My son is ruining my family and our lives


Sending good vibes...
Dear Tired,

You have come to the right place. Sometimes all we have the energy to do is cry for "help" but that's ok. This forum can, to the degree you work it, provide you with courage, strength and hope.

Our difficult children can keep us in the "FOG" (fear, obligation and guilt) and that is a very haunting place to be. We don't have all the answers but in my experience since sharing here, it is helpful to learn the "stories" of others and know that we can survive this but it is not easy and it is a day to day process.

Your son is younger than my two sons. I have a 26 yr. old who has been living in his car and homeless for about the last 3 yrs. He nearly sucked the life out of me. I provided for him financially until almost everything I had was depleted. I actually have a 31 yr. old who I had to distance myself from over the last 8 months for similar issues.

Younger son, since 12-13 was smoking pot. He has ADHD and PTSD and at one point smoked pot like it was his job in our house, verbal abuse and physical abuse. He's broken my ex-husband's nose, punched my older son's front tooth out along with numerous holes in walls, doors etc., too many to count. At the time, my husband and I were married and we tried for years to put him on the right path. My ex-husband (of 30yrs.) was an alcoholic too so the mix of everything was just too much.

It is a difficult process, but from my own experience the only way I got better was by changing myself. I sought therapy, read good books pertaining to my issues, prayed and prayed and prayed. I also belong to Al anon and this has helped me tremendously. It has taught me to stop trying to rescue everyone from their problems. We didn't cause it, we can't cure it and we surely can't control it. It's when I rely on my own self to fix the problem, my life becomes unmanageable. For me this has been something only God can fix. Turn your son over to Him (if you believe) every time a thought comes into your mind about him. It doesn't mean that even though you rely on God that all your problems will go away but I have found that in the long-interim of praying for my sons, that God has changed me.

Stay strong, keep posting and let some of the chunks of the heavy burden you carry stay here on this forum. Once you expose a problem the magnitude of it does lessen a bit.

Prayers to you and your family.
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Well-Known Member
It seems like law enforcement is of no help when minors are violent. There are parents on this forum whose violent children caused them to lose jobs and get evicted. The parents are threatened with child neglect charges if they throw out an underage kid.

I haven't seen the data about whether or not military schools actually help, or even take, violent youth.


New Member
It must be very difficult trying to co-parent considering the difficult divorce with the ex-wife. It was difficult for me and my husband and we were not divorced, and were pretty much on the same page in parenting. We adopted our daughter with her 3 siblings when she was 8-1/2 years old. She had experienced much trauma in her family of origin and in the orphanage she lived in for over 4 years. We tried everything to try to help her, but she wasn't interested in help. She preferred to live in her trauma and drag everyone else there to relive over and over again.
When she turned 18, we put her in Job Corps hoping that she would use that opportunity to turn her life around (it is literally her last chance before being on her own to get it together). She has instead, continued to make poor decisions and is due to graduate from the program in less than 6 months (she will be 20 this summer).
I wish I had more hope to give you concerning your son. Divorce is trauma for kids - even worse when the parents (or one parent) won't work in the child's best interest. Don't be too hard on yourself. None of us are perfect parents and we all have regrets and 'what if' thinking about what we could have done differently.
Your son could possibly turn himself around, but he will have to want to do it for himself - not because anyone else wants it for him. Be available to him, but protect your new marriage and younger children also. It is a very narrow line we are forced to walk when parenting in these situations. I'm so sorry you are in this situation.


Well-Known Member
Tired, I am going through issues with my grown children. I am still in the baby steps of changing my situation.
I have no answers or suggestions as I do not know what I would do in your situations with a minor, probably the wrong thing since I am still dealing with my adult children.
I can positively tell you this though, you have came to the right place.
You may need additional resources as well, and the people her are a dictionary of resources.
Everyone here has been affected by a Difficult Child in some way and there is so much trial and error, experience, Love, understanding and just plain ole good hearts in this forum. They will stand by you, encourage you and at times ruffle your feathers to get you to think honestly about your issues and your options.
I hope you continue to come visit us and keep us informed of how your family is doing.
Everyone here cares and is standing beside you as you search for answers and hopefully we will hear a great recovery story in time.
This is everyone's desire here, to see families heal.

Peace and Love


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

Please keep reading and posting.The advice here is priceless.

Why reinvent the wheel? Learn from those who have already walked the path.

What works for some doesn't work for everyone. Pick and choose what helps you and leave the rest.

God Bless.


Roll With It
You are SOOOOO in the right place! I have been here for way over a decade! This was my savior when nothing the doctors and therapists told me made sense. I am lucky and my oldest child has turned himself completely around. He never had substance abuse problems though. He does drink, and I would be shocked if he didn't try marijuana. He even worked to make things right by his little sister and little brother. That took a ton of very hard work. He is quickly rising through the ranks at the grocery store he works for. He has been employed by them since age 15 or 16.

Be sure to spend some time in the archives. Sometimes answer come from unexpected places. I also STRONGLY urge you to write a Parent Report. The link is one of the top threads in this section. In a nutshell, the PR is a report about your kid - the good, the bad, the ugly and everything else. Don't try to write it in one sitting. It is best if you work at it a little at a time. When you have the PR completed, or mostly completed, you can start taking it to doctors and therapists, etc.... So if a doctor asks about a specific medication, you can flip to that section and tell the doctor if your son tried it or not, and what the results of it were. I found it to be one of the most powerful tools to help my son.


Well-Known Member
Susie -- I think it's nearer two decades!!!!! I think it is about 16 years ago since I came to the USA to visit and met you at Fran's place in Texas. Oh, what lovely memories I have of that time.

Love, Esther