difficult child - tired....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by missy44, Jul 25, 2009.

  1. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Well, on a good note, difficult child still is smoking any pot. He managed to get a loan for college, but not enough, and we're not paying the remainder. He only works a day or two a week because he sees his therapist and participates in a programme with his doctor, but he really hasn't been going much lately. He just had his 19th birthday, got some money from family, owes 700.00 for a phonebill and at least 700.00 he needs for college and guess what he's doing??? He's going to the mall with his girlfriend to spend it. The little paycheque he gets will go to his phonebill.

    I know that I should be focusing on the "baby steps' he's making, but to be honest, the disrespect is creeping back in. He contributes a bit to the household (cutting the lawn, cleaning the pool), but other than that he stays up late, is a slob, sleeps most of the day while we're working, and complains about his 1 or 2 shifts a week. His girlfriend is here for the weekend because of his b day. We took a bunch of them out to dinner last night, let him have a few drinks, and then last night they slept in his room. We do not approve of this, they know it, but figured because they sleep together at her house they can do it here. He says "i'm an adult" and i say, then start acting like one. The tension is building and I'm so sick of him being here (isn't that an awful thing to say). He's so immature for 19, you can't reason with him, he pouts and shouts when he doesn't like what he hears and I"m tired of worrying about his job, college, etc... I don't know what to do. I'm to the point of wanting him to leave, but I know that he has nowhere to go. He has made contact with one of his "old" buddies. I know that he and this boy were always close, and quite frankly we like this boy. WE do know that all he does is work and buy weed. Last night he came to the b day dinner (paid for his own) and that's the first they have been together in a long time. We were'n't happy that our difficult child invited him but our difficult child says to "trust him". He says he's not interested in going down that path again but doesn't want to lose this boy as a friend.

    I'm just tired. He walks all over me and I know it, but I can't seem to stop what is happening right now. He is supposed to work tonight, let's see... He claims he isn't feeling well and she's visiting. He better not pull any baloney and try to get out of his shift. They already tried to fire him once (that's a whole other story).

    Thanks for listening everyone...it feels good to write it all down.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 25, 2009
  2. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    oops, i meant to say "isn't" smoking any pot!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Watch him, Missy. Getting in contact with old friends who do drugs is a red flag. As for sleeping with the girl in your house, THAT I'd put a fast end to. I'd talk to the girl if your son won't cooperate and tell her she's welcome in your house, but NOT to sleep with your son. That you don't approve of it. That is something I'd never allow under my roof. Good luck.
  4. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Hi MWM,

    Thanks... How would you handle the friend issue? He knows how I feel about it. He knows my concerns and he simply says "mom, I'm not going back to that lifestyle, I've learned my lesson". I know that his girlfriend would drop him in a heartbeat if he were to start with the drugs again.

    I feel a pity party for myself coming on. I hate being this way, but I am sooo tired of dealing with this everyday. All of my energy is spent on my difficult child. I do appreciate my other children and make time for them but he is stinking the life out of me and all the detaching in the world isn't helping because he's living under my roof and making life horrible for everyone. NOt all the time, but alot of the time.

    If he wants to see this "friend" he will and there is nothing i can do about it. I don't trust him yet, probably won't for a long time.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 25, 2009
  5. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    Yep, he's an adult, which means you both have options. Your house, your rules. If he doesn't like it, he can leave. That's the hard and scary part, I know. You aren't legally responsible for him anymore. He can stay and be respectful, ambitious (well, that's a stretch for most difficult child's), and contribute or he can walk. As heavenly as that may sound on a bad day, that's another difficult road of emotions.

    Just remember, with other soon-to-be adults in the house, if you allow sleepovers for difficult child, the others will expect the same options down the road.

    I'm sorry you're struggling today.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like he thinks he has you right where he wants you, doing whatever he wants because you don't want to deal with his childish temper. I am another one voting for not having her sleep with him at your home. It isn't about what he does when he is alone with her. It is about respect. Nothing else.

    I don't buy the "her parents let me sleep with her" line. If it is true, so what? If it isn't true, so what? If her parents lined up some coke on the coffee table and gave it to difficult child and girlfriend, would you? Just because the other parents don't mind or don't want to get into a fight about it, doesn't mean you need to let it happen.

    Part of it is about setting the standard for all of your kids, because it is very true that the other kids will expect to have their dates spend the night in their room, and part of it is about demanding respect in your home.

    I don't buy the "going to the therapist" and being in a program as reasons to not be working. If he has time to laze around the house making messes, then he needs to go to work. Or do volunteer work. Or find some other way to be a productive human being. How will he EVER be able to stay sober/clean with that much time on his hands? The old phrase "idle hands are the devils work" or however it is phrased has lasted through the centuries because it is true. If you don't have something productive to do then you end up in trouble.

    Sending gentle hugs.
  7. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    I told him that the sleeping together in my house does NOT happen again. If he wants to do that then he can get his own place. He wasn't happy but I don't care. I'll reiterate it again tonight. He's supposed to work tonight which means she'll be hanging out at my house while he is. UGHHHH. Oh well, I'm not amusing her.

    As for the "druggie" friend, I'm just going to tell my son that he needs to be working more, no more sleeping until all hours of the day and if he chooses to hang out with this "friend" then he'll need a place to stay because I'm not going through the worry again.

    Does that sound reasonable to everyone?

    I can't wait to have a "normal" life!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You can't stop him from hanging around with the friend, but you can tell him that if you find out he is, he'll have to leave. Tell him you don't care how close they were--being around him will be a temptation, a BIG one. Also, I'd make him work full time. My druggie kid always worked. My mom used to say "Busy hands are happy hands" and I agree. Teens who are prone to drug use with time on their hands who sleep in all day get lazy and are more prone to going back to drugs. My daughter quit on and off before we sent her to Illinois, where she was able to shed her friends and quit for good. Whenever she started taking up with her drug crowd, I knew she was using again. Always remember that more than pot is probably involved. Sometimes it's just pot, usually, with obvious users, it's more, and the other drugs don't have a particular odor to give them away. Be extra careful and stand your ground in your own house. That girl doesn't have to ever stay overnight in your house. I sure wouldn't have let her. THere are hotels. She can't afford it? She can't come. JMO
  9. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thanks for all of the advice.

    My difficult child's girlfriend lives in another city and they take turns going to each other's house so I choose to let her come here ocassionally, and I have made it VERY clear that they are going to follow my rules or they will not be seeing each other here again.

    As for the friend issue, I agree, it's very worrisome. This kid is buying drugs all the time (and yes, I'm sure it's more than pot) and I think it's a poor choice for my difficult child to befriend him again.

    I think that I"m going to write my difficult child a letter with all our expectations, so it's in black and white. This will avoid a confrontation and he'll be forced to hear it all...

    I'll check back and let everyone know how it goes.
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Missy, since you're ready to put your thoughts in writing, this might be the perfect time to create an "If you want to live here" contract.

    You have a couple of choices if you go this route:

    You can make an all or nothing contract where he gets the boot if he breaks any of the rules.


    You can create a contract that is basically a list of requirements and the consequence if he breaks that requirement. The good part of going this route is that the behavior and the consequence are in black and white so emotions don't muddy the waters and there's no question in anyones' mind what will happen.

    When we had contracts we asked for Rob's input in making it. His suggested consequences tended to be tougher than ours. Since he had input in the consequences, if/when he broke a rule we could point out that he played a role in establishing what was and wasn't acceptable.

    If you go the contract route, be sure to post it publicly for everyone to see (and keep copies in case the posted one gets ripped up in a rage).

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I too really like the idea of the contract. You can be a little lenient (key word "little") if you want to take into consideration certain things like depression, into consideration. However, how far does this go? If you go too far, are you not part of the problem?

    Your son is 18. I would not hold this next thing I'm going to say over his head, because it is not a loving thing to do. But between you, me, the PE Forum and the lampost, has he not put you through a few things already?

    You deserve respect and this goes double for you and your life in your own home. You teach people how to treat you.

    He is your son. He should know that you love him. However, there are boundaries. Let them be clear. You, as mom, does not supercede, you as human being, wife, woman, homeowner, etc.

    You and your husband need to be united front. A few counseling sessions....never hurt...should they be needed. I'm talking about a few sessions for you and your husband. My guess is that your son is very strong willed. You guys need to be very strong back and very united.

    A contract....great idea. Rules to be honored. Make it clear...put it on the table what you expect.

    By the way, as hard as it is sometimes, don't let him play you. Don't give into the melodrama. Hold your head up high. If he tries to "walk all over you" STAND UP TALL. Pull the rug out from under him. He can take it.

    Here is an idea of an opening line:

    "I love you, but I also love myself. Your dad and I have worked very hard to help you in life. WE've worked very hard to create a good home. There are certain things that I need and expect from you. It starts with respect and it goes from there. We might be able to discuss to a small extent some of these rules before I make them official. However, one thing I will never compromise on is the respect I will be receiving from you. Here are the household rules.....Here is the contract. Here are the consequences for breaking the contract. Perhaps at some point down the road, we can make some small modifications."

    Is your son going to therapy? I would encourage it. You might see if this therapist could also do a few family sessions or could recommend someone. These would include you, your husband and son...and possibly some sessions with the entire family (other kids) as well.

    If you feel strongly, that this girlfriend and him should not sleep in the same bed in your home, it is your perogative. I would briefly speak with the girl, but put the main emphasis and responsibility on your son.

    Perhaps (there might be better ideas...this is just one thought) you can ask that one sleep in the bed, and another in a sleeping bag on the floor and keep the door open at all times. If you have any indication that they did something else...then guess what???? His friend is no LONGER INVITED for any sleep overs. How about a one year moratorium on sleep overs for breaking the rules? And if it happens again...well, son can find his own place to live. I believe in compromise, I don't believe in selling my soul. This mother does NOT play that. Get creative...find something that might show that you are willing to be helpful, but NOT something that compromises YOUR principles. You are entitled to your principles. It is YOUR home. If he can't respect and honor that I think no matter how much progess he has made, he needs to find another place to stay. You are entitled to your health (mental and otherwise) and happiness.

    It is understandable that you would be afraid of confrontations with- your son. Where is husband in all of this? You might start off with a letter, but I would follow up with a contract. Consider having everyone sign it. Why be afraid? Let melodrama go in one ear and out the other.

    Please give this some thought...wishing you well.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 26, 2009
  12. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    overall, it was a terrible weekend. disregard for my home, disrespect for me and my husband and my other children, etc... it was all about our selfish difficult child turning 19 and his girlfriend. did i handle things properly?? probably not. do i forgive myself for not being perfect, yes!

    i talked to difficult child last night and let him know what i disapproved of (pretty much everything over the weekend) and told him that we would be discussing things tomorrow...my husband and i are on the same page about this. we are going to go with a set of rules that he is going to follow and tell him that he needs to shape up or ship out. he has worked really hard to get off of the drugs but there is still alot of work to be done and i think he's taking advantage of the fact that he knows we worry about him and don't want him to go down a bad path again. but, my husband and i have to face the facts, if he chooses that path there is nothing we can do about it.

    i can't get into the details too much right now but here is a little of what went down this weekend:
    • took him out to dinner with the entire family and his girlfriend for his birthday, bought him one beer (bad maybe) and paid for all, he invited one of his "old" buddies along. we were very upset by this, did not pay for him and let our difficult child know that we don't want him around us period! our difficult child says he worries about this friend (which i believe is true) but bottom line... we don't care and it ruined the dinner.
    • it was my husband's birthday yesterday and our anniversary yesterday. difficult child and his girlfriend stayed at her apartment on saturday night (she really doesn't live there until september for college) because i said they couldn't sleep together here. fine, i don't care where they stay... they proceed to come home drunk, still celebrating his birthday (shots of whiskey,,, nice eh?) knowing that his grandparents were coming to take my husband and i to a play. i said, no more drinking, no going out near the pool, keep the house clean because the grandparents were coming back to make us dinner. all rules broken by difficult child and his girlfriend. drinking by the pool, threw our 8 yr old daughter in (2 older sons nipped that in the bud and looked after it), difficult child and girlfriend left dishes everywhere and clothes, continued to drink and basically ruined our day. oh yeah, and girlfriend offered my other sons drinks (they said no thanks).
    i'm angry and obviously there is still lots of work to be done... and i feel terrible for my other children for having to put up with him. he knows that my husband and i will be having a long chat with his girlfriend (he's not happy with that) and we told him if he can't follow our rules he needs to think about where he's going. as for the girlfriend, i doubt we'll ever want her back. she has her good points, but there few and far between now.

    As for the drinking, i don't know... his one friend (one we like) said it was probably hard for him, turning 19 and not having his "old" buddies to hang out with so he was just trying to make his own fun. let's hope that's all it was. but, no excuses. everything about what he did this weekend was wrong.

    oh yeah, i forgot to mention. he said i ruined his birthday weekend for freaking out about the "old" buddy coming along.

    thanks all for your advice. my husband and i are definitely planning to use some of it. we don't want to make mountains out of mole hills, and please tell me if you think we are. i feel like its 10 steps forward, 8 steps back.

    thanks again.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think you are on the right track. You and husband stick together on this. I would show "some" empathy for his concerns re: his girlfriend and other friends who are still using. Keep it short/brief/simple. However, you are so right.....what REALLY matters is how he choses to act/behave, etc. Is he accountable to himself and those in the home? Is he responsible?

    Please look into family therapy. Set boundaries. Consider the contract.

    Very glad to hear that you are and husband are on the same page. Do what you can to nurture yourselves individually and as a couple.
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Missy, I would caution you to be careful in the future that your actions (buying difficult child a beer) not contradict your rules ("no more drinking"). I promise you will lose credibility every time.

    I would also caution you that if you and husband don't follow through on these "rules," they aren't worth the paper they are written on and difficult child will know it.

    Last edited: Jul 27, 2009
  15. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    i agree, buying the beer was a bad idea. lesson learned.

    we're learning, we are seeing a therapist, our son is deeply involved in therapy and we try to follow all of the advice we can (although some is contradicting, we take every piece to heart).

    we have rules, we're sticking to our rules and hoping to move forward from here. I just talked to his psyc and he has reassured me that our difficult child has made great strides but that we should expect ups and downs and try to head these issues off a little better then we have.

    we get so proud of him and let our guard down. we are committed to work on that issue. we are committed to help him with positive steps he takes in his life, not the negative. it's such a fine line and it's difficult.

    it's not always easy with husband and i, but he's in it for the long haul and i love him for it. we try to stay on the same page (doesn't always happen that way) but we try.

    we are layihg out the rules and telling him he must follow them under our roof. we're waiting to meet with the psyc to go over the specifics of the consequences (we need help). the "tough love" part of me tells me shape up or ship out. The psyc is trying to keep it so that we take into account all of the positives and focus on that. He agrees that we need consequences (which he and our difficult child will assist with) but that we need to expect and prepare for the 10 steps forward and 8 steps back. Each backward step is supposed to be less severe... fingers crossed.

    it's so difficult to not be 'black and white" with a difficult child. I don't want to deal with the grey areas.

    our main issue right now is respect, respect and then some more respect. if he earns it, he'll get it. that's the only way he'll build trust and continue building a better life for himself. i truly feel in my heart that he will be okay in the long run (maybe hopeful thinking) but i think the road is going to bumpy and long.

    i'll let you know how it turns out after today.

    Thanks again all.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I tend to rush through these posts...missed the part about buying difficult child a beer.

    Perhaps this should be discussed with- the therapist. Glad you guys are going! Hopefully, it'll all be placed on the table in a way that is fair and understood by all. However, you'll need to be consistent and abide by the rules. You'll need to be a guiding force and an example.

    Wishing you and your family well.
  17. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    yes, the dreaded first legal beer... we have always been the parents everyone calls strict and overbearing. we never let our son have a drink before the age of 19 even though we knew he drank ocassionally.

    it was supposed to be a milestone moment. we're not big drinkers who couldn't wait to crack with open with our difficult child, and we don't worry about an ocassional drink. drinking has never been an issue with our difficult child. it just went too far and we didn't make our ground rules clear. they're clear now, believe me! my difficult child did apologize today, without prompting, to me, my husband and his siblings. he said he felt terrible for how he acted and said it won't happen again. it seemed sincere, only time will tell.

    thank goodness for this site on a monday morning. just knowing that others have been there and done that helps so much (not that I would wish this process on my worst enemy :) )
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Missy, I'll bet all my meager funds that your son is an alcoholic. It goes with the territory. I would NEVER buy him a drink or let him drink at home. Obviously you can't stop it outside of the home, but you may want to start discussing that "A" word because some kids stop the drugs then think it's ok to drink, even though they are just one of those people who can't only have one drink--they drink one drink and they can NOT stop until they are drunk. Maybe girlfriend is also an alcoholic...she sounds VERY disrespectful to me. I wouldn't ever let her stay in my house. Let difficult child put her up. As for "old friend," I wouldn't trust his "take" on why difficult child did what he did. He's a drug user. According to my daughter, the ex-drug abuser, "If they move their lips, they're lying." I wouldn't even bother asking him for input.

    Good luck with the tough love. Sadly, it sounds like he needs to know he has to shape up or ship out. And he will whine and pout. Expect it. Don't let him change your mind or he'll mainpulate you forever and a day.
  19. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for responding, I take all of your comments to heart.

    MWM - I really don't think my difficult child is an alcoholic, I think he let his birthday weekend run away on him and he used it as an excuse to break some rules and step back a bit in his progress.

    As for buying him a beer, was it a good choice at this point in time, NO, but lesson learned.

    We are now starting fresh (again) and he knows he's back to square one. Rules that weren't established in the beginning have been laid out. We established rules in the beginning about illegal drugs, work, etc... but we hadn't even talked about the use of alcohol when he moved back in because it's never been an issue. He wasn't 19 and drinking never seemed to be his drug of choice. There has been no drinking since the weekend and we don't expect any this weekend. We are planning to sit and have a talk with the girlfriend ( I don't see her going away anytime soon) and we'll be letting her know that she is expected to behave a certain way and follow certain rules at our home when she's here. We've made it clear that she won't be staying overnight here anymore. She has her own apartment now anyway (in preparation for college in September.

    College for difficult child is most likely out of the question for September, he needs at least 700.00 and is still paying off an outstanding phonebill. This is difficult for me to swallow, but I know the best thing I can do is let him earn this on his own.

    difficult child is staying away from the "old" buddy again, we made it clear to him that we won't accept it. Definitely not around our home. What he does outside of here is out of our control, but if we find out he's sneaking around doing things we don't approve of he has to go.

    We really can't make things any clearer to difficult child, fingers crossed he continues down the right path.

    On a good note, it's been quite some time now since he's used any illegal drugs and he's still on his medications.

    I hope he starts to grow up soon. Does anyone else notice how immature difficult child's are. He's 19 going on 14!