Need some advice

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Enmeshedmom, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    My son is 19 years old and living at home. One of my biggest struggles is realizing what is my business and what is not. Now I know that I have a say as to anything that goes on in my home but is that it? I know he smokes pot regulary and I have a feeling lately that something else is going on but have no proof. The last few months I feel I have gone off the deep end, I’m suspicious of his every move and can’t stand not knowing where he is or what he is up to at any given moment. Our relationship is strained because of this. I hate the fact that I can’t stop him from using pot or anything else he chooses. So what do I do with all this gut churning anxiety? Pretty much it seems like all I can do is wait and see unless he breaks house rules and bring stuff into the house. But even then, since he started messing with pot we have searched his room on numerous occasions and got rid of the small amounts of pot or paraphernalia that we found, we drug tested him, we took away his cell phone and iPod for months at a time (of course he was still a minor then) so obviously that did not work. So what am I supposed to do? Just wait and see what happens? I suck at that.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    With my daughter, we stopped allowing her to drive because we knew she obviously drove high. We gave her no allowance at all. We paid for no toys. She did get a job, which was a good thing. When we knew for a fact that her drug use had escalated, we made her leave. In our house or not, you can't live with us if you do meth and cocaine, even if you don't do it under our roof. She still came home high. My younger kids had to see her high. Um, no.

    I feel as long as they are financially dependent on us and living for free under our roof, it is our house/our rules. I don't care how old they are. They can be 43. Our house.

    An example of this is NOBODY can smoke in our house. We don't choose to pollute our lungs. Therefore nobody who has to smoke can be in our home, from ages 12 to 99. Their relationship to us doesn't matter. Nobody can smoke in our castle. Your house rules should stand. It doesn't help him grow up to let him live in your house for free when he is living a lifestyle you don't approve of. Pot isn't harmless by the way.

    Your house/ your rules.
    He can choose to either obey your rulesor leave. It is his choice. You are not throwing him out. It's his choice.

    Go to Al Anon and/or a private therapist for help for your anxiety. You can not know what Son is doing all the time. Dont read his social media AT ALL. Half of what posts about are probably just to impress his seedier "friends." Go silent on his social media.

    You getting sick over his maybes do not help either of you even one iota. Not at all. Your getting sick helps neither of you either. Don't give him that power...set boundaries for YOU.

    Jmo and love and prayers.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  3. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Did you provide her with a car before that? He didn’t get his license until 18 because I didn’t want to pay for him to drive if he was smoking pot. He got his license and saved up and bought his own car and pays for his insurance and gas so I can’t stop him from driving. We don’t give him a dime of spending money, he works for that. I am well aware that pot isn’t harmless.
     
  4. newstart

    newstart Active Member

    Enmeshedmom, I am so sorry for your hard road. My daughter is now out of the house but when she lived here I was like you described you are. I was full of anxiety all the time because I knew she was up to no good. This situation is almost unbearable when you know the potential they have yet chose to do the wrong things. I prayed a lot and exercise. I think walking and swimming saved my life. It gave my anxious feeling a way to settle down. Hot saunas calmed my nerves too. I stayed away from caffine and tried to eat right, cut back on the sugar. I was always working on getting a new perspective when I was around my daughter. I love my daughter so much that I could not stand to see her on the wrong road, it hurt me deeply.. I had to realize that it is HER journey and not mine. She needs to fall in order to learn but watching her fall was too much for me. But after a while I knew what I was doing was not working so I had to do things that were against my nature. I wish you the very best. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would let her fall harder and faster and I would quit trying to make life easy or better for her. With my son, things I did worked perfectly but not with her. I wish you all the love and luck in the world. Watching comedy helps too. I know all too well how your feel.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I never felt it was a good idea to present a teen with a car. She drove our car, but lost that privledge after her first mishap. She never drove again under our roof, until she quit drugs and bought her own car, paying for her own insurance and gas. She didn't live with us then and had straightened out. We were pretty tough on her at the end. Until we were, she had no interest in getting her life together. I don't think being soft on drug users motivates them to change.
    Your son is walking all over you. How does that motivate him to change? You can not fear your child's anger. in my opinion we must push them into hating their lifestyle to motivate at least some of them to quit. Some can't be motivated and will never wuit...sadly; scary. But many can. People quit every day. Please don't enable his destruction.
     
  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    This is a stugfke for sure. If he is abusing my your rules and he is paying his own way and contributing as expected to the household this is a tough call indeed.

    I have no answers I am in the throws of a 3 ring circus with my 18 AS.

    You are not alone.
     
  7. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    I have been thinking about how to respond to this since I read it. We have been pretty tough on him right along. And we most definitely don’t fear his anger, he does not rage although he can be moody. We have a nice little game of cat and mouse going but I think I’m ready to quit. And my question was more about him being 19 years old and not a little kid anymore what is and is not my buisness?
     
  8. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Good morning EM

    For each of us it is different. I think we can learn from others and take what we need and leave the rest.

    I think the struggle here is that there is no hard and fast rule or right or wrong.

    I would suggest setting firm boundaries and expectations with your son. Make them something you can enforce and also what you can comfortably life with. If your son is compliant with these boudaries and expectations then that is all good. If not a discussion and course correction will be needed. If he is not compliant there need to be consequences.

    Our Adult children are not always going to live the life we desire for them. We need to learn wnat we hope and desire is what WE hope and desire. They have their own path and their own right to live their life their way; as long as it does not infringe on others by not meeting boudaries and expectation.

    I wish you well, I know it is very hard not to worry ourselves to death.
     
  9. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Enmeshedmom, good question. I too struggle with this with my 18 year old son. He lives at home but has a full time job.He too does things when not at home that I don't approve of. Smoking weed is the big one. He never lets me know where he is after work and sometimes is here for dinner and sometimes not. He knows he is supposed to let us know his comings and goings so we don't worry. Just common courtesy in my opinion. But he rarely keeps in touch. He is a slob and these things drive me insane. I also think he started smoking cigarettes. I hate it all but we have come a very long way as he was completely out of control in high school and barely graduated. I try to remind myself how much better things are than they were. I lose a lot of sleep worrying about where he is and what he is doing. Yet I feel powerless and often very angry . I get it.
     
  10. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    You are so right! I have fought so hard to get him to live how I want him to live and to some degree I think it has come back to bite me in the a#$. He was always so adamant about doing everything himself and the control freak in me has more often than not insisted he needed my help. I refuse to beat myself up for what I didn’t know then but I do recognize it. I think he is fighting my control, I’m pulling hard one way and I think he is over correcting. Does that make sense?
     
  11. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    “Parenting is a series of strategic retreats”

    — said some wise person who is not me
     
  12. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Sooo true!
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Everyone is different, as you see.

    In my world, which is not what everyone's world is like, my house/my rules in the house. My kids had to call and let me know if They were going to be out all night. I couldn't sleep until I heard from them. They all complied. Did they always tell me the truth about where they were? Who knows? I just needed to hear that they were okay and I shouldn't wait up. i didn't check up on them after the call. But the call was mandatory to live with me or I couldn't sleep and I matter too. They all made sure they called if they would be out all night.

    I did not ask what my kids did outside of the house. They knew that police trouble meant they were on their own. So that was that. My kids never went to jail. I was lucky there. One could have but she never did.

    Working at eighteen was mandatory or full time school. No trouble there either. They had to pay for using the car too. Again, they did so.

    Only one of my kids smoked pot. But she did other drugs too. If it had only been pot, as long as she worked and never lit up at home, I would have let it go and not asked about it. But I probably would have not given her permission to drive my car. If she bought her own car and paid forbit, then an accident would have been on her record, not mine. So you can do what you want with driving, even if you live with me, if it is on your dime.

    My kids left the nest by 21, even my autistic son. They were independent so I did not have these issues at home for too long. I raised them to be independent and self sustaining. But doing so doesnt always work. For us it did. Again lucky. All my kids have been self motivated to grow up. I know this doesn't always happen no matter how hard we try.

    My attitude is if they can do it themselves, then I don't need to do it for them. This especially helped autistic son. Just like my other three, by twelve he did his own laundry and could cook his own meals if he didn't like the menu of Mom. Just a few examples. My feeling is that if we treat them as if we think they can't do it, they won't. If we don't step in, they are much more likely to step up. If we act (not just talk) like we think they can, then like The Little Engine That Could, they are more likely to try and to do. My autistic son is my hero. He is the hardest worker and sweetest person I know. He got no coddling because of his autism and he is still thriving and pushing hard. He pays his own bills.

    And of course we are all different and there is no dogmatic, one size fits all parenting manual. We just share here, often very different ideas.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  14. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Sounds pretty much exactly like our house rules. I wish I could say I don’t ask questions about what he does outside the house but I do... a lot of questions and I know that is not respecting his boundaries, I’m working on it. I need to stop stepping in for sure!
     
  15. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    I guess what I have been trying to do is cut him off at every pass if I think it will end badly. Obviously he needs to run into some hurdles to learn how to find his way. My resistance is just prolonging the inevitable. I need to figure out how to be brave in the face of the unknown.
     
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    em. i have a lot of anxiety too.

    i believe my anxiety is related to my own life story, held deeply in my body, which finds as its target my son.

    i agree that body based activities help. (walking, dance, swimming, martial arts, etc.). art and needlework do too.

    the aim is that you become the focus of your own care and concern. it is hard i know. but essential for you.
     
  17. Enmeshedmom

    Enmeshedmom Active Member

    Yes exactly! There is no denying that he has his issues and I don’t want to minimize that or not hold him accountable but a major change of focus is definitely in order.
     
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    em. compared to the other kids on this site your son's issues are minimal.

    i hate marijuana too. and that has been my son's drug of choice. but he has not worked for 6 years, has been homeless and struggled with emotional issues.

    the point is: he is the one who can hold himself accountable. or not. the only thing that works is holding your space and yourself as inviolable. holding him accountable to observe rules in your house, towards you.

    in his own life he rules. unless he is in your house. you have the right to insist he leave. do you want this? that is your only legitimate power over him, i think.

    i know. i know. i truly cannot put this into practice that good. but i get the concept!
     
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  19. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    That makes total sense and we are all guilty of this level of codependent parenting at one time or another.
     
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hey...i wanted to know where they were. But only one, the one who took drugs, may have been in trouble. My oldest and biggest long term problem child rarely left the house. The other kids were good, right thinking kids so it wasn't so much a worry.

    My daughter who did drugs would get caught if she was doing wrong and the police would bring her home. It would not have helped her, not have stopped her if I had followed her around in my car. She found a way to do drugs, even when she was homeschooled and grounded to the house. We DO have to sleep and sometimes we must go out and then they do what they do. There is no way to stop them. They have to stop themselves. For her this happened when we made her leave. Does this always work? No! We were lucky. Homelessness was worse to her than a life without drugs. Not all of our adult children will give up drugs even for a home. They are all very different.
     
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