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Old 11-18-2018, 05:53 AM #1
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Default What Would You Do?

Some of you may know my son is homeless. I took him to breakfast yesterday (my daughter went too) and it devolved into a terrible scene. I ended up taking my daughter home and then came back for him. He needs our help and support but holds terrible grudges against the entire family. Some have merit, some are him ruminating over and over about minor things. Deep down he is one of the most sensitive, sweetest people you could ever meet but he seems too struggle with paranoia and ruminates over the oddest things.

When I read Tisha's "Getting Over a Grudge" Thread and followed her link to the Psychology Today Website, I found the article: Are Children "Geiger Counters" of Their Parents' Emotions? devastating. It said:

Now for the study which is the subject of this post. First, however, a bit of background: Psychological problems in kids are roughly divided into externalizing behaviors and internalizing behavior. The former is basically acting out: doing poorly in school, being hyperactive, being oppositional, getting into fights, throwing tantrums and the like.

The latter refers to things like anxiety and depression. Either way, today, kids who have any of these problems are in danger of being labeled with brain disorders such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, and even "oppositional defiant disorder," which is basically bratty behavior. And of course there is "conduct disorder," which used to be called "juvenile delinquency."...

A developmental psychologist, E. Mark Cummings, summed up quite nicely the type of results that this literature routinely shows. He was quoted in a recent article in The Atlantic (How Passive Aggression Hurts Kids - The Atlantic) that described a recent study (Davies, P. T., Hentges, R. F., Coe, J. L., Martin, M. J., Sturge-Apple, M. L., & Cummings, E. M. (2016). The multiple faces of interparental conflict: Implications for cascades of childrenís insecurity and externalizing problems. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 125(5), 664-678).

ďChildren are like emotional geiger counters,Ē said E. Mark Cummings, a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame who has conducted extensive studies on the effects of marital discord on kids for more than 20 years. Children, he explained, are incredibly attuned to parentsí emotional communication with each other; theyíre keenly aware that, for their parents, nonverbal expression is key to communicating feelings.

For many couples, holding onto a grudgeósmoldering but not letting a disagreement erupt into a fighting matchómay seem like the best way to deal with a conflict. But research shows this kind of discord can significantly interfere with a childís behavior and sense of emotional security. When exposed to prolonged unresolved conflict, kids are more likely to get into fights with their peers at school and show signs of distress, anger, and hostility. They may also have trouble sleeping at night, which can undermine their academic performance. In fact, according to various studies that measured childrenís emotional responses to interparental hostility, disengagement and uncooperative discord between couples has shown to increase a childís risk of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, social withdrawal, and aggression."


I was a devoted parent in many ways and so was their dad but the fact that I hate confrontations and never felt like I properly aired out some of the grudges I had concerning major decisions I caved on (or perhaps was just powerless to change his ways) majorly impacted my children. Since then, we have worked many things out and do love each other but parenting while enduring the feeling I had no power to deal with my husband candidly (it mostly came from low self esteem) may have caused them a lot of damage.

After seeing so much dysfunction between us all, I was really depressed yesterday. My husband was very supportive, emphasizing that catastrophizing about the past doesn't help, instead we have to figure out how to help but we can't until he lets us.

In the article Tisha cited, there was this quote, "What are you supposed to say when someone insists there is no problem when there is a huge problem overshadowing everything? Are you going to say, ďThatís insaneĒ? Of course you will." It seems to me like this is what my son does yet he will say there is nothing wrong with him, I am the crazy one (After all, I have been diagnosed bipolar and **** myself), and denies (flat out lies) when I cite specific evidence of things he has done that does not seem normal to me. My husband does not want him to come home unless he agrees to get help. He refuses to do anything on our terms. He cries to me for help and when I help him, sometimes things go well while I am with him, other times he pushes me away. Our conversation before I dropped him off was upsetting and torturous for me but I am lucky, I am not homeless and alone. It must have been much worse for him. When I go to bed I think, I am lucky, my son does not have a bed. When it is hot or cold I think, I am lucky, my son is out in the elements. My worry also may not be helping things--sometimes he seems to enjoy getting my reactions. How do I help him?
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:59 PM #2
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Default Re: What Would You Do?

He'd choose homelessness over counseling and a roof over his head?
I've had friends bolted out of their homes as teens and somehow found ways to scrape through it and provide a life for themselves. Lives where homelessness was not desired and would not be a lifestyle choice.
I'm not sure how to suggest how to help you help him seek the path you would desire for him.
Have you reached out to NAMI for in person caregiver support?
Some personalities are part of a genetic composition. Sure, there's things as parents that could have been modeled differently or better, but sometimes MI of the child gets in the way.
Be gentle on yourself
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Old 11-19-2018, 05:52 PM #3
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Default Re: What Would You Do?

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Originally Posted by healingme4me View Post
He'd choose homelessness over counseling and a roof over his head?
Yes, thanks for your response.

He refuses to be controlled and wants to have a large measure of control over us.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:39 PM #4
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Default Re: What Would You Do?

That article did blow my mind because it talked about the ties between my mother and myself; how sheís been on a rant about her past misfortunes and how much it caught me up in it. Maybe my emotional problems are very tied to my mother.

I can see how you are also relating this to you and your son. Maybe there is truth to it.

My kids witnessed a crying, hysterical, angry mother for sadly their whole lives. In recent years when the truth was being discussed, they said they hadnít even noticed me. They were caught up in their kid world mostly. It was certainly my youngest one that saw it the most and was the most affected.

All three (knock wood) are doing well, had good grades in school, good friends, girlfriends, not drugs. So, thankfully, what they witnessed between me and their dad, hasnít affected them in too much a negative way at this point in their lives.

Maybe your kids were adversely influenced by it, maybe only partly. Donít blame yourself too much. You donít know for sure if your relationship caused your sonís problems right now.

Control is a biggie behind every dysfunction. I hear what you are saying about the control your son is trying to assert.

I hope you can get him professional help. Iím not sure what else to suggest. Iím sure Iíd keep trying to keep my kid safe as long as I could, too.

Maybe you can grab him off the street and put him into a program? Iím not sure about how any of that works.

Hugs and prayers for you!
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Old 11-20-2018, 03:39 AM #5
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Default Re: What Would You Do?

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Originally Posted by TishaBuv View Post
All three (knock wood) are doing well, had good grades in school, good friends, girlfriends, not drugs. So, thankfully, what they witnessed between me and their dad, hasnít affected them in too much a negative way at this point in their lives.

Maybe your kids were adversely influenced by it, maybe only partly. Donít blame yourself too much. You donít know for sure if your relationship caused your sonís problems right now.

Control is a biggie behind every dysfunction. I hear what you are saying about the control your son is trying to assert.

I hope you can get him professional help. Iím not sure what else to suggest. Iím sure Iíd keep trying to keep my kid safe as long as I could, too.

Maybe you can grab him off the street and put him into a program? Iím not sure about how any of that works.

Hugs and prayers for you!
I am glad your kids are doing well and your relationship with your husband has improved. I think you are a good daughter, mom and wife. You are own of the kindest people I know.

I know I was ruminating too much this weekend about my mental illness ruining my family's lives. I was having a relapse but pulled myself together yesterday. I know I am a good wife and mother as well.

There are programs out there for my son but only if he willingly wants to go into them. I will never give up on him but it is a balancing act trying to figure out how much to help.
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Old 12-22-2018, 01:41 AM #6
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For those who believe in prayer--request prayers for my son. He is at a critical junction in his life (I have vowed to myself not to give specific details about anyone else but myself on here). I have been praying that he has the wisdom and strength to make the right decisions and that he executes properly. He has so much potential--I am not the only that says this--when I connect with parents and teachers who knew him in high school and his entire family, they say this as well!
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:48 PM #7
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Hoping all turns out for him and he can follow through on whatever decision you are hoping for him to make
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:55 PM #8
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Default Re: What Would You Do?

Are there any young person homeless charities where you live. I had to "report" a street sleeper one freezing winters night on the way home from work. I checked the internet and found a group of young people who are experienced in going out to rough sleepers and checking that they are safe, telling them their rights etc.

I'm not in US so the name of that charity won't help you - but it seemed good to get experienced young people helping other young people: they know the stories, the evasions and the limits of safety.


I don't know how people deal with this in their own family because it's hard enough to encounter strangers using mixtures of behaviours - reaching for help, manipulation, putting themselves at risk. It's a huge challenge.
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Old 12-26-2018, 03:59 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowinners View Post
Yes, thanks for your response.



He refuses to be controlled and wants to have a large measure of control over us.


I think thatís quite a key statement about control. My daughter has done the same... not quite homeless but living in bad conditions... turned down many opportunities to help herself and I suspect it was easier to blame her circumstances on me versus make a change... hence the controlling. Iím sorry youíre going through this. I can certainly relate. What Would You Do?
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:46 AM #10
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reaching for help, manipulation, putting themselves at risk. It's a huge challenge.
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Originally Posted by Sisabel View Post
turned down many opportunities to help herself and I suspect it was easier to blame her circumstances on me versus make a change... hence the controlling. What Would You Do?
Thanks for your response. All these things are happening. The worst thing about it all is that he has told me so many lies that it is impossible to help because he a has had me helping with "pretend" things in order to get my attention. Then while I am helping him--he says torturous things then seems to enjoy when he makes me upset.

I did get him a room on Christmas day and we all ate at a Christmas Buffet together as a family. Everyone got along. I took him to see other family members earlier that day.

The next day when I checked him out of the hotel--the manipulational, lies and controlling behaviors started all over again. He had money in his pocket (gifts from family) and it was then apparent I was not going to give him anything more that day so he started saying things meant to upset me. He only calls when he wants something. Unfortunately, I usually buy him meals (order and try to eat with him once a week) and sometimes give him money. The lie he told me yesterday (don't want to give specific details), once again made it obvious that I have to stop doing this. My husband has been telling me for a long time that the help I give him is just hurting him. I get sympathetic to his needs over and over but am finally realizing that my husband is not wrong about this.
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