DS at my sister's house-

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    As you know, our son, Josh, has been staying at my sister and brother-in-law's house this last month. Their only stipulation was that he be doing whatever necessary to move forward, which is reasonable. Things have been going okay, and it has been helpful to me to know where he is, that he's eating, etc. They have been helping him with various things. One of those things is the issue of getting a drivers license, which for some reason, he seems reluctant to do. They have sensed some resistance from him on that issue.

    Anyway, I just got a message from my sister, asking me to call tonight, saying that "unfortunately we are running into some issues." I can't say I was surprised; in fact, I've been dreading and expecting something like this. I don't know exactly what the issues are yet or whether they are kicking him out, but I am so disappointed right now. To go back to wondering where he is, whether he's safe, whether he's eating, etc. is so devastating. I'm at work right now,and my concentration is shot. I am dreading making that phone call and hearing what I think she is going to say.
    I've been hoping that having some "normalcy" in his life might make a difference in his behavior/thinking, but I don't think it has. I'm so, so tired of this, living with this.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Not to sound like a pessimist, but when I read about this plan I just naturally figured there would be a honeymoon period then it would fall apart. My reason was what I see and read here and with Kay. No matter what we did or whether or not Kay's environment changed, she still got herself into similar trouble as before. She is on the brink of getting evicted again. Not her first time or Lee's first time. They don't follow rules...ever...including what they need to pay and when.

    This is not your fault or your sister's fault nor is it about a stable environment. These are all grown men and women and they should be able to create their own stability.

    To me it seems like the chaos and instability inside of these kids creates discomfort when there is calm and order. Until/unless they are ready, they seem to crave chaos, even if they say they don't. So they start it, if things are too calm. From reading here it seems most can only maintain balance for a short while or if to get something they want. Until they get it, then it's off to the races again. Eventually they leave, implode, even go to jail. The streets scare us, not them.

    Josh will eat even if he lives on the streets. He knows these survival skills. He knows where to go to meet his normal needs without putting in much work.

    This doesn't mean that he will end up on the streets now. But these kids do seem to sabotage any kind of help they receive. It doesnt seem important to them to live like most people do. It is very puzzling, but it is certainly common on this forum at least.

    Make your life about you if you can. It does not help Josh if you worry, and it can make you sick. Don't let that happen. Give it to God.
  3. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Thank you BusynMember. My husband and I were afraid there might be a honeymoon period too. I just kept hoping and praying that the calm, caring environment would have a stabilizing effect, especially since he didn't have any anger or hostility toward them like he does with us. In front of them, he has appeared one way (i.e. "a good kid, but just has some issues"), while at the same time, he has continued to text very vicious, profane, evil stuff to my husband, so we knew that internally he is not "calmed down." Maybe your right; maybe these kids really do crave chaos and drama. They certainly are self-sabotaging; that's for certain.
    Right now, I'm just on pins and needles, wondering what my sister is going to say.
  4. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    It's hard right now, too, not knowing what your sister wants to discuss with you. Try to not worry until you need to (this is my own advice that rarely works, haha).

    We were in a rock and a hard place with our daughter a few weeks back as she was being faced with eviction and had nowhere to stay. I was playing all sorts of scenarios in my mind about what stupidity she would get into. But none of us budged (family), and thankfully none of my friends let her stay there. She found a place with a man her grandfather's age and has been sleeping on his couch, using his vehicle, etc. I'm guessing that honeymoon will be over soon. It IS nice to know where your kiddo is. I totally understand that. I fear that she will lose her living situation there, though. Then what?

    My daughter craves drama and is self-sabotaging absolutely. 100%.
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  5. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I'm afraid we are rapidly approaching the moment when we disengage totally. He is so hostile and illogical, it's not even possible to have a conversation or to do any problem-solving with him. When you ask a question, you don't get a response; you get a rant about whatever wrongs he perceives we or others have done to him. And, as I've said, he refuses to even consider coming here. And yes, I know that would probably be a disaster if he did. If he can't hold it together with people he barely knows and has no anger toward, I can only imagine what it would be like with us. I just have been putting off the inevitable because it's just so painful. Which is worse--living with the pain of the constant worry, fear, hurt or the pain of losing someone you love?
  6. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    Hi Beta
    This describes my relationship with my son to a T.

    I think I remember your sister is a therapist, right? Maybe now that they are seeing issues they may have come to the conclusion he needs more than support and a stable environment. Maybe they still have enough influence to get him to see a psychiatrist. I'm hoping so, from what you have posted it seems your sister is not one to throw in the towel easily.

    From a therapists point of view a hypo-manic bipolar person could display as someone with Narcissism or Borderline Personality Disorder. Especially a Bipolar person who doesn't seem to have the relatively quick ups and downs the text books describe. So if she has concerns along these lines maybe they can get him to go for an evaluation?

    Praying this all turns into a good thing. Hang in there.
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  7. RN0441

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

    Sorry to hear this but I am sure it was always in the back of your mind.

    Prayers that this will just be another step on his journey. I honestly would not put up with his abuse. I could not let my son abuse me that way no matter how much I love him and I love him dearly. It would make me too angry and I would (and have) blow/n up.

    Put yourself first for a change. You really deserve that.

    Please keep us posted.
  8. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    What do you think is the reason for not getting a license?
  9. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Crayola, I'm not sure of his reason. My husband speculates that he doesn't want anyone to know where he is because he has defaulted on student loans and used to get letters from a collection agency fairly regularly when he lived with us. We also have received bills for toll road fines at our house in the past. So it's possible he is afraid that if he is "in the system" with a drivers license he will be sought after for payment. Like I said, it's hard to get him pinned down on the "why" of something. He won't give you a straightforward, simple answer; he will just rant and complain.
  10. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Deni D, my sister has a degree in psychology but has not worked as a therapist. No, he absolutely will not see anyone for evaluation. In his mind, there is nothing wrong with him. It's the fault of everyone else, mostly us, and the circumstances. He doesn't see the connection between his choices and his life circumstances. Thank you for your prayers.

    RN0441, yes, I was afraid something would happen and it wouldn't work. I've just hoped that while staying at their house he would see what life can be like when it is calm and normal, and he might have a change of mind/heart and be willing to do what he needs to move forward in life. But, maybe not.

    I will post again this evening or (if I'm too upset to write) tomorrow morning, once I've spoken to my sister and know for sure what's going to happen.

    I wish I could sit down on a regular basis and talk with a professional who is knowledgeable about mental illness and how to detach, but I just can't afford it. I went to one session with someone on Josh's birthday in January, but just can't swing the fee, even at a reduced rate, on a regular basis. My husband and I are trying to get ready for his retirement, which will happen in about a year and a half, and we have spent so much money on Josh that we wish we had right now and are "behind the eight ball" so to speak on being financially ready for the decrease in his income.
  11. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    He may not be able to get a license because he's been caught driving without one and has huge fines associated with that. Or if he's had one in the past it may be similar issues.
  12. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I hadn't thought of that, but that is a possibility.
  13. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Sharing there in case it makes you feel better, as in - oh, wow; it wasn't THAT bad, haha.

    About eight years ago, my son was released from jail in another state with no place to go. He called me. This was before I found CD and was still trying to "fix" things for Difficult Child so he could "have a chance". :oops: Called my best friend. She drove an hour to find him and take him to her house. Her husband gave him clothes; they were willing to give him space to re-orient and re-start. Within a few days, Difficult Child had used her computer to view porn and her phone to repeatedly call the woman who had a restraining order on him. (reason he was in jail)

    My best friend passed away a few years ago. This memory often re-surfaces: my friend was so awesomely kind and my eldest son threw the chance away.

    He has thrown away more opportunities since then - still is/does.
  14. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Okay,whew...where to begin....
    To begin with, my sister did not put Josh out, as I expected she would. Here's what had transpired over several days: First, Josh lost the job he had been given, that my sister's son-in-law had stuck his neck out for to help him get, because he got upset when a piece of equipment wouldn't work right and he did not complete a task he was supposed to do...on two occasions last week. He also acted unprofessionally, in front of the company owner, no less. Second, my brother-in-law, who has been taking him around, trying to help him with things he needs to get done, witnessed him getting really upset and making a scene at the bank when the bank wanted to charge him a fee for cashing his paycheck. Brother-in-law suggested that the way to avoid the fee was to simply open a checking account, which Josh refused to do but would not say why at the time.

    My sister and brother-in-law are going out of town this weekend and had initially told Josh he was welcome to stay in the house during their absence. Well, after his behavior on the job and the instances where he became agitated and angry, and the fact that they have noticed that he had been avoiding them and isolating himself in his room for hours at a time, they no longer felt comfortable leaving him alone in their home over the weekend. They also had found out (from him) that he smokes marijuana to "calm himself down" and they were worried about that. My sister said he has a great deal of anxiety, so much so that he will often tremble when he has to look someone in the eye. So he had nowhere to go over this coming weekend. Long story short--my husband and I agreed that we will put him up in a local motel for the weekend---to the tune of almost $400.

    My sister and her husband had to sit him down Tuesday night and tell him that he couldn't stay there this weekend, and they (and we) were very stressed out and worried about how he would react. Would he freak out and become angry and violent? We had no idea. My sister commented that it seemed like during the first weeks he was there, he was able to "hold it together" enough to present himself to them in the way he thought they needed him to be, but the effort of doing so was just too much to continue, and he has deteriorated into what he really is. So on Tuesday night, my husband and I had to sit and wait and pray during their "talk" with him, to see if everything would be okay. As it turned out, he stayed calm and they had a conversation with him about what his next plan would be as far as work, about their desire to have him feel comfortable in spending time with them rather than in his room, and that they were "pulling" for him and wanting to help him. Josh revealed that the reason he doesn't want to get a drivers license or open a checking account is that he owes money to the state for the fee for his ankle monitor he wore during his house arrest last year. He is afraid that if it is known where he is, his wages would be garnished. They told him that he needs to be honest with them about things so they are not prodding him to do things that he doesn't want to do because they don't know his reasons.
    After the conversation, they felt it had gone well and we were all very relieved.

    Yesterday, I took a day off from work to try to recuperate from the stress and lack of sleeping from it, and I spent several hours trying to line up lodging for him for the weekend, as well as trying to find a new cellphone for him after his broke last week. I won't go into all the details but it was a very stressful and frustrating day. Anytime you have to deal with cellphone companies, it's going to be a frustrating (and expensive) day.

    Last night, I got a few text messages from Josh, and it was interesting, as well as disheartening, to hear his perspective on all that had taken place, as well as his criticisms of my sister and brother-in-law, who have done nothing but be kind and helpful to him. His mind is so screwed up. It's scary. I told him that we and they are just trying to help him and he should show some appreciation instead of complaining.

    My husband is angry about having to spend $400 of our hard earned money to put him into a motel, all because he can't be trusted in someone's house, and he's angry that I went ahead and put a new cellphone on our phone plan. I too am angry about all of that, but like I said to him, "What would you have me do? Let him wander the streets for three days and nights?" I just couldn't do it. I told him that I feel obligated to at least do something to help Josh because my sister and brother-in-law are bending over backwards to help him, and how can we do less? As long as they are willing to help him, I feel like I have to "do my part" so to speak.

    I'm 99.9% certain that they will return on Monday, and he will return on Monday, and within a few days, they will finally have had enough and will ask him to leave. I know this is not going to work out. I know now that providing a calm, supportive environment is not going to make a difference because he is too messed up to function and to do even the simplest things. Once they have had enough and he leaves their home, that will be that. It's like his life is just spiraling downward and taking all of us with it, and I know that I can't continue to allow that. On Tuesday night, as I was waiting to hear back from my sister, I felt so terrible for having put them in such a stressful situation of being afraid for their safety during that conversation.

    The drama and negativity of his life is creating a "ripple" effect, not just on us, but now on other people, and I know that it has to stop. I told my husband last night that buying him a cellphone is basically a last-act as his mother that I can do for him, before he disappears into whatever will happen to him, and it's not going to be good. I love my son, but I despise him as a person, and I really don't want to be around him. He is a very toxic person, and I know I have to let go. I need to toughen up and stop being so sentimental and soft-hearted toward a person who is destroying our lives. I will just end this (very long) post by saying that I feel like I am in a living hell right now.
  15. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Been there. Won't do it anymore. Don't think anyone or anything will change Kay except Kay. I finally think that caretaking a child has a finate timeline.

    Kay has to do the work on her own and of her own desire in order to get better mentally and to grow up. If others try to help her, and many did, that is their decision. Has nothing to do with us. But she has burned all her bridges. She doesn't appreciate what is done for her and it is normal for people to want at the very least respect and appreciation. It is not about us. It is about our kids who treat people terribly and won't get help to change.

    My husband and I are considering downscaling for retirement to a calm little town about an hour away. This is not so far that we can't see our two loving children, but Kay already lives hours away and this is one more. My other kids don't want us to give her that address, so we will see if we can go that far.

    I am sorry that you have to take our walk with a child and in the end decide what to do. It took most of our retirement money, much abuse from Kay, Kay cutting us off for stopping the money, leaning on church and loved ones and Kay's absolute refusal to get constructive help for us to finally say '"She is yours" to God. And our life is finally much better.

    We have no intention of even buying her even a cell phone. She can use the ones the govenment gives out. It is hard for us because we always gave Kay the best things, but she became spoiled and entitled and finally plain horrid. We are truly done. We love her too much to keep this up. And we care about ourselves now too. Acceptance.
  16. Deni D

    Deni D Active Member

    So sorry you are in this place right now Beta.

    It's sad but true. The calm supporting environment would be very helpful for him if he were to go to a psychiatrist and get on the proper medication, but he won't, and you can't make him.

    My son also says pot "calms him down". I believe it does in the moment but it does nothing (possibly even makes worse) to help the total lack of insight to how his behavior causes most of his conflicts and issues. In my son's case he doesn't even seem to remember what he does to cause his problems anymore.
  17. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    What's this with pot is the golden cure for everything?? If it were, our kids would be thriving. I have one who thinks pot is magic too.

    If her behavior is any measurement of pot's healing abilities, it isn't doing her any good at all.
  18. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I was reading this morning that pot helps slow the brain down, etc. but that in the long-term it can make the depressive cycles more intense and more frequent. So it sounds like it worsens it over time.
  19. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    It can cause memory loss, lack of motivation, slow reflexes for driving and loss of brain cells. I read this too. Yet my daughter truly believes it cures cancer. Go figure.
  20. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    This was heart-wrenching to read, but also very helpful. You have been through so much, and have finally arrived where you keep the focus on you and have truly let go .