Kicked 18 year old son out, Im struggling with it

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by amiracle, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. amiracle

    amiracle New Member

    We had the police escort our 18 year old son out of our house on Saturday and now he's calling me saying he's been sleeping in the park and hasn't eaten for days and wants money for food. It's killing me
    I'll give you our background before asking advice. Our son started smoking marijuana two years ago which led to him stealing money from us and his two other brothers, even his Grandfather who was visiting. We called the police on him several times for stealing our car and driving without a license, and stealing my debit card. Each time an officer would come over they would talk to him and then would inform us that pressing charges would actually hurt us financially as we would be responsible for his court costs, fines etc because at that time he was a juvenile. Finally a police officer listened to me when my response was "it's going to cost me more when drives under the influence and kills himself or someone else." We had a court date and he was placed on a diversion program that required him to drug test every week. He failed every drug test so he was kicked out of the diversion program and placed on standard probation with weekly required drug tests. The past year he was in juvenile detention three times for violating probation. He was released from juvenile detention in early January after spending one month there. I visited him every week and even got a letter saying how sorry he was and how he was going to change. Unfortunately he hasnt changed. He turned 18 a few weeks ago and was released from probation. In the past 3 weeks he has stolen my debit card twice, and broke our bedroom window trying to get into our room (we have a deadbolt on our bedroom door because of his stealing). The police came and escorted him off our property. He has no job and hasnt finished highschool. I have cried myself to sleep the past 2 nights and I'm crying now as I ask for advice on what to do. I don't want him to be homeless and hungry but I want him to change. Should I set some bottled water and food outside for him? I just don't know what to do
  2. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Hey, I get it. I'm so sorry for your hurting parent heart. Been there, done that.

    I'm going to move your post into our Parent Emeritus forum where experienced parents with kids over the age of 18 will be more likely to see and respond to your post.

    I am so sorry you are facing such a tough situation. Hang in there. You are not alone.
  3. Nature

    Nature Active Member

    Hi, I'm sorry that your family is going through this and I know how your heart is grieving for the son that used to be..not the one he's become. I am not an expert but I've walked in your shoes and what I've learned is this. Each of us are on different paths with our children and the first time they are removed from our homes you think your heart is broken in a million pieces. I have finally realized that the choice was never mine but his choice.Just like your son it was his choice to continue on his self destructive path and you and your family are unfortunately dragged into it. It sucks the life out of everyone that cares for him to view him on a self destructive path. My heart hurts for you.
    I have learned when things are really tough for them they often revert back to almost childlike behaviours - calling home saying they are hungry, cold, ect...and they know how to pull on your heartstrings. Most often it works as especially moms have a hard time refusing their child's request for food or warmth. Yet, despite it being one of the hardest and most painful things that a parent can do is to tell them I'm sorry I can't help you unless you help yourself. Perhaps suggest that the only help he'll get is to go into rehab . I still struggle after many years and sometimes go against my own advice have come to the "rescue". Yet, I also knew that that is only temporary and what needs to happen is they must want to change. Parents and loved ones walk their own paths and eventually all come to the conclusion that enabling their child only prolongs the drug use. Saying it and getting there are two different things and even after many years I still struggle. Each of us must walk that dreaded path and belong to this club that none of us ever wanted to join - that of parents of difficult children. Early on the journey we convince ourselves our love can save our children , or our determination , or our fearlessness to protect them and then later we feel despair when it doesn't work. Slowly the realization sinks in we can't help them unless they want to change...not by their words but by their actions.
    I will be thinking of you and your family.
  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    :welcomehome:Welcome to our corner of the world. I am so sorry that you have had to find us. This is one of the hardest things to have to do. You would not put up with a relative or friend who was treating you this way.
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Having him in your house is dangerous to you and everyone else there. He is acting like a criminal to those who love him the most. He is probably using more than pot.

    My own personal opinion is that he his legally an adult now and is breaking the law and every rule in your house. Your house/your rules. He is struggling in your home and abusing you while you love him.

    Our kids do not go hungry. They are street smart due to years of hannging with unsavory people. If it makes you feel better, find out where they serve meals to the homeless and give him the address of shelters and food pantries and guide him on where to go to get food stamps, welfare and section 8 housing. He will have to stay clean while he is in a shelter or section 8 housing so he may prefer the park. Many addicts refuse to follow any rules because they need to be high and drug use causes defiance,stealing, you know the commercial. But he will not change if you make things easy for him. It doesnt work.

    I would not give your son any money. Food is easy to get. They use that excuse to pull at our heartstrings so that we give them money for their substance of choice. Giving any money is a risk that you are buying drugs for them.

    Drug tests are iffy. The abusers know that certain drugs dont show up on tests and often stick to those,but those drugs are just as dangerous as the ones that do show up.

    Take care of yourself. Dont forget you. This is hard. I recommend a private therapist or/and Al Anon to help you on this sad, unasked for journey.

    We are always here for you.
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome to our group.

    I'm sorry you had to find us but glad you did.

    Your story sounds very familiar to me. I went through much of what you described with my own son. I had to call the police several times on my son. Yes, the diversion program, know it well. My son was offered the program twice and both times he screwed it up. In and out of juvenile detention and group homes. Lots of family counseling too, but in the end he wanted to live his life on his terms so I had to let go.

    I know how hard this is for you. I know the pain you feel, worrying about your son living on the streets with no food, no shelter, etc..... I can only offer this advice. First and foremost you can only do what you are comfortable with. You might want to gather a list of shelters for your son. There are places he can go for a bed and a meal.

    I know this hard, I've lived it. I wasted too many years and way too much money trying to "help" my son. Bottom line is these difficult children of ours do not want to live by the rules we set forth in our homes and because of that, they should not live in our homes. We have raised them, we have taught them right from wrong, but we cannot force them to live the way we want them to. We have to let them go.

    There is a fine line between helping and enabling. We can get to a point where our helping is actually hurting them. At some point they are going to have to learn how to live their life on their own. It may not look like what we had dreamed and hoped for them and that's ok. It's their life.

    More words of advice, our difficult children want us to continue footing the bill for their lives and when we tell them we no longer will they will amp it up. Don't be surprised if your son becomes very dramatic, begging, crying, telling you he's going to starve or die. Don't be surprised if he starts blaming you for the chaos of his own making. Do not buy into this. They count on us feeling guilty so we will give into them.

    You have taken a first step by not allowing him to live in your home.

    Stay strong and stay here with us. We are here to support you.

    ((HUGS)) to you......................
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  7. amiracle

    amiracle New Member

    Thano you for all the replies and support. It was hard to reach out, I've been embarrassed about my son's behaviors for the past 2 years. I didn't want to feel judged, but I'm finding that are more good families out there that are experiencing this. I never thought my family would. Drugs don't descriminate, they affect all walks of life. I haven't heard from my son now for 24 hours, I want to call or text him, but I don't think I should. I did leave water and granola bars out on our front patio last night, they were still there when I left for work this morning and still there now. I'm having such a hard time with this tough love, but I have to stick to it, I don't want to enable him. Thanks again for all the support.
  8. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I think this is what I would do, if I were in this situation with my son. We've actually discussed this a couple of times because he likes to collect strays and try to bring them home...I'm not talk about animals here.

    I'm glad you found this site. It's been very helpful to me, and I hope it will for you too. You would be surprised by the people who have had to deal with this in their families. Not just poor families or broken families, but good, stable families as well. I've known prominent members in our society who have had a child fall victim to heroin. I only discuss my woes with people I am very close to or who have personally dealt with this with their own children, and even then, I try to keep it to a minimum because people generally have enough of their own problems to deal with. This site, on the other hand, allows me to release all of my sadness and discontent, so that I can try to let it go and have a better day.

  9. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Welcome to this forum. It is a safe place to find comfort and strength here. It is such a relief just to get everything out to folks who understand. You are not alone here.
    If you have not yet read this article on detachment on the forum, I suggest it. It clarifies that the loving thing to do for your difficult child is to detach from enabling. Here is the link:
    I think you are doing the right thing and you are staying strong. You are doing good. This is the hardest thing, to set them free to learn on their own, when you know they are hurting. You want to fix it all and make it right, but you can't. They must choose and make their own path - for their steps alone.
    You are going to be alright. Take care. Kalahou
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry you are going thru this. Most of us have been there.

    As you can see by my signature, we put our son out 18 months ago at 19. It was rough. It was horrible, actually. But it was right. He ended up in the homeless shelter for 3 months, then an apartment we ended up paying for, then he couch surfed then went with to a girlfriend, then here and there...currently, he's in his old room at home, but only because there was a fire and he lost his apartment and the shelter is full. Had it been his doing, just eviction, he would be on the streets.

    Tell him where the shelters and food banks are. He will survive and hopefully will realize the gravity of what he's done to end up where he is.
  11. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    You will never have to worry about that here. We are a group of parents who get it. I for one have been on the receiving end of "well meaning" people who wanted to tell me how I should parent and "fix" my son. Oh if it were only as easy as they think it is.

    This site offers each of us a safe place to come vent our frustrations, hurts, confusion, fear and all the other emotions we go through.

    Stay close to this site - it is a true life line.

    Stay strong and hang in there, you are doing great.