Anxiety creeping in before the "visit"


Well-Known Member
Yep, chest tightend, wringing hands and the nervousness that comes with going to see my oldest difficult child at the state prison rehab.

My mother and I will be driving down there this Sat morn. There are pluses and minuses involved with that. My mom seems to stay in a constant state of happy oblivian (also thought of as denial). Quite frankly, her "cheery" disposition at all times tends to grate-on-my-nerves. Did I mention she's my "mom"? lol

We will get to take her car...luxery. Split the gas and stay at her deceased husbands son's house. Which is a bit of a dread in and of itself. Son's kiddos and my kiddos all shared many memorable family get-to-gethers once upon a time when the kids were cute, funny...and innocent.
Their's are still "okay"...they didn't end up with a drug addict in prison.
I know, I know...we're all on different paths, doesn't make anyone "better than", I know. But I don't want to be a weight on anyone around me either.
Maybe I will just "go for a walk" at their house or find a reason to disappear for a bit and cry if I need to.

To describe it: It's tucked away outside an otherwise affluent community, in the "sticks". There are trees, fields all around, the razor wire fence. A small parking lot area for visitors. You go to the front gatehouse near the wired entrance. You give them your ID they check the list they come out and wave the wand round your body. You are not allowede to bring in cash, only up to $20.00 in change. You go to the "visitor building, it's white, seperated from the main dorm. you sit and wait, and read the little signs around you. You are being monitored, overheard and watched. girlfriends, families, mom's...that's mostly who I saw.

Last time I was there, I had my keys in my hands, oldest difficult child began to play with them, easy child was with me. I told oldest difficult child to please give me my keys back (I didnt want him to get in trouble). Of course, here comes a guard, female, older, tough. She did not take difficult children lame excuse that he "didn't know" he couldn't hold my keys, etc. I found myself shaking my head, thinking... "yep, isn't any wonder to her why my son is here". I'm sitting RIGHT in front of him and for fear of making waves, confrontation in a crowd, cutting the visit short (have done it before but this one involved a plane trip). Anyway, If called to do "the next right thing" I hope I have the fortitude to do so, I don't have as much to lose this time around since the expenses will not be as great. I will try and expect "nothing" and give my love and care to my son as a gift. If I see myself being used up, devalued, I hope I can walk away as I would an unkind stranger.

On another note...
Young difficult child's girlfriend drove him to college yesterday, so I picked him up. He is sporting a black eye and several bruises to his face. He got a kick out of himself telling me at first that he "fell down the stairs"...I'm like, "Oh wow, well that had to hurt". I did real good not playin into panic or drama.
Of course he gave up on the "stairs" story and then told me that someone had said something to his girlfriend and that he got hit in the face with a beer bottle.
I'm like, Wow, well that still has to hurt...guess you know what you're doin."
He then tried to defend himself, justify. Not my problem.
His consequences. Then, lmao, he told me how improved my attitude was.

(boing boing boing, I swear I still don't know which way is up or down sometimes)

Yes, there was some false bravado here but at other times a real healthy sense of knowing that it's "their lives" not mine...they are simply on loan to me. Between them and their higher power, not up to me, etc.
They tell me "live and let live, let go and let G-d, Surrender to win, it's a journey, trust the process, ask and thank, get off the cross, enabling kills, etc"
It still isn't fun. I DO tend to still feel sorry for myself, feel sorry for them, but like I read from another poster on the board (wink), "who does it serve?" And that's an excellent helps no one, it changes nothing.

Uhhhhg! Help me believe it 24/7! I am laughing cause this life is so rediculously beyond me that it's all I can do sometimes. I know I'm stronger today though than I was "yesterday". So that is progress.

Thanks for caring,
lovemysons...needing to make that "noon Al-Anon meeting"

ps...I think I need to do another profile as it seems I am spending some time here with you all. Oldest difficult child is 19, will be 20 next June. Young difficult child is 17 and in college. They are both addicts. easy child is 14...she still doesn't really get "what their problem is". Life is just NOT that complicated for her...thank G-d!


Well-Known Member
Many of us totally and completely understand that creeping
anxiety. I am thankful that I have not faced it at the
level you are dealing with, but I remember juvie jail visits
where everything had to be stored in lockers before lining
up as visitors to be escorted through locked doors. It was
surreal....and claustrophobic! I told easy child/difficult child once he was 18
that I would not We haven't visited any of the three times he has been in the county jail. We do accept his collect phone calls, though, and we
do deposit money for him.

Combining "the visit" with your Mom and then further with other relatives, I think you do need to fit in extra meetings AND look on the internet for meetings near your destination.

I don't know if it will ever get easy, Tammy, but I know it
is a little less painful once the shock wears off. Hugs. DDD


New Member
It sounds to me like you have learned the tools of alanon and know when to use them, though it isn't always easy. I hope your visit goes well and that you do find the strength to walk away if you need too, but don't beat yourself up if you don't. Remember you are a "mom"
I love the responses to younger difficult child, no matter how much more he elaborated your response of "that must have hurt" was a great one. I always try and remember to respond like that to my difficult child, but it doesn't always work and I find myself lecturing and getting carried away, then kicking myself afterwards. I think it's an art that you need to master!

Please let us know how your visit goes. I know what you mean about being around an environment that reminds you of happier times, before everything in your life hit the fan, but it does get easier.

I agee with DDD, look for an alanon meeting in the area where you are staying, or drink lots of wine!!! That could help also :smile: Just kidding!!


Well-Known Member
Thank you ladies.

I did go to a really good meeting. I see there before me one who has lost more than "I" have...that's one quick way to get my gratitude list in order and to stop feeling sorry for myself or my sons. I think yall are right, probibly should know where one of those meetings is down near the prison.

I thought too what a big baby I sound like regarding my mom. Fact of the matter is, she takes really good care of number one and I'd be wise someday to implement some of that for myself and stop thinking of it as "selfish" or just denial. She's a survivor and I'm glad I don't have to go alone to visit my son.

DDD, oh you know I still put money on that kids "books". I don't write him as often as I did in the beginning (which was like journaling everyday). I even constructed Suduko games for him...which he never played (I picked up all his belongings, including mail before they sent him to the prison rehab). He did use his NA book though, and I saw some of the things he underlined and questioned. I know he's "in there" somewhere.

Karen, lol, if I could drink wine (like the rest of yall, or those who do) I would. But I am what they call a "double winner". It would behoove me to stay away from alcohol, pills, etc. Doesn't work, never did for me. I didn't drink for over 13 years, but I was very much dependent on my sons for my really seems they became my main drug of choice. I lived through them and anyone else I thought I could "save, fix, control, love the pain away, etc).
I went back to drinking last year and my plan was to "sleep the next 5 years away". I was also taking up to 10 klonopin and unisom to stay "asleep".
I have reclaimed my own life...with help.

On another note, unbenounced to all of us until it happend. My high functioning alcoholic mother in law, resumed drinking this past April (after nearly 5 years of sobriety and no support system). She died within 6 weeks. She was 58 years old.
Oldest difficult child in jail for Meth and stealing for it. He missed his grandmother's funeral, he missed his birthday, thanksgiving, christmas time now, etc.
He IS alive.
We are all hoping he will want to live life on life's terms in the future.
As you know, we can't do it for them and it is too draining too damaging to go "with" them.

Thank you for the support and encouragement regarding handling young difficult child. He's so much easier to see through than my oldest difficult child addict. Young difficult child is "what you see is what you get" he doesn't do the con thing all that well. He's the "genuine article", lol. I find I can be tougher on him I think because we are more similarly made.

oh, DDD, I DIDN'T go visit young difficult child when we had him picked up last Oct (I think it was) and sent him to juvie for tearing up his room.
We left him there a month with no visits and no thanksgiving. I did take his calls but didn't let him "beat me up".

Thanks Yall...I will let you know how it goes too!


New Member
I hope your visit goes really well. I'm sure it is hard to see them in a place like that. I've seen mine in Juvie, and that's not fun, either, so I understand.


New Member

I think you are handling all this very well. I know that the meetings help alot. I hear a different tone in your posts....must be "your attitude has gotten better".... :rofl: :rofl:
Glad your back posting too. We all will get through this together, I hope.
Take it easy and don't sweat the visit. He is where he put himself and for now you know he is relatively safe.
Feeling your pain....

Melissa *


Active Member

Sounds like you are handling this all very well. :grin: I will be looking for an update on the visit and praying for you all this weekend. :smile:



Well-Known Member
Thanks for caring you guys.

Pony, I think we have ALOT in commen. You warmed my heart too.
Tylerfan, I wanted to punch the screen when I read what you said about
my "attitude", lol. You goofball!
Lori4ever, It can be difficult for sure! thanks for the understanding.
Robby, thank you for the prayers and concern.
OTE, you've got alot on your plate right now, you're a sweety.
DDD, and Karen...wasn't really anytime to fit in an area meeting, but I hung in there.

Oldest difficult child looked his best. Clean cut and shaven. He does however think that he's "fat" now. He's healthy is all. LOL, he did say he has a problem with some of the food. The pigs are slaughtered to make the pork, etc. Then the leftovers are fed back to the pigs. He doesn't like the idea of eating "canibal pigs". lol.
Offered him snacks with the change grandma and I brought in...he chose zigglers.

He talked about the society of prison. He has chosen to stay away from the skinheads. Apparently someone of age and color has befriended difficult child and has let the others know that difficult child wasn't raised in the inner city and doesn't think like them. My oldest difficult child has been raised around hispanic and african american families his whole life...He despises the racial divide in prison life. He made a choice and is attending what he calls "SOS" instead of AA meetings in the evenings. Whatever works for difficult child, he knows what he's doing and plain to see his reasons are riteously indignant, hm, wonder where he gets that from, lol.

Most important, he said, "I know I don't want to die".
Which in mind is the most hopeful statement of all. He could have said, I want to live and live abundantly, but I'll take "I don't want to die" for how I know he meant it.

He showed me the money he is "saving" that I put on his books every month. Says he hopes it will be enough to help him buy a car when he gets out next July-October.

He is still "charming" his way through life. The front entrance guard is very familiar with difficult child and his song and dance routines. He apparently seranaded her just the day before.

Did I mention before that he managed to get the transporting officer to lend him his cell phone to call me when he was being transfered from County to SAFP. Yep, his manipulating charm is still in tact.

It was good to see him, to hug him, to hold his hands, to hear his new songs, to know that the child I love is still very much alive.

The other situation, young difficult child is apparently still "clean", however he has never tested positive for drugs. I have often wondered if something funny is goin on with young difficult child's system, it's been the strangest thing when in the past he swore he had used drugs the day before a test but still no drugs were detected. ???

The step-relatives (from my mom's now deceased husband) I hadn't seen in years, were wonderful.
The son, close in age to oldest difficult child, privately shared some of his own brushes with drug use. He made a conscious decision to go the other way but he certainly wanted me to know that he understood what happend to oldest difficult child, and other friends he has cared about in his recent teen years. He plans to visit oldest difficult child.
I felt a special bonding with his mother as well. She is the sweetest little thing, they also have a son on ADHD medications and he may have some autism spectrum issues though I don't think they've addressed them...he was very quiet and stayed at the keyboards in the living room most of the time. Their middle son was warm, smiley and cuddly. Just like I remembered him as a small boy hand in hand with my easy child once upon a time.

I do think PMS is sneaking up on me and causing some unnecessary anxiety. I'm trying to remind myself that it's "not real only hormones".

Got lots to do. We leave in a week or so for skiing in the Rockies and Christmas at father in law's house in Denver. Need to get going on finishing up the christmas list. I don't like shopping, takes me forever when I'm pms-ing. Oh well, it can always be worse.

Thanks for the support and care.

One other thing, difficult child is taking "Lithium" but not therapeutically. Said he has to go to pill call here and there or they can kick him out of this program. He doesn't like the mood stabilizers. He does think he has ADHD (has been dxd in the past too) but they won't let them take stimulants there. He did try and use the ADHD, need of stimulant thing as an excuse for why he used Meth and needed to stay awake/alert on the job for husband last year. He said that an older man was surprised that oldest difficult child is so tired when it comes to work given difficult child's age. difficult child said he starts out with energy but it quickly subsides. Might be his inconsistent use of lithium, I'm not sure.


Active Member
ant had several transporting officers who let him use their phone, or have a cigarette. I was always grateful for these guys who still had some compassion for the inmates.

much better than some who torture the inmates any way they can.

I hope you enjoy your Christmas season!


Well-Known Member
Unlike Ant, I think your difficult child#1 and my easy child/difficult child "scope" the
opportunitites and plan their approach to getting what they
want.......or at least what is available. I think Ant has
the better chance at having a happy life.

How weird is that....I am sitting here in nowhere analyzing
two young men I have never met and comparing them to a young
man you all have never met. I going over the

Glad the visit went well, LMS. Hugs. DDD :rofl:


Active Member
DDD.. No, you are not going over the edge. :grin:

LMS, I'm so glad the visit went well and you enjoyed your stay. Phew..Whew... :grin:



Sounds like a great visit. That will warm your soul for months. Will say some prayers that he continues on the right path.


Active Member
Glad the visit went well. Time is the biggest healer and changer. It's nice to see oldest has been befriended. Hopefully oldest will use what he has been taught in the past about family, responsibility, etc to take him even further along.


Well-Known Member
I agree antsmom, it is nice to know that there are people who will show kindness to an inmate, especially when that "inmate" is our child. I've really had alot of time to consider the value of respect, one human to another, regardless of situation. I remember too, seeing something on TV about how the police are actually much safer when they treat those they are handcuffing and bringing in, with respect and dignity, not attitude. I don't think "sensitivity training" is offered at most police academy's though, lol. Some simply enjoy the "power trip".

No, I don't see you out here anywhere, DDD, you must have not gone over, lol.
There is a difference between "being right" and "being happy" I am learning that. I hope ant, your easy child/difficult child and my difficult child wake up...ant is definitely showing signs, I am so pleased.

Thanks coookie, ote, and sunnyflorida.
Time will tell

I want to believe that G-d will take good care of my difficult child no matter where he is, I think He has in many ways already. My child is on loan to me, /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/11-24b.gif I am not the end all be all. I have to keep remembering.

warm thoughts to each of you,

ps: DDD, are you suggesting my difficult child is an "opportunist" got that right! A real "ladies man". Hmmm, kinda reminds of someone I know, or used to know. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/11-24c.gif (husband)