What do you do with room when difficult child has moved out?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by BKS, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. BKS

    BKS New Member

    Hi all,

    We asked my son to move out a couple of weeks ago for a variety of issues including sustained drug use, stealing, breaking into our house, and lying about everything under the sun (even things that don't matter). He was rude and scaring me to the point where I did not feel safe around him. My husband and I both agreed that difficult child cannot live here any more. He was back for the night last night but with the understanding it was a one night stay and he left by 6 AM.

    His room was/is a mess and my husband remarked that it looked like a 'drug den' because difficult child had removed the bed frame and was sleeping on the mattress on the floor without sheets. difficult child dismantled and threw out his desk, and took most of his clothes with him. The carpet is ruined. We had asked him not to eat in his room but amazingly, dirty dishes just seemed to float upstairs!!!!

    Long story short - I am turning the bedroom back into a livable space and find that I have a lot of options. Question: What have others done? Deliberately create a different sort of space that doesn't seem really inviting to difficult child (pink and frilly)? recreate their difficult child's room? etc. I am sick (as we all are) over my difficult child's choices in life and part of me wants to "make it all better" by giving him a terrific clean new room (which I won't really do, however.)

  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi BKS, I think transforming that room would be a wonderful and a healing thing for you to do for you. A number of other Mom's have redecorated their difficult child's rooms once they moved on, so they may be weighing in later too. My difficult child has not lived with me for many years (at least full time anyway) so I am not in your shoes. However, over the last 5 or so years, I have had my mother and my granddaughter move in and out and each time I had to rearrange my life and my home to accommodate their needs. At this point, Mom is living with my brother now so I once again have a small available room upstairs. I have been working on getting rid of a lot of accumulated stuff, going through files, closets, etc. and clearing the room out. I just bought one of those chaise lounges, (I have always loved those!) and a set of nesting tables and my plan is to make it a special writing, reading, relaxing, peaceful sanctuary just for me to go to to feel comforted and have my needed alone time. I am so excited about it too! It feels very nurturing and timely now that I have done so much work on detaching from my difficult child, it just feels good to give something to myself.

    I know you are bereft over your sons departure and doing something physical like cleaning and clearing the room out, perhaps painting it, putting yourself into the task and being creative will be a cathartic experience which will likely be helpful in the detaching and healing and accepting process we all find ourselves in. Go for it. Have fun with it. As you're clearing it out, use it as an exercise to visualize letting go of all the drama, negativity, bad feelings, all of it...........I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how helpful it will be! Let us know what you decide to do and how it turns out. One mom here put up pictures of the room after she transformed it, it was beautiful and fun to see it when it was complete. Go have fun with it!
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    You can create a sitting room that can also double as a guest room - maybe replace his bed with a nice daybed? Paint the room a nice pleasing color and really make it YOUR own, pretty, inviting, calming and easy to keep tidy.

    Do you see or paint or do scrapbooking or write, etc? You could turn it into a studio. Tap into what you enjoy, what brings you peace and go from there.

    For now our difficult child's room is a spare room, computer room and minor storage...lol. We are in the middle of renovations so her room and ours will eventually become a family room. The spare room in our new upstairs would have been her room but now it will be a guest room with a sitting area for me when I am doing my things such as reading, journaling, crocheting, etc. and when H is moving around too much at night, it will be my bedroom!! Lol.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We turned the room that Cory and Mandy used into what was Keyana's room until she moved away. Then it became the guest bedroom. Now its Tony's bedroom. It will become the room Keyana sleeps in when she is here again unless we can get the middle room cleaned out completely at which time we will make that into her room.
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    At first I had difficult children room as a guest bedroom, but that made me sad because it was really pretty and not being used. Then I turned it into an office, but found I liked working downstairs better. Now it is a gym. I found a gym quality treadmill on Craigslist and we recently purchased a bowflex. :)
    difficult child will not live here again anyway. She will live at the sober living house until she is ready for her own place. At least, that is the plan.... :)
  6. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    Our difficult children room is the workout and storage room. No bed in there anymore.

    Our PCs room will be empty this next fall when she goes off to college and I am not sure what we will do with it yet.

    Of course we want to put our house on market next spring so I will have to make both rooms look inviting :)
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If I can ever get Billy out of here I think I am gonna turn it into a shrine. Or maybe I will just board up the room so no one else can move back in...lol.
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I only cleaned it. It was a complete mess and disaster zone (by the way, kid is now slowly turning to neat freak, how very odd, he is certainly only one in this family) and needed to be cleaned. At the same time I took out everything inappropriate. At that time we were not sure if he would be coming back (we would had taken him back had he failed his chance to do his sport in other town and other team) and he was anyway underaged so no really throwing him out, just giving him permission to go and try to grab that second/last chance he got. But now it starts to get more and more clear he will never be back. Well, he will be back to visit, even for exteneded visits, he may even live here some short gap between this and that. But he has certainly outgrown his room and living at home, even though we do expect easy child to live home in that age and even older.

    difficult child's room was also last restyled when he was 13, so it is young boy's room. difficult child does sleep there, when he is visiting, but it is in my list of renovations, when I do have time and inspiration. But I have too had difficult time deciding what to do with it. I have thought about changing it to this or that (we do have one guest bedroom/office space, so difficult child would still have bed here), but to be honest: In this house every activity tends to gravitate towards kitchen and whatever I make from difficult child's room, it will not be used. So I think I will probably just make it more neutral (and adult) difficult child's room/guest bedroom.

    Thinking all the options have been good for me emotionally. I do think my feelings are more common empty nest related than gfgness related, but I also think that most of use feel also those normal empty nest feelings behind all the difficult child issues covering it. Normally in our culture boy of difficult child's age would still be at least officially living home (they are either finishing high school or serving their military duty and boys usually only leave after military duty there they have most of weekends free and having your own flat for that would be expensive, easier to live at home until that is over.) So difficult child living three hours away felt abnormal to me and somehow I was thinking, that he was really still at home even though he mostly was in this other town. it only hit me last spring, when difficult child called and told that he would be home for a night and could we please take him to the airport next morning. He was coming here because we are living so conveniently near the airport his flight took off. That was when it really hit me, for him, this was basically a convenient airport hotel. Okay his FB status about home, sweet home, at the night he was here helped me a bit. So does his adapting local college kids lingo, there home is where you live and homehome is a place your parents live. A bit softer transformation for me...
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Don't put a bed in there. He'll be back. Turn it into a sewing room, a tv room, a room for the pets, and office, a meditation room, anything but a room that he thinks that he can come back and live in.

    Before we moved from one coast to another, we had a three bedroom house with one bed in it. Someone wants to stay with us? Too bad. They had to get a hotel room. Now that we're 2,500 from the kids, we have a guest bedroom, and friends are welcome. In fact, we have a house guest right now. But our kids? Never again.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LOL Witz...my kids would just bring beds with them!

    I heard on Rehab with Dr Drew that parents should remake the room so that the addict especially cannot come back because of the codependency. If they have a place to land it makes it harder for them to stay sober.
  11. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I LOVE that show!!!! I watched that episode today and it reinforced that difficult child never coming back here is the right thing for everyone. How sad about that boy's parents. I could see and feel their pain. It is awful... :(
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I also love that show...lol. I would love to just move in there with him! For some reason he just resonates with me in so many ways. I wish they had psychiatrists who acted that way in real life. I think its because not only does he deal with the addict behavior, he gets to the root of what caused it in the first place and I can I relate to so many of their issues.
  13. BKS

    BKS New Member

    Hi all,

    Is there a specific episode of Dr. Drew that talks about not remaking the room to be a soft place to land? I have never watched the show but will be starting now!

  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    The show is called Rehab with Dr. Drew. I don't know what you have for cable, but I have Comcast and it is OnDemand. You can watch the series to date if you have it. Great show. He normally does Celebrity Rehab, but this one is with regular people. :)
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Its also on the computer and you can watch episodes on here. I just love the guy. I swear I would move to CA to have him for a doctor if I thought he would take my insurance but I doubt he would take medicare and medicaid...lol. Maybe I could just email him!
  16. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    We took everything out of the room and painted it. My younger kids were sharing a larger bedroom, now they each had their own room. Make the room into something else....maybe a computer room, put excercise stuff in there, maybe a little sitting room with a tv.....
  17. BKS

    BKS New Member

    Thanks for everyone's replies. It helped me to have a backbone as I have been gutting my difficult child's room. He had left graffiti about his drug use on the walls and there were two holes he seems to have punched with his fist. The carpet looks ghastly. Toward the end of his staying here, he only used a mattress to sleep on the floor and my husband said that his room truly looked like a drug den. My son has been telling me he doesn't want to speak to me, that he hates me, and told my husband he hoped I would die.......

    I went in last weekend and began to put up spackling over the holes, etc. I even ordered curtains and am getting ready to paint and pick out carpeting. My son came over Sunday and saw the work and my husband said he just stared at it. difficult child later sent me a note (at 4:30 AM):

    "Here's my weekly reminder that I hate your guts, keep trying to erase me and see what happens (; "

    I wrote him back that I loved him, he was always going to be a very important part of my life. I further noted that he might agree that his room needed a fresh coat of paint and new carpeting.

    My husband saw difficult child's note to me that evening and went ballistic. Son then sent apology saying he was just upset I had previously thrown away a candle that had been a gift from a friend. (Candles are NOT allowed in our house and I chucked it when cleaning out his room after he left.)

    Thanks again for all of your support.