Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Do we ever stop worrying?

(42 Posts)
Ylil Sun 27-Jan-13 12:35:38

Our son is 27. He left school, against our advice, at 16 and apart from a few odd jobs has not really worked. For a long time he was a heavy cannabis user. He's lived away from home at times, on JSA and housing benefits but came home 18 months ago, on the understanding he either got work or went to college.

He started college last September, and appears to be doing well. He wants to move out but we've said to do that he needs to get a job to fit in with his college so he got a job as a pizza delivery driver. However, he's not happy doing that because he's on the minimum wage, and has to use his own car so says he's not going back. We've told him he can't just not go in to work without some notice or they may not pay him for the work he's done this month, but he says he doesn't care he's not going back.

We just don't understand his attitude. I get so upset by his behaviour, his outlook on life, his lack of enthusiasm for anything except his music, which is his subject at college.

He finished with his long term, girlfriend earlier this year because they always argued. He spends most of his time when not at college, in his room.

I am not necessarily asking for answers, just needed to get some of this off my chest.

Thank you for reading this.

Orca Sun 27-Jan-13 12:59:26

I feel for you.

Movedalot Sun 27-Jan-13 13:00:58

Ylil I don't have any answers for you but just want to send you my sympathy. flowers

Tegan Sun 27-Jan-13 13:07:47

I don't want to be brutal, but I don't think there's much chance of making a profession out of music unless you're extremely talented and, even then most successful people have made it by their early twenties. It's a pity he can't get a part time job doing something he enjoys [working for a music shop for example, but they're all closing down, alas]. I do find that people who overdo the wacky baccy for a long time tend to lose their sense of purpose [got several friends that are like that]. When he does start applying for jobs he needs to prove that he is reliable so even a job as a pizza delivery person is valuable on a cv. Could he not do some sort of voluntary work with the homeless which would look good in the future but also, perhaps, make him view his own life differently? I do understand you supporting him, though. Whatever I say doesn't actually relate to what I'd do in your circumstances. Which would be to do exactly what you're doing now.

Tegan Sun 27-Jan-13 13:10:07

By the way, must point out that the most recent people I know in that situation are both finding their feet and getting their lives back on track with the help and support of their family, so I didn'nt mean to sound so negative; sorry if I did sad.

dorsetpennt Sun 27-Jan-13 13:38:00

Tegan my children are 36 and 33 years old and one never stops worrying. I remember when my son was a baby a woman telling me that I would worry for the rest of my life - I didn't believe her, silly me. My son is happily settled with 2 darling little girls so I tend not to worry too much about him My daughter on the other hand is a constant worry to me. She broke up with her long term boyfriend who I thought was just right for her, he certainly put up with a lot - I loved him so it was a break up for me too. However, I didn't have to live with him and I support her decision. Since then she seems to have 'wandered' in her social and personal life. She has a good job and is a very hard worker. But she seems to have become something of a hypochondriac - she goes to her GP far more then I ever do with some sort of ache and or pain. She seems to be annoyed with everyone all the time. She just seems to be a bit lost.
I now understand my mother's feelings about me before she died. I was 21 years old when she developed cancer [Dad had died that year as well, of cancer] - she used to say she'd die a bit happier if I was settled with a husband. I think that is why I made the huge mistake of marrying my first husband. I certainly don't want to say anything of that sort to my daughter, I just want her to be happy and she isn't. Most of her school friends are settling down and having babies and she seem quite bitter about that too.

Ylil Sun 27-Jan-13 13:41:01

Movealot, Orca, thanks.

I don't take your post as a negative Tegan.

His college course is music production, he would like to follow his brother who produces video games and apps.

His heavy cannabis use has changed him, we can see that, since he moved back he has stop using it apart from the odd spiff. But we feel the damage has been done.

We tried kicking him out, several years ago but he got himself into trouble, we don't want that to happen again, although I don't think it will. In a lot of areas he's very intelligent, but in others, still very immature. How dos one motivate him?

The stress is unbelievable, we always feel we have to walk on egg shells around him. This morning I tried to talk to him but he just went off on one.

granjura Sun 27-Jan-13 13:50:34

I truly feel for you - it must be so hard to do this walking on egg shells all the time. I have 2 of my brightest ever students who have ruined their life due to heavy cannabis use. Of course you don't want to give up on your son, and are so worried he will 'get into trouble' again - but on the other hand you have to look after your sanity and health too, and your relationship with your husband.

Could it be he is using more than the odd spliff again? I really feel you need professional help - but not sure where is the best place to ask. Perhaps go to your GP if you have a good relationship with her/him and ask where to ask for support.

My 2 are approaching 40 and 38 - and yes, I still worry about them all the time. The eldest with the 2 young children is working so hard, and so does her husband- and there is often tension in the air. Our youngest put us through the mill in the past, but has turned out really well. But she is trying to keep a business afloat in Spain, and it is not easy + puts tension into her relationship with her partner too. I don't think we will ever stop worrying.

Tegan Sun 27-Jan-13 14:02:17

Looking back over my life I'm so relieved that my mum didn't live to see my marriage breaking down. I've said for 33 years now, 'stab my children and I bleed'; when they're down they seem to get over it quicker than I do. I undertand what you mean about the immaturity Ylil, as I have an example of that in my own life at the moment but, hopefully doing well at his course will change that, and he does now have a goal. I just wondered if he might need some extra help, though [cognitive behaviour therapy?] but I am talking out of complete ignorance; it was just a thought. From someone that drifted through the swinging sixties in a haze of cannabis smoke I'm seeing more and more the damage done by the new, stronger drugs that people take now.

ninathenana Sun 27-Jan-13 14:13:04

Oh heck, I really do empathise.

My son is 22 next month, has never had a girlfriend, or any male friends really. He has never left home, fortunately he's never been into drink or drugs, but then he never goes out.
His only job was 4 wks unpaid work experience. He's never made any effort to find P.T. work. Although we do live in a rural area with hardly anything available. He attends college 3 days a week studying I.T. so is entitled to claim JS. He does attended college regularly and gained a distiction and 2 merits at the end of last year. However, the days he's not in college he spends in his room, only appearing to eat smile
I worry about his future, he finishes his college course in June, I don't see much prospect of a job locally.sad Or of a social life, at 22 he should be out enjoying himself.
He just seems to have given up sad

Orca Sun 27-Jan-13 14:19:56

ninathenana just keeping being there for him, don't you give up.

Movedalot Sun 27-Jan-13 14:35:01

I have a friend with 2 daughters who are settled and a credit to her then there are her 2 sons! One has ADHD and takes drugs but does manage to hold down a job. The other, I think he is 25, is very good looking, has a wonderful way with people and seems to have everything going for him. He gets a job and is very enthusiastic about it and then it goes wrong after a few weeks and he either leaves or gets fired. He takes drugs. They both still live at home and their mum is very good to them, perhaps too good, I don't know.

I know this is of no help to you Ylil but I'm telling you so you won't feel isolated and alone. I think there is a lot of it about.

celebgran Sun 27-Jan-13 14:52:34

Ylil do feel for you! answer is of course same as other grans most Mums will worry about their offspring until separated by death!!

It is a sad fact of life, but you have to let them go and make their own way.

Our son is fantastic I am so close to him, but he is 35 and I still worry, he too split up with long term partner, now got new lady, lovely, but 2 step sons, nothing wrong with that, except they moved into house together enormous rent, and now she had been made redundant!!

I am worried sick they will get into debt, they have contractuntil Nov.
My son extremely clever and high flier but not good with practical stuff ie finance!!

Do hope your son can sort himself out, have to be bit hard for their own good, it is irresponsible of him to walk out on job however menial it never helps. Also doe s he expect financial help from you?
We drew a line under our son for helping him a long time ago, hard that it was.

sorry not sure it this is any help!!!

JessM Sun 27-Jan-13 15:48:07

It is not an easy time to be a parent of young adults. As a generation many of them are having a tough time. It was the same 20 years ago when my DS1 was in his 20s and there was a recession on. Poor employment prospects, particularly for young men in "the regions"
I have been through the wringer with my two and have learned to try to focus my mind on the positives and mostly avoid the "what if" thinking that characterises worry. I do have wobbles. But worrying is such a horrible feeling - and it does not help the person being worried about.

Ylil Sun 27-Jan-13 16:50:16

We do support him insofar as he lives at home and we give him an allowance which pays his petrol to and from college - he has come back this afternoon, we both tried to talk sense into him, that he must at least give this job a go for a bit longer but he's adamant he's not going back. We've explained in that case he should phone on and tell them he's not coming back and explain why or they may not pay him for the 5 days he's worked. But he says he doesn't care if theybpay him or not then he starts getting cross with us for suggesting it, and quite frankly was rude to us both.

Ana Sun 27-Jan-13 16:59:06

No doubt he will still be expecting his allowance and free board and lodging though. It really is hard to get through to some young people that they really should be taking some responsibility for their own lives, both present and future. I'm afraid I have no suggestions - if you start issuing ultimatums there's a risk he could just leave, and then you'd worry even more! sad

Ylil Sun 27-Jan-13 17:24:43

Tegan I've thought about therapy but he would have to agree to it and doesn't admit to having any.

Ylil Sun 27-Jan-13 17:25:05

any problems that is!

Grannyknot Sun 27-Jan-13 19:33:27

Ylil how sorry I feel for you. I know you didn't ask for advice, but if your son is getting cross with you for saying he must at least phone his employer, it's not worth getting into an argument about that, especially if he's rude to you. Focus on what comes next - which is how is he going to fulfil the 'contract' that he has to work. That's what he should be thinking about. flowers x

Stansgran Sun 27-Jan-13 21:04:35

I hate reading about sons and daughters who are rude or stay in their rooms and come out to eat as one poster said. Could you not insist that at least two nights a week they produced the evening meal and if not at work then serious house work or house maintenance was undertaken. It might make them feel valued and value themselves more realistically. I feel very sympathetic as I had a close relative who had dreadful trouble equating his abilities with his earning capabilities. He wanted to have"professional" salary but no sticking power for courses or degrees.

Ylil Sun 27-Jan-13 21:26:51

How do you make an angry 27 year I'd do anything.........that's our problem.

Tegan Sun 27-Jan-13 21:31:47

Ylil did say she wasn't looking for answers Stansngran; just needed to offload a bit.

Grannyknot Sun 27-Jan-13 21:41:18

Ylil you can't make a 27 year old do anything, but you can state the truth as you see it, without any expectation of change. In other words, you can calmly and quietly say what you see. A reality check so to speak.

My daughter came to live with us after a relationship bust up that left her heartbroken. She was really beastly and bad tempered and unhappy and took it all out on us. I can't remember how long I was patient for - she says it was about 3 months (we laugh about it now) - till I sat her down and told her what it was like for me having her live at home and behave the way she did. She had the insight to see I was right, and not long after (still unhappy but aware that she needs to move on) she moved out and made changes in her life. Granted not the same situation, but you can't stand around metaphorically wringing your hands for ever.

You have all my sympathy, but it sounds as if your son needs a reality check. And I know it's easy to talk when you're not actually in that situation.

On another note, the question of cannabis use has cropped up in this thread, so I am posting a useful self help site here aimed at people who want to reduce or stop their cannabis use.

Grannyknot Sun 27-Jan-13 21:44:06

Sorry meant to post this link

Mey Sun 27-Jan-13 21:47:15

That was a brilliant post Grannyknot.