How can life be so unfair? I know I promised to try and be positive but times like this make it impossible!
My adopted son is Bi-Polar and has Intermittent Explosive Disorder. His birth mother is mildly mentally retarded and his birth father was a cocaine addict and also Bi-Polar. My first husband died in the line of duty when my son was 15 months old. My son received a death benefit until age 18 when it turned into a disability benefit. He suffered through
dozens of hospitalizations, various drug trials, counseling, behavior modification, special ed and whatever else we could find to help him. He tried several times to work at a job. It always started out well, he was polite and hard working, but then he would cycle and become aggressive, caustic, abusive and careless. Coworkers didn’t want to be near him. Employers were afraid of him. Back to square one!
When he turned 20, he finally decided to try and get an education. With MUCH hard
work, and a lot of patience on the part of his teachers, he got a GED. It took 2 years
(after already having gone through 4 years of high school in special ed). He began taking
classes at the community college, having to take English and Math for no credit to bring
his levels up before he could qualify. He would go to a one or two hour class and have to
be tutored several hours to understand and absorb the material. I got him a Pell grant and
he takes only a few classes at a time. The office of students with disabilities helps him a
great deal. He has unlimited time to take tests, and his teachers have been uncommonly
patient and kind. This is how he’s been able to continue.
I help him in all aspects of his life, even though when he’s manic, he “hates” me and
accuses me of all sorts of things. I know it’s his illness speaking. He is unable to keep
friends because of his abusive personality when he’s manic. When he’s not manic, he’s
really very nice, interesting and funny, however most people aren’t willing to wait around
for the mania to pass. Not even other members of his family.
As if his life isn’t hard enough, Social Security has decided to take away his benefits.
He will lose his income, his medical insurance, his ability to go to school, and even his
ability to eat and have a roof over his head. He was ordered to see a psychologist last
week who, after spending less than an hour with him, decided he should lose everything.
She never consulted the places he tried to work, never talked to his teachers, never asked
me a single question. She brushed him off like a piece of dirt on her designer skirt. How
can someone do that to someone who is truly mentally ill?
I’ve called several lawyers, none of whom want to help because we can’t come up
with “up front” money. None of the “no cost to you, if we don’t win, you don’t pay”
lawyers will take him on. I spoke to a lady at one law firm who assures you that “you
have enough to worry about” and she was very nice, but unless I had $3500, she was
sorry and wished me luck.
So what do we do? No medication has ever kept him from becoming manic, no
psychologist, psychiatrist, behavioral analyst or life coach has ever been able to help him.
All we can do is support him, have him live alone so no one is abused, and love him in
spite of his disabilities. If he loses his benefits, where will he go? If I take him home, my
husband will leave (He put up with a life of hell for 19 years, so please don’t judge him!) and I will be the main target once again (and I’ve had enough black eyes, split lips etc).
I can’t do that. If I don’t take him home, he’s on the street, without anything or anyone!
How can this happen? I’m asking for help.
Someone, please tell me what to do!