OK, guys. I think I need some advice. I haven't posted much, but I lurk often and always draw strength and resolve from others here who seem to be writing my own story. Quick background: difficult child began smoking weed at 14, quickly moved on to harder drugs. We tried doctors, rehab, therapy. Eventually we turned to law enforcement after multiple drug/paraphernalia finds, stealing money from us, etc. difficult child was in juvie for 9 months, which included 90 days of intensive drug rehab - much better than anything we could afford on the outside, actually. Got his GED, was accepted to community college, was a totally different kid. He came home and all was well for about 6 weeks, then small behavior changes began, eventually an arrest for shoplifting. Served 30 days (in adult jail, but a juvenile charge). During this time, difficult child turned 18. He was asked to follow 3 simple rules to remain in our house: 1. NO drugs in our house. Ever. 2. You must work, go to school (community college) or both, you can't lay around the house all day. 3. You must respect our family and our property (no disrespectful cursing/tirades, no holes in the walls or doors ripped off the hinges). He felt these rules were excessive, so we told him to pack his things and leave..and he did. He couch surfed, wore out his welcome everywhere, and eventually wound up on the streets in the dead of winter. He called, begging for help, telling us he would change, had learned his lesson, etc. He had gotten a job and was going every day. Hoping for the best, we agreed to help him, but decided he was not going to live in our house (we have a younger son and difficult child makes life very, very difficult to put it mildly). So we found a very cheap nice apartment near our home, paid the deposit, told him he had to pay half of the weekly rent for the first month or so, then 3/4 of the rent, eventually working up to paying it all himself. This would allow him to get settled and allow him to get used to paying his own rent, working full time, etc. We assisted with food, laundry, toiletries, furnishings, etc. This arrangement worked well for (you guessed it) about 6 weeks. Then he was arrested for public intoxication. We didn't bail him out and he spent a few days in jail. He lost his job and we told him we'd help with the rent for a few more weeks until he got another job and could pick back up (we realize relapse is part of the picture and hoped he'd made a mistake and would turn around). He refused to go back to therapy or NA, and his behavior merely spiraled out of control. He refused to look for work, was using heavily (including heroin), and soon became a suspect in many thefts about our town. He really only spoke to us when he wanted something, which is pretty standard (that's OK, just giving some background). We stopped paying the rent and he was evicted, became homeless again. I know there are those of you here who know what that's like and how hard it is. I would provide food and a shower, but no cash ever. Here's where I need advice: He has now been charged with (among other things) destruction of public property - a well-known structure in our town. The destruction was featured in an article on the front page of the local paper a few months back. He was questioned initially, but now the investigation has concluded and he has been charged (along with a couple of juveniles, but he was an adult at the time). The front page of the paper yesterday was a story about difficult child and the destruction he caused and how he was the mastermind, etc. Many people in our community know us because of our jobs in town. My question: What should I say in response to people? What should easy child say in response to people? How do you properly handle publicity? Here are some of the things we've gotten so far: "I'm so sorry you are going through this. What is wrong with difficult child?" or "I wish I knew how to help you. Clearly you need help" or my personal favorite, "Why did difficult child do that?" The first person that stopped me (on my way to my car to head to work), jumped out of her vehicle, ran to me crying, and threw her arms around me saying "I'm so sorry for you. What a terrible, terrible thing he has done. What are you going to do?" My response? "Gosh, this certainly isn't the worst thing that we've been through, it just made the front page of the paper." She backed up 3 steps, blinked rapidly, and got in her car and sped away. I guess that was the wrong response? I do not aspire for public attention and I don't do emotions in public very well either. Have any of you been in a position where your difficult child's actions made news headlines? I want people to know I care, but that I'm not responsible for his actions. I also want easy child to be able to respond to people who make careless comments to him (such as, "hey, do you know who did that destruction? My mom read it in the paper, it was your brother!") Furthermore, why does this even bother me so much?! Why am I expending energy worrying about this? Guilt? Shame? Maybe what I need advice on his how to detach myself to the point that I don't actually feel responsible in some way for his choices and actions? I went and withdrew a bunch of cash so that I won't have to use my debit card in town and have people see my last name! That's ridiculous! I know you all will be able to read this and know what it is I'm feeling and what I'm trying to say and what I really need to be worrying about/working on here!! ARGHH! Help! By the way, he has called several times from jail (I accepted once) and he was in tears, begging us to bail him out. We won't. He's facing a number of felony charges and probably looking at serving real time. He is also threatening suicide if we don't bail him out, which I let the police know so they can put him on watch. Of course he also promised to go right into rehab directly from jail, promised anything if only we'd just bail him out (I don't believe these promises. Burnt too many times). I'm not taking his calls now. Is that wrong? It breaks my heart, it really does. But if we bail him out, we can't have him live here and I'm afraid he'd have no reason not to hurt himself to avoid going back and he'd just be homeless again (and all the stuff that goes along with that on our end, sleepless worry-filled nights, and all that). Thanks in advance, guys.