21 year old Drummer lives in our home still. He went off to college (45 mins away) for a year and a half and then came back to work on being a rockstar. He is quite good (i am biased, of course) and they had a LOT of initial interest from big names but nothing has quite panned out. We had given him a year to live here and try to make a go of it. (It has been over a year.)
In the meantime, he has started dating Sweetie and has gotten engaged.
Sweetie is a good girl and I love her.
She lost her mom to cancer last year so she is really broken hearted and devastated.
She has some issues that were there before her mom's illness and death. She has been diagnosed bipolar and is on med (I do not know that this is a valid diagnosis - wannabe Dr. that I am ;) but that is the current situation). She is headstrong and prideful and super sensitive. (My family would say Drummer is definitely marrying his mother! :)
Drummer is my son and I love him deeply, but he has some major issues as well. He has never been diagnosed with anything, but he is EXTREMELY moody (mood disorder?) and has massive aggressive anger problems. He is very volatile.
To me they seem like a very combustible combination. In my humble opinion, I think they are signing up for a world of hurt. But oh well NOMB (none of my business), didn't we all?
Mr. M is constantly accusing me of enabling Drummer. He say he has no rights in the house and that I wear the pants in the family and that I have f**ked up the kids and that if he was here and had more authority (and if the kids would listen to him), it would be totally different. He would've told Drummer to "pack his f**king sock" and "get the f**k out".
Mr. M also frequently points out how I am harder on him than I am on the kids. I have higher expectations on him and set firmer boundaries with him.
These are 2 of our "hamster wheel arguments"... the ones we just keep climbing back into and spending a ton of energy on but going no where, fast.
I am so saddened by Mr. M's enabling accusations. I do not entirely disagree with him... he has some good points... but I feel like he has a lot of accusation self-pity.
I will admit that I can be bossy and dominant and that probably from day 1, I have tried to wear the pants out of fear that no one else will... but he is not taking any responsibility for the fact that he routinely takes OFF the pants and walks away leaving them empty! Am I the problem for filling them?!? Should I just let them lay there empty? Who would earn a living, pay the bills, and parent the kids?
I also pointed out to Mr. M that HE has benefited as much as anyone from my enabling. He wants me to enable HIM but not the kids??? Sorry! It appears I am an 'equal opportunity enabler'... I spread my dysfunction around equally!
That's the back story.
This morning, Drummer got up and cheerfully made eggs and tortillas. He ate them and had finished. After, he then brewed a cup of tea and sat down to read his book. At this point Mr. M announced that "someone needs to empty the dishwasher". He cares deeply about mess and he would end up doing it if he didn't delegate. I felt it was as good a time as any to assign a task to Drummer. (He lives free, eats free, has a car with paid for car insurance, he rarely cleans his free car or free room and has to be asked to do HIS OWN dishes etc. etc. etc.)
I asked him to please unload the dishwasher.
He said he would later... he was going to read and sip his tea right now.
I said he should please do it now.
He said he's do it in about 1/2 hour.
I said no... now please.
He said later would work.
Mr. M asked him WHEN he would like to do it.
He said about 30 minutes.
Mr. M said he would be OK with that. (This frustrated me a bit because I didn't really care if it got done, I was trying to show Mr. M support and that I was trying not to enable, so I was mostly DOING this to make Mr. M happy because!)
I said it needed to be done now and that we needed to have our talk about expectations and chores and his attitude (after a meltdown last week).
Drummer LOST HIS FRICKIN' MARBLES.
He started screaming and yelling and cursing (he DID get up and begin unloading the dishwasher AS he was doing this) about my pridefulness and my power trip.
I told him he lives for free and I thought it was reasonable to ask him to contribute on a timeframe that might not jive with his.
"Dad is being the reasonable one... he understands that the task can wait 30 minutes." (Screamed.) He also accused that I have never done a dish in my entire life! (Really?)
I reminded him it is the home we own & pay for.
I was calm and firm.
The screaming and yelling continued. I told him I felt like it was a fairly extreme reaction for having to do a task on someone's time schedule other than his own and that he had lost. (By that I meant that he was having a huge problem with the fact that he felt like he had lost.) He spun this around that I only care about winning and that I am only happy when I am winning and someone else is losing.
Mr. M was sitting the making the bank deposit statement and chimed in that he was being rude and abusive to his mother.
He launched into a full-on attack on his dad that he is a drunk and how can HE presume to tell him what to do etc.
Drummer was out of his mind and Mr. M and I were actually being calm with low, rational voices... he ends up storming out of the house.
Mr. M and I end up on the hamster wheel (I enable Drummer too much, the way Drummer has turned out is MY fault, why won't I kick him out?, and how come I set boundaries with him - Mr. M - but not our kids?).
Drummer ends up texting me a little bit later that he overreacted but that I started the fight and if I hadn't started the fight, none of this would've happened. He said I was pig-headed and obstinate. He threw in a couple f-bombs for emphasis. He said if I keep threatening him with moving out, I will be excluded from all the special things in his life (this was a threat that I will not be invited to his wedding etc.). [BTW, this is a child for whom we WOULD be paying for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon... One of MY dearest friends is throwing the bridal shower, my friends and I are hosting a "dress trying on" brunch for Sweetie, Drummer just asked if Sweetie could STAY here - or at my folks' - over Spring break and all summer so she doesn't have to live with her dad and his new wife as they sleep in he mom's bed just 14 months after her mom DIED in it!]
I texted back that this made me tremendously sad and would be a huge loss for me - and also for him, Sweetie, and our whole family.
I cried as I typed this.
I was so sad that he could disintegrate over a simple reasonable request.
This adult male living for FREE (with car, insurance, food, and all privileges) in our home went to CRAZY TOWN about being asked to put dishes away on NOT his time schedule.
This feels like such a failure as parents.
He is about to get married and has NO adult skills, is entitled, ungrateful, and has out of control anger issues. I am frightened for his future and regretful of missed opportunities. I am not sure how to move forward. I was SO hoping to offer him this chance to live here for the rest of the year to save money so he & Sweetie could get a good start on their marriage (don't ASK me how they are going to pay for shelter and food with him earning $0 as a rock star).
Oh and, he is has been working part-time for Mr. M in his business while Mr. M has been injured and needing help (and is now due for shoulder surgery in the next couple weeks and will be needing MORE help) - and yet can curse his dad out about being a drunk but then saunter in on Monday expecting to earn $10 an hour under the table from said drunk!
Eventually, Drummer cooled down and texted me something about the book he is reading and that he didn't expect that plot twist. Just like that he had cooled down and was extending the olive branch. He will want everything to be as if nothing ever happened (kind of like when Mr. M gets drunk and sobers up and comes home and we play like everything is "FINE"). I couldn't bring myself to reply like I normally would. I didn't have anything to say.
Meanwhile, I came home from going to the bank and Mr. M was leaving (as a result of our fight). I asked if he would be setting up the tent in the yard before he left. (Girlie had asked him three days ago if he would - for a friend's birthday sleepover - and he had said he would.) He said "no" he wouldn't be doing that and that Bub and I could figure it out. I reminded him that he had committed to Girlie and he said that it was too bad but Bub and I would make it work. I told him that I WOULDN'T make it work... I hadn't committed to Girlie and she would be deeply disappointed as she was counting on him. He didn't seem to care. I promptly pulled the drapes and climbed back into bed and sobbed in the dark for a while (so unlike me... maybe YEARS of therapy is finally kicking in?). I was devastated that he could let Girlie down like that over petty anger with me. Again, just like the dirt biking accident, I can make a LOT of excuses for crappy things he does while drunk (he is sick, its a disease, he doesn't act like this when he is not drinking etc.), but when he is "sober" and acts in pure narcissism, I am flabbergasted.
Since he is not used to me sobbing, I think this shocked him (when he is drunk, he couldn't care LESS if I cry) and he immediately got Bub and they went out and set up the tent. (Girlie and her friends are outside giggling in it as I type this :)
Mr. M and I "made up". I went out with a friend for dinner. Mr M's feelings were hurt that I just bailed (I did it nicely... I just did what I wanted to do for me). I came home. We watched TV for a while. Life goes on...