difficult child started a job today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    difficult child had an interview Friday with McDonald's. I went out of town Friday morning and didn't hear a word all weekend until I was driving back yesterday and got a text and a vm saying he was starting at 6 a.m. this morning, and needed me to see if his non-skid shoes and any Dickies black pants were in my attic.

    We went back and forth a bit on the drive back. He has 32 hours this week---Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. He was loaned a bike from "someone who just got arrested and is in jail) and needed a bike lock.

    He said the person who helped him get the job at McDonald's is renting a house Sept. 1 and he might be able to rent a room there for $225 a month.

    He wanted to talk again about buying SO's truck. That part of the conversation really frustrated me as I thought we had put the kibosh on that idea last week. I finally said I will text you SO's number and if you want to call him and talk about that again, you can. I don't want to talk about it anymore.

    When I got home I went through the boxes and bins of clothes in the attic and found none of what he wanted. So I said I would buy him two pairs of black pants. SO and I went to Wal-Mart and got that, plus bought him a pair of non-skid shoes plus some socks and boxer shorts. $102 worth.

    We took it to him where he was, and I said, good luck tomorrow. I just spent $102 on this, so please don't ask me to buy anything else and I hope you have a good week.

    I was disappointed with myself yesterday. This is progress. This is good. He seems to be putting some meat on the bones of the talk he has been talking for the past few weeks.

    I want to be just glad and supportive and encouraging and that is all. I don't want to feel frustrated because he isn't saying exactly what I want or because he muddies the good waters with a negative thing or two like more talk about the truck or because he isn't doing it the way I WOULD DO IT. It's not my life. It's none of my business. He is the master of his own destiny and he will either do it or he won't or something different and I have to be okay with that in order to have peace and contentment and serenity in my life.

    I know it's my own angst. It's my own fears and being afraid to hope, and then be disappointed again, and my own perfectionism, that it isn't just like I want it go be, and instead he is human. He is a mix of good and bad and dumb and smart and trying and difficult child-ness. Just like I am. Just like I am.

    My prayer for myself today is that I can accept whatever it is. Whatever it is. The messiness and the imperfection and the one step forward and 1.5 steps back or whatever it is.

    I want to focus on the positive, and not be cynical, and not be waiting for the other shoe to drop and not caring about what and who and where and why and how.

    Just to be glad and accept what it, right now today, and REALLY GET myself that THIS IS LIFE. This is what life is and looks like. It isn't like the movies or books or perfection.

    Okay, I'm laying it out as best I can, exactly as I can see it right now today, for you all.
  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    FIrst off, I am so glad to hear that he has a job, and that he called to tell you about it.

    Second, I completely sympathize with your ambivalent response, both internally and in your interactions with him. Our minds, our hearts, our relationships and ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH difficult children are so loaded with history and emotional overlay that it is impossible to see through the fog to the simple facts.

    I know you know, but here are the facts: He got a job!!!!!! Yay!!! (you heard...I have a job but it is kind of beneath me and I probably won't stick it out and meanwhile I have a load of junk to put on you before I can even go to work, so COME ON MOM HELP ME OUT HERE)

    He asked if some stuff he thinks he left in the house is still there. This is a reasonable request. (you heard...Mom, whatever you were planning to do when you get home forget it!! go rummage around the attic, bring me my stuff help me help me help me do it! forget about you, forget about relaxing after your weekend, forget about dinner with SO...help me!!!)

    He figured out transportation to work ( the bike). Good for him! (you heard--yeah, my sleazy friends and I swap stuff around, I have a bike that was probably stolen from a guy who will probably steal from me first opportunity, and ps mom I need money for a bike lock or better yet can you go buy me one ? whatever you were planning to do forget it and help me help me help me. )

    He asked about buying the truck. This is a bit annoying since you already closed the topic. You did exactly right to get yourself out of the middle. difficult child just isn't letting go of a "fix" he attached himself too. That is a pretty human and common trait.

    I think we parents of difficult children are so tired, so used to being burned, that we can't just rise to each piece of good news the way we would like to, the way we would with our PCs. REally, we would be kind of dumb to do so! Try not to judge yourself, your own fatigue, your own love for him. You did as you had to do. And you DID support his progress, as it sounds like you wished to do...you looked for his stuff, you bought him new clothes (PS I switched from buying stuff at Evil Empire Walmarts, even though it is cheap, to thrift stores.. difficult child doesn't mind and I end up spending pennies instead of dollars. I do buy socks and underwear for him at Walmarts. Principles will only go so far...)

    Its exhausting. Please pause and honor that. That is real, no matter how much work we do to develop our compassion, our kindness, our resilience. Those things are there to help us deal with the exhaustion, the frustration, the anger.. not to make it never happen, because it will. That is simply our path, what we have been given.

    You know the answers. You know the path. Pray, rest, smile, love, walk, run, go to group, hug some one. Do what your nature dictates when it comes to difficult child. Don't judge yourslef or criticize yourself. You are doing the best you can, one day at a time. I always liked your signature!


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  3. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Thanks Echo, for the understanding and empathy and restating what I know...because I still need to read it and hear it and claim it...over and over and over.
  4. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I think we would be brainless or delusional to buy all in when they do something on the right side of what's next, given their history. And not responding at all is being heartless and hopeless.

    Today it's a good thing -- he got a job! And today he's got his eyes forward and is picturing himself handling the logistics of working.

    I think you did a great job of supporting without forgetting. And I second Goodwill. I actually picked this up from my difficult child, who would rather spend $5 in Goodwill than do a load of laundry.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hoping this is a new beginning for him...and for you.
  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    COM, can you practice striving for that sense of balance you once described for me? Remember the cloud and the silver lining? There is no way for us to know what is coming next. There is not a way to call any of our small steps forward successes and yet, we are all progressing along the ways we hope to go.

    You, me, our kids.

    I too think you handled everything with grace and courage. You didn't turn away, you are doing battle with all the feelings that come after us when there is change, good or bad, in our children's chaotic lives.

    For me, change upsets that fragile balance that gives me a place to stand up from. I begin to hope, or if the news is bad, to despair.

    I remember your envisionment of holding both the cloud and the silver lining so often.

    It helps me.

    Now you have the silver lining first.

    The cloud may come. Or it might turn out that this time was the cloud and something wonderfully unforeseen will come of it.

    There is no way to know.

    Loving our difficult child kids with all our hearts when we have any smallest reason to is the right thing for them and for us.

    I am happy you got to love your son.

    Having that chance to love him was worth needing to work to find your sense of balance again, I think.

    We learn to do anger and boundary setting really well with our difficult child kids. Loving them within the boundaries we know we have to maintain is harder.

    We don't get much practice in how to love them, and it's scary.

    You will establish a different center of gravity now, COM. Flexibility is good. Next time, you will have the strength learned this time, and it will not feel like you have betrayed a hard won principle.

  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    I share this, and it sounds like Child does as well...this is a thing to learn to work with.

  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Yes, this is the Great Challenge of living and loving---especially our difficult children, but in reality with all people.

    It helps me a lot to see myself and him and everybody on their own walk, their own journey.

    To see a Grand Old God with his arm around difficult child's shoulders, slowly walking away from me, down a long and winding path---a path I cannot and should not know---their backs to me. Only they can see the path ahead as it gets smaller and narrower and they get smaller and smaller. I am not to go on that journey with them, but to wish them well.

    This helps me.

    Yes, absolutely, Cedar! You nailed it with this. I get used to the "new normal" whether it's jail, the street, whatever it is, and then there is a "new, new normal" and I have to get used to that again. difficult children don't stay put! : )

    Yes it is. Yes it is. Thankfully, I didn't hear from difficult child yesterday at all. No news is good news right now. I just once again need that time and space and distance to get back to me.
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Good he a job! Even if things don't go exactly right, it is a still a learning experience (for him or for you). Even if he just learns what not to do, next time he will know better, or you will. He went and got himself a job!
  10. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I liked the imagery of an aware and loving God wrapping difficult child in His arms and accompanying difficult child on his journey.

    difficult child daughter talks just that way about the purpose, about the sense of purpose and closure and chance, in the things that have happened to her.

    As I picture your imagery of your son walking away COM, I see that same
    Presence at your side, watching with you.

    That is a good thing for us to remember
    and to ask for.

    During the worst of it, it helped me to envision difficult child in the palms of God's hands. (You know what they say. There are no disbelievers in foxholes.)

    So many times, I would pop myself in there, too.

    And always, I would find a measure of peace, there.

    It seemed like a miracle to me that this could be so.

  11. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi COM, I am reading along.............however I'm presently away from home taking my granddaughter to college, so a tad occupied.

    Just wanted you to know that I'm here too, thinking of you and sending out good vibes for both you and your son.

    Even though it feels bad at times, some times worse then others, (as we all know well)........even though we're taken out at the knees.........even though the pain can overwhelm us...........even though we are often buried underneath a tidal wave of feelings.............even though our hearts are broken...........we can mend, we can overcome, we can thrive, we can accept, we can find joy..........you continue to model that for us, to point the way through this maze of madness.........so that we know there is a way out...............good job. As always. Very good job.
  12. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    COM, do you know whether he is still working?

    As I wrote this, I got it that it would be best for you if you had given everything about this work over to the only person who can do anything about it.

    difficult child.

    So I will just be here in silent support, then.


  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have heard that McDonald's is one of those businesses that hire people with legal issues so that should be of help.

    I think you did amazing. I remember when mine got a job at Burger King and I had to go buy the black pants and shoes...lol. He didnt last long but it wasnt his fault. Im not just saying that because Im his mom either. The manager there was a crook and would falsify time sheets and mess with the pay. For some reason she thought she could get away with it with my son because she thought he was 16. He was 22. Personally I dont think she could do math because he put his birthday on the application...lol.

    I hope your son has a much better experience. I actually read a book about a person just like your son, with all the same problems, who got a lowly job with a local McDonald's and then in 10 years time he owned 3 franchises! Not to get your hopes up or anything..lol