Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Every time we encountered him in the next few weeks, we wondered why we kept trying to help him him.  He was never appreciative of it.   I guess it is just that no matter what has happened in the past, when your child acts like they need your help, you hope that you are doing the right thing and you hope that this time it will all work out. 

One day I picked him up at the park and took him to the orthodontist.  I was afraid to take him alone, so my sister came along.  She was astonished at the way he spoke to me, at his attitude, and at his manipulative tactics.  Even with her there, he was rude and abusive.  But, to me, it was so mild compared to his usual behavior that I was a little bit amused by the whole thing. Apparently, I just need a chaperone every time he is around me.  

My husband and I took him to meet with his Probation Officer concerning the “possession of drug paraphernalia in a park" charges.   The Probation Officer was very upset to see him again.  He told him that he was lucky he was still a juvenile and hoped that he got this all cleared up before he turned 18, or his parents might be visiting him in a few months between glass partitions. 

Our son didn't feel that he should be in this trouble again and informed the P/O that it was stupid that pot was illegal and the only reason he wasn’t still using it every day was because he thought he was going to be drug tested.   The P/O stated that marijuana was still illegal in the United States, period—no matter what some of the other states were doing and that just because you think something shouldn’t be illegal, doesn’t give you the right to break the law anyway.

After we left the courthouse, he ranted for 10 minutes and we couldn't say anything right.  So, when we dropped him off, he left all of the information about getting his GED and going to counseling in my truck.  Apparently, he wasn’t going to take the P/O’s advice about getting started on that so that he would look like he was trying get his life on track when he appeared before the judge a few weeks later.

Two weeks went by without any interactions and then suddenly, there he was on our doorstep with his two backpacks, begging to be able to spend the night at our house. 

I immediately wanted to say, "No, absolutely not.  The last time you stayed here we had a big blow-up and I am sick and tired of that happening every single time we are around you."   

I felt like I was between a rock and hard place.   A huge feeling of dread came over me because if he was actually here asking to stay then he really must need a place.  

But, I didn't want him to be there that night.  I told him that it wasn’t a good time for him to stay because it was my last night babysitting my grandson before his parents picked him up on their way back from their vacation in Hawaii.  He would be going home to Kansas City with them and I wanted to make every minute that I had with him as special as I could.  

Of course, I was promised that everything would be just fine and that it would really help him out to be able to use our computer to apply for some jobs and to check out the online GED program.  He also said he would like to spend time with his nephew and see his sister the next day.   I knew he was just feeding me a line, but how could I turn him away? 

Then, the next morning, he broke his promise.  Right in front of my little grandson, he lost control because his I-Pod was not working.  He was swearing and speaking in a way that was very inappropriate and he wouldn’t stop.  He kept insisting that I tell him how to fix the I-Pod even though I didn’t know anything about what was wrong it.  I said, “This is exactly why I was reluctant to let you be around me and your nephew.  I can’t have you talking like this around him.  You have to stop this now.” 

He replied, “If you weren’t acting like such a b****, I would stop.  All I want from you is to tell me what I am supposed to do if my I-Pod doesn’t start working because I need my I-Pod and I need to get it fixed right now!  If you hadn’t gotten me such a piece of sh** I-Pod, it probably would be working right now.  You should have to get me one that actually works!” 

This irrational line of thinking didn’t seem to have an ending point and since we were driving to the airport at the time, I pulled over and told him to either get out or be quiet for the rest of the drive and that he had 30 seconds to decide what he was going to do.  He refused to get out, but said, “Fine, I won’t talk to you anymore.  You never help me or, do anything for me anyway.”  

My poor grandson was so quiet in the back seat that I knew he must have been bewildered by the scene that he had been witnessing.  I am sure he had never seen anything like that in his 2 years of life.  I was so upset about my son choosing to play this game in front of this sweet little boy, that by the time we got to the airport I wanted to scream.   For the remainder of the drive, I began to sing songs to my grandson to distract him from thinking about what had just happened.  He seemed amused by it and my son, who could not listen to his I-Pod to drown me out, was pretty annoyed by it.    

Needless to say, he took off when we got back to the house without using the computer or spending time with his sister.  He also neglected to take most of his things with him.    

We didn’t see or hear from him again for a few more days.  Then, he called my husband and was very angry that I supposedly hadn’t answered my phone all day and he really needed me to bring him the backpack that he had left at our house because he needed his deodorant, clothes, and food.  I hadn’t heard a word from him for days and suddenly he was mad at me for denying him access to his deodorant.   Sometimes I just had to laugh at the things he chose to complain about.     

It is just incredible that he feels that he has the right to appear and disappear at his leisure and expected me to meet his needs at a moment’s notice, even when I had no idea that he wanted anything. 

My husband drove him to our home so that he could get his backpack.   As soon as he walked in the door he just made himself at home, took a shower, and even made some macaroni and cheese as if he were staying for awhile.  But, right after he ate, he repacked his two backpacks and walked out the door without even saying a word. 

No matter how many times I have had this experience, it is heartbreaking for me to watch him walk up the street with backpacks stuffed full of possessions on his back, not knowing where he was going. 

Not knowing when I would see him again.

Or if he was going to be all right.

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