We don't know what to do 22 year old son

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Quicksand, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    My son is 22, about to turn 23 in one week. He's had similar problems as most of everyone on here, starting at around 13 years old. He has 2 felonies for selling pot when he was 18 and the only reason he has the felonies is because he dropped out of probation, sold his car and hiked the applachain trail. The trail was an accomplishment, but under bad circumstances ( quitting probation). He returned home and did community service and we paid a big fine for his quitting probation. Even while he was on probation he got a misdemeanor for pot possession at 3 am with a girl in some far away town. He returned from his hike, got a job in a restaurant and lived at home fairly peacefully. That lasted about 3 months. The job didn't promote him fast enough so he abruptly quit and got a job in a bar for a few weeks (from what I can gather- now after the fact). He moved in with his girlfriend (her apartment) and we didn't see him all of the time, so, things seemed ok, but that was because we weren't seeing him on a daily basis. Then in June, he wanted to go to California to hike with some trail buddies and asked for a plane ticket there and back as an early b day gift. He said his job had no problem with him taking a week off. So we got him the ticket. The day he arrived home, he told us he was going to break up with his girlfriend. (To backtrack) his plans were to go to barber school in August and live away from home (because it's too far to commute) which dad and I were going to pay for. We were to pay for the school, the apartment and he was to get a job on the weekends. I implored him to not immediately go back to his apartment and dump his girlfriend, but he did it anyway. He said she wanted him out immediately and he needed to come home. We said ok.we stipulated that he was to continue working, help around the house and no girls over here.that lasted for about 3 weeks. Today is the day we were going to move him to his apartment and sign the lease and he would have started school on August 10. The past two weeks have been miserable. He stopped working out, which seemed to help him with mental distress and being distracted. My daughter went to his "job" and they didn't even know who he was. But he has money. He started bringing many unknown (to us) girls here and having sex with them while we weren't home. He had loud, disgusting sex while my 21 year old daughter was here with him and another time while her friend was here waiting for my daughter. He stole my daughters Xanax which she keeps strict control of and takes as directed if not less. He friends younger brother told my daughter that my son sold him Xanax and that he used to think he was cool until they were at some girls apartment and my son had loud, embarrassing sex with a girl while there. He makes no attempt to hide it. My husband was out of this was out of the f town on business and my son brought a girl over, I said you can sit on the deck, but she can't come in. No girls in the house at 11 at night! He did it anyway and had sex with her. He was on some kind of drug because I could tell, I directly asked him- "you don't look right, are you on drugs" - he said, I'm just excited to go to school.I told him she had to go and I was very unhappy about the disrespect, so he took off with her and we did not hear from him until yesterday after I told him he needed to come home to have a pow wow and he hasn't made any effort to gather his things for the move. Last night he showed up at 8 pm obviously on something and we started to try to talk to him to see what is going on. He denied everything- the stealing pills, the overt, irresponsible sex etc. He actually admitted to the sex stuff because he wanted to know who told us (he didn't even consider one of the times it was when I was here). I told him your sister expressed concern because she witnessed it and her friend did too. His immediate response was - she's a fvcking snitch! My husband told him that he was not to approach her about this, but he told him fvck that- I'm going to right now. Thankfully she wasn't home. He was told this wasn't about revenge, this is about him getting some help, it doesn't matter who said what, it's that his actions are unhealthy and he was in no uncertain terms to get in his sisters face. He stormed off and called her and left a message saying that she a snitch and that she is now :censored2: because she :censored2: up! He returned home 20 mins. Later and wanted yes or no am I going to school. We said that we can't have him 2 hours away selling pills and bringing home multiple girls and being completely irresponsible. Told him he needs to get a diagnosis and some treatment and that doing the school thing was contingent on going to treatment alongside school. He balked at that. Said we are the sick ones, that it's completely normal to have multiple sex,partners in a weeks time and that he was taking Xanax for fun. A big blow out before embarking on school! He refused to admit he was selling drugs, but I know that's a lie. He tried to say my daughters friend liked listening to him have sex and told him so. He related this to us in a month st filthy,crude way. He said the apartment that we got for him was a dump (it isn't) anyway so what does it matter how many chicks he brings home. I said bottom line - you need help. You have to get help. He mocked my husband when he was talking and said is it yes or no? Am I going tomorrow or not? I said please give dad and I a minute to talk and he zoomed off, leaving his wallet, cigarettes and backpack behind. I didn't notice it was here until this morning. We were supposed to leave here at 9 am this morning and at 10 he texted my husband- am I going or not? Husband said- you need to come here so we can talk. His response was I will be there sometime today. The fact that he would sell drugs after having 2 felonies tells me that he doesn't have any fear of jail and the inappropriate sex and no shame or remorse makes me think he's a sociopath.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Whatever diagnosis he may have is the least important thing.

    He is running circles around you and your husband, degrading your family in your own home. That must stop NOW.
    You already had all the information you needed, when he violated probation after the felony convictions. He told you by that, that he could care less.

    What is that famous quote? When somebody tells you who they are, believe them. He has told you over and over again who he is. You are not listening.

    You are letting your love for him, your fear and your hope, carry the day. He is mocking you. It is hurting rather than helping. He thinks he is the big man. All of your faith in him fuels his grandiose fantasies of power and invincibility.

    All of this must stop:
    He is dealing drugs, and you are paying his living expenses? Stop it.
    He does not listen to one word you say. Stop negotiating and setting rules. He is not listening. Not to one thing. Stop talking. It is meaningless. He is mocking you. He could care less what you say. He is in charge.

    You must stop everything. He is controlling the game.
    This is such horrible disrespect. Reading this here, do you see what he is doing? He is doing whatever he wants, irregardless of who he hurts.

    What to do?

    I would not let him in the house, not for one minute.

    I would withdraw any support to him. All of it. No money. No rent. No car payment. No car insurance. No health insurance. Nothing.

    I would think long and hard about what I said to him. I would think long and hard whether to see him at all or under what conditions.

    Others will reply and there will be a consensus and you can see what makes sense to you.

    Quicksand, absolutely, I do understand what you are going through. You should not endure one more minute of it.

    The inmates have taken over the asylum. As long as they are in charge there will be havoc and destruction.

    Do not negotiate anymore with your son. He is not able or is unwilling to participate with integrity. You must take back control.'

    I am sorry you are going through this but I am glad you are here. Keep posting. Keep us posted. We care.
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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  3. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    Thank you, Copacabana. Exactly what I needed. I read what you wrote to my husband and he got pretty quiet.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This young man is very messed up and disrespectful of you and he sounds dangerous to his sister or maybe anyone. He is not ready to change. I would not worry that letting him into the house, even for a minute, may result in his doing illegal deeds, but that he can bring seriously dangerous enemies and friends into your house, chasing him for unpaid drug money or holding stuff that, since it is YOUR house, can get YOU arrested. When my daughter was on drugs, she hung around with criminals who mostly ended up in jail and prison and could have been a danger to all of us. But we didn't find out how bad it was until she quit. Then she told us. Don't assume your son is not a danger to you, if only because of what he does and who he knows.
    See him at Starbucks if you want to talk to him. Don't let him into your house.

    Change the locks.

    Do not give him a dime. What did he do to deserve your hard earned money? He can get a job. I assume he is able-bodied. He may be already making good money from selling drugs. My daughter says "If you use, you sell." I can not verify the truth of that, but I believe her now. She has no reason to lie and does not lie anymore.

    You want your name on a lease where he will bring criminals? Where he may trash the place? You want to be responsible?

    Be uber honest with yourself.

    Do you truly see your son working hard at going to school right now? I would not even entertain that idea. If he wants to go, like my daughter who quit taking drugs, he can take out a loan and get a grant. She did all this without even telling us because she had grown up by then...the drugs were gone. She did not expect us to take care of her anymore.

    If he drives anything in your name, remove it. He can walk, learn public transportation or ride his bike. Anything in your name that he uses is a threat to YOU. On top of that, he will drive impaired and could kill himself or somebody else because you gave him a way to use a vehicle when he should not be driving at all. My daughter was in three car crashes. One was so serious that she owed the lady she hit $14,000 long after she stopped drugs. Luckily for us, we had long since refused to let her into our car and she had been driving a rather ignorant "friend's" car. She is lucky that last time that nobody was killed. Since she quit drugs, she has had no accidents at all in over ten years.

    Do not spend all your retirement money on this young man. He will do nothing until he is ready and when he is ready he will do it without your help. If he is never ready, at least you kept your retirment and can still learn to enjoy the rest of your life even with one of your adult children in trouble. It is HIS trouble, not yours anymore. Do not refuse to live a happy, productive, fun life because your son is struggling. You still have to take care of your own wants and needs. You need to enjoy yourselves, regardless of him.

    I would have no more talks to with him. He knows how to "play" you and especially Dad. Dad is fairly in denial. I'd be very unhappy with my husband for not listening to my wishes over my son's.

    The most caring think both of you can do for your son is to let him go and learn how to do life on his own, even if it gets rough. He's the one making it so rough. Eventually he will catch on or not, but HE will decide his fate. You won't. You can't.

    Your husband, more than you, needs to understand that giving into your son is just making life worse for the rest of you and not helping Son one bit.

    Hugs for your hurting hearts.
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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Quick, I am so sorry to hear about all you are dealing with.

    I can only tell you what I would do if I were in your situation, I would tell him he has to move out and that you will not be paying for any school or apt. He is not your responsibility and the more you try to "help" him the more you actually hurt him.
    You and your husband tried helping him but it then turned into enabling him.

    He is being completely disrespectful of you, your husband, your daughter and your home.

    One thing I have learned is no matter how hard we try to get our adult children to see that the way they are living their life is out of control the more they will dig their heels in. We as parents have NO control over our adult children and the choices they make. We do have control over our own lives.
    You have tried to be an influence to your son and he has made a choice to discount you and live his life in the way he wants. This is when you have to let go.

    There is an article at the top of the Parent Emeritus page on detachment. I highly suggest you read it.
    You do not deserve to be treated the way he is treating you.

    I hope you will be able to find some peace.

    Keep posting and let us know how things are going. We are here for you and we care.

    ((HUGS)) to you............................
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  6. Seeking Peace

    Seeking Peace Member


    I absolutely agree with everyone's input. As I read your post, all I kept thinking is he has no respect for any of you. Then I wondered why you would pay for not only school, but an apartment too (to which he is clearly ungrateful considering he called it a dump). But I know why. I totally understand why you would, and many of us have continued to...we just want them to be okay. We think if we do this, or do that....maybe it will turn out differently. It won't. It will not be different until he wants it to be. Then only HE can make it right. Love him. Stop enabling. I know it's easier said then done. But it's essential.

    Let me just say this...keeping your son in your house, or in an apartment will not keep him any safer than him bouncing between friend's houses, shelters, etc. He does the same behaviors right in front of you. So, release that worry.
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  7. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    He never did show up today, a few minutes ago, he sent a text to my husband saying: so there's no chance I can go and you cancelled the lease? That's all I want to know.
    Pretty much proof that you all are right.
    I do not want him back in the house. It really means so much to me that there are people like you guys out there.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I love my son dearly but I don't want him in my house either. If my son were to show up on my doorstep tonight I would not invite him in. I would be happy to see him but I value my sense of peace in my home and having him here would cause to much anxiety.

    This isn't a problem about loving our children, it's about trusting them. Once they have damaged/destroyed our trust in them our relationship with them is forever changed.

    You are getting ready to embark on a new journey and it can be very rocky but you are not alone, we are here for you. It's time for you to take your life back. You can do this!!
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  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When all we are is their personal ATM, it's time to give the relationship a rest. If they never ask about us or their siblings or do anything except talk about their own needs and what we can do for them, it is a good idea to go low contact until things change. We have a right to be treated like people, not their banks.

    This is not uncommon with the adult kids here, by the way.
  10. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    Finally, Last night, i texted him that he needs to come get his wallet at the very least and I said its in the garage with his stuff.I said to come get it last night. I looked through the stuff in his wallet, in there were a few love notes from the girl that he had dumped. One of them said- I'm sorry I'm a bad girlfriend, I love you so much etc- but I my heart aches when you say you want to kill yourself. I don't know what to do, you're great- etc. That rattled me and I spent most of the night looking for him to show up. When I woke up at 5am, I checked the garage and his stuff was still here. I drove to his (ex)girlfriends apartment just to see if he was there. His car was there which made me feel a little better. At 9:30 this morning I called and he didn't answer but texted back - you called? I called again and he answered.
    I told him he needed to be here by 1 to get whatever he needed and we'd hold the rest for him. I told him he is not allowed to come back into this house and whenever that might be, I'll decide. I said he needs to get on with his life. My husband and I were on the back deck and I went in the house for a minute and by the time I came back out he had been here and gone. My husband said- he said hi and my son said hi, went into the garage loaded up his personal effects and drove away.
    That's it. I feel like I'm in a (bad)dream.
  11. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    Let me just say this...keeping your son in your house, or in an apartment will not keep him any safer than him bouncing between friend's houses, shelters, etc. He does the same behaviors right in front of you. So, release that worry.[/QUOTE]

    Exactly right and exactly what is my mantra. He's gone for days and days anyway and he does whatever he wants whether he's here or somewhere else. So, why carry that burden of worry.
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would try hard to not call or text again for the time being. All of the solutions are for him to find. There is nothing more to do to help him.
    This is very hard. I know.

    The thing is this: You know that you do not hold any solutions to whatever his despair is. That essentially supporting him, you could not help him one bit. The solutions are in him. He needs to decide to get treatment or to live in a way that strengthens him rather than degrades him.

    The choice is his.

    I am having a very hard time, too. Because I fear that my son may lack the capacity to change.

    How will the rest of my life be then? Watching my son sleeping on one couch after another? Never working. Never enough money to finish the month. One loony conspiracy theory after another.

    How can I go about my life, when my son is suffering?

    And I am finding the answer. Dignity.

    It will never, ever be the right thing to let my son degrade me or to break me. It will never be the right thing for me to fall, because he has fallen. And the same is true for you.

    Human dignity in the face of suffering.

    Dignity is a big enough word to stand alone. I will choose that.
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  13. Quicksand

    Quicksand Active Member

    He sent me a text:
    I love you.
    I know I've been leading a crazy lifestyle lately.
    I've been battling demons for a long time but I know how to hide it.

    He also texted dad: I love you.

    We both responded with : I love you.
    I added what you said- the solutions are within you and it's up to you to seek treatment or decide to live your life in a way that strengthens you, rather than degrades you.

    I believe what he wrote but my gut told me it was another try at manipulating my heart strings. He's done this before- after he creates chaos, he will fall on the sword, but it never sticks. It's always back to the same old destructive behavior. That will be my last text to him for the time being.

    I cannot express how wonderful you are for the support and compassion. I hope your son will find peace. Much love to you and all of the hurting parents out there.
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  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Many of our DCs threaten suicide and most are not serious. My son has threatened it and told me that he has tried a few times. I do not have any proof that he did. I do know that some will use this as a tool of manipulation. What better way to get someone to feel sorry for you than threatening suicide.
    I have also learned that if the threat is made to tell them a call to the police will be made and more times than not they will not "threaten" this again.

    You are doing great! You stood your ground and got him out of your house. Be prepared for him to call wanting money with the sob stories to go with it.
    Be prepared to say no. Keep your answers simple and short.
    It can also be helpful to write it down like a script.
    Son - Mom I need money
    You - No
    Son - but I'm going to starve to death I have nothing to eat
    You - go to a shelter
    Son - I know you have money, if you loved me you would give it to me
    You - I do love you and I said no, there's someone at the door I need to go now goodbye. (now turn your phone off for a while)

    The reason it's best to keep answers and conversation simple is because our DCs are masters at drawing us into debates and arguments and if they can wear us down, get us confused then we just might give into their demands.

    Stay close and let us know how you are doing.
  15. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is very common behavior and very manipulative.
    You have a really good grasp on this and that is a good thing.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am glad for you that he texted he loves you.

    Whether he was manipulating or not does not matter.

    He will do what he does. Or not. His choice.

    You will take care of yourselves and each other and your family. There is no role in this for you anymore.

    This takes real muscle to keep focused and strong enough. These are our children. It is so hard to feel as if we are turning away from them. But it is they who turned away from us. From what we taught them and that which they know is right.

    We must remind them by our strength of what we and they know to be true. Doing the right thing matters. He knows what to do. You taught him.

    Any changing of course must come from your son. Your job now is to keep the faith, while you protect yourselves and each other.

    Stay with us. Keep posting. Let us know how you are and how things are going. I wish you the best.
  17. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    I second this. I used to be a barista at Starbucks; all stores have video cameras, and the employee handbook has guidelines for dealing with customers who get out of hand. For all the bad things one can say about the chain, I can always trust that place to be the safest spot to meet unknown or questionable people.
  18. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member


    Hello and Welcome!

    Rest assured that you have done the right thing by not paying for his Barber School tuition/living expenses.

    It would do no more good than throwing the $ down the drain and turning on the disposal.

    Drug addicts don't care about getting degrees.

    They do care about getting $ for drugs and a car to go get them in, and an apartment to do them in, though.

    If his vehicle/insurance is in your name, I would take care of that immediately, so you aren't liable for any accidents he may cause.

    Keep posting.

    It helps
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Nerfie, thanks for the info. Honestly, I just pulled Starbucks out of the air, but if I ever need to meet somebody I don't know for any reason and I don't even like to ask insurance agents into our home, I will meet at a Starbucks!!!Good info!
  20. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Quicksand, I am catching up with your thread. First, welcome to the forum. We are glad you're here, even though we wish you didn't need to be.

    We so understand. My son has said many of the things to me that your son has said to you. My son's behavior was completely outrageous and unacceptable, but I didn't see it for a long time. What you know is the tip of the iceberg. Our adult DCs who are using drugs and are in deep trouble keep a lot from us, and that's actually good. It doesn't matter all of the things he has done, what matters is the BEHAVIOR that you see. Words are cheap. Don't believe them for a minute.

    Except I love you. Take it at face value and let it stand on its own. You love him. He loves you. This I believe. Drug addicts and alcoholics, unfortunately, will use our love and their love to manipulate us to the nth degree. We fall for it, over and over and over, thinking "this time." This time.

    A few thoughts: Stop the flow of money. No more money. Tell him he can't live there anymore. He needs to be on his own and you're not willing to pay for any kind of education right now. If he wants that, he can pay for it himself or you can consider it later, after he cleans up his life.

    My son has two felonies for selling drugs and multiple misdemeanors and was homeless multiple times, and in jail multiple times. At the time (over six years) I thought I would die from the pain and despair of it all, but there are worse things than felonies and jail and homelessness. He survived. Your son can survive. There is a lot of help for people out there, food, shelter, clothing, medical care etc.

    My son threatened suicide multiple times. I realize he could have been serious any of those times, or all of them, but in my heart of hearts, I never thought he wanted to kill himself or actually would. But, I took each threat seriously and called the police each time.

    Step away from your son right now. It will likely get worse before it gets better. People don't like boundaries and they don't like change. They will fight back with all they have. You will have to become very strong and learn how to calm yourself and get very clear about what you will and will not tolerate. And that will take time, and lots of steps forward and back.

    Today, my 26 year old son is doing much better. He is actually living a productive life, working full time, living in his own place and cleaning up all of the messes he has made. I am cautiously optimistic.

    Please keep sharing here. We get it, and we care. No judgment here, only ideas, support, compassion and a way forward.
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