Venting about misguided son, need support

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
I’m so upset about my son. He’s 14 and he’s not going to school, shoplifting to buy drugs, having unprotected sex, and verbally abusing me and my daughter. It hurts like a motherf*cker. Parts of me want to scream at him but his dad already does that. Parts of me want to rescue him and get angry that I can’t. Parts of me want to change the locks and abandon him.

Residential treatment is out of the question as is any kind of therapy. He won’t go and his dad won’t enforce it. Residential and even IOP is beyond anything I can afford. Rehab won’t take him unless he’s addicted to hard drugs—I know because I called multiple ones and asked.

I drove him to school today but didn’t walk him to the door and he didn’t even go in because his dad saw on the cell phone tracking, which he usually turns off anyway.

His dad told me to cancel the phone today. My service said I can’t do anymore line suspensions because I used them all up for the year. So I’ll have to cancel completely and that might cost money. Plus then we won’t have a tracking device on him or an emergency line for him in case he ever needs it.

He screams obscenities at me daily and sometimes his sister. My neighbors are very understanding and don’t call the cops like my old one did.

There are so many ways I blame myself. All I can do is try to distract myself. I can go back to the group meetings for parents of addicted loved ones even though they are intended for parents of adults.

I get so mad at him but do my best not to unleash on him. I have gotten way way better. I want to believe he has a heart when he says “I love you” but it’s increasingly seeming like just a way to manipulate me.

I can’t stop crying or do anything. I just want to freeze myself. I don’t have SI about it, so that’s good. I tried reaching out to two friends to vent but they haven’t responded. I know it’s a lot to ask of them as it’s so heavy.

I feel alone and sad. I would really like some support, not really looking for advice. I feel like I’m in a kind of jail with him, waiting for him to grow up and hoping he doesn’t vandalize the apartment or my car any more than he already has, though that was when he was younger. Like other parents of addicts I actually wish for him to be arrested and put in prison because then I would know where he is.

I wonder how much of my grief is narcissistic injury, sadness and fear that he is an extension of me and therefore reflects badly on my image. If that is the case then I need to square up with myself. Some of the grief is loss of who I thought he would be. That is fantasy, which I can recognize when I’m ready. When I sweep away the sadness then rage surfaces. Is that narcissistic rage, I ask myself? Again that he is a reflection of me or the choices I made about him in the past?

What is justified sadness? That he could be heading toward prison? There are worse things than prison, though that isn’t a cake walk. What is justified anger? That he treats me and his sister like crap.

The anger leads me nowhere. The sadness is a kind of future tripping. But I’m not *okay* with his behavior or his choices. The only thing I can think to do is go back to the PAL meetings and work on myself. 5 days until the next meeting.
 
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caroline_13

MyPTSD Pro
I’m so upset about my son. He’s 14 and he’s not going to school, shoplifting to buy drugs, having unprotected sex, and verbally abusing me and my daughter. It hurts like a motherf*cker. Parts of me want to scream at him but his dad already does that. Parts of me want to rescue him and get angry that I can’t. Parts of me want to change the locks and abandon him.

Residential treatment is out of the question as is any kind of therapy. He won’t go and his dad won’t enforce it. Residential and even IOP is beyond anything I can afford. Rehab won’t take him unless he’s addicted to hard drugs—I know because I called multiple ones and asked.

I drove him to school today but didn’t walk him to the door and he didn’t even go in because his dad saw on the cell phone tracking, which he usually turns off anyway.

His dad told me to cancel the phone today. My service said I can’t do anymore line suspensions because I used them all up for the year. So I’ll have to cancel completely and that might cost money. Plus then we won’t have a tracking device on him or an emergency line for him in case he ever needs it.

He screams obscenities at me daily and sometimes his sister. My neighbors are very understanding and don’t call the cops like my old one did.

There are so many ways I blame myself. All I can do is try to distract myself. I can go back to the group meetings for parents of addicted loved ones even though they are intended for parents of adults.

I get so mad at him but do my best not to unleash on him. I have gotten way way better. I want to believe he has a heart when he says “I love you” but it’s increasingly seeming like just a way to manipulate me.

I can’t stop crying or do anything. I just want to freeze myself. I don’t have SI about it, so that’s good. I tried reaching out to two friends to vent but they haven’t responded. I know it’s a lot to ask of them as it’s so heavy.

I feel alone and sad. I would really like some support, not really looking for advice. I feel like I’m in a kind of jail with him, waiting for him to grow up and hoping he doesn’t vandalize the apartment or my car any more than he already has, though that was when he was younger. Like other parents of addicts I actually wish for him to be arrested and put in prison because then I would know where he is.

I wonder how much of my grief is narcissistic injury, sadness and fear that he is an extension of me and therefore reflects badly on my image. If that is the case then I need to square up with myself. Some of the grief is loss of who I thought he would be. That is fantasy, which I can recognize when I’m ready. When I sweep away the sadness then rage surfaces. Is that narcissistic rage, I ask myself? Again that he is a reflection of me or the choices I made about him in the past?

What is justified sadness? That he could be heading toward prison? There are worse things than prison, though that isn’t a cake walk. What is justified anger? That he treats me and his sister like crap.

The anger leads me nowhere. The sadness is a kind of future tripping. But I’m not *okay* with his behavior or his choices. The only thing I can think to do is go back to the PAL meetings and work on myself. 5 days until the next meeting.
Sitting with you on this.

I know you don't want advice: just a thought, does your insurance or government cover a treatment program, preferably in patient?
 

NoWhereKnowWhere

MyPTSD Pro
Family therapy for you (and his father if he’s willing and any siblings he has) You deserve support and advice and a place to talk all this out so you can try to support him. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

I was a wild child drinking and taking drug, skipping school getting into trouble. My parents didn’t know half of it and didn’t care enough to find out. I calmed down a lot in my late teens I hope it’s the same with your son.
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
Is there still something that he gets from home if he needs it? A place to stay when there are no alternatives? Food and a shower anytime he needs it? Health insurance wether he appreciates it or not? Bail when there is no other source and it is needed? At fourteen, the stuff that kept me tied to my parents was at these levels. If it had been made clear to me that those things had been rescinded I would have dropped my end of that lifeline. I gradually began to appreciate that I had those things even if I didn’t use them, I really appreciated the health care insurance a few times, from there I had the basis for a relationship renewal, eventually they came to me for renewal in an unexpected way when I was in my fifties!
Don’t give up, don’t shut the doors, keep a light on. That’s my advice.
At 14, I could have disappeared for good. In my state you had to have a permit to work at age 14. Once I had a work permit I had money and could pay a share of rent, at 18 I could rent a place by myself in my state. Once I had a job that had health insurance I was out of their orbit and hard to reach for a very long time, but I stayed in contact.
Just a few more pushes away and it would have been a bounce out of their lives, those four years between 14 and 18 shaped my relationship with my parents from then on.
Advice for handling a misbehaving teenager? Got none, just keep the ties intact and hope for a slow return to the direction you had him set to go before it all went let ker-blooey, try to let him know he has help when he needs it and look for signs of that moral compass you gave him, he still has it and will need it later, that was the gift he has even if he doesn’t know it yet you can hope. As long as there is a lifeline you can hope.
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
I wonder how much of my grief is narcissistic injury, sadness and fear that he is an extension of me and therefore reflects badly on my image. If that is the case then I need to square up with myself. Some of the grief is loss of who I thought he would be. That is fantasy, which I can recognize when I’m ready. When I sweep away the sadness then rage surfaces. Is that narcissistic rage, I ask myself? Again that he is a reflection of me or the choices I made about him in the past?

I think witnessing your child have problems is even more stressful than going through problems yourself. You see them make bad choices, have no control over that, but have to accept the fall out from them and see your child suffer unnecessarily. At least when it comes to my own choices, I feel like I have some control over them.

I just wanted to address the above quote from you. In previous posts that I wrote, you gave me good thoughts to reflect on when I was wondering about whether my issues stemmed from narcissistically derived dynamics. I still think there are connections between narcissism and codependency. In terms of what you are experiencing, I think the issue is more codependent than narcissistic. I relate to the sense I'm picking up from you of feeling entangled and wrapped up in the welfare of your child. You're sad and angry because you want better for him. I think the best thing for both of you is for you to disengage more and release yourself from being responsible for another person, which you aren't anymore, not when he's already 14 making decisions with his big-ass body. I am guessing that asking whether you are motivated by narcissism feeds into any guilt that might impel you to continue to try and take responsibility for his life. Whether you were the perfect parent, the imperfect parent, or even an abusive parent, he is what he is now, and must navigate the world on his own two feet.

I am so codependent, so I may not be the best person to give you advice on codependency. But I'm working on it in my own way with my college-aged child. I'm still trying to carry him despite the fact that he spent a year away on a college campus and still survived. lol. But that year helped me a lot to gain distance and perspective. What I learned is that my fears and worries were ostensibly about my son, but they were in reality completely my own. His own struggles were always independent of me and he was dealing with them in his own way. My fears and worries had no added value for him. It was up to me to simply release those fears and focus more on other things.

By the way, 13-15 are the toughest ages in a child's life, imo. It's a matter of hanging in there.
 
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