Adult son living at home---follow up and thanks

sophiesmom4March 26, 2009

Thank you to all with your advice about my son in my last post. Since his last blow up at me, in the driveway and my car, (yelling at the top of his voice), he has not spoken to me. At one point, my husband went away on business for a week, during which my son bought a girl (stranger to me) home and straight to his room. It was midnight, so texted him that she was to leave in 10 minutes or I would come upstairs and tell her myself. The reply was that I should f***ing leave him alone, f***ing mind my own business, I am a whiny psychotic 3 year old, go take a pill (I am on antidepressants) and mind my own business.

He has since not offered an apology for his treatment and disrespect of me. I do not acknowledge his presence in the house.

He is currently seeing a family therapist, my husband has gone with him twice.

I am so upset, I don't know what to do.

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Did you do what you said you would? Go upstairs and tell her to leave?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:03PM
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How old is he? Old enough to legally invite to set up his own household?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 2:03PM
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I found your last post. Is this the 23 year old son who wants to do nothing but play a guitar?

If so, then maybe it's time to relieve him of the burden of being supported by a '3-year old whiny psychotic' and let him learn the value of the advice: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you."

Take his advice (since he has all the answers): mind your own Fing business and leave him the F alone.

You said in your last thread if you asked him to leave, he'd end up living in a cardboard box playing his guitar. Is that so bad?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Ah yes, I remember that thread. In it the last thing you reported was
So I took the keys to the car (it's not his) and shut off the circuit breaker for his bedroom. No rent, no electric, no car.

Have you held to that? Like khandi, I want to know if you followed through and went upstairs and told the girl to leave.

I'm not sure that most parents understand this but one of the worst things you can do when trying to get kids to do what you want is to not follow through with threats. If you said you were going upstairs and talk to the girl, you better do exactly that. If you have no intention of doing that, don't say you will.

Every time you say you're going to do something, every time you state consequences for an action, every time you lay down rules, you have to follow through. If you don't, he knows that your threats are meaningless and has no reason whatsoever to conform to your requests.

I'm curious as to how your husband feels about all this and how he handles your son. It sounds to me like he's away a lot and you're stuck dealing with all of this. Maybe your husband needs to lay down the laws if you're not able to be forceful enough. In any case, you must follow through with what you say you'll do.

This situation sounds like it's pretty far out of hand and it will be no easy task to reign it back in. It's going to take some mighty resolve on your part and some real effort. But if you don't do something, it's going to continue indefinitely. He has absolutely no incentive to change anything in his life. Until he gets that motivation, nothing will ever change for the better.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 2:34PM
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I didn't have to tell her to leave as they both left. He only has a part time job retail, so he would either park himself on somebody else's couch (not so bad) or yes, he would live in a box. I have 3 others (the youngest is 17) all of which I would have no problem telling to "sink or swim", as I know they would be just fine, but this one I'm afraid for.
It doesn't help that we are both SO stubborn, and normally I would be the one to smooth things out, but this time It's really hard for me to get over.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 2:40PM
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He has lots of options.

Park himself on a couch.

Pick up more work hours and get a place of his own or with a roommate.

Join the military.

Follow family rules and get along.

In truth, there's nothing stopping him from getting on with his life--except you are afraid for him.

Well, maybe you should get over that. You forsee all these horrible outcomes with him (living in a box--bet he doesn't do that for long, no room service) and no positive ones. If you are afraid he'll fail, why should he disagree.

You can't wait for his emotional problems go away before you expect him to take responsibility for himself. It is in taking reponsibility for himself that will help his depression lift. What does he have to be proud of. Sounds like very little except his music. Push him out of the nest, let him flounder and eventually he'll find a way. (unless there are addiction issues, if so, get him in residential rehab, release to halfway houses and don't let him move back in).

There is a window of opportunity for kids to break away from parents and establish themselves. If they don't do it by about this age, they can't; they become paralyzed with doubt and self loathing. As their peers move ahead in life, they get left behind and no matter who they blame, they fear in their hearts they are defective and can't, that something's wrong with them.

Give him a move out date and the phone number of a military recruiter or Peace Corp recruiter. And give him a move out date. Be supportive and positive--but don't back down.

He will figure it out. He really will.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:05PM
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Mom, if you can't get a grip on your son's behavior, then who will.. You are the only one that can put him out. DO IT! It would be the best thing for him. He doesn't have to do anything for himself because MOM does it... It is time for him to grow up... make him!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:10PM
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The moving out thing is definitely an option but I understand a parent's desire to protect their child, even if it's harmful to both.

I guess the big question is, what his mental state is. If he's really not responsible, you have to re-think your stress and your response to him, and consider if he is or isn't able to look after himself. I think consulting a professional would be the next step, ideally the family therapist as they already know what's up with him.

Confidentiality may come into it, but there's no reason not to go with his father (who should be involved anyway) to discuss what's going on and what you can do. Since it sounds like an abusive relationship and not constructive (unlike others on this forum I will only suggest not tell YOU what is going on in YOUR life since I am only an observer; besides, nobody can tell you what you should do)

From what you've said, it sounds as if he has chronic depression, presumably untreated. People in this situation can be powerless, literally so telling him to get a haircut and a job is probably not the best approach. A professional is what you need, for both of you.

Don't let it fester, this could drag into many wasted years. In the interim try not to take things too much to heart, because I doubt he has that much control over what he's doing.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 3:16PM
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Even if he's mentally ill or addicted, it does him no good to be stewing in it at home, lashing out at mom.

Addiction = residential rehab, with release to a halfway house that will help him set up an independent life.

Mental illness = residential facility to get him fulltime therapy and stabilization, release to a halfway house that will help him set up an independent life. (I have a nephew who was stuck like this at 23, but all he wanted to do was yoga. Mom let it go and made excuses and was afraid for him. A little bit later he confessed that there was embalming fluid in the walls. Yep, schizophrenia, he'd had it full blown since 19, but since he'd never had psychosis, no one recognized it. Now he's 26, living in a halfway house, addicted to coracidin cough syrup, on full disability, and not managing too well--but absolutely incapable of living at home with his mom).

Mental illness is not cured by sitting at home in front of the tv or sleeping 15 hours a day. And you cannot 'push' him into mental illness by making firm demands on him and expecting reasonable action. If it's mental illness that's holding him back, then he's mentally ill now as well as after he's pushed from the nest. You can however push him into crisis by escorting him out the door. And that would be a good thing, it will get his the acute help he needs.

Perhaps Sophiesmom, you are 'afraid' because in your gut you know he's mentally ill and are walking on egg shells to help him keep it hidden--as long as it's not too obvious, we can pretend the scary beast isn't there, we can pretend it's just depression or low self esteem or immaturity that will resolve itself.

Or maybe not. Walking on eggshells and ignoring the fact that this person is failing an important developmental step is not going to fix anything. It was one thing when he was passive, but he's now over the line into abusive. He pushed the limits, if you don't push back (in an appropriate way), you might as well show your belly.

It's time to launch him into society, or know why not. Vaguely being afraid of the results is not a helpful response.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 4:01PM
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This is really extreme and you shouldn't ignore it. I agree with everyone else who said he should be out of your house. He is old enough to fend for himself and if he chooses to live in your house he should respect you. Anything else, would be enabling him and that would hurt him more.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 9:29PM
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I will tell you of my situation. Last year my 37 year old son came to live me with temporarily after his breakup with his common-law. Needless to say temporary became permanent-he is a night owl and I am a day person-big conflict. Many other conflicts too many to mention. He met a girl on the internet and moved several thousand miles away-of course we all knew it would not last and it did not-he called and asked to come back and I said-NO-you are old enough to be on your own and it does you no good to be here-he was paying rent before to me but that was not the issue-it was lack of respect for my lifestyle and other things. He begged and pleaded and tried to guilt trip-none worked-he got a suite and his old job back and he is much happier now living independantly-he admitted it to me last week. So stand your ground-be firm-be supportive of your sons independance. He can bring girls to his place when ever he wants.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 2:24AM
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I cannot believe any adult woman/mother would shelter her adult son who not only fails to work, probably fails to help you with household chores/yardwork, fails to abide by your rules,and; he also verbally abuses you too?.

Jesus, what are you doing? You are enabling this man to be a damn kid, a fake victim, plus an abuser.

I can tell you I have a BIL who is 52 still living off his mother. You want this adult son to live off you your entire life?

Throw his sad, sorry, lazy as- out. Please hand him his damn guitar, and; tell him best wishes on becoming a star.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 9:40PM
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