Things have been so good...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    that I haven't wanted to post anything. Son is working. girlfriend was (catch the was?) working. Biggest begging I got was for a bus pass, etc., and biggest drama was about their relationship. But his friend who's living there also hasn't started work - 3 weeks now. His girlfriend was fired Friday because McDonald's wanted people who could work the 24 hour shifts and she has to ride the bus.

    Today I got one of the calls I hate. "I'm the only one working. I can't do this by myself. I have no money. I don't know what to do. No one will listen. I can't pay the rent/deposit/utilities." They're still making payments on the deposit and they haven't been paying the electric because girlfriend wasn't working until mid-January.

    My response of: "Call the landlord and talk about the deposit. Call the electric company and put the damn phone in girlfriend 's hand since she won't do it herself and MAKE her make payment arrangements. Find out how to get copies of your check stubs so you can apply for food stamps and energy assistance. Don't spend a penny on anything besides rent and utilities - even if that means you quit smoking and walk to the Salvation Army for meals. You need to start looking for a full-time job or a second part-time job, because while you shouldn't have to do this alone, you may have to anyway." ...did not go over well. He's actually considering not going to work today because he's so upset. Again, my response of: "That's your choice to make, but it would be a damn stupid one." did not go over well. His response was something more like "Better than get fired because I'm in such a bad mood."

    The fact is, he makes $600 per month. He has one more check this month and it will be about $300.00. Then rent will be due before the next paycheck. His girlfriend last check will be only about $100.00. Rent is $375. Utilities ... he thinks the bill is going to be well over $300. They still owe $275 of the deposit. I fully understand why he's freaking out. He can't pay all this (plus $40 on the phone and $40 for bus passes plus food) on $600 per month. I don't think his friend has even looked for work. Now girlfriend isn't working and hasn't tried since she got fired Friday to find another job. He's actually trying and he's terrified of getting kicked out of the place he's in.

    I want to help. But I really can't. Because it won't "help".

    I sent him a text after he got mad and stopped talking to me. I told him, "I know you're upset and I don't blame you, I would be too. You need to give yourself a bit, then calm down and take it one step at a time. 1. Call landlord and see about skipping the deposit payment. 2. Call the power company and make a payment plan. 3. Find out how to get check stubs so you can reapply for Food Stamps and electric assistance. You aren't the only one ever to be in this position. Panicking will stop you from thinking. You can get through this. I believe in you. It will get better." or words to that effect.

    I just hate this. He actually is TRYING. Granted, not as hard as he should. Yes, he should be working full-time. I know he's spent some money foolishly. I know he hasn't budgeted well. But he's working and maintaining a job and actually trying. I want so badly for him to succeed.

    I wish I were more detached. I wish it were possible to not worry so much. :(

    And this problem is so very minor compared to so many on this board these days...I almost I hadn't posted it. I guess I just need a pep talk or a swift kick in the pants to keep my perspective.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hey Lil, you know what I was thinking as I read your post?
    He is learning......learning some valuable life lessons. Time will only tell what he takes away from all of this. But, he will understand that it sucks when people are not as reliable as he might have thought (friends). That is huge right there, because around 18-28, these kids think friends are everything and we are just the old fuddy-dud parents who sound like broken records. So, can you imagine the conversations son must be having with friend and girlfriend? I am betting he sounds like a chip off the old block about working and contributing to the household. If he is uttering words like this to his friends, he is hearing himself saying them and rethinking his life.....learning. AWESOME.
    It isn't about major or minor problems, it's about supporting one another. These are our kids, we want them to succeed at LIFE, this includes all sorts of stuff along the way. I am glad he is trying. The cards are actually switched on him, he is the responsible one, having to give his friends "the talk".
    Imagine that?

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  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Lil, Deep breath.......step back from the emotions that his predicament brings up in you. Your responses are spot on. He is growing-up. It is painful, and it is full of learning moments for him. You are resisting the urge to rescue him. This is painful for you. You are both learning from this situation. You go girl!!!!!!
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Leafy, you are just the most awesome person. :hugs: You too Pasajes. I appreciate everyone here so much!

    I know he's saying a lot of the same stuff. He's said it to me...back when girlfriend was looking for work, that he'd told her, "You can't just put in an application and hope someone calls. You have to follow up!" If I had a dime for all the times we said that to him...

    I guess I'm just so worried that, now that he's finally trying to do right, it'll all fall apart. I know my son. "If I try and it falls apart, then why try at all?" will be his response. His plan had been each of them contribute $200 a month and there would be more than enough for rent/electric/etc. While that's the same as what he earns, he's paying rent pretty much alone, there's now a big utility bill, he has to buy food and such, his entire paycheck is gone each payday and so it's not getting paid. :(

    He did say to me that if he has to get a second job or a different full-time job, he'll be kicking out everyone else because "If I have to do it all myself, why should I pay for them too?" I agreed with that completely.

    I just hope they get jobs soon and this works out. :(
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Lil, you did great. He can do this. He has proven he can. Keep letting him solve his own problems. He is learning how. Kudos to your entire family.
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Lil, I think that was a great post!
    Yes, you're son is still struggling but he is now beginning to see what it's like to be the only one "giving" and others "taking"
    I think the advice you texted him was awesome. I love the part about panicking will stop you from thinking.
    He is making progress. It might be baby steps and he still may fall on his bum but he's moving forward.
    You are doing GREAT in how you are dealing with him, offering him gentle advice and love.
  7. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hey Lil,

    Nice to 'see' you here. You don't post enough!

    Difficult roommates in your 20s? Par for the course. This is called NORMAL!

    Remind him that life is made up of challenges. And he is up for it.

    He is doing great, Lil.

    So are you.

  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Trust me when I say that we've reminded him of this on numerous occasions. While his concept of how to live is slowly changing for the better, he still tends to have the attitude that if he puts out minimal effort then the universe should align and everything work out in his favor.

    I hope this is what happens. One life lesson he desperately needs to learn is to tend to your own business and let others tend to theirs. Most of the time he firmly ties his fate to the actions of other people.
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I agree. His plan was not a bad one. He and his girlfriend together could make ends meet okay even with two, part-time jobs. But having his friend share the expense freed up the majority of their money. He planned on saving for a cheap car and he said they'd be able to get a better apartment, a two bedroom, after this lease was up. But it all depends on having everyone else be reliable too. That just doesn't always happen.
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    He WILL learn it. He is in the process right now.

    May just take some time.
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  11. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Sorry, had to go do something at work so couldn't correct myself on this. Realized how harsh this sounded so thought I'd clarify. Not saying I hope he gets better work then kicks everyone out. Hope he gets better work then gives them the ultimatum to get work soon and help or get gone.

    I don't see the stoner friend hanging around after that and, while I have nothing personal against this person, I dont consider him a good influence and would like to see him gone. It may also force the girlfriend to re-evaluate their relationship. He quickly burned bridges with her by taking financial advantage of her infatuation with him in the beginning and him being responsible to this degree may be enough to start rebuilding those bridges a bit. Whether they stay together or not after that is kind of irrelevant as long as he continues to improve his life.
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, (according to him) she thinks since she supported him, he now needs to support her. An understandable position, but not necessarily doable at this time. He said the other day that since she (and we) paid the rent in December and I'm not sure what happened in January, but she wasn't working so he had to pay that on his own unless she came back with Christmas money, February I know they split...but anyway he says she thinks he should pay on his own now. But the money isn't there to do it and just because maybe he should, doesn't mean he can. He definitely should pay her back as soon as he can - but rent and electric and food have to come first. Being right isn't worth much if you are out on the street.
  13. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I wasn't aware of this but its not terribly surprising. And agreed, understandable but not really doable at this time.
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    So yesterday I dropped off a bus pass in his mailbox. Tonight I got a text that his roommate has a job interview at Arby's (where he works) tomorrow. He said he's sure that he'll get the job, because they know how much Difficult Child needs more money in the house.

    I hope so. Don't know exactly why it took him four weeks to get work, but I didn't say that. Yeah...that would have been a mistake. lol

    I hate how worked up I get. I honestly don't want to. But he calls and gets me worried and I have this constant low-level panic feeling afterwards that just doesn't go away. I wish he really understood how it affects me. Maybe he'd even care.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lil - He probably cares more than you think, but... he's "only" 20. It will take a while before he can see the world through the eyes of others. He's still trying to get his own tiny world figured out.
  16. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Just catching up here and I think he is making tremendous progress! This is what progress looks like, not all pretty and perfect, but steps. Big steps, little steps...steps forward. He is starting to ***think*** and he is starting to grow up. This is exactly what you (and we) have all been hoping and praying for.

    I think this is great stuff that you sent him. I remember Difficult Child doing this exact same stuff, calling and dumping it all on me again and again. I would get all twisted up and I can tell you I didn't handle it as well as you did here. I would get so frustrated and furious, not understanding why in the world he was still struggling with what I considered to be...very...basic...things. Anyway...our DCs grow up later than others...

    And it probably will a couple or few more times. Just brace yourself for it. And think about it...that's what WE do step forward and two back. That is being fully human. I think it's great that he is having to deal with the girlfriend and the friend because again, that's real life. People don't come through like you want them do, and then you have to figure out what YOU will do. It's such a learning process and he is learning. We never learn when things are hunky dory. We learn through discomfort. That is what he is doing.

    Lil, keep on trying hard just to listen...and do nothing else. I know that is very hard to do when a simple $50 or $100 is the difference between living on the street and one more month...when someone is trying...and you will have to make those tough calls as they come. You and Jabber can decide when to help and when to wait. It's exhausting but this is a very crucial time for him in his own go slow...and go carefully.

    Breathe, like Pasa said. Take care of YOU so you can do this.

    This is really great news. Hang in there!!!