difficult child is back in jail....and God it is depressing

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Havehadenough70, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. He violated probation by smoking marijuana and has been sitting in jail since the 18th. The first week, i tried the hard way of dealing with the situation by ignoring his phone calls and refusing to see him, only put a little money for small stuff like toothpaste e.t.c. But since last night i have been obsessing about my role in what has became of difficult child and i feel so depressed thinking through the what ifs and wondering what if i did this and this instead of that and that and this morning i woke up and wondered what if i just swallowed some pills and just lie down and die. Then while i was driving to work, i kept on wondering it would be so much better if my car went off the road and i am unconscious so i don't have to deal....I know it is crazy,selfish,immature i and don't want to feel this way but life feels so meaningless when you are in pain. Just writing this brings tears in my eyes because part of me is unable to forgive myself and i know or want to believe my poor parenting somehow contributed to where difficult child finds himself at this time in his life. He will be 22 in June and yet he is so inadequate to handle life.

    Well, according to difficult child, he smoked marijuana on Xmas and new years eve while he attended a party with friends from school. When he reported to probation on 24th January, he got a warning and was put on color code and tested the same day but when he reported to the PO on Feb 18th, the PO said the amount of marijuana in his system was more than he could ignore so he hauled him before the same judge who has had his case from the beginning and he locked him up.

    I am so mad, first with difficult child, second, the system and third with myself partly because difficult child has really been trying. He was going to school and attending his classes, actively looking for work and staying in the house every day except Saturdays, and going to church with me on Sunday. He did chores in the house, plowed the snow in my driveway during the last few storms. Basically, everything i told him to except stay away from pot. During this period, i had stayed away from his business allowing him time to grow up but now i am beating myself up wondering how did i end up here again?

    Now, as he sits it jail, he has been begging to go to rehab and his lawyer found a place that is willing to admit him but i think it is too late. The PO won't budge, the whole lot says they have given him enough chances and he has blown them all. So now, i am bracing for the worst because jail, again seems so likely. His hearing is next week on the 6th. So fellow members, keep him and me in your prayers and thoughts hoping for the best outcome. Meanwhile, i am trying my best to cope - i attended a church support meeting for parents of addicts last week and hope to go again this week, but i wish i was as stronger as some of you like cedar, recovering,Mwm e.t.c....oh and child of me, if you read this, know that i have been reading your detachment journey(too depressed to offer any support) and i admire you so much because you are doing what i would like to do but right now i feel so weak.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh havehadenough, you are not to blame for the choices of your son. Every single one of us here did the very best we could with our kids and they still went off the rails. You didn't cause this. You can't control it. Stop blaming yourself, I know it's tough, we all blame ourselves to some degree, but take it from me (I'm talking to you like a Mom now) CUT IT OUT!!

    We parents have this misguided notion that we have the power to not only create these situations for our kids but then we have the power to control it and stop it. We don't. You don't have any power to change this. And, you didn't cause it, the choices he made put him where he is. Even if he was doing all of those "right" thinks around the house and looking for work, he still violated the conditions of his probation. That was his choice. You didn't hold a gun to his head.

    The odd thing about our parental guilt is that it keeps the door wide opened for the enabling to continue. We did wrong so we will now do right by taking care of him. Well, if you've been reading our stories, you can easily see that that line of thinking DOESN'T WORK. You are taking the brunt of his present dilemma as if it is yours to bear, it is NOT, it is his. Take yourself out from under that mountain of guilt right now, you don't deserve it.

    You did the best you could, like all of us here, and if you had known better, you would have done better. That is just being human. You are just a human being, you are not a super power, you can only do what is in front of you and then to do your best. You did that. We all did that.

    You have no idea what your sons fate is. His destiny may be to be in jail now so he can have time for reflection, so he can not be smoking pot and find out what reality is like without drugs, he may meet someone there who changes his life, he may meet someone there whose life he changes, he may need a break from the real world, he may need time to understand this is NOT where he wants to be...............you have no idea what this consequence will open up or close down for him.

    Pray for him. Place him in the hands of your understanding of a higher power and let him go into his own destiny. He is a man. He is the captain of his ship, not you. Take deep breaths and with each breath, let go.

    My daughter is in jail right now too, so we can pray for them together.

    I've been practicing techniques I am reading about in the book Living Beautifully. Here are two. You can place a picture of your son someplace you see it often and when you glance at it during the day, you say I wish for your deepest well being. Or you can write his name on a piece of paper along with the aspiration that he may be safe, that he may be happy, that he may live in peace. Those small actions help to allow you to let go and I believe that energy gets transmitted out there..........the energy of love. That is often all we can do, but it is in my belief, a lot.

    Be kind to yourself havehadenough. And, really, take it from me, the guilt will just keep you suffering, it is not an emotion that has any benefit other then to bring you misery, let it go. Be compassionate with yourself.......

    We're here, keep posting, it helps. We've got a lot of wagons around you, as they are around me and many of us now............you're not alone.
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  4. Thanks recovering for your honesty and wisdom. As i continue to pray for my difficult child i will remember your daughter and other lost souls in the forum that are struggling so much. Recovering, your reply brought tears to my eyes because your words are the truth and they speak to what i am doing right now, feeding the guilt. But the crying made me feel better and lightened my soul and mind. I don't know why i feel like i hold the future to what will happen to difficult child's life, i guess it is the cycle that i have been on for so long - thinking if i do this, this time, then difficult child will perhaps do this and the other and transform his life. I have to keep on working to find my peace and get stronger and i will follow your advice recovering. I will start practicing the techniques that you are following re and hopefully let some of the stuff that is bogging me down go.
  5. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Had enough,

    I feel your pain and aching sadness. It is so hard to stay up all night wondering what you did wrong, and fearing for your child. We all have been there, and likely will go there again.

    All I can say now is...you ARE strong enough. We know what you have done, and being a mom to a easy child is hard enough, being a mom to a difficult child is HARD.

    My first post on the forum revolved around my own new and relieving thoughts that if my son died on the streets I would simply kill myself...that seemed like the brilliant answer to "what will I do??"

    I am far from that place now, and you will be too.

    It is a funny dichotomy , isn't it? You feel like you have to intervene and help your son or somehow impact or take control because he can't possibly manage without you..and yet...you are willing to consider driving off the road, which definitely will not help a single soul in cluding you.

    You know most people who are saved from suicide attempts never try again, right? We all really want to live and be happy. You too can live and be happy. So can your difficult child.

    I see that difficult child has been trying and that is great. One thing that our difficult child's have in common is that they lack the ability to persevere..and he hasn't been trying very long! and don't forget...he did the one thing (that you know of) that was sure to get him caught and in trouble again, because he knows he will be tested and we all know that marijuana tests positive for a long long time. So he knew, and he did it anyway. He created this. It won't help to minimize that or try to make it go away. He knew the rules and he broke them because he thought he could get away with it. Now the "system" is doing exactly what it promised it would.

    We all live in a system called community, society. Your difficult child sounds like some one who can learn to fit in well..he is young and he shows promise. Let him deal with the consequences of his choices, both good and bad. That is how he will become a man.

    Hugs today in your place of sadness. It will get light again. It always does.

  6. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time Staff Member

    First, I am offering gentle empathy to you this morning. I hope you feel that. I know from "whence you come." I have been there myself, right where you are as you describe it.

    Cry, rage, sleep, hide----HHE70. That is how you feel and the feelings are overwhelming, especially in a crisis like you are going through right now. You are once again experiencing having no control over a situation, and it is hard to deal with. It sounds like difficult child was making some progress but he was still using drugs. He wasn't ready to stop. He probably thought he could function pretty well and still do drugs. That's not how probation and the legal system works. So, while he was showing some signs of functionality, he wasn't stopping the drugs. And that is what he has to do to turn his life around. He has to completely stop.

    Remember, you can't know the journey HE has to take to become a man, a fully functioning contributing member of society who---if he is an addict---will have to fight that monster for the rest of his life. It is HIS journey, his and God's. It doesn't include you, as much as you love him.

    So after you deal with your own very valid feelings and feel them, after a while, get up and turn your energy to yourself.

    That is when things will begin to get better for you. When you can turn your energy to yourself, and AWAY from him, things will get better. As long as the primary focus is on him, the person who is making the bad choices against all logic and reason and sanity, you are going to be right there with him in the insanity.

    We can't control the system, the courts, the judge, the rehabs, the homeless shelters, the police, the therapists. Especially we can't control a nearly 22 year old MAN. That is what he is, even though as you said, he is ill-equipped. My son is also, at age 24.5. Same thing, just nearly three years older.

    I promise you, there IS joy and contentment and happiness and relief and peace and serenity, regardless of what is happening with our difficult child children. It isn't easy to find and hold onto, and there are lots of slips and slides, but really, think hard about this: Is what you are doing right now working? Your post tells me it is not.

    When you are ready, when you are so sick and tired, so completely sick and tired of what you have been doing and are ready to do something new, that is when the real work begins. I think you are just about there.

    Things you can do today:

    1. Write a gratitude list---write down five things you are grateful for. Do it every day.
    2. Find and go to an Al-anon meeting, a support group, a Nar-Anon meeting. You don't have to say a word. You can cry the whole time you are there, but start to listen. Bring an open mind with you.
    3. Purchase one of the books to read at home and see if they have the pamphlet: The Merry Go Round of Denial. It is excellent and will make you feel better reading it.
    4. Post on this forum the things you are thinking and feeling and the plans you want to make for yourself.
    5. Write down and print out those plans. They can change at any time and you are in control of it all. You can decide to do something different at any time, no matter what you have told anybody, including your difficult child. You are an adult and you have the right to change your mind.
    6. Try to think about things as: just for today. Or just for the next hour. Whatever works for you in the moment.
    7. Do something nice for yourself, whatever that is.
    8. As you get better, add this to your "getting better" list: Do something nice for someone else.
    9. Please consider seeing a therapist who understands addiction. Ask that question.

    Please know I am saying everything I am writing here with caring, warm thoughts and with respect that your situation is yours alone and only you can decide what you should do. I never presume to know what anybody else should do---that's what got me in trouble in the first place. (lol).

    Please don't think I have it all together. I have worked hard to get here, and I am continuing the hard work. Some days it is easier than others, but most days are good and there are far fewer hours that are really bad.

    And today, my son is homeless, I don't know where he is or what he is doing and I haven't heard from him in four days. I am learning to accept that. And today, I am okay. You can be too. You really can be.

    Please keep talking to us. Please try not to drive yourself crazy about the what ifs? what will happen when? the shoulds? The should nots? The near-misses. There is no peace there. He is going to do what he decides to do until he decides to stop and you aren't going to be a factor at all in any of it. That's just the bald truth.

    There is a great world out there for all of us, if we will start walking toward it, and work hard to claim it.
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  7. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Oh had,

    I forgot to say...in your process of trying to decide "if only" and what you could have done differently at various points in his life to have saved him...I want to tell you a short anecdote.

    Early in my forum days I was writing about how very much I regretted sending my difficult child to military school..we thought it would give him the structure he seemed to need. He never lived at home again after that...he went from there to a wilderness treatment center to a therapeutic boarding school to the street. I missed time at home with my little boy (he went there in 8th grade...yes, he as already having trouble, but not yet truly a difficult child, and the school is 30 minutes away).

    I was so sure that that was the thing that had damaged him, put him irreparably beyond my reach, made it impossible for me to fix him. His dad had been committed to it, and it was the one time I let him (dad) override my gut...I had so much regret. So I posted about it.

    And you know what? Cedar (I think) posted that she and her husband had been having an "if only" conversation just a few days before..and their deepest, saddest "if only" was that they hadn't chosen to send their son to military school. They were sure if they had only done that one thing they could have saved him.

    That helped me so much. I think it helped Cedar and husband as well. I hope it helps you too, to let go of the regrets and "if onlys" Cause...there you have it.

    MOre hugs today,

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  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    HHE, I will be holding you and your difficult child in my prayers for his hearing on the 6th. There are so many things that contribute to their choices, a million variables that we have no control over. Even if we did, the choice is still theirs.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome to the Wish-We-Weren't-In-It Club (I try to keep a sense of humor).

    I just got back from working out (which is part of myself taking care of ME) and I did not read any responses other than RE's and she was as usual right on the money. I will give you my perspective. Please take what you find is useful and discard the rest. We are simply moms who have suffered similarly and we come together to share our stories and methods of dealing with our adult grown kids who seem to make their own lives difficult for themselves. And, yes, at the very beginning, I thought it was all because of me. Examples:

    "If I hadn't gotten divorced Daughter would n'[t have had to move and I wouldn't have remarried and she would never have tried drugs and we would have been the Cleavers."

    See how wrong that thinking is? But I did think that way a long time ago. Although THAT particular child did clean up her act in a very honorable way and I am so proud of her, I have two of five children who broke my heart; one who still continues to try but no longer has the power and the other who also can be a terrible person at times.

    So was it the way I mothered? Hmmmmmmmmmm. I had five kids. Three have hearts of gold and are well-functioning and content with life. I have one autistic son who is in that category. I have one chld I adopted at six from Hong Kong who will no longer be a part of the family and one son who is always in drama mode, can be very disrespectful, has put his hands on his father, has threatened to shoot me once, likes to try to get money from his fairly wealthy father and who thinks his life is the worst in the world. All of these kids were raised the same. Was I a bad mother because of the oldest two or a good mother because of the youngest three? I think that once the kids turn about fourteen, influences way beyond us shape who they are...most notably peers. That's when THEY make decisions that can positively or negatively affect their lives. I believe a lot is inherited personality traits much more than how a c hild is raised. Personality traits ARE inherited. Even if Child One was adopted, he is likely to be more like his bio. parents than the parents who raised him. I have raised three adopted kids and most adoptive mothers in my parent group totally agree with that. Ditto for parents who have left a spouse before a c hlid's birth yet the child is just like his DNA dad because of heredity. It does NO GOOD to sit and think "What if I had...?" Most likely your child would be the same no matter what you had done, unless you locked him in the basement all of his life.

    But difficult children sure like to blame us, don't they? There's a reason for this. They are NOT stupid kids. They know that if we feel guilty, we are far more likely to try to make it up to them by handing them free money, giving them passes on horrendous behavior, let them live at home for free, turn the other way when they self-destruct, allow drug use at home, cook them hearty meals that they don't help clean up, etc. So they tell us all the things that we did to cause them to be this way. It's baloney, of course. Most of us gave our kids love, love and more love plus plenty of perks and extras. Maybe we gave them TOO much. That may be our biggest mistake...

    If your son goes to jail, he may have time to contemplate a whole lifetime in jail and may change how he lives his life. If you set strong boundaries for him about w hat he absolutely must do or not do when he gets out, he will be furious at you, but he will have to decide how to shape his own life. You should not have to be a child's mother forever. Yes, you have a child. No, he is NOT a child anymore and your relationship should not be one of caretaking him anymore. Nor, in my own opinion (which you may disagree with) should you offer him your home, free money, or pay for his toys. He wants money? Yes, it's hard to get a good job, but he can start at McDonald's or some retail store. It's money, honestly made. If he doesn't want to demean himself that way, let him demean himself by panhandling or selling drugs, like many difficult children do. Somehow our difficult children can never find jobs. Well, you have a life to live and you need your money. He is old enough to find something to do that will allow him to find a room to rent.

    You have my prayers and well wishes. I hope you can learn to detach from his drama and live a good life yourself. You do not have to suffer, cry, and have no life just because you have a child who is not doing well. He is not you. You are not him. You are separate people who took different paths in life and his path is his cross to bear, not yours. You can not change him or anybody except yourself so if you angst over him all day that still will not change him. You can talk to him forever and that only gives him an excuse to verbally attack you about his pot smoking and arrest is really YOUR fault (they are so good at twisting things). In the end, he wants to smoke pot and God knows what else he is doing, drug-wise. You don't need to know.

    I hope that he is allowed to go to rehab, but if he does, understand that unless he is 100% behind the idea of quitting all drug use, rehab will not help him.

    Try to have some peace and serenity tonight and start by telling yourself to "let go and let God." Put this on God. He is able to handle this. You are not. You need to focus on your own happiness and your loved ones who are kind to you.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
  10. Hello,
    Echo, Com,Alba, and Mwm. I want you to know i read each and every one of your replies many many times and cried lots of tears because of the wisdom and comfort i found in them. And every time i cried, the burden felt lighter and i didn't feel so alone anymore. As a result, i can tell you that for the first time in three days, i was able to come home, make dinner and do the dishes. Later, i cleaned my house and went out for a walk. I hope to do more tomorrow and take each day at a time but i am glad that there are moms like you who get. Like that anecdote you wrote about regrets echo, it is like you were speaking what i have been thinking because my biggest regret is not being able to take difficult child to outward bound wilderness program after he got into trouble the first time. I always beat myself up wondering whether he missed an opportunity to change. Another thing i can't seem to let go of is not taking difficult child to a private school. At the time he was ready to enter high school, i went in and enrolled him in a very reputable catholic school in our area but a chance meeting with my land lord at the time who was a high school principal made me change my mind after he convinced me how good his school was. I have always wondered how difficult child would have turned out if he went to a more structured school. Now i know it is not the school or friends. Whatever was meant to happen would have happened anywhere and i have to accept that.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The joke around here is that the kids at our local Catholic School are wilder than the ones at the public schools. Not when they are IN school, but outside of school. Don't second guess yourself. You can not force structure on a high school kid. Once the last bell rings it's out the door and onto their peers and they do also interact between schools.

    Hey...we are always on call, 24/7, and the price is right too ;) Glad you were able to grab some happiness today.
  12. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Glad you're feeling better Havehadenough...........just want you to know that I'm riding along and continuing to send prayers and good thoughts............sometimes those tears are so cleansing..........yes, no matter WHAT you would have done or not done, what is happening now would have happened anyway. Let yourself off of that hook. All there is is right now, the past is over, the future is not here yet, stay here in the present moment..........that will help to bring you peace............hang in there, we're here.........
  13. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member


    I am a big fan of outward bound. I think it helps easy child's appreciate what they have, and I think it is an amazing lesson to learn that you can live with just the things you can carry on your back.

    I don't think difficult child's learn or experience things the way we think they will.

    My easy child's both went on outward bound trips, and they benefited enormously, in self -reliance, confidence, charity (meaning that they carried the oads of people who were weaker than they, because they could). My boys are nothing really special, they are just normal, and Outward Bound contributed to their personal growth.

    My difficult child did essentially an uber-outward bound..close to 3 months in a Wilderness Treatment Center. He was resistant to participation, and in the end did not make it to the level of behavior that they GUARANTEED to get every one to before they sent him along his way. He was kind of happy there...and he did make progress...but you know what? the second he left he was his old self again. We saw that over an over. In a highly controlled environment they might do better for a while (although at military school he started smoking cigarettes and pot and having sex--9th grade, and at his therapeutic boarding school he was sexually abused by a classmate, so ain't nowhere safe)...but THEY LEARN NOTHING ABOUT SELF -MODERATION. So when the external controls and safety net are removed...they are still themselves. They have to learn through their own life experiences, if they are to learn at all.

    Trust me, we did it all. EVery little and big thing we could think of. I have 2 1/2 easy child's (I am still bruised from my daughters difficult child years)..same home. Same me. He even had a twin, so you can't say our life or family or marriage or finances were different for him than for his easy child sibs. difficult child sucked up all the oxygen in the house, and a lot of the money too...

    Lift your head, be confident you did what was right at the time that you did it with the resources and information you had..and move on.

    Try to get outside again today. Its the single best cure I know of.

    And thank you for updating us...we all care, and we worry when people disappear for a while..


  14. Well folks, I am now having to face the reality check that nothing is under my control. This afternoon I decided to pay a visit to difficult child and have a frank talk with him about some of the thing I thought he needed to hear. Alas, difficult child is on jail lockdown. Apparently, he was involved in a fight and has now been locked down 24 hours aday! I am speechless and beyond sad. difficult child has never been confrotational but I am thinking his choice of friends is what has gotten him in trouble. When he started getting in trouble, his choice of pals included kids from a local gang and when he was jailed for the first time he was with them.

    Two years later, when his case was continued without a finding, one of the other codefendants got jail time and he blamed difficult child. A few days ago, I read on the local paper that the kid is back in the same jail. Right now, I don't have any more information but as you can imagine this creates more worries for me.
  15. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    Hi Have,

    I have been reading your story and am so very sorry you are going through this place and time.

    We all blame ourselves and it is so important to get past that. You will. When our difficult child's continue to make very bad choices, there comes a point when you realize they are adults and these choices are on them. If they cannot learn from continually getting themselves in bad spots, if they do not change their behavior, if they are not moving toward something better, what can we do? Nothing, except I agree with handing it over to a higher power.

    Sometimes when that worrying starts in my head (especially in the middle of the night), i repeat "Do I trust You, God? Yes, I do. I know You will work this out. Please send angels to protect difficult child"...words like that. It helps remind me that i KNOW God is in control and to stop thinking like I do not know it.

    We muddle through, best we can, until we get stronger and stronger.

  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Please, please,please don't worry. I don't mean you have no REASON to worry, but I think sometimes moms (and I was one) think that if we worry enough something will change for the better. I used to think that if I actually smiled while any of my kids were in need, it meant I was not only a horrible mother, but it was some sort of superstitious thing where my kid would get into MORE trouble. I felt I had to be on the lookout for my adult kids, even when they were out of my reach. I never did visit jail (two of th em came close to being jailed, but it never did happen). However, they have been on the streets and in other states where my worry did not help them one bit and it hurt ME...my mental and physical health. If you want to be good for ANYONE, your kids, your SO, yourself...you have to take good care of your self. Your son is in jail. He is 100% out of your control. What happened to get him into trouble doesn't really matter. He is probably being watched closely now and his safety is likely intact. Unfortunately, when our difficult children choose to hang around with horrible people, it says a lot about the difficult child. It is not the other peers who made them do it. It is their wish to associate with those types of people that is on their shoulders. Like hangs with like. When/if they decide to change their lives, they also change their choice of friends.

    Your hurting mommy heart comes through loud and clear and I know I speak for all of us on this board when I tell you we are with you and hurting for you and very sad for you. We are also holding you up and sending warm thoughts to help, hopefully, make you feel less alone and more supported. For now, and probably for the rest of your son's adult life, you can love him, but you can't control his puzzling choices. I'm not sure a talk with him will solve anything. In fact, I am concerned that he will turn the talk into a bash session on you and make you feel bad, like it is your fault he is in this trouble. Our difficult children tend to take no responsibility for themselves and tend to blame us, their parents, on their horrible life choices. If you can have a detached, non-emotional discussion with him in which you can let his pointed words refuse to sting you, then I would say go speak your peace. You have that right. But if it will wound you and set you back, perhaps waiting a few days may be better???

    I hope you can find some peace and serenity in this day. We have all had days like these. That is why I run here as soon as my biggest offender, in this time period that is 36, is acting in a terrible way. I can't tell anyone else. They don't understand. They will judge. You know we will never do that and whatever you decide to do, we are in your corner, cheering for you as if you were a rock star. We are survivors and we pick up the pieces for one another to help one another live life in spite of the sometimes dangerous choices of our grown children.

    Love and light to you. Prayers also.
  17. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hi HHE, sorry to hear about the latest. It sounds a little crazy to say this, but maybe jail is the best place for your difficult child to encounter his former cohort. It sounds like he would have, sooner or later. At least this way there is some safety/supervision. Your first post, when you were talking about pills or veering off the road, reminded me of what got me to Al-Anon. I was feeling so hopeless and exhausted because I *KNEW* it was all my fault, it just *HAD* to be, because I am his *MOTHER* and it's my *JOB* to *PROTECT* him but I *CAN'T, nothing I try *WORKS*...(yes, the endless loop in my head put the stress on words just like that). Anyway, I was contemplating suicide, not really ready to act on it but certainly ready to consider how I might do it, if I were to do it, and I made a little chart for myself. The #1 criteria was that it look like an accident, so that my difficult child wouldn't feel GUILTY! I was ready to take my own life because I was so wrapped up in his bad choices, but I wanted to make sure he wouldn't feel bad about it. That's messed up! I'm glad you are going to a support group. It has been really helpful for me.
  18. Hey guys, I just wanted to come back to thank you and also let you know that i am feeling better than i did yesterday. Reading your experiences and the support you have offered me is helping me more than you will ever know. I know it won't be easy but i have decided that i have to let go fear and keep pushing. Yesterday, i joined some friends from church to visit a fellow member who has been very sick and it really forced me to put things into perspective. Like Mwm said, at least i know where difficult child is and furthermore he is not sick. That alone is something to be thankful. I also know that no matter what happens, he won't be in jail forever.

    Later today i talked to difficult child's lawyer who told me that it was the whole block where difficult child is held that was on lock down and not him so that too was a relief.difficult child also confirmed it in a letter i received in the evening. I thought i would post his here and you guys can tell me what you think about it and/or whether it is pure manipulation. Here it is:

    "Hey mom,
    How are doing? I am fine in here just the same old. I miss you a lot. The whole block is on lock down because there has been a lot of fights and a CO was injured. I am not sure when they will let us out and we can't use the phone so i am guessing the next time i will see you is during the hearing. I am so sorry for the heartache i have caused you mom. I hope you are doing good and you are eating well. Please cook some food and don't just eat "sandwiches" every night.
    Did you talk to .....(his lawyer)? What did she say? I am willing to go to jail if they can terminate this probation. Don't stress too much mom because i put myself in this predicament. You have always done everything you can for me and its time you start taking care of yourself. Also see if you can help withdraw my classes for me at....(the college he was registered) that would help me get withdrawals instead of f.
    I love you very much mom even though i don't show it sometimes. Don't blame yourself for my actions because its not your fault.

    With lots of love from your son.........
  19. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Hmmm.....Here is where it matters that I don't know your son. To my eye it is kind of a nice letter. It doesn't sound particularly manipulative. It makes some assumptions, which are probably consistent with how you have interacted in the past. And it sounds like he loves you and cares about you, which is really nice.

    So no, I don't feel he is trying to manipulate you...but if YOU feel that in your heart, then that is more important and more true.

    Here are the assumptions:

    That you will be in court

    That you will work with him and with his lawyer

    That you will deal with his school problems.

    You can choose to do any of those things or none of those things. A lot of us choose not to go to hearings. My son's PD actually discouraged me from doing so (I had gone a few times in the past), and said I really had no place there. Not going is a pretty loud statement that his jail stuff is his stuff, his choices, his problems. Going may ease your mommy heart. I can't tell what is right for you.

    As far as a lawyer, is he paying a lawyer or using a PD? Or are you paying a lawyer? I guess that makes a difference to my thinking.

    And last...school. That is really up to you. Can you just call them and withdraw him? Will it take hours on the phone and two trips to the school, or just one call? Will you have to explain about him being in jail? will that be OK with you, or will that make you upset sad and angry again?

    For me (and this is me, and my difficult child, take it or leave it)

    I would not go to the hearing. That is his business. He made grown up decisions that got him where he is. You don't need to go to court or jail. You don't need to get dragged into that world.

    I would not talk to the lawyer. All decisions are between him and his lawyer. You can waste a lot of time and effort making plans that he can overturn on a whim. If difficult child wants to talk with you about how to manage things or weight risks and benefits, that is up to you if you want to engage. It is up to him to talk to his lawyer, like a man.

    I might cancel the courses if I can do it without too much effort. I would not spend hours on the phone or make more than one trip to the school. This one feels highly individual to me.

    Good luck with all this. Others will weigh on on his letter, and you'll get some support in whatever you decide.

  20. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you are feeling stronger, Had. During the worst of the days, remembering that pain comes in waves, that it recedes and comes in and recedes again helps me find myself, my core self, in the midst of that darkness and confusion that Recovering calls the FOG.

    It is so important that we be clever, that we be able to think clearly about how best to respond.

    We need to be clear headed, Had.

    We need to take our best shot. Like you, I sometimes get lost in the guilt, in regret, in true anger at my blindness or foolishness in not seeing what was there "soon enough."

    Your child is so young.

    His requests are not unreasonable.

    I would do as he asked.

    There is no harm in those things.

    But I would also gather my forces and write him a letter.

    You are his mother. Whether it seems like it or not, what you say matters. What you say, how you see him and his situation, will determine how he thinks about himself. I believe that with my whole heart.

    Before I wrote the letter, I would envision so clearly who and how I want my son to be. Not what you have done wrong in raising him, but what HE has done wrong to YOU in choosing this path though he was raised to know better. Then, I would write the letter from my heart. I would write about my expectations. I would tell him that I've changed. That I will help this time but that the time will come when I will turn away.

    That I want my son to stand up and become the man I raised.

    That he was raised better than to do what he is doing.

    Instead of being the strong one, I would layer on the guilt, the how could you do this to me again? I would express shock and betrayal.

    The point of the letter would be twofold. One, to shock him into changing, And two...to tell him that, whether he chooses to walk a healthier path or not, you ARE changing. He can continue on this path, you have no power to stop him.

    But you can turn away from him.

    And you will.

    At a time of your choosing, you will.

    That is the only power we have, as I see it. Once our children are older, we lose even that.

    I think it will help you to think about your son at thirty. Write to the man he will be at thirty if he continues along this path. Think about who he will be at thirty if he chooses to change his path, now.

    That's really the only thing that matters, right now, right this minute. He is relatively safe in the jail. His head is clear of drugs, he has time to think.

    Try to see this as an opportunity, Had. Take full advantage of the situation. Your son's head is clear. Hit hard, pull out all the stops, use every tool at your disposal to help him open his eyes, to show him where he is taking his own life ~ and for what? A drug high? Drugs get you high by squeezing your brain dry, like a sponge. All those feel good chemicals are devoured by the drug, and the user slips into depression. He just wants to feel like he used to...before he started using. He uses, again. Soon, his brain doesn't have enough feel good chemicals to provide a high on that drug, anymore.

    Something is added, or the now addicted person goes to something harder, altogether.

    The pain of addiction is real.

    The only way to stop is to stop.

    Better sooner than never.

    You know where your son is going if he continues on this path. That is the real nature of the battle, here. As moms, we search our souls for where we went wrong so we can address whatever the shortage was that resulted in our kids taking a wrong path. When there are drugs of any kind involved, this is a wrong way to fight the situation, I think. The only way to fight back against drug use is to clear our heads of guilt, of responsibility, of any hint of self blame.

    The enemy is the drug use.

    I lost my own son that way. As they age, they become so mean it's unbelievable. Their brains are so affected they are hardly recognizable as the sons we raised.

    Your son is still young.

    You can fight for him.

    If I had it to do again, that is what I would have done. I would have stopped looking for what I did and opened my eyes to what was actually happening to my son. The drug use was not recreational, it was terminal.

    You are strong enough, Had.

    I am happy you posted his letter. He sounds like a decent kid.
    I hope with all my heart that you can save him.