New and need to vent

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I don't know how I would get him drug tested. That's not a thing that happens here in Australia unless you are arrested, pulled over by police for random testing while driving, or if the person is hospitalized. There may be a way but I have no idea what it is.
Here in the US you buy drug testing kits and you can also purchase them online. Just look up drug testing kit.
From everything you have shared it sounds like you have given much thought and consideration to what you are dealing with.
Even though you have a safe to lock up valuables, unless it's large enough to not move, I would suggest as @Nomad did, to get a safety deposit box at a bank. Especially if he will have people in the house. You just never know what someone will do.
The only other suggestion I would offer is to put up some spy cameras that you can access online. I would put them in your bedroom and in common areas of the home. No need to tell your son that you are doing this. This way, if you see something going on that you are not comfortable with, you can contact someone to come over immediately.
You know your son best and hopefully he will have respect for your home in your absence.


Thanks Tanya. I will look into the online drug tests.

RE the safe - it is industrial strength and cannot be moved - it's too heavy and bolted to the floor!

Tired out

Well-Known Member
but I just went in there now and there are already dirty clothes on the floor and a wet towel by the bed.
I got Ben a clothes basket for his room--he was to toss the dirty or wet in there. It worked pretty well most of the time. Funny thing--the bathroom-that only he used- was just outside his door! Too lazy to go back in there to put the clothes in there? Just a little control thing? But by giving him his own basket they usually made it in there :). Then when I was doing laundry I could just say bring down your basket, not pick up your clothes and bring them to me.--it was 1 less step.


So, the latest development is this: I searched his room for over an hour last night to look for any sign of drugs other than weed. I also looked for evidence of stolen property/anything suspicious at all and came up with nothing. I know that's not definitive, but I had to start somewhere. If I'd found something then we would be having a conversation about next steps - rehab or leave - but I found nothing so I came to a dead end on that front.

I stayed up until he got home from work (at just after midnight) and we talked for an hour and a half. We started out just by talking about TV shows we like, because I wanted to have a non-confrontational exchange with him. I didn't really care what it was about. After a while we started talking about what will happen when the family goes away on holidays and he confessed that he was a bit worried about being on his own. He said he felt like his mental state had improved a lot over the past month (I agree with that - it's up and down but better than where he was before Christmas, when he was in a very deep hole.) But he also said that despite the improvement he was still having some quite bad days.

We came up with a safety plan for him for while I am away and he seemed quite confident that he would be okay with this plan in place (emergency people to call, planned dinners and stay overs with trusted friends and relatives who have offered to look out for him while we're gone.) He asked if it was okay to have a particular friend stay if he was feeling low and we agreed on that. (This is a friend that we know and trust and as far as I know does not do drugs,although he does drink a little.) He seemed to think that he would continue to improve and that by the time we leave he would be even better than he is now. (I'm not sure if that's true, but I like that he is thinking optimistically because he is usually the opposite.)

He is seeing his psychologist on the 6th of Feb and his doctor the same week to reassess his medications - they may increase them. He said he really wants to talk to his psychologist about his tendency to always think of the worst case scenario in every situation. He feels he wastes a lot of energy on things he knows are unlikely to happen but he can't stop worrying about them anyway. He also told me he felt like he hasn't matured at all since he left school (I agree with this but didn't say so - just let him express himself.) He said he was tired of behaving like a child but was finding it hard to move into the adult world.

I know all of this is just talk, but his insights into his own behavior did give me a tiny sliver of hope that he may improve eventually.

Tired out

Well-Known Member
LJ- it's OK to hope for the best. It is ok to look for the positive. it sounds like he is trying. I am glad you talked to him about when you will be away. He may not admit it up front BUT I am sure he will be lonely for you . Heck..I even miss the ct when I am away, I only go for a week! You will be away for 2 months and will be busy with your youngest son. Maybe the oldest is even a little jealous.


Well-Known Member
Is somebody going to drop in and check to make sure no parties or anything you and he both know shouldnt happen wont be going on? I would be worried about that. Even very nice adults with an empty house throw parties that can turn drunken and cause home damage and fights.

Promises are just pretty words.

in my opinion it would be good if somebody checked regularly. I would not have left even my best behaved kid alone for two months although she never got into any trouble and is now in law enforcement.
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Well-Known Member
It sounds like the conversation went really well. I think you both handled it wonderfully. But I agree with SWOT about somebody dropping by.

Not too many years ago I sublet an apartment for 5 months, when I was between residences. I was a mature professional. Nonetheless the woman whose apartment it was (she was traveling in Europe) had a trusted friend stop by, using some pretext or another.

I understood. I think it makes good sense.


Oh yes, as I mentioned a few posts back, my brother and a family friend will be dropping in regularly (at unannounced times) to check on Difficult Child and also on the welfare of the dog.

Plus I have very good neighbors next door who know we are going away and who will check up on him too. Middle Son (19 - super reliable) has said he will come home from university once a week to 'hang out with' (read 'check up on') his brother.

We have left him before without issue. I'm concerned this time because of the recent escalation in his depression - even though he seems to be slowly improving. I'm not as concerned about the house to be honest. He has never, even in his worst state, damaged any property of ours. He's never stolen from us and never (to my knowledge) had parties here in our absence. I'm not saying he won't do those things ever, but that's not my main concern. I'm worried his depression will escalate again and that will spiral him into further drug use or that he will end up suicidal.

We booked the holiday over six months ago, when he was living out of home and doing well. I'm reluctant to cancel it for both my YS and my husband's sake. Obviously if things deteriorate further before we go, we'd have to reconsider our plans.

He came out for lunch with us today and we had a lovely, normal family meal together, so I'm hopeful he is improving. One day at time I guess.


Well-Known Member
Very good protective things in place.
I know once we went out of the country for ten days leaving our two children with a sitter. Our daughter has a mental illness. We did the SAME things. We had a neighbor check once or twice. We had a good friend stop by about three times, sometimes announced...sometimes not. Since they were kids I left an incredibly detailed instruction list with lots of emergency numbers. Good neighbors were willing to stop by at any time they might be needed. There was only one small incident in which our daughter caused a difficult fuss. Our son was able to calm her down. She was about to call a neighbor, but it wasn’t needed. The ten days went well.

Your son should definitely see the psychologist regularly and perhaps if it is ok for everyone, know that he can go more often during this period of time if needed.

This was something we also did with our daughter. I think she has her regular visit with the psychologist during the ten days, but also was able to call her briefly. The Dr allowed her to do that while we were away.


Thanks for your reply Nomad. Yesterday I was feeling optimistic. Today not so much. But husband and I are going to draw up a contract and have home sign it. Not that I think it will stop him from doing anything stupid but it means we will have his agreement in writing, which will make it easier for us to stick to our boundaries and enforce them if he does break them. The extra appointments with his psychologist are a good idea. I’ll suggest that to him.


Well-Known Member
PS I forgot to mention in our case, we had a full time sitter for the ten days. On top of the sitter, we had these folks checking up. But this is because they (My children) were young at the time.

But, I found having more than one person checking up was good to have various viewpoints and in our case I was concerned that the sitter herself could need a break. Also, some checks were unannounced. This kept everyone on their best behavior. They made it look very casual “I was driving by and thought I’d stop and say a quick hello.”

Love the idea of the contract. You are doing well. It’s normal to have some inner conflict. Just do your best, which you are. You can’t do better than that. Fingers crossed.