What would you do?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Chris2, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Chris2

    Chris2 Guest

    Hello everyone,
    I am writing about my son and am hoping I can get some advice. I pretty much know the answer but just need some support right now.

    Here is a bit of history:
    My son is 23. He was diagnosed with bipolar when he was about 14. He has always been very difficult. He has pretty much been gone from home since he was 19. He has had issues with drugs and has been arrested within the last year and half three times for possession of marijuana. The last time he was arrested, he said he wanted some help. I cashed in my 401K and put him in a 30 day treatment facility. We told him if he successfully completed the program, we would let him come back home and help him get back on his feet. Well, he got kicked out on day 23 because he refused to get up when he was supposed to and attend his meetings, etc. We did not let him move back home. He found somewhere else to live(with someone who does not use drugs) and appeared to have been doing really well. He has always worked and after we wised up and cut off any financial help, he has pretty much made it on his own.
    On Friday, he was arrested for a 4th time. He evidently had been drinking and a friend told him his girlfriend had cheated on him. He went to the house where the girlfriend was along the the boy she evidently cheated with. My son was hitting on the other boy and evidently hit his girlfriend as well. Nine police cars came and they arrested him for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He has been in jail since. He called repeatedly wanting us to get him out. We finally chose the option to not receive his calls from jail anymore. That was difficult to do but felt it was best. He has now been calling my dad who he is very close to. He is telling him his roommate has kicked him out and he will probably lose his job if he does not get back to work soon. My dad is a softie and is really swaying on this. He does not get the whole enabling thing.
    I know the right thing to do is to leave him in jail. I think he will get out tomorrow on a personal bond anyway.
    As a mother, I just do not know if I can let him live on the street. He has no car as he wrecked it almost a year ago.
    My heart is telling me to give him one more chance and help him get back on his feet. I don't want to give up on him but the chances that boy has been given are too many to count. I just do not know what to do.
    Any advice or thoughts would be so appreciated right now.
  2. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Well, I guess you do know the answer, which is no, do not give him one more chance. But, it is so hard, isn't it? It sounds like you have done really well with not enabling these past few years, I would not recommend starting now. So sorry you have to deal with this.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is just me.
    If my son hit a woman (yeah, I'm old fashion) no way, no how would he come home. Is he off all drugs? It doesn't sound like it. I know it's hard to kick out the kids, but they tend to find places to stay and in my opinion they clean up faster when we dont help them. If he has a job, he can rent a room in somebody's house for a cheap price and still not be out on the street. Why can't he still work? If he's motivated, he can. If you bring him home he may not even be motivated to work at all. My vote is: No way, Jose. He's probably an alcoholic to get so violent and he's still drinking. I'm not into enabling..I feel it makes our kids even worse. Ask yourself this question: What % chance do you believe that bringing him home will really help him change? (((Hugs))) I do know it's hard.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    My vote is no. He has been given many chances and refuses to change his direction in life. He survived before, he will survive again. I know it's hard. I've been there done that. But until they are willing to see the problems their choices bring and work on correcting those choice, we can not enable them. A big hug. I know how bad it hurts.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    My first thought - is he being treated for his bipolar disorder? Until that happens - you are not going to be able to help him. Is he drinking/doing drugs in lieu of real treatment for his disorder? When you mix a mental illness with chemical use/dependency the waters become so very muddy.

    I wouldn't give up on your son. Not giving him money or a place to flop is not giving up on him. Continue to love him, pray for him, encourage him. While you do so - also allow him the chance to learn from his mistakes.

    Sorry you're going through this. Sounds like you've got some good detachment skills. Better dust them off and prepare them for further use.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Chris...from a parent who has tried for way too long to help and has gotten kicked in just about every body part I have...dont help anymore. It kills me to say it too. Im counting down the days till September 7th or 8th when mine gets carted off to Jail so I will finally be free. At that point...I will never let mine back in my door again. Ever. (Well maybe if he wins the Nobel Peace Prize and wants to come for Thanksgiving dinner)
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Emergency Assistance at the local county Social Service Office. The day he is out of jail, he is to go there and state his case - let them know he is homeless and looking for help.

    You can not give him anymore help - he has to face up to this and work his way out of this - he will be a much stronger person if he does this on his own.

    He has shown that he can work and make a living - don't give him away to walk away from that.

    You should not have to pay for treatment programs - he is on his own and can contact social services for help (in MN, we have a CCDTF fund that counties tap into to pay for chemical depedency programs for those who quailfy. And yes, people with jobs can qualify though I don't know the criteria.) Usually the higher paying jobs $20/hr would also come with benefits. Have him check with his human resources department at his job for details. He may not totaly understand that his health insurance may cover chemical dependency programs.

    It is hard because you have seen his abilitiy to actually work and survive but that fact should also make it easier. There are many kids out there on their own whose parent's are still waiting to see that willingness to be responsible.

    His first step is to call his employer to see where his job stands. Does he still have it? Many employers are understanding and if he was a good worker, they will want to get him back to that status.
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have to agree with the "no [more] help" answer. As for him ending up in on the streets.. .difficult children have a remarkable way of landing on their feet, somehow. I'd bet he'll find someone to take him in. He's got to face up to this .. it was HIS doing, bipolar or not.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Another vote for letting him handle this by himself. He has had 4 arrests in 1 1/2 years. He has made his own way for quite a while - so he is capable of supporting himself. have a tlak with your dad. Explain that difficult child NEEDS to handle all of this on his own. With prayers and love, but no material support - otherwise he will NOT get better and may die from the drug/alcohol abuse.

    Adrianne had good resources mentioned. Your son should be going there to get help - NOT to his grandparents, parents or siblings.

    Please let him sink to his own personal bottom, otherwise he will not have a chance at healing his life. You have already given up yor retirement savings for a program he would not stick out. Chances are he is no more ready to kick his habits now than he was then.

    And any man who hits a woman should face some jail time, in my opinion. It may be a chauvinistic point of view, but it is still my opinion.

    I am sorry you are going through this. I will keep you in my prayers.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Helping in this case is just hurting him in the long run. I'm also in the NO crowd.

    I know it's rough, especially when they're supposedly facing life on the streets, but these kids are resourceful. He'll find somewhere to hang. Or if you're really worried, give him directions to the nearest homeless shelter. But if you don't let him hit his all time low so he'll want to turn his life around, he'll never reach that point.

    It's hard to watch them shoot themselves in the foot. But if they aren't forced to face the consequences of their choices they have no reason to change them.

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us. Wish you hadn't needed to. Oh, do you go to al-anon? If not, check out the meetings. They're a huge help. Might want to pull grandad to a few too.

  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I suspect you came to us with this question knowing that we would say "go with your gut, not your heart." If you are afraid your dad will cave, it's time to enlighten him as to your son being violent towards vulnerable people. If he is going to be let out tomorrow anyway, no reason to bail him out today.

    Just a thought - given the circumstances, it seems less logical that the girl was still in a relationship with him and stepped out on him than that she had already seen his temper, and perhaps his violence, and had already walked away from his relationship with him, and this episode was retaliation for that, not for her "cheating" on him. Whatever it is, the relationship is over now, for sure. Or it should be.
  12. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I so understand. My son is 24 and has been in trouble for drugs since he was 17. He was in jail many times. We bailed him out twice. It did no good. We have sent him to rehabs many times also. He got kicked out of most of them. The last time he was in jail 10 months - we did allow hiim to come back home - mistake - he went back to his old ways, smoking pot, looking for pills, etc. He has a psychiatrist that prescribes him Xanax - it will probably be hard for him to pay for it soon because his insurance will go off of ours and it will be the real thing - anyway - we told him he couldnt live here and live this lifestyle - especially since I am a teacher and my husband in an engineer and our other son is a senior in high school - so he found a p lace to live in a trailer with an old friend and his pregnant girlfriend and some other girl - it sounds ridiculous - he is looking for a job - but he has a felony - it is hard on me to watch this go on - but he is doing it on his own - my hellp obviously doesnt work
  13. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Well, you got the votes. Tally them up.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart, this is not easy.
  14. Chris2

    Chris2 Guest

    Thanks so much for all of your advice. I know what the right answer is but I must admit I still struggle with it as I carry quite a bit of guilt.
    He did get out of jail last night. His employer along with some of the employees came up with the bail so he does still have a job. A girl he works with also offered him a place to stay until he can get on his feet. Although he did call and speak to his grandpa today and tell him he really did not want to stay there as he did not want to impose and he hardly knew her. He will have to get over that.
    This is such a struggle and the toll it has taken on my family is hard to explain.
    I know this sounds stupid but I cannot believe this is happening to our family. It is not who we are. I know addiction does not care about that but never in my wildest dreams did I think this would ever happen to my child. He should be graduating college about this time not working in a restaurant where they don't do drug testing.
    I am meeting with my pastor this week for some additional guidance.
    Again, thank you for your thoughts and advice.
  15. judi

    judi Active Member

    Hi Chris - I'm getting in on this late but can't give any better advice. My son is 23 and essentially homeless. Have seen him only once in last 10 months. Its not easy is all I can say.

    I'm sorry you are going thru this.

    I will share that when I came here (2001) that I thought this stuff didn't happen to the nice, two parent, intact, middle-class professional families. Somehow, in all my smugness, I felt I was immune. Well, someone else had the last laugh and I've been here a long time still with no resolution to our son's problems. Sorry you had to join us.
  16. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    "I know this sounds stupid but I cannot believe this is happening to our family. It is not who we are".

    Actually it doesn't sound stupid at all. We've all said those very words - or a version of them.
  17. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I understand those words completely. It is like you took something I feel out of my mouth. I feel that way too. I cant believe this has happened to our family. I cant believe my son wants to live that way - he was not brought up that way. It has been heart wrenching for me too. It has affected every person in our family. All I can say is it is unbelievable to think about you just have to go one day at a time and deal with what you have to. You have to ask for the serenity to accept things you cant change. I have tried to change so much with little or no success. I have tried to change my son into the man I know he can be with no success. It is sad for me and everyone else here. We understand you.