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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5824
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My son (age 54) exhibits symptoms of being -polar. He is not

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My son (age 54) exhibits symptoms of being bi-polar. He is not violent in nature, but verbally abusive.His attitude and disrespect has hampered his being able to sustain relationships, public employment and family ties. He is my son and I refuse to give up on him. We recently set him up in business (my husband and I) and we volunteer at the store 3 days a week to try and help him succeed. I have a great time, at the store, chatting and helping the ladies find suitable apparel, which attributes to about 85% of the revenue. My son is very likable and pleasant 90% of the time, but that 10% is making it very uncomfortable for me to work with him. My husband highly resents the rude way he talks to me, and says so, when he is being disrespectful and he verbally turns on my husband. He does not use foul language, just his rude way of talking to us and the reasons for his rudeness, in our opinion, is unwarrented. He appears grateful and appreciative for what we are doing for him and we are even more grateful, to get him out of our pocketbook. We are trying to help him become independent and he is actually a very hard worker and seems to get along well with the customers. Being in business for himself eliminates his having to get along with a "boss" or authority figure, which has been one of his major problems. Our dilemma, we want to stop our volunteer service at the store, but still maintain a cordial relationship with our son. How do we break the news to him that we want out, with out making him feel abandoned or disappointed? At this point, we would rather help him financially, if need be, than be around him, in an atmosphere where he has the opportunity to verbally abuse us. Please Help!!!!

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
Letting your son know you want to stop volunteering is reasonable, though his reaction that might not be. What you might want to try is getting involved with something else during the time you usually are at the store helping him. If you are retired, then try another activity, preferable something such as helping someone who needs help (an ill relative, charity, etc). That way, your son can see the need for you to be there and will not feel bad if you stop volunteering.
You can also let him know that you have done what you could to get him off to a good start and that you are very proud of him. Then focus on how well he is doing and that you feel he can do this on his own. Talk about how important it is that he can claim credit for all the store's success if you are "out of the way". If you focus on what good can come out of you leaving, he may focus on that instead.
If possible, taper off your work there. Don't just leave all at once. He may need time to adjust. And if he can see that he really does not need you there, he may feel better about you going.
Offer to help financially if you can as a way to soften you leaving. Tell him you feel that might be a better way to help him.
Try to find someone else to substitute. Even if it's a paid part time job for someone, that can help your son feel less alone in his work.
I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes indeed, you have helped tremendously! I was, so at a loss as how to handle this situation. I feel certain that your advice will be very helpful in making this transition. I will follow it to the letter and feel good that my son will be more receptive to the manner you described. I will taper off, giving him the time to adjust and let him know that I am proud of him and his accomplishments..and truly I am. I want him to be successful and he really is a good person. Thank you for taking the time to read into our situation and give the best advice possible. You are a jewel.

Thank you so much for your very kind words! You have made my day :) You obviously care very much for your son. It shows in all you say about him. He is blessed to have you and your husband there for him.
My best to you and your family,
Thank you so much for the positive rating and very generous bonus! I appreciate it. It was very nice of you. Take care.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Kate, I promised to use your expert advice to the letter, and I have done just that, with GREAT results! Things are so much better, mainly because you gave me a different outlook and procedures to use in dealing with a very delicate situation. Now realizing no situation is "ideal" and no one is "perfect" I have to work with the "hand that I am dealt" and with your help, it is a win, win for the entire family, helping them to see their brother in a different light. Making him feel "important" even though he does not have the graduate degrees that they have. That has been a contention, as well, but I have shared your thoughts with them, and they are receptive. Again, I say, you are a precious Gem! Thanks for the follow-up. Just Answer did advise me, however, that with my premium subscription, that I was only allowed one or two questions in the mental health category.

You are so kind! Thank you for the compliment :)
I am so glad that everything worked out for you and your son. Thank you for letting me know how it went.