Really struggling right now

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Beta, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    From my experience volunteering at the shelter, it's almost impossible to convince some people they are suffering from mental illness. They think the problem is the rest of the world, not their illness. They are distrustful of doctors. Some people don't even believe mental illness is a real thing. Others realize they are ill, but refuse treatment due to side effects, and won't go to counseling because they don't want to open up to a stranger. I don't think we will ever go back to the days of involuntary commitment of longer than three days. If a person can be medicated for three days, the hope is that the medications will help them see things more clearly and finally understand the need for continued treatment after their release. Sometimes a judge can mandate t
    counseling, but rarely medications.

    I hope Josh gets the treatment he needs, and that you, your sister, and everyone involved stays safe.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This can be extended. First, for 3 days more, then for 2 weeks, and that too can be extended, once he is in the hospital. He could fight it, but he would have to demonstrate that he is no longer a danger to self, others, or gravely disabled. Second. You are right. No one thing is going to bring about a "cured" state, or even a "stabilized" state. This may well take years. And many interventions.

    There is maybe a 5 percent chance, let's say, that a hospitalization achieves your wildest dreams. But short of that, there are good and necessary things that can occur by bringing his condition to the attention of the authorities. Contact with professionals brings him into the "system." He begins to get diagnoses. It establishes a history. (For example, that might make it harder for him to get a gun. Or with a diagnosis he could get SSI eventually). This encounter, even 3 days, plants a seed. Most importantly he needs to be curbed. He needs to run up against something, a societal boundary. What he is saying, doing, how he is acting is outside of social norms, of society itself.

    You know those speed bumps in the street? If somebody is going 100 miles an hour these bumps will not stop that car. But it will slow the car down. Sometimes things need to happen because somebody is doing the wrong thing. The speed bumps may not stop the 100 mile car, but does that mean they are useless and wrong?
    My problem was that I did not do healthy boundaries and detachment. And then when I got fed up? I overreacted. I cut him off. I did not do loving detachment.

    I was not talking here about the healthy process of detachment. I'm talking about reacting. And thinking and feeling that our children may be bad seeds, because they are acting badly. When their bad behavior is partly or wholly related to illness. I still think it's necessary for Beta to detach from her son. But I don't think it's because he can't be help or because he doesn't want to live a good life. I think it's because he is likely suffering and ill. But I will speak for myself here. My son was likely ill. And he was intolerable for me to be around. But that was because I did not do what you are doing JP. I did not practice loving detachment. I did not know how. And there are those among us,who MUST completely disengage from their adult children, because their children are so damaging and dangerous to them. I'm not talking about that either.

    The distinction I was trying to make is that while EVERYBODY must be protected from Josh who is on a rampage and potentially dangerous, there are identifiable reasons why this is so, why he may be going off the deep end. That these things can over time be treated. But that's not saying BETA necessarily has a direct role right now. To me, the actions of this family are judicious and wise. But I do not necessarily think that Josh is in control of his faculties. I don't necessarily believe that right now he's playing with a full deck. I do not necessarily believe that his thinking is rational. But what he is expressing to his Mother does not necessarily come from the deepest part of him. 90 percent of his behavior might be fueled by mental illness and drugs. I do not necessarily believe Josh is un-savable. In all likelihood he is not doing this because he is bad or evil. In all likelihood he is ill. Either ill from mental illness or drugs. Or both.

    What I am trying to say is that mothers like myself and Beta have room here, to step back and to have hope.
    JP. I support what you are doing with your sons. You are setting healthy boundaries. And your sons seem to be stepping up. I am sorry that what I wrote caused you to second guess yourself and to rethink what you are doing, which seems to be wonderful, and working.

    I am the one who has had only two speeds. I was speaking about myself. I react very emotionally to my son's behavior. I erupt. And I overreact. Part of this, historically, is because I was too involved in his business. I was enmeshed. I tried to control him. I did not have adequate boundaries. My own center was in him. I felt that I could not live if he was ill or troubled or in danger. That was speed 1.

    Speed 2 was "get out of here." Not wanting to see or speak to him. Contemplating restraining orders, getting orders of trespass. Involving the police. Not wanting to talk to him. (Part of it was him too. He was impossible.)

    But my son did not ever threaten me; and only one time did he hurt me, which was an accident many years ago. My son was hostile and difficult and unreachable but he did not present a physical danger. In Beta's case she has no choice but to distance herself completely from her son, as she is doing. And to protect her family by supporting them to do the same. What she is doing is responsible and correct and brave. But there is hope. That's what I want to say. There is still love there. And it's okay to feel it.

    Needing to make distance and strong boundaries does not necessarily mean that this child's conduct and being will be forever and irremediably problematic, that it speaks to something irrevocably broken about him and about his parents' potential to one day have a relationship with him. We can love our children, and think lovingly about them, and have hope for them, at the same time we strive to make ourselves safe. Physically safe and emotionally safe, too..That is what was hard for me to hold onto. That's what I meant by having more than 2 speeds. We can have a speed that is separate, and safe, but believing in their potential to be the people we know they were.That is all I am saying.
    I am absolutely saying that I think detaching with love is the correct thing to do, to the extent necessary. But I am also saying that I have overreacted. That I used detachment more in the light of "out of sight out of mind." There have been times I had to push love and hope underground. That was not necessary (although I forgive myself for it.)
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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  3. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    Thank you for your reply. I think sometimes I only have one speed to detach myself. For now it’s got to to be all of me detaching but I do hope someday I will be able to cautiously allow both sons back into my life. But unlike before I am going to wait and watch for a combination of things I deem obvious to show they have grown and changed over time. I believe I also need this time to grow and prove to myself that I can hold onto the patterns of behaviors that I am working so hard to correct knowing now I was not helping the situation.
  4. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    UPDATE: My sister's husband informed Josh that he has to leave by the 21st of September. He wasn't happy about it but there was no scene or anything. My sister is a little nervous about what he will do over the next three weeks until then, but we will see I guess. I just hope he can make it until then, to give himself at least some time to find someplace to be.
    This is so sad, because it could have been such a good thing. I was really hoping that he might connect with them and have a relationship with them while he is too angry and hostile toward us to have one. But he is not able to sustain relationships in his state right now. He is totally self-serving. I don't fault my sister and her husband--they felt like they've been walking on eggshells at times and no one should have to live like that in their own home.
  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Just another common trait I just noticed about almost all of our special kids.

    They can not sustain relationships with anyone, not just us, no matter how many chances they are given or how kind people are to them. Kay betrayed everyone in our family, one at a time, in different ways. She stole. She begged. She threw things. She used her nastiest words to her biggest cheerleaders.

    By the time we get here, our kids are plain horrible and their problems are everyone else's fault.

    I tried to work with this dynamic for years. I don't know if we can.

    Just a mild vent this morning.
  6. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I'm sorry things are turning out this way. I'm sure there was a level of comfort knowing he had a roof over his head and someone you know keeping an eye on things.

    It is troubling how they don't take advantage of the opportunities given to them. This has happened with my sons too. For instance, the place where younger son always parked overnight while he slept in his car was a church parking lot. The people from the church allowed him to park there, knowing his situation and did at one point try to take him under their wing but he wanted no party of "that nonesense". But at one point the pastor put him in a hotel for 6 weeks right thru Christmas. What a blessing. I felt for me as much as him. Do you think he did anything during that time to use it as a catalyst to improve his situation? No...he sadly did not. Instead he then tried to say something was shady with the pastor because why would he use his money to do this? Instead of being grateful and thankful he tried to tried to find fault with their generosity.

    Same thing with older son. Some woman at one of the places he was training at for a position (which of course never panned out) allowed him through Christmastime to stay 8 weeks at her apartment. He as well did nothing to improve his situation during those eight weeks. Never ended up with the job he was training for and never found another job so he could start helping with rent and potential stay there longer. Instead, he griped about how "crazy" she was and her demands on him to do things around the apartment etc.

    I feel like it's no different from when they lived at home prior to being "ousted". They never realized the opportunity they had to get on their feet with all the assistance in the world from us.

    So, I agree this seems to be a common trait..sadly enough.

    Let's hope that your son is working on a good plan. We can only hope and pray.
  7. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    It amazes me at the sameness of these kids. They are so self centered and hate everyone. Nobody can have a good heart in their eyes. If they are given a good turn by somebody, the person who gave their heart to our child is somehow the bad one. . Its crazy. No wonder they don't succeed. They are professional victims and the world is out to get them, even when seeming to do them favors.

    With an attitude like that, no person can get ahead.

    If I believed more in psychiatry, I would say most of our kids sound as if they have ASPD, but being leery of psychiatry, I will keep Peter Pan Syndrome.

    But, man, they hate the world and often us as well, at least for stretches.

    My friend gave Lee and Kay a nice apartment and was willing to work with them on paying rent. We paid half. Of course they got into a domestic dispute that spilled into the hallway, and an older man got knocked over trying to stop it.

    Needless to say, this nice lady eventually had to tell them good bye and to this day Kay calls her by a very crude name and insists she is a [email protected]#$&.: She had been so good to them, baking goods for them and knitting afghans for them and ignoring late rental payments. She had a kind way about her and was patient with them.

    Very disheartening.
  8. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I'm sorry to hear of your experiences with this same thing. It is disheartening. I'm so glad I have people like you all to bounce these things off of. It's good to know we are not unique or alone. I'm just praying he won't do anything stupid to get himself kicked out early before the 21st and that he's at least working some so he has some money.
    You're right---it has been comforting to know he was in a safe place with good people, but it's also been stressful worrying about whether he would "go off" on them or something. I don't know my own son anymore, and I have really no idea what he will or won't do.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. I too haven't had time to read all the responses. But, I saw what Copa wrote and I would agree.

    Honestly, I would consider telling your sister as a warning to her.

    I would also consider calling the police and showing them what he wrote you. I would save these texts. Honestly, if you get even one more like this (0r if this happens to be a second one!) I would take what you have and find out what you need to do to get a restraining order and then follow up and do it. Do it. Period. If you have two texts like this, in my humble opinion, you will be granted a restraining order. One they might let go, but I believe no judge would let go more than one.

    Is there any chance at all he has a key to your house? Even if the chance is remote... change the locks. Get an alarm system. Lock lock lock and lock some more. Give someone VERY SAFE your spare key and tell them to lock it up for safe keeping and never under any and all circumstances give it to your son or to ANYONE but you and your husband.

    I would definitely show this to the police. And consider doing the restraining order now. BUT, if he sends just one more like this...that's it. IT's ALL OVER. Don't even consider NOT doing a restraining order. Block him and file for a restraining order and don't look back.

    He is broadcasting his thoughts and they are dark and dangerous.

    I'm so sorry. This is just WAY over the top. Protect yourself. Again...get a house alarm...connected to the police if you don't have one already. It's imperative.
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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  10. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    It’s frustrating because we can’t be the one’s to change them or fix their situations anymore like when they were kids. Very similar if not the same as in Al anon when I heard in the first step it states “I am powerless over the alcoholic. “ There are also what we call the three “c’s. I didn’t cause it, I can’t cure it and I can’t control it.

    For me the difficulties with my sons parallel many I had with the alcoholic in my life. But somehow because they’re my son it gets extra hard to practice all I know. I am stronger but still working at.

    I really do hope Josh will have a sound plan before the 21st.

    I will keep praying.
  11. MommaB

    MommaB New Member

    Hello All
    I’m brand new to this site and thank god I have found you all. Beta I’m praying for your heart to find peace. Copa and all of you - thank you for sharing. I’m in the middle of yet another broken heart. Just got out of the hospital after three weeks for depression and not wanting to go on. But I’m getting better. My story is long. Eighteen years long. Georgie who is now 18 has had every diagnosis possible. We adopted her at 14 months from an orphanage in Eastern Europe. From day one there were behavioral issues. She’s been in jail at 11, 13 and 16. She’s been in residential schools on and off. She turned 18 in June and ran away. No medications for two months. Living on the streets or guys houses who she traded sex for living there. She’s now living in a shelter. It takes every bit of strength I have to not save her again. She’s ruined me financially. She’s burned all her bridges. I don’t know how it will ever stop. But reading your posts gives me hope. I’m not a religious person but maybe I need to find something to help me thank you all.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I’m up super early with a cold and have read more responses.

    Beta... I’m glad your sister and her husband are having him leaving in Sept and told him something believable. I do wonder where he will go and if he will end up in a bad situation. It’s not your burden or your fault though. He has repeatedly made horrid choices. It’s not like he has said “I’m making bad choices and can you get me to a doctor?” Hardly. I hope he can get some treatment. And if he continues to threaten you, that you will seriously consider a restraining order.

    MommaB...I’m so sorry. There was a time our adopted daughter caused me much depression. I had to go to therapy for awhile. And my husband and I even got counseling together because we had no clue on how to handle or cope with her behaviors. All of this was helpful. And, some point I had to ask my Higher Power to take this pain and burden away from me. It was just too strong and too deep. I believe I was helped at that point. It still hurts at times, but by and large it’s much better. She lives in another city and that’s very helpful and we have set boundaries on just about everything. Wishing you well.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Busynmember...I was just thinking about this today. Our daughter can not sustain relationships. She has one friend from childhood that now lives in another state. I don’t know why this particular one is the exception. But many many others have gone overboard to be nice to her and she can be unkind and eventually their generosity and patience stops and often times they end up enemies.

    Other commonalities (many mentioned): inability to hold down a job, often not wanting to work at all, total lack of gratefulness or appreciation, sometimes hygiene issues, blaming others for their problems (even when it’s crystal care to everyone it’s their own fault), no cause and effect reasoning!

    The lack of gratefulness , for some reason, I find particularly interesting.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  14. MommaB

    MommaB New Member

    I too find it interesting that all these common behaviors exists in our children. Biological or adopted it doesn’t seem to matter. At a point in time I thought it did have something to do with the lack of ability to form attachments for adopted kids. That doesn’t seem to be true.

    There obviously is some mental illness they have that their thought processes are not reality. When they are young we as parents can get them help and try to keep them on the “straight and narrow” road of life. That all changes once they are adults.

    Thank you to whoever suggested CoDA, I am going to my first meeting next Tuesday night. I am in therapy also, but when I go and she talks all I hear is “blah blah blah” so I’m not sure that is really effective lol.

    Prayers to all.
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  15. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    Hi. I am sorry. So sorry. You can read more about me all over the forum!

    Kay is adopted. Perhaps she has fetal alcohol affects my Kay because she can not behave well or thrive. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum causes organic brain damage. The kids may look normal, but they can't be and there isn't much help. Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) is a spectrum disorder. It is an explanation at the very least.

    I am not not not saying that your daughter is alcohol affected. She has symptoms of this and it is a well known problem of kids born in Eastern Europe. You would need a very specialized neuropsychiatrist to diagnose. If she has it, her behavior is really due to brain damage. Moving on to other things..

    Attachment disorder is very common in our out of control adopted kids who were unloved in the early years. I believe Kay has this. Yet we adopted her at four months, but that is not always soon enough. She was tossed around her first four months in her country of birth. I have two birthchildren and I do believe adopted kids are much more prone to attachment disorder. My other two are so different, brought up the same.

    Things happened to your beloved child before you met her. None of this is your fault. Nor that uncommon in adopted children. I learned that nature way trumps nurture. Kay is nothing like the rest of us in any way. Her personality is in my opinion her own, formed by her own DNA. We never wanted to admit this for years.

    I hope you are feeling better and can take solace from this understanding group. Maybe it is time to put yourself first. You can not help your daughter or anyone if you lack personal self care.

    It helps to have a support system. Do you have a SO, other loving children, a nice family and friend group? Don't let your troubled daughter suck all the oxygen out of your world. Others need you too. You need you! If God is in your life, perhaps join a loving church family, if yours does not feel loving. We quit a large one and joined a tiny church with the heart of a lion. They have been another rock for us. in my opinion people NEED others to heal and thrive ourselves. In real time.

    Share more, if you are comfortable doing so.

    Be well. This is soooo important. YOU be well.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  16. MommaB

    MommaB New Member

    BusyMember I could hug you!!! Thank you so much!!! I’m crying right now tears of relief from your informative and kind words. I do think Georgie has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) amongst other mental disorders. She has sucked the life out of me and her dad. My husband (her step-dad) is as understanding as one could be who has had his house burglarized, car stolen, money stolen, etc as he could be. Since my nervous breakdown he is not very tolerant of her and of course very protective of me. Which I am thankful for. He was not happy I was up all night last night finding a shelter for her. But, he is proud that I refuse to let her back into our home and lives.

    I’ve lost most of my friends because I became pretty much a recluse. It’s hard to always be the one who has problems. Most of my friends were the moms of kids Georgie was friends with growing up. This year has been hard seeing them all graduate from high school and go onto college. So I’m off all social media now which is helping.

    I also found a local CoDA meeting and will be attending that next week and I have my therapist appointment today which will kind of help. I lost my job when I was in the hospital but have a few good interviews lined up. I’m working on my concentration and focus so I can get employed

    This site is a life saver. Thank you. Bless you.
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  17. BusynMember

    BusynMember Active Member

    You are a loving person. Like us we thought adopting a child is the same as raising one from our own DNA and that love will conquer all. But it didn't happen. Kay was always difficult and a problem and we blamed ourselves for manjy years. But we don't know about her birthmother. Did she drink? We don't know. Was she mentally ill? We don't know anything. The birthfather and his history is unknown. We believed that our love would make her a normal, loving child and that our ability to give her abundance would help her finish college (with no debt) and embrace life.
    She never did. She is 33. We are done. Our grandchild will be taken care of if she loses parental rights. Kay burned every bridge. Nobody will take her in or her loser husband.

    We have done over the top help for her. She won't grow from a leg up. Maybe she can't but she needs help and refuses any.

    We are powerless.

    I am so sorry for your pain and I understand. I offer hugs and.prayers. I am on the forum a lot because writing here is very therapeutic for me.

    Be well PLEASE!!!
  18. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Welcome MommaB. I'm sorry for what you are going through with your daughter. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a terrible thing and totally affects the wiring of the brain.
    Our son, Josh, is adopted (4 months old at the time) but he has the genetics of Bipolar Disorder. He lives in Colorado and is almost homeless and very abusive to us so that we have blocked him. I noticed what you said about your daughter's friends. I have had to remove myself completely from anyone who knew Josh growing up because it's just too painful to answer questions about how he's doing or see what their children are doing in their "normal" lives, reaching milestones like careers, marriage, children, etc. It's also hard to talk about it with friends because they don't always understand and there's always the risk of judgment toward you as a parent. Sometimes there can be a subtle attitude (maybe even unspoken) that "you must have done SOMETHING to cause this as a parent." Not true, of course, but those with normal kids may not understand about mental health issues or substance abuse issues.
    I've come to realize that I am going through a traumatic experience, and like all trauma, it saps you of energy, optimism, motivation, and even the ability to concentrate and focus. So glad you are going to the CoDA meeting and the therapist. I have just seen a therapist and will continue to do so for a while. I wish you the best with your interviews.
  19. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Nomad, our son lives in Colorado and we live in the midwest. He does not have a car any longer and doesn't have the means to come here. Otherwise, I would be concerned for my safety, but for now, I don't think I have to be.
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  20. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    I'm just glad he at least has three weeks and wasn't asked to leave immediately. It wasn't that he was doing anything in particular to them that caused them to ask him to leave; they just realized that he is not interested in making progress and is not interested in having a relationship with them or their family. He is just using them as a stopover. They became increasingly frustrated and were uncomfortable with the sense of an undercurrent of anger in him occasionally. Then when I shared some of the text messages he sent me, that was the "straw." Time to go.
    I'm not looking forward to wondering where he is and if he is safe, but there's nothing I can do.