New and need to vent

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LJFromOz, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    That sounds familiar. Basically he blew you off. That's what Ben always did. "Yeah, ok. sure mom. I am trying. I am applying. No one is hiring." I knew they were hiring. I'm not sure what he was doing when he wasn't here. I would follow him to the gas stations, (not give him money) so that he has gas to go put in physical applications. I found out later his dad was giving him gas cards too, I sure he was using those for snacks and gas. just blowing them.
    Good luck. I am glad it doesn't seem to be affecting the other kids. I wish I had advice or help for you. The only thing I can say is..MAKE sure anything he can steal and sell is locked up. don't leave any money or monetary value laying around. it will disappears and he will know nothing about it. He will try to make you think you are nuts that you left it there.
  2. RN0441

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

    Welcome. It sounds like you have gotten great support and advice already.

    I'll just add my two cents.

    Are you sure your son isn't using other drugs besides MJ and alcohol? The uncleanliness of himself and his surroundings and removing himself from family make me think there are more drugs involved. Been there. Done that.

    Have you ever drug tested him? I never did that when my son was using because I KNEW he was using more than the above but I think you should. As many say here, usually what we see/know is the tip of the iceberg. You need to know this.

    I had a friend that buried her head in the sand with her son and he is now a full blown heroin user. She let him hole up in his room for months on end and didn't deal with it - this was right when I was dealing with our son. She didn't get where I was coming from and thought her situation was "different". I don't want to scare you but this sometimes happens and things can escalate. My son was a pill abuser but thankfully was afraid of needles. It started with MJ. We also have a very happy home and good marriage. He has two older brothers that are successful. Good role models. I stayed home when he was little, fancy vacations, etc. It doesn't matter.

    I would highly recommend that you get into therapy for your own sanity. Whether it's drug use or depression or whatever it is. It is not a quick fix and it can tear apart your family, your marriage and YOU.

    I also prayed a lot. If this is something that you believe in, I highly recommend it for your own peace.

    Keep posting; it helps.
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  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    The part time job he has pays for all he thinks he needs or wants. He's content with this life. If life was uncomfortable, such as having to make it on his own, he might or might not be motivated to improve himself. Or, maybe he doubts his abilities to learn and succeed at a new job and is afraid of falling on his face. He knows his brothers have been more successful and feels inferior. The drugs are probably blocking those unpleasant feelings out.
  4. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    Hi everyone. It's morning here and I'm about to host a meeting so no time to reply to each of you individually right now, but I will later in the day. I just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the replies. Every contribution to this thread has been so helpful. I'll be back later in the day - when you're all sleeping no doubt!
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi OZ, thank you for sharing and reaching out to us. I'm glad you are here.
    We by no means have all the answers but what we do have is years of experience in dealing with a difficult adult child.
    I'm glad your story was so detailed, it helps us to get a good picture of what's going on.
    There is no rhyme or reason as to why our kids choose to go off on a path of dysfunction. Please know that it's nothing you did or didn't do. Our adult children would rather place blame on us for their lives being a mess rather than own the responsibility of their poor choices.
    I think you and your husband have been extremely patient with your son and have offered him good advice.
    For some, smoking pot can ease their anxiety while for others it can bring on depression. It's too bad that he's not willing to continue seeing a therapist. Is it possible he's using more than just pot?
    I don't know how it works in Australia but here in the USA if someone talks about harming themselves you can call 911 (emergency) and report it and they will send someone to pick the person up and take them to the hospital where they can be held for 72 hours and evaluated.
    I think all threats of suicide need to be taken seriously but I also know that many difficult adult children will use the "threat" to get what they want. They will use our fear of them dying to manipulate us into giving in to their demands.
    I'm glad that you and your husband have a plan. The best advice I can offer is to make sure you have very clear boundaries about what you will and will not accept in your home. You also need to have a very clear consequence. You have to follow through with whatever it is you tell him. If you tell him he has six months to find another place to live, you need to actually have a date. Be clear about what will happen if that date comes and he is not out.
    I would also suggest one of the conditions of him living in your home is that he has to see a therapist.

    This is not an easy journey. I know you love your son but please don't become so consumed with his issues that your other two sons do not get the attention they need.

    Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
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  6. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    Hi all! It's morning here again and I finally have a chance to respond to all these messages. I think I'll start by clarifying a few details. I think my long rambling post might have not been clear on the current situation.

    Difficult Child is currently seeing a therapist (he went back to therapy upon his return home after being kicked out by his housemate) and is medicated, however he is not great at sticking to his prescribed medication protocol. He mainly takes it, although sometimes forgets. He isn't great at taking it the same time each day and he is also smoking weed and drinking, which is obviously less than ideal.

    He is managing to hold down a part time job (just!) and pays us a small amount of board each week, which (unbeknown to him) we are putting away in a separate account for him. He is managing to pay all his own bills at the moment - car, health insurance etc. (The health insurance system is different here in Australia.) He has never stolen from us or damaged any of our property.

    One of the things I didn't detail in my original post is our holiday. In March my husband and I are taking our Youngest Son to Europe for two months. Middle Son will be away at university then and Difficult Child will be left in the house by himself. I'm conflicted about this, because I worry that without us here he may sink deeper into depression but I need to put YS's needs first at this point. I'm slightly worried about him having his friends around and them all smoking dope here, however I think that is a risk we will have to take. We have a safe and will lock all valuables in there just in case. He has had his friends in the house while we've been away before and there has never been an incident - no theft or property damage. The friends he has now seem to be fairly high functioning - employed and mentally stable - but they like to drink and smoke dope on weekends. He has fallen out with the group of friends who were big dope users (I don't know why but something happened between them and he hasn't had contact with them for over two months.) I was much more concerned about those friends, but hopefully they are not in the picture any more. I'm not prepared to force Difficult Child out before we go away because I would be worried sick about him the whole time we were gone. Of course I will worry anyway, but at least I will know he has a roof over his head.

    So I hear what all of you are saying about hard boundaries and I agree. My husband and I have come up with a list of things that he must do (or not do) while we are away and have told him that if these rules are broken then he will have to move out upon our return. The list contains things like look after our dog (this I'm confident he will do because he loves the dog, but I have organized welfare checks on her from a friend to be sure she's okay); have the house clean when we return; mow the lawn; and absolutely no smoking or drugs of any type to be consumed on our property. I have organized for my brother and another friend to drop in at random times to check all is well. Of course we will have no way of knowing if he's adhered to these rules until we arrive home, but I'm not sure what else I can do.

    Re moving out our boundaries are as follows - he has until we move into the new house to prove he is looking for extra work or taking steps to improve his chances by doing further study (which he must pay for himself.) If he makes no effort to do this he will have to move out when we move. However if he is doing all the right things he can stay until the end of the year. this gives him six months after we move to find alternative accommodation. I know this is a long lead time, but I want to give him a chance for this to work. We will stick to our plan though. My husband is committed to the plan and I think he'll help me to stick to it.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Re your trip. A bit concerning. The welfare checks are a great idea. I would lock up valuables. Perhaps Lock your master room door; in a major way. Perhaps get a safe deposit box at the bank for major valuables. The more welfare checks , the better. It sounds a little concerning. Love the idea of boundaries. I too like the idea of drug check/ screening.
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  8. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    Crayola, I completely agree with this. We have made his life too comfortable by far. And you are spot on about his inferiority complex. He has very low self-esteem, but at the same time he never fully takes responsibility for his actions/problems. It's always someone else's fault.

    Both his brothers have been in the Gifted and Talented program at their school. Difficult Child was at the other end of the spectrum academically. My husband and I bent over backwards to try to make him feel okay about this. We've always stressed to all three boys that effort was the most important thing to us and that everyone has different gifts. When Difficult Child was younger he was interested in drama (my husband and I have privately joked that he's been majoring in drama since he was a baby!) We really encouraged this interest and praised his talent. He starred in many school productions and we tried to encourage his continued participation in theater groups once he left school, but he didn't want to. We've tried hard to make sure that he received just as much praise as his brothers. If anything we overcompensated. He has always been the child that got the most attention for one reason or another.
  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I don't know if he would lie, but I can see him telling you there was too much rain which prevented him from mowing the lawn. You might want to hide a rain gage somewhere outside.
  10. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    I realized I didn't talk about the possibility that he may be using other drugs. I have certainly considered this, but so far there doesn't seem to be much evidence. He is never visibly "high". I know about the marijuana use because we've talked about it and also because I found weed in his room. I have searched for evidence of other drugs and not found any, but I know that doesn't mean anything.

    I don't know how I would get him drug tested. That's not a thing that happens here in Australia unless you are arrested, pulled over by police for random testing while driving, or if the person is hospitalized. There may be a way but I have no idea what it is.

    The medical system is also quite different here, particularly in regard to mental health. Calling our emergency number (000) to report someone was threatening suicide would not result in any action other than being directed to a mental health helpline, unless the person making the threat had a gun, or was on a bridge threatening to jump (or similar.) someone saying 'I'm going to kill myself' wouldn't be enough to get emergency help. Our mental health system is in crisis here.
  11. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    I have no doubt he would lie, but I can easily check up on that sort of detail and I'll be making sure he knows this before we leave.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My daughter was taking meth and cocaine but we could only find pot. She slept all day, at least when she wasnt in school. We didnt find out the extent of her use until she quit...then she told all, it was hard to hear but she has been clean over a decade. I would consider possibly that his changed behavior is more tham pot. Keep an eye out.

    Lock up your money and other valuables. Hopefully nothing will go wrong. You didnt ask much of him.

    Love and light!
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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  13. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    I definitely wouldn't be surprised to find out that he was using other stuff. He (of course) denies this, but we all know that users are liars who can't be trusted ... I guess I just don't know how I would find that out other than if he is caught out.

    The last couple of days have been better - less sleeping and he ran some errands for me yesterday. He also made inquiries about doing a forklift driving course and has said he will enroll in that. I'll believe that when he he actually turns up to it.
  14. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    LJ, what happens when you give him jobs, ask him to do things for you, help you. Not clean his room. But things like--I;'m making dinner, will you come peel the potatoes? Just 1 step things to get him out of his room and to get him to engage? I found with Ben he was always happier when he was helping me and he would do it gladly, he had a hard time with the "clean your room, do your laundry" didn't have a hard time with, "please dust the dinning room" , "please bring me the laundry" The less time in his room alone with computer the better.
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  15. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    Tired Out, that's good advice. Thank you. Yesterday I got him to go post some mail for me and he did that without issue, but today I asked him to walk the dog and he said he would, but as far as I know it never happened. (I was out for some of the day.) I'll try to get him to do more specific tasks around the house. He did clean his room yesterday, including vacuuming the floor, but I just went in there now and there are already dirty clothes on the floor and a wet towel by the bed.
  16. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hello and welcome. Late to the conversation but wanted to add my two cents.

    I am stepmother to two wonderful, and deeply troubled, teen sons. The oldest is 18 and the youngest is 16, soon to be 17. We are not their custodial parents. At the present time we have no contact with either child by their choice.

    We have gone through everything imaginable with these boys - there is a novel's worth of posts here detailing all of it - and so I understand, along with so many others who have responded here, what you are dealing with. Although everyone's personal circumstances are unique, there are components of this nightmare which are truly universal. The embarrassment, the judgment from outsiders (including those in our own families), the self-blame, the rage, the fear, the questioning of our own actions and motives. Did we leave him alone too long that day when we were late getting home from work when he was three years old? That sort of thing.

    I agree with everyone here. Your son's situation is not your fault or your responsibility. My W and I have dealt with the same feelings. Our situation is somewhat different in that my stepsons do not live with us and never have. They live with their enabling father who is a very sick individual and is content to have these boys rot under his roof for the rest of their lives, as long as they do not leave home and abandon their father.

    I don't want to hijack your thread so I will not repeat my family's story here, but I will say my oldest stepson DS is on the same path as your difficult son. The difference is that DS is permitted to do what he pleases and always has been. Because we feel as you do that children must be productive citizens, DS has shut us out of his life. YS is slightly more functional than DS but is not doing particularly well, either. My W and her ex-husband, the boys' father, will never be on the same page and the children have aligned with their father against her.

    I am happy for you that you have an opportunity to protect, parent and guide your difficult adult child in a way we likely never will. I will pray that your son eventually gets it and turns his life around. In the meantime please stick around.
  17. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    BloodiedButBowed thank you so much for your supportive post. It really helps to know that others understand what we are going through.
  18. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    *Sorry that last post should have read BloodiedButUnbowed - excuse my typo - it's very late here!
  19. RN0441

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

    I think you are great parents and that is obvious!

    I know that some here have ordered drug tests on Amazon. You can even buy them in bulk - if that is the course you choose to take. I did not as I said because I KNEW he was using stronger drugs. Then if you find out that he is, you have to decide your next step. If he is clean other than MJ that would be a relief in some ways - for me it would have been.

    Either way, your son is not a minor nor a little boy. And like the rest of us, you want him to grow up to be a happy, productive and responsible adult. That is really the end goal here for all of us. We know we are not going to live forever and as parents, that at the very least is the legacy we want to leave behind.

    I do hope that everything that you have in place works for you. We tried everything and nothing worked for us because our son just didn't care most of the time and when he did it was short lived until he binged again. Of course now he is clean and doing extremely well and we are getting to know our son again.

    Keep us posted.
  20. LJFromOz

    LJFromOz Member

    RN, I hadn't thought about an ordering a drug test online. Thanks.