Now what?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by TAnne, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. TAnne

    TAnne New Member

    Haven't posted in awhile in the hopes that things would get better (classic enabling delusion under my part) but I'm at my wits end. I'm sorry that this will be all over the place. I posted awhile back about my now 19-year-old Difficult Child and the difficulties I was having with him getting his life together. He's transgender (started hormone therapy in February for female to male conversion) and has a tendency to blame his all of his behaviors on society as a whole, including his inability to keep a job. Nothing is ever his own fault. I thought we had finally reached a positive turning point when he enrolled in vocational school in January and was doing quite well. I was so wrong.

    The reality is that this kid has been enabled so long by ME, that he has no drive, no ambition, and no reason to work for anything. Jobs are inconvenient and he has a bad attitude, which is why I suspect he can't hold onto a position for more than 2-3 months at most. After he flunked out of college (I believe that's when I posted last), he spent the summer on his butt playing computer games or hanging out with friends rather than finding employment and figuring out Plan B, all the while getting free room and board, WiFi, an insured vehicle, and a paid cell phone by my husband and I. We talked about his need to contribute to the household budget and rent if he was going to stay with us, and he paid out a grand total of $120 in the past year. He hasn't contributed a dime to household expenses since last autumn, but has no problem stealing money from the change bucket that my husband saves up to pay for fun items or even petty things like the candy I ask him to leave alone because it's purchased as incentive for his 3-year-old sister's ongoing potty training. I constantly find hidden wrappers in his room. I know stealing candy sounds stupid, but it's infuriating to me that he steals candy from a little kid working hard to EARN that treat by staying dry. He's been confronted multiple times regarding stealing and continues to do so.

    He's constantly telling his friends and his boyfriend how horrible we are, but has no qualms about sauntering into the kitchen after laying around all day to ask me what's for dinner when I've just busted my ass seeing patients all day. I've gotten to the point where I respond, "What are you cooking?" and he just laughs and walks away. Recently lying has become a huge issue, not that I don't suspect he's been lying to me for years, but several big things stand out.

    *Yesterday my husband found vehicle damage to his work van (which is supplied by his corporate office) and sent me a text to ask me if there was any damage to Difficult Child's vehicle, as the paint color on his van appeared to be similar to Difficult Child's car. I went outside to check and found extensive damage to Difficult Child's vehicle consistent with hitting my husband's work van, however Difficult Child fabricated a story that he had been "backed into" the day before and that the damage lining up was "coincidental". According to his sister (my oldest daughter who is 22 and out on her own), he also hit an elementary school fence a few months ago and had recently been pulled over and ticketed for failing to use a turn signal. I had no knowledge of these events, and he's on our insurance plan.

    *About 2 weeks ago he claimed to me that he had a miscarriage at the beginning of this month that required a hospital D&E but supposedly had no prior knowledge of pregnancy despite being approximately 14 weeks along. I had my suspicions a few times in the last few months and asked if he thought there was even a remote possibility that he could be pregnant, but each time I received answers of indignation and disgust, as if I was a horrible person for even suggesting the notion. Now I'm being told that he "misses the little girl he lost" and I should be more sympathetic to his plight. The father is unemployed, hasn't even graduated high school, and has been unfaithful multiple times.

    *He took a leave of absence from school due to being "emotionally distraught" over the miscarriage, however it has recently come to light that he was forced into a leave of absence to avoid failing the current term due to absences and not turning in work, well before this incident occurred. He also quit a good 40-hour a week job that paid well only two weeks after starting to take on another position that pays more, but is ONLY on an as needed basis. He has yet to start that position despite quitting the other job over a month ago.

    *He has absolutely destroyed his credit, overdrawing with banks and not paying the balances, racking up medical bills that we wind up having to pay because we go to the same family practice and will lose our physician if he doesn't pay. He's had so many suicide threats and ambulance rides from his friends calling for help that I was recently sued for over $2000 in ambulance bills that he refused to pay because he's still on our health insurance.

    EVERY TIME I put my foot down and said that things had to change, he would talk about how his life was "falling apart" and threaten suicide. One of these threats landed him in an inpatient psychiatric unit involuntarily and he was furious that I was so fed up that I refused to visit. "But who's going to bring me clothes?" Yesterday after finding the vehicle damage I said I was done with all of this, and he didn't come home. Then at 0100 I wake up to someone pounding on my door and I send my husband to answer it with his handgun because we live in an area where homelessness and meth addiction are prevalent. Turns out it was the police department escorting my son home "for safety" because after I put my foot down again he made suicide threats on Facebook (in a post I'm blocked from seeing) and a concerned friend called police. He breezed through the house and went straight to his room while we stood there bleary eyed and speechless.

    This is exhausting. It's putting a huge strain on my marriage, I don't feel it's a safe environment for my 3-year-old to witness, and we're at a loss as to what to do. I'm being drained emotionally, physically, and financially. My husband and I are constantly on edge, wondering who's going to call and demand money for his debts. We've already decided to strip the plates from the vehicle and we've cancelled the cell phone as well as eliminated access to WiFi, but now what? I want this kid out of my house but he has zero way to support himself and in our state I'd have to move forward with a formal eviction. He's still sleeping comfortably in be at 10:30 a.m. while I'm having to take a day off work to deal with the aftermath of his crap. I need help.
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for your troubles, Tanne, I'm exhausted just reading about what you are going through.
    It is a familiar story for me though, the disrespect and utter disregard for the peace and sanctity of our home.
    This is a quote that helped me tremendously
    "What you allow, will continue."
    It is a tangled mess when our young adult children live at home and walk all over us. There was always some reason or excuse and the longer my kids stayed, the more they took for granted.
    I started hated being in my own home!
    The situation you describe is unacceptable. Especially since you have a young child who is effected by the drama. Believe me, I know because my son grew up watching his sisters come and go. I didn't realize how much it effected him because my focus was on the craziness going on with his siblings, constant frustration and drama.
    I think you are half way there to solving this in recognizing there is a problem. Taking his plates, stopping the WIFI, those are all steps towards giving him his wings to fly out of your nest. While it seems complicated to go through an eviction process, the alternative, allowing this to continue is much worse.
    Understanding this is important, but it shouldn't guilt you into putting up with disrespect, lies, theft, destruction of property and chaos in your home.
    Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
    The best thing about life is that every second we have an opportunity to learn from our mistakes, and do better!
    If this were not your son, would you put up with all of this? Heck no! How much more appalling is it that our own adult children would put us through this? Try to turn your mindset around, that you are not obligated to "help" an adult child who has no respect for you or your home. I know it is hard, it pulls at our hearts, but the truth is, if we don't stand up for ourselves, no one else will. If we continue to allow ourselves to be tread upon, under the guise of motherly "love" we are opening ourselves up for much more of the same treatment. Time to stand up and say no more.
    Keep posting. It helps to have others who have gone through similar circumstances offer support and advice. Seek counseling or groups where you can get face to face help.
    When we have gone through the trauma of having adult children run amok in our homes, it is important to lift ourselves up so that we can see and think straight.
    It is difficult to make decisions when caught up in the fog.
    I love my two very much, but have come to realize they will take every advantage of that if I allow them to.
    Oftentimes love says no.
    No you will not continue to walk all over me.
    No you will not take away peace from my home.
    The stronger we become, the better living example we are to our wayward adult kids.
    Strength to you in this challenging time. Stand up for yourself, your marriage, your three year old and deserved peace in your household.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would evict him. At least then he legally cant barge in and you can have peace.
  4. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    I am in complete agreement with New Leaf. I had a difficult time finding my way as a young adult (truthfully, I was over 40 by the time I flew out of the nest for good, as in paying every penny of my own bills including car insurance, cell phone, etc) - but the difference between me at that age, and your son, is that I always appreciated the help I received and fulfilled my obligations by working, attending school and contributing to the household. I never disrespected my mother (dad had died by the time I moved back in with her "officially").

    My mother's willingness to allow me to live with her during my middle thirties, is the reason I earned a Master's Degree and work in a field i love today. Actually, I moved in with her because after years of her "helping" me by providing me with cash and paying my bills when I could not, my conscience got the better of me. I just couldn't continue to take advantage of her. Most of what she earned at her job went to my upkeep and at a certain point I decided that wasn't right. Yes, I said "I" because my mother is codependent and would have given me every penny she earned if I demanded it. I was the one who stopped the merry go round because I could no longer look at myself in the mirror.

    Her providing room and board was in exchange for me earning that advanced degree and getting on my feet for good so I would be able to work and take care of myself. I give my mother all the credit in the world as well as all the thanks and love. But I digress. It does give me a certain perspective though....

    Your son is taking advantage of you. Plain and simple. I would bet he has other issues that go far beyond his transgender identity (I am a lesbian by the way). I would bet he is banking on his trans identity to curry favor or sympathy with you and your husband. He is a legal adult and it's time he lived in the real world.

    I would start small. You have reason to believe your son is responsible for damaging your husband's work van. So call the police and file a report and name your son as the guilty party. They will inspect the damage and issue him a citation if they agree. Then he'll have a ticket to deal with. That's life!

    If you are unwilling to kick him to the curb just yet, as with the minor children we discuss on this board, you aren't under any obligation to make his time under your roof sunshine and roses if he hasn't earned that privilege. If he can't pay the bills for his phone and etc., off goes the service. That's life! If he can't afford the gas, perhaps he needs to sell his vehicle. That too is life!

    Let us know how it goes, we are here for you!
  5. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

    great quote! i needed to see that.
  6. TAnne

    TAnne New Member

    Thank you so much for the advice! After a lengthy discussion and a lot of blame being placed on my shoulders for his troubles (which I refuse to accept), he's going to be moving out tomorrow and staying with a friend. I got a surprising FB message from his ex-girlfriend this morning that said:

    Hey "Difficult Child mom",

    I've been seeing all of the stuff Difficult Child's been posting on facebook and talking to Difficult Child's sister and I just wanted to tell you that you are one of the most patient and kind parents I've ever known.

    The fact that your son does half of the stuff that he does to you and then turns around and lies to not only you, but a dozens of others about you, is absolutely horrific and astounding.

    You are more patient than I, or most people, could hope to be when it comes to this stuff. It's unfair that you and your family have to put up with that. I would've done anything to have a mother like you growing up.

    Just wanted to let you know that.

    Keep being great!!!

    I can't see what's being posted about me on his Facebook page, and at this point I probably don't want to because I don't know if I could handle it emotionally right now. This entire family has walked on eggshells around this kid since he was 13 years old and we only get crapped on in return. At this point I'm only going to feel relief once he's removed his belongings from our home. It's heartbreaking to deal with adult children like this when you've only tried your best to give them the world, but I know I can't fix him. He has to fix himself, and he can't do it under my roof.
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  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you are going through this. I think it is past time to formally evict him. I know that sounds harsh, but it is my opinion. He needs the shock, and the lesson that you cannot continue to treat people horribly and expect them to take care of you.

    He is abusing you in an absolutely awful way and you are completely accepting and allowing it. You are even paying for it. This has to stop.

    Do you own the car he drives or is it in his name? If it is in your name, don't just take the plates off of it. He won't care and will drive it anyway. I promise he will. You will end up having to pay for those tickets and bills after it is impounded when he is pulled over for driving it without the plates. Go ahead and remove the spark plug wires or the fuses. Either one will make it not run. Depending on the way the engine is set up, it should be easy to get to one or the other.

    If the car is in his name, you cannot take the plates off. You don't own the car. You can report him for driving without insurance if you stop paying for it. But that is IF you are able to stop paying for it. In some states, if an adult lives with you, you cannot stop paying for their policy once you have started. My state has some twisty regulations about this.

    I think you and your husband need to discuss what you are willing to do to get your son out of your house and your bank account. He may be homeless, but clearly he is capable of getting a job. He is making CHOICES and he needs to learn to live with the results of those choices. You are actually stunting his growth by not allowing that. It is high time he is kicked out of the nest FOR HIS OWN GOOD and for your own good.

    If you won't do this for his good, or for your good, do it for your daughter. I was the good girl who had to deal with the difficult brother. It was an awful way to grow up. Don't do that to your 3 year old. Let her grow up without him in the house.

    You might have to pay first month's rent on a flop for your son. Just to get him OUT. It might be worth it.