Over the last several years my family has faced enormous life changing events that have been very difficult for my teenage son. I would love some ideas on how I can best help him.
My 18 year old son was diagnosed with cancer at 16, diagnosed with severe depression at 17 and most recently found out he has a brain disorder which is causing him to have grand mal seizures. To top it off, we have been under enormous financial pressure with the medical bills piling up, my husband losing his business after becoming disabled and me losing my job when my employer passed away, To say my household has been stressed is an understatement.
It is hard enough raising an emotional teenager but raising a teenager under such conditions is proving to be unbearable and I'm at a loss on how to help him. There are two major issues I am trying to deal with. The first being the loss of his independence. Because of the seizures, my son has lost his ability to drive, can't lock the bathroom door, can no longer go swimming or ride a bike and can't even take a walk by himself. He sees all his friends moving on with their lives and becoming adults while he's stuck in the house being babysat by his parents. This has been extremely difficult for him to handle.
The second issue is girls. My son wants a girlfriend so bad but because of his health issues, he hasn't been very lucky in this department. He has no confidence whatsoever and if a girl shows any interest in him at all, his response is that they just feel sorry for him. He recently had a girl ask him on a date and he was ecstatic but when it came time to actually try and set the date up, she changed her mind and said she didn't want to date afterall. This is not the first time something like this has happened. They all say he's such a nice guy but they never want to actually go out with him. Every time this happens it crushes his confidence even more and my heart aches for him.
I just don't know how to help him any more. I have asked him to start seeing a therapist again or to find a support group but he refuses to do so and I can't force him because he's 18. I'm at a loss on how to help him handle all these difficulties he's been faced with.
I keep telling him things will get better....and they have! His cancer is in remission! I found a job. I'm trying to remain positive and optimistic even though it hasn't been easy.
I miss my happy, intelligent, quirky, fun-loving child. He has become an angry, sad shell of a person and seeing my son so miserable is just killing me.
I woud honestly appreciate any ideas you might have.