New here: asked my difficult child to leave for the last time

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by missy44, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new here and just looking for support/advise, I feel like a terrible mother.

    We've been having some attitude issues with our 18 year old for the past few years. It started with swearing and yelling. We managed to get him through highschool (he did reasonably well, always attended) we just had a hard time with him listening and being disrespectful.

    Forward to this year, registered him for college, he has still been playing junior hockey(always been athletic) and then he broke up with his girlfriend of 1 1/2 years. He started partying hard, never coming home and then we found pot in his napsack one day (i was pulling out dirty clothes). We told him that under no circumstances did we condone drugs of any kind and if it came in our house again he`d be asked to leave for good (not the first time he`s been out, he left once before when he was told he could yell and scream at us and tell us to F off). Well, he brought pot home again and this time left it on our kitchen table! I have younger children so I was quite upset that they could have found it. I woke him up and told him he had to leave. That was last Sunday and I`ve made up my mind that he cannot come back. Our home is complete chaos when he`s here (yelling, screaming, tantrums), he barely works, he quit college a few weeks back and was barely home. The drugs coming in my house pushed me over the edge.
    I`m having a hard time with my decision because I don`t know if the pot is a sign of really bad times ahead, but on the other hand I feel like he needs to really grow up and having him here breaking our rules doesn`t teach him anything.
    Any thoughts please.
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Missy,

    Don't waste one minute questioning yourself. This is such a blatant test that you had to do what you said you'd do. I'm proud of you! You did exactly the right thing. :bravo:


  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    You did the right thing. That is sometimes not very easy. I'm sorry. I know its hard.
  4. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Well, it doesn't get any more in your face than that. You told him what would happen and not only did he test you, he did it rudely. In making him leave, you did what you had to! Good for you! Now he knows that when you say something, you mean it.

    You have other, younger children who deserve a home free of chaos and tantrums - and definitely free of drugs. You've done a very difficult thing in telling your oldest to leave, but from everything you've written it was the right thing. Your reasoning is right on - he does need to take responsibility for his actions and he won't learn it by living at home breaking your rules (and the law) and destroying your peace. He may go through bad times before he decides to turn things around, but allowing him to use drugs at home will only prolong those bad times. If and when he tells you he wants to get clean, you can always give him information about local rehab programs. The step you've taken doesn't mean you've given up on him; it just hands responsibility for his actions back to him.

    Welcome and keep coming back, there are lots of wonderful people here to share and support.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I agree with the others that 1) he was testing the limits and 2) you responded appropriately.

    Since he is so young I might suggest that you and your husband come up with some sort of 'safety net' for your son in the event he turns up on your front porch at 2 am homeless. It's likely to happen.

    You may want to consider what you are willing to continue to help him with/or not.

    Has he ever been diagnosed with anything?

    Welcome - this really is a great place for support and encouragement.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That was a blatant challenge, filled with gall. I found, from my daughter who was once a serious drug addict, that often when you think "they're smoking pot" it's also a LOT more than just pot. He disrespected your rules, put the stuff out there for his younger sibs to see, swears at you, disrespects you, doesn't's time for him to have a little Real Life Boot Camp. We made our daughter leave and it changed her for the better. She cleaned up her act and is doing really well now.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Kicking him to the curb is probably the best thing you could have done for him. As much as we love our kids, they need to learn that there are repercussions for their actions -- even by their parents. You drew the line, he didn't just step over it, he wiped the line out. I'm glad you remembered where it was.

    As was said, be sure and have plans in place of what you will do if he asks to come home; if he asks for help for his drug use; if he tries to break in (yes, that's likely, too). The more you prepare for the what ifs, the better. It saves a lot of missteps.

    If you can, go to Al-Anon or Narcotics Anonymous. You can get a lot of help, support and understanding from those who have walked in your shoes.

    Many hugs for your pain. Please know that you truly did the right thing.
  8. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thanks everyone, I guess I just needed some support and to hear "you did the right thing". I haven't talked to my son, but left a message on facebook for him telling him that we love him but he cannot live here anymore. that was over a week ago. His hockey coach called tonight wanting to talk to him and calling him up to play so I called one of my son's good friend and asked him to pass the message along (I trust his friend). My son has been in contact with his friend, they are planning on getting an apartment together in December. Right now my son is living with some friends that I don't really know. I asked he is good friend if my son might possibly be into something over his head (such as more than just pot) and he assured me that he did not believe so and that he would tell me if he thought that was the case. He also told me that my son went into his work and asked for full time work and they are going to give it to him. I hate to hope, and it's not the road I want him to take, but maybe this will make him grow up and realize that you have to work for what you get in life. I look back at the last few realize I have spoiled him so much and he never appreciated anything (I never taught him to). He's never done laundry, I was still making him lunches and of course of a home cooked meal everynight and a drive to his hockey (quite a way from home) a few times a week and many other things.
    There have been more issues than what I mentioned such as porn on our computer (crashed a few times) and renting it and charging our cable bill which my husband and I made him pay back (not once, but twice)!
    I read some of these stories and I get scared. I just pray it's not as bad as it can be.
    I don't know what we'll do if he comes home cold and scared in the middle of the night (we took his key and have an alarm code that we set). I know I appear strong in my actions, but my heart is weak and I haven't thought too much about what I'll do. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    I had a dream about him last night . I do worry, I do love him and miss the good times that we have. I"m just so tired of the roller coaster ride adn I really want him to be a contributing member of society someday. I really don't think that he will be if he continued the path he was heading in our home.
    I doubt we'll hear from him for awhile. I packed his things this weekend and put them away until he makes arrangements to come and get them. I really just needed to do it so that I wouldn't be expecting him to come home.
    Please keep talking to me, I truly appreciate it.
  9. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi Missy,
    {{{hugs}}} This is so hard. You know you've done the right thing but it's hard. Of course you love him and want him to succeed. You've given him the best chance of doing that by not tolerating drug use in your home. One good thing is that you know he's got a roof over his head and plans to share an apartment; you know he's working, so he has income. That makes it less likely that he'll need shelter in the middle of the night. To prepare for that situation you can make a list of shelters and assisted housing in your town or city, and offices that provide social services, and give it to him if need be. It will help your peace of mind to know what services are available to help him and it will be information for him.

    At my son's rehab family group last week we watched a video of a family where the parents had to tell both their sons to leave due to drug use. The video was made four years later. Both sons had gotten clean and were working in their father's company. The older son said, in his interview, that at first he was very angry at his parents for making him leave, but that now he knows it's the best thing they could have done. That way he had to decide what sort of life he wanted. If he had stayed home, he said, he would not have made those decisions. I found the video very comforting.

    You are doing wonderfully. I hope you can find an Al-Anon or Nar-Anon support group near you; it would be a great help. And keep posting; we're here for you.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. :D

    And .......... YOU GO MOM!

    I know it felt awful to have to do it.......and still does, but it was the best thing you could've done for him....and for you and the rest of the family. It stinks that the right thing to do is often the hardest.

  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Missy, I meant to suggest that you add a signature. It really helps us recall each other's stories and prevents you from having to repeat your story every time you post.

  12. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    "Does anyone have any suggestions?"

    Hi Missy -
    As I said earlier, I would begin a dialog with-hubby about what you will do in the event he falls flat on his face.

    If, for example he shows up on your doorstep in the middle of the night and it is 20 degrees outside. By 'having a plan' you are more likely to act intentionally and less likely to react and make a decision you regret.

    Ask yourselves things like: will we buy him groceries, help with- rent, buy him gas cards, etc. Would we ever let him move back home? If so, under what conditions?

    When our daughter was 17, she left home twice. Packed a bag and walked out the door because she just didn't want to live by the rules. We told her we would keep her on our insurance and that she was welcome back home when and if she would agree to abide by our rules (which included random drug screens by the way). We also told her that we had a 3 strike and your out policy. That is, if she left a third time - she was out for good. We are not a hotel and do not have a revolving door policy. She came home, tired, hungry, lonely and broke. She also came home ready to abide by our minimal rules. It really was a turning point in her life.

    Your son moving out can provide him with many reality life lessons that may be really difficult but really beneficial. Kids are often very resourceful. He may surprise you.

    In the meantime, pull a plan together so that you are ready to confront whatever curve ball he throws. Continue to love him, encourage him and allow him the space he thinks he needs to grow up.

  13. Mayapple5

    Mayapple5 New Member

    been there done that with daughter#1 when she was 17. She had run away from home many times. Was pregnant a second time. We were taking care of the first baby already daughter#2. We got tired of the roller coaster ride and told her three strikes your out. we weren't operating a hotel and that her baby needed a mother, not a drug addict. If she wanted to kill her unborn chld with drugs she could do it on her own, not in our home! She is 36 and still not OK. She has been off drugs (not alcohol) for many years. She did a short time in prison after her fourth daughter. (actually she was born while she was in prison). It's called TOUGH LOVE! Hang in there, your are stronger than you think you are!
  14. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Hi All,
    It's been a long time since my original post. Just an update, my son is still out of the house, we have very little contact with him (not our choice). The last time we saw him he called to say that he was going to come to his little brother's hockey game and he showed up under the influence of something (he denies it). It upset me to see him, he looks unhealthy and not as clean as he usually is. He is playing hockey on a different team, we thought that was a positive sign, but now we're not sure. We don't know if he will be here for Christmas, we invited him, he says he's coming but we haven't heard from him in a few weeks now. He's living with a friend and the friends mother, I don't think they are very good people.
    I know for sure that he uses pot but i don't know about anything else. He hasn' been home to get his things, he still has his drums here, his cd's, etc... all he took were some clothes. Rumor on the street is that he may be selling pot, i really need some advice on what to do if anything.
    My only contact with him is through facebook. sometimes he answers my messages, sometimes not.
    I sent him a letter tellng him that we would help him help himself when he is ready, no response.
    Anyhow, I'm just venting.
    Wishing all a safe and happy holiday season....
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    One suggestion I have - don't know if it would work or not - if he does come home for Christmas:

    Have a clean set of clothes ready for him (socks and underwear as well as shirt and pants), a new set of towels (bath and wash cloth) and shaving items. Don't forget the aftershave cologne.

    Ask him to come very early.

    If he looks shabby and in need of a shower, present him with the above items and invite him to shower and freshen up for the meal if he would like. Make sure there is shampoo in the shower. Set out everything he will need in the bathroom.

    I would think that if he will take you up on this, he will feel very good to get into clean clothes. Offer to wash and dry the clothes he is wearing so they are clean when he leaves.

    This might put him in a more relaxed attitude. Focus on family traditions - he is a guest in your home for the day and you are happy to see him.

    As he leaves, you can set up another visit for more serious discussions, "Oh, it was so good to spend today with you. Can you come back on _______? I have something I would like to talk to you about."

    You may want to invite him to stay over on New Year's Eve. If he is at your place watching movies, etc., then he will not be at a dangerous party.

    Then, after the holiday visits, you can talk to him again about his choices in life and how he can do better. It will take work and you are willing to help him find the help it will require.
  16. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    You did the right thing. I have been in your shoes. My advice to you is that there is always shelters for them to go to. Do not let him back under your roof until he is honestly trying to change and is respecting you. your husband and the other family members. He must obey your rules if he wants to live at home. You and yours deserve to live in a drug free abuse free home. -RM
  17. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    Thank you all for your words of encouragement. They are greatly appreciated.

    Best wishes for the holidays....