A small update

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Fran, May 8, 2009.

  1. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    difficult child is doing well. He was approved for some additional services this week. It allows more long term support and more job coaching/advocacy.
    He met with his job coach who has a son difficult child's age with a similar diagnosis. It helps to know she is familiar with young men like difficult child. He will be filling out applications next week and I DON"T HAVE TO DO IT. He and his job coach will take care of it. The economy doesn't really help but the fact that some of the responsibilities for difficult child will be given over to difficult child and a professional really eases my frustration and burden of having a man/child.
    His medications have been changed and difficult child is doing well. As I listened to him speak to the job coach, I realized how very articulate he is. No one would know if they didn't know. However, I fear that he does cover his disability(as we all do) and worry that the expectation will be higher than he can manage. Hopefully, his progress will calm my concerns. It's his life and I must sit back and just be the safety net.

    difficult child has registered for a Sci fi convention 2 hrs away at the end of May. He took the initiative and did the research. I just encouraged him to present the info and the plan. He did well. He and a buddy from Va. are going to a three day convention. He chose to not go in costume(TG!) until he got a feel for the place.(very good thinking in my humble opinion) Maybe next year he would do it. I'm tickled that he showed initiative and planning and we are tickled that he is going to do something he always wanted to do. I don't mind a sci fi geek at all. He has his GPS all set up and is ready to go. LOL. Who is this kid? Don't want to jinx it. Once again, he was not dependent on us to initiate his interest and his own entertainment. It pleases me a great deal to see him engaged in a life. One step at a time.

    easy child has been accepted to a college in Florida for his sophomore year. Not our choice but a good school and fits with his life plan. It's tough to parent an adult child. We have butted heads over this frequently but I don't want to control but present other opinions. He is pretty self directed and independent. I did draw the line at full time school and full time work. Can you imagine? I have to stop one child from working too much and the other has to be nudged to work. Sheesh. If easy child is tired from working the first thing down the drain is school work. Who is going to write a paper or study if exhausted from work? I came down hard on this point and wouldn't budge. It's my line in the sand. School has to be the priority or he shouldn't go. It's actually about learning and not getting a piece of paper.

    In the meantime, he was put on a stimulant which seems to really have helped him. There is some concern about a one time incident 2 yrs ago of atrial fibrillation of unknown cause but he is taking it slow. He seems less "glass half empty" type of person.
    I never took a daily medication until I was 30 and it was synthroid. Both of my boys are on several. Sigh. Between anticonvulsents, antidepressents, stimulants, mood stabilizers you wonder what they would be like without any of it. Truthfully, I don't want to try it. Someday they may choose to do so but it will be on them. I'm just a safety net.

    Parenting adult children is more of an art than a science. I'm tiptoeing around the obvious pitfalls and my natural instinct to nurture and protect them. I could use a stronger filter on my blunt talk but I can only change so much and I am who I am.

    Mom has decided she would rather be in her own house despite having pretty severe arterial disease in her whole body. She wants to die planting tomatoes than sitting on a couch. It's a worry but I don't want to treat her like a child.

    Things keep moving along despite my wish to slow life down. Doesn't seem to be happening. If you got this far, I hope I didn't bore you to much.
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    All in all, Fran, it sounds like a great update.

    I understand all so well your "parenting adult children" statement. easy child 1 makes choices that make me cringe; difficult child 1 got married and has a baby on the way (cringing again). Things I would direct them so differently on, but they are adults making their choices now.

    Even your mom, I can understand. Losing dad suddenly left those of us he left behind hanging, but really, he did what he loved right up to the end. If I have a choice, its how I want to go, too.

    Good luck on finding that way to slow down. When you find that answer, can you share it with me?
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Fran, glad difficult child is doing better and seems to be headed in the right direction. It's good that he now has a professional to help in the job department---because often even our "adult" children still believe we know nothing. And hopefully, easy child will find his path. I'm still waiting on Jana to begin a new one. She did get the paperwork in for school and is working fulltime. I think she will probably do the part-time school thing which is fine as long as she does work toward a degree of some kind. This parenting of adult children I find much more difficult to do. It was so easy when they were children and I did have authority to tell them what to do. Now, I just do an awful lot of praying.
  4. tawnya

    tawnya New Member

    That's great about difficult child and the job coach. We are learning the same thing here. Give it to the job coach and let them handle it. It not only gives us a break, but lets difficult child feel like she is handling things. And, for the most part, it works. Even though difficult child got fired from her last job and was unemployed for quite some time, she now has a new part time job that she and the coach worked out. She can even walk there.

    I'm fighting the same battles with school and my easy child. Only it is her boyfriend instead of working. I guess she will figure it out.

    It's very hard when your parent is ill. I guess you just have to go with the flow. I find myself praying a lot these days, too.

    Nice to hear an update, Fran.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    :faint: Fran - difficult child *initiated* a recreational activity and did the planning???? I am just :alien: with envy, LOL. Plus, the fact that he is socially aware enough to hold off on the costume for the first day - well, that's simply *huge*!!! I'm thinking that you've been worried since at least HS about his ability to present well (ok, I know that looks goofy, but you know what I mean). Sounds like you had a fabulous stroke of luck with- the job coach - hopefully she will be able to help difficult child find his niche.

    Glad easy child is doing well and is returning to school. I had to chuckle at the opposite children you have. I look at my kids regularly and wonder where on earth they came from - same parents, same home, *completely* different kinds of people growing up around here. North, South, East, and West.

    Don't think of it as blunt talk, think of it as giving your kids solid ground. We all need to have someone in our lives who tells it like it is.

    Sorry your mom is worrying you, but I have to admire her determined independence.

    Somehow, the mental image that I've formed of you over the years just doesn't match someone who wants life to slow down. ;) I suspect you're quite dynamic and would wilt if things were too calm.

    Thanks for the update. I've been wondering how life was going for you.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    What a great update! It sounds like both your sons are doing well and really starting to direct their own lives. You've done well by them so far, even if you are a little blunt from time to time. :winks:
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Fran, thank you.

    I'm so glad your boys are doing well.

    You just gave me a huge dose of hope.

    Happy Mother's Day!!!!
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad to hear difficult child is doing so well! Arranging the Sci Fi trip is very good for him! I bet he'll have a blast. How great that he has a job coach who "gets" him!

    It's good easy child is returning to school even if it isn't where you would choose. The two boys do seem very opposite! Glad you held firm on the working full time and schooling full time! That would be way too much!

    I continue to keep your mom in my prayers. I can understand her want to be doing what she loves, yet understand how hard that is for you.

    I agree with Sue, I don't have the image of you being the type who wants to slow things down! Hugs.
  9. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hi Fran, so GOOD to see you always.

    Glad to hear difficult child has a good life coach who has a similar difficult child and glad to hear that YOU won't be having to fill out the applications this week.
    Also sounds like you are doing a really good job of stepping back and letting your "manchild" handle what life brings him.
    Glad to hear too that the new medications are working out well, always a concern.
    Cool about the Sci fi convention...sounds like difficult child and his buddy will have alot of fun.

    I think you did the right thing "drawing the line in the sand" for easy child. Full time school and work is a bit much. Isn't it interesting the irony and contrast between our kids...especially a difficult child to a easy child. Such total opposites.

    I hear you on tiptoeing around...trying not to interfere too much with their lives and choices...consequences. But gently nudge, as you have so often reminded us. I am trying too with both of my sons. Sort of a "don't say if you're not asked" policy.
    I am pleased that young difficult child at least seems to "want" my input. Oldest difficult child, not so much, he tends to go to dad, which is fine. They are more alike in traits.

    Your mom sounds like a very indepent woman...and I think you are doing a fine job of respecting her wishes.

    Smile...never a bore, Fran.
    I will always be ever so grateful that you nurtured me along the way when I first came to the "board". You are one of the most respected members here. So glad I can always catch up with you!

    Thanks for the update,
    Hugs and love,
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the update. That coach sounds great!

    I just saw the new Star Trek movie. I bet your difficult child has already seen it 16 X ! It's great fun.

    So sorry easy child chose a college far away. Gosh, he sounds energetic! Or at least, ambitious. I hope the stimulant works.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Okay Fran, first of all? Your life has been ANYTHING but boring. I thank you for sharing. I'd been wondering about your difficult child but think sometimes that no news is good news.

    I can actually get a visual of your son in full space gear. OMG I bet they have so much fun. I'm happy to read that he's planned this on his own and has the GPS ready and sounds so grown up. I knew he was capable of great things, I just wasn't prepared to hear that he's doing THIS great. I'm touched to know how you must feel. You deserve it Fran - it's been a long hard road for you both.

    And college? OMG in FL? - WHY so far away? (yeah yea suits his life _ pft whatever) USC is just down the road here.....ya know - close to me - closer to you than FL. UGH......sending you hugs for the future.

    Thanks for the update. Sounds like there is a lot of good coming into the Fran household. Maybe Mr. Darcy IS a magical being? Certainly was to Miss E.

  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Being a geek is ok by me. I find different thinkers to be wonderful as long as they function. His dad would have been a geek if he hadn't been an athlete. He is more geek than athlete. He came from a family who when their mother wondered where an obscure college was 2 siblings who were in college and husband who was married almost knocked each other over to get to the encyclopedia. It was eye opening to me. Being geeky is intellectual curiosity. Intellectual curiosity is being intelligent. Works for me.

    difficult child continues to work on trying to process and tries very hard to organize his life in a way that seems miniscule to nt folks but is big to him(and me). He was quite proud that he moved his clothes hamper into his bathroom since that's where he takes off clothes. This is big. Despite being told for years that he should make his environment work for him and to set it up as he lives, it now has meaning because he figured it out for himself. If he continues to apply those principals to other aspects he will make more progress. Everytime he has done something right, I am right behind him reminding him that he chose to do it correctly. He should be proud of himself for overcoming hurdles.
    He is not under a lot of pressure these last 8 mo. I expect small contribution towards maintaining our home but the sooner he stopped whining and the more cooperative he became the easier everyone was around him. He pays rent and food as best he can(which is put aside for a deposit on an apartment).

    Interesting calm conversation about self care. His comment to me was " I know what you say is true but I really don't care" So I went back to what makes humans different from animals and what being civilized means. In order to function in the world as he wants to function he must be civilized which is basic. I think that left an impression. He has been much better about it the last 6 months with occasional lapses.

    I have always felt dev. delay doesn't mean it never happens and that if it were to happen at 25 or 28 or 30 then we could continue on. It's when nothing seems to be working and his life has no meaning to anyone especially to him.

    Truth be told these moments of hope help when we are bleak in our foreward vision of what difficult child's life is or will be.

    With my mom, her spirit is easier to watch from a distance but there is always a concern for diminished capacity that is masked by protests of need for independence.

    easy child is ok. He just needs his own space I guess. He is a good boy and I have to trust him. (grumble, grumble) LOL.

    You have all got me on the not really enjoying slowing down. It's probably true. Maybe I am longing for a few days to organize my kitchen. LOL. I hate chaos and clutter but I'm not compulsive enough to make myself miserable or make it a priority. I have driven 12 states in 6 wks for stuff that isn't vacation. I'm already thinking about the Memorial day weekend. LOL.

    Thanks for your continued interest in this very long continuous saga. :916blusher:
  13. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Fran, it was good to read your update. You are NEVER boring.

    It sounds to me as if progress is being made with your difficult child, even if it is slow. The initiative in his going to that convention is most impressive. You are right, it is a long saga, but we have no choice. My difficult child is also still giving us a lot of trouble too.

    And your easy child is going to college. Wonderful. Please send him my love. I haven't fogotten him -- how could I?

    I'm not quite sure what Memorial Day weekend is, but if it is good, I wish it for you too.

    Love, Esther
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran, thanks for the update. Both boys sound like they are finding their way. Maybe each in their own way and in their own time, but finding it none the less.

    easy child just cracks me up wanting for do too much!
    difficult children job coach sounds awesome. I was just reading up on a 'life' coach for my difficult child. She needs someone to talk to that she doesn't have to do the opposite of what they suggest. :tongue:

    I don't know how I will be when I am elderly and sick. I think I would appreciate relaxing and letting someone wait on me! LOL! But, I know your mom's generation is very determined to work to the end.

    How is the house repair going after the hurricane?
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Thanks for the update.

    In a weird, tiny way...we have some things in common.

    My difficult child...doing a little better. She signed up for work related services, but it hasn't work well on both her end and theirs. It's too early to tell.

    our son/easy child is doing very well (knock on wood and thank G-d daily).

    He worked while going to college and for him...it was a success. Toward the end, he put in only a few hours of work time per week. He was fortunate to have a very flexible job. He recently graduated from college with honors and is now looking for work (although it seems he has found an excellent part time job for now).

    Recently, my easy child moved to the same city as your easy child. I visited him for Mother's Day.

    The weather...HOT! However, we enjoyed our time very much...enjoyed the city...people, places, etc. And the university there has a very good reputation.

    These days...I "parent" very little. easy child...on his own. I am a happy participant in his life.

    difficult child...I will help with essentials...and will not tolerate inappropriate intrusions/inappropriate behavior (s).

    Congrats on your soon initiating things on his own and showing an interest in self care, etc. My difficult child has issues in these areas as well.

    Wishing you and your boys well!
  16. Martie

    Martie Moderator


    I am very happy to hear that difficult child continues to progress. I think this is a pattern with many with daughter when it isn't a euphemism for MR which in difficult child's case, it certainly is not. I remember once I (timidly) suggested that 25-30 might be a really good time for him. I bet that was cold comfort because he was about 16 or 17 at the time.

    I'm glad easy child found a college that is a good match. I think "match" is really important.

    The future is a big unknown for everyone but never more so than for a mother of an adult difficult child.

    You are a great mother and have been an inspiration to me for years!

  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    :916blusher: Thank you, humbly.
  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    It sounds like difficult child is doing some very good thinking. He is making much bigger strides than my difficult child ever has or probably ever will. He is starting to see himself in society and making some decisions that make sense and work for him.

    I'm thrilled that easy child is going back to college and your line in the sand is good. I agree he can't possibly do both full time and do it well and school would suffer. I had to laugh about the blunt talk. I need that filter too.

    It's been a long and difficult road for both of us.

  19. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Nancy, it's true. It's been a long road and it's not over.
    We have had periods of good growth with difficult child but we have slid backwards more times than I would like to count. I'm just trying to enjoy the positive while I have it.
  20. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    What a good update Fran - seems like many of our boys have to close in on the mid twentys to finally start to pull it together. And if we moms can survive with some sanity still intact, so much the better :)