Life Advice



Ask Amy: Mom’s financial infusion harms her

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am the mom of three “adult” sons. One of them, who will be 21 soon, is not acting like much of an adult.

He chose to move out a little over a year ago, with no plan and no place to live. He has bounced between friends' houses, a short stay at his brother’s house, and with a family he met at a church he joined. I'm not sure where he's living now.

I have given him a lot of money over the past 14 months, and I mean a LOT!

I put myself in a terrible financial situation (didn’t pay credit card bills for months, cashed in the tiny amount of retirement savings I had, etc.).

I did this to help him, only to learn (by his admission) that he lied to me about many things, including what the money was for, having a job, and letting other people text me from his phone asking for money as if they were him, etc.

There was a brief pause in him asking for money for about six weeks when he was living with a family from his church and working.


Now he’s back to asking for money almost every day.

I promised myself that I would not help him again but I can’t stand the thought of him being without food or a place to stay.

I need your help to figure out how to say no to him without feeling tremendous guilt and constant worry.

I'm concerned that he doesn't have the skills to make it on his own (he's on the autism spectrum – high functioning), but then again, I think he is a master at guilt-tripping me to get what he wants.


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