New to site

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Hopeful30, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. Hopeful30

    Hopeful30 New Member

    Hi, I am new to this today....just found it. I think you are all wonderful in support and honesty of what is going on in your lives. I truly appreciate this as I need real life advice. My son, 24 years old just moved back after a few years. Too much past to bring up in my first post. Anyway, things went fairly well for the first couple of weeks. It seems he as adjusted comfortably well to "be himself" I am not exactly sure what that means. That being said, it's not going that well anymore. Diagnosed at 12 and 16-17 with bipolar, he has never been accepting nor does he believe he needs medication. I, on the other hand, have had my doubts as well. Mostly I found him to be a pain in the *** and difficult to handle with a temperament similar to his fathers. (Divorced since my son was 9) Needless to say, I have had more resistance from him than I have cared for. My question is, how do I handle or cope with this phase of my son's life. He is now more difficult to deal with, more violent as he has grown and my husband, his stepfather passed away a few years ago, and more "bipolar". He refuses to believe there is anything wrong with him. I am looking for support groups for me, and he will be seeing a psychologist on the 20th but only because this doctor also has sleep disorder on his list of specialties. A few weeks ago, my son said he woke (but said he was still sleeping, but awake at the same time) to find a women standing next to his bed. He has claimed to have woken before unable to move his body. (I believe this is called sleep paralysis) Any advice or suggestions would be grateful and appreciated.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. What have you done nice for YOURSELF lately? But more about that later.

    I have a mood disorder too and it is my responsibility to take my medication and go to therapy. Ditto for your son. It isn't your responsibility to take care of him anymore nor should he live in your house if he refuses treatment and is violent and disruptive to you. It is his decision to be non-compliant with his medications and, if, as you think, he may not have bipolar, his violence is his choice and should never be tolerated, mental illness or not. You could get hurt and you matter as much as he does. You have other loved ones who need you to be healthy and you need that for yourself. You can have a good, fulfilling life even if your son doesn't, and no parent should care for a difficult adult child forever.

    I don't know for sure, but I am assuming he has also had recreational drug issues as well. In my opinion, as one who has suffered with mental illness and is doing well, the best thing you can do for your son is to make him take care of himself until he has to face how sick he is and get the proper help. After all, none of us can live forever and what happens to our grown dependent adult children if they have no skills to care for themselves?

    I assume you are funding his cell phone and internet etc. even though he refuses treatment.

    It may help if you give us a better idea what is going on.

    I suggest you read the book "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beattie. Because most of us came here codependent about our kids, sure WE had to fix them. Guess what? WE CAN'T. Only your son can fix himself. Not one person can make another one well. It is 100% up to your son to be compliant and accept his disorders and to get help. You can only enable his behavior and non-compliance. You can not make it better by giving him sympathy and a warm bed and food and a car and anything else he is getting from you in spite of his lack of willingness to get help.

    There is a great article on the top of this page about detachment. I highly suggest you read it. We have all stood where you stand now and most of us were shocked when told we had to detach in order to help our adult children. It insulted me the first time I heard it, personally. But it's true and it's a learning process and not an easy one.

    I feel so bad for your hurting mommy heart. I hope you do read the article about detachment. Your son is twenty-four. He needs to take control of his illness and other problems or he may never be able to do it. Sometimes we unwillingly make our grown children helpless and we beggar ourselves to try to help them. We end up old and sick because we were busy caring for our kids. Do you really want that? Does he work? Help around the house? Treat you with respect? Mow the lawn? Does he pay rent?

    Gentle hugs.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome hopeful. I'm glad you found us. MWM has given you wonderful advice. All I can add to that is to make sure you get a good support system going as you navigate this new territory with your son. It will require you to learn detachment skills, that article MWM mentioned is also at the bottom of my post here..........

    You may find comfort, support and resources at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They offer good support groups for parents. You can access them online and they have chapters all over the US. It's important for you to get the necessary support.

    Most of us here have to learn how to set strict boundaries around behavior which is negative, abusive, violent, disrespectful and manipulative. That requires that we recognize what it is we are not willing to put up with and what we are okay with. Then your son needs to abide by your wishes or face whatever consequence you feel is necessary. Often our kids do not react, respond or act like other kids, they are defiant, arrogant and blame others for their choices. It's a process to learn how to deal with all of that and learn how to detach.

    We usually have to make distinctions between what enabling is versus loving kindness. Many of us are enablers which is not a healthy stance for us or for our kids. We have to learn to stop that behavior and adopt new behavior which allows our kids to face the consequences of their, often, bad choices. All of this takes time, support and a commitment to change what it is that is not working for us.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. You've arrived at a safe place where we really know how you feel. It helps to keep posting and venting and we will do our best to help however we can. I'm glad you're here.....
  4. Hopeful30

    Hopeful30 New Member

    Hi and thank you for your response and I appreciate you reading my post. Yes, I do believe my son is bipolar, it just took me a long time to accept it. I kept making excuses and saying..but...but...but., whether just to myself or others. He was diagnosed at 12 (disaster when he was hospitalized for threatening to jump off the roof at school - 9/11 time period) and was put on risperdal and produced the 'fine line' reactions which they called seizures, but were actually body spasms. I took him to University of Chicago and they proved he did not have seizures. He was then again diagnosed at 16/17 while I had him in a private outpatient rehab for drinking and smoking pot. He took medications for a little while but I was never able to control him. He would run to his girlfriends or father's house (his father is probably bipolar as well) and I had no control. Life has been bumpy since. He left home senior year of high school, March of '08, quit school that April, got married in May...lived at his fathers and came home in June father's day weekend at about 12:30am one night with blood all over his shirt. His father punched him in the face and broke his nose in two places....I had sent him to the hospital. That was the same day my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He was good at home for a while and helped his stepdad and me a lot but it went back and forth. While we were in Vegas, a couple of weeks before my husband passed (which was a last trip dream for him), my son through a huge party at our house and items were missing from the walls. After my husband passed, my jewelry started disappearing and I found out he was selling large amounts of pot out of my home. He was stealing from neighbors and his excuse for all of this was while my husband was dying and after he died, I did't go food shopping. I want you to know, he was 20 years old at that time. He is very manipulative and I often feel for my safely because I believe he is possible of anything. Knowing this, I also know I am the only one who is there and will be there for him and I am looking for any advice to help me/him get to a better place.
  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are in a hard place with your son, and without a lot of adult family support. I am sorry for all that.
    My son is the same age. He also steals from us, and sometimes rings the neighbors doorbells or goes to my favorite restaurants asking for food and money.
    I have a lot of empathy for the situation of living with an adult child who makes you feel unsafe, and who brings anger and strife into your home. It is stressful hurtful, shaming, and scary.
    It isn't ok for him to treat you this way, or for you to live this way.
    Start with a list of up, shopping, no friends over. No shouting, no drugs. These are all kind of bare minimums, but a place to start.
    You need to make it clear that these are rules of your house, and he can choose to abide by them or he will have to leave. No housing comes without rules.. Rentals, roommates, jail, rehab, mom's house... All have rules.
    He is responsible for managing his own behavior, ill or not. You can't make him take medications but you can make taking medications, regular psychiatric appts, attending aa or na,and staying clean conditions for staying in your home, which sound more like your hell/prison now ( I say this with love, since I know how we get there)
    If he is like my son, he may agree and then not comply, or comply very briefly. You will get tired of policing, he will get sneaky and have good excuses.
    You must be prepared to have him leave.
    Get the number of a 24 hour locksmith and be prepared to change locks. He doesn't sound to me like some one who should have open access to your house and belongings, and you should work towards believing that and addressing it. If you are lucky he will try to upset you by storming out. If he does... Change the locks. If he doesn't and continues to be a pot-selling, stealing, threatening gfs, then you should set a date for when he has to leave... Soon. If you feel unsafe then you need to secure yourself and your house.
    Our difficult children are amazingly resourceful. They will find couches, cars, 'friends' , shelters, and short term jobs to get by.
    It is time for him to be out of your house.. Unless he immediately becomes a responsible, steadfast source of support to you. Which seems unlikely.
    You can't fix him, but he can fix himself. He won't do it till he has to, and maybe not then. You can't control that. You can regain your sense of safety, warmth in your home, security in your belongings, and pride in yourself.
    The forum can help. Keep posting and think about what I said.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Welcome, hopeful.


    I am working my way toward detachment, too. What I am beginning to understand is that detachment is about learning how to help our kids take responsibility for themselves by changing our responses.

    What I am finding out is that changing my responses toward my adult kids involves alot of work on myself. My feelings of protectiveness and responsibility not only make me a sitting duck, but are probably instrumental in keeping my kids stuck in their own manipulative behaviors.

    It's been a hard thing, hopeful? But very strengthening and freeing.

    What kind of support system do you have there for yourself?

    You posted that your son had come home some time back, and that things were fine, at first. Do you know what changed?

    I think the dynamic between the two of you cannot be changed until, as MWM suggested, the son understands that his illness does not justify irresponsible behavior toward you or your home.

    We are all working through similar things here, hopeful, and we are all doing the best we know. We all love our kids, and not a one of us has really been able to pinpoint how this happened to us or to our kids, or what to do about it besides getting healthier, ourselves.

    Once we are healthier, the nature of the interaction changes, and that often helps the kids to be healthier, too.

  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Just checking in, hopeful, to see how you are, today.

    Coming together here in such pain, we give and we take and we come away stronger.

  8. Hopeful30

    Hopeful30 New Member

    You are all so wonderful thank you for your replays. Staying out of the house mostly today because when I woke he was still up...drunk.