Adults child issues

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by JayPee, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    My adult son of 25 yrs. old suffers from PTSD and ADDHD. He's been homeless for about 2 yrs. off and on. I continue to give him money regularly and also buy him cigarettes and food. I am in therapy, originally because I was married to an alcoholic for 30 + yrs. but obviously have other problems. I have tried and tried to give advice and find real options for him but he has an excuse for every suggestion I offer. Even getting a job at Subway so he can have food and not have to live in his car all day (that I bought for him and gas up all the time). He says he cannot lower himself to work at such a menial paying job. Really ? OMG. I flip flop back and forth with getting stern and then get so exhausted trying to deal with all his issues and worrying about him sleeping in his car as the colder weather approaches. I'm exhausted. I have another son, 29 yrs. old that is a month behind on his rent and never has money and potentially will be living in his car too.

    I'm just beside myself. I don't know how to detach from my sons who are sucking the life out of me.
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    JPG, I am so sorry you are having so much trouble with your adult kids. I don't have a lot of time to respond now, but I'll be back on here later today after work. In the meantime, I encourage you to check out some of the other threads here and on the Parent Emeritus and Substance Abuse forums to see the kinds of things all of us are dealing with. Many of us have similar struggles with our adult children and are in the process of achieving loving detachment and ending enabling behavior. You may also want to check out the thread on detachment at the top of the Parent Emeritus forum:

    Hang in there. I am sure others will be along soon with some words of wisdom for you. There is a lot of collected wisdom on this board.
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    I am sorry you are dealing with this situation. My son is 36 and i had to make the decision to quit paying rent and providing gas and vehicles. When he was told you are on your own he found ways. He does not have alot of things but he has a roof and food. As long as you are providing he will not take steps to take care of himself. You will not always be there to provide. You also have to consider yourself. My son used a substantial amount of my retirement and I had to call a halt. My husband and i have to decide what we are willing to help with and what we are not.
  4. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. I just wish I knew how to work through the part where I feel so horrible if they are hungry, cold, uncomfortable and unhappy. How do I get past that? I am a very faith filled person but for some reason when it comes to this piece I fail to put my trust in God and take back all the worry. I've been suffering with a mirgraine for two days now. My younger son plays me well. He tells me how he has no one to talk to and nobody cares about him. My guilt over the difficult life we had with an alcoholic husband/father eats at me and in part makes me cave in to enabeling him. I obviously have enabling issues having lived with an alcoholic husband for 30 yrs. before I decided to take care of myself. This doesn't feel like it's ever going to get better.
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    JPG, this is exactly what so many of us are going through. The FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) that keeps us doing things for our kids, even when we know we are enabling rather than helping.

    I’m glad to hear you’re in therapy. It is very helpful to develop boundaries with your adult children. I know it’s hard to cut off support when you’ve been providing it for a long time, but you will probably find that your son will not make progress towards taking care of himself as long as you are providing money. I have a policy I try to keep that I only provide help when it goes towards a one-time expense that looks like it will provide a step forward towards more independence. (Though as you can see from my recent threads, that doesn’t always pan out.) in general, I do not provide money towards daily upkeep. I’ve broken that occasionally when something seems especially dire, but my kids know by now the answer will usually be no. They also know I don’t do bail, legal fees, court costs, tickets, or other bailouts from self-inflicted problems. That one I’m firm on. So, need help getting set up in sober living or need books for trade school? Sure, that’s what moms are for. Perpetually need gas money or come up $150 short on the rent every month? Sorry, that’s on you to manage your life better. Does that make sense? Like I said, I’m not perfect at this - but this is the balance I’ve been striving for personally.

    Your son is going to have to arrange for his own support. No job is beneath someone living in his car. He’s going to have to lose the attitude, the pride, or the chip on his shoulder that’s keeping him from waking into the local subway or similar and talk to the manager or turn in an application. Getting a little hungry or running out of gas may be just the incentive he needs. Prepare for him to be mad. Don’t let a tantrum destroy your resolve. For many of our kids, this is the only way they will learn. If he gets mad or abusive hang up the phone, ignore the texts and wait for him to calm down.

    I understand all to well the guilt that comes from raising kids in an abusive and chaotic environment. We did the best we could do. We can’t change the past. All we can do is move forward.

    I also understand the worry. It’s so hard having a son that is homeless. A car would be a step up for mine. We have to remember that their lives are the result of their own choices, though, and the power to change their circumstances lies with them, not with us.

    Did you read the article on detachment? I have found it really helpful. I have to go back to it often.
  6. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    And as a sidebar to Elsi's wonderful post, my son grew up in a loving and healthy household and the end result was the same. I have very little to feel guilty about yet I do because he turned out like this.
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  7. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    I'm dealing with this, too, and learning how to detach. I had one child die in an auto accident, and I fear that my daughter will end up the same way. I stopped paying her rent, stopped paying her parking tickets, car insurance, etc. It just allowed her to party even harder; she hasn't had a job for two years now. And I'm completely raising her two children for the last three years. That I don't sleep well goes without saying. She's 42. I guess we all hit our wall, and I've hit mine. But it hurts so much. I'm helpless to change her and that's hard to admit. And there are sure a lot of us there going through the same thing. Hang tough, lots of good advice on here.
  8. Let'sHope

    Let'sHope Hope

    Hi All, i am just so happy I found this website. I am not all alone. I can find many helpful suggestion from here. I will keep reading and post my situation later.
  9. Maggie413

    Maggie413 New Member

    JPG, sorry to hear of this situation with your son it sounds familiar. My 42 year old adult son is presently living in a tent in my woods. He has ruined every relationship he has had by drinking and violence. He is on disability because he was seriously hurt in a drunken driving accident and his leg is pretty bad. He never really worked so the amount of the disability he gets is pitiful. I am trying to get him in to low income housing but there is a long waiting list. He has a ridiculous idea of building a shanty in the woods and living there. I just want him to get some place and live some kind of semblance of a normal life. I am tired of the worry, chaos and drama. He has drinking issues and I have 302'd him twice. It is coming winter so I bought a camper that I want him to stay in so I don't have to worry about finding his frozen body in the woods. I want to detach emotionally from the whole thing and be tough like everyone tells me but it is not that easy when you think they might die. He has always been a major cause of disruption with something always being in crisis. I am glad I found this site so I know there are others out there going through the same thing.
  10. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Maggie, welcome. I’m sorry you find yourself here as well. Sadly I am learning there is only so much we can do for adults who don’t have any desire or motivation to live within the rules of society. I know how hard it is to worry that they will die On the streets or in the wilderness. I also know what it’s like to live with continual crises. It sounds like you have gone above and beyond in trying to get him stabilized. The rest is up to him. I hope you are spending some of your energy and resources taking care of yourself.
  11. Maggie413

    Maggie413 New Member

    Thank you Elsi. Coming to that point of realization that he has made his choices and it is up to him. Just glad to read the posts and know I am not alone.
  12. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Maggie, nope you are not alone. Not by a long shot.
    I hope things improve with your family.
  13. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    So I have not been on this site for months and sadly enough the situation with both of my adults sons (26 & 30) is not different. They are both still living in their cars blaming me for their inability to function etc. by the grace of God I have been getting stronger. I'm not fully better yet but over the last month mostly because I'm financially hemmorraging from helping them both financially for about 1 1/2 yrs. I have stopped buying them food, cigarettes etc. The last piece is going to be gas. I've given notification that after this month-no more gas $. I pray that I can stick with it. It is a very hard road. It's not like we decide ..ok I'm going to do this and then they listen and agree with you. There is so much push back from them which often gets nasty and I end up blocking them. I truly know that I have not gotten stronger by sheer willpower but with God's help. I have also been submerging myself in some good Melodie Beattie books on Codependency. My way out of this, I feel, is going to be similar as was with my ex-husband who was and is still an active alcoholic. I have stopped denying that my enabling my sons is a problem, I have begun to realize the only one I can change in this situation is "me" and I surround myself with good support groups, reading materials and prayer. It's a long, hard road but I intend to make it. I have to keep turning them over to God, which I do a million times a day. I've also started praying for myself. Something I never did before because I was always focused on everyone else. I've made progress but have a long way to go.
  14. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I also have found that my faith helped me through the rough times with our son. I had to let go and let God control it because I was unable to control his life.

    I had to step away and practice detachment for my own well being.

    Our suffering does not help them. If it did we'd probably all gladly suffer.

    We do have to take care of and love ourselves. This is a must.

    I joined a bible study group when I moved to the south to try to understand what it all meant. That has been very helpful to me and I've met some wonderful people.

    I also recommend a therapist that specializes in addiction if you are able. That helped me tremendously.

    I hope you have a support group.

  15. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member