Adult son with mental illness and bad attitude

Hello all
I’m not sure I’m posting this in the right place but I’d be grateful to hear from people who understand and can offer their advice on my situation.
I have a 30 year old son who has had MH Struggles for a few years (,I believe brought on by excessive cannabis use whilst a late teen into twenties, and a relationship breakdown 5 years ago).
He doesn’t live with us because he disrespected our home and brought trouble to our door so we asked him to leave at 18 with his then girlfriend.
Anyway very long story short he’s totally disrespects me (I’m his unofficial ‘carer’) he speaks to me like absolute rubbish, threatens to spit on me, calls me names, calls his dad and younger brother horrible things, and generally blames us for they way he is ( he had a wonderful upbringing exactly the same as his brother who is totally different to him!) he says we are the cause of his struggles in life because we threw him out on the streets ( that absolutely was NOT the case at all!!) it’s like he uses excuses by blaming us to justify his bad attitude. he gets himself into arguments with his neighbours then blames them for it all, I’m bailing him out of these ‘incidents’ all the time. He’s going to end up losing his tenancy because of the way he is with the neighbours. … I tidy his flat for him, sometimes do his washing etc… I honestly cannot do enough but still he disrespects me. Sometimes he’s lovely and we can have lovely chats but mostly he’s looking for excuses to have a go at me and blame blame blame me for the way he is. I sometimes think he enjoys seeing me upset. I struggle with my own mental health which is very fragile because of my son. I am literally living a miserable existence because I feel down and stressed all the time with the issues my son is causing and his attitude.
He doesn’t work, he is very isolated because he doesn’t want to mix with people, he gets benefits and blows the lot on stupid impulse purchases (I understand that’ll be because of his loneliness he is spending like he is as I’ve done it myself) I’ve done everything to get him into volunteering and social support groups but he doesn’t bother going. He’s supported by the local mental health services but it’s very sporadic and staff always changing. He’s had a diagnosis of schizophrenia but he’s not what I would call a typical schizophrenia sufferer… he won’t take meds because of the way they make him feel… I’m in my 50’s and I’m just constantly in a state of high anxiety and upset. Where do I draw the line at all? I feel bad, heartbroken, helpless, and all types of emotions around this situation. My youngest son gets upset when he sees me so upset ( youngest son is 24) but I can’t just walk away and leave him although sometimes I wish I could because of the impact his behaviour is having on us all… when he comes here I’m on eggshells because he could literally explode at any second then all hell breaks loose! it’s making me not want to exist, honestly. Am I just being a pathetic mother who needs to get a grip? I just have not got a clue. I’m dammed if I do and I’m damned if I don’t! Every time I look at my phone and see it’s him calling me I sigh because I know it’ll be stressful. I feel guilty for feeling this way. I’m really at a brick wall now… can anyone relate to any of this? If so, how do you deal with it all. My life revolves around going to work and coming home and visiting him. I can’t be bothered doing anything fun… what’s the point!

Hi Tracy

From what you’ve said, it seems your son is trying to control his environment so he feels ok. Keeping you “in your place” - on the defensive - is part of that, and I’d place bets that his neighbour disputes are about things to do with either them doing things that take away his control or things he does for control upsetting them. Doing things to take away his control - deliberately or otherwise - results in aggression.

I’m going to ask a few questions - you don’t have to answer but they are to get you to think about what you need to do for you. I’m not advocating any approach here: it has to be your choice.

  • If he is evicted, as seems likely, what do you want to do? From what you’ve told us, allowing him home is not an option. For a number of reasons.
  • If you stepped back from caring, even a little, what effect would it have on you?
  • If you refused to accept his aggression and told him that if he wants your help he will have to treat you politely, what effect would that have? And would you be able to see it through?
  • If things continue as they are, what effect will that have on your health?

Thank you very much for taking time to reply to my long post!
I’m more than happy to answer your questions… it does seem to make sense regarding what you say about control. He’s very manipulative and is never ever sorry for his appalling behaviour.
If he was evicted… honestly? I do not have a clue. If I let him home my marriage will end because I would not be able to cope with the heightened anxiety I’d be feeling constantly and I’d end up pushing my husband away for sure… my youngest son would end up leaving too because he wouldn’t be able to cope with the behaviour 24/7.
In answer to your other questions… if I stepped back from caring I’d feel guilt for not being there (and he knows that!) I’ve walked out if his flat numerous times when he’s being horrible, and told him I won’t be back until he can treat me with respect. It them seems to get swept under the carpet after a couple of days of me just texting him to check on him… and if things continue as they are then something will give for sure. I’m struggling to sleep, go to work, I feel sick every day with dread if what that day will bring… to be honest I’m even having pain in one of my breasts but I’m not going to get it checked because I honestly have been thinking of it’s anything sinister then I’ll accept my demise as it seems the only way I’ll get peace… can’t believe I’m actually saying that! But it’s the truth! I’m desperate and just don’t know where to turn for support

Hi Tracy.

Your reply has really worried me.

Some years ago now, my wife got to the point you’re talking about and took an overdose. Fortunately she made the mistake of telling me and we got help in time. It took quite a while for things to improve for us but they did.

Please see a doctor about your breast pains. There are people who love you and who would be very much worse off without you.

Call 116 123 - it’s Samaritans. They are there 24/7. They don’t judge. They’re there to listen and support. Calls are free.

Try contacting a local service for carers - there’s a list here: Support where you live | Carers UK

Talk to your family about how you feel. Agree a plan together. Stick to it. It’ll be difficult but it’s worth it.

Do you believe he’s at risk of harming himself or others?

Thank you for your very kind words. I’m so glad your wife managed to get the help and is managing now… she’s clearly got a very supportive family around her…
I have requested counselling through my employer and am waiting to hear back and my GP is well aware of my struggles with my own MH and I’m on medication… you are right in what you say, I’m important to my other son. He’d be devastated if anything were to happen to me. He worships the ground I walk on and is a ‘mummy’s’ boy (even though he’s 24… :wink: )
I am going to check out the link for the carers groups as that is something I’ve been searching for for a long time…
My son has had failed attempts at suicide. He’s not at risk of hurting anyone else (I hope not anyway) it’s just a mess isn’t it :frowning:

Hello, Tracy. Please stop feeling guilty. You seem to have been very attentive to your son, in spite of his unacceptable behaviour. It’s not working, is it!

I’m glad you walk out on him when the going gets horrible. Next time, don’t text him to check on him; let him sweat. If he wants your love and attention let him make the next move. If you don’t hear from him after a few days you could get your younger son to check on him, maintaining your detachment. I guess your younger son will be tougher on him than you have been, particularly because he does not like you to be upset.

Don’t tread on eggshells. Your son doesn’t so why should you?

If he does get evicted, whatever you do, don’t have him back at your home. It is up to the council to find emergency accommodation.

And please get that breast pain checked by the doctor - for your sake and the sake of your other son.

Best wishes.