I said the subtitle of this whole section should be “A Portrait of a Codependent”. I offer the email I wrote to the social worker on Jan. 7, 2005. I wrote a lot of emails like the one below over the next three months. I offer it as evidence of my state of mind.
Remember that, as a blog post, or an email, or even a piece of writing it is not something to be proud of. As an evidence of my state of mine, it is excellent.
Oh, and by the way, I will not post all 2 dozen or so of the emails like this that I wrote to Ruby. Mostly I will summarize them
Things are getting tense here -- in a very quiet sort of way.
David barely comes out of his room. He will interact with me just a little, but the he goes in, turns off the light and plays music -- and calls his friends. When dinner is ready I try to get him to come out but he tells me that he is not hungry and hates to sit there while we eat. I tell him I would really like him to spend some time with us, if not now then after dinner. He makes some noise of acknowledgement, but then does not come out.
Today we got his bill for his ring.
You may know that when he got his phone it turned out that they would not accept his ATM card or Visa Buxx card for payment. That meant he would have to have a paper bill and pay an extra $5.00 a month. I told him that I would pay it for him instead of putting allowance into his savings -- but he was supposed to be doing a good job of saving. That has not happened. Once he pays his share of the ring he will have just barely over $400 (the money from the couple) in his savings account and less than $50.00 otherwise.
I reminded him that this is the last month that I will pay for the phone.
I did not tell him, but I he may be guessing, that I will not give him allowance after this month -- savings or otherwise. It is becoming clear to me that if I give him any money at all that just means that he has less incentive to make it himself.
So...next month he turns 18. He will not have money to pay for driver's ed. He will not have money for driver's insurance and he will certainly not have the $500 deposit I require for driving my car (he is allowed to keep that in his savings account). On top of all that, if he does not start working again he will loose his phone.
If he does not get a job he will be very tempted to dip into the $400. I don't really want to take it out of his savings to hide it from him though.
So he is depressed.
He is also tired of living here. He only wants to be with his friends in The City.
It is very hard to be happy about him being here when he spends all his time in his room and acts like rides to The City are entitlements -- something owed to him because he did us all the favor of moving out to Our Small Town.
Sorry...it is late and I am tired. I am venting here a little. Okay...a lot.
I really do not know what to do. Part of me thinks that it would be better for him to move out this summer. He could live in The City, get a job, support himself and take the last few classes at an alternative high school. Or he could move in with a family in The City. I love him and want him, but maybe that would be better for him.
By the way, I don't know if he has actually checked back in at the restaurant. Last week he said he told them that he wanted to be on the schedule this week but when I asked him he said that he was not working today and did not know when he would be working. Does that mean that he is not on the schedule this week? That he might be but he never talked to the manager? That he does not work there at all?
He has filled out but not turned in an application for XXXX. We would drive him to the mall to turn it in any time he asked, but he never asks. I am nervous about his getting a job there though. Driving him back and forth to Next Small Town is not going to be a great deal of fun and I expect he will also act as though that is an entitlement. We made him live in this horrible town where there is no work he can lower himself to doing so of course we have to drive him wherever he wants to go.
I need to figure this out. Do we all just accept that he is no longer part of the family? This is where he does laundry and stores his things and eats -- but always on his own. He is like a renter, but he has only rented the one room. (If that is the case I want to refuse to give him taxi service -- of course he would just find a way to get into The City and not come back unless I fetched him. That is what he did when he was living in the country. I now understand why he got called in as a runaway even when people knew where he was.)
Or do we move him someplace where he has access to the things he thinks he needs
-- his friends and job opportunities he can tolerate?
I could let him go gracefully. We would still love him and still want to see him.
It is not what I want, but maybe it is best.
Of course maybe it is just that he is going through a rough patch. He is about to be out of money, will not be able to drive even when he turns 18 (in one month), and is likely to lose his cell phone (his favorite thing in the whole world). He is also not completely recovered from his whatever-it-is. He feels better, but he still has pain and he is still worried. He is tired. I could have more sympathy for him if I could convince myself that this is temporary. When he feels better he will be better.
So I need help. Are you going to be doing a goal meeting with him soon? Can you or Ted help him to make some decisions?
It might be that we did what we are supposed to for David and now he needs a less intense family. Carl used to complain that we were like the Borg always doing things in one tight unit. He should know that if needs to live somewhere else he would not be losing us as a family.
Or it might be that he is going through a rough patch and is going to get better.
He will start working again and be busy and though he will not have much time with us when he does have time to be home he will be WITH us. He will be part of the family again.
I don't know. I don't know if he knows.
Okay...I think I could ramble on like this for a very long time. I need to stop.
David's Story Part 1: The Beginning
David's Story Part 36: Talking to David