I took my 19-year-old schizoaffective son to a homeless shelter last night and it's killing me.

We have lived with his mental illness for the last six hellacious years but as he gets older, he gets more disprectful, manipulative, argumentative, sneaky and the worst of which is that he continues to covertly, verbally communicate with a 29-year-old man who introduced him to crack cocaine 1.5 years ago. Now, I have given my son random home drug tests and he is negative, so I feel confident that he is not abusing drugs or alchohol, but he still communicates with this drug dealer and gang member who is in and out of prison. He says he calls the man because he has no other friends to talk to and that he feels sick to hi stomach that he continues to call such a person as he laughs at his (son's) strangeness. I can't figure this out. Nevertheless, my son broke the cardinal rule of not communicating with the man and I feel my security is compromised by his affiliation with such a person.

We fight constantly and I'll admit that many of those fights are probably spurred on by my own anger and resentment of how I feel he treats me and the fact that I worry incessantly that his flagarent wreckless (extreme) driving and suspicious behavior will get him thrown into prison (although, keep in mind, I have no proof of criminal behavior). He is angry, too, as he is lost, has no friends, has no hope of a brighter future, and feels trapped in my house because he cannot work due to his extreme social anxiety (no money). Sometimes, after we've had an argument, he tells me that he's had bad thoughts about me (i.e. torturing me, but not killing me). There have been many nights when I wished I'd had a lock on my door and couldn't sleep without one eye open. Many times, I blame myself for causing him to feel like he'd want to hurt me. He is waiting for SSI/SSA.

Basically, I'm hanging on mentally by a thread and fear a nervous breakdown coming literally any minute. Hours before I took him to the shelter, we applied for him to live in a self-sufficient dormitory for people with mental illness. It's a nice place but not available for a month or so.

This is deeply painful and I wonder even now how he's doing. Most people, including docs, tell me that this is the most complex case they've ever had and don't know what advice to give me (he's not medication tolerant). Others tell me that I needed to kick him out, mental illness and all, so he'd grow up and maybe not take me and others for granted.

I welcome your thoughts.



Answer