wondering if I'm overreacting when difficult child 2 slips up

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by recovering doormat, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    exDH and I were talking last night about how difficult child 2 seems to be acting a bit more responsibly lately. Ten days ago I caught him & some friends smoking weed outside my house and I kicked them out, haven't let him stay overnight or have company at my house since. He says he wants to be responsible so at some point he'll be able to apply for his learner's permit to drive.

    Today he called to say that he'd had a severe attack of diarrhea and didn't think he'd be able to make his substance abuse counseling appointmetn. He blew off last week's appointment because he was still sleeping when I showed up at his dad's to pick him up. ONly saw his counselor once in May. Now I think I know why: he's still smoking and wants to avoid the drug test.

    I called counselor and gave her my son's cell phone number and she said she'd call him to either do a phone session or reschedule. He did speak to her but she didn't know at the time that he had made plans to go out with some girl, and then I found him at his dad's house a few hours later with a guy friend, and it was obvious that he had been smoking weed. Red eyes, everything.

    So. I told ex that I'm done driving him anyplace and wasting any more of my time. I'm also going to fix up easy child's room and move her clothes out of dad's house this weekend and back to mine. I don't want her there if he's smoking in the house. So far she hasn't experimented and I don't want her to start, or any of her friends to be around him and his friends. Me removing easy child might light a fire under ex's arse and make him do something other than wringing his hands and second-guessing everyone trying to help us.

    then sometimes I wonder if I'm just overreacting to a little weed...I'm so exhausted I can't think clearly today. I wonder what I'm getting so worked up about.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    You are not over-reacting. He is being totally irresponsible and ex is enabling him. Is easy child ready to move home? I know last week you mentioned she wants to stay with ex.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    No, you aren't. You have no idea if it's just "a little weed." You shouldn't have to drive him anywhere. And easy child deserves a sane and normal life. Sometimes I think we sacrifice our good kids for the ones who make bad choices. And I think that's unfair. Let ex enable him, but don't join in.
  4. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    easy child is still refusing to budge from dad's home, but this business with her brother continuing to smoke weed in the dad's house, and dad never being around, has pushed me out of my usual stupor.

    Her room at my house is cluttered, dirty, unappetizing, and she refuses to touch it. She does need a clean place to sleep, however, so I'm planning on cleaning it up enough that she can sleep in it, then I'm insisting she move back to my house. After school tomorrow I'm bringing her back to my house, if she squeals, tough. She's stubborn and I could see her walking to the city bus to go back to dad's, but I will put him on notice that I will ask DCF to bring her back to my house if he won't make her come back.

    THat ought to get things moving.

    I realized that yesterday, I pretty much spent from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the car driving kids places, with maybe an hour of downtime at home, not enough to accomplish anything. Oldest had to go to court, doesn't drive, so I took her; German student staying with ex became ill at school and he asked if I could pick her up and bring her to his home; drive to ex's hosue and p/u son to drive to dad's office across town (20 mins in daytime traffic each way) for tutoring session; pick up easy child at school and take her to dad's house; back to dad's office to pick up son and bring him to dad's. Why do I do it? Because I feel guilty that I'm not working, and to keep kids happy and ex happy (because when ex is angry with me he takes it out on kids). It's sick. And it's wearing me down.

    As time goes by I see just how enabling my ex is, and how little improvement we have seen despite an abundance of services being provided to us. So many therapists told me that ex and I have to be united, on the same page, and for me that meant supporting him and following his lead. It's like I've been brainwashed for years, yet I knew things were wrong.
  5. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    Hey Recovering,
    sounds like you are making progress with yourself and that's great! You are on the right track, keep coming here, we will support you in any way we can.
  6. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Hope easy child moves back to your house without much trouble and that difficult child straightens up soon. Sorry you and ex can't be on the same page right now...and that he would take it out on kids, that's awful.

    Sounds like you need/deserve some rest and relief after all the running around you did for the kids yesterday...hope you can take it easy today.

  7. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I think a united front does not mean doing all the work while your ex holds it over your head by taking it out on your children if you dont' jump to his bidding. I'd do for your kids, period. I also think that you are right in bringing easy child home. It doesn't sound like all is peachy at ex's house. He sounds like he doesn't have any sense of how to control or discipline difficult child. easy child may well kick and scream about the move, but hey, us parents all know our kids often don't like our decisions but when made in their best interests, it is what must be done. Eventually they get over their rage at us for making good decisions to their benefit. Stand strong and its great you are seeing that beyond a unified front, you may be enabling ex to just coast by. A united front requires 2 people. I say do what is right for your kids from your angle, and let ex figure out what he SHOULD be doing to contribute to the united front. A therapist or support staff can suggest anything they like, but it requires participants both willing to do what is helpful etc.
    I think you're thinking very straight and right on this. Good luck. I'm sure there may be conflict over this, but it sound like one of the fights worth fighting.
  8. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Thank you Mattsmom and everyone else for the words of support. It really helps me. It's sad to see how my self-confidence as a parent has eroded over the years to the point where I'll believe that everyone else is right and I'm wrong.

    What breaks my heart the most is that my kids, particularly easy child, look at other families and see warmth and love and respect, but we have had so much arguing and door slamming and tears and wall kicking and profanity and silent treatment, and it starts with mom and dad not showing respect and consideration for each other. I've done my best to humor exDH over the years but lately, I've been telling anyone in a position to deal with our kids that I only have control over myself and can't speak for dad - and dad doesn't want to hear anything that contradicts his opinion or means he has to open his wallet.

    At least I have set that boundary.

    Between this forum and a session this morning with my very competent therapist, I am feeling much better than I was when I originally posted. Now I just have to take action.
  9. Does this ever ring true to me ... try to reward the "good" kids and you catch hell for favoritism ... parents can not win.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you are waking up to reality after a long sleep. Sometimes I think the therapists and spouses truly do brainwash us. I had SO MUCH pressure to accept difficult child for what he was and not push him to behave decently that if I had listened my difficult child would have been crippled for life. As it is, he has a fairly decent future if he can stick to the plan he made for himself.

    Listen to your instincts. Get easy child's room clean, take out any stuff that is just clutter and garbage so she can keep it clean. then bring her home and tell her and husband that she must stay there. Go ahead and call DCF to bring her home if need be. Ex is not home and difficult child is smoking pot in comfort and style in his home, well, that is NOT where easy child needs to be.

    No MORE RIDES. Not for difficult child. Not to take easy child to dad's, or to chauffer her around when seh is at her dads. If she is at his house, then HE has to give rides or pay for a taxi. Period. If she is old enough to take a city bus back to his home from yours, then she can take the bus anywhere else she needs to go. Why on EARTH does he have a german student living with him if he is never there and needs you to give the person rides? That is SOOO not your responsibility. Regardless of if you are employed or not. It is HIS job. Until you stop enabling him he won't change. If he yells and screams, well, not your problem. If he takes it out on the kids, well, a little responsibility for standing up to him will only strengthen the kids.

    As it is, you are behaving in a co-dependent manner and enabling both ex and difficult child in their behaviors and teaching easy child to behave that way. You MUSt stand up, and insist that ex takes responsibility and easy child comes home. No other choice if you are a responsible parent. easy child likes it at dad's because she has no supervision. Is that safe? If she is capable of handling herself and raising herself, why would DCF get involved? And why would you give her rides? If she is able to raise herself with no adult supervision, then why would she NEED you to give rides, etc... Either she is a child who needs an adult around to raise her, or she is an adult and doesn't need supervision or help. She can't have it both ways, not in any healthy manner.

    LISTEN to those instincts that tell you what easy child needs. And what difficult child needs. You have those instincts as a gift from God (or whoever you believe in) to ensure survival of the species. They are there for a reason. don't ignore them because to do so is easier. It may be easier on you now, but it will be much much harder on easy child in the long run. So don't fall into the trap that they have set for you. Don't listen to whining or gritching. Do what you know is right, what you believe is right.
  11. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    No you are not getting upset for nothing. Pot is still illegal. You can get introuble for having it in your house or car for that matter. Dont let him even smoke on your property - my difficult child did that all the time until we said no more! We could get in trouble and they think you think it is ok if they do it and nothing happens. However, if they smoke it on their own somewhere else there is nothing you can do about that. It is still illegal.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    stands is very right. If they find enough pot in your house to qualify for possession with intent to sell they can take your home. The police can charge you under the RICO act and seize any property that was used to deal illegal drugs in. If he did deals in your house, or even packaged the pot to sell in smaller quantities, or he did it in your car, or even just used your car to go to deliver drugs to someone - then they can take YOUR HOUSE AND CAR!!! It takes surprisingly little to be charged under the RICO laws. It is a HUGE risk to let him have pot on the property.

    So no, you are NOT overreacting.
  13. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Susie, I know people who have lost their home and livelihood (liquor store license) because the husband's brother grew weed on a remote part of their four acre property and an angry customer turned him in. They had no dea what the brother was doing, never saw him plant or harvest anything, no knowledge that he was even dealing, a;nd they got the shock of their lives. Neither of my difficult child's have attempted to smoke weed in my home since I last posted. I limit the amount of time they can be here, and they know that if I smell or see anything suspicious, they are outta here.

    Since I last posted, easy child has moved back in with-me of her own volition: she said that she'd had enough of her older sibs bickering and she threw herself into redecorating her room. I just had the hardwood floors refinished this weekend and they look great, she has been at the beach with her girlfriend's family and doesn't know, so it will be a surprise tomorrow when she sees them.

    She has also agreed to see a therapist. She has been more emotionally volatile over the past few months than I ever recall, and even her closest friends have noticed it. I found a journal she started two weeks ago and left on her bed. I read it because I was concerned about her behavior. I was horrified by what I read, but unfortunately, not terribly surprised.
    she confessed to drinking on occasion and smoking weed, and that her close friends were angry with her for doing these things adn she was upset with them, that she was depressed and wanted to kill herself but was too scared to. I waited a couple of days then told her about my snooping, and we talked. She knows that she shouldn't drink or smoke anything but she doesn't have the strength of character to just say no. She meets with the therapist tomorrow.