Adult son 33 is homeless, Im Mom, 57, trying so hard to detach, not enable...


New Member
I am in the struggle of my life, trying to set boundaries and watch my son go down hill. He has had many problems with responsibility his whole adult life and we, my husband, his stepdad, have enabled him since he was 18. He has had addiction problems but mostly just severe inability or refusal to deal with life. He was evicted in June from an apt I paid for, and is living in his car that we pay for. (have to, was stupid enough to co pay 1 1/2 years ago.) We have stopped most of support, but I still get sucked in and it is killing me, not to mention affecting my job and marriage. Some days I am so strong and sure I am doing the right thing, other days I am just sad. Im not conflicted about not enabling him anymore; I fully believe this is the right thing to do, but winter is coming and watching him be homeless is so hard. I am getting ready to get a restraining order so he will stop calling me at work; up to 50 times a day!!!! We had to get a no trespassing orderr to keep him from coming to our house to demand money for a hotel. I am a fool but I listen to the voicemails and call him back!!! Im in therapy and reading tons about co dependancy and enabling, but I'm not following the program very well lately. I think codependancy in a parent child relationship is harder to break, especially for a mother. I changed my cell phone number and now have peace on weekends, but come to work to tons of desperate voicemails. His tale lately is that he cant get a job because he has no clean clothes and cant shower: both untrue. I keep telling him to go to mental health clinic. I need peace and I need strengh to watcth this play out.
Dear mom, I can relate because I am a mom who as well has a son just turned 28 with same/ similar issues. I raised my son alone after leaving his father, my husband who was an alcoholic and drug addict as well as very abusive. I know my inability to overcome many of my own problems have affected his life and caused him many if the problems he has atm. However I am/have learned/ am still learning how to put up healthy boundaries as I am in recovery to pain pills for nearly 4 years and getting ready to graduate the program in 6-7 months. I was adopted and abused until I was placed in a group home at 15, but by then the damage was done. I didn't understand the phycology of it until I was in recovery myself, and now I find myself feeling guilty and on occasion giving in by giving him $ because I know I helped put him in this position by my codependency and trauma. Here is a video that helped me a lot. Don't focus on the spiritual part as it may not be for you, rather listen to the mother's word's and heart. Much love, Mom from Pennsylvania



Helicopter Mom in Recovery
You're welcome. I found this board last January, just as everything heated up with my daughter and she was arrested and then lived with us for awhile, then lived in her car, it was horrible. However, with the support of others on this board, I saw that not only was I not alone, but others were going through all the same feelings and fears, resentments, sorrows and nightmares about what COULD happen to our kids. I had to find that strength just as you are right now, it is not natural to have to do what we have to do.

I don't know where you live, but I'm in California and I belong to a very large Health org. called Kaiser, which has a remarkably good codependency program in their chemical dependency network. They have therapists trained in codependency and offer private therapy as well as groups. The groups are wonderful because I am among other mothers who are heartbroken about their kids choices, whether it's because of substance abuse, mental illness or both. We see ourselves in each other and really help one another get through this. It's a year long program which came to me just as all of this was coming to a head. Now that I am (or seem to be and hope to be) passed the worst part, I can look back and really see that without all of that support, I think I would have been suffering a whole lot longer and perhaps maybe not been able to let go at all. I don't know, but what I do know is that the support of trained individuals helped me to see the whole thing through a different perspective, and with support that perspective made more and more sense and helped me to let go and accept. Acceptance is the key, in my opinion. If you have a spiritual network, it's very helpful to utilize prayer and meditation as well.

It goes against so much of what we feel in our hearts that we want to do for our children, it goes against all our instincts to protect and love and nurture and help. It's like trying to stop a run-away train. That's why you need so much support. Look into your health plan and see if anything like that is offered where you live. If your son is mentally challenged as well, look in to the local NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness- that's who I got my daughter hooked up with) they offer support groups for families, for you, and believe me, it helps you to understand, cope, find resources and begin to find peace. Just keep digging until you find the right resources for you. The way out of this, as I see it, in addition to detaching from your son, is to really take EXCELLENT, continuing care of yourself, to get all the support you can so that you can not only detach from him, but have a good, healthy, joyful, peaceful life. You certainly deserve that, especially now, as we are older and close to retirement.

I send you warm wishes and prayers that you find peace and a light heart. Oh, and have a wonderful vacation with your husband and daughter, put this all aside and go have fun! (I went to Kauai when my daughter was homeless, it was hard, but it really helped to break the unhealthy connection) (((HUGS)))
I so need help!


Staff member
I am here to support you. Parenting can be really hard and scary. Hang in there and take care of yourself first. You deserve it.