He's been kicked out of the shelter


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I am, once again in shock at how he manages to screw up when things are going well. He's got a decent job. He's got a place to live. And he goes to Walmart, loses his ride, J1 has his phone, by the time he's back, he's missed his chore. 4th write-up. Out he goes. He can't cold cot and keep his job because he works nights. He's not able to find any friends who'll take him in. And I think I'm going to have a heart attack.

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Oh Lil,

While I was so shocked to see your post, why should i be? This is the way it goes with our difficult child's. It's always something. But, he has had some successes, so let's hope he builds on that. He knows he can get/keep a job. That's huge. If he takes responsibility for the write-ups, that is also huge.

Will he be able to move back in the shelter after a certain # of days? Hope so.

1000 mi distance between the difficult child and ourselves seems to be the best way. But, not always practical...too bad.

Saying a prayer for you your son right now. Before I sign off.



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Staff member
Oh Lil, I'm so sorry. God I know how you feel. Just this past August after my daughter found a cool place to live, had 3 jobs, everything going so well.........she didn't make it to a mandatory probation thing and a warrant was issued. I stepped back, and she has handled it as best she can. The day I found out though, oh boy, I was not able to take that information in. 2m2r is right, BREATHE. Just breathe and take no action right away, let it settle a tad...............just observe your feelings now and refrain from acting.................saying a prayer for all of you........


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Oh Lil,

If he takes responsibility for the write-ups, that is also huge.

Ah, that's the thing. In his mind, not his fault. It wouldn't have happened if he'd had his phone, if his ride hadn't bailed, if someone would have picked him up while he was hitching....Doesn't occur to him that it wouldn't have happened if he'd NOT gone to Walmart until after his chore was done.

That this is his attitude is the one thing keeping me angry instead of panicked...not that I'm not panicked.

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Not sure why I even included that part - about him taking responsibility....most likely because i was looking at it though my own experience and thinking....the bad thing is Gfg33 would be blaming everybody else. So, i completely understand. I believe that husband's and my gfg33 could do so much IF he would just accept responsibility instead of seeing himself as a victim and blaming every other human, relative, friend, weather, economy, molecule, politician, wind direction, etc.

But, perhaps that has been discussed on this forum before, haha!

Again, i am sorry.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I cannot think of anything profound enough to make a difference for you as you go through this, Lil. This is the nightmare. It is ongoing. I do know this much: Just as you are teaching your son through your responses now, so you are teaching yourselves how to respond. Review the reasons you have chosen this path. Review the things you will need to see from your child before you will help. Sketch out an imaginary survival plan, a kind of intent to be held over time that you will come through this in a healthy, stable place.

I beat the hell out of myself until I can justify giving in. I have to recognize I am doing that before I can work through the warped intricacies of my responses. I feel a crazy, wickedly spinning kind of time pressure and I can't seem to get my feet on the ground or my thoughts in order.

Recovering Enabler calls that mind set the FOG.

It helps to label it. It helps to know where we are, and therefore, to understand that where we are is a temporary state. Consciously work to calm it down.

That helped me.

Also, remembering there actually was no time pressure. There was nothing I'd forgotten, there was nothing I could change within the next seconds. Calm thought, rational thought ~ that would help me. Not the state of panic, not the states of pain or numbness or any of the other negatives.

Choose your desired emotional response, and fake it 'til you make it. No catastrophizing. You actually are fighting for your son's life, here. He does have to change his ways. He hasn't learned, yet.


Here is another thing: However badly you feel about what is happening? Your son does not ever have to know that you are not 1000% sure how to do this.


This has been the style of your child's choices all along.

Nothing that was not already coming happened here. Your child did what he always does. The difference this time is that there are consequences in the real world.

That is the sole lesson your child needs to learn.

That his actions have consequences.

I am so sorry for the horror of it.

Albatross' child came home, did you know that? She let him go, she left him to work it out on his own, and he made his way home.

There is faith in her story for you, Lil.

If you haven't had a chance, read Albatross' posting.



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OMG why must they make their lives so hard! I wish you peaceful thoughts and send your hugs! He can do this.


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J1 has his phone, by the time he's back, he's missed his chore. 4th write-up. Out he goes.
I think you posted a few weeks ago that you weren't going to keep paying his cell bill if he kept lending it out. I guess he didn't here that either. (no I do not expect you to take his phone away) Just reminding you that you can give all kinds of consequences and ultimatums but he isn't ready to hear them yet.


one day at a time
I am sorry Lil. Yet another opportunity for him to learn something about cause and effect no matter what he is labeling it right now. I'm just sorry that you are having to bear the pain of his lesson. Be kind to yourself tonight.


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Lil, I am sorry. I worked at a homeless shelter and the ones who kept coming were t he ones who were willing to put up with rules. Some people can't. I am not sure why. It is as if they are at war with society, although I don't think they see it that way.

I think you got good feedbadk about sitting back and just thinking about it before reacting. Maybe go out with Jabby tonight, if only for coffee to get out of the house and think and talk. You two communicate so well and you have him, who may not always agree with you, but he does always understand you. It's a precious gift, what you two have. Cherish it.

Your son will survive the night.

Sometimes I do what Scarlett O'Hara did in "Gone With the Wind."

"I'll think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow I can stand it."

It's often true!


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Oh Lil I am so sorry your heart is breaking once again. It sounds so simple to say if they would only take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming their circumstance on everyone and everything. I have thought that about my own difficult child so many times and yet the blame game continues. Hang in there!!
Sending you ((HUGS))


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I'm so sorry to hear about this, Lil. I know that panicked feeling SO well.

I think you and Jabber handled it just right. Your son doesn't have to know about the almost having a heart attack part! He messed up, like everybody does now and again, and your expectation is that since he IS a capable young man he WILL sort it out. And next time he will hopefully plan ahead a little better, or he won't. But he will sort it out the next time too.


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I thank you all for all your thoughts, prayers, advice and empathy. There were so many things I wanted to respond to...but I think this sums it up:

It sounds so simple to say if they would only take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming their circumstance on everyone and everything. I have thought that about my own difficult child so many times and yet the blame game continues. Hang in there!!
Sending you ((HUGS))

Doesn't it sound simple? Don't lie, cheat, steal or hurt others. Accept responsibility for your own actions. Take care of business first and fun after. Simple rules for living that we tried, we really tried, to teach. I really don't know why it didn't take.

So...update I guess.

He had called (and I posted) while we were at our second job, cleaning our church. A few hours later as we were finishing up, he called back. He has found out he can cold-cot from the time he gets off work until morning...so a few hours at least on the coldest nights. He has 72 hours to get out of the shelter, so he has three days to get things in order. He was calmer, at least, and asked if we would go get his phone. J-1 had taken it and then wound up in the next town over. As we had decided already to do that we agreed. He also was calm enough he wanted to go when I exchanged his Xmas gift (I bought the wrong book) but I was too tired to deal with it, so I told him I'd bring the new book with the phone. Turns out that didn't happen because they had to order the book, but he didn't mind. We dropped off the phone and that's that for now.

We never actually said that we'd take the phone...that is we never made it an ultimatum, but we did tell him it was a possibility. Tonight, I think we made it an ultimatum. While he is still fully to blame for his 4th write-up...he wouldn't have had this happen if he hadn't loaned out his phone. We do NOT pay for a phone so his buddies can use it!

FWIW, his 4 write-ups have been minor things, but I see their point. Running a shelter, you have to have rules and stick to them or it's chaos. Twice he missed his chore (once he took a paying job that was leaving right then and he didn't take the time (or have the time) to get it covered), once he was with a group of people who were standing in this breezeway between buildings that they don't want people to gather at, and once for a fight (shouting not fists) with J-1. So yeah...always his fault...so minor, but always his fault.

We left the house at 12:30 and got home about 7:30. We don't usually shower before we go clean, because we're the only ones there and we're going to get all hot and sweaty and dirty anyway...so we're exhausted and gross. Our son has now declined to go to the family Christmas tomorrow...which is actually kind of good. I'll be glad to have the day away.


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She forgot to mention that while we are too tired to consider going out for a bit tonight (and that we have the fur kids to think of) we are watching a movie and enjoying a hard cider.