Son in jail

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nightflyer, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer New Member

    My 33 year old son has been in jail for 1 year and has not even come to trial yet. I refused to bail him out. He was on drugs for years and decided to withdraw and after about 1 month became delusional and committed crimes. Went to a psychiatric hospital and then to jail. The crimes he committed effected my husband and I. Not physically injurious but economically and emotionally injurious. He has always been a difficult child and we were not always able to handle him correctly. I have alot of guilt due to this and find myself depressed. He blames us for all that has happened to him. I am glad I found this forum it has helped me already.
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I am glad you found us and sad you need to be here. You are not alone.

    We are not perfect we are parents. Nothing you have done to your son could be the cause of his behaviour. You didn’t Cause this you can’t Cure this and you can’t Control this.

    Your son is safe and in jail his time waiting for trial will count towards his sentence. No need to bail him out to allow him to get into more trouble. There are programs and support I. Jail. He is 33. He is accountable for his own actions and his own life.

    Our son is awaiting entry into rehab. He is only 18. I can’t inagine what is had been like for you to be going through this for 33 years!

    Get some help and support for yourself. Know you are not alone.
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  3. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hello Nightflyer and welcome to the forum. So very sorry for your need to be here.
    This is a difficult situation. When our d cs become adults, go off the rails and make egregious choices, the ultimate ones including crimes against their own parents and family. It is all mind blowing, heart wrenching and completely unacceptable. YOU did not cause this, can't control it, or cure it, and can't change it. 33 is an adult. Our d cs grow up and make their own lives and choices. When drugs and addiction are involved, they become unrecognizable. It is a pain like no other, I am so sorry for your aching Mommas heart.
    What is correctly? There are no instruction books within our heads in an instance where a d c is acting out and we are besides ourselves with everything that entails. I have times to look back on and wish I had controlled myself more, spent time reviewing and learned to forgive myself. We are only human and make mistakes. D cs, when younger and under our supervision, ramping it up and causing stressful situations, how is one supposed to act? It is a hard, hard road to travel. A loving child does not use our past parenting mistakes over and again to blame their choices on.
    This is aptly called FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) and many of us have been engulfed in it at some point in time or another. D c's use this to manipulate us.
    Please take action to help with your depression. It is very understandable under your circumstances. There is lots of help for parents like us who are facing this.
    Awwwww, the blame game. Been through it many times. I fell into the trap of blaming myself, there were times I felt I could have done.....should have done......but that is retrospect. We all did the best jobs we could with what we had at the time. Our kids grow up and make their own lives. There are people who have been through far worse, and still walked the straight and narrow. Addiction is a disease, but drugs are a choice. Crime is a choice.
    Our d cs blame us for their troubles because it makes it easier for them to continue as is, and to look in the mirror. Don't let your son manipulate you emotionally with blame. He is 100% responsible for his own actions as an adult. Period.
    You did the right thing in not bailing him out. I wouldn't bail my two out. Sometimes, I wish they would go to jail. Three square meals and lots of time to think about life, and choices.
    It is hard to watch our d cs take this road.
    We matter, too.
    You matter, Nightflyer.
    You have the rest of your life to live, and life is short.
    I am glad you found us.
    Welcome to the little club that no one wants to be a member of, but, it is a good place to be for folks like us. No one here is an expert, just parents with similar stories, at different junctures on the journey.
    Please know that you are not alone, and most of all, you deserve peace of heart and mind.
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  4. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome Nightflyer, I'm glad you found us here. Within these pages you will find much wisdom from warrior parents who have been traveling this journey for a long time.

    My son is currently in prison. He is on year year 2 of a 2 year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon (knife). This is not his first time, there have been quite a few. (read my signature)

    As for your son blaming you for the mess he's made of his life, please don't buy into that. It is probably one of the most common characteristics our difficult adult children share, to blame mom and dad.
    It's easier for them to blame us than to accept responsibility for the poor choices they have made. When they blame us, as parents we hear that and think "what did I do wrong" "how did I cause this". When they blame us they make us question who we are as parents, they make us question our own sanity and this in turn results in us feeling guilty.
    There is no such thing as a perfect parent, we have all made mistakes but that does not equate to our children making poor choices.
    There are too many examples of parents who have more than one child, all raised the same and yet there is that one that goes off the rails while the others grow into responsible adults.
    Please understand, this is nothing you did or didn't do. This is not your fault. Your son has made his own choices that have led him to where he is.

    There is a term we use here, the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) When we first start on this journey with our difficult adult children it's so easy to lost in the FOG. I know I was for many years. I had fear - my son was homeless, was he safe, was he lying in a ditch dead, was he overdosing on drugs, was he going to break into our house again and ransack it, was he going to steal from us again, etc.......... I had obligation - he's my son, I have to help him, I have to protect him, I have to make this right for him, etc....... I had guilt - this is all my fault, I must not have been a good mother, I must not have loved him enough, I must not have been there for him enough, how could I have let this happen to him, how could I let him be homeless, etc........
    I was finally able to come out of the FOG. I came to understand that my son's poor choices were his and his alone. You see we as parents do not have any control over what our adult children do. In fact when they become young adolescents they start making their own choices, good or bad.

    I strongly encourage you to work on coming out of the FOG. I repeat, this is not your fault. You did not force your son to do the things he has done that has led him to be in jail. Now is the time for you take your life back. This can sound so strange because for so long we as parents have been sucked into the vortex of chaos that is our difficult adult children's lives.
    Start by doing things that bring you joy. Yes, I said joy. It's okay for you to be happy despite your sons circumstances. Remember, his circumstances are the consequence of his choices. Start doing things for yourself - buy some flowers, go to dinner with friends, go for a walk in the park and take in the beauty of this world, treat yourself to a day at the spa, just do something for yourself.

    This is not your fault.
    You have nothing to feel guilty about.
    It's okay to live your life and be happy.
    You deserve to be happy.
    You are not alone.

    I'm so glad you are here with us now.

    ((HUGS)) to you............................
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  5. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer New Member

  6. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer New Member

    Thanks what a great source of inspiration I have found it has made all the difference
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Your son is a 33 year old MAN! He committed crimes against you when he should have been out doing all he could to build a life so he could be there to help you in your old age. Please don't drop the charges at any point. He needs to learn that he has to grow up and carry his own weight, or at least stop making his parents do it!!

    There are a lot of great resources out there to help you deal with the FOG. Read Codependent No More. It is a classic because it speaks to the heart of so many of us. Also read the article on detachment at the top of the Parents Emeritus forum. None of this is your fault. I can tell. How? You are here!!! That is how.

    As for things you could have done better when he was a kid, phooey. Just Phooey. You did the best you could with what you had and what you knew. When you had better or knew better, you did better. I am willing to bet that on exactly zero days you woke up an asked yourself, "What can I do today to mess my child up in the worst way possible so that he will have the most trauma for the rest of his life?? That sounds like what I want to do today!" Since you never did that, I would say that it is time for your son to take responsibility.

    He has only been an adult for 15 years. What has HE accomplished? You have to get over it and move on at some point! (Just a hint, Junior, jail for abusing your parents is NOT an accomplishment!)
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  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    I am so happy that you found us. The folks on this forum were a godsend for husband and me. Our Difficult Child was about your son's age when I found this wonderful place.

    Welcome and hugs!!!

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