When 74-year-old Joe became a widower four years ago, his life and well-being were more at-risk than at any point in his entire life. Joe’s son Kevin, who was continuing to battle an addiction to prescription drugs, had always lived with Joe and his wife. Joe has been emotionally and physically abused by his son for many years, but things became more extreme when his wife passed.
For the next year, Joe endured and continued to be physically and financially abused, having no access to his finances to get help. When Joe was finally seen by neighbors with having scratches and marks on his face and arms, a report was made to Adult Protective Services and Joe was referred to Human Options. Joe started individual counseling through Human Options’ Safe Options for Seniors program and began learning about power and control and the dynamics of family violence. He learned how to set boundaries and felt his son’s behavior would improve with his support.
Joe was hopeful and things seemed better for a short while, but soon Kevin became increasingly violent with Joe. In counseling, Joe devised a safety plan and acted upon it one night when Kevin got violent again. Joe called the police and had his son arrested. Joe was able to obtain a restraining order and for the first time felt his heightened fear temper. Joe also attended Narcotics Anonymous to get support from other families who were dealing with loved ones battling addiction. He realized that his son was the only one who could make the changes needed to better his life no matter how much support Joe gave him. It was hard for him to come to this understanding, but continues working through his trauma and can finally grieve the loss of his wife in peace.
“I was in denial my son would get better and stop using. Getting that order was the hardest decision of my life, but I can finally live the end of my years in peace and safety. I only hope Kevin can get the support he needs so we can be reunited and safe together. ” – Joe, Husband & Survivor