And I'm not talkin' about that fairytale pussycat either, because as far as I'm concerned, that's just hearsay...
I'm talkin' about me - and since I haven't exactly been a pussycat lately, ( if ever) it kind of gives me pause for thought, and worries about my sanity.
So, thanks to all of you (well, the one of you anyway) who have emailed or even called me, asking about my trip home, here goes....
I have been *HOME* to see my family and cute little house... and we just got back last week. I loved seeing everyone, and I enjoyed being on home turf again, but in all fairness, I have to tell you a few other places I've been.
I've been around the twist.
I've been going crazy.
I've been at my wits end, and at the end of my rope.
And I've been in the doldrums as well, because as good as the trip was, the worse part was even "worser" than I imagined it could be.
And unfortunately, the 'bad' overshadowed the *good* parts... which means that besides being around the twist and half crazy and hangin' by various things such as wits and ropes, I've been as mad as a wet hen besides.
I've been so frustrated and dad-gummed MAD, that I haven't had much in me for sharin' or even talking about it all.
And why, do you ask?
Well... in a nutshell, because of "The Lad".
Yes... he went with us. Why? Well hell, I'm asking myself that question right now - just like I have been doing for the last 5 weeks.
And I still don't have a plausible answer.
To be fair, The Lad did do a hell of a lot of work to be allowed to go in the first place, ( or so I thought, anyway) but it wasn't until we actually stepped foot in California that I realized just how conned I had been.
In order to even go, The Lad had to prove to me that he could save the entire amount that he had budgeted for... Plane fare, food, souvenirs, gifts, and money to treat Josh Becky and the boys to a meal out once a week, etc.
He was made to understand that since we were imposing on Josh and Bec, that for the duration of our trip they were NOT to lift a finger, or spend one thin dime - it was all up to the 3 of us. Groceries for the entire family were to be split 3 ways, gas for outting's was to be paid for by the 3 of us, and when dishes or housework needed doing, we were to do it.
Unfortunately, sometime around April when The Lad was having an access visit with his mum, she told him that he was entitled to a $1,000 dole loan. A loan that didn't need to be repaid. (which was totally untrue, because for one thing, he's underage... and for another, the govt takes the repayments straight out of the account before you get paid.)
Well, woo hoo! That was it... He figured that he would be getting that 'free' money, so all his savings went right out the window... and I've never seen so much money disappear out of a bank account so fast in all my life.
Literally... $900+ dollars disappeared in a little over 3 weeks - and when I asked for it to be accounted for, I found that the Lad had been eating damn good at McDonald's, 3 and 4 times a day.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the trip home was delayed, to give him a chance to re-save what he had spent. And it was impressed upon him that no more mess-ups or screw-ups would be tolerated. None...whatsoever.
And that included getting his bowels under control. (can't remember if I mentioned before, but he has a stretched bowel and he soils himself, because he's too lazy to sit on the pot - and he thinks that's okay.)
And he was good prior to the trip... He never had an "accident" in the 4 months leading up to the trip, his behavior and attitude were up to scratch, and even though taking him on the trip wasn't on my list of *druthers*, I had hopes that things would go well.
Unfortunately, DHS (department of human services) told him that they would 'fund' him $100. a day for food, lodging and gas - which was to be paid directly to my son... but he assured me that he understood that the money was to be given directly to Josh and it wasn't "his".
Only, I was conned.
He never deemed it necessary, or even morally 'right' to pay for groceries, accommodation or anything else... other than spending it all on himself. If we grocery shopped, he would throw in 20 bucks towards HIS chips or drinks or whatever - but nothing towards the actual food that we bought for ALL of us.
And no gifts for his teacher, girlfriend, mother or anyone else either. It all went on trendy clothes and hats for himself, to impress his mates back home.
I gotta be honest here and admit that if he had been my own child, I would have been tempted to knock his block off, and he certainly wouldn't have been gutsing himself on McDonald's and Burger King, until his teeth grew back.
And so, because I was unable to do any screaming or yelling or even any grounding or discipline of any kind, he thought that he had me wrapped around his finger, and that HE was in charge.
I would ask him to do something repeatedly... and get no reaction.
Josh would ask something once, and The Lad would practically trip over himself to do what was asked. Impressing his new "mate", doncha know.
Josh thought he was a great kid... and he bent over backwards to show him a good time - never seeing the non-compliance and attitude that we had to deal with when Josh wasn't actually around. Which because we were staying in MY little house just down the driveway from the kids, was un-seen , and quite often.
Soiled underpants hidden in the suitcase.
Soiled underpants in the garbage.
Soiled underpants flushed down the toilet or tossed in the bushes.
Complete attitude and disregard, when it came to the Old Guy or I saying anything...
And the comments he made about Becky - as in "well she's the woman, and she should have been doing the grocery shopping anyway. After all, it's MY holiday, and I shouldn't have to do any of that "woman" stuff."
He thought he had a new "mate" in Josh, and the reality of the 2 older grandsons avoiding him like the plague, while only the youngest would hang around with him, was totally lost on him.
HE was having a good time, so damn everyone else.
So... I hear ya asking "so what did you do about it?"
Okay... He started back to school right after we got home, and he was totally and completely out of control after weeks of freedom. Physical and verbal abuse of the teachers, staff and other students, and I was copping the same thing here at home.
So... DHS and his service agency decided that he needed to learn one damn hard lesson.
He was put in respite on Wednesday, and he's not liking it one little bit. While he's there, they're gonna have a heap of psychological tests run to confirm what I've been telling them all along....
This kid is narcissistic, as well as antisocial... he's a danger to himself and others ... and he's warped in too many ways to count.
And maybe too many ways for me to continue to cope with.
The best option he's facing, is that he comes back here, (better for him, but maybe not for me) and ongoing and regular respite will be part of his/our future.
The worst option?
I throw my hands up, and simply say "I can't - and won't - do this any longer... which leaves him only eligible for a group home for wayward boys. "They" will never again place him in a private home, so his goose is well and truly cooked.
You know...I always thought that I would cut my right arm off, for the benefit of a child in need.
But when that sacrifice is sneered at, laughed at, dismissed and manipulated to his own self-serving advantage?
I promise that I'll update you on the trip home asap, okay?
I just needed to get this crap off my chest first... you know what I mean?
It's made me feel dirty and disappointed, and I had to work up the courage to even talk about it.
So fingers crossed, that I can get back on track, and that I'm emotionally able share the "good" stuff with y'all...