Forgive me, no where else to rant.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Lil, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    First, I have no problems compared to many of you fine, brave, hurting parents and I apologize, because I simply have no where else to rant. So here I go:

    So...the college lets my son back in and as I reported last month, we finally gave him his $760 student loan - supposedly to buy a computer and to live on. Of course, then the other student loan comes in and I was shocked at how much it was - $1,680 - apparently because he's taking fewer classes this semester; 8 instead of 15 hours. We'd determined that it was his money. That he borrowed it (I'm not on that promissory note) that he'll have to pay it back and that if he wants it he can have it. Frankly, I'm not sure we'd have any right to do anything but give it to him anyway, legally speaking.

    January 28, $1,680 goes into his account. His bank account shows up on our internet banking and is linked to our accounts. Not monetarily - we can transfer money back and forth between his and ours - but while we have access to his, he can't access our accounts and he does not have overdraft ability. Anyway, two days later, a letter from the school addressed to him. We open it of course, because it could be important and he's 4 hours away. "Our records show you are not regularly attending this class. If you want to withdraw you must do so by <date>." I call him up. He swears he only missed two days. His first remark was he'd been busy. BUSY! I won't bother to tell you how well "busy" went over with me. Then he's "been sick once and overslept once" and he's really doing fine and keeping it together and really, honestly, he's going to do well this semester. Yeah. Right.

    TEN days after his money is deposited, I go to internet banking to check our own account and make sure certain bills have paid and see his balance. $680 and change. He's spent ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS in TEN DAYS! Looking at his transactions, there's a lot of ATM withdrawals...but there's also a LOT of fast food and cigarette shops - almost $100 - and gas stations and (oh joy) a piercing and tattoo studio to the tune of $121 and Walmart and other stores...some in other nearby towns (his college is in a tiny town, you have to drive about an hour to do much) and $300 in various on-line gaming junk. So...text the son. "It's your money, but do you realize how much you've spent? You would have had $400 a month if you had budgeted. Now you have $160 a month. I'm just saying this because it's easy to lose track if you don't pay close attention. Etc., etc." His response..."I know, it's good, I'm budgeting the rest, blah, blah, blah."

    Three days later and he's down ANOTHER $300.00. That's right, he's now withdrawn ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS in 14 days!

    This text was a little more on point. "Do you realize you are not getting another PENNY from us? What the heck are you thinking? You are down to $380 to last 3 1/2 MONTHS! You could have lived comfortably. You could have gotten a job and used it for a down payment on a car. ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?"

    His response: He has a considerable amount of cash and "for the most part" he's going to budget the rest, and he's set money aside for gas, cigarettes, etc. and as soon as the weather is better he's going to job hunt.

    I shouldn't let this bother me so much. The fact is it's his money. Yes, we're still supporting him since we are stuck paying his dorm whether he's there or not and we're stuck paying his cell phone because of the contract, but other than that we're not giving him money. He's the one that borrowed that money. He's the one that has to pay it back. Drugs? I don't know. Like I said, there's a lot of purchases I can trace. Only one to what I can determine is the local head shop...but who knows what he bought? Probably a pipe and some hippie/goth clothes. But there's a lot of cash too.

    And you know, I'm really just as angry that he spent $300 on stupid gaming stuff. Three hundred dollars! I don't spend $300 on myself in a year! I own ONE pair of jeans! I wear the same three outfits to work over and over, because I never spend money on myself. I bought new panties the other day and it was the first time in two years! And he blows $1,300 in two weeks.

    It's not even that I didn't expect it. I expected him to blow quite a bit. But I honestly thought, once I pointed out the first time how little he had left, he's watch it just a little. He dropped $150 THAT DAY!

    I'm just so freaking disappointed in him. I hate feeling like this. I want to be able to look forward to hearing from him and I'm not. At this point I see it coming. I see the phone calls because he's out of money and out of cigarettes and I'm going to have to be one dealing with it because he always asks me. I've already told him not to ask because it'll be his own darn fault. But it will happen. He'll be broke and miserable and take it out on me.

    I want to be proud of my son and I'm not. I hate that my facebook friends and relatives post about their kids with a photo of their name on the Dean's list or their college scholarships or their dating the perfect girl. My husband and I met a realtor the other day (just browsing) but she launches into her kid and the girl he's dating (from my hometown which is how the conversation got started) and how he's working here and paying all the prom expenses himself and saving money for college/car/retirement and I'm thinking, "Oh your son is a brain surgeon/rocket scientist/Miracle of God? How nice for you! Mine's flunking out of college because he's too busy being a useless stoner waste of skin to live a decent life."

    Guess I'm not as detached as I thought I was a few weeks ago.

    Maybe I should look at the bright side. Given the amount of money he's spent on on-line gaming and software, it's pretty certain he actually did buy the other kid's computer last month.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending understanding hugs your way. Many of us have been there...and a heck of alot is hard to watch. I don't have any brilliant advice but I do suggest that you find a sentence you can use repeatedly when asked about him. Find your own words.
    "John's in college but seems to be on a rollercoaster ride" "John's safe and sound but we're eager for him to focus on his future."

    Just some sentence that you can spit out when you are asked.
    It's a little weird, I'll admit, but 'short and sweet" immediately followed by a question "Tell me you YOU are doing?" works.

    Meanwhile...try to disengage as much as possible. Sleepless nights and upset stomachs and crazy dreams are not in your best interests. Hugs DDD
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.

    Detach, detach, detach. If he has to pay it back, it is not your problem, it is his. After your obligation to pay the dorm is finished, you can decide not to do it again. It does not sound like he is ready to seriously go to college yet.

    Our kids were not given to give us reasons to brag...our own accomplishments are what we should be proud of, not somebody else's, not even our child's. Likewise, we are not responsible when our adult children mess up. It is not worth the energy to even read what your friend's kids are doing. Life is what it is. You can't change it. You can only accept it and move on and enjoy YOUR OWN life.Your own life is what you own and it is precious. Don't waste it.

    Want to learn a great new concept? Google up "Radical Acceptance" and read about it. Changed my entire outlook on life and I am no longer that person who is overly worried about the future. Give it a shot :)
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Thank you DDD. Like I said, I'm just ranting. I knew he'd blow a good bit of money. When I saw how much it was I was horrified, because he's always blown his money and there was no reason to bellieve he'd do better, but it's his money.

    MidwestMom, the story is long and depressing. We sent him on to college really to get him away from his stoner friends. Of course, he promptly grabbed on to the first like-minded person he met. All in all, he's flunked out of school, sold all his stuff, gave me the worst Christmas I've ever experienced and generally made me miserable.

    It bothers me most that I expected a portion of this money to go up in smoke...yet I'm still disappointed. Makes me mad at myself that I let it get to me.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Read this my post on this forum about radical acceptance. It could help you. It is for situations just like yours.

  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Even though we know it will happen, when it does it just stors somethingup inside us that we can't control. My difficult child went rhough $1500 in two weeks a couple years ago. She didn't pay rent or utilities, she bought alcohol and pot and had a party 24/7 in her apartment. Don't you know they have all kinds of friends when that happens, share the pot, livin life. When she went to college she went through her entire semester's meal program in one month. She let others use her card for a portion in cash. I knew she was buying pot. You don't go to the ATM five times in one day and take out $40 each time for a burger and fries. And yes she also got a tattoo and piercing with part of the money and then proudly showed off her pierced tongue on facebook for all to see. It was disgusting.

    Prepare yourself because I would bet he is not going to class at all (mine wasn't either and was finally suspended). They continue shooting themselves in the foot at every turn.

    Vent all you want, chances are that several of us have lived thorugh the same thing.
  7. Huff

    Huff Member

    I think I could have written that rant myself. I feel for you and can only say that I have been through the exact same thing. Over and over again. Bail out after bail out thinking that this may be the time he learns. It was all to no avail and I realize now it is up to him. I hope he figures it out and contacts me someday. Till then I have detached. Remememner you can rant here anytime. It not only will help you but all of us here benefit from others rants as well. God bless

  8. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    We have to rant Lil or the top of our heads will blow off with the insanity of it all.

    I am sorry that you are seeing the decline as the bank account numbers go down and down. I can imagine how many times you have looked at it. I do think it is jarring but helpful sometimes to see it this clearly in dollars and cents instead of events and sadness and unnamed sick fears.

    It is radical. This bad decision making that you are still tied to, today, that still continues as you remain thrifty and solid. You can see his train coming way way down the track and you can't do a thing to stop it. And oh that is so hard to have that kind of vision for our difficult children.

    It is the worst kind of powerless. Yes...We ARE powerless but we are not helpless.

    We have help...and by ranting it out once twice twenty times you are moving it out of your mind and heart and by doing so you will move forward.

    And then by working again to move toward detachment and radical acceptance that MWM talks about and reclaiming our own lives and a new, if fragile peace. And then more days of it and a deeper calm and growing serenity. We can still be upended and it may take time, again, to right ourselves but if we keep reaching out for that help, for tools, for each other, we can make progress.

    Powerless. But not helpless.

    Rage against it Lil. And then move to another place---for YOU---in your mind and heart, if you can.

    I am reminding myself now of gratitude...I have lost sight of it these past couple of days. But there it is again---I am seeing it again. Right now.

    Blessings and peace and prayers for you and your family today Lil.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  9. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    MidwestMom, I agree they weren't given to us to brag about. I don't want to brag. I just want to not be disappointed. You can't tell me you aren't proud of your kids that are doing well. That's a normal and natural reaction for a parent. It would be abnormal to not be proud of a child that does well. That's all I want. And yes, it's what I have to accept that I can't have.

    Anyway, at this point, I do expect he'll flunk out again...even though he's been warned and warned that it will cost him getting student loans again (he's already on financial aid warning) and will keep him from getting back in anywhere else for a very long time. I expect a good portion of his money has gone to pot...literally.

    Expecting it doesn't make me feel any better.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Believe it or not, most of the time I'm actually okay. Most of the time I don't worry about him...well, not much...and I don't think about him and what he's doing. That's the joy of him being 4 hours away at college...I'm not supposed to know what he's doing! My husband wanted to close this account and make him open his own in another bank and I was dead set against it. Mostly because if he has a serious need - car breaks down or he gets sick and needs medicine or other unforseen and unavoidable things - we can easily get him what he needs this way. (Although we have told him he will give us the name of a garage, etc., and we will pay the provider of any service by credit card over the phone and not give him money.) I still think it's a good idea. But right now I wish he'd have just emptied the account all at once and told me he moved it to another bank. Then I wouldn't have to see it.

    But I digress. Most of the time I'm fine. I'm at work or at home and content and not even thinking about him. I tend to try to look on the bright side. It could be worse. He's not in jail - hasn't ever had that problem. To my knowlege he's not on any hard drugs. At least until the end of May he's not going to be able to say he's homeless or hungry and my conscience is clear in that respect and if he can't find a place to live...well, I offered to support him and hold on to the loan so he'd have deposits and such, but he wouldn't hear of it, so also no one's fault but his own if it happens. And I was serious, I actually am pretty sure now he actually bought the computer, which is something.

    At this point, it's just his refusal to use a brain cell. He doesn't want to be a responsible person. He doesn't want to get an education and if I thought he'd be happy working for minimum wage and living in a rat hole apartment, I would be okay with him not living up to his potential. But I know him. He won't be happy without a substantial income and he won't get that without an education and it will become a vicious cycle.

    I generally try to take an "expect the worst and then if it doesn't happen you'll be happily surprised" attitude toward things. It was just seeing that money disappear in two weeks that got to me.

    So usually I'm okay. My husband and I are planning a trip and trying to enjoy our empty nest...and it's nice, really, to not have a moody teenager underfoot (or hiding in his room); there's a noticable lack of tension in our home.