Where to draw the line?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by slsh, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    My eyes, my eyes. thank you was home for a visit this weekend (went well). While here, he wanted some help on his myspace (gag) site. Being the devious woman I am, I helped him get a background up, some music, convinced him to change his name to an alias and delete the city he's currently living in, in the process also gaining access to his password not only for myspace but for his yahoo email (and I'd like to have a long discussion with- the doggone Residential Treatment Center (RTC) school about what they are *thinking* letting the kids have essentially unlimited internet access...grrr - discussion moot at this point given his upcoming move).

    Bottom line, my son is *far* more into this magic junk than I suspected, going as far as contacting anonymous adults from who knows where (where is domain rr.com???) about joining magic organizations. His sole friend who was in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and has moved on to transitional program where thank you will be going... well, I understand myspace is not necessarily a realistic representation of a person but that combined with- his emails to thank you... this kid is severely disturbed. But then again... apparently so is my son.

    On the one hand, I need to know how far he's gone (or how far gone he is) but on the other hand if I push too hard he's going to figure out I have access to his email and will change password. Is it better to know and try to address in a round about way or address head on, knowing that I will lose ability to monitor? Selfishly, I'm really wondering if I want to know about this cr*p. I really don't see that I have much power to change it or moderate it at all. He's very determined.

    Also worry about this new placement but... on the other hand, thank you being thank you, he will seek out fellow "believers" in magic regardless of where he is. Is it better to deal with- the known disturbed people in his life or deal with- unknown? And it's not like there is any other placement option.

    husband did find an opening to discuss this with- him on trip back to Residential Treatment Center (RTC). husband's comment on the entire discussion is that thank you needs to join the rest of us in reality. Aside from that fact that he thinks we're attacking his spirituality, he actually *believes* in spells and incantations and thinks the only way the world is going to become a better place is through magic. husband (bless his heart, not being the fastest man on his feet) failed to point out that if magic could cure all that ails the world, it would have happened a *long* time ago. I understand the teen angst of "the world bites, there's so much wrong, yada yada". I do *not* understand this belief in magic. It scares the stuffing out me simply because I think his grasp on reality is tenuous at best. This particular version of magic appears to embrace detaching from reality. Perfect. Short trip for thank you.

    I don't know - do you fight it? Do you let it go? Do you accept defeat? I mean, really, insert drugs or sex or booze for magic, and is it any different, and do we really have the power to do more than educate about potential for bad outcomes and then just sit back and pray, especially when they're not in your home? And how do you educate a kid whose thought processes are a little bit goofy to begin with? He *will* seek out these people - short of locking him in a room 24/7, I honestly don't think there's any way around it.

    I'm really quite scared for him and I don't know what to do or even if I should be doing anything.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    rr.com is road runner, part of Time Warner cable. They are throughout the country. You can get an idea where these adults are if you can find their ip address in the properties of an email address. FWIW, I wouldn't want to lose the ability to know what's going on with thank you. I would monitor and give him my opinion as the situation allows.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    What kind of magic? Las-Vegas-disappearing-cars-onstage-magic? Black magic? Just wondering... you mentioned "believes" so I'm thinking it's not learned magic tricks...

    Good idea, Tiredmommy.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sorry, Terry. I'd be deliriously happy with- cheesy Vegas style/Harry Houdini magic. :wink: Nope, we're talking the other kind of magic. Spells, etc. His current favorite flavor is some garbage called "chaos magic" (surprise surprise).
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I really understand how you feel! difficult child 1 usually talks about white magic when he is unstable. He also believes in magic spells,magic cures, etc... It scares the HE** out of me too!!! He practices weird rituals in his room while chanting at certain times... We had to hide all matches, etc. because he told easy child that he needed to burn candles in his room...

    He went so far once as to tell his psychiatrist that he couldn't take any medication because it was against his religion (witch craft). HELP!!!

    I'm with you - I don't understand how any Residential Treatment Center (RTC) could give kids unlimited internet access. in my humble opinion, this is a recipe for disaster when you're dealing with unstable kids!!! I would talk with someone at the transitional program and find out what the policies on internet use are. What are these people thinking :grrr: ???

    When difficult child 1 is stable, he doesn't talk about witchcraft. As thank you becomes more stable, I hope and pray his interest in magic will fade...

    I wish I had some good advice for you. Unfortunately I don't. You're right - we lose control over who our difficult children hang out with as they get older... It is so frightening!!! I really don't think there is anything we can do about it unless, as you put it, we lock them in a room 24/7...

    Since my difficult child is living at home at the moment, he doesn't have any internet access unless he is being watched. However, he makes sure to tell me about interesting things he has read on the internet while at school or at the library. If there is a will, difficult children will find a way...

    I think all we can do is to offer our advice and pray that some of it penetrates their thick skulls. I think we have to detach to a certain degree as they get older. WFEN
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow Sue, I don't have any idea about the magic stuff and I agree with your question of whether it's better to know. I have my difficult child's password to both her email and myspace accounts. I regularly go on myspace to check out what she's doing/saying. Last year when she was at her worst it was the only way I could keep ahead of her. I was able to tell when she was going to run away or where she was going and if drugs or drinking were involved. I used it a number of times to locate her and to know who her friends were.

    I have to say that while I liked being able to keep track of her, I was also under a lot of stress and wondered whether not knowing was better. In the end I'm glad I was able to track her but then I did have physical custody and was able to stop some things from happening. If she wasn't living here I'm not sure I would want to go through the stress of it all.

    I don't know what you can do about the magic stuff. Drugs and drinking are illegal but magic isn't so you have very little leverage. In the meantime I would not give away that you have his password. I had to be very careful not to do that myself, even when I was dying to confront her about some of it.

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    In reality, do you have the "power", for lack of a better word, to draw a line anymore? difficult child is going to believe what he is going to believe. He is of an age where looking to mom & dad for guidance simply doesn't happen; especially for a difficult child.

    On the other hand, I know that you fear for his safety; for his lack of connecting the dots & such. While you can do your best to make sure that his environment is safe & help guide safe choices, with difficult child in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) you have so little control.

    And I understand your concerns - I have very little control over wm's choices - group home watches movies & t.v. that wouldn't be allowed here & that's a modest concern. The same occurred when kt was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    I had to let go of so many things... while knowing that my children were being cared for safely.

    As to unlimited internet access in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - that is unbelievable! Simply incredible!
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, I would never let on that I know anything about M's myspace page to anyone that knows him. I looked today after having read your post and see that he has a new job. I knew he had been fired from his old one in January, and lord knows how he was surviving. But he lists his workplace - a temp agency. Unfortunately, he lists his position as "brahman". This is Hindu for an eternal, genderless, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, supreme being who is transcendent of reality. More unfortunately, I feel that he believes this is so. At least he's got it together enough to know he has to earn money.

    Raoul? Drinks, please!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member


    I just did a quick google on chaos magic and it doesnt appear all that foreboding. I looked at this site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_magic and what it says seems rather interesting to me.

    Now I do have a rather extreme interest in pagan and earth religions. Not saying I am one just that I find them interesting.

    If he really researches and studies the tenets of paganism or wicca and not just jump on "oh...magic and spells" then it may teach him some good values. Things like dont do bad things to other people or nature because what you put out comes back to you in threes. That isnt a bad thing to learn...lol.

    Most pagan and wiccan magic is white magic...which is all benign. They dont believe in satan. They are asking mother earth to bless them or help or something like that.

    I have a whole big book of spells and magic here. Maybe I should have Billy change his myspace page and contact thank you...lmao.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-Jane, if that's the only type of website he's into. I have several acquaintances who are Wiccan and they don't believe in Satan. They use their rituals for the same things everyone else wishes for... love, health and good job prospects. :smile: Very benign. They believe in a higher power, but don't believe that only ordained priests, for example, are the only ones who can harness that power. They believe that God is in all of us and all of nature.
    They are into protecting the earth and eating very healthy foods, i.e., absolutely anti-drug. I think one of them drinks wine occasionally but that's it.
    I would find out more about it.
    Have you come right out and asked him? And just listened with-o judging? (I know it's hard. You want to roll your eyes and scream.)
    on the other hand, if it involves mean things, or animal sacrifice, then it's something completely different. You need more information.

    I would worry that he thinks he can wish away his illness or need for medications by lighting a candle and chanting. It would be nice to find a Wiccan mentor who could gently tell him that's not possible, guide him in re: to spells about general health, rather than specific cures, for example.

    In re: to the candles, it's a very common thing to use candles in all religions.
    I would suggest that your restriction on Ggf be very specific to house rules that you do not allow matches or candles in bedrooms unless there is a thunderstorm and power outage and he is supervised. Period.

    My easy child is into burning scented cute-candles... One time she left her room to watch TV, and another time, left the house altogether. I was furious! (After I recovered from my heart attack.) Now we just make it a habit to check her room every day and to trust our noses!
    It's a teen thing. Sigh.
  11. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I did a google search, too, and it doesn't seem to be much more than another belief system. Some would think the same kind of things about Christianity or any other recognized religion. I do think there is a huge difference in this and in abusing drugs or alcohol. My guess would be that when thank you finds it isn't the "fix" he thought it would be, he'll move on.
  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I think Sue more worries about her difficult children lack of a "base in reality". I know that thank you's reasoning skills & distorted thought processes have kept him in a contained environment for many years. His inability to safely navigate in the real world is tenuous at best.

    If wm had the same interest, I'd be terrified. wm would listen to all his "new best friends" & think they have his best interest at heart. Like Sue, I'd have little impact on wm's choice in beliefs.

    I hope it's okay I stepped in here Sue; I also hope I that I didn't step on anyone's toes.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I understand that Linda. My difficult child's reality is definitely...hmmmm...skewed. In addition, she is extremely gullible, very naive and easily manipulated. Once she gets something in her head, there is no talking her out of it.

    I still think that of all things difficult child could get involved in/become interested in, this is relatively harmless - as far as a belief system. What I would be very worried about is thank you contacting adults that he doesn't know. I would be worried about any teenager doing that for any reason, but especially a teenager who is more susceptible. That is what I would focus on, personally.
  14. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    My concern for thank you is that his tenuous grasp on reality leaves him open to being taking advantage of, or preyed on by, others. It's a worry that he will fall in with a cult-like group or another anti-social group that will further marginalize him & has the potential to put him into bad situations he just can't process properly. I don't think anyone "fears" those that practice the Wiccan religion as they are based in having peace & harmony in the world. It's the folks that justify violence in the name of their religion (whatever that religion may be, witchcraft or not) that is the fear. thank you, from what I've read, manages to get caught up in the fantasy and really can't step back into reality.
    Sue, I'd be very concerned as well.
  15. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    difficult child has always tended towards the fringe and alternative beliefs. He used this as his sledge hammer to get your attention and get a rise out of people,several years ago. Eventually he has come to make the alternative beliefs part of his quest.(for lack of a better term) Every teen searches for his own belief and usually rebels against standard or parental choices. difficult child's in their distorted or in thank you's case magical thinking tends to go way over to the other side of traditional.
    Is the Chaos Magic the problem or is his magical thinking the problem? My difficult child prefers to shift towards super powers, magical transformation in order to defend the world from bad guys. It seems to me as his defense against what he sees as a scary world and his own helplessness. He can't figure out the mainstream way to avoid the pitfalls of life so he created his own set of armour and weapons. He wants and needs hero's to protect him or for him to protect the underdog as the hero. It's not appropriate for a 22 yr old to wish and hope that a superhero will appear or that he will be the hero to save someone else but it gives him something to stem his tide of fear and anxiety.

    I doubt any of us would have a problem with our difficult child's doing anything positive regardless of their choice of faith. Many of ours have such skewered thinking that a moral code that is healthy and good regardless of the sect would be a good thing.

    How to get thank you to keep a balance from his interest in odd subjects to preventing the odd subjects swallow him and allow him to lose touch with reality would be my concern?

    Sue at 16 you have to realize there are very few things you can prevent. Healthy use of the internet is what we all hope, wish and teach but let's face it, the natural curiosity of teens will always want to test the limits. I think the thought process is a normal semi adult process. We just want to help them keep a healthy balance. In 2 yrs, you will be shut off from even Dr's treatment plans,conversations or even medications. No one will share pertinent info with you unless your son allows it or is present. Very scary and very shocking to me. My difficult child isn't quite ready to handle his own affairs and I am not ready to take over guardianship. I don't get to make his decisions. I don't necessarily get included in any of his physician appts, SSI appts, or any other processes.

    How will you prevent him from anything? His inability to have good judgement isn't against the law. Being slightly out of touch with reality isn't a treatable offense. The only criteria seems to be "is he a danger to himself or others?".

    I would keep reminding him to keep his feet in reality and realize magic is fantasy. I don't believe there is anything else you can do.

    My question to myself is why does he like this so much? Why does he need it? What does it do for him? What does it represent to him? What does your child need?
  16. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Well.... at least I know I'm not the only one worried about old thank you. :wink:

    Wicca has been a fascination of his for 5 years now. I have absolutely *no* problem with- the general tenets of it - in fact, had the rule of 3 on my fridge for a couple of years (Whatever you do, comes back to you threefold). Another main guideline is to do no harm. in my opinion, not bad things for a difficult child to embrace.

    Moderation isn't in thank you's vocabulary. He's the kind of kid who puts all his eggs in one basket. He absolutely believes that magic will solve ... well, and I guess this pretty much hits the nail on the head, he doesn't think *he* has any problems. He thinks the world is messed up and with a few well placed spells that only *he* (braham that he is... LOL, oh my gosh, our kids' thinking can be so similar) can do when he finally gets access to whatever it is he needs, the world will be fixed and he will fit in. To my eye, he is once again further setting himself apart from anything approaching mainstream.

    He has "lost" every item of clothing I've ever bought him that wasn't black - his wardrobe is severely limited at this point. I told him this weekend that I've bought the last black thing ever for him.

    He's gullible, trusting beyond reason, and just doesn't have the street smarts to know when to be wary. husband and I are just dumber than dirt and don't know what we're talking about - I know, pretty typical teen but at the same time, it leaves him very open to who knows what.

    I also have a bit of a PTSD reaction to the whole concept of him and spells. He had a scary psychotic break in 2004 where he was absolutely convinced he had "summoned" a leviathan and they had switched places... by the time I got to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), thank you was in the fetal position, kept asking for the leviathan to come back so he could escape. I don't think the "spell" caused the break, but I do believe that a kid with an intrinsic illness that blurs the line between reality and fantasy has no business dabbling in magic.

    Nancy - you *are* my myspace hero. :wink: I thought of you this weekend when I was writing down the password. I will continue to monitor and do my best to not give it away... but... well, yuck.

    Who'd have thought I'd remember fondly the 9 y/o days of gfgdom? At least then, we had a smidgen of control over how much thank you could expose himself to.
  17. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Fran - we posted at the same time. These are my concerns exactly. thank you doesn't do "balance". Never has. Gets defensive and angry when we try to gently expand his horizons.

    thank you believes adamantly magic is real and will solve all the world's troubles, which in turn will solve his. How do you argue with that?

    *I* think magic gives him a false sense of control and power (oxymoron, anyone?). It's yet another in a long line of external factors that he sees as the root of his difficulties. Has nothing to do with *him*. In spite of recent steps he's successfully taken to improve his situation, he's not making the connection between *his* behavior and his quality of life. Heaven help me, for all I know he was doing incantations this whole while and that's the reason in his mind for the changes.

    I think he needs power and control and autonomy but in spite of years of therapy and teaching and trying to get him to understand how the real world works, he still opting for the easy way out. Much easier to "cast a spell" than be accountable and responsible for his own choices. Makes me very fearful for him.
  18. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Quote: I think he needs power and control and autonomy but in spite of years of therapy and teaching and trying to get him to understand how the real world works, he still opting for the easy way out. Much easier to "cast a spell" than be accountable and responsible for his own choices. Makes me very fearful for him.

    All of us need control and autonomy. I don't think he is opting for the easy way out. I think he has a "brain wrinkle" and can see no other way out for himself. His oppositionality will not let him put down the defenses enough to try a different way. I'm not sure if it is anxiety,stubborness or stupidity that sabotages some of our kids but it's more complicated than willfulness. No one could want the lives they build for themselves unless they can find no other way to survive in the world. The misery of being away from home is minor to them compared to the structure that allows them to function. It isn't punishment(in their eyes) as much as a way for them to have a safe, structured environment. Strange but true in my difficult child case. So the belief in the magical seems to help them feel less vulnerable, less weak. How to keep them in reality while allowing them a way to feel less vulnerable is difficult. It's a work in progress for my difficult child. Every time he finds a way to solve a problem with or without help he seems less afraid. He is facing his anxiety one step at a time but I think it's a long road for some of our kids and it is not certain they will ever leave fantasy completely.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sue, I see your point. What does his therapist say?
    Does difficult child go outside your house for school? Have other outside activities?
    You cannot control his mind but you can control his enviromment. You can see where I'm going with-this...
    good luck.
  20. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Sue, If you look at the spells as a form of prayer rather than dark majic would you worry as much? Sometimes the perspective from which we look at things make situations more scary than they are.
    I am not saying that your concerns are not legitimate. Your son is very sick. What I am saying is that instead of trying to draw him away from the practce of majic which would just make him want it more, think of it as a form of prayer and remind him that change also takes action. Gently remind him that just as we cannot sit back and do nothing but pray to change ourselves or our situation, we cannot expect Majic to work without any other effort on our part.