our troubled children demand is devastating. The decisions we require ourselves to make leaves us drained and broken.

    It has to be done, though.

    Allowing our troubled children to twist our words or dominate us (or their siblings) is not the right answer, either.

    I am sorry for your pain.

    I think you are doing the right things, and I wish you well.

  17. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    When I am having a difficult time with the present moment I "look back" to how I got where I am and where "we" got where "we" are...

    I like the book "How you can Survive when they're depressed" by Anne Sheffield.

    The good news is you are aware that your son is depressed. Self medicating
    has been around a long time and that IS why it is still everywhere today.

    The fact that he has 'been there and done that' and that he is SO depressed that he is still wanting to be at home.

    I would look to the evaluation now with a well esteemed psyciatrist. It is a gift that your son is aware he has a problem and he is wanting help.

    It use to be the adult or child with a disorder was hidden. I had one greatgreatuncle who lived in a chicken coop his entire adult life.

    The fact that someone lacks intrests is a sign of depression. We like to label people as "lazy" ect rather than reflecting on the fact that they are
    missing out on their oppertunities to enjoy everyday tasks and productivity.
    It is especially sad today as the entire motivation is to earn money and for those who lack the intrest in life the very interactions with others that are essential to do that is to challenging.

    Society does shun the depressive and mentally ill individual. Since the
    70's their has been little effort to even bring them in from the cold weather.
    The cost to treat these illnesses is inflated to unbelievably high levels when the "specialists" basicly are merely acting as pharmacutical technicians. It is so terribly sad that.

    I think as a family you could thank your lucky stars that you have a adult son who does know he is needing help. He may not "get over it" quickly and it may require some effort and trial and error to help him to learn how to cope with the illness now and through his life.

    I am wondering if the population density today and the access to education and the lack of jobs that occupy the low skill levels are in part how so many people are identified today. Infaltion makes the costs so high that it is an enourmous burden when a child or and adult is requiring care of any kind.

    Getting a diagnosis and treatment may mean that your son will ultimately do better than one generation ago when a low paying job and alcoholism were the sustainance of untreated mental illness.

    Perhaps he has some other underlining illness that has not been determined.
    Food alergies, or some metablism issue, maybe he needs to get out and walk in the early morning everyday, and maybe you and your husband could engage him in such a routene. Good for him and good for you. Getting enough excersise and enough sleep and having productive activities can lead a person to the self awareness and the inner creative nature.

    Anger shows fear and sadness and a person who is feeling angry needs incouragement. To be ill always feels scary. To be aware that one is facing a mental illness is lonily and scary and usually feels like there is no use.

    I do not understand the society belief that at some magic age a son or daughter is "on their own" our streets are filled today with members of families that just do not give a wit about their offspring. ANd if he is so ill that he is unable to work you can do alot to get him into the system and into housing and the care he needs now and if it is a lifelong thing he won't have to loose what teeth and health he has now befor his needs are checked.

    Mental ilness is not some inconvienance or a luxury item. it is real and left untreated it ruins a whole life.
  18. jcs

    jcs jcs

    Thanks for the comments. As far as allergies go, he was diagnosed with a corn allergy. One sign of a corn allergy is anger outbursts. Before we had him tested my wife commented that whenever he had cornpops cereal he was a little terror. As he grew into adolescence we experienced much more of it. Check it out. Look at all of the corn products in our foods --- it's overwhelming. Here's a thought....with all of the adhd diagnoses, are our children being flooded with corn? Regular dr's shun this. We went to a holistic dr a few years ago and while she was testing him the dr asked if he had problems with anger and stated an example. He looked at my wife as if she knew all about him. Thanks again everyone..John
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome John. :)

    You've taken the first steps in Detachment 101. It's a hard road, but we get it eventually. Even if we're not perfect at it.

    You've gotten some wonderful advice already. And I can't think of anything to add. But wanted to offer you a warm welcome.

  20. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I so understand what you are saying. We did the same for our son. It is so hard. I go to Alanon every Monday. I love the people that are there and it has saved my sanity. My son is living with another family of the black race. Anyway it was a long story and he landed a landscaping job with the family when he was out of work and basically on the street. They allowed him to live there while he worked with them. The man has had a drug problem and has been in jail, etc. he seemed to be trying to clean his act up. My son has had to pay them rent , buy his food and pay for somet things he never did at home - it has been so hard for me. I feel guilty that it has come to this but he has over the years destroyed our home, things have been stolen form his brother, he threatend us, had friends over while we were not here we didnt approve of - couldnt hold a job - right now he got his old job back - his boss is a saint - I still feel bad sometimes and wonder if we did the right thing but then I think back to the 12steps and know that we couldnt let him continue to destroy himself under our roof and destroy our household any longer. He is 25 now and has been using since he was about 15. I fear for his life and what will happen to me when something happens to him - I lean on my Higher Power for support and strength and I claim victory. I know how you feel. Hang in there. Keep coming back.