I'm at a loss.....LONG

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    What follows is a copy of an email I sent to a social worker (S) here that is associated with the school system. She doesn't officially work with difficult child anymore, especially since he's cancelled all of his services since he turned 18, but she and I have been in touch lately. Logically, I can sit and say that yes, when the situation gets to point X, this is what we will have to do. Realistically, I'm having some problems.

    I just got off the phone with a nice young man from the ***** Center. He was difficult child's "classroom aide" last year and again this year. difficult child has cancelled that service and will be soon severing all ties with the ***** Center. As of a week or so ago, he was only passing 2 classes out of 6 or 7, he's being very disrespectful and disruptive, non compliant, isn't taking his medications like he should, has had a few referrals, Friday schools and suspensions and is generally being awful. According to the guy I talked to tonight, he's also getting somewhat aggressive, I'm sure, because he's not taking his medications correctly. At school. At home.......not horrible but not good either. He's broken just about every main rule in our house, has a serious "I'm 18 and can do what I want" attitude and shows little to no respect for Brian and I, our home and our rules/expectations. We have turned over the responsibility of taking his medications to him and we could, once again, stand there and watch him take it. But, if he doesn't want to, we literally can not force him to take his pills.

    We (everyone on the "team" within the past couple of years) have discussed being forced to kick difficult child out of the house and as much as I talked a good game, I'm having difficulty. I think we're very close to resorting to this and I don't know what to do. Yes, he's working and doing well at it. That is the ONLY thing he is doing well with right now. I think. ****NOT IN THE EMAIL: He is working but at the moment isn't making enough to support himself. Plus, he blows literally every last cent he earns**** But...everything else is going downhill fast. If he quits or is expelled from school, all of his insurance stops which means no more medications. If he has no more medications, he will NOT be living here. He gets entirely too volatile without the right medications and we can't have an unstable person in our home. Not one that refuses to do anything to help himself anyway. I don't know if you still run into him at school but once he officially terminates the ***** Center, he will have cancelled EVERYTHING he had previously been associated with. He quit counseling almost the minute he turned 18 and the only person he still sees is the psychiatrist who prescribes his medications. How do you put someone on the street with no medications and no place to go? I know we've all told him what he needs to do and we all agree we can't help him if he won't help himself. I have no problem with that concept. But how do I put him on the street and tell him he can no longer live here? Not only is it putting my child on the street with winter here but I'm also putting a possibly unmedicated person who is very unpredictable without his medications, out into a society of unspecting people. I look at this scenario and knowing how resistant he is to help, the best outcome I can see is that he winds up in jail. At least there he has a warm cot, a roof over his head and food in his stomach. The only other solution would be to send him to **city of origin** to his bio family. However, his grandmother would expect the same things from him that we do and I don't know that he would comply. I don't want to put her in that position. She's already dealt with enough raising his older brother. His bio mom, while not the best person for him to live with, is, I believe, in jail. I'm not sure but either way, she's in no position to be of any real help either. Any family of mine or husband's is either not equipped to handle him either or not willing. I wouldn't ask that of them anyway. The only thing I know at this point is that things are coming to a head and can't continue like this for much longer. It's too toxic. But how do I put my child out on the street? Especially this time of year? husband and I have had many talks over the years. He is so hurt and bewildered that we weren't able to "fix" difficult child. While I lost my optimism on "fixing" him fairly early on, I had hoped that things would have turned out at least a little better than they have. I had hoped that we would have been able to instill SOME sort of ....I don't know what...something in him.

    I'm at a loss, S. If things continue the way they are going (and history proves they probably will), how do we do what will need to be done?

    I've seen posts like this time and time again since I've joined this board and have put more than my 2 cents in. Logically and objectively it's easy to say. Now that I'm speeding towards that scenario myself, I'm second guessing everything. No, he's not perfect around here but he's not screaming at us or threatening us either. He hasn't gotten violent, he's not doing drugs/alcohol, he's not doing this or that. But at the same time, it IS coming to a head. He refuses any service that would help him because they all expect him to basically do things that are beyond what he wants to do or thinks he should have to do.

    We can sit difficult child down and in a civil, calm, matter of fact manner, tell him that if things continue in this way, X, Y and Z will happen. We've done it before. He NEVER believes us. Or, if he agrees and we all discuss ways of improving/working together/compromising/whatever, he does not follow through and then gets upset when he is expected to. When the consequence finally does happen, his response EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. is "I didn't think you were serious!"

    I just don't know what to do. The only thing I DO know is that none of us can continue like this for much longer. The school won't put up with him acting like this and I'm reeeeally close to the frayed ends of my rope.

    I am in desperate need of a huge fruity drink, a warm sandy beach and either a Raoul or a Claudio.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry it is coming to this point. I wish I had magic words to make you comfortable with all of this.

    As far as the "I didn't think you were serious!" claim, I think it is manipulation. If it worked once, he expects it to continue to work and will use it until it doesn't. And probably several more times after that.

    Is there some way you and husband could set him up with a cheap apartment and a month or two of rent, and the deposits? Or a room in a house with some other guys? I don't know if this is financially do-able or not.

    I hate to say that it may have to come to the point where you make him leave with a week or two's notice (and it will be very hard to be firm during those weeks, I am so sorry). He won't beleive you will do it, until you do.

    But, if he is blowing all his $$ on a video game, is not doing much else besides working and this game, well, then you may not have any other choice. He may have to learn this one the hard way.

    It may be when you make him leave that he ends up in a shelter for a while. Or he might get his stuff together (with some stumbles) and succeed. You probably won't get the success with-o a whole lot of pain ont he way.

    But what you are doing now isn't working, is it?

    I am just so sorry, I keep saying that, but I don't know what else to say. Know that I am sending support for whatever you decide to do. No matter what. I know making my osn leave was hands down the HARDEST thing I have ever done. I hope that in time your son learns how to manage his life to some degree of success.

    Gentle hugs,

  3. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I'm exactly where you are, and all I can say is, it s**ks. I know it all in theory and I see it unfolding in front of me. The only thing theory doesn't take into account is that we have a history with our kids. We knew them when. Whether it was breastfeeding them and sitting up all night with them, night after night while they had night terrors or sitting in the hospital while they struggled with viral meningitis, or whether it was cheering them on at T-ball and realizing that they were more interested in the grasshopper at their feet than in the fly ball coming their way - we knew them. We loved them. We went to bat for them, time after time.

    Logically and objectively, I find it is easy for me to say what should happen when an 18 or 19 or 20 year old needs to experience natural consequences. The trouble we parents face is, we've been in this subjectively since Day 1, whether that was Birth Day or Adoption Day. There IS a disconnect that cuts to the heart and leaves us bleeding. I'm trying my best to stanch the hemorrhage. But I do sympathize with you, and with everyone who is facing the subjective/objective disconnect. It hurts like hell. And I salute the ones who have made it through.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope no one thought I was saying it would be in any way easy to ask your son to leave. I KNOW it won't be. I also know it is NOT the right course of action for everyone. There are lots of ways to handle things. It all depends on you, your family, your child, and the situation. So very much goes into the decision, and it breaks your heart no matter what you do.

    I totally mean it when I say I will support you no matter what you do. Totally. Completely. What we did with Wiz was what ended up being right for US. It wouldn't work for many. And while it ended up being the best thing we did for him (in his words), it ripped the heart right out of me. And of husband. And of the rest of the family.

    I was just trying to find some way to comfort you, in my own clumsy way.

  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Sad to say, he will probably take this decision out of your hands. I'm sorry that you are having to go through this. I hope he will be safe and smart and finish school.
  6. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Susie, I just reread my post this morning and realized that, the way it follows your suggestions, it sounds like I was saying that you thought it was easy to ask a difficult child to leave ... that was not what I meant. Please believe me. Anyone who has actually gone through it, as you have, has gone through the very pain that I was writing about, and more. When I wrote that post I was referring to my own conflicts - that it's easy for me to say objectively that my 20 year old should experience the natural consequences of his actions, or that I should protect myself and my family, but the subjective connection I have with difficult child makes it so hard - and I'm sorry it came across as if I was referring to you. I think I'll edit the post to clarify. I stand in awe of you and everyone who has gone through this and survived!
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Mustang - a gentle hug to you. We're in the same sinking boat here. thank you thinks he's fine and doesn't need services. I've tried to lay the groundwork so he can access housing when he hits 18, but he refused to come home last weekend for the psychiatric evaluation, which is required for this program. I've pretty much hit my limit in terms of trying to shove services down his throat. He will only do things on his terms. No school, no job, no nothing, but he knows it all and is just fine. He is unwilling/unable to see how contradictory that is.

    I can't begin to tell you how much I'm dreading next spring or how bad I think things are going to get. I anticipate he will be homeless, unmedicated, cold, and hungry - and I'm steeling myself to *not* rescue him. Like you, I think the most optimistic situation will be arrest - at least then he'll have a hot and a cot, but.... I don't kid myself on that either. Jail will be heck for him - all those rules, you know?

    I think in some ways it will be "easier" for us in that thank you isn't living here now. We won't have to tell him to leave. We will have to tell him he cannot come "home".

    I guess I hope that when reality slaps him in the face and he starts to really see how hard (I think) it will be to function, he will be more agreeable to services - but I don't think there's a chance of that happening while he's in his current placement or if we keep rescuing him.

    His therapist years ago told us that thank you wouldn't start to change until it became too expensive to continue as he was. Unfortunately, 8.5 years out of our home hasn't been too expensive for him and I worry about how bad he's going to let things get before he does start making changes, and whether he will be able to pull himself back from the depths. We will encourage and provide information on resources, but my days of making the phone calls for him are over (of course, I'm still making the calls to get info on resources, but he doesn't have to know that ;) ).

    I don't know - it's going to be a rough road, I think, but from where I'm standing we really only have 2 choices: Keep trying to get them services that they refuse, provide housing they won't value, continue to contribute to a lifestyle they haven't earned but feel they are entitled to, OR force them out to stand on their own 2 feet and either get their acts together or figure out that they really *do* need services. Both choices pretty much Hoover.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Thank you everyone for your responses. No offense was taken from any of them....I've said similar things to others and knew exactly what you meant.

    husband and I talked very briefly about this last night. He had to work late and then again early today so there wasn't much time. I think we will, though, set difficult child down tonight and lay it all out for him. husband doesn't think he realizes what will happen if he's out of school (loss of insurance and all that entails) and wants to make absolutely sure that he understands. I'm fine with that but at the same time, all it really affects is difficult child's medications. According to him, he doesn't need them so I doubt it will pack much of a whallop with him. He has already been told that if he's unmedicated, he will not be living here but again, he doesn't take that seriously. I'm not sure what this talk will accomplish but at least it was done.
  9. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Mstang,
    I think the talk will accomplish more for you than him but that is an important thing. We need to know that our difficult children understand what the deal is before we can go ahead and do it. It is so difficult, we need to know we have done everything we could and have made it clear to them what the consequences will be. If the consequence is to be kicking them out then the only way we can hold strong to that is to be sure that they understand it. They may not believe it but at least you know that you told them. Otherwise you will not follow through.

  10. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    I am not sure if this was mentioned but can
    u have him placed in a psch hospital for 3 days or more for evaluation (against his will if nesessary)
    maybe it would help all I can do is send hugs
  11. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    At this point, no. Since he's legally an adult, he has to either attempt to (or actually do) cause harm to himself or others before we can get him admitted somewhere.
  12. Wishing

    Wishing New Member

    I have an 18 year old who is going to a community college but stopped medications but after 2 months started taking 1/3 of a dose. Only when in class. There has been a lot of volatility in our home. He has cleaned the house for me though. Now I have wised up and before I give him money for gas or anything else I ask him to do a chore and he does it right then. What I don't understand is why he won't get a part time job. I wonder whether a person learns more from a job than being in school.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, Mstng.
    Scary times.
    I like the idea of setting him up in an apt, going through the classifieds with-him, interviewing mgrs with-him, so he KNOWS you are serious.
    It could be a win/win situation.
    Also, that way, if he goes off his medications, the mgmt throws him out, not you.
    Just a thought.

    I love some of the notes here ... so eloquent ... I don't have much to offer ... I'm a bit stressed today and wish I could offer you more.