Hoping to see son


Sending good vibes...

You are moving in the right direction by taking care of yourself and visiting with your sister. This is great that you can see some "good" coming out of this not so good situation with your son. This is how we move out of focusing on our adult children. It feels selfish at first but it isn't.
Also, meeting up with your other son will also bring you some healing and connection with family that you so need. I hope you have great visit.

I have been helped so many times from the insights of many of you CD posters and I appreciate you all. Wish we could meet up in person just to have some faces with the names! :)
You know I wish the same thing too. It's funny in my mind when I read the posts I have envisioned the CD's voices and demeanor as they are posting. It's not intentional, just a perception from reading and listening of what I gather is going on at the "other end". Everyone has a different personality and diversity which just adds so much wealth of knowledge to what we are going through. It's invaluable. :tickled_pink:

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I don't know when or if I will get back to Denver, and I really would like to at least see him once more. I don't think I will ever see him again otherwise. My last attempt to plead with him to come and stay with us, just a week ago, was met with the usual abuse and refusal.
I know just how you feel. I have been there too many times. It's been closer to 9 years since I have physically seen my son. The closest I have "seen" him was a video I found online of his arrest a few years ago. Like you, I don't think I will ever see him again. I sent him a private message on FB a few weeks ago to just check in and let him know I was thinking about him and that I love him. I could see that he "viewed" the message but he never responded. I know he is still angry because husband and I did not send him money for a hotel room a few months back. He did recently post a picture of the pot farm he's working on. I guess I should be happy that he's doing some kind of work.


Well-Known Member
Also, meeting up with your other son will also bring you some healing and connection with family that you so need. I hope you have great visit.
Thank you JayPee. It feels good to be getting away from the routine right now.

I know just how you feel. I have been there too many times. It's been closer to 9 years since I have physically seen my son. The closest I have "seen" him was a video I found online of his arrest a few years ago. Like you, I don't think I will ever see him again.
Oh Tanya, I am so sorry that you haven't seen your son for so long. That hurts my heart. And I'm sorry that he didn't respond to your overture on FB. A few weeks ago, when my son was still at my sister's house, she secretly took a couple of phone photos of him as he sat at their kitchen island. It was so good to see him, even if it was just a picture, but it hurt too.

I'm going to try not to "write the end of the story" in my mind by automatically assuming I will not see him again. I'm going to keep in mind that, as Copa said, things can change, and there's no way to know just how things will end. I have to have faith that God is in control and because He loves him even more than I do, He is working in his life to draw him to Himself. God loves your son greatly too. And He sees your mother's heart and the hurt there.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I'm going to try not to "write the end of the story" in my mind by automatically assuming I will not see him again. I'm going to keep in mind that, as Copa said, things can change, and there's no way to know just how things will end.
So very true!
Sadly, when I do hear from my son it's because he's in trouble or needs something. I take his silence that things must be going well for him.

I just know that in the hear and now, I must live my life.


Face the Sun
Copa, No need to apologize--I didn't feel you were being blunt or abrupt at all. Actually, your words give me hope and comfort. Wow, there is so much insight in what you say, both about me and about him. I am going to print this out and read and re-read it in the days ahead. It really helps provide an explanation for why he is acting as he is. I wan to believe that he doesn't really feel the way he says he does but speaks out of the pain of his illness. Thank you, again.
Beta, I felt the same about Copa's reply. I suspect you think you need to see him because of something he said in his abusive, irrational, manipulative dialogue. I have certainly been there. But, like Copa has reminded us, that is not reality. For me, it's imperative that I see things from a logical, mentally thought through perspective and find a way to lean away from the emotional side. From what you have shared, your son, like my daughter, lacks empathy. They are like caged animals, waiting, and Josh targets you, like May targets me. Stay safe, physically and mentally and let yourself be hopeful by letting go. Love and light


Well-Known Member
All of the kids who bring us here lack empathy. It is hard for anyone, let alone mothers, to deal with people who lack empathy. They are unable to love us the way we love them. Some people can not love. I personally don't think that all mentally ill individuals lack empathy. I believe this is the case mostly with Cluster B personality disorders (antisocial, narcissism, borderline) and substance abuse can block empathy temporarily.

People who lack empathy are never satisfying in relationships. Some can be cruel, even dangerous. Some are just unpleasant and don't care about the anyone outside themselves, including loving parents. And this wounds.

It is very hard what we learn to accept and sometimes try to see as normal. I don't believe that all of our kids love us but treat us terribly. I believe kids like Kay, who is really far from a kid, can not love. That is how she can treat us as she does. To me and my husband, we believe now that what you see is reality. Reality that can put me in fetal position as I cry.


Well-Known Member
I agree that the children who bring us here are lacking in empathy and compassion for how their behavior may affect others, especially us, their parents. And I agree that some of our kids have personality styles or elements that either fuel or are fueling their drug use and for sure, complicate whatever acute mental illness they may have.

I would not say that the majority of the kids here have intractable personality disorders. They, like the rest of us have personality attributes that contribute to their making the same mistakes over and over; like a pattern or a mold, their personalities make them prone to experience and respond to life in stereotypical ways. My own experience has shown me that in humans, this is more common than not. But it would not lead, in my own opinion, to the across the board diagnosis of a personality disorder for most of us. Even the kids on this forum.

What is happening to our kids, is immaturity, extreme resistance to becoming independent, and accepting the responsibilities of adulthood, extreme self-indulgence, and/or difficult histories that are hard for them to deal with and make sense of and/or enmeshment with a very involved, and perhaps over-sensitive and vulnerable parent. (I am raising my hand here.)

Always, the learning is ours. I will speak here only about myself. When my son began acting out, alternately, I was wounded to the core, or pushed him too far away. Only when this extreme emotionality (and defense) on my part moderated was I able to even remotely respond to him in a way that was appropriate to the circumstance. Who had the personality defect here?

I understand why we may feel and believe that our children are irremediably flawed. There is a security in this, a defense against the bad that keeps coming at us. It is oh so much harder to be open to shades of grey, to slightly better, to a little bit of positive, that may, tomorrow turn to unrelenting horribleness. Again. It's oh so hard to be self-protective and at the same time open, especially when one's personal boundaries and sense of self may itself be fragile.

But I don't believe that painting with a wide brush, to defend ourselves against pain and our own cutting edge is necessarily the most powerful way to respond to all of our kids.

Sometimes the cruelty of our kids does not come from a desire to be cruel. It could be indifference, it could be defense, all kinds of things, beyond deep and profound personality limits. I guess what I am trying to say here is that the most powerful thing for us, is not necessarily to view our children as irrevocably and hopelessly damaged.

I worked with people like this for many years. Of a thousand that I may have come to know fairly well, less than a handful did I see as irremediably broken. The rest, to me, seemed capable of learning and changing. And some did.

I do not find the concept of personality disorder that useful.


Well-Known Member
For me, I do believe it is empathy draining personality disorders and substance abuse, which can temporarily block empathy.

I have no authority to think so. No credentials. But I have met thousands of people due to our business and they talk to us about their kids quite often. I don't see this behavior in 99.9 percent of adult kids. I just don't.

This forum to me is the rare exception of very very damaged adults, and I tear up as I write this because it includes Kay.

Most kids never call their parents obscene or hideous names. It is not immaturity that causes this because most very young kids do not call their parents names. It's different. It's ugly. It's them. It's in my opinion an inability to care what we feel or think. This is related to empathy, not maturity.

If I had ever called anyone the things Kay called me, I would be so full of guilt it would be me who cried and begged forgiveness. These kids leave us crying and at least my Kay seems almost glad about it.

It was years before I admitted these feelings to myself. I could not bear seeing the truth about my daughter. I always cut her slack. I no longer can.

All the empathy on this board seems to be the parents continuing to love their rude, impossible, often ungrateful kids. We have the empathy. They don't. I hate it, but it is how I see things.

It was a lot easier when I believed Kay could love us. But we do feel more peace and have more realistic expectations of Kay now that we believe we know who she is.

But, as I always say, it's hard. Very.


Well-Known Member
There are a spectrum of kids here, with all sorts of issues. Adoption. Racial differences from parents. Racism. Poverty. Illness. Brain injury. Drugs. Immaturity. Leaving one culture for another, new one. Immorality. Personality Disorders. Acute mental illness. My own child is affected with at least 8 of these.

Several things concern me. One. If we roll all of this into one and call it a "personality disorder." A personality order while not necessarily a forever thing, usually is.

Two. Each of our children is a unique being, as we are unique. It would worry me if we considered all of them the same. That is, I worry that each of us generalizes to other adult children based upon our own unique situation. My child is not your child. Your child is not my child. I am not you. You are not me.

There have been people on this forum that believe everything is a personality disorder of one sort or another. And freely without evidence other than their own beliefs, diagnose adult children "attachment disordered, for example." They have made what are moral decisions, and called children they do not know of parents they do not know, unworthy to be saved. Irredeemably damaged and broken, etc. They believe by these judgments that they are protecting the parents who come here, by telling them the hard, cold truth. As if they have a direct phone to G-d. And that only they know.

I think I am one of the people currently on this forum with the most direct, varied experience with diagnosis and treatment. I will say outright that I don't know enough about any child on this forum, including my own, to make any real assessment of their potential or what ails them.

I think we can only legitimately know about that which we have directly seen and experienced. We experience each other. That is direct. I feel that people here know me. While they can get a sense or impression about my child. It is only that. The lion's share of that impression, I fear, may be our own prejudice that comes from our own suffering and fear.

This is something I feel very strongly about. I understand how bitter and frustrated and angry we can become. Because of the fate of our children, and our own fate. It can feel like we were "had" or victimized and that is a bitter pill to swallow about life. But to take the step to project that onto others, I feel is unfair. Parents have the right, and deserve that right to come to their own beliefs without due influence from us. They deserve to have hope as long as they wish. That is what is my own opinion. Which I will post as long as I choose to stay on this board.
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Well-Known Member
Right. I agree they are unique in what causes their behavior. For me, I don't see most adult kids acting like our kids who bring us here. I just don't.

I do not know any other adult child here. I absolutely do not. I know my daughter. And I know my other kids, who have no ability to act like her. And I see so many young adults, even adopted ones, thriving and being kind to their parents.

And I am tired and worn out from being judged. But I can handle that. I have grown resilient through the death of one child and self destruction of another. I am strong. I had to be.

For the record I never said anyone should lose future hope, but right now we are dealing with what is on our plate today. And I personally hope to keep living One Day at a Time. What you and I write here shows our differences and I think it's good for everyone to speak. I am allowed to speak from being dead tired. All we have done for Kay has nothing to show for it....no effort on her part. No real love like we see with our other kids. And to me it is hard not to see similarities in our stories...all of us, united on many fronts. We are in different stages of our pain. That's fine. But we are all warriors, brave and strong.

Are we bitter, you may wonder? My husband and I? I probably sound like it. I don't think I still am, but the hardest person to see is oneself. At one time we definitely were bitter. We took the devestation of Kay out on one another and almost divorced. We put our two nice kids on the back burner. And Amy's kids. We were two sorry people doing nothing but trying to save a drowning adult child to the detriment of all else in our lives. Everything was Kay. I see this in these stories and I cry and understand.

I truly pray that good happens to every adult child here, including our Kay. Do I expect it? Not anymore.

Copa, I think you are a very strong, smart lady. Our circumstances are different and our experiences have been as well. I am very happy for you that you can keep up your hope. You are a loving, wonderful mother to your child, moreso than I could ever claim to be. You are a star.

My husband and I are just done. We are no longer in the game with Kay. If she starts to change, we will help her. But any motivation to change now has to 100 percent start from her own heart. No more focus on her well being. We can't do it anymore.

I know in some eyes this makes us terrible parents. We are well known in our community and have been criticized strongly both because of what Kay has done (our faulty parenting) and because we no longer help Kay (what kind of parents are we). We have heard both accusations to our faces. Many people pull no punches about how they feel. They are smug because they have no child like Kay. They good. We bad. Seriously. Many feel this way. I often agree. But when we are the most distraught we tell each other the truth.

We did all we could for Kay. Kay has done nothing for Kay. Kay has chosen to be ugly towards those who love her the most. We don't see any indication that Kay has a loving heart toward us or anyone, even Lee or Jaden. Our decision to focus on ourselves and our kind loved ones will stand. We are no longer looking for Kay to change. And this will bring on more bold criticism.

We accept any criticism with a prayer to God that the one who criticized us never feels our pain. And we go on knowing that Kay is the only one who can help herself. And that we don't want to be around her abuse, even if it's because she was adopted and a different race from us and damaged in other ways. She refuses all help. Thats the key. That's why we are done. She continues to flail while she lives on pot and says she is a healthy person. It is the rest of the world, not her. Nobody improves thinking this way, getting no help.

We can't take anymore.

I am sorry if you took my feelings personally. They were not meant for you or your son. They were my own thoughts mostly about me. I amn a spokesperson for the entire forum. You are right in much of what you said. We all speak only for us

I am tired. It was one of those tougher days when Kay did manage to shake things up and we had to say no. So take whatever I said with a grain of salt.

God bless everyone here.


Well-Known Member
I don't see most adult kids acting like our kids who bring us here.
I agree with this. And I would also agree that many of the kids here share a constellation of behaviors that are the same. I just don't agree that we can call it one or two things. Or do I think any one of us has the capacity to discern what's going on in a deep level with any of our kids. Nor do I have the capacity to discern, really, what's going on with my own adult child.
I know in some eyes this makes us terrible parents.
We are well known in our community and have been criticized strongly both because of what Kay has done (our faulty parenting) and because we no longer help Kay (what kind of parents are we). We have heard both accusations to our faces.
One of the hardest things I have had to deal with over the last 10 years is the judgement of neighbors, friends and family. Harsh, horrible judgement. My mother and sister would talk about me behind my back, that I did too much, loved my son too much. Neighbors and friends would gossip and/or judge me because I did not do enough, or was a bad mother, or too harsh. I was scarred by this. My son did not help because he gossiped about me and M too. He has had little or no loyalty to me and limited appreciation of kindness or love--unless it was the moment I did something for him or gave him something. I do know how this feels. I have lived it.
I am sorry if you took my feelings personally. They were not meant for you or your son.
I did not take personally what you wrote. My response came from this: One, I have been here four and a half years. Many, many parents come here, whether they post or not, very, very vulnerable. I was one of these parents. I was terribly raw. I had no idea what to do. I had no distance from my situation at all. It took years for me here, where I felt any confidence in myself in dealing with my son. If I have any at all now, it has come only recently.

But due to my weakness and confusion, and lack of confidence (I was lost, lost, lost) I took a lot of stuff I read here personally, and some of it felt undermining. Interestingly, almost everybody here has supported my child. Even when I couldn't do so, there were a number of people here who took him under their wing. Over and over again, they urged me to find patience. I found the greatest compassion here for my child. Other mothers could feel more compassion for him, than could I, for the longest time. I have so much gratitude for that.

What I have acquired, more than strength I think, is a sense of the people that post here, as a group. Like many, I take extreme responsibility for how parents feel, not just that they feel support, or empowered, but I try very hard that my comments don't back them into a corner. Unless I feel there is real danger, and then, like you, I become direct.

I just feel a great deal of gentleness for parents here. Almost a sense of protection. I feel it for you too Busy. And I posted here on this thread, because of that.

Busy. We are very alike.

I can't take it anymore either. But then I do. I don't know why or how. And I don't know if what I do is right or wrong. For myself or for my child.
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Well-Known Member
Copa I think I partly can't keep it up with Kay because I have other kids who were greatly affected by Kay. Now they don't have Kay's problems, but they do have their own ups and downs. Amy's divorce is one and her failing marriage was ignored by us because we were afraid for Kay more than for her. There is zero chance that Amy will become homeless. She has a great job. So we worried about Kay and the homeless issue. And Jaden.

We could not have fixed Amy's marriage, but we could have offered more family support and one on one or joint parental attention. I am horrified that we were not there for her. My son has a girlfriend and relationship problems sometimes and his problems seemed so trite beside Kay's. We failed here.

In spite of us these two kids thrive and forgive us. We can never be lesser than again. I don't know if we would have stopped helping Kay not become homeless if she had been our only child. We could have kept doing it then without hurting any other kids. But this is not our situation so we did what we feel us morally right. Kay has taken all our time, worry,and resources. She needs to step up now or not. It's time for us and the other kids and Amy's kids.

It doesn't help that Kay is ungrateful and refuses to help herself.

I understand your protectiveness of the parents here. Trust me, I am still vulnerable too. Turning away from a troubled child is not in my nature. But there is nothing else I can do. I do not think anybody is ever hopeless but I tend to deal with the now and how to get through now.

In truth, most kids here take drugs and addicts can be wonderful people under their disease. They need only stop, such as RNs amazing son did. That is not hopeless. People decide to get sober all the time.

But it is up to them.

Copa, I so appreciate your ability to have such empathy for all the moms here. Your son.is very lucky. So are we all. You inspire me.

God bless you and thanks for being here. Please don't stop posting.


Well-Known Member
We failed here.
You did not fail.
I don't know where this comes from. Is it guilt, still?
She needs to step up now or not.
This is true. I have never, ever questioned the necessity of your stepping away from Kay. Number one, it's not my right. Number two, I think you're doing everything right. At great cost to you. Still.
Please don't stop posting.
There is a deep pain in me. That I think some of us here share. I had a father who was dissolute, depraved, lost. In the last 5 or 6 years of his life, I would not see him or speak to him.

I was sickened by being around him: his self-indulgence; his cruelty. I could no longer tell myself lies that he was anything other than a fallen man. Shortly after I learned of his death, (he had died on skid row 4 years before I found out), I adopted my son, whose birth parents lived in some ways like my father. It does not take Freud to figure out that I was seeking some sort of redemption for myself or my life. At that point, all I knew was that I loved my son. I did not face that adopting him would bring me to have to face the other side of the equation: that my son would have to plumb depths and a lifestyle of his birth parents. And I with him.

I think all of this with my own father must be triggered. Because I was the one who turned away from him. I took a hard left. I didn't look back. It makes it impossibly hard with my son. Because all of this is triggered. That I keep trying with my son is not strength. It may be love, but it's not strength. It's trauma. I have trauma both ways. If my son is near. Or far.

And then to do the work, I did, in prisons, with men (less women) who others believed were close to irredeemable, this, too, I know must have been a deep belief that I am irredeemable by virtue of my father's fate. I must on some level believe I am lost, too. I must believe I am Kay, too. Or my father. There was that movie title, I think called, Dancing as fast as you can. I think that was me. And always afraid when the music stops.

Please do not think that there is anything clean or right about what I do.
I think I partly can't keep it up with Kay because I have other kids
In no way do I question (or have a right to) your decision with Kay. What you write about her behavior is chilling. You could not do more than you have done. But what you did, was not wrong, in my view.

We, none of us, are better or more capable parents. That's the trap that all of us are thrust into. We judge ourselves, and are judged by others. It's not about good or bad. Everything I write here is an attempt to help myself and others to not fall into the trap of (all)good or bad, about ourselves, each of our children, and life itself. And despite this, the trapdoor is always there.
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Well-Known Member
I appreciate you very much ❤
Likewise, Busy.

I am not comparing what I experienced with my family of origin to anything near what you and your husband suffered with the loss of your child, but we are each of us chased by demons and this calls for great compassion. For ourselves. For each other. I don't think our experience is that uncommon here.
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Well-Known Member
Just wanted to let you all know that I've just returned from Denver. I had a good visit with family but did not see Josh. He wouldn't see me, despite several attempts to contact him. I was rebuffed each time. Strangely enough though, yesterday afternoon, I did get an apology from him where he said he was sorry that he had gotten so angry that he had blocked me. I replied immediately and once again asked if he would be willing to meet but I never got a response from him.


Well-Known Member
did get an apology from him
I am glad you had a good visit. I am glad you got to speak with Josh. And I am especially happy for you that he apologized, and more than that he specifically spoke to what he did wrong.

I hope with this you can work on finding peace. I am trying to do the same.


Sending good vibes...

I'm also so glad you got to speak with Josh and that he apologized. That's HUGE. I'm sure that it also boosted your moral and did your heart good. If your like me that kind of stuff puts a kick in my step.

We all do what need to but I would let the dust settle and not send him anymore texts regarding your request (or anything). Let him "want" to converse with you. When we force things just to have what want it is usually just temporary. We do this because we are so eager to have a relationship with them. But I've come to the conclusion that this means "both" of us need to be willing to participate in a healthy dialogue, not just me, for it to be sustainable.

I will be praying for you and your son and hoping that things may continue on the right path.


Well-Known Member
Oops...I guess I was not very clear on my update--I DID NOT talk to Josh. We only communicated by message, and I only got a one-sentence apology from him that day, and then he went "silent" for a day. Yesterday, he broke his silence and resumed his angry, obnoxious, abusive speech. So I have blocked him for the time being. That's where we stand at the moment.
Just wanted to clarify so there wasn't any misunderstanding.