This morning I found a contraption similar to the one above next to my sleeping 19 year old son.
For anyone who doesn’t know, its a grinder that breaks up clumps of marijuana leaves so that they can be distributed more evenly in a joint. He fell asleep in the Den last night and I was looking for him that morning as the dog is limping and needs to go to the Vet.
Stupid boy doesn’t even have the nous to clean up after himself.
You might remember that the last time I found this stuff, about 3 weeks ago, I made it crystal clear (again) that I would not accept this in my house. He remembers, and so do I.
I’ve talked a lot about boundaries and consequences in this blog. About learning that boundaries are essential for my own self esteem and to maintain some order at home. About realizing how angry, powerless and resentful it has made me in the past having all my needs and requests ignored. And I have realised that at least for my younger two children, they feel better ‘contained’ when the rules are clear and enforced.
I set a clear boundary. I gave him one chance, one ‘mistake’, and I told him what would happen if he transgressed again and I discovered it. He has.
And I have told him to leave.
I called his father and said that he will need to stay at his house, and I told him to leave. Very calmly, no shouting and no hysterics. No anger. I’m very disappointed, but I’m not angry.
Not easy, by any means. But the consequences of NOT following through on my clearly stated (and not unreasonable) ultimatum, seem to me that they would be worse.
Son2 says I should be thinking about why he does this… and of course I do. I understand that he’s stressed about starting College, I accept that hes anxious about making friends, and I get that he’s under-occupied, bored and restless. I have given him many suggestions of things he could do to fill his time in a productive way, many options of clubs or sports or hobbies he could take up. Most importantly he could (and should) be looking for work… (he’s not)…
I cannot make him do anything, I cannot stop him smoking weed, loafing around and wasting his time, I cannot get him a job – but I can draw THIS line – no drugs in my house.
And I can enforce my consequences.
My mother is wringing her hands and is predictably full of plans to control him, get him away from people she perceives as leading him astray (they have all left College anyway) MAKE him clean up his mess etc. But all these plans won’t work, because you cannot control what a 19 year old man does every minute of the day, he makes his own choices. He knows perfectly well that marijuana demotivates him and leaves him apathetic and lazy, he know perfectly well that he needs to look for work and how to do it. He knows perfectly well that his messy dirty health hazard of a bedroom upsets me – but he doesn’t care enough to not smoke drugs, make an effort look for work or clean up.
And trying to make me accept this, tolerate it, turn a blind eye, be endlessly supportive won’t work either because it will just make me angry, irritable and resentful.
So, he will need to stay at his paternal grandmothers house with his father. Where there is no wifi, no home comforts, no dog; where he will be eating plastic food out of packets and where he is not wanted.
I don’t know how long for, or if there are conditions on his return, but here I draw the line, and I will take whatever the consequences are in the longer term because I can see no alternative at the moment.
Predictably I feel guilty, a bit wobbly, and very unsure. Once again I’m back to trying NOT to blame myself – my mother told me I am ‘obsessed’ with son1 finding a job and ‘taking it out on him’ because my ex Partner refused to get a job. This is not true. I want him to get a part time job because
- he needs to earn some money to fund his leisure activities
- Having 4.5 days a week to do nothing, with no responsibilities is not good for anyone. College is not much more than two days a week and hours of unstructured time are not great
- I want him to understand the value of work, at present he just doesn’t
- I believe it will make him grow up a bit
- I expect it will help his confidence
I’m very tired of the stress. I’m very tired of the constant uphill battle to get sons 1 &2 to function in a vaguely normal way, but I can no longer just turn a blind eye to the kind of behaviour that is contributing to a lifestyle and life choices that I do not accept are best for anyone.
Sigh. Interestingly I still feel better than I did last week, my self discipline in respect of my personal mental health programme is definitely paying off, and I am much calmer inside. Thank God!