Going off the Derech

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  • #1181771
    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-No. But he also called.

    popa-bar-abba-if you read this thread, you wouldn’t ask that question.

    M.O.C-He doesn’t steal alcohol. I caught him taking from our cabinet a few times. I can’t reiterate all the details of where he is holding, but it seems from your post, that you haven’t been following the thread consistently, and perhaps “pop in” every once in a while (we live in Israel). But that’s okay! Just realize, I can’t update you every time you pop in. It’s too long, involved, and depressing..

    #1181772
    mom12
    Participant

    wow- A gitte voch to you and to everyone else here…

    what did your son do at home all shabbos? was there yelling all shobbos long?

    Is this the first time one of his maggidei shiur reached out to him?

    I hope this is one that could be mashpia on him.

    My son had a kitta vov melamed that he is still on good terms with, my son calls him every so often.. dont know why, but he is a good person to be in touch with..

    my son is also in the alcohol mishigaas he admits that it makes him feel ‘better’ he doesnt ‘have’ all those issues for the hour or so.

    He is not mammesh drunk but rather on a high. and not thinking straight.

    looks like stopped the alcohol for a now.. who knows how long it will last..

    He started asking questions about marijuana.. I am nor what to think.. he says he did not smoke it but his friends do and..

    he is just ‘curious’..I’m NERVOUS. I told him it would really upset me if he started smokng. who knows if he will listen to me. he usually does not- unless he wants to- lol.

    oy! vus vett zein?

    #1181773
    Pirate
    Member

    Its not easy to get a teen to go to a councilor willingly because the teen probably feels that they are a normal and going to a councilor would be bad for his social standing if anyone would find out.

    I’m not exactly sure why you want him to go to a councilor, but if you want him to go to repair your relationship with him then try telling you that he is doing you a favor by going with you. If you want him to talk to a councilor about remaining religious, then I’d suggest having a rabbi/rav who is close to him go over to him and talk to him.

    #1181774
    interjection
    Participant

    mom12: “my son is also in the alcohol mishigaas he admits that it makes him feel ‘better’ he doesnt ‘have’ all those issues for the hour or so.”

    An addiction begins when a person realizes that something external can make him feel better. Even if he’s not actually getting drunk, he is setting on a dangerous path toward substance reliance. Also, alcohol is physically addictive while marijuana is not.

    “He started asking questions about marijuana.. he is just ‘curious’..I’m NERVOUS. I told him it would really upset me if he started smokng. who knows if he will listen to me.”

    You should do some research on these subjects instead of just relying on hearsay. You cannot preach about the unknown. Marijuana is not what you need be afraid of but it’s what they call a gateway drug; that once a person does marijuana they are more open to trying other, more harmful, substances. And a lot more teenagers do smoke marijuana than you think…

    You say he is curious. The fear is that it frequently does not stop at marijuana. I’m going to bet that he does not know nor care about the dangers of marijuana. If it really is curiosity, what’s to say he won’t try others because of the same curiosity.

    I stress again: DO RESEARCH! The drug speech worked for me, but only because my ‘greasy’, yeshivish dad was able to speak my language and came to me with actual facts and logic. I strongly suggest you do a lot of reading up and talking to professionals and only afterward you have something concrete to say, should you have a heart to heart with him. At least if he’s going to make dumb choices, he should know what he’s setting himself up for.

    #1181775
    BRAINFREEZE
    Participant

    WOW–

    When I said “family doctor” I understood that it meant doctors in your family, not family practitioners, but thanks for clarifying.

    I continue to suggest that your son might be bipolar because I believe it is a highly underdiagnosed condition that is extremely prevelant in the ‘going off the derech’ crowd. You may know that psychiatrists believe around 10% of the population suffers from some form of a mood disorder, even though many of those are mild enough that they are able to function normally. To suggest that a troubled, out of control, teenager that has strayed far from the path that his parents and rebbeim set forth for him may very well be suffering from such a disorder is very much reasonable.

    True psychologists and social workers see patients who are bipolar, but how often are they the ones to make that diagnosis to begin with? Very rarely. Don’t bank on their silence as assurance that your son doesn’t have it.

    We’re obviously butting heads here. I’m trying to see things from your perspective, but the facts keep getting in the way. The fact is that most children in the asbsense of trauma, abuse and neglect don’t deteriorate the way your son has unless there is an underlying mental issue. More importantly, the fact is that mood disorders are too destructive in a persons life to miss, so ruling them out in a situation like this one is imperative. The fact, forgive me, is that you are running away from perfectly sound advice–everyone agrees that self-destructive behaviour should, at the very least once, be looked at by a psychiatrist! I’m not asking you go to a fortune teller, bow down to an idol, or have a kumzitz on the roof; this is sound, reasonable advice on every level. You admit he’s depressed, but deny the possibility of a medical mood disorder?! This makes sense?

    I know what the DSM IV is and am glad that you do too.

    I would like, at this point, to thank you for dealing with me respectfully, even though we clearly don’t see eye to eye. I know I’ve been a little abrasive, but it’s only because I care and I don’t wish to sugar coat everything.

    Best and thank you.

    #1181776
    mom12
    Participant

    interjection- thank you. I do agree with you and started doing some h.w.. I have not told him anything yet bec I don know what to say yet. I hope to become somwhat more knowledgeable and then speak with him.

    I just hope he doesnt do anything ‘dumb’ till then. Thanx

    #1181777
    write or wrong
    Participant

    mom12-My son slept most of Shabbos, and read a book. But he was very angry with us, and made sure everyone knew it. It is the first time the RY and his Rav reached out to him, but unfortunately, a bit too late. My son is not interested in learning anymore. They tried to get him to consider a low pressure yeshiva, but my son is basically black-mailing us with so many demands, that it doesn’t seem reasonable. Also, his thinking is so outside of a Torah way of life these days, that I can’t imagine it would last even if he went. I hear your worries! Maybe the kita vav Rav should call more often, maybe it will keep him out of ‘trouble’.

    Will someone please wake me up from this nightmare..

    #1181778
    M.O. Chossid
    Member

    Actually, you mentioned you HAD lived in Israel- thats what I’m saying, every time I come, a new idea pops up. I try to read all the posts, but only skim through the ones who post the most.

    #1181779
    M.O. Chossid
    Member

    First of all, from what I read – do not assume he is even thinking about marijuana-

    So, I’m going to clarify you some things I read.

    He was there on shabbos- so, he still comes home.

    If he sleeps all day- thats normal, most guys do at that age!

    Especially in the summer.

    I may just pop in time to time- but it seems there is more to it every time. I know it’s hard.

    But, just let me say this- which I mentioned before. Try not to let it take control over you. Thats the worst you can do.

    If your son sees his comments and actions are causing you stress, and he indeed wants something out of it. Maybe he just needs more loving attention.

    As mentioned before by someone else- give him love, no matter what the situation is.

    One more thing to clarify. DO you live in America or in Israel?

    Now it is unclear.

    #1181780
    M.O. Chossid
    Member

    Did he not join you at the shabbos table? Was he mechalel shabbos?

    I know it may be hard- but 12 pages of very good advice and all we know are just bits of information.

    if he is still in contact with his Rosh Yeshiva, thats a good thing.

    if he still comes home- thats a good thing. If he still is talking to you- thats a good thing.

    I don’t understand the situation and can’t help you anymore.

    Do you think everyone keeps this thread on their speed-dial?

    No offense. Only a few people actually continue to keep commenting. I’m sorry if I’m not fully engaged in reading every comment posted.

    #1181781
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Write or Wrong, I have been following this thread very closely, although I have not commented in a while. As a mother of a child who is OTD, I know what pain you are going through and have been praying for you. Here in America there are Rabbonim that specifically deal with boys that are OTD. There must be Rabbonim that deal with these boys in Israel, from what I understand there are plenty there too unfortunately. It would be great if there was a program in Israel for OTD boys for the summer, like they have in America. I am sure you are doing your research and doing all you can for your son. Hang in there, you are going to have much nachas from him IY”H. You must tell him how much you love him and he is and will always be a part of you and your family. Keep davening! Sending hugs, Ima of Three

    #1181782
    mom12
    Participant

    I was going to say the same as ‘Imaof3’.

    the only thing I would suggest is that the ‘kiruv person’ should call your son on his own.. and you know nothing about it. If he asks you if you gave the no. just deny it.. and make sure tho tell this person that you did ‘not’ give the no.

    bec anything coming from you is ‘possul’. I am sure you know what I mean.

    #1181783
    mack15
    Member

    don’t worry………..he’ll fix himself up one day

    #1181784
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-nice to hear from you again! I haven’t yet found a Rav who specializes in OTD kids, although I have found other professionals who are helping. Anyway, I’m not sure my son would open up to a Rav at this point. I’m trying to hang in there, but he is really drifting away and shocking us with new ‘revelations’ each day. I haven’t stopped davening, and I think of you too. I pray things will get better for you 🙂

    mom12-I’m actually trying to get my son to agree to speak with someone on the basis of helping him to cope with his anger toward his parents, which seems to be suddenly running rampant. ‘Where is it coming from?’ I keep asking myself. He is softening a bit on this issue, and I’m hoping this week he will agree to go, B’ezras Hashem. If not, then I will try to do as you suggest, although I wouldn’t put it past him to just hang up the phone and start screaming at me. I think you, me and Imaofthree should all daven for eachother, perhaps even at the same time, and in this merit of achdus, Hashem will answer all of our prayers.

    #1181785
    write or wrong
    Participant

    mack15-I hope you are right.

    #1181786
    mom12
    Participant

    I agree with mack!

    Bit frustrating till then.

    You never know what they are going to try till then.

    I had a few ppl call my son. he never returned calls.

    but I was a bit annoyed bec the kiruv guys should have been a little more persistant nd not wait for kavod.then of course, my son confronted me.. I knew nothin!

    at this point my son knows too much for his age and even brings up in conversation, its a bit embarrassing, but what could I do?- I would be glad if that would be the only thing..I thank the eibishter he is not worse, or like his friends that have to sleep by me or smoking who knows what..

    I do have a lot to ask for but a lot to be thankful for and from what it sounds like, wow, youd be happy with this type as well.

    my husband is angry with me because I am too accepting. But I feel this is the only thing that keeps him coming home and perhaps return to his roots in which he was raised.

    #1181787
    mom12
    Participant

    I was talking to a friend and she told me about an article she read, also about a woman who was having issues in the family.

    I cant remember the rav, I believe it was R’ Chaim K. that told her when a woman takes upon herself a chumra in znius the ‘krenk’ gets better.

    After some thought and watching how ppl speak loudly on their cellphones this woman took upon herself not to speak on the fone on the street. I tried it too. It is NOT easy. I had to keep reminding myself what I took upon myself and to adhere to it.

    it does not have to be about the phone.. but I wear longer skirts.. thicker sox.. machmir on my neckline.. I couldnt think of anything else. I am not upto covering my sheitel just yet..

    I got to stick by what I take upon myself.. and not be upset with myself. Hopefully something will work with the situation in my home.

    this child is not my only issue..

    HASHEM YA’AZOR!

    #1181788
    write or wrong
    Participant

    mom12-you cannot imagine how many additional things my husband and I took on to help improve the situation. But I never tried to do anything more in tsnius. Like you, I also wear longer skirts, and high neckline etc. The cellphone would be hard for me to do, bc my kids call me constantly and I would always want them to be able to reach me. But I will think more about it. Someone gave me an article a while back, I forgot from which magazine, that talked about a woman who couldn’t have children for many years. She was told that a segula for having children, or for people who want to ensure righteous kids, one should read Tefillas Hanna after lighting Shabbos candles. For the woman in the article, she ended up having a child.

    How do you resolve the differences between you and your husband? Did he become more accepting bc of you, or do you just relate differently to your son? In the merit of your efforts, Hashem should answer your prayers!

    #1181789
    mom12
    Participant

    wow- No, my husband is still angry at me cuz he says I am ‘sugarcoating’ the problem and my son does not think he is doing anything wrong cuz I am accepting him the way he is..

    but my husband is mellowing down lately bec my son is home more now and he is speakng with him. and we are currently having issues with a younger son so my husband is begining to realize perhaps why the older one is the way he is..its the same menahel again. and my husband is tryng to avoid to have to go thru the same thing again with this one, so he is talkng to him more.

    so I can say there is slightly more understanding between the two.

    My husband still gets angry at times but we are ignoring and carrying on..

    #1181790
    write or wrong
    Participant

    mom12-I spoke to a psychologist who told me that sometimes a stronger approach does work, it depends upon the nature of the child. In general, the way to go is to be accepting, and let the child find his own way, especially if he is controlling and strong-willed. But he has seen the other way work too in some cases.

    I think it’s so important to keep your husband and son talking. As mothers, we naturally do this, but if the kids have a strong connection to both parents, it seems like it would be doubly hard for kids to do something that would be hurtful to both parents.

    #1181791
    pcoz
    Member

    please ignore if not relevant

    – your son might be happier if you essentially ignore him when he’s home rather than take care of him

    – he might see it as a compliment if you ask him to take care of his younger siblings

    #1181793
    write or wrong
    Participant

    pcoz-he probably prefers I don’t talk to him, but he definitely wants me to clean his clothes and feed him. As far as taking care of his younger brother, he barely takes care of himself. He doesn’t do anything in the house except sleep and eat. But thanks for the suggestion..

    #1181794
    Imma613
    Participant

    I don’t know if this school is shayach but I just saw an article about ACE – a high school for Anglo boys in E”Y which does wilderness programs, GED, and a lot of hashkafa. Here is the contact information:

    Rechov Rakefet 51

    Moshav Tarum

    99730, Israel

    Phone contact info:

    52-8921548

    #1181795
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Thank-you Imma613! I’m open to suggestions. I will check it out.

    #1181796
    2scents
    Participant

    WOW, you write that he prefers that you dont talk to him.

    Interesting, if all you do is clean his laundry and prepare food for him, why should he resent you?

    It is very likely (assuming that he prefers not talking to you) that there is something between the two of you.

    If all you want is the best for your child, you should first heal that relationship.

    Please do not take my post in offensive way, if you prefer, I will not post anymore ‘advice’.

    You should have a Yeshua Bekoroiv.

    #1181797
    pcoz
    Member

    I am not convinced. Sometimes it is mind blowing to realise that our children don’t see themselves as adults although we do. In that case, the kid is stuck. They know they’re ameant to grow up, but can’t comprehend how this can be possible seeing as they are not adults. Therefore they look for an alternative.

    #1181798
    Imma613
    Participant

    The URL is Ace Israel Dot Com (I tried posting it as a regular web address but it wasn’t let through for some reason.) They also have a few nice you tube videos.

    Much Hatlacha!!

    #1181799
    Imma613
    Participant

    sorry please correct the above the actual URL is Ace Israel Dot Org not Dot Com

    Thanks!!

    #1181800
    write or wrong
    Participant

    2scents-I didn’t say he resents me. As long as I just take care of him, and not talk too much, he’s pretty happy with me. But mussar talks are way out of the question. He actually doesn’t like talking to anyone bc it takes away from his ‘escaping’ via music. We are working on healing my son , but the counselor told us that unfortunately, he’s not even ready to be healed at this point.

    pcoz-On the contrary, my son feels like he is the adult yet doesn’t see that he is still immature and irresponsible.

    Imma613-thanks for the recommendation, I just emailed them. We are also looking at 2 others, but so far, my son doesn’t want anything. Hoping this will change..

    #1181801
    write or wrong
    Participant

    To all the moms of kids OTD-How bad can it get? And how do you manage to stay sane and run the house?

    #1181802
    daniela
    Participant

    It will get as far as you allow it to get.

    #1181803
    mom12
    Participant

    just carry on normally, as if no one was OTD

    #1181804
    pcoz
    Member

    agreed – once you label something you make it a reality.

    Exaclty the reason he has formed a facade of adulthood is becuase he doesn’t have an alternate real option.

    #1181805
    write or wrong
    Participant

    I went to a wedding last night. You can’t imagine how many moms I met with kids who are OTD. What is happening??? Hashem yirachem! We cried tears of joy for the kallah and we cried tears of pain for our lost children. One good thing came out of it. I think it helped me get back my perspective. Only in the Torah world is there real simcha, there’s no simcha like a religious Jewish wedding! And our poor children are looking for happines by chasing clouds…

    #1181806
    pcoz
    Member

    You should dance by his chasunah

    #1181807
    RSRH
    Member

    WOW: Its been a while since I commented on this thread, but I after reading your last post, I couldn’t help myself. You said, “Only in the Torah world is there real simcha . . .” I commend you for believing that, but it evinces a mindset that may do more harm than good when dealing with you son.

    Simply put, it’s just not true. Many, many, irreligious Jews and non-Jews enjoy much real, genuine, and lasting simcha in there lives. There is much simcha to be had in raising a family, going to work, bringing home a paycheck, watching a ball game, spending time with friends and neighbors, reading books, and yes, even in going to Church/Mosque/Temple and living as one’s religion dictates. Granted, I imagine you have not gotten to know many non-Jews, or happy, fulfilled, irreligious Jews. But let me tell you, from my own experience, some of the most happy, fulfilled people I know have nothing to do with Torah (at least not with Tanach, Shas, and Shulchan Aruch – the way they live is still a lifestyle the Torah and God can be proud of).

    The point is that there is REAL fulfillment outside of the Torah world. We, of course, believe strongly that living according to halacha is the RIGHT WAY to gain happiness and live a fulfilling life. But it isn’t the only way. If you portray to your son, who may be tasting a bit of that non-Torah happiness for the first time, that it’s Torah or a drug-induced, promiscuity-laced, wasteful life on the streets, you are not going to get anywhere. HE KNOWS THAT THAT IS NOT TRUE, even if you as yet do not.

    Consider that he may feel genuinely fulfilled and happy in the way he is now living. I doubt it, since he is a teenager, and most likely not engaged in a meaningful non-Torah lifestyle. But he may well see the potential for a happy non-Torah life somewhere down the line, while all he sees in the Torah lifestyle he grew up in is repression of his unique needs and personality, the need to conform, misunderstanding, and a denial of reality by his peers, rabbeim, and family.

    As I have read this thread of the past weeks, I see that you really are working on the right track. In many ways, my thoughts are unnecessary. But I just wished to point out that perspective, and how it may be that your son might take your negative attitude towards anything non-Torah-based to be unrealistic. Remember, he is experiencing a new world, a world that is appealing to him right now, and a world that he knows you cannot understand as he does because you have never experienced the positive of it.

    #1181808
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I agree in substantial part with RSRH.

    However, I don’t imagine the kid is happy now either and is seeing positive in his new life. I imagine he is just running away from the pain in his old life.

    This pain may well be related to this issue, if he has been told that the only way he will be happy is living in an exact lifestyle–and he finds himself unhappy in it; well that can feel pretty hopeless.

    That usually happens more among kids who are told that not only nust they be frum, but they must also learn or be in chinnuch their whole life–and be happy!

    #1181809
    write or wrong
    Participant

    pcoz-thank-you, B’ezras Hashem I hope so.

    RSRH_I hear everything you are saying and like popa-bar-abba said, my son is not any happier now either. Perhaps he feels freer, since he isn’t learning or doing any mitzvos, but usually he is angry, bored or depressed. I never raised my kids to think that a non religious Jew can’t be happy, I always taught my kids that we live by the Torah bc it’s emes. Like you said, there are many paths to happiness (even though it’s based on false pretenses). You said, “Many, irreligious Jews and non-Jews enjoy much real, genuine, and lasting simcha in there lives.” But isn’t this is based on their feelings of “success”, and “accomplishments” which they attribute to their own efforts? The core premise of their ‘genuine’ simcha is false and lacking.

    And perhaps, when ‘everything is going right’, everyone can be happy. But when things are not going well, I’ve never seen secular Jews weather the storm the way so many religious Jews do.

    The kids my son are with are not a happy bunch. They seem to be trying to escape life’s responsibilities, and barely function in the real world. Living as a responsible, successful secular Jew would be better than living as a street boy without goals. Unfortunately, that’s where my son is right now.

    popa-bar-abba-like you said, my son is not happy. But he doesn’t seem to want to leave the rut he’s in right now. I am not telling my son he must be frum, that is between him and Hashem, and he will have to find his own way. But I am telling him that in my home, I expect him to behave a certain way, and that doesn’t include sleeping all day until 3pm, and then hanging out with street kids until 3am. The difficulty I am having now is in deciding how to enforce that.

    #1181810
    pcoz
    Member

    What activity that you can organise would he find interesting or cool?

    #1181811
    write or wrong
    Participant

    pcoz-my son is only really into his music right now. My husband has offered to take him on trips up north, or to the States, but he’s not interested. He has basically separated himself from the family. Maybe at some later point it might work, thanks for the suggestion

    #1181812
    2scents
    Participant

    I check into this thread not give advice, only to see if WOW has any good news.

    IYH bkarov we will hear something positive.

    #1181813
    Sam2
    Participant

    Write or wrong: Maybe you can show an interest in his music. Show that you are his mother and support him no matter what. Is his music so bad that you can’t do that or is it within the range of not-unacceptable?

    #1181814
    write or wrong
    Participant

    2scents and Sam2-unfortunately, I don’ have good news. Perhaps the only good news is that he spoke to a counselor, which is, actually, a big accomplishment. But he seems to be going downhill at an exponential rate, there’s no learning, no mitzvos, almost no connection to the family. All he does is sleep all day and hang out all night. We’re trying to get him to consider some type of program for next year, but he doesn’t want to do anything. A few good programs were suggested, but he won’t even consider them. I’m hoping he’ll soften, or else we will have to take some type of action that will force a confrontation. I’m so afraid of the chevra’s influence, some of them do drugs, and they are all looking for girls…Hashem Yirachem…

    #1181815
    pcoz
    Member

    I am sorry to say this but I would suggest that you create a confrontation which you know you will win sooner rather than later becuase now he is 16, and that’s fine, but by the time he is 18 you will be scared of him

    #1181816
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Its been said before, but since you are in Israel, he will have to go to the Army, They WILL straigten him out. They dont take any garbage in the Army, you will learn disicpline.

    I realize you are Charedi and may not want him int he Army, but for some kids its really a great thing.

    #1181817
    write or wrong
    Participant

    pcoz and zahavasdad- You are right that the Army may straighten him out (we’re not against anything right now that’s responsible), it’s just that how will we survive until then? He has at least another year and a half or 2 years befor he’d get called. I don’t think we could wait that long. I’m not even sure how we will manage the summer. As far as having a confrontation with him, I’m not sure we’ll win. It has nothing to do with his size, it’s his stubbornness. I think he’d rather move out, or hang out in the streets for some time, rather than conform to house rules, just to ‘show’ us ‘he’s in charge of himself, not us. He’s extremely strong willed.

    #1181818
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Write or Wrong, perhaps you know someone who would hire him to do some sort of job? I know someone whose son was OTD but he B”H got a job working for a frum plumber who really took him under his wing. The boy became frum eventually and is married now!

    Your son would have a reason to get up in the morning and he would feel good about himself and what kid doesn’t like some extra money?

    Hatzlocha rabah!

    #1181819
    EzratHashem
    Member

    wow–have you been to the mothers’ online forum? a lot of Israeli women post there too, it has a somewhat different focus than the news blog…….

    #1181820
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-I liked your idea, and will have to give it some thought. Maybe my husband knows someone who could use someone to help him. How are you doing??

    #1181821
    write or wrong
    Participant

    EzratHashem-I couldn’t find the Mothers’ online forum, how is it listed?

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