MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers - Part 2 here's to a peaceful 2013(810 Posts)
This is a continuation of this thread which I set up as a safe space for struggling parents of challenging teenagers.
This is meant to be a welcoming thread, where everyone can come and moan, whinge, bash ideas off each other and support each other as we face a new year and new challenges
Newbies in particular - come and join in. When ds1 started going off the rails I felt very lonely as there was no-one in real life I could talk to. Being able to be open and honest on here has helped me cope over the last few years.
Many of us have extremely challenging teenagers, some are involved in alcohol and drugs, some are violent, some are struggling with depression, anxiety and various SN. This thread isn't here to judge people and tell them how to parent or to simplify and minimise their difficulties.
So if you think we should simply tell them to come home and night, and take their phones away if they don't, you are probably in the wrong place. Also if you think a few joints or a couple of pills are harmless, go and start a thread about it somewhere else.
The mantra of this thread is - don't look back, guilt is a wasted emotion. You are where you are now, carry on from here. You may not be able to change them, but you can change how you react to their behaviour, so pick your battles, take a step back and try not be too emotionally involved, and FFS, be nice to yourself.
So here goes: here's to a calm, peaceful and positive 2013.
Thank you for your good wishes - I always feel better when I have seen DS1, as he is coping quite well in there, but I get so stupidly tense beforehand.
The stupid bugger is fine but in complete denial now. Instead of thinking how he is going to turn things around when he gets out, he announced today that he plans to move back to our old town (which we moved from to get him away from the drugs, several years ago) as he feels more at home there .
The fact that the only people he would know are the druggy mates who will just bring him down, and that he will have no job, and no family there cuts no ice with him. I could throttle him...
I suggested that he think about moving locally to us ('too isolated') or to the small city nearby ('the people are too snobby there') or to the more lively town a bit further out ('I'd be lonely'). He can't see that Drug Bloody Central, on the edge of Rough Deprived London Borough is not going to be the place to stay out of trouble, get a job and make a decent life.
I think the 2/3 thing would fit him beautifully - he is a 16 year old in a twenty five year old's body.
Sorry, just having a bit of a grump before I go off to bed
Hi, Ive just joined this site and posted on another thread but think this is the thread for me.
I have a 19yr old D who I spend most of my time terrified of, in tears over or completely embarrassed in public by to mention but a few. I cant talk to anybody about it as its seemingly all my fault because i never lifted my hands to her when she was younger.
I just want to pack a bag and take myself and my poor son away for good but instead i have to come home to her every night because i love and worry about her ........
Ds 17 totally lost it again. He broke the new phone throwing it and then irreparably broke an item of furniture by throwing that. (A piece that is incredibly precious to me.) His anger terrified dd8 and reduced her to hyserical tears.
I had suggested that perhaps I might have trouble collecting his girlfiend to come and stay tomorrow night as the school transport which they were going to catch has been cancelled due to bad weather. I dared to suggest that I would like to see the state of the roads tomorrow before committing myself to getting her. (She is in care so its complicated for her to come and stay. He had spent the day faxing letters from me for her to get the right permission to be able to come.)
I understand why he was upset but his reaction was so over the top. He then spent all evening alternatively hitting himself,shouting,threatening to kill himself, twitching, saying how much he knows I hate him, even though i assured him I didn't.
He has been stuck at home due to bad weather and no school bus for 2 days now. I have been a bit down on him because I have been working, DH is away for the week and even though they are all off school no one is bringing wood in, keeping an eye on the fire, tidying up after themselves etc. whilst I am running round like a loon.
It's possible he's having a drug come down which is making him behave in such a crazy over the top manner.... He's not had access to his usual scene.
I am so exhausted with it. I so wanted him to just be normal and go to bed and end the endless hysteria/ drama. He went on and on for hours and couldn't be calmed. I had to put dd to sleep in my bed. I even ended up agreeing his girlfriend can come just to try and make him stop. ..So his outrageous behaviour has just been rewarded. It's all so fucked up. he needed someone to spike him with a tranquillizer. I felt so emotionally battered I would have promised him the moon just to get him to calm down.
Ds woke me up at 6.00 crying this morning to tell me that is girlfiend can't now come for some reason . How his life is so shit, its not worth living. It's always been shit, nothing to look forward too, stuck here in the middle of nowhere etc etc. He has a very bad stomach cramp. Could this be a come down. Or is he having some kind of mental breakdown ? Alternatively crying and very very angry. Not talking much sense.
Does anyone know about drug testing strips ? I need to find out if I am right about the drugs and if so which, or if I am, indeed as he claims, making him worse with my "paranoias" about his dope habits. He would definitely refuse to see a doctor. I understand why he is down but his
over reactions are way off the mark.
Just braved the weather to take DD to school .. at least she is out of here, I suspect I'm in for another traumatic day.
It could be either, it could just be "normal" teenage angst.
When dd is really upset (about friends, a boy, not being asked to a party) she gets stomach aches and gets really angry as well as upset - and she is an apparently "normal" 16 year old.
I wouldn't try drug testing, I really wouldn't. There are a lot of things that disappear very quickly from the system and won't show up, and also some (like cannabis) that linger for weeks, so you can think they are using when maybe they had one joint three weekends ago. You won't learn anything, not really.
I would offer comfort food and a listening sympathetic ear if you possibly can. I find when ds is like this he sometimes talks more than he means to iyswim and sometimes I learn a lot.
barberburd, I'll go and have a look at your other thread in a bit.
Currently I'm constructing an email to ds2's school explaining why he lost his temper yesterday and put his foot through a glass door . His medication is playing havoc with his mood, and he seems to get a massive come-down in the evenings when it wears off, which is a bit scary.
The difference is that he is very, very upset and apologetic about the whole thing, and keen to talk to the doctor about it. Which makes is so much more manageable. But in some ways sadder to watch - he wants help so much. ds1 just refused all the help he was offered.
Maryz. It's true , the aftermath is a good time for developing more understanding. Just had along chat and he agreed to a strategy to deal with his bursts of anger, so that felt like a glimmer of hope.
Sorry you are having a stressful time too. Did your Ds hurt himself ? I hope the school are understanding.... I really feel for him and you, I hope he gets the help he needs and they sort his meds out.
I really appreciate you listening and responding in such wise measured way when all the time you have your own dramas playing out
Hi first time ever doing anything like this and I am 49 years old! Has anyone ever asked their children to leave home due to their behaviour and if so did it work? My DS is 19 lazy wont work very verbally rude ignores his father completely he has had two jobs and walked from both of them I have tried everything I know tonight he really pushed the bar cursing swearing throwing furniture because I refused him money I know he smokes cannabis could this affect his personality in this way I am really at the end of my tether as I don't know who to speak to any help appreciated
jay welcome to the thread. I'm sorry I can't advise, only empathise. If you look back through this thread, you'll find plenty of posters in the same position as you. As far as I understand, his cannabis use could be a direct cause of his behaviour. But it is a reason not an excuse and as flow would say, work out what your bottom line is in terms of his behaviour. You may not be able to make him stick at a job but trashing the place is not acceptable. That's something you and your partner need to discuss.
I was beginning to think I didn't belong on this thread anymore as DD has been doing so well, working hard at college, keeping out of trouble and being discharged from CAMHS. Our relationship has improved so much as well. But she still remained in care and I am finding that difficult to handle. Yesterday we had a meeting with SW and the care home staff to discuss where DD was heading. I complained that nothing was being done to support and encourage DD to return home. DD attended second part of meeting and said she wasn't ready to return home. I was disappointed but accepted it and made sure that she knew that I felt her well being was the most important thing and we would put no pressure on her to come home. The meeting ended well and she gave us both hugs and she said that she loved us.
Tonight we get a call from the care home to say that she has punched another resident in the face and hit a member of staff. I don't know what made her snap. She then called the police to tell them what she had done and superficially self harmed for the first time in months. We are waiting to hear whether charges will be pressed. If they do press charges , her college course and her career will be in tatters as she will lose her CRB clearance. She is very contrite, but has started talking about being scared of hurting people again.
I can't help but think that the two events are related, and I feel bad that I put her under pressure to come home.
I don't expect any replies, but it helps to offload
Oh goodness, there's been a lot of horribleness this week, hasn't there?
Laura, I am incredibly impressed by your - I'm not quite sure what the right word is - level-headedness, perhaps. You seem to know - or have learned very quickly - how to detach and protect yourself from at least some of the angst and anguish... Mary advised me to detach ages ago - and I knew straight away she was right, tho' I still sometimes struggle with it...
barber, I was exactly in your position a year ago. Many of us here have been afraid of our own children and know how devastating that is. You'll find most of us agree that you have to 'draw a line' and call 999 if you are physically attacked or threatened. You have a right to be and feel safe, and so does your younger child. I'll look for your other thread and see if I have anything else useful to add.
Jay, I'd say the same to you: if he throws furniture or is physically violent and frightening, call the police. Those of us who have done it find we only had to do 1-3 times, and then our teens stopped. And yes, skunk can definitely cause that kind of behaviour, IME.
Brighter, that does sound like it could be drug come-down. But like Mary says, it can sometimes be hard to tell. I think what happens is that drugs heighten the 'normal' teenage reactions - so all/most teens get angry, say, or melodramatic - and those emotions are powerful, but still stay more-or-less under control... But a teen who is taking drugs will lose control of that powerful emotion... Suddenly you'll find they 'flip' from 'just' a bit of shouting and foot-stamping to total raging fury and throwing things around and kicking things - or you.
I would also advise strongly against drugs testing. There is absolutely nothing useful to be said for them, IMO. They don't actually detect many of the drugs teens are taking, and in any case, they don't help - you are still left with the problem of what to do...
I could guess, with probably more reliability than a testing kit - that your DS is using skunk (not at all the same as 'normal' cannabis IMO, and definitely causes a violent come-down) and ketamine (known just as K), and possibly M-CAT. They are the 'softest' of the drugs, and people who take any kind of drugs at all tend to take them... K and M-CAT were legal until a few years ago, so many teens think they 'don't really even count as drugs'. K causes bad stomach pains in some people. M-CAT causes loss of control/extreme recklessness and sometimes aggression - a user gets flushed and pimply around their nose/mouth, and smells like lemon toilet cleaner.
It sounds like you have a basically good relationship with your son Brighter, at least on-and-off. Why not ask him? He might just tell you. And when my own DS was taking lots of drugs, I found it v useful to know that he would tell me the truth - I was able to direct him to reliable info like the Frank website and a couple of times when he got himself into particularly stupid situations (taking someone's dad's prescription meds, for instance) I could make sure he took action that I felt kept him safer than he would have been if I hadn't been able to talk openly with him IYSWIM.
Oh Bright, I am so sorry to hear you've had a set-back with your DD. It doesn't sound from what you've said that you 'put her under pressure'. The pressure is inside her own head, poor girl. It is really, really hard if you feel like you can't have and express your own honest feelings, because they cause problems Do you have someone else you can talk to to tell them how you really feel? It must make you soooooooo sad sometimes, and I think it's so important that you have some way you can express that grief.
Sorry to hear about your son's encounter with the glass door, Mary. What can I say that you don't already know...? Nothing, I suspect!
Welcome to our 'safe corner' Jay . I have a son a little older than yours who sounds very similar, and have made him leave home three times, with varying degrees of success.
It worked very well when we encouraged him out rather than chucking him out, so we maintained a decent relationship and could keep an eye on the state of his finances, larder and laundry.
Does he have somewhere to go, or a deposit for a place of his own? If he isn't working, he might not be able to find a landlord who will take him on.
If he stays at home, you have to feel reasonably safe and it is FINE to call the police if you feel threatened because he can't control himself. Those of us who have will tell you that it helped our out-of-control teens understand that they had crossed a line. Plus, the police are usually extremely helpful. And, yes, cannabis (or more likely, skunk) can cause terrible behaviour.
Bright I'm so sorry that you and your DD have had this setback. But it doesn't sound as if you were putting her under pressure. You come across as just hoping that you could get some help for her and that this would lead to her being able to return home. Blimey, I can't imagine that you would want anything else
It must have been such a disappointment, after all this time, that she took such a big step backwards but progress is progress and maybe things will settle down now.
I hope you are having a better weekend Brighter. My DS was prone to weeping and wailing when he was that age. I found he thought of so many things to rant on about that my poor brain would hurt in the end. It was so tempting to try to talk it all through and try to offer solutions, but I think sometimes he just wanted to 'download' it all onto me and that alone would make him feel better.
Is the foot ok, MaryZ ? It must have been painful and quite shocking for him.
Thanks for the vote of confidence Flow . I have had ten years and plenty of opportunity to learn to detach a bit. DH finds it all very difficult and has taken the latest turn of events very badly, and like most long-term-relationships, there is an unspoken agreement that, except in certain circumstances, only one of us can be 'offline' at any one time. I get to fall apart once he is better. I am looking forward to it...
Thanks for all the kind words... I have had a horendous week. Ds has lost his temper on too many occasions to count. We are all on eggshells, trying to maintain a bit of peace.
He was ill last night so maybe that's why he's been so awful. Inspite of being wrapped up on the sofa with hot water bottles and lemsips , a dispute over the tv programme led to a very violent outburst from him. He then stripped off all his clothes and went to lie down outside in the dark/ feezing / sleety cold because he may as well die ! He didn't last long outside and I just kind of ignored it and then ran him a hot bath to warm up and get the mud off !
It's impossible to reason with him. His arguments make no sense at all. He's clearly suffering. I'm trying to be loving but I am scared of him and worried about his mental health. I am worried for my other Dc and I don't know how to handle this situation.
Would a drug come down make you feezing cold , with stomach cramps ? I have tried asking him Flow but he's very sensitive to me "always" going on about drugs. He came back from being out yesterday stinking of weed so it's not a lack of something to smoke that's doing it. ( I didn't even mention the weed even though he had a bag of it on his desk as I didn't want to set him off again)
Laura How did you support your son to leave home ? My Ds seems so incapable of looking after himself and we can't afford to rent him a place. He's saying how much he can't bear being at home as we live quite remotely.
Barber I really relate to how you feel. I love my Ds and am very worried for him ... but living with him doesn't seem to be working for any of us. We are all suffering and as he refuses help I feel very stuck.
Dh is due back today so I will have more support. He has a shorter fuse than me though and I am fearful that things could get nasty
I'm so sorry that you are having such a crappy time with DS, Brighter . But very well done for ignoring him rolling about outside in the snow - that must have taken a lot of strength on your part.
I can't say whether drugs would lead to stomach cramps. My DS developed what I assume is IBS during this time but without any proper diagnosis I can't be sure -he refused to co-operate at the best of times, so seeing the GP was reserved for life-threatening stuff only as getting him there was so horrendous. But he certainly had serious stomach cramping after a drink and drugs weekend and, as he got older, most of the time he would wake up in pain and need the bathroom constantly.
I never looked too hard at what drugs he was taking. I knew about the skunk, as he was smoking it constantly, and I guessed that it was the tip of the iceberg but tbh it made little difference to me what he was taking, just that he either stop or limit it. I think, if they are buying from dealers and hanging around with the type of young people who are taking drugs, then they will have access to all sorts of nasty stuff and it probably doesn't make much difference in terms of behaviour.
Without knowing your DS it is hard to say, but guessing from my boy's attitude, there can be a lot of power in withholding information from mum and dad... I found that we ended up assuming that he was just taking generic 'drugs' and coping (or not) with that, if that makes any sense.
I funded DS leaving home, twice. I secretly saved hard over several months beforehand as I knew he wouldn't, even though he really liked the idea of a place of his own. That was all good in theory but in reality he was too chaotic to even put away a tenner a month. I had to make sure he had an deposit, enough for the first month's rent, some furnishings and an income, as most landlords want working tenants. It was very hard work, particularly as DH was very much against it as he felt that we had invested enough time and energy in DS1 and he should just bloody well learn to behave.
It worked well for a couple of years though. I visited him regularly, sorted out his food and his paperwork, took washing home for him, he came here for meals and it was mostly civilised. There were incidents where he was in trouble with the police and his landlady and the other tenants and at work... but at least it wasn't directed at us
We did throw him out when he was eighteen though, for a few memorable weeks, as he was so violent that we were scared to have him in the house. Eventually, a relative found him, sleeping rough and very ill, contacted us and we took him back home to live. It gave us as parents, some breathing space but the guilt afterwards was horrendous and I would never suggest that as a solution. It broke all the trust between the three of us for a long time.
If I remember rightly though, your DS is only seventeen so a little younger than mine was. Would he cope on his own? I think I would be thinking of putting a little bit of money by each week until he is eighteen and then making the decision. I found it better to find the place, talk to the landlord and buy the stuff myself, as DS would become overwhelmed by it all.
In the meantime, do you have a willing relative who could give you a bit of 'respite' so you could regroup a little? I understand about having a partner with a shorter fuse - I had to keep my son and husband separate as much as possible (we didn't eat a meal all together for several years!) as DS would kick off and DH would automatically demand apologies and better behaviour. Cue several hours of screaming and self harming and door kicking...
I hope you have a more peaceful day today. As flow and Mary would say, detach, detach, detach. Please try to be nice to yourself and ignore what you can. For my family, I just want us to come through it all as 'a family' with all the love and trust intact. I try to picture DS as a forty year old, with all this present behaviour as a blip in his life, long since forgotten. I hope that for my other children (I have an older DD, very settled and successful, and a younger DS who is nine) they will see that no matter what happens, if one of us is in trouble, we don't turn our backs on them and we will do all we can to help because that's what families do.
It's bloody exhausting though, isn't it
Thanks for your input Laura. I guess you are right... what does it matter really what drugs he's doing, I suppose I'm just desperate for a bit of understanding/ control of the situation. I'm also terrified of him smoking heroin as I know he knows people who do. Hopefully that's just my overactive immagination though at the same time I don't want to be naive.
Unfortunately we have no relatives who would take him in. He's burnt all those bridges already. I've been talking with him just now and we've had quite a peaceful morning together looking on line at volunteering programmes abroad for young people. He seems interested. I'd love to get him away with a complete change of scene working with other young people where he can make a difference. Maybe looking forward to something like that in the summer will give him a bit of hope.
It sounds like you have worked really hard to work out solutions for your Ds so that he could live independently. He's very lucky to have you on his side ! I guess that's what being a mum is all about... and yes it is bloody exhausting !!
I also think that it is less important to find out why they behave as they do, as to learn to live with it.
As parents, we assume that if we can figure out why - get a diagnosis of asd, or of a particular mh issue; find out what drugs and when they are using, work out what they want etc etc - then we will be able to find a solution. Unfortunately, ime, it is impossible ever for parents to find a solution. It is up to the child to find it.
The hope is that eventually they will grow away from it all - grow up, change friends, realise they need help and willingly go to a doctor or counsellor or rehab, whatever. In the meantime we have to learn to live with it without destroying ourselves.
We as parents have to make decisions on where we will draw the line - violence towards people, drug dealing in the home, stealing our property, letting strangers into the house are all to me things that I couldn't live with. And if the alternative is kicking him out to be homeless and possibly die those are the things that would drive me to it. Because I have to be safe. My younger children have to be safe within their own home. Life is impossible otherwise.
Most other behaviour I can live with, for the moment. I would love to set ds up independently, but at the moment I can't as I know he wouldn't pay rent/bills etc. He doesn't have the money. But on the other hand he is going to college each day, he seems to be intending to finish he course , he is talking about going away for the summer.
So I'm marking time.
But I would stick to the advice I keep giving - try not to be emotionally involved in their behaviour, always call 999 for violence against people, don't physically try to stop them from doing anything (walking out etc), keep valuables locked up. Try to be nice to yourselves, find someone in real life to talk to.
Brightspark, it is unlikely that she went off on one because you wanted her home; it's more likely that the general "meeting" atmosphere was stressful and she would have kicked off no matter what you had said or done. I mean, had you said you wouldn't have her home and she did this you would be blaming yourself as well.
Again I say - blame and regrets are banned on this thread. We are where we are, we can only move on from where we are, and do our best in the situation we find ourselves.
And we can continue to love our children, no matter how unlovable they try to make themselves.
Oooh, volunteering abroad sounds interesting! That would be the ultimate in 'a change of scenery' wouldn't it? He'd get to spend time with naice boys and girls, plus you'd get some respite from him. Could work...
I agree with you that goals are very important.
Mine did some volunteering locally and he quite enjoyed it (quite would be as enthusiastic as he got. About anything ) It gave him a focus, a reason to get up and dressed, and most importantly, a a sense of community. Plus it got him out of my hair when he was out of work yet again.
I can really empathise with the loss of control and the fear of quite what poisons they are consuming. I don't now about you, but I had absolutely zero experience with drugs - I was settled with DH at a very young age and I was a mum at eighteen. I seldom even have a glass of wine, for heaven's sake. I have certainly never taken a dodgy pill or smoked a funny fag. My only knowledge of drugs came from the media and then I tended to skip over it all as it would never happen to us, obviously, as we weren't that kind of family <hollow laugh>
He has since told me about some of the stuff he was trying as a teen (remember, he is 25 now) and I'm glad I didn't know as it would have sent me grey(er). I couldn't have stopped him experimenting and tbh, it made no difference to his behaviour what he smoked or consumed - he was a challenge no matter what he had been doing. I couldn't have stopped him and it would have just been an extra worry if I had known that this night he was smoking this or that night he'd shoved a load of pills down his throat. I don't know if that is the right way to look at it or not, but it worked for us.
By the way, ds2's foot (and hand from punching the wall) are fine. His housemaster is very understanding, and it looks as though they will treat it as a loss of control rather than deliberate bad behaviour.
It has given him quite a fright so may have done no harm in the long run.
Mary you are strict
DH put some old videotape onto cd disks the other day and there was DS1 on his second birthday, grinning away and playing cars and eating cake. I felt very tearful and then I had Mary's voice in my head (sounding a bit like Professor McGonagall, eerily enough, although I'm pretty sure you don't!) telling me to stop looking back and not to feel guilty...
Like Paul McKenna you are, hypnotising me over the internet
Checking in with a general point about parenting teens and legal versus moral responsibility.
DD had a 'gathering' on Friday. She's 14 and had invited about 20 friends.At one point there were around 50. She knew them all, but there were many +1s.
DH was away and was horrified that I'd not kicked them out, mainly because once under our roof I was liable. My take on it was that as they were 14/15 max I felt my responsibility was to let them in and then supervise. I confiscated drink, made sure they were safe and not wandering the snowy streets, gave out taxi numbers and saw that noone left alone.
Three parents had called in advance to ensure I'd be there!
Not sure what my point is, or even if this is the right thread.
My heart still melts when I see ds1 sprawled out asleep on the sofa, even though I know the sleep is due to a hangover .
helpyourself, you have a point. I have been amazed at what some parents allow. And there are many parents who don't want to know where their kids are, but are quick to blame someone else if they get into trouble.
However, there are also parents who simply can't get their children to come home or to tell them what is going on. ds1 was regularly going missing for weeks at a time at the age of 14 . I still check with parents when dd (age 16) is staying overnight. So it isn't always that the parents don't care; sometimes they simply can't stop it.
I am much slower to blame parents than I would have been in the past - though is do reserve a rather special hatred for the parents who allowed ds to smoke dope in their house when he was 13, supplied by his friends older brother. His parents knew all about it, and thought it would do them no harm
100% no blame from me. I'm sure there have been times when DDs were not where I thought. I hope that other parents would have let them in rather than refused entry because they didn't want the responsibility.
Now what to do with bottled of cheap vodka and Diamond White!
There's a special place in hell reserved for those parents who allow their children and our's to take drugs. Our so-called 'closest friends' (pah!) 's child grew up to be the main drug dealer in my son's circle, aided and abetted by his parents who refused to take it seriously, let the other children buy and take drugs in their home, and sheltered our son many times without letting us know where he was. They were (and are) terribly intellectual and believed I was stifling my son. We don't speak now.
Their son is also now in prison <evil laugh>
<not really laughing as it is bloody painful to see your son in jail and I wouldn't wish it on anyone but still...>
Oh Brighter, I do feel for you.
Like you, I can't help fretting and wondering about what drugs my DS uses. I sort-of agree it doesn't really help to know, but on the other hand, I have found that getting (accurate, reliable) information has helped me feel a bit less out-of-control, and has helped me understand better about risks. But whatever drugs your DS is using, they are clearly causing problems for him - and you.
The drugs that are particularly known for sometimes causing stomach cramps are 'magic' mushrooms (but it's the wrong season for those - if it was autumn, that would be a likely cause), ketamine and MDMA/ecstasy. They're all widely available and it's quite possible your son is using any of them.
As far as heroin goes, it has a terrible reputation - and rightly so IMO, because it's highly addictive and harmful - but other drugs with less-bad reputations can be just as harmful. At least there are treatment programmes for heroin: if an addict admits they've got a problem, there is help available. There are no treatment programmes for the drugs teenagers are most likely to be using.
Having said all that, feeling freezing cold and having stomach cramps could just as easily be a virus. There have been ones with those sorts of symptoms going round here...
One of the stressful things about having a teen who's misusing drugs is that you start to be unsure about what's 'normal' and what's not.
You sound like you are in a very similar place to me this time last year, Brighter - or even last summer. I was agonising about what I could do, whether I should throw my son out, how I could get him away from his usual circle of 'friends', how I could get him to engage with something - anything at all...
There is still hope. A year on, my son is back in college, keeping out of trouble, and off the police 'visit' list. He's still taking some drugs, but not as many, and he's not selling his stuff or stealing from me to do it. He doesn't get violent any more. And he's enjoying 'simple' pleasures again... Like right now he's gone off sledging with some mates. Here's hoping things look up for you and your son too, Brighter.
Oh bloody hell, it took me so long to write that that I've missed loads of posts in between! Reading now...
I read this thread from time to time and I'm mostly in awe of the way you are all coping with what life has thrown at you. The advice and support on this thread is fantastic, makes me feel humbled and a lot more aware and understanding of what others are going through.
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