I have been searching for help for months now and hope you can give me guidance. I have a 19-year-old son Zane. He graduated high school last May 2016. From that point on, he has been out of control. He has had ADHD for all of his life (since the age of 7), and he has been on Ritalin from age 7 to 16. He then decided he wanted to join the military, and he decided to stop his meds as suggested by his recruiter. I would not sign for him saying in 6 months he would be 18 (August 30th is his birth date). He still had a full year of high school, and he could sign as soon as he turned 18. He decided that was not what he wanted and did not sign when he turned 18.
He has always be a difficult one to handle. He refused school work until his grades would dip into the F’s where it would prevent him from Trap team shooting and other activities. Long story short, shortly after he graduated last May, he become a son of multiple bad choices, speeding tickets, not coming home, missing work, lying, stealing, and other non-tolerable activities. In July I strongly encouraged him to get back on ADHD medication to help control his impulses. He was in agreement.
In December after his 3rd speeding ticket and being caught while he had pot in his car, each day seemed to get worse. I have taken him to a psychologist doctor, and he goes to counseling 1 or 2 times a week. We have found out he was snorting his Ritalin and has been changed to non-stimulating Strattera, and at that time he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and given medication. The anti-depression and mood-stabilizer meds have been changes at his request, but he is not taking them.
He blames myself and his dad for all the wrong in his life. His family life has been pretty normal; we have been married 25 years next month, never even had a speeding ticket between his dad and myself, we do not do drugs, we have the occasional drink, and his dad has stopped his evening beers in the last month. I am a school nurse and his dad is a computer tech at the local junior college. We moved back to where we grew up when Zane was 5 and have a large extended family. Zane is now on the kick of ‘he is a bad kid and can’t change’ after losing his job last week because the transmission went out of his car and he could not make it to work. I am worried he is never going to come out his shell of destruction. If we don’t give him what he wants, he goes manic, screaming and threatening and has punched a hole in the closet door. He broke his hand punching the shed…the list goes on and we need help.
His counselor and crisis team that we have meet with do not feel he is a threat to himself or others, even thought he will say things like “I would be better off dead” or “If you try and send me away, I will kill myself.”
He has a court date of March 7 (ironic – our 25th wedding anniversary). He will be losing his license for 90 days or possibly a year – the lawyer can’t tell us. He may have to sit in jail 10 days if his $1,350 dollar fine is not paid in full. A few weeks ago, he broke into our gun safe and stole $570 and said he used it on gas and food…..then his counselor did not do a drug test for 2 more weeks, which he said he passed.
I have run into nonstop road blocks since he was 19 and an adult. I have had him fill out paperwork so I can be involved with his care. I just need guidance and a listening ear that has dealt with critical thinking errors and continuous bad choices. I love him so much and know that the kid we raised is in there under all of his blame for others and self loathing. Thank you. — Lee Ann
Dear Lee Ann:
I am saddened by your story and the destructive journey that your son has chosen. The difficult part here is that he is an adult and the choices to change are his, not yours. However, there are things that you could do to become a part of the solution. You did not mention where you are located. Hopefully it is in a community where there is a B.I.L.Y. group near you. If that is the case, then I would strongly suggest that you and your spouse get to a meeting for some valuable support.
In the event that there is no B.I.L.Y. group near you, then my suggestion is that you find an AlAnon meeting in your community and attend as soon as possible. Their phone number for locations and additional information is (844) 233-9692. It is important that you remember in raising children in today’s world, Pain is almost always Inevitable however, the Suffering is Optional. Check our reference articles that are on our web site also. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your son. Thanks for contacting us.
Sincerely — Dennis