Calm before the storm


Active Member
I have this eery feeling that I'm in a calm before the storm.

I've not heard from difficult child since LAST Sunday.

His sister hadn't either until she had to text him today regarding a netflix subscription.

I went by my empty house today and his stuff is still there, but I can tell that he hasn't been there.

I'm being honest- this is the hardest part- I need to get him to leave asap so we can list the house.

Based on things he has said in the past- forcing him into homelessness will cause him to tear up the whole house to make it 'unsellable'.

While I mainly think this is 'all talk'....I know him. I know that if I went over there and a) packed his things into boxes and left in garage, changed locks- he would lose his mind. I'm not at the house 24/7, so I can't monitor that he goes and gets his things and moves on.......b) I tell him that he has to go, he calls my bluff and tells me to make him. We are in TX, I'd have to 'evict' him. Or, would I? The house is EMPTY. No stove, no fridge, no furniture- utilities are still on, but that's because of inspections and listing on the market.

I'm just feeling antsy- and I need to figure out what to do. Work will be crazy next week- I'll literally have NO time during the business day to find out anything or call anyone. So, I don't know what to do.


Well-Known Member
I'd call a lawyer to find out if you can do anything and leave a message when it is a good time to call you. If he has already threatened to tear up your house, I'd want to find out if there was anything I could legally do to get him out and keep him away. You can't live this way, being scared of what crazy thing he may do if you try to regain your life. Don't set it up in your mind that you can't do anything at all. Find a few minutes during the day and find out what you CAN do. You have to eat. Call during lunch.

Wishing you luck. This sounds very frightening.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Sending warm and gentle thoughts your way sweet mama. I think MWM has given you good advice, find out what your options are. You can't just wait for his next move, it's your home, claim it.


Well-Known Member

I am sorry you are in this terrible position. I don't know what the laws are for evicting people, so I can't offer practical advice there. I can say that unless you take some sort of action the situation won't change, so go ahead and take the action and then deal with the consequences and move on. Most people can't really wreck a house. They can make it filthy, or damage some stuff, but they can't make it unfixable. If he goes'll have him arrested, you'll fix the damage, you'll sell the house, you'll figure it out. I like to try to see what the worst case scenario is (in my own life and decisions) and then figure out how I will deal with THAT should it happen. Usually that helps me with the antsy, with the panic.

MWM is right that you need to make some calls and find out what your rights and best course of action are.

Now here is what I really wanted to say: this part of your post jumped out at me.

forcing him into homelessness will cause him to tear up the whole house to make it 'unsellable'.

What??? In what way are you forcing him into homelessness? You are only doing with your property, with your asset, what you need to do. You are not stopping him from finding another home. He can get a job and pay for a room, apply for disability and get a room, get a job that provides housing, sleep on a friends floor, couch, porch, or garage, go to a shelter, get on a housing list....I don't know his situation well enough to know (what IS his situation anyway? why is he squatting in your empty property?), but I do know that neither you nor anyone else is forcing him into homelessness.

Good luck. I hope you can start to move forward. Keep posting..we are never hear to judge, only to listen, share our experiences, be a sounding board.


Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I have this eery feeling that I'm in a calm before the storm.

Based on things he has said in the past- forcing him into homelessness will cause him to tear up the whole house to make it 'unsellable'.


For each of us, there comes a time when the difficult child child has us in stalemate. It might be a principle we refuse to compromise on. It most often is something that forces us to choose between continuing to do the decent thing or standing up for ourselves. If we stand up for ourselves (you dispose of difficult child belongings, change the locks, and hold the intention of pressing charges against your own child if he carries through with his threat)...we still lose, because to do what it is that we are required to do to reclaim our lives destroys us in deep, shaming ways.

Yet, we do reach that place.

Our difficult children see to it.

I think the balancing point is kindness for ourselves.

Compassion for ourselves.

It helped me to remember that I was teaching my kids by my responses.

If homelessness is the issue, can you
use this time to construct a new paradigm?

Treatment, with your support, If drugs are at the heart of this, or homelessness, if that is his choice.

As things stand, your difficult child holds all the power because to make him homeless will hurt you more than him.

Yet, there is some central issue that is causing the homelessness issue. If you take advantage of this time to force your son to choose between homelessness and addressing whatever the basic issue is, this time can be seen as an opportunity.

You hold more power here than you know.

Love and pain are preventing you from coming up with a series of options for changing the situation.

Rent a room for a month? Check YMCA , extended stay hotels, homeless shelters.

As difficult as this seems, winter is coming.

It will be harder, then.

Could he be sent to grandparents?

We can provide feedback and stories of our own experiences if that would be helpful.

We have been where you are, sweetmama.

I'm so sorry this is happening.



Active Member

I hear what you are saying- and maybe I didn't say it right. It's not that I see it as forcing him into homelessness, it's how HE will see it. Hence, the threat to do damage.

It's times like THIS that I feel weak and stupid.


He has nowhere to go. He's stolen from family- so that's out. His uninvolved other parent isn't interested in helping in anyway.

Wait- I say he has nowhere to go, but he does. I just don't know where. I suppose there's the part of me- the part that makes me feel like a little girl trying to figure out a grown up problem- that keeps waiting on that epiphany to happen and at some point I've got to realize it won't happen.


Another part of me is I've avoided calling him or texting him because contact breeds contact. You know? If I send him a text saying to get his things out of the house- then he'll being this tirade that I'm just not even up to ignoring, etc.

I have to do something- this mess is costing me money unnecessarily. I need to move on with MY life and while it's easy to type that- it's just....I don't know......unfair.

Thanks for listening.


Active Member
Well, part of me is thinking, if he tries to destroy the house, I would just lower the price of the home and let the new owners make the repairs. What's the most damage he can do besides cosmetic? It's the only realistic thing I can think of and such a small price to pay for peace and freedom in your life finally. Neither of you are going to leave this situation unscathed at first, you will probably lose money and he will lose a lot too, but think about a year from now, five years from now, even then's better to do it now, then later. Don't hold off, keep going forward. He might surprise you and not do anything. Maybe he is looking forward to a new life deep down inside. Maybe the house is keeping you both sick, get rid of it as soon as possible. Don't leave it lingering too long.
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Well-Known Member
I agree about the house. It goes back to "what is the worst case scenario". If he trashes it you can call the police and you can get insurance. Probably it won't come to that, but if it does you will know what to do.

I don't blame you at all for avoiding the confrontation. I am a huge avoider...that is how I happened to stay married for 20 years, and my mom the my mom's case to a man who lived in the house (my dad) and REFUSED TO SPEAK to her or acknowledge her presence for years on end. But she couldn't confront him, I didn't confront my ex...I just lived day to day, always thinking I would do it tomorrow. In the end he left me, hahaha. So believe me, I get not wanting to confront your son.

Hugs today,


Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member


Remember that Robin Williams movie, Mrs. Doubtfire?

The scene where the handsome boyfriend is choking on the shrimp, and Mrs. Doubtfire gallops to the rescue?

Well, that's sort of your situation here, with all of us.

We are Mrs. Doubtfire, galloping to the rescue.

That means you can take some risks, try some new behaviors.

You can try them out with us, here.

Write to us what you want to say to your son about the house.

Or about anything.

We will give feedback.

The site is anonymous.

I have done that. Most of us here have done that.

You will become stronger, more committed to changing your circumstances just by imagining yourself standing up to your son.

Please treat yourself so gently now.

You are not foolish or weak or wrong.

You are in the middle of an impossible situation with someone you love more than your own life.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it (as they say on Mission: Impossible) is to create change, to break the stalemate.

Then, you will at least have a new series of options.

And we will be right here.

You can do this.

We did it.

We were all right where you are, today.

The first change I would ask you to make is to resolve to be kinder

That doesn't have to mean anything specific. Just be aware of kindness toward yourself.

We are right here.



Well-Known Member
I ditto reconveringenabler -- It's your home, claim it.

I ditto MWM -- Seek legal advice/options.

I also say, move forward. If he goes berserk (threatens/causes harm to you or your property), call police. We have had to do this. It draws a very BIG line in the sand for boundaries and sends a strong message. Although sometimes unpleasant at first, we were never worse off for calling the police -- it only helped.

Sending a virtual hug and supportive vibes your way. Take care and keep us posted (whenever you have time/energy, that is). Above all, stay safe!


Active Member
Thanks so much for the replies.

Update: Got a text from difficult child today. Says he's moving out (of the house), but needs gas and food and asked if I would give him $40. Also asked if it would impact my contract with TMobile if he came off my plan. Said he was still looking for work and was "trying".

Hmmmmmm. Interesting.

Honestly- am I stupid if I give him anything? Or, better yet- one of the re-loadable cards from the grocery store that he could get both gas and food on?

I'm encouraged that he's doing this and isn't acting hostile.

I'm guessing - knowing him- is he is feeling like moving is HIS decision as well as with the cell phone. So since it's HIS decision, it's ok.


Well-Known Member
I wouldn't ever give him money. If you feel the need to buy him food, buy him food and not a lot...something like peanut butter and bread. Gas? You want him to drive? If so, you put $10 in his car for him or put $10 on a gas card. I wouldn't do it at all, but it's up to you.

I'd let him make any decision about his phone that he wants. He's old enough to pay for his own cell phone.

Having said this and having dealt with difficult children a long time, he may be angling for something here and the nice could be to soften you up for something you aren't prepared for. I'm a big believer in looking at behavior. How has he behaved in the past when he is angry? If he has been violent and destructive, he hasn't changed...he will likely do something again. So keep your guard up closely, but go on with your life and plans. And do check the lawyer. The first thing I thought of when he said he'd destroy your house is doing something with fire. I could be wrong (and hope I am) that he'd go that far, but maybe he needs a restraining order to stay away from your house. I doubt you'll have eviction problems since he is leaving of his own desire. Let him move out or he becomes a boarder. I remember how I had to watch my every move (and I did) when difficult child lived with me. I was afraid of him which made it harder.

Hugs and good luck!!!


Well-Known Member
I like the idea of the reloadable cards. They can sell them but you would know if he did that if you couldnt reload it for him. I would tell him that too. That he better keep the card so that if he needs something else you can transfer funds onto that card. That may keep him thinking you will be giving him money later when you might not but really who cares...get him out!

I dont know what the laws are about eviction in your state but I would think that threats to harm either you or your property would be grounds to have him put out faster. Maybe with a protective order?

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Any time we have a choice about being kind, a chance to "pay it forward," especially with our own kids, I think we should do that.

Recovering Enabler has given us a way to know whether we are helping (which is the right thing) or enabling, which is wrong both for us and for the kids:

We will know we are enabling when we resent what we are offering or providing.

Enabling saps the kids' of their potential to learn from their mistakes and do for themselves. It puts us in a kind of one up, justifying, resentful place where we lose respect for ourselves and our kids.

I don't see that, here.

I see a young kid with problems to work through, a hot temper, a quick tongue, and a good heart.

I agree with both Janet and MWM: No cash money. I like the idea of a reloadable card.

He left the message about looking for work, about moving out, about how to be independent. Those are all positive things.


one day at a time
Also, giving him the card with this money on it might be a good step for YOU. It might let you know you did something, if you still have that need and that feeling at times.

And he asked. One thing we need to remember and remind ourselves about is this: Before we act to do anything for difficult child, have we been asked to do something?

Often we have not, but in our need and frenzy for action, we will do something to "help" that we haven't even been asked to do.

I did that myself yesterday. difficult child asked me for a ride from work, and I said okay, after thinking about it. Then, out of my own need, I bought him some grocery store fried chicken, chips and salsa and a couple of protein bars and gave that to him. He said thank you, but later on, I realized he hadn't asked me for food.

I am a bit anxious about the whole getting the girlfriend out of jail thing. And I am confused about the +/- aspects of difficult child's behavior.

Ugh. I need to remind myself always: Have I been asked for help? Before I rush in like the Cavalry to help difficult child.

Thanks for this chance to remind myself, and hopefully, it will help someone else.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
Oh for Heaven's sake, this stupid phone!

The worst part about when it posts like that is that I can't reread the post before I post it.


I get so darned frustrated I can't remember what my point was!



My point (and I do have one, as Ellen Degeneres says) is that we should love our kids with our whole hearts every chance we get. Definitely do the reloadable card. Celebrate your ability to do that for him and your generosity in doing it.

Be so grateful for every smallest instance when it somehow happens that you find yourself in a place where hope is possible.

But never let your difficult child know that is how you feel.

Tell him instead that you raised him better than to do what he is doing.

Tell him you love him, and that he needs to stand up and become the man you raised him to be.

Tell him you suspect drugs are at the heart of this (my son would go ballistic at any suggestion that his problems had anything to do with anything but what crummy parents and rotten childhood he had been subjected to and barely survived)


I believed him.

Don't do that.

It wasn't until we stood up to our own son that he had any interest in me or
husband as anything but money rescuers and blame boards. Laying responsibility for where the kids are in their lives squarely on them is a key factor in helping them stop doing what is harmful to them.

It took me such a long time to learn that.

Once I did though, it changed my life.

Turned out I was way too understanding with everyone in my life, and they were walking all over me.

So, I say help him only a little, and only when he's asked with respect. (This is
as important for your son as it is for you -- what kind of man treats his own mother badly?)

Never miss a chance to tell him he is your son, that you expect better from him than this, that he was raised better, that he knows better.

Love him enough to cut the money off at some point and to tell him now that you intend to do so.

That's another problem with this posting before I'm ready.

Too many words.



Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
COM, I love it that you had a chance to love your son and took it.

We all need to extend ourselves the grace of loving our kids in harmless little ways like fried chicken and salsa.

We are their mothers. We love and obsess over them. We experience bursts of unparalleled happiness at their every success and, like Persephone, spend time searching the bowels of Hell to bring them back when they are going a wrong way.

(Man, I'm chatty this morning.)


I love it that you brought him fried chicken.

For his own good, and for yours, you have to be mean to him so much, COM.

Love him fiercely every chance you get.



Active Member
I see a young kid with problems to work through, a hot temper, a quick tongue, and a good heart.

Just read this- and it instantly made my eyes water. I don't want to demonize my son. And unfortunately, his problems, hot temper, and quick tongue all show before his good heart.

I know he has one, I just don't often get the opportunity to see it.


one day at a time
Sweet mama...Of course your precious son has many good qualities. On this board we mainly talk about all of the bad stuff and we look at the good stuff with suspicion. Are we being duped again we wonder?

Just like us, just like all people, our difficult children are complex with many good qualities and character defects. Many of theirs are illegal and life destroying while ours are more subtle usually.

Hard to keep that perspective when we are continually confronted with the horror of it all but still true.

Sent using ConductDisorders mobile app


Active Member
I've called (yesterday) to set up counseling for myself.

In the meantime- in reading through this thread- I realized that I'm assuming I have to either be mad or loving but that I can't be both.

He's an adult and he makes his own choices which come with their own consequences.
He was raised better than he's doing
He has disappointed me in ways I never imagined or thought possible
I have struggled so much with that boy. He has driven me crazy all his life. But I was his only advocate. I was all he had.
School write ups, suspensions, expulsions, alternative school, truancy court, rage, threats, threats of suicide, bullying, stealing, lying, broken glass, holes in walls, poor grades, broken 'things'.
Blatant disregard for common courtesy and manners with me, but knew how to act in front of others

but he's MINE. And while I gravitate between feeling like I am responsible in some way for the things he has done since *I* raised him, I also know that everyday of his life he's MY SON. Mine. His "biological father" has not once in any way tried to help do anything or offer any assistance. Didn't care. So difficult child? He's mine. Good, bad, ugly.

I don't know- I guess I thought that in all this 'change' I had to be the hard :censored2: to prove a point to him. But you know what? difficult child needs to know that I do love him. And I do care about him. And I do pray for him- but what I will no longer do is love him more than I love me.

Y'all helped 'teach' me that. No one had ever told me I had the RIGHT to do that. I mean, it sounds like common sense, but it's not. Society says to be a good mom you would lay down your very life for your kids in every circumstance.

That's just not true.

I have no words with how much you all have helped me.

Strangers- people who don't know me and yet don't judge me and tell me that it must be because:

He was raised by a single mom
I should have chosen a better partner to have a baby with at 21
I should have spanked him more as a child
I should have disciplined him more as a child

etc, etc.

I did.....the absolute best I could with the hand I helped deal to myself.

I tried.


He'll get the reloadable card from the grocery store today- and y'all are right- I don't feel 'RESENTFUL'

enabling makes you feel resentful, helping feels good.