39 year old homeless son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Terry-overwhelmed, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Terry-overwhelmed

    Terry-overwhelmed New Member

    I have posted once before about my 39 year old son who was about to become homeless. He had to be out of his apartment yesterday. He has no car and no where to go. I have custody of his children age now, 7,9 and 11, for the last 5 1/2 years. They were taken from their mother 6 years ago due to her drug problem. When I first took the children, their dad was in jail for 2 years. My son, their Dad, has been out of jail for 3 years now and living with his dad, my ex husband. My son started off doing well, he had a job, car and looked like he was going to get his act together. He lost his job and eventually his car. He saw his kids on occasional weekends. He has a summer part time job which is ending this week. His father lost his apartment which is how my son is homeless. His father is in a hospital right now with a diabetic issue but is hoping to be placed in a nursing home. I know I spoke about this before but now that it is here I feel horrible. He knew a month ago that he was going to have to move and did nothing. Yesterday my adult daughter and I packed up his belongings and stored it in both our homes. My son called me this morning to tell me he has no where to go. I cannot let him stay here. I already have his 3 kids but I am in so much pain right now and cant stop crying. Just the thought of him walking around aimlessly thinking no one cares about him is killing me. How do you other mothers do this? I feel heartless. How does a person not help their homeless child! No one should be homeless. Even though I know he can’t come here, I am grieving. Do I just do nothing? What do I tell his kids when they ask “why can’t daddy live with us? I never thought I would be still going through this drama f
     
  2. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Terry,

    My heart goes out to you. This is NOT an easy road for any of us and I feel your pain. I have two homeless sons, 30 & 26 who are currently living in their cars for who knows how much longer. I had a panick attack this weekend thinking about what if they don't check the oil on their vehicles. They are not new cars and older son seized engine on last vehicle given to him too because he had no money and no ability to add oil. Knowing at any moment if not already they're on the streets is over whelming.

    I've had to detach from them and block all communications because they are angry and bitter and older son verbally abusive to me because I won't financially help or allow them even into my home to visit. That is because I know I'd never get them out. So it's a boundary I need to set for myself.

    I've helped them out to the tune of thousands of dollars over the last two years. I realized I just couldn't do it anymore it was too draining on me financially and emotionally. They are always in crisis mode. No gas, no food, don't feel good, won't work, car troubles the list is never ending. I would no sooner put one fire out than another started up. I realized I can't live their lives for them. It is a very difficult thing to turn them over to God but that's what I've done. I've also turned myself over to God because I need his help too. I was always praying for two sons (which of course I still do) but came to the conclusion that I needed God's strength too because I just couldn't take it anymore.

    There's some great books by Joyce Meyer and she talks about how the battlefield of the mind belongs to the Lord. If you can, read them.
    We have to remember that we do have and "should" have control over our thoughts. If we chose to park in the moment of our pain and stay there our worries and troubles will be constantly in the forefront of our minds. It's important to quickly replace the thoughts that our adults sons are feeling hurt, lonely hungry and abandoned. Instead, when you get those agonizing thoughts, send up a prayer for your son and release him to God's care. Don't waste those moments. Make them count and with each prayer ask God to give you strength too. Each and every time.

    Our thoughts become our actions. Be strong minded and you will be strong.
     
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Friendly Friendly x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    • List
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Terry. Welcome back.

    This is a sad story. Any mother would be sad.

    Do you have a sense of what it is about your son that makes him unable either to grasp his situation or to respond to it in a way that he protects himself, and does not allow himself to go down the tubes? Or do you believe he is waiting for you to take responsibility for him? If so, this is wrong.

    My son has been homeless for much of the last 8 years. He has only not been homeless when somebody has offered him a place to stay. My son will be 31 in a couple of weeks.

    I don't see this changing. He is living in a house I own. It's not going well. If I tell him to leave, he will go live in a forested area in a major metro a few hours from me. It is hard.

    Unlike you, I could let him keep staying in the house I own. But the way he lives, is too stressful to me and to those around him.

    In our case, my son is mentally ill and he has had brain injuries. He also had a difficult beginning. So, you see, if anybody should feel guilty, it's me. More than guilty though, I feel afraid.

    I don't know what to write to you to make you feel better. To me, to react to son's situation, which he is creating, in order that YOU FEEL BETTER, would be wrong. He is a middle aged man who CAN and DOES work.

    There are times in most everybody's life where they lose places to live and places to stay, at the same time. I know it happened to me many times. I am trying to search back to remember what I did.

    I think what I did was put one foot in front of the other. If we handle our children's problems we deprive them of the possibility of helping themselves. The only way we define ourselves as people is solving difficult problems. If we did not solve problems we would lie around in bed all day.

    He could couch surf. He could get a room in a house. He could complete a nurse's aid training and become a home health aid where he cares for an elderly or ill person and lives rent free.

    I like to travel. There's a place where I want to go in Brazil. It's a big colonial era city. To rent on airbnb whole houses cost $5 a night. I know this is off topic, but there are ways that people solve their problems and make a life too. This is what we deprive our children, when we take away their need to make a life by solving their challenges for them.

    I know this is hard. It's hard for me too. I believe my son will go homeless again too, when he gets his SSI money at the end of the month. I hate how he lives. But that's my own problem to bear. He deserves to live the way he wants to love.

    If we bring our adult children into our home, there begins a constant battle. Because they are adults.

    If your son has issues, such as mental health, or addiction, these are what he needs to deal with. There are resources to help him. If he chooses.

    Take care.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    I totally understand. He is asking for help though. I'm pretty sure that took a lot from him. I would give him a timeline and a strict set of rules to follow along with a reminder as to why he was told to leave along with a warning. Pray it kicks in. There is a chance it will take several tries. Just tell the kids "He is visiting.".
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  5. Terry-overwhelmed

    Terry-overwhelmed New Member

    My husband will not let him live with us. We have his 3 kids and my son has never done anything to prove himself. He does not work steady and is more like the kids buddy and not their father. At the same time, I dont want him on the street either. I am so torn. Do I just let him fend for himself and not answer his texts? Do I pay for a hotel room or look for a one room boarding home? Do I help him pay off his tickets, straighten out his drivers license and get his car on the road so he has a place to live? I ended up telling him to go to a shelter. How cold is that? How is he going to straighten out his life on the street?
     
  6. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    You know. There are many good reasons as to why we had to make harsh decisions when it comes to our adult children. We may argue , try to reason with them, and all falls to deaf ears . But, bottom line, they are our children no matter what age they are. As a mother, I cannot live a full, happy life knowing my child is struggling out there. This especially, when they are knuckle-headed with loads of pride. I have been insulted, told not to reach out. It was extremely difficult trying to "move on". You never do because they are your children. After many months of email rejections, I received a decent response. Yes, he's upset about many things. I know he regrets his choices in life; but there is no turning back to that. I have decided not to dwell on this (even though I'm hurting) and try to create a new relationship with my son. I have to accept that it will never be like when things were "good". All I can do right now is tell him I miss and love him, not judge and help when needed.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  7. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    I feel for you and get it. Believe me. You know, I believe men do not or ever will understand the love of a mother. Pray. Know we are there for you. We get it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  8. Terry-overwhelmed

    Terry-overwhelmed New Member

    I just can’t stop crying. It’s not easy at the same time helping the grandkids with their homework, dinner and getting ready to take my granddaughter to her gymnastics class. I told my husband that I would rather pay for my son to have a place to stay so I dont have to be in this pain. I am so sad. I have been helping him for one way or another for at least 15 years. I just wish this would end.
     
  9. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    You do what you have to do. Maybe this anecdote can help-
    I took my son to a local barbershop when he was around twelve years of age.
    (We were new to the area .) The barber recently came from Cuba and telling me that he escaped his country looking for a better life for his kids.
    He was a college professor in his country, but was struggling.
    The young man had no qualms working in a barber shop (his brother's) because it was a job.
    He proceeded to tell me that his wife refused to come to this country after his move and would not allow him contact with his son.(Who was about my son's age.) She gave him a hard time and divorced him. He eventually remarried a friend of the family. From this relationship, he had a young daughter.
    However, he was unhappy because he did not know how his son was doing. He worried about him not having shelter and food.
    He choked up when he said; "I cannot even enjoy a meal wondering if he has food to eat. I lose my appetite immediately."
    How sad was that? He was one of the few men who I actually saw real hurt in his heart.
    My point is that this is also how we feel as mothers.
    I recently sent a few dollars via PayPal to my son. Not because he asked for it (which he didn't) but because I went food shopping and saw all of the goodies he liked wondering if he even had food in his fridge. I left a memo saying "buy some lunch". He answered back thanking me. I reminded him of the story I just mentioned. His response " I understand." This speaks volumes. Only then I knew he was struggling.
    I told him that I wish he was home- " You always have a place here." But he said that " He's OK and prefers to live by himself. " You see my son is a very proud person and will not tell me directly that he needs help. So, the best I can do is give him $ when I can. My family tells me not to give him one cent. It's easy to say this when you have your children near and living well. I have decided not to listen to their "advice". They have no idea. Period. This is not enabling. It's more complex. All is done because he is loved. So, remember, you are not alone in this. If you feel you have to help then do it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  10. Terry-overwhelmed

    Terry-overwhelmed New Member

    Thank you so much for understanding. I really am hurting as if someone has died. From what I read, I am an enabler but how do you not help your grown children? I see so many parents with grown responsible adults and wonder why my son is the way he is. I have paid lawyer fees, a bail bondsman, parking tickets, food bills, electric bills, etc over the years when he was struggling. I always said its for his kids but when his children were removed from the home, I still helped him make ends meet. I sent care packages when he was incarcerated, drove 8 hours to visit him in prison and wrote him letters. I thought after two years in prison he would be a new man but three years later, he is still the same. It just makes me sad. Now I did not help him today and he wont answer my texts. Isn’t raising his kids a big enough sacrifice without him making me feel like I should be helping him? Believe me, if I did not live with a spouse I would let him live here. My husband gave up so much when we took in my 3 grandkids that he treats like his own flesh and blood. I do want to thank everyone who answered this post and the last. I really appreciate everyone of you. I am just so sad.
     
  11. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Trust me I see both sides of the coin. But there comes a point where you will ask yourself “when is enough, enough?” Fighting through the feelings, the angst, the pain in your heart and soul is the only way to ever put a stop to it. Do you want this pattern of enabling to go on until your death or until it’s the death of you? They will never learn they are capable of taking care of themselves if we keep rescuing them.

    I’ve been working on this for quite some time and I still hurt but what tools will I have given them if I die tomorrow? When you think about it, it’s almost selfish of us to squash their potential to thrive. Nothing that is worth attaining is easy. There may be a season of pain but I’m at a point where I’ve lived in the season of pain too long enabling my two sons. This is NOT easy but I’m praying that there will be a better season someday where we each have boundaries we can respect.

    If giving financially doesn’t affect you or your spouse or other family members than that’s great but if your giving is causing resentment, anger, fear and frustration than the giving is not coming from a healthy place.

    When I first went to Al anon 2 1/2 years ago I did not know how warped and sick my thought process was. When I finally saw how bad off I was, it took and is still is taking a lot of hard work to get better. You see, we become part of the problem. We need to fix ourselves. When we start to see tiny steps of progress we are making we then realize we can do it. It’s not a easy but it’s better than being in the quicksand struggling to survive.

    Hang in there and try to focus on yourself.

    Sending prayers.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    All of our adult kids are different. From what I hear in Al Anon and lived through with my daughter, helping with our money does not help. They don't get better at home and don't respect the property we buy for them. I did this for years. My daughter is a 33 year old entitled, bitter mess about to be homeless for her first time ever. We never allowed it before. I guess maybe some adults would be grateful for the help, but personally I have not heard of difficult adult kids doing well while living with Mom. Or ever feeling grateful. Many are quite unpleasant.

    If you take him in or house him elsewhere it would be for your benefit, not his. He is 39, middle age, with no clue how to take care of himself. If he doesn't learn he will be a child forever and you will be gone one day. Then what? This is a sad fact about my daughter too. You are NOT alone.

    My advice is none. Do what you can handle and put the grandkids before him. They are children. If you help your middle age son, do it without big expectations or he may tear your heart apart. You can't fix him at his age. None of us can fix another adult, even a beloved child. We can only fix one person...us.

    If God is in your life do lean on Him. This, therapy and Al Anon really helps me. I can't do it alone. My support system keeps me sane. Please make sure that you take care of yourself. Check in with yourself. Your mental, physical and financial health matter a lot.

    This is hard.

    God bless you and your family.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  13. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    Most definitely if it affects you financially, then do not do it. When my son was told to leave I was giving him $1000 a month because I did not want him to suffer financially. He still had to get a job , but I quickly realized that the money sent was "his frivolous spending money". I confronted him about this because my bill payments were being affected. I told him that I was only able to send $300 instead and he gave me hell, to the point he refused to speak to me for a year. Because of his reaction I cut all $ off. Only recently, I may send $50 a month. That's it. He was appreciative because he understood where I was coming from. "Tough Love?" Who knows? But dang! It hurt not knowing anything about him during that period ,wondering how he was doing. I just let him know that yes, I care and worry. Bottom line, it's up to him to survive. The downfall here is that he recently told me that he hasn't taken his medications for a year because he couldn't afford this and has no healthcare. Worry? Always?
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  14. Terry-overwhelmed

    Terry-overwhelmed New Member

    Thank you Jaypee. You always give such good insight to the issues at hand. Yes, will it ever end if I keep helping. I am struggling now and am trying to be strong in front of my grandkids. What helps me through it is remembering all the manipulative things my son did through the years to get me to help him. He does not appreciate all that I do to give his kids a stable loving home. The bad thing is I dont know if my son has a drug problem or not. I could understand his actions so much more if I knew that was his issue. I was thinking of looking for a Narcotics anonymous group to go to but would I belong there if his actions are not due to drugs?. After all, the grands are with me due to drugs. I just want to do the correct things moving forward.
     
  15. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Al Anon, all we have here, is for anybody with a loved one who is an addict, whether or not they still use. Addicts are always addicts and often, not always, have difficult personality traits even when they are sober. Al Anon is not limited to loved ones who are alcoholics in spite of the name. Not everyone likes Al Anon, but my husband and I love it.

    As an enormous enabler who felt that I had to kill myself if needed if that's what it took to keep my daughter afloat, I fought the idea of detaching with love for years. My husband and I almost divorced. My two thriving younger children resented all the time and money spent on our difficult one. Al Anon, therapy and my faith saved our family.

    Try your group again. It can't hurt!
     
  16. Terry-overwhelmed

    Terry-overwhelmed New Member

    I didnt know I could go to al anon. I will look into it. Thank you
     
  17. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I didn't know either at first. You can and there are more Al Anons than Nar Anons.

    Good luck!
     
  18. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Terry.

    You would be welcomed at Al anon. There are members in my group that have adult children addicted to drugs. The program teaches you to focus on you. Something you may not be doing much having to be the grandkids parents. Putting the focus on you will in a sense take the focus off your adult son. As you get healthier minded you will be able to set and keep boundaries. For me the only thing that’s helped with the guilt is prayer and Gods graces. I just heard something in Al anon tonight. “Love = Let Others Voluntarily Evolve.”

    It’s hard Terry our caring and concern starts out because we love, care and don’t want our loved ones to suffer. But then for me it was worrying my sons wouldn’t think I was a good mother if I didn’t help them financially.

    I realized if they didn’t know how much I loved them by now what more was I to give? As it turned out I had given them control over me and my life had become unmanageable.

    Don’t beat yourself up. As you know better, you do better and before you know it tiny steps to a better way of life begin to evolve.

    Sending hugs
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  19. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I have a question about Al-Anon: I grew up as the oldest child of an alcoholic parent and step-parent Would this alone qualify me to attend Al-Anon? Our son, Josh, is also now using marijuana (and who knows what else), but I just wondered if I could attend or not. I know from my upbringing that I have developed some pretty strong pathological rescuing tendencies and I wonder if Al-Anon might be helpful, if I could attend.
     
  20. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I needed this JapPee. Those images come into my mind, and right away, there is a strong sense of panic and anxiety. I'm trying to watch my thoughts and pray each time I'm tempted to imagine what my son is feeling and doing.