Desperately in need of advice for my son

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Ms. Kay, May 14, 2015.

  1. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    We have a situation with our 19 year old son that I just am not sure how to handle any longer. Last year he was arrested for a felony charge three days before he turned 18. His case is being handled through the juvenile courts. He was in detention for a month, then house arrest for another month, then on probation for nine months. His conditions are to obtain employment, go to college of some sort, pass drug testing, counseling & stay out of trouble. So far he hasn't been able to do any of these things except the counseling. He got a job last fall, but was fired within two weeks. We talk to him, lecture him, put him on house arrest again & nothing is working. He says he will & wants to do everything right, but he never follows through with anything. He lies constantly & steals from us. He is a good person, as far as he has a good heart, I just think something is seriously wrong with him.
    Things have escalated very much & quickly within the past two weeks. He missed his appointment with his PO & now has a 7pm curfew. Ever since this was issued he has been coming in around 10pm, totally drunk. I think he is doing drugs, but either he's using pills or has found a way to test negative. He's hanging around the same people again (when he got in trouble originally) & says he can't just walk away, they may come after him. I don't know what's true & what's not. I am now living in fear that he will either end up dead or someone could even harm our family.
    This probably seems like an easy answer, but this is going to be the hardest thing I've done. I'm thinking I need to turn him in to his PO tomorrow. I can't help him anymore. I don't know what else to do for him. We have helped him as a family & would do anything to help him, but he just doesn't seem to want it even though he acts like he does. I'm scared if they send him to jail he will get hurt (he's small), but then I know deep down that he is hurting himself & something will likely happen to him if I do nothing. I guess I'm just looking for any kind of advice or to communicate with someone who has been through something like this. This is horrible.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our forum. I'm so sorry you had to come, but you'll find support here.

    What do you think you can do since he is over eighteen and refuses to listen?

    Sometimes all we can do is let go and let him face the consequences. I think I know what is wrong with your son. He is a drug abuser and acting just like one. They definitely lie, steal and make promises that they never keep if only to shut us up. They also claim depression, low self-esteem, and often blame us...but this is just for pity. They may well have those problems, but they don't have to use drugs. That's a choice. And, by the way, this is NOT your fault. You didn't cause it, no matter what your son says to guilt you out so that you'll hand out more money or soften up on him. Drug users are pretty much all the same. They have the same manipulations...has he threatened suicide yet? That's always a big one when you refuse to give them something.

    Many of us here dealt with and still deal with substance abuse and we can't change our adult children. All we can do is change our reponses to their dangerous behavior. We can cut off the money first off and the perks. We can give them contracts saying that if they do not comply to this or that, they have to be out in six months. Has he stolen from you? Abused you verbally or physically? Ruined your property? Used drugs under your roof? Do you have other children who don't need this around them?

    Nobody can make another person, even a beloved adult child, do one thing that they don't want to do. Some of us have had to let our adult children stand on their own with no aid from us. Talking to them does no good. They don't care. They have to learn on their themselves...and your son dosen't sound like he is ready to quit drugs. Unless he is, he won't. It's hard work.

    Have you ever gone to an Al-Anon meeting to learn how to cope and to detach with love? Or use Tough Love, if necessary? Do you see a private therapist for yourself so that YOU can get on with YOUR life? Most of us have decided to try to detach and live the best life we can. We can not make our adult children fix their hurts, their addictions, their demons, nothing. Only they can decide to do that and then they have to actually find help in the community and do it. The more we hold them up, the weaker they become until we have an adult baby on our hands who expects us to rush to his side every time he makes a bad decision.

    Many of our adult kids are doing better, but only after tough love. Many of them are not doing better, but we remain in Tough Love mode. Nobody should take all the oxygen out of our world, when WE are trying to help them and THEY won't help themselves. There is something wrong with our caring more about their well being than they do and it can't be changed by our loving hearts.

    Your son is young and has already been in serious trouble. Jail actually helps some of our adult kids as we know where they are and what they are doing and they can't run around the streets with drug dealers. Jail has not been bad for all of the kids who end up there.

    Remember that although I just called your son a kid, he is a man. I don't care about how young he is emotionally. Many boys are young emotionally but still don't get into the kind of trouble your son willingly got involved in. He is a MAN legally. He is old enough to fight for his country and many young men and women his age are. He is old enough to be in college, planning his future and many young men and women his age are doing just that. He is old eough to be clean and have a full time job and his own place and many young men and women his age do.

    If I can give you any advice at all that may help you it is to stop treating him like he is a poor little boy, the one who skinned his knee when he was six, and you made it better. He has to learn to solve his own problems and face the consequences all adults face when they are criminals and break the law or he will not learn. There are eighty-five year old mothers living with their sixty-five year old drug addicted senior citizen sons...and they have never lived their own lives at all and it has not changed the person one bit. There are others who let go and, if you believe, let God. We have a right to a good life. Your entire family has a right to live their lives without throwing money at a young man who doesn't appreciate it or try to help himself.

    If he were mine, he would not be living at home.

    I hope you don't find this harsh. We always advise people to take what they like and leave the rest. But this is what worked for my daughter when she abused drugs and she cleaned it up going on eleven years now. Once we knew she was involved in drugs, she got not one penny from us after that. She had to leave when we found a drug party going on in our house. She quit everything, even cigarettes. She is a productive member of society now with a long time SO and a baby girl who she is a great mother to. If I hadn't seen it, I would not believe that she ever took meth.

    There is hope, but there is more hope if you stop trying to fix your son and let him man up and take his punishments and do it himself. Enabling drug addiction is a huge fail.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. I hope you post often. Others will chime in...others with more experience and worse stories who can talk first hand about jail. My daughter was on parole twice, but never in jail. She used from age 12 (yes, that is twelve and we did not guess it) to age 19.

    There is hope. Detach. You can do it. We are all in this together and all of us are here for you.
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    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  3. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    Thanks. Harsh? Not too bad. Helpful? Definitely. I know he's manipulating us & it has to stop. This past year has almost destroyed my marriage & opened my 12 year old daughters eyes to things she shouldn't even know about. We have three children, he is the middle child. I know what he should be doing, I know he knows what he should be doing. He just doesn't want to do it I guess. His older sister is completing her master's in her final year of college & his younger sister is an honor roll student. He's always had a glitch & of course I think that if only I would have did something different when he was younger, he wouldn't be who he is today. But, I also know that is not true at the same time. Glad your daughter is doing so much better. I pray every day that one day I will have a success story like that with my son. Thanks for the response.
  4. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    I'm sitting here not knowing what to do or what will happen. I talked to his PO this morning & he seemed more interested in having another substance abuse evaluation done again more than anything. My son already had one, but of course lied. He spoke to my son & is giving him a few minutes to cool off since he is totally pissed at me for telling. Now he is walking around hitting things & then tells me that I'm evil & asking if I know what I just did to him. He's not calming down, he's getting angrier. His dad is on his way home from work now. I'm just waiting.
  5. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    Well, that didn't accomplish much. He's on verbal house arrest until Monday when his PO comes over. He wants him to be re-evaluated for substance abuse. So, here I will sit in my own prison. There has got to be some kind of program or something to help.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Given his ramping-up behavior, do you feel safe? If not, what does the PO recommend?

    This definitely sounds like drug use. I know of no other situation where you "can't just walk away". And even then, there are fewer situations where that is true than what the kids believe. But... that is the language of drug use.

    What is the charge? Theft? or?
  7. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    The minute my adult (step) child got abusive, I called the police and she has not been back...and never will be allowed back to stay. She's been clean for 8 months. Not using, but still tends to act like an addict.

    Don't allow your son to make you live in fear. And don't allow your son to tarnish the rest of your family, either. He made adult choices. He needs to suffer the adult consequences.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. Get help for yourself. Gain the strength you WILL need to get through this.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was always able to tell when my daughter was using because she got very irate and agitated when I questioned her about it. I did call the police numerous times when she became abusive both verbally and physically. There were times when she ran around the house breaking things, once went into the cupboard and threw several glasses on the floor breaking them.

    It does sound like he is using drugs and if it were me I would want him ordered into a drug program. I hated when the courts just released our daughter to us as if we had any control or influence over her. It was just as you said, a jail for us. Can you ask his PO about him being ordered into treatment?
  9. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    If he has a substance abuse problem NO program can help him until he wants the help. Im sorry for what you are going through, my wife Lil and I went through something similar with our son without the PO and had to kick him out because he kept stealing from us.
  10. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    How did the meeting with the PO go?
  11. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    Met with his PO yesterday & he took him off of house arrest. He basically just told him to do what he is supposed to until court. He has a court date tomorrow for possession of alcohol & marijuana that he got about two months ago, his major court date was continued until July 23rd pending the new charges & more therapy. Surprisingly my son stayed home last night. Not sure if he just didn't have anything to do or he's realizing that I'm not putting up with anything anymore. I just feel that this will never be over at this point.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He will probably be on his best behavior for a while. I am convinced that they feel they have bigger fish to fry and they realize that these late teen years are difficult and they hope with family support they will grow out of it.
  13. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    Update. Oh boy, he was found guilty of the possession charges & his juvenile probation was dropped & he now is on adult probation until December. He goes to court tomorrow for the major juvenile charge & his attorney mentioned the courts may again continue it pending the results of his other probation. WE DON'T WANT IT CONTINUED. We want it to be over with because he still doesn't really care, he doesn't care if he is even convicted of it at this point. He doesn't care about the other charges either & would rather be convicted of those than to abide the probation program.
    Now to top it all off, he has a girlfriend. I admit it's motivating him somewhat, but still no actual major results. She seems to be here all of the time, but denies being homeless. Been meaning to look her up & did this morning because of a comment on facebook that she likes needles. She has over a page of charges from possession of alcohol to several assult & battery & even an assult of a police officer which is in circuit court. I don't want her in my house at all.
    Another top it off is that he was screened for mental illness & has been diagnosed with paranoid personality disorder, depression, severe adhd. He doesn't take his medications like he should & now he is starting to walk around here thinking he can talk any way he pleases (cursing). Meanwhile, my marriage is in total shambles right now, we are just trying to get through each day without one of us leaving. We do start counseling next week. This is destroying us. I want him out, my husband doesn't want him to be homeless. I don't know how much more I can take.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Best outcome would be court-ordered treatment...
    And yes, these kids of ours are really REALLY hard one's marriage.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    /The girl is a junkie, probably heroin. Kick her out pronto. Why is she there???? Your son should live elsewhere too. If they are using drugs, I would not let them into my house under any circumstances and I certainly wouldn't give them any money. Of course your marriage is in trouble. If I was your husband, I would not stand by and watch an adult child and his girlfriend, on top of it, taking over the house we shared.By housing them drug sellers and other criminals may get angry at them, target your house, and rob or break in to your house and even harm you. This is a big risk.

    He isn't going to live a more sober, safer life not being homeless. He is out there when not home with the drug addicts and criminals anyway. You aren't shielding him and you are hurting yourself badly. You matter a lot. Why would you jeopardize your marriage for your son, who won't help himself, and this girlfriend who is probably on the worst drugs possible? What about YOU? Do you have other kids at home?

    You have hard decisions to make. Think of YOUR well being when you make those decisions, please. Get help for YOU.
  16. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    He is violating his probation by associating with her. Honestly, from what you just said she is probably on paper too and would be violating her stipulations by associating with him. Well, and the whole being a druggie thing. I agree with SWOT, you and your husband need to have a sit down and SERIOUSLY discuss this. They WILL do drugs in your home putting your livelihood and property at risk. They WILL steal from you. If they owe money to dealers, if its enough then the dealer WILL show up at your house threatening EVERYONE for what is owed and may well break in to steal stuff.

    I'm sorry if the WILL's seem a bit harsh but been there, done that. By allowing him to stay in your home, you are giving him the opportunity to bring her in as well. He will do it while you aren't home, same as our son did with his druggie friends. Ask most anyone on this board, druggies are opportunists. If they see a chance at a quick score they will take it. You don't want these people around your house, even if one of them is your son.
  17. Ms. Kay

    Ms. Kay New Member

    I'm just trying to find some place to find some kind of support right now. The girlfriend is not living here, she's just been over a lot. I told him today that she can't come here anymore. I'm not trying to jeopardize my marriage over my son, I want him out, it's my husband who is always wanting to give him another chance. It is also difficult to know that what I do could potentially lead to my own son's death. That is something that is really hard to come to terms with & knowing I will have to live with it. I am fully aware that my son is making these decisions, not me. I'm just having to come to terms with this & no, it's not easy. I know what he is & I also know who else he is, he's still my son which makes it so much harder. I know what can happen in every single way & I know what will have to be done. Like I said, I was just seeking support from others. I don't need a harsh reality check, I'm living the reality everyday. Thanks anyway.
  18. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Him living with you is NOT going to make him any safer than living on the streets. It's who he is choosing to associate with and the lifestyle he is choosing to live, that puts his life in danger.

    By him living with you, he is putting YOUR life in danger.

    But yes, as a Mom, it's hard to make that decision.
    Sending hugs.
  19. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    No problem. Having not talked with you hardly at all, I wasn't sure where you were at. Sounds very similar to where my wife and I were about two years ago except she was the one who kept wanting to keep giving our son chances. I understand completely how much of a strain it can be on a marriage. Take full advantage of the counseling and keep talking to each other!
  20. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Ms. Kay,

    I totally get where you are, it is a really tough place to be. I know because I have been there. It sounds like you are clear about what needs to be done but your husband isnt there yet. I think that is often the case with couples, one person gets to one place before the other. It really does help to be on the same page and so you may need to give your husband time to catch up!! I think getting to the place of taking the hard steps of letting them be homeless is a process and each person needs to go through that process.

    I know in my situaton I was aleays the rule maker and the kdis knew it.... they could often get whatever they wanted from my husband if I wasnt around. It was very frustrating and definitely an issue for us. So with my son I was always a few steps ahead of my husband. I remember one day when my son was a teen and still living at home, I was driving home wondering if my husband was going to follow through with something. I cant even remember what exactly but it had to do with subtances I am sure. I decided that I could not do it anymore if my husband couldnt follow through and unintentionally undermined whatever I tried to do. I made the decision that if he didnt follow through I would take my younger daughter and go to a hotel and let my husband handle my son. I knew he would nto be able to and things would hit the fan but I had just had it. Luckily at that point my husband was catching up and i never needed to do that.

    One of the other things that really helped is we started to go to alanon together. My husband rarely says anything at the meetings but somehow reading the literature and hearing others storied helped him get more clear and catch up. We have pretty much been on the same page since we kicked my son out of the house 5 years ago.

    So I hope you can sit down with your husband and really talk about this. Acknowledge that you know he is not ready to let your son be homeless but that you are scared and worried and all the things you shared here. Try and be open to where he is at, and if need be put the ball in his court to figure out what to do and let him do it.

    I must say letting my son be homeless in the middle of winter across the cocuntry was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.... and I am trying to avoid going through that again. It is incredibly hard and yet at the time it was definitely the right thing to do.

    Do some things for yourself today... it is really important that you take care of yourself.
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