New Member looking for some "words of wisdom" about 18yr son at home still in HS!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ostate2003, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    I have an 18 year old son who is a senior in H.S. I have joint custody of him and his brother with my ex-husband - but due to an argument over the summer between my son and his fater, my son has been living with me and my new husband. My ex and I have both been re-married almost 9 years and we all 4 have mantained a very close relationship to help all the kids involved. Here are some of the problems:

    1. My 18 year old is ADHD and was on medications to help with this until two years ago. He went off them becuase he said it was affecting how he didn't have a personality - and over the course of 8 years we tried several differnt ones. Since he's been off the medications, he has drasticlly gone down hill, lost interest in sports (which he was good at several - but espically had a passion for soccer), lost interest in JrROTC that he has been in since a freshman and his school work has been a challenge. My son had a job dishwasher job and always got a lot of praise from his boss and co-workers about how dependable he was and what a hard worker he was - but the place had to close over a month ago and he hasn't shown much interest at all in finding another job...even with my help.

    2. In addition to all that, he started hanging out with a kid who we later found out had a mother who was supplying acholol, weed and possibly sex to her son's friends. This kid introduced him to another two kids who had to go through "Thunderbird Acadamy" to get a graduation certificate from H.S. due to substance abuse and other related issues. My son met these kids after they had come back and have been put up in a winabego (with no running water) but connected to one of the parent's business for the electric because as the mother told me "we have other kids we don't want him to corrupt and as soon as he turns 18 he has to move".

    3. My son now has a 14 year old girlfriend that I know they are having sex. He started smoking cigars and cigerattes very openly about a month ago and has told us he doesn't want to live here anymore but doesn't have any other options.

    While I'm dealing with all this, lastly my husbands son, who is disrespectful and rude everytime he is around, which is only when he wants somehting - just called to tell us he is coming today and staying until Tuesday......which has almost put me over the edge.

    After opening presents this morning, my son left to see his girlfriend....and told me he really didn't much like leather (we got him a leather coat, among some nice other things) and wanted to know when he could take it back.....I'm sure for the money.

    BASICALLY THE REASON FOR THE POST IS TO SEE IF ANYONE CAN JUST CHAT/OFFER OPINIONS OR SUGGESTIONS on what I can do regarding my 18 year old son. We are a middle class family with good values.....I'm not sure what went wrong where or what I can do at this point. Part of me just wants him out of the house, part of me wants to keep things together in whatever way possible until he can just graduate, and part of me is scared to dealth that whatever happens it will tear my marrriage apart because of the HUGE amount of guilt/frustration I feel towards everyone and everything right now. by the way - I have made an appointment for a counslor tomorrow - so I don't go totally off the ledge.

    Thanks for your time or any insight/suggestions. (sorry for the spelling errros, I couldn't find spell check).
     
  2. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    FYI I posted this in the "Watercooler Forum" as well but then just realized it might not have been the right group.

    Thank you to anyone who is willing to comment or just chat through some of this with me!

    I have an 18 year old son who is a senior in H.S. I have joint custody of him and his brother with my ex-husband - but due to an argument over the summer between my son and his fater, my son has been living with me and my new husband. My ex and I have both been re-married almost 9 years and we all 4 have mantained a very close relationship to help all the kids involved. Here are some of the problems:

    1. My 18 year old is ADHD and was on medications to help with this until two years ago. He went off them becuase he said it was affecting how he didn't have a personality - and over the course of 8 years we tried several differnt ones. Since he's been off the medications, he has drasticlly gone down hill, lost interest in sports (which he was good at several - but espically had a passion for soccer), lost interest in JrROTC that he has been in since a freshman and his school work has been a challenge. My son had a job dishwasher job and always got a lot of praise from his boss and co-workers about how dependable he was and what a hard worker he was - but the place had to close over a month ago and he hasn't shown much interest at all in finding another job...even with my help.

    2. In addition to all that, he started hanging out with a kid who we later found out had a mother who was supplying acholol, weed and possibly sex to her son's friends. This kid introduced him to another two kids who had to go through "Thunderbird Acadamy" to get a graduation certificate from H.S. due to substance abuse and other related issues. My son met these kids after they had come back and have been put up in a winabego (with no running water) but connected to one of the parent's business for the electric because as the mother told me "we have other kids we don't want him to corrupt and as soon as he turns 18 he has to move".

    3. My son now has a 14 year old girlfriend that I know they are having sex. He started smoking cigars and cigerattes very openly about a month ago and has told us he doesn't want to live here anymore but doesn't have any other options.

    While I'm dealing with all this, lastly my husbands son, who is disrespectful and rude everytime he is around, which is only when he wants somehting - just called to tell us he is coming today and staying until Tuesday......which has almost put me over the edge.

    After opening presents this morning, my son left to see his girlfriend....and told me he really didn't much like leather (we got him a leather coat, among some nice other things) and wanted to know when he could take it back.....I'm sure for the money.

    BASICALLY THE REASON FOR THE POST IS TO SEE IF ANYONE CAN JUST CHAT/OFFER OPINIONS OR SUGGESTIONS on what I can do regarding my 18 year old son. We are a middle class family with good values.....I'm not sure what went wrong where or what I can do at this point. Part of me just wants him out of the house, part of me wants to keep things together in whatever way possible until he can just graduate, and part of me is scared to dealth that whatever happens it will tear my marrriage apart because of the HUGE amount of guilt/frustration I feel towards everyone and everything right now. by the way - I have made an appointment for a counslor tomorrow - so I don't go totally off the ledge.

    Thanks for your time or any insight/suggestions. (sorry for the spelling errros, I couldn't find spell check).
     
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi & welcome... I'm so sorry you had to find us. The holidays can be especially difficult for families with challenging or disordered children. My first thought is that, unfortunately, your son is partying a lot and that's taken over his life right now. I'm not saying he's addicted (though that is a distinct possibility) but kids with ADHD and mood disorders often turn to drugs and/or alcohol to self-medicate. Has your son ever seen a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist for his ADHD diagnosis? Or was he prescribed medications through the pediatrician or family doctor?

    Unfortunately, there aren't any "easy" solutions once your child is a legal adult. The best you can do is compel them (usually by withholding financial support) to start turning there life around. You aren't alone anymore, though... we have a very active group of fellow parents of young adults on this site that will give you tons of moral support and guidance as you continue on this journey. To that end, I'm going to move this thread to our Parent Emeritus forum so those members will more quickly find you.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the drugs to me. Yes, I'm a broken record, but, sadly, when there is a sudden change in a difficult child in his teens, drugs are usually in the mix. Pot can make people unmotivated and lazy. It's famous for that. I'm not sure no longer taking stimulants is the reason anymore. Stims plus pot and maybe other stuff (alcohol or more drugs) will make the stimulants not work the way they are supposed to and maybe even add to his high.

    Does your son understand the legal risk to having sex with a fourteen year old girl? There isn't anything you can do to stop him if her parents are ok with it, but if they break up or she decides to turn on him, it is considered statutory rape. Have you spoken to her parents?

    Since he is graduating soon, I would draw up a list of things he has to do in order to be able continuing living in the house, which is YOUR house. Make him sign it. If he won't, you have the option of having him leave. You can write out a list of soup kitchens and homeless shelters where he can reside until he decides to get help. Often, we parents of grown kids (who haven't really grown up) have to make this very difficult and heartwrenching decision in order to make our difficult child's see that they need to change.

    As for husband's bratty son, how does your husband deal with his rudeness? How old is he? Can he just tell you he's coming and he gets to stay? Does he ever help out when he is there? Ever talk to husband about it?

    I am sorry that Christmas is hard for you this year. Glad you found us though. Someone is always around to *listen.*

    Keep us posted. Others will come along too. The more info you give us, the better picture we get of the situation.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I answered you on "General Parenting" if you're interested in reading my response :) Welcome!
     
  6. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    Im sorry your family is going through this.

    I'm the last that should offer advice, but...

    Screamo felt ADHD medications muted his personality, too. Because he is drug and alcohol free and willing to work on getting off medications, we spent a summer developing coping skills so he could get off of them. That was two years ago. If he had asked to do it before that, I would have discouraged him, because he wasn't ready to put in the work.

    I don't think the issue with your son is ADHD medications; I think it is the drugs and alcohol. :-( You may wan to post on the teens and substance abuse board. They may have more answers for you.


    Could his old JrROTC leader or boss talk to him? They may be able to get through to him, since they are adults but not his parents. difficult children tend to shut out the ones who care about them most.

    Good luck. Again I'm sorry you are going through this.
     
  7. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    Thank you for your reply and sharing some advise. I have thought about the list you referred to for my 18 year old, that way he can not con himself out of what is expected (which is famous for doing). I have talked to him about the risks of underage sex, but this is the first girl who has paid any attention to him and he is hit with puppy love like CRAZY (has her picture on his phone as a screen saver and just sits and stares at it over and over).

    My husband doesn't think I should talk to her parents, thinking it could put us at risk moreso. My ex-husband doesn't want me to make waves - because I'm the only one that my son will half way listen to at this point. My understanding is that the girlfriend has an affluent life with her mom and step-dad and they've met my son and he's spent time with them on a number of occassions. My son (not having a job) decided to give this girl his class ring for her xmas present - even though I offered to help him buy her something for xmas (and suggested he could still do the class ring thing like kids do - but make it seperate than a present). My son seems so immature in his ability to process "common sense" things and think logically - and that has been the case for several years...even when he was in sports and was considered the "good brother". Because prior to going off the ADHD medications his younger brother was the angry and obnoxious one....so everyone at school and their local community center would say he was the good one and my younger son was the challenging one.

    As for my husband's son, he is 21 and has always been this way. We've always tolorated it to an extent, as long as it doesn't get too out of hand, because my husband only see's him about 2-4 times a year, over the last 5+ years. My husband's ex HATES my husband as much today as she did when they divorced 12 years ago....and has told my husband on a number of occassions that she would turn his oldest son against him "come He** or high water". She and her husband have also made a living of scaming the system in everyway possible and have stole family money, the list goes on. His oldest son has "bought into" that type of lifestyle "get everything you can" but my husband's youngest son has not - and begged to move in with us for 3 years. We finally accomplished that in Sept of this year and now the oldest son has decided he better not cut himself out completely.

    I will continue to check back throughout the day - just feel like I can talk about this and maybe help relieve some of the stress. Thanks for your kind words!
     
  8. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    Thank you both for your response. I think I sent just a "reply" to midwest mommy, so not sure where that will show up. I will just focus on this site's thread as not to cause any confusion. Please feel free to remove the other to posts, or tell me I need to (and how) and I'm happy to do it.

    I wish there was something parents could take to help tame all their anexiety, depression, anger and hurt - that wasn't considered "drugs" or cause negativie side effects. LOL Not sleeping hasn't helped my personality much either. Feel like I'm on a desert island that everyone can see - but doesn't understand how to help (or even if I need any help). And of course I don't even know what to tell them I need.......
     
  9. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    I have actually been looking for someplace to just chat with people for several months. Thank you for welcoming me....and Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays - whichever applies.
     
  10. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi again ostate2003. Two of your three threads had responses so I merged the threads here. I removed the third thread (with no responses) so as to prevent confusion among our members responding to multiple threads. :) It's often a little quiet on holidays around here but others will be along to greet you.
     
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Hi and Welcome! There are several of us who have been where you are and it is a heartbreaking place to be. I agree with Midwest mom it sounds like drugs are a problem to me... Unfortunately I speak from experience also as my 20 year old son has a drug problem (and is also ADHD and deals with depression). When he is using drugs, he stops caring about much of anything, is unmotivated, is rude and impossible. He is currently out of state in a rehab program and is hopefully on his way to doing better.... other threads I have written in this forum give more history. But really I do understand what you are going through.

    So my thoughts... do what you can to get very clear about your boundaries, what behaviors you will accept and what you won't. if he does behaviors that you find unacceptable then what is your reaction and what will the consequences be? Talk this over with your husband and hopefully get on the same page as he... it is important that you and he really communicate about this.

    You may get tot he place where you can't have him live at home anymore... find out what your options are for kicking him out. You may not be there yet and that is ok.... this whole thing is a process and those of us that got there (we ended up kicking my son out when he was 18) did not get there in a day.

    Unfortnately some kids only learn the hard way... and sometimes your only option is to get tough and do some tough love. You do not need to accept abuse of any kind from your son in your own home... it is amazing to live in a peaceful home after living in one that was totally chaotic and disruptive.

    My other suggestion is something that has been hugely helpful to me and that was finding a parents alanon group... it just plain helped me to find other parents who were going through this too... nice people with good values who also had kids who were drug addicts. And of course this forum has also been a huge help. One thing alanon talks about which is good to remember... the 3 Cs "You didn't cause it, you can't cure it, and you can't control it". The fact that at 18 he is behaving this way is NOT your fault. We all make mistakes as parents but now he is an adult and the choices he makes are his. It is getting time to stop protecting him from himself... and as a parent it can be just heartbreaking to watch their bad choices and the consequences for them.... but there is nothing you can do really.

    Hugs and keep coming here.

    TL
     
  12. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    I don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, but an 18-year-old having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old is statutory rape in just about every state in the US. Not sure what you can do about that, given that he's 18, but it's a ticking legal bomb. He should at least be admonished about it--this alone, aside from everything else he's doing, could land him behind bars in a serious way.
     
  13. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I didn't read the other replies so forgive me if I am repeating. Originally I would have said to kick him out but since he is still in high school I think it's very important that he graduate. It may be that you will have to tolerate (not accept or allow abusive behavior) some attitude just to get him through school. Once he graduates he should get a job and find other living arrangements. I would not allow drug use in the home nor would I allow him to drive any family cars. I also would take the leather coat back myself and hold the money for him for when he leaves home and needs it.

    Nancy
     
  14. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    It's not necessarily statutory rape. Google your state, you will be surprised at the variations between the 50 states. I'm in Maryland and 15 y.o. daughter is going with an 18 y.o. AND IT'S PERFECTLY LEGAL HERE. Parents have zero power and all the responsibilities of dealing with the fall out.

    Keep on posting. I have twins with add/adhd. Emotionally they are 2/3 of their chronological age and have made many stupid choices. They take longer to "cook". Things do get better with time. I know things are rough right now, but they do eventually come to their senses.
     
  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome, ostate.
     
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the board ostate. I am not sure what state you are in but like some folks say the age difference could be an issue or it may not but that may not be your biggest issue.

    It sounds like you are dealing with 2 or 3 fairly difficult children on some level. That has to be taking its toll on you. You asked about taking something as a parent. Many of the parents on this board have found that they needed to get on medication because of dealing with our challenging kids. There is no shame in that. If you really dont want to go the prescription route, there is the natural route with herbal stuff like melatonin for sleep and St Johns wart for mild depression.

    As far as the 18 year old goes, with him being so close to graduation I do think I would attempt to stick it out till he gets that diploma if at all possible. Then when he was about a week before graduation, I would sit him down and start talking about a contract for getting him either in college or working full time and getting out on his own. I do have a feeling drugs or drinking may have a role in this as well as him stopping his adhd medications if his behavior deteriorated after stopping those. If he ends up on his own and his life gets rather difficult for him on his own, he may end up accepting that he needs his medication again. I have found out that that my son is a totally different person when he lives on his own. Much more grown up and responsible and more of a pleasure to be around. We can hardly stand to be around him when he lives with us but when he lives away from us, he is fine. Of course, it took till he was in his early 20's for that to happen. They have studied this and found out that the frontal lobe doesnt completely finish growing until about 24/25.

    One thing you may want to suggest to your son if he is willing is the military. It has helped many young people grow up and gives them a step up and a place to grow into the person they want to be. My middle son who was/is ADHD did very well in the Marines. He is now working for the Sheriffs Dept. There is hope.
     
  17. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    Thank you all for your words of support and advise. I had my first counseling session to try and help me sort this out and it was suggested to me that if the school won't do the "random" drug test they already offered to do....that I take a sample of his hair and submit it for a drug test screening (so he doesn't have to go into a facility).

    Anyone have any comments, suggestions or experence with doing this? Can it be done through local facilities or does it have to be through mail order companies...and are the mail order companies reliable?

    Thanks again, I can't tell you how much this site has really helped take a weight off, just to be able to get suggestions/advise from others (instead of everyone in my family looking to me for all the answers decisions). :)
     
  18. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    Thank you for your reply. I have been through alanon, alateen, adult children, etc. but that was several years ago when my mom was getting sober but my dad was getting worse (20+). It was suggested that I go back to alanon, and I will try it - my only hesitation is that from what I remember, there was a lot of people in these groups that didn't want to do anything about their circumstance, they just wanted to place to get sympathy. I guess to an extent sympathy is what we are all looking for in hard times, I just want answers and options to be able to make a plan towards fixing or addressing the problem. Mayb have been the group(s) I was in too.

    I hope I hear back soon about the testing question I just posted. I agree with everyone here and this counsler, that I need to find out whether he is actually using or not as soon as possible so I can determine what my next steps are since the unknown is almost more upsetting than what the "worst case outcome" could be.
     
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm not familiar with using a hair for drug testing but I have brought difficult child to a local lab for a urine drug test many times. We made it a condition for her living here. You may want to call labs around you to see what their procedures are. The lab we used required her to sign a release when she turned 18.

    Nancy
     
  20. ostate2003

    ostate2003 New Member

    Thanks, I'm afraid to try and force the drug test on him because I did that a little over a year ago and it came up clean. He was so angry at me for quite a while. In my gut I feel like he's using/doing something, because he had two job offers (sears and and convienience store) that required drug testing and he had some excuse not to go. One of his relatives on his step mom's side who is closer to his age urged him to go take the test on his own so he could prove to everyone that he wasn't doing anything....but he just says "yeah, I'll think about it" or will tell you he will do something, then comes up with a LIE that is an excuse of why he didn't do what he promised.

    I know ADHD can cause kids to act some of the way he is acting, but I'm also not stupid enough to serioulsy consider the alternative. I would just like to find out without confronting him directly.....so I don't have to wade through the BS!!!!!!
     
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