Well, C reached out to me again, so I know he's alive at least. But of course, there is drama. After a couple of days of sleeping rough, he reached back out to his dad again and begged for another chance there. He's never asked to move in with me - I think he already knows what my answer will be, and he seems to respect that. He knows I love him and he knows I will offer help only when he is genuinely helping himself. He agreed to all of his dad's and stepmom's conditions - staying sober, getting a job, out by November 1. And apparently he actually DID get a job - full time - at a manufacturing place near his dad's within 24 hours of moving back in there. He's supposed to start there Monday. And then, of course, things fell apart. The same day he got the job, his dad told him they had changed their minds and he needed to get out again now. According to C, he did nothing wrong to deserve this - apparently, his step mom's nieces are moving in because her brother is headed to jail (meth), and stepmom decided she doesn't want him in the house after all. Even though the nieces won't be coming for a couple more weeks, they want him out now, and didn't even let him stay that night. At least, that is the story I got - I will never know the other side. Things then blew up between C and his dad, big time. All of his anger from the past came out. His dad was extremely abusive to all of us, but he always did seem to have special vitriol towards C as the eldest. (I think it has more to do with dad's relationship with C's bio mom than with C himself - he thought she 'trapped' him by getting pregnant with C.) I did my best to try to protect, but C has understandable anger and bitterness towards his dad for what he did to him as well as for what he did to me. He feels like his dad owes him now to make up for all his failings during his childhood. So when his dad told him to get out - less than 24 hours after telling him he could stay - he lost it. Huge, violent, physical fight ensued between the two of them. He's bigger and stronger than his dad now. He's not sure how badly he hurt him. He's not sure if his dad is pressing charges. He doesn't know where to go or what to do next. He knows his temper is out of control - just like his dad's - and he's scared of his own emotions and his own strength. He won't be able to keep the job, because there is no place else for him to stay that is within walking or biking distance, and there are no other transportation options without a car. He's back in the city now, on the run from the consequences of last night. All of his stuff is at his dad's, and it's not looking likely he's getting it back, so he doesn't even have a change of underwear to his name now. I don't even know what to hope for anymore. Part of me thinks it would be better for him to be arrested and face the consequences, even if it means going back to jail. Maybe he would be hooked up with counseling resources and a halfway house on his way out. Maybe he would have to face the fact that he can't blame his current choices and actions on his past. I told him he doesn't get a pass on this, any more than his dad gets a pass on his behavior because HIS dad beat him. It's all one big cycle of anger and abuse, back through the generations. He's vacillating back and forth right now between genuine regret, fear of the consequences, and then back to anger and feeling like his dad deserved this. And his dad was truly awful and violent, towards all of us. I don't know why C thinks now would have been different between them than it ever was. I don't know why any of them keep trying. I feel so helpless in all this. And it brings up so much of my own anger, sadness, and regret from the past. I stayed with that man long after I knew I should leave because my eldest three were not mine biologically of legally, but I was all they had by then. I was told by two lawyers that if I left there would be no way I would be able to get any kind of custody or even visitation rights, because I would just be ex-stepmom - no legal relationship anymore at all. And if they went to CPS after that, I wouldn't even be told because of privacy laws. So I stayed, making the calculation that me being there and doing my best would be better than letting them go into the foster care system. I was afraid of all of the awful stories you hear about abuse and dysfunction in the foster care system. But now I second guess that choice. Maybe I should have walked early, called CPS on my way out, and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe getting them away from their dad, even if it meant foster care, would have been better in the long run. I just don't know anymore. All I know is there is a hell of a lot of damage done, and there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to undo it.