Called the prison...could it be worse???

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tishthedish, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Ok. Wondering about difficult child 1 his medical condition with his eye and his impending release tomorrow. I still haven't heard from him. So I called the prison. I talked to a "counselor" who said son is still in infirmary and maybe didn't have anywhere to go tomorrow. He starts to berate ME saying isn't there a cousin or friend or someone who could give him a place? As a matter of fact there isn't. I tried to explain to him that because of my son's bipolar and reticence to take medications it made it difficult for someone to take responsibility. This fellow goes on to say how hard can it be, the Salvation Army can't make him take medicine.A family member would probably have more influence. I patiently explain to him that as his 57-year old mother weighing 110 lbs. (this is a lie, but I was desperate to make my point) I couldn't hold a 29-year old, 180 lb. man down 3 times per day to make him take his medications. If I could, he wouldn't be incarcerated. I tell him that there are intermediate care facilities that require as a condition of living there that psychiatric medications be taken. He says that they can't force him. Huh???vHe transfers me to a caseworker supervisor who tells me that he can't tell me what is going on. He does say that a couple of half-way houses have turned our son down, probably due to the eye infection and the doctor won't release him to anyone because they don't want to be sued for the eye infection. Ok. So I am picturing my bipolar son in a depression, in pain with his eye and devastated that he is not getting out tomorrow. I picture him wallowing in it and not calling, angry at us or himself or both because we can't/won't/have vowed not to take him in. Worse yet his facility is on lockdown. I don't even know if I am on the approved visiting list. My son said he added us but when he later checked it hadn't been done yet, citing the inadequacies of the correctional system. I had a tendency to doubt his dissing the system, but from what I heard on the phone today, yikes. I wish he'd call. I'm sending a letter asking him to and we'll see what happens. I am in totally unfamiliar territory here. He can serve out his probation in jail, which is another 18 months. Holy crap. Should we give him another chance at home?
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Caveat: I haven't walked in your shoes.

    But. If YOU take him in? The system gets to wash their hands yet again, and you are back where you started.
    This is a person with a serious mental illness, and a history of refusal to be medications compliant.

    So no. Force the system to find a way to care for him, but don't take it on. He's old enough, with enough challenges, that you cannot be his primary caregiver.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, goodness. The hospital is just afraid of getting sued for the eye issue.

    Your son doesn't have to be depressed and where he is. He could be working and productive. He is choosing his life. What can you do? Take care of him as he abuses you forever? I sure wouldn't let him come home. I would have told social worker, "Got an idea. YOU take him home since you're so worried about him." Your son is 29 years old. Why should he still be living in YOUR home? He knows right from wrong.

    It's your decision, of course. I guess you can already figure out I'd probably have hung up on the social worker.

    At your son's age, his life's story is written by him. His choices are leading to his problems. You can't control him. I see an impending disaster if you give in and take him back. And, as for your name on or off the list due to your son or other reasons (remember, we can't trust our adult children to be honest with us)...relax and take this time to focus on yourself and not him. You've already spend the best of your life worrying bout him. How about giving yourself some quality time to heal and do the things you always loved but stopped doing because you thought you could save your sons?

    Visiting him will probably just stress you out and it won't help him. He will use the time to revert to little boy phrases, voice and face to get you to do things you know are better off not happening. Been there/done it. Your parents let you live at home after you were incarcerated at age 29? Would they have?

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
     
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    If it were me I would not let him come back home. If you choose to do that realize it will only be a matter of time before you are having a major case of Dejavu.
    Bottom line, he is not your responsibility anymore, he's a 29 year old man.
    ((HUGS)) to you....
     
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  5. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    The vow stands. He's not coming here. Dear hubby and I have decided to Let Go and Let God on this one. Thanks for the sanity check.
     
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  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I totally understand your experience with both your son and the whole dealing with the prison staff. My almost 19 year old is in a juvenile prison and getting worse by the day. He will get out in August and be even angrier than when he went in. He will take it out on those around him and that person would be me. I do not want him to come home. I will not be able to deal with his anger. Is bad that we don't want them to come home? Sometimes I feel like a monster.
     
  7. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Pasajes, my sister's son is 39, my son is 29 and your son is 19. All troubled. She and I have both had our sons living with us and the bad behaviors persisted. If I could have a do over with my kids it would have been to have tolerated less abuse. To deprive yourself of a safe haven does unspeakable harm to one's heart and mind. I hope he can find an alternate living arrangement.
     
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    pasajes4, no you are not a monster. It's ok that we don't want them in our homes. If one of my friends treated me the way my one and only child has they would not be welcome in my home.
    Our homes are a place where we are supposed to have peace and feel safe.
     
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  9. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Exactly

    Amen ladies
     
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  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending hugs tish........hang in there.
     
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    If you are very strong now, if you can say no, if you can come up with a simple phrase to repeat when your heart (or shame, or guilt, or motherlove) takes over, then somehow, your son will take the reins of his own life.

    Maybe.

    I think that for you and for pasajes too, the phrase about the sanctity of the home rings true and heavy and right enough to stand in the face of the negatives.

    The man at the prison was pulling out the threads of forged steel that are the only thing holding you up at this point, Tish. That strength you have now was hard won and he targeted and tried to destroy it.

    That so sucks.

    Nothing about this is easy. It is like someone is sitting around thinking up new tortures just for moms.

    I am sorry about the infection in your son's eye. That would probably be the thing that would do me in. You have to be stronger than that. (I would too, if it were me. But this time, it isn't me. "Oh, thank God." Cedar whispers. "This one time, it isn't me who has to be stronger than she knows how to be.")

    You have dealt with worse things than the prison person. He can be discounted. Maybe, you could see this experience with him as practice. Those accusations he made are the very things you will be confronting within yourself, I think. How will you respond, Tish and pasajes?

    How will you respond so you are not taken unaware? And once we know that, how would it be possible for you both to come through this stronger and healthier and more certain of your right to cherish and celebrate your own lives, whatever your child chooses for himself?

    That is what we really need, here.

    A changed perspective, a way to see and cherish and celebrate ourselves and our lives. What we need is a way, some way, to incorporate the horrible things happening to people we love so wholeheartedly.

    We have to open another facet of self to contain and name and understand what is happening and go on, anyway.

    We need a way to see and a place to stand where we are connected to the earth, because some things are too horrifying to face.

    Would you like (or pasajes, would you like) to work through phrases you might use to keep you strong as this next phase begins? We did that once for me, here on the site. I had strong words to say, words I had not been able to think for myself, because it is impossible to do that when the child in question is your own, and I don't care how old they are. I wrote the phrases down, played out the scenarios ahead of time...and I was stronger, when the time of testing came, for me.

    That would be helpful, I think.

    Cedar

    Remember the river scene in Apocalypse Now? I feel that feeling, sometimes. It helps me to name and put a fence around that trauma feeling, to think about it that way. It helps me to see what is happening to me. Once I know, then I can go about learning to stand up, anyway.

    There was a time, here on the site, when we compared the waiting for the bad thing to happen to the shark scenes in Jaws. That music, that everything happening too fast.

    That stupid shark devouring the Master Fisherman!

    What chance does a mere mom have, right?

    But we have to do this, somehow.

    Another piece of strong imagery for me was Quasimodo in the bell tower. The Disney movie Quasimodo. He was carrying a bag, a closed bag. I so identified with Quasimodo, all twisted and lonely and reviled by the townspeople and afraid and misshapen.

    In the bag?

    Something about my daughter.

    Horrifying as it was to think about these things, to think about them enabled me to get a handle on the feelings, to name them and look them squarely in the eye.

    Turned out I was stronger than them.

    That's what I want for both of you, too.
     
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  12. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    How is your son doing Tish?
     
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhh, Pasajes and Tish, my heart goes out to you and and your children. How awful. I so hope that they can see that they need care and medications.
    Tish, I'm sorry that the person you spoke to on the phone was such a jerk. On top of it all.
     
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  14. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Thanks for asking 2M2R. And thanks everyone for your kind words. What a wild ride. How could I expect anything less? Thursdays I have therapy and meet with my Al-Anon sponsor so with your help and theirs, I was able to start working to find my equilibrium and steel myself against what I imagined might happen. Then at 10 p.m. the phone rings. It's my elder son and he is at a halfway house in the city. I was thrilled to hear from him and asked about the circumstances of his release. He said he had not been able to call because he had been taken out of the hospital and placed in isolation (this is the 2nd time). He had a 5 hour bus ride and had just got settled into his new place. He had to borrow someone's phone to call and we only spoke for a minute. He said he would try to borrow someone else's and call back. He did and we spoke for about 10 minutes. He sounded good...solid, and we agreed that hubby and I would see him on Saturday. We went and the visit went so well. He was loving and considerate to both of us and he seemed to be very glad to be in that environment vs prison/psychiatric facility. He called yesterday just to say hello and and to tell me things were going well, it was a nice place and he loved me. He will now be able to see his eye specialist that did the transplant. He can take public transportation to him and I am keeping a safe distance. I don't want to be in the role of rescuer, chief problem solver, whipping post. I'd like to think I have retired from that.

    It's amazing though how quickly I became shaky after a good, long time of being steady. I am grateful that the support I have sought and put into practice has begun to seep in. It's almost like muscle memory for the mind.

    Cedar, I love how you use imagery in your advice...
    I compare my own reactions to the scene in the movie Bambi when all the animals have to be quiet because "man" is in the meadow. All of a sudden one bird can't stand it. Her heart races, she starts getting flustered, she panics and goes to fly away despite others trying to calm her. BAM...she's shot down. That's how I feel about myself. I can play it cool for so long and then that perfect storm of uncertainty, an illness or injury, a rogue prison employee, self-doubt, rumination over past transgressions and I am off and running/taking flight. BAM!

    MWM, you always bring me back down to earth. I think of you as an EarthMWM. It is so helpful to be able to rely on the kind of objective input that you so generously provide. It's calming because it validates me and entitles me.

    We'll see what happens from here. I've had a couple of good encounters with him and appreciate the 3 days on which those encounters occurred. I know things can change quickly with his illness. In between time, I just need to keep focusing on myself, my recovery, my dogs, the weather, good books, good friends and my higher power. Oops, bad Tish. Mentioned dogs ahead of hubby!

    By the way, before I started this painful learning process my favorite piece of imagery was from a movie too. THIS is how I wished I could change my sons' errant behavior. It was from Moonstruck when Nicolas Cage professes his love for Cher and she smacks him across the face and yells,"Snap out of it!" If only it were so easy.

    Pasajes, I hope you're doing ok. Let us know. I stopped in here first. I'll check to see if you wrote elsewhere.
     
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  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the update Tish, I'm glad to know you're back in your center and feeling better. You used your tool box well, and it paid off. Good job. HUGS to you.
     
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  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Yes.

    I think we are fortunate when we can picture our lives and our choices and our children in these ways. It helps us not to leap, not to be arrogant, not to celebrate anticipation, but only accomplished things.

    Yes!

    Validates and entitles...yes! I agree. That is what MWM does for us.

    :O)

    Given that this imagery is so strong for you Tish, I wonder whether you have known all along that it was your own behavior, and not your son's behavior after all, that would have to change.

    This is an important piece for all of us to note and remember. When I fall into something bad these days, there is a nasty, judgmental part of me that accuses me of fraudulence and brokenness because I am supposed to be able to stand up.

    I thought it was just me that happened to.

    Perhaps it is something common to all of us, a way we punish ourselves, maybe.

    Cedar
     
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear that he's getting "settled" and that you had a nice visit with him. More important I'm glad you are building a support group for yourself.

    I hope your son starts to really accept the help being offered to him.

    I remember times with my son when he would get out of jail and there was that "fresh start" and all the hope I had for him. He would do really good for about a month then would revert back into his out of control behavior. I remember the feelings of being so completely disappointed as I at the time truly thought "this is it, he's going to make it". As time went on and we went through this "process" again and again I learned to be much more guarded and cautious with my emotions.

    We learn quickly how true the saying is "Actions speak louder than words"

    Our difficult adult children are so good at giving lip service, it's following that up with actions that make all the difference.


    :staystrong:
     
  18. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Cedar, I am laughing! I wish! No, my late father and his entire family is 100% Sicilian. In that movie the cadence of the dialogue, the non sequiturs and the superstitions remind me of holidays at my aunt's house. It resonates for those reasons, not because of any foresight. But who knows, I can still learn! Here's a good quote from The Godfather. Let's hope at some point it applies.

    “Many young men started down a false path to their true destiny. Time and fortune usually set them aright.”
    Mario Puzo, The Godfather
     
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Tish, thank you!!!

    I have to admit I tend to think logically and with realism. I don't look at my son and think, "I still have hope he will change." I stay in the now and look at the past to see the future, at his age anyway, and am not one who just blindly believes things will get better. My way of seeing life and people is "show me the money." Don't tell me you're going to change. Do it. And until you do it, I won't think about it. My logic drives Bart nutty!!! He wants me to sugar-coat his life and what may happen and I can't. I'm no good at painting pretty pictures of things that don't seem possible or haven't happened yet or that I can't see. Even my belief in a higher power is fueled by my experiences with the paranormal and afterlife. I can't believe in anythig that isn't proven to me.

    Although I am very poor at sugarcoating, I am good at analyzing. I sometimes wonder if people here want the sugarcoating approach only. The fact is, all the young people on this board will not make it. Some will, some will be career drug users and criminals. Who will make it, it's impossible to tell. But steps in the right direction...a job, new friends, a new sense of responsibility, care about others are good signs that the person is maturing and outgrowing the self-destruction. I don't put much into what our little darlings say when they are locked up. I put faith into what they actually do once they are no longer in a regimented place. Honestly, I think some of our adult kids thrive in containment, even jail, because it is too hard for them to think and manage unless they have somebody else telling them what to do.

    I have seen this pattern in my own dysfunctional family. I see constant patterns on this board as well. I have been here about ten years.

    Maybe that's why I tend to be unable to feel the hope before it happens. I am such a cynic.Some of our grown kids do change, but it isn't because we give them second, third and tenth chances. That has cemented my belief that they do best when they have to figure it out on their own. Some do. Some have personality disorders that keep them in limbo forever. It is varied...there are young adults who made it whom I didn't think would and vice versa.
     
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  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    On the fridge it goes. Note it says nothing about mom's rescuing skills setting the young men aright.

    I am going to read The Godfather series again.

    Cedar
     
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