Breaking Heart

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by TooTiredToThink, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    Just found this site. Thank you. I read quite a few posts very similar to mine. My son will be 42 in Sep 2017 and still calling me for financial help. About 20 years ago, I helped willingly. My husband passed away 13 years ago. When my husband was alive, he would tell me some help is Ok, but I was doing too much. I am now a retired widow on a fixed income. At some point I will provide details of the assistance I provided my son beginning in his late teens, despite his stealing from my husband and I, and his siblings. However right now, I am jumping to present day. Last month (July 2017) my son calls and says he saved $2,200 and only needed $600 more to move into an apartment (his credit is shot). I promptly sent the money. Three weeks later, he calls. He stated he avoided hitting a drunk driver and hit a tree. He needs $2,500 to get his car fixed to get to work. Told him that I no longer had funds like that and he was on his own. Well according to him without a car he couldn't get to work, so he didn't go to work, lost the apartment. He has been moving around a lot. From one city to another and back again. I am assuming he uses his final paycheck to move back to Nevada. Now he calls asking for $1,500 to move into an apartment. Again I said no. Last year, I started keeping track of the money I was sending him (about $10,000 in 2016). That is not counting money sent in prior years to 2016 or this year. He texted me telling me he is now homeless in Nevada. This is breaking my heart.
  2. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    Firstly welcome to the site. I am very sorry about how you are feeling. However your son is a grown man, and has made HIS choices. He must now face HIS consequences. Having him ask you for money on a continuous basis is in my opinion is abusive on his part. Good for you for starting to say NO. You need to take care of yourself and I would recommend reading the article on detachment on this site. It speaks to how you can lovingly detach from your difficult child, but also begin the process of taking care of you. This journey is not easy and there are many others on this site who will weigh in to support you. Please keep posting and let us know how are you doing! Hugs!
  3. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    Just read a recommended article on detachment. Also read some of the posts. Boy can I relate. I received a text from my son stating don't bother to call or text him because I am refusing to help. I do want to help him even knowing it will be to my detriment. I have not given in, yet. Trying to stay strong.
  4. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    So don't call or text him. He will figure things out. Can you go out today and do something nice for you to get your mind off this? Your son will be okay. They are extremely resourceful when they need to be . Stay strong. If you continue to give in to him it wont end here. It will be that way for the rest of your life. I don't think you want that so you have to draw a line in the sand. Hugs. I know this is very hard.
  5. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    I am really torn. The encouragement is wonderful. I just feel if I help him this one last time maybe this will be what he needs to get on track . .and pray this will be it. But I know it my heart, it won't because I have been down this road so many times. Every time I feel torn and weakened, I come back to this site and reread posts, articles, etc. In fact, I got up this morning and starting doing things and was able to focus instead of tossing his situation over and over in my mind. Still feeling torn, but leaning towards not giving in. However it is really hot where he is. . .
  6. seek

    seek Member

    I understand how you think that "maybe this time" your help will actually help, but maybe also view "one last time" the same way an alcoholic says they'll have "just one" drink . . . it's kind of the same thing . . . if you are weakening, get some support, do something nice for yourself, remind yourself why you put up the boundaries, remind yourself how old your son is and that he is an adult and should be completely responsible for himself - and that if he makes bad choices, HE will have to suffer consequences, not you!

    If you are on a fixed income, I view his taking money from you as "elder abuse." You NEED your own money - take care of yourself! Survival of the fittest - sounds brutal, but focus on you. He "should" be giving you money, or paying you back, if anything!
  7. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    Hello Grandma nearing 70 and everyone, I am turning 64 this month. I have two other children, one younger and one older than my problem son. The eldest son is doing well. He has a masters degree, good job, nice family and lives in another state. The daughter is doing good. She has a bachelors degree, a good job and a beautiful daughter. My daughter and granddaughter both live with me which is good. The middle son lived with me on and off several times. I would constantly forgive his infractions and let him move back in. Until the last time I told him he couldn't come back, and I meant it. I had door locks and access codes changed. I was working long hours, had no time to watch tv or go to the movies because when I wasn't working, I would sleep. I would purchase DVDs, (both television and movie) with the expectation that one day when I retire I would be able to sit down and enjoy them. They were stored in the room that he occupied. While he was with us, I thought he was doing well. He was purchasing things for an apartment and storing them in the garage. It was my daughter who first noticed that his things were missing from the garage. He happened to be out one afternoon, and I needed something from the room he occupied. When I went into the closet every DVD was gone. It was ok for him to do whatever with his things but it was not Ok for him to take my things. My friends said oh, it's only DVDs. But that wasn't the point. They didn't belong to him (the DVDs weren't even open). It wasn't until the grandsons came to visit and asked me where were the PlayStation games. He had taken them too. This was not the first time he had taken things from the house that did not belong to him. Seeing my distress, my other two children have tried to replaced most of the DVDs over the years. Later I learned that he had taken the money he was saving for an apartment, sold the items he was storing in the garage, took my DVDs and the games, sold them to make a down payment on a car, that was eventually repossessed. However, I still continued to help him out financially. Now I have to learn how to say no when he is constantly needing financial help. Trying.
  8. seek

    seek Member

    I am so happy for you that you have two other functional kids and grandkids that you enjoy. So good that you have family support.

    It is terrible that he took your DVD's and PlayStation games . . . I would find that hard to forgive - relationships are "supposed" to be respectful and reciprocal - it seems like yours has been pretty much one way - with you doing all the giving and he doing all of the taking . . . that is not okay.

    Have a very nice Sunday and take extra good care of yourself!
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  9. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    I want Seek and Wisernow to know how much I appreciate you both. I should have trusted your advice more than my heart. I was sitting around thinking about how hot it is in Nevada right now and how he is suppose to start a job tomorrow (hopefully it is the truth). I was thinking how is he going to do that being homeless? So I do what I have always done -- wired the $1,500. I texted him to let him know it was there so he could get an apartment. In about an hour he texted me back thanking me and promising to pay me back. (I heard that one before too.) But then I heard something I had not heard before. . .He had gone to a Catholic Charity and he believes he will have a bed for the night so he will be able to shower and go to work tomorrow. He said he will not pick up the money until after work tomorrow. However, because I kept saying no and acted as if I really meant it, he did something for himself. After Wisernow informed me about all the help that was out there, I informed him. He had tons of excuses of why it wouldn't work. However, he believed I was serious about not sending the money so he did something for himself. Thank you both. Will keep you posted on his progress and mine. Now it is time to work on me. I have just learned that his well being is not dependent on me. Yes, I am out of $1,500, but I am learning. Just like I am learning to navigate this site. Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!
  10. seek

    seek Member

    I understand how unbearable it can be to feel your "child" is on the street and could be in danger. I seriously do not know how all of the parents in the world handle this, because there are a lot of homeless people everywhere - and many of them have parents.

    You have to do what you feel is right in the moment.

    I hope maybe you will consider counseling, because your welfare is at stake. He will "sink or swim" based on his actions and his decisions, but you do not want to go down with the ship. You have other children and grandkids who need you and you have to provide for your own needs and your old age. I encourage you to start being a little bit more selfish and maybe prepare for the next emergency - I don't know what that would look like, but maybe tell him no more money - it's up to him now and that you must take care of yourself - that you are a senior citizen.

    I seriously think it is elder abuse to ask a senior who is on a fixed income for money. You need to protect yourself - tell him the Bank of Mom is closed.

    I pray you can do this - if you have to, make all of your "extra" money inaccessible - tied up - so you cannot liquidate it easily.

    It's great that he found Catholic Charities. I hope that it gives you comfort to see that he really can brainstorm and figure out how to take care of himself when mom is not available.

    If you think about this logically, you are not going to be around forever - and then what?

    He has to take responsibility for himself and he won't do that until you say "no."

    Good luck and take care of yourself now!
  11. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    I will learn to be more selfish. It's hard when you are safe, warm, and dry and you believe a love one is suffering. But in this short period of time and the encouragement and guidance I found on this site, I believe I can detach because I was at my wits end. The ladies at the place where I do the money transfers look at me with sadness and pity. You are absolutely correct, this relationship is definitely one sided (me giving, him taking). I will definite keep you posted. I'm DONE trying to meet his needs!

    My son was in his early twenties, living with us. The other kids had moved out. My husband an I had adequate finances to the point I never balanced the checkbook. One day a bank statement came in. My husband opened it and stated this balance seems awfully low. I looked at it and was shocked. I immediately focused on check amounts that I didn't recognize. Discovered that he had been fired from his job, and been paying his $545 dollar car note for several months out of our checking account forging my name. And pretending he was going to work everyday. I called him, informed him of the discovery, he said he can explain when he got home. We didn't see or hear from hear for over a year.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Please know that there are a lot of services out there. Catholic Charities can do a LOT to help someone. Know that these charities know how to motivate people to truly help themselves too. My father in law works with Catholic Charities and has for years. They are not preachy and don't care what religion you are, but they won't help you over and over unless they know you are truly a victim of circumstances beyond your control. It really is impressive the way they work.
  13. TooTiredToThink

    TooTiredToThink New Member

    Hello, just providing an update. Just heard from my son yesterday, Thursday, after providing the money the Sunday prior. I tried to call and text before Thursday, however could not get in touch with him. I was not sure what was going on. I was also thinking that I had been scammed again. He telephoned late Thursday night providing a flimsy excuse as to why he didn't respond to my texts or answer my call. I guess he has the ability to block me out, but I don't seem to have the ability to block him out. Well he stated that he is in his place and working. I think that is all I wanted/needed to hear. I am trying not to brace for his next crises which always seem to land in my lap, but our history seems to constantly repeat. Trying to stop it. When my husband passed away, I had no way of getting in touch with him to let him know. He did not know his dad had passed away until sometime later. Thanks for letting me vent.
  14. GStorm

    GStorm Becoming Independent

    Please don't give in! My son is 32 and I am on the verge of him moving out. He is only staying a few days after he got discharged from the hospital AND evicted from his apartment while he was in the hospital. I am 60 and can imagine me doing the same thing you are doing in 10 years. Not going to happen!!! I love my son dearly, but he has lied, cheated, stolen, & kept secret too much and it is totally unacceptable to me. When he leaves on Wednesday, November 8th to go be with his dad, I will never give him another red cent. He got out of the hospital last Saturday. I am allowing him to stay with me until Nov. 8th. Why? I cannot truly answer that, except to help this extra bit while he is in transition. But I am making a promise, once he leaves on Nov. 8th,
    I will not be fooled again....No, No!!!
    I am so mad about even making this decision, as I really should have sent him onto the shelter. I was not that strong. But I am getting stronger everyday and this has given me an opportunity to see my son's true colors. So maybe that is what God had in mind. I have increased my self-care by going to a dietitian (having lost 12 lbs. already), attending church, walkkng, singing, getting my hair done, etc. So, you my new friend, have a right to say no to enabling and YES to yourself, just as I am starting to do. I am not doing it perfectly, but I am not going to beat myself up about it. Keep posting & praying & I will do the same. Take care of YOU BECAUSE YOU DESERVE IT.
    Take care if yourself, Gail✨
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  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I realize he is your son, but please try to see him as an adult and not your little boy. He won't get sick in the heat. If he can scam you out of $10,000 in a year, he can scam others also. He has probably gotten way more free money than that in a year. He is likely just not willing to work or just not willing to use his money for boring things like rent and other necessities when he can use other people's money if at all possible.

    I am going to be blunt here. It may be a shock.

    Your son is a thief. Chances are that you are not the only one he has stolen from. Some of these "lost" apartments and "lost" possessions are probably lost because he was in jail when rent was due. He didn't tell you because it would make you less willing to help him. Why would you help a person who has stolen from you with so much money when you are on a fixed income? I know you worry about him in the heat, but he knows where to go to get out of the heat. He knows where the shelters are, as hard as that may be for you to hear. He has already been choosing this life for a very long time.

    What, exactly, do you think he has been doing with the money you have given him over the years? It has not gone for rent or car repairs or whatever. I can almost certainly guarantee that. Chances are that he didn't have a place or a car to rescue at least some of the time when he called you with an emergency. His behavior is just classic difficult child. Or maybe he had a car and a place and they were fine but he needed money for something else. It was likely money for either drugs or alcohol or some other type of addiction issue. It might not be. It could just be that he doesn't use substances, but I seriously doubt it. Most people living the way he does have some sort of addiction problem. Why would he have sold all of your games and dvds for quick cash if he didn't need quick cash for something?

    Take a break from his calls. He isn't going to stop calling forever. If anything, he will ramp up his calls with "I am in the hospital because you wouldn't help me. I got sick from : a. the heat because you would not rent a place for me. b. being beat up by some guys because I was sleeping in a park because you wouldn't rent a place for me. c. run over by a car because I was sleeping in a doorway because you wouldn't rent a place for me. Or he will ramp up in another way.

    Why is he going to ramp up? His old ways are not working. He has to find something new. Don't fall for it no matter what. What he is doing is elder abuse. Don't just promise him anything. Ask him why Catholic Charities isn't helping him out. If it was legitimate, they probably would. If he badmouths them, it isn't CC, it is because he is expecting them to do all the work for him. Tell him you just are not able to help at this time. If he gets ugly with you, hang up. That is the absolute beauty of the phone. You don't have to listen to anything you don't want to. But ask yourself this: If he is willing to abuse you and bully you, is he really worthy of your help? Those who are worthy of your help are grateful for it and don't abuse you, ever. They understand if you cannot help. I do community donations for various groups. If I were to EVER speak to a business the way your son speaks to you, I would never get another item donated. Word would get around town very fast and I would be a pariah! Why would you give your son a dime when he speaks to you that way and has stolen from you in the past? And would steal from you in the future?

    As a parent, we have the ability to either give our kids support so they get their legs under them or to hobble them. I think your support all these years has become something your son has allowed to hobble him. He feels he doesn't have to work because you will always bail him out. If you want to set him free to be an adult, to truly be independent the way he should be, you will tell him that you are sure he can figure out his life without your help, and that you will no longer send him a dime under any circumstances. He will test you greatly by calling with wildly imaginative crisis after crisis. All you have to do is say things like "that sounds like a challenge" or "I am sure you will figure something out" or "I have faith in your ability to conquer this." If these calls begin to drive you nuts, imagine how frustrated your replies will make him and SMILE. By frustrating him this way you are doing a parent's primary job. You are making your child grow and learn. If nothing else he is learning that you won't be manipulated out of your cash any longer!
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  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I may add that a thieving con artist of 42 is not a difficult child. He is a full grown criminal. And middle aged. And very possibly never going to change.

    The older they stay criminals and non workers the smarter they get about being that is their identity. Many get very cozy living in a Tent City with "friends", not working, begging, stealing, drugging, not conforming. Many do this lifestyle their entire lives. What we find intolerable is just life to them.

    I always urge parents to nip it in the bud if at all the teens or early twenties. At least then they have not been this way for decades. But your son has been at this for most of his life. He may have continued this even had you put your foot down early. Some people do not want to work or follow normal societal rules and that is not on us.

    But I think its time to let middle age son do his thing, whatever it is, with no help from you.

    A wayward 21 year old has a chance. A wayward 42 year old...the chances are greater that he will stay as he is. Dont make his horrible choices more tolerable for him. If things are bad for never know. Miracles do happen.
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  17. TerriH

    TerriH Member

    Too tired to think, I really do understand. My sister in law was in a similar fix.

    When she was homeless, she had access to the food pantry, the homeless shelter, friends sofas, she got disability payments, she worked for short periods of time, and that was just what we knew of. The family was NOT her only source of help.

    The way out of the trap she had made for herself was section 8 housing, but this was something ONLY she could do, as she wasted any help the family gave her.

    I will be honest with you, she was homeless for perhaps 2 years. It bothered me a lot, as we had this perfectly good home, but because of her history of drug abuse I did not DARE let her live in the same home with my kids, who were in their early teens. I did NOT! want dealers coming to my home. If it were not for them I might have let her move in, and it would have been a major error. Because if I had let her move in she would NEVER have CHOSEN to live a healthier life. We did stop helping her, and I did feel guilty about it, but we decided help would hurt her more than help her.

    Eventually, a social worker helped her get into section 8 housing, and after being homeless she actually took life more seriously. When her family helped her it just made it possible for her to continue getting into trouble, but when her family STOPPED helping her, she actually started taking care of herself.

    Today she is *STILL* taking care of herself, and if we had helped her I think she would still be seeing how much trouble she could get into. She enjoyed getting into trouble, actually. I will repeat that: she did enjoy getting into trouble. It was exciting to her.

    She has been in section 8 housing for about 10 years now. We do sometimes send her $20 when she asks, but she rarely asks. It took being homeless for an extended time for her to take life seriously, and she would NOT have taken life seriously if she had not been forced to, because the family would no longer support her.

    Stay strong.

    If your son gets kicked of his apartment he can crash on a friend's sofa. He can visit a homeless shelter. The food pantry will feed him. Food stamps are available. Section 8 housing might be available. He *CAN* manage. You are NOT his only resource: let your tax dollars support him for a bit. There are social workers in every city who will help him if he wants help.
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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017