When will my son start helping himself?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bertie, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Hi all, haven't been here for a little while. I have a 19 y/o difficult child in Washington state who is unmedicated, had some money for a while, and has spent all of it.

    He is living with a friend and his mother in an apartment. Since I've told him he's out of money, he's been coming up with some pretty amazing stories (i.e. lies) to try to get ME to support him. I'm not doing it. I've told him over and over: "You need to start doing things on your own. I love you, but I won't support you. I will help you, but only if I see you helping yourself."

    Goes in one ear and out the other. Still lies to me to try to get money. We have friends who live in the same apartment complex who care very much about me, and they tell me the truth about what's really going on with difficult child.

    I guess I'm just wondering: what will it take for him to realize HE is in charge of his life? He just sent me a text saying that his friend's mother is going to kick him out of the apartment, and I responded by telling him to go to DSHS and apply for food stamps and low-income housing.

    I'm tired. I'm SO done with this and I am not doing it anymore. His problems are his, and they're not mine. I'm just wondering - will he ever start learning?

  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If he is getting kicked out of his friend's house and has nowhere to go, it sounds as though he will start helping himself pretty quickly! ;)

    It's unfortunate that he blew through his money, but that was his choice. I would be very tempted to not even give him ideas as to food stamps and DHS. Just the "I'm sure you'll find something" type of response that is listed in the archives for not engaging with our difficult children.

    Don't worry. He'll figure it out as soon as his friends and other gullible do-gooders stop trying to "fix him". It sounds as though he likes the good things in life, and that is a powerful motivator when no one is handing those good things out to you.
  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Bertie, it may take a while, and some more hard knocks from life, before he steps up and begins to take care of himself. Mine had manipulated me for so long. Finally, after I wised up, I called his bluff. I told him that I knew what he was doing. Now, when he starts, I don't respond with anything but "That's too bad." or "I'm sorry to hear that; I'm sure you'll work it out." If I even give a suggestion, it just fuels him to try harder. Our kids are not stupid. They can figure out how to get help on their own. Step back. Pray. Find a hobby. Go out and see friends. Don't answer the phone every time he calls. Hugs. I know it's hard.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with witz...when he has to...he will.

    Mine came out of jail on the 8th of this month and I never dreamed I could be seeing him working every day to rebuild the most dilapidated trailer just so he had a roof over his head. He is tickled out of his mind to spend his first night in his own place tonight. Amazing what they can do when they know they have to do it.
  5. bertie

    bertie Been there too many times

    Thanks very much everyone.

    I think I figured out after I sent my original message that this is just another lie from my difficult child. He'll say anything to get money out of me (which he doesn't anymore).

    I always told him I will NOT support him, and I meant it and I'm sticking to it. He/we have some wonderful friends up there, and he's burned every one of them.

    He doesn't call me, he sends me text messages and I just keep saying no - and lately I've begun to ignore them. It's hard but I know it's the right thing to do.

    Thanks again, Bertie
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter was where your son was at and nothing made her help herself until she decided to do it. She did on her own, no rehab, no therapy, and is now in college, working and in a decent relationship. Nothing we did helped, but we, like you, refused to fund her while she refused to help herself.
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    (((hugs))) Bertie. I know it hurts, but like the others, he can only help himself when he's sick of living the life he's chosen.