Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sick of it

Jeremy is my son, and I love him, but I'll have to confess: I'm tired of having to walk on eggshells around him! We have to be so careful not to step on his invisible toes. So we can't ask about his homework, whether he needs the textbooks he was relying on us to pay for but hasn't been able to go out and get because of the surgery.
We can't ask about setting up doctor and dental appointments because he wants to be independent, but has no means of doing this himself since he doesn't know which doctors or dentists are covered under our plan or where they are or how to contact them.
We can't even ask how he's feeling, since that, apparently, is none of our business either. He's tired of being cosseted, protected, parented, in short, and cleared out of here, according to him, because he can't live like us, in a mess. Every once in a while, he did help me clean up. So I have to be grateful for that, and I thoroughly admit to being a slob. But am I so much worse than the smelly adolescent males he lives with? I doubt it.
Every time I talk to him on the phone, I'm cruisin' for a bruisin'. I know from speaking with therapists and psychiatrists about him that I have to aim not to react, but that has led to a pattern that makes him just as mad, where he'll say something provocative, and I won't react, and that, of course, makes him crazy. So it seems I can't win. I'm sure some of it is my fault, maybe even a lot of it. I just give up.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

As hard as it may be back off and see what happens. Has he cut off the ties of you paying his rent?? I bet if you where not paying his way and paying for his books etc. he would be more respectful. He is used to you doing for him and because of that, he does not appreciate it. However, in no way is it ok for him to be rude to you or tell you what to do. Remember when you told me he would not allow you to have someone come into your home to clean it? He is gone now. Have someone come into your home now, and get the place clean and organized, and the carpet cleaned for you and your husband. I agree sick of it!

Beth

marly said...

Does it work to email?

You could just send him a list of docs/dentists "fyi" and let him take it from there...

Sometimes those who are "differently wired" accept the written message better than the oral one.

Does he know about your blog?

Lou said...

I was reading something or other at the hospital, advice to a new mom, I think. And the person giving advice--an older woman--said, sure, you will be exhausted, overwhelmed, all that, but the thing you don't anticipate about motherhood is that for the rest of your life, you will feel guilty.

Jeremy is the way he is, and the most important thing you said here is, "I can't win."

Wait until he calls and asks for help. Be there when he calls.

Robbi said...

Beth,
We pay rent and for school, and that is okay. But you're right. I ought to bring someone in here to clean up. It would probably cost a bundle though. Easier just to move to a new place.
Marly,
Jeremy won't email or use a computer except for downloading music. We gave him a laptop, but I don't think he uses it. He doesn't even like talking on the phone, though he texts. I can't for the life of me manage that. I'm sure he knows about my blog. A mutual friend (a former student of mine) who is now up at Berkeley probably told him.

Robbi said...

Jeremy called me today and invited me to lunch. I yelled at him yesterday, and told him I was tired of being pushed around. He admitted he was wrong, but repeated, as he often does, that we just don't speak the same language.
I think the list is a good idea, Marly.

Anonymous said...

Robbi,

You did the right thing, telling him you are sick of it, and the way he treats you. I have had to do this my son a few times. I call it, the Acting a Fool. Once, I Act a Fool and go off, he backs off and aplolgizes and goes out of his way to make up for what he did. It is tiring when I do this. But, he gets the message loud and clear.

Beth

Robbi said...

Jeremy DOES try and clear things up between us, but it just ends up causing more difficulties. I try to get him to come to the therapist with me, but he won't.

Robin said...

This is tough, Robbi! Not being a mother myself, I suppose anything I say about Jeremy is questionable, at best. But I STILL believe very strongly that Jeremy must pay at least some of his own way. How independent is he really if you are paying his rent? I understand paying for college books (Lots of parents do this), but I agree that he would be more respectful if he had to shoulder more of the burden.

You also could make it a condition that he takes care of the things like doctor's appointments, finding out where and when to get the books, etc. before you shell out a dime for him. Also, if he treats you badly, cut him off. You as a parent do not deserve this.

I do have a harder stance on this than most because my mom was unable to pay for college, or a car, or any of the other things many kids now get from their parents today and seem to take for granted. It was difficult at times (and I didn't have Jeremy's disabilities, which make it more difficult, I'm sure.) But he does seem to be able to keep jobs and please his employers, so I'm sure he can do it.

Robbi said...

We had a good talk today at sushi lunch (breakfast for him). I explained pretty clearly how I felt and why I respond to him the way I do, and he understands now. Whether it will ultimately change the dynamic, that I am not sure, but we'll see.
He wants to be independent, but he isn't quite ready to be altogether independent. He does a lot for a kid his age, and I don't want to ask any more of him than he already does. But we can be less indulgent, and he'd like that too.