Please help with our decision to bail 36 yr old son out of jail..

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by ChangesWays7, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. ChangesWays7

    ChangesWays7 New Member

    I am new here. My son is 36 and still winding up in jail for addiction and probably mental illness that he is trying to overcome on his own. He won't get help. Once again he's asked me to help bail him out and I resent him putting me in this position to feel guilty about choosing between leaving him in there or paying my rent. I choose my rent. I still feel so sad about this...

    I just happened to find this site after Googling 'should I still bail out my son' and saw this post and comment replys. Reading them gave me a better feeling in my spirit. I did not know that this site existed. I am very, very happy to have found it and you all. I will continue to pray God's will be done and try to stay strong. I do not feel like running up to the jail to see him either. I've done enough over the past 20 years....
    I am sad...
    I am scared for him and I am tired and very angry. I don't know why specifically I am angry but I am...
    My blood pressure was 170/104 yesterday. Smh
    I gotta take care of me..
    Lord help us
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  2. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Good morning Changes, we are glad you are here. You have a new thread now for your post so you will likely hear from more people. I'll write more later. Warm hugs this morning. We're here for you.
  3. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Welcome Changes....I am going through the same. My son is in jail, again. He is 44 and I am so done with him making me feel guilty for leaving him in jail. I have tried everything I can possibly think of to help him but without any success. I think he is probably better off in jail. He was involved with very dangerous people out on the streets. I know home much you want to help him but this is a road he has to walk hisself. At some point they have to take responsibility for their actions and take the consequences. Hugs and take care of you. We are here to support you.
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  4. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Welcome Change. ...and yes, a welcome change. this is truly a soft place to land without judgement. Many of us are, have been, will be, where you are, we do "get it".
    Eventually, they must "do for themselves". He's 36, if not now, when? It may be good for him to be in jail, sometimes that's better than the risks associated with the life of addiciton/mental illness. It will give him time to think about where his life has gone. I have felt my son was safer in jail than on the streets, or maybe I just liked knowing where he was living. He wasn't impaired in a car risking others' lives or beaten up lying outside. As I write this, I am stunned to think "who ponders these choices with their own kids?" We do. You and I and so many other parents who expected and so wanted the best for their kids only to have them go off the rails into the dark.

    All those feelings also so understandable. I find it much better when I can turn my thoughts away from it all-take a walk or whatever. Doing something for others who need or appreciate it, when I know my assistance to my son is not beneficial to either of us, is a good trade.
    Today do what feels right for you. You're stronger than you think.
    I'll continue to look to God with you, knowing He cares what you go through, He knows your son's needs also. Prayers.
  5. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    You have landed in a very special place. There is so much compassion and knowledge on this site. No one can tell you what you should do, but they will tell you what worked or didn't work for them. And if you decide to bail him out, we understand, because we have all made a decision based on how we feel and what we are able to cope with.

    Just remember, you have to take care of your self...if you aren't around, or not healthy, you won't be able to help in the future, if and when your child is making appropriate choices. All the stress parents go thru with their Difficult Child can be overwhelming.

    Keep in touch, post as often as you need to. I don't have many people in my life that I can share the struggles we have. This site is my support system...

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  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    When the choice is rent or bail, pay the rent. You can't help him when he is ready to be helped by being homeless. Your feelings of anger and resentment are signs that you helping are not a good thing for you. If you do choose to help, do it without expecting anything from him.

    Welcome to our world. It is the carnival ride none of us wanted to be on.
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  7. Carri

    Carri Active Member

  8. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Hi Changes. It sounds like you've had a rough road with your son, and I sympathize with you. I would tend to agree with the others that your rent is more important than bailing your son out of jail. He has shelter and food and is already taken care of. I also believe it is unreasonable for him to put this stress and burden on you time and time again.

    It's up to you to decide if you should bail him out again, but what lesson does he learn? Right now he knows he can do whatever he likes because he knows Mom will always bail him out. This is the lesson he has learned in the past. It is up to you to decide if you want to continue the cycle, or set boundaries and do something different that might make a real change.
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Welcome Changes, I am glad to see you have your own thread, I was responding to the older one you posted to and fell asleep at the "wheel" so to speak. I am an exhausted warrior mom like you. It has been a long haul with my two. My eldest is 37. I love her with all of my heart but she has made some very terrible decisions, and we have all been through the ringer. At one point, with help from this site, I decided to make a change. The path that my daughter chooses is her own, and I do not want to drag alongside of her. It is too hard. Oh, yes I go through good and bad days, feeling sad and angry, as you are feeling now. But, it is better than before.
    Good for you. Of course you should choose your rent. What good would it do anyone if you were put out on the street? Our children have grown up and made their own choices. They look differently towards us with attitudes of entitlement. In their eyes, we are supposed to rescue them. We are not. They are adults. We are their parents, always, but we have done our parenting.
    We will not be around forever to continue "helping" them. I push away the sadness and guilt, because sometimes it is guilt that moves us, by focusing on that. We will not be around forever to help them. They have got to learn to make better choices, and the only way they do that is by learning from the consequences of the choices they make.

    So, really we are not only being unkind to ourselves when we help them (and don't have money to pay for rent) we are being unkind to them. We are allowing them to take advantage of us, and not letting them live their own lives. They need to learn to live their own lives.
    I hope you stay with us Changes. Keep posting, it really helps to know that we are not alone with this.
    Whatever you decide is up to you. Just know that you have value and worth.
    Switch the focus to you, especially your health. High blood pressure is not good.
    Please take care.
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  10. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Welcome changes; DON'T feel bad or like you have turned your back on him!! With the help from people on this forum my husband and I got strong and stood our ground for our 20 year old Difficult Child and I'm so glad we did!!

    This isn't my quote and I can't take credit for it but "nothing changes if nothing changes". I kept repeating that to myself every time I felt weak or guilty. You have to change how you handle him.

    Quit bailing him out and rescuing him. It doesn't mean that you don't love him. It means that he is a grown man and has to help himself. My son is only 20 but thankfully I found this forum so I could help myself. I don't want to enable him any longer. I want him to grow into the man that God intended him to be so I had to step aside.
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  11. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    Thank God you found us Changes! You will get great wisdom here from people who are going through extremely hard times with their Difficult Child's. I have learned so much from these good people and I've grown tremendously through my turmoil with my son.

    I believe you've made the right choice to pay your rent and not bail him out. I believe that natural consequences are the best tool for learning and growing. As much as it hurts to see our children suffer, we must allow natural consequences so that they see and experience what they do can harm them. Being in jail allows him to have self-reflection and he has a bed, food and hopefully free from drugs. I believe writing him letters, encouraging his sobriety and showing him love is the best thing you can do at this point. Do not feel guilty. You did not cause this, he did. If he ever wants help, then be ready for that. Have a list of rehabs available for him to look into.

    Best of luck to you both!
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You can not go homeless because a man who will quickly reach 40 years old, whether he is your son or not, breaks the law again and doesnt like the consequences.

    Its time to think of yourself first. Your son is smart and street savvy He knows what he should do. Obviously he wont as long as he has a rescue.

    You need to hang onto your retirement money. Few d cs will be there in our old age for us. We need to be there for us.

    Wishing you the best.
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Changes. Sorry you have to be here but glad you found us.

    Tired, angry, resentful...these are emotions we are all familiar with. High blood pressure, insomnia, panic...these emotions and physical symptoms nd I think they are tip-offs; they are big red flags that tell us what we have been doing isn't working. Maybe it is time for a change. I agree with the others, a choice between rent and bail is really no contest, in my humble opinion.
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  14. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    The only people we can change are ourselves. Bailing him out won't change him. Bailing him out won't change you. It will continue a cycle that isn't working for either one of you.

    I have told my daughter no when I couldn't. And I have told her no when I wouldn't - wouldn't help her continue to hurt herself.
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  15. Laspnda

    Laspnda New Member

    It sounds like all of us going through the same problems we need each other so we can stand strong i just want them both to get clean they have been in jail but i have never bailed them out .Only 1 our first born got in trouble with drugs and abuse the hardest thing for me was calling the police on him .But it worked he went to rehab he is clean for 14 years i am proud of him .My name is Lasonda so how can we help each other i just can not get my son out please help me i do not want to loose my children i pray everyday .
  16. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hi Changes,
    I'm glad you started your own post. I had previously acknowledged you on the original post.
    You are going to be alright. Kalahou
  17. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    Hi Changes,
    Just wanted to add my "Welcome Home" and say I'm so glad you found us here!

    I have a 31 year old son who has been in jail on & off for half his lifetime now. It used to be the worst thing I could ever imagine that my son would go to jail, that evolved into relief "Shew! Now I know where he is, he's warm, safe, and fed"

    I did bail him out ONE time, years and years ago, because he was working a job and I checked with his boss who assured me he'd be welcome back if he could come in to work. I didn't get 'burned' on that, many months later when the case came to court, I was given a full refund of the bail I paid.

    Didn't stop him from continuing his destructive path. I have never bailed him out again, nor have I visited him while he's been in. Not any of the umpteen times.

    A few weeks ago, he was sentenced on 3 (more) felony (drug) charges and now faces 5 years in Prison.

    Breathe. Pray. Repeat. used to be the worst thing I could ever imagine that my son would go to Prison. Today, the thought is..."Well, the State has better programs to offer than the County." (Oy!)

    I think the point I finally came to is: It's out of my hands. HE's the one getting arrested. HE's the one breaking the law. It's not about ME anymore. We all know that doesn't end when they hit the magical age of 18, but as that was 13 years ago now, I've got some distance from the whole "rotten mother" syndrome.

    This is about HIM now. I love him to pieces, he's my favorite person in the whole world. And he knows that. He also knows, don't ask me for money ;)

    Gentle Hugs to you ~ and Peace
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  18. jude-in-nj

    jude-in-nj Member

    Welcome Changes, you have landed in a special place.
    My son is in County jail for the second time. We chose not to bail him out this time on a violation of probation charge. He is now serving one year and is scheduled to be released in June.
    Stay strong, we cannot continue to enable them no matter how much it hurts.
    For the first 6 months of my son's incarceration I had to hear what a terrible mother I was... How I don't love him.. And "wait till I get home"... Threatening to hurt me and his dad.
    Within the last few weeks he has started to sound different... I don't know why, and I am cautious to believe that it will stay this way... But it IS an improvement.
    We have to at some poirot start putting ourselves first.. Especially after all we have done to help them become productive adults.
    So glad you found this site. - jude
  19. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Pony girl, I had to quote your entire post because I can relate 100%. Identical story of my son. When I started reading I thought it was something I had posted in the past... I'm actually waiting for the time they actually keep my son. The in and out is an emotional roller coaster. It's sad that we find relief when they're locked up but so true.
  20. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    Hi Carri, I'm sorry to hear your son & mine are identical twins ;-) But once again, the power of this site just blows me away. WE are NOT ALONE!!!

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