I am sad and desperate and hopeless again

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Copabanana, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am on my cell .Sigh. But I bought a computer today and paid for expedited shipping.

    My son will take a 614pm train to near where I am. I am unsure exactly where he's going and he is not either. He said he was going to a town a half hour away. There is a homeless shelter there but I am not clear if he's going there.

    It is raining here.

    He has been living about 3 hours away in the big metro where we are from. He's been sleeping in his friend's truck. For five months..I have not seen him for that long. That's twice as long as any other time.

    He says he's leaving where he is because there's too much drug activity. He seems not to get that when you're living in the street it's hard to get away from that.

    For the past three or four months we have been texting. It's been okay. I tried to push him to do a few things that are very important to me. Go to his liver doctor. Get a referral to a neuropsychologist. (I have a name.) Go to social services. I don't think any of it got done. In fact I know it didn't.

    I was pretty calm because first I knew his friend was involved. I knew he had a place to sleep. I could imagine he was working. Not. I knew he spent time with his friend ( since they were 12.)

    But now I'm flooded.

    The reason baggy's thread triggered me is that I have to face the growing probabilty that my son will not change, and will always be dependent. Will never do the basic things I feel to be essential. The hurdles I establish so that I will help him with housing he will not meet..

    I need him to stay alive.

    I need to know his functional limits.and what is reasonable to expect.

    He does not actually need my help for housing if he cooperated enough to get section 8 housing. He would be at the top of the list. If he did that he would not have to worry about my hurdles. I wonder if he's together enough to go thru the process. (I'm so confused .He's highly articulate and bright. I do not understand what's wrong. I won't let myself.)

    My son would want to go back to the other house. I told him he could not. For now. M is staying there now. That in itself is not a big deal with regards to space .There are 2 to 3 bedrooms. But M would ride him. And I am not sure what is the right thing to do, for my son.

    Is this it? Is this the best he can do? Do I have to accept his not getting treatment for his liver? Do I have to accept that he won't go to a neuropsychologist? The marijuana I have put aside. There's no hope.

    I hoped that he could meet me at the therapists office, a recent deal, but the therapist called and said it was not a good idea. That my son had too many problems. Ouch. I was already very ambivalent about HIM. Now I don't want to go back. I feel so alone with this.

    I asked M to move out. This is just the second night (but I'm having trouble stopping cooking dinner for him. ) The four of us--one cat, two dogs, miss him so much. Stella sits in a chair facing the door. And m was always such a support to me with my son.

    If I did cave my son would have to come here, to my house. It would not work with M and my son now. M insists my son do something to change. He has no patience left.

    What if my son can't? That's why I freaked out on baggy's thread.

    I don't want to precipitate a crisis with M. Because I will pay the price. I don't want m to move out of there.

    As I write this I feel clearer. My son has to solve this. I can't. I need to tolerate this as he decides what he will do and wants to do.

    He is solving his problems by changing geographical location. i have to tolerate that.

    Today he spent the day at the library.

    Tonight he will be, who knows where?

    I need to stop bugging him about stuff he doesn't want to do. He knows he has to pay rent. He knows he has to see the liver doctor. He knows he needs a neuropsychogy evaluation. He knows I want to work with him. He knows I'll help him get a therapist. He knows I'll go with him to therapy. And he knows he can't come to my house or go to 20th.

    I need to stay in the present. One step at a time.

    I just wish it was different.

    I am very sad and lonely.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I am sorry you are sad and lonely. I wish I lived close and could visit

    Answers to what to expect from somebody are hard. What we were told about Sonic when he was little did not happen, but he still needs some help sometimes but goes to his Case Manager. She has more answers than we do when it comes to rides to see doctors to his job etc. J can probably easily get help for Section 8. All you do is sign up. My sons case manager was the one who helped him with all his benefits .She helped him with forms and stuff.

    I think the biggest difference between our boys is that Sonic is fine with guidance and help with decisions and your son doesnt want that. He wants to make his own decisions which is good, but he doesnt really make any. Makes it harder for sure.

    I send you hugs and know you are NOT alone. We are all with you. This is a transition time in your life. To me, transitions are always uncertain and cause anxiety.

    Maybe the change in scenery will be good for J. too.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    But swot. He is sleeping on the subway.

    He texted me just now and said he would work on the neuropsychologist. And he said he's postponing travel until tomorrow.

    If he gets the neuriosychologist referral done and can prove to me he got his liver testing done, and has an apt scheduled with the dr, will see a therapist, and meets me to make a plan I am tempted to let him stay here at my house.

    He sounds more cooperative.

    He can't stay with m at the other house.

    Swot. I wish we lived closer. Like 2000 miles or so. I would cook for you. Even chicken pot pies. Fresh.
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  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We would get along really well. I wish too. Especially during hard lonely times. Been there.

    I already told you that if YOU feel better with J under your roof then it is worth it. You matter too in this. J isnt dangerous or using heavy drugs. I am on your side regardless of what you decide.

    Let us know :)
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  5. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    From all your posts I really think you'd feel better emotionally if he were with you you. That would mean dropping all expectations, can you do that? I've dropped a lot of mine and I am truly more content.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Copa. I'm sorry that you and M are at odds.

    J has to want to make a change. You are grieving the life he could have had, should have had, if only...and I know that you know this. I am concerned about you, that you will cave and it will be detrimental to you and to the progress that you are making. Please be safe.

    More hugs.
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  7. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I am here for you too.
    Do what makes YOU feel best. I am sorry things aren't working out as you would like between you and M. I think men in general have a harder time accepting that sometimes a person (especially another male) are doing what they can, even if it seems not enough. I think women are more accepting of that. Sometimes even though we know someone is intelligent they just can't do things we thing they should be capable of.
    Sometimes they are being stubborn, sure. But I think sometimes they start to do what we expect then the anxiety kicks in and they get overwhelmed. I find it hard to believe that J just wants to make you unhappy.
    What about setting a plan in your mind that is baby steps.
    1st J gets near you.
    If you feel safe you tell him- go to liver doctor and you can stay with me 1 week. Make neuro appointment. He can stay with you another week if he goes to neuro, then the next thing on the list.
    I think you need a plan for yourself to reduce your anxiety in all this. If he wpn't even follow the 1st step. Then make a new plan.
    Copa, try and get some rest. Please.

    Huggs to you across the miles.
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  8. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    Copa i am sorry you are having such a hard time right now .i saw a couple of positive signs in your post. It is good that your son does not want to be in a high drug traffic area. It shows that he wants to take care of himself. He also said he was going to check into the neuropsychiatrist.
    My husband tells me that when i give him too many tasks at once he is overwhelmed so he doesn't do any of them. Maybe that is the case with your son. You list dr. , neuro, housing, meet to make a plan. Maybe it would be best to let him concentrate on one thing at a time and when that has been accomplished move to the next. I am not saying your expectations are wrong but looking at them all at once may be overwhelming.
    You may be doing the same thing to yourself you want to fix everything and you want to do it now which may be adding to your stress. Pick something to focus on and work on that. Give yourself a break and clear your mind so you can make good decisions about not just what is best for your son but what is best for you. If that is having him move in so be it but allow yourself to consider options like section 8 as well. You also said you are missing m. You may need to allow yourself to consider the consequences to allowing your son to move in and how that might effect your ability to fix your relationship with m. You talk about wanting your son to be independent . One thing that i have noticed with my son is that the more help i withdraw he learns to solve his own problems. I still want him to be successful but am learning slowly to say not my life not my problem. I still worry and sometimes freak out but it is a process. Step back and breathe. Your son has found ways to be warm and relatively safe. Not what you would choose but his choice. Hope you are able to find peace with whatever you decide and whatever he decides even if is is not the same decision.
  9. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Part of me wants to tell you to let him stay with you, the other part wants to advise against.
    I don't have enough experience in all of this yet, not this part anyway.

    Just tonight I was telling C about how even if my son did want to come back, there are certain behaviors/choices/habits that I just wouldn't be able to stand by and watch. I get that. I don't know what it says about me, that I am so intolerant with some of these things, but I am. And I remember that saying - We all choose the hill we die on (or something like that). We can only follow our intuition, there are no guarantees one way or the other.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I think the neuropsychologist, if you can get him there, would do much to ease your heart.

    These particular professionals will test him in every area of life and tell you what is reasonable to expect of him. Like Sonic, he was a drug affected baby. So that could be partly why he seems smart but cant perform.

    Im sure you know about non verbal learning disabilities. Although much of my neuropsychologist tests came back puzzling or inconclusive I did have several neuropsychs or like professionals tell me I have this. This is something you CAN test for! In case you are not that familiar, I will explain. It is a cognitive disorder and greatly impacts how you are able to perform in life. It is a struggle and here is why.

    The person does get IQ tested. Most people have mild differences in verbal and performance level IQs but usually not that much.

    In a non verbal learning disability the person.is usually very high on the verbal scale. Vocabulary can be way above average. Articulation
    Spelling. Reading. Writing. The person sounds very capable. People used to tell me how smart I must be, even smart people. I could sound very smart. It was a skill I had and still have.

    My verbal IQ was somewhere in tje 120s which is in the Superior range and I never struggled in verbal areas.

    But with a non.berbal learning disability, there is a great difference in the verbal and the Performance level IQ. My performance level IQ was very low....in the 80s.

    I had much testing always with the same two results. What this meant was I could easily get hired when i interviewed because I sounded so smart. Once I got hired, I found even "easy" jobs hard to do and often impossible. I cant understand verbal instructions or do two things at the same time until months of repetition.

    This imcluded even McDonalds, as it is fast paced and you had to be doing many tasks at once. I would get too confused and get fired for mistakes. I tried very hard. Then anxiety set in and it got worse.

    But anxiety was not the main problem. Understading how to multitask has always been the problem. So the only jobs I could keep were one step jobs, like working for answering services, or evening work at hospitals where it was very slow and a night coworker was there to help me or as a bus aide for kids or aa restaurant host.

    I also have face blindness so if somebody was waiting for say money back or their meal I often couldnt recognize who to give it to. Fun fun! This made it hard to impossible for me to achieve well and I did not. And I didnt care!

    When I was surprised by qualifying for SSDI, which I only applied for because I had to do so in order to get services from Vocational Rehab, my first diagnosis and reason for qualifying was Cognitive Disorder not otherwise specified. Yet my overall combined IQ was not below 100. I did not receive SSDI for my very controlled mood disorder.

    There are many insidious reasons to be unable to achieve when the person is bright and articulate.

    Nobody knows how I got all these pesky but difficult disabilities. But J may have this type of profile too. waIt Hewould bebmore understandable with him. He was drug exposed and had two Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Maybe they impacted his ability to do some even simple stuff. For me, my husband understands my quirks and is patient. An example is he knows I cant have a conversation with tje TV on so he will mute the TV. He knows I get confused reading instructions so he explains in a way I can understand. He never expected me to make a killing at work. He gets me. He knows my biggest joy was raising the kids and didnt force working.

    You could learn much about J and why he cant seem to perform if you can get him to a neuropsychologist. Understanding can lead to tolerance and the right type of help. And your expectations can match what is reasonable.

    From very young I was a gifted writer who struggled in school. I couldnt focus either and got yelled at by almost all my teachers for not knowing where we were in a lesson or not listening or not getting it. This became a life pattern. By high school I quit trying. I would sit in the back of the class and write stories or daydream, another activity I liked to do. I became a bit of a class clown in certain classes. I cut gym. Often. I would leave school early as gym was my last class and take a bus to the beach. I was not even average at anything atletic which I feel ties in with everything else.

    Back in the day they had no help for me. J is still young. There is help for him if he understands himself and accepts adult services. And he may once he knows.

    I would not put high expectations on J but one would be that he could stay as long as he has a Neuro psychiatric evaluation. Then it will all be out in the open and you can truly help plan realistically for his future. As can he. He is probably very confused right now.

    Because of my own struggles maybe, I have always had a heart for the underdogs and those with challenges. I think J is basically a good person who, like me and Sonic, were dealt some hard cards to play. But my life got good in so many ways. I am content and at peace. I dont care that I didnt have a great job. The love from my family of choice means everything to me. I am very content with little things...kind words, nature, great coffee, and helping other people and animals. In a way, that is why I like this forum. I feel I can help.

    J can have a good life. He and you just need to know what that life can look like. I was 40 before life turned wonderful. And it was a slow process. But it happened. It can for J too.

    Sending you a delicious cup of no calorie hot chocolate and my love. Hang in there. There is hope.
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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  11. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Wow, Swot. Now I want to get tested. That sounds like me too, what you describe. And maybe my son too.
    I'd never heard anything like that, but it makes so much sense. I'm a dance teacher and have been teaching since I was 15 and had my own studio by 23. Other than that, I did a bit of fundraising that involved lots of writing and keeping on top of the numbers, but never really had a boss or tried any other kind of job, and I don't think I could. I've just been lucky in being able to set myself up with a life that doesn't require me to do a lot of the things that I find difficult. I don't have a car because the town is miniscule, so I don't have to deal with paperwork, insurance, rules... I don't have a credit card (never have) or online banking. I live almost off-grid, so minimal contact with the "system" in general. As I see my son's and my mother's mental health problems coming out of the closet, I wonder how much of my own life choices have been made to accommodate my own weaknesses/issues. Sorry to hijack, I just suddenly had this huge epiphany from Swot's post. Thank you.
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  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh Copa! I just saw this and wanted to tell you how sorry I am you are struggling and hurting and lonely. I'm sorry you and M are having problems. That must be compounding the problems so much. I wish I could give you a hug and tell you it will be alright.

    I agree rather strongly with this. I know it's very easy to get overwhelmed by all that you need to do, to the point that you sit and do nothing rather than pick any one thing to start on. You feel like you'll never get it all done, never get through it, and if you do it won't be good enough anyway, so why start?

    I also agree with this. You can't "fix" your son or change him. Believe me, I tried so hard to change mine. Even now, when he's apparently doing okay...I want so badly for him to change - cut his hair, quit dressing like a bum, work harder...but I try really, really hard, to keep my mouth shut because nothing I've ever done has worked. I know your son's problems are very much different...but the fact that they are his and not yours is the same.

    Jabber is fond of saying that the only person you have any control over is yourself. You can't change how other people act, only how you react. He's not wrong.

    In the end here you have to do what's best for YOU. If that means offering him a place to live, well then that's what you do. But don't rush into it to make yourself feel better temporarily. Really think hard about what him living with you has been like in the past, because that is all you can realistically expect in the future. Expect the worst...then if something better happens, you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont like to try new things because that means the pain in the arse of learning how to do it. Takes me forever, if ever. Thats where I flounder. Verbal skills make one sound smart. But you need to be able to understand directuons and multitask to do a job. And you dont get a lot of time to figure things out at most jobs. Its hard for me to figure out how to do anything on my own....its a problem.

    Bags if you want to get tested, see a neuropsychologist. They do the best testing. And dont feel bad. A lot of people have invisible disabilities and there you go. Its not your fault. Absolutle test your son! I can see a teen, especially a boy, getting so frustrated by learning disabilities that he goes off the rails. I think boys tend to act out more.
  14. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Copa- I'm so sorry you're hurting and stressed. Even if you find out what he is capable of, that doesn't mean he will do those things. My daughter is in no way living the life I expected her to. She is capable of much more, but it is not her path. Once I accepted that her path and her choices are hers it helped me feel better about the situation. It's still difficult sometimes, but it certainly lessened the conflict between us. Sending peace to you.
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  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Copa,

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through right now. Since M has moved out, I'm sure that in itself is adding to your feeling alone.

    You have offered every possible combination of solutions for your son. I honestly do not know what more you can do for him unless you do it for him and that's something you have to decide for yourself.

    I'm holding you close and sending hugs and positive thoughts.

    Hang in there dear Copa.
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  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Good morning. Thank you everybody. Alot. My computer arrives today. Yay.

    My son texted me an hour ago that he was leaving shortly for the big city in the metro to go to the liver clinic (at the University) for help for the neuropsychologist referral. It is as good a start as any. There is a satellite clinic for this University medical center fairly near me.

    I think he understands (finally) that there is a bridge toll to be paid. With me.

    I am thinking that it might have been a ruse. That he might still be sleeping in the friends truck. That he is playing poker with me. Trying to bluff me so I freak out and fold.

    By way of his scary magic words. Like sleeping on metro. Like I'm taking the train and I don't know where I'll land. Like I'm broken.

    So I'm seeing my role (thank you people) as coach. We will work on the neuropsychologist first.

    Something baggy wrote comes to mind. The habits, behaviors that trigger us. Like my son's hoody that he wears always to conceal his receding hairline. It triggers people. He can look menacing and like a gang member. He is told to leave stores. Somebody on my block stopped him.

    The friend with the concrete business told him: wear something else on your head, but not a hoody. My son used a scarf and hat, way more appropriate to the work.

    Do I have the right to say: find another headdress? Do I have the right to say, let's buy some clothes?

    Which brings up what Eliza wrote. The question of whether or not they will do the things they're capable of. The thing is: my son needs and wants my support. But has been unwilling so far to conform to my (and m's expectations). Perhaps he could not. I think this is so. But he also would not comply.

    And this is the power struggle we were always in. It is like what caretoomuch (I think, and swot and others) said above. Giving up expectations. Surrendering.

    Except like kt infers (and Lil and others). Do you surrender so much you lose yourself and life?

    The bottom line is this. He has to write this story. Not me.

    It is good m is out of this. A triangle is near impossible to deal with. For me.

    What do you think about the hoody?

    Thank you everybody.
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  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well this sounds good! A start at least. We'll call that optimistic.

    Worst. Words. Ever.

    My son once said that to me..."Do you think I'm that broken?" I don't even remember what kind of thing I was trying to get him to do...but I can hear his voice in my head saying those words and they still break ME. Break my heart. It's funny, but of all the awful things he ever said and did...that one still gets me the most. I get teary still when I think of it.

    My son doesn't even have a receding hair line. If he'd DO something with his hair, he'd have beautiful hair, thick, wavy, and a lovely chestnut kind of color. He WILL be bald though - his biodad and granddad were and my dad was pretty bald when old - and it'll probably be soon if he doesn't stop wearing a hat constantly. He has very long hair, past his shoulders, and he constantly wears a beanie...a black beanie with pins and things on it. It's a horrible little hat and I don't know WHY he wears it. He started when he was a teen and I saw a brand new photo of him on Facebook yesterday and he was wearing it - in the house - watching TV. Really? WHY? You'd think his fiancée would put her foot down...but apparently it doesn't bother her, I guess. Actually, she once told me she was going to try to get him to dress nicer and buy him some things that weren't black...but they're pretty broke.

    Anyway...Maybe you could get your son to go from hoodie to beanie? Or some other type of hat? Maybe tell him that his hair is going to go a LOT faster if he keeps wearing a hoodie and offer to buy him some Rogaine? LOL It's not really funny I know, but if I could get my kid to quit wearing a beanie I'd tell you the magic words to make that happen. :( He makes me insane. But a beanie is better than a hoodie. I don't know, maybe ask him if he'd like to be able to change up now and then?

    Yeah...wish I had an answer there.
  18. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Copa, I really feel for you. We have to do what ever our hearts say to do. We get so much advice but at the end it is what we can live with and what will be better for our troubled adult child. I let many things slide and then I get another grip and strength. Listen to your own intuition because only you know the different pieces to your puzzle. Many times when I gave in, I just got used over and over again until I felt like a complete idiot. I got tired of feeling like an idiot. Only then did I move into the right direction. Our children sense when we have had enough, they know deep down when we are still willing to take their nonsense. You have many moving pieces. When I get overwhelmed in sit quietly in a dark place and ask for divine guidance. There are many times I truly do not know what to do next so I come on here for different opnions and direction but mostly for compassion and understanding of this very difficult road. You have my deepest compassion and understanding as you work your way to balance.
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You know I'm laughing here. I went thru a phase. Not long ago. Actually. I was in Brasil I remember. Back and forth to here. I had a cap. You know how they wear the baseball cap backwards? With the duckbill to the back? That was me. I was in my fifties. I thought I looked adorable!!??? That cap went with me everywhere. That and my brown leather biker jacket. Gee.

    Probably not the picture you had of me. (Maybe that's why my son has problems...)
  20. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Copa, just saw this. I'll have more to write later but just wanted to send you hugs and support across the miles.

    And I wanted to ask a question: are you trapping yourself in all-or-nothing thinking here? I hear you say on one hand, you need to meet him with a therapist or in a neutral spot because you cannot bear to have him in your home. But then I hear you say you are considering letting him come back to live now that M is no longer living there. But how can you even consider letting him come back to live if you are not even at the point where you feel comfortable having him up for dinner for a couple hours? For me, I would need to spend lots of time, including time in my own space, with my child before I could consider letting one of them stay here, even temporarily. I would need time to feel out the relationship, see where their head is, and practice being together in small doses.

    I hate to see you trap yourself in these either/or situations. Either you can maintain your relationship with M or you can help J. Either J comes and stays with you full time or you cannot have a relationship with him. Is there, perhaps a middle way you could pursue here?

    What would happen if you said come up for lunch, you know you can't stay here right now but let's take an afternoon and start mapping out a plan and see where I can help you. I can help you file this paperwork for section 8. I can help you make these appointments and make a plan to get there. Etc.

    Because you're right, maybe there is something going on that means he is not capable of following through on these things right now. Just as S seems to be incapable of following through. I know how hard it is to know where the line is between "don't want to/just didn't do it" and brain differences or disabilities that may mean some things we want them to do are truly outside of their capabilities. We don't want to enable, but we also don't want to leave them floundering if they truly do not have the capacity to do what they need to help themselves. I hear you saying you are coming to feel that some of what you want J to do may be beyond his capabilities right now, and you want to help. I understand that completely and would want to do the same.

    But does help mean you have to bring him into your home? Does it mean giving up M? Is that fair? Are there other ways to help him take the steps he needs to take, if he's willing to start meeting you halfway?

    So what about loosening up just a little and letting him come home just for a meal and a talk before making any big decisions here? Are you afraid he won't leave when it is time? Are you afraid of him physically? Do you not trust him enough to have him in your space? Any of those things would indicate to me that having him back in your house to stay permenantly is not a viable option. How can you commit to an indefinite stay if even a dinner feels too uncomfortable?

    I don't have an answer here. I just feel you hurting so much, and I wish you could find a third way here that honors what YOU need, including your relationship with M if that's what you still want, as well as what J needs. A way that has a clear path forward for both of you - towards independence for J, and towards self-love and compassion for you.

    Big, big hugs.