View Full Version : Feeling lost

09-30-16, 01:26 PM
Hi, first time on this website. Hope I'm in the right spot to ask for some advice, I'm pretty desperate.
First, the background: I have a 16yo son who was diagnosed ADHD first in kindergarten. Developed anxiety/panic in junior high. Also has had dysthimia and ODD (But has learned to manage his ODD a lot better in the past year). He's always struggled: social cues, making friends, keeping friends, organization, time management... on an on. Executive functions and lots of ASD issues (although no formal ASD diagnosis). I've always had him in therapy, on meds (which help a ton), horse therapy, social skills classes (worked wonders!). He and I are super close, probably a little co-dependent. I raised him as a single mom until he was 8 and I got married. He's sensitive, shy, funny and has a good heart. His bio dad was around briefly when he was a toddler for a few months and then he was gone never to be heard from again. Bio dad has issues: addiction, depression and probably more but I'm not sure. If I had to guess I would say bipolar?
My son has always struggled in life. Never fits in. Tries so hard but never measures up. Last year I sent him to a ADHD camp in the Keys over Christmas break. It was a stretch for our budget but I wanted him to go have fun and see that he is not "a freak" or "retarded", and to be with kids like him. To see that he's not alone. After initial separation anxiety, he handled it like a champ. His counselor later said he was "the glue that held the group together... he lifted people up, helped people get along, emerged as THE leader." Words never spoken about my boy before... I was beyond moved and so happy he had finally had an experience where others could see him shine the way I saw him.
He then had his best school year on record. His IEP was working, he had a couple friends for the first time EVER, he seemed happy. Then summer hit. We gave him freedom because he had been doing so well and we wanted to reward him. Things started sliding, he was acting "off". Behaviors which we hadn't seen in awhile started creeping in: lying, hoarding sugar, etc. He showed up with lots of new stuff claiming they were gifts from his friend. Never felt right. Finally in August he began confessing to a summer of trouble. It began with his friends breaking into cars and stealing cash, small items and a gun. It quickly escalated with my son getting addicted to the "thrill". He stole from church, from his grandma (7K), from countless people around town. He tried pot and liked it so he decided to try cocaine, oxy, meth, and even "something in a needle, not sure what." (No the needle wasn't clean. He's negative for diseases so far, thank God.) The kicker is teh cash... most of what he stole he gave away. He claims his friends hung around more when he gave them money.
When asked about how or why, he doesn't know. He says he felt guilty for the thefts so just started using drugs to escape. He spent a couple days in a psych hospital in August, got out and then used a different drug at school each day he was out. He went back and has been inpatient the last month.
I'm befuddled. What happened to my boy with anxiety? How did we get here? He has said he's obsessed with stealing and will do it again... that he can't control his impulses. Says the same thing for drugs. He will be out of treatment in 30 days.
In my state, the max for a first time juvenile offender is 4 months probation. My husband and family are terrified of what we see emerging in him and do not feel safe having him come home. He's become an expert liar, he has pills hidden at home but doesn't remember or won't say where. He's gone too far and done too much to just come back. How do we keep him safe? How and where did this go SO WRONG? and SO FAST?
Does anyone have a similar experience? I'm so lost at the thought of my boy who was doing SO well 6 months ago to now looking at an out of home placement for the next year. I search for hope, I search for a catalyst for this remarkable change in him. How did we get to this conduct disorder diagnosis and how can I save him from himself?

Little Missy
09-30-16, 04:07 PM
Call the police and let them handle him. Honest.

10-18-16, 01:01 AM
I wish I could think of something to say...only that my heart goes out to you.

All the more crushing after such a hopeful experience the previous summer. Kids sometimes do get turned around, but it does look like he's headed for a world of trouble.

10-18-16, 01:32 AM
Has he ever been in a rehab that goes longer than 30 days?

01-04-17, 08:12 AM
This is a confidence issue, can't turn your back on him.IMO

03-14-17, 09:43 PM
You son right now, in as bad shape and as criminalised as he is, has a HUGE asset. He didn't get caught! Very important aspect. You have rights as a mother, not to cooperate with any Police investigation done on your son. It's in your bill of rights. Even if you are in a weak moment, don't even think about turning him in to the police, unless he is a threat to you, or unless he uses Heroin. If he uses Heroin he's better off in jail. These are the only two exceptions when you can intervene in this manner.

Does your son have a sports coach? I would seek help from a strong man in his life. He won't be able to make up for the absence of a father, but it's better than nothing. What he's doing is called deviant male behaviour. You have no fault in this. As a mother you can only raise a son to a certain extend. It's a shame that he couldn't find better male role models than his loser friends who rob at gunpoint for a high.

Have you thought of enrolling him in the Army? He has a lot of manhood in him that so far was used in the most despicable manner, but the manhood is there. Robbing someone at gunpoint, you need a pair to do that, as wrong and awful as it sounds. So there is potential, so this potential can be harnessed if he does something productive.

03-14-17, 10:26 PM
I don't think his "manhood" is relevant in this. In fact I'd contend that this type of "manhood" hoax is just as bad for the army as it is for any other organization.

The army is also famous for crushing servicemen who need help, not for helping them.

I think the main thing to keep in mind for his mother is that she is no longer going to handle things herself, that there has to be someone else making the big decisions. It's already too late to try again at home.

03-14-17, 11:11 PM
My "bad for the army" comment was basically to say if someone is not a good citizen they are not going to be an asset to the army either. That the army is neither a last-resort rehab program nor a haven for thugs.

03-14-17, 11:22 PM
My "bad for the army" comment was basically to say if someone is not a good citizen they are not going to be an asset to the army either. That the army is neither a last-resort rehab program nor a haven for thugs.

The Army is not a place where good men gather, it's a place where good men are formed, and emerge strong and disciplined. And regarding PTSD issues, after what he did that summer I don't think the Army will traumatise him.

Meh, the boy will do fine. Don't short sell him so easily.