Crisis abroad

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tatianna13, May 1, 2011.

  1. Tatianna13

    Tatianna13 New Member

    I am new to this forum, I am reaching out because I have raised an oppositional defiant child for eighteen years. It controlled our family and has disrupted our marriage so much that we will likely separate. We made our sn leave when he was 18. He was out of control with alcohol, friends and behaviors. It was devastting to all of us and especially him, he did not think we would ask him to leave, since then it has been two years and he refuses to talk to us so many times we have tried, & tried. We just heard he joined the military, we are devastated......we have no idea who could help us find him and we have no way of knowing if something happens to him. We all miss him so much, buy he refuses us as a family . I didn't think the pain could get worse but addthe military into the equations and now I adevastated. Any advice would be a blessing!
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Welcome. Not sure I have any advice but I have a lot of sympathy. My son is 19 and out of the house.... we go through pretty bad times and I think he will not contact us for a long time and then he needs something and we hear from him. I know it must be really hard not to hear from him when you reach out. Our son wanted to join the military and has wanted to do that since he was 13.... I felt the way you do.... but then thought maybe the structure of the military is what he needs.... unfortunately for him my son now has a felony record and so the military is no longer an option. BUT my hope for you and your son is that the military will help turn him around, and he will eventually see that you love him and he will reach back to you. I don't think there is anything else you can do at this point really. Keep posting ad reading here, it helps to know others understand and have been through similar things.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board Tatianna

    It is devastating to be estranged from your child, whether it is by choice or not. We were estranged from katie and the grandkids for many years. While we had no contact, I managed to track her via the internet......let me know that at the very least she was alive and where she was. So I understand how you feel.

    I understand your fear concerning the military..............but honestly? It might be the best thing for him. Many difficult children respond to the routine and strict discipline believe it or not. He can further his education via the military as well as be trained for many many different jobs that can transfer to civilian life. He'll have a roof over his head, medical care, and food in his stomach. All good things.

    I know it used to be you could find military family members via the Red Cross. I have no clue if they do it these days or not. But my husband was military for 15 yrs. Just asked him, he's saying Red Cross too, but you need his social security number. They'll find him, his CO will tell him to contact his parents, then you should hear from him. However that call may not be pleasant if he's not wanting contact. My mom used this to find my sister.......she'd went TDY without telling anyone, scared my mom to death. Sis was a tad ticked at mom cuz her CO was more than a tad ticked at her for not keeping family in the loop. lol

    I hope you can find him and reconnect.......even if it's distant and an I just know you're alive and well sort of thing.

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Tatiana -

    To have a difficult child son that defiant, and THAT out of control where you had to throw him out of your home actually do something so structured as join the military? My goodness Mom - THAT IS AMAZING! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. First I think it shows tremendous forsight on his part. It says he is thinking about a future for himself. Next it says he is thinking about needing structure and discipline in his life. I don't believe it's a slap in the face to you, just the opposite. I see it as a young man who is trying to pull his life together by showing his family he can become something better, a PART of something bigger. Something which he was obviously not able to do while under your roof. Congratulations to you.

    As far as finding him? I'm not sure where you are at - your post says greetings abroad, but I think if you have a social security number you should be able to go to the military with that as his Mother and inquire about his wherabouts.

    Keep in mind - at this point too - he has food, shelter, clothing, he's learning a skill - and with the recent events? Likely he'll never see battle. I think you're in a good place. Him too. Possibly money for college as well. Sounds like he's really putting his life together.

  5. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    What Star said. I enlisted in the army myself when I was 21 because my life had unravelled (due to my immaturity, decadence, pot-smoking and partying--not quite difficult child level as I wasn't defiant or criminal or mean or amoral or jobless or any of that--I was just decadent and foolish and gradually spiraling downward) to the point that I was afraid I was on the verge of serious loserdom and I feared that intensely. The army saved me. Seriously. 3 years later I was confident, strong, self-disciplined, justifiably proud of myself, now a man and no longer a boy, with a big army VEAP fund for college and a full scholarship to the college of my choice. For young people who are wayward and decadent and immature and foolish and all of that, a hitch in the military can be absolutely the right and best thing to do. I know this from experience.

    That said, I should add that if a kid is a full-on Conduct Disorder difficult child--i.e., not just decadent and immature and foolish but also amoral and remorseless and criminally inclined and besotted with drug-taking and all of that--a hitch in the military is very unlikely to "fix" him and, in fact, it's very likely that the kid will "wash out" fairly early in his training or enlistment. The military is not a therapeutic community designed for the treatment and correction of ODD/Conduct Disorder/Anti-Social Personality Disorder, nor should it be.

    My guess is that your son had the same realization that I had--that his life was a shambles and he needed structure, discipline, and maturation or he would be really miserable and perhaps never succeed in life--and enlisted for the same reason: to get "fixed." I think that's GREAT--it really does work for the right sort of kid. If he is that sort of kid and the military does perform the personal transformation he's seeking, you won't have to worry about him contacting you eventually and returning to good relations with you--he'll want to do that. If, however, he's not the right sort of kid for the military, he'll wash out and that'll be a very sobering realization for him: here I am, and there's no safety net like the military to catch me as I fall. *Then* he may call you, but I'm not sure that'll be a good thing for you: he may just want shelter and help as a stopgap, without having really changed, and you see all over this forum how endless and futile that can be for all concerned.

    My heart goes out to you. I hope the military does for him what it did for me: probably the single most helpful and formative and salutary thing I've ever done for myself. It remains the platform upon which I built the rest of my early adulthood--it was invaluable. May it be so for your boy as well.
  6. Tatianna13

    Tatianna13 New Member

    Thank you all so much for your kindness and support.
  7. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    A final word of what I hope will be taken as encouuragement, although it's hard medicine: if he reforms himself and his life via the military or some other experiential vehicle of personal change, you'll hear from him again--I assure you of that. He'll be as I was at the end of completing basic training: proud and much improved and wanting to share that feeling with the very people whom I had previously blamed for most of my problems: my parents. Until he undergoes such a personal reformation, he either won't want to contact you (as he'll still dwell in childish anger at you and displacement of the responsibility for all of his problems on you), which will be a good thing, as you don't want to be dealing with an adult child when he's like that, or he'll contact you grudgingly and/or insincerely, seeking shelter and material/financial support but with no sincere desire to change--and believe me, you don't want that either, as you see in this forum how much misery that can create for everyone concerned. So you're actually in a pretty good position right now: he has begun an endeavor--i.e., military service--which has the greatest possible likelihood of changing him forever for the good. If he succeeds there, you'll get your son back, and he'll be a son you'll truly enjoy. If he doesn't, believe me, you're lucky not to hear from him. Meanwhile, get on with your life. He has damaged 18 years of it--don't let him devastate 18 more. Good luck to all of you...
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can imagine you are miserable with the worry about your son and what he has put you through. However, I wouldnt be so upset about the military aspect of things. I am/was the parent of a Ma rine. I say am because once a Marine, always a Marine but my son is now out of the Marines. I know how scary it is to have a child join up. Mine signed up when he was just 17 with our blessing. It had been his dream ever since he was 8 years old. He was even more sure of what he wanted to do after 9/11.

    Trust me, I worried myself nearly to death many times but he is just fine today. We hear about all the bad things but most of the troops come home just fine. I learned to just think that no news is good news. As his parents, if something happened to him, you would be notified. Really. The government does know