It never rains but it pours.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Or maybe his counselor will establish some credibility, and if she thinks it is warranted and suggests it, he will be more receptive to the idea.
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  2. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I know someone personally with a difficult child who doesn't really "fit" a typical hard kid. Grown, not on drugs or a big drinker, graduated, never been in trouble with the law, in his mid-20s. But he won't work or keep a job for long and just lives in their house, eating their food, asking for gas money, etc. and making their lives hell swinging between temper tantrums and manipulative brown nosing. It is like he looks around and is jealous of what others have and thinks he just deserves it, like it just falls in your lap. He refuses to work for or toward anything and instead goes on these grandiose tangents about all he is "going to do" when anyone who knows him knows, "Um, that means you have to WORK." Like an epic failure to launch coupled with major entitlement. Just thought I'd throw that out.
  3. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Yeah there is that then there is the one who launches only when there someone who pushes him. The problem they also crash a lot also then they need to be pushed again and this will go until they gather the fuel to lanch on their own and stay launched or crash one last time with no one to salvage them.
    Both the ones who never launch and the ones who do so time and time really need to understand you get nothing without hard work or at least work to be fair and even so its not guaranteed.
    He will learn that I am sure of it there is no better teacher then experience
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  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I didn't say he would disappear. I said I'd expect something more like that.

    I'm starting to feel like him. "No one understands!" :confused:

    Please believe I know my son and how he reacts to any perceived criticism. We're lucky he agreed to the Counselor. If we get very lucky she'll do some good.
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Lil, I do get it. I wish I didn't. My son has never willingly gone to counseling. It was never his idea nor did he benefit from it. He was diagnosed when he was younger. It made him very angry and that was the beginning of the I'll show you that continues to this day. His idea now is to move home and sit on his butt collecting a check. He has stopped trying to do anything.

    I hate this for you guys. You so do not deserve his malarkey.
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  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Lil, I've been away for a couple of days so just catching up.

    I know you are so tired and stressed out, of course you are.

    I remember so very well getting very caught up in everything he did and said and didn't do and didn't say and wondering when and if and why and just feeling sick every time I had to look at him because I was so scared for him and so mad at him and so wanted him to CHANGE.

    Having him under my roof during these times was so very painful.

    Lil, he's 21 and you know he is struggling and has for a long time. Now, more setbacks with the fire and the girlfriend and the friend and the jobs. He is under a lot of stress and he doesn't have much bandwidth for coping.

    Young men who are DCs and 21 years old are so very hard to take. I remember Difficult Child would sit here in my living room and his dad, brother and I would be trying to have a "talk" (yet another talk) with him and he would be slouched down in the chair, his hood pulled up over his head and partially covering his face and staring down at the floor. Everything we tried to say he either ignored, deflected, denied or ignored. There was no progress at all in having talks. It was like talking Russian to someone who had no idea what we were saying and I wanted to scream and tear my hair out.

    We can't make them do ANYTHING.

    All we can do is decide what we will tolerate and what the rules are for us. Keep it very simple (not many rules). Make sure you can issue the consequences you decide. If you can't, don't say it.

    It truly doesn't matter right now what the background diagnoses or issues are. He's not ready to deal with them (but I think the fact he asked for a counseling appointment is a very very good sign myself).

    What matters, and all that matters is BEHAVIOR. If you can clear away all of the other clutter and determine what your rules are around his behavior, and keep them simple, and then be ready to enforce them, you can find some peace (maybe).

    It's not about his peace---he will have to find that his own way in his own time.

    It's about your peace. As we have all said so many times on this forum, we have done our jobs. They are grown people in the eyes of the world, even though we know they don't have the skills that other adults have.

    But they have to develop them, and it's not going to be pretty while it's happening.

    It's best for it to happen somewhere else, not under our own roofs, but it is what it is right now in your situation.

    Hang in there. We're here for you. We know how incredibly hard this is. Warm hugs this morning Lil and Jabber.
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  7. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    This is, unfortunately, the crux of the problem. He has been in our house since about noon on Monday with the agreement that he would job hunt and mind a few simple rules. Those rules being no drugs in the house, no smoking in the house, clean up after yourself, and respect us (as in no temper tantrums, shouting, etc...). So far he has failed at half of these (more than if you consider the lack of job hunting) and I can't help but think its just a matter of time on the other two. That's assuming they haven't happened already and we just don't know.

    This situation is exhausting us. He walked in the door and almost immediately started acting the same way he was when we kicked him out. He STILL doesn't understand why it upsets us. I'm not going to be able to stay on high alert much longer without blowing a gasket and I cant be on anything but high alert when he's staying with us.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I do think you are overreacting...just a little. The tantrum...well, we definitely didn't get off on the right foot, but if it doesn't happen again? I'm inclined to overlook it. Our mistake was not sitting him down and, before he ever came over, telling him "this is how it will be". Obviously, it should go without saying, but what does with him? He's failed to do dishes one time. But he was also in bed before us and it is entirely possible that he actually was unwell given that fact. If he doesn't do them today...different story. A little bit of an adjustment period is to be expected. He hasn't smoked in the house or we'd smell it. Drugs? Well I assume we'd smell it, but there is simply the fact that we don't KNOW. We aren't home. We can't know what's going on when we're not there. That was a problem before too.

    And this is MY biggest problem. I understand it completely, but I'm not only constantly on edge waiting for him to blow - bad enough, but I'm on edge waiting for you to!

    At this point I don't believe he'll steal from us again. Last time we kicked him out and it was 18 months and a fire before we let him back. He does it again he'll lose any support from us, if we don't flat out call the cops, which I think he actually realizes we'll do. I don't think you need to be on "high alert". If you must, come home, check the guitars, guns and bows and then put it behind you for the night! He isn't the only one that needs to let things go Honey.

    The sitting around our house constantly on edge as to whether he's going to get upset by someone on his phone or jumping when he's in the kitchen, wondering if he's making a drink (which he hasn't but the one time), or trying NOT to nag about the job thing...that's all bad enough.
  9. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I understand but you aren't the one who comes home to him lounging on the couch with his dirty dishes in front of him or on the kitchen counter. Then he sits there watching tv while I do the chores and get dinner started. I'd be fine if he would just offer to help or even act just a little bit grateful for what we're doing.

    The comment about the drugs and smoking was just that, a comment. It wasn't meant to be an accusation

    Part of the problem is that I worry about it all day. Once I'm home its not like I can just run around and check on this stuff. If he notices me doing it he WILL blow a gasket so it takes me half the night to do it unobtrusively. Yes, I know I should get over it but he did us dirty and its just not that easy for me to trust him again. Sorry.

    I AM trying honey. My major problem is that he doesn't seem to be. Its the whole "We're putting more effort into it than him" thing.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree honey. Yes, it would be nice if he offered to do something - but dammit we told him just that. He doesn't have to help, it would be nice if he did. I just pretend he's not there. Monday I just pretended he wasn't there and did what I normally do - which is what you normally do when you get home, just later since I'm at least an hour behind you.

    I just don't know what to do about it other than constantly wish the day would end so I can go to bed and forget it for a few hours. :(
  11. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Its not even that he isn't helping around the house. Its our house and our responsibility. Its that he pretty much walked in the door making excuses as to why he cant do the main thing that got us to let him stay there for a bit. Even feeling sick he can fill out job applications, make phone calls, hell, even go to the damned Career Center! He's not throwing up or running a fever and he's refusing medication that would make him feel better and be able to do what he's supposed to be doing. In other words, he's not trying but instead he's settling in and that scares me.
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well, I think it's clear we have to sit down at some point and say, "We should have done this in advance so you know where you stand and how long you can stay. We said you could stay until you get on your feet, but we expect that to be when the apartment is open, so...early May. We expect you to do these things 1...2...3...4. You said you were taking us up on the offer because it would help with job hunting. We don't expect you to sit around the house all day and not really, seriously job hunt."

    He's so damn hard to talk to! That's the problem. Getting all that out without him interrupting!

    That, and he said he put in applications on-line yesterday. Maybe he did? Maybe he didn't? That's the problem we've always had with him. No way to know if he's lying.
  13. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Yeah wow he is only for 3 days back and he is such a huge amount of stress towards both of you. If you all allow me a suggestion which works well in some situations the rule of 3 if you break the rules set 3 times well he deals with the consequences but about the job application that should not be part of the rules if he by the time the deadline comes does not get a job and money to pay for his own rent well he will deal with the consequences that comes with that. That is something he should do and only him its his own business.
    I mean really will our parents pushed us to get a job it was that only you get a job I do not care how you do it by date x you either have a job or your out. I said the same thing to my youngest and it worked.
    Granted in my case it did not worked by the date I still did not had a job and there where no consequences but in your case he knows there will be.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    Please take my comments as non-confrontational. I'm not beating up on you. But... I live this every single day.

    You are a MALE. In a fairly high-stress job. YOU need to be able to come home to peace and quiet and "normal". As soon as little things are out of order, it creates tension inside you. Yes, you have learned how to hide it. But it is there. Its one thing to handle on a professional level. You do that partly by having "home" to come home to. And having HIM there means... it's not really "home" right now.

    And you're dealing with a YOUNG MALE, who is volatile, and totally "wound up" literally all of the time. His most relaxed state is still wound up. Everything is high stress, and just being at home is high stress.

    You two are going to mix like oil and water - or worse, like sparks and explosives - each of you being well able to set the other one off.

    Go back to The Explosive Child. Pick your battles VERY carefully. And let the rest go.
  15. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    IC, with all due respect, I don't see this as a male thing so much as I do a socialization thing. I'm female. I was raised and socialized more as a male.

    I'm the same way. My husband was the one who handed me the beer, or cup of tea, and a snack, when I came home from work, and left me alone to "ventilate" for half an hour or so.
  16. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    This is why I would not let my daughter move back in unless she went to rehab. I could not go to work every day wondering who was in my house, if she was doing drugs in the house, if she was stealing. I could not come home each night and have to spend my time looking and reassuring myself that it was ok for another day. I could not take the attitude, temper tantrums, disrespect, and ignoring of my rules and boundaries. In short, I could not be a prisoner in my own home.

    We set firm, clear expectations of what she had to do in order to come to our house. When she refused, we knew she had no interest in changing - just taking what she could as long as she could. She has been kicked out of four places that tried to "help" her, not realizing she is beyond that kind of help. She has been arrested. She is drugging.

    It was hard, hard, hard to turn her away. But had I let her back in, nothing would be any different except how much more she took from me - stress, my relationships with my husband, family, friends, my confidence, my rest, my joy - before she moved along. I have learned how resilient these kind of kids are. She always manages to get to the next stopping point, even if she never really moves forward. I came to the point where I accepted that the best thing I could do was continue to love her but detach and let her live her own choices elsewhere.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I live in a family of two males and two females.
    And BOTH of the males need that "here's your snack, go hide in your cave" time.
    Except... neither one will do that for the other one, so they end up not getting "cave time", which then escalates...

    Both the females need it too... but we do it for each other. Sometimes me to her, sometimes her to me, sometimes at the same time.

    Yes, it's a socialization thing. But sometimes, it's on more than one side of the equation.
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well Jabber and our son have always butted heads. :( He's a great dad, but much more disciplined that I am. I always tended to go by, "say yes when you can, say no when you must", whereas his response to our son was usually "No" a default. So what our son does seems to bother him much more than it does me. Always has.

    Jabber and I have talked and we agree we do have to sit him down and tell him, that for his own peace of mind as well as ours, that we have no intention of putting him out until his new apartment is ready, unless he does something to make that happen - by breaking the very simple rules. BUT, we expect him to be ready to move when the apartment is open. He WILL be moving out then. That means he'll need to have a job and have any rental assistance he can find lined up. He really should talk to the landlord again before she goes on vacation, and make sure the new apartment is lined up.

    So everyone, this is the real question:

    How do we make him understand that we're not telling him this because we want to make him freak out. We want the opposite, but I can see him panicking, because, "I only have three or four weeks and then I'll be homeless again because you'll kick me out!" That's exactly what I expect him to say or think.

    The intent on our part is for him to say, "I have 3 to 4 weeks, so I better get moving so I'm ready."

    Unfortunately, it's more likely that our son's attitude will be, "I can't find work and be ready in 3 to 4 weeks, so I may as well not even try."
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  19. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I think my biggest frustration was that back in the copper wire days of networking, I could talk about my work to my husband and he could understand it and learn about it.

    Once we got into satellites and microwaves and virtual circuits, his eyes just glazed over. I missed that sharing between us.

    I used to bring him a beer or mug of tea or coffee (he made the coffee in advance) when he needed to chill. We didn't really have a man cave. I had an office from which I ran the cattery and did work from home stuff. I had a second computer in there for funsies, and he used to go hide in there and play multi user modem games in the early days and such, and run several newsgroups.

    We managed to stay out of each others hair when needed.
  20. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    You can carefully word what you say. You cannot control how he reacts or interprets it. There are no perfect words that you can say that will guarantee the reaction you want. Obviously, there are words that can escalate the situation.

    I would say, "The fire wasn't your fault and that is why we agreed to help you. You know this is temporary so (fill in the blank with your expectations). You have proven you can do it on your own and we have no doubt that you are going to be there again." You know him best but something along that line.

    But I would not agonize over what you cannot control - his reaction. And if it goes badly, I would calmly remind him this is an example of why he needs to be on his own and end the conversation. Nothing gets through when people are upset or angry. Trying to continue the discussion makes them escalate and gives them opportunities to corner, manipulate and guilt you.