My 20 year old son won't move out. HELP!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kelie, May 4, 2012.

  1. Kelie

    Kelie New Member

    I had my son when I was 18. His father and I had only known each other a few months when I got pregnant, but we've somehow made it work for 21 years. I've been kinda like a single mom in most respects, though. His dad has very little to do with him, and nothing when it comes to guidance or disciplin. That has been coming back to bite ME lately, and I'm the one that's always been there. My son dropped out of school in the middle of his senior year, and has since refused to do ANYTHING. He's never gotten into drugs or drinking (thank God) but the kid does absolutely nothing with his time. He won't help around the house, won't look for work, won't even consider going back to school. His bedroom consists of his bed, dresser, clothes and a lamp. When he turned 18 I put the rest in storage and told him that he can have it back when he gets his own place. He has no money, no car, and doesn't seeem to want anything. Now he just goes to friends houses to play video games when he crawls out of bed around 2pm every day, then strolls in at all hours. I want to put him out, but my husband won't let me, he was the one that was supposed to teach this kid how to be a man, and he dropped that ball. He will not help me in anyway. He thinks that I need to back off and just wait for my son to be ready to go in his own time. When is THAT going to be? And while he's here, in MY house, eating my food, making messes (you should smell his room!) he's disrespectful, yells at me cusses at me... He follows no rules, he's never made curfue. I can't take it anymore. I'm ready to leave them both, they can have each other! BUT, if not for my son and the stress and problems that he causes, my marriage is fine
    I feel like it's our turn! We did right by him. I was two years younger than he is now when I had him! And I stepped up, gave him a good life, he had stability, consistency, responsibilities...I don't know why he's like this...!!?? All of his friends that are around the same age are of similar character. Don't work or go to school, poor hygiene, rude, none of them drive, and they all seem to be like 12 years old mentally. It's infuriating! I'm at a complete loss. Any advice?
  2. Deja

    Deja New Member

    There is literally tons of advice about to come your way, just not from me! I am new to the site as well, and have been reading as much as I can. I even sneak a peek at work. Lots of folks here that will respond to your post are way more therapeutic and helpful then my therapist, but that's because I haven't found the right one yet. My only advice to you is to start reading the other threads while you wait for responses to yours. Even go into some of the other forums. Seriously, the strength I get from here allows me to get through the day.
    And as my incredibly loving husband tells me, we have to take this one day at a time. There are no quick fixes.
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  3. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    Without your hubby supporting you it is going to be difficult. Your son is an adult and needs to be taking care of himself. He doesn't need to work as long as you provide him with food, shelter, and cable. If he refuses to move out you may have to start eviction processes, it takes several months but in most states you can't just throw him out on the street.

    My first thought is depression, but if all of his friends are like that....... I would not rule out smoking pot.

    I have a 50yo step relative with a BA, works at a flea market on the weekends, and would still live with dad if dad would allow it. He is a mooch and actually brags that he has no bills - but - he literally has 3 shirts to his name and his mother pays his medical bills.

    Counseling helped me along with the many books that are available. It is very hard on parents, but your husband is not helping him by allowing him to live in your home without helping with the housework. He should be working and paying rent not playing games all night and sleeping all day.

    Can you take a vacation for a while and let dad deal with your son completely for a while??? Even without the drugs I know you have a very stressful homelife, take care of yourself.

    (((blessings for us all)))
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Have him served with eviction papers. Your son sounds very much like he could morph into someone like my difficult child's father, known as Useless Boy because he's in his late 50's and his mama still supports him. He lives rent free in a house she owns, she pays his electric, water, garbage, and gives him an allowance for food. Once I finally plumbed the depths of his uselessness (he hid things very well behind his passive aggressive tendencies), I pitched him out and divorced him.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Ojhi there - (that was lame huh?)

    I'm amazed that this marriage has lasted 21 years. Astounded really. You have a child, and you have a husband. You have NO support, NO help, and NO one to back you up. It's my understanding that husbands and wives agree on things in a household such as how to raise children and are part of that - both of them. Not "Well you had him - you raise him." until troubles arise and then "Well YOU raised him and now you SUFFER the consequences...hahahah." That's not a husband that's a vindictive childs thinking. Is he angry that you've stayed together for 21 years and now he's exacting his revenge on you? Or do you otherwise have a good relationship? (You don't need to answer me - but from a one sided statement of yours - this is what it sounds like to me) I haven't heard HIS point of view so I can only made one side of the triangle here. He may have a completely different view - and somewhere in between lies a mix of both your sides and what is really going on. The non-biased voice. Again - I'm in no way judging....Just calling what I read.

    Which leads me to my next thought - WHAT WOULD happen if you left? I mean you said yourself "I'm about ready to leave them both." Is this statement true? Do either of them have any idea that you are THAT frustrated?? What WOULD happen if you packed a bag and left a note that said something to that affect? Would your husband think OH (%&(% and agree with you that it's time he stood by you and agreed to make your son get out, or would he stick by his "principals" that your child could stay until he was just like - 35 and still getting up at 2pm, running down the road to his buddies house, going into his Mother's houses basement and playing Space Invaders? Then coming home, you washed all his clothes, folded them, cleaned his room - and made his bed, fixed his supper husband comes home from work, gives you his paycheck to support lazy 30 year old son, - and then they settled in to watch another episode of NCIS? (next day Repeat) I'd have to ask - at what point to do you think husband this will end? You think he's just going to take the lead and run out and get a job when his every need is provided for?

    I believe you have some searching to do - soul and otherwise. My first inclination is for you to find a therapist and keep that to yourself and start talking about the lack of support you've gotten for 21 years. Then find out why you stay? I think it could be a real eye opener for you and maybe if you're not ready to pack a bag, leave a note on the counter and say Adios tomorrow? If you could see the things in yourself that are WONDERFUL, AMAZING, and sadly stiffled -----you'd just drop your jaw and think-----WOW what have I been doing for the last 21 years of my life? Then you keep going to therapy - forgive yourself - get your tush in gear - and live your life to the fullest. WITHOUT all the conflicts and find people in your life that DO support you.

    Again - (exhale) it's just a guess - because I do not know you, I don't know your husband....I mean after 21 years - the only thing you've told me about him is what you've said above - NOT well other than that hes' a great guy - see what I mean? So I really hope you do not get defensive, and take this as just an observation ---if theres more to it? Add it....and we'll work on it from there. Otherwise I'd say - call someplace and just try out some therapy. If you want to improve your situation at home? The first person that you have to work on ? (oddly enough) Isnt' going to be your husband or your kid - it's going to be you and how you are looking at them. (sounds messed up doesn't it?) but once you get a better handle on yourself? You'll have a lot better handle on a lot of things.

    We're here for you!
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My take is, one of three options...
    - depression
    - drugs
    - genetics... maybe he's too much like "dad"?
    (or, of course, "all of the above")

    Not that there is an easy solution to any of the above... but... any idea what led up to him dropping out of school? Frequently, that's drugs. But I have seen that happen to kids whose chronic (and un-caught) depression finally caught up with them, and they just shut down.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As long as Dad pays his bills, there isn't anything that you can do. I don't think he can be evicted if both of you don't agree to do it. Would hub be open to counseling with you?
  8. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome,
    Kelie, are you absolutely certain your son is not on drugs? Have you drug tested him? If you have, and he isn't on drugs, he may have a mood disorder, such as depression. In younger people, it presents as avoidance, anger, laziness, lack of motivation. Problem is, so does chronic drug use. He may be co-morbid, in other words, depressed and self medicating with drugs. By the way, meth use causes the user and wherever he sleeps to stink in a weird way - not exactly like body odor, but more of a metallic smell. You stated his room smelled - that's why I mention it.

    In any case, he's beyond disrespectful. If he won't seek help, then he must go - you've sacrificed your entire adult life for him - it's now about time you made a life of your own. If your husband doesn't support that, your son is smart enough to exploit that - and the only one left frustrated will be you. You may have to eventually be the one to leave - for your own self respect. I know that's scary, but it's true. A normal or even semi-normal 20 y/o would not be content doing absolutely NOTHING constructive with his life. Misery loves company, and that is why his friends are like that too - they wouldn't be hanging around with high achievers, would they?
  9. Mother43

    Mother43 New Member

    Hi Kelie,
    I found your post here, I know that you have posted while ago but I am wondering whether you have any good outcomes since.
    I have a very similar situation with my 22 old son. He has changed a lot in last 12 months gone down a hill to the completely wrong direction, he doesn't do anything now.
    He stopped going to work, smoke pot everyday, he has lost all his friends and he hardly go outside home except going out get smokes. About 6 months ago, he smoked ice and trashed our flat completely and got arrested.

    Unlike your situation, his father and I separated when my son was 2 years old. My son used to go and see his father every few weeks but now he doesn't even talk to him. His father has been to jail and never worked all his life. My son seems to blame his farther for a lot things.

    I have been single since we separated, but I am in relation with a guy for over two years and I pretty much have moved in with him. I still have a rental flat for my son. My son lived with my new partner and myself for a short period in a past but it didn't quite work out.

    My son has been diagnose with sever depression and has been on few different medication but none of them worked.
    I don't think that his problem is not just depression but I don't know what it is.

    I look forward to hearing from you.
  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    If he is taking any kind of drugs, it will likely progress, and something will "break" the situation, i.e., getting arrested, etc. That would be one way to break the logjam.

    I would go to counseling myself or with my husband if he would go. Having somebody else to either help you or both of you talk openly about this and maturely about this would be another way to break the logjam.

    There are so many young people in this country today (mainly young men, it seems) who are doing what your son is doing, for a variety of reasons. The common foundation is that we, the parents, have allowed it. I don't know about you but when I was growing up, the process was this:

    graduate from h.s.
    go to college for four years
    move out and be on your own (in every way)

    Most people I knew didn't deviate from that.

    It is SO different today.

    Your son needs to be on his way soon, one way or another. Once you get your husband on the same page with you that he has to move out soon, set a deadline---60 or 90 days from now. Sit down and have a talk. Be clear that in the allotted amount of time, he is out of your house.

    So, he better get a job today and start saving up for deposits, etc., and/or find someone to share an apartment with, rent a room, whatever.

    And on that 60th day or 90th day, HE IS OUT. No stalls, no delays, no "new information", nothing. He's out.

    If he hasn't made plans and arrangements, well, we're really sorry about that honey, and i'm sure you'll figure it out.

    And then you have to leave it.

    So you have been respectful in giving him a heads up. You have given him some time to make plans. He had fair warning.

    The trick is this: don't say anything you can't and won't back up. You have to back up what you say and if you don't, you're in for years of this.

    I have been where you are and done that. My son was using drugs and alcohol when he was still living with me and was on a slow decline. He still went to junior college (kind of), still worked (kind of), had a girlfriend, etc. He was a complete slob at home and started slowly breaking all the rules. For a long time I didn't realize he was using substances as much as he was.

    We are always the last to know. I gave him chance after chance after chance, stupidly. I believed him so many times, stupidly, as he lied to my face over and over again.

    I should have stood up and held to my rules from the very first time, but I didn't. I believed him. I wanted to believe him.

    It didn't help him or me. By allowing this you are starting down the road of crippling him for life.

    Good luck and keep coming back here. We get it.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    ChildofMine gave great advice.

    If you want to get more responses, it is probably best to start your own thread. Yours is buried at the bottom of an old thread.

    My two cents is, your son is an adult. The things that happened in his childhood are not so far out of the norm that they caused this...he is making a choice to ruin his life. I have always had severe depression, but my parents didn't care...I was expected to leave the nest and work and I did what I had to do, depressed or not. And you feel a lot less depressed when you keep busy. Nursing depression by laying around and smoking weed (BAD for any mental illness) is just an excuse to do absolutely nothing and not get help for yourself. And, by the way, HE has to get the help. You can't fix him anymore. Nor should you try. It's a waste of time.

    I wouldn't give this adult kid any more money. Is he able bodied? Well, he can get a job and pay for his own place. There is no reason for you to pay his bills. Ditto for cell phone, internet, cigarettes, or anything else. Don't give him any money...he will probably spend it on drugs, not what you intended it for. If you want to give him food, buy him some food. Don't give him money and tell him to buy it himself. Set a limit on when he needs to support himself. He will not grow up if you don't force him to. My guess is he may be doing more than smoking pot.

    Read the article on detachment.

    I am so sorry for your obviously hurting mommy heart and your confusion. You deserve a good, happy life even if your son is screwing up. You are not him and he is not you. There are those who love you who treat you well and I'd focus on them. Be good to a very important person...YOURSELF. You matter as much as your son's life does. Yes, I know. It's a new concept for many of us!
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  12. Mother43

    Mother43 New Member

    Hi Childofmine and mid westmom,
    Thank you very much for your good advice.
    It is certain that my son has a sever depression and now he seems to developed social-phobia.
    He doesn't want to go outside and he lays down on a couch all day.
    I try to make him to do some outdoor activity with me, he does come out sometimes but it is very sad that a 22y old guy can only go outside and do something with his mother. Only I had him when I was very young so it doesn't look too strange that he and I are playing tennis or playing pool ( billiard in the states? ) over few drinks at a pub.
    Anyway, yes, I understand that I am too soft on him, giving him money for pot and pay all bills and rent, keep the fridge with plenty of food, I don't even live there.
    I have never had a depression and am not sure how to help my son.
    He has seen some specialists and been on few medication but absolutely no improvement.
    He has another appointment with anther specialist in a few weeks so I hope that will change something.
    I look forward to hearing from you again, please.
    Thank you,
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've had depression since far into my childhood.

    Does your son give the antidepressants at least eight weeks before he discards them? If not, he is not seriously giving them a chance to help it and it may be on purpose. These medications need a good two months of a trial to see if they will work. Any less and they may as well have not even started them. They take time to work.

    Pot is very detrimental to those with mental health problems, including depression. It is not benign and harmless to people who are already mentally ill. Alcohol is also bad. Both pot and alcohol will nullify the good effects of an antidepressant.

    As one with mental illness, and a member of The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill or NAMI, we, as the patients/consumers, have to take control of our illnesses in order to get better. It is our choice and decision to improve. It does not sound like your son is taking those steps. It is hard work and requires medication compliance, recreational drug abstinance, and serious therapy. It also requires one to either try hard to get a job and keep it or file for social security so the person at least has a little money and benefits and is not living off of his parents at an age in which he should be out on his own.

    If he is deemed disabled, there is help getting work, housing, therapy and a ton of other stuff. I know this because of my autistic adult son...but he is utilizing all he can to become as productive as he can. It is out there if your son will try.

    With depression, it does not help if somebody is there to fix every boo boo. You feel better if forced to get out of bed every morning and go to therapy or anything else. If he were in a hospital, as I was, he would be awakened at six and forced to spend the day socializing and going to therapy and staying OUT of his room. He would also have to take his medication or else he would probably be discharged for not complying.

    There is nothing you can do to make him better other than to put your foot down and require what is required in a hospital...and if he will not help himself, you may decide to tell him he has two months to find another place to stay. You can help him find adult services. You need to learn how to detach from him so he can do what he needs to do to heal. He will not heal in your house, on your couch, watching television. His social phobia will not be helped by never seeing anybody. I had agoraphobia and social phobias too, but I had to push myself to get out anyway and it helped.

    Meanwhile, you need to get on with your own life and make it a sensational life. Yes, you can have a great life even with an adult child who is in trouble and refusing to do the necessary steps to improve. And you should. He should not take up all of your time. He should be forced to do it himself...or face consequences.

    If I had been able to lay around all day with my parents, that's what I may have done. I am so glad that I was not given that option. I am much, much better now and able to function. For our adult kids: "Give them roots to grow and wings to fly." And let them fly on their own.

    Hugs for your hurting mommy heart. We are here for you to talk to 24/7. We are always on call :)
  14. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I am a big believer in work. A job. Somewhere you have to be at a certain time and stay there until a certain time. You have to be nice even if you don't feel nice. You have to do things you don't want to do.

    Then, you have to go back the next day and do it again.

    This structure and self discipline are good for all of us. It is the stuff of adulthood.

    One of the common themes here is that our 20-somethings don't work.

    We make it possible for them not to work and by doing that we take away their self respect and their dignity. We cripple, isolate and infantilize them. They revert back to the crib, I.e., lying on the couch all day.

    Almost everyone can do something.

    Let us work to make it possible for them to work.

    Let us get out of their way and stop the flow of money.
  15. WaveringFaith

    WaveringFaith Member

    Mother43, this is my son exactly. He's 20 yrs old also. In your original post, you didn't mention the possiblity of depression, but I thought to myself.. this is my son, only mine is clinically depressed. But then you realized yours probably is also. I'm in the same boat. I had him when I was 19, raised him as a single mom also. Was an excellent student, popular, hilarious, tons of friends, girlfriends, social butterfly, healthy as a horse, worked out at gyms, was into raw food diets. All that changed 2 years ago when he went off to live with his dad and attend university out of state. He grew up only seeing his dad for 2 weeks in the summer each year. They were never close. His dad and I were high school sweethearts but never married, broke up when he was 5.

    I think trying to establish a relationship with his dad and attend college AND being so far away from me was too much for him. It doesn't help that his dad is emotionally unavailable and does not know how to show love. He's like a dictator, as this was how he was raised. None the less, it was a traumatic event for my son to be thrown into all those circumstances at once apparently, because he became a different person. Now living with me for almost the past full hear, he is a recluse, can't even go to the grocery store, as he says he doesn't know how to be around people and he hates it. He said he also hates his dad and knows he will never speak to him again (and says he has that on his conscious now too). He hates himself, thinks God hates him, constantly calls himself a failure.

    We've tried different medications, therapists, holistic remedies, cold turkey, nothing has worked. He has never given any medications more than a month's worth of change, so who knows if one of them might've worked. I'm so fed up with him. Like your son, he doesn't care for his personal hygeine, he comes out of his room in th middle of the night to get food like a rodent in the night, he doesn't talk to me or his little brother. he's had countless opportunities for jobs, schooling, hobbies to feel better, he refuses them all. He has become just a grown man, living in my home, not caring about anyone nor himself. He has let his cell phone bill and auto insurance bills lapse. I am in a debate with myself on whether I should pay for his cell phone bill now, because I know if I don't , he won't. Then I will have zero contact with him.

    I have recently tried the tough love thing and told him if he was now refusing treatment, he will have 2 weeks to find a job and another place to live. I have a younger son I need to care for and doesn't deserve this home life. Well my difficult child took the ultimatum as a sign that I now hate him and said he would be out by end of the week. But with no phone, no car, no money, no chance at job, not able to see or socialize with other human beings, he will be one of those homeless young men on the street, I just know it. I live in a big city and the streets are rough. Also, the temps have been freezing lately.

    So I am in the exact situation as you. I don't want to enable him, but feeling like I have no other choice but to let him go. It's so difficult. I feel your pain in my heart. He's been my little boy, my buddy all these years and to see him a completely different person, not even resembling the boy he once was, it's heartbreaking.

    I will pray for you and your son and hope he finds his way, and that you find your peace.

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Color me cynical.

    So he used to be social and now he can't even leave the house? Do you buy that? Ok, so maybe his time with dad was not good, but how many adult kids or teens have to spend their time with an inadequate or even verbally abusive parent and still function? I'd say, in this age of divorce, many.

    I don't know what his problem really is and it is unlikely you will know either. Only he can identify it and fix it and if he wanted to do so, he'd try a lot harder. I wanted to...I spent almost all my time trying so hard to force myself to do what was so hard for me. This is a decision he is making. It's not that he can't. It's take he is unmotivated and won't.

    I would stick to the two weeks. He doesn't need to be homeless. There are shelters and as long as he follows the rules, they will let him stay and probably help him find public housing. There are low cost to free clinics for mental health issues. There are caseworkers to help him apply for disability so that he can have a little money, if he insists on not trying to work. This may not be the life you wanted for him (is it for ANY of us?) but it is the life he is choosing. He is repudiating all the help you offered and is deciding to stay depressed. Not one thing he is doing is helping himself. It's like sitting in bed after an operation. If you don't get up and move, you won't recover. Depression is the same way. Don't enable it. He may get even worse.

    His past doesn't matter. What mistakes we made, Dad included, and God only knows we have all made mistakes, don't seem to affect our functional adult children...hmmmmmmmmm. Maybe we weren't really that bad, huh? Maybe we need to look forward and get on with our own lives and let our grown kids learn to fend for themselves, even if it's a rocky ride and if they go pouting and shaking a fist at you and saying horrible things (manipulatively on purpose) to make us feel like scum. That is the normal pattern and all of us have gone through it.

    Although many grown kids use the final scare tactic "I will kill myself" I don't know of any kids from this site who have done it. It is mostly to make us do what we want them to do. There is always that chance, but we can't stop them. Also, suicide is very strange...the kids I have heard about who did it were doing well and their parents had no clue they were suicidal. Really suicidal adults usually don't tell us about it because they know we'll stop them.

    I would concentrate on #1 and that is YOU. Your son will have to navigate life in his own way or else you must be willing to care for him, perhaps for the rest of your life. And what will he do after you are gone?

  17. WaveringFaith

    WaveringFaith Member

    MidwestMom - you always know just what I need to hear!! I know this is all true. Each passing day I'm getting just a little bit more stronger and clear headed. Perhaps sending him with a list of homeless shelters is what I need to do. THANK YOU for steering me in the right direction when I start doubting all this over again.. The enabling part of me is so used to rescuing and protecting, it obviously has made things worse.

    And I realized that my reply directed to Mother43, should have been to Kelia, who posted the original question. Sorry.. Mother43, your story is so similar too though. I can't believe how many moms are dealing with this same thing with our boys. It's both comforting (to know I'm not alone) and sad..

    Hugs back to you all!!! <3
  18. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    When you start to waver, remember all of the similarities in all of the stories and lives posted here.

    Our adult kids are not unique. They are not set apart and thus requiring our ongoing daily care because their situation is different.

    I don't know but are you sure drugs aren't part of some of these stories? I find it questionable that these very functional people suddenly with little warning turned nonfunctional.

    I don't want to be cynical but do you think drugs could be a part of this ie alcohol, pot, pills or more.

    My son claimed he could not hear the alarm clock so we bought and set three of them at the loudest settings. Still couldn't wake up. I thought he had sleep apnea so sent him to sleep clinic---he would not even stay the night to find out. I now believe he has been using a lot longer and a lot more than I could have imagined.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    WaveringFaith, it is hard for them to fool me because I had so many mental health issues and learning problems myself. I don't count depression as a legitimate reason to give up your entire life. I had it even as a young child. I was a very sad child. But I have fought hard all my life and, while I know how awful depression feels, IF IT IS REALLY DEPRESSION AND NOT DRUGS OR LAZY, then your only option is to try to make yourself well. There is much that can be done for clinical depression now, but not if you lay on the sofa, watch TV, smoke pot (very bad for depression), whine, refuse to move (exercise is GREAT for depression), don't challenge yourself at all (a lazy mind is bad too) is very hard work.

    And I have zilch pity for anyone who refuses to try the entire medication trial of two months and adds pot and alcohol into the mix, which takes away the good effects that the medication may have. I guess I'm like a smoker who no longer smokes and is intolerant of those who refuse to admit it is bad for you and to try to quit. I also know that our fluttering about our depressed adult kids, if indeed they are truly depressed, doesn't help them. They need to take care of their own mental health. We can't give them chicken soup and hope it makes everything better. It won't. It's on them.

    At least for those kids residing in the US, I think the drugs the kids take, including pot, have a lot to do with why they refuse to get serious mental health and I admit I"m intolerant of that attitude. Pot will not help depression nor will alcohol. Medication for depression is as necessary as insulin for diabetes and if you won't take it because you feel "weak" then if you get diabetes don't taken insulin either. They both correct imbalances in your system.

    We, the loving parents who have tried everything, have a right to a happy life even if our grown kids are using every tactic, like six year old brats, to make us support them, enable them, dote on them, worry about them, etc. The best in my opinion that we can do is to show them where the resources are and let them sink or swim. Because if they are going to sink, we can't do anything about it anyway.

    Hugs!!! :) I realize it is not easy to watch, but I think a lot of parents, including me, get "played" by our manipulative adult children who think we signed up to take care of them until our last breath. And, of course, they are the most important people in the world!!!
  20. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    What I hear in each of these stories is a component of denial about the role of substance abuse, and also the conviction that these boys are somehow different and therefore need the unique support of their moms.

    I agree with the others that drug use seems likely in the two whose mom's think they aren't using. LIke many others on this forum, I was positive that my difficult child wasn't using in 8th grade..9th grade, 10th grade...right up until his heroin overdose in 11th grade (I was sure he wan't using heroin because he panics at needles in the pediatricians office...cute little boy, huh?). I was POSITIVE everyone else was wrong abuot the drugs, they just didn't understand how messed up his mind was, how much support he needed, how uniquely different he was. Sound familiar moms? Guess what. He is a substance abuser, a user of the system (SSI and foodstamps) a user of his mom (I just paid $1800 restitution to get him out of jail...I didn't pay bail but I did pay what it took to shorten his sentence and prevent him from having a record)...and he hasn't talked to me since he got out of jail on New Years Eve and said "mom, its a holiday, I just want to be with my friends). I have seen him begging in front of McDonalds...but that is neither here nor there. That was my sweet boy. The one who got up in the middle of the night to eat. The one everyone suggested was using drugs but I knew better. That may or may not be your story...but until you have tossed his room and found nothing, and had a few negative drug tests....don't be so sure.

    The other is....behavior is behavior is behavior. YOu can teach a dog not to get food in the middle of the night with behavior modification. YOu can teach the most severly autistic child there is. You can also teach a kid that they can get away with anything as long as it is their mom and dad they are abusing.

    I hear the long list of things you have tried....and each of you has a short statement of what your difficult child has refused to try, or refused to stick to. Sounds like only one party (or two if there is a husband or SO in the game) is trying...the other is sitting back and letting it all happen.

    Nothing will change if you continue this path, that is one thing we can be sure of.

    My heart bleeds for all of you...for all of us. But we can get well...and actually, they may be able to do so as well. It does matter that we don't keep doing all the doing and the trying. They have to learn that they can do it on their own, and that mommy isn't the only resource. That is part of parenting the neurotypical and the neurolesstypical. These boys all need to stop having mom do all the trying for them.