my adult son is terrorizing our family

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by vicky mcclure, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    My son, has tried to get money from all my family, by terrorizing them with horrible e-mails, and text message. WE have as a family tired to block his calls, and threats with regards to all the things he has accused us, and accepts no blame. We continue to get calls from made up phone numbers, and harassed. How do we stop this? I am sick and very over all of this terrible behavior.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. If this is your real name I suggest you change your name for this site, which is anonymous. You can change it by sending a private message to the site administrator. Her name is runawaybunny. You can find the inbox at the top of the screen to the right above the search box.

    As far as keeping your son away from you and from family, many of us had had to deal with similar things from our adult children. Your son is not allowed to threaten you or family members. This is against the law. There is a hard decision to be made, whether to call the police every single time, and whether to file a restraining order with the district attorney's office.

    In my own case, I did not hesitate to call the police. I did get an order of trespass. I was at the brink of getting a restraining order about a year and a half ago.

    Our children are not allowed to terrorize and persecute us. Talking to them and begging them to stop does not help. What helps is taking decisive action to involve authorities where there are direct and swift consequences. To them.

    I know how painful and stressful this is. I have lived it too. But you do have choices here. You don't have to endure this ongoing. I am sorry this is happening to you.
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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  3. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    Hello and welcome to our communiity. I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time with your son. Sounds very very stressful.

    @Copabanana brings up a good point. If the username you are using is your real name please change it in your user account settings. Here's a direct link:

    I'd also be happy to change it for you. Just send me a message.
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  4. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    Thanks, he doesn't live in the same state as we do, so the restraining order doesn't apply. We have contacted authorities, but nothing can be done. We've all added blocking apps on our phones, and he still gets through via other sites that change his number. Thankyou very much for responding. I do need support, and am struggling.
  5. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Your son and mine use the same tactics. It has been a few years since we stopped sending Difficult Child money, so the calls/texts/emails are fewer and farther between---but they still occur.

    I am guessing you never answer a phone call from a # you do not recognize?

    Our Difficult Child uses some app or something which allows him to text from fake #s. husband and I have yet to figure out how to avoid seeing those texts. When they come, we screenshot/save them, then delete the text.

    I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

  6. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    Yes, it’s a horrible feeling to hear your text message alert or phone ring. It’s like my stomach and heart race. We just stopped sending money. You’d think I owned western union. So sad. It’s the same thing my son does. I don’t save the messages, as they are so very hurtful. My husband is pretty soft, and sad. I am hurt and so angry that he has been using us, and treating us the way he does. He even has called my 86 year old mom to try and get to us so upsetting.
  7. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I don't know if your phone has this feature, but we are able to customize the ring tone according to who is calling. You or people in your family might have this feature on your phones. Use a specific ring tone for each different person you want to receive calls from. If the phone rings and it's not one of the those ring tones, don't answer.

    As for texts, just delete them or take the photo in case you have to go to the police. It is good to document things like this. Even if the police say they cannot help, go ahead and document things, anyway.

    I'm disappointed that the police can't do anything. I certainly wouldn't answer the door without seeing who is there first.

    Is your son homeless or using drugs? How old is he?
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    You will find loads of support here. And a place to be with the struggle, until it lessens, and you grow stronger.

    Some thoughts: It's not obligatory to have a cell phone. If you don't have a cell phone he can't send texts. I like Crayola's idea about customized ring tones. Would it be possible to decide who are priority calls (like from specific family members) and assign them the special ringtones, ignoring the rest? But this doesn't solve the texts. Or change your phone number(s)?

    The other part of it this is the shame, guilt, fear, we feel when our children are out of control especially in such a way that our relatives, friends, neighbors etc. are exposed. This has happened to me and to many of us. In my own life some of my neighbors became judgmental and gossiped about me. I found this unbearably hurtful. I felt exposed and betrayed. It was one of the most vulnerable times of my life. I even concealed some of what happened from my sister, so as to not be exposed to her reaction.

    I can't say anything to you that will take away this hurt. But I will tell you that you do not deserve to suffer or to feel one bit responsible. Part of the learning in our situations is the learning to NOT carry the sense of responsibility and blame for actions taken by our adult children, who are, in fact, ADULTS. These are adult people who are making adult choices. Mothers and fathers no longer are responsible for the actions of adults who choose badly, irresponsibly and even criminally. This is something you can change in time. How much you take on.

    There are tighter boundaries you can make. There is a way to think and feel about this where you can feel greater freedom and strength, and less distress, no matter what your son does. I believe this, because I have done it. And many others here, have done this better than have I. (I have been a slow learner.) I welcome you to this forum and I hope you stay with us. Take care.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  9. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Please make sure you have an alarm system in case he comes. You never know.

    Yes, yes, give him his own ring tone!

    Prayers to all, son included, that he may get help.
  10. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    My son is 33, and has had many struggles with drugs, and mental issues. Yet, he is a genius on using people to get what he wants. I have deleted so many messages, but I will keep ones that threaten us, and it's so hard not to read what he writes. My daughters also have called the police. And nothing since he doesn't live here. Thank you for reaching out.
  11. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

  12. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    I agree on the cell phone, but I feel like I am being forced to change my number that I have had for 20+years. I know some how he will find me, and several family members won't change their due to the business that they are in. I have kept a lot of this abuse from my family, and when I quit paying for all of his needs, and stop talking to him, he cast his net to reach everyone in my family and extended as well. It was so painful, and I did a lot of apologizing to everyone. Even my 86 year old mother, who he tried to have her call me, and ask? he has created so many lies and all the wolf at the door, I am living like a prisoner, waiting for the phone to ring, and messages that hurt so deeply. I am so sorry, that you had to go through this pain as well. I only wish him well, but he just can't get past the part that I have enabled for years. It's my fault.
  13. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    Thank you, I wish I could, but have blocked so many numbers, and he has changed it so many times, I don't even know his number. thanks, we only want him to get the help he needs as well.
  14. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Sadly not all of our kids, and I include MY 33 year old daughter in this, will ever get the help they need. My daughter thinks nothing is wrong with her. It's everyone else who needs help!

    We can't wait for them to change. WE have to change and stop obsessing on them in order to live a good life, which we deserve.

    Get a therapist. Go to Al Anon or Nar Anon. We did both. Join a church community. Do your hobbies, travel, we don't have time for this and our angst does not change them.

    Be well. Prayers.
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  15. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Welcome to this family where you will find comfort, strength and support. No one has all the answers but by listening to our struggles and how we may have tried to manage them, you might find the right path to your own recovery.

    I too struggled with this similar problem with my 30 yr. old son. When he didn't get $ from me anymore he became very vicious. He keyed my brand new car to the tune of $2,000.00 :( and sent messages that became physically threatening. He even used my work e-mail. To a large degree for a long time I allowed the texts, calls and e-mails. Somehow in my warped sick thinking (and kind of compulsive thought process too) I felt I had to keep listening and reading all the hurtful things he'd say. Like it was a punishment to myself for not being able to save him. Also, I kept listening, hoping that he was calling to apologize and say he'd changed. This has not yet happened and I didn't realize it's going to be a long process for him when and if he does. So no time soon.

    Some people can rip the band-aid off fast but for me it was baby steps. First I put his e-mails into my deleted folder (but I kept going there to look for them anyways), I'd block his texts but not thru my cell phone provider so he'd still be able to leave voicemails. As Copa mentioned, it's our "FOG" (fear, obligation and guilt) that keep us in the loop. It took therapy, this forum and Al anon to help me get strong enough. Eventually I was able to stop all these avenues of communication and that's when little by little my anxiety subsided. It's not gone altogether and in fact when I'm ready for bed, I now put my phone on "silent". I have another son with issues too, who is not blocked and could call at any time. This is such a trigger for me.

    You, however sound like you're ready to "rip the band-aid off". If you truly are, you will be able to work this through. As someone else mentioned, don't pick up a call that you don't recognize the number of but do save your texts or voicemails should you "need" them with the police. When you need to "silence" your phone and enjoy some "calm", do so. Take small increments of time to find peace. Eventually, you will grow to want more of that and will do whatever works for you to attain it.

    Also, no replies back. No need to rebut what he says. It only adds fuel to the fire. They know when they've got you engaged, even if you're defending yourself or trying to defend family members who he's involving, he's still winning. It gives them ammunition. As time goes on, the calls may subside. Be careful, however, and be alert to your surroundings. Even if he is out of state right now. They are not happy when we make changes for ourselves.

    Be safe, be strong!
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  16. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Vic, this is a reality we live with. My Difficult Child has reached me via email when she suspects I have her blocked. That's been a while ago now. Mostly, because of this group and the support to carry forward the boundaries I have read so much about in search for answers. They are in my sig line.

    I no longer race to answer texts, I ck emotions at the door of any interaction. I have learned that is love. Taking on responsibility for what others do is pointless. It doesnt deepen our love, strengthen our resolve, or promote mental health.

    I am so sorry. But, I am so glad to hear you have stopped enabling and started to live your own life.

    My Difficult Child, 41, lives far away also. I found plenty of resources where she is and put them in a file. Our DCs need help we are not capable of giving.

    It gets easier for me as long as I stick to logic.

    In healing
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  17. Blindsided

    Blindsided Face the Sun

    Same here. Well said.
    Love, light and strength
  18. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    Thank you, thank you.... I needed to hear this and have over and over again. I feel so much stronger, each day. It has been only 3 days, and yet my anxiety is rearing it's ugly head. I hadn't had any noise in two days, and today, I got a weird message from Uber, that he wants me to follow his drive. Dang, I thought I was blocked on everything, and yet he finds me. Thank you for all the encouragement. I need it. Thank you very much for your post!
  19. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    What you say it so so true. I read and re-read the hurtful messages. I haven't responded, at first, I just ignored and ignored, and then family members would copy and paste his messages. I still ignored, and that seemed to make him even more mad. He played the game of oh, I am going to homeless, I am going to jail, I am... and never has taken blame for his poor choices in so many things that he has done. I feel that he has had me in the FOG for as many years as I can remember. I need to FOG to lift. And I am so sorry that you have had to deal with this with your son.We love our children so deeply, and only want what is best, and them to be well, and healthy. He has taken the joy out of my life. I live in a fear of the phone, and I have lots of reasons to be happy. I am ready to RIP the BAND-AID OFF... thank you for your thoughtful response and know I am in need of friends that feel my pain. My family, just doesn't understand. HE is very unhappy that I have cut him off. it's come to this.
  20. vicluth

    vicluth New Member

    Thank you, it sound so much like my son. It's never his fault, it's everyone else that should help him. I am scheduling help, and I do all the other things. I appreciate your response. Thank you~
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