How can he want to give up when he hasn't even


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really tried? I got a letter from difficult child. He says he really isn't sure how he is doing and that he often thinks he just wants to give up. What the heck is with that?????
We worked our buns off to get him out of prison and into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). We went into our retirement assets and husband will now have to work to 70 to make up for it. difficult child gave the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) two months and then walked away. He has been in prison since then. It has been five months so far when it only had to be 4 months total. All because he can't stay out of trouble long enough to finish the early release program. I spoke to the prison SW. difficult child is allowed to try to complete it again. So why does he want to give up? I feel like screaming at him. "IF you would only apply yourself and stop being so darn lazy and manipulative (ie the suicide gesture) you would be out of there!" I'm tired of guessing at what difficult child can and can't do. I just want him to do what he HAS to do. He's the one who put himself in a position where no one can help him but himself and now he wants to give up???????????? I am so angry I could spit! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif -RM


Well-Known Member
I can only imagine just how upset you are. I would be ready to spit nails too. Maybe...just maybe...I think I would write him back and tell him he has two choices either do what he needs to do to get out in the shorter amount of time or do nothing and he sit in there for a long time. HIS CHOICE! If he chooses to sit on his buttocks then you will have no more contact because you cannot condone bad behavior. You are sure he will make the right choice.

Sheesh...why cant they do what seems so obvious to normal people.


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Dazed, thanks. Unfortunately no one can make it better but him.

Janet, I have also thought that I should do that but I'm not ready to commit to absolutely no more contact. It might come to that. I am preparing myself mentally as much as any mother can prepare for that. I don't want to feed into his "poor me" garbage but I do not want to push him over the abyss either. Where is that crystal ball???? -RM


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I'm so sorry, RM. No words of wisdom, just positive thoughts and gentle hugs for you, my friend.

So frustrating.


I feel so badly for you!!! I wish I could help but my difficult children are younger and I haven't been in a position like you are in yet. It sounds like you and your husband have bent over backwards to help difficult child. in my humble opinion, difficult children very rarely accept responsibility for their actions... Its the same old, same old garbage all of the time. Its always someone else's fault... Are they really that clueless???

Not only is it someone else's fault, but also they don't seem to see that their poor choices got them into the mess they're in to begin with. They only think that the consequences are totally unfair....

One of my first thoughts after I read your post is that I wouldn't put out any more money to help difficult child. You and husband have a right to retire. It is so SAD that your poor husband now has to work until he is 70...

As hard as it is to detach, maybe it is time to let natural consequences run their course. However, after saying this, I realize that I really don't know enough about your situation to offer this kind of advice.

Sorry I can't really help you. Hang in there... As I always say, everything is always
subject to change... WFEn


Well-Known Member
RM--just a hug from someone who has been there done that. The only advice I have is to detach---realize his choices are his choices. When he was younger you had a certain amount of control. That's over now. He is an adult--at least physcially, and his adult choices are now controlling his life. I'm sorry. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make all difficult child's better.


Well-Known Member
RM, I have a friend who has been exactly in your shoes. She and her difficult child's father helped and helped and bailed and bailed their child. They used up most of their retirement and all of their patience, etc. Ya know, it never did make one iota of a difference. He did what he was going to do no matter how much they tried to help. Oh, he took and took and it prolonged everything, but still........there he is, in the penitentiary for many, many years. It was all because HE didn't help himself. I think you're going to have to try your best to convince your difficult child to...HELP HIMSELF!! Good luck. Remember, you've done the very, very best you could do.....and do NOT forget it!


Active Member
tell him he has two choices either do what he needs to do to get out in the shorter amount of time or do nothing and he sit in there for a long time.

[/ QUOTE ]

Your having "contact" with him doesn't have to play into saying this statement.

If he tries and completes the program then yeah, if he doesn't then you can still write him where he's at.


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<font color="purple">i know you are hurt & disappointed. i think even when our kids are PCs it's a mistake to expect gratitude or even acknowledgement for what we have sacrificed as parents.

i think there is a middle ground to be found here. continue contact & visits, but don't invest yourself (get hopeful) about any program, early parole, etc., that might come down the pike. when he tells you about any of these things, alleged changes in attitude simply say something along the lines of, "good luck with-that. i hope it's successful for you." then let it drop. you can keep contact with-o allowing yourself to become embroiled in all the attendant drama.

in your shoes, this is what i would aim for.

kris </font>

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Wish there were a crystal ball - sure would help all of us. It's so hard to balance accountability for choices & wanting to rescue your difficult child from negative choices.

No words of wisdom from this end. Sorry. Just know we're here to support you through all of this. :warrior:


New Member
Adding my support and hugs to the group.

I agree that a bit of selective detachment might be useful, if you can do it. Explain that it is his choice at this point and you hope for the best. Then, just let it go at that. Contact is important - but you can't hang everything on each step - you will make yourself sick on that road.

Hang in there.


Active Member
RM, he's wanting you to throw money at it to make it all better. Don't. You've always done it before - I can almost hear the whining.

He's also trying to throw the guilt back on you - if you don't help him, he won't survive.

It's his choice. It always has been his choice. Doing the course is too hard, when you know you have parents out there who love you who would get you out with enough money, if only they would do it. Why do the course? Just plead to parents, make them feel guilty, work the emotions a bit (there are plenty of inmates who are maybe helping him with ideas, tips & tricks) and then he won't have to do the course.

And what will he do when he's out? I dunno. Something. Hang round, I s'pose. Can't get a job easily, not with a record. Hate rejection. They're all unfair. Need money from somewhere, though. parents won't give any - say they've got none. Always had it before, why are they being mean? Gotta get money form somewhere to buy smokes & stuff.

He's made his bed, he has to lie in it. You have run out of resources, both financial and personal. And don't let the guilt land on you either.

If he tries anything stupid, its HIS choice. He's still looking for the easy way through. He's always had choices. He still has choices. He has support in place. He's just not using it because he thinks you guys are an easier way.

You need to write yourselves a HUGE sign, hang it over your kitchen door - DETACH.

Good luck. It's not easy.



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thank you all, We listened to difficult child's therapist and got him out once it didn't work out now she says that not all Residential Treatment Center (RTC) are like the one she referred us to. Well I'm sure she is right but that isn't why I do not want to try that route again. difficult child needs to show that he is ready willing and able to work on himself. He hasn't done that and I think the best way he can show us that is to work the program provided at the jail.

husband went to see him today and said that difficult child knows that he has to do it or stay in for another 14 months or more depending on his future behavior. I am not sure if he is using the suicide stuff as a means of control or if he really feels that way. Other than his stupid behavior he has never tried to harm himself in the past. on the other hand he isn't a very strong person. He has few coping skills when he is uncomfortable. You are right that he is where he is because of his own actions. I have done much in an effort to prevent this, all to no avail. I do not know how I would be if he did harm himself. Would I be able to avoid taking on a huge burden of guilt? I do not know. I hope I never know. -RM


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It seems to me that a lot of these kids can't see past the next five minutes, and that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to get out of their own way. When most of us are in a difficult situation, we can get through it by telling ourselves it won't last forever. We're able to see the situation will end at some point. I think a lot of our kids are unable to do that. They don't try, because they don't think their actions will make things any different than they are right now.


New Member
This has to be his choice and if he makes the wrong one and spends 14 more months in jail, then it was his choice. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you, because that is the last choice we want our children to make, but you have done everything in your power to try and change his way of thinking and gave him all the help you could, and he's finding it easier to give up.

You don't have to cut off all contact with him, because there isn't many of us who would be able to do that. If he makes the wrong choice and stays in jail, then write him there and just let him know you love him, even though you don't always understand him and that you pray someday he can learn how to make better choices.