dreading visiting jail!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by standswithcourage, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I am so dreading visiting the jail at Christmas! My husband said he would go to! It makes me feel sad and sometimes I just pretend my difficult child is somewhere in the Bahamas having fun! Then reality sets in. Please pray for me and give me some good ideas on how to get through this! Thanks :smile:
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    One step at a time. I can understand wanting to pretend he is elsewhere, but the reality is he is where he is. You can't change that.

    What day do you plan to actually visit? If it is on Christmas Day itself, find out if the jail is doing something special. Some jails do, some don't. If they are, visit this weekend or next weekend rather than on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day itself. No matter when you go, it is bound to hurt. Christmas is supposed to be spent at home with family. I know how painful it was to have to see my daughter at her Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I can only imagine how painful it would be to see her in a prison.

    Hopefully, someone who has been there done that can give you some concrete advice. I'm glad your husband is going with you.

  3. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    You've come such a long way Susan. This is the next step. You have to face your fears and the reality of what is happening. difficult child is in jail. It is Christmas and he will spend it in jail. He needs to know that you still love him, but that this time he has to face the consequences for what he has done. That is the reality of his life. But...your other children deserve to have their mother enjoy Christmas with them. Hugs---it's hard, but it's doable!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Believe me we love our gs as much as anyone loves their difficult child but
    we do not do jail visits. We accept as many phone calls as he
    wants to make. We send commisary money so he can snack. He does
    not want us to be part of "that life" and we told him years ago
    that once he was an adult if he went to jail we would not visit
    like we did in juvie.

    on the other hand...lol...just today I was thinking "maybe....".

    No. That is part of our detachment plan achievement. We will not participate. Chances are, however, that on the 25th when he
    calls it will be darn hard to not cry and stress how awful it is
    with-o him. It is awful. We didn't choose it. Even with his brain
    damage, HE has to do the time that "the blankin' system" thinks
    he needs to do.

    We love him with our whole heart. He knows that. Your son, I am
    sure knows he is loved too. Good luck. Just remember that the choice is YOURS. DDD
  5. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I knnow but I just dread it. I am going to put some money in his canteen. I called the jail today to try to talk to medical - he keeps saying they are not giving him his medicine - he cant take Xanax there - they said if he could take it they would call the next of kin to bring it = they should call me back = this is so overwhelming to me sometimes = I have to not let my mind overtake my emotional state and keep being strong all the time. It is exhausting.
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    You know, if it is too much for you, yo do not HAVE to go. I can tell you're stressed. Your sentences are jumping all over and they are hard to follow.

    Picture everyone on the board here giving yo a big group hug. Everything will be OK.

    Part of detaching is doing what is best and right for you and your well being. If it is going to be too difficult for you to see your son in jail over Christmas, then don't go. You won't be doing him any favors if you show up there like a basketcase. If you have to, let the holidays go by, THEN go see him.

    Pray about it, if you need to.
  7. Scent of Cedar II

    Scent of Cedar II New Member

    Stands, I hear that you feel you should be there for your son on Christmas Day. This is going to have to be one of those decisions you make based on which you will regret more as the years pass.

    Whatever choice you make, there will be consequences.

    If you see your son in jail on Christmas Day...you know already what the outcome will be.

    You will suffer.

    Your family will suffer.

    Your son?

    He's in for the duration.

    He will feel cherished and missed and loved.

    But it it will have cost the rest of his family the one time of year set aside for families to come together and heal.

    It has already cost your family much of their Christmas.

    It's like Fran posted in another response: the mother is the spindle around which the family comes together.

    So the real question isn't about seeing your son in jail.

    The real question is whether you will claim the right to sacrifice Christmas to do it.

    You are the mother.

    You are the spindle your family comes together around.

    Though there will be one missing at your Christmas celebration this year, you know where he is and you know he is safe.

    That is more than so many of us know, Stands.

    I think your responsibility is to function as the mother in your family. You have a daughter recently married, and I believe you have another child at home as well?

    And I know you have a husband.

    Celebrate Christmas with them, Stands.

    Life is so short, and they need you, too.

  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    The first time I went to visit my son in jail, I had no idea what to expect. No knowing what to expect was more unnerving for me than the visit itself. Because you aren't a criminal - you don't think about the things that will happen when you enter an institution.

    It's a good idea to ask your doctor for a 1/2 a valium and take it before you go. THIS will be a bizarre day full of lots of input your brain will try to process, while dealing with grief and joy.

    There will be miles of fences
    There will be razor wire in rows and rows
    It will look sterile, void of color
    It will look uncluttered
    You will be asked repeatedly for drivers license and insurance
    You won't be able to take in your purse only ID
    You may have to remove your jewelry
    You may get patted down by a guard
    You may only have a detection wand run over your body
    In some prisons you have to go into a room with lockers, change down to your shoes and then visit in jumpsuits with disposable slippers - but not likely where he is at. been there done that - WILD.
    You will have to wait without explanation
    The guards most likely will be stoic and non conversational
    The only friendly people you will meet that day will be others family and your son
    You may have to stay in your car while police dogs sniff your vehicle and mirrors on sticks are shoved under your chassis
    You won't be able to take anything in through the gates
    There will be several gates
    There will be lots of buzzers
    There will be an echoing of sounds as painted concrete blocks have the loudest echoing capabilities
    The room will be noisy and at times seem loud
    You may hear bad language (oy)
    You will see people that look NOTHING like you've ever seen
    It may smell - but of food or cleaner
    There will be few decorations
    If you have to go to the bathroom you will have to ask, be escorted and the door will be unlocked and you will have someone wait on you to return to the day room or visitation room

    If you get though THAT the rest is easy - because the rest involves ONLY sitting and seeing, talking with, and smiling at your son. It's OKAY to cry. It's OKAY to let him know you hurt and that things are not the same without him, don't go overboard.
    Take kleenex - put a few in your pockets - you may or may not be asked to throw them away.

    The time with your son will go SO fast - think about the things you want to talk to him about BEFORE you go. It helps to keep the conversation going. Most of them want to know about things outside, old friends, family, the pets - funny things, day to day activities, baking, decorating, like that.

    When it's time to go - you may get to hug - don't know about the security. If you can't - know this:

    A lot of times the road for our children doesn't lead where we thought it would. Where he is? Is NOT where you would have him in a perfect world. But we don't live there - so he is where he is, he is not on the streets doing drugs or getting drunk and you can pray - ask him what he wants you to pray for him. Make sure you're asking for the same things - and just enjoy the time you have with your son, because you DO have a chance to spend some time with him.

    I tried to think:
    I have time that if something had happened and he had been taken I would SO appreciate, just an hour to talk.
    I KNOW he's not where I want him - but this is his path - his life - his destiny to change - and if he finds that ability in prison - wouldn't you be happy for him?

    -Remember Paul?

    And know - you have friends here that will hold you and talk to you, and cry with you - and just tell you like it is when you get too far out there. (I'm so thankful for that)


  9. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Star was very graphic and precise in her description. you will definately be overwhelmed by the experience. My husband who is not an emotional guy had a hard time with the visits and would be depressed both before and afterwards. I personally chose not to visit my son in prison for various reasons mostly because I had told him over and over when he began down the dark road that lead to that place that if he ended up there I would not visit. I said that I didn't do jail and he needed to learn that I ment it. My husband went about once a month and like I said it was hard on him. Like DDD, we took all the phone calls and we wrote letters. We made sure we kept some money in difficult child's account so he could buy extra food and stamps and stationary to write to us. We sent books on self improvement, faith, and crossword books and novels to keep him occupied. difficult child never faulted us. He was appreciative of all that we did. In truth it was very hard all around but we got through it.

    I guess what you can gather from all the posts in answer to your question is that you need to take care of yourself first. No matter what you decide to do, it is going to be hard. I for one am very glad I do not have the visual memories of my son in prison to haunt me every Christmas.

    We are all different in what we want to do and not do. But we all suffer just the same. I think the key is to do whatever causes the least suffering.

    My husband went two days before Christmas. That gave us the relieve of knowing that difficult child had a visitor and knew that we had him in our thoughts and at the same time gave us time to get over the depression associated with a prison visit. Having time to regroup gave us the ability to enjoy our holiday in spite of the circumstances of our lives.