My 2 Wonderful Sons-An Intro


New Member
Hello everyone. I am new here. I'm glad to have found this forum and have been reading some of the posts and don't feel quite so alone now, so thanks for that.

I am here because my oldest son, turning 24 in about a week, is homeless. He is mentally ill with substance abuse problems. My youngest son also has substance abuse issues (mostly alcohol) and the main problem I'm having with him is that he is failing to launch.

Both my husband and I really feel like failures as parents right now, wondering where we went wrong and how to recover and deal with the reality of who our kids are right now.

Our oldest son was diagnosed as bipolar I about a year and a half ago. He is a really smart person with a fairly high IQ and feels superior to everyone else, so when he was diagnosed, rather than follow the doctor's medical advice and taking his prescriptions, he started experimenting with supplements, both mainstream and some of the weird synthetic stuff that's made its way to the marketplace, as well as using illegal drugs and the medications he was prescribed and got worse. He went from decently functioning to completely non-functional within a period of 4 months.

He knew this and decided that he would be better off if he left the area we live in to get a fresh start. Since we have good friends in Texas, he went there. We all felt our friend could offer a positive influence and maybe echo some of the same 'nags' that we were saying and perhaps he'd hear and process the information better without it coming from us. Her and her husband did just that, but it backfired somewhat. He got one job, and they insisted since it wasn't full time, that he get another. And so he did and it kind of pushed him over the edge. He started not going back to their place to stay and since that was in violation of their rules and he was an adult, they asked him to leave and he did.

That's when things really went off the rails for him. He got an apartment with a girl he met there and the relationship turned mutually abusive within a matter of a couple of months. They broke up and since he couldn't afford to live in Texas alone, he came back home. And that's when life went completely sideways for us.

When I picked him up from the airport, he was extremely high. Belligerent to the point where twice on the 40 minute drive home, I considered pulling over on the freeway and telling him to get out of my car NOW.

In the week he was here, he was verbally abusive to everyone except me. It culminated in him coming home one night at 3 am with a friend and disrupting the entire house. In the morning, when we investigated, there was a spoon used to cook heroin and a needle cap in his bedroom. Within that one week, his room went from looking like a standard bedroom to looking like a drug den. Mounds of trash, used plates, etc. We asked him to leave until he could pull it together enough to treat us and our space with respect. He couch surfed at several friends apartments for about a month before he wore his welcome out with all of them. He asked to come home.

We wrote up a behavior contract and had him sign it and allowed him to come home. Things went pretty well for about two months. He wasn't taking steps to launch himself, but he wasn't being a jerk either, so we gave him a deadline to find a job and kept encouraging him.

Then he left and didn't come home for three days. When he returned, we could tell that he'd been using methamphetamine and had been awake the whole time. He had a girl with him. We told him he needed to go upstairs and go to sleep and we'd address the issue after he was rested and not high. He insisted that we let his girlfriend, proclaiming her the love of his life, stay. We said no. We said, "Find a safe place for her to stay and come home alone because we won't let a tweaker we don't know stay in our home". When he couldn't manipulate us into letting her stay, he stormed out and we didn't see him for a couple of days. When we did, it was at about 2:30 in the morning. I came downstairs because my dogs were barking and he was trying to sneak in with the girl to go to bed. I sent him away. Next night, almost the same scenario.

Then two days later, he showed up again, and he and his dad got physical with each other. My husband ended up with a black eye and a concussion. During the fight, I pulled my phone out to call the police and my son grabbed it from me and ran off. When he came back, he forced himself into the house, and in doing so, one of my dogs escaped and that snapped my son somewhat back into reality as he ran down the street trying to catch the dog, screaming and crying, "NO! Not my DOG!" the whole time.

We finally got him to leave. But he came back a couple of days later and, of course, when I called the police, the response was, "This is his residence. We can't do anything unless you get a restraining order". With tears in my eyes, that's exactly what I did.

He has been homeless for 5 months now. Of course, I am worried sick about him. I do have some contact with him on occasion and have seen him in the course of doing errands. (He looks horrible--his weight is down and the effects of the drugs make him look like he's in his mid-30s.) When he's seemed receptive, I've suggested both rehab and voluntarily committing himself. He won't do either.

Our youngest won't launch, drinks too much, and when I call him out on it he says, "Well, at least I'm not as bad as W". (My response? "This isn't a race to the bottom".) He had his dream job and was let go. I'm not sure whether he was let go because his performance wasn't up to their standards or whether it was a legitimate downsizing as he says, but he's been depressed ever since. I've suggested counseling and he won't go. I've suggested just getting a job. He says he's trying. I've suggested volunteer work, and he won't do it. We are currently weaning him off the parental teat. His phone contract is expiring soon and he's been told we aren't renewing it. I've given him 4 more grocery trips (three now) and tick away at the deadline. We'll see if that works.

I am so frustrated.


Well-Known Member
I'm at work but have a fast few questions?

Why would you ever let a 24 year old abusive, non working drug addict live with you, son or not? How does this motivate him to change? How does this let you and hubby live a peaceful, fun life?

What help is it, for both you and son, to care for a 24 year old man who is unpleasant and refusing to grow up. What will he do when you are gone? If he is truly mentally ill only HE can choose sensible help. Pot and spice is his choice? Nothing you can do. Worry won't change him.

In my world, he doesn't come home and I may feel guilty about that (we all do) but I know it's in everyone's best interests for him he learn to live on his own and for us to have peace.

If he is homeless but able bdoed, he can work. I work at a restaurant. Great place to start out. Although this is my pre retirement fun job. It's not hard.

I would and have taken a similar stance with younger one. Some men want to stay children under our care and financial support
How does this help them grow up? What does this do to us? Are you rich? Our lives matter as much as theirs. They are no longer that cute helpless little baby. They have deep voices and facial hair and strength. They are not that baby or sweet eight year old boy.

Maybe counseling can help you learn to let go. You must. You can't live forever and deserve beautiful golden years. Your parenting is for minor kids, not adult leeches.

Hugs for your heart. I know it's hard but THEY don't change..mso we must. We can not change them, only us. We can change how we react to tjem. Yes, they will abuse us and have toddler fits if we set boundaries. That's why they MUST grow up. They should not have God like power over us. Only God should, if you believe. Don't fear your abusive kids. That is a disaster.
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New Member
To answer your question on why I would let a non-working abusive 24 year old drug addict live here.

My son is also mentally ill. It's been difficult to delineate the mental illness aspects from the substance abuse aspects. Up until the episode that led to filing a restraining order against him, he was not abusive, other than the small episode of verbal abuse that we originally kicked him out for.

Since becoming homeless, he seems to grasp that it was a situation that we responded correctly to. He has no desire to fix it though.

I am trying to remain detached from it and hope he figures things out before harm comes to him.

Thanks for the hugs.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

I agree with SWOT.

Take your life back. Having two like this is two too many.

You have to get tough and stay tough unfortunately. If not, you could find yourself in this role for many years. Maybe forever.

Keep reading and posting here. This, along with seeing a therapist, has given me strength I never believed I would have and I think it's actually helping our son stand on his own two feet more and look out for himself.

It's a very slow and long process but it has to start with you changing.

Hugs and stay strong. We all get it here.


It's awful to see. But unless he wants any kind of help, what can you do?

He will drug in your home, especially if he's not medication compliant.

Many have done all you can. Praying your other son sees he needs help too. Many addicts have mental health issues and it's hard to separate when using.

Hugs and strength,


New Member
Thank you Mof and RN.

On the positive side...youngest son was called in for an interview tomorrow. We've told him over and over that his unkempt long hair is holding him back and keeping him from getting a job because he looks like such a pig, no one would mistake him for a responsible human. (He actually is responsible---all his other issues aside, but looks matter!) After he made the appointment, he asked me to please cut his hair. So, I hope that's a sign that he's taking us seriously and wants to sincerely try to grow up a bit. We'll see, but it's a positive step for sure.


Well-Known Member
It is difficult to know when "helping" crosses the line to enabling. You and your husband will have to decide what that will look like and stick to it. We are all on different places in the process of detaching from the chaos and pain that our adult kids put themselves and us in. Hugs and understanding.


Well-Known Member
Welcome, mcb. Sorry you had to find us but glad you did.

What a roller coaster you have been through with oldest son. What heartbreak for you to witness his decline. As you know, all of it is the drugs talking. The mental illness is there too, but that won't be treatable until the drug use stops.

There is nothing you can do until he is ready to accept help, mcb, other than what you are doing. As hard as it is to see him deteriorate, it is good that you can keep offering him rehab and treatment options. One day he might be willing to accept it.

So many of our difficult children have high IQs. I wonder if there is a correlation between high IQ and the issues we see so much of around here.

Good sign on youngest son with the job and haircut. Fingers crossed!

Keep posting. It helps. There are some very wise souls on this forum.