I acted on a suspicion

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    So...I'm typing this not at all sure if I'll hit "create thread" or "delete" when I'm done. A big part of me really doesn't want to hear what I expect to hear.

    I had a feeling...just a feeling...that he'd quit his job. I didn't sleep last night and I'm pretty sure it had something to do with this feeling of impending doom. So, today I drove by. He wasn't there. So I went home on the pretext of taking my medications (yes I lied) and he was asleep. He's so volatile. He went kind of nuts for a bit, I had to threaten to leave before he calmed. I told him I was going back to work and he started the, "No you're not! You're going to talk to me!" I responded that I was not like his father...I wasn't going to stay until I had to call the police. But I also wasn't going to be screamed at. I was just going to walk away and leave him there. He calmed down enough to listen to. He slept thru his alarm. It took some doing before he called to see if he still had a job. He lied - said he'd been sick in the night and overslept. While I'm sure no one believed that, he still has the job. He hasn't gotten fired and hasn't quit. His phone was up so loud I could hear the manager, so I know that's true. He doesn't want that job mind you...but he has it. I think because I mentioned that I did not want to walk into court next Wednesday and tell the judge he's unemployed.

    That's not what I want to reflect on...it's just context. He's just so ... messed up. I don't know what, exactly, to do or say or not say or do.

    He doesn't think he'll be able to get the apartment. He thinks J is going to run off back to Texas and leave him high and dry. Not a surprise...and all the more reason why he needs a full-time job so he can pay for stuff himself.

    He accused me of thinking he was slacking off and not looking for work. I told him I did not think that he was looking as hard as I think is appropriate. I pointed out that he still hasn't tried temp agencies. He finally admitted that's because he wouldn't pass a drug test. I asked him how stupid did he really think we were? We knew he was still smoking pot. But if that's what keeps him from getting a job - quit! The response was basically, "Why bother?" If a stupid fast food place won't hire him, why would anyone else?

    He made remarks about not wanting to rent the ghetto apartment. I told him then he needs a full time job and 6 months of work history. He said something about how many jobs he's held in 6 months and I reminded him he'd quit them all. That was his doing. He said something about being no different than any other high school kid.

    I reminded him he's not a high school kid anymore.

    He says he thinks we're going to throw him out and that's why he never tells us anything. I reminded him we only threw him out because we had good cause, but that being said, he can't stay with us forever. Yeah...he liked that remark about as much as you think.

    I asked him what he wanted out of life. He wants to move to another state and grow weed, and he could do it - it wouldn't be very expensive - but he can't even manage to get enough money for rent... :( . I could have smacked him. But instead I pointed out that if that's what he wants out of life, he still needs to get a job and save money so he can move.

    I should be angry. I should be upset. I should be...something. But I just feel kind of empty. And I know, I KNOW, that when the apartment is open, we have to throw him out on the streets...because he won't be ready. He won't have work. He won't have money. But the thought kills me because ... he's so lost.

    A smattering of the things he said: Why does everyone find a good job but me? Why does everyone have more money than me? Why is everyone happier than me? I try. I call every place that has a help wanted sign and I put in applications and they don't hire me.

    Of course there was the usual, "Everyone is treated better than me." He was very angry that Boost called him at 11:40 when he hadn't shown up. "They never call J. He takes 2 smoke breaks and hour and they never do anything to him. They won't let me get out of the sun even one time an hour. J does whatever he wants." and on and on and on. I said, "Why do you believe everything that man says? Does it ever occur to you he's lying?" He said, "Do you really think he'd lie about something like that?" I said, "To make it look like he's someone special and gets special treatment you don't get? You're dam right I think he'd lie!"

    by the way, manager told him on the phone that J is being replaced, so they need to get it straight what hours he's working so they can schedule the new person. So yeah, J is fired. I couldn't help but say, "Well, I guess he took too many of those smoke breaks after all."

    He's weirdly obsessed with the apartment fire. He practically said, "Why move into another apartment, they'll just burn it down too." The one that he will be moving into has been rehabbed after an arson fire. But...that doesn't mean someone will burn it down again! He mentioned it a number of times...that it'll just get burned down. I finally told him that he was not the only person who was displaced by that fire, that they weren't sitting around waiting for another fire, they moved on with their lives.

    In the end, I went back to work. I told him to call his counselor. I don't know what else to say.
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I know what this sounds like. I know that the answer is, "Because you are doing it all wrong." But he doesn't see that. He really, truly, doesn't see that. Why is everyone happier than me? That's the kicker. He isn't happy. He doesn't know what to do. He doesn't know where to begin. He doesn't know how to find a job. He doesn't know what to do to present himself. He's unhappy...and he's always been unhappy.

    And I don't know how to help him.
  3. mtdenise

    mtdenise Member

    Like you, my son moved back home...that was in December. Long story short...nothing has changed and we have given him ample opportunity. Latest thing he tells us is he is moving to Los Angeles with a guy he met at work 3-4 months ago. My son's clothes are dirty, he looks thin and gaunt, I know he smokes pot and takes uppers and downers. He got sent home from work today (after going in late) to shave. His life is a mess. He's 25 and he has nothing to his name. He lies to us all the time. I'm counting down the days until he leaves. It's obvious he's running from his problems, but he told a friend he wants to live his life the way he wants...even if his decisions are wrong. So, I guess he's happy living the way he is, but he knows he can't do it in our house. Lil, I so feel your pain and how I wish we weren't on this board. Last night I re-read the detachment article on this board. It helped a lot. Wish I had some wise words, but as I told a friend who said the same exact thing to me, the best thing is to have someone to listen as we vent. Hugs to you and Jabber.
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  4. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Active Member


    He sounds depressed. Depression makes a person feel worthless and hopeless. Smoking weed just makes all of that so much worse. It's really hard to help a person who is depressed.
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  5. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am sorry for your troubles Lil it is so hard to go through. What you are describing sounds a lot like my two. It is always something to do with everyone else. I wonder if it is just too frustrating for them to look at their own responsibility for the rut they dig. They freeze and hunker down in the trench more and more. Where some folks would eventually "pull up the bootstraps" and grit their teeth, their boots are in still in the dang closet. Mine can manage to go out and party with their friends but when it comes to taking care of business? Totally lacking. If they would put the same amount of effort to working as they do carousing with friends they would have somewhat a better life. I guess the biggest thing here for me is that I want a better life more for my two than they do. Looking back at when they were younger and we struggled with the reality and desperation of their situation, it seemed to affect us equally or even more so than it did them. Then the help became this sense of entitlement with them, we were "supposed" to, and I think it mattered not what affect it had on us. There was no end to the drama, the more we suffered, the more entrenched they became. The more we became desperate over their choices, the more they seemed to hand over the consequences to us. It just became this vicious cycle. It was and is a game I am no longer willing to play.
    My Tornado came over with the grands, "We are going to stay the night, Mom and get up early and help in the yard." Well, now I realize it was a ploy. Yes, I am glad to see my grands, but realize their parents really wanted to go out and party, which turned into drama, and being the beginning of the month before the food stamps came in, they ran out of food at home. So now I had hungry grandkids to feed, their parents off and on arguing, then sleeping off their partying while the kids fought over tv shows. Welcome to my "Jerry Springer" world. Sheesh, I am on a limited budget and can't afford to be housing and feeding the gang, not to mention that I need some peace in my life.
    We were not the "perfect family", who is? But, we did focus on our kids as they were growing, taught them values and made sure they had food on the table. For the life of me, I do not know how or why my daughter continues on this path with her children in tow. But, I do know now that it is not my job to "fix" it.
    It is never ending and I see now that the more I tried, the less she did.
    My two have the same type of reasoning as your son. Yes, he has had some hard knocks, as my two have. Life throws some really crappy stuff at all of us at times. Our d cs are wired differently and mine seem to think the way to go when the chips are down, is to get high, or drunk. Then, when they come down and sober up, they are depressed and unmovable. Ugh.
    Everyone has their own way with dealing with d cs. We all have to be able to look in the mirror. Your son is young, but seems to cycle much like my two. It is so very frustrating.
    I will just offer you this. You deserve peace. I am making that my theme, "I deserve peace."
    Rain is homeless and seems to be okay with herself living that life. I hate it, but what can I do? I deserve peace. So be it. My grands, love those little streetwise hooligans God bless them but they wreak havoc in my house, have two parents who are caught up in their own miserable, cycling lives that they don't see the blessing of having three healthy children. So be it. I deserve peace. God bless them all, and I deserve peace.
    Am I selfish and uncaring? No. I just had to distance my heart and remove myself from the whirlpool of chaos that they choose for themselves. I deserve peace. They will have to figure out their lives and go on their path without my desperation and anxiety. I don't want to live the rest of my life caught up in all of the drama. I did not raise them that way. I don't like drama, don't even watch it on tv.
    As you go through these challenges with your son, please be very kind and gentle to yourself and build upon the peace you deserve.
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  6. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    It's a vicious cycle...smoke weed, depressed, smoke weed, depressed............

    If nothing changes, nothing changes.

    Sorry, Lil.
  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    He has to help himself. There is nothing you can do to actively wake him up to the errors in his thinking. Iy really is the weed. I am seeing more and more young men at the high schools that share that wonky view of life. Smoking the stuff that they have out tbere now seems to be damaging the brain and not recovering when the drugs stop. He does not get it, but you can't " get it" for him.
  8. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    New Leaf- No you are not selfish. You worked hard raising your family, sacrificing along the way to give them the best you could. It is your time now, you deserve peace and rest. You know what, you need to move to another city, state, get a small one bedroom cabin, in the woods, with a little stream out your front door. Ahhh peace and serenity. This way- you have no room for anyone to stay:).
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  9. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Lil- I am so sorry your Mothers gut feeling was right. Does he have to have an apartment? Can't he rent a room where others live? We have lot of those in our city. Rent is pretty cheap. You get a bedroom, shared kitchen and living spaces, usually cable, utilities included.

    As far as his rants about his life. I think he is having an ongoing- pity party. I think lot of it is a cop out. I think he also is insecure and lacks confidence. But pot will make you feel like that too. He says why bother to quit smoking when no one will hire him anyways. Another cop out. There are jobs out there that do not drug test.

    He says he calls and puts in applications and no one hires him. Do you know for a fact that he does this or is it just telling you what you want to hear. The only way you could check is to actually hand him an application, have him fill it out in front of you, and you drop it off.

    I don't know what to say, what words of advice to offer. I really wonder if he is smoking way too much pot. Until he is willing to get off that stuff until at least he can get a decent paying job, save money, get a room or apartment, it is just going to have the same ending.

    Yes, you are feeling lot of things, fear of what his life will be if he continues down this path. But, he really has to leave the nest, no matter what, so he can learn to fly. Yes, he may fall, many times, but, really, isn't that what he is doing now in your home?
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Give him another... 5, 6, 7, 8 years.
    I know... I the meantime, there are no answers.
    But maturity often solves the problem, once it shows up. Which may not be for another 5, 6, 7, 8 years...

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  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Leafy! How nice to "see" you! I have been wondering about you and thinking about you.

    And if everything is potentially something that needs to be changed, nothing changes.

    We can change some one thing, and see what changes.

    Lil, I think it would help a lot if you and Jabber could hone in on ONE THING you would like to address. In just this post you worry about his volatility, his lying, his lack of drive, his "not fair" attitude, his depression, his confusion, his lack of self-insight, his inability to find or get a job...No wonder you feel so empty. You're exhausted.

    Where would be a good place to start?

    My gut reaction (which counts not one iota, because I do not know your son) is that 99% of this can be explained by drug use. Not that it matters because I'm not his parent, but that is where I would start.

    The rest of it, Lil...in my humble opinion, it's just talk and deflection on his part. I don't think you should buy into it. He's a grown man who needs to have his pity parties when he's not supposed to be at work.
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  12. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    The big problem with this is that most applications are online now. He is actually job hunting, the problem is that he just refuses to grasp the concept that if you do "This Much" and it isnt enough THEN YOU DO MORE! He's real big on the "Everyone should accept me for what I am" philosophy. He refuses to acknowledge that HE might need to change to make his life better.

    Again, mostly online applications. Besides, he would probably throw a fit about this saying that we dont trust him.

    Damn good question. Let us know when you have the answer.

    Drugs make it worse, but during the period that I think he was actually clean, he was still like this. Granted, when he's getting high it makes it worse.

    Not a lot of that available around here. Besides, he spends his check as soon as he gets it. Not sure if he can't or won't save but either way its the same result. He gets money, he spends it.
  13. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Albie, thanks I am okay, one day at a time. I am kinda in a floaty world, got too much to do.......but here I am. Will apologize in advance from any weirdness coming off my keyboard (see *disclaimer below)
    IB if only that could be reality. I think it is all of our "time".
    What if we all could move into our own tiny houses in the country....hey Pigless has 80 acres.....Pigless could hold CD retreats!!!
    I can't move, son is still in school. But, I can try to create that sanctuary. Set more boundaries.......we all have our limits to what we can tolerate. I have been thinking lately that I would never put my parents through all of this..this crap. And you know what? They wouldn't allow it. My Dad would say something like "You have got to be self sufficient and you can....."
    So maybe that is the trick. Maybe we have devalued ourselves by giving and giving so much that we are in turn devalued in the eyes of our d cs.
    Maybe I will call a moratorium on all crap until I have spent a good amount of time grieving. I will put stickers everywhere "approach with caution.... grieving widow", or like Cedar suggested, an armband or something. The point is that my d cs don't seem to give a rip about how their actions/attitude, affects their parents (oops parent)
    What if we went off the deep end(or pretended to)?
    I wonder how they would deal with it if we were depressed, lazy, irresponsible, didn't bathe or clean? Sat around all greasy smoking pot and drinking? Flip the script as they say.
    Okay, I think I have really lost my marbles........
    It is just so darn frustrating after a lifetime of loving and caring for these babies that this is happening. And as Lil wrote
    I exhausted myself trying to figure this out.
    It is so so hard to go through this........I really feel for you and Jabber. I do apologize for my ranting.....you guys got to do what you got to do, just as hubs and I did......

    But now years down the road.......with my two........there is nothing I can do or say that will fix it, and I am done running myself to the ground trying. I hope the case will be different for you guys. People can change and often do.......

    I am going to go make my stickers and sew an armband. Maybe I'll get a tattoo. Something that sends a statement "Don't mess with Mom she is having one of those days."

    Our kids should :censored2: tippy toe on eggshells around us for once......



    Sorry, not myself lately and still trying to figure out who the heck I am........
    Apologies for any offensive statements due to stress, loss and emotional roller coasterism intensified by
    lack of empathy received from disgruntled d cs with extreme feeling of entitlement disorder.....

    Damn kids......

    Leafy (I think)
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  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Sorry all. I am reading and will respond, but right now I'm just to tired. I think I'll go to bed early. I have training the next two days so I won't be able to check in much. Thank you all so much.
  15. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Leafy, I love your posts!

    I think there are many times lately I wish I had channeled my dad in my parenting. Maybe the outcome wouldn't have been any different, but it would have come a lot sooner.

    I am sorry that your girls are not here for you right now, Leafy. Your kind and nurturing spirit shines through even electronically. I would bet in person it is blinding. I am sorry they cannot or will not nourish you in return right now. I am always sorry that our kids can't just...be KIND...but right now, with your situation, I feel very sad about it.

    I do not think you have lost your marbles. I think this is a grand idea, Leafy. I think maybe this is how we could get a little empathy from our children. Plus it might be quite fun...at least some of it...

    Damn skippy. Looking back, the few times I saw any improvement in d.c.'s interactions, it always followed me going bat $#!+ crazy on him.

    It is so great to "talk" again, Leafy. I have missed your posts very much.
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  16. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    New Leaf, now there is an idea, a CD retreat!!

    Leaf- years ago when my kids were in their teens I actually did go a strike. I was just mad, tired of being responsible for everyone, hubby included. He worked lot of hours back then, major over-time, I worked full-time, took care of house, pets, kids, sport activities. He tried to help when he could, but it was on my shoulders. I didn't complain, I just did it, until, I couldn't. I got mad and I just stopped doing. I didn't cook, clean, pack lunches, do laundry etc. I took a break. Yep. I tell you the kids noticed and things changed. They did their own laundry, did dishes, packed their lunches from that day on. It was only a few days break, but it worked like a charm. My Mom in law, wonderful lady, mother, wife, took off to the cabin for a few days. She had 4 kids and had just had enough. It was a break well deserved.

    Leafy, you need to go on strike.
  17. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I see so many child/adults who view the world this way: Why does everyone have _______ except me? They look around, jealous of what others have (often even, of their parents), and throw these huge "poor me" pity parties, decide nothing is going to change, and just give up. Often with that, "People can take me or leave me," attitude. My daughter does it. I have friends with child/adult children who do it - living in their parents' basements and off of their parents' incomes, all the while bemoaning how hard life is for THEM. I don't know what it is. Lack of coping skills? Society? Media? An unrealistic view that life should be "fair"? Drugs? Poor peer choices? Psychological disorders? Probably a combination of those and other things. Whatever it is, what they DON'T have is motivation, grit, determination, an ability to set and achieve goals, and an acceptance that there will be setbacks with the realization that they aren't roadblocks.

    Yes, you are going to have to put him out in my opinion, because he is not going to follow through with his end of the agreement. I had to turn my daughter away when she would not follow through - and I would not let her make my life hell or tear my relationships apart. As so many have said, they are resourceful. She is not homeless. She finds people to take her in, feel sorry for her, give her help...before she manipulates them and is tossed to the wind again. It isn't pretty and I hate it for her bc, like your son, no she isn't happy. But she wouldn't be happy anywhere. Happy can't be put in a box with a bow. It comes from within. However, she gets by. I hope that when she gets tired of being tired, tired of being unhappy, tired of an untethered life, she will change. It doesn't matter how tired I am of it...nothing will change until she is tired of it, truly tired of it, and not just saying she is.
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  18. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly Active Member

    Walrus, that is it exactly. Kids in this era are so different then we were growing up. I think lot of has to do with society, media, schools and easy child crowd. It's a very me focus mentality. I just read the other day there would be no Honors awards for students at this high school because they didn't want to hurt other kids feelings. What? So the kids that excelled, worked hard, get no recognition because the ones that can't , won't excel, will get offended. Schools are doing away with D's and F's because it's offensive to the child's psyche. They get C- now.

    I think there is a message out there that things will be given to you- you don't have to push yourself, work hard for anything. If you can't make it in life, no worries, there is always a welfare check. You can also be a forever student and rack up 100,000 in tuition bills. No worries, just join a protest and oh gosh, look, you debt will be absolved if not paid off in 10 years.

    I noticed in last couple of winters, which have been brutal in Michigan, that not one teenage kid was out shoveling snow. No kids mowing grass. They sit in their houses and play videos. Hardly ever see kids outside playing anymore.
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  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Lil

    I am all wrapped up in myself because I go back to work tomorrow. I do not think I will be any help but want to chime in anyway. (smile)

    And you will not like what I am going to say. My son is/was dealing with nearly everything your son is. What changed was motivation. Where did he get motivation? He did not want to be homeless anymore. He was kicked out of every other place. He only had us left. He had suffered enough to realize that there was no way we would tolerate him. He had to change. That in itself had never been enough--until he had suffered enough to be motivated to change.

    Still, he is not motivated for one other productive or constructive thing. But he knows we will kick him out in a minute, for an increasingly long list of transgressions. Because---ta da--we have the power now. He does not.

    He was in the fixer upper house 10 minutes from here until he got into an altercation with somebody who wanted to break in. We took pity and let him come back home. Oh wow. Are we tightening up.

    His room is spotless. We do not tolerate moodiness (keep it to yourself and hide out in your room.) He must study. He must work (for us) 6 to 8 hours a day.

    Our only leverage is throwing him out. He knows now. We will.

    It is a process, but first we have to start with: nothing. No leeway. No nothing. That is what worked. Remember? Last September I took him to the train. I was sick of him. He left. I had no interest in talking to him. I would not call. When he called, I would not talk (because he was obsessed with his conspiracy theories). I gave nothing.

    He decided having a family was worth compromising. He had to compromise. Not us. That was the change.

    I am not saying everything is hunky dory. But it is better. And I can see a path forward because that is the only way we will tolerate him--if he is productive and conforms.

    All of your son's issues are his own to address, and his life will develop on the basis of how he addresses them.

    As far as happiness, most people are not happy, they have to learn to be.

    The thing is, you and Jabber have learned to be happy. Get tough, Lil. You can do it.

    If he does not want to work, fine. He will be homeless. Then, he will work.

    You know the answers (to every one of his questions). That helps him not at all. He needs to find them.
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  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Except. For some of our kids, the history of their growing up, and especially school, has taught them that motivation doesn't count, that grit and determination don't get you anywhere, that goals are meaningless, and that setbacks ARE roadblocks. And then ... they are suddenly adults, and expected to act like their peers, but they have not had the life experiences to build the necessary skills. I have a kid like that. A different set of challenges and symptoms than Lil and Jabber's son, but some of the same lessons to learn.