Bipolar son about to be homeless

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Laker16, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Hello, I am new here but have been reading lots of stories similar to mine so I hope maybe you all can share advice or at least moral support. I feel desperate right now.

    Our son is 32 and had his first bipolar episode almost 10 years ago. Since then he has been hospitalized several times but refuses to stay with any treatment and rejects the diagnosis. He has been living with his ex fiance but she is no longer willing to let him stay there and he is really manic right now. My husband drove there (3 hours away) today to try yet again to get him help. He was evaluated and they checked him into a facility. Unfortunately, within an hour he left.

    We can't have him live here, but feel terrible thinking he is going to be ill and homeless in the cold and snow. We don't know what else to do, no matter how we try nothing gets better.

    Thank you for listening.
     
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Laker16. I'm sorry for your struggles with your son. It's challenging when our kids go off the rails and refuse to get the help they need. We parents suffer the agonies of the damned trying to help them when they won't help themselves.

    It's a positive sign that you are aware that he cannot live with you, you've already fought that battle and learned that it will not work. I've realized the same thing with my daughter. Many of us here have come to the same conclusion.

    It seems that there is nothing you can do now. He has made his choice. The hardest thing for me and for many of us here is the powerlessness we feel. We cannot save them from themselves but our fear for their safety and well being often pushes us to frantically look for ways to help....that's when the desperation starts....and the possible enabling.

    Take some deep breaths, this is scary for us. Our kids are way more resourceful than we believe them to be. You can offer him a list of shelters in his area, most towns have shelters and food banks of some sort. That may be all you can do right now. ......I know how hard that is.

    If you haven't already, try contacting NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can access them online, they have chapters in most cities. They provide an excellent course for parents which offers information, resources, support and guidance. You may find help there.
    It may also be helpful for you to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here.

    Books that helped me were Codependency no more by Melodie Beattie, Any book by Pema Chodron who is a Buddhist nun who writes about living with uncertainty and any book by Eckhart Tolle who writes about living in the present moment and acceptance. I also found some soothing guided visualizations on YOUTUBE which were quite helpful in finding solace and a sense of calm. You can search for the ones that work for you, relaxation, meditation, rest, peacefulness, etc. I like Deepak Chopra's voice, so I usually choose his guided visualizations.

    This path we find ourselves on is devastating....we have to learn very different ways of responding, setting boundaries, saying no, detaching, letting go and accepting what we can't change. To that end, many of us enlist the help of a therapist, someone who will help us navigate this difficult terrain we find ourselves on. When I was in the midst of the worst times with my daughter, I was in therapy, a therapist run parent support group and CoDa (12 step support group), weekly. I knew I didn't have the wherewithal to make the necessary changes without professional help.

    Keep posting, it helps. Get yourself a solid support system. Put yourself as the priority and focus on YOUR needs. I know that sounds absurd right now, but you matter too. Often when we've been at this with our kids for a long time, we become depleted and forget to care for ourselves. Do kind and nourishing things for yourself. I'm glad you're here with us. You're not alone.
     
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  3. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Laker

    This is so difficult. Can he not be held for being a harm to himself?
     
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Laker. Hi. Welcome.

    By husband's driving to take him to the hospital I think you did what you can do right now. In my state he would not have been released if he was a danger to himself, others or gravely disabled. They would have put him on an involuntary hold.

    Are drugs involved?

    I have been thinking and thinking to see if I can come up with an option. I cannot for right now. Does he have a cell phone?

    In my case if I can reach my son and talk to him I can usually have a better chance of keeping my anxiety in check.

    I have gotten through these hard hard times by posting all day every day. The support helps even if there are no ready solutions. I wish there were.

    Take care.
     
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  5. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    I hope I'm replying correctly...

    Thank you so much Recovering enabler, the kindness and concern you and the others who have responded have shown me is a comfort.

    We are struggling with not only guilt over not letting him come live with us, but also because when he left the facility he walked back to his ex's house and is being a burden and worry to her. I know she wishes we would bring him back to our town and part of me feels guilty for leaving him there in the town where she lives. However, here we couldn't get him into any treatment facilities or even a shelter, while there they have places that have been willing to help him. I told her last night to call the police if he came there and file a restraining order if she needed to. Ugh!

    Anyway, we have gone to some NAMI meetings and it helps with not feeling so alone. Unfortunately they are only once a month.

    I will definitely look into the readings and online resources you mentioned. Funny that you mentioned Eckhart Tolle, our son wanted me to read something by that author to help me understand that he wasn't mentally ill, but rather on a spiritual journey.

    I also will consider the idea of counseling for myself and my husband. We have felt our own mental health severely tested.

    Thank you again for reaching out to me.
     
  6. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Littleboylost, so far he hasn't threatened to harm himself. He is just really "out there" in his behavior and what he says. We are hoping his ex will call the police and they'll take him to the ER & hold him for psychiatric evaluation. We'll see today what she ended up doing.
     
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  7. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Copabanana, I wish they would have held him but I guess since he checked in voluntarily (on my husband's insistence) and wasn't suicidal, they let him leave.

    As far as drugs, I know he has smoked pot, and drinks and smokes too much. I don't know if he has self medicated with any other substances.

    He doesn't have a cell phone. We have been emailing, but after he sent me an email on Friday blaming me for his spiritual problems because I made him go to church as a kid, I haven't written back. I'm not even sure he has access to a computer right now since his ex is trying to get him out of her house.

    You are right, being able to share with other parents who understand and don't judge you helps with the feelings of helplessness and isolation. Thank you for your kindness.
     
  8. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Hello Laker,

    My heart is breaking as I read this post and I know what you are going through, my son is only 22 and been a roller coaster since his senior year in high school with traits of mood disorder, bipolar but never officially diagnosed as he has refused treatment. His erratic and manic patterns of behavior have increased the last 3 years and more aggravated over the last 12 months since his girlfriend got tired of his pot use. He is very productive and has been on his own since 18 , decided to move out from his father's home. We are divorced since my son was 11 and he blames all his bad decisions on me leaving his father of course. So am plagued with the guilt , until of course I found this site and support. Long story short, so after a couple pot arrests when he was 17, DUE when he was 19 and then a petty theft charge at Walmart for a phone case valued at $200. Luckily he was not officially charged and he only had to pay fines for that incident. All throughout these 3 years, he has mixed in xanax and now alcohol. Due to a probation violation in 2016 he had to be in jail 13 days and 2 days in a pysch ward (baker acted). As of October, he took all his savings of $3k and erraticly moved to San Diego, came back in 4 days and sold all his clothes, car and couch surfed for a month until he got some settlement money of $4K from a car accident in 2015 where he was a passenger of a crash, luckily he only sustained minor back injuries and lived through this..So his $4k received in Jan 2018, he moved to Las Vegas due to an overflow of employment, jobs and quick cash opportunities which seems to be typical of millenials ! His texts to me over the last 3 months have been sad, dark, suicidal and erratic. One day all is perfect, the next day he texts "Soon, I will be gone"..How painful is this for us mothers ?? !!!!!!

    I am heartbroken and cry every night to the point, my eyes are always teary and swollen..I'm 48 yrs old and feel broken. I have a beautiful daughter 19 who is in college and very positive and productive and going places in life. My husband of 15 years is my rock, he supports my detachment from my son and wants nothing to do with him. So I suffer silently...I've tried groups, they help some but it's a mother's suffering that doesn't stop or go away..I know how you feel !!! I am sooo sorry and pray for you so much. Please let's keep eachother uplifted in prayer. My son is saying now he will be homeless in Las Vegas, because of course he is out of money and doesn't have a job yet..he's been interviewing, but somehow the offers are not finalized? I can't help him financially anymore because after the last 5 years, he has drained my savings after I thought helping him with lawyers and some money when needed would help him get above water. I'm now feeling helpless, like watching a derailed train going to crash any moment.

    This site has helped me more than anything and we have to band together and stop these helpless feelings, but how do we? How do we move on? I pray every moment that God brings an Angel to your son to lift him out of this dark place, but he has to help himself, we cannot do it for them. I've come to this mechanical conclusion and it gives a slight comfort. God bless you and big hug to you and your family !



     
  9. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Carp_enough,

    Thank you for your kind words and prayers and for sharing your struggles with your son.

    I understand about not having a diagnosis, our son was an adult the first time he was hospitalized and they wouldn't tell us anything. Like your son, ours refuses treatment or even the idea that he has a problem. It makes you feel so helpless!!!

    I feel your pain over the emails you mention. It is amazing to me that our sons have so little self awareness to see their own issues, but yet know just what to say to break our hearts.

    Also like you I have a wonderful husband and a very successful happy younger daughter. They listen and give support, but you are right about the particular suffering we go through as moms. We also attend NAMI meetings which help us not to feel alone, although lately the meetings seem to be more about fund raising and planning events in the community. Those are necessary, but we are too overwhelmed right now to see beyond our current chaos.

    I will pray for you and your son. It has been a long time since I've really prayed and my faith is pretty shaky, but we certainly are in situations that desperately need divine intervention.

    It is hard to watch your child suffer because they won't/can't help themselves, but all we can do is love them in such a way that is healthy for both child & parent & acknowledge that we can't fix what is broken like when they were little.

    A big hug to you too and know that you matter and that you aren't alone.

     
  10. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    The people who spoke before me were so eloquent that i don't have a lot to add except my support and prayers. My situation very similar 36 year old bipolar + ... Who has no place to go when he gets out of jail. Hope you are able to find some peace.
     
  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is a lot of guilt for all of us.....it's unfortunate that your son went to his ex's, however you have no control over that, he made that choice and apparently she allowed it. We often find ourselves in what we refer to as the FOG, fear, obligation and guilt. The three whoppers that keep us stuck and often keep us enabling and distressed. It's helpful as we evolve thru this, to be able to recognize when we are stuck in the FOG, the recognition is the first step in helping us to stay in our love & compassion yet continue with our boundaries, detaching and acceptance.

    You didn't cause this, you can't control it and you can't fix it. Sigh. A hard lesson for us parents.

    If you're interested, you can find therapists in your area on the Psychology Today website and goodtherapy.org.

    I'd encourage you to continue posting, it helps so much to write our stories down....and then to receive empathy and support. Being heard in a safe place where we are all facing similar issues is..... priceless.

    As you move thru these difficult feelings with your son, we'll circle our wagons around you......you're never alone here......we're here for you.
     
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  12. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Tired Mama..Praying for you and peace that surpasses all understanding. It is so hard to not try to help..I always take a hard stance and find myself somehow trying to help without my son even knowing..like he has a secret Angel lol..All we can do is provide them the resources to use out there, they are grown men now. God Bless you and your heart & soul.
     
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  13. CARP_ENOUGH

    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Laker,

    Also appreciate your kind prayers and love for our suffering as mothers. Only we understand. I'm so happy that you have also a lovely daughter that gives you good news and happiness. Same for me...my son brings me pain and sorrow, fear and guilt, worry...it should not be this way, praying daily has brought me back and listening to TD Jakes on youtube also...he is so inspiring and helpful.

    God bless you hugs




    Carp_enough,

    Thank you for your kind words and prayers and for sharing your struggles with your son.

    I understand about not having a diagnosis, our son was an adult the first time he was hospitalized and they wouldn't tell us anything. Like your son, ours refuses treatment or even the idea that he has a problem. It makes you feel so helpless!!!

    I feel your pain over the emails you mention. It is amazing to me that our sons have so little self awareness to see their own issues, but yet know just what to say to break our hearts.

    Also like you I have a wonderful husband and a very successful happy younger daughter. They listen and give support, but you are right about the particular suffering we go through as moms. We also attend NAMI meetings which help us not to feel alone, although lately the meetings seem to be more about fund raising and planning events in the community. Those are necessary, but we are too overwhelmed right now to see beyond our current chaos.

    I will pray for you and your son. It has been a long time since I've really prayed and my faith is pretty shaky, but we certainly are in situations that desperately need divine intervention.

    It is hard to watch your child suffer because they won't/can't help themselves, but all we can do is love them in such a way that is healthy for both child & parent & acknowledge that we can't fix what is broken like when they were little.

    A big hug to you too and know that you matter and that you aren't alone.[/QUOTE]
     
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  14. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Thank you Recoveringenabler, just the idea of wagons circled around me is a comfort!

    Thank you too for the link to find a good therapist. I wouldn't even know where to begin to look.

    You are so right about the FOG. My head is full of it right now!

    Just an update, apparently his ex took him back to the treatment facility and they wouldn't let him in saying he was too manic to stay there/needed more help than they could give him and told her to take him to the ER which she did. He is there for a hold or psychiatric evaluation. I am a little relieved, but if things go the way they usually do, he'll be out in no time and asking to come home. Sigh, I guess we'll jump off that bridge when we get to it, but he can't come home.

    Thanks again for the warm support. It means the world to me.



     
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  15. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Tired mama,

    Your kind wishes, support, prayer, and understanding are more than enough. I wish all good things for you and your son as you go through this same struggle.


     
  16. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I understand about the hospital saying he was too manic for them to take we went through the same thing . they put him in icu and put him in a coma . when they did transfer him to behavioral health we went through a 303 hearing and got up to 20 days treatment 3 days later they said he was compliant and released him to the police because of what he did in his manic state. They took him to jail. Have been battling in court since. Too complicated to explain. I think the people on this site are the only ones who could understand. I hope that your son is able to get better treatment and come out of hospital in a better state of mind.
     
  17. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    So very challenging for any of us to get the proper amount of help. Big hugs to all.
     
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Laker

    To me it is encouraging he believes he is on a spiritual journey. I know it is scary. But mental health and psychiatry are not necessarily a cure all. Often psychiatric medications mask symptoms and are at best only one way to go, I believe.

    But I know how scary is homelessness. I asked about drugs to see if a sober living house might be an option .

    My son is dependent on marijuana. He is mentally ill. We kicked him out of a home we own because of his ongoing and heavy use, and non-productivity. Thankfully he had sought out drug treatment and his counselor recommended him to the sober living. While he pays because he is on social security more than half the guys do not pay either rent or for food. If they are able they do volunteer work or go to school.

    My son had been homeless or couch surfing for 6 years. He has had multiple hospitalizations. Even ill they especially need to find their own solutions. Believe me. I fought that. I still do.

    That there are no services in your town makes it imperative you not rescue your boy.

    I am grateful my son is safely housed.....not with me. He is not liking it where he is. I have to stitch up my lips to keep quiet. Safety, I tell myself is everything. But my son got himself there. So can your son.

    I am so sorry you are suffering through this.
     
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  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is to Carp: I do not see what your options are except to set limits for right now in contact with him. Let me explain.

    He has refused treatment consistently. Preferring longshot sprees. While it is true his judgement is impaired, he is an adult and in all but the most extreme cases will be held responsible for his actions by society. He must learn by dealing with real life consequences.

    To call or text you with a blow by blow narrative of his moods is not fair. At some point you can choose to set a limit with him. I did with my son.

    I told him the truth: if you talk this way x and y...I will end the call. If you keep doing it I will not accept your calls. And I followed through.

    This was among the most powerful and effective things I ever did with him. To set a boundary. To protect me.

    Choosing yourself is not to choose against him.

    Please take care of yourself.
     
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  20. Laker16

    Laker16 New Member

    Hello all, sorry to have gone silent yesterday. I have felt so miserable to the point of feeling physically ill that I tried to take a little break from talking about what is going on, even if I can't take a break from thinking about it.

    I went shopping for something nice to make for Valentine's dinner, and at the store ran across a mother from the NAMI group...so much for not talking about it! She was kind, but her parting words were kind of hard to hear...she said "We are all our kids have and it is our job to advocate for them". I thought a lot about it after we parted and while I don't think I agree that it is my "job" now that he is no longer a child, it made me think that I am going to try to do what I can to help him within certain bounds, rather than giving up completely as I have felt like doing. I decided to start the process of trying to get him SS benefits and Medicaid. I doubt he would do it on his own, but I called the SS office today and it sounds like we can do a lot of the application without him, and hopefully just get his signature when needed.

    Tired Mama, it is so frustrating that they would declare your son compliant and discharge him after only 3 days! Our mental healthcare is abysmal. We live in dread every day of hearing that our son has been released and is now on the street. :( Thank you for your support and I wish you peace, something that is so elusive for us. Big hug!

    Copabanana, I wish I could feel encouraged about his spiritual belief, but he uses it to justify why he doesn't need help and why his father and I are wrong and spiritually ignorant in thinking he has an illness. I do agree that drugs/therapy/psychiatry aren't the one and only answer, and spirituality, if it could help him have a more stable and happy life, would be wonderful. It doesn't seem to though, and it is just so sad to see how his erratic behavior has alienated every friend and girlfriend he has had as well as his father and I. It is tragic to think he is that alone.

    That is great that your son has a safe place to live other than your home. That would be such a comfort if we can someday get to where you are! You are wise to just listen when he complains about it...our urge to rescue is always bubbling under the surface I think. Thank you for taking the time to hear me and give encouragement and support, it means a lot.