Son Signed for Prison Today

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by savior no more, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    My son signed a plea bargain for 12 years in prison today. Because this charge was an aggravated robbery charge he will have to do at least six years. I could write a few paragraphs showing how he was mislead and easily influenced and poor child he got a bad deal, but the facts are he chose to be with the people who robbed a convenience store and also who robbed his dad's house two years ago. Plain and simple. Part of me wants to live with the hope that maybe these years will be spent learning a trade and at least he will be "safe" but truly as time goes on I lean less and less on hope and more and more on acceptance of what is.
    He is and will be okay as he is relatively happy with minor things such as a "tasty treat" on Thursdays. I do know by his neuropsychologist evaluations that he is one who has to have many repeated consequences of his behavior to learn from it so to punish him into making it so hard that he will learn a lesson is not a valid option. He would gladly endure in a dumpster and not have the ability to pull himself out.

    I have allowed myself to feel the emotions and pain of this and even allowed myself to cry in court today. Not a horrible sob but was able to not have to be perfect and put together. For years I stuffed my emotions in order for others to be okay and not bother them, but lately I've been letting others know how their actions make me feel. Not so they can change, but owning who I am and how I feel in order to decide what I like to be around. A new way for me. I'm still not where I want to be on self-care and eating right, but I'm starting to tell myself I am just okay as I am today. Amidst all the turmoil with Difficult Child the last two years, I have managed to earn my MSN - woo hoo. I await the big certification exam on Sep 13 and have been and will be studying.

    I could not and would not have made it without you wonderful people on this forum. Even Al-anon people just look at me with pity and sadness when they know the whole story - as does most of my family. The wisdom and honest emotions shared here have been a safe place for mine to come out. I thank you for this.
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  2. karisma

    karisma Member

    God. I'm so sorry. It's my third worst nightmare, my son getting a long prison sentence. My Difficult Child also does not learn. It's so sad.

    Hopefully you and your son can have some nice conversations while he is there. They seem to like talking to their moms again when they are locked up.

    Congratulations on your degree.

    Peace and be well
  3. Childofmine

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

    Ah SNM I see a lot of hope and change in your story. I remember every time my son was in jail and in for many months as a time, I would see his story as "written." In a sense, done, and in truth, I read it as I had failed and he had failed. Even with six years, this is not the end of his story and your story. It is another chapter.

    I am glad you said: it is what it is. That is the cold light of reality. He made choices and choices have consequences. I hear you saying that he has neurological problems and I am sorry about that. And yet, he still has to live by society's rules as we all do.

    The good news is he is somewhere with three meals and a place to sleep and he has time to settle down and perhaps to change.

    I am so glad to hear you say you cried in court. Feeling your feelings is very important. Feelings are real even though they may not be factual. They are just feelings but they deserve time and attention...but not action. Let the feelings flow. You are changing---that is clear. Keep moving forward with your own life. There is nothing to do now about your son. He will be there at least for a while. Spend that time now to continue your focus on you. If you need to grieve at times, that can help move you forward as well. And congratulations on your MSN! A wonderful accomplishment!
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  4. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like you are in a good headspace. You are finding your Zen.
  5. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    Thank you all for the replies. I go through the natural periods of grief. I should not have opened the local newspaper today but on page three right across from the obituaries was his picture and sentencing. At least his name wasn't the headline which had to be in 100 font and his picture was only a 2x3 along with the other co-defendant's. I understand it is newsworthy to report to the community what the disposition is of the people who terrorize their town with robbery. I get it but dang the public shame is hard for me. Most people here know our story and have lived it with me raising this child from school personnel, police, healthcare providers, and fellow parents. I have not one complaint about how he has been treated. I would venture to say 80 percent or more hurt and weep with me in this deal. My son hurts and weeps too. I believe through this suffering will come many lessons and growth. Actually, the six year sentence gives me some relief that this might be enough time for him to grow his frontal lobe and finally learn. Not sure, but here I go - hanging on to hope - my go to elixir when I'm not in reality. chuckles

    Truth is I might be struggling with him when I'm 80 and watch him die with cancer in the hospital. I took care of a homeless mom and son and this was exactly her plight with him. While he was struggling to walk after surgery with the walker she stated,"I have struggled my whole life to raise this man and now I have to watch him die." Oh my, what a poignant moment that shook my soul that day. Non-the-less we are all just souls on a journey.
  6. RN0441

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

    Prayers for your peace today as you write this about your son.
    What a terrible thing for a mother to endure.
    I have fought hard to help my son hoping he will have a good ending but the fight is really his and we really are alone in this world and alone with our choices.
    Just take one day at a time and be good to yourself. We all need to do that.
  7. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    SNM, I am sorry to hear about your son's sentence and sorry you even had to read about it in the paper this morning. Yet you sound like you are in such a strong and positive place, even posting on my thread when you have so much going on in your own life.

    I am glad you were able to just accept your feelings in court, and that you are learning to be okay with yourself, right now, just as you are. It is something I think many struggle with. I know I sure do. You are such an inspiration to so many on this forum. Congratulations on completing your studies. I will eagerly await hearing how your boards go!
  8. PonyGirl65

    PonyGirl65 Active Member

    Adding my hugs and good thoughts to you. My son went to prison this past March on a 5-year sentence for robbery. My heart is with your heart.

  9. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    How can we find such comfort in sharing each others sadness? This is just such a dichotomy to see in action but just hearing of everyone's stories of their children doing the same thing as mine somehow lessens the burden. I made it through the day and even worked. At least I didn't see anyone there who knows my son and my troubles. Difficult Child called tonight and sounded upbeat and happy. He has goals of working in the kitchen (which for him and his disabilities is very reasonable and good). He does have an amazing ability to be resilient - as does most of our children it seems - and that gives me some peace tonight.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I'm sorry you are going through this. It must be very hard.

    If I think about it: assuming he goes to prison and really wants to change, there might be some good opportunities there for him to turn his life around. If he didn't graduate high school, he'll be able to get his GED while in. (Even line cooks need a GED or diploma these days.)

    If he keeps his nose clean and can get a job working in the kitchen, he should be able to get the skills to at least work at entry-level in an institutional kitchen. As long as he'll be in, he may pick up a lot more than that.

    Several cities now have restaurants that are run by ex-cons who specialize in hiring and training other ex-cons to become line cooks, and sometimes even higher level cooks.

    If he get into the fine-dining sort of thing (I don't know if he can. And drugs are rampant in the food business) he can make a passable living and work his way up.

    My husband was a chef. He went to culinary arts school on the GI Bill for 2years. Even with training at that level, he still started out as a line cook. He was able to work his way up to chef and made good money. The hours and the amount of physical labor (on your feet) are intense, and it's a very high pressure environment.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I hope your son uses the time in prison to turn his life around.
  11. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    There is always power in numbers and I think it makes us feel more reassured that we are not alone.

    SNM. It was a very painful thing you went through and I am glad that you are dealing so well with it. I think a huge part of it is as the program says, "One day at a time" and "letting go of the outcome."

    We have no control over what they do, the best we can do is just accept that this is who they are right now for whatever reason they choose to be. It doesn't mean we approve, or like it, it's just the we have accepted the things we cannot change.

    Who knows. Maybe the structure will do him good. At least for the next 6 years you will know where he is and that he has a roof over his head, a bed to sleep on, and 3 meals a day.

    Like GN said, he can get his GED. He can get into substance abuse treatment groups. He can learn a trade.

    It isn't optimal, it is certainly never the future you envisioned for your child, but it is what it is right now. Hopefully some good will come of it.
  12. savior no more

    savior no more Active Member

    My son was able to graduate high school because he was in the county jail for three months the last bit of his senior year two years ago. Believe me, both the school officials and I took advantage of this and he had nothing else to do but finish his credits. I had literally fought tooth and nail to get him graduated - and he did - and he walked the stage and participated in the ceremony. At least I know he's alive and for me today that is comfort.
  13. judi

    judi Active Member

    So sorry - my son too is in prison on a long term sentence
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am so pleased for you. What an achievement. And a marvelous career and life in front of you.

    Your son. It is what it is. You know that. He will do with this what he will. Six years is a good sentence. By that I mean it is enough time to change and to get something done. You and I believe in education. In six years if he wants to he can get a Bachelor's degree. In the prison I just quit there were 3 community colleges that offered courses, two by correspondence, 1 actually paid professors to come in and teach, even laboratory science. I was amazed at this change in climate towards rehabilitation in my state. I have done this for 20 years. I saw it change to get bad, and now better.

    I hope your son is open to mental health treatment. In my State it has really gotten quite good.

    Six years (I am being optimistic here. Why not?). Enough time to decide to change and to do it. It is possible. What else does any parent have? The possibility that their child will learn to live well.

    There is a Rabbi here in my state who with his wife began a residential treatment center for troubled young people. He is an ex-felon. Multiple terms. A drug addict and a thief. Maybe violence, I am not sure. And then he changed. I urged my so to try to go to his program, but my son tells me that they would not consider him because he is mentally ill. I doubt this but what can I say?

    Let me tell you this so that you do not worry: The first few months are the most difficult due to the adjustment, and because your son will go to a reception center. Depending upon case factors he may be confined many hours a week. That is because he has to be classified. He needs medical and psychological evaluations. His case and record and history need review to determine custody level, that is, how a secure a facility he requires and what needs he may have that need to be addressed such as medical, psychological, sensitive needs, etc. Mail will take longer to get through and opportunity to make phone calls will be less. He may be frightened. Many men are frightened but they may act otherwise. It will be OK. In my state he may be placed in a dorm which means he will be in a locked room with 6 or so men, with a lot of opportunity to go out into a common day room to socialize, watch TV or play cards or games. There are always a group of guys that like Dungeons and Dragons. There are always a few intellectuals. The thing to remember is that this initial period is not typical to the rest of the term which is called mainline here in my state. That is when he can avail himself of a regular program including education, a range of spiritual activities, etc.. Many people from the community visit throughout the week to provide support, but this is available typically through AA or NA or the chapel.

    In some ways life is simple in prison. Yes or no. There are libraries. There is recreation. He will find men who are simpatico. There are some brilliant and highly creative men in prison. Amazing. It makes me wonder a lot about the whys and the hows. But that I will spare you.

    He is safe. Prison for him will be a good place. He will grow up. He will decide how he wants to live. It will all of it be on him, just as it is for any other adult. It is all of it out of your control and your responsibility. You know that. Your son knows that. *I have posted more than once that there were years I wished my son would be incarcerated so that he would learn!!! When I told that to a group of prisoners they asked, "aren't there easier ways? What about the military?" I guess that is what unites all of us. There was no easy way.

    All you can do now is love him. That is all any of us can do I guess.

    I send you love and hope. I feel he will be OK. Congratulations again for your great achievement.On so many levels.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  15. mcdonna

    mcdonna Member

    SNM, I am also sending prayers and hugs to you. I had the same fears when our daughter was arrested and detained in jail in Asia. It is a terrible feeling of powerlessness. I hope that your son will get the help he needs and that he can turn things around.

    Congratulations to you on your marvelous achievement in the midst of all this turmoil.