In jail, in the hospital, due to be released soon

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tishthedish, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    My difficult child 1 is set to be released from jail in a couple of weeks. He has been calling regularly and sounding better than he has in a long time. Yesterday he called and said he was in the jail hospital. He had told me a couple of weeks ago that he had pink eye. Well now because the dr. didn't give him the needed medicine for over a week his eye is infected and he has a chance of "losing tissue". This was an eye that he had a corneal transplant in a couple of years ago due to a degenerative eye disease. They now have to give him eye drops every hour round the clock.

    He will be going to a halfway house upon release. I asked if he knew where he was going. He said no, they hadn't told him. He told me that it is a system on overload and the social services I imagined him getting are not there. Because of his relative demeanor I have a tendency to believe him. Because he is a difficult child I have a tendency to doubt.

    He does not expect to come here and husband and I will not ever entertain the notion because of our "keeping our home like a sanctuary" oath.

    Things were so bad for so long with difficult child 1 that I am experiencing anxiety attacks. So I am trying to stay in the present and I am praying that he heals. Because of this problem with his eye I know he will need to see his transplant specialist. This complicates things tremendously. He has no car. He doesn't know where he will be living. I have no information. I am all over the place emotionally.

    Stay in the present Tish and just react to what happens. Stay in the present Tish and just react to what happens. Stay in the present Tish and just react to what happens.

    I'm just plain scared of falling apart again and again.
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tish, geez, you're in the PHD program of letting go.......staying in the moment and accepting what is.

    Yikes, I hate when that happens.

    However, you are painfully aware of needing to "stay in the present and just react to what happens." The ability to see that, is, in my opinion, often as good as it gets. And, you stay present, you've got your therapist, Al Anon, all your other tools and us. That's how we do it, one step at a time, one moment at a time, no slipping in to what happened and no slipping in to what could happen. Just right here. And I know it feels like you're hanging on with one tiny thread, but you're not, you're armed with knowledge, with conviction, with experience, with support and with presence.

    It doesn't sound to me that you're on the road to falling apart, I believe you have the presence now to stay in the moment and respond accordingly as things come up. As things come up, you can trust yourself to know how to respond. You've done it before with your grandson, you've done it with your son and you'll do it now again.

    You really are doing a good job Tish, you're aware, you're awake to what is.......the past does not dictate the future here. You will do really well........hang in there, keep breathing, use all your tools, and add a few more if you need'll get through this.

    Big hugs to you.
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  3. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    You need to do whatever you need to do to reduce your worry and anxiety over this issue. It sounds like your son is using his bad eye to gas-light you i.e. lighting your emotions by using your worry and concern over his bad eye. Funny how it was of no concern to him when he was out using drugs but now that he is imprisoned it is a "mom, you have to do something" situation NOW for him. Don't fall for it. It is that very same eye that he risks every time he puts unknown chemicals in his body. If it is that drastic, social services will get him the help rather than face public scrutiny that they are the cause of him losing an eye. You are certainly doing the right thing by saying your mantra of staying in the present. In truth you care more for his health than he does - so don't allow hm to use it against you. Perhaps it really will take him losing an eye to stop doing drugs, if so that will be called his "hitting bottom". Not allowing addicts to hit bottom usually prevents them from stopping their addictions. Maybe, just maybe, you not stepping in to fix everything this one time will be enough to send him a message that you are done trying to fix him. We he calls for help, if you must take the calls, listen, just listen but don't offer any help to him. Any situation that holds hope for an addict getting clean is worth whatever it takes to see it through until the end.
    For you I am sorry this is so painful. Unfortunately our difficult child children do not see the inner acid (anxiety) that eats away inside us, but those of us here who have been there, done that offer our support to be an outlet and a sounding board for your fears.
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  4. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There is nothing you can do for this today. When it is time, you will know what to do.

    There is nothing else.

    Discipline yourself to let go. Just for now. Make the worrisome thoughts go away. If you have not read Eckhart Tolle, now is the time. If you don't have his book there, look up quotes from him online and watch him on YouTube and TED.

    If you have read him, reread him.

    This is a paraphrase: You believe the pain body has the capacity to overwhelm you. But I assure you: The pain body can not stand before the force of your presence.


    I need to go look that one up.

    Wise and wary. Time will tell.

    Sacred space.

    You need this, you and husband.

    Sacred space.

    Nothing about this is easy.

    PTSD happens to me, too.

    I am sorry, Tish, but I don't know how to help with that.

    I break under it, too. There have been too many times when I refused to believe anything worse could happen. Now, my mind and emotions go into high alert and I can't function, literally cannot think, for a time. But I get through it. I have made it back to sanity in the past, so I am very sure I will find my sanity again.

    I have to believe that.

    With all my heart, I believe that.

    For you, and for me.

    And a mother's prayers are powerful things. Though God may have other plans, a mother's prayers are a powerful, not to be disregarded, thing.

    You are doing all that can be done.

    For now.

    When the time comes that you can do more, you will know.

    Then you are right to wait. Do not torture yourself while you are in this time of no information. Work on strengthening your survival skills.

    Me, too.

    We are right here, Tish.

    We are right here for one another, however bad it gets. And that will get you through. is what it is.

    You can do this.

    And we are right here.

  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I understand those feelings of anxiety. Every time my difficult child would be release from jail I would get that sick feeling and knot in my stomach.
    You sound like you have a good handle on it. You know you need to stay in the moment..

    I completely agree with 2M2R. He's using your emotions against you, don't fall for it.

    Stay strong, stay in the moment and you will get through this.

  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree, too.

    For me, that is what detachment parenting means: to detach from the overwhelming hurt of the feeling, both the worry for your child and the self-condemnation in it for yourself as a parent and even, as a person. I can fall so far down....

    I just don't want to see the ugly in the things that keep happening to all of us. Once is an accident. Twice or more and the things are being driven by an intention I don't understand and cannot find it in myself to know how to respond to.

    So, I take it out on me. Because I am the mother and somehow, I am supposed to know.

    But I don't know.

    So I break, instead.

    It's a lonely thing, parenting a difficult child child.

    They love differently, they see those they love differently, than we can understand.

    I think that is true.

  7. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Complete. Utter. Crap. While I don't know where you live and what the Department of Corrections there is like, I can assure you that its probably similar to ours. And I've worked for ours for over 22 years. Without their own home plan one year from release, they probably wont know where they are going. Even at around six months or so. But if he is mere weeks from release I can assure you that doctor knows exactly where he will be releasing to and what services will be available to him. Hell, needed available services is one of the things used to determine where they will be released to if they don't have their own home plan! I can pretty much guarantee you that his institutional Parole Officer has this information and has passed it on to him, probably in written format. If he doesn't know then its because he hasn't read the paper work and wont go ask his PO.

    Sorry if this was a bit of a rant but I get SO tired of inmates saying "I don't know what I'm going to do!" but when you ask them what research have they done (yes, they DO have resources available to them for this) and what plans have they made and your answer is the partly shocked, partly blank look that just SCREAMS "WOW! I never thought of that!".

    Several have stated that he is gaslighting you and that is a very good possibility. Something else to take into consideration is the fact that the closer an inmate gets to release, the more anxiety they experience. Add to this the longer they are incarcerated effectively multiplies the anxiety.

    That having been said,

    is WONDERFUL advice to follow! You can be caring, nurturing, and supportive without letting him move in with you or disrupting your lives. If he needs a last minute ride to a DR appointment and you're available feel free to give your son a ride. If you're not available, maybe (and I do mean MAYBE! I don't know your circumstances so I'm just giving possibilities!) buy him a bus pass. Hell, call his PO yourself! Let them know whats going on. The more they know about the person, the easier it is for them to deal with them and not be manipulated themselves. They may tell you they don't know where he is going although I SERIOUSLY doubt that as he has probably been on a waiting list for bed space for months. More importantly, they can tell you what services are available at the facility he will be going to and if they cant, they can give you contact information for that facility and you can call them. Believe it or not, we LIKE involved parents as long as its in a healthy way. I have several inmates from years ago that I remember staff members threatening to call their mother when they were acting out. That shut them right up!

    If nothing else, I would suggest that you do some research on doctor and get as much info as you can. That way you are in a position to either call shenanigans when the difficult child is lying or to help steer him in the right direction if not.
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  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Therapist, Xanax, yoga, whatever it takes.
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  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How are you doing today Tish? Thinking about you.......
  10. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Thank you all for your kind replies. It confirmed the truth that was in the back of my consciousness jumping up and down waving and shouting that something is amiss. We still haven't heard from him after his last call about possibly losing his eye. When he was well, a long, long time ago, husband's and my feelings would have been considered and he would have called to tell us not to worry. I smell gas. And if I am wrong and he is going through some horrendous experience I'll face those feelings if they come to pass.

    Jabber, thank you for your candid information on the reality of what happens in an institution. There is no primer and really a dearth of information on what happens. Unless the incarcerated shares with family, we are at a loss. I'm not sure I want to call and track down doctors or parole officers. It's part of the detachment. I am not able to do anything for him and I don't want to make the emotional investment.

    It's all hell isn't it? When they're incarcerated, when they're out, when they live with bad people, when they're homeless, when they're in our basement, when they're hospitalized. There are variations in location but each brings a different type stress to our lives that the parents of normal children don't have. Depending on where difficult child 1 was at any period of time had a great bearing on my mood. Any transition period raised the anxiety level, not just for the difficult child, Jabber, but for me too. I feel like I am living my life while holding my breath.

    This is profound to me, Cedar. Their acts "driven by intention" against the very people who love them most. It's hard to wrap my mind around but I see the truth in it. I think a lot of it is driven because they know it hurts us. It's backwards and sick.

    husband is asking what I am doing "banging on that thing". I told him I'm working on my novel, but I'm pushing my luck. I just wanted to check in, thank you and let you know that I am getting a handle on the situation and am preparing myself to act in a manner that puts my needs first.
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  11. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    It's all hell isn't it? When they're incarcerated, when they're out, when they live with bad people, when they're homeless, when they're in our basement, when they're hospitalized. There are variations in location but each brings a different type stress to our lives that the parents of normal children don't have. Depending on where difficult child 1 was at any period of time had a great bearing on my mood. Any transition period raised the anxiety level, not just for the difficult child, Jabber, but for me too. I feel like I am living my life while holding my breath.
  12. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Can't figure out how to "quote"... But that's what I'm trying to do... Loved this post. It is all hell. Just different levels. I'm afraid to relax when my son is out of jail. It's easier when I know where he is and that he's fed and has a bed to sleep in.
  13. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    That is the best thing you could do, Tish. Push that so hard. That is the core of who you are. Time will fly and the other things, the things you can do nothing about anyway, will not seem overwhelming.

    It's genetic. I don't think the kids can help it, and the drugs they use push them over the line.

    We talked on another thread about my having put my writing away out of guilt or a sense of bargaining or hope or whatever. It did not make a whit of difference for my kids, for me to do that.

    Keep writing.

    That is the thing that will save you.

    I want you to check in, Tish. It is good for you to know you aren't alone with it (not strictly alone, not anymore). And it is good for us to know you are still out there, standing up, doing well.

    Given the horror of the situations we find ourselves in with our kids, you are doing well. No one who has not lived it could know what this is like. We are all coping at the far, broken edge.

    And then, it gets worse.


    Possible for you and husband to take a weekend away, or a week away?

    During the worst of it, husband would pop me into the car and drive me away. One time? He put me on a plane and sent me away for two weeks. When I got home? He'd painted the house and had the drapes cleaned.

    Wait for it....

    So, the painter got little dots of white paint from the ceiling on the carpet. The drapes, sun-damaged in the extreme, came back from the cleaners in shreds of sun-rotted cloth.

    husband hung what there was to hang and headed for the airport.



    So, here is an interesting thing.

    The drapes had been pricey. There was a special kind of rod with springs in it that required a certain kind of hook and whatever. So, I took them down altogether. That was the first time I wrapped a rod in grapevines (not real ones, silk ones) and tiny white lights.

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  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is a hell Tish. I am so sorry you are going through this. You're so right about each transition raising the anxiety level for the parents too. I think now is the perfect time to begin putting the focus on yourself and taking care of you. When the time arrives, you will know what to do. Do your very best to stay in the present moment and not drift in to the future, where you don't know what will happen and looking there is usually what creates the anxiety.

    While I was in the midst of that hell, books that helped me were any book by Pema Chodron or Eckhart Tolle who speak to learning to live with uncertainty and staying present in the now. That helped me so much to quell the anxiety. I hope you have some kind of support in place, Al Anon, therapy, Families Anonymous, NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness, they have excellent courses and supports for parents) if not, it may be a good time to make that happen for yourself, so you are armed with the care that you need to be able to walk through this next maze with your needs being taken care of.

    Hang in there Tish, you're not alone, many if not most of us here know exactly where you are now, we can circle the wagons around you.........sending you warm hugs........
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  15. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Right now I am reading Melodie Beattie. Maybe something with Fabio on the cover next. I'm wildly unpredictable!