How do I let my difficult child Son fail on his own

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mary9461, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. mary9461

    mary9461 trying to hang on

    I feel like I am screaming and nobody hears me. My difficult child Son will be 20 years old in December. He has been out of our house since January of this year. His step-father and I bought him a trailer and he pays the lot rent and his electric bill. We told him we would help with his medications and groceries for a year but as of January 1 he would be on his own. He has lost 2 jobs this past year and now he is working at BurgerKing 2 days a week. I have told him that he needs to find a second job or another job all together, but he sees no urgency in it. My Mom doesn't help. She feels sorry for him and will give him money. Oh she tells me he is working for it, but I can tell you he is getting paid way more that the work he is doing. difficult child knows how to push my buttons. I start out being very strong and then end up losing it with him. We have told him that if he can't pay his bills we will sell the trailer and he will have to go to the homeless shelter. I don't think he thinks we will let him fall on his face. difficult child son has ADHD, depression, Defiant Disorder. He gets very angry when he is presented with facts that he doesn't want to face. I am usually the one he get angry at. He will yell and scream and show himself and then call back to apoligise. I am so tired of all of it. He has been a handful his whole life. I just want him to be a responsible adult. My easy child son is 16 years old and acts much older than his brother. He goes to school, plays ball and works. difficult child son is very smart but quit school. He had a problem with rules. He was in jail for 16 months because he wouldn't do the work required by the court. Thank you for any input.
  2. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    I don't have grown children so I'm only giving advice based on what I see with my parents. My baby brother is 29 years old. He is ADHD (I strongly suspect son exhibits almost identical childhood's like they were cloned) but they tried to do that with him.

    IT DIDN'T WORK. They let him stay at home. They wanted him to be successful and make it on his own. That's what every parent wants. Now he lives with them and pays $450.00/month rent. Everyone is happy. He does what he can to help them.

    I don't know what else I can say. It's just an opinion. Good luck.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board.

    You are so not alone in this situation you find yourself. Many of us are right here with you. At least your son is working 2 days a week for now. Maybe when his tummy gets really hungry he will work more or look for another job.

    Do you plan to continue helping with the medications? How does he pay for doctor visits?

    Personally I think I would give him info on applying for medicaid, info on the local mental health departments with sliding scale clinics, info on food banks, and a couple of grocery cards for Christmas. Food Lion and such sell gift cards that can only be used for food.

    You cant stop your mom but maybe suggest she pay him in gas cards, food cards and such so she knows she is really helping him. Even Sonic and McDonalds sell cards.

    I dont give cash because Im afraid of where it will go.

    If you let him stay in the trailer, he may just figure out how to work to survive. He at least has a roof over his head and even without lights or heat, he wont die in it. We dont get that cold down here. He will probably manage. Im sure he will figure out a way. They always do.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome :flower:

    Janet had great suggestions.

    No cash. You could guide him/help him find all of the services available to help him in your county.

    But the best way to help him, is probably not to actually "help" much at all. He's not going to get the idea that living independently requires one goes to work, pays bills, buys food, ect unless he's forced to do it just like everyone else.

    At 20 he's an adult. Often it helps to recall where you were in your life at the same age. Me, at 20 I was married and had my first child.

  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I agree with Daisy--I would not help at all. I have a 19 yr old dtr and the only way she was able to become responsible was for us to remove all financial help. Any help we did give her only enabled her to be "helpless." It wasn't til we removed the safety net that she picked herself up and got a fulltime job and started acting responsible. We have a good relationship now but there is no dependence involved. She has gained much self confidence and enjoys being in control of her own life, not having to answer to her parents and so not having to lie, steal money from family members, rebel against us, etc. Your son is 20 yrs old, plenty old enough to be responsible for himself.
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    First of all welcome to the site. Second of all I love your avitar. It pretty much tells us how you are feeling.

    Your son is 20. He needs to learn to be responsible for himself and live on his own. I stopped helping my son for a long time. I do help him once in awhile now because he is doing well and trying very hard to do it all on his own. Sometimes he struggles financially, but because I know he's trying, I don't think it hurts to help him now. I don't help him a lot, just when he really really needs it. It's easier for me now because I know when I help him a little financially, he's not spending it on drugs.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Mary-

    Welcome to our little corner of the site. We are all been there done that parents who are at varying stages of detachment and acceptance.

    When I first found the site I read everything I could find. I would suggest that you start by reading our PE Archives and the archives for the General Forum, then old posts. I can guarantee you that you will be able to identify with many of us in your reading.

  8. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I'll add my welcome to the others.

    You've been given some sage wisdom already. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with helping our kids - provided they are doing all they can to help themselves.

    I agree with Janet - let them turn off the heat - let him go hungry for a period of time. Maybe the lack of creature comforts will motivate him to care for his own needs.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Ditto what everyone else has said already - cut him off.

    Sending a warm welcome and many gentle hugs~
  10. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: mary9461</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> He gets very angry when he is presented with facts that he doesn't want to face. I am usually the one he get angry at. He will yell and scream and show himself and then call back to apoligise. I am so tired of all of it. He has been a handful his whole life. I just want him to be a responsible adult. </div></div>
    Mary, you are a salve for my soul. I feel the very same about my son. I have fought the world for this kid and he still hates me most, then turns into a lil sniffling lil boy again.

    I have decided to cut my son off, last March I threw him out for the umpteenth and last time. I did help with rent deposit and first months' rent/then he was on his own. he did pay me back what I fronted him.
    he was on his own 4 months, got his 4th DUI and in October was sent to the state penitentiary. so ultimately he lived on his own 8 months and paid his own rent and everything.

    now he will be in state prison one to two yrs. he is angry with me because he has already asked if he can live here again and I said NO.
    I mean it.
    I love this kid but he is 24 and I cannot live with him. how long can we do this??? for me this was the finish of my financial input for him.

    by the way his now deceased gramma thwarted my efforts since he was born. she gave him money for nothing all the time and paid him more than he made as a bus boy his first job so he quit. You would not believe the anger I felt for that woman. in time, she was suuporting his drug habit and knew it. I had to stop speaking to her for the last two yrs of my 32 yr marriage.

    ant's dad participated in having ant be given money, cigs, food, whatever he wanted.

    sometimes I think people who do not know me must think I am very mean. I want him to be strong and on his own so he can be proud of himself and survive.

    I wrote him a long letter last week and told him he makes his own choices and they do not match mine. I told him all I had done thru his childhood, I asked him to seek counseling and help.
    the ball is in his court now.

    I feel much more peaceful admitting I am done.
    I do love him and if and when he can respect me, he is welcome in my world. he can write to me, I may write to him, but I will never support him, get him a lawyer, or in any way help him not feel his consequences.
  11. mary9461

    mary9461 trying to hang on

    WOW, Thank you so much for all the replies. It is so great to not feel alone. My Mom and I have a good relationship but I can't get her to understand what I go through with difficult child son. My sister has a son just like him but he is in his thirties and we don't know where he is. My Mom tends to take everything personal when it comes to difficult child son. We keep telling her that she has no idea what it is like to have a child that takes this much energy. I am the youngest of three girls and we did what we were suppose to do. Thank you again for all the input.
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Nobody who doesn't live it day to day can possibly understand what it is like. I stopped trying to expect anyone else to understand. I knew how exhausted I was by my difficult child and after awhile that was all that mattered.

    My difficult child is a 20 year old recovering heroin addict. He has been clean for over a year. He was not able to accomplish this until I stopped enabling him and supporting his habit. He now has an apartment with a new girlfriend, which if you look back at any of my posts from around a year ago, you will learn how much that means to me. Believe me, he's far from perfect, but he's working full time and learning to be financially independent. This is huge for him. This is the first time in his life he has been able to save money from week to week to pay his own bills.

    You are doing the right thing. You can't change what others feel they need to do for him, but you are doing the right thing.
  13. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I agree with ant's mom. I - like you - have a son like yours. Mine has done the same things and has the same disorders. My mother (God rest her soul) loved him so much she h :its_all_good:ated to see him suffer when we said no more she would come through with money for him because he would call her and tell her some "story" and she would send him money. He spent it for drugs. We kicked him out several times - it was so hard. We sent him to rehab, counselors, doctors, drug classes, vocational classes (he dropped out of hs) and everything we knew. He is in jail now for contributing to the deliquency of a minor. He is 24. We have been going through this a long time. I am telling you this because I am still detaching from the situation. It is so hard for me to watch them fail. I stiill want to pick him up like he was a little boy. It doesnt help them. I am now letting my son get his own lawyer and fight these battles he has put himself in. good luck - keep posting.
  14. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Have gotten to the point with my easy child that I don't care. He has lied to me, used me enough. Don't care about his finances..that is HIS problem. It took me a very long time to get to this place, wish I would of found it before. Don't care how he gets to his new job on Monday..I have things to do. His life, his problems. He is a big boy. He knows my thoughts, values, goals. He is on his own now. (only he lives at home now, no car and for some reason thinks my car is his) He will have a rude awakening this coming week, as I have appointment all week and he will have to find his own ride. I just don't care. Everytime I start feeling bad for his situation I force myself to step back and I tell myself "his life. his problems. his choices"
    I don't care. ofcourse I love him, I want what's best and I would like to help. but, he has lied to me, used me and to me he plain out disrespected me when he did this. No more.

    Totally understand. Hope you can find a peaceful place where you can enjoy him..but realize it is his life, his choices.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The only thing that helped my drug addicted daughter was to throw her out and cut her off. Good luck and prayers.
  16. hope1990

    hope1990 New Member

    Mary welcome, you aren't alone. My difficult child is 20 and is 10 days into a 1-2 year sentence and state penn for revocation of probation. I had told him I would gladly pay for his medications since going off of them the first time is what landed him with 5 yrs. supervised probation. He found a job and stuck with it. I did pay for his cell phone as he needed someway of making his appointments (Dr., counselor, PO officer, etc) In the long run towards the end I think that was a mistake.

    He was living with gramma for a time and it was good for both for awhile. He was paying me what he owed me, doing all of the yard work and he was getting to his counseling appointment. Then he went off his medications again, I confronted him and he was upset with me I was the :censored2:y, naggy mother and he could handle himself. I ended up kicking him out of grammas and he was in a homeless shelter for a few weeks.

    I thought PO would take him to social services for medicaid and a place for help with budget, they had talked of it but didn't. I wish I would have.

    So as was said before help him find the services available to him.

    It tears you apart, I felt I was being strong and doing tough love, but I also felt as though I was abandoning him.

    Good luck to you and just do your best.
  17. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    It seems I did that so many times for our difficult child. I wish the first time we did that turned him around. However we let him come back after a month. Maybe that wasnt long enough. He is now in jail for who knows how long.
  18. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    Welcome, your son sounds very much like mine. I finally had him arrested and refused to allow him back into my home. After 5 years of blaming me for everything wrong with his life he has finally started to make some good decisions in his life. We've recently begun a relationship again. He's still struggling but I've learned to have boundaries with him.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi and sorry,

    Ger som FOR SALE signs and put on the bottom - FOR SALE AS OF JAN 15th - and your phone number.

    Tell your Mom that if she wants to help - KNOCK IT OFF.

    Tell your son you just DO NOT care anymore and you are taking care of you.

    tell him if he pulls the signs out - you'll list it in the paper the next day.

    Let it be a reminder that he's going to be out in less than 60 days - unless something dramatic and that means MORE THAN BURGER KING 2 days a week becomes part of his life.

    You have earned the time without someone like this - you just need to give yourself permission to toss him out. It COULD save his life.

    Sorry - BTDoingTHAT - it stinks - but it worked for us