Needing a Soft Place to Land-A Return


Well-Known Member
Hello Everyone,

Not the first time I've returned to this warm and understanding place of support. Daughter was 11 and Son was 7 then. She brought me here and he keeps bringing me back. Daughter is overall better and living on her own in another state. Our relationship is complicated but respectful and cordial. Too many things to list that she struggled with and still struggles with, but she is far better off. She communicates mostly with her Dad as she is much closer to him. I still worry about her, but she is living her adult life and that is the way it should be.

Son on the other hand...

We're in a bad place.


This last time, two weeks ago, was especially bad. I just can't do it anymore.

He's arrogant and knows everything. I, on the other hand, am one of little knowledge, and what I do know, I understand even less. His Dad also falls under this category, but to a somewhat less degree. He works full time, which is good. It took him a long time to get the job he currently has and he has kept it. Even though he's 24, he can easily pass for being a teenager due to his size and build. He's mean, cruel, and doesn't care much about his family anymore. Including the highly valued, and beloved, relationship he had with my mother. His life is work, pot (and probably other stuff I don't know about), and his friends. I could also add lying to us. Most of them absurd, like most of his interactions with us.

The years since he turned 18 (and even before that) have been a rollercoaster hopes and hopes dashed. My hope tank is depleted and bone dry. His sensitivity to innocuous comments that would be characterized by regular people as normal conversation inspires his sarcasm, outrage, and horrible comments that are usually directed at me. We have been encouraging and sometimes demanding he move out for year. When he is triggered and has another outburst, it is, "We will evict you!". We will look into the process. Eventually, he will apologize and the cycle begins again. He is also aware of the tenant laws which require we give 60 days notice. He has not physically threatened me, so I cannot go that route.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah

I am teaching from home due to COVID-19. It is going ok, but it was very difficult in the beginning. Things have smoothed out a bit, but COVID-19 is, and has been, raging in my area for months. Ninety people in my county alone died two days ago. There is no major metropolitan city located here. So, needless to say, we take all the precautions very seriously. I was on a Zoom call with a colleague. I had earbuds on. We were just having a conversation about these difficult times for kids and parents. Like me, this person has raised two difficult children. So we shared a few experiences we have had as parents and dealing with schools. Nothing too serious or deep and I shared one about Son when he was in HS. Son was home from work and overheard it. Later that day, he came to me to confront me and started making all these demands about who I talk about and what I talk about. I will not be told what to do in my home. When I would try to speak to explain the context of the conversation, he would not allow me to speak and began to become more angry and enraged. He left the room slamming doors.

A few minutes later, I hear him through his bedroom door cursing me and saying awful things about me. I asked why he was doing that. I just find it particularly offensive that someone, including my adult son, in fact especially my adult son, would be speaking about me in such a way under my roof. I realize I was being triggered because of my traumatic upbringing with my raging, alcoholic father, and that such behavior will not stand in my own house. That's when Son just lost it. He was screaming and cursing. Through this whole thing, I spoke in a calm voice. Whenever I would try to speak, he would ramp up the rage even louder. Then, he ripped the mask off completely. He went after how I do my job, its value, my value as a professional, as a mother, and as a person overall. The intent was to attack, demean, and demolish.

I am through with it. I am now estranged from my child.

Problem: He still lives under my roof. We were clear, move out ASAP. In the meantime, LEAVE US ALONE.

Essentially, we are taking the wait it out strategy. He wants to move out. It is the money that usually stands in the way. We have told him to save his money. He lives here for free. Why do that when there are things to fritter it away on? Like pot and alcohol.

So, we are at a stand-off right now. It has been two weeks. We avoid each other and do not speak. I don't mind, for now. It has been peaceful. We never had normal conversations anyway. Ever. I have heard he has been looking for a room to rent. That is another story for the books, as he tried to rent one from a long-time friend of Daughter's. Problem, he lied about Daughter not being his sister. Long-time friend thought it was strange, but she had only met him once. So, she contacted Daughter to ask. Daughter was furious and hurt. Another insult from her brother. That is another sad story for another day, maybe. He has always been such a cruel jerk to her.

Husband and I have begun to plan our escape. Probably to another state. It won't be a few years at least. He wants to retire in 2023. I have a good job that pays well and I want to work as long as I can before I retire. I love my job and would be crushed it leave it before I am ready. Then, there is the situation of my Mom. She's retired and lives close by. I will not leave here while she is alive and I do not think she would be willing to leave with us.

So, I am taking it one day at a time.


Well-Known Member
Hi Dazed

I am glad you're back! But so sorry you are suffering. There are aspects of your story that I live with too.

You are not asking for advice and I will not give it. I will only say what I know and what I feel and I believe.

First I believed that your son's screaming at you, cursing and raging at you, insulting and demeaning you is abuse. It is a threat, whether or not the direct words are uttered. It is a way to intimidate and frighten and control get you to do or not to do what he wants. This is to take control of your will and your space. I have known people who have gone to prison for 6 years for not much more. In my state, there is a crime called a terrorist threat. It doesn't involve terrorists. It involves words that are threatening. What I am trying to say here is that I don't think the 60-day notice applies when somebody is being terrorized in their own home.

I also don't feel that we as parents need to plan our getaway because our children are abusing us.

I will say one more thing. It sounds like your son has a justly deserved reputation, at least at this point of his life, as a mean, uncaring, cruel substance abuser. This is a working person, with a regular income who CHOOSES to use his income to drug himself. And chooses to not pay rent. In your home.

Why in the world would he ever have money to move out if Plan A is to use all of it to buy whatever substance he wants to buy?

It's not our business how these kids get what they need to get to be self-sustaining. It's their business. We are not responsible that they choose to do what it takes to get what they need and what they want. When we put ourselves in the position to take responsibility we put ourselves in the position where they can misuse us and demean us and disrespect and abuse us. And this is exactly what they do.

I opened the door to my son (again) because corona is raging where we live. My son had to leave where he was living. He did not prepare. He had no money because like your son he uses it on marijuana and anything else he wants. From kindness, I told him he could come back until the first of the month when he said he could secure a place to live. (Probably a lie.) He sees kindness as weakness and it's been one problem after another and he's only been back 2 days.

I do think these circumstances are dire but I also think that we matter. I think when we get kicked in the teeth, we can't put ourselves in the position where it happens repeatedly. I gave it a try, and I am now putting things in place to minimize the cost to me when I have to tell my son to leave on the first. If things get worse I will accelerate that date.

I don't know what you should do or how you should do it. I do believe that your son is abusing you and that the only important order of business now is to get it to stop. Based on my own experience, your son will not stop it. We've got to.


Well-Known Member
Hi. I am so very sorry you have to go through this. It took me a decade to get so tired of my daughters abuse and meanness that I am fine with our estrangement. She can't live with us ever again.

I also believe your son's behavior is serious verbal threats and abuse. I'd record him secretly and go to the police to ask if his behavior is actionable for eviction OR a restraining order, which would get him out faster. your case, my heart is sense you are not ready to cut all ties this way. You have to be ready to do it to actually do it. My husband got there first and we almost divorced over her. That would have been so horrible for us. We are each other's strength.

We both used 12 $tep programs and private therapy to learn to let go with love to God. The meetings exposed us to kind people who knew exactly how we felt, although our daughter only smoked pot at the time. Therapy taught us that our lives matter and how to take better care if us. We could not change Kay but we could change ourselves and learn to put our welfare first.

I am a caregiver who likes to fix everyone else. Yet I get the most abuse. My kind heart is abused, not cherished. My daughter laughs at me, mocks me and I kept asking for more, thinking she would get better. She still has not. All I can do is pray. If God is in your life in my opinion that is the best thing you can do...give your child to Him. If not, you have your job, family, friends....reasons to treat yourself well.

I did not realize that being a good mother did not mean I did not have to put up with my child's severe abuse. I thought I had to or I was unfit or Kay would die. Kay's lifestyle is bad. She could die. But sadly I can't stop it. She doesn't want help. Doesn't think she.needs help. You can't force another to do better.

I send you prayers and.lots of hugs. I hope you can take steps to nurture yourself.
Dazed. I could have written your post! My son is 24 and I am 59, he has a troubled sister whom he has hurt. He has Borderline Personality Disorder. Please read the book by
Margalis Fjelstad
"Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist"
It was recommended by my counselor and really helped.
Son left our house last August after we tried to persuade him to take a 'time out' in a hotel for a few days as I couldn't take it anymore. Haven't time to post more suffice to say that he doesn't take drugs otherwise all is identical to your situation. Hugs and best of luck, will post more later x

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Staff member
Hi Dazed,
The last days my son lived in my home were very similar to what you have described. One big difference is it was only myself and him in the house. After a lengthy go round with him (11 days) I told him he needed to find someplace else to stay until he got to a therapist and straightened himself out a bit. He told me he didn't have to go anywhere, he had his rights to my home, and was entitled to his legal eviction. Under somewhat normal circumstances that's true. But when someone is following you around the house on a consistent basis demanding what he wants, refusing to leave you alone, character assignating you to your face and getting on the phone with who knows who doing the same, it's threatening. I was frightened of his behavior and very concerned it might escalate. I had no one else here to protect me from any of it, no united front as it were. When my son called the police to have them verify that I could not tell him to leave they came to the house and the result was that he was removed with a restraining order. He was taking over here, I felt then and still feel I had no other choice. If you feel threatened, regardless of if he says he will physically harm you are not, it is grounds for removal.

That's just my situation. With both you and your husband there it could be quite different, you have some control because it's two of you.

Since then my son has remained very angry with me. He has no insight to his behavior that brought that situation on. He tells anyone who will listen that I lied to the police and had him removed, for fun I guess, not sure.

It's a good sign that your son is at least working. Maybe he will actually get his act together and get out. I feel very strongly if someone like our sons find a way to become responsible for themselves they will shift their attempts to control other people for power and find their own personal power. My son has not become responsible for himself yet so it's just a theory of mine.

Take care.
Dazed, Deni, Copa and so many here with our difficult sons, they all seem to pick on us poor moms (Deni my son was always so much worse when my husband wasn't around, even if he was in another room I would get the drama - smashing crockery, demeaning me or saying he hated me, etc. I feel for you being alone and so glad the police came through for you!) We have been through the same - calling the police, son getting furious with us for doing so, it feeding into his narrative of being the victim. One ray of hope I cling to - our boy NEEDED us to throw them out so he HAD to do something for himself. Whether my son is doing so or not I only have his social media to refer to, which is limited, but I think he is OK right now. But detaching from him is also necessary, and I got a rescue dog and purposely don't think about him that much! The story of his overhearing your conversation is typical, my son did exactly that with me. He wants to control you and who you speak to. It's like that 'coercive control" that happens in abusive relationships. I was being abused and so are you. You need to get him out of there, that is my humble opinion. Either that, or you must set out VERY clear boundaries that he understands and there will be consequences if he doesn't follow your rules...


Well-Known Member
Thank you all for your forthright and kind responses. They are comforting, yet at the same time, they are straightforward and laced with the wisdom of having been there.

You are all correct, he needs to leave here and be on his own. How that will happen is the question.

We have not spoken since that awful day. Just to be clear, he did not threaten me, but he did scream and yell from his bedroom and down the hall. Horrible things that I cannot forgive unless he gets professional help to manage his emotions and interactions with me. The likelihood of that is quite small. He tells me he hated it when I took him to professionals during his childhood and teen years. Especially, the last one, who was a lovely woman. He specifically mentions how much he couldn't stand her. When I have mentioned seeking a professional, he angrily shuts it down.

He has quite a fragile ego and is defensive when asked the simplest questions. He also has a lot of anxiety.

He did not follow me around the house and does not now. I am here alone with him the majority of the time. Husband is usually out of town working. Son does work, thank goodness. Even when things are relatively good with him, I am much more at peace when he is out of the house. Before the pandemic, I would be out of the house five days a week working. He works weekends, I don't. So, I would not see him that much other than his messes he would leave in the kitchen.

I agree that we should not have to plan an escape, but we are anyway. It is a long-range, tentative plan about where we might retire and have peace. Currently, I just do not feel threatened enough to gather the emotional energy to legally evict him or have the police remove him. Something that is made all the more complicated with courts and COVID. With the current health crisis, I'm playing it day by day. Will it be possible in the future? Maybe.

Yes, I do hope that one day there will be a semblance of a normal adult child/parent relationship with him. The hope is microscopic, but it is there. I work diligently to remain detached from him and his decisions. He works but doesn't make enough money to rent an apartment, even a studio. Rent is expensive here. It is his high school's fault because it was "crappy" and the counseling office was terrible that he didn't go to college. Uh-huh, right. He began community college, but wouldn't take any academic classes. Then, he stopped. He got suckered into a trade school that made all kinds of promises about how he was going to make big money fixing digital devices. All against my concerns and gentle protestations. He struggles greatly with fine motor skills. You have to have good ones to fix devices. He flat-out refused to practice the exercises to develop them as a child and teenager. He graduated and then could not find a job. Add student loans on top of that.


Right now, his car sits in the driveway and hasn't moved in three days. That means there is a mechanical issue. Not my concern other than his car is blocking Husband's car from getting out of the driveway, which is on a small incline. Husband is out of town, so it is not an issue, but it will be in a few days when he comes home. He likely does not have the money to get it fixed, so it sits.

Good grief! Why? Just why? Be nice! Be decent! If I make you angry, let us talk about it. I will hear you out! You just can't insult, curse, or be a jerk. I will apologize if warranted.

Nope. He tells me that he refuses to "kiss your a__!"


You are correct. I am not looking for advice. I seek understanding and a virtual "ear". I would not wish what we have gone through and continue to go through, on anyone. I come here as a way to keep the sorrow and the abyss of depression at bay. To keep my wits about me and find joy whenever I can. Right now, it's just really hard to find it. I count my blessings as best I can and press on.

Again, thank you.