Never thought I would be here - need advice.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Hearache, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. Hearache

    Hearache New Member

    I feel like the world is caving in around me. Need some advice.

    My son is 18yrs old. When he was 17 he was charged as an adult with property destruction (not anything big). His friends all got off because they were not 17 yet. Hired a lawyer for a lot of money and that went away after 1 yr of probation. He also lost a year of sports at school.

    Son got a girlfriend who definatly gets around. He started to drink with her and go to clubs, sex, tatoo (which he wishes he didn't have). He got picked up about a week ago for a DWI. Again, 400.00 bail and 2500.00 to the lawyer, who tells me he can make it go away.

    On the plus side, he has an athletic scholarship and is pretty smart. He will go away to college about 4 hours away from home in the fall. He is very sweet and loving to his family. He is remorseful.

    Any advice would be welcome. I am so sad and just can't believe that my son is 18 and has been arrested twice. I have a 22 yr old daughter who has never given me trouble like this.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what to tell you. My daughter was arrested twice by age 18 and on probation twice (drugs). I couldn't afford a lawyer and frankly didn't want to get her off--I wanted her to be scared and learn. She did. She's 23 and clean.
    If you think your son may have a drinking problem, from experience, college isn't a really good place for peer-driven, substance using kids--not at a dorm anyways. There isn't any supervision and many kids go wild without it. My daughter had to go to school and live at home. She only went for two years, but got her degree and did great without getting more steeped in the drugs and drinking. Do you think your son will be ok if he lives away from home? Are the living accomodations on your dime? I would make going away to school conditional upon his behavior with you promising to make surprise visits.
    On the bright side, if this stops now, he really hasn't gone half as far as most of our kids. He just sounds like he's easily influenced, and that would worry me with living away from home looming close...
    Does he have a diagnosis? Ever been to a psychiatrist or therapy? Do you feel he drinks too much? A DUI for my daughter would have meant the loss of her license. I was not lenient about the time she in an accident and drunk. She had zilch sympathy from us and she didn't drive again until she moved out, cleaned up, and got her own car. Glad you found us. I"m sure many have opinions on this.
  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    I would caution him that anymore drinking incidents and he will be losing alot. The college will more than likely take away scholarships and/or kick him out. Other schools would be reluctant to take him and on the next charge (if there is one), I would tell him he is on his own nickel....find his own attorney, bail money, etc. Not a happy thought to do this, but the message gets thru loud and clear. If he is doing this now you can bet he will be doing it when there are no parents there to guide him along....sorry if I am being abrupt, but it is important that he figure this out before he has to learn lessons the hard way....

    Also the bigger danger is that he will harm someone else with his drinking and driving.....

    He is basically starting off clean, so let him know you expect it to stay that way.....
  4. Hearache

    Hearache New Member

    I am very hesitant to let him go away to school. He won't know anyone at the school, but will make friends that he plays sports with. I am wanting him to get away from this group of friends that he has here. I am aware, though, that trouble can be found anywhere.

    When I went to the police station to pick him up, they wouldn't release him till 5am, so he sat there all night (I sat in the waiting room from 1am till 5). He wouldn't take a breathalizer test - so they held him till "sober". They said he was "really drunk". I think he sat back there crying the whole time. When he came out I sat down the "rules" and told him if he couldn't abide by them that he could just start walking and didn't need to come home. I was trying to use tough love with him.

    He is able to drive on a temporary appeal license, but he doesn't know that. He thinks he can't drive and I am just letting him believe that. The car has been taken away from him - permanently. I think the girlfriend is slowly fading away - he's not been out with her except for "getting a slurpie" - she drove.

    Not sure how much he has been drinking - before this his curfew was 1am - which he always kept - when I did monitor him when he came in, I didn't notice any drinking.

    He's never been to counseling - I'm thinking about it now. It does seem like this child has to learn lessons the hard way. It's like he has gone out of his way to do the opposite of what we tell him.

    I'm a nurse who works in an ICU and I get to see all the drunk drivers who suffer from car accidents. I see the worst of it - it terrifies me.

    Thanks for all the advice - I need it! Helps to know that I am not alone. I just can't talk to my friends about this - I don't want them to think bad of my son.
  5. Hearache

    Hearache New Member

    He is definately still interested in baseball - his passion. The coach loves him and is the type of coach that will look out for him. The coach's get grade reports periodically. He will be involved with baseball from the start - they play in the fall, also.

    He played for a traveling team all over the US the past 3 summers and I made it to almost all the games. I will probably be up to his games at least one weekend a month.

    I will check out the area for books, thanks, good idea.

    I worry that he is an alcoholic. It's definately in his Gene's from his Dad's side. My husband is the type of alky that wouldn't drink every day, but when he did - it was till he couldn't remember what he was doing. He finally quit. I fear my son is the same way. The gene goes all the way back to my son's great grandparents.

    I would love for him to see a therapist, but the hubby is against it. I just hope he has gotten all of this out of his system. The sad part was that when he got pulled over, he locked himself in the car and wouldn't open for the police. He was text messaging his sister to come help him. We were there in 5 minutes. It was awful seeing him put in handcuffs - I just can't take that again. The police were a little rough with him and when I tried to talk to him, they threatened to arrest me. I was amazed at that.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Why won't you husband let him see a therapist? I hate to say this, but if you're worried that your son has a drinking problem, that's your mom gut talking to you. A DUI is serious. He could kill himself or somebody else--it shows poor judgment.

    They put my daughter in handcuffs too. I bit my lip because the more afraid she was, the better the results would be (I thought). They aren't going to baby your son. He's going to be 18, which is considered an adult. If you think he may have a drinking problem, it will NOT get better at college. I would want an alcohol assessment done to see if he's in trouble. Just the advice of one who had a child who substance abused. If I hadn't been so clueless, I could have helped her earlier, but I truly didn't know she was doing drugs and NEVER knew she drank. She told me that alcohol made her sick and, being the goody-two-shoes prude that I always was, I believed her. After she cleaned up her act, she told me how deeply she had been involved with drugs and it shocked me (and scared me.)And it also made me feel stupid that I hadn't known, but she could be totally wasted and just act like she needed to get some rest, plus I didn't know first hand how you act on drugs. Are you certain your boy isn't also smoking pot or doing other drugs?

    I'd really think twice about getting an evaluation (I'd do it) and would really wonder about sending him away to college. Alcoholics don't always drink nonstop--just that they drink to get drunk. And your son could always be on good behavior while you're there, then fall apart when you're not. And I don't know if his college mates would let you know he was having a hard time.
  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    Chances are, if he is an alcoholic, it won't just go away. He'll need to get help for it. Bigger chances are, he won't get help for it until and unless HE feels he needs it.

    Probably not what you want to hear, but it is reality. I was an alcoholic since age 16. I finally got clean at age 36. Sending prayers your way that it does not take your son that long.