son laying guilt - he's great at it!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by rebelson, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    I haven't posted in awhile about my son. I think since he last called me wanting 'night fishing bait $' and I said no (actually offered him 1/3 of amt he asked for-he wasn't satisfied with that), around 3wks+ ago.

    At that time, he still had the chinese food delivery job, but I could feel like that was going to come to an end soon. Well, it did. I did not talk to him after ^^ fishing bait $ request, for around 10 days. That ended around 2 wks ago. We've been talking on and off. He says he only calls me...only is interested in talking to me when he 'needs' help. Nice, huh? He actually admits this...he's got cajones. What do I do when he says that? I ignore it. And, it hurts.

    So, in those 10 days of not speaking to him...he actually got another job at a newly opened 'deli'. His job was bussing tables, etc..loading dishwasher. As of last weekend though, I think he also lost that one. *sigh*

    My son's major personality fault is that he is, by nature, a 'cocky' person. He is super intelligent, I mean super. He is very philosophical....and has a huge ego. He admits no blame for ANYTHING. This type of trait is problematic, wherein, he says things to ppl....bosses...superiors....teachers....that she should NOT.

    One day last week, he called me on a break and told me that the boss' daughter (whom he told me was pretty hot) said something to him and he 'didn't like the way she phrased it'. It was something about the other female busser...and the dtr told son something about how the other busser was going to get the weekend shift (instead of him) because it 'was fair'. That meant that he would get the 'next' weekend-which is this one coming up. Well, I think he was since fired so he actually won't get it. Anyhow, he didn't think her wording of 'was fair' was a good way to phrase the sentence. And he told her so! His defense to me was that he said it 'in a nice way'. Yes, this was the boss' dtr he is talking down to! I think this was the last straw.

    The problem is....he thinks there was NOTHING wrong with saying this to the boss' dtr!

    So, yeah, I think that he has lost the new deli job. He hasn't admitted it, when I texted him asking about it, I get no reply.

    Today, he calls me and said he just got finished having a conversation with the older man whom he 'rents' a room from. I put 'rents' like that, because I don't think he's been paying the guy on time. I think the guy has sort of taken a liking to son....and this is bad in a way! He is giving son breaks that are not helpful to son. He also likes to have 'cocktails' and frequently asks my trying to stay sober son, to have a random drink here and there with him. Not good. Anyways, this conversation between the 2 was started by the homeowner. He apparently was asking son stuff like 'what is going on with you? you are a very intelligent, brilliant guy..with so much potential...yet, you are not moving etc?' Basically, this conversation set my son off on a 'nice' rampage on 'family'. He loves to say he has NO family, he has NO support, he had NO childhood, he never felt comfortable in our home that we made as a family (his stepfather and I), he had nothing. Still has nothing. Still has no support. What? What about ALL the support that I have been giving him? IT is just very upsetting to hear this! Over and over and over.

    He basically got down to the nitty gritty and, after berating us all for an hour via text....he told me that 'why can't my family help me so that I can finally start college and move forward....why can't you guys, like support me? pay my rent so I can focus on school?' This wrenches my heart. You see, he has 4yrs of college paid for via the Florida College Prepaid Program, that I paid for back when he was little! I did that for him! Yet, he's tried classes 3 different times since graduating HS and each time, either dropped out, or flunked out due to not doing the work! And, currently, he's banned from the local community college where he last gave it a try because he was found to be smoking mj in the parking lot! Yet, after 2yrs, he hasn't even attempted to go to the dean and clear up the suspension....irresponsible!

    So, yeah, today he drops the bomb that we are mean and unsupportive because so many other college kids have 'support' from their parents...paid rent, car, etc. Us? Pieces of unsupportive garbage-not his words, mine-I guess how I feel after talking to him. Are my husband and I unsupportive garbage? Are we being cruel by not helping him more? Paying his rent? I already help him by paying his auto insurance (not cheap!) and gym membership.

    I am letting his words guilt me. I have not told my hub this. This stuff angers him. But, me? I'm a softy.

    While we were texting, he was reverting back to the past, his childhood, teenage hood. And how horrible he thinks it was. I have different memories! In my mind today, I was cursing that homeowner man for opening up this can of worms with son-the past! Son loves to dredge up the past! The homeowner guy is only hearing son's version!

    I texted him (AGAIN) that he needs to let go of the past! It is crippling him! I told him that I have tried my hardest to help him.

    I wrote: "I will not mull over and over and over the past with you anymore. It's useless and solves nothing but keeping the negativity alive. Your #1 issue is your insobriety. When you drink/ STOP moving forward. THAT is your biggest crippling problem. You lose jobs, friends, family, all due to using & drinking. The sooner you STOP blaming everybody else for stagnation, & examine what your poor choices are doing to keep you back, the sooner you will find satisfaction and begin to move forward.

    He answered: "There is no family, take it back. I lose bogus jobs (?); haven't lost any friends thats all I have so you're out of line. Are you judging ppl that don't stay sober all the time? Because my father's family drink and are much better with relationships/ppl in general & much more down to earth."

    I said: "I don't know what to say. You seem to have an answer for everything. You will not move forward until/unless you become more humble."

    He said: "the past was full of 'memories taking hold of me..I try to face them but the thought is too much to conceive" (I think this was song lyrics..he loves to grip on to, memorize negative song lyrics to fuel his angst).

    I responded with:
    "Imagine yourself putting them in the garbage. You cannot live in the past, nobody can. I offered you therapy, you turned it down. I suggest church, you refuse. I've suggested 100's of times to stop listening to that negative, depressing music, you refuse. I've suggested switching to christian music, you don't. I've asked you to get a sponsor, you won't. You refuse to do things to help."

    He writes (the philosophical side of him): "therapy and church are a joke for the weak minded. How do you play any role in me getting a sponsor?"

    I said: "that's part of the problem. you are too stubborn, inflexible in your viewpoints. 'A joke for the weak minded..' are you not a bit weak where sobriety is concerned?"

    He said: "lol what? weak in what way, explain weak? ya, because those who have found the light have found the lies. with much knowledge, intuition & wisdom comes much grief". (more philosophy)

    I said: "I don't agree with you and your way of thinking. It seems you want to keep a grip on all that. If you didn't, you'd seek help. But you refuse help. There are tons of different avenues of help for ppl with past issues/resentments. No excuse for anyone not to utilize that plethora of help. Unless you want to stay that way. I had a HORRIBLE childhood. I CHOOSE not to be a victim of that. You have that choice, too! If you'd like help with therapy, your insurance covers it."

    He said: "We can't help but to painfully remember and hold a grip on our past, it defines who we are in this very present moment. we are a product of experience PERIOD. Open your mind. You are who you are because of what you've been through. You can read all that spiritual sh*t you want. It's human nature."

    I said: "I don't deny my past, but I also do not let it hold me back. That is the difference."

    He said: "your past fu*ked my mindset. And I'm highly intelligent and every one thought I was the prodigy..all my aunts, uncles, grandmas on both sides. and although I'm intelligent, popular & fun, I've never felt accepted. And that comes from your upbringing. End of story."

    I did not respond any further. The last text from him ^^ was at 2:16 today.

    I am so tired. I am so tired of hearing the same stuff about the past. We did our best, I likely gave him TOO much praise and possibly too much adoration. Gave him a big head, maybe? Because life isn't continuing that for him. Giving him praise and adoration. I made some mistakes....but I did my best. I gave him a ton of love! And attention! He was my baby. And now this. All I hear, is how horrible we were to him.

    He's not even sober. Not even responsible to keep a job for more than a few months at a time. Insubordinate to ppl in charge. The deli job lasted a week or 2. *sigh*

    Just needed to vent. Even if we COULD AFFORD it (we can't!), are we horrible for not paying his rent while he tries, at 23, to go to college?

    He had a safe, comfortable home with us post-HS graduation, but he ruined it by not following our rules, getting & coming home doped up, being disrespectful, rude to us in our home, keeping drugs in his room-we had to make him leave.

    THEN, after he was in jail from March 2012-March 2013- he lived with the grandmother until she finally kicked him out last August. He had 2yrs there, at her home. She SPOILED him. He ruined that. Because, again, being rude, disrespectful to her and not following rules and not keeping a job or going to college. Another bridge he burned. He's now feeling those losses...and trying to make everyone else feel guilty.

    Thanks for listening. Words of encouragement or other, welcome.
  2. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    You let him trap you into a circular conversation - the one that never ends and no matter what you say, even if you are right and he knows it, he will turn it around with "something else" you did wrong. This could have easily been a text/convo between me and my daughter. I have done it hundreds of times, thinking *surely* some sense would get through. No.

    And like your situation, she only calls when she needs something. The difference is she would never admit it and would get defensive and hateful if I suggested it. At least he has the cajones to not BS it.

    They enjoy engaging us, creating stress, keeping an argument going. Sometimes I think it gives my daughter a sense of superiority that she can always "one up" me no matter what I say, even if her responses make no sense or contradict something she previously said.

    These conversations are pointless and go nowhere. I refuse to do them any more and have since I know exactly what conditions my daughter suffers from and what methods she uses to keep drama going. I literally say, "This has escalated and this conversation is over." And that is it. I hang up or I turn off the phone to end the texting. These types of conversations are no longer allowed. I no longer give that attention because it reinforces that behavior.

    I also don't "check in" with her. I don't talk to people she engages with, I don't check up, I have quit "taking care of things" for her. And since her latest campaign of completing slandering me, I won't speak to her at all. I am done being the doormat.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with Walrus.

    I believe these "conversations" with him are destructive to you and not helpful to him although he may feel satisfied that he is able to hurt you and to stick it to you.

    There really is nothing to talk about anymore. The same stuff keeps getting repeated and recycled. The reality seems to be that he is slow to mature and you feel guilty.

    I think you and I both are trying to work out things in our difficult past through our kids. Your son is wrong.

    He was not hurt by your past. You were. We hoped to redeem ourselves through our kids. What we missed in our own lives we wanted to give and to get with our children.

    For a long time, this worked. When it stops working, we begin to wonder if it was us. When our kids want to be cruel, they milk this.

    It is not true. All of this has to do with your son's mis-steps. Face it. There is not one thing you can do or should do. Stop talking about it with him.

    He will work things out or not.

    The key here is what everybody tries to tell me: set boundaries and observe them; take care of myself; the behavior and choices of my son now have nothing in the world to do with me. And the most important thing: think of and build my life apart from my son. For myself.

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  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Key word is "tries". As in, he really isn't committed, and you would have more vested in the outcome than he does. Which does NOT work. Not even for "normal" / neurotypical kids. THEY have to have the vested interest, which we can then support, at least on some level.

    My challenging kid of a brother... went back to school at something over 25 years old. Got enough of his grade 12 to get into university on a provisional admission, and did good enough his first year to be accepted as a full-time regular student. Paid his own way through, lived on his own, worked while going to school... The point being, you are NOT his only option for going to college. If he really wants to go, he will find way to successfully launch his college "career". Another parent on this board has told their kids that they will pay for college classes... after the final marks are received and the class has been passed. When dealing with challenging kids, I think this is brilliant. They have to be vested in paying for the first year (or partial year), then use the money they get back from that tuition to pay next year's tuition... it's a great break for them, but they have to put something into it first, to get anything back.

    So, what is HIS plan? where is HIS vested interest in college?
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your son is abusing you. I would not even engage in such a bizarre and hateful conversation.
    Of course he is not right. He is manipulative and trying to blame you for his bad behavior. I would say he sounds narcisistic which is a personality disorder usually doesnt go away. Con artist.
    I hope you learn to demand respect, set boundaries and take your life back from slick talking son. Are drugs involved?
    Hugs for your poor heart. Stand strong and dont fear him. Id refuse to even participare in these circular, crazy conversations. You can end them rather than throwing oil on his sick fire so that he can continue to abuse you.
    He is 23 and can work his way through college and you dont need to pay his rent. How dare he expect all this of you. He is talking like a child who is a brat. No.offense meant.
    Are you rich? Im not. There is no way I could do all that for any of my kids. There are grants, loans and part time while the srudent works. Two of my kids went to college this way. We did not have the money for any other way. It was good for their character and work ethic. They did not complain.
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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others, Rebel. There is nothing good that will come out of those kinds of circular conversations. It sounds to me like he was drunk and in self pity mode and might not even remember it today.

    My son was also the prodigy type, and also can't hold down any kind of job. It is everyone's fault but his. He is smart enough to deflect having to address the real issue, and I just end up feeling confused and gaslit. I have found it best to not engage.
  7. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Ah, rebelson. Your post sounds like my life with Difficult Child. Exactly. Could have written it. You're not alone here with any of it. We so understand.

    Okay, now you have said it. You have clearly said it. Now, can you stop? You are 100 percent right about him. You already know that. You have told him and told him and told him. You are just repeating yourself and you are repeating what he already knows.

    The energy he spends engaging with you is to deflect himself from his real life. The one he and only he has decided to live.

    Like my son, he had every opportunity. Every opportunity. A fully paid for college education with full parental financial assistance. My son and your son decided to throw all of that away. And I don't know about you, but I gave my son multiple chances, many many chances, until I finally learned my lesson.

    Get off the merry-go-round. We perpetuate the circular nonsense by engaging in it. Step back. Step way way back. You call yourself a "softy." Well, that is true, we moms love our kids and we want them to have every possible chance. Right? But a softy becomes something else in time...their punching bag and their Chief Enabler. I was, for my son. It sounds like you might be, too.

    It doesn't matter what other people do or don't do, if they are tough with him or they are soft with them. He will still mess that up as long as he is using. It doesn't matter how smart he is, how intellectual he is, how hard-working he is, how sweet he is, what a good heart he has. None of that matters and all of our kids have good qualities. Until he stops using, this is what he will do, over and over and over again.

    Of course you did. You sound like you have been a great mom. This is not about you. It is about him and his addictions and his choices.

    So...what to do? The only answer is to work on yourself. You are of course exhausted and frustrated and grief-stricken and scared. Fear ruled me for years about my precious son and fear was the reason I did so many things that ended up perpetuating the insanity. When I WAS responsible was not in my mothering of him, the past, but in my behavior when his addiction progressed (it is a progressive disease and only gets worse) because the worse he got, the more I tried. I was convinced that Mother Love would save him.

    Some thoughts:

    1. Stop. Change one thing about your relationship with him today. It could be that you decide not to take or respond to any calls, text, messages for at least 24 hours. Wait. It will kill you, the first few times, but it pays tremendous dividends. I learned that there is no emergency when it comes to him unless he is bleeding and then that's what 911 is for. Other people will call. It doesn't have to be us.

    2. Start working on you. Have you read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie? Wonderful, wonderful book and actual "primer" on how we are contributing to an addict's decline. It is great for we enablers to see ourselves clearly described on those pages.

    3. Do at least one kind thing for yourself every single day? Take a walk, take a nap, buy fresh flowers for your kitchen table. Anything small or large. Start valuing yourself more than you do him.

    4. Consider going to an Al-Anon meeting. Al-Anon changed my life and taught me how to step away from my son's addiction. I truly believe that my stepping away was one big reason he had the space and time to begin to see himself more clearly and hit the bottom he needed to hit in order to start the hard work of change. We will not be their Savior here, I firmly believe. We have to get out of the way in order for them to finally learn how to become functioning adults. Now, there is no guarantee that this will happen, and in many cases, it doesn't, but creating some time and space allows a chance for it to happen.

    Please know that we are here for you. You will get great support and encouragement here. We so understand. Warm hugs today.
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  8. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    You are so right. After I read your comment, I went back and read our was totally circular. I didn't even realize it. I just hope that one time, what I say will 'stick'. Do you guys think they actually 'know' what we are saying is true? Are they playing dumb cuz they don't want to listen, make the effort of what we are saying? I would love to hear his and that homeowners' conversations..or to actually speak with the homeowner. Though, I would NEVER actually do that. I feel so naive! I am sure that my post show my naïveté. My husband always jokes that I was 'raised in the closet'. Walrus-
    can you just add a little to the part about him wanting help with rent while he goes to (already paid for) college? I am feeling guilt over that.

    Copa, I just cannot conceive how ppl are so cunning, my own son, is so cunning. And cruel. I am so far from that. My mother put me through hell and back as a child-from 4 when she divorced father until I could move out at 17...yet, I never once, mentioned any of it to her. What good would that have done? She had her own bad childhood. Now that she's gone, I am recently going through some anger at her. In fact, the other day, I put her picture in a drawer, when it had been displayed in my bedroom. But, I never, ever even thought of being cruel to her for MY past. It's just so hard to wrap my head around, this ordeal with my son and how he is verbally, mentally abusive to me...his own mother. I put him FIRST in my life, even sometimes put him above my marriage with his stepfather, whom was also a great stepfather to him! Son never would accept him. Yet, he is SO quick to cry out that he never had a family, never felt supported, never felt comfortable in his own home. HE made that happen. HE created the tension between himself and us. Yes, Copa, we parented according to our own dysfunctional childhoods. I had little, to NO, I overreacted with son and gave him too much, perhaps.
    Copa, can you just add a little to the part about him wanting help with rent while he goes to (already paid for) college? I am feeling guilt over that.

    Insane and Somewhere- I feel he's not fully vested yet, for college. He has an issue with the dean there, that he has not taken care of, now going on 2yrs. Until he goes in for a meeting to clear up the 'ban', he is not allowed back on campus. How will he go to college when he won't even take care of this? I gave up reminding him about it. I don't know if you missed this part, but his college is FULLY PAID FOR. I did that for him, with the state of FL's Prepaid College Plan. I made monthly payments for 4yrs, when he was much younger, into this college prepaid plan...and my husband-his stepdad whom he berates all the time, paid the remaining half of it for me, for SON, before we were married. So, yes, if/when he wants to 'go' to college, in a serious fashion, he has a full 4yr of tuition PAID. All he has to do? Maintain a part-time job, stay sober, keep renting room, and go to school! Yet, he seems to want EVERYTHING to be taken care of for him? Somewhere-I know he smokes weed, not sure about anything else, don't think so. I am almost certain, though that he's still drinking. He has periods every other week, where he tells me he's 'been sober for 7 days, 9 days, 5 days.....' but it ends, he doesn't keep it up. I have asked him numerous times, why he won't get a sponsor. Only God knows why he won't. His answer is 'I don't want to get a sponsor until I have some real time under my belt.' Ummm, isn't a sponsor FOR that reason? To help you get 'time' under your belt? My son thinks he knows it all.

    He very well could've had a drink or 2 when he was conversing in this way. After all, the homeowner whom he was talking to prior...frequently offers son 'cocktails' and to sit down and chat. What the homeowner likely doesn't know, is that when son drinks, he becomes mean and reverts right back to his 'horrible past' mantra.

    Oh yes, did we give him chances!! Many! He had so much time and opportunity to stay in our home, go to school, work a little PT job...we gave him his 1st car, and his 2nd car after he crashed that one. All we required was to be respected in the home, NO drugs in the home. Not much! He could not abide by that. His latest rant is to cite over and over how 'you guys kicked me out of the house for marijuana! which is not legal in many states!' That is his latest argument & where he berates us as horrid ppl/parents. He forgets all the other things that built up and were also involved in the decision to kick him out. Yes, I am his punching bag. The father, alcoholic, is off in Columbia, living in his brother's condo there. Care free. Leeching off family...he is useless to son. Always has been. Does son berate him like he berates us? No.way.

    Your thoughts above mean so much. Thank you so much. I will look in to that book, on Amazon. #3 is nice, never think of doing things for myself. It's like, why? Do you think if I forced it, I would benefit, even if at the time, it doesn't feel like it will help?

    I just had a thought of clarity. His cry out for help with rent so he can go to 'college' is causing me guilt. Here, I think, is why. Maybe, to me, hearing him speak about such a wondrous thing to do for one's 'FUTURE'---->college! music to my ears. 'Oh! He wants to go to COLLEGE! Is this the thing that could SAVE him? College? And..what? You're denying him SUPPORT, HELP? But, what IF he starts college and he straightens his life out? What if COLLEGE can help him stay sober? What if COLLEGE is HIS life saver? But...wait? You, his mother, are denying him HELP for college?! How cruel. What kind of mother would DO this? So, now...he will NOT go to college....and thus, will keep drinking, keep losing jobs...all because YOU won't SUPPORT him in college.

    Guys? Is that ^^^ not a sick way of thinking? Is there any reality to that ^^^? OR, is it me giving in to the guilt trip? When he speaks of college, that is good, right? Aggggh!!

    I just feel so sad for him. #justsad
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Rebel,

    Your son and mine could be twins!!
    I have been right where you are. My son is border line genius. He can read a book and retain all the info, however he thinks just because he reads something that he is an expert on it. I once asked him if he were to read a book on how to perform surgery if he really believed he could do it and his response was "of course I could"
    The problem with my son and yours is they are not balancing their "brilliance" with any common sense.

    My son has had different jobs but he always loses them. One that sticks in my mind, he got a job working in a warehouse for a very successful furniture company. It only lasted a few months and he quit. When I asked him why he told me because he owner was stupid and didn't know how to run a business. Seriously!! The owner has been in business over 30 years.

    I have been on the receiving end of some of the ugliest berating from my son. I have a very strong faith and my son told me how stupid, naive, gullable, brainwashed, ignorant, etc........... that I was to believe what I believe. I had made the choice to completely cut off communication with him. I did not talk to him for almost 2 years. Now, when I do communicate with him it's via private messages on Facebook.
    My son also blames me for how screwed up his life is, how horrible his childhood was, how I'm never there for him, and on and on and on................
    My son never wanted for anything. He had a very good childhood until he made the choice to start smoking pot and skipping school. Over the years my husband and I have put forth not only tens of thousands of dollars but the effort to attend family counseling, individual counseling. We bought a house for him to live in, we bought a car, I paid for a year of college that he dropped out of because I didn't want him to have damaged credit. The list is long in all that we have done for him yet he sees none of it.
    People like our sons want nothing more than to engage in a debate. They are masters at talking in circles and can leave you feeling like you just got off a carnival ride, dizzy and confused. I have learned to not engage with my son when he goes on one of his rants.
    You see it doesn't matter what we say, they will turn it around on us. My son would argue that the sky isn't blue!!

    I strongly suggest that you have some prepared statements for his whether it's a speaking conversation or texting.
    When my son goes into the whole tirade of how horrible his childhood was, standard response is: "I'm sorry you feel that way"
    I will just repeat it over and over.
    If he asks me how I feel about something I respond with "I'm really not sure, I'll have to give it some thought"
    I will also cut it short saying something like "someone is at the door, gotta go, bye"

    Low to no contact is what has allowed me to keep my sanity.

    They are going to think what they think and believe what they believe, there is nothing we can do to change that.

    Focus on YOU not on him. Live your life the best you can. You do not owe your son anything. If he wants a college education then let him get a job and pay for it. Your son and mine share that "entitled attitude" They think everyone has wronged them and that they should be handed everything without working for it.
    You have nothing to feel guilty about.

    Be good to yourself. Live your life and let your son live his.

    ((HUGS)) to you............................
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  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    "Watch what I do, not w hat I say."

    First of all, if he would even finish college, which requires lots of hard work and he'd have to cut out the substance abuse, does not mean, even if by some miracle he finished, that he'd have the drive to succeed. All my adult kids work (my one daughter worked until she gave birth and now her partner works while she is an awesome mom). Only two went to any sort of college, but they are ALL working and doing well. My oldest son makes as college salary, but did not go to college.

    A college degree means less now than it used to, although certainly it CAN open doors. But the person's will to work hard and often start at the bottom is key, college or not. You know your son best/ Does he have t he drive and will to finish college? If so, why can't he rent a room or find a cheap place to stay where you don't have to go broke paying his rent? Not saying everyone is like us, but we never paid rent at any time...our kids bought their own older cars and found their own places to stay. I feel it really helped their work ethic and did not cause them a sense of entitlement. We couldn't afford to give them a cushy adult life...THEY knew it and THEY had to do it, even my difficult kids. And they all managed cars, including their part of the insurance, and the college two went to community colleges for real careers and finished and paid by working a nd getting grants.

    Our difficult adult children often say exactly what they know we want to hear to get money from us...a free ride, so to speak. Are you s ure your son would not party and get thrown out of a rental you were on the hook for? Is he responsible enough to be a good tenant? Will he work and help you pay? Does he have a clue WHY he wants to gp tp college and what he wants to go into? These are important questions to ask yourself before you make an emotional, costly decision to just trust him because he said what you hoped to hear. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. Is he sober yet? I'd make him get sober before we even discussed college or renting anything for him and, if you do rent, I'd make him pay half of it by getting a part time job. After all, he is not going to school full time. He can do it. My kids did and they are probably no brighter than him....both struggled but wanted it enough to do it. (Well, one isn't finished yet, but is well on her way to a degree in Criminal Justice). She works at a nursing home to get money when she needs it and a nursing home is NOT fun, but she does what she has to in order to have enough spare money.

    Don't do anything now. Take a week or two to think about it and to talk to your husband. Do not take words to be facts. Hasty decisions get us into trouble. We want it so much that we believe it. Usually time to detach and reflect gives us a better idea of what to do realistically and how much the adult child has to do to help his own cause. Throwing money at an adult child never helped any adult child get his life together. Hard work has though.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. Do not answer him yet. Say "I need time." If he gets abusive, well, he hasn't changed one bit. Talking about college isn't good or bad. It's another manipulation probably. If we talk about making a million dollars it means nothing. It is only words. What is he doing to show he is interested in learning?
  11. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    Edited to read: 'you guys kicked me out of the house for marijuana! which is now legal in many states!'

    Read more:
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    One thing I had to learn to do, the hard way, was to give up hoping for that "lightbulb moment." I kept thinking that if I just said the right thing, in the right way, a lightbulb would suddenly go off in my daughter's head and she'd say "AHA! I get it! Mom's right! I'm going to change my life!" Nope, never happened. Never gonna happen. Not with any prompting from me, anyway. That "lightbulb moment" has to come from within her. And for my Oldest, at least, it still hasn't come. Things got better for a while, but she's backsliding again. I had to stop, just stop. Telling her what I thought she should do only frustrated me, and enraged her. As someone said above, you've said your piece. Now let it go. He heard you, no need to repeat it over and over.

    I also had to let go of the idea of what others think of me, and this need I had to defend myself when one of my kids would tell me how everyone thought I was a horrible mom for not helping them. That part was really hard, but I try to tell myself that *I* know the true story and that's all that matters But I also discovered that a lot of people figue things out on their own, after anytime around a Difficult Child - after a Difficult Child reacts crazily others sometimes (frequently?) think, "hmmm ok no wonder their family doesn't want to deal with them."

    It's hard, and it takes so much practice. But you can get there. You deserve a happy, stress-free life.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Even if pot becomes legal in your state you have every right to ban it from your home. Your home/your rules.
    Cigarettes are legal but absolutely nobody uses tobacco in my house. My house/my rule. Pot is also banned from use here and if you drink you will be escorted out if you get too silly.
    It is wonderful to have a place to live because we set rules that are comfortable for US. Legalities can be discounted in our own safe havens. Respectful people respect our house rules.
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I think that was very insightful about your hopes for college. Our dream for our son to go to college was the reason he moved back home, and to his credit he got straight A's that one semester. But he had shown a long-term sea change in his behavior and his outlook before we made that offer...and it didn't take long before he reverted to his old ways. He doesn't live here and won't live here again, but we will cover his tuition IF he keeps his grades up.

    Is it possible to put the ball back in his court? "You want to go back to school? Great! Get that thing with the Dean straightened out and take a class this summer. If you do well, we will revisit a little financial assistance in the fall." You never know. He might surprise you. It's no risk if he's on a prepaid plan, and if he's just trying to use your hopes for him to get $ and can't be bothered with doing the legwork, you will know that and know not to listen to that particular ploy anymore.

    I feel exactly what you are telling yourself. In any other world, helping with college would generally be a GOOD thing. But here in the rabbit hole things get all turned around.
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  15. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    I need prayer right now. Yesterday's last text from son was 2:16. I left it alone & was quiet. Until today at 3. I felt like I needed to check on him. I got his VM right away. 2 hrs later, call still goes right to VM.

    The last time I got this...he was hospitalized & needed surgery (last March 31).

    I'm semi freaking out with the Deja vu. I've already called all area hospitals, he's not there.

    I checked county jail booking blotter. Nothing.

    I'm seriously worried, but have to carry on as I have 2 little ones to care for. Hub says to not worry, easier said than done. He says he's probably mad at me..I don't agree with that reasoning. My son NEVER turns his phone off cuz he's 'mad' at me. He will block me, but turn phone OFF? No.

    Please mind is going to the worst places...

    I'm scared. Trying to think positive.
  16. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Rebel, my gut reaction is that he is punishing you. But I don't know your son.
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Rebel, I do hope he is ok and most likely he is. I have learned to never underestimate our d_cs. It could be that he lost his phone, or left is somewhere, or the battery died, or as your husband said he's punishing you.

    If you can, just step back, slow down and breathe. I know it's easier said than done when our mind can create all kinds of bad scenarios but that's all it is, our mind. Try not to catastrophize.

    ((HUGS)) to you.................
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree or it needs charging and doesn't know it. But it's a common way for them to punish. Don't discount it.

    When a loved one, whoever it is, is being unkind, the way I best deal with it, or try to deal with it, is to do something distracting. This is hard for me. I have every sort of anxiety disorder possible and have been diagnosed with the lot of them...panic disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) thoughts, generalized anxiety disorder and many various phobias at different times. I've gotten better at worrying because logically worrying has never helped anyone or any situation and 99.9% of t he things I worry about are for nothing.

    Hugs and try to find peace tonight. Our dysfunctional loved ones are not usually nice people, at least not to us if we don't do what they want us to do and he knows this would scare you and right now he is pouting like a little boy and is mad at you. Or he misplaced the phone. He will show up. He will want something.
  19. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    My daughter's magic word, for a LONG time was "college." That was always the magic word that, like you, would make my heart pound and my mind think, "Ok, finally. She is wanting to do something productive for the long term." It took me a long time to figure out that was MY dream FOR her, not HER dream FOR herself. And she used it against me. She has no more interest in college (at this point) than I do in digging ditches.

    My daughter is also very, very intelligent. She had a fully paid scholarship. Blew it.
    She said the magic word, I swooped in, gave her a roof and a loan in my name. Blew it. (I ended up paying back the loan.)

    That word is no longer magic for me because IF she ever wants it for herself, truly wants it, she will make it happen. I did. I did it with two small children, three jobs, and not any support from my parents (and didn't expect it - I was an adult). But I wanted it so badly that I did everything I could to make it happen.

    And that is why you don't need to feel guilt over that rent. At 23, if college is something he truly, truly wants, nothing will stop him anymore than if he really, truly doesn't want it, nothing you do for him will make it happen.
  20. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    I'm trying to stay calm. There are a few different possible scenarios that give me brief, but fleeting relief: he lost the phone, the phone broke, he is at someone's house but charger not with him.

    I've called all local hospitals 3x today, his name does not come up. Then, I get a nauseating fear that he's somewhere dead, hasn't been found yet. I hate writing that word! I'm so scared.

    Like y'all & my husband said, he's possibly turned it off to punish me. He just hasn't done that before. He wld just typically not answer my calls or put me on 'block'. This time, his phone is either turned OFF or dead battery. When he blocks me, it rings twice then VM.

    I have anxiety, Somewhere. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), too. Right now, my stomach feels like a rock is sitting in it.

    As I said, a year ago this happened & the next day I tracked to the hospital & he had surgery the next day.