I think I am done, and I am so sad...

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Karenvm, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    It's been two years of dealing with my difficult child's pot and alcohol use, and chronic, pathological lying. Recently spent a month in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and finally got on medications for bi polar (had tried before, but difficult child always stopped them because he either didn't like them, or they didn't work). He is turning 18 in two months. We made it clear to him that if after this stay, he used again, we would not be supporting him past his 18th birthday.
    He has been home for two weeks, and doing okay. Less arguments, he is making an effort. In IOP.
    But two days ago, I brought him with me to my nieces house overnight, where he loves to go. Her husband is a doctor, and difficult child really looks up to him ( he wants to go to medication school some day, though its never gonna happen). He slept in their finished basement. Woke up the next morning and told me he had wet the bed... Couldn't believe it ( has not done that in like 15 years). Huge amount of urine on blankets, mattress, etc. my first thought was, was he drinking? My niece has a fridge in the garage with a lot of beer in it, for when they have people over ( they entertain a lot), but I didn't think there was any way he would have done that. He said no way, he would NEVER. Well, later, I found EIGHT empty beer bottles hidden in the basement where he was sleeping, all the same kinds that were in the fridge ( not typical kinds, some really different kinds). He denied drinking them. Said he is being "set up". I was like, by who? Your four year old cousin? Or was it the 8 year old?? Clearly, it was him. Nieces husband noticed bottles taken from back of fridge.
    Of course, I blame myself for leaving him to sleep in the basement, with access to the garage. But I couldn't ask them to remove all the beer! I really thought he was fine. Drinking was not his big problem, it was always pot.
    He proceeded to yell at me, call me names, etc, because I am the one who is lying, and he did "nothing wrong". Ugh. The lying is unreal.

    I discussed it with my husband, and we are both at the end of our rope. We told him that once he turns 18, he will need to get a job and his own place to live. I just can't do this anymore. It is tearing my family apart, and I have two younger kids to think about. difficult child clearly has no intention of getting better. He missed all the application deadlines for college, which is fine because I could not let him go away anyhow. But he takes all advanced placement classes, and wanted to go away next year. I just can't live another year like this.
    i know he is in no way ready to live on his own, but he is not getting any better living with us, and is only causing us all much stress.
    It is a difficult decision, but I think we have to do this. We will decide on a date that he has to be out by, after he graduates. I told him to start looking for a job now. I will give him some money to get him started, which we would have given him for school. It's all I can do. I have done all I can.
    It is killing me, but I can't go on like this. He can't even see how bad he is. Or maybe he is just in denial.

    Has anyone else been in this situation? With an 18 year old?

  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Yep. been there done that. Got the t-shirt.

    We kicked my 19yo step son out one year ago.

    Drugs, lying, disrespectful, lazy, temper tantrums, messy, hateful at times, difficult to live with, refuses to obey rules, all the difficult child traits.

    He is now living with his mom, no job, takes drugs, has escalated his bad behaviors, and now has a newborn baby he IS NOT supporting.

    His mom is not doing him any favors by putting up with his bad behaviors, either. We have been hoping that the baby would be a wake-up call, but from what his brother told us tonight, he hasn't changed his habits. sigh....
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes. We did it to. She was a horrible example to her two younger siblings and they were frightened whenever the cops came looking for her. One day we came home early from a two day vacation, during a time when she said and we believed that she had quit using, to find her hosting a huge party with tons of smoke and drug paraphernalia. She got her walking papers and was lucky enough to have a big brother who came to get her after she called him crying. He was extremely straight and strict and lived out of state. It was there that she finally quit using drugs maybe partly because she knew that he wasn't bluffing when he said, "You have to work, even though you have no car. You have to do chores here. You pay me rent. And if you so much as light up a cigarette in my house, you're out." But also she had made several recent attempts to quit using drugs in the months before that and was bullied and harassed back into doing it by her druggie peers who believed in "misery loves company."

    Frankly, if she hadn't wanted to quit, she still would not have quit. When your son is ready, he will do it. Not a moment before. Keep the Faith! You never know. We thought our daughter would either end up in prison or dead. It's been about ten years now...

    Gentle hugs.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes Karen we did the same thing when our daughter turned 18. That began a series of her living with friends until they made her leave to coming back home to us kicking her out, to going into a treatment program to relapsing to living with druggie neighbor boy to moving into a sober house to finally moving into her own apartment where she is now. We've been through some very difficult years with her but like you I got to the point whre we couldn't live like that any longer. She was nowhere near ready to live on her own but she also couldn't live here any longer but it was her choice to not follow the rules and to abuse alcohol/pot. She is still very naive about lioving on her own but our relationship is better and we are trying to teach her the things she should have learned before leaving the nest, like getting a keeping a job, paying bills, filing taxes, etc.

    It's good that you recognize college is not inhis immediate future. We ended up sendig her for one semester and it was a complete waste. Then we sent her for a semester at community college and that was a waste also. She now has had a series for minimum wage jobs and that looks like it will be her future until she matures and decides she wants better. But at least she is on her own and we have peace in our home again.

    You have some rough years ahead but it is good that you and your husband know what your boundaries are and stick to them.
  5. kennedyland

    kennedyland New Member

    You're doing the right thing. The challenge is for you to stick with it. My son is almost 29 and is still using. He's been doing this since he was around 15 or 16. Before he was 18 we had him in treatment programs, hospitals, half-way houses, a sober high school, and none of it worked. He openly mocked us. He said that when he hits 18 he was going to do all the drugs he wanted to. I said, "Fine. Then I'm not going to pay for college until you get serious treatment and your sober. He didn't care. His mother (we are not married anymore) put him in college anyway. He dropped out. She did this two more times and each time she paid and he dropped out. He's been a story of bad jobs, a bit of jail for being busted, bad apartments, smelly clothing, and arrogance. His mother still pays his cell phone bills and his health insurance. Two weeks ago I said I'd had it. I told him not to call me or speak to me until he gets into a treatment program and is sober. I couldn't stand the calls for money, for a ride, for this, for that, etc. His sister, my daughter took his side. She cut me off from seeing my grandchild and blocked me on Facebook. His mother hasn't said a word. For his part, he blames me for everything. They circled the wagons around him, treating him like a child. It's hard, but I'm going to stick to it. I'm doing this to save myself, and I hope he will see the light. Hang in there, or you may end up in my situation.
  6. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Thank you all so much. This is so hard. This was the child that had the brightest future! So smart, well liked, etc. but clearly mental illness has cropped up, along with drug/alcohol abuse.
    The scariest part for me is that I know there is no one that difficult child will be able to live with. Family will not take him in, and most of his friends will be in college. I don't know where he will go. He doesn't eve have a drivers license, because our deal was that he needed to be drug/alcohol free for at least three months, and its been over a year now and that has not happened. So I will not let him behind the wheel of a car, not to mention on my car insurance policy.
    My heart breaks because I love him so much, and I recognize that he is not a "bad person". He really has a good heart, but right now is just a narcissistic 17 year old who knows everything.
    Where does an 18 year old go? I have money I can give him to get him started, that I would have given him for school. Not much, but maybe he can get an apartment. He will need a job too.
    Thank you for understanding, and not thinking that I am the worst mother in the world.

    Kennedyland- I am so sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds to me like you are the only one seeing things clearly. I hope your daughter comes around.
  7. ILMS

    ILMS Guest

    I can so relate to you. I just kicked my 19 year old out for the second time. He went through juvenile detention, 6-month drug rehab which he was very successful at (or so we thought) to relapsing just a month out. Our big mistake there was letting him come home and not insist that he go to three quarter house. Now he is living with friends, getting high, he shop lifted from Dollar General and pulled a knife out on cashier (he had to be on something more than pot to do that - not in his nature normally). He has no driver's license either because like you, we were telling him he had to be sober for a certain amount of time before he got it. I hate to say it, but I feel like if you give your son money and get him an apartment, he probably will not straighten up. If you do decide to do it, then make sure you hold to it that you will absolutely not give him a penny more if he continues with the drug use, etc. There are places they can go, there are rehab places they can go. I don't know where you live. But there are at least 3 drug rehabs around here that are worked-based (my son was in one of them), that require absolutely no money up front. So, I did not give my son in money at all when I kicked him out, I just told him he can move out or go to rehab, those were his only choices. I feel like it won't be long before he is forced to make the choice to go back into rehab, at least I hope so!!
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    *Yes I have been there too. We kicked my son out when he was 18... he was using drugs and flagrantly violating all our rules. We were going to give him an ultimatum with 2 weeks to clean up his act or move out.... in that conversation he threatened me and so I went to the police and he had to leave that afternoon! It was one of the worst days of my life.... and what followed was not easy either. He had several arrests, spent 2 weeks in jail and was in and out of rehabs for the next couple of years. Last August he walked out of a treatment program and spent 5 months literally living on the streets. It is amazing how resourceful they can be and the kind of help that is out there for homeless youth. Anyway in January he decided to go back into treatment and is now living in a sober living house that is run by a friend of mine. He is having his struggles but things are different this time. And as completely excrutiating as it was to have my son be homeless on the streets I think we had to do that.... because this time it really is his journey and his choice to be where he is.

    One piece of advice I got when we kicked him out was to stay in touch with him (via text etc) to just let him know we love him but not to let him come home. That has helped me a lot, because when he is in trouble he calls us. It is a balancing act between loving them, supporting them and not enabling them. I found an alanon group for parents that has really helped me figure out how to do this.

  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I think you do what you can, when you can, and how you can. If you cant live with him, he has to go. I dont think I could do the things you have done past 18 either. That said, many could not do what I have done with my difficult child who is 18. She would have been long gone. She did move for 4months but was still here 5 days a week because of very early work hours(no bus at that time). Eventually she became very unstable and suicidal and we were advised to bring her home.

    I once gathered all the numbers to shelters, crisisline and other services for difficult child. Being 18 is just a number and your question is tough.....where do they go? My difficult child doesnt have but a few real friends and there is no way she could couch surf with them.On the other hand, maybe some time on the street is what will get them to be sober and behave. I personally think it is all sixes because in the end, it is their choice. In FA, there are stories that go both ways...success after being kicked out, and success when living at home. There is also disaster after being kicked out as well as disaster at home. The stats.dont support either method. When dealing with people, there is never one way. I think in the end you do what you can do. Whatever you do, you have to live with and know it is the best for your family. You have done a lot already. You have younger kids.
    I am so sorry for the lost potential (mine too was gifted), this part gets easier to deal with because in the end you just want them functioning and alive. I hear you, support you, and have hope. Hugs
  10. kennedyland

    kennedyland New Member

    You are doing the right thing. In fact, you're doing the right thing in a timely way. It took me 11 years to get to where you are and they have been 11 years in hell. Check out my post for what I've done. Don't feel guilty, your on the right track.
  11. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member


    I have had some similar situations.

    I'd encourage you to read Allison Bottke's Setting Boundaries with Adult Children. It helped me get a clear plan to tell difficult child what I expected, what I was willing to do and what would happen if he didn't follow the rules.

    keep posting!
  12. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Thank you all. I am going to get that book today! The thing is, at almost-18, he probably is an "adult", but in no way has the maturity of an adult! Probably doesn't even have the maturity of most 18 year olds! He still lives in some fantasy world, will he will be just fine, get into medication school some day, and live happily every after. He is definitely smoking again (I found the evidence in his room), and he has told us and his therapist that he will no longer attend the IOP that he has been in since leaving the residential program (he only spent about two weeks in IOP).
    He has no job, no money, and no drivers license. Not sure how far he will get without those things. We have decided that for now, until he turns 18 in June, we will just not do anything for him. We are not waking him up for school any longer (since that decision two days ago, he has walked the 4 or so miles to school two days in a row, about 3 hours late. That is, if he actually WENT to school). I refuse to drive him anywhere, give him money for anything, etc. He will run out of medications, so if he wants to continue therapy, HE will need to find a new doctor. He can easily browse my insurance's website and set up his appointment without my help. I'll drive him there if needed, but nothing more than that. He'll never do it. I am tired of seeking out docs, taking time off from work to bring him to appts, then listen to difficult child say how much he dislikes the doctor/therapist. Last plug to pull (other than giving him a bed to sleep in) is the cell phone. I think I will give him a date that I will no longer pay for it. of course, if he has the phone, I can track where he is, but that's not really "detaching", is it?
    Taking it day by day, and some are harder than others. I do with there was a support group I could attend. I know there are alanon and narcanon groups, but not sure how many attendees will be parents of teens.

    Thanks for the support. It really helps!
  13. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Hi Karen, I go to Families Anonymous and there are several people in my group who have teenagers with substance abuse and mental illness, so I'm sure you won't be alone. Check out different groups in your area. There are more NA and Alanon groups than FA, and maybe you can find one that you will click with. And even if you are the only one with a teenager, most of the people there are dealing with their young adult children who only a few years ago were teenagers. Often many of the issues and behaviors are similar, as the young adults are often the same age emotionally as your 17 year old, as they stop maturing when they start using the substances.
  14. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member

    Alanon has been a lifeline for me. They have phone meetings if anyone doesn't know. Google Alanon phone meetings.


    i get he isn't an adult. Mine isn't either. But adult in the eyes of the law.

    keep in mind how resourceful they are. They don't think as we do. Mine can find new ppl all the time and talk them into doing things for him. I would guess yours can too.

    i try to pick my battles. For example, difficult child had a temp filling and a root canal. He didn't go back and get the crown. Why? Cause he isn't in pain and I didn't remind him. Why should I volunteer to pay a pile of cash?

    on the other hand, I do monitor his medications and therapy appts. As he is living here (sort of...lol) then that directly effects me. I want him on those medications. I need him on those medications.

    we all have to decide where we put a boundary and where we walk away.

  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hey... :hugs: I am there right now. My oldest has been gone not quite 2 weeks... Living with her boyfriend and his Mom and sister right now. It's awful. But if they won't follow roles... Sigh. Honestly they need to learn.

    Please don't give him a lot of money to get started... You know what he will use it for. Tough love is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
  16. Karenvm

    Karenvm Member

    Thank you. Trying hard to detach here. Found out today that he came home from school at 11 this morning, with his friend. No idea if he was smoking or not, but still. He is cutting school. I emailed his guidance counselor to let her know.
    I have turned off his phone, and set a new password for the wireless router, so that he can't use his laptop (it was easier to do that than take the laptop away from him).
    I go from anger to sadness, back and forth all day.
    My only hope is to catch him with pot, and call the police, so that he can be charged with possession. At least that will put him in front of a judge.

  17. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Member

    Remember....please....take care of you.

    can he use nearby wifi? Would he pawn laptop? Just wondering.