My son doesn't want to live here anymore. I'm devastated

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Safeplace2012, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Safeplace2012

    Safeplace2012 New Member

    My 15yo son has stated he doesn't want to go back and forth from my house to my ex's house any longer.
    Some background: 2 months ago I discovered all my booze was gone, he admitted to drinking it all - Over the past year by himself after school. I never noticed a change in him. (I feel so dumb)
    Two weeks ago while at his dads house he went through his dads dresser drawers and took his Rx medications. Sleeping pills and anti-anxiety just to name two, we think there were more. Over 2 days he was taking these medications. In the 2nd day he was really wasted and I got a call to go to the school. I ended up taking him to Urgent care where doctors asked him how much he took and he couldn't give any clear answers. He was up and down emotionally being a total jerk to me and then to his dad.
    The following days were a nightmare of him lashing out and being disrespectful. Had to call police as he was getting out of control. His dad ended up taking him away (resort) for the weekend.
    And he gave his phone back.
    Now he wants to live 100% with his dad. (Not the first time he's said this apparently). I am devastated.
    His dad should have shut him down and said that's not happening but he didn't.
    His dad has a habit of binge drinking probably 1-4 times a month I am guessing. My son has seen his dad staggering drunk on multiple occasions. But it's not every day.

    Question; do I let him go live 100% with his dad? Or do I say no and live with the consequences of him being a jerk to me whenever he is at my house?
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    How about not feeling too hurt right now (i know its hard) but work with Dad to get rehab treatment for Son while he is still young enough for you to do it. Your son has a substance abuse problem. Perhaps that being the first priority may be most helpful. You would not probably want to wait until he is eighteen when you no longer have any control about it.

    His problem will make him want to live with whom he believes will be most lenient when he abuses substances.

    Hon, not trying to be harsh or mean or to sound like a know-it-but son sounds like he needs help NOW. I hope you and ex can be on the same page. Unfortunately, Dad sounds like an alcoholic. An alcoholic does not have to drink every day to be one. An alcoholic is, like your ex, unable to drink moderately. If they drink, they cant stop until they are drunk. Sometimes alcoholics can seem not as drunk as they really are. Alcoholism runs in families. Hopefully, ex wont want this for his child.

    Tons and tons of luck!!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  3. Safeplace2012

    Safeplace2012 New Member

    Thank you for your reply.
    We are taking him for counselling (two counsellors so far-1st one was in emergency dept) the 2nd one said to come back in two weeks. Neither one mentioned rehab for him. I guess they didn't feel the drinking was enough. And the Rx medications were a "cry for help".
    I know my son wants attention cuz he took pics of himself in hospital and wanted to post on snapchat to his friends. (I deleted the pics before he could post) so he just posted in Snapchat that he OD'd on drugs and went to emerg.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    You may want to take him for a substance abuse assessment. He may have minimized his drinking and pill use. My daughter was a drug addict and we dodnt realize it until she was doing it a while. By then she was almost eighteen. She fooled therspists.

    My daughter did drugs to be popular and it worked. I would be worried about your son if he were mine. Your ex has a problem. Your son wants to live with him probably because he could drink a lot and sneak using drugs and Dad really has no leg to stand on.

    To me, the real issue is the drugs and alcohol. Sometimes therapists are wrong or dont get full disclosure from the patient. My daughter convinced her therapist she used nothing at all. She was in a hospital for two weeks and they also told us ahe didnt use drugs based on her lies and onr blood test.

    In reality, after my daughter quit, ten years ago, she told us the whole story and I know my jaw must have hit the ground. She abused pot, alcohol, cocaine,meth, speed of any sort went up her nose (including crunchef ADHD drugs) she tried psychedelics and even heroin (she says she did not get addicted to heroin because she smoked it rather than injecting it and only did it twice). She was afraid to use a needle, thank God.

    Basically she did all this and we never knew how bad it was. Better safe than sorry. We never know the full extent of our kids involvement with substances and sadly usually their therapusts dont either.

    Dont be us. We had to throw her out for her to quit and that was horrible.

    An OD is telling you something. That is more than just for attention, although it can certainly be partly that. Within dark, rebellious teen groups, drug use is a badge of honor. Which encourages them to keep it up. The higher achoeving peers are not impressed by this though.

    Please take care.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  5. Safeplace2012

    Safeplace2012 New Member

  6. Safeplace2012

    Safeplace2012 New Member

    I am in a difficult position in that my ex probably wouldn't be on my side in getting an assessment done.
    My ex and I are fairly amicable considering we are divorced.
    Our son recently found out why we got divorced (cheating on his part) but because my ex will probably feel guilty enough to make up for that, our son will still want to see him.
    My son is supposed to come back here today (50/50 custody) so I am unsure what to do if he refuses to come. OR if he does come but is still a jerk to me.
    (He is mad that I wouldn't allow him to sleep at a friend's last time he was here)
  7. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    How long ago was the divorce? Do you think his acting out could be caused by anxiety? You mentioned he recently found out the cause of the divorce. Did the substance abuse start after that?

    If he starts living with his dad, he will have access to alcohol and prescription medications. I think that would put him at high risk of becoming addicted.
  8. Safeplace2012

    Safeplace2012 New Member

  9. Safeplace2012

    Safeplace2012 New Member

    We separated over six years ago.
    The drinking started (he says) over the past year. I thought maybe he was taking it to have with friends and is just covering cuz he still wants to hang out with them. Or he truly drank it all himself.
    He found out the reason for the divorce in December (so 3 mihths ago) his younger cousin told him. My ex's niece.
    When his dad gets drunk he usually only buys enough to get drunk and drinks all in one evening. Other than that he does not store much alcohol.
    Personally I don't drink much so that's why I had liquor - it's been there for ages.
    His dad bought a safe to store all medications in, prescription or over the counter.
  10. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Welcome, safeplace. Hey, at least Dad had the sense to get a safe for the medications. That's encouraging. I have a real life friend with this exact same issue. She had to allow her son to live with his dad. She knows the dad is too lenient, but attempting to force her son to live with her did not work.

    I think you level with your son. You tell him that at your house there are rules and expectations and consequences. That's the way the real world works. You want him to be a complete part of your life. But allow him to choose to go live with his dad. He will probably make that choice, and it will be a bad one. He's only 15. I think to fight him on that choice places you in the forever role of "evil mother that came between them."

    I'm so sorry. I know you are devastated. Just know that some of us have kids who are derailing and still living with us. Some young people have to learn life lessons the hard way.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that unless/until the Dad admits that he has a problem, it is unlikely that the boy will also admit that he has a problem. Sadly, forcing someone into treatment when they are not ready and willing does not work. They can sit there, even participate, but they won't change what they do when they are released.

    Forcing your son to live with you will only make him hate you. It puts Dad in the place of "Good Dad" and you in the place of "Witch Mom" and that will be how you are seen forever. I think you have to let him live with Dad and ask him to spend time with you doing fun stuff. Make a concerted effort to do things with him that he considers fun even if you really don't like them - but don't let him see that you don't like them. Work to make positive memories with him and to connect with him. Maybe he can live with Dad but he has to spend so many evenings a month with you. On those evenings take him out to dinner or to a movie or to do whatever HE enjoys doing. I know this sounds strange. It will change how he sees you and help rebuild your relationship.

    I do think that the substance abuse and drinking must be addressed, but you and Dad must be on the same page or Dad will just undermine everything you try to do and all efforts will be useless. I think you need to speak to a substance abuse counselor and attend NA or AlAnon meetings to see how YOU can change for the better. You have an ex with a problem with alcohol and a child with a problem with drugs and alcohol. Clearly your life has been negatively impacted by drugs and alcohol, so meetings could be helpful for you. Going to a few meetings to see what they are about might really help you see what an impact addiction has had on your life (even if you don't drink or rarely drink!) and how you can change this. Many people don't realize that even if you are the grandchild of an alcoholic you learn behavior patterns that are unhealthy that are due to the messed up ways of thinking of the alcoholic. Changing this has a huge and beneficial impact on your life. I know, I am the granchild of an alcoholic. I am also the sister of one.
  12. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    I would tell him that he can go live with his dad.... BUT if he later wants to move back, before you will allow him in your house, he will need to agree to live there by YOUR rules! And submit to regular drug testing.

    Alcoholics are not fun to live with (when they have not had anything to drink yet on a particular day), so I'm thinking he will learn that it is not so fun to live with dad...
  13. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    Welcome to our safe place and sorry you have to be here! My son started going off the rails at 15 also and he had a very happy family life - so don't blame yourself.

    Honestly, I would let him life with is father - just for now. It doesn't mean that it's forever. But for now. Take one day at a time. Don't look at the big picture just yet.

    I can tell you that inpatient rehab for a 15 year old - in my experience - is a total and complete waste of time and money. They are SO very young and they don't "get it". To some even overdosing is "cool". They can meet undesirable kids in there and can get exposed to worse things. Again this is just my personal experience and you have to do what you feel is best. My son took some of my brother's anxiety pills years ago that he had in his glove compartment while visiting. My brother had not thought son would even ride in his car but he only did because they both went to get haircuts for our sister's wedding that he was in town for. My son opened the glove box when my brother stopped for gas (nosy) and there they were. My son ended up addicted to pills and it all started with weed. He also would drink an entire bottle of wine and pass out and that is before we knew what was even happening.

    It sounds like your ex is being responsible with the pills and that is good. Perhaps some type of drug therapy for your son would be good so he can get educated on what he is really doing to himself when he uses drugs that are not prescribed to him or overuses drugs that are prescribed (like my son). My son was also in a few day programs like that. None of it did any good because he did not WANT to change. He still struggles but he is slowly maturing.

    I do hope and pray you do not have to go through what our family has been through.
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that after age 12 or so the child can choose the parent to live with (failing some sort of abuse or danger in the situation) and their decision is likely to be upheld by the court.

    Is there a custody mediator involved?

    I think your story does bring up the possibility that full-time residential custody by Dad could be unsafe based upon the access to the prescription drugs and the binge drinking.

    I disagree with others that his liking you, or hating you has any real importance in this situation. You are his parent, not his friend.

    However difficult it is that our children reject us is secondary to their welfare and our role to parent them in a way that they grow up and thrive as responsible and healthy people. That role does not end at 18, from my perspective.

    Do you feel that your son's best interests are served by his full-time residency with his father? Can you feel fairly certain that he will be safe, that his mental health issues and his substance use will be addressed? Do you believe it is in his interests that he continue to see his father binge drinking? Do you believe that letting your son decide to live there without your resistance, and sticking up for his welfare is in his best interests?

    Whether or not we can successfully impose our own will and point of view is not the single important thing. It is equally or more important that our children see us as taking a stand for them, their best interests and their doing right for themselves.

    I would want to be heard as the voice for self-care, for getting treatment, for setting limits, and the model of an adult who is not out of control drunk, self-indulgent, shirking parental responsibilities, etc. I do not know if I have been such a parent always. Maybe, maybe not. So I am not claiming here any moral authority. What I am saying is that there is a "right thing" to do. That I need to strive for. (After all, none of us, really, knows each other or really, each others' situations. We can only speak about who we are and strive to be.)

    Who I am now, would want to decide based upon what is best for my child. I would want to know I tried one hundred percent to set an example by my own conduct, and choices--to do what is right for my son--that he see that I made those choices, and fought for him. Even by letting him go. That there would be limits. If he insisted in harming himself, repeatedly, which means not choosing according to his own best interests. But I would not let go without a fight. And I would not let go without real clarity about why I was letting go. Because this could be construed by our kids as indifference and abandonment.

    Is there the possibility of getting therapy with your son, so that you can clarify and communicate what it is you need to see for him and for your relationship?