Could use some insight

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jgreen03, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. jgreen03

    jgreen03 New Member

    I also posted this on another forum and they recommend I post it here. thanks.
    My difficult child is a 17 yo male. I raise him myself until he was twelve when I got married and went on to have two more children. His father has not been a constant in his life. Even as a small child his father would threaten if he didn't listen he would never see him again. My difficult child has always had behavior problems. But as a young child he would be charming and sweet so he would get away with it. As the years went on I had him tested for ADD. One Dr would say he had it and another would say not. Still he has always struggled with school and being able to stay on track. I was hoping that once I got married things would get better and they did for a short period of time and then my son and husband had an argument and husband was trying to get him to come in the house by phycially getting him in there and the neighbors called the police and they instantly took husband to jail. Charges evenually got dropped. However, now his authority had been broken when it came to difficult child. Last year things starting getting really bad realizing difficult child had developed a drug problem. And began stealing and pawning our valuable. He would also disappear for days on end. It was finally resolved well not really he stole the family car and I caught him driving and ended up in a police chase through our neighborhood and evenually caught. I took him and gave him to his father to clean himself up. Well of course that lasted four months and he was back in my house. Things were good for awhile until he had to enroll in the alternative education and of course not shortly after he resumed his old behaviors. husband caught on and with out telling me tried to get him off the weed. We were also trying to home school him Which seemed to be working good and he also got the job he has wanted for a very long time. Working as a lifeguard at the local YMCA. Things seemed to be looking up for him and he also had a new girlfriend. A good choice this time. He was looking into the military and college. And slowly of course things started getting out of control. Stealing five bucks here or there so we let it slide. Most recent incident husband and I woke up to difficult child crawling out of our closet. husband charged after him and was yelling at him. As husband was walking away difficult child punched him in the eye. husband of course called the police and difficult child was arrested. I called his father and of course paid half to get him out. Now difficult child is with his father and telling me I am not allowed to talk to him according to court papers. Which of course states that he have no contact with husband or any of his family. Now I am stuck. All I have ever tried to do is get this kid some help and this is where we keep ending up. If I leave it up to his father he will go no where like him a high school drop working a 100 hours in a kitchen. I want better for difficult child. I just don't know what to do anymore and could use some insight. Thanks for reading.
  2. VLong

    VLong New Member

    I just wanted you to know that I am sending lots of hugs and prayers for you and your family. I don't really have any suggestions. It is so hard, I know because I have been there with my oldest. At 18 I told him he could no longer live at my home. Luckily (believe it or not) his father lives in CO and couldn't help him out, so for a year he was homeless and into a lot of drugs and alcohol. To make a long story short, when he proved to husband and I that he would respect us, our home and our rules he was allowed to move back home. He told me that it was the best thing I could have ever done by making him leave, I made him grow up...his words. He is now waiting for the birth of his daughter any day now and is a wonderful young man. He may never be the man I wanted him to be, but he is back to the respectful, loving and funny person I love with all my heart.

    So, they can change, but only when they HAVE to or they are ready to. Sounds like you and your ex may be helping him too much. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do to throw my own child out of my home, but the outcome is just what I had hoped for. I'm sure others will be along with more advice. I just wanted you to know that I understand and care.

  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    HI and welcome,

    My son wasn't into the drug scene, but he was arrested this year for theft. He went to Department of Juvenile Justice, then home and was so disrespectful we called our caseworker and told them he needed to be placed somewhere or something bad was going to happen.

    The group home difficult child is at isn't what I would call "a great place" it's a roof, and a meal. He's supposed to be learning how life is without your parents there always picking up the pieces. I've seen him once time since September. I'm not to send him any money or gifts or anything. HE's to do it all on his own.

    I think Vicky told you about as straight as you're going to hear it. And had it not been for difficult child's caseworker - we were going to throw Dude out as well. Amazingly enough - he is just starting to see that home wasn't such a hole. MOm and Dad were not Nazi's, and you DO have to work to get the things you want, because if you steal you get really nasty room mates. I would recommend you read a book called Tough Love - cover to cover.

    He's 17, he's making bad choices, and I can't see where things at bio dads are going to help at all. But brining him back home to your two angels - is NOT going to help them at all. Detach from this child and his problems the best you can. Get someone to talk to if it will help, and always let him know you love him - but don't ever let him wipe his feet on you again.

    I'm facing a similar situation with difficult child being curious about biomorons family - 11 years to keep him away from them and he gets to a phone, calls them and throws it up in my face. I am so thankful I could detach because while I'm not over it - and it does bother me - at least I am not bringing it up to him - I've had to let it go. I think that is freaking him out - like I don't care, it didn't get a rise in me - (past telling him the cell phone I was thinking out getting him was out due to me not wanting to pay for calls to them) and so maybe by learning how to detach I've actually helped him.

    Harder than it sounds - I know.

  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi JMS and welcome.

    While your story is heartbreaking, it is all too familiar for most of us hereabouts.

    A couple of suggestions. Get a hold of a book called Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. You can find a used copy on Amazon for a few bucks. Read it. Read it again. Secondly, get yourself into a 12 step program for families of addicts. You could try AlAnon or Families Anonymous. It really helps to connect with other families who have addicted loved ones.

    If at all possible sit down with your ex and figure out a plan. Allowing your son to bounce back and forth when things get tough isn't doing him any favors. Come up with a 'family' plan and try really hard to stick to it.

    You have a few precious months before your son turns 18. And then the legal system will be less prone to be tolerant of your son's behaviors.

    I might suggest trying to coerce him into some sort of a rehab if you feel that the drugs are the root of his issues. If on the other hand you feel that he is rebellious and taking drugs as another way to rebel, then perhaps it is best to allow some real life consequences for his behaviors (like sitting in jail instead of getting bailed out). You may need a professional to help you figure out what you are really dealing with.

    I'm sorry you're going though this. It is not easy. Come here and post often. It really helps to 'talk' to other parents who have been where you are.

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    GG, gave you the advice that all of us believe works best. It is
    not easy AND it is no guarantee of success. Detaching from our
    teen is a difficult but necessary process. Trying to come up with a joint family plan (yes, I understand what you are thinking
    as I have an Ex also) is worth the effort AND if by some miracle
    a coalition can be formed it is very very helpful for the difficult child.
    Rehab programs can work but most often short term rehab programs
    for defiant teens only expose our teens to more complex teens than the ones they hang with...UNLESS...the difficult child truly wants to
    overcome his addictions. In other words, you can lead the horse
    to water and it can pretend to drink...but you sure can't force
    it! Lastly the legal system issue is most complex. There is a huge difference from area to area on how "the system" works. We
    in the CD family have had very different experiences. Where I live it is insane..that's an understatement. Up until a year ago
    they actually published the photo and private information of every teen who was arrested. :nonono: Obviously that was about the equivalent of branding them with a scarlet letter for life.
    on the other hand some communities do actually "see" that teens are different
    than adults and provide sensible consequences. The important factor is to decide what your position will/would be should your
    son end up in "the system". Some of us have $$'d up for the lst
    offense and told our difficult children "never again". Some of us have said
    "I will visit in juvie but never in adult jail". Some of us have
    suffered through every mistake the difficult child makes and have shared every trauma....usually resulting in more pain for the parent than for the difficult child.

    You have found a great place. We do not have one collective opinion about all the issues but 99% of the time you will get
    caring support and honesty. Most of all you can share every painful feeling here and not have to worry about repercussions
    of your honesty.

    Many of us, by the way, choose "names" that are not indicative of who
    we really are so that we have that freedom. We protect our family privacy and benefit by not having to think twice about
    what we say. Welcome again. DDD
  6. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Welcome, jgreen. :smile:

    I am glad you found us.

    At the bottoms of my posts is the address of a site about detaching from the unhealthy aspects of what is happening with our children, so that we can function with clarity as we cope with whatever is thrown at us next.

    It was a lifesaver for me.

    When I first came to the site, I was certain there must be some magical something, some strength or wisdom or SOMETHING other moms had that I did not, and that my son was acting out some emotional pain, working through some old scars, compensating for some horrible something from his childhood.

    I just couldn't let go of that mindset.

    Over time, I came to understand that whatever my son's motivations, the most powerful words I could say, to him OR TO MYSELF, are: "You were raised better than this."

    Because that is true.

    It is a simple phrase, easy to remember, easy to say, if only to ourselves.

    The other thing that was so helpful to me was a thread in which the other parents gave me phrases to use ~ things like "Oh, that's too bad, honey ~ what are you going to do."

    Or even, just "Oh, that's too bad, honey."

    And not another word.

    That thread is in our PE archives.

    I hope this is a better day for you, jgreen.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Bottom line is, at his age ONLY HE CAN DECIDE TO QUIT. Even if you coerce him into a rehab it will be meaningless if his heart isn't in it. They can't force him to quit either. My daughter quit when she saw her friends arms full of needle marks and she had a sudden lightbulb moment, "That could be me." There was no rehab, no therapy--not saying people don't need it, but she just quit. She is really doing well.
    Another thing: NEVER BELIEVE "It's just pot, Mom." That's what we and many other parents of drug abusers thought. It is usually more than pot if they are way out of control and in trouble with the law. Not saying pot is good, but it makes you mostly spaced out, not violent and lawbreaking. My daughter tells me now, after it's over, that she snorted stimulants often with cocaine, used ecstascy, tried heroine, and abused MANY over-the-counter drugs--all the time we just thought it was pot. She also tells me she drank up a storm, something we didn't know either. Were we dumb? YES! We are very straight. Also, daugther did most of this at night, while we were sleeping, and was not high or drunk when we were awake, at least not in the house. And we didn't even take that leap and think "It could be heronie." I mean, who thinks their kid shoots heroine? I'm only glad she didn't continue and didn't get addicted to it. However, she insists she was addicted to ADHD stimulants, which were easy to get. Her friends and herself would crush them in pillcrushes and snort them (I know, ICK) alone and with other drugs. Her friends would FAKE ADHD to get the drugs or steal them from younger sibs or if necessary buy them off the street. Finally, we gave her a big ultamatum: Go to rehab and DO THE PROGRAM or leave. SHe left, cursing us about how she'll hate us forever. Uh, right. She got straight. It takes Tough Love. Drug addicts thrive in their self-destruction when we enable them. It's the worst thing we can do to those we love who suffer from drug addiction. It just makes it easy for them to use. We want to make them hit rock bottom so they can decide to change. I cried my eyes out after she left, but it was worth it. I wish you luck. This is VERY difficult, but in my opinion you have to let go a nd realize you can NOT do anything to change him right now. Not one thing. HE has to decide to do it. And I would let him sit in jail next time. His lawyer can be the one the court appoints. He needs to be shocked straight. JMO from experience.