Welcome to our online peer support community. Connect with others making change in their alcohol and other drug use. Join our online community today.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Anonymous. Professionally moderated. Free of judgement.
  • Son on the wrong path

    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 612
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Son on the wrong path

    Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:54 pm

    @dizzyrhino ……….so great that there have been positive steps forwards for all of you and that your son opened up in the counselling sessions. Understanding the drivers to his use is where the solutions can start to be implemented and I hope that that’s what can happen moving forwards.

    I’ve spent some time reading back over this thread and something that really struck me is how realistic you’ve been throughout it all. You’ve shown compassion and understanding but managed to set the boundaries your family has needed. A couple of lines from your last post really stood out to me:

    “The trauma is an obvious reason, but I do feel that this is something he will struggle with going forward and will almost certainly fail from time to time. I do pray he won't fall into a full addition in future.”
    and

    “But for now Its wonderful that every now and again I see a smile and a laugh.”

    I can feel the love you have for your son and he’s damn lucky to have you. It must be great to see him smile and laugh………..I hope you get to see it more. I hope he’s able to commit to the youth counsellor and there’s more breakthroughs from here.

    As you’ve acknowledged, moving forwards will be a challenge. A young member of my family has identified the reasons but as yet, has not begun to implement the solutions. The pathway out of drug use can be a tough one and I hope your son continues to use the supports that you have helped to put in place for him. As you’ve said there may be some struggles from time to time. The traumas your son has experienced are significant and will take time to work through.

    Something I discovered through my journey was that I was never able to be honest about my slip-ups and that made things so much harder. The shame I felt from slipping up led me further down the path of using. I’m wondering if you’ve had or would consider having this conversation with your son……..telling him that if he does slip he can talk to you about it so you can work on it together. This relies very heavily on him being honest which isn’t easy……….but knowing he can be just might help. I’m not sure how you feel about this?? The fact that he’s responded to the curfews, the tracker and the testing is amazing and hopefully trust can be regained over time.

    You and your family have done a phenomenal job in getting to this stage. With further counselling and interventions who knows what the future holds…………I pray it’s a bright one for all of you.
    0 x
    dizzyrhino
    Junior Member
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2022 8:56 am

    Re: Son on the wrong path

    Thu Jun 16, 2022 9:25 pm

    So its been nearly 3 months since things came to a head with our son, I thought I'd give an update.

    We've completed 3 very expensive but equally valuable family counselling sessions, where some hard truths were aired. He is seeing one on one a counsellor. Although I'm pretty sure my son is still full of youthful immortality and dreams of escaping from his overbearing parents, some sense of reality seems to have seeped in. Not much, but a bit, that he still needs our support for the time being. I think the dealing has stopped, pretty sure he has been clean as he gets randomly drug tested a couple of times a week + I have turned his room and bags inside out more than once, and found nothing. Occasionally he has blown a slight positive on a breathalyser, but considering he is 17 years old and it will be legal to drink soon, this is not something I am too concerned about (yes, I know that alcohol has as much potential to destroy as other drugs, but so far he seems to be able to control its use)

    He is behaving better, although we still get a concern notice from school about once a fortnight due to disrespecting teachers or falling asleep in class.

    He has picked up another girl friend - this one has been raped by a member of his friendship group and spent more than one night on the streets after arguing with her parents over something... my son being a chivalrous lad with no brains, slept next to her on a park bench during one of the coldest nights of the year.

    I personally, have had a couple of sessions with a psychologist to learn a bit about Acceptance Commitment Therapy, which seems to work better on me than Cognitive Behaviour Therapy - in order to help calm myself when he slips into behaviour that gets under my skin.

    I do feel as though the rest of our lives, and that of my younger son, is on hold whilst we wait for something to happen - at my age, I definitely am conscious of wasting healthy years and so I wont let this continue indefinitely. School holidays and turning 18 are near milestones. He still occasionally in angry moments talks about moving out of home. At first I was appalled, but as time goes on its starting to become an attractive idea to me and I'm dabbling with the idea of encouraging him to move out at the end of next year when he's finished schooling (presuming he makes it and doesnt get expelled, etc). If the poor attitude and drugs start up again, I am quietly building the mental fortitude to throw him out and make him fend for himself once he passes 18. Yes I have researched where I stand legally - once he turns 18 I can demand he leaves and if he doesnt I can call the police. But generally, he is welcome to stay in my house, but not as a parasitic pain in the ass to everyone else, nor to use it as a bolt hole to recover from benders/trips/downers/hangovers/etc.

    My wife made the interesting comment that she feels as though we as parents have done everything possible to help him, and soon he will need to fully make his own choices and bear the consequences of them - I feel the same way, although when I expressed it to her earlier on in not so delicate words of "I'm not going to follow him down into the gutter", I think that she thought I was being callous.

    I still get the feeling that my son actively dislikes me, which is not nice. Not sure whether its just teenage hormones, but I have to admit, we are very different personalities, so maybe its more than just an age thing. That would be disappointing, but at the end of the day, and although I am not perfect, I wasnt the one taking drugs, being disruptive and getting into trouble with the police, neither did I beat him, sexually abuse him or divorce his mother. I sacrificed my career progression to spend time at home with family and still managed to buy him private schooling, put a stable roof over his head and provided every opportunity for him to socialise with good influences. At some stage after than 18 year milestone occurs I am going to have to settle this feeling with him - and if the cards fall the wrong way then yet another reason for him to vacate my house.

    ...reading back on what I've written it sounds harsh, but honestly, the time is approaching when my son will need to put on his big boy pants and reap what he sows - be that good things or bad.
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 612
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Son on the wrong path

    Thu Aug 18, 2022 9:55 pm

    @dizzyrhino what you have shared will go a long way to helping a lot of families on here.

    For what it's worth I don't think you've been harsh at all. You've shown great balance throughout the journey, set the boundaries that have been necessary for the wellbeing of the rest of your family, continually offered support to your son if he wants to make decisions to work his way through things, remained realistic about the possible outcomes, sought support for yourself and your family, have accessed help enabling you to try different approaches, and acknowledged that your son is making his own decisions and it's not a reflection on you as a parent.

    I'm a big fan of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and am glad you've found it helpful.

    There are so many great lessons in what you've done through extremely difficult circumstances. Please continue to provide updates in the future. Families will learn from this for many years to come.

    And.............thank you for sharing so openly.
    1 x

    Return to “Lived experience: A space to share your journey, advice, strategies and support”