New to the forum and need advice, please


New Member

I stumbled on this list while trying to find support/answers for my ongoing and increasingly difficult situation. My 45-year-old son lives with me. He has for most of his life, except when he went away to school for a couple of years. I do not know where to begin. I was only 17 years old and unmarried when he was born. I lived with my parents. My Mom was never emotionally well and spent some time in a psychiatric hospital.

When my son was young, he was respectful and well-behaved. He was very shy (as I am). I felt I needed to do something with my life to improve the future for my son and me (we were living away from my parents). I decided to go back to college, which meant quitting my job and moving in with my parents. I worked hard at school and went to law school after graduating undergrad. I worked very hard in law school. I am sure my son did not get enough attention from me while I was in school and I know my mother told him this.

Fast forward a few years after graduating. My son and I moved away from my parents and into our own place. My son was about 12 years old at the time. I worked and he was a latch key child. A few years later I met someone that I married. It turned out that my husband had Huntington's Disease and grew increasingly emotionally abusive with me. I know my son was beside himself listening to my husband screaming, blasting the television and radio at the same time. At one point, I was on the way home from work when my son called and told me my husband was in the basement (where my son lived) and my son was scared because my husband was screaming at him. That was it for me and my husband's mother took him for a few years. When he got out of control my mother-in-law had my husband arrested. I went to him in the psychiatric hospital and it was obvious his mother had neglected him. He had not been shaved in years and had a long beard, long hair and his feet were bleeding. His toenails and fingernails were way overgrown. I just cried and promised to get him out. I found an assisted living by me, where my husband lived for a few years. There were many occasions where my son would go there and help him with computer problems.

The assisted living facility threw him out after multiple incidents of aggression. I finally found what I thought was a decent nursing home willing to accept him. However, they were drugging him and within a week, he could not speak, was incontinent, etc. I took him home. He lived at home for about 2 years until his death. It was very difficult and my son was helpful, but it had to have had a terrible effect on him. Two months before my husband died, my father, who lived 10 minutes from me, passed away. My son was close to my Dad and especially my Mom, so I am sure the effect was awful.

After a few years, my brother, who is an alcoholic, was homeless and I asked my son if he could stay with us. Yes, I know it was very dumb. He was terrible to my son with constant accusations. I write this so you can get an idea of my personality, which I am sure negatively affected my son. My brother lived with us for several years and the drinking got worse. I asked him to leave several times, but he did not. At one point about three years ago, I was suffering from a severe migraine for weeks and went to the hospital for a test. I came home and laid down and heard my brother arguing with my son. I came out of my bedroom an hour later to find my house had several police officers there and my brother had my son arrested for assaulting him. My son spent 8 months in county prison and is still on probation.

My son had been having periods since my husband first became ill (my son was about 20 years old at the time) of being disrespectful and drinking way too much. He also abused drugs. I did not address the situation. I know I should have. I do not know why I did not. Selfishness? I addressed it years later and my son went to three rehabs. He is back to drinking. He does not work anymore and constantly complains about physical ailments. He has grown increasingly abusive to me. The abuse is mostly emotional. He blames me for everything and remembers mistakes I made when he was 5 years old. About a year ago he put his hand around my neck and threw me so hard I fell and hurt my head so I had two huge "eggs" on my head. Several times in the past 6 months he has told me he hates me, said I should kill myself, threatened to kill me, and asked for my life insurance policy. The real nastiness comes out when he has been drinking. There are other times when he says I need to slow down and he worries about me.

I do not know what to do. I am 62 years old and tired, depressed, and do not want to live like this. But my son seems to be getting worse. He talks and it is difficult to make sense of what he is saying. He has been to many therapists and psychiatrists. He tells them things about me and so many things are just plain lies. I honestly feel like my life is over and have no clue what to do. I made so, so many mistakes, from enabling him to not giving him the attention he needed and not making him my first priority at all times. I truly do not believe he could live on his own.

I am sorry this is such a long post. Any thoughts would be welcome. I take responsibility for past mistakes, but do I pay for them until I die? Thanks to anyone that managed to read through this way too long post.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
This is a painful story. I’m so sorry.

Does your son have a diagnosis? Might it be possible fir him to collect disability? If so, perhaps you can pay the deposit on very small apartment , he can use his disability money to pay rent and bon voyage! Sayonara! No mas.

Bottom line…he needs to go.

I know it’s hard if they don’t have any money.

Maybe there is a guardian agency you can hire ?

Perhaps it will take much thought and some creativity to get him out.

Does he work at all?

If he touches you again call the cops immediately. Let him know that’s what you will do and do it.

don’t tolerate disrespect.

Check out various support groups like Al Anon and Families Anonymous.

If he refuses to go…you might need to file a formal eviction. Not fun.



Well-Known Member
Where to begin. You and your son have both have had tremendous trauma in your lives. As parents we are all imperfect, but I am sure your intentions have always been to be a good mother. Many of us here have similar stories and/or our own trauma. I know that I had a difficult childhood.

Here's the thing: you won't help your son by tolerating his abuse of you. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. You can't change the past, and your son is an adult now - at least physically. He needs to stop blaming you for his life. My difficult 36 year old son doesn't live with me, but when he is verbally abusive, I stop contact.

It sounds like time for you to focus on your safety and well-being. Here are some things that helped me though still I have a long way to go: Twelve step meetings online or in person (Coda, Alanon, and Naranon), reading, therapy, meditation, posting here, learning to take care of myself and do things I like. Learning to set boundaries. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Well-Known Member
Dear Kitty

It's not your fault. None of it.

I think that there is a way that repeated trauma and fear cause us to inure ourselves to it's presence. It's kind of like being in warm water as it heats. We increasingly tolerate it, until it's too hot and boiling, when it's too late to get out. You know you are at risk.

I agree with Acacia. You've both suffered extreme and repeated trauma. That said, what your son has done are crimes. You know that. However guilty you may feel, you don't deserve to be physically assaulted or terrorized. First and foremost, your son must leave the house. I believe his prior actions and the potential that he may act on his threats to you warrant your obtaining a restraining order from the judge. There is a mother that his posted here for 6 years, that was in this situation. Her name is "Feeling Sad." The facts aren't the same but the danger was. You may want to read some of her thread. It is sad, but now she's safe.
About a year ago he put his hand around my neck and threw me so hard I fell and hurt my head so I had two huge "eggs" on my head. Several times in the past 6 months he has told me he hates me, said I should kill myself, threatened to kill me
Yours is a painful story but all of us here have a variation of the same. We can only begin where we are. All of us change at a point when we feel we've made many, many mistakes. The crucial thing is to allow ourselves, yourself, to begin again. Both you and your son have great potential to change, and to live lives that are peaceful, based upon self-respect and self-control. Not one thing comes from self-accusation. There is no room for that or what your son is doing to you.
I take responsibility for past mistakes, but do I pay for them until I die?
No. Honestly, I think all of your so-called mistakes have come from big-heartedness.

I agree with the others. The first thing is to find support. For me, I found support within my faith and I found it here, and recently I began psychotherapy. I had never been spiritual before, but I am now. I don't know how to describe the peace and sense of wholeness that comes to me, from this.

You are not responsible to heal your son, or to pay for him to heal himself. Nor are you responsible to support him financially or emotionally or socially. If he is too disabled to work, he can apply for SSI. That is what my son did when he was 23 after I had made him leave my house.

Through the government if your son is approved he can get Medicare or Medicaid for healthcare and therapy if he wants it. There is job training through Vocational Rehabilitation. (All of this presumes you are in the U.S.) If he is unable to live on his own there are assisted living places and skilled nursing facilities where adults live who can't take care of themselves.

Your son has a pattern of repeated aggression to solve his problems. He is aggressive towards you physically and emotionally. This is the elephant in the living room. Al Anon, a private therapist, or people here, can help you in taking this essential step, which I think needs to happen now. You need to get help to make him leave right away. Every day he's there it crushes you more and there is more potential for this to be a disaster.

Finally, it doesn't matter what your son tells therapists and others, you know the truth. But telling tall tales about you is wrong and exposes you to danger and consequences you don't deserve. If you are working your professional license could be at stake. At minimum you could be embarrassed and you don't deserve that. Telling lies about us goes with the territory. So many of the adult children here have done so. My son too. And I know he loves me very much. But it was very hurtful.

I think most important is this: in your post you seem to infer causality of your son's problems, with the words "many mistakes" or your part. This is false. All of us are responsible for our own life story. Your son has full responsibility for his life story as an adult, just as you have for your own life. You took responsibility for your life and the people in it, and tried to do the right thing. The fact that your son has not made other choices is really not related to you.

Welcome to the forum. You are not alone.
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Well-Known Member
Hi there. I am so truly sorry that you deal with this. I have a very abusive daughter in her 30s and she suffered huge trauma from being adopted. It has haunted her all of her life.

Not all adopted children are as traumatized by it as Kat was and is. But Kay feels unwanted and bitter and hostile for "my REAL mother leaving me. You can never take her place. Ever."

Your son had a difficult childhood. However not all kids who have to live with single moms who go to school to better themselves, and also some difficult relatives, end up like your son. In no way am I trying to be mean or minimizing hardship. But the fact is that, traumatized or not, both of our very adult children NEED to learn to stand on their own without us and so far your son is still living with you and abusing you at 45. I think it's time to think of a new way.

if your son went on his own, he would almost certainly qualify for Disability which comes with a case manager, Medicare, Foodshare and often the case manager can get him into subsidized apartments complexes. Hardly any rent which is taken out of the SSDI payments. Very doable. He can finally become independent. Therapy is also offered.

You need a break from your son and he needs to learn to live without you. You can not care for him forever. He will outlive you by decades. Then what?

I am glad my daughter lives away from us, although homeless in a notorhome. At least she has Disability and the government help that goes with that. If I die tomorrow, at least she won't have nobody at all...she has a worthless husband but can also get much help from her case manager, if she chooses to utilize her. If she does not choose to, there is nothing anyone can do. Once I am gone she will only have herself. The husband is a lazy abusive druggie but she is too. They both are old enough to know where to get help. They will or won't. We have no control over it no matter how hard we try. 100% up yo them to choose to do better and get help.

My daughter got violent at 19 and she never lived with us again. Violence was a deal-breaker for living in our home. But we bought her a house, then a mobile home, them paid for apartments. Not once did she try to make it work and we cut off the money finally.

That's when somebody gave her an old motorhome and she and Lee drove 3000 miles away and live in AZ in some park or the like. When we cut off our bank she disowned us saying we hated her, but we love her. We just don't think supporting her or living with her helps us or her.

Life has been more peaceful without her meanness and chronic drama and demands for money. Our other kids and my husband I and can finally be normal. It was time to let go and give her to God.

I shared our story to tell you how it was for us. I am not telling you what to do. That is up to you. Private therapy and Nar Anon have saved our lives. You too have the option of reaching out for help. This is so hard to do without support.

My thoughts: Never should we feel we need to tolerate abuse from anyone, not even our children. At some time they have to stop blaming their bad breaks from years back, maybe seek therapy, and grow up. Or not.

But it is nor our responsibility to care for very adult children and in my opinion it harms them I will say it and I will both die. Then what if they have been supported by us all their lives?

in my opinion it would not make you a bad person to make him plan to leave and get benefits if he won't or can't work.

All my love. hope and prayers. You can do this!

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Staff member
Oh Kitty,

I think most important is this: in your post you seem to infer causality of your son's problems, with the words "many mistakes" or your part. This is false. All of us are responsible for our own life story. Your son has full responsibility for his life story as an adult, just as you have for your own life.
I agree with this 100%.

But my son seems to be getting worse. He talks and it is difficult to make sense of what he is saying. He has been to many therapists and psychiatrists. He tells them things about me and so many things are just plain lies.
Is he telling you things like you are a narcissist, you are gas lighting him, you caused him to have post traumatic stress disorder, you are the reason he can't be responsible for himself? Things like that? Does he blame you for every little thing that doesn't go right in his life? If so he's only hearing the "yes it's your mother's fault" stuff from therapists and not the "now what are you going to do about moving yourself along in life" part.

Your son has a pattern of repeated aggression to solve his problems. He is aggressive towards you physically and emotionally. This is the elephant in the living room.
I agree, and feel this is really bad. I also think you should move to get him out as soon as you can. He is trying to take over, and it seems he has no capacity to understand the effect on you or even on himself if he does get control of you and your household. If he has a diagnosis he could qualify for housing with a local mental health organization but it takes a bit. If he gets disability he could qualify for low income housing, also takes a bit, and really that's on him to look for. It could end up that he lives in a homeless shelter for a while, I know not something you want to hear, but it truly seems unless you want to be a repeated elder abuse victim those are the choices.

So to take a first step, as others have suggested please find support for yourself, you deserve support. After all you have tried to give and give, you are depleted and need to regroup and get to a level place for yourself. A therapist, al-anon, your pastor at church, trusted friend or all of the above, it's time for you.

from enabling him to not giving him the attention he needed and not making him my first priority at all times. I truly do not believe he could live on his own
This is hard to say, but if you died tomorrow do you really think he wouldn't find a way to live on? If you did not wake up tomorrow, no doubt he would live with the scars from regret from the current situation of how he has been treating you for the rest of his life but I think he would find a way to go on, services and people to help him to keep a roof over his head to live somewhat of a life. So I feel it would be a good thing for your son if he was in a living situation separate from you where you may provide for some of his needs like uncovered medical expenses and such for a bit but somewhere else where his basic needs are provided for. It would allow for a separation where you could both move into a place where you could show him love but not be responsible for him day to day. There will be a day when you are no longer around and it would be most valuable to him to remember the love and support from you, and his love and respect towards you rather than live with regret of how he treated you the way he is now while you are here for the rest of his life.


New Member
I have not written in a while, as I felt like my days were filled with dealing with complete depression and trying to cope with my son's constant anger, nasty attitudes, which would flip briefly into the person I thought he was. I truly do not know who he is anymore. I saw years ago a person who was very empathetic and big-hearted. How much is the bipolar contributing vs. the alcohol and Adderall?

At the end of January, after several other conflicts during the month, my son came upstairs and picked up a box that weighed 30lbs and ran at me with it and smashed my head on the side, pushing me into a wall. For what reason? I have absolutely no idea. I did not call the police, because he is on probation and I did not want to see him in jail.

Later that day, once again, he disconnected the router and was taking it to the basement. He was mumbling and angry. I did not know what he was doing, but I told him that I had to have an Internet connection. He started screaming at me, told me he absolutely hated me, then grabbed a mallet and started to come up from the basement. I ran upstairs and locked myself in a room. He used the mallet and broke the handle off the door and then used the mallet to put two holes in the door. He looked at me as he held the mallet up to my easy child monitor. I asked him to please put the mallet down, but he smacked it against the monitor. Amazingly, he did not damage it. By this time I was on the phone with 911. He was screaming, telling me to put the phone down. I did so and he smashed my phone. He then went into my bedroom and used the mallet to put a hole in the door.

The police came and what could have been less serious got bad, because he threw water at them and was fighting them arresting him. They tasered him and he started to bang his head on the floor and the wall was all bloodied. The police stepped on his hands so they were all bloodied. They charged him with aggravated assault and he went to jail for violating probation. They let him out of jail and he is currently in drug/alcohol rehab. He called last night and he still has an attitude. He does not want to be where he is. It is a terrible place. He does not want to attend meetings. I told him, "fine, don't stay and don't complete the program and you can go back to jail." Whenever I said something to him yesterday to make a suggestion, he would catch an attitude. He is not the same person he was 25 years ago. He wants to move out but does not have the means to do so. I do not have the means to buy him a place to live and support him.

Honestly, this group is filled with so many similar sad stories and it hurts my heart to read about other parents suffering through this. Life has been hard enough. This has been the cherry on top. I wish there was a magic answer to make their brains work right. My Mom was in a psychiatric hospital when I was a kid for clinical depression. It did not help her. My son has been pumped full of so many different drugs and nothing has seemed to work. I do not know what the answer is, but it is so tiring. I have no one left right now. I could manage though because the two weeks I did not hear from my son, I felt so much stress dissipate. Just having two phone calls from him yesterday sent me over the edge.

I will pray for the new people that have posted about dealing with mental illness and substance abuse. It is not fun. I do not want to see my son go to jail.


Well-Known Member
I am sorry your son has refused help and has hurt you. My daughter did this too and came very close to throwing glass in my son's eye....that was not her only violent moment but that WAS the final straw.To me, any violence was no longer negotiable and my daughter was told to leave at 20 after this violence.

Sometimes going to jail actually helps our addicted, troubled or mentally ill least they get three hots and can't hurt us or anyone else and they are forced to reflect. Some get out and decide to get help. Some dont. It's hard on us. Maybe more than on them.

My daughter stayed out of jail partly due to our hiring lawyers, but looking back we wish we had made her face consequences. If she goes to jail now...after ten years of our trying to help her... in jail she stays wit no help from us.

Please remember that you are as important a person as your son and in my opinion should not allow violence and abuse around you. If your spouse did what your son had done I'm sure the spouse would no longer be with you and might be in jail. If your son is an addict I recommend NarAnon Zoom meetings to help you don't even need to leave the house. Check online for Zoom NarAnon meeting times...ours is in the Midwest Thurs 6:30 pm CST but anyone from anywhere can join our group and we have about ten awesome members from different states....this great group keeps me sane and reminds me always to take care of ME.

I feel it is hard to do this dance alone. If you dont want to try NarAnon, maybe find a good therapist to help you break away. We did that as well. Still see him. He was a Godsend.

I send many prayers and hugs.


Well-Known Member
Dear Kitty, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. As you can see from reading all the other posts, you are not alone. Many of us suffer with you and we understand your pain. Please know that we are here for you.

I understand your fear of your son going to jail but your safety and wellbeing must come first. In the end, our kids can only be helped when they choose to be helped. No matter how much we wish it otherwise, our love and our good intentions can't save them unless they are prepared to accept the help and accept the consequences of their actions.

Keep posting here. It helps.


Dear Kitty, thank you for updating us and I am so very sorry your son is hurting you this way.

Please tell me there is no possibility you are going to let your son in your home again. Of course you don’t want him to go to jail but at what cost to you? Your son ran at you with a 30 lb. box and smashed your head up against a wall!? He could have killed or permanently incapacitated you, Kitty. Please do not let him back in your home, which should be your sanctuary, not a place where terror reigns.

As others have suggested, please get some support from either a counselor or a group like NarAnon. After years of caring for your husband and accepting his abuse, it sounds like you‘ve lost some of your self-worth and that’s allowed your son to follow in his stepdad’s footsteps and repeat the same abuse. And you are taking it all over again. Why?

No one, I repeat NO ONE, should ever, ever live with that kind of abuse, period.

You are so worthy, Kitty. You have a big heart, as Copa said in another post above. Don’t let your son rob you of your self-worth and dignity. You deserve so much more.

Many hugs and keep posting. I am very concerned.


Well-Known Member
I will try to write more tomorrow. I feel so sad for you that all this happened.

Your son is not helped by living with you. You did not protect him by failing to call 911 when he came at you with the box. It only got worse.

Your son’s life is in his hands, not yours. Your life is in your hands. Know this. You are worth saving.

He is worth saving but at 45 he must save himself. He is dangerous to you. I urge you to consider a restraining order against him, when he is released. This is an escalating pattern of violence directed to you. Your son needs to be in jail or some other locked setting. Mothers are the most frequent target to be killed by some mentally ill men. Please act to protect yourself!

I am glad you came back here. I worried. Please stay. Let us support you! Depressed or not please stay!!

You have us.
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