Update and let down? Maybe? Kinda...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lil, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Wow! It’s been since February I was on here last. So many new names! I didn’t mean to abandon everyone, I just kinda got busy with life. So…things were going well. I suppose the reality of the situation is that things still are going well…but the future remains to be seen. At this point, my son has been in Colorado a few years. He’s still with the same girlfriend. She’s an awesome girl as best I can tell and I love her to pieces. Jabberwockey (my husband’s name on this site for those new to me) and I have been out to Colorado two years to see them. Once when they were living with her parents, then once when they had their own place. More on them later.

    Jabber and I have moved on with life. Still working and at this point counting down to retirement. I’m working on what’s called the “backdrop”, having passed my retirement date March 1. Jabber starts Sept. 1. The backdrop is a lump-sum retirement you get after overworking your date…basically, they act like you retired on time and pay you the retirement you would have received, less taxes of course. It can be quite substantial and Jabber and I have decided to put it in deferred comp (saves taxes) sell our house and use the house proceeds to buy an RV…probably a 5th wheel trailer…and see the country for a few years. Just travel and be together. :inlove: We’ll keep our hunting cabin as “home base”. It’s a plan. May not happen, but we’re working on it. We bought a little travel trailer just last Saturday! So we’ll play with that and learn the ins and outs of RV life with it.

    We lost our last little dog 4th of July weekend.:cry: He developed a tumor on a leg and it was just huge by the time we decided his quality of life was no longer there. Between that, seizures and being blind, it was time. We’re still really sad. But the bright side is he’s no longer suffering and we are no longer bound to a schedule and unable to travel or even go to a movie without working around his medication. So there’s that.

    So…back to my kid. The same day we lost the dog I got a call from his girlfriend in Colorado. He has some type of colitis and :eek: a HALF-INCH kidney stone! He’s having a procedure to cut it up with a laser and put in stents to be able to pass it on Aug. 2. He's got to have a colonoscopy soon too. So, of course he isn’t working. When they were in Co. Springs she had a full time job. He bounced from one restaurant to another, quitting, getting fired, etc. He wasn’t working when their lease was up, so they moved back with her mom. He’s had three jobs in the few months since then. Fired from Pizza Hut, quit Dominoes because of being sick and them refusing to let him off for appointments, fired from the last one – not sure where – because he called in sick after only two days. For a change, it really isn’t 100% his fault. Both Colitis and kidney stones are terribly painful. But still… A few days later I got a text from his girlfriend – asking advice. She’s carrying the whole load and is just so overwhelmed and her mom is giving her grief and of course she hasn’t just talked to him. So I told her to do that. I told her he needed to be scared about their future since it is HIM that needs to be helping. While I'm sure he isn't faking...something had to be done. She couldn't continue to carry the burden! They had to talk and figure this out together.

    Yesterday I was informed by him they are moving back here in October!

    Yes, the cost of living is nearly half Colorado. Yes, LOTS of places are hiring. No…I don’t want him to come back. I feel like the worst person. I love my son, but I like him a lot more from a distance. They haven’t asked to stay with us and if they do I don’t know what we’ll say…except that IF we said yes it would have a VERY FINITE time limit.

    He says they’ve been in Indeed and looked at jobs. He says they’ve been checking out places that accept pets. He says they’re saving for a pickup truck. (Got to be her saving, since he isn’t working.) Me? I’m having a bit of a panic attack. All my buzz from buying our trailer has gone and I’m just kind of – sad.

    I guess I’m just afraid that he’ll go right back to old habits. If he does, he’ll lose her. If he does, he’ll lose a lot more than her. Pot is still illegal here. The boy who would rather be homeless in Colorado than get a job and live like a typical human being in Missouri, is coming back a grown man – and I’m not sure he won’t go back to being that boy again. I’m so very afraid of it all beginning again. I want to ask HER if she is really okay with moving here! But, he's 24 and she's 21 and their relationship really isn't any of my business! I know that. But none of that stops me being worried...again.

    I'd gotten very used to not worrying. :unsure: It was a nice feeling.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I can't believe you're back. I was just wondering about you and Jabber, last night. I almost sent a PM> I wanted to say Hi first. I have not yet read your post. I will. Hi.
  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What great news about the retirement situation, the travel and your plans to RV.

    That said, Gosh. I would be worried too.

    My own son moved back here a couple of weeks ago. (It seems like 2 months). He is with M, in the other house. He has no money, so the marijuana is not an issue yet. That said, I am glad that my son is back. Even though it is a huge trigger for me. I am grateful to M who insulates me. To a point. But there is still a lot to deal with.

    It seems to me that he is moving back to where you are purely for the support. And that makes sense, if he is ill and he needs support.

    But that does not mean that this new anticipated move supports you. But what in the world can you do? You have no control here, Lil. It's back to the drawing board.

    I am glad you are back here. I have missed you. A relatively new member, Busy, posted a new thread about a fantastic book she has read called I think, The Gift of Acceptance. The premise is that are suffering comes from the refusal to accept things and people as they really are. Four of us so far are buying the book. Busy said by reading this book, she has changed entirely her feelings about her daughter, and about her whole life.

    As I see it, your son's return has nothing to do with you. He will live his life as he sees fit. Nothing you say or think or do will alter his choices. If he chooses to act in such a way where he runs into the law or loses this relationship, this will happen. You know this. We cannot alter their paths or their suffering. I tried so hard. It didn't work. You know this.

    I'm like you. As long as I can maintain a fantasy that everything's okay, I feel better. The reality of things, is much harder. But I guess that's why I have to read the book.

    There is another way to look at this new development. A chance to grow. For him and for you. The fiancée is a strong influence on your son. It's possible that she will continue to be.

    I will add one thing here. I would be very reticent to let them move in. If they can't afford to make the move, I don't think they should make it. It sets up a dynamic that is potentially problematic. First, you don't want him to move in, it appears. Second, you will have to apply pressure to get him out, in all likelihood. Finally, from the get go it sets up dependency, and opportunities for resentment and conflict. There are ways to help and support them that do not involve this enmeshment of boundaries. I would be careful with this.

    Just like you advised the fiancée to speak directly to your son, I think you need to have several talks with them, before they come, not after, to anticipate problems and to avoid them, and to clarify expectations. Just because it's cheaper where you are does not mean it's free. Just because you're there, does not mean that he can just avoid responsibility. He needs to come up with a plan. If he is unable to work has he applied for disability insurance? Does he know what his functional limitations will be? Has he thought about Vocational Rehab benefits, and General Assistance (benefits)? Is he thinking about school to prepare for a career that he can handle?

    These are questions that he needs to address. Not you. I fear that this could all fall into your lap. I think your fears are realistic. Not that problems are inevitable. But they are as likely as not. Those are not good odds. But maybe I am projecting here.

    If he is not willing to deal with these issues, or begin to, I would try to keep a firm boundary. You don't want all of this to fall into your lap. Again.

    Your son is capable and strong. Illness or no illness. He can do this. You shouldn't have to.

    I would be very clear up front about the boundaries. That her parents have been willing to take them in and take them on, does not mean you should. This is a radically different culture. There are hugely different expectations of children and parents.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I've missed you all too Copa. I've wondered what's been going on. I'll have to do some reading to try to brush up.

    Oh we have NO plans to offer a place to stay. I'm more than willing to act as Real Estate Agent and look at places for them, but co-signing is a BIG no, loaning money is a BIG no, and living with us is a HUGE no! I told him he'd never live with us again and I meant it. Staying, short-term, until they find an apartment??? We'll have to think about that - IF they ask. Right now, we're trying not to and we won't offer - that's for sure.

    I fully intend to with him. Maybe her too. Haven't decided. Mostly I'm waiting until he's had his "surgery" and is feeling a bit better. Kidney stones are not fun.

    As you said,
    Yes, I feel this. Her parents have taken them in twice now (though this last time they've never mentioned the step-father and I wonder if he's even in the picture). I don't know what her expectations are of us...she's Mexican, raised here since 6 months old, but still Mexican. That's actually a question too...she got a green card through her mother at 6 months old. What does that mean now that she's 21 and moved out on her own?

    Again...I suppose not my problem, but I like this young lady.

    I actually asked her about this - she said he wouldn't apply for benefits because he can work; that he wants to work...but still...He's NOT disabled, he's sick. He'll get over the kidney stone and eventually they'll figure out the colitis. He'll be over the kidney stone before they move here. Colitis he'll have to learn to live with. I don't know Colorado, but there's no public benefits in MO for short-term illnesses. You have to be totally and permanently disabled for a year. We did away with the General Relief program totally about 10 years ago.

  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    As far as I know a green card maintains itself legit unless there is some transgression (serious) which would not apply in her case. M has nieces who were in this situation. When they grow up and emancipate they stay in this status.

    My grandmother had a green card for 60 years. It does not lapse, except due to disqualifying transgressions.

    Lil. You sound very clear about your boundaries. How is Jabber? I hope he posts too.

    What are their plans for marriage? Do you think the fiancée is rethinking this?
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Jabber is clearer than me...but also trying to just not think about it. :)

    They've called themselves husband and wife a while. She's said in Colorado, common law marriage is recognized and that they are, to her knowledge, in that situation. I don't know if that's true. She calls herself his wife. Are they ever getting legally married? I don't know. MO doesn't recognize common law, even if the other state does. If they want the papers, that's up to them.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is what M's family is like.

    They use the term "wife" for living together in a committed relationship. It doesn't even matter if there is a legal wife in MX. They will do this. M's brother has lived with a wife for more than 20 years with a legal wife in Mexico and they had two daughters together, now grown.. He has nothing to do with the legal wife. They just never dissolve the bond

    I think that this has something to do with Catholicism. But I think it also has to do with the fact that marriage, even when they are abandoned, gives women a status that they do not have without it. Kind of sad.

    Honestly. I don't understand.
    I don't think you have to go back and brush up. Everything is pretty much the same. Except for RN's son finished his program is living at home and doing great. He's in a welding program now. Other than that, we are all pretty much the same. And Kathy's daughter is doing great. Clean 3 years, going to college I think and getting married soon. Isn't that remarkable? SWOT no longer posts here. Oh. And RE's daughter is doing super well.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  8. RN0441

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

    Hi Lil; have missed you guys also!

    Yikes I can see why this would make you a bit nervous. Copa brought up some excellent points.

    I would be afraid to let them live there even for a minute too. Do they even have furniture or other household items to set up an apartment there?

    I agree I love my son but like him not living with me. I am seriously looking forward to him getting his welding license so he can be on his own. I'm nervous with him here due to PTSD I think. And he and husband together are too much for my nerves!!

    My son starts his second round of welding classes August 5 for the month and the final 12 weeks doesn't even start until November. They really drag this out but it's free so we can't complain can we??
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  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Lil, it's so good to hear from you!!

    I'm so very sorry about your little dog. I know how hard losing those little fur babies can be.

    Now, about your son. If they decide to move there is nothing you can do or should do. You and Jabber have been through and done enough! It's your time now. It might be a good idea to tell your son of your plans to sell your house and travel. I think this a good opportunity to set some very clear boundaries and it can be done in a non confrontational way via casual conversation.

    You could say things like:
    Now that Jabber and I are retiring we will be living on a very limited and fixed income.
    Once you get moved and settled you'll have to have us over for dinner when we are in town.

    I would be very careful about offering any kind of help, even "being his real estate agent" looking for places for them to live. One small act of helping can easily be taken for granted and the expectation of more can follow.

    If it were me, I would only offer suggestions and that would only be if they asked.

    Again, so very good to hear from you!!
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    That is just so awesome! I wish my son would learn a trade. My husband even knows how to get grants so the basic training is free - he does it all the time for inmates leaving the institution. But no...

    Except we aren't retiring for 5 more years. At least, that's the plan.

    So...guess what? The question is moot.

    We got a call last night and...drum roll please...

    They went to the courthouse yesterday and got married - on her lunch hour!:wow: I told her "You should have made him be more romantic than that!"

    So yeah. She plans on changing her name to ours, which is fine. They hadn't told her parents yet - It was about 8 our time, so 6 theirs? So I wasn't allowed to put it on Facebook yet. I did make the RE Agent offer, but they think they have that covered. He says his oldest friend - the GOOD "J" is managing a Convenience store or something so he thinks he can get a job. I told him NOT to expect other people to get him jobs and do his own looking! :groan:

    On the up side, she is a CNA and a has experience as a medical receptionist and she's truly bilingual, which will be a very big plus here. Most of the Hispanic population here are restaurant employees with limited English. That sounds so racist, but we're in white-bread, redneck, republican territory here. She should be able to find a decent job pretty easily with 2 hospitals, about 5 nursing homes and dozens of medical offices.

    If he'll get his head out of his hiney, well, who knows?

    As for living with us, we aren't inviting. If they ask, and I really do expect they might, it will be for a VERY short time while they find another place. Jabber and I both almost joked that he found a way to get around our "no overnight girlfriends in our house" rule - but Jabber was afraid he'd take it as an insult and I was afraid he'd take it as an invite!

    So yeah...there's that.
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Even better!
    "Son, Jabber and I are planning on retiring in a few years and we have to save every penny we can to accomplish our goals"
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is amazing! Congratulations. Do you have any sense of why now? Do you think it has anything to do with the move?
    That's good. That's enough money for them to live. And they will work it out between them. Lil. I think now the work is in you. To not take this on. At all. He is a married man now. An adult. With a family. This is now in their lap.

    Wasn't she in college when they met? Didn't he live in her dorm room? Did she graduate?

    This is wonderful news. She sounds like a great person who is good for your son. He seems to step up around her.

    M said this about my son the other day, when I was complaining: It's his personality. I felt bad. But I think it is the same with your son. These things don't change so quickly or easily. It takes thousand of approximations, while they try to better themselves. The have the intention, to some extent, but maybe not the skills. The skills they have to hone.

    I think your son is in a great place. In lots of ways this move is realistic. It sounds like they might have a better shot, with an easier time of it, in your community.

    The marijuana is a problem. Yes. But how big a one? I live where marijuana is legal. But 50 years ago, when I was young, marijuana was NOT legal. Many, many (most) young people in my peer group used it, with no big deal. There must be millions of people in your state who find a way to use, without undue risk.
  13. RN0441

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

    Congrats Lil!! I do hope that they get "it" together now that they are officially adults! LOL
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Congrats on upcoming retirement!
    And marriage of son.
    I agree...distance is awesome.
    Maybe just me...but I wouldn’t let them move back.
    Maybe just stay a week or two to find a place. Ultra super duper big time mega defined boundary finite. A week. Ten days. That’s about it.
    Yes...play realtor.
    Maybe a wedding present or part of one could be first month’s rent elsewhere.
    We are sooooo much more relaxed with our Difficult Child child living ELSE WHERE!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    OMG They are NOT living with us. No, no. They'll - IF they ASK - maybe get to stay a few weeks...no more than a couple months. Right now they've not asked. They will, hopefully, find jobs over the internet before they come.

    I can't stop them from moving to this town. But they aren't moving into our house! Maybe by October they'll change their minds. Who knows.
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  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lil. To me this is living with you. It opens us up to not having control over our space. It puts us in the spot of having to ask them to move on, or wanting them to. This creates conflict.

    It's not to say, don't do it. I do it. Often because I want to. Or I am ambivalent. Because I want to help or want to be with him. But it is always a can of worms.

    There are choices here. They have choices and so do you.
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    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Just mho...best to put a clear (short) boundary on this.
  18. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Nice to "see you" Lil. Your retairment plans sound awesome.

    Also good to hear your son has been doing quite well. If they move nearby, make boundaries you are comfortable with and stick with those - unless you don't want to. Remember it's not your job to parent him anymore nor set his boundaries, if things go bad, it's not your fault and waht you do or not do, does not cause it. And even if there is tougher times, he has shown to be able to recover.
  19. RN0441

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

    Hey if my son had a wife I'd figure he's her problem now. LOL!!
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Don't worry everyone, I have NO intention to go back to the bad old days. They haven't asked and we haven't offered and won't.

    IF we let them come stay it WILL be for a VERY short time. They are grown-ups and more than capable of working and supporting themselves. I've already had a short discussion with him about my misgivings and the likelihood of his "old friends" sniffing around. He says he has friends like the good J, who are married and have jobs and lives and that's the only people he's interested in.

    Proof is in the pudding. We'll see.

    Up side, his Kidney stone was removed and in a week he should be ship-shape where that is concerned.
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