In this weird I don't know state


Well, difficult child has been home from rehab for a little over a month now. We allowed him to have his facebook back (with intensive monitoring) and he has been given a little bit of freedom to leave the house (go to friends house only if I know the parents and then you must call from parent's phone and I must speak to parent every hour on the hour or I am coming to said friends house to find you). He hasn't been resentful of the restrictions like I thought he would be, he knows and understands why we are doing this. But now he is asking for more and more. I would think a normal almost 17 year old would have a lot of freedom, but at this point I just can't see myself treating him as a normal 17 year old and I don't know when I will be to the point that I can. He has been drug tested weekly by either the JO rehab or us, hes been working, he is working on his lifeguard certification so he can get a 2nd job over the summer, and as far as I can tell has lived up to all of our rules and expectations (except maybe keeping up on his chores and not sleeping until noon, but he is after all a teenager) so why do I feel this knot like I am doing things all wrong? Every instinct in me says I need to padlock the doors and never let him out of my sight again, and then another part of me says he is going to do whatever he is going to do, and I can't stop that so just let him do what he wants. So I'm just having a hard time finding middle ground now, even though I have no reason to believe he is doing anything wrong. Anyone else with this issue?


Well-Known Member
It's actually a good sign that he is following the rules, whether or not he likes him. At least *I* see this as a good sign in his personality. To me that means he is not a rebel just for the sake of thumbing his nose at society, which is a REALLY good sign. At 17, he could tell you what to do with your rules and just disobey them, but he's not. My daughter went through her teenage years during drugs and she sold them too. It goes with the territory. But she did quit. She wasn't rebellious, really, just mainly was shy and wanted to fit in and, sadly, drug use is one way to find "friends" (quote unquote).

At some point in time, your son will not listen to such strict rules. He is going to be eighteen and then he can legally do what he wants. There is sadly no way we, as loving parents, can keep our kids locked indoors. We have no control over what they do when they turn eighteen UNLESS they are willing to let us help them. Maybe your son will? I hope so!

At some point, even if they have done scary things we have no choice but to let them go because they can legally go on their own at eighteen and then it is all up to them. Sounds like your kiddo is doing really well.

I think all of us who have had kids or have kids who dabbled or immersed themselves in drugs are scared for a long time. You are far from alone in your fear.


one day at a time
Hi thank you, I've had that same feeling before. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's living with uncertainty. It's living life on life's terms---which is who knows what will happen?

It's hard. If you can, just try to relax into now. Right this very minute, things are good with your difficult child, right? Feel that. Now the next minute.

We can't know---any of us---what the future brings. We only have this minute, right here.

The more we can learn to enjoy these minutes, the better off we all are.

Do something nice for yourself today. Take the focus off him. Put it on YOU.

He's okay today. That is a blessing.


Well-Known Member
Here's a thought, ask him what extra freedoms he wants and make him earn them. Since he has been doing what you ask and following the rules let him have one freedom. If that goes well then next week give him another. Trust me if he wants to do something bad he will, with or without your rules. He is 17 and in not too long he could be on his own. If he can't handle the freedoms now he wont be able to then. This way you can give him something to work for each week and you can keep an eye on how he is handling those extra's.

If he starts pulling stuff you can pull a few back.


Well-Known Member
Oh yes, that is exactly how I felt when my daughter came back home with her baby. I had been fooled by her so many times that I didn't trust her for a while. I was on guard about everything. Eventually I let go. I can't even remember exactly when that switch went off, but it did. My husband was the same way. I think we all are - it is the PTSD from everything we have been through. But things are beyond glorious here and I have zero fear that she will relapse. It has been almost 9 months now and she is just such a very different person today.

Remember, you cannot prevent a relapse. You do not have control over that...take care of you.