DW says (in so many words) that she's disengaging from SS's college prep.
A significant turning point: DW has told me that she’s withdrawing help and support for SS17 to get scholarships to the various out of state colleges he says he’s interested in. Reason is that although, according to DW, SS is “brilliant” (top 1% placement nationwide in math), he is not applying himself in other areas that would earn him a scholarship and that therefore, she’s done trying to help him (tutors, after-school programs, etc.). He can go to school in our state, and she is going to pick the cheapest one, because she’s not going to use her own money to pay for college costs that could have been covered by scholarships.
This was unusual to hear from DW. She said that the effort is not worth it and that the underlying reason is the skid’s bad attitude. I’ve told her this often, especially before I learned about disengaging. And, naturally, DW used to say that I was being “negative” and “mean.” One of the purposes of disengaging is not to stand between the bio-parent and their nasty entitled kid and to let them experience the full force of that nastiness, until they get fed up and draw a line in the sand.
As DW was talking, I had to restrain myself from saying things like, “Yes, and I’ve been telling you this a long time” and offering her advice.
I did “slip” at one point. She said, “It’s too bad. He’s intelligent, but he’s not using it,” and I said “Actually he does use his intelligence - to keep you under his thumb and to control you.” I quickly pulled back and let her keep talking, occasionally interjecting, “So, what are you thinking of doing then?” and “What do you have in mind?” as she supplied more details. (I might as well find out in detail what she's thinking. My comments are not going to change anything, they never have, due to her extreme veneration of her son, which includes defending him from all "negative" commentary, which of course, excludes me from a parental role.)
I said “So how long will this last before you let him off the hook?” (common pattern whenever she’s “had enough”). I was engaging again, so I stopped. She has to work this out herself.
It is significant, because DW always draws a line in the sand about her money. I can’t get her to lay her cards on the table enough to work out a household budget. If she had her way, she would not contribute a cent. So, I’m hoping she really means it when she says she’s not going to use her own money to pay for what a scholarship would have paid for. Time will tell. As author George K. Simon (author of several books on disturbed character traits - recommended reading for anyone dealing with entitled, manipulative people) says, “Past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior." This is my go-to motto regarding SS17. With DW, well, I’m really going to be watching what she does. Thanks, StepTalk, for letting me vent.