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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I have a 21 year old son who has as of last year been made

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I have a 21 year old son who has as of last year been made to go home to Canada, I am in the US on a yearly work visa as a nurse. My husband is a great father but has not worked in last ten years,not allowed and not motivated to do handyman jobs.Robert was to go to school but had anxiety attack and dropped out then spent next few months living with my sister and then his grandparents .Both did not work out. Meanwhile he spent $15000 of his student loan, nothing to show for it. Is a pot smoker,and has admitted to doing cocaine about ten times.Some of that money was with a attractive female counselor at $150/hr but once he got a job she could no longer see him because of his work hours he felt abandoned and refused to see anyone else and also quit the job. I have tried to set him up in an apartment wit his girlfriend who is a pharmacy tech but it only lasted a month. He smashed some candles when he found out his car was stolen(wasn't stolen,it was was towed) , i went to Canada and brought him home, at the border we were interrogated separately at the US border and and they gave him a notice to return to Canada in two weeks which was today,they want to make sure he is not working here in the US. Right now he is back in Canada with girlfriend(parents hate him). When he is with us he is always correcting everything we say,confrontational to everyone is on viibryn 10 mg a day. He did take a dozen xanax a year ago and ended up in psychiatric care for a weak met with a psychiatrist for seven minutes and put on Zoloft now off that.
At my work we have lost three young people from OD in last several months so we are very fearful of this but I am tired of being bullied and his bad behavior. How do I move forward myself,how do we deal with this as parents?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this stressful situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The scenario you depicted shows a very irresponsible and immature young adult, and it seems you have enabled his unhealthy, abusive and neglectful ways while trying to support him. At the same time it seems obvious you have had enough of this for so long and unless you truly change your approach, your son neither you would be able to have a better life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am here to support you and would love to have the chance to dialogue with you through the chat interface. Please reply and join the chat session if you'd like for us to work on your situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When people get into so many serious issues like he has, only pain and need would offer a concrete chance for real change for good. He needs to start affording every consequence from all of his choices and actions. My recommendation is for you to allow him to hold full accountability for his life. From housing to meals and everything else. He would get a job and pay his bills and look for and keep receiving professional support for his mental health problems. Any financial or material support without him gaining it by real and healthy effort and work must be ended right away, otherwise the addictions, abuse and neglect plus manipulations would continue getting every time even worse.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please come to terms with the fact that you have no power on what he chooses to do with his life, but that you can deeply influence hm for good or for bad. You have been enabling his distortions out of love and caring, but if you want to truly help him, you need to start ending any codependent enabling and setting boundaries and limits. stopping every form of financial and material support and allowing him to grow and mature,otherwise he would become more abusive and "psycho-emotionally disable" because of it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I hope you could reflect on my words. please feel free to reply for any further clarification or support.

Customer:

He complains about extreme anxiety,he is afraid,what if he thinks the only support person in the world is turning their back on him?

Customer:

He smokes pot just from being extremely anxious,is the extreme cut off the only way?, Is their no bartering? I am not sure? I am his one safe place in the world.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello. Thank you for replying.

Customer:

hello

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Responding your questions: My suggestion is not for you to deny "healthy-real" support" for him to rehabilitate and mature. My suggestion is for you to end enabling and reinforcing his self-destruction and abusive ways. Thus it is obvious that a person who has been enabled this much would always react in a very negative way, but you have to choose between pleasing his ego so enabling his destruction, and confronting his ego and supporting his rehabilitation and health.

It is impossible for any person abusing or addicted yo cannabis-marijuana not to be anxious, since that is one of the consequences of such drug. If to that we add cocaine as he did, the situation gets much more complicated, and if the person gets money to perpetuate his abuse-addictions, it becomes hopeless.

I would say that you could be the person who truly loves him but also the one offering the highest enabling of his self-destruction because of the material-financial support.

Customer:

yes,I know better than give any him cash.....but as far as mental health support goes, it is a cash cow. What you have said is worth repeating but i guess i just needed a plan,i guess i am looking for something i have to get from myself,sorry but you have told me what i already know, even when he was hospitalized for taking to much xanax,they gave him a sleeping pill, no counseling. i wish it was as simple as the experts feel it is

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I need to say that I cannot imagine how painful it is for you to be facing this overwhelming reality as a parent where you want to do whatever possible to help your son, while at the same time, reality shows you that many of the things that you have been trying to do to help him, become distorted and against his own growth, rehabilitation and positive change.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is never easy and the system would not help as it should since it is defective, that's why the person's "support system" is the one factor playing the most powerful role in the person's rehabilitation process. If the support system feeds codependent enabling, then it would not help. If it sets healthy limits and boundaries, while providing unconditional affection and guidance, then the person would have a chance, one that would become a concrete life improvement if the person chooses to work on himself and benefit from support available.

Customer:

how can I support him and not look like I giving up on him too, he makes statements like he is a total loser so why try?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I would never say it is a "simple" situation, but that this is always a tough situation.

Customer:

I guess that is what I am asking what is supportive and what is enabling? How do I show that I believe in him ?

Customer:

The taking stuff away is easy, how about what to give him?

Customer:

Is it ok to say, I will help but under these circumstances?

Customer:

What are healthy boundaries?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is why it is tough. These disorders get fuel denial, avoidance, repression, manipulation, lack of honesty, abuse and neglect and many other issues, so any action from people around the person who presents these issues, that codependently enables such dysfunctions, and fall in the game of "if you love me you materially and financially support me, an if you abandon me you deny financial and material support", would lead to further distortions so dysfunction.

Customer:

yes i understand,intellectually, how does this translate into actions?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is not only OK but essential for you to set boundaries and conditions, otherwise you would be undermining his rehabilitation with unhealthy support. Then the way you offer material support must be dependent on him taking full responsibility and gaining-deserving such support, from working to studying and compliance with counseling support and respect towards you and your family.

Customer:

thank you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You;re welcome.

Customer:

need a book of boundaries,what iis healthy and what is not. I guess that is my responsibility to set

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach