Sunday, July 23, 2017


I'm going through a very difficult time with my older son, who is now 24. He is on the autism spectrum and maybe some other diagnoses that I don't know of because he's an adult and I'm not his guardian or conservator.

For awhile, I had been very worried about him being bullied at a job that he had held for three years, because he is different and thinks of people differently than others do. Welp, that job ended in late January of this year without him telling me. He had gone through about three weeks of drama that I knew about, with going back and forth about was he going to quit and how he can't afford to quit, yadda yadda. Then I didn't hear anything bad for a long time and hoped it had cleared itself up.
He went two months without telling me that he had actually quit his job, and only told me after he had acquired a job at Walmart as night-time maintenance part-time because he was scared I'd be pissed at him. During the time he was unemployed, he spent all his savings and he spent his money like he would have if he had been employed. I was somewhat assuaged that he had acquired another job but was worried because it was part-time and paid less. Mind you, the last year he worked at the factory, he was making nearly as much a year as I was making as a Sheriff's Assistant.

Last July, he decided he'd had enough of living at specialized housing and went and rented an independent apartment, and told me he was moving out of the housing. At the time, I guess I was ok with that because he still had specialty services to help him out with the things he needed help for that I couldn't help him with, and he could afford this apartment. He was paying the car payment on the car I had bought for him and was doing well. When it came time to move into the apartment, I discovered he needed a cosigner on the lease. He couldn't back out of it because he'd given up his other apartment and was determined this was going to happen, and so I cosigned for him. I told him at that time that I was putting myself on the line and that he needed to understand that he had to be sure, absolutely sure, that he could make the payments on his lease. He said no problem, but after I signed, he asked me if he had some problems could I help him. I said, "Boy, I can't promise I'll help you pay this rent, but I'll promise you I'll never let you be homeless." I was worried that he was going to bail on his agreement to me, either on purpose or not on purpose, but he was doing well and I didn't want to believe it would be a problem.

We moved him, things went well for a few months, then he contacted me and told me he'd basically told his specialized services place to fuck off, that he was an adult and didn't want or need their help. I was upset with him and spoke with the services place, who indicated he was very rude and they asked him to leave because of his attitude when he came in.

That was about November of last year, and then things went downhill after that. In late March/early April, he starts his job at Walmart working nights, doing cleaning, which he performed well as far as I know, but his interpersonal skills got him into trouble. He had a night manager that he bitched about a lot to me, but, like we told him, there's always someone anywhere you work - make yourself stick with it.

A couple of weeks ago, husband and me and younger son go on a vacation far away from where we live, and oldest son knew this was coming up and declined to go because of the travel, which he does not do well with. He called me once on vacation to tell me someone backed into his car and made it sound like it caused alot of damage, which freaked me the fuck out because he and this other party left the scene. Turned out there really wasn't much damage and I knew the guy who backed into him and he paid cash for the estimate, so that turned out ok. I intended to get the grille fixed.

We got back last Saturday and were beside ourselves because just as we left on the last leg home, we get a phone call that MIL might be having a heart attack and was being transported to a major medical in the area. We made a 7 1/2 hour drive in 6 and my husband cleaned up and headed over to the hospital to see her. I stayed home with younger son and let older son know we were back. He knew what was going on with my MIL because we'd spoken on the phone earlier that day, so he knew the kind of stress that was going on.

He comes over and I'm in the back yard with my latest vice, Swisher Un-Sweets. So he comes out and starts talking to me, bitching about his work, telling me that last week he'd had some trouble with his medication and missed a couple of days of work. I asked what was going on with the meds, and he said he just didn't take them for a couple of days because they ran out. I ask, is it a money thing to get the meds? (I knew it wasn't because he's covered by MEPD and my insurance, so he doesn't have to buy his meds, but I was starting to smell some bullshit.) He says, I left early one night and the next night my manager was pissing me off so I left, because he wasn't feeling well because he didn't take the meds. But he followed up by assuring me he got them filled after that. Then he says to me, do you think I could move in with you for a little while? I'll pay rent, $400. (He was paying $500 rent at his current place and was just squeaking by - I'd been covering his car payments for three months by this time, because the loan is in my name and I just can't not pay.) My husband and I had talked about this before, and there's not any way he can live back at home again. He is a very stressful person to live with and has no concept of the needs of others. The week before we left on vacation, I made his car payment and he told me he had the money to pay me back when he gets paid while we're on vacation. I told him no problem, just pay us after we get back. When I ask him about that, he says, gee, I don't have the money now.

I told him I would talk to my husband about it, and he got very pressury with me, saying just think about it, just think about it. I ended up telling him I wasn't going to talk to husband about it right now because frankly he's in a very scary place not knowing what's going on with his ma, and I didn't feel right putting the blame on my husband for not letting him move back in.
Sunday, my husband and I spent the day at the hospital with MIL in the city and came home late in the afternoon. Older son had called me and asked what we were doing and we told him and it seemed ok. Older son had to work that night and we said we'd talk soon.

The next morning, Monday, at 5:30 a.m., I get a text from son telling me to call him asap. Well, fuck. That's never good. I call him, and he says, "I think I just got fired from my job." He's screaming and crying and carrying on about the son-of-a-bitch manager and I start crying because he's so upset and I'm freaked out. I'm still not clear on what happened, whether he got fired or actually quit, but he's not being straight up with me about much of anything at this point in time. We get off the phone because he's done talking and says he'll call me later.

And I get really uncomfortable, because (and maybe this is because of the history of my manipulative family), I find it kind of suspicious that he didn't want his service providers to help him with anything, and things went downhill, and he had just asked me if he could move in with me, although the only thing I had ever promised him was that I would make sure he would never be homeless. (I have also promised him, at his urging, that I wouldn't let him end up like his uncle on his dad's side of the family, who still lives with his mommy at the age of 35.)

To be clear, when my son had plenty of money to do the things he wanted, we might see him once a week at my house, when I would invite him over for dinner or something. Sometimes he'd show, sometimes he'd ditch. Now, he's at my house every day, which I hope is because doesn't want to be alone because he's stressed and I comfort him, but there's a pattern, you see. When I can do something for him, he's always there. I mean something like pay a bill or let him use my laundry or entertain him because he's bored. When he has plenty of money, he really doesn't have much use for me at all, which is just him. He's what used to be called Aspergers, but now it's the autism spectrum, and he has little to no empathy for people or what he can put them through. He just gets angry when he thinks they don't act the way he wants them to.

So I scramble through the week last week trying to get him to speak with a service provider at the local mental health center who can do some of the things I simply don't have time to do and can help him with DHS and SS (if we can get it reinstated - just had a phone hearing this week, so it'll be months before we find out). I scramble to get him an apartment I can afford for him because I won't re-sign his lease at the current place, because I know it'll be on me to pay it. So, I guess the cash that was going to be used to fix the car will make a couple of his car payments, and that worked out ok. Just two or three weeks before I had done similar scrambling because I realized he wasn't seeking any services for himself and I didn't realize how badly he needed them. When I was helping him fill at his SS phone hearing, it came out he still had over $300 in his checking account. Hmm. But he doesn't have enough to pay his $150 car payment. Now he's asked me if I can pay a couple of bills amounting to $65 for him. Where the fuck is his money going? I know he's not making more, but damn. I'm ponying up his deposit & first month's rent for this new place.

I know a few years ago he decided as an adult to quit seeing a certain psychologist because he didn't like the diagnosis the psychologist told him he thought fitted him. I know when son was a child, this psychologist thought he had a psychotic disorder, perhaps schizophrenia, and it was likely he would need services throughout his life. He does see someone for med management, but he quit going to a therapist. He's having periods of talkingtalkingtalking and rambling from subject to subject, being in a good mood one minute and then calling and bitching at me the next, then hanging up on me, or saying really paranoid things. This sort of thing usually comes out when he's stressed out and gets better when he's not, but he's the age that alot of this stuff comes up for other young adults.

My therapist asked me how I would feel if I had to commit him. The shit of it is, I don't think he's a danger to himself or others at this time. If I try to involuntarily commit him and he's held for 72 hours and kicked loose, then I've made an enemy of him and he still won't seek services or try in any way to get help for them. I've been beside myself trying to decide if I can afford to help him financially the way it is or if I should get a second job. Husband says if I get a second job, I'll spend the whole time being angry at son unless he allows someone (not me) to help him. Plus, it'll take me away from younger son when he's just heading into his teenage years, and that seems like it would be a bad thing. The more I try to help him and try to get him signed up for services, the more resistance I get from him, and he's trying to be really emotionally  manipulative. Now I wonder a little bit about the bullying at work, if it was really what he said it was, just because of the way he is behaving now.

Today he called screaming at me that he doesn't have any fucking money because I told him he had to cancel his wi-fi until we were able to get stuff hammered out and he tried to tell me they told him they had a contract, but that's bullshit because I have the same brand of wi-fi (but I think he's really pissing away his money getting shit from the convenience store). When I tried to tell him I knew this and was not going to leave him completely high-and-dry, he hung up on me. I sent him a couple of texts asking him what the fuck did he think he was doing hanging up on me, I'm trying to help him, that I get it's not his fault he can't deal with people, but that he has to be adult enough to accept the help that I'm trying desperately to get him, and to not treat me this way because I'm over having it. I did receive an apology, which I accept, but this is a cycle that's going nowhere.

What can he help and what can't he help? I'm confused and trying not to be triggered because the manipulative behavior is probably a sign of mental illness on his part, and not narcissism, but jesus-fucking-christ-on-a-cracker, when will this type of situation be resolved to good end?

This feels really bad. I hope it gets better soon.

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