difficult child update

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

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Maybe someone whose had a difficult child incarcerated as a kid, long term, can offer some insight as to if this is manipualtion or normal or whatever. difficult child was doing great yesterday (see WC), then right after I fell asleep last night- early- I woke back up and had a weird feeling because his dog was in my room, meaning he wasn't in bed. I came downstairs and he was in the bathroom so I came to my office. He came out and came to the office and started crying. He said "OMG I'm already scr**ing up". I froze and managed to whisper, asking why he said that. He cried and said he had spent the last few weeks in Department of Juvenile Justice planning to come home and sneak on the computer and get cigs and smoke the first chance he had. But he was clearly shaken as he said he couldn't believe that's what he was trying to do his first night home and especially after all that I had gotten him and done for him and how much he didn't want to go back. He said he needed my help, something must be wrong. We held each other and I let him cry and told him the main thing was that he realized this stuff before it was too late. He said but he would have followed it thru if I hadn't come downstairs and he thanked me for catching him. He told me he loved me and was sorry and that he realized that I was the only person he really had. It broke my heart but I was glad he seemed to see me as someone on his side, not someone he should be trying to take advantage of.

    We went back upstairs to our respective bedrooms. He came to my door a min later and said there was more he had to tell me- he had tried smoking pot once- while in Department of Juvenile Justice. (Talk about a mother feeling smoke about to come out of her ears! Should I report this?) He swaers it didn't get in there by staff but I have serious doubts about that. Then he cried some more about not wanting to ever go back in and how he messed up because he couldn't even make it one night. But then he confessed again that he'd been planning it the last few weeks in Department of Juvenile Justice. He told me he thought I should put a password on the computer and make sure he had no cash. He asked me to help him. I talked to him some more and told him the main things were no sneaking behind my back, be honest like he was then, no stealing, and by all means- no aggression or violence. He calmed and we went back to our separate rooms for bed.

    Today I brought it up and asked if he'd gotten back up. He said no- I counted the packs of cigs in the car and none were missing. I asked him about one particular thing he'd said last night and he said I must have dreamt that part. Weird. I told him about what my bro had done as a kid and told him my fears and that's why many times I became so stressed and that he was old enough now to take some responsibility about where these actions could potentially lead him because this was his last chance at home- they would never let him come back- it isn't just a matter of a short incarceration in the future. But, no one expects him to be perfect and we both can work together to dig ourselves out of this hole and get a normal life back if we work together. And that I believe ha can do that- but not to sabatoge me or my efforts. Also, I reminded him that when I'd tried a password on the computer before, he found ways around it. When I tried locking the door, he went thru the door, and a few other. I'm not doing that anymore. He said back then he viewed my efforts as just being mean, now he knows they were efforts to keep him out of trouble because I loved him. Good, because I can't live that way again. He said my trust was very impportant to him. I told him I had to be able to trust him for this to work- if he starts sneaking and stealing, it will not work. He said he got it and he wasn't going to do that.

    I told him if he sabatoged things this time, the dogs would be gone, I'd be in a homel;ess shelter, and he'd either be in Department of Juvenile Justice or living with my bro, which he doesn't want, but this is all true. I told him I hope he can remind himself of that when he gets tempted and find that it isn''t worth it.

    I wonder if he's being honest and making a sincere effort or if he's just snowing me from the get-go.

    We're getting ready to watch a movie. I'd asked him to do a couple of things earlier today while I worked- he did them with no complaint. I'd arranged for him to go by his old middle school to say hello to the principal and his fave teacher there- the principal had ok'd it- but then neither showed up. We were told something came up. difficult child took that for face value. It bugs me that neither was there, but neither called or emailed to cancel. Oh well.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2010
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it is really great that he opened up to you. I can understand why you are wondering if he is being honest or trying to snow you. I think you handled things really well. The trust is going to take time; I do like that he did the work you asked him and that he is seemingly understanding why you did what you did. Hugs.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Sharon. I just can't believe he had access to pot in this facility- it is the best one left in this state for juvenile protection, which is one of the reasons difficult child was sent there because he was young, considered non-violent, and well, innocent and vulberable in many ways. But even more than that, he said he did this about a month ago- that would have been about the time he was going up for release. Why on earth would he risk that? I assume this was around the time he talked to me about drugs and I posted something about my concern, I also told PO I thought we needed to be proactive as I felt difficult child was headed in that direction. Now I'm worried that it could show up on a drug test if PO pops one on him in April. I doubt difficult child actually inhaled enough to stay in his system that long though. But I'm tic'd- if he smoked pot while in my custody do you know what they would do to me?? He claims it didn't make him high, that he only did a little and it was a first time and that he knows repeated use could lead to using harder drugs that he wants no part of because he doesn't want to end up a crack-head or meth addict. Staff in Department of Juvenile Justice though were telling me that difficult child was making such good choices- choosing kids who were doing their best to stay out of trouble, or difficult child was keeping to himself, etc. I don't get it.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    While it is scary knowing where his head is at, on the other hand at least he is talking and opening up. I think all you can do is be watchful and know what is always going on, and try to adjust hopefully to your "new" son. The honest one who is trying!
    Fingers crossed
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    K...I have no doubt the inmates couldnt smuggle something in. Happens all the time in jails and prisons and juvenile detention facilities. One time Cory got an entire pack of cigarettes in and another time he got a cell phone in! It concerned me more that he got the cell phone in because of the size of it. If he got that in, someone could have easily got in a small gun.

    I do think you should password your computer. Its too important.

    I dont think it is entirely odd for him to be at odds about wanting to be good but also wanting to come home and get on the computer and smoke too. He probably thought about that a long time.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I can't see how anything could be snuck in and gotten to a ward in that facility without being caught, unless it is by staff. No packages are allowed to be sent- only letters, cards, and photos, which must be mailed in and are screened. NOTHING can be taken in by a parent at visitation and parents are frisked before entering and pockets checked. Wards are strip searched after visitation. The ONLY time a ward is outside the fence is with staff, shackled, to go to an energency medication appointment or court. difficult child told me "there are some staff there that still do drugs and didn't quit like most people do when they get into their 20's". Uhmmm....

    A parent risks a legal charge, as does the juvenile, and the parent risks loss of custody and right to ever visit again. We know there are instances of staff having sex with juveniles because they have been caught and there has recently been a published report from one of the commissions.

    I'm going to make myself quit thinking about it though, since difficult child is out now and we can only pick up from where we are now so I need to be focused on what will help him most from here. As far as password on the computer- I'm not sure it's possible anymore due to what I had to do to go around his methods of going around mine in the past but I will try. I'm hoping to keep us both thinking more about efforts to trust instead of this turning into a challenge or battle of wills again though. But, I do realize that for a teen boy coming out of a year long incarceration, temptations and "plans" could be a lot worse than computer usage and smoking cigs. That's why I'm thinking it's the habit of sneaking and feeling he can get by with stuff that's actually the worst part because that is what is likely to lead to worse stuff later on.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    "He came to my door a min later and said there was more he had to tell me- he had tried smoking pot once- while in Department of Juvenile Justice. (Talk about a mother feeling smoke about to come out of her ears! Should I report this?) He swaers it didn't get in there by staff but I have serious doubts about that."

    I would tend to believe him on that one. I work in a big (1,500 inmates) adult male correctional facility and 99.9% of the drugs that come in are smuggled in with visitors or through the mail. As careful as they are, there will always be some that gets in. You can only search visitors just so thoroughly before it is considered to be 'violating their rights"! Not saying that staff have never done it but it's pretty rare and not worth loosing your job over. When it's happened where I work, it's almost always some dumb new person who is easily swayed by the inmates and doesn't realize how easily he can be caught.

    And probably too much information, but about HOW visitors smuggle things in ... think of "nature's little hiding places"! Yeah, they DO that! All the time! You just would not believe how 'creative' some of them can get with bringing things in! It's mind-boggling! Some of them think they're being soooo clever and don't realize that the staff has seen the same thing a thousand times! We have a drug-sniffing dog, Mick, who is a giant black lab, and if they'd let us, he would catch every last one of them. But when they brought him in on visiting days, even just sitting there, people complained and they stopped it. He's perfectly friendly, but very thorough and VERY big!

    And if this is a STATE run institution, staff will be routinely and randomly drug screened and would have to pass a drug screening before they were hired. That's pretty well standard procedure.

    I just keep adding on here but was your son drug tested before he left the institution? That's standard procedure too unless they have flattened their sentence.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It sounds like he is trying to be honest with you. He didn't have to confess the specifics if he was more concerned about being successful with his "plan" than doing the right thing. I think it's huge that he's asking for help and seems to sincerely want to stay clean, so to speak. Are there plans to get him back in to see a therapist as part of his probation? Is he off all medications now? I can't remember.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm just popping in for a sec while lunch is finishing heating and he's watching a woman give birth on Discovery. LOL! No- he's on no medications except for acne. He has his old therapist he can go to but is not court ordered. I'm holding off on that because the therapuetic mentor due to start at the end of next week (this coming week) is geared specifically to help boys transitioning out of Department of Juvenile Justice so I want to focus on that and give it an honest chance without providing another person for difficult child to talk to- so maybe he really will give this mentor a chance too.

    He had a good night last night and has been great so far today. We are getting ready to run errands and shop for clothes after lunch. Then, we are going to discuss our goals and list them for the mentor tonight after dinner.
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    K---I hate to say it but those behaviors (smoking, sneaking, computer) are really typical teen these days. You smoke. I smoke---my children also smoke and began to smoke rather early---although never in front of me---they told me later. It hurts me that my behaviors have led to their unhealthy choices---but it is what it is. I'm glad he's talking to you, and you are handling things that come up with poise and control. in my humble opinion the worst thing a parent can do is freak out when a kid makes a wrong choice. Each mistake made is a moment for growth. As parents we need to not expect a kid to be perfect (and I'm not saying you do) but I see everyday parents who push their kids away by over-reacting to bad choices. Enjoy your son. Let him come to you and talk and learn to really listen to what he is saying---not to the words, but to the emotions and fear behind the words. Hugs---I know you both can do this!
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    EW, I don't freak out over these things- he's always been able to talk to me about puberty, sex, temptations, etc. But he is not in a typical teen suituation, especially with court orders and history of pulling a knife on me to get cigs, then telling them all in Department of Juvenile Justice the problem was his smoking. They are watching him closely and it would be considered a parole violation, not to mention that it could lead to another habit that leads to another violent episode. And he has a history with comuter usage that had court involvement, too. It's his particular history and current situation that make this an issue he HAS to pay attention too- not that I'm a prude who's wringing her hands because my son has these temptations.

    Keep in mind, it might be typical teen for a kid to sneak and set up a myspace before the age of 14, but my bro told the GAL that difficult child had done this (even though he's the one that told difficult child how to) and I was accused of letting difficult child do illegal things and we were given a court order to remove the computer from the house for months. This is the kind of stuff that happens when a kid around here is on probation or parole. If I allowed him to smoke cigs, I would be hit with a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and we both would be hit with parole violation. Even though difficult child had pulled a knife on me, the only thing that saved my butt then was that my cigs were locked in the trunk of the car and my keys stayed in my pocket 24/7- which is why he threatened me with the knife to get them. Around here, parents have gotten ordered before to either stop smoking around a minor or lose custody. This is the kind of stuff that makes this major- not that I am freaking because I don't think my son will ever do anything wrong or have these same desires. I was a teen in the 70's so I do get what is going on with him.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  12. ML

    ML Guest

    It is clear he is trying. The drive of addictive temptation can be irresistable to some of our kids. Heck manster lies about sneaking husband's candy bars. He hides them but manster always finds them. We do have a lock on one cabinet but it's not working and I told husband to fix it because manster really can't help himself. And yes, he sometimes confesses and clearly feels bad about lying. I know this situation is different but it was something that jumped out at me as I read.

    I am proud of difficult child and of you for how your handling it mom. Keep up the good work and please keep up updated.