Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

O is for ONUS

The Rogue Speaks:


[Latin —]

a: burden

c: blame

d: stigma


[New Latin onus (probandi), literally, burden of proving]: burden of proof

Onus.  Do you know that word?  Well, of course you do!  Have you ever used it, and if so, how?  Have you ever said, “Well, the onus is on you!,” meaning the burden or obligation, or blame is on you.  It can also mean the stigma is on you.  Keep these definitions in mind while I tell you some stories.

This is story #1.  A friend of mine has an adult son who is not only an alcoholic, but is also suffers from schizophrenia.  He is supposed to be living in a facility in another state, but sometimes he checks himself out, goes off his meds, goes on a bender, and ends up at her doorstep.  This guy is not a YOUNG adult.  He is well into his adulthood, and is no mental dummy.  His actions cause my friend a huge amount of stress, especially when he ends up in her town and is thrown in jail for getting drunk and screwing up.  Then he calls her and tells her he loves her and she has to bail him out and give him a place to stay.  My friend is a senior citizen, and has issues of her own that she is struggling with, so when her son shows up, she is just beside herself. 

Now I ask you, my highly intelligent blogging friends, is the onus on her?  Should she end up being responsible for her adult child for the rest of her life?  Is it  One child, in any way HER fault that he ended up in such a state?  I seriously want to know what you think about this story.

Now I have ANOTHER friend who has several children.  They were all raised in the same house, and lived by the same rules, but ONE of them ended up getting into drugs and has ended up being hospitalized several times, and just CANNOT seem to stay straight, no matter how much her family tries to help her.  Again, this woman is an adult.  Is the onus on her family that she has ended up in this state?  Is the onus on them to care for her indefinitely?? Please give me your thoughts on this story, #2.

Story #3 is about another woman who has a very large family.  Her children are all well into adulthood.  With the exception of one adult child, her children have grown up to be very loving and responsible adults.  All but one of her children has children of their own.   The mother’s life was difficult to say the least, and she was married more than once, but despite her difficulties, she always tried to do the best that she could in raising her children.  One child, however, the oldest, has some serious but questionable issues with the mother. 

This adult child has two children.  Unbeknownst to the family, the first child was sent away to live with friends in another state because he was deemed to be unmanageable.  The extended family was kept in the dark for a year in regard to the whereabouts of the child, and when the truth came out, the mother of the child would not let the grandparents even see their grandson.  Reasons for this behavior were vague, and basically unknown.

As a result of this alienation, the boy grew up not knowing that his grandparents loved and missed  him.  When he finally contacted them he was a high school graduate and only wanted money so he could take a trip.

The  second grandchild in this family was dearly loved by the grandparents, and they tried to spend as much time with him as they could.  The child actually preferred to be with his grandparents, stating that his mother didn’t love him.  As you might expect, those words only inflamed the mother, and caused even more alienation.

How did the child’s children turn out?  The older, who is HIGHLY gifted, ended up getting married young  and  has a job with hourly pay.  Had he had a kind and loving parent whose goal in life was to do the best that could be done for him, he would have gone on to a successful college life at best.

The second child, also a boy if you remember, decided to leave home and go to live with his biological father.  He graduated from high school before he moved away, but he has no job, no driver’s license, and no visible means of support, and he is only 22 years old.  He watches a lot of t.v.

As it was told to me, this is a pretty long story, and not yet finished, but I think you get the general idea.

Now, my question is about this woman with the angry and disrespectful child, whose own children could have succeeded in life but shamefully did not,  is as follows:  Is the onus on my friend, the mother, for the behavior of one child when all the other children had exactly the same love and the same upbringing?  Just what is the onus in regard to her relationship with her unhappy adult child who basically has no use for her?  Should she continue to take verbal abuse from her progeny?  Should she try for some kind of reconciliation??   Just where does one draw the line?  Give me your thoughts, please, on Mother #3.
Whew!  I'm glad my kids are all grown up with children of their own!  We had a house full at Christmas, and hope that more will show up for spring break!!!

O.k., I have learned that for some reason known only to Blogger, my link is not working correctly, so I am sorry about that, and hope that you have clicked on the yellow "HOME" below the bad news.

One a brighter note, I have been set FREE by Summit Sports Medicine to once again play golf as of next Wednesday.  We shall see how that goes!!

Please be sure to read the other lessons for Jenny’sAlphabe-Thursday.  I’m heading over there right now!!


Anonymous said...

First-your link didn't work.

I do think family binds us together, but in some instances it is best to cut those ties. In each of these scenarios, it seems you're basically asking the old nature/nurture question. I don't think any of us can answer this. It's up to the adult whether or not they will tolerate the treatment of their kids.

bettyl said...

I hate it when grown children become a burden to elderly parents who essentially get emotionally blackmailed into believing it's their fault that the kids are screwed up. They ARE NOT responsible for bad choices the kids make.

These 'children' have made their own choices. They have to suffer the consequences.

We have told our kids (my stepkids) we will bail you out once, but after that, you're on your own.

Naperville Now said...

where to begin, I know not. heartbreaking situations all around. therapy a must for all involved, i think. and prayers for strength.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Such sad and stressful stories. So much goes into raising a child to adulthood--both nature and nurture. It sounds like many of these grandkids are self medicating with drugs and alcohol...very often depression, past abuse, or genetics plays a role in that. I hope each of these families can find a solution to their very heartbreaking problems.
PS: Onus is a wonderful word!

Lola said...

Onus - great word but such sad stories here.

Pleased to hear you can play golf again, though!

Lmkazmierczak said...

I may be naive?, hopeful?, but the only obligation one has for adult children is to continually pray for them and to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in all things...I know that prayer works.

Debra @ Homespun said...

Onus...great word and O post

as to opinions about these sad stories we can all have one but it is up to the people involved as to how they choose to deal / each person is different and has to do the best they can, I guess

ain't for city gals said...

Hi I came over from Jenny' the last few years I have been going by the mantra "It takes more than the same last name to be a family". And Co-dependant No More is almost like my Bible...and the paragraph that says "of course you care but you have to detach" is like my life line. Good the word onus...had never heard it before.

EG CameraGirl said...

Such sad stories, Judie! It breaks my heart to hear of these families in turmoil. I'm sure there are many correct but different answers to these problems - what would be correct for one family could be totally wrong for another.

Blame. I don't like the blame game. It's much too complicated to figure out who's to blame. People need to work on their own problems, although I do believe some people need more help than others to do that. No one should feel forced to help someone else. Help , real help, needs to come from love.

Now for child #3: I'm not a psychologist but I believe adults need to face their own problems. The mother - for her own well-being - needs to feel she has done all she can to help the child emotionally and psychologically. But if the child does not respond positively, the mother needs to remember she is only human, not a super human. If she believes in a Higher Power, she should pray. Who knows why some children turn out the way they do? It's a mystery!

Like you, I feel fortunate that my kids have turned out all right. I'm pretty sure there was luck - tons of it - involved.

bluzdude said...

I think the onus is always the adult “child” to straighten out his own life. Your parents give you the start, then it’s up to you to make something of yourself.

Also, “Onus” is the word for when you have an overused anus.

Tatiana said...

very interesting... in my opinion, family should help, but only up to a point and then it's the person's responsibilty to help themselves.

Jo said...

what sad circumstances for all of those involved ... l feel sorry for all involved and wish them peace in their lives ...

Jo said...

what sad circumstances for all of those involved ... l feel sorry for all involved and wish them peace in their lives ...

Bruce Coltin said...

I think it is one of the juicy mysteries of life. Good, decent, loving parents can give birth to a monster, while lousy parents can somehow create an angel.

Yes perplexing, but the stuff of interesting conversation and debate.

Happy swinging!

Scudds Harrison said...

What a sad story yet very interesting. We are all brought up in different ways and we are all subject to our own opinion. For me, family has to help...we do say there is a limit and point of what we can do to help but we have to admit as a parent, it's difficult to say no! We do whatever it takes to help. It is sad but, it does happen.

But hey! I am more than happy you get to play golf again.

Hugs x

Scudds Harrison said...

What a sad story yet very interesting. We are all brought up in different ways and we are all subject to our own opinion. For me, family has to help...we do say there is a limit and point of what we can do to help but we have to admit as a parent, it's difficult to say no! We do whatever it takes to help. It is sad but, it does happen.

But hey! I am more than happy you get to play golf again.

Hugs x

Sandra Tyler said...

well, here I am a writer, and at 50 don't think I've ever used that word! Good O!

Gattina said...

I didn't know the word onus, but I know similar cases. I personally think that you can give the best education or love or whatever, it depends on the child's character. Some become criminals, drug addicted or alcoholics despite a good education and a loving family. Others grow up without any family and caring love but become the best adults. Each case is different. My son was raised the same way as my best friends son. My son is a loving person has a very good job and is a very good father. My friends son went into drugs, has never worked depends on benefit and is lazy you can't imagine. A real plague for the parents. It's so easy to blame parents !! I was an unwanted only child, but I never realized that until I became myself a mother. I didn't become drug addicted or whatever I made myself to a responsible adult. There are limits to be responsible for an adult, even when it is your child.

ChrisJ said...

We are all responsible for ourselves. Period. Family may help, especially in the case of illness, but only as they are able to.

Sometimes help is really just enabling, too.

Along These Lines ..... said...

The onus was on me to contribute to this o-post

Ames said...

As my husband has always said to can raise your children to be law abiding decent and responsible children. But as soon as they start making decisions for themselves, good or bad, the onus is on them.

A mother's child will always be a mother's child. No matter how old or how bad they become.

As for what role should a family take in trying to help a drug addicted sibling/child? An intervention session. The worst thing you can do for an addict is to be an enabler.

MyJourneyBack said...

Great post leaving lots to think about. Your blog is very fun. I love the mug shots and hiding in the book store! Thanks for coming over and seeing my Christmas Oranges. Did you simmer some?
Have a great weekend,

Jim said...

Gregg Allman (do you remember him of the old Allman Brothers' Band?) is just finishing sing his song, Nobody Knows, on a tribute to the life and music of Levon Helm tonight, so I can now concentrate on an answer to your dilema. BTW, it generally is the time spot for my Austin City Limits program for these Saturday nights.

I have five kids, I only had to bail one out of jail. That little bit of 'fun' helped straighten him out. He is doing fine in all ways including a job and his finances. One of the other kids doesn't work on a job, she writes music but it wouldn't support her should somthing happen to her husband.

This being in jail might help your friend's son see the errors in his ways. She needs to be frugal with her money and stretch it out for her retirement years.

I ordered a new camera from today. Here is hoping it works fine, I'll have it tried out by next weekend's end.

The nose is fine, the picture was about a month ago but it had a good shot of the failed, wetted, camera.

JJ said...

Talk about uniting bloggers! We can all identify with the adult-offspring blame game launched at their parents. Grow up, children!

Karen S. said...

It is so horribly sad how there are adults living among us, that have and will never grow up. What an uplifting supply of human-ness right here in your comments. May the goodness shine on and lighten the darkness in the world, and it will by each and everyone of us doing our part. Sometimes that means tough-love and sometimes not.

Jenny said...

This post brings up a lot of the same questions I struggle with.

There is a saying 'that if we understand the way things are, they are still the way things are; if we do NOT understand the way things are they are still the way things are."

This puzzle is one that I struggle heartily with.

Onus. Such an intense word.

And such a thoughtful post!

I'm glad you have been released to wreak havoc again! ha!

Be careful! Be safe!

Hugs and A+

Splendid Little Stars said...

onus--there are nuances to this word that make the meanings most interesting.
Ah, such a question you ask! Are parents always responsible for their (even grown) children's behavior? Although I do believe parents have lots of influence as a child grows, they are not the only influence. As a child grows to adulthood, more and more responsibility for his or her own life rests on their own shoulders.
A parent cannot do a child's life for him.

Happy Golfing!