Help I need help kicked my son out

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Sammie, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Sammie

    Sammie New Member

    I could use some words or encouragement or advise... I had to have my 18 yr old son removed from my house about a month ago (by the police). He was lying, stealing, manipulating, refusing to obey any rules, he pushed my mother and attacked and threatened me... My heart is breaking.. as I do not think he is learning anything from this... We are going to therapy, but his therapist is telling me that he is refusing to take responsibility for his actions and blames others... He has recently been suspended form school for 3 days (he is a senior).. I feel so scared and alone, I miss him, and I am afraind for his future....... any advice from those of you who have been there???????????
     
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Where is he staying? Do you think he is in a basically safe environment? Does he have any diagnosis such as bipolar? Is he using drugs?

    Considering both you and your mother were threatened and attacked, I don't think you had any choice. As long as he has the attitude that it was not his fault you two will still be in danger from him. As long as he has a roof over his heads, food, friends he can party with, he won't take any responsibility. He has no reason to. That will gradually come when he is forced to get some true responsibilities and reality bites him in the rear.

    For now, put his future on a back burner. He can always go back to school. College doesn't have to occur right after high school. Neither does trade school.

    If he's continuing with his therapy, I wouldn't worry too much. He is probably as safe as any young male can be. This is a good time for you to work on finding yourself again. Start doing some of the things you used to love doing but couldn't because you were busy being his mother.

    Being a single mother whose daughter has left three times since she was 18, I do understand your pain and your loneliness. I also learned that if I just let her come back home, there would be a honeymoon period and then things would simply go back to the way they were. The last time she left, I didn't let her come until she had reached her bottom. She's been back for two months and things are so much better. Not perfect, but this is a young woman I enjoy being around. It wasn't easy and I cried my share of tears and spent nights worrying. I could have let her come home long before I did but I knew if I did, it would be the same old thing -- staying out til all hours, never helping around the house, screaming at me if I expected anything, shoving me if I demanded things, etc.

    In the meantime, welcome to a great group of people who will help you as much as they can.
     
  3. Sammie

    Sammie New Member

    Thanks so much for responding... I feel so alone, weak, and scared...

    It helps to hear from someone who has and is going through this... My son has been diagnosed with ADD and ODD... As I read through some of the information I am wondering if there is not a bipolar component to this.. But his therapist doesn't seem to think so...He is not using drugs... I am sure I would have found some trace of them by now... as he lost my trust a long time ago and I would search his room and belongings but never found drugs..

    He is living with his friends family at the moment... The father of this family is the Juvenile Prosecuting Attorney.. so I know he is safe, but as you mentioned above he still has a roof over his head, food, and friends to party with... He is not getting it... Even his therapist says he is not getting it....I don't know if he will ever hit rock bottom or if I would even recognize it.... I know I did the right thing as I have two other younger children who are scared of his behavior... Is there anything that you would suggest I do in the meantime. I am lsoing so much sleep.... I do not know the correct acronyms so I will try to add my family to the bottom

    Me: severly depressed Mom
    Step-father: from a completely different culture
    Son: 18 ADD and ODD, not currently at home
    Daughter: 10 great girl deeply affected by her brothers behavior
    Son: 2
    Two dogs...............
     
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hi Sammie, welcome.

    Your son is at the age where, unfortunately, if he does not want to do something, you cannot force him. It is definitely in the family's best interest that he not be in the home. The time has come for you to prepare yourself to detach. That means you are going to have to try and stop fixing him. In order for him to EVER hit rock bottom, everyone has to stop enabling him. He needs to be left to sink or swim on his own. This is the absolute hardest thing you will ever do.

    This does not mean stop loving or caring. It simply means letting him know that you have had enough with his selfish and dangerous behaviors, that he has brought it on himself, and he is not allowed back in the house with his much younger siblings until and unless he is ready to face his issues and deal with them.

    Keep posting as often as you need to. Welcome to the board.
     
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    First of all, welcome. Glad you found us. Sorry you had to.

    Regardless of what your personal beliefs are, I think you need
    to be very thankful that your son is in a safe place with an
    authority figure that he evidently is willing to accept. He is
    not roaming the streets, or doing drugs or in danger from others.
    Most young adults leave home between 18 and 21. He is happy and
    you and your family are safe. That's a win/win situation.

    Now is the perfect time for you to make personal choices to help
    yourself. Exercise? Counseling? Hobbies? Group meetings?
    Short term medication?

    I understand that you are rightfully sad and disappointed that your family is not functioning as it should be. Your pain is
    genuine and I don't mean to diminish it. on the other hand, many of us find
    that repeating the Serenity Prayer in our own head helps us keep
    in mind that we do not have the power to change others.

    I am sending supportive thoughts your way. Hang in there. DDD
     
  6. Sammie

    Sammie New Member

    Thank you for your words.. I am so glad I found this site... I felt so alone before... It is very hard to talk to people about the issues with my son... We live in a very small community and it makes it hard to talk about this with my friends...

    I truely do not now how to detach although I am trying.... There is not a second that goes by that I do not think about him.. I guess my biggest fear is that if and when he hits bottom he will turn this anger towards himself and harm himself.. He has very poor self-confidence...despite all this tough guy oppositional behavior....

    I know I have to get myself together but I am so depressed and sad, that I can barely function....
     
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Hon, get yourself to a therapist and get some medications NOW!!!! You have two other kids who need you.

    The detaching is not easy but you're going to have to let go. I wouldn't even go to his therapy. It isn't your responsibility. He's 18, living with others. Don't call him. Let him call you (mine would only call when she needed something but I had to accept that that was the way it was).

    For me, I found that if I kept busy it helped. It was when I was going to bed that it would hit me my daughter was gone and I had no idea where she was, who she was with or if she was safe. During the day, I worked, took walks, saw my therapist, picked up a needlepoint I hadn't touched in a few years, saw friends I hadn't seen in years, scrubbed the house. Did it make the pain go away? Not really but it did help me cope. Getting back on medications for depression helped the pain.

    I had to accept that I couldn't force her to come home. She was legally of age even though her emotional and maturity level were well below that. The best I could do was let her know that I loved her and if she was willing to follow house rules she could come home but if she came home and didn't follow house rules, I would show her where the door was rather than letting her finding it on her own. Sadly, I didn't follow through the first two times she left. She knows that this is her last chance.

    As to how do you know when they've hit bottom? It may be trial and error. It was for me. The last time she moved out, she hinted at coming home when her friends had had enough of her garbage. I said sorry, but no. I wasn't going to do it again. She then joined a carnival and I thought that might honestly be her bottom. It wasn't. It turns out she left the carny and became homeless, finally ending up in a truly cockroach-infested, gang-ridden town. THAT was her bottom. Nice, middle class girls really don't have an idea how to cope in that environment, so she called and asked to come home. We actually had a couple of discussions before I would agree to letting her come home. I have seen huge differences in her since she came home.

    To me, detachment stinks!!! But the alternative was killing me.
     
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD is right. You do not have to worry too much with him being in the environment he is in. So take a few deep breathes and relax for once. Let your hair down and let the other 2 kids be relieved.

    If your son is happier not in your home and can follow the rules there - than so be it. I do not think anyone has the life they thought they would earlier in their life. It is not what you expected, but it could be what works to make everyone happiers. Even you. With time.
     
  9. Sammie

    Sammie New Member

    My husband told me not to go to therapy with him. But now that I also here it from you all.. I think that I shouldn't... I am probably not telling any of you anything new, but it sure makes me feel like a failure as a mom... I am usually involved in many activities but I cannot make myself go all I hear is how great the other mom's kids are doing and what colleges they are going to attend... He was taking Concerta and at the time the police escorted him off the property.. our stance was he either attend inpatient intensive therapy or not return... Well, he wasn't going to go there with all "those crazy people" even when we tried to explain that this was to help him with his anger and emotions it was a no go.... My husband is a physician and he was prescribing the Concerta.. under the advise and care of one of his collegues who is a psychiatrist... My son called and wanted his Concerta and I told him that my husband was not comfortable prescribing this since he refused to see the psychiatirst... (my husband is an infectious disease specialist) anyway my son said, "it doesn't matter I am taking Bart's medications (this is the friend he is staying with) Bart doesnt take them so I am........ My son does see the psychologist.. and these are the sessions we were attending together.. but maybe I can call and get a seperate appointment...I live in such a small city and everyone knows us... any advice for how to respond when asked "How are your kids" or the direct question, "your oldest is a senior this year how is he and where is he planning to go to college?" These are the questions that feel like someone has stabbed me...............
     
  10. fedup

    fedup New Member

    My youngest son is 20 now. I first insisted he leave when he was 16, and refused to go to school. He had run away for 10 days in the spring. This was August. He found a place to stay. He took the steps required to get a GED. He starfted college. Then, he came back home. We still have ups and downs. He has a full time job, but no transportation. Too bad, he totalled two classic cars, and blew the engine on a third car- all within less than 6 months. Next week, he will be taking College classes again.

    He's far from perfect. I find, the less I nag at him and the less attention I pay to his negative behaviors (believe me, there are many), the more reasonable he becomes with me. He IS a difficult child. It's amazing when I think about the number of times he has slipped through the cracks and avoided being in serious trouble. He is learning slowly to accept the consequences of his actions. He also has started to understand that he can't blame anyuone else for his problems, since he brought them on himself. No car, suspended driver's license, cannot use family car. We don't drop what we are doing to do as he wants. We don't even plan meals to include him.

    He has had debts to us for at least 4 years. This month, for the first time it looks as if they may be paid before Xmas. He is civil to me at all times. He and his father go 'round often, though. I don't do his laundry or clean his room. He pays for whatever food he eats.

    Oveer the past weveral weeks, we have had some wonderful conversations. As recently as a year ago, I had my doubts that we would ever be able to talk calmly. He still has problems. But, he knows that HE has to solve them.

    I sincerely hope that with time, you are able to come to terms with your son, as I have with mine.
     
  11. Irene_J

    Irene_J New Member

    When anyone asks about your difficult child's plans, just say he hasn't decided yet. I know this hurts. It's almost as if some other family can provide a better environment for your child than you can, and that stings. But I'm sure what you want for your difficult child is to be a responsible adult, and maybe this change will help.

    You know that he is safe and you don't think he's on drugs. If you prioritize, it would seem that safety would be higher than finishing high school on time. He can always finish school later.

    I lived in a small community too, but eventually I didn't care what they said or thought. These other people are not walking in your shoes. The first time the police came to my house, I was mortified and embarassed to pull out of the garage the next day. After several such visits, I didn't care.

    Give time attention to yourself, your other children and your husband. Surely you've earned it.
     
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Everyone knows that not every kid goes to college. Everyone knows that teenagers are unpredictable. Just tell them you are not sure what he is doing yet.

    You are going to have to let go of that dream. Life for you and your difficult child has not turned out that way. Hey - that is life. One never knows. He is alive, he is healthy, he is in school, he is in a safe environment. That is pretty good, I think.
     
  13. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    my son was thrown out and or escorted out by the cops several times. he can never live here again.

    he was 18 the first time. I could not wait for the day he turned 18 so I could get him out. he was making us all prisoners of his behavior.

    your son would have left the home anyway soon, this is not the way you choose though. let it go for a while. perhaps he will learn from being under another person's roof. heck it is not costing you a dime and remember that providing his housing can be pricey... :smile:
    so he is getting a lesson on how others live and you are getting a break. no guilt now!
    you did what his hand forced you to do.

    as for those who ask about him??? tell them he is out on his own now and then change the subject fast. none of their biz.
     
  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    1-You did not fail. You failed in NOTHING. The fact that you are here seeking help is proof of that. Every single kid in the world is different. You gave him morals and values the first 18 years of his life. What he does with them is now up to him, and no longer a reflection on you.

    2-Irene is right, tell people that he has not decided if they ask about his college plans. And if they ask how he is, be honest! tell them he is not so good. You don't have to get into it. If they press, tell them he is having personal issues that you would rather not discuss, but thank you for asking about him.

    3-You don't need to keep seeing his therapist. But you should see one for yourself. You have two little ones who need you very badly.

    4-Detaching is the hardest (but the most necessary) thing to do with kids like this. Again, it is not abandoning them. It is letting go, and letting the natural order of things take over. You expressed a worry of him harming himself when he hits bottom. While anything is possible, the majority of the time kids who hit bottom come home with their tail between their legs, remorseful and weeping. That will be how you know for sure that he has really hit bottom. Do not let him fool you otherwise. These kids are sneaky. "It is all YOUR fault, you should not have kicked me out" is not hitting bottom. That is called LAYING A GUILT TRIP.

    5-Do you pray? Pray for his safety. He is in God's capable hands. And say the serenity prayer until you are blue in the face; it helps with detaching. It reiterates that you have no control over other people, only yourself:

    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.

    You and your son will be in my prayers. (((hugs)))
     
  15. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    I totally understand the disappointment about watching other "normal" kids your sons age. We have teenagers all around us and I have two nephews near my sons age. My sister in law is one of my favorite people in the world but she has no idea how hard it is to listen to her talk about her two oldest. One is a senior and getting calls/letters from Ivy League schools daily. The next one is playing football (his parents trying to make him a star). This is hard for me to listen to because my son is in a juvenile detention center now awaiting probably a nine month placement, the football thing is hard because my son used to be an awesome player but can't play for the rest of his life because he broke his neck skiing.

    Sorry to go off topic, anyway, the others are absolutely right and it's what has helped me so much. Your sons path is his and really is not a reflection of you or your parenting skills. School is the least of your worries now, he needs to be safe and get help, he can finish school later.
     
  16. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    We have such dreams for our kids. They'll be doctors, lawyers, maybe even Indian chiefs. Who knows? They might even win a Nobel or Pulitzer. Then, reality sets in. Even the most perfect child in the world has a tendency to disappoint parents. The parents want a doctor, the child decides Peace Corps and teaching is the route to go. Our children take a totally different path from what we dreamed. That doesn't mean they won't find success, it just might not be the success we dreamed.

    For now, he's safe. He's with responsible adults. Hopefully, you have a line of communication with them (and you might want to tell them their son is not taking his medications but your son is happy to take them). He might be suspended but he's still in school. If people ask for his plans for the future, simply leave it as he's finding his way right now. There's nothing wrong in that statement. If they ask how he's doing, he's still finding his way.

    I quit worrying about what people thought when my daughter was much younger and weekly visits by the police were common. I don't like admitting she dropped out of school, but I'm proud of the fact she's working on getting her GED and is gradually getting dreams of a viable future. Parents of kids like ours learn to appreciate the little steps -- they truly can grow into huge ones one day. Just not on our schedule.
     
  17. cloudflower

    cloudflower New Member

    dear mom,

    Thanks for completely killing one of the few good/optomistic moods i've had in a while. before i went downstairs i just wrote a letter to jackie about all the good things in my life and how i felt like i was getting on track and doing well, but nope. :censored2: that, i guess i've got to feel like :censored2: and basically have my mom tell me i'm a lazy piece of :censored2:, and thats why i don't talk to you. i hate it. everytime i talk to you i leave the conversation wishing i could just disappear forever. i'm not looking forward to anything in life with the exception of love, which will most likely fall through because thats how it is. All i ever hear is i'm not good enough. I am not ready to accept that i have to be another mindless nine to fiver for the rest of my life. with school you just don't get it. i don't get it. i wish i could go and be content and happy about it, i wish i was a normal kid, i wish i was stupid and didn't know any better. i can't see any future for me. all i see is letdown. i took it a little too to heart when they told me i could do whatever i want when i grew up because now its just more let down because i definately can't, and now i don't even know what to do. highschool taught me that anything i work for could be instantly meaningless, and as i thought about it, life is meaningless, we get so worked up over every little things. at this point i can't even see myself living past the age of 27. i just have this feeling whether it'll be me or some fluke thing that i'm not going to make it. maybe thats just my :censored2: up head but i just don't know. You have no idea about my genuine personality. i try my hardest to be a good human being, thats the only thing i care about at this point. i refuse to be another :censored2:, which is unsuitable for this world. like they say, "its dog eat dog." there's nothing for me here. i can't even play good music. i'll never be anything special. no one will know me and i'm just another statistic. its hard for me to deal with that. it kills me. i don't even know what to write about anymore and at this point i don't care what you think of it. this was, if anything, for me to get out. i'm sorry i can't help but let you guys down. I'm sorry i'm not "to my potential". just quit thinking so god damn high of me because that is what screws up my head. you don't have to trust me (though i wish you would sometime) i just ask you don't make it so blatant that you don't.

    i love you and i'm sorry you have to deal with me. i'm sorry i've :censored2: up so much. i've lost faith in myself. i've lost my sense of worth and belonging. and i'm afraid to start anything because i've never finished anything. good night.
    Love,
    the bum who sleeps in your house, eats you food, drives your car, wastes your money, doesn't work or try hard enough, and loves you very much and can never repay or show how much you mean

    ~~~How do i detach when my 18 year old son sends me this? After a conversation in which his dad and I have calmly let him know that he either needs to go to college (which he dreads) or work more than the 15 hours a week he's doing now (at Starbucks;which he seems to like) His response: I want more 'spare time'. Ours: what? to lay around & smoke & drink?
    ~~~ He's going in this week to get what is likely to be a confirmation that he does indeed have ADD. I've been the one avoiding the diagnosis all these years, thinking it a cop-out/label of lazy parents & teachers. Apparently he's been self-medicating with caffeine, nicotine, alcohol & marijuana for the past several years. Having read Hallowell, I am now willing to concede the ADD diagnosis.
    ~~~But SAMMIE, I am sharing your FEAR, he has threatened to move out, and the fear that ties me in knots, is that vision of my boy lying under an overpasss somewhere, all tattered and messed up.
    ~~Thank you all for this website and thank you for being there to understand & be a shoulder to cry on. husband is supportive, but has enough responsibility(work, etc.) so it's good for me to have all of you. Again, deepest thanks~~
     
  18. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    dear mom,

    Thanks for completely killing one of the few good/optomistic moods i've had in a while. before i went downstairs i just wrote a letter to jackie about all the good things in my life and how i felt like i was getting on track and doing well, but nope. :censored2: that, i guess i've got to feel like :censored2: and basically have my mom tell me i'm a lazy piece of :censored2:, and thats why i don't talk to you. i hate it. everytime i talk to you i leave the conversation wishing i could just disappear forever. i'm not looking forward to anything in life with the exception of love, which will most likely fall through because thats how it is. All i ever hear is i'm not good enough. I am not ready to accept that i have to be another mindless nine to fiver for the rest of my life. with school you just don't get it. i don't get it. i wish i could go and be content and happy about it, i wish i was a normal kid, i wish i was stupid and didn't know any better. i can't see any future for me. all i see is letdown. i took it a little too to heart when they told me i could do whatever i want when i grew up because now its just more let down because i definately can't, and now i don't even know what to do. highschool taught me that anything i work for could be instantly meaningless, and as i thought about it, life is meaningless, we get so worked up over every little things. at this point i can't even see myself living past the age of 27. i just have this feeling whether it'll be me or some fluke thing that i'm not going to make it. maybe thats just my :censored2: up head but i just don't know. You have no idea about my genuine personality. i try my hardest to be a good human being, thats the only thing i care about at this point. i refuse to be another :censored2:, which is unsuitable for this world. like they say, "its dog eat dog." there's nothing for me here. i can't even play good music. i'll never be anything special. no one will know me and i'm just another statistic. its hard for me to deal with that. it kills me. i don't even know what to write about anymore and at this point i don't care what you think of it. this was, if anything, for me to get out. i'm sorry i can't help but let you guys down. I'm sorry i'm not "to my potential". just quit thinking so god damn high of me because that is what screws up my head. you don't have to trust me (though i wish you would sometime) i just ask you don't make it so blatant that you don't.

    i love you and i'm sorry you have to deal with me. i'm sorry i've :censored2: up so much. i've lost faith in myself. i've lost my sense of worth and belonging. and i'm afraid to start anything because i've never finished anything. good night.
    Love,
    the bum who sleeps in your house, eats you food, drives your car, wastes your money, doesn't work or try hard enough, and loves you very much and can never repay or show how much you mean

    ~~~How do i detach when my 18 year old son sends me this?

    That's such a heartbreaking letter and one I think my son would write if he could express himself that well. I hope you find a way to detach from his behavior and poor choices without detaching from him emotionally. The important thing is he's still willing to open up to you, so you must have done something right. I hope the ADD diagnosis gives you the help and support you need.
     
  19. CantQuitCrying

    CantQuitCrying New Member

    I'm with Josie, be glad he communicates. My son has a secret life. My prayers are with you guys.

    Hugs!
    Janny
    CantQuitCrying
     
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    cloudflower,

    I think he sent the letter to lay a guilt trip on you. Don't fall for it.

    He needs more "spare time" ~ for what? At 18, his choices should be: full time school, part time school and part time job, or full time job.

    What's so hard to understand about that? What's with these difficult children?

    Sheesh.

    ~Kathy
     
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