Where to go from here

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Maisy, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    It has been a while since I posted but feel in need of advice, comfort etc. The past two or three years have been an emotional struggle for me as I try to come to terms with my son's issues and my codependent behavior. I have made strides but it is an ongoing struggle. Anyway, things seemed to be getting a little better for my son as he has been working off and on as well as been involved with a Chinese Lion Dancing troupe. My son has severe ADHD with anxiety and depression. He has received various diagnosi from doctors from Dsythymia, bipolar 2 to Personality disorders cluster B. Not really sure what to think because he refuses treatment. Adamantly! He has been to therapists many times over the years since childhood and does not believe they help. Most medications don't agree with him other than Vyvanse. He also tics when stressed.
    Anyway, My son has been involved with acting since middle school and he is currently 24. He is currently in a show but just about dropped the ball on it this weekend. He overslept and missed an important rehearsal. Because of his anxiety, he was upset and embarrassed, so being the avoider that he is, did not call in. The theatre, his girlfriend, everyone was calling to find out where he was. He would not answer his phone. My husband went down to his apt. and he finally answered the door , explained what happened ,and said that he wouldn't talk about it. The director, who is a friend, went to his apt to try and get my son to come home with him, but he wouldn't answer the door or phone.

    Next day, my son finally called to say he was leaving our state and wanted money, then accused me of ruining his life because everybody was calling him and he could not show his face at the theatre. Or could never act again. Like he usually does , he said he wanted to die. He was tired of struggling. He hung up on me a few times. Finally texted me that he had called the director and as far as I know, is still in the show. My husband went down there and took him out for food, because of course, he couldn't be bothered to get or make any food for a couple of days.

    What scares me is my husband and I are moving to a neighboring state in a few months, something that we have wanted to do for a long time. We are not against our son moving there but not with us. Given our son's severe lack of coping skills and unwillingness to seek help, I am scared to death about what will happen and how we should handle this. We have done everything we can to encourage and support him.
     
  2. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I think it’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that helping might be hurting.

    Each one of the things you mentioned as potentially at issue, are treatable or can be managed in a pro social way.

    Other than letting him know that information, offering whatever you can toward those solutions, and believing he will work it out on his time frame, there’s is nothing you can do until he wants to do something.

    In the meantime, show him how life goes on.
     
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  3. Lost in sadness

    Lost in sadness Active Member

    It sounds as if you have done everything possible to help him but what does he do to help himself. They all seem to be living their lives and then blaming us when things go wrong and we all seem to be living on a knife edge for the day that happens. We love our children but I feel sure none of us thought it would be this way. Forgive me for suggesting but does he act out with you guys in the same way as he does in the theatre rather than just dealing with an issue. So hard for you but he is managing right now despite the upsets. xx
     
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Maisy, you might want to contact NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They are an excellent resource for us parents with kids struggling with mental and emotional issues. They offer a wonderful parent course, which I have taken and many parents here have taken. It will offer you resources, information, support and guidance for you and for your son. I encourage you to reach out to them. They may be able to help you in finding a therapist which may be another avenue of support to explore. You can access them online, they have chapters in most cities.
    This is very difficult for us parents and we often require professional assistance to get thru it.

    Find support for yourself, it will help you to let go of that fear of what 'could' happen. And, keep posting, it truly helps to write down our stories and have others who've been there listen and respond without judgement.

    We understand. We've been there. You're not alone.
     
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  5. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Thank you for your Reply and advice. My husband and I took the Nami course last year. It is a great resource but did not help much for our situation. As far as therapy goes, we have tried to get our son to go again and again, but to no avail. At this point, he will have to decide to go. As my sister tells me time and again, it needs to be his decision and it needs to be intrinsic. So we shall pray he goes at some point. On a more positive note, my son decided to face his fears and go back to the theatre and as a result, is still in the show. I hope that he learns from this but often times does not, so will probably happen again. My biggest issue is codependency emotionally with him and I have been working hard at detatching from his issues and emotional outbursts which are usually directed at me. The book by Melody Beattie Codependent No More, has been a great resource and my own therapist but it is a long process since I have been the main person responsible for our son's needs for so long. I also struggle with anxiety but mostly internally which causes me not only mental anguish but stomach problems. I am getting better at handling things and my husband has taken over more responsibility for dealing with our son. Lately, when my son starts in on me, I just block him on my phone. He can call his dad if he needs to. I am so grateful to have this site and all of your caring replies. I know that I am not alone and that many of you are dealing with harder things than I. I pray and send peace to each and every one of you. It often feels that things will never change, but I believe they can and will eventually. We must stick together and keep our heads. Our lives matter!!
     
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Maisy, I understand how you feel. My daughter has emotional issues too, as do many of my family members......I know the struggles faced when our loved ones are mentally ill.

    The biggest shift for me took place when I began to focus on my own health and well being. I'm glad you have a therapist to support you. And, Beattie's book was a big help to me too. You're doing a lot to take care of yourself and I believe that is what it takes for us to find our own joy in life.

    Acupuncture helped me considerably with anxiety, it soothed my body/mind/spirit and brought me back to a peaceful feeling. I believe it was one of the most important components of my particular "tool box." I began changing a lot in my life so that I could not only cope and stop struggling, but I wanted to thrive and find peace of mind too. To that end I changed my diet and stopped sugar, dairy and caffeine. I also began walking/hiking regularly. It sounds so simple and yet each thing I did for myself helped so much as I navigated this terrain.

    I also enjoyed reading books by Pema Chodron, who is a Buddhist nun who teaches about how to live in chaos and uncertainty. Elkhart Tolle's books also helped me to learn how to stay in the present moment, not scare myself with "future tripping" or rummage thru the past.....and to learn to accept what I can't change........to accept what is.

    Each of us finds our own "tool box" of helpful things to do when we are in the throes of our adult troubled kids dramas and behaviors. You've done a good job of putting yours together.

    I'm glad your son is still in the show.

    We're all in this together.......
     
  7. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Thank you for the book resources. I find that reading books like yours are soothing and help me to find my own answers. So I will check them out. I had not heard about acupuncture for anxiety so will check that out also. Where do you go for that? I just recently went to a nutritionist to help me with my hypothyroidism and weight loss which has been a Godsend. She gave me tips and tricks as well as an app called My Fitness Pal. I have lost 10 pounds so far and I do not feel deprived. One of the reasons that I have wanted to move to New Mexico is I also like to hike so am excited for that chance. Not much hiking in my part of Texas. So I am glad to hear of your choices to help with all of the turmoil.
     
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  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's great that you've gone to a nutritionist and that you've had such positive results. I too went awhile back and he helped me to set up the program I am presently on.

    I go to a private acupuncturist near me, I've been going regularly for 20+ years, I believe it is the single most important self help thing I've done for myself. She treats not only anxiety, but any issues I may have, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, sciatica, neck issues, menopause issues, fatigue, etc. The basic premise is very different from Western Medicine which generally treats the symptoms. Acupuncture essentially keeps your body in balance so your own immune system is strengthened to fight whatever invades the body. It also keeps what they call the chi or life energy moving throughout the body so that there are no "stuck" places. The "stuck" places are what create discord, disease and disturbances in the body. I always feel relaxed, balanced, centered and peaceful when I leave. My HMO offers it but they only allow for a few visits per year and if I am in the throes of anxiety as a result of my daughter's shenanigans or some other health issues, then I want to go regularly. So, I found someone near me years ago who was highly recommended . You can google acupuncturist's near you and see what pops up.

    It's a bit ironic, but my daughter's behaviors forced me to take much better care of myself. Little by little, as she went further off the rails, I kept increasing my self care. It was an eye opener to realize how far off track I'd become as I had made her the priority in my life. As I put the focus on myself, everything improved. Including my relationship with her. Oddly, I'm probably in the best shape of my life!!
     
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  9. Mary Orr

    Mary Orr New Member

    So hard to deal with our adult children. Our boy, 42, just got out of jail. We don't bail him out. Hard to know the line between helping and abling. Good luck to you. BUNNY
     
  10. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    I totally relate to that. I took the laboring oar to figure it out. It made me feel like he would only be well if I found the right answer. And if I bowed out from emotional exhaustion, then that was that. Some kind of failed God complex, I guess.

    But i wasn't a mental health professional, there wasn't one answer, and I couldn't make him. My son has his own wish list. They might be bad choices, but the reality is I can't force him to make different ones, anymore than I could make sure his teeth were brushed or his homework done, if he chose not to, unless I went in there and did it myself. He brushed his teeth and did some homework for some reason. Probably because he didn't want to get teased or face the teachers or lose the PlayStation or a sleepover

    If he's taken himself out of the game, or seems perfectly presentable to those who know him on some superficial level, then that social incentive may be non-existent. Unfortunately, the adult equivalent of PlayStation and sleepover consequences, is financial assistance and housing.

    But if I'm not willing to deliver the adult consequence, then I'm not helping him to make better choices, and maybe I'm even hurtful, because I'm a scapegoat for why his life is as it is.

    My son is his own worst enemy. I realized that he would never see that if I was within glaring range.

    Without fixing, explaining and protecting my son from himself, I'm left with nothing more that some vague trust that young adults are capable of caring about themselves and want good lives.

    I did what I could to get him there. I'll help him again when he wants my help to move forward instead of to stay stuck.