My heart is breaking ... have to call police


Well-Known Member
This will probably be an actual arrest, at school. Not sure. I'm on hold.

Difficult Child took our credit card yesterday and charged $11.42 at a local convenience store. Not worth making a report? Getting him arrested for some iced tea and chips? Well, according to our lawyer, we can go through the motions and then drop the charges, but this way, we get him into treatment. Or into Job Corps. Not to mention, get his attention and teach him that continuing to use our credit cards is unethical, illegal, and just plain wrong. He just doesn't "get it."
My heart is racing. But I have to do this.
Wish me luck.
Help me stay calm and to keep Difficult Child properly medicated where ever he ends up.
This is not the kind of parenting I signed up for.


Well-Known Member
Argh. The dispatcher said it takes a couple of days and to call back if I don't hear anything. She gave me a report number. WTH? Our atty said not to press charges and to let the police do it by themselves. The dispatcher just called back and gave me the magistrate's number in case I wanted to press charges. I am so confused. I have to call our lawyer back. I mean, what good does it do to not press charges when it's our card? We're already emotionally involved.
I'll just ask him. Meanwhile. Difficult Child doesn't know a thing about this. For now.


Well-Known Member
This is not the kind of parenting I signed up for.

Terry, None of us signed up for this kind of parenting. It totally sux when we realize exactly what we are dealing with. It helps to go into " If he was not my child, I would have no problem calling the police for stealing my credit card." mode. This is not who you raised. This is who he is choosing to be. That does not mean that he will always be this way. He is young and he may get the "message" that this kind of life is not worth the consequences.

Enough about him. Sending your broken heart many gentle hugs. You are absolutely doing the right thing.


Well-Known Member
Okay. Atty called back. Said to press charges, but make sure that it is handled in domestic and juvenile court. Because we are his parents, it gives us more control over which court and how the system handles it.
But I have to go there in person. And it's a half hr away. I have to check on Cousin P, and pick up my dog, who had his stitches repaired today.
I guess there's no rush to do the inevitable. I just feel like there's a huge weight in my chest. :(
And I'm not thinking clearly because I didn't get to sleep until about 2 last night. Not sure why. This morning when I went to take the dog to the vet, I got halfway there and realized that there was a white sheet in the backseat but I'd forgotten the dog! Had to go home and get him. I am losing my mind.


Well-Known Member
Terry, The longer you put it off the greater likelihood you will go into rescuing mommy mode. He really needs to feel the legal consequences of stealing a credit card. He will try to justify his actions, " Gee mom it was only a few bucks,
and it's not like I stole it. I just borrowed it."


Well-Known Member
Oh, I know. But he also knows that I have closed numerous credit card accounts after having asked him about various unknown pizza purchases and iTune purchases, and having talked about fraud. So he knows, on some level. I'm just taking a deep breath.
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Well-Known Member
Oh Terry I am SO sorry! I know you are doing the right thing. We told our son if anything went missing in our house after he came back, we'd call the police. In the end, we didn't, just put him out of our home. #1, because it was cash and cash is virtually impossible to prove. Had it been a credit card or check? I don't know, because #2, I simply couldn't face it.

I remember how completely sick I was. I wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy.


Well-Known Member
Keep breathing. You are doing the right thing..... the thing is with this kind of behavior he will get in trouble sooner or later.... and although he wont appreciate it now he is much better off having you be the one to call him on this.... then having a stranger bring chargers because they would have absolutely no sympathy or heartstrings.

Calamity Jane

Well-Known Member
Terry, we all sympathize with everything you're going through. You've hung in this far, hang tough a bit longer.

When our difficult child was right in the thick of his problems, I was always running around on no sleep and I actually drove up my driveway into my closed garage door! My mind was somewhere else. It was hell on earth. You're not alone.


Well-Known Member
Im sorry Terry. Unfortunately you have run yourself ragged trying to help your son. I get that he has mental disabilities that make it difficult for him but that shouldn't give him a free pass for the rest of his life. He isn't doing the school thing well, he isn't doing the dad thing well, he is definitely not doing the son thing well. He needs change and it needs to come from someone other than you. Let the courts do it.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hang in there Terry!! I had to call the police on my son more than a few times. It's something you have to do.
There is no guarantee that this will straighten him out but it's part of the process you have to go through.
Yes, it's easy to "blow it off" because it was just a bag of chips and an iced tea but it shouldn't be blown off. Stealing is wrong, there is no sugar coating it.
You will get through this Terry. We are all here supporting you.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Terry, you are doing well.

Stop it now, before it becomes a bigger habit. With our Difficult Child we had to lock our bags/wallet in our cars. How preposterous! The mere thought of having to do this should of triggered our detachment, but we couldn't see the forest for the trees.
Set your boundaries now, put your foot down, demand decency and respect.
If not, before you know it you may end up like me and awaken from a 20 odd year nightmare of desperately trying to help my adult child while she would not help herself, subsequently ravaged our hearts, minds, health, finances and peace at home.
Please save yourself that heartache and time lost, set boundaries and draw the line loudly and clearly. Your son may end up thanking you for it later, if not, he will at least know you will not put up with any disrespect or nonsense!



Crazy Cat Lady
Terry, this is a logical progression of behaviors that have been going on for years. The actions you have taken so far to stop them have not been successful.

I say press charges and unlike your lawyer, I say do NOT drop them. Nothing you have done has made a difference; perhaps the consequences meted out by the legal system will make a difference.

I realize this is hard and heartbreaking for you and your husband, but I think this is a last ditch situation: an action that may be your last chance to save your son.

He has progressed well beyond breaking into his sister's room to use her computer, and stealing back the TV cord, hasn't he?

I wish with all my heart that things hadn't come to this turn, but I think this is your last hope of breaking this cycle before he finds other victims outside the family, at least as regards theft.

A dad

Active Member
I have a strong feeling that Terry will get a huge deception about the justice system. In my country if I do this they will not accept my complaint but will yell at me for wasting their time. Or they will fill a report and do nothing about it.
I still do not understand how the justice system works in USA do you not have to prove that he stole the credit card and did not gave it to him without your word against him? I saw those kind of posts and I always thought it was silly as in my country the prosecutor never wants to prosecute such a case and the police really does not investigate such a thing sometimes they give you a fine for wasting their time.
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Well-Known Member
Terry, so sorry this is happening. As you know I have been in your shoes many times. My advice after all these years is to contact the bank and press forgery charges through them. I know 12 bucks seems like chump change but catch this now before you end up like us and your son steals thousands. Good luck


Well-Known Member
Hi all,
Dad, first of all, they will not yell at us or fine us. They understand why we are doing it.
Second of all, yes, it will probably end up being dropped because it's too hard to prove (the magistrate already told me that, unless I can get a copy of the store's tapes, and I told her that I'd tried that last time and they got on my case as though I were the criminal! She nodded knowingly. I guess this particular store is known by many ... She said that the detective assigned to the case would seek out the tapes.) I suspect that if this is like other stores, if the purchase is under $20, you can just slide the credit card through the machine and not have to sign anything. It's not worth it to the store to prosecute.
It will take a few days for the paperwork to go through.
I am not saying anything to Difficult Child until the you-know-what hits the fan. I don't know if an officer will go to his school or home. I'd prefer school so that Difficult Child gets shamed.
It's out of my hands though.

Calamity Jane! OMG now I see how you earned your name. I felt badly because I went to the bank to make a deposit and couldn't find the check to deposit. I found it today, right where it was supposed to be. Ugh. Stress.