Paying for his mistakes

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lovemyson1, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Hi sweet people,

    First may I say I'm very happy my son has been sober for 89 days today. However, we have had to pay for all expenses since this happened in August this year. I'm grateful he's off drugs but the expenses are adding up. He has a job to start in early December but in the meantime we are paying rent for his sober living house (3x now = $1,500) his car insurance, gas, phone, food. The thing is, he lives 20 miles away and continues to come to our home (because it's more comfortable, ie: cable, wi-fi, food, gym) but the gas is adding up. We told him he needs to stay in the sober living house we're paying for and only come home twice a week to get food & do laundry. His response is what gets me... he says "you're gonna make me relapse, I need to go to the meetings". But the people he lives with go to meetings (it's a requirement). And we told him he can go the 2 days he's home. I just feel like he relies on us for everything and he's almost 21. In you're opinion, do you think we're being too harsh?
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    This is what I would say. It is from long years of dealing with an unreasonable grown kid. I don't get into discussions with them. Most of my answers are pretty benign. I would say something like, very calmly, "I can't make you relapse. You are in control of what you do." And that's about it. And it's true. He's just trying to get you to pay and pay and pay and you have already spent so much money to help him many people could not afford your savings account is way down because you love him and wanted him to do well. My daughter had a lot of growing up to do after she quit drugs. Drug use retards emotional growth. We have to help them grow up by sometimes setting boundaries that they don't like. If you can't afford his coming back and forth, then it is very reasonable to set that boundary until he can pay for his own gas.
  3. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Great advice MWM! I totally agree, he is such a manipulator!! He's on his way to the house as we speak :-| He just does what he wants, my poor hubby has been working overtime to cover the added expenses! Grrrr! Man I'm glad he's sober but he is wearing us down.....
  4. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I agree with MWM.

    If the other people who are live there are going then why can't he ride with one of them instead of wasting gas?

    If you are paying for him to live somewhere then he needs to live there. Tell him flat out that you are happy for him to visit twice a week but that you can't afford him eating there every night and want some privacy. He doesn't live there anymore and visitors don't come by every day.

    You are not being too harsh. Now is the time to start cutting one thing off at a time. Tell him starting now you will only give him X amount of money for gas. If he has no money to drive there every day then he can't. He will learn to carpool like a normal guy when going to meetings. That would solve two issues with one stone. Less gas means less visits and less cost.

    When he gets the job tell him food and gas are now his problem.

    When that is steady for a bit hand over the get the idea.
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  5. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thanks dstc99,

    It's just so crazy how guilty we feel when we don't do everything he wants. It's great to have support here though.. this helps to confirm that we are doing the right's just doesn't ever get easier.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Nope it hasn't yet for me either. I am just chipping away at it one day at a time. So far my difficult child is avoiding her responsibilities as well. We are getting ready to change that now that she is back to work.
  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    that is a perfect response, in so many situations.

    my proudest parenting moment was in a horrible fight with my (then) horrible teen daughter. She shrieked at me that I was toxic...that hit hard...and I somehow managed to gather myself together and say "if that is true then the only one who can keep me from ruining your life is you. You must take responsibility for not letting me ruin your life if I am toxic."

    I'm still proud of that (yes indeedy, I can find a silver lining in anything).

    Seriously, this is not OK. Enough enough. The 20 year old needs to buy his own gas or stay put. The longer you buy it, the longer he'll let you buy it. No one should be working overtime for bonus expenses, unless EVERYONE is working.

    My $.02

  8. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Echo, so true!! And I'm relieved and happy to say that since I began this post the situation has greatly improved! We had to push him but now he's staying put and picked up a side job before his new job starts. He has been eating at his other place instead of our home and hasn't asked for gas money! Hallelujah!!!!! Man if I can say anything to people with kids like this it's "Don't feel guilty for saying NO!" The sooner you make them realize they need to take responsibility the sooner they will grow up. He's doing very well and I think he's proud of himself too. It's hard as a parent to not give and give and give but we all need to understand that once they are adults, we have to let go.. I told hubby it's like a mama bird pushing their baby bird out of the nest and they have to see that their wings will help them fly.. if you don't, they will keep their bird beeks open and expect to be fed forever!! LOL
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  9. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    ;):)Thanks MWM for the rating! May all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and try to enjoy the people in your life that are healthy and let go of what you can't change.. things have a way of working out for the best.. hang tough, much love!!