I just read

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    a 56 page letter from my son. I am shocked and don't know what to make of it. He admitted a lot of things he'd done wrong, all of which I already knew or had figured had been going on so that's not the part that's shocking. The one thing I hadn't known is that when he was incarcerated before and this time, too, he's been getting ADHD medications from other kids and that's how he's been staying up all night so much. He also says he thinks it made him do better in school. Mind you, he's required to go thru their drug abuse program and anger management program (that one will be the 2nd time) this stay in Department of Juvenile Justice.

    The parts that shocked me though were him saying that now he realizes that he did those things at home because it was taking the easy way out and blaming it all on me because of the high level of stress in the house, that he now realizes it was him bringing and causing the majority of that stress to begin with and that all he'd blamed me for- if I had been the type of mother he thought he wanted at the time he would alrerady be dead or end up a number in a locked facility the rest of his life.

    Now, I'm 100% sure he isn't "cured" and turned into a easy child but I am wondering if this is just lip service or sincere. Lord knows, I sure beleived in his sincerity to try to turn things around when he was released from Department of Juvenile Justice last year and that effort made it ...what?...about a day?? At least he acknowledges that he went right back to walking all over me and giving up and resolving himself to just go back to Department of Juvenile Justice.

    But, I find it odd that nothing big came out that I didn't know about or already strongly suspect- and he probably knows that.

    Anyway, he said his therapist had said he wanted to read this letter too but difficult child sent it to me first then says we can discuss thru letters if I think he should show it to his therapist or what. Of course, I'd have to mail it back to him in order to do that, which is no problem. I think I will mail it back and tell him he knows the right thing to do already.

    But I'm going to mull it all over before doing anything- it was a lot to take in.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Scan it into your computer before you send it back. You need to have a copy in case it gets lost in the mail; retained (or lost) by the therapist; torn up by someone in the chain because they changed their minds or decided they didn't like it.

    He wrote 56 pages, that sounds like fairly genuine to me. Someone trying to con their way through would skim over things and summarise. However, genuine now doesn't mean it stays genuine. Just gab what you have while you have it, and guard yourself.

  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    56 pages is a lot to take it all at once even if you already knew most of it. Marg's idea is a good one, and also because you can go back to it later as you digest it more.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good idea!

    Today is his 16th b-day. I'm glad to get this today. I was hoping they'd let him call but oh well.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you got the letter and had a chance to read it. I agree with-Marg--make a copy for yourself b4 you mail it back.

    I also agree that he has had time to collect his thoughts and feel a bit of remorse ... but that doesn't mean it will all continue. 56 pp is a lot so I hope that just writing it down was a catharsis for him, more than just a way to vent or manipulate. Maybe it's all of those, and even he doesn't know for sure what will come of it. Still, it's a GREAT effort and I would be very thankful, as I know you are.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First, Happy Birthday difficult child! And his Mom (You did all the hard work!!)

    Marg has good points. Also make a hard copy of the letter in case of computer problems. This doesn't mean he isn't going to do those things again, that will take hard work on his part. It does mean he is growing up and maturing, which is an excellent sign.

    Try to remember that admitting that you have a problem is half the battle toward recovery. This is the first time he has admitted that he was the cause of his problems. Admitting that if you had done what he thought he wanted a mom to do, then he would be dead or in jail for the rest of his life right now is also HUGE.

    This is a sign that he may be on the road to having a successful life outside of juvy/jail/etc...

    The adhd medications is not a surprise but is worrying. I think sending it back and telling him that he knows what he should do (and what you would advise him to do) is a good thing. It makes HIM take the step of 'fessing up without using you as a scapegoat.

    Your little boy is growing up!!!

  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Only time will tell.

    I agree, he should keep the therapist in the loop with all this. Sounds like he's making progress. I hope it sticks!
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im gonna be a bit more pessimistic. I think he told you before that he realized it was his fault. They all say this. Just like they all get religion, they all will do better, they all will buckle down and do right, go to school regularly, treat everyone with respect, blah blah blah.

    I wouldnt put much stock in anything this early. Wait and watch for how he handles stressors inside and see how he starts talking when it gets closer to the end of his sentence. I think that will give you much more of an idea of where his head is really at. Its really easy to talk the good talk when you know what everyone wants you to say. These kids know what is expected. Its like they all know what is needed to get in everyone's good graces. Doesnt mean they have internalized anything.
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I must admit, as much as an optimistic as I am, that I agree with Janet.

    This is almost the same scenario as last time. Your son is definitely a manipulator of his mom. Last incarceration he wrote you letters about how sorry he was, how much he had learned, how much he had changed, how everything was his fault, etc.... But they are words not actions. His actions once released told a totally different story. His unwillingness to share with his therapist first is a little telling. You are a lot more gullible than his therapist.

    He sang the song you wanted to hear last time and you, with your gentle mother't heart, went through so much preparation for him to come home. I remember your excitement and getting his room ready, and getting the posters, etc. Keep uppermost in your mind what choices he made within the first 72 hours of being home last time.

    Your son needs GOOD therapy. Can he get it where he is? That remains to be seen. But a 56 page letter to you is not GOOD therapy. It is a first step, surely, but it is only a tiny chip in the iceberg he will need to conquer before he faces real life.

    I'm sorry to be so negative, but I feel I have to be honest.

  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Janet and Sharon have excellent points. IF he is sincere it is a good start. Not showing his therapist there is NOT a good sign. he likely doesn't want them to know about the drugs he is using and it may be a way of testing you to see if you will "rat him out" even if it means that he stays in longer. Heck, he may even be trying to get into trouble so that he can stay there until he legally doesn't have to live with you and you don't legally have any authority over him. That is a guess and probably not true, but it could be true.

    It would be more believable if he had confessed to some things you don't know about or suspect strongly. It is easy to tell Mom that you have done things that she caught you doing or has asked you about or you know you left signs about. it is HARD to tell people, esp mom, about the rest of the difficult child stuff you have done. Whatever drugs he admits to, strongly suspect others also.

    You may consider giving him a week to tell the therapist aabout the drug use and then telling the people at the facility yourself. This is a safety issue for him and the other kids. They think the other kids are taking their medications so if they are in need of serious medical care it could cause real problems. Ditto for difficult child who is taking drugs he isn't being rx'd. If he was unconscious or something (G-d forbid!) then they might give him a drug that interacts wtih whatever he is taking and it could be a huge problem.
  11. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    It really does sound like he's making progress or at least heading in the right direction now. Of course, you do realize that some of the things he's currently doing are probably disciplinary infractions in Department of Juvenile Justice so he's still bending the rules. The "jailhouse tattoos" are forbidden in just about every correctional facility because of health concerns - it amounts to needle sharing. And getting and taking medications from others is strictly forbidden and would be seen as a very serious infraction. Where I worked the inmates who were on medications had to come up to the clinic several times a day and they were given the medications one dose at a time and took them while the nurses watched. They never had possession of any drugs that could have "street value" or could be abused or sold to other inmates. And if there was any question that they might be "cheeking" them and not swallowing (so they could sell them later) they were dissolved in water and they had to drink it.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Kids in Department of Juvenile Justice cheek their medications all the time. difficult child was doing that in 6th grade at home. Then, in Department of Juvenile Justice, they trade them for things. Funny how the kids who have them rx'd don't want to take them but the kids who have never been rx'd that particular medication wants it. Yes, difficult child was worried that if he told his therapist he could end up in big trouble. All I know is that the pastor who spent a good deal of time talking to difficult child while he was in juvy awaiting trial and transfer to Department of Juvenile Justice and who called me a couple of times told me that I needed to make sure difficult child knew that he had to be VERY careful which staff he trusted in Department of Juvenile Justice, and that included any therapist. It isn't just a matter of justifiable punishment, apparently. I met the therapist difficult child had while incarcerated before but I have never even spoken to this one. (Remember the last one bought everything he said, ignored everything I said, and just thought the whole problem could be solved if I let difficult child do what he wanted when he came home and just had a rewards/consequences behavior plan in place? For a kid who refused to even comply with parole requirements? And any time I suggested to her that I was pretty sure the problem went a little deeper than that, she responded like it was just my anxiety making me think that.) For that reason, I am a little skeptical to encourage difficult child to trust this one and have full faith in him as a "good" therapist. difficult child is awaiting admittance into the substance abuse unit where he'll go thru a program there. I almost think he'd be better off to wait until he has access to a substance abuse therapist. I am mulling all this over. I do understand the importance of owning up to what he's done and getting a GOOD therapist helping him but I have not been impressed with any therapist involved in the juvy system so far. I was impressed with the psychiatric who directed the MH in the last facility but she was not doing counseling. I'm considering suggesting that difficult child talk to the pastor there and get some advice about how to handle all this. That doesn't mean it would be in place of a therapist, but just to get some help pointing him in the right direction as far as where to go from here. I don't think difficult child has fully disclosed everything to me. I knew he had gotten several charges while in this facility but in this letter he insinuated that this last one was for taking someone else's medication. If that's the case, then I don't see what he has to hide from a therapist or anyone else- they already know and he's paid the price, right?

    No, I definitely don't think all he wrote in that letter was all he'd ever done wrong. But honestly, I don't care if he ever confesses everything to me. I think he's of an age where he needs to deal with that himself. I'm a whole lot more concerned about what he does with his life with here on out, not what he's done in the past. But I agree, he's still testing waters with me and thinking this is going to be easier than it really is. He's got stinking thinking, that's obvious. He jumped from saying maybe he was just a compulsive liar to rambling all over the place. He also said he was writing the letter all thru the night while on aderral in lock for a punishment.

    I think I just need to keep trying to establish a healthy detachment and enforcing that as much as I love him and want what is best for him, he's old enough now to understand where his choices are going to lead him, good or bad, and I will constantly remind him that I KNOW I can no longer control what he does or doesn't do like I could when he was in elementary school. He's in control of his future at this point, not me. Now, if i could just get the courts people to accept that I shouldn't be held legally and financially accountable for a kid I have no control over everything would be on the same page. Otherwise, difficult child will continue to do whatever he wants knowing that Mom has no choice but to be there and foot the bill and pay any restitution. Thus, my BIG desire for emancipation.
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Are they never drug tested there?
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not sure but they ought to be drug testing staff and POs as well as wards. I have thought that for a LONG time. But, I don't think any drug test they use would show typical rx'd psychiatric medications. You're talking about a state where a nurse had an "affair" with a ward in juvy, gave him keys to handcuffs and doors, he escaped and shot someone; and a state where there have been numerous guilty pleas and plea deals in court from Department of Juvenile Justice staff and Department of Juvenile Justice sd people (including a principal) for sexual acts with wards. And while most want to say it's the parents bringing contraband in to the wards, I tend to think it's just as likely to be staff. After all, all parents of wards are not that type and frankly, most would NEVER do it because of lovng their kid so much and wanting their kid to straighten up and get out of the system. Staff have no emotional bond like that with the wards. And I''ve met several staff in Department of Juvenile Justice and people in the juvy court system (attnys, PO's, etc) who I'd almost bet are going home and getting high.

    ETA: Just to clarify- when I say something might be therapuetic it doesn't mean I think it's ALL a person needs to be mentally healthy or that it takes the place of complete therapuetic processes.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011