Online Parent Support Chat

28.4.09

It feels that we are being abused by his actions...

We have set the boundaries, but I really feel we are missing something. I will also point out that this is a child that had the biggest heart only 3 years ago and now says he is incapable of feeling empathy for anyone. He was in the end of his eighth grade year at a catholic grade school when he decided he was atheist. He had decent grades and gets along with teachers. When people meet him they wouldn't believe he has such a dark side.

Our son (16.5 yrs) was in a residential treatment facility for drugs. When he was there we worked together on a recovery plan and a plan on moving forward when he got home. He seemed open to this and we were cautiously optimistic.

We have followed a plan just like you have in your book and online guide. We have been sticking to our side of the plan and not given privileges because he is doing nothing to earn them. He says he doesn't need anything from us, so he feels no need to be controlled by us.

Basically the plan had him working on his recovery and gaining back privileges. The day he came home he went back to his using gang and didn't abide by curfew; 5:00 on school nights and if he is not home by 10:00 the doors will be locked and he will be stuck outside. He has been doing the later. For the most part he is here for the hour before school and (why I don't know, the grades are not passing grades) we drive him to school. We live in the country so he is either getting a ride late at night or walking the 6 miles from town. He tells us he can't make curfew if he can't get a ride. We let him know that he could make curfew but it is his choice to wait and see if he gets a ride, otherwise he could time it out right. We would also pick him up from school or he could take the bus. That is the only time we will give him a ride, we do not give him rides to or from hanging with his old crowd of friends, because it was with that crowd that he was using. He has also let us know he is smoking pot again, but he will abide by our wishes and not bring it into our house.

He was not supposed to work until he got his grades up and finished his outpatient work for rehab and was working with a counselor on his anxiety issue. Neither of those happened, but he got his job back anyway, we have told him we will not sabotage it for him (believing he will do it on his own) but we will NOT support it by providing transportation or getting him up for work. Our reason besides the fact he didn't hold up his end of the bargain was that before when he had a job he used the majority of the money to buy drugs.

I know this is probably too long, but what can we do now? The people from his rehab program tell us he needs a crash (let go and let God). However at times it feels that we are being abused by his actions. The lack of control and his behavior goes against every parenting ideal we had. We try to point out to him when he says “life sucks and that is just the way it is”, he is making that choice, we are here to support him when he makes a decision to fight for his life, we love him and want to help him succeed. When asked what he wants out of his life, his response is, “nothing and it doesn't matter I am just going to die in the end”. He has not had any suicide attempts, but he is letting his life style take him down.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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