Thinking about something "drastic"....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Mikey, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    ...and I'd like some input. I've had a chance to meet many of the parents of my difficult child's "friends", i.e. the stoner crowd he hangs out with. In most cases, they're as fed up, burnt out, and desparate as I am. I found a little home here on CD, but most of the other parents don't even have that much.

    For whatever reason, they're isolated. Could be shame, could be anger, could be exhaustion, whatever. But there's quite a few of them out there, in my neighborhood, just like me.

    I'm thinking of starting a local Families Anonymous group, and inviting some of the other parents to participate. I'm just a tad concerned about trying this, though, for several reasons.

    <ul>[*]I don't know how the parents will react - will they get upset and think I'm trying to interfere? [*]I don't know how my difficult child (or theirs) will react. Will they see it as a parental conspiracy? [*]Will my son see this as yet another attempt to "pen him in" by co-opting the parents of his friends? [/list]I can see a lot of good coming from something like this, but also the potential for a lot of conflict. What do 'yall think?

    Oh, by the way: there are two other FA groups in our area, but this a large metro, and both meetings are at least a 20 minute drive from our part of the city. A local group would be easier to attend, and I think I can talk my pastor into letting us use a room.


  2. KFld

    KFld New Member

    First of all if it's an anonymous group, then nobody including your difficult child should know about it, or who is in it. I think it would be a good idea for all of you to get together if you have the same concerns and see what you can do as a group.

    One thing I will suggest though, even though this isn't where your post went, but I thought it was going too, is not to tell them about this site. The reason I say this is because you can say a lot of things on this board about what your difficult child is doing and his friends, etc. You don't ever want to have to worry about what you are saying because someone will know who you are talking about and get offended. My difficult child's girlfriend's mother asked me once if there was anywhere on line I got support and I told her no because there was no way I wanted her to be able to get into a site where I wrote such wonderful things about her daughter :smile:
  3. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Mikey, great idea to start a new FA group!! And like Karen said, the "A" part should apply to all.

    We have a phrase we use at some of our meetings:
    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Who you see here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.</div></div>

    It can get difficult at times within a small group, small town, but the reminder helps a lot.

    And I have to say, (sorry Fran! & Runawaybunny!) I also agree with Karen on the not telling loser friends' parents about our site. Just because I don't want You to lose Your "Soft Place To Land"

  4. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    Okay, if I do this, CD is definitely off the radar! I still don't know how to approach the other parents, though, about starting a FA support group. I know that everyone else's child is ALWAYS worse than your own :smile: , but in this case it's true for several of the kids - house arrest, hard drugs, even juvie lockup and drop-outs.

    If I need the help such a group can provide, I'm sure that some of them do, too. I just don't know how to tactfully broach the subject with them.

    Still pondering...

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think a quiet 20 minute drive for you and husband would be the better choice. If there is one thing that shocked me as a young
    Mom in my 20's and still shocks the heck out of me is that you
    can not trust other parents. Just can't! Driving 20 minutes
    and meeting with strangers gives you a much better objective

    Also, like Karen, I strongly suggest you not share this site
    with those who know or may know your family. DDD
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DDD</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I think a quiet 20 minute drive for you and husband would be the better choice. If there is one thing that shocked me as a young Mom in my 20's and still shocks the heck out of me is that you cannot trust other parents. Just can't! Driving 20 minutes and meeting with strangers gives you a much better objective

    Gee, 3D, never thought of it that way. I was only thinking of it from the standpoint that all our kids "hang" together, we're all frazzled and distraught, and maybe could find some additional closeness in the fact that our kids are part of the same group.

    I can see where the anonymity would be good, too. Never thought about the fact that familiarity could damage the group, not help it.

    Something to think about.

    by the way: wife is a great help, and we often have to tag-team on difficult child when one of us is worn out. But she's never been big on "self help", and had to be on the verge of personal breakdown before she got the professional help she needed. If I go to FA, I'll be going stag (at least at first).

    Good food for thought. Thanks.

  7. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Mikey, regardless of whether you start a local FA group, I would advise you definately to attend a few FA meetings first. Ask people there, if you can find some 'long-timers', for their advise about starting a new group. In our fellowship (NA / AA) there are set guidelines and start-up kits, the whole shebang.

    Go to an outside meeting, see for yourself, and ask those you meet there.

  8. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Before I started up a group, I'd want to check it out for say 6months or so. Be only a "first name" for a while. Get to know what really goes on before you "expand" your group. I wouldn't even invite your difficult child's parents until you check it out.

    Nothing people like more than gossip. You'd be amazed what telling a friend where you get your support from does to some people. I told one person and regret that I ever did. Nothing came of it, but I lost my anonominity.
  9. judi

    judi Active Member

    I live in a rural area that has one FA group. husband and I went a few times about 6 years ago (our son was then 16 or 17). We cried all the way home! The parents there were extremely welcoming and nonjudgemental. However, in this particular group, their difficult child's were in their late 20's and 30's. husband and I were devastated that we might be living like this our whole lives.

    I did sincerely believe they are very nice and helpful - just that each group is different. Also, and I'll be blunt - my husband and I are professionals well known in the community with a very unusual (read only one in town) last name. It was embarassing to see people whom we knew in other contexts.

    Now that my son is almost 22 I do realize this is a life-long thing. I don't think its going to get husband and I would fit in now!
  10. kris

    kris New Member

    <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style="color: #3333FF"> i realize things are different for people who come from more urban areas but i'm always surprised when people think a 20~45 min drive is too much. i originally hail from a fairly rural area in jersey & nothing ~~~ and i mean NOTHING ~~~ was less than a 20 minute, dance, karate & friends.

    i too thought you were going to ask about inviting them here. THAT has never worked when members have done that. you loose your anonimity in a big way.

    i like DDD's idea that the 20 minute drive would allow you & wife to reconnect....stop at a coffee bar on the way home to discuss the meeting together & wind down. then if you find the meetings helpful you can mention them to the other parents as the opportunity arises.

    </span> </span> </span>
  11. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I too am with DDD on this one. I do not think it is wise to be trying to get into a group with the parents of the very kids you object to your son hanging with. I cannot see anything good comming out of that. Some might be very much on the defensive others very adversarial. I have to recall a situation with my next door neighbor. Her daughter and my difficult child grew up together. They had the same daycare provider. they attended each other's birthday parties throughout grade school and frequently talked and played neighborhood ball together. They exchanged birthday and christmas gifts for years. She swam in our pool they took him to the arcade. difficult child went to private school in middle school,
    he then ended up in an alternative school due to a juvinile offence. He went back to public school in his senior year of HS and tried to rekindle his friendship with the neighbor girl. i readialy admit that he is socially delayed. These people knew that. The girl had a boyfriend and he wanted nothing to do with difficult child and she decided that she didn't either. One day the mother called me up telling me that my son was "creeping her daughter out". This because he had invited her over and she lied to him saying that she had alot of homework and studying to do. My difficult child caught her in the lie when her other friends showed up at her house and he saw them. He called her and asked her why she had lied to him and she hung up on him so he called back and was abrupt with the mother. The mother then called me to complain and also started accusing my difficult child of prank calls that I knew for a fact he didn't make. I told her that she was wrong about them and that I and difficult child had gotten the same calls. I didn't get angry I was polite. I told them that difficult child was socially delayed and mildly retarded. I told her to get caller ID so she could see that it wasn't my son who had made the prank calls. She conceeded on that point but told me to keep my son away from her daughter and her home. So after being a good neighbor and friend for almost 20 years these people turned on my difficult child. It was so very hurtful and the final straw for me. I put my house on the market and moved. They never even said goodbye. I am only telling this story to show how unpredictable parents can be when it comes to issues surrounding their offspring. I think being anonomus in your support group is a real advantage. -RM