Sad, venting, confused


Active Member
Can’t remember my last post, they mostly been about the same thing about my 16 yr old son in & out of juvenile detention &running away. Right now he’s back in, I went to go see him & he came out with a big smile happy to see me but he’s looks so thuggish.He had some marks on his face because he had been in a fight 2 days ago. Are talk was good . He asked me when he gets out can he live with me. My heart sank , I can’t say yes for the safety of my younger children , but he’s sixteen a child himself, a lost one, my heart wanted to break , I didn’t say no , I just said I don’t know . I explained how drugs, drinking & gangs puts everyone in the house in danger & acourse he said he wouldn’t do anything but how can I believe that, when it’s been going on for the last 4 years.I know he’s in gang, I know he robs & hurts people. I don’t think he would hurt us but his dark side is scary. I don’t know ,I just been feeling so depressed lately , always feeling like I’m on the verge of crying , lots of guilt . I finally realize it’s time I go see someone. I know this post is all over the place , just like my minds been.


Well-Known Member
Hi i am sorry to hear that you are in this position. I agree that it is a bad idea to let him come home if he is in a gang. It definitly could bring danger to your family. None of us want to believe our children will hurt us but how can we be sure. My son has not hurt me but has rages which are scary and has threatened. Other times he can be very sweet like your son when you visited. Sometimes they are sweet till they get what they want as well. In your case you also need to worry about a gang. I am not sure what options are available in your area but would definitely look into them before he is released. A social worker at the facility he is in might be able to provide information. My heart goes out to you.


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

I am sorry to hear that your son has not changed his ways. Of course you are sad and confused. He is very young. My son started to have issues at 15 as well but no gangs or anything, just escalating drug use and non communication. I would not go back to those days if my life depended on it.

I think this time of year adds to the sadness because we want to have happy holidays. Who doesn't?

I think you are on the right track knowing that you need to see a therapist to get through this. I know I would have lost it if I had not had a therapist during the worst times. The guilt, all of it. We are moms and we want to fix everything.

I am still struggling with my now 24 year old not being where I feel he should be. He is still struggling but I do know that he is trying and for now, that is all I need.

Prayers that your son will find his way. It can take a LONG time so in the meantime, you need to take care of you.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
I am so sorry that you are in such pain. RN is right that the holidays make everything so much worse. I always used to dream of a Norman Rockwell Christmas but finally accepted it was never going to happen once my daughter hit her teen years and started drinking and doing drugs. It seems like the holidays bring out the worst in them. So we started taking family trips at Christmas instead only including my daughter once she got sober.

As far as taking your son back into your home . . . I think you have to protect your younger children. You could even end up losing them if child services thinks that they are in danger. How long until your son gets released? Can you discuss other options with child services?

We never want to believe our children would hurt us but I maintain that they are not the same when they are abusing drugs. I describe it as the drugs kidnap our loved ones but the real person is still there inside and we get them back when they are truly sober. Until then, I think they are capable of anything including hurting a family member.



Well-Known Member
I am not writing this to be harsh. I truly understand the position you are in, and I sympathize greatly. I feel sad for you and for your son. What I write here is to help you face that you cannot bring him home. And he needs to understand why. His life may depend upon it, too.

If he is in a gang helpless, this alone can bring violence and danger to your family. The gang or a rival gang will not hesitate to hurt you, or threaten you, your family or your home if there is the inclination to do so. If they want.

To bring a child to your home who has criminal involvement means that you are always at risk of the police raiding your home, which can be violent, too, if there is the suspicion your son is majorly involved in something criminal. Even if you know nothing about what is happening, you would be at risk. If there is the sense that you should have known, this is enough.

This happened to a woman I know. Her home was raided by the police. She was thrown to the ground with guns to her back. Her home was turned upside down. Money and drugs were found. She was arrested and charged as a co-conspirator with her child. She lost her job.

She told me that she was lucky they did not kill her dog. She had no younger children, but if this happened minor children could be removed, to foster homes.

The situation of your son is difficult and sad. But I don't see how you are in a position to take on the risk of even thinking about taking him home. I think the kindest thing you can tell him is the truth. That his poor choices put him and everybody who loves him at risk. He needs to know this. And to learn to take responsibility for what he has chosen. What he is choosing makes him dangerous. This is the reality. I hope you forgive yourself for facing that.

At 16 he is eligible for Job Corps, a free, federal jobs program that feeds and houses young people and provides excellent vocation trainings, and supervision. They work with troubled and problemed youth. There are centers all over the country. My son went. I love this program.

Your son is making the choices of an adult. He has chosen to no longer be a child. That is the reality. He may be your child, but he is insisting upon making choices that take him outside of that role. He no longer accepts supervision or control. He will no longer adhere to boundaries. That he could come home to a loving mother and all will be well, is a fantasy. It can't, given who he is right now.

You are causing yourself great pain by taking guilt upon yourself. There may have been choices in the past where you could have done differently. That's true for me, and I would guess for all of us. But for you, now, no.
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New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Helpless,
I am so sorry for the grief of this. It is hard when our kids (or grandkids) go off the rails. Especially at a young age. It is all about choices, when those choices endanger our household and younger siblings, it becomes a safety issue for everyone concerned, even our wayward kids.
I am sad my eldest grandson had to leave my home but it became quite clear that he was unwilling to listen and was rapidly spiraling into the rabbit hole. I feel relief that he is not here and so do his siblings. Yes, I am relieved. I feel he has a chance to turn around away from us. Having him in my home emboldened him to test his size against all of us, he followed no boundaries and was extremely disrespectful. We all walked on eggshells.
When my daughter was in jail she would beg constantly to come home. I went into a rut and despaired over the holidays due to this. But, I knew having her in my home would just invoke more of the same old, same old.
It is not the end of any of our wayward kids stories. They can choose differently. That doesn’t depend on them living with us, in fact, for some of our kids I think being in our homes is detrimental to their growth and desire to change, to want better.
I think that with the right therapist you will be able to process all that has happened and be able to accept truths that are difficult to face alone. One of the biggest being that you are worthy of feeling safe in your own home. Another is taking a good honest look at how your sons choices affect everyone in your household.
I am so sorry for the pain of this. We want the best for our children. They have to want the best for themselves. They have to understand that their actions affect others. They have to care about that. Unfortunately, for now, that doesn’t seem to be on their radar. I agree with Copa and the others that you are making the right choice, it is hard especially during the holidays, but it is right.
May you find peace within yourself.


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

Great advice from the two pros. I hope this is comforting to you.


Roll With It
First, I want to send you many hugs. I know how hard it is when you cannot take your child home because it would endanger your other kids. I made the decision that my son couldn't live with us when he was 14. It took years, but eventually he came around. Now he is a productive adult working a full time job. He has had many promotions and is at the same company he started with when he was 15 or 16. He also had worked HARD to rebuild his relationships with each of us and with all of us as a unit. That didn't start until his early 20's though.

It is so hard when you have to make that choice. You end up grieving the child who doesn't live with you. I looked at the decision to move him to his grandparents as saving his life also. If he had seriously hurt his siblings or me, he would have ended up in jail/prison. He would kill himself there, or when he calmed down and realized what he had done to us. Thankfully he no longer rages like that, and plans his life so that he can have calm and quiet when he needs it.

I hope your son realizes what his choices are doing to the entire family and then he chooses to act differently. No matter what, the road probably won't be easy for you for some time. I pray that it gets easy for you before too long.


Well-Known Member
It seems he doesn't have the ability to learn from his mistakes and see the consequences of his actions. If he's joined a gang, I am very concerned about his young life being cut short because of all the violence. We've had a hard time with gang violence in this town. When do you think he will get out of juvenile detention?


Well-Known Member

I hope you find answers. I hope you focus on yourself and find peace. He will be ok outside the home.