college student stealing

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by 40andup, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. 40andup

    40andup New Member

    My husband and i took our younger daughter to fla for easter. our son had college that week so he was to stay there. instead he came home and hosted a party in our house. now we are missing several hundred dollars from a looked draw in our office, that was also locked. We know our son was here he has admitted that. The office door was jimmed with a :censored2: driver and relocked, the keys for the draw were hidden in the kitchen and i have to believe that my son stole this money. i can not see one of his friends hunting for the keys to a locked draw behind a locked door, then relocking everything and making it appear normal. But on the other hand I can't believe my son would violate his family in such a way. We have turned off his cell phone, and are changing the house locks tommorrow, but my
    heart is breaking. I can never tell a family or friend this latest stunt, i have shared a few of my tramas in the past but no one can relate to this type of behavior can any of you?
     
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Yes, I can relate and most of the families here can, too. My son started stealing from us when he was a young boy and it didn't stop until he was arrested and taken to detention, never to come home to live again. He was only 16 years old.

    Welcome to the board. Tell us more of your story.

    Suz
     
  3. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Suz, your reply was perfect. Welcome to the board. :smile:

    Abbey
     
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Oh yeah, we understand. My son is currently in jail for stealing from someone else. He stole from us for years. He's stolen from other family members. He's stolen gas. He is now locked up with other thiefs. I have tried everything to stop this behavior, but so far nothing has worked. I'm sorry your son's actions brought you here, but welcome.
     
  5. 40andup

    40andup New Member

    I just feel like I can't give up on him. He's my son and I love him beyond measure, but I have enabled him for the past three years. He was rolling along great in life. A 9th grader that played sports had a B average and lots of friends. Then he injured his knee in football, after two surgeries he had to quit sports, his best friend moved and he changed friends. He became a different person, and at each step I said that this wasn't so bad, he could be doing worse. Well worse keeps happening.

    At 16 he stole his dads truck. While he was driving it a friend struck the rear end. To cover up that he had taken the truck, he did a lawn job on our house and had tire tracks that lead up to the truck, like they had struck it. My husband said he found grass in my sons wheels, but I couldn't believe he would do this.

    At 16 1/2 he chased a boy around that had said some things about his girlfriend, he followed him to his home and threatend him with a bat. The police were called. He did community service and went to a scarred strait program. Told his father how he would never Go There!

    Later that summer his girlfriend got in a disagreement with another girl. My son and his friend went out at 3:00 in the morning(when he was supposed to stay at a friends house, and shot her windows out. The police agreed not to press charges if he paid for the damage. After working all summer he paid off the $1200.

    Late summer, he gets in an accident with his car with 4 friends in it (he was only supposed to have 1 friend at a time) Caused $5600. in damages.

    Goes to a party that gets out of hand. He puches some kid in the nose. The kid calls the police. Since difficult child has a violent history police press charges. I hire an attorney for 1500. who is able to get charges dropped. I sign difficult child up for counseling.
    Find out him and girlfriend have been off and on again. He really loved this girl, talked about marrying, having kids. Wanted to be like his dad and me, we met at 16. But he cheats on her and she finds out.

    Finally she breaks up for good. difficult child sneaks out window that night
    takes several pills, friends try to take him to the hospital but he runs off when they pull up to the hospital. He calls his girlfriend from under the Viadock on the express way. Telling her he just wants to talk to her one last time. The police trace the call and find him under that via dock at 6:00am, just as rush hour is starting. Would he have run out into traffic. He says he would never do that to me. But I am frightened by this. He is put in Havenwick psyc hospital and evaluated. In comparrison to the kids he's with he seems normal. He's diag
    bipolar and oppositional defiant. No medications are giving and he's sent home. We go back to the psychologist. He seems fine says he doesn't need therapy. He appears happy makes a new friend I hope he's ok. But I find a suicide note in his room. Its from over a year ago. He appologizes to me in it. He seems to flucate from highs to lows. I am confused and supportive.

    The psyc. puts him on adderal. He seems so impulsive. difficult child says this helps him focus his grades improve in school. I think he's going to make it. Then a friend visits from out of state. They have a party in the basement when we aren't home. We find them about 2:00am drunk. I think no big deal, I drank as a teen. Put the kids to bed say don't do this again. But this becomes a regular thing now. He's sneaking out all the time. We've put locks on the doors and alarmed the house, but he still gets out.My husband and I fight constantly about this now. He kicks son out for the weekend. But I want him to graduate from HS. My desparation makes me convince husband to allow him back. I can't help but think he's a good kid.

    Several MIP's follow. Minor in possesion of Alcohol. One DUI, again I hire an attorney he gets the charges reduced and difficult child is monitored for alchol and drugs weekly. This is a good period. for us but not for him. The police now harrass my son. They pull him over constantly. He's been issued 5 tickets for random things. One night after working I call him because he's late for his curfew. The police have pulled him in for questioning. They want him to set up a drug buy. So he does, but the police find the guy is selling fake drugs. They are angry and leave the search warrant on the table with my sons name on it. The next day when he gets out of work, his tires are slashed and 3 guys are waiting for him. I guess that aggression he has finally comes in handy because he fends them off. But now all the kids hate him for narcing on them. He's very depressed. Although he does graduate, and gets in to college. After the summer comes to a close he's excited to start over at school.

    But to close the summer out he goes to a party and gets another MIP. The judge is furious. He send difficult child to jail overnight, thanks to the attorney he dosen't spend the next 3 months in jail but gets to start college a week late, with alchol testing weekly and counseling. Says he'll tatoo his prison number on his arm because he's never going back. While he's under alchol testing things seem good. But the day! he is released from it, he gets another DUI. Still awaiting court date for that, then we go out of town and he steals from us. Can I really give up on him, but can I keep enabling him. My husband says he's not allowed back in the house and we won't pay for room and board at college(tuition is prepaid thru state MET program). I know this is right but I still want to set him strait. Is kicking him out the best at this point?
     
  6. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    wow my son did a lot of that stuff too but I would not have paid a lawyer or bailed him out at all. my son also did a drug deal for the cops when he was 18 and the guy he narc'd on still terrifies him. he sleeps with a baseball bat under his bead. No one should ever narc for the cops. they cannot protect you later one. sigh.

    your son is learning he can victimize you big time and you will rescue him. it is time he faced the music. his theft at your home should not be overlooked.

    my son is almost 24 and lost his license til he is 34 for three DUIs under age 21. he also spent over two years in three different jails for not paying those fines or appearing in court, meanwhile continuing to carouse, cause chaos and defy the law. the law will catch up to your son.

    I can understand your fear for him and wanting to help him. the way you have been trying to help has not worked. try something new.
    read these two books-get them at the library:

    codependent no more by melody beattie

    boundaries by townsend and cloud

    they both opened my eyes to being a stronger more toughlove type of mom. I still love my son but I cannot and will not let him misbehave while I provide a roof and food. sigh.
     
  7. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Welcome to the board and a very supportive family of people who have been through what you are going through. Not allowing your son in your home and no longer enabling him are far from giving up on him. By allowing him access to your home and enabling him, you are not doing anyone any favors, you are only prolonging what will just get worse.

    My son is a 6 month clean recovering heroin addict because we stopped enabling him and threw him out of our home when we caught him stealing from us. He just turned 20 last month and hasn't lived home in 1 1/2 years. He currently resides in a soberhouse, works full time and pays his own bills, calls us everyday and never ever hangs up without telling us he loves us.
    Because we stopped enabling he was allowed to take full responsibility for where his life ended up. He will never live home again and he understands why.

    My heart goes out to you as I remember being exactly where you are today. Questioning what is right and what is wrong and how your decisions will help or hurt him. You should get yourselves to an alanon parent meeting. You will be surrounded by a room full of people who have been there done that and you will learn that you have no control over his behavior. It isn't your job to fix or heal him. He has to fall flat on his face and have nowhere else to turn but up.

    You should change the locks, not allow him in your house, then tell him you love him with all your hearts, but you will not love him to death. You need to learn how to detatch. Let him know you will always love him, but you can only support him when he's making the right decisions and then you need to detatch when he's not. He won't be happy about it and he will manipulate and do everything in his power to make you feel like you are doing this to him, but you have to remember, he is doing this to himself and therefore he is the only one who can change his behavior. If you feel drugs and alcohol are the issue, give him names and phone numbers to rehabs and let him know when he's ready, you will be there for him.

    Then memorize the serenity prayer:

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

    The courage to change the things I can

    And the wisdom to know the difference. Amen!!!!

    That prayer got me through many a long night for many months.

    Those simple words made me realize that I had to accept my son was a drug addict and I couldn't change it, but the only one I had the power to change was myself and how I reacted to him.

    The wisdom to know the difference can be a hard one, but you get better with lots of practice :smile:

    Please keep in touch as you have found a wonderful family to help you through what may be very tough going for awhile. Everyone here has had different experiences and handled things in different ways. Just remember to take what you need and leave the rest. You don't have to agree with everyone.
     
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So many of us have been where you are or are where you are at currently. Im there currently waiting for the cops to come and arrest my son for stealing and forging a check from my oldest son. He has been stealing from us for years.

    We also tried to get him to stop this behavior with the help of juvenile authorities and mental health for years and it has done no good. Now maybe he will listen but Im not holding my breath.

    I refuse to bail him out or hire lawyers. His actions lead to these charges and he can deal with them on his own.

    This isnt giving up but to keep allowing the kids to do this to us only makes them think we are patsy's. They wont stop until we put our foot down.
     
  9. 40andup

    40andup New Member

    Thanks for the support. The locksmith is on the way to the house now. I haven't heard from my son. But I'll wait for that, I suppose I can kiss the money good bye at this point. If only he would admit to what he has done. I find it hard to believe I've raised a sciopath but it appears I have. The funny thing is I just went back to college to study psychology. Can you imagine me counseling someone about their problems with a child. At least I would feel a great deal of empathy for them, but I am rethinking my decision. I can't help my own child, how could I possibly help someone elses?
     
  10. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Unless he decides to come clean and hasn't spent the money yet, you are probably right that you can kiss the money goodbye. Between the few forged checks my son stole from me, it probably pretty much amounted to the same as what your son stole from you. The reason I didn't report my son was because he was already in the court system and was waiting for placement in a long term drug and alcohol rehab. that he had agreed upon as part of his probation. We already knew he was a heroin addict, he already admitted to it and was going for help, so we felt that if we report him, he most likely would have been sent to jail instead of the drug rehab, which was not what he needed at the time. We knew why he was stealing, though it didn't make it right in any way.

    I wouldn't second guess what you are going to school for. If that is what you are truly interested in doing, then go for it. I have a feeling anyone in that profession would deal with things differently when it came to dealing with their own child vs. someone else. It's like a doctor trying to operate on their own child. That is why they don't do it. You have a totally different perspective on what is going on and how to handle it.

    Glad to hear the locksmith is on it's way out. Does your son have any idea you are chaning the locks or will you let him be surprised?? I think I would go for the surprise tactic. I didn't tell my son, then one day he came over and he noticed the different doorknobs and he said, what did you do, change the locks? I just simply replied, yes, and continued in the door. He never said another word. He didn't have to ask why????

    Please keep us posted. Glad you found us.
     
  11. AliceLee

    AliceLee New Member

    Hi...I'm so sorry you have had to join our forum. But it does help to talk with other parents who know what you're going through.

    Don't give up on being a counselor! When you counsel people not related to you, you can be much more objective...your emotions will not be as much as a factor.

    My kids are as different as night and day, too. The oldest is a mess...I think she has developed a personality disorder. The youngest is just the opposite...kind, loving, honest, and reliable.

    I think I'd STOP bailing him out and paying for lawyers. You'll go broke, and it's not helping him to get out of facing the consequences for his crimes.

    We have had to boot our daughter out twice now. She wanted to come home recently for a couple of weeks, but was unwilling to get treatment, so we said no. It has been VERY painful to send her on her way, but in all honesty, it's<u> more </u>painful to have her creating bad feelings in our home every day.
     
  12. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    You may think you are helping him by bailing him out or hiring lawyers, but this lets him know you won't press charges against him so anything in the house is "his" and he won't hesitate to take anything with that reasoning. He does have a place to live outside your home, so your barring him from the house doesn't mean he will be on the streets. He may have to figure out his summer living arrangements, but he needs to start looking for a job and this time may give him time to let it sink in that you are serious about his behavior. You are not giving up on him, you are showing him there are consequences for actions.

    Welcome to the site and know that there are many of us here who have gone thru or are going thru what you are dealing with....best of luck with your choices.
     
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. :smile:
     
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dont give up on your schooling. My therapist has a difficult child and she pressed charges on him for breaking into her house. He can never live with them again. She understands difficult child's which is one reason we get along so well.
     
  15. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I agree, don't give up your major. many of us older parents have delt with professionals that were more apt to believe difficult child's lies than our truths. They held the general beliefe that only bad parents turn out kids who have poor behaviors. You will be another professional who knows this is erronous thinking and will save many parents much grief and self doubt. -RM
     
  16. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    Welcome!

    Barbara
     
  17. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    Welcome, we've all been where you are now.
     
  18. 40andup

    40andup New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. It wonderful what a few days time can do for your perspective. husband and I are finally on the same page so husband is much happier. I was always defending difficult child but I see now that it was a mistake. difficult child just called today. He has figured out all on his own how to get a cell phone! Such an accomplishment. He needed our permission to transfer his number. Since he talked nice I gave it to him. He also gave me a list of friends that were at our house when the money went missing. I don't know that I believe him when he says he didn't take it. But I do know that kids are wonderful tattle tales and with the list of kids and some interagation but us and the police I believe a fuller story of what happened will come out. difficult child knows he's not allowed back in the house and that he is financially responsible to pay back the money, even if he didn't take it. He hosted a party at our house when he was SPECIFICALLY
    warned not to.

    Taking Psychology classes is very informative. Just a little note. Some kids are genetically predisposed to behavioral problems, and there is a reduction in gray matter in the teenage brain the brings about risky behaviors. It's nice to know I am not a bad parent who has totally messed up my kid.

    Also I agree with you reagrding teachers, doctors, counselors, etc. So many of them are young and childless. How can you possibly relate to anything in my life when they are barely above adolescents themselves.
     
  19. 40andup

    40andup New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement. It wonderful what a few days time can do for your perspective. husband and I are finally on the same page so husband is much happier. I was always defending difficult child but I see now that it was a mistake. difficult child just called today. He has figured out all on his own how to get a cell phone! Such an accomplishment. He needed our permission to transfer his number. Since he talked nice I gave it to him. He also gave me a list of friends that were at our house when the money went missing. I don't know that I believe him when he says he didn't take it. But I do know that kids are wonderful tattle tales and with the list of kids and some interagation but us and the police I believe a fuller story of what happened will come out. difficult child knows he's not allowed back in the house and that he is financially responsible to pay back the money, even if he didn't take it. He hosted a party at our house when he was SPECIFICALLY
    warned not to.

    Taking Psychology classes is very informative. Just a little note. Some kids are genetically predisposed to behavioral problems, and there is a reduction in gray matter in the teenage brain the brings about risky behaviors. It's nice to know I am not a bad parent who has totally messed up my kid.

    Also I agree with you reagrding teachers, doctors, counselors, etc. So many of them are young and childless. How can you possibly relate to anything in my life when they are barely above adolescents themselves.
     
  20. WhereIsTheLight

    WhereIsTheLight New Member

    Hi 40andup. I'm from Michigan, too and my difficult child has been at Havenwyck as well.


    I don't know why some kids can let a run-in with the law be a learning experience and others can't, but I wanted to share with you my daughter's story.

    One day, while I was imposing boundaries, and limits and consequences, she had a meltdown. She grabbed me by the face like I was some naughty child that needed scolding, and grabbed my wrist to the point that it left marks. Then she ran into the kitchen and grabbed a bunch of knives (she was in recovery for cutting then, and I don't believe she was threatening me as much as herself), and started to bang them against the oven door and then against the TV set. Luckily, the tempered glass was stronger than she was.

    I called the police and she bolted out the door. This isn't the first time the police had been called - she'd been taken to the p-hospital a few months before and had a couple MIP (tobacco) charges. So the police knew that this kid was on the slippery slope. They saw the itty-bitty bruises rise on my wrist, and said right then and there, "We are pressing charges for domestic violence" and took the situation right out of my hands. Of course the kid figures she should have a least left me with a shiner or a handprint to merit being arrested, but the cops were unflinching. You do not touch your mother.

    So, DEX and I made it to the arraignment the next day and watched as difficult child was led in the courtroom cuffed and shackled. She promptly screwed her face into its most menacing and flipped me the bird. In front of the judge.

    And she bought herself a $5,000 bail.

    I looked at my DEX and said, "Do you have $5,000?" He said, "No. Do you?" I said, "Nope". And she sat in juvy, and over Easter, for three weeks until her court date. And she sat in juvy for another two weeks until she pled guilty and was put on probation. She was on a tether for an additional six weeks and had to wear it for all to see at a family wedding as well.

    She hasn't touched me or her sister since. And although she was charged for MIP for marijuana sometime later, she has been very careful since not to attract the attention of the police. Indeed, many of the local cops wave and smile to her on the street. She has even made her friends tone down their actions and chill out since then. She doesn't ever want to go back to juvy, or now that she's an adult, jail.

    So, the moral to my story is that you need to stop getting the lawyer to protect him. It appears that everytime he's had a run-in, you've bailed him out. It's the one of the few things I grew a backbone on, and so far, it was good experience. She doesn't realize it yet, and still blames me for her going to juvy and will never believe that she assaulted me, but the important thing is that she has learned to modify her behavior because of anticipated and unwanted consequences (with the police anyway...family dynamics is another thing entirely) and that is a very big step for kids like ours.

    I hated the police and SWs and shrinks telling me I must be relieved to have the kid out of the house and trying to trap me into saying I hated her and was abusive and she was a throwaway kid. I hated the horrid visitations when she hated me so viscerally I was embarrassed to be in the same room with her and 50 other delinquents. That's quite an accomplishment for a difficult child to be the nastiest amongst the nasty, don't you think? But I was fortunate in that I no longer had to worry about her overpowering her sister or me, because she learned that lesson quickly and harshly.

    I am still paying the county for her stay Children's Village...even if I'm the victim I was legally responsible for her actions and I'm paying $20 a month on the bill, but it is worth every penny.

    And sadly, the threat of the police is about the only thing I can do to reel her in when her meltdowns get out of control. But it helped. It continues to help, and I'll never, ever shield her from the police. She's got to do that on her own.
     
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