Advice Please


Well-Known Member
From the smartest people I know...

My son recently added us back to his FB friends list. Through it I can see the pages of his other FB friends.

There is one young man my son was quite close to in junior high school. He is 22 now. Honestly, the kid was a very bad influence on my son and had a lot of problems, and his home life was terrible. But he was a funny kid with a unique worldview, and I kind of enjoyed having him around, despite having to basically watch him every minute.

Last month, seeing his FB picture was the first time I have "seen" this young man since junior high school. I was stunned by how thin he was. Yesterday he posted another picture of himself, even more gaunt -- quite frankly he looks near death -- with some incomprehensible ramblings about no one understanding him so &*$ them all, etc.

My first reaction is to send him a private message saying hello and that I am worried about him and would like to see him get some help. Not saying ANYTHING feels very wrong, like driving by an accident where I know someone is hurt and not stopping to help.

My husband says definitely do NOT do say anything, as it would be a betrayal of my son's privacy and trust. He points out that this kid has parents and friends who are quite well aware that he needs help, and I can see that his mom and his sister are on his FB friends list. husband points out that a FB message out of the blue from a casual acquaintance's mom is pretty meaningless.

He also points out that this is not the 13-year-old kid I am remembering, this is a grown man with the same responsibilities as our son.

I know he's right, but it just feels so wrong to say NOTHING.

Your thoughts?


Well-Known Member
Discuss it with difficult child. See what he has to say. He may know something you don't or he might step up and say something to the kid.

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one day at a time
Alb, if you want to contact him, do it some way other than FB. Get his phone number and call him or find out where he works and "happen" to stop in there.

That way, the FB connection is of no consequence. I understand why you want to reach out to someone you cared about. I think that is always good.

I would just leave FB and difficult child out of it completely. Keep it between you and the young man. My 2 cents worth.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Your post made me remember when I was in that intensive codependency program, all of the therapists used to tell us A LOT, that codependents are naturally the most compassionate, kind, caring, empathetic, warm, loving people around. It's just that one little tiny enabling part that we have to unload.

Your post is so kind and caring about this young man, I loved your comment........

he was a funny kid with a unique worldview, and I kind of enjoyed having him around, despite having to basically watch him every minute.

you were able to see through his persona and enjoy him.

I agree with COM, the FB thing is dicey, but if you could find another way to see him, that would satisfy your urges to do "something." Do you know where he goes to school or works?

And, if you can't Albatross, then perhaps it's yet another thing to let go of. We're good at that, aren't we?


Well-Known Member
I honor that impulse. You want him to know you see the boy within, that you love that boy. You want him to'feel connected and cared for even at a distance. I have a couple of kids like that in my life, friends of my children. Some of them sorted things out..some did not.

I agree that you can't use the facebook connection. Your difficult child might shut you down, or at a minimum feel spied on.

As Child would say..wait a bit. See if you feel the urge tomorrow or the next day.

If you do, then go ahead. If you can reach him another way, then do so. It seems like you feel moved or compelled to do it.

Remember though that he may well be some one else's difficult child, and the special connection we feel with those young adults is, often, in our own hearts and minds only. they are busy being committed to Their own path.

And last..don't transfer your need to rescue your difficult child to
Some one else's difficult child.

Sorry for the typos, i am stuck on my cellphone but wanted to support you and respond.



Well-Known Member
Why do you want to contact him? You can't fix him either.

Also, he may not have had such a bad family. Our difficult children probably tell everyone how terrible we are. That doesn't make it true.

Sounds like he's on drugs or very sick maybe due to drugs. Do you really want to deal with that? He will play you, like your son does, and probably accept money, a bed, comfort, etc. Why ask for another difficult child to replace your son? There is nothing you can do for him.

I'd seriously leave it be and get off the "fix him" train. I say that with gentleness :)

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Not saying ANYTHING feels very wrong, like driving by an accident where I know someone is hurt and not stopping to help.

I would send the private message.

Understanding that you probably cannot help this young man, I would send it, anyway.

Given the extreme thinness, he is most likely addicted. Your post may not turn his life around. But your post may echo something good from his past, from a time when he might have made a different choice.

Given your concern for this young man, I think the post would be appropriate. You are a mom. That is what we do. If he is in your town, if there are safety issues, then I would say "no".

Otherwise, I think a private message would be appropriate.

I do understand your husband's point of view. My husband would say the same.

There have been people from my children's pasts that I have private messaged with. It can become a weird kind of "I am trying so hard" "You can do it" while the person continues that downhill roll, lying to you the whole time. It can also mean a connection between your difficult child and a person who is absolutely walking the wrong path.

Nonetheless, I would do it.

It has not made a measurable difference, for those I have attempted to interact with.

I'm so sorry, Albatross. It is heartbreaking to see what becomes of those kids our own children were close to.

Oh, wait a minute.

Most of the kids my difficult children grew up with are doing just fine. It's MY kids who are running around with freshly shaved heads (difficult child daughter) and shooting their mouths off about how much I owe them (difficult child son).



P.S. I like what MWM had to say, too. That would have been the other thing I thought you should do. I wasn't sure which way I thought was best so, though I wrote this last night, I waited to post it until I had some time to think.

Ultimately, it is always right to try to make a difference, even just a little difference.

You know better than to give money, and there are certain other difficult child traps you are not going to fall into.

I would private message him.


Well-Known Member
MWM, those are very good questions. It is definitely drugs, and quite honestly, no, I don't. I am rather enjoying not trying to fix anybody at this moment! And you are right, there is nothing I can do, other than to say "Hello in there, remember when you weren't like this?"

Wow, gonna have to let this one gel for awhile and figure out what I'm bringing into this and why. Cedar, he is in our town, a small town, so the message gives me pause for that reason too.

But given difficult child's newly placed trust in us to access his FB page, I think it would be better to not take chances on going through that. Thanks guys, you are the best! I love this place!