So frustrated with son


Last night Difficult Child ended up at a crisis center. Long story short, Husband and I came home form a night out, son is belligerent, can barely walk. We find out he has taken (who knows how many) klonopins. He is screaming that he wants his car keys so he can leave...he starts to get aggressive with his dad and pushes him. Dad ends up in self defense punching son and lays him out flat.. son jumps up, they start to scuffle. This has never happened before but it's been brewing for a long time... My sister and I and my younger son end up in the middle of them, trying to keep Difficult Child from going after his dad. Difficult Child gets on his phone and calls the cops, saying he wants to press charges against his dad.
They come, talk to him and everyone involved . They tell him he was the aggressor and his dad had every right to defend himself which infuriates him even more but he finally decides to go with them to the crisis center. Oh, and as the police are calmly trying to talk to him Difficult Child is calling them Pigs, A**holes...etc etc.. I have to say I am amazed at the composure the police men displayed while dealing with Difficult Child, they could've just slapped the cuffs on him and took him away. Luckily I think the recognize mental illness when they see it...

This morning I go there to pick him up and they suggest I take him directly to a nearby walk-in outpatient crisis center that will offer him counseling and or medication if they deem he needs them. So off we go with Difficult Child crying and begging to go home. But I insisted we go there before I would bring him home.

They do an assessment and Difficult Child repeatedly tells them he is suicidal and has attempted suicide 3 days ago. I had no clue. They finish the assessment and I am waiting for a counseling session when the therapist says.. "ok, we can schedule you an appointment for counseling. The soonest I have is Thursday."

WHAT?!?!?! He just told you he is suicidal and has attempted suicide as recently as 3 days ago!! And you are ok sending him home with me?? "Well, we close at 5pm sooooo..." It was 3pm, are you serious???

Call 911 they said if he "appears to be in crisis" He IS in crisis... but crisis wouldn't hold him, they sent us here!

WHAT is wrong with our mental health systems???

Drove home, Difficult Child screaming at me the whole way about what terrible parents we have been, dad is an A**hole.. (I can assure you he is not... I wouldn't be married 26 years!) And telling me that the minute we walk in the door at home he is going to "beat his dad up, kick his ***, see how he likes it!."... Did I mention today is his dad's B-day.... omg what a mess.

We get home and he appears to be settling down a bit, dad is still at work and when he gets home Difficult Child has settled down to the point where he is talking to me as if nothing happened. "hey mom, can you come here a sec? Can you help me with ____ " whatever it was....
I go along with it and am trying not to start him up again although it is tough because I just spend a half hour in the car being berated and told what a horrible person I was.
I deal with it because I know I am dealing with a mentally ill person but I just don't know what to do anymore.

I hope he follows through with the appointment and I hope he can get medication to help him. He has been on so many in the past but none have seemed to make a big difference.
He insist the ONLY thing that helps him is weed.. but he has smoked that for as long as I can remember and look where that has gotten him...

I am tired...very very tired.. We are dysfunctional as a family because of Difficult Child.

Thanks for reading my rant if you got this far!

Just needed to vent again.... :(


Well-Known Member
Oh Jude, I am sorry for the night and day you have had. Ugh.

I too am surprised that the crisis center even referred him to an outpatient crisis center (rather than keeping him) and that the outpatient facility didn't escalate his care, given his suicidal threats. I too hope he follows through on that appointment. I don't know what else you can do either, other than what you are doing, which is to minimize the potential for conflict and hope his counselor gets him some stronger support.

I know just what you are saying about the effect of difficult child drama on the family dynamics. I have so many regrets about the attention taken from daughter, or about memories of events that should have been happy occasions, instead colored by my son using up all of the oxygen in the room.

I think our other children tend to respond with empathy toward us in those situations. I think they can see what's going on and can see that we are all but bled out from trying to help their troubled sibling. I think his brothers can see that you and husband are doing the best you can in a bad situation.

Stay close and keep us posted. Hugs to you tonight.


Thank you so much for your support... I hope they know we are doing our best (the other kids) but sometimes I feel they look at me and their dad with a look in their eyes that says "fix this!"

Difficult Child is now downstairs with a bottle of rum (?) not sure what it is or where he got it and is getting drunker by the minute. Husband went to check on him and said he hopefully will pass out soon but we'll keep an eye on him.

He was never much of a drinker but now that he is getting drug tested weekly I guess alcohol has become his drug of choice..... great... His dad is hiding his keys to his truck. Preparing myself for another long night......


I love this in your signature by the way:

"I do not control how others THINK, FEEL, or ACT. A flower falls even when we love it, and a weed grows even when we don't."


So sorry YOU are in crisis mode. Your not as dysfunctional as you think. A strong marriage and a stable home is as normal as it gets.

I am stunned they didn't keep a suicidal patient. Our mentak health system is horribly broken...they are now called prison.

Prayers and positive thoughts for your family...ugh, rum..he's gonna regret that in the am!


Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Jude, so sorry you had to go through that. It can be so scary when our difficult children go off like that. I do hope he will follow through with some therapy. I'm glad everyone is ok as it could have been worse. It's such a shame that they couldn't see him right away especially when they were told he was suicidal.

Hang in there!!

worried sick mother

Active Member
Wow! I work in healthcare and to my knowledge it's the law for at least a 72 hour hold in a psychiatric hospital when someone admits their suicidal, you can even have someone against their will put on a 72 hr hold if you tell the hospital their suicidal in my state. I'm really shocked about your situation. Even when I go see my psychiatrist (who I started seeing after the struggles with my son) ask me every visit if I have any thoughts of harming myself, I'm a very normal person, look normal and act normal. I only see her for antidepressant medication. If I said yes though she wouldn't let me out of her sight and would have me sent to hospital and then even if I said I didn't mean it that I wouldn't harm myself I could possibly still be admitted for 72 hr hold. That just doesn't sound right at all to me. If your son did harm himself, they could be held liable for sending him home when he was telling them he's suicidal.
Sounds like you son is ruling the roost. I wouldn't allow him to drink rum in my home. Maybe he needs some rules to continue to stay in your home. That would sure make it better for your other children and also set a better example.
I'm very sorry for your struggles and I hope your son gets well. Keep posting


Roll With It
I am assuming this is the 24yo in your signature. You say he is a gifted auto mechanic. Is he paying his own way on money he earns doing this? If not, he should be. The more time he spends doing something productive to support himself, the less time he has to get into trouble. If you are making his life too easy by paying for any of his things, ending the $$ and privileges may be the way to go. Here an auto mechanic, esp a good one, can make enough money to support himself decently. It is hard work, but it is possible. Making his life more difficult by not paying for his things is a way to help him grow up. It may seem mean, and he won't like it at all, but he is an adult and that means working to provide for yourself.

I hope he goes to the counselling appointment. They didn't keep him because his suicide statement took place 3 days ago, therefore the crisis was not current. Crisis facilities are overwhelmed and underfinanced. They deal with right now, not a couple of days ago. I realize it isn't easy to accept, and hopefully we will find a better way, but for now that is reality. In the future, each and EVERY time he gets violent, call 911. Insist on pressing charges for assault. Each and EVERY time he brings up suicide, have him taken to the ER. Make sure the bills are in HIS name. HE can work out payment and deal with that. If you deal with the bills then he will likely use suicide threats to control you. If he makes a statement about killing himself, the family MUST call 911 and have him transported. He must face the consequences for those statements - meaning both being taken to the hospital, being held if they deem it necessary, AND paying those bills for the ambulance ride and the time in the hospital. Making it easy by paying his bills will make this more appealing. Do NOT make time in the hospital a Disneyland experience by sending cards, gifts etc.... Of course participate in therapy if it helps, but don't make it too fun. And don't let a suicide threat end consequences for his behavior.

I know this may sound hard, and the process will be. But that is parenting and we are ALWAYS their parents. I would have a long talk with your husband about what you expect of your child and the consequences for not meeting those expectations. Figure out together what his consequences should be, and then tell him and enforce what you say. It isn't being mean, or an :censored2:, or any other name he wants to call you. It is being a parent. And it is protecting the rest of your children and yourself.

There are no clear answers or choices, and the best you can do is enough. Follow your gut instincts and do your best, but don't tolerate a lot of bad behavior because it does no favors to him or the rest of the family. Try to get help for him, but if he refuses to accept it then he has to either follow rules or live elsewhere because making the family home unpleasant for the rest of you is just not right, fair or good for anyone, not even for him.

Mental illness is NOT an excuse for bad behavior. MANY mentally ill people support themselves, follow society's rules, and are contributing members of society. That should be what he works towards, and if not, maybe things need to change?


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

That story is so similar to so many situations we found ourselves in with our Difficult Child also.

I agree with Albie that a stable marriage and family is about as good as it gets. Our Difficult Child's make us dysfunctional.

My son raised hell for five years. He also said weed was the answer and yes, it wasn't. I wish it was!! Our son has never been diagnosed with bipolar or anything other than anxiety and depression but isn't that a form of bipolar anyway? I've often wondered. Highs and lows.....

Son would also act like nothing happened either and I would be so happy....maybe it was over. But it never was. They don't see it. I don't know if they can't see it or they don't WANT to see it.

I often felt like our older boys lost respect for us BECAUSE of everything we put up with because of Difficult Child. My husband said that they knew we were doing everything we could do. In the meantime he would steal from them when they lived with us after college to save some money. I hated it.

Hugs and prayers to you because I have lived it too and I know it is HELL ON EARTH. I have been praying hard for many years and he is not in our home but he still doesn't get it. It is truly exhausting.


Well-Known Member
I have depression and anxiety. It is not a form of bipolar and bipolar medications make me a zombie. Many people only get depressed and never get manic, which is bipolar. Anxiety usually goes with depression, a bit like soup and sandwich. Both h areally very treatable although pot won't do the trick.

Millions of people have treated depression and anxiery, work, achieve and have good lives. The person has to agree to get help though. Therapy is VERY good for anxiety. There are specific treatments that are very helpful. Depression more often needs medication, but not pot.

I hope Son decides to get help. It is available.


Thank you all for the replies.

I do not agree with calling 911 and pressing charges, the reason I disagree is that my son will end up in jail for a minimum of 3 years, he is on probation. Jail will not help him, he has a mental illness that needs to be treated. Yes, he ha to agree to go to treatment etc, and we are working on that. But sending him back to jail is NOT the solution and I am grateful that our local law enforcement agreed with that and did not arrest him when he pushed his dad.

Mental illness runs in my side of the family, I have an uncle who is bi-polar/schizophrenic ... He claims he was abducted by aliens many years ago. He has been on permanent disability since his early 20's. (Outside of the US) He has been stable for as long as I have known him and I credit the healthcare system in the country where he lives. Our country definitely lacks in mental health care. My son went as far as to describe HOW he tried to kill himself, even if that was 3 days prior he ended up in crisis for a reason and was obviously still IN crisis when I went to pick him up.

Yes, my son is doing his best to support himself, working as a mechanic. He has a felony record so it has not been easy to find a job and is currently working for a little more than minimum wage .
I am not trying to make excuses for him (although maybe it seems that way! LOL) But we have started to accept and realize that he is sick but also distancing ourselves and trying to not enable his behavior.
Instead of bailing him out of jail the last time he was arrested we let him sit there until his court date at which time he was sentenced to a year in County jail and spent 10 months there. We are in NJ and the county jail he was in is in the worst city in the US (or so it has been listed as at one time) His time there was horrible, he came home a shell of a human being... He was in medical the majority of his time there and did not go outside for almost 8 months. No programs, no exercise, no counseling.

We have helped him financially since he has been home from jail (June) He has lots of fines to pay from court costs and is taking care of them. He owes money on a vehicle that he purchased from his boss and makes payments every week. This is the best he has ever done financially so I do see progress.
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I have to clarify, my uncle is on disability and I did not mean to imply that this is what I want for Difficult Child.. I want him to be able to earn a living and live on his own. My reason for mentioning my uncle was that the resources for mentally ill persons are sometimes much more readily available in other countries than the US.


I agree...if you can keep a mentally ill functioning adult out of jail...yes

Some counties are horrific...they would rather fine you than lock people up do to how poor the county is.

Our prisons are full of people who needed real hospital :p...

God Bless...He is very fortunate to have his family.