Adult son 33 is homeless, Im Mom, 57, trying so hard to detach, not enable...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Payla, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. adt2012

    adt2012 New Member

    Hello All. Thank you so much for your comments and advice, I appreciate it more than I can express. So, the sad saga continues. He checked himself out today and was on my doorstep when I arrived home from work. I have to admit, I wasn't ready to see him and I especially wasn't ready to see him high. Apparently, while he was waiting for me and couldn't get in the house, he went to his friends house and smoked a blunt (marijuana). I was livid. But I still let him in nagging and enraged - threatening, but still letting him in. This is why I get what I get from him. Empty promises and no change. I'm on the cusp of being able to let go. I know I am. I just have a bit more to go to have peace of mind with it. I bought him a bus pass so that he can get to out-patient therapy tomorrow. At least I didn't give him money, right? My plan is this. If he backs out of therapy, gets high again or in any way isn't productive, then he's out. It seems solid on the surface until I face the reality that he won't continue therapy, he will get high again, and there will be a day in the near future where he just lays in bed in a pit of self pity. I'm just trying to get to the point where I can say that I've done all I can do and be okay with it. Right now, I know I've done all I can do, but I'm still not okay with it. I'm praying for the strength, I really am. I come from a mother that endured against all odds and I guess I'm just trying to be her because she did it, why can't I be as strong as she was? Reality - I should realize the fact that her "eduring" is probably what sent her to an early grave. But then again, isn't that what I should accept as my fate? I mean, he didn't ask to come here. There must be something that I did or didn't do or allowed or shouldn't have allowed along the way that got him to this point. Shouldn't I rescue him at all cost and accept what happens to me as a simple result of my ineffective parenting? The answer comes swiftly. I was there, I sheltered, I nurtured and protected. I'm not responsible for this and I am allowing it to continue and I do deserve some semblance of happiness. But how can I ever be happy with my son out in the world in a state of who knows what? I'm so conflicted and trying so hard to reconcile all of these thoughts. At the end of the day, I just feel... lost.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    adt,that cusp you speak of is the razors edge, where all of those feelings come up, 'you should have, you could have, you must endure, it's on you,' and one piece at a time, you look at those thoughts and dismantle them so that you begin to see the truth. You didn't cause this, you can't change it, you can't cure it, only he can do that. I had all of those thoughts and I imagine most of us Mom's here on this board who are dealing with detachment, have. It hurts, it takes time, it takes soul searching and decisions you never wanted to make. I know. I'm so sorry, I can hear how lost you feel, I've felt that too.

    Hang in there, keep posting, the hardest part is where you are, choosing to let go and going over and over in your mind what YOU could have done differently. You've done it all, now it's time to give him the reigns to his own life and take yourself out of the equation.

    For what's it's worth, I have been exactly where you find yourself and it's a process, one step at a time, but it will get better. I hope you have support around you, because this is very challenging to do on our own. I am estranged from my daughter and haven't spoken to her in almost 5 weeks and each day MY life gets easier and more peaceful. There are others here who have made a similar choice and their lives got easier too. I know how hard it is to do what you're doing, but you're doing it, you're going through it and the way you just described it is the way it is, those doubts are devastating, but that is part of this, you have to walk through all those doubts to get to the other side. You're lost in all the feelings but you know, on some level, that you're doing the right thing. Follow that. You'll find your way. You're not alone. We're here. Gentle hugs coming your way........
  3. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Hhi all, I'm exactly in the same situation and it is taking me all I have to detach and I'm still not sure that I'm capable of it. I have posted here about my son before, yet have allowed all the horrendous behaviors to continue.

    We were evicted from my home on August 2nd. I have an apartment, my easy child son has an apartment (that he is working to pay for) and yet until tonight, I paid almost $1000 that I cannot afford, to keep my difficult child son in fleabag motels. He found drugs and alcohol in these places with absolutely NO problem and without any funding from me. I told him that if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. But really, HE is one of the dogs.

    On two separate occasions in this last month, he has had opportunities to be in a sober living house and in a residential rehab program in a mission. The first time he was drunk and they couldnt accept him (they told me they would have done if he hadn't shown up drunk and who can blame them) and the second time, he had managed to get in touch with an old connection and he was high.

    Tonight after work, I took him from his motel to a mission that I had heard was a working program. TV, showers and everything have to be earned by working for them. They accepted him and I saw this as a gift from the universe. Once he was accepted and we had to get him out of the motel, I got an earful, but I figure that it's fear talking and that this will do him a world of good IF HE STICKS TO IT. Those are the key words.

    I think I'm trying to say that my heart breaks for us all. I ADORED this kid and really did him a great disservice by enabling him, all in what I thought was the name of love. Now I see that I created this particular monster-a manchild who cannot do for himself because I required NOTHING from him and felt that all I needed to do was to love and protect him! I did such damage!

    I am by no means detached, but am acting like it and trying to get used to the feeling. It does not sit well with me at all. But as my therapist says, Your helping isn't helping....
  4. Bambie

    Bambie New Member

    Thank you recoveringenabler....for your thoughts. I appreciate them so much. I also admire you for the strength you seem to have.....and GOD bless you. You sound like a great person. Also, it is nice in an ironic way that I have others to share these frustrations and feelings. I am not saying that I am happy everyone is going through this horror....but glad that I am not just I sometimes feel. I believe that somehow I created this monster that has grown in my son.....he had a good life. I had a great job (law well as my husband too) and they say that "cops" kids can be some of the worse. I am a true believer of that. I worked as a bailiff in juvenile court and felt so much for those poor kids....but I often wonder if I provided too well as a result. It may have been my way of helping others....through my kids. I dont is hard to say. My daughter is 32 and a great problems like my son...and they were raised the same. So I dont know what happened. However, my daughter has another problem. She tends to be in one relationship after the other....and all abusive. She works full time, does not USE DRUGS and owned her own home (at 26) and had it completely paid for...but lost it due to poor investment decisions and bad economy. Now she rents and appears to be dependent on abusive men. Although I dont want to get going on that problem....but it is just a sign to me that something went wrong along the way and I often blame myself. I can deal with that as long as she stays away from these men and keeps her kids safe....which she is finally starting to do. But it has caused a strain on our relationship....because she seems to blame me for "getting involved".....although she got my husband and I involved with pleas for help, etc. It is a NO WIN situation with her. Two different kids and two different problems. My gr-daughter??? 17 years old and we thought we made it through the rough years....but as of last night, we had another blow up. She is an independent teen that wants it her way....has her license, drives our car and we pay her insurance...but she is out doing pot and hash oil purchases (as we found out last night). She wonders why we get mad????and cant understand why we take the car from her. I wont go through the same hell her dad put me through..... Why do some parents have kids that appreciate them no matter what.....? I have never been in trouble, never been turned into CPS, etc etc...but somethiing about my parenting is off and I cant understand it. My husband and I are getting too old to start over again....and feel as though all our money is going toward helping our kids... Thank you so much everyone....and I appreciate everyone's comments.
  5. StephAnn

    StephAnn New Member

    This is how I feel as well. You're so not alone.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Yes. Have an alarm system installed if you don't have one and make sure that the company knows you're out of town and no one should be in your home. Also take your valuables and put them in a safe deposit box. Checkbooks, credit cards, id, birth/marriage certificates, everything that might be used by someone to steal your identity.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Blackgnat, just wanted you to know that I read your post and I am sorry for all the issues you are dealing with. I also enabled my daughter and had major guilt about that. At some point, we have to let go of that guilt and realize that at this point, regardless of what we did or didn't do, it is now up to them to make their lives into something healthy and successful. I'm glad you're in therapy, I learned the same thing, 'our helping isn't helping.' Good point.

    Just as an aside, what helps me to remember is that my parents, (lots of mental illness there) did major damage to myself and my siblings and I had to take responsibility for that and heal took years and it was hard and I did it. Unfortunately, now our kids have to take responsibility and get the help they need, on their own, and we have to let them do it.

    It's good your son is in a program where he has to earn everything, he has been given another chance, I hope he takes it. I know it's not easy, hang in there and don't be so hard on yourself, you did the best you knew how to do. Forgive yourself and learn to detach. I send you caring thoughts for this to get easier for you. (((HUGS))))
  8. blackgnat

    blackgnat Active Member

    Recoveringenabler-thank you so much for your words of support. You can't know how much they mean to me.The acknowledgement alone is priceless!

    So many people that I encounter in my daily life seem to have issues and problems with their kids that are SO removed from what we experience as parents of these kids. I feel that they could NEVER relate! But knowing that you and the others on this board are going thru our own personal hell and STILL getting up in the morning and putting one foot in front of the other (!) means everything to me!

    I'm still in a state of flux-I am allowed to visit him but do I want to? I do if I know he is with the program, but if not, then no-distance is the best remedy for me.

    I have experienced such a weird, nebulous shift in my attitude since i dropped him off at the mission. Cant explain it. Usually I am wracked with guilt, agony, remorse, you name it. This time I feel a kind of peace. Believe me when I say that I have been in the ninth circle of HELL with this kid for about 8 years. Up to about a week ago, I felt absolute desperation about his future. Now I kind of feel that his future is up to him. He is at a place where people care about what happens to him and most importantly, he is ACCOUNTABLE. Despite all my past foolish and dangerous actions, I feel that if he effs THIS opportunity up, he is truly alone. I hate that idea, but feel that I have done more than what any sane person would do...

    I am not minimizing anything here. My son would and maybe will still do ANYTHING to escape from his reality. He beat me up in 2010 and I was in the ICU with a bleeding brain for 5 days. I STILL took him back and enabled him. People would ask "What is it going to take?" and I REALLY didn't know. For some reason I think this is it.

    But I know I will be tested and I hope I have the strength to remember the horrific times...

    Sorry, really don't mean this to be so about me-just know that some of you may be able to relate and let you know that at least one other person has done some unbelievable things to help their child , thinking they would finally get it...don't feel ashamed-we did what we thought was right at the time...then sadly paid the price...
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Blackgnat, it's tough to discern our kids behaviors sometimes as being as 'out there' as they really are. When my difficult child stayed with my SO and I for awhile at the beginning of the year, perhaps for the first time there was another adult who saw what I saw. Previously, for all the ensuing years, I was alone with her, no one else was right there witnessing it. Right after Christmas last year when my daughter was with us and acting really badly, he and I took a drive. As soon as we got in the car, we both started venting to each other about her behavior. When I heard him saying all the same things as I was feeling, thinking, experiencing, it really had an impact on me. Before that I could delude myself into thinking it was me, it wasn't that bad, she wasn't that 'out there,' there was something I could do, on and on my justifications went. After that day, those justifications were gone. I was really seeing the truth.

    I hope you have reached a point of acceptance/detachment/awareness, which sounds like you have, for your path will get much easier now. Just last night in my therapy group we were talking about this road of detachment and how there is no right or wrong, it is not a linear experience, it's all over the map, and each one of us goes about it in the best way we can, trying so desperately, to do the right thing. No one way is THE WAY, we each find our own way in our own time. It happens when it happens, we do the best we can along the way. That's all any one of us can do.

    I don't think any of us knows the answer to "what is it going to take?" It takes what it takes, is something my therapist always says. For us parents, this is a nightmare of epic proportions, which other 'regular folks' don't understand, so often we feel really alone and desperate. I'm glad you have a therapist. I hope you have a few friends or family members or loved ones who can empathize and listen to you, that's important and helps a lot.

    If you have passed out of the 'ninth circle of hell' and into the first circle of letting go, which it appears you have, your life will reflect more peace of mind, that's been my experience of late. I hope that's true for you. The ICU experience is clearly extremely unacceptable behavior so I truly hope as you said, "this is it."

    You've paid enough of a price for your son, as I have with my daughter, as many of us here have, it's time to let go of him and go have your life...................(((HUGS)))
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to all the new members on this thread. Please know that there are many of us dealing with your same situations. We have a forum on this board that deals with drug and alcohol addiction and would love to have you come and post your individual threads on the Substance Abuse forum. It is good for all of us to have the support of each other and to know we are not alone.

  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    For the new people struggling with the older kids - I thought maybe I'd share that you could hopefully find some relief in what you are doing with your children.

    Perspectives change - and it doesn't take very long. It seems a few short years ago had I saw a homeless person I would NOT have taken the time to say "Would you like to go with me to get something to eat?, Can I call your Mother for you and just let her know I saw you, and you're okay? How about a cup of coffee and a chat?" I drive through the capital city every morning around 6:40 AM - and the time out of the mens mission is 6:30 AM. I see some of the younger men, who look just dog tired, and older men that look as if they have an agenda for the day all mapped out. I see some younger guy all the time with a suitcase on wheels big enought for HIM to literally sleep in and I've wondered more than once if he converts it to get shelter.

    I guess if you are a 1/2 normal thinking Mother, when you hold your baby for the first time? You dream looking into his or her eyes. I did. I even thought about putting a III after his name and how prestegious that would look on his office door. DOCTOR Star's Son, III, esq. Stars Son III, DMV. Stars Son, III PhD - I saw it like I see these letters. NOT ONCE did the thought of any of the men like I see in the morning ever cross my mind, and I literally shuddered because ------my son has already been there. At 17 he and I got into an altercation that I guess both of us could have gone to jail for - with each other, at home, privately - but when you get to the point with your son that you lob 3-4 pound rocks at him across a yard and do NOT think about the consequences? One of you needs to walk away - and that day for ALL the pain, all the mouth, ALL the indignation, the health issues, the FAILURES in my trying? I don't think I thought about anything but - frustration - GET THEE BEHIND ME. My family said I looked possessed. I felt it too. I have been angry like that a few times in my life - but that? WIth your own child? WOW....shame couldn't begin to cover me after we put him on the train and said GOOD BYE.

    He went to go live "ANYWHERE BUT HERE." And those words today still sting. He actually ended up living WITH his biofather - whom I had moved heaven and earth to avoid for 15 The man is Satan incarnate, answers to another "master" is the definition of evil and his personality, or lack thereof - plussed with his absence of ANY (and I mean ANY) conscious - make him about the most evil person out of prison. I think someone went to the crossroads - no joke. Thirteen years of marriage took me 15 years in therapy to overcome the torture. Domestic laws were different then - but we got them changed - and now? I sit in awe of women that abuse that system daily.

    The man I'm speaking about is now - 57 years old. BEFORE drugs? He was handsome, intelligent, well built, and seemed to be polite. Hard working - and what I did not know - was that his mental genetic glitches would NEVER EVER allow him a normal life. I did not blame anyone but myself for the longest. I JUST KNEW - I could fix him....and the truth is - EVERYONE tried to fix him -------except HIM. The 1/2 hearted attempts hes given over the years in rehab were to avoid prosecution, or to get extensions with me in our relationship. ALWAYS promising - but always scamming on HOW to best get out of it - his mind is best described as a desperate rat in a no-win maze - but the cleverness he uses to decieve people is ASTOUNDING - the only one that hasn't bought it hook, line and sinker? Our son. And it took him three years of being attacked, savagely----having his life turned upside down, all his worldy possessions stolen, hocked for crack - or whatever drug of the day. As long as he could make free or easy money - even illegally? He was riding a good horse.....but let the money run out, and let my money run out, and let the money he strong armed from people run out and you had a very dangerous person on your one is fixing that. NO ONE. God perhaps - but again - you (he) would have to ask for it. Aint happening.

    I watched as my son - who SHOULD have been enjoying football games, and prom, and girls and life - struggled to dive in dumpsters to eat. He lived in the park - he took baths in the ocean, the ponds, city parks.....and for the most part his clothes were FILTHY. This is the kid that took three showers a day - and had perfectly ironed, matching outfits down to his socks. NOW - wearing the best dirty clothes he had. Living under bridges, picnic tables, in door ways - he told me it was horrilble - he never knew when he could fall asleep -----someone may kill him. NOT what you want to hear as a Mother - BUT.........

    The reality of the three year "on my own" without the conforts of home ? Opened his eyes. It also opened mine as well. IF THERE WAS EVER EVER going to be a time that he learned life from hard knocks - THIS was going to be it. I worried most days I'd get a call to come to a funeral because I had it in my head that my x would kill him - he still may. The man didn't see him for 15 years - didn't spend the first thanksgiving with him - instead went looking for dope - and when he did get a chance to talk to his kid? He went after him with a ball bat instead. I know the horror...the reality and what came out of it ? A child who saw that MOM worked hard to keep lights on, to keep us all in one house, to keep the gas bill paid, and have a TV - and food, and even if the cookies were NOT oreos - she did the best she could - and the reason she coudln't be at every school function was because she took two other jobs -----to buy him clothes, even if they were from the Goodwill....and gas, for the car - and insurance, and tags, and taxes and HIS "AWARE" list still goes on - and he doesn't know NOW - how in the world I ever did it. (some days neither do I) but at least NOW I appreciate MYSELF. I appreciate that there was NOTHING I could do about my x - and left. I appreciate that I have set a BETTER example for my son on how to behave LIKE an adult - because BS and ridiculous behavior gets you two things - JAIL time....and eventually loss of friends or family. Because no one really wants to hang out with a 20 something couch surving man, who doesnt work, mooches all the time and lays in bed until noon while you work. At some point even with their own peers the behaviors become ABSURD.

    With the 57 yo ex? I spent all that time in my life - that I can NOT get back - trying to fix him, help him change.....and while I thought then I was being supportive? All I was doing was enabling him.....and I KNOW THIS for FACT because I left, I gave him a YEAR to show me he wanted to try to change and get his family back - I was SO stupid I was willing to go back after a year if he even tried.......and what did he do? Did he want his beautiful wife and son back? No. He spent his Mothers Money - now that I was gone. He stole, he bullied, for a while I think he probably got sympathy from unsuspecting women - his court records are proof of that - He beat up girlfriend after girlfriend and the three that reported him? No where to be found. He stole cars, he did all the WRONG things - and his Mother STILL allowed him to LIVE (52 year old alcoholic brother) in HER house. I don't think that woman knew a single day of peace in her life - not any that I knew her and up until one of her sons killed her with her own van and got away with it? Well - I'd be pressed to think the only peace she got was in death. It was certainly the ONLY way she was getting rid of her sons - and making them accountable for anything. IN ALL HIS YEARS - my x would run to Mom for ANYTHING he messed up and Mom would fix it. And when she got so frustrated she would toss him out? She'd take him back and it would just start all over. The cycle was insane.

    This is a man who was bailed out of jail to go to his Mothers funeral ------killed by his brother who was never charged.........and instead missed the funeral altogether and went in search of drugs. Then just stayed messed up and has ever since. He's 57 - HOMELESS, no teeth, no health insurance, and I'm told has prostrate cancer....he needs glasses, but can't afford any....and doesn't have a job - came out of a 16 month jail term with absolutely nothing but the clothes on his back - and one lone sister that nearly got divorced for taking him into her home - again.....and after two weeks? He's homeless again because he can't abide by her rules either -----and she was THE LAST family member that will even look at him and now she's done. His Father won't even talk to him or look at him. Mother is dead, two sisters, two brothers - neither will have a thing to do with him - he can't start a business because he owes SO many people and well NOW the internet makes you check out who does your handiwork - and well - if you'd get his rap sheet? Yeah - you'd scream. So he's not "I'm going to start my business when I get out of jail son and I want you to be with me - and we'll buy motorcycles and ride all over." Okay first - how about having a license ? You cant...habitual looser of that...and I mean the list of how many people he's screwed over is endless -

    SO while I was begging his Mother to LEAVE HIM FALL - when he was in his thirties.......and she DID NOT - HAD TO DO IT ALL HER WAY - WE WOULD ALL SEE - LOVE WOULD - blah blah blah.....I say - well lady he's now nearly 60......has nothing, and will be buried in potters field.....he has a son that he's alienated (thank goodness) but my son suffered for it - and that's not fair. And he has a Mother that went into an early grave because of BS.....and an x wife that took one good hard last look at this scene - and said - "YOU should pay your bills, NOT your Mother, and if you raise your hand to me again? I'm gone." and left......and to this day - 15 years? I have maintained that man doesn't deserved to HEAR ME BREATH - let alone talk to me or see me - THAT opportunity is gone. I do not hate him, I don't "ANYTHING" him - I just want to be left alone.....and I think......HAD I STAYED...had I continued to try? -----well in short I wouldn't be here writing you - I'd have gone before my x mother in law did. And my son would probably be a drug addict.....or in prison - bad enough he's in jail. BUT IF he had survived living with Daddy Disney.....he'd be the most miserable person in the world......

    AND NOW he knows ------from living on his own.....because his MOTHER was COURAGEOUS enough to let him fall - and TURN away when he needed help - and let him see for himself HOW good he HAD IT......and make him want that again?????? That his Mother must have really cared about him - because NOW he has a daughter of his own and he can't IMAGINE having to do to HER ANY of the things I had to do to him to make him grow up......and make it in the world on his own - and THAT .......was worth three years of hell......Because now? I'm hoping and praying when he gets out of jail.....he realizes a LOT more than he did ----and sticks to his guns about his convictions.......because at least NOW? He has convictions......and a list of THINGS I AM NEVER going to go through again - so help me. And that gives them a goal - and a goal gives the a purpose and hopefully - it makes him think, pray.....and realize - HE HAS always had a lot more than he thought.

    And what makes me think - ALL the pain, heartache and suffereing that I did on the backside.....when I DOUBTED I was doing the right thing.....for either of us - makes ME KNOW - I did the best I could with what I had - and when I didn't know what else to do? I got help and moved FORWARD. The same direction I want my kid to follow - and now he knows too - there is no coming home.....home will be where HE makes it.....and in order to do that - you have to work and to work - you need an education - and that's work too - and all these things CAN BE DONE - without Mom.......other than her saying I BELIVE IN YOU.

    And if it all falls apart......and if he makes more poor decisions to be a career criminal? Then I've told him that he has WASTED his gift of life - because all the thigns he does - ARE HIS CHOICE -----and while I'll be sad....amd mourn a loss.....I'll be living my life..and THAT reality right there has hit him the hardest.

    I hope this helps someone ---------somedays this junk isn't easy to think about or remember.....but my heart goes out to all of you who are struggling - but my heart goes out to those of you who are strugging and MAKING things more difficult on yourself by listing excuses - daily to not allow your young men or women to GROW UP.

    And if any of your kids end up in SC? I'll let you know if I see them....Theres a huge homeless population here of 20-30 year olds. REALLY sad.....but I've been watching this one guy - go from walking to day labor, to riding a bike to day labor, to getting a moped -------and I think - THERE is what I hope my son does - PROGRESS......because if he doesn't? His reality and fate were in his own handsand he chose to throw it away while he was young and the struggle would be easier - than say - 57. 48 years of alcohol and drug abuse have taken it's toll...And now the reality is - IT's cold in December even in Florida - and I have no where to go, no one to curl up with nightly, NO hot meal in my own home.....and my children despise what I do. Even at 57 I don't think he's gotten that message - and he'll die alone, and asnwer for all the mean ness ......someday.

    If you are struggling with adult kids in situations like this? TRUST that this is reality 101 right here. I hope your kids are safe and you're hearts are lighter in knowing while what you are doing hurts? It would hurt worse to be 77, and trying to count that you've been doing this for 57 yeras - and NOTHING has changed.........NOW THAT -------THAT should have told her HER WAY --------was not.....NOT working.

    And hows your way working?

    Hugs & Love
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm glad that you plan on going to CODA meetings and I believe you said that you changed your cell phone number and are going to therapy yourself. These are fantastic things. You said you are in the "struggle of your life." Well, that sounds about right. (((hugs))) It is very not help our own children when they seem to need it. But, it probably HURTS an adult child to help them with things they can and should be able to do themselves. Enabling them hinders them from understanding/feeling/exploring their own self efficacy. By refusing to enable him, you actually role model to him how important it is to be strong, independent...and to be willing to say "no" even when it is very difficult. It also, strongly implies that you feel he can do much more for himself, by himself and that is a very positive message indeed. I like the book "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend. Going to a CODA group should be VERY helpful for you.

    Paying his way....what to eliminate...what to consider:
    If you made the decision to pay for his cell phone fine...
    But start limiting or getting rid of other items that you are paying for

    Was the car a gift? I would NOT necessarily continue paying for his car if he is using drugs and/or disrespectful to you. You might consider telling him that you will only continue allowing him to use the car if he goes to therapy regularly or enters drug tx. That's a hard call though...and often this type of threat/blackmail to go to therapy doesn't work. He needs a car to find work, go to therapy and perhaps at times, live in. But, especially if he is using drugs, this becomes a dangerous situation.

    I would consider paying, under certain circumstances, for good mental health care. As I think you mentioned, you referred him to a mental health clinic. You might offer to pay for any reasonable fees and perhaps medication (as long as you can make absolutely certain you know that your money is going exactly where you want it to go, ie paying for mental health services and prescribed medication). Remind him, that you might not continue allowing him to use the car, unless he consents to getting help.

    re: Food, I would give him the number and whatever information you can find out about applying for food stamps. Find out about how long it takes to get enrolled and then tell him that is when you plan on stopping the money for food. For example, if it usually takes three weeks, tell him you plan on not giving him food money in three weeks. And you will stop giving him the money then, if he applies or not. Therefore, he needs to apply ASAP. This is not a joke. If he takes it as a joke, he will have to go to a soup kitchen. It will be a powerful lesson.

    AT 33...he has to be willing to do the hard work necessary to make a better life for himself. Greatly LIMIT your involvement with him. Your role is OVER.

    Keep youself safe...get an alarm system, etc. Read whatever good literature you can find on detachment, put one foot in front of the other, associate with good, kind, loving and caring people...hold your head up high, find things you enjoy and DO THEM and move forward in life happily and healthfully. (Thrilled that you are going on a nice vacation...AWESOME!) Blessings.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 1, 2012
  13. Payla

    Payla New Member

    thank you for your wonderful post. I'm back from vacation and sort of dreaded coming home to drama, requests, demands, etc... Sure enough there was a message on house phone to call him as soon as I got home; I didn't call him but for sure will have to deal with him on some subject this week. You're advice to greatly limit my involvement is my mantra for the week! I will probably have to go the restraining order route if he continues the constant phone calls at work; this is just so depressing sometimes. As my therapist says, you have to do the work to get to a better place.
  14. Anngal1954

    Anngal1954 New Member

    I too have a son who is 32 and homeless. He has an eight year old daughter that up to this month spent a lot of time with my husband and I at our house. He and his girlfriend broke up and to make a long story short she won't let us see our grand-daughter and it is heart rending. We love her desperately. We are praying ......every waking moment and every time they come to mind which is always. I can relate to what you said. I am pretty sure there are drugs involved . As a mother I love my son too and it is hard to know what is helping and what is hindering.
  15. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Payla, is there a way to block his number on your phone at work?

  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cedar, this is a year old post that Anngal responded to yesterday.

    Anngal, you will receive more responses to your post if you open your own thread. I'm sorry you find yourself in this terrible place with your son and grand daughter. Read the detachment article at the bottom of my post here. Try getting support at Al-anon, narc-anon, CoDa, NAMI or private therapy. You may not be able to impact the situation with your sons choices, likely not, but you can help yourself. Focus on YOU. I wish you peace.........keep posting, it helps.
  17. Dancerat

    Dancerat Member

    I just copied this whole thread into my journal to take out and read whenever I need to. Thank you so much for posting this.
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I can't add much to what these people have said. My son is 35 and probably a functional alcoholic/Xanax user (it's legal, but he takes too much. It doesn't even help him, but he withdraws without it). He is 35 going on maybe a challenged eight and is going through a custody battle for his son, the only thing in the world he loves and has no friends so he calls me several times a day to talk to me and sometimes I listen because otherwise I'm afraid he'll kill himself. If he gets too abusive, I hang up and put the phone on silent. He makes enough money at his job, but he is so mentally ill and this lawsuit is making it so much worse that it wouldn't shock me if he lost his job some day. He is not welcome to live with me ever again. He has made some scary threats such as "I will kill you. I mean it." I really don't think he is capable of that, but nobody thinks that about his/her kids. I won't take the chance as he has a really crazy temper when he is angry. I think he is one of those people who has the ability to kill somebody if he totally "lost it."

    It is very hard not to actually listen to his swearing and cussing and blaming me because I know he is mentally ill and under enormous stress. I know how hard it is to detach. I am not strong enough a person to listen to that, even knowing it's the sickness talking. It makes MY mental health issues climb the walls. Fortunately (and I mean this) my husband and I are so short of money that he would not ask me for any money, but his father, my ex, is paying for this custody lawsuit that he is going to lose. So far ex is down about $30,000 if not more. I'm not even sure who my grandson would be better off with. Neither parent has done anything to make them legally "unfit" but both are horrible.

    It is possible that my son could end up homeless one day if he loses his job. He spends all his spare money, which there isn't much of because of the child support and his compulsion for buying videogames and systsems. His dad will probably take him in if that ever happens. This is even though when he lived with his father last time, he would shove him and get physical. My ex is 66 and has had a chronic, serious illness since age 27 and weighs 100 lbs. right now.

    I keep my mouth shut when people talk about their distinguished, successful 30-something kids. My son lives a few states away and is stuck there because his son is there and he won't leave his son. I live in a small town too and most people don't know this son exists.

    I have started going to Al-Anon and, of late, revisited church, finding the fellowship of a small, friendly church and thinking about God again very helpful. I do not know if either would work for any of you, but I am able to feel somewhat peaceful with the help. My husband is also helpful. If you have anybody in your life that WILL listen without judgment, USE THEM. You would help them...your true loved ones will want to be there for you.

    Hugs to all of you.
  19. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hello All
    I just found this site. I live in the UK, but these problems have no national boundaries. My son is 26. He's had mental health problems, depression, etc since he was about 18 or maybe younger. He graduated from a good university but couldn't find a job. He drifted from one low-paid menial job to another and spent time dependent on benefits (social security). I've helped him out financially countless times. He's never seemed to be able to cope with any tiny bit of stress and gone downhill as regards self-esteem and taking responsibility. His personal hygiene has been an issue for many years. A few months ago he walked out of his latest job, left his rented house and announced he was going to "live in the forest" and be a self-sufficient 'eco-warrior'. Do you have 'eco-warriors' in the USA? The reality is that he is squatting in a derelict farmhouse with a group of other drop-outs. There is no heating or lighting and no running water. There are rats and mice. They live by scavenging thrown out food from bins behind supermarkets. He hasn't washed for weeks and his clothes are stinking and muddy. He looks and smells like a tramp (hobo?). He has no income at all. I feel as though he has fallen through the net of life, is lost to me, I can't support this way of life and I've probably enabled him to never stand on his own two feet or face up to earning a living always stepping in and trying to solve his problems for him. I feel so sad. How do i deal with this? My daughter tells me that there is nothing I can do and that I have to just let go, that he may find his way back and he may not but that I can't do anything. And if I do nothing will it lead to his death? It's deep winter here now, torrential rain and freezing temperatures, how can he survive living like this? I can't do anything and I can't do nothing. Just lie awake at night sad and sick with worry.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm really sorry you have to walk this path, but we do understand.

    I think you'll get a bigger response if you start your own thread. What you did was add on to a very old one. You'll get more attention if yours stands alone.

    In actuality, I agree with your daughter. There is absolutely nothing you CAN do. If you give him money, he will probably buy drugs with the money. You didn't mention drugs, but I'm assuming...they are usually a part of this. On the slight chance that he is clean, if you give him money you are enabling him to become dependent on you. There is only one person you can help and control and that is yourself. Nobody else is within your power to change. And you deserve a good, peaceful, fun life even if your son is choosing to self-destruct.

    Although we always fear the worst, it rarely happens. These adult kids with no clue about societal norms or just a lack of regard for them tend to survive. They don't thrive on our terms, but they do help one another to survive the way they choose. We are good, caring parents, but they don't listen to us and it is useless to destroy ourselves, our health, our pressures and the relationships we have with loving other family members and friends all because we are worrying about something/somebody we can not change.

    I suggest reading our material on detaching. Maybe pick up the book "Codependent No More" by Melodie Beattie. Most of us started out enabling out self-destructive adult children thinking we could save them and, in the process, we had no life of our own. We gave them everything we could and it made no difference.

    You have a smart daughter.

    If you start a new thread, you may get more responses than if you keep it here :) Welcome to our board but so sorry you had to come to it.