Adult son still stealing from me, apparently for drugs

I haven't posted here in a while because I had a physically rough winter here near Boston, so I wasn't online much.

Anyway, before I start, I want to say Hello again, and hope that you are all ok.

In the last few months I've come to realize that my 27 year old son has stolen the following jewelry from our house:

His younger brother's high school ring (14k gold).
MY high school ring (10k gold).
A very special 14k gold seahorse charm with an emerald in its eye
A 14k gold and emerald ring that my parents gave me when I was a child.
Various other 14k gold charms including a charm my husband bought me of Cinderella's castle
while we were in Disney World over 10 years ago.
A gold and onyx and green sapphire ring that looked like an owl's face, that belonged to my father.

He has also stolen a few of my brand new Yankee Candles to pawn for a few bucks. :frown:

I am so stressed again. I took 3 Ativan tonight so I wouldn't start crying or anything.

This kid has the emotional level of a 15 year old; he does things with no thought to the consequences. He is never mean or disrespectful in his speech. He doesn't want to be kicked out of our house. I honestly don't think he has the faculties to take care of himself. He is very smart, but stupid, if that makes sense.

I see a psychologist and she told me to take him the DMH (dept. of mental health), where he will be put on ma list to wait for assistance.

I honestly don't know how much longer I can live like this. We have installed a deadlock on his brother's bedroom door because he was breaking in to his room, that's he was able to steal the ring, and cash over the years.

I just needed a place to get this out. I can't talk to anyone about this. I'm just trying to hang in there.

Thanks, if you are still reading. :hangin:


Well-Known Member
Hi Sad and stressed

I am glad to meet you but sorry things are hard. Glad you are back for support.

You say:
I honestly don't think he has the faculties to take care of himself. He is very smart, but stupid, if that makes sense.
I too have a brilliant son who chooses not to take care of himself. I worry too that he does not have the faculties to do so. But, so far he is surviving. And this way, there is the possibility that he mature, and learn to make better choices. Out on his own he secured SSI, and when he needed a place to live, residential treatment.

I have been persuaded that by letting him live here I am absolutely removing any incentive he has for maturing and learning to live as a responsible adult.

The way people get socially smart is to confront and solve problems.

That our sons do not successfully do so is not a reason, I have learned, to shelter them. Rather, sheltering them only prolongs and worsens the problem.

A place to start might be the logic behind the decision that son still live with you.

Is your son in college full-time or does he have an illness so severe he cannot take care of himself or arrange to receive support to do so? Even these factors do not preclude a young person from moving out and establishing themselves independently and gaining maturity by doing so.

If your son is stealing from your family you need to ask yourself why he remains in your house.

If he is buying drugs and you are allowing him to use what he steals to buy these drugs, you are supporting his drug habit.

You need to decide on a response to his theft, to protect your family from his behavior. A deadbolt on your other son's door is not enough.


one day at a time
Welcome back, SAS. I am so sorry. I distinctly remember how I felt when I found out my son had stolen from me for the first time. He took my debit card, withdrew $60, and put the card back. I was extremely naive, still, at that point, and I spent some time trying to figure out who else could have done it. Of course, when confronted, he lied. And I kind of believed him (!!!). I even went to the bank and asked to see the video of the ATM machine. Poor me. That was just the beginning.

Then he stole money from our wallets, items to quickly pawn, like DVDs, CDs, a bike rack for the car still in the box, jewelry, valuable sports cards, his stepmother's family jewelry.

For me, that was a deal breaker. I can't live in the same house with someone I can't trust not to take everything that is movable in every single room in the house.

For a while, he lived at his dad's house, and his dad locked up all of his valuables he could in his car trunk.

That is no way to live.

SAS, please think about this: It's not personal, him stealing from you. He is driven by one thing: how to get more drugs. That is all-encompassing. He will do whatever he has to do.

My son also stole from other people, our neighbors and close friends, his friend's father, his employer.

Whatever and whenever he could. It's part of drug and alcohol addiction.

That doesn't mean it doesn't hit us hard. The day we went to Home Depot to get slide locks for all of the exterior doors, I cried and cried the entire time. It was devastating to think I had to barricade myself inside my home to keep my own son out. But it was true. It was reality. It was what it was. He could no longer live here, and to boot, I was in more danger of my possessions being gone from him than I was a total stranger.

Most of us who have had sons and daughters addicted to drugs and alcohol have had this happen to us too.

Go ahead and cry and grieve and feel all of the disappointment and fear and realization that this knowledge brings. You must feel your feelings in order to move through this and eventually heal from all of the chaos, hurt, despair and drama he is bringing to your life right now.

Then, when you are ready, face reality. This is where he is right now. He will change when he gets ready to change and not one minute before that. There is nothing you can say or do to make this happen any faster, except to start putting yourself and your family first, and setting healthy boundaries when it comes to him.

Are you ready to decide he can't live in your house anymore? At age 26, if he is functional, why should still be living there?

I gave my son multiple chances to stay in my home. He blew every single one of those chances, and the last time, I had written down (hahahahaha) my "rules", and he tore them up in my face. That was actually good for me to experience as it told me right where I stood.

I told him to get out and he packed a tote bag and walked off down the street. That was a very sad day for me, but it was the right thing to do.

I'm so sorry for the pain. I so understand that pain. Please know we are here for you.


Well-Known Member
Sorry you're in this situation. It's good you're seeing a psychologist. Does she know how bad the situation is and how much stress it is causing you? If he's stealing from you to get money for drugs it doesn't seem like taking him to DMH to get put on a waiting list is what needs to happen.

You need relief from this. You say you don't know how much longer you can live like this. Well, you shouldn't have to.

You say he doesn't want to be kicked out of the house, so this must have come up. The unfortunate truth is that this will continue as long as you allow it to. He's not going to stop. If he's doing drugs, he needs money to get them.

He needs help. But at 27 you can't help him. He has to want help and he has to get it for himself.

What you can do is protect yourself and your other family members. You know him living there isn't working.

You can either keep living as you are or do something different.

He may not want to be kicked out, but when he steals from you over and over he's lost the privilege of staying in your house any longer. A natural consequence of stealing from you is that he can't live there anymore.


Well-Known Member
It looks like your son is getting Disability, so he is in the Mental Health system, I am thinking.

Shouldn't he be able to get on the 'list' for public housing/assisted living or whatever resources that are available?

If he is on Disability already, doesn't he have a Caseworker that could direct him to whatever help he is eligible for?

If they know that he can no longer live with you, maybe they would help him find other resources.

Sounds like you are at the end of your rope with this situation.

Please continue to post. It helps!


Well-Known Member
Welcome back SAS. This is a tough one, may I ask what is he on disability for? Is he under a doctor's care for his anxiety and depression? Have you talked to his doctor about this? I agree you should not have to live this way. Is he capable of living on his own or does his disability prevent that? Under normal circumstances I would want to say that you should kick him out, he is capable of understanding that he cannot steal from you and his anxiety and depression are no excuse. But I don't know the extent of his disability and think you need some help with that decision.


Well-Known Member
Welcome back. I have experienced the same as you. Our Difficult Child stole very precious jewelry with sentimental value from us as well. It took a very long time to get over that and sometimes still upsets us when we think about it. If there's any way you can place him elsewhere you should. He will continue to steal from you to get the money for his addiction. Until he is clean & sober you will continue to experiences this terrible loss. Loss of your sons better judgement. Loss of valuables. I'm sorry for what your going through. Best of luck to you!


Active Member
I'm confused, some of the comments talk about him on disability, but I dont see anything about that in your post??

Does he have a diagnosed mental illness? There are often resources for those who do. If so, definitely look into housing options for him through your department of mental health.