difficult child -- the positive and the negative

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Estherfromjerusalem, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Well, time goes by and it seems my difficult child is struggling deep inside himself with trying to act in a normative way, and not being able to control it completely. I'll give two examples:

    difficult child is 23, easy child is 24. easy child just got married (10 days ago). difficult child for a couple of months before the wedding said that for his present he would hire a wonderful car to drive his brother wherever he needs on the day of the wedding. Great idea. Over those two months they kept on arguing about all sorts of details about the car. My heart sank lower and lower. I was having nightmares how difficult child would spoil easy child's wedding day. One night I got so upset I cried myself to sleep about it.

    Well, the great day came, and surprise surprise: there was a big bust-up. Yes, on the wedding day. Poor easy child -- he has suffered difficult child all his life, and here even on his wedding day difficult child managed to cause strife and tension. There was another close friend of easy child's here, and he somehow managed to pour oil on the troubled waters. In the meantime I turned away and just cried. difficult child saw, and easy child saw, and somehow they managed to pull themselves together. Amazingly enough, after that difficult child behaved perfectly OK (well, as perfectly OK as he can). He looked beautiful at the wedding, he danced and had a great time, didn't get drunk, drove the bride and groom in the (now decorated) Buick to their hotel. But yes, he managed to make a black spot on easy child's wedding day. That's negative. And how.

    At home, of course, it is always noise, noise, noise. And the minute he doesn't get what he asks for (and he isn't embarrassed to ask all the time for this and that and the other), he raises his voice -- and he has a good strong voice. Especially he and husband row all the time. That's negative.

    Yet on the positive side, I am so proud of him. This is what happened: He used to have a job selling motorbikes, in a Jerusalem branch of a nation-wide chain of shops. The salary was good, his chances of promotion were good, and it turned out he is a good salesman. He worked in the showroom. Then after about six months, his boss couldn't take him any more and began to behave not very nicely. Oriel left the job. Recently he heard that that manager had left. Last Thursday morning he phoned up the place and asked if he could come back to work there. On Sunday he met them and they offered him the job. This morning he started working there again. I am so thrilled that he took the initiative. He knows this isn't just a "by-the-way" job, it is a serious job with prospects. I hope and pray that this time he will make a go of it.

    I feel he is trying really hard somehow to make himself more "in tune" with the rest of the family and with normative behavior. He is struggling with himself. If he wasn't such an annoying person, I would say that watching his internal struggle is very interesting. He has (almost always) managed to stay just on the edge of being on the right side of the law, except for a fight (fist-fight) with one of our neighbors over parking places, for which he now has a police record. He is completely unmedicated, always has been. We have never had any diagnosis other than ODD, although I know everyone says it comes together with other disorders, but if so I'm not sure what.

    So, that's my update. I'm not grumbling.

    Love, Esther
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Esther,

    Well, compared to many past updates, it sounds like Oriel is doing better overall. Hopefully this job will keep him busy, tire him out, and provide enough income that he can get his own apartment and move out again. :angel:

  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Congratulations on your son's wedding!!!
    I know what you mean about how much you worried about your difficult child being there and causing heartache. Thank goodness there were hardly any problems.
    Our difficult child did not attend her brother's wedding and in the end, everyone was fine with the decision (although it was very difficult at first).
    So good that your difficult child has a nice job now...one with prospects. Perhaps with a little support...it will all work out fine. Surely, this could lead to him finding his own place to live.
    I know what you mean about two sides to one person:
    Our difficult child is bright, has a good heart and also (thank goodness) does not get into trouble with the law. Her decision making abilities and impulsiveness...well....
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds encouraging. I'm sure, like me, you're tired of waiting for the amount of maturity to arrive so difficult child can exist. ;) It's such a long long road but you are doing an outstanding job of surviving, my friend. DDD
  5. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Esther, your son seems to be doing ok. His difficult child behavior while annoying isn't as destructive as it once was.
    Incredible good news about the job. I wonder if he wants some help to overcome his negative behavior or is it that he is happy to make his family and friends feel angry, irritated and disgusted? It's really a crossroads of sorts. He can turn this into a change in his life or he can continue doing the same old, same old.
    I would allow difficult child to talk about his concerns and what his choices would be to increase his chances of success.
    Just a thought. Hugs to you. difficult child's wear us down even as adults.
  6. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Suz, Nomad, DDD and Fran,

    Thanks for your replies. I know I am lucky, and that many many parents are coping with problems much harder than mine to cope with, so this board really helps me keep a sense of proportion. He is sticking to the job so far (a week) and seems to like it. He seems to be a little bit calmer in the evenings. He knows he has to get his sleeping in better order, since he has been used to going to sleep at about 5 in the morning and getting up at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Now -- he has to be at work at 9, so he has to be out of the house by about 8:15, and he is doing it (so far) and enjoying it. Long may it last!

    My problem seems to be that my resistance/defense mechanisms have become weaker with the years. It's as if I have become worn out, and the thick skin I once had developed has become very very thin. I am old -- 64 -- that is an age when the nerves aren't in as great shape as they once were, and it is all just getting me down. He is such a hypochondriac as well, and I feel as if I have no empathy when he gets yet another sore throat. But he still went to work this morning even though he didn't feel well, which is A GOOD THING.

    So here's hoping. I no longer hold my breath thinking that this will be the great turnaround in his life. He has ruined so many chances, he has been given so many chances, and he manages to waste most of them. So I pray that this time, maybe, just maybe . . .

    Thanks for listening to my rambling grumbling. Sorry to be so negative.

    Love, Esther
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Esther, you know what I think about parenting difficult child's at our age? I think that we never expected to spend fifty years or more working and coping with the uncertain existence that comes with difficult child's. We grew up as the first generation of "wonder women". Being good wives, terrific Mothers, above average cooks and housekeepers, community activists and working women has been exhausting. Having to face that we may age into our 80's with difficult child's attached........yikes. You are not alone, my friend. DDD
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi Esther -

    So not so much Shalom eh? Et tu Brutus? Dude has been living with us too and we've been trying to decide when the circus began and our brains left our heads. You'll forgive me if I ramble.

    Congratulations on the marriage of easy child and his lovely bride. You didn't say what you wore, or send pictures or colors etc. I'm sure it was a lovely time. I'm glad someone was able to smooth things out. Somehow I wasn't thinking there would be a Buick in Israel. I have no idea what kind of car I was thinking would be there - but not an American car. Don't know why, just not.

    I'm glad to see O got his job back. Fingers crossed that he appreciates round #2. Hopefully this is the push he'll need to be gone and out on his own for good this time. (one can hope). How are you doing on the quit smoking thing? Do I WANT to know? Hows the recovery coming from the heart surgery? Oh.....did I say those 2 things in the same paragraph? On purpose? Shame, shame Star. lol.

    I sure hope this finds you well....Miss seeing your posts. Many hugs to you my friend. 27 Days till Chanukkah!!!!

    Hugs & Love