Letter to my son

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Lil, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    So I wrote a long email to my son today, as yet, unsent. He broke his new phone yesterday...I truly don't think he threw it or anything, but he called all upset and in a state, as always when something goes wrong. Today we replaced the phone...again. In the conversation, he told me he also sold his brand-new-in-August laptop, that we assisted him in getting. (Basically he did 1/3 ofthe work of our second job and we gave him all the money for a month.) So today I set down and wrote this. I shared it with a friend and was surprised by her response. She doesn't have kids and said, basically, that we are the reason he does what he does, because we give in and these "chances" won't do a thing. I acknowlege that we've given more than we should...but I would be interested in your take on it. I probably won't ever send it...but it made me feel better to vent, even if it was just to myself. The more I read it, the less I like it. :(

    So like I said in the FB message, I'll get on line today and replace your phone. It will be exactly like before. You'll get it in the mail in a few days - because of the holidays it might take a bit longer - and you'll have to mail the old one back to them. We understand <SON>, that you didn't intend to break your phone and it was an accident. But you have to understand we can't keep doing this. Take better care of your phone. Don't leave it sitting on your bed and keep the case on it! The cases are designed to stop shock if they get dropped and likely if you'd had a case on it the phone would still be working. Please understand, this is the LAST phone we will replace. At this point we're out $300 in just a couple of months! I know it was unintentional - but be more careful.

    Now. On to even less pleasant subjects. Your dad has suspected the laptop was gone since Sept. I, as usual, trusted you and was just sure you wouldn't lie to us anymore. Obviously, I was mistaken.
    I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am about that. I'm very, very unhappy and disappointed that you did that. Not only lie about it...that's just the icing on the cake, but sell it in the first place. You couldn't live on $25 a week? Well bull. You have EVERYTHING necessary for LIFE provided for you! You have shelter, utilities, and yes, FOOD. I don't give two craps anymore that you don't like the food there. It isn't inedible. It isn't poison. There are people in this town - and that one - who would LOVE to have free food, who actually go to bed hungry at night. You could live just fine picking out only the stuff you do find palatable. You don't need gas. You could walk your happy butt to school...although apparently you weren't going often enough for that to matter. So if you didn't waste money on food and gas you'd have had $25 a week for cigarettes and that's more than five packs a week.

    So don't tell me you needed money for necessities. You did not.

    Let me guess, the TV I spent $50 faxing documents around for and which is part of the almost $700 per month we're spending on your room and board, is gone too?

    <SON>, you've been given every advantage we could give you. Every. One. You have parents who love you and never really asked for much. You grew up in a nice house and we bought what you liked for food, even if it was stuff we wouldn't normally eat ourselves. You didn’t want to cut your hair? Fine. You wanted to dress in all black? Fine. Express yourself, we thought. Don’t fight over little things, we thought. Let him be an individual, we thought. Pretty much every darn thing you ever wanted, you got. But nothing we've done has EVER been enough for you. We give you an allowance and it wasn't enough. We buy you things. Not enough. We let you have what we consider a lot of freedom, reasonable curfews, very few chores. You complain about what little we want you to do and think we're too restrictive. We tell you, when you are 16 get a job and pay your insurance and you get access to the car. You don't and we let you drive it anyway. We say get a job and pay your own gas and insurance and we'll give you the car when your 18. You don't. You don't like college? That's okay. You’re failing? We offer to let you change schools. We even offer a 4 year college, twice the cost. Even after you stole from us and lied to us and treated us with complete disrespect, we let you keep using the car and sending you money - but even the $50 a week wasn't enough for you; you always wanted more. You have this wonderful plan to move to the closest pot-legal state and we STILL agree to support you and let you keep the car until you go. You apparently can’t live with free rent, free utilities, free food, free car, no insurance, maintenance, taxes, license expenses AND an allowance. How exactly do you think you’ll be able to live when all of that is on you? You said Kelly won’t even let you crash in his room occasionally. You really think you’ll be able to LIVE in an RV with this man?

    What do you want from us? Seriously, WHAT? What more could we possibly do?

    Sorry kiddo, but it’s time grow up and GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR BUTT! You have three choices.

    1. Go through with your plans and more power to you. Maybe you can live with him. Maybe it’ll all work out like you want. Maybe it won’t and we send you a bus ticket home. (See option 3.) It’s your life. Give it a try if you want. But you best be working and saving before you go.
    2. Stay in school and actually attempt to pass and get an education.
    3. Come home, get a job, and save up until you can live on your own.

    Option 3 comes with rules and responsibilities. I have an entire LIST of rules you’ll be expected to abide by. One is get a job. And I don’t want to hear you can’t find work and you’ve tried so hard to. Until you’ve literally put in applications everywhere in town, every store, factory, restaurant, and temp agency; until you’ve gone in decent clothing, shaved and with your hair neat, and not smelling of cigarettes, you haven’t tried
    as hard as you could. Another is no drugs. No pot, pipes or other paraphernalia will be in our home. Period. There are plenty more rules too, but nothing we don’t set for ourselves. We’ve never expected more from you than we expect from ourselves.

    I know, you don’t want option 3. But it’s there and it’s open. We love you. We want you to succeed in life. You don’t have to be like us. You don’t have to go to church and work for the government. You don’t have to share our beliefs or, no matter how much we wish you did, our morals. But you can’t skate through life either. Being an adult means working. It’s that simple. You take care of business first, be it work or school, and then you play when those things are done. You’ve heard me talk about college. I partied my butt off in college. I hit the bars three times a week. But I also pulled a 3.7 GPA because I came home and studied and did my work before I went out. I went to class. Even if I hated it, hated my teacher, hated the subject, I went. I went on two hours sleep. I went when I was sick. I went hung-over. And I did the same thing before you were born <SON>. I once went to court with a fever of 102 and started crying in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office because I was so sick. I went to work when all I wanted to do was sleep - because business comes first. You look at us and think we’re boring and our lives are so dull and you don’t want to be like us. Well of COURSE I’m boring – I’m 50 freaking years old! You know what? I wasn’t boring before you came along and I had responsibility to someone other than myself. But I was also an ADULT. I earned my own way and paid my own bills and I’ve HAD to do it all by myself since my mom DIED when I was 23! You have NO IDEA what it’s like to have NO choices! ALL YOU HAVE IS CHOICES! AND you have parents willing to catch you if you make the wrong ones and things fall through!

    So right now, all I can say is make your choices and live with the consequences. You’re only 18. You have an entire life ahead of you and you will make good choices and bad ones and you will succeed at some things and fail at others. But man up and take responsibility for yourself and your choices. If you spend money on CD’s or pot or fast food, don’t complain about not having money for cigarettes. YOU made those choices. If you don’t go to class because you don’t like it, because you don’t like the teachers, because you think you already know it all, don’t be upset that you failed, because YOU caused that to happen. If you spend all your time contemplating how awful your life is and how you don’t have things you want, instead of being grateful for what you do have, you’ll be miserable.

    And if, when something goes wrong, if plans get changed, if something breaks, don’t shout and curse and act like a child. If my car broke down tomorrow and I didn’t have money to get it fixed, I’d figure out another way to get to work until I did. But I wouldn’t throw a tantrum like a 3 year old. What good does that do? Yes, I’d be upset. I might even take five minutes to scream and cry and probably be in a bad mood for a while, but then you carry on. What good came from the way you reacted to your phone being broken? Did it get you a new one a minute faster? Did it magically repair itself because you cursed your life and how bad you’ve got it? Did ANYTHING change? NO. All you did was upset us and yourself for nothing. When you could have simply taken a breath, given yourself some time to pull yourself together and handle the situation maturely.

    I’m probably wasting my breath, figuratively speaking. Everything in here is nothing you haven’t heard and you’ve never listened before. But you want your life to be better? You want your life the change? Then you have to make that happen and in large part you have to change your attitude. If you don’t know how to do that, that’s what the free counseling service is for…you know, the one you don’t think will do any good. You’re partially right. It won’t help you at all if you aren’t willing to let it.

    Well at this point I’m tired of typing. If you’ve actually read all of this, please make some attempt to understand it, instead of just dwelling on the parts that tick you off or make you feel bad. We love you. We love you with every fiber of our beings <SON>. But we can’t make you happy. We can’t make your life different. I don’t expect you to shave your head and join the army. I don’t even expect you to stay in school and make straight A’s. But I expect more from you than being irresponsible and dishonest. I think that’s a pretty low bar.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hugs..............it is a blankin' nightmare to be where you are. All we can do is combine our LOVE and our intelligentce and hope and pray that something worthwhile results. Hugs. DDD
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lil....it feels good to write things down and get it out. Now DO NOT send that letter. Your friend is correct, you have done far tooo much for him. I would not have replaced the phone. When my difficult child broke her phone she got to use one of our old phones until her contract was up. He sold his computer? Too bad no more computer. My difficult child tried to seel hers on craigslist and when I foudn out I told her if that computer was sold, stolen, lost or broken she would just have to do without until she could buy one herself.

    I strongly suggest you find a parent support group in your area to help you learn how to detach from his behavior and set limits. Yoir son is not going to read that letter. I tried that with my difficult child, she just htrew them away, admitted later she never read them. If he were my difficult child, and I did have much the same issue with mine who was in college and not going to class and smoking pot and drinking and just having a party on our money, I would be telling him that he either lives on the budget you provide him and go to class and get passing grades or he comes home and gets a job (minimum wage by the way because that's all he will be qualified for) and follow the house rules....or find alternative living arrangements.

    I know I sound hard but we have been through h*ll and back with our difficult child and I finally got to the point where I was no longer willing to live that way and I would no longer support her partying. She is now living with her boyfriend and working a minimum wage job and tells me every day how she really messed up her life by not taking advanatge of the opportunity to go to college and make something of her life. It makes me sad but I have come to terms with it. I could not force her to do what she was bound and determined not to.

    Your son will not take anything you say in that letter seriously. He will not modify any of his behavior because of it. It's time for you and husband to come up with a plan and outline it for him and allow him to decide how he wants his future to go.
  4. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lil, I totally understand your feelings in the letter and it was probably very good for you to be able to express them in writing. Unfortunately, your son is not going to "get" it by reading your letter. He will probably laugh and tear it up if he even bothers to read it.

    When our kids are on drugs, they become completely self-absorbed. Substance abusers are only concerned about themselves and how they are going to get their drugs/alcohol.

    As I read your letter, I thought back to your other thread where you said:

    I hope I am wrong but selling his computer and stealing from you makes me think there is a lot more going on here than just recreational pot use. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that you are right about the television, too.

    Your letter reminds me of how I felt and reacted when my daughter was your son's age. She did all of the things your son was doing and it continued for another ten years until we finally took action. My therapist has helped me see that I can't "fix" her and my attempts at "helping" her was just enabling her drug use.

    That's a pretty cushy life. Why would he want to change? You were providing all of those things so he could get an education. Unfortunately, he is not holding up his side of the bargain so it is time for you to stop upholding yours.

    As a teacher, I pushed and pushed my difficult child to get an education. She actually does have enough credits to be a college junior. Her GPA, though, is horrible because she kept signing up for classes and then just wouldn't go. One year, she took out $20,000 in student loans and didn't finish a single class. She told me later that she was drinking too heavily to get up and go to the classes most of the time. She just lived on the money instead.

    Until your difficult child is clean and sober and acting responsibly, you will just be throwing away money on an education. My difficult child is regretting the lost years now and wants to finish her college degree. I told her that we were done paying for her education and now she will have to take one class at a time while working full time and pay for it herself. Maybe she will put more value into it if she is paying for it herself.

  5. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I didn't send the email. Although I am still considering sending something...more straightforward that that.

    Oh, I'm pretty darn sure it's more habitual than recreational. I was feeling pretty good about the chances he had cut down until I found out about the computer.

    That was actually what I was trying to get across to him. That he has it really easy, and still thinks he has it so hard and can't get by. That is actually what upsets me most.

    He's always been self-absorbed. I have to say, more than anyone I know. We tried, really, to get him to have more empathy, to see that the world doesn't revolve around him, since he was young. But he never really got it. When I said that nothing ever has been enough for him, I mean ever. We're not wealthy by any stretch, but we have a decent home and make ends meet. He's always gotten an allowance and had chores around the house. Never good enough. He'd complain and put off chores that literally took 15 minutes total and he'd spend his allowance the minute he got it. If he wanted a new video game, we'd tell him, "Save your allowance." But he wouldn't. So the game wouldn't be given to him until his birthday or Christmas and then he'd complain that by then everyone else was level 10 and he'd have to be at 1 and it wasn't fun. He'd complain that friends got more in allowance. He'd complain that his friend's parents bought new game systems and new computers and what-not...and these would be people who literally lived in a hovel but they'd spend money on nonsense like that. Complain, complain, complain. And we didn't give in! He never got everything he wanted, when he wanted. But still, he didn't "get it".

    His first computer was purchased with his 16th birthday money and we kicked in half. He sold that when he left home and had no money. His second he used graduation money and he worked with us at our second job and we told him if he worked with us, we'd let him have all the pay for a month for a new computer for college. He really did work, but we helped him earn the money in that way. Now he's sold it. There will be no third computer. I really thought he'd have learned his lesson about selling stuff when we found out he'd pawned a guitar and amp. We could easily have gotten $250 on Craigslist...he got less than $100 for it - we'd paid that for the amp! When he had pawned our archery equipment he got $25 for his dad's bow. It was a $400 bow! You'd think he'd have figured out selling stuff was stupid. Apparently not.

    But his stuff is gone and won't be replaced by us. He's just out of luck there.

    He'd never broken a phone before college. He did thoroughly shatter the screen on his first smart phone with about 4 months left on the contract, but it still worked and we made him wait until he was due for an upgrade in August before we got his new one. He broke it in October. So we did replace it and now he's broken the second. As I said in the letter - there won't be any more coming from us. He breaks this one and he'll get the freebie phone that's still laying around here - the first one he ever had - until he can afford another. Since we can't drop him from the plan for two years, he may as well be able to call home. It's not like when I was in college and there was payphone on every corner.

    Another part of the phone call that prompted this letter was his allowance. He was given $40 Wed. morning. By Thurs. night he was broke and had no cigarettes and was in a rage over the phone. He said he went out to eat and bought two packs of cigarettes, which he lets people bum off him and runs out, and bought a few CD's. I did give him $5 more just so he could buy one more pack of cigarettes, just to calm him down and shut him up, but I told him that was IT and I meant it. He's not getting another penny until next Wednesday so he better be smoking very little. I'm just DONE with that. He won't get a penny more than what we agreed to provide and if he chooses to blow it, then he goes without. I'm just sooo tired of it! That's really what prompted my rant/letter. I'm just so tired.

    I truly don't know what's next. He really only does have three options I can see. A friend told me not to let him come home without a job first...but that isn't realistic. He can apply for jobs on-line, but he's 4 hours away and so can't interview anywhere local. If he wants to come home, he HAS to agree to abide by the rules. My friend says he won't, because he has learned we won't kick him out. But we never had the option of kicking him out before - he was a minor. We'd be liable, even criminally, for kicking out a kid under 18, but not anymore and we are really, really serious that if he comes home he follows the rules or he's out on the street. If he steals from us again, we'll press charges.

    It will kill me. But I will do it. If for no other reason than my husband is very, very serious about those things and I won't stress my marriage by refusing to do what I've agreed to...because I know my husband is right, but I've always been the "easy" parent and I know it will kill me.

    He doesn't want to come home. So realistically, he can buckle down and stay in school or he can leave school. If he does he knows all $ stops and he has to give back the car. But the fact is he may have no place else to go and may have no choice but to want to come home and I don't want to get to the point of having to kick him out or have him arrested. I don't want to do that to myself! I know what it will do to me. So how do I get him to understand we're serious! We're really, really serious! He has to believe that and I don't know how to make him believe it.

    I told my friend, I just don't understand him. I was such a good kid. Really, my entire life, to the day my parents died, I respected them and loved them and would never have ever done anything to disappoint or hurt them. It was unthinkable to me. You know, if my parents had lived, my son wouldn't even exist, because my parents wouldn't have approved of his father and I wouldn't have married anyone they didn't approve of in their lifetime. That's how much I loved and respected my parents. I don't understand people who don't feel that way.

    Does that make sense?
  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    So today I sent a much abbreviated version to my son, taking out all the lecturing and "how much we've done for you" nonsense. It says, pretty simply, that this is his last phone we pay for and if this one gets broken he gets one of our old "non-smart" phones, that he's almost 19 and he has to deal with his own choices and problems, and to not ask for anything, unless it's a TRUE emergency - i.e. not poor planning, something unavoidable like breaking a leg or getting in a wreck or the dorm burning down.

    Seems the consensus of my friends and husband is that my son's inability to deal with life is all my doing, because I give in to him and that telling him I mean business won't do a thing unless I just say no and hang up on him next time he calls. But I felt like I really had to warn him that was coming. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't want him calling stranded in 10 degree weather because he ran out of gas, thinking I'll give him more money. He may still do it, but at least he's been warned.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  7. Scott_G

    Scott_G Member

    The only way to get him to understand is by following through with the consequences you set forth. If you keep giving in, he knows it and will use it to his advantage and call your bluff every single time. But you need to be prepared for the backlash. If he actually begins to believe that this time you actually mean it, he's not going along quietly. Be prepared for him to take things up a notch. His behavior may become abusive and/or he may start to lay on the guilt trip. Over the years, when we pushed back our son would sometimes get angry. He would tell us how nobody loved him or cared for him, we were terrible parents, we gave up on him, etc, etc. He threatend to kill himself if we kicked us out, and he would make comments like "I hope you feel good about yourself this winter when I am sleeping on the streets." Sometimes they will even tell you that they never want to talk to you again, as if somehow not subjecting you to their childish behavior is punsihing you.
  8. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Scott is right. My difficult child threatened over and over that she would kill herself if we ever kicked her out. Ironically, it took her heroin overdose to give us the strength to finally do it and it saved her life. Once she knew we were serious that she would never live here again, she finally participated in a three month residential treatment program and has gotten a full time job and is taking care of herself.

    I compare it with dog training (LOL). There is something called an extinction burst that dogs do when they are trying to get you to do something or give them something that they want. They will rachet up the response (jumping, barking) until they become frantic and then once they realize they are not going to get it they give up and calm down. That is exactly what my difficult child does.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I'm so sorry you are hurting again.

    difficult children tend to have a weird sense of entitlement that "typical" adult children don't have. While most adult children are eager to explore their lives and spread their own wings and be independent, our difficult children prefer to continue to be independent on us. Sometimes that is due to a fear they can't make it on their own. Often it is due to drug use causing chaos in their lives and their inability or unwillingness to stop it. They also never take the blame. I know my 36 year old, who has many issues and always will, never says "I'm sorry" and if he says or does something horrible it is always somebody else who made him do it. If I say nobody can make him do anything and that it was his choice, he gets very upset with me. Because of the nature of our difficult child adult children, I feel it is better to force them out of the nest. Entitlement is huge with difficult children of all socioeconomic backgrounds. We give our kids everything and expect them to appreciate what we sacrifice for them, but somehow with difficult children of all shapes and sizes it doesn't work out that way. It is NOT YOUR FAULT at the way he turned out. But I believe that you will one day come to get sick and tired of paying his bills and getting him out of messes. It doesn't help in the longrun, only until the next crisis and they come to depend on us and not worry that this time they MAY have to pay consequences.

    Your difficult children personality sounds a lot like 36. I swear he was born selfish and with the feeling that the world revolved around him and that only his comforts matter. I knew he would have issues at a very young age when he stomped on a little girl's hand who was climbing below him on the monkey bars. She screamed and he laughed in a very scary and evil way. All during his very young years, other kids tended to get hurt around him and it was never because of him. Even when the child would say, "He pushed me into the wall" he would say, "I swear, mommy, I did it on accident!" and that smile he'd try to hide but couldn't. Even when I caught him punching somebody, he would say, "I didn't mean to do it. It was an accident." He is no longer physically abusive to others, but he is mentally abusive and it's always because "you made me say it."

    I am so sad for your pain. I understand it. Be kind to yourself and perhaps try to detach from some of your son's drama. You can't save him. He is the only person who can save him. You matter as much as he does and you have to take care of you. Gentle hugs.
  10. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Again, I thank everyone for being so kind. I know my son hasn't actually had the problems of some of yours and I feel like such a baby for being so distraught when things could be so much worse. I keep trying to come to terms with this and prepare myself for things getting worse, while hoping they get better.

    It works for about a minute.

    OMG! The smile! I never knew anyone else dealt with that! I mentioned once before that my first husband was my son's biodad, but he and his family has been totally out of his life since age 5, except for attending his funeral at age 7, but he'd do that. He'd say or do something totally hurtful and when you'd react he'd smile this awful little smirk that just made you want to smack him! He wasn't physically abusive, but terribly controlling and manipulative. He'd stolen from his parents at one time, they'd kick him out and he'd sneak in to sleep. He had legal problems that I took care of for him. (I honestly can't believe I married him - I'm a lawyer for heaven's sake!) If it looked like I'd had enough and was really going to leave him, he'd threaten suicide. We only had one vehicle and I lived over an hour from work. When we finally got moved to the town I worked in (he didn't, of course) I told him he had two months to find a job or he was out. He didn't even watch our son - he was in daycare! Instead of finding work, he found a woman who wouldn't make him get a job. The day my 1st husband left me was the best day I'd had in two years. I gave him $200 and wasn't overdrafted for the first time in 2 years! The best part was not worrying that he was driving drunk in our only car or where he was, because I wasn't supposed to know where he was. It was such a relief! My God this is the first time I've realized I was married to a difficult child! I felt so guilty when he died - not sad - because he'd called me collect from jail and I had told him I would not accept collect calls anymore and he killed himself that same day.

    The horrible thing is that my son is so much like him! When he was little, like 3 or 4 he got kicked out of daycare - the teacher said he would disrupt the class and when she'd get on to him he'd smile. He'd do that at home too and his expression was his biodad dead-out. He's pretty much stopped that, the smiling, but I think he's just become a better actor. I see so much of his biodad in him. The lying (biodad was a pathological liar) the using (pot for my son, liquor for biodad) the stealing (pawning stuff for our son, forging checks for biodad) the manipulation and the refusal to get a job. There are differences, certainly. My son is vastly more intelligent, but if anything more lazy, and hasn't had legal problems - I don't know that he would steal from anyone but us because he knows we won't press charges (or wouldn't - but he's been warned we will if it happens again) but it absolutely horrifies me how much he's like his father.

    I raised him. I gave him 1/2 his genes. You'd think he'd be a little like me. I think I've just figured out why I've been trying so hard to "fix" him, huh? I just want so badly to stop him from going down that same road.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    And you are afraid he will punish you by cutting you out of his life. I think. A gut reaction/thought while reading.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Isn't that heredity thing scary?

    I know what you mean. I'm so sorry you are hurting.
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Of course I don't want to be cut out of his life...but I'm much more afraid of him following down his biodad's path. Worse, he doesn't even know he's behaving just like him. All he ever knew was he had a drinking problem and that he died when he was 7. When he was really little, like 5 or 6, he asked if it was his fault his daddly left. I told him NO; and something like, that when a man grows up and gets married and has babies they have to work and help pay bills and take care of the family, and for some reason, although his his daddy loved him, he just wasn't ever able to grow up and do that. He died when my son was so young and I never, ever, bad-mouthed him. At worst, I said that he had many good qualities, but that working and providing for his family wasn't one of them. I told him when he was about 9 and he was talking about him that if he ever wanted to know more about his father he could ask and if he did I would be truthful, but he needed to be sure he wanted to know, because he might not always like the answers. He never asked. In fact, he pretty much never mentioned him again. He only learned how he died last year and even then I down-played it, as much as one can a suicide in jail. I didn't see any reason to paint him as a bad person who didn't love his son enough to straighten his life out and stick around. I work in family law. I see that all the time and I detest people who do that to their kids. My son has no actual memories of him. He said, when he asked how he died last year, that he remembers playing Spiro the Dragon while this blond guy was sitting by him drinking a beer. But that isn't a real memory...he never had Playstation games until he was older than 5. I was always sure I'd done the right thing. My husband adopted him shortly before biodad died. We had a happy life. I don't see what good that would have done. But now I just see so much of his father in him and that is what really frightens me.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  14. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    When I read your letter - it seemed like a letter I could have written to my difficult child. Such total disregard for anyone else they have - the panicky phone call because he NEEDS cigs - like it's somehow your responsibility to provide them! Ha! It's good you didn't send it because he probably would not have even read it and then somehow got satisfaction out of not reading it - like you're the fool. It's crazy how they think. I understand 100% where you're coming from and I feel for you. People that comment that somehow its your fault that he is the way he is do not understand what it's like dealing with a young addict who has underlying MH issues. They can walk 10 miles in your shoes before they make such assessments. Drugs cloud them and until the drugs clear and embrace recovery - they cannot function normally. Unfortunately, it's those trying to help them that take the brunt. I am currently trying to decide what to do with my difficult child who is nearing the end of yet another program. He of course wants to come home - but it's everything I read in your letter that makes me question if that's actually possible.

    Take care of yourself - detach - find a support group - read Beautiful Boy
  15. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I really loved your letter. It was very logical (that's right, you mentioned you were a lawyer!) All the facts were laid out. It wasn't mean, or belittling. Why do you think you shouldn't send it? Do you think it was too long?

    It's going to be a long road. Get yourself to a support group ( I go to Families Anonymous) and a therapist, especially a MSW, can help you set boundaries and give you the tools to deal with your son in ways that will not enable him.
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lil so much of what you say is just like my story. I may have told you this, my husband is a lawyer. We adopted our daughter and she is so much like her birthmother it's frightening. She has never met her birthmother and knows very little about her but I swear it is as if she mirrored her in every way, down to getting all these tattoos (we have no tattoos in our family so it is not something she grew up with here.) She followed in her same footsteps even though we did everything in our power to guide her in a different way. I was terrified as she was growing up that that would happen. We did the best we could in holding her responsible for her actions and trying to be as supportive as we could while not enabling her. She did go through a time where she lived with drug addicts, worked in a strip club and almost moved in with a guy who punched her in the stomach and told her she was his now!!!! I had to have my lawyer husband explain to him that he was commiting a crime and he best tell us where she was before we called the police.

    So I understand your fear and I have come to understand that nature trumps nurture in every way. But don't think that what you are doing is in vain. My daughter now realizes all the stupid things she did in her late teens and wishes she could do them over. She no longer hates us and says she now understands why we did what we did. We never talked bad about her birthmother either but we were honest at one point and told her that she had a substance abuse problem because she asked. My fear was always that she would think she had to be one also in order to feel connected to her.

    Hopefully your son will get through these very rough years and come to appreicate the family that loves him so much.

    In a Daze...I love families anonymous too!
  17. 3boyzmom

    3boyzmom New Member

    I was in the same boat only a year ago. I kept trying to get my son to be responsible but he would buckle down for awhile then relapse. He is now in jail and looking at 3 plus years for criminal mischief, eluding, failure to maintain control (he wrecked a second car). I too kept helping him out with cigarettes, then a deposit for his apartment, groceries, etc. You really need to kick him out, let him find a way to survive, and pray. As long as there is a safety net your son won't figure it out. It will be the hardest on you, and I wish you the best.