My 20 yr.old son is giving up


My son is only 20, he's been smoking pot since he was 16 yrs.old. Within the last 2 weeks my husband ( his step-dad ) kicked him out of our house. My son now has 2 pending arrest in 2 separate counties. He was arrested in one county, had a small hearing with the town court which that judge gave him an A.R.D. form to take for his trial with the county judge, this meant my son basically had a free pass to only be on probation. Well...he screwed it up by getting arrested about a week ago in a different county. He went to that hearing which was postponed. My husband and I checked online and there is a warrant for his arrest. My son was basically "out on bail" when arrested twice. My son has been living house to house I found out yesterday that most nights he has to stay on a couch that is as dirty as you can imagine. He said it was a couch that girls get paid to have sex with guys you can imagine. I'm only being descriptive so you can understand the depth of what I'm going through as a mom and what my son is choosing to do to himself. Sometime last week he said to me "whatever happens happens mom". He honestly doesn't care if he goes to jail. I think he wants to go there. Does anyone else have a son who feels this way? My son says he's not happy with his life. I keep telling him I love him but he has failed to follow the rules of the house, staying out all night, getting high...etc.. There is a way he can get help though.While awaiting for the police to come get him.. He could try to get into a recovery house so that when he does stand before the judge he can at least look like he was trying to get help. My son won't listen, he has given up. Of course my husband doesn't care, he's just glad my son doesn't live in our house ...or as he likes to put it "His House" . Is there ever a time that jail is the best thing? I'm going out of my mind with this. I will add that we are Christians and I know that Jesus has his hand upon this whole situation so is it okay for me to let go of trying to get in the way of what God might be trying to do? I feel so sad, My husband sleeps on the couch as I cry myself to sleep at night over my son. comes that all time favorite that I hear parents ask themselves... "Where did I go wrong"
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You probably gave your son all the love in the world. It was his decisions that are making things worse for him. Most of us have reasonable house rules: Clean up your room, help a little with chores, no illegal activities, get a job or go to school, be a decent person and get along with the family. That's really not much or hard for most eighteen and older young adults. Most do it.

Now for a difficult child. For some reason, mental illness, drug abuse (usually both), personality disorders (very difficult to get help for), our difficult children have a private war against society and rules, ours and the world at large. They need help, but have an attitude about getting help and their main goal is to stay a child, make us feel bad, trick us into funding mostly their drug use (although they were guilt us out and say it's for food or clothes, etc.) and have no problem with lying. Then they act puzzled, at least to us, when they end up in serious trouble and want us to pay their way out of the trouble, but rarely do they learn from our kindness. And, yes, jail is good for some kids. They are able to think and are apart from their bad influences, although there are plenty of new bad influences in jail. However, the outcome is up to him. It doesn't seem as if he is very interested in obeying the rules, even though there is a warrant for his arrest. What can you do about it?
Not much. We've all tried to change our difficult children. Mine is 36. He was a problem from toddlerhood. He is still a problem. I am more able to deal with it and accept it now. I'm tired of it and tired of him when he is in a bad mood. You have a journey to walk and nobody knows where that journey will take you.

Your husband is rightfully very angry at your son who is breaking the law repeatedly. Why shouldn't he be angry? He knows your son can do better. Unless your son is cognitively disabled or physically handicapped, he CAN do better. And there is help out there for him. He is choosing to not do better. Suicide threats are common with difficult children. Sadly, none of us can be sure they won't do it, but I've been on this board for over a decade and don't recall any of the posters having had that happen, although difficult children use that all the time as the ultimate "do what I want you to do or else." It can be a form of controlling us, but my son stopped doing it because I started calling 911 whenever he did. It was the only thing I could do to help him if he was serious about it. I don't think he ever was serious about it though.

Likely your son is using more drugs than just pot.

I will leave you with my favorite bit of wisdom. Since you are a Christian, it should make a lot of sense to you, and, really, you've probably heard it before, but try to analyze it. It is wisdom in three lines.

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
the COURAGE to change the things I can,
and the WISDOM to know the diference.


one day at a time
I'm going out of my mind with this.

I know, Deborah. We all know on this board.

Those of us watching our adult children continually take drugs, seemingly oblivious to the destruction all around them, the destruction of themselves, their own lives, and affecting every other person in their life who comes in contact with them---family, friends, relatives, employers, will drive you out of your mind.

It is sitting and watching somebody you love self-destruct. Nobody can do that for long.

So, what we do, in the midst of our awful terrible horrible pain that never seems to end is this: we start taking action. We do anything and everything. We throw every resource we have at the situation. We beg, plead, cry, ground, argue, persuade, scream, write, talk, don't talk, prayed....should I go on? You know the list and I know the list, because we have done it all.

And then, one day, for some unknown reason, we wake up. It's like we are coming out of a long sleep. We look around and for some unknown reason, we start to really see what we are doing. We start to see the insanity of it.

That day comes, Deborah, when we are completely spent. When we are completely done. When we have exhausted everything we know, everything we have. We have done the same things, and new things, over and over again.

When we are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Nobody has infinite emotional, physical, financial, mental and spiritual resources. We are only human.

We love them so much, and that love carries our efforts on its back for years. We think: Surely, this time.

But this time doesn't come.

What are we to do?

When I hit that place, I crawled into the door of Al-Anon for the first time about 8 years ago. For the first few meetings, I didn't talk. I just sat there and cried the entire time. I just wanted them to tell me how to make it all stop. How to make my ex-husband stop drinking. I stayed for 18 months that time, and I began to get a little recovery. A little peace. A little serenity. A little joy back in my life.

But once we separated and then divorced, I didn't think I needed that anymore. So I stopped going.

About four years ago, my son's drug addiction became clear to me. I knew right where to go, and I immediately started going back to Al-Anon and I have been going ever since. That is one tool I used daily, among other tools, like this site.

I have worked hard for change, because, Deborah, I can't live like I used to anymore. I just can't do it. I just won't do it.

I love my precious son very much, but I am not going to give up my life for him. I decided that just some time back---more recently. My change has been inch by inch, day by day, little by little because it takes work, it takes time and it takes turning it all over again and again to God. I mean really turning it over. Of course I take it back, so many times, but He allows me, patiently, to return to Him again, to turn it back over. To try it again.

That is what our children will have to do, Deborah. They will have to have a spiritual awakening. And it will be inconsistent, and it will not look like success at times and it will be hard.

If they ever do.

That is their choice. That is only their choice, and it is only up to them.

In the meantime, we must find new ways of living. We have to learn how to cope with this type of pain, and living with uncertainty, and not knowing, and fear and suffering, and despair and hopelessness.

As we work on ourselves, learning how to do this, we will start to feel better. We will start to, for lack of a better word, be able to compartmentalize our son's situation, to set it "over here" while we live our lives "over there."

It can happen. Believe me, most of my days are good today. Jail is a gift for me. When he is in jail, I know at least he is somewhere with three meals, a roof and little, if any, access to drugs. Jail is a blessing.

He continues to make choices, Deborah. Until he makes different choices, and then gets honest, and humble and gets help and is ready to do the work, nothing is likely to change.

Until then, we can help each other, console each other, talk to each other, share with each other. We can use every tool at our disposal. We have to be ready, too. Hugs to you today.


Dear Midwest mom, Thank you so much for the boost that I really needed to hear. This is the first time I'm opening up about's been bottled up for sometime now. The police in the county that charged him with resiting arrest took him to the hospital for a blood test. Would that show if there was any other substance besides marijuana in his system? and how can I find out the results? he is over 20 now. I will add that the police took him to the side and beat him up a bit. I took some pictures when he got home but of course it's his word against theirs.
But concerning behavior patterns he changes when he is high...not sure if only weed does this or not but when he is smoking pot he has a very "carefree" attitude. When I try to talk to him I don't think he hears me, he smiles alot and tries not to make contact. I guess thinking he has be fooled. Then other times when he is not high he gets real smart with me. He's cranky, talks back, tells me he hates my voice and can I go away. He works part time and when he is late he says it's my fault because I keep nagging on him. Then...there are times when he is as sweet and kind as can be.I like to think this is the real him. I think this is when he feels bad for mistreating me, will hug me and hold his 2 year old sister who absolutely adores him. My son is a natural born comedian...always has been. At the same time when he walks around angry I do get afraid to talk to him...there really is no point anyway. The ONLY time I can really talk sense to him is when is he calm, this is the naturally kind son of mine. Not this angry kid, or kid that ignores me...I hate when he is like this. but is this any sign that it is more than just marijuana?


Dear Childofmine,thank you as well for replying to my dilemma, I can now feel that if he does go to jail as you say it will be a place where I know where he is, having as you say 3 meals a day etc. he even said to me "well at least I'll get 3 meals a day". knowing darn well that while at home he could have the same thing. My husband (his step dad ) won't give him any more chances though. Said he must deal with the consequences for his actions. I even had a police officer when he got into some trouble with pot (when in High school) tell me that I can't continue to take the blame for my sons actions. That cop could hear it in my voice from only a few minutes on the phone with him.


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No one can understand why our children make the choices they do. My daughter stayed in some pretty unimaginable places including bug infested porches. I have had to pick her up and drop her off at these places because I just couldn't enable her. I knew if she continued to live here and be a meth addict, I would find her dead. We went through years of torture. I tried everything. I kept thinking there was something I could say to her to make that lightbulb go off. Ha - I never had that kind of power.

I can tell you today that my daughter has been clean over a year and has absolutely, positively NO wishes to go back to that life. She is a loving mommy to my beautiful, precious gift from God of a grandson who I love more than I ever thought I could. I can also tell you that it was nothing I did that made her change (all I did was call the courts once she was arrested for a small charge and told them she was a pregnant meth addict - they took it from there and drug tested her. She tested positive and went directly to jail. The judge ordered her to stay in custody until after she gave birth.) She delivered while in custody. She was then taken from her baby in the hospital back to jail in shackles. THAT changed her completely. She remained in jail for another week and on a phone call told me she was completely DONE with drugs. I had heard it a million times before, but this time, I knew it was true.

She is very open with me. She tells me she never quit drugs because quite frankly, she didn't want to. Once she wanted nothing to do with it, she had nothing to do with it. WE are powerless.

Many hugs to you - we all know how you are feeling. We have all been there...this board has been my savior for many years and the reason why I still come back here even though my daughter is no longer a difficult child. <3
I will be praying for you and your family. I am a Christian too. My son is 20 and has been using marijuana since about age 17. That "giving up" may just be the ambivelent attitude that is causes. Course, my son also says he has depression and that's why he started all this. He has in the past done all kinds of drugs and I think he is doing more now again, not just the weed. We kicked him out. As much as we hated it, we have a much more peaceful life.
PS Actually, if he is telling the truth, it started with drinking. I have read a lot about drugs. People that use drugs, a lot of times, lack coping skills.


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The actual starter drug is often cigarettes.
Alcohol/pot usually starts next.
Then sometimes after they get past that stage, often they don't even know what they are taking.
My daughter would take pills and not know for sure what she was taking.

I am reading a book about a homeless teen on drugs and it really shows how they probably all manage to survive and why they get into so much trouble. For example, this kid ended up in jail because he thought the cops were being unfair and he started yelling at them and wouldn't stop. So they took him in and he did not have the money to make jail. All I could think of while reading that was, "My son has the mouth to do something stupid like that in the same situation."

This is written BY the difficult child and I haven't finished it yet, but I can't seem to put it down. I'll try to post the link to the book if anyone is interested. His behavior so mirrors our own adult kids!!!! And you get to know what he's thinking in his me, it isn't what "normal" teenage kids think.


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PS Actually, if he is telling the truth, it started with drinking. I have read a lot about drugs. People that use drugs, a lot of times, lack coping skills.
While this is true, they don't have to turn to drugs because of this. There is much help out there, which most of us would happy to pay for, to help them learn how to cope. Not everyone with poor coping skills uses drugs.

Do not make excuses for your son's behavior or you will not be able to help him by detaching and letting him learn life's lessons on his own. He needs to learn to live without your taking care of can not live forever, for one thing. Any problems he has can not be helped anymore until he stops using drugs. The drugs become the #1 problem our drug using kids deal with. Everything else can be dealt with after they are sober.