How should I handle this?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by susiequte, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. susiequte

    susiequte New Member

    I've tried to update my signature, but having trouble doing it. Anyway, here's my problem.....difficult child 2 is now 21. We kicked him out 2 years ago after he was arrested for shoplifting at Target, stealing from Wal-mart (he worked there for 3 weeks), and stealing from me. (Specifically, walking into our bedroom while I was asleep and taking money from my nightstand). So he's been on the streets for two years. Hasn't got a job/won't get a job, no where to live.........uses/abuses any friends he makes by staying at their house, borrowing money, etc. We let him come here occasionally. He came at Thanksgiving and stayed 2 nights, and again at Christmas and stayed 3 nights.

    Okay, so after his Thanksgiving visit, I'm checking out the family room where he stayed and slept. Food wrappers, dishes, get the idea. In the bathroom he used.........he ran out of toilet paper so he used paper towels. He lived here long enough to know where we keep the TP, but didn't get it. So, I talk to husband and tell him that difficult child does this stunt every time he comes....makes a mess, doesn't clean up, etc. husband and I get into a fight. He says I need to be more forgiving and have charity for difficult child because he has a low IQ, yadda yadda. Whatever.......

    So Christmas comes.....I sit down with husband and difficult child. I review what difficult child did last time and what I expect of him this visit. He of course, agrees to everything and promises to clean up and be respectful. So after he leaves again, I go review the family room and bathroom.......Garbage on the floor, under the couch, stuffed in the couch cushions. He used the washer and dryer.....threw the lint on the floor along with the dryer sheet...dirty clothes and christmas wrapping paper left lying around. Toilet not flushed.....had poop in it. Now, I would have checked this stuff out daily, but I was working 12 hour shifts during christmas and I have an 11 month old to look after! I bring all this to the attention of husband and again I get that I need to be more forgiving, what would Jesus do, etc. Oh please!!! The kid is 21!! So, I would like some input from other PE folks about how to handle this and what you would do. Thanks in advance!

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'd make husband clean it up.
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Yup. I'm with Meowbunny.
    It can be so hard when you're ready to detach and let your child live with the consequences of his actions, but the other parent is still in "enabling" mode.

    I would suggest that you leave husband to deal with all further difficult child issues. Let husband clean up the mess, let husband set and enforce whatever ground rules are in place for difficult child visiting your home.

    Somewhere in the archive is a list of Detachment 101 phrases that we put together for use in situations like these. I suggest that you look it up, print it out, and put the phrases to use. Perhaps husband needs a dose of detachment so that he can get to the point that you have already reached.

    Sorry that you're having to deal with this.

  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome back. I was looking at your older posts because I couldn't remember you. I wonder if maybe you could start with a lawyer for you to get guardianship due to his mental limitations, and get him onto SSDI that way? Then he might be eligible for some programs.

    Also, I would have discussions with him about how he is to treat your home in the room he is mistreating while looking under the mattress and in the toilet with your husband standing right there. He either isn't computing the time it will take to get it done, or thinks he will start next time.

    I'm with you. Take his "stuff" to his "friend's" house. Good luck.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with Witz. He might do better this way and might be able to be placed in a group home where they can monitor him according to his needs.

    As for husband, I'd have him help me clean it up. He might just see that openly enabling the behavior to continue without attempting to find a solution isn't such a great idea after all.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I third that he needs assisted living. I'm not quite sure he's lazy. It could be that he doesn't "get it." Maybe he's undiagnosed on the autism spectrum...I wouldn't feel too good about putting such a clueless kid in the streets. I'd feel better getting a social worker involved so he can maybe get an apartment where he is watched, monitored, prompted and helped. I don't think he is messing up your house because he's lazy. To me it seems as if he doesn't "get it" which is a whole different story. Unless he's a substance abuser, his problems sound a lot different than most of our kids. Good luck!
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I was thinking the same thing about possible Independent Living/group home programs maybe being available for someone with his limitations.

  8. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am sorry that you and husband are not on the same page. That always makes for a bigger struggle. I like the idea of an Independent Living situation. I would love that for my daughter and it is available to us, however my daughter will not agree to it. I have asked my sw how to go about getting her declared incompetent so that I would have the power to make those decisions. She said that it is almost impossible to do. I tend to think there is a way. There has to be. Would your son be willing to do that voluntarily? That would be an ideal situation for him. You know your son best, is he just being lazy or do you think he really does struggle with normal day to day living? In any event, I love Meowbunny's idea - let husband clean up his messes!!!

    Good luck. :)
  9. susiequte

    susiequte New Member

    Thanks for all the advice. We looked into guardianship but found out that we would be financially responsible for anything he did (like stealing again!), and we just can't do that. We don't have the money for a group home or anything like that. I looked into them, but basically unless he is declared mentally retarded, he's not eligible. When he was living with us, we got him into Voc Rehab. They were great! They paid for him to see a psychiatrist weekly, he had a job coach who went with him for applications, etc. They helped him get a job at Wal-mart, but then he stole about $800 from the register and he was fired. Voc Rehab said they would still work with him, but that he needed to be the one to make the effort to call the job coach etc. Of course he never did, and then he was arrested for shoplifting at Target. Voc Rehab tried to maintain contact, but he would never follow up, so they finally wrote him off. We also took him to Job Corps twice for interviews. They wouldn't accept him because of the ADHD and report from the psychiatrist.

    This kid really needs a group home. But I don't think it's going to happen. If we had a lot of money.....maybe, but we're struggling to keep our heads above water. I think he will be in and out of jail and living on the streets for the rest of his life. I want to help him, if only to keep him from breaking his father's heart. He is my step son and I really don't like him. Sad but true. He lies, manipulates, steals and uses people to get what he wants so that he doesn't have to make any physical or mental effort to do anything.

    by the way, husband doesn't seem to mind cleaning up after him. But I do. I feel husband enables him too much..........but that's another post!!!!!
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    As an FYI, he is an adult so these programs would not be based on your ability to pay.

    When Rob was a minor he was eligible for services because of his disabilities...and they would have transitioned to adult programs if he had pursued them. In neither case did our income play a role in his placements or programs.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There shouldn't be any reason for you to pay. If you can get him diagnosed with a disorder, he should be able to get help and collect disability. I have a 15 year old son who is high functioning autism and we're going to get him into an assisted living program when he is older. We were told it shouldn't be a problem. You need to check with social services. Maybe your son can work where he doesn't handle money. This young man may be on the autism spectrum--he doesn't seem to be "bad", he seems to "not get it." I'm not so sure I'd throw this sort of young adult out of the house. I'd help him by calling social services and trying to get him a place to stay. He doesn't seem equipped to live alone--and do you really want him in the streets and in jail maybe because he has a cognitive deficit. Has he ever been tested for any neurological deficits, like autistic spectrum? I'm pretty tough of parents of drug addicts--I'll tell them to do what I did--make the kid leave. But there's something about this child that is different. At his age he should know to flush the toilet...I don't think he has the tools to live on the streets. Most of us hope our kids, who are capable of doing it, will get their acts together. But I don't know if your young man CAN get it together. Frankly, I understand why husband is upset. You need to look into programs for him. He doesn't belong on the street. What is his history? Is he your biological child? What was he like growing up? Didn't the schools help you with an adult plan for him? We really don't have much information. To me it seems harsh to put him out for stealing and being messy. He may not understand about stealing like other people do, and his messiness may be a symptom of a disorder that has gone undiagnosed...just some thoughts.