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 marygeorgina
Joined: 8/5/2011
Msg: 1
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I have a 35 yr old mentally ill son who lives in the same town as I do. We do not see each other for any reason but he is constantly giving my name to companies and my phone number to telemarketers via the net. I changed my phone # again today.
He is unable to work due to autism and tourettes and lives with a 40 yr old female who is in the same boat as he. They are both on SSDI.

Question is: when I meet a man, do I and how do I tell him about my son? I recently lost out on a developing relationship because the guy told me he didn't like the "son being so dangerous and so close".

I will not hide the truth and lie about this. If I am with someone I feel this is important and at some point I must tell him. What is fair: tell him soon into the relationship before anything develops, or wait till we are involved and it's too late? I want to be fair to both the man and myself.

This is really a problem for me as I want to find a partner but I don't want to scare him off....help, please.
 _TALL_IQ2_
Joined: 2/10/2010
Msg: 2
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 7:50:43 PM
I will not hide the truth and lie about this. If I am with someone I feel this is important and at some point I must tell him. What is fair: tell him soon into the relationship before anything develops

Why do I imagine that you focus much of your early interaction with a man on telling him all about your "dangerous" son and your previous trials and tribulations concerning him?

IF instead you talked about your current photographic/travel/hiking AT/music interests or such, he may have more time to absorb some of your venting about your son later, if he was willing to stick around and be treated to homemade dinners, etc.
 oceangreen54
Joined: 8/10/2010
Msg: 3
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 7:53:12 PM
My son has asbergers i have no problem telling any one,
 _shakti_
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 4
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:02:59 PM

I have a 35 yr old mentally ill son who lives in the same town as I do. We do not see each other for any reason

I changed my phone # again today.

The fact that you do not see your mentally ill son would be more of an issue with me than his living close by.

A mental illness does not automatically make someone dangerous, what an infuriating stigma that! The fact that he is living on his own with a female is proof that he is obviously doing just fine.

I want to be fair to both the man and myself.
It's clear that your son isn't part of that fairness.

I can't believe you are worried about how a man will take this. In all honesty, reading your thread made me nauseated.

If any man had a problem with my mentally ill child I'd show him the door in a hurry! But then, I would be having an actual relationship with him!
 lovelikewinter
Joined: 9/24/2011
Msg: 5
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:10:43 PM
Well, I see many people on here say it in their profiles. They say: "Hi, my name is ------ and I love to hike, ski, listen to music. I have ADD which makes it hard...."

So you don't have to spring it on anyone, just be honest and don't go into too much detail. Then, when you are further in the relationship, mention more about him.
 VacationGuy234
Joined: 8/1/2008
Msg: 6
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:11:42 PM
If a guy can't deal with your issues, he is not the guy for you. IMO, once you get to know someone and are serious about moving forward it is time to tell him about your issues. Don't feel bad if he doesn't continue because it wasn't going to work out anyway.
 TDH49
Joined: 8/13/2010
Msg: 7
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:14:12 PM
I have a 35 yr old mentally ill son who lives in the same town as I do. We do not see each other for any reason
Do you have any idea how this makes you look lady? Turning your back on your mentally ill child? You write this with such pride..."we do not see each other for any reason" I would think that the fact that he is your mentally ill son would be a damn good reason to want to see him?



but he is constantly giving my name to companies and my phone number to telemarketers via the net. I changed my phone # again today.
Yes change your number. Why in the world would you want your mentally ill child to be able to contact you in an emergency. Now not only don't you see him, you don't even have to talk to him on the phone. It's a win win for you all around.




when I meet a man, do I and how do I tell him about my son? I recently lost out on a developing relationship because the guy told me he didn't like the "son being so dangerous and so close".
Just make it a clean sweep lady. You are already pretending that he don't exist. Just keep right on doing that. Like you say, it's not like you ever see or talk to him anyways right? Just keep your mentally ill son your dirty little secret and get on with your life.



I will not hide the truth and lie about this.
Yea right. Is that why you don't see him and change your phone number.
 OOhMeeOhhMy
Joined: 9/17/2007
Msg: 8
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:20:40 PM
I don't see how he is dangerous?? autistic and tourettes??? neither are mental illness...

if he causes you danger.... call the police.... if he needs help... find it for him... parenting doesn't stop at 18...

I agree with the person who stated that I would be more concerned about someone who didn't have contact with their child.... than the child having any illness that they have no ability to change....
 MsMicki
Joined: 10/2/2006
Msg: 9
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:26:28 PM
Uhm.........I'm with the others here......
having a son with issues isn't the problem.....your lack of mothering skills would be
 BLoNde__ANgeL
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 10
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:27:52 PM
your son is not mentally ill- he is neurologically atypical...I will not judge you for lack of contact bec. only you know what went on.

just date & AFTER you get to know a guy just let him know about your son's condition- do not dredge up sordid details....

how many men here have borderline/bipolar/drug addicted/lapdancing daughters? or sons w/ issues? your son was born w/ his brain wired differently, it was not the result of poor parenting. OP please email me, I have more to tell you...
 azul14
Joined: 11/26/2010
Msg: 11
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:34:03 PM
I would as a mother find it hard to wash my hands on a mentally ill child. I know it is difficult to have a child with Autism, but most parents realise they are in it for the long haul, as Autism is pervasive and not going to go away. There are programs out there that help with Autistic individuals, but one thing they need is stability and security. Maybe helping him with his issues, could also actually help you in the long run.

I work with Autistic kids daily, but haven't dealt with Autistic adults. I would presume they have similiar issues. I know the kids in our program are trainable with constant reminders and role playing to do the right thing. I would suggest you form a relationship with your son and teach / model correct behaviors. Tell him it is inappropriate for him to give out your number to strangers/telemarkerters, and tell him why and what happens when he does. There has to be agencies that monitor adults with autism in your area that you can refer him to.

I hope you find it in your heart to help your son even if it is difficult.
 Pasionlatina529
Joined: 8/5/2011
Msg: 12
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 8:47:35 PM
You shouldn't deny your son nor his existence..you're his MOM no matter what. The guys are the LOSERs if they wanna use the excuse about your son....I would understand if the son lived with you and you had a dangerous situation going on..but for goodness sakes...your son doesn't live with you. The one that will be true to you will embrace you and your son (so long as he's not impeding your life in a negative way)..the rest are just losers...even if you liked them..they aren't worth it if they don't accept you n ur son...
 Welsh474
Joined: 9/13/2010
Msg: 13
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 9:18:58 PM
Yup, let's bash the OP cause we've all walked a mile in her shoes. We don't know what she has gone through for the last 40 years. You sound like she turfed him as soon as he came out of her womb. We don't know how long he lived in her home, how she raised him, how much professional help she got, how her husband or other family members helped, what was her breaking point, when she said "I can't do this alone anymore, I love you but I have to let go".

I had a friend who's son had cerebral palsey. She put him in a group home when he was 25 and she told me she was amazed how many people thought she was selfish, a bad mother, a horrible person. The thing is, none of those people had raised a disabled child, she bathed him and diapered him and fed him with all the love in the world until she physically couldn't do it anymore. Then she got togerher with some other parents with children, actually adults, with the same disability and she helped get government grants, held fundraising events, etc. to get a group home built. She was involved in the staffing selection and 10 years later still serves on the board as the secretary treasurer. She sees her son more than once a week, they bring him home for family functions. She just can't do the day to day - he's 35 and she's 65, she's done more than her job.

Lay off the OP unless you know EXACTLY what she's been through because unless you know EXACTLY what she's been through you are assuming and you know what that means - it means you're an idiot.
 OOhMeeOhhMy
Joined: 9/17/2007
Msg: 14
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 9:31:58 PM
HUGE difference between CP and Autism.... CP is a physical degenerative disorder.... and would required someone to physically care for their adult child... and a group home is equipped to handle that.... and SHE VISITS her son.... and is proactive in his care....

no one is bashing the OP.... just wondering what is missing from her story....
 pretzelman60
Joined: 9/27/2011
Msg: 15
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 9:55:53 PM
certainly is bashing the OP in my opinion. One person talkeed about changing her phone #. It's exactly what I would do if my son, disabled or not. kept giving out my number to all kinds af agencies I was not interested in. That doesn't mean she has broken off all contact with him. maybe she can call, (CAN call) and meet with him. Maybe he can be contacted through this new thing called the internet.

I am sure that if he is on SSDI, there is a social worker involved somewhere that can act as a mediary and make any phone calls that are needed.

Just because a mother doesn't have day to day contact with her son, doesn't mean she has "abandoned" him. She didn't say that she broke off relationships with her son. Who knows, maybe the son has broken off the relationship.

It is typical of people on this site to use pack mentality when a person asks advice.
I remember years ago when I asked a question, not about what I did, but what would they do, and you would have thought I was talking about raping their mother.

Give the lady a break. She has obviouslly given her son some. "I changed my phone number AGAIN" It isn't like something happened one time.

And for those of you telling her that her son isn't mentally ill....then her son must accept responsibility for his own actions. Tough love, but he is able to have a relationship with a woman, so it isn't like he is all that handicapped. He needs to face up to his responsibilties. I would feel different if this person was mentally retarded, but he isn't.

Yes, diabled people must be treated fairly, but so must the people who have cared for him.

Tell the man you are interested in. But not on the first date. Men can be cruel, as has been shown here.

JMO
 Landra2
Joined: 6/4/2009
Msg: 16
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 9:58:33 PM
I would say the time to tell a person about your son's illness would be about the same time you'd tell someone if you yourself had any type of illness-- which would be in direct proportion to how soon or how often it would impact the relationship.
 SeaCatcher
Joined: 9/11/2011
Msg: 17
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 10:28:30 PM
[I have a 35 yr old mentally ill son who lives in the same town as I do. We do not see each other for any reason but he is constantly giving my name to companies and my phone number to telemarketers via the net. I changed my phone # again today.
He is unable to work due to autism and tourettes and lives with a 40 yr old female who is in the same boat as he. They are both on SSDI.

Question is: when I meet a man, do I and how do I tell him about my son? I recently lost out on a developing relationship because the guy told me he didn't like the "son being so dangerous and so close". ]

You do need to tell your date you have an adult autistic son with tourettes, but only after you have come to know each other much better than after the fourth or fifth meeting. Strictly speaking, autism and tourettes are no longer considered "mental illnesses". The guy who dropped you is labouring under ignorance. Autistic people (with tourettes) are not generally dangerous. A touretter may utter obscene words, but he/she can - under the right conditions, with medication - perform perfectly well in the workforce (Dr Oliver Sacks, the famous neurologist, knows of a surgeon with tourettes, there are also muscians with the syndrome. Robin Williams, the actor, probably has the condition, too). So having tourettes doesn't make you mad. Autism is a harder condition to understand. Many autistic people can work in sheltered workshops and live reasonable lives. I do appreciate what you say about your son not being able to work and his propensity for handing out your name and phone number, and how tedious that is. Apart from that, however, as he is 35 and living independently, sharing his existence with men you're dating isn't necessary at the beginning of relationships.
 1776or1984
Joined: 12/25/2009
Msg: 18
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 11:30:01 PM
OP,
Could you elaborate on just what you mean by mentally ill? It sounds like your son might be causing trouble intentionally with the phone number business. I read the part about autism and tourettes but diagnoses of autism are given to some people that aren't what I would call autism. If the guy is living on his own with a woman, he must have a mild case.

Sometimes kids don't turn out perfect (what an understatement!) and toxic relationships develop between parent and child. It doesn't have to be mental illness, sometimes a bitter exwife or exhusband can totally twist a developing child's mind. Many times the child grows up and sees the reality and repairs the relationship, sometimes that never happens.

Were I you, I would explain the situation after the third date or so. No use spreading around dirty laundry till you think something is going to develop. Just be careful on how you state the problem, not too short, not too long, but stay with words that can't be misunderstood. If you mean bitter and twisted, don't use mentally ill to describe it. If you mean that your son has no control over his actions, then mentally ill might fit the bill.

I feel for you. These days even healthy kids can grow up with a sense of entitlement and a warped view of their childhood. That combined with the current idea that our parents are responsible for our success and happiness has got a lot of young adults living in la la land.

Just remember no matter how bad your son gets, he will always be your son. You don't enable, you don't tolerate bad behaviour, but bad behavior doesn't mean the kid is all bad.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 19
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/15/2011 11:56:12 PM
Certainly having autism and tourettes wouldn't make him dangerous, so there is something going on that we don't have the info on, like why he's dangerous and why you do not see him. Without knowing this part that's left out, I don't see how we could give you any advice. You don't have to provide it of course, but I can't form an opinion with so little info, other than to say that the time to bring this up would be best sooner rather than later, but that's your call.
 RubyWaxxx
Joined: 10/23/2010
Msg: 20
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/16/2011 4:30:21 AM
I agree with Dayna and Landra.
OP, how do you describe your son's problems? It reads like you scared the hell out of that guy who bolted!
Maybe it's not a matter of when, but how much information you feel you need to impart - and how emotive it is - as well.
 carolann0308
Joined: 12/9/2006
Msg: 21
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How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/16/2011 7:10:06 AM
I have friends who's adult children live in group homes and I certainly do not consider them bad parents. All children need to leave the nest eventually and it gives the young people a sense of independence and pride, just like any other young adult.
They both have regular contact with their children. I do believe it is to every one's benefit to care for someone properly without having to be forced into the role of caregiver if it becomes overwhelming.

I am not sure OP, what your life with your son has been like or if indeed he is 'dangerous' as your friend said. I would suggest being honest with a potential partner about your son's illness and diagnosis, if it going to be a long term relationship. If you have no contact then it will not affect in any way a casual friendship.
Perhaps look into some type of family counseling that will allow you and your son to at least communicate on some level. Having family connections is important to every one's well being.
Good luck to you.
 QueenBeeSweetness
Joined: 9/23/2011
Msg: 22
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/16/2011 11:25:40 AM
Ummm.....you dont talk to your mentally ill son?

Did you give him up for adoption to a loving family, or did you just one day decide that you were done, had done your time, and chose to be rid of him?

You carried him in your womb, gave birth to him, cuddled and held him as a baby, were his source of love, comfort, security, & maternal warmth, & all he is to you is a potential dating hindrance?
That really sucks.
 singleous
Joined: 7/23/2011
Msg: 23
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/16/2011 11:33:52 AM
If a man runs from being with you because of your son, then clearly it's not a man you want around anyways.

Being honest is a great thing, if someone can't handle that, there's always someone who will.
 Welsh474
Joined: 9/13/2010
Msg: 24
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/16/2011 1:00:09 PM
"....you were done, had done your time, and chose to be rid of him?" Again, we don't know what the OP has been through and in all honesty, she doesn't have to tell us as it's none of our business. She made a decision.

My husband and I had to make a decision regarding our oldest son - we couldn't handle the drugs, the drinking, the stealing from us, the beating up of his younger brother, the police and criminal charges, the refusal to go to school, etc. We had gone to social services, we took him to a psychiatrist, he had a counsellor and a probation officer, we had family counselling for well over a year. He went to live with my parents for a couple of years until they couldn't take the same things we had gone through. He chose his life - drugs, stealing, assaults, booze. We had to walk away. We took his phone calls but he couldn't live with us, we didn't send money, we would not enable his choice. He hated us for a number of years and then when he got clean and sober he told us that we had made the right choice.

A friend of mine had a boyfriend for 5 years, when she suggested it was time to take the next step and get engaged he chose to break it off because he couldn't handle the fact that she had a sister with Down Syndrome and it terrified him that she may have to live with them when the gals mother either couldn't or died. She thought WTF, you've been with me for 5 years, this is no surprise. But I guess when push came to shove, he couldn't handle it. He made a choice and she said good bye, so long, don't let the door hit you on the azz on the way out.

We do what we do, we handle what we can handle and at some point - we make have to make the decision to walk away. No shame in that.
 xHD1200x
Joined: 11/11/2010
Msg: 25
How to tell about mentally ill adult son?
Posted: 10/16/2011 1:16:00 PM
Post it on your profile so before anyone wants to date you they know about your brother.
Or send your brother really far away like on a vacation and leave him there and then you dont mention his name again.
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