Don't know where else to turn or what to do any more!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by WhiteDeer5, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    My 16 years old son, Clyde have been living here since the summer after he got in so much trouble to the point where his father sent him to live with us. Clyde has been living with his father since was 6 years old and his father is an engineer and they have lived and traveled all over the world.

    As hard as it was, it was probably the best thing for Clyde. He was getting a really good education from a wonderful private tutor, was learning so much about the world, seeing so many places, get to do numerous things that so many can only dream of, and his father is a great father to him.
    But last two years, Clyde was starting to get in trouble. It start with typical teenager things like sneaking out or do something he was told to not. It end up snowballed into big things such as swimming in a beach that was known to be heavily infested with sharks after being told repeatedly to not swim there, leaving home when his father is gone for few days, and other things. The last straw was when he sneak out to go to Sudan to see some pyramid and wound up stuck about 400 miles from home while his father was out of the city. When he finally got home, his father found a fake passport and an document that claim he’s a journalist, fairly large amount of cash, and a handgun hidden in the camera bag.

    Because things was getting really bad, everybody decided that Clyde should come and live with my family and me instead of moving all over with little supervisor from his father.
    Clyde moved here last summer and we quickly learned that he’s way more than handful. He never asks for permission to go anywhere. He’d just pick up and leave without even asking and he doesn’t respect curfew either. He’s also really good at sneaking out to point where other two kids stop even trying because they were getting caught all of the time because we were trying to stop Clyde from doing it! This caused so much stresses on me and my husband that sometime we cannot even sleep at all because we’d be wondering if Clyde is gone or not and checking on him.
    Speaking if sleeping, Clyde seems to barely sleep at all. He always seems so burned out and tired, but he’d still be doing all kind of things from working out to fiddling with machine to drawing to reading. So it is like as if we can never ever really get in any sleep because of this.

    Other thing is, almost as soon as Clyde got here, he start to seek out foreigners and offer translating service or trip guidance. He even got business cards that pose him as a French and Arabic translator (his father is from Montreal, so he speak fluent French and studied Arabic in college and they both have lived in many places that speak mainly French or Arabic) This lead him to leave the house at any time without telling anybody and often would come home really late.
    We have tried to take his cell phone away, but he always end up getting other one and somehow make it work! It’s so frustrating! I almost feel like as if I have to pats him down every time I see him!

    As for academy, he placed incredibly high in test and everything so he was placed in honor classes. But he wind up getting took out of the honor classes because only time he’d do homework is just to get a D as final grade. He have no problem passing test or anything, he just simply doesn’t want to do homework and made it openly known.
    This led him to being kicked off the water polo team and barred him from joining the wrestling team. We recently found out that after he got kicked off the water polo team, he ended up playing for water polo club!

    Many people, including us have tried to talk to him about his future. We keep try to tell him that he have so much talent and potential and shouldn’t be wasting them and that he could do anything he want. His reply was always “I lived all over the world and I manage to get out and make my own money and travel without anybody help. I plan on continuing that as soon as I turn 18 as that’s what I love doing the most” If we try to tell him he can go to college and get a great job that allows him to travel, he’d be like “If that’s what you want, go do it yourself then!”
    This makes me so mad!

    I’m just starting to feel like there’s absolutely nothing we can do any more. It is so heartbreaking and frustrating to watch him doing this to himself and knowing that everything we tried have failed. I don’t even know what to do any more.
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    1. Are you in England?

    2. Have you had him drug tested?
  3. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    I’m in USA. His father is from Canada, but lived here for some time before landing the job he have to this day.
    Yeah we had him drug tested twice, when he first come here then few months later. Both times, it was a surprise test. He was clean. But he have never seems to care much for drug. We have never smelled anything on him or caught him under influence of anything.
    However he did admit he smoked hookah with group of men from Middle East he was translating for once when he come home late, but he wasn’t high and doesn’t smell like marijuana. So I really don't think he's doing any drugs.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    How did you test him? he sounds very smart. There are parents here who can tell you how kids beat these tests. I wonder since he is so smart if he anticipated that at some point you would naturally have him tested so he maybe had synthetic urine etc.

    Can you do the hair test? Others here can comment on if that is valid.

    Other ideas maybe... if he suddenly changed and never sleeps. a more serious mental health issue like bipolar disorder. He thinks he can do anything and will never get hurt. Again, lots of parents here who can share about how that looks in kids.

    How old is he now? Can you force a residential treatment program? Do you have resources to have him placed in any quality program in the usa or the world?

    I am sorry you got your son home and then had to go through all of this instead of a great reunion.... Where was he birth to 6, I was not clear how his early years were spent. Did he transition homes and caregivers when he was young?

    HUGS to you and I know others with teens who have these kinds of behaviors will be along. Hope you check in ofen and let us know how things are going.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There could be a wide range of things at work here... but at 16, there are fewer options...
    It could be a mental health issue, hidden disabilities or undiagnosed conditions...

    OR... it could be some form of insecure attachment. This doesn't have to start at a very young age (some severe forms, do)... but kids can become detached. And it sounds like, while Dad gave him a very "enriched" life, it wasn't necessarily the stability and consistency needed to maintain a strong, healthy relationship. At some point, the balance tipped, your difficult child became detached enough that he started feeling like nobody was looking out for him, so he needed to look out for himself...?? Maybe?? just a long shot, but...
  6. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    We used a drug test kit that test urine for 12 different drugs, we got it from Walgreens. We suspect Clyde must have been using something before he even comes and his father just didn’t catch him. That's why we tested him on the first night he was here. We caught him by surprise and my husband followed him in and watches him. The result showed him to be clean. But I guess he could have prepared for it in advance.
    Second time was few months later when he starts to sneak out or staying out past curfew a lot lately. Same thing again!
    But like as you say, he is very smart, so he could have prepared for it and stays on top of it all of the time, but again… I have never seen him under influence or any sign beside his behave.
    May I should try the hair test instead?

    His father told me that Clyde normally doesn’t sleep much but seems to be sleeping less and less as time goes by. He could be at home, just sitting in one spot reading until 3 or 4 in the morning then go get in two or three hours of sleep then get up and go on a run before head off to school. Sometime he just doesn’t sleep at all.

    He’s 16 years old now. I’m really afraid to try force him into any residential treatment program. I don’t know what he’s capable of at all. If it was other kids, I’d have considers it, but with Clyde, I really don’t know if that’s a good idea at all.

    Yeah, it was really tough when Clyde come home. It was a emotional roller coast for everybody. I feel really bad for thinking that Clyde’s father was not being a good father. Before Clyde come, I thought Clyde’s father just gave up and I totally lose respect for him. Now I feel really sorry for him, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to try being a single father, moving around frequently, and having to deal with a son like Clyde.
    It is so hard to look at Clyde sharing a great moment with the family, smiling, laughing and telling us about things he have done or seen, but yet knowing that he’s more than capable of pull off whatever he want to one way or other and have done and seen more than most would have in their whole life time.

    Clyde’s father and I lived together when he was studying for his phd, but over time we just want different thing and we just don’t love each other as we used to. So we went on our own path, we made an arrangement for both of us to have some time with our children, but our daughter cannot handle the life style, so Clyde end up living with his father full time and our daughter living with me full time.

    I will check in as I really need help. I just don’t know what to do any more and am really worried.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Drug users are VERY good at hiding it. I would not count that out at all.
  8. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    That could be the case… I know Clyde’s father love him very much and really doesn’t want to send Clyde to live with us, but did it for the best. I know Clyde’s father would take Clyde out to see things such as Eiffel tower, China great wall, and wild life in Africa and other things. I also know Clyde’s father help Clyde with his study a lot, hence how he manage to do so well on placement test for school and pick up all kind of skills.
    My guess is, as Clyde get older, Clyde’s father start to feel safer to leave Clyde home lone while he go on job trip for few days instead of dragging Clyde and having him stay in the hotel while he work. Clyde of course is a very curious person and wants to see things and is very fascinated by history and other cultures, decided to take it up himself to make it happen.

    I don’t know whole much details, but I know Clyde have went to some places where people are strongly encouraged to avoid, been in place where he cannot speak the language, and other things. That probably could have been when he starts to look out for himself. But it isn’t like his father put him in this situation and I know his father really does try his best, but again I wasn’t there so something might have happened at some point.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The question is... how to find out?
    Because, if the problem is some form of insecure attachment... then what he needs most of all is a therapist with significant experience in dealing with kids like this. NO other form of therapist will have any positive impact, and many would be a trip down the wrong road.

    He doesn't have years to sort this out.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, WhiteDeer5.
    My first two gut reactions are drugs and bipolar. Or both. The one can trigger the other, especially during adolescence. (By that I mean that bipolar is typically genetic and can be sort of dormant, to the point where with-all that traveling, his dad may not have noticed.) The bit about not sleeping indicates both. The manipulation, intelligence and creativity suggest bipolar to me. Tough to figure out, though.
    Where does he go at night?
    Will he sit down and talk to you about anything?
    How does he react to discipline or having things taken away, such as phone, TV or workout equip?
    How did he react when he was caught with-the gun?
    Many hugs.:grouphug:
  11. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    I looked up a bit on insecure attachment. I’m not sure if he have it, but the closest thing that fit him is, dismissive-avoidant but there are few major points that set him apart from the description. Clyde normally don’t show emotion, is distant, very independent, and a loner, but from time to time he can be really sensitive of other needs. He also have so much childhood memory and is more than willing to talk about his experience and what he have done or seen and where he have been.
    I also put in some research on bipolar and… most of it doesn’t fit Clyde at all but what I find is hypomania fit him almost perfect. Only thing is, he is an introvert person and isn’t emotionally sensitive.
    I have never really seen Clyde depressed or being down for an extension time beside first two weeks he lives here, but I think that’s because he was really upset about having to leave the life he like for his own better.

    At night Clyde usually go to play water polo, work out, working, or looking for new clients.

    Clyde will talk about anything, but if I try to explain him that there’s rules or that I’m his mother or anything like that, he just start to say what I want to hear instead of talking.

    I don’t even know how to discipline him anymore. He never watches tv, always come up with another cell phones somehow, and he doesn’t always use work out equipment. We took his laptop away once and that was only time it seems to get to him, but after a few days, he doesn’t care and didn’t even ask for it back. At home, he is a reading machine and often is reading 2 or 3 books on different subjects at once, he also like to fiddle with machines, drawing, and other thing. We have tried to offer to help him get a driving license, he just doesn’t show much interest after we postpone the offer because he got in trouble.

    Clyde was living with his father in some country by Sudan when he got caught with the gun. So I wasn’t there, but from what his father told me, he went through Clyde’s room and found some firearms parts and one almost completed handgun along with tools, and another fake passport.
    I’m guess he was really upset about everything because he was sent here just a week after he got caught and he was still really down about having to move.
    As for drug, I am still on fence about it. I have never seen anything that could hint drug use and he passed drug test twice. But his behave is rather odd. I’m starting to getting really tempted to search his room, not just for drugs but also for any remain cell phones, business cards, and other things in effort to stop him from being able to get out and do what he have been doing so easily.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I guess it could be cultural, but I am hit that the gun thing, fake passports, and his looking for clients and gone all night... it all smells very fishy by my, admittedly very quaint standards...

    Could he be involved with dealing even if he is not using? You say you are actually afraid of setting him off, that just sounds very scary. Not safe for your other kids. I wonder if he is really working to translate? What do you know about the people he is seeking out and hanging out with?

    If he is 17 you only have a short time to force his hand, and even then if he does not think there is a problem. Some here have talked about therapeutic wilderness programs. You can hire transport to safely make him go to such a place..... he is still a minor so ?? Some people say do it while you can (especially if you have never tried) and others say they have to want it.... I am sure there are many here who can give better advice but it does seem like at the very least if he wont follow your rules, he needs to be placed somewhere else.
  13. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    I’m not worrying about him harming anybody. I’m worried about him running away and leaving the country. He has said many times that he just want to travel the world and see the world. He loves history, geography, and cultures. He’s always reading on them, drawing history object such as ancient buildings, statues, and people from past or other cultures.

    From what Clyde and his father have told me, it sound like firearms is really easy to buy on black market in some area they have lived in. Clyde says he did it because it was surefire way to get fairly large amount of money fast when he needs it. He was carrying the gun because he was traveling to place that had some civil war going on nearby and he stand out because he’s not dark skinned. I was told that it could be hard to get in some places, so Clyde would pose as somebody (usually as a journalist) and use a fake passport to get in.

    I’m not sure if he’s exactly translating for people, but I have found few business cards that say he’s translator and like as I said earlier, he speak fluent French and Arabic. When asked how he found his client, he says he just know most foreigner’s route and where and how to find them or he’d just leave out his cards.

    I may look into some therapeutic program. But I’m just afraid that I already push him far enough and don’t want to push him to the point where he’ll run away.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh, I see, i misunderstood what your other post said when you said you were afraid of him... I probably read it wrong because I sometimes read through posts quickly. sorry.

    It is a really different upbringing and hard to wrap my head around such a young child being so independent that he is buying firearms and posing as people to sneak into things. In the larger world though, I think there are children doing even more adult things at his age and as I said, I just grew up in a sheltered life.

    I would be out of my mind with worry, and even though I have NO DOUBT his father loved him, he did not parent him. Setting limits, tracking his whereabouts, etc. I think you were smart to bring him home to you to try. But now what to do??? I hope some who live a closer experience to yours in terms of their children being developmentally neurotypical and having kids who dont follow rules can help you. Whatever happens, you have my support and care.

    Blessings and peace to you, your son and your family.... Buddy
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. I think... probably not a popular opinion... that there really is not much you can do. If he is keeping within the law, and is bent on leading a life that is different from your aspirations for him, well... that is his choice to make. And it sounds as if he is making it, come what may.
    What else can you do but accept this? Of course I understand your worry about it and concern for him, and how hard it is to let go but in the end... he is his own person. As long as he is within the law, as I say.
  16. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    Um ... to Malika's point, what exactly did he mean by this?
    That would really keep me up at night ....
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, yes, see what you mean.... apologies, I didn't read that bit. If the youngster is not just spinning some fantasy line then that is, of course, real cause for concern.
  18. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    When a kid has been allowed to run around in dangerous places where he needs guns to keep safe I wonder what has happened to him? What traumas may have occured while not under the watchful eye of an adult. He seems to proceed without fear for his own safety-he has no fear. Is he avoiding sleep and restful activities because sleep brings nighmares? He is not use to structure and has been given freedoms he is not old enough to handle. He may be smart, but he is a teen with an under developed brain (as all teens have). They don't have the fear that adults do. Add trauma and they may not care about danger.As much time as he has spent out in the adult world it will be hard to "tame" him or pull him in. If he has work, can he be emancipated? I think he needs to follow rules. To live in the US,and most societies, you have to learn to do this. It doesn't sound like he has done this at all. If he doesn't end up in legal trouble here, avoided it in the Sudan, how will he ever be successful? There are behavioral RTCs. Yes, sometimes they work when a kid is forced in and sometimes they don't. You don't have time on your side. Do you have a counselor? Has he ever talked about bad things happeneing to him or witnessing bad things?
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That was my concern too... it just seems like there is way way more to this story than "translating".
  20. WhiteDeer5

    WhiteDeer5 New Member

    This weekend, I finally bit the bullet and ask him more about his travel and stuff. I never really like to ask about it because I just don’t want to encourage him or thinking it is something good.
    Clyde still refuses to talk about selling firearms thing. But when asked about the gun, I learned that he was more worried about getting caught in middle of others war or conflicts than being targeted by anyone. I don’t know what to make out of this, but when I asked about terrorist or someone trying to kidnapping him for money, Clyde just brushes it off and says he was never worried about those as there was other things he should be more worried about.
    I tried to ask him what if something happen to him or someone want to hurt him, he says he’s always in a hurry to get to place he want to go so he can make it back home before his father did. So he never really stays in one place for long, so no one really had time to think about or plan anything. He says people may look at him since he’s white and sometime begs, but they never really bother him. He says it is mostly the military or law enforce that he have to deal with and they never gave him any problem.

    I’m still trying to decide on residential treatment center. I just really don’t like the idea of forcing him into this and ruin our relationship then quite possibly having him somehow escape and never come back or talk with the family again. I may look into counseling, but I really don’t think Clyde will talk.

    I also tried to talk to him about his future. It was worse than I thought. He stick to what he says he want to do firmly and don’t care what anybody tell him. I tried to explain him that everybody want something, but they all still make the end meet and have to work to do that and that’s the reality of it. He says he have lived the life he want already so he know he can do it again and plan on doing it again.
    After a long talk, trying to get him to decide on just one career that he may be interested in, he ended up got up and told me to go read Black Hawk Down and that a special operator name John Mace (sp?) have the jobs he’s interested in. After that he just stops talk and start to say what I want to hear ugh!
    Talk about frustrating!

    I’m going to try search his room soon and see if he have anything illegal and go from there. I have even considers trying to get someone to follow him and see what he’s up to.