New Member
Hello and I would like to initially say I am so glad to have found this site, I have tried to Dr. Google my difficult child's perceived condition for years which only confuses, worries and ultimately does not give the answers that I am seeking which really is how do I make my child (well adult child now) not broken anymore.

Quick rundown as I can say that much of the stories are so similair it's scary.

Dad and I are divorce, both remarried. One other easy child = 24 years.

difficult child = 29 years, small issues as a teen (driving infractions etc., nothing serious), generally a good kid although we could get into some good arguments at times. At age 26 he got into drugs such as oxy, antidepressants, ecstasy (these are only what I know about) and used them excessively. Most of the information about the drugs I received from his now ex-girlfriend. It started with psychosis, admitted him to the psychiatric ward 3 times, he was experiencing hallucinations but when away from drugs that did become better after 6 months or so, well it was better but not "normal". Over the years after that other behaviours surfaced such as not living by rules, example: would fill up his gas tank then tell the gas attendant he forgot his wallet (he never had the money) then call myself or his father and tell us he would go to jail if we didn't pay (we did). He stole money, had no respect for property, anything he did wrong he would turn it around to be someone else’s fault. He made excuse after excuse as to why he could not find or keep a job. Expected everyone else to pay for his truck loan and insurance. He got kicked out of every place he stayed with family and basically lived off his girlfriend for a time until he was charged with domestic assault (this year). His father and I wouldn't bail him as he could not keep to the bail conditions in jail (he called his girlfriend from jail) and then blamed us that he now has a criminal record. He is especially verbally and mentally abusive to me, will attempt to guilt me into whatever he wants and I as much as I hate to admit it, I don't think he could care less if I were alive or dead. There are 100 other examples I could give, but you get the point. The other issue with him is after all of the chaos he has caused we still tried and tried to help him (supported him, I still pay his cell phone - just so I can have a peace of mind) and consistently tried to get him into help which he would not go, his response? Argue, fight, manipulate (his specialty) and do nothing for himself, especially get any type of help, he has always said "what are they doing to do?"

The drugs have not been an issue for about 8 months now, so now I don't know if he has mental illness brought on by drugs or if he had it all along.

Last April after the assult charge my mother let him live with her where he continued to basically live in a recluse life, until she couldn't take it any more as he refused to work and then finally got drunk and punched holes in her walls last Friday.

He has burnt all of his bridges and is for the first time in a homeless shelter.

I am so torn about this but I know I cannot live with him, the shelter does feed him and I hear it is not too terrible but he is now blaming myself and his father for this too. I actually could not believe I read on this forum about adult children berating their parents for going on vacations, he does this too.

I am hoping and praying this is his rock bottom and things will turn around but the stats don't suggest there is a great chance of that.

So I continue on, I go to work, then go home and think...I am home and my child is in a shelter like no one cares about him ..meanwhile his Dad and I are dying inside because we fear he might get into worse issues that he already has but it is impossible to live with so that is not an option.

He has no diagnosis for mental illness but I know there is something going on...then other times I think is there a mental illness called "severe manipulative rudeness disorder?" because sometimes he can be normal then he comes out with things that are just off the wall and he is a walking poster for someone who "bites the had that feeds them".
I know this is a bit of a ramble and there really is so much more to this story that I can only hope comes out with some sort of miracle ending.
I have been reading this site for 3 days straight and it helps to know you are not alone, yet I feel alone dealing with it at home. It's not like you can call all of your friends and say, hey guess where my child is? I went to a counsellor and asked what do I do without enabling him? They said treat it like he had cancer, so I gave and gave and it did nothing, he just wanted more and more. (it seriously went from money, clothes etc. to I want a car). This was all in attempts to make him feel better. The counsellors never diagnosed him and they only have half the story too but the result of seeing them was more guilt about what I perceived I wasn't doing. I get what they are saying about cancer, that mental illness is a sickness but the difference is the cancer patient is someone you can deal with, the other unfortunately is not.

It's been 3 years of pure hell, I would love to say "that's it, I am done" but I always check in the next day and get my heart ripped out yet again.

Thanks again for listening.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Cinder,

I am so glad you are here but sorry you have to be.

I have been dealing with my difficult child's out of control life for 20 years. He is almost 34 years old.
I can tell you from personal experience it doesn't matter how much money you throw at him it will never help him. As for you paying for his cell phone, I would not even be doing that, I would tell him you have x number of days to get your own phone then I will be shutting this one off.
My difficult child is homeless but yet he managed to get a Kindle, that is how he communicates via FB. So if my homeless and jobless difficult child can get a Kindle I'm sure yours can also.

I know exactly what you are going through as do so many others here. We all have had our hearts and emotions shattered.

I went to a counsellor and asked what do I do without enabling him? They said treat it like he had cancer, so I gave and gave and it did nothing, he just wanted more and more. (it seriously went from money, clothes etc. to I want a car). This was all in attempts to make him feel better.
The counselor should have been more specific in their advice. I am a cancer survivor and the way to treat cancer is to deprive it of it's energy source. You need to deprive your difficult child his energy source which is you and your husband. He needs to learn how to take care of himself.

Please do not fall into the guilt trap. You are not responsible for the life choices he has made.

Hang in there and know you have support here.

Hugs to you!!


Well-Known Member
Have you considered that your child may have a personality disorder such as being a Sociopath? Sociopaths have not regards for the feelings of others and everything revolves around them. I posted some stuff about it so just do a search and it should come up, I have a 40 year old daughter that either is or displays signs of being a full blown sociopath. Take a read at what I have previously posted and see where your son fits in.
I am so sorry you are having to go through this but glad you finally found a place to get support.


Well-Known Member
I'm sorry you are going through this. All of our criminally inclined dysfunctional adult children blame us because it makes us feel guilty and they sure aren't going to blame their own behavior on THEM. That's where it lies, by the way. Also,t hey hope we feel so guilty we'll send them money, which is usually used to drugs. Maybe, for your own health, you should go low contact with him. You need to take care of yourselves now. Your son is a man, nearing middle age. I would not allow him to abuse me. I have done this with my own son. We have rules for talking and one is that he can't abuse me. Abuse includes raising his voice, calling me names, talking about the past (in his deluded thinking way) or blaming me for anything. If he starts up, I gently hang up and will not answer his calls or texts for several days. I would also not look at his social media as they often use nasty messages to hurt us. You can not change him. He is 100% in charge of himself and you are 100% in charge of how you react to him and how you want to either maintain or change your relationship with him. Often once we back off, they get even more abusive until they know we mean it.

I agree he probably has a personality disorder, by his behaviors, and that is nearly impossible to treat because it requires that the person who has it admit they have a problem. Among the possibilities he may have is antisocial personality disorder (lack of empathy for anyone, total disregard of rules, has no remorse for hurting others) narcissism (same thing only more social-acint, but not sincere, uses people) or borderline personality disorder, which is more common in women (emotional dysregulation, inability to form meaningful relationships, all or nothing thinking...lots of help for borderline now, BUT the person has to commit to getting better and working VERY hard and must be drug free. You really don't know if your son is drug free or not).

Bipolar is kinder. Schizophrenics do not understanding reality from their own thoughts and hallucination. Personality disorders are ingrained in the person and are almost impossible to live with. Here is a link for you:

I'm sure you have other loved ones and friends you care to spend quality time with...those who know and appreciate you. Focus on them, is my suggestion. And yourself. Too often we focus so much on our crazy grown kid that we almost lock out room for anyone else or any fun in our lives. Don't make that mistake.

Glad you joined. Sorry you had to.
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New Member
Thanks to all of you for your quick reply and very sound advice.

I could say his middle name is narcissism, when unemployed I would suggest why don't you work at "x" place and he would say I am not working there (not good enough). He had a good paying job, but was fired and I pretty much think he thinks that unless he makes x amount of dollars at a particular job he won't take it. He would rather collect from the government as if they owe him for his perception of what they didn't give him (he went to school for a government job but never landed the job). A job paying minimum wage would give him 3 times more that what he is getting so it makes no sense.

MidwestMom, yes I do have friends but only speak about his issue to the friends that understand mental illness. One works in the field and the other has a Schizophrenic sister. As you probably have experienced others would just think our children are "weird" and honestly before researching every mental illness known to man to determine what is going on with him I thought people were just that too. I look at the homeless on the street different and I am sure they all have different stories but I am sure most had a family that loved them and tried and it scares me when I see young men on the street fearing one day it may be my own. It's like a part of them they died and you mourn what could have been, then get mad at them because they have created this huge hole in your life that you can't repair until they are well. Every social outing is strained, I never know when I am going to get a call that he is acting up, police have been called come and deal with it etc.

Tanya you are right on with the cancer reference and what a great analogy to that reference with respect to taking away the energy source. I am trying by letting him stay in that shelter, in some ways (in my thinking) it's better than at my Mom's because there he will have to follow rules and always has someone to talk to and maybe strangers are better because I can certainly tell you he takes none of our advice.

I get so mad at him yet feel so bad for him, what a rotten thing we all have to go through.

This site should be referenced on every mental health board to assist parents, what a great support system. :)


Well-Known Member
Cinder, I did not mean enjoy others by talking about your son to them. I would only talk about your son to safe people, a therapist included if you are so inlclined. I mean go out and have fun, have a good time, enjoy yourself and try to forget about what your son is doing since you can't control it.

Give yourself permission to put yourself deserve it...and to jump into life with enthusiasm and keep your son on low contact so he can't interfere with the new peace and happiness you will eventually feel if you don't focus on him first. Whatever his diagnosis is, he is a big boy and responsible for what he does and only he can decide to do better so worrying about him will not help him and it will hurt your health and happiness. Don't let him take you down his dark path with him. He is making a decision to be the way he is. He can decide on his own to get help and change and he knows this. As for me, I only talk about my son's escapades with my therapist. He lives several states away now and many people don't even know he exists. My family is MY business and nobody needs to know about it. That includes my dysfunctional family and the big mouth gossips in my community. My therapist HAS to keep it to

There IS a grieving process. However it does not last forever. I am at the place in life when I am at radical acceptance. Life is what it is. I can't change it. I embrace my son's different-ness and do not expect him to change. He is already 37. We can get along now due to my phone rules, which are quite strict, and him not being under stress right now. When he is under stress he literally decomposes and is scary. I have learned to go low contact during those times.

It may help you not to answer calls from the cops. Let your son text or call you and read the messages later, when you are relaxed and in a good place a nd ready to be very calm and rather quiet. If he calls and says "I'm in jail. I need you to bail me out!" you can then respond, "I'm sorry you're in jail. I can't bail you out." When the expected abuse from him starts up, just calmely say, "I have something to do. Call me when you are calmer and if I have time we can try to talk again." Then gently hang up and ignore the other calls. When you are with friends, turn your phone off. It is very freeing. At 29, he doesn't need his mommy. He needs to man up. As do all of our grown kids. You CAN learn to live a very rich, happy, fulfilling life in spite of your son's implosion. You are two seperate people and you can decide you are not going to let him destroy your life. You have that power. None over him. 100% over you and how you will live your life.

Remember: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Make it a GREAT one, just for YOU!
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New Member
Midwest -You are right, and I could only imagine the gossip if people did find out. It's funny how if your child had a more acceptable condition people would be concerned. My family actually knows most of it and no one calls on an ongoing basis to see how it's going. Well my Mom does but it's hard for her to hear and she has had it with him. The other family members, I would imagine it's very hard to understand, they just think he is dysfunctional, which I guess is right but doesn't make you love them less.


Well-Known Member
He IS dysfunctional.And, yes, I love my son lots and lots, but I LIKE my other children better. They are nicer, sweeter, normal adults. I can't help liking them more, even if I don't love them more.

But there is no need for anyone in your family to know about him. If your mom is understanding and won't talk about him to the rest of the family, tell her, but nobody else. If she gossips, I'd think about even talking to her about it. I find a therapist better.

Our grown kids are very hard to understand because, yes, they are MEAN. They don't care about other people. They steal, they use drugs, they call us horrible names, they assault is anyone supposed to understand that??? I don't expect them to so I keep it quiet. I feel best just telling my therapist.

Can't tell you how much his siblings want nothing to do with him. It's too bad, but it is his fault. I can't blame them and I do not talk about him to them either. They don't want to hear it. The difficult child himself actually causes this, not us. Why should we suffer by talking to people who are going to think things that are not true, such as we were bad mothers or our grown kids would be different? That, by the way, is not true.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Cinder. I too am sorry you find yourself in the situation with your son. You are not alone. Your story is very much like many of ours.

First of all, you may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. It is helpful.

At 29 your son is a MAN. He doesn't need his Mommy anymore, that ship sailed over a decade ago........, its' time for him to 'man up.' Whether he has a conduct disorder, mental illness or a bad personality, he is cognizant of right and wrong, he is not psychotic, so therefore HE is responsible for his choices and his lifestyle, NOT YOU. The longer you take responsibility for him, the longer you will have that responsibility. You are the one with the power here, not him. He has been using manipulation and abuse on you because your guilt and fear for him allows him to hold you hostage. Don't allow it. He is in a shelter all of his own accord. You already did everything you could for him. Enough is enough.

I did all the same things you did. My own daughter is about to be 42 tomorrow and she is homeless and has a warrant out for her arrest. Three years ago she treated me the way your son treats you and I was throwing money and time and energy and everything I had to her and all she did was treat me badly and demand more. I made the choice to change. I got a lot of professional help, therapists, parent groups, this forum, 12 step groups, I was determined to stop my own suffering over anything I had no control over. My daughter hasn't changed much, but I have made a complete 360 degree turn. I no longer suffer over her choices. I set very, very strict boundaries around her behavior. I stopped giving her anything. I did not respond immediately to her requests, demands or communications, I refrained, I let go and she found other sources to meet her needs. She also began treating me A LOT better, even to the point of being grateful and appreciative if I drive her anywhere, which is actually rare. We have slowly developed a very different connection, one which works much, much better for me.

My daughter also has some kind of mental illness, or conduct disorder, or "something" and like you because she is not "normal" or like everyone else, I felt compelled to continue helping her and worrying about her and enabling her. But, with a lot of support I learned to stop feeling that, to let her find her own way, to let go of my sense of responsibility and my fear and my worry. Amazingly, it worked.

You can pull yourself out of where you presently are with your son. But you will likely need help to do it, it's like trying to stop a runaway train.....we are hardwired to love and protect our kids, it feels very strange to stop that particularly when they appear to always be at risk. It is helpful to remember they put themselves at risk by their choices and there isn't any thing you can do about that if they refuse the help they need.

Being where you are hurts. There is a lot of pain. The truth is at this point, your son is not likely to be changing any time soon. He has developed a pattern with you. A script. He supplies the need. You supply the fix it. Once you stop that, the script will change. He will act badly and blame you, that seems to be what happens, but that is only because they have learned how to manipulate us, and it's worked to get their needs met. Once you stop supplying the fix it,and he becomes clear that you mean business this time, he will direct his sights elsewhere. And, likely cause you some grief along the way. They can be pretty ugly.

Turn your focus away from your son and place it on YOU. Find support for yourself. Find things to bring you joy. Remember what life was like before life became about filling up an empty vessel each and every day. Focus on what YOU WANT, what you need and where you want to be going now. Your kids are grown. It's your time now. Take it.

Keep posting. It helps. I'm glad you're here. As you can see, you're not alone. We're all right here with you.


Well-Known Member
then other times I think is there a mental illness called "severe manipulative rudeness disorder?" because sometimes he can be normal then he comes out with things that are just off the wall and he is a walking poster for someone who "bites the had that feeds them".

Cinder, Cinder,

Forgive me for laughing at what you wrote - only because I SO relate. Bottom line--I think you nailed it. My difficult child has that, too!

I am so happy for you - that you found this forum. This forum was truly the beginning of life getting sweet again for husband and me. Our difficult child was 32 when I stumbled on this wonderful place. I was Googling along the lines of, How to quit enabling your grown child. It is pitiful when I see that typed out. He was 32 (blankety-blank) years old!!!! husband and I had struggled with this (and against) for about 15 years. We did not see we could detach. We assumed this was our burden to bear for life, putting up with difficult child's verbal abuse, manipulative ways and rudeness. And, surprise, surprise---nothing was changing. Not for difficult child, not for us.

You stick with this forum a few months: read, reflect, learn. Your life WILL get sweeter, calmer. Does my difficult child still cause me pain? Absolutely. Do I understand it is not the responsibility of husband and me for a 33yo difficult child who chooses to be a jerk and use people? That we can and should enjoy our life to the fullest and let difficult child choose his path without our judgment/help in any fashion? Yes. The It is a journey, but very travelable.

Please stay close to the board. It will change your thinking/your life. So happy you found this forum.



New Member
SS - it's true isn't it? I actually have other words I have used for that but it may not be politically correct on this
I have been so lost for so long not knowing what to do about it and as much as the mental health professionals want to help unless you live it, it is very hard to understand what it is like. It's been a roller coaster that past few years of thinking ok kid you are on your own to only come racing in because of an event he instigated or thinking ...maybe if I tried this approach it would fix it.
My understanding is they don't see it like we do and that is why some will not seek help, but I don't get how he can't see it. He only sees that he lost his job/vehicle overall life as he had it due to ex-girlfriends or myself and his father. He very recently started blaming everything on his father and I splitting up, that was over 15 years ago! I said ok, if that is traumatizing you now let's go to a counsellor about it. That didn't happen. He can't see that the drugs he used and the actions HE took have brought him here, and I have never heard once that anything is his fault.
So he remains in the shelter and is not really communicating with me so I am hoping the counsellors in there can get through to him.
I am glad I have this site to turn to, very supportive and helps me get through the day.


Well-Known Member
But you will likely need help to do it, it's like trying to stop a runaway train.....we are hardwired to love and protect our kids, it feels very strange to stop that particularly when they appear to always be at risk. It is helpful to remember they put themselves at risk by their choices and there isn't any thing you can do about that if they refuse the help they need.
This will be difficult. My wife, Lil, is having a tough time with this as well. We had a discussion the other night about our difficult child and I reminded her of the article on detatchment. Her response was that she didnt want to become that detatched from her son. She will get there eventually but for right now is too focused on who she thought he should become to truly acknowledge who he actually is.

Just remember, nobody is perfect. Nobody knows everything. Nobody knows everything you have gone through. People on this site will give you good advice but not all of it will necessarily pertain to you. Take what you need, modify if necessary, and ignore what you dont. Our advice is based on our experiences. Even though your situation is similar to someone else's, its not the same. That and, like my wife and I, we are all at different stages of the grieving process. Welcome and take care of yourself.


Well-Known Member
Cinder, I'm so sorry you had to join our club. I will give you my thoughts and then you can do what you want with them.

A personality disorder is not a psychotic or thought disorder. I have read up on antisocial and narcissistic almost obsessively to try to "get" my son. Although their thinking is different, in that they don't feel empathy and screw us over without remorse (and others too), they are NOT unaware of their surroundings, they do not hallucinate, they know right from wrong and it is their choice to disregard it and expect others to give in to their controlling demands. At best, they are control freaks who do not have the capacity to care for others as we do. At worst, they can be thieves (even to those who love them), moochers off anyone willing to do it, sweet charming talkers who lie well to get others "taken in" and feel sorry for them, violent and, yes, some, like Ted Bundy, also can kill. That is the minority though. But they often do destructive things to others even if they don't kill us. Drug abuse is legendary with anti socials and narcissists. It goes with their belief that other fools may follow the law, but they aren't about to be that stupid. NOBODY CAN TELL TLHELM WHAT TO DO. IT IS NOT ALLOWED. They may punish you by verball diarrhea about how horrible you are as a person and as a parent or they may do more sneaky "get backs" such as stealing or vandalizing your property. And if you dare call the cops, well, you are the worst mother on the face of the planet.

After all, you are their mommy and you should put up with anything.

The thing is, we cease being that kind of mommy when they turn eighteen. We have taught them our values and they already know them. Many adult kids have 101 excuses why they won't obey the good values we instilled in them. But we did our best. That doesn't mean our lives are perfect. Many parents are single parents or get divorced or married an abuser and then got rid of the abuser mostly for our child. That does not make us horrible parents. That makes us human. Most adult children who are subjected to "less than perfect" still turn out to be good people with sweetness in their souls and love in their hearts. My own kids did not have a bed of roses. Only my oldest 37, who never really had much empathy, turned out capable of abusing me and his siblings and others in his way. Why? Nobody knows why and that includes psychiatrists. They are working on brain imaging of antisocials and find that they have no compassion when shown disturbing pictures and have a tendency to feel no fear either. Often jail doesn't bother them other than they are confined and can't offend and they totally expect us to pay their bail, even if they are 50 years old, if we let it go that far.Do you want to be 80, still putting up with abuse, lying, stealing, drug issues and handing out money to your 60 year old senior citizen child? By then, you have wasted your life.

in my opinion we should not let them take our lives from us. Ok, right now, I am posting a disclaimer. This advice was right for me. Maybe it isn't for you. Please take what you like and leave the rest.

OUR LIVES MATTER TOO and if our adult children choose to disregard the laws they know are in place, we can learn to detach from their dysfunction and personality flaws and still have a wonderful life. Most of ous have other loved ones who respect and appreciate us...why should the difficult child suck all the oxygen out of our world so that we can not enjoy our precious lives and also spend time with those who do love us back. DNA is NOT everything. My DNA family was hideous. I love those who are kind to me, not those who are just related to me DNA-wise. Yes, yes, it is harder with a child and we will always love the adult child, but maybe we just can't do the chaos and drama we let him be who he is and let him go and stop trying to change him (doesn't work) and our angst over him will not help him one bit. Live life! Enjoy! Get a new attitude! You are not in control of your son, but you are 100% in control of your own new attitude toward being good to YOU.

I suggest the book "Codependent No more" by Melody Beattie. Great book. Set me on a new path.

to whomever told you to treat him like he has cancer, I say, "Tell you what. You take him in and treat him like he is a cancer patient." That is absurd advice in my opinion. Cancer patients did nothing to ask for cancer or to ask for it. Most are not a physical threat to us. And cancer patients still have to do the hard work to get better, just as our difficult children do. Nobody else can make another person well. Your son would need to admit what he is, commit to years of intensive therapy, and then practice what he has learned and probably be in therapy for life so he could remember what "normal" is. Most of our difficult children are happy being themselves and do not want "normal." They usually don't even want a close relationship with us. Do they ever call to ask, "How are you and DAd feeling? Iworry about you. Is everything ok with you two?"

Nope. They call usually only when THEY are in trouble or sad or want something. "Mom, I need money for rent or I'll be out on the streets." When in fact they are already on the streets and using OUR money to buy more drugs. We need to learn. We need to be wary of all contact. We need to take long moments of contemplation before we answer ANY text or phone call. We need to be calm and unemotional when we do get back to them, if we indeed choose to. We need to keep our responses short and sweet. "Less is more." Do not engage in arguments. "I have to go now. Call me back when you are calmer. I love you." *click* Turn off the phone. Don't check FB as they usually have special hate messages just for us.

In short...detach with love. It is not in your child's best interests to keep playing his sick games. And it is not good for you and your other loved ones.

Hugs and take care. Keep posting.
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Well-Known Member
maybe if I tried this approach it would fix it.
One thing to keep in mind, and you will hear several members say this over and over again!, is that you cant fix their lives! Only they can do that. We all know the saying; you can lead a horse to water but you cant make them drink. Unfortunately it can feel more like you might be able to drag a mule to water but they may try and drown you! Im quite certain that all of us have had days where we felt like we were drowning. Best advice on this board is to take care of yourself. Take that emotional "breath" once in a while so you dont drown.


Well-Known Member
Our grown kids are very hard to understand because, yes, they are MEAN. They don't care about other people. They steal, they use drugs, they call us horrible names, they assault is anyone supposed to understand that??? I don't expect them to so I keep it quiet. I feel best just telling my therapist.
My sociopath daughter is very mean AND aggressive. She is always running some con and that goes for when she is being nice and pleasant as well! Having a child that is disordered in any way is so difficult for a parent of that child to understand that there just may not be any changes that do come along. We keep the the flame of hope as the years go by waiting and hoping that we will see some change for the better. Magical thinking about sums it up.

In short...detach with love. It is not in your child's best interests to keep playing his sick games. And it is not good for you and your other loved ones.
Exactly - and this is part of the reason we keep hope alive - the sick games. Trust me a difficult child knows very well how to play you!


one day at a time
Welcome, Cinder, just a short note right now to say, your story has SO many similar facts as my story with my son.

Every single bit of what you describe could be drug addiction. In fact, he could still be using drugs and you don't even know it. It's amazing that time after time after time after the crisis happens yet again, parents here and elsewhere will say: And I just knew he had quit using, and then I found that _________. I was fooled once again.

I will write more later. You are at at the right place, and it sounds like you are moving forward on a good path for yourself, and realizing a lot of things that will be helpful to you from here on out.

All of the thoughts and advice you are getting from the experts---I say that sincerely---here on this board is invaluable. I hope you continue to read this site relentlessly. Every hour you spend on this site reading similar stories will move you forward exponentially in your own recovery.

Another word of hope: Things can change. Always remember that.

And the sooner we turn the laser focus away from our precious, precious difficult children and onto ourselves and our own lives, the sooner they have a true chance to start to change. We are often a huge obstacle to them in their own recovery.

My son has been homeless five different times for months on end. I will write more about that to you later. Believe me, they can survive homeless and there are so many resources for homeless people. Being homeless is NOT the end of the world. I thought it was too, but it isn't.

Warm hugs. More later. Hang in there. We are here with you.


Well-Known Member
I think I stayed too involved and, boy, engaged in my son's lawyer-like arguments (he is VERY smart) because I truly believed if I said it enough, he'd get it. Instead, he'd up the abuse, blame me, and I'd get off the phone in tears, feeling useless, unable to parent my younger daughter who still needed me and asked, "Why are you crying, Mommy? Please don't cry." But I wanted to try everything to see if it mattered. The therapy from age eight on up hadn't helped. The hospital hadn't helped, in fact he'd talked me into thinking the hospital was abusive and to get him out...that he was with rapists...and what did I do? I got him out. He was twelve at the time and a budding personality disordered master.

I set limits then gave them up when they did nothing and he didn't listen. I let him slap me across the face and didn't call the cops. In fact, I ended up apologizing for making him so angry that he slapped me. Yep. I did. Yet as he progressed in his teen years, a pain in the pit of my soul told me that this is who he is. He lies. He steals. He is abusive with his arguments. He is even scaring his sister. He is not normal. I was devastated and had trouble not saying to myself, "But he's young."

By the time he was in his mid-twenties and married he barely called me, which was a relief, I hate to admit. I called him a easy child because he never called me at all so he didn't bother me. But, whoa, as soon as his wife ran off...well, there he was, badder than ever. I understood his anguish, but his wife's running off was not my fault. It's like he took it out on me and we had two or three long years of hell in which I got blasted every time we spoke so I had to set boundaries or go crazy. The boundaires were phone boundaries...he could only talk to me if he was respectful, in MY definition of the world. It worked, as he needs a mommy badly, BUT he had already ruined it with his siblings. Sonic and Jumper heard him screaming and cussing over the cell phone..he was so loud. Jumper, in particular, has no idea why I still talk to him. His sister Julie was subjected to some serious abuse from him in high school . I can't even go into it. But she is done with him and her SO loathes him and they are very close.

Let's just say, I'm glad he is in another state now. He does seem to have mellowed as far as illegal stuff goes because he does love his son and will not do anything to jeopardize half custody of his child. He also adhers to my strict phone rules. But he has destroyed any chance of having relationships with his siblings and my husband isn't his biggest fan either. He is still capable of bad stuff...I saw him throw his cat across the room once maybe ten years ago and I never forgot it.

On and on and on it goes.

I had to move on and let him be who he is. I still love him with all my heart. I am supposed to visit him in order to see my grandson in January for the first time in four years. He wants me to stay at his house, but I said, no thanks, I'll stay at a hotel. The temptation of seeing my too much for me not to take a chance. Although he has been violent in the past, he hasn't been in years. If he so much as says a violent word, I'm home on the first plane, but I want to hug my dear little grandson who, in spite of having two difficult child parents, is a very, very sweet, smart boy who gets great conduct marks at school.

We'll see how it goes.

Sorry to hijack this thread and to get off track. It is just so...emotional. It is such a hard topic. And I haven't shared half of what I suspect 37 has done. Some things are too awful to share and I can't prove them.


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Suffice to say but we can be mind effed by difficult children who know how to control and manipulate far better than we do. I asked my therapist yesterday - I am in no contact with only child difficult child (sociopath) - I asked him if he thought that difficult child misses me or is emotionally upset that we are not able to have a relationship. His answer - not in the least - done with one on to the next. This was a big statement for me because I am a caring and nurturing person. Before I asked the question I have often wondered what my not the talking to difficult child effects were on her. I did also ask if he felt she feels abandoned by me. His answer? She is not capable of having those kind of emotions. Ironically we are all in deep despair of what to do, how to do, is this right, is that wrong, and the sociopath difficult child has already blew past and moved on to their next victim. It still makes me want to cry................


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Oh, trust me, I know. Scott doesn't miss us AT ALL.

I think it helps me that I have other kids. It is so sad to have only one and face this, not that it is EVER fun, but I so wish you had another child to sort of take the hit of t his off of you. Still, you are strong and doing well. Life does not always make lemonade, does it?


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This will be difficult. My wife, Lil, is having a tough time with this as well. We had a discussion the other night about our difficult child and I reminded her of the article on detatchment. Her response was that she didnt want to become that detatched from her son. She will get there eventually but for right now is too focused on who she thought he should become to truly acknowledge who he actually is.

Aw hell...Jabber made me cry. Don't feel bad about it though Honey, you aren't wrong. :love_heart: The fact is, I'm still in mourning for the son I don't have. The one who is hardworking and loving and kind and honest. He's the one I expected, the one I raised, and I miss him even though he never existed. (Well, he can be loving.) The holidays aren't helping.

But Cinder, we will get through this. It sounds like your son started a little later than ours, but otherwise, they'd get along pretty well. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you...ours stole and stole and we not only forgave him, but sent him off to college - which he failed at completely - and still took him back only to have him lie and lie and steal more until we put him out. He also is at a homeless shelter and has been since October 25.

He's surviving. I think it may be harder on me than it is him.

Cinder welcome. I'm very sorry you have to be here, but glad you've found us.
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