When My Son Gets Out of Jail.......

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Memedixie, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

    My difficult son is not a young adult, he is in his 40's. It is now or never that I quit enabling him and get my
    my life back. He was never diagnosed with any particular mental disorder. He has a high IQ, pleasant looking, charming, all that jazz. He is also a liar and a master manipulator that has stolen from me for years. In spite of all that I still tried and tried to help him, financially and otherwise.

    He is in jail after getting into a fight with his girlfriend. Domestic assault and she threw in a few more charges too. This abusive, toxic relationship has been going on for a year now. She has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and has contributed greatly to the hell I've been living in. It makes me a nervous wreck not knowing what's coming next. She was homeless when he met her and will be again unless she hooks up with another loser while he's out of the picture. From my lips........that would be awesome!

    Now that he is in jail, I hope he takes advantages of any resources that could help him on the outside.
    When he gets out, he can NOT live with me! I have to make it stick! How do I deal with knowing he may have to live on the street? I wish he could get into a men's rehabilitation program when he gets out. I just have to enjoy these next few weeks of peace. He may be in there for a month so that gives me some time to get my bearings.

    I would very much appreciate hearing from others who have dealt with similar situations. Thank you.
  2. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    You are right. It is time for you to live your life. He will push back. Have they been living with you? Do you have a support system? Do you have a security system? Do you have a counselor?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your son is in his 40s and able bodied. He doesnt have to live on the street, but if that is his choice, he will survive. I have a 39 year old son and he is difficult but knows better than to not work or get thrown in jail because he would be on his own. I have expectations of adults of that age, even my son. The excuses, the pity parties....you are 39, find ways to help yourself. I cant live forever and you have a Mother now, not a Mommy.

    I have been in therapy for years and, boy, it REALLY helped me. Many here go for help. To learn what we can do to help yourself. There is nothing we can do for our adult offspring who want us to baby them even in middle age.

    You cant be young. It is time for you to travel, make new friends, enjoy old friends and family who are kind to you, find new and old hobbies, garden, exercise, sing, dance be at peace in your own home. If your son wants to be homeless, he will turn street smart and also find various gullible people who will let him couch surf for a while. There are food pantries and shelters. They learn where they are when on the street. The homeless community is close and helpful to one another. That is a comfort.

    Maybe being homeless will give Son a kick start to get a job, or at least apply to collect welfare and food stamps and find section 8 housing. He is smart enough to do that.

    Meanwhile you need serenity and happiness. I hope you get a therapist and go after peace.
  4. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    This site is a great source of strength and support to stay strong. I keep having to reread posts, so I don't start doubting myself. My situation is similar and different. I have 3 kids, he oldest two by my first husband. They are in their 30's and still expect me to rescue them. My daughter has left another abuser, has two children, and is on the verge of homelessness. My older son will be released from jail in a few months with no place to go. They both blame me and have not treated me well. I relate to what you said -"I have to make it stick." Me, too. Twelve step helps me because I have a really good group, but mostly I keep having to tell myself that they are adults, they make their choices, and I am not responsible for them anymore, no matter how much they try to guilt me. Keep working on serenity within the storm.
  5. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    When your son is released he will most likely have the opportunity to live in a halfway house. If that is not an option for him then he will need to find other arrangements.
    My son is currently in prison, doing 2 yrs for assault. In one of the letters he sent he said he hopes that our relationship can become strong and that I will welcome him back into my home. He has already started the manipulation for when he is released. My son was already homeless when he was arrested and in his letter he complained that he does not know what he will do when he gets out. I will not allow him to manipulate me.

    I understand how hard it is. I have been down this road with my son for many years, he's 35. I love my son dearly but he will never live in my home again. That I am sure of.

    Here a some things that have helped me to deal with my son being homeless.
    I stopped seeing him as my "little boy"' and started seeing him as the grown man he is.
    I came to understand that his homelessness was his choice.
    I reminded myself that enabling him was not helping him.

    I've had people ask me "how could you allow your son to be homeless?" my answer, he's a grown man, I have no control over what he does with his life. He is living the life he has chosen.

    You deserve to have your life back, to live it without worrying about your son. We as parents do not have the power to change or control our adult children. The only power and control we have is how we choose to respond to them. Take your life back and live it to the fullest. It's okay.

    ((HUGS)) to you.................
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  6. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    HI Meme ,

    I know what it is like to be older with an older difficult child. My son is 37, and has many of the same traits you described in your son. You can read my story in my initial posts about all the similar things I was dealing with (as is everyone on this forum), how I learned about detachment, and had my son leave our house, with nowhere to go, how painful it was and all the same mess etc. Then he finally ended up in jail, where he was headed all along.

    Yes, it was hard to put him out of the house. A few times he came back with a back pack and in tears and wanting to hug me. But I could not hug him back. I knew in my heart that it would be harder still to keep going with all the enabling, and all the despair in my heart to see things just getting worse, not better. I made him leave mostly because I had to save myself. I could just not keep living the way it was.

    The last time my son was in jail, it was for almost 6 months – long enough for him to realize he did not want to live in jail as a permanent home. Fortunately for him, he was released to an 18 -month court program, which required him to stay at a sober house and to get a minimal job. It has now been a year in the program. I think he has learned to live simply and to not expect much, being mainly motivated not to go back to jail. I do not see or hear from him often, which is best for all, while still remaining connected and cordial .

    Now after a year, he is coming to a stage in the court program where he could possibly move out of the sober house, and he vaguely suggested to me a few weeks ago that he might consider coming back home “to save money.” I said no – not an option- saving money is not an issue now - he needs to use his meager funds to support himself. And even more so, I told him I honestly think he is doing better with his life by staying in the sober house, where there are other folks (in similar straights, trying to hold it together) which give a sense of community and support to each other. I don’t think he likes it much and he is not a very happy person (has an innate melancholy personality) , but he does have to find his own way, for better or worse. He cannot come back to our home again to live here.
    You got it ! Stick with it! What will our sons do when we are no longer here? For their own good, they need to finally grow their wings and jump from the nest – and flounder until they fly - little by little. It is the only way. So stick with it, Meme, and know you are going to be alright.
    • Winner Winner x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • List
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  7. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the other warrior mom's, it is time to let your son go into the destiny he has created for himself. It is not your problem, it is his life.

    My daughter is 44 and very much like you describe your son. It's been a long haul for me to let go of enabling her. And without any exaggeration, it has been the hardest thing I've ever done to detach from her lifestyle choices and behaviors and to stop "saving" her. She lived with us a number of times but it NEVER worked out for anyone, so that is not an option. Recently she was evicted from her place of residence after 2.5 years of living in a home with no running water due to a faulty well. Then the electricity was turned off, no water, no electricity but still she made no move to change her life until the eviction. She was couch surfing for 2 weeks and contacted me to let me know she was again homeless. She's been in jail, homeless and destitute quite a number of times. She knew living with us is not an option and she said she'd handle it. After going through the hell of worry about her homelessness, which I've been through a number of times, within 24 hours she found a place to stay..... which in many ways is a vast improvement over where she's been. It is SO difficult to say no, to step back and refrain from taking any action. However, often when we can do that, the kids find a way or make a way.

    My boundaries have gotten very strong and I believe, as many parents here do, that stepping out of their orbit and stopping enabling, stopping handling what they could and should be handling themselves, is often the only way many of our kids learn to take a stand for themselves. My daughter may be doing this same thing for the rest of her life, I don't know, but what I do know is that I will not take responsibility for her choices anymore. It took me a long time to gain this level of detachment and acceptance, and I won't go back to that place of devastation, suffering, pain, resentment, anger and helplessness. The improvements in my life are profound, the peace and joy that had gotten so lost while I did my stint in hell with my daughter are back. As the Serenity Prayer says so succinctly, once we can accept what we cannot change what we get is SERENITY. And after the years of dysfunction with my daughter, serenity and peace of mind are miracles I am grateful for every single day.

    This is a tough path Memedixie, it's hard, but it is doable. One step at a time, sometimes one minute at a time, but if you continue down this path learning how to detach, learning to accept what you can't change....your life will change in meaningful, powerful, lovely ways which honor YOU.
  8. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

  9. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

  10. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

    Hello friend, I just reread your post and it is so inspiring. I made an appointment to speak to a pastor Wednesday that mentors men in jail. I hope he also has some wise words for me and my son.
  11. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

  12. Memedixie

    Memedixie Member

    You are awesome. Thank you so much for sharing and your words of wisdom.