How do you keep your sanity when your kids routinely lie to you?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by recovering doormat, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    I'm sorry to vent on what should be a joyful day, and I do have things to be thankful for, but I've got a nagging, grey cloud over me today.

    Yesterday I discovered that my most valuable jewelry (wedding ring, engagment ring, pearl choker my ex bought for my wedding day, other pieces he bought me, worth about $20,000 in 1988 dollars) was mising from my my bureau drawer. Serves me right, I suppose, for keeping valuables there, but I did. It was stuff I no longer wear since I'm divorced from the man who bought it from me, but I was saving it for my children.

    The jewelry was taken out of their boxes. I can't pinpoint when it was probably taken because I haven't looked in that drawer in probably weeks, maybe a month or more. There's no evidence to suggest I had a break-in, so the most likely thief/thieves were one of my three kids, or one of their friends/acquaintances.

    In October I visited my brother out of town for the weekend and locked up my house because I was concerned that my kids, ages 12, 15 and 18, who were staying with their dad for the weekend, might be tempted to go in and have a party. When I got home I discovered that the two older ones had indeed entered the house with-o my permission and had some friends over. They left a sinkful of dirty dishes, clorox splotches in my sons' first floor bedroom where a friend vomited after he drank a Smirnoff cooler, and the aroma of stale bong water. I was furious but I did not call the cops and report it because my kids are troubled and already involved in misdemeanor offenses that are being litigated.

    Never occured to me to check to see if any silver or jewelry was missing then.

    So, yesterday I reported the theft to the police and the insurance company. The cops can't do much because there is no one suspect (did I leave the front door unlocked while I ran an errand so the 12 yr old could get into the house after school? ) and I couldn't be precise about when the last time I saw my jewelry was. We live in a cul de sac with a lot of older neighbors who are home all day, so we dont' have a history of break-ins in our street.

    I questioned my 18 yr old yesterday, who pointed the finger at her brother, saying he had a couple of kids over that night that she didn't recognize. Today, he said that she actually had two older teen boys that she had met over Myspace but didn'tknow who they were. My youngest was not there that night, thank God.

    I made the mistake yesterday of sharing this info with my mother, but we agreed not to discuss it with anyone else in the family and that it was not going to spoil our day today. She immediately thought it was my son or one of his friends, becasue he has a history of petty theft from my ex and I (he's lifted the occasional $20 bill from my wallet, until I stopped carry cash in favor of a debit card - I also don't have him over myhouse with-o knowing how much money is in my purse beforehand, and he got caught with a butter cookie tin full of my ex's loose change, in his backpack at school, that he was goiong to use to buy weeds.

    Both the older daughter and her brother smoked weed together (not at my house) until about three weeks ago, when my daughter decided to go back on her medications and get a job after flunking out of her first semester of community college. Neither my ex nor I give the boy any cash at all because of his history of smoking marijuana.

    I couldn't care less about the jewelry, but the thought that one of my kids, or one of their friends, would do something like this just makes me ill.

    How do you show love for your children when you have such misgivings about their character ? Especially when you really can't prove anything?

    I've decided that tomorrow I'll contact the cop who took my info and I will ask him to speak to both my children, separately, and if they think it will be useful I saved the containers the pieces were kept in, for fingerprints.

    Sorry to unload this on all of you. I'm trying very hard to put a smile on my face so my siblings won't ask me what's wrong and I'll be tempted to blurt it out. They already have negative opinions about my kids and this is just so much worse than what I've dealt with in the past.

    I wish it had been a break-in. Carrying this level of mistrust is so wearing.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm sorry you are going through this- it really sounds like a mess and a web that would take a lot to unravel (sp). I hate to say it, but unless someone decides to really be hionest and spill the beans soon (unlikely, in my humble opinion), my guess is that you will never see that jewelry again and you might as well let that go altogether.

    I think I'd make sure these kids get more supervision and no time alone in the house for a long time to come- all of them.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, there isn't a whole lot you can do. They will probably lie to the cops too. I would lock everything up at all times and, frankly, the 18 year old would be looking for another place to permanently live. Are they all in therapy? Have they gotten diagnoses? I would seriously think about sending them to Dad full time if they are that out of control. You need some peace. I can't even imagine having three kids like have so much on your plate. It was hard with only one on drugs...and she didn't steal from me. I would hire a housesitter every single time I left town and maybe you need to change the locks. You can love your kids but not enable t heir behavior. It is destructive to them as well as you. (((Hugs)))
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry. This is such a violation, and it leaves you feeling so vulnerable. Sending gentle hugs, as I know the feelings you are having.

    It sounds like you need to change the locks and have some other arrangement so the kids are supervised when they are there.

    Would it be possible to identify the items if you saw them at the pawn shops? I would go to the pawn shops and try to find them - if you find them there the pawn shop will have a record of who sold them and you can track it down that way.

    Anyway, gentle hugs,
  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    RD, first of all, {{{{{HUGS}}}}}. I'm sorry that you're dealing with all of this. Losing the ability to trust your children is heartbreaking.

    Here are my thoughts...

    Showing love to your children does not necessarily mean being nice to them, or doing things for them, or letting them have privileges. Sometimes showing love to your children means getting very tough with them. Showing them that you, and your home and your things will be respected, and that you will not put up with any shenanigans from them.

    Your children are going to have to live in society, and society will expect them to adhere to its standards. If they don't, they WILL face the consequences. The world doesn't care whether they have mental illnesses or special needs or anything...the world expects people to follow the rules, and life can be downright nasty for those who do not.

    If you know that your children have broken into your house when you're not there and you have expressly forbidden it, you need to call the police. Even if the police do not press charges, you are building a body of information that they can use later. Going easy on your children doesn't help them, because they're not experiencing the natural consequences of their actions.

    I agree with the others that your children shouldn't be living in your home at all if they can't respect your boundaries. You need to change the locks on all the doors, and make sure that all windows are secure from entry too.

    I also recommend that you keep a safety deposit box at your local bank. Jewellery that you don't wear, and any other valuables can be locked up there. You can also store important papers there (be sure to get copies of them, and store the copies in a safe place too)

    The biggest thing, and in my opinion the hardest, is recognizing that your children are going to lie to you. You want so badly to believe them, but deep down you know you can't. Because you want to, you take their word for things that just don't make sense, that you'd never believe coming from someone other than your children.

    When dealing with my difficult child, I assume that everything he says to me is a lie. Unless it can be corroborated with independent proof, then I simply don't believe him. His track record for lying is WAY too great. You might need to do something similar with your children. You can trust them. Trust them to treat your things with disrespect, trust them to lie and cheat, and steal. If you work from that assumption, you are less likely to have your home and things stolen or destroyed.

    I am so sorry for your pain. This is no way to have to spend what should be a happy family time.

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My heart breaks for you. I think the only way to proceed is to file a police report and an insurance claim. With strangers from the internet in your house, who knows what type of crook came in and robbed you blind. You probably have to come in and do a clean sweep of everything valuable. I think that the police are going to require you to file a report and prosecute if you want them to take fingerprints and run them. I hope that you have locked up the boxes that everything was in. But they aren't going to do it if you only want them to figure out who did it without taking legal action.

    Honestly, I would be beside myself. I would consider adding a special double lock deadbolt for each exterior door that only I have keys to for the next time I am out of town. You could keep it unlocked when you are in town, but lock it up tight when you are not.

    Of course, it's just as likely that one of them took the jewelry while you were at the store as someone else did when you were out of town. My trust for them would be zilch until I figured this out, and no one would get more than food or shelter until the culprit is found. Christmas be damned if that's how they want it.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, RD. No other advice, just sending hugs.
  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I'm sorry this has happened to. Honestly, if your drawers weren't messed up, it was more than likely one of your kids. They'd know where to look. The other kids probably wouldn't.

    You might check local pawnshops. If you happen to know their dealers, it might be worth checking with mothers, grandmothers, sisters and girl friends after Christmas to see who is wearing some pretty new jewelry.

    My daughter stole some very valuable pieces from me when she was about 15. It took some serious detective work but I did manage to get all but my diamond studs back. She didn't use them to get drugs but to get invited to a couple of parties. Her reason for stealing broke my heart. The theft itself infuriated me. Since I could not prove my child had stolen the jewelry, the police refused to do anything other than file a report. They wouldn't even put out a list for local pawn shops. My insurance company gave me a choice: put all valuables in a safe deposit box and lose my insurance.

    It hurts when our kids violate us like this. You expect theft and violence from strangers, but not the people of your heart. (((((HUGS)))))
  9. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Oh, the first place they'll go to is a pawn shop. With your report in hand, visit all the local pawn shops. They will then contact the police if they have anything of yours. When my difficult child stole my jelwry and pawned it, he was underage, so he gave a buddy a pack a of cigs to pawn it for him. I filed against both of them. It hurts, but it needed to be done. I know this is hard. Hugs.
  10. Wishing

    Wishing New Member

    Instead of going out of state to be with relatives as I have always done in the past I decided to stay home as my difficult child wanted to be with his friends and would not accompany me this year. He was upset as he felt I wasn't having any fun. I did not want to go as around here when the parents leave their houses all the kids know that is the location of the next party. My difficult child is upset that I didn't trust him. It scares me that people you don't know will destroy your property. I do not trust kids that are drinking and carrying on to be careful in my house. They'r young and most of the time in my humble opinion they don't think. Besides someone could overdose on alcohol or drugs or get raped here and I don't want any problems. My difficult child thinks I'm a very paranoid person who is always expecting the worst.
    If I had $20,000. worth of property stolen I would be very upset. Usually the kids know who did it. The kids I know are not good about keeping secrets with a little prying it comes out. I wouldn't be surprised if as soon as you let your kids know that the police are being called in that someone may return the items to you. Let them know they are taking fingerprints.Don't keep mum about it. Let them know you are very upset.
    I do keep my diamond necklace in the bank and just take it out for special occasions.
  11. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Thanks so much for the support and advice. My kids got access to my house because I only locked the bottom doorknob lock, which my daughter found her key to. The upper deadbolt that no one has the key to I left unlocked in case my ex had to come to the house for my youngest's cheerleading outfit or asthma medications. Dumb, dumb, dumb. That won't happen again.

    I filed a police report but because I don't know when the jewelry disappeared and there isn't any one suspect, it's mostly for the insurance. Which probably won't help because the rider my ex had purchased to cover this jewlery only applied to our marital home, and I don't live there anymore -- when we divorced neither of us thought to change the rider. Again, stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Son says daughter's Myspace friends took the jewelry, but he admitted that he didn't know for sure, was just guessing. Daughter claims she doesn't know anything about it and didn't have strange young men here. Again, one lies and the other swears to it. Waste of time.

    My ex and I think that our son or his friends may have taken them because our son has a history of thievery from us. Money from my wallet, quarters in a cookie tin he swiped from dad's room (dad caught him) and most recently, my ex discovered yesterday that hundreds of dollars worth of unrolled quarters were missing from a huge plastic jug he kept hidden in the back of his bathroom linen closet. He estimated there was over a grand in quarters in that jug; when he checked yesterday there was perhaps $70 left. He is absolutely sick about it because he was going to take all the change, years and years worth, to the bank so he could buy Christmas gifts and pay the $800 gas bill that has been in arrears for two months. Now he's borrowed from a friend for the utilities and Christmas will be leaner than ever for our three kids.

    It gets more disturbing every day. We know our boy is smoking weed and now we think we know where he's getting the money. My ex told me today that keeps finding ceramic coffee mugs with saucers placed on top, and inside is a wad of kleenex that has been saturated with some kind of liquid. He was throwing out the kleenex and washing the cups and lids, until yesterday he decided to sniff the tissue and found it was not dampened with water but with some kind of solvent. Neither of us has a clue as to what that's about: could it be a way of "huffing" or it is something to do with grinding up pills and snorting them (my older daughter told me some kids smash up Tylenol and snort them for the high, and I had a cousin whose kid crushed her Ritalin and snorted them).

    Ex and I have come to the conclusion that our boy is way over his head with drugs and needs rehab, either a local day program or residential. We just don't know when the next wall of sh** is going to fall on us, but it seems to be almost daily now.

    Is there a website where I find out what the paraphernalia I find is connected to? I really want to know. My ex looked into a kid's backpack that was left at his home and found some kind of jerry-rigged tool for snorting stuff: an auto wrench with an enlongated cylinder with a hard plastic strawn duct-taped to it so the straw connected to a hole in the wrenchhead. I am scared to death.

    Son has a court date Tuesday and we don't know what is going to happen. He has refused to go to school the past three days and I'm sure that will affect the disposition of his case (disorderly conduct and criminial mischief).
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hugs, RD.

    I hope you go ahead with the fingerprinting and agreeing to prosecute if they catch anyone. Maybe the process of being fingerprinted will "assist" with them coming clean if either were involved.

    The legal system is no place to get real help, but if it was your son, it sounds like he's spiraling downward, anyway, and maybe that will bring the bottom up to meet him, so to speak.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. This has to be so hard for you.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As the mom of an ex-drug addict, my advice is not to obsess over what he is taking because you will never know the extent of it. If he has figured out a clever way to snort, he is likely doing a lot more than you want to know about. Knowing exactly what drugs he uses won't change anything (and is probably something you can't really know). My daughter even tried heroin twice (shudder) but I didn't find out about that until after she cleaned up her act and told me everything. I also don't think rehab will help him unless he is committed to changing. What I think would help you and your hub the most is to get in a nar-anon group (group of people who love folks who are drug abusers). You will get so much support, love, caring and good advice...we try, but we can't possibly offer as much as they can. Nobody makes you speak until you are ready, but you feel close to everyone right away and everyone knows how you feel, you are not judged. My daughter quit on her own, because she wanted to quit. No rehab would have made her do that (in fact there are lots of drugs at rehab centers). You can certainly try it if you like, but I think going to nar-anon (or Al-anon) is the best thing you can do. Your life is out of control because of drug abuse (it is likely all your kids are doing drugs). You need to know how to cope with such an enourmous load on your shoulders. I would go to a meeting as soon as you can find one. Check your newspaper...they usually show you where the meetings are.
  14. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I did some quick googling but couldn't find anything conclusive. However, I do have a theory. It seems that kids are huffing solvents like gasoline by putting kleenex or cotton on a piece of saran wrap and putting that over the mouth and nose and inhaling. Of course, this makes it doubly dangerous because there's the additional risk of asphixiation. It seems like a coffee cup would make it easier to inhale the fumes with less risk. Plus, you could put the saucer on top to keep the fumes in if you needed to quit.

    As to the wrench/straw, this is used to make bongs with plastic bottles. The wrench is used to get the straw to the correct size.

    It really sounds like your son needs some serious help. The huffing does more than get him high, it can and will cause serious brain damage. You need to get him some intervention ASAP. I'm so very sorry you're going through this.
  15. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    did you try going to any local pawn shops or jewelry stores to see if you can find it?
  16. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    i didn't know that, i thought the straw meant he was snorting something.
    boy if these kids would only use that creativity and energy in a positive way
  17. compassion

    compassion Member

    I try to look for any postives but try not to let my guard down. As far as the straws, et. I had to do a web ewarch this summer when I found various stuff. I really did not know! I just leanred about the straw-the bong makes sense.