Homeless Son's Birthday. Need advice!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Chasejazz, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    My son has been homeless for a couple months. I had to make him leave my house due to significant behavioral issues.
    I think he is living in his car. Not sure. He texted recently, still angry that I asked him to leave...ranting and raving about various things. Even after a couple months of living on the streets, he still blames Everyone and Everything for his circumstances.
    He doesn't get it.
    Long story short, he is having his 40th birthday next week.
    If I text him 'Happy Birthday' he might see it as being sarcastic. After all, what could be happy about being homeless?
    I originally was going to pay for one night at a Motel Six, so he could shower, sleep in a bed and get out of the heat.
    But he's very hostile towards me though.
    That's part of the reason I had to put him out, even knowing he had no place to go.
    Any experience on this. Advice?
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I can see your point. Does he use drugs or abuse alcohol? I forget.
    I guess I don't feel good about this option either. If you send anything I would send a gift card, to someplace respectable, like Walmart, maybe. Where he can make his own decisions. He is a 40 year old man. While I know it is not your intention it's kind of like charity to pay for a hotel. I would send something where he can make a choice to meet his needs.

    I don't think you need to say Happy Birthday. You can say I am thinking of you on your birthday. And I love you very much. I don't see anything sarcastic about this. It's the truth.

    The thing is this: We are trapped in this inferno with them. They trap us and we trap ourselves. I think the key for us is to find some sort of grace and our love there. And in this way we free ourselves. And maybe this is a way back not only to ourselves, but to them, too.
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Motel 6 is a generous, perfect gift. Make sure you pay the hotel by credit card directly. Give him NO cash. If he isn't gracious, as these kids often are not, or won't accept it, then you know he is not that anxious about comforts such as a bed and shower. My Kay has an apartment....for now,...and never changes the sheets and bathes sparingly. I can't make her enjoy the comforts most people enjoy. You can't guess what your son cares about either, but I like your idea.

    Your son is 40, middle age. You no longer owe him your care. My daughter is 33. We just learned this and are done. Its your time now.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I think he may sell his gift certificate for cash and drugs. We never gave Kay anything she could sell. We couldn't trust her not to buy pot or who knows what else? He may be 40, but if he were trustworthy he would not be on the streets. He would have a home, family, job and treat you with respect.

    We bought exoberberant things for Kay to keep her off the street, like a home then a mobile home when she lost the house. We bought cars that she trashed. We helped them get apartments after that until we finally found ourselves going broke. So we were horrible enablers.

    But we never gave Kay cash, checks, gift cards or anything she could sell. It may be the only thing we feel we did right.

    I still vote for Motel 6 for one night. You pay directly to the hotel and instruct them not to let him use your card for anything.

    This is tough, but 40 years old?

    You cant be young. Spend your money on yourself.

    God bless.
  5. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    Same here on the multiple apartments, cars, gifts, clothes, furnishings, etc etc etc.
    I know my son smokes weed and drinks, but never around me.
    Surprisingly, he has never had so much as a traffic ticket, has never has been to jail, nothing.
    Something just broke somewhere.
    He was okay and now he isn't.

    I like the "thinking of you on your birthday..".
    Send love, and let it go.
    And I do love him, or perhaps I love the bright kid he used to be growing up, just not who has become.
    I can't believe I just wrote that.
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think you love him as much as ever. Or at least I know I love my son as much as always.

    I am trying to learn how to love unconditionally. To love somebody just as they are. To not have expectations or wants that are not my business to have.

    I have loved my son more than anybody else in the world. I want to find that love and live from it. To not be enraged or sad because I have linked my own story to him, feeling that I can't be whole if he isn't happy, etc.

    My story is my own. His is his. That's the place I want to find. To love freely, without my own needs getting in the way.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Look up Radical Acceptance or buy a book about it. It is the best coping mechanism you will ever find about all people, what happens that you don't like, and what happens that you do like. Read up on Mindfulness too. These skills are powerful.

    Get out of your own head and monologue and learn how to live with a quiet, serene mind that doesn't talk about you and predict bad things or call you names. This is not who you are. This is your ego. Your ego is not your friend nor a necessary part of you. A lady from church introduced me to these wonderful coping skills. Honestly, I am much calmer.

    An Al Anon lady, who is my sponsor, taugjt me that my business ends at the tip of my nose. It does not extend to others,not even our spouses or kids. We mind our own affairs only. I have learned to do this too!
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  8. RN0441

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


    I like Copa's advice.

    I am sure it's very difficult to know your son is homeless on his birthday or any day but his life is up to him and not you.

    He is the only one that can fix it.
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I like what @Copabanana said about telling him you're thinking of him rather than wishing him a Happy Birthday.

    I will always love my son but I do not like the person he has become. It's okay - it is what it is.
  10. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Just poking my head in to read through the posts. I love our son, and I despise the person he has become at the same time. I love the person he once was. I think that's what torments me (and all of us?) that somewhere in there the person they once were is still there and we just need to draw them out again.
    BusynMember, I'm going to look up this Radical Acceptance you mentioned and check it out. Thank you.
    Copa, your phrase,"To not be enraged or sad because I have linked my own story to him, feeling that I can't be whole if he isn't happy, etc." struck a chord within me. Thank you again for the wisdom you share.

    And I think also it's not a good idea to give anything that can be sold. A night in a motel would be a kind gift.
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  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Chase - Did you come to a decision. I like Copas advice and words on what to say. Personally I like the idea of a gift card better than a motel 6. I am not sure why exactly but giving him a hotel room for one night might feel like you are rubbing salt in the wound..., you know this is where you could be at. Kind of giving something and then taking it away. I like the idea better of giving him something practical that he can use while he lives homeless. Like a warm sleeping bag etc.

    And yes he could sell the gift card for drugs.... if he is a drug user he will find ways to use drugs. I think if you give him something from your heart how he uses it is up to him. Of course you dont want him using it for drugs but you have no control over that and so I would let that go. Thats just me.

    It is really hard having a son homeless. I have been there and it was a very tough time in my life.
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  12. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    Thanks for the input and responding to my post. I just wished him well, (by text), and let it go.
    This morning is his 40th birthday and it hit me like a brick. Waves of sadness. Tears.
    I did good for a couple bbn of weeks, after finding this forum, but today kicked a low point into high gear.
    Such a waste of wonderful, gifted life.
    I don't know.
    I'll just get through this day and go from there.
    Thanks for your response and concern.
    It's appreciated more than you know.
  13. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    Just getting here as well.. wondering how things panned out. I like the "Just thinking of you" as well. Thanks for suggesting that, I'll have to remember it.

    Over the years we've had hard decisions to make, too, about what to give. We go back and forth between money, gift cards, etc. There were some birthdays where we just gave gift cards (mostly to feel better about things ourselves, after all she can sell them easily). This past birthday we gave money. I'm not responsible for what she does with it, I guess. She has a lot of debts to pay down and it was a good opportunity to use it for that. If she doesn't - the debts are still there. Not saying that's right or wrong.

    The hotel idea is not a bad one. Hope it was not a stressful event for you.
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  14. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    thank you and gm, Chick.
    Stress has gone out the roof.
    I'm tearful and weepy...again.
    Such a terrible loss, my boy.
    I have learned, as of late, there are worse things than a death....
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  15. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    No. His death would be worse.

    "Where there is life, there is hope."

    Plus he may be enjoying his unconventional life. You don't really know. None of us do.

    By the way, not giving a gift is fine. My grown kids and us mostly exchange cards. Except for Christmas. And we are all very loving toward one another, minus Kay.
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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  16. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    We were typing at the same time.
    Just sending hugs.
  17. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    Thanks, Chick.
    I appreciate hugs so, so much.
  18. SunnySad

    SunnySad New Member

    I’m very new here, but I just wanted to say it’s okay to grieve. It’s easy to tamp it down and try to figure the best way to cope and stop enabling, but sometimes you have to give yourself the okay to just think of yourself and grieve. Your tears today were totally appropriate. My heart hurts for you, us and our kids. Wishing you the best as this long day comes to a close.
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  19. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    Thanks, Sunny.
    Today I am going to do something positive for myself.
    I am trying to keep my balance so I don't topple over.
    Have a good day yourself.
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  20. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Chasejazz, I'm sorry for the pain you were experiencing. Birthdays and holidays are tough days to get through. As you said, it is such a loss of so much. My heart grieves with you.