Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sleeping on it, and fine-tuning decisions...

Thank you, everyone, for your comments, suggestions and advice.

First, a few more vital details to help all of you understand how I will base my final decisions on my son:

The amount owed to my son's apartment management is $4,000.  Yes, that's right!  $2K is back rent, with HUGE fines added to it. My son paid his share of the rent, and I know this-- because I was the one who bought the money when my son would give me the cash.  The remaining $2K is the penalty for breaking his lease.  B's ex-roommate is legally responsible, too. But, it will be a matter of tracking him down and if my son will actually go through the process of suing him.  My son can look forward to having 25% of his wages garnished.  Tom suggested what I already had-- and that's what my son went in to do, yesterday. He went in to ask if he could make payments on the back rent.  The answer was "no".  This complex is corporate business.

The free advice that my son was given, by his family attorney, was good-- the attorney said "the next time you rent a place, don't sign a lease unless you can afford to pay all of the rent yourself".  Amen.  My son, hopefully, will take this valuable advice to heart. Actually, his credit is ruined for many years, so he won't be able to rent from a place like that for a very long time.

My son's car-- my son could sell the car for $3500.00, easily.  I am picking B up in 45 minutes to take the car into the repair shop, again.  From what the mechanic says, it's the oil cooler.  He's a family friend and he is trustworthy. If it's less than $200.00 to fix, then his dad is going to pay it.  We'll slap a FOR SALE sign on it, and B will pay his dad back, from the money he gets for it. If the car costs more than that to fix, then it's time to junk it. It's ironic that his father is such an expert with cars-- he restores CanAm race cars and knows a lot about mechanics.  Why his dad picked this particular model of car, puzzles me.  I hoped my son would, instead, by an inexpensive and dependable car like a Toyota. I think B is over wanting a sporty looking car, now. This one has been a real pain.

Now then-- C and I talked about my son coming back to our home. Actually, C started the conversation, and I listened.  C is afraid that B will get too comfortable, here, and overstay his welcome. He wants him to be here for a "couple of weeks".  I listened, though my son needs more than 2 weeks to get back on his feet.

I read many of your comments to my husband.  He listened.  Two phrases, that really stood out (thank you Ron and Lisa) is that we need to decide if we are giving B a hand OUT or a hand UP.  My son is also in his RECOVERY stage, and not ADDICTION.  I reminded my husband that B  it is apparent that he is no longer using drugs. If he was, he would NOT have paid any rent, and been evicted long ago. Plus, C has bought his own groceries and paid friends gas money to get him to work.  The methadone is working for him, Amen.

Plus, I give kudos for my son for putting up with an abusive and unethical boss. B goes to work, on time, rain or shine. He works hard.

My husband has very valid concerns, and the three of us need to sit and talk about it, today.  Some of C's concerns, as I understand them are:
  • Manipulative behavior - mainly over money.
  • Manipulating his mom into doing this for him.
  • Laziness - my husband is a hard worker. 
  • Lies - obviously, this comes easily for drug addicts.
He is also concerned that I give in too easily to my son, though he understands why-- that I love my son unconditionally. NOTE: Our pastor recently said "the definition of loving someone unconditionally means that you can love them, despite their own dysfunction".  Amen.

C has agreed that my son needs help.  It looks like we are going to allow B to come home, but we need to come to some very specific guidelines. I'm the kind of person who writes things down, and my son will read it and sign it.

The reason I WILL charge my son rent is this--  he needs to have "ownership" of the cost of living.  HOWEVER,  3/4 of the rent will go into a savings account. That money will be paid towards the next room he rents.  1/4 of it, will (barely) cover the cost of his living here.  B will have to buy some of his own groceries-- like his sodas that he is addicted to and he drinks enough milk to support a dairy farm.

He will now be able to pay for his car insurance and gas, with what he makes.
He will pay a certain amount of his paycheck back to reduce his debt. I will make sure that happens, because he will give the money to me.

I will also tell him that since we are helping him get back on his feet, that I don't want to see a new X-Box or new "toys" with the money he is saving, by living with us. Yes, he should be able to go to a movie, or buy a new pair of shoes etc.  Everyone should have a reward for their hard work and honest money. I told my son that I would resent it if my son lived off us to indulge in "things". He needs to save money and become debt-free.

There will be a cap on how long he can stay with us, though.  Of course, if we find any signs of drug use, he leaves immediately.

B says he is 110% willing to comply.  Of course, C is wary that my son will do that.

I understand. There is always a "honeymoon" period, when a kid returns home.  Let's hope that my son has really changed enough to learn the value of integrity.

I feel bad, though, that I heard my husband get up at 4:30am.  He got dressed and went into the living room to watch TV.  I knew he was worried/upset about my son coming back.  God help us!

I'd better get ready to pick him up.  I value your feedback, advice, support and comments. Thank you.


JacobsMom said...

I'm somewhat new to this whole blog thing and have just recently found yours. I now follow you faithfully! I am keeping you, B and C in my prayers!! It's very unfortunate that B has these current problems to deal with but credit can be re-built and he's learning how to deal with life on life's terms, a very hard thing for addicts to get. But it sounds like he's trying, he's working hard and he's staying clean...praise God!! I have a 19 year old son who is an addict and what drew me to your posts are that I see so many similarities except that my son's problems are legal issues but he'll get through them one way or the other. Like I get with you and your son, my son is my heart!! I will continue to pray for you and yours and all the addicts still suffering out there! God bless and hold on tight!!

LisaC said...

I will be praying for you and your husband, as well as for B. Coming home after all that you have been through together has stress (sheesh...I was stressed when Bryan came home for the one week visit, remember? :)

My only "concern" (note that it is in quotes) is that you seem to be very controlling over his money...I just want to caution you to check your motives and be cognizant about what is driving that choice/behavior of yours? Is it control of him or did he ask for you to assist him in that way.

The decision has to work for you and your husband as well as B...but as I said before, I truly believe that people (our sons and daughters in recovery) deserve our help the same way we would help them if they were off in college (for example...we wouldn't think twice). It is something completely different when they are active in their addiction.

I'm really proud of the way you and your husband have sat and talked and planned and support each other. That is awesome and God is truly smiling on your family.

Barbara said...

I'm hear reading and hoping the best for this situation!!! Keep us posted.

Cheri said...

Your plan sounds reasonable and Wayne and I will keep all three of you in our prayers.

Lisa expressed some concern about your control of B's money/finances. I'm sure he needs the help to learn to manage money; I know my addict needed it. A thought flitted through my mind as I read her concerns... what about the idea of B paying his rent, debt payments, etc. to C. This would take you out of the manipulation loop and maybe help reduce C's stress about B returning home. Just a thought. I know you'll move in the direction that God leads you, which will be the best for all concerned.

Hugs and prayers,

A Mom' Serious Blunder said...

I don't feel at all qualified to give advice but I know how your husband is feeling because I would be feeling that too.

Heather's Mom said...

I think your plan is good - I just finished a book, "How to Change Someone you Love" by Brad Lamm. In it (I'm paraphrasing off my memory here!) I gathered to speak hope for the future to your kid. Love & praise goes a long way over nagging and controlling.

My point is, you're showing love and support, and you have set the framework/boundaries. By letting him know you think he can handle this is a vote of confidence in his direction. I would hang onto hope instead of worrying if he'd mess up, and if he does, well, I'd consider it a slip-up as an action versus a judgement against who he is trying to become. Like you said, he is in recovery, not actively using.
Just my thoughts :)
Praying for all three of you!

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Debby, I saw this blog by searching for anything new on suboxone. Suboxone is a drug that I have been on to kill my addictions. I was on methadone and quiickly found out how harmful it was. Yes, if you are using heroine methadone is probably safer for a while but I am convinced it is designed to do harm. The addiction to it isi just as bad as the drugs it stops you from using and quickly leads back to use of street drugs. I am sorry that you are going through this and B is so very lucky to have you but I am here to tell you that methadone will change your son for the worse and will not help him in any way. Methadone does get you high! I loved methadone. My friends loved my methadone. When I finally decided to get TRULY CLEAN, I switched to suboxone and it saved my life. THe life that methadone tried to take from me

Angelo said...

Annonmous, just because methadone didn't work for you doesn't mean it doresn't work for the thousands who take it everyday "THE WAY THERE SUPPOSE TO TAKE IT" not abuse it or keep going up in dose. It is working for B and it works for me. Suboxone didn't work for either of us.
I know this is going to work Deb. Sorry for the late comment. I'm trying to catch up on your blog as I left my e-mails alone for a bit.