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G.

A friendly ear
didds
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G.

#224006

Postby didds » May 23rd, 2019, 2:51 pm

This may not be the best board, but its seems a good place to start.

My son, G, is stuffed.

He owes me and his mother £6.5K (maybe stupidly, but we've helped him and bailed him out etc etc over the past 4 years. I know, I know...)

He clearly has an overdraft at the bank, because they phone here every day for him - he won't talk to them.

He has outstanding payments on his HP on his car.

He is currently out of work, having just been sacked from his second job in 6 months

He has recently a criminal record for GBH (he says) - although I wonder if he actually ended up with assult or some other "lower" crime as he "only" had a fine of £800 (co0me of which may be victim surcharge and payments)

His last job have written to him today and apparently he is not getting 4 months of severance pay but one week, and they say he owes them holidays taken above and beyond his entitlement which he says isnt; the case - and he owes them £66.

He has a sort of job offer but the guy he is waiting to call back isn't... so no start date (the alleged offer was made over a week ago and the employer has disappeared off the radar).

Oh - he admits/claims his money goes on drugs, which I suspect is coke.

I have no idea where to start with him. Obviously any change he has to want and buy into but I don't know where to start with somebody with no income and I am presuming some debt (aside from the money he owes us) at the bank, plus ex employer, plus HP payments in arrears and upcoming for a car.

I also have no idea where to start with me and wife, his mum... how we can cope with this scenario. We both just feel sick, and worried.

Any helpful advice gratefully received. The bailing him out from us now stops, but even that has limitations - like if he gets a job he needs to drive to he cant take it unless somebody gives him fuel - which will have to be us.. He's not paying any rent to us as he obviously cant afford any - and Id rather him pay back what he owes us first TBH.

Lost dad.

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Re: G.

#224010

Postby didds » May 23rd, 2019, 3:01 pm

Thoughts I've had as starting points but Im so mind ****** over this all I cant thtink stratight...

* tell him any money spent by him on our cards, cash etc will be reported as theft to the police. I would imagine combined with his existing criminal record will probably mean a jail term, and will further mean it unlikely he'll easily find an employer

* our credit cards cannot be made non-contactless - Ive asked. So we change our PINS clearly, possibly even request new cards with new numbers etc.

* suggest to him he cannot keep the car he has (some super hatchback thing - £300 a month HP plus monthly insurance. VED is paid up) and get a 1K (for example) banger. Thing is, his car has a dink in it that needs repairing so even handing it back to the HP company will presumably end up with him with a debt to them. So to repair the car/pay an excess will have to come from us - where else will ti come from

* Suggest when he gets a job next we have control of his incomings and outgoings, and give him cash from his account for whatever he needs. Im not sure that would work overall as he has proven to have no money sense at all - got, it spend it. Fuel we would have to literally put it in his behicle on a weekly or not bi weekly basis so he doesn't just decide to drive somewhere miles away to visit mates and use his commuting fuel.

* seek help at a substance abuse clinic

Yes - its a bloody nightmare. All of the above needs his full on agreement and involvement obviously.

Concerns? With no access to any cash/money he will turn to crime. He doesn't seem to consider using our money as the same as mugging somebody, but who knows what the future holds. Although he is clearly upset about losing the last job and the criminal record, nonetheless he seems to consider the GBH/assult as "what happens when you are a young man on a Saturday night". which is clearly bolocks cos her is the only younmg man on a Saturday night ending up with such a criminal record.


Positive suggestions only please. Digs at him and us as his parents won't help, no matter how well meaning.

Lost dad

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Re: G.

#224032

Postby UncleIan » May 23rd, 2019, 3:42 pm

This must be awful for you Didds. Hmm, stating the obvious there but, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, if you see what I mean.

Looks like the HP in arrears may well be damaging his credit score. Lots of good stuff here:

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/e ... ance-costs

So the damage will be a problem, but it depends on lots of things.

Trouble is, I think, like you say, he's got to want to change. And not just say he wants to change enough so that his parents stop nagging at him.

While he still has an addiction, that will be a drag on everything else. All spare money will go on that. Spare money will all money he can get hold of I suspect.

A relative of mine was basically sat at home smoking dope and drinking and playing video games, their dad kicked them out, but then, they had a trade so could fairly easily start making enough to get by. Your son seems to have fewer options to get out of the hole. And this nuclear option was not without consequences for their relationship. Though it did give the youngster the kick they needed to sort their life out.

Is the whole thing so overwhelming that it's easier to just ignore *everything* rather than trying to fix anything, because he just doesn't know where or which problem to start with?

Seems to me the first two things to try and sort are the car and the drugs.

Difficult times, you have my sympathy.

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Re: G.

#224043

Postby Dod101 » May 23rd, 2019, 4:17 pm

You have not I think said how old he is. You cannot be responsible or take the responsibility for him and his actions for ever otherwise he will bleed you dry. I saw that with my late wife's son in his late teens and into adulthood. He literally took all that my wife had. Nothing to do with me as it was a second marriage for both of us. In the end she bought a tiny flat for him to live in about 60 miles from us in a big town and left him to it, taking food parcels every so often but making it clear that there was nothing else coming from her or from me. We changed our locks, and the inevitable letters which came from banks, debt collectors and so on were put in the post readdressed to him or occasionally marked 'Not known'. For a while he lived in a cannabis farm with the bedroom devoted to growing the stuff. Of course my wife was paying Council Tax and insurance for the flat but that was all.

It was incredibly hard at the time but that is all you can do. If you accept his word that he will change but allow him to continue living at home and being fed, the chances of change are very low in our experience. My wife loved the guy and he is now a decent man and I get on well with him. He is off drugs, holds down a job and gets on with life.

Advice on how to deal with the debts, ok that's fine but can easily be dealt with. It is the fundamental drugs and lifestyle problem that you must face head on.

I feel for you but you and in particular your wife will have to take some very strong action. That is my experience anyway.

Dod

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Re: G.

#224081

Postby bungeejumper » May 23rd, 2019, 6:49 pm

So sorry, Didds, I really feel for you. It might not seem like much of a comfort to hear that I've had several friends whose kids have been heavily into Class A drugs during their rebellious years, but who have all turned the corner at some point, and who are all making their parents proud these days. But I'll say it anyway - there is a way through this.

But it won't be easy for you to find the right things to say and do. The thing about a drug habit is that it quickly becomes the centre of the addict's life. It's a hard thing for you to hear, but when the hunger's on them they actually love the drugs more than they love you, and they'll steal from you to keep their new best friend happy. That will change in time, with love and patience, but neither you nor he can do this without proper external help from somebody who properly knows the issues.

I'd also agree with Dod that you're probably less likely to achieve a successful transition if he's living full-time with you. Yes, it's terrifying to think of him going off into god knows what distant hell-holes, but that might be a necessary stage of the tough love process. ;) You may also struggle with getting psychotherapy if there's an ongoing physical addiction, because shrinks say that the drugs are a psychological trump card that they can't compete with. Fortunately, though, there are other sources of help available.

But one thing that's coming through from your posts is that your son knows that he's in a hole, and that blaming 'bad luck' isn't very convincing. Could you offer him the petrol (fill the tank yourself, don't give him the money!) on condition that he keeps up some sort of a programme?

One thing, meanwhile. They tell me you can indeed de-activate a contactless card by drilling a small hole in its chip, or by severing its antenna with a short and imperceptible knife cut. I haven't tried that, of course. ;)

Good luck

BJ

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Re: G.

#224085

Postby ReformedCharacter » May 23rd, 2019, 8:04 pm

Sorry to hear it. I'd suggest that quantifying the drug problem is the first step. If it is cocaine and he is addicted to it then that will need to be dealt with before anything else:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-bo ... -get-help/

If you can get him to be honest about 'the drugs' then you'll know a bit more about what you are dealing with but I can appreciate that that may not be easy.

Good luck.

RC

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Re: G.

#224097

Postby didds » May 23rd, 2019, 9:36 pm

He is 22. Has a good amount of reasonable but not amazing GCSEs and a BTEC Level 2 in Business Studies (ie worth nowt).

Errr... that's it.

His work ethic when he is working at something he enjoys is seemingly very good. But if he isn;t interested he doesnt care, at best. He doesnt "do" real manual labour -0 he's tried it twice and nboth times it lasted a day.

Not making excuses, just painting a picture.

I get the whole living at home thing. And i do see the "go and live somewhere else" thiung is a good idea. But - with debts of (guessing, including our own) of presumably well over 10K (albeit the car is a lot of that which has value) and no job how can he ever pay rent on a place, plus council tax, plus bills etc? Allk that will happen is he will actually be homeless - because he hasnt any money for a deposit and a month down. Unless its back to us to do it and Im very reluctant to even more good money after bad. Do parents (that care anyway) actually walk past their children sleeping rough in a bus shelter and give them a coffee and then walk on by? Maybe they do...

I do appreciate the thoughts.

DAK: Can e get the dole (paltry that it is?)

Oh - fuel - yes, Id worked out that absiclaly we would have to go with him and put two days fuel in it per time. Increasing the debt to us in the meantime.

lost dad

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Re: G.

#224120

Postby oldapple » May 23rd, 2019, 11:46 pm

Sorry to read of your worries about your son Didds. I'd second getting support for drug addiction. I'm a mum who knows full well this problem could have landed on any of our doorsteps. I do think 'these modern days' that it is much more difficult for the young generation (especially boys) to find their ideal vocation in life and many get disillusioned with jobs they find themselves in. Is your son interested in any particular career? Would he consider the Armed Forces - with their huge range of jobs? They do allow entrants with minor criminal records behind them and many young men appear to turn that corner via this route. It's only a suggestion of course but I believe motivation might be one key to cracking his addiction.

Many best wishes.

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Re: G.

#224169

Postby gryffron » May 24th, 2019, 10:01 am

Hi didds,
Awful situation.

You think the debts are important, but they are the least of his problems. Creditors can't take money he doesn't have.

Can he claim JSA - yes. He might even be entitled to higher rate contribution based if he has been working. Claim ASAP as claims can't be backdated. But he can't get housing benefit whilst living at home. And in fact, it is very hard for an u25 anyway. Although they can make exceptions when you CANNOT live at home, and a registered drug user might be on the list of exceptions. Though note with Universal Credit they give the rent to the claimant, not direct to the landlord. It's supposed to teach people to be responsible. But it is invariably disastrous for drug users.

I don't think JSA will help. He won't have money, he won't pay off debts, and he won't hold down a job while he is a regular drug user. The drugs are everything. You can pretty much forget his other problems until he can solve this one. Not just the first step, it is the only step. Does he admit he has a problem? Does he actually want to give up?

Armed forces only take a tiny number of people these days, and they're very picky. You have to be super bright or super fit. If he "doesn't do manual labour" you might as well forget this.

Best of luck, I think you're going to need it.
Gryff

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Re: G.

#224236

Postby OLTB » May 24th, 2019, 2:42 pm

Hi didds

So sorry to hear of your situation - my relatively recent experience if it helps a little is as follows:

My step-son got into drugs at Uni, stopped studying, started getting into fights at clubs (totally out of character for him) got into a 'situation' at his digs and tried (unsuccessfully) to kill himself. The first we heard about it was when one of his housemates called my wife at four in the morning and we rushed to the hospital.

After he was seen to by the doctors, we took him back home - he was in a right state. We emptied his room of tech (computers/iPhone etc.), leaving just his bed (freshly made) and his wardrobe. We started to feed him nutritious food (he hadn't been feeding himself properly - which I know is relatively common) and got him into a more normal sleep pattern. We told him he had to 'earn' his personal tech stuff back (he was 20) as there are rules when he's at home. We then paid for counselling sessions over a number of months and took him to the GP for any medication they recommended. He whined/shouted/swore when he wanted his phone and tv, at the beginning but we stood tough, said 'no', until he showed he could behave like an adult. Without money/phone/car, he couldn't do much but try and resolve how he'd turned into such a mess.

Anyway, after a number of months of good food/regular exercise (crucial)/decent sleep, he had found a job, his spark was back and he's looking to the future.

Boy it was tough, and we were fairly sure that he wouldn't steal from us (which he didn't), but all of the actions we took I think brought him back on track.

I know that the above isn't the same situation exactly as yours, but a wayward son is a wayward son and this has been our experience - I wish you all the best.

Cheers, OLTB.

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Re: G.

#224241

Postby Dod101 » May 24th, 2019, 3:08 pm

That is very heartening OLTB. We were through the same and much more with my stepson. He did not respond to the treatment at home and we had to go to rather extreme measures as I have written earlier. Excellent advice for the didds. Nothing is easy and I am sure didds knows that.

Dod

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Re: G.

#224245

Postby Archtronics » May 24th, 2019, 3:46 pm

I don't want to go into my past to much here, but lets say I was in a similar postion to Dod101's stepson.

I would also echo this "If you accept his word that he will change but allow him to continue living at home and being fed, the chances of change are very low in our experience."

I didn't change until my dad kicked me out and told me not to speak to them until I'd sorted myself out, it took me a while but I got there eventually.

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Re: G.

#224246

Postby OLTB » May 24th, 2019, 3:50 pm

Thanks Dod

Yes, I'm sure that if our initial steps hadn't have worked, we too would have had to take a similar position and say that we've done what we could and now it's up to him.

Just to say that it's ongoing 'work' and neither we or him can let standards slip - I forgot to mention in my last post, we found that getting out in nature (walks or gardening) was also very positive.

Cheers, OLTB.

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Re: G.

#224269

Postby Dod101 » May 24th, 2019, 5:44 pm

Good heavens OLTB. Getting out into nature was good for us but would have been a total no no for stepson. It would never have happened anyway!
To me that is highly amusing but I guess you had a son who was rather more amenable to reason than we did at the time. Now, he acknowledges that he was a total waste of space. I think it took his mother's death (nothing to do with him I may say) to make him realise just what an idiot he was.

As we are reading, there are various degrees of this problem and we certainly had a major one. Archtronics sounds like another. Didds will have an idea of what he is up against now and I sincerely wish him well. Maybe he can make the son see sense without too much drama, but otherwise............I hope he can.

Dod

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Re: G.

#224449

Postby GoSeigen » May 26th, 2019, 8:19 am

didds wrote:He is 22. Has a good amount of reasonable but not amazing GCSEs and a BTEC Level 2 in Business Studies (ie worth nowt).

Errr... that's it.

His work ethic when he is working at something he enjoys is seemingly very good. But if he isn;t interested he doesnt care, at best. He doesnt "do" real manual labour -0 he's tried it twice and nboth times it lasted a day.

Not making excuses, just painting a picture.

I get the whole living at home thing. And i do see the "go and live somewhere else" thiung is a good idea. But - with debts of (guessing, including our own) of presumably well over 10K (albeit the car is a lot of that which has value) and no job how can he ever pay rent on a place, plus council tax, plus bills etc? Allk that will happen is he will actually be homeless - because he hasnt any money for a deposit and a month down. Unless its back to us to do it and Im very reluctant to even more good money after bad. Do parents (that care anyway) actually walk past their children sleeping rough in a bus shelter and give them a coffee and then walk on by? Maybe they do...


Didds, he's got big drugs bills to pay and you're worried about a bit of rent?? Not trying to criticise, just add some perspective to the picture you paint.

Horrible situation to be in. My uncle and aunt are about to visit from Australia. They had a son in almost identical situation to yours, had to bail him out for heroin use a couple of times. After years of trouble he joined the army, sorted himself out, got a lovely girlfriend, then turned his car across the path of a lorry, killed instantly. Heartbreaking for his parents.

As your son's an adult now he really has to look after himself. That might be well or it might be badly, it's up to him. He's not your baby any more and should probably have been booted out of the nest long ago.

His debts are his problem or more accurately his creditors' problem. Don't pay any of them, you will only be bailing out the creditors, your son will gain nothing from it. Treat the situation as if he has no debts. Then he is in the position of any young adult: he has to find a way to live. If it's at home it's paying some rent for the room and part of the bills/expenses. If he doesn't like that he's free to live elsewhere. But not supporting himself is not an option. We have enough scroungers in this country already as well you know.

When given the opportunity to see the stark reality of his position he will then have the option to start fixing it, for example by taking bankruptcy. Taking state benefits including housing benefit might be another part of the solution. What are benefits for -- if not for benefits migrants as people so often complain on these boards? If and when he sorts himself out he will hopefully start paying more in tax than he is taking out of the system and thereby repay the assistance he received. The safety net is there for precisely people like your son.

It's tough love, but I've had no support from my father since finishing education in fact probably paid him back if anything. That is the normal way to behave for a responsible child. Your son is taking the mickey and abusing your generosity, then making you feel like the villain into the bargain. Time for you to stand up for your own interests and mental well-being IMO.

GS

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Re: G.

#226404

Postby Chrysalis » June 3rd, 2019, 9:13 am

Sorry to hear of your troubles, every parent’s nightmare (I have two boys).
The advice from those who have been there, done that, is no doubt the most valuable. I wonder if you can find any similar support in real life?
My own random thoughts are - the car must go, how is it being paid for? There are buses and bicycles.
Have a good look at Citizens advice website to find out about benefits - they exist, but the safety net is rather full of holes these days. But I do agree that he has to understand the realities of looking after himself, whilst you tread the fine line of ‘having his back’ - as long as he is moving forward. I don’t know where support ends and enabling begins. I guess the trick is to keep him alive and try to create hope, while recognising that, in the end, he needs to straighten himself out and he may fall further before he does.
Has he actually stolen from you? (Re the thoughts about hiding credit cards).
And I agree that the drugs need addressing, and that needs help.
Wishing you well, and the strength you will need.

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Re: G.

#226407

Postby Chrysalis » June 3rd, 2019, 9:16 am

But also, try to maintain hope yourselves. He is not stuffed. He is having a difficult time growing up, and he isn’t the first or last young person to do so.

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Re: G.

#226411

Postby didds » June 3rd, 2019, 9:33 am

Jabd2001 wrote:My own random thoughts are - the car must go, how is it being paid for? There are buses and bicycles.


well,, yes... and no.

Busses are fine here - as long as you want to go shopping at 0930 and be back by 1300. And "remote" destinations (ie next towns etc) are very hit and miss regarding which towns and open to the vagaries of timetable changes (a friend now cannot get to work "on time" because the bus she takes had its timetable changed last year. This for a job in the next town ten miles away. Boss is sympathic - fortunately - and an understanding has been reached).

You can reach the first town east (12 miles) by bus in under 90 minutes bevause it needsa a minimum of one change - more like 2+ hours returning in the late afternoon. Cycle is available - bu most "other towns" are a minimum of 8 miles away . Without wanting to make excuses etc cars are a virtual necessity round here. Public transport is a total joke (that ins;t very funny)

But - I appreciate where you come from.

didds

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Re: G.

#226437

Postby didds » June 3rd, 2019, 10:40 am

that should have been you CANT reach the first town east etc!

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Re: G.

#226499

Postby Chrysalis » June 3rd, 2019, 1:21 pm

@didds - yes I know public transport isn’t fantastic. I live in a market town myself, in the most rural county in
England with typical rural bus services (ie rubbish ones) to surrounding towns. But, he’s got no income and no work to go to. He can’t afford a car, can he? Who is making the payments?
If he were to get a job, then maybe you could help him with transport to and from it. Or support him to move where the work is - and the buses may be better! But I think this is the first step towards a bit of a reality check. He can’t be the only young person (or old person for that matter) who can’t afford a car where you live, surely? (And if he has a drug habit, where is he taking the drugs? How is he getting there?) I think it might also help you with some sticks and carrots around what he is choosing to do or not do.
Sorry, it’s not going to be easy. But some nettles will need to be grasped.


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