Go Back   Friends and Family Forum > The Family Forum > All Grown Up

All Grown Up A place to discuss "adult" children.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 28th, 2011, 07:41 PM
informavoir informavoir is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
informavoir is on a distinguished road
Too much worry

I feel I may be overly attached to my first born. My wife and I have two sons 26 and 21. The problem is with the 26 year old.

He left home at about 20 and has made a mess of his life. He now has 2 dui's and gets around on a scooter which is not even legal for him. He married a girl who also had no driver's license and now she has left him. He may soon be homeless as his job barely covers his needs and he continues to make mistakes.

His problems are now more than we can see clear of even if we helped a lot. He doesn't seem to understand his need for guidance. He is not at all a bad young man but, his attitudes are slipping as he slips further into poverty and dispair. He is becomming desparate and I'm afraid if we don't take over his life he will do some thing desparate and wind up in jail or be injured or kill himself.

We helped him past his problems for the fist few years paying for his fines and trying our best to understand his mistakes. But now we feel he wasn't ready to be helped and that's why he contined to fail.

Now his situation is dire and I want to rescue him and even move him back home. It would be a big sacrifice for us, especially his mother. And still he might not be ready to understand his failures and change.

My wife says we must accept that he will never be what we expected and we must let him go. He must solve his own problems or suffer his own fate. She is not unwilling to help him if he would indicate that he is truly ready to accept his need for guidance. She just doesn't believe he can while I seem to see only his good side.

I am suffering anguish, guilt and worry much more than she is.

I wonder what a conselor would say. Are my feelings for him wrong?

More details on request.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old April 28th, 2011, 07:59 PM
Priscille's Avatar
Priscille Priscille is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 228
Priscille will become famous soon enough
Re: Too much worry

You care a lot about your son, and that is a GREAT thing. Whatever you do, never turn your back on him or let him 'suffer his own fate' as your wife puts it. I think she feels powerless in this whole situation and this is why she reacts that way. I don't doubt that she must love him too.

The way I see it is that your son's failures are a way for him to be significant. Look at all the worrying you are doing about him. To him that means that he is very important to you. So, over the years he has found negative ways to be significant to others, therefore he goes to those. He now must learn positive ways to meet that need.

I'm not sure that taking him in would solve any of his problems, in that it would not bring solutions to him. What you can do however is listen very closely to him, without judgement, and try to find something that brings a little spark in his life and reinforce that. Not doing things for him or over helping, but just through encouragement or positive comments (or help, but only if he asks for it first).

How often do you see each other? Do you have activities that you both like and that you share together?

And if I may ask, can you explain why you are so strongly attached to your first son? Does it spring from an event or has it always been that way? Just wanting to have a global picture of your situation.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old April 28th, 2011, 09:18 PM
Tink Tink is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 106
Tink will become famous soon enough
Re: Too much worry

I would say that your wife has "given up", not that she doesn't love him nor care for him in any way, shape, or form. But, there's only so much one can do for someone else, and your wife has grasped that situation with your son. She ended up with fines, keeps "failing" so to speak, she more than likely feels that no matter what she/you tries, it's all a failure, no matter what. There are things that most people just give up on, because no matter how hard they try it doesn't get the result they want.

I agree with Priscille... I wouldn't so much as take him in, but possibly be involved more? Help look for a better job? Do some networking for/with him? Encourage him to join a group? That he's not the only one in. There's AA for the DUI's, there's support groups for anyting almost anywhere. Even if it's a good book!! There are a lot of books and things out there, even for you and your wife to possibly get some ideas from. I honestly do not know any off the top of my head, but I'm sure with a good trip to the library, or even online, that there may be some motivating things out there. I wouldn't stop helping your son, he still needs a dad AND A MOM.

My question is.. All these times that you have helped him.. Does he call/ask for help? Or do you see he is in trouble and you reach out to him? I think it is best if HE reaches out for YOU... And not any other time.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old April 28th, 2011, 10:13 PM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16,165
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Too much worry

Quote:
Originally Posted by informavoir View Post
My wife says we must accept that he will never be what we expected and we must let him go. He must solve his own problems or suffer his own fate. She is not unwilling to help him if he would indicate that he is truly ready to accept his need for guidance.
Your wife understands a basic premise of dealing with addicitons, compulsions, and some behavioral issues. You can not help some one who is not willing to help themselves. It is an exercise in futility.

For the record, I do not think you are overly attached. I think you feel a worry and burden as his father, which shows that you are a good, caring man.

If I were in your shoes and wanted to help my son, I would help him in ways that really WOULD be help. Paying his fines, moving him back into your home - those are temporary fixes and not long-term help. Those are putting a bandage on a festering wound. If it were me, I'd pay for counseling/rehab for him to help him figure out for himself what a mess he is making of his life. I'd walk through it by his side, encouraging, but not rescuing.

It might not be a bad idea for you to find out first hand what a counselor would say.
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old April 29th, 2011, 04:11 AM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,446
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Too much worry

Quote:
It might not be a bad idea for you to find out first hand what a counselor would say.
Yes. With 2 DUI's, I'd say there may be chemical dependency involved. Seeing only good or giving up all hope will not be the best approach for your son. Google an Al-Anon chapter near you to help guide you through the maze of helping vs. enabling.

Anguish, guilt, and worry come with the territory. They are appropriate feelings for a father who loves his son. They just aren't a foundation on which to base good decisions.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old April 29th, 2011, 05:59 AM
Knot2loud's Avatar
Knot2loud Knot2loud is offline
is never to loud.
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 2,987
Knot2loud has a reputation beyond reputeKnot2loud has a reputation beyond reputeKnot2loud has a reputation beyond reputeKnot2loud has a reputation beyond reputeKnot2loud has a reputation beyond reputeKnot2loud has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Too much worry

Did you ever tell your son that HE is responsible for HIS own actions? Does he have normal intelligence? Does he know how to pay a bill, buy food? Can he read? Have you always bailed him out when he screwed up? Have you always paid his fines? Posted his bail? Picked up the pieces he left scattered around? When he became an adult have you put your son before your wife? Have you and your wife got into arguments over him? Has your son managed to place a wedge between you and your wife?

I hope it works out for you and your wife.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old April 29th, 2011, 11:33 AM
informavoir informavoir is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
informavoir is on a distinguished road
Re: Too much worry

Good stuff...thank you all for taking the time...hard to create a coherent response quickly...so many thoughts.


Priscille... “do not turn your back.” Thank you...this is key...I feel we cannot turn our backs and yet exactly how to help is a problem since money is tight and we disagree on the details.


Why I am so bonded is a good question...I think I know but, that might be another topic or emerge from this.


Tink...yes..my wife has kind of given up. Her and I have starkly different temperament. (as in meyers briggs temperament sorter) I am the open type...all about possibilities...can't close a door and she is...just the facts...and the fact is...he has shown poor judgment even when given some chances. She is not unreasonable and she's a proven problem solver...that is why I question myself.


Did he ask for our help? Not really. We jumped in assuming this would never happen again and were devastated when it did. We realized the “not ready for help thing” in the after math and that's why we have pulled back. We still help with needs but mostly we are holding our breath waiting for him to...what...hit rock bottom...I guess.


Kay Kay... indeed...my wife has very good sense and has pulled back further than I am comfortable with. I agree we helped too much but, there remains the question of how hard we try to change his attitude or let him hit rock bottom when it might just ruin him.


You don't think I'm overly attached. Thank you. I care deeply about him...I'm amazed that some fathers don't care so much.

Paying for counseling is a good suggestion.


LucyVanPelt chemical dependence you say. Yes...he seems normal...his looks his behavior even his problems have been within norms but he has punctuated his life with alcohol “black outs” that have magnified his problems. Each time he seems to understand and goes a good while without further drinking but, just as some light appears in the tunnel, he blows it again.


We are now focused on the issue of alcohol...trying to convince him that he is one of the many who CANNOT drink. Paying for AA is a given...as soon as he asks for it??


Knot2loud....pretty loud actually...lol...spoken like a guy who prefers a blaster to any more cerebral approach. I wish I was like that actually because I've been seeking “special...unconscious” answers all my life and, while I think they may exist, I don't think we can find them. Complexity over rides everything. So we have to pare decisions down to the fewest basic principles and let things happen around them.


We have squared the blame on him each time and he has seemed to understand. Yet he didn't apparently learn or take the problems seriously. He is a risk taker. Have we been harsh enough? I wish I knew...we may be trying it soon


He is not unintelligent and has shown some good sense as the budget person in his marriage. Early talker...good reader...large forehead...trouble free baby...no school problems...thanks for asking...lol


This is part of my problem...he's a chip off the old block...a source of joy that I have lost.

I did many foolish things growing up and got away with them. So I am perhaps overly sympathetic. Threaten me with that blaster why dontcha


I hear you....very soon the issue of responsibility will come up again and I will implore him...in the strongest terms...to open his heart and accept that his problems are HIS and that he cannot benefit from guidance until he truly accepts that.

So hard to be firm without...shall we say...the dark side...welling up in our scolding.


Wedge between us? His problems have shown up the wedge that exists between us....the opposite temperament. It is a big problem but, I don't feel he had or has any need to drive it. It's our problem....and it makes it harder to deal with his problem.

I'm going to leave it here I am thinking on the advise here and look forward to any further thoughts

Thanks again to all of you
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old April 29th, 2011, 01:35 PM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,446
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Too much worry

Quote:
Paying for AA is a given...as soon as he asks for it??
AA is free, and that counseling would be for your son. I used to think you had to wait until the person hits bottom before you take him. Not anymore. Although it's hard to see it now, and I don't want to be dramatic about it, but for some people bottom is death. Consider taking your son to a few meetings before he hits bottom.

Al-Anon is also free, but it's for those who are dealing with an addicted person, in other words, for you.

This is their main website: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
This is a quiz that may help you determine if they can be of service to you: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/affec...eones-drinking

Good luck.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old April 29th, 2011, 10:37 PM
Tink Tink is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 106
Tink will become famous soon enough
Re: Too much worry

Ha. Sounds like me and my ol' man. I'm, just like your wife, these are the facts, and that is it. Whereas, my BF, is like you, well there's this part, and this part...

We, too, had a problem with BF's son.. It was a problem before I got here, and continued when I got here, and I am to the point, to where I just want to throw him to the wolves, so to speak, because no matter what we do, no matter how much money we give, no matter how much clinics/help groups we try to find... It doesn't help the problem. Now, he's away in another state, barely calls or anything, which I'm fine with nowadays. ((BTW, for those that read my post before, HE HAS A JOB!!!)) .... Something he has NEVER done here. So MAYBE/hopefully he's on the right path now. But time tells all, he has lasted away without any family help (financially), then I thought he would.

So, I do see the distinction in my relationship at home, that is of yours and your wife's.... And I am sure you feel the same way my BF does... That your wife doesn't "Care enough" sometimes, but keep down, she does. Trust me. I still care! And love him all the same, but she has given up, but that should not discourage you, BUT just make sure one important thing though.....

He is grown. He will do what he WANTS to do. And by ALL means, if you and the wife start "arguing" over what to do, then that is not healthy for YOUR relationship. Trust me. Been there too!! So, while you are focused on your son, which is great! Make sure you're not causing issues in your marriage as well. Can't have too many problems at once, can we?

I, personally, have dealt with a person that has had a drinking problem. My uncle would drink a gallon of whiskey a day. And yes, he is still alive (barely), and can function normally (most days). My son's father, on the other hand, as soon as that poison hit his lips, he was a wild, abusive, inconsiderate DB ((not saying what it actually is, but I'm sure you guys can figure it out)).

I hope neither of those things happen to your son. And, Lucy has provided you with GREAT websites to go to and check out, not just for your son, but for you & your whole family as well. They will help a lot. If your son is not willing to change, or even attend AA... Al-Anon is still a great idea! Just because he MAY have given up, doesn't mean YOU have to.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 4th, 2011, 04:22 AM
informavoir informavoir is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 3
informavoir is on a distinguished road
Re: Too much worry

I will give al anon a try to see if I can overcome my fears of asserting myself. We enable because we fear pushing the person to rock bottom.

Thanks again for the time and considerations
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2007, The BlueSparks Network