Son Facing Prison


Hi, I am new to the forum and am looking for support. I have a 35 year old son you has a meth addiction. He went to rehab for a year and I thought he really had the tools he needed. It got out June of last year. Has held a job, bought a truck, supported his 8 year old daughter etc. Then Thursday the police came to my house with a warrant for his arrest. I thought it was a warrant for violation of probation. However over the weekend I was able to piece together information and find that he is involved with the people that were arrested the same day as the day they came to my house looking for him. He is involved, I know it. And he is not turning himself in.

What do I do? I know, there is nothing I can do, right? But I mean how do I come to work, pretend everything is okay? I can not quit crying. Everytime someone asks are you okay, I just want to bust out crying.

Everytime I think of his daughter, I cry. Everytime I think of him, I cry. Please tell me I will survive this regardless of the outcome.

Thanks for listening!


Well-Known Member
I did not go through as much as you did or for as long. But for me, therapy and Al Anon saved me. I could not have done it alone. Dont try. Reach out to others who understand and can help in real time.

You are right. Your son is 35. He will do what he wants to do. There are no magic words. At his age, he has to do it. He is a full grown man making decisions with full knowlege of the consequences. He is not that little boy you used to care for. He has his own child and will need to get his act together in order to know her as she grows up. Also up to him.

My best advice is to not live your life dependent upon your son. He is seperate from you. You are different people. You taught him right but he chose to disregard your good parenting.

Smile. Your tears help nobody, especially not you. Be good you yourself. You are the only person you can control.
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Well-Known Member
You are in the right place, and Somewhere's advice is spot on. I am struggling in the same way - 36 year old daughter, clean, but who has mental health issues, and will be homeless soon with 2 young children. I am still enabling, and it helps no one.. I know that I need to disengage. Our children are adults making their own choices. I pray for peace within the storm for you, and courage to take care of yourself, the same prayer I have for myself.


Sorry Wendy that you had to come to this place in your life. Know that we all understand . I do agree with the posters above. You cannot manage his life, nor are you responsible for it. He is a grown man who has made choices and now must face the consequences. Swots words as always are bang on:

"My best advice is to not live your life dependent upon your son. He is seperate from you. You are different people. You taught him right but he chose to disregard your good parenting.

Smile. Your tears help nobody, especially not you. Be good you yourself. You are the only person you can control".

Yes you are the only person you can control, and once I learned that the universe suddenly seemed easier for me.

There is an excellent article on loving detachment on this site somewhere....I have read it many many times and it does help. But as the others suggest as well please get help for yourself. Many of us have done that, still do that and having someone there to help navigate the stormy seas has saved many of us. Hugs to you!

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Wendy,

I'm sorry for what you are going through but you are not alone. My son is currently in jail awaiting trial. He will most likely have to do several years in prison. This is not his first go around.

This is new to you so I understand how hard it is to process. There is nothing you can do for him. He made a choice to align himself with people that were not law abiding citizens.

@wisernow gave a good suggestion about the article on detachment. Here is the link Article on Detachment
It's at the top of the Parent Emeritus forum.

Your son is 35, same age as my son. My son also has two children that he abandoned 7 years ago. Yes, all of this is heartbreaking but we do not have to allow it to define us. I have managed to successfully detach from my son. It did not happen overnight but I made a decision that I needed to take my life back and start living for myself. I will always love my son but I cannot make him change, I can only change myself.

You can get through this. There are many of us here who have been at the depths of despair over our adult difficult children and we have manged to take our lives back and to be happy.

Stay with us here and let us know how you are doing. We care.

((HUGS)) to you..................


Well-Known Member
Welcome Wendy,
You have come to a safe place here, and we understand. We know how hard it is. We asked / still ask the same questions. We also had times and still have times we can not quit crying. But I can definitely tell you ~ YES, you will survive ~ regardless of the outcome. You are going to be alright.

I learned hard about detachment when I came to this forum, and I highly suggest you read and re-read the detachment article for which Tanya provided the link. Detachment is the survival mechanism. It does not mean detaching from loving and caring for you son, but detaching from enabling, detaching from the outcomes, and releasing what you cannot control. It’s also detaching from and releasing all the dreams, expectations, and plans we had for these grown adult children who have chosen different paths for themselves and must reap the results of their own choices and abilities. We can do nothing ourselves to change them.

It is sometimes a grief process, not easy, and often long, but you will survive it. Stick with us here, and share all you want. It helps. You are so not alone.

Many here have been through the similar situation you are going through. My son is now 37. He has been to jail. He has 2 children he does not often see and does not support at all. He rarely communicates with anyone in our family. It is actually a relief not to hear from him. I really don’t trust him, can’t count on him, and recede from his needs as much as I can. I’ve let him know it is up to him (and only him) to make his life what he wants, by his choices and actions. Right now, it seems he does not want very much, barely can pay for his living, working very little, but just to skim by. But if that is all he wants and needs for himself, that is his choice, and I must accept it with detachment from the outcome. You are right ~ there is nothing you can do, nothing any of us can do. But we do survive .

Stay with us, dear. Take time to read some of the other current and past posts of other members. There is much wisdom and guidance in the sharing here. And share all you want, as it is a relief and comforting support to reach out without pretending and know others are there for you without any judgement, but only understanding.
Take care. Kalahou
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My son has been in jail for over a month now. I remember the weekend he went, I was in shock and sad. How I have changed in the past 6 weeks! Thanks to places like here and a great counselor. I have an amazing life and an amazing family, and for their sake I will enjoy life with them regardless of the fact my son made some very bad decisions. Having a counselor who also worked in a prison has been helpful. I knew that the route my son was going would eventually lead to here but wow, when it actually happens you are shocked and then next you wonder what people would think if they knew your bad secret that you have a child in prison. Without support and reading scripture daily, I would still be crying and embarrassed. Now, I don't tell everyone what's happening in my life, but I am not ashamed or embarrassed. I have a child that keeps making bad choices. He calls me, we talk and I let him know I love him but I don't hide the fact that he deserves to be there for breaking the law over and over.....I cannot give him advice as we can't talk about his case on the phone so for the first time in his life he is having to make decisions about his future on his own and he won't be able to blame others. As for me, I know he is safe and being fed so if it's not comfortable, then he either changes or accepts life there. You will learn to cope with your son's life and please choose to continue to live your own life and be happy. I wasted so much time worrying about my son that I forgot to live my life for years. I refuse to give my son the power to make or break my life and happiness. That being said, my son is an adult and i can't control his life either.


Active Member
I too have a son who just went back to prison 2x. I was shocked he went back. But he made the bad choices that led him there. He knew the consequences. He threw everything away once again. Go ahead and take a day and cry your eyes out. Scream! Then keep reading that detachment article. And concentrate on who needs your attention, yourself and grandkids. Prayers


Thanks for all your replies and support.

I have not been online much, I have been staying with my daughter

In my earlier post, I failed to mention that I also have another adult son who lives at home with me, who is a twenty six year old herion addict. I feel like such a failure, raising two addicts. I can not stay at home alone with the herion addict because he spends his whole pay check in two days and then harrasses me for money the rest of the week.

Even my son in jail says I am sick as they are, I am an enabler. He does not say it to be mean, it is the truth.
Even in his worst addiction,he is kind to me. The other son, addicted to herion, is mean to me and I embrassed to say that I am actually scared of him.

I realize I can not stay away from my home forever, but I have to get the courage to stand up to him and not be afraid.


Well-Known Member
Call the police, wendy? Its your home and he is a heroin addict using under your roof. Heroin is extremely addictive and he needs a push to quit, not comfort. It wont encourage him to change his life.

A family acquaintance, age 35, just died of a heroin overdose...maybe nothing will stop your son, but you know he wont quit while his life is so comfortable...