Things are going better. I wanted to share.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Copabanana, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    A couple of weeks ago we bought a fixer upper home with an apartment over the detached garage. The hope was that one day, my son might live there. We had little hope that we could offer my son the space (on a paid basis) anytime soon. His behavior until a few weeks ago, was not conducive to that. I was wrong.

    My son had returned to my town about 6 weeks or so ago. He asked if he could come to my home. I said no. He showed up at my door. I kicked him out after 2 nights.

    My son had burnt his bridges with friends away from here. In four and a half years, for roughly half that time, people gave him free or reasonable places to stay in a very high cost of living area. He was able to secure SSI but SSI will not pay even rent to share an apartment where he was living. For half of the four years he was either homeless or close to it in several different counties. He was hospitalized multiple times.

    Since coming to this site almost a year ago my stance has been to not tolerate abuse, and to draw a firm line of what is acceptable to me. Mostly I have demanded respect, and that he not lay around in my home. If he is here, he needs to be productive and respectful. I have been clear to him about where I believe he has let other people down, and let himself down if he opens up the topic. I am clear to him about what impact I believe his manner of dressing has on me and to the people he encounters, but I do not batter him with it.

    For the past few days my son has been working alongside M remodeling the house. He is staying here at my home until the space is ready, and doing his best to follow our rules. He tries not to be intrusive. The wandering around the house has stopped. He seems to be trying to not leave things dirty, in disarray. After I suggested he wash dishes, all of them, because others do for him, he does so without prompt. He is trying. That is the difference. His attitude is five hundred percent different. He seems to be trying to minimize conspiracy theory rants (which distress me ). When I prompt him to stop, he does. The instability of mood, his aggression seem gone. He expresses pride in himself that he has managed to avoid hard drugs.

    I cannot tell you what a difference there is. I feel as if my son is back after a long absence. I am hopeful and optimistic. Of course, I am always ready for backsliding but these changes have made me hopeful for the future, because I know it can be done, that he can do it and so can I.

    What changed, and is it permanent, I cannot say. He is 27, the age that the male brain reaches maturity, they say. I think he had to live out the consequences of his attitudes and choices. I think I had to make it clear I could live without him and would, if he lived in a way that I found intolerable. I had to set a limit that said: If you choose to live this way you will live it without me.

    I do not believe we would have reached this place had I not detached. It was very, very hard for me. But I came to a point where it was harder still to stay the same. What will come, I do not know. But as JMom said today, I will take the happy and joyful days, for what they are. Hope and possibility.

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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Copa, thank you so much for sharing this. I am very, very happy for you, M and your son.
  3. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member


    Their personalities are so much nicer when they stay away from the drugs.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, I went by today to check in, to bring lunch and help. His attitude was not the best, he was not pulling the weeds out by the roots, he looked scraggly in his hoody, but he was doing it, working.

    Thank you all very much for your support.

  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Copa, this is such encouraging news. I am so happy for you and so glad you shared.

    He is putting forth some effort and that is just so wonderful. I'm sure there will be moments that he will backslide but I so hope they are short lived and he will continue to progress on.

  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The operative word here Tanya is some. I think he is tired of bouncing around, getting thrown out, nothing stable, no basis for any self-care. I think he feels bad to not have a relationship with us. He is backing down some, listening some and trying some.

    I am grateful, because while there is no guarantee about outcome, that there is effort and even slight motivation is more than we have had before. Way more.

    Thank you,

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  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's not about where he is "at" right now. It's about the direction he is going.
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  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Thank you Insane.

    I think it is the direction we are going, too. I believe I am risking more with my son. I am sticking my neck out. It is not that I am doing more. It is not that I am trying more. It is that I am putting it out point of that he will do the right thing....that he will hear me, listen to the right thing.

    I think both of us looked into the abyss and we blinked. We did not like where we were going. We decided each of us to try something different. Actually, back up a number of years. We were very, very close before things got difficult.

    I think I have changed. Not in detaching. But in believing. Believing in myself. Believing in him. Believing the right thing will happen. Could happen.

    It is really hard to explain. I believe I am more capable of being in a real relationship than in any time since I have known my son. I believe it has to do with trust and faith.

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  10. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Positive, forward momentum is a wonderful thing. Even if it's just "some." Glad you are having better days.
  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This is great stuff, Copa. I think doing "some" is key. Even when we don't want to, even when it is not what we've done before, little steps are evidence of trying to do it differently. Like Insane said. Little steps in a new direction still lead down a different path.

    I like what you said about your changing too, Copa. I think you have tapped into such strength and faith, in yourself, in his ability to set his course, in the knowledge that all will be well, regardless.
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