Failure to launch

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by stressedoutmom, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. stressedoutmom

    stressedoutmom New Member

    Hi - This is my first time posting in a forum outside of school work. I am a single mom of a 19 yr old son, almost 20 yr old son and a 17 yr old son. This is in regards of my oldest. Here is my story....

    My son by nature has always been a very emotional, kind, caring person. He would always and still does go out of his way to help others. My ex-husband is an alcoholic who was very emotionally abusive to all of us, most was directed at my oldest and my self. My son was always a very good student until the start of his sophomore yr when my ex went into rehab the first time. We tried to support my ex, which worked for a few months, but then he started to spiral down again when I finally got enough nerves built up to file for divorce. It was a very ugly process and during this time, my son began lying, even though he never did in the past. His grades began to drop he lost interest in school, but he did stay in his ski club and golf team. Amazingly he was still able to graduate and he did get accepted into a state college even though his grades and test scores weren't good. He chose to take a "semester" off, which now is going on 1.5 yrs and still no thoughts of going back to school. I believe a lot was due to my ex hated the school he was accepted to and my son knew his father would not help pay. I told him he should still go and we would figure it out. My ex had "met" his current wife only 2 weeks after he was served and introduced her to the boys within a month and moved in with her within 2 months. During the divorce he was the "Disneyland" dad, but shortly after he began to emotionally abuse the boys still, which after my son turned 18 he did not go over to his fathers house at all. He was mad that his father would pay for his brother to play lacrosse mainly because his now stepchildren played lacrosse. All the while when he was in HS his father would say you don't deserve anything because your grades are not good. Or I bought you new golf clubs (one time), before divorce.

    The summer of 2015 my ex got remarried and some really bad things occurred at the wedding and neither boy went to their fathers at all. My youngest started going back a few months later. That Christmas, their father got the "flu" for about 3 weeks, but in fact his flu was from drinking. In Jan, their father checked back into rehab and asked his wife not to tell my boys, they found out about 1 week later after he never responded to happy birthday texts from the boys. After that time, their father sold his business and has been jobless since that time. It was at this time I decided to go back to school for my masters degree. I decided this because I was getting bored and wanted to engage my brain again, but in part I think it was to maybe try to encourage him to go back to school. Which it did not happen, instead he ended up getting arrested for drugs, facing a misdemeanor and felony. His father since he was sober then, did step up and together we were able to hire an attorney for him. I put some very strict restrictions on my son, since he was living at my house, which my son did not like since he was 19 why should he have a curfew. His father "supported" my rules when talking to me, but told my son I was be ridiculous. They started to re-build their broken relationship, which I though was great, he is still their father. My son and I had some really bad arguments and butting heads on a daily basis. I told him, I helped him hire an attorney, but I would not hold his hand and tell him it would all be OK, since he could be facing jail time, which with his personality, he would never survive jail.

    After he chose not to go to school, he stayed at my house and I told him if he did not apply for spring semester of 2016, he would need to either move out or start paying rent. He finally applied to another state school in our town, but he applied at the very last day and did not input all the information they required. We finally found out the Monday after the spring semester started that due to his test scores and grades he was not accepted. There is a community college, but he does not want to go there. Since the issues with his father, I did not enforce him to leave, but did make him start paying me rent. Which he did for a few months, but during this time he did very minimal help around the house, in fact told me he felt like he was being my [email protected]#*h and how can he save up money to move out if he was paying me. We made another agreement that he needs to save money and if not paying me, he will be required to more around the house. He did that for awhile, but then it became more important to him to go hang out with his friends. After his arrest he could not work for about 2 weeks, due to the rules of his employment, so he went through his saving pretty fast. I told him while not working he had to do vol. work at a local charity, which he did a couple of days. He could have done more, but his excuse was he had to meet with the attorney, go take his mandatory drug test, etc.

    He is working full time, has a decent job for someone with no education and does pick up extra hours. His work loves him, he has been employee of the month a few times. Has received kudos from them in the form of movie tickets. I know he is a hard worker just not at home. He believes he does much for me by making sure the house is picked up when I get home if I have been gone, that is a major rule, to keep things clean. I leave the house clean and I expect it to be clean when I return. But he won't do much above and beyond the simple task and chooses to argue about it for 30 min when a task may only take 5 min to do, or he will say why can't his brother do it. Or my favorite, he will say "I will" but then leaves to go hang with friends this will go on for sometimes weeks. I have told him he is 19 what he needs to be doing is figuring out how support him and his future family and he is not entitled to have a life hanging out with friends. Which did not go over well and he ended up yelling at me. I have told him if I am so bad to live with or didn't like my rules he can move out or go live with his father (who won't let him and makes excuses why he can't live with him).

    Last month their father went off the deep end again, called my 19 yr old son asking why can everyone be happy except me and actually told my son he was complicating suicide. This was his 2nd attempt in the past few months. But I am thinking, my son has enough going on with his own legal issues, but my son will always try to help and support other people, so he got looped back into his fathers stories. I had recieved a call from my ex brother in law asking questions of how my ex "worked" things. Their entire family was positive my ex was drinking heavily again, which I agreed, I can normally tell from how he texts me. My son told me that night that "FYI dad is not drinking again." 18 hr later he received notice my ex had checked himself back into rehab for a 3rd time. He is now in a half way house, broke not able to send child support. I told my boys we will need to make adjustments in our budget and they need to be aware they may not be able to have things as much as before. Since I was taking a large hit in my monthly budget.

    He is a very angry young man, this past weekend, my significant other and I spent a night at a friends cabin. I came home I noticed evidence that my son was smoking in the garage, which I have told him over and over to not do and the house was a complete mess. Our argument began then because there a $20 bill sitting on the counter 2 days prior, I had not idea whose money it was, my youngest took it my oldest through a fit. I told him he would not get it back because he was smoking in the garage and the house was a disaster. He then started yelling at me and stormed out of the house. I followed him to his car, since he will always storm off if he doesn't get his way. While at the car is was yelling at me I [email protected]#$*ng hate you over and over. I again told him fine move out. He drove off and I got to my wits end went to his room and trough everything into trash bags and threw into the garage.

    While he was gone he kept texting me things he was angry about trying to place a guilt trip on me, which I know is easy to do by my nature. I did not let him and was able to different. He came home a bit calmer but still angry walked to the back of the house like nothing had happened. I called him out to discuss this was able to get him to listen for a bit, but then started interjecting. I told him he needs to understand, I am working (although I work at home now) going to school, do all the house and yard work to maintain the household. He says well I am working all the time, which is about 40-45 hrs a week, and you(me) are working at home now, so you have more time and his brother doesn't have to do much extra things and part of the mess is from him. Which I can believe because both boys just drop things where they land. But I also know that my younger son will put stuff away if asked, where my oldest will say he will put dishes way at night, but I wake up and guess what there are still dishes right where they were. His brother is also a Jr. in HS in all accelerated and AP classes, on the varsity debate team and is working approx 20-25 hrs a week and has all A's and B's. My oldest thinks he should be treated as my "peer", while having the privileges of his younger brother. When I told him he needs to work for what he wants and that he is not entitled to anything, he again stormed out and later texted me don't call me selfish! I didn't say selfish I said he is not entitled.

    He does pay his own cell phone and car payment, his own gas and food some of the times. But he does not pay car insurance or rent. I told him I am saving him money but he is not putting that money away to move out. He was going to apply to school for this past fall and was even encouraged to by his attorney but he again chose not to, saying he wants to wait until all the legal stuff is over. That has now become his new thing, he will move out once this is all over for when he needs a background check. He was shocked that I threw all his stuff out, and was mad that I wouldn't help him bring it back in but if he stayed there were going to be more rules placed on him and he is not allowed to disrespect me, his response "well you can't disrespect me." I told him he can only argue that point when he starts paying rent, utilities, etc, until then he has no right, it is my house, I pay the bills.

    I know I am enabling him. My question is are there any ideas how to enforce tough love on him when I know he does have many emotional issues going on. I want him to succeed, we have always have a very close relationship due to their father's issues and this is just killing me. I know our relationship is strained right now and know it may get worse if he stays in the house. Because I know he does work hard at work, but what I see is he comes home goes directly into his room and watches TV. He feels since he "house sits" for me when I am not home he deserves everything and even gets mad if I say no I am out in the family room and you can have the TV when I am done. I know he is a spoiled brat and I am the one that has allowed that. I have tried counseling with him which was more hurtful than helpful.

    Sorry for such a long story, but I am at wits end. Thank you Stressedoutmom
  2. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Okay I will say this he is not a problem Difficult Child he is acting his age the problem he is a grown man with his own sets of values which are in not way better or worse then yours but contradict yours. You two can not live together and it strains your relationship.
    You have every right to kick him out and its the right thing to do. This is how you should go you will be honest you will tell why you want him out but I strongly recommend you do not mention his flaws that will be a personal attack on him. Short and simple you living here puts a strain on our relationship and I want you out the reasons on why do not matter its just puts a strain.
  3. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    Hi stressed out, I am sorry for what you are going through. Yes, I can see your son has emotional issues and I'm sorry for that. I do have to say that it does not entitle him to be emotionally and verbally abusive to you! He is hard working and since he is loved at work it seems like he knows how to behave correctly when he is away from home. It seems they always hurt those that are closest to them. (my son does the same thing.) The problem is if you don't stop the behavior now it will continue and set a precedent that its ok to treat mom this way. We cannot change their behaviors..they are adults. But what we can change is our behavior. By that i mean what we will accept and not accept. As I see it you have the right to tell him that you will not accept unacceptable behavior. Tell him what you want and give him a time line. If he does not meet your requirements, well then by all means go out and live your life! This is your home! It is supposed to be your sanctuary ! where you have peace., not turmoil. He can follow his rules in HIS home not yours. But you need to give a time line and stick to it..I know its hard but If he sees you mean it and follow through he will learn that his current behavior will not be tolerated. I also suggest you find some counseling for YOU. It helps to talk to someone, and they can help give you Ideas on how to better cope with this situation. Be kind to something for you! You are important! more people will come along and post. Keep reading on this site it helps. Good luck and hugs to you
  4. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I agree. He needs to go - for your sanity and for the peace of the household. He is setting a terrible example for your younger child. He lived the emotional abuse from your ex and now he is projecting it on you. Like jet said, he knows how to behave and be respectful-he just refuses to behave and be respectful of you. You don't deserve that and you should not put up with it. He can make his own rules in his own place, not yours. Just my 2 cents...hugs.
  5. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome, SOM!

    A couple of questions--does your son ever threaten violence toward you or your younger child? Are you scared of him, physically, if you try to enforce the rules that he doesn't like or force him to leave?
  6. stressedoutmom

    stressedoutmom New Member

    No I am not afraid of him in the least, never evoked violence. On his brother they are typical brothers, they lived through the crap with their father together. He says he is just tired of being blamed for everything if I am not home. But the hard part is that he started lying 5 years ago and has been busted in lies, so hard to believe him. The hard part is he can be loving and caring until I enforce rules. As I told him yesterday, when he doesn't get his way, his anger goes from zero to 60 in 2 secs. He is not physically angry, just starts yelling and then storms out of the house. He says he does that to cool down, but then comes home like nothing happened.
  7. stressedoutmom

    stressedoutmom New Member

    Yes he does need to go and become an adult. He has been saying for about 1 year he wants to move out, but then never follows through or as above, something else has come up, dad in rehab, arrest, dad back in rehab. I did tell him that him and his friend need to find an apartment now because it is to much of a strain on our relationship. That is the hardest thing seeing him act like his father and following his anger issues, when in the past we have had a generally good relationship, was always the boys and I together. I have always been their stable parent. I believe he is afraid to leave, but then according to him he wants to leave. I offered to help him get into a place, because I value our relationship, but then has to do rest on his own. If he doesn't take that offer, he is afraid to go. His brother, myself and my SO are just very tired of his anger issues when they come. I ask him why am I the only one he treats like that? I know he is a good person at heart, just has anger issues to me and his brother. According to him, I don't treat him like an adult, but then he wants the same privileges as his brother. I tell him he needs to earn the respect to be given the respect of an adult.
  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi, SOM

    Glad to hear that your son is in no way violent!

    Some of our young men (and women) are, so I just thought I would ask.

    There is really no easy way to tell someone something that they don't want to hear, when that person gets angry and flies off the handle whenever he is told something that he doesn't want to hear.

    That is not an adult way of handling things. I presume he can control himself when he wants to, since he has been able to keep a job for quite a while. This is a good thing!

    If it were me, I would decide what I want to have happen and how to go about it, then sit with him somewhere and tell him that we need to have a talk about the future.

    Lay out the requirements, like how he needs to give you X amount of money from his paycheck, which will go into savings for him, and in X numbers of months, he should have enough money to rent a place and turn on utilities. Let him know that you are proud of him for moving forward in his life. This is not a punishment, but a new season of life for him. He can't stay on that cusp of manhood and not step on out toward it.

    You need to be firm in your resolve that it is time to go. No more excuses for him, which is all that other stuff really is. He is allowing the excuses to keep him from moving forward, but the real reason is fear of growing up. Don't allow him to stay stuck. He will never mature as long as he lives like a child.