My husband and I feeling we are being held hostage by our homeless son.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Astrea, May 14, 2019.

  1. Astrea

    Astrea New Member

    Our 32-year old son has had problems with addiction, and he has been unemployed except for occasional temp jobs. He's worn out his welcome at most of the temp agencies in the area. He is now homeless but constantly at our house, eating, sleeping, and combative--arguing to the point where he has affected our health, both physical and mental. He is a constant source of stress to his younger sister, who has emotional problems related to anxiety herself. I'm afraid my husband will become seriously ill, perhaps have a heart attack, because he complains about pains in his chest whenever our son is here. It's difficult to get our son to leave. We intend to rekey the locks and if necessary, get a TRO to keep him at bay. We want to help him, but he refuses to help himself to any source but us. We are at a point where we need to take drastic action to remove this extreme stress on our lives. We need direction here to better cope with these problems and hopefully guide our son (although the latter may not be possible) in a more productive way. He has always been a challenge, went to special schools and care. We arranged therapy for him but he refused to interact with the psychologists and psychiatrists. When he turned 18, there was nothing else we could do to convince him to get some help. The situation has just become worse. What now?
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Learn what i just learned. My daughter is also over 30. There is nothing you can or should try to do for your son. He does what he wants. Don't help as much as we did. We are retiring soon with not much money. Go to Al Anon. Or find other support but stolp thinking you can help your son in any way. You owe yourselves this.
  3. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Yep. Change the locks and if he tries to get in the house call the police on him. Do not allow him in your house or give him money. If your love and assistance could have helped him it would have by now. I know it's terribly difficult, but you can't let him take you and family down with him. Sending you peace.
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  4. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    I don't know where you live. Some cities don't have as many resources as we have here to help the homeless. Still, the person has to decide for themselves to take advantage of those resources, whether it's counseling or weekly meetings with a social worker.
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I agree that your son needs to move out. He is not functioning as an adult and you having him there is obviously not helping HIM or you.

    Until you change something, nothing will change. That is what most of us learn that come here for advice and guidance. We have been through something similar so you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Take what helps you and leave the rest. Every situation is different but most situations have a lot of similarities as well.

    I would recommend getting therapy for yourself if you are able. A therapist that specializes in addiction is what I used and she helped me set firm boundaries for myself and my son. I think he is now doing well now BECAUSE of what we put in place.

    It doesn't mean you do not love him. As a parent it's our job to raise independent adults. Some have to be forced into this.

    We had a hard line with our son at a young age because I did not want a 30 year old on my couch asking "what's for dinner". It depends on what YOU will tolerate in your own home. Take charge. If he gets mad, too bad.

    Good luck.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Astrea. I'm sorry you're struggling with your adult son. You've arrived at a safe place to land for us parents. You may want to post on the Substance Abuse forum as well.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. A good book that may be helpful is Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie.

    As many of us here find, it is generally NOT our kids who do all of the heavy lifting of's US. Waiting for them to change leads to being held hostage to their addiction. To that end, I would encourage you to find supportive environments where you and your husband can learn how to set stringent boundaries around your son's choices &, behaviors, learn to disengage from his problems and learn how to accept what you cannot change. Many here find support, guidance, information and connection at 12 step groups like Al Anon, Families Anonymous, CoDa and Narc Anon. Many of us seek professional help because we cannot do this alone. Options to find therapists in your area are: Find a Therapist & Find a Therapist, Psychologist, Counselor - Psychology Today. A good resource for those struggling with addiction is Delancey Street- Delancey Street Foundation - Home

    At 32 years old, it's time for your son to find his own way. There are shelters & food banks. He can call the Nationwide help line at 211 for assistance in your area. It's not an easy decision to disengage from our off the rails adult kids, however, there comes a time and it appears you've arrived there, when we cannot do it any longer, change is necessary. When we've been at this a long time, as you have, we often forget how to self care, how to take care of becomes imperative to put the focus on OUR NEEDS and OUR WANTS. Most of us require help to get to that point.

    Hang in there Astrea, this is a rough ride. I would strongly encourage you to get that TRO and change the locks TODAY. Don't wait. Your son is likely used to you and your husband caving to his demands and it will take a real commitment for you to say NO, because when we begin setting boundaries, our kids usually up the ante......they know exactly what buttons to push to get what they want. You must set the boundaries and get your lives back. You matter. Your wishes, desires and needs matter. You are not helping your son, you are enabling him and as a result he is abusing you, your husband and his sister. Addiction is a cruel master. Don't allow it to keep you in the hamster wheel, get yourselves out.

    Continue posting, it helps to write our stories and get heard and supported by those who understand and have been there. Put yourselves FIRST. Find support. Take care of your needs. This is not easy, but it is doable. Many of us have walked this path and come out the other side with acceptance and peace.......I'm glad you're here......
  7. Astrea

    Astrea New Member

    Dear Recovering Enabler:
    Your words really brought me comfort and were sorely needed. It's good to know that my instincts are in the right place insofar as the next steps to take. Yes, we have caved more than once. However, my husband is far more forgiving that I being from a large family and the second of four brothers. Nevertheless, he has come to the same conclusions as I regarding what we needs to do. At the moment, it's a matter of timing. He's having some problems with the law and laying a TRO on him will greatly complicate matters.

    To make matters even more difficult, he just told me yesterday that his girlfriend is nearly three months pregnant. I don't need to tell you how unsuited he is for fatherhood. He says they plan to terminate, but if he gets a job, he might keep the baby. It would give him a reason to work.

    Though not a fan of abortion, I believe this child deserves a chance in life and wouldn't get it under the present circumstances.

    So I will continue posting.

    The response by all of the folks here has been so supportive that it's almost overwhelming. I'm just surprise at how man of us are suffering through the same problems.

    Please take care as well.
  8. Astrea

    Astrea New Member

    Your words are the truth. I will take your advice to heart. Joining this website was an important start, and I may very well get counseling myself. I've done it in the past for help with my son. I think I need to do it again.

    I will always love my son, despite his dishonesty and addictions.

    Thank you for your support.
  9. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

  10. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Welcome Astrea. I am a fairly new member myself. I too have as it sounds, many similar issues as you. However, as cold hearted as it may sound about 1 1/2 yrs. ago when I divorced my alcoholic husband of 30 yrs.I also opted no to allow either of my grown sons (30 and 26) to come to my home. They have appeared outside my home and called me in the middle of a snow storm, no less, to let them in, but I have refused them entry. This has gone against every grain of my being to not let them in but they don't work, verbally abuse me and both live in their used vehicles (I bought them) doing nothing all day but blaming me for their miserable lives. I am not winning any medals here but I am thankful God has given me the strength to keep this resolve to not let them in. Whenever, I have "moments" where they are being intermittently nice to me I start to wonder if I'm doing the right thing. But in my heart of hearts I know I am. They would never leave my apartment and cause me more agonizing pain than I'm already going through with them. The last 10+ years when we were all home before the divorce, they played video games and promised us they'd get jobs every time we nagged at them. Nothing has changed "EXCEPT" me. I found through Al anon that this is what we work towards. Be the change in the situation you want because honestly that's all that we can do. We cannot change "them".
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  11. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Astrea, it's a long, hard road with our difficult adult children who refuse to grow up. I agree with those who have said it's time for your son to move out. This is tough stuff, and not in a parent's nature, and it hurts like hell, but it's essential for both your welfare and for your son's. He will either sink or swim, but he is the one to decide that.

    I have a 33 year old difficult son. I have refused to let him live with me since he was 19 because of his failure to follow rules, verbal abuse, substance abuse, etc. Even without him living with me, the level of stress has been awful. I have helped him with $ for rent, cars, food, and on and on. Each time, I think, he's finally getting it and finally changing, but after fifteen years I have to admit, that except for short periods of time, he has not grown up or shown concern for the financial and emotional stress he has caused to our family. He never calls unless it's for some new need.

    Just last night I blocked his number after he called needing a ride and place to stay after being pulled over with an unregistered vehicle. I did not pick him up. I did not answer the phone. I have made the choice, that even though I love my son and want only the best for him, his behavior does not show love for me, and I am determined to take care of myself. At 66 I have decided to put myself first.

    Keep posting and know that you deserve to be treated with respect. Show you mean it by doing whatever you need to make your home a safe haven.