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HELP! At a loss and super worried.

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HELP! At a loss and super worried.

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Frequent scribe
Pho-RO

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

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Hi @Sandee and @Sunshine72, I am really glad to see that you are both finding solidarity and connection together, though of course I wish it weren't such difficult circumstances that have brought you together here on the forums. 

It sounds like for both of you, there is a lot of stress in having to sit in uncertainty about the safety and wellbeing of your children and not knowing what it will take for them to feel ready to start accepting help. It is incredible how much strength and resilience you are both demonstrating, both in your individual circumstances and in coming here to support one another as well. It is heartwarming to see. 

@Sandee it sounds like you know you do need to take time for yourself, and it's okay to struggle to be able to do so. I think that the suggestions that @Sunshine72 has shared are really insightful, especially finding the small positives that you can, each day. I hope you can find your own ways to cope, and you can also have a look at the ones listed here for more ideas.

@Sunshine72 I really admire your incredibly proactive approach, and can really sense how much that despite all the distress, you are not only keeping yourself busy and taking the time to research things, but also to connect with others and share what you've learned. 

You are both on the right track, and whilst it is indeed a tough road to walk, none of us need walk it alone. 

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Sunshine72

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Thanks Pho-RO for taking the time out to respond too and for the support services you provide. You guys at Reach Out have been fantastic. I really appreciate the wonderful counselling/parent sessions and keep hoping for a positive change.
We’re all doing the best we can.
Prolific scribe
Sandee

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi 
Thank you and i really appreciate you replying to mean it means alot.
Im wondering when your son goes off does he ask you for money mine keeps asking for money for food and if i dont give it he then starts abarrage of text messages till finally silence. 
We said there is food here but now he feels we have starved him and he is done.
 
He also comes back with different clothes at times says he swaps them with his mates .
 
Im trying to get myself in a position to understand that i cannot control what he does but i can control myself instead of letting it control me. Its easier said than done and at the moment im so overwehelmed im calling lifeline to calm me down
 
I really hope you are ok and i hope that we both get thru this and escpecailly our sons
 
Take care xx
 
 

 

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Stormy-RO

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

@Sunshine72 I'm really glad to hear that the parent coaching service has been helpful for you! You really are doing the best you can and that is shining through in your concern and care for your child.

@Sandee I just wanted to chime in and say that I can see how strong you are being in seeking help with this situation too. It's difficult to be given advice from so many different places and it's great to see you connecting here for suggestions too. Hopefully seeking support from a variety of places can give you the resources you need to keep managing this hard situation with your son. We wanted to check in about how your call with Lifeline went? It's incredibly difficult to be in such a difficult situation with your mental health and we're here to support you in any way we can.

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Sunshine72

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi Sandee,

Preface: I started this email this morning and I’m so sorry it’s taken so long to finish it, I have had to come back to it many times as it’s been another day I don’t want to re-live.

It takes incredible strength to share your situation and get the help you are getting. I’m so pleased to hear you are reaching out to Life line and seeking assistance to help you in these circumstances. My heart is breaking for you. I wish I could give you a huge hug! I agree it's so painful and the anxiety has a knot in my stomach every day. It's so overwhelming to see our boys doing things that break our hearts and chip away at our soul each day. I'm so sorry for the pain it's causing. I'm right there with you and tears are streaming as I write to you. I often feel completely helpless and as much as I always manage to keep my voice calm (no idea how!) I crumble into a heap after our encounters hearing the way he speaks with us, his arguing and his choice of actions. I try to actively listen and validate the things he says. I always try to give my advice in the form of questions but I clearly still need to develop this as it hasn't proved a solution for us yet.

He was suspended from school yesterday and today has taken himself out even when the expectation from school and us is that he stays home and completes assigned school work. I can't hold him down and he just says he’s going anyway. I had no idea where he was or when he was coming back. He would not answer my calls or respond to my texts. There are no consequences that affect him. If he gets no money, he just happens to obtain what he wants (I don't know how but could guess) and if I take away his internet/phone access he just does not come home. He came home but went to his room and won’t talk. Just keeps telling us to get out if we try to speak with him. I keep hoping that by offering a listening ear and reminding him each day that he is loved that it will help. It's just sooooooo hard and sooooo draining. I would prefer each day to throw the covers over my head and crawl under a rock instead of going to work and 'trying' to put on a brave / positive face. I feel I can’t go to work but know I have to. I have started to hate the chit chat work question, "How are you?" as putting a smile and saying good thank you, hits hard into my chest. If I was to answer truthfully I would immediately burst into tears and that's not helping anyone nor appropriate in work contexts.

I think it's great that you're trying to get yourself in a position to understand that we can't control what they do and can only control ourselves. I am trying that too but yes I totally agree it is easier said than done and I have to keep trying. It tears you apart cause you can't stop thinking about it and that's when I again need to find the positives for my sanity.

You ask about money. I set our son up a debit card and we put money in and with internet banking we can see where he's spending. I tell him the money is as he requested for food but that kind of backfired because I can see when he goes to get food (merchant name appears) and when he just takes cash out. He’s main merchants are tobacconist and now He no longer buys food, just takes cash out so I’ve stopped putting in money. I’ve told him I would put in money if he helped by making his bed/cleaning his room. He could also earn extra through chores but his response is, ‘can’t be bothered.’ So I’m sorry that’s not much help to your food/money question.

I’m at a loss but want you to know you’re not alone so keep talking, writing and doing anything that makes you feel better. You deserve every happiness. So do our kids and I wish they could see this.

Best wishes to you. xx
Frequent scribe
Pho-RO

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

@Sunshine72 I am glad that you have shared with us about how much this is weighing on you. I can really hear the sorrow and heartbreak this is causing you. I hope that even just the process of writing and sharing has helped you to feel a little lighter. "What's shareable is bearable"; a phrase that has helped me many a time. 

I can also see how much you're doing to try to put boundaries and limits in place, and whilst it may be frustrating that he is finding ways around him, I think that consistency is a positive. I also think it is very important to continue to focus on the things you can control, and focus on your own self-care wherever possible. It is definitely tough when you find yourself in situations (like you describe with your workplace) where you feel you have to suppress a lot of what you're feeling, so it is really great that you are then releasing those emotions in a safe space - like here on the forums. 

Your hopefulness and perserverance are inspiring, and I am glad that you have continued to share your story here so that others may be inspired too. Thank you. 

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Prolific scribe
Sandee

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi Sunshine72

 

My heart is breaking for you and im crying trying to ride the waves of constant nausea from anxiety while I write this so please forgive me if it get a little disjointed.

I understand exactly what you are going thru I really do we are both sadly in the same position right now. I dont know what to say to make our kids better but to keep trying to tell them we are here for them all the time.

I wish I could hug u too as I feel that as we are both in the same situation we need each others support. We get support elsewhere but they dont know exactly what we are dealing with and its hard.

It's good you are working as it makes you get up and go even though you feel so awful. I dont work so im home in my thoughts and I know people say you need to keep busy but it's sometimes just not that easy. We are rational people but I feel we are just so emotionally overloaded and to be perfectly honest I feel that well at least me that im almost morning the loss of my child. That may sound extreme and people might not understand it but I dont know how else to explain it.

I find I get so triggered when I look on social media or even going to the shops and seeing families together it makes me feel physically ill. I try to remember the quote I read somewhere " Parent the child you have - not the child you wish you had" but its hard to not feel that knot of loss in my stomach.

I actually sat on my sons bed last night when he finally came home and even though he didnt really want to talk I just did. I was emotional I couldnt help it. I tried to explain to him that I cant help wanting to know where he is and want him to go to school its not coming from a place of punishment its because I love and care about him and want the best for him. I am hsi mum and I will never stop worrying about him .

He was still so angry that in his mind he thinks we starved him because we didnt put any money into his account for food over the weekend and I tried to explain that it wasnt a punishment I had no idea where he was because he had turned his life 360 off and I was offering him food here and even offering to go pick him up get him food and take him back to his friends. He just kept saying he didnt turn his life 360 off but I know he did . I wasnt going to argue I just wanted him to know it was coming from a good place. 

We touched on the school issue again but only briefly as I didnt want the lines of communication closing off again. It went back and forth a bit and I asked him if he thinks we can just move forward it took a bit but he mumbled yes. What this means I have no idea. Im not sure what will happen re school and that makes me physically ill. I still have no idea what he is doing when he is out and staying at his friends places all weekend, but I have to try. So I asked if he could leave his life 360 on so I know where he is. He still adamantly says it was on maybe his phone was flat but I know he turned it off. I have to give him the benefit of the doubt and deal with things if and when they go wrong which im sure will happen as he is a teen. I did feel a bit better after talking to him last night but this morning im still overridden with anxiety and dry retching and fighting off panic attacks. Its an awful way to live.

Does the school know what is going on with your son? I feel you are doing all the things they say you should , you are letting him know you are there for him and to be honest I dont think there is much more you can do, even though it hurts like hell.

You are not alone I am here and I know what you are feeling 100%. Im not sure where you are located or if you can private message on here but if you ever need to let me know

You are doing a good job you really are and I truely believe you are stronger than I am.

I wish that things were different for us I truly do but I just hope we can both get thru this xx

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Sunshine72

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi @Sandee

Thank you for your beautiful heartfelt message and your virtual hug. Right now I feel our connection mean so much because I feel you truly understand this situation. I feel your pain completely as naturally I have the same pain. I agree that even with all the support services, nobody unless they’re going through it truly understands how we feel.

I have that same knot in my stomach and have been unable to eat. I nibbled through a muesli bar today, which almost made me throw up. I only ate it because I was feeling so nauseous.

I am unable to focus and are making thoughtless errors. Driving today on routes that I know I missed turn off’s and streets and went the wrong way multiple times. I’ve never done that in my life. Well, not that many times in one go.

The worry is beyond consuming and I’m struggling with how to switch off. I’ve been trying my strategies, but my mind keeps wandering back to worry.

I admire your strength and don’t think I am stronger than you. I am scared. I am worried. I constantly feel sick. I’ve stopped keeping in contact with friends because I can’t bear trying to act happy with them. I put on an act at work to appear happy and act like my life is normal when I know it’s a complete facade I even avoid getting into dialogue with other colleagues where possible.

Not at work today but I Had another terrible day and as much as I tried to talk to my son He just kept telling me to get out and was constantly angry. I tried to explain, how I understand he feels angry and I’d love to talk to him about it but it’s to no avail. Today I wrote on a piece of paper and handed it to him. I wrote, that I will always love and support you and if you don’t want to talk to me here are some numbers of confidential people you can talk to. I also wrote you might even like it and if you don’t then you don’t have to call again , I put the phone number of kids helpline and of beyond blue when I gave it to him. he just screwed it up and threw it in the bin and laughed. He often calls me a joke. He has no motivation, no respect and no care factor. It pains me to list these traits about him , I don’t like to say these things about him, because I try to reflect on myself as I’m far from perfect and wonder what more I could be doing, especially trying to find the positives about him and not the negatives.

I thought it was only me but cannot look at social media or families out and about. My husband said exactly the same thing when we did our shopping on the weekend. He had tears in his eyes and told me that he can’t help looking at the families around and feel Complete sadness. You are definitely not alone there.

I too have said I feel like I am mourning the loss of a child. I have read a lot of posts and other research where there are many parents experiencing this mourning feeling.

It’s so awful that we are in the situation, and today I made multiple calls to youth services, to a drug counselling service and spoke with my son’s School. We have a meeting set up for tomorrow, but even today they indicated that although they can’t prove it various teachers believe he is substance abusing. I feel like this is all so surreal and keep hoping to wake up at some point and it all be a bad dream. I’m already nervous about my son’s reaction During and after the meeting tomorrow.

Is your son going to school?
Is he willing to speak to counsel lord/support? Does he spend any time with you?

I know it’s only been a few emails, but I’m really valuing our connection. Thank you for being so supportive and so open.

Do you have someone that you can talk with my husband and my mum I’ve been my lifeline.

You mentioned that you don’t go into work and are at home. Do you have a cat or dog? We have a dog who I cannot tell you have been so therapeutic to receive that unconditional love and force me to get out and pound the pavement to try and clear my head.

I’m extremely emotional today and completely exhausted so I apologise for my long winded negative message today.

We are both stronger than we give ourselves credit for, but often it’s hard to see, especially with the pain we are going through. Thank you once again for reaching out and making a connection it really means a lot.

@Pho-RO is there a private messaging service on reach out for Sandy and I to connect rather than on this thread, even with moderators still overseeing?


Prolific scribe
Sunshine72

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi @Sandee,

It’s me again! Your lovely post today was so clear considering how you said you were feeling. I apologise that my response was rather selfish and all about me. My apologies.

After I sent my post, I re-read your beautiful message and it honestly made my heart sing a little to hear that your son mumbled yes, that’s a huge step forward. Also the fact that you manage to have some communication together and you read the situation so well to know when to stop, to not push it too far. It might sound like a little win, but I think it’s huge! Very well done.

I know it doesn’t solve the situation, but it is chipping away at it and I know it doesn’t make you feel great today, but remember you did feel better after having that talk. Definitely celebrate those eins. It shows there’s still connection. It’s really put a smile on my face and it’s hopefully the beginning of moving forward.

Big hugs. xx


Prolific scribe
Sandee

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hello again

OMG you have certainly had a day of it and I really feel for you x Im so glad we have each other to vent to and lean on right now as I too think it helps. 

Please never ever apologise for venting thats what we need and sometimes it may help so vent away anytime.

Im not sure if my little breakthrough will do much but its a start and ill take it.

I know what you mean by not wanting to eat but you need to try even if it makes you sick. I had trouble eating a month or so ago because of the stress and ended up in hospital for 3 days on a drip it was awful and I dont want that for you.

I went to my GP again today and they did a mental health plan for me as they could see how distressed I was. The school had called me this morning wanting a meeting with D** to discuss options and wanted me to ask D** so that sent me into a fit of anxiety thinking how on earth I was going to approach the subject. I went up to his room and just said they had rung and wanted a meeting not because he was in trouble but to see if they could offer some solutions to try and get him to engage in some sort of education.

Well that didnt go well. He said they are just trying to kick him out. I tried to explain it but he wasnt having it. I was so emotional I actually had a panic attack. I didnt want to or mean to it just happened and he was a bit shocked I think . he was about to go out but wouldnt go until I had stopped crying. After a bit he eventually went out and had turned his life 360 back on. He asked for money for lunch and I gave it to him.

He then text early and said he was coming home so I offered to pick him up. In the car ( cause he has to sort of listen ) I told him that his dad had called the school and that we didnt need a meeting and that we were giving him the week off and he would be back Monday. I expected him sot say no but he said do I have to go back till the end of the year and I said well no but if you dont go there you need to go somewhere to finish the year. He didnt say anything and im taking that as a positive well Im trying too.

Im trying to cut myself a break and deal with it on Monday so I have a few days hopefully with less anxiety. Sunday night maybe different but if he doesnt go Monday then I have to stick to my guns and say ok but im not funding you to go out to meet your mates when you should be at school. It will be the hardest thing and he will probably take off but I cant keep living like this in fear constantly.

You really are doing everything you can . I mean that I really do. I know it doesnt feel like that I totally understand but you ARE!

We cannot be responsible for our kids moods we just need to be responsible for how we react to them. OMG listen to me I sound strong now but I will be a basket case again for sure.

Im just trying to accept thing that are happening in the moment but its one of the hardest things I have ever done and im constantly stuffing up.

I understand how you and your husband feel re seeing other families its just so sad that we dont have that I constantly think what have I done wrong. Do you have any other kids? I have a beautiful daughter who is 25yrs who I miss terribly especially now. I never had these issues with her. They do not get along which is also sad. I keep thinking maybe when my son is older they might.

 

Oh and the GP said when I was telling him what was going on with my son and my Mum and brother he is saying you need to set firm boundaries and you need to know all of his friends. OMG yes I would love to do all that but its not that simple when you have a child who refuses to talk to you refuses to tell you who the friends are or where they live and as soon as you put any restrictions on them they just up and leave.

 

Now im rambling sorry. Please know I am thinking of you and m here when you need to vent xx