Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Struggle to the Surface

My 19-year-old has now been accepted for SSI. I helped him file was because his needs are greater than what I can provide since he wants to live semi-independently. He's very excited about the ability to live away from me which I easily understand since at that age I would rather have chewed off my fucking foot than lived with my parents. At his age, I already had a one-year-old child and had jumped into adulthood with both feet. I discovered adulthood to be less of a struggle than what my parents made it out to be. After living 18 years with them, the new hell was preferable. I don't know how my boy will do in the real world. I know I can't buffer him forever. The lessons I learned were such tough ones, and I learned them with an average intellect, although I was socially retarded from my strange upbringing. It only took me a few years to figure some stuff out, and he's like a young teen in some ways.

The living situation he desires isn't really going to be like throwing him to the wolves. He'll have some daily assistance with finances and other things that haven't crossed his radar before. He'll probably have roommates of similar functioning. At least with other people at his life level, I hope he won't have to struggle with people taking advantage of his loneliness and willingness to make friends. I hope.

He's very high-functioning and very odd. His speech is rather disjointed and he'll discuss certain subjects inapropos of situation. He is somewhat like Sheldon Cooper in both good ways and bad. His restlessness and stress radiate from him like heat when he's struggling. He's tall and blonde and grown-up looking, and unless you talk to him, you might not notice his struggle. You might notice that he has a strange gait, I guess, if you saw him walking down the street.

I love him so much. I hope he really knows that. I hope he doesn't ever know how scared I am for him.


  1. Oh Bess-this sounds wonderful-and scary too! His "new place" will give him independence with just enough "keeping an eye on." It's sounds perfect, but as excited as he must be and as hopeful as you both are, what a big change for both of you.
    I hear your love for him through and through. And you love him so much you're gonna allow him to launch into the world-with a bit of help.
    You've more than done your job, Bess. Not that it ever ends when you're a parent, but to let him go takes incredible love, strength and courage.
    You have all three beyond words, Bess. And you've passed them on to him as well.

  2. I agree 100% with TW. Bess, this is a hard but wonderful thing you are doing for your precious son.

    He sounds in some ways like my disabled brother. My brother, 8 years younger than I, lives in a group home. My husband and I have told him he is more than welcome to live with us rent-free, but for now at least he prefers to stay in his semi-independent living, where he has been for about 4 years, even though they charge way too much of his SSI, in our opinion, and they no longer provide his groceries, my husband and I now do that. But still, my sweet gentle brother feels happiest there, and that's what I want for him, to be happy, and safe.

    The odds are, Bess, that you won't outlive your son, as I'm sure you've thought of, so helping him now to learn to live in the world in this way is a great gift, not only for the present, but to ensure his future well-being.

    Yes you love him immensely, that comes through loud and clear. I have a 15 year old grandson who is profoundly cognitively impaired, his is the most severe on the autism spectrum, plus he is cognitively only about the level of a 2 year old. There are physical issues, too, and he must always wear diapers. He is pure light and love, all giggles and innocence. He is a gift, but Oh how I worry what will happen, where will he be, how will he be cared for, when his grandparents and parents are all gone? Deep Breath... one day at a time, right?