Saturday, March 15, 2014

My So-Called Life LOL

No puppies yet.  Poor little Maddie is as big as a house and uncomfortable.  Max has turned out to be a wonderful companion for her.  He snuggles with her and seems to have instinctively figured out that something is different so he tries to engage her in play gently and not boisterously as usual.  So far Mama and babies are healthy.
I've been trying to figure out what to do with Big Kid for months now.  It's so hard to put into words, and I'm so tired.  When I think that this is  what the rest of our lives is going to be like I get so horribly depressed.  I think the winter weather and gray skies haven't been helping either!
After more than a year of not being able to get him a psychiatrist (there wasn't one within 100 miles that would take Medicaid, which he has now that he gets Social Security), his therapist was able to hook him up with a great one.  This doctor wasn't taking any new Medicaid patients, but agreed to take him on as a favor to the therapist.
The first thing he did was start rearranging Big Kid's meds to see if they could find a better cocktail with fewer medications (Big Kid was on like 7 different ones), which was a great place to start.  Some of the meds Big Kid has been taking aren't really good to take for the long term.  Things seemed to be working well.
Here is the problem.  And it's a biggie.
Every few months, like clockwork, when things seem to be stable and going well, Big Kid decides that:
A) The doctor doesn't know anything because he read something on the internet that was contradictory to his treatment plan
B) Some "friend" or internet "expert" had horror stories about a medication he's taking
C) He's bored and wants to shake things up a bit
D) He's unhappy because he doesn't have any interests or passions to keep him engaged with life
E) There is just not enough drama in his world.
So he:
1)  Stops taking his meds
2)  Starts drinking
What ends up happening is:
1)  He pawns all his stuff so he can have money to buy useless crap, and even though we've warned him countless times that we're not going to bail him out again, he continues to do it.  And then he's lost a bunch of valuable electronics because he can't buy them out and we refuse to.  Or
2)  He doesn't want to wait until the first of the month when he has money to get his stuff out of pawn and hounds the crap out of everybody to front him the money until then.  Of course, this is all our fault because we won't support him in the manner to which he'd like to become accustomed.  Personal responsibility?  He can't be responsible because "I'm disabled".  Hubby previously went to countless pawn shops to ask them not to take Big Kid's stuff because of his brain injury, but they know an easy mark when they see it.  And of course, since he can't drive, who do you think takes him there?  Kitty.
3)  He starts fights with Kitty (or she starts with him) and the two of them will call me relentlessly expecting me to "Dr.Phil" them.  I just stop answering the phone, so I get countless shouting messages on the machine for being so selfish not to interrupt my day to solve their stupid problems.
4.  He calls constantly---sometimes up to 9-10 times a day, either for something trivial, like is a can of food still good a week after it's expiration date (probably, why don't you open it and smell it?), or to lament how crappy his life is, or to confess that he's been drinking and not taking his meds, and he promises to do better, can I give him a hundred dollars?
I know it sounds as if I've abandoned him sort of.  I haven't.  He spends 2-3 nights a week here, sometimes with Kitty, sometimes without.  She needs a break too.  I can't do any more, because the two of them just wear me out.  This is all that's happening when they're NOT here.  gah.
The last episode ended with Kitty dropping him off at a local mental hospital on the advice of his doctor at 9pm in a snowstorm.  Instead of going inside with him to make sure that they'd admit him, she drove off with her phone turned off.  They wouldn't take him, so he ended up calling us when they turfed him out.  Hubby had to drive down from the mountains at 11pm in blizzard conditions to rescue him.  For the next three days I ran around getting him emergency appointments, taking him to specialists, having tests done (MRI, EEG) because he was positive he was having seizures or something and his doc wasn't going to risk telling him he was full of shit.  After he shook everybody's life up for days he finally admitted to me that he had been drinking again.  And Kitty knew it, but didn't give anyone a clue.  She's between a rock and a hard place, I understand that.  But neither of them is considerate of the time or energy of others.
I love my boy.  I do.  I do.  I just don't know what to do to help him.  He's 27 years old now, and he needs to learn how to live his own life.  We've done everything we know how to get him to find a vocation, a passion, an interest to keep him busy and fulfilled.  We've supported him financially and emotionally in every way we know how. 
I know he has a mental illness and a brain injury.  But it hasn't affected his intellect so it's hard to tell which behavior stems from that, or is just manipulation.  He is capable and responsible for following his treatment plan.  He chooses to go off his meds and to drink, and it makes me so angry that he does this every 3-4 months.
I feel so tired and helpless most of the time.

Sorry to vent, but that's why I haven't been around much lately.  Hope you all are well and happy.


Jeanie said...

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place....your are firmly there and your pain and frustration is very clear in this post. I have some experience (not near as close as you) with this kind of situation, just enough to know that there sometimes don't seem to be any answers and the mental health community is not much help.
Please do all you can to take care of yourself can be no help to anyone if you let yourself get beaten down. You have all my best thought for things to somehow get better soon.

turquis said...

God Bless Kitty! You might just have to face the fact that there is no cure for your son's illness and change your attitude towards his lifestyle choices. You didn't cause it, you can't cure it. Perhaps going to Alanon would be a help to you.

The Quacks of Life said...

nothing I can say really.......

in our socialist super state over here the NHS would have to find you one.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Big sigh, ATM. Our mental health system is so lacking that it leaves me shaking my head most of the time.

I wish all of this was easier and Big Kids issues could be resolved. Medications are a delicate balancing act that can turn on a dime at a moment's notice as you well know.

Not sure what else to say other than I'm cheering you on from the West Coast and sending you strength.

xoxo jj

*Tasha* said...

This may seem odd but I REALLY think you should post here:

They will be harsh but they have good advice. I am also positive that they will say you are NOT "abandoning him'- he is a grown adult. You are not obligated, after a certain point. You're a good mom and a strong person.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's rotten stuff. I'm so sorry you're going through this. It sounds almost like he's bipolar with the swings. You must be EXHAUSTED. Not just with the logistical shit, but the emotional drain, too.

Rootietoot said...

I got nothin to say, except (hugs). I wish I could be closer and fix you a coffee.

Jacqui said...

Ive got nothing either except virtual hugs and coffee. sometimes you just need to vent.

Kim Ayres said...