update on difficult child and easy child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by janebrain, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Everyone,
    well, guess it is time to update....I have been worried about my easy child son out in Seattle with difficult child 1 sister and toxic boyfriend. If you remember, my son's restaurant business failed and he was despondent over that and felt he needed to get away from our town. difficult child 1 invited him to come out and stay with her and her boyfriend in Seattle (we are in upstate NY) and he went.

    So son basically did odd jobs and was depressed for the 1st couple of months but then picked himself up and wanted to make a new life for himself. I haven't heard from difficult child 1 for about 6 weeks since I told her she could not come here for a visit with a one way bus ticket. She is pregnant and due in November. I think she and boyfriend figured she could just come here an live indefinitely. When I said no she got angry and I haven't heard from her since. Okay, I can deal with that, but I have been worried about my son.

    He called me yesterday and said he has been working fulltime as a cook in a restaurant for several weeks and he even sent me a money order which I received a week ago--he is trying to pay me bakc money I have lent him. He said that the boyfriend is off fishing and he and difficult child 1 might get a one bedroom apt. together when their sublease is up at the end of Oct. He did say that regardless of what she and boyfriend did, he is staying in Seattle.

    Today he called and said, "Mom, would you be surprised if I told you I think difficult child and boyfriend are stealing money from me?" My heart sank. I said, "no, easy child, I would not be surprised at all, just disappointed and disgusted." He said that he has suspected them before this--small amounts of money have been missing from his wallet but he just let it go. He has taken to sleeping with his wallet though and taking it in the bathroom with him when he showers. Today he forgot and left it out. When he got out of the shower $100.00 was missing. He asked difficult child about it and she of course denied it. He said he doesn't want to get a place with her. I said he should get out and not worry about her, he needs to protect himself.

    The thing is, she has stolen money from her little sister, from me and husband and also from son before. This is not new. He said he thought they had a trust between them. He said if she would have asked him for money he would have given it to him. He can't understand why she would just take it when he would gladly help her if she would just ask.

    He said it is going to cause a scene if he tells her he is getting his own place and I know it will but he has to protect himself. He says there are lots of people looking for roommates or he could get a room. He has the money to get a place without difficult child. I guess he is looking for emotional support from me. I told him I was afraid when he went out there that difficult child and boyfriend would **** him in and manipulate him. He said that did happen for awhile but then he picked himself up and is much stronger now, strong enough to resist them.

    On the one hand I am saddened and disgusted by difficult child--she really has not changed--but on the other hand I am so relieved to hear my son sounding like himself and to know he hasn't been changed by difficult child and boyfriend. He really does need to extricate himself from them. My younger dtr says difficult child will try to guilt trip him. I guess our job is to support him in his efforts and to reassure him that he is doing the right thing.

    Any thoughts?

  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Jane, I'm sorry to hear that difficult child 1 is up to her old tricks, but I can't say I'm surprised that she's trying to con your easy child. On the good side, it does sound like your easy child is keeping a firm head on his shoulders.

    I think he's making a sensible move to extricate himself from any living arrangement that involves shared accommodation with difficult child and her boyfriend. Your younger daughter is probably right on target that difficult child 1 will try to guilt-trip him into staying, or financing her and boyfriend, or letting them stay with him if he gets a place of his own.

    In your PCs shoes, I would make sure that any stuff I have is safe and then just quietly set about finding a new place without telling difficult child or boyfriend. Only when new accommodations were locked in, would I mention to difficult child the plan to move out. As a fait accompli rather than something I was contemplating.

    The advantages:
    - easy child has a safe place to go that's away from difficult child and boyfriend, should they make a scene or make things uncomfortable for him
    - It's already a done deal so difficult child doesn't have the opportunity to try and talk him out of it
    - He doesn't have to be drawn into their daily drama. In the peace and quiet of a place away from her, easy child has time and space to figure out which direction he wants his life to go.

    Just my $0.02

  3. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Thank you, Trinity--you have some excellent ideas that I will convey to my son! Yes, I think he should quietly find another place and then just go.
    thanks so much,
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi Jane,
    I'm sorry your easy child is going through this with difficult child 1. It does sound as though he knows what to do, so any emotional support you can give him will be a help. I agree that quietly finding a new place and then just leaving, without announcements or discussion, will be in easy child's best interest. From dealing with both my sis and my difficult child I have learned not to announce, discuss, or analyze anything in advance. easy child deserves the chance to have his own place and enjoy it without being robbed. If he can get a safebox for his wallet and chain it to something immovable, or else keep all his cash elsewhere and his cards on his body at all times, hopefully he won't get too much stolen before moving out. If he did announce his intention to leave I think he'd find many things disappearing.

    Good luck to him!
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'm glad your son has pulled himself up by his boot straps. I think Trinity gave valuable advice. Sorry difficult child hasn't seemed to change.

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Jane, I am thinking that this is a lesson that can only be learned one on one. I'm sure that in a way, they have grown closer. It's a relationship that they have had together without parental influence. He may have been hoping that there were influences and history with friends and your home that made her steal from all of you at home, and he probably hoped that she had moved on to a more mature life when she moved to Seattle. I feel badly for him that he didn't find it to be different. But, he shouldn't feel badly about needing to leave her and her drama behind. He's not her daddy, he's her brother. These are her choices, and he is not responsible for her.

    One good thing about the economy tanking is that there will definitely be people looking for roommates. Rents in apartments will go up because no one will be getting home loans very easily for a while.

    Knowing the Pacific NW the way I do, I have to say that Seattle is wonderful and cool, but really impractical. The cost of living is outrageous and the traffic is killer. Knowing that he is a good chef, he is probably working downtown, but he will find it hard to find anything in his price range that he won't have to travel for.

    I did find a site that compares cost of living (and just about everything else) between cities. The telling thing about Seattle and Portland is the median income and median home price comparisons.

    Median Income:

    Portland $49,442
    Seattle $67,882

    So, he'd probably earn $1.35 in Seattle for every $1.00 he'd earn in Portland.

    Average Median Home price

    Portland $242,450
    Seattle $483,100

    So, he'd pay about $2.00 in rent in Seattle for every $1.00 he'd pay in Portland. IOW, it's really expensive and difficult to get set up and started in Seattle.

    If he'd like to check out Portland, have him call us and come down for a weekend. We'd be happy to show him around. It's close enough to be available to his sister with a 3 hour drive. It's far enough away to not have to hear about her every move and problem. I get the feeling that when her boyfriend gets back from fishing, it's going to get ugly. easy child isn't going to be able to change that.

    I'm sorry to hear that he got burned. That really is lousy.
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Jane, it's great that easy child turned to you and wasn't afraid to bounce the situation off of you. It shows he's still himself and hasn't been tarnished by time spent with difficult child and boyfriend. What a shame to have the trust between them shattered like that.

    You've encouraged easy child to find his own place and extricate himself from difficult child and boyfriend - that's all you can do. In his own time he will do what's right for him. He sounds strong. (and incidentally so does your other daughter!). Hugs to you~
  8. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I think it's very positive that easy child came to you and he understands that it's going to be difficult extracting himself from difficult child and boyfriend. He sounds level-headed.

    easy child needs to keep everything on the down-low. Not a word until perhaps he has his important posessions out. Then, when he has to, break it to difficult child. Don't explain and don't argue. Just go. Be prepared for lots of drama, but to stand firm because it will eventually pass.

    I remember my sister, years ago, sharing an apartment with a very manipulative difficult child friend she hadn't known very long (this was in my sister's difficult child days). After a few weeks, when some of my sisters things started coming up missing, she decided to find somewhere else to live. She knew the friend was going to blow up when she found out. She kept it quiet as long as she could and got her really important things out. When friend found out, she locked my sister out and had the locks changed while my sister was at work (sister wasn't on rental agreement).

    My sister actually remembered a window that was kept unlocked. When friend wasn't home, she climbed through and got the rest of her stuff. When difficult child friend discovered that, SHE called the police and reported that my sister broke in and took HER stuff. Friend began to call MY house looking for my sister and making threats of physical harm.

    I let her know if she called my home again, or god forbid actually showed up, I would do whatever it took to protect my children and she could take that anyway she wanted. But, be prepared, because I meant it.

    Anyway, my sister gets a call at work from the police. They want her to come down to the station for questioning regarding the "break-in". My sister, in a risky but clever move, told the officer calling that if he wanted to talk with her he would just have to come and get her (arrest).

    She never heard anything from the difficult child friend, or the police again.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  9. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi Guys,
    thanks for all the replies! I am hoping I will be talking to my son soon and will see what his plans are. I was thinking he may need to break it a little ahead of time because they were planning to move some place together. Their sublease on the apt. they are staying in is up at the end of Oct. so difficult child will have to find a place too. She needs to know she has to look for a place on her own.

    Thanks for your very kind offer, Witz. I will relay it to son but he says he has no intentions of moving again til he actually has the money to do so. He is currently living in the University area and works in Greenwood or some place like that. He walks to work. I think financially he is okay there for now--just hope with these economic problems he keeps his job. He said that his manager is trying to get him a raise already. I know he is a good worker, he has always worked hard and his bosses like him.

    I will let you guys know more as I know it. Thanks for your support!

  10. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Sorry easy child has to deal with this. Having to sleep with his wallet and take it to the bathroom -- what a life. But it does sound like he's got a good head on his shoulders. I hope he is able to extricate himself without too many scars.
  11. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I agree with HWGA about keeping his money close. Take it EVERYWHERE.
  12. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Glad the light bulb came on for easy child...... thank you for updating, it's good to know he contacted you.....