Kicked 18 year old son out, I'm struggling with it


New Member
We had the police escort our 18 year old son out of our house on Saturday and now he's calling me saying he's been sleeping in the park and hasn't eaten for days and wants money for food. It's killing me
I'll give you our background before asking advice. Our son started smoking marijuana two years ago which led to him stealing money from us and his two other brothers, even his Grandfather who was visiting. We called the police on him several times for stealing our car and driving without a license, and stealing my debit card. Each time an officer would come over they would talk to him and then would inform us that pressing charges would actually hurt us financially as we would be responsible for his court costs, fines etc because at that time he was a juvenile. Finally a police officer listened to me when my response was "it's going to cost me more when drives under the influence and kills himself or someone else." We had a court date and he was placed on a diversion program that required him to drug test every week. He failed every drug test so he was kicked out of the diversion program and placed on standard probation with weekly required drug tests. The past year he was in juvenile detention three times for violating probation. He was released from juvenile detention in early January after spending one month there. I visited him every week and even got a letter saying how sorry he was and how he was going to change. Unfortunately he hasnt changed. He turned 18 a few weeks ago and was released from probation. In the past 3 weeks he has stolen my debit card twice, and broke our bedroom window trying to get into our room (we have a deadbolt on on our bedroom door because of his stealing). The police came and escorted him off our property. He has no job and hasnt finished highschool. I have cried myself to sleep the past 2 nights and I'm crying now as I ask for advice on what to do. I don't want him to be homeless and hungry but I want him to change. Should I set some bottled water and food outside for him? I just don't know what to do.

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
Is it just weed he is abusing? This sounds like someone who using something far more addicting than weed.

I am on the fence on this one. Really, it is hard. I hate to see anyone hungry, but conversely, they are always resourceful enough to get drugs, why not food or shelter?

I also completely comprehend that this may all be a lie to play on your sympathy. Addicts are liars and manipulators. It is so much a part of the disease.

I would NEVER give him money, and I would not encourage him to come near your home. Maybe, at most, I drop off a sack lunch and a list of the addresses of local homeless shelters and food pantries.


New Member
The only thing he's tested positive for was alcohol and marijuana, but I'm not sure if he's done anything new since he's not required to drug test any more.

I told him I wouldn't give him any money. Thank you for offering your advice about the sack lunch and list of shelters and food pantries

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
I'm wondering if it is more the alcohol.

I haven't known any chronic weed smokers that are that "motivated" for lack of a better word that they commit those sort of desperate crimes to get it.

Sorry for your troubles. It is a very difficult situation to be in. I am sure that many others with much more experience than I will come along and give you some really good advice.


New Member
I don't know what to think. I know he has stolen money from us to buy marijuana or pay back someone that has lent him money. I wish all the tough love we gave him the past year and the three times in juvenile detention would have turned him around. I'll continue to pray and seek support from others. Thanks again for your reply.

worried sick mother

Active Member
I don't know if I can help you feel any better but I can tell you how my son has played on my heartstrings with food. My son told me that he was absolutely starving too death , that he hadn't had anything to eat in days so of course I'm not going to give him money so I agreed to fix him lasagna and get him food. He didn't seem interested then , said he would be fine but I did it anyway. Went to the grocery store, fixed him lasagna and a cake, drove it 45 minutes to another town and he knew I was coming and guess what he wasn't there. A few days later I stopped by his apartment and he wasn't there but the door was unlocked, I looked through his cabinets and fridge, he had plenty food. I worried myself sick over thinking he was starving and I couldn't eat myself because I felt guilty. They know how to play us. My son wasn't homeless so I can't relate to that but I can tell you that my son started out with marjuana and alcohol now he is a heroin addict. I often look back and wish I would have been much harder on him and maybe he wouldn't be in his current condition. I don't think marjuana is a gateway drug for everyone but I know it was for my son. You did the right thing, it will only get worse if you cave. Hang in there and try to take care of yourself.


Well-Known Member
My heart goes out to and your story is very very familiar to me! My son definitely started with pot...but eventually we knew he would use anything to get high. Your son is definitely playing on your heart strings and may very well be staying somewhere else and probably does have food. But I know that you don't son has also been homeless and it is very very hard to deal with as a parent.

So here is my advice.... Continue to stay in touch. He is still very young and it is a good thing for him to know you are there for him..... But do not let him come home and live with you or give him any money. He will probably keep working on you for both.... So think carefully about under what conditions you would let him come home if at all.

And then do what makes you feel better. You matter and what is helpful to you is what counts now. So if it makes you feel easier and better to pack him up some food and leave it for him or bring it to him then go ahead and do that.

And look for some kind of parent support group. I found an alanon group for parents that has been a lifesaver for me.... And has helped me a great deal. It is comforting to meet other good people who are parents of kids with substance abuse problems.



My heart breaks for you, as I know I would feel the same way! I have not reached that point with my son (yet!), but it could happen, and I know my son knows exactly what to say to break my heart (maybe it's true, maybe it's him exaggerating, but it still hurts my heart!). I wish that I could "casually" walk past your son in the park and hand him a nice meal, for you and for him. If I could do that, I honestly would. Please know that you ARE doing the right thing, as hard as it is. You can't continue to live that life with him. You deserve better. And, you didn't cause this! Hugs...


New Member
Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I haven't heard from him in the past 24 hours. I did set water and some granola bars outside our house last night. They were still there in the morning when I left for work. Not sure if he got it today since I'm still here at work. I'll keep you updated. Again, thank you for your replies. I'm glad I reached out.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
My therapist said that my daughter knows what the hot buttons are for my husband and me . . . food, shelter, and safety. So she uses those things to get us to give her what she wants.

I am not surprised to hear that worried sick's son played on her fears that he was hungry. He was hoping that she would give him money for food which he could then use for drugs and/or alcohol. Once she offered him food instead, he was no longer interested.

Stay strong.



New Member
Dear amiracle,
I kicked my 18 year old son out Sunday morning. I've been a wreck (though I let him come home last night... more on that in a minute) - it's the hardest thing I've ever done. Our troubles with him began in his 9th grade year. He was caught with pot at school and expelled. Put on diversion (failed), then informal probation (failed), then formal probation. He and his friends stole and wrecked my car twice. He was selling Xanax, doing coke, acid, who knows what else. He made it to high school and within a couple months he was expelled. He then attended the alternative high school where he was again expelled. He has spent two of the last three years in 3 different residential facilities. It takes awhile, but off the drugs he gradually becomes a decent person again, one who can take other peoples' perspectives.

My husband and I are exhausted. Divorce is pending - I can't blame this on our son; ironically, he is the reason we are still together. I don't know if I could handle him alone.

Well, a few months ago, after he turned 18 in December, he was released from probation. Things were going well. He had a girlfriend and they hung around the house a lot, stayed out of trouble. He started taking a couple college courses and getting A's on everything. Working with his Dad. We helped him buy a car - he owes us about $3000 for it. He said, "Mom, I'm so happy." I really felt like maybe we had turned a corner.

Then things started falling apart. The girlfriend slept with his best friend. So he started going out more. He started smoking a LOT of pot; so high, I swore he was drunk. Maybe he was on something else, but pot was all I found in his room (but also oils and dabs - alternate forms of cannabis.) He was working for my husband but started to skip out early, totally unmotivated. He blew the engine of his car - had some stupid friend change the oil; who really knows what happened. Lies and more lies. Never taking responsibility for anything, blaming anyone else but himself.

Each weekend he pushed the limits more and more. He really never even tries to cover his tracks. That's always been interesting to me. I just don't get it.

I finally had enough Sunday morning and kicked him out. He ended up breaking into two friends' trailers that were being stored on some property we own; he and his girlfriend were having a nice little party in the trailers.

One thing that is very hard for me to grasp: I had some experience with partying in my younger days. But I could compartmentalize my work/school/partying. I never let the partying get in the way of work or school. I had goals and I met them. I never was a liar or thief or idiot. I've asked him to try to recognize that he is "spinning out of control." He just can't maintain any type of productive, honorable life when he uses. I guess I am coming to grasp with the fact that he is an addict, plain and simple.

He called yesterday and asked about Job Corps. He wants to go there with his girlfriend (she is leaving soon). He's doing this because she is and he has no other options/ideas. It's a federal facility - totally free - that offers housing, food, and job training; then they help you find a job. I called and checked it all out and it's true - he can leave in about 3 weeks. BUT, they won't take him if he has any open charges or violations. In the interest of keeping him out of trouble and getting him there I met him for dinner last night and said he could come back home until he leaves.

This has forever changed my life. I'm scared to death of the future - afraid he will never get it together and I'll have to worry about him constantly. There is some shame and embarrassment, too. I've never really been that type of person - the one that cares what others think. But I do now. Our kids are a reflection of ourselves, right? I mourn the loss of my happy little family. Where once there 5, there will soon be only 3. My other two kids and gone through the same types of emotions, too.

Maybe I told you too many details in this... but it's cathartic to get it out here where I know you're all familiar with this. Thanks in advance for any comments you might have. God bless all.


New Member
I can definitely relate to how you feel. My troubled one is the youngest of three boys. His two older brothers still live at home, they work have goals for the future, graduated high school and completed some college. My youngest has no interest in finishing school. I withdrew him from highschool his sophomore year because he was leaving campus and losing credits because he missed too many classes. I went to truancy hearings twice, where I was charged the fine. I'm an ER Nurse and I work 7 AM to 7:30 PM three days a week. On the days I worked he would leave school. I enrolled him into an alternative school because it was smaller, he would leave from there as well so they expelled him.
My son contacted me again last night asking for food and saying I was a sorry excuse of a mother be cause I didn't care that he had no place to go. He doesn't think there's any thing wrong with smoking pot or dabs. I told him we would get him help when he's ready but it won't be here. We've lived like prisoners in our home for two years because of his stealing. My husband is firm on him not coming back, I wouldn't be able to keep up this tough love if it was just me. I haven't slept much this past week, my eyes just burn because of crying. I wish it was all a bad dream
I told my son to find a local church and maybe they could help him find shelters or food banks close by, he refused, said he wasn't going to to do that. I don't know what else to do. I offered to take him to get a state ID card, I know he needs identification to get a job and I worry about him being out on the streets without ID. What if something bad happens to him, how will they know who is, or who to notify? He hasn't answered me about that yet.


New Member
I sit here with tears in my eyes, feeling your pain. For 18 years we nurtured these babies, in the womb, at the breast, every feeding, tummy ache, on and on. And now to turn them out on the streets... it's against every fiber in my being, but what else is there to do? I worry that in their desperate state they will turn to crime - theft, prostitution, who knows what - and end up in jail, then prison. (I forgot to mention that my I found on my son's phone endless porn and a history of looking at Craigslist sex ads - and gun sites... so scary I can't even think about it). But we know that if we make it easy for them they have no incentive to change. At least by turning them out we have given them an incentive to change.
Tell me about your son... why do you think he is different than your other sons? Is it some character flaw? My son is really smart - some of the top IQ tests in our school district - and handsome. So much wasted potential. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on your son.


amiracle, I can SO relate to you! I too, am a nurse, and I think that by nature, we feel we should be able to help others, and even "make things better" for them, so living through this situation, where you not only CAN'T fix it but you really can't even TRY to fix it anymore, is just a nightmare. My son sounds so much like yours (but mine is the oldest of my three boys), from thinking there is nothing wrong with pot, to blaming me at times, and doing everything he knows how to do to make me feel guilty and HORRIBLE!!
Right now I am in limbo, sort of. My son has been told he can't live here this summer when school is over (he's away at college), but I know we will come down to the wire, he will have no place to go, and somehow try to make this MY problem. But this time, I have told him I am done enabling him. He made his bed, and now has to lay in it.
So come May, I may be writing a very similar post to yours.
I totally support you! You ARE doing the right thing! You can doubt yourself all day long (as I know you probably do!), but the bottom line is that you can't change him, and you should not have to tolerate living with him. (okay, now please remember to remind me of this when it's my turn!).
Hang in there. I am thinking of you!

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
In the past 3 weeks he has stolen my debit card twice, and broke our bedroom window trying to get into our room (we have a deadbolt on on our bedroom door because of his stealing). The police came and escorted him off our property. He has no job and hasnt finished highschool. I have cried myself to sleep the past 2 nights and I'm crying now as I ask for advice on what to do.
Miracle, I am sorry for your heartache, this is a tough situation. Really, what can you do? How do we teach our adult children that it is unacceptable to behave in such a way, disrespect our homes and their parents?
He is young, 18 is so young, but he is going off the rails. Definitely not healthy for him, or you. Not acceptable to take advantage of ones parents, break into your home, your sanctuary and steal from you. Steal from his family, his visiting grandfather.

I understand your concern for him and heartache. But where do we draw the line?

Here is the thing that I feel is one of the biggest deterrents to our kids figuring their lives

It is not that we were bad parents.
The kids will try to guilt us into believing this.

It is that we care more about what the kids are doing then they do. We worry and fret that they will be hungry or cold, where they will sleep, while we lose sleep. We worry that if we make them leave our homes, they will just get worse.
We don't think about the worse that happened in our own homes, how we became prisoners of their outrageous actions and choices.

So many parents here including myself have gone through this. For me, several times, with my two, and my grands.
What I have learned is that the longer I stayed in the game and let my two live at home, the worse they got. The worse it got for all of us. There became no limit to worse.
It is because when the kids do so much damage to themselves, then to us, a line has been crossed, there is no respect. We are torn at our hearts, but the kids do not care. They will use our heartache to get to us, twist things all around, and make us feel miserable. It is crazy and upside down.
At this point, it is really, really, really important for you to try as much as you can to focus on you. Grieve as you must and get it all out.
When you are ready, find ways to build yourself up. Somewhere along the road we lost so much of ourselves in all of this. We forgot that we have value and we matter. I have come to believe that the best service we can do for our adult d cs, is to show them what life truly has to offer. If we find our own self worth again, take care of ourselves, we are modeling behaviors we wish for our kids. No amount of talking will work, if we do not lead by example.
Your son will be okay.
He needs to learn this thing called life. It is not the way you wish for him, but you have no control over this.
If you have faith in a higher power, give your worries and sorrow over. I gave my two to God, along with my grands. They belong to Him always.
That has been my miracle in all of this. If I start to awfullize, I say a quick prayer. It calms my fears and reminds me that it is not up to me at all. It is up to my d cs to figure out their path.
I will not allow them to step all over me like a dirty rug ever again. This caused them to disrespect me and themselves. So, I stepped aside. I am hopeful that they will find their meaning and purpose, but not paralyzingly so.
Just as they must fulfill their own purpose in their lives, I must live a full life myself.
Your son will find his way Miracle. Especially since you have helped him go through your door.
You have shown him by this, that the world has reasonable boundaries and rules, starting from within his own family.
Keep posting and sharing your journey, it is really helpful to work through your feelings here in the caress of so many who understand.
Wishing you peace of mind and heart.


Well-Known Member
I totally feel your pain. We kicked our son out the day he graduated high school. He had a very nice car that we had bought him. We had warned him his whole senior year if he didn't clean up, he would be out. At the time, we thought it was marijuana. My heart broke for many months after that. Long story short, we brought him back after he cried and said he would change, he did not change, only got worse. Eventually we learned he was using heroin. He was caught stealing, Jail. Tears and more tears. Fast forward, we finally stopped enabling and he is doing extremely well. The sooner you let go the sooner they learn to grow on their own. It is truly the most painful feeling when your child is homeless, truly. But he can sleep on a friends couch, get a job, etc. He is able bodied. He needs to step up, quit drugs and do his life. Sorry for your pain, I really am but without consequences these kids continue to manipulate and use us. Stay firm, let him know he's loved, offer rehab. ((hugs))