Sunday, 13 October 2013

Living Alone

I am frustrated. My son, Ricky, is living with me and while this may seem like a good thing to those of you focused on fear and inability, for those of us focused on living a full and complete life, this is, at times more often than not, problematic.

Ricky is 23, just. He was unemployed up until the other day when he started working at Toys 'R Us across the street. He spends the majority of his time in his room, online, playing DoTA. For those less literate with respect to online gaming, it is a multi-player online battle arena game where players play in teams, working to destroy the opposing teams "Ancient", a building that must be destroyed to win the game. Each team has multiple members and since this game is played online, it hosts players from all over the world.

Through this game Ricky has built up a substantial online social community. He meets some of them in person periodically; in fact when we were in the US last April, we had to make a stop in Los Angeles so he could spend a day with his friends there, the friends he had met through DoTA. However since the game is global, there is almost always a game going on, one where he can join his online community and escape from his local, temporal interactions.

He gets really involved in these games, spending hours in front of the screen. This has the rather deleterious effect of leading him to "forget" all kinds of responsibilities here at home. He "forgets" to do the dishes, he does half the dishes in a hurry so he can get back to his game, he "forgets" to clean up or tidy, he "forgets" if I have asked him to help with an errand or help with some task beyond my ability. Add this to his well-trained passive aggressive nature, a talent set he has learned from his parents, and you have the perfect base for inaction when inaction means he can escape reality. He gets insulted and angry when I ask him to leave his online fantasy and subject himself to our much more humbling reality.

Now that he is earning money, I am asking him to pay for his share of the living costs. I have asked that he pay $800 a month. This would include rent, internet and utilities, use of my truck periodically, all the food he eats and all the liquor he drinks. He is outraged that I would ask for so much, feeling that since his is making so little he should pay only a little. Somehow the world must still bend to meet his needs, not the other way round. Of course his model for this was our family home; somehow I always managed to bend the world to meet his mother's needs and my family's needs. He has seen nothing else.

His counterpoint to my insistence that he pay to live is to say that he is moving back to BC in December, and that he will need more money on hand if he is going to move. I am encouraging him to take control of his own life. It this is what he wants, then he should do it. However, still childish in his view, he somehow thinks that I should continue to fund his existence and activities. I am sure life will disabuse him of this notion. After all, he has already lived on his one for a short while. I am sure he can make it on is own.

I am equally sure I can make it on my own. Perhaps living alone is the best thing for me these days.


  1. While you are able it will work.
    Still you may find it lonely. Ricky is perhaps a source of irritation but he is still someone with whom you can interact and that is good.

    1. Living with someone who is a "source of irritation" is not good for anyone, especially for someone with a compromised system. I would encourage him to get out on his own and save your funds to have in home care when you need it. My father cut off my oldest brother when he was ill and eventually hired a caregiver/companion who ended up being a live-in. She was with him for over three years. They had an amazing bond. In fact his last words before he passed were "where the hell is Lina". It was her day off and he was asking for her every time he would wake up. You need to take care of yourself.