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This week

Sam2's picture

SS worked Saturday evening from 5 to 10.   Came home with dinner and went to bed.  He was up relatively early on Sunday monring which was a surprise.   When his dad and I went to lunch I suggested perhaps SS would like to join us since he missed out on going to lunch with his dad to celebreate his birthday. He actually went with us, it went as expected.   He didn't talk, except for when his dad reminded him of his dentist appointment coming up, he mentioned that he will probably need his wisdom teeth out.   Then he went silent.  During the lunch at several points he put both of his ear buds in his ears and didn't look at either his dad or I.  I spent lunch thinking should I mention something, he's barely responding to his dad or the waitress.   The waitress had to ask him twice for his order as well as asking him to repeat it .  We got home and he of course went right back down to his room.   He came out about 5ish to go to work but came home at 7:30.   

Monday morning he went to school however on Tuesday he stayed home  since the appointment was in the middle of the day and had a fight with his therapist.   Apparently he's not working on improving .  Imagine that.  To top it off his dad says he's only making up about half the work he's missed and that he is missing a lot of days plus he is leaving school to go to his off campus class (which should be his favorite since its Culinary) and coming home.   Thursday he was gone when I returned home from work, he showed up about 6:00 PM to ask his dad for the credit card to buy gas for his car.    To this I asked when his first paycheck will be because then he can pay for his gas.  He also announced he was going out to dinner.     Friday he stayed home but due to the virus everyone is talking about , schools are cancelled for the next three weeks.  Spring Break is next week so I guess he figured why bother going to school.   

So now I'm looking at three weeks of him coming into the room, not acknowledging us.  He talks to the dog.  I've stopped saying anything becuase frankly he didn't acknowledge then either.   I feel bad some days.   I do talk to him, mostly in response to questions.  I said hi , good morning etc for years. I got a response about 20 to 30 percent of the time.  He never acknowledged me when he entered a room.  My daughter has said good morning, waved to him as they pass on the road etc.  One time they were right across the counter from each other, she said good morning and he said nothing while looking right at her.  There have been times when he comes up the stairs while we're in the living room talking (you can come into the kitchen from the basement without being seen, only heard until you come to the table.  He has reached the top of the stairs, heard us talking and goes right back downstairs slamming his door.  

Part of me feels like I am missing something but I'm at the point where I don't feel anxiety when he comes up stairs.   The pressure is off I guess of whether or not he will acknowledge me.  I do still greet him at times, when he leaves and says he's going out I reply have fun or goodbye.   He doesn't really and never really has come to sit down and talk with his dad in the evenings though they do talk.  I've tried treating it like my nonverbal students whom I greet all the time not expecting a response but then I hear him go downstairs and talk and laugh with his online friends.   

He is out with his dad for breakfast this morning.  His dad has a group that meets every once in awhile for breakfast and his son has joined him once or twice since I've been with him.   I don't know how he acts with this group but its a group of rich old men who are about ten or fifteen years older than his dad so I would hope he would act approrpriatley.  With my dad he barely talks to , my parents feel that he is a bit of rude young man.   

We'll see if he works this evening or not.   Since things are closing down and resturants are taking measures to ensure the health and safety of their patrons I would hope a dish washer would get sent home if he kept coughing and sneezing .  We shall see.   I am also hoping that he learns how to wash dishes since I keep finding dishes in the sink with a empty dishwasher nearby.   He still does not put his dishes in the dishwasher nor does he empty said dishwasher when it is done washing to put his dirty dish in.   I am done saying anything especially with the comment from earlier.  I also am refraining from saying "Maybe with his job, SS will learn how to put dishes in the dishwasher" because I feel a comment about my kids would follow, however, there are dishes in the sink when my kids have been gone all day and he is the only one home.  My daughter does not leave dishes in the sink.  When my sons are home all day I come home to nothing in the sink , the dishwasher empty etc.   

Really this blog is me venting my frustration at not connecting with this kid, feeling bad because of it and avoiding making comments I shouldn't.   When I look back over my dealings with this kid I remember when I first met their dad I hardly saw the kids.  They were usually up in their rooms, his son was 10 when I met his dad.   When I did see him we had a couple of exchanges but not really that much.  Several times when I saw their dad they were with their mother or up in their rooms or with friends or their dad came down to my town and didn't bring them.  He didn't see my kids that much at first either since we usually got together when they were with their dad.  When we moved in with each there was the expected adjustment period that was awkward.  I did get really frustrated once and vented to their dad about my frustrations , needless to say I did say I was sorry for my behavior.   They did not say they were sorry for their behavior toward us but I chalked it up to I was the adult.  I did tell my daughter to watch her face when she came into the room , to smile and say hi, she reported they would still glare at her.  Since I never saw it , I couldn't say one way or another who was not doing what.   When his son accused my daughter of bullying him, I dealt with it, she went to counseling , I thought he was going to see a counselor too.  When DH complained that my daughter was not saying hi etc, very similar to his son towards me, I talked with her, gave her a choice, improve or get out and live with your dad, she improved and while they don't have a warm fuzzy relationship she says good morning, good night, she'll call him if she needs help , she will sit down with us in the living room and talk.   She wished him a happy birthday etc.  My sons have no issue and his daughter and I get along pretty well.   

I continue to work on not saying the first thing that pops into my head, to practice the pause.  To think before I talk.  I'm not good at it with this kid.   I think to some extent in that everything that was said about how my daughter was acting toward father, son and SD also applies toward SS but unlike my daughter , SS was not taken seriously at the time so resentment has built up.   Dad has not seen daughter saying hi to SS and him ignoring her completely.    DH did witness my daughter attempting to make conversation with SD and her not responding.   She is not here that much and when she is they will be polite with each other, they probably won't be best friends but they talk.   So I guess the root of this is probably mama bear protecting her young and trying to make them great individuals while the same is not done on the other end.   I don't think DH knew quite what to do with SS and when he went from visiting at which he wanted the experience to be good to living with us full time and he had to go back into parent mode , he didn't.  He still doesn't quite get it that i don't think his son respects any of us most of the time.  

Thanks for the vent, I realize I am not perfect either , just trying to make it day by day. 



tog redux's picture

Honestly, I would lose all respect for DH. He can't even do basic parenting, ie - SS, take your earbuds out at dinner, that's rude. Son, when people say hello to you, I expect you to respond.  And then forget the higher level parenting of having expectations for him beyond just breathing in and out, and holding him accountable for not meeting those expectations. It's like he is afraid of his son, and my guess is - he is. Is he afraid he will go back to BM? Is he afraid he will commit suicide? WHAT?  I would be driven mad by DH's inaction in the face of SS's behavior.

Lady.Tremaine's picture

You are honestly doing everything right. You are a SAINT for inviting SS to lunch but please don't do it again. Let DH try. I'm not a bio parent but technology is not allowed at our dinner table or at a restaurant. I probably would have pulled the ear buds out violently if I was your DH ...

Exjuliemccoy's picture

The ear buds need to disappear. 

How sad that this kid is so socially stunted because his parent won't parent him. Unless he is on the spectrum, this is not normal or acceptable behavior. And if he were on the spectrum, he'd be getting help to overcome it.

I have an older brother who was socially awkward and never quite right. As an adult he dropped out of college and became an alcoholic. By his thirties he had moved back in with our widowed mother.  She was unwilling to kick him out, but she did disinherit him and he was still there in his fifties when Mom died. He's a senior citizen now, still living in the family home and now sponging off my sister.

You need to begin planting the seed NOW that preparing your respective kids for successful launch is Job One as neither will be allowed to live with you as adults. Draw that boundary, and start lining up bricks to build it TALL and WIDE, or that skid will be a basement dweller forever.