What is happening?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by cakewalk, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    I was on vacation. I came home in time for difficult child's counseling appointment on Monday. Things continue to go well so I asked him to join easy child and me for dinner on Thursday. He said he'd love to come.

    Wednesday night he called and asked me to pick him up from aunt's house. He needed to speak with me. For one hour, I filled my head with all sorts of scenarios, i.e., girlfriend is pregnant, emancipation papers, change of guardianship, etc.

    I picked him up and he said, "I want to come home." HUH? Six weeks ago he told me he was never coming home. He never really gave me a reason why he wants to come home besides, "I miss easy child, I miss you, I miss my house."

    Thursday we went to dinner and came back here. His girlfriend joined us, too. It was the first time he's graced my doorstep since February. He didn't seem uncomfortable at all. I took them back to aunt's house at 10:30 p.m. There was no discussion of him coming home that night except when he left, he hugged easy child and said, "I'll be back."

    Last night he called three times from girlfriend's cell. I answered at 9:30 p.m. He wants to come home Monday morning after his counseling appointment. I asked why the urgency. He said he just wants to come home. He's going to pack everything up on Sunday. I told him if he came back it would be to stay, no changing his mind in a month or two or three. I told him there are the same rules in place as when he left. I also told him he would absolutely continue in counseling. He agreed to everything. He said he's grown up and learned from his mistakes.

    He has not spoken with my husband since that fateful day when he left. My husband isn't ready for him to come home. easy child isn't ready for him to come home. I'm sitting here in a fog.

    If I call my sister, she won't tell me anything. There's a big "I told you so" on the line whether I say it or not... it's still there. Has he been asked to leave their house? What about my brother? Why didn't he run there next? Or isn't he welcome? My son isn't offering anything. I think his girlfriend will be loyal to him if I called her and not tell me anything.

    All of you who have been there done that (and even if you haven't), speak up... I welcome any advice!
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    A few guesses, but no answers.

    He got into trouble there.

    They aren't the pushovers he expected.

    Something's going on that nobody figured out yet.

    He honestly misses you guys.

    However, he hasn't matured in that short a period of time. If you let him come home, I'd draw up a contract and stick to it.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    He's staying with your sister, correct? Personally, I don't like all the secrecy. No need to rub anyone's nose in anything. No need for anyone to be unkind to anyone else. Sometimes, short and brief is fine. However, I think secrets are almost always not a good idea. So, why isn't anyone talking???? You said you came home in time for his counseling appointment. So good that he is going!!! Is this Family Counseling or individual counseling? If this is private counseling for just your son, would you, husband and son be open to some sessions of Family Counseling as well? Some things of concern....the secrets...and that your husband as you say would not particularly want him back home. Never mind, all the difficult memories and the fact that you guys struggle with how to work together well. So much to piece together...A big positive is that he has agreed to the counseling and seems to be showing respect. Very nice signs indeed...but I suspect there is more to unravel and more to learn. Additionally, you might ask a Family Therapist to help you work out any details with reference to a possible move back into your home.

    Wishing you guys well.
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Can you hear me screaming NONONONONONO!!!????

    Okay, I'll take a deep breath....or three.

    Do not....I repeat, do NOT let him move back in this way.

    The way you have described it, HE is calling the shots. If what you have written is accurate, then NO WAY, NO HOW should he be allowed back now.

    You said yourself that your husband doesn't want him back. You said yourself that your easy child doesn't want him back, and you admit that you are in a "fog."

    Nope. No way.

    I don't see that he has done anything other than be "nice" for a couple of visits to earn his way back home. "I miss my house"---well, too bad, honey. It isn't your house, it's MY house and your father's house.

    You don't even know WHY he wants to come home. And you don't know what happened at your sister's to make him want to come home again.

    Nope. No way. I'm sorry. As you have written it, this is a recipe for disaster because no one is being honest with any of the players here....not him, not your sister, not even you.

    I would insist upon many talks. I would insist to be included in his therapy. I would insist upon a written contract/lease agreement with terms and conditions spelled out before I would even remotely consider the possibility of him coming back to YOUR home.

  5. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Tooooo funny!

    Before I could get back on....and type in the words...


    Suz, wrote that in for me.


    Did he tell your sister NOT to tell you word one about anything and she AGREED to this? He has a lot of power!

    And your husband doesn't want him in the house, but you are gong to push for it?


    What did he do originally to have him go to sister's house? Hmmmm

    He caused chaos at your place, got sent to sisters place, probably caused a "fuss" over there, and has now "requested" a return to your place with-o ANY DISCUSSION at all about what happened. Everyone is MUM. Hmmmm. Is he a prince? A king? A knight?

    And he tells easy child "I'll be back?" Is easy child suppose to be honored? Impressed? Happy? Thrilled? Amazed at his POWER?


    You call the shots. You and your husband decide. You talk with- your sister.

    You and your sister have a discussion. You guys go to a therapist. ALL of you consider going to therapy. When I say "all" I mean take your sister with you.

    Then you and your husband become the BOSS of your home. Kings of your castle.

    Your son is your offspring and he has had some issues. Let him sweat it out. Let him take some direction, You and your husband decide together. Perhaps get some input from a therapist. Tell your sister she needs to put her big girl pants on and STOP being bossed around by a 17 year old. If she wants to be a pseduo mother, then she needs to start acting like one and not like a pseudo child.

    I would get some answers. AA says YOU ARE AS SICK AS YOUR SECRETS. Let's start there. Next step, you and your husband act as a "united front," and take that power away from junior.

    Good work Suz!!!
  6. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    To clarify, difficult child was not sent anywhere. He wanted out of my house. He destroyed my home, severely injured himself and then called the police and CPS and blamed my husband. It was only after he got tripped up in a lie that the police recommended boot camp. CPS sent a family counselor every week to help the rest of us deal with difficult child. The rules were tough, the screws were tightened. difficult child hated everything to do with us that he would punch walls, hurt himself, swear, break things, and eventually run away... to my sister's house. I'd go and pick him up, he'd come home more angry than when he ran. After the worst five days of my life (in February), he ran away for the last time because I chose not to go get him. I filed a runaway report. I canceled his drivers license and insurance. I contacted the school and filled them in, etc.

    Since he left, communication has been limited. He called me to invite me to Mother's Day breakfast (which I proudly posted on a thread) only to find out he had emancipation papers for me to sign. I didn't. He told me he'd see me in court. My sister wanted me to sign over guardianship to her. I refused. I haven't spoken with my sister since March.

    He is only participating in counseling because I refused to sign his sport enrollment forms unless he attended. The first two weeks I drove him to counseling, he didn't speak to me. Only in the last 4 weeks or so has he been nice.

    All of you are right! I have no idea what is going on and I slipped back into timid mode when he called last night. I didn't ask the questions. He has not made any amends with my husband. His brother does not want him back here. Our home is happy. Our family is healthy. Nothing has changed with difficult child, except he is on the run again. This time back here and I stupidly said, "Okay" last night because I didn't know what else to say.

    Monday is his appointment. I have never spoken with this counselor. I only picked him based on his experience with teen boys. I will ask to be in the session. And, I will tell my son that he can't come home right now. I don't for the life of me think anything has changed with him. The three of us haven't changed (except we feel safe in our house now) so what makes me think this would work because he's had four healthy sessions with a therapist and is now being nice to me?

    I appreciate the kick in the pants.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    After reading your explanation, I'd say NO WAY. He tried to get your hub in trouble???? Um, no.

    Sadly, I think he wants something from both of you. He's going to be eighteen within the year. I'd tell him to make plans to live elsewhere for a very long time, if not forever. Maybe he wants to soften you up so you'll give him his driver's license back or pay for an apartment. I don't know if you were in the habit of giving him money or not. The stuff he's done are very serious. He could get your hub in trouble. Listen to him and your easy child. Your sister is really making things worse. Great sister!!!!

    JMO. Good luck!
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Do not let him come back without the answers you are seeking. He is still calling the shots and if you allow him to return without the truth of why he wants back, he will continue to run your home.

    If husband and easy child are not ready for his return than it is a no go for sure.

    "difficult child, I am pleased to hear that you miss what you left behind. However, the reason you are not in this home is too serious for you to just walk back in. Some problems need more than time to dissolve. We all need to work together (husband, easy child, you, and I) to resolve this issue. We all need to know what can be expected from each of us, how we will address misunderstandings, how we can trust that you will live up to your responsibilities including respect of husband and easy child and me."

    "If you want to return home, it is time to get to work now and show everyone that you can be responsible and respectful. One priority would be to iron out differences with husband. Are you ready to start? We can also make a list of items to work on."

    Then, talk to his therapist to get some family counseling.
  9. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I agree with the above! I would be wary because of the urgency especially if I had no answers. Also I would make my sister tell me what is going on. something is going on because of the urgency. It seems he is in a hurry for some reason and no one has thought anything out. How can he be mature in a hurry? Just my two cents. I know what it is like for them to want to come home - especially when they have no where else to go - it is horrible.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This whole thing sounded hinky when you posted that he kept running away to your sister. Then when you refused to give her guardianship she refused to speak to you? You KNOW nothing positive could have happened in that household, not toward you and your husband.

    Step up, speak out and tell him and sis Not just no but Heyall no! (big southern drawl on that word too!)

    Sounds like your sis is tired of him and maybe put some rules onto him.

    Esp when as recently as mother's day all he wanted from you was emancipation.

    Listen to your instincts. They are screaming NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!

    Your easy child has a right to a home that is peaceful and happy. You and husband have to provide that for him. That is your job.

    Letting difficult child come back at this point will mean that in less than a week things will go south. he will figure he has you buffaloed and can do whatever he wants.

    Based on your reaction to him wanting to come home, he would be right.

    You and husband need to go to some counselling and to alanon or families anonymous. Learn to work together. Otherwise there will be more abuse charges against you and husband, and your home will be very unhappy.

    He left. He cannot just waltz back in. Be suspicious of your sister. Normal siblings do NOT just let nephews run away and move in with htem and let the kid go back and forth until he finally stays with her.

    She is up to something, her entire behavior is shady. Just very wrong.

    She wanted him. Now she needs to keep him until he is 18, or at least until you have a better idea of what is going on.

    Don't trust difficult child or your sis. Protect your easy child and husband and marriage and home.

    I am sorry. I know this will be rough.
  11. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I am defintately in agreement with everyone....he should NOT come back at least until you have more answers. I also agree with you speaking to the counselor.

    After all you've posted about him and your sister my opinion is this:

    Absolute BEST case scenario: He DOES miss your home and your family.

    Absolute WORST case scenario: He and your sister are up to something and are out to get you and/or your husband in trouble.

    Best case, I hate to say, is probably not even close to the truth. While he may very well miss you guys, I can't see that being the entire reason he wants to move home after all of the events, especially the most recent ones. People don't come around that quick.

    Worst case may not be the entire reason either but I have a sneaking suspicion it is the closest to the truth.

    My advice? DON'T LET HIM COME BACK!!!!!!!! If he insists without discussing things with the ENTIRE FAMILY over a period of time, leave him wherever you are. If he just shows up with his stuff or is insisting while at your house, LOCK HIM OUT. And OF COURSE, if he gets violent, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL THE POLICE.

    This whole story has warning bells CLANGING in my head right now and I don't think it's all on the up and up.
  12. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think making clear to him that coming home isn't just his decision is important in this case. That message is important, in my opinion. Honestly, if you hear from him again before counseling, it might be wise to bring it up then... and say you could talk about it at counseling. Otherwise, I picture him packed and ready to go, and then blowinng up at counseling.. giving him a day to digest it wouldn't be a bad thing.
  13. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    Thank you to everyone for reminding me that my husband and I are a partnership, that we are the parents and in charge of our family and our home, and that easy child deserves the happy home we've been able to enjoy since February!

    I just called my sister... I'm calling her Pollyanna on this thread. I told her I was calling about the recent change of events. She said ever so sweetly, "I'm not sure what change of events you are referring to."

    Pollyanna's take... this was everybody's hope was that this "break" or "separation" would eventually bring difficult child and my immediate family back together. He's been an absolute joy to have in their home. He's funny, respectful, and pitches in when asked. He has not taken one dime from them, insisting to pay his own way all the time. The only thing they've really provided for him is a ride because he doesn't have a car. (My husband sold the car days after he ran away.) She said he seems to really respect and enjoy the time he has with his counselor and that counseling has been good for him. She said she wasn't sure if I was pushing for him to come back home or if he just came to that conclusion on his own, but he was adamant that he's ready. difficult child told her on Monday that he was homesick, that he missed his mom and brother, and really felt he needed to go home. He wanted his family back. She said she supported his decision completely and is very proud and happy that this is all working out so well.

    I told her (and I grabbed an entire wealth of information from all of your posts) that before he comes home, before anything else, he needs to make amends with my husband. My husband is the foundation of our home (after our HP, of course) and things that have happened must be addressed, not swept under the rug. easy child deserves the happy, productive, functioning household he has come to experience since difficult child left. Rules will be spelled out in contract format. Consequences will be spelled out in detail. Expectations (everyone's, including difficult child's) need to be addressed so there is no misunderstanding. Counseling will absolutely continue between his counselor and him. We will also find a family counselor that is separate from his personal counselor. I told her I haven't pushed for him to come home at all. In fact, I was shocked when he discussed it with me on Wednesday. I told her it starts with a meeting between the four of us (husband, me, difficult child, and easy child) and if difficult child isn't able to do that, or feels ganged up on, or set-up, or whatever, than obviously he's not ready yet. I told her that even though difficult child told me that nothing happened or that he wasn't forced out of the house, I am still a parent and do not apologize for checking with "an adult" to confirm or deny his version.

    My husband is willing to meet with my difficult child, as is easy child, in an effort to eventually bring him home. I sent an email to my difficult child and also told Pollyanna that the first step we take is a family meeting to make sure we are all on the same page and heading in the same direction. I invited him over this evening. He's working this afternoon so I won't hear back from him until early evening.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    "To clarify, difficult child was not sent anywhere. He wanted out of my house. "

    So, junior wanted out of your home and now he wants back in????

    Sounds like he was calling the shots then and is calling the shots now and your sister has been providing some assistance. Lots of potential boundary issues.

    What do you and husband want?

    I do like your thought about being on the same page. What are the goals? Are they healthy? Is everyone shooting for the same thing? It's nice that your son might have been more appropriately behaved with- your sister...its' really hard to say.

    However, could him and your sister be "up" to something???? I absolutely do NOT like the secrecy when you ask her questions and get "non" answers.

    I'm glad you are making strong efforts to communicate with your sister. What evidence do you have that she is willing to be do likewise?

    Also, sounds good to me that you are trying very hard to work together as a family with- you and your husband as head of the family.

    I'm glad you are thinking about seeking the assistance of a Family Therapist, especially since there has been many ongoing difficulities. Perhaps your son's therapist can can suggest someone, etc.

    by the way, like someone else mentioned on this thread, keep in mind that your son is fast approaching age 18 and soon you/he/the family will have to seriously think about how things can and will change in the months ahead. Is he earning enough money to be an independent adult? Does he need more schooling? What is his maturity level? And 18 year olds don't particularly have to live under mom's roof...perhas he should know this.

    I admire your courage and fortitude. It was good to hear that you appreciate the "kick in the pants." A gentle, kind one, from a friend..always works for me. Wishing you and your family progress, peace and happiness.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 9, 2009
  15. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    The behavior described above is so extreme compared to what your sis now describes. Was he involved in drugs in those days? Your signature says "not professionally diagnosed" but he's been in counseling for awhile now; is that still true?

    Considering the drama and heartache described above, Sis' explanation is too simplistic to be believed. Sorry.

  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    **(Please see new information with stars toward the bottom) **

    I would have your son continue with- private therapy...it is probably helpful.

    My guess is that the Family Therapy will be vital. Perhaps start with- your immediate family, but explore with- the therapist if your sister might join in on some sessions.
    Since your son is 17, I can't imagine doing the Family Therapy for a lengthy period of time...but perhaps he is young enough to benefit, especially if he might be living with you for a certain period of time in the future. Additionally, it would be wonderful if the family could get some closure on all these difficult issues.

    My sense (probably similar to Suz's) is that it doesn't "feel right" that your son would behave so completely differently with- your sister than within your family and it also "doesn't feel right" that your sister would chose to tell you non truths; to leave out information; to chose to keep you in the dark about things when she is asked.

    At one point, did you say your sister wanted guardianship over your destructive 17 year old? It really does NOT make much sense. Why? It is something to ponder.

    If you talk with- the family therapist...perhaps you can ask if he or she can make the environment a "safe Place" for all.

    by the way, are your parents alive? What is your relationship like with them? Did your sister "call the shots?"

    Again...I admire your courage, think you are asking good questions, and are slowly making headway.

    Please DON'T FORGET take every moment now, in therapy, not in therapy, difficult child in the home or not in the home...to enjoy each day. Find things that you like to do and find things you like to do with- your husband. Live YOUR LIFE. Don't overly concern yourself with- thios difficult child "stuff." Life moves on. Your difficult child is nearing 18...this goes DOUBLE for us on the PE forum!
    Lasted edited by : Aug 9, 2009
  17. cakewalk

    cakewalk Member

    That's why I called her Pollyanna. I'm not buying it all either. Everything addressed by all of you has been addressed between my husband and I at some point since February. Never has she encouraged a relationship between me and him. She continued to take him in against my wishes. The few times I've spoken with her, or my husband has, she always took difficult child's side. Her response has always been, "If that happened...." I told her back in March to get police reports, get the CPS files, talk to easy child, and I'd even give her approval to speak with the family counselor. I reiterated there is NO "if" in this situation.

    Was he on drugs? I'm not sure. His behavior certainly seemed like it on many occasions. Not professionally diagnosed means that the family counselor said he needed to diagnosed and difficult child said we'd have to take him away in handcuffs before that happened, which the counselor said, "Let's do it." He ran away whenever the going got tough. My sister said to me in February, "Your counselor's rules aren't working." But, they were! And they would have had she NOT continued to open her door to him.

    I don't agree with the way my sister handled anything. Remember, she guaranteed my husband that difficult child would be in counseling back in February. After 4 months in her care, no counseling. That's why I took control of the issue when he wanted the forms signed. He is now with a therapist with 20 years experience at a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). (The counselor is now with a Christian counseling practice but his credentials are the same.) Is he being diagnosed? I don't know. I have to admit that I never expected him to come home. When the question on the counseling form said, "What do you expect the outcome of your child's therapy to be," I did not state that "My son come home." My hope for therapy that I wrote on the form was that my son be able to function in society as a healthy, mature individual who learns to control his temper and make wise choices (or something like that.)

    My difficult child has run the show over there. I know it. I was in weekly contact with all of his teachers. I kept a very close eye on his grades... they plummeted in her care (her kids are all 3.9 - 4.0 students, why did she lower the bar for my difficult child?) Has he ever been told no? There's 50 other things that don't make sense in this equation.

    Pollyanna is probably at the hospital right now getting her arm in a cast since I'm sure it was severely dislocated patting herself on the back when we spoke today. :mad: Will she communicate with me in the future? Heaven's no! She didn't communicate with me when my son was living there since February.

    In one of my first posts in joining this board, I said my family was toxic and it was healthier for me to NOT be a part of them. I know a lot doesn't make sense. I've been involved in this dysfunction for 40+ years. It still doesn't make sense to me either.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sweetie, I totally understand the dysfunctional element. My family is dysfunctional in different ways but they can be almost equally hurtful.

    You are totally right that so much doesn't make sense. Until it makes sense, and the boy has been evaluated by a psychologist and a neuropsychologist and a child and adolescent psychiatrist. No way is he ready to come to your home.

    I wonder what kind of pressure your sister's kids are putting on her to get him the heck out of their home?

    I know that you still love your son, but it must be so hard to see him pull away simply because you expected him to be a decent person. I know how hard it was to send my son away and he was very violent to me. It still was like ripping my heart out and stomping on it. To have him do things like ask you out for mother's day to get you to sign emancipation papers? I don't know how you stood it. I really don't.

    My heart goes out to you. To have your sibling turn against you to the point she is aiding in ruining your son, well, it makes my heart ache just imagining it.

    Stay the course. Do NOT let him come home. Change the locks if you have to (if he or sister or anyone has a key he could use). It is time now to protect your home, your easy child (especially easy child - you have NO idea all the things difficult child probably did to hurt him. I could tell stories that would make your hair stand on end), and your marriage.

    Keep posting here when you need support. Or ideas. Be aware that difficult child may decide to just waltz in and set up his nest. You may have to keep the house locked up even when you are home to keep him out.

    Lots and Lots of Chocolate, gentle hugs, and margaritas!
  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    What kind of counselor is he seeing? MSW, LSW, and other therapists can and do testing and diagnose; it doesn't have to only be a psychiatrist. I would think that the counselor that CPS had you use could assist you in this way, too.

    It's very difficult to know what to do if you don't know what you're dealing with.

  20. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I am very sorry for your pain. I do recall your mention of all the dysfunction within your family of origin. It seems you were stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of placing your son with your sister when there were difficulties with his behavior at your home.

    You are trying to trust your sister to help you with your son and your sister is not being forthright and your son doesn't seem to be either.

    It is a horrendous deal. I am so sorry.

    You said that the Christian Counselor has credentials. What is his degree and is he licensed? Can you ask him if he has formulated a diagnosis or at least a likely diagnosis? Would he suggest that your child see a psychiatrist (MD) for possible medication? Have you asked him yet for the name of a Family Therapist?

    Do you have any really good friends or perhaps a minister (or other religious person) who you can talk with about this? Someone who is trustworthy, whom you admire, who you feel would respect your confidence? Surely, these difficulties have got to be stressful.

    One book I really like (an oldie, but a goodie) is "What you think about me is none of my business," by Terry Cole Whittaker. You have every right to want your son to be a respectful, functioning young man. Your sister, should respect these wishes. If she would like to help you in this goal, that is a great and honorable thing. However, it would be only fair that she is honest with you.

    If you honestly do not want your son to come home and your husband feels strongly about this, I wonder if you guys could work out some sort of compromise. Perhaps he could stay at your home 1/2 time and your sisters 1/2 time until the age of 18 and then perhaps you can help him put a depost down on an apartment. All of this is just "out there." It's just an example. I wanted to let you know that sometimes we have found creativity works with- our difficult child and if we get her to do her part.....she actually learns a little in the process. NONE of this is EASY by any means...lots of weirdness and complications to be sure. But when these formulas work...they work well.

    Wishing you all good things...hugs, hugs hugs.