Did we overreact?


New Member
We made our son go elsewhere this evening. Our son turned 18 in January; he graduated from high school at the end of May. We have had issues with him for years, with him being rude towards us and also towards two of his siblings, including him becoming violent with older brother (when he visited) and younger sister (still at home). He has broken things when he's angry. He started working at a grocery store about 8 months ago, and he seems to be committed to going to work etc. However, we found lot of alcohol hidden in his room, cigarettes, and drugs. We noticed that he bought a digital pocket scale (for some kind of dope?)...
We told him that he was not to have drugs or alcohol in our home. If he chose to smoke, not in our home or vehicles etc. We turned a blind eye to his rudeness and his ignoring curfews (as long as no violence), until he graduated. He has never been arrested although younger sister once called the police when he acted violently towards her (threatened violence and a slap) -- he was polite and contrite with the officers, who explained that he could have been arrested -- that was about 2 years ago and he has not hit her since that scene.
We could see that he was choosing a dark path -- the smoking, coming home so late (well after work had ended), the alcohol etc. -- and we know he was on something last Monday, just not sure what because he went to sleep. He normally ignores us, like a boarder who does not pay rent. This evening, we tried to talk to him together (he had been intentionally avoiding Dad, manipulating Mom into letting him use the vehicle at times etc.). When we were talking to him, he just sat on his bed, arms crossed, staring at the wall. When one of us said something that set him off, he would scream obscenities at us. He has seemingly hated us for a long time. I would have thought he'd be anxious to be away from us.
Our older children attended college after high school, which led to an easier transition. If any of them used drugs or alcohol, we did not know, perhaps because they were no longer at home. When they visited during breaks, they followed our home rules. This son said early on that he was going into the military and that he would not be going to college. He graduated with a good GPA and turned down a scholarship offer. We thought he would enlist in the military but then kept telling us not yet. He would have to clean out his system of course or no branch will accept him. We had offered to help him get his own vehicle but he did respond with interest.
This evening he threw a fit about not liking what food was in the house, and he was ugly with me, threatening. We decided to have a "Come to Jesus" talk with him (not about faith, but about him behaving respectfully -- specifically defining our expectations...) He would not discuss anything, discuss plans, or such. If alcohol/drugs were discussed, he just continued to lie and deny (as if we're stupid -- we found that he had the audacity to put some in our kitchen freezer last week, then said he was "holding it for a friend"... ugh!)
While our situation with him has not gotten as far as some people's, it just seemed that we had to act -- that we were just putting of the inevitable. If he is not an addict at this point, just "using" -- or "dealing" -- then he was at least headed in the addict/dealer direction. He had a friend come pick him up when I said I was going to contact the police to help him be escorted out of the house. We're leaving his phone service turned on; the GPS will enable us to know his phone's whereabouts, meaning probably his wherabouts. His oldest sister messaged me that he deleted and blocked her from FB (she's the sister he likes best) -- she thinks we overreacted. It is just such a tough night, wondering if we made the right choice, telling him he needs to move out -- not sure how this will all play out.


Well-Known Member
You made the right decision. You should never allow someone to verbally or physically abuse members of the family. His drug use in your home puts you in legal jeopardy. It also enables him to live his druggie life style. Please seek help from Alanon, and begin the detachment process. It makes it easier when we have had enough of their entitled bratty behavior. Do not act out of guilt when you see him. You can suggest rehab, but the truth is if he is not asking you would probably be wasting your money.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I believe you made the right decision. This is a slippery slope for all of us and usually the most difficult thing any of us will ever do. Your son has all the traits of someone with a conduct disorder, who is using drugs, has a failure to launch, is entitled and enabled, or all of the above. Whatever the reasons, he is being abusive and disrespectful of you, in your own home while you provide for him........if you have been putting up with this behavior for years, then this does not appear to be an overreaction. The hitting his sister is unacceptable behavior and the fact that he is capable of that is scary.

As Pasajes mentioned, it will be necessary now for YOU to seek help so you can stay the course and find some solace in your decision. Families anonymous, any of the 12 step groups, private therapy, a support group, please find some avenue of support for you as soon as possible.

You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. it is helpful to many of us. You may also want to read Codepenedent no more by Melodie Beattie, it is also very helpful.

Keep posting, it helps. You're not alone, we all know how you feel. We all know the heartache and the fear involved. Stay the course.


New Member
Thank you. I will look for support. I don't think Dad will. He already sent our son a text this morning, asking the son's plans. I will not be texting or calling him, but I could not sleep last night, had dreams about the son as a baby and now living on his own, rough night emotionally. I know our son is a probably too prideful to contact us. I do not expect him to ask to come home. He also may believe that in not contacting us that he will be "punishing" us. This is "tough love" -- for him and for us.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
You did the right thing.

It was only going to escalate from this point.

Have you discussed treatment for addiction with him?

Our son was destroyed through his drug use. We too believed drug use was the least of the problems we were seeing. As the years passed, we would learn that drugs were in fact the crux of the issue, from the beginning. I was reading the other day that there is new research out which seems to validate the theory that addiction has a genetic component. This would mean that those carrying the genetic markers for addiction will become addicted with the first use. The addiction will become stronger every time the person uses.

I am so sorry this is happening.



New Member
Neither my husband (his father) or I have been involved with illegal drugs. Neither of us has ever smoked. We normally do not have alcohol in the house. I don't really drink (not for faith or health reasons, just not my thing), but my husband will have a beer or two when we're out at dinner every few weeks. I do not see addictive behavior in my husband, but I am an over-eater (sugar addiction?).
Our son had a birth injury and surgeries, but he was able to play sports to some degree and has use of his injured arm, enough to lift boxes etc. He was generally well-liked in school etc., but he has always been a "sour-puss," as his younger sister would say, with us. I've wondered if he possibly has Asperger Syndrome but he has not been diagnosed. We tried therapy with him a few years back, but he would sit there and stare straight ahead -- for a full hour. It was a waste of time, it seemed. He refused to go back for a second session.
My oldest daughter is now asking me, "What does he have to do to be able to come home?" I'm not sure if she is in phone contact with him -- she lives with her husband and children in another state. I do not think he will ask to come home or ask for help as he is very prideful, but we should probably have an idea of what to say if he does ask for help or asks to come home.


one day at a time
I so understand where you are.

I would also have a very clear conversation with him about treatment for his use of alcohol and drugs. Have a pathway for him to get a substance abuse assessment and treatment already determined (in other words, make some phone calls, and get the information you need first, starting with what your health insurance will pay for and by whom).

Make it clear to him that the pathway to any help or support from you leads first to treatment.

You can start with a substance abuse assessment---there are people who do just that first.

Another option is a psychologist for a mental health evaluation, in addition to the substance abuse assessment. My son has been ordered by the court to do both of those things---he is now almost 25.

Then either an inpatient program, starting with detox (if necessary) then at least 28 days of treatment, or an outpatient program and halfway house. This is a slow transition---teaching life skills and how to cope with life on life's terms without substances---back to the "real world."

If you have the pathway already defined, you will feel better and it makes a more structured process for him and for you in order for him to continue to receive your support and help until he can be on his own---which needs to be sooner rather than later, whether it's the military or college or a technical school or working full time.

We usually know only the "tip of the iceberg" when it comes to how much they are using, what they are using and what they are doing to pay for what they are using. If you know some things, you can be assured there are a lot more things you don't know.

And, addiction is a primary diagnosis (drugs or alcohol) so that means if he does have another mental health problem, you can't identify or treat that without also treating the addiction, either first or at the same time.

It has to be his choice to go since he is 18 but you can make it clear that without professional help, he doesn't come back home.

I wish I had started spelling things like this out very clearly earlier. But I didn't realize how far things had gone until they had gone very, very far and my son was arrested the first time for possession. When he did get out of jail, I did demand that he go to a 28-day inpatient treatment program and he stayed for the entire time, at an out of pocket cost to me of $6K, but he was not ready for treatment at all so resisted it every step of the way.

This may happen with you as well. But it may not.

The key is this: your support and help are contingent on him getting professional treatment and help.

No treatment, no help.

That sounds harsh, but it is clear that your son is miserable and is making everybody around him miserable. It's time for professional help. You can't do this alone, so stop trying to.

And now for you---please go to Al-Anon. Go to six meetings before you decide if it is right for you. I can tell you this: there is a 1:1 correlation with how much better I do, especially in a crisis, like I have been this week, and like you are now, and how many meetings I attend.

The more I go, the better I feel and am able to cope with life on life's terms.

I have been to a meeting every day since Thursday. It is amazing the support, love, care, concern, understanding and complete acceptance you will receive there, along with ideas on how to cope and how other people cope.

Warm hugs for you. Please keep sharing with us. And here, take what you like from what I wrote, and leave the rest. It's completely up to you.


Active Member
MOM, you'll drive yourself batty trying to figure out what went 'wrong' to make this child walk a different path than the other children in your home.

It is a very sad situation when we can see our children making bad decisions and there is nothing we can do about it. Legally he is an adult and he wants to live his life the way he wants to, it's a very 'me' age.

There are plenty of self help books available today that I wish were available when my son started the difficult child path. Read the ones about enabling and boundaries. There is no reason an adult should expect you to financially support his lifestyle when it goes against your morals of right and wrong. And, as has already been mentioned, you could also face legal problems with the drugs in your home and allowing him to drink alcohol. Underaged drinking and tobacco are being prosecuted in my area. Several parents were arrested for high school graduation parties and buying cigarettes. Twenty years ago a neighbor was giving my 14 yo son both and when I went to the police they wouldn't touch it.

I would continue the counseling by myself if hubby doesn't want to go. My heart goes out to the parents trying to help a difficult child get on the 'right track'. I can tell you I felt so much guilt from my poor choice in a father for my children and I had problems with both of mine in their teen years. My daughter's brushes with the law scared her straight and she turned her life around, my son's brushes with the law were just bragging rights.

Look after yourself and learn to detach.

Your son is still young, but that doesn't mean he has the right to take over your home.


Well-Known Member
Mom, you have five successful adult children and one who is wired differently in his brain. Nobody will ever be able to tell you why, but clearly it is NOT your home environment since you had so much success. No matter what the reason is, in my house and world, my adult children can no l onger disrespect me at all, let alone shout obscenities at me, use drugs in my house, or even smoke ciggies in our house. We are a smoke-free home.

Like almost all of our difficult children, they do act like they hate us and honestly I am doing a crash course on adults with personality disorders and I'll bet that 70% of our difficult children, if not more, have some antisocial, narcissistic, histronic, or borderline traits, which means they are into THEMSELVES, not anyone else, even their loving parents. Most refuse help. Although no one cause has been isolated, the newest researchers (and in my opinion the best) are leaning toward a strong genetic component. I know in my family personality-disorders-is-us (could be the name of some funky shop...lol). But in your son's case he may have had some glitch from his early medical problems. That still does not give him the right to abuse you and his siblings. My son 36 used to abuse his sister too and today, as a mature young lady of thirty expecting a baby, he is puzzled why she wants nothing to do with him. He made his bed. We can't control the choices our adult children make or that anyone in the world makes, except us.

Which brings us to hubby. You two can maybe sit down over coffee in a nice setting and discuss how both of you feel about your son and how to handle him. If you disagree, that's fine. He has the right to be blind to the problems your son will face in the future if he does not get help. And you have the right to see it and to try to help him grow up and, at the same time, keep violence out of your home, which is YOUR sanctuary. (Someone called it that once and I love it).

I do not think he should live with you if he is verbally or physically violent (yes, you can be verbally violent) or he is into illegal activities. Selling drugs is serious and he is probably taking them too.

Have you ever gone to a Narc-Anon meeting for face time help? Do you maybe instead have your own therapist to help you with this stress? We are here too...24/7, 365 days a year and somebody always seems to be able to answer, even on Christmas.

There is nothing unreasonable about expecting a grown child to follow simple rules in order to live in your house. Most kids do it without being told. Your son's lifestyle is dangerous. Why make it cozy for him to do unsafe and abusive and self-destructive things? That will not encourage him to think about changing, if he is too comfortable. Don't let him bully you either. Your the parent, not him!!

Tell your daughter that he has to go to rehab and show a serious interest in changing his lifestyle in order to come home...and to speak respectfullyl, like she did. She sounds like a kind, sensitive young woman, but she doesn't have to live with him anymore. I know she feels sorry for him. Addiction takes many victims, most of them very good folks.

To Tired of 33, I know you'll get this: There is no reason we should support our grown kids AT ALL. Otherwise they are 33 and 36 and would still take our money if we gave it to them. It is best to cut THAT out early, as I learned the hard way!
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New Member
His younger sister is 16. She and I have had to deal with a lot of this on our own as Dad was travelling for work and the others all live out-of-state. The son in college and him have not talked to one another because they do get violent with each other. Youngest says she's relieved, that she thought we were never going to address his issues -- says she's been sleeping with her dresser up against her door at night, thinking one of his druggy friends might break into the house. Ugh! I realize now how much I was kowtowing to my son -- and making her "keep the peace" -- she has suffered.
Dad and I are apparently not on the same page, maybe not even the same book. He was just letting things go, and go, and go. Son was not even speaking to Dad for the last month, intentionally avoiding him. Dad says to me today that he will not forgive me if this son does not "come back into the fold" -- so great, now my marriage will be a problem too? (The older children he step-parent adopted, and the younger two are his biological children. We have been married for 20 years.) Dad has been trying to back-pedal all day, starting with the text message. Dad told me that "if he is dead within the next 30 days that it's on you (me)" -- gosh, thanks.
I did say something "provoking" to our son last night when we were trying to talk to him, and he sat staring at the wall -- I said, "You are headed down a very dark path. You are not as smart as you think you are. You will get caught, arrested, and go to prison. As a good-looking young man, you will be raped in prison in addition to all the other aspects of losing your freedom." This is when he cussed and said that he, "ought to burn down the barn and kill all of (us) in our sleep." I think he mentioned the barn in case little sister was listening in, that she'd be afraid for the horses, but fortunately she did not hear as she was downstairs with her headphones on. I asked him to rescind his statement -- just hoping for even a hint of contrition, got zero. I know Dad was hoping for an apology or for him to say he did not mean it. I should be more sorry about what I said, but I was honestly trying to communicate as he does not seem to comprehend the consequences of what he is doing.
The older children have now talked to me and seem to think I "jumped the gun" -- that I didn't really think he'd hurt me or any of us. They also do not think he is an addictive personality -- that "a little weed" is not addictive -- and "shrooms are experimental" -- huh? Am I that out of touch? They know I would never have tolerated anything at all from any of them -- why are they taking his side? I'm not a drama type person, I'm not looking for drama -- really just hoping for my him to get on a good path and for our home to have some semblance of peace. When mentioning the Al-anon meetings, each said that the other parents will think I'm being ridiculous. However, one of my son's older friends (nice girl, a junior in college) contacted me and told me that "this may be what he needs to fly straight." She thinks he will. He called her early this morning to talk and said that he is scared, that he never thought that I would "kick him out". That he is angry that Dad and I don't care about him, or that he is safe. Dad says we should have waited -- when I ask, "Waited for when?" he does not have an answer.
I'm going to a meeting on Monday evening by myself even if I can't get Dad to come along...


Well-Known Member
Hon, it sounds like, unfortunately, your family is like mine. They blamed me for the extreme dysfunction in the family. It was all my fault. I caused it. I caused problems that didn't exist. It was all me. Perhaps your husband and you SHOULD not be together. Is he the one influencing them to turn on YOU? On WHAT planet is your son behaving normally? Go to an Al-Anon meeting. They will not think you are overreacting. They will think you are afraid...and have already put up with so much from most of your family members. When an adult child threatens to burn down the barn, you don't know if he means it or not and it's horrifying for anyone to EVER threaten to burn ANYTHING. It shows how dangerous his mind is operating. It may not even be just the drugs. It could be his personality and only he can go for help and it doesn't sound like he wants to. And it sounds like your husband is catering to this budding criminal for whatever reason. Is he his bio. son? I didn't get the entire dynamics. If so, he is probably feeling guilty about him because of his divorce, remarriage or maybe because he was an As******e to his other wife too and even to him. It's silly to analyze it. I don't think divorce is a good answer. Sometimes, however, it is the only one. This man has no right judging you while blaming YOU for his son's criminality.in my opinion your son is using more than just weed. I thought my daughter was too, but she was doing way more and told me the extent after she quit. It was mindboggling how she had fooled us.

If he ends up dead tomorrow, which has never happened on my over a decade on this board (threats only), it is your son's decision, not your fault. Of course anyone's child can kill himself, but most don't talk about it if they are going to do it and many are not in trouble and shock their parents. It is simply something that THEY choose to do and, again, I can not recall a time one of our difficult children did that. If I am wrong, please correct me, friends. Many have made often bogus attempts like taking a bottle of aspirin which won't kill you (and they know it), but I can't recall any of them really doing it.

You need to step back and think about what you are hearing and what people are saying to you. In dysfunctional families, there is usually the one person everyone gangs up on. In my family it was me. I had to learn that I was not the crazy one. I was seeing things straight. THEY were in denial. Anyone who thinks your son deserves to live at home under the circumstances he is presenting is awfully brave (and I also think not too bright). He is a risk to you, his doting father, and his younger sister, as well as any pets you may have.

Do go to an Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meeting, and like COM said, not just once. Go four or five times to get used to them. The first time may not click, but fifth time will, if you are going to respond to it. This mess is not your fault and you should be working hard on detaching from your family dysfunction and learning how to handle it so that you can live a fruitful and happy life...and emotionally push away the nonsense your family is throwing at you. You can not change any of them at all. You have 0% control over anyone else on earth, EXCEPT YOURSELF. You can learn to change your reactions and what to say to calm the storm in your head and gut and, in the end, what you want for YOUR life. YOU matter. You matter as much as all of the rest of them do, including self-righteous husband and your children. YOU deserve a wonderful rest of your life. Only YOU can give it to you. And you do that by getting therapy and going to Al-Anon or other meetings and learning that you are the one who sees what is going on without rose colored glasses and blinders.

Go to the meeting with or without anyone else. I like all women meetings myself. I go there to help me heal. I tend to let others blame me for things I am not responsible for, but I am so much better now. And I am reaching some sort of serenity, which is just awesome. I am loving life, but it took hard work, detaching from some, totally going no contact with other really mean people (some relatives) and just letting go of the anger and allowing whatever is going to be to be.

"God (if you believe in him) give me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
The Courage to change the things I can't,
And the Wisdom to know the difference."

I think this bit of wisdom is great even if you do not have a higher power.

You start taking good care of YOU. We are here as a crisis center 24/7, 365 days a year. We can not replace Al-Anon or a therapist or another good group meeting, but we are always willing to listen and support you. You matter. You are enough.


Active Member
Am I the only one who thinks it's ironic for a young adult who works at a grocery store to throw a fit because doesn't like YOUR choices of the food in YOUR house? he works, at a grocery store... it's not like he would have to go out of his way to purchase some food he likes.

It figures that people who have not been exposed to his abuse seem to be so eager that you should tolerate it... I'de be willing to bet they would live with that for about 10 minutes before it got REAL OLD!

His sister does not feel safe with him in the house and based on his past actions and current threats I think she is very justified in her feelings. I would ask dad if her safety and peace of mind mean anything to him? How about your safety and peace of mind?

The only one I know who owns a digital scale that isn't a drug dealer is friend who has an e-bay business selling fishing lures etc. that he needs the scale to figure out postage. very suspicious in my opinion

My answer to anyone who asked what it would take to let him back in...

1) A written contract that he will not bring drugs, alcohol, tobacco or weapons into my house; also include in agreement not to abuse anyone/anything in house (or barn) physically, sexually, emotionally or verbally

2) To treat me with respect in my house, and recognize that I am the boss here

3) To turn over 40% of his take home pay to me to help cover room, board and a tolerance fee.

4) To make a 5 year plan that includes him getting his own space

I've noticed with the abusive people in my life they give me as much abuse as I will tolerate and if there is any hopes of co existing with them there have to be very clear cut boundaries in place.

For your daughters sake if not your own please stand your ground and put an end to his bully like behaviors while there is still hope for him.

Wishing you peace and sending gentle hugs



Well-Known Member
MOF, in my opinion from objectively reading your post, you were not out of line. I definitely think he was surprised by it. And I think that's great! In fact, you're kinda my new hero!

My usual routine was to see my son doing the sorts of things your son did, calmly explain to him (an intelligent and savvy young adult) why it is wrong to use drugs in our home/total the car while driving impaired/leave spilled milk on his carpet for months/etc., get a bunch of BS excuses and promises with no change in behavior, write down rules, wait for him to break the rules at least 3 times, then kick him out. Remorse that seemed sincere, a move back home, rewind and start the cycle again, off and on for about 3 years, each time the behavior worse and me willing to tolerate more of his BS before I'd lower the boom again. And each time, do you know what he said?

he is scared, he never thought that I would "kick him out".

They know. We want to think it's all just a matter of misunderstanding our expectations, because that's easier for us to accept than the alternative, that they just don't care.

He's 18. That's really young, but he's also employed so he CAN support himself. I think you've done a great job of taking a position of strength and letting him decide whether he wants to respect your rules -- and you and the family -- or not.


Well-Known Member
I dont think you over reacted. You have a difficult child who is physically and verbally threatening you. On top of that he is bringing illegal drugs in you home and putting everyone there at risk. Obviously your youngest is a aware of his drug involvement and probably more knowledgeable about how bad it is than you. She probably knows he is selling and using and who all his friends are along with that.

I don't think your daughter understands what your life is like right now. When my difficult child was so bad she went to her grands. They now know exactly what I was talking about all those times when difficult child was driving me nuts. There is nothing you can to do explain it and make it real for your daughter because the pain and anger are not describable to someone who hasn't lived through it. I would just tell her that until she has been in your shoes she shouldn't judge your decisions. I would also let her know exactly how much it hurts you that she doesn't trust you would only make this decision if the circumstances were bad.

Not to be nosey but what does DAD do for a living? generically speaking?

The reason I ask is that he doesnt seem concerned about the risk you are taking by allowing your son to continue living with you. Does he not realize the police could arrest you all for having drugs in the home? Does he not realize your 16yr old daughter is RIGHT to be placing a dresser in front of her door? Does he not realize that if he has or needs a security clearance for his job he could lose his job over this? Does he not realize that it isn't normal for a family to fear another member of the household?

He seems concerned that difficult child may not be safe but difficult child doing drugs and dealing drugs has already made him a target. Drugged up people do stupid things.


one day at a time
Dad told me that "if he is dead within the next 30 days that it's on you (me)" -- gosh, thanks.

Fear. That's fear talking. Irrational fear and what in the world are we going to do with him fear, I don't know what to do, so I'm going to quick! blame the person who is setting the boundary.

"You are headed down a very dark path. You are not as smart as you think you are. You will get caught, arrested, and go to prison. As a good-looking young man, you will be raped in prison in addition to all the other aspects of losing your freedom."

Fear. That's fear talking. If I can paint a picture of his future, maybe that will provide the shock therapy he needs to do something different. I am scared to death for my son, and I'm just saying the strongest words I know to say right now.

They also do not think he is an addictive personality -- that "a little weed" is not addictive -- and "shrooms are experimental" -- huh?

Of course they do. They are minimizing and aiming it all at again---the person who has set the boundary.

Cloud and Townsend, in Boundaries (greatest book ever!) say: Get Ready! Because when you set a boundary and say No More. They are not going to like it at all. They are going to say and do the most outrageous things to let you know how much they don't like it. Because you have CHANGED THE RULES OF THE GAME. And now nobody feels safe and nobody knows what to say and do so they're going to strike out at YOU.

He called her early this morning to talk and said that he is scared, that he never thought that I would "kick him out".

Best thing I have heard so far, in terms of his future. He needs to be scared. The fact that he was able to say that to someone is huge. True potential here for him, and for you.

Anyone who thinks your son deserves to live at home under the circumstances he is presenting is awfully brave (and I also think not too bright).

Yep. You know, your gut---where the truth really lies---is telling you that something is very, very wrong here. Everybody, including your difficult child, will try to tell you you're crazy, it's just, it's only, get with the program, Mom, everybody does it, no big deal, what's all the fuss about? If you listen to them enough, you'll start to feel crazy yourself, and you'll start to agree with them, because you know what? It's easier. It's easier to keep doing what you have been doing, and take it all on YOU, than to say, you know what, folks, this isn't working for me. You have to have a support system now---of people who have been there and done that---like us on this forum, like the people in Al-Anon, like therapists and other support groups, and books, and online readings, and meditation and prayer and there are so many tools you can use to help yourself cope with all of this, that YOU never wanted or wished or did anything to cause, but it is here and it's happening, and denying it isn't going to make it go away.

You're not crazy.

"God (if you believe in him) give me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
The Courage to change the things I can't,
And the Wisdom to know the difference."
I think this bit of wisdom is great even if you do not have a higher power.

Even if your Higher Power is Nature or the Cosmos or The Universe, or the goodness in people or a doorknob, you know and I know we can't do this alone. We have to have help. That is what this prayer is talking about. I believe in God, a loving, kind and benevolent Creator, but that is just me. Don't let your belief system and faith or lack of faith get in the way of laying it all at the feet of your Higher Power, because you can't make this situation right yourself. Sadly, you can't.

His sister does not feel safe with him in the house and based on his past actions and current threats I think she is very justified in her feelings.

This is very, very telling, and when you start to falter, remember what she said. She had her dresser up against the door. That is a fact. That isn't the house you want her to live in, and so something has to change.

My usual routine was to see my son doing the sorts of things your son did, calmly explain to him (an intelligent and savvy young adult) why it is wrong to use drugs in our home/total the car while driving impaired/leave spilled milk on his carpet for months/etc., get a bunch of BS excuses and promises with no change in behavior, write down rules, wait for him to break the rules at least 3 times, then kick him out. Remorse that seemed sincere, a move back home, rewind and start the cycle again, off and on for about 3 years, each time the behavior worse and me willing to tolerate more of his BS before I'd lower the boom again.

Yep, over and over and over and over and over again we did these things. You would not believe the number of contracts, agreements, talks, consequences, rules made and rules broken, lies---I could go on forever---that I have done with my difficult child over the past million years. I pray that there is something that stops your difficult child in his tracks, and makes him start a new life over again today, but if that doesn't happen, in order to stay sane, you will have to set boundaries and make decisions for yourself.

Today I am living by the 51% rule. I am 1% more important than he is. That has been a long, long time in the making.

You are at the right place. We respect any and all decisions you will make, no matter what they are. You are a grown adult, and you have the absolute right to do whatever you decide to do, regardless of whether anybody else on the planet agrees with it or not. You can change your mind at any time.

Warm hugs and prayers and hope from me to you. Please keep sharing with us. We get it. We care.


New Member
Thank you again to those who've shared. You are helping me a lot. I'm looking at getting several of the books mentioned. My 16-year-old daughter and I attended an Al anon meeting tonight. My husband did not want to attend with us. She attended to support me, but she did not like the meeting. She does not think her brother is an addict (none of the siblings think he is), but she liked the idea that attending the meetings and working on the steps will help me with the anxiety that I'm experiencing; and as she says; she "still needs to be parented." I am going to attend a narc anon meeting as well. I've promised my aunt I will go to at least six meetings, and I will.

I figure that my husband (son's biological father) is grieving and in a bit of denial. We are able to see our son's phone usage -- the numbers he is texting. My husband keeps asking me whose number is this one or that one. I'm fine with keeping the phone on as I think it will help son keep his job. My husband is worried because son did not have that much with him, set of clothes he was wearing plus his work clothes. Husband has not gotten a response to his texts, asking son if he needs his things, etc. I had to convince husband to NOT go by son's job. I still feel son should be the one to reach out to us. Also, since son is clearly angry at us, going to the store he works will make him feel crowded, pursued (in my opinion), and I want son to keep his job.

People at his job adore him (interestingly, people outside our family often seem to think he's just wonderful -- I think it is because he is a nice-looking kid and he can hold a nice conversation when he wants to...) I also think that he will have someone to extend him a couch for awhile. He may never speak to us again, but I feel he is going to survive this -- really hoping he will figure out what he really needs to do, get on the right path. I'm going to try to actually get some sleep tonight. I feel like I've been awake since Saturday night...


Well-Known Member
Hi Mom,

I think you did the right thing-- based on our difficult child was much like this at this age and we wish we had changed the dynamics way earlier. We tried to get the police to escort him out at age 19, but they refused. There had to be a physical confrontation first. Their words: "This is his address. If we tried to get a kid out every time there was a problem, it would take up all our time." We waited until he moved, changed the locks, and held our breaths.

Like you, others in his world did not experience this treatment. difficult child's are often very glib, very friendly, very personable to others. It is to their closest friends and family that they act like jerks/users. So many folks would tell us what a great guy difficult child was...and we were scratching our heads. Because we KNEW BETTER.

At the end of the day...it is not how they treat strangers. It is how they treat US and others close to them. Therein lies the crux.


New Member
My husband knows how poorly son (difficult child?) was treating him -- not talking to him, actively ignoring him by ducking in hallways etc. -- there was no way to communicate with difficult child as he would sit and stare at the wall, like we weren't there (until Sat. night when I "provoked" him with what I said.) The older siblings think that difficult child will straighten up, that it may take him awhile, but that he will. Right now, I;m feeling positive that difficult child will survive this and I'm praying my marriage will survive too...


Active Member
Mom, you're level headed and on the right path. My difficult child also has a great personality when he wants to.

in my opinion, you do not have to be an addict to let drugs, alcohol, etc. cause problems in your life. It's good that he has a job, there are so many places for them to go for help if he needs it. He is still staying in contact with his siblings.

Take care of yourself, and take things one day at a time. It's hard.
(((hugs and blessings)))


New Member
We're more than two weeks out. He's renting a room with a friend's family. He's not speaking to me, Dad, or any other family members. He's still been going to work, getting rides to/from etc. I miss him, but I am hoping it will prove to be what he needed in order to choose a positive path...