23 year old son - I kicked him out when he was 18


Wow, how come I'm just now finding this site?
Here's my story as short as possible:
My son who is now 23 has been difficult from a fairly young age. Special Education, iep, adhd... single mother, abusive nonpresent father.
When he was 15 his school was threatening to put him into canyon state, a school for kids with behavior problems.
I put him into a military school instead, 6 month hard core, project challenge was the name. Great program! He was proud and confident upon graduation.
Anyway, that was short lived. He returned to his bad behaviors, his bad friends, influences. I ended up kicking him out shortly after his 18th birthday. I did the whole bit, restraining order, alarm system, homeless starving phone calls, driving the streets for hours trying to find him, non stop crying and fear, bringing him back to only kick him out or call the police shortly after. I did that for a year until he was arrested for money laundering with a group of homeless kids. Felony. He spent 2 years in prison and was released on his 21st birthday. He came home to stay with me and could not be respectful. Stealing, lying, mouthing off, threats, blames me for his arrest and homelessness....
Out! I can't take it. Prison was harder on me than it was on him. He is now living with his girlfriend in a dirty apartment, not working, expects hand outs, calls crying that he doesn't know how to do anything. That I never taught him anything. I am filled with guilt and shame. The pain is so deep and literal. I know I have to be hands off, but, Jesus have mercy! I've just been diagnosed with graves disease, hyperthyroidism, and I swear it's from years of fear. I would discribe to people the way I felt was like the feeling of falling, that panic feeling, but it was constant, and now cronic.
I have always doubted my decision, and wondered, what if? But really, what other options did I have? He's 6'5 and threatening. I'm so frightened still. This has gone on way to long and now affects my health. It's strange how no matter what they do, you still love them with every part of your soul.


Well-Known Member
So sorry you are dealing with this. First you have to take care of you. You wouldn't put yourself in danger by being around violent strangers...so if your child is a possible threat to you, you myst take precautions.

You might try the Parent Emeritus forum. There is a good article on detachment. I don't fear for my physical safety, but I get that panicky anxiety feeling when I am worried about what my kids are doing. They are younger than your son, so I am still responsible for them, well, at least the youngest.

My 18yo has moved out and I try not to call and remind her about work, etc. I had a bad habit of doing that the last few years... I felt do responsible... Now, I am trying to let go.



Well-Known Member
I am sorry you are dealing with this situation. It is somewhat similar to my own.

What are you doing to help yourself detach and live a healthy life, regardless of your son's choices?

He is a grown man. You cannot fix, manage, or control him. He has his destiny and you have your own.

His choices don't have to dictate your own. You can be happy and safe and sane, even if he chooses not to do so for himself.


Hi culturanta, right now things are calm. He's working and has shelter and is pleasant to be around. Which, in turn he was able to attend some family gatherings. These are the good days. If it goes sour, I cut communication. I think he's catching on.
He knows that I'm sick from years of this as well, and that I don't need any stress.


Well-Known Member
Glad to hear things are calm. It's my difficult stepson's birthday. As expected we have not heard from him.

Al-Anon and my therapist both really help me to focus on myself. I know how hard it can be. Especially when you have taken on the role of caretaker for so many years.

Enjoy the peace!


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Does he abuse substances or is there a mental illness? I did not see anything in your post about either.


He has, in the past. Not a lot thankfully, but that's when things got really crazy. He was in Special Education all through school, they said he was adhd and labeled him emotionally disabled. I didn't agree, still don't. He's spoiled and lazy. The school system made it worse by catering to him and he became a master manipulator.
This is my original thread that I put in the wrong place, it continues elsewhere.

I have to tough love him to break the cycle.