It’s always something

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Elsi, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Well I should have known good news was too good to last. C called today and told me the new room isn’t working out and they have given him 30 day notice.

    Of course, it’s not his fault. His female roommate is crazy (they are all crazy). He just had one friend over one time, they weren’t being loud. And he was listening to music outside just that one time and it wasn’t even loud at all but the neighbors called the landlord and it’s all just rediculous blah blah blah blah. Yes, he got drunk a couple times and was out late. And he got in a fight with someone while he was drunk but that wasn’t his fault either that guy’s a real @$&#*.

    When he describes situations he’s in, he can actually sound really reasonable. It’s all so very understandable. Except there is always one common denominator: him.

    To top it all off, he was hit by a car while biking the other night. He thinks he has a couple broken ribs and is having trouble breathing. He hasn’t been to the ER. (Of course no insurance, or even Medicaid because that would require effort and organization to sign up for.). He didn’t get the girl’s information or make a report because ‘she was real young, a student, and she was scared and crying so I told her I was fine and let her go.’ So...charitable impulse, I guess? But absolutely no instinct for self preservation. If she was insured, that would have paid for medical. And his bike is messed up now too, which is his main form of transportation.

    He was supposed to have a job interview today but postponed it until Wednesday because of the accident. He has to be able to lift 50 pounds and right now he can’t. He’s going to go to the ER tonight and see about getting checked out as an indigent patient. I don’t know how he’s eating - I don’t think he’s got $2 in his pocket.

    I am at wits end. I thought he was all set up for a few months at least. Now it looks like he’ll be homeless again just in time for the weather to turn, and since he’s not working yet he’s got no money saved up to find someplace else.

    I feel like an idiot for giving him money to get set up in this apartment. I should have known something like this would happen. It always happens.

    I don’t know what I’m going to do if he ends up on the streets when the weather gets cold.

    In the meantime, I’ve heard nothing from S for weeks. I assume she’s alive out there somewhere. With her coke dealer ‘roommate’.

    Feeling very discouraged tonight. Every time I think we’re making progress, it’s back to square one.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This sounds exactly like my son and me. Before he came back to my town last time, there was a very similar apartment scenario. He had been living in an abandoned car parked in front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken which he was sharing with a meth addict deaf man.

    My son J, actually, had no qualms. I did. His best friend did. He said the car was horrible. Like a drug addict car. So the friend had another friend who needed a roommate. Very, very high rent area. My son needed $300 for a deposit, and $700 for his half of the rent. I paid a good portion of this. For the exact and very same reasons you did. I could not bear how he was living.

    The situation lasted one month. In that month there was an altercation with the landlord. The other tenants were afraid of him. My son? Completely clueless about why he had to leave. I did everything, right Mom. I was polite. I cleaned up. Everything. Mom.

    My son is always a victim of circumstance.

    When I rescue him, I am learning I really am rescuing myself.

    Unfortunately for us. The only things that teach them are direct circumstances. As in suffering. We cannot take away their suffering. With this we take away their learning. You know all of this.

    What you cannot bear, what I cannot bear, is my own suffering. For them.

    Yes. It will be cold. I have read here on this forum many times. I think SWOT says it, who has the longest institutional memory here. That she had not read of one child who died from the cold. They find a way to survive. They do what it takes. (Unfortunately, I have read of mentally ill people dying from the cold. But your son sounds like somebody with a lot of smarts. In some areas. He can solve this.)

    There are prisoners that are dumped off at the side of the road. They survive. And some even thrive. There are undocumented people who arrive with nothing. They survive. Our sons will find a way. They must.

    Meanwhile he is 3 weeks, at least, to solve this, and longer if he chooses to fight it. In my state tenants rights gives tenants time to fight through an eviction process. The problem with that for my own son is that no matter how many times I tell him to not just fork over the cash, to get a receipt or pay with a cashiers check, he ignores me. So like in the last situation they never return the deposit, because there is never any proof.

    Oh. I do not know how we bear this. But I do know this. He cannot come to where you are. At least I hope not. There is work. Here in my state they are 33 percent short in agricultural workers. There is day labor. There are Alaskan Fisheries. There are the shale oil fields. There is work.

    There are homeless shelters, rescue missions, sober living homes for indigents, Salvation Army, Teen Adult Challenge and Victory Outreach. Each of these could be options if he chooses.

    We need to recognize when we do for them we do it to take away the horrible feelings in us. When I do it, there is a selfishness in that, I have come to see. I am taking away his opportunity to rise to the challenges of his own life. And I am coming to see that I am denying myself the opportunity to meet my own challenges, dealing with my own life with honesty and courage and integrity.

    Elsi. You are in your own TIE ME TO THE MAST waters. We are here together on this boat. Together we will not be lured by the Sirens to crash onto the rocks. We tie each other to the mast.

    You can help him again. I did so many, many times. Most likely, I will do so again. But the bad straits of our sons' live are theirs to maneuver. My son has never ever benefited from my support, in the years since he left home. Every time I help him, it is like something for him to stumble over. Because it is not his true life.

    I do not know what will be the outcome for my son or for yours. But I do know that they will prevail. Just as you write. The learning here is just what you say: It is always something. They are doing it. Their way. When we create paths or next steps or openings, they ALWAYS make sure very quickly to find a way to divert themselves. Because those steps are NEVER the ones they really wish to take. Even if they mouth the words with their lips and we hear them clearly, they are not their own words. Their true words are the ones they take with their feet.

    My own son could not believe I was going to pay his rent. He did not WANT the $700 room. He did not want the commitment. He did not appreciate it, really. And sure enough the whole deal unraveled instantly. He always prevails. As he should.

    I am finally getting it.

    Can I bear it? No.

    I am very, very sorry for this disappointment. It was sooner or later. And given that winter is coming, better now. He can deal. There is time to get to Florida. Or leave the country. Is he on parole? I guess he can't. But that is what I would do. I would go somewhere English speaking is at a premium, and it costs $50 to $100 a month to live. But that's me.

    That makes me sad. Or maybe it doesn't. I got sad because I thought about how lucky it is to have a sense of adventure. And the confidence we will survive. The resistance to dependency.

    But I could look at the other side of the coin: Maybe they do have a sense of adventure. Maybe this is WHY they live this way. That there is a thrill. On the trail.

    The wow is for me, when they call us. It is for public consumption. But secretly they are cowboys. On the trail. Oh. I am sure there is suffering. Let us try to not make it ours.

    Take care.
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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    From years of reading the forum, there are couch surfers, squatting, sleeping in cars is common (takes away some of the chill), homeless shelters that they usually dont want to use because they have drug rules and curfews, and they can hang at 24 hr. Walmarts to get out of the cold. Libraries are popular during the day. These are young people. They wont die from the cold. They get street smart and learn where to go for food and shelter. The homeless have a strong community. They advise one another.

    There are many ways to get food . Food pantries are prime. Some know when grocery stores and restaurants throw out their food. Dumpster diving is common with the homeless. There are food share cards.

    They eat even if we worry they wont. And "I am starving" is a big weakness of ours .But they do eat. Of course drug addicts dont eat much. They arent hungry. Most drugs kill your appetite. They buy drugs with their money...any they get from us or other ways.

    Just my observation from being here for very long.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Sigh. I suppose you’re both right - they know how to survive, if only just barely. And no, I can’t bring him here.

    He just seemed so ready to make something work. I really thought if I could just help him get his living situation stabilized he was ready to start getting his life back on track. He seemed to want it so badly. He seemed motivated to do the work.

    Aren’t they always? So many circumstances. So much bad luck. So many crazy people, unreasonable expectations, crossed signals, and changed plans.

    That sounds exactly what I hear every time. I did everything they asked. I held my temper and was polite even when they were going crazy. I followed all the rules. I don’t understand what happened and why they changed their minds. We had a deal and I upheld my part.

    But it happens. Every. Time. There is a mysterious completely unforeseeable argument over something that is of course not his fault, as any reasonable person could see.

    But all his living situations fall apart this way. Friends, family, strangers off Craigslist. They all seem to decide they don’t want him there very shortly after he moves in. Funny how that works.

    I know this, but I need to hear it.

    Oh yes. This is exactly right.

    A good way to look at it. Am i actually being selfish for helping him? But I feel selfish when I don’t help him, when I leave him on the streets when I have a comfortable unused guest room right here. I feel selfish for prioritizing my own peace and comfort over his safety. I still fall into the trap of thinking maybe I could save him here, if I were only willing to sacrifice more. It’s hard to think of it the other way, that denying him the consequences of his actions may be the more selfish course. I’ll have to ponder that.

    He’s not on parole - his felony charge was five years ago and he’s completed everything. So he’s free to go. And he talks about it all the time. But there are always things he wants to do first - get his license back, save up for a car, get a little savings together to get started with. And those things never happen. So he never goes. I feel bad for thinking I’d be relieved if he did go, because then I wouldn’t be as accessible to call on for crises.

    I know you’re right. And it helps to hear that you’ve never heard of anyone starving or freezing to death in all your time of the boards. Because of course that’s what’s playing on my disaster channel right now. Headline: ‘man freezes to death because mother wouldn’t move cats out of the guest room.’

    Yes. Thank you, Copa. I needed that. I need to be tied to my mast tonight. Hearing the despair and desperation in his voice is a siren call to me. I will absolutely crash on the rocks if I answer it. He will grab onto me and drag me under with him. I have been there before and I can’t do it again. It’s just so hard to remember sometimes.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is how close I am to the rocks.

    I read this and I question myself. Of course what you say sounds right.

    Of course our love and responsibility are greater than any comfort or convenience. Of course I am willing to sacrifice. How can that be questioned? I have sacrificed over and over and over again. My health, my well-being, my equilibrium, my hope....

    But this is the fallacy. What you are saying (I beg your pardon) is a fallacy. It is fallacious. If it was a question of our sacrifice, commitment, responsibility or love...this would have worked.

    But it never works. Because it is not our virtues, efforts, commitments, involvement, attitudes, dedication that can turn this around. If this worked, what we bring to the table, every single one of us on this board would have turned things around for our children.

    But it is their own stuff that counts. It is their virtue, effort, motivation, commitment, responsibility, consistency that will do this. And if this is absent, they will not do it. They cannot do it. They have to suffer until they learn or not. Or put themselves in a program, and tie themselves to the mast.

    This is what we miss every single time.

    Okay. I am re-reading the beginning of your post, again. And I see you write: he seemed ready; he seemed to want it.

    I cannot say I have ever felt that way about my son, in these past 7 years.

    But I can say this: I believe your son wants it. I believe he is ready to have stability. But does he have the habits and the mindset and the motivation to push through difficulty and accept his part in problems and to take the responsibility that needs to be taken to handle inevitable problems.

    You know. I know. That there are moments in life when we have to take 100 percent of responsibility when problems arise. Particularly when we are vulnerable. Maybe there is no 30 year old that is prepared to do that. But he is next to homeless, without any resources at all. This is not the time to be obtuse and to assume anything. And yet our kids over and over again, do. They feel comfortable. Unconcerned. They assume power they do not have. In a sense they are eternal optimists. If there is food and housing today. Hey. I've got it made.

    All of this is making me very, very sad. Sad for him. Sad for my son. Sad for you. Sad for me.

    These kids are not intending to screw up, but screw up they do. The key here is our recognition that what we do for them does not work. I don't know how this works out. My son is showing no signs of learning anything. And this stagnancy has gone on for a long time. He is a one trick pony: marijuana.

    I despair.

    But life is suffering. I used to hate to read or hear that. But it is more real than not.

    Feel your sadness. I will feel mine. But helping them solve their problems does not work. I tried. And tried. And tried. And tried. And then I tried some more.

    I don't know what we do next. I really do not know. Because as sure as rain my son will show up and I don't think I have the heart to refuse him. Even though it does not work.

    Except for one thing. That might save me. This last time when we were calling the cops a couple times a week, and he was squatting, two times he tried to force his way into my house to get something that was here.

    I cannot tell you what happened, but in kind of a fugue-state (like traumatic amnesia) I did something to protect myself and I was unconscious of it at the time, like a sleepwalker. I only became aware when M ordered me to stop. I obeyed him, as if I was hypnotized. And only then did I awake. After you read this post I will delete it.

    You see, I did not change because I got better or smarter or more in control of my responses and reactions. I changed because I got scared. I saw myself behaving like a trauma victim/like a battered and abused person. And I feared that I had lost myself.

    That I had lived a long and successful life (more or less) and I had lost it. That I could lose it in a moment of trauma-based reaction to the bad behavior of my child, and my inability or unwillingness to set limits and to protect myself and my home. So the reason that I changed was that I had crossed a line, and I was forfeiting myself. And I was forced to see and accept this.

    So. Don't think I am on any kind of high horse here. I was debased. And when I got there. I decided I could no longer go down more.

    You see. The thing that we do not factor in here is: us. We matter. Your life matters.

    Our kids do not consider how their behavior affects others, and as it affects us, even less. I think that is how I have changed in the past 10 weeks. I see that I matter too. And maybe I should even matter more, to me. (I never really considered the effect on me, at all.)

    My son is an adult too. Maybe it is wrong to let your adult male children use you, or fail to consider you, or allow you and encourage you to sacrifice yourself. Maybe it is a lack of integrity, my integrity, that enables me to do that. Maybe It is lack of integrity rather than any virtue as a mother, as a woman, that kept me trying and trying.

    I do not like to think of myself as lacking integrity. I do not like to think of myself as debasing myself. That was my bottom line.

    I hope there is something here that is of use to you. Both of us have been abused. Each of us must have learned very early the necessity for self-sacrifice to care for parents. Each of us must have learned that we had ultimate responsibility. And could not tolerate to see parents vulnerable, because where, then would be? We might have sacrificed to protect siblings. I am making assumptions based upon my own psychology. But the thing is, maybe this knee-jerk necessity to stay in the game comes from someplace bad. And the better thing is to see this, and to act from this awareness.

    I have come to the recognition and the acceptance that to act from this knee jerk feeling state that is 60 years old, is to impose my own psychological limits onto my child. To be his caretaker because I do not want to re-experience trauma again, is wrong for me, and for him. To do that is to use my child. And now that I am conscious, I do not want to do it any longer.

    And now with the recognition, clear as a bell, that to enter into this dance with him, re-exposes me to trauma at his hands...well, finally I have some kind of a boundary.

    Honestly. I do not know what I will do in the future. I feel clear, what I should do and what I should not. Will I hold? I don't know.

    Honestly. It feels like I know what you should NOT do. But I am very, very clear that I do not. I feel very clear that my sense of conviction comes from my weakness, and doubt, and pain and fear.
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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Or, they are hoboes. Living off the fringes, because they won’t be tied down to conventional living. It looks and feels too “Wrinkle in Time” too “Stepford”. That’s what I think.
    We are the weird ones, the robots, working nine to five, the establishment.
    They are perpetual Woodstock.
    Are our kids related Elsi? The same type of things happen to Rain, hit by a car, foot ran over, no insurance, no going to a doctor, hobbling around for months. Then there was the leg infection. Her father died of sepsis, for God’s sakes. She lay there in the park with a high fever, called my youngest to bring soup. Leg super swollen. She refused to get medical help. Said it made her look weak to her friends.
    There seems to be this dark cloud of unfortunate events holding them back from progressing. It almost seems planned and timed, just when it looks like things are looking up....boom. Or are they egging fate on, taunting it to mess up any hope of returning to normalcy?
    And it is never, ever their fault.
    If it wasn’t so damned heart wrenching, it would make for a dark comedy.
    My plan, is to follow their lead and act like the “always something”, is just another Tuesday.
    My other three are really, really good at that, shaking off the “something”, looking skyward, and saying to me “Are you surprised?”
    I want to be them.
    Let it go, Leafy.

    My falling into a pit of despair, becoming despondent and crushed does nothing. Except put a hold on my life, struggling to recuperate from blows that are not mine to begin with. It’s like the consequences snuck past them and whacked me upside the head.
    That is on me. I am working on ducking.
    What else I need to avoid is the terrible awfuls I create in my head, the possible suffering they will go through, which really creates a suffering for me.
    I am writing to myself, and to you. And Copa. And myself. And everyone.
    Kudos to those like LBL and RN and others who have been able to pull their kids out of this. I hope upon hope that it sticks. That they stay on track.
    But for my two, a thousand times a thousand, I can’t buffer any of this. For them.
    Can you tell I am angry? I’m sorry, but I hate this, for all of us.
    So, if I can turn that anger into righteous indignation and declare myself free to live well despite what my two are doing, that is what I need to do. To hell with the terrible awfuls and the days I want to wear a T-shirt that says my daughters are hooked on meth, in jail, homeless.
    It is their life. Their choices.
    It is not mine to wear.
    I’m sorry for the rant guys. You are right Elsi, it is always something, and it is disheartening. But it is your sons something, Copa’s sons something, my daughters something.
    I am determined to not allow their “always something” to be my undoing.
    I hope the same for all of us. That we rise above the consequences and “somethings” our adult kids get themselves into.
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  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think Tanya is our model in this. But I don't think she got angry. I think it was more like with me. She may have gotten ill, and realized what were the real consequences of staying in the mix with her son.

    That is really the right word. The mix. Like the mixer. Or the blender. We end up in little chunks if we are lucky, but more likely pulverized. There is no staying in the mix and staying whole.

    I am reading a WWI novel. And basically it is about various ways to die: am I dead shot down from an airplane; or am I dead in a trench on the western front; am I dead because my boat has been bombed; you get the drift.

    There is no way out for us, except Tanya's way. To live her life apart from her child. Remember how she wrote it, she left a 1 percent chance that he might change. But her default was: she knew how the story could end. Like those men in ww1. And that way, she could live. She did not make her son's life contingent on her own. Or her life contingent upon his.

    This is the fatal mistake. To believe we can save them when we cannot.

    I would give my life for my son's without thinking. I almost did. I did not help him.

    Which brings me back to where Elsi began, to paraphrase: I will feel better if I sacrifice myself. I have the space. I have the heart. I can help him. And this is exactly the tack I took for several years. It did not work.

    In his mind he never bought in. Oh. It worked some if we were vigilant jailers, but the minute we laid off for a minute, he was himself. And himself was indifferent to anything except the moment.

    I don't see how you bring your son home to paradise. Would you not be sacrificing your partner and your relationship? I know your son sounds like a sweet and vulnerable man. But face it, would you as a couple be able to sustain this?

    To continue to entertain the idea that you could do this, should do this--when you know the real truth--is self-abuse. That is the only way I can think of it. You are punishing yourself. And It is wrong. You do not deserve it.

    You have received the unfiltered me. I took a pill to sleep 45 minutes ago, and have been half asleep through it all. Hope I did not go off on a wild goose chase.

    Do you not deserve some safety and some peace and some contentment?
  8. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Thank you, thank you, thank you all. I am reading and rereading your words this morning. I will be reading them many times again.

    Copa, thank you for your raw honesty and vulnerability here. I think most of us here have been in similar places, where we have reacted by instinct rather than responded with logic. My children have witnessed me melt down from frustration or totally lose it. I don’t do that any more. But I don’t do that any more because I am in a safe place where I can retreat and recover and get ahold of myself. And if I give up that safe space, I won’t be able to be the strong calm one anymore.

    And you’ve correctly identified that the roots of our pathological need to save our children comes from our own childhood and our own sense of self. I have been thinking a lot about these root causes lately. My father, who was probably also on the spectrum somewhere as well as bipolar, was the only person in my childhood who ‘got’ me, and he committed suicide when I was 12. I was the last person he talked to. He gave me his beloved guitar. I have questioned ever since why I didn’t see it coming and whether there was anything I could have done to stop it. It’s always in my head when I hear the despair in my children’s voices.

    And then of course there is my pathological need to be the good girl, the responsible daughter/sister/wife/parter/mother who fulfills all expectations and never lets anyone down. I was a weird kid and didn’t know how not to be weird but I could be responsible. I could do chores and homework and follow rules and do what I was told and then maybe I would still be loved even if I was weird. How pathetic is that? I didn’t even realize this until I just wrote it down. I married the first man who asked me because marriage was expected in my community and I was made to feel strange and damaged and lucky that anyone asked at all. It turned out to be a highly abusive relationship in every possible sense but I stayed because the kids needed me and because that’s what good girls do. I stayed and I took it until it all fell apart and I realized I would end up as a photo on the front page of the local paper if I didn’t get out, and I could at least get my youngest to a safer place for her high school years even if I couldn’t save them all.

    And now I am trapped in the role of the good mother, still. Sometimes I feel like it is a life sentence.

    I am crying as I read this because no one ever said this to me before. And I never said it to myself.

    Yes. To enter the chaos they live in, or allow it to enter my life, is re-exposing myself to trauma. Putting myself back into all those years of chaos and pain. Hoping that if I can just be good enough this time I can stop it all.

    And I can’t. I don’t know if their issues are roooted in childhood trauma or brain chemicals or DNA or some toxic combination of all of the above but I can’t fix it. There are moments of heartbreaking clarity from them where I think maybe I can get through, maybe this time will be different. But then...we’re back on the same old merry-go-round.

    Oh Leafy this is so exactly right. That is exactly how both S and C think. I’m a sucker for working so hard and living a conventional life. They don’t want to work for the man and be part of the establishment. Normal is boring. It lacks poetry, or passion, or coolness, or something. They idolize beat poets and angsty b-list rockers and others living life on the fringes because that’s real, man. That’s deep.

    And yet they don’t mind taking money from us suckers earning it working for the man. Funny how that works.

    Yes! They have the worst run of bad luck you ever heard of. And some of it really is bad luck. I know he didn’t ask to get hit by a car. But the way he lives leaves him vulnerable to bad things happening over and over again. Getting screwed over by sketchy roommates. Having stuff stolen. Getting in accidents. Yeah, bad stuff happens to all of us on occasion, but when you’re living a boring conventional life a lot of that is mitigated. Or you have the social and financial resources to deal with it. For them, it’s like they are living on the train tracks, and wondering why they keep getting hit by the train over and over again.

    I love this. It’s not mine to wear!

    Sometimes I do feel like I have to wear my children’s shortcomings like a scarlet letter. Because how can their choices and lifestyle not reflect on me as a mother? I look around at other people I know whose families and grown children look so perfect. I’m sure they have struggles too. But not like this. There is a shame that comes with saying, my child is an addict. My child is in jail. My child has violent rages. I am slowly learning to let go of that shame.

    This is both true and heartbreaking. It is a hard place to come to.

    No, of course we would not. My partner did not sign up for this and it wouldn’t be fair to her. And it wouldn’t be fair to me either. We have worked so hard to build this sanctuary together. It truly is the first place i have ever felt fully at peace and at home in my entire life. And haven’t I served my time already? Don’t I deserve to have peace at this stage of my life?

    My son is a sweet, vulnerable, smart, instrospective man. He is also an alcoholic prone to alcoholic rages. And a profoundly irresponsible man who can’t seem to think ahead for his future. He’ll give his last dollar to a friend or another homeless man, because he is kind. Then he’ll turn around and ask for money, because he puts no thought into what he will need for himself tomorrow.

    Yep. This is exactly right. If he is here, it will work as long as I let it work -but there will be no steps taken towards more self sufficiency tomorrow. It’s just another stop on the hobo circuit. I’d have to kick him out eventually and more likely than not he’ll be in the exact same place he is now.

    I need to print this out in foot high letters and hang it on the wall. Seriously. I need to look at this every day.

    Thank you. Yes. I am almost 50 years old and experiencing peace and contentment for the first time in my life. Finally being fully myself for the first time. In a happy peaceful supportive relationship for the first time. In a place where I’m not walking on eggshells 24/7 for the first time. And I do deserve this. It’s ok to enjoy it, and protect it.

    They are adults and no longer entitled to the fruits of my labors. Short of profound developmental disabilities, we are not meant to support our children our whole lives.

    And we have to conserve our resources for our own needs and our old age. Because lord knows these children aren’t going to be in a position to care for us if we don’t.

    I have to remind myself that even the bad luck they keep having is a result of the choices they have made and are continuing to make. That they do have the ability to jump off the merry-go-round if they want to.

    I am going to make some tea, feed all the animals, and try to get focused for the day. Working from home, I find it hard sometimes to stay on task with all this buzzing in the background. But I have to. I can’t let their train wrecks keep derailing me. So ...deep breath, and back to my own reality.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I called my son. He did not answer.

    Why? Extreme sadness fear. The sense of responsibility for him. Not materially but emotionally. The sense that I was not available to him emotionally. That I was too hard? Me?

    It is not FOG alone. He is someone I love.
    There is still the sense that I can BE something that will influence him. Or should be.

    Really sad. I am.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  10. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Right there with you. Guilt, sadness, fear, feeling responsible. Second-guessing my role in his childhood years. Loving him and hating to be around him. Wanting more for him than he wants for himself. Wanting to reach out. Being afraid to reach out. Calling and unsure whether I want him to answer or not.

    I'm not calling anymore.

    I'll tie you to the mast if you tie me.
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  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member can not influence him. You tried in every way possible. The only person who makes his choices is him. Some people take no counsel and are not influenced by others, even if they know we mean the best.

    We can give input. Thats all. We cant force them to do what we feel is best for them. Societial norms are not always part of what they care about so appealing to the things most of us care about doesnt work. And if they do want comfort, they definitely only want it if we will give it to them. There is a common denominator of these adult kids not wanting to work. They would rather have nothing than work. Do I get it? No. Do I see this over a decade on this board? Repeatedly.

    I share some positives that I personally know about. Your son is on SSI and qualifies for multiple adult support services, like Sonic does. Wirh SSI you can get help finding a job that is at your level of ability usually part time yet will not cut off all your SSI. Sonic tool advantage of this. Medicare and Medicare is given.

    There is housing for those with disabilities. Your son has SSI which means he is considered disabled and can find housing for himself probably on Section 8. Sonic is in a great, clean two bedroom apartment, quiet and calm. Since it is for adults with developmental disabilities .he only has to pay 1/3 of his income and this includes electricity and water. His amount is evaluated every six months or so. Meanwhile a lady is at the front desk all day. Its a very nice place with a common area, place for bikes and storage.

    I know your son is not developmentally delayed but he must qualify as something to get SSI and there is probably a similar place with similar price break for him. With his early drug exposure and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) certainly there is help for him. But he needs to utilize it. The help is there. He must pursue it.

    Your son has a case manager. It goes with SSI. My son loves and utilized hos Case Manager. Your son can too. His Case Managwer will help him fing housing suitable to his needs.

    There are more services which will still be available after you leave this life. He only needs to ask and cooperate. He does not need to be in the street or your home. There are third options.

    Sonic has a special needs trust set up with a lawyer. When we pass his payee can help with this and a special needs fund does not get in the way of SSI and other services. I was told that the special needs fund is the only way to protect his supports and money.

    I feel safe that he has established his life ongoing.

    Your son can use these supports too. He is considered disabled. It would be good if he had a payee but Im not sire hpw that works if the person doesnt want one.
    In some cases the payee is court ordered. It is usually a neutral company of payees, not us.

    Your son can do a lot to assure a warm place to stay if he wants. Maybe if he has a medical marijuana card he can even use that where he stays. Its illegal here and my son doesnt I know little about that.

    In the end, you can give him this info. He may not know about it. But you cant make him do it.

    I know and understand that you dont like mental heath organizations out I only like good ones and I do trust NAMI. You may be able to get good suggestions from them. Cant hurt to call. You cant control your son but you can gain even more knowledge to pass to him. That way you have done EVERYTHING, no stone unturned. They have caregiver classes and others too. Ask!

    I so wish you love and luck and am so glad you have M. He is one smart and caring man.

    Love and light.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  12. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Reading each of your posts. I'm a week into my latest attempt to detach from our 28yo son. I want badly to text him and ask how he's doing, if he's found a new place to live yet, is he working? But I know I'll only get profane, vicious comments that will go on and on. I have to keep reminding myself that it's for his sake, not just my own, that I don't indulge in the need to help and rescue. Maybe I'm just getting in the way of what God might be trying to do. Gotta stay strong. Thank you once again for your openness in sharing yourselves with the rest of us. I love the analogy of "tying yourself to the mast" by the way.
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Beta, I am sorry you are on this path with us. It is so hard. I pray your son, and all our lost children, will find their way back to light and sanity.

    Sometimes I think I would have an easier time detaching if C were angry and vicious towards me. At least I could tell myself he was the one who walked away from me, and maybe feel better about washing my hands of the whole mess. I get the opposite: sadness, embarassment, abject apologies, appeals. I'm sorry, mom. Sorry I F---ed up again. Sorry for swearing. I just don't know what to do anymore. I keep trying and it never works out. You're the only one who hasn't turned their back on me. Please don't abandon me. I love you Mom. I know I'm am F-up but I'm trying, I really am.

    He knows how to pull on every heartstring and play me like a harp.

    "Tie yourself to the mast" is Copa's analogy, and it is wonderful. It's exactly what I need right now.
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Elsi, I'm so sorry for the recent events. It's like being on a teeter totter, you are the one up in the air and the other person jumps off and you slam into the ground.

    You are no idiot. I have been there so many times, giving my son money in hopes that "this will be the time" to then getting slammed on the teeter totter, left feeling like a failure. For myself, each time it happened I got that much closer to being done. The "being done" is different for each one of us. Only you will know when enough is enough.

    There is nothing you can do. Worrying and wondering do nothing for us except expend our energy and cause us to lose sleep. My son has managed to survive being a homeless drifter for many years. I've had the messages from him telling me he was going to starve and freeze to death and I would direct him to get to a shelter. Always remember, homeless people actually know how to network together. It's a community that I would not choose for myself but I have learned over the years just how resourceful they can be. It may not be pretty but they manage to find food and shelter.

    Oh Copa, this is so true! Reading the words just had a WOW effect on me. Yes, all the times I "rescued" my son, I was doing it more for me than him. I did it for my own peace of mind.

    There are always options and just as Copa said, if he chooses.

    Hang in there Elsi. Focus on you. Do something each day that is just for you.
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Reminder: words are cheap....verbal vomit. Even if the words are what you want to hear, they are just noise. Actions are the only thing that should excite you. I say this so mothers wont get hurt. Example:

    "Im so sick of my life. This time I am quitting and getting a job. Im done with living this way." Nice words you want to hear worthy of a smile and nod.

    Now THIS is when you should truly rejoice. You find out that Adult Child put himself in rehab (an admirable action, not words). He stays there without or with your prodding, does the program, gets a decent job (sorry that common job here of delivering pizza will not sustain him or last) and perhaps the adult child turns to a higher power on his own. Not everyone finds the Higher Power part important. I think it helps after reading the board for a decade. At any rate THIS is when to rejoice. When its in the ACTIVE productive stage, not when they are just talking. Talking means nothing. Some may just be manipulation so we put out money.

    Many a mother got her hopes up on this forum because the adult positive talked. Often that Mom dipped into her retirement to pay for a nice apartment and furniture before the adult DID anything positive. It was no action, all talk. Responding like that to even a good week or one good month is not helpful. Addiction takes at least a year of actively doing sobriety before anything has changed for sure. Not talk. Action.

    Lile RNs son. I feel he has a great chance. He isnt just talking. He is doing. Thats when you are very likely seeing a true HEART change. Remember LoveMySon? Her son joined the Marines after cleaning up and finding God....this is when to breathe again and rejoice. I wish she would check in again. Again I see more adults who find God quitting but I am sure its not mandatory.

    I have seen these stories for at least a decade and I had a daughter who used. Im no expert but this is what I read....story after story. So I am sharing how it seems to go.


    Love and light to all.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I agree 150% with this. As many know, I've been dealing with my son's out of control behavior for over 20 years. His recent phone call telling us how he knows he needs to change and he's attending AA are the "words" I want to hear but I've been in this spot many times before. Of course I want to believe him but I know this can be a dangerous time for me so I must be on my guard. I take my son's "words" with a grain of salt. As SWOT says, it's in the actions. For me, my son will need to maintain sober living and be self sustaining for a few years in a row before I will believe he's really changing.
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  17. RN0441

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

    So you have to look at your son's age and then not feel guilt. He is an adult. He is more than an adult. These are HIS choices. You love him but YOU cannot live his life for him.

    I talked to an old friend last night. I knew that her nephew just died of a heroin overdose a few weeks ago but I did not know the details.

    I found out last night that he died in his own bed. He was 26. His mother had worked the night shift at the ER and came home and slept for a bit and then went to check on him as she normally did and he was blue. She tried CPR but it was too late, he was already gone.

    He had spent the summer in jail. He had been in rehab more than once.

    She could not save him. He was not safe in his very own bedroom in his very own house.

    Maybe, just maybe, if she had said NO and not let him live there and let him FEEL all of the consequences of his addiction, he may be with us today.

    I certainly cannot or will not judge her. There is no room for judgement here.

    I am just thankful that this was not my son. This could have been my son very easily - he drank and did benzos all the time. She loved him to death.

    Don't feel guilty for not housing him.
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  18. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    So the drama continues. C did end up going to the hospital, and he is still there now. He has three fractured ribs and a collapsed lung from the accident. They did some kind of procedure today to drain air from the lung lining.

    I have not been down to the hospital to see him. I feel like the worst mother in the world. But he has not asked me to come down, or even told me what hospital he’s in. And I’m just so tired of it all. I’m frustrated that he didn’t have the self preservation instinct and basic life skills to get young woman’s information and file a police report so he could have some kind of claim. He’s getting basic care that the hospital will write off as a charity case, but he could have had full medical coverage, money to get his bike fixed or replaced, maybe even compensation for lost work opportunities. And I’m still beyond livid about losing this room less than 2 weeks after I paid to get him set up there. I don’t have time to drop everything every other week for the latest crisis because there is ALWAYS another crisis. And as a freelancer, there is no paid time off, and I’m scrambling to get work done and billed to make up for what I just gave him.

    But. I still feel like the worst mother in the world. What kind of mother doesn’t go see her son in the hospital when he’s been hit by a car?

    That is exactly how I feel. I had such high hopes this time. He seemed so sincere, so ready. Then wham - back to hard reality again.

    Thanks for this SWOT. I needed to be hit upside the head with this.

    Good reminder. You’re right - bringing him here does not guarantee his safety. But it will guarantee that I will lose my place of peace and sanity. I can’t bring his chaos here.

    I don’t even know what to hope for anymore. The clock is ticking on his eviction, and now I’m not sure he’s able to work even if willing. So what next? I have no idea.
  19. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Let go of all expectations (easier said than done but doable). Live one day at a time. The future is not worth ruminating over. We cant know it. Best to slow our thoughts to NOW.

    Thats one way to deal. Therapy helps. You may try it.
  20. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Thanks SWOT. I know you’re right.

    I’ve been in therapy before and I’m sure I could benefit again. It’s just so expensive. My insurance doesn’t kick in until I’m $6k out of pocket. :eek: