And Its Day 17 of difficult child Living With Us Again....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by AppleCori, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I haven't posted since March or April, so you probably don't remember the situation.

    21yo difficult child step-son was kicked out of our house about a year and a half ago for drug use/not following rules/disruptive behavior, probably the same things you all have dealt with to one degree or another. Lived with various friends, kicked out, went to his mom's where he stayed for about a year. Worked sporadically, got girlfriend pregnant, drug use and behavior only got worse.

    Mom finally had enough and kicked him out, so he went to live with his girlfriend and baby at their friend's house. He had just gotten a really good job with benefits and plenty of overtime. Was acting like a normal person. Well, that lasted all of 5 weeks. He lost job in mid-August and hasn't gotten another since. girlfriend and her friend finally got tired of him and kicked him out. He went to a homeless shelter and his dad took pity on him and took him back here, thinking that he could start working immediately at the Day Labor Site near here where he had worked previously. The thought being that he would work for them during the day and hunt for permanent jobs in the evening.

    Well, of course, he didn't mention that he had been banned from Day Labor for not returning their stuff. Not only didn't mention that fact, but also gave his dad a hard time when dad tried to get him up and out of the house at 5am to get there and be first in line. Getting the truth from him on anything is like pulling teeth and he makes everything so difficult.

    And he wouldn't follow any rules that he had agreed to. And he lies about everything.

    I had to take on the role of rule-maker/enforcer. His dad has a tendency to relax the rules that difficult child won't follow, hoping that he will follow the more relaxed rules, then finally blow up when the relaxed rules continue to be ignored and kick him out, then feel bad for over-reacting and let him back in. He tends to attribute everything difficult child does to his disability and this is re-enforced by his mom who is continually putting her 2 cents in and is telling dad that we can't kick difficult child out because he is mentally ill in her opinion. (of course, she kicked him out of her house, but the rules don't ever apply to her). We went on the merry-go-round for 11 days and dad's blood-pressure skyrocketed.

    Well, it's been better behavior-wise since Monday. He is following the house rules and going out every weekday 8-5 to supposedly look for work. However, I don't believe he is serious about job-hunting. He gets up, throws on sloppy, unwashed jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt or hoodie, slides his feet into his ridiculously way-to-big for him size 13 shoes (he insists that they fit, though his dad and brother wear size 13 shoes and his feet are WAY smaller than theirs) and leaves on foot without shower, hair-comb, or teeth brushed. He's back at 5pm on the dot, after having finally given up on getting back in earlier.

    So, the deadline for getting a job is next Thursday.

    What should the consequences be for not getting a job, if he hasn't found anything? I'm pretty sure he believes that if he follows house rules and makes some weak attempts to look for work, he can do this indefinitely. Which is what his dad would probably allow if it weren't for me. He knows his dad well.
    He obviously hasn't hit rock bottom and we think he is happy with the status quo, living here like a child. Dad is in agreement with me on needing to have consequences.

    I'm getting so tired of this! We can't leave him here at the house alone because we can't trust him and he has nowhere to go so we can feel held hostage. We were going out of town this weekend and had to cancel, so I am feeling particularly unhappy today.

    Any ideas?

  2. accmama

    accmama Guest

    When we were considering letting my daughter move back in a few weeks ago, the plan was for her to work full time whether at a job or at our house. We had a list of projects that were going to be done- yard work, painting our deck, major house cleaning- jobs that wouldn't be fun at all and that would not pay. We were going to tell her that she'd have to earn the right to live in our house since she cannot pay rent. Is that an option for you? That way, you know he is working and perhaps it will make getting a real job a priority in his mind, rather than going out and doing whatever he has been doing all day. Not only that, it would lessen the work load for you and your husband as far as home maintenance goes and I'm pretty sure he owes you that much with all the stress he has put you through.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I remember your story AppleCori, welcome back. I am sorry this saga continues though.

    Have you ever contacted NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness? You can access them online, they have chapters all over. They offer excellent courses for parents and in some cases, offer resources for the kids too. Here in No. Ca. the chapter helps with getting them on SSI, getting jobs, therapy, schooling, etc. More importantly for us, the parents, they offer MAJOR support and tools to deal with a child who has mental illness. Your husband sounds as if he falls into the trap many of us do, enabling his son, anger, then guilt, then enabling again. That inconsistency goes nowhere and is damaging to your husband and does not help his son.

    Getting support for both you and your husband to get the tools necessary to detach from your step son in my opinion is most important to be able to stay the course in an effective way. You may have already read it, but there is an excellent article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. Your husband may get something out of it as well. Presenting a united front is important with our difficult child's.

    If you have set a deadline then there must be consequences. Mamakathy's idea is a good one. Do you have household jobs he can do? I recall one mom here who had her adult child working all day around the house doing jobs, exactly like a real job. He has to have some responsibilities until he finds a job. He could work a set amount of hours around the house each day for a certain amount of time while looking for a job, and when that time runs out, the next consequence shows up.

    One option some parents here have taken is to find one of those inexpensive hotels where you can stay long term. If you are willing to pay for that for a set time, that may be an option and remove him from your home. Some YMCA's have options too. Have you looked into local shelters where he might be able to stay long term?

    A pretty good guess is that your step son is not out looking for work but simply wasting the day hanging out until he can come home. Our kids are master manipulators when it comes to getting what they want however they have to do that.

    While you figure out what the next step is, I believe it's prudent to get as much support as you can to learn how to negotiate this landscape. It is quite challenging and difficult to say the least. What has been going on thus far has not worked so the game plan has to change.

    I hope you find a plan that works well for you and that you get support. Sending you wishes for peace.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Am I right to think illegal activity is in the picture, such as drug use, and it went on in your house? I don't recall, but is that why he maybe let go of his job and also has no motivation?

    in my opinion it is best not to let these adult kids come home unless/until you have SEEN that they have changed. In other words, he can get a job and hold it for a while. Then if he wants to come live with you, under your rules and being respectful, sure...why not? But until then there is little motivation for him to work if he lives in your house, has good food, a soft bed, internet, a car, etc.

    My rule has always been, at sixteen you get a part-time job. At eighteen you go to college or work full time and if you go to college you work part-time. In our house this is necessary because we have limited income, but I'm glad it turned out that way for my kids. My grown kids, including a son who has a form of autism, all have good work ethics and are all employed and out on their own or anxious to be out willingly. Even my biggest problem child has a good job. I think it is really important to stress the necessity of working and not depending on us to support them.

    In the meantime, be good to yourself. Take time to relax and enjoy the rest of your family, your friends, your hobbies, your activities, your groups, church if you go, etc. Your life is worth a lot and you need to nurture yourself in spite of how your grown child is screwing up his own life. You can not help him anymore because legally he can do whatever he likes. It's on him now...the choices he makes. His bad decisions should not affect your happiness.

    On this forum, we call this...detachment :)
  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies!

    Yes, chores are a great idea.

    Thursday is coming and the rules are going to be tightened up. He is going to be out from 8 to 5 on weekends as well as weekdays, and chores when he gets home.

    He drives me crazy with his constant wandering upstairs and back downstairs, inside and out, and back again in his dirty clothes. He stank so bad when he first came here, it was obvious that he hadn't washed his clothes in weeks, maybe months. Probably hadn't washed them since he left his mom's and she wasn't doing his laundry anymore.

    His behavior is just so NOT NORMAL!

    His friends have all been moving on with their lives while he is stuck at about 12. These guys were fellow pot smokers (and who knows what else) yet they all have jobs and/or go to school, have apartments (or pay rent where they live) cars, and take care of their bathing and grooming. They have dreams and aspirations, they are working toward goals. They have futures.

    And they have pretty much left difficult child behind, as they are now living in the adult world, and don't have anything in common with him anymore.

    And these are the boys he used to feel so superior to!


    We have tried to suggest that he get mental health/depression help, but he won't hear of it.