Went and did it to myself this time....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Mikey, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Okay, so I stepped in the poo this weekend and now don't know what to do.

    Last week, difficult child had a session with his therapist, and he brought along his easy child girlfriend. This was after a letter I wrote to difficult child stating that if he wanted to be a member of the family, he needed to start acting like one (right now, he wants the freedoms of an adult but the bennies of a child).

    I was expecting him to come home in foul, combative mood. But he didn't. Therapist called later to tell me both he AND easy child girlfriend got on my son to grow up a little and start acting like the person he wanted to be treated as. Unexpectedly, he didn't seem to fight it. ????

    Well, as I've said before, I dread weekends the way some people dread having rusty needles stuck in their eyes. Weekends are freetime for difficult child, and freetime = acting out time. So Friday came, and I was expecting the same old game.

    I did have a conversation with difficult child on Friday afternoon, though, trying to play on the therapist session. Told him that maybe this would be a good weekend to start working on some things together. He didn't say much, but he didn't leave the car and run away from the conversation, either (which is what he normally does).

    I also offered to help with Prom costs and his cell phone if he'd respect his curfew all weekend, which he said he would.

    Friday night came, and he was actually home early from curfew. :whew:

    Saturday came, and difficult child was actually around a bit - helped move some furniture around, etc. More than he's done for a while.

    But that night, we were taking my older son out for dinner and a movie for his birthday. difficult child decided to hang out with his drug buddies instead, but said he'd be home by curfew. I was pretty upset that he'd choose his "friends" and pot over a chance to be with us for a birthday soiree, but that was his choice.
    :grrr:
    The only thing I did was call his girlfriend (whom I thought I had a good relationship with) and asked her to keep difficult child from driving if he'd been "indulging". She said she'd try. difficult child called later to ask if girlfriend could "spend the night". I said (a) only if her parents said it was okay - we weren't going to lie to them, and (b) they weren't sleeping in the same room. He said okay.

    So, off we go to dinner, expecting him and girlfriend back at the house when we got home. The movie was a late one, and we didn't get out until after midnight. Drove up to the house, his car wasn't there. GRRR! Called him several times, he didn't answer. Double GRRR!!! Called his girlfriend, got directions to his "friend's" house, dopped off the family, and off I went to finally have it out.

    Got to friend's house, and sure enough there was his car. I didn't know which house it was, though, so I didn't go banging on doors. I simply started calling repeatedly and texting, hoping to bug him enough to come out and talk with me.

    In the middle of this, at 1:30am, sitting on his car in the middle of a cul-de-sac, I get a call from my daughter saying that my son is asleep in his bed.
    :hammer:
    I come home, tail between legs, knowing what's going to happen in the morning. difficult child wakes up on Sunday, tells me to stop "stalking" him, stop talking to his girlfriend, and then walks away.

    So this time, I really screwed the pooch. I went to all the trouble to write him a letter from the heart, his doctor and girlfriend supported me, he said on Friday he'd really think about the letter and at least be open to it, and then he did everything he said he'd do, even getting home early on curfew both nights! Was even pleasant to be around, and was home more than he had been for a while. He even left his car at friends house because he didn't want to drive while stoned!

    Boy, did I mess this one up!

    I apologized, said that "I guess trust goes both ways, and we both have a ways to go to get back to the center". difficult child said I was making too big a deal of it, and walked away.

    I've tried to apolgize, and my wife says that I have to remember that I reacted that way because of his prior actions. I still feel pretty bad, though, because it was an otherwise really good weekend - he tried (a little), and got nothing back in return.

    :hammer: :hammer: :hammer:


    I still feel like I screwed something big up, though. I've been harping and ranting for weeks about him either trying harder with the family, or giving up and acting like a tennant. He made the effort, and was rewarded with the same treatment he normally gets when he acts out.

    Not sure where to go from here - just needed to get this off my chest.

    Mikey
     
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Mikey, He didn't want to drive because he was stoned and you are at fault for suspecting him of wrongdoing when he was angellicly asleep in bed???????????????? NOT!!!!!!!!!!

    He is the one that needs to earn your trust not the orher way around. Stop letting him lay guilt on you and put his actions back in the crosshairs. -RM
     
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with rejected mom! You are blaming yourself where no blame exists.

    Thats like saying...well I killed someone but I cleaned up the mess! You should be happy with me. DUH!

    It would be one thing if we were talking about an adult over the age of 21 who had a bit too much to drink and got a ride home instead of driving but we arent. He is smoking pot...still illegal in this country. I have this conversation all the time around my house.

    Last time I checked, it is still your responsibility as his parent to know where he is and if that means texting him and calling him at 1 am...well so be it.

    I happen to be a bit meaner than you are so your son wouldnt like me very much.
     
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Thanks you guys, but it's a little bigger than that. He made an effort all weekend to do what he said he'd do. We didn't talk about his substance abuse, only about his conduct around the house and his respect of curfew (trying to start small with things that are easier to address - build momentum of success to tackle the larger issues, like S/A).

    So that's what happened - we had an agreement, he kept his end of the bargain (and more). That's why I feel so bad about this. I used the analogy a while back about trying to coax an abused dog out of the woods with food and kind words. Well, I now feel like I got the dog to the food bowl, only to throw a rock at him when he was just starting to trust me.

    :rolleyes:

    Mikey
     
  5. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Don't kick yourself over this. You were reacting to what you are used to. It is going to take practice on both of your parts and he needs to know this also. You may just want to let him know this. Just keep it simple. Sorry about what happened this weekend, but it's going to take some getting used to for me also and it takes time to earn trust. Then perhaps him having to let you know when he is home would help the situation. His car wasn't home, you had no way of knowing he was. My difficult child always had to let me know when he came in, and my easy child daughter does now also. Maybe let him know that if he comes home before you, and his car isn't with him, he needs to leave a note on the table letting you know he's in. It's all about respect. You can't kick yourself for not being a mind reader.

    I had a fit on my on my easy child daughter last week because when she comes home she needs to let us know and turn out the family room light, which is right outside my bedroom, before she goes to bed. We came up with this because one time I was in a dead sleep and didn't hear her when she told me she was home, then woke up panicking thinking she wasn't in. Now she turns the light off so if I wake up and don't remember her coming in, I know because the light is off. Last week she was tired, walked in and went to bed and I woke up and panicked. Went out in the living room and started calling her call phone, which she answered from her bedroom and SHE apologized to me for scaring me. She understood why I was mad because she knew it scared me. It's all a matter of respect, and if you want to live in my house, you need to have it. Stop beating yourself up and tell him you need to come up with a way for it not to happen again.
     
  6. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    I am not sure I understand the story.

    Your son is 17 and you are allowing him to drive a car to hang out with drug buddies to drink and smoke pot?

    He left his car at his buddies house and came home?

    Wasn't he drinking and smoking with his buddies?

    If you are trying to get him to change it will never happen as long as you overlook the underage drinking and illegal use of drugs.

    It is like saying "Son, don't speed down the highway, but it is okay if you rob the bank"

    They want restrictions, they act like they don't, but they need them to feel secure.

    Think of the mixed message you are sending
     
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Mikey,

    I know I don't have the whole story here but I'm a little confused by some of this. You say he complied with everything he was expected to do and cooperated. So how does getting stoned to the point that he was unable to drive fit into all of this??? I know it's not OK with you, but this sounds like the pot smoking is being overlooked, almost condoned, as long as he gets home on time! And it sounds like it was someone else, not him, who took the responsibility of seeing that he got home at all! He did NOT do good! He got stoned!

    I also know that I'm very "old school", but you're letting him transfer the blame and guilt from him to you. Kids are very good at doing that. Please don't fall for that one... it's the oldest trick in the book. It is your JOB as a parent to try to keep him safe and to keep him from self-destructive behaviors. If you have reason to question where he is or what he's doing because of him being untrustworthy in the past, it's your JOB to check up on him! Had you been able to trust him, you wouldn't have had to do that. If he chooses to refer to it as "stalking", so be it. Tough nuggies if he doesn't like it! He has no one to blame but himself! I would have done exactly the same thing. In fact, I HAVE done exactly the same thing. I'm the one who would have the police out looking for my daughter when she wasn't home on time! They HATE IT when you do that. I highly recommend it! And if they get caught doing something they're not supposed to be doing, well ... tough nuggies about that one too! Let it be a "learning experience" for him!

    PLEASE don't apologize to him for YOU not trusting HIM! You have nothing to apologize for and he has given you no reason to trust him. He was out getting STONED, for Pete's sake, and YOU'RE apologizing to HIM for not trusting him???????? You did exactly what any good, responsible parent should have done in the situation!

    I've got a couple of questions for you ... First, are you absolutely sure that he was home when he was supposed to be? I ask that because I had one who was very adept at removing screens from the outside and crawling through windows at that same age. Then she'd try to convince me that she had been asleep in her bed all that time that I was frantically looking for her. NOT!!!

    And also, are you sure, are you ABSOLUTELY SURE, that he is not bringing any drugs or drug-related materials into your home? When it hits the fan, and it just might, it would be a very bad thing to have drugs found in your home, even if you were not aware that they were there. It looks very bad to the parents employers if drugs are found in their home!

    in my humble opinion, you are treating him with kid gloves and tip-toeing around the situation and it won't get any better that way. The pot is like the 1000-pound gorilla in the room! You may find that if the marijuana use stops, a lot of the other problems will go away too. YOU are the parent and HE is the kid, whether he likes it or not. YOU have the right to say what you will or will not allow in your home. You can make the drug-use a "deal-breaker". You can drug-test him at home and set serious consequences for him if he tests dirty. It's not easy but you have to take a stand. Right now, he's holding all the cards and he knows it!
     
  8. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    Mikey I know I sound harsh, but I have been in your shoes.

    I had my difficult child tested,medicated,psch ward,Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and eventually jailed.

    I tried every means possible to find out why he was acting out and disobeying rules.

    He was drinking and smoking pot. There was NOTHING else wrong with him.

    His using led to many things. His dreams of college football, his dreams of being a football coach, his future was ruined.

    It started with beer, it went on to pot, then to cocaine

    When your son is with his using buddies, there is not someone standing at the door allowing the alcohol and pot to come in but, taking a stand against other drugs.

    It is only a matter of time.... You must face the real demon... the drug use.

    When my son quit using, he went back to being my son. All our many problems came from him using
     
  9. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hi Mikey,
    chiming in to agree with everyone else--you did nothing wrong! Your son reminds me so much of my dtr with the attitude--she was a master at making me feel guilty if I didn't trust her--I had no reason to trust her. Sure, she could do the right thing for a day or two and I was supposed to then give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she was now trustworthy! I still don't trust her and she knows it--I am very upfront about it. I told her as recently as a couple of days ago that because of the lack of trust and credibility on her part that I can't help her as much as I would like to. I am very matter-of-fact about it, it is what is is. I told her it will take a long time to build the trust if she is interested in doing it.

    Also, in my state I had to know, by law, where my child was til age 18. I had to report her missing to the police if I did not know where she was so she got reported missing a lot. She didn't really care but I explained that if I didn't know where she was I would have to report her missing and eventually it would all catch up to her, which it did. You do have a responsibility to know where he is and his car was at someone else's house--why wouldn't you assume he was there? Why would you be thinking he was at home asleep with your history with him? I would not be apologetic at all, just matter of fact--"oh, I didn't know you were home." End of story.

    Please don't beat yourself up over this--you actually did nothing wrong!!!!

    Jane
     
  10. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: hearthope</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Your son is 17 and you are allowing him to drive a car to hang out with drug buddies to drink and smoke pot? Allowing? Can't stop it, since he'll lie and do it anyway (or worse) if we crank up the rules too fast.

    He left his car at his buddies house and came home? Yes, and that's a giant step forward. On a number scale, moving from -10 to -5 is still a +5 change, and I'll take it.

    Wasn't he drinking and smoking with his buddies? Pot, yes. Booze? no. Nothing different from the last 3 years, other than he doesn't get high as much anymore.

    If you are trying to get him to change it will never happen as long as you overlook the underage drinking and illegal use of drugs. See response below
    ...
    They want restrictions, they act like they don't, but they need them to feel secure. Working on that, and seeing some progress - see below

    Think of the mixed message you are sending Disagree with you there - it's the difference between sending no signals last year, to sending signals that he's willing to at least try and accept

    </div></div>

    I understand and agree, hearthope. I hear what you're saying. First, though, easy child girlfriend (doesn't do anything, drugs or booze) drove him home. And at least now I know where he is. That's a far cry from just a year ago. Perfect? Not at all. Better, you betcha, and hopefully it will continue to get better.

    The reality is that difficult child is 17, nearly 18, and secretly lived that life for over 2 years before voluntarily telling us last year. Unless I'm ready to kick him out or have him committed, I can't "stop" him from doing what he's done for 3 years now. And we are making progress - lots in some areas, less in others, and holding our own in a few more.

    I don't condone drug use, I don't encourage it, I don't tolerate drugs or drug use in my house, on my premesis, or around his siblings. Beyond that, I do my best. It's like underage sex or anything else: if you didn't "reach" them at a young enough age to help them never start, it's impossible to make them stop unless they want to stop. At this point I know I can't <u>make </u>him stop, so I'm trying to minimize the harm he can do to himself or others (including us).

    It's a touchy situation, but I can't affort to lose the forward progress he's made by pushing too hard in some areas. Like DDD said in another post: I'm glad he's alive, and getting a little more "normal" every day. I continue to hope and pray that forward progress in some areas of his life will drag the other areas forward through sheer inertia, if nothing else. So at this point, we're not ready for the tough-love approach (that's not to say it won't happen, though, in the future).

    Thank you very much for your reply, and the honest concern behind what you wrote. I appreciate it very much, and apologize if I seem a bit twitchy.

    Mikey
     
  11. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">YOU have the right to say what you will or will not allow in your home. You can make the drug-use a "deal-breaker". You can drug-test him at home and set serious consequences for him if he tests dirty. It's not easy but you have to take a stand. Right now, he's holding all the cards and he knows it! </div></div>

    Donna, I agree with you. He does get drug tested, and by a lab (not at home). At this point, I don't know what consequences we have left to threaten with since we're not ready to throw him out (but he is willing to run away). We've had more success with "incentives" than we've had with "consequences".

    Does he have us over a barrel? Yes. But is he making progress? Yes. I'm caught between my older son, who thinks he should be committed and "dried out" and my wife and difficult child's therapist, who think that the issues are more emotional, and the drugs are secondary.

    Remember the game of standing in the middle of the see-saw, and trying to run to one end or the other before it hit the ground? Which end do I run to? If the problem truly is the Pot, then dealing with the emotional and "teen angst" issues won't help anything at all. If pot is a by-product of the other stuff, then dealing with him as a drug abuser will let the other problems continue to grow and get worse.

    With the limited amount of time I have left with him in my house, I can't do both. Taking a tough-love approach I know he'll fight against will accomplish nothing, regardless of which side is right.

    Also, so far he's done everything we've asked him to do, other than the curfew. The truth, though, is that we've only asked him to do a few things to start with, hoping to build on success. We didn't push as hard on certain things because we knew it would be fruitless. Has it worked? Don't know yet, it's only been a year. But there has been progress.

    Again, I don't mean to demean anyone's opinion. After all, I asked for it!
    :smile:
    I truly appreciate what you're saying, and the exercise of having to respond to your comments, observations, and questions is helping me to sort out my own thought on where we are, and where we should be heading.

    Thank you very much for your response.

    Mikey
     
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member


    [/quote]


    It's a touchy situation, but I can't affort to lose the forward progress he's made by pushing too hard in some areas. Like DDD said in another post: I'm glad he's alive, and getting a little more "normal" every day.
    [/quote]

    The difference between DDD's difficult child and yours though, is that hers fell from a building and landed on his head, resulting in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which not that it's an excuse, but gives him a little better reason to not be able to make the best choices for himself.
     
  13. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Hey Mikey, (doncha hate that commercial? I know I do)

    I think I'm going to have to agree with the consensus here. I don't think you should be kicking yourself about this. Your invasion of his privacy was trifling, at most, and under the circumstances more than amply justified. I hear what you're saying about baby steps, you're not ready to take the "tough love" route, etc. My concern is that your fears of upsetting the apple cart have become a tool used to manipulate you. He knows he can use a minimum of cooperation to achieve a maximum of leniency.

    You tried the kid gloves and he successfully hid his drug habit for two years. Can you or the therapist explain to him that an excessive sensitivity about his privacy is suspicious given past experience? There are indications in your other posts that some of this bluster is playacting and that deeper down he still cares what you think and wants boundaries. And it's not like you watch his every move, complaints about "stalking" notwithstanding. Our easy child kids would've been happy to get the degree of freedom he gets when they were 17.

    Someone mentioned their difficult child's ability to sneak in by the window. Ours developed the same skill. We were clueless for a long time. Finally we found out and came up with a simple solution: walk into her room and check the bed. She screamed and hollered about no privacy but hey, she left us no choice.
    Then later there were times she'd feed us a line about taking our car to work. She'd get back when she said she would alright but pleaded headache and went straight to her room -- cuz she was high as a kite and knew we'd catch on. I started checking the odometer on the car and her supposed hours at work against her paycheck (her jobs were fast-food type and repeatedly calling or going by to check up was not practical, although we did catch her out a time or two that way as well). Nowadays you can get GPS tracking on cars and cell phones too.

    Bottom line, if he thinks he's being "stalked", he ain't seen nothing.
     
  14. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Mikey,

    You said, "At this point, I don't know what consequences we have left to threaten with..." Of course, this is the "tough" approach again, but he still has a car and is allowed to run pretty much at will, right? Who pays for the car? The gas? The insurance? Just a thought...

    Kids start doing drugs for all kinds of reasons ... to escape from problems they are having is just one of them. They also start just out of curiosity, or because everybody else is doing it, or to look cool to their friends, or to fit in, etc. But eventually, the drugs themselves become the "problem", more serious than any reason they had for starting them in the first place.

    The message you are sending him is that you are willing to allow a certain amount of pot usage as long as he complies with other rules and he knows this. You have only a very short period of time before he is 18 and you have no legal control over him at all. And you say that he has made only limited progress in a years time. Do you really think that all his problems will resolve themselves and that he will "see the light" by the time he turns 18? Not likely if he is still using pot. What will you do then? One thing I learned from raising teenagers is that what you know that they are doing is usually just the tip of the iceberg! Where is he getting the money to buy the pot?

    You know your own son well and I don't know him at all, but it appears that he is holding this threat to run away over your head and manipulating the situation to his advantage. If he does, you could report him as a runaway until he turns 18 and then the police would become involved. Would he want that, in light of the fact that he and his friends are using illegal drugs? You are not completely powerless here. He could be bluffing, or he could have no idea how hard it would be to live on his own! You can't let him hold these threats over your head! If he DID run away, where would he go? What would he do? Does he have a job? Money to live on? Living on the streets sucks and homeless shelters are no fun. Neither is being hungry! If he did carry out his threats, he'd probably soon be home, once reality hit him and he found out that those nightly dinners don't miraculously appear whenever you're hungry! It may take biting the bullet, taking a stand, and calling his bluff!

    I don't mean to sound harsh here, I really don't. And I know this is just my own humble opinion and that I'm from a whole different generation than most here. I just think that if you're only willing to go halfway on this, it's not gonna happen! He DOES have you over a barrel!
     
  15. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: HereWeGoAgain</div><div class="ubbcode-body">You tried the kid gloves and he successfully hid his drug habit for two years. Can you or the therapist explain to him that an excessive sensitivity about his privacy is suspicious given past experience? There are indications in your other posts that some of this bluster is playacting and that deeper down he still cares what you think and wants boundaries. And it's not like you watch his every move, complaints about "stalking" notwithstanding. Our easy child kids would've been happy to get the degree of freedom he gets when they were 17.
    </div></div>

    HWGA - gotcha. But it isn't that we walked on eggshells for two years and he still hid it from us. We were completely oblivious for those two years, thinking that it was just teen angst and the move from junior high to high school. After he "came clean", we tried the tough approach, which only resulted in more anger and acting out. It's only been since we stopped flailing, got some help, and started working with him that he's shown any progress at all.

    Yes, I think he still wants boundaries, and that part of what he throws at us is playacting. But I also know my family, three generations of hard-headed Italian men (he's the fourth) known for spitting in the face of their parents and going their own way, regardless of the consequences - all to prove that they were the masters of their own fate. Fathers all acted the same: bullies, bluster, and lots of Italian bravado and threats. Hasn't worked in three generations, and didn't work with him for the first six months.

    So now we're trying something different. Will it work? Who knows? But so far, we're seing better results, and after the first six months of pure hell, progress is progress and I'll take it.

    But I do want to say (again) to everyone who's been kind enough to respond: Thank you! I know I seem argumentative, and hard-headed, and maybe even deluded. But this one episode has really upset me because for six months I've tried very hard to be the "paragon" of honesty for my son. I've held myself up as the person who was always willing to meet him halfway (or more) if he would only engage in the process to improve his life. HE was the one who was acting stupid and childish

    In short, I held myself up in a position of moral superiority to him, and never missed a chance to let him know it.

    And this weekend, regardless of the reasons, all I did was prove that he was right and I wasn't his moral superior, and that all the high-and-mighty condecision I've used to try an guilt him into "coming around" was just my own bluster. I simply proved that I was as human as he was, as frail as he was, as flawed as he was. And it hurts.

    And in a tiny corner of my heart, if he really was just blustering, and he really did want me to step in and help settle his world down, did I let him down by the way I acted? Did I give him an excuse to doubt my ability to help him?

    I don't know, but I'm working through it. Thanks again to everyone. I'll stop kicking myself for being human, but now I also need to find some other way of presenting myself to my son than as the "paragon on the pedestal" that he should be trying to emulate.

    And maybe, this is God's way of bringing me down a peg or two as well.

    Mikey
     
  16. mom_in_training

    mom_in_training New Member

    "Thank you very much for your reply, and the honest concern behind what you wrote. I appreciate it very much, and apologize if I seem a bit twitchy."

    Mikey, I whole heartedly agree with all of what Hearthope said and am glad that you have some honest concern. Some have said that it seems that you are tip-toeing around some of what you should be very concerned about and I have to agree with that. I have been thinking the same thing but also thinking that you were digesting allot of the advice that has been given here and working on a plan that very well could remain the same or be revised to better suit your active plan. of course we all are very aware that these challenges come with many changes at any given point by our difficult children. You are grasping at whatever will work for your situation just like many of us here have been doing. Nobody has the answers to cure our difficult children from making bad choices. All we can do as parents is grasp at what we can find to aid our situation and run with it in the hopes that it will have a positive outcome for our troubled difficult children. I know the desperate feeling as many here do that our difficult children will eventually see the light and be the responsible people that we have raised up but I say this knowing that we can only guide our difficult children and provide the appropriate tools in the hopes that they grasp onto them and start making the right choices. We even as parents do not have the power to change our difficult children so yes we are faced with having to deal with trying to save them when we see that they are going down the wrong path with no guarantees.

    When I first found out that my difficult child was smoking pot I put my foot down and forbid it period, No ifs ands or buts about it. I did in fact alert some of the parents that their kiddos were smoking pot and whatever they chose to do about it was in their court. There were times when I would see my difficult child hanging out with them across the street and I would not hesitate to just walk up to them and demand that difficult child go home and let them know that I will call the police to alert them of their drug use. I would tell the kids "Gee, I wonder what kind of drugs the police will find on you, Hmmmmm". Well they all decided that having the attention of the police was the last thing that they wanted and stopped coming around period. I knew that I had no way of stopping what my difficult child would be doing at school let alone who she was hanging out with but I knew that I could do all of that around our home. It bought me quite a bit of time as far as my difficult children pot smoking that did in fact stop for a long time and she became the responsible young person once again by going to school, Getting good grades, and she even got a job at that time. I also was doing random drug testing to aid in my efforts to guide her the right way.

    Don't beat yourself up for what occurred, Let it go already..... You like the others were saying are used to having to deal with the no trust issues with your difficult child and its hard to get out of a pattern that you have have become accustomed to. He created the no trust as well as the parenting style that you have had to get accustomed to due to his bad choices. I will never agree with the fact that you know that he is smoking pot and is still in your home. You are right when you say that you have no control over his choices but to allow it to slide with him still being in your home in my eyes is wrong. We as parents have our own styles of parenting and I am not condemning your ways of parenting but I do know that I would not have a difficult child in my home knowing that he or she is smoking pot and dogging family events to be with his or her smoking buddys. I do not find drug use acceptable period and would not tolorate it for one minute knowingly. But that is me..... My difficult child knew the rules of being able to live in the comforts that I provide but opted to go astray, Her choice and yes its sad but I am in no way willing to compromise myself or her brothers well being or safety due to her bad choices.
     
  17. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    mom_in_training (how long have you been training?)

    Thank you so much for your reply. I will give up the self-pity and flagellation, but as an ex-military half-Italian/half-Irish hardhead, it's difficult to walk away. I will try, though.

    One other note: I did talk to wife, and we seem to be at a stalemate. I believe the current thought between us is that (a) the problem has at least stabilized (if not great), (b) he seems to be responding at some level, and (c) here's the kicker: he's no worse than we were at his age; in some ways, he's better.

    That's why it's so hard for us to take the hard-nosed tough love approach. Both wife and I fought the same, defiant battles with our parents (she with booze and pot, me just booze), and we both eventually went through teenage menopause and grew out of it.

    When we look back at our own lives, and see the same things in our difficult child that we see in ourselves at that age, it's hard to consider some of the consequences being suggested. He isn't stealing. He isn't doing anything harder than pot (bad, but not the worst). And his use is going down (we'll know more after another lab screening today). He is staying out later than he should, with people we don't approve of, but is that something we can really control at his age?

    On the plus side, he is holding down a job, is paying his own bills, is concerned about school and really turned things around, and for the first time this weekend made an effort to act somewhat normal.

    For the life of both of us, while we don't like what's going on and don't condone it, we can't bring ourselves to push the issue to the brink just yet. And after his asthma attack, he HAS quit smoking (everything), so we're heartened there as well.

    I guess the only way to sum it up is that as long as things don't get any worse (theft, hard drug/booze use, starting truancy again, failing school, etc), we're willing to give him the remaining year of HS to try and find his own way out of the mess. If he really wants to change, he'll eventually accept our hand and work with us. If not, then we'll tearfully help him pack his bags when he graduates, and wish him well on his chosen path. During that year, we'll do everything we can to help him help himself short of kicking him out (unless it needs to happen - then it will!).

    Until then, or until something worse happens, I guess we're just stuck. I do hope, though, that his therapist, his (sometime) youth counsellor, and his closest teacher at school are right and that he's really starting to take a hard look at his life and where it's going. Timing would be right, if my teen life and wife's teen life are any indication.

    It's a gamble. I know. But right now, everything is a roll of the dice for us, so I'm simply hoping the occasional successes aren't just random chance - and looking for that lucky seven.

    Mikey
     
  18. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Well Mikey, everyone's already shared pretty much how I feel. I really admire your responses to our words.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> In short, I held myself up in a position of moral superiority to him, and never missed a chance to let him know it.
    </div></div>

    Yep, you're the Dad. You're the Grown Up. You <u>ARE </u>morally superior to him. ("So there!") :biggrin:

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And this weekend, regardless of the reasons, all I did was prove that he was right and I wasn't his moral superior, and that all the high-and-mighty condecision I've used to try an guilt him into "coming around" was just my own bluster. I simply proved that I was as human as he was, as frail as he was, as flawed as he was. And it hurts.
    </div></div>

    <span style='font-size: 11pt'>ERNT!</span> Wrong Answer!! You get to spy and stalk and pry and nose around as much as you want. He invited that with his drug use. And just for me, I care NOT what his "reasons" for drug use are. I only care that he IS using.

    I completely do understand where you are coming from, and where you are trying to go, in how you are dealing with him. Having an ODD easy child myself, I tend to let the little things slide. I see what you're saying in that Curfew is a bigger thing for you guys.

    I agree with that on one hand, and can see why you feel as long as he abides by some rules, you can then try to work on other rules.

    I wish you luck, and again I want to say, you have my utmost respect in the way you have responded to all us Warrior Moms. :laugh:
    :warrior:

    Peace
     
  19. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The message you are sending him is that you are willing to allow a certain amount of pot usage as long as he complies with other rules and he knows this. You have only a very short period of time before he is 18 and you have no legal control over him at all. And you say that he has made only limited progress in a years time. Do you really think that all his problems will resolve themselves and that he will "see the light" by the time he turns 18?</div></div>

    Well said, Donna. And you're right about the short amount of time we have left. I guess the only answer I have for you is that I've made it clear we do NOT condone pot use, will NOT tolerate it in our house or on our premesis, and will NOT tolerate any use ANYWHERE near his siblings, for any reason. That said, there's also the realization of two working parents that we cannot control his actions.

    In the end, it is about a short window of time, one that I know is closing rapidly and will likely end with him leaving on his own when he grads in 2008, regardless of whether under his own power or with our foot in his rear.

    In the end, what can you <u>really</u> do force a change in less than a year, to someone who's 6 months from being 18? Not much. What we can do:
    <ul>[*]I can limit the damage he can do to us and his siblings. [*]I can maintain control of my own household, even if he chooses to absent himself from it. [*]If it gets bad, I can limit the damage he can do to himself (until he's 18).[*]I can offer support and help, and guidance when he wants it. [*]I can try to set the example and keep the doors open. [/list]
    And hopefully, he'll either walk through a door before he leaves, or leave knowing he can come back for help when he DOES want to change. I may be a softie, but I won't be a fool.

    Time. I understand - we just don't have very much left, so I'm trying to do the best with the little I have. The rest is up to him.
    :rolleyes:
    Mikey
     
  20. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: PonyGirl</div><div class="ubbcode-body">... all us Warrior Moms.</div></div>
    Hey! Speak for yourself, PG! (Wink)
     
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