Remember how I thought difficult child might be seeing the light by working in rural desolate North Dakota alongside the "down on their luck" crowd? I take it back. Please bear with me - because I am not sure of how to relate these visits to you all. He came "home" for the weekend. By "home" I mean he stopped by unannounced on Tuesday and came to lunch with H and me, he came by unannounced on Thursday night and stayed for dinner. He swore he'd be back on Sunday to spend time with us and have a family dinner - and then failed to show up or call. He stopped by unannounced once again today to grab a few things and say goodbye as he heads back to ND. Let me state a disclaimer - at first glance the below may seem like growth or at least positive news - but it isn't. Both H and I are on the same page - but got there separately. For once, H was up pacing the house because he felt unsettled about difficult child. difficult child decided to stay in ND until TGiving to make more money. He hates it there. He crowed about "how much better" he is than his coworkers. They're drunks, they have bad teeth, they are uneducated or unsophisticated (my words) or just plain dumb (his word). They don't speak English or they are careless or inept or all of the above. He astounds the Spanish speakers by speaking perfect Spanish when they think he can't understand. Of course, he speaks "proper" Spanish and they do not.(again I am relating what he told us) He & his roomies are living with many mice in their trailer, can't use the oven because of the mice nesting in it. The work is hard and gross and he is eating crap most of the time. There are no women and no peers with similar backgrounds. When I mentioned that I was glad he has E (the student he is working with from home) he told me "E is a tool" - this kid is his ONLY friend there. Of course I wanted to shake him! How on earth does he think he ended up with perfect teeth and perfect Spanish! He has a home, he has a bed, he has every advantage in the entire world and he has blown them all. He isn't better than his coworkers! He is worse - he HAD options and he willfully squandered every single one. He feels so superior and I can't help but think that is why he is staying. He won't be home for pc17s senior varsity football season which is OK on one hand but heartbreaking on the other. It was something he promised to his little brother over and over again beginning in 2006. He managed to break his phone while he was camping for the weekend, so he bought a new phone and switched to his own account - which is probably good - but it means I won't be able to see if he is alive when necessary. When I asked him if he had a 5 year plan - he told me it was to be retired. HUH? I asked about short term plans and he gave me the same bulloney about getting back into school. Except this time school was Berkley. He is going to Santa Barbara, going to tech school for a year to establish residency and then transferring to UC Berkley to get his undergrad & graduate degrees. Because he wants to be a world class surfer. Sure. (FWIW Berkley didn't accept 4 kids with perfect ACT & GPAs from our HS - there is no way in heck a 23 yo who failed out from both a State Uni AND a Community College - would EVER get in. Not a single kid from our HS has ever been accepted) Later in the conversation, he mentioned going to Colorado State or TCU or another State Uni here. He also mentioned that he may compete on the Snowboard Circuit. And that he was thinking of buying a share in a ski house or a timeshare of his own. And he is buying season passes at a half a dozen local and out of state Ski Hills. What planet is this difficult child on? I feel myself getting a little riled up as I type this out but truthfully, I am mostly sad. He was so out of touch that it was laughable except that he is my boy and it broke my heart. When he left today, I felt like it could be the last time I see him. I don't know why, but that's how I feel. In a lot of ways, he is breaking ties with us. I think he is running away from himself and he is surrounding himself only with those people whom he feels are beneath him. His lease on his local apartment ends in 4 weeks and all of the guys are moving on. He should have moved his stuff out but has not. He said his roommate might bring it by - but if not - it's ok if they toss it all. I am really worried for him and I think we may have lost him for keeps this time.