Life is Hard Thread

FancyFeet

Well-Known Member
Me: Reads e-mail.

Brain: Wait, what does he mean? Why tell me he's forwarding it? Is that a snarky way of passive-aggressively pointing out that I should have just e-mailed it to them directly? But he is the one that spoke to me about it... did I commit some sort of social faux-pas by letting him know I was a yes and asking him to add me to the list of yes-es? Should I send another e-mail and explain? Or mention it to him? What if the person it's being forwarded to thinks I'm avoiding them? I can't deal with more conflict there... what am I going to say if they mention it? ... Hang on, FF (this is the good part), you're BEING RIDICULOUS. Who cares? Let it go.

So: Life is hard, because this is how my brain wants to work... but life is improving, because I'm slowly changing that for the better, thanks to almost 2 years of hard work and some decent support. Proud of me!
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
zomg, yes, let it go, don't overthink...you don't need to be in his head and anyone else who may have an issue has a tongue in their head ....he forwarded it...it is best going to them...he sent it there....exhale...and congrats on understanding that
 
Me: Reads e-mail.

Brain: Wait, what does he mean? Why tell me he's forwarding it? Is that a snarky way of passive-aggressively pointing out that I should have just e-mailed it to them directly? But he is the one that spoke to me about it... did I commit some sort of social faux-pas by letting him know I was a yes and asking him to add me to the list of yes-es? Should I send another e-mail and explain? Or mention it to him? What if the person it's being forwarded to thinks I'm avoiding them? I can't deal with more conflict there... what am I going to say if they mention it? ... Hang on, FF (this is the good part), you're BEING RIDICULOUS. Who cares? Let it go.

So: Life is hard, because this is how my brain wants to work... but life is improving, because I'm slowly changing that for the better, thanks to almost 2 years of hard work and some decent support. Proud of me!
Fellow over thinker here!! I do the same or similar far too often with email and text messages.
 
Ok, I'll bite. Life is hard because we moved across the country for my husband to finish his PhD. I didn't have good job prospects, still don't, and finally decided to open my own company. THAT I'm excited about, but it's hard, and in the meantime I'm stuck at a part time job that I despise to keep us fed. Still trying to find time to dance/perform in all this, but we can't really afford my classes anymore...
 
Thanks! I really am excited about my business. I had some good consultations this week in fact! I don't usually dwell on the negative things (at least I try my hardest!). I'm just stuck doing software certification, and I do miss dancing right now. It'll turn around!
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
A friend of my son's is living with us at the moment--has been for several months and likely will for several more months. His parents are deceased--not a good story--and he is a ward of the state. He's also 21 and will only get support from them for another year or so. He has stayed with us before for shorter times.

During this period, I (with the help of others) have worked on the kid's hygiene. He did not do a good job of taking care of himself when he was attending college and there have been issues with both him and his clothes smelling pretty bad. He has gotten substantially better and I'm in the process of trying to help him eradicate what I can only describe as a "homeless person on the subway" smell. Not to mention, getting it out of my house. I hadn't been going in his room, which was an error, but all in all, I think I will spare you some of the details.

One issue is still his own odor. It's embarrassing for him, I don't like dealing with it, but I wouldn't be doing him a favor ignoring it. He is, oh, 175 lbs overweight which I would guess is not helping. We are gradually tracking down issues such as his forgetting to put on deodorant some days, thinking he can put on a clean shirt before he showers and still consider it a clean shirt after he showers. Any suggestions welcome.

A second issue is getting the smell out of his clothes. It had gotten much, much better, but became an issue again recently. He figured out that part of it was his coat which is currently at the cleaners. There have also been a few occurrences of him acknowledging that he didn't do his laundry when he should have and wearing a shirt that wasn't fresh. Also turns out he had not really been looking at the temperature of the water on the washing machine and was sometimes using cold water (whatever it had been set at). He now knows to set the temperature to warm and he is routinely adding white vinegar which is certainly helping.

I figured out that at this point the mattress in his room is an issue, so he's sleeping in another room while we do a major baking soda, vacuuming and airing treatment. (Wish me luck with both that mattress and the other room.) I am willing to help him, but I have a feeling that there are going to be a couple rounds of this with his clothes--while there are still sources of odor in his room, his clothes where picking up the scent even when they had been washed. Once more, any suggesting welcome! His room is small, which probably doesn't help. We have open baking soda in there. I nixed the idea of cover-up the smell scented products.

I want this solved for both his sake and mine, but I'm also trying to not create yet another issue in his life--feeling bad about himself for the odor. I'm trying to be as matter of fact about it as I can be and to help him with the laundry. We had laundry folding lessons recently. Yet again, any suggestions for dealing with this without creating more emotional damage very welcome.
 

SwingingAlong

Well-Known Member
Please note, I have no experience in this area personally. However, I have noticed various students where I work seem to smell much worse when the weather is damp, which leads me to wondering if a drier than normal environment might be of a small assistance. Some of our students (as well as my partner) are trampers, and when they are around with damp boots, socks and shirts...... hmm. Mine was told in no uncertain terms that he needed to remove such clothing to the laundry and not leave it in the bedroom!! Would it be worth checking that he is drying his gear properly, not leaving damp towels in his bedroom, and maybe running a dehumidifier/ checking the moisture levels in his room, if you haven't already thought of this? This could help with the mattress issue possibly as well.... and after all, humidity levels are not anybody's fault, they just are. Best of luck and respect for helping him!
 

Zhena

Well-Known Member
Sometimes young men think that, because they are clean after they shower, their towels don't really get dirty. To the contrary, in a moderate climate, towels must be washed at least weekly; some authorities recommend twice weekly. In more humid climates, more frequent laundering is necessary.

I'm sure you're addressing the laundering of bed linens once the mattress is aired. Again, young men don't seem to see this as a priority.

It may also help to remember to pay attention to the scalp when washing hair; a dab of shampoo followed by a quick rinse may be insufficient.

Hope this helps.
 

Zhena

Well-Known Member
One more thing ... My sister once helped a homeless family. To save money, they had been in the habit of over-filling the washers at the laundromat. She said it took between 3 and 5 washings to get rid of the odors in all their clothes.
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
Can you round up all of his clothes and towels, whether he thinks he's used them or not, and run them through the laundry at least twice? That might help get the smell out. You're also going to have to do multiple washings of his sheets and bed linens, and possibly replace the mattress. You might also need to air out or launder the curtains, and possibly throw rugs if there are any.
 

RiseNFall

Well-Known Member
Thank you for all of the suggestions! This house tends to be dry during the winter, so general humidity won't be an issue. However, I'll bet the towels he's using are . Also, he brought up some bed linens from the laundry yesterday that weren't actually dry. o_O Fortunately no rugs in the room.

Good idea about just rounding everything up. He has not been aware of the extent to which laundered items are picking up odor from the non-laundered ones. (I suspect that the heat being on and the windows closed has contributed to this.) I'll help him go through everything. @Zhena (or anybody), is it better to just run everything through the wash a couple of times before even thinking of drying it??

I think I'll ask his caseworker to help address some of the personal hygiene issues. I believe he does a good job of showering, but perhaps a change in soap will help keep him "fresh" longer. I did some research after posting yesterday and there are some extra steps he should be taking because of his weight. A bit more than what I am comfortable talking to him about.
 

raindance

Well-Known Member
If the mattress is not salvageable (from what you have described, I find it kind of hard to imagine you will be able to get all the smells out of it), you might consider a decent quality air mattress as a temporary measure while you get the other issues sorted out. Once the young man and his clothing and his room smell OK for a while, then invest in a new mattress.

Bless you for helping him tackle this, and doing so in a kind matter. It will make a real difference in his life.
 

Loki

Well-Known Member
If his clothes will tolerate it, run the clothes dryer on high temp. I'm told that helps kill bacteria.

Some clothes companies sell basic underwear that they claim reduces sweat stink and have wicking properties. No personal experience with those products though.
 

Purr

Well-Known Member
Here's a couple of other ideas that I thought of.

Line the dresser drawers with clean linen or other fresh scent drawer liner, and maybe stuff a few fresh scent - not flowery - sachets in there as well. Hang a cedar bar in the closet. I used to have a closet with a cedar chip wall, and it smelled great. These might help with the clothes scent.

Suggest putting a generous amount of OxyClean in the wash, along with the vinegar. And using a fresh linen or similar scent dryer sheet.

Put a clothes basket in the kid's room. Stress any item he wears goes into it when it comes off.

If the kid is on any medication, there is a chance he might smell no matter what. Don't ask how I know this. Regular showering and deodorant will help though. Make sure the kid thoroughly washes his hair.

Good luck!
 

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