16 Year Old Son Imploding

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by username40, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. username40

    username40 New Member

    I'm just kind of looking for a place to tell my story and get some support. My son is 16 years old, he has always been difficult, we made a lot of excuses for him when teachers would report on his behavior, or if he vandalized we paid his way out and said "kids will be kids". There were warning signs, that we ignored, not really consciously, but we did.

    Fast forward to Freshman year in High School, that summer he basically never left his room, his group of friends was gone. My wife refused to admit there was something wrong. Every interaction with him became him snapping, yelling, nasty, and downright awful to be around. If we ignored him and let him do what he wanted there was intermittent peace between stealing the car, suicide threats, drugs, catching girls in my home at 4:00 AM, property damage, verbal and emotional abuse to his mother and I.

    It got to the point where he refused to obey a curfew, refused to go to school, refused to stop steeling beer and wine, refused to stop smoking in his room and said ":censored2: you, what are you going to do about it". Now I can't hit him (Lord knows I've been tempted and so close) because then my life is ruined. So I went to family court and filed PINS on him. Once PINS started the behavior got 10 times worse. Part of the deal was he had to see a mental health professional. He as put on an anti-psychotic medication which he refuses to take. He ended up stealing my car and running away to California with a girl. I flew to California and got him, we had a long talk, I felt like I broke through. Came home and same mean S.O.B who left. So I went to court and had a warrant out for his arrest. He turned himself in and got 30 days with an ankle bracelet. He's since been suspended for the entire school year for drug use on campus.

    And now, he is actively baiting me into a physical fight. He wants to get me arrested to pay me back for putting him on PINS. I'm obviously not taking the bait, but the household is so toxic. I have 2 little ones 11 and 5 who are so great, they're feeling the stress of the insanity he's bringing into the house. I told my wife that I could get an apartment and he moves in with me until he's 18. This way the kids can have a calm and peaceful house. Or since she doesn't want him to go to a group home, she stay with him and I take the other 2 kids away from the craziness.

    We just don't know what to do at this point. Nothing seems to improve the situation, he gets angrier, meaner, and does even more impulsive and crazy stuff. He refuses medication, refuses to really participate in therapy. He see nothing wrong with his behavior, says his mother and I are the problem, he just does what all teens do and we're being way too hard on him.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. My daughter used drugs and, while not as out of control or mean to us as your son is my two little kids were afraid of her rages and the cops dropping by. We made her leave at 19 and she did straighten out.

    I think it's not a bad idea to have one parent take the innocent littles out of son's toxic orbit. Sometimes we sacrifice the other loved ones for our off the rails kid and in my opinion that's not fair and it hurts everyone.

    It would be best if wife would allow son to live in a residential health center or therapy school but if wife refuses those options you may have to save the young kids by living in two families. The oldest sounds dangerous.

    When my daughter used drugs she stayed in her room when she wasn't at school but was up and peppy and snuck out at night. I'm guessing this is common drug behavior...they don't want you to see them high.

    I wish you the very best.
     
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  3. username40

    username40 New Member

    Thanks for the reply, my wife keeps waiting for him to say "I've been terrible, I'm so sorry and want a 2nd (really 102nd) chance, I will follow your rules, I'll focus on my mental health and listen to the doctors. I just want to be a family again, I want your love and respect". It's never going to happen, he's almost 17, and gets meaner and worse every year, refuses to see anything he does as wrong, refuses medication. He won't change absent hardcore mood stabilizers/anti-psychotics and intensive commitment to therapy, both of which will never happen with him.

    I actually have to move so I can kick him out at 18, in my state I have to keep him in the home until he's 21! No chance I can go another 4 years like this. I'm begging my wife will work with me to get him placed into a group home. She's afraid he'll get hurt, but these are all his decisions, I tell her I'm done with him, he's a lost cause, my focus is on my other two kids. THEY need to be protected.
     
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  4. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi there UN40 and welcome. I feel your pain and frustration through the interwebs. I have a violent 17 year old stepson who is thankfully, not in our custodial care. He has actually chosen to sever all ties with us, and to be frank, our lives are much happier and more peaceful without his toxic presence.

    I so wish I had some advice to offer but all I have is empathy. If you and your wife are not on the same page with the next steps, that makes the situation all the harder. I agree that your focus should be on your younger children and their safety, along with your own. It sounds like your son has made you his scapegoat and it doesn't seem like the two of you can interact positively at the moment (because of his actions; it sounds like you are doing everything as close to perfectly as possible).

    Given his anger and hostility toward you, I would suggest letting him stay with your wife, if it comes down to two households, and you take the two younger children. He could make a false accusation and if it was just the two of you it would be your word against his.

    I am so very sorry you are dealing with this. Does he have an IEP for an emotional disability? He can't just be thrown out of school with no educational options. Was he given an alternative program?

    Many hugs to you.
     
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  5. JRC

    JRC Active Member

    Username I'm so sorry. I don't have any words of advice but I completely understand your thinking and am hoping for a good outcome for your family.
     
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  6. wisernow

    wisernow wisernow

    I am so sorry that you are going through this . I do agree with the advice above whereby you need to protect the younger two. If he is dangerous to you, he is probably very dangerous to them, and may have threatened them into not reporting his behavior to you etc. Who knows what goes on? If he is baiting you he is doing it for an outcome beneficial only to him. You don't want to play that game because you risk losing the other two. Please protect yourself and them. Mom will need to come to terms with him at her time and pace, but that may take a while. You know what to do. Hugs!!!!
     
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  7. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Member

    Oh man, UN40, I'm right there with you. My son is 15 and our stories are very similar, except that we don't have other children, and I can understand how that makes a world of difference. I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

    Besides the advice that's already been given, I'll just add that, like your wife, my husband and my mother are several stages of acceptance behind me. I remember when I used to think like your wife - waiting for my son to "wake up" and want our old life back. There might be a little of that left in me, but for the most part, it is gone. It's hard to watch them still struggling to accept what's happening, and that our child may not ever come back to us the way he used to be. Keep talking to her, help her get past the denial, guilt, shame... or whatever feelings she's having that are stopping her from being objective in the decision-making.

    I hope you find a way to not have to live in separate houses, but unless she agrees to sending him to a home, or your son agrees to medications and therapy, it looks inevitable. I'm so, so sorry.

    How is your son getting the money to do stuff like go to California? I would definitely cut off any kind of allowance or permission to have a job. Not having money will be an obstacle to some of his behaviors.

    Stay safe and strong. We're here for you.
     
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  8. username40

    username40 New Member

    Thanks for all the kind words, I looked for an in the flesh support group for something like this, but had no luck. Mentally I'm coping but barely, I run, eat well, meditate, yoga, anything I can do to escape this nightmare. I just need to know other people are in this position, you feel so alone and like you're the only one dealing with this.

    My son doesn't work and we haven't given him a penny in years, he got the money to run away by convincing his girlfriend (or one of his girlfriend's) to go with him, she had just had a sweet 16 so had thousands in cash on her. He's a tall and very good looking kid, can be charming, and extremely smart, without even listening or doing anything in class he has straight A's (aside from the 2 incomplete's because he does no work). if he wasn't more than likely antisocial personality with psychopathic tendencies (too young for a formal diagnosis, but this is where he seems to be settling) he would be so successful in life. Honestly I wish I left him in CA, go to a shelter, become a beach bum, and peace.

    As for schooling, they provide night High School mon-thurs 3:00 - 5:30. The rest of the day his friends come over and he gets high.

    My wife is where I was 1 1/2 years ago, she now realizes he has serious issues and it's not normal teen angst. She flounders between ignoring him and wanting him out of the house, and kissing his butt, doing him favors and talking about summer vacation with him (he would just ruin it). I am completely done, I hold out zero hope for any relationship with him, or him ever being normal, I know at this point he is what he is. My wife still very much assumes he'll "grow out of it", when really he's "growing into it".

    The real kick in the ass is my wife (then girlfriend) got pregnant with him when she was just 18. We were in a panic but felt we couldn't have an abortion since we were Catholic and it's just ingrained in us, So we married and lost our youth working menial jobs, living in terrible areas with nothing, on welfare at times I'm not proud to say. We've both worked our way to Master's Degrees (I'm getting my MBA this semester), she's a teacher and I'm an executive IT manager. We grinded our entire lives, for him. And this is what it came to.

    It's all very depressing, but you have to just accept the situation as it is and find a way to be happy again.
     
  9. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Member

    Psychiatrists are calling it CD, but I'm with you in thinking that my son has antisocial personality with psychopathic tendencies. I hope we are both wrong.
    Sometimes I think it's easier to think that than to think that they just don't love us. For their sake though, the latter would be best.
    Or even better is that the frickin hormones calm the frick down and they become normal humans again.
     
  10. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Member

    I know you're angry. I am too. But let's try not to lose all hope. Even if it's just a tiny, tiny bit.
     
  11. sail24

    sail24 New Member

    We could have written this letter. Sorry, our boys are very similar. This is what our therapist said to me today. "I know you want to love and nurture that little boy you loved, but that little boy doesn't exist anymore. Look at him as he is now or you won't be able to help him". Your wife may need to hear this. Yes it was brutal, but she's right. I have to detach emotionally so I can possibly help him. Enabling him will only destroy my life. My husband and I will love our son as much as we can, but we've given ourselves the gift of putting the rest of the family first. Our son has been given every possible type of help available to him since he was 4 years old. That's a lot of different types of therapy.
     
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  12. sail24

    sail24 New Member


    I was wondering if your wife would feel better being in the house with him if you installed cameras. We did and it’s given me the sense of security I’ve needed. My husband travels and while thus far my son hasn’t shown signs of wanting to hurt me, I need to be prepared for anything. My son doesn’t like the cameras, no surprise, don’t care. He doesn’t know where all of the cameras are nor does he know we can hear him as well as see him. The cameras are linked to our phones, it records all movement and we’ll have video proof should anything happen. If you go to a separate house with your younger children, you’ll be able to feel more comfortable because you’ll have access to what is happening in your other home.
     
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome and sorry you have to be here.

    I would recommend finding a therapist that you and your wife can see that specializes in the behaviors you are seeing. You really need to be on the same page I believe. A good therapist can guide you through this uncertainty you are in and maybe you can even find some peace. If you have some plan in place it will make you feel better.

    They always blame their parents. I understand your wife wants to plan a family vacation and do NORMAL things but the fact is, this isn't going to fix anything and yes, he will definitely ruin your plans.

    Of course she doesn't want to deal with the reality of what is happening. Who would?? You want your "old" life back. Your son when he was easier. I want that to but the reality is, that is no longer the case. Your wife may hear what she wants to someday from your son but my bet is that it is a very very long way off. You have to find ways to cope and live now/today.

    When they are minors and raising hell it seems our hands are somewhat tied. You can't let 4 other people suffer and sink to save one and it's not saving him anyway. More will be along that have experience with this. Good luck to you.
     
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  14. username40

    username40 New Member

    Anyone just throw in the towel and let him/her just do whatever they wanted?

    I'm pretty much at that point, because any attempt to straighten him out he ups the ante, more CPS investigators, more social workers, more police calls to the home. Last time he ran away to California, if he feels the pressure maybe he'll hurt himself or someone else? Maybe he'll lie to social services to get me arrested and my other children taken? At this point it's about payback for him. I wouldn't put anything past him. If I let him do drugs, cut school, stay out all night and for days at a time, drink, not lift a finger to do anything in the house he'll likely be out of our hair until he's 18. When he turns 18 he swears he's moving out (going to California, he has this idea that it's paradise).

    I don't know, I'm just so torn on what to do. Do I keep trying with this kid and risk his wrath and revenge schemes that could get my other two taken? Or just let him crash and burn?
     
  15. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Member

    My son says the same. He's leaving at 18.

    Two of the three psychs we're seeing are saying basically that - let him do nothing, stop pressuring, stop expecting anything from him...

    We always had a very disciplined routine, and I find it impossible to just sit back and watch him fall into lazy, unhealthy habits.
    I just can't.

    But if you think it will make life easier for you and the rest of your family, maybe you should give it a try, if you can stand it.

    Psychs talk about natural consequences, and how I never let him feel them because I'm always saving him from them.
    Maybe letting them do whatever they want is a way for them to experience those natural consequences and not be able to blame us.
    I dunno. I find it very, very difficult.
     
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  16. username40

    username40 New Member

    Me too, my wife can ignore him and his disrespect, I've found I can for a time, until I can't.

    For instance I grew up very poor, I always remember filth and rodents in our house. So eating in the rooms and leaving filth everywhere is a sticking point for me. I do work hard not to be overly strict or put my standards on the kids. My standards are near Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) levels of clean and orderly. He eats in his room and will literally throw a bowl of cereal with milk in his closet, soaking clothes and just leave it to rot. He'll do this until almost every dish in the house is in his room covered in rotting food and filth. And he'll refuse to clean it "what are you gonna do? Can't take me to court for not cleaning a dish". So his mother and I take the dishes out and cleans up while he smirks. It's enough to make you nuts.

    This is what I deal with, and I can't let it go.

    Ugghhhh I need to just move out and hopefully my wife comes to her senses and sends the 2 little ones over to my place until he's gone. She refuses to press charges for the crimes he does like stealing our car, refuses to have him put in a home, it should just be her and him then. It's too volatile and toxic with me there because I still hold him accountable which brings out his crazy.
     
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    No. Take the littles with you. The littles will have nobody to protect them from son if you just leave. Mom right now is not capable of taking care of your small kids. Let her handle older son if she wants to keep him at home, but please don't let her and son ruin the life of the younger kids. Is it hard? Yes. But it's in my opinion the only right thing to do!
     
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  18. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Member

    :gasp: I would get the dishes and leave his clothes rotting. Don't wash them and don't buy him more. Maybe just shove them all into a big plastic bag to contain the stink and the worms. Gross. That would drive anyone crazy. That's amazing that you have been able to fight the urge to grab and shake him. Omg.

    I wish there was some organization that could send out Big Brother type people to live with us and our kids, and follow them around boot-camp style, making them do the stuff we can't.
     
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  19. dgrace

    dgrace New Member

    What an absolute relief it has been to find this site and read your stories. Thank you all for sharing. I don't feel so alone.
     
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  20. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I agree with Baggy. When I was reading your story I felt my anger rise. I couldn't just ignore that either.

    I used to have it out with my son over his hygiene. I can't live with someone that is not clean with themselves.

    On a side note, now he loves his showers and appreciates them.