Kicked out 18 yr old son today....how did I get here?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Show Me The Light, May 10, 2018.

  1. Show Me The Light

    Show Me The Light New Member

    My son is 18, and a high school senior. He has always been a great student, a leader, and an awesome football player. He has played since he was 7 years old, and has always dreamed of playing in college. His dad and I divorced when he was 6, and he was never in his life....something he won't admit he blames me for. I went above and beyond as a parent trying to fill the void. I was always the team mom, paid large amounts of money for the best trainers, year round tournaments, etc. He received every possible accolade throughout high school (and we live in a big city). He is 2-3 inches shorter than the average D-1 athlete that plays his position. He has always known than, but hoped his work ethic, grades, and talent would overshadow his lack of height. The last year was very tough for him. He was in two car accidents (both his fault), lost a friend in a very violent way, and suffered a Summer College Camp ending injury to his hip. Missing the camps before his senior season was hard as that's where all the recruiters are. He rehabbed over Summer and was ready for Senior season. Then the stomach pains began, and the doctors thought he had colitis or crones, but a scope showed everything was healthy. The stomach pain continued, but he pushed through and had an amazing senior season earning All Section Honors out of 10,000 players. He received a lot of offers, but none to the big schools that he always dreamed of playing at...they were frank...you can play, but we need to taller at your position. I started noticing a change in him in December. His attitude was changing, and he would come home looking high. I didn't want to believe it, and didn't say anything. By January I was smelling the marijuana and his grades were dropping. I was getting calls from his teachers that he was missing class, and he would blame his stomach problems. His marijuana use became more prevalent and he then started to not come home, and say that he "fell asleep". He stopped answering my calls when he was out, and started being defiant. I would take his car away, but give it back a week later when he promised to change. He ended up with an F and a D on his 3rd qtr report card (something I had never seen). I had conferences with teachers and he assured me he would be fine. ver the last few months everything has gone down hill fast. He was lying, sneaking out, and even had the boldness to light up a joint in his bedroom before school. I found a scale used for selling drugs, and other paraphernalia, and he admitted without blinking that it was all his. He told me that I was too strict, that all the parents let their kids smoke weed, and I always overreact because he's a good kid. He knows how to manipulate me. He broke down and told me that the struggles of the past year had taken their toll, and his disappointment in football led him to not care (working hard got me nothing). After coming home high again we got into a big argument, and he left for 4 days. He touted on social media that he was living the good life and let me know he never needed my money and could take care of himself. After four days I called him begging for him to come home against everyones advice. My son has never had these problems and I hoped I could fix him. That was a month ago. We had been working on communication, and he hadn't come home high in quite some time. Last night we saw him leave the house at 11pm and not come home until 3am. I went into his room this morning to talk to him about it and his cell phone was on his dresser unlocked. My gut said look... found text messages about him selling drugs, breaking into cars, bragging that an air soft gun he purchased was real, and that one of his friends has been posing as his grandfather and getting him out of school all semester based on his stomach problems (he missed English 24 times)...you get the picture. I woke him up screaming and crying uncontrollably and told him that he needed to leave. I told him that he was throwing his life away, and that I would not support him in doing it. He is very passive aggressive, and never apologetic. He again blamed his problems on not getting what he felt he deserved after all his hard work in football, and my talk of failure leads to success meant nothing. I told him he still has the opportunity to take the scholarships he was offered and make something of himself. That it's not too late. He just walked out. The young man I raised is gone. His eyes are cold, and I am his enemy. I don't know his friends anymore and I don't know where he is. I do know that pride will not let him call me. My amazing, smart, humbler, natural leader of a son turned into a drug dealing criminal almost overnight. How did we get here? What do do?
     
  2. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am sorry for the difficulty you are having with your son. Prayers are with you. I think you made the right decision to kick him out. If he is dealing from your home it could have legal repercussions for you. It sounds like your son is taking more than marijuana. It is heartbreaking when they go off of the rails to this extent. He apparently believes he hit bottom when the football didnt pan out but that is not an excuse for what he is doing. Unfortuneately at 18 he is legally an adult and you can not force him to do anything. You can get information about rehabs and other programs like sober living and share the information with him and hope he goes. I know this is scary stuff and others will follow with more advice soon.
     
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  3. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hi there,

    So sorry for your pain. You did the right thing in kicking him out, as painful as it is.

    He is still very young and may yet find his way. He was very honest when he admitted that the disappointment of losing his D1/NFL dreams drove him to despair. Sadly, by throwing himself into illegal activities/drug abuse, he is likely ruining any chances he may have to play for a smaller school or community college on scholarship. Many athletes make it to the pros via these less prestigious routes. I am sorry that your son doesn't see that or isn't willing to accept it.

    Many of the changes you describe can potentially be explained by drug abuse. Quite a few of us here have seen our children turn into strangers for this reason.

    He will be back, this is not the end. Keep posting. Take care of yourself. Detachment is going to be very important since your options, other than kicking him out which you've done, are limited given he's a a legal adult.

    And remember, there is still good in him, and you may be one of the lucky parents whose kid straightens out sooner than most.
     
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Show Me,

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I'm glad you found us here. There are years of wisdom from battle weary parents within these pages.

    You can be as strict as you want to in your home. Also, he's wrong, not all parents let their kids smoke weed.

    This is something that all difficult children have in common, they know how to manipulate us. We as parents have to recognize it and counter it. They know how to use our emotions against us.

    I understand he's disappointed and I don't blame him, however this is life and it's hard. This will not be the only disappointment he will have to deal with in his life.

    Oh I've heard those same words from my own son. Funny how when things don't go well for them they will be begging for money.

    I understand why you called. He's your son, you love him and are worried about him. Don't beat yourself up for this.

    Oh the "mommy can fix it" syndrome. I too have suffered this. The mommy in us has always been able to make everything in our child's world okay for them. The difference is now they are no longer children but adults and no matter how much the mommy in us wants to fix things for them, we can't.

    Again, I understand he worked hard but that is no guarantee. I would remind him that there are many pro ball players that have suffered career ending injuries and one of two things happen. 1. They give up and lose all the money they made. 2. They rely on their education and venture down a new path.

    There is nothing harder than watching our sweet little boy/girl turn into someone we don't know.

    You told your son to leave your home. You didn't "kick" him out, you liberated him to live his life on his terms. There is a big misconception with difficult adult children, they think our homes are theirs. Our homes are ours. We have children, we raise them the best we can, they become adults and they leave the nest to live their own lives.

    For us, with difficult adult children it's different. They leave us worrying and wondering if they are okay, where they are sleeping, are they eating, etc............

    I have wasted years of my life worrying about my son. I have wasted years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars trying to help/fix/save my son. Nothing I did for him made any difference.

    Your son is still very young and this could turn around for him. My son is 36 and it could still turn around for him as well but in order for that to happen for my son or yours, it has to be THEIR choice.

    Take some time to step back from it all. As hard as it may be don't call your son to check up on him. When you do this it sends him a message that you are desperate and worried and it's those emotions that can be used to manipulate you.

    Be good to yourself and whatever you do, don't blame yourself.

    Keep posting and let us know how things are going.

    ((HUGS))
     
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  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I just wanted to say I understand. Maybe not the football thing, my son was never athletic, but he was very bright and I, and I think he, saw a future for him in some computer or communications field. Certainly college. Probably on scholarship. He seemingly threw it away too. Like you, it seemed like overnight he changed. The first time he left home he was 17 and still in school. When we put him out, he was 19, out of school, and home from having failed every single community college class for an entire year, costing us $10,000 for nothing.

    The day I made him leave was the worst day of my entire life.

    For what it's worth, after years of bad days and better days, he is now 23 and seems to be getting his life together, lives in another state (where pot is legal), works, and has a fiancé. Does he work at his dream job? No. In fact last I heard he worked at Burger King. But he's finally growing up and getting his head on straight.

    Your son is very young. He may yet pull himself together. But HE has to pull HIMSELF together. You can't "fix" him. God knows we all tried to fix our kids. In the end, you can only fix yourself. Be kind to yourself. Stay here with us. The support of these wonderful people can really help.
     
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  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Showme,
    Welcome and I am so sorry for your need to be here. It is so hard when our kids go off the rails, I am sorry for your heartache. My two were a bit different, I struggled with them both from about 13 on, I can't imagine the shock of this sudden change.
    Your son has had a big blow dealt to him. That is not excusing his poor choices to throw up his hands and degrade his life. But, I am thinking that for a young person who has had his whole life geared to an outcome, this is hard stuff to swallow.
    After his car accidents and hip injury, was he on pain medication? That stuff is strong. Did he suffer a head injury in the car accidents or in his football playing? That can alter personality.

    Whatever the case may be, you didn't kick him out, he had to leave your home because he wasn't following rules.

    You did the right thing by standing your ground and protecting the sanctity of your home.

    Your son is making choices for himself. We raise our kids as best we can, give them the tools to be successful, but in the long run, it is up to them to make good choices.
    Right now, you have done the best thing by showing him he is responsible and there are consequences for his choices.
    It doesn't make it any easier on us as parents. Many of us have sought out help in dealing with this. I went to counseling. It helped me sort things out and redirect my focus. I lost a lot of time trying to help my two off the rail adult kids, to no avail, they will do what they want, despite my hopes and wishes for them. Accepting this is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the truth. I have come to the conclusion after many years of dealing with this, that the best thing I can do is to strengthen myself, rebuild myself and lead by example. What we wish most for our adult children is that they will be self sufficient, make healthy choices, and practice self care.
    We can lead by example.
    That is the only thing we have control over, ourselves.
    Many parents have gone to Al Anon for help. Posting here helps, there are parents here who have gone through similar journeys and the forum affords advice from those who are further down the road. No judgement, we are not experts or counselors, just parents who know the pain of dealing with adult children gone off the rails. Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
    This is the key, Showme, take good care of yourself. Be very kind to yourself, cry when you need to, then educate yourself on how to move forward, even if your son is not. He is young and has the chance to turn this around, if he wants to. It is really up to him. There are folks here who will tell you that when they stopped trying to help their kids, gave them the reins and let them feel the consequences of their actions, their kids started to turn their lives around.
    I am still waiting for my two to figure it out.
    That doesn't mean that I have to give my life over to worrying and deny myself self care.
    That's where it can get tricky.
    We confuse love with over involvement, overthinking and worrying over our kids choices. It becomes a synchronistic decline in our own lives, to the point where we think "How can I enjoy my life when my child is out there......suffering?"
    There is no sacrifice of your own life that you can make, in exchange for your son to see the light and find his potential.
    It is up to him.
    I hope that his time out of your home will help him to see that there are consequences for the choices he is making and will teach him that lesson and help him turn himself around. It may take awhile for him to realize, that despite the disappointment he has, he still has opportunity. Life is really hard sometimes.
    We all have been dealt blows along the way.
    I believe these blows are meant to teach us, life happens, knocks us down and we have to learn to get back up.
    Having an adult child go off the rails is an incredible blow.
    Take good care of YOU. If you are struggling with this, (of course you are, that is natural) allow yourself time to process your feelings. If it is taking your joy and peace of mind away, take steps to help yourself.
    We all only have power and control over our own decisions, reactions and emotions.
    This is a simple truth, but hard to put to practice when our hearts are aching.
    You are not alone.
    I am so sorry for your heartache.
    Do take care, and let us know how you are doing.
    We have been right where you are.
    (((Hugs)))
    Leafy
     
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  7. Heavy hearted

    Heavy hearted Member

    This sounds familiar.......son, has potential, smart, then.....drugs. We had such high hopes for our son, but then he started the marijuana use and he was no longer the son we raised. Sneaking out, telling lies, stealing, more lies and a different group of friends. Yes, sounds all too familiar. Good parents raise good children. It's the society that we live in that has grasped a bigger hold on our children. Drugs eat people alive and when they get a taste of the dark side they become so enticed by their affects. We as parents no longer can preach or teach, because they are not listening. I'm sorry that you are also going through this. Stay positive and hang in there.
     
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  8. Heavy hearted

    Heavy hearted Member

    Sorry about the short post, I was at work and didn't get to finish. Don't lose hope. I thought my son was probably in his vehicle sleeping, hungry and with zero money. Well I do know he is in a safe place, is not starving and now has a job. Our adult children do survive, they are more resourceful than we think. If your son has a phone, just text him and tell him you love him and he can call or text you if he wants to. Leave that decision up to him. That lets him know that at this time, he can make the first move. Our son is very angry and also has a lot of pride, but he did text me to tell me Happy mother's day. I did not ask how he was, I just texted back.....Thank you baby, hope all is well with you. Remember, I will always love you. I left it at that. I felt like this may keep the line of communication open. It was soft and loving, yet firm. My son became a wizard in the manipulation department. The old saying......he can charm the horns off a billy goat come to mind when I think of my son. Don't make yourself sick with worry. Place this in God's hands.
     
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  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Will he agree to go to counseling? He sounds depressed and defeated. The stomach problems sound like anxiety. I don't blame him for feeling so down about what happened. He still has potential for a great life. There is no need for him to just give up on life. We have to prepare our kids by telling them early in life that life is going to throw some horrible things at us.
     
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    All of us here are good parents and I'm sure we all explained about disappointment to our kids. It is surprising and alarming at how little we teach them that is retained as they become teens and up. If they retained our wisdom nobody would be here. Nobody. Parenting would be a snooze.

    For this young man, there are more disappointments in life than not being able to play pro football.the overriding percentage of teen athletes never go pro and don't expect to. There is much to fear about football anyway with the new knowledge of so much brain damage in this sport....irreversible. But it is amazing what reasons many adult kids use as excuses not to try hard in school and to party, but you don't really learn this until your own kid's reach that age. It is easy to get a ten year old to listen to you and hear you loud and clear, less so a twenty year old. Counseling is always good. Now get your older teen to go! It is up to the person to do it and many will not.

    This kid is seriously breaking the law. It is beyond disappointment about football at this point.

    To the poster, I am sorry. It sounds like his drug use is serious and perhaps you can get him to go to rehab....nobody sells drugs or breaks into cars unless he is a serious user. I had a daughter who was. If he won't and this were me, he would have no privledges. His driving indicates he is a danger behind the wheel of a car and he is making plans to sell drugs on his phone. He sounds like he doesn't need either a car or a cell phone.

    The stomach issues could be nerves or from drug use. My daughter quit but we were tough on her.

    Love and light!
     
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    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  11. RN0441

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

    Welcome

    You have gotten great advice and support here.

    My son went off the rails at 15 which seems to be a common age although I know your son is older.

    I think somehow this generation cannot handle or cope with disappointment. I don't get it, I honestly don't. Our son started using marijuana for anxiety (my husband has it too) and then the addiction that runs in our family (and is in most families somewhere) took over and then we watched him morph into a stranger as well.

    Everyone's story is different but the theme is the same.

    For me, the best think I did was to learn everything I could about addiction and find a therapist that specializes in it to help me deal with my son's destructive behavior as well as set firm boundaries. He was a minor when our problems started and that made it a lot harder.

    As someone said, maybe he will turn this around on his own. I do hope so but in the meantime you need to be good to yourself. This is the hardest thing I've ever dealt with in my life. Watching someone you love take a dark path is very painful and heartbreaking.

    You are so very fortunate to have found this site. You don't have to reinvent the wheel or feel like you are alone. Friends and family sometimes don't know what to say even though they are trying to be supportive. It's not your fault. It sounds like you are a very caring and loving mother.

    Good luck and keep posting and reading. It does help.
     
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  12. hope2hope

    hope2hope New Member

    So sorry for the confusion, pain, and suffering you are being forced into by your son's choices. Firstly, do not blame yourself nor begin the emotionally mind wrecking rerun of your parenting history. Know your decisions have been from a place of love!

    Your son will be back because he will need help. Prepare now for how you will respond. Use this time to educate yourself on the resources available in your community that your son can choose to help him heal. Make any family support conditioned on him getting outside help. It will be his choice whether he wants to get better or live on the streets.

    My story is very familiar except my son probably has a long term mental illness brewing in addition to drug use. We are 1/2 step away from pushing him out of the house. He will be in therapy or out of the house by the end of June or earlier. I don't know what option my son will choose (help & sobriety OR living elsewhere) BUT I do know that it is one or the other.

    You did the right thing by asking him to leave. Hopefully it will help him realize how his choices are directly impacting his life.
     
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I am so so sorry. His is a sad story. But as we know life catches up with everybody sooner or later. It can never be a fantasy, which is what he is asking.

    For what it is worth, I think you did the only thing you could do in the circumstances.

    He was as if begging you to set a limit. To draw a line.

    With your action you told him: I stand for you. I will not help you live badly and destroy yourself, or anybody else.

    My spiritual director has told me over and over again, support requires resistance. By that she means we do not feel support and cannot truly support ourselves without pushing up against edges. Think about a chair.

    You gave your son that edge. To stop his free fall.

    You may have to do it over and over again by setting boundaries.

    It is for you. Yes. But him too.

    We have no control. They do what they want. They seek to manipulate us...to seek to meet needs and wants we cut off. They deceive. They wheedle. And worse. This will not soon stop. If your story is like mine.

    But you are saying this: No way. Not in my house. Not around me.

    This gives him a shot. He knows he has a safe place to stand. If he chooses.

    Thank you very much for the chance to articulate where I stand. I doubt myself a lot. Because I miss the forest for the trees.

    Actually, writing it out, I agree with me. And with you.

    Take care.
     
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    Last edited: May 17, 2018