The answer to my nightmare

seeker-returnsJuly 30, 2006

I'm a widowed dad trying to raise my teenage son as best as I know how, as best as I can. But I guess I'm a total failure. He got kicked out of Grade 11 for non-attendance/drug use, went to rehab, but to no avail. Went to life skills courses, but to no avail. Enrolled in another school to complete Gr. 11, but to no avail. Comes in at 3.00 - 4.00 every morning, the dog barks, wakes me up. Won't do any chores around the house, his bedroom and bathroom are a total disaster. In fact, he don't give a rat's ass

He could well be the cause of my early death!

But at least I've tried everything to help him, but he has to want to be helped. And there's the rub - he has to want the help. Unless, he is forced into being helped. And the only rational answer I can think of is


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I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I just bleed for you but you are NOT a failure. I know you love him, I have been there with my own. I have a 17 year old that has 'somewhat' straigtened out but only because she somewhat decided to. Is he 16 or 17? In my state at 17 you can decide to kick him out. Sounds harsh but you need to make him hit bottom as soon as possible. That is the only way he is going to start to straighten up, you are powerless until he wants help, he isn't going to want help until he is at the bottom of the barrel. You need to learn to let go. It can be painful, but also allieviating. Allieviate yourself of the guilt, you did everything you could, allieviate your self of the pressure, he has to help himself now, allieviate yourself of the stress. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Tell him you love him but he can't live there any longer unless he lives by the rules, tell him he is always welcome back at anytime he decides he can live by the rules and then change the locks. He will move in with some druggie friends and spend the next few years getting high, and then decide that life sucks and seek help. Hopefully. But do know and understand that how he turned out does not reflect necessary solely on you. Friends often times have more control over how our kids turn out than we do, society, Grandparents, genetics, history, and parets, you share the burden of societies young adult behaviors with us all. Attend an NA (narcotics Anonymus) Meeting, those are for family members of users. They are all over the country, they meet once a week and there are plenty of parents just like you learning to cope and let go. Learn to let go. I wish you peace in the near future, much peace.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 1:43PM
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Many thanks for your kind and comforting words. I really appreciate your feedback. The legal age for the boot here is 18, so I've got 13 months and 15 days to go! I wonder why I'm counting! I imposed curfews for him, and told him that if he didn't adhere to them, then I would lock him out. Which I did, with the result that he smashed in the patio door and cost me $1000 to replace.
Now his 18th b'day next year also coincides with him getting a substantial inheritance, so hopefully that will encourage him to move out voluntarily, even if it results in him snorting it all away. But at least it will give me some breathing space to consider my options, one of which would be to move (a 4,500 sq. ft. house is too big anyway for just the 2 of us) away from here, so if the prodigal son wanted to return, it would be away from his drug-induced "friends".
Take're a good 'un

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 3:36PM
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Keep counting, your freedom and solace are extremely important. And keep hoping too, I will as well. And you are right about his inheritance, it will be his to blow any way he likes. Moving sounds like a great idea too. A change of scenery might just be good for you.

I have an older SD who has chosen her life against my better wishes and no longer talks to us, another SD who is 17 who has just started to straighten up after a drug induced single car accident. She totalled the car but did not hurt herself, and that seemed to really scare her straight for a few weeks anyway and after that her habit has slowed down. Am I happy about the reality, absolutely not. She has been to every therapy and in house place I could find, and she did her time in there, only to come out and immediately use again. So I sincerely know the frustration. So now that she is 17, I have told her if I catch her again she will be forced to leave and until then she can stay at home. I do not give her any money, I lock up all my valuables, I still love her but I have learned to let go, to understand that her behavior is her behavior not mine, I taught her all that I could and she has chosen otherwise, that is her choice. So sad to see them choosing such a tough road but I have shown her a better life and she isn't interested. And as you know when a teen wants to do something they will find a way. I am sure losing his Mother has a lot to do with it as well. But the pain he is going through does not give him the right to hurt you and himself and everyone else around him. I hope one day our kids wake up and realize what they are throwing away, in the mean time I am not going to allow them to throw my life away with worry as well. I have made my life choices and they were pretty good, I am succesful, happy, and stable. They can't have that the way they are going and I won't give up my life for their drugs either.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 4:54PM
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I'd've called the cops on the patio door. Breaking and entering. And then presented him w/the bill for repairs. Is he doing drugs in your house or on your property? Call the cops. Where is he getting the $$$ to buy drugs? Drive? Go out and party? Who is subsidizing him?

Is there a way to cut the money off before he gets his grubby mitts on it? Call your lawyer or financial planner. This kind of an 18 y.o. with a trust fund is a scary proposition.

There is no way I'd be that disrespected in my own home.

I wish you luck and peace. You have mountains to climb.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 12:22PM
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Ditto what dweck said about the patio door. Cops should be called if he ever breaks or steals anything from you or gets violent or threatens. Tough love.

Best wishes.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 2:32PM
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Went through my DS thinking he was a man and knew everything, finally I had to belly up and do the hard love thing it was really hard and hurt me more than it hurt him.I told him staight out this is my house and it is your home, my rules go and if you don't like them I'm sure we can find alternative living situations for you.Made him stop and think.Well he turned 18 and told me my rules were stupid and he did not want to follow them,I told him that was his choice but he would have to find somewhere else to live,I also told him this was not JC Penneys and that there was not a revolving door. THat if he thought he was a man , he would have to go and make it out in this big ugly world on his own and face the grown way of life. As for the drugs, I myself would most definetly contact the police because if he gets caught for anything involving them and he is in your house you can by law lose your house and everything else.There are programs out there for people who have children hooked on drugs, contact the local police or child welfare office. As for tough love it really sucks but sometimes it is for the best.And I can almost guarentee if you don't step in and take control it may not be your funeral it just might be his.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 3:50PM
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My ss was headed down the same road. At 14 the school filed a PINS application (person in need of supervision) because he was cutting school and not preforming any work. When the application appeared before a family court judge, the judge ruled that we could not "control" him and he was sent to a residential facility that provides 24/7 supervision. This is the only thing that has saved us. Since the school filed the application, we do not look like the bad guys and can try to build/salvage a relationship with him. There is a good kid in there somewhere that just wants to be loved and accepted. He just makes bad choices.

PINS applications can be filed by the parents or school and can be filed for children and/or adults. Check with your Office of Child & Family services (county or town) and see what they can do. A PINS application will also require you to contact the police to support the courts findings etc. This may also set up a situation where you can put his trust fund on an allowance basis so he wont blow it all at once.

Good luck

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 4:34PM
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