end of my rope

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by GB_42_XYZ, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    Hello all,

    I am at the end of my rope; I think. Everytime I say that I find a little more rope to hang on to. Anyway. I am 43 married with two kids, one, what's the abbreviation? easy child (perfect child) and one difficult child (disaster). The easy child is going to college in another state and is as happy as can be. My difficult child is 16 and a total wreck. He is ADHD and ODD (not offically diagnosed) addicted to pot and a complete :censored2:.
    Our latest episode started last Thursday. I get a call at work from my wife. difficult child is being himself because my wife woke up to find him in bed with a girlfriend(he couldn't even remember the girl's name). She tried to get the girlfriend to leave, that's when difficult child flipped out because she was embarrassing him. I started throwing things and being totally unruly and disrespectful. He threw the car keys in my wife's face. She had to wait outside in her pajamas while one of her co-workers could come by.
    I come home (45 miles) to find him gone. Brother-in-law came by to take WF(*****-friend) home. I notice my wife's car was damaged; again. This time he took a hacksaw and tried to hot-wire it. The ignition was completely ruined. We had to get a tow truck to take it to the dealer. $850.
    I woke up Friday morning 2:30am to the smell of smoke. Him and two of his new (can't seem to maintain friends) were having a cig/weed party in my family room. My wife kicked the "friends" out.
    Yesterday he started in on my wife again about money. He was trying to find new things in the house to sell. He already sold our Xbox360 and numerous other things not to mention my wife's $500 coin collection. He tried walking out with one of my PCs guitars. I stopped that.
    I really just want him to call his PO and let him go to juvenile hall even though it's going to cost me big time (~$15k a month). He has been once for 20 days which supposedly will cost me $9k, but I haven't received a bill yet.)

    We are lying to his PO to protect him, but I am really just sick of it. We covered up holes in the walls when he came over. I'm done with that and done reparing them.

    I am considering leaving. If I stay things will get uglier. One of us will end up in jail or the hospital. We were kind of hoping that we had given him enough rope to hang himself but it's taking too long or he's learned to be a little more cautious (been to court for 4 or so seperate incedences).

    What to do?
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh dear it sounds like an awful situation and as you said totally out of hand. I assume it was a typo when you said "I started throwing things" and you meant he started throwing things?

    So where is your wife in all this? Are you and she on the same page? If not that is the first step to somehow have you and your wife get on the same page. If it means getting some counseling to do so, do it.

    It sounds like you are at the pointn where you want to stop protecting and enabling him. I think one way to think about it is are you really protecting him if he is learning that he can treat you like this, that he can break every rule in your book and get away with it. This is not a life lesson you want to learn because in fact in life, out there it is not true.

    As far as steps you can take. I think the first one is to call his PO, tell him what is REALLY going on. How bad it really is. The courts, as screwed up as they can be, do have some power.

    Your son needs to learn that he will not get away with this behavior in your home. You and your wife don't deserve this.

    It is really hard and can be heartbreaking. There are a lot of us on this board who have been through this or are going through it and so we do understand.
  3. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    Yes, I meant he was throwing things.

    Unfortunately me and my wife aren't on the same page.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Ok so that is the first step, getting on the same page. I think often one partner gets to the end of their rope faster than the other. I think it is really hard for one parent to not enable if the other one is. It doesn't help the kid and it is really hard on the marriage. In our case my husband and I got on the same page and so together made the decision to throw my son out..... and since then my husband has stepped up a lot more to talk to him about things... this is because I was always the bad guy and so my son resents me a lot more than his father. I think however it sunk in a lot more when his father also refused to enable him.

    So if possible take your wife out and talk and listen to each other about where you both are at. Talk about your fears talk about what you both want and get some counseling.

    It may come to a point where you have to decide if you can keep living there.

    I hope you and she can get some help and work on this together. It is so much easier of the parents can work together to come up with a plan on how to deal with the child. You don't want to be in a situation where you undermine each other.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi GB and welcome, though so very sorry you had to find us.

    I agree that the very first step is that you and your wife have got to get on the same page. It's essential. It's quite unfair for her to expect you both to continue "covering" for difficult child with- his PO, yet call you when it hits the fan at home.

    How does your wife see your lives in a year? How is this situation going to get any better? What is difficult child learning from all this? Until you, the parenting *team*, are willing to use all resources available to hold him accountable for his choices, he is in my humble opinion going to continue to completely run roughshod over your home and your life.

    How is he doing in school? Any chance he'd cooperate with a psychiatric/substance abuse evaluation?

    And why on earth do you have to pay $19,000 a month if he's in juvie???

    In the meantime, at the very least I'd lock up anything and everything of value in your home. Remove it completely - especially easy child's belongings. He/she deserves to come home to things as they were left. Rent a storage unit and put the key in a safe deposit box.
  6. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I am a newbie here and so I cannot offer advice...but I will say you are in a good place. Am hoping and praying things improve soon.
  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I was wondering the same thing - I never heard of paying for your child to be in juvie?!
    I agree with every one else. You HAVE to be on the same page. My husband was always the strict one and I was the enabler. It never got us anywhere. I had to reach the end of my rope before we made any progress at all. Only then were we able to provide a united front that we were done with her ****. Only when it came from both of us, did it even begin to sink in at all.
    Always be honest with your son's PO. They are there to help the child and you. My difficult child's PO always backs us up 100% and enforces things we may have had a harder time with on our own (taking medications, looking for a job, etc). Recently I had the judge back me up on mandatory inpatient rehab if she should fail a drug test. They can help. Ask for help.
    My husband always threatens to leave, too. All that does is **** me off. If you leave, your difficult child has won. Do not let difficult child take the power over the house and all of your lives. Take that power back. I have to admit my jaw dropped over the things he has sold. Did you report this at all? I call my difficult child's PO over every little thing she does. She knows ALL. Your difficult child should have to find a way to repay you for those things. Whether it is monetary or community service of some kind around the house - again, the PO can enforce these things. Your difficult child is doing exactly as he pleases and why shouldn't he? You will just cover up the holes to protect him and his behavior. STOP covering for him and talk to your wife. Maybe show her this website...?
  8. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    Idaho, Indiana, and New Hampshire passed laws in 1995 making parents pay for the care of their children confined in juvenile facilities. It's somewhere around $15k. I don't really know how they came up with those figures. Nothing run by the government is cheap I guess. We need juvenile insurance.

    Thanks for all of the advice. I'm thinking of showing this to my wife. She would probably just freak out that I told so many details.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome... Hugs.

    My husband and I are sometimes on the same page, sometimes not. But looking at it - he absolutely blew and told her point blank if she did not stop with the lies he'd see her in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) faster than she could blink. And both she and I could tell he was 100% serious. He waffles a lot, though. And I call him on it now.

    The fact is - your wife is in danger if he is physically violent. Don't cover for him with the PO. If your wife wants to, point out that difficult child will never - and I mean never - get the picture or get help if the enabling continues.

    Lock up easy child's stuff. Offsite is a great idea - some people cannot afford it, but deadbolts are another option. Not 100%, but better than nothing.

    He's embarrassed? How about having to sit outside in your pajamas and wait on a CO-worker? OMG. Does this truly not bother your wife? Does she not realize this is abuse, pure and simple?

    My husband doesn't read the site, but has been willing to try some of the things I find here. He's really good at locking the bedroom door now - way better than before. I think Onyxx stealing his stuff was the last straw there.

    You may want to start by telling your wife that YOU won't be abused anymore, and YOU won't cover for difficult child anymore. Then follow through. She may get very angry with you. But... You cannot live like this. You just can't.

    More hugs!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all of the advice. I'm thinking of showing this to my wife. She would probably just freak out that I told so many details.

    That's part of the denial, in my humble opinion. She's got to admit there's a big, fat problem and that you won't get useful ideas or help by covering everything up. IOW, if you keep doing the same thing, you're going to get the same results.

    In addition, that is why we use screen names or names that are so common, no one would figure them out. I'm not terribly worried about what people think of me, but I do want to protect my son's privacy. Every now and then he does make a new friend and I don't want to ruin his already minimal social life. I also don't want teachers to recognize us ... or more importantly, them, since I've referred to a few of them in not-so-nice terms. ;)

    Best of luck with-your wife. Stay with-us.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You and your wife BOTH need to start attending Narc Anon or Al Anon. Even though Al Anon says alcohol, the 12 steps are the same basic steps no matter where you go and you will be equally welcome at either one. If wife won't go, go without her. There will be groups near work and home, in the evening, on weekends, at lunchtime, and at other times. At first you need to go to several meetings at different times to find a couple that are a good fit for you. Then go as often as possible to the meetings. & in 7 days is a great thing to shoot for, esp at first.

    You MUST stop covering things up for the PO. Regardless of why you have done it, it is wrong. If it is to help difficult child, the result of covering is that he is sliding into his bad habits and addictions even more and it will take even more to get out. And it is HIS life you are destroying when you cover things up for the PO. You may keep him out of juvie, but you also let him have freedom to go use whatever substances he wants. If your wife is religious, you can tell her that when you cover up for difficult child you are lying, and it violates one of the ten commandments, if nothing else.

    It can come to the point where you have to make it a matter of keeping you in the home or keeping difficult child. You have no way of knowing which way she will choose, so I urge you to not do that, at least not right away. First you should both go to AlAnon, together and separately. If she won't go, go without her. You also need to be getting some marriage counselling. You may want to see a priest or reverend or religious counselor instead of a regular therapist. That is okay. just make sure that whomever you see has experience with addiction and codependence. What you are doing, sheltering difficult child no matter what, is partly due to codependence. A good therapist can help with this. IF you want it.

    As for it costing you, how much is it costing you to have difficult child at home? I would bet you are going to end up losing more than $15,000 in a year to his drug habit. He is going to steal, even steal checks from you, and from everyone he comes into contact with.

    I also hate to tell you this, but there is almost NO WAY that he is just using marijuana. It is incredibly rare for an addict to use only marijuana. It starts that way, but addicts do NOT just stop with marijuana. I would bet that there are signs of other drugs all around.

    You can press charges for property damage if he puts holes in walls, for theft if he takes stuff, etc... Pursueing ALL of that will help get him to a place he can get help sooner. It may push him away from you, which could be very good in some ways. I am sure you have heard that he has to "hit bottom" before he will turn it around. Bottom isn't the same for everyone. Bottom for him sure won't be what you and your wife expect it to be, probably not by a long shot. Depending on how dependent your wife is on him, she may have to have some drastic things done before she sees she needs to change also. You sound like you are at the point where you are DONE covering for him. Your wife is still not there, from the sounds of it. She is hooked on him - wanting to be able to make him okay in some way. If she can see him there at least she knows he is okay, that kind of thing. If she gives him money then he won't get hurt when he steals, it is that sort of thinking. It may come to the point that you cut off her access to any monies you earn, even if you live there. Before you take drastic steps like that, go see a therapist first, and go to some meetings. Take her if it is at all possible to get her there.

    I am sorry it is so hard.
  12. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member


    I come home last night to find my wife trying to track down my son. He didn't go to school. A few minutes later two kids show up at my house saying that my son and his friend robbed him. It turned out he stole $400 worth of marijuana. He claimed he was concerned because he owed someone (someone large and scary) the money. My wife went to the bank and gave him the money (against my advice). My kid and a group of his friends show up and give my wife a slightly different version but still dealing with drugs. I have just about had all I can take. I left and slept in my car in a parking lot because I just can't deal with this anymore. I am considering moving out. I am also considering just doing nothing, absolutely nothing. No work, just sit and watch tv. I am nothing here but a source of income. Maybe time for that to end.
  13. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I'm sorry, but what are the consequences for this kid?? Are there any or does your wife continually go behind him mopping his messes? My goodness I understand where she is coming from. I was in serious denial for a long time and was too afraid to look at what was really happening. It didn't help her one bit and it will not help him. She needs to let him fall and let him feel the wrath of the consequences from his actions. Otherwise, they go on thinking some one will always save the day. Please have yoru wife come here - this site is what REALLY opened my eyes to what I had going on in my house!
  14. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    I'm sorry you are going through this. I've been through this with my difficult child who is now 20 and on the road to recovery. I live day by day and don't look beyond. My difficult child was similar to yours and the bad choices just kept snowballing. At first I was in denial, then I went through the protective stage, then I went through the stage of helping him with everything thinking I could turn his life around. Finally I went with a tough line. My difficult child was 18 at the time this spiralled out of control, so my control as a parent was very limited. I finally had to have him leave our home and told him he could not come back. It broke my heart to see him using, sleeping in the streets and just generally so unhappy, but I couldn't live the life I was living anymore. My therapist opened my eyes one day, he asked me I wwhy I was so afraid of having difficult child leave considering all the dealbreakers. I told him I didn't want difficult child to die. My therapist told me that with all I was doing * I was surely going to help him kill himself*. I was just providing the means for him to keep using, stealing, etc... That shook me to the core, I didn't want to find him dead in my home. I didn't want my other children to find him that way.

    I don't have the answers and I've made alot of mistakes along the way. But, you need to stop enabling, somehow, someway and take your life back.
  15. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member


    We were finally a little straight with his probation officer and he put my son on house arrest. Great. I have only really been happy or comfortable when he's gone. Thanks a lot. He did stay in the house but unfortunately he decided to have a sleep over. We had 3 boys and 3 girls sleep at our house this weekend. The girls were supposed to leave but of course I wake up to find everyone still in my house. He promised my wife that they would be gone before morning. Another lie. I am really done talking with him, it's a rather pointless effort. On with the story; my wife wakes up and kicks the kids out, my son goes with them. He decides to start ignoring the house arrest (fine with me). The only problem is when we decide to leave the house for a minute he shows up with his friends and has a pot party in my basement. My wife kicks them out again. This time calling his friends parents reporting what they are up to. He comes home completely out of control and belligerent. He's kicking things, punching holes in the walls, being very agressive and violent. Did I mention that he's 6'2 and 180lbs? I walk outside to get away from him and he follows me. Normally he doesn't want to bring his nonsense outside but this doesn't stop him tonight. He comes outside still acting like a psycho. He's punching my wifes car and screaming for us to call the cops. I oblige. As soon as I do he takes off. They catch him and bring him back home. Awesome. Thanks. Waiting today to hear from JPO. My wife has been patching the holes to be able to tell the JPO that "HE" tried to fix them. Pathetic.
    I will update when news arrives...

    Thinking about a residential treatment program again. Just too many choices on the internet and afraid of throwing money at a consultant. Last time we sent him to wilderness he managed to get kicked out. Too violent for them.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GB we have been where you are at. Paralyzed with fear and the inability to do anything to stop the chaos. My husband, who normally is a very assertiv eperson in business, stuck his head in the sand, or I should say under the blanket, the morning difficult child came home so drunk she urinated on our carpet. I started checking into treatment centers and within hours we were driving her for an evaluation.

    I didn't think I knew where to start looking for a treatment center either, but we found an excellent one and it was only 1 1/2 hours away. Start by calling your insurance company. They usually have a completely seperate dept for mental health. Find out what your benefits are and ask them what facilities are in your plan. Then get on the phone or internet and start checking them out. When you find a facility start making a plan to get him there. It may be that you will have to cal lthe police and charge him with domestic violence to get him arrested. It may be to have him charged with drugs since they are using in your home. That may be the leverage you need, he may be court ordered into treatment. Call his PO and tell him you want him in a treatment facility, he can help make it happen.

    Your son is not goign to get better until he gets treatment. Your family will continue living in h*ll like our was until you get help for yourself. I know I sound like a preacher but you and your wife first need to get on the same page and then find an al-anon or families anon group and start going. You will gain strength and will not longer feel powerless.

    Please don't feel alone, there are others of us who have been and still are in your shoes. There is hope out there.

  17. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    Being on the same page helps if you are going in the right direction. When we use CPS - collaborative problem solving you can help her put her concerns on the table and yours and brainstorm together . I doubt whether you can help your son without him feeling connected to someone , feels understood and is working not just to stay out of trouble , not getting caught etc but trying to make a life for himself. In the home parents don't have the structure and tools of control to make it a safe environment when your child is being violent and steeling.

    in my humble opinion your step is to check out the financial obligations of juvie , what happens if you don't have the money , also the possibility of I think it is called CHINS - giving him over to the state for their care.

    Just a word about your wife's reaction to difficult child with girlfriend. It was understandable , but it triggered off much worse behavior . We can't solve problems and get the kid to see our perspective by reacting. Also some problems will have to wait , while we deal with others. The way to solve problems is for the kid to feels that his concerns are being met and addressed which will help him take your perspectives.

    You would need a family therapist for this.

    The only advice I see in your situation , is to tell your son that you are unable to raise him and every one is sinking and that his only hope of getting help is with the state. This will actually save your relationship with him.

    If he wants another chance , it would mean having different friends , maybe relocating , working with mentors , buddy-tutors , acquiring the skills he lacks , being emotionally empowered , developing more meaningful relationships , learning to problem solve in a collaborative way

    Enabling a kid when he is not trying to help himself is destructive , getting help from the PO to make him more compliant or fear the consequences does not teach self control or commitment to values. For most kids , it is game - cat and mouse etc , no real commitment to inner change

    When a kid is trying to collaborate and solve problems , we see infractions as mistakes , part of the learning process , part of building a relationship of mutual trust and help so I would not report to the PO but try and problem solve - when the kid is not interested and we have made efforts to reach him , let outsiders , the law deal with his infractions.

    Not easy

  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Allan I think you misunderstood. I wasn't suggesting he get him in trouble with his PO to make him more compliant. We all know that won't work. I was suggesting how to get him into treatment. He is only 16 so GB can't threaten to throw him out unless he goes to rehab. We did that, but our difficult child was 19. She chose rehab and so far it is working because of all the things you talked about. The home situation cannot do what a treatment center does in terms of educating and changing the mindset of the addicted person and giving him the tools to live differently, instead of just punishing his destructive behavior. But GB doesn't have a lot of alternatives for getting him into treatment except by force since he is underage. I was suggesting perhaps his PO can influence the courts to order him into rehab. Also violence just cannot be tolerated at all, so I wouldn't hesitate to call the police and file charges in that situation. Once he is in the system rehab can be part of the program.

    I understand very well that court ordered rehab will only work if the person is willing to change. Otherwise it becomes a game of just complying in order to get out. Those people are weeded out very quickly. They won't follow the program and most will find a way to use in rehab. But there are those who succeed even when they originally are unwilling. So many times over the years members suggested residential treatment centers to me. We never saw the benefit until now when there was a name attached to her behavior, alcoholism and drug addiction. There is treatment for that and based on the high numbers of people who attend AA meetings daily with my difficult child, there are many leading sober lives today, and many many of them are young people.

  19. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    We've had many of the same issues, where Onyxx would pretty much make us call the cops by her behavior, then they would do nothing and she would end up on house arrest. Yay. Punish the parents.

    The fact is, this IS domestic violence, and something has to be done. If the PO is unwilling - go to their supervisor if you have to. If the police are unwilling, as ours were... No matter what, you have GOT to get your wife on the same page. If she tells the PO he was trying to fix the holes? Cut her off and point out - NOPE. SHE did it. Yes, this will cause a lot of stress with your wife, but she needs to know that she's enabling the behavior. She knows there is a problem, or she wouldn't throw the "friends" out. Not wanting to deal with it - OK, I can understand, but it's just going to get worse. For you, for her, AND for him.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I think my reaction would have been to have the police remove the friends from the property and ask for extra patrols in the area if they can.