I am sad and at a loss

tpowell2

New Member
My son is 22 years old and will not take control of his life. To give you background, his father and I separated when my son was close to 3 years old. My son lived primarily with me, but saw his dad most every weekend. His dad and I remained on good terms and I married my husband when my son was 8 and his father married his long term partner shortly after I got married. While my son’s dad and I co-parented pretty well, I felt he indulged our son by buying him things that I didn’t think we’re always deserved or earned. I would say I was more the day to day parent and his dad got more of the fun weekend stuff, which made the end of the visits with his dad hard for my son sometimes. His father had 2 other children, but would always still spend most weekends with my son. I feel there was some jealousy at times on my son’s part of the fact his brothers lived with their dad and my son saw his dad on the weekends. My son is 10 years older than one of his brothers and 12 years older than the youngest.

My son had a private school education from Kindergarten to part of 12th grade. He cheated his way through a good part of his high school years. The internet is a bit of a double sword as it’s helpful to students, but also allows them to cut and paste answers, reports, etc…. My son tested average on aptitude tests, he could do the work, he just chose to not do a lot of the work and cheat. Around 15 he started lying quite a bit. He fabricated things about his life to peers and would lie straight to mine, my husband, his dad’s face about things to avoid being grounded. I would feel horrible about not believing him as he would make me feel terrible. It was only when he was faced with proof that he would come clean. If we told him he was grounded, he’d walk out the door and call his dad. My son told us he no longer wanted to go to private school a month into his senior year as he didn’t think he would graduate with the classes he was taking. We lost 1/2 a year tuition, but got him set up at the public high school and he was able to take classes he would be able to pass. He barely went to school at the new school. He walked to school - but would leave to smoke pot and not return. We tossed a bunch of his pot we found that he intended to see and he got angry and went to live with his dad when he was 18. At 19 he got an apartment- his father wound up paying most the rent as our son wouldn’t pay. He has really only worked for his father at one of the restaurants and takes advantage or steals. His father will no longer allow him to work in his restaurants. The last apartment he had I co-signed and helped him set it up. It was close to me and his dad and walking distance to many places he could work. He stopped paying on that apartment and my husband and I and my sons father paid half and my son was expected to pay the other half. He barely did that. When he left at the end of the lease we found the apartment trashed and in awful condition. My husband and I cleaned it up to avoid being held accountable since I co-signed.

My son made friends easily in school. Most all his friends are now going to college and about to graduate. As students some of those kids come back and stay with their parents on breaks and my son thinks he should have that life of having parents take care of him too. He tells us we should have given him a credit card like his friends parents did. He had a car but his dad took it away since he had paid for it and we suspected my son was drinking and driving. My son can be very manipulative and tell me he has ADD and I should have see that and got medication. The school counselors, pediatricians, teachers and his father and I never saw any signs of ADD. We’ve sent him to a therapist but he quit after 2 sessions. I have him on my insurance and have told him now as an adult he can go to a therapist as it’s covered, to which he says, “no it’s too late now”, you should have done it a long time ago.”

He doesn’t keep a job, the 2 apartments he had he stopped paying, he has been kicked out of roommate arrangements as he stops paying and doesn’t clean up after himself. He stayed with my husband and I for a couple weeks over the summer as I wanted to try to help him. He worked and then stopped working and basically acted like a 14 year old and resorted back to the same manipulative and mean behavior that he resorts to with me. I felt like I was in an abusive relationship. I would never allow anyone else to treat me the way I allow my son to treat me.

He left with a friend for 2 months and stayed on the East Coast and basically had a 2 month vacation from not working…. We communicated while he was away and it was nice to hear him happy and I’ll selfishly admit, not having to worry about him knocking on the door at 3:00 AM to say he needed a place to stay.

He came back this week and with it came the attitude when speaking with him and asking for a place to stay and money. I reminded him he could not stay here after the last time I let him stay and he broke every condition we asked of him (refusing to work, behaving aggressive disrespectful and rude). I had recently given him money while he was away and told him not to ask me for any more.

Everytime I am faced with having to say no, it guts me. I have had my own therapy over it, my husband and I have had many arguments over it. He says I have to stay consistent otherwise my son will never have the desire to change his behavior. I know all this is true, but I don’t want my son to be homeless or any of the other things that goes through my head. His dad has said he’s had enough and loves our son but refuses to enable him. I have said “no” today, but it is scary and I feel anxious, sad and to be honest a bit pissed off that this keeps happening over and over. I desperately want just a normal relationship with my son where I can visit with him and spend time with him but each time I try - I’m met with I need a place to stay, I need money…..

Sorry for rambling- this was therapeutic and I appreciate any advice.
 

Crayola13

Well-Known Member
If he’s only 22, it’s not too late to get on ADD medication. Many people don’t get diagnosed until 25. I don’t know why he thinks it’s too late.
 

ksm

Well-Known Member
Some people abuse or sell their ADD medications... I have nothing against medication used responsibly...but I would be careful helping him get it.

I too am getting tired of manipulative behavior of my adopted grands. Do I always handle it correctly? No. But I am doing better. Ksm
 

ksm

Well-Known Member
Here is something I copied online... I would also worry that they would just forget to take it... ksm

When students get pills from kids with prescriptions, or misuse their own prescriptions, it’s usually to use during a crunch time. The extra boost in focus and energy may help when they’re cramming for exams, working on a big project or trying to catch up on long-overdue work.

Using pills this way—without medical supervision—can be risky. That’s especially true if the doses are high or taken more frequently than has been prescribed.

Another thing kids sometimes do is take ADHD medications before partying. They may do this to stay alert while drinking alcohol. But it can cause them to drink dangerously high amounts of alcohol without realizing how much it’s affecting them.

There is a potential for misuse to lead to abuse and even addiction. There are no reliable figures on how many kids abuse ADHD medications or become addicted. But it can happen if kids take it in higher doses and with much greater frequency than what’s safely prescribed.
 

tpowell2

New Member
Thank you all. When he was 19 he had a girlfriend who was diagnosed with ADD and was prescribed and took medication. He told me later that he used her medication and it made him feel better. ADD medications can act like speed if you don’t have ADD and I think that is the “feeling better” part he thought he was feeling.

To clarify, at 19 my son told me he thought he had ADD and he thought this because he didn’t finish high school and when he took his girlfriend’s medication it made him feel better. I told him we’d never seen signs of ADD and neither had school, counselors or any other family members. I told him that he can’t take medication that is prescribed to someone else and I’m not a professional so I don’t know if he does have ADD or anything else. I told him he would need to see a therapist and have evaluation and I would help him do this. This is when he replied, “too late, you should have done it a long time ago”. It’s the manipulative side of him. Blame me or his dad and then when we give him an option, he shuts it down or doesn’t follow through.

He can behave in a depressed manner at times, but it’s situational and it only occurs when he’s experiencing the outcome of poor choices he’s made.

My husband, my parents, a therapist I went to and my son’s father have all said boundaries need to be clear and set up with him and he cannot be enabled any longer. I love my son with all my heart, but until he tries to help himself, I have to keep the relationship a bit at a distance. That is the hard part. I tell him I love him, I tell him I believe in him and want only the best for him. I want him to be happy, but in order to achieve that he is going to have to put in the work to get there. He can’t live with me at this point, because he does not show respect in the home or stick to ground rules that are given and initially accepted by him. The last time he stayed here, he showed up with barely any clothes. I took him to get toiletries, clothing and took him to job interviews and found a therapist and took him to appointment. Three days into his stay he wanted to take off a couple days from the job he just started, that I got him, and asked to borrow money until he got his check. I told him I would not give him money and if he took off from this job to go on holiday with a friend, he could not stay here. The premise of him staying with my husband and I was to work and save money so he could find a place of his own. He decided to not go out of town, but told me how “unfair” it was and how he’s never gotten along with me and why did I think that was the case and he’s always always gotten along better with his dad, etc… he does the same thing to his dad as well and just flips the script on him saying he gets along better with me…. He went out with friends one night - stayed over at a friends house, showed up hungover and slept all day. He was supposed to be working on GED, getting his clothes ready for a new part time job the next morning. He was rude all day, played video games and didn’t do any of the things that were expected of him. I turned off WiFi access as I wasn’t going to provide him with WiFi to sit and play video games all day. That made him mad and he stewed I his room the rest of the evening. His “room” is actually my office where I work full time…. The next day, he refused to go to the job he was just starting. I told him if he didn’t go, he could not stay with us any more. He called his dad and resorted to “mom is unfair and I can’t stand her”, etc…. He’s been playing both his parents for many years. His dad told him he needed to grow up and get his life together. He left that day and it killed me. It is really hard to have to distance yourself from your child.

I have developed anxiety, that is only related to the relationship with my son. I love my job and have a good family support, I have a good relationship with my husband. My son has been really horrible to my husband at times and it has caused stress in our relationship in the past. My son has been really manipulative with me and because I worry about him so much, it creates stress in my marriage. At times I’m so wrapped up in my worry and anxiety and sadness about my son, that it leaves little for my relationship. My husband feels protective of me as he says it’s hard to see me when I am hurting. My son’s dad said when my son stayed with him, everyone in the house got stressed out because our son wouldn’t respect the house or follow rules the rules he and his wife put in place and it created conflict and stress in their home.

If my son would simply get a job, save some money and show some intent to help himself, I would help him if he needed it. I think his dad would as well. He hasn’t done anything to help himself and I know another call or knock on the door is around the corner. It’s hard to say no when he does, but I’m trying to stick to it.
 

Helpless29

Active Member
I’m sorry to hear about your son, I feel like are situations are similar my son is 18 teen & now is either homeless or living place to place , I’m not sure & it’s killing me , we continued to try to him him but like your son he would just lie ,manipulate & make me feel guilty for all his mistake’s, like it’s my fault.My son has caused lots of stress in my marriage but yet I continued to help & help over & over again & every time he burned us . I have been on here since my son was 15 teen & here I still am almost 4 years later ,he will be 19 next month & nothing has changed . I gotten great advice here , if you follow my posts , you will still I’m still Helpless, I will pray for our sons & for us to have peace in our lives .I feel like I’m grieving , I feel like I lost my son , I can’t let go of the image of my little boy but he’s not that person anymore.😞 I hope things get better for you , just know you are not alone even though it may feel like it.
 

tpowell2

New Member
I’m sorry to hear about your son, I feel like are situations are similar my son is 18 teen & now is either homeless or living place to place , I’m not sure & it’s killing me , we continued to try to him him but like your son he would just lie ,manipulate & make me feel guilty for all his mistake’s, like it’s my fault.My son has caused lots of stress in my marriage but yet I continued to help & help over & over again & every time he burned us . I have been on here since my son was 15 teen & here I still am almost 4 years later ,he will be 19 next month & nothing has changed . I gotten great advice here , if you follow my posts , you will still I’m still Helpless, I will pray for our sons & for us to have peace in our lives .I feel like I’m grieving , I feel like I lost my son , I can’t let go of the image of my little boy but he’s not that person anymore.😞 I hope things get better for you , just know you are not alone even though it may feel like it.
Thank you so much. I agree it is comforting to see the posts and support here and not feel like the situation is only unique to me. I wrestle with the fear and guilt of sticking to the boundaries I’ve made or at least trying to make. I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like you are grieving, like you have lost your son. I hope things get better for you as well. As hard as it is to deal with the anxiety and stress of it, I know nothing has improved when I have temporarily fixed the problem. I do it for him, but probably do it for me as well, so I’m not a stressed out mess. The only chance I have of seeing him take control of his life and be accountable, will be by his own choice. Nothing I do or say is going to make him take the wheel. I will continue to hope and pray for the best for your son, and for all parents and kids on this forum. Stay strong and I wish you happiness where you can find it and some peace. Breathing exercises help me and activities where I can take my mind off of it. This forum and the nice people on it is helpful too. I hope you have a good day.
 

BusynMember1

Well-Known Member
Hi there and I am sorry for all of this.

Most.of us here gave our.kids everything to help them thrive. We loved them and did our best. Our kids, for reasons we will never know ....heredity, mental illness, drug abuse, undiagnosed differences...do not thrive and are horrible to us. Most kids who bring us here abuse us. If a spouse abused us the way they do, the spouse would be history. These adult.kids lie to us about being bad parents as the reason why THEY won't do better. They know how to guilt us into giving them things.

It is crazy, what they say. It hurts us, but it is NOT true. Adults make choices due to who THEY are. Many.of us have kids wh thrive and one who did not. We are caring, good parents. The kids who fail just refuse to try and often refuse to behave in ways that are considered societal norms. They mostly are looking to have an easy life on our dime. If we refuse, the money, well, then they hate us, often making stuff up about their childhood. And we feel helpless when they lie. But we still feel guilty. And we give in and their abusive cycle continues.

It took ten years for me to realize that my daughter will take everything from us yet abuse us and, worse, not do any better in her life. At all. We are not the problem and we are not able to be the solution. I wish I had figured that out when she was 22. I suffered for too long. Please don't be me!

I got better in own recovery from codependency when I.started going to Nar Anon and also a private therapist. My marriage was over if I had not gotten help. I'm so glad I did. I learned the three Cs...we did not CAUSE our children's issues, we can not CONTROL them at all and we can't CURE thhem either. It is 100% on them. We can only control one person....our own self. We have no powers to make even a beloved child do what we want. And we can't make them be decent to us or anyone. Once we accept this fact we are able to move.on and learn how to make OUR life better with our loved ones and friends do who appreciate us. Or we can.keep hoping we can do the the impossible...change our child.

We cut off The Bank of Mom and Dad and are closer now to our nice kids and friends. Our life is better. Our daughter is still not doing well. But we are. We cant mak .her happy. She can no longer make us u happy like we used to be

I gave my daughter to God. If God is.in your life that helps to give our children to somethingc bigger than me..

Maybe you can try Nar Anon or CODA or a therapist. in my opinion its too hatd to do without lots of support..Hugs and love.❤

.
 
Last edited:

tpowell2

New Member
Hi there and I am sorry for all of this.

Most.of us here gave our.kids everything to help them thrive. We loved them and did our best. Our kids, for reasons we will never know ....heredity, mental illness, drug abuse, undiagnosed differences...do not thrive and are horrible to us. Most kids who bring us here abuse us. If a spouse abused us the way they do, the spouse would be history. These adult.kids lie to us about being bad parents as the reason why THEY won't do better. They know how to guilt us into giving them things.

It is crazy, what they say. It hurts us, but it is NOT true. Adults make choices due to who THEY are. Many.of us have kids wh thrive and one who did not. We are caring, good parents. The kids who fail just refuse to try and often refuse to behave in ways that are considered societal norms. They mostly are looking to have an easy life on our dime. If we refuse, the money, well, then they hate us, often making stuff up about their childhood. And we feel helpless when they lie. But we still feel guilty. And we give in and their abusive cycle continues.

It took ten years for me to realize that my daughter will take everything from us yet abuse us and, worse, not do any better in her life. At all. We are not the problem and we are not able to be the solution. I wish I had figured that out when she was 22. I suffered for too long. Please don't be me!

I got better in own recovery from codependency when I.started going to Nar Anon and also a private therapist. My marriage was over if I had not gotten help. I'm so glad I did. I learned the three Cs...we did not CAUSE our children's issues, we can not CONTROL them at all and we can't CURE thhem either. It is 100% on them. We can only control one person....our own self. We have no powers to make even a beloved child do what we want. And we can't make them be decent to us or anyone. Once we accept this fact we are able to move.on and learn how to make OUR life better with our loved ones and friends do who appreciate us. Or we can.keep hoping we can do the the impossible...change our child.

We cut off The Bank of Mom and Dad and are closer now to our nice kids and friends. Our life is better. Our daughter is still not doing well. But we are. We cant mak .her happy. She can no longer make us u happy like we used to be

I gave my daughter to God. If God is.in your life that helps to give our children to somethingc bigger than me..

Maybe you can try Nar Anon or CODA or a therapist. in my opinion its too hatd to do without lots of support..Hugs and love.❤

.
Thank you Busy! I am going to go back to therapy to help me process and heal and help me stay consistent and not give in to the drama. Hugs and love to you too 🙂.
 

ksm

Well-Known Member

Read this article on detachment once a day for about a week. Let it sink in and get strong enough to believe it! Practice some safe catch phrases. Write on notepads and keep by your phone. Things like:

I have confidence you can figure this out!
I love you and want the best for you.
I will be praying you find your way.

Detachment is "not" amputation... I read that in AlAnon literature. If you haven't attended AlAnon or NarAnon or a similar support group. There is strength in sharing our stories, our experiences, our strength and our hopes.

Ksm
 

tpowell2

New Member
I just read it all and I will continue to read until I believe it and practice it. I give the best clear headed advice to others, so I’m told. I know what I would tell someone describing my situation- therefore I need to have the ability to do what I would advise someone else.

Thank you so much. The support and kindness I have found in this forum has meant a lot.
 
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