How to work around this? Or should we?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by slsh, May 3, 2009.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    difficult child signs a lease on Wed for an unfurnished SRO. One room, no kitchen, private bath.

    It's impossible to talk to him. I mean, just impossible. I understand he's scared out of his mind. He's angry that his choices blew my chance to fight for continued funding for him but somehow that's my fault. He's angry that we set limits if he chose to come home (3 months max). It's like dealing with a toddler having the epitome of all hissy fits, with the vocabulary of a rapper. I don't even answer his calls any more because I'm just sick and tired of being called a (you know whating what) and then getting hung up on.

    We want to help him. He has no furniture. He does have plates/glasses, towels, pots, bowls because we've been giving them as presents for the last 2 years. He wants a living room set - uh, no. He want's a dresser - husband and I have been using metal utility shelves for years and he wants a dresser? Doesn't just want, demands - I can't begin to tell you how utterly vile he's being, like because this is all our fault (in his perpendicular universe) we should just do whatever he wants. He *still* isn't getting cause and effect. He doesn't get to treat us like fertilizer because he doesn't like the consequences of his choices, but of course he doesn't get that at all.

    husband talked to him yesterday about getting a futon and setting up delivery. A concept that just enraged difficult child. He should have to be somewhere to accept delivery of something he wants? How utterly unreasonable. He can't talk to us (blank blanking blanks), just get him what he wants. Which prompted husband to say "Goodbye, difficult child" and hang up. I envy husband's ability to draw that line - I probably would've sat on the phone begging difficult child to let us help him until he hung up on me (LOL, lightbulb moment there).

    I'm just torn up here. Waking up crying in the wee hours with thoughts of my baby in a barren SRO, sleeping on the floor. I want to fix it. But at the same time, he really needs to communicate with us and cooperate just a tad bit, without the nastiness.

    Doesn't he?

    Or do I just put in my ear plugs and do what I think needs to be done? I have to admit I'm anxious about the level of difficult child's anger right now. He's big and near-rabid - I honestly don't want to be alone with him.

    Input please. What do I do?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    It's simple. As long as difficult child is being mean and nasty, don't help him at all. Nothing. Not a thing. I'd be hard pressed to even talk to him. (I don't do mean and nasty)

    I know he could use more time in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but that's not gonna happen. He blew it, not you.

    I know your Mommy instincts are kicking in full blast. But best thing would be to ignore them. If you help him while he's behaving this way you'll be rewarding the behavior and it's most likely going to get worse.

    Bed and dresser are luxuries. He can sleep on the floor and use a laundry basket for clean clothes and another for dirty. If the floor is really awful, he can buy an air one for swimming pools. (lucky we're in season)

    I know you want to help. And I know (and understand) you're worried about how he's gonna make it. But on the rare occasions my kids have acted entitled, mean and nasty it's like someone from above shuts off a switch inside me. And I just can't bring myself to do a darn thing for them. I'm glad it happens cuz I don't think I'd want to experience my mother's heart warring with my brain.

    Sue, if this were a stranger treating you this way........would you feel the same need to help them?

    Don't be.

    I know this has got to be terribly hard.

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Sue, I'm sorry that you would subject yourself to this humiliation. You don't deserve it and if difficult child thinks you'll take it, he'll keep dishing it out.

    I'm so angry with him right now that I wish I was there and could smack him upside the head. Sympathy for his position goes right out the window the second he abuses you guys and that seems to be a constant at this point.

    You just simply have to draw the line. It's for your own good as much as it's for difficult child's. I know you know this and I understand the pain you're in. This is one of those really terrible times that, despite what your heart wants to do, you have to walk away. Trust me, walking away when Rob was on his various rampages and homeless, and miserable was horrendous. But it had to be done and thank goodness we all survived the better for it.

    As an aside, what exactly is SRO (single room only). Does he have kitchen privileges? I assume it's a shared bathroom. Are we talking about a private home? A dorm situation? How many others will be living there? If he's this obnoxious, how long do you give him before he's evicted.


  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sue, in his state, he is going to screw it up with all the help you give him or without help of any sort.
    What is the expected outcome? Can you influence his outcome?
    So what are your choices?
    What can you do to not have difficult child taint the rest of the family's life? I do not believe the whole family should go down with the difficult child ship. We (parents and non difficult child children) have the same right to a life that difficult child has and we shouldn't have to be punished for making more acceptable choices.

    I don't really know of anything that eases a mother's despair until parents make the decision that difficult child is not us and we don't have to control the world to fit him. We are not responsible for his pain, anger or mistakes. We help where we can, guide when they listen and have a life that is full and meaningful with or without difficult child. After 18 or 21 there is little we can do.
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Your "baby" is a grown man. If his decisions land him in a single room with less than stellar furnishings (just like everyone else just starting out) then tough doo doo. He has a roof over his head and apparently the means to support himself. If he wants better, then he can work for it like eveyone else and quit being such a gluteus.

    Seriously, do not be alone with him and when he starts in with his nasty attitude.....leave, hang up, shut the door...whatever you need to do. There is absolutely no reason for him to be treating you this way and you do not HAVE to nor SHOULD you put up with it. Until he comes to his senses, do not shed another tear. HE is the one in the wrong and you and husband deserve RESPECT.
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm so sorry you're going through this carp. Of course the others are right and you already know that. Step back, retreat and detach. Thinking of you today xo ML
  7. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Sue, when I left home at 17 and decided to go 3,000 miles away from home, with virtually no money and a suitcase full of clothes (which I left at a rest stop in Minn), and landed in Ca. with just a tshirt and jeans, I was in an extremely difficult situation to say the least. Being a difficult child, I survived somehow. Was it easy, absolutely not. Did I survive. Of course, as do many others who make bad choices and somehow find a shovel (or a trowel) to dig your way out of it, or not.

    If I recall, he is working, right? 2nd hand stores, Salvation Army stores, Goodwill are open for a reason. They sell dressers - he can get one there.

    I am positive my mother would have had many sleepless nights crying if she knew how I was living. Unlike a lot of difficult child's today, I would have preferred to knaw my legs off at the knees before I called home to ask for help - I knew any that was given would come with strings attached and I decided I was a no strings kinda girl.

    I know that thank you has a mirad of problems but at some point, even if he doesn't get it 100%, he has to learn that you can't get anything by being nasty and hateful. Getting him stuff for an apartment, futons, etc. isn't going to help make his life any better or him more organized- the chances are he is going to lose all his stuff, if not once, but a few times down the line - it will get broken, he won't take care of it, via eviction, his friends trashing it, etc.

    Looking back now, I see I used to be an absolute zelot about cleaning Dans whirlwind of a room - I used to think whew, now its all clean and organized, he will be be better. And maybe he was, for a day, and then it would become a trash heap in short order, and I would go in again and do my thing. I realize now I was doing that for ME, not him LOL "I" got more out of the room with some sembalance of order, like it being neat and orderly was going to rub off on HIM somehow...not....but I felt better. At 25 it is just now kicking in about how nice it is not to have a lot of chaos in your room..don't know if its maturity or just friends going in there for a video game session and going ewwww, Dude, whats with the room :)

  8. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I know it's hard to think of him living "without" the things he thinks he "needs." But they are really just "wants." Learn to distinguish between the two. As long as he is being disrespectful, do not take his calls or hang up instead of listening to the rants. He has made his choices, he has placed himself in the situation. You can't make it "better" by giving into him.
  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I just wanted to send hugs. I know that you know the right thing to is just hard. Very hard.

    Maybe making a compromise with yourself might help? In other words since you do not want him to sleep on the floor, maybe get him one of those sleep air mattresses and some pillows and sheets. For a dresser maybe go to Target and get some plastic drawers. Etc. You know what I mean.

    My guess is that deep inside he is unbelievably scared, and in his black and white mind he needs the perfect looking house, or he has failed. However, none of us had the perfect house when starting out. Many of us had nothing - that is just the way it is - and maybe he needs to be reminded that we all start out in life with a few things. He is not abnormal for starting out sparse.

    In his mental state I would definitely not let him come back home right now, or around you when alone.
    Is he taking his medications?

    Hugs & strength.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Thank you guys, so much. Tears of relief here. You are such a gift.

    The SRO is a 12-story building, 150+ rooms. He will have a private bath, but there is no kitchen. He'll have to get a hot plate (shudder) and/or microwave. He will have a small fridge. He's on the top floor, corner room (with a beautiful view of the lake per CM). I don't know the city real well but based on nearby attractions, I'm guessing it's probably in one of the better neighborhoods with a lot of revitalization that has already taken place. I looked up the management company. It was apparently a transient flop house back in the 80s. They bought it and rehabbed it, and majority of tenants are "disabled" - I'm guessing MI but don't know for sure. CM said he and difficult child met with- lady from mgmt co last week and went over rules. There are a lot - curfew, no overnight visitors, everyone who enters must show ID, etc.

    Outcome.... I'm too close to it to even know what to hope for, or to expect. CM is hooking him up with- an adult case management agency. Of course, that will require some cooperation on difficult child's part. Good luck. The priority was to get him someplace to live because funding is up on the 9th. He doesn't have a job and refuses voc. rehab services because he doesn't need them.

    I've talked with a multitude of state agencies the past couple of weeks. We do have options but unfortunately, it all boils down to difficult child cooperating. I could have filed for an injunction over this loss of funding but he would have *had* to attend school. He refuses. I feel like he's tying my hands left and right, but then turns around and is angry at *me* because he doesn't get what he wants when he wants how he wants on his terms only.

    husband is not helping a whole lot right now because all of a sudden he's excusing all of difficult child's behaviors by pointing out that he's mentally ill (he's a little slow on the uptake - I hit that stage in about 2000, LOL). I did hold firm on difficult child returning home for a very limited amount of time only. husband backed down when I invited him to move out with- difficult child - not a threat and not angrily, but the impact of difficult child living here indefinitely would be horrible for the younger 2 kids. I'm not doing it again.

    I *hope* that difficult child will be able to pull it together. I hope that he'll get a job and get a life and realize that he is the only one who is accountable for his situation (husband seriously is not helping me stick with- this fantasy because all of a sudden he's of the opinion that difficult child isn't capable - I'm not so sure). Another real possibility is that he will go back to revolving door admissions. I of course worry about self-harm and am alternating between want to save him from that and realizing that if he makes that choice, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it realistically. Jail is also a possibility. He's managed to skate by so far with adjudicated cases for drugs but... he's 18 now.

    And thanks, Suz. I hadn't even started to worry about what happens when he gets evicted! ;) I'll be thinking of you at 2 a.m. tomorrow. :rofl: Seriously? I don't know what happens then. I do know it will be our fault if/when he's evicted.

    I'm just going to grit my teeth I guess. husband is being wishy-washy, just asked me if he should try to call difficult child again. I said no. Let him come to us, civilly.

    I just keep picturing an empty room with nothing in it - it's not going to do much for his mental health, you know? I don't know what he's going to do on a day-to-day basis and I'm trying *real* hard not to go there but... blech. It's really hard to maintain objectivity right now but I don't think there's anything at all that I can do to help him because every word out of my mouth just sets him off.

    CM *did* finally get him to apply for Medicaid. difficult child's looking at a significant hospital bill from March. Copay is going to be a couple grand, I'm guessing. But when *I* suggested Medicaid, I was being "too negative".

    Maybe the only way he'll make this work is if we shut up and let him sink or swim.

    Thanks so much for the moral support.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Umm...Does thank you not realize SSI means money plus food stamps and medicaid? Is the boy touched in the head? Honestly if he is that much out of it then he ISNT capable of being on his I mean does have to have some means of support. He cant just say...oh I want to be superman or I am going to be Donald Trump when he hasnt even finished HS.

    As far as his furnishings. Cory moved into his place with nothing. We..he and his dad...had to patch holes in the floor and remove one tub. Cory bought some cheap carpet somewhere and put that down. They used an air mattress for a month or two until he got an old mattress set we found on the side of the road. I think they took a little dresser from here that a girl left behind when she stayed here for a couple of months. He also "borrowed" one of my moms side tables which I didnt know about until I got out of the Thankfully he is taking good care of it so I am ok with it.

    Over time they have put together some living room furniture and a kitchen table. We gave him my living room tv when I got a new one. Obviously none of this would be going on if he was being a pita.

    I would get thank you an air bed. They are quite nice now. Check out goodwill for a used table so he can put his USED hotplate and USED microwave on it. Cory got a microwave at our local used place for 2 He was thrilled! If you are feeling really motivated, I might even go as far as a small TV if he doesnt have one. You can get a little tv in a pawn shop for near to nothing. Or....if you dont want to go this route...check out freecycle for furnishings.
  12. judi

    judi Active Member

    Sue - no great ideas just wanted to let you know I care.

    It is harder when these kids are adults.
  13. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm starting to think that your son and my son are very closely related! LOL OMG....don't you just want to smack them upside the head and force some sense into them?
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I feel for you, hon. I remember M having the audacity to call us up after having lied about me to anyone and everyone who would listen (told them I was a serial child abuser and reported me to the state) and said he'd like us to drop off his bedroom set. Huh? I bought the bedroom set, and I stripped the varnish and sanded and painted it and bought the mattress and pillows and sheets and blankets. It wasn't just that it wasn't his, it was that he thought he was entitled to anything after plotting to murder me with my own butcher knife.

    I agree that thank you needs to communicate with less bile. I think that's not likely for now. I would let him figure out where to stow his clothes and what to sleep on on his own. He's had the opportunity to work it out, and he had better stuff to do. You might be surprised at how nice he could be after sleeping on the floor with a few towels as blankets for a couple of nights.

    Personally, I would skip the futon and the delivery. I would offer to take him to the goodwill to buy some solid used furniture. They always have a sofa bed or two.
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
  15. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi SLSH -

    I just moved my son (easy child) out of state where he will start his new job. He just graduated from college. Worked really, really hard. Yada Yada. My point?

    He is moved into a tiny apartment. Know what he has? A mattress on the floor. No dresser. He has plastic crates fro a dresser.

    No couch. He has a beanbag chair. An old TV that my grandma gave him. 4 mismatched plates and cups. A toothbrush and a couple ratty towels out of my closet.

    Do I feel bad? No way. When he earns the things he needs, he's going to appreciate them all the more.

    Let your son sleep on the floor. It won't kill him. Let him live out of a cardboard box. He'll appreciate that dresser all the more when HE EARNS it.

    I'm sure this must be very hard for you. I get wanting to take care of our kids and give them all they need. But, we don't do them any favors when we do what they can eventually do for themselves. Sending a great big hug.
  16. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Feed him the same line I gave Diva last year, "You are not to ask anything of me until you can be kind to me for one month". I was hoping that would be long enough to start a habit.

    It took my Diva about 1 - 2 months to come around (to start the one month count down) but she did. I would give her a few minutes of my time and at the first sign of disrespect I would feed her that line and hang up or walk away sending a strong signal that I will not get involved in nastiness. I would also give her the new target date each time she changed it.

    I think the focus right now is not the furnishing of his apartment but the respect he must show to you. Is he seeing a therapist or psychiatrist? I would also then tell him, "Tell the doctor what you are thinking of me -maybe he can help you through this. That is his job. Since you refuse to listen to my advise, I don't want to hear about your troubles even if they include me." (that is what I tell difficult child when his complaining that he is dying is getting too much for me).
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi slsh......

    (inhale through clenched teeth) and I think.......YEAAAAAAh.......we get so so so used to bailing them out and feeling sorry for them - because well WE understand that they are so uncapable of helping themselves but the rest of the world has no clue - so we reach farther and farther out to protect them with our love and our money and we get used to eating whatever vile words they throw at us because - welll HEY - he's got a disorder and he can't help it or you wouldn't understand him - he's NOT LIKE other kids.

    ANd no - he's not. But yes - he is. So what makes you feel So guilty about how he is now that you will accept and continue to take what he dishes out? Is it your fault that he consistantly makes poor choices despite all the bloody interventions you've put in his path - all the tools you've handed him all the heart ache you've endured to make him grow up just a little?

    Janet is right - if he's unable to make it with SSI and foodstamps and assistance from you and husband - I'd start now to look for an assisted living home - which for all our kids has been a reality from day one. That shouldn't surprise you. It may not make you cut flips across the parking lot - but it shouldn't surprise you.

    As far as furniture and the like? Craigslist, freecycle, goodwill, salvation army - habitat for humanity - nothing wrong with 2nd hand.

    Sending you some positive vibes and separation anxiety hugs -

    GO ENJOY YOUR HUSBAND......and let the kid live his life, make his mistakes and get over himself.