Hello everyone! I hope that we are all staying safe and are well during these very challenging times. I have not been here in a very long time and wanted to post an update (those who don't know my story can read my post history, it's very long and convoluted). The last time I updated, my oldest stepson, DS, had been kicked out of a sober living halfway house due to flagrant violations of their rules. He moved in with us (his mother and myself) after that and the last I posted he was thankful for the reprieve, grateful to us, very active in his AA community and well behaved. He held down a part time job, obtained his high school diploma, and enrolled in community college. Since then, things have remained largely okay; however, there are signs (to me) that the honeymoon is ending and DS' problem behaviors are potentially returning, as I knew they would; his issues are cyclical and it was only a matter of time before the boomerang turned once again. We are not at a crisis point yet, but I suspect that it is possible we may get there in time. Then again it's also possible that we can make the necessary adjustments, that DS will accept them, and that he will continue moving along what has been the most positive and productive path he has EVER walked, going back to when I first entered his life, when he was in middle school. In January DS began his college classes. He was also gifted a used, but not inexpensive, car by family members, so that he could transport himself back and forth to school. We were concerned that a vehicle was too big a responsibility too soon but thus far it SEEMS to be going all right. We pay his insurance and he pays all other expenses related to the car. When DS started school he dramatically cut back on his hours at work. His classes all end by noon and he is working two days per week at the most. So he has a lot of unstructured time on his hands - which is not a good thing for him. Added to this, there was some drama in his primary group of sober friends (not involving him) which resulted in a splintering of said friend group, so DS is not as socially active as he was over the summer and fall. He's still attending meetings, but not as many as before. W has chosen to take a laissez-faire approach and assume that DS is doing everything he is supposed to be doing. But the truth is, we don't know. When he was in HS we could log into the school's app and see whether or not he was attending class or turning in his assignments. Now, he is an adult and we don't have any right to that information. The only way we will know is if he tells us and there is no way to know if he will be honest. Both W and I leave the house before DS, so while we ASSUME he is attending his classes - the truth is we really don't know. DS has taken to staying up way past midnight every single night; when he first came to us his work schedule was such that he needed to go to bed by 10 or so. I think he needs a schedule; DS has always required structure and without it he has, in the past, gone off the rails given enough time. I am codependent and tend to be very controlling and to butt my nose into things that don't concern me directly. When DS moved in with us, I did some very serious reflecting and I decided (and still maintain) that the healthy thing for me to do is let W do the parenting and step in only if one of my bottom line boundaries, related to my safety or that of our pet/my possessions, is being trampled. Thus far none of that has happened, not even close. But I did suggest to DS last night that he go to bed a bit earlier - he is obsessed with video games and plays them for hours on end, without a break, lately; this is another concern, as he used to go to meetings/out with friends during his evenings and now he's usually holed up alone playing video games. At any rate, he reacted poorly - first he told me no, that he would not go to bed at 11, and when I suggested his video game habit was becoming obsessive, he stormed away from his console and over his shoulder said, "I'll prove to you that I am not obsessed," and on his way to his room said sarcastically to W that her TV habit was worse than his gaming. He then closed himself off in his room. For a few reasons I rarely sleep all the way through the night. I woke up at 1 AM and DS was back on his console gaming. I chose to let it go. He was still at it at 2 AM. By 3 AM he was back in his room, I assume asleep. I can't completely fault him for his snotty and rude response to me as I did spring it on him suddenly; W probably needs to sit him down and tell him that we are imposing an 11PM curfew if that is what SHE thinks is best for her child, and I need to butt out if W doesn't agree with that. What concerns me more is DS's defensiveness and sneaky behavior around the gaming. Addiction is a behavior and the object of addiction can change; he is acting like an addict but instead of using substances, now he's gaming. DS had a paper due this week. When he was high school aged, he would flat out refuse to do his work, insisting he shouldn't be subject to the same rules as other students because of his superior intellect. This led to him failing his entire junior year and ultimately dropping out of HS; when he came to live with us we decided to homeschool him to graduation which we did and to his credit, he did the work. Now he is exhibiting the same behavior and making the same excuses about his college assignments. Which is not a surprise. I think W in particular believed that DS' legal trouble and short time behind bars transformed him completely; but as a more detached observer, I pretty much figured his lifelong patterns of behavior would re-emerge once he was settled and felt a bit safer. And it seems like this is now happening. The question is: a) how bad will it get and b) how will W and I respond. This is what's happening at the moment. Again, I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy.