I suck...or...did I overreact?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Robinboots, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    difficult child 17 spent the night last night at a friend's. He was supposed to call when he got there, after work. He did not. Strike number 1, or rather, annoyance number 1.

    Got up this morning to an email from my ISP. Seems that SOMEone has been illegally downloading movies and who-knows-what-else and MY account is in jeopardy. Strike 2.

    Called him at 10, 10:30, and 11. Immediately after the last call, he called me, said his phone battery was dead and he'd be home in 10-15 minutes. I told him to be home in exactly 10, because....

    While I was waiting for him to call back, I checked his bank account - the one from which he is NOT allowed to withdraw, but apparently did twice: on Thursday and on Friday, $80 each time. Of course, over Valentine's weekend he said he blew all his gas/spending/charity money for two weeks on his supposed girlfriend. The one who saw a different movie than he did on their date....

    So I'm pretty steamed, already, when he walks in the door. I jumped his butt over all these things, plus a few more, altho I started out pretty mild:

    I said that we asked that he do his laundry once a week and keep his room clean; that he provide us with a work schedule and his clock-in and clock-out slips; that we manage his money, according to a budget we drew up; and that we know when/where/with whom and that he track his mileage on the car.

    All we want in return is that he do what is right, as in NOT lie, steal, cheat, etc., etc.

    I told him that 90% of my life is taken up by checking on him and worrying about him and that that is NOT right. I told him that we were tired of bending over backwards and that he never seemed to "get" it, and that, since he sometimes CAN do what's right, it must surely be that he's CHOOSING to do what's wrong.

    I told him I wanted him out of the house, as long as he was going to continue to behave this way. He said fine, and went to pack.

    Of course, there was a lot more, as he kept trying to make comparisons between he and I and lecture me and cuss and so forth. Oh, and the kicker: he said that if I DIDN'T CHECK ON HIM, I'D NEVER KNOW what he was doing wrong. Sigh.

    After he threw some stuff in a backpack, he started to leave. I said wait, I'm not done:

    You have a choice to make. You want to make all your own decisions, so here it is: you can stay, as I've ALWAYS said I want you here at home, but I want you to behave; OR, you can leave.

    He said I'd just call the police if he left, and I said I would not. He's 17, I don't have to. He wanted a note. I said no. I told him to make his decision.

    He left. He was on his phone, you know, the one with the dead battery, as he walked down the street. And no, he didn't take the car - no way, in fact, I locked it up as soon as he left.

    So, now what? Hard to say what his retaliation might be, if any. I did NOT let him take his Risperdone with him, altho he had a dose as soon as he got home this morning. He asked if I thought he'd sell it - um, yeah....

    Tricky thing is that he's on probation, till June. Do I call his DJO? Or do I just let it go until Tuesday, when he's supposed to check in with her and see what happens? I'm not too worried, we live in a very safe area, he has lots of (some questionable) friends; also, of course, quite a few acquaintances who'd like to kick his azz. Temp is in the 40s during the day, he does have a job.

    I thought things were better, I thought we'd make it through the year till he turns 18 in December. Argh. Sorry this is so long....
  2. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    GFG17 called husband and asked what time he'd be home. He wanted to know when he could come back into the house, because *I* had told him to leave.

  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like you had a very tense morning, to say the least.

    Part of me says to let him pay the natural consequences for his choices in regards to checking in with his PO. But it sounds like he's going to try and work his way back home.

    It can't be easy to have to keep such tabs on your almost adult son.

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry things were so tough this morning. Be sure to let husband know what really happened before he comes home. That way you can speak to him with-o difficult child being there to object and distort.

  5. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Thanks, all. I called husband right away and told him what happened. Then difficult child called husband and asked when he'd be home, so difficult child could come back.

    difficult child did come back, and he and husband argued, I threw in a few points - mostly repetition, 'cause difficult child does NOT listen, just runs off at the mouth.

    I ended up pushing him out the door, well, as much as someone 5'3" can "push" a 6', 240 lb "kid". And I locked the door.

    Found all kinds of joyful things in difficult child's car, condoms, room number for a hotel - that's where he was last night, a hotel party. So much for his friend "needing" money, the reason given for the withdrawal at his bank.

    Then I tackled the computer - more joy. Just now had husband put difficult child's backpack on the front porch, in case he comes back for it.

    I have a headache.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I really don't know your whole story, but I don't understand why you wouldn't let him take his prescribed medications with him? As far as I know, risperdal doesn't have a street value.
  7. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Because I don't trust him as far as I could throw him - which would be about 2 feet, tops. No idea if he'd sell them, loan them, hand them out like candy or what. It's an anti-psychotic - guess the worst that could happen would be a few more teenagers all mellowed out.

    But, thanks to a wonderful MO law, WE are still responsible for him until he's 18. So guess who gets in dutch if he does something stupid? And frankly, we're tired of footing the bill and not just monetarily.

    Here's the difference:
    difficult child ON medications - mouthy, lying, cheating, stealing pain in the neck;
    difficult child OFF medications - ditto, with a tendency to go ballistic. On us.
  8. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I know it's an AP and if you're not used to it, it usually puts you to sleep (depending on the dose). But, if it keeps him from going "ballistic"... So far it's been you, but what if he goes ballistic on someone else without it?

    In most states you are responsible for your child until they are 18. Nebraska is 19.
  9. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Trust me, I'm well aware of the age of majority...but in MO a juvenile is considered an adult at 17...except for liability purposes. Just to clarify.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I have to admit I read this thread several times over & one thing stuck out to me......

    You are one exhausted parent at the end of her rope. AND please do not take this as criticism - it's not.

    in my humble opinion, you may be been over reactive. Your difficult child is close enough to 18 I wouldn't stress myself by checking every little thing that he does.

    kt is turning 16 in a few months & when she returned home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in Jan. I decided that I would no longer drive myself over the edge by checking every little thing (phone calls being the big one). When I looked back on all I had to manage plus the daily "activities" of my ktbug I had to let go of where she spent money, who she called & why. My main concern - running & promiscuity.

    So I'm saying this from one exhausted mom to the next - let the little things go. Address the big ones for your difficult child. The closer he becomes to adulthood the less you can control his choices - help difficult child with the big choices in life if he will allow your input.

    Take a break, sweetie.
  11. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Yes, I am exhausted and no, not taking it as criticism. :)

    It's a pattern here: difficult child, on the surface, does what he's supposed to do. Then he gets more cocky and tries to "get away" with more and more. We discover something "bad", which leads to more and more things going on that should be happening. We say something to him, like yesterday, when I said look, kiddo, we ask you to do ABC, and that's it, but you are choosing not only to NOT DO ABC, but you are also doing XYZ.

    Then we impose some sort of sanction, whether it's ONLY going to and from work, a grounding from the car, the Internet, whatever. Those are usually not just ineffective, but a total waste of time to even discuss.

    So the "confrontation", and I don't mean yelling or physical stuff, just talking, ends up with him being accusatory - doesn't matter how we phrase things, or how we approach it - lying, etc., etc., and he takes off. Now, he hasn't done that for awhile, but yesterday, at the end of my rope, I gave him that choice.

    For awhile I was tracking everything. I decided, weeks ago, that it just didn't matter, he was gonna do whatever he was gonna do. But I cannot sit back while he's taking $$, selling stuff, buying who-knows-what, hanging out who-knows-where, and not say a word. He's my son, he's under my roof.

    And it's been a continuous battle of him doing whatever he wants; he gets away with it for a short time, till something comes to our attention, then we find more "stuff" and we take action.

    He's been on probation since last March, for assault. On me. He has a HUGE issue with me, and no counselor or anyone has been able to uncover it. At all. The judge is NOT happy with him. And likely that will continue. When he finds out what's going on now, I suspect difficult child will be back in detention. I don't know. He was lucky the last two times in court to avoid that.

    Still no word, and his backpack is still on the porch. Yesterday I did give him the option - follow the rules, ours and those of the court, or leave. I can't keep trying. Whatever he is, he's going to stay that way until some cataclysmic event.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I can empathize with your predicament.

    My son was somewhat like your son. Nothing I could ever say or do made a whits difference in how he behaved. I could have - and did - monitor his life down to the milisecond. I tried to micromanage his life when he was 17. I had to know everything he was doing because if he was out of my sight, he was up to no good. Now my son was always in trouble with the law, and we did end up having to press charges against him eventually, but it wasnt for assault. Ours was for monetary damages. My son stole from us.

    Eventually as he got older, I stopped being the one who acted as his buffer between his choices and the real world. I let the PO get him.

    Everyone says that parents are responsible for their kids up until 18 and for the most part that is true, however, I am assuming you are worried about the legal ramifications of him doing something illegal to someone before 18. For the most part, and you would want to check this out with local law enforcement but it is true here, if a parent has done everything they can to attempt to get help for their child like therapy, psychiatric care, etc...and said child still continues to do wrong, then its on the child. The child can be sued but the parents wouldnt be held liable.
  13. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Ah yes, mine steals too. And I'm pretty sure the judge - who's great, by the way, will realize all the ramifications of difficult child's behavior. The drugs, however, are just too much for me to "play" with, esp. since difficult child initially refused to even take them and yes, had to be CO'd to do so. And yes, I handed him one every day and watched him take it.

    I didn't micromanage his life - I simply documented, just in case. The last few weeks, which seemed to be going well, aka the last few since court on Feb. 4, I barely wrote down anything. I might have said, "Hey, it's laundry day" once a week, but that was it. If he said he had to work, fine, bye, see ya later tonight; if he asked to go to the movies, fine, what time, what show? See ya. Even if I "knew" he was up to no good, I chose to "believe" him unless something showed otherwise.

    I worried and stewed over his community service and DJO check-ins from October to December. After that, well, too bad - on him. I assume that on Tuesday, when he checks in with K, he'll mention that he was "kicked out". And she'll likely come down on him, big time. Imagine she'll call me - that's fine, I love her to pieces, she's wonderful; she can and will handle it, she knows all the stuff.

    Last night at midnight I texted him and asked where he was; today at noon he texted back and asked why I wanted to know. I said "just checking". That's been it. Well, and of course he announced to FB that he'd been "kicked out again". Whatever. 6 hours or so and NO ONE has responded. Ha.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you are doing what you can. I know you worry about him, but try to take time and do things to recharge yourself, husband and your relationship with husband. There simply isn't much you can do about difficult child and his choices.

    I WOULD call K and let her know what happened and the choice you gave him (live by the rules or leave) and briefly why. It might be better for difficult child if you gave her the info before the meeting. Maybe.
  15. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    You could be right. I was probably going to do that tomorrow anyway, just a s the "responsible party" in the house and all. I'm not worried, because I still remember quite a few things from the last year:

    Our first meeting, she looked at him, listened to him, and read him the riot act.

    When he cooked up some story about husband beating him, she was out-of-town. Said, for the record, that if SHE had been there, his butt would have been locked up for HIS actions and didn't believe a single thing he said. She's repeated that many, many times and was actually one of the first ones to get his number.

    She DID recommend that he be released from probation in Dec., and again on Feb. 4, but mainly because there isn't really anything the courts can keep doing except ordering more community service and threatening him with lock-up. Sometimes though, for short periods, that's enough to sorta keep him in line. Maybe.