Update on difficult child -- both bad and good (long, sorry!)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Estherfromjerusalem, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    I haven't written for ages. About six months ago, difficult child was working at a good job, had a lovely girlfriend, and moved out of our home and into a teeny weeny apartment with his girlfriend. It was hard for my husband who is orthodox and found it hard to come to terms that his son was living with a girl, but he managed to find his peace with it, and things were good. Then he left the job after six months there (a record for him), and it took him two months or so to find some part-time work (selling food at some kiosk), and once again he started not sleeping at night, sleeping during the day, coming here at any hour of the day, using my computer, hanging around. His girlfriend works, has a good job, just got promotion. She's a lovely girl, and she really loves him. She and I have a good rapport.

    He started talking about moving back home. He wants to come home, he wants to bring his furniture into his old room, and we should move what's there into the storeroom downstairs, bla bla bla. I really found it hard to know what to say. He is 22 and a half years old -- certainly old enough to be independent. It took me a few weeks to work out what I really want. I am not 100% healthy, my blood pressure is much too high, I've got quite a lot of quite serious health problems with my heart and my two carotid arteries and my underactive thyroid that is not stable. It has been wonderful without him here, and I want to enjoy some time before I really become old, and I'm well on the way to being old, since I will soon be 64. I'm so old (!) that my oldest granddaughter has just got engaged to be married!

    I've been following Stands' posts, and I think that they have helped me, and yesterday when he said he wanted to talk to me about it, I just said straight out: "I don't want you to move back home." He said: "Oh, you don't want me at home?!" When I tried to tell him that I want to talk to him about it, he just said "I don't want to talk about it. Don't talk to me about it." And he is not talking to me. He still comes here. I do their laundry since they don't have a washing machine. He comes to see his brother who still lives here (15 months older than difficult child).

    Getting through the past 15 years or so has been so very difficult. I was so pleased that we had managed to somehow keep up a good relationship with him through all the raging and violence and constant arguments between him and husband. I thought we were out of the woods. But no. It seems that he just can't bear it when life goes smoothly, and he has to make everyone around feel bad. That's the way he is. He knows I love him. Just three days ago we had a three-way cuddle -- difficult child, girlfriend and me, and he said "Mmmmm, how lovely, the two women I love!" And now -- bang!

    Don't worry, I don't regret it. I am quite OK with having said no to him. There's no way I can bear the idea of him living here again. It's true, I haven't had to cope with the dreadful things some of you have, like using drugs, or criminal activities. Nevertheless, my nerves are shredded and I just don't think I can take any more. I need my peace and quiet, as much as that is possible with such a large family.

    I know that he'll get over it, and find a reason to be in touch with me again. For one, the Passover holiday is almost upon us, and it is family time when we will be together. We will be 28 people for the first day and a half of the festival (Wednesday night and Thursday next week), so I'm sure we will see him, and probably before then he will have made his peace with me. But this time, I haven't been the sponge I usually am, taking whatever he throws at me. And I am pleased about that.

    There, I wanted you guys to know what's going on with me. I could write reams more, but I think this is already too long. But I wanted to tell you all, that it is the strength of the board that helped me to say a real "no" -- I think for the first time, and I am grateful for that.

    Love, Esther
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Ester, Saying no isn't easy and it is only to be expected that it would not be recieved well by your difficult child. I agree that he will come around in time. I am glad that you finally put your health and happiness first. Be proud of yourself. :thumbsup: -RM
  3. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Thanks RM. It's not the first time I said no, but the "no" has always been for an objective reason, like not having the money for whatever he asked for, but this is the first time it was because I really really didn't want it because as you say, I actually put myself first. I'm going to have to get used to it, because I have tasted life without him here and I'm darned if I'm prepared to go back now to the previous situation.

    Love, Esther
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Good for you Esther. You have placed your boundaries. I am so glad you are beginning to see the importance of putting yourself first. I know it's not easy because there is always that little mommy voice inside that tells you that this is your child, you must protect him from the big/bad world. It is important for him to see you model boundaries though.
  5. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Esther, I totally understand that part of you that doesn't want the chaos back in your life..... our difficult child has been out of the house for over 5 years and there is no way I would want him back in my home....... You should be able to enjoy the quiet in your own home! Glad you drew the boundary, he will get over it.......
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Esther you deserve peace in your home, and difficult child deserves to be an adult. I'm glad you were able to say No without guilt. You're right, he'll get over it.

  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I can't imagine that his girlfriend is too crazy about the idea of him leaving her to move home. You did him a favor by making him face reality and live with his decisions, Esther. :thumbsup:

    Stay strong.

  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Saying "no" gives them permission - or the impetus - to grow up. You did a good thing.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Esther, I too think you did a good thing.
    Now that you've had a taste of peace in your home, it would be a terrible strain for all of you to lose that. You have a right to the peace and happiness, and difficult child deserves to be an adult, as others have already said.

    Sending many hugs, and wishes for a wonderful family celebration at Passover.

  10. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    You are all so right, and I am grateful for your support. His siblings tell me that he is depressed, and I am thinking to myself "grow up, child. It's time." But I really don't want to undo all the work we have done over the years to keep a relationship with him. I presume he will come round soon. At the moment he isn't talking to me. To my surprise, I can cope with that. My blood pressure is very high despite all the medication, but we are investigating it and I hope we can get to the root of the cause. difficult child hasn't helped with that over the years.

    He desperately needs to be loved, I know that. I know that he knows I love him, truly. But he has to know some boundaries. Although he is the youngest child, he is truly a grown-up now. Oh well. (sigh)

    Love, Esther
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Esther, I could have written your post...well...without the 28 people (my gosh, how do you do that!).

    We constantly have to "remind" Cory that this "used" to be his home but it isnt anymore. He can "visit" but he doesnt live here anymore. Just yesterday he was here and he walked right in, looked in the freezer, grabbed an ice cream bar like he lived here. His dad said something to him about acting like he "made himself at home" and Cory came in to complain to me that his father was saying this wasnt his home anymore. Well I told him it was his "childhood home" and now he had his own home. LOL. Sometimes ya just gotta keep repeating these things.

    Now Cory isnt upset with us about this and I think he just wants to reassure himself that we are still here if something bad were to happen to him. I hate to tell him he aint comin back. Oh if the world were to end I suppose the entire family would end up here but lets hope not because I would probably go crazy.
  12. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Ya know - some kids just instinctively take responsibility for their own lives as they become adults. Other children require that we MAKE them take responsibility for their own lives. Of course, it is more pleasant for everyone when they do it of their own volition.

    You did the right thing Esther! Seriously - given your health and his drama - it is high time he spreads those wings and flies.
  13. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hi Esther, I too am familiar with not wanting to go back to retravel the same old road once more. You have done the right thing for both of you. Shalom.
  14. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Thanks everyone. I think I can safely say that you have been unanimous in your approval. It certainly helps, and quite honestly I feel OK with it. I suppose he is not the only one to need to grow up, I too have needed to change gear and allow him to grow up and leave the nest (nudge him out of the nest). No -- I am NOT going to go on a guilt trip about it!

    Love, Esther
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Way To Go! You know that he can survive away from you and husband. Now it is time for him to learn that he can survive away from you both. As another
    aging CD family member.......I completely understand! Hugs. DDD
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

  17. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Thanks, DDD.

    Love, Esther
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good Grief, Esther. What have I done to generate three answers? LOL
  19. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I haven't read all the posts...but I saw you say this "grow up child, it is time." Well, that sounds pretty good to me. And I saw you say that the others think he might be depressed. Perhaps this is a possibility. So, you might want to have him visit the doctor and you might pay for the visit.

    I would NOT let him come back into the home. I would encourage him to keep the pt job and tell him he is very lucky to have any job and that someone his age REALLY should be working full time and its almost shameful that he isn't. However, if he has part time work and does a good job, that is a very good thing.

    He can use the extra time to work on his depression. He can go to therapy, etc. If therapy is too expensive, he can read books, can't he? Can he talk to a religious person who he admires? Perhaps someone like this might offer words of wisdom.

    Stay the course and do not let him return to your home.

    Also, considering letting someone else do the "heavy lifting" with reference to advice. You can put your foot down about some things...like not returning to home and offer some gentle advice about keeping the job. I would let someone else give him the "straight talk" about the facts of life (Like facing the real world and understanding that he wont have a girlfriend much longer the way he is going).

    Protect yourself. Take GOOD care of your health and be happy. Enjoy your freedom. Enjoy your spouse.

    Be happy and be well.
    Lasted edited by : Mar 30, 2009
  20. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Esther, setting boundaries is good for all adult children. It's necessary for them to realize that they are separate from you. It's like cutting an invisible umbilical cord.

    I come from a culture of nurturing single adult men way past the time they should be on their own. It is still thought a woman needs to take care of boys/men. I'm not buying into it. It's hard to change a learned behavior but I do them no favor by having them walk over me to get what they want in my own home.

    We need to take the example of nature. Mother birds push the baby that lingers too long, out of the nest. It is for their own survival that she must do this.

    Although you think you are doing this for you, nature has a way of making it the best choice for our children. You will always be his mother and will always be there to be an emotional support or to give advice if wanted but your job as main care taker and sponge for his abusive words is over.
    I agree with your children that he is probably depressed or in need of some sort of mood stabilizer to help him function and/or hold a job.
    Although you have not dealt with a life of drugs or crime which is a non productive type of functioning- Not managing a life is also a waste and a non productive life.
    Hopefully you will find the right balance between a helpful parent with wise guidance and an enabler. You took the first big step by saying "I don't want you to move home". It doesn't matter the reason because what is good for the family unit(you) will be good for a difficult child.

    Good luck and many hugs.