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Saturday, November 27, 2010

A LONG Time Coming

I don't intend to go into all the gory details here, I'll save that for my private blog, but Josh moved out tonight.

Since he failed to do his weekly housecleaning last week, I'd told him he would be moving out at the beginning of the year. He has been about as difficult and disrespectful as he could possibly be as a result.

He was sullen and snide on Thanksgiving. He's been shitty and pissy every single day. Last night I told him that if his attitude didn't improve 100%, he'd wouldn't make it in my house till the end of the year.

And then this morning I opened the refrigerator and noticed that the remainder of the beer I'd bought for Thanksgiving was gone.

He was asleep at the time (6 am) and when he woke up at (5 pm) I asked him if he'd drank the beer and he said he had.

"We've talked about this before Josh, you KNOW that is not allowed."

"What do you expect, under the circumstances?"

"Are you telling me that you don't intend to follow the rules?"

"Why should I? What's in it for me?"

We argued and I finally told him to go pack the things he'd need right away and leave tonight.

"I'll pack up the rest of your stuff and move it into storage until you need it, and you need to understand something Josh, this isn't the way *I* want it to be, I love you, but I refuse to continue to provide for all of your needs when what I receive in return is disrespect. I'm changing the garage code and the locks, you're not getting back in this house unless I'm home."

At one point, as I was standing halfway inside his bedroom door he started yelling at me to get out of his room, and as I was trying to talk to him, he repeatedly kicked his door, which bashed into my hip, as he yelled, "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!"

I reminded him that it isn't *his* room, it's a room in *MY* house that I've allowed him to use and that he's no longer welcome to use it.

I called his father and told him the situation and he said he'd call Josh and tell him to come and stay there. Josh wouldn't answer his father's calls though.

As Josh packed, he became nicer than he's been the last few weeks and when he was ready to go I hugged him. At first he balked, but then he put his arms around me and gave me a hug.

"I love you honey, and I get that you don't believe that now, but I think it's time for you to learn what it means to be a grown man. I think you need to talk to you dad and consider staying there for the short term, just a month or two so you can regroup and decide how you want the rest of your life to play out."

"That's not gonna happen, I'm not living in that hellhole."

"Well, your options are somewhat limited, but I know you'll figure out what to do."

And he left.

His father called me about an hour later and said Josh had finally answered his call and said he was chillin' with a friend, but agreed to go to his Dad's when he was done. My ex called back a little later and said that Josh was there.

I've cried off and on since he left, but I feel better that he's at his Dad's and I've spent the hours since he left walking around my house realizing that my home is finally child free.

For the first time in 26 years.

It's a strange feeling.

What happened tonight is what needed to happen, because I think Josh's older brother has been right all along; that Josh is NEVER going to get it while living coddled under my roof.

When I called my older son and told him that I sent his brother on his way, he said, "It's about fucking time. Congratulations!"

This would be MUCH harder to take were Josh out there in the unknown, but I know where he is and in spite of the fact that his father has dropped the ball badly as the boys were being raised, he related to both of our boys better once they reached their teens. He stands a much better chance of getting Josh to see the light than I do and I hope he's able to get the kid on the right path.

My only fear at this point is that the stress that Josh is under will send him one way or other on the Bipolar pole.

Oh, did I mention that he gave two weeks notice at his job last night and then slept through his shift today? When he woke up tonight, he called them and told them he wouldn't be back.

So jobless and homeless in one fell swoop, only he's not really homeless, he's just in a much more unappealing home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

As The Stomach Churns

Well, I drew that line in the sand for Josh, and my therapist advised me that it was an appropriate line to draw and that I must be prepared to follow through if needed.

It's needed.

Josh failed to clean the house this weekend, which means he crossed the line in the sand.

Monday I said to him, "Well, it looks like you've CHOSEN to not live here next year since you didn't clean the house this weekend."


He gave me a bunch of excuses, like he had to work all weekend, to which I replied, "You worked all of 8 hours the entire weekend, mostly what you did is play online poker."

He wanted to argue, but I just walked away.

But can I tell you how hard it is to envision how this young man is going to be prepared to go it alone, and I don't have the available funds to help him. Furniture, household goods, etc, I can help with, but I have no money to assist him, not to mention assisting him financially is the opposite of what this is about anyway.

I'm sure he thinks I'm not serious, I've certainly given him reasons in the past to assume I'm not serious. When I've tried to discuss this with him since our initial discussion, he just says he doesn't know what he's gonna do and drops it.

He intends to take classes next semester, but I don't know how he plans on paying the fees above what his grant will cover.

He's in la la land!

Any advice?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

No News is Good News?

Schmadrian asked in a comment on my last post for an update and wondered if "no news is good news."

Actually, no news simply means not much movement is taking place in either direction.

Josh is doing better with his school responsibilities. He currently has an 'A' in one class, a high 'B' in another class, but is struggling still to get his final grade up from a low 'C'.

The adderall does seem to have helped him with his ability to focus and, for the most part, he's been better at time management with his school work.

He's still not doing so well with his household responsibilities and his lack of respect for me continues to be problematic.

I had a need to see our Nurse Practitioner this past week and when we were finished discussing my medical issues, she asked how Josh was doing.

I explained that the adderall seemed to help, but he had failed to put in place any of her other suggestions; a daily multivitamin and additional supplements, better eating habits and exercise.

And I started crying as I explained to her that what was hardest for me was remembering Josh as he's always been, very social, always out and about, and contrasting it to this young man who is content (and he DOES seem to be content) alone in his room much of the time, seeing his friends here and there.

We talked long enough that her Nurse finally tapped on the door to remind her that she had other patients waiting. She hugged me and asked if I were getting help for ME in coping with this.

"Well, I have a therapist and she and I HAVE discussed Josh on occasion."

"I think you need to make an appointment to see her. This is all very hard and you need some support and professional advice."

Prior to seeing my therapist though, I had a talk with Josh. He had, once again, failed to clean the house as agreed upon.

I basically told him that he had until the end of this current semester to 'show me' that he would like to continue living here. I told him that I'm not going to mention the housework again, but if he misses a week between now and the end of the year, he will be looking for other living arrangements when 2011 rolls around. And I told him that his lack of respect would not be tolerated.

"I deserve to live in a calm, peaceful environment. You are a GUEST in this house, and like many house guests, your welcome is wearing very thin."

When I met with my therapist, she encouraged me to call him on his disrespect EVERY single time it happens, but to also find opportunities each day to give him some positive affirmations.

"Tell him, "I really like the way you ________" and make a habit of catching him doing things well. It's not enough to read one of his papers and comment that it is good, point out to him an area of the paper where you think he really nailed it. Things like that will give him much needed confidence in himself, and it interjects 'good' feelings between you so that it doesn't all look like negativity regarding his behavior."

She also told me that I have to be fully prepared to set him on his way, but to be very careful of the wording I use. "You aren't 'kicking him out', he has CHOSEN, through his own behavior, to move on."

We talked about my fears, were he to leave my home, and my greatest fear is that he has isolated himself so much, and to go off and live alone would find him in complete isolation. That could lead to a slide into depression.

"Well, he is a young man who should only move out into a roommate situation. Not only will he not be in isolation, but he will then continue to learn HOW to live with someone else."

But finding a roommate situation for Josh won't be easy, he has no friends who are able to share an apartment with him.

My therapist's final advice to me was to try to get Josh to begin seeing her so he could learn anger management skills and better life skills, but also work through his anger and hurt regarding his father and me.

Josh completely shut down a discussion on the subject though.

When I tried to discuss his work situation he told me, and he's really right, that he has an obligation to pay me $100 a month for his car and $100 a month for his auto insurance, and as long as he is meeting those obligations to ME, his work and money situation is none of my business.

I agreed with him, but pointed out that he needs to keep in mind that his car could break tomorrow, or some other calamity could befall him and HE needs to be prepared for that because as an adult it is HIS responsibility to address life's little problems, not to look to me for money.

He has decided to meet with the counselor at school and change his major. His senior year of High School he was set on studying secondary education with a desire to be a High School Literature teacher. He's going to find out what curriculum he needs to follow for a secondary education degree.

I've never cared WHAT he does, but I think some focus would be good for him and honestly, he would be an amazing English teacher.

I told him when we talked, and I've told him this all along, that as long as he is functioning well, living in harmony with me and living up to his responsibilities, he can live here until he's out of school, but it's really all up to him.

He's gonna have to start walkin the walk.