Your house/your rules -How to stop 17 yo from using pot in house?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Percy, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Percy. When we arrive at this site, we are defeated. What else would bring a parent to ask the internet what to do? That is the club to which we belong.
    It is not your job to stop him. This is not your problem. It is his.
    This infuriates me. How dare he?
    What he thinks is the least important thing. Unimportant, actually.

    Somehow he has gotten the idea that he is powerful, and more powerful than you. He is acting from this space. This is the problem.

    There are options. RN asked the central question. What do you think you should do?

    All of our ideas and thoughts mean nothing, as the only people who matter are you and your husband.

    What about a wilderness program? What about sending him to a gap year program abroad? What about foster care? You may be obligated to support him for a few months more but it is not stipulated how and where.

    But you are searching for a specific result, that is different from what each of us conceives, may have wanted for ourselves...each of us has specific capacities and needs.
    My state too.

    I mean, you can give in, if you want. If this is what you feel makes sense. If you feel that the consequences to you and your other children, are not serious, this is an option, if you feel it makes sense.

    I have thought about it. But as I said I have no minor children and no necessity in terms of my profession to maintain the law. Only to observe it myself, as far as I know.
    What is this?
    You are talking about the at-home drug tests, here.

    Still, I see this as a huge problem. The elephant in the room. That he has defeated his parents, and feels omnipotent. We have responsibilities to our difficult children, too. How is this good for him? The sense that he by his force of will, can defeat anybody, especially his parents?

    I think RN asked the pivotal questions. What do you think will work? What do you want to do?
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    The issue of acting in concert with your not simple. Of course the two of you have to agree, to a point, at least.

    Is he willing to come to the site and post, if not read your concerns and the responses?

    I have a partner who is not the parent to my son who I adopted as a single mother. We try to come to agreement and we do in most situations.

    But there are times when he overrides my behavior, not my decisions. I come to feel cornered, act from a space that feels afraid, powerless, desperate, and end up doing stupid stuff, like kick my son out. and then 5 minutes later I am in my nightgown in the car driving up and down streets to search for him. And unable to sleep throughout a stormy night.

    M just acts to do the right thing which temporarily I am unable to reach for let alone conceive of. There is growth for a couple in this process, and individually, too. We do learn more and more who we are...and who we are not.
  3. RN0441

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

    These kids make it a curse to be a mother.

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  4. Percy

    Percy Member

    to clarify something I wrote above- he was faking home drug tests AND the court ordered ones (I found out after the fact). Court ordered drug tests are unsupervised- PO just hands him
    Cup and sends him on his merry way.
  5. RN0441

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


    So your son was diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder? Is that what the ODD stands for? I don't know anything about that disorder but I know my son was diagnosed with Conduct Disorder at 15 and I was freaked out. Only to learn later that most kids grow out of it.
  6. Percy

    Percy Member

    Civil forfeiture is where court can seize your assets as a result of criminal activity; it is just the legal term the situation some of you mentioned, namely the basis on which someone's house gets seized bc they were dealing drugs from said house
  7. Percy

    Percy Member

    RN, yes, ODD = Oppositional Defiant Disorder, the one step down from Conduct Disorder, if it were on a spectrum; diagnosed is a bit too strong and clear- the one substance abuse counselor he saw (only half a dozen times) said he has ODD; and the description is COMPLETELY APT- to a T. ; it was late onset, 15+ years, and he won't cooperate with therapy, so I don't feel it is a diagnosis with a Rick solid basis, but it is what it is.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This makes sense. I am thinking of a situation a year ago with a situation similar, except the kid was in a gang and dealing drugs. The mother's name: defiantchild.

    Right away things improved. The son met a girl. One hundred eighty degree turnaround.

    I respect your husband's point of view, which is very much like my partner' one respect. Miguel tries to do the right thing...which is not necessarily the indicated or easy thing....Unfortunately, I am reactive. I seldom if ever think ahead much.

    Your husband is trying to take responsibility for everything. Which may or may not lead to the best result.

    Your son to me is not considering anybody. Especially not himself. That your husband wants to consider and take responsibility for son's perceptions and feelings is admirable. But....

    I can see the point that calling the cops will only lead to dire consequences for YOU. More court costs and legal costs. Seldom is there a right answer. More often, the least wrong.

    You are not helpless. You just feel that way. This is an important distinction. My mother used to say, Copa, write down your options in two columns with a plus and a minus at the top.

    And then, decide.

    Sometimes we decide to do the wrong thing, because that is what we WANT to do.

    You may WANT your son to stay with you in the house, even though you know it to be the wrong thing, in every way. That is OK, as long as you know YOU HAVE decided and you accept the risks.
    Does an umbrella policy protect one? Like for the total value of assets, or more? Did you factor in future earnings? This is ONE scary thing I did not think of (although I am very good at imagining most every scary thing.)
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    ODD is not a real diagnosis; it is more a descriptor of a set of behaviors.

    Your son sounds STRONG WILLED.
  10. Percy

    Percy Member

    Yes, he is strong willed. If one can go to the end of the spectrum of strong will and then keep going...for about 10 miles. But he really, really, really fits the ODD description. Whether or not it is a diagnosis, it is a fabulous summary of my son. I agree that ODD is a set of behaviors. I believe the DSM-V calls it not a mental health diagnosis, but rather a behavioral disorder diagnosis, or something similar.
  11. Percy

    Percy Member

    Yes, purpose of umbrella is to provide coverage for full value of your assets, above and beyond the insurance coverage you may already have (like homeowners insurance and car insurance). So if someone sues you for your entire net worth, you have insurance coverage. You don't typically factor in future earnings, since most umbrella polices are annual policies, so you adjust as you go along.
  12. RN0441

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

    You sound very intelligent and resourceful Percy.

    Hard to believe we find ourselves in these situations, not knowing what to do. It makes me feel like a child at times. Indecisive. Unsure. Confused.
  13. Percy

    Percy Member

    Yes, exactly. Feeling hostage to your own life, and powerless to control it, is terrible.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have you ever checked his room to see what is there? I told Daughter she gave up her privacy when she broke the law and we checked her room a lot. She was not allowed a lock on her door.

    This was before cell phones or I would have checked that too. If she hadn't given me her pass word, she would not have had a phone. She did not talk to us about her secret life. We were trying to learn if she was in danger and the only way to do it was to snoop. She didn't like it but it wasn't her choice. Our house/our rules. Period.

    It must have worked. Something did. She quit, even cigarettes. by the way if we found cigarettes or pot we tossed them out. She was also legally too young to smoke even cigarettes and NOBODY smokes anything in my house. I despise any kind of smoke. There is a no smoking sign hanging in our house and that applied to her as well as everyone else and we would not budge on that. I am kind of a health nut, I chose not to smoke, and I wouldn't smoke second hand either.

    Funny, now that she has her own house and family it is also smoke free and she expects others to respect those and other house rules.

    As long as your son rules the roost, he is in charge of your family. in my opinion this is not a good thing for even him. He needs you to take control and your other kids need you to do so even more.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  15. Percy

    Percy Member

    Yes, I check his room regularly. Especially when I smell it from his room or bathroom while he is purportedly showering. I find bongs (homemade and glass/commercial), pipes, baggies that held pot, grinders etc and less frequently weed itself.

    I take them; destroy/dispose of/flush them; and tell him I did it, and reiterate no drugs in my house, no drug paraphernalia in my house; no smoking in my house. He tells me I'm ridiculous, insane, nuts; "it's just a plant", he hates us, we are awful parents, he has no respect for us, etc.

    And then 1-2 weeks later I do the same thing all over again.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Keep doing it.
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Well. I busted myself. Before I was a hypocrite.

    Because I was ready to say: if he does disrespect you it is because there is no consequence that affects him.

    And then? I looked in the mirror and I saw myself. While I have followed through and given my son harsh consequences, I revoke them. After a few years, after a year, after 6 months, and now I cannot get through a day without overturning a decision that I had felt at the moment to be the only rational response.

    I have realized that I am completely split. I can know one thing, and feel quite another. And more and more my feelings are guiding me to stick with my son; because I realize in this way that I am sticking with myself. My best self.

    On the basis of this self-revision I have come to believe something completely different than before. And while I am unable yet to act from that place in the heat of emotion, more and more quickly I am able to return to it.

    I do not believe our children learn from their consequences, in the main. They learn from either their own experience, or growing capacity to learn.

    By consequences, we preach to the choir. And the choir is us. We ease our own anxiety. We diminish our own sense of powerlessness. We feel the control we feel we have lost. We tie things up with a bow. Is it necessarily the right thing? More and more I doubt this, either for me or my child.

    I agree with your husband. I admire his restraint and his responsibility to everybody. M, my SO, is the same way. I am learning. With training wheels.
  18. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    This is another one of those times I wish I had found this board about 5 years sooner than I did.

    I remember once I came home from work and found my son very obviously impaired on something. I searched his room and found many empty bottles of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines which, if taken in large quantities, could cause hallucinations, along with empty jars of Spice and K2, at that time a legal marijuana substitute.

    Son was so outraged about my searching his room that he took off on his bike, in shorts and a t-shirt, in 40-degree weather, and rode 15 miles to stay with a friend for 10 days. Friend's mother was a single mom who was really struggling, but she was (and is) a very kind person and one of the "cool" kinds of moms whom teens always seemed to gravitate toward.

    I was "secretly" in communication with friend's mother (and even gave her some grocery money for housing Difficult Child) until we got a counselor appointment set up. Difficult Child agreed to attend, *IF* we were willing to discuss his list of so-called demands for coming home.

    So we went along with the plan. I am not sure why at this point, but in retrospect I was so devastated that he did not want to be with us, so afraid of losing him and hoped the counselor would do some good, and also so ashamed that he was willing to be another mouth to feed for a struggling single mom.

    At the appointment, son arrived and presented his list of demands: No nagging him about his homework. No searching his room or backpack. No checking his cell phone. No limiting his computer time. On and on it went.

    And I am SO not proud of this, but we agreed. To every single thing.

    Then son said, "And no issues with my smoking K2 and Spice."

    "Nope, not willing to do that," I said.

    Son: "But it's legal, so I don't see what is wrong with it."

    Me: "No, they may be legal but they obviously cause you problems. No, we are not willing to do that."

    Son: "Then I'm not coming home. I will live with X."

    Me: "Well...

    "It IS legal.

    "So it probably isn't all that bad.

    "OK, you can smoke it, but just take it easy."

    And counselor totally lost his professional demeanor.

    He looked at me, and shouted:

    "OH, COME ON!!!"

    Everything stopped in its tracks, and I realized I was so desperate for a resolution, so desperate for him to be the child I thought I knew, so desperate to have him home and safe and to have things the way I thought they should be, that I had completely stopped being a parent.

    I think you are doing a wonderful job, Percy. What do you want to do? Do that with great confidence. I agree with SWOT. Your son, though he may put up a real fight, wants you to be in control.
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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  19. Percy

    Percy Member

    Thank you Albatross fro sharing your story - it really resonated. I do think that for 2 years I have accommodated my son -- albeit less explicitly than as in your session with your counselor, but more like the boiling frog, chipping away a little bit at a time. I feel like he has worn me down so much over time that I have given up on so many expectations, that I am in the sub-basement of parenting -- i.e. "Don't do drugs in my house; don't bring drugs in my house; don't have drug paraphernalia in my house; don't steal from me or your siblings; don't break the law" .... and I am not even successful in enforcing these oh so low expectations.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your house/your rules.

    "But pot is legal!!!"

    Your answer: "I'm my house, I don't allow some legal things such as ANY smoke, drunkenness (whatever you ban, including disrespect.) My house is not the law. It is my sanctuary with my rules and if you don't respect that, you will have to leave my house as soon as I can legally arrange it. It is your choice to obey and stay or decide not to and leave."

    Don't waver. Our disturbed adult kids disrespect weakness and if we go back on our word they see us as weak and inwardly sneer at us and we lose ALL credibility to have ANY positive influence in their lives.

    Parenting is not for wimps or those afraid of our children. They may not like it or us, but I feel we owe them our strength and consistency. If they don't respect us they will abuse us. And they really do need us to be strong.

    I also learned that when talking to them...less is more. Do not give them words to throw back at you.

    Example:"You're being ridiculous. It's legal."

    "Not in my house." Period. Don't engage any other baiting. Let him ramble

    "I hate you! I'm going to disown you."

    "I love you, but the rules stand." No more engagement. Go out and take a walk or drive if he wont stop abusing you.

    I have had amazing results with "less is more" with my difficult abusive son. Now he lives a few states away. That helps. But he used to call me all the time and with abuse. Not anymore. I won't respond to or listen to any abuse. He doesn't call as much now but when he does he is much more careful lol.

    Don't be your sons doormat. He won't respect you. Have a good day. Stand strong.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017