Parent in Michigan--Desparate Need for Advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by butterfly, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. butterfly

    butterfly New Member

    Hi, everyone.
    I am a parent of a 17 y/o son, a 12 y/o son, and a 15 y/o daughter.

    The problem is, and has been, my 17 y/o violent actions on his family over the course of the last year. He has been diagnosed with CD, and "mood disorder, unspecified". He has been violent toward the youngest sibling, had charges brought against him for domestic violence (which I had dropped last month, as that was over nine months ago and I felt my oldest son, being in football, had a turned a new leaf. The judge did drop the charges and I honestly, with all of my mothering heart, felt like I did the right thing--we'd had no problems with him since Feb).

    Last month, however, he was suspended from school for assaulting another student. The football season has ended. He joined wrestling, only to drop out, avoiding his coach by text messaging himself from "Mom" that he had a "doctor's appointment and couldn't make practice," along with a slew of other excuses, to get out of going. I told him that I understood his not wanting to continue with wrestling, but that he needed to tell the coach, not avoid him and make up lies.

    A few weeks ago I was told by another parent, that her son had overheard at school that mine and another student had been using alcohol, smoking cigars, "tried" pot, and used that other boy's mother's prescription vicodin. All of which my son adamantly denied. I banned him from going over there.

    As we know, 17 y/o's find ways to get around that.

    Lately I've noticed that not only has his physique gotten much more "huge"; he's 6'1" and over 200 pounds, but also his jaw. His does the muscles in your jaw/face get bigger? I mean, this kid works out every day (or so he says; I've been known to go up there and not find him at the school where he says he was).

    A fellow coworker stated to me just now, while I called into work, because I am so depressed, that she'd been told that my son and this same other boy have been using steroids.

    This would explain most of it. Particularly the torrential mood swings.

    I'm tired of walking on eggshells with him. I simply confronted him on the night of December 15th regarding two failing grades and reports from his teachers that he's wasting class time, asked for his cell phone until he brought his grades up......and he called me a "di$K, :censored2:, $natchface, b!tch, and worthless nothing." (Please forgive me for posting these offensive words--I wanted my post to be as clear as possible.)

    Then, he jabbed me in the sternum. Four times. Followed my shoving me so hard, that I hit my right ear, right arm, and hip, followed by the back of my head, landing in the trash can. Covered in my own tears and coffee grounds.

    We've been instructed by the counselors to call the police every time he is violent. My fiance did.

    My son was arrested. He was bailed out by his girlfriend's family, lying, saying that he was arrested for striking my fiance', not me. Girlfriend's father apologized, saying "had I known he had hit YOU, I promise you he would have sat in jail." (My objective was to let him sit in jail until this weekend, so he had time to think about what he had done.)

    Now he is staying with a friend of his. Court date is Jan 6. He is not allowed to be here on the property for six months.

    My question:
    Do any of you know of websites that outline foster care in Michigan for 17 year olds? I understand that he is an "adult" in the legal system, but a "minor" when it comes to his needs, medical, expenses, living expenses.

    How can I get him out of this friend's house where he is staying? Can I? I don't want him there.

    He assaulted me. Do I need to physically pay for his living expenses? Do I have to pay for foster care? can I go about getting a urinalysis...particularly when he is to have "no contact" with me for six months.

    My heart is totally broken. I stare at the Christmas tree, and at his gifts, not knowing how I will handle Christmas. Without him. I know he needs a dose of reality....but trust me he is not getting it at this friend's house. He's probably getting sympathy and manipulating them to continue to use.

    What are my rights.....what do I do.

    I'm very sorry this is so long. I just need help so badly.

    I really cannot miss another day of work due to this .... but I can't sleep. All I've done is cry. Lay in bed with the covers over my head. I feel so lost and empty. Then I feel could he have hit his OWN MOTHER.....he has never hit me before.

    I sit in shock and heartbroken. But I need to start pulling myself together at some point, and face the unknown territory.

    Any advice for me?

    Thank you to whomever has read all of this; it truly means a lot to me.

  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Butterfly,

    I feel your pain, your disapointment, and saddness. I'm sorry, but I am unable to advise you regarding fostering in Mich or the specific issues regarding your son. I've not been there and dealt with those issues. But I can assure you that there will be others along soon that can help you get started.

    However, I will tell you that we can all relate to the "loss of a dream" when it comes to our difficult children. I would like to tell you that it gets easier or that in time you will accept the "loss". But the bottom line is that you have to just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and go on. You have to live your life, you have to live some level of normalcy for the other children and your fiance. You have to toughen your skin and polish your armour.

    There is no magic to living with the pain of a child who has done as your son has. It takes hard work and resolve. You have to know, in your gut, that you are doing what is ultimately best for him. You have to know that you are doing what is best for the rest of the family. You may very well decide that talking to someone yourself, a pastor, a therapist, etc., will help. Sometimes someone outside the situation can help the most.

    I'm glad though, that you found your way here. Knowing you are not alone is a big slice of comfort!

  3. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    Butterfly ~ I can only say AMEN to Sharon's post ~ Most of my six children have been a heaviness on my heart ~ If I allow it - it tries to destroy me.

    As Sharon said - there will be others to post that may offer more approriate or comforting words but I would encourage you to take care of you. Find balance.

    Of course we love our children and are going to worry about them - but for me I have to take a break regularily and seperate my thoughts or they spiral me down.

    Welcome to this board - I am new too and IT IS comforting to know YOU ARE NOT alone. The people here are VERY encouraging and I encourage you to visit often.

    Hugs to you - Judy
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. You truly are not alone. My difficult child is much younger than yours but we have been living with his violence for years (although right now his violence has been greatly reduced). It hurts and more than just physically. I think it's good that you followed through and called the police. I wish I had advice as far as the foster care system but we're not in Michigan and haven't dealt with it here either.

    Know that you have found a safe place to come, you will find much comfort here. As Judy said-find a way to take care of you. I know it's hard but it must be done. Many hugs to you today.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Honestly, I don't know how you are still standing. Many hugs for working so hard to keep him in the family.

    From my point of view, your thinking is a bit confused. Your concern about his dose of reality is too late. Your priority is to keep your children and you safe and for him to stay out of the house.
    The parents of the girlfriend, should take him in. What meddlesome people. You would think they would have called you before unleashing him into the world. I must say when you described his behavior I thought steroids. As long as he is away from you and you are safe don't worry about urine or fostering.

    You have for this brief window a chance to stop walking on eggshells and look to your other children for a week or two of peace. Put him out of your mind and don't let him ruin their holiday even when he isn't there. He seems quite capable and isn't going hungry. Close the door on that for now and focus on the positive of this time with the kids. They deserve your attention and your mothering. Focus on resting yourself and finding things to be grateful for.

    You will be dealing with difficult child soon enough. Enjoy this time. In the meantime, you need to develop a safety plan for yourself and your children. I am so glad you called police. I would have 911 on speed dial on the cell and keep it with you at all times. The kids need to know what to do and where to go if difficult child comes and is violent. He will appear and he will be violent again so having a plan will help you be prepared. There is a thread in archives on safety planning. Believe me you aren't the first to walk this ugly, ugly path.

    At some point the dream of what you thought your son would do or be is gone. His consequences will have to be his. It's ok to be sad and to grieve but don't think your life and the lives of your other kids have to go down the tubes due to him.

    Get counseling for yourself and your children. Don't take time off from work. Don't respond to his calls. Just heal and recharge. Soon you can research what Michigan will need from you as your son is punished. Don't drop charges. Ask for drug testing and rehab if necessary.
    Of course getting real legal advice from an attorney who knows the system is a must. You have to know what affects you and your other kids.

    Many hugs but be joyful that the kids and you are safe and can have time to not live in fear. Your broken heart has to be put to the side until you must deal with it.
  7. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    If he is gaining mucles stength very fast it could be a bad advice from his former coach or someone in the team. A sideeffect to such drugs are that people become aggressive.

    Expectations are difficult. If the coachs, team-mates apply pressure some can break or seek "shortcuts" by medication if they cannot honor the others. But the worst that could happen is if a person expects too much of him or her self without being able to honor it. It can lead to illness or even suicide.

    I am no doctor but only a person working in a large organization having some responsibilities in the Human Relations department. I would recommend time-off from it all together for 14-21 days. He needs to be away from people and decide on his future. If people didn't die all the time in various wilderness courses it could be a solution to choose one that isn't boot camp orientated. I believe that I saw one down in Mesa, Arizona. However it only has one problem, it should be his choice all the way. You can not force it on him and get anything positive out of it. Also it is too expensive if he is not positive about it before entering it.

    In Michigan I only know about a weekend boot camp in Howell and it would only be felt like a punishment. It wouldn't help him to decide about his future. It wouldn't give him the peace he need. A totally other solution would be to pay for a plane ticket to Norway and give him a Scanrail card plus a Hostel card for 30 days and a sum of money to live on.

    Of course there are no therapy in Scandiavia for him to find, but would it really help him? I feel that the core of the problem is that his life is running him rather that he is running his life.

    I hope that he finds direction in his life which could give you peace also. You are free to print this post out and give it to him. I give you my dearest support in such difficult times.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Rotse spoke my first thoughts. Steroids! Your head grows on steroids. You become moody and have behavior problems and it is very dangerous physically. Please,please test him to see if he is taking any steroids. They are rampant with athletes in high school and the coaches kind of turn a "it's not my problem" blind eye to the problem. Whatever else he may be taking (and I think he's a drug user--I don't think it was "just one time" at that woman's house)--please check him for steroids. Take him to your doctor. This is very serious. If he's violent, he won't last long in any foster home either. (((Hugs)))
  9. lillians

    lillians lillians

    the girls parents,,,grrrr they needed to contact yu before interfering is there anyone your son talks to,, someone that yu could ask questions of,,perhaps now his girlfriend she does know yu are having trouble now,, maybe her interfering parents,one of my older sons started to get out of hand many years back,, got into trouble and the judge sentenced hom to a type of bootcamp weekends for 9 weeks,it was very hard for him and did turn him around,,, when our kids do horrid things to us,,it becomes a viscious circle for them they know,,and do not like them selves much then out of sheer guilt become worse,computer,, can yu save his chats etc ,, read them make cookies and roast beef befreind his friends,, if its not to late talk to him ask him whay to do??? he may have an answer,, its all to sad when our children control our every move with such as he is doing,, hugs== i wish i had answers for yu
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Butterfly.

    I am so sorry for what you are going through.

    I don't know if your son will shape up anytime soon, but you will have to proceed with you plan to keep him out of the house and away from you and your family at this point. While he is on steroids, he is apt to be out of control.

    The info from the other parent's and/or teachers is invaluable. (And it's great that you listened; so many parents ignore things and think their kids are perfect.)

    Steroids are very difficult, indeed. My husband works out at the gym and he's seen several guys lose their memberships for being aggressive. They throw weights and barbells across the room. It's very dangerous.
    Sorry, you probably didn't need to know that, but it's all to say that you are correct in what you are doing so far.

    If he is placed in foster care, it probably won't curb his steriod use. The main thing is to get him away from what he's using. Can you find out where these kids are getting the stuff? (Mission Impossible, probably. Just a thought.)

    Again, welcome, and hugs.
  11. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    Maybe I am cynical but I know how much sports means for both the school and the town. In my town the entire cityhall went under investigation by the IRS because they paid too much for several buildings just so the builders could sponsor the sport clubs.

    Can we trust the people which should see the best interest of our children which looks up to these people thinking that if they work hard, these people will help them to succeed in the world? In many cases - no!

    You have a child which have a whole lot more when he was sent off the team. He did not only loose time to practice his choice of sport. He lost a big part of his identity. While you dont have social classes like in our society, in your high school you have kind of social order where the kids on the sport teams are right at the top.

    He is struggling right now. Maybe he also struggles with an addiction, but it is not important right now. He needs to do what they charge 5,000 dollars per months in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). They always take personal items and clothes away from the teens because a huge part of the identity is in the clothes and accessories.

    He needs to strip himself of his artificial identity. Once he does that, he will discover all the strengths and the good person he is inside. Thats why my advice was for him to get away from it all and he can do this without costing his family the costs for a Residential Treatment Center (RTC).