Cleaning out his closet and broke down

Stupid kite did it. Still in the package. He bought it one day while out with me to fly with his little brothers at the park behind our house. Never got a chance to. I barely made it back to my room before collapsing into a flood of tears. I haven't really let myself cry, because I feel like I have to maintain my composure so I don't do something stupid and give in. Of course now I am second guessing myself. Was his behavior really so bad that he deserved homelessness? I spent some time talking to my husband and bawling my eyes out and I feel a little better. Still hurts but some of the anxiety I have felt all day is less. I don't know what else to do. I miss him. I don't miss the walking on eggshells, but it wasn't like that all the time. I'm worried, hurting, and tired. I have been through this as a daughter and a sister but it's so very much harder as a mom.


Well-Known Member
With many (not all) of our extremely challenging kids, there IS a positive side to them. It isn't all negative. If it were, it would be easier. But there IS a side to them that we like, the "real person". The rare individual does this stuff just as manipulation, but many challenging kids honestly care about others, especially (for some reason) little kids.

Yes, it's hard when the dark side is winning and we can't live with the dark side. But the bright side shows up... and... we are "killed".

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
I am so very sorry for your despair, Nightowl. Please do give yourself the time you need to fully process all of this. It is important to allow yourself to grieve and move through the steps. No one should expect themselves to be a pillar of strength with the loss we all suffer.
It is not healthy.
We are all here for one another and understand the pain of it. I am sorry for your need to be here, posting and walking this path with others on similar journeys is tremendously helpful.
Please know that you are not alone.
Be very kind and gentle with yourself.
I am sorry for your aching Mama heart.
Do know that there are boundaries and lines that must be drawn to keep the sanctity and peace of your home. Especially with younger siblings involved. They are watching and waiting in the wings for your attention. The step you took in demanding respect and decency is life saving for your little ones and your son. Though it does not feel this way now, by giving ultimatums for proper behavior and following through with consequences you are sending a very clear and important life lesson that you will protect your right to set rules and preserve peace in your heart and home. All of your sons will benefit from your strength of conviction, they will know that there are behaviors that will not be tolerated in your home.
Cry when you need to, let it out, yet stay strong in your boundaries and striving for your peace.
You matter.
Very, very much.
Thank you both so much.

He called after I posted. He is in the behavior unit at our local hospital. He needed our insurance number. He said he is transferring later to the county behavioral health unit which can give him longer term services. They also will help him get set up with job corps. I am so very relieved to know 1) he is alive and off the streets 2) he is getting treatment and 3) he has a transition plan in place. He was withdrawn on the phone, business like and that is ok. I much prefer that to drama. I asked him to stay in touch and he said he'd call when he transferred.

I anticipate some ups and downs but if he can stay medicated and stable, I am hopeful.

Sister's Keeper

Active Member

Take comfort that he is in a safe place getting help and that there is a long term plan. These are positive steps.

Also remember that you need to protect your other children. Home should be a place where you feel safe. Your younger children should not have to live in fear. As an adult who was a child that lived in a volatile and tumultuous household I will tell you it does harm. Your other children should have happy and peaceful childhoods. They should not spend their young lives walking on eggshells for fear of waking the sleeping giant.


Well-Known Member
Oh Owl, I am sorry for your pain. I had a similar experience the other day, when son's aunt posted some pics of son in younger days for Throwback Thursday.

But yet this is very encouraging news, I think. They will help stabilize his medications, in ways he would not do for you, and getting him with Job Corps is a great step. He is in the very best place he can be, Owlie. He is getting the tools in place to learn to live independently.

Sometimes what helps me at these very sad moments, when I tend to forget why I had to take a hard step, is a list I keep of past ugly episodes that I would otherwise likely block from my memory or minimize. I call it "Thinking of Getting Involved? Read This First"

I am sorry for your hurt, Owlie. What a terrible choice for a mother to have to make.
Yes, staying focused on my younger kids and their right to a peaceful home keeps me firm on the boundaries. It was their startled faces after his last outburst that made me finally say enough. He loves them, yes, but it's not enough to keep him from raging when they are present. Even if he has never hurt them directly, I know this does harm.

And my 15 year old and 18 year old he has hurt directly, and even though he hasn't been physical with them since 2014, when he starts stomping and slamming and swearing it gets us all anxious, remembering where it can lead to. My 15 year old has a lot of anxiety and was hospitalized for depression about 3 months ago and has told me multiple times what a trigger his older brother is for him.

These situations are so complex with so many thoughts and emotions, I am so thankful I have a safe place here to work through it.


Well-Known Member
Night Owl,

Finding the kite was surely unsettling, and a bittersweet moment for you. It was poignant to read about it.

While I cannot remember something quite as sweet with my Difficult Child, husband and I both reminisce about his laugh and jokes; Difficult Child could be hilarious.

ONE thing husband and I judged wrong was not getting Difficult Child out of the house earlier. We called the police, but they would not remove him because he had not threatened us. They could not act simply based on the misery in our home. We should have gone to the next step.

Meanwhile, we told his younger brother and sister to just ignore Difficult Child. Things will be okay, if you just ignore him. HA

Years later, we heard more from them, stories they did not at the time. They were terrorized/traumatized. husband and I have such huge regrets about subjecting them to years of that. It was wrong for them to deal with that because their parents wanted to believe it would all level out. It did not. It could not.

You will not regret your decision down the road, knowing you did right by all your beloved offspring.

Stay with us,



100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Night Owl:

This is great news!! I thin that he sought out help on his own is very promising.

The sad thing is that you know he doesn't want to HURT you or anyone or be the way he is. I know that about my son also and it is very hard to deal with all of it.

SS you are so right about not having the Difficult Child in your home. We also kept hoping that things would turn around. That HE would get it. That he would mature a bit more over time and be the son we wanted and we knew he could be. It just didn't happen. He has two older brothers but made their lives miserable by stealing from them. We all had to lock up our keys, wallets, purse each night. He was sober for long stretches but then when he wasn't, it was real bad. As parents, it was so hard to see him struggle but felt bad for our older boys too. They were working hard and trying to pay off some college loans.

Night Owl I will pray that everything goes well for your son!