How do I prepare myself for my son's homecoming from being incarcerated?

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I've lost friends & family over him. I know I wasn't a great mother so I hope no-one replies saying for me not to feel guilty. I just need maybe some other moms in the same situation to answer because they will understand. I think he did what he did because he didn't have any confidence at all and he wanted to feel powerful. He wants to come to stay at our place temporarily until he finds his own place. He is 30 yrs old. It's going to be hard for me to say no to alot of things because I feel I owe him for not being the mom he needed. I feel guilt because it's justified. I know I can't keep thinking this way the rest of my life but I need to prepare somehow now. He now has absolutely no friends and isn't good at making them. He sometimes acts like a 15 yr old. He talks & talks about very immature things instead of worrying about being employed which is going to be a big one. My beloved son has been diagnosed with ADHD & Bi Polar. Thank You in advance for your insight if you are in the same or similiar situation. I don't know how strict I should be with him-see I'm thinking negativley! Jeesh... ok, so for the positives! How do I encourage job search with his incarceration & medical/mental handicaps. I have grand children to think about also. I love my son as much as any other mother, and even though he is an adult I have to deal with him the best way possible because I want him to be a big part of my life & me his as he has only me. In the future-that WILL be a different story. I've tried to talk with some people about this before and all I got was negative feedback! I want whats best for him. I know he will eventually have his own life. I just want to help him get it started and not hang out with the wrong kind of people for him. He's desperately lonely because of whats happened and asked me to help him find his old friends which I don't want to do because i think theyr'e a bad influence even at his age. He said it's not up to me whom he hangs with-of course I know that-but I'm hoping there's something I can do to steer him in another direction! I know this is going to take some creative thinking & yes I know the resources I have, but theyr'e limited. I know my son and he may not respond to them as he doesn't realize the big picture. But I also know that he relys on me & trusts me-so therefore I hope I can better prepare myself & him for the adjustment into hopefully a new life...thank You again for any success stories of moms & sons in the same boat...

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Jodi - posted on 02/25/2012

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Hi Dianne, it might help if we knew what he was incarcerated for, and even how long he has been incarcerated, because any advice could be dependent on both of these things. Obviously, there would be very different responses for someone who had been incarcerated for 10 years, than someone who was incarcerated for 12 months on a lesser charge. For anyone coming out of those situations, life would be very different and what it takes to move on with life would be very different.

Jenni - posted on 02/25/2012

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Dianne,



I had a long, thought out reply for you earlier today... but COM ate it just as I was finishing. I'll try again.



I am not a mother of a child in this situation. Your son is the same age as I am. But my brother has skizoaffective disorder. Similar to bi polar except with severe delusions and hallucinations. He recently got out of jail for the 2nd time and although he seemed like he was doing great while he was there and I spoke to him on the phone. When he got out he was a total wreck. Crying all the time, severe disorganized speech, paranoid delusions.



We took him to the hospital to get an emergency refill of his medication and he had a meltdown in the hospital, had to be restrained and was held for an additional 6 weeks. Since he's been out he is being monitored to ensure he's taking his medication and not using illegal drugs. The mental health unit told him this is his last chance, if he slips up again or goes of his meds he will be placed in a long-term care centre. He is still at the worst I've seen him since he was first diagnosed. We don't believe the medication they have him on is working. He is severely depressed, still suffering from paranoid delusions and his speech is so disorganized and bounces from one topic to the next in one sentence... you can't even hold a conversation with him. My mom has taken it upon herself to inform his doctor of his continued symptoms. As he refuses or forgets to inform his doctor and his mental health worker. I think he fears if he is honest with them, they'll commit him again.



I wish I had a success story to share, but in our situation he is just above our help. I talk to him regularly. I try to provide him with advice on how to make positive choices in his life. Try to keep him focused on simple goals to improve his situation. But it's so hard, he doesn't listen. He is impulsive, lives in a different reality, forgets easily, gets confused, can't concentrate, etc.



It's difficult for others to relate who aren't going through this with a family member. But it is like dealing with an adult child. My brother is 22 but has the mentality of a 13 year old.



I know my brother's illness is severe. So maybe some of the things I tried to help him, might help you in your situation. I think if you want to address the "old friends", him feeling lonely, boredom and confidence is to help him find positive activities he enjoys. He could join classes, clubs, pick up hobbies, have him explore his talents. You're his mom and know him best, what sort of things would he be interested in doing to keep himself busy and his self esteem up? Maybe places he could meet people with similar interests.



I would also suggest helping him find support groups with other people who suffer from high functioning mental illness.



I do think counselling is still important as well as getting him on the right medications to balance his mood and help with focus.



I would also suggest seeking out a support group (if you haven't already) for parents/family members of persons with mental illnesses. If you can't find one where you can be in person. I'm certain there are loads of forums, groups on the web where you can bounce ideas off other parents in similar situations as you.

Stifler's - posted on 02/25/2012

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Like Jenni said you should join a support group for people with mental illnesses with him.

[deleted account]

Empathetic? Hey, I wished you luck.



If everyone is giving you the same type advice.... maybe that should say something to you.



I didn't mean to imply that your son is a mooch, but you do sound a lot like my mom and she just keeps making excuse after excuse for my brother and what he does and why.... It's ok though. It used to make her angry when I tried to point out that he was a grown man responsible for his own choices (and dealing w/ the consequences of his own choices). I don't bother trying to point anything out to her anymore... just let it blow past me when she complains about the situation that she continues to put herself in where he is concerned.

[deleted account]

Um... He's 30. Granted, I myself am only 35, so take my input for what it's worth. I do also have a 38 year old brother w/ no handicaps that has mooched off my mom for his entire life.....



My input is... there are most likely programs available through the state to help him find employment and such. If you are not in counseling I would encourage you to go. His being allowed in my home would come w/ the stipulation that he is also in counseling and that progress is continually being made... otherwise he'd be out.



I know you feel guilty for how his childhood may or may not have gone, but he is an adult now and the choices he makes or does not make are entirely on him. Good luck!

19 Comments

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Dianne - posted on 03/04/2012

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First they offered him 15 months which he turned down because he pleaded innocent, then, I, yes me! His mom! I called the police on him when he was under house arrest because we got into a very big arguement in which he became so red with rage in the face (I think because of his extreme anger issues that go along with his other diagnosis's) I'm not trying to dismiss or justify-just stating facts. I am or at least I think I dealt very well with him (meaning tough love) at that point in time or did I go over the top in calling the police? There's so much controversy on that one......he wouldn't respect me...so he was then placed in a facility which is known for being very tough & sure enough it was..as i visited regularly & learned more & more about how the place was run & what exactly specific guards did illegally...omg....they kept him there for 1 yr because he had to wait for trial. Many things happened to him & also the guards beat him up badly. He was afraid for his life and his lawyer said he would have to be there another yr to wait for a trial, but if he pead guilty-he could bypass a year of staying in this same place risking his life. As far as I understand he plead guilty so he could be moved out of this nightmare of a place-he said he seriously couldn't handle it anymore. He said he felt like he was going crazy, fearing everyday for his life. He never murdered anyone. I can't say and don't want to say his charges even though it might seem to help-the main thing for me is to have some kind of support for moms with sons incaecerated...he got three years...hope that helps...Thank You

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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he has serious problems-where do they come in? Someone-me-needs 2 look out 4 him...no disrespect but Jenni's bro has MORE serious probs...

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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All I can do? I know I can do more as Jenni stated. She's has experience with this. I need to ask politely if you do? Here's hoping for a reply if so. I'm just saying. I understand what you r saying...but it's not that simple...I guess I'm coming to the realization that it is what it is-complicated-so thank you for replying & I really do appreciate any replies, but simply will take into consideration more, the ones with experience...thx & take care...

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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sorry for so many replies but I tried other forums and it seems to be a taboo subject but that won't make me give up trying to get someone in the same or similiar situation...I want to thank you again & just say I admire your courage in facing your brothers problems and daeling with them and then on top of everything, voicing it! This is what we need more of!!! My hats off to you! ox

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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I went to my cities top mental health dept. & they told me not to talk about my son!!!

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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Positive activities, etc-Thank You so much...There's always hope & I don't believe he's on the right meds. I hear your life has been so difficult and i have so much empathy for your family. It's a very difficult life...again thx for reply-has helped more than u know....

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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maybe-we will see...about all the same advice-but I think I'm not communicating properly. What I'm actually trying to say is that I'm trying to help BOTH of of us. Is that a crime? maybe I'll b proved wrong but at least I tried...

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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Choices r entirely on him-maybe after some understanding, he will make better choices-human empathy & rehab of some form-I feel u can't just throw him out to the wolves...I couldn't live with myself...

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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I'm not complaining...i can help him with his choices also amongst other things as his mom, cause there's alot of love there & empathy-not just luck. This is very difficult for others to understand unless youv'e gone tru it-it's ok-seriously, I didn't mean any disrespect-just trying to get my feelings across of being a mother of a son in prison who's hoping there's others out there who will respond...God Bless for trying, but...I need more-so I will wait to see what happens with future replies because so far in the last couple of yrs nothing has sounded right to me personally. It's the instinctual love of a mother wanting her son to have a little-yes -only a little success in life. My philosphy is: to stop making excuses & take action. There is always a way! It may not b perfect, but it's a start-my start is here. This site has many many people on it! I'm through with the politics of corrections because it's been tried & tested & failed. If I start, I will get there! like i said-I'm an optomist. lol-don't know if I spelled tha right...I know what makes makes me happy personally, & that is to help my son help himself. If I leave my son to his own decisions 100%, I'm pretty sure he'll fail because the correctional system isn't what it should be. I could expand on that. If I make an effort to help him-I can't loose-what will I loose anyway? I just know there r other moms out there! Thank You Thank You...

Stifler's - posted on 02/25/2012

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What you see as negative feedback others may see as constructive criticism and I get that you have probably heard what Teresa has said before but I agree with her. He's 30 years old it's time for him to own his mistakes, he's past being disciplined and grounded for bad behaviour and you choosing his friends. All you can do is give him somewhere to stay and ground rules regarding what goes on under your roof and support to get a job and control his conditions.

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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Oh-I forgot to tell u it's not an issue about mooching. My son doesn't do that. He would help us out as much as he could, especially after what he's been through...also of course there are in house rules...

Dianne - posted on 02/25/2012

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Sorry Teresa, I was hoping for more creative suggestions...I've had counselling for years, so has he. Even the best phyics don't know everything. I believe from experience to follow your instints. My instincts lead me here to hear from moms in the same situation. Someone whom can understand that I seriously know the bottom line is, yes it's HIS choices, but at the same time, & again through many years of experience, the programs aren't what theyr'e cracked up to be-they don't motivate the individual-they instruct & don't offer programs for creating ones confidence...it's sooo needed. As his mom-he's only going to listen to so much but again I was really hoping some other moms had some experience with their beloved adult son coming home from this nightmare. I'm his mom & I love him-so it's instinctive for me to want to see him succeed somewhat...btw-the Um...30 part-well -lol-I forgot-this is what I was saying exactly-people are so judgemental-even on here-so he's 30-he has problems like I said-he's still a person & god knows what happened to him as a young child. The most important thing-this is a problem for myself personally & it's causing undue grief & has changed my whole life-that's the way life is-I don't expect a miracle worker to come aboard, I just want some kind of different advice instead of the same old...Thank You anyway-at least you replied-but please be empathetic...

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