Ask Amy: I’m in Financial Trouble After Constantly Giving My Son Money

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dear Amy: I am a mother of three “adult” sons. One of them, who will soon be 21, doesn’t really act like an adult.

He chose to move a little over a year ago, with no plan and no place to live. He bounced between friends’ houses, had a short stay with his brother, and stayed with a family he met at a church he joined. I don’t know where he lives now.

I’ve given her a lot of money over the past 14 months, and I mean A LOT! I put myself in a terrible financial situation (I didn’t pay my credit card bills for months, I cashed out what little retirement savings I had, etc.).

I did it to help him, only to learn (by his admission) that he lied to me about a lot of things, including what the money was for, having a job, and letting other people tell me. texting from his phone asking for money as if they were him, etc.

There was a brief hiatus during which he asked for money for about six weeks while he lived with a family from his church and worked. Now he starts asking for money almost every day.

I promised myself not to help him any more, but I can’t stand the thought of him being without food or lodging. I need your help figuring out how to tell her no without feeling tremendous guilt and constant worry.

I’m afraid he doesn’t have the skills to do it on his own (he’s on the autism spectrum, he works well), but then again, I think he’s a master at it. art of making myself feel guilty to get what he wants.

My fear is that when I finally say no to one of his requests, that will be when he really needs it. Nobody knows how much I sacrificed and gave up for him, not even my partner. I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone.

Poor: You know you shouldn’t give your son money, so the next time he asks you, you should offer to meet him in person to share a meal with him or feed him.

If he is involved in a church community, you can contact the leaders to thank them for how they have helped him in the past and ask what resources might be available to him now.

Do NOT give him money – ever. Your habit of doing this has impoverished you and may have contributed to his problems.

A clinical social worker could work with both of you to connect him with support programs and resources for someone with their unique challenges. He looks like a savvy survivor, but he desperately needs coaching and support with employment and life skills.

You need to talk to your partner about it. Your financial secrecy will hurt an important intimate relationship at a time when you need personal support.

dear Amy: What are all these hugs?

I can consider you a good friend, but I don’t want to hug you every (or any) time I meet. I especially don’t want to hug in times of a pandemic! It seems to happen so fast that it’s hard to stop the unwanted physical contact.

Any ideas, short of emailing known huggers that I really don’t like this physical contact? Shouldn’t people consider that others may not appreciate physical contact, especially these days?

Do not touch: The pandemic has relieved people of social pressure to kiss and be hugged. Now that our world seems to be opening up again, many people are rushing headlong into close physical contact.

If you don’t want to be hugged, you may need to be very firm about it. And you will have to train the hugs of those around you.

Use body language (extend both hands) and say, “Sorry, I stopped cuddling. Hope a punch will do?

dear Amy: “A worried mother” was appalled by the disgusting conditions in his son’s college suite.

I agree that training kids early to clean the house is a great idea. But many years ago, my son, who worked the summers cleaning houses (and was “the china specialist”), was such a slob in his college dorm that he was threatened with expulsion.

I totally agree with your original comment: never visit a kid’s dorm.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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