Cautiously optimistic

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by toughlovin, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi all,

    Some background since I am pretty new to this board and haven't posted too much about my son.... so when he was 15 things got really out of control and we sent him to a wilderness camp and then to a therapeutic boarding school. He did well at both, after some very defiant acts and bumps in the road. It did my husband, my easy child daughter and I a lot of good to have him out of the house. He did succeed there and did graduate from the TBS. I loved the TBS even though it was far away and we went down monthly to see him and to connect with other parents.

    So he comes home just before he turned 17 and he looked absolutely great. It was the best I have ever seen him. He started seeing a really nice girl and all in all was doing really well.

    We were drug testing him and he was passing the drug tests although we did discover at some point he was faking the tests some so we knew he was smoking some pot.

    Over time things went down hill and a year ago through some events not under his control and then some very stupid things totally his fault he really went downhill. So he got himself expelled from the HS. (A little unfairly I thought but still his doing). After a couple of months he went to a local therapeutic day school. He did well there for a couple of months and then also got really defiant there. In all of this his girlfriend broke up with him (for very good reason) and he overdosed twice on OTC medications and turned 18.

    So in June he was barely doing what he needed to do in school, was suspended several times and was on the edge of being kicked out... which is sad because he is so close to getting his diploma. The school bent over backwards trying to help him but he was now in complete ODD defiant mode, I can do whatever I want, no body can make me do anything, I don't have to foliow rules anywhere mode.

    He finally took our car without permission one night (he had lost driving privileges due to various things, the main one being obvious drug use). We were at the point where we knew we just could not have him living here flagrantly violating all of our rules (which were not many and very basic at this point). We tried to talk to him to give him the option of showing us for a couple of weeks that he could follow our rules... but he started to threaten us with violence. At which point we told him he needed to be out that day. I went to the police and told them what was going on and they came a couple of hours later and escorted him out. We no trespassed him from our home.

    At the time we offered him the chance to go back to the TBS and finish his school work for his diploma and get some help. He told us we would have to pay him $1000 to do that. Ha obviously we were not going to do that.
    I have to say that was the hardest thing I have ever done. For the next two weeks it was all pretty worrisome. He was arrested twice, and has some potential additional charges. The kids needs to learn he has to follow the rules or he gets in trouble. He didn't learn it at home and so now he was learnign the way of the world.

    So very lucky for him he was able to stay with a friends family. A family that is eery different from ours in some ways. Probably not a situation we would choose for him. BUT we have gotten to know the dad and he is sincerely trying to help our son. He calls and checks in with me every now and then. And we have had some contact with our son, usually when he needs something but we are trying to keep the lines of communication open.

    So I had told my son I would take him shopping for clothes. I am not willing to give him any cash but we are willing to help out in certain ways and this was one of them. So the other night we took him shopping.

    Things were ok. He wasn't real warm but he wasn't real angry either. He has been real angry with us and not too pleasant in the recent past. On the way home he brought up the TBS and possibly going there to finish his diploma! I was very surprised... This totally came from him. I asked him if he wanted me to check into the possibility and he said yes. So I am checking into it and feeling hopeful.

    I know this might not happen, and in fact he might not go through with it BUT it does hopefully show he is starting to think about how he can move forward in his life... so as I said I am cautiously optimistic.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a tough road you've been down. Some of it very familar; my Youngest went to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) then a Therapeutic Day School, and dropped out just two months after turning 18, just 3 months shy of graduation (same thing, "I'm 18 you can't tell me what to do any more"). Broke my heart. She is now 22, and truly regrets that decision every day, I think. She still hasn't gone back for her GED, and with 2 young children, isn't likely to do so anytime soon.

    Your son sounds like he's on a better path now, and I am cautiously optimistic with you :)
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Crossing my fingers for your family. Tough love sure is hard, but I believe it's the way to go. Stay strong!
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I will remain cautiously optimistic with you!