Nothing's gottten easier

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Helpless29, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Helpless29

    Helpless29 Member

    nothings gotten easier but does it ever?Wondering where it all went wrong, going through old photos of when he was a little boy & it makes me so sad. I always knew he had issues started at such a young age maybe at 8 ,he would get really angry , didn’t listen, & would talk back,wish I would of gotten him help, instead of thinking he would grow out of it, wish i had disciplined him better, listened to him more. I didn’t know how to handle his outburst or disrespect, always convinced myself it would get better but it got worst.Now at 15 , he’s abusing weed, pills. Robs people, fights,runs away & recently put on probation. So much going through my mind, been going through this so long but today for some reason it’s been hard , can’t escape my thoughts.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Helpless.

    I understand the feelings which I struggle with too.
    I wish I could remember where I read this (it was here, but which thread I don't remember) but the message fits. That mother said she blamed herself, too. But after being here on the forum and reading so many posts, she saw that other parents had done the things she faulted herself for not doing, and their kids had turned out with the same problems.

    The thing is we search for answers and ending up blaming ourselves because many times there are no answers.

    I think hope that it will get better is a good strategy and usually works, for some kids. How did we know it would not work for ours? In a million years I would not have believed our last decade would be has it has been. I fault myself in the same ways as you: Why did I not assume my son would be disabled? Why did not I take for granted he would be mentally ill? Why did I not prepare him better to resist addiction? How could I have been so stupid as to believe he would go to college? Why did I presume he would work and assume responsibility? How could I have gone so wrong?

    That said, there are some things you can do. Has he had any mental health symptoms or health issues, including add or adhd? (If you are here in the US you may be able to get him on special education which will offer some help and protections.) Now that he is involved with probation are there services that he is entitled too, including residential? Is there a Dad in the picture that may not be living with you, who can take control and responsibility? What about boy's ranches or out of home placements like Teen Challenge? This is a faith-based program where they live and they deal with boys and girls with issues just like your son's. At age 16 he can go to Job Corps, I believe, a free federal residential program where he can complete school and get a good trade. They have available good supervision, services for substance abuse, etc.

    Your son needs to understand that you will seek out and follow through with every single option if he continues down this path, and will not tolerate his continuing to behave in this matter. I would try to figure out what my options are by speaking with his probation officer and come up with some options. I would commit myself to following through. If you are a single parent and you feel you cannot keep him safe, I would ask about out of home placement.

    The thing is this: you will be held responsible for keeping him safe by the law and you may be held responsible on some level if you are unable to keep him from harming others. However unfair this is and however much he makes it impossible to contain him.

    We do not have the luxury of criticizing ourselves about the past. The past is gone. There is right now that must be confronted. I have to make good choices now. To make good choices, I need to know my options, and be realistic about what is happening.

    These are actions some parents have taken: taking away cell phones; putting deadbolts on the front door to lock them out of the house at specified hours; taking doors off rooms; searching their stuff.

    This can turn into war. Sometimes it has to.

    Other parents will come along soon who have experience in the very situation you are facing. With them you can think through what your priorities are and what you feel capable of. You can make a plan that makes sense.

    Take care.
  3. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I can promise you that it does get easier. When mine was a teen I didn't see it ever getting better. I saw no positive outcome. Mine is 29 now. He's alive. That alone is something I was never sure would be. I take pleasure in that alone. So many of his friends are dead. He's in prison for a many years. Not for violence. For selling drugs to fellow addicts at street level. A crime for sure. But a product of his addiction.

    No one can tell you what could have been, what if... But I can tell you that I gave up everything for my son, my career, my health, my family life with his sibs. I hunted down every treatment, dr, program, school, etc. He was in over 30 residential programs of one kind or another over the years. So that alone would mean at least 30 psychiatrists. Did any of that change the outcome? I don't know, no one could ever say what might have been. All I'm saying is that there's no answers. But you can't beat yourself up about the past. You can't focus on what you can't change.

    What you can do is get help now. He may refuse to cooperate. Plow on. Primarily keep him safe from himself. If it means prison then let it happen. At least he's not escalating the violence and drugs. If he's willing to cooperate find every form of help you can. Don't give him any free time to find trouble. If you can get him into a residential program do it. The more treatment you can find the better. There's plenty of parents here who can give you advice on getting him help.

    But re-focus, i understand grieving for the child he was, the hopes and dreams you had for him. Do that. But then move on to the child you have now who needs help today.
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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  4. Helpless29

    Helpless29 Member

    Thank you for taking the time out to write to me. He lives with dad signed over custody months ago, hardest decision I had to make but his violence & drug use I couldn’t have here, I have 2 smaller children 7 & 2yrs old. He does have ODD biopolar , medication not really working because he continues to take drugs. He’s been in & out of many programs, residential treatment centers but has either ran away or got kicked out for fighting. Job Corps is something I am looking into, I know the main thing there is they have to want to go so I am approaching the idea to him . Thank you again
  5. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Helpless29. I hope you can feel the warm, understanding hug we are all sending you. Sure you could have done LOTS of things differently. Guess what..He would still be who he is doing the same things he is doing and you would still be thinking you did something wrong.
    My son's behavioral issues started in his early teens..but when I really look back there were things when he was even younger that may have pointed to and upcoming problems. When they are little don't we all think it is just the age, or a bad day? Kids need to come with a handbook that gives explicit instructions on what to look for to diagnose up coming issues. I think one of our big problems with our kids that are now in their teens or older is that "now a days" there IS more awareness of mental/social/neurological disorders than there was 10 years ago. Parents of little today that act up have heard a lot more or what to watch for and be concerned about.
    More hugs.
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  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is very wise. M, my SO *who has 9 adult children says that NO parent knows how to parent correctly because each child is NEW to that parent. While he gained confidence he says as a parent after his first few, he did not feel he knew more or did better.
    Helpless, I have a friend that sent her son to his father a little older than your son is now. He was acting out all over the place with her. This turned out to make a huge difference for the son. He soon straightened out and is married with a family, and has a normal life. The woman believes she did the right thing for herself and for her son.
  7. EarthIsHard

    EarthIsHard Member

    Helpless29, I'm sorry you are having a rough day...and years. I too look back at young pictures of my son. Who would have thought there would be so many struggling years to come. Looking back there are things we see now that we might have addressed differently but as we as parents did the best we could at the time. And who knows if anything were done differently that there would have been another outcome.
    Do 'what ifs' ever help anybody? All we can do is the best we can do. His behavior now is not your fault. He will have to take responsibility for his own actions. This doesn't make it any easier though. My prayers to you and your son that things will get better for both of you.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My son was in therapy from age 8 until I couldnt make him go anymore. It didnt help. He chooses not to let anyone, therapists included, tell him he is doing anything wrong. He doesnt thinkthe is doing anything wrong. He thinks he is just constantly victimized. He is 41.

    Dont feel bad that you didnt catch him earlier. You can only help those who want it.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  9. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Helpless, I know how tempting it is to try to rewrite history and think ‘if only’ I would have done things differently, everything would be ok now. But there is no way of knowing. Some things can’t be easily fixed, no matter how early we start. Both of my difficult ones had extensive therapy starting in their tweens. I’ve tried to connect them with services as adults. They were very good at saying whatever they thought a therapist would want to hear. It didn’t make any difference in the end - here we still are. So don’t beat up on yourself. Change is going to have to come from him, when he wants to make it happen. Sadly, we can’t impose it from the outside.

    Perhaps the change of scenery with his dad will help. I know some young men respond better to a male authority figure. Job Corp sounds like a great suggestion. I think these kids need to find their own motivations for stopping destructive and self-destructive behaviors - they have to have a vision of themselves in a different kind of life that they are willing to work towards.

    In the meantime, take care of yourself. Perhaps put away the photo albums for a while, if they are causing you pain. Now is a time for self care. Hugs.