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Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by bluebell, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    I posted a few months ago in the General Parenting forum. My story is similar to many here and I need support. My difficult child is 17 DS and he has broken my heart and it's why I'm here again. I need to start the process of detachment, he will be 18 in September. Since I first posted we have been trying so hard to get him to shape up but it is clear he is above our influence.
    He has been arrested 4 times for various things - 2 for drugs - synth pot and real pot. 3 of these arrests were at school so he's not in school anymore, tried homeschooling off and on and is now trying to get his GED. He's extremely intelligent and passes every practice test they throw at him - he just basically needs to jump thru the hoops and show up and he will get it, but that is hard enough. He had a temporary job at a shoe store in the mall over xmas, but didn't get many hours and spent what little he made on drugs. His social schedule now interferes with his ability to find a job (tongue in cheek).
    He and my husband were arrested for domestic battery in August. He became violent again in October and left the house for a week, stayed with a friend and eventually my husband's mom. Then in January he became violent again and was in the psychiatric hospital for one week (luckily my husband learned not to fight back). We just wanted him to follow basic rules - liberal curfew, respect and no drugs. We bought him a used car to replace the new car we had bought him a year ago but would never let him drive, so that he could begin looking for a job in earnest and make it to his GED appointments. In the space of two months he has had a fender bender, gotten a speeding ticket and broke or begged for a curfew change to the point of conflict, he has refused to go to counseling and is no longer taking his medications he was rx'd in psychiatric hospital (not that I want him to mix those with god knows else he's taking), and driven high. Last week he became violent again and kicked in our front door and attacked husband. husband accidentally scratched his neck because they fell down the front steps and when the cops got there they said if they took difficult child in they would have to take husband in too because of the scratch. I begged them not to arrest my husband - he will become a felon if he gets another charge. It will cost thousands to replace the door. We are selling his car and he has not been back home since except once to take a nap and get something to eat. He is staying at this apartment where there is no supervision that these 19/20 year old girls live - but it is just a party pad for anyone and everyone. (I've seen the instagram photos/videos).
    I'm sorry this is so long. There is so much to tell.
    I have read your stories here - they have touched me and scared me and inspired me- but considering my son's age, have not felt it was fair to consider the detachment process, but I believe I can now start making the steps towards detachment. And I need your help....
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. So sorry for your hurting mommy heart. Sounds like your son is really involved in drugs...he may be doing more than you know. Violence is not usually associated with pot, but other drugs cause violence. Obviously, it is not safe for him to live at home right is probably just as well that he is where he's at. However, is it legal for him to be on his own at age 17? If not, can you find a rehab or Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or even a foster home for him so that he is not around to fight with your husband? You need to give your daughter a violence-free environment too.

    If you pay for your son's cell phone, car insurance, etc. I would cut him off. That's what we did when Daughter was caught using drugs and she was way younger than eighteen. If she was going to break the law, she was going to get only the bare minimum from us.

    I highly recommend going to Nar-Anon or Al-Anon with your husband. It is not everyone's cup of tea, but it has helped A LOT of us. You certainly could use some real life support.

    I am sorry you have to take this walk. Many of us have done it or are still doing it. You will get a lot of support here. You may want to peak at Parent Emeritus, the site for those with adult problem children. Your son is almost of age.
  3. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    Thanks for your reply! No it is not legal for him to be on his own, but I certainly wouldn't call what he's doing as being out on his own. We have tried everything to get him somewhere long term, we are getting nowhere. We could file a FINS petition but he would be 18 before it worked its way thru the system and the psychiatric hospital would not recommend him for a longer stay. We are experiencing some financial strains due to unemployment and unexpected expenses so we can't really do private pay right now. He was on his best behavior there and they deemed his issues 'situational'. Although they did diagnose him with bipolar, but I don't know - I'm like you I think he's on something besides pot - he only tested positive for pot at the psychiatric hospital - very confusing. His eyes get wildly dilated when he's on a rage - and I think he needs a neuro workup, but how to take him? He's been a lazy pothead since he was 13 but never violent. This is all brand new. My daughter has suffered quite a bit this past year and has had her own health and mental challenges - but they are normal - so far. But she is watching and judging every move we make, so that has to be taken into consideration as well. He might be beyond our influence, but she still is not.
    We have cut off all support except for the phone, I have to admit I'm afraid of the raging he will do when that gets turned off. That's what started the first rage in August. The cops last week kept asking him what he's going to do when he's 18, that we will most likely be getting him a restraining order for his birthday and he needs to start thinking about that NOW. He was so disrepectful to me in front of the cop and I am so dumb, I didn't even see it - I'm actually conversing with this cussing, angry lunatic and he's saying 'yes sir' and 'no sir' to the cop. The cop pointed that out and I had to take a step back. He told the cop 'I wasn't raised to respect my parents.' WTF??? I know you all don't know me from Adam - but this kid has always had rules and was an honor student all thru elementary school - we definitely had our issues - don't get me wrong - but he was raised to respect us and did treat us with respect. My husband has always been strict and I have always been consistent. Our house was the 'hangout' and we were a kiddie taxi service for many years - we have a pool and don't mind a dirty home or an empty gas tank - maybe that's the problem? We did too much? We wanted them to love their home - to love their family. I don't know I need to stop blaming myself.
    My husband did just complete six months of anger management for his da charge, and I think it did him some good. He only wished difficult child had had to go. difficult child's case was dismissed in juvenile court, it was a joke - he got off scott-free for attacking my husband for trying to get his cell phone out of his hand.
  4. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    Also, I can track him on the phone and know where he is. I'm not sure if I want to lose that since after all, I am still liable for him.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome Bluebell. Glad you found us but really sorry that you had to search us out. There are many of us who totally understand what you are feeling...what you are fearing..what you just can't wrap your head around. Our GS I "still" refer to as our easy child/difficult child because he has only once raised his voice to either of us and has never been physically aggressive. He "was" an A gifted student. He "was" truly a gifted baseball player. He "was" a really outstanding basketball player. All the families welcomed him into their homes. My husband and I were SO PROUD of his compassion, affectionate nature etc. etc. etc.

    He "went South" in his early teens. He is now 27 and I can completely understand your pain and confusion. I wish I had an answer for you but I can guarantee you that there are alot of us who have been shaking our heads for ten years or more and just trying to believe that the nightmare will be over soon.

    I don't have the answer, bluebell. I do, however, understand your pain from the bottom of my heart. I encourage you to read and reread the post here. You might bet a glimmer of hope or guidance from one of our members. Meanwhile..I'm sending hugs your way. DDD
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Bluebell, I believe everything you said about his upbringing. My son was not brought up to cuss at me, slap me, disrespect me, become addicted to porn, steal from us, and do some things that I'm ashamed to post, but trust me they are bad and he was raised only with love. We never even spanked him and we did not drink or use drugs and he does drink, but that isn't his biggest problem. His biggest problem is who he is; what he turned out to be. I actually think most of us on this board were not just loving parents, but DOTING parents who tried to give our children every single opportunity available. Maybe that is part of the entitlement factor now. No idea. I don't think these things can be analyzed. All we can do is protect ourselves and our other children from their hurting us. Often that means they can't live at home, getting restraining orders, changing locks, watching our backs when we go outside at night.

    Not all bad drugs show up on drug tests. Drug tests are imperfect. So your son, who probably knows what doesn't show up, could very well be abusing dangerous drugs or mixtures of drugs that are dangerous together...and still not have them show up on a drug test.

    When my daughter used drugs, she was in a psychiatric hospital that diagnosed her with bipolar. She has been c lean now for ten years. She clearly did NOT have bipolar. The drugs cause the bipolar symptoms. Not saying your son doesn't have bipolar, but it's something to think about. He may. He may not.

    I can't say I blame you for letting him stay with the kids he's with, even though they are not stellar young people. If he lived at home, he'd still hang out with the worse element and he'd keep getting your husband into trouble too (maybe even lie?) and terrorize you and your precious daughter who did nothing to deserve this kind of disruption in her life. I would probably do what you did and if the cops came to me I'd demand some sort of services to make sure the child did not harm us. Juvie? I'd prefer drug rehab, but I'd do what I could to keep him out of the house. If he is not ready to quit taking drugs, rehab won't help him, but it would be a safe place for him to stay in the meantime.

    I recommend you post in Parent Emeritus. It gets more traffic, the posters there are wiser than wise, and your son is almost eighteen may as well join us. I have never met a better group of online support people as the women in Parent Emeritus. I think you'd get a lot of love and support there and you would certainly be believed and be bathed in warmth and understanding.

    I hope to see you there :)
  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    I totally understand about keeping the cell phone so that you can track him. My son was homeless for awhile last year and the only way at times I knew he was alive was checking the phone records... so for that reason I have never taken away his cell phone... it gave me peace of mind.


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  8. bluebell

    bluebell Member

    It also lets us know when he may be on his way home. Since he has become occasionally violent, it's nice to be able to mentally prepare for his arrival. Or maybe not....

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  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bluebell what you describe is very similar to what was going on in our home when our daughter was 17-19. We called the police everytime she got violent and they began to know us and told difficult child that they would believe us over her anytime because of what they saw. By the time she turned 18 we gave her one last chance and paid for her to go to college. Big mistake as she was arrested within 6 weeks for drug and alochol use and suspended. We kicked her out of the house a couple months later. We told her at age 18 she was an adult and we no longer had to put up with her abuse. It went downhill from there for a couple years.

    From what you describe it sounds lie your son is using spice. From what I have learned it does cause the person to become beligerent. He may also be combining pills with it. Health insurance now has to provide for treatment for substance abuse. Have you checked into yours? When our daughter did turn 18 we gave her a choice, either go into treatment or find somewhere else to live. She did go to treatment, relapsed, went for treatment again, left and lived on her own losing jobs and getting into legal trouble until she finally got tired of living like that and is slowly trying to rebuild her life.

    This age is a very difficult one. It may be that you will have to wait out the time until he turns 18 and then give him the choice we gave our daughter. In the meatime you will have to protect yourself against any legal problems, call the police anytime he escalates and never touch him. And the biggest suggestion I have is to find a support group. I found a FA families anonymous group that was very helpful and a couple al-anon groups were also. I also belong to a family group from one of the sober houses in our area which has been a tremendous help to me. It doesn;t happen overnight, you dont detach that quickly. It takes time and a lot of work, but the more you can detach the better able you will be to help him when he finally decides he needs help.