Need Words of Strength Now More Than Ever!

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Toomanytears, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Toomanytears

    Toomanytears Member

    Hello group.. after a rather long hiatus, I’m back.
    Adult son is facing hearings in upcoming weeks. He’s been in treatment out of state for the past year. Treatment hasn’t gone well. He is still unable to get off suboxone (been on for 14 yrs) and has been placed on numerous other serious medications on top of it.
    Possible plea deal ... 3-6 or 4-8 years which is a gift! One charge alone held a 25 to life - 3 strike rule).
    Problem.. He won’t get on flight back. Have bought 2 tickets.. first didn’t get through gate on time. Rescheduled 3 x. Missed flight last night. Giving one more chance to be on flight tonight.
    He tells me it’s so easy to say “Just come home and do the time. But it’s not you doing the time.”
    I get it, but isn’t 6-8 yrs better than LIFE??
    23 years of this madness all coming to a head. He’s mentally impaired by all of the drug use. No doubt he’s continued using on top of all his other medications to cope with his impending incarceration hanging over his head.
    He has 2 sons, his father and I arent getting any younger and our health has continued to suffer ( husband had heart attack) due to the stress.
    We have attended NA and AA meetings. Just feel with this answer to our prayers of not “ life” what can we do to save him from himself??
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi toomanytears:

    I can only think of a couple alternatives. He must be scared. If family could go to him and travel back together. But this would be if you were secure he would be safe, not fight or make an altercation. I do not have that confidence in my own son.

    The other possibility is that you work with his attorney and the district attorney/court to see if there is some way that they could "help." He is clearly impaired. There is a record of treatment. They are aware he is compromised.

    But the thing is he is making a choice illogical as it seems. He knows if he resists he risks 25 to life. There could be part of him that seeks this.

    The result is beyond your control. However sad it is. And it is very sad. I am sorry. I hope he comes to his senses.

    The main thing though is best you can insulate yourselves from this stress. You know you cannot save him. We have to save ourselves. We are valuable and needed.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  3. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I'm so sorry. But as you know, as painful as it is, there's nothing you can do to save him. We all live with this reality every moment of every day. The key to stress reduction is to accept this. I repeat the AA prayer to myself as a mantra. But more importantly, yes, stress can kill. We need to save ourselves. In my experience that can only come by letting go of the idea that we have control, that there is anything that we can do.

    My son is doing 9.5 in federal prison. I choose to see this as a gift to me. He is alive when many of his friends have died. Heroin or any number of other drugs he used over the years could easily have killed him. And he did come close. Prison is horrible. No nice words for it. Nothing good about it. But his chances of being alive at the end of his sentence are very significantly higher than if he were not there. Would I feel the same if it were life? I don't know. But life is still life.

    You are trying to convince him to give up drugs and go to prison. You are applying logic and reason. Your son, an addict, is refusing. He doesn't see or accept the logic. Can you convince him? What's the chances? Sorry to say, you know the chances here. Logic and reason tells you that. Please save yourselves.
  4. Toomanytears

    Toomanytears Member

    Thank you Copa & SmithMom..

    I know all you say is true. Reading it does help make me stronger.
    We did book a flight, he said,”Perfect!” We will see. He MUST be back for hearing. He MUST get away from a toxic relationship he has formed where he’s been staying. I guess 1100 mi away has so limited our control, which is a good thing but has not kept the phone from ringing in troubled times.
    Now just hoping he can avoid any “run in” with the law prior to his plea deal. It is on him.
    I’ve also thought maybe deep down within his troubled and tormented soul, that place where he cannot even forgive himself for what he has done ... prison or death may give him the peace he is looking for. Life is not for “ sissies”... it is so hard...
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I know. I hope you let us know how things go as they progress.

    It is hard for me to not focus on "results". I have outcomes that I need my son to attain. He is invested not even 1 percent in my outcomes. They are only mine. They exist in my head. They are completely unattainable by me. I wake up at 3am frantic with worry and powerlessness because I have no control over outcomes I want and need that are not in me, but in another adult. As I type this the futility of it all I cannot escape. I have tied myself to the tracks and a freight train is coming at me.

    Where I am heading here is this: The only result I have control over is loving my son. Of trying to stay connected to him. Of being present to him, as he lives his life as he chooses to lead it. But at the same time I need to make sure that I am not impacted by his life and his choices. This is hard work.

    You are modeling this to me. You are supporting and loving your son, where he is. He knows with all of his heart that you are there for him. That you have stayed with him and that you will be with him no matter where he goes and what happens. This is the greatest of gifts of one human to another. And to me it is the essence of parenting an adult. I have the utmost respect for you. I hope this goes as you hope.
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  6. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    WOW. this is a heavy burden for all of you to carry. I hope he returns and can "man up" . it is the only way he can move on and go forward.
    Although I feel horrible for you as parents and I am sure you implanted much better values than where he chose to go. He chose his path and now he has to pay the piper. I hope he didn't hurt anyone else for the reason he has to serve time.
    Prayers for you. I hope his plight doesn't do more damage to your health.
  7. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Please be prepared for him to have disappeared when you get there. How many of us have spent days looking for our missing kids? By which I mean those who choose to be missing to us. These are their choices.

    It would be wonderful if he is looking for your strength to do this difficult thing. If all he needs is you by his side to face his difficult path. But as you read this do you, in your heart, believe that is all he needs? It is a much harder road that he faces than just the flight and first day. You all know this. The detox alone is horrible and he will do that in prison, not on a comfortable rehab. Then prison.

    I am just hoping that you are prepared for this likelihood. He has spent much time now demonstrating that he is not strong enough, even with a lot of support, to stay sober. The amount of strength it will take to get on that flight knowing the result is phenomenal.

    While I know this is harsh, please be sure that you have protected yourself. You don't want a charge of aiding and abetting or whatever. Be sure that he cannot take your wallet and head for another country while he hugs you at the airport. He is an addict and desperate addicts do desperate things. Again, I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but this is an extreme situation.
  8. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Everything about it is horrible. Please be kind and gentle with yourself and focus on keeping yourself healthy- both mentally and physically. He is an adult and there is not much you can do to get him where he needs to be. Take yourself to a movie or on a hike. When I walk in nature my brain unwinds and I can see things more clearly. Sending positive energy your way.
  9. Toomanytears

    Toomanytears Member

    Copa ... The first full paragraph is me to a “T”. “ I have outcomes that I need my son to attain.” No truer words could be spoken.

    36 yrs and wishes, dreams & expectations just shattered (all of ours.. including sons.) Before relapsing one yr ago, he carried an A+ average in college and had 2-1/2 yrs under his belt. Made Presidents list, worked nights and watched his baby during the day. This is what he can’t forgive himself for. The relapse that has never stopped. Lost his family, home, school etc.- it’s rock bottom but I’m afraid his is deeper. It’s hell.
    So far he’s headed towards airport will respond back to others that have commented later.
    Thank you all so much for being here. ❤️
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am praying.
  11. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am so very sorry for the strain thisbhas caused for you and your family. This is not th path any of us chose for our children. Know you are not alone.

    Sometimes it’s time to let go and let him manage the outcome. You have given him many opportunities to do the right thing. The rest is now up to him.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is more than sad. It is tragic.

    But the thing is this: As I read this I am getting some clarity about my own life. Son is trapped in addiction. I truly believe it is not him that is doing this to himself. It is the drug that is doing it to him. But he is caught in its vortex and he has no perspective outside of the eye of the storm.

    How different is this than for all of us, who are contained in our lives, while we persist in believing that we have control? I am not saying there is no freewill. I am saying that freewill is not what we think it is. I am thinking that freewill sometimes is not to fight, not to impose. It is to be contained, it is to stop resisting and to be carried.

    In the case of your son, it is clear. Life has offered him this ride to recovery. In the form of a reduced prison sentence where he can heal, get services, and re-connect with his life and his strengths. I pray he will permit himself to take this ride. There are no downsides. These are only the figment of his drug-fueled will or fear.

    In our case, it is so much harder. Because I do not see how to surrender. How to let go. If the very lives of our adult children are at stake, it means our lives too are threatened. Because I have not yet found a way to not feel that my son's life is to some extent my own. I have not found a way to let go, and to save myself, to the exclusion of him. You see I still believe that there is some power or agency I have in his life, as if I have control. I do not.

    But in this last post of yours, I see a glimmer of possibility. We would wish that your son surrender to his life, which does not mean to surrender to the drugs, but means to surrender to this offer of being transported through it, by means of the court's offer...and thereby owning his goodness, and deservingness, and freeing himself from the Hell of self-condemnation that just leads to more drugs and more despair. He is a victim. He is not the perpetrator. If he were to rest, he could be in touch with that goodness. It is there.

    So what would it be for us, to do the same? To relax into our lives and to be carried by them. Not to think of one pole or another, but to rest and to let it be? To find some peace in resting. My personality is so far removed from this concept that it hardly seems possible. But as I read your post I do not see another option. What would it be to rest into life? For us.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  13. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I hope he made it to the airport and back to you.
    Maybe you can get him to look at the future. Perhaps he can finish his degree while in prison? Then when he is released it will truly be a fresh start for him. From What you have said about him, obviously he is intelligent. He is just caught in a horrible circle that he needs to break out of.
    Prayers that he can see through the fog to a sunnier day ahead.
  14. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    My own son is in prison and has been on and off since he was a teen. From my perspective we all, in prison or not, have to take the hand we're dealt and make the best of it. In prison he has more limited choices of improving himself than if he were not in prison. That does not mean that there are not options. As Copa said a very small number of inmates can take correspondence courses towards a degree. But every prison has a library and every prison allows you to send books. He can become self-taught on anything he likes. He can do all kinds of service. He can barter to learn languages from other inmates. He can write and submit articles and books to the world. Its all about what he wants to do. Obviously not a lot of inmates are self-motivated. So they don't take advantage of the opportunities. One example might be the number of inmates who become self-taught lawyers and paralegals when they get out. In the world of criminal law there are a fair number.
  15. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Toomanytears, I hope this morning things are looking better, and that he made it to the airport. Sending hugs for you and for him. This is hard stuff.

    My younger son, N, had his turnaround in prison. As hard as it was to watch him walk that path, in the end it was the best thing for him. New hope can be found in unlikely places and at unlikely times.
  16. Toomanytears

    Toomanytears Member

    Thank you all for responding.. I apologize for the delay....

    I have copied quotes from your previous posts and am planning on sharing them with our son at a more opportune time. They are gifts to be shared, and would like them received by him as they are intended.

    Our son missed his flight. It got to be ridiculous- beyond ridiculous actually.

    We left it up to him to be on the next flight OR my husband and brother in law were heading on a road trip of 1100 miles one way to get him and drive back. He insisted he didn’t want them traveling that far he would be on next flight. He was.

    He greeted us at the terminal with his beautiful smile and an upbeat attitude. Beautiful night shared by all.

    The next 2 days were as if a light switch flipped off. He spent 2 full days in bed. Insisted that he had been up for days prior to coming home...

    Just to add fuel to the fire, the attorney called letting us know the original plea deal was withdrawn by the head DA (ADA offered original) and increased it to 5-10yrs.
    His initial response was anger, denial, “ I’m not accepting it, I’m going to trial” etc..
    As a few hours passed, we arranged a 3-way call with attorney and her boss. He has a reputation ( by his defendants) for being a terrific go-to for a defense. Our son asked him pointed questions and he received honest answers. “Do NOT go to trial. Your record doesn’t allow for drug rehab has an option”.. and more. After exhausting all scenarios his mind has played and replayed, he finally said he will accept the deal. His 2 attorneys told him he absolutely has made the right decision.

    We have the plea hearing this coming week. This too can ultimately change but the attorneys feel confident it should go without a hitch. We will see.

    Now things will get interesting.. ( I loathe interesting). Will he turn himself in?
    Will he panic when the time comes and do something so very stupid?

    He keeps talking about being here for the holidays; which he still should be. Sentencing is to be deferred til early in the New Year.

    This procrastination of his is the enemy. Postponing is his MO. BUT days tick by, moments come and go. Then once again here we are again to face the inevitable.
  17. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Glad he's safe and you had Thanksgiving together. Would suggest that you think about setting up all your Christmas or other holiday traditions next week. Do the holiday as you would next week. Then have him leave. Procrastination, court sanctioned or not is not helpful. Just more time to make excuses. All of the "I just want to see or do before" are painful. Why cause pain? DA unlikely to lower sentence now but could increase it. Take the lower now. Honestly, the torture of the weeks to come boggles my mind. Why do this to yourself?
  18. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Sending hugs your way. Who knows what will happen when it get to see attnys. If he has cleaned up his act, if remorseful if respectful? our prisons are full. If it is a drug charge and not selling, killing, no gun involved..maybe they will reduce. Anyhow I agree with Simthmom. Why procrastinate, go get it over with. Keep his nose clean take college classes and hopefully he gets an early release and can move on with his life. I pray it is a better life than he lead in the past.
  19. Toomanytears

    Toomanytears Member

    Apparently, the call to accept the plea has been made. The impending sentence absolutely won’t be decreased and he must remain on the straight and narrow to have the current offer honored.

    He is the client. They do their best to honor HIS request. The court could order he be taken into custody at the plea hearing this next week; his attorney is asking for additional time to do a background/rehab history for the courts. This will give a 4 to 6 week leeway to an actual sentencing date.

    My husband and I have discussed if he would be taken into custody and start his time sooner than later.. it would be a gift for all. Sad, but a gift. Of course, the heartstrings are pulled even more when our grandson schedules things on the calendar asking Daddy if he will be able to go. Torturous & heart-wrenching at its finest.
  20. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    Just for tired out and others.. this is my experience... sadly our system is focused on punishment not rehab. My son, and millions of others I'm sure, fit the profile of non- violent addicts. My son was selling one time personal use aka street sales to other adult addicts to support his habit. That is, he was no "drug kingpin", mastermind, transporting actoss state lines or anything like that. (I know this to be true because I saw paperwork which said they had GPS on my son's car for a year obviously looking to prove such). Nor does my son belong to any gang and he has the skin to prove that. But our system has points. Each conviction has a point value. Points add up. Sentence is based on number of points. Judges have virtually no leeway in sentencing time. Only negotiation is in what the charge is. So being respectful, remorseful, full prisons, all irrelevant. Prison sentences are not commuted or reduced later. Parole is no more. There have been situations in the past when the govt decided to reduce the number of prisoners but I don't know if they can even do that now. Mind you, I can't speak to every state. But this is the new way that I believe most states are following. Certainly what fed is doing.

    Having said all that, my understanding is that there are pre-release programs which start 6 to 12 mo before the final release date. These transfer the inmate closer to home and may include release time for work hours if they can find a job. These may be in the "community" in the form of smaller facilities so called halfway houses. Note that no neighborhood wants this so ones I've seen are on state property, not near a school, etc.

    There is also usually an attempt to keep the inmate in a facility closest to family. I assume that would be especially true if there were a child involved.

    Having said all that, toomanytears mentions a 5 to 10 year sentence which is much more leeway than was ever discussed in any of my son's cases. So my experience may not be relevant to this situation.