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DS, 19, angry and impatient - I'm exhausted.

(21 Posts)
Marina11 Fri 12-Dec-14 16:32:18

I'm exhausted. DS, 19 - and his UCAS form. I took today off work to help him get in finished and into school for the reference. He kept on phoning me, swearing, OK in frustration (and he must know that he could have worked on it himself, taken initiative, got it in earlier, been proactive ...) but did I deserve that? Lots of F - ings and, at one point when I said I was working on a particular section, 'I don't give a shit'.

Oh, I know I do too much - much too much - for him but if I didn't, nothing would happen.

Perhaps worse than that is the fact that he seems to be so angry with me - if he sleeps in and is late for a class, well, it's my fault. Even though I've phoned him a couple of times on the mobile he keeps by his bed. He comes home, demanding to know what's for the next meal, instead of offering to cook, to shop. I work f-t and presently have a damaged foot so walking is hard. Doesn't seem to have moderated the way he speaks to me.

He can be lovely but lately these outbursts and this awful impatience dominate his relationship with me. DH tells me that he's acting like tyrant towards me but, faced with him, he doesn't stand up for me and only very tentatively asks him to stop swearing at me - makes no impact.

Half a mind to go to a cheap hotel this week for some headspace and leave the boys to it. Anyone else ever taken off for a weekend when it's all been too much?

DustInTheWind Fri 12-Dec-14 16:42:53

'Oh, I know I do too much - much too much - for him but if I didn't, nothing would happen.'

Then that's what you need to do to change things. he's not angry with you, he's just treating you like a stressball/emotional punchbag because other things are not going his way and you are taking it.
He's 19, and whether he likes it or not, he's a man now. An adult.
Time to kick his arse with some tough love, he can always go to uni when he's mature enough to get out of bed by himself. Otherwise he's going to waste three years and fail.
Stop doing things for him that he can do for himself.

mameulah Fri 12-Dec-14 16:49:58

What Dustin said.

He deserves a reason to change his behaviour and you deserve to be treated with some respect.

Fairylea Fri 12-Dec-14 16:55:48

I'd refuse to do anything for him. He's never going to manage at university if he can't even fill in a form for himself or get himself up in the morning. Some tough love is definitely in need I'm afraid.

Not sure why you're even helping with his ucas form. I don't think either of my parents even laid eye on mine. If he is stuck he should ask his tutor for support. By all means let him run it past you but it's his responsibility to do it!

magpieginglebells Fri 12-Dec-14 17:04:14

I agree with the others. Leave him to it. If he misses a class then it's his fault, if you don't cook he’ll sort his own food. Does he work part time or anything? It sounds like he has a lot of growing up to do.

Marina11 Fri 12-Dec-14 17:09:04

Thanks, all - many thanks. You're all right. I need to do an awful lot less.
He doesn't work - we have tried for at least a couple of years to persuade him to get a part time job. He's worked for a total of 2 days in his life ..

Now he says Christmas isn't the right time because of mocks in January - but surely? I meet so many students in local shops who seem to be able to combine A level and equivalent courses with part time work.

We're on a very tight budget - when we extended his gym membership, he said he'd help in the house and get a p-t job. Unsolicited - we were delighted. Neither has happened.

I'm spent - with the lack of help, the helplessness and with his blatant rudeness towards me.

Fairylea Fri 12-Dec-14 17:16:24

He's being absolutely daft about the job. I went to a south London college and then a quite posh independent college and at both I can't think of one student who didn't have a part time job alongside their studies.

How is he affording a social life? His phone? I'd be just providing the absolute basics - food, lodgings etc while he is studying and anything above that he needs to provide for himself. It's not like he's even just turned 17 and is adjusting to it all. At 19 he is very much an adult now.

DustInTheWind Fri 12-Dec-14 17:17:51

Then just stop.
Seriously, 19 is very young, especially if you've pampered him most of his life. Young enough to cock up and rethink and restart. he's being a brat and you are letting him be one.
I bet what he's thinking of reading at uni isn't a burning passion of his, one that he spends extra ours, off curriculum reading and learning about?
More likely something he's sort of drifted into as a 'suppose so' kind of idea.
Maybe a gap year with a job would be a better idea.
My two get basic board and lodging at home, the rest of the stuff they have to pay for themselves. Neither of them would dream of being that rude to me, the consequences would be memorable and swift, and both of them do household jobs as part of a contribution to living in a shared house.

magpieginglebells Fri 12-Dec-14 17:55:35

You need to sit down and talk to him. How about now year, new rules? Most people his age I know if still at home have a job and pay for all extras like gym, phone, socialising etc. he also needs to get himself up and help around the house and not be demanding meals from you.

GoldenKelpie Fri 12-Dec-14 18:17:24

You have to now draw the line OP. He's not a child any more. How about all the adults in the house sit down and talk about house rules for 2015 for the adults that live there to follow; house chores and personal chores (laundry etc) divided up.

Stop:

being responsible for his getting up in the morning if he misses school, he pays the consequences, if he fails exams he can pay later and do them again at night school.

being responsible for doing his washing/ironing if he doesn't do it he risks being smelly and dirty, and the social consequences of that.

paying his gym membership. He's old enough to find part time work to fund this, and any other hobbies, himself now.

running round after him and dancing to his tune; you are facilitating his continued dependence on you. Not healthy for any of you.

Part of his aggression is probably guilt because he knows in his heart that he should be pulling his weight but you are an easy target rather than him addressing his own failings.

OP, I speak from personal experience with my own son. He left home to flat share at 17 and his more than anything helped him to become independent and take responsibility for his life choices.

Good luck, OP.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Fri 12-Dec-14 18:27:03

Sorry OP he sounds vile (I'm sure he isn't really but on paper well..) anyway time to stop pussy footing around him and help him grow up.

Marina11 Fri 12-Dec-14 18:27:46

Again, many thanks, all of you. I agree with every post. I've read them carefully and can see, rather too clearly, that enough is enough. We did too much for his siblings and the consequences aren't particularly good - one is very loving indeed but does next to nothing in the house when he's home in the holidays and has only, very belatedly, decided that a part time job a) fits in perfectly well with study and b) means that he's that bit more independent.

I'm going to sit down with this DS and discuss and lay down 2015 house rules. So right. In the long run, I'll get exhausted to the point where I won't function (and because of his unearthly late nights with little thought about the rest of us, I get very tired at work which isn't good).

I think you're right, GoldenKelpie - his aggression may well stem from a deep down feeling that he is in fact behaving very unreasonably - to say the least.

The odd thing is, Dust, that he's applied to study something he really wants to do - all the more strange that he made far too little effort to get involved in his own application process.

Sadly, he doesn't really have a social life. Meets a friend occasionally at the gym - that's it. So I think this is part of the frustration too - and perhaps it partly explains why I've been so indulgent. But it's clearly not helping at all.

GoldenKelpie Fri 12-Dec-14 19:05:26

OP, I hope you can spell it out how his behaviour is causing you stress and exhaustion sad.

If he is not prepared to acknowledge this, perhaps inform him that he will need to make other arrangements for accommodation in the new year.

At age 19 he can get a room in a flat share (big it up by saying "no boring, nagging parents in your face all the time"). Explain however that his flat mates will not tolerate selfish behaviour though, and he'll have to do his own washing/ironing/cooking/shopping/cleaning and budget his money (new incentive to get a part time job). Suddenly, staying at home becomes more appealing, even with the new rules (you impose) that he will be agreeing to follow in 2015.

My son comes home to visit occasionally (he lives in another city) and will voluntarily do chores round the house (hoover, take rubbish out, wash up) without me asking shock. When this first happened I was gobsmacked, but it is just the way he is now, he's learned that this stuff needs doing in any household so he does it when he visits.

I do hope you can come to an agreement with your son, OP. It is miserable not getting enough sleep and being taken for granted.

mameulah Fri 12-Dec-14 20:33:58

Rather than fight why not give him a guilt trip appeal to his better nature? Explain how you feel and ask him what role does he want you and your DH to have in his life. Explain to him how it is now and make sure he knows that the current state of play is totally unsustainable.

Good luck!

Marina11 Sun 14-Dec-14 16:16:10

Thanks again, all of you.

Had the conversation with DS. I tried to be as calm and relaxed as possible - but I did explain just how worrying and tiring the present situation is. He was pretty implacable. Wouldn't budge from position that he hasn't time to work, even a few hours a week. At one point, DH said that he'd look out for work for him but DS said that that would depend on what kind of work it is - giving every indication that he'd be very choosey indeed.

Playing games, watching videos and going to the gym, which we pay for (goodness really knows why) take up most of his free time so the time needed to study simply doesn't wash.

Last night, I looked out for work I could do over the holiday break - would be difficult to fit it at other times as I already have one and a bit jobs. We have other DCs and things are tight. All we're asking is that DS contributes to some of his costs, esp the gym, helps a bit in the house and generally mucks in.

I could hint that he might need to start looking for somewhere else to live but my worry is that that would be - if it ever happened - a financial burden on us that we couldn't meet. But I do agree, Golden, that it's worth pointing out how well off he is living at home.

Thanks, all, again. Feel a lot more supported and encouraged and able to see the situation more clearly.

Leeds2 Sun 14-Dec-14 18:17:55

I think I would stop paying the gym subscription, tbh. And also his phone, if you are also contributing to that.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 14-Dec-14 18:22:29

Stop being such a pushover - good grief it's no wonder he does fuck all as he gets way with it every time.

Why would him looking for somewhere else to live be a burden on you? Stop enabling him now or risk this behaviour forever.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sun 14-Dec-14 19:05:34

For goodness sakes please step up and be a parent here! Honestly he has total control over you. Stop asking him and start telling him!

JackieOLantern Sun 14-Dec-14 19:11:29

At 19 I worked 3 jobs in my summer break from college and saved up to pay for a trip around Central Europe on my own. Younger than that, I filled out my own college application forms and moved to a new city by myself.

Your DS sounds completely spoilt. His anger is probably coming from his frustration at needing or thinking he needs your help to do everything. He's a grown man snd needs to learn to act like one. If things don't get done, well then they don't get done. Doesn't sound like a healthy relationship for either of you.

DustInTheWind Sun 14-Dec-14 19:16:44

He does sound completely selfish, so appealing to his better nature and weeping gently aren't going to be effective. You also seem to be struggling with the idea of disengaging, in that him moving out will prove to be expensive for you.
So perhaps a half-way house solution might be possible for you.
You need to have a good, hard think about what he needs and what he wants, then be absolutely clear that you'll only provide what he needs.
Yes, it would be lovely if he grew up and got a job and had a plan, but that looks like a long-term plan ATM.
There are no consequences for him for not playing the game and taking responsibility, so he's not motivated to change anything. You have to make the nest less comfy and well-appointed, then he'll have to do something if he wants the treats. He'll have to earn to afford them.
You do realise that if he fails to get the grades for uni, he'll be blaming you for that too? Just a heads-up, my two are always amazed at how well I can predict the future. grin
Don't let him, he needs to take responsibility.
No gym fees, no cash for going out with mates, no paying for his phone with internet connection, no cash for games and gear.
He needs a bed, basic food and access to heating and lighting and the washing machine.
He doesn't need you to cook for him, clean his room or do his laundry. That's what he wants but he's capable of doing it himself.

MeowImaCatfish Sun 14-Dec-14 19:24:26

I'd never dream of swearing at my mum like that.. Actually I did once but I was havin a baby... Gimme some credit... But someone I know has 2 kids, completely unruly, disgusting behaviour towards their mum... One day she packed her bag and went to stay at her mums for the week with the youngest (she's only 13) anyways 2 days in she got a phone call off her son who's 17 ( along the lines of mum I've got no money for my petrol and the cats av run out of food and there's nowt in the fridge) so she sent her mum round with a box and a tin of cat food. No money for him n a note saying 'if you want food, cook it. Freezers full' the week passed and when she went home she refused to give him his money for his petrol unless he cooked dinner once a week (eventually got kiaboshed from the number of times he burnt the kitchen counters etc) but he got the general idea... Tough love all the way OP! Don't think of it was being mean, you're preparing him for life on his own where people aren't gonna run round him... Sounds harsh but it's got to be done... He can get himself up for things... He's your son but not everything he does is down to you or your responsibility smile hope this helps x

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