Just checking in

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LauraH, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Well we survived Christmas, and it actually went very well, all things considered. My son is still working at Pizza Hut, but extremely part time, as this is the super slow season in the hospitality industry because of very few tourists in town here until February. He's still staying with his friend but stayed with us from the 23rd through last night.

    I don't pry him with questions about how he's doing on the various levels of his issues. His ex in Chicago sent him a package, turned out to be a few Christmas decorations he (the ex) had given my son a year or two ago, and a baseball hat that he bought when he was down here on vacation a couple of years ago but left in Chicago. He threw away the "gifts" but obviously kept the hat. The next day my husband and I got a card from the ex, and my husband burned it without even opening it. Throwing away the items and burning the card were symbolic of what is hopefully the end of that chapter of my son's life...at least the ex, and preferably Chicago as well but that remains to be seen.

    I'm just trying to get through the rest of the holidays and making every effort to just suck up the small irritants like the fact that he puts his dirty dishes in the sink and not only does he not put them in the dishwasher, but he doesn't even rinse them off. I've stressed and stressed to him that we are constantly fighting an uphill battle with roaches and that at the very least he needs to rinse the dishes completely. I don't mind so much not putting them in the dishwasher. My husband doesn't usually do that either, so if I can live with it with him I can deal with it with my son as well. But one microscopic crumb is an open invitation to a picnic for the roaches. But if it's just a cup and a bowl or something, I rinse them when I notice them there and either give him a gentle reminder or just let it go altogether.

    He went with me to Christmas Eve services at a nearby church, and it was actually his idea, more or less. My husband and I usually go but he wasn't going to be able to get home in time. So when I told my son that my husband couldn't make it so I guess we weren't going to church, he said "Well you and I can still go." I was overjoyed, because he doesn't identify as Christian, so he was doing it for me. At one point mid-service, everyone was asked to greet their neighbors and he had a panic attack or social anxiety or something, but he left to come home and take his anxiety medication and came back. We made it through the end of the service, and got home shortly after my husband did. Then, pretty late, maybe around midnight, he was on the verge of another panic attack and asked me to walk around the neighborhood with him to see the light displays at the various homes. I was a little grumpy at first because my husband and I had words briefly, but my son insisted we each name things we were grateful for or that made us happy. And although my leg was in pain by the time we got back home, I was in a much better mood.

    Christmas Day was quiet, my husband made a nice brunch for us and then we watched some TV and just hung out until it was time to go to my brother-in-law's for dinner. That was a lot of fun too, and meant a lot to my husband who doesn't get to see his brother very often because of conflicting work schedules and other things

    Now we just have to get through New Years. My son is looking into a recovery home, for one reason his work schedule gets him to his friend's house later than the agreed "curfew" and the home will, even though they likely have a curfew, will waive it for work purposes. (I hope!) We'll see how that unfolds, but he might be able to move in as early as Saturday.

    My biggest issue now is his coming over on a near daily basis and raiding the refrigerator. He hasn't got his first paycheck yet, he's in the process of applying for food stamps, and his tips aren't really anything to write home about since it's so slow and he's not getting many hours. But he doesn't seem to understand that things are difficult financially for my husband and me right now, as this is his slow season as well and won't pick back up until February when the first major event happens. Our grocery budget is extremely tight and I don't mind him eating here but this morning I found that a package of Muenster cheese which was only opened on Christmas Eve is almost gone. I didn't "fuss" about it but I tried to gently remind him that we need to make the groceries we got on Monday last as long as possible rather than try to finish them off as soon as possible. He told me to please stop :censored2:ing, and walked outside for a few minutes. (I wasn't :censored2:ing, at least in my own mind, and I think that was maybe a guilt reaction or I got to him) When he came back in he said he would replace the cheese when he gets approved for food stamps. I told him that wasn't necessary, just please be more cognizant of the fact that we are basically feeding three people on a two-person budget and we all need to be aware that others are wanting to eat the food, not just me, or him, or my husband.

    Also this morning I couldn't find the remote and he said he had no idea where it was, that it was on the coffee table when he went to bed (on the couch). But after he walked back inside he said "we're going to find that remote" and lo and behold it was under one of the sofa cushions. But no drama, no outbursts, nothing. It was all very calm except when he asked me to stop :censored2:ing.

    Drama is at a minimum because like I said I am trying very hard not to let little things get to me and build up into bigger things, and he seems to be trying very hard to be pleasant and cooperative (although I've decided he's so self absorbed that he doesn't think about what he's doing and how it might affect others) Still clean as far as I am aware, although he did have a few drinks on Christmas Eve but nothing since then that I am aware of, and no drugs that I am aware of since he got back from that ill fated trip with his ex right after Thanksgiving.

    Counting my blessings, and there are many. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2019 will bring healing, help, and answers for all of us and those kids of ours that we love so dearly. Love to you all.
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  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Sounds like you are making things work and is at least trying to meet you halfway. I’m glad you had some good times with him over the holiday!
  3. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Yes and if he makes a concerted effort, which as of right now he is, I'm good with that even if there is room for improvement. There's always room for improvement. With my son, good enough is...well, good enough.
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  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

  5. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    So of course that didn't last, but I am determined that I will get through the rest of the holiday season intact and not give him the power to destroy it. He came by on his way to work and apparently something had crawled up him lower digestive tract and made its way all the way up to his shoulder in the form of the proverbial chip. Could have everything, something, or nothing at all to do with me. I didn't ask, didn't acknowledge whatsoever that it seemed to me like he was trying to pick fights on just about everything. At one point we were both in the kitchen, and he said something that sounded argumentative so rather than take the bait I calmly walked (Walked) out of the room. He said I stormed out rolling my eyes and throwing my hands up in the air because I didn't want to hear what he was saying. (Not true) So i calmly apologized...his response to that was "Why are you doing this?" I said "Doing what?" Him: "Starting more drama." Hello, I didn't realize that an apology created drama...who knew? I said that all I did was apologize for "storming out" (even though I didn't storm out at all...giving him the benefit of the doubt, he could have perceived it that way." So then he said "Mom, just stop it!" Okay, whatever...I didn't say anything else. If the last word is that effing important to him, he can have it.

    He made a few more attempts before he left for work but I neither took the bait or responded in any way. If he asked me something nonargumentative, such as if I knew where his Christmas coffee cup was, I answered as civilly and pleasantly as I could. And guess what. I still have my peace and calm intact. I wish I could make myself do this more often. He didn't say goodbye when he left for work, and that didn't even bother me.

    I have no idea what did or did not happen to get him so worked up, and whether or not I factored in it, and he didn't share so I guess I'll never know. But this falls under the category of "it is what it is" and not worth my sanity to get into a bickering contest with him over. He didn't yell or curse or hurl insults or slam doors or anything, so I'm okay with it. Wish things could be different but they're not and likely never will be. If this was the worst it ever got I would be one happy camper.
  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Nothing happened.

    He may be high or craving drugs or just, if clean, maybe he is still suffering brain detox or maybe he isnt a nice person. Because you did nothing to tick hom off and he was hot for a fight, maybe to try to get something from you.

    I would not have even spoken to him. I tend to just leave. If he said "You just dont want to listen" I may have said "I wont either until y
    ou talk with more respect. I have to go now."

    Dont try to figure out no logic. And try to stand up for yourself because in my opinion it hurts you and doesnt teach him anything to allow him to be abusive. That includes his deliberately not putting clean dishes in the washer.

    He is lucky he has you as a mom and not me because he would be either doing as I asked or walking the streets. I have one adult child who CAN mouth off. If he does, I wont finish talking to him and wait three days before I will tey again and he better be calm and respectful.

    He lives five hours away and fortunately has a great job because he couldnt stay in my house long term. I believe in my house/my rules. And i matter too so talk to ke tje way I talk to you....with resect. Or we dont have to talk.

    You did nothing wrong. Honestly. Its him.

    Love and light!
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  7. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    I let things go when I can not for my son's sake but for my on sanity, wellbeing, and peace, and that of my husband's. Today he wasn't being abusive, more antagonistic, but may have become abusive if I had let it escalate, and definitely would have caused drama. It also does no good pointing out when he has his snits and attitudes, because he either is totally unaware or refuses to see or acknowledge. And he always has a comeback. Acknowledging or responding to him when he's like that only leads to a bickering contest, and it's not worth it. As far as if he's a nice person or not, he is both, subject to change at any given moment. And the great thing, for me at least, is that I have taken away his power to hurt me with his words, for the most part. Angry, yes (not today, however) but not hurt. You don't know how liberating it was when I reached that point!
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont respond. The back and forth annoys me.

    I leave. There is no talk if my son chooses to be antagonistic or plain isnt nice. But he is usually nice to me because he knows that if he isnt, I disappear for three days. I will block him. And he lives far away.

    I absolutely understand shutting down the noise. I just do it by forcing it to end. My son would never be staying at my house but if he was visiting for a day and started trouble I would either lock myself in a room, take a drive or make him leave.; I did so when he spit at me at age 20 and he lived in motels until his father gave him a place to stay...and it was no bowl of cherries for my ex.

    This particular son can not live withe again. My others could beccause they wouldnt unless desperate and would follow rules. And leave ASAP. But my oldest....thank God for hos good jo and brains. He cant ever live with my hisband and myself..
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  9. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Literally? OMG that I would not tolerate. I don't know about all states, but in Florida spitting on someone is considered assault, not sure if a felony or misdemeanor, but a chargeable offense. If my son ever spit at me I would ask him to leave immediately and if he refused I would not hesitate to call the police.

    I totally understand about leaving, even if to another room, because there were times when he was a teenager I would lock myself in my bedroom with my favorite music to calm me down and help me relax. I won't physically leave the house, because under no circumstances will I leave my son alone in my home for any period of time, not even if I'm just running up to the corner store and right back. My "escape" is generally my online transcription work. He's gotten much better about not interrupting me when I'm working so that usually works like a charm, and the fact that I use soundblocking headphones is a major plus. Plus it's productive. Or sometimes I'll do like you and go in my room and watch TV or listen to music or read or just meditate.

    Completely agree and related to never living with me again. If I'm ever old and alone and need assistance, I think I would rather go to the worst nursing home than to live under my son's roof (assuming he even has one by that time).

    I do have to give him credit in actually taking steps to help himself. He finally enrolled in a program that gave him his first month's supply of medications at no cost, and $5 per prescription thereafter. He's also set to move into a sober living home as soon as he has the $100 he needs to move in. The rent is $400 a month but they will waive or defer the first month other than the $100. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to get $100 together, as he seems to view his tip money as pocket money. Who knows. All I know is I won't contribute a penny of it. So we'll see how important being there is to him, won't we? Anyway as long as he's making even a small amount of progress I can overlook some of what I call the minor irritants. And we are all...my son, and especially myself and my husband...are better off for it. I can almost guarantee that the next time I see him it will be as if today never happened.
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Good for him Laura! And good for you for stepping back!

    My son did spit at me. He missed probably out of fear but that did it. He was scaring my young daughter and porn had been a big issue and lets just say after he left it took us days to clean out his room. Normally he would lock himself in his room and stay to himself. Doing things we didnt want him to do. But nobody wanted to confront him and start drama....he was underage and still had to live at home. The spit was when he was 20 and he had been wearing it out even before that. His sister was afraid of him.

    He has gotten much better. He never got ino drugs or serious drinking and is one of those very bright kids who started college but didnt finish but he was a great salesperson and now has a great high paying job, a nice house, the toys, he can support himself well. My grandson, his son, is known for being the smartest child in his grade (gets teased for it but he gets straight A's and good conduct reports). Sorry for the grandma brag. He us also very cute. (Grandkids are so precious).

    I digress...

    We never had to take care of our son. That he can do himself. He is also divorced with half custody and is a very good, if overly generous father. But he can still have an unpleasant mouth and he is 41 years old. I am not going to listen to him if he is being mean. I am nice to him. He can be nice to me.

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  11. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    My daughter will never live with me again either. And I agree with SOT- he was being mean for no reason that had anything to do with you. My daughter does that too, especially when she's drinking again. It's almost like she wants to cause a problem before I can ask about the drinking which will give me an actual reason to be upset. When she's like that it doesn't matter what I say- it sets her off. I hang up the phone and don't talk to her for a few days until I feel like I want to engage with her. While her new boyfriend is no great prize I have heard him say several things to her about the way she talks to me. She wants to impress him, so it's toned her down quite a bit. Hey, I'll take what I can get. ;)
  12. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    Nothing to apologize for. :) I'm jealous. My son being gay, chances are I will never be a grandmother. And without major changes he wouldn't make a good father anyway in my humble opinion. I'm thinking of seeing there are volunteer opportunities in the pediatric ward at the hospital so I can release my "grandma" urges when they hit me.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Gay couples can marry and can and do adopt. One of my sons is also
    gay. It no longer is a deterrent to adoption. And your son may straighten his act out. You never can say never.

    I do t think your volunteer idea sounds great though!
  14. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Laura, I know it must be stressful but it sounds like all of you are doing pretty well- considering the circumstances. Did he apply for food stamps? here they are retroactive back to the month they were applied for. Perhaps you and hubby can qualify for them too since your income is reduced right now. When we go to Florida I am always surprised at how expensive groceries are there. Do you have Aldi near you?
    I hope son continues to move forward.

    SWOT, being proud of your grand child (or child) is a good thing! I am glad he is doing so well. How nice to have a little smarty pants int he family.
  15. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    You know the feeling when you wake up in the morning, in a bad mood and don't even know why? I would bet that is 10x amplified for someone cleaning the residual drugs/alcohol out of their system.
    I have an idea. most of the time it worked with my son. When he shows up and you feel this type of mood find a way to be standing near him and say.. something to get a hug from him.. " I need a hug. I didn't sleep well, would you give your mom a hug?" something to get physical contact. My son needs that but doesn't ask for it. It is amazing how it changes his mood.
  16. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    He's not much of a huggy touchy person but it's worth a shot. Couldn't hurt.
  17. LauraH

    LauraH Active Member

    We do, but I don't drive and we don't have a car, and the only Aldi I know if is a nightmare going by bus. For us it's more feasible to go to the nearby Publix and/or Winn Dixie. Publix has some pretty good sales, though, and I would put most of their store brand products up against the leading national products any day. The things I don't like about grocery shopping in Florida is that stores don't double coupons (something about the tax law and/or that we don't pay sales tax on groceries, I don't really understand) and that outside of Florida if Publix has a BOGO and you only want one of the items you can get it at half price. Here you either pay full price for one and get the other free or you pay full price for just the one.
  18. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Ben isn't either BUT it seems like when I ask him for a hug and he puts his arms around me the anxiety goes out of him. I think he feels the comfort. And with your son (hopefully) letting the crap leave his system the security of the hug may help him. I know he isn't a little kid. But sometimes that hug just helps.
  19. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    My sister has a house in Florida and when we go see her and stay there for a while we grocery shop. I am always amazed at how much more groceries are there. I want to say why??? it is still in the USA. you would think they had to be shipped to Hawaii! I asked about LAdi becasue that is the only place the prices are close to ours.
  20. Misssy2

    Misssy2 New Member

    Sounds like he is doing well and all he needs is to keep growing up.
    I know how hard it is to manage a food budget..I have a homeless girl here..that runs water like crazy I have told her like 3x that I pay a water bill.

    And the food...she doesn't eat much cause she is a heroin addict.
    And when she doesn't have heroin suboxone makes her just as "not hungry" and too alert.

    My son with the explosive disorder brought her here cause he feels bad..and there have been many explosions on his end...but he said he is learning....

    So nice your son went to church with you.....a blessing.

    I hope he gets in a rehab or recovery center and his life continues to get better..so yours can also..