Son, aged 30 - pushing me to breaking point

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Belle, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. Belle

    Belle New Member

    I did originally post this in the Parent Emeritus section which may have been the wrong area but I don't know how to move it? Sorry!

    Hello everyone, I have been a reader of these forums for quite some time and they've always given me strength and a sense that I'm 'doing the right thing' when it comes to my adult son, aged 30.

    But now, now I feel so lost. I live in a permanent state of anxiety and sadness and I just don't know what to do about it anymore.

    My son is 30 and we had to make him leave the family home four years ago (he’s an only child) due to his erratic behaviour, verbal abuse and mental health issues. As you are all aware, it’s the most heart breaking, soul destroying thing to do as a parent, forcing a child, with mental health issues, out of the home. Well, he wasn’t a child at 26, but he is my child.

    We tried so desperately to get him help from the community mental health team but each time we managed to get them to our house, they kept telling us there was nothing they could do (three separate visits!) To them, he wasn’t quite ‘mad’ enough! Even though his own doctor told them that he thought our son could be bordering on mild schizophrenia. We told them how he thought that we’d bugged the house, put cameras in the walls, poisoned his food, had him followed, stole ideas from inside of his head to make money off him and so the list goes on. We wrote a weekly diary type letter to his doctor and copied the mental health team on to it and after several weeks, they phoned us and invited us in for a meeting. Progress, we cried! But no, as soon as we sat down, they simply said, ‘this has to stop’ – they wanted us to stop asking for help. I was so angry and upset. I challenged them and asked exactly what we were supposed to do? Our lives at home were hell and he desperately needed help. They suggested making him homeless and the police would pick him up ‘if they saw him wandering the streets.’ I asked how they thought loving parents would just throw out a mentally ill person – how was this acceptable? Anyway, to cut a long story short, they wouldn’t help and circumstances pushed us into making him leave.

    It's been a nightmare ever since. It’s almost four years later and he won’t settle anywhere. We’ve found him rooms to rent and paid for them. He’s found rooms to rent and we’ve paid for them. The local homeless charity found him somewhere to live and gave him some money toward a deposit and that went wrong too – to the point that they will no longer help him. From what I can gather, they lost a landlord over it so I don’t know what my son did to cause that. I know that he drinks and I know that he does drugs – I don’t know to what extent but it obviously plays a part in his day to day living. It doesn’t seem to matter what help we try to give him; it always ends up the same. A month or two later he’s back on the doorstep because it’s gone wrong again. No home, no food, no money – no anything but his bags. He won’t go the doctors to get any help. I’ve offered to go with him but it’s a no-go. We went to the local council to say he’s homeless and they said, ‘sorry, he’s not a priority’ there’s nothing we can do.

    A few nights ago we looked out of our back window to see someone climbing over our garden fence after helping themselves to some of his belongings he’d left out there. Turned out to be drug related – so now we have that to put up with too.

    This time we’ve really tried to put our foot down and say no more. No more money, no more knocking for food or drink, no more coming back to our door with all of this mess but he just doesn’t listen. He turns up anyway. All times of the day and night and won’t stop knocking til one of us answers. I sit in the house after work with the curtains shut because I don’t want him to know I am in there. I just can’t take it anymore. Having to keep telling my own son that no, I can’t feed him, no I have no money, no there’s nothing I can do that he’s sleeping outside and it’s November. Last night I caught him trying to pitch a tent at the bottom of the garden! I gave him a quilt and pillow and said he had to leave and if he didn’t, I’d call the police.

    I just don’t know what to do anymore. I know that he’s brought most of these problems on himself but as a mother, it’s killing me.

    Anyway, thank you for reading and sorry to ramble on.

    Take care,
  2. Belle

    Belle New Member

    I did receive some lovely and comforting replies on my previous thead and I also added this:

    Whilst there is no doubt that my son has a mental health issue, I also know that a big part of the problem is his lifestyle, which never seems to change. He has taken a fair amount of drugs over the years, starting with cannabis which led to psychosis and onto other things. This of course led to mood swings, lethargy, verbal abuse (and near on physical) and property damage. These were all reasons we ended up having to make him leave.

    He unfortunately has an air (heir?) of entitlement about him where he thinks that as his parents, we should be able to still provide for him and not see him struggle. Of course, we've tried to provide for him and not see him struggle but it always ends up the same but I am slowly (my fault) realising that this has only really hindered his progress in life and not helped it. I am my own worst enemy because in this head of mine all I think is, 'what sort of mother won't help out her homeless, hungry, dirty and broke son?' I know this is irrantional (I read the detachment article with such familiarity) and I wish I could change how I think and feel, lord knows!

    He can be quite aggressive and confrontational with people and he also chatters away to himself (not always in a 'friendly' way) and I think this is one of the reasons he has been made to leave places he's been lodging in. I also think, but don't know as a fact, that he steals from people. I think that's why we ended up with someone in our garden the other day - they were looking for something he'd taken.

    Over the years there's been threats, abuse, property damage etc., and I always think to myself, 'that's it, this has to stop' but it's pushing through with it that's the problem. I'm going to try so very hard and hope that I can stay strong enough.

    My husband told me today that I look and sound broken and that I should go back to the doctors for some help. I guess that was a bit of a wake up call too.

    Just to point out - and I hope that it's ok - I am not in the US, I am in the UK but I am going to definitely see if there are some support groups about. I'm not sure we're lucky enough to have such a thing where I live but I'll see what I can find.
  3. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Belle, I am so saddened for you and your family. What an extremely difficult situation to be in. It angers me that authorities will not help you given all of the information you have provided them regarding your son's mental health issues. But I also agree that our "children" bring so much on themselves with their bad habits and behaviors. I believe that you are handling this the best that you can. My prayers to you all.
  4. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member

    Hello, Bella. I am very new here and just shared our situation with our only child, Difficult Child, and let out the feeling I don't know what to do with.
    We thought about setting up a video camera to capture our Difficult Child's behavior no one believed. I thought our Difficult Child should actually hurt me and left me with some injury so that the authority would know what's really happening and take some kind of actions. All the specialists and doctors didn't think the problem was not that big because our Difficult Child could talk them into it. No one believed that she had some mental issues back when she was a teenager. Now Our Difficult Child is 20, 10 years younger than your son, the door is completely shut. There is nothing we as parents can do. We just told our Difficult Child not to come home for holidays.
    I do hope letting out your thoughts here lightened your painful feelings at least a little bit. Hope there is some kind of support group. Praying for you and your son.
  5. JaneBetty

    JaneBetty Active Member

    Belle, I'm sorry you are struggling with your son. A very sad situation. Of course you love your son, and it is clear that you have done your best and even more than many parents would have done.

    We supported our daughter until very recently, and she will be 27 in a few weeks. It took being assaulted by her for me to wake up and realize that she couldn't get what she needed while under our roof, for whatever reason.

    She is now out of the house and on her own. We do not know where she is, though I don't think she has left the area. Believe it or not, I am at peace not knowing where she is because I GAVE IT MY BEST ( I have to tell myself this over and over). Her life is her own and though I love her and I wish she could have used the time under our roof to find the correct combination of medications so that she could function in the world, she didn't do that.

    I still find it difficult to find enjoyment in life, wondering if she is suffering, and this type of internal limbo is difficult as a parent. I wish you peace, please listen to your partner, it sounds as though your health is at stake. I hope there are support groups across the pond in the U.K. :notalone:
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  6. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    You put it so succinctly! Internal limbo and the inability to enjoy life while having a difficult adult child. These feelings I have every day. Unfortunately glad I am not alone either though I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. My son is 23 soon to be 24. Currently unable or unwilling to work. We support him and though we probably shouldn't, still hoping he will straighten out with medications for his anxiety and depression which is pretty severe. Wishful thinking? Anyway, we are cutting back our support in January so we will see. Hoping he can get onto adhd medications again. He tics on them so not sure if he can. He just cannot seem to get going on anything; he gets so anxious. Hoping cutting him off will get him going to at least work part time.
  7. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Thinking about starting the process of disability for my son. Just don't want him to think that it is a free ride. Given his age 23/24, has anyone seen any improvement with their child just with age?
  8. Belle

    Belle New Member

    Thank you again for taking the time to reply. Words of advice and comfort are always such a help at low times.

    Not much has changed, really. I've been scouting about trying to find him somewhere to live but it is proving difficult as prices in our area are very high given that we're less than an hour from London. I found a nice little place he could have of his own further up the country at a really good price per week but he refuses to move so far away. I kind of get that it's a big step moving away from everything and everyone you know but I try to instill in him that it would be a fresh start, in a new place, no constant looking over his shoulder, having his own front door to close and know that he'll be safe with no fear of being kicked out or losing his things. Not working yet though. He's still looking for local rooms which I don't think is a good idea - mainly because he can't seem to share accommodation without something going wrong and also because being so close to us is too easy for him (and hard for us!) He knocked at 12.50am last night but my husband wouldn't let him talk to me, said I was up in bed and to come back the next day - so I've that to look forward to today, LOL! I'm assuming it's because he's back on the street again so I'll just keep plodding on with the suggestion of moving away vs the cold, wet street.

    Pacific, we also had thought of that and I even suggested it to the mental health team and they dismissed it saying if he was indeed that paranoid about being watched/listened to - then it was a really bad idea to make that become real. I understood what they meant which is why I'd been so reluctant to do it in the first place but to acknowledge his paranoia in one breath and dismiss it in another was so upsetting and infuriating for us.
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  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    At his age, I don't think he can be forced to take his medications. Sometimes the medication can make the voices worse until you find the right combination. Is that why he won't take the medications? He might be so paranoid that he thinks any prescription is poison, etc. Talk to a social worker (not one at the place that turned him away) and see if there are any options. He's suspicious of everyone because that is the nature of his illness. In some situations, you can get a court order to force him into the hospital for three days. There he would be required to take his medications. After being on the medications for three days, some people start feeling and acting more rational and realize they need to continue the medications, while others promise they will take their medications and don't after being released.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You don't outgrow psychosis unfortunately. At times people do snap I to various timelines of remission.

    I like Crayolas idea. Maybe even three days will be enough for him to clear his head and continue his medications. Other than that, he is 30 and as insane as it is (pun intended) irrational people who can't always tell fantasy from reality have the right to refuse treatment. Terrible law. So horrifying for loved ones and the afflicted.

    If you believe in a higher power, maybe pray a lot and ask Him/Her to please take care of your son.
  11. Ironbutterfly

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

    Oh Belle, my heart hurts for you and your family. Best advice I can give you is to continue to come here and find some comfort, a way to release all that you are feeling, thinking, going through because this place is a haven for parents, families with similar struggles.

    I am angry that the medical center told you to stop and not come back. Unfortunately, here in USA and in UK it sounds like too, very little help for mentally ill who are of adult age. Try and find some local support systems. Here is USA we have ALANON and
  12. T Rene'

    T Rene' Member

    I am going through the same thgs with my son ...28 It is heart wrenching.. as I read your post I was shocked to see someone else sits at home with curtains closed Praying he dont see me home .. because he so ugly to me :( I feel for you dearly ... I have pd my sons home off That he refuses to live in .. because he owes a light bill & I won't pay that ! He lies terribly on me ... he has torn up 3 different places ... that I pd for ... I wish you the best ... because Its A Nightmare... Prayers for you
  13. kacky

    kacky New Member

    I am experiencing a similar experience with my 35 year old. He is homeless. Im pretty good at detaching but once in awhile I get sucked in. Yesterday I spent a good part of the day trying to find him an inpatient drug facility. No luck. I ended up buying him a used sleeping bag and dropping him off at an abandon building. He had no money for food. The Salvation Army has a 3 to 6 week waiting list and they encourage him to call everyday. I dont know if he will. A friend said he should go to a church. Another friend said he should keep going to NA meetings. Im trying to detach right at this moment but my stomach is upside down.
  14. T Rene'

    T Rene' Member

    I feel fo you with all I have It is torture... I pray that things get better for you & your son
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Jacky, your son got good advice but like most of our dysfunctional adult kids he eont listen. NA In particular can lead to friendship. But we can't force it. I'm sad for you.