Can't shake the guilt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by youngfool, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    hi every one it's been a while since I came here I've had ups and downs but Xmas seems to be the worst the people on this site are always so helpful any way it's been 16 months since I had to kick out my then 24 year old son I let him back home and it almost cost me my marriage my wife not his mom has been as loving as can be has stood by he was kicked out and he found a place right away that was so hard had to basically remove him but I did his real mom comes into the picture she tries hard but I think she has made matters worse after a few months he talks her into moving in with to save money I advised her not to do it but they went ahead anyway so he quits his job and starts living of her it was a constant battle the lies promises of finding work all the while I'm watching from afar keeping in touch with her hoping for the best he hates me for throwing him out and would not talk to me nor did I try to contact finally they were evicted from the apartment he was lying about working and finally the money ran out I helped as much as I could but if you don't work it's only a matter of she moves in with friends and they don't want him around there is always a fight so he is living in his car that I bought him when I kicked him out so he could keep his now I start getting texts like my battery is dead can you help me I started to go but thought better of it.he got a jump start by someone. Then before thanksgiving another text his ac stopped working told him can't help car is not for living want ac go to work so he ask for a few dollars it's thanksgiving and I break down I gave him 100$ and a tank of gas told him need to work a month goes by and it's close to Xmas bought him a portable tv and 200$ but I did not want drama at my house I knew he wanted to come home for the holidays but I knew that this would not resolve anything and most likely have to throw. Him out again so I lied to told him I was going out of town to friends house.wellthat did not go well that night I'm getting text out of character for him like how was the trip how cold is he normally does not care any about 9 in the evening I hear noises and some faint knocking I knew right away he came in the side gate and came in through the garage also I had some money on my work bench it's gone so my wife confronts him and makes him go outside he has decided that he's Gona sleep in the yard so now I have to come out.he is surprised to see me and asked what I was doing home told him I did not want to have confrontation at holiday so I told him I was leaving town then I told him he has to go now he begs to stay for a few days I say no you can not come over like this when you working and cleaned we can talk in the meantime Xmas or not you have to leave. Man that was hard to do I mean it Xmas eve and I have to tell my only son to leave so now I am feeling guilty as hell wondering if I did the right thing I think it was but feel so bad as a father
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    He stole from you, broke into your yard and before that lied to and manipulated his mother. He quit his job.

    I don't know if you had other guests over, but how could you let him in your house, Christmas or not? He could make a scene or steal from guests.

    It doesn't sound as if he has much of a conscience. Is he in any way trustworthy?

    The fact is, an average, nice son would have been with you at Christmas. You are not a bad father or man. You have others to protect. Yourself included.

    You did what you had to do, for the others in your family. It is very sad when we have an adult child who is off the rails. But we do have an obligation to keep our home safe from them. Christmas is a sentimental time for most, but it probably means more to you than him. Some of these adult kids use Christmas and birthdays to tweak our guilt, so that we give them money. And some of our adult kids use drugs, and the money we give goes right up their noses or the needles in their arms. We mean well, but they don't.

    It sounds like you may have a daughter or daughters. Do they deserve his drama? Heck, do YOU?

    Your son is able bodied. He can work, even at McD's or factory work or restaurant work. There is no excuse not to work at all. Even the cognitively disabled get placed in jobs.

    Don't let Son guilt you. He has a car. That is more than my daughter had when we made her leave for drugs at 19. We stopped helping her. We cried in private, but she never saw. She quit meth. She quit cocaine. She quit cigarettes! She claims it was because we pulled out and it became too hard to use drugs.

    She is twelve years from those drugs and thriving with very little help from anyone except her boyfriend. We are close. My little granddaughter rocks my world.

    Be brave. When we help, we don't usually help.

    Take care!
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    YF, it is hard what you are going through. It is aptly named as FOG, fear, obligation and guilt. Things get all twisted when our kids grow up and make bad choices. We get tangled up inside, and end up feeling the ramifications of the consequences of their choices, MORE than they do. The GUILT, belongs to your son. NOT YOU! You did not kick him out. He did.
    True, Swot, so very true. How can you let someone who lies and steals from you, continue to live with you? It is an abomination! Unacceptable!
    This is true.
    Please read this article to help pull yourself out of the fog.
    My son, after living through the revolving door of two sisters off the rails, coming and going, using our home and stealing from us said one day "Mom, why do we have people living with us that we can't trust? Why do we have to lock our stuff up?"
    This was so true.
    Sometimes it takes the logic of a 14 year old to wake us up.
    I had to wake up.
    To the reality of my two daughters making terrible choices, dragging us down with them.
    Having them in my home did not stop them.
    It gave them free range to continue as is.
    You and your family have the right to live descent productive, peaceful lives, even if your son chooses not to.
    Standing strong against the reality of it is hard, but not impossible.
    Our mission as parents, is to lead by example.
    Take your life back, take care of yourself.
    It is what we want for all of our children.
    You matter, YF, the peace and sanctity of your home, matters.
    Our d cs have got to know this, and we are the only ones who can show it to them, by not allowing unacceptable behavior to continue to drag us into the abyss.
    Take little steps to rise up and strengthen yourself.
    Keep posting, read the vast materials available on the web, immerse yourself in healing.
    If you need to see a therapist, do it.
    Our weakness does not help our d cs.
    Our strength does.
    Standing up and saying "NO More!" is not easy, it feels strange, selfish and distant. It is because we have been conditioned to respond a certain way, to think that if we don't do something, we are not loving our d cs.
    The fact is..........IF we don't stop doing what we have tried, time after time, it doesn't work, we are not loving our d cs and we are abandoning ourselves.
    Stand up, YF.
    Your putting your foot down to unacceptable behavior is the beginning.
    You are going to be okay.
    Take care of yourself and do something kind for you.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    Wow that's what I love on this site much needed support I feel a little better already so nice of you to take time to reply god bless you guys sometimes it just gets to you no matter what it seems so counter to what we have learned all our lives but on we go I know your right just hard to do again thank you
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi YF,

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through but know that you are not alone.

    I want you to look at this in a different way. You did not "kick him out", you "liberated him" so he can live his own life on his terms. Your son at the time was 24 and at that age he should be taking care of himself.

    How generous of you. He should be grateful.

    Well isn't that just too bad. Last time I checked having a an A/C that doesn't work in a car is not an emergency.

    If it were me I would have called the police for theft.

    I do not mean to sound uncaring and I hope you understand that. Please also know that you have nothing to feel guilty about. Your son like so many of the difficult adult children count on using our emotions against us. They count on making us feel guilty so that we will give into their demands. It's nothing more than emotional blackmail.

    I've been at this with my son for over 20 years. I have learned to be very careful about giving any money. Here's the thing, when we give them money it sends a message to them that we will give them money.
    It is not lost on me or anyone else on this site how hard it is to see our kids in trouble and suffering, however, we need to keep in mind that it's THEIR life choices that have them in the situations they are in. We did not do this to them, they did it to themselves.
    We also need to remember that there is a fine line between helping and enabling. When we enable them we are really causing harm. At some point they need to learn how to sustain themselves as we are not always going to be around.

    It can be a challenge to a marriage for sure! My son is in his second year of a 2 year sentence for assault. My husband wanted to put some money on his account for Christmas. I did not agree. I had to remind him that jail is not supposed to be easy. I also did not want to send a message to my son that we will give him money. My husband came to see my side. Does it tear at my heartstrings, absolutely but I have to set my "heart" aside and listen to reason.

    I had a neighbor who continued to enable her son to the point they lost their house. They had lived in that house for 24 years and kept refinancing to get money to bail him out of whatever it was he had gotten himself into. They were paying his child support so he wouldn't go to jail. He refused to work. They now live in a motor home.
    I for one refuse to allow that to happen to my life. I love my son but will not enable his poor choices.

    The best thing you can do is take care of you and your marriage.

    Hang in there! Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. What a very sad story and this is extra hard at holiday time.
    You've gotten good advice.
    Due to such a bad history, I would not let him in your house.
    At holiday time (s), I would consider giving him a gift card to the local food store. I would consider (ONLY CONSIDER!!!) helping him fill out paperwork to get on food stamps.
    Gasoline gift cards to fill his tank now and then as appropriate might be a good idea.
    It's very generous of you to provide that car so he can look for a job.
    Lock up your house like Fort Knox
    Try to detach as much as possible.
    So sad.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • List
  7. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    Thank you all for your time yes it is sad we all have sad stories and what a great site this is I know he is a grown man at his age I had spent 4 years in the marine corps and then got the current job I have for 34 years not like he doesn't have a role model on how to do things right. So I'm coming to the end of my career going to retire next month.just never occurred to me that I would be in this position but I can't control what he does only what I do or react to as a former marine this is hard to watch as a father it's down right heart breaking because I don't see an end to this well thanks for listening
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry you have to watch him make so many destructive choices. It is so heartbreaking when we watch them throw away the values that we taught them.

    Please know that you did not "kick him out". He CHOSE to leave in an angry situation. He CHOSE to make you demand that he leave.

    Isn't that an interesting way to look at the situation?

    Your son thought you were out of town. He thought he could either sneak in or he could manipulate/intimidate your wife into allowing him to stay. That way he would be established in your home by the time you returned and it would be harder for you to kick him out. He got into the garage and the house and was thwarted. So he decided to stay in the yard. Then you came out and told him he had to go, thwarting all of his plans.

    He timed the whole thing so it would be emotionally difficult to throw him out. He wanted you to feel guilty. He demanded that you explain your presence in your own home. How incredible is it that he could make you feel that you had to give an explanation for being in your home to someone who is trying to squat there? Doesn't that strike you as very strange? If it was a total stranger you would have felt very threatened by his question about why you were home. Your son is good at making you feel as if you owe him things.

    You had money missing but still you felt bad. How does that work? How do you end up feeling guilty when you have just been broken into and robbed? If you have called the cops, the charged would have been breaking and entering and theft. Or maybe even home invasion, depending on the entire situation and the legal definition in your jurisdiction.

    Maybe it is time to start writing some of the things your son does down on paper. Sometimes we don't realize things until we write them down and then see them on paper. I thought that was silly until a counselor made me do it. I was shocked at how much of a difference it makes. Write down that he broke in and then was planning to just stay the night without telling you. That he stole from you AGAIN. Then he was planning to squat in your yard.

    Find out from the Court Clerk how long you have to stay in a residence to establish tenancy. If you have to have mail sent, or just stay overnight, and for how many nights. Do NOT tell your son what you find out!! He might insist that you formally evict him!!! That would be a nightmare for you!!! He would have probably 30 days (or more if he didn't respond to the court) to stay and be as awful as he wanted to be!!

    Think more about where you were at 24. I can tell you that I was married with a child, finishing college, my husband and I owned a home, and we had a cat. My husband worked full time. Most people I knew were doing similar things.

    Your son is CHOOSING to not work. He is CHOOSING to have no place to live or to sleep at night. He is ABLE to work but doesn't want to. At some point, we all have to live with our choices. It is time for him to be set free to live the life he is choosing.

    I know you love him. Maybe it is time to stop letting him stay a night or two here and there. He has to have a life that is hard enough, uncomfortable enough to make him want something different. Until his life is that miserable, he is not going to work to get something better.

    SomewhereOutThere's daughter didn't change until they kicked her out. She went to live in a basement in Chicago. It was winter and she was miserable. No car, job was quite a long walk, and her living situation was NOT cushy. She would be tossed out into the street with nothing if she had even one mistake. A positive drug test would have been the end of any chance at improving things.

    Guess What?? SWOT's daughter stopped using drugs. She cleaned up everything she did. Now she has a great guy, an amazing relationship with him, a wonderful daughter, and a career she loves. She has told SWOT that it was being miserable that got her off of drugs. It was just too hard to continue the drug life. She also said that people who use drugs lie about everything. If they are speaking, they are lying. Period.

    That might not work for your son, but it is a start. Stop giving him money. Cut it down to the bare minimum that you can stand. I know that sometimes you have to do something for him, because otherwise your heart just cannot stand it. But the less you give, the better. At least, don't give cash. Get gift cards for stores near him and give him those. I would go for enough cash for one tank of gas, or maybe a couple of meals at a restaurant. But I would keep it on the low end because gift cards can be sold for cash or for drugs. Even better would be to go and buy groceries for him, or take him to lunch or for a tank of gas. If he gets mad because you want to do that, he wants the gift card for other reasons.

    Know that he is CHOOSING this right now. There is always a chance that he could make different choices at any time in the future. Don't lose faith. Make sure you stick around.

    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  9. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    Hi Susie thank you for your response.its been a long road and not much has changed in his life from the time he was a small child I knew he was going to have a hard life.he would argue every thing joking I would say he is going to be a lawyer or homeless but I knew the answer even back then lazy does not come close to describe him. He wants what I have but no work.but I think he could be happy with the bare minimum pot tv food bed.I find it unbelievable that my son has so little 25 going on 26 I see time running out for him just don't see him changing at this point hope I'm wrong.But it doesn't make it any easier to live with.but thanks to people like you it is getting easier day by day.i hope it's like quitting smoking it's all you can think about hour after hour then one day you realize that you haven't thought about it all day then all week but there is always a time when the urge hits and you have to be strong and not give in then it gets better again you make me feel better thank you so much for your response and time
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is the same with my son. My son also thinks because "I have what I have" that I should just give to him. I remember one time when my son asked for money and I told him no, his response was "I know you have the money so why won't you just give it to me". It's like @susiestar was saying about how they demand an explanation. Years ago, I would get tripped up by this and would try to explain why I wouldn't give him any money which just added fuel to the fire and would turn into an ugly scene. Now, I have no problem at all telling him "my answer is no and I do not owe you any kind of explanation"

    Of course he would as long as someone else is footing the bill for it. My son has been a homeless drifter/couch surfer for years. He has told me he loves his life, that is until he burns his bridges and can't find someone to sponge off of, then he's desperate.
    My son told me when he gets out of jail sometime later in 2018 he can't wait to get started on being a pot farmer. While the idea of that does not thrill me I accept that it's not my choice. Here's the thing, if he wants to be a pot farmer so be it, but be successful at it. Again, it comes back to wanting it all but not wanting to do the work. Only time will tell.

    My son will be 36 next month. I still have hope for him but I do not become obsessed over it. The most important thing I can do, that you can do and all other parents do, is to live our lives for ourselves as best we can. I'm not getting any younger and I wasted enough of my time and energy worrying about my son. I will always love him but that does not mean I have to trust him or help him. Been there, done that, have 10 T-shirts!!

    I wish you all the best for the New Year!!

    Hang in there.
  11. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Reading these posts is like a premonition of things to come for me. I don’t see anything changing for the better at this point in time.

    It is a day by day progression for all of us. Let Go and let God or the higher power take over. Let them face the consequences of their choices; and this all grinds us up emotionally. They don’t see this and they don’t have one ounce of concern either.

    My son thinks he is being so grown up and independent hanging with his girlfriend and her mom free loading and doing as he pleases. Has no money, no education and no future plan to improve in this. What in the He!! Kind of mother wants this in her 16 year old daughters bed and life???

    I too see the want and no effort from my son also.

    Tanya my son also had grandios ideas of becoming involved with the legal and medicinal pot trade. I asked him when he planned on getting his degree. As the entry into the program for cultivation here in Canada is the minimum of an undergraduate degree and preferably in the sciences. Ya that was a real well though out plan for a pot head facing criminal charges who has no high school diploma Jeez they really live in an altered state of fantasy and stupidity.

    I told him if he got his high school diploma he could apply to be a dispensary assistant for minimum wage. He didn’t like that very much. It amazes me how highly they think of themselves.

    It is a daily process of ups and downs and letting go....detaching with love. Today as I sit in bed with a horrid flu I am feeling low and angry. Time for more self care for me in 2018. I do now have more good days than bad.

    At least a cigarette was something of pleasure I desired and knowing it was bad for me I learned to let it go. I see the similarity all but the pet where dealing with my son brings me any pleasure what so ever.
  12. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    Hello all so update haven't heard from D.C. Since Xmas have taken the week off and got a few things done started riding my bike again and got about 70 miles for the week. At first it didn't seem to change my mood much couldn't stop thinking of my D.C. And the Xmas eve show at my house . But pushed my self to do it I love cycling so much. Last night friends came over unexpectedly and it turned into a lot of fun I found myself laughing and telling stories. So today I'm going cycling again going to try some place new looking forward to it I guess it's true that being active really helps the fog is kinda still there but not as bad Thanks you for your time and good energy
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Doing anything fun helps. Don't let son be your life. He has his own life, regardless of how he lives it and you have yours. You are not one person. Being in angst over him doesn't help him one bit and ithurtsyou.

    Ride on and enjoy.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Good for you!!

    This is why we always encourage people to do things that bring them joy, whether it's something new or something you used to do. Doing things for ourselves that bring us joy is the beginning of taking our lives back.
    How wonderful that you were able to also enjoy some time with friends.

    I too love to ride my bike but I'm a fair weathered bird so I do not ride in the winter.

    Keep riding, let your mind and eyes enjoy the wonders and beauty of nature.

    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Doing happy dance!!! Happy New Year! ⭐️
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You go YF! I am so glad you are "back in the saddle" again. It helps to keep active and do something you love-for you. This summer, I made a promise to myself to work up to paddling across the Kaiwi channel. I made small goals and raced pre-season races, then continued to work towards my goal. Met some very wonderful women in my crew and took the leap. It was a beautiful experience that I didn’t think at my age, I would have again. God willing I will go again this summer.
    It’s so good to switch off the worry button for a bit and get out in the fresh air. Life is short, live to the fullest and keep riding, YF. It will help you stay in shape and give you a new perspective for your future.
    We get so caught up in the continuing “drama go round” with our d cs. It is so stressful. Our going down with the ship of their choices does us, or them, no good.
    Keep on riding and have fun!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  17. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    Thank you for your support I feel sometimes the only way to turn off the D.C. Switch is just to run till you can't run anymore since I have a bad knee i cycle till I can't anymore found some new areas yesterday rode rode . Living in Fort Lauderdale this is the nicest time of year. Can't lie he crept into my thoughts at times but trying my best to shut it out so today is a start of a new year I love Tanya saying THE YEAR OF DETACHMENT I want to embrace that make it my daily thought imprint it on my brain I know it's easier to say than do but I have to start somewhere and that is a good starting place. Leafy , littleboylost, Tanya m, nomad, Somewhere out there, Susie star, and everyone else who was kind to me I thank you so much from the bottom of my ❤️. I will keep posting you ladies ROCK I wish I could talk to you guys but it is what it is PLEASE keep in touch
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We are planning a Meetup this summer in St. Louis.You and all are welcome to come. Not sure exactly when yet. I have a lot of people I would love to hug too!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  19. youngfool

    youngfool Member

    Please keep me informed that sounds wonderful plus never been there
  20. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Happy New Year! I love to cycle and did none last year partly because of surgery and the other becisee of the pit I was in over son. It is my goal to get pack into fitness and cycling this year. Taking the time for me.

    I wish for love, peace and happiness for us all this year.

    Indeed it will be The Year of Detachment.
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List