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My 20 Year Old Son Is Abusive And I'm Very Worried About Him

by Linda
(Anderson, CA U.S.A.)

My 20 year old son is an only child. His father and I split up when he was about 3. This after physically abusing me in front of my son one time.

He has gotten everything he has ever wanted from his dad and I usually did what I could to make him happy. Because when something doesn't go his way, like an animal doesn't act the way he wants it to, or if his laptop gets too slow and he can't play his game on it, he just gets out of control angry.

He screams out loud and into a pillow, and yells at me and his very timid girlfriend because his helicopter didn't download to his computer.

He has had many animals that have died from him punishing them. I am terrified about what he may become. He is 20 now, and just got a job with his girlfriend at a fast food place. So I started charging them rent and part of utilities.

Now he has decided he is going to move into his dad's rental sometime within the month or next 90 days. I am worried about the way he talks to and treats me and now his girlfriend.

I don't know what to do. I know it's my fault partly because I felt bad for leaving after his dad beat me up, so I did my best to provide him with all I could. He is a very respectful and we'll mannered young man in public but not at home.

I don't know where to go from here. I have even mentioned to his dad about the animals and he said “What, are you afraid he will become a psycho or something?” I said “Well, yes” and he did not want to continue the conversation.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. But I have a feeling it may be a little too late. I tell his girlfriend if I were her I wouldn't put up with it. She says, “Oh it’s not so bad.”

Her childhood was very unhappy - bad parenting, drugs and neglect. So she knows what it's like to not have things and be hungry or homeless.

If only there was a way to show him how to be humble. I can only hope and pray there is still time for him to turn around.

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Apr 21, 2015
You're On The Right Track
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Linda

You're right about a lot of things. You're right to charge him rent, and it sounds like that's part of his motivation to move out. You need to get him out of your house as soon as possible.

You openly acknowledge that you spoiled him, even though you didn't use that word. And it sounds like his father did the same thing.

The angry young man you're seeing is not his true nature. The respectful young man you see with others is a more true reflection of who he is.

You mentioned that he is only abusive in your home. There's your clue. Get him out of your home. You are responsible for indulging him in the past, but you are not responsible for his choices as an adult...that's on him.

Encourage and possibly require him to move out ASAP, and let go and trust that he will become the good person he was born to be.

You can't help him. Not any more. Just remove yourself as an influence. I'm sure you're a good person, but right now you are not a positive influence on him, because of your history of indulging him.

I hope this helps.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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