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more parent/child/girlfriend drama
February 17, 2006
9:43 am
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jastypes
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The place Greg was staying suggested that he come back home. He was moving his stuff back here when the drama queen decided to spin things because she's not allowed to move back here with him. Janet said I called her trash and said she was trying to trap Greg into marrying her. They came in with a bunch of friends. Janet started cutting her arms up and saying it was my fault. Greg's friends broke a mug, defaced a photograph of me and threw my Chihuahua down the steps. My 14 year old daughter freaked, pulled a knife on the kid who threw the dog and told them all to get out of the house. She called me and told me that Janet was cutting, so I called the police and they sent an ambulance. Of course, it wasn't serious, and Janet and Greg left before the ambulance actually arrived. I found out from April (the other mom) that Janet and Greg are definitely using drugs and alcohol and smoking.

Greg seems to think that I called the other mom and told her to send him home, which I did not. So he left a message on my job voice mail. "Fuck you, Mom, I'm 18 and I can live where I want." When Mark spoke to Greg yesterday, Mark told Greg he was not welcome home until he apologizes to me and agrees to live by our new rules. Greg spent the night back at the other house, and went to school this morning. I spoke to the other mom again this morning, and she insists Greg is coming home today after school. I told her she could keep him. Greg said he would rather live on the street than come home. I say, that's his choice.

I am not pressing charges against the kid who threw Chalupa (who, by the way is okay), but the other mom is pressing charges against the two neighborhood adults who have been providing alcohol to the kids.

I decided to stay home to make sure that kids do not come into my house when I'm not here. We had a family counseling session and decided that it would be best for me to be home today since Sheila was seriously traumatized yesterday. Things are calm right now, but I am still feeling a lot of feelings -- anger and betrayal mostly. I cried until 2 o'clock this morning. To Mark's credit, he stayed up with me, held me, told me everything would be okay, and LISTENED to me, even though he had to leave here at 4:30 to go to work.

My other son is hoping we keep a hard line. He participated in the family session and had some good suggestions about consequences should Greg come back and break any of the rules. He also totally embarrassed the counselor by saying, "Greg is more pussy-whipped than a rodeo of cats!" I cracked up. Only he would ever say something like that.

Just for today, I am okay. I have what I need, and God is in control.

Blessings,
Jill

February 17, 2006
11:50 am
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mj
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Sounds really tense Jill. I am glad you are keeping a level head. My best to you!

February 17, 2006
6:10 pm
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Oh, Jill, that sounds like anightmare--those kids are completley out of control.

I would like to make a suggestino here that sounds pretty rough but may be the best kind of tough love--maybe you could tell Greg that he is 18 and can decide of course where he wants to live--and his behavior can help others decide if he is alloowed to live there--and in this canse he is not.

I just think he sounds too confident in his being able to get away with anything that it may not be safe for your belongings, your prro poochie, or your won mental health and right to it being good to have him there. What if next time they take it further? What if they hurt you or your husband? I shudder to say it, but when I hear about something as disrespecful and out of control as three children coming into a families home where they procead to mutalate themselves, scream profanities, hurt animals, and vandalize--well, Jill I don't think this is disrespectful, I think it disturbed and dangerous behavior. I honestly think it sounds quite scary and would worry for you and your husbands safety as well as the influence it could later have on your other kids.

Maybe you could have a rule that your son must come homne and sleep there every night, must pass a breath-test, must take random drug tests, may never have guests as he has proven his friends are dangerous and crude, and has to go with you all to counceling if he wants to live with you. But honestly, I can't see where anything less than that would do any good--I wonder if Greg isn't just at the point that it may take even more tough love--actually saying that if he wants to destroy his life, fine, but he may not interact with you while he does it and you don't and won't support him in any way while he is choosing that path. I could be way off, and I am no family therapist, but I had some pretty messed up friends when I was young, and they really did take a mile for every inch given. It is one thing to have a family feud, it is quite another to perform mutilation, acts of animal cruelty and destruction of property after which making harrassing phone calls degrading ones mother. It just really worries me for you and makes me want to beg you not to let him back in your house until he has gotten some real serious help. I know parents do the best they can, and I firmly believe from my own experiance that children of this age are going through hell and don't even know why or what to do with all of the changes and such. I'm not saying that your son is bad or would hurt you (It's his friends that sound violent to me)--jsut that right now I think it's soemthing out of your hands and that I think you should concider it a dangerous situation and really look at it for what it has proven itself to be.

Jill, I don't want to scare you...I suppose that isn't true. I just got chills when i read your post and if you where a friend from my physical world I would drive over and give you a big hug--then beg you to realize that this situation is potentially very dangerous and to please please protect yourself.

February 17, 2006
6:16 pm
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exoticflower
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And I am so sorry for the spelling errors here--I burned the tops of both hands taking some muffins out of our oven and it seems to be effecting my typing skills (which are already not great).

February 17, 2006
9:58 pm
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The rest of the saga.

Tonight April (the other mother) brought Greg and Janet back to my house to talk to me. I told them how hurt I was. I told them that Janet could not live in my house any longer, but that Greg could come back if he apologized and followed the new rules, which I laid out. As for that, they are taking things one day at a time. Janet will live with the Wheelers for now. Greg is undecided. Tonight they both went to church for a sleepover event. I was surprised they went, but they did.

Our talk was long and hard for me. I learned that Greg has been smoking cigarettes and marijuana for about 3 years -- basically since we moved to Pennsylvania. He has agreed to drug testing and attending Narcotics Anonymous. I told him I still don't want to see him smoking, so he is not to do it in front of me -- or his sisters.

The two boys that were in my home yesterday and threw the dog and defaced my picture, came to my house today in tears with letters of apology. I was very impressed by their willingness to take responsibility for what they had done, and to apologize for it.

The most disturbing news for me is the fact that my husband knew about Greg's smoking, both cigarettes and pot, and that, in fact, Mark had gotten high with Greg once or twice. Now, while Mark is in a different place now, I think he should have come to me after he got straight, and let me know what was going on with Greg. Even worse is that yesterday when I asked Mark if he knew Greg was smoking cigarettes, he lied and said he suspected but didn't know for sure. The truth is that he has been buying Greg cigarettes, and certainly did know he was smoking for years now. I hated to tell him, but that lie pretty much erased the good work he's done lately. I mean I still cannot trust him. If any trust was rebuilt -- and I'm not even sure it was -- we're back to square one.

I still feel so betrayed, so hurt, so stupid, so taken advantage of, so naive. I did not deserve this. I also feel empowered, healthy and strong. I've taken a stand. I stood my ground. I believe I handled things in a healthy, adult, mature way.

jill

February 17, 2006
10:31 pm
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exoticflower
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(((((Jill))))), I'm so sorry for your pain and for your being deceived, but I think it is wonderful that you can really feel yourself being healthy and assertive and love yourself for it. It's a great place to be for yourself even if things around you are not so great. Not that you need anyone elses aproval, but I say "good for you" and you SHOULD be proud of yourself.

February 18, 2006
8:38 pm
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bonni
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Hi Jill,
I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I can't imagine what this is doing to you, but I can tell from your post that you are very strong and can handle this through. Your two younger children also seem strong and evidence that you are a good parent. Hang In there!

February 18, 2006
10:35 pm
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jastypes
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Sometimes I feel very strong. And then other times, like right now, I feel victimized and beaten down. I'm stuck inside my own head at the moment, and am not coping well at all.

February 18, 2006
11:08 pm
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Jill, maybe you can turn that victimized feeling into some productive anger? Something I have noticed about myself is when I start to feel victomized regarding my own issues with people in my life, it is becasue I am surpressing perfectly apropriate anger. I can only imagine that as a wife and a mother in a world where we are sometimes expected to be gentle yet in control, you may not feel like it's the right thing to be absolutely PO'd...but you ahve every right to be right now, and you can't sort out that anger until you allow yourself to have it--and for me, when I start sorting out my anger or other surpressed emotions, that's when I feel empowered. When I look at what I am feeling, where it comes from, and can do something healthy with it. It serves as a good reminder that I am completley capable of handling things that are thrown at me, and that my feelings and emotions are valid all at once.

Have you tried giving yourself a good hard cry? Just running a shower and sobbing it all out? Or screaming in a pillow? I'm so sorry you are feeling frustrated and hurt right now, I can't imagine that anyone would be able to hold it togeather too well with the recent events you've had--hang in there, you're going to find your strength and persevere.

February 19, 2006
9:54 pm
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jastypes
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Here's an amazing thing. I got Greg's report card in the mail yesterday. He's on the honor roll. I laughed even as I cried. That boy has NEVER been on the honor roll before. He had 2 B's and the rest were A's.

At the moment I am feeling inadequate. I was a totally permissive parent. Many of the problems in my household are of my own doing. And Mark? Forget about it! He was a drug addicted, neglectful, anger spewing father. I don't think there's any real surprise that we are reaping what we sowed. Yes, Greg is 18. Yes, Greg is responsible for his own actions. I'm trying to get it right here, but I'm coming from a place of no rules, no boundaries, complete and utter dysfunction.

I'm looking for progress, not perfection. And I think I'm making some progress here. For example: Today the family went to my mother's to celebrate Christmas since she was away over the holidays. Greg and Janet were told by my mother that she would not send their gifts home. If they wanted their gifts, they would have to come with the family. They did, and we had a wonderful time. Coming home, G/J asked me to drop them off at April's house, where they planned to spend the night. But they ended up coming back to MY house and saying that April's husband was in a bad mood and they weren't allowed to stay there tonight. Well, here's a wrinkle for me. April told me they were welcome there. I've said, either you live here or you live there. Greg looked at me and said, "Can Janet spend the night just for tonight?" I hesitated. I looked to Mark for help and support. None. I turned back to Greg and said, "No, she cannot." You have no idea how much I wanted to cave in. Greg was sobbing in the living room. My heart was breaking. I went to him and said, "It's not a school night, so Janet can stay here until midnight (our pre-set curfew), but then she must go home to sleep."

They left the house, and I told Greg he needs to be home by midnight, and then the door is getting locked. Honestly, I'm sitting here in a panic, worried. I realize I need to make even clearer boundaries, but I've got to figure out just what those are myself first. I am FEELING so many things still. I wanted to talk to Mark about the situation, but I'm still too angry with him to open up to him.

Someone tell me I did the right thing, and I'm headed in the right direction.

jill

February 19, 2006
10:04 pm
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exoticflower
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You did, absolutely!!! I am raising a toddler right now and that is the first thing I learned-children of any age need boundaries to learn how the world works and it is our job to provide them the best we can. And you are doing that! You are making rules and enforcing them--and didn't even cave when the going got rough! He got upset, but he is 18 yhears old and has to learn that as adults we cannot always have what we want and must sometimes compromise what our wants are. I think you should be very proud of yourself--no matter what age, doing what is best for your child while still treating yourself with compassion and love no matter how much they resist, that's absolutely the mark of a good parent. Good for you!!!! Yeah Jill!!!!

February 20, 2006
8:24 pm
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I screwed it up. I'd love to say I got it right, but I didn't. I have to admit it, so that I can be held accountable, and helped to do it right the next time. They both came home before 10:00. My daughter, Sheila, went to spend the night at a friend's house. Greg and Janet were so distraught about their situation, that I suggested it would be okay for Janet to sleep in Sheila's bed (with Amy in the next bed). I thought that was a reasonable solution. But I got taken advantage of -- AGAIN. Instead of Janet going to sleep in Sheila's bed, both Greg and Janet stayed up all night, figuring if they weren't "sleeping" in the same bed, that would be okay.

I had to regroup this morning. So here's my new verbalization: The rule is no opposite sex sleepovers, period.

This is where I get into trouble. My head starts spinning. It would be okay for Sheila to invite a girl friend to spend the night. Obviously that friend would sleep in Sheila's room, or they would hang out in the living room. It would be okay for Greg to invite a male friend to spend the night -- again, they would probably end up with at least one of them in the living room. Janet is a girl, but she's being invited to spend the night by Greg. That doesn't work for me.

So work with me here. This is SO hard for me. Tonight is a school night, so at 11:00 I have to go knocking on Greg's door (if Janet is still here) and say: The rule is no sleepovers on school nights. (I just made that one up, but hey, it's my house, right?)

Greg: But, Mom, Janet can't go to April's.
Mom: I understand that, but my rule is no sleepovers on school nights.
Greg: But Janet was living here for a whole year. You can't all of a sudden make her go home now.
Mom: Your father and I discussed this, and our rule is no sleepovers on school nights.
Greg: Janet can sleep in Sheila's bed (it's not a school night for Sheila, and she's spending another night at her girl friend's house.)
Mom: Well, I can see where you might have thought that would be okay, but our rule is no sleepovers on school nights at all.

Bear with me here as I work through this.
Greg: But the rules don't say that. (he's right, and they're posted).
Mom: What do they say?
Greg: (reading) No opposite sex sleepovers.
Mom: That's correct. So, either way, Janet cannot sleep here tonight.

Of course I'll have to let you know the real story tomorrow.

jill

February 21, 2006
12:34 am
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bonni
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Jill,
You are in a tough spot. I'm having to be more strict with my nine year old, after having been fairly permissive for nine years. We only had one rule until last year. everyone knows the number one rule, be safe. The number two rule is take care of yourself.

Now I have to enforce "do what I say." this is tough, but its a safety thing. I just need to make sure I mean it as a command or phrase it as a request so they know when negotiation is appropriate and when it isn't. I have a huge problem with authority and try to be really unrestrictive, but i can see adolescence coming and we have to have those boundaries that you are trying to establish with Greg.

why is it ok with Janet's mom for her to sleepover? I'm ok with opposite sex sleepovers in principle. My parent's rule was no sex in their house. I still can't do it there, and I've been married for 13 years. (The rule is gone, but I just can't...) Anyway, its your house, your rules. I hope your conversation goes well.

February 21, 2006
1:16 am
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wow! jas, this is a bit of a mess and I feel bad for you.

I like bonni just had to start enforcing "my rules, my house, don't like pack your shit and go live with your dad" to my 12 year old.

Kids get out of hand and as long as we allow them too. they will eventually take control of our home.
boundaries is huge with me, do not cross my boundaries and i will not cross yours (as long as you are safe.)

I will be honest and not know how to deal with a teenager, but it is your house, your rules, he is 18 and he is not respecting your house, your rules and is crossing your boundaries. At 18 isn't he legal age and you are no longer responsible for him, again he can move out at anytime and go find a job support himself and see how fast he grows up to be a responsible man.
I am so sorrry, but he needs to respect you and your house.
I read that mark is there for you, which is really great but is he like the step father that doesnt say much?
just asking?
if he is I understand.
if it were me (and it is not) I would stearnly put my foot down and say ok, cant take no for an answer(no sleepovers). then now she can not sleep over at all.
tuff love is what i call it, but I'd also call it "MY HOUSE!"
come on he needs to show his mother some respect!
I see now days that children and teens are out of control due to lack of respect. as much as we want to be a cool mom or mom/friend we cant. it does not work. at this point it looks as if you have to be mom.

sorry, if i sound harsh. but you know this already. and it is okay if you respond "das033 go away!" and you never want to speak to me again. but again, I am sorry if I am being to harsh. and i know and understand everything is easier said than done.

let your son know that you love him but you can not handle all of this drama. let him know that Janet is a nice girl but you, (mom) need a little vacation from her or something like that. dont be afraid that he will get upset, so what if he does. you are setting your boundaries and hopefully she as well as he can respect that.

good luck to you!!!!!!

February 21, 2006
10:45 am
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Just for info purposes, Janet has no mother or father. She's lived with her grandmother and uncle who apparentlly don't care what she does. Believe me, she has a lot of issues. Mark is my husband and Greg's dad. He lives with us part-time though, and is a recovering addict. He had a 35 year addiction, with the last year clean.

As for last night, I fell asleep before 11:00. Then I woke up feeling guilty at 12:30, prayed, then went back to sleep. I woke up again at 2:30, feeling guilty, and I went upstairs to Greg’s room. He was in there, alone, awake. I went back to bed, prayed that he would go to sleep, and then went to sleep myself.

jill

February 21, 2006
11:26 am
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exoticflower
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Jill, just one thought--could you post it "no oposite sex sleepovers or guests that are involved with another in the household"? That way they can't find a single loophole. Or you could out and out say "no Janet sleepovers" to avoid even further argument, and just add the names of whoever your other kids are seeing in addition? That way it's definately NO ROMANTIC PARTNERS under any circumstances, no loopholes, no arguments.

I wish my parents had posted everything clearly, they just added new rules and changed them whenever they felt like it and the final word was always "This is not a democracracy, you are the child, you have no sayso."

February 21, 2006
1:00 pm
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why the guilt?
i know it can be hard to say no to people, especially being codependent.
once you say no, and then no again and set those rules and boundaries and stick to your guns, after about 5 no's and a little respect then it will be easier and guilt free.you must be persistant, though.
and let me tell you IT IS OKAY to say NO!!!!! do not feel guilt. be proud of yourself that you are able to take back control of your house.
so then why does dad not support enough to put his foot down and set the rules and so sorry but son you are not the boss around here.
funny thing, just saturday nite i was talking to one of my best friends which we took the kids out bowling and with my twelve year old and her thirteen year old and another friend with an eighteen year old and us as single moms. the conversation came up and knowing how these teens can be very disrespectful, even if we do take them out and use our last dollar to show them we love them and want to spend time with them and take them out and have fun, and this is every weekend we do this. and it is like, we had to ask ourselves: what happened and where did we lose the control of our household? on what day did we wake up and the children said we are now the boss? what the hell? since when did they take over paying the bills, then why am i so broke? what the hell! again, I hope you find the courage. have a family meeting with out any yelling or letting kids yell and say enough is enough!I WILL NOT TAKE THIS CRAP ANYMORE! bottom line! period!
most important thing to remember:
you cannot wake up everday doing the same thing, and expect a change.
until you decide to change something, then nothing will change.

much love to ya!

February 21, 2006
2:23 pm
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You know why I felt guilty? Because I deliberately let myself fall asleep before the 11:00 curfew so that I wouldn't have to deal with going up there and asking Janet to leave.

How pathetic am I?

February 21, 2006
2:30 pm
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Jill, as hard as it is going to be for Greg to buckle down and deal with the changes, it's going to be that hard for YOU too! You have to re-learn here too, don't beat yourself up by calling yourself names for making mistakes. This is new for all of you;. Do you call Greg Pathetic when he cries about the new rules? I'm sure you don't, and there is nothing pathetic about you being scared to enforce those new rules. You made a mistake, you can learn from it, forgive yourself!!! (((jill))))

February 21, 2006
3:29 pm
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I agree with Flower.
(((((jill)))))
dust your shoulder off, lift your head up. put your best foot foward, as long as you stand your ground and greg learns the hard way. everything will work out just fine.

good luck to you!!!

February 22, 2006
4:57 am
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das033
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jas, i just discovered a website that would be perfect for you check it out, it is spiritual based and it has to do with codependency and better yet, boundaries. read up on it, it may help. it is kinda a lot to read but skimming thru the most important parts or reading the whole thing is worth it.
it is: http://www.joy2meu.com
check it out.

February 22, 2006
1:42 pm
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Interesting,DAS. I had a revelation this morning on the train. For a time in my parenting I needed my children to AGREE with me. Then I got to the point where I didn’t need them to agree with me, but I wanted them to UNDERSTAND me. I have finally come to the point where I don’t give a shit what they think.

February 22, 2006
2:04 pm
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oh my gosh jas, that was great and you made me laugh! :o)
too funny!

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