I love my home, it`s light and airy, comfortable, newly decorated, has an ever open door policy to my friends and my Son`s friends, and has a relaxed atmosphere.
I love my Son. He`s smart, funny, affectionate and my proudest achievement, and we have travelled a rocky road to get were we are now.
However, it`s not all plain sailing as we are basically two adults under the same roof, vying for leadership and with separate points of view and lifestyles. My Son sits in his `mancave` hours on end, surrounded by social and anti-social gadgets, IE: Mobile, homephone, X-Box, etc and there he`ll be in his comfort zone.
I pop round my Mum`s, where often is the case she`ll ask me to help her do things like her online shopping, etc, or if she`s hurt herself falling I will do her drinks and food. Some days it`s a short visit, others can be hours.
Other days I`ll be doing a helpline shift, (as I am whilst typing this too) and that keeps me grounded as I daren`t move far from the phone.
I see friends for lunch when we can and I love the change of scene and freedom of `Me` time.
I try and be sociable where I can and get out of the confines of my home.
I do have a home help once a week, she is worth her weight in gold and keeps me from chasing my tail, but I try and keep on top of my housework myself as I see it as good exercise and being productive.
One of the biggest bug bears of mine though is, though my Son now keeps his room clean and tidy, (First started for his Gf) he`ll think nothing of bringing out his plates, cups and washing from his room and just leaving them. The fact that it`ll be his and his ex-Gfs washing up, and the fact he can`t rinse and re-use the same cup instead of getting clean, as does many a parent, drives me nuts!
The piles of constant washing that is often clothes that id not long washed and still semi folded and clean but now overflowing from the washing box again.
Then there`s the post it notes on the fridge, in the hope that as things are cooked or made a sweep of the hand will magic away the crumbs or spillages usually left behind for the woodland animals to clean.
Then there`s going to the freezer to eat and finding yet another of my vege meals has been fed to his now vegetarian ex-girlfriend. Not funny when there`s only MY money coming in and his ex is now staying more nights in the hope of sorting out their broken relationship.
However the post it notes fall off the fridge and seem to be a blind spot whilst opening the fridge door while bacon is on his mind.
As is the growing trend in the UK my Son is not alone at still living at home in his early 20s, for various reasons many still are; unemployment, low wages, Being a student, Student depts from University, property prices too high, Private rents too high, it isn`t easy for the young to fly anymore.
My Son is no exception, although his circumstances are slightly different in some respects. Having a disabled parent who doesn`t drive, and a work shy, absent parent means that unlike many of his friends he hasn`t had the luxury of a parent driving him around for job interviews, or to and from work or helping financially. Having a Mother not originally from the area, and with only two other female family members nearby also has meant he doesn`t have that luxury of `It`s not what you know, but who you know,` unlike some of his friends who have got jobs through their parents network. The bus times in rural areas are ridiculous, starting at 7:30 and stopping at 18:30, not conducive to work hours, especially when you live seven miles from the town.
I`m not saying that he doesn`t lack motivation, because he could try harder and have a lot more self belief. A lot of if it is just that, his own mind is his biggest hurdle. When he was doing his apprenticeship, he enjoyed it, once he was there, and it was good to see his enthusiasm and pride at his achievements. That didn`t stop him throwing up every morning though before he left for the bus; Id lay in bed listening to him in the bathroom and his anxiety running him ragged before he was even out of the door.
My Son, since stopping contact with his abusive Father in his early teens has had trouble sleeping, and still has a lamp on at night, and I`ll often be woken by his nocturnal wanderings. While he was doing his apprenticeship though, he maintained early nights to be able to get up on time, but now he is back to sleepless nights and late mornings.
He recently broke up with his long term Girlfriend, though they remain in contact and seeing each other, (As mentioned earlier) possibly to work things out. Disappointingly though just prior he had been upbeat and getting up early, only for the stuffing to be knocked out of him again.
We had a short chat, (they`re always short or he gets defensive and angry) about his situation, he said that he wants to get sorted out, but feels everything`s against him, then when he gets close he gets anxious and quits. I suggested counselling as I feel a lot stems from his childhood, but he saw that as not what men do. (A common misconception amongst men.)
When my Son was a child I was repeatedly told my Son couldn`t be Dyslexic as he enjoyed reading, and so it was never properly looked into. He was late for lessons, was a nightmare to get to school at all for years, and was `disruptive.` He would be sent home for days as punishment, though it`s what he wanted. He put homework in hedges on the way home, and despite being a mine of knowledge at history and other subjects verbally, he didn`t do well in his exams.
My Son has no need to pretend any more, and yet still writes in large, untidy writing and needs help to fill in forms as he misunderstands what is written and gets frustrated when he gets it wrong.
I do worry that the combination of his Father`s abuse, both verbally, emotionally and physically and my own anxiety, panic attacks and agorophobia has left a very real mark on our Son. It`s a guilt that I carry with me whenever I watch him struggle.
Yes, he can be argumentative, arrogant, has all the answers but no life experience, but we all wear a mask to show the world don`t we?
On the helpline I listen and help no end of people with their anxieties, then I have all the answers and often show them the right direction to go to get more help and am praised for going that extra mile, but when it comes to helping those nearest to you, then often you can`t help because they don`t want it.
What he needs is a role model, someone to take him under their wing and guide him through the maze, but I suspect he`s too old for that now sadly.