Need Strength

My oldest son is 26 and lives in a mobile home my husband and I bought for him. We also have a business that my son has worked off and on at since he was 16. He has never been reliable and would have blow ups with his dad, and would be fired. He refuses to work anywhere else and relies on us for everything. My husband or I bring lunch and his dinner to him every day of the week. I pay his utilities (power and water) and tv. We do take this amount out of his check, if he has enough. He has been on drugs since around 16 and is prescribed xanxax by his dr., who he is not truthful with. He has been out of control many times and he is right now. He has terrible anger and rage and has said for years that he doesn't want to live. My husband and I are seeing a therapist today in the same office as he uses and so his dr knows things now and my son is going to be furious with me. I'm trying to get him help and I know I have to stop enabling him BUT your child's pain is your pain. He's taken some steroids that he has been on and got confused and took them all and his forehead is swollen. Said he did it when he overtook the xanxax. I only know this because of his little brother who is 21. My son says he doesn't have a drug problem and doesn't want to hear anymore about it. But he is relying on us for ever single thing and demands his job back or says he will get worse and kill himself. I don't know how I can endure anymore of this.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
So sorry you are here.

You said it yourself. You are enabling him to the nth degree.

He is not going to change so you have to. He is obviously abusing the Xanax. My son abused it also. I do know what I'm talking about and I am speaking from experience. I came to this forum and learned that I had to make some hard decisions to get my son to turn his life around. And it's been a very slow process but what we did is working. The solution became crystal clear. I just had to ask myself why we waited so long and what we were so afraid of!

I believe your therapist will tell you that you need to create healthy boundaries with your son and stop enabling him. It will be the hardest thing you ever have to do in your life BUT if you do not do this, you will be taking care of him for the rest of your life. He will never learn how to be an adult. When you are gone, then what will he do? It's easy to look the other way and pretend things are okay. Obviously they are not.

Our adult children need the boundaries as much or MORE than we do. You are doing everything for him so why does he even need to grow up? He is still in the same place he was in 16 years ago it sounds like.

We finally saw an addiction specialist last year at this time. We were at the end of our rope after almost 5 years of this. My husband (his father) wanted to throw my son out. He had been to rehab many times and would do good for some time when he came home and then go back to his old ways. We both agreed that we would DO whatever the addiction specialist told us to do. We knew SOMETHING had to change. We were told to tell him rehab or he has to leave. I was terrified. He chose rehab only because he had no place else to go. After 30 days of rehab we moved him 1400 miles away from us to sober living and he screwed up there too. He is slowly learning how to live independently and problem solve. We are helping him financially as long as he WORKS and goes to school. I am so glad that we had the COURAGE to do what we did. It wasn't easy.

It definitely sounds like your son needs rehab. He needs to get his head clear at least long enough to see what he is doing to himself. It's hard to watch our adult children try to destroy themselves. That is what your son is doing and it's hard to understand or know why. I still don't and probably never will.

Everyone's story is different here and different things work in different situations so keep reading and you'll start to understand what you are dealing with. Many others will be along to offer their advice. I do hope that you make some changes so that your son has a chance to get help and have a normal life.


Well-Known Member
I would keep loving him but detach from his drama and STOP paying your 26 year old sons bills. Heavens! He is 26. If he wont get a job, he can use a flaslight and buy bottled water. He is NOT growing up and NOT young anymore and is using drugs and wont help himself.

Your son is a drug addict and will use any money he gets from you for drugs even if he says its for other readons. Never give him cash or a crefit card. Anything ypu want to still pay, do directly to the company.

. Right now you make sure he is very comfortable, even bringing him meals. What motivation does he have to change or grow up or quit the drugs? I understand a mothers wish to protect her child, but he isnt a child anymore and if we do it for too long, they take advantage of us and stay a defiant man/boy who cant and wont take care of themselves. It wont serve him well. You cant live forever. Then what? Yes, its hard, but it is for them, even if they go ballistic. And for us. And we count too.

Your son is too old to need a mommy who treats him like a child. in my opinion he needs a Mother who will stand strong, set serious boundaries, demand he behave or get off your property (if the mobile home is on your property). If he is violent and/or lawbreaking he deserves nothing. I cut off my daughter when I realized what she was doing and I made her leave and I walked around bawling and I felt so mean.


YOUR SON is able bodied? He can work in labor or fast food, if so, and it is likely not a good idea for him to work with his family, whether he wants to or not. He is violent and scary. He needs to change to be safe and that requires therapy and probably a city rehab that is not costly. Or a costly one, if you prefer and he will go.And he needs to admit he has problems or he will NOT improve.

If he threatens to kill himself take it seriously and call 911 each time. Every time. I did that to my son and he never says it anymore and never tried suicide. It was said to scare me, i now realize, but suicide is serious...I took no chances. I was scared and helpless which was why I called 911. Only 911 can handle that serious threat. Dont try. It may just stop your sons threats.

Your son or not he has NO right to rage at anyone and frighten you. Your other sons dont need that either.Your oldest is unsafe. He also feels like you should support him forever and in every way, it seems. You gave him a place to live and he is stiill awful to you.
You did enough. You were a rock star mom. That was generous. Beyond generous. He should kiss your feet for all you do for him. But these types of adults are not grateful. They think we owe it to them. Your son is far from the only one.

What you actually decide to do is up to you. I made my daughter leave my house for drug use and she quit. At nineteen. There is no motivation for your son to quit. You bought him a roof, give him home cooked meals and (he cant microwave food like most bachelors?) AND you pay all his bills. And he has the gall to rage at and lie to and deny hes an addict and to abuse such kind parents. Shame on him.

I hope you can decide on a solution that actually works better. I highly highly recommend therapy for the rest of the family, especially you and husband. This is not in anyones best interests for it to continue.

Hugs for your hurting heart. You probably need to take care of yourself more and your other loved ones need a break and peace... and get him out of your space. JMO. I do understand you love him. We all love our kids, even obnoxious ones. I have one myself. But we do them no service by letting them bully us. How does that help your son to let him call the shots and get a free ride? Yeah. We simetimes feel bad and otjer times just dont like tje screaming so we give in. Bit we must stop to help everyone. I sp sorry.
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Thank you for your time. I know you are right and I am trying to strengthen myself for him because I know it is my fault for letting it go on this long. I always want to believe everything will be ok and its not.


Crazy Cat Lady
One thing that I've said several times before on this board: Benzo withdrawal of any kind (Xanax is a benzo) requires close, usually inpatient supervision. It can cause life-threatening seizures, and long lasting or even permanent cognitive and perceptual damage if the patient is not properly tapered off under very close medical supervision by someone experienced in caring for benzodiazepine addicts or those dependent upon the drugs.

Xanax is one of the most difficult of the lot to get off of due to its hard-hitting effects, high degree of euphoric effects, and short half-life. This makes it popular as a recreational drug, and is also the reason very few doctors prescribe it these days.


Active Member
Strengthened by Hope, your son's life is not your fault.

Stop thinking his choices are your fault.

Reread SWOT and RN0441's posts several times. They are trying to show you the way through their own experiences.

Your son has had the skills to keep a roof over his head and two meals coming to his door through manipulating his parents' emotions. None of this is healthy and it is clear you are in pain and you know deep down it won't change on his end.

You have been a good parent who continues to express concern for your offspring, but you know the dynamic needs to change otherwise the pain will continue. You can't be the person you want to be and be in this pain at the same time.

You must find the strength to step up and stop giving into your fears, and you've taken a real step forward by posting here. Many people have experienced this dilemma here. Keep posting, and others will give you much the same advice.


You are facing hard and tough choices. He doesn't want to stop...and why should he. How long could he use without your assistance? Yeah...none.

He wouldn't have a thing without's time he grows up. Lay out t the choices, if he gets violent,call 911.

There's hope...but something has to change...and right now your the one that has to take the steps.

We are still living with our sons choices, our choices we have made with him...but don't know the next chapter. Healing is where we are at now...slowly.

I pray an intervention gets what he needs..prayers


Well-Known Member
One more thing.

I believe that lt is giving up on an adult child who is 25 or older to let him live in your house rent free and with you paying all the bills. To me it says "i quit." And it tells him "i cant be like other adults."
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Well-Known Member
My son is now 28. He is my only child. I have had the same push and pull relationship you describe. My son has been hospitalized many times; he has been suicidal and says he has made serious attempts. He has been explosive.

He is on SSI and relies on this to support himself. He is resistant to working at a job but will work for us without pay. He requires constant prodding and monitoring or he will slack off. I bought a home for him to live, and he has been there off and on. Now he is there, paying me rent.

My son would be as dependent as I allow. I went through years where I did not help him at all. He got worse. For the last almost one year we have had him closer, but we have put near constant demands. Most stringently (and unsuccessfully) about his marijuana use. He wins. But we make it hard on him. Twice he has been to residential treatment this year and this time had to leave after 10 days because of insurance issues. He was motivated.

I want to tell you that my son is improving. He is more loving. He is more responsible (barely). He is somebody I want to be around. Now. But there is still a long way to go.

My bottom line is so low...(so grateful to be loved; so grateful to spend time with him that is not rancorous) that I fear that I am hurting him by not demanding more. And I have vowed to do so.

These kids, when we lay off, when we help them--view this as consent to their living this way. It puts us in into a really hard place, having to be hard-nosed, when we want to love and support them. But this is the only way that works, my experience has taught me.
He has been on drugs since around 16
My husband or I bring lunch and his dinner to him every day of the week. I pay his utilities (power and water) and tv.
I want to comment on your situation specifically. I would not tolerate the drug use; particularly if it is anything other than marijuana (which I hate with a passion.)

You cannot enable a drug addict. It is as if to say, OK, son. I approve. This can kill him down the line, let alone rob him of motivation, direction, health, self-esteem. I believe he should have the choice right now today, of going into detox/residential treatment or leaving the house.

Of course you cannot handle this horrible situation. It is intolerable for you, watching your child self-destruct. I agree with the others. A very strong line must be drawn. Yes. You can support him. If and when he is clean and has learned to moderate his behavior. (I would call 911 every single time he makes or infers suicide.)

I am sorry you find yourself in this horrible circumstance. There is hope. Take care.
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Thanks everyone so much for the comments. I know every situation is different and that it is easy to say what's right but doing it is way harder. I am at the end of my rope. I know now that he is manipulating us with his behavior and has for years because its how he gets his way. He knows it too. He told me he piles all his problems to the side and doesn't want to think of them. I told him that he might not be tired of his drug problem but I am. I have been praying for him for many years and I know the Lord is working and all this is what we will have to go through to get to the other side. I am just so afraid of how it will all go down. I am a fixer and I always told myself if I fix this then he will be okay. I know I have hurt him so much by being an enabler and not a strong mother and I should have tried to get help for myself years ago. I do know that God's timing is perfect and He will provide a way where there seems to be no way. And I need strength!!!


Well-Known Member
not a strong mother and I should have tried to get help for myself years ago
This is mother blame. Please stop it. This is not about you, what you could have done, did do or did not do. Your son is an adult. He is milking this for all that it is worth. That is the problem. This is about what he should, could, would do for himself.
I am just so afraid of how it will all go down.
Of course you are afraid. However there is always a right and wrong thing to do, or the lesser wrong. We can operate according to our values, our principles, our morals, our knowledge.

You KNOW what you need to do for you, your family, your son. It is no different than it was when he was 2 years old. Did you stop him from running into the street? Did you tell him to take a time out? Of course. This is no different. There are things you allow in your presence, in environments you control, and there are things YOU WILL NOT ALLOW in your space. You will not participate. And that is that. You can say NO. You can say LEAVE.

Sometimes this is what our adult children require: a strong and consistent limit. This shows them that they can (and should) take control over their own behavior and their lives. We model this for them.
I am a fixer and I always told myself if I fix this then he will be okay.
You can still be a fixer but you can no longer fix him. You can decide for yourself based upon what you know to be right. You can draw a line to show what you will tolerate or endorse. But you cannot do it FOR HIM. He will either do or not do for himself.

There is no one of us for which this comes easy. That it is hard does not mean we deserve self-blame. We love our children and we fear for them. We fear for ourselves. What would we ever do if the worst happens? None of us feel the strength to bear this. We do. You will.

Take care. Keep posting. On as many threads (of others, too) as you can. It helps.