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  #1  
Old 09-08-2012, 06:25 PM
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Default Reality Check

On Thursday I got a reality check. Several of you know that my husband and I are both ex offenders, unfortunately, our children are part of the statistic that says that children of incarcerated people are likely to be incarcerated themselves. Actually, three out of our five sons have been in this position. My husband and I are doing really well and we live normal (as normal as we can get) lives now and we have worked with our children.

In the past, I have mentioned my son Justin. He has been going back down the slippery slope back to (you guessed it) jail. Of course he has been using anything that can not outrun him and his lighter, add to that he likes to commit certain criminal activities.

Well, he finally went too far. He stole his grandfathers truck, we tried to get it back and he pretty much refused. My husband and I talked my father in law into pressing charges. Well, he was caught and arrested on Thursday and due to how it all went down, we were there for the action.

Needless to say, Justin was hysterical, he had been up for several days and add that to the fact that he truly did not believe that his grandfather would report the truck stolen, he was livid. I will not even go into what the police found in the truck....that is a whole other story.

The reality check came for me as I watched my sons behavior and I watched his reaction when I talked to him. I could see it all in his eyes and it really knocked me for a loop. I have discovered that in having been an offender myself, there is a large difference between being the one in trouble and being the one watching it happening and trying to figure out how to make it stop. I know this is all common sense but the sheer emotion that goes with this is overwhelming.

I have run through several different emotions in the last couple of days, they have ranged from relief to sadness to sheer anger. I have realized, first hand, what those who loved me while I was doing dirt felt. I now understand so completely the responses that they each gave me. I have seen the varying reactions to Justins ordeal in my own family.

I wished my mother in law were still alive so I could apologize to her for all the heartache her son and I caused her. I did talk to my dad in law about it today and he told me that he was proud of us now and now we would have to help Justin.

It is sad really, we concentrate on changing how we think so that we can live, work, and remain free. We realize what we did wrong and we feel pain, grief, or remorse over our past actions. In reality though, we never really know what the other side felt. For me, I now do. In being in this trip we call life, my life has come full circle and for the first time ever, I am so sorry and I know exactly what and why I am sorry.

Thanks for letting me vent.
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Waiting, I have been in perpetual waiting. At the end of the waiting, my family will be reunited and complete. Until then, I will keep waiting, praying, and loving each one with patience and strength. I love you all, I miss you all....until that day comes.
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:13 PM
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Sometimes reality hits us hard...but it helps us help others. I hope that you are able to help your son, and that he gets better and back on track. My kids are young- and I have never had issues with the law- but it would break my heart to have to turn my own child in. However, if it helped them learn a lesson, then as a responsible mom, I would do it. For their sake, no matter how much they hated me for that lesson. So good for you, and I'm glad your father in law is so supportive to you now. Stay strong, and congrats on getting your own lives on track. I will send a prayer up for Justin!
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:18 PM
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I can really relate to your story being a recovering addict. While I was in recovery my EX still struggled with his addiction and I too found myself going through the same emotions as you. Part of my recovery was to make ammends but some people just aren't around or have passed. When I. Looked at him it was if I was staring in a mirror of what I'm sure I use to be like...the lying etc...I see certain behaviors in my 13yr old I'm not proud to say ive unknowingly taught her such as manipulation. She is a master manipulator at the age of 13. We are in therapy together and at times I half to stop the session because I know when she is being manipulative. I'm trying to fix the problem now but to be honest I'm scared to death. I have another daughter that my addictions didn't seem to effect as much. Both my kids are straight A students and aren't bad kids at all I just noticed a lil too much of MY old behavior in my youngest I felt needed to be addressed. Your story has made me feel certain I am doing the right thing by trying to help my youngest now. The last thing in this world I want is for her to walk in my steps and go the road I chose....thank you! You gave me a reality check!
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:31 AM
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I just read this and what timing. I just got an email from my niece who makes payments to me for a car I am selling her. She told me her 22 year old son came home drunk at about 4:00am this morning and started screaming at her and punching holes in the walls tearing up their house. She said she had to call the cops to take him away. Then she discovered he'd gotten into her purse and stolen all her money. She said the money for her car payment is safe in the bank, but wanted me to let her uses some of it until she gets paid. I told her I consider it paid already and just keep it, but if she really wanted to do right by her boy she needed to not lift a finger to help him. I explained to her that the only time a person can change their behavior is when they are not high and her son needs some FORCED sobriety.

I know things are different for you, but my point is that doing what is right and what feels good is not always the same thing. You know your situation and your own feeling more than anyone on the planet, but if you want to make a positive difference you have to get past the emotions and think about it objectively ... then stick to your guns.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:05 PM
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RealChecker it is interesting that you replied the way you did. I agree totally about getting past the emotions to the sticking to your guns. I worried a little that my father in law would back out, he felt so bad and then my husband was right there with him. For me, even though I hurt immensely, I was looking at the whole situation and knew that emotions could very well be the death of my son. Although, I do hurt for him, myself, and my family; I refuse to let those feelings sentence him. Ultimately, he will make the decision to grow, but in my mind, I want to know that he had that chance. If he does not do it, then it is on him....just as so many of us had to make that decision for ourselves, we had to be put in the position of put up or shut up....I chose to put up and now because of that, I live in the free world where I can choose to live right.

In dealing with Justin, he is still madder than he double hockey sticks, of course so many are when they think that they should not have to pay the price of their crimes, but I will continue to write once a week and I will continue to go see him. Although, the visiting part is hard because for the most part he is really angry and I am not who he wants to see but hey, family is family and he is loved. You know the saying, "you can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family." This is his reality. His friends have abandoned him and his family is making him face up to what has become his reality. In the life he chose, there is no room for emotions, he saw to that when he stole from his grandfather (again). We love him and really don't want him there but it's not about what we would like, it is about getting him well and functioning and quite frankly, I am capable of detaching to ensure that we do what is right for him.
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PTO 2014 Fall Quarterly is Here!!!!

Waiting, I have been in perpetual waiting. At the end of the waiting, my family will be reunited and complete. Until then, I will keep waiting, praying, and loving each one with patience and strength. I love you all, I miss you all....until that day comes.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:11 PM
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Billysbutton, we have five sons. Three of those sons have been in trouble. One of those three has turned his life around, one (Justin) is in jail and will be going to prison and the third just has not hit bottom. As to the other two, both stay out of trouble and positions that can get them there. I am not sure where the difference lays, I just know that we interact with all of them and we deal with them accordingly. It is tough doing it, but if they can each heal and grow, everything that I put out for the world to view will make all the pain worth it.

Just hang in there and do what you have to help your child grow and become healthy. Unfortunately, life is a cycle and if we don't recognize that and do something about it, it will continue. It is for us to break vicious cycles and it sounds to me that you are doing what you can do to do just that. Keep on doing it. May God bless you and yours.
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PTO 2014 Fall Quarterly is Here!!!!

Waiting, I have been in perpetual waiting. At the end of the waiting, my family will be reunited and complete. Until then, I will keep waiting, praying, and loving each one with patience and strength. I love you all, I miss you all....until that day comes.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:36 AM
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We can love them but they have to choose their path.
He does have a genetic pre-disposition towards substance abuse but that is not an excuse for not dealing with the problem.Same as if he was a diabetic,the disease is his burden.
As you have seen,things can get better but it takes time.
Just continue to show your love since love can cover a multitiude of sins.
Huggs
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