Re: Adult son 33 is homeless, Im Mom, 57, trying so hard to detach, not enable...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Sadmama, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. Sadmama

    Sadmama New Member

    RE: Adult son 33 is homeless In Rhode Island

    After another dead end conversation with my son followed by another sleepless night ,I finally realized how much I needed to reach out to someone who would understand my hopelessness. I cant believe my good fortune in finding this site and someone who Is going through the same situation! The only difference I believe is our son lives in Rhode Island and we live in another state. Sometimes that makes it easier, other times much harder!

    We too enabled our son throughout his life! We sent him to a technical college i Rhode Island when he was 19, where he promptly dropped out. We continued to pay rent, car payments , etc. on and off for these 14 years. His dream is to write and produce music and he does work ( sporadically) as a DJ, clubs, etc.. He has had various jobs over the years but hates to work a 9-5 and always ends up leaving, mostly getting fired. He refuses to go back to school or any kind of technical training.

    The worst of it is he is an epileptic and last year had a major seizure. Luckily a friend came by and took him to the emergency room. With no insurance or money he got minimal treatment. He injured his back and was given pain medication. He claims his back is still very painful and we are sure he has a substance abuse problem. He smokes pot on a fairly regular basis.

    He doesn't harass like you son does you but will call more frequently when he gets desperate for money. We have virtually stopped all money with the exception of gifts for Birthday, holidays. He does get food stamps and yesterday admitted he may have some sort of medicaid ( Hospital ). He has been borrowing money and sponging off friends for years . Now most of his friends have married and some have families. The wives definitely have had it and now he is what he calls "couch surfing"! He was kicked out after a week at one house and is on the verge of being kicked out of where he is staying now.

    I apologize for the lengthy rant but my husband doesn't want to talk about it and our daughter has basically disowned him. I am so very sad for him but also so angry that my sweet, intelligent, funny son cannot function in this world. We have offered for him to come live with us to get a fresh start . We stated what we expected if that was to occur, naturally he refused. Truth be told, we don't want him here because it is highly likely he couldn't get his act together here either!

    Both of you , Payla and Nomad have given excellent advice and I will try to find a CODA group to attend! I need to be able to sleep at night! I know we are doing the right thing by not sending money or paying for his needs. We truly do not have the extra money ( thank goodness or we would have caved in on many occasions) to give him. Any other suggestions or just encouragement would be appreciated!
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sadmama, you responded to a year old thread so I moved your post so you would get more exposure.

    Welcome. I'm sorry you are having to deal with these issues with your son. You're making good choices now, it helps to recognize that we are enablers so we can find ways to work on ourselves. You can't change your son, but you can certainly change your responses and learn tools to detach. You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. It's difficult to let go of our adult children, but it becomes necessary.

    The main focus now should be on YOU, not your son. Changing that focus is hard, but with help, in CODA, Family anonymous, Narc-anon, therapy, other support groups, whatever you can find to help you, you can shift that focus. He doesn't live with you and you aren't supporting him, that's very good. So that you can sleep and find peace, get yourself support so you can begin to find your own joy regardless of what your son is doing or not doing. I know that sounds difficult, but if you want a quality of life, a life of your own, a life of fulfillment, you will need to stop enabling him and detach from him and focus on your own life now. Keep posting, it helps. We've all been there, we know how you feel. You are doing the right thing, Hang in there.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Recovering says it so well. Is there anything more you can do? No. I am assuming there are drugs involved here. I apologize if I'm wrong.

    Drugs, alcohol or not, he is 33 and even if Yankee Stadium was full of people who wanted to help him, it wouldn't do any good. Only one person in the entire world can help him, and that's himself. There is nothing you can do, nor should you, except go on with your life and enjoy your daughter, your friends, your hobbies, all the things you would do if your son were not self-destructing. You deserve a good life in spite of your son. There are no magic words you can say to change him; nothing magical you can do to change him. It has to come from INSIDE himself and I suspect he will have to wear out all his enablers to get to that point, if he ever does. Even on holidays, I'd refrain from giving him money. You may not know if he uses drugs. He is unlikely to spend money on anything he needs or is useful. Buy him a gift card or something you know he needs like warm gloves. Not real expensive ones. He could sell them otherwise.

    Do you like to knit or walk or garden or read or go to church? Have you neglected things you love to do because you worried about your son and it took over your life? Do you feel you don't deserve a good life while he is struggling? These are ways of wrongful thinking. You have done EVERYTHING you can to give your son a good life. You can not force him to utilize the tools you gave him. Have you made some errors along the way? Welcome to The Rest of Us :)

    I hope you can get YOUR OWN LIFE on track. If there is no CODA group near you, go to Al-Anon. It's the same message about taking care of yourself firest. You are not responsible for your adult son any longer and the poor choices he is making. Hugs and welcome to the board :)
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know how hard it is to have a kid or kids like this. I have one who is 32 and I doubt he will ever move out unless he actually does end up with his army vet girlfriend but she seems to be somewhat of a troubled girl herself. I wont call her a difficult child because she has a heart of gold and in order to love my son, has to be a I do think they would be good for each other but she has some legal issues having to do with a current divorce and custody situation.

    My other problem child is my youngest and I have a hard time not being there for him because I feel a lot of guilt about some of his issues. At this point I rarely give money unless I know exactly what its going to be used for but I do buy him a few things. I get him cigarettes a few times a week but he is trying to go on the electronic one to help him quit. We also end up buying diapers for the baby. He does get the mother of the baby to buy some food for the house during the month, especially things for the baby and now that they got the baby back on WIC we will get most of those WIC vouchers. Yeah having my youngest here means I now have 23 month old back home. My husband likes that more than I

    I did see something the other day on TV where a married student got on campus housing for her, her husband and kids and this was a woman who went back to school in her 40's. I am going to encourage Mouse's mom to check into that since she just got accepted back into school. If they could get that it would be wonderful.