When I first came to the board, I was told raising a difficult child would be a marathon. Oh my gosh... I feel like I'm on mile 19 and pulling myself towards the "finish line" by my nails. (Yeah, I know, like there's going to be a "finish line".). There's nothing new going on and I think that's the problem. We've been having the same conversation for 8 years now. He asks when he can come home. Now it's to the point that I just say he *knows* when he can come home (when he follows rules and behaves in a civilized manner for 6 months, consistently). And this is followed by 25 minutes of thank you trying to find a loop hole. If he goes to school (big if) but sleeps through all his classes, that shouldn't count against him. He shouldn't have to quit smoking (uh, it's *illegal* Tyler). How many "bad days" can he have in a week? <primal scream here> Honestly, if the kid ever got his act together, I'd pay for law school because he would be one *heck* of a lawyer. And then when he discovers that nothing has changed in terms of expectations since his last Residential Treatment Center (RTC) admission 3 years ago, he spirals into a deep depression because he's "never coming home". Uh, ok. Your choice. Heaven help me, but the count down is on to 18 (1 year, 1 month, 15 days give or take), not because I will be relieved of all the worry and anguish, but because finally this huge distraction of "living at home" will be done once and for all. It will no longer be an option. House rule - 18 and in school full time or get a job/apt/life. husband and I are almost overwhelmed with what will happen at 18. He's completely unprepared to live on his own and adamantly refuses to take an active role in his own life. Refuses to ask for help, refuses to follow directions, refuses to do anything but be a passive ameoba. Doesn't "need" supported living arrangement or supported job because, say it with me, "it'll be different then". We think we are going to be faced with the choice of rescuing him from his own poor choices, knowing full well that our rescue will simply delay the inevitable and will not prompt him to make any changes, or stand by and watch as ... whatever happens. It just brings me to tears frequently, but I'm also really *really* angry that we're going to be put in that position. I have to resist the impulse to sit him down now and tell him point blank that he cannot come to live home, period. That it's time to buck up and figure out what he's going to do with his life. I can't do it though because I know he will hear that we don't want him. Oh my gosh, we *do* want him... healthy, whole, happy, productive, safe. How do you survive this transition? How do you keep your heart from just shattering (again)? On a positive note, after his late-nite AWOL followed days later by an arrest, we have stepped up the (outward) detachment around here. He calls with various minor opportunities for me to get sucked back in (I skipped today, I'm only missing 2 tests because I slept through school, I lost my cell phone, etc.) and my answers range from "interesting choice" to "I'm sure you'll figure it out" to, when I've reached my tolerance for tongue amputation, "it's really none of my business, thank you". He never calls to ask for help (really, he only calls to see if he can come home for the weekend or to 'fess up to his latest stunt), but I'd *gladly* offer advice or assistance if he asked. This passive-aggressive stuff just isn't going to fly. He absolutely *hates* the fact that I'm not engaging. He actually told me last phone call that this is worse than when I was lecturing. Just wish I knew how to get him to participate in his own life. We've started a "hope chest" and were hoping the set of pots and pans for Christmas would nudge him a bit - nope. Maybe the silverware and sheets for his b-day will make more of an impact??? Sorry - just needed to vent - been fretting over him more than usual for the last several weeks. I feel so completely useless/powerless/impotent.