Sharper than a serpent’s tooth

Sharper than a serpent’s tooth

I’m cleaning out my emotional closet – so to speak – these last few days of 2012.
I’m writing small snippets about big things that are a negative force in my life, in the hopes that this will clear the way for more positive posts in the coming new year.  

I thought by using a quote from Shakespeare as the title, that it would make this post seem more literary, but I am just going to have to face the fact that it is a rant – pure and simple.

The thing Shakespeare is comparing to a serpents tooth, is a thankless child.

We all can relate to that.  I’ll freely admit that all three of my children have been thankless to some degree at varying intervals. But this is about my oldest child, who, at 30something, really only qualifies as a child in the genetic sense.

He has suffered with some form of anxiety, depression, insomnia or addiction for the past 10 years, and due to a recent series of setbacks, seems to be teetering on the edge of a scary dark place.  In the past, I’ve been able to reach him, and cajole, guilt, shove, drag him back into what I only know as normal life. I don’t know what normal is to him any more.

He’s been a server at an upscale restaurant for the past nine years, but it recently changed ownership and he quit.  He’s drifted from server job to server job each one worse, and for less pay, over the last three months.  Now he’s under employed, and underpaid and has had to borrow money from us every month.  He lives in a hovel of an apartment with a roommate that hates him. He gave in to a shopping addiction prior to the job changes and spent all of his savings, and he has no health insurance.  He’s never been on any form of antidepressant, and believes that sadness and loneliness is his lot in life.

Now, I’m a fixer. I’m also an eternal optimist.  I admit that I don’t understand depression, although I’m trying.  I’m also trying to fix him.  It is my opinion that if he could get on some kind of assistance program and get the right medication, it would be a step in the right direction.  But he won’t apply for the assistance, he thinks it is “beneath” him.  He also won’t go to a doctor or anyone who might be able to provide some relief in the form of counseling, or a prescription.

I also have a plan B.  If he could get a full time job with benefits, he wouldn’t have to apply for assistance, and he could just get the help he needs through his own insurance. There happens to be a job opening at the hospital I work for.  Full time with benefits. Its even the hours he’s used to –  late afternoon into the evening. But again, he refuses to apply for it.  He thinks if he moves to Seattle, where his dad lives that everything will be better.  Fresh start.

I can understand needing to start over, but realistically, it’s a more expensive economy there, with higher unemployment than our tiny little burg.  I’m honestly afraid he will be homeless if he does that.

I’m at my wit’s end.  I can’t listen to him complain about being tired and hungry, and hating the abuse he gets from where he works and where he lives, without doing something to FIX IT! I know I’m pushing him farther away with my constant suggestions, and damn positive attitude. I also know I’m just about the only “friend” he has left.

Am I enabling him by loaning him money?  Am I making things worse by suggesting ways to make his life better?  Or am I not being forceful or tough enough?  Is this the point where an intervention is necessary? Should I just let him go?


  • Posted December 27, 2012 3:06 pm 0Likes
    by smalltownme

    You're between the rock and the hard place here. I have seen the "moving away for a fresh start" among friends and family and in most cases it didn't work out. When it did, it's because there was a good career opportunity there. When they went with the "I'll find something" attitude, they ended up home again. I like your plan B. If only he would give that 6 months.

  • Posted December 28, 2012 11:08 am 0Likes
    by Cha Cha

    Oh, gosh. This hurts my heart, Lala. I'm sorry this is weighing on you.I like plan b, too, but the truth of the matter is that it's probably not your situation to fix. You can make suggestions, but the painful truth is that he is an adult and must make his own decisions … even if depression makes that next to impossible.Having had some experience with depression, I will say that breaking time down into tiny increments helped me get through. I could hold it together for 30 minutes. Then, after a while and some meds, I could hold it together for 45 minutes. But the idea of a major life change was completely inconceivable.Sorry for the long comment. Just sending hugs and hope to you.

  • Posted December 29, 2012 5:38 am 0Likes
    by Lala

    Thanks so much guys! Your comments mean a lot to me.

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