August 2005


It’s hard on a mother’s heart to know her child is hurting. Jeff called today more depressed than I have ever heard before. There was no positive in his voice; his outlook bleak with no light in the distance, or at least in his mind.

His feelings over his girlfriend weigh heavily on him. They are on again – off again – and at the moment off. He says, “Mom I just need to take care of me right now I can barely do that.” Now, before anyone thinks something crazy there’s no commitment, no baby, no anything except young love – can’t live with you – can’t live without you type of relationship.

I told him that this time in his life is just about him. He wanted to know what he should do about his off right now girlfriend – all I could advise him was “whatever is best for you.” He said he wants to be done with her – at least for now until he gets his head on straight. This is something he has said before but been unable to stay away from her. Who knows what will happen this time.

He was very upset about coming home (from Virginia), “I don’t know if I can make it in the civilian world” He said. I sat there and listened – offering little as I felt these feelings might change over and over again before he actually gets home. He indicated he thought about going active duty as he has no real opportunity in the civilian world. He talked about not being smart enough for college (which he is) – not being able to find a good job (which he could) – and just being a leech. I asked him to try and not look at the big picture as it can be overwhelming. One thing at a time; work – everyone has to do it – and so will he. I reminded him it is difficult but not impossible. Being a responsible adult takes work; especially when you are new to it. Jeff never wanted to work a nothing job and never had the concept any honest days work is a job well done. He is one of the “I won’t work fast food” mentality kids. I reminded him there will be some work out there for him, but he needs to get off the I am too good for that type of work soapbox. We talked about school after the 10th time he said he was stupid to go. I didn’t lie; it would be difficult but not impossible. School isn’t supposed to be super easy. It is meant to challenge you and make you think. Yes, he can’t write a paper to save his life (high school didn’t prepare him and Geoff and I enabled him by doing the papers for him as we just needed him to get to graduation). He short sells himself though. He can write, he just can’t format it. He has clear and concise thoughts. He can prepare a thesis statement and start the ball rolling. He follows an outline to the letter. He has a lot of strengths; always weaknesses, we all have them, but that doesn’t make college impossible.

He vented for over 30 minutes today – third time in two weeks he called simply saying, “Mom I am depressed.” He talked and talked about active duty. ACTIVE DUTY – the words scare me, but if I am honest, very honest I do believe active duty would suit Jeff well. He does well when he is in a structured environment. He does well when he’s told what to do (not by his mommy). He bitches about it but he seems to blossom in that lifestyle. When he started talking about it (the last week or so) I didn’t encourage or discourage. I told him I would support any decision he made. I only said one thing. Something to the effect – If you request/go active duty because you want it, desire it, and feel it is your best quality of life then it is great. If you request/go active duty because you think you can not achieve anything else then it may not be the right thing for you. With his mentality right now of I am stupid- work – school – etc it is something he needs to think about. Life will look different tomorrow – it always does.

He said a few things that really troubled me – Mom I can’t make it out there I am just an alcoholic like everyone says. “Do you think you are an alcoholic” I asked. “Doesn’t matter what I think it matters what everyone keeps telling me.” He responded.

He still struggles this I know. He doesn’t drink as much as he use to, but drinks far too much – something I believe he is coming to understand. Maybe he thinks he will drink more when out – I don't know what is going on in his head.

All in all a hard day for baby (mama’s baby Jeff) and mom; a mother’s heart hurts tonight.

Tonight – for tonight I will think of Jeff’s innocence and happy – giggly times.

 Jeff's cute smile
Click link above to see cuteness!

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I haven’t been chronicling things as I should. Not sure if I have been out of sync, or just lazy. So things are moving right along in the motherhood and relationship with my children department.

Liz started school this week. Woohoo – 3rd year of Jr. College. What can I say; as long as she is moving forward in search of what she wants to do with her forever I am happy. As of this week she is pretty clear she wants to major in political science. We have been talking a lot recently she’s even mentioned law school. Last we spoke of school she stated that she would be applying to schools out of Santa Barbara. She has a transfer agreement with UCSB, but as a political science major she felt other area schools might be better suited. Sacramento, where she can intern in the Capital is just one example. Who knows if that will come to be as she changes her mind so often but for now she has a goal.

Of course she and Adam #2 are off again. It changes daily so it stresses me out. What does one expect at their young age? I try to listen and stay out of it (I don’t stay out very well)

Jake started his senior year. He looked the part up until a week ago when he chopped off all his hair. I swear he looks like a Jr. Higher now. Another new situation with Jake is his girlfriend, Katie. I swear that Romeo gets around. He hangs out with many but not often does he use the word girlfriend. She must be something special (for today) as he has rarely used the word.

And of course can’t forget Jeff. He returned from Virginia on August 25, 2005. Liz picked him up at LAX and made their way back to Santa Barbara, which Jeff now calls home.

Geoff and I drove up on August 26th to spend part of the weekend with Jeff. Of course we all had duties to perform. Geoff and Jeff needed to drive to L.A. so that Jeff could report to his reservist depot, and of course because he is a [insert last name here] (we always joke about anything associated with our last name being jinxed) that it didn’t go smoothly as it should have. They got to L.A. only to find no one there. Jeff’s orders said report by 2100 on August 26th. After wandering around some a Navy officer talked to them (guess there was Navy in there as well – after all they are affiliated). They told Jeff no one was there to process him and he would have to come back on the 29th. Jeff informed them he couldn’t return on the 29th as he didn’t have a ride from
Santa Barbara on that day. They were pretty accommodating and stated they would call him on the 29th to work something out.

While Geoff and Jeff were gone Liz and I went grocery shopping, clothes shopping (Jeff had very little that still fit him) and school book shopping. Kids can be so expensive. I am a firm believer on a parent putting their children through college as best they can so of course I bought Liz’s books (300 dollars and still two books to buy). All in all the weekend cost me 700 dollars. I am broke now!!

After Geoff and Jeff arrived home we did some home repair things at Liz’s (and not Jeff’s), we hooked up Jeff’s computer and got his living area all situated. Later we all went to Chili’s for dinner, of course on good ol’ mom (another 100 bucks), and really enjoyed the time shared. There was kidding around, laughing and a few moments of reminiscing. We all talked of what to do after dinner and decided going to a movie (Wedding Crashers) would be good. I told all the kids (young adults) they would have to pay for themselves. No one had issue with it and we went on to a great movie. I spent more time watching Jeff laugh, smile and get teary eyed because he was laughing so hard than I did watching the movie. My good he looks good. Fit, happy, respectful (for the most part) and level headed.

There wasn’t much to do after the movie so we all went back to the house and went to bed. By this time Liz and Adam were arguing (again I stayed out of it). Geoff and I took their bed, Jeff slept in his area, and Liz and Adam took the couches. I was very upset at Adam as he made Liz sleep on the short, uncomfortable couch instead of offering her the longer sofa. Liz had to work the next day at 9am and he had the day off. Adam is so young he doesn’t understand how to treat a girl, but I suppose that is something they will have to work out between themselves.

Anyway, when we got up Liz was gone, and Adam was sleeping. Geoff and Jeff had been up for hours and were just mulling around. Geoff had been to the McD’s a few dozen times (over exaggerating) for coffee as Liz had none. Geoff finished doing some home things for Liz and working on computers. The day got a bit rougher for me as Adam continually asked Jeff he wanted to go to the Indian Casino. The first three or four times Adam asked Jeff said no, “I am going to hang out with my parents.” Finally, after an hour or so of badgering Jeff said, “Mom do you care?” Now, I did care but he has been limited on what he could do for 8 months so I didn’t think it was my place to tell him no. After all he is a grown man now. Adam said it was 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back and since each were only going to spend 20 dollars so wouldn’t be a long trip. Anyway, three hours later as Geoff and I sat in their house alone I began fuming. I tried to not let it get to me but dammit I hadn’t seen Jeff in 5 months it would have been nice to think of that before he left.

Liz arrived home from work – Geoff, Liz and I went to lunch ..and then Geoff and I headed home. I called Jeff and told him that I loved him and would see him soon.

On the drive home Jake called and said he was going to SB with Jeff’s girlfriend. I couldn’t say no as he wanted to see Jeff as well, but I was annoyed because he should have just gone with us. When we got home I saw some of their friend’s cars outside the house. Now I had told Liz earlier in the week, along with all Jeff’s friends, this weekend was a family weekend only. I thought Jeff needed time to get settled, not immediately hang out with all his lush friends, and wanted to keep it fairly calm at Liz’s since she had school starting on Monday. Needless to say I was very angry when I found out all the gang was on their way to SB.

I called and yelled at Liz. Liz was so adult like she said, “ I know you aren’t mad at me Mom and it is okay that you are venting all this to me.” Of course later on Jeff called me and yelled at me saying that I shouldn’t be upset at all. Jeff went on to say that I needed to stop being childish about his going to the Casino because if I didn’t want him to go I should have told him no. So, Jeff and I agreed, I was acting childish (angry) and he was inconsiderate. The entire argument lasted 5 minutes.

A day went by and I didn’t talk to Jeff. I am not going to hound him to death just because he is home. He called me last night and said he needed money. I told him he was going to have to get serious and find a job as I was not going to give him spending money.

Well, today Jeff got a job!!!!!!. He will be starting next Tuesday as the Stocking Supervisor at The Gap. What does the stocking supervisor do I asked. Jeff laughed and said “Hell of I know, but the manager/owner is a Marine so he liked me.” Jeff said he will be starting at 9.00 dollars an hour, and that is with no experience. He thinks that is great and I am happy as can be that he is pleased with it.

He also called his reservist depot. He needs to report next Wednesday for processing and then return Thurday evening for his first weekend of duty. I am already stressed out thinking how we are going to get him there and back two days in a row, and then on Sunday, and then every month. Him having no license because of that DUI is really adding a lot of work to others. Geoff has talked with Jeff and will make it happen, all that driving that is. It is hard, Bakersfield to Santa Barbara, to LA, back to SB, then back to Bakersfield.

Geoff does love Jeff as if he was his own son. My family is blessed.

I need to learn to say no. I need to let them work things out themselves. I need to step back, but when they call and say “help me” I can’t seem to find the no.

Liz needs 700 dollars, and anyone with half a brain can guess who she asked. Apparently we discussed this previously, which we didn’t. I knew she got money from Neil (finally her father did something for her) and I thought because he coughed up some money I was off the hook; apparently I wasn’t.

700 dollars needs to be paid back to Adam’s parents for her share of the deposit on the house they rented. I just don’t see this ending. At some point you have to stand on your own two feet. I have to make her do that. I have to a point at times – but we both digress to kid/mom when things are tough. .

So here are the correspondents in order:
liz:
Hey I'm at work I can't call you because I forgot the calling card anywho. Call me when you get this email at work or at home if I'm already off. So
Adams parents are really upset I guess because they thought they were going to get my half of the deposit that they paid today. They thought I was paying it in whole on the first. I guess I thought we talked about it but now everyone is upset
Adams parents are mad at me and you or just me because I guess I'm solely responsible for the repayment. I talked to Dad and asked for some of the money because I need to pay them ASAP, I know they don't need the money and I expressed to Adam that we didn’t have it but he says his parents are broke and need the money, anyways dad said he might come across some money in a couple weeks and if that’s the case then he can send me some. Is there any way that you can pay his parents and I pay you back or something. When would it even be possible for you pay that?? Anyways just call me when you get my email. Love you
Liz

liz
So you sounded really upset on the phone. I'm sorry that we didn’t communicate well. I was with the understanding that you were paying it back. I mean I really wouldn’t have had the money to do it. I would have tried to save but I don’t have any money to save. I didn’t think that paying it the end of Aug. would matter to them I was thinking you could pay half now and then half on your next check. I can still see if they will let me do that. I know they don't need the money but I guess its the principle not the money! Call me and let me know what you wanna do.

Let me know what we should do.
Love you.
Liz

me:
I am upset by this because you are expecting someone else to complete your responsibilities. I guess it was miscommunication. I thought your father giving you money alleviating me of having to give anything. I know you think I have it, but honestly Liz coming up with money is difficult for me.

It upsets me that you and Adam live together like adults but really aren't adults. I am not beating you down I am simply making an observation. You two moved in together and part of that means working together on debts that you two create. You both wanted that house despite the lack of money. Enough said…

I haven't decided to front you all the money yet. I am going to think about it and talk to Geoff. I am thinking of sending half. Can you borrow the other half from Adam and then you pay him back at the end of the month with your saved money? I know he makes much more than you and most likely could do that. If and when your father sends you money you can start paying me back or Adam or half and half. Have you actually got concrete information as to your school loan and when you might receive that money?

It is time to step up to the plate Liz. You need to go to the loan workshop, get a second job, focus in school, do the right things, and basically not spend money. It is a hard life when you can't do anything fun, but you've placed yourself in that spot for now. Again, I am still thinking on this all together. I know it is not your problem, but between you and Jeff always needing something there's very little I can save or buy for myself. It is becoming very unfair. If you can't make it on your own maybe you should think about moving home.

I love you – write me back tonight and let me know if Adam can pay half and you pay him back first and then me.

I love you,
Mom
(I really don't hate you I am just feeling very overwhelmed at all this)

liz:

I know that you are upset about this whole situation as am I. Do you think that I like never having money never doing anything and always having to make others struggle because of me? No I don’t. I understand that coming up with money is difficult for you, just as it is difficult for me.

Seriously mom I was under the understanding that you were paying that back I thought we talked about you paying half from one check and then half from another check and then when we moved out you would get that amount back. I guess I must have thought we had this conversation or we did have it and you just interpreted it differently than I did. I'm sorry about this because now someone is going to be unhappy. Both ways me, but either you or Adams parents. You're already upset and so are they. Either way I don’t win. I just want to fix this problem. I do not have the money to pay it and if I did I would. I don't do anything with my money you're right it was the dumbest thing for me to do to move into that house. I don't have the money to live there I shouldn’t have moved in somewhere where I couldn’t pay the bills. Maybe I should just move home…Maybe when Jeff gets here he can take over half the room get a job and pay for it. I can't afford it.

I know that Adam and I have created debt but his is paid off and mine I thought was coming from you so I didn’t think to ask Adam in the beginning for it! I'm sorry for this and now he doesn’t have it. He has to pay rent and paid his parents back in full for the deposit. I don't think he even has 200 he could lend me. I can ask my boss at work if he can lend it to me and call dad again. I'm doing everything in my power to find the money. I would have started earlier if I knew I was paying this money. I hope you truly understand that I did not know that i was going to have to pay this. I would have never moved in with this understanding.

So I guess all in all your right I shouldn’t live in this house. I know you think I'm taking no responsibility but I do contact the school and I already have signed up for the loan workshop and mom I would get another job but school is going to start in less than a month and I can't have two jobs and go to school. I won't be able to do any school. I should start thinking about other options I still have time to register for BC and live at home. I guess school is school. Although I love living out here and with Adam and my job is here I can live for free at home…which is about what I can afford 🙂 I can't have Adam or you support me I need to support myself and maybe the only way is to move home. I've tried looking for cheaper rent but at the moment that is not an option. I'm paying almost nothing to live out here now…..most people pay a lot more to live out here. I guess I just want to live here but it doesn’t look like that is the best option for me.

I know having to lend Jeff and I money is getting annoying! I understand this. Maybe you could just pay
Adams parents back and then I'll come home get a job and start paying you back. I wont have any bills and that will be possible for me. Let me know what you decide

Adam is really upset at me right now…I told him I was thinking about moving home and now he is all pissy at me. I guess not pissy just upset because he likes having me around. I haven’t thought this through much but at the moment it seems like the best idea….Love you get back to me

me:
I will talk to Geoff. I don't want you to HAVE to move home, but I have to believe you can make it on your own. I know this money thing is a HUGE issue but a temporary one. We didn't talk about the money in detail like you think. We talked briefly and then when your father sent money I thought that was the money you needed, all the money you needed.

I am sorry if Adam is upset but he has to understand part of what you two did by moving in together was incurred the responsibility together. So even though Adam paid back his part your inability to pay your part right now affects him. Don't try to guilt me with the moving home stuff. I say that because it is an option. I feel like you say it so I can say "oh no you don't have to do that." I am doing everything I can to help you make the right decisions in this early part of adulthood. Please just help me help you by thinking things through.

We are both upset – I know this. We'll talk more after I talk to Geoff tomorrow. Did you ask Adam if he can lend you any money (after he gets paid?). I was also unclear as to when your loan workshop is and how long thereafter can you expect a check? Did you ask that question? I think a second job is out of the question as you do have to do school. I am just having faith you will do so as each time you enroll you end up dropping and just not telling me. It is time to get serious Liz, about everything. Struggling or not – you better get a plan; figure out what you want and what you don't, and then get on the right course. Understand?

There comes a time when all parents need to let go and allow their child, adult child to fly. I have been slowly doing that for what seems to be a very long time, but quite honestly not sure I can let this one go. She’s happy there- works full time for the most part – goes to school – actually loves her life when she doesn’t have to think money issues. She doesn’t spend a lot, doesn’t need a lot, is happy going to the beach, which is a few blocks from her house and spending little to no money. Another factor is when Jeff comes home his plan was to move there with Liz to be away from the crowd here in town and continue to try and change his lifestyle from drinker/partier to school kid and weekend Marine.

There’s so much to think about – and in the end I always do the same thing…break me to save them. Guess it is just in my blood. I really had wanted to do things around the house with that money. Fix the pool/Jacuzzi. Let Jake lay sod like he wanted in the backyard; maybe another time. Maybe….my life is a big fat maybe.