A very warm welcome to you Trac,
You sound so heartbroken Trac and no wonder why. Witnessing a downfall of your own child is one of the hardest things for a parent. Feelings of being helpless, frustrated, trying your hardest to help and meeting one solid wall. Just devastating for you as a parent and for everyone in the family who love your son so deeply. I really feel for you.
I loved Jessicalou’s ideas about trying to coax him into leaving his cave by baking and cooking something delicious, to tempt him with beautiful smells. Loved your daughter’s idea about the music.
What else does he like that might tempt him? Hearing you Guys watching a family’s favourite movie, perhaps? Playing some games from the childhood?
On another note: How would you actually feel about playing the “tough parent” role?
I hope you don’t mind me saying but after reading your posts I get the impression that you are not exactly most comfortable about this option, am I right?
In addition, having your son going through whatever he is going through, I guess it would be difficult to predict his reaction to this change. I am not saying this would be wrong or great, just wondering.
How about setting some firm rules or/and boundaries instead? Something small to start with and slowly progressing further?
I hope you don’t mind me asking: do you have any idea what does he do during sleepless nights? Does he use the Internet? What do you think would happen if you were to limit it?
That’s just an idea about a firm rule: Yes, you can use the Internet but only between 8pm and midnight (for example). In addition, I want you to have a shower and have a dinner with us (the family).
Just to initiate the change that would form a rule but at the same time wouldn’t be perceived by him as a punishment because he would be spending some time with his family who cares so deeply about him.
You will know best how to respond if he manages to do whatever you ask him to do but maybe a smile and a nice short comment would suffice, so he sees it as being positively acknowledged, however, you won’t be making a big deal out of it.
I have no doubts that this is going to feel like taking tentative baby steps but you are so full of love for him and you will manage, Trac! Trust your own instincts, too. You are doing a great job!