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Of teenage sex and my own snooping.

Old 01-30-2012, 06:59 AM
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Of teenage sex and my own snooping.

While he was in rehab, my son wrote to his girlfriend, and she wrote back. He is 15 and she is 14, and she really liked him. I'd never met her, but I sensed that she was a "good girl" attracted to my "bad boy." (You know what I mean.)

Anyway, he really seemed to like her--wrote her letters while in rehab, couldn't wait to see her. They went to a movie the day after he got out--then nothing. He'd said he wanted her to accompany us on the day trips we're planning to take on the weekends, and we're planning one for next week, but he never mentioned her after Friday. He seemed to cool on her right after the movie, on Friday night.

The upshot: Because she won't have sex with him, he dropped her. I have deduced this from reading his texts and her letters to him.

I need to focus on my snooping. I don't feel guilty, exactly--maybe sad, that my son treats girls this way. (He's an addict--surprise, surprise.) He is 15, not an adult. Is it okay to snoop if you are the mother of a teenager who has broken your trust? Or is it always wrong? I certainly didn't like what I found, so maybe that--and the fact that I don't feel I can mention this issue to him--is my "lesson learned."

Is it his business how he treats girls--and women as he matures? Is there anything I could do, or should do, even indirectly? I am upset that he would treat girls in this manner. (He's done it before.) But I don't want to do ANYTHING that interferes with his Higher Power's plans for him.

I don't have an Al-Anon sponsor yet. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:08 AM
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I think that as a mother, YOU ABSOLUTELY have the right to look at everything he has in his phone or letters, especially due to him being an addict. I also think that being mothers, it is our duties to teach our boys how to be proper men. After all, a mothers relationship with her son is the very first female relationship a boy has, and should teach him the proper way to interact with women. Thats just my opinion..I hope it has helped.. Best of luck to you. Keep us posted!
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:09 AM
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My thoughts:

If you get caught snooping you will lose all trust and credibility.

What can you do with what you find out without giving yourself away?

I would tell him that he has broken trust and so you will need to watch him carefully - not snooping, it's out in the open.

You can discuss everything that goes into making a responsible adult - how to treat everyone (not just girls) with respect, how to treat himself with respect, how to be responsible in school and later in work, etc. etc. etc.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:17 AM
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Hi Charon,

I feel that I have discussed the idea of respecting others (and himself) with him. One of the things that has hurt our relationship is my tendency to "talk too much"--to tell him stuff over and over, in the hope that it would sink in. So far, no luck, LOL.

I need to let my son reap the consequences of his actions, but I also feel that i need to think of the girls he uses. I have not one clue about how I could tell him he can't go on dates.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:30 AM
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ISOHumility,
I wish I had snooped on my son when he was a teenager, maybe he would not be in the situation he in today, maybe his relationship with women would have been different, maybe I could have intervened like you did at 15 maybe maybe maybe.....
My son is learning and changing his life for the better today and I am proud of him, but it sure would have been easier at 15 for him instead of 26.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:31 AM
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Trust is a very sensitive issue with teenagers. I think the best thing to do would be try to sit down and talk to him about his attitude towards girls. I know no boy wants to hear this from his mother but I also know as a woman that when we meet guys who treat women this way it is very off-putting.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:34 AM
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I just don't know what to say to him. He knows I read his texts--as i said, that was par tof thehouse rules when he came home. But I read her letter on my own. I put two and two together.

Last Friday, the girlfriend was supposed to come over and watch a movie with him and us, so we could get to know her. My son actually thought I would let him and her hang out in his room alone! Luckily, the girl's dad said no--which I totally understood. That's why they went out to a movie.

He has not been forthcoming about information about her--when i ask about the day trip next weekend, he is noncommital. he doesnt want to talk about her, so i am not sure if i should bring it up or not.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:49 AM
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I must be in the minority, because I think snooping is very wrong.

TCG, I found out my son smoked weed at 14 because he wasn't home when he was supposed to be and there was a letter on his bed. I thought the letter was meant for me, but it turned out it was from his girlfriend making jokes about how VERY much he liked his weed.

I made a big issue about it, we both went through a 6-week programs, I had him tested on a regular basis, etc. etc. and today at 25 he is more lost than he ever was before. I often wonder what would have happened if I never read that letter, whether it would have been a phase as opposed to the defiant power struggle that ensued for many years thereafter. So I guess we all wonder what we could have done differently for a different outcome.

I think you have nothing to gain by snooping. I personally think it is too late to change your child. They are formed and whilst you can try and gently influence them, they are in a rebellious stage so how much you can achieve is questionable.

If your son finds out you are snooping, he would be very angry and I think rightfully so. My very normal and diligent 15-year old will never forgive me if I read his texts. We do have to respect their privacy where drugs are NOT concerned.

I think you can drive yourself crazy snooping. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:52 AM
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You are responsible for him until hes 18,thats the way it is here in My Country anyway.My son got into bother with the Police,he appeared in Court,I had to be there.He was assigned a leason officer,"he had to report to the Police every so often".This gave him a lesson in how to behave in Society.

While he was under our roof he had to obey our rules.
When he turned 18....He took responsibiliy for his actions.
If he got fined for Parking offinces....he had to find ways of paying the Fine.
He got work so he now knows when he pays out money for something he done wrong out of his own pocket.....he got the message.
Same applies to girls....he knows that no one is going to bail him out if he behaves badly.
He has settled ....and today he is responsible....He is a Good Man....
We dont tolerate any bad behaviour .....while he lives with us.
When he moves out on his own he knows there is a price to pay if he Misbehaves....thats his problem.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:58 AM
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Sunshine, you laid out a thoughtful counterpoint. Again, let me focus on me:

What I found out by snooping made me sad--if this is the way he is going to treat girls now, I don't see it changing in the future. I certainly can''t change it, but God can.

If you can belive it, I am thinking more of the girls he hurts. But I suppose that once his reputation is made known, no decent girl will give him a chance.

In the end, it all works out the way it's supposed to. I am still having trouble distinguishing my codependent, controlling behavior from healthy mothering. That he's a teen now--and one fresh out of rehab--makes it more difficult.

I like to come here to get seasoned opinions from those who've been there, done that, and then come to a decision. But I agree that I can't see that even gently trying to bring this up would achieve a good result.
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:09 AM
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I've found two things that move me closer to getting a message into a teenager. First, recognize that TRYING to put a message in by force WILL result in resistance or rejection (LOL, by the nature of a teenager); therefore, the counter approach is to dump it all in their lap.

So my message to a teen is: "Ultimately, you own your own life, whatever it is. The quality you put into your life, and the quality you put out to other people, is what you will get back for yourself, in return."

I don't think they have the maturity to realize these words, but the words will stew inside them over time and ripen as experience starts to verify these words to them.

CLMI
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:48 AM
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Well, I'm thinking about all this, and i am not sure whether i will say anything. i will leave it to God. the girl is safe--her virginity intact, but with a sore heart, i am sure. still, she is better off.

God will find some way to get his point across...in the meantime, i will take a pause and let it be.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:03 AM
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You have a 15 year old son who is in rehab so admittedly has abused drugs. He lives in your home when not at rehab. You are responsible for your son and responsible for drugs in your home, if that happens. His poor choices has put you in this position.

From where I sit, all the above considered would entitle you to check whatever you want to protect yourself and your home.

That said, it might be fair to make this clear to him. Also, if what you find checking upsets you, you might want to give thought to why. Is it normal teenage "stuff", or is it something dangerous to you, your son or others because of his drug use.

Only you can decide what is right for you. As a mama, I know how much we fear for our addicted children whether 15 years old or 40.

Keeping you both in my prayers.

Hugs
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:17 AM
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ISO, when I posted I didn't see that checking his texts was part of your agreement. I just think even then it is pointless. He will delete incriminating texts as fast as they come in or go out. They are sooo good at making you see what they want you to see.

I feel sorry for the girls in my son's life too. Reading posts of GF and BF here, one cannot help but to.

You are in my thoughts often. As you say, in God's hands anything is possible.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:32 AM
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Sunshine, strange that you should say that about the deleted texts. What's strange is that he did delete all the texts related to that poor 14-year-old. But he left the texts to another girl he is "courting," as well as a few texts that implicate him in seeing the kid cross the street--who is 18. The kid came over while i was letting him smoke a cig outside. I don't think it was for long, but I don't really know. I found this out this morning when i checked his texts.

It would seem he is testing me.

So this was my plan, after paying on it: No phone or electronics today when he comes home from school. I will have to discipline him for this infraction, however small it is.

I don't want to make a big deal out of it, but he broke the rules, and he lied.

It doesn't really matter what I do. If he uses, his probation officer will find out when he tests his urine.

About the "monkey in the zoo" thing--he has a whole HUGE room upstairs, where he can choose to read, write, do art, and do his homework. He doesn't have to be on display if he doesn't want to be.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:02 AM
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Cynical one,

I have talked so much, I think it will be awhile before he opens up to me. I am willing to wait--I've got a lot of work to do on myself.

I've read many of your posts and stickies, and found them enormously helpful. I trust your judgment.

So...perhps you hve read my last post, about him bringing his using friend over. He was outside just before bed smoking a cig. I thought he was upstairs, and shut the light and locked the front door. He knocked, andn I opened it. The cig was still in his hand. He said he was playing with his hackysack. But then I read the texts this morning.

I don't have anythiing against the kid across the street--he seems like an okay kid. But he drinks--this i know. My son says he just wants to smoke cigs with him.

I personally think he DOES want recovery. He has wanted to go to a meeting every night. But I can't help but feel all this must be enormously stressful for him.

But doesn't he have to follow the rules?

Is this a small infraction, in the grand scheme of things?

I realize I just want someone here to tell me what to do. I have to begin taking responsibility for what I do, too. Guess I'll go back to praying. He comes home at around 2:45--either I let this one go, completely, or impose a one-day electronics ban.

Thanks for hanging with me on this one. I'm finding an Al-Anon sponsor tomorrow.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:13 AM
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I'm guessing he feels like he is under a microscope, and I guess in a way, he is. It sounds like you are a little too involved and know what he is doing and where he is every minute. I'm not criticizing, I'm just saying how it sounds. If you hadn't looked at his texts, would you be worrying about all this? No, because you wouldn't know about it. None of it is anything you can really do anything about anyway.

I know you're kind of on pins and needles with him just being out of rehab, but maybe you should step back a bit and give him a little breathing room. If he messes up you'll know and it won't be because you found out by snooping.
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ISOHumility View Post

Is this a small infraction, in the grand scheme of things?
What's the rule that he broke?

Smoking?
Leaving the house without your knowledge?
Smoking with the kid across the street?


As an aside, he's 15. Where does he get the $ for smokes? Who sells cigs to a minor? Is it OK for him to smoke cigs but not OK to smoke pot?
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ISOHumility View Post
I have talked so much, I think it will be awhile before he opens up to me.
I just wanted to let you know I relate to this. I used to talk (lecture) so much at my RAD when she was a teenager, that she completely shut me out once she became a legal adult. It took me a while to learn brevity and now we talk with each other
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:27 AM
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Outtolunch,

The rule he broke was smoking with the kid across the street, and lying about it when I asked him if that's what he was doing.

I let him smoke. I buy them for him as payment for doing his chores and generally following house rules. I am okay with him smoking cigs, but not pot.

When he left the rehab, i asked his counselor if i should continue the no-smoking ban. she said she doesn't condone smoking, but that you have to pick your battles. i tend to agree.
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