Just when I thought he was doing better, 17-year-old difficult child was arrested

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Origami, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    On Friday night I got a call at 11:30 p.m. from the police saying they had arrested difficult child for reckless conduct. He had been riding his skateboard in the street and almost caused an accident. My other son and daughter in law went with me to sign him out.

    difficult child is angry and unrepentant. He was with two other guys who both got released, but apparently he had to mouth off to the police so they arrested him. He was even still yelling at them in the police station! He was demanding that they give him back his things (backpack, wallet, skateboard) and was actually calling them names! The cops had clearly had enough of him and yelled a couple of things back. I was so embarrassed, and started to apologize for him but just ducked out instead. He was drunk, too, by the way.

    The whole ride home he was saying he hates the cops (in stronger words), he was going to press charges against them because one of them hurt his arm and kicked him, and if he ever sees a cop car he'll slash it's tires. I know this was partly the alcohol talking, but whatever. We told him that he can't talk to the police like that because they could have given him other charges like resisting arrest and he's lucky they didn't. He said it's a free country and nobody can tell him what to say.

    So I'm taking him tomorrow to get his confiscated items. He has to appear in court in two weeks. I asked him how he intends to pay for whatever fines he gets (he quit his job the other day), and he said he won't get any fines because he wasn't guilty and they can't prove anything. He also wanted to know if he could get a lawyer. I said no way, and he's not Lindsey Lohan or Justin Bieber who can afford to hire lawyers for this kind of thing.

    Also, he's staying out of his classes today because his inhaler is with his backpack and he's having trouble breathing. He wanted me to take him to a clinic to get a new inhaler today. He has mild breathing problems (not asthma) caused mainly by his heavy smoking. I told him I'm not taking off another day, and he'll survive without it until tomorrow, and if he hadn't been such an *** he'd still have his inhaler.
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    WOW! Well I think you handled it pretty well. He made the problem so he needs to deal with it. I don't think the judge or the police will have much sympathy for him or for his tantrums.
  3. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    difficult child's are plain STUPID. My difficult child just called me from psychiatric hospital and told me she is getting released tomorrow. Ok, great. Do you know what the next thing she said to me, mind you the phone is at the nurses station, "Don't forget to bring the hot chocolate and "candy"." I didn't know what the hell she was talking about and right away said, "Huh?" and she said again, don't forget the "candy". I have no f****ing idea what she's talking about?! I just said "oh ok" so she would shut the bleep up. I hope the nurses didn't hear her say that because the nurses are NOT stupid. This could ruin her from getting out of there. What an IDIOT!
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  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    GM, I hope the nurses DID hear her. Maybe she needs to stay in there longer. JMO, of course.
  5. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I have to say I agree with Insane on that one GM. I hate how the rush people through mental and medical health care these days. They have had her how long? Around a week? I imagine they are planning to release her to you the woman she tried to beat up and is mentally abusing. Let's not hold our breath that anything they have done is anywhere near enough to fix all her issues in 7 days.

    Sorry Origami for the hi-jack.

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. :p
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    difficult children are far from stupid. They are anti-rules. In their childish minds, they tell themselves, "NOBODY IS THE BOSS OF ME" and they mean it, even us if we allow it. Almost all of them. And they refuse to take the blame for anything. And they think everything they do is ok with us (GM, your daughter obviously sees nothing odd about asking for treats after she tried to kill you). Did she ever once address what got her into the psychiatric hospital? It is perfect normal in GFGland to almost choke somebody one day, go to bed, then come downstairs whistling as if nothing happened the next day. 36 does this ALL THE TIME. Did I say ALL THE TIME?

    For anyone who only has one child and wonders if it's just the age...um, no.First of all, normal teens don't do these things. Secondly, normal teens are mortified when caught doing something wrong.

    It is more personality disorder problems than anything and it bodes ill for our difficult children.
    Their defiance, gall, and snubbing their nose at authority is their downfall unless they suddenly get a clue.

    GM, are you letting her come back home? If so, is there a strong male relative or friend who can stay with you until you move?

    Oragami, I hope you put the brakes on you seventeen year old. You don't have much time left to even try. Our difficult children tend to cycle. They have good days, weeks, even months. Then they implode and we despair because we thought they finally got it. Keep your guard up. I still think you need to get the family of your older kid out of there or 17 will see his future laying on your sofa, maybe with his own family. The kids really do get affected, one way or another, by what we do with their siblings.

    Hugs to both of you.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    They won't keep her for that reason. In the States, mental health hospitals are strictly for stabilization and if the person is no longer a threat to themselves or others (in the eyes of the admitting psychiatrist) home she/he goes. It is quite the joke...a sad joke, really. Obviously, this young woman needs tons of help that is not being offered her.

    I truly hope it's better in Canada and elsewhere. It stinks here.
  8. HeadlightsMom

    HeadlightsMom Well-Known Member

    Origami --- Sorry to hear your difficult child has dug himself into this hole. But you did a GREAT job of setting limits and boundaries. Well done! Reality is reality. Please keep us posted how it goes. My thoughts are with you.

    GM --- Sending best wishes your way, too. ICdn may be right.....perhaps your difficult child may need more help. Keep us posted.
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  9. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    MWM, you're so right about the anti-rules part of this difficult child personality. My older difficult child always stopped short of being openly disrespectful to us or the authorities, although his lying, substance abuse, and stealing were a quieter kind of disrespect.

    Older difficult child has a promising job interview today and another one Wednesday. We've set up a timeline for him and his family to move when he gets a job. I'm giving him 6 weeks (probably 3 paychecks) to save for rent, deposit, and utilities. Fingers are crossed that this job comes through.

    And yes, I know we're running out of time to push our parental rights with 17-year-old before he becomes a so-called adult. He claims he's moving out when he turns 18, but of course he has no job, money, etc. We're going to insist that he get another job, though, and I fully expect he'll have to pay some kind of fine for this offense. Luckily it's a misdemeanor, but I have no idea what the outcome will be. As belligerent as he was, the police might just show up for his court date and try to teach him a lesson.
  10. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    My difficult child has some mild cognitive issues and gets "stuck" on a thought or something that he heard. When he heard the whole freedom of speech bit, he ran with it. The part about there being consequences for saying certain things did not resonate with him.

    I hope yours gets the message. Mine just stands there repeating over and over that he has rights. It is very frustrating when they just don't get it or don't want to get it.
  11. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    I'm pretty sure mine gets it, he just doesn't want to get it. Isn't funny how we parents of difficult children can write riddles to each other and it makes perfect sense?:unconscious:

    I think my son believes that rules don't apply to him, and that normal consequences won't happen, either. He's good at ignoring or disregarding any consequences that my husband or I have tried to enforce, but I'm afraid the court won't be as easy to ignore. I wish there was a way for him to get a harsh wake-up call without me having to foot the bill for it.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You don't have to foot the bill. When my daughter was on parole (twice) and had numerous tickets she paid them out. They allow a payment plan, so to speak. We never contributed a dime to her (cough) mistakes. The only time she got a break was way after she had quit using drugs and had put her life back together. She had been in a car accident and had been sued by a lady and owed her something like $15,000. After about three or four years of her paying, while doing very well in life, her father, who I am divorced from, coughed up the rest to give her a well deserved break from her "bad ole" days.We both wanted her to get that cleared up, but only he had the money for it. in my opinion, she had earned it. Not easy to quit meth, pay for your own two year college class, go to college, buy your own house, stop being disrespectful, obey the law, etc...she had really been "out there" at one time.

    She got no money from us when she was doing illegal stuff. Thus she had to get a job at Walmart part-time. Didn't hurt her a bit. She has quite a good work ethic and is an independent thirty year old young woman now. The key is not to try to enforce consequences...the key is to enforce consequences. Your son has an attitude and will get into trouble that you can't get him out of one day if he doesn't change his attitude now. You want to get him to comply? Use the car (it's very effective). You can tell him you won't take him out driving or sign off on his driving hours or let him take the test in your car or drive you car if he doesn't take care of these other fines on his own. Tough? These kids NEED tough. With his attitude, good driver or not, he's going to end up in an accident when he is on his own or with his buddies. At any rate, the car is a great motivator. I'm not telling you to do it, just that it will probably work after he throws his expected tantrum, which you can ignore by leaving the house or making him leave until he calms down.The alternative is he learns you'll pick up his dirty laundry, like you did for his brother.He will have no motivation to act smarter. That mouth has to get under control or he can end up in trouble just for mouthing off to the cops.

    Hugs. I know it's hard. It's so very hard. But we have to be strong. What do you easy child daughters think about your sons? I'm curious because all of my other kids are fed up with my difficult child and none of them even want to see him. The girls both ask me why I even talk to him. They don't get angry at me, but they do roll their eyes when they know I'm on the phone with him.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  13. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Good to know, MWM. I'm jumping the gun worrying about this, I know, but just want to be somewhat mentally prepared for what might happen. It would be pretty insane for me to pay $$ for his bad attitude, when he could do so himself. I mean, I'm not the one who cursed at and insulted the police. I need to keep reminding myself this.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nope. My suggestion is he pays by getting a job (and they let ANYONE pay out fines if they need to) or no car. I'm one tough cookie about that kind of stuff. I'm a real softie about most things, but not when it comes to that kind of garbage and, yes, I have experienced it. It doesn't go over well with me though.

    Look, you are stronger than you think. Your son doesn't own you and he's not your boss. He's your kid who lives in YOUR home. The way I see it, your home, your rules, including that he has to obey the law and use his brains or he has to plan his new place of residence, that he funds, when he turns eighteen. My daughter was told this. It broke my heart to say it and I cried in private, but I did do it...was it easy? No. Do I think it helped her? Absolutely. Does it work for all kids? No. But it sure makes your own life more peaceful and you matter! More hugs your way. You sounds like such a sweet person.
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  15. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I was responsible for any fines mine incurred until he was 18 years old. The judge said I could have him pay me back. I hope the judge will do the right thing and hold him and him alone responsible. When the parent has to pay, the kid learns nada.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was responsible too. But she either paid me or she had absolutely no access to my car. She choose to pay me and she had to pay up BEFORE I made the court payment. She couldn't say, "Oh, I'll pay you later." Yeah. Right. Suuuuuure. She knew I meant what I said so she paid me then I paid them. If she hadn't, the car keys would have been put into a lock box. I had done that to her before.

    That's why I suggested the car scenario. In my case, my daughter knew I meant it so she didn't even try to whine about it. No law says we EVER, no matter what age they are, have to help our children get their driver's licenses, pay their insurance, put gas in or let them use our cars. She broke the law. She paid the consequences or there would be consequences anyway.

    When you break the law, I am mean mommy. My husband is the son of a cop so she couldn't go to him either. Plus, he would back me up. We tended to stand strong as a couple.

    If you're wondering if daughter held it against me, absolutely not. We are very close...just Skyped with her and my granddaughter today and we talk all the time. She is, in fact, very glad we made drug using hard for her or she says she may not have quit. I don't believe we should make it easy for our kids to break the law. That just leads to their own misery in the end. And if we don't demand respect...the same respect we give them when we address them...then they WON'T respect us. It's a two way street. We talk to the kids with respect and don't criticize them and we expect the same and it works great.Well, except for 36 and I'll hang up on him if he is reverting back to his old ways.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014
  17. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I agree mwm. Mine left the court room in cuffs to begin his sentence. I have to pay off his fines by dec. 15. He can have money put on his books for extra phone calls beyond the 5 the state gives, and for hygiene stuff other than the state issues. I don't send a dime and won't be spending any money on him when he gets out.
  18. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Origami, the things your son said about and to the police sounded so familiar. My difficult child has said the same and more many times. Today, not so much. He's now 25. He can still do the blame game but dialed way back.

    He has also been anti-rules. Anti-society. Anti-turning-in-your-homework-even-after-he-did-the-homework. Thumbing his nose at every requirement, just because.

    Today, not so much. He is now working full time and just moved into an apartment this weekend. We'll see. I am cautiously optimistic but it's certainly not perfect.

    Hang in there. A lot of what happened with your difficult child was just 17-years-old-talking! They don't even know what they don't know.

    Maybe what he did, when he did it (not yet 18), will get his attention when he goes to court. Maybe this is his wake up call, and he will be scared enough to straighten up. I would let circumstances unfold as they will, and see what happens. On the spectrum, it's just enough to be trouble but not real trouble.

    Hang in there. This too shall pass.
  19. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    Thanks everyone for your insight and good wishes. Today we went on a wild goose chase and finally got his belongings back that had been confiscated. I'm sure this had something to do with my son's attitude on Friday, and the police didn't mind sending him to the wrong location (1 hour drive each way to an "interesting" part of the city) before we found out that his things were at the same police station where he was arrested, which would have been a 5-minute trip.

    But the drive gave us some time to talk. On one of his tirades about the evil cops, I told him it might be a good idea to keep those thoughts inside his head and not to say everything he thinks. He agreed that might be a good idea. We made two stops before we got to the right place this morning, and each time he wanted me to do the talking and ask for his things. I said, "No, it's your stuff, you can ask for it." At one point he said I was being difficult, and I said, "OK then, we'll go home without your stuff." I waited on a bench while he inquired, and he was polite and appropriate to the desk officers. I told him that he should practice speaking like that even when he doesn't feel like it.

    I also told him he was being naive if he thinks the judge will just brush off his charges and not give him a fine or anything. We sort-of role played what he thought he might say to the judge if he gets a chance to speak. He started out with a bit of an attitude, and then I helped him tone it down a bit.

    I'm hoping this is the case, Childofmine, and he gets better with age. I think he'll always be a difficult child to some degree (always has been) but maybe he can learn to be more appropriate in public, at least.
  20. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    An update--we got a letter yesterday stating that they decided not to press charges, and we can consider the case closed. So difficult child dodged a bullet with this one. I told him not to take this for granted but to see it as "lesson learned" and not to get into that situation again. He agreed and said he needs to stop drinking when he's out with his friends. He's always very logical and agreeable during these talks, and then becomes a different person when he's out and about.

    On a side note, he was involved in an incident on Halloween (out with friends again, surprise) that was very bad judgment and possibly illegal. I'll not go into the details now, but suffice to say that he's on a roll lately. He blames all this bad behavior on the fact his girlfriend broke up with him.

    Some good things? He's not driving anymore (except with supervision) and is still going to his classes. He shows flashes of common sense here and there which still give me hope.