difficult child 23 y/o living with me again, problems....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bertie, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Hi everyone, I used to be pretty active on this board but haven't been here in quite a while.

    I'm writing because my 23 y/o difficult child has moved back in with me due to financial hardship, and I am suffering. He was working full-time at a local hardware store for a year and a half and doing well, renting a room in town - but a contractor recruited him from that job and things didn't go well and he was out of a job again....then he started with another contractor six months ago and work has been spotty at best, but ok. He only makes $12 an hour which doesn't go far. I was paying his rent for his room for a while because I didn't want him back with me, but it got to the point where I couldn't afford it anymore. So he's been living with me now for about 3 months.

    He does have a desire to work - there is no problem with that - however we live in a coastal town in northern CA and jobs can be difficult at best to find. Our problems are twofold and I'd love your input.

    1. Physical and mental addiction to marijuana - he has a real habit going. I've tried to get him to take Ritalin to wake up in the morning but he is convinced that pharmaceuticals are bad for him and that marijuana makes a good substitute. His psychiatrist once told me to "get him off the marijuana, it's a depressant" - however it has an opposite effect on him. When he smokes, he gets happy and manic and has energy; his appetite greatly improves. Because of that, he's convinced that he needs pot to be able to function. Not only that, he likes the IDEA of smoking pot. When he runs out or can't afford to get more, he becomes lethargic and lies in bed all day.

    2. Mental and verbal abuse. As a bipolar of course he has a temper and is moody. I am not physically afraid of him. I do pick my battles because I just can't have the mental anguish all the time. I had breast cancer five years ago and recently went off Arimidex because it's been five years. I've told him that stress can bring back cancer and he was concerned about that. Because of his living with me, he is putting my physical and financial health at risk. He eats a lot and I spend around $100 extra a week to feed him and also to pay for gas for his vehicle (he gets paid only every two weeks). He becomes verbally abusive if he gets mad about something, like having to move his car when he's blocking me in the driveway. He is always very apologetic afterwards and will do chores around the house to try to make up for it.

    I've tried everything to get him to look for another job because his construction job goes in spurts. My biggest expense with him is food - as you might imagine, he eats a lot. He doesn't like having to live with me and he also wants to move out as soon as possible, but jobs are hard to find in our area. He is very stubborn and has some skewed ideas about who or what kind of company he will work for. He's very picky and will only consider applying for a job at a company if it's on his mental list of ok places (i.e. will not work retail, restaurants, or a place like McD's).

    When we are happy, we get along really well. He and I have always been close - but we are "happy" probably 50% of the time. All the other times around him are miserable. I am a very independent, organized person - I'm single, I love being single, and I have sworn that I will never get involved or live with another man again - and look what I'm doing, I'm living with a man! And hating it : (

    Do you have any suggestions? I'm thinking that just being a member of this forum again will probably help me.

    Thanks in advance, Roberta
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Bertie, I have no answers for you but do remember you from previous posts. Just wanted to let you know that I'm sorry the problems keep coming your way. Hugs. DDD
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I don't remember you or your situation, but sounds to me like you should limit his food to bare minimum. He doesn't need potato chips, treats, etc. He can find a part time job and pay for his food and if he doesn't like that, he can eat what is in the house, leaving enough for you. He's not a child.

    If he gets abusive, I would probably consider making him leave again, this time having to pay for his own lodgings. Sometimes the sink or swim method is the only way to make our grown adult children actually GROW UP. in my opinion it doesn't help him when you make it comfortable for him to loaf around, make excuses about jobs, and act like a child, doing nothing to help around the house.

    If you make him leave, he will find places to stay. At the worst case scenario, you can hand him a list of soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Of course, he may not be able to afford his pot then, but is that a bad thing? I would consider it for my health and for his growth. JMO.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

    P.S.--I would tell him that he is in no position to be picky about a job and force him to take whatever there is, even if he is a cashier at a gas station, flipping burgers, or bagging groceries. It would be a dealbreaker for me if he wouldn't do it. His bags would be packed.
  4. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I feel your pain. I could have written what you wrote about being independant and single. I understand what it is like to go from an orderly home to chaos.

    The abuse would be a deal breaker for me. I would tell him, during a calm and quiet time, that only he can control his temper but you can -and will - set limits on what you will take from him. Draw your line in the sand and don't budge.

    My 21 year old daughter moved back with me in April. I do buy her treats from time to time, but I didn't keep junk food in the house while she was gone and I wasn't about to start shopping like I had a teenager in the house again. I don't cook every night, but there is always plenty of healthy food and leftovers. If she wants ice cream, most of the time she has to buy it. There's no reason for you to cater to his whims as far as food goes.

    About the job ... while you cannot force someone to find a job - in any economy - you can certainly make sure he uses his time constructively. My difficult child is unemployed and I make her do things around the house. My porch railing and garage doors have been scraped, sanded and are now sporting a beautiful coat of sparkling white paint. She did a great job - and I've told her so. She is less than thrilled to be put to work around the INSIDE of the hosue, but -- sigh, ... too bad.

    At 23, the free ride should be over. He will not like it , but he loves you and he WILL adjust.
  5. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Hi, thanks so much for your responses.

    I actually am very restrictive in regards to the food I buy for him. I never buy snacks like chips or donuts or anything like that. It's the basics, like hamburger or stew meat to cook, bread, soup, pasta. Nothing fancy, plus he cooks for himself. Believe me, I am not making it easy for him. I also heavily restrict the cash I give to him. I'll give him $20 once a week to buy gas to get to his job (his car is a gas-guzzler, and I know that isn't very much) and I won't give him any more unless he is able to pay me back when he gets paid.

    Yes, the abuse is a deal-breaker. I actually threw him out of the house on Saturday night because he said something that SET ME OFF (I think it was, "Well I don't have any money for gas mom, so I can't go to work on Monday and it's all your fault") - HAH! Boy, that absolutely infuriated me. I was pounding on the bathroom door when he was taking a shower and telling him to get out and not come back until the next day, which he did. I think it taught him a lesson because he's been good since then.

    These days if he wants something extra, he has to do something around the house to earn it. He already does the dishes (a huge help) and some other chores around the house on a weekly basis.

    One thing I'd like to know is - can anyone share their experience in how pot affects your difficult child? I may make this a separate thread. I've done some reading and it says different things on the web in regards to bipolars - it says it can make them either manic or depressed. I am seeing my (and his former) psychiatrist on Friday, so I will talk to her about it.

    Right now he's working a construction job and is doing ok. He brought home a bathroom sink yesterday with bronze fixtures, so that earned him a gold star in my book : ) (I'm renovating my house on the cheap). I should also emphasize that when he's in a good mood, we get along pretty well. But when he's not doing well, he can ruin my days (as I'm sure you also have experienced).

    Thanks again - and I wish the best to all of you.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi Bertie. My difficult child is not bipolar - but he is a pothead. IME, pot made him really moody. Now it could be that he was using other things -- but he would start out as agreeable in the morning (afternoon really, he slept past 12)but then get less agreeable as the day progressed and be totally disagreeable in the evenings. I assume it was a going up/ coming down thing but I never figured out which was which.

    He also was full of baloney most of the time (BS, not the lunch meat)/ But on that subject, I understand that pot=munchies, which may be increasing your grocery bill.

    Sorry if that's less than helpful.
  7. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Oh no, that's great - I like to hear as much feedback as possible.

    To be honest - pot affects my difficult child like Ritalin would - he wakes up after using it, gets energy - is in a great mood. It's when he is overdue for a joint that he gets bad. He seriously has a physical as well as mental habit. Gets very slow and depressed, lies in bed - and gets terrible headaches. I can always tells when he's out of pot because he asks me for Advil.

    Yes, absolutely - it's the munchies. That's why I shop at a place called FoodsCo in Redwood City - CHEAP, cheap food - name brands, but for some reason they're really lower-priced than the other stores (could be because we have to bag our own groceries, but that's ok - I like doing it. I also have to check dates on the packages, but so far nothing has been out-of-date). It helps a lot with the food bill.

    Oh, and my son lies to me all the time. It's a given these days.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im not going to address the pot but I have taken my son back in after he was out on his own. It didnt work worth a potters damn. Once adult kids have lived on their own they become fully functioning adults and if they move back home they revert to perpetual teens again. Its a nightmare.

    Construction work is what my SO does and has done for the last 30 plus years. Cory (my easy child/difficult child-gosh I love saying that!) has started working with his father and yes jobs can be hard to find sometimes but you have to have a good enough attitude and a good enough work ethic that companies will hire you. Your reputation will get around. When Cory was younger his mouth got the best of him and companies wanted nothing to do with him because he simply didnt know how to get along. Oh he could do the work but he wasnt a true employee. Now he is willing to listen and learn and he is working his way up in the company. They actually are proud of him now. We do go through periods of layoffs but that is normal for construction. You live through them. You cant just get mad and throw a fit. Its the nature of the beast. If he doesnt like that about construction, learn another trade.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm from an ADHD family (going back generations!)... and when I actually got my diagnosis? They told me it is not unusual for people with ADHD to self medicate... the three most common are caffeine, nicotine and marajuana. So... yes, it's possible it has a positive effect on his ADHD. But... for most of us? the medications work better.