Been a very long time

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kjs, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Thinking about this forum for a long time. Was such a outlet when difficult child was younger.
    Now - 18 going on 19.
    Girlfriend for 4 years. expecting a child.

    Now, if anyone remembers me, difficult child and I struggled in our relationship to say the least. Didn't matter what I said, he said the opposite.
    I have ALWAYS been his target. And over the past year the clash between us became physical. He is so very smart, and did nothing with it. Skipped a grade in school. Took some college classes, but school is not his cup of tea. Can't seem to keep a job. "bad attitude" dislikes most people and doesn't hold back what he thinks. sigh.

    So many times I thought of coming back. Just need someone to talk with. Even though husband is there, he's not there. difficult child could do no wrong in his eyes. ultimately, we rarely speak or even see each other living in the same house. :(

    For those experienced with this, let me know if this is temporary or what to expect.

    Since he found out his girlfriend of 4 years is expecting, he has talked to me. FIRST time EVER he has actually talked. Asked my advice. Had conversations with me. Started a full time job (only been a month, so holding my breath each day). I struggle with girlfriend's mother. She can be very nice, but is all over the place. I never know what to expect. Things have been done and said, and I honestly believe she has been trying to break these two up for years. We struggle financially, they are quite comfortable in a large home. No other siblings home. Will NOT allow my son to stay there when baby is born. He NEEDS to be where that baby is. He needs to learn how to change diapers, feed, bathe, bond. He needs to help girlfriend. If he is not there, they will drift so far apart and it just won't work. He wants to be there. I am sure the plans will change a ton of times. Our house is very small, but we can make it work.

    Just wondering if anyone has this experience with difficult child. What a good feeling to be able to "talk" to him. Just worried this is only temporary.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I really don't have any great advice, but I'll try and I feel for you.

    Your son should get a legal paternity test as soon as the baby is born. Although you KNOW he is, the court doesn't and the girlfriend can lie. This test is very important in the eyes of the court! My son is going through a custody battle so I learned some things. If he is the father, the court will order visitation that neither girlfriend or her mother can control. This is when he will learn to change diapers etc. as nobody else will be there to do it. That is the only way and in my opinion the best way to assure he is a part of this child's life. They are very young and it is likely that they will not stay together forever. But he needs to legally establish rights to his child or she may someday run off several states away with the baby.

    As for not talking to you later, you can't predict the future. I am working hard on Dialectal Behavioral Therapy...learning to live in the moment. It is very hard for me, but I am working on it every day as I am also in crisis. I highly recommend looking up DBT Self-Help on the internet though. It teaches us how to survive difficulties with less distress.

    Keep us posted. Remember...we care. Welcome back.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    I am in the same boat here wondering if the baby change is permanent. My daughter had her baby a little over a month ago. She changed into a completely different woman after she gave birth. I mean completely different!! We never thought we would allow her to live here again and now our life is filed with so much joy. So much happiness. Our home has been filled with love and laughter. I never dreamed it would be like this. I often wonder will this last? It is just too good to be grandson was a true gift from God...

    I say - enjoy these moments. Cherish those talks. Even if it doesn't last, you will have these memories...

    Congratulations on your coming grandchild!!!! It is a love like I never knew. I never thought I could love a child as much as my own children. Ha. Grandchildren are a whole new level of love!!!
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    KJS, welcome back. Congratulations on the upcoming birth of a new grand baby!

    I think MWM gave you excellent advice on paternity & DBT. PG's love for her grandson and absolute joy in her daughter's changes come flying off the page and I sincerely hope this is the case for you as well.

    I have two responses to your post. The first is that if I were in your shoes I would keep my excitement over your son's talking to you in the realm of cautious optimism for the time being, so if that does not continue, you are not disappointed. Not all kids respond to parenthood the way that PG's daughter did. Just to protect your heart. It sounds as if you've already been through a lot.

    The second thought I had was to do whatever you can to keep yourself well supported. It doesn't appear as if your husband is on your team about your son, so to avoid feeling so alone and isolated, perhaps getting a therapist for yourself to help you ride through this new event in a healthy way. Although I absolutely agree that grand babies bring forth a new level of love, they also bring a new level of worry and concern when our kids are difficult child's. All your anxiety of the past can now be brought to your door once again as you learn to love your grandchild and then attempt to control ALL that you can't control. With the girlfriend and her parents, there is already a lot in place which can start the whole thing all over again.

    There's a good article here at the bottom of my post on detachment, perhaps it will help. This new baby will give you many reasons to want to step in, however, think through your present thoughts about opening your home to the new family, you mentioned your home is small and you struggle financially. This does not sound like a healthy alternative, it sounds like your mother's heart working overtime trying to figure it out for your son. He is an adult male about to be a father, this is his chance to man up and really take a stand for his family............allow him to make his own choices while you offer guidance, not fixes. And, believe me, I know that's a tough one.

    Get yourself some real support to help you go through this. Be cautious. Be patient. Don't offer solutions, offer an ear. It looks to me like this is an opportunity to shift the past into something positive. I wish you peace along the way.
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi KJs.

    I think I would keep the line of communication very open and be more of a listener than a conversationalist - if that makes sense.

    I also would be very cautious about how you characterize the baby's other grandma. Surely this is as much if a shock to her as it is to you. I am the mom of boys, but I have to imagine that if it were my daughter -- my most immediate concern would be about the pregnancy and her health and her future and less about the baby/parenting logistics. I mean this very gently; I do not think she has any obligation to allow your son to stay in her home when the baby arrives. And I would be very hesitant to even suggest such to your son. All those points about the need to learn and care for his child are very valid- but fall on his shoulders and not yours or hers . I realize that the baby wasn't planned -- but the obligation to support and provide a home for the baby's mom and the baby is HIS and the baby's mom. Obviously, he can't do such, so they will have to settle for a less than ideal co parenting arrangement. But the less than ideal situation is the fruit if his choice; not the fault of maternal grandma and not your responsibility to fix either.

    Use the conversations with your son to suggest he take a baby CPR class and baby care class or get some books on baby development. Suggest they take a childbirth class. Perhaps you can open your home to the baby overnight a day or two a week and let them have "family time" with the child. If she is close to her parents and needs their financial support, it may be best for her and the baby to live there until she can get on her feet. And your son can speed that up by taking this opportunity to redirect his life with the purpose of supporting his child.

    See how it fleshes out. I too would be jumping out of my skin if it were my son. I'd want to know the logistics & be focused on the baby and his fatherhood. That day will come- yes get ducks in a row like MWM suggested, but in the mean time, you will have to wait and see. Try to develop your own relationship with the baby's mom- maybe take her to buy some maternity clothes or for a pedicure or teach her to knit etc. Once the baby comes, you & her mom may bond over your mutual love for the baby.

    Good luck & post often. Nice to "meet" you!!
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Thank you for all the replies/advice.
    I have enjoyed the relationship I have had with my son the past two months. However, recently I see him reverting back. He is really into his hobby - collecting sports cards. I am glad he has a hobby, but he spends SO much money on this he is getting himself deep in a hole. I want to help, but just can't. We got him a more reliable car, as his wasn't going to make it to his work much longer. We put new brakes on it, tires, alignment, oil change. We pay outrageous insurance due to an at fault accident and speeding ticket. He had some things go into collections, which I helped him get out of (with his money). He constantly lies when it comes to things like that. I was a single mom with my older son. (he is 31) I went back to school and worked full time my entire life. Never got one cent of child support.
    My son butts heads with his girlfriend's mother, always has. Going on five years. She does have some serious issues, but can be very nice. I told my son he doesn't have to like her, but he will need to learn to get along with her because she will be in his life for the rest of his life. Also, that I do not ever want to hear him disrespect her infront of his child because it is the childs grandparent.
    Some comments she has made are "this is my daughter and her and the baby will be here and I will make the decisions". I reminded her that the kids are the parents and they need to make the decisions. They cannot at all live on their own. Just cannot afford it.

    I have been doing some things in our basement, which is finished(old fashion though), to try to make it look nicer. I have tried to bring up programs for them to check into. They did go to a few counseling sessions, and girlfriend continues to go to parenting classes, but are only held during the hours my son is working. He does go to all the appointments.

    Tonight however, I made him dinner when he got home. He said, "this basement has to be cleaned before my child comes here"....I told him to get busy. He has stopped taking his medicine for the most part. Should of been gone a month ago. His psychiatrist retired. He cannot get into another in this town, not taking new patients and he doesn't believe he need to. Plus would have to take off of work.
    He needs to get his finances in order - they are a mess. I think he is addicted to this sports card thing. Spends WAY too much. I bet an entire paycheck, but that is a guess. I told him his baby can hear now, and they should be singing to it. He got mad at that and said he isn't singing to anyones stomach and started screaming, and swore at me and said he is never happy, only angry and more angry and very angry. I said, "we've been trying to do things to make you happy" (car, basement, information,making food he likes, buying things he needs) and he turned around and screamed and swore and said how I twist everything around and make it about me. That I am the victim. He got in the car and took off.
    He is going to be 19 in December, yet I have to set my alarm and get him up, several times for him to go to work. (and I work nights, so on my day off I would just really like to sleep) I don't want him to misunderstand what I am doing. I am only doing things to help him, and make things the best for him. I cry easy, then when I cry he yells more at me. I am so down in the dumps. So sad. I was only trying to help.

    I just don't understand. I try so hard to help him out and always end up getting yelled at by one person or another in this house.

    As for grandchildren. My older son and his wife have two children. my granddaughter is almost 2 and my grandson is 6 months. They light up my life.

    I know this is all over the place. Just can't think straight right now. I don't see a bright future. difficult child doesn't hold his neice or nephew. Never changed a diaper. Never fed them. I just don't see this going to have a good outcome. He does have good thoughts, good words. But doesn't follow through with any of it. Just so sad.
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kjs, I can hear what a kind and lovely soul you are..........and at the same time, pardon my directness, but you are an enabler as well...........I know because I used to be one too......

    You are doing way more then your son for the birth of his child. You are putting all of your energy into him and his needs and little to no energy into you. I imagine this is a pattern you've been in for a very long time.

    I am sorry you find yourself here, but you hold all the cards in changing it. Your son is 19 and about to be a dad and he is irresponsible, disrespectful, making poor choices (off medications, spending money on the cards etc) and is not taking any real responsibility for his life. You are taking it for him. His screaming at you is completely unacceptable behavior. His blaming you and saying it's always about you is typical difficult child BS, placing the emphasis off of him and onto you. You have to stop enabling him and focus on you and that will make a huge difference in your sadness and bring about your joy. You have no control over him, you are powerless to change him.

    If I were in your shoes..............and I have been.............I would find a therapist who is proficient in detachment and get myself there. I would find other sources of support for myself, 12 step groups like CoDa..........perhaps NAMI would be of help, National Alliance on Mental Illness, they can assist parents in dealing with kids with disorders. You can access them online, they have chapters everywhere and offer excellent resources for parents including parent support classes.

    You are isolated without any real support from others who know what you're dealing with and how you are feeling. This is hard on anyone but when you are stuck in enabling, it feels as if you don't have a choice because this is your child and you HAVE to help him, you HAVE to do whatever it takes to save your son, you HAVE to put his needs above yours and all else. But that is NOT the case at all. That is your belief. You can change that and change your life. But you will have to make the first moves because your son is comfortable and used to you giving in and giving him what he needs. He will likely fight you to keep things the way they are.

    In addition to really messing up your life, enabling harms your son too, it sends him the message that he cannot do this on his own, it robs him of finding his own way and his own power to determine the course of his own life. Only he can do this. His choices lead him here so he needs to find his way through his choices and deal with the consequences of those choices.

    If you find yourself support you will find a path you can take which makes sense to you. You will find your own way through the detachment process. There is no right or wrong, only what become necessary for us to find our own lives in spite of our difficult child's and their issues. You deserve a life of your own and the freedom to choose what YOU want separate from your difficult child.

    This is a very difficult process, so please find yourself some support and learn the tools to detach from your son. It's necessary for you to do this for you and for HIM too. Keep posting, it helps. I wish you peace.
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Many, many hugs. I remember you and your story so well. When I am more on the ball tomorrow, I will try and give some advice. Until then....much love.
  9. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Kjs,

    We are kinda in the same boat.

    21yo difficult child stepson has a 7 month old. He lived with his mom, got kicked out, he and his girlfriend rented a room from her friend, difficult child lost his job after 4-5 weeks (never keeps one for long) girlfriend and friend got tired of supporting his lazy self and kicked him out and we made to BAD decision to let him back in here about six weeks ago (we had kicked him out about a year and a half ago and then he stayed with various friends and got kicked out of all of their houses then went to his mom's where he made life miserable for her and his brother before finally moving in with his girlfriend).

    Now he is making our lives miserable, mostly in passive-aggressive ways.

    I'm so sorry you are in the same place.

    All this to say, I'm not sure that the young couple and the baby living together under anyone else's roof is a good idea anyway. We wouldn't allow it, difficult child mom wouldn't allow it, and girlfriend's parents wouldn't allow it either. A responsible, non-difficult child couple may work out fine but if one is a difficult child, it's just asking for more trouble.

    Our difficult child just got a job and dad is going to keep his paychecks for him and when he gets some $ saved up, he will be leaving. I can't live like this.

    It seems, with our difficult child, the more nice things you do for him, the more you help him, the more entitled he feels to even more.

    Anyway, sorry that you are here, but glad that at least we have a place to vent, commiserate, and sometimes cry.