Can't ever escape being reminded....


New Member
...that my son is homeless.
Why? Because he hasn't left our neighborhood. I see him walking or biking or sitting or hanging out all over the place. The short drive to/from the freeway from my house is fraught on a daily basis with "wonder where I'm gonna see him today?" I completely avoid places I used to shop or eat because I'll see his bike propped up against the closest tree. I will go the long "back way" to avoid running into him. I definitely don't go jogging around here anymore and we haven't been to the park in over a year. I cannot escape it...which makes it very difficult to try and move forward.

At the end of the day, husband and I are at peace with our decision to have him leave but the ripple effect is almost as difficult as the day-to-day struggles beforehand. It's been just shy of 2 years (he's 26) that we had him move out and a year that he's spent much of the time living homelessly.

I never imagined this would be our reality.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
Hello and welcome. I am sorry it's constant reminder, to see him, knowing the reality of his life as it is. I am not sure which is harder, having them live homeless in your area and seeing them daily or homeless away from you. Away from you- you would be wondering how he looks, where he is living, is he even alive. I know its of little comfort, but by seeing him, you know at least he is alive, even though not living how you had hoped his life would be. I am hoping your other post for things turning around is a ray of hope in the storm.


Active Member
Heidi, I can sooooo relate to you. I've got a rubber neck when I drive through town wondering if I'll see my son who is also homeless in our hometown. It's stressful being in a constant hyper vigilant state. Then, when I don't see him, like in the past few months, the unknown can be even more daunting. Where did he go? In and out of jail like a yo yo. When he's in, I sleep better. My son will be 32 in 3 months. I'm heading out for a walk right now to clear my mind with nature. It helps. But it's funny that I signed in to Parent Emeritis for a minute and read your post. Total God shot. Thank you!


Well-Known Member
My son too is homeless and lives in our city. For a long time he lived under the bridge about 1/2 mile away. Often he can be found begging on a cardboard mat in front of McDonald's. There is a lovely public square that I walk through daily on my way to and from guessed it. His favorite hangout.
He sometimes goes to restaurants where I am a regular and begs for food. They call me and ask me (subtly ) to please make it stop.
Such is my life.
I did decide at some point to take my city back, and stop avoiding places to avoid him. That piece of self governance helped a bit. Once I yelled at him in front of McDonald's 'do you tell people that you are a spoiled middle class brat who uses drugs and begs instead of coming home and working' or something along those lines. He ran into McDonald's , embarrassed. I followed, yelling. That wasn't a good day.
I realized once that one of my younger sons never walks through that beautiful park.
I have no advice to give, really. I just wanted you to know that I'm here, and I understand.
Mine is in jail now, by the way. As others have said, this is quite a relief.

so ready to live

Well-Known Member
Hi Heidi. Our 28 y.o. son is also homeless/couch surfing in the town near us. I could so identify with Carri's "rubber neck" comment, as our church is in this area and each Sunday I am on the lookout to see him. Son does still have a car so I mostly try to see it, hoping if he's outside he still has that to sleep in. I don't shop or go there other than church to save myself from the pain. So much power they have in order to limit where we even are able to go.
'do you tell people that you are a spoiled middle class brat who uses drugs and begs instead of coming home and working' or something along those lines.
I could so see myself doing this-just snapping-and feeling worse (if that's possible) after. Thanks Echo for making me feel human for a minute.
Our son is diagnosis with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) +++(see my info) I believed nurture over nature in my heart for so long. Two of our other kids are either foster or adoptive parents now and I so pray they won't go through what we did/are. Heidi---we tried so hard, didn't we? We have always thought the most difficult part was how much slack to cut them in relation to their deficits. But, my son KNOWS right from wrong, and chooses wrong over and over. Drugs, alcohol, lying, stealing, entitlement, laziness....and so much more. We are just in the last year trying to go on with our lives, it's a struggle each day to be well when he's not. I have been the poster child for "a mother is only as happy as her saddest child". My husband does better in that he can see no other way--I have a kernel of "maybe if we had just done this...." but so many of us here have/continue to go over and above. This site has given me strength. Keep reading and posting. Prayers.


Well-Known Member
So ready and Heidi, adoptive mom here.

Fetal alcohol spectrum is organic brain damage that affects cognitive function, common sense, memory and these people have a real disconnect, that they can't help, between understanding right from wrong. Love can't change the abuse suffered before birth by birth mothers drinking. And although this really isn't your sons fault, it's not your fault either. He may not understand that there are supports out there that can help him. And he is probably too erratic to live at home. again, not your fault. The adoption workers sure don't tell us about the possible issues we will face. Mine never did, at least.

I am so sorry your son is in your town. That has to be gut wrenching. There should be safe sheltered care for an adult with your sons challenges, but there is not and it makes me sick.

Try to find peace. You have done it all with limited resources. Hugs for your hurting heart.


one day at a time
I'm so sorry and I understand, too. My son was homeless in my town, within 1.5 miles from my house, for four different periods of time. I would see him walking or hanging out at a McDonald's or at a day shelter from time to time. One period of time, I would meet him at the day shelter for 10 minutes on a Friday to see him and sit in the car and talk. It was our "new normal" and I know it sounds very strange that we could actually do that. It was the beginning of beginning a new and better relationship with boundaries. He finally started realizing that the begging, relentless calling and texting, and manipulating just was no longer going to work. That took me years of fairly consistent new behavior to get that across to him.

It used to really startle me to come up upon him in town. But, I did better by establishing and maintaining strong boundaries, like just seeing him for 10 minutes a week. Laying eyes on him, I like to say. I needed to do that periodically, but I truly didn't want to know or deal with any more from him. I was worn out with it all, and it seemed that nothing ever changed.

Backing off was really good for me, and I now can see how good it was for him. It gave him a chance to figure out what he wanted and what he was capable of, himself. I continuing life of jail, drugs, homelessness and breaking the law, or...a new kind of life. Two years ago, he chose a new way of life and that is still continuing today. I am very very grateful.

I'm so sorry for your pain in this. I remember it all with amazing clarity. It is what it is, right now. But please know, it can change. Things can improve. Their rock bottom is hard to fathom because it is so different from anything we can even begin to imagine.

We are here with you and for you. Hang in there. We care.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Heidi, can so relate to this. I very am sorry for your heartache and your need to be here. It is a good place to be for folks like us who are going through this journey.
My daughter is out there in a park on meth and seems content with her lifestyle. It is mind boggling. I have not given up hope for her, just the idea that I can do anything to help her. She does not want to go to rehab, or a shelter. Have had her home in the past which always turned out to be a disaster. So, there you have it.
I go from some form of acceptance to disbelief to worry and concern and back again. It is not for me to change, she has got to want differently for herself. I gave her to God a while back and pray for her.
I know some friends and family cannot understand why I just don't bring her home, but these are people who have never been touched by this. They do not know the turmoil that results from having an addicted, manipulative, vindictive, lying, thieving adult child in their home.
It is just unacceptable.
It does not make seeing her, or not seeing her any easier.
Her father suffered another illness, hospitalization and recently passed. I am hoping that this will cause her to contemplate her choices and want better for herself.
Only time will tell.
Until then, I will try my best to live well and get through the ups and downs and sideways of this.
So, here we all are, posting on our unique "Unfacebook" world, lamenting, venting and trying to uplift ourselves and each other, despite what goes on with our d cs. We have lives that matter, come what may and I have realized through many months spent here that we do the best service for our adult children by showing them by example how to live life to the fullest. It is not easy, but something worth striving for. Life is just too darn short.
Welcome Heidi, please know that you are not alone.


Well-Known Member
Mine is one neighborhood over. My neck snaps around the minute I pass the sub division. I have stopped walking my dog to the little park next to the neighborhood.