Well, here I am, almost at breaking point - son aged 30

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Belle, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Belle

    Belle New Member

    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 mentally ill child 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! L Even though his own doctor told them that he thought our son was 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,
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  2. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Belle. I am so sorry.
    I too have hidden in my own house. It is no way to live in a place that's should be our sanctuary. In that moment I just didn't know what else to do. You have obviously gone over and above to try to get him help. There is a point, even with his limitations, that HE has to comply and want that assistance. A counselor told us once that our son did know right from wrong and that was where the line was. He continues to choose "wrong" for whatever reason. Is it easier? Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol can trump everything else.
    I believe you are stronger than you think and you handled this well. He is an adult and he has no right to bring his "mess" to your home. You have every right not to tolerate it. It helped me to read article on detachment on the top of parent emeritus.
    This too is where we ended up last February. We had called police few times in the past and our son believed we would do it again. After that he showed up to try again, with me answering the door with "do I need to call police?" Finally, he has realized he was welcome only if invited and never again to stay overnight. Is our son better? No. He gets evicted again this week and I'm so aware it is cold outside. But he chooses not to take assistance if there's any expectation of effort on his part. He would gladly take a handout though.
    Yes, as a mom, it tears out my heart. I think, "who lives like this?" On this forum, I have found many others do. We are not bragging about it on social media, we avert our eyes when we see families that seemed to have made it through unscathed. I am trying to get over this. It has helped us to get therapy, go to alanon and mental health family support groups. Today, you made a start by posting here. We get it. Hugs for your hurting heart. Prayers.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have no words of help, just empathy and disgust for your country.I thought only the U.S. allowed our severely mentally ill, which is schizophrenia, to wander the streets with no help and nowhere to live.

    It is one thing if a person who understands reality refuses to live a good life. It is quite different when a person who truly can't distinguish reality from delusions and hallucinations CAN NOT make rational decisions, CAN NOT figure it out. It is a blight on society and the same as allowing one with Dementia to walk the streets homeless. Both are not able to take care of themselves. Yet we can't care for them either.

    This is not the same as a kid who understands reality deciding to take and sell drugs. This isn't anxiety or depression. I have both and always did and it is not anywhere as severe as the mind stealing schizophrenia. You are able to understand how to get help, even if you don't, with both anxiety and depression. Schizophrenics often truly believe people can read their thoughts, are out to kill them and that medications are poison. How can they fend for themselves? How can our country expect them to?

    This is so wrong

    Sending warm vibes and healing hugs. I am so sorry.
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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2016
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Belle. I'm so sorry for your struggles with your son, it is a devastating path for us parents.

    You may have already tried this avenue, but NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental illness may be of some help to you. You can find them online, www.nami.org, they have chapters in many cities and offer excellent supportive courses for parents. They may be able to offer you some guidance and information as well as support. Give them a try. If you can, get yourself in one of their parent groups, they are very, very good.

    Again, you may have already tried this, but have you or he tried to get him disability, food stamps, medical insurance through the state? My brother is schizophrenic and was homeless living on the streets of L.A. for many years before he got on disability, now he has a small room, he's on medications and he is safe.

    Have you looked into those less expensive motels that rent by the month? Have you tried the Salvation Army or the YMCA?

    This path you're on is extremely challenging and I hope you and your husband have some kind of support. For me, it was necessary to have a therapist as I traveled down this road of detachment, I needed all the help I could get. If you haven't already, it may be prudent to find counselor, a parent group, or some environment where you can go to express your fears and concerns and receive support, guidance, information and a safe place to have your feelings honored.

    My brother is schizophrenic, my sister is bi-polar and my daughter is undiagnosed but exhibits some kind of mental illness.....I understand your pain, this is hard stuff. My daughter, at 43 has just begun the process of applying for disability which is quite a long process but I am encouraged that she is willing to make the attempt. She and I have been through the ringer for many years, however with the help of this forum, intense therapy for myself, a therapist lead parent support group and NAMI, I managed to make choices in detachment which changed the playing field considerably. Going to NAMI was the point at which things began to change for us, I got real support from the folks there, they gave me a "map" of sorts, a way of dealing with all of it. With all of that support and an intention to detach, things began to change slowly. I had to alter the patterning that I had set up with my daughter of enabling her at every turn because I felt she was not capable of taking care of herself in any meaningful way. Remarkably, as we moved through the detachment, she began changing and making better decisions. We have a completely different relationship today, she is self sufficient.

    Keep posting, get yourselves support, remember to take care of yourselves, it is so easy to forget our own needs and desires as we put all of our energy into saving our kids......be very kind to yourselves.....I'm glad you're here with us......you're not alone.

    Here is the article on detachment....

    What is detachment?
    Detachment is the:
    * Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
    * Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
    * Giving another person "the space" to be herself.
    * Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
    * Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
    * Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.
    * Establishing of emotional boundaries between you and those people you have become overly enmeshed or dependent with in order that all of you might be able to develop your own sense of autonomy and independence.
    * Process by which you are free to feel your own feelings when you see another person falter and fail and not be led by guilt to feel responsible for their failure or faltering.
    * Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.
    * Placing of all things in life into a healthy, rational perspective and recognizing that there is a need to back away from the uncontrollable and unchangeable realities of life.
    * Ability to exercise emotional self-protection and prevention so as not to experience greater emotional devastation from having hung on beyond a reasonable and rational point.
    * Ability to let people you love and care for accept personal responsibility for their own actions and to practice tough love and not give in when they come to you to bail them out when their actions lead to failure or trouble for them.
    * Ability to allow people to be who they "really are" rather than who you "want them to be."
    * Ability to avoid being hurt, abused, taken advantage of by people who in the past have been overly dependent or enmeshed with you.

    What are the negative effects not detaching?
    If you are unable to detach from people, places or things, then you:
    * Will have people, places or things which become over-dependent on you.
    * Run the risk of being manipulated to do things for people, at places or with things which you do not really want to do.
    * Can become an obsessive "fix it" who needs to fix everything you perceive to be imperfect.
    * Run the risk of performing tasks because of the intimidation you experience from people, places or things.
    * Will most probably become powerless in the face of the demands of the people, places or things whom you have given the power to control you.
    * Will be blind to the reality that the people, places or things which control you are the uncontrollables and unchangeables you need to let go of if you are to become a fully healthy, coping individual.
    * Will be easily influenced by the perception of helplessness which these people, places or things project.
    * Might become caught up with your idealistic need to make everything perfect for people, places or things important to you even if it means your own life becomes unhealthy.
    * Run the risk of becoming out of control of yourself and experience greater low self-esteem as a result.
    * Will most probably put off making a decision and following through on it, if you rationally recognize your relationship with a person, place or thing is unhealthy and the only recourse left is to get out of the relationship.
    * Will be so driven by guilt and emotional dependence that the sickness in the relationship will worsen.
    * Run the risk of losing your autonomy and independence and derive your value or worth solely from the unhealthy relationship you continue in with the unhealthy person, place or thing.

    How is detachment a control issue?
    Detachment is a control issue because:
    * It is a way of de-powering the external "locus of control" issues in your life and a way to strengthen your internal "locus of control."
    * If you are not able to detach emotionally or physically from a person, place or thing, then you are either profoundly under its control or it is under your control.
    * The ability to "keep distance" emotionally or physically requires self-control and the inability to do so is a sign that you are "out of control."
    * If you are not able to detach from another person, place or thing, you might be powerless over this behavior which is beyond your personal control.
    * You might be mesmerized, brainwashed or psychically in a trance when you are in the presence of someone from whom you cannot detach.
    * You might feel intimidated or coerced to stay deeply attached with someone for fear of great harm to yourself or that person if you don't remain so deeply involved.
    * You might be an addicted caretaker, fixer or rescuer who cannot let go of a person, place or thing you believe cannot care for itself.
    * You might be so manipulated by another's con, "helplessness," overdependency or "hooks" that you cannot leave them to solve their own problems.
    * If you do not detach from people, places or things, you could be so busy trying to "control" them that you completely divert your attention from yourself and your own needs.
    * By being "selfless" and "centered" on other people, you are really a controller trying to fix them to meet the image of your ideal for them.
    * Although you will still have feelings for those persons, places and things from which you have become detached, you will have given them the freedom to become what they will be on their own merit, power, control and responsibility.
    * It allows every person, place or thing with which you become involved to feel the sense of personal responsibility to become a unique, independent and autonomous being with no fear of retribution or rebuke if they don't please you by what they become.

    What irrational thinking leads to an inability to detach?
    * If you should stop being involved, what will they do without you?
    * They need you and that is enough to justify your continued involvement.
    * What if they commit suicide because of your detachment? You must stay involved to avoid this.
    * You would feel so guilty if anything bad should happen to them after you reduced your involvement with them.
    * They are absolutely dependent on you at this point and to back off now would be a crime.
    * You need them as much as they need you.
    * You can't control yourself because everyday you promise yourself "today is the day" you will detach your feelings but you feel driven to them and their needs.
    * They have so many problems, they need you.
    * Being detached seems so cold and aloof. You can't be that way when you love and care for a person. It's either 100 percent all the way or no way at all.
    * If you should let go of this relationship too soon, the other might change to be like the fantasy or dream you want them to be.
    * How can being detached from them help them? It seems like you should do more to help them.
    * Detachment sounds so final. It sounds so distant and non-reachable. You could never allow yourself to have a relationship where there is so much emotional distance between you and others. It seems so unnatural.
    * You never want anybody in a relationship to be emotionally detached from you so why would you think it a good thing to do for others?
    * The family that plays together stays together. It's all for one and one for all. Never do anything without including the significant others in your life.
    * If one hurts in the system, we all hurt. You do not have a good relationship with others unless you share in their pain, hurt, suffering, problems and troubles.
    * When they are in "trouble," how can you ignore their "pleas" for help? It seems cruel and inhuman.
    * When you see people in trouble, confused and hurting, you must always get involved and try to help them solve the problems.
    * When you meet people who are "helpless," you must step in to give them assistance, advice, support and direction.
    * You should never question the costs, be they material, emotional or physical, when another is in dire need of help.
    * You would rather forgo all the pleasures of this world in order to assist others to be happy and successful.
    * You can never "give too much" when it comes to providing emotional support, comforting and care of those whom you love and cherish.
    * No matter how badly your loved ones hurt and abuse you, you must always be forgiving and continue to extend your hand in help and support.
    * Tough love is a cruel, inhuman and anti-loving philosophy of dealing with the troubled people in our lives and you should instead love them more when they are in trouble since "love" is the answer to all problems.
  5. RN0441

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


    I am so sorry for your pain. I am in pain too due to my son's choices but he is in a different place than your son.

    You are stronger than you know and holding your own. It is all so very very hard. Prayers that you and your son find some peace.

    Keep posting here, it does help to know you are not alone. We get it.
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Belle,

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I wish I had a magic answer for you but I don't. This is real and very hard to cope with.
    From what you have shared it's obvious that you have done all you can for your son.
    It takes great strength to do what you have done in telling your son he cannot live with you.
    I know how draining it can be telling him you can no longer feed him or give him money.

    Recoveringenabler has given you some very good advice in contacting NAMI.

    The only other thing I can offer and as painful as it may be, if your son keeps coming around you may need to start calling the police. If you call enough they will see a repeating pattern and that may help in getting your son some help.

    I'm glad you are here with us. Keep posting, sometimes just putting it out there is so helpful.

    ((HUGS)) to you..................
  7. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    I have no experience in this...but my husband sees it in the prisons.

    I am sorry families suffer with no where to go..that the broken are ignored...that society doesn't want to look it in the eye.

    I'm often angry at our country....yes...we live in a beautiful nation...but we have some ugly skeletons.

    You are not alone....none of us are alone..hugs
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  8. Belle

    Belle New Member

    Thank you all very much for your replies, it means so much to me that you've taken the time to offer kind words and advice.

    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.

    Thank you all again, so very much. When I read posts on here I feel myself being lifted, knowing that I'm really not alone in such a situation.

    Take care :)
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  9. Annie2007

    Annie2007 Member

    I wish I had words of encouragement for you, but our mental health system and is broken. My 35 year old son was diagnosed bipolar with schizophrenic tendencies. He has been homeless for over 3 years. Been arrested numerous times and hospitalized in psychiatric wards. He is always put on medication and kicked out. Of course he ditches the medications as soon as he gets out. He blames us for everything and has been violent with my husband. Slept with bedroom door locked for years. He says we should make more sacrifices for him. My husband suffered a traumatic brain injury seven years ago and now have my hands full working full time. Son is texting me as we speak. I wish I had the answers for all of this as I am exhausted. I feel for you.
  10. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Belle, and sorry you had to find us. I too wish I had some suggestions for you. I am not familiar with the services available in the UK, and I don't know what avenues to try that you haven't tried already. It certainly sounds like you have done everything you possibly could have.

    I do know that when we get to a point where we realize we have no control over the situation, the only thing left to do is focus on ourselves, on how WE cope and OUR OWN well-being. I hope that you will do that, in whatever way you need to, whether it is seeing a counselor, going to NAMI or Al-Anon / Nar-Anon meetings, perhaps just taking extra steps to be extra gentle and kind with yourself.

    Where your son is now is NO reflection on you, as a parent or as a person, Belle. His choices are his alone, and only he can decide to change the trajectory of his life. Maybe if he gets to that point, you can help him get the support to do so. Until then you shouldn't feel like a prisoner in your own home. You deserve peace.

    Keep posting and reading. It helps.
  11. Belle

    Belle New Member

    Hello everyone. How are you all doing? I hope there have been at least some positive things in your lives since I was last here!

    Not much has changed with the situation with my son.

    The biggest change is my mother dying unexpectedly three days after Christmas. I felt like I couldn't breathe for such a long time. I'm not coping with the loss and the grief is crushing me. I digress....

    My Christmas was spent travelling into London and back as my son had been beaten up and had his jaw broken on both sides. He was devestated (as were we all) and although my mother had asked us to stay away at Christmas because she had a cold which was making her feel under the weather, I feel I sacrificed seeing her to visit my son over those 3-4 days for something which was probably brought on by his lifestyle/choices. Sorry, I shouldn't say sacrifice. He's my son, of course I was going to go to him, it was an awful time for all of us. Once I knew of the discharge plans, I booked him into a local hotel for 4 nights, to rest and recover - and to get him over the Christmas period. We'd not even pulled up outside the hotel when he started raging that he had no money and that we should have given him the hotel money as he'd rather have had that and bunked with mates - than stay in a hotel with nothing. Huge row. Told him to get out of the car and we left him to it. Two days later my mum was dead. I'd only spoken to her hours before. We were laughing at something or other. So I had to go to the hotel and tell my son, who was also devestated and we sat and cried. Then we sat in silence for what seemed an age - and then he started all the usual rubbish - even throwing in how it should have been me (or anyone he could think of) that died, not his nan. Again, I left him to it. Of course I understood he was grieving and added to my grief was the guilt that he was now dealing with this alone. I simply could not be in a room with him and try to dissolve a row. I didn't even know what day it was I was so distraught at losing my mum and how to help my dad (living 70 miles away, alone)

    To cut out the in between and to make a long story short.... it's four months later and he's still the same. Still won't settle anywhere. Still knocks on the door - "Mum, I'm cold, I'm hungry, can I have a drink, do you have any money, can we go for lunch, I'm homeless, I live on the street" etc etc etc. It just never stops. The verbal abuse when I say no to things. The guilt trips he keeps sending me on. My sad, sleepless nights because I think of him in some empty old building, living on nothing. Yes, there's still alcohol and drugs involved but I don't know to what extent. Yes, there are still mental health issues (they're not going to go away without treatment, this I know) and I know he's savvy enough to realise he should do this - but he won't. Just yesterday he lost his temper because I wouldn't meet him for lunch (as he'd told me the day before to eff off and hung up the phone) because of how he'd spoken to me so again he tells me to just eff off and kicks my rubbish bins down the road.

    When does it stop?

    Sorry for rambling. I feel like I couldn't stop once I got started.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sorry about your mother and all the pain.

    It stops for us when we no longer run after them like they are victims rather than perpetrators of their own downfall...your son is 30 and it helps to remember that adults his age are mostly choosong to live adult like lives without excess use of substances, violence and "mommy" rescuing them with money or anything else. Until/unless you chioose to detach from anything due to his bad choices, even getting beaten up, you will suffer. It is a choice we make,much like our difficult ADULT sons choose not working, drugs and refusing mental health help. It does not help these adult sons and daughters when we make excuses for ther refusal to do better and feel sorry for our healthy, able bodied adult childtren who choose to be criminals. As you know, they arent even grateful to us for our help. They see this as weskness and abuse us snd make demands and throw toddler like tantrums.

    We can choose to stilll love them, of course, but to detach from any drama or from things that occur due to their horrible choices. They are far more apt to straiighten out if we stop feeling sorry for them and close the Bank of Mom. I assume your son is healthy enough to work.

    I have an autistic son who we were told would just be a vegetable. He is 24, has two part time jobs, lives on his own without our monetary help and is the sweetest most loving young man...everyone tells me they adore him. He is adopted and was born with cocaine in his system. If he can be kind and productive, so can your son. Im not trying to be mean...I just want tp remind you that truly disabled adults can live good lives and your son has that potential too. My son worked hard snd makes good choices and your son can too.

    It is on his shoulders alone that he is 30 years old and gnarly, mean, bitter and always in trouble. You do not have to choose to take care of him anymore. It will help both of you more if you let him grow up. I wouldnt even allow him to come on my premisis since he is threatening with his words and actions. He is not safe. Change your locks. If you want to see him, meet him in a public place, like a coffee shop. Cut off all money. No is a complete sentence.



    STop doing things for him. He needs to become an adult and act like one. The sooner the better. He is not a young kid. If he starts to abuse you, get up and leave or cut off the phone conversation or stop texting. Before you disconnect say "You are smart and capable. I love you and im going to let you do this yourself. Bye."

    I also have a daughter who did drugs. She was only 19 when we made her leave and cut off the Bank of Mom completely. We wanted to give her a chance and nip it early. Honestly she looked so sick i thought she would end up dead or in prison. Instead, she quit, even cigarettes. Twelve years later she has a typical 33 year old life with partner, house, car and my gorgeous granddaughter.

    Will backing off change your son? More of a chance than if you leave him be, but no promises. Only one person can change him...himself.

    You and your son both have choices. You can go down with your son, which wont help your son at all, or you can choose to get a therapist to help you stop living through the son and build a good life for yourself. Or you can slowly die. And that helps nobody.

    I hope you choose a good life. Again, sincerely sorry for you about your mother. May she R.I.P.

    Take care.
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    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  13. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    fully agree. YOU need to change the dance beginning with looking after yourself first. Would you allow someone to abuse anyone you loved? NO! But that's what he is doing to you. So really you are enabling the abuse. My son abused drugs and also has serious mental health likely brought on by the drugs (schizophrenia). I had to detach fully to save myself. By doing so, the dance changed, and he has changed tremendously and is taking responsibility for his life and his health. He lives in a group home.....still has a long way to go...but our lives have changed for the better. He has not lived with us since the age of 16 when he began the drug abuse and the mental health started to appear. He was a thief, violent, manipulative and cunning. We had a younger daughter to think about protecting and that was the final straw...his behavior and choices resulted in him being removed from the home. Did he create guilt, manipulation up the ante...oh yes. Our family, marriage and life was destroyed all because we thought we could save him! How wrong we were. It wasn't until he finally self destructed that he realized he needed help. By that time we had finally learned to detach and were on the path to our own self healing. He is now helping himself. Wish I would have learned all of the wonderful advice this forum gives 10 years ago. You do have to walk through the fire, its painful as hell, but keep walking. You will come out the other side. Hugs to you.
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Belle, I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know that pain all too well. My mom has been gone 19 years and I still miss her like crazy. ((HUGS)) to you..........

    As for your son, I understand it hurt him too but what an ugly thing for him to say that he wished it had been you instead of his nan. I too have been on the receiving end of such cruel words.

    I've heard these same things from my son. I learned to give brief simple responses to him. "I'm sorry to hear this, I'm sure you'll work it out" if he kept at it I would just repeat it. He finally got the message that I was not going to give into him.

    No matter how ugly his verbal attack is, keep saying no. He is hoping to wear you down. When you feel you are getting weak, draw on the strength of all of us here.

    Oh the guilt trips, here's the thing, you don't have to go on that trip. You are in what is called the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) This is where our adult difficult children like us to be because they will use our emotions against us so we will give into them.
    You are here now, you are coming out of the FOG. Your son is homeless by his choice. My son also chose to be homeless. I can tell you that even though they are homeless they do not starve. If they can manage to find booze and drugs then they can surely find food.

    Never apologize for rambling. You ramble all you want, it helps to get it out. We are here for you.

    Be very good to yourself. Please do not lose sleep over your son, I'm sure he's not losing sleep over you.

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  15. Belle

    Belle New Member

    Dear All,

    Thank you so, so much for your encouraging and helpful words. They mean the world to me and I appreciate them so much. Whenever I come back and re-read advice given to me, I feel a whole new batch of strength. A board full of superheroes! :angel: I only wish I could share such wisdom with other people juggling with their troubles! xx
  16. hannahb

    hannahb New Member

    Hello Belle, so sorry to read about your mother. I can imagine how painful it is also to see your son behave so destructively. I have been through terrible times with my daughter, now 35, (only child) for the last 22 years. Including twice expelled from two different schools, thrown out of two universities, smashing up my house a number of times, attacking me physically many times. Things have got better in the last couple of years, but again I'm feeling sad and angry abut her rudeness and disrespect yesterday. Reading this site is helping me. She is still reliant on me financially but I think she is at last trying to make some money. We will see. I have no money left which might be after all a good thing if it means I can 't give it to her any longer. I'm trying to disengage with love. so hard to disengage and I don't want to disengage with anger. I am trying to keep to the mantra - don't offer anything, don't give advice, don't ask questions - in fact don't speak! Her rudeness yesterday arose because we were both invited out for lunch to thank us for support we give a charity. I was apparently 'mad' and 'embarrassing' and 'didn't do enough research on the charity beforehand'. Of course I am the actual philanthrope not my daughter and today I'm thinking actually the lunch was to thank me not her! What a weird world ! Take care. sue
  17. Snow White

    Snow White Temporarily in the Magic Kingdom

    So sorry to hear of your mom's passing, Belle. I hope that your pain and heartache will lessen with time.

    Your son is sure working all of your "emotional" buttons. I'm sorry that he is doing that on top of your grieving. You've known this behaviour from him for so many years. Yet, we still get on the Merry-go-Round every time and hope that the ride will be different. Your son seems to manage between the visits/calls to you. Perhaps if he was left to his own initiative (as Tanya and SWOT outlined), he would gain more control of his life.

    I think we are conditioned that "NO" is such a harsh word to give to our children. Even in everyday life, we will try to soften the word, "No", with things like, "maybe later", "we'll see" or "I'll get back to you". Heard a quote - "The word "No" is a complete sentence."

    It's sad that you have had a negative response from the mental health community. That is devastating to hear. And even sadder when they suggest that the correctional system is the one that should be "treating him". I don't get it.

    Keep strong. Let us know how you are doing.

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  18. Belle

    Belle New Member

    I wish I had something nice to say about the ongoing situation, but I don't.

    How can things still be the same after so long?

    Son is still homeless, still erratic, still taking drugs and drinking.

    My sister moved a few months back and decided not to tell my son her new address because she can't handle him just pitching up at hers unannounced.

    I thought things were starting to turn around early last year when he managed to sort out accommodation for himself in the same town my sister lived in (was about 70 miles from me). It was via an agency which helps homeless and vulnerable people. It was in a shared house but he was originally the only one in there which was good for him. Anyway, to cut a short story short (lol) He was only in there a matter of days before being made to leave over an issue with the neighbours (I don't think anyone but he and the neighbour will know the truth) and inviting the usual unsavoury people into the accommodation who then trashed it. So, back on the streets again which meant more visits at my sisters. She kept finding him asleep in her garage. The final straw came when a neighbour phoned her husband and said my son had been seen climbing in and out of her bedroom windows after they'd left for work and on top of that, she phoned me crying, saying she couldn't find two of her diamond rings. I suggested she go check all of his stuff stored in her garage, which she did and she found one of them. The other, I assume, he'd sold/swapped/given in payment for drink or drugs :( For my sister, quite rightly the final straw. He was no longer allowed to go there or in the house. He's always denied it but why, when it was so clearly him and one of them was found in his bag?

    So he came back to our town and it's all a repeat of everything I've in previous posts. Over and over and over.....

    I meet him for lunch, not on a regular basis, but enough, I think. Sometimes it's ok but most times it ends in a row or abuse and one of us walking away. How can I just leave him on the street? Where is his money my mum left him when she died? (I try to explain there is no money until my dad passes away but he won't believe that).How can I go on holidays when he's sleeping outside in a bush with no food? The family are awful for leaving him like this. They don't care about him. He's going to commit suicide. He cries himself to sleep every night because of his life (this really hurts me).

    Why doesn't he understand that I would do anything for him if he'd just take some steps to help himself? I've told him financial help is obviously not the answer because I've beeing doing that for almost six years and it hasn't made the slightest bit of difference. So then he gets mad about that. I said, tell me you're going to the doctors for some help, I'll be there in a shot. Whatever it takes, but no, he says he doesn't need the docs and to stop suggesting it. I did relent a bit on the money side a little while back and offered to pay the rent for six months on a little flat about two hours away - in the hope of giving him a fresh start but he said no, he's not moving out of this town. Ok.

    I know that he takes more drugs now and I know that most of what he says to me is probably just an angle to get money for that, but it's so hard when I see the state of him or hear him talk. I just want to help him make things better but it doesn't work. I was in such a state the other day, after a particular horrible meeting with him and I said to my husband, if he carries on like this, he won't make it to the end of this year.

    I had to have a blood test at the local hospital yesterday and bumped into him (he has a friend who lives near there) and he told me he'd slept on the grass outside and only come in because it was raining. My heart just sunk. I'm his mother. I don't want his life to be like this. I know the saying, you can't help someone until they help themselves, and I know it's true, but isn't it hard?

    Thanks for reading through my continued ramblings. I have to say, every time I come here (which is quite often, I just don't post much) I'm given so much strength from members and their advice, comfort and wise words :grouphug: