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Old 06-14-2011, 03:43 PM
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Bummer

My older son (24) has always had "issues". He's always been immature for his age (though EXTREMELY bright, reads stuff I can barely understand and discuss it intelligently). He's had bouts of depression and social anxiety--when he was a young teenager (living with Dad) he was put on Paxil and had a manic reaction, causing him to do something that resulted in a year in a group home. He's been on various meds from time to time, but always quits taking them because he's "better"--thinks talk therapy does no good, yada yada. (The talk therapy seemed to help him a lot when he was in the group home.) His Dad and I have thought that he might even have a mild case of Asperger's (though he's never been diagnosed with that--just our take on his personality).

He's always drifted in and out of school, has never held a job longer than several months. He's about to get his Associate's Degree (just general studies)--his Dad and I quit paying for school because he doesn't seem to be able to settle down and commit to it. He doesn't have any serious substance abuse issues--he does the odd pot-smoking and partying on occasion, but he's fairly responsible about it.

His Dad (my first husband, sober 31 years) is a bit of an enabler, as is his stepmom. Both are wonderful, kind people, but I think they have supported him way beyond what is good for him. Of course, they all live in a different State, and I am not the one who has to deal with the fallout of "tough love" so I offer my opinion, respectfully, but do my best to stay out of his relationship with them. What arrangements they make are their business.

ANYWAY, several months ago kiddo and his g/f (who is divorced and has a 3 y/o) moved into their own apartment. He was working for Auto Zone driving a delivery truck. We had our fingers crossed that he this might actually be good for him, force him to grow up and be a bit more responsible. His Dad is still paying a few bills, I was able to add him back onto my health plan (until he turns 26). So a month or so ago he decided to take a new job, working for a carpet cleaning company. It paid better, better hours, etc. So I just got an email from his Dad, telling me that the new job let him go--the only explanation was it "wasn't a good fit." G/f doesn't work right now, though I believe she had done childcare in the past.

For some reason, this situation has me MAJORLY bummed out. I am really worried about him--sometimes it is just so hard to see him ever having a happy, productive life. I know I can't make it all better for him. I also know I have to trust that his life will go on and maybe this is what it will take for him to grow up a little more. He is a good kid, just so damned GOAL-less. He has zero patience. Years ago he got his EMT certification (something I think he would be GREAT at), but when he didn't get a job right away, he gave up. He just gives up when things don't go his way right away. He says now it would be "too much work" to brush up enough to get a job in the field, and "there aren't any jobs anyway." He is eternally pessimistic, and when he does get excited about something, it's usually something completely unrealistic.

I guess I am just venting here. I will give him a few days to process all this before I call him. I'm sure he is feeling incredibly put-upon--life is being UNFAIR and his employers are all probably STUPID.

Yeesh.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:56 PM
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:ghug3 Vent away. It's hard to watch though isn't it?
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:06 PM
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(((Lexie))) - I'm sorry about all this. Though my niece is only "almost 18", she too has never really had any goals. I'm trying to encourage her to get her GED (dropped out of school in 8th grade, sort of did home schooling until she quit that, too).

It's hard to watch...at her age I was in college, working 2 jobs, and living on my own. Her view of life is she's supposed to be having fun. I know part of that is her age, part is that my dad/stepmom have let her do whatever she's wanted her whole life, but I can see her stumbling around 5-10 years from now if she doesn't make some major changes.

I've done my best, since I moved home, to set a good example, I've encouraged her, I've talked her about addiction (every single blood relative of hers, on both sides, has addiction issues back to great grandparents) yet she's SO excited that at 18 she can go to the clubs.

The only thing that has helped me deal with this (most of the time) is to remember she has to walk her own path, just as I did mine. Her path isn't mine, and she will have to learn lessons just as I did.

She's the closest thing I have to being my kid, and it hurts...I want soooo much better for her, but I have to stand back sometimes, and let her do her thing..and bite my tongue.

I will keep you and your son in my prayers.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:22 PM
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maybe the Air Force would be a good fit for him. I've seen many young men just as you describe learn to get their life in order in the AF. NOT the Army. From what you've described, the AF or the Navy would be a good fit.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:39 PM
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He toyed with the idea (my dad was career AF), but ultimately decided against it. I agree, I think it would be an excellent choice--the military is a structured environment, which I think would be good for him (so's prison, come to think of it, but I'd rather see him stay away from that one).

AF or Navy, yup. His Dad would be worried sick, but heck, depression and drifting is dangerous in itself. Maybe it will come up again, or I could float it again. The education bennies are nice, too.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:51 PM
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Amy,

What clubs can she go to when she's 18? When I was in HS, in Colorado, they had 3.2 beer clubs--3.2 beer was legal to drink when you were 18, but you had to be 21 to buy anything else.

I know, I feel like the old fogey going on about "kids today". My younger son is also not a bundle of ambition, but he has always had jobs and is far better adjusted, socially, than his brother. I have a feeling he will make out OK once he gets his butt in gear.

But I remember getting my first job after college (a tech-writing job). Originally we all were hired temporarily, but six months later we got permanent offers, and the same weekend I got hired permanently I found my first apartment, furnished with all second-hand stuff except for an $89 dinette set I bought new. I couldn't WAIT to be on my own, and I even enjoyed paying my own bills. Heck, even with all my debt now, there's part of me that enjoys paying bills because *I* am responsible for ME. It's a cool, independent feeling. Seems like most young people today feel that they need a new car, and all kinds of new, expensive STUFF before they move out on their own.

*sigh*
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:54 PM
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My 23-year-old battles depression from time to time, and of course won't get help for it. When she was on antidepressants, there was such a positive change in her. Ugh. She won't do counseling either.

She does have goals and is very busy with the job at the nursery/landscaping business here in town, along with trim jobs on horses (does that in the evenings). Her codependency issues are what bog her down. She still remains in contact with the EXABF, and I can always tell when they've been texting back and forth, and he's quacking and blaming. Sigh.

There are days I want to shake some sense into her! It's tough being a mom for sure.

My 33-year-old is the depressed drifter who hasn't had goals in probably 15 years. She has no desire to better her life.

I pray for her. That's something that I can do.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
...When I was in HS, in Colorado, they had 3.2 beer clubs--3.2 beer was legal to drink when you were 18, but you had to be 21 to buy anything else.
I was there, then! (the Springs.) The AFA cadets used to go to the 3.2 clubs until they got their Trans Ams and turned 21 in their senior year.
Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I know, I feel like the old fogey going on about "kids today". My younger son is also not a bundle of ambition, but he has always had jobs and is far better adjusted, socially, than his brother. I have a feeling he will make out OK once he gets his butt in gear.

But I remember getting my first job after college (a tech-writing job). Originally we all were hired temporarily, but six months later we got permanent offers, and the same weekend I got hired permanently I found my first apartment, furnished with all second-hand stuff except for an $89 dinette set I bought new. I couldn't WAIT to be on my own, and I even enjoyed paying my own bills. Heck, even with all my debt now, there's part of me that enjoys paying bills because *I* am responsible for ME. It's a cool, independent feeling. Seems like most young people today feel that they need a new car, and all kinds of new, expensive STUFF before they move out on their own.

*sigh*
I hear you on feeling like an old fogie. It really was a different world then, wasn't it? I, too, couldn't wait to move out when I got my first job, and I, too, still get that "thrill" out of paying my own bills, making the decisions. I didn't have children, but I did hear a lot from my friends who had children, and I've heard a lot about kids getting into computer games and thinking they can do THAT with their lives?? I don't get it - it seems something is missing.

One of the friends with whom I grew up from 1967 (we used to go to those 3.2 clubs together ), came nearby to visit her sister, and my AH and I drove up to see her - first time in 20 years. Her oldest son has never quite gotten it together career wise either, and my friend and her husband stopped paying for his college at one point too. The younger son is just graduating this month from college but no job yet.

She was saying that she and her husband think that the oldest son will have to go through the school of hard knocks before he figures it out.

I can empathize (not sympathize) with your feelings...it sure makes me wish the kids of today could have better experiences like we fogies did...
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:34 PM
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Wow Lexie, you just described my sister...she's 34 and drifting...zero ambition...and delusions of grandeur of what she can accomplish if only (fill in the blank with something ridiculous) She is clinically depressed, barely graduated from college with a general studies degree, did manage to marry well and has three boys but now wants a divorce and is convinced she needs to move half way across the country to a state with a very depressed economy because she can "afford to live there" cheaper than here. Huh? How can you afford to live anywhere if you don't have a job? And add to that being a single parent to 3 kids with no family support system around...yikes...

Part of my thread today was about her...the frustration that comes along with knowing a better way but they don't want to hear it nor try it any other way, just their way.

It is frustrating to watch - kind of like a slow motion train wreck - where you are screaming "waaatch ouuut!!!!" to someone with head phones on.

I think the depression plays a huge part in it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:13 PM
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My expectations for him have always been modest. I always hoped that whatever he did, he would have some happiness in his life. I'd be fine if he were a professional burger-flipper or trash collector, if he had something in his life that made him happy (most of the time)--pursuing his art (which he loves but seldom devotes time to), another hobby or interest, a wonderful relationship--SOMETHING.

Beyond that, I'd like to see him support himself and not wind up in jail.

If all those things came true, I would feel pretty peaceful about the whole thing. I hate the thought of endless struggles for him. We all have struggles in life, but we all hope to be happy more often than not.

The good news is that he really HAS made some great strides in independence the past couple of years. He lived with me back in 2006 for one year, and I couldn't get him to make a phone call to the bank about an overdraft (too anxious). He handles a lot more things on his own now, so I will try to remain hopeful that he will eventually catch up a bit more and find some inner peace.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:13 PM
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(((Lexie))) - several of the clubs in Atlanta advertise "18 to enter, 21 to drink". A coworker of mine, apparently got in a little trouble, going into one of those, and I guess another coworker was buying her drinks or something, and she didn't try THAT again, but I seriously doubt that they can keep track of who is drinking and making sure they're all of age..some of these clubs have hundreds of people.

There is a popular one that has "teen night" where the older teens can go and party, but absolutely no alcohol is served. I don't think Brit "gets" that "going clubbing" costs money...someone has to drive there (she has no driver's license or car), there are entrance fees, and most places I've been, a coke or a sprite is $3-$5 and that was YEARS ago.

She started drinking/smoking weed and cigarettes somewhere around age 11 (while I was out on the streets) but her bf and his family don't allow it and have been a good influence on her. However, he's not the "club" kinda guy, so who knows who she will go with.

I pray that she understands the dangers of getting in a car with anyone who's been drinking. Her mom was killed in a car wreck (no alcohol/drugs) but fell asleep at the wheel. Her sperm donor once had her and her cousin in the car, driving 90 mph down a dark road in FL, no lights on, and a 40oz beer between his legs. To say it scared her is an understatement.

What I've learned from her is that you can't MAKE someone have ambition, goals, etc. if they don't want for themselves, no matter how hard you try. It's like I told my dad, she's talking the talk about getting her GED, we'll just have to wait and see if she walks the walk. If not, I'm sure she'll learn about the consequences, at some point.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:00 PM
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Prayers for all the parents, aunts, and concerned adults. I am holding on to every precious second with my 10 and 13 year old.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:05 PM
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UGH! I hurt so much now when one of my little guys has to learn a rough lesson...and that lesson is losing Legos or something. I can't imagine how much pain you feel, Lexie. I wish I had some words of wisdom, but honestly, I'm just hoping to learn from parents like you who are ahead of me on the curve.

BTW - remember when we used to be one of those pre-parent people who heard a child screaming in the grocery store and thought "MY child will never do that."? LOL!!!! Ah...life is so freakin' humbling.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:50 PM
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OMG...my son is 24 and I am beginning to believe that he will live with us forever....

sigh
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:20 AM
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Gonna throw one more thing out there. Along with the report about my son's job situation, his Dad sent me a recent dental bill for my younger son. I only pay child support for younger son at this point. Up until this year, I had dental insurance that covered them even out of State. Because they changed our plans such that the premium exceeds the maximum benefit (I know, insane--my union has a grievance over that), I canceled the insurance.

I wrote back that I assume we are splitting the bill? And Dad said, "Well, I thought when you canceled the insurance you were going to pay it," reminding me he is paying for older son's dental care. Now, that momentarily ticked me off, because our deal has always been that my insurance is better than his was, so I kept the kids on mine, but we have always split any excess expenses. (It isn't a huge bill, but money is tight for both of us right now.)

We have never had a serious disagreement about money or support, and in fact, he has waived timely payments for several months when I was in financial crisis. Overall, I pay less (probably MUCH less) in child support than he could have insisted on.

My thought is that I will offer to pay half of the combined bills for the two kids, and suggest that we purchase a couple of dental discount plans ($104 a year each) that provides one free checkup/cleaning a year and discounted services.

I don't want to argue over it, and in fact, he told me to pay whatever I felt I could afford right now, but I could tell he felt a little put-upon because of his belief I had agreed to pay that bill. This is one of those instances where I'd rather be happy than right.

Sound reasonable?
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:45 AM
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Yes, it does sound reasonable. Happy is always better than right. When I feel like I've been fair with my children's dad, whether or not he is, I always feel better. Keeping our relationship in a good place is good for our children.

Something you said about your son resonated with me. It's the way I think now about my own children, 20 and 17, boy and girl. And it's all about what I have learned in recovery that I never knew or thought before. Your son is possibly being given a gift, and sometimes when things happen that we don't want to happen, better things come about as a result. Have faith that your son's HP is watching out for him, and that even the painful experiences will lead him to grow up even more, and that he will find happiness. I always try to remember that sometimes, especially for boys, it takes a very long time for them to grow up and mature. At 24, his brain is still developing. Sometimes I tell my son to write down all the crazy things he does now rather than tell me. Then I can read what he wrote when he's like 35, and all grown up and living well.

You sound like a wise and caring mom. Take care.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:51 AM
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it sounds reasonable....and if the bill is not thousands of dollars.

FWIW~ EMTs are very well employed in my area of NJ ( I'm at the Level One Trauma Center by Rutgers). that department also runs training session in ACLS certification for all the residents and BLS certification for 3rd year med. students. The pay scale is good and full insurance bennies.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:40 AM
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Lexie, I am very sorry about your situation. I don't really have any good experience to fall back on here. My daughters are both adults in good married situations. Their problems are with their mother.

As for the military. It can be a good place to learn self discipline. I served in the Marine Corps, which by the way I would not recommend for you son. The military has a lot of good opportunities for young people in an environment that is structured but still allows some freedom for growth.

What you have to be aware of is that they expect their members to step up and take responsibility for themselves. There is guidance and support from Sr people but they will not take excuses and there will be consequences for your actions. From what you have described I am not sure your son would be ready to step up to something like this. This is not one of those jobs you can just quit if you get tired of it.

I am sending prayers for you and your son and hope things work out for him in his own time.

(((hugs)))
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:04 PM
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Nah, the bills aren't huge--$257 and $181, respectively. I talked to kiddos' Dad today, and he sounded grateful for my proposal. He thinks the insurance plan is a great idea and I think we are just going to split the costs for both kids for the immediate future.

Older kiddo had a job interview today. You're right, sc, this might have been the right thing to happen. We can never know what's best for someone else or, often, even ourselves.

Thanks, everybody, for the feedback. Sometimes those sneaky fears hit us when we aren't expecting them.
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:25 PM
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You're a pretty cool ex wife. My ex wife is pretty cool too. We're always able to work out stuff like that with no issues. We split everything about the kids right down the middle from time spent with to out of pocket expenses, clothes, haircuts, yada yada.

Mine are older now too and I'm watching with interest the choices they make. My #1 son was the hard worker self motivated, G&T student, 5 year masters in CS. Resume with COs like Lockheed, Google. My #2 son was the party animal slacker who dropped out of HS and got a GED. Well now he's doing F/T community college and even a full summer schedule, plus working a 20hr/week part time job for gas and play money. My #1 is intentionally unemployed and trading currency with a modeling program he wrote over the past couple years. Total 180 degree flip flop. I'm just watching with interest...
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