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Thread: One broken mom

  1. #1

    Default One broken mom

    I need some advice.

    Do any of you have adult children living with you? My adult son who is 20 is still living with us. He was a truly difficult child to raise - always sullen and cross. Disrespectful. Had little to no regard for rules and could care less if he was punished for anything. Now that he's an adult he's that and more. Last year he moved out behind our backs while we were gone. He moved in with my parents who coddled and spoiled him. When my mother began to annoy him he asked to move back in with us. We set parameters, but as per usual, he didn't stick to following any of them, got nasty and moved to Wyoming (a job my husband got him). He lived there from June to Sept and decided he wanted to come home. I wasn't excited. He's been here since then and things were fine, until he got a new girlfriend and now suddenly we are the enemy again. He refuses to help out. Is rude and mean. He has got to go. He told us he wants to move out last week and I was so happy. But he's done nothing toward that. He lives here, eats the food, contributes zero, and makes everyone wary of him. I am really at my wits end. He's not violent. I need him to go and not come back. He needs to get his sh*t together. He doesn't want to go to college anymore now. Ok fine. He has a full time job ($10/hr, not great), but the rest of the time he just plays video games. My husband and I have thought about charging him room and board for living here. But honestly, I would rather him just move out and be his own man. I am just broken and tired.

    So I guess, have any of you dealt with this? How did you effectively get your kid to move out without losing them altogether? How did you deal with the emotional abuse if there was any? If they haven't moved out, how have you dealt with rent, or help with chores, or whatever?

    Could really use some help here.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Enlightened JenWrites's Avatar
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    Default

    Oh, honey, that is so hard. I am terribly sorry.

    The thing is, at this point you have truly parented him above and beyond. There may not BE a way to salvage your relationship and still take care of your own needs. Hopefully there is, but at this point it's clear that whatever decisions you make have to be about the people who belong under your roof. You have to decide how you will live with that and proceed if the relationship cannot be salvaged. You need a plan in pace for you and yours.

    I know. It's easy to say that when it's not my child. They can be the biggest assholes in the world, and we still want to hold onto them. That's not a wrong feeling at all. It's just that you deserve better.

    If you really want advice, mine would be to very clearly outline the role he is welcome to have in your life and then stick by it. Perhaps he is welcome and wanted at Christmas and Thanksgiving (or whatever). You'd love to have him come stay for a week in the summer. You're always available via phone or email, and you'd enjoy monthly dinners or something with him. And even then, only if those situations are approached with an attitude of respect and love.

    Lay out the ways you want a healthy, parent-adult child relationship with him and then make that your line in the sand. Everything else—from shelter to food to employment to a vehicle—those are on him. He is capable and once he HAS to do it, he likely will. He may not. Your worst fears may come true and he may hit a true rock bottom. Spend some time thinking about how you will feel and behave if that happens. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Above all, love him, but protect you and your household.

    My other thought is that he very may well be suffering from some mental illness. Depression, anxiety, personality disorders...there are tons. It might be worth encouraging him to talk to someone and see if there's more beneath the surface than just acting like a huge butt.

    But I do think you have to look at the situation and remove any contact that is going to trigger resentment in you. You must choose you and your household. You must be selfish. If that means only seeing him once a year, that may be what it takes. You can support him emotionally, you can love him, you can want him...but you can't fix him, or make him fix himself.

    Again. I'm so sorry. Nothing hurts like "stuff" with our babies.
    Kali: 5/03
    J.C.: 8/11
    Homeschooling since: 6/12

  4. #3

    Default

    Thank you for this very welcome advice and thoughts. We've had him in therapy since October. He agreed to go for help with his video game addiction and depression. Just when things were going really well, he decided he wanted to stop. There's very little I can do in that arena now.

    My husband comes home from a business trip this afternoon. We are going to talk and then he's going to talk to our son alone at some point soon. I can't do these conversations anymore.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

  5. #4

    Default

    He's 20, meaning he is a grown man that is responsible for "fixing" his own behavior, getting his own life together. You gotta let go. Let him stumble, he'll learn more from that....if that is necessary.

    If you are feeling guilty (like us mom's tend to do) about things you did or didn't do....you've got to let that go too. Forgive yourself, if you feel you need to, and start today. You can't go back and change the past....only look forward.

    If he doesn't want to go to school, and doesn't have a job where he can support himself, offer to drive him to the recruiters office.....with a smile and love. He needs a purpose, and right now it sounds like he has no motivation. Military might be a good fit for him. And I'm not being sarcastic here.....joining the military is quite honorable, and it just might give him the purpose he needs. He sounds like he just isn't mature enough to know that is what he needs.

    I'm sorry, and this is tough, but you want him to grow, right? Him continuing to run back home and let his parents "parent" him, is not growth.....it's stagnation. And I know you love him too much to allow that.
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by muddylilly View Post
    Him continuing to run back home and let his parents "parent" him, is not growth.....it's stagnation. And I know you love him too much to allow that.
    You're exactly right. I just never thought it would be like this with him.

    I've brought up military, but he's pretty much against it. So there's that.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

  7. #6

    Default

    Well, if he's not making any forward motion on his own, and any suggestions that you've thrown out are being rejected, let your husband decide, and stand firm behind his decision. I know that sounds sexist for me to say, but someone has to make a move. I'm guessing he (your DH) will.

    I would think that the most important thing here is that you and your husband are united on this one.....whatever the solution.

    ((((hugs))))
    Homeschooling two sons (14 and 16) from day one. Atheist.
    Eclectic, Slackschooler covering 8th and 10th grades this year.

  8. #7

    Default

    No, isn't sexist at all. There are times when a partner is the strong one and I am happy to let that happen. I'm not feeling strong. My husband is going to talk to him. It is time for him to move out. I think what I hate so much is that he can't just move on with his life in a happy way. He has to be destructive in his relationships. I honestly don't know where this comes from. We are not this way. We certainly didn't raise him to treat people this way. Our other children are not this way. I don't think it's anything I did wrong. He got the same love, attention, support, and caring as the other two his whole life. Part of me feels like it his age....but he's always been this way. Adulthood seems to have made it worse.

    Sigh. Thank you for your words of advice. This has really helped me feel more confident that my feelings are not wrong in this area. I am weary of this battle and I'm ready for it to be over.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

  9. #8
    IEF
    Guest

    Default

    I am so sorry.

    My 24yo is moving in with his girlfriend in the near future after 2+ years of being a (mostly) ideal roommate, pulling his weight, paying his bills, and truly benefiting from the extra time to grow into being a responsible young man.

    I do not have a relationship with my 27yo, although she is gainfully employed and I hear through the grapevine and my internet search engine that she is doing well. I couldn't have done anything differently to salvage the relationship and if I had prioritized my relationship with this particular child over the child herself, she might well be dead or in prison by now.

    (tmi poofed; I was wandering too far from the OP's question if anyone felt the need to click "hugs" over such ancient history,lol)

    I don't beat myself up over telling her she had to find alternate living arrangements when it became unquestionably necessary.

    Imma PM you--an internet acquaintance just had a book published that might help and there's some other off-topic-of-this-board stuff I can share with you. Helen Hegener had a great article in HEM in the late '90s early '00s about how homeschooling isn't a panacaea and our kids can still have the same problems in their teens and 20s as any other kids of their generation, it's just a lot easier to blame ourselves when we make non-mainstream choices.

    That doesn't mean that we made the wrong choices or that other people who make the same choices are going to have the same problems.

    I've got a copy of the article in the back of my closet somewhere that I might be able to scan for you if Helen says that's okay.
    Last edited by IEF; 05-07-2016 at 08:32 PM.

  10. #9

    Default

    I don't have a 20 year old, however, I will reference what my parents did for my sister (i moved out at 18 and never went back). My sis however lived at home for a couple years afterward. She was in college, but wasn't sure precisely when she wanted to do nursing school and was slow about moving forward. My parents charged her room and board, BUT they put it all up in an account for her. When she WAS finally ready to move out, they gave her the money to help with first and last month's rent, security deposit, whatever it was she needed. It also made it so that she was used to paying something out every month so rent wasn't quite such a shock. My mom did threaten at one point if she didn't help out around the house that they would charge her the going rate for a maid and add it on to her rent. (in her defense, she was going to school full time and working full time, so she was really almost never there)

    Good luck!

  11. #10

    Default

    how homeschooling isn't a panacaea and our kids can still have the same problems in their teens and 20s as any other kids of their generation
    YES. Thank you. EXACTLY. I have been very, very scared to share my problem with anyone I know in real life. Mainly because of the judgement associated with homeschooling, like maybe he shouldn't have been, blah blah blah.
    Homeschooling Mamarama
    Native Idahoan Atheist
    Eclectically homeschooling since 2006.

    Son (20) - Class of 2014
    Daughter (17) - Class of 2016
    Daughter (15) - Class of 2019

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One broken mom