We had a short meeting with the Probation Officer the day after he was released from the psych unit. He was informed of his right to have an attorney, of the charges against him, and of what to expect when he had his court hearing. He was told that he needed to be enrolled in school by the time of his hearing. The therapist at the psych unit also wrote a letter to the school stating that it was in our son's best mental health interest to be enrolled as soon as possible.
We went to the High School and met with his counselor. This counselor had worked with us during his sophomore year. He rarely took advantage of anything that she tried to do for him. And, since he had switched schools, going to the school meant to help students who struggle, and hadn’t made an effort to succeed there, she didn’t seem very excited to see him back at her school. She told us that it was too late in the quarter to earn any credit and that we should wait until the next quarter started. I said, “There are quite a few reasons that he needs to be in school, but in particular, he is going to appear in court in a few weeks and the Probation Officer wants him to be enrolled in school by then.” When she heard that, she left the room to go talk to the Vice Principal.
As soon as we were alone in her office, my son exclaimed, “I am not going to go to school if I can’t get any credit! That is really stupid.”
As if it was smart to purposely fail all of his classes during the previous two quarters at school.
The V.P. tried to tell my son how important it was to take advantage of the educational opportunity that he was being given and of how essential it was to have a diploma. But, the only thing that my son could concentrate on was the fact that he wasn’t going to earn any credit during the rest of the quarter. As time went on he just got more and more angry.
On our way back to the counselor’s office, my son told me that that he was re-thinking this whole going to school thing.
As if he had a choice.
He still thought he should be in total control of his life, even though all of his decisions lately had led to losing most of his free agency.
After the schedule was set up, it was time for the last class period of the day to start. The counselor told him to head to class and he said, “No, I am starting school on Monday.”
She informed him that he was officially registered and from that moment on, he would be marked absent if he missed a class. He still refused. She went to get the Vice Principal and while she was gone, he turned on me, f-bombing me, and accusing me of setting him up to have to stay at school for the rest of the day.
That is what happens to me in almost every situation with him that he doesn’t like. I am blamed for things that I don’t even do or say. Even after the Vice Principal talked to him, he would not go to his class. He did not care whether he was marked absent or not.
He was still upset that afternoon when the DCFS therapist came to see how things were going. Of course, the topic of school came up. Our son told him that he was going back on Monday, but that it was a waste of time. The therapist pointed out that part of school is socializing and making friends and that would be good for him to start doing.
Our son stated, “I won’t be socializing or making friends. I will go to school. I will come right home. I won’t have any friends. I will have nothing in my life until I can move out in 18 months.”
I wanted to know why he thought he couldn’t make friends and socialize.
His angrily answered, “You will never like my friends. You have never liked my friends. The only friends I will have are friends who smoke pot. Those are the people that I like. And since that is not going to change, you won’t like my friends, and I will never be able to have any.”
That was unfair of him to say because I did like most of his friends quite a bit until they started smoking pot with him. Then, I was just as disappointed in them as I was in my own son. I told him that I didn’t want to fight with him about whether he could make good non-drug using friends or not.
His answer to that was, “I am not fighting with you, but if you want to fight, we sure as hell can fight. I am ready.”
The DCFS therapist told him that I didn't mean I wanted to fight, that I meant it wasn't something we should be arguing about and he tried to diffuse the situation. It was futile. As usual, once my son gets the feeling that he has been wronged in some way, he won't let it go.
I hoped that maybe after 10 days in the psych unit, and with all of this family therapy we were having, that we could start to get along better. But, it seemed to me that my son was going to continue to be angry at me, my husband, and everyone and everything that dared to interfere with his life plan--to move out and start smoking pot again without having to live by anyone’s rules.
He was just biding his time until then.