The "Stuff" Just Hit the Fan

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    My son came over earlier this evening because he was feeling depressed, his friend that he's staying with was gone, and he didn't want to sit around by himself. No problem. All in all it was a pretty enjoyable evening, although strained at times because of his insistence to correct or criticize most of what I say or how I say it. But I digress. At some point he stated he was out of one of his medications and that he was going to go to the hospital and be transferred to a facility where he would stay for three days getting stabilized and put on a program where he could get his medications for $5 or something like that.

    Around 9:30 - 9:45 I gave him bus money and he left for the bus stop only to come back saying he had missed the bus by seconds and asked if he could stay here for the night. I suggested he could take the next bus, which would be the last bus for the night, but he said he was tired and just wanted to sleep. So I said, I guess that's okay but it might be better if you're up and gone before my husband gets off because having someone sleeping in the living room completely throws off his morning routine when he has to work. Son got snotty as if my husband's routine was of no importance, and tried to argue with me. My husband, who had already gone to bed, woke up and came out to see what was going on. When I explained it to him he agreed that it would be best for my son to be gone before he got up, at which point my son called him an effing :censored2:, grabbed his stuff and left, slamming the door behind him. Minutes later he banged on the door demanding his hat and wallet that he had left here. I calmly told him I didn't appreciate what he said to my husband or slamming my door, especially that late at night. He told me "Don't worry, I won't be at your effing door again but don't be surprised if I'm back in Chicago before Christmas."

    My husband and I have bent over backwards helping him, while he was in Chicago, getting him out of Chicago, and every day since he's been here in Florida. And the thanks we get is this reaction when he can't have something exactly the way he wants it. If he goes to Chicago, that's on him, but we didn't go to all the trouble and expense getting him out of his situation (at his request) just to have him blow up and go right back into it. But that remains to be seen.

    Right now I'm just shaking with anger at what just happened, and now my husband can't get back to sleep. I finally got him to calm down before he could get too worked up and now I'm trying to calm down myself...which is one reason I'm...yet again...rambling on. I just can't fathom how anyone thinks that we deserve this kind of treatment. I understand all too well being disappointed when you don't get what you want. But how, after we give and give and accommodate, he can blow up the first time something doesn't go his way, still baffles me. If this is the thanks we get, then I see no reason to continue giving or accommodating at all. When will I ever learn???
  2. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I nearly sent him a FB message saying pretty much what I said here but decided it would be best to leave him completely alone and just see what happens the next time he reaches out to me for something. I've learned at least that much, not to go with my first impulse or instinct when I'm that angry.
  3. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    So sorry it has ended this way. Obviously this is about your son's illness and nothing else. He did tell you that he ran out of one of his medications and needed to go to the hospital to get back on it. My only suggestion is to put aside everything that happened after that. If he contacts you say nothing but that you'll contact someone to get him to the hospital. Until he's back on medications stable you can't move forward.

    All I can suggest is that you think of it as physical pain. He wanted his pain killer but ran out. Knew he needed it but instead of asking for a ride to the hospital asked to sleep on the couch. Irritability comes from not having the medication... At least try to look at it like that until he gets back on medication.
  4. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    That makes sense. We don't have a car otherwise and I don't drive, otherwise I would have taken him to the hospital himself. I did give him the bus fare. And I would think he would want to get to the hospital as early as he could to get his medications straightened out. I know when I can't get or do something at midnight I'm counting the hours until the earliest possible time when I can. And honestly, even when he's on his full regime of medications he still has these anger issues and prone to anger outbursts when something (anything) doesn't go his way. He still has all but two of his medications, and I think he took the last of those two either yesterday or today. I don't know for sure because he doesn't tell me a whole lot about what's going on with him until he needs me for something.

    I do wish my husband hadn't come out and said anything, because my son had already said he would set his alarm for 8:30. But that didn't excuse or warrant what my son said to him in response. If he had said, "I know, Steve, but I will be up and gone before you get up" that would have been the end of it. (I think)
  5. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    You're looking for a reasoned, rational response from your son whose not capable of that.

    All I can think is how irritable I am in pain. Sitting on a bus, bus transfer, all too overwhelming. I'd rather wait till morning. Outburst when I'm irritable? Been known to happen. Obviously not to the extent you describe. I'm not excusing him. Just saying that given the relative peace since he's been there I'd let this blow over for a bit.
  6. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    You're right, and I'm hoping it will. I don't expect any kind of apology but if/when it does blow over he'll act like nothing ever happened. Or he might be making arrangements with his ex to get him on the next plane to Chicago. It all remains to be seen at this point.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Everything smithmom said sounds smart. He is unstable and missing an essential medication.

    But I agree with you, too. You are bending over backwards for him. Perhaps, too far. Perhaps you do not want him there. Perhaps he does need to look for another alternative. Maybe that is real life. And that tempers are flaring because the space is too small, and you and your husband would prefer to be alone. I would think about what you want and need. That is not wrong to do. It is realistic.
  8. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    My guess is that he's not thinking clearly. Not organized enough to do anything. Probably just looking for a place to sleep.

    I agree with you about his never apologizing. But go back to what's most important. You've had some good times. Impolite yes but not all the other things he used to be. Was talking about getting to hospital for 3 day stabilization and new medication plan. Overall still going well.
  9. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Thanks you two. Your words mean a lot. Sometimes I feel guilty and that I'm acting selfishly. And it's not that I don't want him here per se. But even the ideal "houseguest" can wear on the hosts (and vice versa) when their "bedroom" is also the host's living room. If he had a different temperament and we had an extra room with a bed to accommodate him, it might be different.

    Then there's also our lease agreement, which states that if we have anyone staying here for more than four days in a calendar month our rent goes up $100 for that month. He's been here off and on for more than four days but as far as I know the landlord's not aware of it. But there is always that possibility and then we would be in real trouble as we're doing good to make our rent at the current rate. There's no way we could afford an additional $100 on top of it. Again, if my son was one would could get and keep a job and pay us the $100 to cover the rent increase, it would be another story altogether. But he's not.

    Back when our building was managed by an offsite company we could get away with a lot more because management was never here. But the building was bought about four years ago by a man and his nephew, and the nephew lives in one of the apartments so he's usually aware of anything going on with any of the tenants.
  10. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I'm wondering if I should try reaching out to my son to see if he made it to the hospital or if I should just leave it alone and wait for him to reach out to me first. Patience is not one of my virtues but he holds onto anger a lot longer than I do (except with his partner/expartner, in which case he's over it by the next day at the latest.) Yeah, just let that sleeping dog lie for now and give him time and space to figure out what his next move is. I just hope this doesn't end up putting a damper on everyone's Thanksgiving.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    These are all of them external reasons:
    What I mean by that, it is whether somebody else sees, or knows; or if son acted differently.

    But what about you? And your husband? There you are with SON IN THE LIVING ROOM. OK. Maybe bailing him out of a bad situation in Chicago was not the best idea. Because what do you do with him now? You are facing the reality that this had to be by definition a pit stop...he has to move on to the next step because you are not equipped to handle this long-term. There is not the space. You are not comfortable. It is a burden that you cannot take on. There is no BAD in telling the truth to yourself, and dealing with it.

    You cannot give more right now, beyond parental love and support. But that has to be away from the apartment. I am hearing you say that, whether or not you are saying it or not.

    In the long term it is better for him and for your relationship that you are able to tell the truth and act on it. But first we need to tell ourselves the truth.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018
  12. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    All valid points. We had laid out our terms and conditions before ever agreeing to fly him down here. So far he has made only minimal effort, if that, in keeping his end of the bargain while expecting us to keep accommodating him. The agreement was that he would make arrangements for somewhere to stay before getting here. He said he did. The first night he was here I wanted him to stay with us because I had not seen in him in over two years and wanted to spend time with him. The next couple of days after that he gave me some song and dance about his friend not being available for a few days. It turned out that he had not touched based with her to make any kind of plans so he came down here not knowing for sure he had a place to stay. So that was another 2 3 or 4 days he was with us. Not what we agreed on.

    He was also supposed to find out about getting on the waiting list for the drug rehab facility, which he has not done, telling me that he's been clean since he got here...and although i have very little reason to trust anything he says at this point, I believe him. He did tell me the other day that he relapsed the night before but that the next day he went to an NA meeting and wanted to do the "90 in 90" program (I think that's what it's called) but has not been to another meeting since. He also got a job offer last week that entails a 60 hour online training course before the offer is official. As far as I know he has not attempted to even start that course, although I have offered to give him my library card so he can go do it on one of their computers, and would even be willing for him to do it here on my computer as long as he didn't do it for more than an hour or two a day, since I rely on my computer for my own income.

    My husband also added the condition that he start the application process for disability so that he would at least have a steady guaranteed income. He blew that off because "$800 a month isn't enough to live on". But he's had no real income in over a year and $800 a month should look pretty good compared to $0 a month and getting by the best way he can with whatever help from family and friends he can manage.

    I've tried talking to him about our deal ever since he first started showing signs of having no intention to keep his end of it. Depending on his mood he reacts with hostility, agitation, hurt (as in what kind of mother would ask so much of their child), indifference, defensiveness, and martyrdom (he's tried, but the universe is working against him). Baloney. If he can walk for an hour to get to a friend's house to hang out, he can walk to the nearest NA meeting or the library to start his training course, etc. My son will commit to/promise anything to achieve an aim but rarely does he honor that commitment. I've come to the conclusion that he probably never will achieve the maturity or mental health to be able to do so.
  13. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    The facility he was talking about going to is a crisis stabilization center where they keep them for three days, straighten out their medications, and send them on their way. I think they have individual and group therapy while they're there. But there is no social worker and any followup is solely up to the patient. His primary reason for going is to get on the low-cost medication program, but there is no oversight or after care beyond that once he is discharged.
  14. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Laura, I hope things are looking better this morning. Unfortunately this kind of rocky road is, I think, to be expected with our difficult ones. Perhaps when he gets his medications stabilized things willmstraighten out. In the meantime I think it may be helpful to stay focused on the big picture and try to let some of the day to day irritations go. Accept that it’s not going to be perfect. If your son was perfectly stable and rational right now you wouldn’t all be in this situation. Try to get perfectly clear within yourself and with your husband on what the boundaries and absolutes are and let the rest go. I would be very clear with your son about those boundaries and what you will and won’t do so there isn’t room for future argument. If he is never allowed to stay the night, say so. I hope your husband is also able to come to a place where he can understand that a certain amount of this kind of thing is par for the course at this stage and not take it personally. I really hope that this blows over and your son stays for the treatment he needs. Hugs.
  15. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Reading again your second post - failing to follow through on his commitments for treatment is the big picture here. Here is where you need to hold the line. Along with taking steps towards independence, either the job or SSI. Let us know how it goes over the next week here. I hope he starts taking those steps. If not, you are right to cut him off from further support in my opinion. I really hope he starts moving forward!
  16. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I'm at work and not sure of your son's history. How old is he? Does he have mental illness and/or is he abusing drugs or alcohol?

    Even if he is sober, I'm sure you've heard the term "dry drunk" where they behave like they are still in active addiction.

    You are not a mental health professional nor an addiction specialist - I have had to remind myself of this also. You are a loving mother with a husband that is trying to live a peaceful and happy life. That is all okay!

    I do not see that your son is doing much to help himself from what I'm reading. He wants to blame everyone else and is holding you as his emotional hostage. I get it. That's what they do. Sometimes it's hard to "see the forest for the trees" as my mother used to say. It's hard for us to take a giant step back to see the whole picture.

    Hugs and I do hope that you find some peace in all of this, not only for you and hubby but that your son figures out what he needs to do to live a life that makes him happy.

    We can't live their lives for them.
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Laura,

    I hope you were able to get some rest after what happened. I'm so sorry you had to endure that.

    My initial response to this is he's trying to control you. I also wonder if he's aware that he's doing this.
    Just a suggestion for something you can try when your son does this. In a kind way, say "I'm just curious as to why you feel the need to correct me when I'm talking as no one else does"

    I understand he is out of his medications but that is not your responsibility. It's also unacceptable for him to have an outburst the way he did. I understand being off his medications can cause this, however, he needs to understand that's it's not acceptable to behave that way. You offered him a solution and he did not like it. I think you handled it as well as you could.

    I have learned over the years to let it go after my son would have outbursts.
  18. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Yes his outburst, and especially the words he threw at my husband, was completely out of line in my book. It wasn't a verbal exchange that escalated, nor was it a response to a snide or snarky remark from my husband. (Those have both happened in the past before we were married). It was an out of proportion response to a short and calmly worded explanation from my husband that his morning routine is how he prepares to face a long day of dealing with customers. He's in retail and most of us either have dealt with the public or understand what it can be like working in a "the customer is always right" environment.

    I think perhaps he's kept his anger and frustration at not getting to assume control of our home just beneath the surface and this was the catalyst that finally released it.
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Yes, there is much truth to this. When we as parents stop allowing our adult children to control us and or the situation, they very often react with strong anger and even hatred. While it's not fun to be on the receiving end of this, look at it this way, you are setting boundaries and you are sticking to them and that, is a good thing.
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  20. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I do think that this whole post, this evening, needs to be in context. This is the trees. Now what does the forest look like?

    How long has it been since you were in the same place as your son? What was the purpose of his visit to your state? Where was your son's behavior last time you saw him vs this time?