July 6, 2023

kicked off a zoom, pruning sheers - what every bedroom needs, and a door that goes down, at long last

but first, sad news:  Coach and I went to a Catholic high school with a huge family with many extensions and connections. All the cousins attended our same high school. Everyone knew them. Most of us had a least one cousin in our graduating class. They were an impressive bunch. Coach's parents still live in that same area and have been friends with one of the families forever. Coach's younger brother, 'Mark' is best friends with one of them, 'Jake'. Late on the 4th of July, my SIL, Mark's wife, sent out a group text to all of Coach's sibs/in-laws. I doubled over when I read the text.

Jake's younger brother was driving a boat on July 4th in Lake Michigan. It was pulling a tube. Kids fell off the tube and looked like they were struggling. He jumped in and was under for about a minute. He drowned. All the kids were pulled safely into the boat. He was 43 years old. I believe his 3 kids are roughly 7, 5, and 3. 

It's such a shock. I didn't know him, but we all know various members of this man's family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. 


Shortly after Lad moved most of his stuff out, Tank was doing yard work for us. Praise the lord. He isn't working for the landscaping people this summer, just caddying, and I think he misses the landscape stuff. Our poor, mostly-ignored yard was in need of some attention. One day Tank couldn't find the pruning sheers. They're huge. 


He texted Lad. Lad left work to come over. He produced an enormous pair of pruning sheers. They looked like the missing pair, but Coach realized that they weren't his. In the meantime, I'd scolded Lad. DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG THEY WERE LOOKING FOR THOSE?

I attended the next zoom with Lad. Coach was at work. The doc had finally gotten Lad's ADD paperwork. She asked him stuff about how he was feeling? How were his relationships? Any anxiety? His response was all fine and dandy, other than being disorganized and he was ready for that RX. 

Well, I have a different perspective than Lad. I saw behaviors during his move out that reminded me of the dark days of the pandemic when he was coming unglued. Back then, his anxiety ramped up and he left home for 5 months - opting to blame Coach and I for everything wrong with life. Now he'd come home to move things out and was upset that I'd washed some of his clothes - he'd preferred that I wash a different pile.

People, there were so many piles and I was trying to be helpful. Laundry is one of Lad's challenges. He claimed the pile that I'd lead with was already clean. Really? It was JAMMED into a small container that once housed toys. No way was it ready to be worn. Regardless, he pounded around in the laundry room until I thought the washer and dryer were gonna come through the ceiling. Then he erupted at Mini- someone he tends to take things out on when he's struggling. 

But he claimed to the doc that his relationships were fine. Hmm.

He'd admitted to me the week prior when he stopped home to grab stuff that he was lonely living in the apartment. Oh, my heart. Funny how the months of frustration can melt away. Other moms assured me, this was just an adjustment. 

But STILL, lonely

I took that opportunity to point out to him that a condo community of young people might be a better fit. This apartment living might be a good test run, before he buys anything, to see what it is that he likes or doesn't like. He's dead set on a yard. My fear is a house will be isolating. 

Anyway, when I was zooming with the ADD doc, Lad told her that since the move he'd dealt with some hostility from us. He described the mistaken identity of his pruning sheers.

Part of what was left after
 he sort of moved out.

Hang on now - do we even need to talk about how strange it is that Lad owned a pruning sheers that he kept under his dresser? I believe he used it to cut up branches to insert into aquariums. 

I piped up and gave the doctor some context, not because I wanted to embarrass Lad, but because I wanted her to know the truth. Lad struggles. A lot. I explained that over the last 4 or 5 months, I've gone into that disaster of a room and unearthed probably 80 mismatched socks. Not just Lad's socks. My socks. Curly's. Reg's. Coach's. This explains why I have mountains of socks that I cannot find matches for. This also explains why we had every reason to believe that he'd snatched the pruning sheers from the garage and forgotten to put them back. He's taken other people's shoes, chargers, etc. It's standard operating procedure.

One sock collection I gathered.

Lad became combative. Over zoom. He shouted at me saying that he was doing this for me. I repeated over and over again, YOU SHOULD DO THIS FOR YOURSELF, NOT FOR US. He told the doctor, I KNOW HOW MY BRAIN WORKS. The doctor, who  I'd filled in via email with the background on what we've dealt with, asked Lad if he wanted her to ask me to leave the zoom. 

I was fine hopping off the zoom. A few days later, I texted Lad to say hi. His birthday was coming, I asked what meal he wanted  me to make for him. I then texted him a whole thing about how we just want the best for him. Lad texted back as if nothing had happened. Asked me when he could pick up his prescription. I was like NO IDEA. ASK YOUR DOCTOR. 

*editing to add:  Lad showed up to our house on July 4th with ANOTHER dog. A dalmation puppy? Seriously? I've been struggling with the fact that he gets fired up

Lad's dopamine fallout.
Finn and Ronan.
about something like he did on the zoom call, but then glosses over it. Refuses to address it. Jokes around when at home, why? So we don't try to solve anything?

Right or wrong, this struck me today and when I came home from the grocery store and he was parked in my driveway at 9:45 pm and I couldn't park to bring my $400 load of food in and he was just inside eating our food, I got upset. 

I snapped at him and told him it was time to address shit. Time to see a therapist. Get to the bottom of things. I mean why the FUCK is he buying another dog? So, he's texted several angry texts. Stating that I need help, not him, that he won't take the meds anymore, etc. etc. etc. Maybe my DON'T PARK THERE AGAIN - PARK IN THE STREET, etc. was ill timed, but I just can't pretend everything is on the up and up. So, this sucks. 

I managed to sort all of these, plus
 a ton of sport socks. These were
 the work related type that I was texting
 the kids to see if anyone
wanted to claim a pair, or 5.

Back to previously written post ending:  Sadly, Coach believes that someone snatched the real pruning sheers out of the garage. Our garage door hadn't gone done consistently since 2016 when it got pulled off the track by GW because the red handle-on-a-string dangling from the garage door opener got caught in the van door. 

The good news is that I grew tired of pushing the button to make the door go down, hearing a loud popping noise, watching the door go part way down before going back up . . . so I announced THAT'S IT. WE NEED TO CALL SOMEONE. We called a guy. 

Coach had a patient tell him of a guy he trusted. A guy who didn't try to sell him a whole new everything. That guy came out and it was only like $237 to fit the door with some kind of brace. No more popping noise. No more hoping the door would go down. No more hitting the button multiple times, waiting or leaving it up hoping someone else would be home soon. 

Ever lived with a sock thief?  Weirdest thing you keep in your bedroom- garden tools? Ever been politely kicked off a zoom? 

Suggestions for what to do next in terms of Lad? I'm pretty exhausted and I'm pretty exhausted that Coach says nothing. I'm always the bad guy. I also am home majority of the time and run a daycare from home and dealt with dog issues and Lad's messes for TOO LONG.


mbmom11 said...

That's hard. I went to my son's first therapy session, trying to explain everything and had to leave halfway. I understand about giving context. However, try to trust the professional- the therapist needs to hear from Lad and has experience to know what's really going on. However it's hurts to feel shut out.
Prayers for the family.

Nicole said...

Oh boy. This is really hard, Ernie. I'm so sorry that you're going through this with Lad - still, again, etc.
Regarding the puppy - Dalmatians need so much exercise and are actually a lot of work. I hope it works out okay but my husband had Dalmatians when he was young and they just ran on the acreage all day long.
Also, is it possible to find a little condo with a yard attached? There are some such buildings here that have small yards attached to each condo.
I hope things work out for the best.

Bijoux said...

You do sound exhausted. We have found that the more involved we are with our adult children’s lives, the more they blame us when something goes wrong. It’s hard to step back though.

I have a hammer in our bedroom. For some bizarro reason, there are little nail tacks that stick up through the carpet in random places. Very painful to step on. I try to pound them down when I feel one, but they are surprisingly hard to find. Just weird and I have no idea what’s up with that. The carpet was here when we moved in.

Pat Birnie said...

This is such a difficult situation Ernie. I know that it’s heartbreaking. Having dealt with one child with anger issues I also know that it feels like there’s no solution. And of course we lose your shit at the wrong time and are always the bad guy. I wish I had advice for you. Just keep pushing him to get help. Tough love baby - you cannot keep allowing him to treat you and your home like he is. Xoxo

Nance said...

So much of this sounds achingly familiar. It's so hard. They want you on their terms. "Leave me alone, but be there when I want you." It just cannot work like that; there have to be boundaries and rules or it all turns into...well, what you're living with right now. I hope you all soon find your way. I know exactly what this feels like.

Ernie said...

mbmom11 - Oh man. I get that. The zoom I had with Lad was with the neurologist. She is trying to get him started on meds for ADD and I wanted her to know that he also suffers from anxiety, but he is in denial about that (and so much more). I wish she was a therapist, because I have him attending zooms with her which is more than I have been able to arrange with a therapist. *BIG, GIANT SIGH* I'm not sure if he realizes that she is not a therapist either because when he was mad at me last night he said SEE YOU ON ZOOM NEXT MONTH. I don't really think I need to participate in the neurologist appointments if he isn't willing to admit that he has anxiety. I appreciate the prayers.

Ernie said...

Nicole - Still, again, etc - exactly. It just is an ongoing thing that is really trying.

Irish Setters are ALSO in need of lots of running. I have no idea what he was thinking. He says the dogs play all day IN AN APARTMENT. I have seen a condo with a yard - it was maybe more of a townhouse. At the moment, those are out of his price range too. Plus, holy bidding wars. Something he cannot afford to engage in. No idea what he is going to do. There was a time when I thought that if the subletted apartment didn't work out, he could come back to live with us. Coach could put up a wall across the Irish dancing stage in the basement to create a bedroom. That is no longer an option -not with 2 dogs. No way.

Thank you. I do hope that someday we look back at this time and barely remember how challenging it was. That would mean that he would at some point have his act together and see things clearly.

Kari said...

I'm familiar with the person you're referring to. His sister is best friends with my ex-sister in law. What a tragic event.

I don't like to give advice in these situations, so all I can say is that I hope things improve and that you find some peace. I also hope that Lad can find peace. 😘❤️

Colleen said...

I feel so bad with you and what you are dealing with. I think I tend to be more "tough love" when my kids are acting poorly but I haven't had to deal with mental health issues (in my children...yet) so I don't know the best advice. When I was going through anxiety big time, I'm pretty sure I didn't want tough love, just love. But I also wasn't lashing out at others.

ccr in MA said...

Oh, Ernie, that's just so hard and I'm sorry. I hope he will get on the meds and they'll help him start to straighten things out. Hugs to you.

Ernie said...

Bijoux - I am exhausted. It comes in waves. I have a whole other situation happening that I haven't yet blogged about. Not horrid, but draining and involved. So, add it all up and it equals EXHAUSTION.

OMG - I stepped on a messed up staple on the carpet in the family room once - but I couldn't find it. I would occasionally step on it. FINALLY I found it. It was so painful but it only poked up occasionally. I have images of you looking like that arcade game where you have to pound the gopher as they pop up. Ouch.

Ernie said...

Pat - I feel seen. Not the way I want to be seen, but there it is. Yes, I blew up at the wrong time and my fit sounded off base and stupid. I don't want to be at the grocery store at 9:45 at night, but that was the reality. It was Mini's turn but we ran to see Uncle so it made sense for me to help to speed things up. I don't want to come home late from the grocery store and see a kid who left a mess, didn't offer to clean up his mess, comes over to eat my food, and continually lies to us. Same guy that can't apologize for what his dog has destoryed in my house and who can't say thank you - thanks for putting up with me and my dopamine issues and my poor choices, etc at nauseum.

I feel like tough love might be the answer. Go figure it out.

30 minutes ago, I called the number on the mail that was sent to him with the loan number provided (inside an envelope that got soaked in the rain storm - so it was transparent). Guess who bought a house for about twice as much as he can afford? You guessed it. This explains the 2nd dog. Now he has a house. God knows where. God knows in what condition. I begged Coach that we would help him buy something so that we could be involved in where he would land. A place where he could someday re-sell. Nope. Coach wanted no part of it, so now - he's gone and done it. No clue what issues the house has and how much he overpayed.

Time to wash my hands of his nonssense.

Ernie said...

Nance - If you read my response to Pat you will see that I just realized that he bought a house. Sweet Jesus. What a mistake. But, it isn't my mistake. I need distance and I don't believe he will ever 'get it'. He doesn't want to take meds. I fear he is looking for trouble in relationships, jobs, finances. Because the way he is right now - he is not 'gathered', not thinking straight. It is exhausting. It does make me feel better to know that I'm not alone. I wish all those years ago that the doctors hadn't said that he'd probably outgrow ADD and that he didn't need meds year round or daily. We were misinformed and I didn't know any better.

I'm sorry that you have experienced a similar ordeal. Thanks for the supportive words.

Ernie said...

Kari - I figured you would know who I was talking about. We just can't believe it. So heartbreaking. I hate things like this that feel so avoidable. Senseless. My heart aches for this family.

Thank you. I hope he figures things out.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Thank you. I feel like we have tried everything. He likes to call us controlling. I like to think of us as informed and experienced. But he wants to mess up his life and treat us and our things with a lack of respect, well then - I can't really be warm and fuzzy and welcome him in to eat and leave a mess when I am spinning my wheels to make the food and clean the place. Nope. It is too much. I think it is especially hard because he refuses to admit what he has going on, like anxiety. It's everyone else, never him. That mindset irritates me. Big time. We've done everything to offer him help in terms of doctors and counseling and he thumbs his nose at it. Yet he wants to find a wife. If I meet a girl that he wants to date, I would tell her to run the other way . . . until he figures his stuff out. It weighs on us. Sometimes more than others, like an hour ago when I realized that he bought a house that he cannot afford. Good grief.

Ernie said...

ccr - Thank you. I hope the same thing. I think he needs some anti anxiety meds along with ADD meds. Hugs appreciated. I could use a nap too. I didn't sleep great last night.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Oh Ernie, this does sound exhausting. I am so sorry. You are being such a good mom, and it must be so awful to see your son struggle. I hope that he keeps up with the doctor.

So very sorry to hear about your family friend's death. How devastating.

Charlie said...

No advice to give Ernie, I just wanted to send a friendly virtual hug and to say that you really sound like you are doing your absolute best. And how can anyone do more than that.

Then I read he’s bought a house! That he hasn’t mentioned to you! Wow Lad you really know how to keep the punches coming. Deep breaths Ernie, talk to him when you are calm(er). Sending so many positive vibes x

Ernie said...

Suzanne- thanks. I feel like a crappy mom. How did I not realize sooner that his behavior was related to his need fir ADD meds? I believed the docs when he was younger when they told me he could outgrow it. Would prob not need meds as an adult.

This poor family. Such a senseless, tragic accident. Really hard to wrap my brain around.

Ernie said...

Charlie- Coach just said those exact words. "Doing our best." I'm honestly not even sure if he was referring to the Lad situation. We are swimming in 'situations'. Per the usual.

Borrowing as much as he borrowed? On his pay? When his income is variable? When he has struggles with dopamine? Time to wash my hands of it. What a mess.

It is great to hear from you. Thanks for the comment. Hope you are well.

joymariecooks said...

This sounds so hard Ernie! Have you considered family therapy for the rest of you to help all of you deal with the issues Lad causes? You can't change him and his behaviour unfortunately, but you might be able to get some good help with minimising as much as possible his impacts on you coach, and the rest of the kids.

Ernie said...

joymarie - That is a really good idea. I can look into it. I suppose we wouldn't all have to go at the same time, because right off the bat I foresee scheduling difficulties as a major issue there. Ha. I have the list of therapists printed and I just glanced over it. There is an ADHD life coach listed and I wonder if that might be something he'd consider.

It is really hard, but I've spent the day just reminding myself that he is 25 now and there is only so much we can do or control. Lord knows we've tried. Maybe he'll get his act together, baptism by fire approach and we will all look back on these days and barely remember them. Now I'm dreaming. ;)

Beth Cotell said...

What if you tried the exact opposite approach? Tell him you love him, you are there for him however he wants you to be but that unless he asks, you aren't getting involved. (And then pray like crazy!) But of course, that's easy for me to say as it's not my child doing things that as a parent you know aren't good for the child in the long run.

I wish I could help you!!!! (And I just saw the comment about him buying a house. Oh my goodness!!!)

Ernie said...

Beth - I think that is a good approach and essentially I FEEL like that is what we have been doing, even when he was living here. We asked him to clean up his dog poop (no fenced yard so Finn pooped on the deck - like is there anything grosser and he wouldn't deal with it for WEEKS at a time. Guess what that looked like when the snow melted) or pick up after himself, which really didn't register with him. Then we just let him do his thing - other than urge him to save money and buy something that made sense. Now that message really doesn't matter anymore. Not much we can do. I spent most of yesterday just recognizing that HE'S ON HIS OWN. Of course we love him, but not gonna bail him out of this when he all blows up in his face. Fingers crossed that he proves us wrong, but he DOES need therapy. He has broken relationships with most of his siblings and he's lied to us or used us pretty consistently, so no more trust there.

Bibliomama said...

Ugh, SO difficult and frustrating. I have a family member who unloads on everyone in spitting distance and then expects everyone to act like nothing ever happened afterwards, and it drives me bonkers. I would not be okay with that. You've had all the sympathy in the world for his struggles, but at some point they have to take responsibility for how their actions affect others.
We do lose garden tools, but I would be leery of assuming they were stolen, if nothing else was - here it's almost invariably a case of someone (usually my husband) leaving them outside somewhere, only to be found when they're irreparably rusted.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm so sorry about the cousin/family friend losing his life. That is tragic, and my heart breaks for the family.

I can feel your frustration and I wish I had some ideas. I would be losing my ever-loving mind with him; it's like you don't know what Lad you will get with each interaction. You might need your own therapist to talk with abut all of this...maybe he/she would have some ideas as how to deal with him? And being the bad guy all the time only makes it all worse.

Another puppy. *sigh* Sounds like a manic episode turned into a permanent being. And he's lonely? After not liking/caring for all of his family. Goodness. He's a hawt mess.

Sandy said...

So sad about the boat accident. That has to be hard on the whole family. Speechless on the situation with Lad. He sounds very troubled indeed. Tough love may be the only thing you can do to keep you and hubby from being dragged down. I hope things improve for you all. Not taking meds, and not doing therapy can only make matters worse for him. Sadly, some people have to hit true rock bottom before they're willing to admit they have problems and are in need of professional help. Best of luck to you all.

Ernie said...

Suz - It is so very sad. I know his mom and I have no idea how she will recover from this. I found out that he also survived 9/11. It was his 2nd day on the job when he was like 22. His kids are all very young. So avoidable. Man it just sucks.

I have talked to a therapist about Lad. I tried it for a few years. It was fine, but it was pricey and I was just talking and hearing her say she was here for me. I didn't really feel any different talking to her than I do talking to my friends or Coach. I suppose there are other therapists but I don't feel like I have the energy. Not sure it would fix anything.

I'm really at the end of my rope with him. Now that he's moved out and he's mad at me - he pops into Coach's office all the time or calls him and chats for long stretches at night. But he won't go to therapy because he knows his brain. OK, sure. I think he got the dog after I was blunt with the doctor on the zoom call a few weeks ago. He's such a great guy, but dang it - get your shit together. A MILLION times we've said THIS ISN'T YOUR FAULT THAT YOU HAVE ADD, BUT TAKE THE MEDS. YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF AND THE REST OF US.

Ernie said...

Sandy - It is such an awful tragedy for this family. Coach was up in the north burbs a few weeks ago teaching a class. He went to church with his brother and saw the sister of the man who died. He came home and told me how nice she was - interested in everything, etc. He cannot believe that two weeks later her brother has passed away so suddenly. So young.

Tough love is about all we can do now. It has been a long and difficult ordeal with him for YEARS. Our other son suffers from anxiety and is completely on board with meds and doctors and therapy, because he wants to feel better. No idea why he has to fight this so hard. Thank you.

Ally Bean said...

I'm sorry to read about Lad and your less than successful attempts to help him. I suppose that if someone doesn't want to change they won't regardless of what someone else does for them. My guess is that there will be rock bottom event somewhere along the line, and then he'll begin to change. Of course for you, waiting for that event, is going to be difficult. My sympathies, but you've done what you can and that is what you need to remember.

Ernie said...

Ally - Well, you've done a great job of reassuring me that we did all we could while also pointing out the truth. He won't get help until he's ready. That is so hard, but I do think you are right. Thanks for shedding light on things in this way - I guess I do know what you are saying, but sometimes it is good to be reminded.