Crisis after crisis.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Rina, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Rina

    Rina Member

    I'm sorry for writing too much. I feel like I'm taking up too much space here but things are happening too fast here and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. Let me know if you want me to stop posting.

    Son is in a rehab program that was supposed to last 3 months. We got a phone call one hour ago saying that they're kicking him out because of nasty, outrageous behavior that escalated over the weekend. What they're describing isn't his typical behaviors, so I know he's probably been working hard trying to get kicked out. My husband is now on his way to the airport, to go there and pick son up. Son has been there for almost 3 weeks. And there I was hoping that that therapist got through to him. :(

    We talked to him on the phone and he sounded so angry. He said that we can't tell him where to go and what to do because "the fact that you paid money to adopt me doesn't give you that right" (don't know if I've mentioned it in the past - son was adopted from Asia when he was 5). I know he's trying to hurt us. I just don't understand why.

    I called in sick today and I'm planning on staying home and sleeping. I feel totally drained. What do you do when your son does not want to get better? We can't force them to change, change happens at its own pace, but what else is there to do? We plan on bringing him home and then working on getting him admitted to a different program. I don't know what else to do.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rina don't ever apologize for posting, our crisis come and go, there was a time when my entire life for years was in chaos and I needed to post often.

    Since I adopted my daughter also I now see what made our situation so crazy beyond the substance abuse. We were dealing with adoption issues, abandonment, identity, rejection, displaced anger, long before the substance abuse. The drinking/pot on top of that just drove it over the edge.

    We had our daughter in therapy for years trying to deal with her issues and very few therapists knew how to get through to her. I watched so many of my fellow adoptive families go through the same thing.

    Of course your son does not want to get better. He is 16 and the drugs make him feel better. My daughter use to say the only time she felt normal was when she was drinking. It took years of legal problems and natural consequences for her to decide she didn't want to live that way. She would do whatever she could to,push us away as a self fulfilling prophecy. She felt she wasn't good enough for her mom to keep her so no one else would either. And she hated me the worst because it always comes back on the mom as an object for the anger. He may feel like you stole him from his mom like our daughter did. She couldn't verbalize this at the time of course. Your son is trying to hurt you because he is hurt. One therapist that did understand adoption told us our daughter was rejecting us before we could reject her.

    So now you will have to come up with a plan B. Don't give up Rina. Our daughter has come through all of that and we now have a very good relationship.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member


    Firstly, please don't ever feel that you're posting too much - if you find solace and guidance here, that's the goal!

    I, too, am an adoptive mom, and we went through our worst times with our son when he was 16-18 yrs. old, so I know at least to some extent, your pain.

    Believe it or not, you may find some helpful resources on the Dr. website. He has many different rehabs that he claims "work to criteria", meaning as long as they need it, not just for a specified 30, 60 or 90 days. I would assume they're very costly, but perhaps they work with you. That would be the first place I'd check. I'm sorry this didn't work out; I sympathize with your exhaustion. It's so draining, it's an effort just to get through the day.
  4. Rina

    Rina Member

    Thank you guys for your responses. Parents here can really understand what we're going through.
    We've never really dealt much with the adoption, but there never seemed to be much of a need. Throughout son's childhood, we moved from one country to anothe due to my husband's job, and the potential issues that occupied our minds were the identity/belonging issues related to Third Culture Kids (children who grow up as "global nomads") rather than those of adoptees (that's also why we've never had access to things like support groups for adoptees/adoptive parents). Son has hardly ever brought it up. It always seemed to me that he doesn't really care much and that he's put it all behind him. Now I hate myself for assuming that. I feel so stupid.

    Jane, thank you - I will look into the website. My fear now is what will happen until we work something out. So much has already gone wrong, and I'm worried it'll only get worse.
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh, Rina, I am so sorry. I get upset when rehabs kick them out for bad behavior. What where they expecting? You would think that they are experienced in dealing with this kind of behavior. Most people that go to rehab don't want to be there at first.

    My suggestion would be to contact the doctor that recommended this place and see what other recommendations he/she might have. Since you know he was using heroin, you can't just let him come back home and get back with the same group. You also might look into local interventionists. Even if you don't use them to get your son into treatment, they might have some suggestions for you. The one that we used charged by the hour to help with finding suitable treatment options.

    Maybe a wilderness group?


  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Oh Rina. I sympathize so much with you. I have lost count of how many places my son was kicked out of! And he was also very angry for us that we interrupted his high school years by sending him to a program. So yes talk to the doctor again for other recommendations. And when you talk to programs find out what their policies are for defiant and difficult behavior are. He wants to do what he wants to do but you know he is on a dangerous path and so are right in interfering with that path. He may be angry now but that may change, my son was angry for quite a while and may still have some anger, but over the years he has realized that we love him. I do think adoption is often a bigger issue than we realize. My kids were also adopted and I think abandonment is a huge issue for my son even though he was only 4 days old when he came to us!
  7. Rina

    Rina Member

    My son was supposed to spend one night at home with us before moving to a group home for a few days until we worked something out. He used that one night to run away. The only thing we know right now for certain is that he's with his girlfriend - her uninvolved mother has no idea where they went and doesn't seem to care. We've talked to the police and spent the night driving around the city, trying to find him.

    If anyone here prays, please pray for my son tonight.
  8. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    I've dreaded this reaction as well. Been waiting for a while now to hear "Your not my REAL father!" He is my wife's child from a previous marriage and his bio dad killed himself in county jail not long after I started the adoption process so can't help but wonder if he blames me for his bio dad's death.

    Others with more experience dealing with teens will chime in on this. Our son's spiral didn't become really noticeable until he was almost 18 so forcing him into rehab wasn't ever really an option for us.

    The only thing I can say is to keep loving him and to have your actions reflect that love. He will probably hate you for it for a while but, hopefully, he will grow out of this, beat his addiction, and become the son he should be.
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can't tell you how many times my daughter ran away. I know you are worried sick and I will pray that he is alright but I will tell you that as many times as mine ran away she was always OK, ended up with friends. There were times when she walked through a blizzard to run away and times when she ended up sleeping in some kids basement for days before I knew where she was. Where are the parents that let this happen?

    This age is the worst, it brought me to my knees. Sending comforting hugs and prayers for safety.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I know you are worried sick and you will be until you know where he is....but my hope is that this ends up being a wake up call for him! It is no fun running away and being on your own when you are 16. One of the worst times in my life was when we were on our way taking my son from a wilderness program to an therapeutic boarding school. We woke up in the morning out of state miles away from home and my son was gone, he had left us a beautiful note that basically said he couldn't do it and he would be in touch when he was 18 . He was 15 at the time I was a basket case and called the police from the hotel.....a while later he called us. He had walked all night and came to the conclusion he was better off going to the school. Since then we have had many more things happen, including him spending time on the streets...but when things get really bad like that he always finds a way to survive and then realizes he needs to take the help we are offering.

    So what I am hoping for is this experience of running away makes your son realize that in fact he is not prepared to do what he wants and make it on his own,
  11. Rina

    Rina Member

    Again, thank you all for your support. I haven't gone to the Al-Anon meeting yesterday, and ended up spending the night with my husband, driving around this city in hopes of finding him on our own. He's still out there and I feel drained.
    His girlfriend's mother is still uncooperative (she actually said very casually that her daughter goes off to "visit friends" every now and then, no big deal), and the police are sympathetic but not doing much.

    I don't know why this crisis started. I keep replaying stuff in my head, mainly us moving around and the adoption issue (which I thought until recently that we handled well - son never showed any interest in learning more about his birthparents or about his country of origin, which we respected - we didn't want to push him. Was that a mistake? Is this why he's being like this?). I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out what happened and work out a plan for when we do find him.

    I just hope he'll end up deciding he's had enough and come back home, like toughlovin's son did. I don't know how I'll handle this until then. I can't do anything (sleep, work, live) but than wait.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The adoption issue... is NOT your fault. You got him at age five. The first three years are the most crucial in learning to trust other people. You had no control over that, and probably have no real understanding of what those first five years were like.
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rina he probably doesn't understand himself about the sense of loss he may feel. I adopted my daughter at birth and she had a sense of loss that was hard for me to understand but as I learned was very real for kids adopted even at birth. I thought I did all the right things in creating a sense of security and she still had a feeling of abandonment. It really had nothing to do with me, and was something she had to go through and work out. There was a hole in her heart that I couldn't fill.

    I'm praying that your son comes home soon.
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  14. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    We have all been in crisis mode at some point. Please don't feel bad about posting - that is exactly what this board is for!! Lord knows how many times it was the rope that I was holding on to... <3

    My husband had adoption issues well into his life. He was adopted as a baby by the best family ever, but he was told about it very young and it caused him to spiral downward. Those issues didn't really go away until pretty far into our relationship. He would get especially depressed around Christmas, which was hard. I think he still deals with it at times, but it doesn't show.

    My daughter never knew her bio. He never wanted anything to do with the pregnancy or her. I know it contributed to her spiral downward.

    You can be surrounded by all the love in the world, but those adoption issues are tough...and it is NOT your fault...people should REALLY think before they have sex. If they cannot handle having a baby and raising that baby the best they can - they should NOT be having sex. Just because there are so many loving parents out there willing to adopt, that baby is STILL affected and all you can do is cross your fingers that the issues do not have a negative effect on their lives. :( Just my personal opinion and thoughts...
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Rina, I too adopted an older child from an orphanage in another country. They knew so little about older child adoption then and less about how traumatic it is for an older child, who knows, to be yanked out of his country and sent to another country that is so different with people who often look different, after they have been used to years without any consistent love. And then they are supposed to love us on sight and know all about the wonderful thing called family. Of course, it doesn't work out that way in most circumstances. It sounds to me like your son is angry about being adopted, angry that his birthparents didn't want him, apparently thinks you feel you did a great thing by adopting him...he is hurting you because he hurts for the exact reasons he said. At least, that's is what I think.

    Almost all children adopted late have attachment issues. That is different than being sad and wondering about your birthparents. Their insecurity comes from what lacked in their early years. It is normal to wonder about your roots if you are adopted (and many look for birth families to fill in the blanks). However, the hurt of spending years in an orphanage in another country and then coming here can not be fixed just by meeting your birthfamily. My son, whom we adopted from overseas, did meet his birth family and he still struggles with his identity, although he has taken very positive steps by marrying somebody of his origin and raising his children as cultureally Chinese. That has been healing for him.

    I know this may be unorthodox, but have you ever asked your son how he feels about his adoption and if he wished he could know his birth family? I know, I know. It could be hurtful to us as we want to be their only parents, but we aren't.It ispossible to reconnect with birthparents from other countries with the invention of the internet. In my son's case, he went to that country.

    This is not your fault and the failure of my son to bond with us is not my fault either. This is how it is when we hold a child in our heart who was not introduced to us until he was well away from his early development years 0-3. We do the best we can. They deal with their demons and often do not connect to us as parents, although some do...either a little or a lot.They do tend to get into trouble later on. My son did not, but he did join a very rigid church that limits what he can do and who he should communicate with and he takens that church's word verbatim. It is, in my opinion, his way of feeling he fits in and has rules to follow.

    Had I been more aware of the difficulties older children face when adopted, I am not sure I would have taken that challenge on. The young adoptees I have seem to be normal kids with just no issues more than other young adults, although one did get into drugs early on, but is fine now. I guess the point of this post is to ask you to please be good to yourself. You did the best you could and this is not your fault. Your son has chosen a destructive way to deal with his issues, whatever they are, and he could have dealt with them in a better way. In the end, he has to be the one to choose how to do it. If they are adoption issues, there are many therapists who specialize in adopted adults and there are groups too and he can write to the agency that placed him to try to find his birthparents too, if he feels the need. It is a real copulsion for some people and my kids have my blessing to search.

    I feel, and I may be wrong, that your son's issues with being adopted need addressing as much as his drug abuse. And I'm not sure anybody is taking that part of him seriously. Many mental health professionals are as clueless about adoption and adopted adults than people on the street that tell you how wonderful you are that you adopted a poor little waif (some exaggeration here, but not much). You have to find somebody who understands the feelings some adopted children experience. I feel, again could be wrong, that he won't be better until his adoption issues are resolved as well as his drug abuse...and their possible connection. Does this rehab have anyone on staff who had ever dealt with adoption issues? Too often our adopted children here, "Now, look, you are lucky. Your parents love you, they picked you out. You have a nice house and have every advantage.Shame on you for your curiosity about your past." That is very unhelpful and very pervasive. These kids want to look in the mirror and know who they look like.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    PG what you said about being told of the adoption is interesting. We told our daughter that she was adopted from the very beginning. That's what we were advised to do in our post adoption classes. A couple yaars ago our daughter told us she wished we had not told her until she was older and able to handle it better and she thinks knowing from the beginning caused her to feel diferent in those important years of adolescence.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's a catch-22. If you tell, they wish you hadn't. If you don't tell, they wish you had. There is no right way to do it.

    No kid comes with a manual - and adopted kids come with even less. (at least with bio kids you have some idea of what's in the family tree, even if you don't know dxes...)
  18. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Agreed a million percent!! You would think honesty was the best way to go and maybe it is with some kids, but personally, I would think you would need a REALLY good personal self foundation to be able to process and deal with that information without feeling abandonment issues...
  19. Rina

    Rina Member

    In son's case, telling him he's adopted was never an issue, since we are not of the same race, so it is obvious. Despite it being so obvious, it always seemed like he didn't want to talk about it. I remember years ago, when we lived at a country that had a large community of people from son's birth country. They had some community event planned, and we asked son if he wanted to go. He said nothing and just shook his head. We asked if he wanted us to find him a tutor, so he could re-learn the language, and he said no. When he started high school, we asked if he wanted to go on a trip back there, but again he said no.... we just assumed he must be one of those adoptees who have accepted the adoptive family as their own and closed the door on their past. We made it clear to him that whether he chose to dig deeper into his past or not, it was fine with us.

    That's why it's been such a shock, to see this whole issue surface so suddenly... son never acted like it was an issue he was struggling with.

    SomewhereOutThere - your post brought up a lot for me. I wonder if he remembers, what exactly does he remember.... son didn't live at an orphanage for long, he spent his early years with his birth mother, although I don't know how stable an arrangement that was considering that she worked as a bar girl. He was sad when he came to us. It took him time to adjust. He picked up English very quickly but sometimes chose to pretend he can't understand us. He improved with time, became happier, seemed to be attaching and adjusting... and now this.

    The therapist we're seeing thinks the same as you guys, that the next placement must be a place that offers adoption-specific help. I hope we'll be able to find someplace that could work.

    He's still not home. I'm trying not to think about where he might be. I wish I could be like his girlfriend's mother, and just not give a damn, but I am his mother and despite him maybe not wanting to be my son, I do love him and I'm scared for him.
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I know the feeling of trying to figure what the heck happened that your kids turned to drugs. I don't think him there is any one answer. Plenty of kids who were adopted don't become addicts, plenty of kids with serious trauma and abuse don't become addicts. When I get into that place of trying to figure out the why I get all tangled up in my own feelings of guilt and inadequacies as a mother. As a wise friend told me way before I had kids ...."none of us reach adulthood with a full deck". I think there are various things people go through and some get through those things and some don't.

    So yes adoption is probably one issue but it likely not the only one. Genetics is a big factor in addiction. I think issues of loss (of all sorts) and self esteem are huge factors....and then there is the way in which drugs help some numb and deal with their feelings. There is no one answer.

    What is true is that at this point he has choices in how or when he is willing to take steps to move forward, you can't make him do that or to be ready to do that. While he is under 18 you can try to get him help....and hopefully at least stay relatively safe, ultimately though it will be his choice to go forward or stay stuck n addictio.

    Hugs to you. I hope you have found a parents alanon group. That is one of the things that has kept me going.