Hi all- so happy to have found that we are so not alone.


Staff member
Posted on behalf of @brokenmama:

Hi all- so happy to have found that we are so not alone. Long story short, we are at our wits end with our 21 year old son. He suffers mental illness and personality disorder, and like so many can be completely "normal", charming and bright...but most often we are victim to his endless drama, lies, drug and gambling abuse. He has been in and out of therapy, special schools, programs, rehabs, halfway homes, etc. starting at the age of 9. He currently lives out west and we are in FL (distance has been a good thing). After a good stint a year ago in his halfway home, he chose to move out west independently (but with some financial support). He made it a few good months of holding a job, attending therapy, and paying the majority of his expenses, but now has been unemployed for months and calls us literally telling us how awful we are as parents and that all that we have done for him was stupid. And guess who is paying rent? We are because we stupidly cosigned a lease. He literally calls/ texts hundreds of times a day cursing us, slandering us, abusing us for not getting him a car, getting him more money, letting him go back to college (yes we tried that and he dropped out after two weeks), or letting him come home to live. More recently he says he is in debt with bookies and they are hunting him down (according to him). He is threatening us that if we don't get him the money, he will be harmed. Besides this, there is so much more to this story that I haven't got the energy to explain now (arrests, commitments, verbal abuse to his sister, etc).. The bottom line is that we are ready to LET GO. We have been with a therapist that we really like and trust and who has been on the journey with us the past two years. He agrees, it is time as well. In the next few days, my husband and I want to come up with a plan that we would like to present our son: a cut off plan. I guess I am open to any suggestions of what to include in this plan. So far we are thinking along the lines of things like no contact for at least one year, no more cell phone plans paid for, no more rent, etc...also what to do if he just ignores our boundaries specifically regarding communication and how to handle other relatives that he often ties up in his webs. This is the scariest, saddest, thing I have ever had to do, but I know it has to happen for the sake of our sanity. Thanks in advance for any little bits of advice.. p.s. runawaybunny can you help me share this on the forum? I couldn't figure out how!


Well-Known Member
I am going through a lot with my daughter so I truly feel for you. I go to Al Anon as well as a therapist and read about how to quiet my mind from talking to me about worse case scenarios. The extra help reminds me how to do better all around, but it's still painful.

I hope you can find some peace. I am so sorry.


Well-Known Member
It is so sad we have to do this. I am in the same position with my son. A few hints i blocked him on text and calls and he would send messenger so i blocked that. He would send emails so i figured out how to block that too. I don't answer numbers i don't know. How this all started was him calling daily for "favors". 30 here 20 there on and on. Found a great job and blew it. So the amounts got bigger. I gave him a certain amount and said this is it after this no more help no favors no communication. It is hard no doubt about it but like people told me stop or he will drain you dry. Same for you. He will drain you dry. You are paying him to abuse you and worse your daughter. Do not pay for him to come home. When your lease is up don't sign another or if you can get your name off do it. I stopped paying rent a while back. Do not put your name on anything. If he is destructive you could be liable or if your name is on a car and he wrecks you could be liable. Good luck to you and welcome


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Welcome. I agree with your therapist and Triedntrue.

If you don't change nothing will change. If you don't STOP it, then how will it stop?

It's hard but I really would follow your therapists lead. You have a right to be happy and have a life that doesn't include constant harassment.

Others here have mentally challenged adult children and they will tell you they still have to find their way. They are adults. We cannot live their lives for them. It sounds like your son CAN be independent so you just have to force him into that by backing off - in my humble opinion.

Keep us posted.

Good luck and stay strong.


Active Member
I did this years ago with my daughter. I literally wrote out the rules I expected her to abide by. If I were you I would have all of your expectations written down, including specifically what financial support (if any) you will provide. If you are cutting him off completely financially I would put that in your document. If you do this you have to be prepared to stick to the boundaries you have put in place and you have to be ready for him to up the ante with his bad behavior, which is almost certain to happen. My daughter would call and call my phones and leave insane, screaming messages. I had to turn my phones off many times and just delete the messages without listening to them. It literally took her probably a year to realize I was serious about the boundaries I set. Things are much better now and she rarely oversteps. When I wrote up my rules for her she and my infant granddaughter were moving in with me again. I had items like she had to have a job in 2 weeks and she had to pay me 30% of her wages for household expenses. It doesn't sound like he will be moving in with you but if there are specific expectations you have of him in order to receive support (financial or otherwise) from you I would spell those out very specifically. I don't mind helping my daughter when she's helping herself. Is he in debt with bookies? Who knows, but if he is that is HIS problem he needs to fix on his own. If I were you I would also call the lease holder on his housing, explain the situation and ask if you can be taken off as cosigner. I'm guessing they'll want you to "buy" out of it, but you might as well try.

Once you cut him off he will likely try to get other friends/relatives on his side by telling them how awful you are and how you abandoned him. I knew this was coming with my daughter when I kicked her out for not following the rules so I got ahead of her. I called my parents (who are wealthy and I knew she would go to for financial assistance) and gave them a brief description of what was going on with her. I asked that they not help her as it would encourage the continued poor behavior. Did they help her? I have no idea. But I couldn't control that. All I could do was inform them and ask that they get with the program. If there are a number of people you think he might go to you might send them emails briefly explaining he is struggling and asking that they not bail him out. I know this is super hard, scary and stressful. But it is the best for all of you. Once you cut him off I suggest you have lots of things planned to keep yourself busy so your brain doesn't dwell on what's going on with your son. This is a great time for you to focus on getting yourself healthy and happy and breaking the cycle of codependency. My daughter floundered for several years. But over the last 5 years she has been relatively stable with housing, a job, and even community college. Her sobriety has been up and down, but she has not been as bad as she was previously. Her life is certainly not what I would choose, but that's not up to me. Sending peace your way.


Face the Sun
My only advice is to make a plan you can follow through with. Otherwise, it will only delay the inevitable.

My step-daughter took her sister in thinking she would be the one to turn her around (after all, my sister, multiple friends, church acquaintances, and my husband and I didn't have the special touch). That didn't last long and my daughter headed back across the country. What I found out was not one penny of the thousands upon thousands of dollars I sent to help her get on her feet went to what I thought it was.

I have read two good books that have allowed me to set boundaries I can keep.

Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder

Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children