Despite my broken heart, we put my 16 year old son out of the house

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by DevastatedMom, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. DevastatedMom

    DevastatedMom New Member

    Hello fellow broken parents. I found this blog last week and this is my first post.
    The situation with my son started as soon as he entered grade 9. He's in grade 11 now. It started with him trying weed at a party just after starting high school, and after that, it seemed he had learned a lesson for a while. Then towards the end of the school year and over that summer, he was caught multiple times with weed, and also sneaking out of house at night. We later learned that he and his friends were stealing parents cars (at 15!) and going for joyrides. We started dishing out lots of discipline that summer, including sending him to his grandparents out of town for a week, and then he was stuck with me for my travels on a two week vacation. He had developed a real smart mouth over those few months too, and he and my husband (his stepdad) got into it really bad at that time. On the day he came back from the 3 weeks of summer "I ruined for him", he got arrested for break and enter. That was the same day as his sisters sweet 16 party, to boot.
    That summer seemed to mark a real decline in his behavior and emotional state. He was really angry afterwards. He was suspended from school 3 times in the first couple of months. Things seemed to calm down a little after that, but it was clear he had a big weed problem. I was smelling it on him and seeing him high all the time. I pressured him to get a job, which he did, and he quit it within the first 2 months, as it was taking him away from hanging with his friends. He had started hanging out with lots of kids I didn't know, and toward the end of that school year, his attendance got really bad at school. Our home was turned upside down, as we have two older children who have never behaved like this at home. I also started to see him high differently...liked sedated. So one time when I caught him in that condition, I made him take a drug test I had ordered over the internet. He tested positive for benzos (Xanax) and...shockingly...cocaine.
    This blew me away in the worst way possible, as I have already survived a loved ones drug addiction to this...his father had a terrible drug addiction to the same thing when my son was born, and after suffering through his downward spiral for two years, I finally left. And my son never knew his dad had this problem as he was not in his life at all while still using, and did not come back into his life until he was clean. That's why I'm a devastated mom, I have lived through a cocaine drug addiction once in my life, and still bear so many emotional scars. My son using cocaine has been a huge trigger for a lot of the luggage I had put to the back of my mind, and I'm terrified for my son. He denied using it and almost had me convinced that his weed was laced with it, but I was still freaking out about the xanax. I have read how addictive it is too, and how readily available it is to these kids. At that point I told him about his dads history, and how this was even more dangerous for him to experiment then it is for his friends because he may have a genetic predisposition to addictive tendencies. He seemed to be really affected by that information, and I hoped I made the right choice in telling him. This was in July. In August, I caught him with a small bag of cocaine. My son confessed that he had been using it, said he hadn't used that much as he had very limited finances, but recently was feeling the pull of cravings afterwards and he and his friends had decided to quit. This bag was supposed to be the last. (de ja vu from many times years before with his father) He took me to the bathroom and poured it out voluntarily, hugged me and told me it would be okay, and that he would do drug tests for me moving forward to prove to me he is off of it.
    I have been obsessed since them. I search his room regularly, and have found all kinds of weed paraphernalia (he smokes with a massive bong), pills and finally a few weeks ago, found a small amount of cocaine. He has refused to do the drug tests he promised to in July. He has gotten more angry and volatile, and has no problem getting up in my face, cursing at me, yelling, and I have been afraid it will escalate soon to violence. The way he talks to me is infuriating, and I have had to stop myself more than once from slapping his face off, as I am pretty sure in his frame of mind in those moments, he will get physical back. In early November, we had an incident one morning that ended in him punching a hole in my bedroom wall, so I called the police. A friend of his asked his parents if they could take my son in for a while, which they so wonderfully did. Things have become so toxic here, so we really needed a break. He was there for almost 2 weeks, and we went for a family counselling session to discuss the terms of his return. He is a smart kid, so he said all the right things in that meeting. My husband recognized it was a sales job and didn't want to let him back yet, but I was feeling badly for the other family, as my son was not behaving well there either, so we took him back. He went right back to breaking the rules - smoking weed out the window of his room, bringing people in when we weren't home (and unplugging the cameras we put in the house this past summer in order to try to get away with it), staying out all night over the weekend without asking (or telling) us, skipping school...and after he still wouldn't let me drug test him, I got creative when cleaning his room and tested some spit he had in a bottle....and it was positive for cocaine.
    I made plans with his father to take him for a tour of a teen rehab an hour away. I have spoken to him about rehab before and he is adamant about not needing it and has basically refused to even think about it. Where we live (in Ontario Canada), at 16, drug treatment is voluntary. We cannot force him, he has to be willing to go. When we told him where we were going, even though he knows he can't be forced to stay and it was just a tour, he jumped out of the moving car to escape. His dad said that day to kick him out, that he will need to hit rock bottom in order to want to get help. It is legal here to kick out your 16 year old, but I struggle with it morally. Anyways, he came home that day like nothing had happened. I was furious and not talking to him. He continued to skip school and took off for the whole weekend. On Sunday night he came home, again, like nothing had happened, and it wasn't long before my husband and I smelled weed coming from his room. My husband confronted him, and it was a bad scene between the two of them, but did calm down, but I could tell my husband is reaching the end of his rope. Then on Monday (the one just past), my son came home after school thinking no one was there, and tried to sneak a friend in through his bedroom window, which is on the second floor. He heard the kid trying to climb the side of our house, and confronted them, which ended in my son cussing my husband out in the street, and another visit from the police. My husband kicked my son out that day, and I totally understand why, and on most levels, agree that at this point we have no other option, as we have tried everything else....talking, counselling, taking away privileges, being strict, compromising...nothing works. He wants to continue to be this volatile, drug using tyrant in our house, and expects we should all just get off his back.
    He has now been out 5 days, and wont tell me where he's staying, though I'm pretty sure its with the kid that he starting using coke with. :-( He has been quite upset since then. I have seen him almost every evening to buy him supper. He is sad, seemingly depressed, and he does say he really wants to come home, and I feel so sorry for him in these moments, but he still is not taking responsibility for his own behavior, and I know if he came home now, we would get right back on that same old twisted merry-go-round. My husband insists he has to be drug-free before he can come back home, which I know my son can't do while staying out there with his druggie this point, he has no interest in going drug free. He tells me he can and will quit all the hard stuff (heard that from him before), but not weed. I agree that ideally, my son would quit all drugs. After going through what I did with his dad, I spent years watching the show Intervention, and always go back to how different the people are and how they think and feel once they get clean. It would be a dream come true if we could get him to agree to this, but I do feel it is inly a dream at this point. But if my son is willing to give up everything else and just smoke weed (this time, he would be held to regular drug testing, or immediate ejection if he refuses), should we really be keeping him out on the streets? (on a side note, his father has been clean of cocaine for 7 years, but still smokes weed regularly) I am fairly sure his drug use and behavior will only get worse staying out there with no parental influence or anyone to guide him. My husband tells me if I want to take him in anytime before he is truly clean (like completed a rehab or detox program) that we will have to separate and I will have to do that on my own, as he is not prepared to put his safety and the other kids safety in jeopardy in order for me to allow my drug using son to manipulate his way back into living with me. My husband and I have a great relationship otherwise, we only seem to fight about my son. My husband is loving, supportive and makes me feel safe, where my son treats me terribly, yells, lies and manipulates and makes me scared for my safety....I am so conflicted, would love some input from you all.
    Thanks so much, and wishing you all strength and comfort as we walk this terrible journey with our precious children.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think it's obvious. Your husband is kind and loving and, most importantly, is thinking about the other children at home, which may be the biggest issue to me. Your son is destroying the family.

    Can son live with his father? His father knows about drug addiction and is obviously ok with the pot in his house.

    Your son is not listening to your wisdom. He is young, but if he is of legal age, you can't force him into treatment. You can stop paying for his toys and car, if he is driving. He is unsafe on the road and hasn't earned a cell phone or anything else.

    I am very sorry about this heartbreaking situation. I do think your other children have to come first and deserve a safe home to live in free of the stench of weed. I call it a stench as I dislike weed smoke and smell as much as nicotine and no smoking is allowed in house by anybody. Period. My house/my rules. Your house/your rules.

    Wishing you strength to make good decisions and hoping your son willingly asks for your help soon
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  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    If he is in possession of cocaine he could get arrested. Maybe you could somehow arrange for his arrest if you know where he is staying and when he buys the cocaine. Maybe jail would put the fear of God into him.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This sounds very clear and reasonable, your husband's position.

    Your son is not trustworthy, will not be trustworthy until he is clean from drugs, and has completed a long-term treatment program. Here in the USA there are organizations that are free that will take young people as young as 16 or 17. One, a government program, called Job Corp, houses and feeds the young people, supervises them and trains them in very good trades. Then, finds them jobs.

    My son went when he was 19. Maybe things would have turned out differently for us, had I not let him back home.

    One thing I have learned, but seemingly, not well enough is that there is nothing we can do for them, or make them do, that they do not want to do.

    There are people in this world, many of them, that live and die addicts. If our sons or daughters seek this and are unable to overcome their addictions and their lifestyles, there is not one thing we can do to support them, in our own homes.

    Many of us keep trying, with varying degrees of success. It may work for a time. The issue for you is that you have young children, whose protection is foremost. Your husband recognizes this.

    It is not so much that your son does not warrant second or third chances. It is more, what has he shown you about his own commitment to change, that would indicate that such a risk would make sense, even by you alone? Your son has to demonstrate that he has significant skin in the game. You cannot alone do all of the changing, make all the sacrifice.

    The thing is you are not keeping your son on the street. Your son is choosing the street by his own decisions and actions. In my experience marijuana is not benign. And I have tried the drug test idea. It did not work. There were always excuses. I was unsuccessful in getting my son to get one drug test. He manipulated and he lied and he deceived.

    You did not create this problem and you are not responsible for cleaning it up. He is.

    I encourage you to keep posting. I know how difficult this is. I hope you stay with us. Be well and take care.
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  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome, and I am so very sorry that you are having to deal with this. Please, I beg of you, go and get some help. Go to NarcAnon or AlAnon, the family support group for addicts. If you won't or can't go for yourself at this point, go for your son. Addicts have a 30% higher chance of getting and staying clean if their families go to a program and get help. If he were in school and you could spend an hour a week to turn his 60% grades, that he worked hard for, into 90%, you would do it happily. This is so much more important because this is his very life you are fighting for, so please, find the meetings in your area and go. The first few weeks go to meetings in different areas at different times because they won't all be the right fit for you. You will find a meeting that is the right fit/feel for you, and then that is where you should spend your time. I am the granddaughter and the sister of alcoholics, and I went to meetings when I was a young adult, when my mother first told me about my grandfather's problem with alcohol. She refused to believe my brother had a problem for a decade after that, but the meetings sure helped me through that decade and the years after.

    Please also get therapy for your marriage and for your kids. It really is important. Get your other kids into therapy and into Alateen too. They need ALL the info about what is going on with their brother and what happened with their dad/his dad so they know because you can't hide this stuff. It impacts them anyway and getting it out into the open explains so much that wasn't clear.

    As for your 16yo, I know it is hard, but it is time to focus on the other kids. He CHOSE to be out of your home. He KNEW the rules, and he KNEW that to choose the drugs was to endanger the rest of the family. To do drugs is to invite very dangerous people into your life. He invited those people into the lives of your ENTIRE family. THis includes your other children. You MUST think of them now. They have been exposed to VERY dangerous things. You have NO idea what he might have threatened them with, or done to them. You think, "He would never hurt them, he loves them!", and normally, he wouldn't. But nothing is normal now. He isn't your son right now. He is a drug fueled person and the drugs have control. Until he is clean and sober, and has had real help so he isn't on a 'dry drunk' or the druggie equivalent, he simply isn't safe to have around your other children. He is a real danger to them. Not just to you and your husband.

    Please don't let him come home until he is clean and sober and both your husband and ex agree it is a good idea. Please know that every single penny you give him is another penny he has for cocaine and benzos. Also know that sometimes you will give him things for you, because your heart needs to know he has had a meal. And that isn't all bad either. Sometimes we have to do things to make ourselves feel better. But overall, if we can stand firm, we should, to help our children learn.

    I truly hope and pray he can overcome his addiction soon. But he must want it, you cannot want it for him. The easier you make this time, the harder it will be for him to want it. I am sorry that it is so, but it is.
  6. Erinee98

    Erinee98 New Member

    Going through the same thing right now, mama. Biggest difference is that my daughter lives with me most of the time and is safe, while he lives with his dad. And my son is respectful and seems open to doing what we are asking him to do, so for now he is home. But I know the day may come when we find out he is back with those people, not going to treatment, and breaking the rules, and he will have made his choice. The fact that it's his choice and not ours does not help one bit. We have still lost him, either way. :(

    I just want you to know, you are not alone.
  7. RN0441

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

    Welcome and sorry you have to be here.

    I have been down this road since my son was age 15 and as you can see by my signature, it ended in us having to move him out of our home permanently.

    Our son did not want to change, would say he wanted help and do good for a while but he'd always go back to his old ways and raise hell in our home. He was coming in between my husband (his dad) and myself also. Addiction is very powerful.

    Feeling sorry for them is not good. It does not help them at all. I had to learn that. I also see a therapist now for myself to learn how to have healthy boundaries with our son. I did not see him for seven months and then did see him at Thanksgiving. We are flying down for Christmas also. Our relationship is no longer close but I'm okay with that. I have not seen a big change in him and until I do, I will protect my heart. We both love our son to the moon and back. You cannot parent a child like this the way you parent other children. It does not work.

    Keep posting. You are in the right place.
  8. My step son is going through a similar stage since he was 16. Now 22, dropped out of college, delivering dominos to support his lavish purchases and smoking habit. It just doesn't end there. I locked up my wine collections as I found out the only extremely expensive ones were gone. He has sold phones, laptops and whatever he could get his hands on. It is that serious.

    When he moved back home as a 21 year old drop out, we gave him a very simple guideline but nothing was followed. Rehab was one of them, his mother told him he had no choice but to attend. One session was enough for him as he claimed that he did not belong there and mother bought the story. Therefore, it goes back to square 1. Nothing has gotten better for the last 6 years. You are just one of all these parents here trying to share information, grab positive methods and other things you might need. I just joined 2 days ago and am getting lots of information and support. My wife just sent me a text, showing me a post it note she put on his door saying "You were born to do great things. Time to start" For me, it is useless where that small memo doesn't get near his head at all where "Here she goes again" It is extremely frustrating to see these kind of behavior from young people who have the real future in front of them. I just hope we can save as many young people here to put them on the positive track. Stay strong, share things happening in your household as I found this is the place to vent your frustration. I have been trying to digest by myself but it was eating me alive. Hang in there as we will try to suggest so many things. I see there are lots of positive results we should try.

    Be tough !!!
  9. RN0441

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

    I always said very positive things to my son during these times also. When they are in this they don't get it. It is meaningless. He has SO MUCH potential. So bright, handsome, loving, etc. etc.

    I used to think if ONLY I COULD SAY THE RIGHT THING the light bulb would go off.

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  10. RN0441, I totally agree with your comment. It's been so long about talking nicely and suggesting things to the kid but the core problem is that kind of message will never get into the person's head. It is nothing but an annoying message where they do not think of doing anything wrong. I tried intervention but could not a get positive response from my wife's siblings. All the options are narrowing down, there is no more option but an aggressive, hard consequence to be put in place for the person to wake up and realize what he is doing in my humble opinion.

    My therapist said when you kick him/her out, he will stay with friends for a week of two, then he will come back saying he will follow the rules. However this in and out situation will repeat for a while until the person really gets it and changes. My family's plan was stopped by mother who bought that her son doesn't need to go to therapy/program for substance abuse as he doesn't think he belongs to that group. That is why we are stuck... There is no enforcement... Phone. Yes we cut the phone off but he went out and got the newest iPhone on his own. Second, drug test. It was done the same day we got out from therapist, stopped by drugstore to get few. It was used on that day and came out positive for pot, benzo and something else but not heroin or cocaine. Mother threw out testing kits out and that was it. Third, rehab attendance. Mother stopped after one session and son said
    it is worthless.
  11. RN0441

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

    Sounds like Mother is the problem too as others have said.

    You can't change kid or mom. You can only change YOU and how you decide to live your life.

    I'd probably do something drastic and move out until things change. If they don't I'd stay out. I would not live like that. That may make them change but it also may not.

    When it's in your rear view mirror you'll wonder what took you so long.
  12. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Copa, I looked up Job Corps with great hope, but it looks like you can't have behavioral problems or do drugs. :( Is it different in California?
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well, my son had behavioral problems but did not do drugs. I think it is like the military. You cannot do drugs there and you must behave.

    With my son they had a very wide tolerance. While he was there they brought him to a hospital to be evaluated for danger to self or others. When he was cleared they brought him back.

    Lil who posts here wanted her son to go to Job Corps. They live in another state. Her son was dealing with a lot of the same issues as our own sons, with explosive behavior, too. He was admitted--and then he backed out. I think that center was in Chicago but I am not sure.

    Piscesmom. When I read your signature, I THINK, your son's issues are within the range of possibility. In fact, I believe he might be in the mainstream.

    Recently, I checked the website, and saw the cut off age was about 26, except in cases of disability, where they do reserve the right to accept people older than the cut off.

    I would be hopeful and go ahead and push your son (if you think he would be willing to go.) The trainings are marvelous but not all centers have all training options. My son went to Treasure Island which is in SF Bay. At that time we lived within a several hours of there.

    I have a background as an employment counselor and would be happy to toss back and forth ideas about what I think might be good trades. But it all depends on your son's aptitudes and interests. I would urge your child to go get tested at Vocational Rehabilitation to see what kinds of trainings/and jobs he would be likely to succeed in an like. Those services are free. I believe your son would qualify. My own son did.

    My son had some of the same things going on as does your own. I would be hopeful.

    PS If I had to do it over again, I would want my son to go to a center further away from where I lived. When he came home, I would dread it. He hated it. He did everything so that he could come back. I insisted he complete a training. And I relented and let him come home. Sometimes I wish I had insisted he remain independent.
  14. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    Thank you Copa! My son adamantly does not want to get a job. He is sort of like an angry 13 or 15 year old, a little bit in a fantasy world of making all kinds of money growing marijuana, which he does at his dads. If he needs to be kicked out of the house, I want to make sure there is a place for him to go.
  15. RN0441

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

    These kids live in a fantasy world I think. My son too. No matter how hard I try, I can't make an iota of sense out of his thinking.
  16. DevastatedMom

    DevastatedMom New Member

    Thank you everyone for your responses! It was 2 weeks yesterday since he was kicked out, and its been really hard for me emotionally to stay strong, or to be sure we're doing the right thing. Here in Canada its brutally cold at this time of year....the worst time for someone to be homeless. He tells me he hasn't had to spend any time outdoors though, he has lots of friends and apparently some with parents that would take in a 16 y/o kid without even wanting to touch base with his parents...this blows my mind! They are either sketchy themselves, or he has painted us out to be the kind of monsters they would not even want to talk to.

    To answer a few of the questions, his father will not take him in. He has lots of excuses why not, all of the equating to he doesn't want to deal with the problem. He has never been a father figure to my son, and it seems he has no desire or intention to start now. What he is doing to ease his guilt (in my opinion) is sending my son money instead. Not much, as far as I know, but still...not really helping, as far as I'm concerned. He told me he was going to send him $100, and I can buy a lot of drugs for that kind of money! He says he ended up sending $25, but I can't trust him to be honest with me...we had a big fight after that, he told me that we screwed up my son in the 16 years we've been parenting him and now we want him to fix it. Needless to say, we aren't talking now, either.

    Also, my son is not driving yet, thank God! He has his "beginners" (we call it a G1 up here) and has been waiting for me to get him in drivers ed., as he will be able to move to the next licensing level sooner if he has taken drivers training. I'm on the fence about that, as he can drive legally right now with another licensed driver in the car with him, and as he has never been formally taught, he would be more dangerous to himself and others driving without training then with it...let me know your thoughts on that. He does tell me that he would never drive under the influence of drugs, and seems to be really sincere when he says it, but they can be so convincing when lying to your face.

    With Christmas being right around the corner, it gets harder for me daily to have him out there....he says he really wants to come home before Christmas, but as much as it kills me to refuse him, I think we need some more comprehensive professional help before he comes home. I reached out to a family mediation facility, and they think they can help us resolve some of the issues, but they cant meet with my husband and son until the new year. My son told me that if he can't come home before Christmas, he might not be trying to come home for a long time. My husband still feels my son needs to get completely clean in order to come home, but my son says that its harder than ever to be drug free living with friends, and that he'll be able to do better once he comes home, which I kind of understand...I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place, and I can't win. The two men I love more than myself, and it seems if I takes one's side, I may lose the other. I though what I lived through with my ex's drug use was hard...but this is far more heart-wrenching. I try not to think about it all day at work, and as soon as I'm alone, I let myself break down and cry...and I pray.

    Thanks to you all for the support
  17. MomOfTwoBoys

    MomOfTwoBoys New Member

    My heart breaks for you! We just kicked our 18 year old son out for continuing to smoke weed in the house. He just quit school at the beginning of December. He have zero respect for our rules. He is acting exactly like your son except for the part of using the harder drugs at least that I know of. You are doing the right thing! Our love for our children hopefully one day will concur their need for their addictions. ***hugs***
  18. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    My daughter could make some decisions that would leave me in disbelief. I never said anything because that would make her angry. Like buying 3 ukuleles at a time when money was running out and she was living in our house rent free. She says she never worries. The universe will take care of me, she says. My son said one time, " mom, I think you are the universe!" Cracked me up!!!
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  19. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    If he can't be home by Christmas...insert threat here. I am on your husband's side on this.
    My son has been banished to his dad's house for a few weeks, and we talk, and he is still trying to get the upper hand. And I have been so desperate to let him know he is loved, etc, historically since his mental illness began, that I think I just unintentionally give him way too much power. And I worry your son is working on your mommy shame here.
    Christmas is a day. That's it. And then there is another day. Don't let him make this into a big drama.
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  20. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Oh the manipulation these kids use! I agree with matter the day, the weather, the circumstance, there will always be manipulation and excuses. Promises made. Promises broken. It doesn't matter where your son is living-whether at home, on the streets, or a buddy's couch. If he truly wants to get clean, he'll do it. Letting him back into your home right now, in my opinion, is the WORST thing you could do for him. And more importantly, for the rest of your family.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. Be strong and take care of YOU.