New...cut contact with difficult child 1

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by RPS, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. RPS

    RPS Guest

    Hello everyone...

    I'm relatively new to the boards, but have posted in the Teen Substance Abuse forum. I have a situation that qualifies for this board, too.

    My difficult child 1 is 21 and just last night, I decided to cut contact with him.

    Background: I was 21 when he was born and I was married to his dad. We divorced when difficult child 1 was 18 months because his dad had turned violent towards me. I moved from TX back home to PA with difficult child 1. His dad went from sporadic contact to no contact. I married ExH when difficult child 1 was 3 1/2. ExH adopted him.

    difficult child 1 was diagnosis'd with ADHD several times, starting at 3. Raising him was difficult. Right before his 13th birthday, he got into serious trouble and was placed in the juvenile correctional system. ExH washed his hands at that point, so I was the only parent in difficult child 1's life.

    difficult child 1 was released after 4 years and moved back in with me and my SO. difficult child 1 refused to meet our expectations: go to school, get decent grades, work part time and graduate. I would have liked if he went to college, but he made it clear he had no intention of doing so.

    Soon after graduation, difficult child 1 moved out because he didn't want to pay us rent. He got back in touch with his bio dad. difficult child 1 moved to TX briefly, then came back to VA (but didn't live with us), and then went back to TX. While he was here, he basically sponged off of friends. He worked sporadically so he couldn't afford to live on his own. It wasn't uncommon for him to crash on someone's couch until that person got tired of difficult child 1 not supporting himself.

    So, difficult child 1 is now in TX. He's working as a bouncer at a strip club. He's living with a girl that also works at the strip club, but she's not a dancer. She might be a bartender. They've been together 4-6 months and 3 months ago, he sent me an email through FaceBook (our only means of contact because he has no phone) saying that the girlfriend was cheating on him. I chatted with him and told him that he didn't deserve that or need it...and he supposedly "worked things out with her." Ugh, but his choice.

    This past weekend, we discovered that difficult child 3 is smoking pot, drinking and dealing (and he's taken pills at times, but we don't know what). We are working to get difficult child 3 into treatment.

    I discovered the substance abuse by looking at difficult child 3's FaceBook -- the one he keeps for friends, but not for parents/grandparents, etc. There were emails between the boys in which they basically compared notes on getting stoned and drunk.

    When difficult child 3 first started smoking pot, he told difficult child 1 who told me. I confronted difficult child 3 and he stopped for a while. This time, difficult child 1 said NOTHING to me even though he knew what difficult child 3 was doing.

    I sent difficult child 1 an email the other night that basically said that I am disappointed that he didn't tell me that difficult child 3 is using again, and that I would think since difficult child 1 knows all too well where you get when you're using, he would at least not condone this.

    difficult child 1 wrote a hateful email back, saying that it's not his fault that difficult child 3 is using, that I should have known it, that just because difficult child 1 knows people that smoke here in VA, that this isn't on his shoulders, and that he figured since difficult child 3 was using again, I had given up.


    I never blamed him for difficult child 3 using or said it was his fault. I don't care who he knows that smokes; I only care about his 15 year old brother who is going down a really bad path. And why would I give up on a kid this quickly if I didn't give up on difficult child 1 while he was in the juvenile correctional system??? I was the ONLY one that didn't give up on him.

    All of that, I can take. His final line was the deal breaker. "If you don't have anything nice to say to me anymore, gtfo."

    I deleted him from my friends list and will block him if he emails again. I've hit the end of my rope with him. All he wants is constant adoration and support, but he's unwilling to look at the mess HE has made of his life.

    I know it's the right thing to do but that doesn't make it hurt any less. I know I was a baby myself when difficult child 1 was born, but he's the one that made me realize that above anything else, I *love* being a mom. I had no choice but to grow up and be responsible for him, so for that reason alone, I'm thankful he came along. I had such high hopes for him and it's awful to realize that instead of raising the next President of the United States, I have contributed yet another person who thinks he's entitled to whatever he wants without working for it.

    Now, he just makes my heart and head hurt.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just a few thoughts.
    First of all, your son is likely partly the way he is because of his bio. dad. He may be gone from difficult child's life, but 50% of him are his bio. dad's genes. Was he a substance abuser? That doesn't help, I know, but it helps explain how he became susceptible to drugs and alcohol. Another thing...likely difficult child 1 has been using drugs and alcohol for a very long time. They are good at hiding it. Now onto what you did as far as cutting him off:

    I don't judge what people do. However, I kept in contact with my daughter during her drug days. I didn't condone her behavior or give her ANY money, but I did talk to her in the hopes that maybe she would decide to clean up. SHE DID! I think my sane voice helped her. When she got sick of herself, she needed somebody to give her direction and that was me.

    However, some kids don't straighten out. It is best at times to let them fall on their own. But I wouldn't do it because he didn't turn out the way you wanted him to. Unfortunately, that is very common, but in my opinion it's still best to keep some sort of lifeline going on. Our own disappointment is something we have to deal with. On verbal abuse, well, none of my kids do that to me because they know I will just hang up. I refuse to listen to that. It doesn't occur anymore.

    Hugs to you and I hope you can find some peace. It isn't easy. I know first hand how hard it is.
  3. RPS

    RPS Guest

    Hi MidwestMom! Thank you for responding!

    I think maybe my first post was confusing. I don't think that difficult child 1 has a substance abuse issue. Before he was 21, I know he drank at times and from the emails to his younger brother, I now know that he smoked pot. He's never given me a reason to think that he was using harder drugs or using on a regular basis. Then again, since he has been out of my house and lives quite far away, it's possible he has developed problems.

    My issue with him is his attack on me for telling him that I don't appreciate him not telling me that his younger brother (who is only 15) was not only using again, but had escalated the use to include alcohol, pills and dealing. I am totally disappointed that he didn't turn out anything like I had hoped, but up until this week, I've been in regular contact with him and just avoided much talk about his situation. He's on his own, so it's definitely up to him to make changes if he wants. His total lack of respect for me and attacking me via email is simply the straw that broke the camel's back. I have done for him, supported him, you name it, while he did whatever he wanted to...and now that I don't want him to be comparing notes with his younger brother about drug use, I'm the bad guy.

    I need to concentrate on getting difficult child 3 (the 15 year old) clean. HIS father is likely an alcoholic and used to smoke pot on a regular basis, so I have no doubt that our kids are at risk for being substance abusers. This is something that I have been on the lookout for for a long time.

    I do hope, though, that difficult child 3 was NOT using pot for a lot longer than I knew about it. I'm fairly certain that this only started about 6 months ago because a year ago, he had a total change of friends. I am reasonably sure his old friends are not into the drug/drinking scene. We have 3 years to get difficult child 3 straight and I hope we can.
  4. Rannveig

    Rannveig Member

    Dear RPS,

    I'm sorry for your heartbreak. Does difficult child 3 look up to difficult child 1? Is that why it's so upsetting to have had difficult child 1 willing to compare notes on out-of-mind experiences?

    In a way, though, I'm sympathetic to difficult child 1. The fraternal relationship is not the same as a parental relationship. I don't think he had a duty to tell you anything. I just think he showed really poor judgment in not telling you. He sounds very immature. Even the "If you don't have something nice to say, gtfo" is just kind of babyish. It's like he's just parroting something that teachers tell Kindergarteners and adding in some foul language to make himself sound tough. I'm not saying you should want a relationship with someone like this, just that he sounds more lost than anti-social.

    What if you wrote him and said, "Hey, that conversation went in a direction I regret. I was very hurt by the way you spoke to me, but I also recognize that I hurt you by holding you responsible for your brother's problems [or whatever you figure he may have felt]. The truth is I'm just worried to death about your brother, and I'm sorry if I took some of my worry out on you. I'd love it if we could be allies to help your brother through these tough teen years. I haven't always liked your choices, but I respect that you're making it on your own now, and I think you could be a positive role model for your brother if you wanted. Would you be willing to think about how we might help your brother together?" Do you think he would get that at all, or is he too angry a person to be able to absorb something like that? Well, I guess I think that even if he rejected your attempt at setting a new tone, you might feel more at peace in yourself. I hear in your messages how sad you are, and I wish you well.

    Sincerely, Ranny