Difficult Child


New Member
Have a Difficult Child turning 26 who moved home again for almost 2 yrs and left under dramatic circumstances. Had to call pd because my loaded firearm was missing and he was being abusive and about to leave with it. All of his stuff (3 rms of it in a small house) is still here after almost a year that's gone by. He has nowhere to put it. It's everything he owns. I don't know where he lives. Think he's staying with friends or maybe a girlfriend. Have little contact with him. He is infuriated I called pd and refuses to admit he took the gun although they found it in his possession. I declined to press any charges. All holidays Mother's Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays are not acknowledged. Other OLDER Difficult Child is worse and I don't see her children. She steals from me. He texts occasionally and said he would try harder at our relationship but hasn't. Is secretive and blew a complete college scholarship because he wouldn't go to class. Now has 2 part time min wage jobs. He should have gone back to school while living at home but didn't hardly even work just hung out played video. I don't know whether to forget them both or keep trying with him. I've given up on her at 35 :-/.


one day at a time
I'm so sorry.

About giving up or not giving up: Here is my take on that. I believe we can't know if or when another person is going to change.

People change when they are completely sick and tired of their current situation. And only then.

He may change, or he may not change.

What do we do with this? I believe we spend our time and our lives being the best WE can be, and enjoying life to the fullest, and learning how to do that, even if our precious adult children never get it together and aren't part of our lives.

That is incredibly sad, and we have to grieve it.

Then, after we grieve, or after the current wave of grief passes, we have to get up and move forward.

That is very hard to do, so we have to have a lot of help. We often have to get professional help through a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist or our primary care provider, we have to go to 12-step groups like Al-Anon, we have to read books, journal, pray, meditate, exercise, find and do things that we like and make us happy, spend time with friends, develop new hobbies, take trips, walk by the lake,...anything and everything to live a good, happy, full and peaceful life.

We have to learn how to accept reality. Most of us have longstanding "Cinderella stories" in our heads, the way we always thought "things were going to be." We have to let go of all of that nonsense, and learn how to accept what is right in front of us, and accept that we can't do one single thing to change another person.

We have to learn what that really, truly means. It takes a long time, with a lot of missteps.

I will tell you this straight out, and it sounds like you are well on the way to knowing it already: Whatever happened in the past, you did the best you could at the time. You did what you thought you had to do. Was it perfect? Not likely. But that's okay, because you aren't perfect, and you are never going to be perfect.

You did the best you could and now you have to let go of the outcome.

It is time for YOU. You have just one life. Start living it. There are many positive people who will like to be in your life, even if your children don't. Find them and start living.

We are here for you. Warm hugs today.


Well-Known Member

if that is your real name you might want to change it to protect your privacy and that of your adult children.

COM gave you good advice. I would only add...you don't need to take any action today. Find a support group. Post on the forum. Take steps towards leading your own, full, independent life. Work on spending a full day without thinking about your kids. Then see if you can make it two in a row.

About his stuff? Yes, I would probably move towards getting rid of it. How to do that I am not completely sure, but I do know that my own son left home at 17 (he is 21 now) and slowly but surely we have nothing in the house that is his anymore. He took some. We threw some out. We didn't accumulate anymore. At one point I told him that I was putting his drum set out on the curb in 2 hours, and he said he would be right over to get it...but he never came. He stopped to buy drugs and go to a party instead. I put them on the curb, and they were taken almost immediately by some one else, some one I hope uses them, or sells them or something.

I loved when my son played the drums, Karen. Music for him is his best and brightest self.

But he wasn't playing them anymore. Not in my house, not anywhere. The stuff in my house he wasn't using anymore.

Now his old room is a rather nice, simple, comfortably hang out room. And that is that.

You will feel better when his stuff is gone. How to get there is a process. Get help, as COM said. Take your time. It will all be OK.



Well-Known Member
This is how I look at "giving up."

We don't have the power to give up or not give up on somebody other than ourselves. Only they can give up on themselves and right now it sounds like both adult kids are in bad places where they have given up and/or are not going to live conventional lives. Very scary about the gun and your son. Made e shiver to think about it, but I'm one of those who dislikes having guns in the house unless they are under lock and key.

Live your life and let them live their lives. You can't change them, only your reactions to them.



Well-Known Member
You could rent a storage space, move his stuff there, and let him know you'll only be paying for it for the first month. After that it's up to him to deal with it. Your house isn't a storage locker for his stuff.


My difficult daughter left home 6 years ago and she still has stuff in her old bedroom! I have asked her so many times to sort her stuff out but she's always "too busy". She cleared some but there are boxes and clothes, ornaments etcxx cluttering up a very big bedroom. she isn't talking to me at the moment, so don't want to contact her. Have decided to wait till we are going to sell the house and then send her message to come clear her stuff out or I will give it away. We are downsizing hopefully.


Active Member
I would add - if reasonable in your life schedule, set a date and time for him to come get his stuff. If he affirms that he will be there to get it, tell the police as they have already a record of his behavior. Anything he leaves behind, call a thrift organization to come pick it up. Clear it out, then enjoy the space you have set free. Or use it to grieve and give yourself closure.

You did the best you knew how, and you deserve to set yourself free and start to heal.


All above is good advice. We are fortunate to have a barn which is where our son's "extra" stuff is. We packed it all in boxes, labeled them, protected them moderately from raccoons & the boxes are sitting on pallets in the barn until he decides what he wants with the stuff. My prediction is we will throw most of it out. He is living on his own, he will never live here again, it's just too difficult. He is a pack rat and has managed to be "gifted" will all sorts of furniture he doesn't need for his apartment.
Detaching is very hard but necessary for your peace of mind. It doesn't mean cutting them out of your life, just cutting away that huge emotional burden they can be on you.