I acted on a suspicion

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    One of the hardest parts is when I force myself to remember that part of mental illness, depression and other things, can be (of course) lack of motivation, hopelessness, a sense of futility,

    But I cannot help but see my son's options in the same way I saw my own, which was even though I lacked confidence, may have been sad, I pushed through and thereby created and recreated myself.

    This is my belief about life itself, that the making of it, is by the doing. I have learned that feelings change, based upon "faking it until you make it." My son uses feelings to justify not doing anything.

    While I understand this point of view, I find it unbearable to accept in my own child. I agree with SWOT about everything she posted to me--in theory. But when it comes down to my child--I seem unable to watch and wait when he is close to me.
    This is my way of thinking exactly, Lil.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If everyone could be a high achiever just by trying, more would high achieve. It is not just trying that makes a lawyer, a PhD. It takes good memory skills, not something everyone has. It takes good comprehension. It takes a high level of academic problem solving and attention span. It is damaging, Copa and Lil, to take your own experiences and place it on the shoulders of your sons. This thinking hurts you, makes you resent your sons and your sons panic and do even worse.

    "Nothing will please Mom."

    Some people like myself have normal IQ but poor attention skills and slow comprehension. Or other blocks to high achievment. Or, i.know you hate this Copa, but drug usage in utero and DNA. These can't be changed.

    Reading this. I am grateful that I had open expectations of all my kids. When they struggled, I got them appropriate help and did not stress. Of course none were resistant to working though.

    Copa, for your sake, dear, and I mean this kindly, you HAVE to let go of your son. He is way too old for you to try to keep him near you. By doing this, you assure he acts younger and feels incapable (and possibly trapped by your continuing to push him where he can't go). This is where I am glad my parents thought I was lazy rather than that I tried my hardest, and I DID try hard. Because they lete go and I knew I couldn't go back, I did not expect to depend on them. I was at least able to achieve a bit by working at some jobs and, damn, I was a good mom. It's what I did best. I have a strong positive identity as creatively gifted, attractive and a loving wife and mother. And I think I matter.

    Your son needs to find his own identity and do his own thing. You will not be able to push high expectations on him. I don't believe he is just lazy. I am very a logical thinker. I see him as someone who may have done very well, but more than being mentally ill, I think in utero drugs and alcohol affected him, as it did Sonic. With his birth history, there was a good chance he would not be a high achiever. And then mental illness, which I feel is the least of it, and brain trauma are also factors. It is to your credit and his that he isn't a drug addict of heroin.

    Copa, more than anything, we need our parents to accept and validate who we are or it hurts us. Remember talking about our lack of validation from our mothers in the FOO chronicles?

    Please don't make the same mistake. Your son adores you. Don't make him think,"she won't accept me for who I am. She wanted me to be what I could not. That hurts."

    Copa, your son is alone except for you and M. My unwanted and maybe bad advice, to keep your bond and love strong, is to let go of your dreams for him and if anything help him do HIS best. It is unlikely your best. He is not you.

    I was told by an adoption worker that middle class, average achievers with kindness and insight make the best adoptive parents because we don't have the usually unrealistically high expectations that many high achievers want for their adopted kids who very well may have suffered damage in the womb and who probably have bio. parents who don't have high IQs and may be mentally ill. You hate thid. I knoe. I'm sorry. But mental illness and IQ are passed on. If he were your biological child, he would probably be a high achiever, motivated and no drugs or alcohol before birth. But you chose to be compassionate and adopt a little orphan boy who needed you more than anything. So now you deal with his issues in exchange for that kindness. You must accept him...not the pot, but that your dreams for him are probably unrealistic and set him back.

    I don't care if he taught himself six languages. He was still drug affected. Sonic could read fluently at two. He memorized the words and amazed people. His memory for rote stuff us incredible. He struggles with abstract thinking. He too is detained because of his birth mothers drug use while pregnant, but I glow just thinking about him, ya know?

    Lil, I do think you have a good idea of your son and who he is and simply want him to get a job, be independent of you and be happy. He is certainly capable of that. Dr. Somewhere (cough) thinks you realize your son won't light fires in the academic world, but is capable of modestly decent life with a job and fsmily. I think you and Copa are very different. Plus your son is still very young.

    Dr. Somewhere is actually not a doctor at all, and I don't know it all (shock!!!). But I have a pretty good ability to sometimes, not always, logically dissect a problem. Naturally it is much easier for me to see this in others more than myself and, I repeat, I am certainly not always right.

    I mean to try to help, not hurt, and hope nobody IS hurt. I do not mean anything malicious at all. Just...having lived without being validated for who I am, I think we need to take a realistic look at our adult kids and accept them. Estrangements and anger can happen if we dont. My mother has been dead ten years and my only memory of her is how she loathed who and what I was.

    Sorry for the rant. Take what you like...leave the rest please. Pardon my stupid tablets typos. It's too late for me to correct it's stupid mistakes so I just hope it's readable. Peace to all tonight. Love to all too. We all stand together.
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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Fake it till you make it in most areas doesn't work unless you have the ability. Like singing. I was a natural singer, on key. I could hear every note and copied it and was known, even amongst hateful bullies as a good singer with a pretty singing voice.

    Many people are tone deaf or have unattractive voices. Could they sing until they could hear the notes correctly and make the quality of their voices sound better? They can probably work to improve, but unlikely to become a stage singer or be able to sing for a career.

    This is a pet peeve of mine. People who assume that anyone can do what they can do if they fake it till they make it or just try hard enough drive me crazy, because it's not true. Period. If so, everyone could sing or professionally dance or make motivational speeches in front of thousands or stop bad habits yesterday or lose weight fast.
    I lose weight fast. My metabolism is fast. I do need to eat carefully and work out, but the weight will fall off. Is it fair for me to expect all of you to be able to lose weight fast and easily because I can? In the same way just because you achieved a certain educational level, you can not assume everyone else could do it, but they are just lazy. That is unkind and unfair and untrue.
    Please, please don't project what you can do and assume everyone else can too, especially your I kids.
    I'm not angry, but this thinking is just wrong. Anyone can try their hardest in any area. But not everyone can lose fifty pounds in six months without starving themselves. We all have different metabolism and genetics is a factor too. In the same way, not everyone can excel in school or work.
    Rant over :)
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  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have a number of thoughts in relation to your post, SWOT. And some pain. Until my son hit 18 or so, I entirely validated him with my love and put little pressure on him. Never did. I was told by the child psychiatrist who we saw (and see) that this had been for the best, for many reasons.
    Then, when it came time to go to college, work, was when there was a struggle. Job Corps, he did, successfully, because he wanted to come home.

    Of course he has specific deficits, ADHD, drug exposure, who knows? That make working at many jobs not realistic. I get that.

    What makes Lil's and my son similar is the absence of motivation, of realistic goals for the short-term which makes the achievement of long-term goals impossible. My son says he would like to be a nurse-practitioner. More than likely he has picked this up along the way (began to say this 6 years ago) but he lacks (this far) the initiative to do the short-term things that would make this possible, such as take one class and succeed.

    I understand that nothing is gained by struggling with him around this. Especially for me.

    But SWOT, while much of what you say I agree with, it is more complicated than even you say, and you are wrong about some things, too.

    I did not bring my son (or want him, initially) close to me--like my house. I kicked him out 6 and a half years ago to go and make a life. Partly because I listened to you about his needing support--M and I hatched this idea of buying the house and my son working with him, and staying at the house. It was my son who engineered his way back here to my house and he is reluctant to leave, although both of us want him too.

    My feeling was--OK, if there are specific ways that being in my house will help you achieve, I told him, a plan you can develop and begin--I will consider it. But you have to commit to it and do it. And you have to pay me a specific amount of rent. Which, I will hold for you to use to make a better life.

    This is not happening, although he continues to work with M.

    If my son leaves us, he will be homeless again. I feel close to certain that he will have a long period of homelessness. He feels (and it looks like) he has had all people close to him, who had previously helped him, close their doors.

    I have pushed him out to make a life. It did not work in terms of his establishing either a way to work or a place to live. It did help in terms of his becoming less hostile and aggressive towards us, and motivated to meet our rules. I do not downplay the importance of this and I am grateful.

    The SSI has been a deterrent to look to work at anything. Perhaps you are correct SWOT. It is entirely probable that the lack of motivation, the inability to sustain work, is related to something intrinsic. But I am not convinced, because he is able to work when he chooses to. He has had A's in college classes, he has worked for 15 months as a certified nurse's assistant, and for a while was praised (to me) by the nursing director as an excellent worker.

    Perhaps I need to just kick him out of here, tell him to go back to the other house and live, if he wants, where he can continue to work with M. He has a lot of "friends" in that area, is well-liked and it is a life. But he was the one who pushed himself back here with me, understanding and committing to conditions he established. Probably to manipulate me, and to please me, short term.

    M agrees with you about many things, but not the deficits. He sees nothing at all wrong with my son. But he does agree that I push him to go to school and it sets me up.

    My son knows I love him unconditionally, but he knows I am afraid of what will come when I die. He has nobody else but us.
    SWOT, this is what I do not believe you understand. I have taken him to the Department of Rehabilitation/pushed him to Job Corps. His aptitude is college. He is cerebral and brilliant. He may want it in theory but he has not at all any interest right now. That I must accept. It is clear.

    I think you are unfair to me to keep posting that I impose my own dreams on my son. Because you know I have an academic background, you assume I have insisted my son be an academic. If he has aptitudes at all, they are in this sphere. And he has strong aptitudes and interests academically. I was equally proud when he was working in concrete. I was a waitress. Work is work.

    I am not different than Lil or any other mother here: I would like my son to function. SWOT. I am not your mother. I am nothing like her. I am not rejecting my son. I am not insisting he be me.

    I am a mother trying to grapple with what my proper role should be. And I tell the honest truth about my feelings. If I lied, it would not help me or anybody else.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    SWOT, it is you who I believe is projecting your own experience and your experience with your mother on me.

    I very much appreciate your support. I really do not need your condemnation. I am trying to work things out in myself, for myself and my son and for M. Please try not to accuse me or judge me in your posts.

    Your biases are your own. I understand I may trigger you. Perhaps you are correct that I have been a bad mother, and continue down that road, but it is the right thing to keep telling me?

    I understand my son is not me. But I am the only mother he has.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Cop a, thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. Maybe this issue is just to sensitive to ME to give good advice. I need to take myself out of this.

    Sorry if I hurt you in any way. I did not mean to.

    I do think your son and Lils do have to quit pot to get any motivation. That has nothing to do with me...but pot is the great depression motivator ( made up word). I hope you gain success in getting your son to stop using it. Other than that, I think you are doing all you can.

    Hugs and much love.
  7. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Lol I wrote my post before I read your second one. Yes it is too close to my issues. You are correct and a good mom. I didn't want you to think I thought otherwise.

    As Reagan said, "There I go again." Sorry again.
  8. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Maybe the issue is something more simple they never learned the benefits of delayed gratification. There is a benefit to working months and years for a goal if you reach it. But if you do not well there goes chances that such things will be repeated.
    Let me ask you something what is the downside to keep him to help until the construction of the apartment is over. He may have finally seen something to its end how long was when the last time that happened?
    And for the OP what is the downside in your son to suffer the consequences if there are some. By the way he is really depressed and and the problem with the disease is that they do not wanna go on. Until that is gone everything will fall on deaf years.
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you a dad. About the depression, I really think that lately, it is not a real depression but a result of drug use (marijuana seems way less--and we will soon test him and caffeine. He takes caffeine pills and he is seeing (and saying) how depressed he feels when he is coming down from these. Unfortunately there seems to be not a way to test for caffeine (and he is well aware of the hypocrisy assumed by us criticizing his caffeine use-when we reach first thing for our coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.)
    None at all, in fact, I called a few minutes ago (M and he are working today until mid-day) and M said he was working very well. I spoke with my son and commented how pleased I was and he responded: Mom I am trying to change to do things better.

    I am agreeing with you, and that after they finish remodeling the house (they are actually working on two houses, and they have had the help of a couple of other men) the idea is that my son live in the house, and share it with others. I know that would be a risk because of the potential for conflict and bad influence but there is also the potential for good. I think the worst thing for my son is to isolate.
    I so agree with you here.

    M and I have in the past discussed the possibility of one at a time investing in fixer upper houses for an investment (where I live the houses are cheap) and there is the potential for long term growth, so the risk would not be very great (I hope). If we did this it would prolong this process for my son, while he is supervised by M, (actually he is teaching him to work.)

    What do you think about that? If this keeps going well (the working in the houses) to buy another house, for the express purpose of providing structured work for my son? Or do you think I should cut him loose when this house done? Or leave it up to him?

    Thank you, a dad. How have you been?
  10. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    First off, there is a HUGE difference between drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and taking caffeine pills. Each pill is the equivalent, or at least they used to be, of a cup of coffee. Not just that but you get the caffeine all at once, not over time. As for testing for caffeine, they may have improved the tests to negate this but excessive caffeine in the blood stream used to show up as THC. When you are coming off of caffeine, headaches are normal, not depression. Maybe he is interpreting being tired and listless from lack of sleep as depression? Just a thought.
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  11. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Actually, when I got off caffeine (not completely. I still drink 1-2 mugs of very strong tea in the AM, but I was drinking 4-6 mugs of tea a day, plus 3-4 caffeinated diet sodas), I got vicious headaches, which in my case, because I am a migraineur, would turn into migraines.

    I also became extremely depressed and irritable. I suspect that some of this was because I am bipolar and tend toward depressive anyways, but I have read of and known of several people who were not MI, who suffered with depression and irritability as part of caffeine withdrawal.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Going, how is Thomas doing, with respect to his health?

    I feel hopeful because this is the first my son is recognizing and verbalizing the negatives of his substance dependence, and he is calling it that "my addiction to caffeine." Just now he was moaning about his "headache." Good.
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Thomas is doing OK. He is on laxatives permanently, but only the stool softener, not the stimulant at this time.

    Mostly, he's just getting old, which saddens me. His arthritis is getting a bit worse, and I'm in a bind with that as I have narcotic painkillers for him, which I do use when he's obviously limping, but the narcotics are very constipating.

    I was nose to nose with him the other day, and noticed that his eyes are just starting to cloud over with the start of cataracts. It'll be a long time before those are a problem.

    I have noticed over the past few months that he doesn't hear as well, but had partially attributed that to stubborness and "selective hearing".

    Then, last night, I took down the bag of kitty treats and rattled it and got Squeaky, when six months ago, I would've gotten both cats. I walked from the kitchen into the living room, and Thomas was fast asleep in the easy chair.

    I rattled the treat bag from two feet away and he jumped up and came flying into the kitchen, squawking all the way. So yeah, he's losing his hearing.

    He'll be 13 in August. I do hope I'll have him for a few years yet. I do love that cat so.

    ::Typed while Squeaky is sitting next to the laptop licking my knuckles.::
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  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Me too. But I take fiber instead of laxatives.

    How are you, Going??
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Fiber tends to cause problems with the disorder Thomas has.

    I'm hanging in there. No more than the usual complaints. Still ruminating over some FOO stuff that'll turn into a novel once I get it sorted enough to post it.
  17. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Irritability, yes. This is the first time I've heard of depression along with it though. Eh, never claimed to know everything.
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Court is tomorrow and I'm freaking out. I HATE this! I don't want to think about it anymore. I can't concentrate on anything else. :(
  19. mtic

    mtic Member

    Will be thinking of you tomorrow. Hang in there. I went through the same thing in March. My son had to go to court for a probation violation. So stressful.
  20. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hang in there Lil! It is so hard. We're here for you.
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