Our Life is Chaos

Hidden Sorrow

New Member
I have been reading this forum for the last week and feel like this is a fit for me.
My middle son who will soon be 20 has turned into a stranger. He is not the boy I raised. That nice brilliant young man is gone. He's now homeless, jobless, dropped out of school, stealing, vandalizing and high all of the time.
His affect is flat when he is sober, his behavior is so bizare that I think he's schizophrenic or psychotic. He's rude, beligerent and threatening. He frightens me. He went to jail last week for stealing. He was violent and crazed. When he was interviewed and went before the justice of the peace he "flipped a switch" and became the polite well spoken young man. A police officer knew him as a child and was shocked at his demeanor. When questioned he denies that he has any mental illness or drug addiction.
His new group of friends from the last year- "the potheads" have even found him to be rude, mean and bizarre. He is stealing from them and their parents. I'm certain that he is on crack or crystal meth, plus heavy daily pot smoking.

I divorced from his dad an abusive drunk that hit me and ignored his 2 kids 15 years ago. He believes his dad that it's because I was having an affair with my now husband. I hadn't met my now husband until after we were separated. It doesn't matter as he can not be reasoned with. His reality is so skewed that its like talking to someone in a different language. He fixates on strange events or things, he wants me to always admit that he decieved me and I didn't know. Then laughs.
Him and I always connected with humor and wit, appreciating each others ideas. Now he is an empty shell. He's lost 50 pounds, he dresses like he is insane. This last year has been like he has been taken from us, knowing him less and less. He has a complete lack of awareness of his behavior. He has zero insight and such poor judgement that it is rediculous. His older brother tries to reason with him, asks him to go to counselling. Then the drug addict who steals calls his brother nuts.

I am so ashamed that I had to install a security system to protect ourselves. Against my own son!
Meanwhile I have 2 other sons that are reeling from this. One finishing college this spring and a little one in grade 5. My husband and myself are both professionals. We are struggling to maintain our work life and home life for our other 2.

I'm in counselling, so are my other 2. We have our little ones school involved so that they can protect him if his brother shows up. He talks about taking baby brother to "teach him how to beat you". "You're not at smart as you think mom, I'm going to teach him to lie to you"
Police will do nothing. "Call 911 if you are concerned".

He calls and texts non stop when he wants something or for me to listen to a crazed rant about a new car he's buying. (He has no money and if he does it goes to drugs)
I have given him food, never any cash. Do drug addicts trade food for dope? I didn't think so much.

So many more things, but it would be a 10 day read!

I don't think anyone can help. I'm exhausted.


Well-Known Member
Gosh, so many of the same stories of boys (men?!) around the same age coming out! Mine is similar, paranoid delusions, laughing at inappropriate times, anger, but can 'flip the switch' easily. He's a small person and dresses in other people's large clothing. He looks like a clown and has abandoned all personal hygiene. We are also professionals with another child at home (though she is 17). My son also tries to corrupt my daughter and he fixates on one argument my husband and I had over 12 years ago constantly (we both got physical to a degree - not my proudest moment but how could it have caused SO much damage when so many kids grow up with chronic abuse?).
I also think my son may be shizophrenic but he's not like this if he doesn't want to be - only with us. But he has lost an entire set of friends and adopted another set recently. He often brings up random bits of emotion about this loss, but it is incoherent. "people call me toxic' 'all you people are negative negative negative'.
I'm tired of people telling me to call the police. The police know my house by heart. Once we called and because my husband restrained him and left a red mark, he got put into jail and now has a domestic charge on his otherwise clean record. I don't think anyone can help either. I've decided that it's not about him anymore, it's about my family and I have to keep him out! Husband let him in last night to do laundry and we couldn't get him to leave. It's so tough when your so is not on the same page, count yourself lucky if yours is!
Sorry I'm rambling and in a funk right now because of last night, but keep posting, hopefully we can help each other along!


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

So sorry to hear about your struggles. Welcome to the forum and sorry you have to be here.

I think by having your son out of your home that is the best thing that you can do. My son also changed when he used drugs. We tried to get him to stop and finally had to send him away.

Since you are in therapy I'm assuming they are teaching you to establish firm boundaries with your son. I have had to learn that myself. It is very hard to do but once you do it, it is very helpful. I still have bad days though. You have to take control of the situation as to when you see and/or talk to your son. I have had to block my son from my phone many times and I do this if he is disrespectful to me or does something I do not like. It is easier since my son is far away. He won't show up at my door and we did that for that very reason.

If your son is content with being homeless I don't know what you can do other than offer to take him to rehab. That is obviously what he needs but they never admit it. To me just getting them sober enough for a short time to see what they are doing to themselves is a start. It's a long and horrible journey and I cry not only for my son but for myself. It has changed how I look at the world and taken so much of my joy.

Keep posting here and reading and it will help you gain strength and wisdom. Do everything you can do to take care of yourself. More will be along with their advice and hope.


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Hidden,

I'm so sorry for what you are going through but I'm glad you found us here. You will find much needed support on this forum.

When he was interviewed and went before the justice of the peace he "flipped a switch" and became the polite well spoken young man.
My son can do the same thing. Very narcissistic and sociopathic.

I am so ashamed that I had to install a security system to protect ourselves. Against my own son!
You have nothing to be ashamed about. You did not do anything wrong. You are protecting yourself, your family and home.
None of us here would have ever imagined that we would have to protect ourselves from our own children but we do as they can be dangerous. Your safety and your family's safety must always be first. Again, you have nothing to be ashamed about.
You are very smart to have installed a security system!

I don't think anyone can help. I'm exhausted.
The only one that can help your son is your son. Until he acknowledges that he has serious issues nothing will change for him.
We have zero control over our adult difficult children but we do have control over how we respond to what they do.

I'm glad you are in therapy. I know your exhausted but you sound very strong.

Keep posting and let us know how things are going. Even if you just need to vent, this is a great place to do it. We get, we care.

((HUGS)) to you........................


Well-Known Member
Meth can cause paranoia and psychosis. Whatever is going on, you cant change him. Id keep him out of the house and protect the rest of the fsmily and never let youngest be around him without you. This is not your fault.


Hello and sorry for your pain. My husband and I are both professionals and I sometimes find it funny(not ha ha funny but oddly funny) that the world sees us as having our acts together and then we would go home to terror, fighting and pure craziness and we tolerated it. Next day, we would put our little business suits on and go in with a smile, just crazy for us parents!! My #1 takeaway from everyone on this site is "my house is my sanctuary" and I can now tell you I will protect my sanctuary at all cost. I am relieved when I have to travel and my house is locked up and no one is in there. Don't feel bad about keeping the house safe, it's that or like me, feel guilty for allowing our son steal from us over and over. My son has only been out for about 6 weeks also, like bluebells and I love hanging out in my peaceful house. Bluebell...if he desperately needs to do laundry again, take him to a laundromat. Don't let these kids hang out in the house if it's going to disrupt the lives of the other household members. In letting my son stay in our house so long, I positively did not consider the other family members, and I do sometimes feel bad about that.


Well-Known Member
catmom, funny (odd funny) thing happened last week. One of the higher ups asked me what I was doing with my kids for spring break. I was totally thrilled that word had not somehow gotten out over the years of the he** I've been living with! I should pat myself on the back for that!
And although I don't talk about my problems except with one coworker who just retired, I've developed a knack for determining normal in a family. When someone complains that their 19 year old walked into the house without saying hello and makes some big deal about it, well yeah I put them on the 'normal' list! Or a 'C' on a college test! Oh my! :)


I am now cracking up! Yes, I went through a similar situation at work. Remember my post when I saw my son walking aimlessly around and him telling me he slept at the park and then the grocery store and he claimed he was homeless? Well, I posted right away that day as I was on my way to work and thought I would fall apart at work after seeing him that way. At work same day, a co worker explained that a few women at work were "jealous" of me and how I have climbed the corp ladder. I started laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes, and the I calmly said " if they want my life, they can take it"....which is how I felt that morning. Amazing the "normal" face we put on at work.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
I too wore a mask for many years at work. My boss knew somewhat of what was going on only because I would get calls from the school telling me my son was truant again and I would have to leave work to hunt him down.

The fact that we can go to work and function in spite of the chaos our adult difficult children put us through is a testimony to our strength. Never forget that.