My son called to ask for a ride to the emergency hospital and he'd explain later.


Well-Known Member
At dusk tonight my son called asking for a ride to the hospital which is a half a mile from our house. He said it was too complicated to explain why on the phone (doubtful). I could have said call an ambulance but chose not too. I said wait a minute and I told M. He said "I'll go."

When M and my son arrived at the hospital. M let him out...but my son came back to the car and said he felt better and did not need the hospital after all. M told my son: I worked all day. I don't appreciate your calling me away from our dinner. M drove my son back to the house where he is staying.

My son is staying in a house with people that really trigger him. It is chaotic. There are meth users and recovering addicts. Lots of drama and who knows what else.

It is also near the end of the month, which means he has run out of money for food.

For both reasons he much prefers to be here with us. He stayed over Thursday night. He said he needed a respite from 4 men with whom he has conflict because of their behavior. From our way of thinking he meddles too much in other peoples business. He is the one that chose to live in this setting. And he is the one who needs to get out and find another place if it is not working.

I feel very sad. It is possible my son felt anxious and cornered after he provoked the men again...and wanted a way out. It is also possible that he wanted to maneuver his way back to our house to eat. And does not want to tell the truth because it is another month in a sequence of months that he either lost or used up his SSI money.

I know about payees so that is not the question I am dealing with here. My sadness is this: when will my son, if ever, decide to change his behavior. To not provoke situations where he will not win. To decide to live in a more suitable situation. To find a way to control his spending. To be careful where he puts his SSI debit card.

I am aware he may never do so. That I will have to report him to Social Security as unable to manage his money. I am hoping for change here, and do not want to forestall it by taking responsibility away from my son prematurely.

On the plus side, he is 5 days away from the end of the month which is better than 3 weeks. Better that he cannot tolerate Meth addicts than fall in with them. Better he have a place to stay than be under a bridge.

But my feeling state is not listening to these arguments. My feeling state wants him in his own apartment or with decent people...and my feeling state wants him to understand he put himself in this toxic situation. My feeling state wants him to understand that to keep arguing with addicts about their behavior is not exactly productive or safe or wise. My feeling state wants him to have better boundaries and judgment.

My son keeps trying to make his situation...our problem and responsibility. And I keep suffering because my default is to rescue him, if he has nobody else. We didn't this time...but it feels so lousy awful not to do so. And it feels so lousy awful when I do.
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Well-Known Member
Hang in there. Sending hugs in the mean time.
Its really hard when our head is at odds with our heart.

But... it almost sounds to me like he is doing better this month than last month?


Well-Known Member
Thank you InsaneCdn.

My son just called.

Mom he said in a stage whisper. You can't believe it here. EVERYBODY, i mean Everybody is on drugs, Mom. Mom, THERE'S WATER DRIPPING from the ceiling Mom. Everywhere is WET Mom. There's no place for me to sleep. No place.

What about the sofa on the porch? xx is there. What about the shelter? It's full (yeah, right)

Ask the landlady to find you a dry place to stay.

Mom. There's nowhere. It'll be okay Mom. On Monday, three of them are going back to xxx. I just need--- (I interrupted him because I knew he was going to ask to come here.)

Son, you need to work this solve it. We have every confidence that you can.

Mom...Just tonite...Mom...there's water everywhere. Son, talk to M (the man I live with.)

After a repeat performance M hands the phone back...let your Mother decide. My son starts again:

Mom. I understand and I am solving it. I will go to xxx (a large city 3 hours away. I have a place to a garage.

A GARAGE...I interrupt...forgetting completely the concept of are going to solve the situation by paying $400 a month to live in a garage?

Mom. It's a rich garage.It even has a stove. Mom. The house is worth almost a million dollars. The parents travel all over the world. They like me. I can go to college (magic words). I just need to come over tonight. OK?

Son, you know I love have to find a solution yourself. If you want me to talk to your landlady...I will do that...but you are not sleeping here tonight. I have confidence you will find a solution.

OK Mom. I understand you're not going to help me. Bye. Phone slams down.


Well-Known Member
OK Mom. I understand you're not going to help me. Bye. Phone slams down.
I hate those words.
I have to remind myself that we don't speak the same language. What "help" means to me, and what "help" means to my child, are totally different. I can't give what the child is looking for - so the child is upset.

I've asked for a plan - and gotten either dreams, or pie-in-the-sky thinking, or just plain nonsense. THEY think it's a plan. Again - we don't speak the same language.

It's hard. I still haven't found the manual for this language gap.


Well-Known Member
I wrote to you about adults who were drug exposed in utero in another thread. Your son may have brain damage to the point that he will never be able to learn it. I am my autistic son's payee and it works out really well. I think your son sounds like he is very irrational and you may be expecting him to be able to do things he can't do.

You're asking when he will learn? He may need adult services to function on his own. Your expectations of him...that he is like other young my opinion are not realistic.

At any rate, I wrote about it in another thread to you and you can take it seriously or leave it. It's up to you. But I think your son is different and could have brain damage from both his brain injury and his birthmother's choice to use drugs/drink while she was pregnant. I would try to find adult services that will test him to see if he can get those adult services. If he won't do it, well, then you've done your best. But I'd at least tell him that he needs help and that there IS help for people who need it. Because of the situation...that he could have brain damage...I'd probably even call for him. And I don't know why you wouldn't be your son's payee. This is something he may honestly not be able to handle on his own and there is no shame in having a disability. No matter how much you tell him you believe in him, your son was exposed to drugs and probably alcohol before he was born and this causes thinking and cognitive issues and behavioral problems too. It's nothing to dismiss.

Did he have problems in school? Has he ever been able to hold a job? Does he have trouble understanding things? Does he remember things one day, then forget the next day? Did he need an IEP in school? If so, the school should have been helping you plan for his adulthood. Ours did and it's really helped my adult son!

Here is an article about people who adopted drug exposed children. You may want to give it a look. We took our son to see the Dr. Chasanoff in this article. He's a pioneer on research of drug exposed children.

Anyhow, again, just my thoughts since I've had some experience with pre-birth drug exposed young adults And on this forum you take what you find useful and leave t he rest.

Ok, off the soapbox. Good luck :)
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Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
OK Mom. I understand you're not going to help me. Bye. Phone slams down.
I've been on the receiving end of that more than a few times.
You are doing great holding your boundaries.

I've asked for a plan - and gotten either dreams, or pie-in-the-sky thinking, or just plain nonsense. THEY think it's a plan. Again - we don't speak the same language.
Oh yes, the pie-in-the-sky thinking. My son always had such grandiose ideas about how he was going to make so much money.

Our Difficult Child want to do their own thing and live their own life but when it becomes uncomfortable for them they want mommy or daddy to fix it. They hope if they tell us how bad things are we will give in.

Hang in there Copa!!


one day at a time
Oh Copa. As I was reading your post, I was feeling the very strong pull to help him.

I have no idea what the answer is. Right now I am figuratively on my knees, saying help.

From your time on this forum, I understand that you have tried and tried and here is the outcome. I respect that.

All I know is this: my son had to be completely sick and tired. He was sleeping on a bench wrapped in a blanket outside the day shelter. The police had rousted him from every other place in town and finally said they would not bother him if he went there. One night he came to my house for dinner and after dinner I took him back to that place and dropped him off. I have no words to describe what that cost me.

From that place he would get up about 2 am and walk to the McDonald's where he was working in order to be there by 4 am. This went on for several months.

The agony of all of this is unbearable...nearly. Only because I had tried 1000 things before this was I able to do this.

Today he is working full time. He is paying his bills. He has a car, a place to live. He is talking about going back to school to get a better job. We are helping some---I bought him a used washer and dryer last week and we took it to his trailer and installed it. He has said thank you multiple times to us.

My son has done it all the hardest possible way because you never could tell him anything. He always thought he knew best. I had to literally completely stop for a long long long time with no deviation at all before he started trying to change his own life.

Copa, I am just so sorry that you had to be on that phone call last night. We are here with you circling the wagons around you.


Well-Known Member
To answer the questions raised by SWOT.

He and went to Social Security and he requested that I be his payee. They refused. We are monitoring the situation. I am not opposed to his having a payee.

I read the 1990 article you reference. It cites a wide variation in outcomes. It is not useful to extrapolate from one case to another. The article is 25 years old. Recent research on outcomes for drug exposed infants in adulthood shows that as a group they are doing way better than had been predicted.

My son held a job for a year plus

There was no change in behavior following his brain injury.

He had a psychiatrist since 6th grade who saw no severe developmental issues. I have been aware he has cognitive issues since the time I adopted him. There is no denial here.

He has been connected to adult services in multiple counties...and does not feel he requires services.

I am not denying that he has emotional and cognitive issues. He had behavioral problems in school related to ADHD with no disturbance of conduct.

His memory is excellent.

He always had an IEP at school, including out of school placement.

It would be a miracle if he was not affected to some degree by drug exposure.

The task at hand for all of us is allowing our children to maximize their potential, to the extent possible. At the same time nobody wants to set up a disabled child; to encourage him or her to repeatedly fail in circumstances that he has no chance of mastering.

My son is considered by professionals to have street smarts sufficient to take care of himself and keep himself safe. Their sense is that his interests are best served by allowing him to work this out.

We all need to keep in mind that our unique situations do not give us the experience to know what is correct in another.


Well-Known Member
Please, I am not criticizing you. Not at all. I told you...if you don't think it's valid, leave it. I want my son to be safe. He has maximized his abilitities and exceeded them, but my feeling is that anyone with cognitive disorders is going to have a hard time out there alone without supports. There is no shame in having had been drug exposed. He did nothing wrong. You took him in and loved did nothing wrong. You exposed him and challenged him, which is just awesome. They need that. And, yes, they need to be allowed to do the max they can. And you can't force them to accept services. Sounds like you have done it all, and he just won't accept your help so I get where you're at and support it. If they refuse help, t here is nothing we can do and it hurts so bad. Sounds like your son, in spite of YOUR efforts, has refused help so I agree that all you can do is let him try it on his own, which may make him see the need for supports. You have gone over and above and should be proud of your efforts. He is the one who is not helping himself. You tried and tried and tried...I did not know the entire story. I apologize if I said anything that hurt you or that was ignorant. I was born with a silver foot in my mouth (ok, maybe not silver...)

You rock! We are all warrior moms!!!! ;)
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