Posted by: Anon# | 2008/01/22

Moocher son

Hi CS,

I have a problem with my son who is a moocher. We don't see him for a while and then he arrives at our house with his clothes and takes over my study. He has resigned from his job and is supposed to work his final 4 weeks but I don't think he has been back to the office. He arrived at my house on Sunday morning with a terrible hangover and started shouting at me. I told him to leave but he wanted some booze and didn't even listen to me when I told him no. His stepfather had gone to play golf so I was alone. He poured a whiskey glass full of brandy and became abusive. After a while I got him on to the veranda and then told him to leave my house. I eventually closed the security gate and told him that I was not going to listen to his insults. I then went back to reading my newspaper. He eventually left. On Sunday night he was back to apologise. A friend brought him and he asked if he could sleep over and have a talk and go to work with my husband on Monday. The next minute he arrived with all his clothes but said we don't have to worry he is not moving in. He asked for R100 to give the friend for petrol. We then sat down with him to discuss his behaviour. Immediately he had a terrible headache and told us he was at a party the Saturday and had fallen on his head. Monday morning when my husband woke him up to leave for work he said he would organise with someone else. I don't think he had any intention of going to the office. Later when I asked him when was he going to get up he asked me to please phone the GP & make an appoint for him. Funny enough that the GP did not prescribe any medicine for his head and he wasn't sent for x-rays or anything. His father phoned on my phone to speak to him but he kept on cutting him off. I asked him if he was going to leave my house when we got home he started getting agitated again. I told him my husband had said he must be gone because we have our own problems and don't need him around. Everytime I confront him with his actions he acts like a child and tells me his head is sore. He eventually got the friend to pick him up again and needed another R100 for petrol. My husband took the day off today so that we can sort out our financial stuff and he had to see the bank. The next minute my son arrives again with the friends car. He wanted money from me again and I told him we have our own problems and I don't work anymore but it is as if he does not even hear me. My husband got back from the bank and my son was still here. It eventually took another R300 to get rid of him.

I actually cannot handle this anymore because he has to sort himself out we cannot do it for him. He was seeing a shrink last year but that didn't seem to help. I have read about CBT and wondered whether I should see someone who can help me. I normally worry about everything & everybody and eventually have a control issue. I also think I might have a mixture of GAD, OCD & OCPD. I need to learn that my kids have to sort themselves out and until they get to that point I cannot do anything for them. Who would be the best to contact to find a good therapist who does CBT in my area?

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Our expert says:
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If necessary, call the police and lay charges. And make it very clear to him, in advance, that this is what will happen. You can't control his life or take responsibility for it --- that's his affair. BUT within your own home, YOU are the law, and he must accept and keep to ALL of your rules and wishes, or just not arrive there at all.
Making demands on you, arriving drunk, insulting you, and so on, is forbidden and never acceptable. And if he can't afford to pay his pal for petrol, he can't afford to drink or to go to parties. And a sore head is never any excuse for such bad behaviour. Do a web search and read up about "tough love". And tell the friend NOT to bring him to your home again, unless he has spoken to you and you have invited them round.
Something like CBT might help, but ONLY if he willingly and sincerely engaged in it ( which seems vanishingly unlikely at this stage ). Don't find him a therapist --- he will have no respect for such an arragement. If he can't be bothered to find one for himself ( and find a way to pay for it ) it probably wouldn't help him, anyway.

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