Update on difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by katya02, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    difficult child moved out at the beginning of May, to live with his girlfriend and her mother (!) in a tiny apartment in town. He had a job at the time although only about 12 hours/week; he'd been saying since December that he was on the verge of getting FT hours. However, his girlfriend, who is a manager where he was working, told us that only managers get FT there! This is so typical of difficult child - I don't know if he doesn't understand what he hears, or just tells us what he thinks we want to hear, or is such a wishful thinker that he believes it himself. He had also worked himself into hating his job through the spring and complained about every shift (stocking a convenience store at night, making sandwiches, ringing up purchases).

    He was very happy with girlfriend and her mother, and then in June he admitted he'd quit his job. He said he and girlfriend were in trouble because staff weren't supposed to date, and girlfriend was about to get fired so he did the noble thing and quit to save her job. Sounds heroic except that his manager was astonished that he was quitting. Doesn't sound to me like girlfriend was on the skids, it sounds like he talked himself into an excuse to quit. So he's been unemployed since, and hasn't exactly been pounding the pavement to find work. He's put in a resume at one or two places but hasn't followed up on some leads I phoned him with. He hasn't applied for benefits because girlfriend's mother won't 'let' him use that address, as then she would see a decrease in her own benefits (her daughter doesn't officially live there either). He doesn't apply for jobs because the mother, who doesn't have a license, supposedly uses girlfriend's car all day (girlfriend works nights). I told him to walk to his interviews, or figure out how to use the bus! He has lost his social security card. He now has his passport as job app ID, and it's his only proof of citizenship. He was born in Canada and naturalized with us, but the passport is his only proof. If/when that goes missing it's big trouble.

    This is all his business, of course. If his girlfriend is willing to put up with this, and she seems to be, so be it. But ... he's now down to $100 in the bank. He still has three $50 payments on his fine from his drug charges last year. So he's in trouble even if his girlfriend totally supports his living expenses (on her $22,000 salary). He sleeps all day and stays up all night - obviously not a recipe for finding a job. He always sounds dull - not drunk, not high, just not as with-it as he used to be. I know he's buying some alcohol now that he's turned 21 (in June) and don't know what else he's doing. So he may be deep back into drugs and alcohol, although he's never been drunk or high when he's come by the house. He looks very scruffy, hair is clean but not cut, he's put on weight so hardly has any clothes that fit - not a likely looking job prospect! The up side is he's very affectionate toward his girlfriend and she seems delighted to be with him. She's older than he is, seems nice, is a hard worker, and I think is very happy to have the male company. I feel bad for her though, as he is definitely not holding up his share of things.

    So I'm waiting for the big crisis. Or maybe there won't be one, maybe girlfriend will just pay his way to keep him there. I just don't know how to understand the dull, total non-initiative mental state he's in, though. At the moment he looks like he couldn't hold a job. He adamantly refuses to ever see a doctor again and medications honestly haven't helped him before. So far husband says it's all difficult child's business and he'll have to figure it out, which is good. But it'll be very hard for both of us to watch difficult child get kicked out, be on the street, or be picked up for not paying his fines. I don't know that I could watch him go to jail for $150 when so many people are never even charged for decades of marijuana use ... the inconsistency in enforcement drives me crazy.

    Anyway ... trying to stay detached. Maybe difficult child will make it easier if he makes comments like he did earlier this summer, saying he's worried because he has no place to go, and he certainly isn't coming HERE (meaning home). Sounds good to me, but when the rubber hits the road I think his laziness will bring him here looking for a bed.

    I really appreciate reading others' experiences in this type of situation. I am always bowled over by the combination of love and detachment that people can achieve. That's what I'm striving for.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...hey there! Welcome back.

    I really dont know what to advise on son. My gut (and I know it probably isnt the best thing to do as far as detachment) says maybe to just go pay off those fines so they arent hanging over him since they are just $150. If he gets in trouble again it will all be on him and he will have to deal with it because he is out of your home. Like you said, so many dont go to jail for much worse things. Dont even get me started on the Micheal Vick thing...lol. Less than 2 years and back to millions of dollars...blah! I am just sickened...lmao. Makes me much less "detached" with our kids I will tell you.

    Your son may have just met a girl who will be another parent to him. Happens that way. Eventually she may wise up and tell him to get his big boy pants on and he might just listen to her. Never know. She has something you dont and something he wants. That can be a strong motivator.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Sometimes what I have done with- my difficult child is this "meet me halfway" deal.
    For example, you might gather the information your son would need to get a new Social Security card, give it to him, but then expect him to actually do the work to get one. If not, don't worry about it...keep it in case it comes up again.

    I certainly do think it is possible that at a certain point in time, the girlfriend will get tired of your difficult child not working. This might take awhile, but the day will likely come.

    Hopefully, when that day arrives, she will motivate him to get to work.

    by the way, that might be a good time to mention again his need for a Soc. Sec. card and you might mention it to him in front of his girlfriend! heee heee

    Sometimes a girlfriend can be a positive motivator. Honestly, come to think of it, surely she can be a bigger motivator than you. Hmmmm...she is working. She likes your difficult child. It would probably be best to stay on her good side...at least neutral.

    I don't know what in the world I would do about the fine. Is there any work you need around the house that he has the skills to do and is willing to do? Perhaps you could hire him for this work and then instead of paying him, pay off the fine. I wouldn't even consider it though if he doesn't want to do it, doesn't have the skills to do the work, there isn't any work you can think of to be done, or he is disrespectful.

    I believe Suz keeps this site at the bottom of her posts: http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

    It's got great information about detaching!!!! (Hugs).

    Wishing you and your family well.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 18, 2009
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I think it would give me peace of mind to pay off the fine. I'll get difficult child to work it off around our property, but for me it would make a difference knowing that difficult child isn't going to get the whole weight of the system crashing down on his head when so many waltz out of the same, and much more serious stuff, scot free. Michael Vick is one small example, all right. I don't trust the 'justice' system anymore, period. So for $150 I can sleep at night. Otherwise, difficult child is going to have to figure things out. He knows what to do to get a new SS card, so he has to do it. And if he loses his passport, I've told him - he'll have bought himself a one-way ticket back to Canada, minus the girlfriend, because I'm not paying for a new passport and he won't have any ID that proves he is a US citizen and can work here (or get benefits). That's all in his court. But I grit my teeth knowing his roommate from college, the guy who sold him the stuff in the first place and introduced him to worse stuff and people, is still dealing away over at the college and is in perfect standing with the school. Meanwhile difficult child, who wasn't smart enough to see what was coming, was left as the fall guy.