Update on son moving back into my house

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PennyFromTheBlock, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    So, our 'temporary' situation is going ok. Not horrible like I feared.

    He's been here two weeks, we've discussed his long term plans - He actually paid back who he owed out of the check he just got- me (shock! I literally was speechless- it's not even CLOSE to what he TRULY owes me, but he kept his word to give me $80 when he got paid and he did it)...his sister, my dad, etc.

    He's working for an apartment complex and they re-did their model apartment so they gave him (confirmed it's legit) a queen size bed, two dressers, nightstand, and a loveseat. I told him this was a good 'start' for when he gets his own apartment.

    He has the baby this weekend - his sister's birthday is today so they are going out so I'm on grandma duty (which I love).....

    Now to the not great stuff- I have been living without him in my house for almost two years. I've gotten USED to NOT living with any drama at all. I've been completely on my own (living alone, for the first time in my LIFE as an adult) in April of this year (to recap: when he stole from me, I moved out of a family owned home in 2/2014, put everything I own in storage, and lived with my mom until we could get the house sold. Thankfully, I traveled for work 5 nights a week, so it was bearable).....so today, I told him something minor to HIM, but big to ME. He started with that damn attitude and I told him "don't tell me how to react to something in my own house, I told you when I allowed you to stay here I was NOT going to argue with you or debate with you. Guess what? My house. If I want (for example) a door shut then that's MY prerogative, whether you think it makes sense or NOT. You know what you can do if you don't like this.....which made him upset- because he keeps saying that this is what both myself and his sister do- hold over his head that he can be put out at anytime.

    I had to remind him that it is TRUE- he can. So appreciating the fact that I was letting him stay here was testament to my belief he is trying to do the right thing- but that doesn't mean I'm stupid or gullible anymore (I said that out loud more for me than for him I think)- I have to say he actually stopped talking.

    My daughter came by earlier today (he was gone) and I started to cry- like, out of the blue- that maybe this was a mistake. I didn't want him here. But right now he is complying with what I told him when he got here. I don't worry about him stealing or punching a hole in the wall- he knows this behavior could impact his ability to be involved with his baby.


    I've told him no later than the end of February. that's two months. Even if we are doing fine- two months is my limit. I think that's more than reasonable.

    I also told him today that the blessing in having our OWN places to live is NO ONE can tell us what to do- that if he wanted to do X,Y, or Z in his OWN place- no one could tell him he can't- so this has to be his goal.
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  2. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Very well done Penny, very well done!!

    Typical that a Difficult Child would try and use the truth against you. You have afforded him a chance and have let him live in your home. You have established clear boundaries. While past behavior can be a predictor of future behavior it's not set in stone. Until our Difficult Child realizes for themselves that their behavior holds true consequence they will always feel that we the parent are "holding it over their head"

    I don't blame you for crying. While you have set clear boundaries you still have opened yourself up. It can just be so draining emotionally trying to hold it all together. I think it's good you were able to release it through a good cry. It's also good that your son is starting to recognize that his behavior has a consequence. It's a starting point, baby steps. Again, past behavior may be a predictor of future behavior but it's not set in stone.

    Good. You gave him a clear time frame. I do hope he will respect it. Have you talked to him about what his plan is when that time comes? You might want to consider keeping this on the front burner and have a weekly chat with him about his progress on making plans for when the end of February gets here.

    Oh so true!!

    Penny, you are doing great. I am so impressed at well you are handling this.
  3. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    Thank you Tanya - I'm trying really really hard.

    I have found myself, a couple of times, really feeling guilty because I know in my heart of hearts I would NOT be giving him this opportunity if he didn't have a five month old son. Thankfully (right now, the baby's mother is as crazy or crazier than my son) he is getting pretty good access- which I am so glad to have also.

    Again, thanks for the encouragement and for validating me crying- I think I tried to read too much into it and you summed it up perfectly- I'm just releasing because maybe it is more draining than I realized.
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You are very welcome.

    You have nothing to feel guilty about. Even if your son didn't have a five month old, you would have nothing to feel guilty about.
    Mother's guilt is a tricky little booger. Because we have always been able to make everything ok for our kids, when we can't the guilt can creep in. Our adult children's problems cannot be solved with a hug and a kiss. Nor, is it our place to solve their problems once they become adults. Helping them is one thing but when helping isn't helping and becomes enabling it's time to step back and there should be no guilt in doing that.

  5. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    You know, I thought more about it today- like, where or why I could feel like I do- the feeling I have- that I feel bad- is for him. I think it is sad that the only reason I am helping him is because he has a baby. You know, probably about 3 months ago or so, I was talking to him (having a spirited discussion) and I told him that the ONLY reason I even had anything TO DO with him was because of his son.

    He was momentarily actually hurt by that. That me, his mother, ONLY talked to him at all because of his baby.

    I can't explain it- but I think that's why I feel bad- maybe it's not 'guilt' so much as empathy?
  6. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Penny, I think I understand you saying you feel empathy. For me, I realized that I was losing any emotional feeling of caring for my son. It was a strange feeling to realize I felt differently, that I really felt like I did not want to even see my son anymore, that I no longer really even cared what was going to happen to him when he left my home and that I really did not want anything more to do with him. I do not like or relate to the person he is now. If he was not related to me, he would not be a person I would gravitate towards in my circle of acquaintances or friends. I sort of just feel sorry for him, that I, his own mother, does not really care about him, his ex-wife doesn’t care about him, and even his kids are getting used to not caring.

    The only reason I actually have contact with him anymore is because his children (my grands) come to my house every other weekend for supposed “visitation” with their dad. However, because son does not live here anymore, sometimes he shows up to see them for a couple hours here and there, and sometimes he doesn’t with no communication. I think the kids are getting used to him be unreliable, so I see a bit that they are also letting go of some of their caring for him. It is a big time and energy effort on my part to have the kids here 2-3 days every other weekend, as I am the primary caregiver and entertainer, etc. I pity my grandchildren also, so I guess that is why I do it. Also I do not want to lose contact with grands as the time is short, and years will rush by.

    I can only accept that this is how son chooses to conduct his life, and if he feels hurt in anyway because those close to him are losing love and concern for him, well it is because of his own lack of concern and effort to reciprocate. I do not feel guilty, just feel sorry for him. But then again, I try to remind myself that to think sorrow, sadness, or pity for someone, does not bring or send them any good vibes, but brings them down further. So I try to just give thanks that son is figuring out his own life in his own way, and things are “as they should be,” that “it is what it is.”

    I do feel bad sometimes - empathize (as you suggested) - but try to keep reminding myself that it's not my concern. My concern has to be a peaceful spririt and feeling of safety for myself.
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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I think it is good that our d cs understand that their choices and actions hurt their parents. It is consequences. I think, at least for my d cs, they have completely put on the side what they have done to themselves, as well as done to us.
    I was a d c, as a young teen. I realized when I turned 19 or so, that I had hurt myself, and hurt my parents. I was steeped in remorse. I felt incredibly guilty and sorrowful for the troubles I had caused them. I made it a goal to try to make amends and to apologize, and I did, over and over again.
    "Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another being (a human or non-human animal) is experiencing from within the other being's frame of reference, i.e., the capacity to place oneself in another's position."
    I think this is natural for us to feel for all of our children, no matter how old they are. We try to put ourselves in their place and understand how they may feel.
    We do not go about purposefully hurting our kids, our d cs.
    Sometimes, the truth hurts.
    I think this truth that you shared will give him cause for reflection over his misdeeds.
    He has to think about why his mother would say such a thing.
    Hopefully, he will understand how difficult your journey has been and is, how it affects you, how his actions have caused you to feel this way.
    One cannot walk all over another, lie, steal and use, without repercussions.

    I think you are doing terrific Penny, in setting limits and helping him understand that you will help, but his life is his own. Good for you. Take care and give that precious little one a big squeezy hug for me!

  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I too feel this way. I love my son because he is my son, he is part of me but I do not like him. It's just very sad as he is my only child.

    I much prefer feeling sorry for my son than feeling guilty. I have progressed onto the point that I don't even really feel sorry for him anymore. He has chosen his life path and I have come to a place of acceptance.
  9. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    Amen! I thought I was a horrible mother for feeling this exact same way - and I would NEVER say that out loud. People who don't have children like ours already look at our children and automatically "judge" our parenting skills when they have no concept of the "back story."

    I love my daughter and always will.
    I worry for her, pray for her, and remain concerned for her.
    I will always do what is best for her within my boundaries.
    I will forever hope she reaches her potential and finds happiness.

    However, I don't like her.
    She is mean, vindictive, spiteful, and manipulative.
    I cannot trust a word from her mouth bc it is a lie or a set up for some future campaign.
    I am not sure she knows what love is or how to love anyone, but I don't feel she loves me.
    Spending time with her is exhausting bc the entire time is spent avoiding "triggers" and second-guessing every word out of my mouth, worried she will use it against me to smear me in some way (as she has many times in the past).

    Thank you, Tanya, for letting me know I am not the only one who doesn't "like" their child.
  10. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Me too.
    Well, it appears I am in the same club as you are, Walrus. I feel the same of my two. It has been too many years of mean unwarranted abusive disrespectful treatment.
    One would think they were 13, and addressing someone who doesn't fit into their group, not their mother.
    Too bad.
    I do not feel sorry for mine, either. It is all about choices. Their choice right now, is to not call, or be very antagonistic. Not friendly. Not kind.
    They may be my monkeys, but not my circus!

  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is so true. I have learned to be careful who I share information with when it comes to our "back story" as I will no longer put myself in a position for people to judge me and talk behind my back. They still may, but at least I'm not giving them any ammunition.

    Yes, Yes, Yes!! This is exactly how it is with my son. It's like playing 3 chess games all at once and trying to anticipate 4 moves ahead on each game.

    Oh Walrus, you are so welcome. We are not alone, there are many who feel this way. I think it's more important to love our kids than it is to like them. The love is constant, it's always in our heart. Who knows, some day we may have the opportunity to like our kids.

    It's a crazy journey we are all on. I am so grateful for this site and members like you so we can share, learn from and affirm one another and cheer each other on.

    Leafy, this just cracked me up!
  12. Hopeful97

    Hopeful97 Active Member


    I have been reading this thread. It sounds like you are handling this very well. I do not have grands from my d c so I do not what I would do. Sending good thoughts your way.

    Stay strong like you are doing.


  13. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    Well, all good and decent things come to a head, always, don't they?


    I'm NOT handling this well (at least, not to me, but I know my heart is pure, and that's what keeps me going).

    On the GOOD hand:

    He went permanent at his job. This means he will be able to (God willing) to get an apartment at the complex he works at and have the rent taken from his check. Maybe even as soon as Feb 1.

    On the BAD hand:

    He just got paid last Wednesday- and already he's broke and asking for money. He concocted a story today about his car and called me today to ask if I would "get him a loan that he could pay back" - when I said no, he gave lip and then shut his mouth and that was that.

    Enter, my daughter.

    At the complex he works at, one of her friends works there in the office and she is the one who actually got my son the job. She called my daughter today (and I know her- it wasn't to be 'messy', it was to give a heads up to help my son)- that evidently my son was asking for 'gas' money from the head maintenance man today and that he needs to stop that- because she doesn't want them to think bad of him.

    Problem with Difficult Child is that if you give that boy ONE NICKEL when he asks, then he needs a DIME, then a DOLLAR, so on and so forth (I know y'all know this already)- I also had told her about the loan request her brother said- and in all honesty, it innocent- his car JUST got paid off, and I said to her "doesn't it figure that your brothers car WOULD act up right as it's paid off- and he asked for a loan but I told him I couldn't do it)...well, evidently he had asked HER to get him a loan YESTERDAY for a DIFFERENT reason but the same amount. I think he owes drug dealers.

    So his sister texted him and said STOP BEING THAT "MAN" THAT BEGS! Don't do that! Don't make yourself look bad! Stop asking mom for money - you JUST GOT PAID. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE ANY 'REAL' BILLS RIGHT NOW- HOW IN THE HELL ARE YOU BROKE ALREADY!?

    Well, when he got to my house today he was HOT.

    Y'all would be proud (no lie, sometimes I imagine you all behind me giving me support)- first I told him that yelling was a NO GO, and second- that I was NOT going to tolerate that behavior and if this is how he thinks he is going to speak to ME, he could LEAVE.

    Of course, as they do, it's always about what WE hold over his head, etc.

    So he names off me, his sister, my gbaby's mother, etc- always have the control to "put him out" and I pointed out (calmly) to think about what he just said. Who is the common denominator son? IT'S YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU.

    I never yelled. I did tell him that I was NOT going back to our time in 2014. He (of course) said that we hold his 'past' against him (and again, thanks to this board, I had a response which was....) "son, you will learn as you grow and mature that past behavior is a very good indication of future behavior. You have to understand that whatever consequences you feel you are 'suffering' are because of CHOICES YOU MADE."


    I kept my cool. Where I'm living is a little non-descript duplex and I rent from a very lovely older gentleman. My lease will get renewed in March. I told him to CALM HIMSELF BECAUSE I'LL BE DAMNED IF HE CREATES DRAMA IN MY HOME WHICH CAUSES ME TO LOSE THIS WONDERFUL PLACE. He just does NOT get it. I did also tell him that if he did not stop, I would call the police.

    Then, his suicide talk reared its head- haven't heard any of that since july 2014. I told him, once again, that it would be a horrible legacy to leave his baby. That to even SAY it when YOU HAVE A FIVE MONTH OLD is shameful.

    He then reverted back to his old thing too of not having a dad. Look, I get it. I do. I raised those kids all by myself with no involved fathers and no help from my family. Alone. I GET IT. However, as I told him- YOU MAY NOT HAVE HAD A DAD- BUT YOU HAD A PARENT. And right now, he cannot say he had a bad example of a parent. I wasn't perfect, but I tried. And I think I did a good job (but for some things with dealing with his issues that I would do differently). So being a 'dad' is being a 'parent' and the 'dad' part of it will come.

    All that makes me tired to type -but I guess I wanted this to all be ok.

    Please PLEASE say a collective prayer that they work out something at his job for an apartment on Feb 1.

  14. Hopeful97

    Hopeful97 Active Member


    Wow! I am so sorry that you have to go through this. Sounds kinda like my d c - it is somehow not his fault but someone elses. You did great, continue to stand your ground.

    I will be praying for your situation. God Bless You!

    Standing Strong with you! :notalone:

    Hugs to you,

  15. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    :yess: :yess: :yess:

    BRAVO!!! I think you did A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. with how you handled him. Calm - cool - collected - and CORRECT. <insert standing ovation>

    (I am taking notes for myself for future outbursts from mine....)
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  16. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    Thanks y'all- it's very trying. I know that part of my 'calm' with him is because I'm not in my OWN home anymore- can't have screaming matches (and, I learned through experience, that both of us yelling means neither of us can hear the other).

    I know there are times he does HEAR me, and doesn't want to ADMIT it- it's like a high for him - he is all manic and crazy talking then he calms himself. He actually directed HIMSELF into the shower (One of our tactics when he was a volatile youth/teenager was water- a counselor told me once when Difficult Child was losing control to put him in the tub- water is calming and can help- and it did- he took many baths as a 7/8 year old via bear hug to the bathroom).....at any rate, then he went to his car and then left. He has since texted an apology.

    I'm not defending his behavior or trying to make excuses, but he's such a broken young man. Many mental issues that he won't get help for. I think some of it is because he doesn't want to hear the truth- because HE KNOWS WHAT I'M TELLING HIM IS THE TRUTH.

    My delivery isn't always great- but it's the truth. One other thing that set him off before he left was his proclamation of what a 'great dad' he is- and how if I'm just going to belittle and down him all the time, then I won't see the baby because he's not going to have us (my daughter and I) do that to him in front of his son. I told him to do whatever he chose to do and I was hurt that he would actually think I would do such a thing in my GB's presence- well, because I didn't take his bait- then I didn't care about his baby and felt my grandbaby was a burden- which I NEVER SAID. It's what he HEARD, but not what I said. I told him that what I wanted him to know is there is more to being a 'great dad' than saying it and proclaiming it, and yes, I told him that interacting with his phone rather than his son wasn't being a parent at all, but rather a babysitter. At any rate, that whole conversation just spiraled into crazy and part of that is because I can't keep my mouth closed either (no matter how calm).

    So we'll see. I told him him he was on borrowed time with me after all this- and the sooner he move out the better. That we all seem to get along much better when we don't have to share space on purpose.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you did great, but do have one suggestion that you can take or leave.

    Don't talk so much to him, even calmly. He is throwing irrational words at you and abusing you. Why even acknowledge them? You are right that he hears you, but it may not be in the correct way. He may use those words you tell him to twist and to throw them in your face later on, when he is on another rant about how it is all your fault (big lie).

    My motto is starting to be "less is more." The less you engage, the more you stand your ground. Yes, it's hard if you are a talkative person. I am too. I wasted too many minutes that I can't get back by trying to reason with those who want to invalidate everything I say.

    Yes, he will get mad at your lack of response, but it will also not fuel his fire.

    Hugs and so sorry for this mess and wishing you better things in your life from this day forward.
  18. Hopeful97

    Hopeful97 Active Member

    You did great! I agree with somewhere out there less is more. I am talkative too and it is very hard. I try very hard, when we do have communication, to stick to very short simple answers like: I am sorry about that, No, I love you, etc., there are more but I am drawing a blank right now.

    I totally understand your anguish and frustration. My d c suffers from mental illnesses and has for a long time. There was a short time when he took prescribed medications and seemed to be much better. He stopped taking medications and probably still does not bother.

    I am sorry you are experiencing such a mess. May peace surround you!


  19. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Just joining in with the above to let you know I think you did great! Keep it up! Hoping all falls into place for that Feb 1 date, but I also wanted to add I think it was genius to spell out exactly how long he CAN stay, if need be, regardless of how well things are going. Much less ambiguity that way.
  20. PennyFromTheBlock

    PennyFromTheBlock Active Member

    I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.

    Good: he told me when he got off work yesterday that he is going to be able to get an apartment there next month. In mama mode, I asked "so, do they discount it for you? do they take half and half of the rent out of your checks? how will that work?" and his response is "I don't know". I just shut up, because it's not my problem (only, my fear is, depending on how they do this- I KNOW what he will do- which is come to me- now, having said that, I don't have the money to help him - but it'll be the histronics that go along with requests of that nature. THAT is what I'm not looking forward to dealing with- upon my 'no' - it'll be "oh, so I'm just supposed to be homeless with my baby and live in my car?".

    Bad: this morning, I asked him if he would clean out my fridge- I've done something horrible to myself (my back) and bending is torture (I have a dr appointment 2/8)- so he does- no big deal. Then he was talking about doing antifreeze in his car today- or something- so I mention to ensure none of it gets on my driveway- that I rent here, and I (lied) and told him my lease prohibits any type of car work- and what does he do, argue. So finally I say "ok son" and go back to watching TV- and he KEEPS on about how I keep on- when I had STOPPED- so I said "son, I said ok, the conversation is over"- he just wouldn't shut his mouth.

    What is so hard for me is that he has "pockets" of being 'normal'. moments he knows how to act, knows how to have a conversation, knows how to be NICE.

    I know this weekend is going to suck so much- he doesn't have the baby this weekend (which preoccupies him) so it's just the two of us here.

    I'M SO SICK OF HIM BEING HERE. I PRAY that they get him in an apartment on the 1st.