Thank you all so much! I haven't been around simply because we've been running so much that I barely have time to breathe!
We've been able to visit our son in his group home every weekend, and he's seemed SO needy of our presence that we've done the almost-eight-hour round trip to see him every one of the four weekends he's been there. The last two, we decided to get a hotel to spend a night or two so that it wasn't such a long haul.
Now, he's reached his "status" so we were able to take him out for the day last Saturday, and he will now be able to come home every other weekend.
Guys, he's talking the talk, but SO much sounds like "therapy speak." Call me a cynic, but I have a difficult time believing that a month in a group home and counseling are going to make any real long-term changes, i.e., he tells us, "Mom and Dad, you're the BEST parents in the world--you did everything right--it was me and my choices that got me where I am." Yet, when we told him that, during his visits home, he was going to be on probation and would have to submit to our supervision, i.e., driving him to and from his friends' homes and ONLY if we trust the friends he chooses to visit, his response was, "I'm not going to smoke pot or drink because I'm going to be tested when I go back, so I should still be able to "hang out" with my friends!"
So, although I'm happy he's going to be home, I'm VERY nervous that he's going to find avoiding temptation MUCH more difficult than he could possibly imagine when he's back with his old friends. PLUS, even after we've all been through as a result of his resistance to accepting parental authority and following rules in general, the fact that he is STILL resisting and trying to find wiggle room in the rules concerning his home visits is worrisome...
Again, thank you all for your concern and caring. I SO much appreciate it! And, if you all have any suggestions, warnings, etc. about his first visit home, I can use the advice. I'm SO nervous about it!
Until you have some trust and until your difficult child earns it, I would strongly recommend that any socializing he does with his "friends" be done at your home, and/or in your presence. Do an activity together. Go out for dinner, go to a movie...together, with the friend(s). Give him every opportunity to pass muster and be successful...and as little opportunity as possible for temptation.
And don't let him come home at all unless he agrees ahead of time to the terms.
And take him back immediately, even if it's early, if he breaks them.
I know it's hard. The holidays make it even more heartbreaking. Let him feel the pain of your loss. It's ok for him to feel this and it will do him a world of good to feel what his therapy is trying to teach/point out to him.
Many of us have been there done that with the "talk the talk". Geez, it is
so blankin' frustrating! Sending supportive hugs your way.
Even with easy child's peer pressure is hard to resist. With our
s.a. kids their friends may not pressure them per se but they are not going to change their habits so our kids are
in a "clean" environment. Not! Scarey..yep! DDD
Me, too, DDD. CAmom, 3D is so right. Even a easy child has a hard time resisting---and it so hard to find "good" kids these days. My difficult child too talked the talk---we've been battling him for 4 years now, and nothing has changed. If anything he has gone from one bad group to a worse one and on down. The next group of friends he finds will probably be...OMG...I can't imagine that. Keep up the structure when he gets home. Don't fall for anything. The longer he stays clean, the more of a chance he will stay clean.
I agree with the others. He needs to realize coming home is a priviledge and he needs to agree to what you are asking of him while he's there, or not come home. Make it clear that you will not battle or bend the rules once he gets home and if it becomes an argument you will bring him right back and he won't be coming home again until you feel he's ready.
It's scarey. My difficult child is coming home for the day tomorrow from his soberhouse and he has to be back tomorrow night for a mandatory house meeting at 7 p.m., besides the fact that he's not allowed to sleep out for the first 30 days. I'm glad they have this rule in place because I know he can come spend the day and then we will bring him home, no questions asked, and no rules we had to put in place. He's also almost 20 though and hasn't lived home in over a year, so he's pretty much on his own regarding the decisions he makes about his life. He still knows though that when he's visiting in our home he needs to be respectful and appreciate it, or don't bother to come anymore.
Will he be home for Thanksgiving dinner, or not until the weekend? Although it will probably be very difficult for you to spend Thanksgiving without him if he's not coming home for it, believe me, it will be more relaxing for you knowing where he is. Last Thanksgiving my son was still in rehab and at first I was really sad about him not being there, but afterwards I realized it was the most relaxing holiday I had in years!!