Problems with 19 Year Old Son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by PittDoraj, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. PittDoraj

    PittDoraj New Member

    I found this forum late last night when I was searching for help. I really need advice. Our 19 year old son has multiple issues - he smokes pot occassionally, (usually the synthetic kind), he steals our credit card numbers to buy video games for himself, he sneaks out of the house in the middle of the night to smoke pot with his friends, etc., etc. A brief history: He is very talented artist who has tried to go to two colleges. He passed a couple of his classes at the first one. He committed himself to the psychiatric ward after that experience saying he had planned suicide. He tried to go to another college this fall but after 2 months he was taken to the hospital after trying to kill himself with booze and over the counter drugs. He spent another week in the psychiatric ward after that and dropped out. We found out he had barely been going to class. When his roommates called 911 it was discovered that he had grafitti supplies and the college was able to determine that my son had been painting things around the campus. The college has not pursued actions against him yet but they will. He is seeing a therapist who is 'developing a treatment plan' and we are waiting for something concrete to be put in place. Since he has been home we discovered he used the credit cards of me, my daughter, and my wife to purchase a PlayStation 3 as well as online games. (Total around $1000). We have all replaced our cards. In recent weeks he has been in 'house arrest' (my terms) essentially. We do not give him any money. He cannot use the car. I usually sleep on a sofa downstairs to try and catch him if he is sneaking out. However last night my wife caught him after he returned from being out from 1:30 to 2:30 in the morning. A review of his text messages showed he was meeting his friend and they talked about meeting to smoke pot - not clear if they did or not. After confronting him and talking about various issues he confessed that he had snuck into my wifes purse and photographed her new credit card and used the number to buy another $80 worth of games on line. (We have tried to carry wallets and purses with us at all times so he cannot get access to our cash/credit cards). Now, the bottom line. My wife wants to kick him out of the house. My son says he expects that and has made plans - however I know any plans he has are thought out for about 1 day. (he freely admits he does not think about anything beyond what makes him happy at the moment and therefore does not care about consequences of his actions). My wife also wants to call the police and pursue charges for theft. I am at a complete loss as to how to proceed. I fear that pressing charges and/or kicking him out will lead to either his suicide (or serious attempt), his death from street activity, or at best a life of being in/out of prison. Please, does anyone have any ideas? Thank you for taking the time to read this - sorry if it rambles too much - I am desperate.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us...really sorry you had to seek us out. This is a caring group and probably there is nothing you can share that hasn't been shared before. Can you tell us when his behavior began, what professional help he has had, possibly what medications have been tried? The pot smoking is a big issue, of course, but his self-destructive behavior sounds like the number one issue. Some members have faced the same multiple problems and likely will be along soon to welcome you and give some input.
    Sending supportive hugs your way. DDD
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    First of all I am glad you found us. Most of our members found this board late at night after desperately searching for help. It sounds like your son is dealing with depression more than he is substance abuse. I may be wrong but it sounds like he is self medicating in both the form of pot and buying things that he thinks will occupy his mind.

    How long has he been seeing this therapist? Are you comfortable with the therapist? Will your son sign a waiver so that you and your wife can consult with him? What is he treating your son for? I think it's important that your son get a good pyschiatric evaluation so that you know what you are dealing with. Some of his actions will lead to serious legal trouble if he does not find a way to resolve that.

    My suggestion is not to kick your son out of the house at this point. Sadly you are living like prisoners in your own home but your son sounds too unstable to be on his own right now. I think you need guidance from the medical community. I know I don't know much background but he sounds troubled.

  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, just wanted to say welcome. It is true many of us found this board when having a day/week/month like you have had, often at night. My son is not in this situation so I have not parented in this way. I have had immediate family with serious depression and suicide attempts. You will get a lot of advice here and some is hard to hear at times, but meant with love and concern. I agree with Nancy, though I am not living it. If it is not a choice to have him there (you do need to preserve your family and life overall) would he agree to a residential placement of some kind? long term therapy setting, a half way house for mental health or dual diagnosis mental health/addiction? He may have a gaming addiction along with depression and substance abuse.

    Sending you a hug and prayers for your family....Buddy
  5. PittDoraj

    PittDoraj New Member

    Thank you for your quick responses and well wishes. I believe the comments about 'self-medication' and depression are accurate. I will try to capture some of the history:
    He started showing signs of 'rebelling' when he was in 9th or 10th grade. At that point we caught him forging notes in order to skip school. We had him talk to some counselors at that point. We went through the 11th and 12th grade years living with episodes of alcohol, pot, and anti social behavior, but I assumed it was kind of typical high school boy stuff. By end of his senior year he was dating a girl seriously and he escalated his pot smoking and was sneaking alcohol to his room. We would find bottles of beer, wine, etc. in his room. He was either stealing it from us, our neighbor, or taking our money to buy on his own. He agreed to go into an out-patient AA type program and he attended for a few weeks. Late that year he broke up with his girlfriend and by the time he realized that was a mistake it was too late. She told us she was tired of putting up with his **** and was moving on. This sent him into his first obvious depressive state and led to his first stay at the psychiatric ward. They set up a dual treatment plan but my son did not attend. After a couple of months of continuing issues he agreed to see a therapist on a weekly basis. After a couple of months we received a few bills for missed appointments. He had pretended to go to those appointments but did not. He then went to college a couple of hours away and we all hoped for a fresh start. This led to the more recent episodes including the more recent psychiatric ward stay. Upon his return and the first round of stealing of our credit cards my wife met with his therapist and my son together. It became clear that the therapist was in the dark on many of the actions and told my son he could not help him.

    Yes, he has signed the waiver so we can talk to his current therapist.

    Here is my summary of his personality - which has been discussed and confirmed with the therapist. 1) He is an extremely good liar. And will lie about something even when faced with overwhelming evidence that he is the culprit. The last therapist conceded that he had been fooled by my sons deception. 2) He is only concerned about the next few hours of his life. He does drugs or alcohol to make himself feel better, he steals to buy video games because it helps him escape, I believe he uses sex for the same reason (he has bragged about his exploits with girls) and had himself tested for STD's recently, 3) he is depressed (he posts on facebook about how he lost the "perfect" girl and will never be happy. In addition to this he tells me that he sleeps in because he would rather be dreaming than be awake. His therapist has told my wife that we can expect him to end up in jail and/or an escalated suicide attempt in order to get our attention if we press charges or kick him out. His therapist has summarized my son as being extremely smart with cynical ideas about the world that someone his age should not yet have - however he has the emotional maturity of a 13 year old. I think this is a good assessment. (I should also add that all his doctors have told me that he is not an alcoholic or drug addict. He is an abuser to 'self medicate'). In the meantime I am still waiting on a real treatment plan. I would send him to some sort of rehab or mental health facility but I don't know how to make it happen when he is not an immediate threat to himself, not diagnosed as a alcoholic or drug addict, and is unwilling to go himself. But now the problem at home has escalated to a point that is unbearable.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    So sorry you had to find us. So many of us can relate.

    First off, I'd like to get my .02, which may or may not be correct. Whether or not he is addicted to alcohol or pot or other drugs, he is using them to try to feel better, which is only going to make matters worse. If this were my kid, I would be thinking he does have a substance abuse problem...or will soon if he doesn't stop doing what he's doing. With that in mind, if this were me, I would drag husband to Al-Anon or Narc-Anon to see what others in the same situation have done. Drugs/alcohol alone can cause moodswings and suicidal behaviors. It's kind of like, what came first, the chicken or the egg? My daughter, who abused almost every drug on earth, was never suicidal or moody until she started using drugs and then she talked about suicide all the time and ended up in a phospital (which didn't help or believe she had a drug problem). At any rate, in my opinion the drugs/alcohol are a big factor here. He would probably more able to be helped if he would stop using both.

    I'm not sure what to do about kicking him out. Regardless of what you do, I'd get new credit cards and HIDE THEM. Cancel the numbers that he has. Whether or not he is depressed (I suffer depression) he has no right to make himself feel better by using your credit cards to put you in debt. There is no excuse for that other than psychosis and he isn't psychotic. I'd put the new cards in a lock box. Money too.

    Is he ever violent? If so, I would call the police, even if it upsets him, because you and wife need to be safe in your own home. Are there other kids at home? Has he ever pushed anyone, pulled a knife, etc. etc. etc. If not, you can probably keep him at home for now, if that is how you want to handle it. If he is my opinion only, you have to think about the safety of others. sorry you are going through this.
  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome. I am sorry that you are in this position and understand your turmoil from a been there done that perspective. This is not an easy place to be as a parent. I get that, really, but you say you have him on parent imposed "house arest" Then you said that you sleep on the sofa but he still gets out. You changed your credit cards but he still steals the info and uses it. Who is actually on "house arest here? If you look closely you will see that it is you. Your wife seems more ready than you to put him out. While I totally support her in that I will say that you both need to be on the same page for any of this to work.

    I let my verbally abusive, destructive, subsance abusing, lying, stealing, difficult child son stay with me while trying to get him help. He played the suicide card a couple of times. They were not serious attempts and he never stayed with any help program we provided for him. Then one fateful evening while out on bail for burgulary (we posted bond) he attacked me and broke my rib. He did this because husband and I refused to let him go to a Christmas party that was to be held after town curfew and which alcohol and drugs would be present. I called the cops immediately after the attack and asked them to take difficult child#2 to the hospital for evaluation. They did (after much convincing on my part) but instead of staying there as the doctors recommended, difficult child#2 signed himself out and went to the party. That sealed his fate. We had his bail revoked because we could not control his actions and could not afford the liability. Hard for us as he was on the streeds in the biter cold. We were so sad and worried. He was picked up by police about a week later and went to jail. We then hired lawyers and got him into a court ordered Residential Treatment Center (RTC) which he walked away from. We got him into another and he left that one too after using junk and alcohol and busting up the place. He went to jail for a year and a half then got out after timing out on his sentance. He went into another program left that, lived in a shelter for a while but left when they gave him chores to do. Moved from one relationship to another. He sweet talked himself into caring poeple's homes and lives. He plaedy on people's sympathies, telling one lie after another and slandering husband and I to make them fell sorry for him and they would tak him in... Untill they got to know the real him and kicked him out. It was drama after drama and we continued to try to help him but he would not help himself... untill we had enough. He currently is in prison for hitting his then girlfriend in the face and breaking her nose then taking her car and driving while drunk and without a licence. Thankfully the police ought him before he did any more damage. That was when we stopped trying to help him. i could not bear that he had done that to this girl and mother of a small child. difficult child continued his disrespect for the law by not showing up for two court dates and then with his new girlfriend committed another petty theft while waiting to go to court for his priors. When he finally got to court (after being arrested for the new theft) the judge looked at his history and sentenced him to seven years. He is eligible for parole in July. We worried that he would end up dead of either an attack by another inmate or suicide but he is doing ok (for being in prison).

    I tell you my story because I want to drive home the point that you cannot help someone who will not help themselves. Your son is headed nowhere good. He laughs at your attempts to rein him in. He has no respect for your efforts or your possessions. At this time he does not meet the criteria for involuntary commitment. For that reason he must hit bottom before he will want to change. He will not hit bottom if you keep holdng him up. Harsh words to hear when you are so raw with feelings and I am truly sorry for that. I really do understand. I felt that I had to do everything I could do to try to help my son so I would never have any "what ifs". It cost me dearly emotionally, physically, mentally and financially (0ver 50K). My health suffered irreversible damage and I still suffer some minor PSTD symptoms primarily from the assault, but also from the abuse and emotion trauma he inflicte on me. Members of my family also suffered from his drama and still struggle with risidual effects.

    This is where yor life could go. You are dealing with a drug user's mentality right now. He is refusing help and holding you hostage to his whims. Until he wants help and works at changing; this is where your life will stay unless you yourself change. It is all you can do.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Welcome.... sorry for the pain and worry you are going through. It is tough tough tough but at least you have found a place where many of us have been through similar things and understand and won't judge. So I have a couple of questions....

    The stealing and using your credit cards is a real concern. The credit card thing is a step above taking money out of your wallet, in my mind anyways. Did you actually see the games he bought or are you going on what he told you? I can totally imagine my son admitting to buying online games or something but really somehow buying something for someone else in exchange for drugs. That would be my real concern that the money is really being used for drugs, even if done so indirectly. I suspect the substance abuse issue is bigger than you realize. And that the substance use may also be indirectly linked to his feeling suicidal... and he may not realize or see the link because he may feel "better" when he is high and feel worse later and may not make the connection.

    One suggestion is that you try to find a good alanon group for parents. I have found this to be immensely helpful. It is helpful to meet other parents who have kids with drug problems... where ever they are in the spectrum. You and your wife need to get some help for yourselves... and in the process of letting go. Ultimately you cannot control what he does with drugs or for that matter with self harm. It think it is very hard as parents to come to this realization but it can be freeing in some ways also.

    Really you can't control what he does or what path he takes. All you can do is to continue to let him know you love him, that you will be there and support him when he himself wants help AND to find ways not to enable him. Sounds like you are already watching the money aspect.... get a lock box and lock up wallets (and OTC medications). It is awful to live that way but it is what some of us have to do to have our difficult children live at home. My son is out of the house now and I can't tell you what a relief it is not to have to watch my wallet or go into the lock box every time someone needs a tylenol!!

    As far as kicking him out... I don't know. We had to do that with my son and I have had many of the same worries. I would suggest making a clear contract of the rules that need to be followed to live in your home and that if he does not follow them he needs to live somewhere else. One of the things I came to realize is that letting my son live here, flagrently breaking all our rules (such as taking the car at night without permission while we were sleeping) was sending him a terrible message. Fact is out in society you flagrantly break rules and you get arrested and the law gets invovled. We finally did kick my son out and he did find out the very hard way that breaking rules out there lands you in serious trouble... several arrests, a felony on his record and 2 weeks in jail woke him up to the fact that he does not want to spend his life in prison.

    So I suggest coming up with a contract with basic rules he needs to follow. Keep them simple and things that everyone in the household needs to do.... and don't do this until you are ready to follow through with the consequences if he breaks the rules because he probably will.

    Take care of yourself... and you and yoru wife and daughter need to take care of each other. This is a very hard time for all of you and you will need each other for support.


  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hello and welcome. I am so sorry you have to be here. I fully understand the feelings and desperation. My girl has been to 2 different Residential Treatment Center (RTC) since age 14. She ran away for days at a time, forged a check, took our credit cards 2 times to get cash because we refused her money. Our year in the Juvenile Justice system was not helpful. We turned her in for everything hoping that she could help. We turned her in for a home made bong, skipping school and running(nobody did anything about these, pushing us when we tried to keep her from running, only the last got us to a judge. The day of court was when we found out she had forged a large check. Eventually this was plead doen as she was in a state run Residential Treatment Center (RTC) getting treatment.

    She has been out since Aug. She did not complete the program-she tried and almost killed herself at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). They left pills out that she got to. Alll her previous attempts (3 of them) were verbal and she stated she planned to use pills. I feel all attempts have been associated with manipulation to get what she wants. She was about to graduate the program at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and they set her back to the first phase because she broke some rules. She could not face more time there and tried to kill herself. She has been hospitolized for all of the episodes because I think these must be taken seriously. We have had little luck with antidepressants though Celexa seemed to be our best choice. She has fefused this for 3 months. We think she is using marijuana instead.

    She has finished her GED with flying colors(she couldn't face school), now is working. She still can be manipulative and we of course do not trust her. We have a locked closet for all valuabless and medications. My husband just put a strong locking handle on the utlility closet. She has no house key, phone, or internet access (she does do this at friends however). We will not help her get a driver's licence, buy anything for her. We provide a roof, food, rules, and medical insurance. When she is 18???

    I do not know what the right answers are for you. I could not in good faith kick out a suicidal child. But in that case he needs to be hospitalized. I know this often is not helpful-but maybe he will get some medications to help and get to the core issue of his behaviors. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is a great place for that. without that, we would know what we know about our daughters traumas. There is improvement, though not a cure in our case. It has helped others. But I agree, unless they want help, nothing works. It is painful.

    I go to NAMI and this week I am going to my first families anonymous meeting. Though I have had years of treatment along with my daughter-It is hard to make these decisions we are forced to make when we have kids who are both mentally ill and using. I have recieved the best help here, and at meeting with other families. The professionals, though all highly recommended have few answers. We have been lucky to have a few who have raised difficult children and those have been the best support.

    Hugs to you and your wife. Stick together, care for you so you can care for him.
  10. PittDoraj

    PittDoraj New Member

    Each of your stories sound so similar and I can see our situation heading down the same path.

    Let me give some more background to answer some questions and an update since we are in a dynamic situation.

    First he is taking Celexa - 40mg. I suffer from depression and have been on Celexa for years. My issues are related to feelings of inadequacies. After a couple of years of therapy and the Celexa I have been in a much better frame of mind. It has been about 5 years now.

    Second, he has never been violent. The only time we had any physical event was when I lost my cool and grabbed him after he told me to f'off or when my daughter (his sister) slapped him due to her losing her cool. In each case he did not attempt to hit back.

    Last week, while visiting my in-laws we had an 'episode' where he took beer from my brother-in-law and stashed it in a bathroom in order to drink later. After confronting him we had a major family blow-up. The relevant part is that my daughter (now 22, home after college while she prepares to go to law school) reached a breaking point with him. She got physical with him again (tried to slap him but she is not physically able to hurt anything) and she said some pretty mean things ('wish you were dead', 'why don't you leave', etc.). After two days of uneasy calm, and a lot of thinking, I put forward a plan to my son. I proposed to help him find a job, help him find some freelance photography/art work, looking into getting him an art show, and set up a budget to lead to his independent living situation. In return he had to continue through therapy evaluation and follow through with the plan. But most importantly I told him I needed "honesty and integrity" from him. He read the plan (8 pages in length) and came to me with a hug, thank you, and an "I love you". This was 24 hours before he stole my wife's credit card number.

    This morning I woke him around 1130 and told him that, since he made it clear to me that he was not able or willing to follow a plan towards a safe and healthy independence, he either 1) needed to acknowledge he had a problem seeing things beyond a few hours and he would get help OR 2) he and I would have to move out together (my wife's suggestion since I seem unwilling to recognize the situation) OR 3) he would have to move out on his own.

    He chose to leave and has since left the house with a small bag of clothes. We offered to give him his phone if we verified deletion of the photo(s) he took of my wife's credit card. That created a shouting match and he left without the phone.

    My current feeling is that he will come back in a day or so. But I am scared. I can see him hurting himself or moving in with one of his drug friends - eventually leading to a life of drugs and in/out of jail. Perhaps I pushed him too hard this morning but I also need to save my sanity, my marriage, and my daughter deserves a reasonable living situation as well.

    Thank you so much. It gives me such comfort to have people to 'talk to'.
  11. PittDoraj

    PittDoraj New Member

    I should mention one other thing - I do not think either of his suicide attempts were "serious". The first time was not a true attempt but a culmination of drinking / pot smoking leading to severe depression and expression of suicidal thoughts. The second time was a fifth of vodka and a bunch of tylenol, advil, etc. However I do believe he has suicidal thoughts and I can imagine that he could escalate his attempt to get more attention.

    In addition, my wife's mother (who lives in Alabama - 12 hours away) was admitted to ICU yesterday with pneumonia and blood disorder. My son was aware of this when he took the picture of the credit card and used it to buy video games. (yes, I have verified that he bought games - I have the physical games or found the on-line charges).
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Now that I have had more time to think about this and read your updated posts I do agree with MidwestMom and TL and rejectedmom. I think your son has a substance abuse problem in addition to depression and maybe other underlying disorders. Taking the beer and stashing it for later is a big red flag. I still remember when we had my older daughter's graduation party from college and difficult child stole beer from the cooler and hid it in her bedroom and in the garage and outside her bedroom window. That's when I knew she needed the beer, she didn't just want to drink it when it was available.

    I also agree that you are being held hostage in your home. Your daughter's reaction is very common. The hurtful things she said to your son needed to be said. It is not ok for your son to steal from you and your family and treat you the way he does and refuse to get help. You heard some very painful stories today, so many of us have been where you are. We had to kick our 19 year old daughter out of the house in a blizzard last winter. She called us over a hundred times screaming to let her back in. She said she was going to kill herself, walk in front of a car, lay down in the street, etc. We told her we loved her and hoped she wouldn't do that but she was killing herself anyway by the way she living and we couldn't save her. We told her she needed help and we would help her get it but that's all we could do. It took three months but she finally went for help and is now sober and working the program. The point is you can't allow him to bully you any longer. He needs serious help and I think it needs to start with substance abuse help. I beg to differ with those who told you he doesn't have a substance abuse problem. Perhaps it didn't start out that way but it certianly has evolved into that.

    It's difficult for me to read your posts because our stories are very similar and it brings back so many gut wrenching feelings. None of us wanted to kick our kids out or call the police on them but in all reality that is sometimes what needs to be done in order to help them or bring peace to the family. I am so sorry you are going through this.

    Now that you have his phone delete the picture of the credit card yourself. You pay the phone bill, it's your phone.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Honestly I would go further tha just deleting the picture. At the very least you should moniter your account online daily. He may have given the info to friends or written the info down somewherer. Or you could just have the account changed again. I know it is a hassel but when difficult child's have lost their moral compass, there is no telling what they will do with your money. in my opinion it is better to be safe than sorry.

    I am sorry about the added stress of your mother in law's illness.
  14. PittDoraj

    PittDoraj New Member

    My mother has suggested that we have an intervention, with a professional, and his only options are to stay away or go to a predetermined facility that can deal with dual problems. Do these type of actions work, particularly if the person has shown no willingness to follow through with any program?
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes they work. Most people do not enter treatment willingly. Most addicts do not admit they have a problem when they enter treatment, they go kicking and screaming and are often doing it just to stay out of jail or not get kicked out of the house. Of course he is not going to go willingly, he will be away from all the things he wants most, alcohol, drugs, money.

    If you are seriously considering an intervention seek out professionals that can help you with that plan. You will need to have a facility ready to accept him because he goes right from the intervention. Most treatment centers can help you with the intervention. Our daughter went into treatment at our insistence but she went with the idea she would stay for 30 days and come back. She stayed 60 days and then went into intensive outpatient treatment for 5 weeks and from there she relapsed for several months and lived with drug friends until finally entering a sober house for 6 months. His whole life needs to change. I know it sounds overwhelming right now but take one step at a time.

    How is your insurance? Will they cover residential treatment? Start making some calls.

  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't mean to suggest interventions always work. Of course your son can refuse. You will have to decide what your line in the sand is and be willing to carry it out. For us it was that our daughter go for treatment or find another place to live, that day!

  17. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I agree with Nancy-they can work. We did this for first Residential Treatment Center (RTC)-they had transport right outside as we did it-she ran out the door and they got her. She would have run off for days had we not had their help. Have transport there-it was added money but worth it. Very few insurances cover rehab or RTCs anymore. You may find that it covers bits and pieces-like the weekly therapy or family sessions. We paid using the college money we were saving, as much as we could squeeze out of our monthly budget (we cancelled all luxeries like cable, got cheap basic cell phones eating out), and we were able to get help from our church. These places are expensive and most people do need help esp. if it is going to be long term (our first was 18 months). Even the state Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was expensive as we had to continue paying about the same out of pocket as with the private Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He may be able to get state help since he is on his own now and not a minor??

    As for your daughter-she has every right to be furious! Our son, now 24 is a generally jolly go lucky kid. His life has been up ended for 3 years. Most of our attention and energy has gone to difficult child-yes your daughter and my son are adults, but they still need us. He has had to face her mental illness, live in a home that was oppressed at times (esp. when we had her on lock down). Our boy even gave us money. He fixed our cars for free at his shop as well because he knew how much we struggled to get her treatment. Your daughter is hurting. Our boy hurt for his sister and for himself. He needed treatment as well. He is doing better now. Sometimes he keeps me on track and reminds me to not enable. Addiction and mental illness are a family issue.
  18. buddy

    buddy New Member

    HUGS and LOVE to all of you who have gone through this. I will be adding each and every one of you to my prayers tonight....
  19. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Sounds like you gave your son some good options and he made his choice for now. He thinks he can show you all and live on his own and with friends...he will find out that it is not so easy. Interventions do sometimes work but he is 19 and so he will have to go willingly unless the court thinks he is a danger to himself or others which can be pretty hard to show. My experience with my son says that it works a lot better to let them get the really hard knocks and let them get to the place where they want help.

    You probably have not had the chance to go back and find eveyrones stories to read.... so an update on my son who has put us through much of what you are going through. We have been intervening with him one way or another it seems since he was 14. He is now 20. This past September he called me and told me he was checking himself into the hospital. I went and got him and took him to the best psychiatric hospital in the area. It was the first time he was hospitalized by his own initiation and he checked himself in. There has been a roller coaster ride since then with some relapses along the way but he is now in another state at a sober house working a program there. At least I think he is working it... we are seeing some signs that he is looking more inward and trying to figure things out. It is clear to me that for my son at least, nothing is going to work unless he really wants it. He is too defiant of authority and my insisting on treatment just makes him want to defy me... so I am past doing that.

    My son has been in trouble with the law.... stupid stupid stuff (nothing really horrific) but it all adds up and eventually the courts had enough and revoked his bail. He spent two weeks in jail and discovered that it really is not a place he wants to be. I think that knowledge is a motivator for him. Am I glad he spent two weeks in jail, no, it was an awful time for me.... but it was what he needed. He has a felony on his record which worries me but my hope is he will learn to work with that and still pull his life together.

    One really good piece of advice that I got from a therapist when we kicked my son out of the house (he was 18) was that I should stay in touch with him. At the time I was wondering if I should just wait until he called me. I was so upset with him because of why and how we had to kick him out a part of me also kind of wanted to show him. She pointed out that we had kicked him out and his pride would probably prevent him from calling us. I am really glad I listened to her... because what i did was text him every few days... "thinking of you"... "hope things are ok"... "Happy 4th of July"... short, to the point and definitely not inviting him back home. He did not respond for a week which I kind of expected. Then he was arrested and called us.

    So what we did was to continue to let him know we love him, continued to be there for him (to a point), continued to offer our help if he wanted to help himself. He went to rehab last year and was doing better for awhile and then moved back here and screwed up again....

    We recently got a letter from him where for an assignment for his program he had to think about how he was grateful. In it he expressed how grateful he was for our love and support. Our relationship is slowly improving. I can't say it is great because it is not but it is a little bit better and at least we have contact.

    So hang in there.... I suspect he will get in touch because he will want his phone. We have always kept my son on our phone plan and given him a phone... I want him to be able to stay in touch and that is one way we can do that.

    Let him know you care... but don't change the options you gave him. And really I hope you don't go live with him, I think that would be really hard on your relationshp with your wife. You need to keep that as a priority right now, you need each other and you are both going through this.

  20. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    I have an 18 year old son who became addicted to the synthetic marijuana, and he was using this to get high several times a day. He insisted on using the synthetic weed because it was legal and he could not get arrested for possession. However I have been told that the synthetic weed is much more addictive than regular marijuana, and it can be laced with all kinds of other drugs. My difficult child is now in an inpatient rehab program and he has been clean of any drugs for 22 days. He needed to be in a place where he could get all the drugs out of his system, and then learn the tools to live a drug free life. My difficult child was not able to do this on his own, and he is now 100% healthier and more able to think about his future since his mind is not filled with drugs. It you can get your son to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) it will help him to get off the cycle of addiction and learn to have the tools to live without the drugs and alcohol. My son is also extremely immature, and he does not think about his future more than the next party or how to have a good time. He really needed to be in a place where he could focus on himself without any distractions, and so far the rehab has been very helpful for him. Good luck with your son, and please keep us posted on his progress.