difficult child just walked out


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He's been spiraling down since he turned 18. We had a mtng the other day, and he improved slightly. He came home for dinner tonight.
Today he drove the car home with a smashed passenger side mirror and a scrape on the front right hand side above the right wheel.
He said he had parked it on a small side street near school, and when he came out this afternoon, the damage was done.
He's supposed to park in the lot, but we never had the $40 pkng pass moved from my windshield to the new car (Corolla). We both forgot. Well, at least I did. He goes to school every day so you'd think he'd remember at some point.
At any rate, he told me over the phone that he had something to tell me but wanted to do it in person.
He told me when he got home at 6:10. I told husband about an hr ago, and the 3 of us went to look at the damage with-a flashlight.
The window was open about an inch.
The car stunk like cigarettes.
He insisted that no one was smoking in the car.
Long story short, when they got back in the house, they started to argue.
husband insisted that someone was smoking in the car (he's got asthma, I get migraines and it's a leased vehicle through husband's biz) and difficult child ramped up and they went at it. husband shouted, "I'm sick of you! Go upstairs!"
And difficult child yelled, "Fine, I'll leave. I've been wanting to leave and have a life anyway." He added that he could stay with-a friend (the smoker, no less) who lives alone. Although the other day he said the friend lived with-his dad.
Everything changes ea time he says it.
I am very upset. I'll be surprised if he comes home tonight. husband thinks he will.
It's 35 degrees and he's wearing a hoodie, and no socks. But he's got his phone.


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I have been exactly where you are. Your son will want to come back. Perhaps tomorrow, perhaps in a month, perhaps two months. My son did the same thing, except he said, Fine, I'm leaving. I'm tired of this bull s^^^.

He came back...again and again and again.

Try not to worry. Easy to say, but all that worrying I did ...well, it helped naught. Not one bit. What will happen, will happen. Let your son figure this out.

When my difficult child came back the first time, I said something along the lines of Well, first we have to sit down and discuss the rules. He would hear nothing of that kind of rubbish. For your sake, I hope you are tougher than I was.


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Thank you, and now that I've read your note, I remember that he did say "I'm tired of this F-ing crap and the only reason I lie is to get your approval! I don't care what the F you think!"

I texted him and asked what he was going to do about his medications in the a.m. He texted back that he didn't care, and good night.
I'd like to drop them off at school but I need a dr's order to bring them to the nurse's office. So that means I have to hand them to difficult child ... which assumes that he will be at school.
Yes, I know he'll come home eventually. I just hope that he doesn't get in trouble in the meantime. Either by being a victim, or doing something stupid.

husband sat at the table a few min ago and blasted difficult child again (after he was out of the house), I said, "Yes, I understand all of that about the lying, but he is developmentally about 15. Do you think that's safe, to be walking around at night at that age? And in this cold? I don't think it's the best thing to yell at him. I think he needs guidance."
husband apologized, but he's still mad.
I told him I wouldn't be able to sleep, waiting up for difficult child. husband said he'd wait up.
Not. I know he'll fall asleep. We both desperately need sleep. And so does difficult child.

by the way, the extra house key from the outside hiding spot is gone. I found the key last week while I was cleaning the kitchen, and put it back outside. It had only been back in its outdoor spot for a few days. That means that difficult child used it and didn't put it back. (He doesn't put much of anything back.)
I just hope he didn't give it to a friend.

And I think that difficult child has been smoking, either cigs or pot or both. He's had a constant cough for a month. Cough,cough,cough, short and shallow, just like someone who is smoking and not used to it.
Just saying.

by the way, what do you use a mechanical food chopper for, besides carrots and celery? husband found a brand new one in the trunk. Maybe difficult child bought it for culinary class. Or maybe he's going to make his own weed or something? Okay, I made myself smile with that one.


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Staff member
Oh boy Terry, I'm sorry. I know about those kinds of fights too. It's all so exhausting. I hope he comes home and you get some sleep. Keep us posted. Sending a hug.......


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He's still not here. I'm taking a shower and going to bed.
I have a feeling he walked to his old girlfriend's house and is on the couch. She lives less than a mile away. She hates her mom, so she would understand.


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You know what, Terry?

You have done such a good job all these years with him. He is eighteen now and I'm not telling you to stop, but maybe learn how to detach from his miserable behavior and realize he is going to control his own destiny and you can't. Tell him the rules, be consistent like you have always been, then let him decide what to do with it, knowing what the rules are.

And, heck, the car has been a curse to him...lol. Does he get enough exercise? Let him walk...lol. Really, that is when this started. And it sometimes is because they can go farther and find more trouble. Is the city Trouble on a map? ;)

Scent of Cedar *

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I'm here reading along too, Terry.

This is the natural progression of things. He is eighteen. He will be okay. When he comes back (and he will, of course he will), there will be time then for a new start.

What do you and husband want that to look like?



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He is very definitely controlling your lives. You raised him. You taught him. It really is up to him now. I would not chase after him. That sends the message that he is in control. If he does not have his medication, he will have to face the consequences of how that plays out. I know that you say he is 15 mentally. Fifteen year olds are capable of making good choices.

So much of what we do with our difficult children has to do with our fear of our kids getting into trouble. The naked truth is that we can't protect them. That makes us feel helpless and vulnerable, and that causes us to be engaged in away that backfires on everyone concerned.


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by the way, the extra house key from the outside hiding spot is gone.

Change your lock right away or have it re-keyed. Either way, don't wait. If your difficult child is bad about just not putting things back it MAY turn up somewhere later. It may be in the hands of someone who will rob you blind, or maybe the difficult child still has it. As much as it hurts to think about locking your son out of the house, for your own safety and well being you need to do it.

I'm sorry you're having to go through this right now but he is legally an adult now. If/when he returns then have rules laid out for him and stick by them. You know it wont be easy. You also know that its doable. Whether it works or not is entirely up to the difficult child.


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Terry, just want you to know I'm reading along. I remember the first time ours did this he was 17. He left because we found he'd stolen from us...which raised all kinds of fears. He came back a week later and it's was worse then better then worse.

While my son has never been diagnosed, he's also very immature. It finally reached a stage where we had to make him leave altogether last fall, but it's sooooo hard. It's hard to have them leave angry. It's hard to not know where they are or what they're doing.

Jabber has worked in a correctional facility for a very long time, so he's incredibly security minded. But I'd ask you son if he has the key and change if he doesn't...because you might come home to a ransacked house. It's just poor security to have a missing key.

I know how you are feeling. :consoling:


one day at a time
Terry, I am so sorry. This stuff is bone-wearying. I have been through it again and again with my son since he was about 19--he's now 25.5.

I learned that he would keep coming back. I learned that he would say awful things, and wouldn't agree to any rules, or would agree and then not do any of them, was smoking the whole time he swore that he didn't smoke---remember, Mom, how much I hate smoking? How much I have always hated smoking? And you think I would smoke---, he was lying and stealing from me and other people and using...on and on and on. I'm sure there is so much I still have no idea about.

I changed my locks one day. I cried and sobbed the entire time we walked through Home Depot and the entire time SO/now husband changed all of the locks and put slide bolts on the doors.

Time and again, he would come home, beg to come back, and we would sit down for a big long talk, and I would type up contracts for him to sign, and he would tear them up in my face and walk out again. I learned to let him go.

He didn't take the medication he had been prescribed for depression and of course he would not go to therapy, even when I would literally pull him out of the bed and push him into the car, unshowered, and drive him there, and he would sit there and say not one word.

I have never encountered anything like this---the past five/six years with my son---in my life. Everything else in my life I would be able to affect with persistence, determination, hard work, love, persuasion, pushing, pushing, pushing, action, action, action. Not addiction. Not the 40-foot-tall monster. It is a roaring beast and it mows down everything and everybody in its path.

I had met my match and finally I had to accept it. I don't know if your son is an addict or not. I read your signature and I understand he has multiple diagnosis. I am not trying to say our sons are the same.

But I am saying that your best efforts and all of the love and resources you have to offer may not affect his actions for a while.

Today, finally, I am seeing some change in my son. I don't know why---he hit a bottom, his age, he's scared to death, he's finally ready for some reason, etc.---but I do know it had very little to nothing to do with anything I said or did.

Work to let go and to accept as best you can. Yes it's cold outside, and yes, I'm sure he's 15 maturity-wise and he needs his medication. But what can you really do? He's 18 now, and the world considers him an adult.

Warm hugs. I so understand. Please keep sharing here. We get it and we care.


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Been there done that, got the t-shirt...

difficult child would walk out after an argument. His dad would be so worried and upset.

Then difficult child would come back with some story about getting 'jumped' by some guy (or gang of guys) and his dad would buy it and he would get to come back without resolving the original problem or promises to change behaviors. (not that it would have worked anyway)

He did the same thing at his moms.

And we don't live in a big city, high crime area, drug or gang area, etc. We are in a small town in a rural area in a small midwestern state.

We finally stopped buying his story.

Finally realized it was about him manipulating and controlling us.

Sorry you are going through this.


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Thank you all.
He came back.
husband suggested that we turn out all the lights and go to bed. difficult child was trying to avoid a confrontation and would not come back to a house full of lights and people.
So we did. I did Sudoku in bed until 2 a.m.
At 6 a.m., husband woke me up and said that difficult child was on the couch and had taken his medications.
I figured difficult child walked to his old girlfriend's house and that he had to be out before the mom figured it out, so it didn't look like an overnight. :) And it's close, and he's a creature of habit.
I'm working on detachment. Really.


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And I just ordered this book. Someone here suggested it. I just love the title, even if the book isn't any good. :)

Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
For your present peace of mind I'm glad he came back. I'm sorry you are having to go through all of this. I've said it before, there is no roller coaster on this planet that can compare to the emotional roller coaster a difficult child puts you through, the only thing they have in common is they make you sick to your stomach.

It's easier said than done but the sooner you start to detach the better. I held on too long. My difficult child is 33, I detached from him about 7 years ago when he was 26. I should have done it years sooner but I always thought "this will be the time he gets it" WRONG!!! I spent too many years, too much of my time and way too much money trying to help him.

Hang in there. ((HUGS)) to you........

in a daze

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And I just ordered this book. Someone here suggested it. I just love the title, even if the book isn't any good.
Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager

That book is the best! Read it years ago.


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Terry I am glad to hear he came home and took his medications. I honestly think that the car needs to be taken away for quite some time. Not only isn't he doing what he needs to do school wise he is not respecting the car and the rules about it.

He doesn't seem to be able to handle the responsibility of it. I wish you the best. When mine left I knew where she was and I was still torn up.


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Terry, unlike many difficult children yours still cares what you think. He may defy you, but in the end, without you pushing him around the next morning, he took his medications. I still say there is a lot of hope for this kid. He cares about you and his Dad in a way that most of our difficult children don't. The truth is, he could have stayed out, gotten high to spite you (many do it, although who does it really hurt?), and toss his medication down the toilet saying, "You can't make me take it." While he is not listening to you, he is still acting like he cares about pushing the limits too far.

Don't feel all is lost. With him, it's not.