How can we help our son?

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Staff member
Dear Pepper, from reading what you mentioned your son has written, a restraining order would be a slam dump for you.

But as I've said in other situations in the past, not with my son, but from something else ~ if anyone feels the need for a restraining order then I feel strongly you need to do whatever you can to protect yourself, as in get the hell out of Dodge to an undisclosed location until this blows over, someplace where you are protected. A piece of paper only works with people who have clear judgement and something to lose. If you have any inkling that he or someone he is involved with in this may actually come after you then maybe a friends house would be a better place to be for now, or an extended stay hotel. Cameras, locking yourselves in, calling the police might be good enough or maybe not, only you can judge here.

You also seem to have a clear cut libel civil case against your son. But then to what end? I don't know if you could use a civil case to try to force him into a mental health facility. That's something you would have to look into.

As far as his "turning you in" to authorities for his crazy accusations, I'd take a proactive stance on that. You can get a meeting with your towns police chief, show them his threats, and offer for them to come to your house to look around, with your permission, to proactivity mitigate any damage he could or could not have caused there. I think the DEA would not just show up at your door, if anything a watch would be set up on your house from a location they could monitor your house from to gather evidence. Regardless, I think it's time for you to let local law enforcement know of this threat to you.

I think right now I'd be most worried that he may run across some amoral character who's okay with violence who might take him up on doing something to you and/or your husband with the promise of some small monetary remediation. You don't know if he's so out of his mind that he's offering "cash app" money to anyone out there to do you harm.

My son has tried to blow up my life in the past, because of his issues. He went to the police and other people to "tell them his truth", which was total bs and luckily for me it resulted in him managing to shoot himself in the foot. But without the grace God I think it could have been different. When he was 17 he called the police and told them I "physically assaulted" him and tried to wrestle him to the ground to get his phone from him, luckily for me that bit of me trying to take his phone from him was on my security camera outside so they saw me reaching for the phone and him moving it out of my reach. Thing is though, I think they would have believed him that I had been physical with him had I not had it on camera. He was calm and believable in his accusations. I was very upset with them there at my house and not calm in my demeanor with them. They actually told me he seemed fine but I did not. Until they saw that camera footage they seemed more than happy to believe his story.

I get where your husband is coming from, he is not afraid of your son. Good for him, really. I think your husband's stance is normal for a man. Myself, having been a single mother for so many years, I do not feel that kind of safety and haven't had your husbands kind of experiences. Mine has been more of a very weird alternate reality, where I have been treated as a non-functioning adult by authorities in a head spinning way. So maybe all is really good safety wise as your husband thinks because he will be acknowledged as an actual adult if there are any consequences coming towards you due to your son's behaviors. Not so sure if your son brings in someone who's all for some small "cash app" reward though.

I wonder if a restraining order can be worked through the court system to have him remanded to some mental health facility as a danger to others for a period of time by a judge? If you bring all of the text/email evidence to court it could be a good thing towards getting him some help, even if this time it doesn't amount to much.


Well-Known Member
Pepper, I am so sorry you are going through this. It's truly terrifying (and the type of thing I live in fear of). Please do whatever is necessary to protect yourself - including laying charges if necessary. If it were me (and believe me, I've thought a lot about the fact that one day it could be) I would be worried that my son would hurt someone. He is making threats of physical harm that are not at all normal or acceptable. How will your husband feel if he goes through with these threats? What if someone gets hurt or worse? It's worth considering that it might not end up being only you or your family who gets hurt Your son needs to be reined in for his sake as well as everyone else's.

Sending you love and strength from across the oceans.


Well-Known Member
Hi Pepper, dear lady.

Your son is making scary, violent threats against you and literally offering others money to hurt you. I do not say this lightly but gently suggest that you may want to take this seriously. Its scary. You may want to report it, even.if your husband can not do it.

I would definitely visit the police if this was me. I would take it seriously. Meth can cause violent behavior. Son is using violent, very dangerous language and if you choose not to take police action, as well as being.proactive in every other way, a tragedy could happen and your son's life may be one of years in prison for a bad crime. He will probably not obey a restraining order. Many people just don't. Then if he doesn't honor it, he CAN be arrested, but your husband doesn't want to have him arrested so would he even call the cops to report it?

If you want to be safe AND help your son at all, in my opinion you NEED the cops to arrest your son, or at least warn him, so that he knows he is not threatening open targets He needs to know he is being watched. This may stop him from destroying his life and harming YOU.

Nobody wants to believe that a loved one can harm them...or would. So msny who actually harm family or friends SHOCK people who know them. "He made threats, but I didn't think he would really do it" is commonly heard from acquaintances and even family of school shooters, mass killers and those who are involved in crimes done by others they know and sometimes love. Mom is often a target. Dad too.

Apparently your son is not who he once was. He uses possibly dangerous drugs. He knows about various guns too. He is asking.people to harm you for a price. You are gambling that he doesn't really mean it. But you can't be sure.

If it were me, it would break my heart, but all those scary messages would go to the police. Today.. Jail isn't the worst thing maybe. He won't use drugs or drink there and will be safe from himself. And you will be safe.

Can you risk that he may hurt or even kill somebody? That is up to you. For us, the answer would be no way. You are safest if you take action and so is your son. Some of our kids MAY hit us. All are verbally abusive. Very few threaten to hurt us or put violent threats about us out there on the internet. The Michigan school shooter did that and told people what he planned to do. Nobody reported him. "We just thought he was talking s**t" they all said. But he did it.

I pray you can find peace with whatever you decide to do. I will pray for all of you.


New Member
Thank you for the replies. I’ve read them all and appreciate the advice. We are looking into hiring an interventionist to guide us through the process of helping our son. We spoke with her on the phone this morning, described our situation and she told us she is very familiar with these types of scenarios, where the adult child harbors strong animosity towards the parents and is abusing alcohol combined with schizophrenia.

she advised us against getting a restraining order because then there will be a legal reason we cannot engage with him. And he will have a permanent criminal record. I don’t know about this. My husband still thinks his claims are not serious. And he has mellowed out the past few days with threats now just swearing at us or telling us to stfu, etc. I realize my words sound like victim mentality! I do.

We’re waiting to find out how much this will cost us. I’m not sure we have any other options right now other than to just sit and wait, doing nothing. If anyone has used an interventionist, I’d love to hear feedback. Thanks.


Well-Known Member
My husband is still unwilling to have him 5150’d or arrested. He thinks he’s just bs-ing.
I am scratching my head here. Even if we entertain the idea that he is "bs-ing," how does it make sense that he is all of a sudden out of the blue so strongly motivated to attack his parents. What was the trigger? Even if there was an external trigger, how would a "normal" person ever feel compelled to write let alone think of such irrational things. Your husband's way of thinking about this while it may reassure him, just is not logical, to my way of thinking.

As far as a restraining order, I can see how this may be one part of a solution. But if he is truly psychotic do you think that, if he has violent fantasies, that he will necessarily be stopped by this? It is not that I am trying to frighten you, I am not. I am saying that I think the number one thing that will help you, the family and your son is that he receive treatment. Even if he's not 5150'd right off the bat it establishes a paper trail and he soon will be. But honestly, I would 5150 him now if I were a psychiatrist.

Not only is he totally out of control. He's making violent and specific threats against specific people, that seem in his mind to be imminent.

Even though your husband may be reticent about 5150-ing him, what about the very large potential that he be arrested. If one puts psychosis out of the equation there is a very large chance what he is writing could be construed to be what are called "terrorist threats" at least in my state. I am not an attorney but I've seen people given state prison terms for less.

There are two separate although related issues. The welfare of you and your family. The welfare of your son. I think being realistic about your son's condition is paramount. I am so very sorry this is happening. It is so scary and concerning. I say that with all of my heart.

Would your husband be willing to post and read? There are many, many years of experience here on this forum. All of us have children who have had similar problems and we've lived through variations of what you are living through. Some people here are cops, attorneys, psychologists, etc. who in their professional lives have had to deal with these same kinds of issues as well. What I am saying is I think that dialog helps. When we're suffering alone in our families it's a circular feedback loop. We just dissolve in puddles. Maybe your husband will come here?
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Well-Known Member
One thing I haven't been clear about is the schizophrenia diagnosis. Where did that come from? Does your husband not believe it? I can relate to that as I have been very, very conflicted about acknowledging or facing my son's behavior that is clearly psychotic to most anybody else.
We are looking into hiring an interventionist to guide us through the process of helping our son.
I think this makes sense.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Hi Pepper

I agree with everything that Copa mentioned and I also think if you can find someone like your interventionalist to help you, why not do it? I don't know how she can make the situation any worse - is what I'm saying.

Even all these years after my son turned it around, I question a lot of things that we did and whether it hurt or helped. I think that may just be human nature. If he had not survived this, I think I would question and blame myself for the rest of my life because that's what mother's do. However I am very THANKFUL that is not the case.

I think anyone that can help you to navigate your situation would be a huge relief for you and take some of the pressure off. Let's face it, none of us know what the hell we are doing when dealing with all of this.

Prayers for your son and your family and stay with us.


Well-Known Member
I think a mental hospital would be the best option for your son. If he’s given medication for a few days and not using drugs or drinking, maybe he will start to see things clearly. He’s very sick and his brain chemistry is seriously out of whack. I’ll be praying he gets the help he so desperately needs. It’s not unusual for people who are mentally ill to not believe they have a problem. Try to keep yourself busy and maybe ha e lunch with a friend. Anything to get your mind off of things.


Well-Known Member
I 1000% agree with Copa. More than 1000%. How can an interventionist help keep you safe??? Your son is not in his right mind. How can he talk to this person? How can he decide to get help? What if he hurts somebody somewhere, even in a rehab? You know talking about serious violence.

I also truly don't mean to scare you just for scarings sake, but your son in my opinion is far beyond what an interventionist can do for him. YOU need protection. Not getting any can not help your son. What if he acts on his ideas because he is psychotic? How will he feel when he realizes what he did? How will you and your husband feel knowing there were legal ways to prevent it and you did not do it? This isn't about a "bad" man. This is about a very sick young man who is ruminating about serious violence. I hope you can find the strength to make sure he can not do it.

It's up to you, of course.

Love and many prayers.