Should I answer his calls after he's incarcerated?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Natsom, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    My dear son is still on the lamb. He took off last week after he missed a court appearance and a bench warrant was issued. He called me later in the week and told me he was "going underground". He told me he had purchased a motorcycle, and he gave me the brand and model (?), and that he was in San Diego, a couple of hundred miles away.

    I had a funny feeling when he was telling me these things. It seemed scripted. Indeed, I found out yesterday through bank activity that he is still close to home. It won't be long until he's caught. I have a family member in the sheriffs dept who's pulling some strings.

    So here I sit waiting for the inevitable. Working hard to get on with my life. Working hard to stay positive. Working really hard not to go to that dark place.

    Here's my question: Should I accept the charges when I get that call from jail? Should I speak with him?

    It scares me to death just to think about it.

    He'll be facing some pretty harsh realities. No more private attorney, it's public defenders for him now. No more money, I won't give him a penny. And he'll be detoxing from meth.

    Of course I love him, but I won't be able to rescue him this time. He's gone to far.

    He's lied to me, disrespected me, bullied me... but he's still my son.

    I'm so torn. On one hand I want him to know that I will always love him, and I'm here to help if he makes better choices. On the other hand, I'm not sure if I have the strength to talk with him. I'm afraid it will set me back on any progress I have made letting go.

    Advice please!!
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My son has not been arrested that I know about but I have!!

    The thing is you're damned if you do and if you don't. If you do not answer the phone one time, you might agonize over it, later, as I would.

    Why not script it like you think he did, and write briefly what you want to say, telling him first that that the condition of the call is that he hear you first, hanging up if he intrudes before you finish.

    But before he may call think about and write down where you stand, and what your limits are. These I would not share with him. They are yours to know.

    But that does not mean you do not want to tell him you love him. But I think your safety and stability has to come first.

    I was arrested twice as a young woman. The first time I spent the night in jail. I cried and cried. I did call my mother who was not happy. While it was scary, I survived. If I can get through it, anybody can.

    People who go to prison get by. They know they have screwed up and most accept responsibility. Especially the meth addicts, who are in time grateful.

    The best thing that can happen is that he is arrested. You are the suffering one here. Let us stick together and get through this. Keep posting.
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Natsom,
    First, good job on staying focused on your life and staying positive.

    The numerous times my son was in jail I made it clear to him that he could only call every two weeks as it was a collect call and very expensive. Even if we only chatted for 5 minutes, I was charged for the full 15 minutes. I'm sure there are different rules for different facilities. I would suggest you find out the particulars. I also made it very clear to my son that if he started in on a rant or started using foul language that I would hang up.
    You have to decide what you will and will not put up with.

    You have more strength than you realize. You already know that you cannot rescue him, and you have said you will not give him any more money.
    You are in control of you, do not let this set you back.
    You might find it helpful to have a "script" of sorts at the ready with your responses. You know your son and you know what questions he is likely to ask.
    If it's get uncomfortable you can always say "I love you, gotta run" and hang up.
    If you really don't think you can talk to him on the phone you can always communicate through letters.

    You will get through this. We are here for you.

  4. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    Good idea. Maybe he'll be in a position that he will actually listen. Every time I've tried this approach in the past he would have a freak out. He would go into his manipulative "panic attack" mode. Start screaming and stuttering. Tell me what a horrible person and parent I am. Then start ranting about killing himself. (He's never even tried to kill himself as far as I know.) Sometimes when he gets in this mindset it almost seems like he's a demon.

    I know he would be acting on what has worked for him in the past. I take responsibility for that, but I'm not going to let him play me anymore.

    So, what I would have to do is hang up on him when he starts the rant. Ouch.
  5. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    Maybe it would be a good idea to start out with a letter. Set the ground rules for a call.
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is typical manipulative behavior. Our D C's are counting on these tactics to make us feel guilty or afraid in hopes that we will give into them.
    They can also be very subtle, one thing my son used to do when he was in jail was tell me they didn't feed him enough, that he was always hungry and if I would put money on his account he could get extra food from the commissary. I did put money on his account and then he would tell me it wasn't enough, he needed more. When I found out he was using it to buy junk food I put a stop to it.
    Be prepared for him to say things like "you don't love me, if you loved me you would do A,B & C." Don't buy into it.
    Now, you go out and do something wonderful for yourself, a manicure, a triple scoop of ice cream, a new outfit, something.....................just be good to yourself.

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  7. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    Thank you for your kind words. I will. I'm going to go sign up for a membership at the gym today!

    Nothing like some exercise or yoga to relieve stress :wellduh:

    {{HUGS BACK!}}
  8. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I would answer the first call simply to set the guidelines for further contact. You could even answer the call and say, "you will receive a letter from me with the guidelines for further contact." Then say I love you and goodbye.
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  9. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    My son has been in jail 8 or 9 times. The first few times I talked to him by phone but most of the phone systems jails have set up are ripoff and very expensive. Also the calls would upset me a lot and I felt very frazzled and frustrated after we hung up.

    Letters and postcards and occasional visits were the way I chose to communicate with my son after I got used to it all.

    If you try a call you can decide if it works for you or not. Hang in there. You have your head on straight. He is likely to be much better off in jail.
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  10. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    Nothing like keeping it simple. After all, he's lost all of his power over me as long as I don't fall prey to his manipulation. He only has power over himself. The sooner he figures this out the better.

    I appreciate your wisdom on this subject. I'm glad you helped me think this through before I hear that dreaded message. I'm in charge of what I will allow in my life. With kindness.
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  11. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    Darn. Just as I was patting myself on the back for having a good week, the hammer fell again. Guess it just keeps falling and I have to learn to accept that.

    On Monday I applied for a volunteer position at the nature center up here in the mountains. Tuesday I joined the gym, yea!!!! Today I went to an Al-anon meeting, first one in several years. I'm doing good, taking care of myself. Then...

    I find out that the checks my dear son has been depositing in our account, over $6,000 worth, are fraudulent. They had been altered. I called the bank and they told me that since I wasn't the primary on the account I couldn't close it. The good thing is that I will not be held accountable to pay off the fraud. I still feel uncomfortable, but I'll just have to wait and see how this plays out. Next time he goes to the bank he's in for a big surprise!

    I can't wait for him to be arrested. I hope it's soon.

    This is killing me. We paid attorneys to have his last crimes reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. What a waste. I'm pretty sure what he's doing now is a felony.

    Fortunately, I'm going out to dinner with my brother tonight. That will help me keep me distracted for awhile.
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  12. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Just keep holding on to the good stuff. How awesome to be a volunteer at the nature center!! Good job on joining the gym and going to that Al-anon meeting.
    As for the checks and any other money you have spent just chalk it up to tuition charges for the school of "Dealing with a D C"
    My husband and I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to help our son. Yes indeed it's an expensive education, just glad I passed and I don't have to repeat the course ;)
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Two things.

    Look Nat. You got the attorney from your heart. From love. For the right reasons. It was not wrong.

    Now you would do it different. That does not mean you were wrong. Then.

    You know a lot more now. About your son. About yourself.

    All of the things you did this week are tremendous. Great strides. Finding out more about your son and how he operates does not take away one bit of it.
    It only strengthens you.

    He is an addict. This is what addicts do. It has nothing to do with you except that it is your child who is doing it. You will erect boundaries. Strong enough boundaries.

    In a way finding out about this betrayal will make everything easier that is certain to come.

    Keep dedicating yourself to you, and your family around you. You are doing great.

    Your son is walking his own path. He will soon reach a turn in the road. And consequences. This is a good thing.

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  14. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    I agree. The path is very clear now. Sort of. He chose to go on the lamb and eliminate me from his life. He had no problem leaving me behind. Hurts. Ouch!! But it definitely brought clarity.
  15. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I love that you are taking care in you even in the midst of more bad stuff.

    Doing just that is the pathway to peace and to healthy boundaries between us and all people especially our precious DCs.

    People do what they do. I came to believe that the fact that law enforcement doesn't accept excuses or delays or tall tales is the best thing that ever happened to our DCs. The buck may not stop with us like it should but it does stop with the legal system. Fear of prison was one key element in my son's path back.

    Keep it going! Do nice things for YOU today.
  16. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    Thank you. It's a roller coaster ride. I'm grieving today. Paralyzed.

    This too shall pass.