New here, question about stopping being sons payee

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Ironbutterfly, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Hello- have been reading for a week or so through all the forums. Wow- I am so not alone this place is a Godsend.

    My son gets disability and SSI and I am currently his payee. Previously his Aunt was and prior to that a crooked attorney and a then a Priest who said " I can't do this anymore I am about to have a nervous breakdown from it.".

    The issue is son scams and lies to get money from his payee. If he doesn't get money throws a fit and bullies people emotionally.

    He was in jail in April due to a PPO placed on him by his crack whore girlfriend. He was told to stay away from her but contacted her and likewise she contacted him always for his money and drugs. He was rearrested again in July and did 34 days in jail. He lives in another state then me and is 1.5hrs from where I live. His Dad walked away years ago as he is embarrassed by his mentally impaired son, says he is hopeless as he lies and scams people (which is true on those descriptions).

    He missed his probation hearing in November for review; warrant out for his arrest now. Son left his state and went to another state back in October to get away from crack whore who verbally and physically abuses him. I and his Aunt have been scammed so much over the last 6 months for money. The lies, the scams are so believable. He hounds us until we give in.

    His latest lie/scam was Friday where he said he wants to go back home to his state where he has a warrant out and live with another guy friend. But I also know he keeps talking about the crack whore girlfriend he is obsessed with. He asked for the money to do so. He said I know don't agree with my decision but its what I want to do, go back home. I said you are 35 and your decisions are yours to make. I wired him the money to come home because in my thinking, I wanted him to get arrested so he could get help. If arrested I could tell his public defender that he needs a guardian to get him help and court would do so. Found out he never left. He called me and said I am here. I called him on his lie and still says every else is lying and he truly is telling the truth. I found out from contacts, including the friend he was going to stay with he never arrived. So yet again another lie and another money scam.

    I want to stop being his payee. If I do this, he will not have a payee, thus no funds. He refuses to use organizations because they will control his money; his friends are drug users or ex convicts. I want off the emotional train-wreck and know what I have to do but the "guilt" of leaving him without any money is hard to bite. He is 35 higher functioning mentally impaired man.

    Over the years he has refused to get any help. I found sober living places back in the fall, refused. I gave him info for payee and counseling, refused. His Aunt stopped being his payee after his jail time back in April as she just couldn't take the drama, bullying, showing up at her house demanding money. She lives in the state he did. I took over in summer of this year.

    Has anyone here made the hard decision to stop being a payee for their adult child. I am setting end of month as dead-line to walk away. I will give him his money and pay his rent for this month and tell him to find out his way. Oh he lied 3 times this month telling me he is his own payee. I said so I can close your bank account and he said yep. He can't be his own payee and he didn't even have ID as he lost it, which he always does.

    He told me that he tried it my way, getting away from crack whore but he wants to go back home. He said it is boring here, out in the country nothing to do, I am not use to living like this. By the way, he preaches the Bible, he does have a special gift for this from what I have been told by normal thinking folks he has brought to the Lord. He had a two year period about 5 years ago where he was calm, not in trouble and just went to Bible studies, etc. He can't work as he has anger, anxiety issues and quits his jobs.

    I will fill in his life to date at some point, just too drained to do so now.
  2. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I should add that he has lived on the streets since 18 and has couched surfed, lived with over the years with crazy, drug women he has become involved with. He broke away from those two only to find a 3rd. His first love died of heroin overdose last Christmas and he feels guilty for her death. He called at Christmas crying over her. Pastors have tried to help him with housing and support and he refused decent housing offer. He has rented with slum lords and drug people. He gets taken advantage of due to his disability. I believe he has learned to lie and scam to survive the last 17yrs on the street. I gave him to the Lord at 18 and he has miraculously still alive. He has met people that I believe the Lord has placed in his life to get him on the right road- but albeit, never happens.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am my son's payee, but he is on the autism spectrum, is compliant and never would think of breaking a law. In your circumstances, um, no way. I wouldn't do it.

    I'm not sure how to undo this, but we had to go to court to become Son's payee and Son came with. I wonder if you would need to go to court. I would check with a lawyer. I would not ever deal with this responsibility if my son were not very willing to go along with it and didn't think it was a good idea. It would be too hard. I would give it over to a stranger that is appointed by the court; one who doesn't care if he throws a fit. I manage my son's money very carefully and do not give him extra money unless he can afford it. He lives alone in an apartment and does have minimal bills (rent/electric/his portion of family cell phone plan). Those come first as does food money. Then the fun stuff.

    Hugs and hope that you can resolve this.
  4. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Hello and thanks for replying. I have a name of a lawyer in the state he is from and was planning on talking to him about guardianship then son left state. I have looked into guardianship and you have to go to court, get his Dr's statement(I can't do because of HIPPA). Court will do so in an emergency if he is threat to himself or others. If he does go back to state where warrant is for him, matter of time for him to be arrested. It would be a blessing because then I could request from his attorney (Pub Def) to request court for guardianship. However- I am in this situation of being his payee him down South and lying and scamming. For now, my choice is to stop being his payee and let him figure things out- as hard as that will be. We all here have a line the sand that once crossed- is the final end to our enabling. For him, he crossed the final line in the sand for me. The similar thoughts of "how will he live, survive" haunt my thoughts today- but like others here, they have been there done that. He is very street wise and will survive I believe. Others who have been his payee cut the cord and so therefore, I must also. Son has always told me, I don't want to be controlled or be in a group home I would rather be dead. We tried group homes he left within hours. We took him to Salvation army program when he got out of jail- 9month program in my state. He managed to stay one day. We were heart-broken. He was back on the streets again and never went to probation hearing- leading to warrant now. I feel guilty because of his handi-cap and people do take advantage of him. How do you get past that?
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    "Difficult Child is oldest Son diagnosed professionally with defiant disorder, ADHD; later in life borderline personality disorder and he says he was diagnosed recently as schizophrenic. He called me on xmas eve and said he was hearing voices but couldn't make out what they were saying. Not sure if a lie or truth."

    "defiant disorder" - I'm assuming you mean ODD (oppositional defiant disorder)
    We find it's a bit of a non-diagnosis. There is no treatment for it. It does make a good placeholder - formal acknowledgement that "something" isn't right.

    ADHD doesn't explain his behaviors, nor his "disability".

    Personality disorders don't normally result in "disability" either. Behavior problems, including lies and scamming, yes.

    If he does have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, then he definitely has a mental illness, and one that most often results in disability. If he is just starting to hear voices, then what he really needs is intensive treatment, now. However, unless the individual is prepared to be treated, there isn't much anyone can do. You can't force him to get help.

    Unfortunately, street drugs can produce the same symptoms as mental illness, including "hearing voices". They pretty much have to deal with both problems at the same time, if there is going to be help.

    There is no easy answer. Mental Illness is the 'bottom' of the health-care funding funnel.
  6. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Yes, I meant ODD. His disability is because he is mentally impaired from birth (low IQ) that is why he was approved for Disability. He was also diagnosed later in life with borderline personality disorder/bi-polar. He cycles in his mania, I can tell when he talks on the phone when he is in a mania, talks about going underground, government is after him, etc. Other days he talks normal and seems calm.

    He has tried medicine but said he hated it and made him feel like a zombie.

    No I can't force him and the court can't put him in psychiatric hospital unless you have been convicted of a felony (his state law). The court did order him to get mental help and be on medicine if Dr. says he needs it. He didn't go to his mental health appointment in November because he fled to another state.

    He met a crack, heroin woman this past year got caught up in doing drugs, smoked cracked, snorted heroin (he hates needles-so doesn't do that), States he smokes pot to relieve his anxiety and calm himself down, in other words, lot of self medicating.

    My question here was about remaining his payee- if I continue to do so, it never gets him the help he needs, doesn't force him to get help/seek resources.
  7. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I don't know much about SSI but I would not be willing to be the payee with someone that (1) was completely unwilling, antagonistic, and manipulative, particularly if (2) I had a personal relationship with that person that made the lies and manipulations hurtful/stressful/dramatic. I would contact SSI and explain the situation and ask that he be assigned a neutral, third party payee. He is obviously in no condition to control his own finances and anyone he chooses is going to either be someone who will do whatever he wishes, take advantage of him, or both.

    While he may not like it, it would be what was in both of your interests because a third party would not be sucked into his lies/manipulations, nor take them personally and you would be able to disengage from his lies/drama/stress without worrying that he doesn't have his income, is squandering it in ways he shouldn't, or that someone is essentially taking advantage of him and his income.

    I keeps you from being personally involved, being the "bad guy," and being open to the pain and stress of what he is putting you through. I would want to make sure SSI understands his full situation, why so many people have stopped being his payee and why, and the extent to which he will go to lie regarding the money.
  8. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I called SS about stopping being payee months ago- they told me, his money will be suspended until HE finds another payee. So if I stop, he gets no money until a PAYEE he picks comes forward. I was told only a family member or organization could be his payee due to people taking advantage of someone like my son. SS is not allowed to assign a payee due to conflict of interests. They tell you to call community help and give some numbers and you have to make the call. Here's the catch. The only place that does it (Mental Health center) in his town- he has to come in and request that they are his payee. I can't do it as he is an adult. He refuses to go there because he won't get his money freely and of course won't jump when he says he was thrown out of the house that I just paid rent for.

    So if I stop being his payee, his funds will stop from SSI. It will force him to go the way he needs to go, with organization to handle his money. Of course, not before the 100 calls to me begging for money.
  9. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Thanks so much for replying- and this is where I am at. I can't continue due to the lies, drama, stress, scams but I also know that he will not have any money when I do this. At end of month will pay his rent and give him his money which isn't a lot after rent paid so that he will have something and tell him he needs to find a new payee. He did lie 3 times in the past week telling me he was his own payee and yes, I could close the account. When I walk away I will say, well you said you were your own payee. Just hard- but I have to force him to get "3rd party" to be his payee and this only way I can see to do so. I was forced into this when his Aunt walked away as she told me only a family member or 3rd party could be his payee. I thought he would straighten up after jail and break away from the woman that put him there in the first place. But he loves her ya know. Ughhhh.
  10. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I know it is hard but it sounds like you are doing the right thing - you are giving him time to find his own payee, making sure his bills are taken care of for the month before you do so, and then leaving it to him to handle his affairs. He is an adult and you have been through a lot. You cannot fix him and he only drags you into his chaos as long as you continue to try to "help." My daughter is much younger and it is so, so, so hard to say no, to not want to scoop her up and try to set her on the right path. But I have tried to do that many times and finally discovered that as long as someone is always "helping," she never has to help herself, and I usually end up at the brunt of her lies, distortions, insults, and drama when she takes off again when I am the "helper."

    It is hard to accept that she may damage herself further, or not survive at all, if she doesn't take the initiative to do the things she needs to do. It is hard to watch her suffer. It is unnatural as a mother to sit back and let them learn the hard way - or refuse to learn at all. It goes against our nature. But if we stop and are honest, we never really help them at all. We do it to help ourselves - feel less guilt, less worry, less shame...and does it help us feel less of any of those things, really? For me, no.

    But there is true relief in stopping the "help." I have been able to reclaim my life. I still worry, I still at times feel guilt, I still have to stop my knee-jerk reaction to jump in and "save" or "fix," but what true freedom detachment has given me. Because she IS an adult - and so is he. We cannot choose to do it for them - they have the choice to do, or not to do, for themselves. We have the choice to let them.
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Ironbutterfly,

    I'm so sorry your son is causing such chaos and stress for you.

    As for your question of not being his payee anymore, I can only tell you what I would do and that would be to stop being the payee. For me it really comes down to what is best for the adult child and the parent.
    From what you shared you have a hard time telling him no as he uses manipulation tactics to get you to release money to him and the money is more than likely being used for drugs. For me, I could not in good conscience continue being the vehicle for my adult son to access money that will be spent on drugs for himself or the girlfriend.

    I want to be very clear in that if you choose to stop being the payee, you will have nothing to feel guilty about. I know as a parent that can be difficult because we have spent a lifetime trying to shelter our children from any kind of pain. I have said this many times here on this site, "there comes a time when helping is no longer helping and becomes enabling". I think this is what has happened here. It would be one thing if your son was using the money to pay rent, bills and buy food but that is not what he's doing. You are too close to this emotionally. Even though your son may have some mental challenges he is still smart enough and quick enough to manipulate you into giving him money. Our adult difficult children are masters at manipulating us parents and they rely on us to feel guilty so that we will give in to them.

    The best and healthiest thing we can do for our children and us is to detach from them with love. This does not mean we don't love them, it means we love them and ourselves enough to recognize that we do not have the power to change their behavior but we do have the power to take our own lives back.

    At the top of the Parent Emeritus forum there is a very good article on detachment. Please take some to read it.

    I hope you will stay with us and keep posting. Let us know how things are going. We care.

    ((HUGS)) to you......................
  12. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Ironbutterfly, welcome.

    I think you are getting good support and thinking here.

    It sounds like you have decided to do this (bravo!) and now, you are thinking about how you will live with having done it.

    You may have doubts, guilt and sadness about it, but that doesn't mean the decision was wrong.

    I have learned in Al-Anon that "feelings aren't facts." Don't get confused because you feel one thing...thinking that means you need to DO SOMETHING about it. Feel your feelings but don't act on them. Let time go by, let the feelings dissipate, and then see what you THINK (not feel) about the next step to take.

    My son was homeless multiple times and it was very hard to keep on living happily, knowing that. However, I think my "imaginings" about his days and nights were likely much worse than they actually were, at least part of the time. One time he was homeless, living outside a McDonald's in a major city four hours from here, and this was over Christmas and New Year's. I agonized. It was really really hard.

    Later I learned that he was inside the McDonald's most of the time, had made friends with the staff, they had taken his clothes home to wash, and he was smoking their cigarettes and using their cell phones.

    I had imagined much much worse and spent many sleepless nights worrying about him.

    I think they are amazingly resilient, and very tough.

    Yesterday in Al-Anon we spent a lot of time talking about boundaries and detachment with love. One of the things I've learned is this: Every relationship needs boundaries, healthy boundaries. We have to learn where we start and stop and where other people start and stop, and what is our responsibility and what is not.

    It sounds cold to talk about it, but it's actually healthy. Creating and then respecting boundaries with other people (starting with our spouse/significant other) means we mind our own business, work harder on our own selves instead of other people, get way more peaceful and calm, are much happier, and let other adults be adults, no matter what that looks like.

    Your son is 35 years old. If not now, then when?

    Detachment with love sounds like a "separation" thing, but truly, I've learned and I've experienced that detaching from my son (who is my Difficult Child at 26 years old) has actually brought me closer to him. He was here for dinner last week and we had a really good time together, and good conversation. Some of the things he said were things I've wished for years to hear from him.

    I have backed off and have let go and the result is there is space and time and the ability for him to "man up", start learning how to become an adult, and make his own decisions. Today, I work very very hard to keep my mouth shut (not always successful) and limit our time together. That has worked very well for me and I presume for him.

    Letting our grown kids be the adults they need to be is very hard to do, especially when we see what we believe are a lot of bad decisions.

    Maybe they have to make these bad decisions in order to learn and to progress on the journey that is for them. Maybe this is their path.

    Warm hugs today. We're glad you're here.
  13. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

  14. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Thanks to all for advice and also sharing what you all have been through. My son loves McDonald's and talks easy with folks; to look at him you wouldn't know that he has mental issues until he talks. He talks slow, then rapidly, then stops, backtracks etc.

    I have been able to call him on his some of his BS and was able to follow-up and catch him in his scams over the past 7 month's. But there are the ones where it is so believable where I thought the money was going for food, hygiene products, couch surfing went for a week or two. I've met lot of his people that he knows in the town he was from, some good, some not so good. I have contacts and was able to verify some information and didn't send money when he called.

    I feel good about my decision to stop as payee for his benefit- so it forces him to get the help he needs by getting a 3rd party to handle his affairs. I will worry but I have to get my life back and he needs to find a path to get his life under control/ or leave it as is. So many have tried to help him and he does what he wants to do in the end. I give myself permission to let this go- and let the Lord take it from here. I read an article where the person said sometimes the Lord is trying to step in and help your adult child, but then we as parents, take the reins and feel we have the answer. This only brings the issue back around again to be dealt with again and again.

    Thanks again, what a great support place and wish everyone peace of mind and heart in the journeys with their children.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  15. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Boy did I mess up this post, quote, reply. LOL.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    We've all done it at one time or another. I've written a major response to a thread... and discovered I'd posted on the wrong thread. We can still read what you wrote... :D
  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Ironbutterfly, you sound really strong and have given some good advice in response to other posts. Sorry for your need to be here. What a club we all are in, huh.
    Yup give him to God, that's what I did with my two. After trying and trying, well it gets old and so am I, got to grab life while I can before I am sitting in a rocking chair.
    Stay with us and keep posting. We all try to help each other.
    Take care and :staystrong:
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would get out of it, Ironbutterfly.

    Social Security has volunteers in the community that serve as payees, that they have trained. He would have no control over this person. If he tried to bully them it would be between Social Security and he. I am sure they know how to handle him.

    Social Security actually prefers that family not handle adult children's finances, I think. I went with my son and he asked if I could be his payee. They said no.

    Your son is abusing people. That is horrible for them and no good for him. Get yourself out of the way. That is what I say.

  19. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Thank you for your advice and support, kind words. Yes, very strong, been through a lot in my life and had to grow up fast. I have done tough love with him at one time for 6 months; I cut contact from him. Years later he told me thanks Mom for doing that, made me grow up. That was like 7 years ago. He loves helping homeless people, believes he has to dress like them to get to know them and bring them to the Lord. But then, he meets these women who have drug issues, and he falls for them and they use him for his money. The latest one just threatened him with putting in jail all the time when he couldn't get more money. She put a PPO on him because he couldn't give her more money- because I refused to give him money for whatever the scam of the day was on that day. He is intelligent enough to know right from wrong, regardless of his lower IQ. He is smart, street wise and knows how to find help, food, etc. He can't get section 8 housing due to being caught up in a pot raid back when he was like 22. He had lived in slum housing places, breaks my heart. He has slept on porches, under bridges, etc.

    After reading here, came to the conclusion, to help him, I have to step aside and force him to get a third party to handle his finances. He won't be able to scam them nor will anyone else be able to scam and threaten him.

    He does have a good heart at times, can be loving, and so loves the Lord, but has fallen away from his Bible. I am very thankful for this forum and have posted advice and support on a few posts here. I will stick around to learn from others and help when I can.
  20. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Yes, the past 7 months he has become an emotional bully to me and his Aunt if he calls and wants money and we say no. Then he gets others to call with the "scam story". He called back in September for 3 days straight saying Mom if you want me to live you have to give me 65.00. Heartbreaking.

    He has a good heart and loves to hang around and talk to homeless people. He preaches the Bible, etc. But he also meets bad women who know he is vulnerable and gets some money monthly. Then he falls in love with them and does whatever they tell him to do. Now he is smart enough, even with low IQ, to know right from wrong and he is accountable for those decisions wherever they take him. About 7 years ago I did tough love with no contact for 6 months. It was hard- but years later he thanked me and said that was the best thing you ever did for me. He lived right for about two years- until this past year when he met the crack whore girlfriend and he has been in a down-ward spiral since.

    I learned here that I am not helping him- by being his payee- he needs 3rd party that is not emotionally involved. He can't scam them nor can anyone of his friends then push him to get money- because it will be controlled.

    I will continue here and help when I can with others here. What a great forum, such a blessing.