Codependent - Enabling Spoiled Adult Son with Crohn's Disease
I am new on this forum but it looks like this is probably a good place for me to turn to. I have not been able to find help. My situation is a bit tricky. This is not about substance abuse. I will try to make this short.
My son (28) has Crohn's disease. He does not believe in working, never did. He says he is sick and depressed his family should support him, pay his rent. At times, I can't distinguish the difference between his disease and manipulation. His sense of entitlement is unbearable. This can happen with people that were very spoiled (my fault admiteldy). I am a single parent and he just finds all avenues and manipulations to get us (me and my 77 years old mom) to support him and takes zero responsibility.
Of course, when he is sick we want to help. Actually we want to help if he at least showed willingness to do something for himself. So how do parents deal the anger of spoiled brats that are manipulative and refuse to take responsibiliy and on the other hand the guilt and sorrow of seeing your grown son with such a debilitating disease? I feel so devastated. What if ... he does not have us to take care of him anymore? I have known so many people that have severe bouts of Crohn's and feel that it is their responsibility to take themselves in charge with the exception of when they really can't. If at least he was showing a bit of willingness. How can you force him to do something about this situation (like refuse to rescue him all the time) with such a condition?
Actually, worse, I am wondering how I can help myself. I feel that I am enabling and crippling him and yet, I can't follow through with "tough love" as I know that many times he feels sick. However, many times, I wonder if he is not using this as a manipulation not to function. He gets us to do exactly what he wants: assume him. It is a long and complicated story (he has never believed in functioning or working, whether the disease was active or not, he does not take responsibility. He wants to live in his own place like an independent person and wants us to sponsor him. I told him that from now on, I will give him $1 for each $ he earns. While he did start working a month and a half ago, this did not motivate him. Mom told him that she would only pay half his rent and he got really angry and said that he was sick and depressed - he does not care about mom being 77 and her right to live peacefully. I cannot afford his expenses but when I tell him that he has to stop with this circus, he tells me that my parents also supported me for many years (and stupid me always feel that I need to justify myself. My parents were really amazing. I was a single parent, without support from the father. If it was not for my parent's help, we would probably have lived in misery. I am very thankful to them. (not the word help, not assume - as I have been working since I was out of high school. Son does not believe in work, has barely worked during his lifetime and acts as though we owe him.
He is sick which is heartbreaking but I believe that he uses this towards his agenda: living the way he believes he should live.