Feeling Sad---Son is Homeless


Well-Known Member
There is never going to be a time that I will be able to decide to help him. It is not in my hands. I cannot decide.
I have no options here.
Even if someone found him...then what? He would still not agree to seek treatment and it would only serve to make him hide further
my youngest son safe...from danger and worrying about my safety everyday. He needs to have a normal life.
All of these things point to what Childofmine posted. Powerlessness. Acceptance. We have nothing except this moment. In ourselves. Possibility. There is no guarantee of anything else.

How much time do we have to fritter and waste in ways that will help nobody at all? There can be the decision not to scapegoat ourselves. For that which we are not responsible. And then, there is the possibility of joy. I know in your situation right now, that sounds crazy.

But does not all of the agony of these past years, mean something? Cannot it not be turned around, into something meaningful?
This is why I feel so very guilty. I feel like I failed him. I tried my best...but I failed him.
Maybe on some level because your son may have had the genetic predisposition, you feel responsible.

You gave life to 3 sons. You wanted them. You love them. Was it wrong to give birth? To give life? You did not cause the illness.

How on earth did you fail him? Tell me, please. You are not G-d. Even G-d does not cause suffering, in my view. Forgive me if you believe differently but I believe HE relieves suffering, and does not cause it. Nor does HE want it. (I am going to be kicked off for talking about the Divine. I am not religious. But you come to it...from all of this suffering.)
As long as he keeps taking money out...I know that he is alive.
I forgot about the money. That is huge. Does the record of withdrawals show where he is?

We care for you Feeling.

I for one am imagining your son on a huge adventure. Imagine how bored he got all of those years. As smart as he is. The thing is YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW HE IS FEELING. You are projecting from your own fears.
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Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
I am so sorry Copa that you found out that you are ill. You always think of others on this site. You go from thread to thread trying to help others. You always find something upbeat and positive to say. Is that why you saw a pulmonologist? My positive thoughts and prayers are with you.

You are right. I at least know with the withdrawals that he is alright. We all have to not grieve to the point of hurting our health. I missed my M.R.I. to check to see if my brain tumor is still gone. My pre diabetes is much worse and I have been losing weight quickly.

Our sons, in their right frame of mind, would not want us to neglect ourselves. We are their mothers. We are GOOD mothers...

Are you going for more tests? Taking a fun trip? I feel so selfish...we are all going through difficult issues.

I am going to work on not blaming myself as much. You are right. We should not fritter away time blaming ourselves for things that were not our fault and worrying about the unknown.

My brain tumor has not returned and I should treat my life as the truly precious thing that it is.

You are right. He might be fine and enjoying being out of his room...while I have turned myself into a basket case.

We all have to appreciate our lives daily and not be constantly shadowed by fear of our difficult childrens' lives.


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Are you going for more tests? Taking a fun trip? I feel so selfish...we are all going through difficult issues.
Would you stop feeling guilty about EVERYTHING please? I did not tell you so that you could hit yourself in the head.

No, I do not need more tests. Just monitoring. My Mom had this, too. We may just have weak lungs.

Yes we all are going through hard things. But yours is hard in a harder way. But you are doing it.

Yes, we have been planning to go cross country to see how we like it. Maybe to live there, if we can get through a winter. More and more I am thinking we should go, although I really should get back to work. The trip would be to really try another way of life. Both of us are very urban and we live in a very provincial small city with nothing nearby that attracts us. We would go to an extremely urban large metropolis.
My brain tumor has not returned and I should treat my life as the truly precious thing that it is.
Yes. We are not promised second chances with our health. These two years that I have spent grieving I could have become fit and helped slow the progression of the disease.

I am feeling much, much better. More energetic. More hopeful. More upbeat.

I want you to take care of yourself. I do not want to have to worry. I am going to stop posting as much. To get things done so that I can get on with me life. Keep starting new threads. The more you do, the more people will get to know you. I feel so cared about here on this board. I want you to feel the same care.

Do you knit or crochet?
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Active Member
Good morning everyone!

I don't know what to suggest as far as dealing with the times the thoughts start looping. When I get that, it feels like it's coming from outside, not inside - like being on a carousel I can't get off. I used to "manage" that with vodka, and sometimes it took a lot to break the thought cycle. Not a healthy management technique; when I was seriously drinking my attitude was "anti-depressants are a recent invention, we still don't know the long term effects, but we humans have been drinking alcohol for millennia, we should know by now how that works." :)

I don't know that I stopped the patterns on my own; but with observation I learned the environmental triggers. For me it's sleep deprivation plus stress.

It may take willful distraction for you to disengage the thought-loops. Have whatever tools you need always on hand, reassociate the triggers with useful actions (something you can do day or night, because those 3am jolts can't always be managed by going outside and digging up a garden patch in January.)


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I protected my ill son from his possible violent acts, possible prison, and the possibility of having to live with knowing that he hurt or killed his brother or myself. But, he probably, in his current mental state, doesn't know that this is why I got a restraining order.
Hon, he is very sick and you didn't fail him. The fact that there is no place for him to be safe is the problem and you didn't cause it. If he ends up in jail, that could be a good thing...maybe he will. I hate to wish that on him, but he would get help there and that may be the only place where he gets help and is sort of being watched.

You did everything you could legally do. We have laws that give the psychotic rights. It is an insane as the illness itself, because they don't even know they need help. I wish I knew of a place that housed and watched schizophrenics who were actively psychotic. There should be a place. And there isn't. And this is not your fault. This is also not his fault or a lifestyle choice, such as using drugs or being sane and mentally ill (depression/bipolar) and refusing help. He really doesn't know he is sick, and I understand and validate that you have done all you can.

I wish I could tell you not to worry, but all I can do is offer empathy. I hope you are in counseling to help you.

If it makes you feel better, if your son even understands the restraining order or is capable of following it, and he may not be, even if he breaks it, if you don't report that he did, he will not be arrested. This is just how I think I would handle it, and I don't know for sure because I have never been in your situation. Certainly, he is a danger to you a nd your other son, since he is paranoid and refusing medication. So he'd have to leave, painful for me as that would be. But I think I'd let him talk to me on the phone, if only for my own sake. Whether your son is capable of keeping up on cell phone...I don't know how psychotic he is. But I'd keep that option open. And I'd try hard to get on with life, as hard as that can be when we know we are helpless and that he is too. But you can't put yourself and your other child in danger. You know that. We all know that. And we are all holding your hand.

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
A thought loop is a great way to define it! I have always analyzed things to death. I evaluate every angle and perseverate. My best friend knows that if I lose an antique armoire at auction, she is going to hear about what I should have done for awhile...

Yes, I feel guilty because of my DNA. I have 2 sisters with schizophrenia.

But, if also feel guilty because I was not able to get him into treatment. I am a special education teacher. My forte is helping special needs students. I am always very, very successful in increasing their self-concept, work performance, social skills, etc. I never give up on any student. I receive the most challenging students.

Yes, I know that the dynamics are different. He is my son, tall, and an adult. But, I have worked with every type of cognitive and/or mental health disability. I feel very badly because the one time I fail...it is with my son. I tried a lot of behavior modification techniques. I think that being single, having had threats to my life from childhood, and just plain being scared and totally burned out made it difficult the last few years I worked Special Education. and came home for more.

My son would want to go out late at night because he was afraid of people. I was tired from work. He would cook dinner at 10 or 11. I became more afraid of bringing up talking to a doctor because it was always soon followed by violence. I was structured, but when I would withhold a new computer for him after he had destroyed 3..he would become ultimately violent. I have worked with emotionally disturbed, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), bipolar, Autistic, cognitive deficits, brain trauma, and even 1 student with schizophrenia, among other disabilities. I have had computers and desks hurled towards me. Even after having a titanium plate put in my skull from my craniotomy, I faced violence at school and home. But, this was my son, who I came home to, who was an adult, larger, and there were knives in the house. He liked to cook...so lots of knives. The police that day found a large Butcher knife, box cutters, and a hammer in his room. They could be there for his own safety from perceived threats or to be used properly...or for me. I do not know. I never went into his room.

As a teacher, I am trained to assess my performance and techniques to modify strategies accordingly to affect a positive change in behavior or learning in a student.

With my son...I cant anymore. That is very, very difficult to accept. I feel that he is now in danger out there from others and himself. Remember, my schizophrenic sister, within 2 months of living on her own, was kidnapped by a pimp and forced to turn tricks. She was also very intelligent before the disease took over. In some ways, and without proper medication and therapy, they can be gullible and naive.

It is hard for me to detach. Nerfherder, I love your suggestion! I am an occasional drinker, but in this situation, after a glass or two of wine, I get teary eyed. I walk by his room and cry. I think about what I wish I could have said and cry.

My youngest son is gone more because he knows that I am safer now and that is how it should be. But, now I am totally alone in my house. It is eerily quiet...almost too quiet. I am still trying to get used to it. I can finally bring out special heirlooms and antiques for the first time in 9 years...but I do not care anymore.

I can't take antidepressants because I had a benign brain tumor removed and it brought on simple partial seizures. I stay awake, but lose feeling on my right side for about 10 minutes. I am better now, but antidepressants can lower your threshold to seizures. Stress or fear can bring them on.

No, I do not miss the extreme fear or the risk of violence daily, but there were times that were pretty good. I was always afraid. We could be out for the day and he would spit in my face without warning and jump out of the car. But, overall, there were still times that I truly enjoyed my son. Yes, he seemed very different and I had to communicate and respond differently. He needed solitude and physical space. My he is my son.

Now, I am alone with major regrets how I might have handled things better. I tried everything, but I never, ever give up! Now, I am forced to let go. No more anything. I do not know if I will ever see him or hear his voice again. I can't keep him safe from his delusions or voices or strangers anymore...


Well-Known Member
Feeling, you are grieving. What you describe is very like what I experienced after the death of my Mother.

While I cared for her as she died, I did not do perfectly. And our relationship when I became an adult was for a long time estranged.

As I grieved her I grieved my whole life. I regretted every moment I spent apart from her. My whole life to me had been been lived badly. I felt I had nothing left.

Now that I am mostly through it, I see how my thinking was distorted. I did the best I could all my life. When I could do better. I did.

We do not have control over every little thing. We do the best we can.

You were traumatized. You are grieving. Me too. I am getting better. It is a process.

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
It is a process...I swing back and forth. Yes, I needed to keep my youngest son safe and protect my ill son from his possible violents actions. I did what I had to do. Safety has to come first. Yes, he now has a chance to perhaps get better ...or worse. I will probably not know until he is brought in or arrested.

People need to know that unmedicated, delusional, paranoid schizophrenics with command hallucinations can get violent. Safety needs to be strongly observed. The reason that I finalized the restraining order was because I could then get him arrested if he comes back. That, sadly, would be the only way that I could get him possible help. SWOT, you mentioned this.

I talked to someone with customer service with the bank and he is STILL in the general area. I can't call all the time, but now I feel better. I still do not know where he is, but he is somewhere pretty close. Hopefully, he is having an adventure, as Copa said, and he is possibly more focused because he has been thrown into real life. He is so afraid of people. I hope that he has found some times and places to be alone and that people are kind to him.

Thank you, my dear friends. You continue to give me strength!


Well-Known Member
I am a special education teacher.
That makes it harder, not easier. He is your son, not your student.
He is so afraid of people.
His psychosis dominated his psyche because he was able to hide out.

When psychotic people face objective crises, they tend to stabilize somewhat in order to deal with them.
I can't keep him safe from his delusions or voices or strangers anymore..
You never could.

You are his mother. You love him.

Love cannot keep our children safe. Even the greatest love in the world cannot do that. I wish it could.

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
I have a question. His car insurance is becoming due. It is in his name at this address. I just received the bill.

Do I pay it for him like I always do or do I let it lapse? It could cause him to owe a lot of money if he is in an accident or gets a ticket. He has never had an accident and only 1 ticket. Would his car be impounded? He would not be able to leave town easily...but he would have nowhere to sleep. I would not want that.

I do not know if he would ever even know that it was renewed. But, it would show if he got pulled over or got new tags. It would be good if he was covered. But, I would not want him to buy his own and have double. I do not know when his registration expires. His car is in very bad shape and it would not pass a smog test.

I remember at NAMI, they told me not to be connected by insurance for legal reasons. Also, NAMI believes in not helping at all with schizophrenics so that they present worse in public quicker and people would call the police or they would be arrested trying to get food, etc.

Do I want him to get in trouble? If they saw his tags were expired, and if he had no insurance, would he be arrested or is the car is just impounded?

People do not always get help if they are arrested. Even when parents request mental health court.

Even though the insurance is in his name, I own the house on the form. Could they come after me for a settlement in a possible accident?

I want to keep him safe legally, but I want him arrested because he might then get help... This is horrible.

Please advise...


Well-Known Member
It is horrible. There is nothing that can take away the horribleness of his illness. We can't love them into being normal. We can't worry them into treatment. If the insurance is in his name, they will not go after you. He is over 18 and legally liable for his bills.

Is your younger son in need of counseling to help him cope with the impact that this is having on his life? Are you able to spend time with him and the conversation not include the issues with the older son? I did not realize that I had been pushing my other kids out of my life due to my obsession with my son's issues being the brunt of my conversations. My grandson pointed it out to me and it was heartbreaking. He told me that he loved me, but he was sad that I could not enjoy spending time with them because I was always talking about my son's problems. That was a reality slap in the face.

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
Yes, I make sure that I do not mention him to my younger son. At first I did...a lot. My friend is a child psychologist and she mentioned how the special needs child gets all of the attention...like a squeaky wheel.
He said, "Boy...you aren't kidding!". He has used my own term against me..."Mom, you are perseverating again."

He just wants to get over it and does not want counseling. He doesn't want to baby him and feels bad because he is the one who let the police in.

You are right. I am careful each day to, at least, appear more upbeat and somewhat positive. This site allows me to vent safely. I force myself to be very positive with him. I feel as though I am acting, though...for now.

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
The main thing that I have to always keep in mind for my youngest is that he needs to feel that the restraining order was the right thing to do, and it was. I am not happy with how it turned out. That my ill son turned down the offer of treatment, which I thought he would, and that he was not deemed serious enough, at that moment, for an involuntary hospitalization.

My youngest son needs to know that it was the best way to handle a possibly dangerous situation. So, I am very mindful not to discuss my , almost constant, worries about my ill son's current homelessness, mental state, and safety.

I can do that on this site. Writing my worries here has enabled me to be stronger, or at least, appear to be stronger at home with my youngest son.

I am probably going to pay for the small cost of car insurance for his older car. I checked and my name is not mentioned on the policy. I would ask NAMI, but I know that they would tell me not to pay it. My nicer therapist is back East because her father passed away. We are all going through things... She told me last time that there is no "book" on how to properly handle my ill son.

I would be doing it for me. I would feel worse envisioning him on the street because he did not have a car. Now, it is truly torturous, but that would be worse. His car is in ill repair. That might be why he is staying in town. He is delusional. Not having a car would not make him seek help more. Yes, he may unravel sooner. But, as we have discussed, he does not have a true bottom to hit. He might then just be on a park bench...yet, still delusional.

I have read numerous studies about homeless schizophrenics. They all said, once they find stable housing, they are better equipped to take on treatment and medications. Yes, if he is presenting in public as profoundly psychotic and talking to voices, he could be brought in. But, they are soon released...back onto the streets usually, dumping their medications. My late onset schizophrenic sister did that. She had a home, but she threw away her medications and is still very delusional with visual hallucinations.

I go back and forth on this issue, but the bottom line is; Could I cope with him not having a car to sleep in? The clear answer is an unequivocal, " No". My health is being directly negatively impacted by the stress. I need to be healthy for all 3 of my sons.

My middle son who is away at college is taking it very poorly. He needs counseling, but will not go. They are closer in age. He has always has been sad and depressed about the downward spiral of my ill son. He told me that I need to give him all of the money he needs. My youngest son wants me to pay it as well.

Having his car impounded won't help. Having his drivers license taken away would not help. I am going to do more research on the matter. Sleep deprivation does funny things to you. I just keep vacillating...


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Staff member
FS, I agree with Copa, you're looking at all your options and trying to figure out a very, very challenging situation. I think you're doing a good job of it too. None of this is easy.

I could relate on so many levels, having mental illness in ones family certainly offers many different lessons in letting go....... With two of my siblings being diagnosed with mental illness (I already mentioned my brother is a paranoid schizophrenic) I did feel as your two other sons feel, 'give him whatever he needs'. As I got older and had more counseling, I could understand there had to be boundaries, but wow, how do you figure all of that out? I just wanted my brother to be safe and off the streets.

I think if it were me FS, the car would be a way I would be able to sleep. I agree with your therapist, there are no books on a right way to go. We each have to figure out what we can live with and what we can't, what we're willing to do and what we aren't. It's a hard road.

A couple of years ago my daughter was living in her car for a short span of time. One time when I was away in Hawaii on vacation with my granddaughter (my troubled daughter's daughter) and my husband, right before I left town, I hid an envelope on our back patio with some cash in it, enough for some food and if need be, a room in a motel. It was winter time. I was very distressed about leaving. Hiding that money gave me permission to leave. Half way through the vacation I received an email from her saying she had no where to go. I can still feel how that felt in that moment. She is my only child. I emailed her back telling her where the envelope was. She hightailed it to my place, got the money and checked in to a motel. She told me later it was exactly the amount of money she needed. Then she resumed her life.

Fortunately, she is now in a safe place. But down the road, I could face it all again, I never know how it will be. I had to learn how to live in the moment, how to be present right now and not go into the past or the future. Learning that helped me immeasurably.

Sometimes we have to do what we have to do so we can breathe, sleep, eat, function. Hang in there FS, you will get through this.....one step, one choice, one day, one moment at a time.........we're here for you......

Feeling Sad

Well-Known Member
Thank you all for your wonderful advice. Yes, I wrote the check tonight. I will be able to sleep a bit better tonight. You are all so kind on this site. You are always there in my time of need. Your shared experiences and insight are always very helpful to me. I feel like I won't completely fall apart. You guys always shore me back up. I could never have better friends than you! Thank you.


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Hon, your son is schizophrenic, not a drug addict who can control his illness. Schizophrenics have to usually be forcefully medicated and confined to understand they are sick. I think you did the right thing for you, and you matter, and I hope soon your son is taken somewhere where he is forced to take anti psychotics so that he will realize it is best for him to let professionals help him.
Your son is different from most here in my opinion. I am not sure if the value of tough love on a schizophrenic.
So sad for you, and ayour sons. Hoping oldest son is taken into treatment soon. Schizophrenia is such a sad disease and schizophrenics are so badly misunderstood too.
I dont know anyone with schizophrenia so im no expert. I have read a lot of books about schizophrenics and saw many during a hispital stay for my own suicidal depression when I was in mt 20s. I was there for ten weeks so I got to see some schizophrenics literally "wake up" from psychosis. So I know it can happen.
Big hugs.


Well-Known Member
You are in a difficult situation. You want to protect your son, and you need to protect yourself and your other son. I think you are doing the only thing that you can do right now. I think you are doing remarkably well.