Narcissistic Son

It's been 1 year since we have seen our 18yo son. He has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), conduct disorder, narcissistic behavior. He chooses not to communicate with us. He will post a FB post to update his life and apparently we are supposed to read this. Otherwise, no communication. He did reach out and ask for money. We refused. We said it would be more beneficial to him if we helped him manage his income "so let's go over your finances" so we can help you. Never happened.

He lives several states away with a girlfriend. They are driving through our city tonight and we saw his FB post to the world that said "Hey family/friends, we are driving through, would love to see you". We offered to have dinner with them. I know they were looking for a free place to spend the night but we are not inviting them to our house. We are meeting at a restaurant. Bleh! I hope they cancel. I don't know what to say, I have no interest in hearing lie after lie. I fear he will say they are getting married or she is pregnant. Lord, I hope not!

The No Contact with him has been a relief. Now we are meeting and I'm so stressed. How do you go NO Contact with your child? There is still that little bit of me that thinks....if he's changed, I will have an open heart.

Just needed to vent. Any advice? I am just dreading this. :frown:


Well-Known Member
Hi. Welcome. Is your son adopted? My daughter is and that has been a big problem for us. One that we did not expect to be a problem. One that we embraced with all our hearts and so much love.

Its hard, but I think you have the right idea.We are doing similar with daughter and that sadly includes a grandson but she never let us see him often so we are not as attached to him as to our other grandchildren. Worried about him, very, but there is nothing we can do to help him yet. That may come once we hear about something we see first hand. Meanwhile I was told most of this stuff.

They use pot in front of him and blow it at him because its "healthy", wont vaccinate him or take him to a medical doctor and slap each other in front of him. Its sick. I see cps in our futures. I am not up for doing that yet.

For now we set a boundary with daughter that we will not talk to her again about anti vaccination nonsense, about doctors killing kids for population control etc. She refused the boundary saying she can talk about anything she wants. Its a free country and she has free speech. This is her passion and I'd better agree with her views or she gets abusive and hangs up. We cant agree to disagree. Nope.

It certainly is a free country and we feel, husband and I, that we have the right to hear what we want to hear from kind people. Kay and her husband Lee are neither. So we wont talk unless we cross paths at family functions. A big reunion is coming up and Kay loves attention and will go. Lee wont. He hates everyone but Kay and the baby will be there, ignoring us. We will nod at her and talk to other people. I will try not to blush when she brags that baby Jaden has no vaccines and has only been to a medical doctor once because Big Pharma wants to kill us all. These beliefs are about six months old so nobody heard this before but I still remember the embarrassment when during a way older reunion she told everyone that George Bush knew about 911 and could have prevented it but he wanted it to happen. She still spews that one. We have an intellectual family with many doctors but she will just offend them and move on if they try to refute her. But the family is not one that likes to argue. I wish Kay wouldn't go to the reunion.

We no longer give any money or help to Kay and Lee so we are now not welcome in their lives but they aren't exactly good for us either. We are in our 60s with some ailments and the disrespect and chronic refusal to talk about anything except conspiracies scare and upset us both. Our best good comes first. We have other kids and family and friends and don't need this. Kay and Lee can no longer stay in our home either.

I go to Al Anon. It really helps me remember that I cant control other people and am not responsible for other adults, even my child. She is 32. We can do little for Jaden either right now. We can report them but believe it or not they may not do anything or much. Jaden is homeschooled and insulated from society so nobody but family has seen much of anything they do and that is very limited. Much of what I know Kay told me. I didn't actually see it. That matters when calling cps. At least here.

Its a horrible feeling to love your kids better when they are not with you. Yet some kids are miserable to be around. Whatever news you hear, it is their news, not yours. You don't need to get involved or you can. Nobody can tell you what to do. Do what is best for you. That's how I feel right now. I give them to God.

It is very hard to be in our situations. I will pray it goes well for all.
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Well-Known Member
"so let's go over your finances"
Does he work?
We offered to have dinner with them.
Did you call him because this was a "should" or was there some desire to see him? About things like this, we almost always have ambivalence. It goes with the territory. We love these kids who don't know how to love us or really themselves.

That said, I see you as having options. You can accept that ANY parent would feel like you do in this situation, which is dread and anxiety. YOU have the option to cancel. In this case, I would tell the truth. That you don't think now is a good time to meet. You don't have to explain.

When I have gone no contact with my son I have been clear to him and to myself that I could not bear contact. When I would see him again, it was because I could then tolerate it. It was not for any other reason. And when it became impossible and unbearable, again I made complete distance. But then it would be unbearable to NOT have contact. (There's no good place to stand here.)

I guess what I'm saying is that I have tried to stay true to what I need, rather than what my son wants. In some cases the two coincide, but not usually.

Good luck.


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

It sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place!

I am sure that it is hard not to see your son or have a relationship with him BUT he isn't in your home torturing you (like many folks are enduring here) and seems to be taking care of himself - for the most part.

He is very young also.

If you don't see him, will you regret it? I feel that you should do what makes you feel good in your heart and not worry about the rest. Maybe you are making this meeting worse off in your head than it will really be? Hope so.


Well-Known Member
Even if these two are getting married or God I hope not pregnant you have options.

They can pay for their own wedding. With their disregard of you, I would save the money and let the bride's family pay for it all or let them marry in court. You probably feel nothing good will come of the marriage. I did too, but we threw a big wedding anyway. I regret it. We were treated like dirt before and after the wedding and their relationship to each other is horrible. You certainly CAN help with the wedding though if you feel you should.

A baby is harder. We encouraged adoption and got slapped for that but I knew the baby would be in danger. We helped a lot at first after Jaden was born but tapered off and almost stopped. They never wanted us to see Jaden unless we paid them money. A visit to see our grandson was expensive. Finally they cut us out when we stopped giving them money. I am not able to tell you what to do if this is their news. You have to do what is best for yourself. That means do what feels right knowing you have the right to change your mind.

Remember that you are never tied to your first reaction to anything they may throw at you. I found it is better not to react to big and especially scary news until my husband and I talk it out and wait several days so that we are less emotional.

Our daughter's problems upset us so much that our medical problems worsened. Now that she is not in our life much, we have started healthy living and our ailments are hopefully going to be under better control.

Don't let anyone kill you, even your child.



Well-Known Member
Since you are meeting at a restaurant, you can plan a quick exit plan ahead of time. I admire you for asking them to dinner. Maybe other family and friends might give them a place to stay. Maybe have a friend call you at a specific time...and that gives you an "out"... If you need one.

I guess I would try to lower my expectations. Not to bite the bait he might dangle in front of you. My older does this to me often...states some way out there, off the wall plans, just to see how I would respond.

The last time, I was prepared! She non chalantly stated she had a chance to go to Louisiana and stay with a friend. (A "friend" usually means someone she is only FB friends with). I immediately responded positively! And made suggestions like...update your address on your drivers license immediately to prove residency. Let's pack up your excess stuff and put in our storage shed. She never mentioned it again!

Then I would have a "sending" quote or two ready. Something positive, like I have only wanted good things in your future and for you to be happy. I hope you and your girlfriend are happy and your future is what you dream and strive for.

If there is some favorite thing of his at your home, maybe bring it and offer it to him, a favorite photo, a souveniour, a book. Just a "I ran across this last week, and I remembered how much you liked it. If you want, you can keep it, if you have room in your car."

Good luck. You can do this, and maybe there will be something positive come out of it!



Well-Known Member
Not to bite the bait
plan a quick exit
These two ideas aboe are great.
If there is some favorite thing of his at your home, maybe bring it and offer it to him
Then I would have a "sending" quote or two ready. Something positive
These two ideas, with my son, would blow up in my face.
In my experience my son would experience these as a form of abandonment. You see. He wants to separate from me, but that I not separate from him. He wants to believe that there is always safe harbor here, realistic or not. When I have said even this: You can always decide to get Section 8 housing. Instead of launching he feels this as rejecting.

What you don't want (should you decide to go through with the meeting), is that there is drama. You want easy-going. You want upbeat. You want courtesy. Actually. You want to pretend everything is okay so that it does not blow up in your face.
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Well-Known Member
I like what Copa said.

Minimize drama. You can do this with short replies and no confrontation and think about better responses later if you must. If they announce the worst, like a pregnancy, be prepared and stay calm. "I see. Hope all goes well." Then you can think on it later for as long as you want. Promise nothing. Don't show the emotion that is bubbling inside. The anger or joy. Stoic often is best.

Any begging for money, which seems likely, can be met with an easy going "I'm not able to do that now."End the discussion.

I like the idea of having a way out and maybe having someone give you a call in an hour or less. You will have to go. Its urgent.

We were the biggest enablers in history. We had to learn how to back off and keep it short and sweet. We are the ones who always said yes who had to learn how to say no. It wasn't easy. It is easier now.

We never see Kay without a plan. We expect to be hit for money and treated rather nastily. Because now we say no of course we don't get invited to take them out for dinner

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Welcome! How did the dinner go or was it cancelled?

We said it would be more beneficial to him if we helped him manage his income "so let's go over your finances" so we can help you. Never happened.
I absolutely love this line! What a great response.

The No Contact with him has been a relief. Now we are meeting and I'm so stressed. How do you go NO Contact with your child? There is still that little bit of me that thinks....if he's changed, I will have an open heart.
I have very little contact with my son. When I do, it's easy to feel uneasy but the key is to make sure you have firm boundaries in place. From the little you shared, it sounds as if you do. The uneasy feeling is due to us not knowing what will come next. Dealing with my son is like opening one of the cans that has the foam snakes in it, you know what's coming and you try to prepare but you are still rattled when it happens.

Keep your boundaries firm and in place. No matter what your son throws at you does not mean you have to catch it and hold onto it.

Thank you so much for your comments, insight and support! In short, the dinner went well. He still "talks in circles", has BIG plans that make little sense that I doubt will come to fruition and is ALWAYS the victim. It's almost comical. Previously I was in the conduct disorder forum but was suggested to come over here. Here is my backstory (sorry, it's a little long).

Adopted 3 children from Russia as young toddlers (16-20months of age). They are now 19 (boy), 18 (boy), 15 (girl) years old. The 19 & 15 year old are wonderful, fun loving, great kids. They make sound decisions, are strong in their faith and truly a joy to be around. Our 18 year old, whom I will call E, is our problem child. We had been in therapy with him for years and tried countless parenting techniques. He was unofficially diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, conduct disorder, narcissistic tendencies, etc.

E was a wonderful youngster. He was "happy go lucky", had a lot of friends, was invited to all the parties, easy to compromise with. Little did we know this wasn't actually good. At age 10 it was like a switch had been flipped. He was sneaky, didn't want to do anything with the family, would say hurtful things that came off as though he didn't really know the full meaning of what he was saying, lies, sabotage relationships. As he grew older he became more savvy at all of this. E began to run away from home, thrived on drama, wouldn't follow any home rules, flunking school, would talk about suicide, always had a girlfriend but seducing others on the side, told grandiose lies, addicted to porn. At age 16 we could no longer handle him and knew it was only a matter of time before he would end up in jail. We decided to send him to an all boys boarding school. He thrived! Ranked up, became a leader. The staff thought he was great. He has ZERO feelings. You could give him a gift of new socks, or tickets to an NFL game and the reaction would be the same. You could show him a picture of a puppy or a picture of a horrific car crash and the same reaction.

After he graduated HS from the boarding school we told him he was not able to live in our home. He needed to get a plan and we would help him. His plan was to move in with a buddy and his family in the state of WA. They had a job for him. We gave E a sum of money to get him started. We flew with him, met family, got him settled. 3 days later he texted to say he decided to move to CO to stay with a different buddy. WHAT!?! He stayed with CO family for about 2 months. Told CO family he was searching for a job, couldn't find one. Basically spent the summer on their couch. They discovered his lies. He moved out and couch surfed. Then found a girlfriend that could supply his "fix". The girlfriend and her family think he's great! He does not communicate with us. He chooses to update his status on FB when he wants us to know something and then we are supposed to reach out to him.

So...we went to dinner. Spent 90 minutes with him. We did not invite him to the house. He did not ask 1 question of his sister. 19yo brother refused to attend. E told us how much he loves his job, name dropped, told us how important he is, will probably get a new vehicle, might move to OH, going to stay at his job for at least 3 years then become a cop, etc. We just said, great, awesome, good for you. Thanked him for making time for us. Gave him some cash and told him to have a great vacation with his girlfriend. Afterwards we received a beautiful text message thanking us for the money and apologizing for his bad behavior all these years. FAKE! But, at least I feel stronger for recognizing his games and not getting sucked back in. It just makes me sad that he is not capable of having a normal relationship. I feel bad for his girlfriend. He will use her until he's done with her and then move on.

Again, thank you ALL for listening and sharing your advice. It's greatly appreciated!


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Sounds like it all went well.

I like that he sounds independent. Fake or not!!

Are the three adoptive children siblings or all from different families? Just curious.