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Forums / Long term support over the journey / Sadness,grief and regret over sons incarceration

Topic: Sadness,grief and regret over sons incarceration

  1. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to July

    Hi July,

    I totally understand what you said!!! As I gardened the other day I took time to ponder his life in prison. Versus the pandemic.

    Of course being in prison is very different but I guess with lockdown we have felt imprisoned with curfews and restrictions on where we can go and who we see and what we can do. Different in that we aren’t locked in with a few hundred other people we may not like and in a cell/ unit / room but least they have things to do

    They have been able to continue work and do gym and sports and training where in lockdown many have lost jobs and money and houses as they can’t work can’t do many of those things they like to do and suffer as a result.

    He hasn’t missed out on big trips overseas and lots of special events for family and friends . Most have been cancelled and travel when allowed was very limited.

    He didn’t missed his grandmothers funeral. We didn’t get to go either and didn’t see her for many months before she died as she lived where we couldn’t go.

    He doesn’t see family. We can’t either except on FaceTime… he doesn’t have that though and we are fortunate we have.

    He feels different to others because he has been in prison and the reaction of he tells people. We feel different to others as we can’t tell them we have a son in prison or it might effect how they react to us.

    In a sense we are each in our own prisons. He and us. Yes we do have more freedom of course and we don’t face the situations they face in there. We will never fully understand the long nights where they cry and feel sadness and regrets, or anger and resentment they can’t show or have learnt to control ( or risk reprimand for their behaviour, )or the treatment they might receive, or the severe limitations of space to call their own and what they can own and missing the things they have left behind. Hopefully we have a bit of an idea so we can show compassion and say the right things.
    I can feel the inner strength in your words that you have gained but know your pain and my pain never really go away. We have changed to cope better with it. We grow and change so we can better support them and still cope ourselves. We have others in our our family that we also love. and those around us who need people like us who can be compassionate and not judgemental of them.

    I hope your son has found some courses he enjoys and has found a good group of guys to be around. How often does he ring or write these days?

    Take care too

    Nameless 1

    1 person found this helpful
  2. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    1 September 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi nameless,

    Yes we all feel the stigma of a family member in prison , I never told anyone until after the second time where I felt more maybe accepting ? of not taking the blame for his choices? but again just a few select people who expressed empathy and had similar family issues ,one of the girls of my ward has her brother in prison and we starting chatting one day and I disclosed to her about my son, I felt some instant relief ,companionship and an unfortunate bond. I could hear her side coming from a sisters point of view, much as my 2 daughters have had to endure, and she said I sounded just like her mum, and she felt so sad for her mum to have to see her child go through it , as she is a mother herself.

    My son has not worked regularly since his release last november , has not studied or made any attempt to change his surrounds or his future ,once off parole he again slipped back into his old ways .

    He lives in the city which is the worst place to be for a drug addict trying to "get better", I haven't heard from him in 2 months , he doesn't answer his phone or he has a different number ?he used to have 3 numbers obviously to disguise his "business".

    I have no option but to sit helplessly by and hope he reaches out when he's ready , I know he distances himself when he's drug taking so I don't find out and he doesn't have to witness more hurt caused by him to me.

    But of course I know this behaviour all to well ....sadly enough .

    Just tonight my youngest son aged 17 and in his final year at school before starting UNI next year ,gave me the biggest hug, he's so much taller than me ....I hugged him so tight and in my heart I was hugging both of my beautiful sons, its a precious moment and little did my younger son know.... that helped me feel his brother to .

    For that brief moment my heart said a little pray for my older boy , he sounds so much like his brothter and when he laughs I hear his older brother and it makes me smile ...albeit for a moment .

    July

    2 people found this helpful
  3. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
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    demonblaster avatar
    7537 posts
    3 September 2021

    Hi July Nameless and sadly SO many people going through these incredibly hard times ☺

    I'm so glad you both have each other to talk too.
    It'd be such a massive heart wrenching load to be living through this.To be able to talk with eachother who understands this nightmare must be a god send.

    I understand though such a shame having to choose who you disclose to.
    SO good hearing there's some people which I'd think are real friends that don't judge you/r sons.

    Schools are trying to educate kids of the guaranteed devastating ripples. People and some celebrities talk about what happens.

    I got through for a mere few seconds to a poor girl on opioids saying "this isn't a good life is it"
    She broke down crying but recovered very quickly.

    As you know girls there's still feelings. Survival forces them to mask else they'll crumble.

    *Triggers* Opioid use

    Re *Choice. Is not always a conscious one.
    Other reasons too that I'll leave.
    I tried to talk a young girl out of a heavy substance.
    It was awful seeing her being turned on to it.
    She was trying to resist but there were at least 3 blokes urging her on. Surprisingly they didn't turn on me ? deep down they knew it was wrong

    She was coersed and truly terrified going through the "buzz" not at all enjoying it.
    I don't know how or if her life was hers anymore. So sad.

    An addict said when I was considering " You never try this drug once". Meaning you're in from the start.

    Sincerely I'm hoping not to upset anyone but in the chance that someone might read this and the thread and gain some deeper understanding into some of the hows/why's and ramifications.

    It'd be an incredibly hard life. Desperation makes good people do what it takes to get a fix.

    I had an addict & his friends in my life. Constant turmoil and a battle. No ones choice preferred choice living that way.

    Addicts become very good at convincing you of anyway they can get $ for the next hit.

    Girls thank you for talking so openly & honestly about how it is living through such a major tragic situation

    I dearly wish I could ease your pain. Always know you're in my thoughts & have amongst many here's deepest care and support including times we're unable to post.

    You're very brave and strong ladies who clearly have the deepest love for your dear children in wicked circumstances.
    They'd know that and wouldn't have stopped loving you. To survive they have to block emotion.

    Love carries phenomenal power.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    8 September 2021 in reply to demonblaster

    Hi, Thankyou for your words and care ,this means so much...maybe even more so from a complete stranger , funny how the written word can touch your heart and make you see the sun through our dark times .

    Deep down we are all the same ..trying to make our way through life and to leave a little love behind , helping others can really make your life enriched .

    Even with rejection and disappointment we must strive to move forward and hope that in a little way we have touched someone... and made them feel cared for and loved.

    I have not heard from my son for quite while , I text him last week and again nothing , my heart is trying to be hopeful but my head is saying "you know deep down it's not looking good and he is more than likely down that dark path ".

    I didn't question him , just a few words from a mother who would give my life ...if he could beat this addiction, and always an "I love you ". I know if he reads it... my love would have sunk down to his heart and hopefully warmed him to know that I won't let go at any cost.

    Today I was going through some old photos as my 17 year old son is graduating year 12 in a few weeks and needs a baby pic, my older son turned 22 the month after I gave birth to my younger son and seeing those pictures of him holding his baby brother made me mourn those days and not for one moment did I dream that this would end up the way it is now.

    But every child is important no matter what and I know he's still my gorgeous first born... the drugs can't take away my memories ...my love or commitment for him.

    Stay strong and stay true.

    July

    2 people found this helpful
  5. demonblaster
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    demonblaster avatar
    7537 posts
    13 September 2021 in reply to July

    Dear July Nameless and everyone 😊

    You have a gift July with the written word. I truly hope you feel although it'd be so hard speaking it I'd think, that it also sheds even if only a small part of your pain.

    He's a very lucky bloke as would be your other dear children having your love and endless dedication. That's absolute Gold.

    I think it's wise you holding onto hope, we need that to keep working towards else we crumble. We need it to also be able to potentially think of ways to find a solution to this ongoing nightmare. Also being aware of the path he might be back on.

    Do I understand correctly that he has had some periods of time off the gear? Oh geez I so hope. That shows he has an amount of strength surfacing which he'll be able to resurface I prey sooner than later. So sad hun.

    You're clearly a very strong lady. This has probably been spoken of I hope you apart from here that you girls always have, someone in a professional capacity to talk to.

    I also hope you're having some good happy moments in your lives.

    Those photos would have been powerful to say the least on your emotions. So good hearing you talk of beautiful memories and more to come I dearl hope girls and for so many victims of this wicked situation.

    Thanks July ☺

    Thoughts care and support amazing people to your families as well🤗⚘

    1 person found this helpful
  6. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    16 September 2021 in reply to demonblaster

    Hello everyone,

    My son has had periods off the drugs...but only when on parole and being drug tested, so he has some capacity to follow the rules but once not under the radar of the police and court /prison system ...all his defences crumble... he has not confronted his demons so again they rise to consume him . Drugs show no mercy to their victims, the lure is to great and the mind is to weak to combat its force.

    I do have happy moments in my life which I treasure ,as I have 3 other kids to think about . My younger daughter aged 31 is about to have another baby (a boy ) in 7 weeks so that brings me so much happiness .We will have 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters soon.

    I know I can't change my circumstances and the pain never strays far, but I do have to live my life, but my older son is always on my mind, with life going on around... I have no choice.

    The tentacles of this massive drug problem encase the whole family and thats what hurts we all go down with the drug addict ...people always forget there is ...hopefully many loving families praying for their kids to get better .

    Take care

    July

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10347 posts
    18 September 2021 in reply to July

    Dear July~

    I'd have to agree with you. Effects ripple out. I know when I put someone before the court and they were convicted then the effect on their families was as great or greater than their own sentence, be it incarceration or bond. Lack of employment, no money, stigma, loss and loneliness, all of which apply as well for those for whom drugs are large part of their lives.

    I'm very glad that although you have to live with those thoughts you have a family whom you mention wiht love and pride who feel the same and that may give you some solace.

    I've found a grandchild can be a wonder, particularly if one is prone to tease them:)

    Croix (who only retained his moustache becuse it tickled a grandchild)

    2 people found this helpful
  8. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix, your post made smile in regards to your grandchild .. yes they have a way of making you see life through their precious , sweet and innocent eyes . I hated sitting in court watching my son go through things , I cried often, and hoping all the other people in there , including other families , court staff and police didn’t think I was a bad or neglectful mother . The pain is deep when watching your child go through any stressful situation be it they’re fault or not . It’s taken me many years to forgive myself for whatever mistakes I made raising him . But also many years to realise I love him more than anything and sustaining that love through many trials and tribulations. My heart just yearns for his peace of mind , love of life and his lost soul to be found , I hope that happens while I’m here to see it . Life is so precious and love and memories is all we take when we leave this earth . Take care , July

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10347 posts
    19 September 2021 in reply to July

    Der July~

    Parents who love their children do not really make mistakes, they are feeling their way without experience or guide. They just seem like mistakes in hindsight.

    You are right of course, all we have to take away is love and memories. Memories are a mixed bag, and I'm afraid I'm not in favor of balance, but lean towards the happier ones. I've even a thread where others can write some of theirs for their own future enjoyment in darker times - and for the benefit of others too

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/store-your-happy-memories-here-

    As you page through it is amazing how many happy memories are of grandparents - a lot of mine certainly are

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  10. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to Croix

    Hi Croix,July

    I agree about family especially grandchildren. Ours helped us get all this too!!

    July you said“My heart just yearns for his peace of mind , love of life and his lost soul to be found , I hope that happens while I’m here to see it”. Yes I know that yearning too.
    We haven’t been able to go to court due to Covid and we weren’t sent the link as I might have mentioned. We ordered and paid for an audio CD finally arrived after 6 weeks .. courts are busy!!

    The lawyer of course had given us a summary and though I didn’t really want to listen due to how emotional it would be I needed to hear for myself what was said by the magistrate and prosecutor and see how the lawyer represented him.
    my husband didn’t want to hear it. He felt wounds were being healed and didn’t want to scratch them and said he knows the outcome and that’s all he needed.
    I took notes as I went.
    I felt very sad hearing the summary of his last few years and his charges and issues and their findings , as well as hearing medical/psych reports. Then the discussions of possible outcomes . Meanwhile our son was listening and watching via AVL hearing all this about himself.

    im glad I was g in court but would have been if I could. I cried in the shower afterwords . It was heart breaking as you both know.

    We had a call today and he actually talked to his dad as I wasn’t home . Hausllt he wants yo talk to me but they had a great chat and I am so please!!He is doing ind of the VACRO programmes.

    stull waits c

    .

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10347 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Dear Nameless1~

    I get the feeling it was harder and harder for you to complete that last post. Sometimes we are torn between a desire to talk and inability due to emotion. (my apologies if I've misunderstood)

    It's Ok, you are going though the hardest of times and have to take what comfort you can. I'm glad he talked with his dad, a change from you - and that may help if he feels closer to you both.

    I'm also glad of the VACRO, not something I've any real knowledge about, though I do know they offer counseling to parents and other family members as well as the courses for inmates.

    I think you were very brave to listen to that CD. I think if it was me it would take a long time before I could face it. I really hope it helped, or at least let you know you had all the information available and thus more of an insight into why things worked out as they did.

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    26 September 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Croix

    it was hard writing that, then I suddenly pressed post reply before I could check it properly . It was late and I was tired. My husband said listening to the CD was like scratching a scab that was healing. My husband was pleased that our son was happy to chat to him, as in the past he seems to only want to talk to me though he and I felt the burden was always on me to say and ask the right thing on the phone and in emails. If will help for when he comes home . He his father used to be close but when all the trouble started my husband never seemed to be able to say Or do the right thing in my sons eyes. He could be angry with me too but would usually still talk to me eventually .

    The next day I wrote here to explain the deterioration at the end of my previous post and then accidentally deleted it as I tried to post it !

    In the I post I accidentally basically apologised for the muddled ending and went on to thank you all for your positive and helpful comments and thoughts.

    I am feeling better today after chatting to family who rang and a few other friends and relatives who have messaged etc. They don’t know our sons situations as it is not for me to say , and I couldn’t anyway , but general chatter and focussing g on the needs of others is important too,

    It was great to hear July that you seem stronger and reaching out to others like the girl at work, and have the pleasure of grandchildren as do you Croix. It is good to have a few people we have told ..very close friends who also understand, but don’tt gave kids in prison and ministers and counsellor .. we can also share with

    So a July I totally understand how you are feeling!!

    I agree on the importance of good memories . Often my phone brings up photos of my son and family in happier times and I pray happier times will return one day .
    Thanks all

    Nameless1

    2 people found this helpful
  13. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to July

    Hi all,

    Tried 3 times to write but lost it each time as I either didn’t finish and send it or did something wrong as I tried to send it.. my fault .

    Just wanting to check in on how you were doing July.
    I also wanted to ask about parole. My son is anxiously waiting for it to be approved and finding it hard not knowing the timing. A PSA is being done but frustrated hls is taking longer than some others he knows who have put their applications in about the same time and have already spoken to parole offices on line. I read all the information on the internet but it seems more than than the info he got when he dooms to the ATC. I believe from what I read it, it takes as long as it takes to get the information they need.
    They also say they check the accomodation .. an actual visit? My son wanted me to ring someone about how much longer before they confirm accomodation but I’m not sure that would be a good idea as the information seemed to be saying they take as long as necessary and I don’t think it is up to me to ask. His earliest release date is coming up quite soon so he was concerned he hadn’t heard anything yet and others already had met parole officers and their earliest release date was the start of next year.? He asked the ATC and they just said he had to wait.

    I guess there isn’t anything can I do to find out if he can’t.?plus I wouldn’t think I should be interfering in the process by calling …

    Trying not to find things to stress about or worry about the unknown dates and details. He is actually calling more and it’s great he is happy to talk to both myself and my husband , his dad.

    He is in lower security accomodation so is cooking more etc so is trying to get more recipes from home.

    Hope to hear from one of you soon.

    nameless 1

  14. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    13 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless,

    I have never been in your situation and have no understanding of what you and your son are experiencing. I just want to let you know I have read your post here and my thoughts are with you all.

    It must be difficult not receiving the answers your son is desiring, not knowing the time frame for things to happen makes it hard to plan and to feel settled I am sure.

    My sister one year made up a cook book for me with recipes she gathered from other family members and friends. Are you able to do something like that for your son?

    I hope your son is able to receive the details and news he desires, and while he is waiting, I hope you are all able to find ways to cope. Regards from Dools

  15. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    13 October 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools
    Thanks for your quick response and suggestions!!
    We got a call from our son tonight to say that he was told he had a meeting to day with a parole officer!! They explained parole to him and asked lots of questions. He wanted to let us know so we knew things were progressing after all, and not go worrying about trying to ring someone. Very thoughtful…Thank goodness.
    We will be getting a call
    about accommodation etc!! Still no indication of time but things are progressing to the next stage so that is good. Things take as long as they need to make sure everything is in place and for the safety of everyone and what is best for all… which is fair enough!! He was sounding quite cheerful and the good humoured person he used to be before all the troubles.

    It is good to know they have someone for support like a parole officer to guide him. Our son got a fairly long parole to make sure he got the help he needed.

    In my mind I am feeling more hopeful and confident but the mother side of me feels anxious that I am up for job in being a good enough support !! I guess now is the time to put into practice all those skills we have have been learning and keep praying for strength. !!

    thanks again

    Nameless 1

  16. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    14 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless,

    That is excellent news. Processes do need to be followed and plans put in place for all sorts of situations in life.

    Do you have support of some kind for yourself? Are there things you can do to help yourself through a rough day?

    I like to go walking and am fortunate enough to live in a state right now where we are free to do that. There are 3 conservation parks all about an hour's drive away, I like to wander around in them and try to focus on what is around me, absorbing the beauty and tranquillity.

    To me, trying our best at any one time is all we can do. You mentioned wanting to be the best support you can be. All you can do is your best! There are some days I don't do so well, I tell my husband I am struggling and I can't do any more at that time.

    Maybe being honest about struggling also helps us to be stronger in adversity.

    Wishing you strength in the hard moments. Regards from Dools

  17. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    14 October 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools

    We got a call from a parole worker about checking our home for being suitable accommodation!! . I hope that works out. Good that things are happening but now the anxiety about the changes for us and him living at home again and hoping that the transition won’t be too stressful, about people asking questions about why he is home and asking him what he has been doing or about people visiting once lockdown stops and routines and what parole will look like etc etc…I know . breathe!! One day at a time I know!!

    I exercise and walk regularly this year as I put on so much weight last year with COVID and stress and working from home .

    I had an injury so I required physio and that started me on a fitness programme which has been good for my mental health.

    Writing music, photography and gardening have helped a lot and hope to continue with that .Seeing the counsellor with my husband has been great and again we will continue this.

    We were lacking people to talk to who also have sons in jail which is why this thread has been been good, even though only a few of us write. Not sure where else to turn. I have looked up services that offer that support but it is usually for once they get out. Some practical tips on dos and don’t s from the VACRO booklets I have found recently have been helpful.
    Yes I do cover up the struggles a bit too.
    We love our son and we are looking forward to seeing him !! No date yet .

    Thanks again for the speedy reply!!
    Nameless1

  18. Doolhof
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    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless 1,

    I'm sorry I am unable to share a relatable life story with you regarding sons in prison. Hopefully there may be more people here on the forum who may have some understanding and experiences they can share with you. I can only imagine there may be some stigma attached to having a loved one in prison.

    It is not always easy finding the support you are looking for, needing and desiring. I hope you are able to connect with others with a similar experience.

    You have mentioned hobbies and interests, I like take photos on my phone. I used to have a camera with macro capability, but it broke! Does your son have any hobbies and interests you could help him expand upon once he is released?

    I'm not sure how you manage with telling family, friends, neighbours and people you know. I guess some people will just accept what has happened, some may run a mile, some may ask a lot of questions. Hopefully you will all receive support and advice on how to navigate the changes once your son is home.

    I hope it is comforting for you in a way to have this place where you can share how you are feeling. Once again, I am not in your situation, but I do have a heart and mind that cares for others.

    Regards to you from Dools

  19. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi nameless, Sorry its been a while, I want to also say to you protect your heart , be optimistic but also be realistic , they are "clean " when they are released and say all the things you want to hear . But the real world is very difficult for an addict ,especially when they have been in prison for a length of time . The first time my son got out I was full of hope and trust ....sure that prison would have "scared him straight " but unfortunately once off parole and free from any constrictions the lure of the life-style can very easily pull them down . I sincerely pray your son can make it , just remember we as parents can only do so much without enabling ...and I am guilty at times of probably doing that very thing but I learnt quickly that did not help my son... but possibly eased my own guilt of failing him.

    Its very hard to talk to any one about our kids in prison as my post has said , my story was written to help myself and hopefully any other parents who have been throw into this mess as well .

    Maybe also to bring to light the sad families behind these prisoners , we see all the time on the news about stories but no one gives a second thought to the mothers crying at the prisons visiting their sons, trying to live their life with secrets and shame.

    These kids /men have made mistakes ...but who hasn't ....I have such a different view now on the justice system and drug abuse as I've lived it, through my son.

    I love my son no less for anything he's done , his actions have had consequences and so they should , but he's still my boy ,he finally text me the other day , about 6 weeks after I text him .... he said he was "doing well and ok " and "I love you mum and miss you ", he also text his 2 sisters , it was unusual ? but at least I know he's alive , I just text him back "I love you to and miss you , I worry about you ", I didn't question him or ask anything else as I have learnt to accept him where he is and not push to hard .

    My heart is broken about him but I have to keep going and live my life , but not a day goes by that I don't wonder and pine for him .

    Take care and keep an open heart

    July

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to July

    Hi July and Dools

    I’m glad to hear July that your son contacted you and your family. I hope he will come and see you . I pray for him too as I pray for our son.,that he will heal and change .

    Thanks Dools and July. This has been a great space to get comfort and support and advice and suggestions. When I first found this thread I read through from the beginning to the end a bit at a time and so learned your heartbreaking story over a period of a week. It has helped me to understand many things about being optimistic and realistic as you said July . Not knowing anyone else going though this or hearing the parents side, I had no idea what to expect and I realised I needed to be more aware of what can happen both good and bad so I could prepare emotionally. July you have helped me so much !!
    I hear in my son the desire to come home. We are getting lots of calls and I hope it isn’t just so he presents well to the board but I know that is probably partly true . When he came home after a living out of home a few years ago the initial happiness soon fell into frustration of having to live back with his parents. I hope that doesn’t happen but know it could.
    He is sounding the best he has for ages , and we can talk and laugh like we used to. He has a job he likes and study he enjoys and a gym not
    far away and has mates who understand what he has gone through. living in lower security with a small group that get on well, it feels less like prison and they enjoy the luxury of cooking what they want within a budget and making calls when he wants . Routine and structure.

    Like you said July years ago , I worry about the transition back and the pressure of getting a job and stigma of criminal record, his friendships and having hobbies.
    In what way do you think you enabled him? I am worried about doing that too .
    He had a few hobbies, and has more now , and we hope to build a shed for those, with his suggestions first and if he will use it,
    so he has an area to keep him busy.

    I presume the parole officer will guide him in this period of transition and help us to ….and help find the right people for any help the board decides he needs.

    July did you have much contact with your son’s parole officer?
    Any other tops about parole and boundaries?
    I am trying not to think about it all the time but I can’t help it. I am really excited some days at having him home but some days feel nervous.

    I am so grateful I can be open and honest here.
    Nameless 1

  21. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hello July and Nameless1,

    Just dropping by quickly, will be out all day working then with friends.

    I want to commend you both for being here, supporting each other, caring for your family and trying to do the best you can with what life has dealt you and your families.

    I'm counting my blessings for my life. One little slip could have led to a much different life.

    May you find the strength and courage you need each day. May there also be moments of happiness, laughter and joy. Kindest regards from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools

    Thankyou so much for your encouragement.

    take care too

    nameless1

  23. Doolhof
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Doolhof avatar
    8745 posts
    22 October 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hi Nameless 1, July and all reading,

    I've not been around for a few days. Had a bit of a slump. Guess a lot of us know what that is like! I have been out weeding this morning and that has helped a little. I'm trying to look at what I have achieved not so much at what still needs doing!

    It can be so easy to focus on the unhelpful!

    Later on today I am catching up with a friend for a walk so am looking forwards to that.

    Hope you are still hearing from your son fairly regularly and that he is coping okay.

    Regards to you and all reading from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  24. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    23 October 2021 in reply to Doolhof

    Hi Dools

    I think we all have times we are in a bit of a slump and gardening helps. I love it but this year the weeds have been horrendous and hard to get in top of and the rain and warmth naked them grow quicker. It’s a bit like our troubles . You seem to get on top of things then they come again with a vengeance. You just have to take it day by day and work away at it .abs not worry what is left go do but look at the good job you have done.

    Good to hear you are walking talking and sharing with a friend and that it helped. They are also priorities for me. You can get help but also give help too and an understanding ear.
    Take care!!
    For me It helps that I can see my family … my young grandson again brings great joy

    My son rang a lot during their lock-ins from a Covid scare, but not so often now he is busy again with work and the new accomodation means more time preparing food with the group and washing and cleaning.

    We heard from a parole officer who is writing the PSA and had a zoom interview and check of accomodation. Still a few months till everything done and decisions finalised. The parole officer will keep in touch with our son and organise the local person not everyone us overloaded .

    I have been more focussed on other family health issues the rest of the week.

    I hope July you have heard again from your son. I think of you often. keep in touch.
    Thanks again Dools . I hope your next week is better for you .

    Nameless 1

  25. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    8 November 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hello everyone,

    Happiness has come into my life with the birth of a beautiful grandson last Tuesday , my daughter text her brother with the news of a nephew for him , but no response . Again the hurt of his rejection ripples through our family ...his drug addiction far more important than family ...I know he is an addict and it is a disease ....but for god sake, its so hard to stay sane and forgiving when these types of behaviour occur and its different when he gets in trouble , god forbid we don't drop everything and run to the rescue . My older daughter got sent some "police report " from a unknown person relating to my son?? on a fake Facebook account and then saying how he needs help and he needs his family to help him , I was so angry , we believe it is a girl who was also in prison writing to my son , he did tell me about her and I warned him to stay away . Anyway my daughter wrote to this so called "friend" and said how dare you ,we have gone to hell and back with him, go to prison to visit him ,financially help him ,paid for rehab of which one of his "friends " bought him drugs there so he got kicked out , numerous stories of helping and supporting him . Obviously he spins some sort of sob story about no help from his family to gain sympathy . We do not know any of these so called "friends " he associates with of course. This was so upsetting for me , I'm his mother don't people know I am suffering to with this addiction and it breaks my heart to watch him behave so badly.My daughter also said you are no friend and what you have known him 5 minutes... we have been dealing with this for 20 years . .Some days I feel like I am losing my mind , the worrying is all consuming , I knew when he contacted me last time something was not right , it was my mothers intuition . When he gets in trouble he reaches out but of course doesn't say anything until it gets bad ...so I am now just waiting for the other shoe to drop.I can't help him if he doesn't want the help ....why is that so hard for people to understand , they just don't get it .I lay at night wondering...why ? how ? what can I do ? what haven't I done ? I still border on tears many days , if I let myself think to much about him ...I break down ... I want my little boy back , he's in there I just can't find him.I just needed to let that out. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy , living this double life ...acting happy on the outside but falling apart on the inside is soul destroying.

    July

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10347 posts
    8 November 2021 in reply to July

    Dear July~

    I am delighted you have a new grandson to love and be loved by, it is such a boon to have this happen and I hope this happy event can drive out some of your thoughts on your son. Of course they won't all go, but maybe it will help.

    When I say 'your son' - please excuse me for being blunt but you know this already - it is not your son as you remember him, true he is a part of this person, but circumstances, associates and drugs are ruling and he is not the same person at all, and even if he changed would still not be as you remember.

    I would imagine any help you give will be swallowed up in the latest crisis and then be gone. I can't advise if you should help, however I'm sure you have realistic idea of what happens - I'm sorry.

    If I might suggest you daughter and you block this girl - and any other friends of his that may post on the media. Anything they say is only going to underline behaviour that causes you grief.

    Such grief as all those thoughts you mentioned "I lay at night wondering...why ? how ? what can I do ? what haven't I done ? I still border on tears many days" need to be minimized as much as possible.

    You do not deserve them and this comes back to your son's behavior, which as you say ripples throughout many.

    You said you cannot let yourself think to much of these, may I ask what you can do to head them off?

    Looking back I think there is a big difference between putting on a brave face -which you do- and masking yourself. Hard to explain except the latter looks inwards and retreats, the former involves genuine bravery. I hope that makes sense.

    I would think those the know you and your circumstances and heart-break would admire you for your cheerful aspect.

    You cannot change your son, being torn deciding about future help, or circumstances. All anyone can do is look after oneself.

    So I've another question, what do you do to look after yourself? You are a most worthy person and deserve huge efforts to give you a semblance of peace.

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to July

    Hi July,

    I wish I could give you a big hug/ meet you for coffee and talk heart to heart !!! I hear the hurt and pain you are feeling and I know much of what you are dealing with .
    How exciting about the birth of your grandson. We have another on the way too and it such a blessing when you spend time with them and the cuddles and their need for you. It takes you away from the pain of what else is happening.
    For a while.
    I understand that hurt that ripples through the family. Our son was still at home when his nephew was born, but never saw him .. Covid .. and our son was in his period of decline, so we were glad not to have visitors
    Your son probably deep down wants to be there for you and be part of the family because I don’t believe the real him ever goes. It just gets buried so deeply. We saw these reasons in our so :-
    He didn’t feel happy in himself, yet alone feel happy for others. Numbness.
    He felt he was missing out, and didn’t want to think about what others were getting, so easier to stay away and have no contact. Isolation. He was too absorbed in his problems so never called to make facetime calls to see how anyone else was or for our son wouldn’t stick around when we were having one.

    The drugs, damage them, break us and affect families . They don’t see it.
    What we speak in love they hear as criticism and judgement.
    What we show in caring actions, they interpret as getting the way.
    We were pushed away we had tried to help with mental health and took him to hospital.
    Moved out , Then he fell apart and asked to come home. Then resisted our help, took the wrong path again and was arrested.
    I know those restless nights and thoughts. Doubts about ourselves.
    I know once our son said he wasn’t the same person anymore, but in prison, clean, sober, and in a regular routine with work, gym regular meals and sleep, he is that person we once knew. Funny and chatty and hopeful. I know your son is there somewhere and you love him.
    Hope.

    I can’t change him but I am trying to change me to deal with him whatever he will be like, or does. So I can still be a good mother and grandmother and friend. Finding purpose.
    Your posts have helped me and others so much. You are a wonderful mother and person. Don’t give up.
    Find the strength you need to keep going each day from .. a counsellor, a friend, a minister, an interest that can consume your thoughts while you .

    Nameless 1

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to July

    Hi July,

    I thought if a few more things from your last post.
    I wish I knew how prisoners can transition that stops them reverting back to the bad habits and ways like many do.
    I haven’t been through that part like you have, but I would feel like you do if I did
    That message on Facebook would have made me angry too…you have tried so hard to help but he has pushed you away. I’m glad you daughter was there for you.
    My son won’t let me tell the family so I tell others who can help that don’t know him. For me .church community…God,

    Counsellor,

    a few supportive friends( and of course my husband),

    lots of exercise started from an injury

    …writing music …
    …..and photography I put on Facebook ..

    good family ..even though we can’t tell them more than he has moved away from home and wants his privacy and space…have helped so much.
    But…As a mum of course we never stop thinking of them..everyday, and the thoughts of what could of been.
    Recently I have heard of his friends finishing Uni, getting good jobs, getting married etc and how could have it all been different. Then I get irritable. And sad.
    Yes I feel the double life around most of the people who don’t know where our son is and what he is done, and I don’t think that goes away. The story Imtell. I just try and shut it down as much as possible. and out in place something positive
    ..songs and music I am writing,
    …the layout for my photography,
    …my safe place I can imagine,
    …a bible passage I repeat ( or positive phrase ),
    …prayer ( or meditation )
    and look to reach out to others to give purpose for my pain that at least I can support someone else.
    We need to vent and cry at times .. I do too…and share with those who know and care.
    I’m so glad we can do it here. I have valued the comments and suggestions and worked at putting them into place . I am no good to my son if I am a sinking ship. I want to be able to take him on board and journey with him and support him.
    Bet if he doesn’t want to know at least I have tried.
    I hope you can find strength to.
    You have come this far and you have inspired me by your story .

    take careNameless1


    1 person found this helpful
  29. July
    July avatar
    239 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to Nameless1

    Hello, thank you everyone , your words are exactly what I feel , I know my son his not the same person under the influence and that's what hurts , people see the worst side of him and may not know that he is a good loving person when not taking that life altering poison , and that's what drugs are .

    Even when I read nice comments from others ...first it makes me cry ...then I think are they really talking to me? my self esteem has taken such a battering over his behaviour I fail at times to feel I am worthy , not because of my own behaviour but of what he has become.... if that makes sense??

    Nameless, yes I would love to meet you to, just to know another parent going through the same thing is comforting...sad but true . My younger daughter who just had the baby 7 days ago told me she text her brother and has not heard back , I did not tell her about the last incident from my older daughter as I did not want her upset right before giving birth ,she doesn't deserve to have a beautiful moment turned into something sad and I know she worries about her big brother .

    This is what gets me , his drug fuelled behaviour affects everyone but he is oblivious to it while he is high , he misses out on all the happy family moments through his own doing ...then complains he misses out ?? I can't win ? I'll never win while he is still taking drugs. I feel scared for his life , obviously in that lifestyle who knows what can happen . I do know I retreat myself, at times , sometimes not wanting to deal with anyone and just to be by myself, its for my peace of mind ...I have to .

    I joined the gym and have been going to relieve my stress which is good , even if I am busy I still think ...go for yourself... everything else can wait ! at first self conscious , but now I think who cares there are all sorts of people there.

    I have a personal trainer and he has been great adjusting things to suit my level and he also told me if I don't look after myself physically and mentally ...who will ? and he's right , he said I am doing very well and getting stronger ...who would thought I would be at a gym?

    I have 4 kids and now 4 grandchildren who need me , regardless of what happens I have to be that lighthouse for them and show them how to survive when life doesn't go the way you planned and the one thing that never changes is how love can see you through it all .

    July

  30. Nameless1
    Nameless1 avatar
    120 posts
    9 November 2021 in reply to July

    Hi July,

    You and a few others on BB are the only other mothers or people who I have spoken to ever with sons in prison .
    I too feel unworthy at times ..that if people knew they may not want to know me. I have piano students come to their house (with parents). What if they knew? Would they still come? The night the police came with a search warrant I had an online student. What if they had been in my house having a lesson? I Thank God they weren’t. He will be living back at home. I have to keep the hope all will be well and there are no problems.
    But then I know there are several people I have been helping that I couldn’t have helped except for what I am going through.

    I am sure it’s the same with you .because of what you have been through .. Helping others ….you help people here too

    At the moment it’s hard planning with not knowing when my son gets out on parole. My daughter and my other family wants us to visit in Sydney just near the time he could be out on parole. What do I say when I seem uncertain about going. I can’t explain as she doesn’t even know where he is? It might be 4 weeks or more till, or even after Christmas depending on reports and how busy it’s us they said before he or I could get a call. I have to trust in providence in good timing . I haven’t been to Sydney since beginning 2020 even when my mum was sick and passed away just as my son went into remand. Due to Covid we couldn’t go up for the funeral so no explanation as to why our son didn’t come at least.

    Babysitting, friends visiting. I don’t know how he will adjust so it’s hard to know what to do. I have to trust they won’t let him come home if they don’t think he is ready and hopefully he will have support and guidance from the Parole officer.

    Having his nephew around hopefully is good for him but not sure what his brother say when if he finds out.( though I am pretty sure sure he has worked out by no movement in his cars and other things that it must either rehab or prison.

    … the faith part … each challenge one day at a time… so hard some days.

    I am at a gym too.. never that I would be either . ..with personal trainer .. an exercise physiologist. When I started I was very overweight and weak after a year of Covid and the issues with my son . I am glad it has been helpful like it has for me .

    I have seen in your posts how you have survived the ups and downs these years and that encourages me I love your last paragraph… the lighthouse !!

    Nameless1

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