my story

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Deni D, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Hi all, I’m new to posting, but not to reading. I’ve been around for over a year now.

    So my story, it’s a long one like most here. My only son is 23 years old, diagnosed when he was very young with a mood disorder. They called it not otherwise specified (Not Otherwise Specified) but only because you can’t say the “Bipolar” word in the medical field until they are 18, so he’s been bipolar for the last 5 years.

    When he was young I would get knocked to the ground so many times with his issues, assumed to be a “bad” parent, get back up as actual responsible parent, figure it out, without a road map, and take it on.

    Schooling was a major battle with the local school district. I could go on about that, but by the middle of first grade he was placed in a great out of district school which he went to through high school. He did very well and graduate, he has an IQ of 132.

    Doctors, there were bumps until I was able to get him in with a doctor who was not taking new patients, only referrals from other parents where a very nice parent who I met in a support group referred us in. He was 8 years old at the time. His doctor continued to be his doctor until he was 18, she is a child psychiatrist so after 18 he has bounced here and there with doctors until today.

    Socially I’ve had him in social skills groups, done all I could do in the neighborhood to try to have him included (installed a swimming pool, had a house where young people were invited over and such) and had him involved with other social activities but he’s always just not fit in very well and that’s just the way he is.

    I thought things were really rough when he was young but HOLY MOTHER OF WHAT THE!?! when he turned 17 and seemingly overnight moved from socializing with the marginally geek outcasts to the antisocial squad!! Like a freaking jump off a cliff!! I think his buying a car with money he saved from childhood drew the antisocial social young people to him for the ability to have ‘rides’ to wherever they may have wanted. He went from a group of friends who were weird and obviously social outcasts to another group were social outcasts because of their horrible behaviors!

    And so it started. Some of the highlights are:

    ~ Xeroxing twenty dollar bills to buy pizza. That’s a federal offence so the FBI were at the police station to talk to me when the summoned me there. He was very lucky that because he was a minor they didn’t do any more than give him a good talking to and kept my copy machine for 6 months or so.

    ~ Stole jewelry from me and pawned it. I found out when the police called me. He was charged as a first time offender and had to pay restitution to me and do 30 days (my suggestion) of community service. He didn’t think he could get in trouble for stealing from his family because his friends didn’t. He’s not known for stealing to this day so I guess he figured that’s not such a good idea.

    ~ Started with smoking synthetic marajuana which was sold at a local convenience store. That stuff is illegal in our state now. Also Coricidin cough and cold in lethal quantities from the local drug store. Then when he moved on to having drug connections acid was one of his favorites and I think whatever he could get his hands on. Currently it seems marajuana is his only drug.

    ~ He’s been in a very expensive failure to launch program in Utah, two rehabs, numerous short term stays at the hospital for mental health inpatient and one over dose (coricidin cough and cold). He ran away from the failure to launch place with the help of a bishop from the Mormon Church who gave him a bus ticket from Utah back to the east coast because the bishop a bs story he told him.

    ~ For a couple years until September of 2017 he was living in sober living and not so sober living houses a couple of hours away from here. The agreement was that we would pay his room and board and for groceries if he could show receipts. He was to work and pay his other bills, eventually all of his bills, go to the doctors, and stay off of the drugs and alcohol. I knew I couldn’t have him in my house because he would run over top of me with his mouth, and not keep any agreements. While he was living away from here he also didn’t keep his agreements but I would let him go without often hoping he would feel the burn and decide it’s easier to live within societies norms and become responsible for himself. Didn’t happen.

    ~ He has charges for smoking pot in a public parking lot, hasn’t completed the 10 hours of community service or paid three quarters of the fines, bench warrant, maybe, who knows, I don’t care, not my problem.

    ~ I purchased a car for him in 2016 to replace his car which he had beaten down to nothing. He was supposed to repay me for the car, he made a few payments but then stopped paying me. He then sold the car for spending money late summer of 2017.

    ~ He’s had so many jobs I can’t count. He works a bit, becomes disillusioned with the job quits or just stops showing up and then jobs hunts (not really) borrows money from me (up until the summer of 2016) which is never paid back and then gets another job when he has no other choice.

    ~ In the summer of 2017, right after he sold the car, we told him if he didn’t get a job or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week we would no longer pay his room and board. He didn’t get a job, came up with a fantasy that he was going to move to North Carolina to a friend’s house (he’s hypomanic) and then eventually moved to a different friend’s house closer to my area in the fall after couch surfing and sleeping in abandoned cars.

    If you made it this far, thanks! That’s the history up until I made a huge mistake of letting him back in my house December 1st of 2017 only to have no other choice than to have him removed via a restraining on February 16th.

    I’m trying to hold steady and not do anything for him other than provide uber rides to Social Services and the doctor’s. He’s making it easier with his fantastic stories of abuse that was supposedly handed out by me from his childhood to now. He’s been calling everyone I know who he has a phone number for to fill them in on what a “mommy dearest” I am “behind closed doors”. I know from the stories that he’s manic, and most likely believes himself. I can do nothing to make him take his medication, which currently doesn’t include an anti-psychotic anyway.

    On the upside, he did go to the hospital for a three day stay after the court proceedings for the restraining order were completed. And because he had nowhere to go from the hospital he now has a case worker from a local organization for the mentally ill who is helping him with wraparound services for housing and other support. The people at this organization seem to be trying to encourage him to take care of his medical needs in order for him to get support from them.

    I’m glad this group is here, I can’t talk to anyone in real life who understands how difficult this is. With my son’s stories the people who know me think I should just run from him and never look back. Yeah if he was a neighbor or distant relative maybe..
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  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. Is your son on Disability? With his diagnosis he should be able to get it. But he probably can't get helped until he stops the drugs, whatever they are. We never know the whole picture.

    I am sorry. Glad you are here.
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  3. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thanks SomewhereOutThere for the welcome. He's not on disability yet. I didn't go through the motions to get him on it when he was younger, because I didn't want him to get the message that he couldn't be responsible enough to support himself. As it stands right now, he's pretty much proven he's not going to even come close, for now anyway. The case worker at the mental health org is helping him with the paperwork for disability so we will see. She did tell me it doesn't look too good considering he doesn't lose his jobs, he mostly just quits. But she didn't know his history until after that when I sent her the 7 page medical/social history I have for him. I don't know what is happening with the drug use but I think she told him he has to test negative for drugs to qualify.
  4. Tired mama

    Tired mama Active Member

    My son is also bipolar and we went through a lot trying to get him through school. It sounds like you have done well so far navigating the system. He also has a dual diagnosis due to the drugs. They exacerbate the bipolar and make it difficult to treat them. I am sorry he has tried to ruin your reputation. Hopefully those who know you will recognize his bs for what it is. I also know that for my and my husbands peace of mind he can't live with us. So i understand this fully. He has worked at jobs and done ok until i believe he got more into drugs then he blew it. Until a few months ago i helped him with his problems and i now realize i didn't really help. My brother was heavily into drugs (clean and doing well for many years)and he has encouraged me to let him fail or he won't change, he has been there. Please read if you haven't the article on detachment and the book by Melonie beattie codependence no more. Find a Nami meeting if possible. Welcome to the site and i hope you are able to find peace.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome Deni.

    I share some of the same challenges with my son who is now 29.

    It sounds like your son right now is exactly where he should be.

    One. Away from you.

    Two. Involved with a community agency where he can receive the supportive services he requires.

    My son is involved with a similar program. In a sober living house. I just learned that following that there is a transitional program that sets them up in independent housing, with section 8 I believe. Their security deposits are paid and independent living skills are imparted. They are monitored. Those with medical needs and mental illness are supported to get these needs met.

    I felt such a sense of relief when I learned this. It means that I do not have to take responsibility forever. I do not have to hold the line. I can just be a mom.

    But at the same time I have great sadness. Because I have to accept that this is the status quo and I am powerless.

    I would try to do anything to keep myself from getting involved in son's current situation. We cannot do this alone.

    Take care.
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  6. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thanks Tired Mama, yep seems we are pretty much in the same boat. My son is dual diagnosis from the times at the rehabs. In my son's case it seems he thinks working is cruel and unusual punishment after a couple of months at each job. Like any job he has is the hardest thing on earth to do. He doesn’t look far enough around him to realize everyone else is working and he’s getting the benefit of their labor by them “helping” him.

    I’m on the fence with NAMI from past experience with them from many years ago. I’ve read the article a few times and the book too. I’m a recovering co-dependent, have been for a while. I don’t jump in to help anyone who doesn’t ask for help anymore, that was years ago. And when anyone other than my son asks I’m now good at looking at the whole picture and will only do something if it will actually help them and is not too much for me. In my son’s case he has gotten away with a lot with me by putting himself in a worse situation than the one he was in when he first asks for help. It’s like he figures he will show me if I don’t do something for him, he will make his situation worse so I’m forced to help him. As if it hurts me and not him, which is most likely actually true. Now that I recognize that maneuver I’m not falling for it. He made it so he was homeless, with lots of work on his part, so no matter what he says I figure he wants to be homeless. The bipolar verses what can he really do for himself issue has always led me to decide I have to do for him because of the bipolar. But he is at a point in his life where manic or not, he is the only one who can help him. It’s really hard. Currently I won’t even speak to him. One of the conditions for me to drop the temporary restraining order is he is not to call me but only call my significant other, who is about the most stoic and calm person I know. He still calls me but I don’t answer the phone, then after a long phone blast session he calls my significant other if it’s something other than to tell me off. I know I would not be able to handle this situation with him bouncing around with the mental health organization and social services putting him up for a few nights and telling him to hold on for a bit, wherever, because he has long term housing coming, maybe. Now because I have the chance to not react to him and have someone else to talk to to decide what if anything I should do it’s so much easier on me to hold off from rescuing him.

    I know he doesn’t understand what he’s doing with the stories he’s been making up. And if he’s the same as his father when he’s been manic in the past once he’s stable he will deny even doing what he’s doing right now. His father doesn’t remember the nasty things he’s said to and about me when he was manic, like it was an emotional tsunami that’s probably for the best they don’t remember. When his father was his age and was manic he thought his mother was the devil and he decided he was going to kill her. His father is not violent at all. When this happened the father’s brother and cousins tackled him, threw him in a car and had him committed to the local hospital for three weeks. That was back in the day before hippa, and “Debbie from the insurance company” got to decide if and how much someone needed mental health care. His father only knows he decided his mother was the devil because the relatives told him so, he does not remember it. I’m very sure it didn’t happen in a day, it was more like what I’m going through with my son, the mania building up as he deals with someone who he doesn’t want to listen to telling him he’s not acting right and to get help and who in his mind is just making his life harder. I know people do believe him because he’s pretty darn articulate and from what a couple of people who know reality have told me he sounds so believable it frightens them for me. All I care about though is that the people who can have some positive impact on him know the truth and try to guide him in the right direction. Other than the local police surprisingly, it seems the people who do count know the real situation. If someone here to worries that I might not be taking my safety as seriously as I should, it’s okay. My significant other stayed at my house until the court was dealt with. I took off out of state, to a much nicer climate, the day the restraining order was lifted, and have not returned yet. I’m working on have my security cameras upgraded to an actual security system that will alert the police if someone tries to enter my home. And I have people on the lookout who know where my son is and others who are in my neighborhood to keep an eye on my house. For now I’m covered as much as I can be other than moving.
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  7. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thank You Copa, I’ve read so many of your posts. My son did the sober living thing but they were more along the lines of “don’t take medicine because your drug use makes it look like you are mentally ill” people. Now with the actual mental health organization involved it looks a bit more promising for him. They do deal, very heavily, with actual dual diagnosis folks, and seem much more like the kind of org your son is involved with. I so hope they are real and not just a bunch of talk, I’m a bit jaded at this point. But I think they could be a really good fit for him from having a discussion with his case worker, time will tell.

    I go in and out of the sadness, for a while now. I make excuses for him and fanaticize of how and why he might actually be okay and thriving one day to try to make myself feel better. And then I come to the realization that he thriving is probably going to be a much different definition of thriving than I have if he actually does better in his life. I don't know, working through it….. it’s his path, not mine.
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  8. Tired mama

    Tired mama Active Member

    It does sound as though we have many things in common although my son has threatened he has not tried to carry through. I am considering a security system as well. he is in jail at the moment but could get out any time. I know what you mean about doing for him because he is bipolar or because he will get in worse trouble. I am the same but am working hard to let go of that mindset. My hope is that he is sentenced to mental health help and we are working to that end. Thank you for your post and i hope we can both post that our sons are at least functioning on their own sometime in the not too distant future.
  9. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi Deni and welcome,

    Sounds like you already have a very good handle on your situation. I hope your son will eventually make the decision to become medication compliant. So many times the right medication can be the difference between life as a productive citizen and life on the streets.

    You are in the right place to find and share wisdom, strength, experience and hope.

    Glad you are here.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are doing an amazing job!!
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  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Deni,

    I'm so glad you found us here. Your story is a familiar one. This is not an easy journey to be on but from what you shared, you sound very strong.

    This is a common tactic of a difficult adult child. My son also did this. I truly believe they do this in the hopes that they can shame us into helping them. While it's just plain wrong for them to do this we are also left wondering what other people think. Here's the thing, what other people think about us is none of our business. I have also learned that this will quickly tell you who your real friends are. If people choose to believe the lies told by your son, that's on them.

    Again, I think you sound very strong. I think you have handled this very well.

  12. RN0441

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

    Welcome and sorry you have to be here!

    I agree, you sound amazingly strong. Do you have any other children?

    It also sounds like you have a supportive significant other which I feel is critical also.

    You may try therapy for yourself with someone that specializes in the behaviors you are seeing. I do know that my therapist, along with this forum, has helped me get my head back on straight!
  13. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thanks BloodiedButUnbowed. I've been reading and absorbing on this site for quite a while now. I know without the help here from people who have been there and done that I would not be able to do the things I've been doing. I have a long way to go and I know it's all a crap shoot with what will happen with my son but I feel I'm going in the right direction. The mania thing is very tricky because it makes it so he can't think clearly enough to do what's right for himself. I just have to hope he will actually listen to the people who are trying to guide him now. I'm absolutely sure he won't listen to me. I really whish the hospital had included an Anti Psychotic with his medication. I sent them his history info, either they didn't read it or figured they knew better. And then there's only a slight chance he's actually taking what they prescribed for him anyway. If the mental health organization is requiring periotic blood work then he may be to ensure he gets the monetary and housing help from them. Time will tell.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As as a mental health patient with a mood disorder that has been called bipolar II to mood disorder not otherwise specified, I feel it is the patients responsibility to comply with treatment. I always did although I have never been violent. The result of compliance is often a life that is good, that is like people who dont have a mood Disorder. It in my opinion is up to your son to make his life good. If he won't comply with treatment, his life will not change and your help won't help. Drugs AND alcohol are very bad for a mood disorder or any mental illness.

    Weed is often triggers worse disorders such as schizophrenia.

    Maybe if you don't try to save your son from his mood disorder, he will begin at to comply with treatment from a psychiatrist. You are really doing a good job as Mom. I really admire your growth and strength. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back. This is hard.
  15. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thanks Tanya. Isn't it such twilight zone stuff? I have the Catholic guilt and over responsible personality thing going so at times I think I must have done something to cause him to think and say these things. But they are so far from the truth it makes my mind spin.
    He's said I've done so many things to him and has emailed me that I just can't admit it to myself because I'm emotionally unstable and I have a guilty conscience. From what I've experienced with him since he's been really unstable since last summer he says the things to me that actually apply to him. Not the wild stories but the general accusations. So it tells me he's making excuses for his bad behavior and knows he's in a bad place emotionally.
    As I've backed off from rescuing him from shooting himself in the foot the shaming thing is his main go to. It worked on me in the past but now because it's become so out there it's having the opposite affect. I don't deserve this bs, from anyone.
    I've managed to get past worrying what people think pretty well by now. I've had to deal with that since he was very young with the "good parents" who's kids didn't meltdown on the soccer field and such. In the case of those who believe things about me that are not true, they mostly don't insult me directly but speak to me as if I'm a different person than who I am. My response to that is to back off from them and only deal with them as much as I have to, very superficially.
    The local police are my only concern at this point. They do seem to believe my son from the damaging advice they have given him and he's tried to follow through on. Makes me wonder about some of their upbringing. But if my son decides to come to my house and I do call them they will have no choice other than to remove him for trespassing at this point. I haven't decided yet but I might try to see about getting some education material on mental health I saw on web somewhere for local police departments and have a meeting with the chief. Not sure if it would be helpful or just put a spotlight on me as a someone they should keep an eye on. In the meantime I make sure I come to a full stop at any stop signs in town :).
  16. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thanks Somewhere. His father has been compliant with his medication for many years now. And he's told my son over and over how he needs to take his medication as he should and never touch a drop of liquor or do any drugs and why. But it's as if my son is doing the adolescent revolt against your parents thing. Just do the opposite of everything he's told. So I'm hoping other people, who he will listen to will have an impact on him now.

    He also is not a physically violent person. Doesn't get in fights and has not come back at anyone who has ever hit him, which has happened a couple of times in the last few years from other people his age. He's not considered tall but he has a linebacker build so mostly he doesn't have to worry about someone who might want to fight him. I used the "one, two, three, time out" method when he was little and his father only spanked him one time when he was young, which I put an end to very quickly. But the thing is the wild stories he's been telling people include me beating him up, on the regular, complete with black eyes and bruises, "closed fist punching" as he says. That tells me I better watch out, because I know he believes himself so there's a risk he might just decide to give me back what he thinks he's gotten from me. He doesn't make these stories up about anyone else but me so I don't think there's any physical risk to anyone else.
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    There is a term for this, it's called gaslighting.
    Check out this link:
    11 Warning Signs of Gaslighting
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  18. Deni D

    Deni D New Member

    Thanks RN. I wish I was strong, I'm kind of at a place where I've proven to myself nothing will change unless I do, might not change anyway but there's a chance at least this way.

    I only have the one. Although he's an only child he does have a step brother he doesn't see often and he also has a kind of a big sister. I've lived in the same house since he was born, one of my neighbor's (a good friend) daughter was my mother's helper for him when he was 3, she was 11. Ever since then as he was growing up he would be by her side whenever she would let him. She's treated him just like a little brother and I'm like a second mom to her. Right now to say she's not happy with him would be a major understatement. She tried talking to him the last couple of times he's called her but he gave her his abuse stories. She's so angry with him she's not speaking to him now. She's a real spitfire and wants me to be angry with him too, she doesn't understand why I'm concerned for him.

    I've been in a relationship with my significant other for 7 years now. In the past he would have snappy comebacks and snarky comments to my son when my son would be irresponsible or rude. At that time I felt like a referee between them. Over the years as my significant other has seen I'm not a pushover and my son is not your typical young person but does actually have a disorder to deal with he's changed his tune a bit. My significant other has been crucial lately helping me deal with my son. He's been very calm and does not react to my son's mouth. Just like me he's been called every name in the book, sworn at, talked to in a very demeaning way but he let's it roll right off him. He's also helped when I was dealing with the police and the courts. I don't think I would have been believed because I was shell shocked where my son comes off very calm and articulate to strangers.

    I do have a therapist I started seeing not too long ago for anxiety, small wonder. I like her but haven't really gotten into too much of my son's behaviors with her. She's working on me, for me to deal with things myself, for not to become overwhelmed or try to fix what I have no control over.

    I know my son is manic, but it doesn't matter, the affect on me is the same as if he were anyone else dishing out verbal and emotional abuse. And especially because he can act different with different people although if anyone has expectations of him and they don't just allow him to do as he pleases and do for him I know they would get the same business he gives to me.
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  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Gosh. I do not think a psychiatric diagnosis is reason to mistreat anybody or an excuse or reason a mother or anybody else should be mistreated or disrespected.

    I worked in prisons with severely mentally ill prisoners including those manic and psychotic. Largely they controlled their behavior because it was not tolerated.

    I am not advocating treating your child harshly. But this is the real world. He either deals with it or there are harsh and real consequences.
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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I 300 percent agree with Copa.