I Feel Like There’s No Way Out

Question: Please help me help myself. I have a son who is now 35 years old. He came to live with me 3 years ago. He was very depressed probably suicidal and Ii begged him to come home for some moral support, etc. It has not gone well. He was working and now is fired for 5 months. He is angry at me about everything in his life. He really has no life. He just sits in his room and plays video games and watches TV. He has short windows of time where he comes out of his room and is talkative and friendly. The least little thing I say often will result in him leaving abruptly and slamming his door; again going into the solitude of his room. He takes Rx pain meds and smokes marijuana. He is emotionally beating me up. I do not know what to do. His room is filthy and smelly and he wont let me into it. He locks it when he leaves which is rare. I am going to a counselor but he is still here and the last 3 years of well-intended “support” have gotten us nowhere. I feel guilt ridden, anxious, depressed and sick. Any advice would be so appreciated. I feel like there is no way out. E.

Answer: Dear E.: It appears to me that you acted out of concern and didn’t lay down any ground rules. You wanted to help and now it sounds like you are being exploited for being a loving mom.

I remember reading somewhere that there is always a way out; we always have a choice…but we just don’t like the consequences. Your counselor can support you but he/she doesn’t have to go home with you. You are alone with the situation when you return home.

Only you can decide if you want to continue to live the way your son is dictating you live or whether you deserve better.  You are looking at what your life has become as the result of taking him in and his eventually becoming your dependent. Can you cope with his having to face life, if you remove him from your home? If you sit on the fence, paralyzed by the pros and the cons…you will probably stay there permanently.

The only way out that I can see is to tell him you are going to see an attorney about having him removed from your home. Make it clear that you brought him in only temporarily, to help him get on his feet, and it hasn’t worked. Tell him that he is no longer a teenager and you refuse to support that illusion. If you find no other recourse, you can move and refuse to give him a key to your new residence.

Your son is an adult and is responsible for his own well-being and that includes facing and resolving any difficulties that come his way. The same is true for you. You my have written to me because you know that having two victims under the same roof isn’t serving either of you. . Blessings, Luise

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