I called 911 last week re my 20 yo. Looking for support and suggestions going forward

Ascending

New Member
Hi I am glad I found this site. I wish I had found it years ago!

I am going to use my new signature as the basis for my introduction and add details in next post.

First I will see if I have figured out how to post successfully!
 

Ascending

New Member
I am a 60 year old Mom with some disabilities including currently on crutches.
My difficult child is a 20 year old son. He was with me from age 5, and I adopted him when he was 7. He is my biological cousin - both his birth parents are dead. His birth mother died shortly after his birth. His father died when he was around 17 or so.

He has been using drugs, a number of things probably. Started as vaping while that was a big thing at his high school. Weed, probably a variety of party drugs. And a particular problem seems to be hallucinogenic mushrooms which have resulted in, well, hallucinations.
He may have some problems that he was “self medicating”. Emotional health type that is.

He is very manipulative (uses woe is me, guilting, and his huge numbers of adverse childhood events as part of manipulation such that I didn’t realize how much I was being manipulated until I “woke up to it” — really not recognizing the extreme manipulation till after violence and destruction got to calling 911 level for me.

He has No job. Never really has had.
And he considered being asked to help wash dishes to be child abuse. Answer to helping with anything as an adult here in recent times has usually been no or hell no. Though rarely he would do something like help get garbage out or load or unload dishwasher or something like that. Once maybe a year or so ago we worked together to change a light switch out. That was the last positive cooperative moment I can recall currently.

He had some money from his biological father dying, and my help to achieve him inheriting it despite adoption - maybe an error in retrospect- which he has probably pretty much blown through, likely on drugs and stuff. It did get him a nice car, but could also have been for a down payment on a property or buying a business ... or something...

I was getting more and more like the apocryphal frog in boiling water who doesn’t realize its situation and trying to be loving, supportive, understanding as he got worse and worse and more and more manipulative.

Violence and destruction and my fear level led to my calling 911 a week ago as I write this.

He is now not here physically since then, but not officially moved out yet. I am still paying for various things like his car insurance and cellphone plan.

The law enforcement responders said I could get a restraining order, but I didn’t go to that. And pray it won’t be needed.

I found this website searching for information on ascending out of this situation well.

I found a book called In Sheep’s Clothing which has been a huge help

Had already talked with NAMI in weeks before 911 call

I would like to find a Narcotics Anonymous for family of addicts support group

Suggestions? Thoughts?

I have a current text message from him which I would appreciate suggestions about as to response (next) post for that.
 

Ascending

New Member
Text message from him asked for me to gather various belongings of his for a friend to pick up. On positive side he is accepting my statement that I am not ready to have him here nor direct contact at this time.

What I am wondering about seems small but may be important.

I texted back that it might take me several trips (because I am on crutches and some items are upstairs and some in basement and all I can manage at a time is what I can carry in a backpack) .

He wrote back “Duh”.

I think allowing minor disrespect like “duh” or “yeah yeah” may have been part of a slippery slope slide into the more extreme things. And it is something I want changed before I would consider direct contact (also being off drugs, etc) .
I would appreciate feedback on this and perhaps if it does seem worth calling out, or stating now that that’s one of the requirements for future direct contact, wording suggestions.

If you need more information please let me know!

🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️
 

Crayola13

Well-Known Member
It definitely doubts like there was some childhood trauma and mental illness. Do you think he would be willing to get counseling or take medications?

It might help you to get counseling for your stress level, or to attend Al Anon meetings. Many parents say those meetings help tremendously. Being disabled is stressful enough on its own. I hope things get better.

He still has time to turn this around and lead a productive life. If he waits too long, he’s going to find himself 35 without job skills and living with you.
 

Crayola13

Well-Known Member
I believe in being kind to people on crutches and helping them. If he doesn’t, he’s digging a deep hole for himself. One day he might be on crutches and wouldn’t want someone to talk to him that way.
 

Ascending

New Member
It definitely doubts like there was some childhood trauma and mental illness. Do you think he would be willing to get counseling or take medications?

It might help you to get counseling for your stress level, or to attend Al Anon meetings. Many parents say those meetings help tremendously. Being disabled is stressful enough on its own. I hope things get better.

He still has time to turn this around and lead a productive life. If he waits too long, he’s going to find himself 35 without job skills and living with you.

He is not willing to get counseling etc

(He had some good counseling around age 5-7. Then at 15 when he seemed very depressed I had him get some more, and it was awful. Truly awful. I was scared and got him in where I could sooner rather than later but in retrospect wish I’d waited for someone better.)
 

Ascending

New Member
Part of what I need to figure out is how to handle things so that he is not living with me as we go forward

Not only not at 35, but not at 20 either if he does not hugely change.

I think him getting a job would need to be one of the requirements for further direct contact along with being off drugs
 

Ascending

New Member
I ended up circling the word “Duh” with a reply that I expect to be spoken to and treated with respect kindness and gentleness

He texted back, okay I understand.
 

Nandina

Member
Hi Ascending and welcome. It sounds like you have made some wise decisions about your relationship with your son going forward and what you are willing to live with.

My advice would be that it’s possible some of the restrictions you may want to put upon him he will not be able to live with, the first one being no drugs. We all want that and most of us have requested it, but it’s doubtful that he will comply. Most kids may say they will, but then they just sneak and do it anyway. You don’t need that in your home, and you don’t need to have a child who is violent and/or disrespectful living with you, particularly given your current physical state.

So, I think you are right not to have him living in your home. You can request that he not be high when he is around you if you decide to maintain contact. That is reasonable.

Are you willing to let him be homeless in the event that he cannot find or be successful with other housing arrangements? My son decided at age 18 and still in high school that he was now an adult and ready to be out on his own. That was 3 years ago and I told him then that if he left he could never come back. It’s been one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do, but we have stuck to it. We could no longer live with the disrespect, drugs, violence, police called, holes punched in walls, stealing things from us, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

During that time my son has been homeless on the streets, stayed in shelters, or lived with others. He has managed and we have maintained a relationship through it all. I insist on being treated with respect and I refuse to be around him if he is high. There is also more to my story which I have yet to post. Still trying to process his being unsuccessful at treatment 3 different times. He is currently living in another state with his birth family, not the best option either.

I say these things only because most of us who have put restrictions on our kids in order to have a relationship with them find that it usually doesn’t work. But you do what works best for you, sometimes having to modify things along the way.

I think you are right to find a support group such as al anon where you can find other like minded parents who can help see you through this. It is so very hard, and you need folks in your corner who understand, because most parents out there don’t, unless they have been through it and there is a lot of judgment from parents or friends who don’t get it. This forum is a great place for help and advice as well.

I’m glad you found us and I hope you’ll continue to read and post. It really helps. And please be sure to make time for yourself in whatever way nourishes your soul. That is so important. Many hugs to you.
 

Ascending

New Member
My advice would be that it’s possible some of the restrictions you may want to put upon him he will not be able to live with, the first one being no drugs. We all want that and most of us have requested it, but it’s doubtful that he will comply. Most kids may say they will, but then they just sneak and do it anyway. You don’t need that in your home, and you don’t need to have a child who is violent and/or disrespectful living with you, particularly given your current physical state.

Thank you for reply and welcome!


And sharing some been there done that experience. Which sounds like it has some significant overlaps with mine. I’ll watch for your continuing story. Is your son also adopted? Maybe it’s on your signature but I have not seen that yet on my cellphone.

I did not mean no drugs for my son’s own self - as he has pointed out, it is his body and his life. Which I agree with and believe only he can be the driving force behind change if he chooses to.

I meant none if I am having physical contact or certainly if he wants to live here again. Though currently I feel nauseous even contemplating him living here again.

I have to think that through clearly though. Definitely no hallucinogenic ones. A strong 20 yo male on apparently a “bad trip” punching out and karate kicking imaginary foes, or worse, is frightening and dangerous. Worse if he thinks I am the enemy.

But we are in a weed legal state, and nearly everyone he knows uses that and some of his friends families are growers. And it even may be less dangerous than, say, sugar perhaps. Definitely I need to think my way through specifics and details. He tends to be what seems very low motivated but sweeter tempered on weed. Vaping whether THC or nicotine is I guess another consideration. It not done indoors.perhaps it really doesn’t affect me all that much.

Yes. I am willing to let him be homeless if need be. He sometimes couch surfs with friends and is probably doing that now. It is my impression he became unwelcome in two couch surf homes. One I know for sure was because he hit someone there, either his former best friend or his former best friend’s girlfriend. So seems even when on probably better behavior with others than me he has still been violent. Then too he was under the influence - i think of alcohol in that case, and the mom of that family smelled strongly of alcohol.

I got a couple of suggestions for getting unaddicted that worked for someone I know, though requires self motivation which my son doesn’t have for that. If you are interested I can find them and share.
 

Nandina

Member
Yes, we have significant overlap, right down to the crutches, as I am currently experiencing some knee/hip issues and may need surgery. And yes, my son, actually my biological nephew, is adopted. We do not live in a weed legal state and I would agree, that does put a different perspective on things.

If you click on my name or do a search, I think you can find previous posts and read some of my story. It got bad last December when he was in jail in another state and had a psychotic break. I got great advice from the people here at the time and I am so grateful to them.

Unfortunately, even after his begging and pleading to get him out of jail, (he was there 6 months), saying he wanted treatment, blah, blah, blah…it was not enough to get him past the 3 month mark in a treatment center—his third in 2 years. He always manages to break the rules, have a bad attitude and end up getting kicked out.

His drug of choice was weed, but when he couldn’t get it he started smoking meth and that’s when all his troubles began. He committed a (non-violent) crime and is now on probation for 3 years. However, he blew a real good opportunity when he walked away from the last treatment center as they would have helped him with jobs, life skills, all those things he desperately needs to make it in this world. And, to be honest, I’ve kinda had it with him. I love him but I am not currently in contact. I need a break.

I am a little short on time but I will add more later. I’ve been wanting to post an update, but tbh, it’s just hard to get the words out sometimes. Another failure…he’s 21. He needs to grow up some before anything we can do for him will actually benefit him, and we’re done for awhile.

I hope you will stick to your guns about him living with you. It never seems to turn out well for many of us.

I would be interested in hearing more about getting “unaddicted.” My son has absolutely zero motivation, but I’m still interested.

The best to you!
 

Mirabelle

Member
Hello Ascending and Welcome!

I am very glad that you found the site and I hope you will continue to post. It was of great relief to me to find the forum and to realize that I was not the worst parent in the world, and that I most certainly was not alone. There are many loving parents of all kinds on this forum asking the same questions you are asking.

When I read your initial posts it took me back a few years to when similar behaviors were going on with my stepson. Low motivation, a sense of entitlement, drug taking which sometimes took him out of reality, no desire to get a job, go to college, or move toward any level of independence.

He had gone through a terrible time with his mom from around the age of 10, when she took a serious nosedive into alcoholism. My husband and I committed to providing a safe, predictable, and loving home for him and his sister to try and minimize the impact. Because we felt so badly for him, we allowed him to avoid responsibility and take advantage of our love for him for longer than we should have.

I think you did the right thing in having your son removed from your home. I think you did the right thing in regard to redrawing boundaries around how he is to speak to you. Expecting him to be not under the influence when you are in direct contact is also not unreasonable.

I know it may seem harsh but at 20, he has no moral or legal right to expect you to have him live with you. If he were respectful, helpful, working and contributing, it would be different. My stepson is now 21 and currently at a shelter. He still refuses to accept our decision to not allow him into our home. One year, when my husband and I were on vacation, he tricked his sister into letting him into our house and then refused to leave, saying it was his house and his bedroom, and he had a right to be there. In his eyes, if he chooses to use drugs and not work, it is our responsibility to make sure he is kept in the style to which he is accustomed because we are his parents. And we are coming up on 4 years of trying to help him to get his life on track and moving in a successful direction.

All of this to say, boundaries can be tough to decide on, tough to stick to. It is very helpful to decide for yourself, ahead of time, what you will and will not tolerate. It is ok, if you find yourself stumped in the moment, to tell him you need to think on a question or issue and will get back to him. From how you describe your son, it sounds as though he will not take kindly to a new set of rules and will probably do his best to wear you down.

Please please please take care of you. You are 60 and on crutches. You do not need to be subjected to abuse and violence by a strong young man. You will be of no help to him if you are not around to help him.

Please continue posting! Let us support and walk with you.

With love,
Mirabelle
 

Copabanana

Well-Known Member
Dear Ascending
I'm groggy because I just woke up but wanted to say welcome and chime in too about how great you've been doing, in my estimation. I was a single Mom too, of a son I brought home when he was 22 months. And I had to call 911 eventually, too. All of the stuff that you are anticipating (my son is 33) has come to be for us.

My son has been homeless for at least half the time since he left my home, and at least half the time he's been housed, it's been at a second home I bought pretty much for that purpose. Even THAT didn't work so well and became the site of power plays between us. Him, trying to impose his rules, and me, trying to impose my own. I see in retrospect this was a huge mistake.

First, it is a developmental imperative that they strut their stuff. And because they see no way to do so in a constructive, adaptive way it is done so negatively. And in my case, I was first, already an older (now old) woman, with vulnerabilities that were triggered. There is no way I should have exposed myself to that fracas, but I saw no other way to love him at that time, and misguidedly wanted to turn the tide. He was the Pacific Ocean and I was a puddle.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you that you are doing GREAT. Your instincts seem perfect. The more we can give them rope, paradoxically the better it is for them and for us.

What changed for me, is the necessary and much-belated awareness we were separate people with separate lives and values and everything else, and that is okay. More than okay. He can be him, and I can be me. And if he chooses to live badly, I can be okay, more than okay. I fought and fought and fought to change him and he fought back just as hard to be who he wanted to be. Now I respect that and I am putting my energy back into being me.

One more thing. My son's major drug of choice is marijuana. I don't like it and I don't want it near me. I don't want even that drug on property I own. And I don't want to be exposed to people who are high, if I can avoid it. I don't feel that I have to change, even in a weed-legal state, certainly in my home and my life.

Mental health treatment, school, medical treatment, and housing, are all available when our sons choose these things.

Honestly, as I look back at this post, it's like I have had a brain transplant compared to how I used to be.
 

BusynMember

Well-Known Member
Hi and you can calm down. Getting all upset won't help your son or you. Breathe deeply ans slowly! This is. Really calming!

There is help. Not for fixing him...only he can help him. But there is help for you. Help coping with this madness and chaos.

I am in an awesome Nar Anon online Zoom group with people from over the country . Look us up online for NarAnon meetings.We are either called the Wisconsin or Midwest group, but not all of us are from there and we have a great group. We meet Thursday nights at 6:30pm CST. You and everyone else here is welcome to come. There are from 5 to 10 of us (so not overwhelmingly huge) and we don't judge or get harsh. This is against the rules. I know this group saved me and others often say the same. We are very kind to newcomers. You can find how to join this Zoom meeting online under meetings. For more info you can PM me but, as the meeting is tonight, I may not be back here before the meeting. I may not answer today.

I hope this helps. Love and prayers.
 

Ascending

New Member
Thank you all for your replies!

I am going to reread them more carefully probably tomorrow when I can also respond better!

A couple of things that jumped out...

1 is I did pm or try to the one of you with a good online support group

2 my son was not actually removed from home . It was very lucky perhaps that it happened as it did, but while I was locked in house hiding from him and on phone with 911 dispatcher, he started to try to break in, then sent a text message to please open door so we could have a hug and make up. I then wrote that I needed space. He wrote something about calling a locksmith to open the door.
There was then some silence during which I thought either he was contacting a locksmith or searching for hidden keys or considering using an axe he’d been using on trees... instead the next thing was a text saying he had left and was never coming back Second text ... to earth
In a sort of vaguely ominous self harm threat kind of sound. So I related that to dispatcher who asked for car description etc.

The Responders caught him along road, questioned him, decided he was not an imminent threat to self or others . They got a message from me to him that I love him but needed space and asked him to spend night with friend.

So I managed not to have to deal with guilt trip or worrying that he was perhaps going to kill himself. And also that he seemed fine as far as any drugs for driving and not endangering others.

Have meeting, more when I can!!!

❤️❤️🙏🙏
 

Crayola13

Well-Known Member
So, now he’s vowing to never return to earth. Would he like an all expense paid trip to Mars? Tell him you’ll finance it if he agrees to never come back.
 

Mirabelle

Member
Wow, never coming back to earth.......he can certainly bring the drama. Removed from the home or not allowed back into the home........either way, it sounds as though you definitely made the right call.
 

Ascending

New Member
Wow, never coming back to earth.......he can certainly bring the drama. Removed from the home or not allowed back into the home........either way, it sounds as though you definitely made the right call.

Lol!



My actual response, I’ll quote it below, was the next afternoon when I had settled some . I ignored the text bubble about not returning to earth and replied to the one about “never coming back”. .,

I also had an image of him as a 7yo not wanting to shift from going into women’s restroom with mom (me) to using the men’s room. With me outside the door of men’s room at a big supermarket with nice facilities—coaching him along while he ranted from inside about unfairness, etc. (Happily a man customer went in and out while we were there and laughingly told me not to worry - that Son was doing fine.). Anyway despite his age, size, strength, drugs, destructive capacity, etc, all the reasons that I need to protect myself, he’s a grown kid who needs to launch into adult life much like the 7yo needed to move to using men’s room on his own. And at this stage if he will accept it, I need to be like the mom I was then outside men’s room, talking him through it ... modified for this stage. And of course this stage is much harder and more complicated, including with legal ramifications that I haven’t yet figured out.

So anyway, I wrote split into two text bubbles


“Son, I love You (not a lot of your recent behavior).
“never come back” seems extreme. I think though that you Are ready to be launching into life as a grown up good man.

I love you.

I am not abandoning you.

I believe in your abilities, your intelligence, your core good heartedness.

Also I would like to talk with you sometime in the next couple of days if possible (texts or phone) about things like getting your belongings to you, including when it comes your replacement driver license.

Again, I love you, son, and am not abandoning you.

Signed, Mom”

(The signed mom part was because he had been sending notes or talking ending with “signed [his full name].)
 

Ascending

New Member
Next stage was he started asking if he could come over for just a while for a shower and promising to be quiet. (Quiet being only a minimal part of whole issue.)

I managed to say No. Not nearly as strongly and firmly as I would have liked, but at least didn’t let him come right on back in. I think it was more like maybe at some point, but not now. In a further text message not caught unexpectedly on phone I was more clear: “Because your behavior went way too far and violated house rules and my personal boundaries, you may not come here for some time, and not until certain requirements are met, which I will explain in more detail in future as I am able to do so. I am writing now so that you will know this, and can make plans for your future, ...” This was in context of that he had an upcoming job applicants Zoom I knew about, and I wanted to head off a last minute plea that he needed to be let in for shower, clean clothes, whatever, for his Zoom.

Then his replacement driver license did come and I told him I was leaving it in the mailbox (which is not on our property) where he could get it, which he did.

Then he asked for belongings to be gathered for him. And my reply that I would need some time and probably more than one trip due to leg crutches etc was where his “duh” reply came. To which I replied that I expect to be spoken to and treated with respect, kindness, gentleness.

Then yesterday I did gather several bags of his stuff and left it outside my front gate for his friend to pick up for him. I don’t know yet if the pick up did happen. I will see when I next have to go down since I don’t want to do extra walking on the crutches.

Son texted to explain that friend was at work so pick up would be after work. I wrote back along lines of “good for friend” re working, and that if Son wants to discuss his own job search and related that I would generally be available by text or phone for that. (No reply from him to that as yet.)

You are now caught up to present!
 
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