Another letter from prison - now he's asking for money

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tanya M, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My son has been transferred to the prison facility where he will serve his time. He sent us another letter from there. Within the first 2 sentences he's asked for $200.00 so he can buy shoes and food and laundry soap. He says the shoes they supplied him with are too big and that they don't feed him enough. Oh, he also want to buy a fan because this prison is close to the border and it's very hot.

    The rest of his letter he was very apologetic for how rotten he has been and how he wants to turn his life around. He said he knows alcohol is a problem for him and he wants to get to the root of his anger issues. He said he prays every night with a group of people and yet in another sentence he claims that he is an outcast because of his dreadlocks.

    Needless to say I was not happy that he asked for money and for such a large amount.

    I told my husband that we cannot send him money. Husband wants to send $100.00

    I explained to husband that our son is a master manipulator and in his letter he is telling us all the things he thinks we want to hear. You know, how he realizes he needs to change. It's a broken record!!! I have heard it too many times before.

    Our son is 35 years old. He has been living on the streets for quite a few years and has managed just fine and now that he's locked up he wants money. I told my husband that there is no guarantee that the money would go to what he says. For all we know he could use it to pay someone off or buy drugs.

    I told my husband that I want to send him a letter and tell him that we cannot help him financially and then wait to see how he responds. If he comes back to us with a hate filled letter I'll know I was right. If he comes back with a letter telling us he understands, I will be more inclined to think he may really want to change.

    It is just so irritating that he only really reaches out to us when he's in trouble.

    My husband knows I'm part of this forum and how much you all have helped me. I have shared many stories with him about how so many of these difficult adult children use their manipulative skills to play on our emotions so they can suck us back into their drama. My husband still wants to send him some money.

    I know my husband will side with me in the end but I really resent that our son's actions have created this in the first place.

    Okay, rant over. Any comments you can offer will be greatly appreciated.
  2. RN0441

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


    I one hundred million percent agree with you about NO money. None. You explained it perfectly in your post and I could not agree more.

    I would be so done by 35. OMG in heaven I pray my son will straighten up before that. He's not done prison time yet but obviously anyone using drugs eventually most likely will!!

    We have given our son so many chances so if he does end up that way, I can have no guilt as you do not either!!

    Seriously when my Difficult Child is 35 I will be almost 70 years old!! Holy crap.
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  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh Tanya, I'm sorry you have to go through more of this......I understand and I think your thoughts about waiting are excellent. You'll know by your son's response if there have been any changes.

    As you know, like you, I've been detached from my daughter in similar ways. About a month ago, she hit another snag and texted me the latest was hard to hear.....and I could have helped.......but I opted not to......and I went through the usual agonies of the damned about it too. I spent a few days being so sad and then I texted her and told her that I thought this was her opportunity to begin her "heroes journey." She is an avid Star Wars fan and I told her that, like Luke Skywalker, she had to take this journey on her own without me, in order to find her true self. I told her that I had assisted her in thwarting that journey by my enabling, but now it is up to her. I will not be helping her. I waited for the onslaught to begin, but didn't. She accepted what I said without comment. Our usual way of relating continues.....And, she figured out how to handle the new dramas on her own.

    I think we have to continue to hold that hard line and you are a master at that. Not to say it is easy, because it IS NOT, but you have lots of experience and successes that show you what works and what doesn't.

    I think after so many years of using us as their fall back position, it is the first place they think to go......then it is up to us to set the boundary......again.......and again......and again.....some of our kids have to be told, over and over and over again.....but from what I've experienced and from what I've seen and heard, it is the most likely choice to produce different results.

    Hang in there Tanya, you did a wonderful job of staying in your center when faced with your son's latest drama.......

    My suggestion is to go CELEBRATE your freedom, your life, your joys and your've fought hard for all of that.....go enjoy it!
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  4. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    With mine, I've learned to be very careful about what I say and do. Talking about our car becomes in their mind "you promised me a car." Giving $200 could mean to him, "I'm entitled to $200 a month." I've never read of anyone starving to death in prison. He'll survive without $200.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Thanks @RN0441

    Sometimes I just need some confirmation.
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh RE, thank you so much for your words. You have truly touched my soul. I like this very much and may borrow it when I write my letter.

    So very true!! I too am very careful with what I say. It's kind of like a reverse Miranda, anything we say can an will be used against us by our difficult kids. o_O
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  7. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    No money. Too big shoes won't hurt him. Well... he might get blisters. If he's not diabetic, that won't hurt him long term.

    Heat? If he's young and healthy and getting enough fluids? That won't hurt him either.

    Prison isn't supposed to be fun or comfortable. Let him be hot and have sore feet. Let him be hungry. It's GOOD for him.

    Let him learn that breaking the law leads to being hungry and hot and having sore feet, and being told what to do and what to wear and when to shower, etc.

    You and your husband have to get on the same page about this.

    He's not a child. He's a grown man. It's his bad choices that got him where he is. You MUST let him suffer ALL the consequences of his choices if he's to have a chance of changing his behavior.
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I totally agree. This is not his first go around in jail/prison. In years past we would put money on his account and of course he always promised that when he got out things would be different. I just don't see it happening. Not to say that it couldn't, I just know how he's been in the past.

    I keep telling my husband that actions speak louder than words. My son has always been very good at telling you what you want to hear but his actions are always the opposite.

    He's my son and I love him but I do not like him trying to suck me back into his drama and chaos.

    I'm standing firm in my resolve not to give him any money. I did not create this mess and do not care to pay for his comfort.
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  9. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hey Tanya,

    Want you to know that I am with you in spirit. Those requests always come, don't they?

    I love this forum.

    Recently, i read advice for parents considering leaving money to their adult children in their wills. It was interesting. According to the writer (an attorney, supposedly, who has seen family relationships disintegrate over inheritances).... tell your kids you plan on leaving all your money to charities. You love them, but there will be no inheritance. The kids who are all, "Hey, that is so cool! You earned your money and it is your decision!" are the ones you know you can leave $$ to with no problem. Any kids who get bummed out and question your decision are the ones you know you cannot trust inheritances to; they will cause problems for everybody.

    What does this have to do with your post? Maybe nothing, but that greed is inherent in many of us. It is our right to give to when and where we feel comfortable. It is your money.

    Hugs to you.

    Once my mom stops enabling my 36yo, there is NO doubt in husband and my minds that he will be asking for money. No relationship for years, but we are good enough when he wants $$.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    I just wish my mother had loads of money so she could have a blast spending "our inheritance", not to mention not having to worry about bills and medical/nursing care, etc.

    The best would be for her to still be in excellent health, to have loads of money, and to live years and years in good health while spending her money to the last dime enjoying life.
  11. Debbie117

    Debbie117 New Member

    I understand the manipulator. My step son is 36 and headed for prison for forgery and theft. He is now trying to manipulate younger brother for pity and to get dad to drop charges. Previously he would not even talk to younger brother. Christmas dinner the man child stayed in the bathroom while younger brother ate with mother.
  12. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    You are right to know that some prisons do have drugs.

    They do get the essentials when not having money. Quite frankly, the best thing that most prisoners don't have is someone to read their letters and a family who still speaks to can be rare.

    Take care of you, you don owe him a dime.
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  13. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Tanya, I think my 33 year old son and your son must be brothers. It was as though I was reading about my son. The last time he was in jail, he called to ask me if I'd come to visit him. I only hear from him when he's in jail... I told him I'd like to come and see him, but that I wouldn't be putting any money on his books. Not that he even asked, but I knew he would expect it. For years, I put $ on his books each time he was in jail and prison. It was almost like I was paying an admission fee! Not any more. He managed to get a job in the kitchen, where he could eat extra food. He's smart and able to figure it out. I totally agree with Going North...

    This sure is a great place to come to share our feelings and receive great support. I'm very grateful you're all here. XO
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  14. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is one of the things I love about this site - we literally share the same stories. While others may not believe us or understand why we must detach, here we get each other, we know what each other is going through, we are not alone.

    Thanks for your kind words. :)
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  15. RN0441

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

    I have to agree!

    It's mind boggling how many of the same behaviors, stories, conversations etc. are familiar when they are written by others isn't it??

    It is such a great comfort to know we are not alone. We are all in this together right!!
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  16. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I understand and applaud those who can set the line of giving no money. I am not always that strong. My oldest son is in prison. I buy books for him and occasional items, such as note paper. What's important is that I don't do it out of fear or obligation. I do it because I want to.
  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    all the other times my son has been in jail/prison I have put money on his account and sent books. Like you I did it because I wanted to. This time is different for me. I've been down this road too many times with him. I always get the initial letter telling me how sorry he is, how he know he messed up, how he knows he needs to change, etc...... then when he's released it's right back to the same old lifestyle.
    My heart most definitely wants to send him money but my head, the rational part says NO MORE.

    I guess what I hate most is even being in the situation.