Our homes...and difficult children


one day at a time
I know I really had trouble for a long time about my house/home and difficult child. After all, he grew up in this neighborhood and in this house, from the age of 5. He is now almost 25. He walked to elementary school, he swam in the neighborhood pool, explored the woods, waded in the creek, skateboarded and rollerbladed in the driveway and all over, had best friends who were/are our neighbors. His cat followed him home from school one day---I still have here here.

So...I had a really, really hard time getting to this place, where I am today, of saying this: You are no longer welcome here.

It has been inch by inch. Day by day. Month by month. Year by year. With a lot of "slips" along the way, even as recently as two months ago.

Why have I concluded he can't come here?

Here is why:

***I don't want to be around active addiction with a very close family member for very long at all. I love them, and thus it is very hard for me to be in the presence of the thinking, the decisions, the actions, the conversations, the "being high". It hurts me too much. And I don't like it. It's the same with my brother, who is an active alcoholic. Very small doses.

***I can't trust difficult child. He steals.

***When he is in my house, I am very anxious. I don't know what he is going to do or say next. I am nervous. I can't relax.

***Let's say he gets clean. He still doesn't need to live with me. He is a grown man. An adult. I don't believe God wants adult people to live with other adult people they gave birth to. It doesn't work. It almost never works. I say the "God" sentence a little tongue in cheek, but not much. He has to make his own way, live on his own, pay for his own roof, food, etc. That is what being an adult is. That is where self-esteem comes from, being tired at the end of the day, not having energy to make trouble, etc. That is real life.

***I need my home to be my haven. This is a reason that I got from someone else's postings on this forum. I had not put words to this feeling. I need a safe place for me. Where I can be myself, and I don't have to be on guard. I don't want easy child to live here either. Thank goodness he does not. And even when he visited, which I was so glad he did, after three or four days, it's time for him to leave. I believe that is normal.

I have come to the conclusion that it is perfectly right and okay for me to set boundaries about my house and my property. I have told difficult child in the past months that he is not to come here without an invitation. I know that sounds harsh, and it actually felt very harsh when I said it, but you know what? That is what I needed to say. Knowing that he can just pop up at any moment is very unsettling for me. Inasmuch as I can, I want to guard against it.

The last time he came uninvited at 3 a.m., I told him to meet me at the garage, we got in my car, and I was prepared to drop him off at an all night truck stop and buy him breakfast and leave him there. He asked to go to an all-night laundromat instead so I took him there. I meant what I said. Don't come here without an invitation. You will be leaving soon if you do. I have also told him I will call the police if he comes here uninvited.

I'm going by the 51% rule now. I am 1% more important than he is, to myself. I love my son very much, but his behavior is unacceptable to me. Until it changes, he's just not welcome here, unless I decide to invite him. Today, I see him away from my house, and that is working much better for me.

Stress Bunny

Active Member

You are setting a very reasonable boundary in the face of some very unreasonable behavior on the part of your son. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. I understand. We are having the same issues. I feel very uncomfortable when JT/difficult child comes to visit, and I also know the feeling of worrying that he may drop in. I especially worry that he will drop in when just Bubby is home and take advantage of the situation somehow. I don't trust JT.

Not only is it your right to protect your home, which should be your peaceful sanctuary, but it is so smart as well. You are a loving parent, and this is actually an act of love. You are showing love to yourself. You are also showing love to your son by teaching him how to treat you. You deserve to be treated with respect and love. He is not doing this, and it is not acceptable.

We get caught up in the "shoulds" sometimes. We "should" let our children visit whenever they want to, right? Wrong! Every child is different. We would certainly never allow a stranger to come into our homes and behave this way, so why do we feel so much more obligated toward our adult children? They are adults, not children. Visiting with you in your home is a privilege. Your son has abused that, and frankly, he should be glad that you care so much about him that you visit with him anywhere at all, in spite of everything.

When we told JT that he would not be allowed to visit unless he called a day ahead of time to check if it was alright, he initially pushed the boundary. He dropped in numerous times, unannounced, anyway. No surprise! He does not respect our wishes, only his wants. But, we stuck to our decision, and we did not allow him to come into the house when he just dropped in. The third time, he did call a day ahead before he visited. He got the message.

In the spirit of the way we wish things were, it may seem "harsh", but things are not as we wish them to be. So, you have to make the tough decision to stop the insanity right now. Keep your beautiful home peaceful and safe. Everyone deserves that. You deserve that.


Well-Known Member
36 can never come back here because when he gets angry, he gets dangerous to be around and scares me.

It breaks my heart. Julie, Sonic and Jumper can live with us any time for any reason, but not 36. Fortunately, 36 doesn't even know this because he is so far away and has to stay there because of his son.


Well-Known Member
My daughter and her family moved in for 3 months after their house was destroyed in a flood. I love my daughter and her family. They are respectful and helpful. We both realized after the first week that you really can't go home again.


Well-Known Member
Agreed - even when they are not difficult children, it is very difficult to live with adult children...I find myself constantly still trying to "parent" my daughter even though she is an adult with a child of her own.

In a way, I look forward to her having her own place some day, but goodness I will miss my grandson SO much.


one day at a time
Great comments from all, thank you.

I think sharing a roof with our own adult children successfully for any length of time takes boundary work on both sides.

Unfortunately, many people have never even heard of a boundary, and so people revert to their old standby roles, primarily of parent and child, which is not helpful when people are grown up.


Well-Known Member
We become used to our own routines and so do they. My son will be locked up until he makes his levels and there is no telling how long that will take. I have established a new and very satisfying home routine. I love the peace and quiet. I can leave my house and not worry about who is in my house doing who knows what.

My boyfriend of 14 years asked me to marry him. I thought about it and decided I really do not want to share my space with anyone other than my fur babies.
Love your post, esp home is your haven. We need that so badly, even those who dont have difficult children. I love my easy child (32) to come visit, but am ready for him to go (he is, too!) Agree, adults are not wired to live with adults you have given birth to. Amen, Amen, Amen!

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I have not been here for several months - but am back, looking for support amidst the chaos. COM - your post says everything I feel about my son's addiction and his presence in my home. Don't want to be around the addiction, he steals and lies - and I feel very anxious. I will not allow my son in my home - which is the home he grew up in. I have moments of guilt in the position I have taken but I have stood my ground. Over the past 18 months, my son has been in a rehab medical facility twice, 3 recovery houses (kicked out of each for using), spent nights at 2 different shelters, and has ridden the light rail all night (multiple times) to avoid sleeping in the streets. My son is 22 - he is currently in a 6 month program funded by a national charity. It seems like he is just passing time there, and not making any real progress in terms of obtaining employment, job skills, etc. I am frustrated because I am not able to make him see what he's doing to his life and future. I am angry because he used drugs in my home, stole from me, and turned my life upside-down to the point where it will never be the same. My son calls me fairly often - and never once has he ever asked me how I am doing or even "what" I am doing. Are addicts really this self-absorbed?


Well-Known Member
Addicts are very self centered. Nothing is more important then their drug of choice. I imagine that the phone calls are for money or something else that he wants.

I am sorry that you are going through this.


Well-Known Member
COM your reasons are all so valid and your boundaries healthy. I had to come to that point with my difficult child also, she was no longer welcome in my home. And when I finally got to that point I felt like I took my power back. Good for you.