Need to vent

I'm not active on here but I posted the other week about my 39 year old difficult child who lost his job due to driving on a suspended license. He is my son who is intellectuslly disabled with an iq of 65. So since my first post I've found out that he has two preliminary hearings coming up for 2 separate dui's. When he lost his job he pulled his measly $4,000 dollars out that he had in his pension. hevthen agreed to give it to me for safe keeping to pay bills etc until he gets another job. Today, he has been harassing me to give him $3,000 for an attorney to represent him at the preliminary hearing. I said no...I feel guilty because it is his money...but I can't imagine it would be worth it. Im racking my brain and beating myself up ovrr this. Please can anyone give me advice.


New Member
That sounds like a lot for a preliminary hearing. In my state, $2000-$3000 is about the going rate for a dwi--til the end. I would talk to another attorney and see what the rate is, as most attorneys in a given area will be close. Of course, he can always ask for a court-appointed lawyer. He should have no problem if unemployed. Don't beat yourself up--I think you have good reason to be leery of that price tag. Good luck and best wishes!
He is so unintelligent, I cant believe he did this. He thinks he can get one of then dropped because the officer didnt have reason to pull him over. I told him to have both of the prrliminary hearings combinec into one. They are one week apart.


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Does he have services for somebody who is intellectually challenged? I'm not so sure I'd abandon even an adult child if he had such limited potential. I know that for my autistic son I made sure he had adult services ready to take him once he graduated from high school. I don't consider an intellectually disabled child the same as a child with an average IQ who is capable of doing better and just chooses not to. There ARE some people who DO need help, even as adults. How will it help him to be in jail? Is he naive? Will he be victimized?

Although I was tough on my difficult children, both were highly intelligent. This to me is different. Why isn't he getting state help? Does he have a caseworker and job services? I won't sugar coat it. An IQ of 65 used to be called mentally retarded...we don't use that term anymore. I understand why. It is demeaning and I do not mean to demean your son. But he may not know how to cope any better than he is. He should be getting Disability and healthcare and other adult services comes with that. I would want a lawyer who would argue that he needs help, not punishment. My difficult child, who is 36, is bright, street smart, and would survive jail, even if he wouldn't like it. But I don't think your son will deal well with it, just like my autistic son would be everyone's victim...

Please get him the help he needs. He is more like a child than an adult.And, trust me. I am a huge believer in tough love, but not if an adult child has a disability that truly makes him unable to survive with others helping him and I am guessing your son fits into that category.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do.


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Staff member
I'm no expert here, but it does seem like your son could benefit from an advocate of some kind. He may or may not fit the bill, but have you contacted NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness? They can be accessed on line and have many resources for parents. They may at least be able to steer you in some direction if you've already exhausted the Social Services. I'm sure you've turned over many rocks already to help your son. Sometimes it takes just one person who is willing to go the extra mile for a person with special needs.

I found great help with an offshoot of NAMI here in California, they had parent support groups where I was able to talk to Social Workers who gave me ideas, resources and helped me to find services for my daughter. Not to say my daughter availed herself to those services, but I did become aware of what was out there for her if she chose to utilize it.

I think you did the right thing in withholding the money. Please stop beating yourself up. It is so hard to figure out what to do with our adult kids and adding guilt and self cruelty makes it so much worse. Be kind to yourself, you've been at this a long time and you deserve a break. Give yourself one.

Do some research on line looking for resources in your area for adults with your sons issues, ask around, call Social Services, sometimes we have to be a bit of a detective to help our kids when they can't help themselves. I do agree with MWM that if an adult can't help themselves that is very different from someone who chooses NOT to help themselves.

Sending along kind thoughts for you tonight. Take care of yourself.
I did find an organization called arc ( I think it stands for association for retarted citizens) our county has a chapter. I did see that they have advocates. I am going to contact them tomorrow. Another problem with him is that he won't admit to any of his problems. I have been running interference for him for half my life. I'm absolutely at the end of my rope. I have tried everything...helping him, paying bills for him, having him live at home...which didn't work because every night he'd walk in the door and we could tell he was drinking...but he denied it...every evening we went through this. this caused so constant fighting. I know he is mentally retarded, but he is manipulative for sure. He absolutely will NOT help himself. And he lies to me constantly. He lies so much that I think he believes his lies. I know I'm ranting, but I am beside myself with uncertainty. I know I have always been his enabler...but I've been slowly refraining from that. Thanks for listening...if anyone is.


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Staff member
I'm glad you found someone to possibly help you. While you're getting an advocate for him, it would be wise to get some help for yourself. I know how depleting, exhausting and debilitating it is to have a troubled child of any age and you've been at this for decades. It helped me to get in to groups, you might try Al Anon or CoDa 12 step groups, or private therapy or a parent group of some kind, or a therapy group. Someplace you can go where YOU get cared for and taken care of. YOU need to replenish yourself, nurture yourself and make sure your needs are met. Since you've been enabling your son for so long, you will need A LOT of support, A LOT of care and nourishment to soothe your weary soul.

Please get yourself some support. Do something kind for yourself every single day. This is a treacherous path which robs us of our lives......start to take YOUR life back, one step at at time.
I have no idea where to try and get support for me. Cant really afford professional help. difficult child was quite nasty to me this evening. Throwing guilt trios my way. Oh yea...he might be mentally challenged, but he knows how to push my buttons. Thank you recoveringenabler and MWM for listening. And also SGTReese for your advice.


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Staff member
Look into 12 step groups in your area, they're free or $1 to donate........they can be a life saver. Find something for YOU. Make that your priority. You'll feel a lot better if you do.


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Though i have nothing as advice, please know that i am reading along and hoping for a good outcome.
I certainly hope you look into a 12-step program; do something to help YOU.
MWM. I just read back over your post now that I have a little bit of a clearer head. He has always pushed the state services aside, even though he has been in their system for 10 years. They call his disability and very hard to deal with because he is very good at fooling people, it's not until you get to know him that his weaknesses show. You are correct, he does not know how to cope, he depends on me way too much. When he moved out last year he moved in with a women 10 years older than him. She seemed ok until she ended up in jail for a probation violation. That is when difficult child self destructed. He has been in jail before 10 years ago and survived. I don't know how to handle him. One one side he is this "baby" who cries and acts pathetic. One the other side he hangs out with drunks and people who are rough. I try to get him services and he doesn't cooperate. I fully intend on helping him find a lawyer, but not the most high priced one in the state. The attorney he picked is one of the most high profile criminal defense attorneys in the state. Sooooo weary from dealing with him.
I'm really the bad guy today. difficult child wants $1,000 to pay a lawyer to represent his girlfriend at her prelinimary hearing. I have been getting hate texts all day from him. I feel's his money, but there is not much of it, and he is going to need it....I feel like I've been run over with a truck.


Well-Known Member
Is there any way that someone else can handle his money for him? It seems to be a stressor between you two. As for the girlfriend prelim sounds like she has a personal problem and she needs to fix it.


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Okay, I stopped reading halfway through so I may be repeating some of what other's have said.

While it is true your son broke the law, and a very serious one because he could have hurt or killed himself or others, he needs help. I dont think you should use his money though for a lawyer, in most instances I think a public defender should be good for this. There are such strict guidelines for DUI. Really if he was able to get a license he is smart enough to know he cant drink and drive..or that is what the courts will say.

You do need to get him services though and I think I recommended before that you try to get him declared incompetent so a guardian could be appointed. That doesnt have to be you. In fact, it might be better if it wasnt you.

I think these DUI's might give you the leverage you need to start the incompetency hearings. Talk to the prosecutor. I would be willing to bet that you can tell something is off with your son. Most decent prosecutors are willing to listen. I also think ARC is a good thing.