Haven't been on this before

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kjs, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Can a easy child turn into a difficult child ??? My older son has moved in and out of my house for years.

    I blame myself for him leaving college. I lost my 18 year supervisor job. A few months later husband's company was sold and shut down. We nearly lost our house. Son had to come home from college, had no money.

    He has since taken a few college classes. Been employed for short periods of time. Quit most jobs because "he didn't like it". Has been bartending for over the past year. Has been out of the house since last summer. Spending every day and most nights at our house recently. Then informed me that his current roommate asked him to move out.

    ?? no job at all right now...

    He has ruined his credit years ago. Then got a good job out of town and began to put things back together. Even got a loan. Then his car broke down, he quit, broke his lease and came home.

    I have been paying his cell phone bill and loan payment since last october when things hit bottom for him. I thought he will get on his feet and he will again start paying me for his phone.

    Didn't happen. Gets up or comes over to eat. Lays around. About 3 or 4 in the afternoon decides to take a shower and go look for a job. Leaves the house about 5pm. Right, looking for a job????? He has no car. uses MY car or has girlfriend drive him.

    Yesterday I got home from work to find that difficult child has not done his assignments for school (3.5 days off and husband said he has been checking on his assignments, you know, that he did them). Only difficult child did NOT do them.

    I wrote husband a note about what needed to be done since I was headed for bed.

    I wrote older son a note. He needs to get a job. I cannot keep making his payments it is causing hardship. Told him to fill out the applications he picked up and BRING them back. Go to places that say apply in person and go to employment agencies and I listed about 6 or 7. I also said he can make arrangements with husband to take him to work so he can use his car. Even offered MY car if he would give me a ride in at midnight and pick me up at noon.

    I only wrote these notes because i was going to bed and usually do not see anyone. Older son came home just then. Started reading my note and started SCREAMING at me. Telling me how he applies every day online. That he IS looking. That I don't know how hard it is. Then he threw a pile of papers across the room in my direction. Then threw the kitchen chair. He was yelling and screaming. I started to cry. He went down stairs to his room and I went down a few minutes later to ask if he wanted to drive me to work. Only he told me to "get out of here - go away - don't talk to me" In really mean words. I left crying. Then he yelled that I am feeling sorry for myself and he left.

    I was so hurt, so upset so angry. I bend over backwards for my boys and this is what I get??? Feeling sorry for myself? Maybe if I wasn't paying HIS loan payment I could get a new door. One I don't have to shove a blanket in to keep the cold air from blowing in. A door that actually shuts.

    I called husband at work on the cell and left a message. I was crying. Hoping he would speak to Son and tell him he cannot talk to me this way.

    Wrong. How wrong I was. Son texted husband and told him that "we" got into it and he lost his temper. He didn't tell husband that I didn't say anything, i was getting ready for bed. But, nobody ever believes me. husband didn't say anything to me. I had to ask him a zillion questions. I actually thought husband would stick up for me. I was wrong. Why would he.

    Did you notice I didn't refer to Son as easy child. I don't know what he is. Just know he is unemployed, no car and I guess it is MY fault.

    I work 12 hour nights and a second job on my days off from here. According to Son and husband - I am feeling sorry for myself.

    I just wanted to earn a little more so I could buy a door..new windows maybe.

    I am feeling sad. This son never raised his voice to me growing up. Was such a good kid. Guess I am a total failure. After all look at my husband and my other son.

    Is there a place for failures? I need to go. Even though THEY should go. MY house and I pay all the bills.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Your son is 26 years old?
    Did I catch this right?
    He is an adult.
    Hold on. This is NOT a place for failures. You are not a failure. Your son is not a failure. We are human beings who sometimes need a moment to catch our breath.
    This is a place for thinking things over, getting advice and making corrections if needed.
    How can you blame yourself for your son leaving college? This is NOT your fault. Put blame where it belongs and NEVER EVER EVER EVER utter or think that this is your fault. It is damaging to yourself and your son in that it hurts your self esteem needlessly and it gives your son an excuse to continue in his maladaptive ways.
    Are there no colleges near your home?
    Choices...my friend. Choices. Your son has them. Don't give into goofy thinking.
    If you promised your son that you would pay for college, you can do that. You can repay a loan, for example.
    He can contribute. He can pay for his expenses. He can and should do that...especially given his age.

    Our son paid for many of his expenses all through college. He lived at home for the first two years. He worked 30 hours a week for most of that time. He only took one or two courses a semester the first year. Then it was 1/2 time the second year. After that, he moved on campus in a dorm and worked 10 hours s a week. After that, he moved into a an apartment.
    He always paid for his own cell phone, his own expenses like movies, etc, , his own gasoline, most of his own food, 1/2 of his car insurance and most of his own clothing. We paid for tuition, books, apartment rental, minimum car expenses, minimum food, some clothing and all his medical needs. He just turned 24 and it took him 5 years to get his BA. He is graduating in April with honors.
    When we got tough on him and told him he had no choices in this and that he had to be a man...he stepped up to the plate. After he got his first job and began to pay for things on his own, he took pride in himself. He had to pay for some things on his own to reallize the value of a dollar. Sure, he was doing things differently than the next guy...it paid off BIG TIME. Side note: he saved, saved and saved. Not too long ago he bought his fiance a giant diamond ring...it's gorgeous and so is she! :D
    Bottom line: No losers here. You might want to look at this differently. If I were you, I would hold him more accountable for HIMSELF. I would give him 4-6 weeks to start paying his OWN cell phone... NO MORE! If he goes to college, I would NOT over burden him with financial responsibiltiies...but start putting SOME responsibilities on him NOW. Give him a little warning...but give him the warnings NOW and then stick to them. BE fair...but BRUTAL.

    Suggest to him that a college degree almost always spells more income in the future. I just saw that he is not working consistently. What is the story here? Does he want to work? How hard is he trying? He'll need to if he is paying for things himself. At least a pt job if he is taking courses full time. A full time job if he is taking courses part time. Is he healthy? Does he have any Learning Disability (LD) issues? If not, some students can work full time and take several courses too.

    A pt job is often is ideal if taking several college courses...but they are sometimes hard to find. He can also talk to someone at the college about a loan where he works on campus. Tell him he needs to go and ask and go NOW! (This could get ugly...at some point you might have to give him an ultimatum here...a story for possibly another day). Before too long, your adult child should be looking for another place to live...not your home.

    Additionally, ...make a plan to buy that door sometime in the near future. Make plans for yourself. Hey, I'm in graduate school, working pt, fighting health issues and have a difficult child...and I'm ancient! Hold your head up high...move forward...that's my idea.

    You are on the right track. If you need additional support...don't hesitate to get into some counseling. What about couples counseling? Having a PITA semi difficult child adult child around is TAXING...don't kid yourself. Also, consider counseling for your son...he may be suffering from depression.

    Keep one foot in front of the other...keep moving forward. Best wishes.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 3, 2009
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Sorry to hear you have been disrespected and taken for granted by your son and that your husband would not stick up for you.

    Awhile back, my daughter was put off because her dad and I had stopped taking out parent loans to help with her education (we had been helping her for a couple of years prior to that, in addition to her own student loans), so, she had a mini-meltdown. Anyway, she was able to find an alternative way to finance her education and to continue through to graduation, and so, it was not the end of the world!

    We moms have a lot of love for our kids! I feel it is sometimes difficult for us to stick to our guns and be tough/expect our grown kids to seek to be independent, especially when they are really struggling!
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  4. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    Just wanted to say welcome.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Don't feel guilty about the college. Life happens, it's not your fault. If easy child son wants to go he can go. There is FASFA, there are loans. He is plenty old enough to qualify for both.

    Sounds like he's using that guilt you feel to take advantage of you. Don't have to be a difficult child to do that.

    You're being kind and allowing him to come home to live repeatedly and he has the audacity to scream at you? Sweetie, I have 2 grown difficult child's at home who wouldn't consider raising their voices to me. Why? Because they'd be out the door so fast they'd have whiplash. Even a dog is smart enough not to bite the hand that feeds them.

    You need to set some conditions for easy child son to stay there. Give him x amt of time to get his act together, find a job, a place to live, and be out the door.

    Personally kjs, I don't know how you do it. If I were standing in your shoes being treated that way by the 3 most important people in my life.......I think I'd walk out the door myself and tell all 3 of them to enjoy each other I'd had enough.:faint: Then get me a nice little apartment, an 8 hour job, and have some peace and REST. sheesh

  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Oh, I am sorry. I didn't mean to mislead anyone. I am NOT knew to CD board. Just this parent emetrius part. regular on general and watercooler. I have been dealing with difficult child and husband for many years. Actually joined many years ago but husband made me quit. Total denial and still is after all these years.

    it is my older son that has just thrown me in a tizzy. Maybe all these years of seeing difficult child and husband disrespect me caught on. I was only trying to help.

    He did quit school because of our financial situation. He does have student loans that he cannot pay. As well as a personal loan. He did have a good job about an hour away for a little over a year. But car broke down, girlfriend dumped him and he moved back home.

    Did some bartending in a fancy restaruant. Traded that in for a dumpy corner bar with local drunks. Bar couldn't afford to pay him and shut down.

    With the holidays and bdays I thought I would get him caught up on his loan. Cell phone is on MY plan. He did pay his portion for 9 months, then everything just fell apart. But he was helping at home with difficult child and driving him when needed.

    Now, I was only trying to be nice. I wrote down the rules for moving back home.

    #1. JOB any job. Has bills to pay
    #2. Will keep basement / room clean

    thought i was being nice with job advice, car offers...but he totally lost it. Then said such mean things to me. I work 7 days a week. I go no where. I sleep afternoons cause i work nights. I would give up everything so they would be happy. yet they continue to blame me for everything.

    I am just at a loss as to what to do with my older son. Yes. 26 years old. Bad credit. No loans. no money. no job. no car.

    Likes the party life. I don't know how to handle this. He was always such a good kid. I never had to really write about him. Do I let him come back? Do I tell him to go live on the street? How do you handle this?
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    For those who tell the adult kids to leave....where do they go? Don't you worry? I read the pain of all the parents whose kids run away and they don't know where they are. What about the pain of having to tell your child to leave knowing he has no money, job, car or place to go. How do you handle that? Especially when you have to handle that alone. Then handle difficult child issues too.

    I have great respect for all of you. I need to learn how you do it. I think I would worry myself sick not knowing where he would go.
  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Kjs, Where your son is in his life is not your fault - in fact, it really has very little to do with you. At 26, he already knows what he has to do, how to behave respectfully and treat others, how to get a job, how to pay rent or maintain his bills and a car. You can't teach him anything.

    Stop trying to be nice. Stop trying to help him. By continuously trying to find ways of helping him or be nice to him, you're actually hurting him and preventing him from landing on his skinny arse and doing for himself.

    Do you ask him to leave? Most definitely. You give him a deadline date and tell him he must leave by such and such date and then stick with it. He has friends and a girlfriend - surely he can find some places to crash until he gets his act together. It's not your problem. Good Lord, kjs, you have enough on your plate with difficult child and H - you can't possibly take anymore.

    Do parents who ask their kids to leave worry? Yes, we do. We lose sleep and walk around with headaches wondering if their kid is okay. And I'm talking mostly about younger kids, such as 17 and 18 and 19 year olds. Your son is 26. He's already lived on his own so he knows what's expected, what he needs to do. Try to stop feeling sorry for him about his car, his job, etc. Even if none of those things fell apart by his own doing, it's his life and he needs to take the necessary steps to get back on his feet. Stop paying his darned cell phone - cancel it or suspend services to that line. Cell phones are not necessary and he should get his own. Use the money saved to buy yourself that door or one window at a time or a day at the spa.

    Seriously, I'm with Lisa on this one - go find yourself an apt and let them live together without you and all that you do and give of yourself.

    Sending strength and hugs~
  9. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I would find an apartment but I pay for the house!

    easy child hasn't moved back yet. He has been there eating and sleeping for a few weeks, but technically still was living with a friend. That friend asked him to leave cause he is having his girlfriend move in. So...Saturday easy child told me he was moving back in.

    I told him he cannot move his bed back. Last time his bedroom set was in the garage for a year and my car sat out. I told him to find someplace to store it cause it's not coming back here. There IS a bedroom set in "his" room. But when he goes out to the bars, or parties he comes home and smells. Piles of stinky clothes on the floor. Makes the basement smell, the carpet smell.

    He tends to come to the house when I am at work or sleeping. I just know he was there because he leaves dirty dishes. And of course difficult child tells me he was there.

    You are some strong people. I will need to read more on how you all stay so strong.

    But WHY would husband allow him to hurt me so much? Why wouldn't he even talk to him?
    why does he believe it is my fault also?

    I need to go out and meet people. Any suggestions?
  10. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Kjs,
    welcome to our little corner--I know you are not knew to CD, just to PE! I had to kick out my dtr when she was 18. She had a boyfriend (26 yrs old) so she left with him and they stayed in homeless shelters while trying to con people into taking them in. One thing to know, these kids are very resourceful when they have to be. I don't think your son has any business living with you when he treats you so badly.

    I have a 24 yr old son who was living with us while he opened a restaurant business. He had been to college for 2 yrs but got into trouble with drinking there and had community service to do. He didn't do it, hence he was unable to continue. He came back to our town, got work, moved out of our house, then moved back in. The thing is, he was very grateful for having a place to stay. He treated us with respect and he basically ran his own life. He had to work 14-16 hr days with his restaurant so we hardly saw him. The restaurant ended up failing and he was very depressed. But, he got on with his life, moved out to the west coast and is now getting back on his feet--has a job, a place to live, etc. He feels good about himself because he is doing it on his own. He would like to go back to college--well, he is nearly 25 and he will have to finance that on his own. He has debts he has not paid, including college loans. He will pay them or he won't, not my problem. He's an adult man now, he has to figure this stuff out himself.

    I guess my point is, your son is an adult now. He cannot feel good about anything he does if he is dependent on you. I think that may be why he is so mean to you--he probably hates his life and his dependence and he is lashing out at you. You need to stand up to him--and I don't think you should be expecting husband to do it for you--you need to do it yourself. He is not going to treat you well just because husband tells him to. You need to demand it for yourself.

    I do think you have to get him out of your house--for his sake as well as yours.

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Well, if this isn't the million dollar question...I wish I knew kjs. It's mostly likely because you stick around and take it. Maybe you complain about it or yell about it or cry about it, but by sticking around, you're accepting it to a degree.

    I know how you feel.

    You're afraid of not helping difficult child with his school work, you're afraid of the confrontations with H, you're afraid to not pay certain bills or not do certain chores....because you know they won't get done or that people will criticize you or try to make you feel guilty. And because you already carry a lot of guilt for things that are not yours to feel guilty about, whammo! You feel guilty. And so, you keep doing, keep being the strong one, stay and put up with it.

    But at a certain point, and only you know when that is, you will stop being the doormat for all three of them and begin to care for yourself, nurture yourself and treat yourself with the level of respect you want others to treat you with.

    How to meet people? Explore some hobbies and while checking them out, you will meet people. I love going to the library, I'm a reader. I meet people there. I recently took up crocheting and went to a yarn store and met some nice ladies as well. How about joining a local gardening group, or if your town has a rec center, joining an adult sport like pick up volleyball or taking a yoga class? We have an arts center nearby where we can take painting, pottery, drawing, ink, etc. - great way to meet people with similar interests. Or take a class through your local adult ed program - they are inexpensive and offer a lot of different things to learn that can be a lot of fun. My problem was finding things I was really interested in doing. Another way to meet people is through volunteer work, which may prove to be too much for you given the responsibilities you currently have - or, you could do something on a small scale, like a Spring town cleanup. We have a river nearby and every Spring there is a 'cleanup' volunteer thing. It's a great way to spend a day outdoors, meeting new people and doing something worthwhile.
  12. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member


    First of all, sending you many gentle hugs for your pain. You shouldn't have to feel that way in your own home, no matter what.

    Thing is, your H and your sons WILL continue to treat you badly and with disrespect as long as you continue to let them.

    Look at it from the perspective of your H, for example:

    "I treat her like dirt, and yet she still works 2 jobs and covers for all the family's financial needs, and makes sure that the children are looked after, and even comes running to me when something makes her sad. Why should I do anything differently, because what I'm doing now works for me."

    And both of your sons are learning from H's example, that it's acceptable to treat a wife that way. And from your example, that as a wife, you find it acceptable to be treated that way.

    And so you react by being nicer to them, by taking more care of them, by working harder, by paying more of their bills. As if to show them, "See, I AM a good person. Maybe now you'll treat me better."

    But then won't! While you continue doing for them, they have no reason in the world to change their behaviour.

    So the change has to start with you.
    Let H take care of himself.
    Let your older son fend for himself. He will more than likely land on his feet if you give him the opportunity to do so by not carrying the load for him.
    Let your difficult child experience all of the consequences of not doing his work. If that means that he fails in school, so be it. He will have brought it on himself.

    None of these things are your problems, but by taking ownership of them you've set yourself up as a target for blame when your H and sons don't do what they're supposed to be doing.

    You've got to step off the merry-go-round.

    If you have to work 2 jobs to cover all of the expenses, start cutting back. There's no reason why your H or your sons should be on your cellphone plan that you pay for. There's no reason that you should be working extra hours to pay your 26 year old son's bills.

    Until you stop accepting the way they treat you, they will not change the way they treat you.

    I hope that my words aren't causing you additional pain on top of that which you're already feeling. It's just that I've stood in your shoes with a husband that treated me like dirt, and never appreciated my hard work or love or anything. It was only when I walked away that he realized what he'd lost, but by then I had moved on.

    You need to be kind to you. That will set the standard for others as to how you expect to be treated.

    Sending more hugs, to add to the ones I started off with. I'm so sorry you're living through this, and know that I understand.

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others but I also know how hard it is to think about kicking a kid out. It was really hard for me to prod Cory out the door. Best thing we did though.

    I still have my oldest here at home but that is a different situation. He works and is very respectful to us. He pays all his own bills plus helps out around the house with things. He wants to move out but with his slight aspie problems I dont think he is quite there yet. But he isnt a problem to have at home...in fact, he is a help with my health.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    It's okay to be nice...to a certain extent. However, do not play the victim. Always insist on respect in your home.

    You might go in out of victim mode since you have been through so much. It seems your husband hasn't helped as much as he should. Perhaps couples counseling is in order.

    You have set guidelines for your son. He is 26. He would be wise to follow them. If he can not...perhaps altnerative arrangement need to be seriously considered.

    I would also think about getting professional help on this. You've got a lot on your plate.

    by the way, if your son had to leave college due to a financial situation on your end...so be it. You can't hold your head in shame for this. You have agreed to pay or help pay for college loans. However, he can't be irresponsible. He needs to do his part. He is 26...it is more than time. You continue to agree to help pay for college through loans...you are being more than fair. He is not.

    in my humble opinion, you are moving in the right direction here...but likely need much support.
  15. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    I've been reading your other posts in general and watercooler for awhile. If I remember correctly, you and husband have been seeing someone for marital counseling - and that's not going all that well either...???

    If you're up to some tough love suggestions:

    1. Look at yourself in the mirror every day and repeat this: I am worthy of respect. I am worthy of respect from my husband and children. I am worthy of respect from my husband and my children, and I am worthy of respect from myself. I will treat myself with respect. At some point every day, I will be my own priority.

    Do this until you feel yourself becoming stronger. Remember the woman in the mirror. She is worthy of respect.

    2. Stop paying your adult son's bills. Today. Seriously, stop. He has not taken the responsibility to do this himself. You are enabling him to remain wallowing in his own self pity. He can contact his creditors. He can work out repayment plans. This is HIS responsibility.

    3. Cell phone - if he cannot afford this luxury, you do not need to provide it for him.

    4. Guests in your home are GUESTS. When they overstay their welcome, they will be asked to leave. If they don't leave when asked, advise the guest the police will be contacted. Then do it.

    5. If violence toward you or your belongings occur - or is threatened, contact the police. See suggestion #1.

    6. If there is no one in your home who appreciates what you are doing for the good of all, stop doing it.

    I hope this is something you and your counselor will discuss very soon. For your own peace of mind, you may have to cut back on being the helicopter wife/mother who is saving everyone else. Your helicopter is being held together by chewing gum, a safety pin, and a little duct tape. The engine is in need of a complete overhaul, and the fuel in the tank is running on empty. If that helicopter doesn't come in for some serious repairs, and a little down time, it will crash and burn.

    Welcome to PE - come in for a tune up anytime.

  16. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I agree with all that has been said and I will add one more suggestion. Respond to your own post as if someone else had written it. Then take your own advice. I am not being sharp or anything like that. I am making th suggestion because sometimes an exercise such as that is the way we can really get a handle on what we can do to change our way of reacting to the negatives that are thrown our way. It can be very empowering. -RM
  17. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    kjs, you've gotten some excellent advice and I agree with all of it. This sentence encompasses all that has been said "WE teach people how to treat us". It's good to have things to think about like this.
  18. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    This is why I love this PE family. We are straight shooters- what great advice you've gotten! I don't have a darn thing to add but I wanted to say hi and welcome.

  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Okay, I lied. I do have a suggestion to add- lol

    Read our old threads. Read our archives. You will feel better knowing that we all struggle with our lives and our decisions. And there are some wonderful threads...especially the one where we are making suggestions on what to say to our kids instead of getting involved in their issues. That's in archives. It will help you detach and "not let them see you sweat."

  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    You can make this stop, by refusing to do it anymore.

    Sounds really simple, huh? But it's not. Not at first anyway. Why? Because over the years you've had husband and difficult child wearing you down to get your to fit nicely into your role as doormat. And I don't say that to be mean. Really. Because I've been in that role myself. And it wasn't fun. But during those years when they were wearing you down.......this process became "normal" for you.

    So that now, when you've reached your breaking point, you still feel guilty when you don't forfill your assigned role. And I'm guessing that deep down maybe you don't like confrontation. I know I never did, and still don't. So to avoid nasty confrontation.......you just go right ahead and do what you've always done no matter how awful they treat you. And it's not even necessarily that you're a glutton for punishment. But that you have come to believe that everything will fall apart if you aren't there keeping it together.

    And maybe it will. But would that honestly be such a bad thing?

    What is so good that you're trying to save? (that is what I had to ask myself)

    Sweetie, if you go rent an apartment.......why would you need to pay for the house? You wouldn't be living there. husband could pay for it if he wants to keep it. It would no longer be your problem.

    See what I mean?

    You have to change YOUR way of thinking first. Because you may never change theirs. However you can change how you will let them treat you.

    I'm a pleaser and a giver by nature. husband and my kids never disrespected me because that was never a line I'd allow them to cross. BUT they did take advantage of me.....and I got worn down into the role until I couldn't even see it........until I reached my breaking point. Oh, and menopause helped. lol ;)

    husband and the kids thought I'd been possessed for a while. Then eventually figured out I was just fed up being the only one doing everything.

    Do you have a therapist for yourself? If not, you might consider it as a way to help you learn to just say NO.