pe Scared And Don't Know What To Do

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WorriedForSon, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. WorriedForSon

    WorriedForSon New Member

    Hey All

    I'm new to the board. I wish I knew all the abbreviations being used, but I don't so I hope I'm on the right board. This is concerning my 19 year old son and his girlfriend.

    History: Lived with an emotional, mental and physically abusive husband until my son was 10. I finally got the knowledge and courage to leave because I didn't want my sons to turn out to be like him.

    Got involved with another man two years later. He wasn't abusive to me but was to the boys. He got the boot for the same reasons.

    Two years ago my, then 17 year old, son began to date this girl. In our state, at the time, 17 could move out if they wanted yet the parents were still responsible for them. No sense, and the law has since been changed. We found out about three months later, that this girl was only 14.

    We found out because she had slept with another boy while my son was out of town and yelled rape on the boy she slept with. This all came out, of course. He opted to stay with her because "everyone deserves a second chance". At that time, her parents also found out HE was older than they thought. They opted let them continue seeing each other.

    At this time, my son began having issues his Sr. year of school and my goal was to keep him at home and in school. So, I had to choose my battle. If I pushed too hard about "the girl" he would have moved out.

    Over the next 1.5 years, things progressively got worse. They argue all the time and her parents have made them break up for a few weeks, a month, two months etc. But they never adhere to their decision.

    I have seen her have some pretty heavy mood swings and my son agrees that she does to the point that it makes him wonder if she is bi-polar. I have recently seen an event that would make me think so as well. She is extremely controlling and extremely jealous as I have witnessed with my own eyes and ears.

    In November, he FINALLY tried to break up with her. She ended up in the teen crisis center that night for a suicide attempt. Upon her release, her mother told them they could NOT be dating anymore although my son had decided he wasn't breaking up with her after all. The release letter stated that her boyfriend, my son, was extremely abusive emotionally, physically, mentally, verbally to the point of destruction. The counselor said she suffered from "batters wife syndrome". WOW, pretty heavy words. So, I try to help her mother keep them a part as it seems they both need a lot of help. Now, I do not believe my son is that abusive...but more immature than anything. I have watched both of my sons closely as they have grown up and I have seen my oldest step in front of a swinging bat when another young man was attempting to hit a girl in our neighborhood with it and other events like being taken off the school bus by an officer for threatening the bus driver. But as we soon learned, he was threatening the bus driver because he was cursing and saying in proper things to the younger kids on the bus. We received an apology from the bus shop. Living with him all these years, I think I would have seen some of the signs I know so well from my own experiences. I also have seen her do things like hit him and him not even try to stop her let alone be abusive back which is not indicative of someone that is being abused. Neither of them knew I could see what was happening until it was all said and done. I do think he needs counseling but because he is more like me and is letting someone run all over him.

    As time rocked on, and I became more involved by him and her mother, I noticed a pattern that is pretty much one of her telling whomever she is with, what they want to hear. They have been sneaking phone conversations and have actually snuck in person once or twice. They have even threatened a restraining and conduct order on both of them. They feel it is that serious because she has some obvious problems and the counselor said "unhealthy relationship" which we already knew anyway. I have been so frustrated over the 1.5 years because they never adhere to making them break up!! With his age, my hands are tied.

    In the last 1.5 months, she has been in the teen crisis center TWICE including over the Christmas holidays. While she was in the crisis center, my son didn't know she was there, he was enlisting into the Air Force. She got out of the center and was told if she has another episode she will go to a psychiatric ward. She blamed her parents this time, I mean, really, my son wasn't around enough to blame him this time.

    She got out on New Years Eve. My son got the call to go to basic training on the 2nd. By the 4th, the girl was calling my son and she and her mother decided to go out to eat with us, prior to her mom asking me my opinion, to say "goodbye". It was obvious, to them it was not a good bye. Saturday he slipped her a ring he had given her prior but her parents returned it. I discovered the ring was gone and asked my son about it via phone on Sunday because we had agreed I would put this in a safety deposit box along with some other items, for him. He in turn called the girl and she decided to tell her mother she had the ring. Running interference you know, at least she could say she was HONEST about it. Her mother tells me she is going to let them "communicate" now. Yet she can not tell me what has changed. My thoughts are that the only thing that has changed is that he is now an Airman. She tells me it is none of my business anymore. Her mother says that trying to keep them apart has not worked, so she thinks it will run its course since he is now out of town. I don't think this at all. He did give her a ring prior to leaving, so he is serious about her. They have held out as much as two months before so I don't think six weeks is going to make a huge difference. She also says that the doctor said the girl isn't bi-polar but is extremely smart and extremely manipulative. I think this is worse! But, she is so erratic, I do still think something is wrong....maybe not bi-polar but something. She is very materialistic and gets angry if those desires aren't met. She is controlling and jealous...the first night she saw him to say "good bye" she was fussing at him for giving an old pair of shoes to his little brother and told him "he better not give him....". Just amazing.

    This is a brief description of all the mess that has occured. I am very afraid my son will end up marrying this girl and it will be sheer destruction and then children will be included if not prior. I know they have engaged in sexual activity and I know she has screamed she was pregnant a few times. I would not put it past her to attempt pregnancy on purpose. All I can think of is the lady that drowned her children, in Texas and the most recent where the guy threw his four children off a bridge etc.

    I don't see how a mother with a child under age, and knowing she has obvious problems, and knowing the counselors have said it is an unhealthy relationship, can allow the child to be in a relationship with anyone!! It hinders her progress and inflicts her problems on another person AND his family. I am at my wits end and there is not anything I can do, due to his age. She is only 16 though. They say all their efforts haven't stopped it. But, she still answers the phone, they still leave her at home alone...etc. The last time she went to the teen crisis center she had thrown a fit and told them she would see my son regardless of what they say. She ended up there and out four days and got exactly what she said she would. I think that is reinforcing her actions. I don't get the whole thing but I am scared for my son and possible grandchildren. I feel like I have tried so hard to keep the craziness and abuse away from him so he would have a shot at a normal life and now THIS!

    Wouldn't it be considered a type of abuse that her parents allow her to do what the counselors said not to do considering she has been in that facility twice in the last 1.5 months?

    Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated. I have just cried and cried this last week.

    Thanks tons
    A Worried Mom
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the Board. :flower:

    Well, gee. If my daughter Nichole was 14, I'd be wondering if it was her you were talking about. :surprise:

    I dunno. Obviously this girl has some serious issues going on. Could be bipolar, could be borderline personality disorder, or Godforbid, a combination of the two or even something else.

    Unfortunately, there isn't anything you can really do. I know it stinks. Believe me, I've got similar drama going on with Nichole and her boyfriend. But if you try to get involved, odds are your son will get defensive of her (you don't want that) or shut you down completely.

    What I attempt to do when I'm faced with the opportunity, is coach Nichole on the dynamics of "healthy relationships", using other couples as examples. I do see some progress. But it's been 3 yrs and they're still together. Neither she nor boyfriend can see that this relationship as it stands is NOT healthy.

    Other than that, I stay out of it as much as possible. And I try not to take sides. (not easy) It's a Life Lesson.

    But for everyone's sake I hope your son is extra careful as far as birth control. Believe me, you don't want to even go there.

  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. You should get some pretty consistent advice
    and caring responses.

    I have had a wealth of experience raising children and I know that difficult child and easy child teens are similar to Hurricane just
    can NOT control them. If they hook up with "loser" you can NOT
    stop the power of nature...usually, the more you try the tighter
    they get. None of ours have hooked up with someone who is an actual danger but my youngest has three children by three men
    who she "believed" would want to live happily ever after with her
    ..NOT. Two boys got together with slightly "off" girls who, much
    to be total amazement, were able to isolate them from the family
    in many ways.

    You probably have calluses on your knees from seeking divine
    intervention :smile: and it sounds like your son understands
    that he needs to get a life and has sought out a disciplined life
    which is probably exactly what he needs. You can be proud.

    At the same time, I suggested that you do what most of us have had to do. Read up on detachment. Someone will post the easy
    way to access it on the Board. (I'm not computer literate!) It
    can be found, the harder way lol, by going to Archives and going
    down about eight or so posts. That will help you to understand
    that you have to accept the things you can not change. The healthier YOU are...the healthier your son is likely to choose to
    be. It is not easy but you can do it. Hugs. DDD
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi- Welcome!

    Here is the detachment link that D3 is referring to:

    At 19 there isn't much you can do. Hopefully getting away in the service will give him some perspective on his future and his past and he will move on by himself.

    In the meantime, like Lisa and D3 have mentioned, your best bet is to back off as much as possible. I'll post another link that might be helpful for you to's a series of responses so that you don't engage in conversations that are self-defeating.

    Here's the link:

  5. WorriedForSon

    WorriedForSon New Member

    Thanks for the information so far. Yes, I do know I am VERY limited to what I can do because of his age. It has been that way since he was 17, due to the state laws. I have pretty much tried to tread softly and only give advice when he is open to it. I have said very little to her parents but have been extremely frustrated at their inability to be consistent with their daughter.

    However, when she went into the crisis center for drinking bleach in attempt to kill herself, the mother contacted me and I told her I would support her in anyway possible. This decision made because I do feel it is in the best interest of both, my son and her daughter. My relationship with my son is now in a strain and I was willing to take that strain for the betterment of his life. However, she turned coat and it all seemed for nothing. I do appreciate the last post because I definately let my tongue fly the last couple of days and it got absolutely nowhere. There is no talking logic to the mother at all. I receveid an email from her again on Friday and chose to simply ignore it.

    I do not agree in giving up control when the daughter is only 16. I do not think they are giving her much of a chance at a normal life either considering she has never dated anyone other than my son and considering the obvious problems she has. She might be strong willed, but the parents will must be stronger. Both of my sons are pretty strong willed but when my oldest was younger and I felt something was bad for him, I did stop the situation. It wasn't always easy and sometimes it took months of battle. But at a certain point, he decided the battle was no longer worth it. I certainly do not think they have done their absolute best to prevent her from doing what the counselors say she should not do. For example, still able to use the phone and answer the phone andd still staying home alone. There are other alternatives they could opt for, but they had rather her continue down the path of destruction and take a few other lives with her.

    It is very frustrating to watch someone have so much control over your child's life and all you can do is sit back and watch. I honestly think it is a power trip a control issue for both the mother and the daughter. In fact, at one point the mother said to me "we have taken the control from you". I guess in some twisted way that is what she thinks, but I haven't had any control since he was 17. Nonetheless, I think that is what it is all about for them both. Sadly enough, my son will pay the price.

    He did talk about going to counseling to make the mother happy when they were slamming him saying he was completely and totally abusive. I told him that it would be a good idea. I had hoped he would follow through with that so he could deal with why he chooses to be in such a relationship. So far, he has not done so. But perhaps with the availability of counseling in the military, he will do so.

    I just feel very helpless when I can see the destruction so clearly. Bless his heart, he repeats things I have taught him over the years but in a somewhat twisted, everyone deserves a second chance, treat others with kindness and respect including those with mental handicaps. It is not their fault and stand up for them if others try to mistreat them, through christ all things are possible etc.

    I have even tried to reason with him using my own relationship with his father by telling him things he already knows but bringing them back to the for front like the fact that I did love his father but loving someone doesn't mean letting them abuse you. You can still love them, it doesn't mean you have to be with them. I even used siblings as an example, I love them too but I chose not to have a very close relationship with two of the seven because of their ways (theives,drugs etc). Nothing seems to soak in.

    Thanks again
  6. WorriedForSon

    WorriedForSon New Member again..just read the link on detachment. So, let me make this statement to add to the mix. I don't control my son's life and I don't try...not since he turned 17. I put limits on what can or can not take place in my home because it is my home. A requirement for living in my house, was to finish high school. That was my focus for him during age 17/18. He had to take one summer class to be official, but he made it with alot of daily struggle of "get out of the bed and go". Sure, I had people tell me to let him go and let him suffer the consequences. But, being a school teacher and seeing many go down that road and never return, it simply wasn't an option for me. He has told me he appreciates that I pushed on that, altough he didn't appreciate it at the time. He wouldn't have made it into the Air Force if he didn't have that degree because his ASVAB wasn't high enough if he had only a GED. My job was to see him through high school, as I see it.

    Since that time, I give advice if asked, concerning jobs etc. I don't enable. For example, he has had tons of trouble with his car but would not save any money and wanted me to pay to have it fixed. Well, the car is still sitting unfixed. He finally saved enough to by a transmission but didn't have enough to have the transmission put in. I took him back and forth to work, he paid for gas. I do not pick his friends or even try to at this point in his life, although I did when he was younger. He makes pretty good decisions in the friends department. But there are friends now, of which I only know their name and have never met or only met long enough to be introduced. When he told me he was going to enlist and asked if I would be happy for him I told him that if it was what he wanted to do, I would be happy for him. I try to be supportive of his decisions even when they would not be mine or even when it is hard for me emotionally (like him going into the military). I even tried to not let him see my cry MUCH over him enlisting because I didn't want him to make a decision about it based on MY emotions.

    I have pretty well done the same with this girl and only spoke up when asked or I felt he was open to comments. But this last two months has been just too far out and has created too much fear. I had hoped her parents would handle things on her end and that would take care of the situation with her and encourage him to go to counseling so he doesn't get in another relationship like it. However, they have not done so. I don't think it is a control issue as detachment implies so much as I just see what is going to happen and fear for him. Then realizing her parents are not helping the situation but are actually encouraging it at this point AND reinforcing her negative actions and reactions makes me fearful for her or anyone she is around, in the future. I don't think that type of destruction needs detachment? I think suicide attempts and threats need someone on it, not detaching from it?

    Thanks again
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, my advice is probably not what you want to hear, but I'd get uninvolved in the situation.
    1/ You can't do ONE THING to control what your son does at his age.
    2/ You can't do ONE THING to help this girl at her age. NOTHING.
    3/ You can't do ONE THING about how this girl's parents act towards this destructive relationship. NOTHING.
    If your son is considered an adult, I'd tell him calmly, "I don't want to hear about her." I'd do the same when her mother calls or, better, I'd Caller ID her out. Your son is too old for you to control and I"ll bet you're close to giving yourself a nervous breakdown over something you can't do a thing about. As for the girl, she is in no way your responsibility. One thing I would tell my son: If the girl choses to do harm to herself it is HER choice and he can't stop it nor is it his fault. Then I'd butt out and try to be good to myself. I'd get involved in a new hobby or group or disengage from the entire situation. The mother of the girl is going to have to deal with her daughter herself--I actually think she needs to detach too because, unless her daughter realizes she needs help, she won't get it. If the mother doesn't think the daughter needs help either, again, there is not a thing you can do about it except make yourself sick. We get into a habit of helping our troubled children, but there comes an age when the responsibility falls to them to make choices. We legally can't. The mother of the girl can't really stop her daughter from seeing your son. This is their mess and your son's problem. Please remember that and be good to YOU. in my opinion I'd take the stress out of my life at least a little bit by sliding out of the entire mess. You can't stop this girl from committing suicide if she's going to do it. If she tells you she is suicidal, I'd call 9-1-1. They will take her to the hospital and professionals will help her. Good luck.
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I don't think her parents are detaching - they did take her to the crisis center on more than one occasion - but rather trying the best they know how. There are no manuals on how to raise kids like this. As far as doing more, their child is 16. If she doesn't want to go to therapy and doesn't want to participate there isn't a whole lot they can do. It's the whole, leading a horse to water analogy. If she doesn't want to take medications, she doesn't have to. 14 is the age of consent for that in a lot of states. They tried barring her from your son, but they snuck around it - your son played a part in that. So maybe they feel like if they allow it then they can have some kind of control over what least be on top of what is going on.

    Your son is 19. He's an adult. If he chooses to continue in an unhealthy relationship that's on him, not on the 16 year old (minor) child who is obviously ill and not her parents. He's continued with it even when her parents forbade it.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I thought the girl was 18, not 16. My advice is still pretty much the same. The parents can't do much with this child at her age. She has all the rights at her age as far as going against psychiatric treatment.
    It's a mess for sure. I hope you bow out of it and remember that you can't take care of everyone and "if momma ain't happy ain't NOBODY happy." Detach.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It sounds to me like the girl's parents did a lot of things to try to help their child. The problem is that short of locking their daughter away in a room and throwing away the key, there really isn't much more they can do.

    Believe me, as a parent of a girl difficult child, 16 and 17 are pretty much the worst years.

    I agree with the others. It helped me to remember the three C's. You didn't cause it, you can't cure it, and you can't control it. All you can do is detach and pray that it all works out as they mature.

    by the way, welcome to the board from a fellow teacher. What age do you teach?

  11. WorriedForSon

    WorriedForSon New Member

    Hey All

    1st, let me say that the parents have not done all that they can. That was one of the points I tried to make. The first attempt of suicide, my son called the parents and they acted like he was crazy and there was no way she drank bleach. He called 911. They did not take her to the teen crisis center. She was ordered there for her own protection after the ambulance took her to the emergency room. They do not monitor her very well at all. And they are not following the advice of the counselors. Prior to these attempts, she pretty well did whatever she wanted including staying out until 2/3 in the morning with a group of much older kids. She would sneak out, lie about where she was etc. and they gave little to no punishment and went back on it every time they did. This was all when they were allowed to see each other. So, allowing them to see each other isn't going to help them stay on top of anything. It didn't help them stay on top of anything before and nothing has changed at all except he went into the military. I don't see that as doing all one can. I honestly think they now feel he is a good one to push her off on; stable career, claims to love her, good benefits with medical etc. Trust me, I know there are no manuals. But I can't say they are doing the best they can. Wouldn't the best be following the advice of those treating her when they, as you say, come with no manual?

    As a mandated reporter, I'm actually fairly positive that this (allowing her to do what those treating her have said she shouldn't do) would be considered neglect and abuse given the situation of her being in the crisis center twice and going against the advice of those treating her. From this law, I also don't think she has the right to refuse therapy at age 16. I could be wrong, but I will ask the counselors at my school tomorrow. By the way Kathy, I teach 7th grade Life Science currently. I use to teach Biology etc. in high school, however.

    I am shocked that the attitude seems to be, detach and try not to worry about it. I guess if they were just typical rebel teens determined to do things their own way, I could see this attitude. But, they are not just typical rebelling teens. One is suicidal among other things. Perhaps I'm so shocked because the law doesn't even tell me to detach, the law tells me to report. And if something happens, and I have not reported, I get into trouble! So, it wouldn't seem to me that detaching is the answer when we are dealing with sick minds.

    2nd, Per my son, I don't discount his actions and he does need to be in counseling too. However, as we have all said, I can not do anything about that other than give advice and pray. The one that can do something about it is the one with the underage child.

    I have bowed out of the situation. I am not responding to anything she sends etc. I'm not doing this as a way to detach, however. I'm doing it to maintain some type of relationship with my son rather than push him completely away. I think I have been pretty well "detached" for the entire time they have been dating. But when things began to escalate to the point of suicide attempts and I was asked to help, I did. I honestly don't understand the "detach" advice for such a case.

    I was honestly looking for practical advice on how to help them all from people that had dealt with similar situations. Not to control the situation but the help them all. I understand all I read about controlling and detaching etc. But, how and why would someone step away from that type of situation rather than try to help? If everyone stepped away and detached, how much WORSE would the suicide rate be for teens? It is bad enough as it is. How much worse would abused homes be?

    I suppose I could understand if it was applying to a person that was always controlling every aspect of the others life. But that is not the case; my son chose where to work, he chose what car to buy, he chose what girl to date, he chose what friends to have, he chose where to go and when and he chose what time to come home, he chose his career path for the military etc. The only stipulation he has had from me in a great while was not to come in drinking or doing drugs. That has never been a problem, but I lay it out as a ground rule when he became of age to do his own thing but was still living under my roof.

    Do you know that in all the research, as trouble teens become adults, the one thing they fairly constantly say is that they wish their parents would have done something more, intervened, tried harder. That they wish they would have done whatever it took! I do know a few teens that a little tough love, worked wonders (parents sent them to the juvenille hall for a few days).

    I believe if it was my child and that out of control and mentally unstable while still underage, I would have her put in a long term home where she could continue her education but get the care she needs without distractions.

    I guess I will talk in greater length to the counselor at school tomorrow. We have spoken some but I haven't taken a long time to sit down with her recently. She has yet to tell me to detach, however. I'm not opposed to counseling, I've been through a lot of it myself after my divorce from my abusive husband. Perhaps I need some myself because I don't understand the "detach" thing and the three C's (didn't cause, can't cure, can't control") so walk away. I mean, I do realize all of those things but I just don't get the aspect of walking away..detach..when it is such a serious issue; life and death really and severe impact on another's mental health.

    If someone can explain that to me more than the article I read, I would appreciate it. Otherwise, I'll speak with the counselor at school and let you know what she says.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I think you're misunderstanding. We're not suggesting the parents of the 16 year old girl detach. It's been suggested you detach from the situation. As you are already aware, you can't stop your son from seeing her. It sounds like you accept that. And you have no control over what the parents do or don't do for the child. I won't speculate on that as they aren't here to defend themselves.

    If you are required to report and you feel that this child is not being taken care of properly, why not report? I don't understand that if you feel that the parents are really failing her.

    As a parent of a difficult child, I can tell you that I can guide and offer the tools and resources, but I cannot do the work for her. She has to. I could turn myself inside out, but if she refuses to put to use the tools she's been given, if she refuses to participate in therapy then all I can do is keep repeating myself. I could drag her there kicking and screaming - which, by the way, all therapists we have seen have said not to bring her if she won't come because it's a waste of their time and makes difficult child even more adamant about not going - but I cannot physically force her to participate. I cannot force her to communicate with the therapist. I cannot force her to use the tools she's been given. Forcing medications brings out WWIII. That's not an exaggeration. One that many parents here have experienced. It's so much more than the will of the child vs the will of the parent. As her parent all I can do is keep repeating and reinforcing.

    I want her to have a better life. I want her to want to have a better life. That's the key. She has to want it, too.

    There isn't a parent on this board that hasn't done everything and then some - tough love much tougher than a few days in juvie - for their children. It's worked for some and others are a work in progress.

    Detaching doesn't mean you stop caring. It means you accept what you cannot change. That your son continues to see this girl is out of your hands. Like you said, you can offer counsel and listen, but ultimately the decision is his.
  13. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    I don't have any words of wisdom except to hang in there. {{{{HUGS}}} I do know that now he has joined the military, he will be gone. 6 weeks of basic then some weeks in his school for his job then a permanent duty station and that will occur anywhere the USAF has a base. Chances are they will be unable to communicate more then they realize.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I understand your concern for the girl and your son.

    I can't say the parents of this girl have/haven't done all they could. BUT I can say that at this girl's current age unless she is WILLING to participate in treatment, there isn't much they can do to force it. In many states the laws are stated that way. And boy, do I think that is so wrong. Unfortunately unless this girl is a danger to herself/others there is no way to force her. Even if you could force treatment it wouldn't work because there is no way to enforce her to stick to the treatment/medications ect.

    At this point unless the girl is a danger to herself/others it's doubtful cps would even look at the case. Stinks, but that's the way it is.

    Trust in the way you raised your son to be. I know that can be hard to do. But you taught him all the right stuff. You've given him the right tools. He just needs to learn how to apply it to his own life.

    In my daughter with her similar relationship I do see positive changes in her thinking. I hear it in the way she speaks to him. I see it in the way she acts. But it has taken time for her to get there. It's taken time for her to SEE it for herself, to apply what she was taught.

    Will she and b/f stay together? I haven't a clue. (and God I hope not) But I do see her maturing and growing and learning to see relationships in a different way.

    I know it's hard to watch your child being treated badly by someone who is supposed to care about them. I know it's horribly frustrating when you can see the situation so clearly but your child can't seem to grasp it. (think of the not seeing the forest thru the trees thing)

    I've been living my own version for 3 very long years.

    With your son being in service the situation might resolve itself given enough time. Odds are the girl, at her age, isn't going to want to wait around for an absent boyfriend. Likewise, at his can get awfully lonely away from home. Might help them both get some perspective on the "relationship". Plus your son will be in constant contact with many older more mature people. Hopefully that will help your son to see how immature this girl is.

    What we mean by detaching.....well, that doesn't mean you don't care......It just means that we've learned to let go of situations that we have no control over to change.

  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I love the Serenity Poem:
    "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change,
    The Courage to Change the Things I can, and the Wisdom to Know the Difference." I wore a necklace with this poem on it for many years.
    Hon, I was SHOCKED at the idea of detaching when my daughter used drugs (she started at 12 and in no way would anyone consider me a neglectful parent--if anything I was accused of being too involved). I finally gave up when I saw I was just enabling her and making her worse. At eighteen when I found her and her friends in the house taking drugs, she had to move out--and I was terrified that I'd done the wrong thing. I thought what you thought: "She'll kill herself." "She'll be homeless." "I'm a horrible mom for letting her down" etc.
    What she did, without her parents around to give her second chances and try to get her help she refused, is to get clean and change her life for the better. She is a productive, functioning, drug-free member of society now. What we think is being a "good" parent, as in trying, trying, trying, begging, threatening, helping out with bills etc. when the kids are adults, sometimes make them worse, not better.
    The sixteen year old may be able to be made to go to therapy. My daughter went. But NOBODY can make her talk or cooperate or listen to the therapist. My daughter shut her out and wouldn't cooperate. The girl's parents MAY be negligent, maybe they have just tried everything and are frazzled and unsure of what to do. My daughter would sneak out at night--she jimmied her bedroom window. You can call CPS, but she is 16. We had to deal with CPS plus the police department because daughter was busted for drugs. They weren't all that helpful. But if you feel you need to do something calling CPS is about all you CAN do.
    We can't control YOU either and aren't trying to do that. We're telling you what worked best for us--what we learned in the long run, and it's up to you to decide your course of action. I see a very wonderful mother (you) trying hard to fix a situation that, in my opinion, you can't do anything about. I agree that negligience in an eight year old is heinous--you don't detach from a child that young because you can still control much of his choices/behaviors/treatment. But when they are adults/almost adults legally it's a whole different ballgame. There isn't a whole lot you CAN do other than go nuts trying to change things.
    I hope you find some peace and I send my prayers.
  16. WorriedForSon

    WorriedForSon New Member

    Hello Everyone

    Thanks so much for all the comments and feedback here. I'd like to address a few things posted particularly by Wyntersgrace. I was understanding the detachment comments on who was to detach from whom. I was merely asking questions about the entire concept of detachment. No one here has to speculate on what her parents are or are not doing. It isn't necessary, nor was I asking anyone to do that. I know, because I have lived and watched it for nearly two years now. The point of the post was to get feedback on what to do and how to handle this given the situation, not to ask an opinion or speculate on the other set of parents and to find out a few laws of which I was unsure of.

    Why wouldn't I go ahead and report it if I am required to report it? Because of my relationship with my son. As I'm sure you can realize, it is a very sticky situation of which I'm trying to feel my way around. I would like to do what I am required to do by law, guide my son and help this girl without completely alienating my son.

    I did speak with the school counselor today. I have spoken with her a bit off and on, but haven't had a huge sit down discussion with her. In a nutshell, this is what I was told:

    1. She is not of age to decide if she wants treatment or not. However, we do all agree that she can simply refuse to communicate or use the help provided even if taken.

    2. Yes, it can and should be reported that they are not following the guidelines of the counselor given she IS a threat to herself and has been in the facility twice in the last 1.5/2 months.

    3. Yes, she can be taken/removed from the home for those actions although sometimes law enforcement agencies are slow to move on this because of her age. However, pushed, by law, the law enforcement, DFACS, etc. do have to act or they are held liable.

    4. This is not a situation for myself or her parents either one to be detaching from. It is a situation to tread softly, choose words carefully and wait for a willingness to hear/listen on my part.

    Choices to detach lie largely in the situation rather than the person. Some situations call for detachment, some don't. For some people most situations may call for detachment, for others few situation call for detachment.

    She did what most counselors do and asked ME some questions. One of those questions was "would detachment from those that loved and cared for me have helped me more when I was in an abusive relationship" The answer was a definate NO. It was their constant peaking in my ear that broke open a crack in which I could finally see horrendous outcomes down the road. The counselor relayed to me the following "In some instances of abuse, detachment by loved ones leads to further feelings of isolation. Those feelings of isolation contribute to a large percentage of why people stay in abusive relationships." Of course, I already knew isolation was a big thing in most abusive relationships (real or preceived). However, this again depends on the specific abusive relationship. While my son was definately a challenge in middle school (dealing with divorce and moving two states away) but has been a pretty stable teen; doesn't do drugs and lets those that need to know, know when someone he loves and cares about gets involved with drugs, has never been known to drink or be drunk although we acknowledge he has most likely tried some varieties as most teens do, holds down a job, pays his own bills and pays them own time, has set and met many goals (gymnastics state champ, all star baseball, cadet officer leadership school top cadre and taking his flight to top flight, 1st degree black belt etc) and just made the decision to join the Air Force....detachment is probably not the correct answer.

    Perhaps my understanding upon reading about detachment and her understanding upon studying detachment is different from your understanding. Trust me, I know this happens because it definately happens in the wonderful world of education and the many faucets within in understanding of terms used in education and even in psychology as we do deal with behavioral issues, IEP's etc. too. But this is what she relayed to me.

    I DO hope being in the military will nip things in the bud. I was positive of it until her mother decided to let them resume their relationship and communicating while he is away. But I hope the levels of mental awareness and maturity it will take just to endure basic training will leave a sour taste in his mouth for all of this foolishness and manipulation. Likewise, maybe he will meet a stable, well rounded girl and the lights will go off when reflecting on the whole deal. I'm not opposed to him having a girl. He will be 20 this year in Sept. after all! So a nice young lady is fine, but, preferably a healthy one!

    Thanks again for listening