Detachment and Guilt

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by okie girl, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Its been a while since I have posted. Have had no contact with my son since March. Have had no contact with my son since March. I do not answer my phone if I don't recognize the number. My son is in jail again. This time for meth. I have gotten collect calls from jail, which went to my voicemail. I just feel so numb. Before I would have been upset but now I don't feel anything. Is this normal? He is in the county jail and goes to his hearing on the third. His birthday is Christmas Eve. I have had Achilles' tendon surgery and have been unable to walk. Hopefully when I go to the doctor today, he will let me start to put weight on it. I have spent lots of money in the past on him, trying to help him. But I am done with that. What should I do about Christmas and his birthday? I do love him so much but I just can't go see him behind bars. Just would upset me too much. I just don't want him to think I don't love him. Please tell me what your thoughts are. Have
  2. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Hi Okie!

    Haven't seen you around here in a while!

    Good to hear from you. Hope you are recovering quickly from your surgery.

    Sorry your son is in jail again. Is he going to get out soon? Any hope of court-ordered drug rehab?

    If you want to get him a Christmas/birthday gift, maybe go with practical things like snow boots/warm clothing/fast food gift certs. No money, which will go for drugs.
  3. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Hi Applecart......I think my son will get prison time. He also has 2 felonies.
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  4. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Well, it is what it is.

    There is nothing else you can do.

    If he is in prison, or will be shortly, maybe a gift of a book, magazine subscription, or some similar thing once he gets to his destination.

    Yes, your feelings are normal. You are learning to detach. Giving up trying to control his life. Giving him control of his life. It is his life to live.

    I feel so bad for you, Okie.

    But remember, his life is not over. Even if he goes to prison, it likely won't be for very long. Then he has the rest of his life to make of it what he will.

  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Oh Okie girl, I'm so sorry. I know that heartache all too well.

    I found that when my son was in jail the best way to communicate with him was via letter or cards. You could send him a card telling him how much you love him. If you are willing and able you could put a small amount of money on his account.
    It's so hard when their birthdays or Christmas roll around but no matter what you do or don't do, let there be no guilt.

    I hope you heal up well from your surgery. Sounds very painful.

    ((HUGS)) to you..................
  6. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you Tanya and Apple for your words of encouragement. It really helps.
  7. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Hi Oskie girl, Sorry to hear about your son..My son is a felon too, many years ago he did a little time, all drug related.
    My heart goes out to you...Cards and money in the account was all we were allowed to do but each prison has its own rules..
    There are meetings and drug programs in most prisons, even college classes..When he gets settled maybe he will utilize some of these resources..
    Take good care of yourself, hope your recovery is swift..
    xox Carolita
  8. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you Carolita2.....when I find out the outcome of his sentence, I will probably put money in his canteen account. I just don't want him to think I have forgotten about him and that I don't love him. It just makes me feel so sad. Please keep us in your prayers.
  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Okie girl, we're so glad to hear from you, even though this is tough news I know. I am so sorry. You have been at this for a very very long time and it sounds like you have detached from him, which is a very good thing for you. Detachment with love doesn't mean anything "mean" or unkind, it just means standing back from a distance and watching the life of someone we love, without interference.

    I think your feelings are perfectly normal. I imagine that you are so very very tired of all of this with him.

    To protect yourself, your feelings go numb, and perhaps it is one more stage of grief for people who deal with long-term sadness like this. It is protection. I think that is a good thing. If you start to feel very very sad and depressed and/or angry, I think that is normal too. Whatever you feel, let it come. Let it flow through you and welcome it in. Not fighting our feelings helps so much with healing and moving forward emotionally, even in very small steps.

    My son has been in jail multiple times for long periods of time, and another thing you could do is find out their policy about books. One time I sent books to him from Amazon as they required brand new books coming straight from the publisher (I guess people would put drugs in books they brought to the jail themselves). My son likes WWII books so I sent him several of those. I also used to put money on his canteen as well until I found out they used the money to gamble in jail, which made me kind of mad, so I stopped. I would put small sums if you do it. Also, cards and letters are good. I like writing because it allows me to say what I want to say without interruption. That was also healing for me.

    Your son knows you love him, Okie Girl. He knows that.

    Warm hugs this holiday season---and it's even harder at the holidays to live with the sadness our DCs and their choices bring. We want so much to recover some of the Norman Rockwell-family-as it should be feeling but that's not realistic. Everybody's family is just struggling along, I have come to realize. There are hidden sadnesses in all of us, and there is no such thing as Normal Rockwell-happiness. It was all a myth anyway.

    We're here for you. Hang in there.
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  10. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    COM....I was looking forward to your thoughts. Before, when he was in jail, he did write me letters. He hasn't this time. I am really torn on if to send correspondence. Just don't know what to do or say. I don't want him to think I'm giving in and him thinking he can start blaming me and putting guilt trips on me. He needs to start taking responsibility for his actions. It's hard to put my feelings in words. Thank you for your wise words.
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  11. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

  12. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Hi Okie Girl, try to stay with us..It has,helped me tremendously in the short time I have been here. We understand, are not shocked by much, and offer warmth as well practcal suggestions.
    I hear you. It sounds very important to you to convey the message that you love your son, which I hear loud and clear, to him..I guess it's the unconditional love we have for them. We love you no matter what!
    He is ssfe, has time to process, get physically healthy, there may be some pluses here.
    Take good care,
  13. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Carolina.....I have been coping with this stress on and off since I was 20. First with son's dad and now with my son. He is following the same path his dad went down. He knows where this road leads. His dad died about 15 years ago. There was a lot of unresolved issues between them. I have done everything I can get think of to help him. So...I am just doing my best to detach to see if this will make him grow up. He will be 44 years old on Christmas Eve. I love him so much. It just breaks my heart. I just hate holidays because I miss him being there.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is always a difficult situation - even without the biological baggage your son is dealing with. It's really hard when there are no good answers.
  15. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    This is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. I pray God will intervene.
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Okie, just wanted to check in with you and let you know I have been following along. Hugs to you and your hurting momma heart.

    I have not dealt with jail issues, but my feelings are there with you
    as far as my two d cs go.

    It is as if they are imprisoned by their choices and drugs.

    Sometimes, I begin to feel imprisoned myself, with the grief suffered from their paths.

    Then, I think to myself, I do not need to go down with their decisions and choices,

    I have my own life to live.

    One day, one step at a time.
    Rebuild, replenish, restrengthen.

    My heart goes out to you Okie, you are a fellow Warrior sister.

    It is hard, but we can do this.

    Stay strong, keep the faith.

    Thank you for posting and sharing your story. You are not alone.

    peace to you
  17. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you Leafy for your kind and encouraging words. I am taking a day at a time. It helps so much for all the support I get from everybody on this forum.
  18. Carolita2

    Carolita2 Member

    Hi Okie girl,
    Thinking of you...and the grief...Sometimes ut hits harder than others...I like the idea of feeling the feelings, not fighting them. I used to stuff them but just cannot any longer. Giving myself twenty minutes to empty them out and then do the next thing I need to do, make the bed, wash the dishes, sometimes helps..I do find keeping busy does help. The holidays are difficult..I haven't seen my son in two years and around Thanksgiving that thought had me quite down.
    So glad you posted..It helps everyone.
    Take good care, hope the surgery is coming along.
    xox, Carolita
  19. okie girl

    okie girl Active Member

    Thank you Carolita for your continued support. It helps me cope. It sounds like you have felt the same hurt and pain of not having contact with your son. It hurts so much. My son is going before the judge today. I keep up with him being in jail thru the court dockets. I do not answer any phone calls I don't recognize. I listened to my voice mails yesterday, and he had tried to call from jail. I just can't deal with this anymore. It worries me so much. I don't want him to think I don't love him. I do think the holidays are harder and his birthday being on Christmas Eve doesn't help. Thank you again. This forum has helped me so much.
  20. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Okie Girl, good morning. I know it's hard on the day they go to court. I remember those days well. If you can, think of it this way: He is **somewhere**. He is getting food and shelter and presumably no drugs. He has met his match at least for today. That is good.

    And: something has changed. When one thing changes for them, there is a chance (if they will take it) for more change.

    And you are not the "agent" of this change---the "system" is. Let the system work, even in its deficiencies. That is another good thing.

    And as you feel your feelings, and think about this, try to alternate between the close up view and the view from 20,000-feet.

    The broad view is this: Each person on this earth has a life to live. We create that life by our own choices. We and we alone are responsible for those choices. Nobody else. We can get honest and real and sincere, and if we do, there is so much help available. But as long as we want to life a dishonest life, we will have to face the consequences. The consequences of our own decisions.

    Those of us who love people who continually choose badly are in pain. That is part of our own journey, and we are being "refined by fire." I don't know about you, but I have learned so much on this awful journey.

    Today, I really notice people who are controlling, or self-absorbed, or victims, or who sit and expect others to make things happen. I don't want to be around people like that.

    I want to be around people who are honest, trying hard, focusing on what is real in life, and trying to help other people. That is how I try to be myself (and of course I fail often).

    We must accept that we have to live in an uncertain world. We can't fix things. We can't make other people do things. We can barely run our own lives.

    People have to ultimately grow up or their lives will always be harder than they have to be. My son has made progress, but I can tell you, he still has a lot of growing up to do. It's hard to be around him sometimes. I love him, but his thinking and his decision making and his lifestyle is very hard to be around.

    That's okay. I think my job is acceptance. Accepting reality. My son's life may always be hard and it may always be hard for me to have a whole lot of constant and close contact with him. I can still love him and determine how much to be involved with him.

    I'm not saying at all that I "do this" well or have it all figured out. I just have to take it one day at a time, feel my feelings, fall down, get back up, start practicing again what I have learned, step up my tools, and get back to level ground. That is how I cope and how I get better and better at staying out of his way.

    We're here for you. Keep us posted on you and on him as you can. Warm hugs especially today.