Distraught about 19yr son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ceecee, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. ceecee

    ceecee New Member

    Hello, I'm a newbee I need help, advice or guidance regarding my son. I'm confused, frustrated, and bewildered. My son is disrespectful with a Capital "D!" I'm just going to run down the list:
    1. He smokes marijuana /cigarettes in my house. (Disregarding his parents are law enforcement.
    2. I've been called everything but a child of God/mom
    3. He skips school in order to get high
    4. He doesn't come home for days at a time nor calls, and I pay his cell phone bill.
    5. He gets put out of every where he goes including bio dad, who walked away for 18years, and then after just one year of living with his son he walked away again with no hesitation nor communication.
    6. His new girlfriend of barely 2 months is younger than him, and just as
    dysfunctional her list reads the same by his own admission. My son has decided to stay
    with her and sleep in a roach infested one bedroom apt, (his admission) on an air
    mattress. The young lady and her aunt consistenly fight literally, and her relationship with
    the aunt's boyfriend is questionable. This is the reason she was put out of the first aunts house.
    I must apologize if my post appears to be scattered but I needed to vent. My husband and I are deeply frustrated and any advice would be appreciated.
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    My advice - let go.

    Believe me, we all understand your frustration!!!! But at 19, he is an adult. He needs to be allowed to make his mistakes in order to learn. If he is disrespectful to you, cut him off financially. Would you allow another person not related to you treat you that way? Absolutely not. It is time for you and your husband to let him be an adult, even if it means he falls flat on his face. And the two of you need to live your lives and enjoy your empty nest.

    Just my advice. Welcome to the forum! :)
  3. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I agree 100%. He needs to be on his own, treated as an adult.

    No more financial assistance - none Mom.
    No bailing him out of jail when he gets arrested for driving under the influence - a likely outcome I think.
    No paying his phone bills.
    No calling him and nagging him about calling you, etc.
    No writing excuses for him at school (I assume he's still in high school) - report him as truant instead.
    Tell him you will call the police if he breaks the law while in your home including stealing, doing illegal drugs, any kind of physical violence - that include shoving - or threats of violence against you, your pets, your property. You will press charges if you must call the police.
    Inform him he must move out by X date after which he will no longer be welcome to live in your home even if it means he is homeless.
    Change all the locks today and do not give him a key. He may come and go when you are home and not otherwise.
    Do not buy him food when you are together, do not buy him clothes, do not buy him anything at all.

    You must stand up for yourself to his abusive behavior in a very, very clear way. No hedging as he will just ignore everything.

    And do not explain it all in great detail or argue. This is your home, you are in charge, you are paying the bills - he is not.

    Simply state your position (in writing is always a good idea too) briefly - he's an adult and it's time he moved out and lived independently. Tell him you are changing the locks, tell him the date he must officially move out by and whether he can take his belongings including furniture with him. Then turn and walk away. Do not let him engage you if at all possible.

    Good luck. been there done that with a severely physically disabled teen the day after his 18th birthday. It was hard but also necessary.


    You should also be prepared for push back from him - probably an escalation in the most difficult behaviors and a refusal to move out.
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, I agree with the others. At 19, he is out, and you have to start letting go. It is so hard to let go - SO hard - but you just have to put up a mental wall and refuse to get sucked up into his manipulations. Refuse to talk to him, and hang up if he calls disrespectful, don't let him in your house if he is rude, so on and so forth.

    Does he have any mental illnesses that could be contributing to this? Or is he just being a defiant teen? We also have to other forums on this board, Parent Emeritus that offers great help with over 18 kids, and the Drug and Alcohol section that might help you as well.
  5. ceecee

    ceecee New Member

    No, my son does not have a mental disorder. He just grew up an only child and I spoiled him and he is completly unappreciative. He was always a typical rebelious teen, but its escalated since he became a 'grown man.' The sad think is I didn't grow up in a supportive envirinment so I try to be better. This situation is truly heartbreaking for me. My son and I used to be so close.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Ceecee! Welcome to our little corner of the internet. Here's the way I see it (your last post kind of "stood out" to me). There's a point in life where kids need to bug out and be responsible. In the last post you wrote "my son and I used to be so close". Well, he's a grown man now and making bad choices. You've done your job and from what you've said, you've done it well. He knows right from wrong, he knows he's pushing your buttons, and he knows that he's got you over a barrell.

    You need to trust in the fact that you did your best. You deserve better. Let him know that you love him and that you're sure that he'll do well on his own. If he wants to run the show, let him run his own show in his own apartment.

    Trust me: you'll be amazed at how quickly they learn to take the right path when they're simply acting like brats rather than having a mental issue. Once they realize that clothes, food, shelter, tv's, computers, cable, heat, hot water, food, laundry, food, cars, food, insurance, food and entertainment cost, (did I mention food - he is an 18 year old guy after all), it's amazing how "right" Mom was!

    Keep us up to date!

  7. ceecee

    ceecee New Member

    I really appreciate the responses I have gotten from everyone and I'm going to take heed. My son was in college. We paid for college last semester but then on Christmas Eve, we came out of our bedroom (from wrapping gifts) and my son was smoking in his bedroom (marijuana), so I canceled his Christmas. No new computer, clothes etc..and we refused to pay for school, at the time I thought it was my last straw. We threw him out for about a week with the understanding of him asking to come back, that if there was anymore drama he was out. Of course I found a bag of marijuana outside his bedroom door, of course he denied it was his. This was last week.
  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ceecee, he knows that you have rules, limits and guidelines in your home. He was out for a week based on that fact. Now he's just trying to see how far you'll bend. You need to take control of your home. He needs to be given a deadline to move out with no retreating from it. Let him see where his choices are leading him. Once he sees where the grass (no pun intended considering that he's leaving pot around the house!) is greener, he'll most likely wise up and see that he's messing up.

    In this day and age, more and more people are having to move back in with Mom and Dad because of financial issues. If you don't set the standard in your home now, once you're older and more fragile, you may end up taking him back in because of a lay-off or downsizing with him thinking that he'll be the one to make the rules. Let him know now that he who pays the bills make the rules.

  9. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I just want to send you many hugs - I know how hard it is as I am dealing with it with my 20yo. For us I was a single mom, him a single son - that bond is close - and for us it was, and sometimes is, still too close. It is heartbreaking, you are right. God, if I had a penny for every tear shed I would be rich, no lie.

    But the good news is that your does not have any mental illnesses that will further bog him down in life - and once you draw the permanent line in the sand my guess is that he will turn his life around. I was a really, really horrible teen - much of what you talked about - I did. However it took me appx 2 years of living the down and out lifestyle before I turned my life around. He will too.
  10. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Here's the thing CeeCee. If you now set clear boundaries with him and treat him like the adult that he is - you make room for that closeness to return. It won't look the same as it did when he was a boy, it will be a relationship between 2 adults. Because as long as he is dependent on you he will fight you because it's part of the normal developmental process.

    He needs you to be strong and push him out of the nest.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Many hugs - it's hard, I know.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. Glad you found us but sure sorry you needed to. I agree with the others but I do understand how difficult it will be. Somewhere around here (probably in the Archives) there is a
    treatise on disengaging. Many CD members refer to it again and again as they travel the road of separation.

    I totally understand your need to grieve the loss of your young son. My teen turned from an awesome young man into a pot head and alcoholic at a young age. We sent him to three different substance abuse programs when he was young enough to follow our dictates. His behaviors and addictions didn't change much. Due to unusual circumstances he is still not on his own.

    What I wanted to share with you is an important but sadly true conversation I had with a great counselor when I picked him up from his last treatment facility. He was a very caring man. As I prepared to sign the discharge paperwork I sat with him and thanked him for every effort he had made. Then I said "I am praying that our grandson gets over this stage soon and returns to the kid we all adore." He looked me in the eye and replied "that kid no longer exists and can not return". I guess my eyes got wide and then he said "you may end up with a very nice young man once he faces his addictions but he has changed and you'll have to learn to love him as he is not as he once was." That short conversation slammed my heart. Once I was alone I wept for hours and over the years it has brought fresh tears. I still want him back as he was. It's not going to happen. We still love him with all our heart but the innocence is gone...ours and his.

    Don't expect miracles. Find ways to strengthen yourself. The road is going to be rough but it can have a happy ending...it just doesn't happen quickly. Hugs. DDD
  12. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    That just made me well up DDD. I don't know if I can learn to love who my daughter is now. She is not a good person. She doesn't contribute anything positive to this world right now. I am having a rough time with this one. :(
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow DDD - that just made me really think. Thank you for sharing that.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Wow DDD that is pretty powerful....I need to do that too, accept my son for who he is now and stop hoping the kid he was will come back to me. Hopefully with some time and work we can forge a new relationship with who we all are now and our changing roles as he is now an adult.

    Ceecee - Oh I so sympathize with you. I have definitely been there and it is just heartbreaking. My ounce of wisdom here is to think about what lessons he is learning by being able to treat you with such disrespect and to so flagrantly violate your rules? He is learning he can get away with it... and yet that is not how the world works. Out in the world if he is that disrespectful to authority and flagrantly violates societies rules he will end up in jail. My son, after we did kick him out had to go on testing the world and he did end up in jail.... two weeks of that and he agreed to go to rehab. It may be the best thing that happened to him although it was pretty tough on me.

    So as hard as this is on you, and all the feelings of regret, guilt, sadness you may feel you are not doing him any favors by letting him get away with this behavior. Believe me I say this with lots of understanding because it broke my heart to kick my son out of the house.

    He needs to figure out where to go and what to do. I would suggest that you keep the door of communication open. My therapist told me to do that and it was hugely helpful to me. So I let my son keep his cell phone and we did continue to pay that bill because we wanted a communication line. I would text him every couple of days... often he did not respond... but when he got arrested he called us. We did not bail him out but I did show up at court. We wanted him to know we were there for him and loved him. So after several arrests, and much trouble, he did turn to us for help. We did get him a lawyer who helped him get a plea agreement which included court ordered rehab. I am happy that he knew he could still count on us to help when he was ready for help. At this point he is away from home and we are helping him out as it helps his recovery.... if it appears he is relapsing we will stop in a heartbeat. So in the end it doesn't have to be all or nothing... you can still love him, you can support him when he is helping himself... and you can set limits on him behaving badly and being abusive to you. If you haven't already go to an alanon meeting, they are hugely helpful, especially if you can find a parents one. And yes check out the other two boards.