Help and Kindness needed please, I'm broken and new to this site

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lost in sadness, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    This coming Saturday my 18 year old son will be homeless, I have no other ideas for him. Briefly, I am married, 11 years to my sons step father. His real father passed about when he was 11 and he never really built a relationship with his stepfather and that has become progressively worse. I have a 14 year old daughter who is lovely with a great relationship with us both but she is deeply effected by all this.

    Long story short - I feel he (my son) has always had something different about him from a behavioural point of view. To others he is charming, good looking and clever. To me, he is the same but its just the surface. He went to private school and got a good education although had a brief period of self harming. He felt he never fit in and the end was a struggle which resulted in us removing him and sending him to a normal college. Here is where the problems started. He had a depressive episode 18 months ago and was referred to the mental health services. By the time he received the appointment he had 'come through it' and therefore the appointment seemed like a formality, where he told them he was fine and he was diagnosed with nothing. After 6 months of college he began skipping lessons, taking drugs and eventually dropped out nearly a year ago. Since then he became abusive verbally and physically, bringing unsavory 'friends' home when we were out at work, wouldn't get a proper job, stayed up all night, slept all day. One night he slept out in a tent with a load of mates and I locked the door in the morning when I went to work so they could not come back when hungry and just doss at our house - I had had enough!! His grandparents picked him up and he stayed with them for 6 weeks before they threw him out. Due to his behavior the police came and removed him from our house and he lived with my mother for 5 weeks before it made her ill. Eventually we managed to get a house share for him on a six month contract as a guarantor with the proviso he got a job and made it work. Needless to say for 6 months he has done nothing but drink, smoke Cannabis, a bit of cocaine and had parties nightly. Two tenants moved out due to the disruption, police have come on occasions due to the windows being smashed and the room now looks like a homeless squat!! I feel sad and embarrassed as well as angry that we will be liable to pay for all the damage! He is a compulsive liar and lies about all sorts of things, including being mugged all the time when I know it is not true. He is always the victim and NEVER in the wrong. He has spent thousands of pounds on drugs and is in debt everywhere. I have tried to pay back as many people as I can. I have even paid off drugs dealers as he tells me they will stab him if he doesn't pay. I did manage to get him to sign on at the job centre about 7 weeks ago and he was offered a job interview last week. We agreed i would take him and when I arrived he was still in bed!! Swearing at me and telling me to f**k off! The next day he apologised and had another chance at a job. I picked him up, got him a hair cut, took him to the job and paid for a taxi back for him and he was due to continue at this job for four weeks. Next morning, I got up early, made him lunch to take him etc and rang him on my way to pick him up for him to still be in bed and telling me to f**k off again! I could not stop crying in despair. I have not spoken to him since.

    I feel I have tried everything, he manipulates me continuously, telling me I am a bad mum and its all my fault. When he wants something like money, a lift somewhere etc he will call and act as if nothing has happened when it could have only been 10 minutes previously he abused me. He does not seem to understand this is not normal. He has no concept of time or days now and will ring me at 3/4am if he wants to ask me something. He has a temper that scares me and will 'kick off' at any minute I say no to him or something he doesn't like. Some of the words and language he uses I'm sure you could only imagine and in all my years I don't know anyone that would speak to their mother in this way but tell them they love them. He strikes out physically breaking things and is generally a bit 'strange'. Sometimes he is the 'perfect' son (usually when getting something) and I always pretend he is better and will be ok but deep down I know this is not the case. He often threatens to kill himself etc when under stress and I always, out of fear, sort out what ever the trouble is.

    Saturday is looming for me and quite honestly the stress is causing palpitations, racing heartbeat and like I am in a fish bowl with life going on around me. I no longer know where to turn as everyone else has washed their hands of him - I'm all he has left. :( :(
  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Lost, I'm glad you found us here. I am so sorry for what you are going through.

    Your feeling of sadness and anger are warranted but you have nothing to feel embarrassed about. You did not do this, your son did. You extended help to him and instead of being grateful, he has taken advantage of it.

    This is very common behavior for difficult adult children. I have a saying with my son, if his lips are moving, he's lying Our difficult children will tell the most elaborate lies in hopes that we will believe them and feel sorry for them and give into their demands.

    Okay, you need to stop trying to pay his debts. You could be putting yourself in danger by doing this. If he owes a drug dealer money and you pay the debt, the next time he owes the drug dealer money, the drug dealer may come after you.
    You are also sending a message to your son that no matter what he does, you will bail him out.
    Enabling is not helping.

    You have tried everything. You have offered help to your son and he has rejected it. As much as we the parents wish we could make our children do the right thing, we cannot. We simply do not have that kind of power.

    Please do not buy into this. Again, this is a very common thing difficult adult children will do. If I had a dollar for every time my son told me all his problems are my fault, I could take a month long holiday in the Caribbean!
    You are a good and loving mother. How do I know this, because you are here on this site looking for help and because of what you shared with us. Parents that do not care do not find this site.

    Yes, I too have experienced this with my son. Somehow they really think that if they are "nice" to us we will forget all the horrible things they have done and said to us.

    You are not all he has left. He has himself and that is who he should be relying on.

    I'm sure your son has some unresolved emotions over the death of his father. You did the right thing by getting him help but remember, just because you offer someone help does not mean they will accept it or use it to their benefit.

    I know how hard this is. I and many others here have been there. My son has been a homeless wonderer for almost 6 years now. He has also been in and out jail/prison. He may be homeless but he has managed to not get thrown in jail for quite a while now.
    I don't like that my son is homeless but I have come to accept it. It's a life he chosen. My son has been afforded many opportunities to get his life on a more "normal" track but has never stuck with anything. No matter how much my husband and I have tried to help him, no matter how much money we have thrown at his problems, it did nothing.
    No, I don't like that my son is homeless but it's his life and his choice. I needed to take my life back. Yes, we the parents of these difficult adult children have lives to. Our lives matter and we need to live our lives to the fullest.
    The best thing I ever did was to detach from my sons drama and chaos. I love my son dearly but I will no longer allow him to manipulate me, I'm better than that and I deserve better, so do you.

    Your son is making his own choices and those choices have consequences. It is time that he start experiencing the consequences of his choices.

    Your son, my son and all the other difficult adult children can turn their lives around anytime they want. Key word here is THEY. They have to want to make changes, some will and some won't.

    This is not an easy journey to be on but you are here now with us. You will find much needed support here.

    ((HUGS)) to you...............................
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  3. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Ah, such a familiar and sad tale. I'm sorry that your son has had so much trouble, and caused so much pain to your otherwise happy family. You've had a lot on your plate, losing the kids' dad so young. Your son, though, is not on your plate...he is on his own, by virtue of the choices he has made. My son, too has been homeless, as have many of the kids on the board. My son's homelessness started when he was 17, and moved away to live with one of the Occupy movements. We were all astounded that he survived...and he has survived, by couch surfing, moving around, living on the streets and in cars, sleeping on floors in shared apartments, and, for a long time, living under a bridge. He has survived and sometimes even been quite happy. He has begged and gone to soup kitchens. H e has stolen. And he has survived, which shows his resilience and creativity. Your son will survive too. They all do.

    Your efforts on his behalf have been unstinting. You can rest on that now. You did all you possibly could to keep him on the right path, to help him, to rescue him. One of the most useful posts I ever read on this board, and I paraphrase now because I don't remember exactly, was

    "if all your love and effort could save him he would have been saved many times over by now."

    That struck me really clearly and really hard. The "saving" is not in your control. It is not in the control of any of us bystanders. If you could have saved him, could still save him, he would be saved. He has to follow his own journey. It is time for you to step aside, tend to yourself and your husband and sweet daughter. Let him find his own way.

    Tanya gave you really good advice. Read it a few times. Read the post on detachment at the top of this forum. Read our posts, and post often yourself. It is time to tend to yourself. That is the only way now. It is the only part you can control.

    We get it. We are here with you.

    Greetings and hugs. I'll hold you in my heart today.

    Echolette, mother of D.
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  4. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    My situation is a little different, but yet the same. Difficult daughter and granddaughters i don't see because I said NO. Keep coming back here. There's a lot of support and wisdom. You've done all you can do and it's not your fault.
  5. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Dear Lost,
    Your story is all too familiar to many on this forum. We understand here. I totally agree with the wisdom shared above by Tanya and Echo.

    The fear you have about your son's homelessness and future may have much to do with how you see yourself coping with it, (with all the confusion and guilt you feel) , rather than with how your son will handle it.

    Sometimes to get myself through the stress, anxiety and palpitations, etc., I took to thinking and imagining the very worst thing that could happen. Once I acknowledged the possibility of the worst thing, and knew that in some way I would eventually survive it all in time somehow, then I felt some sliver of peace. It made it a bit easier for me to know that "I was going to be alright." - It helped to release my immediate fears and trembling and to "let go" and trust my son's future to a higher source. This is not easy stuff to deal with.

    Do read others' threads on this site for the encouragement and support, and stay with us.
    Take care.
  6. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    Thank you all so much! I am sorry, I do not know how to post directly or using extracts of quotes yet so please forgive me. All of your words have given me great comfort. Of course I have read so many similar replies to other people with similar stories but somehow reading them directly to my story feels different and I thank you for your time. I will continue to read your replies over and over when I doubt myself and I will be back with more. I am also sorry you have all experienced such pain too. Much love xx
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  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You got GREAT feedback. My post is regarding your well being. The drug dealer will kill me garbage is to get money from you. I assume you have him the money and he did not pay back anyone was money for him to buy drugs unless you actuallyet up with this alleged drug dealer and paid him. If you did, my feeling is that you put yourself in extreme danger. Your precious life matters. Please never do that again.

    Change the locks on your doors and if he tries to come home call the police. Your house is YOUR sanctuary and your daughter should feel safe there as well. And he isn't safe.

    I agree with Tanya very strongly. You are not all he has plus he mistreated you. He has the most important person with him, the only one that can decide to change his life...himself. And certainly he has dysfunctional friends to talk to...the homeless community is tight.

    Keep safe. This son is not safe and only he can live safer.bhuhs and love.
  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    First of all, you never ever have to apologize here for not responding individually, we are just glad you are here!

    Now, for your lesson. To "quote" someone all you need to do is click, drag and highlight the part you want to quote then a little box will come up saying "quote or reply" click on quote.

    You can do multiple quotes and it will remember all the ones you have selected. Then when you go to post your reply, you will see a little box at the bottom that says "insert quotes" click on that.
  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Maybe he needs counseling regarding the death of his dad. He's hanging out with unsavory friends because he can't fit in with others. These are the only friends who make him feel accepted and like he belongs. If he has social anxiety disorder there is therapy for that, too. Did he drop out of college because of his depression or because he couldn't make friends?
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Welcome Lost in Sadness, I know you are so very tired and sad. Reading your post, I was taken back to the beginning with my Difficult Child. He was 19 instead of 18, but so many of the facts are very similar.

    When they're into drugs, that is the end-all, be-all. Nothing else matters to them, and they will say and do anything to get what they want. We're the easiest target, because we are their mothers, and we love them so very much. We keep thinking...this time...this time I will help...and then it will be different. And the months and years go on.

    If I knew then what I know now...I would work hard to try to stop enabling earlier. Hindsight you know. My Difficult Child was in the trenches for some six years. I was there with him, emotionally, for all of that time.

    But in time, I came to believe that I couldn't do one single thing to make things different for him. Like you, I had tried literally everything. From physically pulling him out of bed, pushing him into the shower, coming back 5 or 6 times to get him out of the shower, laying out his clothes, pushing and pulling him into the car, driving him to multiple psychologist and therapist appointments, sitting there with him doing all of the talking, finally leaving the room so they could talk, sitting in the waiting room, paying for it all of course, only to be told by the professional that...he wouldn't talk for the whole hour. Said literally not one single word. This is the epitome of you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. I did this type of thing with many situations with him for a long long time. I was working 50, 100, 1000, times harder on his life than he was.

    Finally, I was so exhausted and so sad that I just had to stop. I was killing myself and nothing was changing. I'll tell you this: that was a very very good day for me, that day. It was the day that I started to change...and then in time (a long time, a long long time) he started to change. Today, it's been 2.5 years of steady progress. He has a really good full time job with benefits and a future, his own place, he is thinking about the future, he is sweet and kind, he is clean. It is a miracle. I had to completely get out of the way (my long backstory is here on this forum, in many many posts), and it was a long, hard process for me. I am very very grateful today for this forum and for the support and love I experienced here, and that my son is on a good path. I don't take it for granted.

    This is the hardest stuff in the entire world. We know how hard it is, and we respect your decisions along the way.

    Please stay with us and you'll find ideas, help and support here. We care.
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  11. Snow White

    Snow White Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom

    Welcome, Lost in sadness. So sorry that you are experiencing such a bad time right now. Everyone has posted such great responses - this forum is a lifesaver for parents like us. While we are all at different stages in dealing with our difficult children, we all have a lot in common - the love for our children and the wishing we could 'fix' all of their problems. Sadly, that will not work for our difficult children.

    Your son's behaviour is exactly the same as my daughter's. The anger, threats and name-calling are all too familiar - then she is all 'lovey-dovey' when she gets her way. My daughter has been on the street, traveling through countries in Europe and Asia for the past 2+ years - lying, manipulating and stealing to get money to continue her travels. She is very creative and can take care of herself when she wants to but it is much easier when she can get someone to do it for her.

    You also have a 14 year-old daughter at home. I'm sure this has affected her, too. Perhaps now it is time for you to re-group as a family and also to heal individually. Take time to do something nice for yourself. It is physically and emotionally draining to be dealing with this. You are a wonderful wife and mother - please don't forget that. Your son will hopefully find his way. He needs to do this on his own.

    Keep visiting the forum and post when you can. Sending you hugs and prayers.
  12. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    Thank you McDonna, Childofmine, Crayola13, somewhereoutthere, TanyaM, Kalahou, Echolette, for your wisdom, insights and for sharing pieces of your personal stories with me. It is shocking how many people are suffering. It feels comforting knowing I can come here for support. I am overwhelmed by how many people are posting and now see there are different 'forums' for different subjects - I want to connect with everyone as it all seems interlinked.
    I think theI biggest problem is that I want to just think this is a behavioral thing that he will grow out of but I know deep down it is some kind of mental health problem - Borderline Personality or Anti-Social Personality disorder kind of fit but then so does traits of a Psychopath or just plain anxiety disorder and Bipolar. Either way, its feels hard , cruel and more painful cutting someone off when they are possibly self medicating for something much deeper. I worry, doing this will push him over the edge and he will kill himself. I know I would never get over that and my daughter would be destroyed. It all feels so responsible and I'm guilt ridden. Anyway, 2 days to go.......:(
  13. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Lost. I'm sorry this has all happened to you. Many of our situations mirror yours.
    It may be easier at this "very beginning" to simply take a few things into your control. Can you shut phone off at night? Let his calls go to voicemail? We found it never solved anything to answer drugged calls at 3am, it simply caused me to cry myself back to sleep-if sleep ever came.

    Good advice. We've had to do this twice (the locks) and put security system in. I had a difficult time telling the security company that it was for my own "kid". We also called police once (2am) as he came home high and crazy and we were afraid. Seeing your child handcuffed face down on your lawn is not something you forget, but he didn't forget either, and realized we meant it if we threatened to call for help.

    Our son is 29, we've gone through this most of his life. We've only totally cut off support this year. I think the most powerful thought I've heard here is "do you want to still be doing this in ten years?" I did not.

    You too have hit this point, haven't you? You really have done all you can-it's on him now. For us, managing the phone, locking house to feel safe from drama and lastly stopping the $. All money. No paying bills, fines, bails, dealers, rent--give your son the respect of facing his own consequences. It's how we all learn. No money for food-they won't buy food. No money for a coat or sleeping bag-likewise. If you want to give these for gifts, just be aware they can and do sell them for drugs. Maybe they won't this time. I know this is harsh, who lives like this? We do.

    I believe this is the hardest part. We felt as if we didn't know what our son was capable of in respect to supporting himself as he has many limitations. But he does know right from wrong. He consistently chooses wrong for whatever reason. I thought way too much about the whys, when all I could handle initially was his behavior and my response. Then I realized I couldn't control his behavior. That leaves my response-that's all any of us can do. yourself. This is not your fault. You've done all you can and more. Prayers.
  14. kacky

    kacky New Member

    My son is now homeless. I am ready to accept this but I find it hard when I see homeless young men on the street. Alot of them look like my son. It makes me feel bad. I think "all of these homeless young men have mom and dads that care about them". Boy this is hard.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He can find shelters and food pantries and social services will help him.

    I volunteered at a homeless shelter. The only ones who didn't come in for a church lady home cooked meal and a mattress were those who would not follow the rules, such as no using drugs. There is help for your son out there but he has to follow the rules.

    I do hope from the bottom of my heart that he will utilize community services to get on his feet. Help is out there. Hugs and love.
  16. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    I am so sorry to hear this. I see more homeless young people now than ever before, its like a punishment! No time is easy by Christmas is just awful, I have no idea yet how to make him part of it. My stomach churns and aches for you, me and everyone going through this. xx