Copa, a continuation on spiraling out of control

Deni D

Well-Known Member
Oh Copa, my heart aches for you. I feel like our sons are brothers from another mother. My son has been out of control and not in much contact with me for a couple of years now but he brings it on just like your son does when I have contact with him. I know M has tried as much as he can which my significant other has also tried in the past. I've seen first hand how the thought of a lack of pot can make my son go so far over the edge it's unbelievable. I think, could be wrong, but I think your son does the same. I really think it has so much to do with the self-medication issue verses accepting the mental illness they could actually deal with.
When I read your posts I feel them to the bone although I can't articulate like you do in writing. The difference seems to me is your son takes himself out to get to you even more than my son is willing to do to get to me. The putting himself out in the bushes in the cold... I don't know if I could stand it. My son is in contact with a mental health organization which is giving him an efficiency apartment to live in now. We are in an area of the country where the weather has been going into the single digits at night. I'm thankful for these people who are helping my son. But even with all of my endless searching I did not find them. The local mental health crises people put him in touch with this mental health org. I had called the mental health crises unit numerous times and provided them with my sons lengthy written history, the mental health org stepped up to take him on. I have no contact with them but I know they have, even in these times, picked my son up and taken him to food banks and grocery stores and even taken him to his fathers funeral last month. So I know they are quietly trying to nudge him to taking responsibility for himself.
But all of that aside from our sons. I wish I could wrap you up in a big soul squeezing, rocking, loving hug. And then go for a walk tonight around this beautiful campground in the balmy 50's (lol) weather with our flip flops nosily announcing our presence to the kind waving people and wildlife residents. We could walk and flip flop in conversation sharing the serious to the the funny to even our very simple grateful remembrances of our experiences in our lives. I'll be thinking about you and everyone else who posts here wishing you well as I walk tomorrow night around 6 pm eastern time, please join me :).
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much, Deni. I will be with you on that walk, at 3 pm PT. I will be listening to Fado music from Portugal. You might hear it! I am just about ready to leave the house but will get back to you later. Thank you so much for your heartfelt post.
Sending love to you.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Well, I didn't make it on the walk. My son was involuntarily hospitalized. He said he deliberately and falsely made suicidal statements in order to get seen at the hospital. I don't know if it was secondary gain, to get in from the cold, or for another reason. I am glad. I hope and pray that it will be long enough to stabilize him but laws in my state limit involuntary hospitalization to 3 days unless the order is renewed and extended by a judge. My son is so verbal and confident, in the past he has been successful before the judge in obtaining early release. But he's way worse now. He has been transported out of my county to another county in southern California. I am unsure exactly why. He says it has something to do with incapacity at the regional psychiatric facility. He is paranoid and thinks it is all a plot.

I have been reading about marijuana induced psychosis. It's scary.

I was so afraid with him out in the cold. At least now I don't have to be so afraid of that.

I will try to be back later Deni. I want to comment on your post. Thank you so much.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Deni

I came back to comment on your post but I just keep getting stuck in the hug and the walk. All the rest of it, your son, my son, their parallel stories are just too much to handle right now.

I was able to find out that my son was transported to an inpatient hospital about 6 or 7 hours south of me. I didn't even know that was possible to involuntarily hospitalize somebody and take them that far away. The hospital seems to have a dual diagnosis program, which is what he needs. He is on Medicare and they take that. So far so good.

They must have been pretty certain that they can establish that he can be involuntarily hospitalized for an extended period or they wouldn't have transported him down there. So I guess he will at least detox and be stabilized on medication. He has been delusional for some time. Oh. I have tried to tell myself that these were conspiracy theories but I feel pretty certain that he has become psychotic from heavy marijuana dependence or the marijuana has exacerbated a mood disorder. I hate marijuana so much.

I am just going on and on because I just don't know what to do; how to handle this. But I am counting my blessings. The RN gave me a gift telling me where he is. He must have been so very frightened. He is so paranoid. I can't tell you what a difference it makes for me to have you here. I am sitting in bed, really, with nobody to call. Thank you so very much for caring about me.
 

Miracle

New Member
My son is receiving treatment for marijuana induced psychosis, too. It is scary. We tried for a few months to help him at home, then most of January was spent trying various ways of getting him hospitalized. He spent several nights outside. It has all been a nightmare. But he is finally stable and realizing his beliefs were false. I hope and pray he leaves marijuana alone for good!

I am so sorry you are dealing with all of this, and dealing with it alone. The rep who helped us find a 30 day placement for our son said he is hearing from more and more parents whose kids are having these problems from marijuana. It’s not just your son. It’s so sad! People think this drug is harmless.

I have been reading a lot of accounts on Reddit trying to get a better understanding. We did not initially understand the extent of his delusions. With consistent medications, people do seem to recover. I am sorry your son is suffering. Praying they keep him long enough to get him stable. So glad he’s in from the cold and receiving help!
 
Copa, I have read and benefited from your experiences and advice for over two years. Wanted to reach out and thank you for helping me and so many others here. Sending a heartfelt hug over the airwaves to you - I am so sorry and wish I could send you real one! Hang in there. Your son is safe; take a breath. You have done all you can. I hope you can find a little peace for a few days.
It's hard to face things alone. I hope you still have M somewhere in your life?
 

RN0441

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

Just catching up! This is good news that your son is getting help and out of the cold. I know you must feel a very deep sense of relief right now.

This is so hard on us. I will pray for you and your son.

Do something nice for yourself today. Take a hot bath, get a pedicure......

Hugs and keep us posted!
 

Deni D

Well-Known Member
Dear Copa ~ I was able to get online to read your first response but then the internet was so slow here I couldn't respond. As I was walking around yesterday I was thinking about you and what we would be talking about. I was also talking to God, as I often do, and asking him to please help with your son and turn him in a direction or send someone to help him. I do this when I don't know what else to do. I do it to ease my anxiety from not being in control. Through most of my life I thought I was in control. Hard work, lived beneath my means just in case of a financial set back, ran my life with todo lists and kept on top of everything so things wouldn't go wrong. Became the master of how can I do better in both personal and business relationships. Now though I realize there's either a whole lot more God or luck or both involved when things are going in the right direction than any actual control I may have.

I know it's very frightening right now with what is happening with your son. But it's really looking like a good thing as you have said. My son was involuntary hospitalized once that I'm sure of and a second time I'm pretty sure of. I know it's strange that I wouldn't know for sure on the second one but I don't exactly trust what comes from the people giving me information because my son annoys them so much I think they embellish things a bit on the negative side and when I hear from my son I don't pry, just let him tell me what he wants to . My son was only in the local hospital for a 72 hour hold and then not only were they willing to let him go they practically dumped him out on the street. Considering the hospital transported your son so far away to another hospital situation it seems they feel confident they have found a long term treatment setting for him. Long term as I have experienced with my son with dual diagnosis rehab has been 30 days and then a sober living situation. In the states by me the sober living people have connections with the rehabs and look for people to bring in. In my son's case he was not involuntarily sent from the hospital to a rehab, it was voluntary with me working with the hospital(s) after he was brought in out of his mind on whatever, not the 72 hour hold times. Considering your son is in a hospital rehab setting I think it's much better than what my son received as treatment during those times. Fingers crossed on all of this. It's most likely not a solution but a nudge in the right direction for sure, no matter what he does with that nudge for the short term.

I came back to comment on your post but I just keep getting stuck in the hug and the walk.
You will be receiving the hug and the walk (if only in my imagination) every night I get the privilege, by the grace of God, to walk around here and experience the amazing combination of humanity and nature. I stood outside in the darkness tonight. In my bare feet, feeling the dirt, sand and pine needles under my feet as I looked at a tree across the way from me, imagining you, becoming as routed and grounded as that hundred year old tree just as I've seen you become more routed and grounded, able to weather the storms over the last couple of years posting here. It will never be a cake walk, that's for sure, I guess we've figured that bit out by now but I know you are a stronger person as I am these days. It's true there is no substitute for in real life connections but I am sending you as much love and caring over to the left coast as I can muster.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Hi everybody. More specifically Hi Deni, RN, Waiting and Miracle.

I was feeling so sorry for myself before I came here. Tearful, really. Frightened and tired of all of this. What all of you say makes so much sense. I should feel hopeful. A hospital is much better than sleeping outside in 30 degrees in shrubs in a shopping center. Except the thing is, I tried so hard to believe that his behavior was willful. That he was sane and only difficult and resistant; that he was doing all of this on purpose. Even when people told me; friends told me; I got mad. I would not believe it. What's wrong with me?!?

I will pray. That's all I can do. Is this the rest of my life? Cycling in this way. His poor insight and judgment. I am not looking for diagnostic help. But my deepest, darkest fear is he's schizophrenic. It's within the realm of possibilities. Yet he is so articulate and verbal and can have great social skills, He can be caring and empathetic. More likely is bipolar with psychosis, or cannabis-induced psychosis. But even that could never go away. I am just so very afraid. Why is it so much easier for me to be angry than to be so afraid and helpless?

I guess the worst thought is having to fight with him that he be treatment complaint or distance myself from him for the rest of my life. I love him so very much. You see, ours was a love story. Crying now. it still is. I just love him so much. I would do anything in the whole world for him. Why is it that love hurts so bad? Why me? Why us?

I've got my Portuguese Fado on and it helps me cry. Mothers have been crying for thousands and thousands of years. So what's new?

I went on my walk today, and I bumped into two ladies I barely knew. One was my son's kindergarten teacher. She had confided me once her son used heroin. I blurted out the situation. They looked so very uncomfortable. Like I had taken off all of my clothes and started to dance. (What a horrible thought.)

I want to thank you for your kindness and caring for me.

I just can't understand why they transported him so far if they didn't think he was really far gone, and that they could justify to the court that his hold would be extended for some time. You can see how this would scare me, at the same time it relieves fear. I mean it is so bad that they must think they can get a 2-week hold. That is bad.

M is just so frightened too. He's afraid that this torment by my son will go on. He is not tied to this. How will I handle it alone?
Thank you for being here with me.

Love, Copa
 
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Copabanana

Well-Known Member
You will be receiving the hug and the walk (if only in my imagination) every night I get the privilege, by the grace of God, to walk around here and experience the amazing combination of humanity and nature. I stood outside in the darkness tonight. In my bare feet, feeling the dirt, sand and pine needles under my feet as I looked at a tree across the way from me, imagining you, becoming as routed and grounded as that hundred year old tree just as I've seen you become more routed and grounded, able to weather the storms over the last couple of years posting here. It will never be a cake walk, that's for sure, I guess we've figured that bit out by now but I know you are a stronger person as I am these days. It's true there is no substitute for in real life connections but I am sending you as much love and caring over to the left coast as I can muster.
This so very beautiful Deni. Thank you, Deni. I need those hugs.
 

MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Dear Copa,
I wish I had the answers, I wish there were magical words I could say that would change this situation for you, indeed for all of us here. But all I have is my empathy. Thank goodness we all have each other.

I understand about the 'cycling'. This is my life too. Sometimes things are okay and sometimes not. I guess we just have to embrace the stable times - when things are not so bad and we are coping - and ride out the tough times as best we can. What else can we do? I keep wondering when this will be 'over' but for me at least, I don't think it ever will be.

I also understand your fear of a schizophrenia diagnosis. I don't know what my son's diagnosis is and sometimes I fear the same. But most of the time I think that he is either bipolar or has Borderline (BPD), and suffers from paranoia dues to his marijuana use. I know many of us don't know which came first - the mental illness or the drug use, but I'm not sure it even matters. For my son (who thankfully has been stable for a while now) I think the diagnosis is largely irrelevant because he won't accept sustained treatment and therefore the cycle goes on.

I have to find a way to live in the world and be at peace with that knowledge, because I know there is nothing I can do to change it. Part of my self care is to come here and seek the support of others. You have been so kind and helpful to me over the past couple of years. I hope you know how important you are to people who post here and how much we care about you. No matter what happens we will be here for you.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Hi All

I spoke with my son and it went downhill fast. He says he is being discharged today. He was hostile and sarcastic. He blames me because he will be homeless. I asked if he could voluntarily extend his stay, and he reacted badly. "I don' have my supplements or water." So what that means is that he doesn't have his drugs. Imagine. Choosing homeless destitution instead of the chance to recover. He ended with, "enjoy your life." The bus will pass through different counties that I will check out. Maybe I'll never have to come back to your town again"

I tried to urge him to accept treatment, unfortunately. You have a psychosis, J. Accept treatment. Stop drugs. That was a stupid mistake.

So everything is my fault. OMG. here is no option except to detach completely. I tried every other thing, over and over again.

Thank you everybody. Love, Copa
 

RN0441

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

So sorry to hear he is being this way toward you but this has been his ongoing M.O. to some degree.

He wants to blame it all on you. It's not your fault.

I say for now that you need to accept to love him from afar. It is not easy but it can be done and it is what you must do.

Love, Prays and Cyber Hugs.
 

MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Oh Copa, I’m so sorry. Just remember this is how it is today, not forever. Things can change. Do what you need to do for your own health and peace of mind right now and try to take it one day at a time. I will try to do the same. I’m here with a listening ear if you need to vent.
 

Deni D

Well-Known Member
If you can, try not to take it personally. Your son sounds just like mine. I think his current attitude with has to do with him not having his drugs, a withdrawal kind of thing. It's no surprise that he's not planning to stay, with no plan of what he's going to do and thinks everything is your fault. The thing is they will take him back in if decides to go back, over and over again. They know how mental illness affects people's behavior. When he calls you again see if you can get him to tell you about any conversation a hospital social worker has had with him. It might ease your mind a little to know what they are offering him. They may have assigned someone to him who is going to keep in contact with him wherever he goes, someone from a local mental health organization.

I don't even mention medication to my son anymore. I know my son will do the opposite of what I suggest anyway. I'm leaving it to the mental health people to try to nudge my son to different treatments. I haven't been successful with anything I've tried to do as far as helping my son along, nothing. So I have no answers. To keep my sanity I go with radical acceptance, which is a lot easier to do with the mental health folks involved helping my son with the basics. I hope there is an organization getting involved now with your son too.
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Thank you very much for your post Deni. A lot of hard-gained wisdom therein. Thank you also Ms. KT, RN and Ms. Lulu. This is really arms around the world!

Last week I spoke with the director of a drug treatment program who told me that her daughter had been a heroin addict, homeless and a prostitute. She said that because she knew that anything she said, any pushing, advocating or insisting on her part would only empower the addiction, she completely detached right away.

She told me that "the addiction is in charge" and it will only gain power if we push. The power of resistance.

Part of my despair is because I listen to friends. I have a friend who is a psychologist that spoke with my son several times. She became convinced that J was psychotic.

I allowed this to undercut any sense that I knew what was going on with my son. Even though I told her I did not agree, I did not have a leg to stand. In my voice, I channeled her voice of "sureness and confidence" that constantly undercut my own inside of me.

She told me that I was cruel to insist that he do (or not do) things, that he was unable to do. She said I was cruel to believe he has a choice. For 10 days I was completely lost to myself. Because if my son is so vulnerable and damaged because he is psychotic or schizophrenic, G-d forbid, how can I hold him responsible for anything?

And yet I must. Because nearly everybody is responsible to maintain boundaries and is responsible for the effects of what they do.

Last night I dreamt that he decided to enter a treatment program, which couldn't be further than the reality that we face. I woke up frightened. It's so hard to take in the reality of this. How belligerent and rejecting he is. The fact he looks like purely a homeless person. Dirty, bedraggled. . How completely without insight he is and how bad is his judgment. It's hard to feel hope in this place. However

Yet the hope is in me or I wouldn't have dreamt hope.

I am thinking of cutting off the phone I pay for. I don't know if it is symbolic or throwing in the towel, or a recognition of reality.

Thank you very much for writing and caring.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Hi. My heart breaks for you. I know my daughters conspiracy theories and how she thinks the feds are truly after her is psychotic but I don't know if it's pot, worse drugs or schizophrenia. I don't believe she can take care of herself but she is violent and won't get help. She refuses any treatment. She can't live with us because she will kill us, one way or another. She has no self control.

I can't help you. I wish I could. But I send my prayers and.love and true understanding. Take care.
 

Miracle

New Member
It is hard to know what is drugs and what is mental illness and hard to know what to do when so many opinions and so much judgment is thrown at you.

Whether the behavior is due to psychosis or drugs, you still hold the person accountable. Our son signed himself out of the first hospital. We told him he could not come home and made arrangements for private treatment. He chose to spend 2 nights outside in the cold. The 2nd night, we were called by police twice and one knocked on our door. We were firm - we cannot help. He needs hospitalization.

They took him to a different hospital where he signed himself out 3 days later and showed up at our front door by taxi out of the blue. He spent 2 nights at home. When I saw he did not intend to go to treatment, I told him you either leave now with your dad to go back to the hospital, or I’m calling the police. He went back to the hospital, and we dropped him off with a note explaining history. (I cried the rest of the day.)

When our son was discharged the 3rd time, we said you can go to a boarding house or to this nice dual treatment (mental health/drug addiction) facility. He chose the facility, and we flew him there the day he was released. He thankfully seems clear headed again.

So whether your son is psychotic or not, you still can’t control or cure him. He still gets to make his own choices, so you do what you need to do.

Re: hope, the Bible says in the end faith, hope, and love remain. In order to maintain my own sanity, I’ve had to feed my faith and hope.

Faith is seeing the unseen. Instead of looking in despair at the rebellious, drug abusing, psychotic 20 yo, I picture him made new - a husband, father, faithful provider. I can’t make it happen, but I know by faith, this is something God can do. Reading the New Testament, missionary biographies, inspirational stories, etc. helps so much with this.

I feed my hope by reading research that many have 1 episode of psychosis and go on to live normal lives without further incident, research that says 2/3 of those with psychosis/schizophrenia can recover long-term, etc. I read stories about people who recovered or were delivered from decades of mental illness, drug addiction, prison, etc. There are also a lot of stories of recovery from drug induced psychosis on Reddit that I found so helpful to read.

I have stopped sharing with family members who make me feel fearful or say drugs can’t do that your son has schizophrenia. I talk to friends who feed my faith and hope and tell me he’s going to have a wonderful testimony one day.

It is still all outside of my control and I have to distance myself from it to protect myself, but at least with faith and hope, I can keep getting out of bed in the morning.
 

MissLulu

Well-Known Member
Oh Copa, I feel your pain. I mean that literally - when I read your post, your despair leapt from the page into my chest and made it ache.

I can relate to everything you say. The beautiful child, the love and the sense of emptiness we are left with. Time and time again, I ask myself if I have failed at this, what was the point? Why am I even here?

But you and both know our contribution to the world has been bigger than that. For one thing, you (and other members here) saved me last year when I was so lost I could barely see the point of living. I know you are a good person who has done wonderful things in her life, including working with vulnerable prisoners, which not everyone could or would do.

We have both been parents of difficult children and we have loved those children to the best of our ability. Their failures are in spite of this, not because of it. We have done and are doing our best. We have done more than many would have done.

I know you feel broken right now, but things will settle. Please remember you are a person in your own right, not just a mother. You are important to
many, including me.
Your life has not been for nothing.
 
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