New here just need to vent

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JustCantWin, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. 4now

    4now Member

    I am new here and have just been hanging out reading all of the posts and taking in all of the stories. I am dealing with a 32 year old bipolar who will not medicate and doesn't believe there is anything wrong with him. He is verbally abusive and has made threats so he can no longer stay in our house. over the years he has stayed with us but this is no longer an option. I have paid for the last month for various rent by the week flea bag motels but now he says he has been blacklisted and cannot stay there although he can't imagine why. I am pretty sure it is his manic behaviors. His dad, my ex wants nothing more to do with him, nor does his brother who also has tried to help. he just showed up at my house for the second time today ranting and raving about how no one helps him or loves him and how everything is my fault because I was a terrible mother. This scared my 12 year and now he is worried the 32 yr old will hurt himself. I am so furious with him! he comes over and causes nothing but drama but won't take any responsibility for his situation. I can't let him traumatize the 12 yr old like that. I feel for him and he has no one left that even will talk to him but it can't be okay for him to terrorize us with threats of harming himself. I told him he is no longer welcome here and if I had to I. Would call the police but now I am worried he will do something to himself, I have called the police in the past but he knows what to say to them and nothing is ever done! I am worried but totally frustrated!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Glad you found us, b ut sorry you had to. Is there substance abuse involved?

    I t00 have a son who suffers from mental illness, but is too dangerous and mean when angry to live with us...ever. He is 36. Fortunately, he is functional in some ways and can support himself because he couldn't live with either me or his father, my ex.

    I am really sorry about your hurting mommy heart. All of us have been there/done this. Your son is making a conscious decision not to take his medication. I also have a mood disorder (see signature below) and know that I have no choice if I want to be well. And even that isn't enough...I need therapy tune-ups. Your son is an adult and his poor decisions about his health condition are HIS choices and you should not have to suffer because of them nor should his young sibling.

    I don't know your age, but, like me, it can't be really young. I've learned to value my own life regardless of what is going on with my adult kids. It's fine to love your son, but to detach from him...something that takes time, but usually we figure out on our own. Detachment means not buying into the drama a nd not helping the poor choices our adult kids make by giving them our retirement to "help" them or to letting them into our world if they are being abusive. We are welcoming if they choose to help themselves in a healthy way, but we don't enable them when they deliberately self-destruct. I assume your son gets social security? If not, there are lots of government programs for him, including housing, although if he is blacklisted from hotels because of his behavior, he probably would also get on a blacklist for housing too. But this is because he is refusing treatment. You can't control your son. You can only control yourself and, although it takes time to realize, you can and should have a rich fulfilling life with your loved ones who are capable of giving back to you, as well as your friends, your activities and your hobbies, in spite of your son's poor choices. It's not easy, but if you don't do it, you will be seventy years old and he'll be fifty and you'll still be sick over him. And you deserve wonderful Golden Years. You matter as much as he does, separately from him. You are not the same person as he is. Too many of us link ourselves to what our grown children do. That makes it hard for us to let go.

    Do you see a therapist for yourself? Have you ever been to a meeting for The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)? Look them up. They have help for family members of the mentally ill as well as for the mentally ill. If drugs are involved, you can go to Nar-Anon too. This way you will get help, make invaluable friends, and learn how to slowly let go. You don't have to be religious to benefit from learning how to let go.

    Others will come along, although it may be a bit slow this holiday weekend. I just get up early and always check the board, even if it's a holiday. Maybe it would help to read the thread "What Does Detachment Mean to You?"
  3. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I think one of the things we need to learn, as parents of self-destructive adult kids, is that it is never going to feel like we are okay with whatever decision it is we have made regarding our kids. There are no solutions, because we cannot make them take their medications or stay away from drugs or booze or the wrong kind of people.

    Sometimes, we cannot even make them sleep in a house. They seem to prefer the streets ~ or, like your son and my daughter, they have been blacklisted from even the fleabag places.

    So, we are always dealing with the aftermath of some crisis not of our making. We have no control over what they do, but we feel responsible when they come to our doors beat up or hungry or destroyed in some other way. It is frustrating, because we love our kids and boy, they get themselves into some horrific situations. We are so desperate to make a difference for them that we begin devoting more and more time to trying to help them. But, because they are so unstable, nothing helps. Our lives become a desperate circle of advice and money and threats and recrimination. We stop sleeping; we find ourselves stretched so thin we just can't function ~ not in our private, and not in our professional lives.

    That is why we need to learn the skills of detachment.

    Detachment isn't going to help our children, or change our children. But it will help us survive what is happening to them.
    I'm so sorry you are going through this, too. Posting about it helps so much, and I am glad you found us.

    Others will be along, soon.


    P.S. The McCoy link at the bottoms of my posts discusses words and phrases to use with our adult children. It isn't a very long link, and you may find something helpful to you there.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    JustCan'tWin, welcome. I'm sorry you had to go looking for us, but I'm glad you are here.

    Your story is not unlike most of ours here in Parent Emeritus. I think MWM and Cedar have given you good advice. The article on detachment is here at the bottom of my post.

    As has been mentioned, our kids put us through the ringer, and at a certain point, we need to face the reality that it is not under our control, we are powerless to effect change in another, no matter who they are. You didn't cause this and you can't change it, only he can do that and he is opting to stay where he is. Bipolar or not, he is still the captain of his ship, not you.

    Most of the time, the threats of self harm are just manipulations to keep us stuck in the enabling role.However, even if you son succeeds in doing himself harm, you cannot make your life about trying to keep that from happening, in essence that is holding you hostage with a possible outcome which may never happen but will certainly ruin your life. We have to do what feels like the unthinkable, we have to step away from the chaos of their lives and reclaim our own. I know it doesn't sound possible, but not only is it, it's imperative that you do because you have another child who requires your care.

    Many of us here have had to make those difficult choices, we recognize the gravity of them, believe me, but detachment is the way you can find some peace and go on with your life. You may indeed have to call the police because his behavior dictates that consequence and life has consequences for our behaviors, he is not immune to that because he is bipolar. You need to set strong boundaries that he is aware of and that you protect with strict consequences. You may have to get a restraining order, many of us have had to do that.

    Make sure you have good solid support for YOU. Get professional help if that is available and feels right, most of us need help to learn how to detach. There is NAMI which has excellent supports in place for us parents. And, as mentioned, 12 step groups as well. I found solace in CoDa and many here attend Family Anonymous groups. It is difficult to walk this path without support for US so make sure you have that. Be kind to yourself and learn how to take the focus off of your son and place it onto YOU. That alone will make a huge difference. Nurture yourself and make sure YOUR needs are met.

    Worry, guilt, fear, anger, resentment, sorrow and grief are part of this landscape and ways that can stop us in our tracks. That's where support comes in. You can learn to live a peaceful life as detachment begins to work and you learn to accept what is, what you can't change. It's a tall order for sure, but a reachable one.

    Keep posting, it helps. I'm glad you're here. I'm Wishing you peace.
  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Just can't win,
    I know what it is like to have one of your kids frighten or upset your other kids. I have 3 easy child's (one of whom is the twin of my difficult child). My ex, their dad, used to tell them that our difficult child was ruining their lives. I spent a lot of time working with them to help them understand that no one else has the power to ruin their lives, that that power lies only within ourselves, in our choices, in our reactions. I think that helped. I also pounded home the "he is ill, he didn't choose to be this way, he would be you if only he could"....I'm not sure that that was right, but that was the message that felt right to me at the time.
    He did hurt them. He stole from them repeatedly, embarassed them (he is frequently seen begging on streets in the neighborhodd, and sometimes offers to sell drugs to their friends), he sucked up all the air in the house for a long time, and they grew up with the sound of yelling in the house over and over again. So my ex is not wrong. All you can do is support your 12 years old, help him to know that you are listening to both your kids and doing what you can, that your decisions and relationship with your kids are a parents worries, and that he can trust you to make thoughtful decisions, and that ultimately, his brother's life is his brother's life and neither you nor he (the 12 year old) can control that.
    Bummer about the hotels. I have often wondered about paying for a cheap hotel for my difficult child, so I would know he could take a warm shower and sleep well...but in my heart I knew he would pack 12 of his closest sleazy friends (most of whom he would have met in the park or on the streets in the last few weeks) into the room, and they would trash it. So I haven't gone there.
    Good luck to you and to your family. I am a newcomer to these pages as well....they help A LOT.
  6. 4now

    4now Member

    Thanks everyone for the kind encouraging words. I was just so furious last night with 32's out of control behavior that I couldn't see straight. I grew up in a very alcoholic home and I know about detachment, but I find it so much harder to practice when it involves my children. I am the mother of 4 boys, the youngest is adopted. The oldest has been diagnosed bi-polar with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anxiety and now narcissistic tendencies. He refuses to to take mood stabilizers (lithium) was working but he didn't want to take it. He does take xanax and goes to the er at least a couple of times a week for atavan shots. I also have a 30 yr old who's been in and out of prison and jail for drug related offenses. He's currently in jail, but last year skipped bond on me and left me to pay the bond, then if that wasn't enough he broke into our home while we were gown and stile thousands of dollars worth of items including identity theft. We tried to prosecute but the local authorities did not feel they had enough evidence, although we provided them with everything we could. They never followed through on obtaining the atm/credit card charges, so no charges were filed. Thank god my youngest is doing well and has blessed me with a beautiful daughter in law and 2 wonderful grandchildren. I am also married the the most wonderful husband who has been supportive through all the years of this roller coaster ride, so I do have some sanity in my life. I guess my final straw was trying to protect our 12 yr old from this madness, (I know too well having grown up with the drama of alcoholism).

    I will try to take all of your advise and work on connecting with therapy or other support groups, because I feel overwhelmed at this time. Thanks for everyone understanding. It is so hard to talk to people who haven't ever experienced the madness of addiction/mental illness family drama.
  7. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Hi, Just

    I have nothing to add, this morning. I wanted you to know someone had read your last comments. It is so important for all of us to know we have been heard, and to understand that we aren't alone with it, anymore.

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, keep posting JCW, it helps to get "heard." We're a group of parents who've been where you are. Next time you post, so we can readily remember your story, please put in bio and signature. You can do this by going up to the right hand corner here, clicking on settings, scroll down on the left to find signature and bio and write one, then remembering to click save. Do get yourself some support and hang in there................wishing you peace.