I Need To Let Go Of The Worry I Have For My Son

i have 2 wonderful sons and feel blessed to be their mom. things are changing as they are 19 and 20 years old and need me much less. i find it difficult to make a connection with them these days and it is very painful. they seem bothered or otherwise occupied when i try to talk to them-that's when i can catch them at home! my oldest son and i have a very tenuous relationship. he's always been more challenging behaviorally-irritable and very much wanting his own way. since 10th grade things have really been tough. he started to stay out late and hang out with some kids from bad situations. whenever i expressed concerns about these friends my son blows up. we've had such bad arguments that im surprised our neighbors haven't called the police. there were many nights my son did not come home and my husband and i were worried and searching for him. he'd walk in the next day and say,"what's wrong with you guys?" one day when he was in 11th grade the police came and told us our son had punched a boy and was charged with assault. he had to go through a court diversion program. he has been in and out of therapy and on and off meds for a diagnosed anxiety disorder since he was 9 yrs old. we also went to family therapy for over a year to try to get some help. when he was a senior in gih school he was arrested again. he did not come home one night and we got a call the next day from the police station. he was arrested for resisting arrest as he was present in a house when the police came to the door and wanted to get in. my son and the other people in the house would not let the police in. so the cops broke down the door and arrested them all. our son said his friend at stopped there at his uncles and that he had gotten caught up in that situation and hadn't done anything wrong. we did not know whether to believe him. he spent the day in the jail (we had the option of taking him home or letting him spend the day.we decided to make him stay to teach him a lesson). he ended up having to hire a lawyer (we made him pay for it) and he went to court. the charges were eventually dropped as a witness came forward and corroborated what my son had said-he and his friends had just gotten to that house. in the meantime his friends have gotten into trouble. they dont come to our house because the know i disapprove of them. one of them is now a paraplegic after an accident. two others have lost their licenses for dwi. in his senior year my son refused to go to school and we fought alot. i worked with the school and they were great-allowing him to work as he had earned the credits needed to graduate. he is a smart kid! since then we've kicked him out a few times just for being downright disrespectful. last semester we were so glad he signed up for 2 college courses. needless to say he quit and we lost that money. i've told him he will eventually need to pay us back. he does work a full time job steadily and pays for car insurance and phone. he occassionally helps out at home but usually comes home from work, showers and leaves until late at night or early morning. i forgot to mention that we forced him to do home drug tests for a while. he came up positive for pot and we know he smokes it (never here). he refuses to go to counseling but does take lexapro for anxiety and has seen a psychiatrist-he actually initiated that. anyway, last week there was a home invasion in our city that was all over the news. it was at the home of a family our son had lived with at one time and he is connected with. the suspects say they were looking for weed and had guns. i freaked knowing my son very well could have been present there. i talked with him about it and he said i was dramatic and that he was fine. my husband and i told him he has to go to counseling and he has again refused. my son told me hates me and that i instilled him with his anxiety disorder. today i was so depressed and upset i left the house and drove for 5-6 hours. my husband thinks we should just let him be and that he's just finding his way. i resent my husband for being complacent. anyway-i don't know if anyone will read this and may have advice-but i would appreciate your point of view...
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4 Responses Jul 18, 2010

I agree with the above comment of reinforcing the positives which from my experience can be very hard to find but it does work. I also found doing work on myself really helped. My fear and anxiety for my daughter would make me react in ways that weren't necessarily helpful.Support groups to express your feelings I think would help also. I am an adult child and I found a12 step support group helped me a lot as my daughters behaviour bought up a lot of my own childhood fears. I wish you the strength to get through this, it is devastating when you see your child on this path.<br />
My daughter has come through this and no longer mixes with the drug crowd. It did take a long time though.

There is nothing worse that watching a son or daughter put themselves through difficult experiences and opening themselves up to unnecessary dangers.<br />
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However some people react to their parents anxiety for them by doing this.its as if they are trying to prove that they can deal with all the negativity and not be brought down by it.Perhaps they are trying to earn the trust of the doubting parent.<br />
Trying to be positive instead of negative could help.Only commenting on the positives and ignoring the negatives is one way to approach this.If the son/daughter gets no attention from the negative behaviour maybe he/she will give it up.

My brother was very similar to your son. He pushed my mother and father to the limit. Stayed out until morning at least three nights a week and was once arrested for stealing a car. He wanted to quit high school but my parents wouldn't let him. He barely made it through high school. He married a couple of months out of high school and he had an instant family. His wife's parents died suddenly and he found himself supporting a wife and four of his wife's young siblings.<br />
I don't know if it was age or the pressure of an instant family but he slowly began to mature. He's doing very well now. I think some people are just late bloomers.<br />
My wife's nephew was in a similar situation. He got in trouble with drugs and assault in high school. The judge gave him the opportunity of enlisting in the navy. That's been nearly ten years ago and he's made the navy a career.<br />
Good luck!

Sounds like you are having a tough time. Hang in there and do some stuff for you, as it is most important to look after yourself. Both your sons are finding their way and will have to make their own lives and their own mistakes. I think you have done a great job so far but you can only do so much. Eventually with time I believe that your son who has particular problems will find his way but it may take time, he knows you are there for him, Give him some space take a step back for your own peace of mind, he may make his own realisations of what is right and find his own path. Be prepared for a wait though it will take time as these things generally work out slowly. It is natural especially with boys to need that independance when they get to a certain age. You can only guide them so much, besides good advice is frequently not recognised as such until retrospectively. This is normal. So free yourself and them,plan your life more around your own goals and aims and a little less with them in mind.