Distraught and need help

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SadToTheCore, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. SadToTheCore

    SadToTheCore New Member

    I have thought long and hard about posting, but I’ve become desperate for answers and advice. Mine is a long story, but I will try to make it concise.
    My son, J, was the absolute brightest, most talented, and kindest person you could ever meet. He excelled at everything he tried, was voted most likely to succeed in high school, was class president all his years in school and ran for president of his university. While at the university he joined a band made up of equally accomplished students who ended up writing for Disney and often performed on television. I was always so proud of him and couldn’t wait to see the things he would accomplish in the future. I tell you all this to give some background on him.
    After he graduated from college 14 years ago, when he was 22, things took a drastic change. He was living with us. He confided in us that he had been smoking marijuana since 11th grade, and he was relieved to have that “burden” lifted from his shoulders. He was always such a great kid that he felt guilty lying to us. We assured him it was no big deal and that he should just move on from it. He started to become very anxious and even very argumentative, which was a total change in his personality. His friends and two sisters also noticed a dramatic change. He has lost contact with most of them. We also discovered he was eating psychedelic seeds (Morning Glory), which he believes are good for him. He’s doing no other drugs. He has become delusional and has been involuntarily hospitalized twice for his bizarre behavior and thought processes. He was diagnosed as bipolar with psychosis at the latest hospital.
    To make a very long story short, he lived with us on and off for the past 14 years. At some points he lived on our dime in NYC, Nashville, Miami (for grad school which he didn’t finish), all the while accruing student financial debts and finally debts to friends for crashing on their couches. He would live with us in between his couch surfing until it became very difficult due to his verbal and emotional abuse. We would leave the house at noon and come back at 6 pm to avoid having confrontations. I walked on egg shells and believe the stress was literally killing me. We told him unless he would stop eating the seeds and get some therapy, he couldn’t live with us. He would promise to abide by those rules and then he wouldn’t follow through. Last year we told him he could no longer live with us. Since that time he has been homeless and is currently living in a tent in someone’s backyard (He won’t tell us where he is). He still loves his family so much and reaches out to his sisters and niece/nephew. He never forgets a birthday and loves the holidays like he did when he was a kid. It would be easier if he didn’t. We managed to get him to apply for Medicaid which has helped, but he will not go for any other assistance. He doesn’t believe he has a mental illness.
    The guilt I feel for “abandoning” him is so tremendous that I can hardly breathe. How can I abandon my mentally ill son? I cry everyday. He has stopped contacting me. My husband doesn’t want any interaction at this point and I can’t live with that. I just want to know he’s ok.
    There’s so much more to the story, but I just need advice from people who have been through something similar. I’ve read the article on detachment, but does it apply to the mentally ill? I’ve read all kinds of books and have been going to therapy for the past several years. I’ve also taken classes at NAMI. Nothing seems to help. I still love him so very much, and I want to help him but don’t know how.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Most of us do not have psychotic kids. Bipolar with psychosis can be schizoaffective disorder and requires medication and monitoring. Either way he won't get better without a psychiatrist. I have a mentally ill daughter, but she is not psychotic and is dangerous. Is your son dangerous? He sounds sweet but quite sick. Unfortunately often mental illness pops up just when kids are getting started in life. A cruel trick.

    Is your husband his father?

    None of us can help another person who is not willing to get help. Its Iegally their call.

    If my daughter were psychotic and not dangerous but would not get help I don't know what I would do. Its possible I would let her live with me on the very strict condition of no pot or seeds, starting to see a psychiatrist that she writes a letter to giving us permission to sit in on the appointments and get information, and we give her medication that she must take. If she wouldn't do it, I would have to assume she didn't want comfort or help as much as I wanted it for her.

    I have told Kay " the door is always open for us to have a relationship if you get help and a part time job and don't expect any more money."

    The door has not been opened by her yet

    I am sorry you are going through this. .i offer prayers and suggest you get into therapy to learn to cope in real time.

    God bless. Be well.
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  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Welcome. More will be along to offer support.

    Unfortunately we are powerless over the decisions of our adult children. All we can do is set boundaries and if necessary, love them from a distance.

    I also have a mentally ill son. He is currently living with us. We have a contract in place. So far it is going well. It hasn't been long - one week so far - but we are hopeful. However, I am also realistic in that this type of situation frequently becomes a revolving door until the adult child either learns to stand on their own, or we have to (sadly) put them out because enabling them is no longer working for us.

    Detachment does apply to the mentally ill in my opinion. You have no choice; you cannot control anyone else's behavior but your own.

    You have my best wishes and my understanding.
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  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I looked up Morning Glory and they compared misusing it to LSD.

    For sure this must be making him worse.
  5. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Distraught, I read your post and your pain is so real and so raw. I'm so, so sorry. We have 29YO adopted, biracial, mentally ill son living in Denver. He did not have the academic accomplishments your son had, but he was a really good soccer player and played through college and planned on becoming a soccer coach. At this point, I thought he would be busy with a career and other milestones.
    He has not been evaluated but is probably Bipolar. He is also using marijuana and who knows what else. He also does not think he is sick and has become so abusive to us we have had to put boundaries in place for the moment--namely, blocking his phone/texts. He will be homeless in a couple of weeks.
    So. I, and others on this forum, know how painful this is. I wish I had some counsel to give you, but I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you how very sorry I am for what you are going through. My God give you the peace and comfort you need right now.
  6. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Welcome to this forum. I have found much help here. I am so sorry you find yourself in such a difficult and heart breaking position. To have such high hopes for a son's future and then have him make such a turn is terribly tough.

    Yes, boundaries still apply to mentally ill persons and addiction is a mental illness. It sounds to me that his addiction to the seeds plays a large role. On the internet I found the following: It’s classed as a Schedule III substance by the DEA, with a “moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.” Other drugs in the same classification family are codeine and ketamine, although the Morning Glory flower is much easier and much less sketchy to obtain."

    The psychosis could be induced by the seeds, so who knows whether the diagnosis is correct. It would all depend whether your son disclosed his drug use. It is interesting that he denies having a mental illness as I think this is more the case with borderline personality disorder than bipolar . Could it be "just" drug addiction?

    All mental health issues including addiction are illnesses. And it does feel horrible and awful to let go of a loved one who is ill. Unfortunately, with mental health issues, we get into the situation of needing to protect ourselves first. So when your son is abusive in your home and you are tiptoeing around him, you are not able to live your life in peace and equanimity. Nobody deserves abuse. You could set a stipulation that when your son is ready to get off drugs and attends AA or NA that you will consider letting him come home. This is best presented when he feels low after coming off the drugs. He probably cut ties right now because you would not "help" anymore .He lived on your dime in some pretty expensive places so when you cut him off, he probably got very angry.

    How long has it been that he has not contacted you? Please also know that your husband can only make decisions for himself, not for you. If you wish to maintain contact , you can. Could you find out where your son is from a family member or friend and go see him? Start a friendly dialogue in a public place,so when he gets abusive , you can leave?
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  7. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    My heart goes out to you. I have two adult sons, 30 & 26 who are homeless. The younger graduated from the Marine Corp. but not long after was discharged for medical issues (which at the time was not due to his PTSD and anxiety). Older son, definitely has "issues" but has never even considered being diagnosed and would undoubtedly argue that he has anything wrong with him. He was a perfect kid up until 18 yrs. old. Never gave us one ounce of trouble.

    It is disheartening, when we put our heart and soul into raising our children trying to provide all the "normal" surroundings such as birthday parties, happy Christmas's, involvement in sports and other interests, religious upbringing and so on and then mental illness or drugs take over.

    Everything we had every hoped for and dreamed for our children seems gone. We mourn the loss for which we always dreamed we'd have. A very hard pill to swallow. As many others on this forum, (by the way...the most wonderful, inspiring, strongest women I have ever had the privilege to speak with!) I've tried and tried to "help" them by, putting them in hotels, paying security deposits and rent, food, utility, gas, buying cars. You name it. Most of us have done some or all of that.

    I'm sure you've heard the story of the little train that could. Well, I'm that little train who is just finally reaching the tippity top of the hill. I can see over the edge and know there is something better "down there" but this change also brings with it hurt (that I know will get better and better) but for now I have to keep "my train" moving in the right direction. I too had to put my sons "out" and stop enabling them financially and/or otherwise. They have been in this pattern of blame, laziness and anger for years and year. The disrespect, destruction to walls and doors, drugs in our home, issues with the law, court fees, loss of license etc. have finally allowed me to set boundaries in which I do not even allow them into my home. I am divorced almost 2 yrs. now and have a lot of "alone" time. How I wish I could have a healthy relationship with them and have them over for dinner and talk. But that cannot and will not happen until I see either of them make long-standing improvements in their lives. I'm not sure this will ever happen any time soon but I keep praying for them. I won't give up hope though some days are harder than others.

    I go to therapy, Al anon, read tons of books that are pertinent to this situation and then I pray, pray, pray and pray some more. What I have learned is that even thought there's PTSD, anxiety, drugs and some other issues, they still have been given more opportunities and chances to change their lives around and they have done nothing to make the changes necessary for a better life. All my enabling did nothing but likely stall any possibility for them to get better.

    They wallow in self-pity and blame me and their father for everything that has ever gone wrong and of course their inability to work, find a place to live etc.

    If you are spiritual, I would suggest prayer. Also, read good books on the subject. There's a fantastic book on "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud and it really speaks to setting boundaries in a very compassionate necessary way. It helped me realize that boundaries (though they sound ominous) are not only for my well-being but in the end are also for the best interest our adult children. I've heard boundaries described as "lines of peace" as well and that's been helpful. When you start to "get better" you will start to feel stronger and more able to handle the fear, obligation and guilty. I don't suppose it's never going to be great but I'm working towards manageable for now.

    Try not to isolate yourself with this problem. I found (even when I finally disclosed that I was married to an alcoholic) that it was extremely helpful talking about it (in Al anon, with my therapist and trusted family members). When we keep problems to ourselves or secrets we will not "heal".

    Keep posting. Wishing you peace and strength.
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  8. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Many addicts need more than just NA meetings to quit. If Kay actually dared to step into an NA meeting to try it out, an almost impossible vision in my mind, as soon as she said all her forceful words to others about planning to quit (she loves to impress others and is very eloquent) she would step out the door and probably smoke pot in her car before going home. She would not follow through although she would love the attention of the other people there.

    Kay and many other addicts do not have the self discipline to go to a meeting, process the good message, then act on that advice once they are no longer at the meeting, even if they go every day. Which few do.

    Kay would need a 24/7 rehab for months. And of course, while being monitored all the time, she would need to be totally on board with wanting to stop, something I cant imagine either.

    But pretend she did want to quit. Kay, and many kids here, are too impulsive and unable to sustain alone so that quitting would require more care. More help.

    I do not mean nobody quits by attending AA and NA and I love Al Anon. I think its great for everyone, even those in rehab. But I don't think that meetings are intensive enough for many.

    For me, to take Kay seriously, she would have to be in a rehab for duo diagnosis, addiction and mental healthcare. Anything less would not work. i know my girl. We all know our kids and how much help they would need to change their lives. One size by the way does not fit all.

    Prayers to all. We made it through another day! Hurray for us!
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  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Sad. There are several particulars that are the same for me and my son who is now almost 31. The major difference is my son's history. I adopted him at 22 months, and he was exposed before that to difficulties that only really manifested after he grew up.
    For my son, the issues started at about 19 and worsened at age 22. This is the time when several mental types of mental illness reveal themselves such as schizophrenia and bipolar and mood disorders.

    This happened to us, too:
    My son has been hospitalized several times, usually for suicidal ideation or threats. He has been diagnosed as bipolar, social phobia, agoraphobia, mood disorder, and worse things. He has also had a brain injury. He believes in and talks incessantly about conspiracy theories, chemtrails, and the like (including weirdnesses like reptilians and illuminati, and apocalyptic themes, which leads clinicians to believe he may be psychotic.)
    I told my son to leave at age 23 because he would not seek treatment. Or do anything. Like work or go to school. He was also hostile. Not violent but aggressive. Busting doors and walls. I go back and forth about whether this was wrong of me. To make him leave. (There is no RIGHT thing to do in our situation.)

    Just like your son he has couch surfed, been homeless, paying money to live in sheds or a garage, an abandoned car, sleeping in somebody's pickup truck, etc. In homeless shelters for short times. He has never established a permanent, independent domicile. Most of the time he's been in a major metro two hours from me.

    He has come back and forth to where we live, through these years, but it has never worked, even though most of those times he's lived in a property I own but not with me. He was unwilling to follow basic rules. Particularly about marijuana on the property. Nor did he want to reliably pay rent, preferring to use his SSI on marijuana and other personal items.

    I have consistently insisted this: He not have marijuana or use it on my property. He must pay rent reliably. He must seek and accept medical care, including mental health treatment. He must cooperate and treat us with respect. He must have a goal and do something productive.

    I have kicked him out, I think, for every single one of these things. Multiple times. He has been back again for 2 months. He is living with M, a man I lived with 10 years, who now lives apart.

    When I kick him out I am like you. Despondent. Except perhaps worse. I am unable to function. I worry about him, yes. But it's more than this. I need to be connected to him. I can't detach as many other mothers can.

    Many mothers here over the years have counseled me to change. To accept my son back without conditions. They have seen how I become when he is away. You see. My son is not like the other young adults that bring people here. He goes down the drain right away. He needs the support of somebody who loves and helps him. He needs a bottom line.

    And I have accepted that I can't and won't live without a bottom line. I can't let him live like a homeless person around me. I can't let him not do anything, ever. I can't let him not get medical care. I can't help him want nothing for himself and live that way all his life and watch it as long as I live. I just can't do it.

    So. We keep pushing. I keep repeating what he needs to do. He does a little of it. Less and less he's using the marijuana near us. This month he paid the whole rent. Today he said he would apply to go back to college (online) this quarter that starts in a couple of weeks. He said, there's nothing else that makes sense.

    It is a process. When I think I have to live the rest of my life like this, I despair. But then when he said that about college, my heart sang.

    I am studying my religion. One of the teachings is to accept reality as it is. That every moment has the potential for good and bad. And that we do ourselves no favors trying to distort things to avoid facing the bad. There is also the belief in the potential for transformation. That we are not stuck in the bad. As long as we face it.

    There is a very famous psychologist. Marsha Linehan. She was institutionalized as schizophrenic as a very young woman. She was the originator of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

    If we shelter our sons from life, we shelter them from their potential.

    I think I needed that my son leave and go out into the world. If he would not cooperate or do the right thing for himself or for his family. I don't think there is anywhere in the world that somebody can or should act badly without consequence. Whether they are mentally ill or not.

    I have gone on and on telling you about us, because it's hard for me to remember what I think without embedding it in our years and years of struggle. But I do believe what I write. If your son was verbally abusive, and if your son would not stop using a substance you believed harmed him and affected his behavior, and if your son did not seek and accept treatment, I think that there was no right answer for you. Just like for me. To keep sheltering him, given his disordered choices, was to give consent and to support those choices. How could you do that? How could I?

    My son more than any other time is trying. Some. He is cooperating. More than before. He feels bad and apologizes when he hurts me. Some.

    I am thinking here of those ropes kids play with and I think pirates or seamen do too. I forget the name. What is it called tug a war? I don't remember. I'm old. But each team holds an end of the rope. And they pull and pull. In different directions. Each team.

    I think of my life like that, sometimes, with my son. That my role is to hold the end of the rope, and not let go. And pull and pull. Sometimes I don't know why I am pulling. Other times, I remember.

    What would happen if I let go? I guess that's why I can't and won't detach completely. I believe there is a reason I hold on.

    Welcome to you. I am very glad you are here. You will find support here. And you will come to better know and to accept yourself. I think. Love.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  10. SadToTheCore

    SadToTheCore New Member

    I cannot express my deep appreciation for the responses here. I have felt so alone for so many years. I can relate to much of what you all say. Each situation is different, of course, and there is so much to tell with mine.
    J doesn’t believe in smoking marijuana anymore. He hasn’t smoked in 8 years. He does believe that eating the plant raw is healthy, however, and from what I’ve read it may be. He eats Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds. They can be purchased anywhere, like Home Depot and often even at the dollar store. Other than that there is no drug use.
    J is honest to a fault. There is only black and white. No grey. He tells it like it is whether or not you want to hear it. He has fully intended to abide by the house rules, but after a few weeks he comes to us and says he has changed his mind. This time he has begged, saying he will do anything we ask of him, but I remind him that he has said that for the past 14 years, and he hasn’t kept his promises.
    J is not violent. When he is eating these seeds, however, he becomes even more delusional and accuses us of heinous things. He is very verbally disrespectful, especially to me, as he knows his dad won’t put up with it.
    I have seen him several times, met him for coffee or whatever, in the past few months. I always bring a friend as a “buffer.” I miss him so.
    The worst news is that when we were out of town a few months ago he got hit by a car and shattered his leg. They performed surgery then and there, and because we couldn’t get back home in time, no one was there for him. I cry about that everyday. I’m sure he was frightened. He wouldn’t allow proper treatment, so the doctors there sent him to a psychiatric hospital for a few days. One of his friends took him in after that, and I went to visit. It was like I had my son back. He was on Abilifi and was calm and kind. He went off the medication almost immediately, and now he is back to being disrespectful and hurtful again.
    He does still make some money from his music, which is a blessing, but I don’t know how much longer that will last. Also, his credit is very bad, so he can’t get an apartment, and he wants us to co-sign. My husband refuses, as we have done this so many times before. He refuses to apply for SSI because he would have to admit to a mental disability, which he is not willing to do. He also doesn’t want to take money from the government. He is very proud. Too proud.
    I would love to go see my other kids and grandkids for the holidays, but I couldn’t bear to leave J alone, as he loves Christmas and being with family. It’s just very uncomfortable to be around him. My husband says this year he will not be around and if I want to include J in our holiday festivities, I surely can, but he will leave. Just one more thing to worry about.
    Knowing that J is living in the woods in a tent is killing me. I honestly don’t know how to disengage. I love him so.
    I pray everyday, all day, in hopes that God will hear me and help our family.
    Thank you so much again for hearing me out.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This breaks my heart.

    My son is the same. I believe I need to be flexible. But that's me. I have come to that place because I need my son. And he needs me. M was my partner. He now lives separately. But thankfully, he believes the same as do I. He is living with my J now. We both keep hoping that little by little my son will choose to change.
    This is the case with my son as well. I bear the brunt of his feelings.
    What are the behaviors that are odd and difficult, where he is not welcome to be with the family at Christmas? Is it the verbal abuse? Or something else?

    You like me, seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place. While I understand why your husband would come to the end of his rope, I feel for you if he does not meet you half way. At the same time, can those of us with mentally ill adult children, have the same kinds of expectations as we would of another adult? I recognize your husband may be defending himself against pain that he cannot bear. Does this mean you must bear everything alone?Have you considered asking your husband to go to counseling with you?

    At the other end, pressuring you, is your son. Oh. I know he does not intend to. But he is. He is a brilliant man who insists upon doing everything his way. Mentally ill or not he needs to understand, too, that you are caught in the same trap with him. And what impacts him, impacts you. And that you cannot stand it. You love him so. You have volunteered to enter the trap with him and stay there. Rather than leave him alone. He needs to recognize the cost to you. Not that you want to leave him. But that he needs to help you. By helping himself.

    I recognize he is mentally ill and that his judgement is impaired. I understand how it is to push this boulder up the hill, again and again. But the thing is, your son cannot be absolved from responsibility for his own life. You cannot carry it all. Nobody could.

    Not taking medication is a choice he needs to take responsibility for. If he chooses to not accept treatment, that would help him control his behavior, there are consequences to that. Mothers can't protect adult children from the consequences of their lives. I have come to believe it is wrong of me to do so. If your son decides to take a substance, that fuels his psychopathology and makes it so that others don't want to be around him, because he behaves badly, so be it. He has that choice. But how is it that you have to suffer the consequences with him? And bear them alone, at that.

    He is capable of making better choices. He needs to step up. Or you need to step back. You can't live with him in this purgatory...if he is choosing to make it worse.

    I recognize you feel unable to do this. I can't either. But your son needs to understand. This conversation needs to happen. Because it is true.

    There are things you NEED from him.

    Your son is making all kinds of choices, decisions. We need to recognize that part of our learning is to allow our sons dignity and respect as people. As men. They are not now, only our little boys. We need to be able to accept that these men are deciding things in their lives, that define their lives. And he is deciding in ways that are AGAINST your interests. For all of us there are consequences of our decisions. Mothers cannot be expected to bear the consequences of impossible choices.

    You cannot keep holding yourself hostage with him. This is unhealthy for you. It's like you are giving up part of your humanity, your human dignity in order to keep yourself in the trap which is his illness. When he is making CHOICES that hurt himself and you. I think there comes a time when we need to save ourselves. To believe we are worthy of being saved. By our own choices.

    Except I recognize how impossibly hard this is to do.

    If he is abusing you and others, and that is due to substances he used, or the lack of medication and treatment compliance, how is it that his fantasy of Christmas needs to be indulged, at the expense of others? He has periods of rationality. He is a loving man. A good and decent and honest man. This needs to be communicated to him. That people will not want to be with him at Christmas because of how he acts. No matter how painful this is, he needs to confront it. The truth is necessary in order to change. He (Not you) needs to be responsible for the consequences of his choices.

    I don't mean to come down hard on him. And certainly don't mean to come down hard on you. You are caught in a vice. Nobody can live like that. Nobody should. Little by little you will get yourself out.

    Are you sure that you and your son are getting the support you both need from the rest of the family? Why is it you are left alone with this? Aren't the rest of the family his family too? Am I speaking too directly here? I don't know how else to say it.

    I recognize that they are all of them fed up. Or find it too painful and difficult. But you are left alone...in this....

    Maybe I live in a fantasy but I feel that you need not, should not, be alone with this. Your son needs to help you. Your husband needs to help you. And the rest of the family too needs to help. Everybody needs to step up. You can't do this alone. Nobody could.

    All of this burden should not be on you only. Oh. I know there are others who will say, detach. But why? Shouldn't everybody be involved?

    In one of the Scandinavian countries, Finland I think. Schizophrenia was all but eradicated. How? When anybody comes to show any symptoms of psychosis, the whole community supports the family. Their philosophy is inclusion not exclusion. But if a family can't do it alone, how can a mother?

    PS Your son sounds like a wonderful person. A decent and good man. I have hope for him. There is hope for him. But he can't be coddled. He needs to step up. He can.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  12. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Copa, I am glad to hear your son is doing somewhat better and hope it continues. I've been praying a lot for him. It sounds like he's been getting some
  13. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Why does feel the need to eat the seeds? Does he like hallucinating to write music, or is he trying to block out unpleasant emotions, such as depression, anxiety, etc. Those seeds make most people sick. Is there a family history of mental illness? Sometimes it's impossible to convince some people they have a mental illness. You mentioned he is a musician. Many talented, creative, intelligent people have bipolar disorder. They often resist medication because they think it hurts their work by hindering creativity. To some degree, that is true. However, being unmedicated is causing so much dysfunction. I understand why he might feel like the seeds are helping his creativity, but they are also causing his dysfunctional behavior. He probably went off the Ability because it was balancing him out and he didn't like how that felt. I'm thinking he doesn't handle boredom very well. I really hope he gets intense counseling.
  14. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Copa, I made some mistakes typing. I didn't finish. When I read my post I laughed because it sounds like I meant the reason he's doing better is because he's getting some! What I meant to type was that it sounds like he's getting some type of mental health treatment or counseling lately, not getting some! The pot use has decreased a bit, which is a great start. I'm glad he's trying.
  15. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I’m glad too that there are some positive changes for you and your son.

    You are a remarkable mother. Your son is blessed to have you on his side.

    I continue to pray for all on this forum and their children and loved ones.
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  16. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I’m so sorry.
    Our adopted, now adult daughter, has the bipolar diagnosis.
    She is on disability.
    This allows for a roof over her head.
    She has a high IQ, but has not accomplished much at all academically.
    I think it's certainly Interesting how capable your son was prior to drugs.
    I’ve heard folks with this illness are more prone to drug abuse and that makes the situation significantly worse.
    If he could get clean, that would likely help a lot.
    How old is he now?
    You might want to establish minimum (s) in which you are willing to help him, drawing clear cut boundaries.
    Applying for disability might be a consideration to start.
    Being willing to pay for a therapist, psychiatrist etc are possibilities.
    Helping him apply for food stamps for example.
    Paying for a cell phone.
    Medication prescribed by his doctor.
    Uber fees to NA meetings.
    But...maybe he needs to meet you half way.
    He doesn’t seem to want to get clean. I don’t know.
    A consideration again, help a little with essentials or items that might help him get better if he wants that. But, have clear boundaries.
    Yes, you likely need to detach.
    I really “feel,” for you.
    Our daughter is now in her early thirties and although she has a roof over her head, doctors and food in her belly...we still get near daily bizarre phone calls.
    It’s better that she lives in another city.
    We have set boundaries in all areas and it’s been helpful.
    As someone with several autoimmune issues, yes...it can negatively influence your health.
    So be careful. Consider helping him perhaps on a limited basis as described...with boundaries , thought and care. Good luck. Stay strong. Seek counseling for yourself if needed as these are difficult struggles.
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    * In my former city was a successful physician with the bipolar diagnosis. No drug usage and fairly disciplined. So, I think disability is not ideal. But much better than being homeless. As a side note...she had been married many many times and had a huge staff turnover. So, she had many struggles. But was motivated. I know another woman who was on disability with this illness who found a PT job. You can work PT and still collect disability. She managed a home. Was “gifted” extras on her birthday and holidays by family members.

    So, it depends very much on each individual.

    And drug abuse, of course, greatly hampers the situation.

  18. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Welcome. After reading the comments thus far, there isn't much I can add. My daughter is 40, an alcoholic that lives in another state. She is on Medicaid because she hasn't worked in years (rich men have taken care of her). She is horribly abusive, mostly when she is drunk. She has a kind core, but I fear she will die from her liver failure before she can get back there. I grieve everyday, but someone on this forum said something to me that has been very helpful. When I start to go down that road I say "Sending "---" my love, so let go and let God. Then I let it go for the rest of the day on most days, not all, but that is a huge improvement.

    It's difficult when we think we are setting a good example so they can achieve, but the fact is, they have to set their own good examples. Like all human beings, we could make better choices at times, too, especially when they are emotionally driven. Either way, it is their choice, not ours. Our choice would be a lot different, but it's not ours to make. The article on detachment here on the forum is helping me a lot. I have shared it with my other children, because we all have a problem knowing enabling vs helping. I have also read some great books that are listed in my signature line.

    Again, welcome. My heart is with you.

    In healing for all of us.
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  19. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    "I have also read some great books that are listed in my signature line."

    Blindsided. That's helpful of you to post books you've read. I've read some of the one's you listed but also would like to add a really terrific one that might help others here. It's a small book (139 pages) called "the approval fix" by Joyce Meyer. It's on how to break free from people pleasing" which is sometimes how we begin our enabling thinking we are "helping to please others" and then it becomes an unhealthy, obssessive behavior. I'm reading it for the 2nd time. It's fantastic!

    She describes my issues on enabling to the "t". For me it's really been on wanting the approval of my sons so badly that I heeded their every request/demand of me until I realize I'd turned into a crazy person. It made me realize if that's the way I have to get them to approve of me and think I'm a good mother, than it's not worth it.

    Also...love this "Sending "---" my love, so let go and let God. Why not send out our "love" the multitude of times we think of them throughout the day rather than "worry" into our hearts and into the world? So good.
  20. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    Your name says it all.
    I'm sorry that circumstances have brought you here, but this is a good place to be. There's a lot of hope here!
    As for me, my son has a muscle disease, and has lived independently off and on since he was 20. He has college degrees and had a small business that he ran.
    It all sounded good on paper, he has never really been able to be independent... from me. He's 40 now, and moved back in with me last summer due to a breakup w his live-in girlfriend. He lost/she kept everything he owned, including his framed diplomas, because he never went back to get any of it even though she said he could have his stuff. I didn't know her well, but if my son had a shred of sanity or a shred of light left inside of himself, it was gone after that relationship.
    He wouldn't talk to me about it and the mention of her name was enough to start a fight with me, so I just dropped it. I may never know what happened.
    I tried (this time) for a year to get him to get some help... for anger, for depression. But No. He said repeatedly that there was "nothing wrong" with him.
    To make a short story longer, the backlash of "nothing wrong" landed on my lap over and over again. It got really, realllly bad to the point where I had to ask him to leave. He screamed that he had no where to go, but by that time he could not stay with me one day longer.
    So he left, and that was 4 months ago. He uses leg braces to walk, he has no friends left, his business is defunct and I am left with the knowledge that I put my own son on the streets.
    Trust me. That's not a good feeling.
    If you ask me... yes, my son has some emotional problems... but I am not a psychiatrist and he has never gone to one.
    I think that a person who has a physical disability, and most probably, some psychiatric issues should not be left to fend for themselves on the streets. I have no idea where he is, how he is or what his plan is.
    I do know, that off and on for the last 10 years, our relationship got worse and worse and I can not tell you why because I truly don't know. I think he drank, I know he used pot, and there were other things... things he used to say I'd never ever know about. That he would "take to his grave".
    Maybe that's true.
    Like everything in life, things can become complicated. Beyond control.
    I got to the point where I was afraid to say ANYTHING in my own house, just to keep the peace.
    Who lives like that? Who can?
    We all have to find our own way, our own solutions to our own problems. But, in the end I found that letting go was the best thing to. The hardest, but still, the best.
    I hope that you make the wisest and kindest decisions that you can live with. It's not always easy.
    Take care and keep in touch.