Been a while, but I'm sure few of you will be surprised that I'm back to square one


I'm sorry it's been so long since I posted. There was a small hope that my 21 yo difficult child (soon to be a father on September 30) was on the right path. Wishful thinking on my part.

He was trying to get in the National Guard...and the recruiter was giving him high hope, even with his police record. Well, it ended up being a no go. They won't enlist him. Sigh. But, that's his fault for the poor choices he's made.

He has signed up with a few temporary services, and has been doing warehouse work. Of course, everybody he works with smokes marijuana, so he says. He was making decent progress with one temp job, until he told his supervisor "Today is not the day to be telling me how to do my job".
Yep! That's my son! Holds nothing back. Not to me. Not to his superiors. Not to anybody. He was aggravated, supposedly, because everyone else was "just sitting around", and he felt he was being picked on. WHATEVER! He has a POOR excuse for everything! Naturally, his supervisor told him to hit the road! to the next temp agency. They find a job for him, and he gets to pick between the 10:00 PM - 7:00 AM shift or the 5:00 AM - 1:00 PM shift, and it's 35 minutes from the house. He is NOT a morning person, and has previously lost a job for not being able to get there on time. He chose the 5:00 AM shift, although I reminded him more than once of his inability to get up on time. He started last week. This morning, I got up at 6:00 and noticed his truck still out front. I rush upstairs and bang on his door. He opens and I'm frantic... "why aren't you at work???". His reply... "my alarm didn't go off". Me..."Have you called them to let them know you're running late?" Him..."I called twice, nobody answered'. So, I slammed the door and went downstaris. I started getting really agitated, so I went back up and asked him why he wasn't rushing to get to work. He said "I'm super tired". WHAT??? So you just don't go to work? I walked out saying "I'm super tired too, son. Super tired of your irresponsible ways". I don't know what will happen, but I imagine he may lose that job.

As far as drugs, he has gotten away from the spice. But he's back to smoking marijuana. He was arrested AGAIN after getting busted in a park for buying weed. He's been back to court twice. They keep giving him more time to get an attorney. I AM NOT helping him with any of that! No way, no how. But if he shows up without an attorney on August 28, there's a good chance his license will be suspended. And from his nonchalant attitude about it, I think he's ok with that. No license means he can't go to work, and he gets to stay home and play video games! ARGHHHH Oh, did I mention that I had taken away his favorite video game several months ago? Guess what he did with his last paycheck? Bought the same exact game...and spent the rest on gas and weed!

I've had to put up florescent sticky notes all over my house reminding him to turn off the oven/stove, and to lock the door when he leaves. Guess what? He STILL forgets to lock the doors. I'll come home, and the front and back door will both be unlocked.

One last thing (If I haven't already lost your interest), he informed me last week that everything I say to him goes in one ear and out the other. He also said he tunes me out about a minute after I start talking. That's nice to know. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!!!!!! I was doing SO good, but now having to learn detachment all over again. It was getting easy. But then I look at him, and try to imagine him homeless, sleeping in a park...and my heart breaks all over again.

Thank you SO much for listening. I'm all ears...please give me all the advice you have!


I originally submitted this in the Substance Abuse forum, but thought it was also fitting for this forum, being that he is an adult difficult child.

I would also like to add that he rarely does what's asked of him around the house, UNLESS he needs gas money. This morning I sent him a text asking him to get rid of this nasty chair that one of his friends gave him, that's been sitting in my garage. I get home from work and it's still there. I've told him time and time and time again to put his dirty dishes in the dishwasher. That very seldom gets done. 2 weeks ago, before he started this new job, I had asked him to mow the backyard before I got home from work. I get home, yard isn't mowed, he had moved his playstation in the den...was laying on the couch with his leg propped over the arm, looking all stoned, playing his game. Dirty dishes were in the sink, garbage can in the kitchen overflowing from all the food he'd eaten that day. I confronted him, and instead of going to cut the yard, he got in his truck and left. I feel like I'm raising a 2 year old that smokes weed. Pulling hair painful strand at a time.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome back Wakegirl. I'm sorry I don't recall the details of your former posts, however, unless there are some extenuating circumstances, it certainly sounds like your son needs a giant wake up call. You may want to begin by reading the article at the bottom of my post here on detachment. Then, as a support for you, you might want to get yourself into some kind of therapy, a support group, al anon, narc anon, family anonymous, something to get you back on YOUR track.

It sounds like you've given yourself two options and no more. One, you remain a hostage to your sons whims and continue feeling resentment while you watch your life slip away. And the second option is that he is homeless while your heart breaks. I believe that when we only give ourselves those kind of dramatic resolutions, all it serves to do is keep us stuck because both options are negative.

There are other options, and they require change and difficult choices. There are homeless shelters, friends couches.........difficult child's have a very good track record for finding ways to keep themselves off of the streets and if they don't, they learn to survive in the street culture. Your son is a man, he is 20 and by your own admission he is entitled. He is not going to do ANYTHING to change the situation because it works for him. It doesn't work for you so YOU must change it. How you do that is you figure out what your boundaries and rules are. You present them to him. In the event, (and it is likely) that he will not comply with your rules you then present the consequences which you've already investigated. One option is eviction. You will need to research what that means in your state so that if you need a court order, even for your adult child, you know what to do to get it. Once you have all your ducks in order, you know what you want, you've laid out the rules as YOU see them, then you will need to follow up with consequences. Life has consequences for our behavior. If he has no consequences then he will not learn nor will he change. Unfortunately the only one who can change any of this is YOU which means you have to learn to STOP ENABLING HIM.

If you want your life back then you will need to take ACTION. And that action is hard for us parents. You will need to face your fears about where your son lands if he can't comply with what you want. Most of us need professional help to do that because it is really difficult to let go.

I've been very direct. You're stuck. The way to get unstuck is to face the situation head on, learn how to detach, make strong, unbreakable boundaries, follow through on consequences and get yourself help for all of the above. Otherwise find a way to get used to living the way you are, because we live with what we allow. You don't deserve to live this way, but only YOU can change it.

scent of cedar

New Member
Has your son refused treatment?

Make that a condition of his being able to stay with you.

Set a date, and stick to it.

When our son was using drugs, he changed into someone else, altogether. It was like he'd been kidnapped by someone who looked a little like him. More than once, we sent him off with a car, money, and the cost of getting into an apartment we co-signed on for 6 months.

Nothing worked.

When we said he needed to be in school if he was going to stay with us? It turned out he knew more than the professors.


He refused treatment, too.

The last time we sent him off, he was in his late twenties. We did not hear from him for a very long time. In his early thirties, he turned himself around on his own. It was nothing we had done, because we had given up. He is still struggling, still not where his (non-difficult child) friends are...but he made it.

If we had not sent him off, if we had not (finally) made it clear that he had been raised better and we were not going to engage with him until he lived up to what we had raised him to be, he would probably still be using, would probably still be financially dependent, angry, and miserable.

It is hard to see our kids like this. We never felt right about it, whatever we did. As difficult child got older though (and meaner, and more demanding and resentful) it was such a relief to have him gone (every time we finally got him to leave!) that we did what we should have done in the first place.

Each of us reaches that point in her own time.

I know it is so hard.