And I'm a wreck again. (kinda long)

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Tymica, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Tymica

    Tymica Member

    Since Difficult Child went to jail the weekend after Thanksgiving, I think I have been holding it together pretty well. I haven't cried once, I haven't been to see him. I have written him with the standard "here's whats going on in our lives, I love you and hope everything works out for you" type of dialogue. I didn't even go to see him on Christmas. I have told him since the first time he got in trouble that if he ever landed himself in jail I would not go, and I have followed through. I have not gone. Today I get a letter and here is part of it:

    I want you to know mom I know I may not have turned out to be the son you always wanted or a son you can be very proud of and I apologize. You tried so hard, you and dad. I love you all so much. I know I definitely did not turn out to be the big brother easy child hoped for and that kills me everyday. I wish I could go back and change so many things. Just please never doubt that I love all of you with every fiber of me. I know that 1 easy child is worth a thousand me's. Not a second goes by that I don't regret ruining the chance to be there and watch her grow up. Please make sure you tell her that I'm sorry and there isn't anything I wouldn't do for her. Again mom and dad, I apologize for turning out to be the child on the block parents don't want their kids around. It was nothing you did. You were awesome parents and I just let the lifestyle and drugs take over. Now that isn't me anymore and it eats away at my heart and mind everyday. All I can do is hope you forgive me but mostly I pray that easy child can forgive me. I vow to her that I will do anything I can to one day be a big brother she can be proud of. Nothing I can do will ever make up the lost time but please don't ever doubt that I love all 3 of you. I pray for all 3 of you every day. I love you all very much.

    I am an emotional wreck. I know that these are just words written on paper after having to dry out because of his crappy situation. I don't expect that this is some miraculous turn of events. But why can't it be? This is my son that I know and love. Someone who respects his family and takes responsibility. This is who we raised him to be. How do I get him to think this clearly all the time, even when he comes home? (Even if that's not for a long time). This is where I get torn. When he's a drug addict doing the wrong things, it's easy for me to know it's time to detach and let him do his own thing. It's things like this that make me wonder if it's time to let him back in a little. In the past it hasn't been a good choice. Damn this stupid disease.
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry for the hurt and confusion of this. I hope and pray that this is a turning point for your son. One never knows and only time will tell.
    Action speaks louder than words. We all know this, but God works miracles every day.
    Hold on to hope in your heart and wisdom in your head.
    Have a Happy New Year! It is going to be 2016, hopefully new beginnings for us all........

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry too.

    If he means his words (I have found that words from dysfunctional people are cheap), he will act out what he says. I hope he does!!!

    Now be good to yourself this New Years. You deserve it!
  4. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    Hi Tymica,

    I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I wish I had the answers. I guess none of us really does. Except what I keep hearing over and over - you've done the best you can. You've taught you son right from wrong. At a certain point it's up to him to figure it out. We can't solve his problem. Only he can.

    It's so hard when Difficult Child's say and write things like your son wrote in his letter to you. When you read the words it feels like he's 'back' to when he acted 'normal'. It's so hard to know if it's part of his illness or if he's really learned his lesson. Everyone says we need to have hope. And at the same time protect ourselves.

    I wish things were easier for you. Thank goodness for this's good to know we are not alone in this.

    Happy New Year. I hope this year brings you peace and happiness.


    p.s. the police were at my house this morning. They issued a restraining order for my son to stay away from his girlfriend. Her parents are rightfully concerned about her hanging out with my Difficult Child. When they called me last week to ask me to keep my son away from their daughter (she's 15 going on 16 - my Difficult Child is 17.5), I said I would try, but that he doesn't listen to a word I say. When they pressed me, I said maybe they need a restraining order. Well, they did just that. Now my son blames me bc I gave her parents 'the idea'. Her parents are both retired police officers....I'm sure I didn't tell them anything they didn't already know. They were just hoping I would be able to control my own son. Unfortunately, that's not the case. When will my son start blaming himself for all of his problems? He never takes any responsibility. It's always someone else's fault.

    I pray all the time that my Difficult Child won't end up in jail. I fear that there is nothing I can do to prevent it, except pray. I'm so sorry this happened to you and your family. How long is his jail sentence?
  5. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Tymica,

    I feel for you. That letter could easily have been written by my son at different times. It certainly pulls at the heart strings.... And he probably knows that. At the same time he probably also means what he writes, he loves you and he is telling you that. He probably does regret a lot of things he has done, most addicts do. He is more clear headed now and so is thinking more clearly. None of this means he would follow through if he was not in jail but you never know either. Cherish this letter for the love he expresses.

    So my take may be different than others. And I haven't followed all the other threads so I may be missing some info....but I am wondering if you want to stick to your resolve not to visit him in jail? If you need to do that for you and your own sanity I totally support you in that. Your number one priority has to be to take care of yourself. However if it is for some other reason or somehow it feels like enabling to visit him then I don't see it that way. Being in jail I is really really hard.... And I think finding ways to connect and let them know we love them is only positive...and certainly visits are one way to show you care.

    I know when my son was in jail I visited him..... And although I found it hard and stressful I would do it again.

  6. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    Hi Toughlovin,

    Is your son doing better now? How did he end up in jail? I can't imagine how difficult this must have been for you. I'm reading these posts, from you and from Tymica, and I have a very heavy heart. No mother ever wants to see her child go to jail. So sorry for what you've been through.

    I understand what you are saying about Tymica visiting her son...who knows, it may help? Either way, she needs to protect herself. Isn't that the most important thing she must do?
  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I feel he is being very remorseful for all he has done and put you through. He has good intentions of wanting to better himself. Once he is released, it will come down to how well he can stand up to the temptations. I hope he will learn from being in jail and be able to say no to the temptations when he gets out. So sorry you are going through this. It's hard to know if this is going to be his awakening or if he is going to stumble and fall again. Go with your heart.
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  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    There is a long history with my son. He was first in jail for something stupid when he was 19 and I thought it was the worst thing that could happen to a mother. Later on when he ended up homeless in Denver in the middle of winter I knew that was worse for me than jail. He ended up in jail again for violating probation and really at the time it was a relief because he had a place to sleep, food to eat and was relatively safe. He has been in and out of treatment countless times. He is now 24 and is across the country..... But at this point he is much more serious about getting and staying sober. He got treatment in July and did well and was sober for 3 months and then relapsed. He went back into detox right after Thanksgiving and is now in a residential treatment and trying to figure out what to do with an IOP and sober living (with our financial help of course). Our relationship is in a better place than it has been in the past and I have hope.... But am also very realistic because we have done this many times.

    My stand has always been that we will help him when he wants to help himself.... But we will not when he does not. So I would let him be homeless again if need be, although I dread that possibility.

    So at the moment he is safe and moving in a positive direction..... And I am making sure I get my sleep while I know he is safe.

  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Addiction turns people into monsters. Doing things the "real" person would never intend to do. But the addiction drives everything. And kicking it is not easy.

    At least you know the real person is still in there. Even when the other guy shows up again... you can remember that the real person is still there.
  10. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    Toughlovin - such a hard road. May this year bring your son closer to his meaning in life....and happiness to your and your family.
  11. Tymica

    Tymica Member

    Defiant--We are not sure on his sentence, he hasn't had a trial. The short story is that while high the last time he tried to kill himself. His girlfriend (also high) tried to get the gun from him and he shot her in the leg (by accident). He was charged with 2nd degree domestic assault that can carry as much as 7 years. She refuses to testify, and has made it very clear that if she is forced to testify she will lie to keep him out of trouble. He has a hearing on Jan 5th, and I guess we will know more then.

    Tough--basically choosing not to visit him has more to do with me than him. Even going to visit him in rehab was stressful and heartbreaking. I'm just not going to do that to myself. If he calls (he hasn't) I will take the call, I will write but I'm not going through the heartache of seeing him in an orange jumpsuit. It's more about detaching from the choices he's made and not punishing myself than it is anything else.
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  12. Coping11

    Coping11 New Member

    Hugs to you. I know what it's like to hear such words from your child and then holding your breath and hoping that they really mean it. It is smart of you to protect yourself by deciding on things that you will not/cannot do. Take care.
  13. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Tymica, It is time to detach, because he is 18 and that is the natural progression of childhood to adult. Detaching does not have to mean no contact or that you stop loving your child. It does mean that you step back and allow him to figure things out. It means expecting him to take responsibility for his actions. In the eyes of the law being high is not an excuse for dangerous behavior and in fact can make the consequences worse. Detaching means that you are going to look to see if the behavior matches the words. Detaching means living your life and being a role model for your daughter so that she sees a strong woman putting boundaries in place that do not accept bad behavior from anyone. Just my 2 cents
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Tymica, I totally understand where you are coming from and if not visiting him is what is best for you then by all means don't visit him. When my son was in jail he was very close by as the jail was a couple of miles from our house. Visiting him was surreal in a way..... The whole check in process, seeing the other families in the same boat, and the little cubicles and the phones. I found it hard not being able to give him a hug..... And so yes it was heartbreaking.

    And yet my decision was for me more than him. It helped me to get a look at him, to know he was physically ok. For me to know he knew we loved him.... And yet it was hard to because it was like the only thing you could do was have a conversation, and we often didn't really know what to talk about.

    Hang in there.... It is hard having your son in jail. It just is.
  15. defiantchild

    defiantchild Member

    Happy New Year, Tymica. Wow, that is quite a story. The waiting for the court date in and of itself must be horrible...that state of limbo in a sense. Not really knowing what's going to happen. I have the utmost empathy for you and what you are going through. I hope this new year brings healing to you and your family.
  16. lovemyson1

    lovemyson1 Active Member

    This letter is so like one my son has written to us on a few occasions. It really tugs at my heart, I'm such a softy! But as these wise people before me have said, it's the actions that really will show his true self. I'm sure our difficult children have regrets, I'm sure they feel guilty and want to change. However, do they want it bad enough to really change? That is left to be proven. If I were you, I would write him back and tell him you love him, believe in him and want to see his actions prove his words. So sorry for your hurting heart. Take good care!
  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tymica, I think he does mean those words, those are his core feelings, it's the drugs that get in the know that. It is so heartbreaking because as moms we want to fix things for our kids but we know we can't fix this.

    Being alone and having your freedom taken away often makes a person do some thinking about what got them there. That's not a bad thing, it speaks well of him that he realizes his failings. One of the steps in a twelve step program is to acknowledge their wrongs and ask forgiveness. Maybe this is his way of doing that.

    If you feel so inclined you could send him a letter telling him how much those words mean to you and that you don't want them to be empty promises but want him to remember them even when he is out and things get difficult. I don't think it is ever enabling when we tell our loved ones what is in our hearts. He has to do the work to prove his words, but a little encouragement from us is never wrong. In the meantime we must also guard our hearts against empty promises.

    I hope that 2016 will bring you both some peace and positive changes in his life.
  18. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Tymica, It is so hard when they are incarcerated, especially around the holidays (been there done that) Admitting and being sorry for his wrong doings is a big step. With some boys, it takes a while for their emotional age to catch up with their actual age. Have been a member of the board for a long time and with lots of the boys around the time I joined, it was just a waiting game, somewhere around the age of their mid 20's. Some of them just need to learn the hard way. I did everything I could do to keep mine in school and still he quit at 18. He finally realized he would get no where without at least a GED and put his mind to completing that task. I visited him everytime he was jailed (prior to 18) just to keep a connection with him. But that was my personal decision - no one else in the family would go. One of his thugy friends told him "Dude, jail is horrible. Its like you died - you have no one that cares" For some reason, this struck a chord with him (nothing I was saying made any impact) I am not saying we didn't have blimps along the way, still have them. But now he is a lot more accountable that he ever was. Keep the life line going, whether in person or via letters. He will get it eventually.

  19. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I read on another website for enabling adult children. It mentioned about not even visiting them in jail, funding a phone account, commissary account because in doing so, it gives them some comfort of the reality of their place in jail. If they get something for being there it doesn't get them at rock bottom of totally losing even contact with family members. To get them truly to think, feel remorse, want to change, you have to totally disengage so they can feel the total loss and see how they got to this point.

    Now, I didn't know about this advice when son was in jail past summer. I did fund phone account and commissary. I did not visit him. I did not write. I am not sure what I will do if he gets arrested again. I can see pros and cons to being there and not being there.

    If it were me, I would write back a short note saying " I received your letter and wish the best for you in your life". Reason being is you are not sure if he is just talking or truly feels remorse and you don't want to get hovered again, sucked in again with hope that he may finally get it only to have that hope squashed. Be kind but cautious.