This Support Group fell from the Heavens

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lupylisa, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    Hello Everyone.

    So I was searching as I usually do for a "pat on the back" that not letting our 18yo difficult child come back home was the right thing, and boy did I get what I was searching for!!! I have NO idea how I have not seen this site in the 10+ years I have been "googling" for answers. Our middle son, the difficult child, was diagnosis at 6 w an anxiety d/o possib schiz, later evolved into just Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)/ODD, then about a year ago they switched to a Bipolar diagnosis, not that any of this really matters right? We all have children, yes children even thought they are >18, that have given us trouble and continue to shake us to the core, regardless of their diagnosis or our diagnosis.

    I won't go into a complete hx but suffice it to say its been a rough 2 years and I feel like it's just beginning actually. He was addicted to presc. medications in 2011 but was sent to a psychiatric facility last summer and has been off those since. However he never quit smoking weed, and dabbling in others occasionally? But the substances are not the primary problem so I post on this forum vs substance abuse. His primary problem is his inability to obey anyones set of rules and to constantly challenge the boundaries. My husband (husband?) has been the "good guy" constantly picking his boundary up and moving it back bc "Im scared he will kill himself". Only recently have I begun to be hardened to this bc I think he is using it against us/him. During the last month he has taken the car with-o a license and permission and eventually brought it back dented when we said we would call the police. Taken our debit card and managed to get 3K of money and merchandise (yes it hit on Day 1 of the month when our checks were deposited). He disappeared again and then resurfaced full of remorse but no plan as to how to get a job or pay us back or enroll in the college we were offering to enroll him in. The last 3 weeks he started this pattern of being in the house M-Th and being w friends on the weekend. During this time my husband and I were discussing (sometimes heatedly) what to do and talking to MY counselor who agreed to meet w both of us (as she saw it was my husband not me that was squirly on the boundary issues). So we set up THE all know the one right? Where you give them the ground rules for living at home: curfew hours, get a job, no drugs, enroll in school. Well we even gave him 2 plans, the other being Get OUt and we will put you in one of those apts near campus where you rent a room and you can go to college while you get a job (We are fortunate enough to live within 3 miles of a university). Well he said he wanted out, but didn't want to do that apt thing, so we told him to go get a plan and bring it to us. Thats where we were when he STOLE AGAIN! I did not think he was coming home (he'd been away for 2 days again) and left my car keys out and he got the keys and got my credit card. Difference was this time I had put an alert on it so he was shut down by the company quickly when the pswd failed 11 times!! I was furious!! We still weren't over the prior theft and I was mad bc we weren't "doing anything" letting him walk around w a watch and clothes he got with our money!! And he up and does this again. Well thats all it took for me. I called his girlfriend phone and told them/him to not bother coming home blah blah blah. I told my husband he better not let him come home etc. Well son was all remorseful texting his woeful sorries etc and I felt myself seeing the beautiful lil blond boy of my dreams. Soon I found myself telling him we would help him but things were not going to be the same. Lucky for me he did not take me up on this bc it was Friday, you know party time til Monday when all his friends go back to work and school.

    So today is Monday and sure nut he calls Dad about coming home. I was furious!! I told husband just to tell him No. He knew this is what he had to do and then we wishywashed around again and decided we would tell him he had to obey the rules we went over the last time (you know THE PLAN). So he did and GTG acted appropriately angry so it made it way easier. husband called for moral support and together we decided that we did the right thing, but man does it hurt!!! I told husband we were thinking about this way more than him and I believe this is true. husband keeps saying "he has no where to go" and I keep reminding him to think of all the wrecked cars, counseling hours, and look at our bank statement where we should have residual money at the end of the month and instead we have used the credit card to pay household bills.

    So folks. Moral support for this decision but I fear it is not over. What have you all done when asking a child to leave? Did you provide an apartment, a grocery gift card, college tuition? What?


    Ill try to fill in the rest later. The other important factor in all this is we have a just turned 15 yo son still at home that is a great kid, watching our every move. He has been through so many emotions with his brother but has landed on the angry stone for now (since his brother also stole his glasses and phone on this latest spree)
  2. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    It is a nightmare, for us, not so sure it is for them!!!!!!!!!!

    He finds a place to live for 3 days a week, where is he getting the money from?? Mine worked but he spent it as fast as it came in. They all cover for each other.

    Mine never stole my car (but everything else) but he did steal my keys and give them to two new 'friends' to steal my car. FOR SPITE because I was getting really tired of him.

    He will not change as long as he does not have to and doesn't want to. He will continue to steal because you are easy prey and he feels like you will not report him.

    It is so very hard, this online book is a good place to start. It is written by a therapist having problems with her own son. All of the pros say get them out of the house and stop giving them money. Easier to say than do, but you will be able to detach more and think clearer (less emotions) without his drama at home.

    Have hubby read the book and the posts here, it is a big help. You and yours deserve a life too!!

    (((blessings for us all)))
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Welcome. So sorry you had to find us, but this is a great site, isn't it?

    You absolutely, positively did the right thing. You both know that. And yes, it hurts like the dickens!!! But, sometimes the best things we do for our children are the hardest to do. What motivation would he have to change anything? He has life by the you know what living there at home during the week and partyng on the weekends. My difficult child lived very similar when she was here only sometimes she wasn't here during the week either. We were her crash pad and food source. And while she was here, she treated everyone like dirt. Her needs and wants were the only ones that mattered.

    My difficult child is a drug addict. She was back home for just a month when I found a meth pipe in her room. I then gave her the choice to go to rehab if she wanted to live at home. She made the choice to not live at home. She was 17, a legal adult in our state. We provide nothing but her cell phone. It doesn't cost us anything and it is the one thing that lets me know she is still alive. I, too, have a son that is turning 15 this year. Knowing he was right across the hall from a meth pipe solidified my decision. I can't say it worked to straighten her out, yet. She is very much in the throes of addiction right now and to be blunt, her life HOOVERS. But there is nothing I can do about it but offer her another choice. I offer rehab. Anytime she is ready. But I cannot offer her my home...

    (((HUGS))) and let husband know you both did the absolute right thing.
  4. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    Thank you both. Like I said, a pat on the back. I love the expression "I can offer you rehab but not my home". He too could benefit from rehab even if it is just pot which it probably is more than that when he parties. I think friends must be giving him money for now or taking him to party with him(there is a 20 yo girlfriend still in/out of the picture that has her own sad life story....and hers really is sad and she's semi pulled herself up by the bootstraps w dead parents and no family and does have a job and is going to school). she is part of our problem in that he was "stable" when he was with her although their relationship is weird and they scream at each other a lot. We sort of just chose to ignore the issues when he was w her and living w her. Our family even did a lot to help this girl initially. But of course she has grown tired of him too and tells him what we tell him "grow up and get a life and a job". Which has put him in his latest tail spin. But it will always be this way I truly believe. I do not see him ever not arguing w a boss or anyone that asks anything of him for any period of time. He simply just can not hold things together.

    So now after I posted the phone rang and it was the girlfriends aunt (loose term but she has taken this girl in and keaton did live there for awhile until she kicked him out). She is calling (left msg) that "how is it that Keaton has now become her problem". ??I don't know?? We didn't tell him to go there we just told him to not come home. Im not sure what to do and am gonna let husband deal with the drunken aunt (oh yah she is a total sod herself). So apparently girlfriend went to work at 4 and GTG stayed behind at the house instead of going and sitting in girlfriends truck like my husband told him to do (or going and looking for a job on foot near her workplace like he told him to do).

    When will this ever end? Ive got lots of reading to do and so much to share at some point. The one word of advice I am going to post on the Little Kids forum site is what I perceive was our biggest mistake with all of our children (they've all got entitlement issues). We as parents did NOT do our job in that we OVERDID our job. What I mean is that we never let them be uncomfortable from the time they were babies. We bought the top rated car seat that was oh so padded, and the music groups, and the sports clubs, and we were PTA moms which meant we had full access to all teachers to tell them when lil johnny was right and she was wrong or maybe that "johnny had issues so be gentle with him". And we intervened to right their every wrong instead of just letting them suffer the consequences and fail. They were bored so we bought things to do or took them places. You get the drift. It is indeed generational, in my humble opinion, and we were riding the highs of the 80s back then. Our parents on the other hand could care less whether we were bored, and if we told them the teacher was wrong, they would tell us the teacher is always right. And if the neighbor kid was mean to us, they'd say go work it out. They went out on date night whether we liked it or not staying behind to eat a TV dinner w the babysitter. They let us be UNCOMFORTABLE and we learned how to adjust to discomfort. Unfortunatley for most of our GTGs they feel that it is our job or societies job to make sure that they are never uncomfortable. Anyway thats my rant.

    Ive got to go to the grocery. Thanks so much for any and all advise. I read it all for or against for that is how we learn, from each other.

    Doin the best that I can....
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You have absolutely done the right thing, and need to stand your ground. As you say, your 15 yo is watching, but your 15 yo is also behaving. He's got 3 more years of high school - I assume - and needs some solid ground to make important decisions about his future. You have done your best with your eldest, and he has made his choices. He can still turn it around, but so long as he thinks that you and husband will give him a place to sleep and food to eat, why should he?

    Think of when he was learning to walk. He tried, he fell, he tried again and eventually you let go and eventually he was walking and running. Now it's time to let him figure out where to sleep and what to eat. If he's anything like most of our kids, some poor sap will give him a sofa to sleep on for a while, and get tired of his nonsense. Then - probably for the first time in his life - someone other than you and your husband will tell him that he needs to man up and get a job or go hungry. Count on it that he will be back at your door crying, but if you let him back because someone else wouldn't put up with him, you'll be back at square one.

    Be strong and know that you're not the first. You're letting go of his hand, and letting him be a man. As Chris Rock says, "Get that grown man off your couch!" ;)
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome lupylisa, glad you found us. I'm sorry you're going through this with your son. Other parents are more experienced with the issues you are facing, however, I agree that it is time for him to leave your home and find his own way. And, I know how hard that is too. Most of us with adult kids have had to face what you are facing in one way or the other. It hurts, but you deserve to live a life of peace, you certainly don't deserve this! You are absolutely doing the best you can. Take a deep breath and read what the warrior parents are sharing with you, they've been there done that, and can offer sound advice. This is a special place where we get it, so sound off, let go, be soothed and take care of yourself WELL, so you have the strength and the inner conviction to do what has to be done. It's detaching and it's a real bear of a process, but you can do it, you have to do it, for your 15 year old, for your husband, for yourself and for your difficult child. It's time. (((((HUGS))))) And, prayers that your path gets easier and you find peace.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. My son also stole money from me in the way of forging checks. The very best thing I ever did for him was prosecuting him. Oh he had taken my debit card a few times over the years and taken small amounts and I scolded him and threatened him and even took him down to the bank and had them tell him what could happen to him if he continued on this path but it did no good. When he finally forged my checks while I was out of town, it was on like white on rice. By the time I got back into town I could see the checks online and I saw his handwriting on the checks. Problem was there was a whole checkbook stolen so I went to the bank and signed forgery affidavits and cancelled all my checks. In fact, I had them shred every checkbook I had and I havent had any checks since July 2007. That was the month my son did this.

    The good thing to come out of this is that while my son is now a convicted felon, he is also doing so much better. He isnt mad at me. He has told many people that I did what I had to do. He hasnt stolen anything since then. He lives on his own now. He has two little girls and a live in girlfriend. He is much much better. He is completely off of probation and everything now. It was a rough going for a time but its over now.