I need to be tied to the mast.


Well-Known Member
Copa....catching up on this thread. Thinking of you my friend. It is so hard. One thing I thought of that was said to me years ago to me about my son when I was thinking what could I have done differently. A therapist told me that we were a protective factor.....that without us he probably would have been much worse off much sooner. I think that is true of your son too. I know he is homeless, I know things are not great, I know he has many challenges. I think all those things are true, and none of those are your fault or are due to anything you did or due to any denial on your part. I do think your love of him has made a difference. A difference that is hard to see... because it is hard to see the ways it has protected him, since it could not protect him completely because that was not possible. But he is still alive and finding ways to survivie. So do believe your love of him has made a differemce.



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Copa...is there any possible way you can let go of the pot?
I think I might but I do not know if M could and up to this point, we have had a united fruit (I mean front.) That was a Freudian slip but I like it so I left it in.

My son resisted paying rent. He paid like $1000 in 2 years, and I paid utilities. When we got firm he said, "I'm short. I can only pay xx." (We know why he was short. He acted like us wanting money was base on our part. )And then when we balked he started to plot how he could get tenants rights and force us to evict him. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of responsibility and reciprocity. Or a desire to misunderstand.

I will talk to M about the marijuana. I think M's idea about having him drug test every day is a recipe for implosion. Mine. But I think it is wrong to put M in a position he can't handle. M has a brother who was a sniffer. He destroyed his brain and is psychotic now and completely dependent. M is afraid. While M understands marijuana is different, to him it is not that different.

I could see his coming back to the other house, and I could see that I would limit how much contact I have with him. But how to deal with how he does not clean, leaves trash around. He is very clean with his person. He is not clean or orderly with his environment. In fact, he is filthy. And if J does not keep the place clean, it falls on M to clean up after him, or we pay somebody. This is not fair.

The question I have is this: is it not enabling him to let him live with his drugs, not working? If he is mentally ill, and prone to mood swings and anxiety does this change things? Is it support in this situation? I do not want to deny my son support. But I do not want to enable. I do not know the difference in my situation. And it seems nobody else can agree either. People either view us as enablers, or as withholding support.

Meanwhile, I will talk to M and see where he stands and wait for my son to contact me.

PS He has gone downhill "supported" by me. He used to be a health nut. Now he eats snacks. (Part of this is that he had no good cooking facilities because we let him stay in the apartment before the kitchen was functional.)

I can see a scenario where we rent him a room that he would share with one or other people. Maybe this might make him more accountable and call upon him to rise to the occasion.

I am really leaning towards the conditions again. I want him to go to some sort of therapy. That seems as important or more than the pot. I mean, people are required to go to anger management as a condition of keeping a job or out of jail. Is it wrong to set as a condition that he go to bodywork or therapy?
But he is still alive and finding ways to survivie.
TL. But what do I do?

I cannot even figure out what is harder on me. Well. I know that. It was easier for me when he was close and housed and I could avoid him when I wanted. But what happened is that he was the one in charge deciding what he would or would not do. And when we asserted ourselves, he resisted. And that is how we ended up here. When nobody ceded (ie us) it ended up with the police called multiple times, and him squatting, and then homeless for 4 months.

The expectation was that he might help himself. But I also set the limit because I know THERE ARE limits in life, and I can't be part of my son not living without limits.

Except this: as far as I know he has never been arrested, used hard drugs or hurt anybody. These are limits. He is living by basic limits.

I worry about M. M's life is founded upon work. M will never accept that J do nothing.

Thank you.
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Copa, he could qualify for services. He is not one of those adult kids who was born into advantage and screwed it up, althoigh you certainly provided everything for him. I think of him in a way as I think of Sonic, although fortunately, your son is not challenged by autism. He did however, have the misfortune of drugs in utero and who knows if that did damage? He also had two TBIs and that can change a person. None of this is your fault but for J. I would probably treat him as if he did need some extra care as an adult. Even though he wont ask for it. I do think he needs to be responsoble for any house he lives in though. He is capable of that. And my son is in a really nice apartment for adults with developmental disabilities but he still has to pay a certain amount for it. He has a payee and he is working hard to get rid of them but I think he needs a payee. You can ask for a nominal sum from your son and insist on it. I really think he is capable of both. In fact, nobody knows his potential. He wont see what he can and cant do.

Since it upsets you when he is homeless perhaps you can let certain things go. I love M. and you know that but he came into J's life late and in my opinion you, as his only parent, can make unilateral decisions for J. I did this when I married my hub. The rule was that current hub is not the father but more a friend. Myself and my ex made all decisions and did the disciplining. Since ex nebyer gave a flip, that meant I did it. It worked well for us. It also stopped the kids from resenting my hubby.

You can set up a Special Needs trust fund for him after you are gone. We did that.

Just throwing out ideas. It doesnt seem to be working for you to have J. homeless. First and foremost you need to do what YOU can stand, even if M. doesnt like it that much.

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The rule was that current hub is not the father but more a friend.
This was wise. Unfortunately I have put a lot of responsibility on M, that is not his to bear.
It also stopped the kids from resenting my hubby.
And now my son resents M and M is just overwhelmed by the situation although he does not express it. He feels really helpless I think because he feels powerlessness. M expects of himself that he protect me, and unfortunately I take advantage of this.
Special Needs trust
Swot. Who administers the trust, that is who will be the trustee when you are gone? Is it one of the kids or somebody else. I have nobody in my family I trust.

As far as qualifying for services, I believe my son does. But he will not participate with them to the extent of securing services. He will not follow through.


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Copa anyone you pick can but we didnt feel Jumper should have to do it. She will have her own family and a busy career and I dont want to place this on her. So our lawyer and whatever lawyer follows him is in charge (might be. his son). If tjt money isnt in a Special Needs fund, the person loses his services. For Sonic that would not be good. Not to mention Sonic couldnt mamage his money well.


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Very much. He is like a family friend and I trust him like a close relative. He has done many favors for us.
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Active Member
"Copa...is there any possible way you can let go of the pot?" husband and I with therapist's thoughts decided to give up on the pot also, otherwise he would be out on the streets homeless. We do not actually condone it, but decided we couldn't keep him away just for pot. Ds is still relatively young, so we're hoping he will mature with time and more life experiences. Not deluding ourselves, we will make him leave if we feel uneasy or in danger or have to deal with police, etc. Otherwise we're just living life hoping he'll have an epiphany one day.


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is there any possible way you can let go of the pot
We lived with the pot. It is that he wants to use all of his money for more and more pot and I can't stand that I subsidize something that enables him to go down the drain more. I feel responsible.

Caretoomuch. I forget how old your son is. Mine is 30 now. My son is mentally ill, but not psychotic.

If I accept the pot, I am accepting that he live like this, without productive activities, without acceptance of responsibility for himself beyond buying food and pot. We told him to leave because he would not pay us rent.

If I accept that there is nothing I can do, nothing that helps him, the other side of this is that nothing I do will hurt him. That he is responsible for him.
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If I accept the pot, I am accepting that he live like this, without productive activities, without acceptance of responsibility for himself beyond buying food and pot. We told him to leave because he would not pay us rent.
But are you? I’m not entirely sure accepting the pot means accepting the rest. Perhaps it would help to try to separate the behaviors you actually object to - not paying rent, ring irresponsible with money, etc - from the pot smoking in your mind. Because there are people - my neighbors for example - who are regular pot smokers and still live productive lives. Whether that’s possible for our kids or not, I don’t actually know. But if C were to step up with holding down a job, taking care of himself, I think I would have a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy on the pot. I don’t actually care whether or not he’s smoking it. I care about whether he is able to manage life.

Now it’s possible that the pot is itself a problem keeping them from managing life. Actually, for C alcohol is the main problem. So yes, I want him to give up drinking and smoking. But I still find it useful to focus more on the end result I want to see in terms of behaviors. If he were sober but still unable to keep a job and still on the streets I would not be happy.

I agree that making M - or you - a jailer in charge of drug testing is a recipe for disaster. But if you are considering letting him stay at the house, maybe focus instead on the behaviors and outcomes you need to see, regardless of whether he is smoking or not. Even drawing it up in a written lease that he signs, just as you would with any other tenant. $xx rent due by the x of each month. Late fees. Expectations for maintenance. Maybe even make it a stipulation that he gives you control over or access to his money in a shared account, so rent comes out first. Clear eviction process if he does not comply.

If he refuses to meet those standards, in my mind he cannot stay, regardless of whether he is smoking or not. And that is a choice HE would be making. If he chooses to remain homeless rather than follow reasonable rules - rules he would need to follow for any other form of accommodation - than he had himself decided. You are not withholding support or leaving him without options.

And ultimately you are absolutely right when you say he is responsible for him. If you choose not to even hold out the possibility of him coming back with clear guidelines, I understand that, too. You know best what the potential outcomes are likely to be. I fully support whatever decision you make.


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Copa....since the young and even old smoke pot now and most are self sustaining and mature then pot is a personal problem for you. Or M. The truth is pot is legal in your state and many highly successful people smoke it. It is like alcohol now only less dangerous in my opinion. If this is mostly M. i would rethink giving him the heavy role he has in J's welfare. He was not there to raise him. I am sure he has affection for him, but not the Mom love you have. And that is why I told my husband that his role with my kids was as a friend and it worked well. My decisions were not based on a man I chose, that the kids had no say about bringing into their lives. He wasnt and isnt their father. He adores Jumper and Sonic, is very loving to them and appropriate with them but his decisions come from Dad love (he is there very engaged dad), not as Mom's second husband who isnt their dad.This bringing in a father figure works for many people with younger kids, to bring in a new man and give him Dad power, but this often fails with teens and that can cause division, even problems between us and our our beloved kids. We dont always want to listen to their thoughts on our kids but once we start, we do it. Now if J was going to move in with you, I think M should have to be comfortable. But on the land you bought (YOU bought) for J, in my opinion its no longer up to M in my opinion. He is not thinking factually to say pot is as dangerous as street drugs.

You say he has nine kids. Does he ask you what to do when it comes to them....or anyone in his family? Of course, they dont live with you. So there is that.

I get that he is protective which is why J in my opinion cant actually live in your house. My hub hates how Bart treats me and wishes I would just cut him off, and I get that too. But only one person can decide if I do that....myself. I am still his mother. Its not up to my husband who is and always will be the love of my life. And he doesnt insist.

Lastly, your sticking to your guns on the pot has not worked. J is getting worse. Yes, it is his choice but only if you can bear it. Thats my one person opinion anyway. He hasnt shown he will do better if you are tough on this and he is 30 now. I think it can be let up on for YOU, not for him. As you often
say this forum is for us, not to change them. I am wondering if YOU wouldnt sleep better at night to know where he is, that he lives, that you have a relationship. Maybe you can rethink M's strong role in J's life. Renogiate it. He is in this sense making you stay estranged from your son and thats not fair in my opinion. Ill bet J. has blamed him for all his misfortune. Its not true, but is all this with J being homeless working for you? What would you do if you were single?

I have no answers. These are just my thoughts and ideas. No criticsm was meant here. I like M very much. He is a good hearted soul.

But nothing changes if nothing changes.

Love and light!
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Copa...I haven't chimed in for a time because I really haven't known what to say.

I agree that making M - or you - a jailer in charge of drug testing is a recipe for disaster.
Absolutely 100% agree with this.

Regarding M - I tend to agree with SWOT, but more importantly, while it is important that you and M agree on the big things, you do not have to agree on everything. Jabber is our son's father in every way that counts. We met when he was 4 and he adopted him when he was 7. He's the only father our son has ever known. We've always tried to be united in our parenting. BUT, parenting an adult is not the same. An example: Money. When son was homeless, and even sometimes when he wasn't, I'm much freer with money. Jabber was against giving him a penny, ever. That might have been best, but it caused problems 1) Our money is as much mine as his and 2) I should not have to ask permission of my husband, like some submissive housewife to do anything! Certainly not to give something to my child! We eventually agreed to a dollar amount, under which I would just do or not do as I pleased and I could tell Jabber or not.

You and M are together, but your son is an adult. You are not parenting anymore. Which brings me to this:

If I accept that there is nothing I can do, nothing that helps him, the other side of this is that nothing I do will hurt him. That he is responsible for him.
Not sure I agree 100% with this statement - but isn't that what we're looking for here? That he is responsible for him?

Copa, If you keep doing what you've always done, you can't expect a different outcome. You've rented to him before. Did it work? You've tried the drug testing? Did it work?

Your son is an adult. Do you think I like that mine moved 2 states away so he could live where pot was legal instead of just stopping, settling down here and getting an apartment and a job and new friends? Of course not. But, he seems to be able, so far, to handle adulting + pot. Many people do. He acknowledges that he can't work a lot of places because they drug test...but he is working around that.

I'm hazy on the details but several people have mentioned that pot is legal where you are. Also, doesn't J have a prescription? For that matter, J has SSI, right? You may have to simply accept he will never hold much of a job. A LOT of people on SSI just live off that and state subsidies. It's not much, but they get by.

I guess what I'm saying is, after thinking quite a while about this, I only see two options:

1) treat him like any other tenant. If you're going to offer him the rental, then do it without strings. It's one thing to say, "You can live there if you like but the rent is $ and I expect to receive it. I will be treating you like any other renter. You keep it clean enough to be sanitary and pay the rent, or I'll evict you." But unless you'd put "maintain a job and don't smoke and take drug tests" on any other renter...don't do it to him.

2) advertise and rent out that place and make some money on it, and then you don't have the option of offering it to him anymore and you can stop thinking about doing that! Let him know you love him and otherwise, let him live his own life. You want to give him a hand now and then, that is your business.

I suppose there is a 3 - You could tell him he can have the apartment IF and list the conditions...but he has to accept them all and DO IT or you have to be ready to toss him out, which has happened before of course. He may not accept, so you may just keep suffering as you are now. I hate that for you. My own boy is not J. He's not got a chronic disease or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or anything wrong with him and I know that I suffered quite a while before I accepted how things are. I still do at times. When we went to visit and he was unemployed it put a pall over the whole thing because I just knew the money thing would start.(It didn't really, though I did give him $40 for a bill.) I sometimes really get worried his girlfriend will get tired of his crap and will break up with him and he'll be on the streets and we'll be back to square one. So I at least know what it's like to worry...But I really, really, don't see that you have many choices here. As you said, he really IS responsible for him.
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Thank you each of you. I wrote a book.
Perhaps it would help to try to separate the behaviors you actually object to - not paying rent, ring irresponsible with money, etc - from the pot smoking
I think this is the core of it. Clearly he uses the pot to self-medicate. He not only uses it to escape, he escapes a reality that is painful to him.

That said. For the longest time we did not interfere with his pot use. Especially when he used a prescription to get it. But the prescription fell through the cracks and he began to buy it on the street. We left it alone. But he was high all of the time. It was the elephant in the living room.

If it were me, I would search for treatments, activities that address the pain, it pains me that he does not. That is clearly my pain, and I do not have a right to impose that on him. I see that.
try to separate the behaviors you actually object to - not paying rent, ring irresponsible with money, etc - from the pot smoking
focus more on the end result
I am going to talk out of the other side of my mouth here. And I will say that even though I know that he has issues that are primary, and pot is a symptom, the pot causes problems in itself. He wants all of his money for the pot. This is his business model and one reason we keep running into problems. He feels his SSI money should be his allowance to buy pot and go to movies and to buy food he likes and supplements.

But to return to the pot. It is like the 12 step addiction model. Whether or not there are other problems (there always are) such as mental or physical illness or family problems, as long as the drug or alcohol is seen as the solution, we are lost. But I see that if he is dependent upon a drug or a behavior this is highly personal and not the right of a mother to address. I can rightfully put a limit for myself but not him.
Nobody can do this for another person or force them to do this. I see that.
Even drawing it up in a written lease that he signs
I do not think legally I can mix tenants rights with maternal rights.
1) treat him like any other tenant.
I have an out here. While pot is legal in my state, it is not legally federally, and I have a right to say no drugs on my property. I have the right to say that for him and for any other tenant.
Clear eviction process if he does not comply.
I think this makes sense. Whether or not I decide this, it is logical.
If he chooses to remain homeless rather than follow reasonable rules
Where we are getting here is defining what are reasonable rules. Thank you.
If this is mostly M. i would rethink giving him the heavy role
I agree here, SWOT. Thank you.
isn't that what we're looking for here? That he is responsible for him?
Yes. But in his mind he is responsible for him. Thinking this way, he is being responsible for himself living in the street. It is just that this eats me up alive
J has SSI, right? You may have to simply accept he will never hold much of a job.
rent out that place and make some money on it
This is Lil's second option. I really like this option. I brought up to M yesterday the possibility that if J came back he would move back in to our house. There is a way to separate a wing, which has its own entrance and bathroom. M asked if I could bear this. He said he would only accept J back if he lived in the separate space and not in ours.
let him live his own life.
There are two ways to look at this. His autonomy, and support. He has wanted both. His autonomy with support. I can surely understand that he would want both, but this has driven me nuts. Because he wants to live as he wants to live--with my help. That is the problem in a nutshell. And I can't bear aspects of how he lives….And there are things I do not want to help him do. Like smoke pot.

But I see what you are saying. If I insist that he meets his responsibilities with me, it is his right to behave as he chooses. So. If I put it this way, I am the one who has fallen down on the job, by not identifying sufficiently and properly holding him to reasonable and appropriate rules.
there is a 3 - You could tell him he can have the apartment IF and list the conditions
Well. This is what we have been doing, but not entirely well. This is M's position.

What have I learned in the course of this posting:

The thing that gives me the most space to breathe...is the idea of renting the space out....That surprises me.

The second thing is that I have not sufficiently accepted that my son may not change. That this is his baseline. That he does not aspire to or value what I have chosen for myself. And that there is movement for the positive over time, and that is both good and more than that--he has a right to define his course and his pace, independent of me.

But he has no right to impose that on me. There is no obligation on my part to do for him, especially if it is injurious to me. And we have no right to keep imposing this burden on M, who, yes, steps. But I need to think this through if this is the right thing for me, for my son and for M.

I have the obligation as a person and a mother to step up and clearly define what I am willing to do, and to stick with it. This is a process. I am a work in progress. I am calling upon myself to keep doing it. It is neither here nor there that he insists on taking advantage of the situation. Let him do it. It is my responsibility to stop it. I did not do a good enough job in stopping it. Or in defining boundaries so he could not do it as much.

Finally, he is making choices here. Some of them are good, some bad. M is really upset J has not sought housing where he is. But how would he do that, really, where he is? He has no credit. Rents for a room begin at $700 a month where he lives. He is homeless. Who would want to live with him? He could qualify for a subsidized apartment but like M says, he does NOT WANT TO PAY for housing, not even a subsidized rent. And he does NOT WANT RULES. And this is why he had to leave the apartment. He did not want to pay the agreed upon rent. That was his choice.

So. At last I see the problem. I stayed in a dance with him, knowing he had these attitudes. That he did not want rules. And he did not want to pay.

It really boils down to this: Do I want to accept him back in my property knowing this? That he will not want to adhere to any rules and he will not want to pay.

What has really changed? Not.one.thing.

He will mouth this and that. But he does not understand commitment and responsibility. And he does not understand reciprocity.

I cannot affect his choices. I tried and I tried. I cannot get him to the doctor and I cannot get him to get psychological treatment. I cannot get him to want things for himself, except for what he wants.

He has not called. He has known now, for 2 days, that I wanted to talk. He has his money for the month. It has not turned real cold and it is not raining. There is no motivation to contact us. I have to let him carry this. I have no control.

I do not know yet what I want, but I am starting to get the lay of the land and to see where the problems are. They are not my own. They are his.

M has a great deal of confidence in the intelligence of my son. In his ability to take care of himself. He is steadfast in believing my son is nobody's full. He does not see him as vulnerability as do I. M thinks males generally see themselves as invulnerable and put themselves out there in the world, at risk. He sees this as part of maleness.

Where M is crestfallen and judgmental about my son is his stubborn refusal to learn and to submit a little bit, to reality and to the need to work things out with other people. He sees this is a domination issue. That my son wants to dominate, without taking responsibility, while wanting and needing help.

People. I will read this thread over and over again to try to absorb its wisdom.

I do believe that there is no good reason to enable him.

Tired out

Well-Known Member
Copa, I was going to ask "WHAT do YOU want?" then I read it is your most recent post that you aren't sure what you want.
You say he got his money for the month so until that runs out you won't hear from him.
So I will say it.. to him, you are just for money and what he wants. he only cares about himself and what HE wants. Not even what he needs it is what he wants.
What YOU really want is to know he is safe and warm.
My thought..Do you need the rent money? If not let him have to apartment, give up the control, just quit worrying about the pot. I don't like the idea of pot either BUT if for your own sanity and heart, if it would just make you rest easier knowing he is sleeping safe and warm tell him he can live in the space rent free as long as he keeps it sanitary and doesn't have others move in there and pays the utilities. depending on your state/county those may be covered with subsidies as well as a food card (since he gets ssi) If those are your only conditions that might work. I say this because honestly That is what I would do. Even though my son has done some crap things I just want to know he is safe and warm.
A side note.. I was listening to a show last week (Dr.Phill) and he was talking about how victims of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) should never ever use marijuana in any way. something about the receptors in the brain and the release of (dopamine?) causing more problems. I read on this page something about your son and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? I only know the little I heard on tv about this particular interaction of the drug.


Well-Known Member
What YOU really want is to know he is safe and warm.
Tired out, thank you very much. I like your thinking about this. You cut to the chase (which is something I have trouble doing.) I also want to know that he is seeing the doctor and taking the required medication regularly for his liver. If I knew that he was taking the medication, getting tested and seeing the doctor, I think I could be OK with that.
If not let him have to apartment, give up the control, just quit worrying about the pot.
I had come to the idea that I did not want rent from him, but worried that this would give him even more money to buy the pot. Would I could do, if he consented, is collect the money and put it in a joint bank account as a savings for him, which was always the plan. What do you think of that idea?
depending on your state/county those may be covered with subsidies as well as a food card
I did not know this. I don't think he does either.
I read on this page something about your son and a Traumatic Brain Injury (Traumatic Brain Injury (Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)))
Yes. But how do I stop his pot use? I can't.

I have a hard time letting go of wanting him to want to get better, but there has not been one thing that I could do to effect this. Not one thing.

Reading your post gave me a sense of relief. I was able to breathe. Thank you very much, Tired.


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· J does not want to / is not ready to change, and does not want to reciprocate a positive relationship at this moment. You are wise, and know this is so …. but you want it to be different … You want it to be “your” way.
· You also recognize that your fear and guilt about J is very much about how your own sense of personal identity and sense of your own value is tied up with thinking you must (and can) make a difference with J. You know you cannot … but you do not want to accept that.
· You express that you have faith, you have hope, … but you want to have faith and hope on your terms. You do not want to let J (and all he represents to you) go ... you don’t want to trust the process.


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Would I could do, if he consented, is collect the money and put it in a joint bank account as a savings for him, which was always the plan. What do you think of that idea?
I like the idea of collecting and saving money for him. Though i don’t know I would tell him - if he knows it exists and he sees it as his money, it’s going to become a point of contention between you.

To me, the point of collecting rent is not for you but for him. To get him used to showing responsibility, paying his own way, taking care of himself. I see it as training wheels for life.

If I were able to have S or C live with me, I would make them pay some form of rent for this reason. And I would save it for them. I would not tell them, but present it as a gift when I felt there was a point they were ready to use it - for deposit and rent on an apartment of their own, a down payment on a house, a car, a cross country move, anything they wanted as long as I felt they were responsible enough not to blow it on drugs. If I told them I was saving it, I know we would fight about it. Because why am I collecting rent if I don’t need it? Why am I holding their money? Why can’t I just give it to them now? I can’t have them live with me with where they are in life right now anyway, but I’ve thought about this plan many times.

I think the reason that the thought of renting out the house to someone else gives you a feeling of relief is because then it would not be sitting there empty as a point of contention between you, with J mad that you aren’t giving it to him free and You guilty for not doing so.

Perhaps one way forward would be to prepare the house for rental and check into market rates in your area and do all the things you would need to do to rent it out, just short of putting an ad up. And then tell him you are planning to rent it out, for money, but if he is interested in living there you will rent it to him for half the market rate. Give him the stipulations, let him decide, have him sign a contract like any other renter if he wants to move forward. Don’t try to put controls on him that you wouldn’t put on a renter you weren’t related to, but don’t accept less either. You would need a mechanism in place to ensure rent would be collected on time, and you would have to be prepared to evict him if it doesn’t work. And if he’s not prepared to live within these stipulations, go ahead and rent it out to someone else, guilt free. Additional money coming in never hurts. And then the house is no longer an option for you to fight about.

It’s really none of his business whether you ‘need’ the rental money or not. The house is your asset, you are allowed to profit from it. You can say we’ve decided to rent it out, we need the money from it. I am careful never to talk about my financial situation with my kids, because if they know I have ‘extra’ money (like my emergency fund) then somehow they are entitled to it and I am selfish for not giving it to them. So if they ask for money I don’t want to give, I just say sorry, can’t do that. As far as they know I live as close to the edge as their dad does. It cuts down on arguments.

If having him in the house is mostly for your peace of mind, then forget all this, and just let him stay there. But if it were me, I would want to use it as an opportunity to develop some basic life skills. Someday he will have to figure out how to make a life for himself without you. No one else is going to let him live rent free and responsibility free. He has got to get the idea out of his head that his entire SSI check is play money, and you or the world owe him everything else he needs for survival.

But I know you’ve been down that path before, and it didn’t work, so maybe it’s not reasonable to expect that it would this time. Letting him stay with no expectations would feel like enabling to me. I think I would have to say no, that doesn’t work, if you don’t like our stipulations here are some other places you can go that will help you get off the street when you’re ready. And then I would rent the house out to someone else to take it off the table.


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I am sorry you are still so worried. It is a very hard decision to make. Many on here have asked me as has my counselor what happens when you are unable to provide the house and other things. Will he have the skill to take care of himself? It is your decision how to handle the situation but I suggest you take into consideration telling him he has to work.


Well-Known Member
I am struck how you guys mirror me--in that we are all over the map in this.

Some of us can't let go of the conditions and aspirations for him. We see me as responsible to ask specific things of him, for him that call for better behavior and his developing.

And others advocating letting go and acceptance, making this about me and my own tranquility, independent of any notion of teaching him and incentivizing him.

I will be back soon. Thank you Tried and Elsi.


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Remember your son does qualify for services being on SSI. When you are gone, like my Sonic he has the choice of getting a payee for his SSI/money to handle his bills, getting food assistance (he can do this now), getting special consideration for housing assistance and being sent to the top of the list, Medicare and Medicaid, a Case Manager and my son gets special very cheap taxi rates (a punch card) and rides to medical appointments by private services. J's advantage is SSI. He is on the street and must know this. Whether you like that he could use these disability services or whether HE likes qualifying (or not,) he is able to use whatever is given to the disabled in your state. It is probably better than Wisconsin.

If J cares about being on the street when you are gone he will care for himself using resources. If he doesnt, he doesnt. For now, I think that if it is ruining YOUR life for him to be homeless, you can bring him into your rental house with no/few conditions. Is this enabling,? He is 30 and clearly not enabling him doesnt motivate him and tortures you. I am thinking of you. I believe he knows how to sustain himself, even if it involves services and even if he wont,/cant work. He just is being stubborn and picky. He has been offered apartments but didnt like tje neighborhood ,(so being homeless is better?) Copa he is choosing this and I am worried about how his homelessness affects YOU.

Maybe you can help him navigate the system so he knows how to do it on the off chance that he doesnt. Meanwhile during your lifetime it is not a sin to give him a place to live, free of conditions, if you know he wont do conditions, for YOUR peace of mind. To me it is not about him, but you. Whether or not your son has a high IQ, drugs in utero or TBIs or maybe simply his personality makes him unwilling or unable to work, not use pot, find housing for himself and be productive. Something in him wont let him. He is not a drug addict of hard drugs. This battle in my opinion is inside of him, independent of you. You didnt cause this. Not at all. Dont ever blame yourself.

If it helps YOU to give him a roof, then in my opinion there is nothing wrong with it. As long as you understand its for your peace of mind, not to give him adulting experiences. He knows how to adult. He either wont or cant or a little of both. And adulting is what we cant make them do.

My two cents (jmo) is to do what your heart can stand...to make your life more bearable. You know what that is. Nobody else does. It just seems to me, as an outsider, that J being out of touch is immensely hard on you .Harder than for some, maybe because he is an only child. Your love for him is admirably huge! I dont know what would help you. Only you know.


Light and love.
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