Codependency vs love

I am really struggling with what I should do about my schizophrenic son 25 years of age. He lives in Columbus Ohio and I am traveling back and forth from Florida where I am caring for my 83-year-old mother to try to help him. I am realizing that what I feel is help is actually making things worse. He is sleeping in a shelter and can only be there from 8:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. . I am in Columbus now and he decided to stay at a motel last night I guess to watch the Super bowl and get drunk. I am allegedly meeting him that has aftercare mental health clinic today because I have some paperwork they need. He is on Zyprexa and I’m not sure that is doing the trick. He went 2 years without medication and have been on and invega injection for about a year and I don’t think he still believes there’s something not right. I don’t know where he’ll sleep tonight. My family members do not want him and their homes because of past behavior and I do not have a home in Ohio. I feel like I am losing my mind and I’m trying to set boundaries and recognize what is in my heart and what is in my head. He has access to his social security disability money. We have been trying to get it switched so that I am his payee. He has already been evicted from his last apartment. We are going to the mental health clinic this afternoon. He’s not terribly interested in therapy but his main concern is getting into his own apartment which he cannot afford. He has given me the impression that he does not need my help and I am ready to fly back to Florida in the next week. Should I try to be hands off?

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@Kaltmann this situation is extremely beyond difficult. Having to choose between logic and feelings. In my experience my feelings rarely align with logic.

This may not be the best answer, but probably for me I’d go with my heart and feelings and build from there. If there is a way a distance can be created but still close enough to be hands on.

I’ve often thought about moving far away, out of state, but could never quite do it.

My son and I are about 30 minutes apart.

This situation is extremely tough and I don’t think there is a wrong or right answer.

Hope it all works out somehow for you and your son

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Thank you so much for your feedback. My brain tells me I should just let him go and do his own thing. I cannot force him to take his medication. He was just released last week from Ohio psychiatric hospital after a 2-month stay. I have to get back to Florida there’s my mother is having shoulder surgery. Yes I feel like I’m being pulled in two directions. His brother really doesn’t want to have anything to do with them and it’s not allowed at his house cuz his girlfriend is afraid of him. All he’s interested in right now is getting his own apartment. He was evicted from his last apartment and his brother and I put his things in storage including his car which he now has access to. He’s on SSDI and we are trying to get it set up to where I am his payee. This is proving difficult because we both need to be on the phone with SSA at the same time. My family members in Columbus are not willing to take him in because of past behaviors and his reluctance to take the medication. I am at the clinic now and he may or may not show up. I will get whatever help I can from them with or without him. I can’t keep going on like this. Thank you so much

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Did your son make the arrangements for his last apartment? Was he evicted for behaviors or for not paying his rent?

Its really wonderful that he is taking the invega injection despite not believing he has a need for it. Some of our family members with anosognosia do gain insight when they are on meds and some do not.

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He is not taking the invega sustaina injection. The hospital sent him away with to prescriptions one for Zyprexa and one for something to help him sleep. He stayed at a hotel for two nights instead of going back to the shelter. I have no idea if he’s taking his meds. He had an appointment yesterday with Mid-Ohio mental health and did not go. I feel like I’ve lost him. He will not be able to an apartment because he will need a cosigner. Is eviction from his last apartment which he managed to get on his own without my knowledge for $850 a month when he only got $954 SSDI. I feel so helpless. I came back to Ohio to try to help him and I feel like I’ve only made things worse. Somehow I have to accept that my son is sick and is probably only going to get sicker. I am constantly in a state of fear and anxiety and I can’t go on like this. I have to accept this and move on and try to have somewhat of a manageable life without him in it. I feel like I’ve lost him and I will never get him back.

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I’m sorry, I am having trouble keeping track here, possibly my coffee hasn’t woken me up all the way.

Was your son evicted for behaviors or because he didn’t pay his rent?

So he gets $954 ssdi and had to pay $850 in rent - this is not unusual at all - does the $850 rent include his utilities?

Is there a reason you are not wanting to cosign besides the apartment being costly?

He got evicted for making too much noise and not paying his rent. His brother and I moved his things out of his apartment and put them in storage. The eviction was dismissed in probate Court. I told him that I would co-sign on an apartment if he made me the payee of his SSDI. Since getting on Medicaid has income has increased as they are paying his premium. Also with the 5.9% increase I am not sure how much he is getting. He lies to me all the time so I have no idea what is true and what is a lie. So that makes it difficult for me to figure out how much he can spend on an apartment and he does not have the skills or understanding a budget. He does not even want to have anything to do with budgeting. I will not cosign unless I have control of his money. He was evicted from his apartment he had before he got evicted from this one. That was for destruction of doors noise calling 911. Actually the first apartment he was just asked to leave. Fortunately the owner has a father who suffers from this disease and was very understanding. He stayed with a family of one of his friends for a couple of months and managed to keep a job for about a month. I guess that’s how he got into the last apartment that was 8:50 a month. I feel like my only option at this point is to accept the fact that I cannot help him.

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And as far as cosigning without having control of his money, I cannot afford to pay his rent or the rest of the lease if and when he gets evicted from there. I have told him this and he agreed but is now dragging his feet.

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Has your son gotten himself this far? Were you the one that helped establish him on ssdi and Medicaid?

I do understand your concern about your money. And it’s difficult to be pulled in two directions generationally with travel to Florida involved as well.

My husband once told me that our priority should be the younger generation - his parents had other thoughts.

Can a person be evicted and have to pay the remainder of their lease?

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My son makes do with a very high rent that includes his utilities. He eats thanks to SNAP and the money he earns as a driver.

The state tried to give me grief about how high his rent was and I pushed back. I guess they would like to see him living in an risky area.

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Yes if you sign a lease for 12 months and you get evicted after 3 months you are still responsible for the remainder of the lease payments. He just called me and told me he found an apartment and that he wouldn’t probably need cosigner. It’s $610 a month which he says he can afford. I told him he would have to work which he doesn’t seem to be able to. So we are back to square one.

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Great- we are lucky, my son is also good at finding apartments for himself.

Those numbers seem workable.

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I think we have to let them have as much independence as they want

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I think you’re right. He was working with mental health agency that got him his SSDI and I was able to get his Medicaid set up for him. He is going to talk to someone about an apartment that is $610 a month. That only leaves him maybe $500 to pay his utilities and his cell phone bill food, gasoline. When he has money he just spends it and doesn’t think about the consequences. I am already paying $400 a month for his car insurance what she had to have an SR-22 for. So he has car with no heat or air conditioning. I tried to explain to him about his expenses if he is able to get a $610 apartment and that he would have to work. So we will just see how it goes. I told him that he cannot call me and ask me for money. I have my own bills I have to take care of in order to move back to Ohio from Florida hopefully with my mother. She is resistant to leaving Florida and doesn’t want to deal with our family’s problems. So, if she doesn’t want to come I told her I was coming anyway. I am not the same mother that she was. So he is going to apply for this apartment today and thinks he will get it with no problem. We will see. I hope that is the case. He says he is taking his medication but who knows? Thank you so much for your response

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My son is on my cell plan - it was only about $20 a month to add his phone. I pay the things that are allowed. Cell phone, car insurance, internet and medical needs not covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

You’ve done some really good work getting him set up.

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Thanks so much. I may try to get him to switch carriers and add him to my Verizon account. However when he went to get a new phone with his brother he insisted on getting a very expensive phone and his bill is about $150 a month. I just cannot afford to take that on. Part of that is about $50 for the payment on the phone. I will talk to him about it and see what he thinks and do what I can. I think I will stop sharing information with my mother as she thinks I should not pay for anything for him. Thank you so much for talking to me. I am starting to feel better already.

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No answers. But reading and empathizing with you. My mom has early Alzheimer’s. My 20yo son has diagnosed w SZ. Daily, daily (did i mention Daily?!) grind.

Don’t give up. Never give up. Change. Redirect. Take a break. But keep loving. Loving your mom. Yourself. Your family. We’re all they have. Love wins. Even if it feels insurmountable.

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Have you thought about moving him to Florida so you can be closer? That might reduce your stress and his and provide some structure where he can begin to recover.
He’s 25; his brain is still developing. You’ve done a great job getting him the benefits he’s entitled to. Don’t give up on him yet. All this moving apartments can cause a relapse so you probably are seeing him at his worst.
There are some on this board who live in Florida and know the resources available.
He needs you even if he is pushing you away.
Recovery is long and complicated.
Good luck and know that you always have support here. :heart:

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Thank you so much your comments are giving me another day of Hope.

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He cannot live with me and my mother in Florida. She says she will lose her mind. The cost of living is too high and down there and we are not familiar with Florida’s resources for homeless people in our area. I will check that out thank you so much

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