Stealing from us again!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by overstressed, Jan 13, 2015.

  1. overstressed

    overstressed New Member

    Last week our 19 year old son stole from us again!
    First I want to give a little back ground info. We adopted him when he was 2 days old. He started smoking pot and using drugs around 14. This is when everything really started to get bad. He has been in and out of rehab numerous times for drugs, and nearly as many for psycological problems. He has been diag. with manic bi-polar, continues drug usehas no job or vehicle (he's had 3 and totalled 2). We have kicked him out 2 other times for stealing from us and our now 16yo daughter and allowed him to return but not in our house unless we're there.He stays in our camper when we're not. He had been doing better until Christmas when we bought him gifts instead of giving him cash. My wife came home from work early one day last week and he was standing next to the road, she stopped and ask him what he was doing, he says he's waiting for a ride. She called me and told me that he was acting strange, so when I got home I checked everything out and sure enough I had several things missing from my shop, which was all found the next day at a local pawn shop. They confirmed that he had sold the items the day before. When he was confronted he admitted taking them and says he owed some money and they were threatening him. I had given in many times in the past but not this time. I told him he had to find somewhere else to live. I have gotten sob stories from him ever since about have no where to go. I told him the best I could do for him was take him to a christian shelter.
    Overstressed
     
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  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I think you did the right thing. You have given him opportunities for treatment and to help himself. His mental health is a definite issue but it doesn't seem like he is trying to overcome it. Plus he is repeating an action he has done in the past. My suggestion would be to take him to the shelter and let him know you will only support the actions he takes to get better. IE: Dr appts
     
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi OS,

    It sounds like you have done all you can. It's such a vicious cycle to get caught up in, help them out, get screwed over, lather, rinse, repeat......

    I know the stress you are dealing with, it really takes a toll. I think you are doing the right thing.

    ((HUGS)) to you. Hang in there.
     
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  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry. That's really sad. You've done so much for him and he has blown it. He will have to hit bottom.
    Change your locks if you have not already done so. And change the locks on the camper.
    I know it's hard to lock out your own child, but he's got to learn. Again, I am sorry.
    I hope I don't get to that point with my son.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Probable translation:
    He bought drugs and owed the dealers (my daughter went through this). He sold his things for drugs or to pay the dealers.

    From now on I would never buy him anything. If you feel the urge to get him gifts, he is safest getting $20 gift cards that can't be changed into money, a few at a time. Something drug dealers don't want and pawn shops won't take. You can also buy socks, tooth paste, a cheap towel, a hat (not that he will wear it), cheap t-shirts and other things of no value. Never cash. Never expensive gear. If you buy boots, get them at Walmart on sale. Again, he probably will not wear them. Everything under $10 is a good thing. If you buy him top notch Columbia snow boots, he will sell them for $$$, for example and probably never even put them on. Our difficult children are WEIRD about not seeming to worry about the cold. Maybe they have good warm places to sleep that we don't know about. They sure won't tell us. That would keep us off edge and they want us on edge so we'll send the money.

    But anything you give him that is worthwhile will probably be pawned somehow, in some way, on drugs. Expect his excuse to be that somebody stole the things from him. I heard that enough times to make me want to permanently destroy my hearing. If you are "iffy" on whether or not he is on drugs, all I can tell you is he is acting exactly like my daughter when she did cocaine, meth and psychedelics. And she made deals with devils (aka drug dealers) who threatened her life. But she, of course, told us she only smoked pot sometimes and never mentioned the drug dealers.

    Like the naive, denial-prone idiot I was I believed she only smoked pot and even that scared me, but nothing like it would have scared me if I'd known the truth. They all cop to pot. They don't cop to the other stuff. And then we are shocked when we find out. If we do. I seriously hope you don't. but ya don't go to pawn shops for pot. It's way easy to get.

    The best thing that ever happened to her was to move out of state with a relative. It was there that she could finally quit without pressure of her (cough) "friends" doing all they could to keep her going. Misery LOVES company. She DID quit.

    My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar as well. Funnily, once she stopped using drugs, her moodswings and raging also stopped and it has been over ten years...she obviously is not bipolar or in any way mentally ill. Be careful...it is hard to get a correct diagnosis while somebody is using drugs.

    I hope you a happy ending too and, in the meantime, be careful about what you give him. And take care of yourself too. I think Al-Anon rocks the boat for coping skills, support, and the price is right. I hope you take care of you during these nightmarish times.

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 13, 2015
  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Overstressed, I am so sorry to hear your own son has been stealing from you. That is heartbreaking. I agree with MWM, it sounds to me like he got in over his head with owing some money for drugs.

    For what it's worth, I would have done the very same thing you did. Also, I would have an honest conversation with him and tell him that if it IS drugs, he needs to get some treatment and support via AA/NA or other means.

    It is so devastating when they tell us they have nowhere to go and we have to tell them they have to leave anyway. But that is the way the world works, and the way families work. If you steal, you end up with nowhere to go...other than somewhere much worse than a Christian shelter.

    I am hoping this is the wake-up call he needs.
     
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  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Overstressed...I completely understand. As my signature shows, we put our 19 year old out in October after discovering nearly $700 missing from our room. He had stolen and pawned stuff before. He went to college and while there probably didn't attend a whole week, sold everything of value, ended up at home. He was warned, and when the money was missing we told him to pack. He lived in a homeless shelter until a couple weeks ago when we rented an apartment so he could have a place to sleep nights. We're now dealing with an arrest for shoplifting. It seems that no matter what we do it gets worse.

    All we can do is wait and see. We did all we could. You did all you could. It's up to them now.
     
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry OS. It is so hard to deal with our troubled kids stealing from us. I think you did the right thing. You've arrived in a place where we do understand what you're going through. You're welcome to also post on the substance abuse forum, the parents there have a lot of experience with kids doing drugs and drinking. You can post in both forums.

    You might want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. A good book you may also find helpful is Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie. Many parents here find solace, support and guidance by attending 12 step groups like Al Anon, Narc Anon and Families Anonymous.

    This is a tough path you find yourself on. I hope you continue to post here, it is very helpful to share our stories and get support from others who've been where you are.

    Welcome OS, we're glad you're here.
     
  9. overstressed

    overstressed New Member

    Well last night was tough. He convinced my parents to let him stay with them a few nights, he text me around 5:00 yesterday and ask if I would come pick him up and take him to a friends house, he was going to stay there for a while. Around 10:00 last night he text me that he couldn't stay there I'm sorry can I please stay or our house and that he wanted to try to get into rehab. Now keep in mind that he has done this exact same thing every time he's got into trouble as his way of saying he was trying to do better. I didn't allow it. I told him I would take him to the shelter. After many text from him he finally agreed to go. The shelter I took him to has a drug program as well as vocational training center and housing for up to a year at no charge. I just hope he will accept the help they can offer him. This was very hard for me because I am usually the one who caves in in situations with him.
    Stressed
     
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  10. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Well of course you are doing the right thing. You child is mentally ill, no fault of yours. He NEEDS to get help as all of you will be struggling with the consequences of this horrid diagnosis probably for the rest of your lives. I think it is a good thing to get him put of your house. He needs more help than he can get while living at home and let's face it few people can stay home and babysit their adult child. Putting him out opens up to him, social services from the government to deal with his mental illness. Also be aware that just because he can no longer live with you, doesn't mean it is the end of the relationship with you as part of his family. It just ends his ability to ruin your and your families everyday life. Stay strong and don't let him back - get him a PO Box and have him change is address so he has no legal right to return home. Actually with his illness, you are doing him a favor (may not feel like it, I know) as he will likely get better services than if he were living with you.
     
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  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    GOOD.FOR.YOU!!!!!!!!
     
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Doing what you've done is probably the hardest thing any of us will ever do. I've done it, and many of the other parents here have too. It is devastating for us. But, as you already know, there comes a time, when we are left with that as our only alternative, or allow the behavior of our adult troubled child to ruin our lives and everyone else's life in the family........and of course, that does absolutely no good for your son either. You made the right choice. Make sure you and your wife get support so you can stay the course. This is tough. Hang in there.
     
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    As hard as it was to do that you did the best thing for him, you and your family. You have offered him a way to turn his life around now it's up to him. You have your own life to live.
    While it may not always feel like it, you did the right thing.

    :staystrong:
     
  14. overstressed

    overstressed New Member

    I just got a call from him telling me there was no way he was staying there again much less trying to go their program and be a prisoner there. I don't know what else to do.
    Overstressed
     
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    As difficult as it is and no matter how much it hurts you will not do him any favors if you allow him to come home. Remind him that last night he was wanting to go in rehab.
    If it were me, I would tell him he cannot come home, that he lost that privilege when he stole from you. He has created the mess he's in and it's not your responsibilty to fix it.

    I really do know how hard this is. I and many others here have been where you are.
     
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't think there is anything else you CAN do. If he doesn't want to stay in the shelter, that is his choice, he is choosing to throw away the one opportunity he has now. He is likely betting on the fact that you will cave, or someone will rescue him. It is usually only when no one shows up to rescue them, that they actually make any moves to change. Or not. Sometimes they become homeless. My daughter is homeless due to the choices SHE made. There is nothing you or I can do. It's hard. But all we can do is learn to let go.
     
  17. overstressed

    overstressed New Member

    He says he still wants to go to rehab. I told him that or the shelter would be the only place I would take him.
     
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  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    OS, I think rehab is something he obviously needs...if he is ready to hear the message. My son used rehab TWICE as a 3 hots and a cot type of deal. But they have to have that chance...maybe something will click this time. If nothing else maybe he will get his head clear long enough to see what he is doing to himself and his family. I'm so sorry, we do know how very very hard this is. You are doing great. Stay strong.
     
  19. hopeandjoy66

    hopeandjoy66 Member

    Stay Strong SO. I wish life wasn't so hard for us when it is their doing that got them where they are at.
    MWM, our difficult child was given grocery gift cards from his grandma and guess what he did. Sold them out side the grocery store for what he could get for them. Nothing is sacred, or worth keeping. Stay strong SO you have a lot of people supporting you. Keep posting.
     
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  20. overstressed

    overstressed New Member

    I've made up my mind this time. He won't be back to stay. This has been a cycle with him for the past 3 years. Maybe I should have pressed charges this time. He may get worse before he gets better if he gets better. He hangs out with rig raff who have parents that don't care or are just as bad and don't see why I have a problem with what he is doing because his friends parents allow it. My wife and have worked for everything we have but for some reason he thinks the world owes him. I just don't get it.
    Stressed
     
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