That feeling of Dread

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nature, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Hi Friends,

    It's been a roller coaster ride the past several wks. My sisters illness (stage 4 cancer) my moms declining health and son's increasing downward spiral into mental illness and addiction. How my heart aches. I had decided to concentrate on helping my sister and mom. Thanks to this forum and help from counselling I was able to emerge slowly from my exhausted state to see things more clearly. I realized that enabling my son was only prolonging his seeking help for his problems.

    He spent 3 months in jail for the offence of harming me last year and was placed in a Recovery home where he spent 8 months. Although he was placed a few blocks from my home and I still feared him I regained some of my sense of security over a period of months. I would hear updates through others as to how he was doing and hopeful he was on his way to make changes in his life. Through secondary people I did drop off clothes, gifts on the holidays, work boots (I was happy when he passed along a msg that he was job seeking) I wanted him to know I still cared and supported him but I retained the no contact order. He was asked to leave that place a few wks ago due to breaking the rules - increasing aggressiveness and drug use. I found out he never went to any of the required meetings and except for the odd day of helping on job sites he never actively sought to make changes in his life.

    He couch surfed at a few places but each time was asked to leave - sometimes after only being there a day or two. He was again picked up by police for breach of his conditions and another charge. The judge, his probation officer and his lawyer gave him a second chance and he was allowed to attend Detox and then to a Recovery Home if one could be found.

    He was asked to leave Detox (he was there less than 24 hrs) Although I have a restraining order against him (he harmed me last year while experiencing psychosis and the swat team had to break down my door in order to remove him.) Although I had previously avoided police involvement at all cost as I always felt it was never a criminal issue but mental health I had no choice in the matter as living with him with increasing fear could no longer be avoided. He called me crying, pleading for food, money as he found himself homeless for the first time. I held strong and refused, telling him I was unable to help him any longer as he needed to help himself and gave him a number of a Recovery home that offered to take him. I saw it as a good sign that he did eventually show up at that place and did it on his own. Sadly, he was kicked out after 2 wks for breaking the rules (again doing drugs).

    With no phone, residence and limited contact with his partner who has always stuck by him and frantic calls to my sister begging for money. He burnt his bridge with his father when he showed up late at his home asking for money and became aggressive. He was asked to leave and not allowed in his home.His father only recently entered his life after having limited contact with him since he was 14 had paid for a lawyer but my son was a no show for court and his dad lost his bail money. His dad has allowed him to live at his home previously but it lasted only a week before he was asked to leave. I knew T had hit rock bottom as finally the rest of the family (only consist of myself, my Aspergers older son, my mom and sister) have learned that giving him money is only going to drugs. T, my son had run out of people to contact.

    Yesterday he was arrested again for assaulting his partner on the street. He was in rough shape , wearing hospital booties and was unkept and disheveled. I spent the last 24 hours calling around trying to locate him as his name never appeared on various court dockets for appearances. Finally, I found out he will be transferred back to the original court that previously dealt with his case. He will spend the weekend in jail and appear on Monday. No one will provide bail for him this time and I doubt the court would even allow it as he has now breached a few times. I pray I'm able to stay strong and he is ready to try to make changes. I'm not holding my breath however as his mental illness does not let him see that he needs the help. That horrible merry-go-round that so many of us experience. Apologies for long thread...had to get this off my chest. Thanks for listening. Peace to all our Difficult Child and their parents.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I take it the violence is due to drugs? Only a small percentage of mentally ill people are violent. He could be one, but the drugs can't help. Before his mental illness can be treated, he needs to get clean and he knows too well that if he uses drugs in a detox, he will be thrown out. This is not your fault in any way. Your son knows that in his current state he harms people yet he is refusing treatment snd asking those who love him, whom he hurt, for drug money. For your own safety, and for the others who love you, it is best if you are never near this son right now. He is breaking every societal rule and is unlikely to change unless he seriously decides to do so. If he does, only professionals can change him, not you. Your love wont cure him.

    This is a sad, scary story; one you cant control. It is up to your son. Do you know which drug he takes? Drugs? He needs them out of his system for a long time in order to learn to live with who he is, even if he has a mental illness. People live with depression, bipolar, anxiety and others and not all make it worse with self-medication. It is a decision. Most dont hurt others.

    I am but a peon in a large haystack, but I have a mood disorder, severe anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thoughts and I struggled much until I got on the right medications and therapy and thought I'd better not even drink. I knew something was wrong with me and figured out that using ANY substances would make it worse. I've never bern drunk in my life and am doing well. Now if he has schizophrrnia, and I pray he doesnt, then he is probably not aware he is sick. Remember that drugs like meth csn resemble schizophrenic psycosis.

    Your sons mindset and drug use has to change for him to volintarily seek hrlp. In the meantime live your own life. Your being miserable won't help your son one bit. Hang with loved ones who are kind to you and appreciate your good heart. Do hobbies you love. Take trips. Embrace life. You love your son, but you are not him and you can choose a great life even if he doesnt.

    Big hugs to you. Welcome aboard. We care.
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    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Nature,
    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. You don't have a full plate, you have buffet!
    I think your choice to focus on your sister and mom is a good one. My heart goes out to you.

    It is hard to hear them cry and plead. I have found with my son that the only time I hear from him is when he has burned all his bridges and is feeling lonely and desperate. Never asking how I am, or his dad, or any other family member.
    You did good Nature, staying strong and telling him you could not help him. I know how hard that is.

    It's a tough cycle to watch when our d_c's appear to show signs of wanting to change and then spiral out of control.

    I think you will be able to stay strong. You are in a good place with all of this. You see it for what it is and you know that you cannot help your son. Of course no matter how strong we are, it's still very draining on our emotions when we have encounters with our d_c's. It is vital for our mental health and well being that we our good to ourselves. I do hope will all you are dealing with, that you are taking time out for just YOU.

    Yes, the merry-go-round of our d_c's being stuck in a destructive cycle, and the roller coaster of the ups and downs with our emotions.

    You never have to apologize for sharing no matter how long. We are here for each other.

    Sending you warm ((HUGS)) this morning.
  4. UKMummy

    UKMummy Member

    My heart aches for you Nature. I cannot say that I have experienced anything as near bad as you have with your Difficult Child, but I do know what it is to love your child with all of your heart and to watch them ruin themselves.
    I'm sending you love and am so happy that you have this wonderful group supporting you. ❤️
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Nature, I know how hard it is to deal with multiple fronts.

    You are doing the impossible and doing it with dignity, dedication and grace.

    My son is mentally ill, too. With multiple hospitalizations. He is getting better. I believe he got better because I refused him. I set boundaries. I let him deal with consequences. I refused to deal with him unless he behaved civilly and correctly.

    You are doing the right thing. I believe that. With our mentally ill adult children, or drug-addicted ones, society is equipped to teach them and to support them. I believe this is not the work or responsibility of mothers.

    Take care. Stay well. Try to find and protect moments contentment for yourself. Thank you.
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  6. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    Nature, my heart breaks for you and your loved ones. Copa said it best, you are doing the impossible, and doing it with dignity, dedication and grace. Be kind to yourself, Nature. Take a soothing bath or a long walk, have a candy bar or a cocktail, whatever it is that you find as a treat to yourself - do it! Treat yourself gently, and with love.

  7. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Thank you so much for your kind words everyone. I'm glad we are here for each other.

    His first appearance in court was today and he was remanded until May 9th, no one posted bail and his father told the lawyer he could no longer afford him. I returned home from work to find that it's not just breach that he has against him but armed robbery and is looking at serious jail time. I'm numb that the son I bore has grown to be the man he is. Thank you all for being there for me.
  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Nature, what a wringer you have been through, on so many fronts. I am so sorry. You are handling all of this with such grace.

    None of this is your fault, Nature. So much of it is no doubt the drugs talking, but ultimately these are HIS choices. I am sorry to hear he is looking at a longer jail time but it sounds like he truly has absolutely nowhere to go. I pray that getting clean and being secure from following his impulses blindly will maybe give him a chance to see his situation more clearly.
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  9. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Thank you Albatross for taking the time to comfort me.

    Yesterday, my sister told me he managed to contact her and at one point mentioned that jail was probably the best place for him. It left me wondering if the son I once knew has a bit of his ole self hidden somewhere behind the layers of his criminality, drug addiction and mental illness? His father reported that when told by the lawyer that he was being charged with more serious offences and facing serious jail time he broke down and cried. The mother in me wished I had been there to comfort him while my battered soul went back to how scary he can be when his sense of reality is distorted by those who he perceives have done him wrong - me included, and he needs to be kept away for the safety of others. Still, I wish there were places that could hold mental/drug addicted people other than jails. I'm not so sure he will get the help he needs there and I do know that drugs can be still obtained in jails. The other part of me is hoping that meth is not going to be available to him but who knows? Okay better stop because I think I'm "awfullizing" sp? or whatever you folks call it when the mind tends to think of worse case scenerios. Blah spelling is so awful today thanks to little sleep these past several days. My mind still reels that my once well dressed son who was always concerned about his appearance. He used to make me smile when as a little boy he would race to the bathroom to comb his hair before answering the door was arrested wearing hospital booties and in an unkept condition. What happened to him? My mind still goes there before I have to reel my thoughts back in and focus on more positive things and repeat my mantra about staying strong. Again, thank you for listening to my wounded soul.
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  10. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    My heart goes out to you. I also am trying to stay strong and know how difficult it can be.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Tired mama. Hi. Have you posted a thread about your own circumstances recently? I will look.

    Take care.
  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Anyone heard from Nature lately?

    She was dealing with her sister's serious illness, in addition to several other things.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    No. I remember. There are others who are not posting who I miss and worry about. Insane has not posted that I am aware of since last August, and the mother whose name I do not remember from Scandinavia whose son was a professional soccer player, dropped off. Albatross. And others.

    I recognize this is what happens but I worry too.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is an old thread. Nature, are you here? I wanted to modify a bit what I wrote here.
    My son moved home in March of 2016, 5 months before I wrote this.

    A year before I wrote the above post, I would not call him. I would not let him live with us. When he called, I would say only 4 words: hi, bye, so and no. I set boundaries about what he could talk about with me and I told him clearly what these were. I told him I would curtail the call, if need be, and I followed through.

    I have told my son I am not a treatment program or a homeless shelter. If he is living with me or in a property I control there is the fundamental expectation that he conform to societal rules and my rules: constructive and productive activity towards a goal; no violence, aggression or disrespect; no marijuana; and no destruction of property.

    It has taken a year for him to even enter the ballpark of my expectations (let alone implementing them), so that our understanding is more or less the same. It took us a long time to realize that his working for us was NOT HELPING him. He seemed to be going through the paces but that is all it was.

    He had to both want to and commit himself to work for himself, to identify a goal that was worthwhile to him and to work toward it.

    This was not something that came easy for him. But I have realized that that does not mean that he does not want it. I have had to change (and then change more) in terms of flexibility, and walking back my reactions when he does not conform to how I see HE SHOULD be doing it. There is a lot of negotiation involved. And renegotiation.

    You see. I want my son near me and I want to support him. Period.
    He did very poorly away from us. For this to work I have to acknowledge the changes he has made. And I do. And I have to be willing to change. I cannot be rigid because it does not serve my needs (or his) that I support him, and that he be safe.
    Now let me explain what I mean by "society is equipped to teach them and support them."

    IF my had son continued to make suicidal statements. If my son continued to bust walls and put dents in refrigerators. If my son kept calling the police on us. If my son continued aggressive and hostile. If my son refused to do anything constructive to improve his own life--
    that would mean that he could not live near us or with us.

    Because to live in a family requires cooperation, contribution and civility.

    Society deals with or takes care of individuals who either choose or are unable to do these things. I am not saying he would not be my son or family. if he could not meet these requirements. I am saying he would have to live in another situation.

    I realize this sounds harsh. But my son is capable of making constructive choices. To live with me or near me, I insist that he does. My part of the bargain is to live with his increasingly approximating the desired changes. To accept incremental change and to not expect that it be born whole.

    This point of view is very different than that of many. It requires a great deal of negotiation and changing on my part.

    Those of you who are familiar with our story know that I have walked the gangplank and walked back many times.

    My issue seems to be over-controlling, as you can see here.

    I do understand that I have no control over my son's decisions. But as long as I see he is willing to keep trying, I am too. I believe that our relationship is the strongest motivator and I believe that my son was served by his distance from me.

    He learned he could survive and he learned that it was worth it to compromise and to cooperate. He learned the consequences of living on the streets or with people not committed to his welfare or actively hostile to it and the value of being with people who love him, will work for his greater good, and who will take a stand for him. Which is to say, a family. Being in the wilderness, so to speak, motivated him, I think, to change. Learning through real life, what is important.