Clarity comes with time

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Childofmine, May 29, 2014.

  1. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    difficult child is still in jail and his next court appearance is June 25, when the court will determine what the consequences of his breaking probation are. In February, it was spelled out that "the next time" you will go to prison. He has six different charges and multiple probation violations, which equal 8 or 9 times in jail in the last three years. All charges are drug related, including shoplifting, theft, possession, and selling.

    Over the past few weeks, I have had more phone calls from the Shreveport, LA (poor Shreveport) phone exchange---that is a company the jail system here uses for their inmate phone calls. Evidently difficult child gets one "free" five minute call when his legal situation changes, but after that you have to put money on the account. I don't do that anymore as it's a rip off and I don't need to talk to difficult child on a regular basis by phone----not good for me.

    Last week I called the phone company after yet another "sales" call (so I thought) to find out that all of these calls are initiated by difficult child from jail.

    I haven't heard from him via letter since the first two letters he wrote right after he got arrested---asking me to "do things." I posted one of them on another thread.

    I haven't been to visit him.

    I have decided this. I will visit after his June 25 date. To do so earlier will mean I subject myself to the endless "how am I going to get out of this" workings of his mind. Lies, justification, rationalization, help me, victimhood. That's the MO. I don't want to hear it.

    Last night, my easy child told me that difficult child gets two envelopes, paper and two stamps a week to write letters. I did not know this but knowing this is illuminating.

    I sent him a postcard Monday. It said, I will visit you after your court date. I am not going to put money on a phone account. Evidently you can write letters from time to time, so if you want to write me, please do so. I love you. I hope things work out for the best for you.

    I am gaining clarity. Things are getting simpler in my mind about difficult child. I am very thankful for these respites (jail times) for me, as they allow me to move further along.

    I have been reading online some accounts from people who have been to prison and finally "got it" there. Is prison a bad place? I'm sure it is not fun. However, at this point, I am actually hoping that is where difficult child lands because time is his ally and mine.

    If he continues like he has been, I am afraid he will die. A homeless man killed another in our town a couple of weeks ago. My difficult child won't comply with any place or system that requires a drug test, i.e., overnight shelters or food stamp reapplication. That's not what he says, but it is what he does. I know most drug addicts are strong survivors but the street is a dangerous place and taking drugs is a dangerous business. My friend's son died this past Christmas because of an accidental lethal overdose of pills and alcohol.

    His addiction is powerful. Last night easy child's fiancee said to me, at the dinner table with all there: "Well he is a sociopath, don't you think?"

    I am thankful that I didn't have to react to that statement. It was surprising in many respects but what is important was my response. I was able to say, well we just don't know that. What we know is that he is a drug addict. Until he is in recovery, there is no way to evaluate his mental status.

    She is a brand new pharmacist, but she doesn't know anything about addiction. She also didn't know difficult child before all of this, so all she knows is his current behavior. I am afraid that her lack of knowledge and empathy for difficult child is going to cause problems with her and easy child but I can't do anything about that either.

    It's like my son's addiction was this huge cloud that covered and colored everything. Now, it is a much smaller bubble over there. I am becoming more and more separate from it.

    This site, and other tools that I use, have been tremendous helps in my evolution. I am very thankful for each person who writes and shares and tells the truth about their pain and their heartbreak and their thinking. Every single writing helps me. Thank you.
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  2. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Well I see I may as well have just cut and pasted your whole post, since I lifted so much from it!

    yes, very prudent to avoid that frustration when possible. I hate to listen to my difficult child talk about the world through his eyes...I have wasted so very much time doing that, and sort of politely pretending I thought was he was saying was a potentially valid point of view, that I can feel my blood pressure rise when he starts. Good for you to not let it start in the first place.

    This is a completely perfect missive. No judgement, no criticism, no advice, no insertion of your needs versus his needs...just plain, expressing yourself with great clarity and love. Perfect.

    And this is amazingly true. YOu may never find out, but we can say that whoever he is while addicted is the drugs speaking, not the person. That is quite a good come back for being taken by surprise!

    I don't think you need to worry about this for now. Who knows how easy child has described his relationship with difficult child, and how he has been impacted. The fiance may be feeling very protective of her wronged loved one. She is young, she has no personal experience, and really, who among us has not been guilty of judging
    difficult children and the families they come from? She hasn't walked in your shoes, or even in easy child's shoes. If your easy child loves her she probably has more depth...she just needs some time and exposure. I think it was brave of her to engage in the conversation.
    But, like I said, not to worry now. As you said..."I can't do anything about that either"

    Yes. I share this. difficult child's illness, his frailty, his unpredictability, my need to protect/love/advocate/be blind was all consuming. Now...I see him from a distance. I'm not 100% sure I think of him everyday (although some days I think of him all day). Last night I was out running and I saw him on the railroad tracks near his underthebridge hovel. He was with an older man, and he appeared agitated. Actually, he looked a lot like any crazy dirty schizophrenic on the street...cause guess what...he IS! They were dumping a bucket or a box on the tracks. I paused, thinking...what is going on? Is he doing something he shouldn't? is he upset? Is that guy taking advantage of him or hurting him in some way?" I slowed in my run, watching...and then I sped up, before he could see me, and went on. Because I have no role there. He is over there, beyond the chain link fence, in the dusk, on the tracks, looking away. And I am here, running along the river with the city lights sparkling in the water, breathing, feeling the cool air, taking care of myself. And that is that.

    Thank you for the updates, Child. I am glad you have been able to put distance between yourself and your grief and anxiety. You are right..clarity comes with time. And it grows like a gyre, looping in closer, growing taller, moving farther out.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    You two have so much wisdom.

    I didnt know that about the paper, envelopes and stamps either so what a nice surprise. However considering how often my son wrote to his girlfriend when he was in jail, I imagine its true.

    I think you are wise about not visiting before court. That was something that was hard for me the times my son was in jail before his last time. You werent here then but he had a stint in during a sentence and I was furious when he went in. I vowed I wouldnt visit, accept calls or write. I think I maintained that stance but I dont remember it. I got sick right after he got out of jail and have no recollection of that fall at all. I remember him having to go in, what the fight was about...but thats it. Probably for the best.

    As far as what prison is like vs jail, well I have always heard prison is actually better. At least here jail is just a holding cell. We have no programs in our jails but we have lots in our prisons. I also watch a lot of LockUp. It makes me feel a tad better about what could happen. Cory's father thinks I am I say its no worse than Cory watching Cops!
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Yes, that is exactly me. The all day long days are much fewer though. And days/hours/minutes pass by and I am caught up in my life and I don't think about him and his life. That is progress I think!

    What an amazing story. Bless you Echo. You physically did what we are all mentally trying to do and I can't imagine how hard that was. You must have run through multiple emotions very quickly and still you waited and did not act. That is such forward progress. I salute you!

    You are right. It makes me defensive inside when I hear and see her sneer a bit when she talks about difficult child. She can't see that he has a disease, she just sees the behavior. I guess it's that old adage: I can say what I want about my kids but I don't want anybody else saying it. I wish she would be more careful about what she says to me about him. I am tougher and I have to talk to myself when she starts talking so I don't react. I get it that she doesn't understand.

    I have heard that too DJ and I hope that is the case if he goes there. SO says don't count on him going there, they are so overcrowded. He thinks he will just get out again with maybe a stiffer probation schedule. Ugh. Merry go round just keeps on turning.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    I sorta agree with your husband COM. I have learned to never tell me son that he IS going to get some certain thing done because I will be shown to be a liar. I have been so sure they will send him to jail when they do nothing but put him on probation every darned time. I tell you what though, let me get so much as a parking ticket and they will put my rear under the jail!
  6. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Child, for knowing how hard that was.

  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Child, I am running a little late, so I will not be able to answer until tomorrow. That you are able to love your son in spite of who he has been and where he is, that you are able to take the reality of it in doses you can tolerate and still love him, is a gift. I have been experiencing the most incredible resentment within the past few days.

    It is very hard to know how to walk the paths we need to walk with our kids without numbing ourselves out or giving in to that kind of dull, thudding resentment that turns into depression, into hatred of ourselves.

    You are handling something very hard with grace and presence, Child.

    It doesn't feel like it, I know, but you are doing so well.

    We have to be so brave, to face what is head on.