We love our children unconditionally. But sometimes, they just go too far and we are forced to take the most drastic of measures.
Too Dangerous To Be At Home
“Our son is going to be out of jail later this month.
I don’t want him to come home. He has serious issues, and can not be trusted not to steal. He has been through at least 6 grand-theft-auto cases since he was a teen. Generally, because he was from a good family, he has gotten off easy. He has been in jail for the last year for stealing cars. I know he wants to come home and try to right everything, but when he lived at home in the past, it was all just too much. Committing assaults, stealing cars, being aggressive too young, and other heinous crimes.
I love my son, but unless he can go down to the halfway house, redemption process, and not steal anymore, I just am not comfortable with him at home.”
A Son Disappears
“So I had my son early, around 17. The girl I had him with moved away before I met him.
Five years later, I get sued for child support – so I paid, and decided to try to take some care of this child.
Fast forward to him in high school, I had never got to spend more than the summers with him due to him living so far away and the fact that his mom is a witch. I find out that he hasn’t been to school in literally years, so much so that by almost 20, he hadn’t graduated grade 9.
Things go wrong in my life, too. my ex-wife decides to leave me for some woman – and my son shows up at my doorstep saying that his mom kicked him out.
I told him that he had to go to school if he’s going to live with me.
He finally agrees and I start finding out how terrible his mom did for him in school. He was labeled as severely learning disabled, schizophrenic, and was prescribed antipsychotics. which I’d never seen him take – it turns out he told his mom that he was ‘seeing things’ and after she took him to every doctor in the city (the first few couldn’t find anything wrong with him) she finally got a few diagnoses.
I took him to my doctors, and find out that he was playing along so that the school would give him an easier time. I get the school to give him a chance and he finally starts honors English, math, etc. and – to everyone (except me) surprise, he passes with high grades. so much so that he is accepted into college with a minimum of effort.
Figuring he turned over a new leaf, I decide to buy him a car, put a couple of months rent down on his own apartment, and give him a couple thousand dollars to help with tuition (not to mention that I bought him a laptop, a bunch of dishes, pots and pans etc.)
He looked so proud when he moved in, and I remember beaming all the way home after helping him move in the week before school starts.
I see him for the next couple of weekends to ensure that he is transitioning to his new place well enough. Although he seemed a bit lonely at times, he seemed to be adjusting quite well.
Two weeks after school starts, I get a call from the school telling me that my refund was processed. I immediately call my son – much to my surprise his cell phone was cut off (even though I’m the one who pays for it). I go to his apartment to see if everything is okay and the superintendent told me he moved out last week.
I haven’t heard from him since, but, through the grapevine, I found out that a friend of his won a legal battle and got a few hundred thousand dollars so they pooled ‘their’ money to get involved in organized crime.
I have no idea where he is now, I haven’t heard from him, his mom hasn’t, his grandparents haven’t – nobody has.”
$25K Is Stolen From Family
“I’ll try to keep this short because diving into all of what has happened that lead to us cutting contact would be a novel. When I married my husband he already had 2 older children that lived with their mother. My husband and I ended up having 2 kids of our own. While my oldest was an infant, my step-children moved in with us and that’s when everything started. They caused SO many problems for us. I’m talking heavy substances, sneaking out, and getting arrested, you name it. The older of the two called CPS twice and made up lies about me being abusive. As a new mom, the investigations were terrifying, but in the end, they found their claims to be false. The final straw of them living with us was when we got wind of them ticking off the wrong crowd and the possibility of our home getting ‘shot up.’ Their dad sent them to live with their mother.
I’m just going to jump to when the actual cut off happened, but keep in mind we had an endless amount of horrible incidents with them over the years, and we tried to help them countless times. They were both in their 20s at this point. Essentially, we discovered they were stealing from my side of the family. They robbed my sister of her fine jewelry and took what we totaled to be around $25K from 3 family members. Beyond that, they had an illegal operation going on in a family member’s summer cottage (the family member didn’t know they were even there as he lived elsewhere most of the time). When confronted by their dad, they blew up. They said some of the most hateful things I’ve ever heard, and spit in his face. That was it for us. They took advantage of people that love them very much and had no remorse for it.”
Choosing Street Life Over Family Life
“My 33-year-old daughter chose thug life over her husband and two boys. She hasn’t seen her boys in 4 years. They’re only 7 and 5. The oldest remembers her; the youngest does not. I’ve been dealing with her darkness since she was in 4th grade. Took her to countless therapists in her youth; she convinced them all she was fine. I tried to help her through probation and rehab again last year in the hopes of reuniting her with her boys. She’s only gotten worse in terms of illegal activities. Nothing legal to keep her from these boys. She chose a life of crime. I’m done.
Never realized what an epidemic this has become until I started talking to people who are dealing with the same thing with loved ones. It’s definitely messed up.”
An Addict Can’t Stop Stealing
“Twice my son robbed me of all my possessions – even my car, one eight-month stint in state jail during which I visited with his daughter every weekend and upon release, I brought him home only to be robbed again. Three failed attempts in recovery centers after which he and his girlfriend abandoned their children leaving them with me for four years with no contact of any kind. At 32 years old, he is now unable to remain out of the county jails for more than a week at a time. I’m done.”
Giving Up In A Very Different Way
“I gave my son up for adoption at birth. I was broke, jobless, homeless (sort of, I had a room at the worst hotel in town), was about to kick his dad out, and even if I could find a job I had no one that would watch my then 18-mth old and a newborn while I worked. I know, a lot of y’all will rag on me for even being pregnant. We had a great apartment, a happy relationship, and great jobs when we decided to try for another baby. Things went South really really fast and I couldn’t think of anything else I could do for my kids than to give the baby to parents that could take care of him the way he deserved straight from the start and fight tooth and nail to claw my way out of the hole I was in and give my other kid a better life too. So I did it, I gave him up to wonderful, amazing people. Six weeks later I was cleared to work and miraculously got a job. Saved for a year and moved me, my toddler, and my kid’s dad out of that God forsaken town. Years and years later I’m doing very well, I stuck to my promise that it would be worth it.
Anywho, I haven’t talked to him. I got letters from his mom for a while, always with pictures, but not anymore. I never responded to them or wrote him. They had been burned in the past by birth mom’s shopping around and trying to sell their babies, and I’ve heard horror stories about adoptees contacting their birth parents and discovering they were utter crap and they were better off without knowing what happened to their birth parents. I was worried that me contacting them would complicate his life in ways he didn’t need. They are wonderful people. I would rather live in pain, heartbreak, and uncertainty than intrude in their happiness. I want to know him more than anything in the world, but if he doesn’t, I’ll stay right here, away, quietly making good on my promise to him that it would be right and worth it and that I would never again be in that spot. He would be 15 now.”
An Ex-Wife Poisons The Water
“Parental alienation. My husband walked away from his daughter because her mother did everything in her power to prevent or destroy any semblance of a father-daughter relationship. Lots of mind games, lying, passive-aggressive behavior and character assassination (mom told everyone, my husband, physically abused her and daughter). We didn’t have the money for a lawyer or family to lend money to us; we’re on our own. Every single court-ordered visit was a battle with the mom and it was so hard for his little girl. In the end, my husband felt it was best if daughter (4 by then) was adopted by her stepfather as he seemed like a decent guy and figured he would be raising both mom & daughter. Only for the mom to repeat the process with him three years & two more kids later.
I can only imagine what sorts of lies the daughter has been told about her biological father. She’s 15 now. Someday we hope to reconnect, away from her mother’s influence.”
A Daughter Chooses A Bad Guy Or Family
“My husband’s oldest daughter is not part of our lives at this point. We basically discovered that everything she ever said was a lie.
She got involved with a younger guy that’s a real jerk. He’s horrible to her and her daughters. She called the police on him, kicked him out, said she was never going to see him again. We made it clear that he would not be allowed to be around us or the other kids for any reason.
She says she’s pregnant. His dad blasts them on Facebook for being idiots, pointing out what an irresponsible mother she already is. She goes on a rant about how she pays her bills and takes care of her girls. The whole time, I’m thinking ‘Girl, I paid your gas bill so it wouldn’t get shut off, I am apparently the only one attempting to feed your kids something other than marshmallows, and I’m the only one that ever expects them to behave.’ Not to mention the million times I’ve cleaned caked on dirt from their feet or necks because she won’t bathe them properly.
She had a miscarriage the next day, wanted some kind of sympathy. Even though she had been hoping for a miscarriage until her bio mom convinced her that she needed another grandbaby.
Anyway, a day or two later she asks for a ride. I ask who/when/where. She wants us to give abusive ex that has already moved back in with her a ride to the store. Heck no. Reminded her that we’re not doing anything for him ever. Pointed out that it’s pretty disrespectful of our wishes to try to force him on us.
She threw a tantrum, he threw a tantrum. Told us to get over it or don’t speak to her and the grandbabies again. I told her I’m not having that abusive piece of you-know-what around her siblings. She can either respect that or move on without us.
She chose the abuser. We’ve run into them driving around town a few times. The guy will literally hang out the window of the car screaming, making faces, and flipping us off every time. They act like they’re still 12. I miss my grandchildren, but I don’t miss their mother.”
A Father Has No Choice But To Completely Leave A Daughter Behind
“I have three kids, two daughters, and one son. They’re all adults. I got married at 20 and we had them one after another. For years, my wife and I blamed ourselves about how my youngest girl turned out.
Being so young, right out of community college, I wasn’t making a lot, so I did the best I could. But we wonder if it was nutrition or the crappy apartment we stayed in or something that made her be born with severe BPD.
We didn’t know what it was at first. She was really difficult. We tried our best to raise her well. By the time we figured out what was wrong with her, she had set in really bad behaviors. We still think she’s the one that mutilated the neighbor’s cat but can’t prove it.
As of two years ago, she refused to take her medications, was sleeping around, stealing money, and generally being really difficult.
We told her to leave and never come back. Tried to get her into a state mental place but it wasn’t an option. So we just closed our doors and moved shortly after. Honestly, don’t know what happened to her since. I tell people I only have two kids.
Wife is devastated, but I’m just relieved.”
A Son’s Mental Illness Takes A Toll On Both Father and Son
“My son’s paranoid schizophrenia symptoms are triggered by my presence. As a father I wish with every breath that I could talk to him and hug him but he’s better off without me around. It’s the same whether he’s medicated or not. I only wish I could make him understand or feel like he understands why I’m not in his life.
My wife and I need to work through this because she sees my pulling away from our son as a cop-out. We’ve had some counselling over the years and I sometimes attend NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) family support meetings. I stay busy in my community so I can’t always make it to a meeting, and it’s been awhile. So I have resources to discuss this, but I’ve literally never encountered another family where this dynamic is occurring.
I did attempt to reach out in a small way to my son a few weeks ago, on his birthday. He’s living in a group home now, and my wife went to see him. Knowing that he loves Zaxby’s chicken wings, I sent a Zaxby’s gift card, and a birthday card. I tried to keep it trigger-free: ‘Happy Birthday — I hope you enjoy your Zaxby’s! Love, Dad.’ During their subsequent visits, there is one constant that she reports back to me: when they discuss where they’ll eat, there’s one place he won’t go: Zaxby’s. I don’t want to come off all whiny but it’s as if I broke Zaxby’s for him. I knew that was a risk but I was trying to see what I could do for him, you know? I’m just glad it wasn’t Krystal. He really loves Krystal.
I actually remember the days my son was nasty to me as good ones. At least we were together and we had the occasional laugh or other positive interaction.
I’ve not turned away from him because he is mean to me, but rather that my presence seems to trigger self-destructive behaviors. For instance, he’s burned through several group home situations each one within days of my attempting to reintroduce into his life. It was always the same pattern: he’d get into a situation, he’d do well for a few weeks, the rules of the place would permit him a visitor, my wife and I would visit, his behavior would deteriorate, he’d be put out on the street. His current living situation is lasting longer than any previous one and I ascribe that to my absence.
For those asking if I might have abused him, the answer is no, but I will share that his turn against me was so shocking and disorienting to us all that my own wife asked me the same thing. And yes, I was not always a paragon of patience and understanding during this time. We did lash out physically at each other, but it was situational and rare. I regard these incidents as a symptom, rather than a cause, of the reality as I understand it now. His mother and I made a lot of the usual mistakes parents make, and when I took parenting classes I was horrified at the damage I might have done to him due to those mistakes. I think those mistakes could have engendered a lack of independence and a sense of entitlement in him, but I do not regard them as a cause of his severe mental illness.
I’m open to trying to find a life configuration that permits me to be a positive influence in his life. I haven’t found one yet.
My wife and I also have a daughter. She’s 18, about to head to university. She has told me, to my unending pain, that she has often felt like an afterthought. Even when he’s out of the home, our son can suck all the air out of the room with just a mention of his name. I became conscious of this dynamic only about 10 years ago (during a brief respite from our son’s rapidly declining behaviors) and we try to remain conscious of that, but that’s just another side to this.”
A Violent Stepson
“My stepson (SS) is a mess; my husband and his ex-wife divorced when SS was 18 months old, and mom had done whatever she could to cut dad completely out of his life-until SS was eight-when she showed up at our door with SS in tow and his bags. She said she couldn’t handle him anymore, all he would do was fight with his siblings, so if we didn’t take him then she was going to take him to the children’s home. Of course, my husband was excited to finally spend time with his son, and he would get to bond with his little half-brother who was four at the time and step sister who was 10.
It became apparent very quickly that he had been fed lie after lie about his dad-he would gleefully share very detailed stories about the ‘abuse’ that he remembered that he and his mom suffered at the hands of my husband. SS was in therapy, but really started escalating dangerous behaviors-my daughter would wake up in the middle of the night with him standing over her saying ‘next time you’ll never wake up;’ so we put a lock on her door-which he broke through with ease, we put a deadbolt on her door-he broke the door frame trying to get to her. His little brother would walk by and he would kick him as hard as he could, he bit him until he would draw blood. The last straw for me was when he barricaded himself in his room with his little brother. I could hear my son screaming-when I finally got in, my SS was hurting him. That for me was the last straw. He needed more help than what his therapist or we could do for him. The next day child services were contacted and he was removed from our home.
A few weeks later CPS gave us pages and pages of psychological evaluations that his mom had on him. Pages of her blaming dad for each of his issues lies that he had beat and touched him; although there were statements from doctors that had clearly outlined that mom and her family had some serious undiagnosed mental issues. There was so much information that would have been helpful before he came to live with us. I would never tell my husband that he cannot see his son, but his son is never allowed around my children-I made that promise to them both, and I hate that my husband is in the middle, but for our safety-I’ve cut off any contact with my stepson.”
When Enough Is Finally Enough
“My daughter refused to leave her second husband who had tried to kill her. Once when one of my granddaughters (who happen to be six months pregnant) tried to intervene, he knocked her to the floor. He picked up my daughter by her neck and slammed her head so hard against the wall it left a hole.
Last time he pulled out a weapon and pointed towards my other granddaughter who was trying to get my daughter away from him (He had already shot a hole in the tile in the master bathroom).
He was also bullying my 15-year-old grandson on a daily basis.
We now have custody of the children. But every time the phone rings our anxiety hits the roof as we fear that will be the call to say my daughter is dead.
We took her and her first husband in when he wouldn’t work on a regular basis because they had no food, no money, and were being evicted.
One time, the first husband stole my mother’s wedding rings. When I asked him where they were, he said he taken them to a jeweler to be sized for my daughter. I went to the jeweler – nope no rings – no record of the rings. I confronted the guy and he finally admitted he pawned them.
Another time he stole my ATM card out of my purse and helped himself to $300. I had to get the video from the bank to prove to him that he was busted. This is while they lived with us. He pretended he got paid for a job.
Another time, he said he had gotten a job, but he didn’t. He left every day and went who knows where until 6 p.m.
All of that through their seven evictions – paid for movers storage and brought them back to our house to live. And we bailed him out of jail four times. I have bailed my daughter out of jail three times, and she was in the mental hospital three times for suicide attempts.
My daughter finally left him – yay! Only to hook up with another terrible and dangerous man.
I still love her but have done all I can.”