Struggling to do the right thing

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JayPee, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    My 30 year old homeless son says he’s starving and could I buy him a few cans of beans. The food he gets once a week he says is mostly perishable and he lives in his car and in the summer heat it spoils quick. He had been going for one meal a day at the soup pantry but three days ago he said a guy sitting next to him at dinner all of a sudden accused him of taking his cell phone from him. He claims he attempted to assault him and three of the workers held him back while they told my son he should head out while they held him back. He said no one was even suggesting to call the police. The guy told him he was going to get him and when my son returned to the area of the soup kitchen a day later he did see this guy outside. My son is not a fighter. His issues are anxiety, doesn’t work and blames me for every failure and is verbally abusive to me when he doesn’t get his way. Now his one meal a day is gone. How do I not cave and go get him food? As far as the cell phone, my son I’m sure didn’t take it. I know as we all do many have issues at these pantries for homeless. This guy was fine one minute and went off the next.

    I am trying to detach and not run to him with food. I question if I’m doing the right thing. I just don’t want to add one more item of enabling when I’m trying to stop other parts of it.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I am ready for sleep, but saw this and had to respond.

    Does your son lie? This story he tells is not believable at all to me. If somebody was starting trouble with somebody else, the aggressor is who i think would be asked to leave. My guess, judging by my own daughter's tall tales, is that if your son was kicked out, and this is assuming it really happened, HE probably did something against the rules. Maybe he mouthed off or came in high. Who knows?

    At any rate, at age 30 your son could call the police himself if it happened and he is old enough to figure out what to do without your help like GET A JOB. He is able bodied. He can at least flip burgers. My daughter won't and it drives me nuts and I will no longer help her financially. She certainly has money for pot and cigarettes.

    I believe there are other places he can get food if he can't go there. My daughter made up all kinds of stories and I tried to believe them until I couldn't anymore. I'm not saying your son is lying. I am saying it sounds far fetched to me. I am telling you to maybe ponder, based on knowing your son, if his sad story is probably true or not true.

    You seem to feel very guilty that he lives in a car. Many homeless people don't even have a car. But I know how guilty we all feel although they cause their hardships. I am finally able to see my daughter with clarity. I no longer get involved in her life, but I am in my 60s and it took me a long time to realize that she needs to learn to find her own solutions. Her father and I both have health issues, and one day Kay will need to do her life without us. May as well practice. Yes, it's hard, but we are done.

    I feel your exhaustion, pain, and fear. I hope you can one day find peace. It is hard to stop thinking of them as little ones. I see the little girl Kay when I am pitying her. I get it. It is scary to think about their lives after we are no longer here. But it will happen. In our case, we feel that if we don't let go and give our girl to God, our lives may end a lot earlier than we anticipate. Stress is not a good thing for an aging body. They are young and can handle stress better.

    Does your son drink or use drugs that you know of? If not what is his excuse for not working and being homeless? Usually it seems to be drugs, at least heavy pot use.

    Be well.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  3. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Busy, thanks for your input. He doesn’t use drugs (to the best of my knowledge) and has never been diagnosed with anything. I do know he suffers from anxiety. I don’t really know the reason he won’t work. I sometimes feel it’s how he wants to punish me and his father because he thinks we owe him everything. This has been his pattern for many years. He doesn’t usually keep a job more than 3-6 months. He’s angry that I won’t let him live with me but his laziness and verbal abuse are something I refuse to tolerate in my home anymore. Of course he thinks I’m a horrible mother for not doing this. So now his excuse for not getting work is that due to his lack of food he’s mentally and physically unable.

    I agree his story has holes in it. I appreciate your input.
  4. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I am in a similar situation although addiction is involved with my 33-year-old difficult son. Like you I cannot bear to have him in my home because it would destroy my health.

    Despite that, the emotional anguish is tough. I have thrown good money after bad so many times. I always say it is the last time. I agree with everything Busy says. My son needs to learn to make it on his own but it is as much my struggle to live with saying no and holding my boundaries.

    I am sure FOG is at work with your son as well as mine - that fear obligation and guilt. Your son sounds as good at manipulating your emotions as mine manipulates me.

    Keep posting, it helps.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh JayPee, I know all too well how you feel.
    My son is now 37 and still prefers to live a homeless, wondering lifestyle.
    Over the years I have had phone calls and private FB messages from him telling me that he was going to starve and freeze to death. I've had him tell me, if you really loved me you would help me.
    I get it!! I've lived it.
    With my son, if his lips are moving, he's lying. I don't know about your son. He may be telling the truth or his version of the truth with some extra sprinkled on top. All of that really doesn't matter. What matters is he has made the choice to live in his car and not work. Him trying to blame you and your husband is nothing more than manipulation. My son blames me and my husband for how screwed up his life is. I used to take it but no more. The last time my son tried to blame me, I was very quick to tell him that I have had no influence in his life for many years and that he's an adult and gets to choose how he will live his life.
    Please don't buy into him trying to blame you. Hey, none of us were perfect parents. News flash, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. We all did the best we could. Our children are adults now and they can choose each day how they will live their lives.
    Now, for the can of beans. Sure, you could buy him a can or a case but when that's gone, you will be right back to where you are now. My suggestion is that you do a little research and find all the places he can go to get some food. I would also find out more about the food pantry and verify what they give out. Yes, they do give perishables but they also have other food items that are not. Get a list together of places he can go to get food and give that to him.
    Bottom line, you can only do what you can live with. Yes, it hurts to tell them no but the more you say no the less they will ask.
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  6. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I can believe something like this happened at the soup kitchen. Sadly, many of the people I've seen have severe untreated mental illness and imagine that others steal from them, etc. They are fine one minute and go off the next. I think that is one of the main reasons a lot of homeless people don't take advantage of these services.
  7. RN0441

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

    I would try to detach as much as you are able.

    He is a grown man and is in this situation due to his actions. Not due to yours.

    Like others have said, the more you rescue the more you set yourself up to rescue. His problems are not your problems. You can be compassionate and emotionally supportive but don't let him reel you back in too close.

    My son has anxiety also. I think that most people do in some form or another to be honest. I know that I do!
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  8. Mikayla

    Mikayla New Member

    Excellent post. Our stories are very similar. You are giving spot on advice. These are such painful journeys but we were given our lives also and we need to respect the previous gift of that. These adult children will take you down to the bottom. And what I found was that many addicts can live on the bottom.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I agree excellent post.
    My first thought was that it’s 50/50. He is either lying or he isn’t.
    I suppose I still think this to a certain extent, but am more inclined to think he is not being forthright.

    We have our daughter on a budget. She is mentally disabled. She has very limited ability to control her spending. She is impulsive with mood swings and anxiety.

    We will help her if it is a true emergency or very unusual situation.

    Example: She had a good friend who moved to another city in our state. That friend’s Son died unexpectedly. We gifted her the ability to attend the funeral.

    However, we always have to CHECK the facts. Periodically she comes up with some whopper stories. It’s sad and frustrating. No doubt in the past we have fallen for them. We do our very best NOT to do that. It only enables her to do more of this type of thing. She needs to stay on her budget.

    Since your son is 30, as best as you can try to detach. Maybe...only CONSIDER helping for true extreme matters.
    It’s a tough call.

    Hopefully he will be motivated to improve his own life situation.
  10. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    This is my son to a T. I know that doesn't offer any useful advice, but if you're like me, it helps to know you're not alone.

    Mine is still living with me for another week or 2. I'll never live with him again. Never. He was away for 3 days and my home was so peaceful. Upon arriving back, he wasted no time yelling, calling me names, berating me. That, from the man who sleeps all day while I'm at work. Yeah, never again.
  11. RN0441

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

    Ah just got my answer. He moves out in less than two weeks Ckay! Amen to that!!!
  12. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    Remain strong. If there's one "boundary"/"line of peace" I've set and stuck with and have not waivered from (even though I have been hated for) is not allowing my sons into my home. It is my place where I can have serenity and think and be at peace. No more verbal abuse or seeing them sleep all day, as you said, while I'm at work or telling me they're looking for jobs when all they're doing is playing video games or texting friends. No more friends over smoking pot in my garage. The list can go on and on and that's what keeps me strong.

    The only thing that finally brought about the change for me was when I was getting a divorce and selling the house. Even then, they both didn't really have anywhere to go but were given ample time (6 months) to figure things out. I purposely went to stay with my sister for a couple of months after selling our home, while looking for an apartment. By doing this, they could not force themselves on me again and lock into the same old "do nothing" pattern. It was for me as much as for them while I got stronger.

    And here we are not quite two years later and they've stayed here and there but mostly been homeless, refuse to work and have used my every last penny, almost. They continue to blame me for not taking care of them (30 and 26!) but I guess after all my pattern of enabling led them to believe that's what I'd be doing all my life. That's why they don't like the changes in me now.

    I have so many other changes I still need to make but this was the biggest insofar as getting them out of my day to day life, sucking all my happiness from me. Now, if I meet up with them, it's on my terms and I can depart at any time, or hang up the phone or block texts etc. if I've had enough.
  13. Mikayla

    Mikayla New Member

    Good for you! Stay strong.