Homeless Son

I know many of you have "been there". I'm shocked and venting. I'm angry and sad. We have tried for years to help our son be successful. He continues to play the victim. He constantly lies and manipulates. Having a conversation with him is painful.

He is 19yo (almost 20). We are trying to stay firm with our decision to no longer enable him. At age 16 we sent him to a boarding school because we could no longer control him, he would run away, steal, lie, etc.

He has been living with his girlfriend and her family the past year. They kicked him out last week because he has chosen to be out of work since October and are tired of supporting him. According to the Mom, he sits in his girlfriend's bedroom all day playing video games. He sabotage's every job opportunity by not showing up. We have sent him money and he spends it irresponsibly (out to eat, spotify, playstation, etc.). Now it is everyone else's fault but his own that he is homeless and he doesn't know what to do.

He lives states away. He is not allowed in our home. He will post some status on FB looking for sympathy. If he doesn't receive immediate responses then he deletes it. He's begging for money online, set up a "go fund me" for himself and has contacted old neighbors to see if he can stay with them. He only contacts us when he wants money. Otherwise we are the bad guys. We adopted him from Russia at 18mo of age. No official diagnosis, however, he shows all the signs of reactive attachment disorder, anti social personality disorder.

Thanks for listening!


Sending good vibes...
Can't Even,

I feel your pain and I'm sorry for what you're going through. I have two adults sons, one is 31 the other is almost 27. Even when they were teens and early twenties they were always playing video games and yupping us to death that they were looking for a job. Sometimes they'd get one but as you mentioned there always appeared to be a self-sabotage and someone else was to blame for it all falling apart. The jobs never lasted more than 3-6 months at a time.

Now I believe the oldest is "hopefully still" living with others and paying rent but because of his entitlement and abusive language towards me I have cut him off for several months now. The younger one is still living in his car, possibly couch surfing from time to time. He does have ADHD and PTSD so he has some legitimate reasons for failing so miserably at life. But I have heard of others who have similar issues and still work every day, so I'm just not sure if there's drinking or other drugs involved to cause such a lack of ability to do anything for himself. He was a "heavy" pot-smoker for a long time, which was a huge issue when we all lived together. This and possibly other drugs causes him even more trouble.

They have forgotten how how their father and I have tried to help them to the point we were "professional enablers". I realize now, however, that did not help them but I had my own issues with an alcoholic husband and trying to make an insane home seem sane.

All I can suggest is prayer and turning your son over to God every chance you think of him. Also, praying for yourself to have the courage and strength to get through this. There's a part of me that always feels a certain amount of guilt for having the courage and strength to step out of their way and let them face the consequences of their actions and/or in actions. They are quick to reinforce that feeling I have, any opportunity they get.

It's important for you to stay strong and know they will say and do anything to manipulate and try to gain pity. As parents it doesn't take much and they know it and that's why we have to be all the stronger or they will never have the chance of trying to make it on their own.

I often think of stories I heard of young adults working 2 & 3 jobs, going to school, thriving and working hard. It boggles my mind that there are some who are so extreme in their functionality to take care of themselves when the chips are down and others who stand with their hand out (like my sons) and are inept at even holding a part time job down for very long.

I try to remember something I read, that God's timing is perfect. So, I have to guess that my sons journey's through this very long rough patch of life, are just going to take as long as they're going to take until something turns around for them.

Hang in there and take care of yourself because if you don't there may come a day when your son is "better" and you will be tired, sick and depleted from all the worry, hurt and pain you've gone through and you will not be able to enjoy his recovery with him.

Across The Pond

New Member
It's possible that playing video games for long periods of time has been damaging for him also; video game addiction can lead to all kinds of mental health issues, lack of empathy and social anxiety.


Well-Known Member
Dear Looking

I adopted my son when he was 22 months. He had been in a crisis nursery here in the USA.

What I would suggest is that you no longer look at his Facebook page or social media. I would also discourage friends and relatives from engaging with you about your son's situation or contacts with them. All of this makes it harder to adhere to boundaries.

You have staked out your position and he has staked out his. There is no reason to rethink this. You have fulfilled your commitment to him and more. Had he responded you could have re-thought involvement but he has not. There is no reason for you to change course at this time.

I know how very hard this is. I have stayed enmeshed with my son (now 31) and it's not clear if it has helped him at all. I think it has hurt both of us.

If your son decides he wants to help himself, there is Job Corps, a federally funded job training program that provides housing and food, and is free. There are also ROP training programs.

Or he can be a couch surfer, or do any of a thousand other things to get by living marginally.

We have no control over how they live.

I am sorry you're going through this. Welcome to the forum.


Well-Known Member
Looking for peace,
There are several of us here in the same situation. My son became homeless at 20 as well. It was excruciating in the beginning.

Believe it or not, things will become "normal".
He will find a community on the streets. He will make it on his own, I think. Kids are resilient and resourceful when they have to ve.
I am proud of you for the boundary you are creating for yourself. It's healthy and it's going to allow him to grow. It may feel like abandonment, but he will make poor choices , with or without you.

Hang in there and start the process to find you again. Prayers for your family.



Well-Known Member
My daughter is living in a delapidated ten year old camper, parked on the curb somewhere in California. I cringe at the thought and can't get the idea of the San Francisco "poop patrol" out of my head although her city is not SF. Still....her campers bathroom doesn't work....blushing here.

According to one of the very few relatives not blocked on her social media she is bragging about how she loves living like "a simple person with few possessions" and how nice and friendly the other people who live in RVs parked on the curb are. She is in heaven.

Of course when we were enabling her, she was a real princess about not living in squalor and having pretty toys that WE bought her but apparently she has changed (cough, cough) since the money stopped and she became homeless. Well, she would never admit to feeling humiliated. That is not what she does. Nor does she get motivated and do better. So far.

They do adjust.

This is not what we worked so hard to give them. It was not the life we dreamed about for them.

But we all somehow do get used to it. It doesn't kill us. We grow stronger. Or not. But we get through it.

And so do they.

Wishing everyone blessings and the hope that in the end our kids all see the light.


Face the Sun
I dont have anything to add other than to offer words of encouragement to stick to your boundaries. When we dont stick to them completely, it sends the wrong message and creates a little hole in the damn we have created to contain our side of the relationship. I know this from personal experience. Sending wishes for strength in times of weakness and light in times of darkness. In healing, Blindsided, mother of 41 y/o mentally I'll, alcoholic, 5 yrs couch surfing Difficult Child adult child.

Like Copa, I believe JMom said it well