"My son is so self obsessed that I think he thinks he's the only one effected by his situation." This is a quote from UK Mommy that to me rings true with my own child in relation to myself and M, with whom I live. For the past 9 or 10 months we have been trying, trying to give him a base of operations from which to change. Over and over again we agree upon conditions, which to us, are the basis, but not nearly what he must do to live a responsible life. While he does try minimally, it is only that--minimally compliant, occasionally compliant. "Trying" to him requires us to accept whatever he chooses to impose upon us. "I tried." "It was one mistake." "I won't do it again." To him, these words are the keys to the kingdom: our privacy, our space, our security, and really, at the end of the day, our integrity. Because we are always in the end the ones that backslide. It is never not, it has never not been his terms, not our own--in our space. The specifics of what happened this morning are not important: really, they are trivial and unimportant. It is the fabric of our relationship that is destroyed--not ripped or frayed or stained--but today, it feels rotten. And we are responsible. Because from the beginning we set him up: we asked him to be who he is not, who he does not want to be--perhaps, what he cannot be. He does not want to be responsible. He does not want to seek counsel. He does not want to engage fully to cooperate. He does not want to do what he does not want. He does not wand to cede or to concede. He wants to take what he can get, and leave the rest messed up and spoiled. He wants to take as much as he can--giving as little as he can. He wants to be the first person to the punch bowl and the first one to bed after the party. To which he brought not one thing at all. He wants to engage life like an 8 year old. If he does his chores, he has to be nagged to do them, and then to return to do it better. After 10 times nagging him, they are not really done. All of his SSI he sees as an "allowance." He is a baby. But no longer my own baby. When we erupt in frustration and angry his response is that of a child" "That's not fair," he decries. "You are putting me on the street. " What about your choices, I ask? Of months and months and months. To deliberately and consciously disregard agreements you made. How is putting you on the street? Me? There are hundreds of communities where your SSI will afford you to rent a room. You have had the opportunity to be at the front of the line for Section 8 housing. The same thing, with Voc Rehab training and job finding assistance. Housing, training, assistance, therapy, have not entered YOUR equation. How am I responsible?" But he is right. The setup was flawed from the beginning. To him, by accepting him back, I was accepting responsibility that he continue to be my dependent child. To enable him. I am good at seeing the situation of others clearly. My own fabric is rent with contradictions, with flaws and with concealed self-deceptions. Even though at the bottom of it--I want to keep my child alive, by keeping him close to me I am contributing to the very conditions that maintain him incapable to confront himself and his condition, and to deal with it, if he can. Our relationship is descending into hatred, and that is what M always feared. I fear my son's conspiracy theories, his mating reptiles and Martians, his rationalizing of hate against my own people--because I hate what it forebodes about his condition and his life to come--which means I will live it with him. I seem unable to detach. I did it for awhile, until he showed up at my door 9 or 10 months ago. For some reason, now, I can no longer do it again. I fear. I do not like the person I am when he is around me, but I love him, and I love having him close. This is a rotten and unfixable state of affairs. I cannot have it both ways. M says: "You decide," if he should leave. "But you accept the consequences. No moping. No crying. No fearfulness about where he is, how he is." What a big, big mess. Sorry to be so negative. It is what it is. Thank you for reading this.