I'm baaaaack.......


New Member
The last time I signed in to this website/forum was in 2004. At that time my son was almost 20. He's almost 30 now. Not much has changed. Over the past ten years we have enabled him as so many of you do/have done. He has never held a job for more than six months. He always finds a way to get himself fired. He continues to smoke pot and use any substance he can get his hands on. He never finished college, though we're still paying off student loans. We pay his rent, cell phone and insurance. We even give him spending money. He was hospitalized over Christmas this past year for depression and was finally given a diagnosis of Personality Disorder.
He just got another job. Let's see how long this one lasts.
I'm not looking for advice right now; I know what we SHOULD be doing but don't.
Just wanted to check in and say hi.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
He Stevesmom,

It sounds like you've done everything you can and you also know none of it is helping. The longer you continue to enable him the harder it will be for you to let go, and you are doing more harm than good by not detaching from him.

You've been doing this for 10 years and nothing has changed. He's 30 now. Look down the road another 10 years, he will be 40, and so on. There will come a point when you won't be around and then what??

It would be better that he start learning how to deal with taking care of himself now. Again, the longer you wait the harder it will be.

My son is 33, homeless / couch surfing. I tried for many years to "help" my son. I have come to accept the fact that he will never live the life that I had hoped he would. I don't like it, but I do accept it.

It is very freeing to let go and detach, to break those chains that hold you back. I will always love my son but his life choices are his and I need to live my life for me.

I feel for you. I know how hard it is.

Hang in there.


Well-Known Member
Hi Stevesmom,

I am another forum member with an older difficult child (33). His dad and I finally stopped enabling a little over a year ago. It was tough at first, but life for us is better than it has been in fifteen years.

I feel for you. Glad you came back to the forum.



one day at a time
Hi Stevesmom, and welcome back.

I am sure you are exhausted. I am sorry. I remember thinking one time that this kind of a he** has to be worse than him dying.

Today my son is much better. Not perfect but much better. At least for today.

One reason is because I finally stepped way way back. He has been homeless multiple times, in jail multiple times, was stabbed, and We didn't have any contact for weeks at a time.

I survived it and he survived it. I don't know why it took that kind of extreme behavior from him and from me for things to change. I know there were many other factors that had nothing to do with me.

I know that there came a day when I said...I give. I can't do another thing. I had to let go and turn it over. It was the hardest thing and the healthiest thing I have ever done.

Everybody is different but we all deserve peace and joy and serenity in our lives no matter what our grown children decide to do.

Let us know how we can help. We are here for you.


Well-Known Member
What they all said without my saying it :)

Eventually we CAN'T take care of these issues. We can't live forever. Then what?

by the way, love your aviator and all those cute little kitties.


Well-Known Member
Stevesmom -- I'm glad you checked in. 2004 is a long break! Welcome back (I think.... well, you know what I mean). I haven't been here nearly as long as you, but, as is often the case here, much of what you write resonates.

You sound very sharp and very aware of what your healthiest choices are, given the options you have. Good awareness.

My only intention in this post is to cheer you onward to making those choices and gaining the best you can for YOUR life in those options you have. I wish the best for your son, too (who, of course, greatly resembles my son from the sound of it). But it's YOU I'm thinking about now.

It's YOUR turn for greater happiness!


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I know this is tough, but I'm really glad you checked in here.

My Oldest is another one whose behavior did get better after I stopped enabling - it's been many years in the making, and she's still not making great choices for herself, but she's making better ones, and is surviving (and so am I). She rarely asks me for help, and seems to ask appropriately when she does. She has learned what my boundaries are, and rarely tries to test them.

It's SO hard to back away and stop enabling, I know. It's a painful process. It takes lots of practice, but it does get easier as time goes on. Only you can know when you've had enough, and are ready for that journey -- none of us can tell you that. But we can be here for you once you're ready to begin.