Been a while

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by bluebell, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    I posted a few times here about my (then 17 year old son). He is now 19. Long story short, he has had several juvenile charges, a hospitalization and has gotten violent with my husband, problems with drugs. Problems started when he was about 12. I have another child (daughter 16) who has no behavior or drug issues but does struggle with goals and social activity.
    He held a job at a restaurant for over a year and was doing ok, still living at home and mostly following rules. Didn't need money from us and had a routine so pretty much all was tolerable. He quit trying to have his friends at our house which was an issue when he was younger. He just lost his job and a lot of the same patterns (yelling, arguing, wanting money, staying out all night) are happening again. I feel like we have regressed.
    I don't know, I'm just having a bad day. Looked at my neighbor's fb page (she has 3 children that grew up with mine) and one got engaged yesterday, the other is back from his second year at university and the third (former friend of my daughter's) in high school just got inducted into the Honor Society and posts fabulous pics of her and all of her friends at the lake every weekend. On top of that, her and her hubby just returned from a fabulous weekend in another state, just the two of them. Something I will never be able to do and leave my son alone here. I know I am blessed in other ways, but sometimes I just wish my dreams for my children - and my middle age - had come true.
    Needing a soft place to land and hope to help others in their journey through this as well. It's hard to be alone thru this. I have lost almost all my friends thru this journey, as most of them were mothers of my son's friends before he went thru this and they quit including me.
     
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Our boys are the same age and similar behaviors. Why did he lose his job? Mine is now 19 and homeless. it is a long story. A parent can only help so much and can only tolerate so much. It does sound like he was making progress. The job loss seems to have triggered the current behavior. Is he on medication and or receiving therapy? Is he on probation?
     
  3. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    Thanks for responding pasajes4! He got lax I guess, they let him get away with calling in sick and being late a lot. He was a bus boy. But I guess he 'called in sick' one too many times. I asked him about it and he said he called but no one answered at the front so he just blew it off. That's not calling in sick!
    He is not compliant with medications or therapy. He has no current charges so not on probation.
     
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Welcome bluebell. My son is 21 now, but yours has worked longer in his one job than mine has in all of his put together. I understand the back-sliding. We put ours out in 2014, let him back in April when he had an apartment fire. Now he's about to be out again, probably homeless.

    We all have long stories.

    I hate Facebook. I really don't know why I spend time on it, watching videos of my cousin's talented son singing or seeing photos of my nephew's 4.0 GPA or my former co-worker's Eagle Scout. :notworthy: Why do we do that to ourselves?
     
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  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Facebook is used largely as a brag forum. I all but gave mine up because the people I care about most quit using it, including two of my kids. If you can bear it, leaving Facebook may be a good thing. Nobody knows what stories are behind the smiling faces and great news anyway.

    Do you think maybe your son went back to drugs? I hate to ask that. But it's worth considering. I'm sorry you have to go through this again. Is there a back story that may help us? You can share, if you like. We've heard it all.
     
  6. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Getting off of Fakebook () helped me a lot. Like you, it only made me feel worse about things with my son...
     
  7. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    Yeah, I've been on and off FB. It's a trap, at least for me. And yes, SomewhereOutThere, I'm positive he's using drugs - but I don't think that has ever really stopped. He just has more time to do them and less money to pay for them now, which is a deadly combination for him. husband had a talk with him last week (in public, always in public) and there are ultimatums and goals in place. He's supposed to go take a college entrance exam tomorrow. He's taken it once before and did not place into college level math (we are not paying for remedial courses - I can teach math I have a Computer Science degree) and he hasn't studied much so I hesitate to even mention it because it will be a waste of time and money. But I suppose we have to go thru these motions just to say we gave him a chance. We all know how it will end. I hate to think of him homeless but he won't be. He'll go thru his friends and then end up with his 85 year old grandmother who will bug the crap out of me until we take him back, then he will say he'll change and the cycle starts over...
     
  8. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    bluebell, I am sorry for the difficult and painful circumstances with your son. I have been through losing my friends that were the parents of difficult sons friends. That was an extra, very very painful part of going through these difficult years. The judgement and whispers from those that were supposed to be my friends and "part of our village". I was a wreck with losing them and knowing how they betrayed me but now there is such freedom with not trying to fit in with them and hide my son's ups and downs. I have found support here and that is priceless. People being willing to be honest and share the struggles.
     
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Up and Down, congratulations. You are free. I found the same freedom of not caring what others think, but like you it took time. Once you realize that being deserted means that the person who did so was never really there at all...it gives us the knowledge that the person who needs to always be there for us....is us.

    Tired of phoney family and friends...
     
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  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Bluebell, welcome, we're glad you came here for support. We so understand.

    You sound weary. Weary to the bone. I am so sorry. I think sometimes when they do better, and then they backslide, it is really really hard (harder?) on us. We get up about them, and then we are let so far down.

    It's impossible to know what will happen next with DCs. What we do know is this: If nothing changes, nothing changes.

    I tried for years to force change on my son. Everything from literally dragging him out of bed to go to school in high school to writing him long, long letters telling him my hopes and dreams and expectations for him to yelling and screaming to writing contracts to all kinds of help and assistance...just one more time. THIS would be the time that something changes so I'll do it one more time.

    People don't get what we go through because most of us don't tell them every step we went through before we finally stopped. They wouldn't have the time.

    I wouldn't wish what we go through with our DCs on anybody. It is exhausting and so painful and it never seems to end. Mine went on, the really really bad years, for more than 5 years. His slow slide started in middle school. He is now almost 27, next month.

    Two years ago this month is when he decided to start changing. I didn't trust it for a long, long, long time. I had been burned too many times.

    I got to the point that I could only decide what I would do. I couldn't decide for anybody else, including grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. My parents wanted to give him $200 one time to get out of jail so he wouldn't lose the job he had just gotten. I said no and they respected that, thankfully, but if they had insisted, I was prepared for that. Their circus, not mine.

    My sister and her husband wanted to help him a few times. I said no, and they respected that, thankfully.

    I'm sure they were all torn apart about my decisions, as was I.

    Today, I am so grateful that I finally, finally understand (even though I still don't practice it all the time) that we can only control ourselves and that is a full time job. We can't control one other person in the world except ourselves.

    So...when the behavior from our DCs becomes impossible to live with, for me, I finally was able to say, no more. You can't come here for any reason whatsoever. One night he got out of jail and walked to my house and pounded on the door. I had written him and said, when you get out, don't come here. He came here anyway. I answered the door, told him to go to the garage, and we got in the car. My plan was to take him to an all-night restaurant, give him $5 for food, and drive back home. Instead, he asked me to drop him at an all night laundromat. When he got out of the car, his parting shot was: F___ You. That helped, that he was mad because I was mad too.

    I know that story sounds impossible, and only we, we parents here, can understand how you can get to that point. Where you can not and will not do one. more. thing. It takes years to get there. It is an awful, terrible journey.

    If you can, if you are ready, if and when the grandmother tries to shame you, force you, bully you, into taking him in again, if you can do it, don't do it.

    I have learned that for many many many of our DCs (not all), it takes completely stopping. Completely. No more, not one more single thing. One time, two summers ago, when Difficult Child was starting his own rehabilitation process (but I didn't trust it, it was only a couple of months old), he walked here after working at McDonald's. He needed a place to sleep. He was exhausted. He was still homeless and he was sleeping outside and walking to work. I said no. Seeing him that tired was very hard, but I said no.

    I can't believe I did that, now---what I mean is, I can't believe I was able to do that. But I did because years and years and years of his behavior and very bad decisions got me to that point.

    We are here for you, regardless of what you decide. Please know that. Take what you like and leave the rest. Warm hugs this morning.
     
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  11. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    Thank you childofmine. I remember you from the last time I was here, and if we go back and look at the history, I'm sure you helped me then. It is so true about family. My sister in law took my son when he was 15 to help on their farm during a school expulsion and I asked them to do it again a couple of years later and that text went unanswered. My dad told me I was enabling him a couple of weeks ago and then yesterday sent me a text asking me if it's ok if he asks him to come over and wash windows - for money of course! Well well - look who else is enabling! I have estranged my father and brother for years at at time over my son's issues. I don't even bring it up anymore.

    Yes, I'm tired. This sucks. We wrote the letters, wrote out the contracts, etc etc etc as well. I don't think other parents have to do that with normal kids. I don't have to do that with my daughter, although she is not perfect - but compared to him she is an angel. She records his frantic interactions with me - the ones where he's asking for money - I say no - and he calls me a POS, other names and he always asks 'What is your problem?' in that hateful way. I hear myself - I'm calm now - I'm used to this - as if anyone should ever get used to that kind of verbal abuse. I tell him not to focus on my problems, but let's work on his. She knows this is wrong, she knows my mother died when I was young and thinks that he will regret this later in life. I'm not so sure.

    He came in today and had gotten his haircut. Its been long and unkempt for some time now and he got a 'grown up' haircut. He is so handsome, it just took my breath away. I could see his face better, the sweet face of his boyhood. I can't take much hope or solace from this, as I know hair grows back and it's just a small but necessary step in finding another job, but sometimes it is the small things that help you get thru the day. Just like hearing from all of you who know my pain too well. Thank you so much.
     
  12. UpandDown

    UpandDown Active Member

    the haircut part struck me as just yesterday mine said he was thinking of cutting his. I have been so happy today just knowing that he is aware of the need to cut it. Who knows how happy I will be IF he actually does cut it!!!
     
  13. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    UpandDown - I hope yours does get his cut! My son was beaming from ear to ear. husband had been sending him pics of different haircuts for the past few days and he kept saying things like 'everyone has that haircut' 'that's a preppy haircut', etc. The fact that he did it means he's actually rubbing some brain cells together, right?
     
  14. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Yeahhhh....I got my son's hair cut Sunday. I bribed him with a pack of cigarettes. He's still unhappy, but he won't look like a stoner in front of the judge. Doing it of his own free will isn't on his agenda.
     
  15. detachingmother

    detachingmother serenity

    Just stop this lol. People curate these pages to appear to be whatever they want.

    really, you don't know what is going on there...the kid who got engaged, might look good on the surface...but, who knows, maybe she or he is marrying a pedophile

    The couple who went on a vacay alone, who knows, it might be in hopes to repair a relationship after infidelity.

    Not nice things to say really, but just to get the point across...

    Honestly, people curate the fb pages. No family is perfect. Not one. There are skeletons in them all.

    Just saying....:)
     
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