Some questions...trying to detach

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by in a daze, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    husband and i were talking last night, and we agreed it would be a good idea if we decided ahead of time what our response to certain specific situations would be. So I would like everyone's opinion to these scenerios:

    The next time difficult child blows his check or does not come up with the rent, should we a. not let him come over to the house (don't know if I can do that one, I will probably cave) b. take away car (getting to work on bus possible but difficult due to limited bus schedule, think difficult child will just stop going to work) c. shut off cellphone (he doesn't have internet or TV yet, has beater car liable to break down, would limit his ability to call motor club)

    Stocked the kitchen with basic food (eggs, peanut butter, frozen pizzas, ramen noodles, etc. When these start to run out, should I go shopping again?

    When he starts going nuts because he is out of cigarettes, should we buy him a pack?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's not living at your house, right?

    Then... if he blows a rent payment, it's his problem, not yours. No other consequences needed.

    Food, well... I don't consider "frozen pizza" to be "basics" but that's me. PB, whole-grain crackers, noodles, mac'n'cheese packs, that kind of stuff is "basics"...

    Cigs? I don't spend my money on that for me, so why would I spend it for my difficult child? but... if you smoke too, then it's a harder line to take.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't pay for anything, except maybe peanut butter and whole wheat bread, and least of all his cigarettes, which are so bad for him. He is old enough to pay for his own cell phone. If he can't afford one, he can buy one of those pay-as-you-go phones for emergencies. As an adult, he should be paying these things himself. If he is too disabled to work, he should apply for SSDI and still pay for things himself. I have a disabled son and as soon as he gets his own place, which he very much wants to do and will get with help from the state, he knows he is going to have to pay for his own luxuries and accepts it. He works every day. He is on the autism spectrum. It is not good for people with problems to depend on us too much...we can't be there forever. I have a serious mood disorder and my parents did not help me...I made it this far BECAUSE they didn't help me. I didn't like it at the time, but I'm grateful for it now, even though they were actually being mean. It forced me to function when I didn't think I could. Also, if a person has a drinking problem, he can not control his drinking. He shouldn't be drinking at all. Is he drinking and driving?

    If I were you, I'd scale back. Your son is 25 years old. If he doesn't "get it" in the next few years, when will he get it? He needs to learn to manage his illness. Again, you can not live forever. Who will come to his rescue when you're gone? He has no coping skills. He needs to learn them, even with bipolar, and he won't if you're always there to "cope" for him. I highly recommend going to Al-Anon. If your son was in rehab for alcohol, well, you know he is an alcoholic and you could get real life, face-t0-face help at a meeting. Gentle hugs. I know it is hard.
  4. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi InsaneCdn, we own his place so he is supposed to pay rent to us for the utilities and assessments. So we can't really stop paying the utilities because the heat is electric and the pipes will freeze (but we could stop in the spring. He has flashlights...).

    Do you think it is ok to keep it stocked with the basics for him?

    I gave up smoking 30 years ago. Almost gave in yesterday because he said he was going nuts and a cigarette calms him down. He can be very adept at wearing me down with these type of arguements.

    "I have a serious mood disorder and my parents did not help me...I made it this far BECAUSE they didn't help me. I didn't like it at the time, but I'm grateful for it now, even though they were actually being mean. It forced me to function when I didn't think I could." Thanks MM. I know enabling is not helping, but just struggling with what the boudaries should be.

    Read more:
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... it's "kind of" like living at home - really, no different than living at home and paying board and room. The rent... gets in the way of the relationship. But you need the $$ to pay for your costs on that place. Therefore... if he pays the rent, and then has an empty kitchen, I'd be tempted to stock some basics and even some not-expensive conveniences (like frozen pizza). But if he can't pay you rent, how can he expect you to have the money to fork over for groceries? JMO, of course.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    IAD, we all come to these decisions in our own ways, and they are always very difficult. I have an adult difficult child who has mental issues and the way I handled it was over time. I talked to her and said, this is how it is going to pan out, for instance, using your examples...... I will pay your rent for one more month, I will pay for food for 2 more months, I will not ever pay for cigarettes, I will pay for your cell for 6 months, etc, you decide your time constraints. Each is a step for him to negotiate on his own, what you're wanting to do is find your balance point between his independence and healthy dependence. You might want to draw up a sort of contract, so he can see it in black and white, the goal being his independence. He will balk and try to guilt you but once you make the decision, you have to stick to it, otherwise, really, it's all a waste of time. I would be VERY clear as to the dates, exactly what your willingness is and when the cut off dates are. If you've made that call to NAMI,the parent classes may be a very big help to you about these issues. I understand personally how difficult it is to detach, but over time and with support for YOU, you will be in a better place to do it.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just realized you own his condo. I think over time if he can't pay the rent you really may have to consider evicting him. That may be down the road some after he begins the process of having some independence, but you owning the condo could potentially present a bigger problem. Like InsaneCdn said, the rent gets in the way of the relationship, it IS like he is living at home if you're still paying for everything.
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is one of those difficulties in life with our grown kids. Is he too disabled too work? It doesnt appear he is since he is working at his uncles firm. I think you should sit down with him and ask him if he wants you to teach him about budgeting or have someone else teach him but as of now he needs to create a budget and make sure that on each payday he gives you his rent. Then also make sure he understands how to pay each of his other bills so that he has what he needs. With his income would he qualify for food stamps or any other benefits?

    With him living there, you probably do need to see if he will let you help him set up his budget so he doesnt blow it all. Make sure he pays you his rent, gets his cable and internet installed and paid for, show him how much groceries should cost him for a week...then show him how much he will have left over each week.

    As far as the cigarettes...well, Im a smoker so I would be hard pressed not to buy him a pack. One thing you might want to consider getting is one of those electronic cigarettes that now come with the nicotine because then you can just have that on hand for when he runs out and you dont have to go buy packs. You can buy refills of the cartridges most places. They are actually cheaper than cartons now.