Apparently it's update time

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    So...on another thread over on the watercooler Copa asked me how the kid was.

    He's still in Colorado. We sent him the Wal-Mart cards 1/1/17 and really all went pretty well. He stayed in the shelter until the girlfriend came back to town after the holiday break and then he was back in the dorm. He's still there. How he gets to live in some college dorm is beyond me, but she doesn't have a roommate so, I guess it's not my business. He was complaining that spring break is coming and he'll be out again. I told him at least this time he won't freeze to death.

    So...that's kind of it. He's not working to my knowledge. Says he and she are both looking for jobs and plan to try to get an apartment when school is out. Colorado is really expensive, so we'll see. He also says that she is expecting a car soon (maybe a birthday gift from parents?) and that he thinks they'll take a road trip this way for a visit.

    He messages me about stuff. Just silly stuff mainly, like movies, etc.
     
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Lil

    It sounds good to me! Not perfect but fine.

    Deep sigh!
     
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    On the other thread, Copa asked:

    you guys uninvolved with telling him/coaching him/pressuring him/helping him/guiding him/enforcing anything

    I don't know if that's really 100% true. I still mention finding work pretty regularly. I'm not paying his phone bill anymore. He will be asking for $. I'm sure I'll give him some. Jabber and I finally had a talk several months ago and we agreed that if I want to give him up to $50 a month (I won't) that I just CAN and it's not something we have to discuss. It was making me crazy to feel like I had to ask permission of my husband to spend money that's as much mine as his...just...icky. Hard to explain but it was like I was the "little woman submitting to her husband" and that's just not me and it's not US. I didn't feel like an equal; I felt controlled and oppressed - I can't even really explain it just felt wrong and really, it was causing problems between Jabber and me. I have issues with money stemming from a very long time ago and it just was pushing all my buttons. I don't know if he even realized how much that bothered me. I guess he does now. Sorry hun. :oops:

    But I digress. The point is, it's better. I have always done better when he's not at home. I don't worry about him because I'm not supposed to know where he is or what he's doing. I simply assume he's fine and go about my life. So is it better for me? YES. Is it better for him? I think so. I hope so. I mean, he has to be learning to get along without mom. If only he'd learn to stand on his own two feet and be the breadwinner now. He turns 22 next month. Yes, he's asked if there will be $ for a gift. Yes, I told him probably, but not to expect a whole lot. Then we talked about other things.
     
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  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Lil

    I think the money thing in this situation is different. You are trying to have a united front as parents when you deal with your son. So the money issue here to me is part of that. I sometimes want to do something for our son that way and my husband will have another view I did not think of that I need to take into consideration before acting.

    I had an Easter card for our son that I was going to send with a little money in it. I tore it up last night and threw it out. See my thread.

    Glad you are all doing better. That is WHAT it's all about!!
     
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I know. It is so hard to explain. But there are these issues that if you don't say anything and oppose--make one feel compliant and without a self-will. It feels symbolic. In my own case I am realizing it has something to do with my past. That it is not my present that necessitates taking a stand. But then if I do, it is forcing growth for me and for M, and for the two of us. I became less afraid, and he becomes less knee-jerk dominant.

    We are dealing with radically different personalities here, Lil, but a similar dynamic, I think. You are so strong and Jabber so kind. M is harder than Jabber and I do not feel like I have your strength.
    Now this is interesting. It raises the question of whether your distress had to do in part from your own sense of falling short, your own sense about yourself that you were not completing your responsibilities.

    That this was a intra-psychic relationship issue. Of course that makes sense for me too. Duh.

    I had a father who died on skid row. He died a miserable alcoholic and off and on used opiates up to and including heroin. He was morally corrupt, bankrupt and sadistic.

    All of my adult life I have had within me this overarching need to save men.

    And now my son is a man.

    And it has felt life and death to me. Not only his life and death, but my own.

    More and more I feel like I am going to die, or want to die, when I am ineffective with him, when I feel helpless and failed at saving him.

    Looked at in light of your post, I see the issue is in myself. I always knew it in the abstract, but until lately, did not so clearly confront it, in the sense that I HAVE TO SAVE MYSELF. Nobody else will.

    M told me last night or this morning when I told him that sometimes when I felt so despairing, I googled "I want to die." He said: tell me next time you feel this way because I want to leave. I do not want to be here with you if you take such a step.

    I said, I do not want to kill myself. I just feel like I want to die.

    He responded: the two are not as separate as you pretend. One follows the other. If you do not save yourself, you are going down that road.

    Yesterday I realized that I am the only mother I have left, or will ever have. That I am failing myself if I do not step up. And that hundreds of thousands of moments I have failed myself, and failed to stand up for myself, to do nourishing and sustaining things. My will has so much been tied up in the self-punishment about my mother and son, that I failed myself.

    I am realizing that if men all around me (and my mother, too) are falling like flies has to be peripheral and secondary, BECAUSE IT HAS TO MATTER THAT I SAVE MYSELF.

    I could not in the end save any of them.

    The caps and the repetition are so that I pay attention.

    Thanks Lil. You are doing so good. Glad to touch base with you. (Sorry to hijack your thread.) I care so much about you and Jabber. And indirectly about your son.
     
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    The money thing is weird and hard to explain. It's not like I wanted to send a bunch of money, it wasn't that I didn't want to listen to Jabber's point of view. It was more - confining. Like, If I WANTED to, I still couldn't if he said no. Like, having your car in the shop...you may not want to go anywhere - but it makes you a little stir crazy knowing you can't.

    I have real issues with money stemming from being married to son's biodad who basically bankrupted me. I only didn't file because I knew how to bluff the bill collectors - perk of being a lawyer. But he ruined my credit for YEARS. When Jabber and I married, ugh...bless him, he would come home to me crying and saying, "I can't marry you and saddle you with all this debt!" I finally told him, "I can't marry you unless I have control of all the money and pay all the bills and you just get an allowance." I truly thought that would be the final straw...My GOD he's such a good man!!! He said, "Great! I hate paying the bills!" and so for several years he had a separate account with like $200 a paycheck (and he saved HALF that to take me on a trip for our 10th anniversary!)

    Jabberwocky - I adore you with all my heart! I do really know I'm very lucky. I'm sorry I don't always act like it.

    We also had an agreement that we would not spend more than $50 on any one item without consulting the other. That's an agreement we still stick to. I'm very cheap. I don't buy things for myself. I don't buy clothes and shoes and purses. I don't get manicures go out with friends. I get my hair cut every 4 months or so. I never have cash, because cash just gets spent on groceries or something. So...having to basically ask "Can I spend money?" it just bothered me terribly.

    WILL I send kid money? Yes. Will I send him up to $50 every month? No. He's almost 22. He needs to get a damn job! But that I CAN is all I need to know.

    I don't know, it's more that I assume it's okay unless I know it's not. You know, if you expect someone to be home at 10 and it's midnight, your brain goes to "they're dead in a ditch somewhere". But if they don't live with you, you assume they're home in bed at midnight. It's really as simple as that.

    There was so much there that I wish I could respond to. I'm so sorry you are suffering so much. I know that you know, intellectually, that you can't save anyone Copa. You aren't God. You can support, you can love, you can care...but it's up to them to save themselves. Just like it's up to you to save yourself. :hugs:
     
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I totally get this! My husband and I too had some heated discussions about money where our son was concerned. I remember telling him once "we should not allow the dysfunction of our son and his poor choices to come between us" It was an "aha" moment for both of us. Like you and Jabber we came to an agreement of what we both could accept.

    I'm so glad that you finally are having some peace.

    I know for me, it's always been easier when my son does not live close to us.

    Distance makes the heart palpitate less ;)
     
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. I thought you guys did the envelope method, which I have not yet adopted.

    I was going to put the actual cash in envelopes. Is that wrong?

    PS I have horrible money issues.
     
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    No, that's not wrong. It's correct. But we never got around to it this time. We're still a work in progress. lol

    But really, the envelopes are a perfect example of how we spend money. When we did them we each got like $70 for "mad money"...money that was ours. Buy lunch, or shoes or whatever. Jabber ended up with lots of money and could buy stuff. He'd take his left overs and roll them over to the next month. I never had left overs. Not because I spent it on myself but because I'd run to the store without the grocery envelope, and use my "mad money" for that. So I ended up never spending anything on myself.

    Don't do that. LOL
     
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I can see how the envelops of cash operate day to day when we are out and about.

    But I buy stuff on internet. I will stop almost all of it, except, I will buy kindle books that are on sale or free. I counted up last month and I spent forty dollars on cheap books. Between M and I we have almost 3000 books on our kindles. This is nuts. I do not have time left in my lifespan to read 2000 books.
    I told myself today: only free books. No more paid ones. Or maybe $10 a month paid ones.

    But if you use the envelopes of cash, how would you handle online expenditures? Do I just take the money physically out of the envelope and put it in a savings envelope?

    Forgive me. I seem to be deficient in this. Impossibly so.
     
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I use the envelope system. In the early years I used actual envelopes but now I keep it on a spreadsheet. Each cell is a bucket for how the money is to be spent.

    I have my monthly budget, how much I need to put in each bucket for all my bills. When I get paid my check goes into my saving account that ties out to my spreadsheet. When the bills come in I deduct from spreadsheet out of each bucket then transfer the money to my checking.

    It has been a great system for us.
     
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind, we did this when we were pretty much newlyweds...maybe 13 years ago! There wasn't a lot of internet back then. LOL

    I like Tanya's method. The physical cash works fine for your spending money if you only spend in stores...of course, the idea is to NOT spend on things you don't need...so...
     
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I do not know how to do a spreadsheet. That is my problem. Does anybody know anywhere on the internet where there would be a simple template for me to use? I mean, user friendly.

    Thank you guys.
     
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

  15. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    LOL Copa! The envelope system is geared towards day to day spending. Gas, groceries, things like that. Tanya has the right idea for overall budgeting.
     
  16. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I have followed Dave Ramsey for years. I don't agree with everything he says but have learned a lot from listening to him.

    See if this will work for you.

    Budgeting Made Easy
     
  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member


    I'm going to have to check that out later. Jabber and I don't budget worth a darn at the moment.

    We do, however, seem to keep coming up with new monthly bills. Most recently - to get us back on the "Update" - we bought a cabin to put on our little 17 acres of forest! As soon as we get the area cleared it will be delivered, ready for us to finish out. And we joined the YMCA. We're back on the "getting healthy" bandwagon, have bought new Fitbit trackers and started using MyFitnessPal to track our food. We work out okay during the week, walking on our lunch hours, etc., but weekends we tend to slack and the Y is right next to our church. No reason not to go get some exercise.
     
  18. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Dave Ramsey has a radio and TV show. His website has some great information. His basic principal is living debt free. He has people come on his show that do "debt free screams". People who have followed his advice and gotten out of debt.
    One of his big things is he doesn't like credit cards. I however do have a credit card but never put anything on it unless I can pay the full balance when it's due. I earn points on my credit card and when I get up to a certain number of points I can apply the "cash back" to my bill.

    You can also find him on youtube.

    Oh that sounds like a little piece of heaven!

    Good for guys!!
     
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  19. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I hope the dorm arrangement continues to work out. He needs to find other options because at some point she or the monitors are going to make him leave. He may be able to sneak back in, but that's going to get harder once they wise up.
     
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. Was it a prefab one? I was reading about a couple that bought plans to do a 10 x 12' (I think it was that) shed with a high ceiling to put a loft. For 2 adults and 2 smalls kids and a large dog!

    I would love to do such a thing. What size is yours? Did you buy online?

    So good to talk you guys. It is a pleasure to not be consumed by "other" topics.

    Tanya. Thank you for the reminder about Dave Ramsey. I will study the website tonight. Take care.