Heavy heart

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by life2day, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. life2day

    life2day New Member

    I watched my son walk away yesterday after having police assistance removing him from his grandmother's home. He isn't supposed to be there due to a volatile past with her. It killed me to see him walk down the street with everything he owns in a backpack. He kissed me on my cheek before he left and said I love you. I only could cry and stumble the words I love you. My son is 24 and has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia....this time. In the past it has been bipolar, and post traumatic. I really don't know if the doctors even know. My son is paranoid and quick to anger usually resulting in something broken. There is a long dark past with my son that needless to say has left him homeless. I hurt every day for him and I am so helpless as his mother that my own guilt for his life now eats me up. I know I am not to blame but I don't fully believe that. I have never done an online thread before and honestly not sure how much I will participate or need responses but for what it's worth it helps to vent and thank you for reading.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    My dear Life,

    I am so so sorry for your sad story. My son too carries various diagnosis, usually landing in some zone between bipolar/schizophrenic/adjustment disorder/anxiety disorder/autism spectrum/slow processing/substance abuse...oops I got carried away and didn't even finish the list.

    The point is, I understand the frustration with dealing with a mentally ill adult child who can't be neatly labelled. It is completely, devastatingly, heart breaking.

    There are a few truths here...if he has scared his grandmother in the past, then it is right that the police removed him. That is as it should be. He loves you and you love him...that is a good thing. You are, in fact helpless to help him...sit with that for a moment or an hour. It is a truth. The less you rail against that, struggle against that, the less you will suffer. You can love him, but you can't help him.

    Try not to replay the visual of his slumped shoulders walking away. Only heartache lies there. Cry it out if you can, then try to find some light in your day. Don't torment yourself with what ifs....you can't have a do over, and it is doubtful that any do over would change things anyway. It is what it is. He loves you. His grandmother feels safer. He is wherever he needs to be right now. You have done all you can, at least today. Nothing more to be done, at least today.

    Tell us more about him, and about you. He sounds familiar...we all have kids like him, and are parents like you. You'll find good company and comfort and sometimes some wisdom here.

  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Is he on Disability? Will he comply with his medication? Does he use recreational drugs?

    If he will not take care of his illness, there is nothing you can do for him. He has to get to the point where he is hospitalized and realizes that he needs his medication to say sane and calm.
  4. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    My heart goes out to you life2day.

    I recognise a lot of my own son in what you have written. It is possible to find a way to live with this and maintain a relationship with your son. You can continue to love him, but accept what is and know that you can't change it. It's not your fault. Let go of the sorrow of seeing him like this. Things haven't turned out how you wanted them to, but we can't control our children's lives. For me, that means loving my son unconditionally, even though he smells and lives in a squat and rages against the world and has all his belongings in one filthy, ragged backpack. But that's my way, it's not for everyone. You will find lots of different views and experiences and insights in this site. I hope you will find some consolation and useful advice here and that you will find your own way to cope with this. Know that we are all here to listen and support you.
  5. life2day

    life2day New Member

    Thank you for your kind and supporting words Echolette. I welcomed them with a surprisingly hopeful feeling of letting go. Hopefully the feeling will carry me through the low moments.
  6. life2day

    life2day New Member

    Yes he is on Disability. He has spent time in the hospital on multiple occasions and has had time served in jail. Thank you for asking.
  7. life2day

    life2day New Member

    Did it take you sometime to get to the strength you carry in your words. I hope I reach that place. How old is your son?
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome life2day. Yours is a sad story, I am so sorry. The others have given you good support, as much as we want to help our adult kids, we are powerless to do so, only they can help themselves. That is a devastating realization for us parents.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. Detachment is what many of us here attempt to do with our kids, it brings US back to sanity and peace of mind. Trying to change or help, or save, or rescue our kids is crazy making because we have no control over them, it ends up being the definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    As parents we sure don't want to give up on our kids, we want to help them, but if they are not willing to help themselves, even when they have a mental illness, there is nothing we can do. So, we have to learn new ways to respond, new ways to perceive the whole situation, we have to learn to take care of ourselves, to focus on ourselves and learn what it is we can actually do and what we cannot do anything about and we have to learn to let go. There is a lot to let go of, our guilt, our expectations that won't get met, our dreams for our kids, our beliefs that we SHOULD take care of everything for our kids, our old responses that don't work...........a lot.

    We're glad you're here. You're facing a lot with your son as we all are here with our kids too. It's a tough road, it helps to post here, it helps to find support for YOU, a therapist, a counselor, a 12 step group or if you haven't already, perhaps contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, they have wonderful courses for parents which will offer you support, guidance, resources and compassion.

    Take care of yourself life2day. We're here if you need us..........
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  9. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    He's 27. Yes it took a long time and a lot of stupid "fixing" behaviour on my part before I saw the light.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If this adult child truly is out of touch with reality, which is the bane of schizophrenia, it isn't really a choice he's making not to get help. He may think he's being poisened by the doctors, for example. He may see and hear things that aren't there, which is why I wondered if he had any supports. He qualified for Disability so he has some problem that goes beyond just addiction, I'm thinking. And because of Americans demanding Civil Rights for people who are not in touch with reality, there is little we can do. It's really very sad. Even somebody who does not know reality from fantasy has rights to refuse treatment and the authorities treat them much like anyone else.

    That's why I had to tell the poster to let go and hope that one day he understands he is so sick he needs his medication. Schizophrenia is more serious than a mood disorder. It is a thought disorder. Yet the patient still has to decide for himself to get help, even when he doesn't know he is sick. It's very sad. And it's usually hard to impossible to live with unmediated schizophrenia. John Nash of "A beautiful Mind" had schizophrenia and as brilliant as he was, unlike the movie, in his real life he was homeless in many continents for many years.The movie was entertaining, but not that close to reality. Just as an aside comment, the son he had with his wife now has schizophrenia. He has another son, that was born out of wedlock, that is normal. (Ok, back to the point of this thread)

    I'm sorry you are going through this, original poster. I wish the best for you and for your son to someday realize he NEEDS help.
  11. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    So sorry for Life. My son also has been diagnosed bipolar with schizophrenic tendencies as well as an addict. He is homeless 3700 miles away and he says it is all my fault. He prefers to self medicate and does not trust doctors, or electricity or a lot of things. He thinks the government is after him. I have been fighting this battle for many many years. I am 60 and he is 33. This site has been so supportive. Keep writing and let us know how you are. This site is teaching me to think and take care of myself (still learning).