I had a bit of a reality check today... Anyone else live like this?

(30 Posts)
Whattodowithit Wed 08-May-13 23:10:05

As a single parent of three children who have "all gone wrong" in their own delightful ways in their own time, I struggle a lot with the feeling that it must be because of me, and read this forum from time to time, and realise others go through similar situations, (thanks, lovely Mumsnetters, although I'm still not convinced it's not me). Nowadays, I have 2 grown up a bit and away from home and am left with the youngest, the boy, who is worse than his sisters ever were. Because I have been living with the constant and incessant stealing, absconding, truanting, lying, overdoses, violence, hysteria, etc etc ad nauseum, after 8 years when firstborn kicked off to the point when lastborn is now 17, I quite frankly have given up and decided it's their choice to behave this way, and am virtually a prisoner in my own house. By that I mean I have a lock on my bedroom door so that I can feel a bit more safe and confident that I won't have my stuff stolen, I clear a space in my kitchen so that I can cook and wash up and put away what I used and need again, I sweep away the crap in the living room so that I can sit and watch TV... How ridiculous is that? And I'm am not a wuss, more a fighter. My estranged husband has undermined me every step of the way by constantly buying them expensive things they haven't worked towards, and left me with the aftermath of a 'good guy, bad guy' scenario.

Today, I had a bit of a reality check... I have a colleague who has a 'just teen' who is causing him and his wife a lot of problems, and they are struggling and he talks to me about his lad from time to time. I said, hey, here's a picture I took on my 'phone last night of how I live, and showed him my front room... (I have never taken a picture before but I was getting to the end of my tether.) There were 17 unwashed cups, plates, dirty socks on the floor, an uncovered duvet on the floor, and the room stank to high heaven etc etc. He was absolutely astonished and said "that's your living room?". And, yes, that's what I share and have to live with. I could cry (again). There is no communication whatsoever with the boy who has his ear phones in all the time and pushes past me when I try to speak, and refuses to clear up a shared space. I am so used to living like this, but showing it to someone else made me realise that this is absolutely bloody awful. I know I have given up and am counting down the days until he leaves home, and that is not how parenting should be. It's like a bereavement. He's bigger than me and there is absolutely zero communication. I try on a daily basis and say "good morning, how are you, what are you up to today?" and get no response whatsoever, but I think "hey, I'm a person too, just say hello". Am I failing the third one too because I've just having had enough of all this awfulness?

I realise, on re-reading this, I've said "I, I, I" a lot sad. I really don't know how to reconnect with this lad who obviously hates me (probably because I have been estranged from his (Asperger's) father for many, many years) and is so disrespectful of the things he takes for granted. He can't be happy in this mess either, or do they just not care?

Well, if he tells you to fuck off and slams the door then change the locks and don't let him back in. Tough love needs to be tough sometimes. If he carries on when he can't get back in, call the police.

If he did it to anyone else he'd be arrested. You're doing him no favours by letting him think he can do it to you.

mathanxiety Fri 31-May-13 23:32:00

She can't say that because he is bigger than her and he would fold his arms and say 'make me'. And that is where the whole shape up or ship out thing would fall apart.

However, if he steals or uses violence against you, you need to call the police. You may need to psych yourself up to do this, but this teen sounds as if he could use the sort of shock to the system that the police getting on his case would mean.

Is he using drugs? What is he stealing and where is the money going? When he has OD'd how have hospitals dealt with him?

Whattodo -- it sounds as if you have never spoken to anyone else besides your colleague about this, and for your own sanity's sake, this has to change. You have made a start and that is a good thing.

Is there anything stopping you from reaching out IRL either to get help/coping strategies for yourself or to involve third parties in dealing with your DS?

What can you do for yourself -- who or what organisation can you reach out to for help?

Mind can listen and maybe point you in the direction of support.
Would you consider asking your GP for a referral to a counsellor to discuss your options and feelings with?
Would it be possible to hire a cleaner who would be willing to work with you to keep your home manageable?

MadeOfStarDust Mon 03-Jun-13 12:12:59

Hi - you sound like you are detached or in the process of detaching from him- maybe he feels that -

I see - " the boy/the lad/the youngest"... but nowhere do I see "MY son"....... do you not think of him as your son because he is so different from your expectations when you had him?

I echo the previous post - perehaps try for some family counselling - he does not have to go with you.

puckertoe Tue 04-Jun-13 09:26:40

Hi, I feel really sorry for you. The house rules are the house rules and thats that. O.K. My youngest is now 19. It goes like this... If you want to share my house you have to realise that there are rules. If you don't like them go live else where. Tough love. Your bed room is your own.. I don't go in there, if you want to live in shit then you do it there.

Whattodowithit Tue 11-Jun-13 22:50:14

I didn't want to be rude and not respond to the many messages I have had. I do not log in here on a daily basis, so I apologise for finding a place to rant, and then not getting back to thank people for letting me rant! It has been 3 weeks since I injured my fingers so am finally managing to type again which is certainly helpful as I need to do that in my job! Thank you all - Mumsnet is certainly a fantastically useful place in which to get a perspective on life's problems. MadeOfStarDust - yes, I am detached, because I have had this for ongoing shit in one way or another for years and, perhaps, it makes me less anonymous in the way I describe the situation, and I take your thoughts fully on board. And mathanxiety, for others that have not had to handle this sort of abuse, 'make me'. And that is where the whole shape up or ship out thing would fall apart is exactly right.

Anyway, I sincerely thank you all again. Things are somewhat calmer at the moment, although the headphones remain in but the plates are getting to the dishwasher in small quantities, for the moment. And I got a completely unexpected birthday card from him, which I found when I got back from holiday. The first in 5 years. Onwards and upwards shock.

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