Update...yeesh.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    My son has been working steadily...granted part-time work, but close to 30 hours per week. He's had this job since November. The problem is, he's the only one. His girlfriend was fired because she couldn't work before 7 or after 5 - the only times the bus runs. His friend who moved up here at the end of January worked about 3 days at Arby's with my son, and quit. There are jobs. There are jobs walking distance from their apartment. They just don't apply. :mad:

    My son is trying to pay the rent, $375 per month, the deposit (which is supposed to be $50 a month), and food, etc., on his one, part-time salary while the other two sit on their butts and don't work. We all know how that goes - most of us have had this happen BY our difficult kids.

    I can't fix this. I can't make them work. He can't make them work. He can't kick out the girlfriend, because she's on the lease, although if he gave an ultimatum she'd probably go home to her dad. He CAN kick out his friend...which I've suggested only to be yelled out. I told him to give the man - (not kid - this guy is nearly 30!) - a deadline to get a damn job or get out. You'd think I was suggesting he just murder the man. His response was basically "they'll leave and I still won't have help". When I asked how that would make him any worse off, the response is that he'll be all alone and have no one. Breaks my heart.

    I told him the only other thing he can do then is just find a full-time job or a second part-time job so he can pay for everything himself...you can imagine how well that goes over. "Why should I work so they don't?" Well he's doing that NOW - only he can't pay the bills! So now it takes 100% of his income and they still don't work. But he doesn't want to be able to pay the bills because they won't work. It's this sad circular argument.

    The electric bill hasn't been paid since December and if he doesn't come up with $140 by the end of the week it'll be disconnected. I know. I shouldn't be thinking of giving it to him but I am. Jabber and I have talked and well, I'm sure he would be more likely than me to let it get shut off...but that just leads to more problems: the inability to cook, the inability to charge phones, reconnect fees, deposits needed when reconnecting...and darn it it's just not ALL my son's fault this time! I'm sure he's spent money foolishly too. I'm sure he's bought cigarettes and pizza and such when he shouldn't have. I know he should have taken care of this sooner. But he's not 100% to blame and I hate for him to be penalized when he's the ONLY person in that apartment trying. If the others - even one of them - had a job this wouldn't be happening.

    I'm very conflicted. He went to the Samaritan Center, but there was no money to be had to stop the disconnect. Of course, he's calling me so down in the dumps, alternating from raging to being near tears. IF I do this, I guarantee I will be demanding that I get to speak my peace and will make it very clear that this won't be done again. They have to get jobs and start helping pay for things or they'll be homeless again - well HE will be. The others have places to go. :(

    I want to help him! I want to show him that his work is paying off...that he's doing well. I just don't know what else I can do.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  2. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hmmm...tough one. He HAS come a long way. You want to acknowledge that. He's been doing great since you stepped back, but might that partly or largely be BECAUSE you stepped back? And I don't really think you can "buy" the right to speak your mind, or guarantee that it won't happen again. That's out of your control. Having your power shut off is a natural consequence of having deadbeat roommates. I would probably let the chips fall where they may. What you're doing is working, so why change it? Once the power is off, maybe the roomie and girlfriend will see there is no free ride here. If you step in, what motivation would they have to step up?
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ok, so that's one side of it.

    The other side is, the power goes off... and the other two walk away, and leave him with exactly what he fears.

    There is no right answer.

    This isn't the first "bit" of help. It may not be the last. You sometimes have to go with your gut. Not your heart, and not your head. Sometimes it doesn't make sense - but it can still be the right thing to do.
     
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    We HAVE helped on occasion. Bus passes. Groceries. He does laundry at our house. Nothing big. I just cant see the good to come from letting the power be shut off. He already knows that the issue is the roommates. He needs to remedy it. But I don't know. I keep thinking, give him breathing room. Make it clear this is a one time bail out. I know he's getting stuck if they bail. SHE at least may get a job.

    I guess I'm not really asking IF I should. I'm just really unsettled by the situation. After all, if he were a easy child instead of a Difficult Child, would I think twice? Seems so unfair that we have to think differently about our kids.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I have nothing to add. Do what you feel is right. What would he do if you could not help?
     
  6. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    If it were me, I would have to get something in exchange: evict the roommate and give the girlfriend and ultimatum. Show me you are willing to do the hard, uncomfortable things to help yourself, and I will help you. That's just me.
     
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Unfreakingbelievable.

    I just got a call from his job...wondering why he wasn't there. He called in sick Friday. Was off Saturday and Sunday. Tonight? No-call, no-show. Will he call them now that I called him? Probably not. Probably best. We had a wonderful screaming match on the phone. Him at me because "why doesn't everyone just leave him alone for one day" and "why am I acting like he's just a terrible person" - yeah, SO not the language he used.

    He made his bed. He'll either have a job tomorrow or not. Who knows? He did his usual, "Everyone else does it and they don't get fired." Sure. I've had my job for 21 years and if I did a no-call, no-show, they'd fire me! But whatever. His problem. Why was he not at work? He wants to find a different job. Sure. Because everyone who wants a second job or a different job just doesn't go to their first job when they're desperate for money.

    I screamed at him. I literally screamed at him. Like I've NEVER screamed at him before. After we hung up I screamed some more. I just screamed primal screams until I couldn't anymore. Then I cried.

    If he gets fired, he gets fired. He'll find another job or not. I've been so proud of him keeping this job. Now I'm just sick inside. Jabber's at work and I can't reach him. I'm just...sick.

    I don't think he understood at all why I'm so upset at him. I even explained that I told him Jabber and I would talk about helping him out this time and I did that because he's being so responsible and trying so hard and then he does something that will likely get him fired. He still doesn't understand why I'm so upset. It's like he really doesn't understand how irresponsible this is.

    I should be more surprised. But this is exactly how he'd react to what's been happening. It's why I was so willing to help with this bill. He doesn't handle stress well and this had done it, the electric bill and no one working. He says he's told his friend and girlfriend every day for the last 3 weeks that they had to get jobs...they don't even try. He's spending all this time worrying about money, being broke, not having money for the electric, barely having money for rent and this is a very poor, but not unexpected reaction to it. He fell apart. Instead of standing up and working harder, getting a second job, kicking out his friend, demanding the girlfriend work (she's on the lease, can't kick her out), like you or I would do, he shut down and gave up. Sure, he colors it with, "I can find three damn jobs in the time it takes them to find one." "I just need a day to think." "I am going to find a job that will pay the bills.", but the truth is he gave up. It's like when you have a really big job, so big you don't know where to start...so you just don't do anything. That's what's happened here. And now, if he gets fired, it's an excuse to fail. I'm sure it's subconscious, but that's what this is.

    I can't believe I actually thought he was doing well. I should have seen this coming. When he started the, "Doesn't anyone understand how hard I'm trying?" "Doesn't anyone see how much I'm doing?" "I'm trying so hard and no one will help me?" I should have seen that this was next.

    I actually thought it would be alright.
     
  8. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    I am so, so, so sorry. For me, this is when it is ALWAYS the hardest. When they are in the middle of their storms, we get used to the rain, don't let it affect us as much. But when the skies are blue and we take in those deep, hopeful breaths, when we begin to relax and enjoy the weather and believe the storms might be passing (or at least lessening), a tornado sweeps in and destroys everything. That is when it always feels like the biggest punch in the gut.

    I try to find the blessing in everything, and at least you found out before you helped him, before you put yourself out for him again. It would hurt so much more had this come after you had stuck your neck out - or at least it always does for me.

    It is his bed. He is choosing to lay in it, pull the covers over his head, and refuse to acknowledge the outside world, much like a school child will lay in bed and yell they don't want to get up and go to school. We don't get to play "hookie" from life without consequences.
     
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Part of me is sorry I even posted. Jabber doesn't even know yet. For all I know, there won't even be any consequences...he may not get fired. He may. I don't know. And I don't know what this does to me helping either. If he does get fired and he gets another job right away, I suppose he's not in any worse shape than he is today. I don't know what to do or think about any of it right now.

    He's not the only one who hits a point where they just want to hide from the world and do nothing.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Funny. I texted him to tell him I had told his boss I'd have him call...so he knows it when they ask why he didn't call. He said he was sorry...then he said exactly what you just said, that he just needed to hide from the world for a day.

    I told him I was sorry too, but that in my opinion you don't get that luxury when you have responsibilities.

    Other than the requisite "I love you's" that ended the conversation.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • List
  11. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Lil. I am reading along and feeling for all of you.

    So not fun. I am sorry.

    I'm thinking, Let the chips fall where they may.

    Mind you, I have a terrible record with this kind of stuff.

    Things will get better.
    Your son has definitely made progress since you first posted.
     
  12. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    Lil -
    I so relate to the roller coaster of emotions that are attached to our children. I don't think there's any position so hard in life as the one of parent and not giving in to the horrible angst of when they don't seem to be able to take care of themselves. It's just my difficult child that does that to me. I never get caught up in my daughter's life because her behavior for the most part it's sane and rational.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It is SOoooo hard to not write the end of the story.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil, I am just now seeing your thread. I hope by tomorrow morning the situation will be on the way to being resolved.

    I wonder if this wasn't an attempt by your son to motivate the other two, as if to say, "I can play this game, too. We can all of us go down together." He let go of his side of the rope so that the other guys will fall. To get their attention.

    He has the confidence in himself that he will rebound easily. And it sure does seem that he does.

    I would be inclined, I think, (because I am not his mother and you are) to see how he solves this, as suggested Seeking. He is smart. He knows he is being taken advantage of. He will work this out and he will grow from it. It is not about the electric in the main. It is about how he chooses for himself. I trust that he will grow from this.

    He has grown so much in such a short time. It seems like only yesterday that he was in the motel in the middle of nowhere.

    You know I had a creepy thought. Do you think the girl and the friend are involved? Could son sense something?

    COPA
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  15. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    No Copa, this is his way of "Coping". By just shutting down and blaming everyone around him for the failure. I would be surprised if this was his way of getting their attention. Not to mention the fact that its a completely MORONIC way to do it if it is! And for the record, no he does NOT have confidence in himself. Oh, he can bluster with the best of them about how cool, worldly, blah, blah, blah, that he is but the reality is that he is VERY insecure.

    Maybe but doubtful. The friend is a lazy mooch. The reason our son wont give him the ultimatum is because he would just go back to live with his dad. He can't give an ultimatum to the girlfriend because she's on the lease. If he could, he seems to think that she would just move back home as well. The most disturbing thing about this is our son's admission that he CAN"T live alone. He HAS to have someone with him so he wont be alone, even if it is a looser mooch who's only significant contribution to the household is stress. At this point, I don't think he would care if she left as long as the mooch started helping.
     
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Actually, I think it may be a bit of both. His first comment when I asked why he didn't go to work was, "Maybe I want to show them I can find three jobs in the time it takes them to apply for one!" I know he's sick to death of paying the bills (as best he can) and them not. When I've occasionally mentioned help wanted signs I've seen, he says that he can tell them over and over and they won't do anything, won't even apply.

    So not to motivate so much as out of spite? I just hope it doesn't get him fired. I assume I'll know tonight.

    By the same token, his answer to too much stress is to do nothing.

    Yes, this bothers me so much. He'd rather be miserable than be alone. In his mind, the ONLY people in the world he has is these two. No friends. We don't count. If they leave, he'll be utterly alone, doing nothing but working and then being home alone with no one to talk to and no one to "hang out" with. To him that's like the worst thing that could possibly happen to someone. It's as though he simply doesn't know how to be alone and entertain himself.
     
  17. Childofmine

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

    Oh Lil, just catching up with this.

    I so understand your reaction. It's almost worse when they actually start doing better (the ONE and ONLY thing we have prayed and prayed and prayed for...be careful what you wish for) and then they take a step back.

    I would go beserk when Difficult Child had a setback. I couldn't handle it. It was all about me and my ability to deal with it all, which had been shaved away, inch by inch, over the hard painful years.


    He has been doing so much better. He has. Don't lose sight of that. This is what progress looks like. I have had to learn that. One step forward, then another...then maybe two back or one back. It's not a linear progression. But it is STILL progress. What you have hoped and prayed for.


    Of course. We---he and you---can only deal with so much at any given point in time...and then, when we are on overload, we go BACK to our old behaviors. That is in our DNA. We don't go with our new learning...just back...but hopefully temporarily. He retreated, you let him have it...now...let's hope and pray...another series of steps forward.

    I do believe having these people freeloading on him will turn out to be very very instructive for his forward progress.

    Hang in there!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  18. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    What he fails to realize is that if he works long enough at a job, he will start making friends there. They will start hanging out. He just cant see more than a few days into the future. Its all about the now.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  19. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    And the hits just keep on coming.

    I don't know who he was with, but I just got a call and he was in a car accident. He's not hurt, maybe a bit banged up, said his head hurt, but an ambulance was coming. I'll know more later. I'm sure he was telling the truth, because I could hear little kids crying and later an ambulance siren.
    Obviously, he won't be going to work tonight either. :( Jeeze. At least he's not hurt. And he'll have photos to prove he was in the wreck.
     
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Oh no.

    Thank G-d he is OK and nobody else seems seriously hurt. This really underscores for me the need to stay in the present. We do not know what will happen next. Ever. Who would have seen this coming?

    COPA
     
Loading...