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How Can I Help My Angry 23 Year Old Son?

by Anonymous
(OKlahoma City, OK, USA)

I have a son that is 23 & he is also a Heroin addict. He was homeless for a awhile before I decided to take him back into my home so he would be safe & off the streets. He also has a 3 year old son & a one year old daughter. He also has a baby boy on the way and he will be born sometime in May 2013.

The first two children are from a different girl that he is not with & he is in a difficult relationship with the girl he is with now that is pregnant. She also has a 4 year old girl & a one year old boy from two different men. Since I have been letting him stay in my home (I live in a one bedroom apartment so space is pretty tight) which has only been since November 2012, things seemed to start off ok. He was off the Heroin & going to counseling for drug addiction & was put on 10mg of Methadone 7 days a week.

He has mood swings and I’m afraid of him. His girlfriend he is currently with that is pregnant is also on a Methadone treatment program & she lives with her mother. Since I have been letting my son live with me I have had to deal with their fighting back & forth because I will not let her move in & live there. I have told my son she is welcome to come stay the night since I work A night job but just her & not her kids since I live in a small place.

This has been working up until last week. My son came home on 1/23/13 around 7:30pm. He had been out & about with his girlfriend. They had done their usual thing going to the clinic to get their Methadone treatment & counseling. He also had her drop him off to hang with some old friends he used to party with. Since I work nights I sleep during the day & they stay gone pretty much all day until around 7pm. I am usually up by then so I can get around for work at 10pm till 6:30am.

When my son came home he was happy & excited because he had went shopping at the mall with his girlfriend and showed me the new clothes he had bought & then he told me about hanging with his old friends & how they caught up on things from when they all used to hang out. He also told me that they had drugs & that he was offered some but he said "no".

I told him I’m proud of him for that. He also told me that his girlfriend was upset with him for hanging out with his old friends because she's worried he'll go back into heroin again. After he talked to me his girlfriend called asking if she could come stay with both of her kids & she was also fussing at him about how they need to get a place of their own and be ready for when their baby is born.

He asked me if she & her kids could stay & I said no. Well he proceeded to blow up at me & I blew up back (yelling). I then tried to get to my bedroom & he got in front of me to keep me from getting to a safe place. I did not want any confrontation whatsoever. I just wanted him to respect my rules. He kept yelling at me & when I tried to get away he pushed me really hard & proceeded to keep pushing when I would try to get away. I finally got him to calm down so we could talk it out. So I finally just gave in and said "ok, she can stay the night with the kids".

I continued to try & get ready to go to work & he was right there everywhere I would go in my home. He would follow me to my room, to the bathroom, I mean it was literally driving me insane but I kept my cool & nicely told him "son I have got to get ready for work." So he backed off & I locked myself in my bathroom so I could safely get ready for work.

The whole time he was bickering at me through the door. It was one subject to another. At one point he was still angry & asking me why I don't like his girlfriend?! When I have been good to both of them. Then he would rant about how bad his childhood was when I have apologized for that & that I did the best I could. Then he goes on saying how we should hang out more often and get high together by doing some LSD,DMT, or Marijuana! This blows my mind & I feel he has relapsed back on to Heroin or some sort of drug?

I safely was able to leave and go to work. After I got to work he texted me to say he was sorry & that his girlfriend & her youngest was staying the night. When I got off work I went home packed a bag with a few things and stayed with a friend of mine that lives in the same apartment complex until I could figure out what to do.

I also told my son by texting him that I would be staying with my friend until he & his girlfriend worked out their problems. On Friday 1/25/2013 when I got off work I waited a few hours before I went home to go check on him. I went to my friends till 9am then I went home to see if he had left to go to the clinic & check on my apartment & my cat (my poor cat).

When I got in he was on the sofa swaying back & forth. I sat next to him & asked if he was ok? He looked at me & says "what"? His pupils were really tiny & his eyes looked crossed. So I got up & checked my room, the kitchen, then I checked the bathroom & noticed the sink had brown drippings of something & a wash cloth with brown on it (heroin). My things had been gone through like he was looking for something ( to shoot up with). My hair ties were out everywhere and a yellow cord from my computer modem was laying on my bathroom floor.

So I calmly asked my son what that was on the bathroom sink? He slowly got up & looked in the bathroom & so out of it proceeded to tell me he had a bad tooth and tried to show me. Then I pointed to the hair ties & modem cord & he blew me off & walked away. He went in my room and got on the computer. I quickly grabbed more of my things as much as I could into a bag and cleaned up the mess he left in my bathroom.

I came out of the bathroom and went into the kitchen. I heard him close the bathroom door and I went up to it to listen & then I said "are you ok? Is there anything you need to talk to me about?" He says no, crying. So I said "Well I’m leaving & I will be at my friends for the weekend. He said ok. I have not been back and It is now Monday and I am going to check on him this morning when I get off work and I am scared to death. I even called 911 & they couldn't do nothing unless he had physically assaulted me.

I called the office at my apartment complex and they said I could get an eviction notice on him since he is not on my lease. That this would be the legal way to go about it. So my question is what should I do? Can someone on here give me some good advice.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell you’re having a very hard time. I will try to help.

I think you’re on the right track with trying to get him out of your apartment. There really is no other choice. He has been abusive to you, and he is choosing to use a highly addictive illegal drug in your home.

I know this is difficult, but you’re going to have to exercise tough love, and reclaim your home. You will also need to not allow him back into your home until he has shown a year or so of totally drug-free responsible behavior.

You are not the person to take care of him. He is an adult, and every effort you make to help him will only make things worse. I have seen this pattern over and over throughout my 39 years of counseling. If there is any hope for your son, it will have to come from his own awakening from within, to what he’s doing to his life and his children. As long as he has you to lean on or to blame, he will not grow up or take responsibility.

I know cutting him off and out of your life may lead to him declining. That is a risk you have to take. You’ve made your effort to help him, and he only abused you and the freedoms you provided. Now it’s time to let him know for certain that he is on his own in every way.

Believe the best of yourself and your son, and let him go. You can do this.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

P.S. If you found this to be helpful, please consider making a donation to this site to support our mission to help you become your own best anger management resource.

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Jan 31, 2013
Thank You For Your Help!
by: Anonymous

I just wanted to thank you so much for your advice regarding the article I wrote about my angry 23 year old son. Yesterday I was able to get him out of my home. The day before,the office at my apartment complex called to tell me I had several noise complaints from the last 5 days. Come to find out he was letting 2 people he had hung out with from when he was homeless staying in my apartment & he also had his girlfriend & her kids & also his 2 kids. I live upstairs so my poor neighbors under me had called security the last 5 days & my son had an altercation with the security guy. He also had a big fight on the balcony of my apartment this past Saturday with his girlfriend. I called & talked to my son about it & he denied everything. I also told him he was going to be served an eviction notice & that the locks were going to be changed. So yesterday after the locks were changed when he had left with his girlfriend I got my new key & went and packed his stuff stuck it outside the door. I left to stay at my friends until this all settles. Well when he got there & he saw his stuff & realized he was locked out he left me several threatening messages on my cell phone. I saved them. I never spoke to him because I would not be able to get through to him. I'm relieved but yet I am scared for my safety & I feel I should buy a Taser Gun. I hate guns & I feel that would be a better way to protect myself from him or his friends.

From Dr. DeFoore

I'm so glad you were able to take this positive action for your safety. I think your response is a great example of healthy anger, and I hope your story will be an inspiration to others in similar situations.

My best,

Dr. DeFoore

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