Game Plan Needed

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by NOLA, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    I’m trying to have a game plan solidly in place when difficult child decides he’d like to come home and really value all of the advice and comments from you all. I know, you’d think we’d already have a plan of action ready but between being in shock that things have come to this, depression, and learning how to detach, dealing with the “what ifs” has been on the back burner. I am feeling better just knowing that I have finally made an appointment to see a therapist, Christmas is over, I took a week off from work & stayed busy around the house. :bravo:

    A quick update on our saga—he called Christmas Eve night & asked if he could visit on Christmas Day (I was already asleep & husband told him he’d talk to me and to please call back in the morning. He called in the afternoon & he said he’d like to visit with us but he wouldn’t be staying – maybe spend the night but he wasn’t ready to come home. Call me Mrs. Scrooge :bah-humbug:but I basically told him ‘no’ he couldn’t just ‘visit’ - I told him just because it was Christmas and all of a sudden he felt warm & fuzzy, I couldn’t allow a ‘visit’ & then watch him walk out the door back to la la land – I would be enabling him. Then he got on the phone with-husband and talked for a while – when they hung up husband told me he said he really does want to come home for good but doesn’t want to deal with the PO, go to juvenile, etc. He asked if husband would call her and see if he could get out of serving any type of locked-up detention.

    So, assuming he is thinking about coming home (here is what he posted on his livejournal site)

    <span style="color: #CC0000">Dec. 26th, 2007 | 04:13 pm
    all is well.
    new years, baby.
    gonna throw it down, then go home and get my act together
    it's going to be straight.
    get at me.</span>

    And his wanting to visit wasn’t just to pick up his presents :christmasgift:(which I’m certain he must have thought was here waiting for him) I’d like your thoughts & input on what our unified position should be? I guess I’m wondering (other than having a contract outlining what is expected and what will not be tolerated, etc.) do you think we should insist on him going to an inpatient rehab before moving back home? Further, I’m not interested in making any phone calls for him to lessen the consequences – husband thinks it might be helpful if it gets him to come home – I don’t agree.

    Thanks for any thoughts you may have.

    ps - Below is the letter he left us on Aug 17th - :reading:If you have the patience & time to read it I thought it might help you see where he's coming from --
    <span style="color: #009900">The most important thing I want you to know is that I love you three more then anything in the world. I appreciate everything you've done for me, and I deeply apologize for everything I've done to make your lives so difficult. I wish things were different, but I'm never going to be the son/brother you want me to be. I can't stand by and watch my family be torn apart because of my behavior and the choices I make. I need to be on my own and be my own problem.

    A big mistake you make is thinking I'm too immature to deal with my problems, and you give my problems too much credit. I'm happy with the life I have, and the friends I've made and I don’t think you understand how bad I'd be off at that school. I'd rather go back to Rivarde than that awful place.

    I don't expect you to understand where I'm coming from, and if I had one wish, it would be able to explain it and make you proud of me. I feel like a bird stuck in it's cage, desperately wanting to stretch its wings and fly wherever it chooses. What is the point of living your life miserable, planning for the future, when you can be happy?

    Mom, when we were in your room, taking about the school, remember we you said that I need the drive to set a goal and accomplish it with hard work? My goal is to be happy, and that can never happen while you are making the choices for me. In the wild, lions leave their family when they are old and strong enough to hunt by themselves. I feel it's that time for me, and I can’t let you stop me.

    I have a place to stay every night, and my friends will always be near by. You look at my friends as hopeless drug addicts, when they are actually responsible young adults capable of living on their own, as am I.

    You have no reason to worry (although I'm sure that won’t stop you) because I'm completely safe. I'm sure you're going to call the cops, but it won't do you any good. You need to let me do this. It can’t work any other way. I pray you accept that. I love you all more then you will ever know, and I will keep in touch on a regular basis. I'm sorry about the money, and I promise I will pay it back.</span> :hammer:
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Hi Nola~

    My thoughts?

    Your son is 17. He is expressing a desire to come home. I think this is a good thing.

    When our daughter was your sons age, she too left home. Just a few days before Christmas actually. She mooched off friends, bounced around. Partied. Had a blast. And then came to the realization that life at home wasn't so bad. She called and asked the same question "May I come home now?"

    We allowed her to with the following rules (which by the way I would keep to an absolute minimum).

    No drinking/drugs. Agreement to submit to random urine tests.

    Attend school. Keep grades at a passing level or lose car privileges.

    Respect curfew. Midnight (she was a senior in high school).

    Adhere to general respect and courtesy.

    Keep a part time job.

    She did a pretty good job adhering to the above. She really did come home with a different attitude. Granted, we still had issues come up - but we figured she's a teenager. Stuff is gonna come up.
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Actually, his letter is pretty good considering his age. It may not be totally realistic, but it does take responsibility and tries to explain why he is doing what he is doing. A parent may not like the reasoning, but it is just about what most 17 YOs feel.

    He reminds me a lot of my daughter at that age, sans drugs. She hated school; dropped out, moved out and lived with "friends" who did do drugs. She would never consider them addicts (they ONLY did pot and drank). She did come home and I had specific rules in place and was told flat out you don't follow them, I'll show you the door the next time. She did pretty good with the rules for about 5-6 months and then decided she didn't like them since she was now 18 and an "adult!"

    I'm sorry, I don't remember but do you feel your son is addicted or truly just using recreationally? The partying on NYE sounds pretty typical for kids, so that wouldn't overly concern me. However, if you believe he is truly addicted, I would make rehab a requirement to coming home. Then there would curfews, a job or at least actively looking, no staying home and just doing nothing. Hope you get things worked out. Having him come home with no plan would, in my opinion, lead to a total disaster.

    I do love the idea that he doesn't want to the PO/juvie thing. Um, he thinks it will just magically disappear because he doesn't want to deal with it? You might try reminding him that if you do the crime, you do the time. He wants out, he makes the call, not you.
  4. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    This is what I was thinking but not able to put it nearly as well! What consequences has he already endured? He's under 18, not living at home, not going to school, has he been working?

    I'm not sure I could even think about him living at home after all of this without some consequences. I think my first steps would be to call his PO, not to help difficult child, but to find out their thoughts. For example, if PO knew he was at home now, would difficult child be arrested for something? Has difficult child been in violation these last few months?

    Also, it definitely seems like you and husband need to get on the same page. You seem much more realistic and willing to do what may be needed to help your son in the long-run. husband seems like he still wants to baby him??

    If you think difficult child has a drug problem, treatment would be a must, before he comes home. A contract between you and difficult child is also a could start.

    I'm happy to see an update from you...I've been thinking about you!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    NOLA, I must have "done it" again. I know that I responded to your post. It's not here. Guess that saves you from the long Bottom line is that your son is young enough to
    change before he ends up "in the system" and his self image is
    turned from gifted achiever to drug loser. I suggest that you and your husband make basic rules, see if difficult child is ready to agree to the
    rules and give him ONE more chance. Sometimes the easy child part can
    overtake the difficult child part. On his own...the outlook is gloomy! DDD
  6. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member


    I also thought I responded to this. Hmmm. DDD and I must have been swallowed up in cyberspace. lol.

    I think that you do have a realistic approach to him coming home. I would definitely make a contract/agreement of sorts, that had to be agreed to by you and husband and your son. I would require that he adhere to rules with regards to school and curfew, but would also require him to seek drug treatment (there are some very good outpatient programs offered by United Way or university hospitals that group teens together - like an AA type group - but dealing with their own age and drugs) and I'd also require drug testing on demand.

    That being said, I'm not sure what consequences he's been given either, by his PO. I would definitely NOT be making a call to try to get him out of it in any way. I'd want him to fulfill whatever community service or whatever they gave him.

    It's so hard to know when to push and when to back off. I know with our son, he was just turning 17 and was in a lot of trouble with drugs and eventually broke the law because of the drugs. He ended up charged with a felony and misdemeanors as an adult. I thought if we could take that year to get him into treatment (which we did - dual-diagnostic, secure (locked) Residential Treatment Center (RTC)), he'd come out okay. Unfortunately, he still has those charges on his adult record, but at least the treatment plan worked. The felony will stay with him, but at least he realized that the drugs didn't need to.

    I'd definitely work out a plan with him for him to come home. He's 17, and if the adult age in your state is 18, he still has time to turn things around. It sounds like he wants to, so I'd at least give him the chance - but with rules in place.

    Sending many hugs. I know how hard this all is.
  7. KFld

    KFld New Member

    You could try setting the ground rules for him coming home and see if he will follow, but from that letter it sounds to me that he really wants to do what he chooses and doesn't want anyone telling him otherwise. If that is the case, then it's not going to work and he'll just leave again.

    He is young, so I think if it were me, I would give him one more chance to follow the rules. then you know you gave it everything you have and if it doesn't work, then he can move on again. If you think he has a drug addiction I would definatley make him go inpatient before coming home, no if ands or buts!!
  8. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    hi guys - thanks for the input (DDD & Deb - you guys did post, it's just that i also listed it on the forum for parent's with-kids out of the house - i need all the advice i can get :smile:

    i used to think he wasn't really 'addicted' but now i have serious doubts - for 1 thing he's never passed a drug test since he relapsed (3 months after the 1st rehab stint) in Feb '07 - always positive for weed but a couple of times positive for coke and XTC - so it's definitely an issue. i can't imagine he's going to say 'okay, i'll go to rehab' so i'm faced with giving him that as a condition to his return & then him using it as a difficult child excuse to play the martyr – he hasn’t had a job since June (his boss told me he showed up stoned – but his story was he was just very sick – he has also turned into a chronic liar

    i’ve called the PO to try and find out exactly what kind of punishment he’s in store for but we’re talking about a total circus act – can never get a straight answer - I’d love to think things would work out with-us just giving him the rules to follow, etc., but I have this nagging voice saying ‘you know better’

    he hasn’t called anyway to even ask about coming home for good – its just that I want to be armed & ready when he does

    thanks for keeping us in your prayers - i will do the same
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. This is so very hard for you and husband. I hope your therapist will work with both of you to come to a happy medium about dealing with him.

    According to his letter he is refusing to follow any rules you set. If he comes home you may have luck talking to him about what HE feels are realistic and liveable house rules. I would make no drugs a deal breaker though.

    Does he know what will make him happy? Is it a particular career, or just hanging out? What is he doing for $$$ at this time? That may have a BIG BIG BIG impact on IF he can come home successfully. Some jobs you get into and have a tough time getting out of. I am speaking of illegal jobs. I hope he is not in this situation, but it sounds like he has been out of legitimate work for a long time. You can check his credit and social security while he is still a minor, if you want to know if he has been working legit jobs.

    I think any set of rules will tank if you and husband are not in complete agreement about how to handle them and him. It also may damage your marriage. My own parents had a really hard time after dealing with my gfgbro's teen years.

    Sending hugs, wish I had better/happier advice.