Worried grandmother


New Member
Our grandson is 19. His biological father wanted nothing to do with him. Our daughter was married when Brian was 2 and was adopted by this man. He has been brought up being belittled and bullied by this man most of his life whenever his mother was not around. When Brian would say anything his "father" would say he was lying. This has all been witnessed by a step brother, sister and myself but his mother always takes his father's sign.
Brian has a bad temper and his father would look for an opportunity to get him upset. Yelling when he took 2 napkins instead of one is just one example. About 2 months ago Brian was doing what his mother told him to do and his father was upset because it delayed his dinner. Anyway, one thing lead to another and the arguing was on. It was so bad the Brian was kicked out of his house. His mother was upset but agreed with his father. He has been living with us since.
We feel we are walking on egg shells, he does not like to be asked a lot of questions. He is very bitter and seems like he is full of hate with a large chip on his shoulder. I do not think he is using drugs, but I am not positive. He says he drinks and while we have told him we do not agree with it, we have asked him to never drive after he has been drinking and he has agreed.
Then today, he was laid off from his job because he has too many points on his license and is not allowed to drive company vehicles
He was in a very bad mood and we tried to talk to him and calm him down before he left and did something dumb, but just ended in a big argument. He left, I am so worried and scared. I don't know how to handle any of this. All I do is pray for his safety. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to start? I believe he is on the path to self-destruction.


Well-Known Member
If he is unwilling to alter his behavior or get therapy, there is nothing you can do. We can only change ourselves, not other people. You could not change your daughter and you won't be able to change your grandson. He needs to WANT to change. Until then, you have to decide what you can live with and set the rules. I assume you are not a kid, like I'm not. You have to take care of your own health and well being.

You can't control what your grandson does when he is not at home, but you can insist he not be drunk or high in your house, that he pay rent, that he help with chores, and that he be respectful. If he isn't, then you have other options.

He is not responsible for his mother's bad choices, but it is up to him to take the necessary steps to heal from his upbringing. At his age, nobody can do anything for him. He has to do it for himself. Who pays for his cell phone, his driving, his insurance, his driving tickets? He probably needs to find another job ASAP as he is old enough to be doing all that.

I'm sorry you are going through this and please think of yourself. If your grandson wants to self-destruct, he will do it. You have the option of not allowing to do it under your roof, but that is the only option you have. I assume you've been kind and emotionally supportive. If he is still determined to self-destruct you can either watch him do it or make the decision to tell him he has three months or so to find a place to stay if he can not take better care of himself.

As Copa said, many of us have had to deal with horrible upbringings. Not everyone who has inept, uncaring parents decides to deal with it by self-destructing, although it certainly makes your life more challening. I am a huge believer in therapy and getting help. If he were my grandson, if he did not treat me with respect and go for therapy, and if I saw no change in a certain number of months, then I would ask him to leave, giving him a list of all the homeless shelters and places that feed the homeless. Right now he has a soft bed. All he has to do to keep it is to follow your rules, you know?

Your house/your rules. I would not count on him to not drink when he is not home, if he is self-medicating. If you feel he is abusing alcohol, which is every bit as destructive as any drug, you can tell him to go to AA or a rehab, but don't pay for it. Don't lose your retirement over him. He can find community resources if he really wants it.

Do you feel threatened by his anger? Does he break things? Assault people? Put holes in the wall? Is he mean to animals? Does he go after you with verbally violent words? Do you live alone?

I do not know anything bout his father and your daughter, but if he gets violent, I do not blame them for kicking him out. That is a safety issue.

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Well-Known Member
At 19, there will be options available to him that he didn't have when he was a minor. IF he wants help, there is help available. Given what little you have told us of his growing up, counseling would probably help, if he is willing for the process. But I would strongly recommend a MALE counselor, if you can find it.