Still treading water here...maybe back in the shallow end for a bit.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Signorina, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    difficult child came "home" for a week or so in September - to work and to see one of easy child's JV fball games. It was nice to have him here. Again, we didn't scratch the surface too deeply - just enjoyed his company and he was great. He was home for about 9 days and headed back "to school." We tried to get him to stay a little longer, but he wanted to go back for Homecoming. (which is so disconcerting to me. I want to remind him that he doesn't go to school)

    He was adamant that he wanted to join us for PC18's Parent Weekend - difficult children college town is on the way - and then come home to work for a bit. That was like a dream come true in a way. PC18 is at a great school - conservative, high performing, Catholic, has an old school close knit vibe. I was hoping that it would illustrate to difficult child exactly what he was missing. I don't know - I just wanted him to look around and think "I could HAVE this - what the heck is wrong with me for turning my back on this??" (Kind of how I feel. Makes me want to go back to school and take a do over!)

    So, of course, there was no "come to the Light" revelation moment. But we did pick him up on our way to visit easy child. He made it a point to invite us into his apartment and to show me his very clean room and folded rows of clothes!

    easy child's school is 2 hours away from difficult child's apartment. difficult child stayed with us in the hotel,and easy child got to show him around his new city and his school. PC15 was thrilled to have both of his brothers to hang out with, shoot hoops with and to tease him! They BOTH stayed with PC18 in his dorm room on Saturday night. Dare I say it was like old times? Of course, there was a little brotherly jockeying for position - difficult child talked about his Univ in the present tense - "we just got a whole new student center", "I think our Spring Breaks are the same"; stuff like that. He still talks about school in the present tense and H and I have to bite our tongues not to remind him that he DOESN'T go to school. But we don't want to antagonize him. It's like an elephant in the room that only H and I can see. A blinking neon sign alternating between "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?" and "GET IT TOGETHER (and let us tell you how!)"

    PC18 is great, has a whole new maturity and is THRIVING (thank you guardian angels) away at school. Happy, healthy, balanced, focused. Mama is breathing easier; after difficult child - I was terrified to send easy child away and I am now feeling more confident. He and his roommate have bonded well, grades are good, he is adjusting well.

    So -difficult child came back with us after parent's weekend and has been back "home" for a week and I believe he intends to stay until the 31st. He is working about 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. I think it's good for him. He is re-bonding with his boss - which is good - his boss is a great guy and role model. difficult child had been frustrated with him, but I think that was part of difficult child's tough guy bravado + the ex girlfriend influence . And PC15 is so thrilled to have his brother around. They were so close for so long and it's nice to seem them reconnecting.

    I am having my surgery on the 11/1, and am hoping he may stick around for another week. It would be helpful to have him here. But I won't ask, I am hoping he volunteers.

    Which sums up the way things are going. Our expectations are nada. We expect nothing. He asks for nothing. He doesn't really tell us his plans for the future except he told H that he intends to re-enroll for the January term (6 week intensive) and then for the Spring term. Something which does not seem feasible but we wont shoot it down. We only know the information he volunteers. He has not asked our opinion nor our advice. On occasion, we can't help but give him our thoughts. He is ALWAYS polite but shuts it down pretty quick. So, we tread water. PC18 says that difficult child really wants to get back into school. I hope he is right. And I hope - if so - he will find the motivation to succeed this time. I am not seeing the driven motivated student within in him, so I am not getting my hopes up.

    Dare I say - it's been good? He's home every night - he did spend Friday night in the city at a concert and slept on a couch, but we picked him up later Sat afternoon. He is pleasant and helpful. Not volatile. He's clearer; kinder. The girlfriend is definitely an "EX-girlfriend" and not showing up on any radar. I don't see any sign of use, but I didn't see it when he was actively using either. (I've checked his stuff and I haven't found anything.) He IS much calmer. I am hopeful but wary. And we are winging it. I am not sure how long we can tread water. But I will do it as long as I can. I just hope the thaw continues and he eventually opens up. But I am not willing to upset the peace by pressing. I have a large bit of my boy back. Even if it's just a mirage for now. I will take it for as long as it lasts. I don't know that I am realistic, but it's enough for now.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Enjoy it! :) I'm glad things are better!

    He is old enough that you don't need to know everything he does. What good will it do? If he volunteers information, listen (this is what I did with my daughter). If he doesn't, I wouldn't ask as long as he is good company.

    I hope this nice trend continues!
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Sounds very hopeful, Sig. I think he is coming around, slowly but surely, and on his terms. I think he wants to find a way to be a role model again for his brothers, while his brothers actually may be role models for him. That's OK - whatever gets the job done. I'm glad he's showing courtesy and no signs of using. That's the most important step right now. Hope he stays home for your surgery.
  4. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    This sounds great. It seems like he is sorting it out and doing it on his own. And that can be a good thing. I know you want to help him and guide him, but if he does it on his own way, it is even more meaningful. Taking responsibility of his own messes and trying to find the solutions on his own will help him to mature even beyond his years. It seems like he is not in any direct danger, he is taking care of himself and while him not opening up to you makes you nervous I'm sure, just giving him time to work it out may well end up him coming out of it much stronger. Not saved by mom and dad but making it by himself. That is a huge thing.
  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I think you are doing a wonderful job at allowing your difficult child to own his truth...without it becoming about you and husband. So hard to practice "non-interference".

    I always enjoy hearing about how well your son's get much they truly like each other.
    My son's are always competing with one upmanship kind of thing.

    I'm hopeful for you too!
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sig, I think this all sounds really good and you are doing a marvelous job of keeping your mouth shut!! I think the fact that he can spend time with the family in a normal, healthy respectful way is huge and a good sign that he is not using or at least not using in a major way....

  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree you are doing a marvelous job at keeping your thoughts to yourself and allowing him to preserve his dignity so that when he is ready to tell more he knows you won't attack him. It was interesting that your said easy child said difficult child wants to get back to school, does that mean the easy child knows he is not going to school now? Do you think difficult child is telling easy child more than he is telling you?

    I have high hopes that your difficult child will someday get it together and want to go back to school. It may not be the school he was originally in and that probably wouldn't be a good idea. He may want a fresh start. I think the fact that he can still enjoy these outings with his siblings speaks volumes. And the fact that his apartment is neat says a lot more. I think there is a lot to be hopeful about and you are doing just the right thing by allowing him to share what he wants and just enjoy the time you have together.

    I enjoy hearing the updates, keep them coming. And I'll be thinking of you during your surgery.

  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So glad easy child is liking school. Wish we could have met up! Some day if you come visit feel free to pm me then we can see if it is doable. Maybe get others to join us too!

    Your post sounds like a stress break for now....not gone but a break! I'm glad for you, very very glad.
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Buddy - I am hoping *I* can be the one to drive him back to school after Christmas break (2/1?) and I can stay a couple of days and meet up with you and anyone else!! I would LOVE to meet you. I was thinking about driving there to bring him home for Christmas break and get in a little Christmas shopping - but his last exam is 12/21 and even I am not that much of a masochist. Too close to the holiday for me! So, he has a one way ticket to fly home on the 12/21 and (I) will drive him back after break!

    Nancy wrote: It was interesting that your said easy child said difficult child wants to get back to school, does that mean the easy child knows he is not going to school now? Do you think difficult child is telling easy child more than he is telling you

    That's what bugs me. We ALL know that difficult child isn't back in school. He did fess up after the disastrous Christmas break last year that he had failed out and was suspended for a semester. When he moved back in those last few weeks of summer, he did tell H that his college had NOT readmitted him for the fall semester - and I believe it is because he still owes them money from the failed semester. H and I (separately) tried to convince him to stay at home and work full time (while paying his college town apartment - $400 p month - he signed a lease) because at least he would be earning a decent sum and not have to worry about food expenses if he stayed at home. We even told him to go back up to college town for the weekends if he wanted. But he balked and even started to bristle, so we backed off. I know he had planned a job at a major distribution center in his college town, but it didn't work out. He claims due to the distance (he has no car) but I wonder if it is really due to their stringent drug testing policy.

    So honestly - I think he is only trying to kid himself. He is out of touch with reality which bothers me a bit. He hasn't admitted to himself (or anyone else) that he is no longer a student - it's like he is pretending to be someone he is not. He's posing and it really bothers me - because he is posing TO HIMSELF in additiona to everyone else. To save face. He doesn't want his friends & their families, old teachers etc to know he has dropped out. In the meantime - he is now 3 semesters OUT of school - and only actually has 2 semesters under his belt and he doesn't seem to realize that he is getting further away from being enrolled - if that makes sense. I am not quite sure how to put it. He is pretending to be something he is not - and the scary thing is that I think he is pretending to HIMSELF. And of course, I want to set him straight and get him into counseling and set him firmly on the path he seems to want. Honestly, it would be so easy for me to do that. I can clearly see what needs to happen. I have an arsenal of ducks to line up in rows to make it happen.

    That's where the treading water comes in. He doesn't want any suggestion of what to do. He has a plan and he doesn't want our advice or input. It's a stupid plan. (yes, I said it. This is the only place I CAN say it) Even if the first steps of the plan work, it's a plan that sets him up for failure unless he can somehow pull extraordinary dedicated study/student skills out of a hat. And I really doubt that, especially when he is living with those losers. The fact is that his plan hasn't worked thus far. And it's so hard for me to zip my lip and sit on my hands and just nod and say "how nice." But that's what I am doing.

    And in the mean time, I can't help but to think back to last year, last Christmas break when we were similarly treading water (though he was much more hostile and we didn't know that he had failed out) and then had the rug pulled out from under our feet. I don't want to be a SUCKER - Know what I mean?? There are some differences this time - mainly because he is not out every night and he is friendlier and seems much more clear - yet this is still the kid who duped us completely and hurt us so badly. And a part of me knows that if his girlfriend was still in the picture, he wouldn't be back in our lives. Which hurts. I think H and I are trying to let "home" wash over him, let it build up his strength and confidence a bit, let him TRUST us again - but at the same time - that doesn't acknowledge the trust that HE shattered with us.

    So, still winging it and crossing my fingers. And trying not to enable. No car, no money. Just dinner on the table, a warm bed and a home.