Posted by: addictionstinks | May 6, 2010

How Do I Feel?

In one of my comments, the person asked “How do I feel” about J going to jail. Wow, that’s a loaded question – so many conflicting feelings about it!

J has spent the better part of this past year either locked up in the county jail (5 months – from September to February), followed directly by going into an inpatient rehab (February to April), where he got kicked out of for not following the rules. So I guess I’m kinda used to him being incarcerated in some form or another. Still…

I feel relief: After getting kicked out of rehab, he went immediately back to smoking pot (he claims he did no other drugs), and drinking – heavily. Seems he thought he could trade one bad drug habit in for one bad drinking habit. Apparently he was just drinking beer, but lots of it, and every day. And smoking pot. His justification is that these things won’t actually “hurt” him. Never mind frying your brain on pot, or frying your liver on alcohol. Whatever. Anyways, its pretty much the only time I get to sleep well at night is when he’s incarcerated. He’s got 3 square meals, a bed, and he’s not using. Relief.

I feel sadness: Cuz I just want my kid back! I want to spend Sunday dinners with him. I want him to go to college. I want him to get married and make me grandchildren. I want him to lead a normal life. There is a real sadness knowing that my hopes and dreams for my first-born son will not come true. The mistakes he’s made will follow him around for many many years to come, and there is no hope for a normal life anytime soon. Maybe someday, but not now, and not within probably the next 10 years at least.

I feel anger: That he did this AGAIN! ‘Nuff said…

I feel confused: This is the part that always stumps me. The “why”? Why on earth would any SANE person, knowing they were going to go to prison, smoke pot THE DAY BEFORE your probation appointment?? Why would any sane person do all of these drugs to begin with? And get themselves into this much trouble over drugs??? I’ll never ever ever understand an addict’s way of thinking. Ever. I get that the drug is all they think about, nothing else matters, blah blah blah. But how could somebody hate themselves THAT much???

I feel conflicted: He called me yesterday with the usual “bring me money” crap. They apparently don’t give him anything in this jail. He needs to purchase t-shirts, socks, personal care items. Should I bring him the money to get what he needs? Should I visit him?? This jail is only about 10 minutes from my house, so it would be easy to visit. For now. He will eventually be transferred out of this county jail and into prison I suspect. But it will probably be a few weeks. His sentencing hearing was set for June 14 before all this trouble began, so he was going to talk to his Public Defender and see if he could get it moved up. In the meantime, he sits in the county jail waiting.

That pretty much sums up my feelings in a nutshell. I’m sure many of you can relate!



  1. I’m one of the many that can relate! I’m with you on the not “getting it” part also. I’ve asked WHY!?!? So many times and the answer I get most often is, I was bord…what?!?!? Find a hobby then! Go fishing, build model airplanes, do pottery…but drugs??? It’s insane in my mind! My son was diagnosed about 5 or 6 years ago with poly substance abuse and they were right on because there isn’t a drug out there that he hasn’t done and I can honestly say that I don’t believe he has a drug of choice…he’ll use whatever is available. He just got out of county jail in mid March… He’d been there since Dec. 31st. I’ll give him this, he turned himself in and did what he knew he had to do. And he had a 2 week old son at the time so I know it was really hard for him to do this. To date he’s stayed clean, sort of….he did purchas this new crap called K 2, I think, the high is identicle to weed, it’s legal and can be purchased in a head shop. When I told him that wasn’t acceptable either, he’s, yea, but it’s legal…argh!! They don’t get it! I tell him he has to stop looking for loop holes, life is what it is, learn to deal with it just like the rest of us! It’s the frustration that addiction causes that makes me crazy. Anyhoo, I’m rambling!! I am hoping for your son the same that I hoped for mine when he was in jail and that is that the punishment is only as severe as it needs to be to make the impact needed for them to finally get it and turn their lives around. Everyday when I pray, I turn my son over to God and say he’s yours, I can’t fix him, but you can! God bless you and J, I’m praying for you both.

  2. I went to a family meeting last night at the rehab my son is currently in. Two of the recovering addicts that spoke both brought up “boredom” and how that is a crock, they aren’t really bored but rather when they say they are bored it really just means they want to use right now. I had not heard that before and both of these men have several years clean. I used to ask all the why questions and still do once in a great while. I think we could ask why until the cows come home but it really serves us no positive purpose. I have found that going to meetings and listening I find more compassion for the addicts which I didn’t used to feel. I always just felt pure anger. I also pray that J finds the answer while being incarcerated. As for the money, I never gave very much if any, it can be used for other stuff. I did visit, but not every single time there was visiting. It is a personal decision that only you can make based on your own feelings. I am keeping you and J in my prayers.

  3. Praying for you all, my friend…

  4. truthfully? i would neither visit him, accept ANY phone calls from him NOR give him any money at all to put on the books.

    his decisions, HIS consequences. not yours.

    toughen up. let him suffer. it’s the only way he will ever decide he doesn’t WANT that life.

    said with love

  5. Dawn is right, but it is tough to do. For me, when I’m practicing “tough love” and consequences for my son, I often feel the only one learning from them/hurting from them is me, which probably means I’m still not truly letting him face his consequences (symptoms of my codependency to be sure). It is a conundrum.

    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Yep, I can relate to everything you said. I chose to put money on my son’s books so he could get the personal care items, pillow, etc. and some snacks. I also went to visit once a week and accepted his phone calls. Everyone makes different choices and I felt like my son was experiencing the consequences by being in jail. My son knew I was disappointed in him, sad, upset etc. and helping while he was in there was my way of reminding him that I loved him.

    I hope J comes around this time and sees how much he has to live for and what an awesome mom (and family) he has.

  7. I can see all those emotions. Asking why never gets me any answers though. It just is.

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