Well, the van is still in the same condition! I was supposed to bring it to the Nissan dealership for repair on Friday, but spaced out, and when I tried to make an appointment there, they told me that nothing is available until next week!
I saw it already in my mind's eye, what will happen if the engine mount, which is cracked, will, finally, give way: an unspeakably ugly sound of the mount breaking and the engine falling, the car stalling in the middle of driving and flipping over or spinning out of control... Yeah, that's enough imagining!
Instead of repairing my car on Friday, I puttered around the house in the morning, made some phone calls and went to see Mr. P. in the afternoon. Roberta wanted to go with me, but since I now go to appointments with Mr. P. to his house, and she can't seat in the living room with us during the session or in the kitchen (that would be difficult for an eighty one year old woman), I brought her to Starbucks, got her a cup of java and a pastry, made sure her Kindle worked and left her there. What?! She was the one who wanted to get out of the house!
It's a little bit of an odd arrangement that Mr. P. has now. He borrowed a house from an old lady, who lives in an old folks' home. The place is nice enough; it came together with a resident cat
and about forty porcelain angels standing on a large coffee table and in the corners of the room.
|You can see the cat under the table, where she spends time|
keeping an eye on Mr. P.'s clients and snorting and
sneezing to clear up her sinuses.
We had a very productive session. Mr. P. starts it every time by asking: "What was the highest point of your week? - and - "What was the lowest point?"
I told him about Hanah leaving and a struggle I had with her and Sonny to help around the house. Mr. P. is of an opinion that, once someone becomes older, they must have responsibilities to carry their own weight. He says: "Sonny is not your child anymore! He is an adult. What will happen if, God forbid, you and Taka die? Will Sonny be ready for life? He is not your child anymore: he is your grown up son! Don't infantilize him by giving in to his bad behavior!"
We practiced, how I can talk to Sonny or Hanah (or Taka, for that matter), to be real in my relationship with them, because - that is the point of having a family, isn't it?
We also devised a plan to, what Mr. P. calls, "sour the milk". For now, Sonny has a charmed life. There are, of course, his dad's rants that can continue for hours. Mr. P. said something very frightening: stress from being a subject of emotional abuse (and that's what Taka's relationship with Sonny amounts to) can deplete hormones necessary for a person's mental health and push Sonny into mental sickness! So, the objective must be to help Sonny build a better life by inducing him to take responsibility at home or find a job, to feel more prepared to meet his dad's attacks and the demands of life.
What do I mean by saying that he has a charmed life, then? He hides away in his room, sleeping or watching videos and anime on laptop the whole day, if he doesn't go to school or I or his dad don't threaten him enough. He eats and lives here for free, gets free rides from me anywhere he wants to go. It's amazing that, this ease can bring him into ruin!
Mr. P. talked about the natural law of cause and effect. Paying consequences for one's lazy or irresponsible behavior is just as natural as a glass falling off the table under the influence of gravity. We can catch the glass, of course, thus interrupting the natural consequence, which is similar to someone, like parents, hovering over and jumping in when a kid is in trouble as the result of his/her being irresponsible. That means that, we, the codependent adorers, pay those consequences! We pay their late fees, tuition, rent; we pay by picking up the pieces of their lives and putting them back together at the expense of our own or a family's welfare.
Sour the milk, then!
Mr. P. suggested that I impose rent on Sonny's room. Let's say: $500.00 a month. What? You have no money? You can pay by working around the house or doing anything that needs to be done, like running errands, for example. You don't want to do that? Then you need to find a job!
I began to nod to what Mr. P. was saying right in the beginning of session. I agree with everything! Now, how do I make myself follow that advice?
It will be hard. Not only do I have a habit of charging in to help my kids, whether they deserve it or not. I also rely on Sonny a lot for help, because of my health situation. What if he decides to leave home?
Whatever! He has a life to begin, and staying under this roof without doing anything constructive only damages him. His dad treats him with derision, and that will already leave a scar on his psyche!