Heartbreak over my son's illness and behavior
I am a single mother of a 38 year-old son. I was 19 when I had him and was separated when he was only 2 months old. I was raised in a Catholic family and was taught values. Unfortunately, I married a man who turned out to be abusive (mentally and physically), he was also a cheater, a stealer, and an compulsive liar. It was probably the best thing for my son to NOT have this man in his life; however, I wish that he could have had a good male role model in his life (other than my wonderful father). Many years after my divorce, I found out that my ex-husband committed suicide in his home (and was found by one of his other children -- my son's step brother). As it turns out, I realized that my ex-husband had a mental illness. I now know this because my son has the same illness. Since my son (Michael) was very young, he had the tendency to lie -- he didn't just lie to cover up for himself ... he lied about anything and everything in life. Then, he would steal money from my family members. He would either do it by forgery, or he would do it in other clever ways). I would also like to add that my son has epilepsy, as well as a brittle bone disease. He was in special ed classes most of his life and, as a result, he did not receive the proper education and has low self esteem. I did "everything" for my son, but - I'm afraid - that I might have done "too" much. Although there have been struggles since Michael was in his early teens, the worst has been the last couple of years when he and his wife separated. Not only did SHE have her own issues (drinking, drugs, etc.), together they had a very volatile relationship, which included lack of respect for each other, as well as domestic violence. His wife has a total of 3 boys (one which her father has raised since he was an infant; one from another father, and one from my son). Because of their issues and abuse, Child Protective Services stepped in and gave temporary custody of the boys to me and my boyfriend for almost a year. During this time, the mother went thru the classes, etc. that she needed to go thru, and my son pretty much gave up. He gave up on everything. Then, he started threatening suicide. I had to call "911" on several occasions, where he was admitted into a psychiatric hospital for up to 3 weeks. During this time, he threatened me, telling me that when he got out, he was going to have a "hit" put on me (he felt that "I" was the one that had the power to get him released from the hospital). He also wished me dead. Once the hospital was no longer able to keep him, he was released. He was living in his van for a period of time and things just continued to go out of control. He would (again) threaten suicide to me but, then he wouldn't answer his cel phone when I tried contacting him. I would be in hysterics, thinking that he was going to kill himself the same way his father did (shot himself in the head). My boyfriend and I would drive everywhere looking for him and would finally go to the police department for help. This went on, time and time again. He would also send me pictures of his hand holding a gun or a knife (on the occasions where he would say that he was going to do it). I spent most of our holidays either crying, thinking that he was going to end his life (even on Mother's Day). It was almost like he was angry at "me" for how his marriage turned out. No matter how much I have tried to help him, he continues to torment me. I don't even know who he is anymore. When he was growing up, we were so close. I would have never guessed that the child that I was so thrilled to have, could be telling me that he wished I were dead. I can't believe that my own flesh and blood could see me so heartbroken, yet he continues to torment me emotionally. I know that he has a mental illness (a doctor at a psychiatric hospital diagnosed him as being "borderline personality" (although it wasn't a concrete diagnosis). What is also very sad is that my son won't really admit that he has a problem. He won't admit that his behavior (when he spirals out of control) can be due to having a chemical imbalance. I have tried everything humanly possible. I can honestly say that the last 2 years have been the worst years of my life. They have been worse than the deaths of my parents, as well as me having cancer when I was 32 years old. It is almost like my son has an incurable disease and I have been grieving every single day for the last couple of years. Although I have an incredibly wonderful supportive boyfriend of over 10 years, and my grandchildren are the highlight of my life, I have never been so sad and have never cried so much. I feel that I will never get peace in my life ... that I will never feel happiness again. I want so badly to be able to have a nice life with my boyfriend, but I just don't know how to get to that place. I am trying to do everything that may help me to get healthy .... I pray, go to counseling, and have taken a course on mental illness.... I'm just looking for a way to accept that my son may never get better. I just don't know how to give up but I am so weak emotionally that I feel like I'm going to have a breakdown. Please - if anyone has any suggestions or input, I would be so grateful to hear it. Thanks so much.