07-16-2017 10:17 PM
The stakes just got higher.
Over the weekend we have confirmed that our son has committed fraud, using a rarely used credit card to run up almost $ 1200 in uber trips and uber eats. The crazy thing is, one or several of his friends use it when he is not there. So we started thinking, what is the pay off, what is going on? I was able to guess a password and login to his webpage Uber account. All the details are there. Time, date, address to and from. The mind boggles.
This was followed by a bit of serendipity that had me log into his laptop. Having been away learning to snow board for 10 days (and loving it - though he would not tell us that). We had asked several times to see some photos or video of this trip. His excuse for not showing us any photos or video was that his laptop had run out of memory. I found this a bit odd as it is only a month old. So I logged in today to set up the back up and check disk space. I was surprised he had not changed the login. Then I went to the photos. The first thing that popped up was a photo of the front and back of my credit card. After this I looked further. It got more and more shocking. The power of the mobile phone selfie. There are mobile phone videos of him and a friend doing a bong, then the next was inhaling lines of white powder. The evidence is graphic with time, date and geolocation.
I can only say, we thought there were drugs involved, however that was far beyond anything I could conceive a 14 year old doing. We will have a big day tomorrow. All details have been advised to the Police.
Oddly, my wife and I feel a weight off our shoulders. Now we have an understanding of the problem we have to deal with. The lights are on and we have a chance to navigate the route ahead, rather than guessing and blundering around in the dark. I am also relieved with found this so early and the fraud and drugs together. It now all starts to fit into place.
I am not holding our too much hope that there will be a sudden realisation by him just how crazy his behaviour had become and its likely impact on his future. It does however give us opportunity to understand what we are dealing with now.
Over and out till later.
Orbit64 (going stratospheric (or is it the troposphere))?
07-17-2017 05:38 PM
@Orbit64 I hope you have returned from your catapult into the troposphere. Retaining a sense of humour at the darkest times shows a resilience that will see you through anything.
How did today go in light of your new discoveries.
Thinking of your family as you go through a very difficult time with this.
07-17-2017 06:57 PM
Hi @Orbit64, if only the troposphere was as fun as it sounds!
Sometimes teens aren't as clever as they think they are, are they! One day I was checking my daughter's Instagram account, and saw 3 photos of a boy her age posted, smoking the same!?? The teenage brain just thinks for the moment!
You and your wife have had to take in a lot, but you're both managing so well. Now that you know what you're dealing with you'll be able seek the relevant help for your son. He's still young, and as you and your wife continue to uphold firm boundaries and offer your son support, he has a good chance.
Remember you have up to another 3 coaching sessions that I hope will add to the skills you already have.
Hang in there!
07-18-2017 09:14 PM
Hi @Orbit64 I just wanted to commend you and your wife. In all of the frustrations and stress you are both experiencing, it appears that you are holding strong supporting each other and being consistent in the way you are raise your son. Looking at how you can help resolve issues in an understanding and compassionate way, while also allowing your son to face consequences and be responsible for his actions. It is obvious how much you love your son, and I hope that one day when your son is older and wiser he will look back and appreciate how much you care about him.
07-19-2017 12:19 AM
Thanks for the comments and support. It is hard to get past the idea of them facing serious consequences.
However once we got past that, we felt empowered. We had made a decision that has really helped us share the load. In reality the police are loath to let a child enter the justice system.
We have identified a program in South Australia that sounds ideal for our son. True North Adventures.
We decided to broach it with him tonight. We have a short time frame to get some kind of buy in if possible. We had a short simple plan with an explanation about our concerns for his future and his safety. Then we asked him to look at the details we provided him with. He gave them a cursory look, walked straight to the stove and lit them up. We did not respond.
He seems to be thrown by our calm response in the last few days. We printed it off again later and left a copy on the kitchen bench. We will see if he takes a look later. 14 days of wilderness adventure.
Orbit64 - over and out.
Dreaming of Low level geo synch orbit tonight.
07-25-2017 12:30 AM
I am thinking about getting the children's book author Andy Griffiths to assist me in writing a book.
Notable ones are the
the "Very Bad Book"
Third in the series
"The Very Bad Teenager Book"
"The Day my Bum went psycho".
"The Day my Son went psycho".
Alternatively I considered a self help range.
Titles could be
"You will not F...n believe what happened next"
"Well, F....K you too!"
Jokes aside, we have had more situations of
"You will not F...n believe what happened next" in the last few months to last a life time.
I came to an epiphany on Saturday, my son was treating this like a competition that he was going to win. The rules had to change. To be continued.
07-25-2017 01:06 AM
Hahaha @Orbit64, that's hilarious! I think you should do the series AND the self help books!
You guys have been through the wringer. Still, you're doing everything you can to help your son. He's lucky to have such loving parents.
07-25-2017 09:02 AM
On Friday, our son left home and came back Sunday morning at 10 am, ready to leave to play hockey for a 10:30 am departure. In this time away, he refused to tell us where he was, who he was with, a contact number or anything. I was very concerned, my wife was shuttling between the feeling of deep concern and rejection and indifferent hatred for the child. We were chatting about what was going on, she was wondering the "ifs". If I had done this?, maybe he would not have done that, "if I had treated him this way" that would have happened. I tried to re-assure her we have done everything we can do over many years. There is no specific event or thing we did or did not do that has lead to this.
What did occur to me, is another way for us to look at what was going on.
To him, it had become a competition he was going to win. It had become a game of brinkmanship.
He was polite and reasonable with others. He simply changed the minute he walking in to our house.
So I concluded he was making very specific choices. He had not had a complete attitude and behaviour change that he was applying to every person and situation. The question to answer "is there any thing I could do to get through to him".
At this stage, it is worth saying my wife and I have agreed from the outset we were not going to hide what was going on in our lives. It was having too much of an impact to hide it. So it was simply better to be open and honest with work, colleagues, friends, family and ourselves. I can see some people feeling the need for privacy, however for us that would make a toxic situation even harder to cope with.
I woke up Sunday morning with a few clear options and a clear determination.
I would do everything to get through to him in the next few weeks.
Fair, firm and friendly.
Then if that failed, when he was off on one of his two days away, "I won't tell you where I am or what I am doing" I would kick him out. Empty his room, dispose of all the unnecessary items, get rid of the luxuries of his life and leave a couple of boxes with only the essentials of living in the car port.
That was how I felt.
So the one strategy I had was to take him after hockey to a friends farm about 1 hour 15 min out of the city. He would be in the car with me, the trick was to see if I could keep him on the car with me for the trip.
Once he figured out what was going on, he started with low level things to annoy, distract and disrupt my driving. Eg, adjusting the mirrors, taking his seat belt off. It then escalated: spraying sunscreen in my face, taking my glasses off and throwing them out the window, to throwing other things out the window the car. He emptied almost all the contents of my business brief case. In the last 20 minutes at 110 km/h, he resorted multiple times to try and wrench the steering wheel to drive us off the road. I remained calm and unflappable the whole drive. It was a white knuckle trip though. I thanked that original driving instructor when I was 17 showing us the correct seating and steering wheel position would allow you to effectively lock the steering wheel preventing a deranged passenger from pulling the steering wheel away from you. Never thought that 36 years later and 52 years old, my 14 year old would be the deranged passenger!!
Off to work now. To continue.
07-26-2017 01:46 PM
@Orbit64, I am so much in awe of your strength, patience and determination. Keep being strong and things will get better. So relieved that you've identified the problem in its early stages and now know what you're dealing with.
You and your wife just need time and perseverance and continue to access the resources and support around you. One day your son will be able to look back with admiration and gratitude at the effort his parents have put into this. It only equates to love.
I love your humour during such a trying time... it is that one thing one needs to keep being strong, along with the support around you. Well done!