Just when I thought I couldn't get any stupider.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by StillStanding, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    I know I shouldn't call myself stupid (or anyone else for that matter). But, OMG, I can't believe I fell for it again.

    I hadn't seen Difficult Child in weeks so I told him I changed the locks and went on vacation.

    The stupid part.... I didn't change the locks. My check book is gone and my account is overdrawn by thousands of dollars.

    I can't bring myself to press charges so the next stupid part... I don't know how to stop him from using the rest of the checks.

    Please just let me survive this day.
  2. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    OMG so sorry. We've all been there. Let our guard down and BAM.

    I'd definitely close the checking account. I'm sure others will tell you to call the police. But I won't because I know how hard that is but you probably should.
  3. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Having had our son steal from us on multiple occasions, although not so much as yours did, I would definitely recommend calling the police. But definitely contact the bank IMMEDIATLY and inform them that your check book has been stolen! This will prevent you from losing more money. Trust me, I know how hard it is to call the police on your son but until you do, he will continue to think its ok to steal from you.
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    You really only have two choices.

    1. Tell the bank the checkbook was stolen and hopefully get off the hook for the money overdrawn and the other checks out there.

    2. Without telling them it was stolen, put a stop-payment on all the individual checks that have yet to be passed (which will cost you even more $).

    To stop from having to pay the thousands of dollars, you very well may have to file a police report. Are you 100% SURE he personally passed the checks? Have you seen copies of the checks? I mean, is it possible a "friend" of his did this?

    I understand not wanting to call the police. The last time our son stole from us (several hundred dollars in cash) the only reason the cops weren't called is I just couldn't take it. Jabber would have, I think, though cash is hard to impossible to prove. There is a dollar point I would have finally pressed charges, but he hadn't reached it, luckily for him. Or if there had been guns missing...that would have done it too. I know exactly how you feel...for me, the several thousand in checks would do it. Still, I couldn't face it when it was me...so I don't judge if your limit is higher than mine.

    My heart goes out to you.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    If that were my kid I would call the police even if I couldnt prove it. I would want my kid to know I was serious and would take action. I did call the police on my daughter when she used drugs to do the max i could to stop her from doing the same or worse to somebody who didnt love her.

    And I did love her to the moon and cried buckets but i did it simply for finding her smoking pot before it was almost legal here. Little did I know it was much more than pot but we want to believe them, dont we? Even thpugh she acted more crazy than simply smoking pot, we preferred believing her until we couldnt anymore. But we never did learn the full extentof her drug use.

    After we made her leave, she quit and has been straight for ten years. Now we know tje full extent of her rather intensive drug use because she told us. We had never guessed all she used. Ever.

    I believe, and she tells me, that our lack of financial support and toughness made her think drugs were too hard, even stupid.

    She loves us so this did nothing to worsen our relationship. I think some parents are afraid their kids will hate them. I didnt care if she hated me. I just wanted her alive and, by tje end, she looked half dead. She refused treatment. I wanted to do all I could to make it unpleasant to use drugs. For her it worked. If they dont learn consequences for stealing from us by the way, next time it could be a store he robs or a stranger.

    Anyhow we all do what we feel is right. Please do change the locks and never tell him when you are going on vacation again!! My daughter now says "never trust a drug user. They lie." She lied all the time when she used. In fact we didnt believe drugs were behind her until she was two years sober and thriving.

    Guard your heart. You have no reason to trust your son now.

    I highly recommend Al Anon and/or therapy to help you cope. This is very hard.

    Hugs. You ar not stupid, you are a loving mom and they use this against us.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  6. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    It was definitely him and not a friend.

    He doesn't have a criminal record yet and I just can't bring myself to turn him in. I just can't believe I was so stupid. This is not the first time he's stolen from me.

    The locks are now changed.

    I was so proud of myself for going on vacation without making arrangements for him.

    Thanks for all your thoughts.
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with Lil's option to call the bank (and credit reporting agencies while you're at it) to report the checks were stolen and that there are more out there.

    The account has to be closed. They can do this immediately. Recently I had to do this with 2 credit cards, and they change a digit right now and that means the existing checks/cards cannot be used from that moment on.
    I agree with this too. You do not know it was him.

    Now the thing is this: Nobody can judge you or will.

    The purpose of this forum as I see it is to find the wherewithal to protect ourselves and be effective with our children.'

    To overlook a crime of this magnitude would hurt your son. This is what it would teach him: that you are his mark, and so is everybody else. That he can get away with anything he wants. That there are no consequences to actions. That there is no incentive to change, because there are no costs to bad behavior.

    If you call the bank to tell them the checkbook was stolen and the funds stolen, it is quite possible that all of the money will be replaced. (This happened to me on two occasions--and I got the money back.) You would not be calling the police on your son, you would be reporting an objective occurrence. You would be telling the truth as you know it.

    The bank will likely ask you to file a police report.

    I agree with Lil. You do not know with certitude that your son took the checks. You may suspect and fear, but you do not know.

    Reporting a crime is not the same as accusing a single person.

    I am very sorry this happened.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  8. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    My advice is the same. I agree, it's not exactly doing him any good to not file a police report...but I understand you not wanting to. I DO think you should tell him. If you have proof of his theft, tell him so and tell him if another PENNY leaves your account, you will call the police and report it. Point out that this is not a misdemeanor, I believe that forgery is a felony in every state and the monetary amount is certainly high enough. Heck, in my state it would be a separate count of forgery for EVERY check. That's a LONG prison term if they add them together. At a minimum...SCARE him. Even if you are willing (able?) to pay the money he's stolen, let him know it will NEVER happen again.

    When our money went missing...I told my son to pack a bag and get out of my house that minute and Jabber got him a suitcase. I didn't ask where he was going. He had been warned that he would be out and we'd press charges. Of course, we did not press charges but we let him know that the only reason was it was cash and there was no real proof because of that. In truth...I just couldn't face it. He was told he would never live with us again. We stood by that except for a short time when he had an apartment fire and was homeless because of that.

    In my opinion, there is nothing that hurts more than having your child steal from you. I know how violated I felt...like some pervert had been rifling through my undies...knowing he'd gone in our room LOOKING for something to steal. The money had been pretty well hidden. So please don't think any of us don't understand. Many of us have had our hearts broken just the same.
  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I was even thinking she could say she lost her checkbook. I know that would be protecting him and it's wrong.

    But I also know the heartache of seeing your son taken away in handcuffs. It's on my top ten list of most horrible parenting moments. It's what YOU can take really.
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You know, I reread your post and signature and saw your son is an addict. I so understand why you would want to protect him (and yourself.)

    My heart goes out to both of you.

    The thing is this: you do not know that concealing his crime is the thing that will protect him. If he is an addict he is at risk.

    If you told the bank of the stolen checkbook, I believe this would be a "neutral" act. You would be only reporting a fact, an occurrence, a reality. If the worst happened, as a consequence, and it was determined your son committed the crime, he would go to jail. In jail he would likely stop drug use and he would have a chance to recover his life and sobriety.

    I worked in prisons for 20 years. I saw it over and over again--incarcerated the men and women were offered an opportunity to begin again. Many did.

    In the days now of adulterated drugs, it is hard to know where more risk lies, in his continuing on the streets, unfettered, or incarcerated, where he will likely get clean.

    There is no good choice. That is what unites us here. Having to deal with situations that are all shades of gray, and having to choose the best of what is bad.

    Whatever you decide we support you and we understand why.

    I am one of the mothers here with whom others, sometimes lose patience, because of my unending desire to support my son, and to stay in the mix. I do not know what I would do in your situation, caught up in the pain and the fear of it. But because it is not "me" I can try to be clear-headed for you. I can honestly not say whether it is "best" to be clearheaded or warm-hearted in these confused and utterly painful situations.

    By reading your last post, I acknowledge you for moving through this one step at a time. Stay strong.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  11. LoveSushi

    LoveSushi Member

    If you report it stolen while withholding that you know who stole it, couldn't you be charged as an accessory by the bank and the law? Trying to get the money back from the bank while withholding that information as someone suggested you do isn't just dishonest and unethical but could also land you in a lot of legal trouble.

    Just my opinion.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this. My daughter came into my home a few years ago and stole all of my jewelry and a digital camera. Thousands of dollars worth. I called the police and told them it was her. Drugs make people do horrible things, even to the ones they love, or maybe especially to the ones who love them the most.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I agree with this.

    At the time I wrote my post I did not realize how certain you were. If you "know" that he did it. That is one thing. That you "fear" he did it is another.

    I see a distinction between reporting a crime and indicting a suspect. I do not see your role or responsibility as the latter. Personally, I do not see a moral issue in reporting a crime, as long as you did not lie or conceal evidence. But I am not an attorney nor am I any kind of moral authority.

    That said, I agree with lovesushi. Unless you are prepared that he go to jail, I can see that reporting the crime would put you in an extreme dilemma/moral dilemma.

    Meanwhile you are handling the impossible...I am sorry you find yourself here.
  13. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    Thank you for all the comments. The one thing I won't do is try to get out of paying the money. Even if I contact the bank, I would have to reveal what I know. This would get me out of the loss but then the fraud charge would be investigated.

    I will figure out a way to pay the debt.

    I have definitely told him I know.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  14. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Banks deal with this all the time. Just tell them what happened.

    How old is your son?
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I agree. Tell the bank you know what's happened to your funds and that you'll pay the overdrafts but you need to stop payment on any further checks. That should do it. No charges necessary. You don't have to tell the bank that he stole the checkbook and forged the checks. Just that you need no more to come out. Hopefully, that will do the trick.
  16. Catmom

    Catmom Member

    And yes, we have all been there! I can't believe all of the valuable things my son took from me, and I still get irritated with myself for not thinking to keep an eye on things. A lot of times if parents do not take a hard stance, like me, the kids graduate to bigger crimes like stealing from stores or from friends etc. Hang in there!
  17. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    isn't forging checks a misdemeanor , he would have a warrant out for him. I know u don't want him to have a record, but I t is in my opinion going to eventually get there. How many more times will you allow him to steal?
  18. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Depends on the state. In mine forgery is a felony - always. Even if it's a dollar, still a felony. Or at least it was two decades ago when I still practiced law.
  19. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I know in the height of our highway to hell our son stole some checks from us. Also stole money out of our safe clearly labeled "Christmas". We didn't report either but we did report other things he did down the line like taking our car without our permission.

    Since our son was a minor we found that it was more a pain in our ass than his. Every situation is different. Our son was sober more than he wasn't but when he wasn't he was raising holy hell.

    In the end, we ask for others advice I think but we do what we feel we can do as parents. We think that our situation, our Difficult Child is somehow different and in reality it is different. They're all different.

    It just depends on how far they've pushed us in totality I think. Looking back it's so easy to say what you'd do but when you're in the midst of it, we all just do the best we can.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  20. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My point in turning my daughter in over pot was for ywo reasons. One was to stop tje 35 year drug dealer from selling drugs to other minors (her being a minor made her learn early and also ensured it wouldnt be on perm record...pot was a bigger deal back then) and also to let her know that me and husband would not go soft on her for breaking the law. Ever. We hoped against hope it would slow down her budding drug use and criminal career. For her it worked!

    I really dont see any examples, being on here for so long, of going soft on our loved ones who are not doing well pushing them into responsible adulthood. It does not work. Our difficult adult kids dont want to quit drugs or work a good job or access good services from the community. They like mommy to keep treating them like vulnerable kids. It is hard not to. We want to protect them.

    But in fact sheltering them from what will happen if they dont straighten out and grow up to me does exactly the opposite. It is teaching them that they can prey on us and use it to keep staying young in attitude and dependent on us.

    All who have gotten it together in recent years here...patriots girls daughter, my daughter, lovemysons son and child of mines son and others had been on their own for housing and money for a while. Some go home after they are straightening out, but keep growing up and are mostly on the young side. Mofs son. RN bravely sent her son to another state where he is doing better. My kudos to all the brave moms because its hard to do this, so hard.

    I personally do not see letting them ride on our dime while they use drugs and dont work or dont seek disability services, if necessary, as productive to our kids well being. Or ours.

    It is very hard to do this. The cops on our kids? Devestating! I judge nobody. But Ive been here a long time and Ive seen many happy and sad endings. So maybe Lil's idea of saying " if you ever do this again..." is the best way going forward. All of us have gone soft on our kids a few times. None of us are guilt free. Not one. Its not natural to feel good being tough on our adult kids!

    Usually we get tougher with time as we see that letting things go just ramps them up and doesnt get them off drugs, doesnt make them responsible, doesnt make them independent or working full time. Most never go back to school so if they do work it is often a non sustainable job, like restaurant work. And part time at 25 years old. Jobs high school kids do. It isnt shameful but it wont pay an adults bills.

    So what happens? Well, usually WE change eventually. Because we love them and want them to learn to survive. Its harder for our difficult kids. They neef perhaps a harder push. If they really CANT work then there is Disability and the good services that go with it fid those perhaps truly UNABLE tp thrive and NEEDING services in order to be independent!

    But whatever we do or however we handle it, we cry too. A lot!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017