How can we keep difficult child away from druggie girlfriend?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by pinevalley, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    My difficult child has been in rehab for the past 30 days because of marijuana abuse, and he is now doing well. He will be discharged in 3 days, and he will come home to live with husband and I. My husband and I have written a list of rules and consequences that difficult child must follow when he returns to our home to live. We are having a problem with difficult child's ex-girlfriend now. My son became involved with a girl who goes to the same school, so he will see her in school every day. However husband and I are insisting that difficult child must NOT have any contact with this girl when he returns home, except when they are in school.
    This girl's mother went to court in the fall and evicted her from their home, so now the girl is officially homeless. She has been sleeping at homeless shelters every night, and then our school district pays for a cab to take her to school in the mornings. She has no contact with her mother, and she has no other family in the area. Last fall my difficult child wanted to rescue this girl, because he kept telling me that he was saving her life. He became involved with this girl, and then she would not stay at the homeless shelters, because she wanted to stay with difficult child every night. She stayed at our home for a few nights, but difficult child insisted that he had to sleep in the same room with her, and that was not happening in our house. After that episode I told the girl that she could not stay at our house anymore, since I was not going to allow my son to sleep with her in our home. She then started sleeping in the foyer of an apartment building near our house, and difficult child was sneaking out of our house late at night to be with her. He even got arrested trying to help this girl. He went to a store and stole a small space heater so they could both stay warm in the foyer of the building, and he was arrested for shoplifting. Now difficult child has to go the court soon, and he would not have shoplifted if he wasn't mixed up with this girl. In the fall difficult child and the girl were both smoking a lot of weed. She told me that she doesn't smoke at all now (which I don't believe), and that she and difficult child can stay clean together.
    My husband and I do not want our son to have any contact with this girl when he gets out of rehab. difficult child has agreed to stop seeing her, but I think he is just saying this to get out of rehab. I am sure that this girl will start calling and texting him when he comes home, and pleading with him to help her. difficult child has to take care of himself and his recovery, and he can not be responsible for this girl. I am afraid that if we forbid difficult child to see this girl we will make him want to see her even more just to defy us. I can't trust that difficult child will stay away from this girl, and I don't think that these two have a healthy relationship. Should my husband and I forbid our difficult child from ever seeing this girl again? How can we keep him from getting mixed up with her, when she desperately needs help all the time? Thanks for any suggestions....
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Oh Pinevally.... I wish I had some magic way for you to do this... I think the only way to keep him away from this girl is for him not to go back to the same school... and possibly not live with you. I know that is absolutely not what you want to hear. He is 18.... I think if you forbid it, and she is there pulling on his 18 year old heartstrings (and hormones) then he will defy you... and it will become an issue of control between you. So I don't think forbidding it will work.

    If coming home is his best option then I would try to somehow talk with him about your concerns and that he is doing so well now that you hope he makes good choices and how can you help him do that.

    I don't know about your son but my son definitely gets pulled into these relationshpis with women and then they become part of the problem....

    Good luck... I hope his coming home goes well.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I tried to stop my daughter from seeing her friends, but she didn't listen, even after I started homeschooling her. She would sneak out her window at night or just leave the house. Your son is eighteen and there is nothing you can do if he doesn't want to comply, except tell him he has to leave if he does see her. Don't be surprised if he chooses the girl.

    This was such a big problem for my daughter that we finally made her leave and she went out of state to live with her brother. Only after leaving her peers was she able to quit. With all my heart, I wish you luck. This is so difficult and I know we feel so helpless. It is really up to your son if he stays sober though.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    been there done that. My difficult child had just broken up with her boyfriend when she went to rehab. It was a destructive relationship, they both smoked pot and drank 24/7 during the summer and any chance they got during the rest of the year. difficult child was obsessed with him and blames the breakup on her going on a binge that led to rehab. It would have happened anyway but he was a big part of it. When she was in rehab she contacted him several times and when she got out he started seeing her again, picking her up from work and smoking pot in the car with her. She ended up getting kicked out of her intensive outpatient aftercare because of smoking pot.

    I knew that if she continued with this relationship she would relapse harder and not get back on track. I did the unthinkable. I contacted his parents by letter and outlined all the things that had happened over the past year, including the fact that he was partly responsible for her getting kicked out of college for going up there three times a week and bringing beer and pot, which she finally got caught with. I told them she got kicked out of rehab because he helped her relapse. They were good people and were very upset also and promised to do whatever they could to keep their son away.

    It could have backfired on me but I wasn't willing to let the $25,000 we paid for rehab go down the drain without a fight. And I also figured we had nothing to lose at that point.

    But in your case the girl is living on the street and I don't know how you keep them apart. Will he be involved in an outpatient program? He needs to have a great deal of support when he comes home so that he can break away from her and continue with his recovery. Will he be seeing a therapist? If he will, I would ask his permission to talk with the therapist and explain your concerns so the therapist can help him in this area.

    You need to be very clear what your expectations are and what you will and will not accept and you have done that with the rules you set. Communicate that rules to him in from of his counselor at the rehab so that any problems or confusion can be addressed. You may have to be prepared to askk him to leave your home if the relationship continues and he relapses.

    I had a lot of anger towards difficult child's ex-boyfriend for his interference in her recovery. To this day I am angry at him but fortunately he is now out of the picture. At some point your son has to be strong enough to turn away from destructive relationships himself but he is not there yet.

    Good luck, keep posting because the re-entry from rehab can be a rought one. Stay focused.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although it was not a girlfriend I literally did everything I could possibly do to keep difficult child#1 away from his EF (evil friend). I won't enumerate all that I did but believe me other than being glued to difficult child#1 I could not have taken any more preventive steps. I failed.

    The only thing I can even think of (and frankly I doubt it would work, sad to say) is for you to explore housing options in your area for his girlfriend that are more stable and secure than her current lifestyle. Then give a shot at this approach. "Son, you have to make your recovery the top priority in your life. We know that your friendship with X has been important to you and that you are concerned about her life.We hope that she will have a better future and believe that like you she needs to focus on her personal growth and maturity. There are choices for her that exist in our community. Here is a list that I have put together than shows some of her choices. All adults have to make choices whether they are 18 or 80. Taking individual responsibility is what determines the future. You will be making important choices when you are discharged from your program. We know that you can find success if you focus on you. As your parents we will be at your side so long as you give your best to healthy living. You will be choosing the path for your future. We will not share destructive choices. Using your energy to help others is not going to help you. We love you and hope to share a healthy future."

    Like I said, I doubt it will help. on the other hand IF he knows that she has choices it "may" diminish his feelings of responsibility to her. Obviously you all have choices to make also. Decide in advance as a united front what you will and will not accept and then stick to it. Whatever the choices are don't back down. I am sending supportive and caring thoughts your way. Hugs. DDD
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    i too have been in this position with my difficult child#2. Nothing I did kept him away from the girl. He repeated this behavior over and over again even when professionals were telling him he needed to work on himself before he even considered a relationship. My son would break up after about 3 months only to find another even worse girlfriend. Nothing I did or said made a difference. Bottom line, if your difficult child isn't willing to put his past including this EX behind him and move foward he is doomed to fail.

    I am so sorry for the position you are in. I still think you should try to KINDLY pursuade him to stay away from all friends he ever did drugs or alcohol with. Hopefully with your encouragement and AA he will see that it must be that way if he wants to change his life for the better.
  7. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Thanks for all your suggestions about my son and this problem girlfriend. difficult child has only one more semester to go to graduate from high school, so sending him to live somewhere else right now is not an option for us. My husband has insisted that if we find that difficult child is still involved with this girl when he gets out of rehab that he will not be able to live in our house. I think that this ultimatum is too drastic to enforce right now, because we want difficult child to stay at home so he can graduate from high school. He will be part of an intensive outpatient program when he comes home, and he also has a therapist that we all have been seeing for the past year. The therapist knows all about the homeless girlfriend, and he will work with difficult child to try to keep him away from this girl. Right now difficult child is telling us that he has no intention of seeing this girl out of school, because he knows that he has to focus on his recovery. He is saying all the right things, but I'm really afraid that he will change his mind when he is out of rehab and this girl needs his help. difficult child just told me recently that this girl has found a place to live, so she will not be staying at the homeless shelters anymore. She is now living with a 30 year old guy, who was once homeless and wants to "help" this girl. That sounds like trouble to me, but it is her decision. My son is relieved that this girl is not living on the streets anymore, so hopefully she may not be so needy for his help all the time. I am thinking of meeting with this girl in person and making it very clear to her that my son will not be responsible for rescuing her anymore, and that she is on her own and can not ask him for help at all. I doubt if this will really get thru to her, but she keeps telling me how much she loves my son and how she wants him to stay clean. She told me that she has to stay clean too because she wants to join the Army and she can't be using any drugs when she joins the Army. I wish that she was joining the Army right now, instead of waiting until she graduates in June! It will be a long few months for us until difficult child really graduates from school and this girl actually joins the Army and moves.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The few months before difficult child's graduation from high school were very precarious for us also. It was very important that we get her to graduate so we did everything in our power to make that happen. Hopefully she is living elsewhere and she will join the army in June.

  9. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    That's exactly what we are trying to do with our difficult child now, Nancy. We are just trying to keep our son stable and in school so that he can get that high school diploma in June. He has had a difficult time all through high school, getting suspended almost every semester for one thing or another. He doesn't really like his classes, and he has no interest in college right now. We just keep telling difficult child that he doesn't want to be a high school drop out, especially when he is so close to his graduation.
  10. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    This is a hard dilemma.... and hopefully with rehab your son will get that he needs to get his hs diploma. We had this issue also with our son. My son was actually expelled in October of his senior year... oh gosh that was a bad time. Anyway he ended up in an alternative school but started disobeying the rules there too and using. We eventually kicked him out before finishing high school. We knew it was risky but really we couldn't have him in the home and it came down again to him needing to decide for himself to make some good choices. So he did not graduate in June and we were getting used to the idea of eventually him getting his GED. It was sad because he was literally a few assignments away from passing his classes at the alternative school so he could get his diploma. As always there were lots of adults pulling for him but he had to decide he was willing to do what he needed to do.

    I think some friends finally talked to him about the importance of having his high school diploma. So he finally asked us about his options... and he went back to the therapeutic boardinig school he was in in 10th grade for 2 weeks to finish up the work. This was all done with the agreement of the alternative school here, and the TBS and us. But he did end up doing it and so thankfully he got his hs diploma... literally by the skin of his teeth. We were very very happy that he decided to do this and after that we let him come home again, feeling like he had really made an effort to turn things around.

    Of course the rest is history... he was home for a couple of months when we had to kick him out again. But at least he did get his diploma.

  11. ying and yang

    ying and yang New Member

    Dear friend...... I wish you good luck form the bottom of my heart....Please be prepared! Most likely then not, you son ( specially if he has a history of defiance) will go back to using drugs with this girl. Son probably will add even more shop lifting to his activities.... Do not believe even a one word from his mouth. Be a detective. A lot of parents think that kids just using pot, and then parents are very surprised that kids are actually using also cocaine, xanax, oxy, K2, Meth, cough syrup, crack. Pot is introductory drugs and usually kids move on to others substances.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    ying and yang, we call our board a a soft place to land because when our members come here that is exactly what they need. We do our best to listen and support them. They have heard the negatives far too long and we do try to encourage the best we can.

    I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time with your son and I can imagine you have a lot of anger and resentment. Is there some way we can help you?

  13. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Toughlovin: I can tell that you know exactly what we are going through right now with our son. It must have been terrible for you and your family when you had to make the decision to kick your difficult child out of your home before he graduated from high school. I'm sure you hoped that the reality of not living at home would help your difficult child to grow up and be responsible. I'm sorry that you had to make that decision. Our difficult child has been at an alternative therapeutic high school for the past year. The class work is not hard at all in this school and he still can not manage to get decent grades. He has group therapy at this school every day, and all the students help each other to make good decision by their influence as a peer group.

    My husband and I visited our difficult child at rehab today and we discussed all the rules he must follow when he returns home. Our difficult child also told us that his ex girlfriend who was homeless was recently admitted to the psychiatric ward of a local hospital. I have no idea how long she can stay in the hospital if she has no money to pay at all. difficult child called the guy that she was living with to talk to her and this guy told difficult child that he took her to a hospital to be admitted. I know that this girl is really in trouble, and she really needs help. But our son can not help her, and I don't have the energy to deal with another messed up teen. I hope that she didn't hurt herself, but I also don't want her to contact difficult child at all.
  14. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Pinevalley, You are doing all the right things. Your difficult child is vulnerable now but not as vulnerable as he was prior to rehab. I am hoping that since the girl is now recieving treatment they will remain away from each other and both will work on themselves. Having clear cut rules and open conversation helps. The rest is up to your son.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm glad to read that she is getting help and even happier that he has shared with you all. Fingers crossed and prayers being said that coming home will be positive for your family. Hugs. DDD