"Friends"...why is it so hard to get away from them?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yesterday was day 3 at the shelter and our son calls and is complaining to his dad that his friend, "J-1" (there are 3 J's) who he had been staying with had called and wanted us to pick him up and take him to the shelter too. He was living at a cousin's house. We said no. Our son did NOT want this kid there...he said something along the line of he'd end up getting kicked out because they don't get along. J-1 and he have been friends since middle school and he lived with us for a while when he was 16 and 17. For a number of reasons, we ended up driving him to his dad's, 4 hours away. This is the kid I've mentioned I've always felt sorry for. He really has had a hard time. He lived with his mom, who didn't work and mooched off friends and then left him to go live with her on-line boyfriend in Texas, leaving him with us. The only time I ever met the woman was when she came and picked up the Power of Attorney to sign so we could take care of her kid...what kind of mother does that? (This was also the home where my son had his first joint.) Well anyway, my son and J-1 just don't get along that well anymore. He can only take J-1 in short doses. We told him to tell the shelter director that they should NOT be roomed together because they will have problems.

    But today I get a text from J-1 - on my son's phone! He apparently took a cab to the shelter and only had $10 to begin with and he has a fine that was due yesterday...he asked ME for $25 because he's afraid they'll issue a warrant and he'll end up in jail! My first thought was "Not just no but Hell NO!" My response was more polite, but otherwise the same. My son was complaining the other day he'd loaned J-1 $10 to pay on his fine and he used it for liquor.

    I'm worried to death that this will end up being a problem for my son. I can see J-1 taking our "no" out on him.

    I guess this is just a silly worry...but it's just one more I didn't need. My son needs to go his own way and these friends are just standing in the way. It was bad enough when they weren't following him!
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Lil, if my kid had called me to ask me to drive ANYONE to the shelter, I would have said "no" and nothing else. You don't have to explain it to us. As for these "friends"...they are a big problem for our kids when they are using. They are drug buddies and we know our adult children are ready to quit using drugs when they no longer want anything to do with them.

    I understand your soft feeling for a child who lived in a bad home situation, but you can't fix him anymore than you can fix your son and it is probably dangerous to your son for you to stay so involved with him. The fact is, the people in the shelter (and the world) are going to expect your son to be able to handle J-1 on his own, without you. And he has to learn how also. "He makes me mad and I'll get kicked out of the shelter" is his own fault. He has got to learn how to take care of himself and take himself out of bad situations. Or he will learn why it's better not to hang around with people like J-1. Personally, I find it appalling that this kid would call you and ask you for money, but that's what difficult children do. They think somebody is a soft touch...anybody...and they ask for a free handout.

    Lil, your son is a man now. You can not take care of him. If he would make better choices he would not have people after him. This is just my opinion and it's really none of my business either, but I would cut the emotional ties you have to J-1. He sounds like bit time trouble.

    Hope you can calm down and be good to yourself tonight.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh, I do know. And I really don't have any ties to J-1...I feel badly for a lot of people, but in the end, their lives are just not my problem.

    I guess my worry about this situation comes from my son now having to deal with it at all. He really was trying to get away from these kids. Another boy (J-2) is one we didn't even allow in the house after we read a Facebook status where he had mentioned he'd "restocked" while he was in the city. Our son's adamant statement that it wasn't pot he'd "restocked" did not convince us one bit. He was the one our son "hung out" with all the time. About a month ago my son had me change his cell phone number. He didn't give it to either J. J-2 would literally send 20 Facebook messages and post on my son's wall over and over and over until my son would respond. He would go on and on about how he didn't want to hang out with J-2, but in the end he'd go...just to get him to shut up. We'd suggest he just block him and he said if he did they'd just come by the house. J-1 was the same way, but he'd at least only send one FB message. Changing the phone number stopped the constant texts he'd send.

    Of course, when we kicked out our son last week, J-2 is who he called, because he is the only friend with a car. He ended up staying with J-1 because he had a cousin who'd let him stay a couple days. In the end he went to the shelter before they said he had to leave, to get away from J-1. Then he followed my son to the shelter!

    Between changing the phone number and then moving to the shelter, I thought he was getting some distance. Now he's stuck living with the same kid he was trying to get away from.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Really suckers, Lil. Honest. If my daughter hadn't left the state, I don't know if she would have been able to quit. Her "friends" did not seem to want her to get clean and even threatened her life, something I'm glad I didn't know at the time.

    Is there anyplace he can go to completely get away from these nitwits? Any relatives in other states? Of course it only works if the person doesn't try to hook up with new druggie friends because, of course, like the flu, they are everywhere.
  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yes...it's the reason we sent him to college last year...to get him away from his "friends". But, of course, the first thing he did was to hook up with more stoners. He wasn't ready to change then but I really think we were close before we kicked him out.

    Unfortunately, the only place we have he could go is his very religious grandparents. My in-laws are wonderful people, but it would be a very bad idea for a number of reasons, not the least is he's an atheist and they'd insist he go to church. I only have one brother, who lives quite nearby and wouldn't take him. Jabber's other family aren't in the position.

    So it is what it is. I just hope he figures out a way to distance himself and keep his cool.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Well, you have my prayers and good thoughts. I understand how hard it would be with the religious differences. My difficult child is an atheist too. I am not saying all atheists are bad people at all, but a good many of our difficult children seem to have no religion/spirituality. And it makes sense because religion has rules and morals and codes of behavior and our grown kids don't like them. A normal atheist knows in his/her heart what is right and wrong, but our difficult children in my opinion could probably use a moral compass...maybe I'm just babbling here.

    I just had an irritating altercation with 37 and I'm thinking of venting about it later. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Sometimes I just wish I could trade him for another son...I know how terrible that sounds, but he can be so horrible. He is always right, by the way. Wouldn't it be nice to always be right?
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Aw MWM, I'm sorry. I do understand the "trade him in" feeling. Makes me feel horrible too.
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like your son is someone who doesn't like to be the bad guy when it comes to friends. He plays the avoidance game instead of saying what he feels and breaking off the relationship. He called you about the kid needing a ride because it is easier to say mom said no. He doesn't have to be the bad friend you are the mean mom. Probably the exact same thing applies to the phone call. He doesn't have it and won't ask you for it BUT he will hand J1 the phone and let you be the mean one.

    I think the best thing I can tell you is to let your difficult child know that those phone calls have to stop. Let him know you won't be his bad guy anymore. He needs to be strong enough to tell his friends no for the little things or he will never be able to say no to drug pressure.
  9. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    This all sounds really crazy to me Lil. Maybe your son tells you something different then he is telling his friends. I am getting all kinds alarms going off about this Lil. I think your son is playing everybody and telling everybody what they want to hear. He is out of your home and you are still in his drama, still helping ease the transmission from being kicked out of the house to a homeless shelter (like really?), with his friend following on top of it?? How does THAT happen? I never heard of this before in my entire life. I bet you my last bottom dollar, some how, some way, your son arranged for J-1 to come with him at the shelter because he didn't want to be alone there, all the while telling you some BS story. There I said it, I am sorry if it comes out a little flustered, but I just feel like there is a lot of manipulation going on here.
  10. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I think he is telling you a lie when he says he doesn't want to associate with his friends. I think he is the ring leader out of his friends and he can treat them bad but they will be at his beck and call anyway and he knows that. He is using his friends and you as well. I don't care how stupid or how much of a follower you are, nobody follows another friend to a homeless shelter unless that friend has some type of major power over that friend. I'm telling you, I think J-1 was invited BY your son (even if he was manipulated into doing it) more than it was him following your son.
  11. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    OMG no. LOL You have it really, really, wrong.

    I've seen the 20+ FB messages and wall posts when he was trying to avoid J-2. When we kicked my son out, J-1 FB messaged ME...asking what was up because my son was not responding to any of his messages and he wanted to hang out. I'm the one who changed the phone number at his request and he didn't give the new number out so FB was the only way they could find him. He was working on making some new friends. You have it completely wrong.

    What did you mean by this? "(like really?)"

    J-1 has been homeless for years! He couch surfs and lives with this cousin and that one. Was with a grandma for a few months, until they had a fight and he did something stupid like punch a door and that's what he's on probation for. He lived with one of his mom's ex's for a while. I've known this boy since freshman year. He lived with us. We took him to his dad because he was drinking and smoking pot in our house (this was before we knew our kid had started joining in). He left and came back here and then had the nerve to try to get us to take him back. No...I feel bad for J-1, but he's largely to blame for his own problems.

    But whatever. I assure you, you have it completely wrong. My kid's a liar and a thief (from me at least) and manipulative as hell...but he did NOT arrange this.

    If you knew these boys you'd know how ludicrous the very thought is. It's exactly the opposite.

    Actually dstc has it right.

    Yep...I can't tell you how many times over the years, my kid has said, "J-1 wants to know if he can spend the night." while shaking his head NO so we'd say no and be the bad guys. He's sent me texts that said, "so and so wants to come over, if he calls, tell him I can't". I have to admit to having encouraged this a bit, because I didn't mind if he didn't want to hang out with someone. In retrospect, we should have made him stand up to them.
  12. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    I am so sorry Lil. I really am. Sometimes I spout out how I feel inside, believe me, it was nothing ill will towards you. You know how you just feel like someone is getting manipulated, even if you might be wrong, you gotta say something? I am not one of those people who can write rationally all the time. I could have dressed it up really nice making sure I wouldn't offend you, but at the end of the day, the message is the same. You're right, I have no idea what the situation really is, and even after the explanation you just gave, from the outside point of view, something doesn't seem right. Maybe it somewhere along the middle. I just remember when my difficult child and her friends had my head all capped up big time. Even though we see it one way, doesn't mean it's the correct way. But who am I to say? You would know better than me because you live it. Really, I was just giving some suggestions that you might not have thought about before, that's all. My delivery was poor, and I apologize but that's how I talk sometimes. If I don't write when I feel emotional, then I might not ever get it out because thinking too hard about how to word it , then I lose what I was trying to say. Again, I apologize.
  13. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    again, I feel so terrible right now Lil, please forgive me. Please believe my intentions were in the right place. I hate how I can't control my passion (lack for a better word) sometimes. I hate what's happening to all of us. It's living in pure hell and it's not fair. I never in a million years thought it would be like this or in these forums. Never. I had no idea how common it was either. Still shocking.
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Dear GM, don't feel bad. There's nothing to forgive. I had a good laugh with my husband at the thought of my son as the ringleader of his friends. :) Really. lol

    My son is many things, most of them pretty awful these days, but he's a follower, not a leader, always has been. I don't believe half (75%?) of what he says to me, and my husband believes even less, but this one thing we're sure of. If my son wanted J-1 there, he would not have called and said, "J-1 wants me to ask if he can get a ride here and stay at the shelter. Please say no, because I don't want him here! What do I do? He'll get me in trouble and I'll get kicked out!" He would have said, "This is a good place for us because we can get jobs and earn some money, please can you get him?"

    I can't tell you how many times he's been let down by his "friends". He would take people here and there and they'd never come thru with gas money and he'd be broke and out of gas, he'd ask a favor and they'd refuse, though he'd done things for them over and over. Heck, the reason J-1 moved in with us was because my son asked us to do it. But when he'd take off, could he stay with J-1 for more than a night or two? Nope. The list goes on and on.

    His problem is he doesn't seem to be able to grow a backbone and stand up to these boys and say, "I'm done with you!" He's afraid of having nothing to do. He'd say, "They suck but they're the only friends I have."

    I agree, it's an odd situation. I hope he manages to get this sorted out.

    But you said nothing to apologize for. :)
  15. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Dont worry, she isnt upset with you. She was just a bit confused by some of your comments. Being significantly less prone to letting my emotions rule me, occupational hazzard along with the whole guy thing, I can assure you that Lil and dstc have the right of it. Our son talks a mean game about his "friends" but will let himself be abused by them rather than confront them. A good example of this would be, last summer if memory serves, he had just got some money and went to spend a day with "friends". When plans went wrong his friends blamed him and brow beat him into giving up his money, around $30 or so, as compensation for plans going awry. Rather than allow a confrontation he simply handed them the money then ranted at us about it for the next two days.

    He has commented to be before that he would rather have crappy friends than no friends at all. We have talked to him about this, reminding him that the (appologies for this phrase but just cant think of another way to put it) better class of people he used to hang with quit hanging with him because he started associating with the stoners. He has also made comments to the effect of not wanting to upset his current "friends" so they wont talk bad about him and give him a bad reputation. I firmly believe that, while he wants us to think that means just his reputation in general, he doesnt want to burn his bridges with the only people in town he can comfortably by drugs from. The second time he ran away I believe he learned the hard way not to owe a drug dealer. While he was gone, one of his friends (no quotes on this one because, while this friend doesnt appear to be the most respectable, he is actually quite respectful and pleasant.) showed up at our door asking if our son was there. He looked kind of upset so after telling him no I asked what was up. Our son had borrowed $60 from him to pay of a dealer that he owed money to in order to keep from being hurt. While it obviously hasnt stopped him from doing drugs, at least it looks like its made him more cautious with who he buys from.

    Quick explanation on "friends". Most of you have probably figured out that I'm being very generous with this term. At this point, all of his "friends" hang out with him because of what he could do for them. He had access to a vehicle, he had parents who were in denial so he could still get money from them in one form or another, things like that. Honestly, J-1 is the closest thing to an actual friend he has right now and at the best of times its......unhealthy....at the best of times for our son to hang out with him.
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Looks like we were posting at the same time. :)

    Yep. Amazing how many people he had that were "friends" when he had a car that stopped being anywhere around when he would have it taken away.

    I guess the upsetting thing is, he used to defend these people. Now he calls them idiots and a-holes and worse and had started to try to find new people to hang out with...This actually had been my fear of kicking him out. I had said, "Where's he going to go but to these people?" The shelter was such a good place, because they weren't there and since he didn't have internet, he could ignore them.
  17. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    No matter the rest of the post I think this part is true. Once you "kicked him out" (let him go) you really, really have to let him go. I, too had alarms going off about this situation but I think the biggest part is the part that you two are too involved with what is going on with difficult child right now. If I were in your situation I would stop, at least for a while, answering the calls (and cries) from the difficult child. You have to learn to put some distance between yourselves and difficult child because, yes, they are extremely capable of manipulation. Having gone back and read your posts about all you have been through with difficult child, maybe you should go back and read them too; see how much difficult child has played and manipulated you in the past. Honestly you both have been through a lot trying to help you difficult child. When is enough, finally enough? I think that was the main point Guide Me was trying to point out. While difficult child is out of the house, you are still caught up in the drama, and (can't blame you) waiting for the next shoe to drop. Stop being ANY kind of resource for you difficult child. Stop trying to fix things for difficult child and let him stand or fall on his own.
    Ironically, once you kicked your difficult child out I was going to post something of how you and your husband (rightfully) should start to live your lives as empty-nesters and put the focus back on the two of you. When we have been caught up in as much stuff as difficult child's bring us, sometimes the quiet that comes when they are gone can become anxiety as we no longer have control over what they are doing/shouldn't be doing. Agree 100% that drama is ruling the days, whoever is or is not to blame. At this point in your lives, if you truly want to move on from the antics of the difficult child - it is time to go radio silent in my humble opinion
  18. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    My son does the same thing. He hangs out with people who treat him like @#^%. He knows they are bad news, but he will not stand up to them. He has been this way since he started school.
  19. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I understandy exactly what you're saying and for the most part, I agree. What makes me truly believe he honestly wanted our advice was the fact that he talked to me instead of asking to talk to his mother. While I know that I have allowed some of the manipulation to go on even after recognizing it for what it is, my son also knows that the manipulation is recognized by me.

    Lil is having a hard time letting go, part of which is the whole mom thing. I have been much more comfortable just sitting back and letting him fall on his face, its the dad thing. My big issue is that, as Lil has said in other threads, I come from a large very supportive family. While I understand the need to separate ourselves from this situation and let him sort it out, its difficult to just ignore him when I get what appears to be a heartfelt and honest request for advice. As far as the friend asking for money and a ride, I have no doubts that he informed J-1 that peeing in the wind would have been more productive, J-1 had to try anyway.

    As I havent really put anything in my profile yet I would like to remind everyone that I do have 22 years with Department of Corrections, 14 of which was spent as a Corrections Officer in a maximum security institution so I have a pretty good bull crap detector. Thats part of the reason our difficult child is so quick to go to mom since dad is prone to saying here are your choices, sucks to be you but sort it out.

    Sorry, had to edit. My appologies if I've offended anyone with profanity.
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    We stayed out of our kid's personal lives because we didn't even really know the truth about w hat was going on and we wanted them to learn the skills to handle adversity. Because we didn't intervene, things with (cough, cough) "friends" got so scary for Daughter that she decided drug life wasn't worth it and quit. If we had been there to cushion her, who knows? She feels we did the right thing. Would all difficult children? Probably not. Some like their lifestyles and want us to make their lifestyles easy for them.

    This is a judgment call.

    Jabber, about the whole mom thing. Yes, it is there and you only have one child, which I think makes a difference. Sometimes I shudder thinking of 37 as my only child. I am so grateful we decided to adopt more children and know true childr/parent love that comes easy. With 37 it was NEVER easy...and still is not. There are conditions.

    In my case it has always been harder to let go of my well-behaved loving childreb than difficult children. I have such a dislike for illegal activities, that it was almost a relief when difficult children were gone. Once Julie became a major easy child, our relationship really took off for the good. She is one of my heroes. I know it is not easy to totally quit drug use and even stop smoking cigarettes. And she knows she is one of my heroes :) Sonic, my autistic son who always tries and is always so kind, is my other hero. And he knows it too. Jumper is my hero too...she had some bad stuff happen to her yet she is such a good person and is living such a positive life and also is loved by her friends..and missed at home by us. I'm quite sure she knows how much we appreciate her as well as love her. It is easier in my opinion to express our love to these great people than to express it to my not-so-nice son who won't drive four hours to Chicago so I can know my grandson nor even bother to learn Skype so I can know him that way. Sometimes I want to say, "I HATE THE WAY YOU ARE." Of course, I have never said that. But I think about it. We had a whopping telephone conversation about maybe bringing Grandson to Chicago last night and he slammed the phone on my ear. It seems he thinks everyone should travel to see him and it is everyone else's fault if we don't. There is more to the story, because most of us CAN'T go there, but that is maybe for it's own thread.

    Just some off-topic chat here.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014