So upset today

I swear, I can't break the tie that binds from my difficult child, the 38 year old with the intellectual disability and alcohol addiction. He's very upset with me again today, telling me what a long day it's been, and how much he wants to go see his girlfriend in jail. I told him I was away today and could not take him. I also tried to talk to him (via text) about some of his issues. Last text from him...."f... off". An hour ago I was feeling so sorry for him! Grrrrrrr


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Sounds like my difficult child...he only wants me when I can do something for him. It's so exhausting. My difficult child is only 18, so I'm working on him being a "man" instead of my little boy who I want to help. It's sooo hard...

I feel for you.


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Me too. I keep wondering IF he can do differently, IF he can do better. I'm trying to get tough, but that makes me always the bad guy and his father is always the good guy....I hate it.
Dazedandconfused...lovevyour response. Thank you! I've been trying for all these years to help him manage money, help him to lesrn how to take care of his responsibilities, not drink and drive. I am worn out. I think I just feel like I need "permission" to detach from him. Some of my friends are like...awe poor difficult child....awe he is such a nice guy....awe, he needs help! Well I've tried helping him, I tried getting him hooked up with the appropriate organizations who can help him...he refuses to cooperate. He pouts like a little baby. So sorry to vent like this. I have no one to talk to. No alanon in my area.


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Last text from him...."f... off"

print that out and stick it on the back of your phone. You don't deserve this. He knows better. I don't care how disabled he is. If he couldn't treat a room mate/boss/ caretaker that way, he can't treat you that way.

You have tried helping him and it hasn't changed anything. Try something new. Let him help himself.

Oh that wasn't his last text. He's been texting for a couple hours now. Blaming me because he couldnt go see his girlfriend in it's my fault. All about how I don't do anything for him but would do it for his brother if he asked. His brother is an electrical engineer who sowed some wild oats in high school. But settled down as soon as he went to college. I go weeks without takking to him because he is busy with his job and raising three autistic boys. He hardly ever asks me for anything. And when he does, it is with respect. And bekieve me, he has plenty of problems too, but works through them without burdening me. He says mom its not good for your health to worry so much. difficult child certainly doesn't share his opinion. I certainly do feel overwhelmed today, thank you everyone for listening.
Not ti even mrntion that my mom is in a nursing home with dementia. If it wasn't that I need to be around this area for....I would be moving out of the area. I keep telling husband we are getting out of dodge when my mom passes.


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A lightbulb just went off in my head.

Autism is extremely hereditary and a low IQ is sometimes part of it. Did your son talk late? Was he developmentally delayed?

If so, I'd seriously consider that he could have autism. If so, he needs to have services to survive or he'll keep getting into trouble because he doesn't understand other people or, heck, the world. He never got supports growing up either...they had none when he was little.

You can help him get supports without living with him and without joining his drama. He has real, true problems, but there is help for them. He may not understand how to get those supports, but it's mostly just phone work, filling out forms, and visiting Aging and Disabilities. He is disabled, like your mother. He needs help, like your mother. She doesn't live with you, but she is cared for in a facility that serves her needs. Your son does not need a facility, but he does seem to need help with his life. There is nothing wrong with having a disability, but your son likely will never understand what other people do and he will not walk a good path without help because he can't.

There is no guarantee he'll accept help and that is his decision, but if I were you, I'd at least do that for him. And then I'd go live my own life once he is in the hands of others. If his IQ is truly 65 and his brother's three children ALL have autism, well, I'm guessing he is not just a criminal...I am guessing he is very in need of help.

I hope your grandsons are getting the interventions that were not available when your son was small.

Hugs and good luck!
Yes, the two youngest ones got early intervention. My Oldest grandson did not. They are all high functioning but the olsest one has really bad anger management issues. My son is divorced from their bi-polar mom. They co-parent. easy child feels it us too much back and forth for them as they need consistent structure. Ge is currently in a court battle becsuse he wants primary custody. He is a great father and the boys are very clise to him. On the flip side, they throw temper tantrums when it is time to go to their mom's.
Now back to difficult child...I am constantly on the phone lining up services for him....all of which he seems not interested in. Doctor's attribute his intellectual disability to a congenital heart defect he was born with and had surgery for at age 4. Low oxygen levels in his blood possibly caused mild brain damage. He did talk late and walked late. I'm honestly thinking the only way he is going to accept the help he needs is when he becomes homeless. His case manager has given me the phone numbers for him to call when/if that happens. Local shelter and mh/mr. He said they will help him find a place to live. I'm convinced that this is going to be the only way he will get help. Right now all he thinks about is this girlfriend of his. I'm sure she will be gone when she gets out of prison. And yes, his IQ is truly 65. I have his evaluation beside me. When he was tested in school, it was 68. About 6 years ago, when applying for services at MH/MR, they requested another evaluation. This one showed 65. And the notes on the report state declining cognitive skills. (Most likely due to alcohol abuse).
Well tomorrow is monday, and as usual, I'll be on the phone trying to line up some help for him to refuse. He has an appeal hearing for unemployment compensation on tuesday. Then next friday he has a support hearing at domestic relations (his child support is behind since he has no income). The 17th he has a preliminary hearing for his 1st dui, and the 24th he has another preliminary hearing for his second dui. He doesnt wantvto go to the unemployment one! I said...oh yes you are. They are saying it was wilfull misconduct off the job that caused him to lose his license and his job. Not true, he list his license because he missed paying a very small fine...he didnt even know his license was suspended because he never changed his address at the DOT. I am using his disability as a factor that he does not always understand consequences due to low cognitive skills. The dui's came after he lost his job.


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Overwhelmedsince76 --- I don't know your difficult child, so I can't speak to his specifics. MWM does make a good point about confirming if disabilities are present. 65 is a fairly low IQ. Our difficult child's birth mother (born fetal alcohol syndrome) has a confirmed IQ of 70 and she lives in a group home (has for many years now).

Echolette -- I like your suggestion to print it out and stick it on the back of your phone. Great place for reminders! I sometimes think I should tattoo certain things on my forehead. LOL!

Overwhelmedsince76 --- Whatever happens with your difficult child, you don't deserve to be verbally assaulted. You matter. A lot. We all do (difficult child's and easy child's and whatever all other descriptive acronyms we can imagine).

Side Note --- Not sure how easy it would be to raise a difficult child predisposed to cursing rants (say, like Tourette Syndrome?). I think it'd be much easier to not absorb, if I had it medically confirmed by doctors that it may be largely out of their control.

Still..........I'm likin' that printed suggestion on the back of the phone thang!

All my best wishes to you, Overwhelmedsince76 (can I call you OWS76 now?) ;) Take care and you DO have support from us all to take care of yourself and set boundaries when/where needed!


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When I was Legal Guardian of my sister who was developmentally delayed, the State offered a service called support coordination. Maybe something like that is available in your state. If son qualifies, this could help take some of the burdens off your back with a qualified person to deal with the specifics of the disabilities your son suffers from. Besides just offering the services you say your son refuses, I would tell you to tell him, if he refuses to cooperate with a sensible plan and accept those services, that you are sorry but that is the ONLY way you can help him. It sounds as though you are having a hard time detaching from you difficult child because he has disabilities, however I would say to you that things like detachment still apply in these situations - especially if the adult child is able to function on any level in society. It is not YOUR fault that your son has disabilities. One of the reasons my sister with disabilities could be so difficult is that my parents guilt about her disabilities resulting in NO boundaries or consequences on her behavior - so she felt free to act out willfully. She was always a spoiled brat. Yes, I said that - I loved her dearly, but when it came down to her behaviors she could be quite the bully because no one ever taught her that she couldn't be one. You must drum it in your head - that he is what he is - it's his life AND that there is only so much you can do to help. I am extremely sensitive to people with developmental disabilities or as I really refer to them Intellectual Disabilities. Through my experiences with my sister though I did learn that we have to let this population be self-determining. They deserve to have whatever quality of life they have and CHOOSE for themselves how they want to live. If I could advise you about all the upcoming legal issues to let HIM work it out with the court - hopefully the court, seeing his disabilities, will require him so do certain things he is unwilling to do. Having been a "mom" (our parents died young) to someone with Intellectual Disabilities I give you permission to let go and let God. Having taken care of someone with I.D's I accept that they have the RIGHT to live on their terms even if we wouldn't choose this way of life for them. I do understand the heartbreak of trying to balance between wanting to protect and can't take it one more minute. However, if you can detach, perhaps the consequences of difficult child's actions may allow him to understand that what he wants isn't always going to be what he gets. I think that starting to detach now, really will help HIM be better prepared for a time in life when you are no longer there (when you pass away) to pick up the pieces.
When he was a baby with all his health concerns, everytime he went into the hospital, I was always asked the same questions....did you drink alcohol during your pregnancy...answer no. Did you smoke....answer no. I always felt like everyone was blaming me. Inlaws, husband, doctor's...I gave up so much for this brat. Sold a brand new home so I could afford to quit my job and stay home with him.
I just woke up, and as soon as I opened my eyes, all the problems hit me like a ton of bricks. Now today, he will be all apologetic and pathetic. I'm so confused.


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Don't be confused. Be realistic. Say to yourself a mantra (same phrase over and over) "It's not my fault, I didn't cause it and I can't fix it". That is the truth! Sometimes, especially when dealing with this population, we can get so caught up in have to do something, anything, that we aren't able to see the simple facts of the situation. In this case, your son is living his life on his terms - it is up to you to decide if you want to interfere in that. Your son's IQ is higher than my sister's was (50) and trust me she could understand quite well that I was not going to do some of the things she wanted me to do. Example: When she would be a violent bully, she would get locked up in the mental hospital - I told her, honestly, there there was nothing I could do to get her out. It was up to her to go along with the program to get herself out of the hospital. My how she would curse, but before you know it she was participating in the programs she needed to for her to get herself out of the hospital.

I get it, you have told yourself over and over - but he has special needs - but how is that serving him or you? Your guilt and refusal to just stand up to him, not only hurts you, it hurts him to because he can not learn from the events he creates in his life. As much as you want to protect him from life, life just happens and you can't control that anymore than you can control the sun coming up.

Any alcoholic, special needs or not, needs to hit bottom before they are willing to get help. There are no "special considerations" for anyone, which seems to be a train of thought (also trap) you have allowed yourself to fall in to.

I suggest 3 ideas: 1.Al-Anon for you 2. study up on self determination for people with Intellectual disabilities 3. work on getting you own anxieties under control

These ideas are not to blame you but to help you get to a point where you are re-acting from a point of strength rather than a one of weakness.

I get it that way too many people have been by-passing him and blaming you but that doesn't make it right. It just makes those kind of people who do those things ignorant.