Strength in detachment...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by toughlovin, May 15, 2011.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    This detachment thing is so hard when it comes down to it. My son seems to be doing ok. He has a job. He is meeting with probation. He is living in a bad place and he and girlfriend are trying to get an apartment. So I want to give him support when i can. He just texted me and asked if I could give him a ride to probation and then to work as everyone else in the house has to work and he doesn't have a ride, and it is a long way to bike......

    OK so first of all he is living about 20 mintues from us and driving him is way way out of our way. It is completely in the opposite direction fo my work. He would need a ride in the middle of the day when both my husband and I have meetings at work. It really is nuts for me to even be thinking of doing it. Plus I don't want to set a precedent for us being his back up ride... I mean really it would cost me a couple of hours time wise.

    I know intellectually that this is his problem to figure out and that in fact he could bike (not sure he even has a bike) or take the train and walk. Yes it is a long way but sometimes to be successful you have to do things that are hard. It is not freezing or snowing out. This has to be his problem to solve.

    My temptation though is to make the sacrifice and jump in and help him.

    Of course it bugs me to all get out that he only gets in touch when he needs something from us.

    I did text him back that we had meetings and could not do it and suggested he check out the train.

    I haven't heard back and I probably won't.... and I need to let it go and let him figure it out.

    Ugh detachment is often easier said than done but I am doing it. Or at least it looks to him like I am doing it, even though I feel a bit churned up inside right now.
  2. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    its understandable. He seems to want to be doing the right things and you want to help him do the right thing. But since this seems to be an ongoing need (getting a ride to probation/work) you are smart to let him figure it out on his own. Lots of secondhand places have bikes too if he doesn't have one. It is so hard not to jump in and solve their problems. Good for you for resisting the temptation. It is so hard and we feel so guilty....
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Can you help him to get an inexpensive bike? That seems like a good solution, helping him to move forward without enabling.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Well the bike thing is hard.... because we gave him a really nice bike a couple of years ago and last year he sold it for $100 for drug money which was incredibly stupid on his part.... it is once again another tough lesson for him. So I really don't want to get him another bike....sounds like he may have use of one actually but I don't know. I know he can be pretty entitled and hopefully this whole experience of being on his own will be humbling.

    One place I get stuck is feeling like he will just then call in sick or blow off work but really once again that is not my problem. If he is going to get an apartment and keep it he has to go to work and he has to figure out how to get there and back. And I have to have faith that he will figure it out somehow without my coming to his rescue.
  5. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    You did good, TL!

    Drivng him around is an easy thing to fall into, and it quickly becomes accepted as the normal state and expected, which breeds resentment in the chauffeur. When difficult child was at home in 2009, and I was out of a job, I drove difficult child all over town to endless doctor appointments, trips to DHS, her job when she had it, etc. She took the attitude, "You won't let me drive, I have places I need to go, you don't, therefore you owe me." wife found this logic unassailable. Once in a while we all agreed that difficult child needed to walk, ride the bus, etc. but nothing ever came of it. (And I must admit public transit back home is awful - most places are simply impossible to get to with-out private transportation.) After I started working again, out of state, wife suddenly discovered what a pain the constant driving was - she ended up letting difficult child drive herself, which ultimately was disastrous.

    I have a bike that I ride to the train station. Got it free from a friend of wife's in return for doing her yard work. Also they can be found at yard sales and thrift stores for very cheap. I even bought a decent 18-speed road bike for difficult child for $20 - she rode it one time. I resold it for $15.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree. You did good, especially if it is going to put you out of your way to do it.

    It may not be pleasant for him to walk or bike, but he will survive, and honestly if he does it to keep his job and move forward, he'll be a better person for it.

    I'm having similar issues with katie and family it seems. First it was the reception, which she didn't go to due to me not having enough room in the car, plus no desire to really take them. Now it's Aubrey's birthday party which is an hour and a half away which I know katie's kids have been counting on attending. It's the same problem. I can't fit that many people into one car, and no way in the world am I taking two cars with gas as high as it is. car needs tires and every time I drive it that far I'm worried about a flat. easy child flat out and says no, she won't even take a few to better fit them into my car. So.....welp that's out. No way katie can get transport that far. So, it's gonna be a no go for them again. Sigh. I just can't wait to hear the whining and the guilt trip she tries to lay on me for it.

    Oh, and because I was kind and took her for that first huge grocery trip when she moved in? Now........she expects me to pick her up anytime I go to the store. Only I don't because I shop with easy child. Save me gas and she helps me with couponing so I don't mess up. Walmart and kroger both are down the road from her. It may be a pain to walk to shop, but it's not unreasonable for her to do so when she's done it for a decade or more. ugh Irks me. It's not my fault she has no car and now no driver's license. And currently? She's got more free money than we do. omg

    So........just think through the whole "is this really going to help him" thing and the "am I going to be put out of my way to do this.........and how long will it be expected to last" before you be kind and volunteer.

  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Doing good. These are the hard lessons that bring about better decisions ( hopefully).
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I think you did GOOOOD!
    Let this be HIS problem...his situation to work out. He got himself into the situation...he can find his way out.

    GOOD for you that you did NOT let his history of lack of effort, forthought, responsibility and general gfgness get in the way of YOUR LIFE.

    My guess is this has happened in the past AND it didn't do any good anyway. Might have even made things we inadvertantly send the wrong message....leading to entitlement....last thing in the world our difficult children need!

    Yep, let him work out his own difficult situations.

    I wouldn't even CONSIDER helping him unless he earns it and earns it consistently and clearly and even then I would do so in a very limited way.

    You are wise and strong.
  9. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I have heard no more from him which is kind of driving me nuts.... I keep checking my texts to see if he sent me anything.... but I guess he either got there or he didn't. I am really glad I clearly could not do it today because of work becuase like HereWeGoAgain said it would have set a terrible terrible precedent and really taking 2 hours out of my work day to drive him around would not help him and would in fact hurt me!!!

    I have to remember when things get really bad he calls us, so not hearing from him really means things are probably ok.