When someone hits rock bottom…

…I mean really hits rock bottom, they are appreciative of every thing you do for them. It’s easy to say you’ve hit bottom, but to behave as if you have is not so easy to fake. We experienced this when S contacted us Thursday. Actually, he contacted me. I forwarded everything that was said, by S and myself, to Jay. We called a family meeting and let J and T know what was going on. Jay was convinced that S was really at rock bottom, and that if we help him, the only direction S could go was up. Based on this information, J and T agreed that it would be ok for S to come home and we would support him in getting back on his feet, with certain stipulations: he was to get a job; fix his status with the national guard; send support to M and E; pay rent; apply for Medicaid; absolutely no drinking, drugs, smoking, or chemicals of any kind allowed on the property or in his system; and he was to be respectful and help out around the house. 

Jay and I went to pick him up Friday morning from a shelter an hour away. When I saw him, immediately my anxiety level went up. Thoughts of “oh no, here we go again” went through my mind. I hoped that things would be different this time around. I trusted Jay, and I wanted to trust S, but I had my reservations. 

From Friday to Monday our home had a dark cloud over it. It felt different just walking up to it. Clothes and dishes were left out and I was sounding like a nag because everywhere I went S had left a mess. No progress had been made to gather his missing documents to be able to find a job, he had made no effort to apply for Medicaid or contact the national guard. He grabbed T and threw him to the side when T was trying to play by blocking the walkway and asking everyone for a password. He made unnecessary comments in conversations that did not involve him. By Monday evening I’d had enough. I pulled Jay aside into the kitchen and started to fill him in on everything that had been happening. S came in, already agitated, and tried to join the conversation. He tried to say that he didn’t have time to get anything done because it was the weekend. I called him out on it because he spent his days sleeping and his nights keeping me awake, and he could’ve applied for Medicaid online, and I was able to reach his unit in a matter of minutes, which tells me he put zero effort into doing either. 

He started to play the victim and once again denied that E was his. She is 14 months old, and he still calls her “it!” I was furious. I got in his face and told him that he had sex, with my friend, in my house, and that whether or not he believed she was his, he was going to accept responsibility for her as long as I had anything to do with it. Whether or not E is his (and I fully believe she is, she looked just like him when she was born, and everyone else has accepted her), he broke the rules and the consequences are that he is now a father, and he must accept responsibility. He started yelling excuses at me, and raised his fist up to swing at me. My instincts must have been stronger than I knew, because before he could hit me, I reached up and grabbed him by his throat. The swings were coming, but I wasn’t going to let go until I was safe from the blows. Jay jumped up and grabbed him and told him to leave. S turned around and kicked a hole in our kitchen door. Everything happened so fast. He went outside, undressed down to his underwear, and started screaming for the “Mormons” to come help him, he was trying to wave down passing cars, and yelling obscenities. The police were called to remove him from our property. The police came to talk to me, and I told them what happened and Jay confirmed it. Which is totally different from what S told them, but I fully admitted that I grabbed him before he touched me. The police asked us to gather all of his things and bring them outside. We did, and the officers told us to go back inside and they would take care of everything.

Lesson learned, he’s out of chances. I know S blames me for growing up the way he did, although I was the one who pushed Jay to fight for custody of him and K. Their mom made sure that I was always the bad guy, and the kids always tried to play both sides. The children are now adults, and they have to decide for themselves what the truth is about their parents, all of their parents. I’ve read many articles and blogs about the importance of parents being accepting and supportive of the step parents in their children’s lives. I refuse to talk badly about other parents around the children. It’s not fair to the other parents, or the kids. I’ve seen the damage that can come from sharing negative feelings about others around the kids…the parents are a big part of each child, and who they will grow up to be.

I wish that we could trust all of our children, but 2 of them have already burned the bridges beyond repair, at least in my mind. We hope that they are able to learn the importance of good decision making and find success for themselves. I believe that S is not mentally capable of making decisions for himself, but we do not have the means to have him declared incompetent, and with R coming in only 3 more days, we can’t have the violence and disrespect in the home. There are certain things that can no longer be tolerated. We are R’s last chance at a family life. If we fail him, he will spend the rest if his life in residential facilities. He is still young (almost 13). He needs a family environment where he can thrive and use the skills he’s learned from the residential facilities he’s been in. 

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