Saturday, December 8, 2012

My 18 year old has ADHD.

Dear Kay,

My son has just turned 18. He has ADHD and has become harder to deal with the older he gets. At present he is out on bail for Kidnap and attempted robbery. He is on controlled medication. I think he is doing drugs. He drinks half a liter of vodka every night then more of other stuff. He demands money from me all the time. Every night this goes on, I can get up to 30 missed calls and 40+ text messages threatening me and saying he won`t come home or go to work if I don`t give him some. He has punched holes in his bedroom. He says he does not care if my husband leaves me.{ he is not the father} He hates me and says he will kills himself if he goes to prison and on my head be it. He also says he will become a drug dealer so he can make more money. This is effecting me at home and work. I have 2 other children, my youngest son also has ADHD and my daughter is in cancer treatment. I don`t know what to do anymore. My heart is breaking.


Dear Sandra;

I am so sorry. I know your heart is breaking and it is the roughest part of being a parent. I know you would like for me to give you the magic answer to make this all better and I cannot. It is going to get a bit harder.
He, regardless of his ADHD has to grow up. This is not all about his ADHD. Sometimes as parents and I too am guilty of this, make too many excuses for our children's behaviors.

He is not behaving rationally, probably because of the drugs and alcohol. He needs treatment. You need an alanon support group to get you through this time. Alanon will be full of other parents like yourself that will provide emotional support, experience and strength.

You have your hands full with two other children and once in cancer treatment. Your stress level has to be off the charts. What makes you believe you have to be so strong? Let him know he needs treatment and needs to get it. Stop taking all those calls and answering his text messages. Focus on yourself before you wear out. Make sure you are eating right, exercising, relaxing and being good to yourself because life has dealt you a rough hand and you need to be compassionate and kind to yourself.

You cannot make him behave he has to reap his consequences. LET GO! I know it is hard, it is not what you want to hear and it is what he needs to grow up. He will not grow up as long as you keep doing whatever it is you are doing. (Has it worked?) Even if he didn't have ADHD I would give you this same advice. He still needs to live life on his own terms. Let go. Your other two children need your attention because they are still children.

I have been through this other parents have been through this and you will be better off if you let go. It is scary and it goes against everything a mother's heart wants to do but he needs you to do the one thing he cannot do for himself right now. He needs you to change how you are interacting with him. Focus on how you respond to him. Say, NO. He is 18, he needs to be paying his own way and his own bills and if he doesn't make enough then he either doesn't need what he spends his money on or he needs to make more. If he is drinking and drugging under your rough he needs to move out on his own and assume all financial responsibility and legal responsibility for his actions.

I do not say this lightly I know your heart is breaking and it may break a little more before it heals.Do go to Alanon there is hope, there is more joy for you in life.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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