Well, on the upside, he's still employed at his new job, he's still doing well in school, and he's not breaking curfew hardly at all (nobody's perfect). He's also stopped hanging around with most of his pothead friends, and he's been "healthy" for several weeks now.
On the downside, though, now that he's healthy he spends a lot of time with the one pothead friend he has left. And yep, you guessed it, comes home stoned every time he's out with the kid. This week alone, he came home stoned Monday and Tuesday. So it's almost like now he's "healthy", he can go back to his old ways.
It's pretty sad, because all the times he was sick (and off the pot) he was a wonderful person to be around. Funny, smart, started reading/playing guitar/interacting with the family, etc.. All the things you'd normally expect from a teenager. Since he's started back using again, he's become more withdrawn, is hardly ever home, when he is home it's just to eat, poop, and sleep, and is generally morose and a drag to be around.
Talked with his therapist about this, and we both feel that he's accomplished as much "good" as is possible without going after the substance abuse. At this point, any further "treatment" is simply to keep him from slipping backwards, but isn't helping him go forward any more.
The other day, I heard a radio segment about a new federal study running in our area that's examining the relationship between untreated ADHD and substance abuse in teens. It isn't a medical trial to test new medications; it's a 16-week study to test treating ADHD and S/A together as co-morbid problems. They use normal Concerta and placebo pills with a new Cognitive Behavior Therapy protocol to address both ADHD and substance abuse.
Talked with the research coordinator, she felt that my son was a perfect candidate for the study. Therapist thought it was great, since it might be the only way to convince difficult child to start treatment ("it's not treatment, it's a medical study, and they'll PAY you to participate" - he'd jump at that).
They have a Federal disclosure waiver that prevents them from divulging any info provided by the study participants, and they don't even start the program like normal rehab, i.e. don't demand they stop the abuse, etc. The idea is that most people in this situation don't want to stop, don't see it as a problem, and the untreated ADHD makes it harder for them to recognize the need to stop. Their goal is to try a new CBT protocol that can get the ADD treated, and also use their newfound "clarity" to start working on the need for recovery.
Sounds just like what my son needs, and it's free. What's not to like?
Except that my wife has suddenly become adamantly opposed to the idea. She takes exception to me calling difficult child an "addict", although I now see that he fits every known definition of the word. She also doesn't want him to stop his current ADD medications and take the chance he could get the placebo for 4 months because he might then lose his job. I could care less if he lost his job, his car, and every stitch of clothing he owned if he would get help for the pot. She doesn't want to risk "losing" the progress we've made, even though our therapist is now saying we can go no further without dealing with the pot.
So, I don't know where that leaves us. To me, this is the best chance of getting him into treatment - free treatment, at a well-respected dual-diagnosis Residential Treatment Center (RTC) here in the area, and one that seems tailor made for his dual problems. I even think I can sell it to him with the money they pay the participants, giving him "credit" on his car or insurance note while in the program, and by stressing the fact that it's a study, not formal treatment (not exactly true, but not exactly a lie, either).
wife sees things differently, though, and I don't dare discuss this with my son unless she and I are on the same page. He'll either see our disagreement as an excuse to not participate, or he'll be put on guard by wife's concerns, and will not go into the study with an open mind (and won't get much out of it). I know for a fact we don't have a snowball's chance of getting him into "normal" treatment (already looked into that, he won't go).
So, the short answer is that he's back to where he was before the asthma attack; doing well in lots of areas, still doing other things that aren't good for him, and has no desire to change. All that's changed is the disagreement between me and my spouse now.
Still looking for a monastic community to run away to....
Went to a couple of Nar-Anon meetings, didn't really fit in as most of the other members were parents with older children - and were also much more hardcore (it's easy for them to tell me to kick my kid out when their kids are already an average of 22 years old). Needless to say, I didn't fit in there.
Did AA and another twelve-step program for many years, for myself. That experience is why I truly understand that I can't do anything for him that he doesn't want done, and all I can control is myself. wife never had the "benefit" of a 12 step program, so she doesn't understand my position. However, my experience makes it both easier and harder for me to deal with my son, knowing that the best I can do is offer him guidance and opportunity, but ultimately doing the best I can for him without further damaging myself or the rest of my family.
As an aside, the big blowup I've been expecting for a week or so happened tonight. difficult child came home (not stoned), but an hour past when he said he'd be home. While we disagree on some things, wife and I tried to present a unified front and talk serious with difficult child about his 'reverting' since he's recovered from his recent illnesses. Needless to say, that went over like a used diaper in the punchbowl. In less than three days, he's back to the old, grouchy stoner he was before he got sick.
We didn't let him draw us into a fight, though. We calmly explained that we would always love him, but that there may come a point where we didn't like him. And, if he really tried, he could make it more painful for us to have him around than to have him gone, regardless of how much we love him. (queue up the rolling eyes, deep sighs, drumming fingers and staring at the ceiling by difficult child...)
Ultimately, I said that I preferred the person he was when he was sick (and sober) to this nasty malcontent he's morphed into over the last three days since he started using again. And that, while we were obligated to provide him with room and board until he was 18 and out of school, that might be all he gets until he's asked to pursue his life goals elsewhere.
And we meant it.
I also asked him to take five minutes to be objective and take a real good look at his life. Given the path he's currently taking, I wanted him to decide if he was really happy, if he truly liked the people he was with, if he really felt like he was accomplishing anyting with his current activity, and whether or not he liked what he thought his life would be in two years. And was he willing to sacrifice his relationship with his family when he leaves in 18 months for pot and a bunch of loser friends that only mooch off him.
If he did that, and was content with what he saw, then I said that he was not the child I knew and loved, and that I would have to sadly say goodbye to the child I thought I had raised and learn to "get along" with this uncomfortable stranger he'd become.
But if he decided that he wasn't happy, and had the cojones to admit that his life was FUBAR and he needed help, then I was only a step away, and would happily do whatever was necessary to help him change his life.
His choice. He knows this now. And while I didn't put a timetable on it, he knows that he doesn't have much time to decide how his remaining time in my house and with his family will be.
On another note, I broached the subject of the clinical study with him. He was completely resistant to any kind of "therapy" or "shrinks" or "rehab" - until I told him that they'd pay him 100 dollars/ month for four months, and that I might sweeten the deal as well. Now he wants to do it, but said that he just wanted the money.
So now here's the problem: is it better to get him into treatment, regardless of his intitial motivation, or is it a waste of time and likely to cause him more ODD problems down the road? Remember, he's nearly 18 and can choose to quit any time; I can't force him to go, and it's not that kind of program anyway.
I'm reminded of an episode of "Intervention" where the interventionist talked to the family before the victim, er, addict came in. He said "we're just looking for him to say he'll go to rehab. We don't care why he goes, just that he'll go. The moment he says he'll go - for any reason - the intervention is over and he's on his way to Residential Treatment Center (RTC)".
Is this situation with my son similar? Is it better to have him go, even if his only intention is to BS his way through the sessions to get the money?
DDD, re: <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Personally in my next life I am either going to be fixed at 18 or sign myself into a convent! DDD </div></div>
Okay, in my darkest times I sometimes have a sick sense of humor about this whole business. I ran across this commercial last year that perfectly describes how I occasionally feel.
Disclaimer: There's nothing vulgar or obscene, but some people might not appreciate the humor. View at your own risk.
Hi Mikey, thanks for the update. I wish difficult child had recovered from his illness with a whole new outlook on his life, but I must say I'm not surprised he's back to his same old ways.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I said that I preferred the person he was when he was sick (and sober) to this nasty malcontent </div></div>
Yep, been there, done that!! :blush: I know exactly what you mean.
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Is it better to have him go, even if his only intention is to BS his way through the sessions to get the money?
Just my opinion, but <span style='font-size: 14pt'>YES</span>. I believe it's better to get anybody into rehab on whatever pretense. We never know when the miracle will happen.
I've seen that commercial before and it really says it all!!! I loved it.
Mikey, my feeling is that many people end up getting something out of something they never believed they would. I would try and get him into the study and see where it goes. Losing his job shouldn't be the priority right now, because if he continues on the road he is now, he's going to lose much more.
Glad you planted a time frame in his head on how long you have to allow him to live under your roof if he continues his current behavior. Just keep reminding him that you don't condone his pot use by any means, and that the only reason he is still living there is because the law says he has too. Then stick to how you only need to provide him food and a roof over his head, nothing else unless you feel he deserves it. Glad to hear his therapist is finally seeing that the pot use is an issue that needs to be dealt with or no further progress can be made.
Don't know you or much of your situation, but am piecing it together.
That commercial is hilarious.
I agree with the masses, send the boy to the study, there is really nothing to lose. I admire how you worded your conversation with him. Non accusitory, and gave him a lot to think about. I wish I knew about this board when I was going through similar things with difficult child 1, but am SO grateful that I found it early in difficult child 2's, uh, difficult child-ness. Anyways. From a fellow 12-stepper, I think you are doing a fine job, hugs and prayers.
In your signature, you list one of your kids as a former difficult child, but is still a pothead and doesn't take her medications.
I'm curious - how is it that she's no longer a difficult child? I've been, uh, "counselled" by many wise people here that my pothead son is definitely a difficult child that needs help. I'd like to know how it is you consider her to be a easy child? Does she not have issues with consequences from these things?
If I'm prying, I apologize in advance. But I'm fascinated by the twisted version of that old adage that's so prevalent here: "one person's easy child is another person's difficult child"...
You are not prying at all.
Life with Basset hound:
She was the PERFECT kid. Too perfect. Very good girl, never got in trouble. An angel.
When she was 14, I left Pixie's father. Basset Hound moved in with my mom so that she could stay in her same school, while I moved in with my dad and Pixie.
Then Basset Hound turned 15. Met a guy. Started sneaking out. Stealing mom's car. Mouthing off. Hitting my MOTHER. Ran away. At 16, tried to hop a train with this guy to CA. Took her to therapist, she was diagnosed BiPolar (BP). This medication, that medication, add this, add that. She started cutting. She went into inpatient. Day after release she cut again. Went back into inpatient, did a medication wash. got the medications all situated. Back to school. Still sneaking out, stealing the car, got the courts involved, all the way until she turned 18. The day she turned 18, she stopped taking all her medications and moved in with the boyfriend.
That was a year ago. She has kept a job steadily, and seems to be doing pretty good. She also gets along better with both me and my mom than she did when she was with mom. She does get high, but she has NEVER been high in front of me. I know she gets high from her Myspace.
Here's the thing. My mom is just about the most difficult person in the world to live with. Mom is a hypochondriac, for herself AND others. She had that kid on about 10 different medications. When BH was going through all her stuff, I was in no shape to care for her, because I was getting clean myself. I'm not so sure that Basset Hound ever had BiPolar (BP). I am not saying that Basset Hound was not a PITA during her late teen years, but I think that mom WAY overreacted. My issue now is, she stopped taking ALL her medications. Like her birth control. I'm not ready to be a grandma.
So, she seemed to overcome the problems of GFGdom, and she is still with her leprechaun of a boyfriend too.
Someone posted that commercial link a couple of months ago and I
almost busted a gut laughing. In fact I laughed so uncommonly
loud that both boys and my husband came to the computer which resulted
in husband and easy child/difficult child laughing with me and difficult child (AS kid) wondering
what we were laughing so hard about! LOL. DDD
:rofl: between the video, the convent, and the monestary, I don't know when or where to stop giggling first. :rofl:
Ah Mikey....the joys of Potheads/stoners.
I'm pretty sure the "study" takes into effect that certain people will fake their acceptance just for money. I'd really try and get difficult child to go for the study. Even if just one thing sticks with him, that's one more than he had before.
SunnyFla: I'm trying, and difficult child was interested at first (even if just "for the money"). He had an initial phone interview set up with the head research person for 7pm yesterday, but skipped out at 6:30 (while we were at a banquet for our daughter). Don't know if she called him on his cell phone or not since we had another "episode" last night.
We get home, difficult child isn't anywhere to be found. wife calls him on his phone and he says he's "at XXX's house" (his one pothead friend that he has left, who mooches car rides from him). wife asked him to stay sober. I can only guess how the conversation went because I only heard her speaking. It went from "please don't get stoned" to "I don't care if you're home on time, I don't want you getting stoned", to "the only reason you EVER go over to XXX's house is to get stoned"... This went on for about 5 minutes more.
wife finally said "It's Mother's Day weekend, and the only thing I want from you is for you to stay sober for two days. Will you do that for me?". Next, I hear her saying "So what you're telling me is that you won't do this one thing for me, even though you've been stoned 4 of the last seven days, and this is all I want from you?". Next thing I know, she hangs up the phone, throws it across the room, and starts crying.
I'm watching all this, and my heart is breaking for her.
I got in my car and went to all of his pothead hangouts looking for him (what a surprise, he wasn't where he said he was). Maybe it's a good thing I didn't find him because at that time, I don't know what would have happened if I'd found him. About an hour later, I get a call from wife saying she's had enough, and she's going to bed (other son was at a concert until late, and daugher was sleeping over). So I came home to a quiet, very sad house.
Of course, difficult child wasn't answering his phone, wouldn't respond to text messages, and had simply disappeared into the night. I was fully expecting him to be gone for a while (at least overnight), and didn't want to be by myself with the way I was feeling so I went over to talk with my neighbor.
He's been through hell and back; was a major druggie, dealt drugs, and finally came out of it clean after losing everything he had (including his family). His son was murdered last year as well. He's a nice man, has pretty much had everything crappy life has to offer thrown at him, and has somehow found his way through it all. We talked for about an hour, and when I'd finally vented enough to be back in control I walked back to my house (around 10:30).
To my surprise I found that difficult child was already home, in bed, asleep. Don't know if he was stoned or not, and haven't spoken to him all day (he left for work and the only time we crossed paths was when I gave him his morning medications).
I don't know what tonight holds, nor do I know what kind of Mother's Day my dear wife will have tomorrow because of the evil stranger my son has morphed into. The only thing I do know is that my son is incapable of showing any empathy for anyone, and will use just about anything we do as an excuse to rebel and act out.
I'm getting resigned the fact that tomorrow may be the first Mother's Day my wife has where she feels she only has one son. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
Sorry it isn't going well this week. Somehow it seems to be worse when a holiday is involved.
Often you have read here and I'm sure in your independent studies
that expecting quick results is setting yourself up for pain. I
personally believe that the parents have to evolve into their own
point of acceptance. Your wife is struggling in a Mom way this
week. Most of us have said or done similar things and/or asked
similar questions because we just can't believe that "our" kids
no longer feel as they used to. It takes awhile to accept that.
When easy child/difficult child was invited to leave a fine program in Orlando I was
beyond heartsick. I said to one of the counselors who had a particular connection with our son, "thank you for all you have
done for difficult child, my husband and I are just so eager to get our son
back". He sat down next to me on the sofa and reached for my
hand. He said "Mrs. difficult child you and your husband have loved and provided for difficult child every day of his 15 years. That son is gone. Do
not expect to ever get your son back. He can end up being a fine
man someday but he will never, ever be the boy you raised so don't expect it." I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed in the shower
after we were home and difficult child was happily in his bed. I decided that the counselor just didn't know our kid as well as we did.
Our son loved us to death (and still does), our son never said a
bad word to us or about us, our son was gifted in academics and
in athletics, our son had impeccable manners.
That counselor was right. None of us here have ever gotten
"our" sons back. They are gone and the trick is to try to keep the wonderful memories...and then...try to help the new kid in your kids skin get as well as possible. Even if he never smokes
again...your little boy will never be home again.