Desperate Parent

Patty S asks:

Please see below. This is the content of an email from my caller I received today. She is despondent. We are talking tomorrow at 3. Any assistance will help me. This has been building. The young man also has legal issues and faces being deported to India if he continues in this path. He is 19 years old. Any advice for me is appreciated!!!  David is the son and Agni is the step dad. Bio dad is an addict and not in his life


Hi Patty,


I feel so helpless and broken. David was thrown out of the house on 4th. Abhi used extremely harsh and colourful language and literally threw him out. He found him sleeping in the backyard in the morning and threw him out from there too. David's boss called me and said he doesn't have a job there anymore as he hasn't turned up for 2 days.


All of this happened because Abhi asked David where his salary went. He was supposed to pay us back bail money. David said he had to pay a friend he owed. Abhi asked him for the rest and David was humming a tune disrespectfully when he gave it. Abhi flew off the handle and I couldn't do anything to mitigate the situation. David had to leave with nothing.


I don 't know what to do. I cannot even begin to explain how I am feeling. David called me once he left and asked me what to do. I told him to try apologizing but he said he will not. I told him that may be his only way back in but his ego is too big. And I know he cannot afford to have an ego.

I'm so torn Patty. This is a broken family.


Waiting to talk to you so. It makes me feel better.


Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Pat A (Tuesday, 07 July 2015 06:49)

    Hi Patty,

    From your previous post, it appears that the step dad was looking for an opportunity to kick the son out and the disrespect and not following through on paying the bail money were the final straws. Mom seems to be worried as to how her son will survive “on the street”. The situation is further complicated in that the son has lost his job and has legal issues pending.

    There are a few different ways to go with this. One would be to have her look at how to solve a problem with the problem being 1) her son’s safety and living situation outside the home (e.g., shelter, friend’s home, relative, Craigslist room, treatment) or 2) under what circumstances would he be allowed back into the house (e.g., job hunt, curfew, treatment, etc.).

    It also sounds like the parent collaboration tool could be useful as she wants her son back in the home and dad does not. This tool speaks to how she can collaborate with him and communicate her ideas and how she might be able to reduce tension in the home. Maybe they could meet with the son outside the home on neutral ground to discuss next steps as an example.

    I imagine this must be very difficult for mom so using LOVE skills is still important. This is an instance where natural consequences are playing out (although I’m not condoning dad’s violence). The son made choices (e.g. to pay a friend instead of dad, to not show up to work and lose his job, to be disrespectful and get kicked out) so part of the conversation might be to acknowledge to both the son and dad that the son made poor choices and has to be accountable for his own actions.

    I hope this is helpful…it’s a tough situation all the way around, but it sounds like the caller is so grateful to have you in her corner!


  • #2

    Party S (Wednesday, 08 July 2015 05:44)

    Pat- the call went well today. We focused on negative consequences. I think it was helpful. Thank you for the help! It was really useful!