Kicked 26 yr old son out of the house

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nflgirl, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Nflgirl

    Nflgirl New Member

    My heart is aching because I lost my temper and kicked my son out of our house 2 weeks ago. He is high functioning autistic, adhd, depressed and has a narcissistic personality disorder. He has struggled to keep a job, go to college or tech school and have a long term girl friend since 2010 when he graduated from high school. His psychiatrist and therapist say he needs to want to function as a responsible adult and will not unless I back off from enabling him. They told me he may have to hit rock bottom before he realizes he has made choices that have placed him in his current circumstances. Do you have any experience like this with your adult child?
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    NFL, many of us have these experiences. His therapy team is right: enabling him, or rescuing him, is not going to help him. Many of us spent years going down that road also.

    I have come to believe the diagnoses don't matter much. We hold on to them as parents - as explanations, as excuses, as reasons why our kid is different from all those other kids out there and why in our circumstances maybe continuing to enable is the right choice. Because maybe all those diagnoses and acronyms mean they CAN'T, and maybe that changes our responsibility as parents of adults. But beyond cases of severely diminished function, I've come to believe that rescuing is almost never the right choice, regardless of the diagnosis. The diagnosis is often a red herring. What matters is how they are behaving, and what they need to learn. And as I sad on sadmom's thread, sadly many of our children seem to need to learn the hard way, from the world, rather than the easy way, from us. It's hard to watch. Sometimes doing nothing is much, much harder than running to the rescue.

    You can read more of our stories on other threads. And I encourage you to tell us more of yours. It helps, to get it all out there. Most of us don't have many people in the "real" world who understand what this is like. It can feel very isolating, and very lonely.

    A lot of what we do here is work on ourselves, on learning how to be ok even when our kids are not.

    I'm glad you found us. I hope you keep posting. Tell us more, when you're ready.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi NFLgirl,
    I'm glad you found us here and I'm so sorry for the heartache you are experiencing.
    I never like to use the term "kicked out" when it comes to an adult child. I choose the term "liberated".
    You liberated your son from your home so he can live his life on his terms. I'm guessing this happened because he does not choose to follow your house rules.
    I'm glad to hear that he has been seeing both a psychiatrist and therapist. They have been honest with you.
    There comes a time when what we, the parent views as helping is really enabling. Your son is 26 and although he is autistic, he's high functioning and should be able to take care of himself.
    It can be so hard for us parents to step back and allow our children to experience life and all the consequences that go with it.
    I have always loved this story as I think it's very fitting for our adult children.

    The Struggle of The Butterfly

    Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

    The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

    One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

    The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

    At first the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

    The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors, and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

    As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

    But neither happened!

    The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

    It never was able to fly…

    As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

    As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I love the butterfly story.

    NFL, if it helps, I was diagnosed with high-functioning Aspergers well into adulthood - what the latest DSM just lumps in with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I'm not sure if I were reassessed now where I would fall. Some things I think I've outgrown (or outlearned), some things I've learned to work around, and some things (mainly on the sensory processing side of things, and facial recognition/facial expression recognition) I've just accepted as part of who I am. But I function. I wasn't diagnosed young, so I was never given any outs or special dispensations. A mixed blessing, to be sure. But it did mean that I got out in the world and learned to make my way, because I wasn't given any other options. You may be surprised at what your son is capable of when he is forced to be responsible for himself. He may be surprised himself.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I was born with many challenges including a learning disability (severe), soft neurological differences and anxiety and a mood disorder that manifested when I was very young. I had NO parental support. In fact my mother especially and later my sister and brother did not believe I needed help and decided to label me as bad.

    So when I left the house to marry a very unhelpful man who also didnt get me I left with no help and no support. I had to decide to do it myzelf. Although my family never did get it, and all had major issues of their own, i did very well as I learned how to cope with challenges. I believe I did better than I would have if my family had made allowances for me for my challenges. I had to learn to do life with challenges so I did...and a very nice life I have! I even LIKE myself.

    Its not always a bad thing to send adults with challenges out to learn themselves. My parents and sibs did it out of ignorance but it helped me. I think doing too much for people who are a bit different can hurt them ratjer than help.


    Love and light!