mentally ill chum (long)

peanutpeanutbutterSeptember 25, 2010

My former college roommate is 50, mentally disabled, single, no children, and is on SSI / disability. He has a social worker, and has a home health care worker coming in to help him a couple times a week, and he rents a room from a family. The family gave him a 60-day notice (this is in California).

For whatever reason, he **refuses** to go back home to live with his mom who lives 20 minutes away from him (his mom is 82, living alone and independently in good mental and physical health, in the 3 bedroom family home). He moans about being homeless and having no where to go once his 60 days are up, and yet he will not move in with his mom. He is waiting for her to die so he can get her car-- and be a menace on the road because he cannot pay attention for any length of time.

He has no children, no ex-wife, no other family. I know he'll be homeless by his own choices and his stubbornness will leave him alone and on the street. His income, such as it is, will not be enough to even get a studio apartment, and rooms for rent are also too expensive for his income. He "doesn't want" to live in a homeless shelter. He wants his own room and his privacy.

He says he filled out Sec. 8 paperwork 5 years ago, but really, because of his mental disability, we don't know that it's true because last month he said he did the Sec. 8 paperwork 3 years ago. Then he said his "landlord" filled it out for him. I asked the landlord about this, and the landlord said no such thing happened. My old chum insists it did happen. You can see where this is going.

Truly, I think he needs to go into a mental hospital for observation and evaluation because he is in his own little world, and then be discharged to a care facility or group home. He IS difficult and believes what he thinks is true, no matter what. He's like a bratty little two year old having a tantrum because he wants things his way or he won't do anything. It's sad to see this, and personally, I'm not family and have enough on my plate.

Only a family member, doctor, or social worker can get him committed involuntarily for observation, and that's only if he is a danger to himself or to others. Well, he's not really a danger to himself or others, so that's not going to happen. Besides, if someone disagrees with him or reminds him in a firm voice to NOT leave the water running in the sink, he will call the police AND Adult Protective Services and say he's living in a hostile environment and feels threatened. (they take their time to respond--it's all crying wolf to them as they have his history documented). Totally not within the normal range of reacting. I think this may be why he got his notice to vacate.

He can feed himself, toilet himself, microwave his own food that the health care worker brings/prepares, keep himself clean and bathed, and do basic banking functions such as paying his bills, he really is mentally ill in terms of reality and his own perceptions. Because he's lived semi-independently, Adult Protective Services will not step in at this point.

I told him I'd check to see if there was any way that we could check online and find out where he is on the "waiting list" for Sec. 8. That's all I'm willing to do - he is very difficult in many ways and I have my own things to deal with so I'm limiting myself on what I'm willing to do.

He is also very wrathful. If he thinks someone did him wrong, he will hold on to that and let it fester and build it up into something horrible to see. Not like he'd physically attack anyone, but very nasty.

Does anyone have any helpful input for me? I'm so frustrated that I'm going to just wish him well, for whatever happens, unless someone here has some ideas of how he can get help but personally, I'd want to avoid his wrath!

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Only A professional can help in this case. Someone in the medical field or someone who knows the ins and outs of government beaurocrasy. Have you talked to his social worker or health care worker?

I'm not qualified to say more, or give more advice. I just want to commend you for being such a good friend. He is lucky to have you in his corner. Don't we all wish we had a friend like you.

If I can offer a word of advice. Don't let his mental health ruin your life too. Do what you can and then walk away and don't beat yourself up about it.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 5:29PM
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Be firm. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Go to bed knowing that you're doing all that you can do and that you can't solve this problem as a lot of it is completely out of your hands. The "system" can only step after things get dire and even then there are limits to what can be done.

I could have written your story only it would be about my brother who refuses to get help or allow anyone to help him.

Know that there are plenty of people out there faced with the same crisis as you are. Some stories end up with happy endings and some don't.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 2:54PM
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