Dear Sir or Madaam;
I don't know where to turn. Fourteen years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful, loving, playful baby boy. I love him so much that I would die for him. His father and I parted ways when he was only two and an insideous custody battle ensued for the next ten years. The courts kept awarding me full custody, and his father kept appealing over and over. He forced both of us into bankruptcy. I am just now getting back on my feet and going back to school, hopefully to be a veterinarian. His father, meanwhile, has taken the downward spiral into alcoholism and nearly died a few years ago because he got sick and went into DTs. He is slowly killing himself. My son is not the sweet little boy he used to be. I feel like he hates me. I try to let him take part in his dad's life as much as I can, but it is hard sometimes because I don't want to let him go to his house if I know he is drunk. In the past few years, my son has turned into a trickster, a deceiver, a bully and a thief. He was taken money from his siblings and step siblings, talks back to me and my husband, refuses to obey orders, argues when asked to do something and refuses to accept responsibility and/or consequences. Last night, he shut his three year old baby brother in the basement, in the dark. I heard him screaming and pounding on the door and darted into the kitchen to find my 14 yr old son holding the door closed. I pushed him out of the way and got my son out of the basement. He also had a bruise on his arm and on his forehead, I assume he shut the door on his face and/or arm. A physical battle ensued and police were contacted. I suffered a deep bruise on my forearm. In the past we have sought counseling, but we have local laws that require both parents permission and his dad is not cooperating. What can I do?
It goes without saying that professional intervention is required. Without it your son will likely continue to deteriorate. You may need to approach the court to resolve the issue of your having the prerogative to arrange help.
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