At a loss for words and feelings....

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Milhval, May 22, 2016.

  1. Milhval

    Milhval Always a mom!

    Hi Everyone,
    This is my first post. I've been on here a few weeks just reading and trying to make sense of everything.
    I am at such a loss that I don't even know where to start.

    My son just turned 21 about 2 weeks ago. Last night everything escalated and my husband kicked him out of the house. He picked up his stuff, left and I've been completely heartbroken.

    I have continually been asking myself where I went wrong. He has told me that it's my fault that he has turned out this way. Told me the other day that he has been smoking pot since 9 th grade. A little bit of history:
    At the age of 3, his dad left us. I raised him by myself for almost 10 years. His dad was on and off. I home schooled him until 2nd grade. He was a social butterfly and loved by everyone for his personality. He is ADHD, but I chose to keep him off of medication ( which I am very sad about as I think this would have helped him and deterred him from where he is now). When I put him in school for third grade, he tested at a high middle school level, almost high school level. He went to a private school from 4th grade to 10th grade, when I had to transfer him to a public school for 11th and 12th ( this is where I saw the huge change). Throughout his private school years, he was involved in choir, drama, tried swimming and wrestling but didn't work out ( he's not very athletic) was loved by his classmates, teachers etc. I was never called to the office. He struggled with school work only because he would procrastinate getting it done, and I tried to stay on top of it as much as possible. I know I bailed him out a lot, which was not good. I was pretty involved with school,being the home room mom several years. When he was 12, I remarried to a man who had an older son. He immediately got very attached to both of them as he has an addictive personality. Unfortunately, things didn't work out and just two years later we separated and eventually divorced ( this was during my sons 9th grade...and he was devastated. Was this when it all started?) Throughout my sons life, he has always seemed to be very dramatic. I always tried to gauge how much was real and how much was drama when something happened.

    We started a new life, just the two of us again and in 11th grade he started to attend a new public school. This is where everything started to go downhill. His grades started to fall and eventually almost failed to the point of nearly missing graduating, which he pulled off miraculously. He started a community college eve though he has a four year university plan paid for. He lost all the credits because he failed the classes by not doing the work, not showing up or not dropping them on time. He has no concept the cost of these and simply just doesn't care. My son has thoughts of grandeur. He has all these fantastic, great ideas and believes that one of those will make him a millionaire one day. However, he starts to work on each idea and somehow never finishes anything.

    He has been smoking pot now for over 5 years he says. We just realized what was going on about 2 years ago. The Dr says he is self medicating as he suffers from depression and anxiety... The dr even mentioned he could be bipolar. My son says he is happy where he is right now as there was a point a few years back where he was doing other drugs and he removed himself from them because he didn't like the effects. He said I should be glad all he is doing is pot as he could be in a really bad situation or dead. He does not want any help or rehab. The concept of not caring, I described above, seems to be a predominant one. He has simply stopped caring about his looks, his hygiene, his surroundings.... By this I mean that he can wear the same pair of pants and or shirt for days on end... He doesn't comb his hair. He bathes (at least) but puts on the same dirty clothes. He has tons of clean clothes but chooses not to use them. He doesn't wear deodorant so he stinks a lot of the time. He used to be so well kept! He does have a job with our company where he works as a supervisor from 5 am to 1 pm on Mon thru Thursday. He has been very consistent with this, although sometimes he takes his position for granted and takes longer breaks than he should or just plain liberties that he shouldn't. He also doesn't follow our instructions on how we would like things done. Although he makes good money ( and doesn't have living expenses) he always seems to be broke. He has acquired some debt, which he says he's paying off and always is asking for money.

    I married in November to a man (widower) that I have been with for the last 4 years. We have been living In His home for the last two, along with his 21 year old daughter ( who moved out about 1 yr ago but is coming back) and with his now 14 year old son. He has been very good to and lenient with my son, who takes advantage and does not appreciate anything he has. I don't know where the son I "knew" is... I had a compassionate, loving child. One that would do anything for anyone in need. He's turned in to a nasty, back talking, insubordinate person. He mainly keeps to himself and his select group of friend ( who are all into smoking) ( I forgot to mention that in the process he lost his best friend since his was 3)they all just hang out and watch movies or play video games. Just recently he told me that I had been the cause of him turning out this way . Talk about a guilt trip... I take that to heart! Anyway, last night everything fell apart. He started to curse and yell at me and my husband told him to stop. He started to mouth back to my husband and they got into a physical fight. Some friends of his were here and we seep rated them... At which time my husband kicked,him out! ( I don't blame him) when my husband left, my son came and got right in my face ( he tends to do that, maybe it's intimidation?) said that he couldn't believe I had not taken his side and called me a b--ch! , in my face at which time I slapped him. I left and went to my room. While he was picking up his stuff, he tore a drawer from the dresser and threw it up against a wall making a hole in the wall. He has opened several holes in our walls throughout the years, usually with his fists. He has a terrible temper, short fuse, problem. I haven't heard from him since I am completely debased, scared, worried, hurt, dissilussioned, disappointed but mostly, heartbroken. Where did my wonderful boy go? The one that used to kiss me and snuggle with me and pick up all the wild flowers and thought that I was the best mommy in the world?

    As I have been reading here, he seems to fall under so many other labels...NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD), defiant disorder, bipolar...etc ... I am just at a loss...I am so scared for him, for his future, what does it hold? How can it get better? I thought perhaps as he grows out of it and gets a family... But I'm scared to think that that could happen he still be in the same state of mind... That would be terrible. I feel like he took a large part of me with him. I love him so much and I feel helpless,and useless to help him.

    Sorry about the long post but just didn't know how to do it any shorter.
  2. A dad

    A dad Active Member

    Welkcome to this comunity.
    First I am sorry for what you got trough. But I usually see the light at the end of the tunnel. So as you pointed out he has ADHD so his abilty to focus on anything are very affected. So the college he never finished projects never finished its ADHD getting other diseases we kinda exagerate. So anything requiring attention its not gona get the best rezults average is the best you can get with untreated ADHD. Now the time to force him to get treatment has passed and its his choice to get it. So imagine living like that the frustration levels are trough the roof and it seems he did not found a way to manage it. Also it seems he did not get pass the divorce with your previous husband as and has some atachment issues about that. What can you do about that well nothing there his issues and neets to rezolve them. He is also a adult and its probably his way to get independence without knowing he wants it. There all kinds of reasons for his behaviour but none of them are excuses and your husband made the best choice possible for your family and its very possible for your son also.
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our little corner of paradise. ADHD causes more problems than just having trouble with focus. Please do not beat yourself up. You did the best you could at the time. That is all any of us can do. He has a job he has money he has friends where he can stay.

    I think that he is doing more than just smoking weed. Weed is not that expensive. There is an article on detaching from our troubled loved ones in parent emeritus. I think it is a good place to start.
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  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What went wrong is pretty obvious, but it isn't the most important thing.

    The most important thing is where to go from here. Your son has serious challenges. He needs to recognize and own those challenges, and start taking steps toward positive goals. If nothing changes, then NOTHING changes.

    If it's any consolation, a lot of us have found that lots of challenging kids have a light bulb go on, somewhere after age 25. Maturity starts to kick in, and they figure things out. Not all of them, but it's amazing how many make changes in the later 20s.
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  5. Milhval

    Milhval Always a mom!

    Thank you all for the welcome! Please forgive me, as I do not know how to post individually.

    A Dad, thanks for your reply. About a year ago the Dr gave him Aderrall extended release, which he uses for work. I have heard him say that sometimes he takes two, which I have told him that's not good for him. I really need to try and see the light at the end of the tunnel, but at this moment, I can't even find the tunnel.

    Pasajes4, thank you for the info on the article. I'm going to look for it and read it. I'm so afraid that he is doing other things, although he says he isn't. He is paying off some credit cards that he maxed out and his phone bill, but you are right, he should still have money left over.

    InsaneCdn, thank you... Question is, where do we go from here? If he feels that he doesn't need help, that smoking weed is the best thing for his life, then I guess it means that he has to hit bottom...right? What snaps a change in them? How can I get him to recognize those challenges? Thank you for the ray of hope that comes with maturity. I long for that time to come. I've been praying for him throughout his ordeal.

    At this point, I would treasure the moment that peace comes over this family and at least mend the hurt and hard feelings that happened this weekend. Even if he doesn't return, which I do not foresee, at least to be able to see him and talk to him every once In a while. I have not called him or texted him, which kills me. I don't know what to do.

    You know as moms, we have all these dreams for our children... And eventually to be a grandma to our children's children. After everything he said this weekend, how he hated me for not taking his side, I am hoping that he will have a change of heart. I pray that this does not create a wedge between all of us.
  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Hi Milhval and welcome to the forum. I'm just so sorry for what you are going through right now with your son.

    Please know your story struck a lot of chords with me, and there are many similarities to my son's story.

    You did not go wrong. He has decided to go wrong. Huge difference here.

    Yes, they will blame us and blame us and blame us. They are victims looking for a scapegoat, and we are the most convenient and most of the time, we are only too glad to accept the blame. Don't do it.

    My son self-medicates. Today it's with nicotine. It used to be with alcohol and pills and pot and whatever else that I never found out about.

    On a larger scale, many people self-medicate. I do it with food and success. Anyway, I digress...

    Of course you are. The first time I kicked my son out, I thought I would die. I didn't and he didn't, but it was only the beginning of a very very long journey. For me and for him.

    Your son is a grown man by society's standards, even though he is likely very immature due to his drug use and other factors. Boys take an extraordinary time to grow up, especially.

    Can I offer you these ideas right now---for YOU:

    1. Read the post on detachment that has been recommended. Print it out and hang it up and carry a copy in your purse. Read it every single day.
    2. Find your source peace, whether it's prayer, church, meditation, yoga, exercise, a long walk, sitting in silence, whatever it is, and start a daily practice.
    3. Go to Al-Anon. Find the meetings in your town, print out the schedule, and make a commitment to go to the first one. Then go to five more. We often say in Al-Anon to try it six meetings before you decide if Al-Anon is right for you. Al-Anon saved my life when I finally was able to hear what they were saying and recommending. It took me a long time because I thought I could affect change in my son's life. When I finally started seeing (I am very slow learner) that I can't change another person, I was ready to hear what they were saying.

    Today, in my situation, I believe that my getting out of my son's way has been a key factor, not the only factor, but a key one, in him starting to rebuild his life over the past two years. He has had two years of steady progress after 5 years of a completely out of control life. He will be 27 in July.

    Many of our kids go off the rails in high school, regardless of the school they go to, the parents they have, the outside factors that are in place. It is a time of tremendous change for young people, physically, mentally and emotionally, and it's a hard time for many. My son's very slow decline started in 7th grade, but he kept it all between the rails until he graduated because he wanted to play soccer and pretty much conformed to expectations (except schoolwork but the high school was a sports high school so they didn't have good emphasis on academics anyway) until he graduated. Then there was a very steep decline---he flunked out of the first semester in college, lost his scholarship, and stumbled through the second semester until they finally kicked him out there. Over the next few years he was in jail 8 or 9 times, homeless multiple times, and I was devastated. It was truly a terrible few years for me. I was divorced at the beginning of it all, and I spent a lot of my energy feeling guilty and responsible for my son's choices because of the divorce.

    My son has an addictive personality just like his dad and granddad. It is genetic. He made choices that led him to the life he created. He has multiple chances in rehab, with doctors, with psychiatrists, with counselors, with well-meaning people, with me and with his dad, to turn himself around many many times, but he was a victim, he blamed other people, and he didn't want to do anything he didn't want to do. We had countless meetings, talks, contracts, yelling, screaming, hugging, talking, reasoning, you name it, we tried it. Nothing worked until he was ready to change.

    So you ask, how can I get him to see? You can't. I'm so sorry but you can't. Maybe, if and when he decides to turn and walk in a new direction, all you tried to do will flood back in his heart and mind and that will make a difference. Who knows? I know that I spent 10 years sweeping up, bailing out, providing a safety net for my son, first for the little things and then for the big things, until I finally learned how to stop. I had to get completely out of the way in order for him to grow up and become an adult. It was and is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

    A positive note: This weekend (and right this minute) that son that I am telling you about is in the back seat of our car. He, my new husband of 1.5 years (his stepdad) and I are in one car, and my older son and his wife are in another. We all drove 10 hours to a family wedding for my nephew and their cousin. We stayed in a vrbo together. We had a great time. We are on the way back home right now. I am a very grateful mother today.

    My son is truly the Prodigal Son. My entire family is so grateful and so welcoming that he is back with us. We were all heartbroken at his choices for many years. Today, he is sweet, kind, still quiet, but is working hard to rebuild his life. He is an electrician and supports himself. He is paying off fines, and will be off probation totally in another 18 months. I help him with health insurance.

    Things can and do change, but only when THEY decide they want to change and are ready to change. You can be there to extend a hand when that day comes, but I truly and honestly believe that we are just wasting our time, energy and money trying to change another human being. Even if it's for good and right reasons. Adults have a right to make their own choices, however destructive they can be. We need to let them face the consequences of those choices, and that is the fastest and best way for them to decide if this is the life they want or not.

    We are glad you are here, and we welcome you. There are tremendous people here with many ideas, support and encouragement. Take what you like and leave the rest. Only you know your own situation and we all respect that here. Warm hugs today.
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  7. Milhval

    Milhval Always a mom!

    Childofmine, thank you for the wonderful insight. I am so happy for you that your son has made a turn around and you are able to enjoy him. I long for those days. I pray for him at every moment and there's others praying as well. I really believe in the power of prayer.

    I am very thankful that I have found this forum. No one seems to understand you unless they have walked in your shoes. Everyone here, has in some way or another done that. I am very great grateful for every piece of advise and every consoling word. At times when we feel our world is falling apart, there's others there to pick you back up. Thank you and many blessings to your family.
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  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    My God...our boys could be twins.

    Mine took off at 1 or 2 years old. I remarried when he was 5 and never saw the biodad again.

    Always public school here, but he was always very bright. Unlike yours, there was no social butterfly here though. He was always socially awkward and had few friends.

    Ditto. He nearly failed high school (he actually graduated early) by failing to do the work. He spend an entire year of college stoned in the dorm and went to no classes.

    We realized it at 17 and have been fighting it ever since.

    No diagnosis really, but my son clearly suffers from depression.

    Ditto to both.

    Hardest thing in the world, isn't this? There are times I miss him so much I can't stand it and he's right there. But he isn't. Not anymore.

    You will get through this. We are here for you.
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  9. Milhval

    Milhval Always a mom!

    Lil, Thank you so much for your post.
    It's incredible to see how these drugs affect the majority of our children in very similar ways and yet they say that these drugs are harmless ( at least mine does say that) which drives me crazy! It seems that from post to post we get a lot of "Dittos".

    Just like you, my son is an only child... how frustrating it is. All the dreams I had for him, have now turned into short term wishes for his well being. Little steps of progress make me happy and then suddenly, I seem to be taking ten steps back. It's great that you have a support system in your hubby. Mine is great too, but just doesn't get why all this has affected me so much. I guess he has a strong character and feels that I should just get over it. I don't think there's such a thing.

    I don't know how to "quote" from what you wrote, but WOW.. what you said about Missing him so much and not being able to stand it and... he's right there, but he's not! That expresses my feeling exactly! Now only, he's no longer here, and I haven't heard from him in three days. I know he's ok ( because he works for us off site ) and just not calling or getting in touch, out of spite.

    I am very glad I found this place... We will be here for each other.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    To "quote", simply highlight the text: Put your mouse where you want the quote to start, left-click and hold the button, then scroll to where you want the quote to end and release. A little black box should appear that says, "Quote / Reply" and if you click quote, it'll say, "Message added to Multi-Quote" then when you reply, click "insert quotes".

    At least that works on a P.C. on my phone app, it doesn't work.

    At least yours works so you have that way to keep track. Although, apparently he works for you and doesn't do a very good job. :( So sorry.

    And yes, it's good to be here. It's very important to have support and you will find lots of it here.