Need some advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by GB_42_XYZ, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. GB_42_XYZ

    GB_42_XYZ Member

    I've posted a few times a number ago regarding my difficult child. He's 20 years old now and still occasionally acts like a 10 year old. Still in the drug scene. Pot, prescriptions, heroin, whatever he can get. He's the only child left in the house. He is a walking nightmare. When things aren't going his way or when he's confronted he becomes extremely angry and belligerent. He can be violent. Fortunately for us since he's gotten older he has taken to just leaving. He's punched holes in walls and broke things, stole and my wife's and my things.
    He was recently in a car accident and broke his hip. He was in the hospital for a week. Now he's stuck here with us. I confronted him this morning regarding something I just realized was missing and he had a meltdown. He actually said something like "when I get better you @&@&* will be running around scared of me again". We have called to police on him in the past(not nearly as much as I would have like). My wife try to avoid it.
    I've decided that when he gets well he will be leaving. The problem is my wife is not on board. I would be willing to fund an apartment for him or something just to get him away from me.

    I'm not sure if we can make it until then. Are there any other options? It's been 2 weeks since the accident. He can't walk.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Hi, there. I am soooooooooooo sorry and, believe it or not, MANY of us have been in your shoes. You would probably do better posting in Parent Emeritus where we are parents of adult children who are not so different from yours. This forum is for kids who are not yet eighteen and it's different.

    In Parent Emeritus some of us are downright scared of our grown kids. Some have been assaulted. Most are drug addicts or were. And most do not live at home anymore because we finally threw them out for our sanity and protection.

    My first words are that none of this is your fault. Your son is like he is because he's like he is. He chooses to be a jerk, like most of our grown adult kids. Yes, we love them, but we can not live with them and some of us can't even have much of a relationship with them. You should never ever allow a violent person, no matter who it is, to live with you. He doesn't have to recover in your home. If he didn't have you, he'd have to find somewhere else to recover. If he's going to try to scare and intimidate you, I would tell him he will have to recover somewehre else, maybe getting help from a visiting nurse. Where will he go? That is up to him to find somewhere. Our kids, especially those using drugs, tend to find places to couch surf and get money, even if they have to learn how to panhandle. I would cut out the free bank to him now. He is certainly not deserving of your money and support and he is of age when he can get a job, even if it's cleaning toilets, and take care of his own needs. If necessary, he can try to collect welfare and Medicaid and food stamps.

    The hardest thing most of us moms have had to figure out is that we can not CAN NOT change anybody but ourselves. That includes our grown kids. They have to want to change and do all the hard work themselves. They rarely do that in our comfy homes. They need motivation. If your son threatens you, I would call 911 right away. And right now, I would tell him that as soon as he is able to walk, he is being evicted. Check your state laws regarding this. You will probably have to change the locks. Has he stolen from you? Hit you? Hit his siblings? Been in jail? Threatened to kill himself in a manner which will make you scared so that you do what he wants? Tell you how his behavior is all your fault because you did this or that when he was five years old? Don't buy into their common and familiar little "my wrong is because of YOU." Don't let him guilt you. He is 20 years old and he is responsible for every wrong turn he takes. And you can't MAKE him do anything that he doesn't want to do. There is no excuse for his behavior.

    This is not an easy journey, although it's more common than you probably think. I'm going to clue in the great women and men at Parent Emeritus that you are here a nd I hope they can state it better than I can. You will never be alone or misunderstood again if you post here. by the way, you and your wife need counseling together and if she insists that your violent son live with her, then you may have to consider drastic options, such as moving out. It is not good for you, your wife or even your ill son to enable his terrible and criminal behavior. You can not control your wife, but you can control with your own reaction to what you want to do with the rest of your life. Do you want to live with your son and let him destroy you?

    You have some hard decisions to make, but we will try to help you.

    So sorry for your hurting parent heart.
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Pinned to the top of the Parent Emeritus site, here on Conduct Disorders, is an excellent article about developing the skillset we call "detachment".

    Please go there and read that.

    There is a theory, here on the site, that helping our difficult child kids is not like helping a normal child. When we help our difficult child kids, they get worse. The rest of the theory is that we help them best by letting them find bottom. Kindness and understanding encourage manipulation and terror tactics in a difficult child child. The skillset called detachment, which I referenced at the beginning of this post, will sometimes shock a difficult child child into turning himself around.

    Whether it turns the child around or not, the practice of detaching frees us.

    Please don't think you are the only parents this is happening to.

    Whether it is the prevalence of drug use these days, or for some other reason, there are many families going through this same, horrible process. The pain and frustration, the anger, the cost in money and in fear that a difficult child child brings into our lives is very hard on marriages.

    It's hard on careers, too.

    It's hard on bank accounts, and it's hard on self esteem. There is so much guilt, so many questions about what we've done wrong and how we might pull everything back together for our troubled kids. There is shame, so much shame.

    My thought regarding your son and his current mindset: Call your Social Services department. It will be in the blue, government pages of your phone book. Ask to speak to a social worker, or to have someone call you back. When they ask for your name, you may say you don't wish to give it, and they will respect that. Explain the basics of what is happening ~ the threats, the drug use, the way your wife feels. Short and sweet, if you can do it. Ask what your options are, relative to a social services placement for a twenty year old male you are afraid to have in your home and cannot afford to place, elsewhere. If your son is going to need physical therapy for his hip as it heals anyway, you might ask about a rehab placement for him. These are nursing home kinds of settings where physical therapy is available. People of any age who need physical therapy or nursing care can be admitted there...especially if they have nowhere to go while they heal.

    Information is always good. You don't need to act on anything. But knowing you have options will give you strength and courage and hope.

    Then, call 211. If your area does not have that service, look up United Way online. They will have a local number for your area. This is a source of information, of references and support. Again, you can be anonymous.

    Like most abusers, your difficult child is used to holding all the power. You and your wife love him. You see the little boy you raised beneath the nastiness and so, you aren't taking him seriously. Your difficult child is verbally and emotionally abusing you both. He is triangulating your relationship to your wife (and hers to you). He is humiliating you both, and threatening a vengeance which, given his past, is very likely to happen.

    There should be a consequence for that. Otherwise, it will continue to happen. Midwest Mom has posted to you that many parents here on the site have been physically attacked by their grown children. Many have been hospitalized, one with a bleed into her brain...and she took her child back, too.

    We love them.

    We are their mothers (and fathers), and we love them.

    But we have to face what is happening, decide how to deal with it, and change our situations. As you read here on the site, you will recognize your wife and yourself in our stories.

    You will see your son so clearly through the posts we make regarding our own difficult child kids.

    Substance Abuse and Parent Emeritus will be most helpful to you.

    You are here, now. I am so glad you found us. As you read along, as you post to us and receive response, you will begin to feel stronger, less alone with what has happened to your boy, and to your family.

    I am so sorry this is happening, to you and to your family.

  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    GB---great words from RE and Cedar. One thing I would like to suggest regarding your wife---It's been said that the moms/sons dynamic is the hardest to break, even harder than moms/daughters and dads/sons/daughters.

    I don't know if this is true or not, but someone who has lots of experience with families and drug addiction said that to me one time.

    So his mother is going to probably have a much harder time than you will doing what needs to be done.

    I was still helping my son after his dad (my ex husband) completely stopped. I am working hard, hard, hard to completely stopped. I have nearly stopped (like a train slowly starting or stopping, that's my speed right now---barely moving). I am working on completely stopping.

    Some thoughts for you and your wife:

    1. Ask her to spend some significant time reading Substance Abuse and Parents Emeritus on this site. It is pretty compelling reading so maybe she will be open to it. She will hear these types of truths---we have to stop---we have to stay out of the way---we have to quit enabling---we have to detach----we still love them---over and over and over again. In a million different shapes and sizes.

    2. Ask her to read the article on detachment Cedar talks about---it is excellent for all people, places and things---not just our difficult children.

    3. Make an appointment for the two of you---if she will go, with a professional counselor who specializes/has knowledge of addiction. Addiction is a baffling, puzzling, sneaky disease and it hides behind other things and jumps out to surprise you and scare you to death when you least expect it. The counselor needs to know about addiction and enabling and detachment.

    If you and your wife can get on the same page, even if the degrees are different, your son will be much better off.

    Eventually---we don't know when.

    Keep coming back. We are here to help you and your wife. We understand how how it is to accept that our precious precious children who we nurtured and protected and loved---and still do---have turned into monsters that we cannot stand to be around and that we don't respect at all for their attitudes and their behavior. But we still love THEM, and in our love, we keep on and on and on and on and on, way past the point of sanity, because we believe we are supposed to and we are scared to death and we just want them to be okay.

    We don't know how to stop. We have to learn how to stop and that takes a lot of time and hard work, especially for moms.

    Blessings, prayers and peace for you, your wife and your precious son today.
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    So sorry that this is happening to you, your wife, your family. I agree with the others that anyone being violent or threatening you in your home has to go... (OK gotta break to give myself a hypocrite call here the kid who put me in a neck brace 10 years ago Angel still lives here) ... call social services to see about a nursing home there has to be a place for him to be besides your house and in his condition he is going to need care. If find a place let them know to find something besides your house for his aftercare when discharged.

    I gotta hand it to your son though of all the "props" I've seen our kids use (to get us parents to do what we know is wrong but gets us to enable their GFGyness) a busted hip has got to be the most effective I've heard of yet! Even them showing up with hungry babies would come 2nd to that - in babies case you can take in the babies with-o difficult child or sic protective services on them so kids are looked after... but a busted hip what do you do with that?

    Been looking at my post for a few minutes thinking of what to delete? ... (sorry not enough sleep and too much coffee I'm rambling) guess just gonna send it as is along with hugs and support.

  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    welcome to the site, and please do move on over to Parents Emeritus, because you fit with us...the ones with adult children, the ones who are past high school, past their minority, past adolescence and IEPs and past our ability to make them do much of anything.

    You have been tolerating a lot from your son...probably more than you even know. And how he is treating you is wrong...inexcusable, inexplicable, intolerable, and wrong.

    It is not OK to steal things from you.

    It is not OK to behave in a violent manner, punching walls and breaking things.

    It is not OK to use illegal drugs.

    You don't say what his life situation he in school? Does he work? Does he live with you? If so does he pay rent, contribute to utilities and groceries? Does he have a car? Did he buy it and pay for it? How about his cell phone?

    I think I know the answers to these questions, but I'd still like to hear them.

    I am a mom too. I thought my ex husband was too hard on our son, set the lines too brightly. In fairness my ex was absent and inconsistent, and very clearly favored our other sons over our difficult child even before he was a difficult child (when he was little and cute and clueless instead of big and clueless and off). So in some ways I did have to push back, and defend our boy. But in other ways, GB...he was right and I was wrong.

    I was wrong and the teachers and therapists and tutors who said he was capable of more and was manipulating me....they were right. I just thought...they don't understand. They don't seee how helpless and afraid he is. They don't see how impaired he is, how no diagnosis fits him, how much he has to be helped, how little he understands..he doesn't GET that stealing from his brothers and parents is wrong. He doesn't GET stuff.

    Uh...Duh. That was wrong on my part.

    I feel for you and for your wife. But I can also see pretty clearly, and one thing I know is that whatever you have been doing with your son IS NOT WORKING. Not for him. Not for you. HOusing an angry threatening hostile drug using adult male thief is NOT WORKING for you. I am sure you have loved him, explained to him, disciplined him, forgiven him, role-modelled for him, sought outside help for him, tried versions of tough love and of complete acceptance, tolerated him, explained him away....and none of those have brought you to a good place. Think hard, GB. What has all that brought you? How will continuing on those lines help you or your son now?

    I agree with Child's suggestion that you ask your wife to read these pages (the parents emeritus ones, that is). The stories are so similar that at some point she may realize that your son is not the sad exception that only she can help or understand...he is a difficult child, like all of ours. A really bad person at this point in time. That how he IS is not OK. That she cannot love that away, or weep that away, or teach that away. At 20----only he can make it go away, and it doesn't even sound like he thinks it NEEDS to go fact he is annoyed that he is bedridden and therefore less intimidating to you...and he is threatening you even while you care for him!!!

    I know you know all this already.

    We are all really so so sad for you, and for your family.

    We are really glad you found us. It helps to not be alone.

  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GB welcome. I'm sorry you find yourself in the place you're in with your son. You've come to a wonderful place to get support. You've been given terrific advice. You can read that article on detachment the others have mentioned at the bottom of my post here. I think it would be a very good idea for your wife to read it as well. You and your wife getting on the same page will be your first line of defense. I also agree wholeheartedly that she should join us here in this conversation so she can begin to understand the negative ramifications in enabling your son.

    I believe you are correct in removing your son from your home ASAP. You are being held hostage by his behavior. You are in relationship with drugs not your son. You cannot trust drugs, you have to protect yourselves. Check on the eviction laws in your state. In some states you have to go about eviction through the courts. Find that out. Look into restraining orders next. Get one. Get a list of all of the shelters in town. Once you get all the details worked out, the date, the restraining order, you can usually have a Sheriff escort him out. You cannot live in fear in your own home with a violent person, that is not an option. Your wife needs to get on board with that BEFORE something happens which puts you in peril.

    Stop giving him any money. I would not get him an apartment. Stop all support. You are supporting a violent addict who intends to do you harm...............think about that for a minute...............get yourself and your wife some help, some professional help to get you both on the same page and get you both to see the reality of the situation you are in. When we are stuck in a place for a long time we become used to it, we get must pop out of that and recognize the truth of who your son has become. Most of us need professional counseling to be able to see our children for who they have turned out to be when who they turned out to be is someone we are afraid of and who is an addict, a thief, a liar, a manipulator, an abuser..........someone we wouldn't want to even know if they weren't our own child. Get help and get it quickly because you are in a dangerous situation which needs to be remedied NOW.

    I'm glad you are here. Keep posting, it helps. Act immediately for your own protection.
  8. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Don't get him an apartment, then he will have no reason to behave any differently. His behavior will not change, he has no reason in the world to change, he loves treating you like this, it's fun and rewarding to him. It's extra fun seeing you upset. You and your wife have to take action to remove him from your life, not forever, but for a long enough time for him to get himself together. This will go on for years unless you do the hardest thing ever. We got a restraining order against our son, he stole, broke things, are most likely living our story. He will be on the street, maybe he stays with a friend, gets a job, comes to a realization on his own that he has to man up and take responsibility for himself because NO ONE else will. Ok? And then don't do anything for him. And that means anything. Let him see for himself, our kids here have to learn the hard way. They have to learn by seeing what they don't want in life. I mean, some learn they don't want to go to jail by actually going to jail first. Your son can see how rough life is by having to experience it from the ground up. Right now, in your house, he's on third base and thinks he hit a triple. He didn't earn the privilege.
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well said upallnight........