Bloody hell ... Dh and I are in total shock, We had very large amount of cash hidden in the house which we had ready to buy a car and its gone missing. We have searched everywhere and are completely shellshocked and devestated.
I've asked my dc in a non accusatory way and they all deny knowing anything. I can't help thinking about how much cash Ds 16 has been through lately and how lack of money has been such an emotive issue with him. He smokes a lot of dope and takes MDMA and lsd that I know of. I can't help wondering if he's stolen it and if so how to prove it and what to do about it. It's in large notes which I imagine he would have trouble spending without suspicion and only the other day he went crazy about a tenner someone owed him (surely not the behaviour of someone who has stolen a small fortune.) He's not stolen from me before though he has slowly sold all his belongings of any value. I think I am going crazy as I've no idea what to do.
I know, and I do understand how very difficult that makes things. Not least because if it wasn't your DS, and he is currently making an effort (working etc.), then accusing/suspecting him seems especially unfair.
I think these kinds of uncertainties cause a huge amount of difficulty and upset... The death of trust in your own DC is very painful.
That is one of the main reasons I fitted locks, and continue to lock my money away: I don't want to give my DS any opportunity to steal from me again, because the suspicion of theft is actually worse than the loss of money. I suggest you do the same, whether or not you can 'prove' anything...
FWIW, I didn't notice a difference in behaviour when my DS was stealing from me, except that (with hindsight) he was getting wrecked more often... But he wasn't more guilty, or defensive, or anything like that... And he still went to college, and sat down with us for meals occasionally, and celebrated Christmas, and... and...
Some other snippets of info that might be relevant...
My DS stole over a grand in 6 weeks. He was putting about £90 of M-CAT up his nose per night during the Christmas hols... And he had 'debts' and 'favours' to repay, and was inclined to be 'generous' to others who had been generous to him in the past...
He was already in the habit of selling his stuff to buy drugs, and I naively assumed at the time that he was simply selling to other young people. But in fact, he had connections with a 'fence' - i.e. someone who was buying and selling anything/everything, no questions asked, including stolen goods. I found this very shocking, when I discovered it. The chances are your son knows someone like that too... The 'exchange rate' from such people is (naturally) very low indeed, so having a ready source of money and being able to avoid him was definitely attractive to my DS...
Though of course, if your DS has stolen the money, and hasn't spent it all already, it would be easy enough for him just to have set up a bank account...
I don't know about involving the police. It feels like it ought to regain you some control, but it probably won't: if DS didn't take the money, and you've just lost it, you are going to look ridiculous; and if he did, unless you have proof and want to press charges, there is nothing the police can do.
There are considerable disadvantages (I have discovered) to putting your DS 'on the police radar'... We still get fairly regular visits because he is on their 'list of suspects', although it is 5 months since he was in any kind of trouble.
Sorry. I'm probably not now helping, am I? I'll shut up.
Just to add... You already know this brighter, but maybe some other people need to hear it... There is nothing you can 'do' about your DS's drug use. As you said, you just have to decide whether to kick him out or hang on in there.
Support services are there, but unless/until your son himself recognises he has a problem and accesses these voluntarily, these are useless.
Many people are unaware that as a parent of a teen, you can access support for you, but you can no longer access support for your child. Your DC has to choose and want support themselves. And the services will not talk to you about your child - they will only talk to you about you.
When I (finally) got my son to attend a drugs service drop-in/assessment session, he inevitably didn't tell the worker the full truth, and didn't mention the money he had been stealing, so she told him (or so he told me) that "You think I've got a drugs problem, but I haven't"...
Christ flow, that's awful. I've been there with the stealing too, it was a few years ago with DS1 (who I've just posted about here again ). It took place over several months and was just being spent on nights/meals out, labels and a skiing holiday! Sadly I think he's done it again - I realised recently that some money I was looking after for DS2 had disappeared from my purse. The atmosphere between us has completely changed since then - he's denied it but I can pinpoint when it happened.
I feel crushed really, to think he could be so dishonest and to do it to his mum of all people. It was only mentioning my phone call to the police that got him to admit it before and I made him repay it all but the trust is gone, my others DCs know and something we had as a family has been lost forever.
Why don't you try having a chat with all your DC's to see if they know anything ... Lay on a bit of a guilt trip about how upset/dissapointed you are.. And if they know anything they can tell you in confidence and it won't get back to there siblings etc? You never know it might not of been your DS but he might of had some friends round when you've been out which you don't know about ... one of them might tell you something that could help you piece the puzzle together?
Wow flow what insightful posts. I hope evrything works out for your family.
betterfuture I don't have any advise but wanted to say how much I feel for you. It is such a difficult situation. You sound very sensible, I am sure you will do the right thing (or as right as possible). I know this type of thing can happen to any family. It is no reflection on your parenting. I hate drugs. Good luck. (keep looking for the money, the best outcome would be if you found it)
Thanks for all the posts sharing your own experiences, especially those whose Dc have stolen from them. It really helps clarify things for me to hear how those situations evolved . Thanks Flow for telling me how it was with your ds Thanks also to everyone for the suggestions/ advice about where the money might be.
I really appreciate that some of you recognise that its not always possible to stop a child taking drugs. Those of us whose dc are on a destructive path are often going to extraordinary lengths in our parenting roles and need empathy more than judgement. Your kind words Cahootz really touched me.
I have talked to all my dc about what the consequences of losing the money are for all of us. Its a fine line between making them understand the gravity of the situation without wanting to overly worry and stress them, whilst at the same time hoping if there is a guilty party they will be shamed into doing the right thing.
Innocent until proven guilty.... and as I keep reminding myself its only money >cries into pillow<
My ss used to steal from his family and like you we often gave him the benefit of doubt as we never really had any solid evidence. He was also on drugs and I agree there's not a lot you can do to stop someone once they are on the path of self destruction.
Whenever we tried to discuss things he would turn the subject to be about our lack of trust in him rather than the missing money.
The thing is its not just about money it's about the total lack of respect shown and it feel awful to live with someone who could do that to his family.
My only advice would be to turn your room and then his room upside down until you find evidence at least then you can meet the issues head on rather than skirt around the issue like we did.