single mom at a loss with my 17 year old son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by hopeless in sd, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. hopeless in sd

    hopeless in sd New Member

    [h=2]I originally posted this in substance abuse, but would also like to hear from those of you who have their difficult child's over 18[/h]
    I just found this forum and am so thankful. I have been on the phone/internet searching for resources to help with my son. S*!t hit the fan this morning, although things had been escalating for some time now. I came home yesterday to him and his buddy hanging out in the living room with a bong sitting there. I confiscated it and called his friends mom to come get him and I explained why. My son left even though he had a scheduled tutoring session for his SAT's, which I am paying alot of $ for and considering I'm a single mom, I really can't afford, but he desperately wants to go to college and play football. He is an amazing athlete and is very bright, he was a GATE student in elementary /middle school, but has lost all motivation begining his Freshman year when my Ex-Fiance and I broke up. He has never known his father, I kept him away due to his drug addcition and in/out of jail. I began a relationship when my son was 10, and this man took on the father role in his life. I stayed in the relationship 5 years even though I was unhappy, but their relationship was special I couldn't stand to tear it apart. I finally ended it and the few issues I had with my difficult child soon became major physical outbursts, assaults, and destroying of property in the house. Like I said, things have been escalating and now I am at a breaking point. He is a Senior and I've let it go too far. After the break up, my EX did stay in his life consistently that first year, but then he began a new relationship and soon my son was no longer a priority and he made plans only to fail to show up, call, or even apologize. That has gone on for 2 years now. My son is devastated by this and sometimes refuses to take his calls anymore. Ironically, this is exactly what I was trying to protect him from by keeping his real father away.
    Back to today, difficult child did not want to wake up to go to school on time today, he was out late last night smoking pot as he does every night before he goes to sleep. I was angry and yelling and got in his face as he was still curled up in bed. He lunged out of bed threw me into the closet then put me into a choke hold and pinned me on the bed by my throat. He let me go and I left, called the police and when they arrived we entered my home and found it completely destroyed. I had the option of having him arrested for battery, but I decided against it. They would've held him for 3 days. He's never been in trouble with the law. They escorted him to school. Shouls I have had him arrested? The only thing he cares about is football and I know that wouldve been stripped from him and I'm afraid that if that's gone he'll completely give up.
    Some say I've done too much for him. I was a teen mom and vowed I'd never put him through what my mother put me through and I have given in to doing everything for him. Sorry this is so lengthy, but I feel there are so many sides to our situation. thank you all for listening. ​
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm so sorry that your family is going through with this. I'm very very sorry that your son became physical with you.

    To answer the question as to if perhaps you should have him arrested? It is up to you what you can handle, but if it were me? I'd have him picked up and charged. My thinking is this: he attacked you. If this was a stranger who did this, would you have that stranger arrested? Yes. He is 17 which helps that perhaps his record won't have to stick with him into adulthood. Yet even if it would follow him, he brought it on himself. He physically assaulted his own mother, and it sounds quite aggressively. He then trashed YOUR home. He sounds as though he was on quite a tear. You state he smokes pot nightly, well for most pot won't lead to aggression but other drugs can and often do. i would be having him drug tested because it sounds as though it is quite possible he is using more than pot. Next thought, your son needs intense help. It is beyond a mother being able to fix her baby boy. been there done that, as have many here. Sometimes it gets to a point in parenting where the child no longer allows themselves to be parented, and it sure sounds like your son passed that stage long ago. He may just get some true help if he is charged and held accountable. You are also well within your right to decide it is unsafe for him to live in the home with you. I know that is hard for all parents who get to a place such as this, but as difficult as it is, your son needs more help than love and parenting can give him. It sounds time to love him the tough way, the way that might help him before he does something even more stupid than this already criminal behavior he's exhibiting now. I am a firm believer that sometimes it takes that tough kind of love from a parent. It will hurt you far more than it will hurt him, trust me. He is but a year or less anyhow from being able to live independently. He is no longer a little child and facing the punishment for his actions before he hits that legal adult milestone on his 18th birthday may just be the greatest gift of love and caring and parenting you ever give him. The key, from the perspective of someone who did have their difficult child son removed from the home for a period of time, is often in deciding that it can't hurt you any more to have him facing his consequences than the hurt of living with your son day to day with this type of behavior.

    Whatever you decide, I hope it leads to a healthier path for your difficult child as well as for you. (((hugs)))
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I agree - pot does not cause aggression and I would be far more concerned with his assault on you and trashing of your home. That is very serious and needs to be dealt with!! Has he ever been in therapy?
  4. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    {hugs} I know your head must be reeling now. Take a deep breath, have a cup of tea and be good to yourself. My answer is long, so I apologize – but I want to make sure I cover as many bases as I can…

    I’ve been in a similar situation – my difficult child was 16 and a varsity football player when he received an underage drinking citation and we learned he was experimenting with drugs. Your son is still underage, so it’s important that you act quickly while you still have some legal authority over him.

    I think your first step is to contact your son’s doctor. Ask for a recommendation for a place to start and a list of resources. Try googling “ATOD” and the name of your community. Many ATOD programs are a great place to start and they often work with local law enforcement. IME, programs are used to dealing with teens who resist and they will be able to guide you if your son is less than cooperative. That was our first step. We had him screened-he took the SASSI (substance abuse assessment) and we went from there. Local ATOD programs are usually well versed in local law and know the officers, judges and prosecutors. Perhaps you son can be given a civil citation instead of a criminal arrest? That would still give the courts some authority without giving him a “criminal” history. In our case, ds had to go to court for his citation and based upon our ATOD’s recommendation directly to the judge, he was ordered to undergo therapy and if he did not comply, he would lose his driver’s license. He was on probation for a year.

    Laws and athletic codes differ by region, so you need to check into yours specifically. I would guess that the pot smoking has violated the state and the school athletic code. In our state – both the parents & the player have to sign the code – which includes a clause promising to self-report violations. Read your school’s handbook to find out how they deal with code violations. Since my difficult child had a citation, it was reported by the police as well – but he and his dad went the very next day to report it to the coaches and later that day, my difficult child had to address the entire team. Per the code, he was benched for 2 games plus he lost his special teams position. We’re fortunate to have excellent men as coaches and they walk the fine line that incorporates both discipline and disapproval while at the same time does not isolate the kid plus forms a protective circle around him to encourage him to stay out of trouble. difficult child also had to complete a 6 week anti drug/alcohol program at school. If you don’t think your son’s coaches would be helpful (I know some coaches can be hard butts, while others sweep things under the rug to avoid losing a valuable player) I suggest calling the school social worker. You can even do it anonymously if you think its best. Tell them that your son is engaging in risky behavior and you are really concerned and get a recommendation of where to start. They are usually well versed in local resources.

    For my own difficult child, the thought of losing football AND his license was enough to keep him clean for the next two years. I wish it was enough to keep him clean for a lifetime, but I have to hope those 2 clean years (including the therapy) will be meaningful at some point and he’ll come back to me.

    In the meantime, install a deadbolt on your bedroom door. If you start contacting any and all resources now, perhaps you can get some really good advice as to what you should do when your son comes home. I have no idea how to advise you there. I know you must feel awful. The officer who took the report may also have some resources or advice for you.

    I know many people may think you should kick him out, but I really think it’s important to try to get him some help while you still can.

    Good luck and {hugs}
  5. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    We had aggresive issues with our difficult child. He broke things, punched/kicked walls, threw all the papers in our filing cabinet around the entire house, and kept trying to "brain wash" me. We would have him hospitalized. Part of his problem was psychological but the smoking pot caused everything to be extremely aggressive. The doctors and counselors all told us he was "saveable" if we could get him into a residential program. Part of the way to get him into residential was for the police to get involved. The judge "sentenced" him to a residential program. It took months for an opening to become available. Residential was the best thing for him. Our difficult child still isn't a easy child but he is about 80% there. He is no longer aggressive and has a lot of remorse for what he did in the past. In our case, the doctors, counselors, and police were the way to go.
  6. peg2

    peg2 Member

    If ANYONE attacks you they have to face consequences. I had to do it and had to get a restraining order against my son; been almost 2 years and it is still in effect. Nothing physical either. What one person said is true, once some other agency gets involved, it is easier to get help. Have a Judge sentence him to a program, once they hit 18 you can't do that. If you have to put a deadbolt on your door, something is seriously wrong; you need to have him arrested, or somehting, it won't end, trust me. Been there!!!!!!
    Good luck....
  7. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    I also am concerned there may be more than pot use going on here. Sounds like your son attacked you quite violently. I would press charges. He's on his way to sabotaging his football future anyways. Don't feel sorry for him thinking there is a reason for that level of violence against his own mother. I would quit doing everything for him, and wouldn't help him with one red cent towards his college. It's not like he is a "good kid" who smokes a little pot. Something is going on here and it will only get worse once he is away at college. JMHO.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am really worried about his aggression towards you. I simply do not believe that pot alone would cause that sort reaction from personal experience myself and with my son. Now he could have an underlying mental disorder that causes explosive anger but you havent listed any. Either way though, attacking another person, especially a parent, cannot be condoned or let go.
    I think I would go talk to the juvenile authorities about what programs are available in your district for kids your sons age who are using drugs. Tell them you know he is smoking pot but you suspect it may be more from his reaction and the torn up house. If nothing else, you could get a CHINS petition on him to force him to attend therapy, get a probation officer, and attend school. Oh...and drug testing would be mandated.