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Terrified grandma; advice?
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Terrified grandma; advice?

I'm new to the forum. I have a 20 year old son who is a heroine addict. His 26 y.o. girlfriend & mother of his baby is also a heroine addict. Baby is 5 months old. A few weeks ago, my son did a short subutex detox, but within a week, he went back to drugs. They've lived with me for 18 months. I've talked and talked & also paid for the subutex and the trip to the neuropsychiatrist, but my son didn't even follow the doctor's directions. I set up guidelines, like tellin them they have to go to NA meetings, but they make no effort.  They have no car, which leaves everything on me on top of working a full time job.  If they really wanted to get clean, they would be voluntarily going to meetings & even finding a ride if that's what they need.  Baby's mom thinks she has me fooled into believing my son is the only one with a serious problem, but I know better. I have to work full time and they're home everyday with the baby.  Neither will go get a job, both just keep playing me, basically. They fight and argue and act ridiculous around the baby. They get high with the baby in the house. I've wished & hoped too long & realize I must do something to protect my beautiful innocent grandbaby. I've contacted an attorney and plan on telling my son & the g.f. they have to sign custody over & leave the house or the state will intervene & take baby; one or the other. I think my son will accept this easier than the mother because this is actually the only way he will be assured of his son's safety. Mom is supposed to get a car soon & an ex-boyfriend is supposed to be getting out of jail within a week & I know that she won't think twice about running with baby, & then my son may never see his baby again. I'm hoping and praying that losing custody will motivate both of them to find help.  I've come to the conclusion that I CAN'T help.  So many people get on these forums and talk about being there for their kids, but I've tried & it only seems to enable them.  They make promises but don't keep them. They build up my hopes and then dash them back down. It's all a game & it's got to stop because it's putting baby at risk.  Are there any other grandparents out there who have gone through this? I'm really not sure what to expect from either of them when I approach them with this. I'm hoping they're cooperative, but know that anything is possible ~ including a violent outburst.  Both have been high for several days now. If I can catch my son when he's not high, I think he will be more reasonable. Best case scenario is both of them cooperating, but I think it's not likely.  I also realize that the statistics for them actually recovering are very low & that I will most likely need to retain custody of my grandchild for a long, long time; perhaps his entire life. It just rips my heart out to be put in this position.  I have to kick my son out - MY firstborn child and MY son, in order to protect HIS son.  No mother should ever have to make this decision.
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40 Comments Post a Comment
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271792_tn?1334983257
I am sorry you are going through this and have to live with active addiction.

Where are they getting the money to get high? Last time I looked..it was expensive.

You know that you are enabling the both of them to live the life style they are. If they had no other choice they may seek help. Tough love is hard, but it also saves lives, including your own. this is no way for you to live either.

I hope it all works out for you and your family. I will say a prayer for you all.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your response. That's one of the things I really don't know.  I have no idea how they get their money to get high.  I haven't noticed anything missing from my own house. I know my son leaves with one of his "friends".  I think he has one friend who is his main source and that friend has plenty of money, apparently.  I shudder to think how he may be paying for it.  Yes; please pray.  God has gotten me through so far & I know He's had His Hand of protection on my grandbaby from the moment he was conceived.  This is just so hard.............
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271792_tn?1334983257
I know sweetie. Again, I am so sorry. I also know you want to protect your son and your grandson. that is wonderful but please do not lose site of yourself.

Take care.
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333612_tn?1302886990
Stick to your guns and boot the both of them. They are old enough that they will either clean up ...or not. Either way, you can't do it for them. You need to be strong for the grandbaby. He can't protect himself and has no say in the way his life is going. You need to be his voice. Like IBKleen says, tough love is hard. It really is your only choice though.
Just take it one day at a time and protect yourself and the baby. By not enabling your son and the GF anymore you may save your son's life.
Take care and stay strong
Greebs
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your support; I need it desperately.  I know I'm doing the right thing, I just dread the whole "scene" when this all comes down.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow that was quite the story,i feel for you.You know intellectually what to do,but that doesant mean poop when it involves a loved one.You stated that you paid for the suboxone treatment,that was decent thing to do,unfortunately the son and g/f are not in the recovery mode.Its diddicult enough when all parties are on the same page.You are an excwellent grandparent and seem to be a logical choice for some form of custody.i hope the two of them can think of their child instead of their arm/nose Keep up the good work John
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52704_tn?1387024397
If you haven't already, you might try ALANON -- There will no doubt be people there who have gone through similar situations and will be able to offer good ideas.  Moreover, they are a great source of general support and Recovery for the "other side" of addiction.

I think you're doing the right thing.  And sometimes all you can do is just the next right thing, and then the next right thing after that.  If you just keep on doing the next right thing, pretty soon you and your grandson will be in the right place.

My prayers are with all of you.

CATUF
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243614_tn?1266201137
Oh Hon, do i ever feel for you and this situation you are in.  You are doing the right thing trying to watch out for your little grandson.  Please keep posting so we know what happens.  I will keep you in my prayers as well.  Maybe they both will see the light and that this baby is better off in your care and not with them while they are into the drugs.  Hang in there.  TJack
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you all.  I am a nervous wreck about all of this because I am really worried about their reaction. I'm hoping to get the paperwork today from the attorney so that I will actually have it on hand when I approach them. The timing couldn't be worse; taking their baby and booting them out 2 weeks before Christmas, but I've allowed this to go on for far too long already; every day hoping against hope and praying and praying that they're going to get better. I don't sleep at night because I hear every little noise in my house due to listening for the baby because he sleeps in his parents' bedroom. I wish I could take custody & work a plan with them.  I've gone through different scenarios and possibilities as I'm sure all of you can imagine.  At first, I thought about telling them they could live there, but my grandson would be under my constant supervision & would be going to daycare while I'm at work & telling them AGAIN they had to get jobs & get clean, or.................... etc., but I know from the past 18 months that a plan such as that would just prolong the inevitable.  They are going to continue bringing heroine into my house, undesirable "friends" who also use into my house (when I'm not home, of course), etc.  I also have a 17 y.o. daughter that I have to be concerned about & she is about at the end of her stress rope with all of this as well; not to mention the influence & the danger of it all to her.  She hates what her brother is doing.  She hates the way heroine makes him act.  He is hateful and mean to her & takes out his frustrations on her.  I'm glad I've found this forum because I have no one in my family or circle of friends who has gone through this. My family is supportive & they love my son very much & none have turned their back on him or even so much as given him a lecture, but my son hates himself & therefore thinks everyone in the family does, too.  I'm sure that's all part of the guilt he feels for not being able to kick his habit.  He's told me that when he's clean, that's when he hates himself the most?   My ex-husband is a recovering alcoholic serving a 15 year sentence.  He went to prison when my son was at a very impressionable age; just shy of being 15 y.o.  I know that my son's emotional issues behind his addiction are directly tied to his refusal to come to terms with the destruction of our family & the incarceration of his dad.  He's refused counselling in the past.  His dad is doing well in prison and despite being able to get any kind of illicit substance he wants on the inside, he is staying sober and even teaching substance abuse classes.  He has tried talking to our son, too, in phone conversations and through letters.  I completely understand at this point, though, that it is completely & totally up to my son to WANT it bad enough for himself.  I will keep you all posted. I know this is going to be a very long process & it's nice to know I've found a few friends on here.  thank you again.
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271792_tn?1334983257
Please keep in touch. You are going through a very difficult time and there is always someone here for you.

Take care of yourself.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you.  I'm trying.  Thank GOD I've never had to struggle with addiction personally.  Watching my ex-husband ruin his life with alcohol was horrible, but watching my firstborn son risking his life with this heroine addiction definitely takes its toll on my emotional well-being.  Not to mention watching what it is doing to my daughter's stress levels and knowing that even though my grandbaby is only 5 months old, he senses when things aren't good.  I need to start exercising and eating right.  Last night around 9:30, I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day.  I could stand to lose 30 pounds, but I don't want to lose it due to stress.   I'm also trying to read at night to help me wind down.  This is just the worst possible time of year for all of this to be coming to a head, but I do firmly believe in God's timing, so, I'm trying to have faith.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you thought of attending Naranon or Alanon for much needed support.    Regardless of why you son has a problem, it is still his responsibility to get help.  We  all have reason for for the baggage we carry but it is not okay to unload it on others and not take any responsbility in getting better.  You are correct to say you are enabling both of them.  I tried to help my ex-husband with his addictions and I can tell you nothing helped!  He had to learn in his own way and the hard way.  He is serving a 4 year sentence in prision.   At least now he has a chance of a better life.  One free of drugs.   I always thought it would be horrible if he ended up in jail but today, I am glad he is at least clean and not killing himself.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, I have considered going to Alanon.  My ex has tried to encourage our kids to go for several years, & he recently suggested it for me.  My mom has a friend who has also been suggesting I go ever since I left my ex 7 years ago.  I do have the meeting places & times for my community.  I'm hoping and praying I can get my son & his girlfriend out & then settle into a more relaxed routine with the baby & start taking better care of myself, my grandson, AND my daughter.  I'm hoping to get her to agree to go to meetings with me.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, & I agree that prison can be a life saver.  I truly believe it saved my ex's life.  Had he not been put behind bars, he would've either drank himself to death, had some kind of accident, or been murdered by someone else for stupid things he did while he was drunk.  He's been in for a little over 5 years & will probably serve another 3 & I'm sure I would shudder to know all of the things he's been through inside, but at least he's alive & healthy now & has a good reason to get out and lead a sober life.  
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352798_tn?1343321200
Oh I feel for you. You are definitely caught between a rock and a hard place! Tough love is the way to go. It seems you are already taking the right course of action. If there is one common thread here it is....unless they desire and choose to get free from these drugs. They won't! It is the nature of addiction. There is lots of help and info here for you (and them). It is time to take action, both for your grand baby AND your daughter! You don't want that kind of influence around your home. Heroin is very illegal. Have you thought of the consequences of a police arrest in your home. This could cause you quite a problem since it is your house. I am praying for you.
Stay connected with us here. There is a lot of support here for you. Good Luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes; I have a fear of the police coming in because of my son & his g.f.'s drug use. Even though they have both been clearly instructed that they better not have that **** in my house, I know I'd probably still be in big trouble if there were an arrest.  That's why I have to make a move NOW, before anything like that happens.  Many of my family members, friends, and my fiance', have been worried sick about that happening, or about my son getting involved with a bad drug deal & someone ending up breaking down my front door with a gun.  It's just so hard for me to understand how my son can deny the risks he is imposing on our home; not to mention on his own precious baby.  I guess his brain is so messed up from the heroine that he just doesn't think clearly.
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352798_tn?1343321200
Stick to your decisions. I am sorry that it had to come to this. Tough love is hard. I assure you that you are making the right decision. You have to look after your daughter & yourself! Stay in touch. We are here for you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, I took my son out by himself last night & talked to him about what's been going on.  I told him I wanted him to sign custody over of my grandbaby & told him that another couple has been considering calling DCFS.  Talked about their drug use & how concerned I am for baby's safety & how concerned I am that when baby's Mom gets that car from her Mom that she'll run off with my grandson the first time she gets p.o.  off at him.  He told me there was no way his g.f. would give me custody of the baby & that she'd be on the phone with her Mom & they'd be gone by morning.  He asked me to please just give him the opportunity to talk to her & convince her that they needed to get clean or sign custody over.  He said if I gave her an ultimatum like "sign him over tonight or the State will come in tomorrow", that she would run with him for sure.  He asked me to give them random drug tests to prove they're staying off drugs before I move forward with my plan.  We talked some about why he keeps using & I told him he needs to stop keeping things bottled up & needs to talk about what's going on & needs to deal with the **** that happened with his Dad & put it behind him.  He talked about hating himself for believing his Dad & wanting to go live with him & backing his Dad instead of me & I told him that yes; that hurt me very much, worse than the divorce, but that that is behind us & we have to forget about that **** and move on.  I've been reading more about children of prisoners and one of the common issues kids have is self-loathing & horrible self esteem.  I talked to the g.f. when we got back home & told her that I'm concerned for baby's safety & told her that neither of them take care of him right when they're high & that it cannot continue because he is going to end up getting hurt.  I told her that if she ever saw ME walking around high with that baby, she'd be mad & that I wish she could see herself when she's like that.  I told her that if they didn't both get clean that they were going to lose custody of the baby & told her that I was going to start giving them random drug tests to make them accountable.  I found a website that has reasonable tests.  She wasn't high yesterday, but my son was.  I hate myself for not sticking to my guns with the original plan, but I will also hate myself if she takes off with that baby and we lose contact with him.  He won't be in any less danger if she leaves with him; he'll probably be in more.  I've seen what can happen when your kids get caught up "in the system".  Stupid St. Louis County courts gave my ex, who had been accused of 4 counts of serious offenses against a 12 y.o. neighbor girl, unsupervised visitation with my kids.  My son's g.f.  has a sister who ran off with guys she met at some concert and now she lives somewhere far away - like Colorado or something.  If g.f.  called one of them & had someone meet her somewhere or come and pick her up, God only knows how we'd ever find my grandbaby again.  At least now, I'm there to monitor what's going on every day, although not 24/7, & my daughter is there to also help with the baby.  What if the state intervenes and he ends up in one of those foster homes you see about on the news where the parents are in it for the money and neglect or abuse the kid themselves!???  That one couple had their dozen kids sleeping in cages & it went on for years before it was ever brought out.  All of this is just taking its toll and making me sick inside. I have GOT to start going to some Al-Anon meetings.  My fiance' is going to be so frustrated & mad at me for not sticking to my guns, but he just doesn't understand how afraid I am of my decision taking a tragic turn for the worse.  I feel like I'm in a catch-22; probably because I am.  
Anyway, I'll be ordering those drug tests from the internet & will be administering them in a couple of weeks.  I figure it will take that long for the **** to get out of their systems. G.F. told me she WANTS to work & that as soon as she gets that car from her Mom that she'll be going out putting in applications all over the place. She said she's tired of sitting in the house all the time & she thinks that's why she's so depressed & so crabby.   I've been concerned about her getting a car & taking off, but I guess if that was really her plan, she would've gone back to her Mom's already so she could have the car sooner & do it.  I guess I will, unfortunately, always have that hanging over my head, because she's the mother & she can leave whenever she wants & I can't stop her.  
I'm really beginning to wonder if I'll ever, ever, ever really be able to relax & enjoy my life & experience Peace again.  I feel like an idiot because I reach out to friends & family & let them know what's going on & talk to them (like all of you) about a plan I have & how determined I am to follow through with it, and then something changes my resolve (usually fear) & then I just feel like a failure & an idiot, but I find myself continually choosing the lesser of many evils to the best of my ability & sometimes that seems to change from day to day.  
Well, I just thought I'd give you an update after the posts I sent out yesterday.  If you think I'm nuts, I don't blame you.  I'm beginning to wonder myself.  I'm hoping I got through to them this time that I'm not playing games & that they're dangerously close to losing their baby, but I've learned not to get my hopes up about anything.  One thing is for sure, loving a drug addict really takes its toll on your faith, even when you think you're a strong Christian.  Thanks for listening.  

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Avatar_f_tn
your post just made me realize what i've done to my own mother....she,like u is a very strong woman but recently ive really brought her down...she thinks my addiction was her fault....even though it wasnt....as a mother myself i can understand why she'd fel that way....thanks for your post ...it lets us see how our  addictions affect the people who love us so much.......thank u
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, if sharing my heart wrenching experiences can help anyone who is struggling with addiction understand what the people who love them are going through because of their addiction, perhaps I've made some small contribution.  My son is only 20 years old, though, & his baby is only 5 months & I don't think he has a clue what I'm going through as his Mom.  He only sees his own pain & his own struggle.  I love my son so much & I love his baby just as much & I love his g.f., too.  I've tried to get him to understand that I don't WANT to take his baby from him.  I'm 41 years old & don't have some overwhelming desire to raise another child at this point.  I'd love nothing more than to just enjoy being what I am - GRANDMA.  I raised 3 kids & it wasn't easy then & I know it's even harder now, especially if you throw in issues like "mommy & daddy are both drug addicts so I have to live with my grandma" & all of the psychological attachments with that on a child.  I want them both to be healthy & of a sound, clean, sober mind.  I want them to have their own home & be able to go visit my grandson or go pick him up and take him somewhere for the day or have him spend the night or the weekend and then take him back to his parents' loving, capable, open arms.  I am so afraid of making the wrong decision & also very tired of being the one who seemingly has to make all of the tough decisions.  There is overwhelming stress added by people who love ME and are worried about me & feel like I'm not making the right decisions.  It's so easy to stand on the outside when it's not YOUR child and say, "I'd just kick him out".  The people feeling that way have never worried that making that decision could backfire & make matters worse; that making that decision could cause more harm to THEIR grandbaby than a possible alternative.  Most of the people around me who get frustrated with me for not sticking to my guns or for not making the decisions they think I should are people who've NEVER had an addicted child & have never had a grandchild in the same situation mine is in.  Sometimes, I think I need to just STOP sharing any of my plans or any of my information with anyone on the outside because doing so actually only adds to my stress when the plan gets altered.  I know, I'm rambling.  Maybe I need to be on another thread with other parents?? Thank all of you for the support you've given me the past few days.  For those out there who pray; please keep me and my family in mind.  
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Avatar_f_tn
i wish my mom could get on here and talk to u....yeah i think u should maybe not share much with these people who love u....sounds like they r kinda judgemental...maybe u should just get on here and vent or do whatever u need to do.....do u feel like its your fault?   im asking this because my mom thinks its her fault that i WAS an addict (she just found out like 2 weeks ago) and if u do  what could ur son do or say toprove its not?   if your thinking its your fault all i can say is it isnt....i wish i knew what to tell my mom to make her feel better.....im sorry for your situation i feel for u greatly....im praying for u and your family.....god bless u
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, I told my boss & he wasn't too judgmental.  He just said, "well, hopefully they understand that you're serious & this will be the wake-up call for them"  My brother just called & I told him a very short version of my change in plans (drug testing them & giving them another chance) & he didn't seem too judgmental.  My biggest worry is how my fiance' is going to react.  He's been wanting me to kick my son out for a long time & he gets tired of watching me being hurt & the stress of all of this really does put a strain on our relationship.  I'm just hoping he doesn't make me feel worse when I tell him tonight.  I'm really dreading it.  He can't help the way he feels.  He worries about me & wants to protect me from my son hurting me over and over and over again, but at the same time, he doesn't love my son the way I do & doesn't have the same connection, the same concerns, the same worries.  It's so hard to explain.  I didn't tell him until the last minute about my plan to ask the kids to sign over custody and I was SO adament that I was going to follow through with this.  Now, I just wish I never would've told him because he's going to feel like this is just one more threat I've failed to follow through on.  
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352798_tn?1343321200
I read your post & do not envy your position. You seem to have a very good handle on it. I like your levelheadedness. I will be praying for you and the entire family and situation. I also read your new profile. Very tough place they have put you in. If you ever need more direct talk or prayer, please email(send message) I need to go now. Keep us all posted.
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356054_tn?1218556075
That is one tough battle you have going on there. I too am now a grandparent and it took my daughter getting pregnant to get clean and I'm so proud of her for doing it. She was bad,hooked on crystal meth and anything else she could get her hands on. I found 7 can of glade in her room onetime. I'm like what the hell is all this glade for,well she was huffing it to get high. I'm lucky that she was smart enough to quit when she got pregnant and hasn't relapsed. Seems though that it runs in the family. Like father like daughter. I really hope things work out for you. Heroin is not an easy drug to quit (never did it) i've heard the horror stories. Sure wish there was more we could do for you. God has a way of making things work out though.
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228686_tn?1211558307
Be very careful. I've been talking to someone else in your exact situation who moved to get custody of her child's child. The whole situation blew up in her face (mostly at that point I was trying to prepare her from a legal perspective of what to expect and prepare for, what to be sure the lawyer is doing, etc..).

It's probably a good idea to put off using the lawyers and the system as long as possible. Once unleashed, the legal system can be an uncontrolled beast, wrecking havoc in the lives of all involved indiscriminately.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes; believe me, I have that fear & feel like I'm treading water & barely staying afloat because none of my options are "safe".  I just hate it that I will always have the fear of my son's g.f. taking off with baby.  I've supported them for nearly 2 years & they still live with me and I am SO attached to my beautiful grandson.  She gets ticked off at my son and threatens to take the baby all the time & it just makes me so mad & scares the **** out of me.  It's so bad, them both being addicts, because they both blame each other for everything & neither of them will take responsibilitiy for their own behavior.  Both of them are so stupid, though, that they just don't get it that other people in town are starting to talk & that if they don't make a major change NOW, it's just a matter of time before someone makes a call & DCFS comes knocking on our door.  Too many people are becoming alarmed & concerned for baby's safety.  I don't think the g.f.'s mom is really in touch with how serious her daughter's addiction is.  I think she puts all the responsibility and blame on my son, who is 6 years YOUNGER than her daughter.  They are both addicts.  I have a fear of g.f. running to her Mom & playing the "he's such an addict & he's a bad father" game & then Mom buying into it & sitting back and watching the g.f. hook up with some other drug addict (which I'm very convinced she will do) & dragging my grandson off to live with a stranger who would be even more dangerous to him.  

This seems like one of those "dammed if you do and dammed if you don't" situations & I've had way too many of these in my life.  I would like to think that this would be a wake-up call for them, but I have, sadly, lost faith in anything waking them up.  They are still in denial about how bad (or risky) their parenting is when they're high.  Not only is their parenting an issue, both of them have been sponging off me for over a year & a half & neither are working, but keep promising to get jobs.  So, what do I do?  Kick them out and lose track of my grandson?  They know how attached I am to him and know I don't want to lose him, so they continue to take advantage of me.  

I am definitely in a catch-22.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, and this didn't go over well with my fiance', just like I expected.  He gets so upset because he feels like I don't stick to my guns and I just keep allowing them to walk all over me and continue taking advantage of me, and he's RIGHT.  They are.  They do.  Everything he tells me is true, he just doesn't understand all of the things involved like he would if my son were HIS flesh and blood and my grandson was HIS flesh and blood.  He doesn't understand the fear of losing one or both of them because he doesn't have that bond; that connection; those parental feelings you get when you ARE connected.  It really does put a damper on our relationship, which is just one MORE aspect of all of this that is unfair to me.  My son just doesn't get how full-circle this issue is & how deeply it affects every single aspect of my life.  He is SO selfish, and so is his girlfriend.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't think you're nuts, because I have seen my grandmother bail my father out and give him too many chances.  The love of a mother is strong, and it is hard to show tough love.  It is great if they are serious about getting clean, and if they really know that you are serious.  But if they screw up one more time, you have options.  I work for DYFS, and I can tell you that one call to them gets an investigator to the house immediately.  No one will have a chance to run.  However, they have to see something substantial in order to intervene.  You don't want to run the risk of them not seeing anything significant enough to remove the children, then leaving, and your son's g.f. being able to take the kid and run.  If the environment was deemed unsafe for the child, relatives are given priority in adopting them.  Placement in foster care is a last resort.  However, the case worker has to see that you can provide an immaculate living environment, and the offending parents cannot be living with you.  These are the things you will need to have in place if this goes down.  You will need to get them out of the house first.  Then make the call to have the child removed.  Going to court may not even be necessary.  When my half brother and sister were taken from my father and his wife, my grandmother got the call the next day that said, "Congratulations, you have yourself two kids."  DYFS is the only agency authorized to remove children without a court order.  They have a lot of power, so you want to make sure that you make it clear to the investigator that you want the children.  Subsequently, you want to show your caseworker that being in your home is in the best interest of the child.  Just wanted to give some advice from a legal perspective!  Good luck,
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228686_tn?1211558307
This is why I don't talk to my family anymore. to much stress. Give me a banzai tree, my navel, and the possibility of enlightment through` solitude anyday.  :)

Seriously, it looks like you may have to do the lawyer thing. If he's a good lawyer, he'll warn you that CPS workers will normally assume EVERYONE is at fault and will not hesitate to lie to you to get the information they require to pull the child out of the family entirely and place them in fosterage. Remember, they will interview both sides and you know how THAT goes.

That said, what about getting your son to agree to an order of visitation on your behalf? It would avoid all the unpleasantness and lock the mother in the position of not being allowed legally to leave the immediate area with the grandchild. I'd say have him do it on HIS behalf, but he'd have to be ready to accept she's willing to run off with his child, which I doubt he is.
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Avatar_m_tn
I live in St louis too, and it seems to me maybe a simple way for you and you son is to go get a restraing order. that will give him custodyplus the time for you to get you case ready for a battle if that is what is in store. Plus th gf will know how serios you are about this babys safety. all you have to do is go to clayton and the courthousr ask to talk to the court clerk and explain your situation and they will walk you thru it from there. Good luck and remember god never puts no more on us than we can bare to manage.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, there really wouldn't be a legitimate reason for my son to be involved in getting a restraining order against the mother because my son is high as often, if not more often, than his g.f. is.  Neither of them have ever done anything to hurt the baby or given me any reason to think they would intentionally hurt him.  I'm afraid they will accidentally hurt him when they're high.  As far as the St. Louis County courts go, I don't have much faith in them.  I got my divorce there and the stupid GAL appointed my kids gave their Dad unsupervised visitation with them even though he had been accused of 4 VERY SERIOUS charges against a 12 y.o. girl.  He's in prison now for those charges.  The STL courts did NOT protect my kids.  That's all part of this whole scenario.  There are risks no matter what avenue I consider taking.  I just need God to give me a crystal clear answer, but I know it doesn't usually work that way.  
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Avatar_f_tn
What is an order of visitation on my behalf  (or my son's) & how would it lock the mother into not being able to leave?  These young men who father children with girlfriends don't ever stop and think just how powerless they're going to be if the mother decides to up and take off with their child.  
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Avatar_f_tn
" However, they have to see something substantial in order to intervene.  You don't want to run the risk of them not seeing anything significant enough to remove the children, then leaving, and your son's g.f. being able to take the kid and run."  

Believe me, this is one of my biggest fears.

When you say they have to see something substantial, could that include looking at mom &/or dad & being able to tell they were high?  If a DCFS worker came in and suspected the parent(s) were high, could they force them to do a drug test or would they have to get a court order?  Since they live with me, I'm afraid if I got the wrong caseworker, they might say that I knew all along the parents were using drugs, so I'm just as negligent as they are, even though I've been trying all along to get them to stop using.  
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Avatar_n_tn
YES DCF WOULD DEF. FORCE THEM TO TAKE A DRUG TEST IF YOU TOLD THEM THE SITUATION EVEN IF THEY DIDN'T SEE THEM HIGH.....THE ONLY PROB WITH THAT....IS THEY MIGHT TAKE THE BABY AWAY FROM THEM FOR A WHILE BUT THEN AGAIN IT WOULD DEF. GIVE YOU THE OPPURTUNITY TO TAKE CUSTODY BCUZ YOU COULD TALK TO THEM AND THEY WOULD CHECK YOU OUT AND YOU SEEM LIKE A GOOD PERSON FOR THAT....SO IT COULD BE A GOOD THING TO DO THAT!!! GOOD LUCK!!
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228686_tn?1211558307
Order of visitation (limiting parental residency) is used usually in divorce cases. It states that the the parent in possession of the child cannot move out of the immediate area since it would deprive the right of the other parent of their visitation rights.

It can be applied (depending on state, I believe) to additional guardians of the child who have a vested interest/relationship in the child's upbringing. Usually it means (in this case) the mother would have to stay within (traditionally) a maximum of one day's worth of travel. It also requires the mother to keep the party with visitation rights informed of her residency. Any violation of this generally means forcing the mother to remain in he locale of the other parent or transference of custody of the child to the other parent and arrest and incarceration of the offending parent.

The problem is twofold; either proving that you're a legally acknowledged interested party, or getting your son to acknowledge the danger of her running and agreeing to file such a motion on his own behalf.

This would be something to discuss with the lawyer. Generally it would be shown you were an alternate guardian if you were seriously involved in the child's life, but you tend to need a paper trail showing you'd done the purchasing of standard needs (food & clothing) for the child, papers showing you dealt with the enrollment of the child in school, took care of it's medical needs/visits (etc...).

It's easier to do (well, sometimes) than seizing guardianship. You don't need to prove the burden of neglect on the parent's part, although it is implied. You also can hopefully avoid the involvement of CPS.
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Avatar_n_tn
DCFS doesn't really need a court order to do anything.  For example, if we got a call that a child was being neglected or abused and we got to the house and saw that they had no electricity, or the kid was sleeping on the floor, we would take them right there.  In my brother and sister's case, my Grandmother called DYFS because my father and step-mother were on heroin.  DCF came and took the children and told her two weeks later that she would have to take them.  She got custody because the case worker saw that she was a good person who could provide a healthy living environment.  I don't know how St. Louis is, I live in New Jersey.  What we would do if we got to a house and there was no physical evidence, such as spoons and drug tools, we would order a CADC evaluation immediately, which would involve a drug test.  The tests coming back positive would be enough to take the child.  More than likely, he would have to stay with a resource family until the judge granted custody, and your son and his gf would have to be kicked out of your house.  The courts would put them through all kinds of treatment, counseling, and testing, so you would win that way too!  Of course, I think this should be a last resort if they can't get off drugs and straighten out themselves.  They have one more chance, and make that clear to them.  If they don't get better, then tell them they can either give you custody the easy way, without a fight, or the hard way where they will probably go to jail.
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228686_tn?1211558307
Yeees...that's a very positive interpretation of what they're supposed to do. But people should be aware that there's how the law reads, and how it's enforced. The two can be VASTLY different.

I'm not saying this doesn't happen, but you have to remember you're dealing with overloaded case workers who are usually jaded and quick to make a judgement. These workers also have their own belief systems and prejudices and while it's assumed they are fair and impartial, it's often not the case.

But...you work with what you've got. Right?

I'm curious, say you have a case of supposed prescription drug abuse with a legitimate prescription. Signs of possible neglect, but nothing concrete and clear cut. What would DCFS do in this case (assuming they investigate and find a normal, somewhat dysfunctional home. :)  )
I get the impression you work with DCFS from what you say, if I'm wrong, ignore the question, or feel free to put in two cents. That's what we all do, after all!
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Avatar_n_tn
I know, you're absolutely right.  Not all case workers are like me, and most of them ARE overloaded.  In New Jersey, the division has been going through some serious renovations and reworking, due to several negative things that have occured in the past.  There are now limits on case loads and more staff, and things like that.  KK, why don't you do a Google search on DCF involvement in your city... see if anything comes up on the statistics or any horror stories.  Maybe they have had the same problems and are going through the same changes.  I will also look into it.  Sav, I'm pretty sure that for prescription drug abuse with a legit script (meaning in the eyes of the law, you are allowed to have it), there would have to be some overwhelming evidence of neglect.  If there was only possible neglect, and the home was normal as you say, the first step is always intervention and setting up the parents with services.  A case plan, implementation of goals, parenting classes, anger management, drug counseling, financial assistance if the neglect is a result of financial problems... anything relating to the neglect.  Without signs of physical abuse, or neglect that is REALLY bad, (such as leaving children alone, or not feeding them), there are usually a few interventions before children are removed.  
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228686_tn?1211558307
That IS better. it sounds like they're starting to get a handle on things in NJ (I've heard some of the horror stories...not that NYC is winning any prizes! )

Of course, NOW they need to budget for more caseworkers. How about we vote on a 15% salary cut for state officials (gov., supreme court, DA, etc) to cover the cost??!!  I'm sure they're noble enough to go for it! :)

...and  I had a feeling you'd say that to my question. I've been trying to decide if that's a good or bad thing. I'm on the fence with it. Thanks for answering the totally unrelated theoretical question.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dearest Grandma,  Your Son & Daughter-in-Law have no idea what you are doing for them!! They are so fortunate to have you I just hope they realise that!!  This is very difficult, and no I do not blame you for letting them stay as they do have a place to live and you are able to keep an eye on the baby. Would they consider some Family Counseling?  I hope that you will seek some Legal Counsel, just to get an idea of what your rights are, I would not call the DFS in unless you see abuse of the baby. Perhaps you could  tell your Son to be a real Man and get a job so that he can pay his share of the bills,  he needs to be told that he is taking advantage of you!!  Perhaps you could tell him that he will owe you X amount as of this date for his share?? It would be good if  your Son & his Wife could be seen by an addiction specialist, you mentioned that he did a Suboxone Taper?  Since he is back to doing the same thing perhaps he needs a more long term treatment with it, at least that would be better than him bringing illegal drugs into your home and associating with the people that have them. Perhaps they both would take it ? Does your Son have any type of Insurance?  I am just trying to think of things that  he might do to avoid having an illegal element in your home.       You  and your Family are in my Prayers, I pray that G d gives you the wisdom to know what to do.   Take Care,     r      
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Avatar_f_tn
Believe me, I've been telling them they HAVE to get jobs & I've been telling them how difficult a time I'm having keeping up with the bills.  My son had a couple of jobs for short periods of time.  He worked at Jack in the Box for a couple of months, then quit and worked at Denny's for maybe a month & lost that because he was always calling off or his car was giving him trouble, then went to DQ and lost that job because some jerk kid was harrassing him up there (THAT actually wasn't his fault; the kid was no associate of my son's in any way.  My son stood up to him when he came over to my house starting trouble with my daughter's b.f. & he didn't like it)  He's a H.S. drop out and I ordered him test booklet study guides for the GED, but he went through one of them, failed it, got discouraged, and has never picked them back up.  Now he's attempting to get on at another restaurant in town.  Waiting tables or cooking or washing dishes is all either of them will be able to do because most other places drug test.  The g.f. has some limited experience in retail, but says that doesn't pay enough.  My son had a checking account back when he had a job, but he overdrew it and then just let the charges start wracking up on it day after day after day after day.  Didn't even call to ask anyone to close the account.  Won't talk to anyone from teh bank when they call the house.  They also gave him a $500 line of credit (God only knows why they went and did that), which he, of course, used up, and he now owes that, too, in addition to all of the penalities he's incurring because he isn't making any payments.  He didn't take care of his car (did no maintenance on it whatsoever), so that blew up & now he has no transportation.  I could tell him he owes me a certain amount, but he won't honor it.  He has NO honor at this point & no concern for anyone else's trials or burdens but his OWN.  And my son isn't married to his baby's mother.  She's 6 years older than him, too.  He did recently, somehow, get a medicaid card.  I spent $300 getting him to that doctor and then getting his first prescription for Subutex.  I'm on a VERY limited income.  I bring home about $25,000 a year and am supporting 5 people on that.  Of course, everything goes by your gross income when it comes to getting any help and I'm always just barely over the cut off.  As far as getting help, I honestly feel that until they go out and seek it for THEMSELVES, it's not going to "stick", or last.  Thank you for your kind words.  All of the support is helpful.
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Avatar_f_tn
You both bring up alot of good points & confirm my hopes & fears.  I would "hope" that if it comes down to DCFS getting called in, they would do drug tests & then work up some kind of case plan for the kids - pushing them into counselling and rehab and parenting classes, etc., but on the flip side of the coin, I fear getting an overloaded caseworker & things NOT going in my favor / the baby's favor.  You can read my journal to see how things went yesterday.  
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