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I need to be tied to the mast.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Copabanana, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Copa, I am so happy that he called! And he sounds ready to have some real conversations about the path forward. What wonderful, wonderful news.

    I think M means well and his intentions are to protect you. I have conflict with R sometimes over my kids. It is hard with a partner who came into the picture when they are already adults. They can’t understand all the history and the nuances of the relationship- words aren’t adequate to describe, especially with kids as complicated as ours. And they don’t have the loving memories of them as sweet young children. Sometimes that outside perspective is valuable, helping us see things we have been to close to acknowledge. But sometimes they miss the mark, or get so protective of us they don’t see fully where we are coming from. I’m glad he has backed down. I would hate to see this drive a wedge between you, or have you in a situation where you feel like you have to choose between them.

    I think it’s natural for kids of any age to feel some jealousy or unease when we establish new relationships. It’s good that M and J have had a good relationship in the past. There is something there to build on.

    I also see the possibility of a real turning point here. I hope and pray it is. I will be anxious to hear how the meeting goes next week!

    And I would LOVE to have coffee with both of you, my friends! I cannot begin to tell you how much it has meant to me to find other parents who understand what it is like to deal with these issues. Hugs to you both.
     
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    All three of us also are sort of adoptive parents, even you Else!! And we all have SO's who came in late in the game :)
     
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  3. CareTooMuch

    CareTooMuch Active Member

    Exactly. I think the medical care, automatic rent payment and hiring someone to help keep it clean once a week is a great idea. In the time I have dealt with my son's situation, I've learned that the one thing that is virtually impossible to change is the pot use, they will just hide it and do what they want. And do you really want the stress of drug testing only to find it positive and having to make him leave agsin? I had to let that go and my relationship with ds has gotten unquestionably better and much less tension. We're getting along again and he's following through with more now that I'm not on his case about the pot. It was hard to make that decision but I have no regrets right now. Hope this helps you make your decision.
     
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    The pot is legal in your state. You cant stop it. Nobody can where its legal and in five to ten years it will be legal everywhere. If he drank beer would you make it a big deal? Its no longer illegal or a big deal. I am glad you are looking forward to a new relationship. You need him. He needs you.

    I a very happy!!
     
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  5. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    ok.. I am catching up.
    Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and pot..do a little research int hat area. after hearing about that I have to do some myself--my son says he isn't using and drugs at all now. I (think) I believe him, only becasue last time I saw him he was acting, talking like my son pre-pot. Maybe if you can give him the coordination in print (so he doesn't think we are making it up) about pot causing more damage to someone who has a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) , maybe, just maybe he will try cutting back to stopping. He doesn't sound like a dummy, just head strong and wants to do what HE wants to do.
    As for the rent going into a savings account.. well.. how about part into a grocery gift card and part into a savings account? I wouldn't try to cut it down to the point he can't buy pot. Why? because i would rather he buy it, smoke it in his own place and not be hanging with questionable people to get a hit. I KNOW you hate it and want it over BUT that is our age group, we don't want them doing drug period.
    I can read that you are struggling wanting to have more control than you really should of someone his age. Trust me I get it. I would love to control what my ds is doing. BUT guess what.. the less I try to control it seems like the better he is doing. When mine broke his phone that was on my plan he asked me if we had a free upgrade he could use. I said no. He would have to get his own plan. I did go to the store with him, bought him the phone, he bought the activation card. he is now in charge of it. I can't log into our account and see who he is texting to and if he is even active. It is good for me, I used to check, and when he didn't answer a text from me I would log in and check to see if he was answering other people. If he wasn't I would worry (if he in jail? Is he dead/ did he loose his phone?) Now I don't have the capability and if he doesn't answer me I don't worry about it BUT when he texts me and wants something I don't answer him either (games) That went on for a month. NOW he answers me when I text.
    My over all thought is to give up as much control as you can. I am happy just to know mine has an apartment and is safe and warm. Safe and warm is huge. It lets us sleep at night.
     
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree. The problem is the functioning. It is very upsetting to see him so stoned he can barely walk. If he drank beer to this extent, it would be troubling, too. But what can I do?

    I feel clear this is the right step. The skies have cleared. I feel hope again.

    That there is so much water under the bridge and that there has been the 4 months of separation, gives me a place to stand.

    I found a Neuropsychologist covered by our insurance, who is reachable an hour a way by train, and who runs a brain injury rehab group. All my son has to do is get a referral from his doctor, primary care and I am sure he does not know who that is, but he needs to tackle that. But maybe his liver doctor will do it.

    But the thing is this: I am clear he does not come back until he has a treatment plan in place for his liver, some sort of therapy and a neuropsychologist exam begun or scheduled, at least. It is his decision. The hang up will be if it takes some time for him to get an appointment with his liver doctor, but he can take the labs, and re-start the antivirals pending an appointment. We have done this before, and he did not follow through. There is danger in starting and stopping the antivirals as there can be a re-bound effect. But there is danger in not doing them, too.

    I am listening about the pot but I have not decided yet.

    Thank you, everybody.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Tired. If he comes back here he would be staying in an apartment on a property I own. In time, the idea would be to make this formal. I have the right to put a no drugs clause in any rental agreement we make and that I have potential tenants in the front house. Many landlords insist upon the clause, including HUD, although it is largely ceremonial, because how do you know about something like marijuana?

    I understand that I have to let go the marijuana, in terms of oversight. But I am still hanging onto the idea that I have this clause in any paperwork if such comes to pass. I understand fully, that I am NOT supposed to police him about mj.
     
  8. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I understand and get your position. Perhaps the drug clause should be in every lease, it gives grounds for eviction. I have found that the less I try to control my son's actions the better he does- I think mine needs me NOT to tell him what he should or shouldn't do. They KNOW what they should or shouldn't do. We have already instilled in them what they need to do. I think subconsciously doing what they know we don't want them to do gives them control. Once you quit saying it, and it will take a little while for it to sink in for him, you may see a change in his behavior.

    Heck, unless you live on the same property you don't know most of what renters do. My son-in-law has rental properties. His are no pets and they always sneak in pets. He has replaced more carpets than I can count!

    As for his SSI check.. I agree that the whole thing shouldn't be going for pot. It's legal in your state? find out the going price. OR will medicaid cover it for mental disorders or just physical pain? I wonder if he would go to a doctor and discuss it? Maybe he only like it because it is illicit. Like a little kid sneaking a beer, it is only good if he "can't " do it?
    you could even try doing a budget sheet with him so he can see it in black and white (that helped my son a little)
    $750 SSI
    - 120 month cleaning service
    - 30 month water
    - 50 month heat
    - 50 month electric
    - 200 month food
    - 35 month phone
    - 50 month living--clothes, soap, laundry etc.
    -65 month- rent-- to be put in savings account-- after 1 year = $780
    100 misc.. what ever he wants.
    that leave that 100 for pot, if he desires to waste his funds on it.
    But do check to see about the gov't help for electric, water, gas, phone. There is a free phone for those on medicaid--I believe it is called safelink.com. it is a low end smart phone.
     
  9. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I understand and get your position. Perhaps the drug clause should be in every lease, it gives grounds for eviction. I have found that the less I try to control my son's actions the better he does- I think mine needs me NOT to tell him what he should or shouldn't do. They KNOW what they should or shouldn't do. We have already instilled in them what they need to do. I think subconsciously doing what they know we don't want them to do gives them control. Once you quit saying it, and it will take a little while for it to sink in for him, you may see a change in his behavior.

    Heck, unless you live on the same property you don't know most of what renters do. My son-in-law has rental properties. His are no pets and they always sneak in pets. He has replaced more carpets than I can count!

    As for his SSI check.. I agree that the whole thing shouldn't be going for pot. It's legal in your state? find out the going price. OR will medicaid cover it for mental disorders or just physical pain? I wonder if he would go to a doctor and discuss it? Maybe he only like it because it is illicit. Like a little kid sneaking a beer, it is only good if he "can't " do it?
    you could even try doing a budget sheet with him so he can see it in black and white (that helped my son a little)
    $750 SSI
    - 120 month cleaning service
    - 30 month water
    - 50 month heat
    - 50 month electric
    - 200 month food
    - 35 month phone
    - 50 month living--clothes, soap, laundry etc.
    -65 month- rent-- to be put in savings account-- after 1 year = $780
    100 misc.. what ever he wants.
    that leave that 100 for pot, if he desires to waste his funds on it.
    But do check to see about the gov't help for electric, water, gas, phone. There is a free phone for those on medicaid--I believe it is called safelink.com. it is a low end smart phone.
     
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Copa, Tired Out is right. I was a tenant for years. We took care of our property, but we broke rules. In our last apartment we were allowed two small dogs but we also had a quiet inside cat with liver disease and we kept her there too. We would never have left her behind. Nobody ever saw her but us. The property manager lived on there too but she never knew about the cat in four years. There was another lady who kept two cats and didnt want to pay the pet fee so she didnt tell and I didnt tell on her either. These things happen all the time. We mostly rented houses and did not violate big rules and always paid ON TIME but we often bent the pet rule.

    There was no smoking in our apartment complex but people smoked. You could smell it in the hallway. I am sure pot happened. How could it be stopped? How could meth or coke be stopped? Nobody knew if it was going on.

    If you are a Landlord all I can tell you is that dont do this job if you expect people to follow every rule. Its not realistic unless you do daily checks and you can't do that with J. It wont work if you do. I think you have to let go of the pot even if its bad for him because he will sleep in the streets, as he has, before giving it up. And even lots of other tenants wont want to live on your property if you are always there. We liked to live our lives without seeing the landlord snd we almost never did see them. Why should J? He will leave. You ARE his parent but he is no longer a child, even though he acts like one. I get it!!!!

    But I dont think J is going to agree to strict monetary rules. So now it depends on what you want the most....J near you and safe or J following rules too. I dont know that you can have both. I pray you can.

    I like the way things are going. Keep it up! :) Big hugs!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Copa - Just want you to know I am thinking of you and following along. I am glad J got in touch and you are talking and thinking things through. It seems to me you are thinking clearly about what you need to do for your own peace of mind and sanity and that is most important. As a mother you want and need to do what you can to keep him as safe as you can given his mental illness challenges and his non compliance with any real rules or restrictions.

    I really dont know what to say about the pot issue. My experience with our son was trying to put restrictions on drug use was a lost cause.... we stopped worrying about pot a lot time ago.... we did make it clear we did not want illegal drugs in our home for a whole host of reasons but he did not even respect that when he got into heroin. I do think in general it is good to remember you have no control over his drug use and trying to control it doesnt get you anywhere and just adds tension. I do think it is better to focus on other behaviors..... I know for us it is the other behaviors that are key......

    I know early on in the thread you mentioned not wanting to feel like you are enabling him forever...... and sometimes I think we get caught up in that language. Other people can tell us (rather smugly I might add) that we are enabling our kids.... and ultimately we have to do first what is best for us and sometimes doing what is best for us is doing what is best for them and other people cant tell us what that is. You understand your sons challenges and limitations better than anyone else and so go with your instincts and trust your gut on this.

    TL
     
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  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I had a half-dozen things quoted...then got to the part where J called! Copa, I'm very glad for you that he did. I know you suffer so much when he is estranged from you and that more than anything, you want him safe.

    I agree wholeheartedly with most of what SWOT has said. When it comes to the pot...you can say whatever you want in the lease or whatever, but unless you do spot checks, how would you ever know? With pot it's even harder now that it's legal with all the edibles, etc. My son and his friends aren't supposed to have pot in the apartment, they do. Not supposed to have pets either, they have a 50 lb dog! I've been a landlord. I know what it's like.

    There were many things I wanted to say, but now that I've read two more pages, I don't remember what they were. Just know that I'm rooting for you and J (and M) to come to a compromise you can both live with.
     
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  13. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    So..Copa..what do you think? too much to think about, right?
    I wouldn't make my money list a rule. I would just show him for the realization of where money goes.
    My son really didn't have a concept of where the money went. $400.00 sounded like a lot to him until he saw that on a paper.. he still isn't good at budgeting but he is getting better.
    I know my main objective is to know mine is safe and housed. For me that is a priority for me to be able to sleep. Self serving perhaps. but I can give up lots of control just to know he is safe.
     
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi. I took a day off. I am tired. He had said he'd call me yesterday, and maybe he thought he would, but is probably feeling a backlash today.

    I had texted him yesterday to confirm the itinerary would work. No response

    I am hoping he has not changed his mind. I do want him to come home. I am surprised how much.

    I think this is right. I learned a lot in these four months about myself. Maybe he did too.

    Thank you.
     
  15. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Copa, Know I am thinking of you and praying for the best.
    I don't hear from mine either when he is contemplating something.
    Sending hugs and a restful night sleep your way.
     
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Same to you, Tired. Thank you for all of your support.
     
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member


    My problem is this. I am suffering because my son is not following through after we spoke last week.
    We made a plan to meet somewhere on the train route between us. The idea was to find a way for him to come back here, if possible. To identify what have been the problems, and what could be solutions. He proposed that we meet this coming Saturday.

    At first, he had proposed he come back here to talk. Which I nixed immediately. That would be an accident waiting to happen. We would fall immediately into the same big holes as before, if we did not built bridges across them, I suggested and he agreed.

    The day we spoke I looked at the train schedule and I texted back to him about times, that it looked good. He has not responded. Yesterday I called him twice. He has not responded.

    I am clear that I cannot chase him. Today is Friday. I will text him later today that I will not be coming on Saturday because it is unclear to me whether or not he wanted to meet, as he did not follow through.

    I can think of various reasons that he did not respond. He could be pissed because I made him leave. He could not like that I was wanting to negotiate boundaries. He could be struggling with having to cede control, and wanting to use the fact that I contacted him, to re-establish dominance. All of these could be part of it.

    But I struggle. Because I am worried. I am suffering. I am wondering what he is doing as it is getting cold. I worry because there are so many real needs and risks that he has that he is not addressing.

    I am asking here, how do I hold this? What do I tell myself?

    I know it is one day at a time. I know that I have to try to stay centered in myself. I tell myself that I took the first steps. And it cannot just be me. It was always just me. He needs to step up. That is the whole deal. He may not want to. And this is the elephant in the living room. Something I need to accept.

    But this is not doing the job. I will go now to Pilates and walk the walk. How should I think about this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  18. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I am in the exact same spot today. Tomorrow is C's birthday. He's been texting sporadically over the last few weeks, and I got an "oh yeah, we should hook up, definitely" a few days ago, but now that I am trying to make concrete plans it is crickets. Both C and S do this to me ALL THE TIME. I expect it. They'll make plans and bail on me, without notice, while I'm on my way to pick them up.

    I've learned I can't take it personally. It just is, like the weather. It is a reflection of the very chaotic lives they are living. Trying to ascribe meaning to it is pointless. Maybe they found something better to do. Maybe they aren't in great shape and decided they didn't want me to see them in their current state. Maybe they forgot. Maybe they lost their phones again or are out of minutes. Maybe, yes, they are mad at me for something I'm not even aware that I did. Who knows?

    Remember the Buddhist story of the second arrow? His failure to respond to you is the first arrow. That hurts. But you don't have to shoot yourself with the second arrow. You don't have to go looking for meanings and interpretations.
     
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I looked at my phone a few minutes ago and he had texted!! He apologized for not responding. His phone got lost and he had some sort of accident! He said he'd call at 7.

    I feel better. Both by his tone and because there is connection and an explanation. All of this.

    For me these posts can be like prayers. Thank you for being there.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  20. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Great news, Copa! I'm glad you heard from him. Here's hoping for a good meeting tomorrow!