Court is over

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    and as usual, I am surprised at how it went but not at the outcome. After charges were read and described, the GAL was on board with everyone else in that difficult child never tried since being released from Department of Juvenile Justice in the spring and would most likely end up doing worse and/or be harmed himself if not in a higher structured environment. He told the judge that there was nothing at home to cause this and that he had spoken to difficult child and did not think difficult child was too concerned about current punitive actions. Then he said it did appear that difficult child was starting to think a little about the bigger picture because difficult child told him yesterday that he was concerned about what this was doing to me. (SHOCK!) The GAL said that I was possibly facing being put out of my home and cannot get assistance with difficult child incarcerated and he was glad to see difficult child starting to think about all this and the implications and effects on his life when he is released from Department of Juvenile Justice next time, assuming that's what the sentence would be. (GAL must have talked to PO or I don't think he would have worded this so delicately.)

    Everyone asked for reduction of the felony charge to a misdemeanor, or at least everyone was ok with def attny requesting it. Defense attny then told judge that he no longer thought difficult child had MH issues (I think their definition must be different than mine.) And then he told the judge he thought I had something I'd like to say. I told the judge that difficult child had expressed being able to do what he wants in Department of Juvenile Justice and feels it is easier there because he doesn't get into trouble for it like he does when he's being supervised by PO and me so I realize there is probably no better option than Department of Juvenile Justice, however I am asking for the charge to be reduced because I am concerned about the effects long term incarceration is having on my son. Also, my son was letting people put cigs out on his body so I do think there is a lot going on there that might not be apparent on the surface. The judge nodded, wide-eyed, like he thought that was obvious.

    Then he said the law was clear on a charge like this and for a child's mother to have to sleep with her money to begin with, then for a child to cut it out of her pockets and steal it while she's sleeping and to do so within days of being released from detention, is justification for a felony charge and it will remain a felony. He said if difficult child would do that to his mother, what else would he do to someone else and that makes it a communmity issue (translate that into "for the safety of the community") therefore difficult child is sentenced to committal to state Department of Juvenile Justice for an indetermined amount of time.

    And it was over. They did allow me to hug difficult child before handcuffing and escorting him out, which is a first.

    This judge is relatively new as compaared to some of the others and apparently still learning what living with a difficult child is really like. When he commented on a mother having to sleep with her money in her pocket, I wanted to blurt out, "Oh, that's nothing judge- you should hear what else other warrior moms and myself have had to do to try to prevent major catastrophe in our lives!" LOL!

    Farmwife, in our state, felonies are not dropped from a record ever, even juvenile felonies. This is difficult child's third one. He has about 19 misdemeanors although some of those are parole violations and/or status offenses.

    We estimated difficult child's length of stay in Department of Juvenile Justice this time will be 12-24 months but will have to wait until Department of Juvenile Justice gets him in custody and processes him to find out anything more specific or definite. I'm already advocating for a group home upon release, since difficult child will be old enough for one this time. (Or at least should be.)

    Also, PO said that even though it was only one positive drug test, it will be difficult child's mandatory "treatment" focus in Department of Juvenile Justice to get the substance abuse program. That might be the best thing that's ever happened to difficult child if they have a good program and if any of the boys going thru it with him are making any effort. You know how they say that it's the stinking thinking that causes the addiction, not results from it?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Kudos to you for staying strong. And a big hug.

    I know this isn't waht you wanted, K, but I'm with the judge. If he'll do that to you, what would he do to someone he didn't care about, particularly if he was high when he did it.

    All in all, I don't think its a bad thing, simply because you have to be kept safe, too. I just pray they drug test him in there and stop that nonsense...
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That sounds like a much better outcome than you feared. The judge seems to have perhaps a better idea than the defence attorney. The GAL did well too, it seemed.

    I'm not surprised at the felony charge remaining at that level. I would have been more surprised if the judge dropped it back; I think it was not right to ask but I understand why. Asking why was probably a good thing for you to have done (I know that sounds contradictory, sorry) because it shows you in a loving, compassionate light. difficult child will never be able to claim you didn't try to help. However, it also shows you as a victim who has been consistently and thoroughly beaten down. At least you were supported as a parent and no longer blamed or dumped on. That has to be a refreshing change.

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, and true to my nature of second guessing myself, now I'm sitting here wishing I had tried to change GAL's years ago. But, it's all in the past and can't be changed now, right or wrong, and I don't know that anything would have helped with the previous PO being so convinced that everything difficult child did was my fault. It's just a shame because I honestly do think there was a chance of rehabilitating him then.

    As far as what I said to the judge, they need to be fully aware of what is going on in these Department of Juvenile Justice facilities, in my humble opinion because the judges have more access to our higher state authorities. Also, I wanted to present as a parent who provides supervision, makes effort to prevent difficult child offending, holds difficult child accountable, yet still want to advocate for what is in his best interest and not always just look for the strictest thing that can be done. (Some had previously wondered if I had been instigating chaos in the house to drive difficult child to offend because I really didn't want him here.) And to difficult child, I hope someday he can understand this as tough love.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I think at some level right now, he understands it is tough love. And hopefully he can do something with that.

    And yes, our penal system is not real effective...
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    K - Having worked with kids that were in/out of Department of Juvenile Justice most of their high school years, I would not take your difficult child's word that he is doing all that once he is inside. It is considered a point of pride to brag about what you got away with in there. Yes, sometimes they do get away with things but not nearly as much as they would like everyone else to believe.

    I'd gently suggest that you make an "appointment" one morning each week to deal with difficult child-stuff (1 hour block of time). While, of course, you will worry about him outside that hour, I would try and push any drive to "do something for him" into that hour and spend the rest of the 12-24 months rebuiling YOUR life. difficult child will not be coming back to live with you. You have many, many years ahead of you. Please take this time to get a new job, new home and new outlook on life. You will be stronger and more stable when difficult child is released.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, they can at least give staff and "wards" (the kids there) drug tests to identify a problem and start taking dogs thru or something and get rid of any staff contributing to this. This state scored low or appropriateness and safety for Department of Juvenile Justice facilities in the last report and they need to be cleaning the system up and holding their own people accountable, too.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, JJJ- you snuck in on me. My life will be hectic over the next few weeks and that probably will make regrouping go smoother. And I was expecting this result this time. I just feel grief over the loss of a son and it is hard- like watching horrible things happen without being able to stop it or end it. It feels like watching him commit a very slow suicide while the system that is supposed to prevent this or change it hands him the rope and puts him with people who tell him how while telling me that if this is what he wants, they'll give it to him.
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have nothing to add, just hugs. I'm thinking about you.
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs. Please do take some time for you, k. You've had an amazingly stressful couple of years. More hugs.
  11. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    JJJ- My experience is in working with and being related to a lot of people who work in the "big boy" system so I can't say a lot for sure about the juvies. In big boy jail drugs are very easy to get, suprisingly easy. The only difference is the cost, it is much higher. Most lock up systems aren't as tightly secure as we may think because most of the junk actually rides in on dirty staff. *sigh*

    Frequent but surprise urine tests are great if difficult child can get them. If it isn't a surprise and is done on a routine a lot of partying happens just after a test and then the night before the next people stay up ALL night drinking water until they are sick with it to dilute the urine. (I saw a herd of inmates doing this like clockwork, I was working not incarcerated by the way, lol) I really hope juvie is better. The system really isn't set up to rehabilitate, they go through the motions but the main goal is to carry out sentences, feed and keep breathing. The rest is just a bonus.

    klmno- I whole heartedly ditto the idea for Mom to concentrate on herself right now. Aside from worry and the occasional visit there isn't much that can be done. Case workers usually set up transitional housing so that takes a big burden off.

    difficult child is as safe as he can be given the circumstances so take this time to be selfish, think only of yourself, follow your dreams and do what you need to do to live the rest of your life the way that makes you safe and feel happy. Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes or a humble lotus seed sprouting something magnificent out of mud you can create a world of beauty and strength all of your own. The more days that pass and the further you get the better it will feel. The hardest part is getting the momentum started. After your tears dry up the sun will begin to shine.
  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I know this is not what you hoped for, 12-24 months seems so long in moments like this. Yet, I see some good here. Even if he gets away with things he shouldn't while incarcerated, it is nothing compared to the damage he could do to his life and himself on the streets for the next year or two. He is being given an opportunity to use this time to consider why he's locked up, what he wants when he eventually is released. He will be forced to realize the odds are his days of living with a parent are over, and earlier than most but due to his own issues and choices. He can choose to ignore the opportunities, or he can choose to use them> He can focus on school and figuring out what makes him do things he shouldn't. He can focus on goals and how to reach them etc. The high point in this at this time is probably that he won't be able to control your life and schedule and own goals. And right now you've got a ton to focus on as mentioned. You really don't need the barriers that having him living outside of a facility would bring. No more calling in to work due to difficult child emergency. No more unexpected money loss when it is desperately needed. Not to sound mercenary but since finances are such a struggle, even finding an affordable rental is going to be more within reach by yourself. I'm certain all of us would live in a box to keep our kids with us, and you are surely no different. However difficult child is part of the reason why you're a step away from that. So he is safe and he can't get into the kind of trouble where he is now that he could find on his own by living in the community. So in light of that, the finances will be much eased on you for the next while, at a time you need them to be.

    You are facing all kinds of changes right now and obstacles in your path. I really urge you as someone who truly cares to just put difficult child on the backburner for a little bit. Not ignore him etc. But let him adjust to what will be his "home" for the foreseeable future. And instead, just get yourself through this process of finding housing and a job etc. Give yourself permission to focus on YOU now. Nobody is taking your difficult child away, taking custody, suing you. He isn't going to get in the trouble he would have living with you, not where he is. He knows the clear consequences of breaching rules where he is, and he has no excuses if he breaks them and should face those consequences if it comes to that, without blaming anyone but him. He's got to figure out his own path. I'm glad he expressed concern for what this is doing to you. He darn well should! You may be a true warrior mom with a moms heart, but that doesnt mean for a second you should have had to deal with all this broohaha from him. And he has some lessons to learn and honestly? I was a wayyyy out of control teen and it was a brutal stint a place I didn't want to be (although like your difficult child, I expressed stuff that made it seem otherwise), that made me evaluate myself and what the heck was I doing to my life?!?! Sometimes being locked up like this is the wake up call someone needs. And if it isn't, nothing was going to change him and his choices anyhow.

    Be good to yourself. He is safe, you're a loving mom and you've done your best and he is laying in the bed he made. Now is a time where YOU have to be your number one priority. YOU. Then housing. Then a job. Then finding a peace at the big picture. Love him. But love yourself. You really need to take care of you with all you're dealing with. I wish you lived in Canada so I could invite you to spend some time staying here and maybe look for a job in this area. If life could be like that huh? Stay strong and take that warrior mom spirit and focus it on yourself for a bit. In the meantime, we are all thinking of you and are solidly in your corner (and I'm sending all kinds of positive energy to your difficult child and truly rooting for him that this is the end of this nonsense and he steps up and takes control of his own destiny).

  13. ML

    ML Guest

    I was wondering how are you feeling about things today k?
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    There have been Department of Juvenile Justice staff in this state get busted for some pretty bad things- providing drugs, having sex with wards, giving a ward the key to the door, etc.....and we're talking about Department of Juvenile Justice facilities that have younger teens in them who are classified as lower risk. (Believe it or not, difficult child is not classified as violent although I can see why in a way since he's never actually severely physically hurt anyone, compared to those juveniles who have shot someone or actually carried out a malicious wounding.)

    I'm regrouping and am updating on me in the WC instead of in General. I will say though that I have cut that final cord with my mother. I just got so tired of her living in her own delusion and replied to her last email of doom and gloom about her "friends" and her house selling when it's all she has (is it any wonder-- she never cared about anything except her stuff and money and won't listen to any advice or join forces and she's always been this way)....anyway, here was the bulk of my response, after showing my due pity for her situation:

    difficult child got recommitted to the state juvenile justice system- that is incarceration, not social services taking him away from home. He will be there longer this time than last time so that basicly blows his teenage years and a lot of possibility for getting things turned around. No matter who you want to blame for it, it would take some intensive therapy and rehabilitation to get him on the right track now and incarceration doesn't provide that. Social services does but due to the previous actions of you and Bro, I can't get difficult child help or transitional services thru them. I hope you remember that the next time you are "in a panic because you love him so much".

    My mother could have been the person that instigated the phrase "talk is cheap". When difficult child was out for that first short period, she was emailing me telling me to tell him that she really hoped she could see him soon. Now I ask you, how much sense does that make when she said we couldn't come there, so we had no choice but to stay here and he had to be in school so couldn't travel to her (where we weren't welcome anyway), and she was selling her house to move 2 states away with no plans to visit us? I ignored that at first then after receiving a few like that, I responded with "Exactly HOW do you plan on seeing him?" and she replied that she didn't know but wanted him to know she loved him. No, she wants to "look good" and never own up to her contribution in all the koi- just as it's been all my life.

    But what burns me most- she says her bro (the one who raped me after she brought him to our home to live when he was released from a criminally insane ward of a psychiatric hospital upon condition that he receive intensive outpatient therapy and the entire family would be involved in therapy) was the way he was because their mother never held him accountable and I have been the cause of difficult child's problem. OK, well even if I bought that I caused every one of difficult child's problems, if I messed him up that bad then wouldn't we still need therapy and him need something pretty intensive to get it turned around? Nope- just like she never made it a condition for her bro in order for him to live with us, and Lord knows, she never allowed anyone in the family to pursue therapy as long as they lived under her roof. That was considered a punishment she threatened. So her bro spirals downward until I am raped by him. difficult child- she "couldn't stand him going to DSS"- mind you, I was trying to get him into a therapeutic environment. Nope- she had to get my bro involved who has always wanted custody. Ma. PHD in psychiatric. How many generations and lives can she ruin? I asked her about 2 months ago if she didn't think her bro was mentally ill- she said nope, he was just messed up by their mother. And unfortunately, I'm starting to come to terms with the fact that many in the Department of Juvenile Justice system still look at things like this too. Their definition of mentally ill or needing MH treatment usually only covers the completely delusional or insane. OMG the regrets I have.

    Maybe that seems like re-hashing but it's the stuff that gets stirred up when this toxic woman starts her passive agressive koi. And I will bet the last dollars in my pocket that she will react to my last email by calling her sister and whining about me blaming her for all my problems and her sister will buy it. This would be the sister who caught their bro in a room with her 5 yo daughter naked when he was supposed to be babysitting but never reported him.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just adding hugs-sorry I'm late on this I was out of town.