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Adult step son on drugs. Don't want him here at Christmas (sad).

(19 Posts)
marne2 Thu 18-Dec-14 11:55:39

Dss is 22, he has been suffering with severe mental health problems for 2 years and also uses drugs ( coke, crack, weed ), in the summer he was sectioned after trying to take his own life, whilst in hospital he came off the drugs as obviously he couldn't get any, medication was sorted out for his mental health problems and he was given support when he returned home. Although this was the first time he has been sectioned his has been hospitalised and spend time on psych wards 4 or 5 times, once resulting in a long stay in a unit ( which he then discharged himself from ). Each time he has left clean and then returned to taking drugs. He turns up on my door a couple times a week begging for money or a lift somewhere ( probably to get drugs ) and I have started to turn him away, I have 2 young dd's with sn's and they are starting to get scared of him turning up here. Sometimes he turns up and seems quite normal ( normal for him ), other times he doesn't even know what day it is. He usually turns up when dh is at work expecting dh to be here to give him a lift somewhere, he doesn't think that we might be busy or not here.

Last Friday her turned up at 11pm after texting dh several times asking for money, dh said 'no' but he still turned up late at night banging on the door, I went to the door and asked him to leave, he c. could hardly stand up, had huge eyes and didn't have a clue what the time was. I explained to him that he was going to wake everyone up and asked him to leave and come back tomorrow if he wanted to see his dad. He left.

Dh then spoke to him on the phone a few days later and explained that the only thing we will give him is food ( no money ) and told him to stop turning up on our doorstep begging for money, he denied being on drugs but we know for sure that he is because of his behaviours, the huge eyes and how desperate he is for money.

He is meant to be coming over on Boxing Day as he has done every year since he was 10 years old, I'm really worried about having him around our DDs and tbh I don't want him here because it's going to cause problems, DSs will be very upset if we say he can't come, he is like a 10 year old still ( due to his mental health ) and is likely to go off on one.

I don't know what to do, this has been going on for so long and I can't see things getting any better when he wont do anything to help himself. I know he is mentally ill and up until know I have done my best to support him and be sympathetic but there's only so much we can do when he wont help himself. Mental health services havn't been great but they do offer him some support.

So what do we do about Boxing Day? I think dh and I will fall out about it, he wants him to still come but I don't want someone who's high on drugs ( or on a come down ) near my children. I want to enjoy Boxing Day with my dd's and my dsd ( she deserves a break from him too ).

marne2 Thu 18-Dec-14 11:56:32

Sorry for the huge post, I hope no one judges me, there's probably a lot more to the story but I didn't want to write a even bigger post.

catsmother Thu 18-Dec-14 13:17:43

I don't have any experience of this - the drug taking - thank goodness, so really don't know what advice to offer you but wanted to say that I definitely don't judge you for feeling the way you do.

I appreciate your DH would like to see his son, but surely the safety of the younger children take precedence over all other considerations ? .... you simply can't take the risk of him being there if his behaviour and perception is unpredictable, aggressive, scary etc. It would be terribly unfair to place your DDs and DSD in that position and potentially have some sort of incident and/or argument, confrontation (if he starts demanding money again) take place in front of them which would be frightening.

The only thing I can think of - which is a very short term 'solution' as it applies just to Boxing Day - is that if DH is adamant he wants to see him, he arranges to do so outside of the house - by going for a meal together. I don't know how realistic that'd be depending on the state he was in at the time (which can't be predicted) but the alternative, having him at yours is, IMO, completely unacceptable.

Taking a hard line does NOT mean you're unsympathetic towards DSS, or to DH's feelings, but, as you say, there comes a point when your safety and that of your other children has to take priority. There's no way this very complex issue is going to be sorted out within a week so you need to protect yourself ..... really hope there isn't a 'falling out' over this, there shouldn't be any question of protecting the younger kids first and foremost.

Redshoes7 Thu 18-Dec-14 15:19:25

My DP's ex has similar issues and I have fears that my two DSS will develop similar habits, however they are much younger.
I have made it clear that mental illness or no mental illness, i will not tolerate drugs or drug effected people in my house and around my DC.
I pre warned him that I will enforce this rule regardless of whether he wants to spend time with his DS or not.
You have every right to feel protective of your DD and DSD as well as yourself.
Mental illness does make the situation harder, but drug abuse will often go with it.
You can spend a lifetime offering support and it may never be noticed or appreciated and there's only so far you can go in certain situations.

You need to discuss your concerns with your DH and perhaps offer up other alternatives for him to spend time with his son. You're not trying to cut your DSS out completely, you're putting the rest of your family first.

marne2 Thu 18-Dec-14 15:56:31

Dh's idea of compromise is DSs coming here for an hour or so ( not the whole day ) but I'm worried this will cause problems as dsd will be staying all day. I'm happy for dh to take him out for an hour ( maybe for a drink or to visit his grandparents ) but I'm not happy having him in the house. He has never got violent with us but has with his mother, he is more emotionally abusive and tries to make everyone feel guilty ( he has always been like this even as a child ). When dh spoke to him on the phone he said ' I know marne2 does't like me, she hates me' I know he is only saying this because I sent him away the other night, I have never done anything else to suggest I don't like him, it's just got to the point where someone has to tell him 'to leave us alone and not to turn up at night' and I was the one to tell him.

We suspected he had ADHD as a child but he refused to talk when he went to be accessed so they refused to diagnose him. He has been hard work since I met dh ( dss was 10 ) and he has had so much more of our attention that the other step children because he has alway made sure he is centre of attention ( if he doesn't get his own way he shuts down or has meltdowns ). Both my children have Autism and despite this I would never except this behaviour from them. Dh thinks I'm being to hard because he is not my child but I have been so sympathetic, have visited him in hospital, spent time trying to talk to him, run around after him and I often do him up a food parcel. I'm so tired of it all being chucked back in our faces and him going back to drugs. It's like we are all treading on egg shells incase he takes his own life but it's ruining our lives and it's been so tough on his brothers and sisters.

I feel it's time to give up and concentrate on the other children, I know he is dh's son but I think it's wrong that we allow him to effect all of us so much sad.

Redshoes7 Thu 18-Dec-14 16:17:47

I'm so familiar with all of what you're saying.
As much as you may be past breaking point, it's really important that you don't use to term 'give up' to your DH or DSS.
Can you explain it to your DH in terms of the example you're setting for your DDs and DSD? It's not about alienating your DSS, but acknowledging his drug taking is unacceptable, and you don't want the girls to grow up thinking it is acceptable. Are they old enough to understand?

Is it always clear to you when he has taken drugs? If so, maybe pre-warn him that despite his denials, if he shows traits of being high, he will not be welcome.
You're always going to be the bad guy in this scenario. Even if you get DH to agree, DSS will put it on you - but that is part of his illness (both mental and drug). In the stage that your DSS is he has no responsibilities - it's your fault he's not welcome and everyone else's fault he's on drugs or needs a lift or money.
There's nothing you can do to change that - only he can when he's ready.
I guess it depends on how much you're willing to stick to your guns. I would if I was in you're position.

marne2 Thu 18-Dec-14 16:42:09

I won't say 'give up' to dh but in a way it feels like dh gave up a long time ago. If dh had his way he would just hand him money to get him to go away ( though this only leads to him coming back for more which dh doesn't seem to realise ). Dh is quite depressed at the moment due to what has been going on, feeling that there's no way out for his son and nothing's going to change.

It is quite obvious when he is taking as his behaviour changes, he can't sit still and he starts asking for lifts to various places ( to get drugs?), he then runs out of money for drugs so he get the come down, he gets desperate for money, sells anything he can ( on Friday he was talking about selling his furniture and tv, he buys a phone every time he gets money and then sells it when he needs drugs ), his mental health then worsens, he gets paranoid, psychotic and shows signs of schizophrenia ( though he doesn't hear voices, he has odd thoughts ), he usually ends up in hospital or gets sedated by the mental health team ( as there's often no bed for him in a unit ), it's a vicious circle and we have been around and around it many times sad.

PeruvianFoodLover Thu 18-Dec-14 17:29:05

There was a thread a few weeks ago about a BIL with similar issues to your DSS, and the OP had young children in the house.

The consensus seemed to be that if the OPs DP wanted to see his brother over Xmas, then seeing him away from the family home - either in a public place, or at the hostel where the BIL was staying was the only safe option.

Finola1step Thu 18-Dec-14 17:35:12

Your DSS is an adult. Your dds are still children. They can't be exposed to this. Stand your ground. Your dh can see DSS outside of the family home. Your priority has to be the dds.

Whatever21 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:22:30

Awful situation.

I suppose one question to ask yourself, if it was your child and not DPs what would you want - for you and your DC.

marne2 Thu 18-Dec-14 21:37:59

It's hard to say how I would feel if it was child, I think I would put my youngest children first, I would like to think my children would never turn out like this but I guess no one can tell, I could point the blame at his mother ( I don't want to slag her off but she hasn't been a great parent and she always did what ever she could to turn him against us ), dh is partly to blame too. At the end of the day he is adult and I need to protect my dc's and dsd ( who has seen far too much already ), dsd even says 'it's his fault he is like he is because he keeps taking drugs ' sad

RattieBagTheOldHag Fri 19-Dec-14 01:42:14

What a terribly sad situation. I feel so sorry for all of you - including your DSS. Is it possible to allow your DSS to visit but be ready for you and the kids to leave the house if he causes trouble or if he is too obviously drugged up. You could take the kids to the park or to visit someone. Not ideal but your DH might feel happier seeing his DS at home.

Alternatively, could you just keep the younger kids busy in another room. If you put on their favourite video in their bedrooms would that distract term while your DSS visits.

marne2 Fri 19-Dec-14 07:59:11

That's probably what will happen, we only have a small house and the dd's don't have tv's in their rooms but I can always take them out if I have too.

The phone rang at 5am this morning, my hart sank as I thought dss had done something stupid, luckily it was just the alarm going off at dh's work, I still feel physically sick, this is what it's like, waiting for a phone call or knock at the door sad.

gamerchick Fri 19-Dec-14 08:14:31

I'm In a scarily similar situation and can only tall you what we are doing.

Chat to his dad so a firm compromise can be reached and there's a comfortable line drawn so your bloke doesn't get the guilt. I can safely say not having peace of mind over a mentally ill family member is utterly horrendous.. its impossible to also cut them off at special times because of the guilt.

Both of you tell your stepson that he must come clean for boxing day. The second you or his dad realise he's on drugs or coming down off drugs then he'll have to leave. Give him till Sunday and then he has to stop until after Christmas or he doesn't come.

It means his dad doesn't have to choose and a firm line has been drawn.

lucy101 Fri 19-Dec-14 08:22:38

We are in a slightly different situation, no drugs but my FIL and adult BIL are both on the spectrum and unfortunately when they are together things can get very heated between them. The last (and worst) time this happened it was in my house two years ago (we have FIL for Xmas) in front of my then 2 year old and descended into my husband having to forcibly eject his brother from the house as his behaviour was getting out of control. My son was very upset by it indeed, as we all were and I decided that my BIL, whilst welcome to see us cannot come into the house.

If he would like to see his nieces and nephews we go to the local park for instance and meet him there so we can always walk away if things start to go wrong. We haven't actually told BIL that he can't come into the house, we just suggest other things to do and so far this has worked well.

It has been very hard for my husband to put some boundaries in place around them for a number of reasons, partly through guilt that he doesn't have their problems, partly because their most challenging behaviours are so 'normal' to him. I think he has actually needed me to make the decision about what is and isn't acceptable.

I have been incredibly supportive with both BIL and FIL's problems over the years (which are extensive in terms of physical and mental health and consequently financially etc.) and will continue to be so but our house needs to be a safe place for our children above all else.

marne2 Fri 19-Dec-14 09:08:29

Thank you gamer and Lucy, I'm going to talk to dh tonight and get him to phone dss and tell him 'he can only come over if he is clean', we havn't heard anything for a couple days, there's also a small possibility he won't want to come after dh had words with him on the phone but knowing dss he will still come as he will think he is getting presents and possible cash ( there will be no cash ). My dd2 tends to go to her room when he is here but then I feel guilty that she spends Boxing Day feeling uncomfortable as we try so hard to make sure things are relaxed for her. Dd1 is getting a bit older and starting to ask questions, dsd is 15 and knows everything that's going on because her mother has made no effort to hide anything.

Quitelikely Fri 19-Dec-14 09:19:10

If this was me and my own child even I certainly would not have him in the house. I would absolutely not give Xmas presents either, knowing that they would be sold to buy drugs.

What I would do is have telephone contact with my child and meet in public places to see and support. All gifts and financial assistance would be suspended until they were clean of drugs.

With addicts there is no other way. You have to separate the emotions because they feel for no one excepts themselves when it comes to getting a fix. Harsh but true.

marne2 Fri 19-Dec-14 11:33:55

We haven't bought him much, just socks, boxer shorts, Lynx and a selection box, I was going to do him a food hamper ( when he was clean ), we can't risk buying him anything substantial as he sells everything sad. Dh gave him tobacco last week and he even sold that, tried telling us he sold it to buy food but I know he would chose tobacco over food ( he has told me this in the last ) so there's only one reason why he would sell it.

Miggsie Fri 19-Dec-14 11:39:38

I had two druggie BIL and SIL as well, my experience was, no matter when they turned up they were high or looking to get high.

When we had DD, they were not invited to the house nor did we visit them. It's very upsetting for young children and the conversation of addicts is erratic and inappropriate as well.

He will sell any gifts and he may steal things from your home too, addicts have no generosity or consideration for others. They will chosse an addictive substance over food. My SIL used to steal money from her child's piggy bank and sell clothes MIL gave the children.

If your DH wants to see him he should visit him without the kids.

We have told DD all about he addict relatives now - she understands. One BIL is now so ill it's an object lesson in why not to take drugs.

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