My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, February 20, 2011

a fun afternoon with my teenager (not)

I guess you could say that I drew a line in the sand.
Austin stayed gone all weekend after he got mad at me Friday night.
I didn't try to make him come home. I figured... what's the point? He'll come home and be surly and disagreeable and ... I definitely carry stress in my back... whenever I get stressed, I must tense up or something because I really feel it.
But today... he needed to come home and make sure he is ready for school next week... he needs to do his laundry... he had dirty dishes that he left in the sink Friday night that I was tired of smelling.
Etc. etc. etc.
I started trying to get him to come home at noon.
By 3pm I was highly aggravated.
He was refusing.
I told him that Zach is worthless and that when he hangs out with Zach, he gets worthless too.
I mean... Zach, despite getting married... (with no wedding night)... the only work he's ever done is Community Service. He dropped out of school after 9th grade. He doesn't work. He sits at his mom's or his wife's mom's and he plays games.
That's not the life I want my child to aspire to.
Austin's texts to me were pretty ugly. I mean... he used rather abusive language.
I finally just said, "whatever. I'm done".
I was. I was tired of begging him to do the right thing.
He came home in a fury. I sensed it and closed my bedroom door to avoid a confrontation.
Honestly... I can't handle it.
He slammed the dishes around... (keep in mind, the only ones he had to do were HIS... i had loaded the dishes i used directly into the dishwasher)... then went into his room and screamed...
"your dishes are done, BITCH!"...
I told him he couldn't talk to me like that.
An argument escalated.
I finally said... "enough"... and called the police.
I've never done that before on any of my kids and there were times... oh boy... there were times... but Ryan and Cody have always had a measure of rationalization... and... honestly... they never treated me the way Austin does.
I also called my brother.
The police came. Two of them. They took my statement. I gave them permission to take a statement from Austin. He showed out a little bit while they were there...
They took me outside and discussed my options. I could file a complaint in juvenile court but that would require him to appear in court and yada yada... or... we could just file a police report and they would keep it in case of any future problems.
Then I showed them the text messages he had sent me.

See... what he did... he left me with proof of how he talks to me.

The cops gave him a stern talking to. They told him he had no right to talk to me the way he did. ... he told Austin that the messages I sent to him in no way deserved the kind of response he gave me.
And Jim said, "I'm not going to let you talk to MY SISTER that way"...
I think that shook him up more than the cops.
The cops asked me if I wanted to take his phone away. In the past when I have tried, he has gotten physically combative. I said... yes. I wanted his phone taken away. The cop took it (and gave it to me... and I gave it to Jim)...
After they left we talked about what Austin had to do to get his phone back.
They talked about Austin getting a job and school attendance and so on and so forth.
Then Jim left... and now Austin is in his room. He hasn't spoken. I imagine he's angry... but if anything... he now knows that there are boundaries... that I'm not going to allow him to talk to me the way he does... that there ARE consequences for his actions... and maybe, just maybe, that will change his course of action.
I'm exhausted... but I think I did the right thing.
I don't ask a lot. I really just ask him to clean up behind himself. And as Jim reminded him... I don't really have a lot of rules, I'm very liberal, open minded, I don't set a lot of boundaries... but...
I didn't go thru everything I went thru to stop Michael Darby from abusing me only to allow my own child to do the same thing.
Tough love. There ya go.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Heather! You have to stand up to him for him to respect you. And if he won't others 'suggesting' it hopefully will work for him. I couldn't imagine having a son who was bigger than me acting the way he does with you. I have an almost 18 year old and the closest thing he has ever even questioned me on was reading his text's. I told him I pay the bill for that phone and he is my child therefore it is my right to check up on him from time to time. He actually apologized! :-)

Hope this little shakeup is what Austin needs to be a better son to you!

lisabug said...

Heather, I am so sorry that Austin in behaving this way, I am praying for you and him. I am so happy that Jim showed him that you were his sister before you were Austin's mom. I am praying for your health also. I hope that Austin realized the seriousness of this situation and comes to respect you and your position in his life as mom,sole provider, nurturer.

Jeanne said...

I am so sorry you have to go thru this...but I think you definitely did the right thing. The older he gets the harder it will get unless you put your foot down NOW.

Bravo to you...I KNOW it was hard...but you DO deserve to be treated with respect and its great that you stood up for YOU!


slj said...

Maybe you need to spend less time in your nest and more time making Austin do what he is supposed to do.
My son has aspergers syndrome also. I know exactly what it's like having a special needs child. That does not give them the right to be disrespectful.
Being a single mom is not an excuse either. I've raised my son alone most of his life. And if he doesn't know anything else, he knows he can not be disrespectful.He is now 24, has graduated and held a job for 3 years until the business closed.
I'm sure you will block me after this post and that's okay..
I have been reading your blog since you were engaged. I've found most of your entries interesting.
Although,I do have to say that you should have been able to help yourself a bit more financially.(pre-back problems). There is such a thing as taking on a part time job. Been there done that.
On your blog you've asked why you get the visitors but only a few comments..well, could it be that you don't take the time to acknowledge some of the people that do comment?
I would be one of those people. I was interested in your life until I finally realized that you are a writing snob. If someone doesn't interest you, you disregard them.
I'll consider myself disregarded and stay off your blog..
Maybe that's something you should consider. Staying off your blog and out of your nest and helping your son become a respectful young man.. Keep in mind that how a man treats his mother is a sign of how he will treat his wife.

Janis said...

I totally agree that you did the right thing. Good for you making the choice of being a parent and not just a friend! Praying for you and your family! So thankful you have a brother to come stand by you.

God Bless