Our son-help

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lilyflower1979, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. Lilyflower1979

    Lilyflower1979 New Member

    From early childhood our son has lied and been very manipulative. Sadly, I probably enabled him by believing all his accustions against teachers and friends. As time went on, we discovered by the age of 14 he was stealing everything we owned, but by the time we realized it, most of our valuables were gone. He could not handle school. Teacher and principal called us everyday and complained. We took him to our pediatrician and he put him on Ritalin, which only made him worse. I would beg for help and through elementary, the teachers would only stay he was probably just spoiled. By the time he got to middle school, they put him in alternative school, which was a disaster. His psychiatrist put him on Seroquel, which didn't help his extreme anxiety and obsessive thoughts. He is not violent, which is good, but gets very angry if you cross him about anything. He lies like it is the truth and looks very young and sweet, so he gets by with alot, even with authority figures. He turned to pills because it helped his anxiety. He is now in Jail for trying to sell some of his Klonopins (anxiety drugs) and for a burglary where a minor let him into his home and gave him some stuff. Of course, that was his fault. He is so childlike and can't understand why he gets into trouble. Always has an excuse and blames other people. He is begging us to get him out. Visitation is a nightmare because he cries and tells us all kinds of horror stories. We have been through so much that it puts strain on our marriage. My husband is determined to leave him in there-he is fed up and thinks it will teach him a badly needed lesson about what jail is like. Of course, he makes all the same promises-he will change-but talking to him last night, he was cussing me and saying we were bad parents for leaving him in there. I know his anxiety is killing him. From experience, I know he is probably lying again and will be the same when he gets out. We have somewhat been enjoying the peace of him not being here. We can breathe and not worry. But when I visit or talk to him, it send me into a panic attack. The Dr. has me on Xanax and an antidepressant. Please, someone, tell me that we are doing the right thing by leaving him in there. I feel so guilty,but my husband thinks we could be saving his life. Sorry so long. I didn't even put everything in here that we and he has been through.
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi Lilyflower,

    Welcome to our neck of the woods.

    Right off the bat I'd like to recommend that you do a signature for yourself and your family. It helps us remember your story so that you don't have to repeat it every time you post. Here's a link for how to do it:


    I apologize.....it's difficult for me to read one long paragraph so I might have missed it....how old is your son now? Was he living at home when he got arrested? How long will he be in jail?

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm with your husband on this. From what you have said, your son is a violent manipulative liar and a thief. Bailing him out won't make that any better.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Leaving a child in jail is not easy. My son is now 22---he's had several trips to jail since turning 18. Each time I did not bail him out. He once spent 23 days in county---I refused to bail him out and disconnected my home phone so he couldn't call and beg for help. I also never visited him in jail. He respects me and understands my choices. He is in a better place than he's been in years. I have had to allow him to face some really horrible consequences---and it will break your heart to watch your son suffer---but it is the only way he may learn to change his choices.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    The stress you feel in visitations is the result of his manipulation. He knows that you will do anything to make life easier for him. He is trying to guilt you into smoothing the way. He will be very angry because you are not doing what he thinks you should.

    Your job as he was growing up was to protect him. Somehow along the way, he misunderstood and thought that also meant to protect him from himself, meaning he was not responsible for anything. Time to learn natural consequences. - You break the law, you pay - no one, not even your parents can get you out of this. You have to grow up and make better choices.

    There is a book called "The Manipulative Child". I feel it is geared to help parents of younger kids but I think if you read it, you will understand what he is trying to do and it will give you strength to put an end to his manipulations. The book is awesome at not pointing fingers - your child is not a bad person, he has just picked up this survival habit that works for him. You fell into it naturally by wanting what was best for him and wanting him to be able to solve problems and make decisions. (I did the same with my kids - I was so proud of them finding on their own how to get their own way that I didn't recognize that it led to manipulation.)

    This will take a long time because it has grown into a habit of yours and your son. You two really don't know of another way to react to each other. However, you have a husband who will support your decision to put an end to your son hurting you.

    Detachment will hurt so deeply but for your son's sake as well as your own, you must detach for now. Remind him that his decisions are his own and you will not rescue him.

    He knows that you are the weak link. He will throw all the emotional cards he can. Take your strength from your husband. Put your son in your husband's hands and trust that husband will do what is best.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Another person who has been there done that with a kid who has had to do the revolving door with jail. At first he did the manipulation bit on us. I fell for it the first couple of times but it really wasnt in his best interests. Now he knows that I wont pony up my money in any way for him. I have done the no talking to him or no visiting before but now I gauge it on whats happening. Why he is in there. Its a big depends for me.

    Of course, my son has moved on to take all responsibility for his actions now and doesnt blame anyone else. I dont get the manipulation anymore so when I do visit or talk it is just to see him or talk to him. He isnt begging me anymore.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi Lily,

    I want to preface my post to you by saying welcome, but to tell you that this is Parents Emeritus, and while I know you personally have not been here in our family a lot or long? This is kinda where the rubber meets the road for a lot of Moms, self included. Some of what you may read here isn't easy to handle without a box of kleenex standing by for yourself. Mostly because it's the truth, and it's hard, and we want the fix for our kids not tough love. We (as Mom's) want to have that one more thing, the save, the miracle, the bail our kids out, the show them the love that will work this time.

    As you can see by the above responses and believe me these ladies know what they are telling you as fact; it hasn't been easy for any of us. The greatest injustice you can do for your son at this point? Save him again, fix this for him again, bail him out. Does it hurt your heart? Like crazy. Is jail where you pictured him being when you held him as an infant? Nope. Has life dealt him an unfair hand and this is just one more unfair thing? Who knows. Is taking him out of jail going to make it any better for him or you? No. Will he appreciate it? NO. Will he change like he tells you he will? No. Will he respect you more, stop doing the lying the stealing, the dealing that he's been doing for years because you do? Absolutely not. The only thing that will change is that he will once again manipulate YOU and YOUR HOME will once again be chaotic.

    None of us that have had our kids in jail like it. ALL of us who have had or HAVE kids in jail think "Wow now this is great." With the exception of knowing where they are, not being on the streets - it's not where we want them at all. Some of us honestly even are secretly glad when they are IN jail because if they're IN there? They aren't OUT THERE worrying us more.

    Then of course there is the worry - What will he think of us if we DO NOT GET HIM OUT. Well, what he SHOULD be thinking is WHAT MUST THEY THINK OF ME FOR BEING IN HERE. YOU need to change YOUR mind frame to almost (almost) an aire of actually BEING a parent and not a best friend. It's OKAY to be UPSET that he's in there. It's OKAY to be disappointed in him and let him KNOW IT. It's OKAY to not visit, NOT accept his phone calls, IT"S OKAY TO HANG UP if he gets mouthy. It's OKAY to set limits and say I'm the PARENT and tough cookies man. It's okay to say "I love you AND I'm not bailing you out." YOu got yourself INTO this - where are you going when you get out......start making plans now - you can't come home.


    We are in the process of doing this now with our own son and it's hard...it's weird....and it's taking back the control...in small steps as I can...but something had to happen. We actually said "If this doesn't happen in X days then XX needs to happen...what are YOU going to do?" Instead of ME figuring it out....HE's worrying about HIMSELF....and now I have time to breath.

    If my son goes to jail again? He stays....I won't even visit. I had a stroke the last time...so I can't do it again. Do yourself a favor find a psychiatrist, get a good MD, get on a worthy Anti-depressant.....and find your life again. It takes time, so if you start now?? In five years you may have something for yourself. And so may your son.

    I'm glad you're here. Welcome.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I usually reserve this kind of post for younger kids, but it sounds as if something could have been wrong with him that was sadly missed all these years. I'm no doctor, but I'm thinking of Aspergers. He's "not getting it" and "childlike demeanor" rang big red flags with me. Sadly, Aspergers or not, he is still not allowed to break the law, but you may want to look into it and direct him to helpful people once he's out of jail. I'm going to post the link which tells about Asperger's children. If he had a speech delay and has social skills cluelessness, this would further point to autistsic spectrum disorder. Untreated, many kids like this end up in jail. medications are not the answer for this disorder.

    Everyone else said it all. I'm just trying to help figure out what is going on. Usually I think the kids have evolving personality disorders, and he may, however (and, remember, I'm not a doctor) Aspergers just hit me when I read this post.

  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Has your son ever had a neuro-psychological examination? Most often our kids have more than one disorder which makes it especially difficult to find the right path for getting support. Since social interaction problems, as in
    Aspergers, are central it makes the environment of jail particularly difficult.

    Not knowing what you have tried, what professional resources you have tapped etc. makes it difficult to weigh in on the choice you are now facing. Taking consequences is essential. on the other hand some of our difficult child's need
    professional placement in order to move forward.

    I, too, have had a young adult in jail. Previously he was in juvie detention
    and each time it has been emotionally heartbreaking for me and my husband. I'm so sorry you are facing this painful situation and am sending you hugs
    of support. DDD
  10. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    First let me say welcome you have found a good place for support and ideas.

    I too have been there done that. My son is about to be released from prison after being in and out for 4 years now because he would not adheare to court ordered programs after his initial burglary/assualt crimes. I find he talks the talk very well but doesn't walk the walk. In the past I have been very involved with finding placements and services for him only for him to go off down the road to destruction (and jail) once again. This time I'm leaving it up to him for the most part. He will have to put in a real effort before I will help and I will not ever again rescue him from problems of his own making.

    I was not always this strong. In fact I was a mess when I first found this board. I just wanted a happy family and a nice life in a nice community but my difficult child was making that impossible. I was in constant "damage control" mode. But eventually I couldn't control the fall out and I couldn't live with the caous.

    You see my son is also a liar and has told some woppers about me and his home life in order to manipulate people into feeling sorry for him and give him things he should have earned. He has ruined my reputation in two different towns now and I have few friends in the community in which I currently live. (I have many in my vacation spot though). People here see me living in a nice house while my difficult child was homeless or in group homes and programs. They did not see how he abused me and my home, that he stole from us constantly, that he racked up phone and cable and legal and therapy and hospital bills(the medical bills would have been fine if he stayed and got the help he needed but he would check into hospitals and then leave as soon as treatment and accountability started. difficult child would call his therapist on the phone @ $150/hour and then not follow her advice. In one year he had spent over 50K of our money and we had to cash in life insurance to help pay for all of it. Four years later I have just paid the last installment on his hospital bill and his creditors have stopped calling here.) All these bills without a thought or an ounce of caring that he was going to bankrupt us if he didn't stop. In addition these people who critisize me don't know that he was violent with me.

    you see my difficult child initially presents as normal. He is handsome and very soft spoken and funny. He seems sweet and compassionate to the outside world and at time he is all that... but there is also a lazy, manupilative, stubborn and abusive side to him. When that side manifested the people who had taken him in and believed his horror stories would call me and yell at me that he was driving them crazy and/or had taken advantage or stolen from them. One of these people beat my son up with a chain and left him to walk 7 miles to the nearest ER where he was stiched up and sent home to me. He almost lost his eye. That same person had the nerve to ask my husband what kind of parents we were. Once he had given a street frind permission and access to living in our garage. We came home late at night to find this stoned out kid sleeping in our car. So you see my son brought all kinds of misery and low lifes into my home and my life. But I still care about him and love him.

    Most people who judge me haven't taken the time to know me and so they really do not matter to me at all. Others including family members either can't relate or are so disfunctional they see motherhood as a carte blance for maltreatment by one's children and feel I am too hard on him. While it is hard being judged all the time I still hold my head high because I know that what I have gone through would have brought most parents to their knees. What I do or don't do for my difficult child I do out of love... love for my difficult child and love for myself.

    Not rescuing is hard this isn't called 'tough love' without reason. I could never have gotten through the last several years if not for the support and caring advice of the other parents on this board.

    So take care of yourself and your marriage. Find a good support system and fun activities for yourself and your husband to enjoy. Life does get better if you want it to. It requires detachment and a virtual suit of armor to protect you from the hard blows that will come your way. Work on developing those two things and let your son reap what he sows. Hopefully he will learn from his erronious ways and the consequences they bring. Stop making yourself responsible for him and his bad choices and move towards your own peace of mind. Come here for support and advice when you are struggling and sad. We understand. -RM
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  11. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Welcome and I know how hard it is to leave him there. He can learn you won't be bullied or manipulated by leaving him in there, also, maybe he'll learn that jail sucks and he better turn his life around if he never wants to go back there. He has to stay there in order to learn a bit more. It will be ok, you are doing the right thing. We're all saying the same thing. Ok? It's hard, but we're here for you.
  12. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, Star said it beautifully. Read her post over and over. The other posters had great advice, too.

    If you know he is a liar, then you know everything he is saying to you is a lie. Stay strong and let him suffer the consequences of his actions. He will never learn if you keep rescuing him.

    I know it is hard . . . been there done that. While my daughter never ended up in jail (unless you count the night from a DUI), we did have to kick her out of our house at one point. I found it easier not to even talk to her for the first two months rather than listen to her lies.

    If it is any consolation, our daughter has come a long way (although things are not perfect by any means). I hope that your son learns from this painful lesson and turns away from the destructive path that he is on. Whatever you do, though, don't let him drag you down with him.