Gentle push or swift kick!


I need advice from parents with experience.
My son is in jail as we speak, he'll be 18 June 15. He's been in minor trouble since he was 14. We're in Nova Scotia, Canada by the way incase that matters.
He's had charges of shoplifting once, underage drinking several (most times), breaching conditions many times, caught with bear mace and a paring knife (both separate arrests), also suspected of dealing drugs although hasn't been caught YET ...all little things that haven't amounted to any record because his lawyer continues to get him off.
He hasn't been living home for about a month and a half which ended with another arrest. The common denominator is either alcohol or drugs (cocaine).
Anyway...three days ago he was arrested on breach of his curfew and the police combined all, he has 24 charge of a bunch of nonsense and 22 breaches. Basically, he can't be trusted to follow rules which is why he never wanted to live home.
Now, his lawyer bombarded me with requests for him to live home instead of going to a youth facility. My son has expressed his desire to come home as he is "tired of breaching his conditions". In the past he's requested the judge put him in youth detention to no avail. His lawyer says he's seeing a different attitude.
So, that pretty much sums up his's mine.
First of all I used the term "bombarded" because I did have a comeback for this lawyer but I was alone (husband and daughter were working), and even though I do consider myself a strong woman (raised two kids on my own and own a successful business of 23 years), I have to admit, he gets to my soft mommy side and I crumble. There is nothing more heart breaking than seeing your son in shackles for the first time (I broke down when he walked in, I was a wreck). So, I told lawyer that I had others to consider besides myself. I feel like he's making ME judge here!!
I don't believe that 3 days being forcibly sober is enough to convince me thaqt he's "seen the light". My son as most difficult child's do, plays the system.
Court is adjourned until tomorrow and my back ups will be with me.
Our feelings are that he needs to be reprimanded longer than three days, and even if he doesn't get counselling (lawyer says he won't, others say he will), he'll be getting clean. We want him to man up and either go there or go to and in house program Choices (which his psychologist strongly suggested).
We dont' think coming home is best for him or us. Every time he's on house arrest, so are WE. We all work, I have a business, my husband has his business and my daughter is in management (she's only with us until her apartment is repaired after a flood). That will leave him to sit home and do nothing to help himself and just waste time. Also, why should we be his gate keeper when all these years it hasnt' done a thing to deter his behavior.
Either way, it is up to me. They're both willing to support my decision, my husband (contractor) even willing to take him on to work with him but he'd have to drop so much attitude and I know he's not there yet. I know in my heart he's not ready for any of that. RESPONSIBILITY
I think I covered it all.
Any advice or input greatly appreciated.
By the way, it's ME that either needs the gentle push or swift kick! Go easy though..I"m pretty low low.
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Well-Known Member
in my humble opinion I would tell that to the judge. I would ask to speak in court and tell them his behavior will not change per previous experience. I would flat out tell the judge that once your son has proven he is able to maintain a sober lifestyle for X amount of time that you are willing to discuss it. Make it clear that at this time he is not welcome because he hasn't been sober long enough to be a contributing member of the family. Once he is sober and can function normally (well normal for a difficult child) then your husband is willing to allow him to work for him so that he can keep an eye on him to cover the terms of his probation.

I would make it clear to the judge that sending him home with no therapy and no sobriety WILL NOT change the situation regardless of how sincere he is about i. He needs help and with three working adults in the house he will not be supervised and will most likely not recieve that care. Point out to the judge that the cost of mandated therapy is much cheaper than multiple visits to jail and or long term incarceration. The problem is budget and space make it hard for people to get rehab. In the long run though the legal costs are as much or more than the care they are so afraid to mandate.

Of course I haven't had to do this so its just an opinion. I wish you the best!


this morning, I quickly wrote this letter (I later fixed the typos), and went in like mama bear protecting her cub. Passed it to his lawyer, went to pass it to the crown as his lawyer only wants to get my son off...this is not while he tried to talk me out of giving it to him, I pushed forward and made sure he got it. He actually asked me to sit with him and a police officer and wanted to hear both mine and my daughter's story. Once in teh court room, the crown attorney made sure to pass this to the judge and IT WORKED!!! My son was remanded to the youth facility until June 2 when all charges will be dealt with on that one day and have it over with.

Family statement
In our opinion, it would be detrimental to allow Son to return home. Son has been abusing substances since he was 14 and we feel that while he looks healthy now and is having somewhat of a change of heart as far as his living arrangements are concerned, he's only been sober for 4 days and that is just not enough.
Referring to Dr. Kayfitz' assesment (IWK), she STRONGLY suggests Forest voluntarily enters the Choices program, attend anger management, get counselling for addictioins. Son has a history of defiance toward any authority figure, and in our homed, this defiance is even more pronounced.
We (Wendy *mom*, Ross *fiancee*, Rina *Son's sister*) all work, I have a successful business, Ross has a successful business and Rina works in management, we are not able to monitor Son within our home on a regular basis, also, putting us in this position considerably puts our home in crisis mode, where we are constantly worrried and genuinely concerned "when is Son going to do it again", essentially, we're under house arrest too! . We don't have the qualifications to provide the treatment/counselling he urgently reguires.
We realize that Choices has a bit of a waititng list, however, while he's waiting to enter, we suggest he go to the youth facility in Waterville. This will if nothing else, keep him from breaching conditions, keep him off the streets, keep him away from an unsavoury crowd and keep him SOBER.
If after being in the facility for a time, the counsellors see that Son has improved to the point where they feel he's seriously willing to work on his issues, we have no problem taking him home. We'd LOVE that.
We in the meantime will visit as often as we can, we do have his best interest at heart.
We love Son and therefore are not willing to allow him to continue on the path he's currently taking. Please take our thoughts and feelings into consideration.
Thank you
The family

My son was a little confused as to why I was even there if not to tke him home. His lawyer explained that it's because I love him and am not giving up on him. He expressed that he hated that I had to see him in handcuffs and shackles. That TO ME, gives me the impression that he still has some humility and conscience. I asked how he took the news that we I didn't want him home, he said "it is what it is" and he seemed to understand. He told his lawyer that he had put me through a lot of stuff.

Anyway, I'm hopeful tht this little taste of incarceration will have a big impact on him.
He had heard through friends that he could wear his own casual clothing, so I had them all washed and packed in my trunk...when I asked if he needed them, the sheriff informed me tht they would issue him clothes there. In MY opinion this is good. No gangster clothes and the message that in there..he's no more special than anyone else. Might take him down a few pegs. Also...the facility is 5 hours away, he HATES travel and will realize MOMMY is not going to come visit often if he goes back there again.
So, all in all..I'm considering this a successful day. Finally, I made my thoughts and feelings important to the court.



Active Member
Awesome! Well done Wendy! I can't relate to your story but if I'm ever in your shoes, I hope I handle it as well as you have.


one day at a time
That sounds so hopeful and promising, Wendy. He is going to be getting help. That is what we all want for our difficult children. And you get some peace in your home.


Well-Known Member
Wendy I think you did absolutely the right and best thing. My story is very similar to yours and you can probably find the pieces of it on this site. My son is now 22 and has been to several rehabs and programs at our expense.... he left or got kicked out of all of them! He plays a good game.... he is now in the criminal justice system and in drug court and it is the best thing that could have happened.. He has now been clean almost a year because of the system. I have no idea if he has any personal committment to sobriety once he is not answering to the court BUT I figure any time off drugs while that brain is still developing is a good thing.


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I'm feeling so bad tonight. I phoned the facility and he hasn't arrived yet. I know he's been on he road all day in the back of that sheriff's van and he hates traveling. He must be so alone and scared. I know he plays tough but he's not. I wish he'd realize that I absorb it all for him. I hope he promises to never put himself through this again.
Once he arrives, he'll call me...I hope he's not too angry and blaming me.
So, I sit and wait. This "tough love" is really really difficult for me.


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Staff member
Tough love is hard for everyone but sadly needs to be done. You need a lot of support right now. Are you seeing a therapist or going to an support meetings?


There aren't any support groups in my area. I have support of Ross and my daughter but sometimes they (and justifiably so) get tired of hearing about it.
They finally phoned lastnight at 11:00 to say he is settled in, he didn't wish to speak to me. I get that, he's probably pissed at me and it's likely over the fact that he doesn't have his own clothes (false pride) but I'm okay with that. If the place was across the street, I wouldn't bring them to him.



one day at a time
I'm feeling so bad tonight. I phoned the facility and he hasn't arrived yet. I know he's been on he road all day in the back of that sheriff's van and he hates traveling. He must be so alone and scared. I know he plays tough but he's not. I wish he'd realize that I absorb it all for him. I hope he promises to never put himself through this again.
Once he arrives, he'll call me...I hope he's not too angry and blaming me.
So, I sit and wait. This "tough love" is really really difficult for me.

Oh 4, I am sorry that you are suffering. It IS suffering that you are doing, and we have all experienced that suffering here, as we have lived our lives, many of us mothers of difficult children. It is SO hard to sit by and watch and let go. It is SO hard to be involved and enable and try to fix and fail again and again and again.

Which is harder? I don't know the answer to that, but the second path does no one any good, that much I do believe.

You will need tons of support right now. Please order some Al-Anon books, and Codependent No More and Boundaries, for starters. Please start working with a therapist. Al-Anon also has online support groups---please look into that.

This is very hard to do----this type of change in ourselves---and you can't do it alone. You won't be able to. It's just like your son---he will have to work a sustained program of change for the rest of his life, with lots of support. So will you.

Remember, he has made choices. He is 18, and while that is very young still, he is an adult. If you can let him---as much as possible---take the consequences of his choices today, maybe, by the grace of God, he will stop now and do the hard work of change.

When we rescue again and again and again, we are teaching them that they don't have to take the consequences of their own choices and we are teaching them that we will handle things for them, because they obviously aren't smart enough to do it themselves.

This is very faulty thinking on our part.

4---remember what you posted above: He doesn't want to follow rules. He doesn't want responsibility. This is my son to a T and he is 25. People who don't want to follow rules and who don't want responsibility will find themselves in jail or ultimately dead.

My friend, who runs the Salvation Army program in my town, has met my son multiple times as he has stayed in her shelter. Yesterday she and I got together for about an hour to catch up. I brought her up to date on my son and asked her for input and any thoughts. She said this: he is very young (25) but the fact that he just keeps on and on with no indication of change is not good. She said this: he will either end up dead or in jail for a long, long time---there are basically few other choices. She also confirmed and reaffirmed that there is truly nothing I can do to affect this. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a lot of experience treating addiction.

I am working hard to do just this: leave my son alone.

Our interactions need to be infrequent and widely spaced. My words need to be few and limited to things like this: I love you. I have faith that you can do whatever you decide to do. I hope things work out for you.

Support, encouragement but not help. I've helped enough, 4. It hasn't changed a single thing.

Keep the faith, and start your own plan of work on YOU. That is the key, 4. Blessings and hugs.


Well-Known Member
4 - I understand the sadness and hurt you feel for your son. I often feel that for my son hurts that he has lost so many chances and feels so badly about himself. It makes me so sad to think about the things that could have been.... and when I do that I have to stop myself and remember what counts is from here on out not the past.

And yes your son may be angry with you, may hate you fro a while, may not communicate much and that hurts too. I have also been through periods like that with my son. My stand has always been I love you no matter what, I do. And it is also I will help you when you are doing the next right thing, but I will not help you or enable you to keep doing drugs or the next wrong thing.

Over time my son has gotten that message and I think he knows now that we truly love him and are there for him although we have made some very tough choices, including letting him be homeless across the country for several months!!

So recently he was kicked out of his latest program he was in for 6 monhts (wrong thing) but he was not kicked out for using and has not used (right thing) and he voluntarily went to court (right thing). He called and asked me to meet him at court so that he would have someone in his corner! Now given his history it was huge that he was going to court on his own (after a lot of support from people where he was at) and that he did not run for it.

So given that he was doing the next right things I went to court with him and even spoke to the judge (who asked me to say something). I spoke about supporting him to do the right things.

All this is to say be true to yourself, let yourself love your son and support him to do the right things, but set boundaries so you dont enable him to do the wrong things. And he may be angry and hate you for awhile but if you stay clear in your love for him I think he will get that eventually. What he feels now is not forever.


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Thank you all so much for the thoughtful, heartfelt words of encouragement. I'm so lucky to have found this little spot.
I spoke to him very briefly, his sister was surprised he wasn't very talkative. He's coming off of booze, cigarettes and gawd knows what else, he's lost his life the way he knows it, he is wearing generic prison clothes..ontop of that, in his mind, he's there because of ME...I didn't expect him to be chatty. lol
I asked how he was, he responded with "Okay". Told him about the clothing situation (Honestly, I was just taking one more thing off of my back that he could blame ME for), told him I love him and he said "yeah". Hey, it's better than "eff off you effin' sour Grinch". A term he's recently called me during one of his highs.
His phone wasn't working in his room for some reason and he said he'd call me tonight...I really don't expect him to and that's okay. I won't call again. I want him to experience this solitude of sorts..
I had a really good day today. Groomed 5 dogs, my hubby put up signs for his shop next door to mine, my daughter went on a weekend fishing trip with a girlfriend. It was peaceful!! I didn't worry today, I didn't cry. Life was pretty close to normal!
I bought the book that was suggested on here "Co-dependent No More" and it appears that I'm going to enjoy that read.


Well-Known Member
I'm feeling so bad tonight. I phoned the facility and he hasn't arrived yet. I know he's been on he road all day in the back of that sheriff's van and he hates traveling. He must be so alone and scared. I know he plays tough but he's not. I wish he'd realize that I absorb it all for him. I hope he promises to never put himself through this again.
Once he arrives, he'll call me...I hope he's not too angry and blaming me.
So, I sit and wait. This "tough love" is really really difficult for me.

Wendy, you were awesome and you did the max of what you can do when a child is a child no longer in the eyes of the law. And to me this is good for everyone.

Your son is not as fragile as you think. I have had MANY frank talks about the drug culture with my daughter who was once enmeshed in it (yes, you can chose to quit). And one big reason she quit was that it was a horrible life, full of danger and backstabbing druggie "friends" who are just out for their next fix. Your son IS tough. He is street tough, which he needs to be to live this life. I think of my daughter...she looked like a beautiful China doll when she was using drugs! I thought, "She is really so fragile. She is going to end up in jail or dead. She can't take this."

WRONG! First of all, she was as skinny as a whippet because she took meth. I had no idea she touched meth. The thought of it still makes me cringe. I digress: So she gave off the illusion of being a poor little thing, but she was playing wild games with METH and those who sell it. And she told me that if you use drugs you sell's part of the game. People come to you and ask, "Do you know where I can get some (fill in the blank) and you get it for them because you don't have a choice if you value your skin. By the time my daughter was sent out of state and quit, she was ready to quit and she did quit. But after what s he has told me I can never think that she is fragile. She is quite a tough young woman and strong and I'm guessing your son can handle jail. If he's been using, he's been playing with jail thugs for a long time. It sounds like you got him into an awesome program that he can choose to utilize to change his life. You are a true warrior mom!

Your son can do this if he wants to and you can do what you know you need to do too. We are here for you. Every single one of us cried tears when we finally told our kids they couldn't live at home. I think I did nothing but cry for three weeks. My daughter's last words to me before she left were, "I WILL HATE YOU FOREVER!" They rang in my ears.

She and I are very close now and she is clean. You have to have the hope that your son can do it because only he can. He has 100% of the power here and you have 0% over him, but 100% over yourself and your reactions. Believe that your son is far tougher than you think, stop thinking of him as that ten year old boy who you'd defend if anyone dared pick on him, and remember that your son is eighteen, almost fully grown in body, and used to risks and shady people. If he really shows he is quitting, be his biggest cheerleader. But you can't do it for him. Know that you have done the very best that a Champion Mother can do to assure your son has the option of getting help. The rest is up to him.

But you did a great job.

Do something very nice for yourself today. You deserve it!!


Thank you MWM...
Funny, my initials are WMW..
Your post is powerful to me. And, you're so right! Still hard for me to grasp and it's going to take some time but I'm getting a little better. Had a little cry this morning. He didn't call me and I suspected he wouldn't. That's okay. I know he's doing a lot of thinking, what he's thinking, I can't control. I hope he's thinking about turning things around, he maybe thinking "I can't wait to leave this joint to hook up with my "buddies""..either way, I'm here for him and he knows that eventhough I love him unconditionally, I do have conditions that are acceptable and unacceptable. One thing that has pretty much always stayed with him (only recently has he spoken cruel words to me and only 3 times), he knows I have standards and hold him accountable, thus the reason it's easier for him to be out of this house. He will go to welfare before he asks me for money for things I don't approve of or to do him favors when he's not living up to society's standard. I've never accommodated his poor choices when everyone around him seems to have made exceptions for. It seems I've always been fighting not only him but everyone that lets him off or gives in or changes the rules. From school teachers, principals, lawyers, judges, even police officers..they'd all tell me, "Yes he was in the wrong but we really like Forest, he's a nice kid". OF COURSE HE'S NICE..have you ever met someone in sales that's's not good for business, it doesn't get you what you want. Of course he has charm and charisma, it works for him!!!
When he's on the up and up, he comes to me and that's fine and the way I'll keep it.
I did eye a really nice little leather purse I adore...I might go out and get it before it's swooped up!
Thank you for your gentle swift kick!
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Well, after reading a few pages in Codependent No more, I'm convinced I AM CODEPENDENT BIG TIME!! And have been my entire life.
I'd like to share just to get it off my chest..some of it is heavy, some of it, I've never shared before.
I was adopted to a mom (her marriage ended not long after she adopted me, so I consider myself of a single parent home) that was extremely abusive but not toward ME. My three foster sisters and mostly my adopted brother got the brunt of her her, I was the golden child. My siblings HATED me for it. I felt guilty and tried for years to make up for something I had no control over. Sometimes being favoured as bad as being beat.

There was also sexual abuse by my adopted grandfather and uncle with my three foster sisters but I myself or my brother weren't abused in that way. Another guilt in a weird sort of way. Everytime my sister and I get together, she brings it up and it makes me feel like she resents me for not having been abused.

My mom dated for 30 years and later married an alcoholic. He'd get drunk and they'd fight. They'd "break up" and make up almost every weekend. I HATED him (It's a strong word I know but I HATED him and I ask no forgiveness for that feeling), he would tell me that mom only adopted me because he felt sorry for me. He'd do things that were inappropriate in a sexual sense although I dont' think I was sexually abused. While he and she were parted for a bit, I'd work so hard to make my mom happy.

My first boyfriend was deaf alcoholic with a major chip on his shoulder, especially toward women (his mom was an alcoholic and her negligence caused his hearing loss). I was always trying to make his life easier until he beat me once and I ended it. Funny mom tried to talk me into going back to him...I was 18.

I married a sexual addict who constantly was into pornography and spoke of gay sexual experiences he either came close to having or desired. I wasn't aware of this until after we had our first child. I actually hadn't planned on having children until I had established my own career, I let him talk me into it. The second child was to please him also. Our marriage lasted 8 LONG years, I was so close to a break down, I didnt' have a choice. But I carried so much guilt for "tking their dad away".

The next couple of years were filled with me doing all I could to get him to spend time with his kids and finally, I had to stop. I was putting in all the effort. He has chosen to not see them or speak with them for the past 14 years. I feel that guilt too.

Then I met a man I lived with for 8 years, he was depressed and I became like the mom he never had, I dragged him to counsellors, hospitals, his dad's. He couldn't hold down a job longer than 3 weeks at a time and played video games all day. He took over our home. My kids stqyed in their rooms and me in mine. It got so bad at one point, I had his things packed in the trunk just before a scheduled visit to a counsellor which was 2 hours away, it was also close to his dad's place. I had planned to leave him there when he asked me for the keys. He knew all along. I was crushed.. I had asked him to leave MY house for years...he just wouldn't and didn't have anywhere to go according to him. I felt guilt and allowed it to continue. Finally, it came to a head when I saw tht he was beginning to clash with my son...I packed him up and rented him a place with tgeh promise (lie) that we'd continue to be "together". I saw him for about a month after and finally stopped visiting. I was FREE!!!!

While I spent so much time in my room, I had been doing a lot of self assessment. I did a lot of work on myself. I guess, that's what gave me the strength to give him the boot!

Now I'm engaged to a wonderful man who's NORMAL!!!! He adores me and I think he hung the moon! He really likes my kids, he's a hard worker, he's well liked by everybody tht knows him. Just a down home country boy who's sharp as a tack. And he's' so open to talk about feelings, his wit is right in par with mine. On every level we mesh. BUT...I feel guilty.

I've been guilt ridden all my life!! For things I mostly had no control over.

I'm still codependent. Now it's my boy. The only thing tht might save me is I'm now AWARE! I'm taking steps to help MYSELF.

So, here I am...feeling positive once again.

I hope I didn't bore anyone to tears with my story. There's so much more, I really should write a book..maybe I just have. :)

Thank you ladies for your support.

Good job!!! There is NOOOO WAY I would let my difficult child home now with almost 90 days of FORCED sobriety!!! When she has 6+ mos of treatment and it is felt she WANTS sobriety....we'll talk abt it. Sitting on "dead" time waiting for all cases in diff counties to be handled has opened her eyes. Sadly, she will celebrate her 30th birthday nxt week alone in jail. As a mom that breaks my heart, but not my fault. I am sadder for her children. Anyway....her court date is her birthday, 06/04/84, and I hope her 30s are more successful than her 20s!! If not, YIKES!!!!

Good letter to judge! Prayers and best thoughts.

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We are all codependent or we wouldn't be most of us oldsters have taken steps not to behave in a codependent way. For example, rather than sitting and thinking about your son and if he'll call or not call or if he says you are to blame or anything...why not think about yourself and do nice things for yourself, plan outings, see people who are functional, up your hobbies and favorite activities and let your son take care of himself. He IS going to be the one in charge of his life anyway. YOU can not. He is not only of age, but you can't change anybody except yourself. Take one day at a time and try to get his drama out of your head and don't engage in it.

If he calls you, keep the drama to a minimum. If he starts abusing or blaming you, cut it off: "You are a grown man now and I am not going to listen to abuse. I have to go now." Then you decide when you want to talk to him again, but only when he is respectful. He is doing a common difficult child trick called "It's your fault that I screwed up and am in trouble." Very common. Very GFGish. Fault doesn't matter. He's over the age of consent for his own life and what he chooses to break the law, it is 100% his own fault. He probably wants you to feel guilty so you'll up the money you send him. That is usually a difficult child motivation.

Let him live his life and you live yours. You are not him and he is not you. You do not both have to be in a bad place just because he is. I think most of us started out gushing the "I love you no matter what" ad nauseum when, in fact, they know how much we love them and the more we gush it out at them, the more they use that love against us, to get more material items, usually. A simple "I love you" at the end of each phone call is sufficient.

I am sorry you grew up in a loony bin. So did I. So did many of us. Yet most of us did not go to jail...hmmmmmmmmmm...I guess we had the choice of acting out as adults because of it or trying to be better people. And most of us have made some mistakes, but we learned and grew with each lesson and our adult children need to do the same thing we did. If they choose to break the law, they deserve to go to jail or even prison. If they abuse us and deface our house or threaten us or strike us they deserve to have the cops called on them and to not be allowed to live in OUR home (it is not their home). Likewise, if they refuse to quit the drugs, get a full time job, pay rent, do chores, etc. which is minimal stuff for adult children eighteen and up we can also tell them to find another place to live.

Our house/our rules.

We do not help them by giving them aid and comfort and making it soft for them when they are self-destructing. We are making it easier for them to self-destruct. And often they pay us back by stealing from us, swearing at us, shoving us, you probably know the entire commercial.

We raised our kids with incredible love, maybe we coddled them too much. We did not abuse them. I don't care what nonsense they spew to get guilty favors from us. We were good parents. Now it's time for them to grow up and stand on their own two feet and not depend on us to get them out of their own messes. That is being mature. We don't help them if we enable them to stay children, which they no longer are.

You deserve a wonderful rest-of-your-life even if your son decides to keep messing up.

I don't know if I mentioned twelve step meetings, but if you haven't tried any, they were a saving grace for many of us, myself included.

Hugs for your hurting mommy heart. Now go do something SENSATIONAL for YOU!
Anyway....her court date is her birthday, 06/04/84. Terry, your daughter and my son share the same birthday. He too is in jail and it is extremely sad that he will celebrate behind bars. But it is his actions which put him there so what can i say?

Wendy, you did a great job advocating for your son to be held accountable. How i wish i was strong enough to let my difficult child be held accountable the first time he was arrested instead of jumping to rescue him. Perhaps now four years later he would be doing something different instead of being in jail. Your son at 18 is young and maybe experiencing jail now will scare him to want to change. Unfortunately, only him can decide so that is why like fellow members before me have emphasized the only thing you can do is take care of yourself because everything else is beyond your control.

We are all codependent or we wouldn't be most of us oldsters have taken steps not to behave in a codependent way. For example, rather than sitting and thinking about your son and if he'll call or not call or if he says you are to blame or anything...why not think about yourself and do nice things for yourself, plan outings, see people who are functional, up your hobbies and favorite activities and let your son take care of himself. He IS going to be the one in charge of his life anyway. Mwm is so right about this. In the past, when my difficult child has been in jail, i would be waiting and wondering whether he would call and if the call failed to come after say 2 days, i would torture myself worried that something must have happened. But i have been detaching from that habit and now whether he calls or not it doesn't affect me one way or the other.

Keep posting Wendy because everyone here is wonderful and supportive.


I should point out that (and I'm really not defending him, he's still a PITA), he's been telling me for months now, that he's an adult now and he doesn't want my help or input. I'M the one that offers help, food, phone calls, asking everyone if they've seen him lately... just to check and make sure he's okay. Yeah, it's controlling on my part Since he's under 18, every time he gets in trouble, the police bring the notice to parent to me (makes it really hard to not get involved), I'm also required as a mom *MY own decision* to be in court to support him even though he never wanted me to be there. Yet, he still is under 18 and in MY opinion, it's right for me to be involved. I did tell him that once he's 18, I won't be involved in his legal battles, he's on his own when it comes to that. He's been requesting that the police not bring those notices to me, every time I'm in the courtroom, he wonders why I'm there.
More and more, I'm realizing it's not so much HIM that is my's ME! I'm not beating myself up for that...all of my IMPOSING was well meaning and from the heart but not positively effective.
I was like this with my daughter too, once she turned 18, she moved out on her own. She loves her space, she works full time and is fairly independent. I was very good about her being on her own, I encouraged it. I know I raised them right.