Consequences

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.

Oh dear.

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!


8 comments

  1. This is a tough one. You have grown so much, pulled yourself up out of a pit, become so much stronger. In your own way, on your own timeline. The children have yet to catch up, may not have the maturity to throw off the past as quickly. You are right to draw boundaries, we all could probably draw more. I am at a loss because I agree with what you are doing but feel your pain. I don’t have an answer, I guess I’m just reading and following to see if there is one. Maybe just staying the course and drawing boundaries is all that can be done. Just big hugs because I can’t fix it for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re in a tough place. It must be so hard for you! But, for whatever it’s worth, I think you’re right to draw a line-to have your boundaries. This is coming from someone who could’ve used more of those when I was 19. Boundaries are always hard-especially when they involve someone you love. One observation-and I apologize in advance if it’s out of line- your mothers’ reaction and take on the whole thing. The way she wants to “fix” the situation and not really see it for what it is. That’s got to be tapping into issues you’ve got with her. Either now or from when you were growing up. In a sense, by sticking to your boundaries, you are drawing a type of boundary with her as well. Which makes it all the harder-not to mention not getting her full on support.
    I agree with Anne, he’s an adult. He’s got to find his own way.
    Lily, you are an amazing woman! We all see how much thought and care you put into your sons. While they may not realize it, they are very lucky to have you.
    And I for one, feel lucky to follow your blog.
    ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very kind. 💐 it’s strange, I have a very long ‘tether’ but when I get to the end of it, I just do .. and it snaps. I do feel guilty, but I also know I have done MY best… and I cannot watch him destroy all his opportunities under my roof. So he stays away, until and unless he can commit to not taking illegal drugs under my roof. My mother ? I should be used to it. I’m not, but I should be! Lily xx🌷

      Liked by 1 person

      • Not sure that we ever get used to not being seen how we really are by our mothers..we all want support and confirmation from that person that played the first and most moorland pivotal role in our lives. I like to say that mine outlived my anger. And guilt?? I once read something in a self help book that said “guilt is a concoction”.. hard to remember especially when dealing with a loved one..
        Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely correct response on your part. Been, very sadly, contemplating doing similar as we cannot take any more of the abuse, both verbal and physical, the health hazard of a room, the total lack of any help in the house or garden, the stealing from us, the lies …

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have my very deepest empathy. It’s just very very hard, I don’t know what the outcome of my / our situation will be, but I do know we could not go on as we were, and that by taking a firm stand I am doing an important thing for myself and my two younger sons… big hug, it sounds like you and your partner are on the same page ? (As you refer to we) that will help.. I have strong support form my brother which really helps me benchmark my decisions. Lily 🌷xx

      Like


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