HOW do I keep food in the house....RANT

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    ....when difficult child eats anything and everything whenever he wants???? He has no regard for anything around here....rules, us, food.....NOTHING.

    He's always had issues with food, always. At one time, long before we got him, I think his issues with food and hoarding was self preservation. Bio mom would lock him and his sibs in their rooms for hours. I understand this and understand why he would hoard food. That's not the issue now. The issue now is that he seems to think anything and everything is his to eat. Doesn't matter if he knows it's not his (doggy bag from restaurant), doesn't matter if he's been told not to eat it because it's for something specific. If he decides he wants it or decides he's hungry, he eats it.

    He ate cookie dough till he was full, let the dog knaw on it and gave me some bull story about how the dog OPENED THE FRIG and got it out.

    I had a frozen pumpkin roll in the freezer. I found it in his room in a desk drawer.

    I buy duplicates of things that I need for something because I know he'll want it. I TELL him..this one is MINE....this one is YOURS. He consumes both without batting an eye.

    I buy a bag of chicken patties from the Schwan guy. It's gone in a DAY.

    This is a pattern with him...always has been.

    Today I was at my dad's. difficult child calls me and asks if I'm going to pick something up for supper on my way home. I said yes because while I wasn't grabbing the almighty McD's, I would be getting some milk and something thawed out to cook. I get home and he had fixed himself an ENTIRE freaking bag of Schwans french fries. THE ENTIRE @#$%^&*( BAG.

    Alrighty then. Guess I don't have to cook tonight because he is NOT eathing another *&^%$# thing.

    I am not working. My unemployment has run out. I have a couple of hundred bucks left on my unemployment card for groceries for 2 adults, a walking garbage disposal, 2 dogs, 1 inside cat and the strays that I feed as cheap as possible. It would be one thing if he ate all that he fixed or got into but he doesn't. He eats what he wants, pitches the rest, leaves it open to get stale, leaves it out to rot or whatever. I don't have the money to supply him with all the carap he wants. I'll fix a good meal for dinner. He'll have a chicken pattie or 20.

    (OMG at this point I want a cigarrette soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad.)

    I want him out of this house and I want him out NOW. husband says he's working on it. Uh huh. WTH??? We have less than 2 months until the semester is over. The school is bending over backwards to get difficult child graduated because this is his THIRD attempt at it and he only has SIX classes to pass. SIX!!! husband is out of town for work and called me on break. I relayed a brief rant to him and delcared my desire to have an empty bedroom in the house. This was when he said he's working on it. He says he's working on getting difficult child into a group home which is actually what I want for him also. But when I asked husband what his plans were when difficult child refuses to do this, husband, in all his brilliant genius says that difficult child CAN'T refuse.


    The boy is 19. He's his own guardian. He can do (or not do) whatever the %$#$# he wants legally. He's already declared that he is not doing the group home. It's for "retards" and he's not one.

    Honestly, I can't see husband throwing difficult child out. There's always a reason why we can't. He needs to graduate, it's cold, it's Wednesday, he doesn't have a place to go....blah blah blah.

    All I can say is that SOMEONE will be leaving.
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't have anything to say that would offer you suggestions for the garbage disposal, but I can send you some {{{{{hugs}}}}}. I understand about the need for a smoke........

  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    At nineteen he really does need to be out on his own and paying for his own groceries. That isn't going to happen unless you can get husband on the same sheet of music, of course.

    You may have to resort to locking the fridge and freezer. You might also have to knock off ordering from Schwan's because they are not cheap and your son cannot be trusted around bulk purchases of food.

    At nineteen you don't have any legal obligation to provide for him, though I am not sure how that works if he is still in HS. I almost wonder if he isn't dragging his feet on the school thing because you can't pitch him out until he graduates or ages out of the system.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No advice here, wish I had some, but sending hugs your way. My difficult child is that way to an extent only he is such a picky eater I just have to buy limited stuff of the things he likes.
  5. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    (((((((((((hugs)))))))))) I know the being broke as he**, with nothing in the house to eat. My son will eat an entire roast, or he'll take it all for him and the remainder will be found under his bed days later. I guess it wouldn't bug me as much if he would actually eat it. I get so tired of going to the fridge to grab something only to find it gone and then when I do find it he's decided he doesn't like it or doesn't want it or is full and it's growing fur.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    He's still got hoarding issues and they may last the rest of his life. He's got to get into cognitive therapy, if he can handle it. Otherwise, any other kind of therapy that will focus on the food issue.
    If he can hold down a simple job, such as cutting grass, he can earn his own money to pay for his food.
    In reg to your husband and someone moving out, all I can say is, I hear you. I am so sorry. Wish I had some advice.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I hear you.
    My garbage disposal will eat everything and leave the empty box in the freezer so you think it's still there. It's infuriating.
    He truely doesn't know that you eat one dessert a day. Not all that is available. Pizza doesn't mean the whole thing. It's an impulse without any boundaries. It's sad too.
    He has no internal control that says "you have enough". He isn't thinking that maybe someone else will want some. Sharing is definitely something that has to be taught over and over. He isn't greedy by a long shot. Just self absorbed.
    Sigh. I was thinking the same thing about difficult child needing to be out.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The only other thing I can suggest, is (for a short while, anyway) have a food-free home. Do a deal with a neighbour to cook food there, store it there and only bring home the correct portions for everybody's meal. Any leftovers, you store in your own fridge and expect them to get eaten. Yes, it puts everyone on the same restrictions, but until he learns that food (and other people) needs to be treated with respect, you have to use harsh methods.

    I used to buy snacks and other foods for various purposes - muesli bars for school lunch boxes, single serve ice creams for dessert (because if I bought a carton of ice cream they would take far too much and it would be gone too fast). There were rules - one per person per day - but when they vanished too fast, I would refuse to buy more. This was penalising the kids who didn't cheat, so I refused to buy ANY of this stuff so everybody missed out (including parents).

    Also when difficult child 3 was an the strict elimination diet, again I stopped buying any processed food that was off the list. We all had to cut back.

    I found that the best defence against people pigging out on the household food storage, is to not keep any food in the house other than raw materials. Keep it very simple. And spare supplies, keep elsewhere (in the neighbour's beer fridge and don't tell difficult child - let him think you're begging for food from the neighbours and the favours will need to be repaid). If you only have raw meat in the house (until you cook it) then how can he pig out? Or would he cook it himself?

    If difficult child wants more food, he will have to buy it himself AND be responsible about how he uses food.

    If difficult child won't accept this, then he knows where the door is. If he says you're being ridiculous, point out that food should not be wasted, it should not be raided then abandoned. To do so is not only selfish, it is thoughtless and wasteful. Totally irresponsible and it is beggaring the family. His thoughtlessness is literally starving everyone else and desperate situations call for desperate measures.

    If he had Prader-Willi Syndrome, you would need to be even more drastic. Yes, there are families that do live like this. But he does not have this as an excuse. You do not have the luxury of being able to easily afford to replace what he gorges on, so in order to ensure you don't all starve or go broke, what else can you do?

    I'm an expert at what I call gourmet poverty food. I've shown my kids how I can literally create a tasty, nourishing meal out of scraps that other people would throw away. I have made great soup from a leftover chicken carcass (after we'd picked all the meat off the bones), onion skins (and that outer layer that is too tough to eat), carrot peel and a little salt. And water, of course. I then used that stock to turn a cup of arborio rice into risotto. That chicken soup was a lesson for my kids in how to make a meal out of nothing. Thing is, what I used was stuff that most people wouldn't eat. But I grew up like it was still the Depression and I was taught by a master. And now my kids (especially easy child 2/difficult child 2 at the moment) are struggling financially, they are using the same tricks.

    The soup recipe above - I actually made the soup while telling the story of Stone Soup (see Jim Henson's "Storyteller" series). I did use a stone from the garden also - a chunk of marble is best, or a smooth river stone. Not granite, not sandstone or shale. The stone is purely for the story. Actually doing this, made the demonstration stick and since then, the kids have been very careful to not waste food.

    You can survive (thrive) as a family with a fridge containing only raw meat, raw potatoes, raw eggs with rice, plain (all-purpose) flour and salt in the pantry. Anything extra such as pumpkin, carrot, zucchini etc is a bonus (and a healthy one). But those basics could keep you going for several weeks. Keep the freezer for ice. Nothing else. For several weeks, anyway. OK, you can freeze soup and maybe even home-made casseroles. But if he raids them - then don't store them in your home. Store them with the neighbours.

    I know this is drastic, but it has to be better than going straight to leaving home (either you or him). Maybe this could push him to consider leaving. At the moment he's got it too good and is getting away with it.

    And if husband whines about it - tell him the same thing. This is the last resort prior to leaving. You are that desperate. So it's time to get real, or get out.

  9. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    We literally put a lock on our old refrig. Drilled a hasp on with screws and had one key to the lock which wife or I had. We did not buy but a day or two worth of things that went on the pantry shelves. We also hid things in our bedroom. They would not get things out of our bedroom, they knew that the wrath would desend upon them, LOL!

  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I would let you run away to my house, but we have food issues here, too.

    right now, everyone in our family of four helps to "guard" the kitchen....this is because difficult child has eaten other people's food way too many times and they know that once it's gone, it will be a good while before I buy it again.

    The kitchen is locked up at night and during the day, if difficult child heads for the fridge, any one of us will go see what she is up to. DS even put a motion detector on the pantry door.

    As ridiculous as it is--We're watching our kitchen pretty carefully....

    So.....maybe we do have more food than you?

    C'mon over!!!!!

    We'd love to have you as our guest...

  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Keep the difficult child out??? (JK)

    I have no idea but I wish I did because I feel sure that when my difficult child comes home, even though he's not currently on medications that increase appetite, he'll be eating everything he sees.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry your husband doesn't seem to understand that your difficult child refuses the group home. I really hope he can accept some other options, because if husband doesn't get new ideas and/or difficult child refuses all of them, then those two men will miss the best thing in their life - YOU.

    I really think that while husband is gone you need to either get a hasp and lock or long chain (if one can go through the handles of the freezer/fridge) and lock. Lock up all the food. Key or combo lock that ONLY YOU can open. Tell husband that he can have a key or the combo AFTER he gets difficult child moved into the group home or some other situation.

    I don't think, given the antics your difficult child has already shown this year, that difficult child will truly pass his classes. Unless the teachers all give him passing grades to get him out of their hair. I don't think difficult child WANTS to graduate because then he will have to be more responsible for himself and his bills.

    Is there someone you and husband are comfortable with to help you communicate with each other so that your anger and frustration, and husband's inability to understand can both be talked about?

    I am familiar with your struggles. I personally can rarely eat more than a very small portion at a time. I can usually get at least 3 meals out of what I take home from a rare restaurant meal. Somehow my family always decides that the meat needs to be eaten by them and my husband has little won't power for any form of potato.

    Sorry no concrete answers except the lock and commiseration.
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I feel for you. My kids werent too terribly horrible about this other than what I would consider typical teen stuff. Billy is the worse by far. We had the biggest problem though with my mom. When she came here when she was sick, she would raid the pantry and the fridge...and even the trash cans, and eat anything she would find. We had to lock up everything in the house. Luckily for us, with her being like a toddler, it was easier to lock up. We could use toddler locks. She couldnt figure out most toddler locks.
  14. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    We had an appointment with a counselor....rather husband did. I was going to go but my friends needed a last minute sitter for their sick son. I did however, write up my concerns and thoughts and sent them with husband. I figured the first visit would be history and what we wanted to accomplish. We don't yet have a second appointment set up because of husband's schedule. It's a hades-ish schedule and he's currently out of town. I don't think the counselor completely got what our goal is though. husband said she kept saying that she didn't know if she could help us come up with a solution for difficult child. So, the next visit, I'll make sure that she knows that isn't what we want. What we want is for someone to help us get on the same page, whatever page that is. It's not like husband is against counseling...he's all for it. We just need to find time in his schedule to get the appointments set up.
  15. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I totally understand your frustration. It can't be easy, the frustration sounds like it builds and builds. I wish I had an answer.

    I have always had food issues. It went back to my bio mom before my foster care years. Never enough to eat. her keeping special food for herself, unavailable to us. We could never eat when we wanted, only if and when she dictated. I had bizarre periods in foster care years of hoarding, then refusing to eat certain foods, or not eating at all and acting like food was the enemy. Then I went through binge eating, sneaky eating. I spent a few years as a teen eating secretly. I'd eat with everyone, in normal consumption levels. Then I'd eat on the sly. Always in teh cupboard, fridge, freezer. I had no boundaries either. Didn't matter if there was a good reason I shouldn't have a certain food item. My personal inner issues with food pushed me, against my normal character, to eat when I needed to. And need had nothing to do with being hungry. It wasn't a rebellion thing or meant as disrespecting others in the household. It was really a product of severe psychological damage. Once I lived alone at 16, I had complete control over my own food. I spent a LONG time refusing anyone to eat at my home. i had to control the food entirely. Once I got over that, I turned to just eating all the time. full or not, it was as if something inside me (irational as it was) felt like one day I'd be that kid denied food again, so eat while you can even if you are stuffed. Then when I got control of that, I had gastric bypass and reigned in my food consumption. But truly, I STILL have food issues. Now in order to not harm my health, I've ditched the other methods of food control. Instead, it now manifests as having to have certain food ALWAYS available. I can't do like others and shop a few days or week at a time. I have to have a fully stocked home ALWAYS. I have to be able to wake up in the morning and want something and have all I need for that meal without needing to run out to buy stuff. Other than fresh things like fruits, veggies, dairy etc I have a insanely full freezer of meat. I have a insane pantry stocked like its a fallout shelter for a family of 10. Crazy thing? From gastric bypass my stomache is the size of 4 grapes. Literally. I don't (and can't) over eat now. I can't have sugar so treats have no appeal to me. But I must have a mini grocery shop in my home to feel okay.

    I have to wonder if this isn't something that your difficult child could use some intense counselling to recognize about himself?? Even then, it might not click. I didn't gain personal insight to the cause of all these quirks of mine until I was hitting 30. And then it was only because I forced myself to face the reality of why I had gotten so obese. And I did THAT because I was scared for my health. Had I been more active and not gained weight the way I did? I'd probably STILL be acting insane about food. As it is, I know its still horribly sad that I feel a need to buy the quantities of groceries that I do.

    it is shocking the damage that can be done in our younger years in really unhealthy situations. It can least a lifetime. I also know the more my food issues were pointed out as years went by, the more it drove me to it. Not just overeating, but also the hoarding, secret eating, etc. When I was spoken to about my food habits to any degree it drew my attention unconciously even MORE to my need to control food.

    I do hope your difficult child can find a way to work through this. I could be wrong, but given he has a history of having food withheld at a young age, I would hazard what I think is a pretty good guess that he's got some serious underlying damage that he probably isn't even aware of. We tend to think even ourselves with histories like this, that once we have access to food without it withheld, we can adapt and get past the history. But inside, where we often don't even know it, is a deep seeded fear and survival instinct. I truly think even the physical and sexual abuse I endured was easier handled emotionally over time than the food being withheld and used as a weapon. One can survive physical and sexual and verbal abuse. however we DIE without food. And have that tummy empty and painful and be powerless over it? Human need to survive is a powerful mind bending thing.

    Best of luck. My heart goes out to your difficult child. I also know how hard it was for those who loved me in foster care etc to deal with my food stuff. Its hard on everyone.