Would Like Some Support - Trying Not to Get Sucked In . . .

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by seek, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. seek

    seek Member

    My grandson recently relapsed and is staying on his mom's couch until he can get a room somewhere.

    He got a job in one day - the only problem is that it is low paying AND a 1099 job - which I believe is illegal (he doesn't understand those things yet). This is where I need support. He is doing construction and there is no way it would be a 1099 job - I know that, but he doesn't. I asked him about paying taxes and he said he is living "one day at a time," in an effort to stay sober - and I can't argue with that.

    I need to let this go and focus on what is good. He is evidently sober. He has a roof over his head (even though he says it's not a good situation) . . .

    My pattern is to notice things, then worry, then try to educate him. I need to break that pattern and trust that all will work out and that he will learn his lessons in time.

    There are so many aspects of his life to worry about: His sobriety, his health/no insurance, his living situation, his car, his legal concerns, his bills, etc., etc. Once I start, it just escalates. I take care of problems in my life one at a time - he has ignored his and then gets overwhelmed. That is his business.

    I need support to stop panicking about everything he tells me because I have a response to just about everything.

  2. Blighty

    Blighty Member

    Hi Seek

    You seem to be saying a lot that makes good sense to me.

    Perhaps you could adopt a mantra you can say to yourself or to him every time he says something that concerns you.

    For example " i really care about you" " You'll be OK" . I'm sure you can think of something better then that. You may find it calms you as you say it. just a thought
  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    It is none of your business-plain and simple. You know this. Let it go. Find an Al-Anon meeting or message board online. It would help to keep your thinking straight. Trust your grandson to find his way.
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  4. seek

    seek Member

    Totally not into Alanon - tried it for several years . . . too pathologizing, sad, depressing - for me . . .

    I think one of my problems is that every time he relapses and then is on the upswing, I go into thinking he is "normal" - in the sense that I start thinking he has common sense, is going to now make good decisions - sees the errors of his ways, etc. I think I do this because this pattern has been going on since he was a teen - so I thought he didn't learn things that normal kids learn - and he's still young, so I somehow fall into this thinking trap. He is also very smart and good looking - so I think that somehow I equate that to being able to make good decisions (don't ask how I come to that conclusion - it has to do with perceptions and ideas I have about people).

    Thanks for the support. That's all I was really looking for . . . I know my thinking is skewed. Will have to work on that.
  5. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Construction workers quite often are independent contractors and responsible for filing and paying their payroll taxes themselves, hence the 1099.

    It is perfectly legal. I was an independent contractor on and off for several years. Your son needs to talk to a tax accountant and have them show him how to put aside the money he'll need to pay his taxes, which IIRC, were paid quarterly.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome Seek:

    You posted under substance abuse. Is there drug use?

    How old is your grandson? Where are his parents?

    Those questions just came to mind immediately....
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi seek and welcome. For people like us who are very responsible, we have a hard time when our difficult child's seem to brush things off so easily. My advice is to let him tackle his sobriety first, without that nothing else matters. Chances are if he goes into a treatment center and lsoes his job he will have made so little to pay taxes anyway. Once he gets his sobriety he will make much bt=etter decisions.

    It can be overwhelming for sure, we have to practice that saying one day at a time.
  8. seek

    seek Member

    On the independent contractor thing: There are tests and one of the main ones is that an independent contractor makes their own hours and is not at the direction of others . . . I happen to know about this. Employers often try to designate employees as independent contractors when they aren't to avoid payroll taxes and worker's comp premiums . . .

    Anyway, my thing is that I know stuff from experience and think I "know best," and it really doesn't matter what is "right." I just keep getting delusional about what I am dealing with.

    To whomever asked about parents, I included something in first post, but don't really want to get into it.

    My grandson is an adult.

    I am trying to be "hands off," but it's not easy.

    I was just posting to get some support. I felt I just really wanted to talk about my issues and how this whole thing impacts me.
  9. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hello Seek,
    I am following along. I only have a few minutes as I will soon be on a flight. But I wanted to throw out a couple of things that I continually try to keep in mind. By nature, I am of the like kind as you …. You said “My pattern is to notice things, then worry, then try to educate him. … thinking I know best, etc." I’m guessing you are around my age, as I also have a grandson in his 20s.

    There are certainly situations in life where it is right and appropriate for us to “help and fix”. I regularly sew on missing buttons and replace a broken zippers in my family’s clothing. I mop up spilled milk and wipe baby butts when needed, and drive a friend to the airport... BUT our job in the kinds of situations on these forums, with our difficult children’s kinds of problems, is NOT to “help” and NOT to “fix” them or their problems. In these situations with these difficult children, when you help, you see their life as weak. When you fix, you see their life as broken. (And the difficult children innately feel it, and it often just makes it worse.)

    I have come to see in my life over many decades that one never knows what is best or right for another, and one never knows the eternal scheme and plan for another, or even for ourselves. We grow and learn new wisdoms each day. We are surely learning new wisdom from our difficult children every day.

    We might think that a little worry and anxiety is an indication of how wise (or righteous) we are. But in actuality, all our fretting springs from a determination to want it to be our way, to want it to be in our control. You cannot fix and help in these situations. Practice letting go. There is no action you need take. It is hard to watch and do nothing. But right now, there is nothing you need to do.

    If you have not already read the article on “Detachment” in the Parents Emeritus (PE) forum, I suggest you read and re-read it. Here is the link > Article on Detachment

    Continue to read the threads in this forum and the PE forum, which expound great truths and wisdom from others in learning to lovingly detach, and learning to take care of yourself. You are right, it is not an easy thing to do, but by reading here on the other threads daily and gathering strength and support from others who understand, it will help you get through day by day, and it will become easier.

    You said “I need to break that pattern and trust that all will work out and that he will learn his lessons in time. “ Yes you do need to break the pattern, and your willingness and desire indicates that you will . As far as trusting that he will learn lessons, trust only that he will work out his life the way he wants to and he will learn his own lessons. (not your lessons) -- Your trusting for him to learn lessons does not mean he will learn the lessons that you think he should learn or that he will learn what you would want him to learn and act on. And some of these difficult children need to keep repeating the same old lessons over and over and over, without learning anything it seems. And still, there is nothing for us to help and fix about it. It is heartbreaking to watch, but we learn to stay detached and we keep some peace.

    Your own peace and freedom will depend on your release of any expectations you have for him and your acceptance of the person he is and of what he does, no matter if it’s what you like or not. You can support him best through your loving detachment. That does not mean turning your back on him, but rather setting him free and giving him wings to be who he will be.

    Stay with us here, and keep posting. It helps. You are not alone. We so understand. Take heart and know you are going to be alright. Gotta go. Take care.
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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Brilliantly stated Kalahou!
  11. seek

    seek Member

    Thank you, Kalahou . . . appreciate it.

    My deep rooted confusion is a combination of hope, and who-knows-what else (probably hundreds of variables) . . . I think it's walking a fine line to give up expectations and still have hope . . . I am not sure how to do that.

    He is always full of plans - and he is young - and he does keep "trying." He has lots of gifts . . . I know his lessons are his . . . I "just" want to see him well . . . can't seem to "let go" of that wish. It's hard-wired (my belief) into the human mom/grandma/attachment/bonding scheme of things.

    I have to become convinced that my "wisdom" is not for him - in the case of the independent contractor thing, it is hard, because I know he doesn't know what this designation means (that his boss is unethical) - and it could also have bad repercussions on my grandson (create tax problems, etc.) - and no insurance, workers' comp or unemployment insurance. As I just typed that, I got very scared, re: no workers' comp insurance . . . I don't know how to be okay with that. It feels like I should at least warn him.

    It's all very confusing to me.
  12. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Wow, Kahalou. That was great!

    If you can write that while waiting for a flight, I would really REALLY like to read what you can write when you are not time-crunched. The next best-seller.

    Seek, I don't want to make light of your concerns, and the most important thing in all of this is YOUR peace of mind. BUT...a relative of mine has been walking a very fine line on the 1099 thing for many years. I spoke to my accountant about it when my son was possibly going to be impacted. It is far more prevalent than one would think, and the oversight tends to be pretty low.

    Plus, to be quite blunt, he is not going to be too concerned about it, so you are likely wasting your breath. The amount of money they are going to earn is likely not going to push them into any huge tax consequences anyway.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
  13. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Back again. Flight is delayed so time for a quick reply.

    As for the independent contractor thing. Let it go, dear Seek. It’s not your problem. If it was your job, you would consider different things. You already asked him about it. It’s not an issue for him apparently. His priority is "one day at a time." Actually, this is good for him at this point.

    If he has later tax problems or no worker’s comp, then if there are consequences, he will learn it then. He will then have to deal with IRS or other agencies, etc. He will deal with it then or not, and learn some lessons then maybe, or maybe not. Maybe there will be no repercussions at all. Maybe it’s a lesson to learn for a bigger issue down the road. This is how they learn lessons.

    Granted, we love them so, and want to give and want to spare them all the hurt and pain, but we cannot and we should not. And we are not the almighty "know it alls" either. It is for them to walk their own valley. And if he learns a hard lesson later, that is a reason to give thanks. It's all good. All is well.
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  14. seek

    seek Member

    Thank you. I am in a lot of fear at the moment. He is going to his new boss's house tomorrow and I'm worried . . . and I expressed it . . . ugh.

    Not happy with myself.

    I need to do a lot of work on myself.

    I set up boundaries and then I "magically" think all is well (and hopefully, in the large scheme of things, it is), and then when I become aware of anything I think of as *danger* I freak out.

    I know I do have PTSD around all of the traumas related to the stuff that has happened for the last several years.

    Thanks again.
  15. Blighty

    Blighty Member

    It seems like your worrying has a negative effect on you and also on him, so obviously that is not a good thing and I know you realise that from what you have written. You are wanting to get out of the worry cycle and are seeking ways to break out of that. That's great.

    Having said that, as a parent and grandparent, i do not see a problem generally ( other people can give their opinion if they disagree) with giving information. Our role as caring family may be just to give them a nudge if that happens. Whether they chose to do anything about it should not be our concern. We have given them an opportunity.

    I am thankful for people caring enough to warn me about certain things when I was a young adult. In early 20's we are all still very green about life.

    If your grandson does not understand how the world works regarding his employment, or getting insurance, then in my opinion it is reasonable to direct him to where he can find resources about it, such as providing a link to a website. It's then up to him to follow through. But if doing even this is likely to cause you anxiety then don't do it. It feels like ( I may be wrong here) that you are suffering more than he is. Maybe put yourself first to give yourself some peace.

    I think we all have different ideas about what is the right thing to do at times when trying to help. I think it really depends on the two individuals concerned, the difficult situation and where we are on the journey for our own 'recovery' . But at the ned of the day we need to make our own needs for peace a high priority.

    Just my opinion.
  16. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Life is the best teacher - do not steal that gift from your grandson. :4thbouquetsmily:
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We are here to share our experiences. Most of us have learned that our overtalking, interfering and "help" does nothing. And i mean nothing. They tune us out or avoid us unless they want something.

    We as older mature folks have choices just like our younger family members do. We can learn or not learn, just like them. All of us have the ability to change, just like they do. If we never allow ourselves the hard work of changing for our betterment, what kind of example do we send our younger offspring?

    "You can and should change, but I cant and wont even if it kills me." See? We often wont do exactly what they wont do. Being highly stressed, not sleeping, not taking care of ourselves, not loving ourselves can be as lethal as a drug overdose. We CAN change how we think and behave. If we refuse, then our beloved young ones see us not changing. So do our pleas for them to change have validity?

    We care about you...we have all been there. We tell you collectively and seperately what we have seen work. But, like your grandson, you have free will and the ability to continue suffering and possibly getting sick over it. It is 100% up to you, as it is 100% up to your grandson. No words can change anyone who is steadfastly not going to change.

    "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

    With all the love and light and good will I have inside me, i post this message. If you ever do want to start changing your way of seeing this situation, i highly suggest therapy. Ask around for a good therapist. Or interview a few to see who you connect with. Many of us got gained tons in therapy. It is hard to change our hardwired thinking on our own.

    Take care.
  18. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi, Seek.

    My step-son had one of those types of jobs for a while last year.

    The employer paid him cash and he was considered an independent contractor, so he was responsible to pay the taxes himself.

    Of course, he didn't.

    I don't know if he reported it on his taxes.

    There is nothing we can do about it, so there is no use worrying.

    Dad tried to talk to him about it, but he didn't want to hear it.

    We just have to let them live their own lives....
  19. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    Hard, hard, hard. Living it.

    Your not alone, but we can no longer do anymore. We equipped him, he has a full tool box. Now he has to use them.

    One day at a time..my husband says, they will make it or not. Not our call.

    I have insisted to focus on my other children and people who she o uld not have joy taken from them because of one.

    We are worth more r e than that. You can't worry for him, and it's not healthy for you. Hard, I know y o ur not alone.
  20. seek

    seek Member

    Thanks everyone! I am hard-headed. My dad used to call me "knothead." I did share a one sentence info with him about the independent contractor thing - then I awoke in the middle of the night worrying about insurance - so sent him a link to eligibility . . . Once I get to a certain level of panic, it is better for me to share a link or something - then hopefully, I will be able to let it go.

    It's hard-wired survival stuff for me (my survival linked to his survival). I know everyone has different views about that, but my experience & research over the years informs me and I trust my instincts, pretty much.

    Today, he is going to his boss's house to work and then hang out. Then the people he's staying with are house-sitting elsewhere, so he has privacy - I worry about him staying sober AND I know there is nothing I can do. He also posted on FB that he is "struggling" cuz a friend died.

    So today I will take care of myself - do some stuff around the house - have no plans - my family lives elsewhere. I am used to being alone (or with my dog), so no biggie.

    Hopefully, I won't worry later on, but if I do, I will be okay.

    I have done therapy - gotten all I can from it - what I need most is support - people who understand what it is like to deal with these kinds of problems. That, to me, is more valuable than anything, and this is a very good group (not too active, but the quality is great!).

    Thanks again!