It's hard to get too worked up...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by witzend, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    about our grown kids' self-imposed BS. Especially when they're not living with us and we aren't in their stuff all the time. THANK GOODNESS!

    I mentioned something a week or so ago about M coming over and wanting something in writing for us about college tuition. I made husband deal with getting the particulars from M and we looked into to see what was going on before anything happened. Here's the deal...

    M left home just after he was 16 years old in the fall of his Jr. year and was soon made a ward of the court for having been convicted of assaulting husband. He spent time in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and then eventually went into an Independently Learning Center where they were to help him figure out how to get on with his life because we were such awful people that he couldn't possibly ask us for anything. (ie: people would have realized that he was a con artist if they had to deal with us.) At one point, they asked us to fill out paperwork for his college loan applications. We told them to send him to the high school guidance counselor and his Probation Officer, as he was no longer in our custody. He chose not to do that. Of course, everyone thought we were awful, but it really didn't have anything to do with us. Too bad they called themselves experts in helping kids who were not in their parents' custody.

    Fast forward to this year. M has a girlfriend, and cons her into getting an apartment of their own together in spite of having promised her that he would save a certain amount of money up before hand. Her problem. And I could see the writing on the wall. By June, he has lost his job and is collecting "funemployment". He did ask what to do, and I told him to make an appointment right then with Vocational Rehab (as he has muscular dystrophy) and to apply for financial aid for college. I also told him that he'd better work hard at getting a job. Nah, he's camping and playing and this and that. The girlfriend dumps him by August. And that's when he comes to our house.

    He has gone to the FASFA site and has determined that he needs to show whether he is independent or our dependent. For some reason he has determined that he can't say he's independent even though one of the questions is "Between the ages of 13 and 18 years were you ever a made ward of the Court?" The answer is yes, and that makes him independent of us. Instead, he has gone to the college and said that we won't pay for his tuition. They tell him he needs a letter from two independent sources that will show that

    - Parents are UNABLE, due to incapacitation, institutionalization, or disappearance, to participate in the application process,


    - Student is UNABLE, based on fear of physical and violent confrontation OR because of past abuse issues, to obtain parental information.

    OK, so none of that is true. And if we wrote a letter for him it would be absolute proof that none of that is true. All he has to do is answer the question about being a ward of the court truthfully. husband told him we wouldn't write anything, and if he needs proof of having been a ward of the court M needs to go to the juvenile court and get a copy of the judge's order. End of story. I mean, obviously it's way too late at this point to apply for financial aid for this term, but whose fault is that? His.

    He got so caught up in his "back story" all of those years he never once thought to actually take advantage of all of the opportunities that were available to him to go ahead and get into college either then, or to know what the requirements are so that he could go forward with it when he was ready. He's 23 years old and graduated from high school 5 years ago. He could have graduated college by now. He could have just come and asked for help figuring the process out any time in the last 5 years. But to come to us and ask us to write a letter that says that we're mentally incompetent or in jail, or that we're going to physically assault M so it's unsafe for us to know his location?

    All I can say is that I'm glad that we determined a long time ago that this is the path he is choosing and we can't make these decisions for him.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    P.S. husband talked to M this morning. I'm not clear who contacted whom. M is utilizing some sort or resource from unemployment to work on a two year degree, and attending classes that he late registered for, hoping that the instructor will eventually allow him into the course and/or someone else will drop the course and he can take their spot. M says he is also going to pursue getting info on his status as a ward of the court. I'm glad that he is at least trying, but again, it's hard to get too worked up that he is planning some sort of college degree with this lack of planning or prep. Then again, maybe he'll find it to be something that he really likes and this will turn his life around. You never know, I guess...
  3. Lori4ever

    Lori4ever New Member

    I think when we get into positions like this with our kids, we can only hope! One time at a time! I hope for botth your sakes, he does actively try.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Witz, I think my first instinct would be to write a letter for him - laying it all out in plain English, which of course would totally blow up his "back story" (I often wonder how they keep all their stories straight!).

    But I think you're right in just sitting back and letting him figure it out. I guess I kinda hope that if our kids do something on their own, especially if it takes any amount of effort at all, that perhaps they'll hold on to it and take advantage of the opportunity. Heaven knows, nothing I've ever tried to help thank you with- ever meant anything to him.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Arent there are few MORE questions on that application besides just those? I know other kids who get FASFA without parental income counted who werent wards of the court and arent afraid of abuse. They simply moved away from home and became independent financially.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Janet, there are a lot more questions than that to determine financial independence, but none of the rest apply to him. Here's the link if anyone is interested:

    ie: was he born before 1/1/86, is he a veteran, is he applying for a masters, is he married, does he have children, a LOT of questions about being in your programs after 7/1/08 (he was 22, so no). The only one that applies to making M independent is was he ever a ward of the court?
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    If he facilitated some help through unemployment for a 2 year college degree most likely he's gotten into a Workforce Incentive Act or WIA program. He can than President Bill Clinton for that little gem. ;)

    Free college money.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Whatever it is, I hope that he will find himself there... ;)
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like he's figuring it out bit by bit. That's not a bad thing. Took Travis 3 yrs to finally get it right.

    Travis asked us to sign something........heck I'm not even sure what it was now.....and we wouldn't. Took a heck of alot of convincing to get me to apply for that parental loan thing.......that I knew we'd get turned down for, just because we might not have been turned down for it. But I relented only because it was the only way for the kid to get more funds out of FASFA.

    Evidently our govt believes that parents are responsible for putting their grown kids thru college.

    Let's see........I have no say whatsoever in any other aspect of the kid's life, but you expect me to foot a bill that I could use to possibly buy a house to send the kid to college???

    Uh, no. Don't think so. I think I've spent too many years in my life being dirt poor. lol

    If he wants it bad enough........he'll figure out a way to make it happen. Once he figures out how to make it happen, after doing all that work, he's more likely to see it thru to the end.

    That's my philosophy and I'm sticking to it. :D
  10. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I was talking with a prospective law student a couple of years ago (I work at a law library) and he said he was 26 years old but they still wanted to know about his parents' finances. He said he did not expect or want his parents to help him with law school tuition but their income was still considered when he applied for financial aid! Makes no sense to me.