I'm moving out

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ckay87, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    I would do anything to meet someone who's been somewhere near where I am. I'll paint a picture with as few details as possible (don't want to be too boring!)

    Son, 23, has been a HUGE handful since 16 at least. Out of control in school, he was constantly in trouble, truant, late, sent to alternative schools, and ultimately quit and got his GED. Did drugs, probably sold drugs, crashed cars. Eventually ended up doing a year in jail for several DUIs, the last of which he crashed my car, without a license.

    He's out of jail for a year and has held 3 different jobs for less than a month each. One was seasonal and he was fired from the other 2.

    He is a mess, he doesn't help and he doesn't pay a dime. While he doesn't seem to currently have a hard drug or alcohol issue, he drinks plenty of beer and does smoke pot. Inside. So my house smells like pot. He snuffs cigarettes out on the furniture..... this is my life.

    I'm divorced and currently just live with him. But I've been dating my boyfriend for over 2 years and we made the decision to move in together. There is NO WAY my son can live with us. First, he has no driver's license (of course!) and we're moving into the country. I can hardly stand him, so I won't subject my boyfriend to him (even though they do get along in a friendly way). Not for 1 day. Boyfriend and I have a really great relationship, he's a good and decent man, and he is no stranger to grown son problems of his own. And I just said to myself.... I can't put my life, and decent opportunities, on hold for a son who is consistently going nowhere.

    Anyway, my moving out was announced to my son months ago. I agreed I will help him financially - enough to be real, solid help but not enough to live on 100%. He had a place, a job, and 2 necessary roommates lined up, until recently. He's been fired again and is now down to only one potential roommate.

    My move date is 2 months from now and it is written in stone. Without boring you with the details, a lot of people are relying on the arrangement (again, long story), and I just can't have my son live with us. I'm up every night because I already see the writing on the wall..... moving day will roll around for me, and he won't have a place or roommates, etc etc. He is doing very little about the situation now. This is not my first rodeo.

    I can't back out, I need to be strong. He's done nothing to help, he's been disrespectful, gross and lazy. He may last minute scramble but....what do I do? I'm just beside myself.....
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Start making a list shelters, Sue kitchens, and agencies that he can reach out to.

    Have you ever considered an Oxford house for him? They charge a reasonable weekly rate and our self governed and its people who are in recovery and working to get better. I don't know if that's an option for him. They have to attend meetings, work, and do routine chores around the house.

    Job Corp may be an option, too. I think they go up to 25/26 years old. No fee involved, they provide room and board, and training for jobs. My daughter and I checked on it for our state and I thought it sounded great! Or course she didn't. They even got a monthly stipend of about $25 a month for personal hygiene items.

    Even though you feel he is not deep in to drugs or alcohol, he has not moved on to try to have a productive life. I think he needs some structure in his life and those two programs would help provide it.

    Maybe others will have other ideas. Maybe you could pay for several weeks at an Oxford house, then he would have to find a way to earn money to keep staying there.

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  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome ckay87! I love the avatar you picked.

    Your story is a familiar one around here. I'm glad you found us.

    Your son is 23 and should not be relying on you. From what you shared, you have obviously tried to help your son but he is not doing his part. There is a fine line between helping and enabling. I think you have crossed the line into enabling. You have made it too easy for your son to do nothing. Trust, me I've been there!

    I hope you are not giving your son money. How is he able to buy pot, beer and cigarettes?
    I absolutely would not allow anyone to smoke pot in my home and if they put a cigarette out on my furniture, they would never be welcome in my home again.
    Your son clearly has no regard for you or your home.

    You have given your son plenty of notice of your impending move. My guess is, he's not taking any of this serious because he's got it made living under your roof and since you told him you would help him financially, he's most likely looking at that thinking you will always be there.

    Good! This is your out. Don't change the date.

    There is no need for you to back out. Here's my suggestion. Remind your son that you are moving out in 2 months and it would be better for him if he got things lined up for himself. Remind him that he's 23 years old, an adult and as an adult he should not be relying on his mother to take care of him.
    If you are still willing to assist him financially make sure you have clear boundaries about what that is. When we tell our adult children we'll help them financially, what they hear is "I will foot the bill for your life, you will never have to get a job" This is why boundaries are vital.
    Let's say you are willing to pay his first months rent, what you tell him is this "I will pay for one months rent and that's it. Do not call me asking for more money for rent, food, clothes, or anything else. You are an adult and must learn how to take care of yourself. I love you and know that you are capable"
    Setting boundaries are only as good as keep them. No means No.
    If you tell your son No and then cave in, you have sent the message to him that you can be manipulated and manipulate he will.

    Of course the choice is yours in how you ultimately decide to deal with your son. We can only do what we can live with. I've been at this for as many years as your son is old. My son is 37 and still difficult.

    One thing I do know for sure, the longer we enable the worse we make it for them and for us. It's much better that they start learning how to navigate life on their own sooner rather than later.

    Move on with your plans, live your life the very best you can and do not feel guilty because your son's life is a mess. He made choices to make it a mess, you didn't.

    Please let us know how things are going.

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  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I agree with the other posters.

    What about joining the military? That may be another option for him.

    If he says NO to that then just let him figure it out!!
  5. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    Tanya, you made me cry. That's easy nowadays, lol. KSM, I love your suggestions and briefly researched both. They don't seem feasible in my area, but I'm not ruling them out, I love them. RN... thanks for your words, he'd never join the military.

    One thing I didn't mention is the flurry of accusatory, and manipulative texts from my ex on the subject. The gist of those are (I kid you not), he's your son and you are always responsible for him no matter what (actually that's a direct quote). And that I want to just shack up with my boyfriend bla bla bla. I know that is all bitter BS, but it didn't help my heartburn on this. I'd block him but we do share offspring, so I hesitate to do that.

    Anyway.... yeah, I'm not currently giving him money. The financial help I've agreed to give him will be well-defined (and that is a good reminder) and, I will admit, is as much for appeasing my own guilt as it is to help him.

    Several years ago I left my marriage. It was unhappy, but not abusive. But it was so scary and everyday I had to will myself to stay strong and keep going. This is that. And I so appreciate finding this community. Please set me straight if there is anything I don't have in proper perspective.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    My only suggestion, based on going broke helping my daughter only to see her ruin every opportunity she had and to abuse us on top of it and not to grow one day more mature is to advise you to refuse to let him live with you no matter how bad he makes his situation. Wish we had not tried to save our daughter. We ruined our best years trying to fix her and came close to divorcing. Most of our hard earned money from our company is gone. Retirement will be slim pickings.

    We finally stopped. She is no better off and is very angry at us, but we are not going back. Right now we are on vacation without our phones on and she doesn't know where we are. It has been peaceful after a long nightmare. I hope you dont ruin your relationship to try to save your son. in my opinion it doesnt work. You deserve to be happy. So do all of us. They are young and if they become homeless, always my worst fear, they will learn how to survive and will be okay and maybe decide to mature. One day they will be without us anyway. Enjoy your life. Jmo.

    If your ex is such a prince in his own eyes and so condemning of you, tell your son to pack up and go try Dad. What a butthead! Nothing stopping ex from inviting his son to his place.
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    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    IN our state, there is only one Job Corp site...and they provide transportation to and from the facility. And when here is a holiday break, they give them rides back to their home town. There is no need for a car, as it is all on campus, and if they have work sites, they take them to and from. They even provide transportation for a tour!

  8. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    If you put him up in an apartment he's probably going to destroy it then get evicted. I say that because he's been putting out cigarettes on the couch which probably smells like pot. Tell him you cannot give him money because you have to replace the couch he ruined. I don't know why his dad expects you to take care of him.
  9. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    BusynMember, you're words really grabbed my attention. My husband and I, over the last six or seven years, have spent quite a bit of money trying to help Josh, to no avail. My husband has put the lid on giving money, for the same reason you cite: retirement. We simply can't put ourselves in any more disadvantage. Wish we had that money back now. And like you, my worst fear has been homelessness, and now here we are. The anxiety over his welfare is hard, but when I think of what the future holds if we continue to siphon money, it stops me up short.
  10. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh goodness, I did not mean to make you cry.

    Well isn't that special. I'm glad that you see it for what it is, an attempt to manipulate you. I wonder if his attempt to make you feel guilty and to continue taking care of your adult son, is so that he can absolve himself from getting involved. If your son knows he can't come to you for money then he may go to his father and then your ex would have to deal with him.
    I'm telling you that you are not responsible for your son. You've done your job and raised him the best you could. He's an adult now and is responsible for himself. Seriously, do you want to be an 80 year old woman with a 60 year old son sleeping on your couch. Your ex is a little removed from reality in his thinking.

    It sounds like you have a good grip on things. This is not an easy journey to be on but I and many others here are proof that you cannot only survive having a difficult adult child, but you can go on to live a full and happy life.
  11. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    Oh .... a stressed but warm and fuzzy kind of cry. No worries.
  12. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Welcome ckay87!

    About 1 1/2 ago I divorced my alcoholic husband of 30 yrs. My two sons, 25 and 29 at the time (somehow while I was in the midst of putting the house up for sale and cleaning a home out that we lived in for 25 yrs. all by myself, while my totally incapacitated husband spewed venemous words at me while I cleaned, packed and moved everything single-handedly) moved back in! My younger son, smoked pot like it was his job! I was fuming because all my cloths stunk and I was worried people at work would think that it was me smoking. I cringe remembering this. Anyhow, the house finally got sold (miracle and I truly mean this) and we had made arrangements with the new owner to rent from him for one month. This was so my ex-husband could stay sober for a minute and find a place to live and so that both my sons who I absolutely refused to have live with me ever again, could also work on that.

    The older son, found a place to live (temporarily until he didn't chose to work anymore) and well...he's homeless now (long story). The younger son, had no plans, even though I announced the deadline and all the furniture and belongings were slipping away day after day before their very eyes (as I sold and or put in storage while I went to live with my sister) and they were literally sleeping on the floor. No one payed any attention! My heart was broken. Broken that nobody would listen to me when I gave them the deadline to be out of the house and that I would have to watch everyone blame me because they now had no where to live.

    To this day they are "all" still homeless (ex lives with his sister off and on). My experience is that this will take a long time to work itself, if it ever does. But what I do know, is that even though it broke my heart that I didn't take them all with me I know this was the right thing to do for myself. I still do not even allow my sons to my apartment because they will beg and cry to stay with me (and I know I will not be strong enough to say no). They will do anything not to have to take care of themselves. It is painful but again, my advice is that I would not take your son with you. I also, tried, paying security deposits and rent for the older son thinking he was moving in the right direction at one point. But then he could not meet his rent, then he couldn't pay for his food, then he couldn't pay the electric. I was being choked again with expenses. So, from experience I wouldn't try paying the security and rent because it will be for nothing.

    Stay strong and keeping letting him know the deadline but in reality be prepared that he still may have no where to go and you will have to watch him pack his bag and walk down the street, as hard as that will be.
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  13. ckay87

    ckay87 Member

    Your story really resonated because I see it coming to this eventually. And blame.... yep. That's tough to swallow and that's where I need to work very hard not to care. Because it's absolutely going to happen.

    And this part is what baffles me. I nag him daily. I remind him of today's date every day (because when you don't work, it's hard to know the date :dissapointed2:) And he'll tell me that my "nagging" is "stressing him out." And I think....well YEAH. You SHOULD be stressed. I was without a job for a few months and I was so stressed I could hardly sleep. But last night he was up all night with friends and is sleeping as I leave for work. That doesn't seem like someone who is stressed, does it?

    There is some play at the end of my lease where I'll move out, but the lease will run for another 2-3 weeks. That will help. If he's still there at that time, I will already be long gone and the police or something can get him out of there. Fingers crossed it won't come to that.
  14. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    We are in a not identical, but similar situation. My W is learning that her oldest son, 18, cannot function in a family setting. He needs rigorous structure and is still detoxing from a serious drug habit. After initially insisting that she wanted to take him in when he is out of rehab she has seen the light and now realizes what a terrible idea that would be for all of us. He is still in treatment and will be there for another couple of weeks. We hope he chooses sober living for his next stop. As he is legally an adult it will be his choice.

    Letting our children sink or swim on their own is very difficult but necessary for their survival as independent adults. Remembering that we will someday be gone from this Earth, leaving these adult children with little to no independent survival skills due to enabling, helps us let go.

    Best of luck.
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  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I will be blunt. This is your son's lifestyle. And it is anti-social. People that go to jail for multiple duis, sell (and use) drugs, crash cars, and put out cigarettes on your furniture...are not conforming to social conventions and laws. Add to this, inability to hold a job, alternative schools as a teen, always in trouble...he is on a roll. The conduct disorder you describe as a teen is the precursor for anti-social personality...if he's not there already...he'll be there quick....if he continues down this path. This sounds like he is bordering on a criminal lifestyle. And when this happens, unless he is a full blown drug addict, it's by choice. THIS IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM. IT IS HIS PROBLEM. THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO AVERT THIS TRAIN WRECK. Except what you are doing. Walking away.

    What is he doing in his life which would mitigate this pattern? Is he trying anywhere? How is he helping himself? How is he helping you?

    This is an adult man. He is the one responsible to make his life. You cannot make it for him. I can't do it for my son either.

    Nothing at all you are describing sounds like acute mental illness. He just sounds like he's living on the wild side, BECAUSE HE WANTS TOO.

    If he chooses not to do the military, not to do Job Corps, not to get job training through ROP, not to get a job, not to avail himself of AA or NA or get alcohol treatment, not to get into sober living, not to take seriously securing the apartment, what in the world does this have to do with YOU?

    I know there is pain. All of the rest of us were confused and in pain, too. I came here 4 years ago because I was on the brink of enrolling in college classes with my son to make sure he went to class and did his homework.

    We love our kids. But they live their lives, not us. Nor should we have to pay a price if they live badly. Most of us over and over again try to get them back on track, try to protect, and only sometimes does it work. In cases where the kids are dead set and hell bent to go off the tracks, we end up run over.

    Get out of the way. Your moving plan sounds great. You are on to a beautiful new chapter of your life. Live it. He's gotten plenty of notice. The only thing I would do is put it in writing, that the apartment will no longer be available after a specific date, if you haven't already, mail it to him certified, and keep a copy.

    You are experiencing FOG: Fear, obligation and guilt. It is easily treated. Keep posting. Post as much as you can on your own and on other people's threads. Take care.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you are dealing with this. First, find local alanon family meetings. Second, block texts from your ex. Why is he bothering you anyway? He surely doesn't seem to have anything nice to say. Ex likely wants you to support son so that ex doesn't have to mess with him.

    Son is going to be TERRIBLE from now until sometime after you move. Set boundaries/limits for what you will tolerate. Stick to them. This should be easier once you don't live with him. Don't EVER give son $$$. If it is for a bill, pay the place directly yourself. If it is for a coat, go buy it yourself. Son will HATE this because the money is likely not EVER for what he says it is. If he has the nerve to say "You just don't trust me!", tell him he is absolutely correct! Yes, this is part of what he will tell you.

    Your son will either succeed or fail on his own. Don't go broke treating him like a helpless child. He is a full grown adult who has CHOSEN to not do anything positive with his life. Getting 3 jobs after a year in jail PROVES that he CAN get a job. If he doesn't want to, that is his problem. Let him live with the consequences of his choices.

    This is one thing alanon family groups helps you learn. We ALL have choices, but we cannot make choices for others. If your son suddenly has no where to go (after MONTHS of notice), why is that your problem? You have a job and work and are providing your own roof over your head. If your son wants a roof, he can go and work to provide one.

    Oh, FYI, just because he is "only" drinking beer doesn't mean he doesn't have a serious problem. Even if the beer is the 3.2% stuff. That is still enough for you to be an alcoholic on. So don't support that habit - it is killing him. If he is adult enough to buy beer and pot, he is old enough to support himself. You just have to get yourself out of his way. He will flounder because he expects you to rescue him from being homeless, hungry, whatever. Any help you give him further keeps him helpless. Stay out of the way and just give encouraging texts (I know you can do it, figure it out, whatever) or whatever. Don't let him manipulate you into providing for him.

    As a grown MAN, that is HIS job - to provide for himself!
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