Time to tell my story-long


New Member
Hi Everyone.....
I've been lurking here for several weeks but I haven't posted anything yet about our situation. I am so glad I found this board!! I have learned soooooo much from all of you!!! I really thought that no one else understood the kinds of problems we have been having. This may be long, so please bear with me.

My husband and I married 18 months ago. This is my first marriage, his second. His first wife died of complications of diabetes 5 years ago. They were unable to have children so they adopted. (That's your first clue isn't it?) The oldest boy (now age 25) has ADD. He did jail time in the past, put his parents through misery, etc, etc. But he is growing out of it. He now lives independently in Calif, he is engaged to be married next year to a great girl, and he is going to college. He is able to look back at his life and see his mistakes and move on. We are confident that he has a good life ahead of him.

The youngest boy (will be 20 in July) is another story. He has moderate to severe ADHD, his IQ is only 80, he also has depression, anxiety and possible mood disorder. I am suspicious of possible fetal alcohol effect because he has NO moral understanding or conciousness. He has a hard time telling right from wrong, doesn't see anything wrong with lying, etc. He has been living with us. He graduated from high school only with a lot of help from his dad and grandmother. Frankly the HS probably just wanted to get him out!! He has had 2 jobs in the past 18 months: McDonalds-fired for not showing up, and Wal-Mart-fired for stealing over $700 from the cash register. He goes to court in June for the Wal-Mart charges. Last month he was arrested for stealing from Target. (He was caught with 9 PSP games in his coat.) He went to court the other day for these charges. We hired him a lawyer to help with the 2 different court charges. He was given 10 hours of community service OR $50/month fine for at least a year, he also has to attend a cognitive thinking class and was referred to an organization that will help him to keep track of his hours/fines and will also try to help him with employment, housing, etc. We did not bail him out of jail, but he was released after 4 days. We did not allow him to come home after he was released, so he has been staying in the homeless shelter at night and wandering aimlessly during the day. We let him come here about once a week for a shower, clean clothes and some food. Otherwise, he's on his own. He has not made any effort to find a job or a place to live. The shelter closes the overflow in a few weeks because the weather is warmer, so he many not be able to even stay there. It's better that he's not here because I was going crazy!! The lying, cheating, stealing, yelling, attitude was bad and my marriage was suffering. Not to mention I had to make sure he showered, brushed his teeth, changed his underwear, and cleaned up his room. (Do all boys this age have a hygiene problem?) This kid tells his dad that everything was just fine until he married me!! Actually his dad just put up with his crap for a long time and never did anything about it. I'm the one that got this kid officially diagnosed and finally on some decent medications. But I wouldn't put up with a lot from him. He still wants to come home, but we've told him he can't. His dad FINALLY sees the manipulative ways he has been using. However, this kid calls almost daily for money, or he wants us to bring him food or clean clothes or give him a ride somewhere because he doesn't have bus money, etc.

We are learning that there aren't many resources for him now that he is an adult. But I don't think he's capable of living on his own. He could never manage, rent, when to pay the gas bill, when to fix things, etc. Besides, he would always leave the burners on when living with us! We had to hide lighters, matches, etc. He once tried to light the gas fireplace by hitting two rocks together to get a spark (Momma Mia!!) We could not leave him in the house alone and we had to lock up everything!! He started smoking, but told us he wasn't....Do they really think we can't smell it? No drugs that we are aware of.....

I have used your advice many times in detaching and I'm sharing these with my husband. I don't know what the next day will bring but I'm grateful I found all of you! I am learning to take care of ME and not let what he does affect me. (But the bill for the manicures, pedicures, massages is getting a little high!!! LOL)


Active Member
Gosh, it sounds like with an IQ of only 80, that he should qualify for some type of supportive living arrangement: group home maybe? Have you contacted NAMI (National Alliance of the Mentally Ill)? They have some good programs in my area...

by the way - welcome.


New Member
Sus - I haven't been on here in a while but when I read your post it was like talking about my life. Yours is the closest I've seen our situation. My StepGFG turned 18 in December and we are now going through the process to find him facility a to live in because he can't live with us much longer. He's disupted our lives and caused many problems but we've hung on. He doesn't respond to kindness or help only negative actions. He was pretty much dumped in our laps at age 15 with no concept of life or what to do with it. In all the testing done he comes out to be about a 7 yr old with an IQ of 70. Most of this was done in his 17 year and if it had been done sooner he might have turned out somewhat differently. We had the same issues finding help for an almost adult... but once he turned 18 things became easier. We have filed for SS/Disability and got him with a state run mental health group. He's gone through their "social" process and are helping us find him a place that can deal with him.

He lies, steals everything we have so I know where you are coming from. He has no concept of reality or the real world. He lives in his own little world. Just wanted you to know that you aren't alone. Try to get the ball rolling on SS and disability, it's not a quick process but in the long run we hope it will be a saviour. The mental health facility process is again long but we are almost there....

Hang in there.


No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>I have no real words of advise, just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you and your family. Hoping you can find some services for your difficult child. It is better when they are out of the house....it always drove me crazy that they could just sit around all day doing nothing....

Our son is out of the house and actually likes working at McDonalds, he just doesn't have many hours or benefits.....

Your "son's" fate may be determined by the courts, in Indiana theft from an employer is a felony....

Good luck and stand strong....</span>



New Member
I have tried contacting SSI. "J" has to be the one to apply-I cannot do it for him AND you need an appointment to apply. I've left several messages, but no response yet. I have contacted many state agencies and I'm always told "His IQ is too high for us", "we don't have any more funds this year", yadda yadda. We did get Voc Rehab working with him, but when he stole from Wal-Mart and then was arrested, they put him on hold to see happens. Voc Rehab was also paying for him to see a psychologist every week.....alas no more. They also gave him a bus pass. We hope that the counselor for the cognitive class can help him find something. It seems that if we suggest anything to him, he hates the idea. Somehow if someone else suggests it, it goes over better with him.

We cannot make him change. Only when he is ready and willing to take a part in his life will he change. It's easy for me to be so matter of fact about his situation. I've never bonded with him and vice versa. His dad is the one with the emotional attachment. My husband is a softie and "J" knows this. But I keep my ground. I still go nuts when "J" is around. He's sloppy, smelly, disrespectful and thinks that we owe him everything. He got some money back from taxes. He did manage to put some of it in a savings account, but the rest was gone the next day. He goes through money so fast and can never tell where it went. Usually, it's fast food, video games, cigarettes and lighters. It's been about 2 weeks since he was at the house, but we saw him the other night at the shelter. We take him his medications about once a week. That's going to stop soon also, because he can't be on our insurance if he's not living here. I thought I may have smelled alcohol on him, but he was acting okay. I must have a sensitive nose, because I can smell him a mile away. My husband thinks I imagine these smells, but I tell you......this kid always stinks!!! I'm a nurse so that may have something to do with it.
Welcome. This is a good place, many supportive and helpful people. But you knew that.

You're in a tough position with a difficult child that doesn't fit well into the usual categories. Hopefully you'll be able to find some kind of placement eventually.


(the future) MRS. GERE
Hi and welcome!

My first thought is for you to contact your local MHMR (Mental Health/Mental Retardation). Your ss might qualify for services with them on both scores. They were instrumental in helping us get placement for our son.

Good luck!



New Member
My SO applied for SSI as his sons advocate since he's not able to do it himself - he did the process and had his son sign the papers. You have to keep on them about the appointment - hold on the phone - but it has to be done to get the services..... none of it is a warm and fuzzy process and it's a royal pain, maybe to discourage people. But for those that really need it it has to be done.

My SS also smells as he doesn't bathe unless told to. His room is a total pig sty and smells awful. Even when semi-cleaned up it's still bad. I can't wait until it's empty to be fumegated and cleaned out. All $$ he scraps together is spent on cigarettes, dip and magazines. Such a resemblence to yours I think they could be twins! ha ha


Active Member

Hi and welcome. I wish I could be like you. Coming into the situation you did, clinically evaluating and not worrying about detachment because the bonding really wasn't there from the get go.

It's that dang emotional mommy baggage that gets me everytime!

With an IQ of 80 and the issues, there should be some sort of agency to help. Maybe this website will be of assistance.


New Member
Thanks for all the comments and support!!! I will check out that website. "J" is on Concerta, Celexa, and Tegretol. We recently added the Tegretol as a mood stabilizer. It has helped quite a bit. He still does all the same stupid things, but he isn't yelling and storming around like he used to. I was becoming afraid of his temper. He's taller and bigger than me, although he has never been physically violent. But there's always a first time for everything. We haven't seen him in over a week, and he hasn't called much. That usually means he is avoiding us so that we won't ask is he has called to arrange for the fines and classes he needs to take. Wel'll see what happens this weekend.


Well-Known Member
Hi. First of all, not all adopted kids are messes. I have four of them, two grown, productive and fine. Secondly, I just finished reading a book about a girl who was alchol affected. If you can get him tested, maybe by a neuropsychologist, and can sort of prove it, there is help. Fetal affected adults CAN NOT live on their own. They WILL fail. The book I read was very good, up to date--and very firm about this. They need structure and support so that they DON'T do things like steal, so that they can manage day-to-day, etc. They do not have the cognitive skills to live alone, even if they have normal IQ's. 80 is just a little below average, but he obviously has problems beyond that. Too bad his IQ isn't 69. THAT is when you are considered cognitively impaired. It will be harder for him to get help, but he probably should be in some sort of assisted living program. No conscience is a big symptom of fetal alcohol spectrum, as it's now called. These people also tend to steal a lot, don't know why. They do not and can not learn from their mistakes. It's organic brain damage, and not their faults. I just took the book back to the library, or I'd give you the name and author. I'm sorry that I can't remember, but their child was labeled everything in the world until they figured out themselves that the child was alcohol affected. The adult child was very relieved to find out why she got into so much trouble, but it didn't stop her from getting into trouble--which is so par for the course. And many end up in jail. It's really sad. I hope you can figure it out and get him some supports. Remember that when you married this man, you also agreed to accept his kids, whatever their problems may be. It's a package deal. With a disabled child, it's a package deal for life, unfortunately. On the hygiene note both my grown sons were meticulous at that age, trying to look good for the girls.