17 year old ruining our lives

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by cindygirl, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. cindygirl

    cindygirl New Member

    My husband has worked for 20 years to provide us with a comfortable home and nice things. I have tried to work outside of the home a few times but difficult child has always had some problem or another and I end up having to stay home again. A couple of months ago husband ended up having a severe health problem and then was laid off work. So we have been in the house 24 hours a day going through things and getting rid of a lot of junk. During this time I went into the basement looking for the wii. husband likes to play that game on Sports Resort with the archery. So the wii is gone as are all the games, and about 50 new movies. When I asked difficult child where they went she got defensive and said that she didn't take anything they were probably in one of our many boxes. So now we have opened every box in the basement during our purge and we did not find any of the missing items. So then the new excuse was she lent these to a friend who just had a baby. I told her to get them back and then it was she had gone out of town to visit with her sister in law. So this morning I told her I was going over to this girls house and getting back our stuff and she says "So go, what do I care" so immediately I knew she has sold them or pawned them for drugs. So over 1500.00 worth of stuff gone and we are out the money and she won't even be charged. We aren't allowed to kick her out of our home, but she moves out, or doesn't come home, and the police won't charge her because she lives her so it isn't stealing it is simply taking without parental permission. She has stolen our credit cards and maxed it out (the credit card company won't invalidate the charges because she had access to our credit card, the companies that allowed her to use the card isn't responsible even though she forged my name and badly, the police won't charge her because she lives here), and we are stuck paying over 3000.00 in charges for her to take her friends out to dinner and movies, and bought clothes ect. On top of this she has stolen money, cheques in our or her sisters name, items of value. She has lost 4 ipods, cell phones, and other items while she is drinking or blacked out. She has been in and out of detox, rehab ect for years.

    She has a deadbeat boyfriend that she is in an abusive relationship with. He forbids her to drink so when they fight she sneaks off behind his back and drinks to the point of black out and comes home (or calls home begging to be picked up because she just came conscious and doesn't know where she is or how she got there) and then they fight so she puts holes in our walls, smashed out property, stolen and smashed up our van, and gone to jail where we refused to bail her out unless she went to rehab. She went into mandatory detox and stole my cell phone so that she could call the boyfriend and then after 5 days she walked out of detox because he didn't want to be without her.

    Our lives are garbage. Our youngest, formerly easy child has now developed a difficult child personality of her own because why should she follow the rules? Obviously there are no consequences for bad behaviour and anything goes. We have always stressed personal responsibility in our home. difficult child was diagnosed with ODD and adhd at the age of 3, it progressed to cd, she has bi-polar, narcissistic personality, anti-social personality, historonic personality disorder, anxiety disorders, ptsd, and on and on. We took her to every doctor that we could get into. Now we make appointments and she doesn't show up so they refuse to see her. They won't put her on any medications because of the drug and alcohol use and that she doesn't come home for days and days at a time. We can't have her hospitalized for mental illness because of the drugs and alcohol problems, she can't be locked into rehab because it is voluntary, and we can't kick her out of our home. I have been a member of this site for 13 years and nothing ever changes. I spend all my time paddling in rapids but never get anywhere. Maybe I should just move out of the house and husband and I could have a life again. I could never understand those people who just walked away from their homes and left their families behind but I can definitely see why now. Sorry for the long rant. Just really frustrated right now.
  2. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi Cindy,
    You're really in a tough situation. I live in PA now but come from Canada; we went back to Canada for two years in 2003-2005, and I know things work very differently there than they do here. I understand your feelings of helplessness and the lack of help from 'the system'. Not that 'the system' is perfect in PA, lol! But we have had more access to support here than we did in Ontario.

    I think your first priority has to be to protect your family and yourself. Your difficult child has shown that she will rob you, be violent, use you, and do whatever harm it takes to get what she wants. Your younger child is feeling the effect of that, and as you say, has watched all these years that difficult child gets away with just about everything.

    I imagine you've gotten legal advice about whether and when you can evict your difficult child? If not, I would run to the nearest reliable source. It may be that you don't have to wait until she's 18 to tell her to leave. If your difficult child leaves, can you change the locks, put her things in storage or on the sidewalk, and make it clear that she no longer lives with you? It sounds harsh but her treatment of you and your family is literally criminal. If you can change the locks once she's gone, that may be one approach. (And when she damages the house trying to get back in, have her arrested. Even if she doesn't stay in jail it gives her a record; enough arrests and she'll eventually be given some legal consequences.)

    If you truly can't get her out, can't emancipate her or change the locks, then I would take away every single item you provide to her - cell phones, iPods, every electronic device of any kind; discontinue services and sell the small electronics; strip her room to a bare mattress and a lightbulb; offer clothing of your choice and only enough so that she has an outfit to wear while the other one is in the laundry. I'm not joking. If she gets violent over it (be prepared), call police. You aren't obligated to provide her with expensive clothing, jewelry, makeup, and electronics; if your local law says you MUST keep her at home, you only have to provide necessities. Food doesn't have to be delicious, it just has to be food. You will have to lock up absolutely everything of value that you possess, and never let your wallet/credit cards/ID leave your person. Even at night. You'll have to buy a lock box and chain it to something immovable in your bedroom and lock your wallet in it while you sleep. You'll need to change the locks and NOT let your difficult child near a key, as she'll get one copied or steal one. Chances are she'll invite some of the friends she treated with your credit card to come and clean out your house. You need not provide your difficult child with transportation or entertainment. You need provide NOTHING except the most basic necessities - until she starts to play by your rules. You may want to draw up a contract that specifies those rules, and the consequences for breaking them.

    I would strongly suggest getting a family counselor to guide and support you through this. You need to be prepared for your difficult child to challenge and push back, hard. She's had it all her way for years and she won't give up easily. On the other hand, when she sees that you aren't going to argue or talk endlessly, that you are just going to ACT, and that your actions speak for you, she will respect that. She won't like it, but she'll take it seriously. She may decide your home is intolerable and move out; that will be her decision and at least you'll have some peace.

    I think it's critical for your younger child that you provide some protection against your older difficult child's devastation of the family. Perhaps you can work with a social worker on behalf of your younger child, to get difficult child out of the house or mandated to a juvenile program. I hope you'll be able to find some support somewhere.

    Again, I would consult a lawyer and find out if there's any way your difficult child can be charged with the thefts she's committed, and if you can legally emancipate her or enroll her in a treatment center. Best wishes, good luck, and let us know what you find out.
  3. galadriel

    galadriel Guest

    I am very much in sympathy with you right now. I have twin boys who are now 18 and will be starting community college next month. Both dropped out; both are weed and cigarette users and alcoholics. They both help themselves to our credit cards but they are maxed out so they go for the debit cards, they will come into our room at night and take my purse from my nightstand. One kid has worked for a year full time but all his minimum wage goes for the drugs and he's out of money by Monday and borrowing cash from us. The other kid won't work, he states he shouldn't have to as he's too good for fast food jobs. Most of their things such as TV and Xbox have gone missing and it turned out they were pawned. I am the enabler, my husband then blames me. I keep wanting to trust the boys and give them a chance.

    Non-worker difficult child has now gotten an apartment with a friend that is affordable using his college fund for room and board. He swears when school starts in three weeks he will attend and excel so he can keep getting the college funds. If he fails we cannot give him any more, because the fund only allows withdrawals for a fulltime student. husband says he'll fail, I think he can do it. Oh, and difficult child has a DWI pending wherein he wrecked the family mini-van and lost his license. He has to sign up for alcohol assessment but hasn't yet and he hired his own attorney who is working out a payment plan directly with the kid. Guess the kid isn't too good for fast food now....

    It's been a relief to get one out of the house even if it's tapping into the kid's college fund. I also want to move away, I daydream about going out to my sister in Washington state.

    I can't offer any suggestions for you, since I am in the same boat. Just my sympathy!!
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know things are very different in Canada, and different in each part of Canada to some degree. So if I suggest things that won't work, I am sorry.

    What are the penalties for underage drinking in Canada? For drug use as a minor?? I assume they sell drug tests in stores there. Here we can get them at most pharmacies. Get a drug test and make her do it. Take away EVERYTHING until she does. Get some sturdy deadbolts or hasps and padlocks and put them on EVERY door in the house. Put EVERY valuable thing behind a locked door. Take the door OFF of difficult child's room. She does NOT deserve privacy as she has PROVEN that she is not trustworthy. She can change in the bathroom and maybe earn a curtain.

    Give her a curfew. Lock the doors at 10pm. If she is not inside by then she cannot come in until 8 am. Period. Make SURE your husband knows this. IF she pounds on the door and makes a fuss, pour cold water on her from upstairs or hook a hose to the nearest faucet and open the door enough to BLAST her with it.

    Get the cops to check her over and over for drugs. Give them the results of the drug tests. Go through her room and ANYWHERE she spends even a little time. Find her drugs and turn them, and her if possible, over to the cops.

    The cops may or may not do much. It WILL start a paper trail of some sort. If you keep dragging her in or calling them over and over they WILL get tired of it and put some charges on her.

    Go ahead and strip her room of everything except a mattress, a blanket and pillow, a light, and 7 outfits of YOUR choice. Do NOT allow her to have ANYTHING else. Lock it all up. Pawn her cell phone and anything else of any value to replace what she has stolen from you. If she has any nice clothing take it to a consignment store or list it on ebay. I have seen ebay auctions where the parent said something like "delinquent fool stole my jewelry and ran up a huge phone bill on phone sex lines. selling his cell phone to get some of the money back." Those auctions tend to get a LOT of traffic and decent amounts of $$.

    Make sure that even the FOOD is locked up. You and husband have the keys and they are NEVER NEVER NEVER put down anywhere or given to her. Keep them on a belt around your waist or a lanyard around your neck.

    Both kids may have a fit. If the younger one doesn't shape up by seeing this, strip her of her possessions too.

    No rides. If they have cars, sell them. If they have bikes, sell them. YOU own what they have as they are too young to enter into contracts.

    Don't yell or scream. Say no and go about your business. Ignore as much as possible. By locking up everything that you value and allowing them entry into very few areas of the house you will protect your home from their destruction. If you have to have someone change a wall to put a door you can lock on the kitchen, go for it.

    Food can be given when YOU want them to have it, not when they want to eat. Provide NOTHING that they like to eat until such time as they behave.

    Chances are at least the older one will move out. She will probably give someone a sob story about how mean you are, but ignore it. She will show her spots to them soon enough.

    I am sorry things are so rough. I would do my best to use the drug and alcohol laws to get her locked up. If she pounds on the door drunk at night, don't let her in, call the cops because she is drunk or stoned. over and over andover. She may only get a fine, from what I can see online it is about $150. Do NOT pay it no matter what. The cops will work to find whoever sold it and THEY will get a heavy penalty. If you know the names of anyone she parties with, or where she goes to get booze, that would help. The people who get in trouble will know it is because she got caught. they will share this with others and all of them will begin to refuse to party with her. They will likely be VERY upset with her, esp if it is at other people's houses and their parents get into trouble. This will make a lot of problems for her, which is as it should be. There will be a lot less places she can party.

    Here is a link to the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy (http://www.cfdp.ca/), you may or may not find some help there. Maybe you can contact them and find a way to push some penalties on your difficult child. Remember, anything a drug user says is a lie. Period. Also, if you use drugs you sell drugs. Period. every drug user I have ever met has said that, both the current and the recovering users.

    I am sorry things are so bad. (((((hugs)))))

    I hoep that at some point you can get some calm in your home and your husband can begin to feel better.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Hi there. I for one hope you come back to your post and respond in some way because for one? I think YOU need friends. Good understanding, caring, non-judgemental friends and now. THAT my dear is us. Yeah and well - I was so lucky in my life to marry a man that did horrible things to me, stole from me - he even had some woman pose as me and stole my identity to the tune of 40k. Yeah - wanna know the kicker to THAT? I couldn't prosecute because...I was still married to him and in hiding from a violent relationship. Oh it gets better - then our son grows up to steal from me and lie to me...and I end up throwing HIM out and he goes and finds the turd and now he lives with him. Lives with him - after a lifetime of sacraficing everything - to keep him away from the turd. Yup.....yeah - you're in good company here. Lol. I soooo get where you are right now. been there done that - could have even made Tshirts.

    Sometimes I think a lot of what we do as parents of kids like this boils down to anger at our own common sense. I mean think about your daughter like this.....IF she was someone that you did not know, and you took her in, and you allowed her to live with you, gave her food, shelter, and she stole your credit card and took all her bum friends out to dinner, and drinking and paid for gas in their cars etc. etc, would you 1.) Kick her out, 2.) Allow her to remain in your house 3.) Have her arrested 4.) Never speak to her again. I mean three of those 4 make sense. #2 - makes no sense. But then the law in it's infinite wisdom steps in and says
    "Well if you can't control her - we can't either - so you keep her."
    So the kid learns - she is INVINCIBLE. Okay ......so let's up the antey.
    Now she knows she can steal you blind and rob you in broad daylight.....so lets come home stoned and drunk...you will 1.) throw her out 2.) allow her to remain in your house 3.) have her arrested 4.) never speak to her again.
    Again - 3 out of the four or at least 2 out of the four make perfect sense.....but again - NO consequences.

    So this goes on and on and on....and you have called the police and called them and documented this ?? I mean did you make a report at least everytime something happened with the authorities?

    I ask.....because here in the US. or specifically in the state I live - with documentation of really bad behavior I can go to a magistrate in family court and ask the clerk for a petition of incorrigibility. It doesn't matter the age of the child....er MINOR CHILD...what I get is a day in court, with a judge where I take MY records showing that I can't deal with this child, that I have tried to get help, that I am overwhelmed, and can no longer control my kid, she won't obey, she won't listen and she is very much in need of ASSISTANCE from an outside source. Here we call it juvenille detention or Department of Juvenile Justice Department of Juvenille Justice - or kiddie jail. If they don't get 'along' there? If they don't go to school there? If they don't go to court ordered therapy and drug counseling there? They get to go to adult jail. If they don't get along there? well they get to go to prison and if they don't get along there prisioners much harder and lived than they are encourage them to get along with the program.

    I filed for a petition of incorrigibility with Dude. I never GOT my day in court with the judge....Dude managed to get his own day thanks to 13 counts of this and 3 counts of that - and became the first felon in my families history at the age of 15 going on 16. Lovely. However - Between Department of Juvenile Justice, and then his little escapade after that which landed him in county jail for a few days? yeah - well -----NOT much fun there. (insert pity look).

    He's managed to put himself there again - since - and my stance was and will be ----you get yourself in again - you get yourself out. I can't come visit---the first time caused me to have a stroke. (no lie)

    So.....I would do as the others and myself have suggested. LOCK IT UP....and I mean get a safe. Yeah I hate living like that too - but I know when it's in the safe it will be there when I get back. As far as the cell phones? GET A LOCK ON THAT.....code word and block on uses. (I have that) if I loose it - no one calls out or Momma in spain or Greenland.....you have to have MY code. You don't have my unlock code? You don't call anyone....not even down the road. PITA? Yup. Better than a high phone bill.

    And the gal that said - PROVIDE THE BASICs....OH HONEY - if you don't think I wouldn't strip her room of something each time she smarted off. (With a written warning starting NOW?) -----wrong. I'd just make sure that there wasn't even so much as a bar of soap left for her in the bathroom. EVERYTHING even my toothbrush is locked up. My windows were checked EVERY SINGLE TIME I left. MY KEYS? Stayed on a bungee ring on my pants. My car has a locking gas cap - and his friends no longer get gas for FREE. Our garage has three dead bolts....no more missing tools. My everything has SERIAL NUMBERS scrawled on them...and MY NAME IN BIG BLACK MARKER......YOU BETCHA. SOMEWHERE, on everything in this house - is my name - even my dogs.....microchipped.

    So ----now that he's moved out what is it good for? EVERYTHING. I'm an insurance agents dream. I'll never get messed over on a policy to replace any contents - for sure. Asking you - if that Wii had been in a house fire? Would you have gotten it replaced on your home owners policy? Ahhhhh see? Now you're thinking like the person who is getting ripped off all the time. Get a list .......keep it updated. See???? PITA -maybe - tornado hits your home? Yeah.....see where I'm going with this? Your daughter IS a tornado.

    So......besides that. I would also change ALL the deadbolts in my house and give only MYSELF and my HUSBAND the keys. Then guard them like air. She would NOT be allowed in the house unless someone was there. She would NOT be allowed to leave unless you inspected her purse, or outside her window or watched her leave. Dude used to LOVE to toss things out the window then walk out on inspection then RUN back under his window---clever bugger. Yeah just in time to have Dad standing there waiting to say PUT IT BACK and get in the house you are not going anywhere now. HAHAHAH......

    Or he'd hang a bag out in a tree earlier in the day - and THEN walk out like - NOTHING ON ME----grab the bag. So we got in the habit of walking him out. OH the utter anger that would cause. Sometimes he'd come back----we hear a car? We go out. Yup - there he is trying to get the stuff he had taken....and NOW he can get in the house...and your friend can go home. Buh bye.

    I figure if you have to be home anyway - and she's making YOUR life miserable....you should agree to help her,.after all that's what a parent is for. If she comes home drunk again? I'd call the ambulance and tell them you swear you thought she threatened to harm herself. Again - only helping, but if she is so drunk she's incoherent isn't that technically self-harming behavior? Why should YOU deal with it when there are facilities that are very well equipped to help her? And if you call them enough times? Surely this falls under some type of incorrigibility standard? If she takes your credit cards and runs up the charges? I wouldn't tell anyone I KNEW who took my charge cards....I would say they were missing.....and then implicate ALL her friends as well. Honestly --I would make sure that each and every person she 'purchased' items FOR was implicated in the scam and brought to justice.

    You think possibly I'm kidding....Dude took change off me once. Stole it. When he showed up here at my house with his buddies and they all had Subway samiches, drinks and chips....and I found out that they ALL knew it was my stolen money their lunch was paid for with - I called their Moms. I told their Mothers either they could replace my money or their kids could go to jail right along with mine. - My money was replaced in dimes and quarters just like it was taken - by both boys. Dude worked his off like a dog.
    What's fair is fair.

    I hope this response finds you in better spirits. Not in a bottle of spirits 'cause Goodness knows I dove a time or twelve for medicinal reasons.....but seriously keep your chin up - and find out what you can do about filing a petition of incorrigibility and get tough around your house. Katya and the others gave your spot on advice.

    Tough love isn't just for kids.....

    Hugs & Love
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I hope you return! If you check back in, please let us know. We care about you and about how things are going, even if our advice isn't terribly on target because US drug laws are different and many of us live in the US and don't know Canadian law.

    Star has awesome advice, as usual. I esp like the part about making sure that her friends are known to the cops, credit card people, etc... And about saying daughter is threatening self harm if she is too drunk to say she isn't. Tell the ambulance/hospital/police/whomever people that you think she said she was going to kill herself. What can they do if you heard it wrong? Not much, I would bet. Of course I have been wrong before.

    I hope you are doing okay.