Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Advice about a prodigal son needed

  1. #1
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    North Kansas City, Mo
    Posts
    5,761

    Advice about a prodigal son needed

    The post about prisons got me down. I have a problem in my life right now and need some sound advice. Since I know most of you just from this board, maybe you can help me - advice from people not directly involved can often be best, I guess. Although I haven't met any of you face to face, I care about many of you after sharing discussions on the Reds board for years and with my dad and all feel like you're a part of family.

    My youngest son is in prison right now. Drugs. Its a drag visiting but I do it every Sunday, line up to get searched, take my baggie full of quarters so I can buy him a Coke and a couple candy bars while we visit (at a buck each!). I don't know about anywhere else but Missouri doesn't allow internet access. He can buy a phone card from the commissory to call home after years of complaints that collect calls to families were outrageous and a burden to families who hadn't broken any laws. (Before he got some money on his books he called us collect and the bills for twenty minutes once a week were right at fifty bucks a month). It's crazy because one major factor in preventing rescidivism is family contact yet they make it prohibitively expensive. I put twenty bucks in his account monthly just for the phone card, which lets him call us the same amount for quite a bit less.

    Now I have a dilemma concerning Rich, my son. He wants to live with us when he gets out this coming January and needs a home plan. I really hate to admit this but he's been untrustworthy, a liar, and quite a con man - he can look you in the eye and tell you he's doing this and that to straighten out his life but then turn around and do whatever the hell he wants in the next second. His brothers and I are glad he went to prison actually as we feel it has saved his life at least for now. What he does when he gets out will determine whether he lives or dies, imo. If he goes back to the drugs, he's doomed. He's stolen from me many times, and I've thrown him out more than once before he went to prison for lying, stealing and laying around doing nothing. I mean it - no one can know the heartbreak this causes a parent and the anger. Why is it so damn hard for him to figure out? His brothers and sisters have all become grown, responsible people I'm proud of - he was raised in the same home, same rules, same everything. Now I am remarried with a 5 year old step daughter and have to make a very difficult decision. He has an alternative - a halfway house. I think the rules and strictures he'd have to follow would be good for him but he desperately wants to live here instead. My wife says she'll support me whatever I decide (and she means it - she is a gem, how I got so lucky twice in my life I'll never know) but I have to think of Saide, my 5 year old s/d. I don;t want Rich here if it means he goes back to his old ways, and I wonder if I can set rules that he'll feel compelled to follow. My heart goes out to him but I wonder if the right thing is to let him live in the halfway house and "prove out" on his own. That's the course my head says is the 'tough love' one, my heart cries otherwise. He's 22 now, it's past time to grow up obviously. So why do I feel I'm abandoning him if I say no?

    I've decided to post this as it's own post and maybe get more replies. I've discussed Reds with all of you many, many times and really would like to hear your advice. FCB has been a teacher, and I know some of you have been attorneys, or corrections officers, etc. and most of you are parents who can understand, maybe, the angst and concerns. What do you think ? Rich is a non-violent drug abuser, head in rock music and dreamy clouds of unreality about becoming a rock star, funny and engaging to talk to (like I said quite the con man) and has many, many friends (many of em the wrong kind but a lot surprisingly level headed good people). At this point he's still more confused kid than hard criminal but I do mean it - I know if he returns to his former lifestyle he is likely a hardened criminal before long. Noithing has ever confused me and made me so indecisive before in my entire life.

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Member Reds4Life's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    3,930

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Wow that is tough, I feel for you. I think you are correct to be a little skeptical about having him at home, you have to think of your wife and step-daughter to. I'm not sure what laws are where you live, but you need to consider if he escalates from just using to selling. In some states, say he gets caught selling from your home, your property can be siezed by law enforcement. By no action of your own, your family could be out on the street.

    My advice would be the halfway house. They can monitor him, including drug testing, and you don't have any of the associated risks. You can still visit him. Don't think of it as abandoning him, you aren't. It's what's best for him right now, even if he can't see it. It sounds like it's also best for you and your family. The halfway house can also get him some leads about getting a job when released, so he starts out of a positive foot instead of sending out resumes from home.

    Good luck.
    Pessimists are well informed optimists

  4. #3
    Member The Baumer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,295

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    The toughest thing to do when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol is accept that there is nothing you can do for them until they are willing to work on themselves. You should be there with love and support however you need to continue with your own lives and that means not "bailing" him out of jams or helping him to avoid the consequences of his actions. All you are doing with that behavior is enabling him and letting his sickness control your own life.

    However, not only must you not try to avoid "episodes" you must also not FORCE episodes. That means don't try to start fights or "scare him straight". You have to be there as a parent and show love but you must draw a clear line and stick to it. Eventually, you will learn to say no when you get that 3AM phone call from him saying he is a few towns over without a car and needs a ride.

    I wouldn't let him live with you. When his addiction returns he will steal and lie which you've even said has already happened. If possible look into rehab therapy or a halfway home as has been suggested. The important thing is to not let his sickness control your life or your other sons and family. Letting it strangle you too won't save your son, if anything it will make it worse.

  5. #4
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    7,441

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Halfway house.

    Tough love is the best course until proves with his actions he can be trusted again.

    It's not your job to moniter him and make sure he's staying clean. It's his job to show the world he's grown up and ready to live the life the rest of us have to every day. Part of that will be following the rules of his release (if any) and the rules of the half-way house.

    Stay strong and have firm boundries. Best thing you can do for him right now.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate

  6. #5
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    TeamBoone's Attic
    Posts
    12,317

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    I hate giving this ki8nd of advice but I agree with the folks here who say tough love/ halfway house.

    My parents always provided a safety net for my brother. What they never understood is that it was hurting him, not helping him. They should have let him go to jail earlier on. The only thing I believe will stop him at this point is death.
    Pots and Kettles

  7. #6
    Member kpresidente's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,977

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Here's the thing about a halfway house....they're part and parcel of the drug culture lifestyle, but they're looked down on by "normal" people. That can work against you. For recovering addicts, associations are incredibly important, maybe the most important thing. You said he has some good associations and some bad ones, right? My fear would be that if he goes to the halfway house, his good friends might distance themselves from him due to the stigma, while the bad ones wouldn't bat an eye. They'd be totally accepting of it. That's exactly the opposite of what you want, because given the choice, he's going to want to be around the people that accept them.

    I think you (and him, for that matter) need to have a better idea of WHY he desperately wants to live with you instead of the halfway house. I think that's the key, really. Is it because he thinks going home is the best thing for his recovery, or is it just because it feels safe, secure and comfortable? He may not even know himself, at this point. But it's really important that you find out.

    The thing is, nobody wants to live in a halfway house. They make you feel like an invalid. But it's not as bad as jail. Somebody who's committed to their recovery, even if they don't exactly feel it's necessary, would probably be prepared to accept it. They would understand the gravity of their situation, and would rather go through the temporary discomfort of a halfway house than risk a relapse.

    It's hard to tell as an outsider, though. I had some drug problems in my early 20s, too. I had gotten into some legal trouble as well, and I'll say that the answer isn't very cut and dry. Some of the trouble I was able to sort of "weasel" my way out of, and sometimes that was the best thing. At other times, I had to pay the consequences and that was good, too. It all depends on where you're at mentally.

    If I was you, I'd at least be suspicious of the fact that he "desperately" wants to come home. It smacks of running away from the consequences of his actions. I'm not saying it necessarily is that, but I'd be suspicious. Have a conversation with him about it. If you get the feeling that he IS still running, then he probably needs some more legal supervision. He has to get to the point where he sees his recovery as an undertaking that he's responsible for the outcome over. Until then, you want him surrounded by professionals. They tend to be former addicts themselves, and that usually gives them a better insight into his behavior and mindset. They'll be able to spot the signs and take precautionary measures if he starts to go the wrong way.
    Last edited by kpresidente; 11-16-2008 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #7
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    North Kansas City, Mo
    Posts
    5,761

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Thank you everyone. Your insights are excellent and really help.

    Rich says he wants to stay at home because the halfway house "is a real hassle" and he'll feel more comfortable around family.

    The stigma of a halfway house does concern me - but he has already created a strong stigma with his behavior. St. Joe is a smallish city- large town -the kind of place big enough you don't really know everyone but you've seen most of them - and everyone is aware of everyone's business to a large degree. I've scheduled a meeting with his counselor in prison and eventual P.O. and will discuss my concerns with them. Frankly, talking with Richie is trying because he is always so earnest - but he's cried wolf more times than I care to recall. I'm strongly leaning toward the halfway house - mostly because when it gets down to it I just can't trust what he says.

    Again, thanks everyone.

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Lubbock, Texas
    Posts
    1,362

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    I'm a recovering drug addict. I just got of rehab about a month ago and I immediately went to a halfway house. I was only there a little more than two weeks but I have a very good idea of how it works. The one I was at had me on complete restriction for a week except for AA or NA. Regardless of how long you have been there everybody has to sign in and out no matter where you go. They also have mandatory AA meetings. Also most of the house managers were former addicts themselves so they know how to deal with "clients". Lastly, they had random drug testing. One guy I knew while I was there tested positive for cocaine and he was out the door before most of us knew what happened. It is a pretty controlled environment. Not everyone takes to it very well. And really if someone wants to do drugs, they are going to do drugs because that is how an addict is. My advice is that you don't even discuss the possibility of him coming into your home until he completes his time at a halfway house. The one I was at was for 6 months maximum. You might look around and see if there are different ones to choose from as well. I truly feel for you as I have experienced this problem both as an addict and as a parent with a son who was using. Always remember that as an addict it is a constant daily struggle that you will have to deal with for the rest of your life even though the desire to use may decrease. Just know my prayers and good wishes are with you. God Bless!

    Mark T. (74 days clean and hopefully I get 75.)

  10. #9
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    35,283

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Jake, I can't offer any advice that anyone else hasn't already offered up in this thread. I have had an uncle die from drug abuse and my best friends sister is an addict who has been on again off again for the last 4 years. I know what it can do to a family and how hard it is on people who love them. Like I said, I can't offer advice that someone else hasn't already offered, but I just wanted to wish you luck with your son and your family will be in my prayers.

    Mark T,
    Keep on fighting the good fight!

  11. #10
    Member klw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    6,308

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    It sounds like your son has been in long enough to clean out his system (assuming he has not used inside). While doing public defense work, one of the things I have often advocated for is release to a residential substance abuse facility. My argument almost always says that a staged release will allow for a better transition out to the community instead of throwing a person straight out. I have had clients who I have gotten out of jail who then went to the program and did well, another stayed at the program for dinner than left only an hour after she got there, others hve gone home and stayed clean, I had one client who died of an overdose their first weekend back home as they waited for a bed to open, others would eventually fall back into using because they only knew users and one guy told me he went to live in a crack house because he didn't know anyone else who would take him in. I seldom know how well someone will do and maybe they don't know either. You may want to consider having him do a residential program for a month or longer but how he is going to do there or at home will be up to him and how he wants to do. Good luck. I don't envy your or your son's position.

  12. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    1,630

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    "The toughest thing to do when a loved one is addicted to drugs or alcohol is accept that there is nothing you can do for them until they are willing to work on themselves."

    Absolutely. Been there. My experience is that addicts who stray too far from the support culture go right back to their addiction and find a way to blame the support culture.

    If he stays with you or not, you need to ask yourself what can he do to gain your trust? I'm guessing that answer involves the word "years" not the word "days." It's almost impossible for a 22 year old to think in terms of years.

    I know he's 22, but you cannot rescue him from his own demons. I'm sorry for your situation and will pray for you.
    "Even a bad day at the ballpark beats the snot out of most other good days. I'll take my scorecard and pencil and beer and hot dog and rage at the dips and cheer at the highs, but I'm not ever going to stop loving this game and this team and nobody will ever take that away from me." Roy Tucker October 2010

  13. #12
    Member durl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nashvull
    Posts
    1,749

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    I wonder if Prison Fellowship offers help where your son is incarcerated. Recidivism for inmates going through PF programs is only about 10%, compared to the 50% overall average.

    Still, it comes down to him wanting help.

  14. #13
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    North Kansas City, Mo
    Posts
    5,761

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Everyone many many thanks. Today I met with a parole officer. First I have to say I was both impressed and unimpressed with her. When I told her I had decided against allwing him to live with us, she was glad. I asked her why - she said It's easier for me to keep an eye on him in a halfway house. So I asked her if it helped Rich. Her reply? I don't really care about that one way or the other. He either will or he won't (stay out of trouble) but it makes tracking him easier for me. When I explained my decision by telling her how he could con you she just replied "well, welcome to my world." So, the die is cast - he'll spend 3 months at a halfway house and sometime around the end of month two a counselor(s) and I will discuss things with Rich and decide when the program should end. 6 months is max and they have the option of yanking parole at any time (and he still faces a bit more than 5 years if revoked). I also discovered unlike probation, in Missouri, Parole is all or nothing. If you get revoked 1 day before parole ends you do ALL your prison time - the time "out" isn't counted. Just a curious sidenote for one who is unfamiliar with this process. Seems to me a parolee would have a helluva lot more inclination to stay clean. Rich has another incentive in that he has been kept close to home in a processing facility - I've heard it is much, much safer and easier than "The Walls", the main state prison in Jeff City where he'd likely be sent if revoked. To this day I'm not sure how far gone Rich is - as in heavily addicted to hardcore drugs. He was busted for having a half pound of marijuana, and 6 grams of cocaine, as well as open containers, in a pickup truck. The truck was his friends and both were passed out on the seat after attending a rock concert in Maryville, Mo. I've often thought, thank God they weren't able to stay awake long enough top try driving. They were also within so many feet of an elementary school and Rich didn't even fight the charges because they threatened with some special statute concerning that which could have brought as much as life. Since he was already living from friend to friend I had no idea he'd even been arrested until someone saw the trial posted in the Maryville paper and called me. By then the deal was about done anyway - he'd plead out and was sentenced. Thankfully they did deal with him in a mostly rehabilitory manner since - he's been going through all kinds of treatment programs and counseling and the staff counselor at the MoDoc Intake Center told me he is doing very well so far.

    What will it take to trust him? You're right about years instead of months but I'll extend him enough to allow him to live here if he completes his three months, gets a job, keeps that job and stays clean and stays tested. As a father my first instinct is to try and "save" him but you are all right - he has to do that and I have to let him live with his choices every day and allow the consequences. The Bible says we are given no more than we can handle but I must say He knows exactly how far to push the limit.

  15. #14
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    south of the border
    Posts
    23,858

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    So why do I feel I'm abandoning him if I say no?
    because he is your son and still love him.

    IMO, he needs to go to the halfway house and prove he can straighten himself out. It sounds as if he has had numerous opportunities to change his ways. No reason for you to disrupt your home and take a chance on such a potentially negative and disruptive influence coming into your house.

    If in his mind, if it's still all about him he'll get upset when you tell him he can't live in your house at this time. If he has started to change from his selfish and self-destructive ways then he will be understanding about having to go to the halfway house.

    You will be in my thoughts in prayers. You're in a place that no parent wants to be.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  16. #15
    Score Early, Score Often gonelong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    4,138

    Re: Advice about a prodigal son needed

    Good luck to you and your son.

    GL


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25