1 year later, nothing has changed. Trying to let go, i need help

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Havehadenough70, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. A short back story of my difficult child.......Like most other difficult children here, he was a bright and well mannered young man until he started smoking pot his senior year in high school. His first semester in college he was arrested with four other kids with gun possesion - my difficult child was going to school one morning - he was attending a state college where he was on a full scholarship when he was called to give one kid a ride. Long story short, all the other kids were criminals who had cases pending at court and they all convinced my difficult child to take ownership of the gun. The case dragged on for two years until a month ago. All along it seemed like an easy case of a naive kid doing a stupid thing and his very capable lawyer had said for all this time that it would be dismissed. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and the case for difficult child was continued without a finding for 4 years with probation and 25 hours of community service, not a very bad outcome if it was for a normal kid.

    When the case was going on my difficult child increased his pot use, stole from me at one time to buy pot and failed school. I got him an internship last year in august and when he was paid $5000 for college, he used it in two weeks and didn't pay school. He took a semester off last year but that didn't help and lost his scholarship, and was placed on probation due to failure. He had trouble finding work so i talked to my boss and difficult child was given a job as a driver this summer which he quit after two months without telling me or the boss.

    The day we came back from the courthouse, he went to his girlfriend's house who i have never met and stayed for a week and has continued doing the same thing every few days. One of his condition for probation was stay in school or find work, so he told the po that he was going to look for work since he couldn't afford school - which would be okay with me except that he is not looking for work. difficult child has commented many times before that he would sell pot and i suspect he has done it before. Two weeks ago one of his friends told me that difficult child was asking another kid whether he knew people who would be interested in drugs and the friend was worried that's why he told me. A week ago, he went to his girlfriend's house without telling me and called me yesterday to say he was moving out.

    I am very worried about him because when i scan his phone record, i see a lot of new numbers within a short period of time and i suspect he is selling weed or other drugs. I know he is still using pot and i want him to get help and my question is should i approach his probation officer and ask for his help in helping difficult child get helf for drug use or would that be bad for difficult child? His lawyer is on vacation that's why i am looking for opinions here. I don't mind him staying with his girlfriend but i am worried because they are staying at the girlfrien's mother's house and i don't even know who they are.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  2. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    All you can do is approach him with the offer of rehab. He is probably in much deeper with drugs than you realize. If he doesn't accept going to rehab then I would tell him he has 10 days to get his stuff out of your house. If he doesn't come for it you will sell it or throw it away. Cut him off completely as far as money goes if he refuses help- that includes paying his cell phone bill, etc. I'm not sure what the probation officer could actually do, other than drug test him and arrest him when the results come back positive. This is going to be very difficult no matter what and I'm sorry you had to find this board. At this point he is an adult and you are pretty limited as far as what you can make him do, which is why in most of these cases the parents have to cut the adult child off. It sucks. Hang in there.

    I forgot to add that you must follow through on what you say you will do. With these "kids" they push as far as they can and if you don't stick by what you say they will take complete advantage.
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Welcome, HHE:

    You would think that the gun arrest and 4 year probation would have scared him straight. If he was on a full ride at state college, he is surely smart enough to know that what he continues to do will only lead him down a very scary and dangerous path.

    His spotty job history, his staying out of your home for days at a time, his phone records as well as his friend's suspicions probably point to his drug dealing activity. I know you feel terrified for him and helpless - of course you would - you're his mom. Have you spoken directly to him about getting help and has he rejected it or has he denied that he needs help? If so, it proves that intelligence does not equate with judgement for many young people. You can be smart and foolish all at once. Drug users also sell drugs to fuel their own habit, so he may be involved with more than just pot, as you say.

    If your son refuses any offer of help from you, then perhaps it is a good choice to tell the po. You also may be under the impression that he's staying at his girlfriend's mother's house, but if you don't know these people, he may just be telling you a lie. on the other hand, if he is staying with his girlfriend's mother, and selling drugs there, it may not be long before he's arrested or thrown out by her. There will be no good outcome if it continues like this. I urge you to get help and support for yourself as well - it may be a lifesaver for you, too.
    Good luck, keep posting and again, welcome. Many helpful and insightful people will be along to offer support shortly.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board :)

    First you have to realize, this is your difficult children problem/issue, not yours. That sounds really simple, but it's not that easy. He is an adult, responsible for his behavior (regardless of drugs/alcohol), and should be made to feel the consequences of poor decisions/behavior/choices.

    Eliza is right, as an adult you can't force difficult child to do anything. The only thing you have control over is what you will and will not do, what behavior of his you will and will not tolerate. So it's usually a good idea to sit down and think about and write up those boundaries. It makes it easier if you can think of situations that might arise beforehand and have an idea of how you'll handle it.

    When someone becomes an addict, it literally takes over their life and becomes the center of their universe. From that point on, nothing else matters except the drug, acquiring the drug. It really really stinks, but that is how it works.

    You can offer rehab, but until it's his idea, odds are it's going to be wasted money.

    I believe somewhere here the ways to help to detach are archived, so maybe one of the mods can direct you to it.

    I'm glad you found us. But you might also look into a counselor for yourself as well, someone in person to talk to can be a huge help for many parents.

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I guess the only reason I would turn him into the probation officer is if I could not live with the fact that my child was selling drugs to kids. I do not know what I would actually do in this case. I suppose I would need to know what drug, maybe that sounds bad, but for Pot...I would let him sink or swim. For all others I would inform probation officer of what I suspected. If someone he sold drugs to died, I would never forgive myself for not at least trying to stop it.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sorry. It's been a long long day and I'm pooped tonight. on the other hand I want you to know that I have read your post and my heart breaks for you. So many of us have been "blind sided" by our difficult child's and it literally hurts me to know that you are in such disillisoned pain. Geez I can't tell you how much I truly wish I could give you an "answer". All I can offer is my caring support........you've got that! Hugs DDD
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hello and welcome,

    At this point you can't make him do anything...he's an adult and will do as he wants. All you can do is decide what you will and will not do. Often, we parents think we are helping when in fact we are hurting our kids by making decisions for them, saving them from trouble, etc. I think it's important for your own self preservation and sanity to take care of yourself and give your son the proverbial rope...

    Seek out an al anon meeting and learn how to detach with love and not anger or fear, to take care of your own needs and live day to day without obsessing over your son.

    Hugs, it's not easy but at least you're not hiding your head in the sand about it.
  8. Thank you so much for your support and kind words, and i appreciate your wellcome. I posted here before about one year ago so i am not a complete visitor, and thus the title. I don't know why but i truly thought in my heart that something would click in his mind and help him change. During this past year, there have been breaks when he stopped using and then started so that's why i had so much hope. My difficult child is such a kind person and he has never been violent but pot has overtaken his life. My fear and despair has not helped things either, and i did try to go to Al-non one time but didn't go back, so i started seeing a therapist and went for three months and that didn't work - i probably didn't give it time. I try to keep busy, i work a lot of hours a week and i went back to school this semester so i am trying to live my life.

    The reason i feel paralyzed with fear is because i used to be a difficult child. I was raped when i was a teenager and thereafter became very promiscucous. I never used drugs and drank alcohol only occasionally but it was a difficulty period and i would have given anything for my son to live a normal life because i know how difficult child life changes who you are. It wasn't until i gave birth to difficult child that i started putting my life together. Unfortunately, i paid a big price because i found out soon after i gave birth to my him that i was HIV positive. He was negative and i have led a normal and healthy life for many years - i still do and have been a good provider. I started taking medication Just two months ago after many many years of living with the virus.

    I didn't tell my difficult child about my status until he was a junior in high school thinking that he was mature enough to understand but i think that was a mistake because he started smoking marijuana the following year, and i blame myself a little bit for this. Last year, when my difficult child was open to therapy, he joined me in one of the sessions and he told the therapist that he was still angry with me for telling him about my illness and he wished i never did. it was heartbreaking for me and painful. Anyway i can't do anything about that now and i feel a little resentful towards my own son for that because i know i would never have had that kind of reaction towards my mom even when i was i difficult child. So i keep hoping he will learn and stop wasting his life before it's too late.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Your son is angry at the virus, not you. It's hard to target anger toward a virus, so at the moment, you're his target. He's scared, which is normal, of losing you. Being a young male, he's going to resist admitting that for a while. (even to himself)

    Detachment takes time and much practice. It's not the easiest thing in the world to learn.

  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. I'm sorry you find yourself struggling now. I agree with Hound Dog that your son is likely angry at the virus and scared too. Regardless of the whys and wherefores, he is in charge of his life now, there is little you can do to change him until he wants to change himself. Detachment is a process, a difficult one at best, fear is prominent in it too, we are so afraid for our kids, all of your reactions seem like the ones all of us go through, sigh. It's very important for you to take care of YOU, get support, get another therapist, find a group, find ways to make yourself feel better and for you to let go of some of that fear. I know it's hard, we all know, but to keep your sanity and find some peace and comfort, the only road through all of it, is the one that takes care of YOU. My warmest wishes are coming your way and big hugs for your wounded mothers heart...........
  11. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I am so sorry for your struggles - both in dealing with your status, your past and your son's current choices. It is horribly hard to watch our kids making choices that cause them (and those who love them) so much pain. Still, we are powerless to change their behavior. You did not cause your son's behavior by telling him about the virus. A different kid may have reacted differently and he might have behaved just as badly whether you told him our not. Please know that I say this gently, and with great undeerstanding, but our difficult children cannot learn from OUR mistakes. They can only learn from their own. It sounds like you've turned your experiences as a difficult child into creating a good and stable life for yourself and your family. That is to your credit. But we cannot stop our kids from becoming difficult children, we cannot stop them from making bad decisions ... we can't do anything but change our own reactions.

    Hang out here and keep posting and keep reading. You are not alone in your struggles.

  12. @ lisa and Re, thanks. I know what you mean and i recognize he is scared and sometimes thinking about how afraid he could be of losing his mom have resulted in me enabling him and making it harder for him learn. I feel a lot of guilt.

    Dash, you have explained it well, and i have to keep on reminding myself that my difficult child will only learn from his own mistakes. For the longest time i thought if i kept on telling him to avoid my mistakes then that would scare him enough not to repeat them. I also thought i had moved beyond my past and was doing well emotionally and in life until my son started acting out, then i realized i have to work hard on myself too. I will look for another therapist and start working on issues too. Thanks for the support.