Some of the basics?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Go slow mama, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Go slow mama

    Go slow mama Member

    Hi folks,

    I am posting to specifically request some ideas from everyone. Without offering my specific context, I'm looking for some of your basic survival tips, strategies, boundaries, ways you seek to protect yourself. I am not looking for abstract ideas or musings about these notions. I am looking for your concrete tools, real simple stuff. Another member recently noted that I accept phone calls at work from my son when it is harassment. She was absolutely right, I work in a high stress job on the front line, I need to focus at work. It never occured to me to have a rule for no work calls from my son or his possee, his girlfriend, his girlfriend's mother, to lobby for this or that, to fight, to bully me. I just automatically always answer the calls. Now I see the value of the rule. I am hoping you guys can think of some personal and household tips, tricks and techniques for self preservation and fortification.

    Thanks everyone! I hope I have properly articulated my request :)
     
  2. tandemdame

    tandemdame Active Member

    I think as far as accepting calls at work, if it were me, I would try to remember all the times I accepted "emergency" calls that turned out to be "crying wolf" calls, as my reason to not accept any more calls.
    I hope that makes sense.
    I'm betting you've had to listen to many calls that only served to upset you and keep you from focusing on work.
     
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  3. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Hi Go slow. No platitudes, no musings. I believe the best things we did was to look at our physical space, our time and OUR lives as a whole. For our home, we changed the locks-best $ spent ever. We made it known to our son that he needed to call before he came (doesn't always work but it's better) Now, to that calling. We mostly don't answer. Sounds awful, I know, but for us, totally necessary for our sanity. No calls ever answered during work hours, he can leave voicemail if an emergency. 99% of the time he doesn't. We turn phones off or block him after 9pm. This has helped so much with the middle of the night drunken rants and stupid questions.
    We came to the conclusion that if we really were not going to help anymore---then he needed to figure it out at 2am. WE have our own lives.

    Think, if you can, about what your peaceful life would look like. Don't frame it around your child/adult, ie. "if he would function, I would be happy..."
    You did the best you could, we all did. The detaching really just gets better in increments. Each day that you put a little more separation there, you become more you. This also allows him to become more him--maybe right now not a him you like... He's asked you by his actions to move on, let him. Protect you.
    You are stronger than you think. Prayers.
     
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    So ready, that is a great bit of advice.

    For us, we did the phone thing as son didn't mind calling at 3am for a panic attack. Like we are ready to talk him down at 3am. Even if he had a life threatening emergency, who h has never happened, he needs to call 911, not us. There is nothing that can't wait until morning. Every time he called so late I'd be terrified out of sleep.

    It was a journey from guilt and feeling obligated to now. And accepting that we can do nothing . That's hard even though it's true.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  5. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    Okay I'm iin a major funk today. We signed our will yesterday. Left my daughter out and gave her portion to my granddaughters. She's still not speaking to me. I haven't tried anymore. I would love to speak to my granddaughters. I want them to know I haven't abandoned them. But I feel like I'm begging and I don't like that feeling. I've catered to her for 9 years. But on the other hand, for my granddaughters sake, I feel I need to keep trying to at least talk to them. This is what I've done so far in a 2 1/2 months: texted twice and asked to speak to girls. One attempt was on my granddaughters birthday, no response. Called once, no response. Sent a box of birthday gifts, no response. I don't knowif I should let it go or keep trying. I've mailed Christmas gifts for the girls. I also don't like how I feel about the will. She's not responsible with money. Help please! Any advice is welcome.
     
  6. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    The only thing she has responded to in the last 2 1\2 months is a happy birthday text to her. Her response was thank you mom.
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think begging makes it worse. She doesn't have the empathy to care and it empowers her to know that she can obliterate you. I don't feel it will help move her heart, rather I think it will harden it. The whole point of cutting you off is to hurt you. So she probably will feel more satisfaction of that is validated.

    I had a child reject me. Contacting him did not result in him feeling softer. In fact he laughed about it and dug his feet in. Thete are forums for estranged parents.

    Put "estranged parents of adult children" in youryour search engine to find them. They are going through the same as you, many with the grandchild problem too.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Here are some concrete suggestions--

    Block the girlfriend's number, the girlfriend's mother's number, the posse's numbers, and always let your son's calls and calls from any unknown number to go to your voicemail. That way you can choose whether to return the calls, and you can choose when it is convienient for YOU to return the calls.

    Also, hang up and do not entertain anyone who is trying to badger you, cajole you, manipulate you, disrespect you, or in any way being less than nice to you.

    You deserve peace in your home, and no added stress at work.

    In other words, you put yourself in control of your life.

    You decide if people are treating you well, and if they don't, you don't engage with them.

    You control your finances, and you will no longer allow anyone to bully, intimidate, or guilt you into parting with your cash, your time, your mental well being.

    Write down some things that you can tell your son when talking to him. "I won't talk to you when you raise your voice. I am hanging up now." And then do it.

    "I will think about that and get back to you."

    Or, my favorite, "That's too bad. I know you can figure this out. You are a capable man."



    If you start implementing these suggestions, expect your son and possibly his friends/girlfriend/girlfriend's mother to ramp up their attempts to keep you doing the things that you have always done. Eventually, they will stop when they realize what they are doing is no longer working, but in the meantime, expect the "emergencies" to get bigger, more frequent, and the consequences more dire.
     
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  9. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Make a list of things that would make you happy... Like lunch with a friend, taking a fun class, even things that don't have a cost involved, like trying a new recipe, volunteering, taking a walk, visiting the library. Each week, try to do at least one thing just for you. We have all put ourselves on the back burner while trying to help/fix everyone else. We are dried up... Time for you!! KSM
     
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  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As for their 'emergencies', tell them that for a TRUE emergency, they need to have someone from the ER call and leave a number that only ER personnel answer for you to call back to get information. Otherwise one of their friends could pretend to be someone from a hospital to try to tell you something happened. Know that ER staff won't ask for money, ever. They would only tell you that your son is there, maybe give you info if son said it was okay, maybe ask permission to do a procedure if he was unconscious and it was an emergency. They would not EVER ask for money.

    Think of your phone as a door into your home. Just as I don't open the door to strangers, I don't answer the phone and open my life to strangers if I am not in the mood to do so. It drives my husband crazy, because he thinks it is somehow rude to not answer the phone, no matter what you are doing or who it is. But not everyone is welcome in my home, and I don't let just everyone in. So I simply don't answer some calls. Or I pick up the phone and put it down without answering. I especially did this with political calls.

    Another response to post near the phone, one good for just about anything someone is asking/demanding, is "I don't think I would enjoy that." It is very hard to argue against, and I never say another word on the subject once I have said that. I especially like it because it tends to drive difficult people absolutely nuts. Yes, I am that person who enjoys that.

    For a little while, take his photos down from your walls. Just put them all away and put something else where they used to be. When I had to make my son move out of my home I took down all photos of all of my kids. My boys look like I cloned them, so I had to take down photos of both of them, and it would be strange to have photos of my daughter up and no photos of either boy up. I put other things on the walls. It helped me not think of my son as often.

    Avoid places that you went to with your son - places with good memories and places with bad ones. Purposely choose to make memories in new places. Think about things that you have always wished to do and do them.

    Give back. When I am at my absolute lowest, I find a way to volunteer. Many years ago a counselor told me about the Bucket Theory. We each have a bucket inside us, and a ladle. That bucket fills up with love and we can use to ladle to give scoops of love to others or to take scoops from other people. When your bucket is low, if you lean over to get a scoop from someone else's bucket, your bucket will spill more out than you will be able to get with your ladle. If you take a scoop out of your bucket to give to someone else, you will find that your bucket ends up with more in it than it did before you took that scoop out. So by volunteering, or finding something to help someone, I end up feeling better than I did. The whole thing is counter-intuitive, but it works really well. Many thrift shops can always use someone to help sort in the back, and if you call they will let you know. Animal shelters are another place that is always happy to have someone to help.

    If you are able, take a walk or find a way to move a little more. It will help you feel better. If nothing more, park near the back of the grocery store. Or stop at a park and take a 5 or 10 min walk on the way home. Or sit in that park with a book if you are unable to walk. Just spend a little time outside. If, of course, it isn't too cold where you are.

    Make a favorite thing to eat or drink. Doesn't have to be alcoholic or expensive. Maybe a childhood treat. Be nice to yourself.

    Each time your son or one of his sycophants tries to contact you, do something nice for yourself. Rather than giving to him, give a bit of your time to the shelter, or donate a book to a hospital library or a school library. Do something positive each time he tries to put negativity into your life and to pull the positive out of your life. He will ramp it up for a while, and then he will get the message. Let him, and esp his posse, know that you will no longer communicate with anyone but him. His girlfriend, her mother, his other friends, etc... are all just harassing you and you will call the police if they continue to contact you. If your son is truly hurt seriously, the hospital can contact you directly. His girlfriend does not need to EVER contact you.

    If girlfriend keeps calling, or her mom does, get a self defense whistle () and blow it each time you hear her voice or her moms. Or any of their posse's other than your son's voice. This might be easier than dealing with the police, depending on your local police and your prior dealing with them.

    If they show up at your home, don't open the door. If your son has a key, change the locks. Make sure the windows are all locked and have pins or dowels preventing them from opening. Tell him it is a bad time and he needs to call before he comes over. If he does not call he cannot come over. Tell him that his girlfriend and the rest of his posse is not welcome on your property at any time, ever. Call 911 if he gets verbally abusive or won't leave or tries to break in. Press charges.

    I know it is hard to press charges against your child. I had to do it. It is the ONLY way he will believe you are serious this time. It is also the ONLY way the police will know you are serious. Otherwise they might not respond and you might need them. I am so sorry it has come to this.

    I hope one or some of these are helpful.
     
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  11. Go slow mama

    Go slow mama Member

    Okay, lots of bits and pieces that make sense to me and are helpful.

    Perhaps I need to define my context a bit more...

    My son still lives at home. I am not yet ready to have a conversation about him moving out, however that would look. If he chooses to leave, I will accept this and roll with it. But, for me, right now I am not ready to entertain otherwise removing him from my home. So I need ideas that work in this scenario, I need bottom lines and strategies for living with him now.

    Here are the highlights of the season;

    17 years old, half his required credit load when he should be graduating

    Smokes weed constantly, likely selling it

    Suspended from school for being verbally aggressive X2 with the same female teacher
    No job

    Girlfriend who has been here on the regular, not anymore, she ordered dial a bottle to the house and is massively disrespectful, passive aggressive and acts like a woman, steps to me

    Girlfriend's mom does not know what to do, she sees her daughter for who she is and does not want her over at my place, she and I have good communicaton although she has sometimes been judgemental and/or shares information in a questionable manner, but we do work together

    No trust in our relationship, I carry my purse around everywhere, in the washroom, I have a lock bar for my steering wheel after he stole my car

    He is bullying, threatening but tacitly, responds when things are extreme and then relents when the pressue subsides, plays me, manipulates, lies and lies and lies, he thinks he's the boss

    New empty booze bottles appear in his room regularly

    I live in Canada, no drug testing here, no ability to force him into anything

    Diagnosis of depression and conduct disorder, anxiety and insomnia

    Outright defiance, in chief; won't tell me where he is going and won't keep me apprised of his whereabouts for safety purposes. He will answer if I call him, I pay for the phone...I don't call anymore because it felt gross and servile, begging

    I could go on, but these are our parameters...
     
  12. tandemdame

    tandemdame Active Member

    Go Slow, my heart goes out to you.
    I'm sorry you live this way, carrying your purse around with you, getting a lock for your steering wheel to prevent auto theft, putting up with the smell of pot (this would bother me a lot. I hate the smell of cigarettes and pot). I bet these defensive behaviors of yours have evolved over a period of time and have become normal to you. I remember hunkering down in my own home, finding places to hide things, walking on pins and needles, dreading confrontation. No way I'd go back to that type of existence, but it's hard to see how disfunctional you are living when you're in the midst of it, isn't it?
    I don't know what the laws in Canada are regarding when he reaches adulthood, but if it were me, I'd be counting the days to age 18.
    Again, my heart goes out to you.
     
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  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You are asking how to be sane while living with Insanity. There are no guidelines to living with somebody who won't respect your rules or listen or get help. I would have called the police long ago for the drug use as I did when my daughter was fifteen and he would have no access to driving since he drinks and uses drugs (did this too) and if he wanted extra money he'd get a job he could walk to. Yes, even in the cold.

    He can dress warm...They are young. I work at a restaurant and a few of the kids who work with me walk far and ride bikes even in the Wisconsin cold and snow. Since they do work sometimes they save enough for cabs. They are kids who are hard workers whose parents do not or can not give them all the extras so they make sure they work hard and pay themselves.

    My daughter did not stop using drugs but she feared the consequences of being caught so she was more respectful and careful than your son. I think I is necessary to instill a it of fear of our ways of dealing with breaking the law and being disrespectful under our roof or else they 200% control ourbspace with the knowledge that we will do nothing about it. So then it becomes blatant and worse to live with.

    Over my dead body would my house smell like either weed or cigarettes. She knew this and did not do it or did it only discretely and not a lot. If she brought anything into the house including cigarettes (and she knew we would go through her bedroom...We removed her lock) everything we found was thrown out or shown to the cops. This included cigarettes as nobody, and she wasn't exception, can smoke anything under my roof. I have a smoke free home. She learned to abide b tst and, was not allowed to bring hervseedy boyfriend's iverwhen she quit drugs, she even quit cigarettes.

    Girlfriend would be banned from my home. My daughter wasn't allowed to bring her seedy boyfriends over. If they tried to come in, even in front of my daughter I would tell them to go or Id call the cops. I was known in Kid Drug world as "mean." So what? I did not look to them for admiration.


    My concrete suggestions are to cut out all Only, give him what you legally have to untill he turns ,18 (no car, cell, expensive clothing, junk good, nothing,) and to call the police if the teen does drugs in your house. At seventeen, it doesn't stay on the record, although he is prepping to get a record all on his own at 18 and beyond.

    As long as they get a totally free ride to be awful, they are, which is bad for us and our difficult children and other loved ones. It doesn't teach them one thing if they break the law and we don't call the police. Well, it teaches them that mom will rescue them forever and will never make a stand. That gets worse as they age. They continue to beg for money and often become abusive and even violent when they are 25 and we say no.

    If you are unwilling to make his life uncomfortable, there is no way to make things tolerable. You can't. You will feel him walking all over you, learning nothing about consequences about illegal behavior in your home. And disrespect.

    I don't know of any other way to make anything change for the better. This journey we were handed is not for the faint of heart. That is just a fact. We either stand strong or lose ourselves as well as watching sometimes as the rest of our relationships also fall apart. We in my opinion must have the upper hand. Our house/our rules or we do not help you one bit. Sorry.

    Hugs for all your hurting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  14. CDN_DAD_in_tough

    CDN_DAD_in_tough New Member

    Hi go slow. I'm Canadian as well and am in the middle of a fairly hellish situation myself. I can't offer much advice, but I find hearing the stories from people who have been through - or are going through - similar tough circumstances can be comforting. At least know that you aren't alone.

    My son is 15. Yesterday, I called the police for the fourth time because after taking his phone from him he started pushing me around to try to get it back. I just couldn't take it anymore. I had him removed and he's currently being held in the youth Crisis Stabilization Unit. My wife and I separated about a year ago and we're in the process of divorcing. We continued living together (for financial reasons) until about 5 months ago when I moved out. I'm currently living in my parents home. My son's behavior plays a role in the break-up. From a fairly young age, he was a difficult kid to manage. Outside the home and with other parents/adults, he was well-behaved and seemingly pretty good-natured. In the home with my wife and I he was horrible. Over the past year of dealing with things and reading and going to counseling for myself I've come to the conclusion the he most likely is at the least ODD. Unfortunately, early on we just assumed it was a stage he was going through that he would hopefully out grow soon. However, his difficult nature gradually led to us having a really dysfunctional home life that likely did even more damage to him. Now, we are dealing with much worse behavior and much more difficulty in trying to repair the damage our neglect has brought about.

    From a young age, like 7 or 8, he was just a mind-bendingly stubborn kid who seemed completely unable to respond to our authority. There was pretty much not a single thing through any given day that you could request of him - from blowing his nose to getting out of bed in the morning to going to bed at night - that didn't result in a battle. Any family outing (I have a younger son as well by the way - 11) would be assured of being stressful and not at all fun because he would inevitably do things to cause problems. Gradually, over a period of years, the way we (mostly I actually) ended up dealing with the situation was to micro-manage life around the home so that our paths and his crossed as rarely as possible. He pretty much lived in the (finished - there's a bedroom and a rec room area) basement and the rest of us lived upstairs. It wasn't really a conscious strategy - it was just the way things seemed to work the best to create the least amount of warfare. Sadly, it was not a very healthy home life for any of us, especially my son.

    Over the past couple of years, he's gradually become more and more militant in his efforts to be away from us. He's always been a "sleep-over" kid - from a young age - who never really suffered from home-sickness and loved staying at friends places. Over the past couple years though his efforts to stay with friends became constant. Two summers ago he was spending 3 or 4 nights a week at various friends homes. He's also become more and more angry and uncontrollable at home. He's decided he hates us and doesn't have to do anything we say. He's verbally abusive (the language and names he calls us are just outrageous). He's not at all afraid to get physical. He has started going to parties every weekend. He's doing drugs (just dope dad it's practically legal!) and drinking. He's also taken to punching holes in one of the walls in his space. He's never been a great student - just managed to barely squeak through grade 9. Grade ten has been an outright disaster. He's missed 80% of his classes or more. When we do get him to school he sits at his desk with his headphones in and pretty much doesn't engage at all. His teachers allow this because he's there so rarely they don't want to scare him away. Last year, it was a constant struggle getting him moving and as it was my job most days (my wife's work schedule meant she left the house early in the day) I was late for work nearly every morning - and always stressed and angry when I did get there.

    Initially when I moved out 5 months ago, he would spend a night with me here or there and we would go out for a meal or a movie once a week or so. I wasn't going to force him to stay with me because I felt he's old enough to decide for himself and I was ok with that. I mean I knew how trying to force him to do anything would go anyway. However, his continued issues at home with my wife started to really bleed out into the wide world so to speak and when he realized that I was finally opening up to my family and friends about the situation that had been going on so long in the home and about the specific nature of our issues with him he expressed resentment that I had "talked about him" and "told people things" and so forth and decided to cut myself and my family (and his only family actually as my wife is is essentially estranged from hers and has been for many many years) completely off. He's refused to attend any of my family functions for the past 3 months or so. He's lived with and mostly been the sole responsibility of my wife...and sadly she's lost the will to fight to try and control him. Basically he's been doing whatever he wants for several months and she's been living in an extremely high-stress environment because he is AGGRESSIVELY unpleasant to live with.

    ...more to come soon.
     
  15. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    Reading your stories brings the realization that problems with my daughter started a long time ago. I chose to ignore, gloss over, pretend, whatever else I needed to do I certainly didn't confront her about much and I did all I could to make sure she was comfortable and happy with no regard to myself. And she now many years later has told me I'm malucious and like to see her suffer. She told me this after I told her no to one of her requests for help
    I have a question. Her dad and I divorced when she was 15. She began talking about how she had bad feelings about her dad. Something sexual, but she couldn't remember. I took her to a counselor, but she couldn't remember anything. Through the years (she's 45) there was counselling off and on, but she continued to not remember. She recently told me that she remembers alcohol breath. That means it would have happened after my ex returned from a night of drinking. My ex doesn't strike me as someone who would do this. He was a womanizer, however. About 2 months ago, she called herself a victim of incest. Somehow this is not making sense to me. She doesn't speak to me so I really can't speak toher about calling herself a victim of incest. Maybe she now has a memory of it?
     
  16. CDN_DAD_in_tough

    CDN_DAD_in_tough New Member

    oops...can't edit the above so I'll carry on here.

    So, in a general sense living with my 15 yr old son is essentially close to unbearable. His daily operations take place with absolutely no concern for anyone who might share space with him. Outrageously foul rap music played at a volume loud enough for anyone else at home to hear (and militant refusal to turn it down no matter how polite the request), up at all hours of the night fixing food or doing things like hanging posters on his walls and so forth with no effort to be quiet so others can sleep. 30 or more minutes spent taking a shower every morning when there's a need to hurry. No effort whatsoever to maintain his space - laundry (dirty or clean) tossed in piles on the floor, dirty dishes and food containers and leftover food sitting where ever he happens to put it down, up every night till 2 or 3 watching netflix or youtube (but oh lord just try and cut the wifi!) or scrolling through his chats on his phone. Living with no boundaries at all - such that my wife put locks on her and my younger son's bedroom doors to keep him out. Often bringing his friends over without permission and basically terrorizing her for hours. My wife has been living in his world for several months now and like I said, she's got no fight left in her. She has devolved from being concerned about him to pretty much just hating him and wanting him gone. Since school started this year it's been his responsibility to get himself ready and get there (she starts work early as mentioned). That"s a responsibility he is in no way capable of (or even interested in) achieving so he sleeps till noon every day and gets to school in time for his afternoon gym class. In the meantime my younger boy stays with me most school nights and I get him to school. He's an easy going kid (and great student) who so far exhibits none of his older brother's traits and I'd like to keep it that way - we are keeping an eye on him and have counseling in place to help deal with anything that might arise.

    Well...a week ago my wife went out for an evening with friends leaving my son at home on his own. That's a questionable decision on her part but how can you live your life in those circumstances and not ever go out and take a break? She arrived back home fairly late to find my son had decided to throw a bit of a howler and her house was full of strangers and pretty much trashed. I got the call at 2 am from the friend she was with - all hell is breaking loose...can she bring him to my place for the night? Of course I said yes. He's been with me since.

    Previous to that we had been trying to figure out what to do next to try and ease the situation and had actually been planning to have him escorted by police to the local children's hospital for evaluation. We'd been under the impression that having gotten a request in writing from his GP for such was all that was needed to do so. Wrong. The night of the party when he was dropped off with me I decided it was time to carry that out and I called the police. They didn't arrive till 6am and informed me that I actually needed to go through a much more involved process in order for them to take him in so that didn't happen. So, he stayed with me this past week...and it was OK for the first couple of days. My job is such that I can actually get him up and drive him to school and I'm willing to do that.

    However (and unsurprisingly) every day has been a little more difficult to do so. He's so hard to get moving - takes forever and refuses to hurry at all. every morning I start a little earlier and every morning I get to work a little later. On top of that, the remainder of any given day is nothing but stress and uncertainty. Is he going to be where he's supposed to be at any given time or has he found a group of friends to hang with and get stoned? He has no money as we are afraid to give him any so whatever dope he's taking he's bumming from his so-called friends. I was dreading - literally dreading - the weekend because I honestly didn't know how I was going to manage him. I can't leave him home alone with my elderly parents (who are very concerned about him and worried about him but certainly can't handle him and also fear what he might be capable of) as I just don't even trust him alone in my small basement "apartment" if you'd call it that. I also don't trust him with a key to their house. So if he isn't at school, he either has to be with me at work (family business so I can actually manage that but it's tricky) or he's off on his own who knows where doing whatever.

    well, in the end things went a different way. Friday morning, after an hour of politely trying to get him moving so I could get him to school and me to work, and faced with his brick wall of resistance and outright defiance...I just snapped. I couldn't face it another day. I shut off the wifi and took his phone (things we have done in the past at times) and when he started fighting me to get it back I had the police called again and I told them he needed to go.

    He'll be back with me early next week, but I'm hoping (praying) this might be a "come to jesus" moment for him and he'll finally give in and accept therapy and accept some basic rules of living because the next step for me if he can't/won't is that he's gone for good. I don't want him gone...last night was awful as I worried about him in a strange place...but I can't live with him as he is.
     
  17. CDN_DAD_in_tough

    CDN_DAD_in_tough New Member

    ...
    A few points to kind of clarify things...

    We have been trying to find a way to get him some sort of therapy for months now. We've had sessions arranged and at the time he just refuses to go. "Nah I'm not going." "I'm fine you're the problem :censored2:." Myself and my family members (brother and sister) have tried a sort of intervention where we went over and sat with him and tried to talk him into making some changes and what not. No help at all. He finds parties to go to on instagram and he just goes. Doesn't even tell us where. Occasionally we get a text - "pick me up now." Never a please or anything. He seems to have zero empathy and no concern for anyone else's needs. He doesn't eat...he'll get up, go to school, find friends to hang with after school, sometimes get high...come home at 9 or 10 and eat for the first time all day. It's freaking terrifying! Just so messed up.

    Up until a year ago when my marriage dissolved, anyone who knew us would have thought we had things reasonably together. We weren't rich or anything but we had a small comfortable home, enough money to pay the bills and have some nice things, no drug or alcohol problems on our (my wife and I) parts...now a year later here we are and I'm confronted by the realization that my life for more than a decade has been a simmering stew of toxic dysfunction. I'm incredibly tired both of dealing with this situation, and of being a burden to my own family. I'm a private sort of person (probably a contributing factor in all this really), and having all my dirty laundry aired out on a daily basis is extremely unpleasant for me.

    My plan at this point is to lay down a set of fairly strict rules he has to accept before he comes back. He can have his phone (although we cancelled the cell plan for now so it's essentially an Ipod) but we have to have access to it on request and know the password. Wifi in the house goes off at 11 every night (as does the TV and videogames and so forth). He has to maintain the same schedule every day of the week - up early and in bed by 11. 10:00 curfew - we have to know where he is and if he needs a ride its at ten no later. He has to attend school. Has to communicate respectfully. So on...

    I have little confidence in it working for long. :(
     
  18. Mamacat

    Mamacat Active Member

    So sorry you're having to dad with your difficult son. I wish I had some concrete advise, but at this point all I can say is I'm sorry. Sounds like as tough situation. Others here may have more to offer. Reading your post, however, reminded me of some things with my daughter from her teenage and young adult years and that is she was going to do what she wanted to do and the heck with the rest of you!
     
  19. CDN_DAD_in_tough

    CDN_DAD_in_tough New Member

    oh, and he has to consent to therapy and actually go!
     
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am cynical that it will work. What are the consequences of he won't listen? What does he have to lose if he wont comply?