Reply To: Do I ask my 22yr old to leave or let him stay?

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Hi – I was intrigued to read your post and the replies on here. Firstly – let me say how very, very sorry I am for you and your situation, and give you a GREAT BIG (virtual) HUG. You need it and deserve it. All I can do is share my experience, but it may help in some way. And knowing you are not alone can be very reassuring. I live in England.
My story is that I have been involved romantically for five years with a 65 year old man who, I now think, has ADD or ADHD. He is also an alcoholic – or if not, then he certainly drinks far more than is good for him. As we were long-distance, at first I did not know what the hell was going on – even though I had known him socially for many years before we got together (and to be fair, it was me who chased him, as I really fancied him!)- then gradually, very slowly I worked it all out, after reading stuff about alcoholism and personality disorders and psychology and finally ADHD. It is pretty much “over” with us now, as he has blocked my phones, so I can’t contact him. He got annoyed with me “nagging” him about the booze and trying to straighten him out – although I did try not to nag, just support. We loved each other very much in the beginning and he seemed besotted with me, but he was a nightmare. Very naive and childish in many ways. Too trusting – but unable to understand the “rules”, either of society or a loving relationship. Extremely anxious. Drinking heavily. Unpredictable. Unreliable. Unstable emotionally – prone to “melt-downs” for no real reason. Erupts like Vesuvius, but takes no responsibility for it – shifting the blame. Very, very anxious. Gets depressed. Very paranoid and distrustful at times. Bears grudges. Critical. Selfish. Hopeless with money. Now in debt. The list goes on and on. BUT – he is also very sweet, charming and loving when he wants to be – or it seems it is in his interest to be. He loves to be loved and cuddled. He will do anything for anyone, and gets taken advantage of because of that. He is like Jekyll and Hyde. At first, I thought it was the booze causing him to be this way, but I am now certain that it is more than that, he has an underlying psyschological problem, and he uses the booze as medication. Of course, that will also have an effect on his brain, and makes him depressed, so it does not help.
HOWEVER – it is not all bad. He did train as a lawyer and seems to have a very retentive brain. He is from a wealthy family, and went to boarding school (but he showed me his old books which are full of red marks!!). He has a very supportive mother. He was married for 25 years or so to a seemingly lovely, sweet, gentle lady – and has two beautiful children – now 23 and 25, who are doing well. BUT it all went pear-shaped 13 years ago, when he got into debt with his legal company and “borrowed” from the client account to pay the mortgage and school fees – which of course he was unable to pay back. He then went to prison for 2 years. At that point his wife did not want him back and they divorced some years later, when she remarried.
He told me not to worry about him, as he is a survivor – and he seems to be. He played organ in church on Sundays and weddings/funerals and got paid a little for that. He also volunteered at a National Trust house, which he loved, and that gave him something to get up for. He recently set up a choir and organizes concerts and events – so he IS capable of having some sort of a life – just every so often it goes badly. He has now given up his organ playing, since he got his pension at the end of September, and the National Trust house is closed for the winter, so I worry that things will go badly for him again soon. His only “friend” is the woman next door who comes around to booze with him (he buys her drink!!), and they get paralytic together. I fear for his future, but he does not want me in it now to guide and support him. If he truly is a survivor, maybe he will work something out, and keep on going from one disaster to another – one relationship to another – he keeps on moving from one woman to another. All I can say is that he has well and truly broken my heart. I have cried buckets over him. I loved him more than I can say – loved his sweet, gentle nature – but hated the monster inside him. I still worry about him and wonder how he is doing. All we can do, I believe, is be there for these people. Hard as it is, they did not ask to be inflicted with a mental health problem – I truly believe they need as much loving help and support as they can get. Leave no stone unturned to find out what you can to help you both. Here in England one can self-refer to psychological counselling. Or try to find a doctor who understands all of this and can point you in the right direction. You, too, may get some benefit from counselling. I have had two (free) sessions myself, and it has helped me understand. Hard as it is, try more than anything to realize that what they do or say is not personal against YOU. It is just the condition taking over. I find that helps a lot. Try to keep strong and keep on being there for him – but try to set “boundaries”. Try to get him involved in something worth-while – he needs something to boost his confidence. Look at hobbies. I have read that diet also helps to regulate this condition. It is worth looking into that. Certain foods and supplements help to strengthen the brain and the neuro-transmitters to the brain, it seems. I wish you the very best of luck – and send you one last great big hug to help you on your way. Keep your chin up!! Love and hugs, Lorna xx