So I finally kicked him out - why do I feel like ****?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JillS, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. JillS

    JillS New Member

    Needing a little support - kicked my 20 year old out tonight. History of stealing from me, smokes pot daily, doesn't work or go to school. Not a bad kid but just LOST and aimless. His stealing from me again for the 3rd time was the final straw, though he did write me a letter saying he wracked with guilt and feels like scum and wants to die. Now I'm feeling like **** for asking him to leave. I just feel like I'm completely drained - I would like to be able to help him through this (even though he's crapped on me repeatedly), but emotionally I am drained! I have nothing left to give. I told him to reach out to family and friends for a place to stay but also gave him a list of local shelters. I gave him 'til the end of the month to get situated but he decided to leave today. He just left about an hour ago for Covenant House. He's not a "street kid" so I worry that he'll just go from bad to worse once he lives there. At the same time I'm hoping that he'll be able to take advantage of the resources they have for young adults who have trouble transitioning to adulthood. Just feeling like I gave up on him and shirked my responsibility. I just didn't know how to motivate him. t wish I could help him and have been in "enabler" mode for 3 years now. Has anyone had success with kicking their kids out cold?
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm sorry this came to this. At the same time, covenant house may be able to offer him direction and access to ways to get his act together. Jobs. Housing. Schooling of needed. They truly can be a wonderful organization. I suppose that depends on the city location too. But I've heard great things of them. And have personal experience as a teen , many moons ago, with the one in Toronto. He will be safely housed, fed, clothed and give options and a hand up if he is willing to do what is asked.
    He may come into contact with some less than desirables. But usually the really rough ones wouldn't step foot in covenant house. My experience was it houses some kids that were good at heart but messing things up and chose covenant house as a stepping stone to try to move forward. I'll be hoping that is the case for your son. Some kids have to learn te hard way. And obviously stealing in your home etc? Means he probably could benefit from this reality check.
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    You are doing the right thing.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What you're doing is an extremely difficult path to take, it goes against our ideas of parenting. However, I believe you're doing the right thing for yourself, and ultimately for your son. It's not okay to steal from you, do drugs, not work or go to school, his failure to launch and irresponsibility have forced your hand, a place a number of us on this board are familiar with. It's hard, how you feel is a normal reaction, doubt, guilt, sorrow, anger, resentment, fear, a mother isn't supposed to kick her child out. BUT, you made a good decision, a hard decision and my belief is that you need to stick with it. I'm sorry it's come to this, but this is where you find yourself and you did the right thing, AND, it doesn't feel good. I know. Hugs to you and prayers your son finds his way and you find peace.
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi Jill,
    I'm sending you supportive Hugs - this has to be so diffucult for you. It would be great if we could see around corners, and know how things will turn out. He may be worse, or he may come out transformed, but that all depends on him, not on you. You did what you did because you expect better of him. The letter he gave you indicates that perhaps he expects better of himself, but doesn't know how to get there on his own. Hopefully, he has been accepted in Covenant House, and will work their program. I sure doesn't make it easier for you, though. I'm sorry. Please keep us posted.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I believe you are doing the right thing for both of you too. Oddly, years and years ago I myself spent a few nights at Covenant House in NYC! I made the idiotic choice to runaway from my home in VA with a guy I barely knew and he ditched me in the city and I had no way to get home. They took me in and helped me to get back home.

    We had to put my own son out twice and it was the best thing we did for him. When he lived with us he acted like an overgrown perpetual teenager. Now that he is on his own, he has grown up by leaps and bounds. I would almost have to change his status to easy child/difficult child. The only real trouble he gets into now is because he drives without a license and that is because he lost his license during his difficult child years and there is probably no way he will ever get it back without very expensive lawyer fees and he has to get around and we have no public transportation here.
  7. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I made the same choice 7 years ago. This single act alone was the best parenting I had ever done, ever. This forced my son to make money, start from the bottom, see what the heck happens if you don't work and see it and feel it first hand. He lived in a discusting rooming house, worked in a casino, saved money and got an apt. He now is a union carpenter, with great benefits and supports himself. That was the goal. I still have friends who's kids are still laying on the couch. You made the right decision. Your relationship will mend. your son will become his own man and blame you, he'll see how you've helped him. Not right away, though. You're only human and trying to help him. ((((HUGS)))) You're doing fine!
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He may blame you or not. My son has never blamed me.
  9. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I didn't really mean blame, more like understand the reason behind we did things we did. He understands, but I do think he is a little annoyed how it all played out. Sometimes when they point a finger, they find 3 fingers pointing right back at them. I do know that at the immagration office in Maine- I blamed me, my family blamed me, and it was very upsetting. You have to do some hard things to help them sometimes and just hope it works.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, many people dont understand why we do the things we do for our kids. We had so many people who didnt understand why we worked so hard to get Cory help all those years but even when Cory was a teen he said to me "Mama, I am glad you arent like Pats mom and that you are trying to help me. I know its because you love me. I may not get it now and I may not do right now but I do know you guys are trying and you care". That should a lot of insight for a teen.
  11. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    The right thing is almost never the easy thing. He may blame you now, but he will not blame you forever. He has to learn to function in the real world. The real world (newsflash to him) is not a place where stealing is ok. There are consequences.

    I would suggest, however, that you alert family and friends (if he chooses to crash there) about the stealing. Be prepared, also, for a honeymoon period where he is blissfully happy in his new surroundings. It's hard to take when it's happening, but it is always short lived. Reality sinks in eventually.
  12. JillS

    JillS New Member

    Thank you all for the advice. He stayed at Covenant House for 2 days and then went to his [paternal] grandmother's house and she has told him that he can stay for as long as he likes (sigh). Relieved on one hand that he's somewhere safe, but worried that he's just found a new enabler. Looking for a family therapist to help us navigate the rest of this situation. I saw my son yesterday when he came by for some clothes. He mentioned, with great sadness in his eyes, that he hadn't heard from his father in a long time. His father calls him maybe 3 times a year. My son shrugs it off but now I think it's starting to break-through. All the years of abandonment. It really broke my heart all over again because I know this is at the root of his acting out. I kicked his father out when my son was about a year old and I remember how my son ran to the corner of the room and cried his eyes out when his dad walked out the door. Throughout the years I would take him over to see his father every other weekend, but more often than not he'd leave the care of his son to his mother and would disappear on those weekends. One time he sent us away upon arrival, just told us to go back home, he had things to do. My son was about 5 or 6 at the time. There were many disappointing moments over the years, broken promises, failure to pick him up (matter of fact, he never picked him up, I had to take him over there). When he did spend time with him, much energy was spent on berating him. I remember one specific incident when my son was about 12 - he went out with his father to throw a football around and accidentally (?) hit his father in the face. His father got so mad he left him. Got in the car and drove off! Luckily my son knew how to catch a cab and made it home so I could pay the driver. I guess this is why I've been hesitant to take the tough love approach with him. He already feels unloved and worthless, I have to address that issue first before he will be able to function as an independent adult.
  13. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    HI JillS, I'm sorry, I know how hard it is. I hope you can find a good therapist to help your son with his abandonment issues. My difficult child, a full grown woman, had similar issues with her Dad who was never there for her. She seems to have created a life with abandonment at the core, everyone abandons her, and when all is said and done, from her perspective, so did I. She doesn't seem interested in therapy or helping herself, so after many years of trying to get her help, I set her up with all the therapists, social workers, social services help she could possibly get, but I'm not sure she will avail herself to that help. It is very sad. There is nothing more I can do, I had to let go.

    Right now your son is safe, perhaps he will go to the therapist and get some clarity and insight and be able to move through this while you get a break. He doesn't sound like a bad kid, he has a conscience, he feels bad about stealing, he just seems lost.

    I understand the guilt you feel about his Dad, I had a tough time with that too, but we didn't create that lack of connection. Your son has to find his own way out of that, and he has to want to do it too. I have a lot of empathy for your plight, I've been there. I wish you a smooth path where you find the right therapist so your son can grow and heal and you can find peace of mind. (((((HUGS)))))
  14. peg2

    peg2 Member

    My heart goes out to you; I know exactly how you are feeling, but at least you are talking to your son. I had to get a restrainig order(2 1/2 yrs. ago) against my then 19 year old and I was devastated then and continue to be now. I have had some contact 3rd party as he had been contacting my older boys, but he screwed them over too and now is living in a boarding house, which I am paying for, day program stipulations too, but he scewed that up too so don't know where he will live come August 1. Hospitalized short term twice in past 2 months, says he will kill himself when he gets anxious, but never changes. Won't acknowledege anything wrong. I see a therapist but I am not doing any better. It's too hard and I am battling breast cancer, so I just try to help him from afar. You have to think of yourself and your family, I was verbally abused for years, I refused to take it anymore. But I struggle and it has not gotten any better. But you can't live with them at home either so you don't have a choice.
    I will pray for you, it's not easy. This isthe hardest thing I have ever done.
  15. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    You made the right call. 20 is too old to be still living at home unless a kid's in school full time or working full time to save $$ for school AND is behaving well, following rules, and being a good guest--which is what they are at that age. Smoking weed & not working & not going to school & stealing from you = he's out, period. I know you feel badly, but it's absolutely the right decision. And don't relent--he won't grow up if you let him live at home, and believe it or not, he knows what you did was right, even though he's not likely to say so.

    When I was 20, I was malfunctioning--not too badly, but a college drop-out, living at home with my parents, drinking a lot & frequently, partying whenever I could, not making any progress toward adulthood. I was helpful around the house, convivial and responsible, absolutely no lying or stealing--but still, my (very old-school southern) father took my measure and told me I had to move out. I hated him for it, but I saw the writing on the wall and enlisted in the army. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made: made me grow up, toughened me, a great platform financially for college and the beginning of adulthood. He and I are huge pals now. They don't always hate for pushing them out of the nest, and deep down they know you're right to do it.