And it's going to be that way for some years to come. All I can do is keep picking up the pieces and allow him to make some of his own mistakes and (hopefully) learn from some of them.
That if he spends all of his money then he's got no money until his next benefit payday. As I'm his financial appointee I make sure he gets half his money every week instead of a lump sum every fortnight. He's never been one really for expecting lots of 'stuff' i.e. designer trainers but he's never gone without either. Now hes got little choice as he is financially independent and my contribution is breakfast on a Sunday morning.
He's still learning how not to be exploited by his 'friends' as he has frequently and with different groups over the last few months. This has been a tricky one too. He is so desperate to have friends and be included that he will do anything to have friends. Give them money, no problem. Give them cigarettes, that's fine. Sell his belongings for more money, ok! He's often left with no money because of this and I find this really difficult but I've learnt not to get involved and not to provide more, he needs to work these things out for himself.
He's also learning that if he's abusive I'll withdraw until he can respond to me more appropriately and when he's ok with me that's when we can spend time together and I can support him more. This is a tricky one for me and it doesn't sit comfortably, I'm used to being there for him whatever sh#t he throws at me but actually what does that teach him? That it's ok to use and verbally abuse me and that was one of the things I really worried about having witnessed DV in his birth family. I knew it would be, and has been, an issue as he got older with a single mum.
What about me? I'm learning that I can't fix everything for him and I'm learning that actually I'm important too. That the world won't end if I withdraw a bit and I have time then to build my own strength back up.
So we're getting there slowly and surely. It's not easy and we've got a long way to go. But we're hanging on in there, I'm still mum and he's still my boy wonder 💓