son threatening suicide since he can't come home


Been on substance abuse thread but beginning to wonder if mental issue. Been in and out of house several times. Usually husband won't let him back but I am at end of rope this time. Ongoing dui jail couch surfing. I always rescue but can't take anymore. Destroying my life and sanity. Pushed over edge when he started stealing from us. Sick when I see he has called or messaged. 5 years has been going on. Threatens me to let him back. Desperate but won't get help. Will be 22 this month. I have 5 year old daughter also. Have to protect her. Sick inside and fearful. So peaceful him not here. Want my boring drama free life back. Trying to detach. So hard. I can see why he feels hopeless. Too many bridges burned. He uses everyone up and drags us down


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Oh boy, lostmyson, I am so very sorry. I know how devastating it is for us parents. Hang on.

Try reading the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. A good book many of us have found valuable is Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie. You may want to begin there.

It sounds as if you are at the end of your rope. That is a terrible place to be however often it is a turning point for us. We become aware of our powerlessness, our utter lack of control over the situation and over our adult kids and we begin the process of detaching ourselves from their drama, their choices, their lifestyles, their abuse towards us and start to accept what is. It is not an easy road, it goes against all our parental instincts and yet, as you mention, he won't get help, so there is absolutely nothing you can do. He is a grown man, he gets to make whatever choices he wants. What he doesn't get to do is to drag you and your family along with him. But the only one who can stop the momentum here is YOU.

You have to learn to put the focus back on to yourself and your daughter, who is very young and needs you to be present, not preoccupied with the shenanigans of a troubled and manipulative and abusive grown son.

There are shelters he can go to. You are not responsible for him. He is burning the bridges not you. Your job is to take care of you. And, you will likely need help. Most of us here need professional help to learn to detach and accept. Therapy, group therapy, al anon, narc anon, Families Anonymous, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has chapters in most cities and can be accessed online. Seek out help immediately to learn the tools you will require to make this transition. To get support. To have a safe place to vent and emote. To get understood and feel empathy. To be heard. To feel acknowledged. If you believe your son has mental issues NAMI may be a very good place to start, they have courses for parents which are very good. They can assist you.

If you get yourself the support you deserve and need, you will begin to feel better. It is a slow process, we all fall down, we feel so much guilt and responsibility for our adult kids, it is very difficult, but you can do it, one day, one step, one moment at a time. But, please, find support.

You are not responsible for your son. You cannot control him. You didn't create this. You can't fix it. You can't fix anyone. All you can do is to learn how to respond differently, learn to focus on yourself, learn the tools to detach and learn how to accept what you cannot change.

I am so sorry for your hurting and wounded heart. You've been at this a long time. 5 years is too long in this kind of a hell. Be very kind to yourself. Do nurturing things for YOU, nourish yourself and begin to allow yourself to heal from the trauma of trying to help someone who doesn't want to help themselves.

Find support, keep posting here, it helps, don't respond to his calls or texts for awhile, tell him you will speak to him once a week, or whatever works for you, on your terms, not on his. Do not allow him to disrupt your life, figure out your boundaries and stick to them.

We're here if you need us.............hold on.........


Thanks so much RE. Read many posts on here lately and helps strengthen me . don't post much myself but many stories are so similar to mine and read those for advice. Have started to detach and had gone for Chinese last nite with friend visiting for the week. Didn't even get home and text "can't do this goodbye sorry love you etc"Posts on Facebook poor me etc. He's out of friends and family.took advantage of everyone even us who love him most are fed up. Have been moving forward lately and remind myself of 51% rule. Forgot for so long that I matter trying to fix everything. Moving forward slowly. he wnts to come back home trying to manipulate. Scared he might do something but he has done so much can't turn back and have him in home. Not a home when he is here. Nervous wreck.Told him everyone has their own problems some they can't control. I work with lots of older people many with health problems. I will be 50 in DEC. And am very aware of my own immorralty. Want to enjoy life without drama. Get sick when see he has called or text. This site is so helpful but do need face to face support. Work full time and daughter wants Mom afterwards. She is such a joy. Gotta get up and face the day. Thanks for caring Lms.


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LostMySon, when my son threatens suicide I always call 911. Always. He has stopped making that threat. He wanted me to do what he wanted, not to kill himself. He didn't like the cops coming by taking him to psychiatric hospital. And then I also was assured that I had done all I could to prevent it. In my son's case, I believe it was a manipulative tool.

Hugs for your hurting mommy heart.


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Staff member
LMS, MWM has given you very good advice, each time your son makes that suicide threat, call the police.
IF there are shelters in the area and food banks, provide him with a list, tell him only to call on such and such a day, that you love him and hope he gets the help he needs and contact NAMI. You getting support will take minimal time away from your daughter and she will benefit from it as much as you by gaining her mother back from this terrible razors edge we live on. Get that support LMS, make calls today.


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Welcome, Lost. Glad you are posting. Sorry you have to. There are a lot of wise moms in this place who have helped me tremendously, and they are here anytime you need them.

It is hard to say whether there is mental illness involved when it is all wrapped up in substance use. But if he won't get help there is nothing you can do. I too would reiterate to call 911 every time he threatens suicide.

Scent of Cedar *

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Welcome, lostmyson.

Parenting a self destructive child is so much harder than anyone who has not been through it could know. Finding support for ourselves is a blessing, and I am so glad you found us.

Holding a special thought for you, and for your son, today.



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Keep close to the board, okay? Check in, let us know how you are - and share. It does help to read and read and read the stories of others.

We do care and we understand.

I hope to see an update from you soon.


Thanks so much for everyone's encouragement. Son called and we took his chain saw for work tomorrow. Normal as can be. This is the son who I miss. Do believe he is bipolar like my sister. She has been doing the suicide rampage for years. So draining. My dad is 83 and still working to support her. I do read and read these posts and find strength because we are all so similar. Am trying to take my life back and enjoy since I can't fix him like I thought I could. Such a great kid growing up. So hard to love and let go at the same time.


Well-Known Member
It's a heavy load to carry when our child threatens suicide. In his case, he may think that will be the thing that will tug at your heartstrings and now you'll give him money, and take care of him. He's just throwing everything at the wall, so to speak.

Focus on your other kids and yourself. As my husband says, "He's either gonna make it, or he's not." It sounds like a harsh statement, but it's really true and been so helpful on allowing not to walk around stressed and walking on eggshells all day. I can't carry that load, too heavy. It isn't easy I know.


one day at a time
He's just throwing everything at the wall, so to speak.

I think they aren't even thinking when they do this, they are just running crazy in their heads, trying to get us somehow, someway, to do what they want us to do. They will just spout out the most outrageous things, trying to see what sticks to that wall.

The calmer we can be when this is happening, and the shorter we can keep that conversation, the better. But I know it is very hard, thinking they really might try something stupid in their panic. Usually, like MWM says often, it will not happen.

As my husband says, "He's either gonna make it, or he's not."

I like this, up all night. I like it because it reduces all of the drama, and angst and sadness and fear and despair and craziness to a simple equation.

I like the truth of it.

And I'm learning that "making it" does not mean on my terms. It will be on his terms, and I need to learn how not only to live in harmony with those terms, but to accept them, set aside my own agenda, fears and need to influence and control, and just accept my son, today, right now, warts and all.

What will be will be. It is what it is. I can't do one single solitary thing to change him.

I know in our hearts as mothers we are truly so very afraid that they will die young. I believe that is our greatest fear that we often do not speak of, and so it grows and grows until it's the elephant in the room, driving a lot of what we do and say.

I have tried to entertain the idea that he may die young. I don't dwell on it, but all over the world, people die young. It happens. It is always sad, and it's something none of us want to happen to anyone. But it does, and that is the way of the world.

I'm not trying to be flip about this because it would be the worst thing in the world and I pray that it never happens to any of us.

But I can't be with my son 24/7, making things right for him. His life is up to him and whatever he wants to make of it.

In the end, he's either gonna make it, or he's not.


Active Member
My son has threatened and attempted suicide since he was 14 and he is now 25.

Like so many others on this board, I have been to hell and back. And again, the thing that was the reality check was me saying, after he threatened suicide, "Okay, I'm calling the police and an ambulance will be here to help you. I am not a doctor, I am not a nurse. I cannot help you".

It took me forever to get to this point. I used to think that I COULD stop it! I thought I had the power of life and death over this kid! Can anyone relate? SOOOO enmeshed!

For many years I have said, "Son , I love you. I REALLY hope that you don't kill yourself. But if that's what you feel you have to do , then I can't stop you".

Sometimes I had to call. Sometimes I was pushing the numbers on the pad and he stopped me. But for him to go to a place where he was willing to impose that emotional blackmail on me -it became too much for me to bear . But I Iearned that, whatever it is, Buddy, I am NOT QUALIFIED TO HELP YOU. This is bigger than you and/or me. So deal with the people who CAN help you.

Once I understood that, it was much easier to handle-it's TOO much for one person!

Hope that made sense-sending love and support over the airwaves...


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Mine couch surfed for 9 years. He's married now and still marginally employed, but at least they have their own place. My father recently died and I believe that he left M some $$$. If so, I imagine that will not work out well.

It can end if they make the right decisions, but then again none of us are guaranteed a safe passage in life. I think the advice to explain that you can only call 911 to come help him is excellent.