The day after Easter, he went to the skate park, but then called to see if he could stay at home again that night. I asked him if he really had a place to stay or not, but he just lied and said that he hadn’t been able to get in touch with Alex, so he didn’t want to walk all the way to his house if he wasn’t back yet. I thought he had probably done something to lose the opportunity to stay there, but he wasn’t admitting anything.
After a few days of this, I felt like we were being used and manipulated again and thought we should tell him that our house didn’t have a revolving door and that he either lived here and obeyed ALL of the rules or he didn’t. He wasn't going to be allowed to just keep coming and going at his pleasure.
He responded with the statement that he was “thinking about coming back home.”
I asked him why he wasn’t staying at Alex’s anymore and he answered that he could still stay there if he wanted to, but that Alex’s parents were alcoholics and that it was not a good environment for him to be in if he was going to stay clean. I think he knew that if he put it that way we would be more likely to give him another chance. It sounded like a very responsible thing for him to say. Later he told me that they didn't like how he kept coming and going and told him that he couldn't stay there anymore. I felt that they probably expected him to start paying rent or contributing to the household in some way, but he wasn't doing that, so he was asked to leave.
Letting him move back in scared me to death. I was very worried about how we would be able to get along with each other. I didn't want to live in a house full of daily arguing and contention.
We told him that he could stay here but that we would have to go over the house rules in detail again. My husband took care of this because I just didn’t feel like I could handle any more battles. He made sure to point out that our son was not allowed to stay in the house alone and that if we went to the store, or an appointment, or even out of town for the weekend, he had to find somewhere else to go because he wasn’t going to be given a key to the house. He told him that he had to be nice to us, that he couldn’t just sit around playing computer games all day, that I wasn’t going to be his taxi service, that we weren’t going to give him money, that he had to go to AA meetings, and that he had to find a job.
All of that went over really well with him.
He kept interrupting my husband, which would cause my husband to feel that he needed to repeat himself to make sure that he had been heard. Our son started yelling at him for saying the same thing over and over again. My husband told him he was just trying to make sure that he was understood and it kept going back and forth like that until my husband told him that if he didn’t like listening to the rules, he didn’t have to live here.
My son came upstairs and yelled through the bedroom door telling me what a dick his dad was and wanted me to come out and drive him somewhere because it was obvious he wasn’t going to be able to stay here. I did not comply and eventually, I heard him downstairs arguing with my husband again. I felt that I should just stay out of it because sometimes when I get involved, things escalate. My son kept coming upstairs, demanding that I come out and listen to him, but then wouldn’t get what he wanted from me, and would go back downstairs and start arguing with my husband all over again.
Finally, through the door, I contributed, “If you are going to live here you have got to be willing to listen to us. You have got to stop arguing. If you don’t get what you want, or hear the answer that you want, or have a hard time getting something to work out the way you want it to—you can’t freak out! You just have to accept things the way they are and leave it at that. You can’t berate us on and on because you aren’t getting your way. You have to accept the rules and be happy that you can stay here.”
Then, he reverted to, “Well, if you would only do this…….then I wouldn’t have to do that…….” It always comes down to that. I have to conform to his expectations and if I don't, it gives him permission to act like a jerk.
His parting shot was that he was not going to ask me for anything ever again.
Famous last words.
I wanted to make him leave that night because we shouldn’t have to go through this every single day when all we were trying to do was give him a place to stay. Letting him live here didn't mean that we had to give him total control over us and our home.
We felt like we were “damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”
We let him stay at our house and then he freaks out over everything.
We don’t let him stay at our house and then he freaks out over everything.
So, why did we let him stay when it seemed like we were just in another no-win situation?
Because that night it was raining. No matter how awful he was acting, we couldn’t send him out into the rain with nowhere to go.
Even though it was tempting.
Saved by the rain.