Struggling/Frustrated/Angry (long post)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by chrisdog01, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    I haven't posted or read the board much in the past few days (or weeks maybe?) because I've just been having a really hard time with my difficult child Nick. I feel like a turtle that needs to put it's head in it's shell. I'm fairly new to the board and will give you a quick run down of our situation. Our son, Nick, turned 18 in February. We first caught him drinking back when he was around 14, and since has drank alcohol, used, marijuana, stole from us and friends, got arrested at 18 for auto theft, etc. He is currently a highschool drop out because he realized that he could legally do that since he is 18. My husband and I have dealt with our situation pretty good so far. We know that we have done the best parenting job we could, we've taught him right from wrong, and now he must deal with his choices. We have gone to counseling to figure out how to deal with Nick (couldn't drag difficult child there), we've worked with the schools, etc. Right now our rule is that Nick must get a job and be fully employed to remain in our house. Okay, that's all the background right now.

    So, why am I struggling/frustrated/angry right now? There are so many reasons. My husband and I are getting ready to kick difficult child out of our house completely, we are just waiting on receiving a new door with a smaller doggy door so Nick doesn't keep sneaking in. We don't want to tell him that we are kicking him out because we are worried that he'll steal things prior to that. I can't wait for the day he is out, he is very toxic in our house. I can't even talk with him civily (sp?) even if he is being polite and cordial. About 6 months ago our house was "burglarized" and several items stolen. We are pretty convinced Nick conveniently left the house open so his friends could steal the items (because he actually went to school that day). Well, the other day I noticed my camera missing (this is my 2nd one). I think he or his friends stole it and I've accused him of such. I have several events coming up which I want to take pictures, but no camera. I think the missing camera has put me over the edge. I hate living my life in which I have to lock things up in my own house.

    Tomorrow would have been his graduation from high school. I am very depressed whenever I hear about anyone's kid graduating, or see anything in the local paper about awards, etc. of kids that were in his class since kindergarden. I feel like hiding under the blankets during graduation season.

    In all honesty, what's working best for my husband and I right now, is to ignore Nick and his comings & goings. I know it sounds wrong, but he comes home way after we are asleep, gets up late morning, supposedly looks for work (I don't believe it), and is gone before we get home. Sometimes he doesn't even come home or call. It's pretty sad that we aren't worried about our child at all when he doesn't show up and are pretty relieved that we don't have to deal with him (I guess that's our detachment process). We give him rules & time frames and consequences, but he doesn't adhere to the rules or consequences.

    I just can't stand to see him right now. I love my son with all my heart and only wish good things for him. But he just isn't the kid I used to know or raised. All the words that come out of his mouth are :censored2: , he can talk a good talk. We have a family cruise booked for next book that we've been planning for 1 1/2 years. I just cancelled his passage last week because I don't want to spend my hard earned money on a luxurious trip for him when he can't give us the time of day. We just need to make sure our house is closed up tightly while we are gone because I don't want him to have access without us there.

    Sorry for ranting & raving. I've been talking with friends, etc. and they are supportive to a point. But they don't have the same situations as you all do, and I feel so welcomed here.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I remember dreading everyone else's kid's graduation. UGH! I hate to hear about any of us going through these feelings with our kids.

    I do have a couple of suggestions as to how you might feel better regarding your vacation, and leaving the house in general.

    First, when you have the new door installed, obviously, you are planning to change all of the locks on your home. Change key codes to the garage, etc. Check the locks on all of your windows and doors and even try breaking in from the outside to see how vulnerable you are. Fix anything that is the least bit iffy. Those window locks that keep the windows from opening more than a few inches unless you unlatch them from the inside are cheap and a good investment.

    Invest in some good strong motion detector lights for the exterior. Trim back any bushes that are blocking clear views of the doors and windows. Put away ladders or anything he can stand upon that will help boost him into a window.

    Use some of that money you saved from not taking difficult child on the cruise and spend it on a surveillance system. You can get one with 6 wireless cameras for about $400. They hook into your computer and you can check them from anywhere.

    If you don't have an alarm system, get one. They will install them for free with alarms on two doors and one motion detector. A second motion detector is available for a nominal fee. We have our motion detector in the bedroom, and close that up when we go so the pets don't set it off. Anything that we want to keep a particular eye on that is small goes in there, and the door is closed when we are gone.

    When and if you do get an alarm system, make it very clear that your son is not on your list of people allowed into your home and that he should be considered a burglar and arrested. Get a few letters notarized saying the same thing and give them to trusted neighbors to have on hand should you be gone and he breaks in at any time. Be sure to list any prior arrests or convictions so that they won't just shoo him off and he comes back again when no one is looking.

    When you do kick him out, do it firmly. Make sure that he understands under what circumstances (if any) he is welcome in your home. I suspect your initial rule will be "not at all", and that's reasonable. Be sure that he understands the security precautions that you have taken and that you will not hesitate to prosecute him or any of his "friends" that come to your home uninvited or come into your home without your knowledge.

    Talk to a lawyer about what your rights are so that the police can't just write this off to a "domestic" if you should call. If he has been told to stay out of your home, and comes in anyway, it's burglary. If he brings friends with him, it's felony burglary.

    Hopefully, your son will get his act together when the easy place to rob has closed it's doors. If not, you have protected yourselves.

    {{{{{{{{Big hugs}}}}}}}}}}
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Witz has given you some great advice. With the alarms, etc., you may not even have to change the doggy door.

    I know if it were me, I'd be telling my son here's your move out date. Understand that if you come into our home without an invitation, I will call the police and I will press charges.

    My daughter left home in pretty good terms although I did tell she had to leave. She knows that if she ever comes here and enters without my consent, I will call the police. Sorry, it is my home and I have a right to my privacy.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Chris, I'm sorry you're having to contend with all this. Thankfully, I've never been in that situation so I won't claim to know how you feel. I imagine you must just be so tired of it all!

    This may sound weird, but what were you planning to do with your pets while you're on your cruise? If you were going to board them in a kennel, for about the same amount of money you may be able to find a reliable "house sitter" to stay at your house while you're gone. This person could take care of the pets and keep an eye on your house at the same time. They would change their minds about breaking in pretty fast if they knew someone was staying in the house while you're gone!

    I hope you have a wonderful time on your cruise! My daughter and sister in law went on a 7-day cruise to the Bahamas, Mexico and S. America last September and she said that was the most relaxed she's ever been in her life! Sounds like you need something like that right about now!
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hey Hot dog,

    I wondered what happened to you and your little weiner dog picture. My mom sent me the same picture and it said Why dogs hate their owners. I dress mine up in tiaras, feather boas, Chuck connors converse and ball caps - we enjoy the time together. DF hates the pictures with the tiaras - but like I said me and the furperson - buddys for life.

    Stop second guessing yourself - you are doing ACES with your detachment 101. A+ mom - really. I too got to a point where I could NOT talk to Dude. I love that kid more than life, but could not look at him and would just sit and think OH GOD how peaceful when he was not here. After a while it became clear that we could not live under the same roof. My success story is that after so many placements we found a therapeutic foster family who realized at 17 he was mentally maybe 13 and took him in. He's still Dude - but he's not upset by living here and antagonizing me - he really didn't like doing that - but he was bored and it was poke the bear time dang near every minute of every day when he was here.

    I agree about not telling him when he's to be out. But don't you think he'll get the hint when you call the locksmith? WE changed EVERY lock in our house and the dog door was the only thing we didn't change. Our dogs are huge - and the one time he did come here - that's how he got in.

    Witz gave you stellar advice on what to do and how to protect your home. I would also advise having a floor safe put in and when you aren't home but your titles, any weapons, birth certificates, jewels in the safe.

    If you are also in like with your neighbors - tell them that your son is moving out, and if you go away and they see him around your house or his friends - to call police. Also if you do go away - call police to patrol your area, have your mail held at the post office and if you don't have someone in your home depending on where you live - sweep the sand in front of your door or put baby powder down on the carpet under every window and in front of the door - thieves are not going to take time to vacuum.

    Good grief we sure were a group that had been screwed over to be THIS cautious - but not any more - and not you at all if you can use some of this advice.

    If you do have friends stay at your home to sit - and I highly recommend it, make sure you let the police know, and still have them patrol. You can always give them license plates of people staying there - we did that and the police were fine with it.

    I planted holly and cactus under our windows for theives - If ever someone is dumb enough to come to this house - they'll be sporting a bum full of owies.

    Hang in there -
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am sorry you are hurting. We had my son removed by the sheriff at age 14 for violence against me. He would time it so he would be calm and happy and "what is mom talking about" when husband got home at 6:30. so I had the sheriff come.

    It has taken until now, well into his 16th year that I could stand to have any of his baby/little boy pics around me. I just couldn't see them with-o feeling the world collapse. It really stinks as a feeling.

    I tihnk you should follow ALL of Witz's and the other's advice. Be ESP careful if you have a mailbox that doesn't lock or he has a key to. His friends may have taught him he can get a credit card in your names, and if he has access to other personal info, esp SS#, then he can. He can just take the card adn first statement out of the mailbox, then switch it to paperless. IF he has done this, you will find it on a credit check. I strongly recommend one. You can get out from any credit cards HE gets in your name IF you let the credit card co prosecute. They are getting pretty rabid about it.

    I think not taking him on the cruise is a good idea, as is having a house sitter. Often this is a job my aunt would take in the summers when she was a teacher and was not married. You might try contacting a local school to see if any of the teachers would be interested.


  7. chrisdog01

    chrisdog01 New Member

    Thanks everyone for your words of support, I really need it right now. I feel so emotionally drained and not able to effectively make decisions, etc. This is part of why I've stayed away from the boards lately, I've only been going to message boards I belong to with happy topics (dogs & vacations - ha ha ha).

    We don't have to worry about changing our locks, because difficult child doesn't have a key (he lost it a long time ago and we never gave him another one). My dogs will go to the kennel and the cat will stay home when we go on vacation. He won't be able to squeeze through the new dog door because it will be too small for him. Plus we will put a deadbolt on the top of the door so he can't reach up through the dog door and open the door. (I can't believe I have to get a new dog door to keep my kid out.) Several of my neighbors are aware of our situation with difficult child, so they will keep an eye out for our house.

    He doesn't steal from us all the time, but only every so often and when we least expect it (but it's still wrong). Just occasionally things will go missing or will be really suspicious. He gets upset when we instantly accuse him, but he doesn't give us any reason to think otherwise.

    Tomorrow will be a really hard day. Our easy child daughter is graduating from 8th grade in the morning. She has picked out a new outfit and is excited for the day (I can't believe she will be starting high school next year - yikes!). And on the other hand Nick's graduation should have been tomorrow also. All the high schools in our district are graduating and I just want to hide from them all. I just need to focus on our easy child daughter and not take away from her day.

    I'm just so tired of all of it. I want nothing more than to reach out and give Nick a great big hug. But when I see him I just don't like the person he has become.
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    All I can say is good advice above, and tons of hugs. It's a heartbreak time.

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Will it be too small for all of his friends, or some little kid he could con to crawl in for him? Just a thought...

    About the HS graduation, L didn't graduate, and she took it pretty hard that all of her friends were getting the recognition and she wasn't. M barely graduated, but he had told everyone that we had abused him, and some idiot was dumb enough to take him in. Our last name begins with W, so we went for drinks across the street, waited until an hour or so into the thing, went in and they were finishing the Principal's speech. We sat there until he got his diploma, and walked out. These people at the back of the auditorium said "What kind of family is that?" It took everything I had to keep from saying "The kind that gave their kid everything and still cares enough to show up in spite of the fact that he stole from us, beat us up, and still somehow managed to make us look like dirt. What kind of a family are you?"

    I guess my point is that it was L that didn't graduate, not me. In hindsight it was ok to be disappointed for what didn't happen, but if I had it to do again, I wouldn't feel guilty or ashamed.
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I hope pcdaughters graduation is nice and you are able to focus on her and her successes. There is really nothing you can do for difficult child at this point but hope that he sees the light and comes to his senses before he does too much damage to himself.
  11. mary9461

    mary9461 trying to hang on

    My heart goes out to you. It is so hard to keep things together when dealing with a difficult child. Put everything into your daughter on her special day. Someone told me on this board that sometimes you have to morn what you wanted your difficult child to be and try to accept the person they are becoming. It was hard but it did make perfect sence. The life my difficult child chose is not the life I had planned for him, but I have no control so I have to try everyday to let it go. I will keep you in my prayers. Big Hugs for you and GREAT BIG "Way To Go" for your easy child on her graduation