Before our Mother's Day weekend turned to ashes, I spent some time talking with my younger stepson and the topic of school came up. He is doing badly this semester, and one of our concerns is that he's envious that Difficult Stepson is going to school online after flaming out at traditional high school. So I had a frank conversation with him about Difficult Stepson's path not being as easy as it might seem, and that Difficult Stepson will be facing a most unwelcome surprise when he has to enter the real world as an adult. I was encouraging younger stepson to do better in school so he can graduate on time and have as many options as possible so his transition to adulthood will be smoother. Younger stepson listened and took my feedback well, but when I mentioned Difficult Stepson the first thing he said, quickly, was "(D.S.) is dangerous". He went on to say that Difficult Stepson will "fight anybody, his mom, his dad, anybody" and referred to him as a "mental health terrorist." I asked younger stepson if he felt safe in his house, since there have been some terrible times in recent memory when this was not the case. He said that he felt safe because Difficult Stepson now has a girlfriend so according to younger stepson, "he's OK". He also said that as long as Difficult Stepson is getting his way and is under no pressure he will not explode. Of course we all know it is impossible to avoid pressure forever and for things to always go our way. Difficult Stepson has never learned to cope with that. Now he is a very tall, very strong young man. He has a fixation with strangulation, he talks about it constantly, and he strangled my wife a couple of years ago. God only know what he might do - and to whom - when he is really tested. He may end up making the news locally or even nationally. I would not be surprised if he harms himself or his girlfriend, especially if she breaks up with him one day. I hope my younger stepson stays safe as ultimately there is nothing I can do about this situation. His parents are both in different degrees of denial and won't get Difficult Stepson out of the house. He has seemed better lately but I suspected, as younger stepson confirmed, that it is largely because a) he is getting his way, got to leave traditional school and enroll online and isn't being pressured to work and b) he has a girlfriend now. If either of these conditions changes, things could be very different and tragedy could result very quickly. I have no legal authority over these kids, so all I can do is just listen. I'm scared for the future and I really believe Difficult Stepson will end up dead and/or incarcerated before he is out of his twenties.