32 year old homeless son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DebbieS, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    Hi, my name is DEbbie and i have a 32 year ols son who is homeless in NJ. He was at a shelter, but his time allowed was up there and was asked to leave since they didn't know how to help him. He is on the street now. He will not listen to me. He left his clothes unattended while he went to work and when he came back, they had stolen his soap and jeans. This is the 3rd time he has left his things unattended despite the life lesson and my telling him too take them tho work with him in the moving truck. But he needed to text me at 7 pm to tell me, when he got back to his sleeping spot by the job. I didn't sleep well and seem paralyzed today, tearful, consumed with thoughts of whether our not to buy him a backpack and clothes, necessities to living on the street amd wonder as to what is compassionate vs. Enabling.
    Debbie S
    Sad Mom
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Debbie, welcome and so sorry for your heartache and need to be here.
    This is really hard stuff for anyone to deal with. I have been where you are at, numb, in despair and not able to move from the grief.
    We do what we can, and still be able to look ourselves in the mirror.
    Know that you are not alone, that many of us here have lived or are living with the reality of our beloved adult children being homeless.
    For many of us, there is no way they can live in our homes, due to substance abuse, mental health issues, or both.
    Gentle hugs to you. When you are able, please post some more information about you and your son, so folks are able to respond appropriately to your situation.
    If this is your real name, consider changing it, this is a public site and we are anonymous to protect our privacy.
    That also affords us more freedom of expression.
    I am sorry for your aching mommas heart.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If you want to compromise, go to a thrift store and get him just enough for two days and pick up a cheap, used backpack. You can tell him that even these small gestures are the last time. He is 32 and can remember to put his things in a truck.

    Would you mind sharing if he is a drug addict or mentally ill or both? There is help, even on the street, for him and for you too. You should not suffer more than necessary. Therapy or talking to a pastor???! If he is mentally I'll contact NAMI. They have good classes and help. If he abuses drugs you can try Al Anon. Nobody can be strong enough to do this alone. It will not help your son if you become ill. You deserve to be good to yourself. You are worth it.
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  4. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    My son has left clothes all over the place while couch surfing or when switching homes. I kept replacing them and realized i was spending alot of money on clothes he would wear only a couple of times. He didnt learn to be more careful till i learned to be more stingy. I agree with swot only buy a limited amount with the understanding that it will not last forever. I also believe he sometimes told me he lost clothes when he either couldnt or didnt feel like doing laundry.
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  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome, I'm glad you found us here but sorry you had to.

    Compassion -vs- Enabling
    Compassion is caring about someone and yes, helping them but how one helps someone can easily cross a line into enabling.
    Enabling is when we do for someone that which they should and could be doing for themselves. Enabling is when what we do for someone is really not appreciated and expected.
    At 32 your son should be doing for himself. He has a job so that is something good. Is it a good job? Does he make decent money?

    It's always helpful for us to have a little more background so we can offer appropriate suggestions.

    What I can tell you is that you can reclaim your life. Yes, it's terrible that your son is homeless but you did not do that to him and it does not have to define you. Your life matters. Trust me, I know the heartache all too well. I know the sleepless nights, I know the wondering and worrying. I've lived it for many years. I was able to move on from my sons dysfunctional life. I no longer lose sleep or worry about him. I have accepted that his life is his own, poor choices and all. My son is finishing a 2 year sentence. He was homeless when he was arrested and he will be homeless when he gets out unless HE decides to make some changes. I love my son dearly but I have no control over him or his choices but I do have control over my own life.

    I'm glad you are here with us. Please keep posting and let us know how you are doing.

    ((HUGS)) for your hurting heart.
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  6. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    Thank you everyone. You helped me get my strength back. My 32 year old son has borderline personality disorder, Adhd, and i believe depression. We have tried, but have not been able to help him because he refuses to listen to what we tell him. He would not go to therapy. He has the maturity of a 13 year old. I reminded him about his stuff getting stolen the first tine he left it amd so to to take his clothes with him. He decided to leave them hidden where he sleeps because he doesnt want to carry them around. I think he is embarassed. They were all stilen and i guess his cell charges because i haven't heard from him. He is not aggressive or abusive. He is sweet and kind actually. He has learned not to try abusive guilty talk because i hang up immediately! He works on amd off periodically for minimum wage. He doesnt seem to wamt steady work, which is why he is homeless. He also has NEVER held a job longer than 9 months. He had been a heroine addict 10 years ago. He recently began using and oded twice. We agreed to detox and rehab, but they refused him entry cause he wasnt sick and they felt He was just looking for free housing!! He has frequently been homeless off and on for a few years, but was couch surfing and living friends until this year. A friends place doesn't last long because he does stupid stuff, like move a girl in with him, and he doesnt follow other's wishes. Entitlement. . Not until he wound up on park bench in the winter did he decide to get two jobs to afford an apartment. We gave him security money and after a few montgs he decided he didn't like second job so he quit it. So he lost apartment. We let him be homeless, life with friends, and at one point in a junk car he bought. He's worked at good jobs, but cant keep them.
  7. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

  8. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    so frustrating. He "let them be stolen", along with his cell phone charger i imagine so he has not my been able to change clothes. I'm not able to help him until Monday. Maybe this will affect him enough to stop the behavior. Thanks for posting. It does help to know someone else had this happen too.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  9. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks for sharing more info with us. Your son and mine have very similar paths and yes, it is a sad life for them. We will never know why they choose to live the way they do.
    My son has had more things stolen from him than I can even remember. I have tried explaining to him because of the lifestyle he has chosen, this will continue to happen. All he wants to do it blame everyone for his misery. It's also ironic in that my son has stolen so many times from my husband and I as well as others. My son has also just walked away from things that have been given to him.
    Oh the couch surfing, I can only imagine how many couches my son has slept on and how many "friendships" he has ruined because of his lack of respect for those that have tried to help him.

    I know your heart breaks for him but you really do sound like you have a good handle on it.

    If love alone could save them we wouldn't need a site like this. We can love them but we can't save them, they have to want to save themselves.

    Here is a link to an article on detachment. Give it a read, refer to it when you start feeling weak.
    Article on Detachment
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  11. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    As others have said, our sons are sadly on similar paths. My 32 year old son was just released from jail and has been homeless many times. He has undiagnosed mental illness and substance abuse issues. No matter that, he wants to do things his way, rebuffing advice. I helped him again, always wanting to believe he is ready to change. Again, it was throwing good money after bad. I keep denying reality each time, refusing to see what is right in front of me. I am not where I need to be, but I keep getting stronger, and I am detach more quickly.

    You will get great advice, support, and wisdom here. Keep reading the posts. Our suffering for our troubled adult children doesn't help them one whit. You deserve peace and a good life. Don't let your son rob you of that.
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  12. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    Thank you,Tanya, I have read the detachment article. Some things i am not ready for.
    I am sorry youy are going through this journey too with your son. I keeping clinging to the thought that things will miraculously work out as time passes. I don't know about your son, but my son doesn't seem to learn from the lessons of life.
  13. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    Hi Acacia,
    Thanks for sharing with me. My son was in jail too and was motivated wjen he got out to pursue a normal life, but it didn't last. The therapist keeps trying tho focus me on the fact that this is my son's journey. I have tried helping him when i see he is working and trying, but as with your experience, the change doesn't come and i feel manipulated by him to achieve what he wanted. I have no answers. Just sorrow. Detachment is happening for me with each step too.
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Good, I'm glad you read it. I'm also glad you recognize there are some things you are not ready for. While all of our journey's are similar in dealing with an adult difficult child, they are still very separate and personal. We each can only do what our hearts and minds can bear. For some detachment comes easy and for others it's a struggle. There is no one size fits all answer.
    I do believe the best thing we can do is to have information. We glean from information what will work for us and set the rest aside, never throw it away as someday we might find what we have set aside, we are now ready to use.
    Take your time with your decisions concerning your son.

    For myself, I allow myself 1% of hope that my son will someday turn his life around and live a more responsible, respectable life. This way I always have "hope" but I don't give all my energy and time to it.
    Dealing with our difficult adult children can literally suck the life force right out of us. I'm not getting any younger and my time and energy are precious to me and I have made a choice to guard them.
    As for my son learning life lessons, well not so much. My son has a very high IQ but zero common sense.
    He thinks rules are stupid and they don't apply to him. He has no respect for authority. He claims to be a "sovereign citizen" meaning that the laws of our government do not apply to him. Ya, that hasn't worked out too well for him as he's in jail.

    My son is 36 now. He has sent us letters telling us that he has changed and that when he gets out of jail he's going to get his life together. I've heard all of this before as this is not his first time in prison. While I hope he's sincere, I am guarded. To be honest, it would take my son holding down a job for 3 years while living in the same place before I would be open to him really changing. I do hope someday that will come to pass but in the mean time, I will continue to live my life as best I can.

    Hang it there Debbie!!
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  15. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    Thank you so much Tanya. I do understand what you mean. It can be draining to deal with our sons.

    Today i actually called a shelter to clear the way for my son, 32 years old, tho take a shower and eat. He told me they said no. So i called. I want to see him for mothers day, and not dirty and disgusting. Sheltwr told me it was possible that someone did tell him no, but they were wrong and he clarified the times the showers are open, and to whom my son should speak too. Way too involved for the mother of a normal 32 year old, but ... anyway, i moved on very quickly after relaying the shelters message to my son, so out didn't interrupt my day much. Dont know if He went, but that doesn't affect me. He wasnt thankful, but i will be when we go to dinner on mothers day.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Debbie and welcome to you.

    Do I understand? He stopped heroin and then recently restarted and has recently od'ed twice?

    First I will qualify this by saying my son does not use hard drugs as far as I know. But I will say If he is actively using heroin now, that is the most serious issue.

    There is a spectrum of how involved we stay as parents. In my case I am more involved than are many other parents here. That waxes and wanes. But right now we are in the mix. My son is 29.

    We are constantly spitting into the wind with him. He resists. Blocks. Manipulates. Do I know the lost, stolen clothes. He just leaves them behind.

    Who knows how much more peril my son could be in....he is mentally ill....without us. But many many parents step back.

    If he is using heroin I can see a reason to push hard for him to detox and go to residential treatment and sober living. There are free programs.

    Personally I do not see that as enabling. But there are parents here who would. Whose kids have found and committed to programs and recovery doing everything self-propelled.

    Take care.
  17. DebbieS

    DebbieS New Member

    Thanks. When there is illness, they need help. They don't accept it and thats the hard part. As far as i knoe je is not using and detox wouldn't take him because he wasnt "sick". I know this to be true, i was there. That's a whole other story about the people involved in these programs. Thanks for understanding. It's a road that we have to navigate...enabling vs. Necessary involvement due to illness.
  18. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    My heart goes out to you. This whole process can be a lot to try to figure out and work out. I know for myself I have had migraines for the last two weeks because even though I try to "walk the walk" with all the counseling, good books, prayer and this site I still seem to feel it's all up to me to handle. I look at Mom's with their young kids in tow and think to myself, I pray their children don't grow up to be homeless like my two sons. I would never have thought this would be their plight when raising them. I've said this before but I think it bears repeating that "we grieve the loss of which we wish we had". Some days I feel strong and other days...not so much. I will keep you and your son in my prayers.

    :hail:....brighter days ahead I hope for all of us!
  19. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Omg. I thought it was just me

    Every time I see people fussing over babies I think that its such a waste because so many these days just leave you behind and abuse you. I cringe more if somebody shows off an adopted child.

    Its sad to be us.
  20. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    I hope I didn't give the wrong impression because I definatley didn't mean that all the love and support that we give our children is a waste of time. Babies and children should get all the love and support they can get but what I meant was that sometimes when I look at these little ones, I hope and pray that they will not become homeless and lost someday like my sons:(
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