Newbie - Let me introduce myself

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by chrisdog01, May 5, 2008.

  1. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Hi! Someone from another message board I belong to referred me to this group. I've been reading the posts for the past week. I have to say it's great finding others with problems like mine (not that I'm happy you are having problems, but glad I'm not alone).

    I have a son who turned 18 in February. He has been using drugs & alcohol since he was around 14 years old. Prior to that he was an A student, very bright, friendly, & outgoing. Around 14 he began cutting school, his grades went down, lying, cheating, stealing from us, etc. We went from the regular high school, to a continuation school, back to regular high school, to independant study program just to make sure he has a diploma. He finally just dropped himself out of school since he's now 18. We have given him so many chances to work things out, but always making him responsible for his choices/actions.

    He has smoked pot in our house and stole our alcohol. We have to live with things locked up like a jail or prison. Once we were supposedly "burglarized" while he conveniently went to school that day (the only day of the week). Somehow there were no forced signs of entry and the items taken were in very specific spots like someone knew where they were or were told where they were.

    He had several close calls with law enforcement, but unfortunately nothing scared him enough to make him change his ways. We even tried to find out why he wasn't arrested on these instances as it was not setting a good example for him. Two weeks after his 18th birthday he was arrested for auto theft & receiving stolen property. The car was stolen by his friend who was on juvenile probation and my son thought since he didn't have a criminal record he would take the blame for it and they would let him go (and I believe this, because these are the types of stupid things he does without thinking). Anyway, they didn't let him go and he stayed in county jail for 5 days and begged us to bail him out, but we wouldn't. He ended up pleaing to a reduced misdemeanor charge and getting 60 days of work project picking up trash & doing yard work.

    Last week we had it with him. He stole a bottle of wine from our house. Then he had friends over when we specifically told him not to. The next day our neighbors called and said they saw 4 boys & 1 girl go into our house in the morning and it looked suspicious. So my husband called the house (naturally the son wouldn't answer the phone) and told everyone to get out. Then he called our son's cell phone to tell him that he needs to leave our house and is not welcome back until Monday after we get home from work (today). When he got home to check on the house, there was a marijuana smell in our son's room. He packed the son's clothes in a trash bag and placed them outside the front door, leaving a message for our son to pick them up.

    It has been a hard weekend, but we are being strong. This is the straw that broke the camel's back as the saying goes. We have repeatedly warned him if he does not live my our rules then he'd have to find somewhere else to live once he turns 18. We know all about tough love, detachment, etc., but that doesn't make it any easier. But I am so grateful to have a wonderful sounding board just to share these frustrations and realize I'm not alone.

    My husband and I have been married almost 18 years and we also have a daughter who is 13 1/2. She is a great kid, but I wonder how this is affecting her. She says it doesn't bother her too much, but I'm not sure. The one thing we always talk about it using our son's bad choices as life lessons and how they cause pain in a family.

    I just can't help but wonder if he is going to try to come home tonight since that was the deadline we left him.

    Thanks for listening (it feels a little better to vent).
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Welcome. You are amoung people who totally understand what you are going through. Most of us have been there done that and have the battle scars to prove it. I think having him leave is appropriate. Does he have a job? Is part of his "probation" that he live at home---mine is required by law to live here until he is off probation...lucky, lucky, me. That was done in court by a judge, without my consent. Did your son recieve his diploma? What are you and husband going to do when he calls begging to come home?--because he will eventually. A big hug because I know it hurts when nothing you do seems to work.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi there, and welcome - you little hot dog you! (love the pugs in buns)

    You know - It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things. My son likes to pick up things that aren't his in our home too - and I remember buying ANOTHER lock for the door and saying to myself "THIS IS THE LAST KEYED LOCK" and then thinking - If I ever sell this house - do I leave them OR go buy regular door knobs? It's insane to have to do that to live in your house. My son was also involved in an idiotic scheme hatched by 2 younger neighbor hood kids and himself. They got my son to stand at the corner as a look out while they burglarized houses during the day. One was supposedly done at night. So when the fit hit the shan - of course we told the police everything we knew. I was surprised to find some of the "loot" in my home. I gave that back. The odd thing for us wasn't that he deserved to get punished - we wanted it. What was odd - is out of the 3 he's the ONLY one that got it. And he got it GOOD - he's now a convicted felon for life. And is on probation for 3 years with fines, costs etc. (That I paid to help him stay out of jail)

    And mose recently he had a stay in a group home from hell and went out one night riding on a moped and has been accused by a police officer who SAW IT ALL - and a peer from the group home - for attempted burglary which in this state carries 15-life sentence. Our only loophole is that if the cop actually SAW him - why wasnt' he arrested with the peer then. It stinks to high heaven the whole thing does. Dude swears he had nothing to do with it - and oddly I believe him. But there is still the 15 years looming in the near future which is very real to him and you would think at this point he'd say "Forget school, forget behaving, forget living with a foster family - I'm done, I'm defeated." and he's doing better than he has in years.

    So go figure- It makes me wonder if we should have butted out of his life long ago - and then I think yeah right. Maybe just the right time for the right approach.

    I wish you the best with your plan. I would suggest that you tell him something like "If you do this this and this - then we'll talk about you coming home to live." I think that is necessary just from a Moms point of view so that you can say "We told you do this and that would happen. Here's what you have to do if you want to live here." - Or maybe since you know him - the door shut in his face with a bag full of clothes - is the right thing. Go with your gut - and tell your heart to take a break.

  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    He there and welcome to the board!

    You are certainly not alone in your struggles. It does help to know that there are others out there who know what it is like.

    Good on you for being strong. It sure isn't easy. So glad to hear that you have a supportive husband.

    I am truly sorry for what you are going through. None of us wished for this type of life for our children, but it is what brought us here. It certainly makes us stronger. Glad you found us.
  5. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    (I chose the pug picture because I couldn't figure out how to add my own and they are somewhat similar to my boston terriers - and the picture was too cute).
    To answer some of the questions above, my son does not have his diploma. We really encouraged him to do so, but it doesn't seem that important to him. Although he keeps saying he's going to get his GED and then go to community college. How crazy is that? He can't manage to go to high school, but he'll go to junior college? Yeah, right.

    Because he pled to a misdemeanor charge he only has informal probation. He does not have to report to anyone, keep a clean record, pay his court fees, and service his work project time. He also has to submit to search & seizure without a warrant. The weird part is both my husband and I work in the court system. For years we told our son what would happen to him and others like him, as we knew from experience. As we went to court the Judge gave him an extra lecture about getting his life in order. When we went to sign up for his work project sentence, I knew everyone there and they gave him extra lectures. Do you think it sunk in? Nope! He also didn't go to work project this weekend, but he has quite a few tries before make a warrant for straight time in the county jail (but I'm not telling him that).

    He does not have a job. He used to work at a fast food place, but ended up quitting when they stopped giving him shifts after he called in "tired". Imagine that. The restaurant said they'd take him back anytime he wants and give him a full time job as a shift leader, but his excuse is that he doesn't want to smell like grease. We call his job hunt "application collecting". He goes to prospective employers, gets an application, and then brings it home. That's it. Doesn't fill it out and doesn't turn it in. He always says he's going to work at ___ place eventhough he's never turned in an application and doesn't know if they are hiring.

    As far as what to do when he returns or wants to come home: My husband told him that he wasn't allowed in the house until we get home from work today. I'm not sure if he'll show up or not. I have no idea if he's mad at us, or just like "whatever" as usual. We both work during the day and our daughter is at school, so there are a lot of hours in the day when no one is home. When we've had to lock him out he's even resorted to forcing himself into the tiny doggie door to come in.

    This is going to be a sucky Mother's Day, isn't it.
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome. This is a good place for support and good advice. I hope your difficult child does get it and straightens out before the consequences of his actions become overwhelming for him.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I can still hear the 70's goofy music with someone singing

    Lowered expectations.........

    And in finding SOMETHING positive to say about Mothers Day -

    um..........wait a minute.....i thought.....oh yes.....(idea rolls to the mouth via the slow brain)

    Mother's Day at some point HAS to become like your 30th birthday every year.

    You know it's coming - but you choose to ignore it.

  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE



  9. NOLA

    NOLA New Member

    Hi - I had to just say hello & let you know you are def not alone. We are also going through the same thing :faint:only ours won't be 18 till Dec. Our son doesn't believe in getting an education - it's just not very important right now!

    I also had to laugh (something I haven't done much lately) when I saw:

    Unbelievable! Our son used to do the same, bring home tons of apps but never fill out or even hide them & pretend he did - He was given some real basic tasks to complete after his return home (he ran away for 6 months) get his GED, serve 20 hours of community service, keep a part-time job, and NO DRUGS. He had 2 months to show us and the judge he could and would clean his act up. He did get his old job back but NOT to everything else - so he goes back to court, is now sitting in juvie & the judge has ordered him to complete 'in-patient' rehab/therapy - now, he's telling me he WILL NOT go - it's not necessary, we are all overreacting, are crazy, etc. His 15 days are up later this week & I have basically come to the realization he doesn't want our help & advice - he wants to learn the hard way. I have told his PO what he said to me on the phone and that he has no intentions of obeying his parents or the judge. Knowing our difficult child, he'll probably decide to stay in juvie just to prove the fact that he will not bow to our silly rules.

    Hang in there…..I’ll keep on trying too :peaceout:
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board. Your story sounds (too) familiar! You sound like you are handling this difficult situation with grace. When you say he is not to come into the house unless you are home, does that mean you have changed locks and codes? Sad to say, if you don't, he'll be in the house no matter what.
  11. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Well, we haven't heard from our son N since we kicked him out for the weekend on Friday. We are being strong, but it's so hard. I really miss him (although maybe I miss the kid he used to be) and want to know he's okay. I have no idea if he's eating, clean, has some place to sleep, etc. My husband did send him a text message Monday night to ask if he was coming home that night and when he was going to turn in his school books (since he dropped out). He received a reply in the middle of the night last night that said "tomorrow". We don't know if that means he's coming home tomorrow or picking up the books tomorrow. We told him to leave from Friday to Monday evening after we got home from work, so we aren't changing our minds about him being out. But I keep dreaming about him every night and it's driving me crazy. I keep thinking I'm hearing him in the middle of the night, but it's not him. I can't concentrate at work either.

    This time of year is especially hard with all his old friends from school graduating, etc. My niece gave me her graduation announcement this weekend and I almost broke down in tears (but didn't because it was her moment, not mine). She and N are the same age and they should be in the same stages in life.

    I just needed to vent because I'm feeling pretty sad about the whole situation right now. Thanks for listening everyone.
  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.

    This is a VERY tough situation to be in.

    I know you do miss him, and you probably are missing the kid he once was. You are probably also grieving the man he "should" be. That is hard. "Our" kids don't necessarily reach milestones at the same time as other kids, and that doesn't stop when they turn 18. My daughter turned 18 and moved out of the house and in with her b/f that day. Is that what I wanted for her? No, not at all. She had such potential, and I wanted to see her go to college. But it is her life, and there is nothing I can do about it. Detaching was hard.

    She just turned 20 at the end of March. She is still with the same guy. They are doing OK. Not great, but they are doing OK. They both work. They pay their bills. But, they live with the b/f father in a shady part of town. And they still get high.

    I'm not thrilled about it, but they are not coming here asking for handouts either. She seems genuinely happy, so I am happy for her.

    Sorry, did not mean to hijack your thread. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.

  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I do hope you'll write up a profile signature. This is the link for directions on how to do it. There are so many of us that it's really helpful for us so you don't have to keep repeating your story.

    It certainly sounds like you are doing your best to show him what is- and isn't- acceptable behavior. Good for you.

    Pull up a chair at the table. You're part of the family now.


    SONS GONE WILD Moms goin' crazy

    Newbie - welcome! Talk about been there done that! My son turned 18 in March and now would be the time he would graduate also, it is very difficult, especially since my easy child son is at the same school so I keep hearing about Senior this and Senior that.

    Fortunately, my difficult child did get his GED, but certainly not the full education I wanted him to. My difficult child actually registered for the ACT and enrolled in college for the Fall semester! I'm not holding my breath, but hopeful . . . somehow I never give up hope.
  15. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Sometimes, and I am the worst at this, you need to keep things in perspective. He's an adult. He'll survive, whether it be mooching off of friends, going to a shelter, etc. These kids have a remarkable ability to do it on their own, but REALLY frustrate and grate on their parents. In some sense, it's part of being a late teen, but with difficult child's, they take it to a new level.

    It sounds like you are doing the right thing. One thing I'd add is disconnecting his cell phone if you're paying for it. Kids these days are absolutely TIED to them. It's like their lifeline. You want to be a big guy and do what you want? your own bills then.

    Keep in touch.

  16. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Thanks for all the kind words of support, I really need them today. Each day gets a little harder. Last night while driving home from work I drove past an area that has a lot of homeless people (which I drive by everyday) and I started imagining him there. I think that made it a little more real that he doesn't have any where to go. I know he's resourceful and will find a place to sleep, eat, etc. and basically survive, but it's just so hard as a parent to watch your baby go through this.

    My husband and I discussed this, but for now we are going to keep his phone active because we can see the bill online and we can keep track of him this way.

    But we are going to send him a message towards the end of the week just to let him know that he can still report for his work project sentence without having a warrant issued (since he skipped last weekend he probably thinks they will arrest him right away, but he has a couple chances until they do that). We are also going to ask him to talk with us about his short range plans. He has the car we let him use and we pay for the insurance right now. But if he isn't planning on working towards coming home or straightening up, then we probably should cancel the insurance and take the car out of our name.

    Enough for now (I have to go to a meeting, guess I need to work sometime today???)

    Thanks again everyone, finding this board has been such a great relief for me.
  17. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    Welcome Chrisdog! Wow, all these kids sound so similar in their behaviors -- it's like they have some sort of secret handbook "101 ways to drive your parents bonkers!"

    It sounds like you and your husband are doing a phenomenal (sp?) job of both being on the same page, making thoughtful decisions and following through on them. I'm glad you both have each other for support.

    I understand what you are saying about the pain of being around all the graduating seniors -- it is so hard because it should be a time of excitement and joy for you and it's hard not to feel cheated out of the "normal" things. My son went from being a college-bound, bright, band student to just barely graduating. It is hard to talk to the other mom's I know from school because the talk always turns to how things are going with the kids and I am very sad and embarassed about the path my son is choosing.

    I wishing you strength and hope. It is a relief to be able to come here where other parents understand. Welcome!