how is your son doing camom

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by KFld, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I saw your response in Ronni's post and didn't want to hijack hers, but I wanted to know how everything is going??

    I hope all is well.
  2. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Karen, oh, where to start...

    The good news...he's MUCH more pleasant to live with. He's following our house rules fairly consistently, i.e., basically being respectful to us (watching the profanity) and our home (keeping his room clean and cleaning up after himself), no drugs or cigarette smoking in our home, and letting us know by 11:00 pm if he isn't going to be home by midnight.

    The neutral news is that he hasn't gotten serious about finding a job. However, I'm filing this under neutral because, once he runs out of money, which will happen this week, he knows there are no more freebies. We've told him that we will take care of his NEEDS (housing, food, basic clothing) as long as he's complying with our rules and keeps to his agreement about finding part-time work and going to school in January, but he will be responsible for taking care of his WANTS (cigarettes, brand-name clothing, fast food, and...pot).

    Which leads me to the bad news...pot. He's said all along, even in his group home, that he enjoys pot and will smoke an occasional joint, although he won't bring it home or come home high. So far, he's kept to that agreement.

    So, since my husband and I both agree that, taking everything into consideration at this moment, we aren't willing to show him the door because of his admitted pot use, I suppose we're at somewhat of an impasse as we wait to see what he'll do once his funds run out.
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I'm glad he's following the house rules. It's just a shame after all that time away he still thinks it's o.k. to continue using pot. I know with my experience with my difficult child, I would never allow him to come back home if he were admitting to using any kind of drug, but then again I won't allow him to live back home even now that he's clean from all drugs, just because I feel he would be going backwards independence wise.

    I guess as long as you don't see him high, then you'll just make the choice to ignore it and hope he stays out of trouble. Just seems like he's taking a huge chance and it will probably come back to bite him in the you know what.

    Is he on any kind of probation where they will periodically drug test him?

    did you have trouble getting used to having him home again after the peace and quiet?
  4. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Karen, no, he had no probation after his release. The difference between the group home facility he was in and the "Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s" that are discussed on the boards, I think, is that his was not a treatment facility but rather more a group foster-type home that was not specifically geared toward drug and alcohol use, although there were components of the overall program that addressed those issues.

    My son left the program with the attitude that he WISHED he had been smoking pot rather than having had alcohol the night he got involved with his friends in a crime because, "If I had been smoking weed, I would have been too lazy and laid back to go along with them to start with!" He in no way sees pot as a problem other than legally, and he doesn't even worry much about that because he never has more on his person than that that would be considered a misdemeaner by the police.

    Actually, it really wasn't as difficult, having him home after ten months of peace and quiet, as I thought. He has always been very social and is a wanderer, going from one friend's home to another, and occasionally bringing friends back here, so we don't see a lot of him. He does his own laundry and cooks himself meals (or goes out) since he eats at different times than we do. He tries to be quiet when he comes home late, and really doesn't disturb us, although I'm a light sleeper and usually hear him come in. He never asks for rides anywhere and finds his own transportation. So, really, things aren't a lot different than they were when he was gone.

    The main issue for me, which I try to deal with since things are going fairly well otherwise, is his room! His ideas about what constitutes a clean room and ours are entirely different, i.e., he'll strip his bed and then sleep on the mattress cover because he doesn't feel like putting clean sheets on. When I ask him about it, his response is along the lines of what difference does it make if he sleeps on sheets or the mattress cover since they're all fabric and he's comfortable.

    The group home our son was in really stressed life skills and independent living because most of the boys weren't able to return home for various reasons. Our son was still 17 when he was released and very anxious, a problem he has always had. He's meeting with a therapist every couple of weeks who feels, as we do, that he has a degree of almost a post-traumatic stress syndrome and needs some time to "decompress" before we start putting too much pressure on him. This was evidenced by a job interview he scheduled for himself at a local mall. He filled out the app and was called for a group interview. He got up early, got dressed, and we got all the way to the mall when he fell apart, telling me that he wanted to find work within walking distance of our home and did NOT want to work so far away (the mall is four miles from our home...).

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you're son's doing ok. I'd be concerned with the pot and hope it's just pot. As for post-traumatic--dunno. My daughter had some whopper psychologists who to me made some suggestions that we just couldn't bring ourselves to do. One told us we should trust her more. Um, she lied to us every time she said something. She stole. She took drugs. We should trust her more? On what planet? I personally would take what they say with a grain of salt. In the real world, your son is going to have to fill out a job application and get a job and this is something you can't do for him. The more he does it, the easier it will get. I also think that giving him so much time off to do nothing is a bad idea, but, hey, at least he's following the house rules. I want to again stress though that if my daughter had not been treated with some tough love, she never would have changed. If we had been that easy on her, after a honeymoon period, she'd have gone back to doing what she'd been doing. And that came right from her. Good luck to you and your son!
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Hi CAMom. I read your post with much interest because my son is trying to force me into a situation that's similar to your own. He, too, states that he "loves smoking pot" and will never stop, but that he feels he can be a "functional pothead" if everyone would just get off his back. At this point, he's facing being shown the door in December, but that's a murky possibility because my wife seems willing to give him the same deal you have with your son - against my will, I might add.

    I can say, however, that I'm doubtful it will work (for us). I made that "deal with the devil" about 2 years ago, when McWeedy said that if I'd just let him smoke a joint now and then, that he'd do well in school, keep his room clean, etc. Worked for about a week, then he took a nose dive straight off Mt. Olympus. To be fair, though, that was a 16YO who had just come clean about his drug use. He's now two years older, lost just about everything I can take from him, and has a 50/50 chance of finding himself on his own in January. However, he's still making the same claims - that his pot use isn't the issue, it's my nazi attitude that drives him to act out, and that if I'd just "back off" things would be better.

    Will they? After two years of constant struggle, with my wife on the brink of giving in, I just don't know. But I'll be very interested to see how your son (and your family) fairs with your own compromise. Another member here (I don't remember who) said that "it's amazing what you can learn to ignore". She had simple rules: "don't steal from me, don't do drugs in my house or bring them around here", etc.

    How do you think this will work out with your son? He obviously doesn't want to stop smoking pot, yet you seem to think that maybe he can keep the damage from that behavior to a minimum (and away from your family) while still giving him the benefit of the doubt in other areas. I, too, face such a choice. For me, more like an ultimatum.

    If you don't mind, how did you come to the point of tolerating his drug use while still living at home? I'd be very interested to know.

    Thanks so much,

  7. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Well, Mikey, I've read your posts since Day 1, and have noticed many similarities in our boys.

    On the other hand, I think there is a major difference in that our son has, except for once or twice at the very beginning of his pot use, always kept it out of our home and out of our faces, i.e., he wouldn't dream of cooking up a batch of marijuana cookies or whatever it was that McWeedy was concocting when your wife discovered him! He knows that, if we were to find pot and/or discover him smoking pot in our home, he will be asked to start making plans to move out.

    So, I can't say we have a "deal" per se, as we would never agree to "let" him smoke pot. However, we've told him that, at 18 years of age, he's entitled to make his own choices about how he wants to live his life including choosing to break the law, but that we also have a right to choose what we will tolerate in our home.

    Our situation is also different in that our son is an only child and, quite frankly, his pot use really doesn't affect anyone but himself. Another major difference is that our son spent the last ten months in a group home, and my husband and I had to learn to detach since we saw him for weekend passes only every other week. So, my husband and I had ten months to reconnect as a couple, without the stresses of having to deal with our son and his choices. It was fairly easy to keep going in that direction, once he was home and turned 18. This probably sounds selfish...but there it is...

    All that said, we're still in somewhat of a "holding pattern" in that he hasn't gotten a job yet or started school. We would really like him to start our local community college next semester (in January) so aren't pushing the job situation much so that he'll be free to attend full-time if he wants.

    So, I guess, for the moment, our son really has very few responsibilities, so whatever his pot use, it isn't interfering with anything as it was with his school attendance before he was ordered into the group home. However, if, when it comes time to either register for college or get a job or a combination of both, and he doesn't follow through, his pot use will be the first thing we'll be looking at.

  8. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    we asked difficult child 2 to leave when he was 16 1/2. We found stems and seed on our counter. difficult child 2 moved in with a buddy who was 20, who was living with a girl. I payed a portion of the rent as he was under 18. We didn't give him transportation though. He floundered for about a year. He attempted one job and didn't pass the drug test. He stole something from us and we made him repay it. We gave him a choice of pay up or lose all financial support from us. He got a job with a staffing company and gave me all his checks until the bill was paid off. He quit the job and moved in with-girlfriend and started school thereafter.

    At some point, both of you will find the line in the sand that cannot be crossed. difficult child 2 had no relationship with husband for almost 2-3yrs. They did not talk at all. He's 20 now and things are much better. He finished school, is employed, calls husband by himself (not using me as the messenger) calls to say hi, how are things going, learning to manage money, making and keeping appointments. I don't know how long it will continue, but I pray that it never stops.

    difficult child 2 knows where he stands with husband and he knows what we've done for him. It's up to him to sustain the relationship if he wants. in my humble opinion, we'll always be here.
    I kept him on our health insurance because I can.

    We all have to try things and make it work within our own family. It's great to have different opinions here and see what others are doing as well.

    TYLERFAN New Member

    I venture to say that sounds like an improvement to me.
    Good for difficult child, But we will keep praying for him and you. :angel:

    Melissa :angel:

    TYLERFAN New Member

    By the way if you don't mind me adding this:
    Leave the room difficult child also could sleep for weeks on a bare mattress :smile: It seems to run in difficult child's, sloppiness and weird bedsheet issues....This was a battle I thought wasn't worth fighting and your difficult child seems like he is really going about his business, not relying on you guys....I'd say the pot thing goes in basket B at this point.....(not that it is okay, it's just not a major issue at this point)

    Melissa :flower:
  11. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Sunny, yes, I think your comment about "drawing the line in the sand" is exactly right on...for us, at least.

    It's not that we are okay with our son smoking pot, after all, it's against the law, BUT, it isn't having an appreciable impact on his life or ours at the moment.

    Yet, if, at some time in the near future, we find that it is interfering with his moving ahead in life, i.e., getting himself enrolled in college and actually going to class and/or getting a job and actually being there on time, that will without a doubt be our "line in the sand."
  12. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Melissa, I son's room is the very, very least of our problems and always has been.

    What helps me to deal with this non-issue (sort of...) is that I always shared a room with my sister until I left home at age 19. She was a TOTAL slob...Coke cans and bowls of popcorn under her bed, etc. My half of the room, however, could be and was considered almost a "shrine" (to the Beatles, by the way...) by our parents. Yet now, thirty years down the road, my sister and I both appreciate and maintain fairly clean, orderly homes.
  13. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    CaMom: I am very happy to hear that things are going smoothly. It sounds as though, so far, you've found a system that works based on mutual respect and, more importantly, you and husband are on the same page.

    I really hope your son has learned that he's got a good thing going there at home and he has parents that love him very much. Something he may not have seen a lot of at his group home. Keeping my fingers crossed that he starts school in January so that it can continue living at home!!!

    by the way, I'm curious, had your son been taken medications before the group home? When did he stop taking them? Mine wants to cut down on his medications and only take the seroquil at night.
  14. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I'm pretty sure my easy child son is or was smoking pot while living at home but he never said or did anything to make us aware of it. He worked, he didn't ask for anything from us and was appreciative of having a place to live while he saved money to open his own business. I think that is the difference--he wasn't being rebellious or in your face, I think he was recreationally smoking with his friends who also were responsible young adults. I guess what I am saying is it had nothing to do with us and he was quiet about it.

    difficult child 1 was doing drugs at a young age and she was not functioning--she was rebellious, skipping school, stealing, lieing, etc. In her case we had to do something and she ended up in residential treatment a couple of times. At this point she doesn't live with us and works and takes care of herself. I know she smokes pot and drinks alcohol (she is 19) but she isn't interested in using it as a means for rebellion anymore and she is functioning as an adult--since she no longer asks for money from us she can do whatever she wants to do, her choice.

    I do think everyone finds the line in the sand as Sunny says.

  15. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    As I've mentioned several times through the years, our line in the sand was drugging. No, not just drugging in our home, but drugging period.

    It was non-negotiable for me. That's me though. We all have our lines that we will or won't allow to be crossed. I signed my son in against his will at age 14 to what ended up to be a crisis unit and then a 5 month residential/crisis bed stay; he was running away on weekends, being defiant and smoking pot. Fast forward to three years later, and the pot smoking started up again and then within weeks, he moved onto crack for 6 weeks. For me, the line was drawn, but he knew that early on. No drugging. Period. He ended up in the 10 month residential. This time I didn't have him forced in against his will, but I definitely "nudged". lol. He knew there were two options - that or jail.

    I think I'm so set in stone on the no drugging because of my older difficult child alcoholic brother. I watched my parents enable him his whole life, and once dad passed away, the burden rested on me. It's hard to undo all those years of enabling. My mom never learned that my brother needs to do it on his own, that he needed to hit bottom, or whatever. She was always there to rescue him, and eventually, it was me that was always doing the fixing. These past 6 months have been he## for me because of dealing with it all.

    So, perhaps that's why I'm more inflexible than others are when it comes to the drugging.

    I'm glad to hear that things are peaceful now that your son is home, but it sounds like that could change if he doesn't start moving forward with school and/or work. Fingers crossed that he realizes he can't sit back carefree and worryfree without doing something.

    Here's hoping things stay on the right track and that your son continues to make good choices.


  16. hearthope

    hearthope New Member

    I am with Deb, I can see no good in tolerating any drug use.

    How will he apply himself in school? Most jobs have a drug test before hire and during employment, how will he find a job?

    in my opinion pot use is an escape from reality and the sooner a person learns to cope with life in sober terms, the sooner they can become a productive member of society.

    I also feel that a parent has to stand up for what is right.

    If he were stealing from friends but not bringing the stolen stuff home, wouldn't you stand up for what is right?

    I am not picking on you CAMOM and I hope you don't take it that way, I just want you to see the whole picture.

    I don't know too many teens that just smoke pot. My own son smoked pot and it lead to crack.

    He is now in adult jail, facing a felony, because he and his buddies were 'high' and went joy riding on someone else's boat and seadoo.

    I think you are on borrowed time....The kids he is around to get the pot and smoke the pot are not the kids trying to change their lives and live a productive life.....they are the kids escaping reality and doing as little as possible to get by.