I'm not sure why I write this. Maybe I just want to share. There is nothing I or anyone else can do to help my boy with his growing pains. But even knowing that it does make me sad he is having such a difficult time even when he is trying his very best. My husband still has very little patience for difficult child so I don't really want to share my worries over him with him either. So I write here. difficult child was having a short pit stop at home before heading to his own home and after a camp. His sport performance is still not looking up for him and I do know that it is very difficult to even seasoned pros to separate their sport performance from rest of their lives when they struggle. So no wonder difficult child's sport struggles tend to overshadow everything in his life. But it is not only that. He was supposed to just stop by at home, eat, change his stuff and leave, because he has to be back with his own team early tomorrow morning. But he was really dragging his feet when it was time to go and we ended up having a very honest heart to heart discussion. Something that hadn't happened in longest time. He has been much more open and honest with me lately and I do enjoy that, even if I'm afraid it is because he is so lonely and miserable. He has soon lived two years at his new home town. And while his team has been very good to him and taken great care of him, he isn't really feeling like home. He hasn't made any real friends. He does live with the girlfriend he found there, but feels that after moving together they almost never spend time (awake) together any more. girlfriend has lots of friends who are mostly friendly with difficult child but mostly only when girlfriend is also present. Or when difficult child feels they are just using him. His team mates mostly can stand him (there are few who are very unfriendly to him) but have little to do with him outside of the team functions. difficult child is not invited to do things together with them on their free time and he always only finds out later when they have met for a coffee etc. difficult child's girlfriend is a first year college student and works part time as a gym (aerobics) instructor. She tends to work in nights difficult child often has free and has free nights when difficult child most often has games. difficult child has to live quite disciplined life due to his sport. Bed till 10 p.m., if not a game night, up early, partying only every three weeks or once a month, eating regularly and healthily, enough rest and quite strict daily routine. That is of course not something 19-year-old college freshmen tend to do. difficult child often has Sunday's free and so does girlfriend, but that doesn't help. girlfriend likes to party and is often out late at Saturday nights, difficult child can only join now and then. Then girlfriend wants to sleep late at Sundays and afternoons she studies. difficult child tries to be quiet and not to disturb her. Their friends are mostly interested about difficult child's company at Saturday nights. Our legal drinking age is 18 but many night clubs choose to have higher age limit to appeal to wider/older crowd with more money. But kids of course want to get into those cool night clubs and because clubs can legally let anyone over 18 in, they do let also younger customers in at times. Mainly one or two younger people who are in company with many older people or some pretty girls. And of course VIPs. And in his smallish city players of difficult child's team are VIPs. So difficult child can get in and get few friends his age in too. And that is why his friends want him with them on Saturday nights. And when difficult child is reluctant and points out that he can't drink at least more than one beer and he has to be back and at bed before midnight when most are just coming to the nightclub, his friends just want him to come with them for an hour so they can get in. I understand very well why difficult child feels himself used because of that. With team mates things are better than last year. He gets along somehow with most of them and can avoid the few who can't stand him. And especially many older players are nice to him. But their life situation is just so different. They make sure he is not left too alone when with the team and they even ask him to dinner to their homes at times and difficult child has babysat for two of his team mates. But they are grown men in their late twenties or early-mid thirties with wives and kids, one even has a child same age our easy child. Their life is just so different from difficult child's. And there are not so many younger team mates and most of them are also close to 25 and even that is a big difference in that age " especially when difficult child is so immature for his age. And some of them are also local so they have lots of old friends outside of sport around there and no time for difficult child. And of course those two difficult child happens to have hardest time with are almost only ones in their early twenties. So while he isn't excluded that badly any more when he is with the team, he isn't making any real friends either. difficult child's mental coaching specialist arranged difficult child to be accepted to local college's boardgames club. He has attended few times and has enjoyed it, but of course most kids there already have friends on their fellow students and it's difficult for difficult child to fit in, when he is not studying in neither of local colleges/university. Of course difficult child has also always had hard time making and keeping friends in every setting. And to be honest difficult child also seems to have a problem with his attitude. He is still immature enough to have high school kid attitude about cool kids and nerds. difficult child has always tried to fit in to cool kids crowd and when older he has been at times allowed to hang around the cool crowd because he is very talented in very popular sport. And boys difficult child has met in the club and who seem to be looking for friends too are not what high school kids tend to consider cool. They are engineering students, nerds and apparently have some of the same social challenges difficult child also has. difficult child thinks two of them are fun, but he is also shallow enough that he is slightly ashamed that he would be seen with them. And his girlfriend thinks they are disgusting. Apparently other one doesn't have much of social filter and is also very openly and proudly a geek. And managed to offend difficult child's girlfriend quite badly and I can get why. And other one doesn't have much believe in showers, soap or toothbrush. Or talking about 'normal' conversation topics. With second one difficult child has had fun conversations in irc and first one has asked tips from difficult child to get into shape (he was medically postponed from military service and told to get himself less overweight and better shape in two years.) To me both of these boys sound like promising friend material and I said so to difficult child. If the second one smells too badly to be with him, it is easily solved. It is very common locally for people, especially men, to spend time with friends by going to sauna. That solves most of a smell issue. With the other one difficult child could consider a voluntary 'part time job' as a personal trainer. He could ask tips from his team physiotherapist how to help someone in very poor shape to get in better shape. Apparently a guy has already shed much of the excess weight but hasn't exercised much. difficult child could easily do his lightest, recovery training with this boy and get a friend. I think part of the problem is, that difficult child has very low self-confidence when it comes to building friendships. He is afraid he would screw it up again and he can somehow handle it, if cool kids don't want to be his friends, but if also the 'uncoolest' would reject him, he couldn't handle that. And he is very afraid of being rejected. Some reason I'm not too worried about difficult child relapsing even though it of course is a threat when he is having such a difficult time. He says he is not depressed, just tired and at times he feels that nothing will ever work out for him. He is not yet done trying with his sport and he does believe he can straighten that one out even though current slump hurts. But he is feeling hopeless with his social life. He did start BuSpar for anxiety over a week ago and fortunately it has not caused him bad side effects, some nausea etc. but he can deal with it. His not sure if it has helped any, but he says he has slept better so that is good. Sorry for such a long post, but I had to get this out from my heart and share with someone.