Next step? challenge

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Kalahou, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Whew! ... I’ve been trying to keep an even keel the past week. I had house guests visiting and also two grandchildren staying for a few days, a lot of hectic activity. In the middle of all this, I got some unexpected news / info that I have had to keep inside. I have had to go into “numb” mode for the last several days.

    If you remember from my prior posts, I had my 36 year old son vacate our home in early November. He has stayed away but been in touch a few times. He came to the house on occasions to visit briefly with his kids. He said he had a job during holiday season, which went to part time this month. I was hoping maybe he was trying to work some things out. He still does not have a driver license but continued risking to drive others’ cars. When we did see son, he was not happy – nothing new. His situation did not seem promising, but I knew he had to be left to try to find his way. Now a new development…..

    … So in the midst of my preoccupation with visiting house guests and grands staying over the past 2 weeks, last Wednesday I got a call from the local prison intake person, who was preparing some pre-trial briefing for the judge in preparation for my son’s arraignment. This was my first heads-up that son had been in prison for a few days. Because son does not have money for bail, he apparently told them he thought he could come back to our home on a “supervised release” to await his trial. I told the intake person “No, it is not available for him to come to our home for a “supervised released.”

    The next day son was arraigned (a felony charge), and I understand the trial date is set for the end of March, 2 months away – 2 months for son to wait in prison. (Son has not been in prison before. He has only previously spent a couple nights in a small station cell block.) Son called me from the prison that night after his arraignment (this past Thursday pm). I was thankful that I had gotten the "heads-up" already. Son told me / asked me to go to a bail bondsman to get his bail money so he could get out of jail. He told me to go and do it by the next day (Friday) as it is not permitted to get out on release on the weekend. He said he wanted to try to keep his part time job (if he still had it.) (I'm thinking this was some excuse/ try at manipulation.) He also told me some story about why he is getting the “hit” for the charge when it really wasn’t him. Hmm? Sounds like same ole….. I admit I was a little wishy washy in my phone replies as I was caught off guard, but I did imply I could not bail him this weekend, and then he ended the call. I did not say I would do anything.

    Just today my house guests have now left, and I am back to pondering these new issues and developments. I have not done anything and do not plan to do anything to get my son out of jail. But I do feel obligated to at least follow up with him after his phone call to me. I drafted a letter to him and plan to mail it to him in a few days.

    The letter will basically say there is nothing more for me to do. My prior attempts to assist have not helped and only more enabled continued self-destructive behaviors. Maybe say: “Any good change can only come from you, if and when you really want to be good to yourself, and do right needed things with a true heart. You have to want it and seriously act to prove it day by day.

    Do you all think sending him a letter is a good idea or should I just stay no contact / no interest? I guess I can also ask him if he thinks us visiting would be of any benefit, but really I do not want to visit him in jail. Do you think a visit (if he wants it) would have any benefit? He has not enjoyed communicating at length with us for any reason outside of jail, except to ask for something. I have never been inside a jail to visit anyone. I really don't know if son would want us to visit him there, but should I ask? I believe he is able to make phone calls if he wants and he could initiate it himself if he wants a visit for some reason (?). .... All lhese thoughts are running through my mind of what I should and should not be doing in this new challenge .... this next step.

    Of course I am hurting and emotional and confused and feeling fragile and sick, but I also realize maybe this is a good and apparently a necessary thing for him, just by the fact that it happened.

    Thank you all for any input. I just wanted to get this out in the open as a release / relief. I know you all understand and can offer your wisdom.
    Mahalo nui loa. ~ Kalahou
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Oh Kalahou, it seems when everything is piling up, it just piles up a little, then a lot more.

    You are so strong and even keeled in spite of it all.

    There is a bit of time to think things through. Don't seal that letter up just yet, hang on to it for a couple of days. The best advice I ever got was slow..... way.......down and breathe.

    Take the time you need and pray on the matter.

    I am so sorry for the hurt and shock of it.

    I have oft thought of my Rain going to jail to save her, she is just not ready to quit.

    "That" phone call would still take me by surprise and knock me a bit.

    I don't think any of us can prepare for whatever calls may come concerning our adult children.
    Cry when you need to, get it all out.
    I am thinking maybe it is a good idea to get all of the feelings out and then figure on what you will do.

    We are here for you Kalahou. Hang in there and let us know how you are holding up.

    You will be alright.
  3. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Hi Kalahou, It is hard having a kid in jail (no matter how old they are). I think you are right not to bail him out.... It is time for him to face up to the consequences of his behavior and jail is certainly a consequence. And he will have. A place to sleep and food to eat.

    I don't think there are any right or wrong answers of what you should or shouldn't do. So listen to your heart and follow what is right for you.

    I do think if he wants a visit it is worth visiting him if you are up to it. When my son was in jail we did visit (lucky the jail was close by us). He was a lot younger than your son (19 and then 22). The visits were hard on me and I am not sure they were helpful in and of themselves.... But I felt it sent a message that we loved him and were there for him. At one point I thought to myself the only thing keeping him from becoming a hardened criminal is the love of his mother!!! I have no idea how he sees it though.

    So as leafy says take your time and think about what feels right to you.
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Kalahou,

    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. I've been there too many times. I think it's great that you have decided to not bail him out. If he is anything like my son he may amp up his requests with trying to lay on guilt. Just be on your guard and be prepared for whatever he might say. I always hated it when my son was in jail, I always worried about him but I finally got to a point where I realized that my son didn't hate being in jail as much I hated it for him. Here's how I look at it. If our d_cs really don't like being in jail then they need to stop doing whatever it is that lands them there. (oh that's right, it's never their fault, someone else did it)

    I think sending your son a letter is a good idea. The only thing I can suggest is to keep it very simple. I would tell him that you are not bailing him out and that you have confidence in him that he will figure it out on his own and close it with you love him. The more simple you can make it the better. I learned from dealing with my son to be very careful what I wrote him while he was in jail as he would use it against me. If I suggested to him that he needed to work on anything he would lash out that I didn't believe in him and twist and turn things around.


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  5. 4now

    4now Member

    Hi Kalahou. I am facing the same situation. My 34 year old son is in jail and did convince the court to release him to my house until trial ( without my Imput or permission). It is cold and snowy where we are so against my better judgment we let him stay with us. He lasted 2 days before using drugs and being kicked out of our home. I contacted the court to let them know and was drug into the drama of the situation farther than I was comfortable with. He came to my home on Monday. Stayed mon & Tuesday

    Wednesday he had an excuse why he wasn't here and Thursday he got money from is disability payee and went off the rails. Sunday he overdosed. I don't know whether your son has drug or alcohol issues but for now jail is the safest place for my son. I understand the wavering and not being sure how to react. I haven't accepted my sons calls because he was verbally abusive when I told him I wouldn't help him bail out. I did set up a visitation for Tuesday but we are expecting a major winter storm so I probably won't visit him

    I can't give you any advice, but leafy is right. Take time to breathe and let yourself feel what is right for you and your situation. We are sisters in this journey and making our way the best way we know how.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have not read everybody else's replies so forgive me if this is repetitive. I would go with my instincts. From what you say this is what you want:

    That son not stay with you.
    To not pay bail.
    To not visit son.

    I think these are perfectly valid choices. I would not do what I do not want to do. Whether it might be good for son or not. He is a grown up. Another adult like you. It is disrespecting him to treat him as if he is your child. He is your adult son, not your dependent child.

    All of this is between he and society, the system. There is no way he is not responsible. He can tell every manner of lie to himself or anybody else but he was involved in one way or another in the commission of a crime.
    I worked in prisons over an almost 20 year period. Directly with prisoners. He will do fine. He needs to stay there. There is no way I would ever put money up to bail out somebody who is denying responsibility for any of it if they lived the lifestyles of our difficult children.
    No. Absolutely not. You will subject yourself to something that may feel degrading and depressing. I would not do so. Not with his attitude. This is what I mean:
    I would post as much as I can over these next weeks.

    This has not one thing to do with you. Except that you are related to somebody who is facing prison. There may be the potential for change, if he is able to begin taking responsibility. It has not started on a good foot. He as if ordered you to go the the bail bondsman.

    As far as the letter: I would not send it. Every single thing in the letter he knows. I would wait for him to call. I would say simply: I will not be getting involved.

    I knew a prisoner who faced charges that meant he would likely spend the rest of his life in prison. His offense was not that serious. It was the fact it was cumulative. He tried to convince his mother to pay for an attorney. She would not. She went to her Pastor, talked it over with him, and she would not pay. Her son got a sentence of 25 years to life.

    It was the best thing that ever happened to him. The mother felt she got her son back. The real person. (He used meth). The son agreed. He turned himself around in prison.

    The reason I would not send the letter is:

    He knows all of it.
    It will anger him, unnecessarily.
    He may target you.

    There is nothing you can say to him that will change things one bit. Only he can change. He knows. We need to accept this.

    Lastly, it goes without saying but I will say it: You did not deserve this pain. It is not one bit your fault or about you. You know that, but I say it anyway.

    I am very sorry you and any one of us suffers this way. You are a good mother. A good person. I am sorry. What more is there to say?

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  7. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Thank you all …. Just got back in and it is getting late here. I really need to sleep soon, but just wanted to HUG you all.

    You warrior friends are my life net. When I found this site around 4 months ago, It was truly an answer to prayer. All my daily checking-in with you has built me up to be able to meet this new hurdle without a total collapse. Thank you for your understanding and input today. It has surely calmed me down and strengthened me. I have also just located an informative website about procedures, FAQs, programs, and info on the local prison where my son is. I have not yet had time to look into it, but I think just understanding more about what goes on there may help ease some of my underlying fear.

    Your caring and taking time to reply means a lot. I will slow down and think this situation through, and re-read your wisdom over again & again. More later. My best thoughts go out to you all. Mahalo ~ K
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  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    If I were strong enough to do it, I would stay no contact. I feel badly for you, that you are being required to make such awful choices. I applaud your strength in having made them. It helps me ~ sometimes it helps me ~ to remember that with our troubled kids there are times when there is no good outcome. Times when every choice has its own set of horrific and mostly unforeseen consequences. It is best then, to know what it is we are buying with our words or our money. We need to be wise. We need to be loving and kind for our own sakes, so that we don't become bitter, but we need to be very wise, and very careful.

    Your son already knows you love him.

    He already knows why you have decided as you have regarding bail and supervised release.

    So, there is nothing to say in a letter (or a visit) that will not be used to manipulate and weaken you in future. I am the only one who says this and I have no knowledge or authority at all. But I have been through some awful things, too. As the others of us have posted to you too, Kalahou, though the person you are instinctually driven to care for is your son (no matter how old he is), the people you need to take care of and cherish and see rested and well-nourished are yourself and your D H.

    I think it would be good to drive away somewhere for the weekend. Create a time out of time for yourselves to examine and incorporate what this new thing that has happened to your son means. It helped us to set aside a time at the end of the day when we knew whatever needed saying would be said. Then, the rest of the day was ours. It was our way of setting a time frame for addressing hurtful, even toxic, questions and feelings.

    That is how our tradition of Happy Hour was begun.

    We are still married.

    It has been over forty years.


    When I am being especially hard on myself, I can find where I am self-sabotaging if I look for it. We punish ourselves in secret ways when our children suffer. So, we have to be aware of this.

    Practicing gratitude for all that I do have helps me.

    Posting here helps me very much.

    Journaling, so I know what I really think. They say (in the Artist's Way at Work) that if we journal three Morning Pages every morning ~ just chain of consciousness, and we need to do three pages, top to bottom, every morning, for it to work ~ that if we do that, we will be better able to keep our minds clear of things that don't matter. Like guilt. Like regret or that forever place where we pick ourselves apart because our children suffer and we blame ourselves.

    Ha! I am writing a novel again. Done Dad was right.

    But I think you should maintain silence for now, Kalahou. Unless you feel a need to make something clear, do nothing for now. The real truth is there is nothing you can do. Give yourself the grace of this day. Wait to see what happens next. When there is something you can do, you will know.

    I wish we could all be there in person instantaneously somehow when one of us is facing these times when the minutes last forever and sleep is a hard thing. To know we are not alone with the painful, neverending questions matters. Just knowing you all were out there could help me, sometimes.

    You are doing the right thing.

    When the time comes to do something different, you will know.

    There is nothing you need to do, right now.

    Remember to say The Serenity Prayer in the night when you awaken so worried and cannot go back to sleep. That helped me.

    God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change
    the Courage to change the things I can
    and the Wisdom to know the difference.

    We are here, all of us, Kalahou.

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  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Kalahou, you are in my thoughts and prayers this morning.
    Malama pono
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  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Life itself is this, I think. After all, we die at the end.
    Yes. But the inverse is true, too. When every choice has its own set of perfectly wonderful seeming consequences that go down roads that lead to pain and despair and other horribly terribly and unforeseen consequences. Because we cannot see around the curve. We do not see the whole story. Because it does not exist. Even if it all looks rosy, the end of the story, good or bad does not exist.

    We make it with our choices.

    So all we have is integrity to ourselves. To do the best thing right now for us and for all. It is like Aristotle said: Happiness is ethics. I wish I had paid better attention 45 or 50 years ago when I studied him.

    Happiness is an ethical choice. It is not about good or bad. It is about right or wrong.
    I did not know this.

    I have never read any of Cameron's books. Do you know that she was either married or in a relationship with that movie director that works a lot with De Niro? Scorsese. They have a daughter together, I think.

    That makes sense about the journaling, 3 pages. I do not know about you but most of the time I do not know what I feel or think. I operate from pure ignorance of what my intention and my backdrop is for that day.

    Like this morning, I woke with a sense of dread. I know it had to do with my dreams. How much better it would have been to become conscious of this backdrop, instead of acting from it, in ignorance of it.

    Thank you.

  11. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom ~ Thank you for caring and sharing ~
    Thank you Leaf. I did slow down, and also have thought maybe this will save him. (?)
    I do love him and he knows it. But whether that means anything or will have any impact, who knows.
    I’m sure this is my situation also. Thank you for clarifying it.
    Yes. I will believe he is safe. It is comforting to know we are all sisters and warriors together and not alone.
    Thank you, Copa. I am holding that thought. “ He will do fine.” I believe you.
    So right, COPA. Mahalo nui.
    What a great idea and tradition !
    Thank you Cedar. You are right. I believe this.
  12. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    This site has helped to change me over the last months - to make me new in many ways - I look forward to being with you each day.

    I have latched onto your replies as a saving life raft. First I remembered “there is nothing I need to do.” Then I remembered “slow… way… down.”

    Over the past days, I have read and re-read your wise words, pondered them in my heart, lifted them to the heavens and assimilated them into my bones and marrow. I have wept long and longer, and sobbed out my breath on the winds and then breathed in a new life and acceptance and some understanding. I am still trying to maintain a sense of gratitude about it all.

    I have decided as of now, I am not sending my son a letter in the prison right now. You are right. There is no benefit. I have nothing new to say. He knows it all already. Also, we will not plan to visit. There is no profitable reason to do so. If son wants any contact from us, if he is needful of any valid support, he will initiate such a suggestion himself, and then I will decide if it is wise and will keep it simple.

    I shared son’s situation with my other adult children. I did not want to be alone with it. They do not help me that much as 2 of them are far away, but they do understand and they have each other to a certain extent. My other son here in town actually passes the prison on his way to work each day. I asked him to please remember his bro as he rides by and lift some thoughts for the best.

    I don’t know if son's ex-wife knows the situation. I do not speak often with her, and then only about the GKs’ schedule for visits to our house. I do not talk about my son with her, as she is only filled with vindictive criticism and annoyance about him. I wonder how I will explain to my grands when they ask why Dad is not coming to visit, why he does not phone them each night as he did, why they cannot reach him when they try to call him. One time already, my grandson called here asking if his daddy was here at our house, since he could not reach him on his cell phone…??

    His trial is the end of March. That will be another scary time. If he is convicted, then more jail time will likely result. I almost think now that would be preferable. If he is released, then what? Where will he go again? What more trouble will happen? I can foresee myself getting anxious again at that time with all the uncertainties and fears. But there is no point imagining and worrying about an unknown future now.

    I have such confidence and clarity in your guidance, knowing you understand and have been there in the varied situtations of DCs. I am thankful for your hearts and lives and the caring shared here and the trust we can feel with each other.

    Then comes the new day ~ Ka la hou
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I think I would tell them.

    I think I would talk to their mother first, and tell her. If she opposes telling them, and keeps them from you, it is on her. I do not think I would tell them without involving the mother, first.

    If your son were to call, I might discuss it with him, and make a plan. I might even remind your son of your responsibility to them (*and by inference his own), and your willingness to help with this (instead of meeting his every little whim). Is my anger slipping out here? Sorry.

    I think it is worse on the kids to leave them without the truth. They may feel it is their fault. Or that he is indifferent or abandoned them. Or hurt. Or even dead. They may not tell you this, but they may feel it, think it. Fear it.

    And I believe it is better for you and for your son, for the truth to be told.

    Dad is in jail for right now. For right now we do not how long he will stay. He is alright and he loves you.

    If they ask I would answer with the truth.

    Believe me. They already know the truth and worse. The truth will hurt them less than what they can imagine.

    Ideally, he would have reached out to them. Sent a letter or called. Would it not have been wonderful if he thought of them to protect them?

    If the kids want to visit, and there is somebody to take them, and your son wants it, I would not oppose it. What the kids imagine (what we imagine) is always worse.

    There will be other children there. Other families. Even though it feels abnormal, for millions of people and families jail and prison are a way of life. A reality in their lives.

    You know, K, there is not a family that I know of that does not have something. However much we grieve about our situations, there is way worse. Do not be hard on yourself. Please. Everybody will come through this intact. You will, too. I believe that. Perhaps better than intact. There is always that hope.

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  14. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Hi all, feeling a need to check in to keep sanity and reality in check.
    I’m taking it day by day. It really sucks some days, actually. You know that. I don’t sleep well. Trying to keep it together. Work day by day is my escape!! Thoughts of my son pop unbidden into my mind hundreds of time per day. He called us a while back asking for us to supervise his release. When I said I cannot be involved, he asked to speak to husband. Didn’t work. husband is older, hard of hearing on phone, did not understand everything. Very frustrating. I did put minimum $ on my cell phone account so son could call me from the jail, and I told him I would answer. I did answer two or three times. However, sometimes I just turn off the phone during his designated time, so I will deliberately miss the call, and not be tempted to answer, as there is no benefit really in any conversing. I don’t want to ask questions to seem interested, and can’t give same ole type advice that I know will only anger him, so not much to say, except “must be hard, I know you can work it out.” etc…. I know he is not in touch with anyone else from the jail.

    On the last call this past Friday night, he wanted me to try to conference in one of his “friends” on the call so he could ask the friend to sign for him to get out. I told him (truthfully) I did not know how to conference a call on my phone. Since then I learned how to do it. But heck no, I will not be a party to him contacting someone else. He has been there in jail a month, almost halfway now to his trial date, at least the date I heard from him, end of March.

    I’m new to this jail time stuff. During bad times, I envision him just laying around, maybe even sleeping 20 hours a day, as he did at times before for weeks at a time. As he is currently there awaiting trial, I don’t believe there is any assigned work / job for him. On better days, I have hope maybe he is participating in some of the programs that might be available (educational, religious, etc.) or maybe he’s forced into some activity? He has not asked for any money to be put on a store account, and I have not offered. I doubt he has any shoes, as I think they are only issued flip-flops. But guess he doesn't need shoes for anything if not working.

    I’ve tried to research more about jail process / procedures etc. but feel I am very ignorant about it all, and don’t know what else to look for. The intake person initially assigned to son was helpful in explaining to me about the requirements / responsibilities of supervising release, which definitely validated my determination not to supervise his release.

    I just wish I could just let all this anxiety go. Really, what am I anxious about? I think my biggest fear now is that he will actually get out of jail and then what? Where to go? Because surely now he has lost his temporary living arrangement and his part-time job he had before this happened. He will likely just get back to the same sketchy friends, as they and that life are all he knows. I personally know of no new way he can start new. I hate thinking about it. I know I have to maintain my stand now on the boundaries I’ve set and that I stopped enabling. I cannot help him. (Even though I really could, and it would be so easy to get back on a right track, I know it would not be helping, I’ve already learned it.) I cannot change and fix. He has to want it and do it, we all know that.

    I would like him to know that I have not given up on him, and if ever he does take action to come around, there are things I would be willing to do to assist. But this I think is all premature at this point. He is probably getting the idea that I am not there anymore to lean on and rely on, (and this is good, this was the point right? , to get it across that I have stopped enabling ) so I cannot put some little bait out there to make him think a part of me still would give more (would just be like enabling again, right?)

    My ex-daughter in law texted me to ask if I knew how “grands” could reach their dad, as they were asking about him. I only replied that he “could not be reached for a while. Jail.” Now grands will be coming to visit us this weekend, and I’m sure I’ll have to deal with their questions at that time.

    In some prayerful moments, I think, hope, and give thanks that a miracle change will finally sink in to him, to want a better situation for himself, to want to be happy in his life. I’m even having these wishful thoughts now, as if some miracle change might happen in jail. It still is hard to bear. I know I've done the best I can. I just hurt for his good heart that is / was in there somewhere and for the happy smile I used to see once in a while many, many, years ago. ..... And I also wish I was not such a wimp!! Sheesh! I wish I did not care at all!

    While I haven’t posted much these last weeks, I am here every day drawing strength, and learning and understanding from everyone’s posting, and sharing your heartaches also with your difficult children. We are all in this together. It is a relief to know others understand and that we are not alone.

    Mahalo for listening. Tomorrow is a new day. Kalahou
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  15. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    Maybe I can help with the grandkids issue. I am raising my nephews and niece because my sister is an addict and, very often, in jail. Soon she will be sentenced to 5 years, of which she estimates she will do 18 months.

    Anyway, I don;t know your son's particular situation, but my sister is an addict. She has had no contact with her kids in nearly 4 years (they are 9, 7, and 4) so maybe it is a little different.

    I tell them (the boys, the 4 year old is too little to understand and has some delays due to her mothers drug use while pregnant) that she is sick. That she uses drugs and that the drugs make it so that she can't think right and and that she makes bad choices that get her in trouble so she has to go to jail. I explain to them that jail isn't a nice place, but she is safe. My sister's main issue is that she is a thief. (she is also a prostitute, but the boys don't need to know that) I am honest with them to the point that they can understand. I tell them that she steals things so she can trade them for drugs. They know that stealing is wrong, and that people go to jail for stealing.

    I don't let them visit her in jail, but she really has no relationship with them, so through glass would probably not be the correct way to forge one. We are at the point now where we are moving forward to terminate her parental rights.

    Your grandkids have a relationship with their dad, so you are in a little different of a situation. Are they in any type of counseling?

    I am well versed at jail, so maybe I can give you a little insight. Remembering that things vary from county to county. There really isn't much offered in the county in terms of treatment or even support groups. The majority of inmates are in for the short haul, and all inmates are in for under a year. Mostly they sleep, watch TV, read, or play cards all day. Some have jobs where they earn commissary money. Any stay he has in the county jail pre trial/sentencing will count towards his time served.

    I don't accept calls from jail, because where my sister is they have to call collect, and you were very smart, be very wary of the conference call thing. Don't get caught up in any "deals" they are making. My sister told me a story about an inmate that she was in with who had a grounds job. She would get her mother to conference call the boyfriend who couldn't accept collect calls and they would use some sort of code and the boyfriend would drop cigarettes and pills at a spot she could pick them up when he visited.
  16. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    You are not a wimp Kalahou, you are very strong, a warrior Mom, ikaika koa wahine.
    I see all throughout this post, that you are thinking very clearly, and are standing firm in your convictions to give your son the freedom that belongs to him, to face the consequences of his choices. It is hard, I am sure, but this is the learning curve our d cs need to be on, to know that there is no rescuing from the paths they choose. They must rescue themselves, by seeing that their choices have not brought them the life they wish to have.
    This happens to me at times, too Kalahou, or, I find myself looking at homeless figures walking in the distance, thinking it may be Rain....I have come to learn to say a quick prayer to calm my mind and heart. It is the one thing that saves me from going down that road of anxiety.

    This is hard, I have not had this experience........but reading this, the thought is, that son has plenty time to think about what he could do. I am hoping it will be a pivot point for him?

    I hope this too.

    You are thinking very clearly here, Kalahou, it is not your kuleana, no, too, too much.
    Yes, he has to want to do it. All of our kids do have to want it. But, Kalahou, even though their lives have been the same pattern of hanging out with sketchy friends, there is always that light at the end of the tunnel, that maybe, perhaps, they will move towards.
    I have to think this way.
    Otherwise, I will drive myself batty, with the other unthinkable possibilities.
    I will have sleepless nights and grieve a thousand times over.
    I may be too much of an idealist, reaching for stars, but I really like Viktor Frankls explanation in this Ted Talk, about the power of our thoughts, and how we can "over estimate" man, looking at the highest reachable point. Seeing man not as he his, but as he should be. Seeing my two, not as they are, but the endless possibilities that God still holds out for them.

    Recognizing that search for meaning and purpose that God instilled in all of us, that "spark".
    Thinking this way, along with prayers helps me to be able to work at living my own life, without sinking to the depths of despair over what could become of my d cs.
    Maybe I am a fool, but to live in fear of the possible negative repercussions of their chosen paths now, is not to live.
    And, yes, it does not always work, I do slip and slide.
    We are only human.
    We are Mothers, grieving for our children, hoping upon all hope, that they will wake up, and decide to walk a different path.
    I think there is always hope.
    Kalahou, you have been through so much. You are very brave, and so very loving and kind. Your aloha shines and resonates through your beautiful responses to others here. I am sure, that deep down inside of your son, the teachings you blessed him with, are there. He knows that you have great love for him. What you are doing now, standing firm, is a testimony to that love. He knows this in the heart of him. You are in the heart of him, as he is in your heart and will be always. He will be alright, and so will you, dear tita.
    Tomorrow is a new day. You will be alright, Kalahou, ke Akua watches over you, and your son. I pray for your peace of mind, and that your son will understand the promise held out to him and all of us. He only need reach for it.

    God bless. Malama pono

    (((Honi, honi)))
  17. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    Oh Kalahou, your post could have been my post, so many many times.

    Oh, yes, Difficult Child did this and also wanted me to call people and have them bail him out or just give them $50 more and he could be bailed this bail bondsman, that one...on and on. It literally made me sick to my stomach, how hard he would work to get out of jail, but never work hard to do the right things. I didn't do any of it, and I was sick about that too. Just ignoring my own son in his desperation. All of this does something to us. Something profound.

    Yes, like Sister's Keeper says, they play cards and read and sleep and a couple of times Difficult Child was in the workhouse where he would go out and pick up trash from the sides of the road. He would use his commissary account to gamble when he played cards. Once I found that out, I stopped putting money on it.

    Oh, yes, there are many ways he can start new. And I can guarantee that whatever ways you and I think won't be that way. It will be their way to start anew and it will be very very hard. Like I have posted before, Difficult Child got a job first and still had nowhere to live. He slept on a bench outside the homeless day shelter and got up at 2 a.m. and walked to work at McDonald's to be there at 4 a.m. He did this for several months, day in and day out. Once we saw this, and that he kept the job, then we helped him get into an apartment. But we weren't the first to help him. Some homeless advocates in town here were the ones who helped him first.

    It is going to come from other people in ways we can't think of. That is truly how it needs to happen, I believe. Not from Mom and Dad.

    He knows that. Deep in his heart, he knows that. You don't have to tell him again, but if you want to, why not write him a postcard every week. Say what you want to say, and done with it for that week. That was calming for me, while he was in jail. Writing to him. I tried to say loving things. At the beginning I lectured a lot, but you know, I needed to say those things. Those postcards were for me as much as they were for him. Talking to him on the phone was always upsetting because he always had an angle and was always trying to get me to do something and my mind would dart around like a rat in a cage, trying to figure out, should I do this? What should I do? I was a wreck by the time I hung up the phone every time.

    Kalahou, anything can happen at any time. He has choices. He can make a choice in jail today to change and then there are ways in jail that he can work on himself to change. He doesn't have to be out of jail to change. In our county jail here, there are many programs. They announce AA a few times a week and there are churches and nonprofits who go into the jails and work with the inmates. Call and find out what programs they have there if that will help you rest your mind. Our DCS have choices every single minute of every single day. They can change. They have to want it and then they have to do it. And it is hard hard work.

    I used to feel sick when I would see Difficult Child walking around town, but at the same time I would be glad to see him as I would know he was alive. This is the hardest stuff in the world to bear for us, we Warrior Moms.

    Now, today, I try to see it like this: My son had to walk this path for his own life. This is his journey. I cannot ever understand it, but it is his to own and walk. My Higher Power has always, always been right here, beside him, waiting for my Difficult Child to turn to him and ask for the help that only he can give. Has he done it? I have no idea. I used to talk and talk and talk about God to my Difficult Child and I'm sure that irritated the heck out of him (lol). I finally had to stop talking, after 10 years of trying to talk some sense into him. It never did work. It gave me peace to let my son go to my Higher Power (over and over and over again). I cannot do this. I am powerless. Owning my own powerlessness was such a relief finally. My love for my son was not going to save him. That knowledge brought me to my knees literally and figuratively but that is where I could start working on my own self and my own changing that I needed to do.

    The grief continued for a long time, but it was tempered with more and more better days and periods of time after that. As I worked on me, I started feeling happy again. He was still doing very badly for a long time during this phase. And I would backslide or fail to progress for a while, but that's okay. I was walking my own journey as well.

    Your post really touched me. I can almost literally feel the feelings you expressed and please know, there are many of us who have been right there. There is hope. I promise you. There is hope for you and for him.

    Warm warm hugs this morning.
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  18. 4now

    4now Member

    Kalahou, you are doing what you need to do, just like your son is doing what he needs to do. It is his path and you can. Not walk it for him. Unfortunately I have had too many instances where one or the other of my sons was in jail. In my opinion they seem to do just fine. Our fear of the unknown keeps us spinning and our minds whirling and we fear the worst. However, in my experience my son is getting (at least) some of the help he needs while in jail. He is getting medications, counseling and time for his mind and body to heal. I am quite certain that if he was released today he would be back in the drug/mental illness/homeless cycle in no time at all.

    It is true that they work so hard to get us to help them get what they want. Bail money, phone calls, visits, commissary money, etc. but why do they never work this hard at recovery? I have finally accepted that if this is the life my sons want, I can love them from a distance. I let them know I love them but I am not making their decisions, nor can I support them. They have the responsibility and power in their own lives just as I do in mine.

    If I choose to sleep instead of getting up and going to my job, I will have no paycheck and no way to pay my bills. That is my choice. My sons choices are theirs.

    You are doing what you are supposed to do. Living your life. They are living their life. We are all doing what we need to do. Hang in there. It will get a little easier. Keep the faith.
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  19. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    I'm sorry you have had so much on your plate and house guests and grandchildren to entertain while your heart is heavy with worry.

    If it were me, wouldn't visit for a while. I think when our kids are in jail, then need to really think, be alone, not be rewarded by our visits, at least for a time. It needs to hurt for them, for them to feel the loss of everything. They can't feel that if we are running to them right away. If you decide to visit, you don't have to do it right away even if you decide to do so. Take your time. Remember how everything in their life is an emergency, they tell us to do it now, putting us in panic mode, up-heaving our lives. So, this is your time, to take whatever time you need to make that decision to visit or not; if you do, you get to decide when, not him.

    I didn't visit my son in jail he was in for 2 months. I did fund his phone account and commissary account so he could get hygiene products, snacks, paper and pen because he would write his bible scriptures out and journalize.

    He was only allowed to call me, his christian friend, and his aunt. I did find out that do trades for phone cards and he did call his crack whore girlfriend from jail. She promptly reported it and her phone number got blocked at the jail. Oh the things we learn about jail from our Difficult Child.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
  20. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    Heart-felt thanks.
    I appreciate everyone taking time to respond with such helpful and caring thoughts. I printed the replies to re-read every few hours wherever I am, to try to jell it in my mind. It’ s stuff that has been said on this site many times in different ways, but always something needed to be heard and reinforced again and again. I so respect the moral fiber, inner fortitude, and intelligent wisdom of the warriors on this site. Your strength is awesome and so many have found a peace beyond understanding. This site has been a life ring for me.

    I need to be brought back to reality surely. But I also found in your replies some inklings to help me keep a glimpse of hope alive. I need that right now, whether it ever manifests in the future or not, I need to hold that close and high at this stage.
    SK, Wise words. This is good and simple to tell the grands. Their dad is safe and he loves them. I hope that will be enough.
    Mahalo for these reminders, Leafy. I do think this is true, from the way I know my son. He does know this.

    I need to really accept this and have patience and understanding to let it be.
    Your words are true and remind me of a campfire song we used to sing at Girl Scout camp "Lonesome Valley" ... "You must walk that lonesome valley... walk it by yourself...nobody else can walk it for you .... You must go and stand your trials... have to stand them by yourself..." ( timeless song memory from a long, long time ago)

    So tonight would have been son's allowed day and phone time to call, according to the schedule he had previously informed me. Since I did not answer his call this past Sunday night, and because I felt more peaceful having read your responses today, I had planned to answer if he called tonight. He did not. I am relieved he did not call. I take this as a good sign. I drafted a simple note to post tomorrow on my way to work - to keep the door for some contact open.

    I was so ready to find this site 5 months ago and am soaking up so much that I needed and still need to learn to survive these Difficult Child challenges. As COM says below, the owning of our own powerlessness is a relief.
    Thank you...thank you... Aloha nui. I lift up these promises for of of us here. We are going to be alright.
    Take care ~
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016