What does it mean when a child blatantly steals from you?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by JillS, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. JillS

    JillS New Member

    A little background: My son is 20, high-school dropout though he did get his GED within 6 months of dropping out. Since then he's had little jobs here and there but mostly acts like he's on perpetual summer vacation. He smokes pot, sleeps all day and sells sneakers to bring in cash when he needs it (I don't know where he is getting the sneaker supply from). We've had blowouts since he was in high school about his performance and lack of motivation We did a brief stint with therapy, but on the days he had to go by himself he'd show up late or not at all. His father and I separated when he was a baby and his father is not a huge part of his life, though they do talk from time to time.

    Last March he stole $400 out of my journal (wasn't just lying around, was in what I thought was a safe area of my bedroom). He said he didn't like some of the stuff he read in there so he felt obliged to help himself to the money. So I was doubly violated, of my private thoughts and my money. Later he felt remorse and said he would pay me back with interest when he got a job. Fast forward to October when he finally gets a job - I get no money from him, but he assures me he's saving up to pay me back. By December the job is history - he is fired for lateness. Around the holidays my aunt comes by with a gift for me, but since I wasn't home when she came, she left it hanging on my apartment door (we live in a family building with 4 apartments). About a week later she asks me if I enjoyed the gift - "what gift?" I ask... My son had stolen the bag from the door and when confronted had no expression and nothing to say about the theft. Two weeks ago I accidentally left $120 in my coat pocket. The weather had warmed up so I changed coats and forgot to take the money out. When I returned later I immediately went to my coat to secure the money but it was gone. My son watched me go through the entire closet thinking the money fell out. As soon as I realized the futility of searching I pointblank asked him for the money. He swore he didn't take it yet the next day, he shows me $120 that he found in a basket in the closet. Funny thing, the money I lost was $100-dollar bill with some singles, a ten and a five, the money he gave me was two $50-dollar bills and a twenty. I thanked him for giving the money back but told him that both of us know this was not the money I lost - this was the guilt money he was replacing it with.

    I'm furious about the stealing but even more furious at his mental state. How did he think he would not get caught? In any of these instances? I just can't even begin to understand what kind of "thought" processes he goes through when he steals from me. It's just the 2 of us in this little apartment, why would he create such tension and animosity? I've asked him to get the eff out on numerous occasions. I've even called his father in desperation asking him to come pick him up. I am not wanting to throw him in the streets as I've seen kids go from bad to worse in NYC, but it's pretty clear at this point that he cannot continue to live here. He's not thriving, he's not motivated, he steals from the person that feeds and shelters him - I just don't get it. His father and I have both always worked - I don't know where the laziness and criminal mindedness is coming from.

    Any suggestions for a single woman with a grown parasite of a son? I suggested the Coast Guard but he won't go. He says he's willing to go to school but he was a crappy student all his life, I truly believe college would be a waste of time and money. I just feel totally lost, sad, depressed, unhinged, and of course like a total failure. I wish I never had him at this point, but I know that's a pointless mental exercise. I want to see him thrive, but he doesn't want that for himself, and since he's crapped on me so many times I don't even want to help him anymore.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi JillS,
    Welcome! I am happy you found us, but sorry you had to. I understand how you feel, as I imagine most of us will, we all have kids who seem for one reason or another, drugs, alcohol or mental illness, have a failure to launch themselves into what we might call a normal life. I am sorry for the predicament you find yourself in, I know how frustrated, angry, sad and disappointed you feel.

    My initial reaction to your plight is that stealing from you is absolutely not okay. He is old enough to know right from wrong and allowing him to get away with this behavior is enabling him. He needs to find a job and support himself. Hanging out and smoking pot and stealing is ridiculous behavior, which you have every right to be angry about and to put a stop to it immediately. He needs to understand since you pay the bills and it's your apartment, he has to live by your rules. Reading your journal and stealing money out of it is remarkably insulting and reason to ask him to leave!!

    At this point, I don't believe what he wants has any validity at all. It is WHAT YOU WANT THAT COUNTS. I have a very good friend who lives in NYC and recently she gave her 22 year old daughter 6 months to find a place to live since her apartment was going out of rent control and skyrocketing in rent and she could only afford a one bedroom, not the two bedroom they were accustomed to . The daughter drug her feet for awhile until she realized her mom was serious and then she found a job and within months found an apartment in Queens with another girl, which was affordable and clean and in pretty good shape in a good neighborhood. So, even in NYC or the boroughs, it can be done.

    As many of us find on this site, there comes a time when we need to detach from our grown kids and concentrate on our own lives. I think there is a point between his living with you and you throwing him out on the streets, where you can begin the process of detaching from him. It doesn't have to be either /or, something in between will work. Perhaps a time limit, like, 'you have 3 months to find a job and remove yourself from my home, and in the meantime, next time you steal from me, know that I will call the police. And, next time you go in my closet or read my journal, you will find all of your belongings thrown out of the window onto the street since I will then have the same respect for you and your things as you have for me and mine."

    Just a thought...............

    In the meantime, keep venting here, talking about it with us. Find other supports, maybe therapy if that works for you, or a 12 step group, or a CoDa group (Codependency Anonymous)

    You might come up with a plan that works for you, step by step, so he and you are clear about your boundaries and what is going to happen. It's your life now, not his, he has to start his now, give him a boot in the right direction. You are not a failure, you are a Mom, doing what me and most of us have done, but it's now time to change and get him on his path to his life. Some of our little chicks need help to leave the nest, and making it easy for them to stay hurts them in the long run and keeps them stuck in the short run.

    Hugs to you. Blessings to you. Others will be along soon with their wonderful wisdom and support. Hang in there.........we are holding you close now and you are not alone...............
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    My best guess is that he's using more than pot and is stealing to buy drugs. He has that "I don't care a _____" personality of a drug user too.

    Your son isn't a little boy anymore. I would give him three months to find a job and a place to stay and then make him leave at that time, whether he did it or not. You are not helping him by giving him comfort, food, and a warm bed while he steals and does whatever else he does on the streets. I know it's a hard thing to do because I had to tell my daughter to leave when we came home early from a short vacation and found her having a drug party in our house (this was after many, many warnings and her promise that she was now clean). She DID quit using drugs and is doing really well now, but I'm not sure that would be the case if we hadn't made her leave...

    I agree that a CODA or Narc-Anon group would really, really, REALLY give you good support and ideas in this difficult time. Why not try a meeting and see?

    Big hugs and please keep us posted. We care.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Ditto what the others said word for word. In the meantime, perhaps a very good lock for your bedroom door and a safe for your valuables.

    As you detach and do less for him, he will be angry and his sense of entitlement will boom, so put your things in a safe place he can't get to.

    And a last word of caution:as a newbie to detachment, it may not feel 'right' to you, as a mom, to detach from him, to not make his world comfy...stick with it anyway. He's old enough to be self sufficient, he just hasn't had to do it yet. Everything changes when you stop enabling them. He may pull away from you, he may leave, you may feel like you've lost him forever, but stay strong, he'll come back to you-hopefully as the man you'd like him to be...or better than he is now! Sometimes, often it gets uglier before it gets better and that's something people often forget to tell you.

    Big hugs, sending strength!
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. First of all, you're not a failure. We've been lied to, stolen from and then meant to feel guilty when we stood up for ourselves, so I know what you're going through. It's extremely unhealthy and unwise for you to put up with this. If he's lazy and unmotivated, I agree that college would be a waste of time/$. Does he have an aptitude for a trade, like auto repair, cooking school, etc? If he has no discernable interests, then he has to get a job and get out - and he WILL be ticked off at you, and alternatively he will try to charm you - he'll do anything at all to continue being comfortable. Be aware, lock up your stuff and lay down the law before he's really going to be lost. It's appalling how much we sacrifice for such poor treatment and little appreciation. It just makes me so angry. You'll get a lot of support here; keep posting and reading thru the threads.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I agree with what others have said... and if this stealing from you is new behavior then it definitely speaks to more serious drug use. Check out the substance abuse forum as there are many of us who have faced what you are facing with drug use and stealing and the need to detach.... it is very very tough.

    However in the end you are not helping him by letting him live with you and steal from you...the world doesnt work like that and the sooner he learns that the better. It is a scary place to be to have to let your kid live on the streets and totally fend for themselves... especially when they are so young. My son is 20 and I have had to do that... he is currently in rehab (because he wanted to get off the streets) but we will do it again if he doesn't stay sober.

    And it is very counter intuitive to be so tough on our kids that we love so much, who hurt us so much.

    If you can find an alanon group for parents. It can be so so helpful to find others who have walked this road and found ways to take care of themselves and move on in spite of where their kids are.

    And keep coming to the board... we understand and many of us have been there (and still are there).

  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    What does it mean?

    It means your son is a thief! And by the sounds of it, he is not stealing from just you (I mean, he's certainly not manufacturing those sneakers up in his bedroom in his spare time, is he?)

    I agree with the other posters - let him know that you WILL be pressing charges next times this happens. And you don't need to get his "permission" nor wait until he is "ready" to give him a deadline for moving out. Let him figure out what he is going to do with himself...

    (And if he wants college bad enough, he can get himself through community college or trade school - don't let his "willingness" to go to school become just another way to sponge off of you as he coasts through the next few years...)
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board :)

    The kids don't go from bad to worse from being thrown out into the street, they go from bad to worse as they walk the path of addiction. I know you stated your son smokes pot, but from his behavior and the stealing......well, it strongly suggests he's doing more than just pot. And unfortunately as long as he's doing any drug, 95 percent of any help you're giving him (as in a place to live, food, clothes, ect ect) is enabling him to continue the behavior.

    I have an extremely low tolerance for stealing and lying. What he did with the journal would've gotten him tossed out on his rear immediately, whether he had a place to go or not. Biting the hand that feeds you is pretty much the stupidest thing you can do.

    Your son has no motivation to move from perpetual teendom into adulthood. He's lying and stealing. He has a drug problem that is already interfering with his life.

    If it were me, I'd give him 3 months. Where he goes or what he does wouldn't be my problem. He's an adult, he can handle it. (if not, he'll learn quickly) Next time strange sneakers show up I'd be reporting it to the police. He's either stealing them himself or selling them for someone else who is doing the stealing.

    Tough love? Yup. As an adult, living at home is a privilege, not a right. He's badly abused this privilege and it's time for him to make his own way in the world. Success or failure is up to him. You've spent his whole childhood preparing him to leave the nest. You can't force him to make the right decisions, but you can push him out and tell him it's high time to grow up.

    Detachment is a process. It can be hard at first. It doesn't mean you stop loving or stop caring about your child. It means you're learning to accept that you can't live their life for them, it's learning to let go of the difficult child drama and reclaiming your own life and happiness.

  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My post may sound "short" so I apologize in advance. I've on day ten of a bug and day six or so of giving up cigarettes. Not the best frame of mind..but, I do care.

    Although I agree with everyone I think you need to sit down alone and make a list of options for your son. Yeah, I know, he is old enough to find his own options but he obviously has not taken a step forward for a long time. School programs? Job Corps? Career training programs? Addiction treatment centers? The military? Homeless Shelters? Whatever you can think of should be on the list. Then figure out what you can or cannot do to support various choices. If you are financially comfortable you might be able to give him short term support...obviously if you are just getting by then it will have to be a no cost choice.

    It's my opinion that when teens (particularly males) start smoking pot and slipping out of the mainstream they lose the opportunity to make mature choices. They just float along and can, in fact, continue that way for a lifetime. The brain physically does not develop normally and so it is like being stuck in a rut. in my humble opinion they need help in finding a direction or goals (even short term goals help build their self esteem). My gut thinks that your son is not capable of making "action" choices due to drug impact. Like everyone else I think he needs a deadline. I absolutely believe you need to protect all of your personal possessions away from your home or your person. The difference is that I think that with-o guidance he will wait until the deadline is near then panic and head out the door with no idea of where he is going. It will be easier for you to detach, in my humble opinion, if you at least tried to guide him prior to the deadline. I'm sorry you are going through this and send caring hugs. DDD
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I agree with the others. You need to take this seriously. You should NOT live like a prisoner in your own home. This is so very sad, and I understand your anguish. Just some ideas to consider:
    Are you paying for anything for him? For example, his cell phone? I would consider making drug testing a part of the deal. He takes the drug test and gets a clean result and then you will continue paying for his phone. If he has one (and definately more than one) positive test (s), you might consider looking for a drug rehab facility and take away his phone until his tests are clean. I also agree that you should lock your money in a lock box, keep it in a safe place in your room and then lock your bedroom door. Keep your key on your person. He should not be allowed anywhere near your valuables. Protect your purse at all times. I would set a time limit for him to get a job or go to school to get some kind of training. I would also tell him that if he steals from you a grand total of one more time, you will call the police and you will take measures to have him removed from the home. If he steals from you again, take immediate action. He has abused the privlege of living at home and you would have given him fair warning. Should he steal, call the police, press charges and find out what you need to do to evict him from the premises. Do you have any relatives or family friends that can help you in this? Make sure you have mature, adult support. Try to stay unemotional. If he is open to it, you might offer to send him to a therapist for counseling. If he goes, make sure you pay the counselor directly. Make sure you get support for YOURSELF...either a counselor, good books about setting boundaries with adult children and/or the good groups out there like Families Anonymous or Codependents Anonymous. Hang in there!
  11. JillS

    JillS New Member

    Thank you all for the sage advice - so glad I found this forum! As I type he is inside sleeping his life away {sigh}. I could just bust in there and wake him up military style though all that will do is create more tension. I just lost my father a month ago and am in graduate school so really need to keep an even keel emotionally. I think a lot of the time my "keeping the peace" it's just making things worse in the long run. I'm slowly trying to detach. I will sometimes leave for days at a time (yes, I run away from home!) and stay at a friend's apartment - I have peace during those times, but also an inner fear of what I will come back home to. I call those his "fend" days - he has to fend for himself, but so far it's not made him any more responsible. I just return to a dirty apartment. His father won't come and get him (his motto was "you bear 'em you take care of 'em) and other family members won't have him as he is now. My mother once offered to let him live with her at her home upstate if he would attend the cooking school up there (he once expressed an interest in culinary arts) but he's so flaky about everything she rescinded the offer. My brother in California also will take him IF he is in school and working - nice offers, but if he was doing all that I'd have no problem with him living at home with me. It really does take a village to raise a child but alas I am a village of one and my son is the village idiot. His lying and stealing (followed always by false charm and promises) is making it easier to pull away. I used to think my son was a good person at heart, but now his veneer of "charm" makes me think he is psycho. Right now I'm just going to work on myself - pray, chant and meditate so I can stop enabling then let the chips fall where they may.
  12. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Hi Jill,
    You sound like you have your ducks in a row. Just be strong. I often say that our kids will be glad to make idiots out of us, if we allow them to. Just state your boundaries, and be firm. I also cringe at that false charm that I used to fall for all the time, I sure know what you mean.
  13. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    DDD you have my sympathy with the cigarettes, it was hard as h*** for me to quit that addiction!!!!

    You sound like my situation with my son and everything I did just made him angry. He stole so much and even let his frind s steal from me!!! I finally kicked him out at 19. Two years later I was relocated 30 miles and moved. It was a life saver!!

    There are many great books recommended on this forum. This one is free, written by a family therapist.

    It is a hard road to walk, and can be heart breaking, but he has to want to help himself. Mine got much worse and spent a lot of time in jail and court ordered rehab. Find a hobby, learn to detach, I wish I had sooner!!! Take care of yourself, they become very self centered and selfish when using. It becomes their number one priority in life!!!

    (((blessings to us all)))
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Hi and welcome to the board. It would be my hope that you find us a soft place to land. I think that's the wording that may have even brought you to us? The odd thing for me about those words -soft place to land is that out of all the things you typed in your initial, and subsequent posts to us? The one thing that jumped out at me personally was the level of calm pouring out of you when you wrote about going to a friends house as you ran away from home. You have another soft place to land - and like it. Maybe even love it. I guess I would ask you to take inventory in that thought or thoughts about your running away and maybe even make yourself a list of all the things you enjoy about going to and staying at your friends place. Rank them even and don't be stingy with the adjectives. Use all the emotion you want -I statements like I love, I hate, I need, I enjoy, I CAN ....when I'm at my friends place.

    After you have that done? List number two - and it's harder to do, by a long shot because it's not pleasant to write things about our own kids - but for your sake here - be honest - brutally honest - as if you were talking to - me, us - a stranger. Someone who will NEVER ever meet your son. Tell yourself what you DO like about your son living at home. Use all the emotions you want - Use I statements again and don't be stingy on the adjectives.

    Now compare those two lists. Is there ANYTHING on either list that is enjoyable with him at home as much as it is when you run away? That's good - but I would guess it's not too many.

    Now the hard part.....Write out a list of ALL the things you don't like about your son being there - I hate it when, I don't like - HE NEVER.....and as you write this list - be honest with yourself.

    Now take that list and instead of reading it and thinking - MY SON - clear your mind - grab a red pen - and circle ANY of those things you would tolerate - IF the person on that list were doing those things in your home was NOT your son.......but a roommate, a boarder. Because they usually pay rent or some type of fee for having all their bills paid, food on the table, lights, water, tv, air....

    When you're done circling ANY of those keeping in mind that the person on that I DO NOT LIKE IT LIST is NOT YOUR SON.......have a heart to heart with yourself - BECAUSE.....at some point? He's going to have to find his own way in life. How can he make it out there on his own if he can't even respect the rules in a living place with the most LENIENT person in the world? That cuts him slack after slack after slack - and excuse after excuse after excuse? He won't. He'll never be able to make it unless - the lesson(s) that he needs to make it in that world out there? Are taught at home. For instance -
    Mom to son -

    I don't like it when you snoop through my clothes looking for money to steal. (Mind set - my son did this) - Well - He does live here. (excuse #1), I'm sure he'll repay me eventually (excuse #2) I can't believe he did this I'm going to run away now (excuse #3) Damn his Father for not taking him (Excuse #4) and so it goes with a lot of parents.

    Now lets try that a little differently -

    You take in a homeless man who tells you : "I'm honest, I'll work, I'll help you clean, cook - whatever man - I just need a place to stay and I'll give you a little something each week to help out with the extra utilities." - AND .....then you find out He doesn't work, sleeps all day, what little money he does have was probably stolen from you, he uses it for pot, and a girlfriend, he can't help you around the house, leaves it trashed, doesn't clean, do laundry, or even bother to make you a meal after you've worked all week ? Now imagine that person - while you're at work......

    That person (stranger) went into your bedroom, snooped through your private and personal things, even went into the pockets of your coat to find money, found it, spent it, lied and stole from you. What would you do when you got home and found that out?
    What would you do about him not paying his rent on time -
    What would you do about him trashing your home?
    Would you run away from him and your OWN HOME because it was so bad there -giving him MORE freedom? Or would you toss that man out on his hiney and his possessions with him and say "You know what - we had an agreement - YOU work, YOU help, YOU pitch in - and YOU don't cause me stress!"

    Or would you look at that man and say - "Oh dear - you're at it again, making me crazy and I keep stuffing my thoughts and swallowing my anger."

    While it's true - our children are NOT homeless, bums -----but I asked mine a few years ago if he wanted to respect me or if he wanted to keep doing things HIS way? He said "I'm GOING to keep doing things MY way and you can't do a #($#()* ing thing about it. Next night? I got him a train ticket, shoved some clothes into a plastic bag, loaned him a duffle and dropped him off at the train station. He went to find the parent that he KNEW would love him most. He didn't die, he didn't kill himself (although there was a lot of that on the phone after he did finally call and I said well let me know where to donate your stuff) and after 2.5 years on his own ? He's better. Not perfect but better. And it's an odd thing - when you have NOTHING - and the world comes in and takes your NOTHING - how quickly you see just how much you don't like LIARS, and THIEVES and cheats, and lazy people. Because now - it's happening to you on a GRAND scale by some real life difficult child's.......that are seasoned in the art of manipulation.....way more than you over your Mother - and your little petty stealing,and lying and getting mouthy? Doesn't county out here. Out here you had better work, keep your wits about you and avoid those people Mom warned you about, and save a little money, and do things she talked about. Reality bites hard. It's not particular where it bites either.

    I think you don't need anyones permission to toss out a 20 year old and have NO guilt. I do think most parents want to know that they can live with the choice they make. In saying that? I'd draw up a contract, and after you realize all the things he's doing that you don't like - include them in YOUR RULES, and add consequences - it canbe very simple - X doesn't do THIS - XXX three strikes ? He's OUT.....
    Or it can be less complicated - and be - I've had it you're out - have a place to stay by XX, XXXX - formal eviction. - Before you do that? I'd make sure my valuables were NOT in the house. Trust me on that.

    And what I recommend most like a broken record? Get yourself some therapy. Some people have suggested ANON groups, and for certain things I think they are wonderful. For a kid like ours? I think it's always good to have a one on one conversation/:censored2:fest with a person that GETS ME - and has 45 mins for JUST ME - eyes on me, my problems and gives me VIABLE solutions to MY LIFE and all it's intracacies. It helped me more than anything.

    Hugs - & Welcome

    Now when those lists are done? Compare the two. Is there anything on list #1 - that you have at list #2 ?
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I know exactly what it means when a kid steals from his parent. It means they dont respect their parent to do a darned thing about it. they have figured out that time after time they parent has threatened and not followed through with punishments so they can just keep on doing what they have been doing. My son did it until I had to shock him into reality. My son finally pushed me too far and I walked into the police and filed charges on him. He now has a felony record. I am sorry I had to do that but it wasnt my fault I had to do it, it was his actions that forced my hand. He knows it too.

    He does so much better living on his own too.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi, just popping in to say hello and sounds like you are doing a lot of hard work. Sorry for what you are going through. Keep posting, as you can see there are so many here who can really relate and can offer true help.

    Hang in there..........................
  17. JillS

    JillS New Member

    Thank you Star for that exercise, I'll be making my lists (and checking them twice!) - and I am going to get some therapy for myself. I have no insurance but will at least get counseling through my school and see if they can refer me out to someone I can afford. He just left out with his grandparents so I had an opportunity to go through his room (normally I respect people's privacy but in this case...no). He has court papers in there (guess he got in some trouble), transit fines, and an ambulance bill from January (he never told me he had to make a trip to the hospital), a letter from my aunt indicating she had sent him money (!). At this rate he's going to end up in jail for sure, the slippery slope is well-oiled for him. All I know is he has to get out of my house. For his sake and for mine.
  18. addie

    addie New Member

    Ditto what dammit Janet said. I too have been there. Looking back on it all, I feel we 'borrow' our kids, whether we give birth or adopt, and a time comes when they are no longer 'yours' to work with, to train, to educate ...though we never stop loving.
    Time for your son to shape up or ship out, perhaps with the help of our friends in blue. (or whatever colour the police wear where you are).
    Good Luck! Mine (Jess) can only come home for Christmas day, never overnight, except in emergencies when NO stealable stuff is EVER left available to her.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    ALL county mental health agencies will see you on a sliding scale fee. If you go there they'll give you an application. Also - you can check (and do not have to be religious or WORRY that religion is going to be part of the program or pushed on you - the therapists are there for help in the real world not necessarily the spiritual world) Catholic charities, Lutheran Charities - and you can ALWAYS call United way (I think their number is 211 from most phones?) and ask/tell them you need counseling). You can also check in your area and see if you have any counseling through your local hospitals -

    Check the phone book - Other resources available would be - Domestic Violence Womens shelters - and don't discount that because you aren't being beaten by a man - mental and verbal abuse are DOMESTIC violence. If they have more stringent guidelines they probable know someone that CAN get you free counseling.

    Also - if you find a therapist or know of one that is good? You can do what I did once - I offered to clean his offices before my sessions in lieu of payment. He was one of the best in the state. I needed him - he needed a maid. It worked for us.

    And like the rest have said - ALL my doors have had locks on them since my kids were - oh.......ten. And my valuables are stored elsewhere, or in boxes and locked up......all our sheds, and garages have dead bolts. The windows have bars. The house got NEW anti-theft windows. I have an alarm system. I planted holly bushes and cactus under a lot of the windows. I do a walk around the house twice a week. My son isn't here - and I have 4 pit bulls and a something mix breed pit - but I still look - habit. I doubt my son will ever ever be allowed to spend the night for years to come. Even if he did - I think I'd be so nervous. I wouldn't sleep. Sad to say but true.

    While your son is gone - Get these things done - and give yourself some peace of mind. YOU can put locking door knobs on all doors - it's easy - I did it myself. Instructions come in the packages. Small safes are fairly affordable and you can get a handyman to come and drill holes and have them bolted into the floor. Lots of precautions can be taken - If you need help - the gals here have TONS of suggestions.
  20. Giulia

    Giulia New Member

    I'm sorry for what you have to live.

    My insight as a person with a soup of diagnosis will partly rejoin what the others say (not as a parent, sorry).
    First, be firm on the fact that stealing and reading your journal is absolutely not acceptable. He lives under your roof, you pay the bills, he is welcome at home as soon as he follows some rules. And these rules are necessary to live as decently as possible together.
    Be firm even if it involves taking extreme measures.

    On the other side, set your priorities. Separate the absolutely non negotiable, what you wish so but you won't put yourself in danger to obtain it and what you want in the ideal world. It sounds dumb, but if you fight about an endless list of rules, you ruin your health and life.
    Keep the non negotiable rules small but enforce them consistently, consistently, consistently. Never give them up.
    Like let say no stealing, no reading journal without permission and medical care for his issues. Enforce them consistently, even if it means extreme measures.
    The what you want but you won't put yourself in danger for it is getting up late, keeping his room clean and washing himself. It would be great if he does it, but you won't put yourself in danger to obtain them.
    The what would be the ideal world could be finding himself a job.
    I gave you this list based on what you have written. Take it if you feel like it, change it if you feel like it.
    The essential is separating your priorities because otherwise, you drown yourself and everyone else.

    To confess you everything, I have somehow to parent my dad. He has never had an official diagnosis but he falls in the whole symptoms of ADHD, responsibilities are like a foreign language for him and his impulsivity may lead to danger for self and others, like while drunk driving.
    Mom hates taking extreme measures to get something, so does my sister, and his wife gave up.
    It's exhausting to get him involved into something, so for my own sake and everyone's sake, I have to absolutely pick up my battles. He has never ever stole anything, but drunk driving is the main problem.
    I hate to say so but I have to parent him despite he is 58 years old and I am 26 years old. But I see that I have no other choice, otherwise, it will lead to the whole family loss, even his 7 years old son he adopted.
    My mom had never wanted to take extreme measures because "it's not respecting him" and "it's against her own nature", on which I replied that letting my dad going to the mortuary room, in jail or at hospital, and leading to such for his 7 years old son is absolutely not showing respect. However, she admitted that I am the only one who has been able to impose him something to do, despite all the mess it can create. Pfiou !!

    Another tip I use when my father lies is confronting to his lies factually.
    Like : "With the plate full of cenders, the pack of cigarettes on the table and the cold tobacco smell, I absolutely can't believe you when you tell me that you don't smoke".
    Never use humor, it's opening the door to other lies, it doesn't work.

    Hope it helps. I cross my fingers for you