Marine Corp veteran living in my basement

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Twisted Sister60, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Twisted Sister60

    Twisted Sister60 New Member

    My 24 year old son is an honorably discharged Marine who enlisted after high school because, I believe, enlisting solved all his problems as to what to do with his life. He completed a 4 year commitment, went to Afghanistan and other horrible places and saw violence,etc. He was a difficult child, the oldest of three, with two younger sisters. He had/has difficulty making friends, he was an outcast in school, he was a smart child but weird and diagnosed with ADD in 5th grade. The teachers ganged up on me to allow him to have an IEP which he carried through high school.
    He plays video games obsessively and refuses to leave the house except for the rare outing with one of his friends to play paintball. He claims he has a rich social life on line and knows "friends" from all over the world that he has played with and talked to for many years. He sits in front of his computer for hours at a time. He does nothing around the house, eats our groceries, does not take out the trash or help clean up saying.... "I don't make a mess so I am not helping clean up" although he is not paying rent or contributing to household duties in any way. He rarely showers or brushes his teeth. He has never had a girlfriend. I have my own business and I gave him a job which he has worked for several months. It started out promising and he seemed to enjoy it but he started making enemies with his political far right wing ranting about current issues. He chose to fight with the front desk receptionist and cannot move out of the conflict. I am afraid I will have to fire him from my office. He believes that talking about your feelings is weak and will not share his feelings or ask others about their feelings. This alienates him from others because he does not connect. He just signed a lease for an apartment, so he tells me he is moving out on Tuesday. He claims he has been going to school but I have yet seen him study and I think he is making it up and not going to school at all.
    I have tremendous guilt as I wished I had pushed therapy when he was younger but I had a difficult husband (his father) who I was not compatible with and who, whenever I would bring up the subject of our difficult son, would point his finger at me and say "he is just like YOU", and refuse to talk about the problem. I attended most school events and teacher conferences as well as doctors appointments,etc. alone. Not that I am blaming anyone.... My son is who he is regardless of his parents at this stage.
    I think he is addicted to gaming and his social isolation makes it harder for him to connect with others. I feel better after writing this and I hoped that someone else might have a similar situation with a happy ending?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't have a similar situation, but this isn't your fault. Your son just might be differently wired in some ways and may not want what you want for him. in the meantime. He has really done a lot of good, even with his challenges.

    it is not easy to become a Marine. they dont take everyone. My hub is a vet. Thank your son for his service. Also, regardless of whether he is going to school.or not, he is moving out. Thats a huge step.

    Any hrlp he needs, he can get through the VA. I used to think the VA was horrible just because I heard it was. But my husband decided to use it when Obamacare went into effect snd both of us are amazed at how good it had been. Now it may not be great all over the country, but your son has free healthcare if he wants to seriously get help for anything. The resources are there.
    He probably could use help with his social skills, but you cant force him to get it.

    I'm sure you also know that combat vets often get post traumatic stress. Many of my hubs vet contacts from Nam have this. My hub did not go into combat. But again it is up to your son to initiate help.

    Take heart. I see this as mostly a win. Your son is on his way out of your house. No more free ride. He is a vet, which opened some doors for him for services if he decides to get help or go back to school or one day buy real estate.

    Meanwhile, Mom, you have a right to set rules in your own home Its YOUR home/sanctuary/castle. Dont feel you cant set boundaries.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Twisted!
    I'm glad you found us here. I admire that your son was able to join the Marines and serve our country. That says quite a bit about him.
    Many soldiers come back with lots of issues.
    This is a very concerning statement. I'm sure as a Marine this was part of their training to not show weakness.
    I do hope he will seek out some group therapy possibly with other veterans. All you can do is suggest it, it will be up to him to act on it. I would imagine if you Googled support groups for veterans you would find many leads.
    I think it's good that he's moving out, having him live with you only enables his behavior and can create a hostile environment that is not good for you or him.
    Your son's journey is his own and you will need to let him struggle through it no matter how much it hurts.

    ((HUGS)) to you....................
  4. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Not so much a part of the training. Its more of a prevalent characteristic of most who join the Marine Corps. When you get that many together who think like that, it tends to be reinforced.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Vets in general are this way. Add a father that reinforced is sad but true that many times our sons pick up cues from all over that it is girly to talk about feelings.
  6. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Tends to be reinforced by many fathers. Tends to just be a guy thing in general, just like the whole "If you aren't bleeding out then suck it up" attitude a lot of men have. Acknowledging pain is weakness. Talking about feelings is weakness. Weakness isn't to be tolerated. It was an attitude that served us well when we were colonizing the west but not so much anymore.
  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The VA has come a LONG way in terms of dealing with mental health care, especially PTSD, since the days when they told my late husband to "Man up and grow a pair!"
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member


    I hope so.

    My hub never needed them for mental health.
  9. RN0441

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


    Wow I'd think if my son joined the marines my problems would be over! It just goes to show you that you never know what's around the corner.

    None of us do, such is life.

    Sounds like he's moving on as an adult so that is great news!!
  10. Twisted Sister60

    Twisted Sister60 New Member

    My son doesn't drink and "do drugs". He sees these things as a weakness. He is not compassionate or empathetic. He has angry outbursts if asked to do anything and sits in front of his computer and argues with people online that he may or may not know. He is sometimes loud and shouting so I can hear him in the back yard. He can be frightening. He will not go to the VA for PTSD treatment.
  11. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    This is so similar to my youngest he is also not sociable never had a girlfriend and spends most of his time playing video games. But he has his own house and a job. I am sure he has issues but I can not do a thing about it its to late. I can either accept him how he is or not its way to late now. If he wants to change its his choice. This is a warning for parents of minors who are isolated socially act while you can.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    TSister, I am sorry for what you are going through. More than that, I am sorry for the horrors your son experienced that he still carries within him.

    I don't know what to suggest short of making your providing a roof over his head contingent upon him getting mental health care, or possibly neurological care.

    Not only might he very well have combat PTSD, but if he was exposed to IEDs, mines, etc, he may also have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and they quite commonly severely affect mood.

    My husband, who was not an infantryman, was in Desert Storm and later kept in the Middle East as a Peacekeeper. Due to his combat riflery skills and his abilities with a .50 cal machine gun, he spent most of his time on patrols. His PTSD was not due to close in combat, though he did see friends killed, but rather a reaction to his having to kill. The brain-washing the military does didn't "take" in his case, and he thought about the children and loved ones of the enemy combatants he killed and it tortured him.

    In husband's case, he sought help as soon as he returned from the Gulf, and again upon being medicaled out of the Army a year later due to bone marrow damage from toxin exposure, which killed him ten years later.

    In both cases, he was basically told he was a "good troop", should be proud of what he'd done, and to grow up.

    Luckily, I was able to get him in with a civilian shrink who had a lot of experience working with police and military and this gentleman was able to help my husband.

    Since the late oughts, the VA has put an emphasis on PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in returning soldiers and from what I'm hearing, are doing a good job.

    Do what you can do to get your son into treatment. I fear he may become dangerous or a suicide risk if this is let go too long.
  13. Twisted Sister60

    Twisted Sister60 New Member

    Thank you, Going North. My fears are exactly as you suggested in that he might hurt himself or others. My idiot ex husband got him a handgun for a present after he returned and he sleeps with this under his pillow.... I'm glad he is moving out tomorrow but fearful that he may be dangerous. I cannot sort out real fears and my own neurosis regarding violence and guns. His Dad is totally unhelpful.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Oh. Sh!t. Yeah. A handgun. Just what he needs. Your ex is an effing idiot! And the type of person who sleeps with a loaded pistol under their pillow is usually the type who shouldn't have a gun in the first place. I would call the police, give them a description of your son and his mental illness, tell him he was given a handgun as a gift, that he is a mentally ill combat vet and that you are afraid he may use the weapon to harm himself or others. Emphasize that son is profoundly mentally ill.

    There's a risk of your son getting shot here, but better that than him going on a shooting spree.
  15. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    My brother was a soldier, he shot himself after the war. Get any help for your boy available. I never stop thinking of my poor brother. Your boy has experienced more than you know. He's trying to hold it together, Let him do whatever he needs to hold it together then.
  16. Twisted Sister60

    Twisted Sister60 New Member

    Sorry about your brother, 1905. I have to learn how to "let go, let God". My son is on his own course and hopefully he will have peace. Alas, my power is limited. Short of having him committed, and that won't happen, he has to deal with his issues himself. Thanks to all for great advice.
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Experienced more than you know is right. My husband, shortly before he died, asked that after he died, I read his jounals, both his handwritten ones and the ones on his computers, destroy the handwritten ones, and wipe his computers before donating/distributing them.

    I read those journals. On the one hand I'm glad I did, because they were the story of the making and destruction of a soldier. On the other hand, I wish I didn't know what I know.

    Not only do I know what a thousand mile stare looks like, I know what he was seeing.

    And remember, he saw a LOT less than many of our close=in combat soldiers saw.
  18. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Sometimes that can be more devastating than the up close. The grunt on the ground sees the immediate results of his actions and know that they caused it. The long distance, sniper, fighter jet, tank, machine gunner, see much greater devastation but it can be very impersonal due to being viewed on film or pictures or because they can never be truly sure that the damage was caused by them. There is also the fact that a 50 cal will cause a lot more damage than an M-16.
  19. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Did you experienced actual combat in war areas?
  20. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    No, but being familiar with the weaponry and dealing with combat veterans both in my unit and in my family I have a bit more knowledge than most without military experience.