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ThatGirl's picture

Some background: When SO and I first got our house together we had 3 of his four kids with us. At the time SS10, SD15, and SS17. SD19 was on her own, my BS18 and BS20 on their own. We had 50/50 custody of skids, alternating every Monday. Except for SS17, who was with us all fulltime as he was kicked out of BM's house (according to him, there's NO communication from her).

SS17 started his senior year way behind on credits, ditching classes and partying with friends, and dragging SD15 down along with him. The two of them would lie and cover for each other constantly. After trying to crack down and enforce rules, meeting with school counselor, we try to get him back on track. He's supposedly taking night classes at adult ed to catch up on credits. He's getting rides with friends who are in the same boat, come home with stories of how great it's going, etc.

He eventually says he's made amends with his mother and starts spending a few nights here and there with her. Not while the other skids are there, so no way to verify it since she won't communicate. I'm not buying it, but it's not my kid. He later says his mom signed him out of regular high school and into continuation school to ensure he's really going to catch up and graduate on time.

I finally convince his dad to call the school and check up on him, because I'm not buying it. He's a great BSer and his Dad always seems to swallow it hook, line, and sinker with no real follow up. Turns out the kid dropped himself from the high school months earlier. The ding dong registrar didn't even notice that he was under 18 and had no right to do that! He also wasn't registered at the continuation school, nor had he ever showed for any of the adult ed classes he'd supposedly been taking.

Dad was livid, and went straight to the school and raised hell. Because of their oversight, they agreed to allow him a fifth year of high school so that he could get a real diploma. Kid was very apologetic, admitted all his mistakes, said he understood how important his education is, and was even trying to get one of his drop-out friends back in. More BS, more swallowing it by Dad.

We had a week or two of absolutely perfect behavior from him. It was amazing how sweet and courteous he suddenly was. So much so, that Dad actually loaned him 10 bucks to catch a movie with friends. Then he just never came home. No phone calls, nothing from the other skids, nothing from BM. We here rumors that he's bouncing around between friends, giving their parents bullcrap stories about *us* being on drugs and kicking him out. People were actually feeling sorry for the shit and we look like the bad guys.

Fast forward to now: He's now 19. High school dropout, heroin junkie, couch surfing with the occasional stay-over at BM's. He has no job, no car, suspended driver's license. We've had minimal contact with him, but when we do it's the same old stories about how he knows he's messed up, wants his life back, wants to get a diploma, needs help getting a job, he's cut ties with all his druggy friends, claims that he's only tried it but they are all addicts. But it's obvious that it's all just talk. The last three times we've seen him, he was obviously strung out, and always has a smashed in face. Odd that people want to beat him up all the time for no reason, huh?

We've had people telling us he's robbing houses and stealing beer from the local markets. For whatever reason, he doesn't get caught. I wish he would! His best friend was arrested for under the influence and possession of heroin, released the same night. Arrested again the very next week for the same, plus burglary. He's been in jail for about 3 months now. The Sheriff believes SS19 was involved, but the other boy won't rat out his friend. Sweet, huh?

SS19 is no longer welcome in our home. His Dad has confronted him about his drug problem on multiple occasions, only to get lies. He supposedly has a 24 girlfriend who's pregnant. We've never met her, but hear lots about her from the other skids. BM was letting them both stay there at times, until even she could no longer ignore what was going on. She asked him to take a drug test, he refused, he gets kicked out for a whole week, no he's back again with stories of how he is going to fix it all.

Last night SS13 comes back for his week with us, and secretly tells his dad that SS19 has checked himself into a rehab. It's a BIG secret, not even BM is supposed to know. I'm certainly not supposed to know. What sort of crap is that??? It's because it's yet another lie!!! And this time he's using his 13 year old brother to spread it. It's disgusting.

I'd like to believe it's true, because the boy needs help. But honestly look at it. How is a kid with no record, no insurance, and no job going to get into a live-in rehab facility? In a town that doesn't even have one! Two weeks ago, he wouldn't even admit to having a problem. Two weeks ago, he could have entered a program under his mother's insurance when she offered. But no, no he claims he's done it on his own, that his friend's mother runs this invisible rehab house and she's let him in under the kindness of her heart. Really?

Am I just being cynical? Am I way off-base in that I'm angry with his dad for just taking this at the word of SS13 and not trying to find out any more info? I've asked him why we are hearing this from SS13, but SD17 and SD21 know nothing about it? I've asked him to attempt to call BM to see what she knows, since she's the one who seems to have been enabling him for the last year. I've asked him if SS13 knows the name of this place, or the name of the friend and/or friend's mother that runs it. SS13 doesn't have any of that info.

Yikes, that really was a huge vent, huh? More like a purge. I feel much better finally getting it all out. And believe me, there's so much more that I didn't even put down.

I'm at a loss. I know, not my kid, not my problem. Here's my problem: I don't like the way this affects my SO. I don't like that SS13 is now drug into it. Mostly, I'm feeling as though I'm not really liking my SO anymore, seeing the way he handles (or doesn't) these things. I'm very disappointed and am feeling like he's not at all the person I thought he was Sad


iwannagoback's picture

"Mostly, I'm feeling as though I'm not really liking my SO anymore, seeing the way he handles (or doesn't) these things. I'm very disappointed and am feeling like he's not at all the person I thought he was "

That is exactly why my marraige has failed, and why my days here are numbered.

DH's parenting skills (or lack thereof) have made me lose all respect for him, and have led to disgust and resentment towards SKs as well as DH.

With your BIOs out of the house, at least they do not have to witness all of the dysfunction & drama up close. My BIOS are 9 & 12, & I do not want them growing up witnessing SKs issues/drama & DH's bad parenting.

I guess I do not have any advice, just sympathy!

ThatGirl's picture

Thank you, iwgb Smile After all that rambling I did, you were still able to see where I was coming from. I appreciate it! So how do we fix it? What can be done to save our relationships and get back that spark we once had? Is it something we need to do, or something he needs to do, or something the couple should be working on together?

Yes, I'm very glad my sons don't have to live in the same house with this mess. They are aware of what's going on, and I'm actually embarrassed. They feel bad for me living in this situation, because they know how much it upsets me. They were raised entirely different. We sort of make an unspoken effort not to blend families. I don't invite mine over when his are around, and they have no problem with that. My sons are polite and cordial if we're in a situation where they are all together, but they prefer not to associate with them on their own. I don't blame them, and am actually thankful for that.

ThatGirl's picture

Oh yes, I know how awful it is. I actually taught a substance abuse class at the high school for a number of years. And yes, dated a junkie for a bit, too.

Liars. Manipulators. Thieves.

Of that I am certain. And I honestly believe there is no help we can offer this kid until he TRULY wants it. He won't truly want it, until he hits rock bottom. That's not going to happen as long as people will give him a place to sleep when he needs it. It won't happen as long as people continue to listen to his lies and sob stories, instead of just telling him to f#$% off until he's actually DONE something about it.

I think his dad has told him that, and that's why he's now making up this lie about getting himself into a rehab. He's thinking he can stay gone for a week or two, then dad will believe he's clean and start supporting him again.

ThatGirl's picture

I do realize it's not entirely his fault. Communication with BM would go a long way towards helping, as all we've got now is what we get from the skids (who will forever lie and cover for each other). SO is aware of this, we've talked about it a bazillion times, he's been made aware of the fact that if he doesn't follow up each and every time, that it will continue. But he still fails to do so. I really don't know what else I can do at this point.

SillyGilly's picture

I don't think you sound cynical at all! I also really doubt your SS is in any form of rehab....

I think dorthyparker's advice is great and you and your husband should go to Al-Non. Even though you seem to have a good understanding of the situation maybe it would be beneficial for DH to learn about it, from a third party, and maybe the two of you doing this together will help make your marriage stronger?

ThatGirl's picture

I've thought about taking SO to some sort of addition group. But then again, I'd be the one pushing him into action. I'm tired of always having to the one. I'm really starting to resent always being the one to have to bring things to his attention (almost as much as the skids resent me for doing it).

SillyGilly's picture

Although I totally understand the resentment for being the one to push DH to do things. Maybe think of it as pushing him to go as something that is good for *you* directly. Maybe he will "wake up" and the path he chooses with his kids will be different and therefore easier on your marriage, your resentment, you'll gain respect for him again, etc..... Or maybe not?! At least you'll know you tried?!