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Now That Your Loved One Is Home... Please share stories about your loved one now they are home.

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Old 09-16-2011, 10:51 PM
Fretful53 Fretful53 is offline
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Default Not sure what to do or where to go to help newly released son

This post may be moved....eventually I'll find it. But I'm at a loss. As you all know , our son came home Sept 14th. He is depressed, withdrawn, insomnia, sits and stares out the window at nothing. His physical appearance has changed so dramatically. He is a heart patient, so even if they offered any type of exercise, he was limited.

He's lost his home, his son, everything he ever knew is gone and he's back living with his parents. He has a doctor's appt for the 29th if he makes it that long. He's broken, defeated, and has given up on life. I know I can't fix him....but I'm at a loss as to how to help him now.

I post this with hesitation, because I know there are a lot of moms with children still incarcerated....and for a lot longer than my Scott. But prison breaks them...and it did my Scott. Please pray for him. I know God will take care of us, He has so far.

I think anti-depressants would help him. It's like he has PTSD. I could go on and on about what the past few days have been like, but I won't. So if someone could point me in the right direction on PTO to find answers to my questions or give me advice on what to do. Maybe this is the wrong place to post this....I don't know. I know I'm rambling...it's almost 1am and I'm still awake. Lord I thought once he came home I would be able to sleep, that's not the case.

He says he's a "marked" man. He's an offender. He has a felony record. His life will never be the same. I promised him while he was in prison, life would be better. Maybe it's just too soon and he has to go thru these feelings. I don't know.

Thanks to all that read.....please keep him in your prayers.

Patricia aka Fretful53 aka Fretless aka Fretful again !!!
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:02 PM
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Oh my. I only wish I could offer you some grounded information and advice. But I cannot. I assure you though, I am saying a prayer for both your boy and for you as my fingers tap these keys. And I will keep you both in my prayers. I just know someone will come along that provide more.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:12 PM
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It's true that things are difficult now that he is out. He definatly sounds like he needs something to get him over the hump. This cannot continue, I would call the office and ask for an earlier apointment. They keep some open for these kind of things. If what is suggested after tried, keep going backand get into counciling in addition. My thoughts and prayers out to you and your son.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:26 AM
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Hi fretful...find out what your son is interested in and give him some hope. Although he has a record now...he can still go to school and learn a skill. Something non-law related...no cops, no lawyer, no hospital work....but there are plenty of other professions that he can look into. How about bartending school? How about chef? There has to be something that he is interested in that he can start to work on to give him some hope. He definetly needs medicine to start thinking clearly but once he does...he needs to be comforted and told that he can not sit and wallow and I know that you have to get hopeful for him first so that you can be his cheerleader. Although it is bad for him right now, I have read many success stories of felons finding jobs and leading good lifes. I'm also worried for my son who has 3 felonies..he gets out soon and he told me he is excited about finding a job and getting on with life. I told him that I don't want to be negative but that it is going to be HARD and he is going to have setbacks...but he will eventually find work....Also, beef up your sons weight by feeding him great meals...its funny what food and weight do to a persons well being and self esteem.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:28 AM
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Oh honey, my son came home after 6yrs, he ended up in the hospital having a nervous breakdown. He was in the hospital for like 10days or so. He was put on meds and this helped him alot. Its such a sad thing, as we are so happy to have them home and yet it turns to be such sadness. My sons been home now alittle over a year and has been much better. He will come around, its just gonna take some time. Life is different for them now, and they need to learn to adjust. I told my son that life is only gonna be what he makes it, and its gonna be harder for him to get a job and such, so hes gonna have to work harder to prove himself to society.
I felt so bad seeing my son hurting the way he was, gosh I remember it like it was today. I just know time will help heal, its only been few days since hes been home. I really would keep trying to get a sooner appt, tell them your concerns and that you feel waiting to long may be to late. Take care, Tracy
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:01 AM
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Im very sorry to hear he is having a rough time. i think we all worry our kids will have a tough time once out.

Has he gone to counseling?

I highly recommend tai chi n qi gong n yoga and especially meditation
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:26 AM
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Fret
please read this link about "coming home" , it is actually in the coming home section of PTO. Read the first post in the thread. Your son is "normal" for those getting out. He will improve. When my son first came home, he was startled easily, could not go into restaurants, stayed in his bedroom and had the light on 24/7. He was paranoid about how people perceived him. He felt defeated and that he would not get a job, thought his life was over. He had a girlfriend (not a good one) and he spent time here with her the first 2 weeks. I knew it would not last because he was so anxious and antsy.

in time he did meet the gal he is married to now.

things can change, tell your son it can get better. he can work in construction or in a smaller company. the big ones may not hire felons but someone said COSTCO does.

here is the link:
http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sho...t=22949&page=8
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:35 AM
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please DO read the entire article so you know where he is coming from. My son acted like the article said...word for word. He is out now and is not like that anymore.

article tidbits:

He will need periods of quiet time in short intervals. And he will not be comfortable with loud noises that he is not accustomed to, such as the babble of party noises, street noises and the like. He will be uncomfortable around a variety of colors, genders, children and animals. He will at first be uncomfortable moving from room to room, and will tend to stay in one room until it has become familiar. He will be uncomfortable going out the door ahead of anyone else. His eyes will always be shifting around and his heading turning, and he will probably wish to sit with his back to a wall. These are instinctual things he has learned and he won't even be conscious of it. ...The worse damage done to your loved one is his ability to make decisions or choices was taken away. It has to be relearned. We unconsciously make hundreds of decisions a day. Your loved one is not allowed any and has forgotten how to make them. He was not even allowed to choose what
he would wear for the day, or if had the choice, it was extremely limited. Do not overwhelm him with choice.

The key to helping is staying supportive, but not smothering. .

Don't ask him what he wants you to cook for dinner. Ask him if there's anything in particular that he would like, that he's been craving. Don't be surprised if some of his old favorites have changed and he no longer likes macaroni and cheese or turkey or meat loaf or pancakes. ... Do not take him to a movie the first weeks home. Dark, enclosed places, where he is surrounded by people will cause those flight/fight instincts to kick in. Rent a video instead....start by going into a smaller, comfortable, familiar place and order just dessert or a beverage. ...Don't ever come up behind him quietly and put your arms around him for a quick hug, or tap on his shoulder. The flight/fight instinct will immediately kick in.

... Don't ask him what he wants, ask him what brand of something he was using or liked. If you put him in front of a two dozen brands of toothpaste, he'll freeze. ...Encourage his participation in household decisions by asking his opinion, but do not pressure him to make the decision. ...Even though out of prison, there is still a long string tying him to prison...fines owed, parole officers to check in with, boxes on forms that ask if he ever committed a felony. The reality is that he is
forever marked by being a prisoner and both you and he must accept that reality. ... Don't remind him of who or what he used to be, but encourage him to look for what he wants to be. Let him know there are no limits to what he can be.

Expect periods of silence from him when he has nothing to say. Expect periods when he won't shut up and you want to scream because you are tired of the prison stories. Expect evasions and direct lies because they have become a necessary part of his living system.... When he is silent, respect his silence but do not retreat into it also. When he won't stop talking about prison, understand he is feeling particularly lost and redirect his thoughts to here and now. ...Be honest, be patient, be loving and most importantly, be human. Do not try to be perfect, do not try to be strong all the time. He needs to be needed. He needs to give love as well as receive it. He needs to know he is of value to you and the creation. He needs to relearn pride and faith. He needs to be judged on his actions now and the past become a whisper of memory.
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:11 AM
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Thanks Jancy,

I read the article and this is my son word for word. I don't know what I was thinking ! I knew his life, our life, had been changed, but I guess I focused so much on him coming home, I didn't prepare myself for the "after effects".

Thank you so much for finding this and sharing it with me. This is Scott...word for word. We will get better, we will, I just know it.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:45 PM
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In answer to your question if antidepressant medications can help, the answer is yes. Be sure he asks his Doctor about treatments for depression when he has his appointment on the 29th. There is a recognized post incarceration syndrome, which affects some people more than others. Clinical depression is treatable.

I hope everything turns out well for both of you.
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Old 09-17-2011, 05:13 PM
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I’ll send you a PM, O.K.? Look in your message box.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:41 PM
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oh, fretful, i am so sorry. i will be praying for Scott - -that he gets the right help, that each day he gets a little stronger. i will pray that your love, encouragement and believing in him will help him to begin to believe in himself again.

jancy shared some wonderful advice. (as always).

God be with you . . .
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:25 PM
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I'll be praying for you both.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretful53 View Post
Thanks Jancy,

I read the article and this is my son word for word. I don't know what I was thinking ! I knew his life, our life, had been changed, but I guess I focused so much on him coming home, I didn't prepare myself for the "after effects".

Thank you so much for finding this and sharing it with me. This is Scott...word for word. We will get better, we will, I just know it.
now fretty...keep in mind that your son is still "in there"...but it will take time for him to let down his guard. He is going thru a learned behavior.

My son took a good while to lighten up. Yesterday he invited my entire family over as well as his wife's... he cooked for everyone, played games, and celebrated his baby's first birthday. He was his best self, a jovial host. He could have NEVER done that a year or so ago. Dont' get discouraged and continue to educate yourself about your son's adjustment period. My son recognized his own behaviors and sought out the doc himself.
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Old 09-18-2011, 06:50 AM
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also wondering if he can re-establish the bonds with his son...that really helped my son.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:50 AM
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Humans are very adaptable, and going from one situation to another-even if that situation is much better- is hard, and often leads to depression. What you're describing is something I've warned my son about in many letters I've written to him, because I worry it will happen-and he won't be expecting it.

I spent 4 years in the military, and have no clue what I was thinking when I signed up. Authority has never been my 'thing', I am as non-violent as you can get, have never been a morning person, and my idea of a fun day does NOT begin with a 4 mile run to anywhere. I counted down every minute of every day till I could get out of there-and those first few years when i got out were the most miserable and depressing of my life. I didn't 'fit' because my realities had been so different than anyone else's, and I was lost, because I didn't know what to do. I worry my son will face all those same things and those same emotions-but even more so, because saying you just got home from the service elicits different responses than saying you just got home from prison. I finally went to a psychiatrist, who made me feel better because he was total nut job, and I left thinking if that idiot could find a way in this world, I surely could. I swear to you-he told me I should think about joining a circus, because I was still young, and that had always been his dream in life. What I did finally figure out is that change is depresssing-even when it is positive change.

Last week I went to one of those community meeting things, and by pure chance, the speaker was with a new reentry organization. She told us about the funding that is available now-in part through the vocation rehab programs which I believe are available in most states. (I'm not sure if it's federally funded? Maybe someone here knows). I was AMAZED at the funding that is currently available for anyone with a DOC number. I know funding changes constantly, but right now she has access to funds that allow them to provide an ex-offender with transportation (in some cases that means an allowance to even help purchase a car) housing, $200.00 for gas, and up to 18,000.00 a year to attend school-up to a masters degree. I hope you can find a program like that in your area, but please assure your son his emotions and experiences are normal-and will pass as he adapts to his new reality. Take care.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:06 AM
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Just in the interest of clarity, and because I know that we tend to imagine how a person looks based on little bits of info we've derived from their posts, I would like to mention that I don't there is anything so extreme about my appearance that one's first thought shoud be 'that lady would do well joining the circus'.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:56 AM
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I'm sorry your son is going through this! I hope he finds some peace within himself. I will be praying for you, hugs!
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:08 PM
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You KNOW that I am praying!!! I think you've gotten some good stuff here! I KNOW that it will ALL work out....it will. I am so sorry that it is this way right now, but step by step, I know that God will open some doors and settle things into a comfortable place. Scott will adjust....and so will you....I am praying that it happens FAST!!
Love and prayers for peace and comfort
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:23 PM
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I'm so sorry your going thru this, I know you want to make it all better. This is something I do worry about for my son when he comes home. Threads like this will help me learn and understand what I can do to prepare. I try very hard to make sure my sons spirits are up and he is strong. I write to him and tell him to keep his mind, body and soul strong. I know it's gona break my heart when he comes home but it will be a process and we will get thru it.
Many prayers for you and your boy...please let us know from time to time how he is doing, K
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jancy View Post
now fretty...keep in mind that your son is still "in there"...but it will take time for him to let down his guard. He is going thru a learned behavior.

My son took a good while to lighten up. Yesterday he invited my entire family over as well as his wife's... he cooked for everyone, played games, and celebrated his baby's first birthday. He was his best self, a jovial host. He could have NEVER done that a year or so ago. Dont' get discouraged and continue to educate yourself about your son's adjustment period. My son recognized his own behaviors and sought out the doc himself.
That's the thing, Jancy ! Exactly. He's "still in there" in his mind. Today has been a better day, of sorts. He's very quite at times and very talkative at times. Sometimes he seems like the same Scott, sometimes I can see thru his mind's eye as he slips back into the "prison phase" of his mind. He refers to his time in there constantly.

I know all this will heal in time. Lord, I don't know what I was thinking !!! Being his mom, talking to him everyday, I guess I just thought once he came thru those gates....all the things we had talked about, all our hopes and promises we made, I guess I just thought the nightmare would just "poof" disappear ! NOT SO !!!

Sometimes I see the "I'm tired of being told what to do" attitude. Example: in prison they're made to shave everyday...no exception. So for the past few days, he hasn't shaved ( which is fine with me ) but it's because he was made to do that everyday. So yes, it's a learning experience for me and the rest of the family. Today, we went to church and for some strange reason, I worried about him being alone. Finally, it dawned on me.....he probably enjoyed the solitude!

And yes, 1bird2, I know you have not forgotten. You will find me wherever I go and your prayers are not going unnoticed or unanswered. Thank you all for your replies and PM's and your prayers. You will never know how much each of you have helped me and continue to do so. What a great group I have found.

Tomorrow is a new day with new challenges to conquer, and God already knows what we're going to face, and He will be there to guide us...that is, if I get myself out of the way. So many demons ( mentally ) Scott has to fight.

At this point in time, Jancy, being reunited with his son is not possible. She ( the ex ) told the judge Scott was not the father and the judge said the only way he could see him was with a DNA test. She won't agree. One day, I pray the boy comes looking for his dad...but for right now, it's one day at a time.

God bless each of you
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:39 AM
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Fretful,

You have received some great advice here! I don't have anything to add other than be patient. Like others have said it takes time.

I pray that he finds peace soon and can focus on the wonderful things that this world has to offer.

K
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:31 PM
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Fretful - I'm so sorry that your son is having such a rough time. I think it's what we all fear for our kids when they are released, but it sounds like it's something to be expected. Thank goodness we have this forum so that we can get advice and much needed support when we need it. I hope he continues to adjust and that there will be happier days ahead.

Jancy - Thank you for posting that link. Even though my son won't be home for another seven years, I always like to be prepared. I've made copies of the original post from that link and plan to send one to our older son. He will be in charge if we're no longer here when our other son is released. These are things that we should all be aware of.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:13 PM
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I would suggest therapy and maybe even going to an emergency mental health treatment facility and get put on some meds. Maybe he even needs to be hospitalized for a short period. I hope things get better for him!
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:41 PM
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I would suggest letting him sort through it in his own time. I've seen My Mr parole home twice. First time (after 5 years) he actually thought about calling the DOC and asking them to take him back Give him space when he needs it, let him talk when he needs to and you listen when he needs you to listen. Ken's post that was refered to in an earlier post is one of my favorite posts on PTO.....and so true. Breathe sweetie.....he'll be ok. Best wishes to you both and to your familiy
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