well gents, my 18 year old decided to move out today

Feel free to post anything unrelated to wet shaving or men's grooming (I.e. cars, watches, pens, leather goods. You know, the finer things of life).
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soulshine
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Post by soulshine » Fri May 11, 2007 11:20 am

Steve-o, Onion, ruraldean, mac_fodder & GollyMrScience thank you for sharing you very person thoughts and stories with a complete stranger on the board. it is the things like this that help me get through. god bless you all.

s~s

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wenestvedt
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Post by wenestvedt » Fri May 11, 2007 12:22 pm

soulshine, the older I get, the smarter my parents become -- and the worse I feel about how I treated them for a few years. I have apologized spontaneously a few times (when I remember somethign especially horrible and can't let it lie), but they just wave it off -- and then cackle about how I'll get mine, and quite soon.

I don't mean to make light of your heartache, believe me! I'm a dad, and I know my days are coming when I will be in your shoes. But I will add my voice to the chorus who say you acted properly, and now you just need to hold on long enough to be at the door when the prodigal son comes home. Thing "lighthouse keeper": you are offering guidance and safety that no one thinks they need until they're on the rocks, and then they'll find that you're already waiting for them with a clear light and open arms.

Good luck.

- Will
P.S. Ach, I'm getting all worked up just writing this!!
P.P.S. Welcome back, Sue. :7)

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paperpundit
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Post by paperpundit » Fri May 11, 2007 4:31 pm

Soulshine, I'll give you two stories...

Mine: Parents moved across country my senior year, leaving me on my own. I went down the wrong path. It took me almost ten years to get myself squared up, thanks to a gal I was crazy about telling me "you aren't going to go anywhere." I went to college and now I'm doing fine. And my father is one of my best friends.

Another story: Co-workers son moved out his senior year. Dropped out before graduation, worked delivering pizzas. He met a great girl, who dated him for a while, then dropped him, telling him "you aren't going to go anywhere." Now, he's gotten himself a better job and he's going to night school. He is even coming home for dinner a few times a week.

So, it might take a while, but stick with it. Your family will be in my prayers.

All the best,
Jack

"All you need is love, love...love is all you need."

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texasPI
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Post by texasPI » Fri May 11, 2007 5:42 pm

Hopefully Soul's son has a girl like that to kick him in the butt. No doubt that my wife was a great motivator for me when we were dating. She was and still is very ambitious and motivated and has caused me to keep up with her. I am glad for that. I honestly don't know why she chose me, I just have a few college credits and she is a year away from earning her Phd and may pursue a post doctorate. I've asked her many times why she wanted me, a barely highschool grad, and she said I was stupid smart. She said I was stupid for not taking advantage of my intellect and pursuing a college degree but that she saw I had potential. I guess she was plotting to change me from the day we met. Doesn't help that she's a psychologist. Makes sense to me. :lol:
Erik

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love like you've never been hurt,
and dance like no one is watching."
Aurora Greenway

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Sam
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Post by Sam » Fri May 11, 2007 6:57 pm

SOme incredible stories, but soul, i pray that you see the HOPE that is within them. Johnny, Jeff's, on and on, each story had a sense of loss of direction, but that the parents, though worried, mad and scared, stayed on course, stayed steady with love, and the prodigal sons returned home and learned what was more important: family. It does not always turn out that way, I wont pretend otherwise, but sometimes you gotta let him go into the world. Let him know that he is still your son, and remember that his friends are not going to give him a kidney, but you would.

Sam

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Gatorade
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Post by Gatorade » Fri May 11, 2007 7:40 pm

Hey Soul, I can't speak from experienc as my girls ar just 4. That is as far as the kids part goes. When I was 21 I up and moved in with a friend who needed a roomate. The roomate was female but we were just roomates and nothing more. I looked at it like I was getting an early jump on going away to school. I was in community college at the time and was going to be going away the next fall so I was happy to get out on my own. I had a job and the rent wasn't too high but what I didn't take into consideration was what it did to my mom and my sister. My sister cried a good bit I found out later. They didn't look at it like I was leaving early. They looked at it like I was leaving them. So after a month or two of experamenting with every kind of alcohol known to man, and realising that the job that I had was only really covering rent, gas, beer, and sometimes food (in that order) I realised that home wasn't so bad, even if it was just for less than a year. My roomate found another roomate and I moved back in and left for school as planned. That farewell was a happy one.

Well the only suggestion I have is to invite him over once a week for a no strings attached dinner. Tell him it is a standing offer and you won't ask how he is doing unless he brings it up. You can go through the whole meal with just small talk about baseball, basketball, NFL draft, movies, even politics. You would be amazed what a home cooked meal can do when you have been eating pizza and whoppers for a week. Also it lets him know you are there with open arms whenever he wants to be there. However you must draw the line and make sure it is only one night a week. If it is more then you become an enabeler by feeding him and then he doesn't feel the need to find his own food. If he wants to eat at home more than one night a week then he needs to move back in and honor your rules. As far as whether to let him bring his girlfriend over, well that is your call. I don't know what your relationship is with her. It might make it easier because he wouldn't want to go eat if she is hungry but like I said I don't know what her role is in this whole ordeal.

Best of luck and keep your head up. I have to think a member or two of the Black Crowes had an early move out and look what they did. (Blatent attempt to bring the Crowes into the conversation because I know how much you like them :wink: ) I actually have no clue as to the home life of the members of the Black Crowes. :oops:
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Sue
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Post by Sue » Fri May 11, 2007 8:52 pm

MODS-- delete this if inappropriately off topic in this thread.

But....I feel that this thread relating SS's current rough road and the outpouring of support, compassion and encouragement expressed for him, his son and his family speaks to the quality of the members of SMF. How many of us would recognize each other if we passed on the sidewalk? Yet the concern and caring is so evident. I have personally experienced the comfort of friends here when I lost my husband last spring and again during my recent illness. I just want to say I am proud to be a member here and I think you guys are wonderful.
Sue

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MOSES
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Post by MOSES » Fri May 11, 2007 9:45 pm

Sue,

Lord sweetie, no one is going to delete your very kind and thoughtful post. :)

I must say, more posts in this thread have brought a tear to my eye though. Unfortunately, I lost my father very shortly before I would have probably gone from seeing him as my hero to seeing him as and idiot for a few years as most teenagers do. But I have no doubt, had that happened, that it would only have lasted a little while till I saw the light. Which I sure, Mr. Soulshine, is what will happen with your son. I haven't been a parent, but I have enough experience with having them to know you aren't going to stop worrying. But as all these people have made clear, things WILL get better.

-Mo
Alrighty, stickim up and hand over the Coates real nice and slow like....

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jww
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Post by jww » Sat May 12, 2007 4:49 am

Gatorade wrote:
... the only suggestion I have is to invite him over once a week for a no strings attached dinner. Tell him it is a standing offer and you won't ask how he is doing unless he brings it up. You can go through the whole meal with just small talk about baseball, basketball, NFL draft, movies, even politics. ... it lets him know you are there with open arms whenever he wants to be there.
That's exactly how we approached things. Invites for dinner with no strings attached. That was the single-most important thing we did to rebuild the relationship. In time, we felt it was appropriate to have him bring laundry over when he was coming for dinner, then it was slipping him a $20 here and there - not too much, but occassionally. Now whenever we visit him in Toronto, we always make the time to take him out for a nice dinner, then stop off at the grocery store where my wife goes up and down the aisle and fills a cart.

A couple of times he's even insisted on paying for the dinner - and while it kills me to see him run up a credit card with a meal for me that he can ill afford, I accept the gesture and as a result our relationship has been rebuilt.

There is hope - it's just that at the entrance to a tunnel that curves under the mountain, it's difficult to see the exit at the other side. Unconditional love is so hard to put into words, but it's the answer as sure as any one of us breathes.
Wendell

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honkdonker
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Post by honkdonker » Sat May 12, 2007 12:08 pm

Sad to hear of your not uncommon problem. Sounds like it was building up over a period of time.

When we live in a society that values selfishness and the pursuit of happiness, and there are blaring messages to young people that parents suck and all of society sucks, sadly, it has an effect.

We are living in a sorry pop culture that sadly, supports what he is doing. Luckily, most right thinking people still don't agree with pop culture.

Best wishes.

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MOSES
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Post by MOSES » Sat May 12, 2007 12:22 pm

I'm not so sure that this hasn't been an issue for as long as there have been young men. While there are certainly plenty of bad influences in the modern world, I hardly think the rebellion of youth was invented by it....

-Mo

I can just picture it now actually.

Father: Son. You skin buffalo now!
Son: Father, you stupid. Why I clean. You want buffalo skinned, you skin!
Father: What you think keep you warm? Winter soon. You lazy.
Son: You stupid. I hate. [stomps toward door of cave]
Father: You no talk me like that!
Son: I leave. Ugh's daughter have nice cave. No have listen to stupid anymore.
Alrighty, stickim up and hand over the Coates real nice and slow like....

honkdonker
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Post by honkdonker » Sat May 12, 2007 2:59 pm

No where did I say that the modern world invented it. The fact is, modern society, ie pop culture, has little problem with it.
MOSES wrote:I'm not so sure that this hasn't been an issue for as long as there have been young men. While there are certainly plenty of bad influences in the modern world, I hardly think the rebellion of youth was invented by it....

-Mo

I can just picture it now actually.

Father: Son. You skin buffalo now!
Son: Father, you stupid. Why I clean. You want buffalo skinned, you skin!
Father: What you think keep you warm? Winter soon. You lazy.
Son: You stupid. I hate. [stomps toward door of cave]
Father: You no talk me like that!
Son: I leave. Ugh's daughter have nice cave. No have listen to stupid anymore.

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wenestvedt
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Post by wenestvedt » Sat May 12, 2007 6:34 pm

MOSES wrote: Father: What you think keep you warm? Winter soon. You lazy.
Sorry for laughing in church and all when everyone else is so solemn, but "winter soon, you lazy" is pretty damn funny.

And even though I am the one who first mentioned it, the less often anyone says the words "prodigal son" the better.

I pretty much totally tanked college after meeting the woman I knew I had to marry (even though she graduated with nearly perfect grades). I was the last kid, and my parents & siblings who came out to Boston that May all knew that the envelope I received onstage during graduation was empty -- but everyone also knew I wasn't really a failure, just that I was doing what I thought I "had to do." Also, I don't think they yet knew I had flunked Freshman History in my senior year and was headed for summer school. *facepalm*

(My diploma was mailed to my parents' house in August and wordlessly forwarded by my Mom. Classy woman...)

Anyway, after a week or two visit at "home" I went back to Boston to work that summer, a year later I married the girl (who's scrapbooking madly away in the kitchen right now), we have beautiful children, and my parents never asked just WTF I thought I was doing those last two or three semesters. And someday, I hope I have the confidence in my kids to watch them put a match to their lives and not say anything just like my parents did.

Soulshine, grit those teeth: you can always get crowns, but you can't get a new son. :7)

- Will
P.S. Sue, you are totally right about this crowd. My wife makes jokes about my shaving web site, but she has no idea!

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soulshine
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Post by soulshine » Sun May 13, 2007 7:02 am

i also have a 13 year old daughter who is now in high school poms. as luck would have it, i bumped into my son at a spaghetti dinner last night. i said "hello" but that did not amount to much. i mentioned he is welcome back at home as long as the rules are followed and he has a job. he said he understood and that was that. why i am the target of so much anger i will never understand.

i plan to show this thread to my wife so she can read all the replies! i am sure the wisdom in the messages will give her some guidance as well.

s~s

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Post by CMur12 » Sun May 13, 2007 1:02 pm

Hi S~S -

The anger is typically a tool of emotional emancipation and isn't truly based on anything you have done.

It sounds like your son has gotten the notion that it is time for him to be independent and on his own, even though he still has little sense of what it entails. Anger/resentment is often used to give one the momentum to move on in spite of the pull of dependence and the fear of obstacles ahead.

I wish you, your son, and your family the best.

- Murray

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Post by notthesharpest » Sun May 13, 2007 6:21 pm

soulshine wrote:why i am the target of so much anger i will never understand.
You are a substitute target - the real target of the anger is something in his own mind that he can't quite define. He's growing up, you're his father, and that puts you in the wrong place at the wrong time when the anger spills over.

Of course you can't say this to him, because he'd only fight you over this too; it wouldn't benefit him to hear it anyway, he has no use for it right now. But maybe it's some cold comfort to know that later (much later) he might realize that it was never you he was angry at.

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