Need objective opinions

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by slsh, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    thank you has been living down in our area for the past 7 months. I think he's been drug free. Still doing nothing - half-hearted attempts at getting a job, I can't even follow his excuses for no GED - but he *has* been (I think) relatively safe.

    He's now alienated/been alienated from current housemates, and informed me yesterday he's moving back to the city as soon as his SSI check comes in, to live with X. X is a kid he met in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) #2, then found again after he left TLP. X... has issues. Already been in jail, ongoing court issues, at one point had thank you running scared because X threatened to kill thank you and thank you believed him. (The drama thank you is involved in is exhausting - for the most part, I try to stay blissfully unaware.)

    Part of me wants to tell thank you to move back home. Downsides are he's still not doing a darn thing to get a life and there will be heck to pay with- Diva (who has developed her own set of issues, mainly over anger at thank you/me/Will for whatever - in therapy, refusing medications, generally being a royal typical teen-plus 99% of the time). Of course, there's that PTSD side of me that worries if he's here, he will ultimately revert back to the old thank you (familiarity breeds contempt) and we'll end up having an ugly situation trying to get him out, should the need arise. Upsides are there's a better chance of keeping him away from drugs (guaranteed he will start using again if he goes back to city), minimal (but better) chance of prodding him into getting a life, practical help for me in terms of caring for Boo, and ultimately there will be no major scrambling when he loses SSI, which is inevitable in my humble opinion because he's not on medications, not seeing therapist/psychiatrist.

    He is not violent, has not been to my knowledge for 3-4 years. He is respectful of our rules when he's here, and appreciative of the comforts of home when he's here. Not so much a difficult child behavior-wise anymore... morphed into ditzy, unmotivated, drama-filled sloth. Kinda spacey, still atrocious ability to make plans, figure out steps, and then follow through.

    Thoughts? Am I out of my mind for giving him an easy out? Is it reasonable to offer an alternative that will keep him away from drugs and other difficult child-like situations? Do I need to keep detachment in place and let him continue to fumble around, trying to find his way? It's been 2 years, and he's made zero progress.

    Let me have it - honesty needed. Thanks, guys.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I understand the desire to reach out to thank you due to the city/drug issue possibility alone. But as you said "familiarity builds comtempt". Plus you have the whole possibility of him sliding right into old familiar habits once he comes to stay. And when you get into that groove, you run the risk of all old behaviors you haven't seen in a while resurfacing, including the violence. Then you have Diva who is still dealing with past issues to stir up the pot, as TTwith anger issues toward thank you, she will probably really stir up that pot too. Also thank you is alienating people he lives with......which makes me wonder if living with him has really grown easier with "maturity" or if he doesn't cross and invisible line and become violent because they're not family and "safe" to do so. There is no obvious sign that he is trying to move forward........

    Me? No. I wouldn't do it.

    Like you, I'd probably find myself wanting to reach out and do it. But alienating room mates and no progression forward would cause me to stop. At home he would have zero desire for improvement and could stagnate or slip right back into the child role and old familiar patterns of behavior. I'm thinking that is what would most likely happen..........and then you're going to be pulled back into difficult child drama and will be faced with the battled to get him back out of the house again..........which would probably wreck the relationship you now have with him. On top of still at home also need to be considered.

    I think I would ask myself : Am I willing to risk life returning to the way it was before thank you left the home? Because nontreatment/medication compliant and zero progression gives me the momma gut feeling that is what you'd be dealing with once the honeymoon period wore off. Can I offer him incentive and real help to move him forward.......and will he take it and use it? On this one.........if having a roof over your head, food in the stomach, and basic needs met isn't incentive enough......being back home probably won't be either.

    A hard dilemma and not fun choices to make. It's hard to watch them spinning their wheels and getting nowhere.

    I hope this made some sense. I'm only on my first cup of coffee. lol :mornincoffee:

  3. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    I probably don't know enough about anything to be giving you advice, but how capable is he of living an independent life? Is it just laziness etc or are there long-term issues that make it difficult for him to lead an independent life?

    If you do go the route of letting him live with you, are there some minimal reasonable expectations? like taking his medications etc? What kind of job might he be capable of holding down? Could caretaking of your other son be built into a home contract?

    That's a tough situation.
  4. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    NO NO NO Don't do it! - would be my advice.

    Look at your list of downsides:

    And he won't start - why would he try to get a life when he's got a free ride?


    Of course he will, and it will drive you nuts to have it in your face again after having had a respite from daily exposure.

    Yep, and the need will arise sooner or later

    Now look at your upsides:

    If he wants to start using, there's no way you can "keep him away" from it.

    Again, you're not going to be able to prod him into anything he doesn't want to do. It'll just create constant friction and frustration for you.

    OK - but how reliable? Can you count on him being there and willing and able to help when you need it, not just when he feels like it?

    Do you really think so? In my experience, everything is a major scramble where a difficult child is concerned.

    "When he's here" - yeah, but he's not there 24X7. It's relatively easy to be non-violent, respectful and appreciative for a short while, but can he keep it up for weeks and months on end?

    Like I said before, you can't keep him away from anything he decides he's gonna do. You want to keep him nearby in order to manage and control him, but that is just not going to work. You'll resent him for being a layabout and he'll resent being nagged to get a life.

    Yes, you need to maintain detachment. If he hasn't made progress on his own, he's not going to make any progress living with Mom, either. He has to do it, you can't do it for him.

    Have I been honest enough? LOL

    All the best, whatever you decide to do.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    OH you poor thing........I didn't know you had fallen and hit your head :consoling: so hard you had brain damage. (in as much as letting you have it)

    You have the other 1/3 of the head of Cerberus (Cory, thank you and Dude) and you want to do WHAT? (in as much as being blunt)

    There, there dear......(in as much as being sympathetic...channeling my inner Hound Dog and doing lousy I may ad)

    UM NO, but I'd be open to going halfsies on an apartment to keep him out of the city and off drugs (just being me and pro-active anti drug)

    Hugs & Love
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    DO NOT ALLOW HIM TO COME BACK HOME!!!!!!!! You know how they say when you type in all capital letters it means you are yelling, well guess what, DO NOT ALLOW HIM TO COME BACK HOME :)

    If you were saying you know for a fact that he is 100% drug free, is working full time, has become a productive adult, then I would say, think about it before jumping into it, but NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

    You said to give it to you straight :)
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Why don't you just talk to him about it? Maybe even knowing that you would consider it, would motivate him. Maybe he will say 'no thanks'.

    Throw it out there and see what happens. You have the right to say, 'Ya know, thank you, if you were working it would be a situation I would be willing to consider. But, I do not think I can watch you lay on my couch all day. It would drive me bananas."

    I think there is a reason your brain is even considering it at this time....when a year ago it would not even have entered your brain.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I don't totally understand the motivation for wanting him back in your house. If he is in your area, if you want to, you can provide him information for services so that he can help himself.
    I DO understand why you posted here. It is clear. You want us to guide you out. You know in your heart it ain't such a good idea to have him back in your home.
    I'm a believer in keeping the door open in terms of providing medical care...especially psychological care....substance abuse tx if you can afford it....and all this if they are willing to go.
    But at 21....that's about it.
    Let them know that you love them and are hoping for the best. Be calm and respectful. Caring...but draw the line and draw in clear. Set clear boundaries and returning back to your home is not a clear boundary. You know it.
    Move forward. That is YOU move forward. Let him find his way, with very little to no help from you. It is his journey...not yours.
    Sending good thoughts.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Sue, I love you dearly but I am going to give it to you straight. NO!

    I so wish someone had kidnapped me and shoved me in a room where my mouth was taped shut so I couldnt have allowed Cory and Mandy to move back in here last summer. They were only supposed to be here for a few month to save up money to get a new place. HA! They have done nothing. Thankfully for us, Cory has never been physically violent which is something you really have to think about. Cory and Mandy are just lazy and annoy me to no end and now with this baby coming, I am just done. And dont think you cant get saddled with a baby....look at me!

    If you really want to help him, find somewhere that will either let him rent or buy an old trailer and get him set up there. Help him with the mental health aspects even if you have to bribe him with the trailer. Surely you can find a dump for a reasonable sum. Like I tell Cory, he has chosen to make his life a dump lifestyle by his choices. I did too and slowly have made it up to trailer
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Do NOT NOT NOT do this. Do NOT NOT NOT discuss it with him. First the discussion. If you discuss it and then decide not to let him move in, he will FOREVER say he was going to get a job here (somewehre he couldn't get to from your house) and had it lined up (not really but he will say he did) but he turned it down because you said he could live with you. Then when he gets kicked out by his roommates or landlord or infuriates his roommate into trying to kill him he will claim that it is YOUR fault. Why? Because you talked to him about moving home so he gave up the GOOD JOB that would have paid well, trained him for a future in whatever and really put him onto the road to a good life and then you backed out and he had to move to this place where he got pulled back into drugs and thruggery and now someone is trying to kill him and you will be sorry when he is gone because all this is YOUR FAULT.

    So don't even have this discussion with him.

    If you let him move back home the honeymoon will be shorter than a midget standing in a pothole. He will have all of his basic needs met with no effort on his part and there will be NO effort to do anything to try and move out. Ever. He may start with good intentions but they won't last. He will revert to that angry gfgteen role so fast that you will think the 2 yrs on his own was a dream like the second Bob Newhart show ended up being.

    GO back and remember all the nasty, ugly, scary things he did before he left your home. ALL the reasons you fought for placements and treatment for him. Once you have done that, think about him now. With NO treatment and NO medications and NO desire to work or get help. Do you REALLY want to go back to that?

    Now go back and remember ALL that I already told you to remember. But this time imagine that you are a child growing up watching an older sibling act that way to your mom, your disabled older sibling, you and your other sibling. Think about ALL the ways that difficult child held you (the child) hostage and kept the majority of your mother's attention hostage as well - because as soon as mom started giving you attention the difficult child did something outrageous and scary and mom HAD to put her attention back on him.

    THAT is what Diva is dealing with. All that stuff and likely more because she really couldn't understand the choices and decisions you made about thank you. She just knew that as long as he was at home the entire family was hostage to his rage and gfgness.

    I really think you may push diva into seriously bad behavior,and I am really especially thinking drugs here, if you even discuss letting thank you come back home. Teens today have such easy access and many of their peers tell them it is a great way to deal with things that bother them. She knows thank you had a drug problem and that he is NOT in any kind of treatment for it, nor has he ever embraced ANY treatment for any of his problems. MAYBE if he had it would be different. In Diva's mind, letting thank you come home as a way to keep him off drugs (maybe keep him off drugs that you THINK he is off of now) means that she can do whatever she wants because if you let him move home after all the ways he hurt her and the family then you won't EVER kick her out because she went for years with-o doing anything even 5% as bad as him.

    She also would likely see it as telling him that all the ways he hurt her don't count and she doesn't count. Because if she mattered to you then you would protect her and now that you have that threat out of her world somewhat, bringing it into her home means that you don't care.

    I am NOT saying that ANY of these things would be true. I know they wouldn't be. This is based on how Jess thought and felt when Wiz came home from the 4 month psychiatric hospital stay. It took years to get all of this out of her and she was nowhere near as closed off to me as Diva seems to be (Jess wasn't in full typical teen mode yet when we got to this, thankfully). I may be off base a bit, but probably not a lot.

    in my opinion Janet's idea of getting a trailer for him somewhere that he could live in IF he went to therapy and saw a psychiatrist would be a MUCH better option. If he won't get help then he needs to figure things out on his own for a while longer. Your efforts need to be invested in those who are willing to at least TRY or those who are disabled and CANNOT do for themselves. Diva and Boo are enough on your plate right now.

    The fact that thank you hasn't gotten anywehre in 2 yrs is NOT, in my opinion, a sign that he cannot do better. It is a sign that he doesn't want to do better. He gets some $$ each month, enough to cover what he absolutely must have. If it wasn't he would have found a job of some sort.

    Family has a LOT of baggage. It is hard to not slip back into old roles when you are with family even for a visit. thank you's old role was scary for the rest of the family. Letting him come home when he is at the point he is currently at means there is really no chance that he won't slip back into his old role. It also would mean that when you finally got him out of the house again he would dive right back itno sloth mode and stay in it for longer than 2 yrs because he will think you will rescue him at the end of year 2 the way you did this time.

    It has to be really hard to know the situation he is in. I am sorry that you have to be aware of ANY of it. This is not the right time or situation for him to move back home though. He needs to figure out how to live on the income he has chosen or have to work to get a better standard of living. You did NOT get the house and lifestyle you have from the Lifestyle Fairy - you and husband worked hard for it. This is thank you's turn to work hard or live on the proceeds of not working hard.

    Also remember the things thank you managed to do to get drugs or to thwart what you wanted him to do. He could figure out all the steps for that, couldn't he? It makes me think he just may not WANT to put forth the effort needed to get the kind of results that create a better standard of living, Know what I mean??
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    someone mentioned how they revert back to old ways. yep . Cory wants mommy to fix things for him, wants us to do things for them that they can do for themselves such as laundry. even folding!
  12. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I love you guys. From the bottom of my heart. And I thank you for the reality check. And I'm *really* glad I came to you before I told husband about it, 'cuz his first reaction this morning was the same as mine - bring him home. Since it was only 5:30 a.m. when I told him (about the only time we get any alone time anymore), he's going to think about it a bit and we'll hide in a closet to have further discussion sometime today.

    Getting him a place of his own down here would be doable, but the problem is that thank you is incapable of living alone. I suspect it has to do with- all the years in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He's already walked away from 1 place, leaving behind all the household stuff we had collected for him for years. If we got a place for him, it would be a matter of weeks before he walked out or found stray kids to bring home with- him. I don't want the responsibility for either.

    Nothing good will come of him returning to the city. husband and I see the course this is going to take pretty clearly. I don't think thank you does - impaired reality testing or avoidance or XYZ, who knows.

    Is he capable of getting and holding a job? We think yes, in spite of the fact he hasn't yet. We really feel it's a matter of motivation and being willing to jump thru that hoop (which he's been allergic to for years).

    I think part of our worry is that thank you really does seem to have a bottomless tolerance for misery. Nine years in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - not miserable enough for him to change his ways. I'm fairly certain he spent much of the summer of 2009 living on the streets (heaven knows, he went hungry, a lot) - still not enough. He is completely unwilling to ask for help from anyone - never thinks he needs it, perpetually thinks he's "got it under control."

    Bringing him here would ease our minds - well, for the split second until Diva goes ballistic. Would it help thank you? Yes and no. He'd be safe, fed. We could put him back on our insurance. He'd have less reason (if that's possible) to get on with the process of getting a life. Is it in his best interest? From the standpoint of keeping him alive, yes. From the standpoint of everything else, probably not.

    I spent the summer of '09 literally waiting for the call to come and identify his body. I had the logistics all worked out - I'd call husband, he'd come home to stay with- Boo and pick kids up from school, and I'd head to the city. It was the worst summer of my life - and I don't know how to let go of that fear/anticipation, and I do not want to do it again (selfish). I think that is the major driving factor in me wanting him to be here, or *anywhere* other than back in the city with- his "family".

    I don't think Diva knows for sure about his drug use - she just asked me Thursday morning if thank you had ever done drugs, so I think she suspects strongly - I told her that, just as she doesn't want her sibs to know she's in therapy, she has no right to the intimate details of their lives. Which of course led to much mom-bashing over conversations she overheard (my fault she overheard, according to her) between husband and me when thank you was cutting, threatening to drink household cleaners, and doing other stupid stuff... she does have some *major* issues going on, and it's all I can do to keep from giving her the benefit of my perspective. She was 2 when he left. She doesn't have a flipping clue.

    husband asked me right before he left this morning what I wanted to do... and I honestly told him. I want to be one of those mothers who just mysteriously disappear. Poof, she's gone. I want to start walking south and keep on going. Become lost and anonymous and not responsible for a single darn thing on this planet. Most days lately it feels like we have managed to totally mess up all of our kids. Not a single one of them is fully functional, and we really don't know how we could have been such epic failures at parenting.

    Anyway... thank you for the honest opinions and thoughts. I'll leave the door open for husband if he wants to rent a place for thank you down here, but I will be strong and not let living at home be an option.
  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    slsh, I think as a parent we want to help our kids to learn how to be an adult. Having a conversation with thank you about what his goals are and helping him develop steps to set a goal would be the first thing I would do.
    A knee jerk reaction of bringing him home isn't necessarily the best parenting decision but it may be a stop gap to get him on a path he wants to be on.
    Questions I would ask is "what does he want for the next month, the next year, the next 5 yreas?" Our kids don't seem to have the ability to project forward. Does he have a goal of a job, home, wife, children? Even if it's something he wants 10 yrs from now, helping him to visualize a goal is a big help. Then we talk about steps focusing on the first 3.
    Having no vision of a goal or a future is when we have young adults who just do exactly the same thing they do day after day. Never any progress.
    Does he want a GED? Does he want to feel like a productive member of society or just a leech on society? I'm pretty blunt with difficult child so he understands that society
    views leeches as less than deserving. What does he want?
    I suspect that with the SS cuts that are being demanded of by some will affect our young adults who don't have physical disabilities. Our boys look and sound capable even though they aren't. Your son has never held a full time job. Neither has mine. My son can not as of yet. My hope is that some day he will be able to attend and do a job for an 8 hr day. It's pretty iffy. Until thank you has held a full time job, you have to assume that he can't yet. Vocational help will be a way for our young men to have the supports to hold a productive job.
    So I guess my suggestion is to not offer him a solution but help him define a solution and steps to move forward.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    What if? There were one or two other boys that thank you was friends with? I talked to Dude this morning about thank you. Because as you know he's spent many years in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) too, and he is also incapable of living alone too. He says the silence - he can't deal with being in quiet, he needs the noise like was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but then complains about the noise. Then he laughed and said "I guess I just can't be happy either way Momma." But he wondered if thank you could do like he did and find a couple of good roommates and maybe split the cost of stuff? Dude and thank you do not know each other, but when he got to FL he did gravitate towards the kids that were (and I don't even believe I am saying this) the ones that I would rather he not hang around (isn't that sad? I mean I love all kids- but these guys were so bad, bad, bad into drugs, needles, alcohol) and here was Dude - right in the middle -trying to talk to them, and finally on his own just walked away from them. He felt bad too, but he said he couldn't help them, felt guilty - it was really a tough time for him. Then he started to find friends that were into the same interests he had - and gravitated towards them. My heart stopped worrying so much, and while we both still felt for the other kids, and he would still help them if he could? he wasn't 'helping' them- I saw tough live, but not enabling, and I didn't see - ''buddies'' he was being a real friend. He said it broke his heart, but my point is the ones that he had good times and fun with that he didn't get into trouble with? He's sharing a house with now. THEIR parents are elated.

    Maybe if thank you has buddies like that he knows you can do something along those lines?

    Just a suggestion from thank you's other triplet.