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My eighteen year old son has turned into a nightmare !(27 Posts)
I have been a single dad with sole care of my son since he was three & he is now about to turn nineteen soon.
We used to have a close/excellent relationship until we moved to a different town when he was twelve where my son made a new group of friends with kids from the worst kind of families. Unsurprisingly they all ended up weed smokers and my son had to be a leader of the pack and so enthusiastically embraced the nihilistic, screw everyone, sod education and the World mentality drug culture to impress all his peer group.
Now he is a nightmare !
I managed to battle with it until he was seventeen when we had to move seven miles away from that town and into some Godforsaken dump of a community - sort of a large artificially created modern ‘village’ mostly built in the 1950’s to provide accommodaation for workers in the adjacent industrial estate. This horrible place had first started in exactly the same way in Victorian times when a railway station was built here which they intended to be a major goods transport hub.
So Everything both my son & I do involves having to travel seven miles back and forth to the original town where all his friends are. This makes life impossible really as I have absolutely no money for transport. It’s five quid a time .
Anyway, during the past two years my son has become impossible to live with. I first noticed he would seem to make a point out of sabotaging meals. I always cook a ‘proper’ evening meal from scratch. He would either not turn up at all, stay away the night, arrive maybe 3 a.m., or even tell me he would be in for supper, arrive at an almost reasonable time ( maybe midnight, 11 p.m. if I was lucky) & then tell me actaully he wasn’t hungry as he had eaten elsewhere.
I began to notice - it became obvious really - that he was deliberately producing the maximum disruption on purpose. It was not possible to say it was any other way.
Then it became more and more obvious something was badly wrong as it became apparent I could never actually hold any form of conversation with him as he would turn his back as I was in mid sentence or hurl abuse at me for attempting to talk to him as ‘couldn’t I see he was in a hurry to go an meet someone’ or some similar rubbish.
This deliberately weird behaviour was nothing to do with me wanting to talk about ‘difficult’ issues. The behaviour would even occur if I was trying to ask him if he would like me give him twenty quid to spend as he pleased. He would never allow me to get far enough in such a conversation for him to even find out it was about an offer to give him twenty quid. I only actually deliberately tried doing this to prove to him how weirdly he was behaving.
Normally, of course, talking to him was about the millions of bits of everyday trivia in everyone’s domestic lives. He just blanked me about absolutely everything. Usually his method was to turn his back and walk or run away as though he was permanently in a ‘manic’ state.
The effect of this type of behaviour was to make life more and more unpleasant and him increasingly impossible to live with. The behaviour pattern was seemingly specially designed to simply produce instant rows over every single thing that I might need to say.
He organised one such row today which was nothing at all to do with anything. He has become very skilled at hijacking what I am actually saying and inventing complete blind ally cul de sacs which shatter any train of thought and make the conversation turn into senseless, incoherent gibberish which has nothing to do with what I am trying to say.
As all this has become increasingly unmanagable I have often snapped and told him I cannot cope with living with it any more & I will be forced to ask him to live elsewhere because I cannot cope with the endless nastiness of all this. That happened today.
Last week he finished life at College and today was supposed to be the first day he would make a serious start at looking for a job etc.
He did his usual thing of hijacking my brain and I just couln’t take it any more & told him to leave the house immediately and give me his front door key. I tried to unwind it, but he sabotaged all efforts to do that too; and so he left.
This means all he can do is sofa surf (hopefully) maybe he willl actually end up on the streets though. But he will not be able to sign on for any benefits which he will need immediately as he has no money and even if he tries to get a job there will be a gap before wages. But the reality is he is totally unequipped to go through the process of looking for a ‘proper’ job in such homeless circumstances.
I am at a total loss as to what to do. I probably foresaw this happening a long, long time ago as it is the inevitable result of the weed infected culture which destroys the minds of teenagers. I knew I was already losing the battle at least three years ago. His mind was remorselessly being taken over by this awful peer group brainwashing him that being drugged with weed all the time was a brilliant life choice.
Has anyone any advice on how I should progress from here ?
Honestly, the best thing you can do is step back and let him get on with it. Make him deal with real life. And stop blaming everyone else for HIS choices. He chose to smoke weed, nobody forced him. And dont blame yourself either, it doesnt matter where someone lives, who they hang round with and the person they choose to be is always their own choice.
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I knew this would be drugs related.
I am so sorry OP.
It sounds like you have been trying your best to be a good parent.
Where is he getting the money to buy drugs? It is likely to be more than weed now.
Do you know where he is staying/where he is getting his money and drugs?
I have a good friend whose son has recently been arrested for dealing. He is young and was being manipulated by older men.
Part of his sentence is enforced rehab. It is actually the best thing that could have happened to him.
I am sorry you are going through this.
That is really nasty.
You know nothing about this parent's situation.
For all you know his wife could have died.
Caretaker have a if you are for real I pity you.
Sorry OP. I think you have made the right choice. My son is only 14 and to be fair at the moment he is great but for reasons I won't go into now I do worry which way he will go in a few years.
If it helps caretaker I'm the mother. I blame his father for not stepping up.
Wow caretaker, what a twatty reply.
My ds is similar. Smokes lots of weed, can't be bothered to work or do much of anything.
After trying to help, encourage and bribe him into doing something with his life and trying to cope with his tantrums and bad attitude, I kicked him out at 18.
His attitude improved a little, for a while and he sofa surfed for a few months.
As he seemed to be trying to cut down on the weed and get a job, I helped him rent a flat and paid the rent 6 months in advance.
He has taken that as a sign that he is indeed a superior being entitled to do as he wants and speak to me like shit. I no longer visit/phone him and have mostly left him to it. He knows where I am if he really needs help but now knows I will not prop him up forever. He is 22 now, we used to be so close and I am sad about that. Hopefully we will be again some day and this is just a phase but I'm not holding my breath.
Sometimes you just have to let them deal with the consequences of their actions and let them sink or swim. Don't let him take the piss or he will never stop. Good luck.
Don't blame yourself for moving and don't blame that for his behaviour. You don't know that he wouldn't have sought out similar behaviour had you stayed put. He was 12 when "he changed" that's the age when they start moving away from you and getting into riskier stuff.
It sounds like he may be the person other parents would blame in just the same way as you are blaming others for getting him into all this. As others have said, it's his choices that have led to this and as hard at it sounds he may need to feel the consequences of his choices.
On a positive note, you say he has just finished college - at least he seems to have stuck in at something, has he done anything that is likely to lead to a job? It also shows that at some level in his head he knows that he needs to get qualifications and work. I'd think that all is not lost.
Bloody hell caretaker what bollocks!
Op tell your ds to go to local Borough Council to register as homeless, hopefully due to his age he will get a place in a hostel.
Fuck me Caretaker, that has to be the twattiest post I ever read!
You should see some of Caretaker's other posts then. As far as a quick advanced search shows, they are all about how shit men are.
catetaker With that single post you have shown what a twat you are. The OP is probably a better parent than you will ever be. If you have children I feel sorry for them.
Let him know that you love him and you are here to support him when he is ready to treat you with love and respect. But don't give him any money.
Thanks for all the helpful posts all. There is a slightly interesting thing about several of them when they tell me not to blame other people for my son's choices etc and it was entirely his responsibility for making his OWN bad choices.
It is precisely true to say of any person that they are responsible for their own choices good or bad. And that it is also correct in that context to say you cannot blame other people for a person's own choices. We are all responsible for our choices - I am a firm believer in that concept.
However, there is a bit of a complication in that it is an inescapable fact that we are all easily influenced by the people around us. Every person's brain seems to be very easily accessed and interfered with. This is how hypnotism works to produce it's rather extreme effects.
I keep kicking myself for being conned by cowboy builders and other dubious sales types and I swear I will never be conned like that again. But it happens over and over, it is really difficult to avoid - which is why so much fraud exists; it works and the rip off merchants know that.
But I am aware that ordinary everyday life is also full of persuasion for all of us and few people are unaffected. This is how we all grow up in our separate national 'cultures' which all have their different characteristics. Germans different from Italians etc etc; and, God help us, Middle Eastern Arab culture which I knew as quite charming when I lived for a year in the Persian Gulf long ago, but has now become a complete perversion of what it used to be as it smashes headlong into Global 'Western' culture.
I have frequently explained to my son that he can be friends with dubious people under the right circumstances and if it is 'unavoidable' but that absolutely does not mean he has to copy their bad behaviour and behave like them.
And I do know what I am talking about because I had lousy parents which meant I was taken into care at the age of thirteen after being threatened with being stabbed with a kitchen knife by the stepmother from hell.
My father was a perfectly decent person, except utterly unable to stand up to his wife in any way at all, so she bullied everyone, including him ( & made it her mission in life to prevent him from ever having any proper relationship with me and my brother as we were not her own kids & she managed to get rid of both us permanently from the family home when we were both thirteen.) Hell's Breath was a nickname she had in the family.
Me being in care meant I rubbed shoulders with people from the most deprived and dubious families, and I then joined the very lowest ranks of the Military when I was sixteen and served in that role in the armed forces until I was twenty where I also rubbed shoulders with all sorts of low life both in the military and out of it as that was my 'station' in life at the time.
But I never, ever copied those bad behaviours and characteristics and always retained my own integrity of 'middle class' values as my family background & education had been 'middle class' & a posh school. So, interestingly I stood out like a sore thumb in the lower ranks of the military but I found nearly everyone around me respected me for being 'different' from them and there were no problems in getting along with them all. But that is in the nature of military life I suppose.
But I am constantly annoyed that my son feels he has to be like his friends and I keep explaining to him that I simply have no concept of me when I was his age thinking like him and his friends who all seem to actually like trashing their education and every other part of their lives and futures mostly because of the weed culture.
I can remember being a dumbish teenager doing some slightly 'bad' things I wasn't supposed to do if I thought I could get away with it, but never to the extent of trashing my own interests & life the way these idiots do today. And certainly, when I left the armed forces at twenty years old I had a fierce ambition to get a job and move on up the career ladder as fast as possible - which I did.
It is only looking back, that I realised I produced incredible results, because at the time I simply did not think I was doing as well as I was. I have always assumed that all kids leaving school & starting their working lives would be tremendously excited to have those first pay packets and the independence and possible futures that work brought. The minute I started work in any new job I was already thinking 'now how can I use this job as leverage to get an even better job as fast as possible". And that is exactly what did happen.
Obviously I am wrong as so many youngsters just like to avoid work & live on the dole doing nothing except smoke weed.
Can't really understand the apparent attractions of such a boring life !
Can anyone give me a bit of a clue what CaretakerToNuns said in their deleted post. It obviously shocked several people but I never actually saw it, so remain intrigued. I can only assume it sounds like abusing me for throwing my son out of the house, but why delete that ?
They basically said you must have cheated on your wife, and left her, and all kids should go to their mothers and all are men are shit parents. Batshit!
OP my Step brother is a couple years older than your DS and for the past 2 years they have been going through the exact experience you are beginning.
His mums soft approach to discipline did not work. My dads much tougher stance did work and gave him a good slap of reality.
OP, I know that my post said about him making the choices he had. I was basing that on you saying that he was effectively top dog in his peer group so that maybe it was him doing the influencing basically to fulfill his need to be at the top? No man is an island though and yes, people get influenced by what is going on around them.
My DS2 is certainly more easily influenced than DS1 so a lot of it will be down to personality and who they mix with as mine have been raised the same and are very close in age. DS2 feels the need to impress people, DS1 doesn't give a jot what others think. DS2s need to impress thankfully has only manifested itself in some silly purchases (his own money) and he tends to hang out with people who are mostly below his intellect level which meant he fell behind where he should have been in class. Now 16 the lightbulb has switched on for him we also had the added benefit of not living in the same place as his friends and it being difficult to get to. This helped because it's too much hassle for him as he's inclined to be lazy/likes being in his room.
I really do feel for you as it's clear you love your son and want the best for him and I don't know what the answer is.
Thanks for that post and despite the nonsense of it, I think it is wrong for 'thought police' to delete most of the posts they do unless it is really offensive to everyone generally or if the person in my position request a misleading & nonsense post removed.
But actually if the poster ' CaretakerToNuns' just made those sorts of wild accusations like that without being really obscene, I think the post should stand to show how Troll like & silly so many people are on internet forums. There is a lot of silly posting by silly people, but a lot gets deleted that shouldn't because the 'thought police' are often too pompous and self important.
But CaretakerToNuns' could not be more wrong about my behaviour etc.
Actually, it was my original wife who was an emotional train crash waiting to happen and it was she who was serially unfaithful many, many times, but I still did not leave her or was ever unfaithful or produced any unreasonable behaviour.
It was her who left when she eventually found someone she thought had more money than me for her to spend because she was one of these awful people in life who think that is their role in life - to spend other people's money.
So our two teenage kids were utterly traumatised by their mother's behaviour at that time. This ghastly woman also snarled at me how she would alienate my two teenage kids from me and then set about doing exactly that with a total disregard of the damage she would do to the kids who are now in their thirties and still badly affected by the poison that still swills around from this revolting woman. I am also affected still as my relationship with them is 'distant' as they still feel they are playing piggy in the middle of two warring parents.
The thing is, I have never actually been a warring parent myself and have always taken care not to make dubious comments or even talk about the awful mother. Unfortunately her poison gets reflected onto to me and bounced back to the kids though.
So what happened with the mother of my son to whom I am the sole parent in charge ?
After the awful wife vanished, traumatising me quite badly as well as our kids, I met a true 'kindred spirit' who loved me and I loved too and who showed what a really good relationship was really like. It opened my eyes to how horrible my first marriage had actually been all along. We wanted kids to add to the two toddlers she already had. Great. Our son was born.
So my much loved partner actually became increasingly mentally ill, immediately after our son was born ; starting with post natal depression and morphing into manic depression and finally ending up as full blown schizophrenia.
I looked after her for about six years but it was a losing battle and I finally had to give up after it completely impoverised me, lost me a large and valuable house and made me and my son completely homeless. Such is the effect of living with people with severe schizophrenia; they trash your life as well as theirs.
My partner was beyond my help and I only stopped looking after her after she disappeared for the umpteenth time and I was too ehausted mentally and financially to go through endless rigmarole to retrieve her back into what should have been her family home to be a mother to her son.She was a good mother, and she still loved me and me her. But the schizophrenia was in the middle making life impossible.
It's a long story !
So CaretakerToNuns' shows how she/it is a total idiot after all !
Of course, no single mother, M/F couple, gay couple, care home, foster family or grandparents etc have ever had any issues with their children, just single men. Given that single men are probably one of the smallest parenting demographics, you'd imagine that would mean that we'd live in a trouble free society with only the occasional child of a single dad mucking it up...
Has your son had any help over the years?
not just from you but from counsellors, that is a major amount for a child to go through.
For the first 6 years to see your DM go down hill and then be bounced around several schools and differing areas, each one seemingly sliding down in to more poverty.
And again have you had help for all of this?
That's a sad tale too OP - it'll have to be as there doesn't seem to be beer which you may prefer.
OP, so sorry to hear about DS. Sounds like talking to him tends to veer off course very quickly. So how about texting him instead? Sometimes I get into heated arguments with DD17. We start yelling at each other and get SO upset that we don't hear what the other person is saying, which then leads to more yelling and so on. About a year ago, I decided to try communicating with her through the medium she seems most comfortable with -- texting. It has been a revelation. No screaming. No saying the wrong things in the heat of the moment. Instead, I hear her and she hears me. We talk and we negotiate and we come to agreements. And because everything is in writing, she also tends to respect our agreements more. It's even brought us closer. Who knows, it may work for you too?
Also, it occurs to me -- do you think ds may be dealing with mental health issues given his mom's struggles?
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