Adult child issues

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Iamtiredandsad2, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    I had to tell my adult son (28 yrs old) and his new girlfriend to leave my home for similar reasons. He suffers from Bipolar disorder and it worried me to do this. But, I couldn't take it anymore after a quiet argument I had with him about bringing strangers to my home.I regret it everyday; but I could no longer continue with the mental abuse he was putting me through. He was blaming me for all of his mistakes , when the truth was that he chose to live the life of alcohol and drug use along with not completing college or keeping a job. I looked the other way because I still had hope he would see his ways. Then that fateful day- I told him to leave. I miss him and wish he was near , but now he lives with a new girlfriend out of state. According to what I understand is that she is very controlling and encouraging him not to contact me. This hurts because I raised him on my own and made him my number one priority in life. I forgot about me and today, I do not know who I am anymore. I have a home and income , but feel alone because he's not around. It's been two years now. I see family members posting pictures of their children's graduation or birth of grandchildren. I feel like a failure. So, I smile and act like everything is ok, but it's not. I see a therapist who has told me that I had no control on the decisions he has made or makes in life. That it's time to focus on me. But how? I have no friends- just my two giant dogs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Iam.
    Welcome.

    Many of us feel like you do. I was a single mom too. I am laying here in bed with my two cats. My small dog is nearby.

    My son (almost 31) is living nearby, but it is a struggle every single day. He has some of the same issues as does your own son. There is NOTHING that makes this easy. I had a very hard day today. I wonder too about my life and my life choices. I feel alone too.

    I think many of us filled emptiness inside with our children. I know I did. It is not a child's role to fill a mother's life and give it meaning, although this works for a while, until they grow up. There's something called the "empty nest" syndrome. I think that's what we are dealing with as much as anything else. Mother's of well-adjusted children experience it too, when all of a sudden their children are gone. And they have to make a life.

    I think you did the right thing asking him to leave, if he was blaming you and not respecting your home.

    I hope you keep posting. I would like to be your friend.
     
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  3. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Welcome I Am,
    I have felt much of what you feel . My life got infinitely better when I joined Al-Anon. It took me out of isolation, it gave me people who love unconditionally, and understand me and I learned to share about my problems, my feelings and my thoughts without fear of being shamed or ridiculed .I have experienced so much growth in Al-Anon. I also joined Unity, a life enrichment center open to all denominations and made connections there .It is so important to get out into the community even when we don't feel like it.

    You let your son experience the consequences of his actions . He may not like it now, and he may blame you for his problems now, but in the end, you taught him about life and how it works. By allowing others to mistreat us in our own homes, we disrespect not only ourselves but also them.

    Your relationship with your son is not over, yet . People change, people grow, life teaches us. Just pray for him and give it time. Pray for the girlfriend as well. Pray for God to bless her with everything you want for yourself. This will melt your anger and send her love which will also return to you. It's a win win .I get very specific with these prayers asking God to bless others with love and harmony, peace, health and vitality, abundance and prosperity .

    Sending you much love. Empty nest syndrome is hard, but you can and will get through it. There is a lot of life for you left to live. Live it and create some fun for yourself . Blessings !
     
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  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Not much to add. To me Copa and Wise connect well with everyone and I am glad they are here. I can add nothing to their words except my deepest empathy. It is never easy to let our troubled adults kids go out on their own, but often I think it is right for them and us. Its hard though. Maybe harder on us. I don't know.

    The people here have helped me feel better. I was a master enabler and my heart wants to continue but my bank account and my logical mind say it has not helped. It has done no good at all.


    So I keep on reading the posts here and it helps my resolve to no longer enable.

    One thing. As bad as I enabled, boyfriends were never going to be able to stay with us. Kay wanted Lee, now her husband, to live with us when things got bad with Lee and his parents. Although Kay threw bad fits, we stuck to NO. We had our own problem child and were not about to invite in someone else's too. No matter how loud Kay screamed.

    God bless you. Together we can do this!
     
  5. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    :) Thank you so much!!!
     
  6. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    Yes. My mistake was allowing her to move into my home. The reasons given to me were "shady". He said she had to leave her parents home due to private matters with a family member. My son's quote: "you can't punish the victim." He knew I would say OK even though I did not want this type of drama in my home. I knew nothing of this girl. They only lasted one week in my home because of the drama she brought in. She was bad news. I put my foot down and the guilt and manipulation was thrown at me in order for them to gain extra time. I refused to give into this. That's why I told him they had to leave. I wish I didn't have to do this ;but I also understood that I was being taken advantage of. Deep down I know it was the right decision; however the loneliness and estrangement is there. Unfortunately, I believe we will never have the mother/son relationship of the past. I find myself being jealous knowing that her parents spend time with them (even though she supposedly was fleeing an abusive household) but I am not allowed to even visit him. I know I was a good parent and wanted him to live a better life than I had. Although I was a college graduate, there were hardships when raising him on my own. I wanted him to learn how to overcome obstacles, complete school and have success in life. The life he has now is not what I dreamed for him, but I tried to be as supportive as possible. I find myself in a vicious circle - finding fault and blaming. I want to learn how to find contentment for myself from here on.
     
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  7. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    I want to thank everyone for responding. I really value your input. :)
     
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    There is a very wise mother who posts here whose name is "wise." Actually, she calls herself Wisechoices. She has totally remade herself and her life. Only today she described what she did. She went to Al Anon and she is involved in Unity. She says she has found wonderful community there.

    I just checked and there is Unity in my town, too. I had always been leery because it used to be Unitarian Church, and I felt funny going to a church, because I am not a Christian. But Unity I can handle.

    I went to Al Anon before, too, but had no patience for it. I did not find it as welcoming as others have. But Wise says she has grown a great deal from Al Anon and feels unconditionally accepted there. On this basis, I will try again.

    I will go to Unity and I will go to Al Anon. And I will try. Why don't you join me?
     
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  9. Nandina

    Nandina Member

    Copa, I have some experience with both churches. At least where I live, In the southeast, the Unitarian church (now Unitarian Universalist Church) to my knowledge was never the Unity church. The Unitarian church is a very welcoming church to all faiths, races and sexual orientations, or even to someone who has no belief system. It takes its teachings from many of the great faith traditions, including Judaism and Christianity, however it has no set doctrine and is not considered a Christian church. Its core belief is in respecting the dignity and worth of all people. Unity has many of the same teachings, but at least in my area is more of a Christ centered church, although it too is fairly liberal and is considered non-denominational. You will find many different belief systems present there as well. Hope this helps.
     
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  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    I agree about Al Anon and our church family has helped us so much.

    Copa us very smart with great ideas.
     
  11. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    Thank you for the advice. You know, because of my religious upbringing and later self dissociation from this, I just cringe when around anything involving church. My parents were in a very cult like religion and everything was a sin. Yes. I cringe. I'm pretty sure these organizations have helped many; but I'm not ready yet.I don't drink or smoke- a total prude in that sense.I believe that being a teacher for 30 years plus helped me not go that route because basically I did not want to lose my job and had a child to raise. The last thing I wanted was that my abusive ex-husband use something like this to continue attacking me from afar. I also believe that a lot of my frustration is that I tried to teach my son not to get involved with alcohol, drugs etc because not only it would be a poor choice in his life but also- a big also- I did not want to be judged by my colleagues. They love to point fingers and talk BS. But God Forbid anyone talking about the Friday's "Union Members Meetup" in bars where many sordid things have happened behind closed doors. I just did not want to be their target. I was anyway. I wasn't part of their clique nor ever wanted to be. All this did not stop my son from using. My therapist told me that his mental illness is a factor and that is a way of self medicating. It's very hard to accept. I do feel like a failure when it comes to him.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  12. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, Iam,

    I just wanted to clarify something—Copa was not insinuating that you are an alcoholic when she recommended AL ANON. She isn’t either. It is just that many people have gone there when they have kids with substance issues.
     
  13. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    I know. I misread for a second. But I understand. :) My mistake is thinking that these organizations just focus on this. I had no idea people go there because of problems with family members. Good to know. Thank you Copa.
     
  14. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Dear Copa, I am so happy that you are willing to try Al-Anon and Unity based on my experience with both. What a wonderful way for my Higher Power to use me as a Messenger and hopefully bring healing and serenity into your life. What you said is really very nice and I thank you for your vote of confidence
     
  15. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    It isn't your fault . You did not cause any of his mental health issues (and alcoholism/addiction is a disease as well), you can't control them, and you cannot cure them. To take on blame for this is to disempower yourself . You will act out of obligation, fear, and guilt rather from a place of strength, power of example, and self respect. You did the best you could do as a Mother with the tools you had at the time. You can't change the past. You have control only over you: your thoughts, feelings and actions. To blame yourself is to freeze yourself into place. When you find acceptance for yourself , you can move forward and that feels so much better!

    The best thing we can do for our loved ones is to show them how to have self respect, healthy boundaries, and how to live from a place of power inside rather than as a victim. In this way, we do not contribute to their disease. The self love we develop as a result of living this is the biggest gift you can ever give yourself and others .

    I understand how you feel about religion .I was/am the same way. I have come to understand that my understanding of spirituality was all wrong. Al-Anon is a spiritual program, not a religious one and your relationship with a Higher Power is up to you and only defined by you . The truth is we all chose a Higher Power by the way we live, think and feel. When I was solely focused on the alcoholic(s) in my life, I had made them my Higher Power. My Higher Power is anything that I allow to control my life, that which my thoughts dwell on.

    It's okay to not feel ready. You are where you are and all is well .