difficult child got fired

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by welcometowitsend, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. We went with our plan not to invite difficult child to our Easter lunch. I texted him and wished him a Happy Easter and told him we loved him. He texted back "Happy Easter guys." OK. Better than nothing and not hostile.

    Last night around 7:30 I got a call from his guitar teacher saying he has missed his last 4 classes in a row and had missed another 3 or 4 in January/February that he had to make up. He wanted to know what I wanted to do because husband and I are paying for the lessons. So I told him I'd call difficult child and if he didn't show up for his lesson tomorrow then we were done paying.

    I called difficult child to let him know I'd gotten the call and he said "Well, I didn't have a ride those times." Huh? It's a 45-1 hour walk. So I said walk or take the bus. His answer. It's too far to walk with a guitar on my back. No, it isn't. I walked the same distance to school (and then home again) every day when I was 11 and 12 years old. So, initially I said, "OK, if you are not committed enough to walk that distance once a week then I'm not going to continue to pay for you to not show up. You need to respect your teachers time and my money and that isn't happening."

    Well, he freaked out. "I'm already having a bad day. You're making it worse. I'm locked out of my house (I guess his 'new family' went to visit for Easter and locked him out until 10pm) and I'm on my way to work to get fired (he didn't show up for work again this weekend)." He's screaming at me, carrying on like all of this is my fault.

    So, I very calmly told him that it wasn't my fault he was locked out of their house, nor was it my fault he was getting fired, nor was it my fault he didn't show up for his guitar lessons and I didn't deserve to be yelled at. If he was willing to commit to me and his guitar teacher that he would make up his missed lessons and show up for every regular lesson from now on then I would pay for them. If he doesn't show up then I'm done. So his guitar teacher is going to let me know if he shows up tonight.

    Looks like difficult child is starting to feel the natural consequences of his actions. I am not surprised about the guitar lessons but I am very disappointed. difficult child wants to be a musician and he can't show up for guitar lessons? No follow through on anything.

    So, of course I began to awfulize last night about the what ifs. And I worry about his mental state because he is definitely off his medication again. And I wonder if he's going to threaten or try suicide again. Sigh. I know there is nothing I can do about his decisions. So I said a lot of prayers for my lost son last night.

    I will send him a text today that says "Hi Buddy, hope today looks brighter for you. Music teacher said he is happy to make up some of your lessons tonight. He has from 6:30 - 8:00 open for you. So that's your regular lesson plus 2 make-ups. It would be great if you can make it. Love you, Mom"

    How much do you over look and put up with when you think mental illness plays a part? This is something I really struggle with because I also know that difficult child was raised in a good home with great values and is a highly intelligent individual who really does have the ability to have insight and understanding into his behaviour and how his medication can help him. We have had conversations about it when he is in a good, stable mood and he can have a lot of clarity about himself in those moments. Can he not go back to those moments when he is struggling or is that too much work and easier to fall back on the anger and irrational behaviour? Now mind you, even when he is on medication he still exhibits the poor choices (doesn't go to school, won't come home, won't follow any rules) he just isn't depressed. And of course, good luck getting him on any other medication now. I can't see him being willing to go to see that psychiatrist in 2 weeks.

    Is it like drugs (becasue it could be drugs at this point too)? Yes, the drugs cloud their judgement and bad decisions become the norm but they still have to make the decision to change, right? He still has to want help and implement the help being offered. Right?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Unless you suffer from psychosis or some other thought disorder in which you don't know what reality is, both in mental illness and in drug recovery YOU have to make the decision to help yourself and it has to be a strong resolve. Without hard work and commitment on the part of the person himself, nothing positive can happen. I have had mental illness all my life and it took up a lot of time to get better. Part of that was making a decision never to drink or use drugs because I figured I had enough problems without using that stuff to make me even worse. Taking prescribed drugs while drinking and using recreational drugs messes them up...they can't help if other drugs are in the way.

    I know this probably isn't comforting. I had to deal with this t oo when my daughter was self-destructing. Until the day she decided to quit, she had no commitment to do it and refused to get any help. It really falls on your son's shoulders. His mental illness diagnoses are similar to mine. Without medication compliance and abstinance from drug abuse, it is pretty hard to get better. I hope he changes his mind. It is always possible! My daughter did and we truly thought she'd end up in jail or dead.
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WTW, I am so sorry, I understand your disappointment and your trying to figure out how to set boundaries with someone so young who suffers from typical teen behavior along with mental illness. It isn't easy to navigate this territory for us because all of our love, hopes, dreams, expectations, sadness, disappointments, fears, resentments and our needs to protect are all wrapped up in the same emotional response to them. Then you throw in the mental illness part and wow, what a recipe for worry for us..............

    I think you have to come to a place within yourself which truly gets, deep within, that you really have no power over the choices he makes. Being non compliant with medications is, unfortunately, a fairly common trait. He is also young and defiant. Our role in their life drama is all about detaching and accepting what is, which is a treacherous path at best and how you go about that is going to be based on your ability to let go. No easy task. But, it's what become necessary, even with mental illness. That's the hard truth, in the final analysis, we have no power over the choices of another. As I just mentioned to JKF, something that has helped me, is to make a conscious determined effort to shift out of the worry into sending him and surrounding him with LOVE each time you start to embark into the what ifs. That actually has a powerful impact on the neuropathways in the brain, you've already dug a pathway in the brain called fear, which now is easy to jump on when the worry begins, so you have to dig a new pathway out. It's not a solution to the choices your son makes, but it will assist you in stopping the relentless and debilitating worry you go through which has a huge impact on your physical self. And, get as much support as you can while you walk this path, it's tough.

    I'm sorry. I truly wish you didn't have to go through this, I understand how you feel, I really do. Send him your text, take a deep breath, send him love and go on with your day. Every time I think about my daughter and start to worry, I switch over to sending her love. It helps me. I believe it helps her too. Many gentle hugs to you.................
  4. MWM - You are right. Fortunately he does not suffer from psychosis so ultimately he is going to have to make these decisions for himself. I sure hope that my son makes the same choice your daughter and you did - to get well.

    RE - Thank you for your kind words. I read what you wrote to JKF and really thought I could apply it to my thinking with difficult child. When I was praying last night I guess I was sort of sending him love - it was certainly better than festering in the worry and eventually helped me to sleep. I am definitely going to try and implement your idea - I think it is a wonderful way to help get me and difficult child into a better place. And if I am sending him love in my thoughts then my words are likely to come all out of love too (instead of out of worry and anger - which, naturally, they sometimes do).

    I sent him my text and he responded. He actually seems to be in a pretty good mood today. He told me he didn't get fired, he got a raise. I doubt that. Your job at the fast food joint doesn't call you in to work on a holiday Sunday evening to give you a raise. But I took it for what it was, didn't argue, told him I loved him again and wished him well at his guitar lesson tonight - which I really hope he goes to. Whether or not he still has a job is ultimately his problem and will come to light with the truth soon enough.
  5. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    With regards to the question about mental illness ... what to overlook, etc... I am right there with you in this struggle. I'm dealing with it right now with my daughter and whether or not she can continue to live wih me.

    I do think that dealing with mental illness requires a different kind of approach than dealing with addiction alone. While I know addiction is an illness, reovery is a little more clear cut. A mentally ill person does choose whether or not to be medication-compliant, however, then the right medications and the right balance must be found. It's a life-long juggling act in some cases.

    Are you a NAMI member? That might be another source of support and a place to find answers to your questions aoout his living situation, medications, etc.

    My heart goes out to you.