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Is it ever acceptable to say enough is enough

(28 Posts)
britgran Sun 13-Aug-17 20:36:06

I've posted before about my youngest DS and his numerous problems with being bulimic, he's 43 and has had this horrendous eating disorder since being a teenager, he was always a funny friendly lad, he's now a man full of rage and moody beyond belief, I'm 100% sure this broke up his first marriage, he treated his first wife dreadfully, I'm ashamed to say he was everything I hate in a man..... he remarried and has two darling baby daughters, but I see him acting the same way as before, today once again our DiL came round terribly upset, he's like Jekyll and Hyde,and needs professional help we've talked and talked I've been to doctors with him and counselling but he doesn't keep it up, he has Prozac medication but stops taking it cause he says he's fine, I read lots of advice on here where you very wise folk, say be there for your family member and support him when needed......I must be a mean cow cause I'm sick to death of him, if he won't help himself how can we help him, .....I'll do anything to protect our DGC but surely it's ok to say enough is enough where he is concerned

Cherrytree59 Sun 13-Aug-17 21:11:59

The safety of your DGC is Paramount in whatever course of action you decide upon Britgran.

I'm sure there will be wise Grans more able than me to give advice and also those who have maybe had similar experiences.

mumofmadboys Sun 13-Aug-17 21:14:52

You must be really fed up but hang in there! Prozac is usually good for bulimia but should be taken at the dose of 3 x 20 mg tablets per day. Has he seen a psychiatrist recently? To support your GC you need to carry on loving your son however difficult it is. It is unusual for men to have eating disorders. Perhaps your son is embarrassed by his illness. Hope things improve for you all.x

judypark Sun 13-Aug-17 21:35:35

You are not mean at all Britgran, you love your son but despise the person he has become. The only one that can change him is himself and this maybe unlikely after 30 odd years.
It seems obvious that your DIL trusts and is able to confide her fears in you, I would focus my energies and love on supporting her and your darling granddaughters to hold their fragile family together.
I too have a son with a finger on the self-destruct button, the only way I keep my sanity is to take a step back and accept that I will never be able to change/cure him but I can give love and support for those left in his wake.

FarNorth Sun 13-Aug-17 23:01:10

Support your DiL and DGDs in whatever way you can.
Your son can't expect never-ending devotion from you or them, if he keeps sabotaging things that are intended to help him.

Starlady Mon 14-Aug-17 03:58:40

Not "mean" at all, britgran - just tired and fed up, I imagine, with trying to help someone who won't help himself.

Really, imo, it's poor dil who needs to be the one who tries to get him into counseling. Maybe marriage counseling first and then he'll be willing to try individual counseling again.

Or she could choose to take the kids and leave him. She has options.

I agree with the others that you need to be supportive of dil and the gc, even if you back away a bit from ds. Please keep posting here and let us know how it's going.

Will pray for you and yours.

f77ms Mon 14-Aug-17 08:20:03

I too have a son with mental health problems , there have been many times when I have stepped away for my own sanity but he is my son and I could never turn my back completely . You need to give yourself a bit of space from your DS destructive ,self harming illness but let him know that you are there if he wants your help or support to access treatment for the bulimia . My son at 41 finally accepted the help and is now living with me and doing much better but it has been a very hard , long road and completely exhausting at times . Try to do things for yourself which you enjoy , accept that you can`t fix him but are still and always will be his Mum .

travelsafar Mon 14-Aug-17 08:24:57

It is quite possible to love someone but dislike them and their actions,especially when they are having a negative effect on others who live with them or have to deal with them.

Ziggy62 Mon 14-Aug-17 08:39:43

I agree it's time to take a step back. Thinking of you and your family, not easy xxx

annsixty Mon 14-Aug-17 08:40:54

Been there, done that and still wear the tee shirt. My S is 47 and it is a lifetime and on going situation.
I have no words to help you just empathy.

Christinefrance Mon 14-Aug-17 08:42:14

Yes its the illness and how its affected him that you hate, so difficult not to be able to help him. Maybe it is time to take a step back and concentrate on helping your daughter in law and the children. Look after yourself and as ff7 says accept that you love him but can't fix him.
Hope things improve soon for you.

Nelliemoser Mon 14-Aug-17 08:54:02

In situations like this there comes a point, where as a potential carer you have to know when to protect yourself from the effects of the behaviour of someone who is just not responding to any offers of help and support.

They might well be interpreting any offers off help as a put down and that as a relative or such, you are, to them, implying they are not capable and take it as an insult.

For me OHs Aspergers is one of those conditions . It wears me out. sad angry

Anya Mon 14-Aug-17 09:48:50

Part of the problem is that people simply don't accept they have mental health problems. Your son does need help. Sadly mental health services are poor in this country and GPs are overwhelmed.

Could you perhaps push a few more buttons hard and loud to get the help he needs. I'm a great believer in 'the squeaky gate gets oils first' and you need to make a nuisance of yourself while at the same time laying the law down hard with your son.

Yes, I know he's a grown man, but you're still his mum.

paddyann Mon 14-Aug-17 10:30:32

I think there comes a time for many people with AD's problems when they need to walk away.My sister was an alcoholic,my parents and all her sisters did everything we could to help her...for decades.She lied and stole and did horrible things including locking her kids out of the house and standing at the window swallowing a large amount of pills in one of her many "suicide attempts" Of course her kids were taken off her time after time .My parents weren't allowed to have them because dad had 3 heart attacks ,largely caused by stress from S.Upshot was they had to stop supporting her as it was more enabling than helping.She never did stop drinking and when her husband progressed to recreational drugs ...she followed suit.It was he who started her alcohol problem too ,though I expect people will say he didn't actually force her to drink ,he was the one who "influenced" it.My dad died in 1994 of another heart attack,my sister died the following year ,she choked after a drinking session.Maybe if my folks hadn't put so much effort into supporting her his health wouldn't have suffered.Try to take a step back ,give him the options and let him deal with the outcome if he doesn't get help .Its the hardest thing to do ,watch someone you love destroy themselves ,but his children shouldn't be living with his issues ,it will affect them badly after time .See if you can get some support for YOU ,your GP should be able to give you numbers for agencies who deal with family of mental health sufferers .I wish you all the luck in the world with this as I know how difficult it can be .

TwiceAsNice Mon 14-Aug-17 10:55:52

Eating disorders are very difficult to treat long term as sufferers often won't admit they have a problem and services all over the country have been cut, also nobody can be helped until they can admit they need it. Concentrate on some support for yourself and step back, don't bail him out. More importantly support your Dil as much as you can and your grandchildren. Children absorb much more about unpleasant situations than you might realise and this is a toxic environment for them to live in with an angry father and distressed/stressed mother. They are witnessing a lot of negative life messages which will have an impact on them. Can you sometimes have them to stay so they can be in a calm atmosphere? Is school aware of the home stresses and could help support them or are they too small yet? There is support for family of mental health sufferers, try MIND as a starting point. I wish you well it is very stressful for you and your Dil.

Barmyoldbat Mon 14-Aug-17 21:06:25

It's OK Britgran, my daughter is on a self destruct path with how she looks after herself. No amount of talk, help etc will make her change her ways and yesterday I had a call from my son who had been on his weekly visit to say how worried he was about her.. She had little food in the house, wasn't eating, just drinking coffee and eating biscuits and is type 1 diabetic. She cancels health checks, throws away medication prescribed for various infections and the list goes on.. Nothing We say or do will change her way of thinking and acting. We have now accepted that one day we will get that call and that will be it. But I still love her very much, she is my one and only daughter.

radicalnan Tue 15-Aug-17 09:53:14

I have a son with addiction problems and walk that tightrope of supporting / enabling every day. It takes such a toll on my health and I don't think it changes anything for him.

Tough love is hard too. I have to try and draw a line myself at times (this is one such time) I never know, when I put the phone down, if that will be the last time I hear from my beloved boy. He is full of rage at imagined wrongs and my failures to pick up the pieces in the fashion he wants.

There is a good deal of support for people but (as my son has) they exhaust the good will and energy of those around them and the NHS workers etc.

I worked in mental health services (that often gets thrown at me by my son) and I know how the ongoing cycle of self destructive behaviour damages all concerned. I do think that supporting each other as a family or friendship group works, grounding people works (not entering into their dramas) and insisting that they do the things that would help, medication can help some people, keeping debts under control, or the house clean etc because without some small slivers of good intention on their part, in the long term you are wasting your time.

I wish you all good outcomes.

Katerina0822 Tue 15-Aug-17 09:53:15

Everyone who is this awful situation has my sympathy. It is easy to look at the so called normal relationships that parents have with their children and feel envious, in my case. My two DS are forging their own way and we have good relationships. My daughter has mental health issues and how ever much I have put into her in terms of counselling, money, support she goes from one crisis to another. I even had to take her to a homeless shelter and to be fair she now has a council flat and has accessed support services. She call me every day with a drama and I worry constantly but now I have high blood pressure and have had to learn to step back for my health and sanity and those others that I love. I do love her but at times I don't like her or feel very sad and sorry that she cannot get her life on an even keel. We as parents can only do so much . I know there are mums who think I should have never watched my daughter become homeless but they are not experiencing the daily heartache for years and years. We do the best we can and we cannot fix everything even for the ones we love the most. My heart goes out to everyone who suffers in this way.

icanhandthemback Tue 15-Aug-17 09:58:48

Sadly, part of the problem with mental health issues is that the sufferer is so often in denial. It sounds like he is depressed as well as bulimic but doesn't have the tools to help himself. As with any addictions, the sufferer has to want to get better. I think you just have to accept he is on a self destruct path, give him as much or as little support as you are able to and support his children as much as you can as they are going through this too. Have you tried an agency such as Al-anon? I know he isn't alcohol dependent but at least there are people there who are in the same boat and the leaders are able to help you decide your path forward. You could also try ringing MIND who may be able to help you with advice as to where to get support for you...and possibly your son if he will accept it. Good luck flowers

luluaugust Tue 15-Aug-17 10:18:08

I'm thinking similarly to Twice As Nice could you have the GC for a short stay and let your Dil have the chance to see what she can do without the children around. Try an do what you can to protect your own health flowers

W11girl Tue 15-Aug-17 10:19:01

Unconditional love where children are concerned. My friend has a similar problem with her son and she thinks in the same way as you do, but when it comes to it she rallies around him again and again, I can't blame her. You are venting your feelings quite rightly and in the right place. He needs to be told in very strong terms by a professional that stopping his prozac is completely the wrong thing to do, he is not going to listen to you. This can only happen when something seriously goes wrong and he ends up in hospital or similar. I don't envy you but you need to be there whatever the circumstances. I'm sorry that you are going through this, but I am also thinking what he is going through and wonder why he is bulimic. He needs a lot of encouragement which I'm sure you have been giving him over the years. Please don't turn your back on him s tough as things are. He needs you more than he knows and perhaps more than you know.

ethelwulf Tue 15-Aug-17 10:21:05

Re. enough is enough. I said that 5 years ago now with a then 41 year old son who had brought nothing but negativity and severe stress to our family all his adult life. Life is so much better now, and although it was initially very painful to cut loose, it's now clear it was the right thing to do. We now live totally separate lives, and wouldn't have it any other way.

SussexGirl60 Tue 15-Aug-17 11:52:25

I'd be sick to death of him too. It's probably something for him to sort out with his wife, rather than his mother ,to be honest. But has anyone actually ventured to say what they really feel about how he behaves? It's ok his wife coming and offloading onto you but I think I'd be firmly pointing her back in his direction.

britgran Tue 15-Aug-17 13:02:59

Believe me Sussex Girl he has been told very bluntly what I think of him........ he's a hard working man he provides for his family but he is risking losing wife No 2 and his two delightful babies, we kept the 2 yr old for the last couple of days to get her out of the house while her Mummy talked to her Daddy, his wife is no pushover and has this weekend given him a choice, sort it or go, he has told her he is depressed and will go and see the GP to arrange counselling, unfortunately one of the traits of anybody with an eating disorder is being deceitful , he has learned over many years to say what he thinks we want to hear, he knows I think this and I won't believe him till he does it, he has a 17yr old daughter from his first marriage she is a wonderful girl and we have a great relationship , he has hurt her terribly because of his moods but she tries hard to understand him, I know he loves her and her baby sisters , but he doesn't seem to see the damage he is's everybody else not him..... One of the great things about this page is to discover we are not alone, I posted this thread because I felt guilty wanting to step back but thanks to your wonderful advise I think this is what I will do, I thank each and everyone of you for taking the trouble to respond

M0nica Tue 15-Aug-17 16:17:43

Yes, to protect your own physical and mental health.