to those who have tossed out an adult child


Active Member
you are not alone. so many of us are there too. lately lots of posts deal with this. there are lots of resources to help with the anxiety and guilt you may feel at this point. I too have done this many times with ant and made my home a revolving door for a while. it did not help ant. it made me think he was safe being here under my roof, but it did not fix his problems. here are two places to look for strength:

read down that for some answers.

also check out the POTADA site.

if you want to help your child you must sometimes remove the emotion you feel as a parent. you must think outside the box.


Active Member
some stuff from the potada site:
The Abuser’s Weapons
The first weapon is the ability to arouse anger or provoke loss of temper. If the family member or friend becomes angry and hostile, this person has been completely destroyed insofar as ability to help the abuser is concerned. Consciously or unconsciously, the abuser is projecting an image of self-hatred against the other person. If it is met by angry, hostile attacks it is thereby verified, and the abuser in his own mind justifies the former usage, and also now has an additional excuse to use drugs in the future. The gods first make angry those whom they wish to destroy, and the abuser has a long experience of acting like a little god. If your temper is lost, all chance of help at this time is thrown away, at least for the moment.

The second weapon of the abuser is the ability to arouse anxiety on the part of the family. Thereby, they are compelled to do for the abuser that which can be done only by the addict himself if the illness is to be arrested and recovery initiated. A bad check is a good illustration for this principle. The check may be written before, during or after the drug/alcohol abuse period. The addict does not have money in the bank to redeem the check. When the anxiety of the family members becomes too intense with regard to what will happen if the check is not redeemed, they secure money and cover the check. This relieves the anxiety of the family and the abuser, but it establishes a pattern for the addict in the area of problem solving. The abuser now learns that his family is not going to let him suffer the consequences; and he may expect this to be done whenever a bad check is written.

More important still, if the family redeems the check, the abuser cannot redeem it and therefore this failure is made permanent. The abuser cannot undo what others have already undone. This in reality increases the abuser’s sense of failure and guilt, and increases the family’s sense of hostility and condemnation of the abuser. Thereby the abuser is doubly injured. The criticism, scolding and moralizing add to the abuser’s guilt and resentment against self and family. The entire situation is thus made worse. The family did not write the bad check, but in making it good they gave a form of approval while they verbally condemned the same act.

Abusers are propelled along the progress of the disease when the family is unable to cope with anxiety aroused by the addict. This is in effect part of the illness. Neither the abuser nor his family is able to face reality. The writing of the bad check and the redemption of it by the family are but two sides of the same problem. The abuser can never learn to solve his own problems in a responsible way if the anxiety of the family compels the removal of the problem before the abuser can be brought to face it, and solve it or suffer the consequences. This home training course increases the addict’s irresponsibility, and thereby increases the hostility, resentment and tension between the patient and the family.

The third weapon of the abuser is the ability to arouse guilt. It is common to hear parents say, We don’t know what we did wrong... and go on to list all the things they thought had been done right.

Moreover, the abuser will often accuse the family of injustices. He may or may not have truth on his side. If he gets the family feeling guilty, he can probably manipulate them. Most of us, under the pain of guilt, will try to make amends and be nice to the offended party. Of course, being nice often takes the form of enabling the abuser to avoid the pain of facing the result of his actions. At times, a parent feeling guilt will actually provide the money for the abuser’s continuing abuse, enabling him to face tremendous danger while he is especially vulnerable.

Tough love does not allow a child to play with a loaded pistol, no matter if the child accuses one of a lack of love. So it is with the family of an abuser.


Active Member
two highlights of that excerpt that hit home are these:

This relieves the anxiety of the family and the abuser, but it establishes a pattern for the addict in the area of problem solving. The abuser now learns that his family is not going to let him suffer the consequences

The abuser can never learn to solve his own problems in a responsible way if the anxiety of the family compels the removal of the problem before the abuser can be brought to face it, and solve it or suffer the consequences.


Well-Known Member
I think we are becoming stronger and stronger in dealing with Cory. I may be completely wrong and we may backslide from time to time...which I am pretty sure is natural but I think we have set forth some very clear goals and expectations from here on out.

He will never live in our house again. He cant. He has broken our trust again and again.

To say he isnt happy about this fact is an understatement but oh well. Tough cookies.

I will do some limited help as far as providing rides to appts to therapy and help getting work and looking for places to live. I wont be his slave.

He may visit his daughter at our house on the weekends but he cannot sleep here at night. When dark falls he must leave. If we are not home, he cannot be here. He cannot take her anywhere without us. He doesnt like this part. Oh well.

Now I realize he could fight me on the part about his child but I dont think he really wants to go down that road. It would be a very bad decision on his part. I would hate to have to have his visitation removed from him. Legally it could get very sticky if he wants to put up too much of a fuss. But dont mess with the wellbeing of my grandchild...I will bite.

He wants to find a small trailer close to where he is going to be working, which is a place that employs guys right out of jail. Then he can walk to work. He doesnt mind walking at all.

He has to make some significant changes in his life before I have much more to do with him. My house is basically in lockdown. I have bought a safe. All my medications are in there...and my cellphones will go in there when not in use. And its big enough for my purse. Sigh.


New Member
My heart goes out to you DJ! I am new here but according to everyone I've heard from that 'tough love' thing really works. You sound as though you have a game plan that may work. I'm going through stuff right now with my son, but nothing like you're having to handle. Keep talking because these people are so very wonderful, kind and supportive. You are in my prayers.

To all you moms who have thrown an adult child out of the house, especially the ones whose kids are using drugs...

A peek into my story:

I abused drugs from an early age. I had my first kid when I was 19, not married, father nowhere to be found. When she was 6 months old, my mom took her from me because I was addicted to cocaine. I never got her back.

I have lived in squalor. I have laid my head down on mattresses that had rats living in them. I slept in gang areas where I was the only anglo saxon there (the rest were Mexican, and spoke not a lick of English. I was out of MY element, there was NO question about it). I spent weeks living in a forest preserve, sleeping on a picnic bench.

My mom tried EVERYTHING. She threatened, she begged, she pleaded, she cried, she whined, she ignored, she beat me...she did everything. I did not seek help until she stopped trying. She could have produced Moses and Noah. Would not have fazed me. I was not ready for help until I was ready for help. And not a second before.

When I was ready, I got the help. And I am clean now. There is hope for ANYONE, yes, even your child. But you have got to let him/her find it for themselves. Detach, and pray.


New Member
My son is 18 and currently in adult jail.

I told him if he completed a year long program after his time in jail, I would help him when he got out.

I quit helping him!!!!! Now he is ready to change



New Member
I think it is so important that new members,or even old members, can learn from our experiences that worked. The same here, my son didn't get help until I stopped helping him.


Active Member
My son's newest thing is not to communicate with us at all. We haven't seen or heard from him in over a month now. Its been that long since he's seen his son too. That is the saddest part for me - his son is gorgeous, the sweetest little boy and looks just like my son when he was his age.

However, our lives go on...our easy child son and his wife just had a little girl this week and we are celebrating at our home this weekend. husband called difficult child last night but he didn't pick up the phone, so husband left a message. We went over to where he was living a couple of weeks ago but he wasn't there or so they said.

Who knows? For me, the anxiety of not knowing if he is okay is the worst part.


Active Member
a friend who helps run the site told me he thinks of these kids as people who live in boxes. when they are around, you unpack the boxes, they leave for one reason or another and their lives go back in the boxes.

I am saving boxes now to pack up ant when he goes back to jail.


call 911

I don't have a son that has abused drugs, I have a son that mentally abused me. However he is 17 and we recently made a stand after he went to jail for 3 robberies. This was not easy because he is my only son. And I had huge guilt over the life that his bio father left us with.

When he got out of jail, he had to come and stay with us. It was either that or face contempt of court. I asked that he go back to Department of Juvenile Justice until a placement was found. Nothing doing. So he came home. It was three weeks of absolute chaos and insanity.

Finally DF called the social worker and pleaded with him to hurry up and gave a sampling of what was happening in one hour. THe social worker really didn't belive it, we said we taped some of it on a camera. If he cared to see it, we'd share. We were not lying.

He moved out for good on Wednesday to a group home oddly enough in the middle of nowhere. (it's odd because we live in a rural community and there was "NEVER ANYTHING TO DO OUT IN THE BOONIES" according to difficult child.

My hope and prayer is this. difficult child is narcasistic and has sociopathic tendencies. I hope that by saying YOU CAN NOT COME BACK HERE, that difficult child will say "Oh yeah?" "I'll show you" and in the process grow up, and show up at our home with an education, a car, and all the things that he SHOULD have at this point in time. What I'm sure he won't realize is he did "it" out of spite and in the process grew up. Then it becomes habit - a good one.

IF anyone has success with this type of parenting I'd be interested to read about it.

Thanks Janet for this post. I needed it very much.