My son left home today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by february, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. february

    february Member

    It was hard but after the arguing and drama, he walked out with a backpack.

    36, pot smoking does not work, was talking some money from my checking account.

    I have had times today where I would just cry but have realized I can only do so much.

    He is an adult and has made bad choices in his life, I have offered to pay for private psychiatrist and he will not go or take any medication.

    Wants me to move him out and help him to pay for the place when he does not even work.

    My Husband has been great but we are tired of all of this.

    He called me names and told me he hates me etc, it is horrible and hard to believe these are our children we love and raised.

    Hopefully he will learn something from this and all that we do for him.

    I appreciate your support, and comments.
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    February, I am so sorry you are going through this. I have one homeless right now (my eldest) and it is so hard and so painful. But ultimately we aren’t in control of their choices, and we can’t rescue them. We can only take care of ourselves so we can be here and be strong when they are at a place when our support may do some good. It does not sound like your son is at that place. If he’s name calling and acting out - after you have been supporting him and trying to get him help - he is nowhere near taking responsibility for his own actions and choices. His situation is not your fault. When he is at the point that he can see that and accept that his situation is his own responsibility, perhaps then you can have a real relationship again.

    Maybe it’s time for you to allow yourself the option of stepping back and doing less? It’s hard not to want to help - I want to throw my son another lifeline too. But with my son and my elder daughter I’ve had to learn to step way, way back. I don’t offer help they don’t explicitly ask for. My offering to research social services, set an appointment with a counselor, find a clinic where they can maybe get medications for their mental illnesses, etc. does no good. If they don’t want it enough to look for it on their own, my waving it in front of their noses doesn’t help. And I have had to learn to be very careful about providing help they do ask for. Money is a short term fix and may do more harm than good. I help with food sometimes. If they are putting in their own effort towards something positive I may offer to help them halfway. But when I just hand them something, it is like throwing it into a black hole.

    It is so, so hard. Part of me still feels so guilty for not offering him a room here and trying to get him back on his feet. But I know it won’t work, as people here have reminded me. And I would be reentering the whirlwind I’ve tried so hard to escape.

    Stop feeling guilty. Stop feeling like it’s your job to locate the resources he needs to get better. Give yourself permission to enjoy the peace and quiet and serenity in your house while he’s gone. I won’t tell you not to worry - it’s what we do. But we can learn to worry without taking on the responsibility of fixing.
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I can only tell tou my story and hope it soothes you a bit.

    At 19 my daughter heavily used meth and cocaine and had been on parole twice. I had two littles who were scared of her drug rages.

    One night we came home and found her having a pill party.

    She looked like a corpse and we decided not to make her comfortable anymore so that she could use drugs and maybe die from our well meaning nurturing. Why make drug use easy for her? How did that help?

    We made her leave. We never offered a dime. She did find a place to live under the strictest rules she ever knew. She had to clean the house, cook, get a full time job and walk to and from the job in a Chicago winter, and even smoking one cigarette in the house would have been no second chance banishment.

    The extreme strictness worked. She quit, including cigarettes. She is twelve years off meth and cocaine with a career, house and my grandbaby. She never even tried suicide, which she used to talk about a lot.

    I think strict works very well as opposed to treating our adults like they cant do it. It wont always work but if troubled adults are out of our homes, we at least can find peace and can live again.

    At 36 its time for your son to grow up. Or not. It is up to him, not you. Nothing you can do.

    Love and light!
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    February. Hi. I am sorry.

    This is nuts. He is nuts. There is no universe in which parents support an able bodied adult man...who chooses to lay around and smoke pot.

    This is like my son.

    When I read it like it really is, I get mad. My son blames me too. Says he's traumatized.

    I find myself thinking, what about my trauma?

    But I can't go there. Anger is the right response. Anger and distance. We cannot even allow ourselves to enter into conversation with them. Because they will try to put their suffering, the responsibility for their lives that they will not bear, into us.

    I am finding that there is no other solution for me. I want to save my life. Let him save his.
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  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi February, I am so sorry for your troubles with your son. His actions and words are more like an entitled teenager than a 36 year old man. It still hurts, seeing our flailing adult kids not taking on responsibility. What keeps us in their game is called FOG. Fear, Obligation, Guilt.
    We fear what will happen when they leave, feel obligated to rescue them and guilty for either our parenting mistakes, or for having a roof over our heads and three squares.
    We worked hard to provide for our children when they were growing up, taught them values, right from wrong, tried to get them to launch on their own to become responsible adults.
    What the heck happened?
    They grew up in age, but not mindset. Mine seem stuck at 16. But they are not. They are nearing 30 and 39. I am nearing 60, and will not be around forever to pick up their mess.
    Move him out and pay for his rent! Is he joking? Does he not realize that money doesn’t grow on trees?
    You are not kicking your son out, you are liberating him to be responsible for his choices.
    There is a void when we take a stand and realize that our helping our adult kids has not helped them. It is a lesson for them, and for us at the same time. We become used to routines, even ones that are detrimental to our health. Housing and paying for entiltled adult children included. It becomes a norm for them, their insistence that we are obligated to continue our role as providers, beyond their childhood years is absolutely absurd. We know this, but the fog keeps us engaged, not knowing what to do, or where to turn. Our adult kids depend on this, the more we walk through this fog, the more they throw their responsibility on us. It is a vicious cycle.
    The thing is, they are capable to survive. As long as we house them and keep them comfortable in our homes, they won’t budge.
    What happens when we die?
    It is imperative for them to learn to provide for themselves. That is what we most wish for them.
    Self care, self sufficiency.
    In the same way, we have to be mindful of our own health and sanity. It is not selfish to switch focus from our adult children, to what the rest of our lives looks like.
    It is self care and self preservation.
    I wish you strength on this journey. You matter. Your peace of mind matters.
    No matter what this feels like, you are doing the right thing. You are showing your son that he is quite capable of taking care of himself. You are believing in him.
    You are also standing up for yourself and your right to live the best rest of your life. With peace in your home.
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  6. february

    february Member

  7. february

    february Member

  8. february

    february Member

    Yes, Leaf it is like a fog like a life style that we feel we can't get out off a vicious circle.
    It is hard to know he is out there with no money, work, food, car or housing.
    I did offer to give him money before he left but he did not want it. He is angry with me after all I have done.
    I think this will be good for him, maybe he will learn some responsibilities with his own life.
    I will take care of my self and my marriage,This has been hard on both of us.
    Thank you!
  9. february

    february Member

  10. february

    february Member

    Yes, Copa we need to take care of us, I feel emotionally drain and exhausted.
    They feel our lives are surrounded by them and their needs.
    I don't want him living with me again, but he turns it around I would help him with food or housing.
    Thanks for your, comments.
  11. february

    february Member

  12. february

    february Member

    Yes, SWOT I know it is time for him to get on with his life. I hope he can do it sometimes mental illness and using pot does not let them think clearly or live a normal life.
    Its when they don't want professional help and they want us to support them while they self medicate with pot.I
    can't do that anymore. I am going to take care of myself and my husband.
  13. february

    february Member

  14. february

    february Member

    Hi Elsi,
    Thanks for the encouragement, it sounds like we are both in the same situation.
    I do need to be strong and take care of myself and my husband, we have been dealing with this for years.
    Change is good and I hope that he can make it out there on his own.
    Lots of love and prayers,
  15. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I have a form of bipolar disorder, mild. Because I never use drugs other than my medications and dont drink, I think very clearly. I had to be on my own. My family,, if anything, made fun of my mental illness, although I now realizes they were almost all afflcted with mental illnesses, from anorexia to anxiety to depression to Borderline (BPD). But I was the family outcast partly because I knew that I and everyone else was sick and I talked about our family dysfunction. Borderline (BPD) mom couldnt handle that.

    But I did not give up on me. I crawled to a normal life then a great life. Your son can too. He is choosing to be sicker. But there is hope. He can do it. Even if he had no family support, like me he could do it.

    Your son needs to clear his parh and see the sun. Sadly, you cant help him, but happily he can change his own life and make it great! I promise. I was there. Dont ever give up or think he cant.

    It puzzles me that our Adults wont take a simple antidepressamt but will live impaired and foggy and intoxicated on pot. That I dont get!
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear swot.

    Sadly, I do not believe all of our kids are like you were. You had real strengths always. And despite the scapegoating and difficulty you had, you had real assets, that strengthened you, I think. Your inborn temperament and genes, no matter how you disparage them. Your father and grandmother. Your neighborhood. I think we have to face that for some of our kids, there are real limits to what they can achieve and how they live.

    But I agree with you. You chose health. As did I. No matter how damaged I was I sought to go towards the light. As did you. I agree with you. There is always available that choice.

    Clearly. There are gifted and advantaged people who live life as addicts. But there are people who have real disabilities who live with dignity and purpose.

    What I an trying to say here is that whatever they achieve, our kids, or do not, in terms of dignity, purpose, self control, it is theirs.

    Just as our peace, contentment, well being, self respect and security are our own. We are responsible to choose and maintain these--whatever is the outcome is for them.
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Swot crawled to a goal. I celebrate her.

    For many of our kids, the goal is us. Like a squirrel with a nut they seek to crack us

    It is this we need to change.

    We cannot be that nut.

    Just think. If our sons put as a substitute for that nut (replacing us) a job, faith, self care, rehab, what would that look like?

    The job is ours. To remove that option.

    We have come to the lunacy where we believe along with them that we are their sustenance, their saving grace, their remedy. We believe or act like we do, that we are their nut.

    This is not true.

    No matter how many times they tell us we are their NUT we need to resist. No matter how much we feel we should be sustaining and saving them, and resolving their problems, this is NUTS.


    I resist.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Thanks Copa.

    I truly had serious learning disabilities and I never did make my mark in the working or academic world. It was a limitation. My strengths were in nurturing, mothering, always helping and loving the disadvantaged and I seemwd to have a gift for giving good advice. I was also stubborn and refused to give up on myself no matter how bad my learning disabilities were, how mocking my family was or how depressed and anxious I got. So I built a great family, picked a wonderful husband, adopted the best kids and devoted my life helping them and others who needed help. I include animals

    Too many of out adults who bring us here are completely self centered, at least as we post here. They dont focus on their family, others worse off or anything but them. That is what holds them back; until they finally seeu that others matter and that there are worse problems than they have. Its attitude.

    If you give up on yourself in a world of self pity and pot and dont try to see and help others you are stuck in a bad place.. Behind my bad I always pushed for a better day.That is not a skill. It is attitute.

    Prayers for all the adults who struggle, hoping the learn to give to others. Givong makes you happy and you feel worthwhile.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree swot.

    Albatross I think is the one, or maybe rn, who posted what her son had to learn in his program and did learn was that he was not g-d.

    This sense that they are the center, the absolute, the one and only, is what has got to stop. I think the concept of humility is what applies here.

    That they are broken, they get. But what is missing is the sense they are responsible. That there are no satellites or moons, circling them, from which to launch a repair ship. There is no NASA to order a mission.

    No one else is responsible. They are there alone in space. Nobody is coming.

    This is what you intuitively saw as a young woman. Because for you there had never been anybody to give you even the fantasy there would be help. Me neither.

    I am thinking about new leaf's daughter here and her whirling dervish frenzy of activity, where she tries to catalyze everybody around her to cater to her. This is what needs to be broken; this sense she or he or any of them are the center of anything or anybody. And the sense it is only to send out the SOS, that will bring a repair team, or provisions.

    They are not the center of anything. Except themselves.
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    February - Yes it is very hard and heartbreaking to have an adult child who is homeless. I have been there although my son was a lot younger than yours when he was homeless, although there is definitely a possibility he will someday be homeless again. I hope not, So one of the things I learned when my son was homeless is there are resources for the homeless, there are shelters, there are places that serve meals etc etc. I found out my son was more resourceful than I thought and he is a survivior. And he did learn from the experience. Our stand at this point is we will help him help himself.... but we cant rescue him from himself or do it for him. We certainly cant work harder than they do at saving them. And ultimatelty it is their responsibility to figure out their own lives. We will not be around forever... they need to figure it out without us. Right now it is really important that you take care of yourself!! And dont listen to or buy into any of the junk he tells you.... sounds like you have done lots for him, way more thann many parents would do.
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