Posted by Anonymous.
My son will be 27 years old in a few months. Up until he was about 21 or so, he was a responsible, happy young man. His Dad and I never worried about him getting into trouble. He had many friends (mostly girls, but a few guys), held part-time jobs, life was good. The only area where there was a shadow was he never had a girl-friend (this bothered him, not us). When he confided this to us, we couldn't really figure out why, nor could he. People instantly liked him, including girls, but they always wanted to be "just friends", according to him.
He started to work at my husband's place of work about 4 years ago. He was doing well, getting lots of on-call work, making good money. Again, he seemed happy. He decided to move out with a girl he worked with (strictly platonic). It only lasted about 8 months. He wanted to live on his own, so he rented a small apartment. We helped him with the first/last month's rent. He again seemed happy. But he wasn't managing his money well, and got behind in his rent. Again, we helped him, with the promise from him that he would manage his money better. He decided to move in with a guy into a new apartment to save costs. Things then took a real turn for the worst, he started not showing up for work. This was so difficult for my husband (remember it was his place of work too), as we would get calls asking if we knew where he was, why didn't he show up. We would get worried sick wondering what had happened to him. Finally he would call us, saying his bosses were idiots and he didn't want to work there anymore. We bailed him out financially again. He started to work a string of minimum wage jobs, but claimed he worked for idiots and would finally leave. He told us he was very depressed. I tried to get him into counselling, doctors, he would have none of it. When I saw him he looked unhappy, worn out. I suspected drug use.
Finally, I convinced him to come home and get his life in order. He admitted there was drug use (mostly pot, but some ecstacy), introduced by his roommate. He also admitted he had been having suicidal thoughts, but had never acted on them. He often thought of hanging himself. His Dad and I were sick with worry. Again, tried to convince him to see someone. He refused.
Being at home seemed to bring him some stability, although the endless jobs continued. But whatever drug use there was seemed to stop. He was happy again, eating well and acting normally. He wanted to move out with two other roommates again. This was a year ago. We helped him out with money again.
In the last year it has been difficult because we give him between $300-$500 per month for living expenses. He finally agreed to see a doctor and counsellor and try anti-depressents. He claims they didn't work for him and he feels better just dealing with life on his on terms. He says he still gets suicidal thoughts and gets down but not as much. When he asks for money, I try and advise him on budgeting, etc., which he seems responsive to, but obviously doesn't implement because he needs money every month.
Part of his depression is the fact he can't meet someone. He says girls don't like him because he is only 5'4", yet he is an attractive, intelligent young man with a lot going for him. A few months ago he confided he may be bisexual. His Dad and I were very supportive of him and told him we fully accepted his choices in life.
Where have we gone wrong? Why can't he be responsible and act like an adult? My husband and I are very scared that if we don't help him financially, he will become depressed again and try and commit suicide. It feels like a Catch-22. His father and I have tried talking to him endlessly about being responsible with money, and he listens and nods but I guess he feels that we have always helped out so why bother. We do not feel he is doing drugs because he has held down a job in a coffee shop for a few months now and appears healthy and happy whenever we see him. He has also registered in a web design course at college (we have paid for this - it's $8,000) which starts in the fall. He is very excited and so are we for him.
So what do we do - continue to help him financially until he has completed the course and can look after himself? Although my husband and I do make good money, the monthly draw stills comes at a cost. I don't know what to do.