Scars run deep in some families and these people are no exception. At times parents must come to terms with their adult children whether that is cutting the cord, hosting an intervention or even excommunication. From irresponsible, partying college students to struggling 40 year-old addict sons, these stories touch on the entitled, the frustrating, and sometimes even the funny.
A Nephew Tells Her Aunt’s Story
“My aunt and I are very close, I’m like her pseudo-daughter after my mom and I became distant (anti-vaxx mom). I can answer for her and her biological children.
Her daughter is 21, lives with a bunch of stoners and sells pot out of their rented home. The police regularly show up due to the persistent smoke cloud surrounding the house. She works a full-time job at some meat processing facility, but she’s got no drive, and doesn’t really know how money works. She’s got her car impounded after she got arrested for possession, the impound lot sold her car after she couldn’t pay. My aunt paid for a brand new car and she’s SUPPOSED to be paying her back every week, but my aunt has never seen a cent. She owes her $27,000 in car payments, and that is NOT including bail money (at LEAST 50 grand). My aunt is an electrical engineer and makes decent money, but she will be in debt for the rest of her life because of her daughters mistakes. I’m a welder, and I’ve been secretly saving 50% of my paycheck every month to be able to pay off her debts for her.
I have so much hope that her daughter will come around.”
“My middle daughter is 19, but we’ve had issues her entire life I strongly suspect narcissism
Currently, her infant child has been removed from her care by CPS for multiple reasons notably her erratic behavior she showed and continues to show and also heavy pot use. We suspect other substances at play but have zero proof.
Instead of cooperating to get her child back she has fought kicking and screaming every step of the way making it much harder than necessary. At the same time blaming her mother and vilifying her to the point that she has lied to CPS in an attempt to have them remove her 4 year old sister from her mothers care. Calling old friends and family giving them a hugely false story in an attempt to alienate her mother and have zero friends and help. It’s a giant mess she’s created and refuses to take any blame or acknowledge that she’s the issue at all.”
Daughter Flunks Out of College and Her Family
“My 19 year-old daughter failed out in her first semester of college. Not a big deal; sometimes Freshmen get overwhelmed and don’t do so hot in their classes. My daughter, however, just decided to not show up to the classes that WEREN’T theater-related. So she failed Math and English, which she could have aced. Now, had she owned up to this, there would have been little issue. Lesson learned, do better on probation and pass the classes next semester. What she DID do was just not register for classes for the next semester and try her luck at living in the dorms…illegally. Somehow it took the college THREE MONTHS to catch up with her. She finally fessed up…in MARCH. We had to beg the college to not throw her into prison; we were literally on the phone with college officials for an hour begging them to just let her come home, she messed up but she’s learned her lesson.
Luckily, her grandmother, my mom bailed her out and paid the $6,000 she owed for living illegally on campus. Her grandmother then proceeded to tell my daughter she never had to return to us, we were evil people, and she would ‘protect her from the likes of us.’ My daughter has since cut off all communications with us in favor of her grandmother. We’ve somehow become the bad guys in this fairytale of theirs.
My daughter is going back to school tomorrow like nothing ever happened. My idiot of a mom is paying for it. You might be thinking, ‘Be grateful SHE’S footing the bill.’ The problem with that is my oldest daughter has worked her tale off to get her degree, and my mom REFUSED to help her because she’s bi. She’s doing this to get back at her for embarrassing her in front of her church. I refused to let the younger daughter get help from her because of this in the past, so my younger daughter also stabbed her older sister in the back by doing this. I’m so very disappointed in the entitled brat my daughter has become.”
The Son My Parents Never Had
“My ex-husband was the son that my parents wanted their actual son to be. They’re upset that my brother isn’t like him, and they’re disappointed that I divorced him. Double-whammy. Never mind that we just fundamentally did not work as a couple: they basically see it as me stealing away their chance at having The Perfect Child in a son-in-law. Oh well!”
The Last Straw
“My son is 25 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at around 15 years old (maybe younger). After he became too old and too big for me to manage his meds he refused to take them and his life has been a roller coaster of disasters ever since.
Between prison time, bad decisions, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, fathering two children he doesn’t see (same mom) and insisting on making up reasons to not speak to me, I’m done. Because honestly there’s nothing I can do for him.
At this point I’m just waiting to get a phone call on where I need to go to identify the body.”
A Mother’s Love Has Its Limits
“I have three other children, and they all treat people with love and respect. We all have great relationships with each other. I tried to have the same with him… I gave him a thousand dollars for the place he’s living in right now, would go pick up his ten loads of laundry and babysit his kids at the same time, give them rides places whenever he asked, basically did whatever he asked of me. (It was the only time he would even want me around and the only time I got to see his kids) Yet he always had something mean to say afterwards within a week or so… and he never opened messages I sent him, seeing how he and the kids were if I hadn’t spoke to him in a couple of weeks. I figure he evidently can’t stand me so it was best I kept my distance. Especially the last conversation we had when he basically called my husband and I useless pieces of garbage.
Mind you before all this, me giving him money, he broke my husbands ribs, and a year later was pushing me around the house… he went to jail for the ribs and we bonded him out, and paid all his fines… when he was at fault.
We work, own our home, are sober people, who sit home and enjoy our house and pets. He seriously had me believing I was some worthless person and my self esteem was pretty low. I believed him as if I had done him wrong some place in life.”
All School But No Lessons Learned
“My daughter is currently home for the summer and heads back to college in a few days. I feel bad for saying this, but I’m honestly ashamed that she’s still enrolled there. This will be her fifth semester, but she was supposed to have failed all her classes her second semester. And third. And fourth. Every semester, she skips class and parties, not even attempting her school work. Then when the school goes to kick her out, she appeals the decision and somehow, I honestly have no idea how, gets her professors to bump her grades just high enough for her to pass and continue on another semester. She lost all of her scholarships and grants already. Initially, I was paying whatever tuition costs were leftover, and then was paying 75% of tuition, and she got student loans for the rest. She was home for break last semester and I overheard her on the phone bragging to one of her friends about how she doesn’t do any work because all she has to do is file an appeal to pass her classes. I was appalled and now that I know that, I’m not paying a dime.
I just don’t understand why she does it or if I’m somehow responsible for causing this behavior as her father. But, we were poor when she was younger and even now, we’re maybe lower middle class. She wasn’t spoiled and saw how hard I worked to provide for her. We had an agreement when she turned 16 that if she wanted a car, she was responsible for paying for gas. She got a part time job, and so I got her a used car. My thought was that working to earn gas money would teach her firsthand the value of a dollar. That was the best way I could think of to teach her and give her some real life experience. I don’t know if it didn’t stick or what, but she seems perfectly content top keep up the routine and get a degree handed to her.
I worked for everything I have, and everything she has. Her college fund was a result of me squirreling away every dime I could for 10 years. She’s currently upset with me for it, but I will not continue to use this money to literally buy her a degree. I’ve begrudgingly decided to take a step back and let her handle her education on her own”
A Truly Evil Seed
“This Saturday, my son will have been sober for 18 months. He got his GED this year, and he starts at Community College at the end of August. He finally has a job that I didn’t get for him, soon he will be moving into his own apartment, and he hasn’t missed a single appointment with his therapist. He has done everything you would expect of a precocious 17-year-old who hit a rough patch after meeting with a particularly bad influence.
He is 29.
This is the point where I’m supposed to say that, nevertheless, I’m still proud of him for turning his life around, getting off the streets, staying out of trouble, and acting like a responsible adult, or at least an adult who knows the meaning of ‘responsible.’ But I’m not, because he hasn’t. Not in the slightest.
His mother and I gave him every opportunity we could. I don’t expect any praise for that, because unlike my son, I don’t expect praise for doing what you’re supposed to. She and I worked hard to give him a loving, stable, comfortable, supportive home. We were involved in his school, we introduced him to music (to the extent that any two people can; his mother was a good cellist, though) and sports and culture, we fed him healthy meals, we played with him.
He started shoplifting at 15. The first time we caught him, we bodily dragged him back to the store, made him return the copy of Grand Theft Auto and apologize, and offered to pay for any damages. The second time we caught him (this time with a pair of shoes), we did the same thing. The third time, we started going to family therapy.
Therapy seemed to go well, and after a few sessions the therapist asked for a few one-on-one meetings with him. After two of those, the police came knocking on our door, because he had concocted some story about how we were a religious cult who abused him. Eventually we couldn’t find anyone who would take him as a patient.
By 16, he was drinking. Then we found pot in his bedroom, and in our bedroom. He started leaving needles and crack pipes where he knew we’d eventually find them, just to mess with us. I know this because he said so, in those exact words. He had his first intervention and first trip to rehab that year, and his first relapse.
While I was away, he spent an uncharacteristic night at home and on his best behavior. After his mother went to sleep, he followed her to her bedroom. He took a knife with him. He crept into the room, straddled her, put the blade to her throat, and slid his other hand inside her. I don’t know exactly what happened next. I know he held her down and tried to undress her. I know she fought. I know he stabbed her. I know she got away and locked herself in the bathroom before he could catch her; I hope that means she kicked him good in the balls. I know she broke the window and screamed for help. I know he ran. I know she was lucky the ambulance got to her before she bled to death. I know he called his friends to brag and beg a ride. I know the police caught him.
The state tried my son as an adult. He pled out, but only after making his mother testify and smiling the whole time. She divorced me a month after his sentencing; I looked too much like him. She killed herself a year later.
I would be a liar if I said I didn’t blame him for her death, because I absolutely do. When I made the mistake of visiting him after she killed herself, he laughed again and asked how it felt to have ‘some prick take your wife away.’
I should have killed him right there. It is to my eternal shame that I did not.
They let him out after serving three years. He spent the next six years on the streets, in and out of rehab, on and off other people’s couches, and would grace me every six months or so with a phone call demanding money. Eventually I refused to talk to him unless it was to drive him back to rehab, and I stopped completely after he stole my wallet.
I cannot talk about him without being overcome with rage and shame as I see the stupid, stupid hope I used to have that my son would ever amount to anything, and I do not need any more disappointment and failure in my life. I am not proud of my son. I am sorry for inflicting him upon the world.”
Spoiled Adult Goes On A Demolition Spree
“Not me, but my uncle.
He is a very kind and hard working man who did everything for his sons. While the younger ones are decent and successful persons, the oldest one was always a piece of work. He never finished school or worked in his entire life and at the same time belittled my uncle for his work. Said things like that he wouldn‘t even leave his bed for the money my uncle makes. That he is stupid for working for someone else and hadn‘t understood life.
They always believed in him. Gave him money so he could open his own store or bought him expensive cars/stuff so he would get motivated and do something with his life.
After about 10 years (he is 28 now) and a lot of money he asked for it again. My uncle told him basically that he wants to see a business plan first and that he has to wait about three months because they are renovating the house.
My cousin threw a tantrum and left for a while. In the meantime his parents renovated the first floor — walls, floor, bathroom, including furniture in his and his brothers rooms.
One day he came back while nobody was home and just lost it. Called my uncle and screamed something about how he has to wait for his money while they where spending it on themselves. Then he destroyed the place. Everything new and old was ripped out the floor and destroyed the bathroom. There was water everywhere and smashed in walls. He slashed furniture and destroyed his brothers electronics. I was speechless when I saw it.
They threw him out, took his keys, and haven‘t heard from him since. It just broke my uncle’s heart. He isn‘t the same man.”
Everyone Has Their Own Struggle
“I was in a situation (no motivation or ambition, played video games all day and night from like 15 to 30 years old) and I had family trying to help me and motivate me but I didn’t want to hear any of it. The only thing that got me to change my life was me deciding that I wanted to. Like the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
I suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts (receiving treatment) so it’s about more than just wanting to do something. When left untreated, my depression was so bad that I basically didn’t exist other than being a gamertag on Xbox live because I didn’t feel like doing anything else and I didn’t know how to explain it. On the outside you’d see an intelligent person wasting their life and it would seem so simple to fix, but on the inside it was pure chaos and it was overwhelming to the point where I had no hope of getting better.
Additionally, I’m transgender and, until I started receiving treatment recently, have never felt comfortable in my own skin (I still don’t but I’m making progress) so I always isolated myself and kept everyone, including (perhaps especially) family, at bay emotionally. I guess what I’m saying is talk to your friend and find out if there’s anything deeper going on with them.
Maybe they’re miserable and just biding their time until they die, or maybe they’re overwhelmed by the big disgusting world outside and don’t know where to begin.”
“He is 24 years old and has a full-blown addiction that started in the last six months.
He was fired from the job he got at 18 because he was high and manic. Since then, he has dedicated his time to feeding his addiction. He has been arrested three times spent 30 days in jail and continues to use even though he is on probation.
He is angry because we will not allow him to live with us while he is using. He is now homeless.
He broke into our house and stole some of his fathers sports memorabilia to support his habit. Some of it is not replaceable and very sentimental.
He is a shell of the human we knew 6 months ago both figurative and literally. He cannot hold a normal conversation and is constantly twitching
We have offered to get him help but he is convinced that the substances have set him free and we all are living in a delusional world where we have to work and conform to society.
It is killing us.
On the other hand, our daughter just graduated from college in June with a paralegal degree and has decided to go to law school. She is afraid to celebrate her success because she doesn’t want to make him feel bad or upset him. But forget him for taking that away from her.”
Like Father Like Son Unfortunately
“I’m disappointed in my son because he is too much like me. He’s a solid introvert who is afraid to ask for help and doesn’t want to bother people — even with very legitimate requests. He is an expert procrastinator.
I remember being that age and being so much like that. I’m not sure how I got through university, but I’ve been a successful engineer for 30 years so I’ve still got a lot of hope for him.
Also, both my kids vape/smoke. We’ve been anti-smokers for all our adult lives and I’m sad to see them choose to do something negative like that. They both ‘want to qui'” but it’s a tough road.”
The Weight of Expectation
“I’m still not sure what my parents think of me. I was ‘the promised child’ who got 99th percentile on aptitude tests in kindergarten, aced tests, memorized the presidents by age four (at my dad’s insistence), and ended up just blundering my way through school because what started as a bad habit of not doing homework eventually amalgamated into depression-driven apathy about education. I dropped out of college and I’ve spent more of my time in therapy learning how to be a good person and be happy, which does make my mom happy, but I can feel my entire extended family’s disappointment in me that I chose to work an 8-5 job and just live in an apartment with my cat. On the bright side, I’m more confident in my life choices than I ever have been and wouldn’t trade the positive mindset I’ve been working so hard on for any amount of work discipline.”
One Parent Gets It Right In Spite Of His Own Parents
“I’m in the middle of becoming estranged from my parents. They don’t approve of how I’m raising my sons, and they can’t even bring themselves to be around them. Our last attempt at a family vacation left my sisters yelling at my parents, and then storming off.
Their complaint is that I don’t have any boundaries for the kids. I do have boundaries, they just aren’t the same as my dad had when I was growing up. He was a hardliner with major anger issues. He threw me up a stairwell once when I left my boots behind at a park. Due to living in that household, I’m attempting to let my kids grow up knowing that making mistakes is part of life, you just have to learn from it.
In any event, my children ‘are monsters’ and he can’t get over that, so I’m about to cut him and my stepmom out of our lives.
My goal is to raise kids who are respectful of others and their space, yet feel able to explore their world and make mistakes without fear.”
Don’t Take Regret To The Grave
“My father and I had a rocky relationship. He was verbally abusive, and never hesitated to let me know having kids ruined his life, and he regretted being talked into it. He chilled out after we were adults, but my brother and I could never really build a relationship once he calmed down. At one Thanksgiving, he sat us down and asked point-blank why that was, and we both said we resented him and couldn’t just turn that off.
He ended up killing himself when I was 25. That was ten years ago, and I don’t know if it’s the time removed or if I’ve matured but I feel like now that I have the wife, kids, and job with all the trappings I can finally reflect upon my upbringing. I’m over the awful relationship we had. I want his advice now, but he didn’t stick it out long enough for me to come around.”
A Son Disappointments His Mother But Has His Reasons
“My mom held getting a degree as one of the pinnacle achievements you can do because it was such a big deal to her going back to school and getting her degree in her 40s. As someone who works in IT, I dropped out about a year into school and haven’t looked back.
That was 10 years ago. I hid that I dropped out for many years before I actually told her. She was disappointed, but in my opinion, the astronomical cost of a degree does not have a good return on investment, and in IT, I’ve worked up to a very high salary level without one. Certifications, mentors, learning on the job and at home. To me a four-year degree doesn’t make much logical sense in a fast moving field like this one.”