Poetry from Jail...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lovemysons, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    "You'll never know what a letter can mean until you've been where I've been and seen what I've seen.
    I am confined to a world behind four walls, that nobody see's and where nobody calls.
    Often I sleep only to wake up alarmed that my family and loved ones may have been harmed.
    Just dreams I must admit as I come to senses staring out my window at barbed wire fences.
    Then I get up and go on my way I wait for the mail and receive none that day.
    When nobody writes I think if only I had known, I could have prepared to spend this time all alone.
    What could I have done to make you feel better so somehow you might sit and write me a letter.
    I put myself here this I realize but how much lack of love must I be penalized.
    There is just no way to make you see what I see, it may not be much to you but it's the world to me.
    You'll just never know what a letter can mean until you've been where I've been and seen what I've seen."

    Got this poem in a letter young difficult child wrote to us today from County Jail.
    daughter in law has asked me to go visit him tonight with her...I'm considering it.

  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I'll admit, I found it touching and I would probably go visit. I hope he is taking this time to reflect on what he has the ability to change in his life. (((HUGS)))
  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you Patriotgirl

    He goes on to say...
    "I'm doing fine. Everyday I'm in here I feel alittle more stress for what I did to get in this position. I'm sober now but I'm not fixed. I'm lost. It's hard to organize how I ended up here. I'm fairly hopeless.
    I work out everyday mostly to keep an empty mind. Thinking makes my heart hurt. I'm sorry for the disappointment, lying and stealing. Everybody has given up on me. I have built walls while I was free limiting my opportunities and winding up here. I can see Highway 30 from my window in my cell and sometimes wish I was free. I have dreams that I am and I wake up here."

    As you can see he sounds very depressed.
    He has Bipolar Disorder...I am hoping if I do see him tonight that I discuss the possibility of him getting on medications while he is locked up. He does not WANT to have mental illness...even though in his heart he must know it's true. I don't think he wants to admit that there is "something wrong" with him other than his own bad choices.

    I have to go for now...am taking care of young difficult child's daughter at the moment while my daughter in law is at a job interview.

    Thank you again for the hugs PG,
  4. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Tammy, that poem is heartbreaking. But -- maybe it is part of his "waking up" and maybe, just maybe, the beginning of him turning things around? I surely hope so. Someone who can write a poem like that is obviously talented.

    Hang in there! You are such a good grandma looking after your grandchildren. But remember to save some strength also for yourself.


    Love, Esther
  5. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Wow - it must be such a hard decision to make. Yet I know me, and if it was my son, I would probably go see him too.

    This whole thing is so hard, because when these difficult children are sober they are so different - and when they are face to face with reality they are so different. Then the real world comes back - and they switch again to doing dope and using people.

    I can only speak from my experiences with my ex, so it is a bit different. I just remember having so much hope, over and over again, and then one day I realized he would never change. But that concept literally took a decade or more for me to truly embrace. And another decade for me to totally cut off all communication.

    You are just in the beginning, and he still might turn his life around - you never know. Many do. And I think the love of a parent can heal a lot of wounds - we just can't cure them.
  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I agree the poem was heartbreaking and heart felt... If it was me I would go visit. My son wrote a letter to the judge when he was in jail and it also gave me a lot of hope for the future.... I think he is now again really struggling and possibly using something again... definitely he has slipped.... and yet my hope is that every time they have an epiphany and a time being sober it strengthens them in that direction. My feeling is if helps strengthen the positive sober side of him then that is good... just don't trust him completely that he is changed forever because that is probably not true.

  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    difficult child has talent for poetry.

    Jail can be a lonely place. If I couldn't bring myself to visit, and to be honest, I probably couldn't, I'd at least write to him.

    Hopefully he'll choose to seek out treatment while he is there.

  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ok...Im going to be the big cynic in the group and its probably because I have sat across the glass and heard way too many sob stories and received way too many tear filled letters and heard way too many promised filled phone calls home telling me every single thing I wanted to hear only to have every single thing be a mountain of broken dreams within a week or two of getting out.

    I think they issue newbies in jail a book on how to manipulate parents and partners 101. If it doesnt work well they take a more indepth course.

    this whole begging for a letter because he doesnt know how he could ever have been so unlovable enough to not deserve a single letter? Oh cripes...pure manipulation to tug at your heart strings...lol.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet I was thinking the same thing, but I thought I was maybe being too harsh. My personal thought was, sure he's probably lonely, but he's laying it on a bit too thick for me to take it too seriously. I've seen this routine before with family members in prison.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    He does have a gift for writing, that is clear. I don't know that visiting him is wise for YOU, LMS. I am worried about YOUR mental health far more than his. Do NOT let this take you down that road again.

    The only thing that kept popping into my head was the image of when he was in your house on his knees with his hands up on your belly begging for money - that surely you would give because he came from right there. You told us about that and it was just a few weeks or so before he ended up in jail this time. I would send a letter, but tell him to lay off the pity-me bit.

    You DO have a stronger bond with him and tend to take his side against the world, even when common sense tells you that it is NOT the best for him or you. DId you or did you not tell him you would NOT go visit him? I thought you told him you wouldn't go see him if he was in jail. If you said this, then you MUST NOT NOT NOT go to visit. Send a letter, even one a day if you must.

    Go to alanon instead of the jail. He NEEDS to sit there all alone without Mommy to the rescue. He NEEDS to know you will do what you said - and not visit the wya you said. This is a test - and if you give in he will NEVER stop pushing at the limits with you.

    If I remember it wrong and you didn't say that you wouldn't visit, then go if you feel you must. But I thought you told him you would not visit him in jail. I know that it is stress you really don't need.

    If he has the energy to manipulate you this way then he has mroe than enough energy to be a man and figure out a way through this.

    Sending many hugs (((((hugs))))) Sorry for not calling - been having daily headaches and it is kicking my tail. I get a nerve block in my head on Fri that should take care of them. I am thrilled because these are awful.
  11. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Tammy, I hate to also be one who feels you shouldn't visit, but I do sadly agree with the others.

    I do hope that your difficult child is having a wake up call moment in jail with nothing but time to think. I must say that indeed he has a talent for writing which if put to good use might be a tool that is a healthy means of expression for himself. Perhaps a journal to write his thoughts and fears and guilt etc. But I also feel compelled to tell you, since we've known each other here for so many years, that I do believe this is a "pity party". He probably DOES feel this way, but he knows (and he knows that you and others know) that he has brought this on himself. He has not been thrown to a deserted island to fend for himself for life. He's sitting in jail for a violent outburst that put his partner and his beautiful child at risk, which was caused by his own mental health neglect, addictions and anger issues. He has a lot of work to do to be healthy and in a frame of mind that will stop this "woe is me, I want attention, where's my letters, I screwed up but why should I then be unloved" thing he's going on about. That poem screams manipulation to me. No part of him feels he is unloved, in fact he's possibly had so much love that it has blinded him to just how horrible the consequences are to his loved ones when he continues to make these choices for himself and his life. It is time for him to pee and get off that pot, pull up his big girl pants, take responsability in a ADULT fashion (I was WRONG, I MUST do better/different, I WILL regain trust and be worthy of it. FULL STOP. *no blame but self blame*).

    I think you do not only him but yourself a huge injustice if you go visit. I wouldn't even send daily letters, although I would send one once or perhaps twice a week. I wouldn't at ALL touch on this topic in my letter, no reference to anything to give attention to pity trips, as honestly? That poem was MEANT to guilt you, to picture your beloved son sitting in a cage, awake middle of the night from a bad dream that something happened to one of you, staring out at a highway wanting freedom. He is good, I'll give him that! He poured it on quite thick. And as for his reference to sobriety, you know that forced sobriety due to incarceration is NO demonstration on what choices he will make when he does get his "freedom". But past behavior is a good indicator, this is far from the first time he's played the I am sober now card, I need you all, thing.

    I know you raised your kids right Tammy and I know how much you love your children. Trust me when I say, he knows you love him. He also knows you love him to a point you have faith in him. That is NOT a bad thing, he should have his own mother have faith in him. That however does NOT negate his need to prove with his actions over time that he IS going to change.

    I recommend you take care of yourself and send the odd letter, heartfelt but not at all along the tone he is setting in his letters. You've been through a lot with your sons and this isn't a completed story yet either. Take this time to regroup yourself and let him be the adult man/father/spouse he is meant to be. He and only he can get himself to a place where he is deserving of trust. At this stage of his life, he does not need mom/dad/siblings to pity him, he needs a loving family who are there when he gets his act together and he needs a family capable of realizing he is no child gone wayward, he's a grown man with responsabilities that he needs to focus on. His focus should be on being the man he needs to be for that child, for himself. He'll know you're out there rooting for him, he's always known it. Perhaps now is the time to stand your ground and let him see that the role you have played in his life is now changed, based on his age, his choices etc. It's unnatural with non difficult child's to be this involved in our childrens bad decisions and consequences. I think at this point with your difficult child, it is past time to let him deal with this on his own. Literally, on his own.

    Whatever decision you make, you know I've always supported you and admired you. I hope my post doesn't offend you as I don't intend it to. I just have known how much you've done to try to guide these man/children of yours and I think now is the time for them to put the lessons you've taught them to good use by taking control of their own lives and actions.
  12. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you all for the thoughtful and caring and even "blunt" responses...

    As it turns out...my daughter in law realized that she has an unpaid speeding ticket and a Warrant out for her arrest! UHG.
    She figured if we went up to the jail and showed them ID that they might arrest her on the spot. Soooo...no visit last night.

    Those of you who suggest this is emotional manipulation are likely right. There is no doubt that young difficult child is a master when it comes to feelings. I think it's how Bipolar Disorder manifests itself in young difficult child...He has always been highly sensitive and over-reactive and knows how to get to Most of the females in his life...doesn't "work" on husband so much or even big brother.

    I am thinking about what you all have said. I don't think it would be wise for me to visit him based on my own mental health issues. As you all may be aware, I had a psychotic breakdown after many panic attacks when oldest difficult child was in jail and then prison. I can't go through that again. The Dr's even told my mom and husband that "bringing me back" would be harder the next time...if that happend to me again.

    One of the reasons I "was" going to go with daughter in law is because she has no one else that will I believe...and it's a fairly disturbing County Jail to visit. In fact young difficult child used to go with me when I visited oldest difficult child there...LOL, he was my "bodyguard". And daughter in law is an attractive young thing and I don't want her to have to deal with passerby's etc. But...
    I think I will tell daughter in law that I simply cannot go...that she'll HAVE to find someone else to go with her as I have to look out for my own sanity.

    husband and I went out to dinner last night on a Gift Certificate that my mom got husband and I for our Anniversary which was Monday. Unfortunately husband had to work late Monday so we were not able to celebrate.

    I was out of medications for almost 3 days but one of the young adults (there are 2 that aren't ours that live with us at the moment) went to the pharmacy and picked up my medications for me yesterday...So, I'm back on track. I was able to sleep better last night but still woke up at around 4 this morning. My hours have been really messed up lately.

    I will write young difficult child a letter sometime soon. I need to tell him that depressing letters to me are not the answer. I need to tell him that he has work to do on himself....that he IS a man now and it is time to grow up and take full responsibility for his choices.

    As much as I'd like to blame Addiction and Bipolar for his behavior...I know that's not good enough. He knows right from wrong and he must learn to Stop and Think before acting. There is no excuse.

    Thanks again for the gentle even cynical reminders of manipulation. You guys are very good at spotting it and I knew I'd here it "straight" from you all.
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hey, Tammy. I'm sorry that his choices have put you in the position of sharing the stress. Reading past the manipulation it sounds like he is adapting as well as can be expected. Unlike #1 who knows how to get along with everyone in every situation, I was a bit concerned that #2 would be deeply traumatized by surroundings. It's a relief that he is sober, surviving and working out. Hopefully he will soon start to "see the face in the mirror" and begin to acknowledge that his issues can only be solved with his participation.

    For the sake of the family I am glad that you are not jeopardizing your stability. You are the glue of the entire family. They are all very lucky to have you at home. I do continue to keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs. DDD
  14. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I just read how I wrote and I fear I came across very nasty without intention too. I apologize for that Tammy. I want to tell you that I know you raised your kids well, and even though I think he's manipulating and not quite ready to own up to things all on his own, I think given the space to take care of his mess he'll do the right thing in the long run since he was raised to do better. You've often posted the good with the bad and I think we can all tell that all of your children have great qualities. A gentler way perhaps I should have worded my response earlier would have been to say that he has a good foundation inside himself to get to a better place all on his own while you take care of yourself.

    I do remember you saying before the struggle with your mental health last time your difficult child was in trouble and I hate to see you fall down that path again over something he's going to ultimately have to work out for himself. I'm glad you had your medications filled and the dinner out sounds very nice. Taking care of yourself needs to be foremost in your mind. (((hugs)))
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LMS...one thing I want you to know is that Cory would swear to me every time he was in jail that he had been without cigarettes that whole time so he was going to just be done with them once he was out...might as well right? yeah. never lasted past the first intersection.

    He always told me he had realized he needed therapy and wanted to start back with his psychiatrist and get back on his medicine. Oh anything he knew I wanted to hear. He would have me go and make the appts knowing he had so many days until he got out so he would have me call to arrange the appts but then when he got out it was...naw...I dont think so. I got to where I simply raised my eyebrows at that one and told him he could call when and if he decided that was what he wanted. I couldnt care less.
  16. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you so much for always taking such great interest in my family...it is SO obvious you know my sons well. I don't know if I am the glue that holds my family together but I will never give up on giving them all my love. Now, a strengthend love, is what I think I need most...not a poor little boy love, ya know.

    Awww, don't for a minute think you've offended me or were too hard on me, not at all. In fact, you guys give me the gumption to say ENOUGH ALREADY...You are a MAN now, it is time to put your strong will into action and change your behavior, your mind, your LIFE. No more pity party. No more mamma to the rescue and No more excuses!!!
    I appreciate your thoughtful reply...You are a sweetheart, ya know it. Thank you.

    Cory taught you some valuable lessons and gave you an insight that not all of us have here. I can really appreciate where you're coming from...after being burnt over and over again. I need to hear it. I need to remember that enabling kills. A young man (who's mother had kicked him out when he kept using) told me this once at an AA meeting. I need to see young difficult child take initiative and care about his own needs and the needs of his family. You're right they'll promise us anything and everything, say whatever they think will work etc...all a part of being an addict in my opinion. Using people places and things. Young difficult child has got to stop this and by you all telling me "how it is" I am reminded that the biggest help I can be to him is to send the messege that this mess is his and his alone to own. That I should not be jeopordised in the process.

    I remember once feeling like my sons were out in deep waters drowning and that it was MY job to save them. I know that isn't the case anymore...they have to reach out for the preservers, the help, and prove they have the honest desire to change.
    It is not my job to save them anymore...it is in their hands.

    Really I love the strength and care I get here.
    I'm so glad to know you all...
    Thank You.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tammy...you have given them those life preservers over the years...many times. He knows where they are.

    Do you want to know when he will feel better about himself? When he stands on his own two feet. When he alone provides a home for his wife and kids and its him that is putting the food on that table. When he can look himself in the mirror and know that he has done this without mom and dad or mother in law. Even if they get food stamps or the kids wear hand-me-downs, he will know that he is doing what he can do to make ends meet to provide for his family. There is no shame in working a regular job. Anything he can do is good. Then he can stand proud and feel like a man. That does so much for a young adult male.
  18. keista

    keista New Member

    I love it when the Universe (Fate, God, whatever) intervenes when we are unable to make these difficult decisions.
    This is the transition to adult hood that everyone must make. Even when difficult children are young, it's not an excuse but the thing that we must teach them to live with in an acceptable manner (I'd love to say 'beat' or cure, but we know that's not possible). Transitioning to adulthood, it's no longer the parent's responsibility - we've given them as many tools as we could to help them handle it, and now it's their job to continue to handle their own illness. When you think about it it's really not much different than raising a 'normal' child - just harder to see it that way on so many levels. That transition must occur.

    I'm sending you thoughts of strength.
  19. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    You're right Janet.

    I just went out in the garage and smoked a cigarette and thought about all the "preservers".
    Church, Rehab, Hospitals (medication), AA...and visits to jail when oldest difficult child was there. He does have them.

    I hope someday he will be that MAN who does love his family well and provides for them...even if on food stamps.
    I want him to be a functional adult. That is the goal.

    Even easy child who just finished her first year of college got a JOB within a week of being home this summer. And yesterday she took herself to her annual Dr visit by herself. She takes care of herself and has goals...She told me that it was after having a conversation with me a few years ago about her being an independent adult woman that she realized she needed to do these things. I am so proud of her.
    And so far...for the last many months now, Oldest difficult child is working hard for his little family. I think his addictive nature has turned into a workaholic to some degree, but he too is functioning at the moment. Church seems to be his answer, not AA.
    I have to give my husband alot of credit for all his work with all 3 of our children though...he worked hard at being easy child's bowling coach, he worked hard at being oldest difficult child's football coach in younger years and he has tried his best with young difficult child in various ways even though they are so different from one another. He is SO tired these days, the years are beginning to really show. But he has given them both examples of what a husband and father does...that provision you speak of, he has shown it mightily. He even still reads the bible most every night.
    and G-d knows husband was a wild child once upon a time, lol...and he survived.

  20. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Thank you Keista!
    I laughed out loud at the "fate G-d whatever" intervening too funny. Yep, I got spared!
    Now...I just have to figure out exactly what I want to say in a letter to young difficult child.

    and thanks for the "thoughts of strength"...I am feeling them!!!