Thursday, February 5, 2009

Guilt of Relaxing

He's been in jail since last Friday on a warrant for not paying his fines associated with traffic offenses over one year ago. He goes in front of the judge today. No matter, Johnson County also has a warrant for him for violating his house arrest. I assume they will transfer him after the judge sees him today.

I've never been to jail, except to bail him when we first started this insanity and thought this was only a phase and it would pass. Never even been in handcuffs, knock on wood. So there is no way for me to empathize with him as to the feeling or the conditions. He says jail is no fun and the food is bad. One part of me feels sorry for him and another part remembers the Beretta TV show theme song, "If you can't do the time don't do the crime."

The one thing I really do struggle with is the guilt of feeling relaxed when he is locked up. When he is in jail I can focus on the rest of the family. At first it is just peace and quiet. The phone is not bouncing off the hook. He is not up and down, in and out. Not having to observe some of the most bizarre behavior I have ever seen, and him trying to explain it away.

When he is locked up I am not concerned about his using. I do think about his safety and comfort. He says it is freezing cold and he did see one person stabbed once.

The longer this goes on the more obvious it is that we have to do more to force the issue of his addiction. The realization that to help him we cannot allow him to continue the behaviors he is accustomed too simply because he is an addict. This behavior on our part does not work to help him change. Our home must be someplace he is welcome to visit but he cannot stay. I don't know the what the immediate answer is when he is released but I think that will not be real soon anyway.


A Feast for the Eyes said...

First, to answer your question on my blog-- my son is taking two suboxones a day. We are doing random testing, and he complies. We have an annoying insurance SNAFU. Once that's resolved (more red tape) he hopes to get into an outpatient program.
Regarding your situation about feeling guilty. You have multitudes of folks who understand how you feel. So far, I've blessed that my son has never been arrested, or in jail. HOWEVER, when he's been in rehab I felt as though I could relax.

I've been to jail, visiting inmates (long story). Where I live, our gangs have dangerous Norteno and Sureno gang members. It's a really rough and dangerous place.
I feel such sorrow and agony for your situation. The more that I talk with other parents of addicts, it becomes clearer-- they have to hit rock far, that they have to reach up to touch bottom and finally WANT to clean up their live.
My only motherly wisdom is to keep loving on them and pray that your child will finally seek sobriety. Opiate addiction has such low odds of successful sobriety. I won't give up on my son. We love them. But, we have to set boundaries. It's harder on moms, I think. We are wired to be nurturers. It's painful, but we need to find a way to release from letting the addiction take over our lives.



Syd said...

It sounds like you are making a decision that will help not only you but your son as well. It's a tough one.

Fractalmom said...

you blogged "The longer this goes on the more obvious it is that we have to do more to force the issue of his addiction. The realization that to help him we cannot allow him to continue the behaviors he is accustomed too simply because he is an addict."

I am sorry that you are going through this. However, you cannot FORCE the issue of his addiction. You can neither allow nor disallow his behavior patterns.

You didn't cause it, cannot cure it, and cannot CONTROL it.

I'm so sorry.

Cat said...

I think when my son was in juvenile detention - I was relieved he was safe, off the street, I knew where he was , he had a blanket and a pillow, a roof over his head. It was not perfect or ideal, but the 'knowing' of all of that gave me comfort.

As for guilt, I remind myself of the 3 C's. ( Factual mom wrote them out)

Its a tough spot as a parent, taking care of yourself while doing your best to take care of your kid without enableing... its a very tough spot and i wish you the best with it all.


Annette said...

I can relate. The few times my daughter has been in jail were a relief. When she was in treatment we were ecstatic and able to live in some peace. I didn't feel guilty about being able to relax but I do often struggle with guilt and feelings of did we get here? What did I do wrong? I have to go back to the 3 C's often. Daily. And live "just for today."

Auburn haired artist said...

My son has been a regular guest at the Johnson County Jail. (both in Olathe and Gardener) As far as jails go, it's really not bad, it's clean and relatively safe. (depending on what pod he is put into - which depends on his charges and his evaluation) However, if he has to wait very long for his court date, or if his sentence is more than a couple of months, they do a lot of "farming out" to rural jails.

I can relate to your feelings of guilt. Jail has always been especially hard for my son because of his ADHD. He really cannot stand to be bored or stagnant. He has a physical need to move and be active. However, he has learned to cope by challenging his mind with books, puzzles, and sometimes, card games, but it always takes several days for him to settle in and re-adjust to the changes. And of course, the biggest adjustment is the lack of drugs and cigarettes. I try to avoid his phone calls until he is passed the withdraw and has had time to detox.

Jail used to be my biggest fear for him, but as much as he hates it, he isn't even close to "reaching his bottom" in jail. So now, my biggest fear is . . . the unknown. What's next? What's it going to take?!

kristi said...

I have had open and honest conversations with my family members that have been in jail. Once they are sober, they stop blaming, but it takes a toll on you nonetheless.

mother of drug addict said...

My daughter has been injail since late last year and I have to say that finally I can quit taking medicaton for an ulcer and I dont worry about hearing the phone at night that she got picked up again or that she is dead or in the hospital. I also hear the stories of how bad the food is every time I visit her. My reaction is "if you dont like the food, quit braking the law and you wont have to be here". She doesnt like to hear it. But hay, I dont like getting the phone calls from jail or the hospital over and aover again. I use the 3 "C's" to help me get through.

Her Big Sad said...

When I got word that my daughter's case had resulted in her getting to stay another 30 days in jail, I keeled over and took a two hour nap. I was so relieved. I literally grinned when I heard it. But when I woke up I cried. What a roller coaster.

I'm so sick of being GLAD that I don't have to take my purse to the shower with me, that the checkbook can stay on the kitchen table during the days I'm writing payroll to my employees, that my oldest daughter isn't having to use the keyed lock we installed on her bedroom door....

Yeah, I recite the "three C's" daily.... sometimes hourly.... but I still feel so guilty when I am glad she is locked up.