A real bustard
Triedntrue said:
I too wish i knew the solution to that one.

Patience and faith, I think, I hope.

Copabanana said on another thread:

Copabanana said:
You are her mother, not her friend. You have a role to play. Stand strong. Not allow her to mistreat you. Not help her to dig a bigger and deeper hole. Support her to face her situation and to act responsibly. You can do this.

This is about right.



Well-Known Member
Hello 200M,

We come here looking for answers. Looking for solutions. How to restore a formerly happy child from the wreckage of the sullen, troubled teenager they've grown into over time. Or how to fix a child who has been broken seemingly from birth.

We do receive answers, but most of the time, they aren't the ones we expected.

We learn that our own emotional well-being matters. Our financial well-being matters. In some cases - our physical well-being matters. The welfare of our pets and possessions matter.

We learn that the path back to sanity for us, the parents and step-parents and other family members of these lost souls, is detachment from our troubled adult children. We learn that we have absolutely no control over their decisions and behavior. If we are people of faith, we give them to the god of our understanding. This can provide some comfort.

We learn that our "helping" usually makes things worse and sets our kids back even further.

We learn that it isn't our fault.

We learn to mourn our losses and grieve what could have been, but sadly, is not.

Thus far your posts have focused on what your son is doing and what is happening in his daily life. This is not surprising and perfectly understandable. But eventually, you will likely learn the same lessons we all have learned here.

The only way out of this hell is to release ourselves, and detach with love from our troubled offspring.

All the best.
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A real bustard
BloodiedButUnbowed said:
Thus far your posts have focused on what your son is doing and what is happening in his daily life. This is not surprising and perfectly understandable. But eventually, you will likely learn the same lessons we all have learned here.

I think that my wife & I have learned the lessons that most of us here seem to have learned; however, I do not see why my posts shouldn't focus on Youngest and what he is doing. That is why I'm here. We haven't given him a penny in months and certainly are not contesting the police's determination that he not be allowed to come back to our suburb pending his sentencing & however his legal imbroglio plays out. He is our son and we will always care about him & be interested in what he is doing. (Thinking about him certainly did not prevent us from having a very enjoyable Passover holiday last week.) If he wants to follow a bad path, he will do so alone. If he wants to follow a good path and get a positive grip on his life, we will help him as best we can.

That being said...

Mrs. 200Meters and I did not go to see Youngest, or try to, this morning. We're back in the Jerusalem Magistrate Court tomorrow at 10:30.

Apparently he told my wife last week that he wants to get this over with as quickly as possible & if that means going to prison, as opposed to therapy or treatment in some closed, semi-open or open facility, so be it. That may have been so much talk and bravado (he's good at that), i.e. all bluster and no muster. I wonder what he has said to his pd or if he has had any contact with his pd at all. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.

I am very attached to our dogs. (My parents bought a dog, a puppy, when I was 1.5. In my earliest memories, the dog is there. As far as I'm concerned, dogs help make life livable. A dog makes a house a home.) They are my pet therapy. I do a shtick in which I compare the dogs to our teenage youngest son (when Oldest was a teenager it applied to him too):

Dogs vs. Teenaged son

At 3:00 AM we know where the dogs are.

We know who the dogs friends are & generally approve.

The dogs listen to us.

The dogs eat what we give them (and are grateful).

The dogs do not ask for money.

The dogs never fail to greet us with genuine warmth & enthusiasm when we come home.

We never got called to the principal's office because of the dogs.

The dogs are not ashamed to be seen with us in public and actually seem to like it.

When we need a hug (giving or receiving) or other emotional support, the dogs are always willing.

You get the picture.


I'm listening to Loreena McKennitt here at the office. I find her music so relaxing.

There's a classic hasidic story that I think about.

A king and queen had a son whom they loved very much and whom they were very close to when he was young. But as the son grew older, he grew apart from his parents and gradually became distant and even estranged from them. Eventually he & his parents were totally estranged. But the King & Queen still loved their son very much and longed to be with him again, and hoped that somewhere, deep down, he still loved them. One day they sent him a message and bid him come back. The son may have wanted to but he sent his parents a message and said, "I cannot return to you; we have become too estranged." The King and Queen replied, "Then come as far as you can and we shall come to meet you."

I guess we'll see what happens in court tomorrow.


A real bustard
Court this morning was very frustrating. The welfare office requested a last-minute extension so the judge deferred substantive discussion until this Thursday at 08:30. Oldest & his girlfriend will have to drive down again, late tomorrow I imagine. That we have to be in court in Jerusalem at 08:30 is good (as opposed to 10:30 today & on previous occasions) but it also means we will have to leave no later than 07:00 because of the morning rush hour traffic.

The pd pointed out the contradiction in that the welfare office is looking at an open residential facility in Jerusalem for Youngest but has so far objected to his being under house arrest at his brother's with an effing electronic ankle bracelet on him. The judge took note of this and said there is something to the pd's argument especially given that Youngest has been in remand since March 12 for a non-violent crime.



A real bustard
Youngest is now under house arrest with Oldest & Oldest's ladyfriend at their apartment in a town about 1.5 hours' drive north of Jerusalem. He has the electronic ankle thinggie on him. The apartment also has a dedicated phone line that the police / prison service call him on from time to time to verify that he is actually there.

The judge finally ruled, yesterday, that Youngest has been held in remand long enough for non-violent petty theft & breaking-and-entering. Oldest & his ladyfriend (I shouldn't call her his "girlfriend", which is sexist and demeaning especially given that she's older than he is) came down for the hearing. The judge addressed each one of them & reminded them that if Youngest leaves their flat, they must call the police & report him or else they can be fined heavily. Mrs. 200Meters posted a NIS (New Israeli Shekel) 3,000 bond (about $837.15) that Youngest will appear in court, adhere to court & police orders, etc.). We will only get that back at the end of all proceedings against him, including his projected stay in a Jerusalem hostel for delinquent teens. Meaning: We'll get this money back eventually (along with the NIS 1,000 / $279.05) we had to post for the offense he committed as a juvenile (committed 2 days before he turned 18) last year & for which he was held under house arrest at our suburban home around Christmas / New Year's (I mentioned this in my first post).

About that juvenile case (breaking into a local kindergarten & stealing some sound equipment). Mrs. 200Meters & I got home yesterday (after we roadtripped out to the prison where Youngest had been held in remand to fetch his stuff; Oldest & his ladyfriend had to take Youngest straight to their flat without delay) to find summonses (for Youngest & us) for us to appear in juvenile court on Sunday 19 May. The same pd is handling this as well. I hope we never have to go to that damned prison again. It is not one of our favorite places.

Procedures & proceedings yesterday took forever. Mrs. 200Meters & I both ended up taking the day off work. (We both have gobs of vacation time.) I drank way more coffee than I usually do.

As soon as a place frees up in this Jerusalem hostel, Youngest will be sent there. We have no idea how long this will take. If he violates his house arrest, he goes to jail & the hostel option is out the window.

The Sabbath starts in less than an hour. In addition to the usual praying & eating, I'm going to sleep alot.


Well-Known Member
Some ankle bracelets do not have gps


How Does A House Arrest Ankle Bracelet Work?
Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff

Socialite and reality television star Paris Hilton is no stranger to making scandalous news headlines, but she truly outdid herself in 2007. While serving a term of probation for driving under the influence in California, Hilton was ordered to serve 45 days in a detention facility for a number of violations of her supervised release. After spending just a few days in jail, prison officials feared Hilton would suffer a major nervous breakdown, and so they transferred her to home confinement and monitored her with an electronic ankle bracelet.

Community Corrections, House Arrest and Pretrial Confinement

In several jurisdictions within the United States, electronic ankle bracelets are used in lieu of keeping defendants in custody. Prison overcrowding and inmate warehousing are major concerns in the criminal justice system, and the cost of keeping defendants in jail is a burden on taxpayers. House arrest and home confinement are part of community corrections, a strategy that can help prevent the growth of the prison industrial complex. Keeping defendants in jail before trial is also a costly and risky endeavor.

Types of Ankle Monitoring Devices

Electronic ankle bracelets are often used for community corrections efforts. The type of bracelet that Paris Hilton wore is used in conjunction with a radio frequency base unit that is connected to a traditional telephone line. The reports sent over the phone by the base unit are usually monitored by a third-party contractor, although some law enforcement agencies take care of this function in some jurisdictions.

The ankle monitor is a sturdy and waterproof electronic device that cannot be removed; it will alert the base unit if it is tampered with, and the maximum range of this system is usually 3,000 ft within the radius of the base unit. Should the defendant move out of range, the base unit will emit a loud alarm and the monitoring agency will be notified immediately.

Defendants on home confinement may be allowed to work or go to school while wearing the device; to this end, the monitoring agency is notified of the job or class schedule so that the defendant is not mistakenly labeled as a fugitive.

The other type of ankle bracelet uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and requires a mobile phone to be carried by the defendant in some cases. Some GPS ankle monitors incorporate the mobile phone into the device. In recent years, GPS ankle bracelets have been used to enforce restraining orders.


A real bustard

I supposed I started posting here because I was stressed, kids-wise. However, when I'm really stressed about something, I tend to withdraw inward. So, I haven't posted in a while and that tells you...?

You got it.

(You might wanna go get some cookies and a glass of milk. This could take a while.)

So, Oldest has suddenly re-entered the stress picture and it's related to Youngest, he with the electronic thinggie on his ankle under house arrest with Oldest & Oldest's ladyfriend.

A little background about Oldest. In my first post here I said:

200Meters said:
Oldest received a barebones high school diploma and did two years compulsory service in the army. The two years were not easy for him but he did it. He is now living with his girlfriend and working (in a restaurant & a bakery). Both my wife & I and his girlfriend's family are helping them. They live about 1.5 hours' drive away. That he does not live in the metropolitan area where he grew up is a good thing and has helped him to make a fresh start. Oldest had / has his issues but he seems to be on the right track.

Oldest is 22. He is emotionally volatile and has ADD written all over him. His ladyfriend is…wait for it…36. She is also emotionally volatile. They have had their ups & downs. Mutual volatility notwithstanding, she has been good for Oldest on the whole. (Ferinstance, she agrees that his coming back to the Jerusalem metropolitan area would not be good for Oldest.) On the not-so-positive side, she is hyperjealous of Oldest & this has caused friction. We (Mrs. 200Meters & I) think that she sees Oldest as her last chance at getting married & having children, though they don't discuss that (at least not with us) in any substantial way. We do not think that either one has anywhere near the emotional maturity necessary for marriage & the depth of the commitment that it entails. (They are using birth control though I don't know what kind.)

When we are around Oldest, my wife & I keep our credit cards very close (ferinstance, we sleep with them under our pillows or in the pockets of whatever garments we're sleeping in). More than once he has stolen (that's the word I'll use) our credit card numbers and used them to buy things for himself. I go online & check our records at least once a week to make sure he hasn't done it again. Money tends to burn a hole in his pocket (ADD impulsivity?); i.e. he gets it, he spends it. Saving for the future is kind of a foreign concept to him (and Youngest).

By the way, as Mrs. 200Meters & I plan for our retirement (I'm 56; she is 55), we are resolved to be financially self-sufficient. As of now, I do not think we will be able to rely on the boys for any kind of financial assistance. Right now I am very underwhelmed by their prospects vis-a-vis earning potential.

(Aside #1: While we love our sons very much, what I resent most about them is because they both have a history of lying, I have been forced to be something I hate – a suspicious hardass. I hate, hate, hate having to be like that. I am trusting by nature but seeing that they have used that to manipulate and deceive me, I have to be suspicious and hardassed. I don't like it. It's foreign to me. But they leave me no choice.)

Oldest and his ladyfriend are renting a very nice apartment. The landlord lives an hour away and hardly ever comes around. While we are from the Jerusalem area, Oldest's ladyfriend is from a town very close (a 20 minute drive) to where they are living. She wants to go back there & live near her family (mother & two adult brothers), who blow hot and cold with Oldest. Oldest really does not want to live there; he likes the town & flat where they are now. As 2018 drew to a close & their lease was about to expire, she wanted to go back to her home town but agreed to renew the lease for the first half of 2019 with an option on the second half. They were to have informed the landlord by April 30 whether or not they wanted to stay there past the end of June.

It is now May 16 and they still haven't informed the landlord (a nice enough guy but whose patience, while considerable, is not unlimited). Enter Youngest and his electronic thinggie. By court order, he is confined to Oldest & Ladyfriend's apartment, with Oldest and Ladyfriend as his minders. One of them has to be with Youngest at all times. We are back in Jerusalem Magistrate Court on June 13. Hopefully by then there will be a place for Youngest in the hostel they are talking about sending him to. If there isn't, and Oldest & Ladyfriend do not remain in the flat, Youngest's options are to either go with Oldest and Ladyfriend to this town and continue his house arrest there (assuming the court agrees) or go back to the clink. He cannot come back to our Jerusalem suburb as the police do not want him here, we do not want to have him under house arrest at home again, and we will not be approved as his minders in any case. Ladyfriend has threatened to break up with Oldest. That, of course, is their business, but we reminded her that she has undertaken a commitment (and pledged the equivalent of around $2,800; money she does not have) and it will be much better for her later if she does not violate that commitment now. She mumbled something last night about staying with Oldest & Youngest until the latter goes to the hostel or wherever else the court decides to send him.

Youngest has a court date in Jerusalem Magistrate Court (Juvenile Division) this coming Tuesday morning for what he did to get himself placed under house arrest with us back around New Year's. Two days before his 18th birthday last November, the day after Mrs. 200Meters & I left on a visit to the US, he is accused of breaking into a kindergarten / nursery school in our neighborhood & stealing some sound equipment. (He did it.) The same pd is defending him in this case. So we will have the chance to ask him about how things are progressing vis-à-vis the hostel in Youngest's main case. We will also ask him about the stuff in the previous paragraph.

I think that's it.

For now.

Oh, do I feel like I'm treading water at that 200 meter boundary. The abyss gapes below me. I see the light above me, teasing me, taunting me.



A real bustard
I'm having a sort of epiphany. I realize that we shouldn't try, or expect, to control things that we can't control. While my wife & I will try to be the best parents we can and give the best parently advice we can, Oldest & Youngest will do what they do and we must go with the flow. Back during the First Gulf War (i.e. Operation desert Shield in early 1991) when Saddam the Wicked was launching his 39 Scud rockets at us, a friend asked me one day if I was worried. I told her that I was more concerned that the chocolate chip cookies I had baked the day before had come out burnt. She looked at me, astonished. I told her that while I could control what happens to the cookies, I couldn't control where Saddam would drop his SCUDs, so I paid the latter no mind. I'm re-realizing this point.

The secret of life is chocolate chip cookies

Go figure.


Well-Known Member
What are you doing for yourself today? To alleviate the stress? To take care of yourself? To heal? To set limits?

You said it yourself: you can't change your children's behavior.

Speaking for myself, I have found that working on myself and taking the focus OFF of my dysfunctional stepchildren, and putting it entirely on ME, was the path back to sanity.

Venting is OK, but there does come a point where it serves to only dig one's hole deeper. I have been there and done that.

There's another way to live. A more peaceful way, though it doesn't come without cost. We do have to sacrifice our dreams, hopes, and plans for our children, at least for a time. But the gift is that we discover ourselves and who we are beyond our role as parents to troubled children.

Continual drama and chaos are not healthy for anybody - wallowing in it, even less so. I gently suggest that perhaps you consider switching the focus from the problems in your household to potential solutions for those problems - whatever they may be.

Please ignore any feedback that doesn't seem relevant.

Have a great weekend!


A real bustard
BloodiedButUnbowed said:
What are you doing for yourself today? To alleviate the stress? To take care of yourself? To heal? To set limits?

Being domestic with Mrs. 200Meters (cooking, cleaning and otherwise preparing for the Sabbath - this was last Friday), walking the dawgs (pet therapy) and then enjoying the Sabbath, one day when I turn off all of the electronic things, detach and generally retread my head.

BloodiedButUnbowed said:
Venting is OK, but there does come a point where it serves to only dig one's hole deeper.

Correct. Venting may serve a short-term purpose but in the long-term one must tackle the issue of why one vents.

BloodiedButUnbowed said:
I gently suggest that perhaps you consider switching the focus from the problems in your household to potential solutions for those problems - whatever they may be.

I think you might have misunderstood me. Oldest and Youngest will sort out and manage their lives, or they will not. My wife and I will offer the best advice we can, in addition to all of the love and support we can. They are free to follow our advice, or not. In the end, they will find their own solutions, or not. In the meantime, my wife and I will carry on with our lives, my wife being the greatest blessing of my life. (I always say that I must have done something really good in a previous life to have been blessed with her in this one.)

BloodiedButUnbowed said:
Have a great weekend!

It was pretty good, thanks. (Sunday is a work day here.)


A real bustard

I need advice please & I need it quick (please).

I posted earlier:

200Meters said:
I supposed I started posting here because I was stressed, kids-wise. However, when I'm really stressed about something, I tend to withdraw inward. So, I haven't posted in a while and that tells you...?


Um, Oldest & his ladyfriend have found a new apartment, in Ladyfriend's nearby hometown. Hopefully, Oldest will more easily find steady work there, it being a long-established town, close to other lomg-established towns, unlike the construction-work-in-progress where they live now. That bugbear appears to be dead.

Youngest is being a real pain in the donkey. The above-mentioned hostel doesn't want him. The director told me, after interviewing Youngest, that he has yet to internalize the gravity of what he has done and is too full of attitude to be at the hostel. So we were thrown back to square minus 27. The judge was pissed & let Youngest have it the last time we were in court (last week). Now Youngest's PD & the court are looking at a day center in Jerusalem, which would be pretty similar to the hostel except that Youngest wouldn't live there. He would live, presumably, back home with us in our Jerusalem suburb. We don't know yet whether he would still be under house arrest when he wasn't in the day center, whether he would still have to wear the ankle thinggie, or other details.

But, and this is why I need your comments, thoughts & advice ASAP is that Youngest told us this morning that he owes money to some goodfellas, i.e. he owes money to loan sharks affiliated with one or other of Israel's local organized crime families / rings. He owes about $1,250 and claims that can only pay him a "friend" owes him about $830 but can only pay him $330 in another two weeks. Youngest also says that another "friend" owes him $730 but can't pay him for another two months. Apparently, the goodfellas want their money by Sunday, house arrest-shmouse arrest.

Youngest hasn't asked us to pay his debt (how that would be done, I don't know) but it's clear to me that's what he wants. On the one hand, I do not want to see Youngest's face get rearranged. On the other, I don't know that we (Mrs. 200Meters & I) can believe a word Youngest says. I don't want to enter the world that Youngest has entered. I know that if you pay gangsters, you just whet their appetite for more; after all, extortion is their business. Also, we have no guarantee that Youngest won't do this again and if we've paid his debts once...

My gut tells me that we should tell Youngest that we do not have the money. We don't, certainly not by Sunday. We have about $2216 squirreled away that we could unlock but that would take at least a week and I do not want to use that money, which I worked hard for, to pay Youngest's effing debt to a bunch of effing gangsters! I would use it in a heartbeat to pay tuition at a trade or vocational school, say, for Youngest but not for this.

What say you (plural)?



Well-Known Member
What say you (plural)?
Dear 200meters:

I read your earlier post too and I share your dismay. You are clear about not wanting to use your savings to clean things up for your kid. At the same time you don't want to see him hurt. Anybody would feel desperate and helpless in this situation. I would, at least.

Your youngest has through his actions woven a web in which he is caught. And with him those who love him. While he seems to regret being caught up, he does not seem to know how to stop spinning or to extricate himself.

Anybody who steps into the web to help him will become part of it. If the criminals come to learn that you were the source of the funds, how would they not know that they could extort you for more money? While paying the debt would lead to a temporary respite, would it solve the situation once and for all? I wonder.

The solution would be to help son step away from the web so that he can begin anew. But how? With no supportive environments willing to take him, either because of his attitudes, actions or lifestyle. (And wouldn't that anyhow be a temporary solution, too, either because he seems to be facing serious consequences for the robbery and unpaid debts and enmeshment in this crime family?) And he seems not fully aware of how he is screwing up or unable to stop doing so, compounding his problems rather than resolving them. He keeps spinning the web.

In my experience most of us cannot avoid, sooner or later the consequences of what we do. You can't come up with ways out for him, because every road out comes face up with the reality of the web he has constructed which is his life, that he keeps spinning.

We as parents are in the same situation as our kids. We seek to escape and to find escape for our children. And each attempt to extricate ends up in more of a sticky mess. As long as we are in it with them. By either feeling responsible to extricate them. Or to vicariously experience their situations as our own. This is the reason for this site. We are all of us caught up. And we can't find ways out.

There is a reality of things that can't be avoided. The idea it can be cleaned up by acting within the web, seems to me to be flawed. This will have to be played out.

I am thinking of whether son can go to relatives far away, to start again. But facing charges how would that be possible? And who would take on a responsibility like this? Some would, but as long as he is facing charges, it's not a way out.... The web, again.

What I am unclear about (I skimmed the earlier post) is why he is incurring all of this debt and robbing? Does he have a drug problem? Is that the core issue? Is he himself at the heart of it, a criminal? Is this his identity and lifestyle? Rather than a victim is he a perpetrator? If this is the case, how do you clean something up which is at heart a dirty business? There is transformation possible but that has to be in his heart, not yours.

I am sorry for how difficult this is. I am in a similar spot. Take care.
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Well-Known Member
I would also be concerned that the loansharks would not be satisfied and I wonder if he was at your house it would put you in danger. My son tried to tell me that drug dealers were after him and i would be getting him killed if i did not pay. I paid a few times then said i would not. He is still alive. Can i guarantee that it would work out well for you of course i can't. It is his mess he has to fix it. You are going to need your money someday is he going to help you then? I have my doubts. Can he go to the police? It is not as easy as i make it sound i worried and cried when i told hin no. I also prayed. I am sure the prayer did more than the tears. I wish you luck and send you prayers.


A real bustard
Thank you Copabanana & Triedntrue.

I spoke with Oldest today & I could here Youngest joking with him in the background. If Youngest was really desperate for money I think he would be pestering us about it and he is not. Neither Mrs. 200Meters or myself has spoken to him in over 24 hours so...

I hate him for being a selfish brat & putting us through the emotional wringer. He my not care about us but we certainly care about him.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
I think you are a great dad. If not, you would have NEVER come here searching for answers.

My husband is a great dad but would never go on a forum and never post anything personal. Ever.

I agree that I would not pay off drug dealers and I agree that son doesn't seem worried either.

I hope you have a peaceful weekend!