New Member...long road

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by kat913, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    I am very new to speaking with others about my life with mentally ill children but I have come to the end of my options for trying to save my 20 year old son (my youngest) from harm and "lack of a life". I have been a "perpetual mother" to 3 emotionally disturbed children for 33 years and I am tired, heartbroken and scared. My youngest boy has had many troubles since age 9....good kid but lot of anxiety, irritability and suicidal attempts/idealogy. It has been very scary going to work knowing he may not be alive when I come home. As you can imagine it is very taxing and scary to live this way.

    I have been a single mom since I was pregnant with him and we have been very close (actually has been my shadow out of so many fears.) Until about 3 years ago. I thought it was a natural pulling away...just like young adults will do (I have a 22 yr old as well) but it became very nasty and very hateful towards me...he has been in counseling and on/off medications for many years so I was used to some of this. But this was very different. I knew he needed to be hospitalized for his sake and also for the first time I was afraid of my son. At first he talked them into believing he was fine...no problems...he's 20...needs no help. Then they spoke with me and thank goodness they commited him on a 72 hr hold. He stayed a week...best relief I have felt in many years. He came home and was to step down to Partial Hospitalization. He went one day and said he no longer needed help. I knew if he wasn't going to follow the program and take the opportunities given to him....it would return back to the way it always was.

    So I gave him a choice ....either he was getting on that van (they even picked him up!!) or he needed to figure out where he was going because come 9am he was going somewhere. He chose a friend and told me how glad he was never to see my face again. I packed his bag (with his bible and pictures of all of us as a family) and dropped him off. I was a bit worried but he is 20 and will have to find his own path...as rocky etc, that might be. Well one week later he's calling ...I can't do this...they want me to leave....please I will follow rules etc. So I thought...maybe he will try to follow a path. I was very wrong. His medications ran out and his nastiness and hatred never went away so I told him he needed to agree to medication mgmt at hospital because he wasn't feeling well off medications....he finally agreed and just before being seen he bolted from the hospital. Being 20, I would have let him go if he had said my friend's picking me up...i'm outta here but because I didn't know whether he bolted out with suicidal thoughts...I called police. they found him and he said he wants no medications, no hospital, never see me again and never go home...his buddy was picking him up. Ok decision made I needed to go home...he's 20. 5 minutes home he's calling...come get me problems at the home he is at. i said I would only pick him up if he went back for medication mgt. he refused so I refused.

    An hour later he's on my front porch (I am not home....driving around for calm nerves) and I called police to help me...either he goes to hospital (because by this time I learned of all the disruption and chaos he created at the other home) or he needs to leave. Of course police do suicide assessment "Do you want to harm yourseif...do you have plan?: Of course he says no so now police tell me he lives here and needs to go in to bed. I cannot do anything unless he harms me and I call them. So, in comes his hateful nasty attitide to bed.

    Today was hard to work because he was home alone and I didn't know if he would harm himself just to harm me. He's so impulsive and thinking is skewed...to kill himself would be his lesson to me. Tonite i tried to talk to him about what to do...he has no desire to do anything except stay away from me in his room and he will be fine.

    I have made a decision and I am heartbroken and scared....there is a homeless shelter in town that has some really good programs (MH counseling, job coaching, church etc) and i want to drop him off there period. I know it sounds radical but at least he may have opportunity to make a life, get some help and grow up.

    Any thoughts anyone??
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think it's a good idea. He is abusing you in your home and refuses help. You deserve peace.

    You can get a restraining order against him if he talks violently, gets in your face, destroys property or touches you. If he does drugs turn him in. Don't give him a dime ornlet him ise your car. Make it no fun to be there
     
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  3. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

    First of all, you are in the right place.So welcome! And know you are not alone.
    (((HUGS))). Your brain knows what to do; but your heart is in the way. I know exactly how you feel. (You can read my posts). Believe me, I know how heart wrenching this is! Take care of yourself! There are resources out there for him and you do not have to live in an abusive situation (which is what this is). You have a right to solitude. Let go! It will be not be easy, but it will be one of the most freeing acts you can do towards yourself. You deserve it! Keep in touch!
     
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  4. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Thank you both SomewhereOutThere and GStorm for the response and support. What struck me is how you both said "abuse". I have never realized this. I knew it felt demeaning and scary (after all I have done for this kid lol) but didn't put it together with being abusive and that I deserve both "peace: and solitude" as you both said.

    This morning I was losing my courage (it's cold out...I will take him closer to warm weather....I still have to call shelter and that opens at 10am and that's what time I start work...(although my boss has given me freedom to take any day I need to do this.). Your words and feeling the sun shining behind me as I write (plus I have a friend willing to help me today take him) is helping me move an inch forward.

    I wrote out the pros and cons last night and this is what I realized....if I take him he may have opportunity (if he chooses the path presented him); I will have relief (he won't die inside my home) yet there still will be feelings of loss and fear or.....I can go on with this fantasy that is actually an unhealthy/hateful dependency which leaves him stuck in bed and no opportunity to grow. I love my son and want a life for him and have tried everything. This appears to be the last outstretched hand of opportunity. I am scared but i know it is the right thing. Thank you so much for listening.
     
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  5. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    It's not going very well at all. He wouldn't get into car (tricked him with food) because he doesn't trust me. Also said he doesn't want any of my "do good" options. ..he will find his own. Gave him 3 hour time limit because i do need to go to work and afraid to leave him alone for many reasons now. So, he has friend in Tennessee that might be option...said I would pay greyhound (we know it's one way) but needs to hurry it up or when I leave he will be sitting on bench outside door figuring it out locked. It is very sad and I know he hurts but he made that choice Sunday to never come home or see me again and I told him "now i'm in sync with you....you don't want to be here and I am good with that so hurry up and figure it out inside the house...while I pressure him every 20 mins "Anything yet?" or he will be figuring on the porch. I am such a warm hearted person...this is hard but is also the reason I am in this predicament. Thanks for listening :)
     
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So sorry you are going through this.

    What is his diagnosis? I don't think you mentioned that above.

    I have been through a lot also with our son so I know how heartbreaking this is.

    Just wanted to offer you support and prayers for you both.
     
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  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, I believe it's a good idea for you to disengage from your sons choices. You've reached your bottom it seems. Often we parents reach our bottom way before our addicted or mentally ill adult troubled kids do. We burn out. They, on the other hand, are usually well cared for by us, so the desire for them to change or seek help is completely gone. Unfortunately, we can't sustain that level of enabling for long before our own well being and our health become extremely compromised. Boundaries are the answer. Boundaries are what you are willing to do and what you are not. You are no longer willing to have an abusive, manipulative, nasty man hold you hostage in your own home. You appear to have awakened from the FOG (fear, obligation and guilt). Good. You matter too. You deserve to have a peaceful home which you can call your sanctuary. I would encourage you to continue down the path you've chosen, hard as it is. I am a very soft hearted person as well and I have had to make remarkably difficult choices around my adult daughters behaviors and choices which are detrimental to me. We don't do our kids any favors by protecting them from the consequences of their behaviors, we in fact, help to keep them stuck.

    I needed an army to help me out of the enabling maze. It is near impossible to do on your own. You might try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can access them online and they have excellent courses for parents which can offer you resources, information, guidance and support. Give them a call if that feels right. Many of us here have private therapists or counselors or parent groups where we can go for support, to be heard, to get guidance and help in setting boundaries and keeping them. It helps in many, many ways to receive support. This can be a lonely path where no one knows the profound heartache we parents feel when our kids go off the rails for whatever reason. Here, we know. We get it.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. You may also want to read the book, Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie. Keep yourself armed with support on every level.

    Hang in there kat, please start to put yourself as the priority. You've taken care of all of your kids, now it's time to take care of YOU. You've done enough. Your son must develop the desire to help himself, without it, there is nothing anyone can do for him. He has made it pretty clear that he has no intention of changing at this point. But of course, his staying the same is completely dependent on your willingness to allow it. Don't. Remember, we are treated in the ways we allow, don't allow anyone to treat you without respect and dignity, most especially your own son.
     
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  8. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Thank you so much RNO441. Just got home from work and it is just what I've needed to see...thank you. He has been diagnosed with anxiety;majordepressive disorder recurring severe; bipolar;....if you ask me...I think it's Borderline Personality Disorder or a kid who has not found the right substance to take the pain away (Drugs/alcohol). So who really knows. At age 4 he was with me visiting his brother in the psychiatric hospital and they said as soon as soon as he leaves, they wanted himto be admitted. Felt it was adhd then...so who really knows. Too many different diagnosis; medications; therapists; 3rd hospitalization....who knows what the ailment is. But, I enjoyed reading your history of your son...painful yet hopeful. Same here....so many wonderful qualities. In 3rd grade this boy told me what he wanted to be when he grows up...a pastor! This must be one rocky road for God's calling!!

    Thanks for everything!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  9. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Thank you so much recoveringenabler....I finally reached out to NAMI after all these years. They willbe doing a series in my town next month, I believe. I am 55 and I finally need help for myself...thanks for all your encouraging words. I have found the right forum...thank you so much.
     
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  10. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    I just read "Detachment"...how beautifully understood and written...thank you. I also read "about us" and I know i have found the most perfect site for me. My parenting a difficult child began in 1984 and I really threw myself in learning all i could and how to be "an Exceptional Parent" is what they called it then. She is now 33 and lives in Independent living in her own apartment because she has trouble getting along with any roommates. She has been the sweetest young woman and yet the most disturbing at times (probably schizo-affective disorder). Anyway I have her visit 1x a month for a weekend and all is well but exhausting. She does not create any problems other than the other two disordered ones get disturbed.

    When i was 17 i desperately wanted to work with the emotionally disturbed child/adolescent. God gave me my own group home!!

    My 2nd child was diagnosed at 4 years old with ODD and the psychiatrist told me I would have to change if i wanted a better household and I learned to pick which battles mattered. he is 22 and thankfully has made some very good decisions in his life since teen years.

    My 3rd boy was a delight....yet very active (not hard to handle...i had experience from other two doing crazy things) but this one was much more spiteful and delighted in creating havoc and then very seriously could never see his part...always the victim...so ludicrous!! He also hears things which made doctor believe not ADHD but Bipolar at 6.

    It's been a long road and i so look forward to healing with NAMI and this wonderful forum. When i look backwards....I have always been a caretaker of other's emotions. I grew up a sad child myself and it pained me to see anyone hurt....which is why I have shielded my children obviously.

    Well....enough about me but thank you for listening....the first place I can finally unload that very lonely heaviness. :group-hug:
     
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kat, that's very similar to my experience as a child and unfortunately it can set up fertile ground for codependency, (enabling, rescuing), low self esteem & feelings of unworthiness to grow. It can rob us of our "voice." My (codependency) therapist told me once that I "absorbed the deficiencies of others." That was not the position I wanted to be playing! As many parents here discover, it is US that have to change. Which is why I always advocate therapy or some serious form of support......this is a very challenging journey.

    Also similar to you, I grew up with quite a bit of mental illness in my bio-family....and I was a sad child too..... and it pained me as well to see anyone hurt......however, what I came to recognize in my own healing is that I needed to heal that sadness and hurt in myself so I wouldn't project it onto others as a way of not dealing with my own pain. There was a well of grief I hadn't known before and expressing that grief was not only liberating......it freed me from the enabling and allowed me to see options I hadn't considered. It opened the door for peace and joy and offered a new sense of acceptance for what I have no control over. It changed my life.
    And, my daughter has been emerging from her own darkness too......our relationship has undergone massive change and is still settling.

    You're not alone Kat. I'm glad you're here. We'll circle our wagons around you as you move through this. Yes, unload that "very lonely heaviness"...........this is the perfect place to do it. We get it.
     
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  12. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Thank you so much recoveringenabler....it made me cry to know that I have truly found the right place "to softly land". I have learned to be "gently firm" with my kids (unlike what i was brought up in) but yes, my own sadness and grief has hit me pretty hard about 2 years ago (53 yrs old or so) and has helped me make some good decisions finally for myself. I have been in/out of therapy since I can remember as an adult because i am a strong believer in its benefit and the worst feeling I have been afraid to face is just that....sadness and grief. But little by little (trying privately but kids pick up vibes of not being same "strong" mother as before) I have let myself weep for all that I have been through both the sadness and the gratitude for my life and my children's regardless of the many troubles and the many blessings along the way. I honestly would not have it any other way....and that has taken a long time to see all the many benefits, blessings and miracles in our lives.

    Hope and optimism have always been my friend and a sense of humor is what keeps it all together (most of the time).

    Thank you for your strength, encouragement and gentle spirit. It has helped me and this is my first day here....thank you!!
     
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You're so welcome Kat. You know, I had 25 years of therapy (mostly to get over my childhood!) but after I retired and had more time to myself, the grief erupted......I raised my daughter, sister and granddaughter (daughter and sister struggle with mental illness), so I'd been very busy! I was more surprised than anyone when that grief began because I thought I had put that one to bed a long time ago. But, I realized that talking it to death is not the same as expressing it, feeling it and letting it go. That is what changed everything.

    Hope, optimism and a sense of humor will smooth this path considerably.......

    You've joined a tribe of warrior parents......not one of us wanted to be here, but this is where we find ourselves.....fortunate to have found each other....and helping each other accept what we can't change.
     
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  14. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Yes, I thought I dealt with alot as well...and when it started to come...I got very scared because I thought i would stay there permanantly (be sick like my mother!) but gradually I learned to sit with it, really feel it deep inside (which was so painful) and it lessened and lessened and I realized i could go deep, feel it intensly (that's all it wanted me to do was acknowledge the sadness etc.) and it was never as deep a well as before. Yet I still feel many other memories, losses, hurts,etc. I cry more now than ever but it feels to be tears of release because sadness and grief never go anywhere until they are felt deeply for what they are.

    It has changed my relationship with my parents (only for me)...they are the same yet i have freed myself from all that pain.....crazy how it carries and stays with you (probably till i die) but I didn't want to feel the hurt and dissapointment that I knew would come from my interaction. so very slowly (many years obviously) I have released myself from their power. Strange how long i felt powerless but it has been wonderful for me and I know when they die,I will be very sad to see them go, but I will not have that bitterness or worthlessness I had always felt (because they are incapable of giving it the way I expect it). Now that I don't expect it....it has healed the relationship for me. What a blessing and a burden to release!! I expect my children will have their burdens and words for me as they grow as well. Perfect parenting and unscathed children is an illusion!! LOL Thanks for the encouragement to share myself!!
     
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It's uncanny how alike our background & experiences are. My therapist makes the same assertion that until grief is felt deeply, it robs us of our authenticity, joy and peace.....

    That reminded me of one of my favorite teachers, Brene' Brown. I think if you haven't already found her, you will enjoy her work. You can go onto youtube and search her Ted talks.....they're awesome. She talks about shame, vulnerability, innovation, creativity, connection.....she's wonderful, check her out if that feels right.
     
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  16. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Sounds wonderful...will definitely look into her work. Every little bit helps in some big way. I already feel a sense of healing and peace since I found this forum and met you and others. Has been a very lonely world for a long time...but I always felt it was better to put my energies into learning: working on my behavior and my feelings rather than try to explain any of this mix to someone who either couldn't understand (though well-intentioned) or suggest a million things I either had tried or didn't have energy for. The worst was when they just stared at me and said "You sure have a lot of problems..." and went back to their extraordinary problem and complaints which I gladly listened to because it kept the focus off my own pain which i could hardly express anyway. Actually all I have ever wanted was a long deep hug and just let me sob....no words needed. Actually that's what I do for people...amazing we give what we wish we could receive! If we took a few moments to watch how someone acts, we can figure how what they are looking for. The angriest person in the room (whom no one would dare go near) is the one who needs the most love and tenderness. Odd huh?? Gee, I could talk forever!!
     
  17. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm enjoying talking to you Kat, but I'm getting tired so......:) may the force be with you!
     
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just wanted you to know that you are special and exceptional and so smart, Kat. Great job!!

    Re, I thought I was too past everything family and find even at my age landmarks trigger the very old traumas, like my father's death. With my family of origin mostly behind me, I can reflect. I don't want to but I do sometimes and as I have time to remember more clearly, I find I have forgiveness as I understand what happened and why but I also still carry resentment. It is already getting better but I don't feel it will ever be okay for me to engage with the players again. They are triggers who are truly clueless....they don't really know what happened to me. And I never again want to be afraid that my sister will call the police on me. I am past those scary and puzzling games. That requires I stay no contact in any way with my sister or she will find where I move and call the cops if I get her angry. The family was outraged one day when I called the cops to welfare check my brother when I truly was concerned for him (one time) but nobody knew or cared how she viciously called the cops 20 plus times on for nothing but revenge. If she even told them.

    The past predicts the future unless one sees truly that something is wrong. And my sister thinks she can call the cops on me forever.

    I also know she has not told somebody something so that she can gain financially and I really don't care....as long as she leaves me alone.

    (Sigh) My father's death triggered so much. I hate this.


    RE, as usual you are amazing!

    Love and light!
     
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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  19. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    Recoveringenabler I was in bed before you, I think....I didn't even say goodnight....know there are lots of threads for you all to be on. Goodnite and good morning....have a great day.
     
  20. kat913

    kat913 New Member

    SomewhereOutThere.....wow! I get what you mean...best to keep safe distance when someone is so determined to believe "their own reality". My world has been very similar. Labeled something I wasn't by my parents (not a diagnosis just a wrong character trait) has stuck with me no matter what else i have done in life. I think that was what was most frustrating and gave me that powerless feeling. I was not what they said but I finally fell into believing this about myself for many years and treated myself the same way they did...self-destructive. Today I have a much clearer image of myself (and much help along the way to change this self-image and mirror who I really am) so it is they who have had a really hard time seeing me differently....which is why I live far enough away that even a phone call or one text in the past would trigger me. It's been a very long road and (more is yet to come!!) but today their disapproval no longer bothers me....so it's turned to positives from them which also do not matter. I have been treated better by sttrangers than my own parents. But enough....before long you may actually know me!! Have a great day!!