Hi everyone! It's been a while since I updated only because I have lots of little news, but no sudden big news. And I am back to work full time+ for now, unexpected but not unwelcome. Definitely exhausting! The winds of change have been blowing hard here since September…some of this may be repetitive, I've mentioned it in bits and pieces afraid of jinxing it all - but long story long (as if I could write concisely HA) H owned his own (14 yo business) that had been struggling for the past 3-4 years. When my dad died in 08, we were building our dream home and H's business was thriving. Swap the happy wife in charge of the new house for a grief stricken wife trying to give attn. to her crazy widowed mother " and you have a husband who loses focus. Throw in a wonky economy, a new, much bigger house & mtge, a easy child turning into a difficult child and a well-meaning husband who gets over leveraged in an attempt not to trouble his already troubled wife …and BOOM! Now, we were getting the business out of debt at great personal expense and were seeing some light ahead " 2 years away - when H was unexpectedly offered a great job with really wonderful benefits. It meant giving up on our dream, a base salary much lower than his salary had been b4 the business crisis, assuming some business debt as personal (doable but *ouch*) and walking away from the enormous amount of money we had invested in the biz. But it was a way out and a lifeline and he accepted VERY gratefully. A big weight off of the shoulders! We are 99% thrilled but it was hard to say goodbye to a dream and to accept that the great personal sacrifices we made for the business didn't pay off in the end. But the new job is a tremendous blessing-he started Sept 1 - and I am so thankful. Me? I am back to work FT unexpectedly. I was working for my family business on an as needed basis " a few hours a week from home- when it became evident that the business needed someone to pay much closer attention to the financial end. So, I have been putting out fires, crisis to crisis, for 6 months. I'm working 50-60 hours a week " still mostly from home " but commuting 91 miles each way to the office 1-2 times a week. It was meant to be a 2x a month commute, and 20 hours a week from home and I keep saying it will calm down, but it hasn't happened. One can hope. It's very emotionally preoccupying to be working with my brothers again. Everything is so 'loaded' and I am trying to build a bridge. The hard fought, drama filled increase in pay was welcome-but was based on the 20 hour work week. I can't keep up this pace at my pay; the commute is costing me more than I am earning! So, I may have some more uncomfortable wage negotiations in my near future. I am not looking forward to that! But the real news is that difficult child is back home. And it's pretty good. We have a rough spots here and there; he sleeps too late, he's should work more hours, he is always wearing his sweat shirt hood up while in the house, he stays out really late sometimes " but nothing out of the typical teen ordinary. Of course, any rough spot sends my mind into the wrong place " it's like difficult child ptsd. We are taking it day by day and trying not to think too far ahead. He's working at a sub shop, but not getting the hours he was promised. He's passing time there until his summer landscape job restarts. He borrowed rent money from husband a few weeks ago, but couldn't repay it and hoped that we wouldn't notice instead of fessing up right away. He is still on the hook for his apt in the college town and has one more month left to pay. My H has been a saint. difficult child came home for a few extended stays in the fall, and them came home the week before Thanksgiving through most of January. difficult child went back to his college town (as though he were a student - yep, he is still pretending to himself) in late January. He called us about a week later and asked for bus fare home. He said he was finished living there. I wanted to go pick him up. If he was coming back; I wanted him moved out completely from his apt. I didn't want him to have the option of fleeing from here and going back there. I was thinking mostly about myself and my own comfort level. If he was home, this was going to be his only home. Of course, I was stuck at work that day and my incredible H made the 250 mile trip to get difficult child AND all of his stuff and drove him back home the same day. By the time I got home, difficult child had unpacked every last bit, hung his posters on his bedroom wall, and he emptied every box and bag, storing the household stuff he didn't need. It's been 2 months and I haven't seen him altered, but what the heck do I know? I look. The liquor cabinet is locked, I kiss him goodnight to check. NADA. I go thru his stuff sometimes. He does turn 21 in a few days and it's a knot in my stomach. I know he drinks when out with friends, I don't know how much. He does spend the night at friends' apts when he will out late. He is allowed to use H's car to get to and from work and occasionally for leisure. I took the advice of someone here and 'the car' has a curfew of 12:30 even if difficult child does not. He's honored it to the T and is not drinking and driving. H is using pc18's car for now, and has told difficult child that he needs to save to buy his own car to drive. Once easy child is home from school, difficult child won't have wheels. We haven't given him any money aside from a few dollars here or there to pick up dinner when the kitchen is bare. He brings back the change without being asked. He cleans up after himself, does the dishes, and empties the garbage. He's been a good big brother to pc16 and he's home most nights. He's been respectful. He's even been pleasant and occasionally even he is the warm and loving boy who stole my heart! Every once in a while, I see him bristle and my stomach falls. But even the bristling has been reduced. I have no idea what we are doing. We aren't scratching the surface too deep. We know that pushing for answers sends him running; yet at the same time " we are holding standards and trying not to drink his kool-aid. WE ARE WINGING IT! We are still in the polite houseguest mode sometimes. Other times, he acts like a son - he is even deferential on occasion He has been very respectful. No raised voices or clenched fists. But that was never his MO, he was never defiant until that day he moved out in fury, (repeated a few times, of course). The true test will be when his friends return for the summer. We did have a few uneasy moments when he had friends home for spring break last week. typical teen, perhaps but also triggers my difficult child ptsd*. Late nights, forgot to call, didn't let me know he wouldn't be home for dinner, came home at 4:30am because he got stuck without a ride, but then apologized profusely on his own. And still made it to work on time. Such an enigma. I know it can be typical young man stuff, but I cannot live a summer like that. been there done that, got the Tee Shirt and boy was it hideous and scratchy. He wants to go to school in Sept. and met with an admissions counselor at the local State Uni branch last week. He was incredulous and a bit angry when she told him he only has a 50/50 shot of getting in. Oh how the mighty have fallen…He needs to at least try to get his former school to turn some of those Fs into Ws. And he needs to appeal to them to do so. He hasn't done it yet. He did ask if *I* would write the letter for him, and I said I didn't think that would work out. He has some options, but he needs to be ott motivated if he really wants to go back full time. He also must pay his outstanding tuition bill to make his transcript available. Interestingly enough, the former school (state uni) seized his state tax refund. He still owed 1600 of the original 2000 bill and it's nearly 2 years old. Some things haven't changed. He made over 8000 last summer, and paid his fun first and didn't pay his obligations or save for his rent. We have not offered to pay it for him and will not give him money for his birthday. Similarly, he has money for concert tickets, but borrowed money from dad for the rent. I think he was counting on the tax refund to repay his dad. SIGH. He also has stated he plans to get an apt in the city near the school when (if!) he attends there in the fall instead of commuting from home. Claims he can afford $500 a month. He is still Joe Isuzu when it comes to anything school related " he thinks he will get in, ace his classes etc just by virtue of being himself. He is way too overconfident and has an inflated sense of his talents. I use my phrases to detach and try not to engage. I offer support without money. It would be so easy to buy into it; but wishing it were so won't make it come true; Know what I mean?? Baby steps, I have to remind myself, baby steps. I am hoping that being in a secure place with nice things, nourishing meals and the people who love him will be restorative. As though the bounty sheets I put in the dryer have magic powers! I know he is home because he really had nowhere else to go. I am trying not to have any illusions. He has snowed us before; turned on us quickly, unexpectedly and with hate and then stayed away. I am trying to keep my guard up and not let my hopes take hold of my heart. And yet... He is home, we have a relationship and I know he is OK " I need to let that be enough for now. It is so much more than where we were a year ago... And may the board gods please keep the board curse far away from us… * difficult child ptsd - no offense to those with real ptsd - I realize it's not to be taken lightly!