Son being released from jail fills me with concerns.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Acacia, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Update on my one of my difficult children: 32 year old son in jail for 1 1/2 years for violation of probration (original charges were drugs (felony)and violation of probation), due to be released next week. He has a 2 year old daughter in foster care and an addicted ex-girlfriend.

    The jail may not release him because he doesn't have anywhere to go, and there are no transitional programs in our town. He is angry because I will not take him and his daughter in and won't let him use my address. He wants no advice and has no house, no job, no car, nothing. I know it won't be my fault if they keep him, but I'm torn between sadness and frustration and feeling helpless.

    It breaks my heart that he's in this situation, yet I know he created this through his choices and behavior. He didn't want me to visit him at jail because every time I set a boundary or have an opinion different than he does, he thinks I am mean and a lousy mother. He is controlling, manipulative, verbally abusive, blames me for everything, and is just plain difficult. At 65, I just can't take it.

    I am holding my boundaries, but inside I am mush -filled with fear, doubt, and heartbreak. Part of the fear is that I will give in or that he won't stop harassing and guilting me.

    Reading the posts here always helps. Always. Thanks.
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel


    Oh my heart is with you. Stay strong and keep your boundaries solid.

    Enabling him and supporting him will do nothing to improve his predicament.

    Try to find some positive support for yourself.
  3. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I am in the same place right now worried about whether I will be able to hold tough when my son is released. He is also not allowed at my house and will be homeless. I had a long talk with my husband today and told him he is going to have to help me to hold strong. I am already worried about jobs, utilities and transportation. I just posted about this. Do you have any support that you can count on? Husband other adult children? Do you go to a counselor for support? I am more fortunate because there are transitional programs but I am not sure he will take advantage. They do like to keep us in a fog but maybe by listening to the wise people on this site we can stay strong.
  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Granddaughter first.

    If she is in a stable placement with a loving family I don't believe you should pull her out to live with elderly grandparents (I am your age) and messed up son. I think it would be best to refuse that.

    I also don't think you can take in your son. It is too stressful, he is too difficult and the rest of your life in my opinion should be peaceful. Get a restraining order against him if he harasses you. He has no right.
  5. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I understand your very valid concerns. My son is in jail because he violated a no trespass order for my property and broke 3 large widows. These are class b misdemeanors. He could have gotten out on a personal recognise bond if I would have vouched for him. No way would do that. He will continue to be homeless when they do release him. I don't feel guilty.
  6. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies. I know I am not alone in this type of struggle. I pray for all of us. Yes, I have a good support system, but even with that, I struggle with the thoughts in my head that I know are not logical or in my best interest.

    Somewhere, my son asked me to take my granddaughter until he can. I am 65, a high school teacher with a one hour commute each way, but more importantly, I said no because taking her would mean I would have constant contact with my son and his ex, and he doesn't like the way I do anything, except enabling. It broke my heart to say no because it's not in my nature.

    We live in a state with expensive housing and a lack of services. I know I cannot save my son, but I want him to have a fighting chance. Here's the thing: a change in attitude and humility would work in his favor. I can't give him that. He's got to be the one who changes.

    Told my therapist this week, "What you're saying is logical, but logic isn't working well for me. That's why I'm here. I need help to change."

    I asked my husband to open the letter he sent later today. I'm sure I'll be back to post.

    Thanks again.
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  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That's the bottom line isn't it Acacia? It's ALL up to him.

    I have compassion for the struggles you find yourself in.....I've been in the same struggles, there are no easy answers. You have a good support system, you know what to do, and it still feels so bad. I know. All we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep day, one moment at a time.

    I haven't read this book yet, but I've come across it a few times, so if it speaks to you, you may want to read it. Here's a link;

    Hang in there Acacia, keep posting. We're here for you.....
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  8. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Well of course he's angry with you, you didn't swoop in to make everything okay for the mess he created. If anyone has the right to be angry it's you. How dare he expect you to take him and his daughter into your home and what would that look like? You would be the one buying all the food to feed him and his child and most likely you would be the one watching his child while he "looks for a job" and after doing this for 6 months to a year, then what? Perhaps I'm wrong but typically, when a difficult adult child expects to move in with mom, it rarely goes well for mom. I know you know that this is all on him, he created the mess he's in. Of course you're sad, your mommy heart would love nothing more than to be able to swoop in and make everything in his world okay but he's not a three year old that fell down and skinned his knee. The reality is he's a grown man that needs to grow up and take responsibility for his own life.

    At 65 you should be living your life for yourself!
    I learned with my son to no longer offer any advice or have an opinion about anything as the result is the same as what you got from your son.
    Your son is 32, it's time he stopped blaming you for the mess he's made of his life.
    My son has also tried blaming me for the mess he's made of his life.
    Here's the thing, at 18 they became adults, they were no longer under our "control" and were free to choose and live the life they wanted to. Your son has had 14 years of being an adult and he's still trying to blame you.
    Acacia, live your life to the fullest without regret or guilt. You deserve to live your life the way you want without the chaos from your son.

    Good, I'm glad that you are holding your boundaries. Something that has really helped me with my son is to have some canned answers at the ready for whatever he might ask for, money, help, a place to stay, etc.....
    Son: Mom, I need money really bad
    Me: I'm not able to help you
    Son: You have to, I'm going to starve to death
    Me: I'm not able to help you
    Son: If you loved me you would give me the money
    Me: I'm not able to help you
    Son: I know you have the money why won't you help me
    Me: I'm not able to help you
    Son: You're a cold hearted B****, I hate you
    Me: I'm sorry you feel that way, I love you. Goodbye.

    One of the most important lessons I've learned is to not engage into a debate as to why I won't give money or help him. I do not owe my son any kind of explanation as to why I won't help him. My finances are none of his business. My home is my sanctuary and is not open for him to invade into my peace.

    My son will be released from jail late summer early fall this year. I totally get how you feel. I have no doubt that my son will expect me to help him but it's not going to happen.

    Hang in there!! You are stronger than you realize.
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  9. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    I would have to say to stay strong. I cannot imagine how hard that is but taking him in your home now will hurt you AND him.

    He is too old to be counting on momma. He needs to live his own life, separate from you.

    I'm reading Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This is to help me with our son who is 22. I also need it for other relationships in my life. I have been afraid of doing things I don't want to do to keep other people happy and I don't want to be that person anymore.

    It has a spiritual spin on it which I also find helpful.
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  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    That's a really good book too.
  11. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    In my experience, if my son (36 years old) ever sounded like he had sincerely changed, then helping might be something I would consider. As it is, my son has shown no signs of changing at all. He still feels entitled, still thinks others owe him, still thinks he got a bad rap, etc. etc. No, nothing from me until his heart changes. I quit holding my breath for that a couple years ago.

    Last night I had a very vivid dream about Difficult Child coming back into my life, wanting money and appearing desperate. I got little sleep after that dream. Like you, I know better, but our heart and emotions can cloud the waters.

    Still, my advice to me is -- not one thing, until Difficult Child makes a 180 degree turn.

    Stay strong and stay with us.
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  12. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    All of your replies are so helpful to me, and I appreciate learning from those who are stronger and wiser, so I have the possibility of being stronger, too.

    Recovering, I just ordered the book you recommended. I have another with a similar title.

    Tanya, I have a list of neutral responses - one by each phone, so I don't get sucked into my son's vortex.

    Seeking, the most important thing to me is what you're talking about "if my son ever sounded like he had sincerely changed" I have deluded myself that even a small change in his behavior was a real change in his thinking, which it wasn't.

    I am struggling because he is so unrealistic, so, whether true or not, I just project everything falling apart. I am so not living in the present.

    Like they say in 12 step, I'll keep coming back.
  13. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    My son managed to fool me for a year! I truly thought he was changing for the better when in reality he was playing me. He figured out that if he made it appear that he was making better choices and really "trying" that I would continue to help him.
    I hold 1% hope that my son will someday become a responsible person and be a productive part of society but he will have to do it on his own and maintain it for at least 3 years before I would even consider believing he had really changed.