Hi, Ladies! I'm working on going on with my life and getting used to just having phone calls and weekly visits with difficult child. I think I'm ok with not having him at home and how he's doing right now. I cried out weeks ago so am just moving on from here, although I still worry about his future. Now, here's the problem. As you all know, there were big problems at home before he was incarcerated. The problems were his emotional state- from depression to aggression against me and the fact that I felt I couldn't help him because the PO stood in the way of everything I tried. I really felt that "they" in the system had convinced my son that they were in charge of him- and me- and he did not even see me as an authhority figure anymore. Currently, people are already talking to him about coming home upon his release. They clearly are doing this as a motivator to keep him on a good track while he's incarcerated. He's doing very well so far- no write-ups at all. But, I don't think he should come straight home. I don't see how he can ever function living with me again the way the people in the system go about things. When we visit or talk on the phone, all difficult child talks about is rambling on about what is going on in there. I understand his need to talk about all this, but I have a problem about everyone, including difficult child, just thinking he'll stay in until the day they unlock the door, then just come home like things are fine. Things weren't fine and will be worse then. We have no "real" parent/child relationship anymore. He makes his own choices and I have nothing to do with them. He doesn't listen to my input and all consequences are established and dished out by others. I DO understand that this is detachment and there is no other option and that I have no control over my child's decisions. Please do not repsond telling me that because I really do understand it and that is not my question or concern. My concern is how on earth can it ever be possible for difficult child to live at home again, at 15yo (when he gets released) and this be successful? I think I do need to think about it now because they are leading him to believe that this is what is going to happen and they will not do anything to prepare for anything else if I don't jump and yell now. I just don't see how once the parent and child has detached to the point that the kid doesn't see the parent as an authority figure anymore, they are completely on their own as far as what choices they make- like they are adults- and rules and consequences are established buy others, how can this be successful with them coming back home? I can't treat him like an adult child- he doesn't have the maturity and I am not going to see him that way. I see him as a distant child. We don't communicate about anything. I just sit and listen to him ramble. All he cares about are his peers and the authority figures. The only way I can mentally relate to it is by comparing it to when I left home then had to go back and spend a few weeks at my Mom's. Well, I understood that she had house rules I needed to comply with and of course, I needed to repsect her personally and her house. But, really, there was no way that I could view her as having authority over me the same as when I was younger. That's fine and understandable when a child has become an adult and is supporting themselves. But when it's still a kid who hasn't matured and really hasn't reached the point of being responsible for themselves, how on earth can that work? Ok- he's responsible for his choices, but legally, I'm still responsible for making sure he goes to school, any property damage he does, his physical and mental health, etc. Not only is it impossible for him to really take responsibility for himself at this age (monetarily, etc), he isn't mature enough to make his own decisions anyway. Am I supposed to ignore that and treat him like an adult child and just say "ok, just send me the bill" when I owe restitution for him? Am I supposed to just be here to provide for him, put meals on the table, transport him to wherever the parole officer says he's required to go, then shut-up about everything else? So, if he gets into drugs or refuses to go to school, I'm just here to turn him in for it? Other than that, we'll just have no relationship other than me listen to him ramble about his peers? Maybe that leaves everypone feeling like "well, that's what parents of teenagers do". It leaves me with a vision that makes me cringe. It makes me feel used by the system, hurt by difficult child, and resentful over the whole thing. If all this is between him and the people in the system now, then difficult child can figure out how to get himself trransported around and provided for on his own. Obviously, he can't do that. Then the system can find someone else to do it. That's just how I feel. The system says they have no funding to do anything differentl;y and they want the kid at home. BS. They want to find someone to do all this for the kid and then blame that person if the kid doesn't do well. They take the parent to court when it doesn't work. It won't work because difficult child knows that the system doesn't view the parent as an authority figure either. You know darned good and well if the kid is in a group home, the parole officer backs up the people running it. If the difficult child is at home, the people in the system view the guardian as part of the problem. At least that's the way it works around here. As loong as difficult child knows that- and he does know it- I don't see how this can work. Sorry for the long ramble. If anyone has read all this- have you ever even heard of this working? I jsut see it as being even worse than before if difficult child comes straight home upon release and I refuse to sit there for a year and lead this kid to believe that if he does what he should, this will happen. It's obvious by the things people are syaing to me and difficult child and the things difficult child himself says that this is the way things would be. difficult child's rules are established by the system- even after he comes home. If I have house rules and difficult child convinces the people in the system that they are silly, than I have to change them. It's not me in authority of my own house anymore. If I can't deal with difficult child, then I get ordered to do more- they won't do anything unless I have him arrested and incarcerated again. The more they make me change, the less authority difficult child sees me have, the less respectful he is of me and the more he takes advantage. difficult child knows I don't want that solution so he pushes the limits as far as possible. They expect me to secure things at home the way a prison or psychiatric hospital does- that's impossible. They expect me to make gffg tow the line-HA- when they sit there and cave everytime difficult child complains and make me change? This is the way it was before and it will be worse next year. It just leaves a sick feeling in my stomach.