Hello! I've been reading through this forum and learning that (1) our family is not alone and (2) tough love is okay - even if it feels like it's killing you. But I'm struggling...and trying to make sense of my emotions. Our family has struggled with our oldest son (19) since he was 12. Prior to puberty - he was brilliant, funny, empathic, giving, sweet, thoughtful, and a leader. Bio-dad is now a recovering alcoholic but has always been, and remains, a deadbeat. Step-dad came into the picture when son was almost 4 years old and step-dad became adoptive dad when son was 15. Son began to exhibit academic problems at 12 and at 14 was diagnosed with rather severe ADHD. As junior high and high school progressed, son hung out with other troubled souls, doing drugs, sneaking out at night. His behavior was slowly tearing my marriage apart and the other children were suffering as they watched our family head to the brink of dissolution. After oldest son got in trouble with the law for stealing a computer from a school, we couldn't take it anymore. We had tried 4 different therapists, 2 psychiatrists to manage his medications, countless talks and chances...and we. just. couldn't. anymore. He ended up in a crisis recovery center for two weeks before heading to a military youth academy for 2.5 months. Before he left, we told him that he would need to shape up if he wanted to continue living with us. At this point, we didn't feel safe in our home with him in it - not because he was violent (although we feared he could be) but because of the druggies he was hanging out with and because he was stealing from us to support his habits. He showed no remorse at how the rest of us were struggling and completely disregarded any boundaries we set with him. My husband and I continued therapy (as did our two other children) to work through, and recover from, the storm that was our oldest. Our therapist began supporting a tough-love stance and taught us how we were working harder on our son's problems than he was...that we need to interact with our oldest from a place of curious detachment...that we only respond when he reaches out to us. Meanwhile, our oldest was doing really well at the academy with the structure and seemed to be turning things around. After he finished the program, we invited him back to live with us with the conditions that (1) he finish high school and (2) he respected our (few) rules and boundaries. He lived with us for two months before things spiraled out again. We placed him in a therapeutic foster care program for troubled young men. It was a home with a trained house mom that housed 5 youths.We thought this would be a good fit because he could finish school and have some accountability measures that weren't coming from us...and we could work on repairing a relationship with him. This lasted two months before he ran away from the house as housemom found he had given alcohol to other youths in the home and told our oldest she was placing him in in-patient care. His running away just about killed me I was so scared for him. We placed ads on craigslist trying to find him. We reached out to all his known friends. I tried social media platforms...and nothing. After 6 weeks, we learned he was staying with a friend. This friend's mother thought she could save our oldest. We warned her to be careful and she didn't listen. This arrangement lasted two months more as then she found that our oldest was doing drugs with her son and had stolen from them. She asked us to come pick him up. We did - and drove him straight to a homeless shelter for teens. At this point I was on anti-depressants and felt like maybe I needed a stay in the crisis recovery center...but I couldn't. I still had two younger kids to care for. While at the homeless shelter, our oldest continued to do drugs and remained resistant to any therapeutic help. I finally reached out to bio dad to see if D could live with him in Texas. Bio dad came through, we flew D out to Texas, and felt relieved that D was in a safer place. This lasted about 7 months...then D stole bio-dad's card number to buy a one-way ticket to another state to live with a girl he met online. This new home arrangement lasted 1.5 months before he was kicked out of that home for sleeping not only with the girl but her sister, too. At 19 - he is now homeless and in jail...facing felony charges. According to the arresting officer, he is a one-man crime spree stealing food and clothes, phones, whatever he needs as well as being a sexual predator. Arresting officer said the charges can all be dropped if we transfer him back to our home state. When we mentioned the possibility of our oldest coming back to this state, our 12 year old had a rather PTSD response. He said, "no...no...JUST NO!" That our oldest brings nothing but misery and tears our family apart...then he burst into tears. This is absolutely not normal for our youngest. D is still resistant to any help or therapy. He thinks he has ASPD and I'm beginning to think maybe he's right. Whatever the case may be - he has psychotic episodes...thinks he's God, wants to write a new Bible, is a master manipulator, lies, steals, destroys whatever people are around him...and no remorse. None. We told the arresting officer that D coming back to our home state is not an option...and so he's facing serious criminal charges thousands of miles from home. Meanwhile - dad and I are s.u.f.f.e.r.i.n.g. If he is truly mentally ill - and at this point we don't doubt that - what is our responsibility to him? How do we advocate for him when he can't advocate for himself? Do we just stay away and let the chips fall where they may? Dad thinks jail is the best place for him right now as (1) he'd be "safe," (2) other people are safe from him, (3) he can get the help he needs. I hear that...and I understand that...but my heart - it hurts. When is it better to think that your kid is better off in jail? I feel so depressed and like a failure. Rationally, I know I've tried hard, we all have...but my heart...I grieve as though my son has died. MY son...my sweet little boy is dead along with all my hopes and dreams for him...and all I have left is a shell of a man that looks like my son but isn't. Thanks for any help and insight you guys might offer.