Disowning adult children - when is enough enough ?? any thoughts ?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by jisduit, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. jisduit

    jisduit New Member

    Glad I came across this comfy place that I visited daily for so long during the years of hell that I went through with my oldest son – my difficult child as I called him then not feeling that so much now.
    I honestly want to disown him and never have contact with him again to protect my sanity and my daughters well being.
    A brief history – at age 11 – I heard consistently “[email protected]^$% YOU make me” and had to lock myself in my room while sleeping because he wanted me dead and hid knives between his mattress and box spring. At age 12-15, I battled CPS (child protective services) and the Courts to take custody, I filed a chins petition – it took forever. In order for him to get services he had to be a “mandated child”. He spent 10 months with a wonderful foster family that specialized with defiant children until they said “we cant anymore”. These were great people – I still to this day chat with her. Age 16 he went to a residential wilderness program, which I also highly praise – they really did a lot for him. He was there for 19 months. He actually came back home after that, graduated high school, started college even, was respectful (you wouldn’t believe it was the same child). Well then that magic 18 hit and he knew everything – started back using drugs, lying, stealing – you name it. There was an instance that I called the police because he wouldn’t leave my house, he pushed me, I threw my coffee on him and he had me arrested. When he was 22, it came to my attention that he made sexual advances to his younger brother who was 8-9 ish at the time but at the present was 17. I also have a little girl, that he later sexually assaulted – she was about three at the time. I had protective orders against him, tried getting charges filed but the detective told me that unless he confessed, they couldn’t do anything because my daughter was too young to articulate what happened to her (she talked about bubby smacking her peepee). I did drive 1 ½ hours to speck with his employer – he was a personal assistant to a family which he cared for 4 young children. They couldn’t get me out of their house quick enough.
    Fast forward 2 years – he is in jail – is anyone shocked ? 11 felony counts all relating to sexual assaults against children (yes the ones he was caring for). Last month he pleaded guilty to 6 counts of aggravated sexual battery against a child under the age of 13 – sentencing is scheduled this month – he will be getting 120 years, 110 suspended, 70 years probation, sex offender register, no unsupervised contact with children. I was writing him in jail and visiting, even put some money on his account. I wrote him after his trial and explained that I do not have an obligation to send him money for his snacks and that I would only send for his birthday and Christmas. I got a really nasty letter back – doesn’t want me to come to sentencing, doesn’t want me to come see him, doesn’t want me to write, and asked me if I was happy now because I got what I wanted – he was gonna be locked up for a while. I have not responded to his letter and he has since written the Im sorry letter. I don’t plan writing him or visiting him in jail. I have had enough. I am going to his sentencing hearing but because I need to hear that for me – even though its not for my daughter – its still justice in a way. I will hear that he wont be a threat to any children for at least 10 years.
    To the present – so I want to disown him – I have two house, some savings that I do not want to leave any portion to him. I want everything to go to my other two children. I don’t want to explain him to anyone – I want to when asked how many kids do you have to say “just two”.
    I have been in counseling since he was first arrested in May 2012 – I initially went to help me set limits and not allow him to manipulate me.
    I think it’s a sound decision but still feeling that dreaded guilt and ask “did I do enough to try and help him”.
    Any thoughts ?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Do did all you could to help him. People can't be helped unless they want the help, want to change, want to get better.

    I'm so sorry you and your family have had to go through so very much. It should not have to be like that.

    As per disowning him, I can understand that after all he has put you and his siblings through. My sister reached the same place with her son several years ago. No one blames her. We all know him for who he is.........sad. But sometimes you have little choice to protect yourself and those you love. There is nothing wrong with wanting to put your lives back together again in a chance for peace and happiness.

    If you want to legally disown him, hire a good lawyer to word it correctly in your will. I know it can be done, I know it can be made airtight. It's all in the wording. mother in law did it with Katie.

    Hopefully difficult child will use his time locked up to seek help for himself and become a better person. After my nephew......I'm too jaded to really think he will, but you never know.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    You definitely shouldhave a lawyer help you. Besides disowning him in your will, you will also want a living will that specifically excludes him from making any decisions for you and your minor children if you are incapacitated. When your kids turn 18, they should have a similar living will.

    I had a daughter who is now 18 year old (no longer listed in my signature because I do say 'I have three children'). The idea that she could decide anything about my healthcare, life, etc-- yikes!
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  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I won't acknowledge a child who walked out of our lives six years ago. I say I have four kids, not five. I'm not interested in ever seeing him again. he hurt too many people too deeply. If he ever gains empathy, feels guilty, and wants to come back, I really don't want him to.

    You can't cure a sexual predator. They have a very poor record even with treatment. Go on with your life.
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  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My goodness, here is my first reaction, YOU'VE DONE EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY COULD AND THEN SOME, IT IS TIME TO LET HIM GO. JJJ and Lisa gave you sound advice, get an attorney, make sure you cover all the loopholes, these kids are manipulative and have no conscience so it's up to you to make it legal and airtight.

    As for the emotional end of it, use your counselling to completely detach yourself from him on all levels and while you're at it make yourself the absolute priority, focus on you and your needs and desires, you've been at this so long you have likely forgotten how to love yourself and take care of yourself. You did all you could, you did a good job, sometimes in spite of wonderful parenting our kids go off the rails and there is nothing we can do. Really hear this, YOU DID ENOUGH. You did it all. You did everything you could. Stop now. Turn around and look at your other kids and yourself and go have a happy, peaceful, calm life now. Good Lord, you deserve it. I'm sending you a truckload of hugs to last 10 years............
  6. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I agree with all that has been said. No guilt to want a person who abused your precious children out of your life. No guilt to want to leave whatever you have to the victims and not the predator. You and the other children need to heal and move on. The act of actually disowning him will help you do this.

    I am ready to disown my difficult child but my husband isn't yet. I have been thinking about it for a long time. difficult child would just blow any inheritance on something stupid (drugs or fast car) and probably hurt or kill himself or someone else as a result or the state would just confiscate it for all his unpaid court fees. Anyway I do get what you are saying. Enough is enough. Move on with your life. I am so sorry this has happened to you and your other two children. -RM
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Let. Him. Go. Go to an atty and draw up a will and living will and whatever documents are needed to make sure he is not ever in charge of your children. Some kids just cannot be helped, they will play along with the rules to get something, but when they have it, they revert to bad ways. You did all you could and then some.

    I hope that family really understands that you tried really HARD to let them know that he was dangerous and they ignored info that could have spared their children years of abuse. I hope someday they can understand how hard that was for you. Do whatever you and your children need, and do not count him among your kids. The nice bit is a facade to get something from you. He will have more than a few people to 'game' in prison and you should leave him to whatever future he chooses there. I hope that your state is like mine and parole after ten yrs iwth charges like that is not just highly unlikely, it is nearly impossible. The children in our world don't deserve to have him walking free ever. If you are up to it, go to his parole hearina nd speak against htem. THe family he hurt might also do this, if they are up to it. It is a big factor in if parole is granted.
  8. jisduit

    jisduit New Member

    WOW THANK YOU GUYS - i AM FEELING BETTER ABOUT MY DECISION - dont feel as crazy and terrible as people that havent been through what all of us had make me feel - I cant tell you how many times I have heard "but you are his mother". The important people in my life are with me - my best friend, my "new" oldest child, my counselor. If my mom was still here, I truely think she would be as well.
    And susie - I wish he would stay in jail a lot longer and I plan on doing what I can to make sure he is. With the protective order I have in place - was renewed in August and only good for 2 years - I plan on staying informed and getting in touch with what ever probation office that will be overseeing him - I am hoping to get staying away from us a prt of his probation rules.
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  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    "but you are his mother......"

    Yes, you are. And you always will be. You love him and you always will. This has nothing to do with that. Nor does it mean you or any other family member should be subject to his abuse either.

    It's easy for those who have never experienced such things to assume too much. Their intentions are in the right place, they just have no experience to draw from to know what it is really truly like down in the trenches.

    It's just so easy to say "Oh I'd never do such and such.......nope NEVER." Well, you can usually bet that the person saying it probably doesn't have a difficult child child either. And you have to learn to ignore it.

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  10. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    My difficult child is 34yo and I am just so tired of it. It feels as if I have been living this nightmare my entire life. He is in a relationship (going on 3 years) and as my daughter describes her, pure evil. Sadly, my son is a follower and she has done everything she can to isolate him from family and friends. No blame on her, it's his choice.

    The last episode I was conned into giving him money, one of them (or both) hacked into my computer. I had to call the police to stop her harrassment.

    He cuts himself, threatens suicide often, they fight and she is in detox after trying to kill him with a knife. I once again give him money for tickets to leave the state and start over.

    They are now back together, he has lied about it, but I know it's true. He started asking for money again and this time I refuse and he gets angry and threatens suicide, or stealing to get money, and I will never hear from him and have a great 'perfect life'.

    My son started out early too and his father's drug use and the step mother's verbal abuse added to the problems. I have had him in program after program and he was court ordered to rehab twice. I tried as I know you did too. I am convinced there is mental illness and one day he make committ suicide. But, I am passed the guilt trips he still trys to lay on me.

    I just know I can't take it any more. He actually cut off contact after I ignored his FB postings and it has been so peaceful. It is hard to deal with the guilt when so many blame the parents, especially the mothers. And girlfriend telling me I never loved him and I was the reason he was so f***** up didn't help either. girlfriend told his sister (never met her) that his sister burned him with cigarettes often when he was little, and other abuses, and I did nothing. No one in our house smoked and someone would have noticed burn marks on a child. They are both very sick individuals in my opinion. He tells me now that I was harrassing girlfriend. They have twisted minds and live in a fantsy world.

    I can not believe my only son that I love so much has turned out like this. But, it is his choice. I meditate everyday and turn him over to my HP. I focus on the many positives I have in my life. Many in my family think I am wrong so I just do not discuss it with them. No one can understand the heartbreak of having a child like this unless they have one too.

    I applaud your strength! Do things that make you happy and enjoy your life. It is completely out of your control.

    I also would like to add, years ago I worked with a woman that cut off contact with her son and I thought she was so mean. My son was small and I had not yet started the horrible journey. That memory came back to me later when people would judge me, they do not understand, just as I did not, so I do not hold it against them. I just refuse to discuss it with them.
    (((huggs and blessings)))
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  11. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi jisduit -- first wanted to say that I remember you (especially since we're not far from each other). It's good to "see" you again, even though I'm sorry that things with your difficult child have gotten to the point where you came back :( I think the others have given sound advice. Consult an attorney, let go, live your life. People who haven't lived this, will never understand -- but rest assured you've done everything you could to help, and none of this is on you.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He is NOT guaranteed release after his ten years. He is ELIGIBLE for parole after ten years. That is a HUGE HUGE HUGE distinction. What that means is that if he goes in, does everything just right, is not a problem inmate, he can petition for release after ten years. The parole board will have a hearing where he can speak his part, the victims and their families can speak, and his family can speak. If, in ten years, you wish to speak and tell the board you feel he is still a danger, and the children he has hurt also say this, the odds of the parole board letting him out are not good. Where I live, it is really, really hard to get parole for some things. Not for others, but for any type of sexual assault, any type of harm to a child, any type of murder? You can ask, but don't pack your stuff because unless something really wild happens, well, you are not going anywhere for the first few hearings if in fact you ever get released.

    If you think he will be released, speak up. Encourage the family he hurt, and if they are old enough, the kids he hurt, including yours, to stand up,say that he has no remorse, has done this for a very long time, and he will not ever stop if he is released. At that point, if they release him? Go to the press, start a facebook page and a youtube video (or whatever we have then). I have a feeling something like this could go viral fast. It would mean that the public puts a LOT of pressure on the state to keep him inside where he cannot hurt a child again.

    There is no treatment that works for those who sexually abuse kids or actually those who sexually abuse other people regardless of age or gender of the victims. The ONLY time a predator MIGHT be rehabilitated if they were young (teens ish) and drug use resulted in very messed up reading of signals. It is something that I think could happen to some of our Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and/or spectrum kids. Rehab and social skills training MIGHT offer hope for a safe future with someone like this in the public. My stepmil and father in law work doing a very effective therapy in the prisons. They teach lifers, the murderers and habitual felons and really hard-core prisoners how to understand what led to where they are, and what they can do about it. The people they work with go on to provide therapy for other prisoners. She told me once that they won't even CONSIDER someone with a sexual crime for the program outside very specific criteria along the lines that I mentioned. She said it isn't worth the effort because they are so skilled at reading and manipulating that giving them this training would just make them more dangerous. This isn't a local program, she has taught this around the globe, in almost a hundred countries, and had great success in each place. So I trust what she says when it comes to this.

    You are NOT powerless, and the fact that you love him isn't something to be ashamed of. Part of you always will, even as you hate all the devastation he has created. It would be very helpful to work with a therapist for a while, because this is a LOT to handle. I would stay far away from the online support forums for people wiith loved ones in prison. You do NOT want to go there. I have at one time, and was shocked at what people said to excuse some very heinous crimes and to try to get more stuff/money/whatever for the inmate they cared about. not all, but many there were just off. I do not think you will find any support there, and you may find some people wplling to say and do things to guilt you into whatever their goal is.

    The people who villfy you or are upset with you for cutting all ties to him, well, they are poor deluded souls who don't have a clue. So many in the world think they can handle or fix our difficult children and they don't have any clue what our difficult children are like. They see dimples or a shy smile or a sad face and think the child just doesn't have enough positive influences and by provdin sunshine and love and rainbows and puppies, well, it will all be all right. Our difficult children see them, immediately know they are easy prey, and take full advantage. Ignore them, and listen to your instincts. They are right, and they are right every time. So there will be those who say you are wrong to cut difficult child out of your life, and if they have the audacity to tell you this? Tell them that they are welcome to step in and visit and give money to him and do what they want, but you won't discuss this with them. Then point out some flaw with them, or their kids, and tell them how to fix it. Usually they will walk away fast. They may go and 'help' him, but they will eventually see through him. If he takes advantage, that is on hm, not you.

    No matter what, hold your head high, work wth a therapist versed in the problems caused by incest, pedophiles and family violence, and don't take advice for how you should behave toward your difficult child from those who truly have no idea what they are talking about. When the time comes, if you are able and it is the right thing for you and your family, go to the parole board and speak your mind about paroling him after just ten years. If you are not able to go through that when the time comes, that is okay too. You must do what is right for yourself and your family. He made his choices long ago.

    You may want to connect with a national incest survivor group and/or pedophile survivor group to find a truly qualified therapist to help your family through this. I would think an unskilled therapist would possbly cause a lot of harm.

    It takes a LOT to push a mom to this point. There was NOTHING you could do about this that you didn't do.
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  13. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    I hope this gets a chuckle - but oh, if only I could kidney-punch the "well meaning" people who think they have a clue because they saw the "Temple Grandin" movie. :)

    Nobody will have a clue, unless they've been there and done that. I sure don't, and I'd like to think I'd be quick to dropkick a child like that - but we can't know what we'll do until we're in that state of affairs.

    Be well, and you'll make it through this. FYI: I've heard of times where courts have screwed up parole hearing notice paperwork. Make sure they always have your current address so they can mail you hearing notices, call and double check now and then, and GOOD LUCK.
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  14. jisduit

    jisduit New Member

    thanks for all the replies - I am finally beginning to feel that deep gut feeling that I am making the right decision - I am so glad I came here to get you alls input.
    Susie - he is getting 120 years but 110 are being suspended - after 10 will he actually have to have a parole hearing ?
    To be honest I was thinking to myself - well I will have ten years to move somewhere so he cant find us - I am afraid of him - he has no remorse, empathy - my counselor refers his as a psycopath - I truely believe he is capable of blowing me a way just for the hell of it. Oh and as far as those families of prisioners sites - I went there already and you are right - dont plan on going back - dont think they like me so much anymore anyways when I said I wanted to disown him.
    Tired - yeah he uses that I am gonna kill myself threat all the time - the last time - I thought to myself - dam I have to get that loan on his life insurance paid off - just reminded me of what I had to do. I dont think he will - he is too much of a whimp but I do believe that he will be the subject of some beatings in the correctional system.
    I will be seeing my counselor next week. I think I am handeling everything rather well with the exception of how my easy child son is handling it - he doesnt know why I need to talk to people about it and doesnt want to know anything - in his mind his brother doesnt exist.
    Thanks again people
  15. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member


    Far as the easy child goes, speaking as someone with a peculiar childhood history, I want to extend to him advice and a warning - what you don't talk about today, and shove down inside, turns into a landmine in your brain. Someday when you don't expect it, you're going to step on it, and it will in some way explode on you. Learn the tools for coping with it now, even if you want to hide those tools in your toolbox and shove the toolbox in the attic - at least they'll be there for you when you need them. It might be in your 30's, or your 50's, but you need to be prepared to manage what happens when the landmine explodes.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    jisduit....everyone else has given you wonderful advice and I hope you follow it. What I want to do is welcome you as a fellow Midlothianite! I saw where you are from and I simply couldnt believe it...lol. With your son's age, we may have actually grown up together if you lived there all your life. I was raised in that area until I was 21. I went to Midlothian HS and graduated in 1980. I lived off of 147. My dad lived in Brandermill until he died in 2010. I was really from Bon Air but Robious and Midlothian were my home schools because I was on the county side of the road. Im sure you understand that statement.

    I dont live in VA anymore but my middle son lives up closer to Difficult Child in little town called Stafford.

    I sure hope to hear more from you.
  17. jisduit

    jisduit New Member

    janet - small world - I went to midlo high graduated in 1983 - I dont know if you remember chesterfield town = but I am in a sub across 147. I went to the catholic grammer school up the road/ This area has really changed alot in the last 20 years - I am actually back in the house that I grew up in. Mu other house is in the city and I just rent that right now.
    I also remember you from being here years ago - is ants mom still around ?
    The advise has been awesome - but the comfort in know that my decision is not just short of crazy- was the best thing I got out of it - and of course the support

    Thanks so much
  18. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Just a thought on the parole board in the future. I think in some areas the victims can write letters instead of appearing. I would look into that if I were you so that you can avoid the trauma of having to actually go there in person. The other thing I wanted to mention is your avatar. If those are your children I would change it. This board offers us anonominity for a reason. Your children and you have been traumatized enough. You don't want someone comming along and figuring out who you are and possibly adding to your pain as a result. -RM
  19. jisduit

    jisduit New Member

    I have been looking into the parole thing - here in Virginia they have a victim services that I can register with - I am already registered with VINE - a service that will alert me if he is moved anywhere. - its country wide if anyone wants to check it out -
    Thank you again - I did get the picture off - I guess I wasnt thinking - especially with what I was posting - thanks for the reminder
  20. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    Excellent advice has been given, already.

    This site is an amazing place. :O)

    To what has already been said, I would add that this child has disowned YOU. You did not raise him to be who he has become. He has chosen, again and again, to take actions you would never approve of in a million years. And yet, though you had no control over what this child chose, you have felt responsible. You have been ashamed, and have devoted anguished days and months and years to trying to change things for this person.

    And none of that mattered, because this person chose his path against your will, against your advice and in spite of all you could do. He knows better than to be who he is, than to do as he has done. You taught him better. You are not responsible for his actions.

    It was vitally important for me to get this piece before I could learn to act in my own defense.

    You need to learn this, too.

    That we sometimes need to turn our own children not just our of our homes, but out of our deepest, most secret hearts is one of the most punishing consequences of loving a child who is going the wrong way. We never forget how it felt to hold or soothe or teach them. We never quite lose the dream of who we believed they would become, as we watched them grow. Those dreams and memories color our realities for the rest of our lives.

    But we have to open our eyes and acknowledge that, however it happened, that child we cherished is gone; that young man we envisioned never came to be. If we are to reclaim this territory of the heart, we need to grieve these dreams and go on.

    I don't think we ever truly forget our children. I don't think we ever stop grieving their loss.

    But we have to move on.

    Taking public, concrete steps to prevent them from coming back and reopening those wounds is a marker, a signpost on the path to healing. It's like declaring an end to an unending game.

    There was a thread here once about whether it would be worse to lose a child (to death) than it is to lose them by bits and pieces, as we have all done. I think the conclusion was that, if our child was still alive, there was hope. But if there is no hope, then even if the child is still living, we must sometimes declare an ending for our own health, for our own survival and quality of life.

    Elle Wiesel wrote of his experiences in the concentration camps something to the effect that the sacred horror of what he had lived through would be sullied, diluted, by trying to put it into words. That is very much what it feels like to be a mother who has torn one of her children out of her heart. And there is no way anyone who has not faced that choice even begins to comprehend that pain.

    It isn't about your son, anymore. Now it is about you, about cutting the ties and grieving the lost dreams and going on.

    I am so sorry this is happening to you.

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