New Member
I have been hanging out here for a while as I watched my son spiral out of control. Let me give you a little background:

I am a single parent to an only child. His father was very absent throughout his life. I had to ask that he stop making token visits and empty promises once my son started acting out in response to his broken promises.

He was diagnoses with ADHD in elementary school but due to not thieving on the Adderall he was weaned off and seemed to be able to handle things normally until his teen years. When he reached his teens, he started to become very defiant. Speaking to other parents, this was all part of growing pains so I dealt with it and tried to et boundaries: If you want a car, you will need to work... etc.

Fast forward past high school graduation an college. He was doing very well as an honors student at a prestigious public University and I could not have been prouder. He was accepted into a year long study abroad program and received a fellowship for his studies. I could not be prouder as a parent. As a matter of fact, he loved his time abroad so much that it was hard convincing him to come back for the following fall classes. I could not afford to expense and additional year abroad.

Within two months of the new school year start senior, a once promising life was torn asunder. He was arrested on a felony invasion of privacy charge. Having no idea of the legalese of such a charge, I did not realize the gravity of the situation. I immediately sought out an attorney and attempted to start my son on the path to recovery from the damage that he had done to his own reputation. Problems are when he refused to follow the attorney's advice nor seek counseling although I provided him every resource I could from 200 miles away. He refused to change schools to be closer to home.

Fast forward 6 months and I get a Saturday morning phone call from his attorney notifying me that he was once again arrested for the same offense. This time, determined to get his the help he needs, I advised him that there would be no mommy bail. I received a call the following day from a bails bondsman demanding that I make good on the remainder of the bail or they would send him back to jail. Of course I was shocked as I had no idea that he would try getting himself out of jail knowing that he did not have the money. After consulting his attorney, I was advised it would be best to pay the remainder of the bail.

Needless to say his college career at this university was over. I dutifully went to fetch him and move him home, hoping against hope that he would see the need to get help. He did... at first. He got a job, was able to get a car as his therapist felt that the freedom it would provide might be helpful. The counselor stated that he cannot help his behavior and it is compulsive.

Just like feeling better after antibiotics, he stopped seeing his counselor. I started seeing signs that he may again be spiraling out of control. No matter what suggestions I made, they were always met with oversized hostility. This went on for months until I ha to get help for myself and seek a leave of absence from work. I begged his therapist to help me get him hospitalized or at least on medication.

Knowing that he was spiraling out of control (some of the things he was doing were bizarre to say the least). Having any suggestions that I made being met with abject hostility, I decided to take the 'Ok so if you won't do what I say, do what I do'. I started asking him to ride along with me to pick up thing from the psychiatrist's office. I made sure to announce that I had a counseling session. I started to restate my boundaries.

One bright Saturday morning I knew something was horribly wrong when my son pulled up behind my car in the driveway. I could see it on his face in my sideview mirror. Of course, he played it off. I asked him to help grab the groceries out of the car, which he did after a fashion but his heightened nervousness peaked my alarm system even more. He refused to answer my questions when I asked what was wrong. He just kept returning to my computer.

I had gone into my room when I though I heard a knock on the door but was unsure. I called out and asked if someone was at the door but got no answer. I heard the door open and close and, out of curiosity went to the door to see what was going on. There I saw my son being handcuffed and questioned by a police officer. Right then my world caved in. I was already more than 10K into his thing attempting to get him the help he needs and trust me, my income does not support this.

This s the third time this year he has been arrested on this charge and all three charges are felonies. His attorney suggests that I get him out on bail which at this point is 10K, get him into the hospital as well as a forensic exam. You may as well as me to stand on my head and spit nickels. I can do one or the other, not both.

Here is my case and I await wise words from those of you who have had the pain of dealing with a mentally ill child and face the decision to help or not to help.

A dad

Active Member
This is hard to help as we do not really know what he really did wrong what is privacy charge? What piracy because if its that means most people on this planet are mentally ill.
Because do not get me wrong your son seems normal besides this thing which we do not know what it is that is why its hard to say how to help you deal with you mentally ill child without knowing what he did that you think he is mentally ill.


New Member
The charge is a class C felony invasion of privacy. Sort of like flying a drone somewhere it does not belong or upskirting, peeping tom.


New Member
Sorry I wasn't more clear just din't want to write a fun book. There are other issues such as lack of empathy, anger management etc. This type of charge is no where near normal for a normally thinking individual, especially knowing that the charge is a felony and the inability to stop the behavior even after arrest.


Well-Known Member
Is this sexual? I am guessing maybe it is.

I feel horrible for you, but if he is harming other people, it is not your fault nor can you fix it, but I am not sure it is safe for him to live with you.

Your son, from what you have said, is not motivated to curb his compulsion and his therapist sounds useless if he says your son can not help it. Maybe a therapist specializing in your son's compulsion would be more helpful. Worth a try.

If you want your son in your home, you can tell him if he won't go for help, he has to move out then stand your ground.

I would not go broke over his problems if he doesn't see it as wrong and himself in need of help. Most likely, if he isn't serious about helping himself, your money will be wasted.

I am so sorry. This sounds like a very difficult, sad issue. I think it would help you to try to get back to your own life, even though I know you will have to push yourself. Its hard, but we have lives too..m separate from our adult kids. Only your son can help himself.

Big hugs.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Welcome Bratty,

Thank you for sharing with us. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. You sound like you have done all you can to help to your son. There is a fine line that is easily crossed where we go from helping to enabling.

Your son is not taking the charges against him seriously and he may be thinking that it's no big deal as "mom" will bail me out again. This is where it's easy to cross that line. Even if you had unlimited funds it will not help your son to continue to bail him out.

I have learned over the years that throwing money at our adult children's problems does nothing but drain our bank accounts and send a message to our kids that they can manipulate us to give them money.

I know that you are worried about your son but you also need to worry about yourself. As parents, we spend a good portion of our lives putting our children first, then they grow into adults. This is a pivotal point in our lives where we need to let them go and we need to take our lives back. No matter how much it hurts to watch our adult children's lives spiral out of control there is nothing we can do to change things for them.

If your son truly wanted help and wanted to make amends for the mistakes he has made then there would be no need for you to have found this site.

Bottom line, you can only do what you are comfortable with. The "stopping" point for each of us is different. None of this is easy.

I'm glad you found us here. You are not alone in this struggle.

((HUGS)) to you......................


New Member
Thank you so much for the wonderful responses! I agree with all of you!

I attempted to speak with him about how this behavior, though not violent, still victimized those whose privacy he invaded. At first he seemed to understand but then again I had to deal with the accusations for all the reasons that this is my fault.

I have considered my safety as well as his temper is very volatile and I have the crushed sheetrock to prove it. When this all started, I was finally in the process of detachment and every fiber of my being told me that he was still carrying on this practice, I will admit that I was waiting for this shoe to drop and had even voiced this concern to my own mother beforehand.

My counselor, based solely on my description, believes he may have borderline personality disorder and told me frankly that it is possible that he can never be helped. This is the part that kills me.

I know that before this last instance, he was trying hard to put something in place of this compulsion. My house suddenly started being overrun with mail orders. When he ran out of money, the very next day, he was arrested again.

Its horrible to live in your own house and be afraid to speak up to help your ow child. Anytime I have spoken up in the past, it has resulted in World War III, accusations of nagging, etc. I will not bring him back to my house but support him in any way that I can. Despite the fact that I am disabled and he knows he has had a profound affect on me financially, he refuses to do anything around the house.

Thanks you all again so much and please, anyone else with words of wisdom, my heart and eyes are open. I need to stay strong this time.
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Well-Known Member
I hope you have made peace with whatever your decision was. At the cost involved, I would leave him in jail instead of going in more debt.

Such a tough thing to go thru... KSM


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Bratty1. I'm so sorry for your struggles with your son. I'm glad you found us.

If you are in the U.S. you may want to contact NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They will be able to offer you information, resources, guidance and support, they have wonderful courses for parents. The best advice I can offer is for you to find as much support for yourself as you can, this is a difficult path, and most of us have no idea how to proceed.

It may be time, (only you can make that call) for you to stop paying for your son's choices. Unless he is psychotic, he is capable of figuring out right from wrong. There is an excellent article on detachment on the main page of Parent Emeritus, you might find it helpful.

Hang in there, you're not alone. Get yourself support. Keep posting. I'm glad you're here.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
So sorry to hear about the situation you are going through and I have no experience with this but wanted to offer my prayers and support.

I do advise you not to bail him out anymore though. He has to face the consequences of his actions just like any other adult and as others said, you going broke isn't going to help him one bit.


New Member
I again want to say thanks so much! I have reached the decision that it is not my issue to fix although I will offer whatever support I can while he is in.

Recovering, as a matter of fact I just returned from my first NAMI meeting and I love your suggestions.

Thanks for the wishes RNO!

I cannot express how valuable all of you have been even before my first post. It is amazing how isolating somethain't like this can be and being here helps with not feeling so alone in this.

He is my son and I can tell he is not ready to seek help or does not think his need is that great. I understand, in no small measure thanks to this site, this is a point he must reach on his own.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Bratty, good for you for going to NAMI! And good for you for deciding it is not your issue to fix!

Yes, it can be so was extremely helpful for me to find this forum too.

There's a book a number of parents here have recommended for those of us whose kids are Borderline, it's called, Stop walking on eggshells: taking your life back when someone you care about has Borderline (BPD). You can get it on Amazon and also read some reviews to see if it may be something you want to read.

Snow White

On the Mad Tea Party Ride
Hi Bratty. I just happened upon this post and I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

I agree with the others. You have helped your son on so many levels yet he doesn't seem to want to help himself. I have recently bailed my daughter out of jail in a foreign country. She isn't the least bit interested in how her behaviour landed her there nor how much her escapades are costing her dad and I. I will not bail her out again.

I agree with the others that bailing your son out again will not fix or solve anything. But I know how hard it is to watch your child struggle. I'm learning to detach but it sure isn't easy.

Being isolated feels horrible. I hope you'll post often and let us know how you are doing.

Hugs to you.