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I Can't Take The Stress Of Dealing With My 18 Year Old Son

by Lisa
(New York, NY)

I am a Single, 42 yr old woman with only one child, my son. He is 18 yrs old and he is causing me to be very depressed and ready to give up. He is hurting too. This I know because he has been torn between me and his father since he was 2 yrs old. The father took me to court saying that I was mentally unstable.

That was a very weak point in my life, although I had a great job and I had a lot of good thing going on. I had just recalled all of my childhood abuses. Every one you can think of, I went through it with my parents who were also not together.

I gave in to my son's father because I thought that was the best thing to do, and this is where it all began. The father has never respected me. We never could get on one accord. He poisoned my son's brain by telling him I never wanted to be bothered with him. So now, to him it seems true.

My son has had problems in school since 1st grade. Problems with not listening, following instructions, and doing what he wants to when he wants to. He made it to high school only to drop out in the 1st quarter of 11th grade. He stole from the teacher's pocket and the school didn't press charges. They asked me to remove him.

The dean tried very hard, and so did I, to get him established in an alternative school. But he just doesn't follow through. Just the other day, I called him and told him about a GED prep school that he can go to and told him to go register by 12 noon. He didn't go.

I told him to go to The Door, a NYC based program for young adults in need. No interest. Instead, he wants to stay in the house causing me pain and stress, demanding money from me, smoking weed and constantly bringing strangers in my house that disrespect me also.

My management company has threatened to put me out because of the chaotic behavior that he displays towards me, my neighbors, etc. I don't like my son because of his behavior. I tell him to just leave, he tells me that he lives there too & that he has rights.

My friends have told me over and over again to get him out of my house but I know he doesn't have any place to go. Over the last 3 years, he has been back and forth between my house and his father's house about 8 times. I put him out, he goes to his father's. His father puts him out, he comes back to me and I feel sorry for him and obligated.

He has stolen from me. My Apple laptop, my 24 inch flat screen, my BluRay player. Just recently, he had some girls in my house that stole some of my jeans. I can't help this kid! I've tried and I just want out of this life. I don't feel like it is going to get any better.

He has even hit me and spent 5 days in prison.

I've cried! I've prayed! I've sought counsel! I've explained! What else can I do? I know what I should do but I am afraid.

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Sep 11, 2014
Change The Locks.
by: Anonymous

You need to kick him out. He is 18 & a grown adult! I know what you are going through, I went through the same thing with my son who is now 25.
He also did the same as your son, would not finish school, would have his friends over--most of whom I did not know, and girls too. I work a night job so when I would be at work he would party it up with his friends all night. I lived in an upstairs apartment & had notices on my door of noise complaints. Also I had clothes, makeup, and jewelry stolen. My son became addicted to Heroin & hid it very well until one day he snapped & shoved me against the wall in the apartment we lived in. I guess because he needed his fix? Anyway, when he left that morning with his hoodlum friends I called the office at my apartments & had the locks changed. I had packed up all of his belongings and put them outside the door. So when he showed up he was mad banging on the door threatening me but I said to him "I am calling the cops if you do not leave." Yes it was heart breaking but I was fed up. He ended up in the County Jail for 4 months & that's what took him to straighten up & get off the drugs. Best of luck to you & change your locks & put his stuff outside the door.

Sep 10, 2014
What Are You Really Waiting For Before Taking Action?
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hello Lisa, and thanks for telling your story here. You are very clear about how stuck you are. You have already received all of the advice and counsel you need, and yet your fear and your sympathy for your son are overriding your logical, healthy sense of the right thing to do.

I won't give you any advice. You already know what you need to do, but you have not been able to get yourself to do it.

I will suggest something, however. Consider how bad things would have to get before you will absolutely, without question, get your son out of your house once and for all, never to return unless he can be respectful and considerate of your home and your needs. How bad does it have to get? He's already been violent, stolen, verbally and emotionally abused you and violated you and your home in many ways.

What would be that point for you...where you would say, "That's it. He has to go. No more sympathy, no more guilt. I'm done."

Whatever that is, that's what you're planning for. And, you're actually contributing to that very negative outcome, but waiting until it gets that bad. You are actually contributing to his problems and bad behavior by continuing to house and accommodate him. But then, he's your son, and it's your choice.

I encourage you to read the other stories about parenting adult children, and follow the recommendations you find there re. journaling and self discovery.

You can do this, Lisa. You can make the right choice.

My best,

Dr. DeFoore

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