Dear Lonely Mom,
Oh, I sure do feel for you! When kids leave the house, it's very hard on mothers, period. Your situation was particularly rough because your son left to go party and get in trouble. And then just when he seems to be straightening back out, you get this VERY weird bunch of legal papers, and I think ALL of it is hooey. I mean, first they say you can't see him anymore by doing the restraining order, then they ask for money, and on top of everything else, they want to be his parents.
First, you should get a lawyer right away. If you are poor, usually there are free legal services in most larger towns. But basically you need to say NO to their papers. I mean, you're not doing anything wrong! I swear, single mothers have SUCH a hard time. Now, also, even tho your 19-yr-old thinks you are crazy too, you could ask him about the situation, just to get some feedback of some kind from someone who knows you well. And any close friend you have, ask them what they think, too.
Next, I think you could use some counseling. Ask your lawyer if you should hold off on doing that until this legal stuff is straight or not. Then whenever it's okay for you to go, again if you are poor, the county has a Department of Social Services, with a Health Department, and they'll have regular docs and also psychiatrists/psychologists. You can go as a walk-in and usually be seen the same day.
The psychiatrist may want to give you a temporary antidepressant to help you deal medically with all your sadness, and then hook you up with one of their psychologists or sociologists to do some talking for perhaps twice a week for three weeks, maybe. They listen carefully, then they give you guidance as to how you can handle emotions, and they can give you tips on how to deal with your current problems. You will feel SO much better to get all this craziness under control!
I hope I have helped you a little. I hope you will take some of the steps I've outlined here, as you really need some professional help, both legal and emotional, with this wild situation you find yourself in. I mean, looks to me like if your 17-yr-old wants to live with another family, fine, but they shouldn't have to go and make it all legally official and nag you for money! Gee whiz, talk about kicking someone who is already down! And I think when your son turns 18, he is free to make his own choices, in which case these legal papers will be pointless. At least you can hold onto that idea, that within a year, it'll all be behind you anyway. Then you can just concentrate on your youngest and try to make a good life with him!
I completely agree with Greg! First seek seem legal advice, and then a therapist. Being a psychology major, I know that it may be a bit difficult to get into see a psychiatrist. There is usually a long wait to get into to see these doctors. I would recommend seeing a psychologist, and then seeing your primary care doctor for some medication. It is much quicker and easier this way.
I am very sorry about your situation, but I can guarantee you things will get better. Nothing lasts forever, remember that! Did your son tell you why he left the house?
First, I think it would help by accepting him for who he is, in regards to his sexual orientation. I am not making any assumptions, but it seems like you may have a hard time accepting his relations with men. I know this is not easy for any Mom, but rather than questioning why, accept him for who he is. I can guarantee you this will bring you a lot closer together. Maybe not right away, but eventually.
In regards to the drug use, that needs to be addressed. Given your situation, if you haven't already mentioned it, I would state that this is not the way to go about life or deal with situations. However, I would not pursue it any further than this given the strain on your guys' relationship already. This can be addressed in further detail once you have reconciled. My step brother was addicted to opioids and went to rehab last year. When we went to visit, they gave us three C's to live by. You didn't CAUSE it, you can't CONTROL it, and you can't CURE it. He is almost 18 years old and he can make his own rational decisions. If he chooses this way of life, there is nothing you can do and is most certainly not a reflection on you as a mother!
Also, we know how teenager's can be. We've all been through that phase where we care more about our friends and partying, than we do our family. This usually fades out as we get older. I know this happened with me. Give him a little bit of space, but still occasionally send him those "I love you" texts (maybe 2-3 times a week). Also, let him know that you are here for him if he ever needs anything and that you accept him for who he is. Maybe he feels alone and confused, and is just looking for someone to listen. Try to offer this to him.
Hope this helps!