Help! I need your assistance in understanding myself. My life. I’m not going to tell the whole story as it would take pages and pages, and neither of us really has the time today. I would love to hear from you though, honestly, so if you come across this piece, please take a moment to give me some insight. Maybe we all can have a dialog as the story unfolds.
Sometimes in life, actually many, we are too close to the things going on to get a clear picture of the whole event. My question to you is simple. What would you do if you had an out of control teen, under fifteen, who was stealing, lying, doing drugs, and sneaking out of your house, sometimes not returning all night, or even into the next day? What would you do to get him to follow the rules of your home and keep him safe?
This is a real question although the situations are done for me. Well not completely done as my forty two year old son still blames me for the shit that has gone wrong in his life which includes drugs, lying, stealing, and breaking the law into the ripe old age of forty two for him. He has also neglected and emotionally, and verbally abused his family. This same person has perfected the skill of using the bible to blow people away by pointing out their wrongs, and as I see it, as a way to justify his being a bad person.
Our life was not perfect. Nope. I was married to a functional alcoholic who was the stepfather of this child. He knew the father and never liked him. The actual father of this child was never in the picture, was an alcoholic who for a time lived very close to us. Off and on through my son’s life he connected with this absent parent.
I was a full time working mother with two other children who tried to provide a good home for my family. I know we have all heard this before but it is the truth. We would be considered close to middle class. Our home was small but clean, my children were well fed, had great clothes, went on adventures almost every weekend with me such as movies, skating, trips, they played sports, fish, swam and had birthday parties and sleep overs. They never wanted for anything. When I was not working I was busy with them. I didn’t do drugs, drink, or ignore my children.
Yes, there were lots of fights between my ex and myself. Money and sex always, he felt he never got enough of either despite the fact that I paid most of the bills. His work was seasonal so I was the primary provider and had to fight him for every penny I could get. Not a great picture I know. It’s not one I am proud of either, although it made me a stronger person in the long run.
The thing about life is that we learn things as they unfold…..don’t we! You just don’t say nope this isn’t perfect so away I go… I worked at it and was in love with my spouse until I wasn’t any more. And I tried to do it all. I did. I tried. At least I felt that way. Anyway. My question is what would you do in the above situation?
As our lives unfolded I tried everything I could think of to make my son follow the rules. I talked to and paid for visits to psychologists, therapist, social workers, traveled all over the state trying to get a grip on what was going on and how to fix it. The one thing that EVERYONE said that was the same was that you have to find a consequence that will motivate your son to stay within the boundaries of your rules. That was their last ditch effort to help. Find a consequence.
Well I can tell you it Never happened. Let me say this again. It never happened. All that happened was that my son got better at manipulating me and the system.
The reason I am putting this to you is that my son again told me that I was a terrible person who abandoned him to the wolves….despite my spending thousands of dollars, driving hundred and hundreds of miles through two states trying to help him ” start over” again and again. I am feeling beaten and saddened at his words.
This same person as an adult has lied, stolen from me and all of his family, robbed several places, did prison time, shot his father in the abdomen during a drunken argument over who was the worst human being, and put his six children through hell with this same kind of behavior. Did I mention prison time? Yep for robbery. And yet he continues to tell me what a terrible person I am because I put him into foster care.
After many attempts at rescuing my son from himself the social worker told me if I turned him over to the state they would get help for him. I was out of money and time so I listened. My son had refused to listen or interact with any of the specialist I brought into the picture. His response was that his friends knew best. He could only talk to them. This was the same friends that did drugs with him along with all the other terrible things. They even got into devil worshiping, and seances until they scared the shit out of themselves.
The stories could just pour out of me and sometimes they do along with the tears, but only when I am alone. But the point to this unveiling is that I wanted to ask you what would you do in this situation.
If there is some idea you have on handling out of control kids please share it, maybe someone out there who is going through the beginning phases of what I went through will be able to get a handle on things before they go to far, or reach that point of no return.
My son sent me an email telling me that I was dead to him and his family, but that he would forgive me anyway. I wrote back that I do not care if I never see him again. That I could never open my door to him and expect honesty.
You see my son is a master at manipulation. Up until this point of no return he would call weeping and begging for my help. He lived out of state. Crying that his life was a mess, his wife was a mess, and he only wanted good things for his kids. That same monster would take my help in whatever form he could get, money, me paying his bills, car payments, sympathy, and then when he got what he wanted he would usually reveal the true story. That story came with a smirk in his voice or eyes at a later date. I always felt he got great joy in getting one over me again.
Once he stole a gun from his brother who is a collector My son is very envious of his younger brother. When confronted he was shocked that ” anyone would think he would steal from his brother.” He swore that it never happened. He swore! Until he finally admitted the truth months later with a little smirk on his face. Eventually he reveals the truth. He can’t help himself. It gives him pleasure to screw people over.
So would you care if this person never came into your life again. I once asked him when has he ever done a kind deed for me. Name one thing I told him. “When have you done anything just to be nice.”
When I went through cancer treatment I never heard from him. He and his wife came for my surgery but got high with the money I gave them to take his dad out to eat, and never came to pick me up in the hospital. His dad did instead. His response to the above question was to say ” okay so I’m a bad son.”
Are you getting an idea of our life together. So, back to my question. What would you do? What could you offer to a parent who is struggling with this kind of situation? When nothing seemed to work for me all the specialist could say was to find a consequence that would motivate my son to change, but there was nothing. He would promise anything, follow the rules until he decided he wasn’t going to, and then off he would go. End off story.
One psychologist who was a leader in his field and taught at a renowned university said to me that ” sometimes there just isn’t anything.” and there wasn’t. My recommendation to anyone out there who is struggling. Give it your all, but then find a good support system for yourself because sometimes giving it your all isn’t even enough to help these self destructive kids. You can only help yourself to find peace that you did all you could. Find peace, and forgiveness. Forgiveness for yourself. And for today, try to have a good day.