If you are familiar with my situation, my H and I have sons…all adopted…all with issues from birth mothers’ substance abuse during pregnancy. All of them saw a neuropsychologist every two years from age 5ish - 15ish years old.
We have all kinds of challenges within our family these days, but very recently I have a new, disabling fear.
One of our sons suffers from some mental issues. He has fetal alcohol syndrome. He has had suicidal ideation several different times in his life. He has spent a week in a psychiatric unit on two different occasions. He has told me that he has been diagnosed with psychosis. He used to use very "hard drugs" and has told me that on 4 different occasions he had to be brought back to life after extreme drug use. He generally exaggerates, but without knowing for sure, I have decided to accept his accounts of these things that I have not personally witnessed. Better to take him seriously than to assume exaggeration and therefore underestimate the seriousness.
Presently, (for some time now) he is showing some additional concerning behavior. He is drinking more and more. At home…at work. He isolates himself in his truck in our driveway, EVERY NIGHT from the time he gets off work…7:00 pm - anywhere from 4-8 hours playing shooting / violent video games and playing loud, offensive (to me) music. He rarely interacts with us. Doesn’t go anywhere without his backpack - I think alcohol inside.
Historically he has been avoidant of conflict. He says he was picked on in school by one of his brothers, but I have no way to know for certain, because he is very often ‘the victim’. When he was in his early teens, he once told his younger brother that one day he was going to kill the family. When he saw his brother’s shocked reaction, he amended his statement, stating, "Well, not Dad or older brother, but you and Mom."
I finally got him to go to rehab about 2-3 years ago, and he really took to it. Counselor said he was "all in". Came out with big plans to not only keep sober, but also getting his life in general better organized. Playing different, uplifting music. Calm. Optimistic. Short lived.
Currently he has the best job he has ever had, has been there for over a year, and likes it. He has been having vehicle issues for around 9 months now, so I take him to and from work every day while he saves up for a new (to him) vehicle. Got a big tax return check, and proceeded to blow all of it. I didn’t know what all he bought, but some of it was just electronic "toys", etc. No new vehicle.
A few weeks ago, when it was time to go to work, he was gone from the house. I called him, but his phone had been turned off. He doesn’t share last names, phone numbers, or addresses of friends. I couldn’t get in touch with him just to see if he was ok. I had a bad feeling, so I was really scared. Not like him to blow off work. Finally my oldest son got a hold of him through Facebook or something, and he was out of town, "overslept", and had made it to work several hours late. I’m guessing he was drunk.
Then he was simply gone without a word again a couple of weeks ago. It had been very cold that night, and when it was time for work, and he was not in his room, I went out to check his truck. I was concerned about hypothermia maybe. He wasn’t where he usually sits in the drivers seat, but I looked into the back seat which was a bench seat. He wasn’t there either, but to my horror, I saw a gun lying on the back seat. I don’t know guns, but I sent a picture of it to a family member who is an ex- sheriff’s deputy. He said it was not an automatic. More like a pistol with an extended barrel.
It was 3 days after the school shooting in Nashville, TN.
I took it from his truck, and hid it. For 2 weeks. Nothing. Didn’t ask me about it. Until today.
Picked him up from work. Said we needed to talk. Basically told me that he had talked with several police authorities, that I had committed a felony robbery of his gun, and if I didn’t give it back to him, he was going to call the cops and get me put in jail. Proceeded to further recall 10,000 horrible things I have said and done since the beginning of time.
To my credit, I remained calm. Told him I had been waiting to talk to him about it - and welcomed it. After that, every time I spoke, he got madder and madder, and accused me of more and more. So, I finally said that if I wasn’t going to be able to have a conversation with him, there was no reason to continue to talk about it at this time. And that he would just have to do what he had to do. He said he was going to call the police.
So, in front of him I called my sister and explained that I might be away from home for a few days (?) and would she look after my H. I briefly explained why.
When we got home, he talked to my H about the situation and, to my surprise, got no sympathy from H. Told me I could give him the gun, give him $700 or he was calling the police.
I spoke again with my family member re the situation. He laughed. Said no cop in the world would characterize my actions as robbery. Said at the very worst, could be burglary. Said that if the police came, they would want our "stories". Said I should explain that I wasn’t stealing the gun, but rather securing it, that I had grand babies at my home from time to time, and that my intent would be understood.
But…also said that there was no way that they would arrest me, but would probably tell me to return it to my son. And…I can not - will not do it.
I’m scared. For my son. He seems to be spiraling lately - what usually happens prior to a psych in patient stay.
Also, for our family. He really loves his dad and I think would never harm him. But he really dislikes me, and I am concerned about what would become of my H if something happened to me.
But mostly, I’m feeling really petrified when I allow myself to wonder if I am worrying too much, or if my fears could be justified. I would walk through fire to protect my kids, but I cannot dismiss my worries if it is possible that my son could hurt people.
As far as the police go, if told to give the gun back, I would explain my concerns.
But…if they don’t accept that, I cannot refuse. They would find it at my house, and I can’t afford to be away from H. Even if I don’t give it back, he could always buy another one, and just hide it better.
Y’all, am I just overreacting?
Should I feel the way I do?
I would go to hell and back for him, but I must take every precaution I can to prevent him from hurting others.
And if you agree with my concerns, what do I do? Who do I call?
I hear, after one of these horrific shootings, that "If only they had warned people, or tried to get help".
Who would I call to say that I’m concerned that my son might hurt someone?
I can’t bear to even entertain these thoughts about my son. I cannot fathom that he would ever hurt anyone. My oldest son feels differently - says he has tried to stab him on several occasions. Oldest son is a black belt and was able to prevent it. But i also cannot afford to put others in danger with my lack of action.
Please help me.