So much for a happy new year. This is no way to start.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    New Years Eve. We get a call...Oh Woe is me. The usual. He's actually talking about coming home, etc. After discussion, Jabber and I send son $50 and tell him, "This is for you to be able to buy some food, bus passes, etc. Get to social services. Get to the homeless assistance agencies. You have been there 3 months and not done this. Don't spend your money on nonsense. You have a week to decide if you are coming home or not. But this is it. No more $. Get yourself on assistance."

    New Years Day. Wake to a text - On NYE he took his eyes off his backpack for "just a couple minutes" and the pack and all his goods were stolen. He has the clothing he's wearing (thankfully multiples shirts and pants and coat and boots) and he doesn't know what he'll do. Will see if he can find assistance. We don't hear from him again until this morning, when we wake to texts sent overnight. He has spent most of his $50 (apparently on weed and tobacco mainly) and gave most away...trying to start the new year off building karma, apparently, and doing nice things for people, like carrying heavy things for people with canes, letting people bum smokes, etc. But everyone is awful and there are meth addicts everywhere and the shelter is awful and he's sick and freezing and hungry etc. (Shelter feeds you at 4:30 and you get nothing else until 6:30 - that's the hungry part). He wants to come home. He gives up. Etc.

    Now...he doesn't really WANT to come home. He hates this town, he has no friends, he just has nothing left since his stuff was stolen. He says once campus opens, he has a girlfriend who'll be back in town, he will have people to stay with. He'd made friends on campus. Etc.

    Replacing his stuff new at Walmart will be about the same cost as the train ticket.

    Jabber and I don't know what to do. Frankly, we'd rather he stay gone...but the bank has to close! We are willing to pay for the train. We are not willing to give him money. We might be willing to buy from Walmart...but lets face it, he can return things for $, not to mention it's much more expensive and inconvenient to buy on-line than to just give him the $. For instance, socks. I can buy a basic package of Fruit of the Loom socks. that I KNOW are hanging on the wall at Walmart. But if I do, I have to pay $18 for a $8 package of socks in order for him to pick them up in 3 days. For free pickup, he has to wait until January 11th! But he can walk in with $8 and buy the exact same socks today! Same with sleeping bags and most anything else. They have a lot of "pick up today" stuff...but not many of the necessities. It's annoying.

    It's 11:31 and I've done NOTHING today at work. I hate my life right now. I can't believe I miss 2016...sucky as it was...given how this year has started.
  2. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Argh... now it's 1 and I haven't done anything. Can't get enough talking done with Jabber to make a decision so told our son to just go to the shelter and we'd call him tonight. When he mentioned his slimy socks that he can't change because he has none, I pointed out if we were buying him a ticket, he'd be coming home in slimy socks what's the difference.

    As one might expect...he'd like the money so he can just go shopping and replace his pack, sleeping bag, socks, knife, etc. Jabber says NO on money...and really, so would I with no consideration at all...just NO...but the fact is, my son is right when he says that he can get everything cheaper than we can buy it on-line and as he's the one who'll be using the stuff, he can pick it out himself and know he's getting what he needs. I'm too frugal and practical to not see the sense in letting him get it when he can do so easier and cheaper. This is a hard decision for me. It seems to be easier for just say NO. I don't think he sees it as a practical matte, but more of a matter of principle.

    In the son DID seem to understand why, if he pushed the issue, he'd get a ticket home and no money or goods; why we have no reason to trust him to do the right thing. He said "but I have literally nothing. Of course I'm going to replace my gear." and I told him..."And we have no proof at all that you have had your stuff stolen." He said, "Wow. That's harsh." Harsh or not, he did agree that it was fair given how many times he's lied to us in the past.

    To be 100% honest with myself, I'd rather just send him the damn cost of the train ticket and be done with it. I'm TIRED of it all. Jabber is afraid that I'll get a call in 3 weeks and he'll be begging for more again and I'll cave. I won't. I honestly won't. I'm just DONE with it all.

    And I truly don't want him home.

    Just an afterthought, he made some offhand remark about what I'd do in his place (pertaining to buying gear to replace the stolen is what he meant.) I said, "What I'd do? Do you really want to know what I'd do if I were a healthy 21 year old man who was homeless?" He didn't really want to know. Probably a good thing because I'd have told him to get his butt to the nearest Airforce recruiter and join the military.
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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  3. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Sorry to hear you are going through this. My son texted me the middle finger emoji (didn't know there was one) on Friday after we had a lovely Christmas visit with him - oh because he didn't get his way. Sooooo I get all of it. He kind of apologized but he's still being blocked by momma.

    I am going to tell you what I would do and I know I'll get in trouble from others here but if it were me I'd give him the bare minimum to keep him where he is.

    He is young. He is stumbling but don't you think he's learning too along the way? My son is not mentally where he should be at 21 either but come hell or high water he is not coming home!!! I'm enjoying my life now and it is what it is.

    At least it may buy you some time to figure out your next step.

    You won't be happy if he comes home and he probably won't either.

    I'm sorry if you think I'm wrong but that's just my take on all of it. Give it more time.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    What I have done in the past is go to the same store my son was at.... talk to a manager, explain the situation. Let my son pick out what he needs and then I pay for it by credit card at the store I am at. It complicated and a bit embarrassing with the store clerk but it means getting him the necessessities without giving him cash.

    Did you say your son was in the Denver area? If so PM me as my son was there and there are some good organizations there for homeless youth.
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  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Is he learning? I don't know. I do know my life is less drama-filled with him living elsewhere. I love him...but I don't like him a lot of the time and when he's here I'm constantly fighting the urge to mother him...and always feeling like I have to play referee.

    He's literally 1000 miles away. I'm not at all sure how that would work out.

    He's not in Denver. Though there are plenty of resources where he is...if he just takes the darn bus to get there. He has pretty much stayed downtown and not done what he should for the last 3 months.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I had to play referee when we were with him at Christmas. I was very stressed out at times. It's just the two (husband and son) are too much for ME to take together. My son knows how to manipulate so well. I can handle on phone but in person I am very weak.

    I feel like in some ways I am more fragile emotionally because of all we have been through but at the same time stronger? I don't get it.

    If he comes home, then what?? You'll be right back where you were before he left.
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    My son was also across the country over 1000 miles away. If you get a chain store where there is one where you are, and one where they are then you can often pay in one store while they pick up the merchandise in the other store. We did it a couple of different times with my son... that's how I got him a tent once. I dont know if Walmart would do it or not. Also you can get Walmart gift cards online....of course then he needs access to a computer I think.

    My son is now home....and I feel we did the right thing in our case letting him come home BUT it is much harder on me in many ways having him home.
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Worse. Because he's already been told it would be different. Drug tests. Random searches. Virtually all of his paychecks turned over to us. No car usage. His purpose here would be to have room and board while earning $ to get back out.

    Why would he want to come back? Especially since he has no friends here anymore?

    Now THAT's an idea! Granted, there's still nothing to keep him from buying stuff and returning it for cash...but at least we limit the spending of the initial amount to what can be bought at Walmart. He has a smartphone and so email. This isn't a bad thought at all.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you sure his backpack was stolen?

    I think a lot of our adult kids use this to get sympathy money and then blow it on drugs and cigarettes. I think your son knows how to guilt you and scare you and that he is gaining street smarts.

    We never gave Daughter money after she was escorted out. She was so broke she got a job.

    I hope you decide what you have to do and get some peace. Seriously your son is sadly playing you big time. And I wonder if he has looked for a job...

    I agree he shouldn't come home

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Exactly. That's what I said to him. We have no way to know that for sure.
  11. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis


    Our son lives with similar rules...and is proving earning some trust back.

    Ugh...I feel you...I had to Laugh when you told him what you would do if you were in his shoes. How does he do laundry? I know we have organizations here who will pay, they set up in laundry mats certain days. Also. Our shelter here hand out socks donated by churches, etc.

    Whatever you end up doing....blessings for y o u.

  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Have not read all your posts only the first.

    Why can he not buy clothes at a thrift store: $10.00 for 2 outfits. The only thing he cannot get there is underwear. To replace socks, shorts, a few undershirts: $35.00 at most. At either Costco or Walmart. With $50 he is outfitted, total.

    Except here is the thing: my son prefers to go for clothes to the Rescue Mission. Beautiful clothes he gets there. Jackets, pants, hoodies, shirts. Better than Walmart or Costco. For free.

    I see no reason for him to come home, to be miserable. He has the girlfriend, acquaintances at the university. What's to come home for?
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    It's not really clothes. It's more things like his backpack, sleeping bag, tarp, ropes, knife, hatchet, deodorant, etc., etc. Yes, maybe some was clothes, but I'm sure the shelters will give him some things. He can't pay $10 for two outfits at the thrift store if he doesn't have $10.

    I agree...I think that, in part, he's playing us. I think a lot of things he doesn't need, he just wants. I think he wants cash for other things than food and gloves and socks. :(

    I also want this to just be IT for awhile. Truthfully, if $100 would get him to QUIT CALLING for two months, it would be a small price to pay.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. I like TL's ideas about direct communication between Walmart Manager at Store 1 to Walmart Manager Store 2. And you pay over the phone with your credit card.

    Of course he can return the stuff for cash. But you are doing this for YOU not him. That is why this has to be a small amount of money.

    He is really playing you, Lil.

    He may be happier, and more content, and have more self-control in his own day to day life, but in relation to you--he is behaving irresponsibly.

    I would NOT bring him home NOW. As I say to my own son, this is not a homeless shelter or residential treatment. This is my home.
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  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Are you willing to send $100 now, and again in a month or less, and then $100 again, and again? Where will it stop? That is the problem each of us finds ourselves in.

    I can see the logic of spending the money, and then again and again. Because $100 every month will not do him in. But can you live with this?
    As does my own son.

    There is no right answer, in my experience. Just deciding one thing or another. Except I would not bring him home. (Even though my own son is here, now.)
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Look. A way to look at this is, if you decide to spend the $100 (I like TL's idea about the Walmart to Walmart communication) a way you can rationalize it is thus: you spend $100 a month or every 2 month, as a way to subsidize his growing up.

    He is happier it seems. He is reaching out to other people. Has a girlfriend. He seems not to be involved in any serious misdeed. he seems to have more self-control. He is AWAY from you. Which is good for him.

    I can see a way that I COULD JUSTIFY spending the money.
  17. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Truthfully, I'm sorry I started this thread. :( I appreciate everyone's thoughts but I was happier when I was telling myself he needed this stuff. I do think he probably did lose his stuff. I also do think he can get a bunch of it from the shelters.

    NO ... seriously, I won't spend another penny on him for at least two months - March at the earliest - if we send him any money. And he really hasn't asked ALL the time. He's been there since toward the end of September.

    Hotel room on his 4th night there.
    $20 to get back to Pueblo...didn't happen.
    $100 for hotel, etc., when he got stranded once.
    Sleeping bag
    $75? cash
    $50 or $60 for a coat and Xmas
    $50 New Years Eve

    I think that's it in a full three months. - I guess if we add it all up, more than $100 a month...including the hotel rooms, but those aren't happening anymore, period. I don't know. I do know I can't have anymore days like this. I can't NOT work while sitting in my office. I can't be this continually distracted dammit.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Really, this just sounds like such a royal pain in the arse I'm not particularly inclined to even deal with it. Yes, I'm lazy, but I just don't want to go to the freaking store and do all that work, not to mention that he and I being at the store at the same time in different time zones when I work full time and can't just get away...I don't see this one happening. :(
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, Lil.

    I feel over my head too. Maybe that is why KNOWING what YOU should, could do, makes me feel better, when I feel over my head, and not liking any of my options.

    That is something to know. That there is NOTHING that is the right thing to do. Maybe that is when to do NOTHING. To let my son solve his situation. That the lesson for him is to take responsibility to find a solution. I mean, he could join the Air Force. There are things he could do.

    That is the fundamental issue: this should not be about you and something that you have to do or not. That this be on your plate is the fundamental unfairness. I am sorry.
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Oh Copa...I always know what everyone else should own options, not so much. :(

    I'm not prepared to just do nothing. The fact is, doing nothing in this circumstance will mean cutting him off. Zero contact and blocking him. He won't just take no for an answer and it would simply kill me to basically give up on him at this point. I can't do it.

    I don't really want him to come home, but it would be easier if that was what he wanted. If he wanted to come home we knew what to do about it all. We had a plan.

    Helping him "re-gear" is not something I've considered.

    Buying stuff at has it's own problems as I outlined earlier.
    Giving him cash is uncomfortable at best.
    A walmart gift card? Well, I hear him saying, "Well, what if I want something from Dollar General? It's cheaper there?" To which the answer is, of course, "Too freaking bad."

    So maybe the gift card is the way to go. He can get a backpack, blankets, etc. there and even cigarettes and food. But not weed...which is why we don't want to give him cash. He could get liquor...but he's not much of a liquor person.

    I just don't know. :(