Well, I haven't been here in a few months, didn't really feel like I 'belonged' until he turned 18. Your advice has helped me tremendously and I've been reading on everyone's stories and trying to keep up. The last time I talked in May, we were about to go on a family vacation. That went well, a couple of episodes, but nothing major - he didn't have any alcohol or pot the whole time. He did bum a cigarette off of a bum when we went to town one day (Savannah riverfront). My 14 daughter was mortified when we passed him and he was smoking a cigarette with a bum, but husband and I just shook our heads, this is difficult child - this is who he is now. He attacked my husband in June, for trying to get to the backyard where he had several friends gathered with coolers full of alcohol, after repeatedly asking him to break it up in about 15 different very polite but firm ways. difficult child tried to suffocate husband, when my daughter and I were prying his fingers away from husband's mouth, he ended up digging into the sides of his mouth with his fingernails. This later became infected and husband had to take antibiotics. His friends had to come in and 'extract' him from his attack and took him away. There were marks on difficult child from the struggle so I could not call the cops (did that once and husband landed in jail, now he cannot get a job because of his 'record' - not to mention the thousands in fees, classes, etc - another charge will be a felony). We tried everything, begged relatives to keep him, begged relatives for money, begged juvenile court to do something and begged area hospitals to open up a bed, even went to the cops later. There was no help. It was another dark day. He went to my mother in law's for a day and she bugged the crap out of us until we let him back home (she had company coming of course!) difficult child showed remorse this time - a lot of it - and never has before. He has not attacked or blown up since the incident. He has gotten and lost two jobs and is currently unemployed for the last couple of weeks. He has a juvenile court date for a drug offense back in April at the end of September, not sure what will happen - if like the last 5 charges he has - it will be nothing but 'probation'. We'll see. He had been drinking and drugging - but the last couple of weeks he has slowed down considerably - only hanging out with a couple of friends, home at a decent hour (and some nights not going out at all!?!) and actually pleasant to be around. He is playing video games again, which he has not in the last year or so - since the violence started (that seems counter-intuitive doesn't it?) I don't think he's smoking pot or drinking either, he says he's trying to get clean for his court date. I am only stating the facts, believe me, I am not a victim of false hope here. We have spoken with a lawyer, and have plans to execute if he goes south - order of protection and change the locks. I have talked to an adult rehab (many more options now that he's 18), he 'might' have that choice if he wants to come back. Right now we are just waiting for the court date and/or the other shoe to drop. Of course, we are stating the house rules - which he is following - except that he needs to get another job. Sorry that was so long, just trying to catch everyone up. Birthdays were always HUGE - extravagant gifts, week-long, multi-events - in our house. Of course, they haven't been in the last few years because he is usually in some sort of trouble, but we have always done 'something'. This year was different, his birthday was on a Wednesday - we've always taken him out to eat on the actual day - kid's choice. He brought it up, asked if we could go to his favorite (expensive) German restaurant an hour away, and we said no. We took him to get a burger and a chocolate shake down the street, they sang to him. I haven't seen him smile like that in a long time - it was worth every penny. This crap hurts so bad, I can't even explain. I know you all understand exactly what I am saying. Thanks for listening.