Several questions ~~need input from you all

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hearthope, May 25, 2007.

  1. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    I will condense this as much as possible ~

    My son lived with a woman and her son for almost 6 mths (age 16) I could not keep him home and CHINS petition was a joke. I never talked to this woman and later found out she tried to have charges of neglect filed against me. My difficult child filled her head with stories of abuse and neglect and she believed every word. Of course the PO, police, school principal, therapist, family intervention team all knew what was happening and said he was attending school and I should wait it out. Finally the day came when his true colors came out and she made him leave.

    I have found out where my son is living. The only time I have spoken to this woman was when my son was 14 and she provided alcohol for him and her son. I called her at work (wrong choice) and lost my cool.

    My question is do I contact this mom? Do I let her know she is enabling my son to continue on his path of destruction? Do I look the other way? Remember, I live is this tiny town (246 homes) easy child runs in to them at the store, etc.

    My son went to graduation last night. I can't understand that. All his fellow classmates are walking and getting diplomas and he comes to watch. Why doesn't that sink in to him? They are continuing on the paths of their dreams and he is running in circles with the same losers.

    I have totally stepped back. No calls, no help, no nothing. Do I stand in the shadows and let it all take it's course or do I need to show my concern? I am having conflicting feelings. It is scaring me how much I have put him out of my mind, is that normal?

    I didn't press charges on him for breaking in, he has the court date June 7 and I just couldn't be the one to bring more charges on him. The police scared his buddy, can't say they frighten my difficult child, but I don't think the buddy will be back.

    Thanks for listening to my ramblings and thanks for taking the time to post. I don't know what I would do without this board and all of you.
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think that is why I have been able to detach, I too tried to handle the gfgness, but taking from someone else that has WORKED to get what they have and continuing to use drugs I can not tolerate!

    He is in line for his "due to get!" He has gotten away with so much but on june 7 I think his eyes will be open.

    With his track record he is liable to have the money for the judge and continue on as he is..

    I have turned it over to God. His will be done. </div></div>

    I think you should reconsider pressing charges as well. JMHO.

    Many hugs and prayers, I know this is not easy.
  3. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Thanks! that is why I come here. I am feeling a little pushed against the wall.

    I am remembering my own feelings of being "discarded" from my family because of my choices, just questioning if I am doing the right thing.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    Parenting a difficult child is not for the wimpy. Sending you strength.

  5. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Thanks. I think graduation has done something to me.

    I made a late hair appointment mths ago so I would be in the city and no where near our town graduation night. I was fine last night, then this morning my phone at the shop rings off the hook with questions being asked about my difficult child.

    Some didn't know he was no longer in school, others wanted to let me know they FOUND him and who he was with and isn't that the same boy he got in all that trouble with? I think that is what got me second guessing myself, I have spent most of the day defending my stand against what he is doing and so many well meaning people couldn't understand why I wasn't "doing something" about how he is living :whew:

    I know none of them know the whole story, but I feel like I have been beat-up today
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    None of this is easy HH. I dont know if we can ever know what the right thing to do is. Do we call the cops every time we know they are doing something wrong? Do we just stand back and wait to see if the cops will figure it out on their own?

    I have about decided to take a wait and see stance because the cops here are about useless. They dont do anything even when I hand them evidence on a silver platter so what is the point in calling them?

    Thankfully I dont have neighbors or friends who tend to ask me too many questions anymore.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Your son is over 18. Sadly, he's of age even if his emotional level is much younger. You can't stop him from living where he wants nor doing what he wants as long as he isn't living with you. Would it do any good to call the woman who was willing to break the law with him previously? What could you say to her that would make a bit of difference?

    Having a daughter who would move out, come back, move out, come back, I simply remind people she's over 18. I can't stop her behavior, the best I can do is be there when she asks for help. Sadly, you're in the same shoes. It hurts to say it or even admit it to yourself but the reality is there is nothing you can do until he is ready to admit he needs your help and is willing to do whatever is necessary, including following your house rules.

    I'm sorry, I do understand your pain and feeling of helplessness.

  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I think you've finally reached a level of fairly comfortable detachment from difficult child's behavior. You're right. I think this whole graduation thing got you to second guessing yourself.

    It's rough when you're in a tiny town and everyone wants to "help".

  9. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hearthope</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    I know none of them know the whole story, but I feel like I have been beat-up today </div></div>

    You have been beat up, hearthope.

    This is the time you need to learn to trust your own mind.

    You may make a wrong choice. None of us who finds ourselves in this situation has any experience with motivating a child who is self destructing ~ or explaining that situation to family or to former friends of the difficult child.

    You get to make a wrong decision once in awhile. You are learning, too. Forgive yourself and go on.

    Do the best you can, the best you know.

    That is enough.

    It will not be perfect, and that is okay.

    There is no one who has not been through this who could ever understand what it is like to watch a child self-destruct. Those who call now or who offer advice or compassion now are doing the best they know. If you can think of some phrase which will get you through the immediate situation, write it down next to the phone or carry it in your pocket, and use it when these kinds of things occur. Things that worked for me were phrases like "protracted adolescence" or "exploring those other paths" or "I know! I can't wait until THIS phase is over".

    And all I was looking for was some way to accept the compassion or the question without falling apart myself ~ the pain of it all ~ as you know ~ is that intense.

  10. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member


    I forgot to answer the question. :redface:


    For any decision I needed to make relative to difficult child, I would ask myself how I would feel looking back on an action I had taken, or not taken, ten years from now.

    It has nothing to do with the difficult child anymore.

    It has to do with whether, in ten years, you will wish you had questioned this woman or not.

    My own feeling is that it will not change the situation ~ but then, sometimes it isn't about changing the situation.

    Sometimes, it's about standing up.

    Is this a place you want to take a stand?

    Is it worth it?

    Or will you wish, ten years from now, that you had said nothing?

    That is the only way you will know whether to proceed with this, hearthope.

    Journal about it, if you are not sure what your true feelings are.

  11. KFld

    KFld New Member

    As far as contacting this mom, you have to do what you feel in your heart is right. It probably won't do a thing as far as getting him to change his life, but if it would make you feel better, then do it for you.

    Sorry graduation day got you down. Just one more reminder of what he should be doing with his life.
  12. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Thank you all. It is so comforting to come here. It is true, no one else could comprehend the feelings that come with having a difficult child and watching the child you love destroy himself.

    It made no difference when he was 14 so I am sure now at 18 nothing I said to her would matter. I think it was to show her where I stood, that I loved my son and I would not "help" him go down the wrong path and bring to her attention that she was doing just that.

    I know that it is not her fault that my son is using, she thinks she is helping him in some way. Took me awhile to reach this point, I remember being so angry I wanted to shake her for allowing him to live there!

    I think I am seeing the bigger picture now. Detachment means that you are able to function and live your life but you will always question every aspect of how you deal with difficult child or how you choose not to.

    I have thankfully gotten past the hiding in bed, the sleepless nights, the overall feeling of horrible guilt. Yesterday was a reminder of how far I have come, I never lost it, I was caught off guard and working. I will be better prepared in the future.

    Right now I want to contact her, but I will take the weekend to think it over.

    I am remembering the conversations of past moms that took him in and most said they regretted not calling me. I know this one is different than the well meaning ones.

    When difficult child was 14 I can't count how many times we went there to bring him home. That home was forbidden and he was not allowed around her sons. I have never allowed either of her sons to be here. He was also the one here with difficult child when they broke in.

    Strange as it is, my son made his way to his dads (almost killed me) then now he has made his way to the second worst place.

    Can't help but wonder how he makes his choices. He found the two most devasting things that I took the biggest stand against.

    But, I am okay. All of you have helped me so much.

    I wish I could meet you all and give you the biggest hug for the difference you have made in my life

  13. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    " well meaning people couldn't understand why I wasn't "doing something" about how he is living ---"

    They couldn't possibly understand. At one time ant's mom posted a short inspirational essay called "Where were the parents." It really helped me a lot. It talked of all the parents had done and how none of their efforts made any difference. I guess I am also different because I have dealt with addictive behaviors for so long---my gfgmom (gambling), my gfgdad (alcohol), my husband (prescription drugs) and when difficult child started acting out and I realized he was abusing drugs I knew how to detach. I don't let anyone make me feel bad about my parenting skills----I know that something genetic makes my difficult child the way he is. There is nothing I could have or can do to make him better. His choices are his little red wagon to pull---I offer support for making good choices---but I don't let him get away with bad choices. I have pressed charges against him---and he knows I will do it again. I see some changes taking place in him now---he just turned 19---but those changes have come about because he has decided to change. He still has a long way to go. He will never be "normal" in the eyes of the world---he can have, however, depending on the choices he makes a "normal" life.

    I feel for you. I, too, live in a small town. I also teach at the only high school. I see kids everyday who were friends of my difficult child and grew up with him, hung around my house. They are moving on. They are growing up. He is stuck at 14. I remember when they all looked up to him in middle school. He was the skateboard and hockey star of the town. All the girls wanted him to be their boyfriend and all the guys wanted to be him as a best friend. No, they look at me and smile---but they don't ask about Tripp. No one asks about him---So, I talk. I tell the truth. He started using pot and it ruined his life. They know what he was and what he is now.

    The last time we kicked difficult child out, he went to stay with a "friend." He and the friend decided to steal the friend's grandfather's checks. difficult child tried to cash one at a store owned by a friend of the family. She refused to cash the check. She called the cops and called husband. husband told her to press charges. difficult child is serving 2 years probabtion and if he violates he will serve 4 years in prison. The friend claimed that difficult child did it all on his own. I think that helped Tripp see that his "friend" wasn't really his friend at all.

    My prayers are with you. I hope you can find some peace in your heart.
  14. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Thanks for sharing Katmom.

    You are a strong mom. I couldn't face difficult child's friends everyday. It took me a while before I could even go to the high school for easy child after all that happened with my son.

    Maybe I should look at where you are and the strength you have and learn from it

    Hiding behind doors to keep from the feelings I experience when confronted about my son is not healthy. I felt like I had made it so far with my feelings, if that was true I would have attended the graduation to see the other kids graduate. I hid at my hairdressers.

    Thanks again for sharing. Your post gave me alot to think about
  15. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    HH--strength comes with the letting go of guilt. I KNOW I was a good mom. I tried it all and when nothing worked, I let go and let difficult child fall. And he fell hard. It has been a rough few years.

    difficult child had every opportunity to do well. He is very smart---the most intelligent of my three---and the other two are often in awe of his knowledge---pcdaughter looked at him the other day and said, "You are so smart---do something with it!"

    He is talented---he just started skateboarding again after about 4 years. At 14 he had big companies wanting to sponsor him---he ruined his chance with his drug use and attitude. He got back on the skateboard a few weeks ago and came alive again. Right now he and his former best friend are in my drive. They have built ramps and a rail and are having a ball.

    But...he is still a 14 year old in a 19 year old body. But like with everything else in his life, skateboarding is an obsession. That's all he wants to do, all the time. He lives for the next chance to get on his board. It's just like with the drugs----he can't focus on more than one thing at a time---and it is so frustrating to see that. I KNOW it is a part of his makeup---
  16. Scent of Cedar I

    Scent of Cedar I New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: katmom</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    They couldn't possibly understand.

    There is nothing I could have or can do to make him better. His choices are his little red wagon to pull---I offer support for making good choices---but I don't let him get away with bad choices.

    No, they look at me and smile---but they don't ask about Tripp.

    No one asks about him---So, I talk. I tell the truth. He started using pot and it ruined his life. They know what he was and what he is now.


    Wow, katmom.

    That was beautifully written.

    I am copying this out.

  17. KFld

    KFld New Member

    He is choosing to live with these people, because he cannot get away with what he wants to in your home, but he obviously can there. It's not meant to hurt you, it supports his lifestyle that he's choosing to live. Maybe someday he will change, but in the meantime, you are doing great with the detatching.
  18. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Thank you all

    I have decided NOT to contact the mom

    I now see that my reasoning behind contacting her was to validate my own self. To prove to her that I was a good mom and I was doing what a good mom should do by not "helping" my son while he was using and destroying himself.

    I know what line my son crossed to be asked to leave.

    My son knows what line he crossed to be out of the home.

    That is really all that matters.

    I want to speed the process of him hitting bottom and finally looking up and I am too aware that as long as there is someone cushioning his fall he won't get there.

    I cannot manipulate the situation any longer. To let go is to completely let go.

    Thank you all for being there to help me work through this :flower:
  19. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Prayers, big hugs, love and understanding coming your way.

    I think you are a very good mom.

  20. KFld

    KFld New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hearthope</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    I cannot manipulate the situation any longer. To let go is to completely let go.

    </div></div> :bravo:

    I think that was the hardest step in my detatching, but it does feel great when you get to that point.