good morning need some advice

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by jgreen03, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. jgreen03

    jgreen03 New Member

    I also posted this on another forum and they recommend I post it here. thanks.
    My difficult child is a 17 yo male. I raise him myself until he was twelve when I got married and went on to have two more children. His father has not been a constant in his life. Even as a small child his father would threaten if he didn't listen he would never see him again. My difficult child has always had behavior problems. But as a young child he would be charming and sweet so he would get away with it. As the years went on I had him tested for ADD. One Dr would say he had it and another would say not. Still he has always struggled with school and being able to stay on track. I was hoping that once I got married things would get better and they did for a short period of time and then my son and husband had an argument and husband was trying to get him to come in the house by phycially getting him in there and the neighbors called the police and they instantly took husband to jail. Charges evenually got dropped. However, now his authority had been broken when it came to difficult child. Last year things starting getting really bad realizing difficult child had developed a drug problem. And began stealing and pawning our valuable. He would also disappear for days on end. It was finally resolved well not really he stole the family car and I caught him driving and ended up in a police chase through our neighborhood and evenually caught. I took him and gave him to his father to clean himself up. Well of course that lasted four months and he was back in my house. Things were good for awhile until he had to enroll in the alternative education and of course not shortly after he resumed his old behaviors. husband caught on and with out telling me tried to get him off the weed. We were also trying to home school him Which seemed to be working good and he also got the job he has wanted for a very long time. Working as a lifeguard at the local YMCA. Things seemed to be looking up for him and he also had a new girlfriend. A good choice this time. He was looking into the military and college. And slowly of course things started getting out of control. Stealing five bucks here or there so we let it slide. Most recent incident husband and I woke up to difficult child crawling out of our closet. husband charged after him and was yelling at him. As husband was walking away difficult child punched him in the eye. husband of course called the police and difficult child was arrested. I called his father and of course paid half to get him out. Now difficult child is with his father and telling me I am not allowed to talk to him according to court papers. Which of course states that he have no contact with husband or any of his family. Now I am stuck. All I have ever tried to do is get this kid some help and this is where we keep ending up. If I leave it up to his father he will go no where like him a high school drop working a 100 hours in a kitchen. I want better for difficult child. I just don't know what to do anymore and could use some insight. Thanks for reading.
  2. saving grace

    saving grace New Member

    jgreen, welcome to our little part of the world. Your story is familiar, you will get some great advice here and this is mine

    You have done more than enough for your son. My thought is maybe he should work 100 hours in a kitchen, let him get a real taste of life. He will soon realize that the military or college wasnt such a bad idea.

    Does he hang around with a certain group of people that he keeps going back to? How does he get along with his new siblings? Has he ever had any counseling?

    Step back, let him live with is father, he will make his own decisions, good or bad he has to suffer the consequences of those choices. Right now you have to accept that the dream you had for your son will not be realized, many of us here have been in your shoes and our dreams have long been lost but we have new ones, we dream and pray that our difficult child's stay alive, that they get a job, any job, that they stay out of jail, that they smile today. They are different dreams but dreams still the same.

    I remember going to bed everynite and just hoping to God the phone didnt ring that night telling me he was dead.

    Your son will come through the other side of this, maybe not doing what you hoped but he will be ok. Love him, support him but do not enable him, do not make everything ok for him, do not put him in the path that you think will lead him to your dream. He needs to make his own journey.

    Chin up my friend, take this time that he is away and breathe.

  3. jgreen03

    jgreen03 New Member

    Thank you for the kind words. It is so difficult and no one really understands. and that is why I have turned to this sight hoping for some insight. It is the people around him and the hurt and confusion that his real father was not really there for him. I know the only thing that is keeping me going is knowing he is safe and not in jail and not with the idiots he would smoke pot with. And our home is peaceful. The Little one. easy child 1 is 3 and easy child 2 is 2 and they miss him terribly. They keep asking where he is. Thats hard because they adore him and he does adore them.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us. Sorry you had to. It is a great
    site and the people here are terrific. Because of the holidays
    it is slower than usual so you may not get too many responses
    this week. Believe me, you will hear from others who have been there done that
    and suggestions and questions and opinions will flow.

    I'm sorry but I have to work this morning so I have to sign off.
    Just want you to know that you're welcome. Hugs. DDD

    PS: I had a sorority sister with the same name and just reading
    your name (pretend name or real doesn't matter, lol) has put a
    smile on my face. She was the funniest human being I ever met!
  5. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Your story is very close to mine. I was a single mother until my difficult child was 12 then I married a wonderful man and we have two little ones together (ages 3 and almost 2).

    I agree with all of the advice you've gotten. You've certainly done so much for your son, unfortunately, teens don't appreciate anything (mine certainly doesn't).

    We called the police and had difficult child arrested (for simple assault) the very first time he made it necessary. The consequences ended up being pretty severe, he was out of our house for about five months (detention center then Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)). He's been home for about two weeks and so far things are going well.

    Since your difficult child is at his dad's, enjoy the peace and quiet! However, if and when he returns to your house, you and husband must present a united front and follow through with any consequences necessary. If he's on probation, work closely with his PO. difficult child must be held accountable, he needs to know that you will not tolerate ANY cr*p in your home. period. Let him know that you mean business and there is only a place for him in your home if he follows the rules and treats his family with respect at all times.

    My difficult child has a consent decree (very much like probation) and I've told him that it doesn't matter if his PO calls to see if he's really home by his curfew, because I will call his PO and tell him if you're not. PO will know exactly how you're doing, because I will tell him!!! My son believes me and has not tested the limits because he's afraid, he doesn't want to get in trouble again.

    I understand the fear of difficult child living with his father but it's probably best right now. If he wants a better life for himself, then he'll make the choices needed to get it and he's the only one who can.

    You need to allow your difficult child to feel the consequences of his actions. That's really the best you can do right now. Hang in there, you've done a great thing for yourself and difficult child by finding this site!!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you read my post when yours was on "General?"
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you are going through this. This is a really good place to be for parents. There are quite a few who have been through this. Our case was not as severe, but we did have to send my son to live with my parents. I think it saved his life. We were blessed (NOT lucky, not by any means. BLESSED).

    It may come to the point of refusing to bail him out. It may be the best lesson he can learn. There are times we have to step back and let our kids feel the full weight of the consequences of their actions.

    I can say that you need locks on EVERY door in your house, and you need to use them. Good strong key locks. Keys around your neck. It will protect YOU. It may be a very short step to very dangerous assault on you or the rest of your family.

    While you love him, you DO have to protect your other kids no matter what. We faced this, and it nearly tore us apart. It was truly devastating.

    How is he with his siblings? Maybe with him not home for a while you can gently talk to them and make sure he is not hurting them or using them to hide his things.

    I am so very sorry. It stinks when we have to cope with this, live like this. I can see your love for your son in every sentence you write. I can also see your pain.

    We are here for you.


  8. jgreen03

    jgreen03 New Member

    I did read your message. And thank you. I think my situation is reversed with my difficult child. I think has pschological problems and needs help, however the medically system keeps pushing him away saying he has no problems. But I can see it in his eyes when he ready to go off his deep end. I also think the pot use is his way of self medicating. He has told me once before that he likes to smoke because it quiets everything down for him. I was working with a therapist who thought maybe he could be bipolar type 2. We did see a pschiatrist and he thought he was fine. I don't think he is. I know he has a strong family history of pschological issues and drug and alcohol additions. Both mine and his fathers family. Including his father who is a recovering addict now for 16 years. I for so long I tried to talk to difficult child about it telling him its in his genes and he really needs to watch out for it. I know for my own sake that I don't drink or anything else for the same reason. I get hooked. Mine was more pain pills. I would just take them to take them. So I do understand how he feels and any other addict feels. Its just so complicated. I did talk to his biodad today and things are going good. And he likes being with his dad. I was just telling biodad what difficult child options are for his future. That all is not lost and he can rebuild. He is not in that much trouble. It is just hard to be his mom from such a distance. I could go on and on.
    Thanks for reading finding this site has really helped. And to hear postive stories that things can work out. Really gives me hope.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi again. I have no doubt your son has psychiatric issues. My daughter probably has a mood disorder and self-medicated. However, I'm saying HE WON'T HELP HIMSELF and get help for the primary issue (a psyschiatric problem PLUS drug use) until he chooses to do so. There is still nothing you can do. I have bipolar II and tried pot and it does more harm than good in the long run. And I still say he may be using more drugs. Until he decides to comply with treatment and that means therapeutic medications without the other stuff, he won't improve. And in my opinion you still need to use tough love. He's almost a man. If he gets into trouble again, nobody will care if he has a mood disorder--he will be tried and punished as an adult. He needs to decide to get the proper help and to listen to his doctors. My daughter's story ended positive, BUT in no way did we bail her out of trouble. I don't think she'd have decided to change if we had pampered her. The more we did, the more she spiraled out of control. She is quite responsible now, but she was in another place than your son. Even on drugs she had a job, graduated high school, and even went to tech school for Beauty School and got straight A's, so she had some ambition even through the drug haze. All kids are different. At 17, your son needs to decide to get help. He probably has a dual diagnosis--drug addiction and a psychiatric problem. That can be tricky and he himself has to decide to do the hard work it takes to get better. (((Big hugs))) This is VERY hard. I still shudder thinking that my daughter could have died...
  10. jgreen03

    jgreen03 New Member

    Good morning. I do agree with you. I have tried an anti drepressant with difficult child a couple years ago, but had to take it away due to the fact that he was smoking pot. The issue of him taking other drugs. I am not sure. He did just go through an extessive drug testing for a job. At that time he did stop smoking and nothing showed up. So I do hope that is it. But I did suspect him huffing and taking cold medications so yeah that is bad too. He is at his dad's now. He is a totally different person there than he is here.He doesn't sneek off or smoke pot. Even his attitude is different. Of course I know the theory behind all that. husband took me away from him and I abandon him by having two more children. Of course he can not make sense of that right now. I think he will eventually. Looking back all the things he has done has been to husband. Only stealing from him. I know that does not justify anything of course. but I understand. Because I was there as a child myself with a step mother who I hated and now we are really close.Bottom line I know difficult child is safe and he is not using or stealing. He is deathly afraid of his father. Which is good for him. His court date is jan 22. We will all show of course. husband does not want to follow through with charges. He feels the scare of spending the night in jail was enough punishment. The next chapter is up to difficult child. He could finish his schooling with me and join the military which is what he has always wanted. I think that would good for him. He does so much better in a structured enviroment. He does have goals and hopes for his future he just keeps getting :censored2: into the garbage that his so called friends have to offer. Anyway thanks for reading. I suppose I am just trying to sort things out for myself.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, big hugs. Listen, dont blame yourself or anything you did. If he's doing good at dad's, doesn't do drugs, etc. LET HIM STAY THERE and enjoy your other two kids. Your son may have had some bad breaks. Most of us have. That doesn't justify a pity party and taking drugs (not all drugs show up on drug screens--my daughter passed a drug test too). If the child knows he's going to be tested, they usually abstain for the test. Regardless, MY story is that I went through a divorce and remarried. I had three kids. Only my daughter chose the drug route for many reasons that she has now told me. At this point in time, in my opinion you are over-analyzing the why. The "why" doesn't matter. It's the "that." THAT he is doing it. He needs to stop and must choose to do so on his own, regardless of what he perceives as his crappy life. If you feel sorry for him, you can't help him with his bigger issues--the drug use and lack of ambition. I wouldn't help him unless he cuts the pot or anything else he may be huffing or ingesting, goes back to school, and shows he's trying to be responsible. in my opinion that will only make him see that you're guilty and he'll exploit that. difficult child's take a mile when you give an inch. I hope your son gets his act together. (((Hugs)))
  12. jgreen03

    jgreen03 New Member

    Thanks. I do over analyze. I was a psychiatric major in college. Went through many counseling classes. I don't think anything he has been through jusifies his behavior now. Maybe if he were 8 but not now and he knows that.
    thanks again.
  13. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member


    I just wanted to say hi and to welcome you to our little corner of the cd family. Yes, unfortunately most of us in this little corner have either been through or are going through much of what you describe.

    The good news is that your son is doing well at his dad's. If he's not drugging there, I'd definitely let him stay there and sort things out. Perhaps with some time under his belt of being drug-free, he'll realize where the drugs could lead him.

    We had to have our son placed in a dual-diagnostic (psychiatric and substance abuse) Residential Treatment Center (RTC) when he just turned 17. It was our last ditch effort to help him after all the short-term drug rehabs and therapy didn't help. We were fortunate in that it was a great program and he had a great therapist there. He is and has been drug free now for a number of years. Even he says, however, that he was ready to give up the drugs. Nudging (forcing) him into treatment might have helped him see that he needed to clean up his act, but he still had to work the program and want to stop the drugs.

    Hopefully the court date will go well, and he'll continue to stay out of trouble and off drugs at his dad's.

    You've found a great supportive site here. We're here to help in any way we can.

    Hugs and welcome aboard,
  14. TheSuperMommyfor3

    TheSuperMommyfor3 New Member

    All this info really helped. I see that alot of people are going through the same thing. Wouldn't it be great if everyone had to wear a sign telling the truth about their family! Then the rest of us wouldn't feel like we did something wrong or that we were somehow to blame because we don't have perfect kids. My story is almost the same line as jgreen03's. My difficult child is 17, male and he has ADHD. He has always been very strong willed and hard to get along with even though he is quite intelligent (which makes things worse) and very witty & funny. I guess my hubby and I just didnt' see the signs. My easy child & other difficult child were talking and realized that everyone else saw the problems but we were the last to know. My difficult child had started showing some real problematic symptoms. Basically, his entire behavior changed last year and he lost interest in the things he used to love. His peer group changed completely. I took him to a therapist for two weeks and then the very next week right before Christmas, he was arrested for possession of pot and evading arrest. They gave him a misdemeanor on both charges. Lucky duck. My hubby and I bailed him out. You would think his behavior had changed but no way. He is worse. We then took him to a drug counselor and have done so at least 3 times since. He has agreed to do screenings and will stop drugs. He says. But the counselor doesn't think that it will happen and that he will eventually have to go to treatment which we are all for at this point. He is a leech and a liar. When he is at home he is always trying to work everyone. I am so embarrassed and angry with him. I try not to show anything to him. We are all smiles and nice to him. But it is tearing our family apart. difficult child will have to go to court soon. And he has threatened to move out several times. He may or may not graduate in May and will turn 18 the first week of June. I just don't know what to do. I am going crazy thinking about this stuff all the time. He is holding us all hostage. Any advice is appreciated!
  15. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Oh my! It sounds all too familiar to me. My son at 17 was ADHD also. He was diagnosed in first grade. He was ok up until high school when his peers changed and so did everything else. He would not take his prescribed medicine and chose to use pot instead and anything he could get his hands on. He also dropped out of school. At that time we had already been going to a counselor and so had he. She suggested he get a job and see what the real world was about. He did but his friends would find him at his job and that caused him to lose a lot of jobs. So we went to doctors, counselors, police, judges, everywhere even several rehabs and nothing helped. He was destroying our family and our home. We loved him - he is the oldest and still love him but we had to let him go. We told him his behavior was not acceptable in our home - he lived with friends for a while - that was worse. Everytime he wound up[ in jail we would let him come home after he got released and it would go right back to the same friends, etc. So now he is in jail for contributing to the deliquency of a minor - we told him not to mess with kids under his age - especially if they or he were going to do anything illegal - h e would not listen. So - he has been in jail awaiting his court date since Oct. 07 - we will not bail him out - it is hard - but the more you enable him to repeat his behavior and wreak havoc on your home the more he will continue. It sounded so crazy to me for years but I think I am finally getting it. I thought why does our family - all intact - did fun things together - great extended family have to go through this. They need help but dont want it untiil they have to get it themselves. The only advice is go to an Alanon support group for parents of children that abuse substances - also - dont take him into your house if he is destroying it. Hang in there.