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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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  #26  
Old 08-08-2019, 12:09 AM
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Default How much $ is reasonable on parole

When he first got home, he was cleaning every thing. That wore off after a month. Now I have to actually ask. He always says yes and does what I ask. It was part of his lease in lieu of rent, but I don't point that out. Being financially dependent on someone has got to be difficult.

In the beginning he expressed his thanks but lately I feel taken for granted. There are times I get frustrated because it is my money he is spending, but at the same time I recognize that burdening him with gratitude can create very sour feelings and resentment. So I try to be very aware of it. His intentions are to pay me back and he keeps a list and does plan to give me some of his financial aid money.

I wonder if he realizes how easy he has it compared to the average person released from prison after 7 years. My goal was to help while I could so that he would have a better chance at creating a successful life - buying a used car and putting new tires on it, registration and insurance, the multiple fines paid, driver's license and required assessment, new clothes, private counseling, parole fees paid on time.

My thought is that if he doesn't have a job by early October, then it's time I limit my financial help to enough gas to go to and from school, parole fees and counseling fees, and car insurance ($200 total a month). In the meantime, I will still be providing him a home, utilities, internet and he has the free phone, SNAP, and health insurance.

My question is am I being too harsh, expecting too much on the job front to soon, and will doing so limit his chances of or encourage his success? Will he resent me? It's just really hard to know where to draw the line.
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  #27  
Old 08-08-2019, 07:10 AM
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All I know is it took my hub a year to find a job. He tried but kept getting rejected.
and that is what I'd tell your son. Keep trying. At some point someone will say yes.
Oct would only be about 4 months out, yes?
Is he trying to find work. Even day labor can lead to a job.
Thats actually how my hub started.
He worked in the vineyards (very difficult work) but he did his best. He being older was not the fastest or best as many have been doing that work for a good long while. At somepoint, someone figured out he had experience driving larger vehicles.
He ended up taking the porta potty's thru the vineyards and making sure they had access to water and first aid (which was on this truck he was driving)
At the same time the company that he found the work thru (like an employment agency type of thing) got him signed up for a class to get his cdl again.
It took forever but he finally got all the things he needed to do the classes, all the while working (as they needed him) in the vineyards. Of course it seasonal and has times they need the workers and alot of time they dont. But there is always work to be had there.
He'd show up everytime he was asked. Parole worked with him as far a curfews went (due to the times they needed him to work, and alot of those were overnight type work, but parole allowed it as long as it was for work)
So that short of a time might not be the best expectation. As long as he is trying to find work, I'd try to continue to help where you can.
I can imagine he's frustrated.
Trust me, I was very frustrated too. I paid for everything. Hub also was getting snap which did help with food for sure.
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  #28  
Old 08-13-2019, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by lizlizzie2 View Post
Friday, right before the holiday weekend started, we picked him up in the parking lot. We had been there about 2 hours and decided to leave to use the rest room at the gas station up the street. Of course, as soon as we got there my cell phone rang with the CO stating they were in the parking lot but couldn't find us. We did our business and drove back. Immediately, he stripped off the prison blue t-shirt and badly made jeans (all too large for him) and put on the cargo shorts and short-sleeved Henley shirt I had bought. It was so good to see him in something other than orange.

We made him sit in the back seat so he could entertain his 3-year old niece who had been talking up a storm. (he is really good with little kids). She had been telling everyone on her trip to AZ from WI, that she going to rescue her uncle out of the "gulag". He brought each of us a jewelry box made by inmates from paper rolled up and painted. They are really pretty, each done in our respective favorite colors.

His parole officer had decided to wait until the Tuesday after the holiday weekend for the first meeting, so we had a relaxing weekend with mom, son, daughter, and niece. His sister took him over to visit his 103 year old grandmother and dad (the alcoholic). She took him shopping for clothes and hygiene products. I played with my granddaughter. She gifted him a 6 month membership at a local gym. She helped him do his federal form for financial aid for college, which got in just under the deadline, so he is approved for financial aid for college. The parole officer is all in favor of him being in school over him having a job.

I took him to DES to finalize his application for benefits, so he is on the state health insurance and approved for SNAP. His application for a free smart phone (350 minutes and 2 gb of data per month) was approved but says 7 to 10 business days to be processed (Safe Link/Lifeline government program). Not having his own phone is probably the most frustrating thing for me. This week we are working on him getting a drivers license (my mechanic is going to take him on some back roads to practice and is lending me an automatic to drive for the test).

We jumped through all the first hoops set forth by parole - getting proof that his fines in both states are paid in full; signing up the job website; filling out his resume; having a mental health evaluation. All reasonable stuff and none of it over taxing our resources. This first visit was the parole officer I had met with, but she is moving up the ladder and he will be reporting to another woman, who was a CO for 25 years and had passed on the message that she was very impressed that he did not get a single ticket in 7 years. He signed the lease I had drawn up, which the parole office was happy to see and which helped his application process for state benefits.

The computer I had put a new hard drive in and had set up for him, in the first week mom tripped, dropped it and broke it. I felt so guilty I took him to buy a new one, based on my computer guy's recommendations of what to get. Staples had the wrong card description on their display, so they gave me a solid state drive one with less hard drive storage for the same price as the one I had set out to buy, along with discounting the 2 year service/replacement in case mom drops it service plan for 30% off. He is paying for the computer guy to transfer programs and data from the old one and set up the drivers and such. He has spent a lot of time on the internet - not only email and facebook but all the applications for benefits and school, along with studying the drivers manual and such.

He told me I didn't need to feel guilty and that I didn't owe him anything (referring to the computer) but that he was grateful for me having gotten him one.

For now, I am just letting him be. Take him where he needs to go. Answering questions. Some suggestions as things come up. It is difficult figuring out what he knows and what may be gaps from 7 year hiatus and what he may never have learned due to his prior lifestyle. For instance, he did not know what it meant when the ATM gave him available balance vs. current balance. I extended the explanation so that he would understand that what the bank says he has doesn't take into account things he just used his debit card for and that it could take 3 to 5 days for some of those things to actually be deducted so he needed to keep track himself so as to not overdraw his account.

We haven't really "talked". It was actually easier for me to talk to him when he was in prison. He hasn't sought me out to talk to either. For now, I figure let him get things processed and things in order like phones, drivers license, college registration, and then maybe things will settle down. My thought is that he needs time to adjust to freedom and he needs to get things established that show/provide proof of his independence.

Interestingly, as soon as he got home, he went through all the boxes, sorting out what he wanted to keep. He slept on the futon in the TV room and let his sister and niece keep the bedroom while they were here. As soon as they left, he proceeded to clean everything in his room and bathroom, including washing the walls. (Sadly, that didn't extend to the rest of the house - a mom can hope someone would wash the walls.) Another mom, whose son is up for a 2nd time, said her son did the clean everything too when he first got out.

So that is our first 10 days. If anyone has any specific suggestions as to what I should or shouldn't be doing, or what things he most likely doesn't know that I should make sure I tell him - please jump in with both feet (or both hands being it's typing on a computer or phone).

That is really awesome to here. It sounds like you both had prepared BEFORE he got out and that is key instead of just "wingin" it. It sounds like he values his freedom. I wish you all nothing but the best. It takes time to adjust for ALL people involved, you included, but he is lucky to have such support. Hang in there and it will be okay. Great post.
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  #29  
Old 08-13-2019, 08:18 PM
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Thank you for sharing your journey. Its hard to know how much support is healthy and what is just enabling. You have been very detailed and open so far. Try to keep talking to him or I should say keep him talking. I also worry about a child too soon after release, but we have zero control over that. Decide what you can afford and want to give and then stop. He is very lucky to have your help, but we are moms and our boys can take us for granted. Brace yourself for him moving in with the girl. Love him through it all, and come vent to us. It sounds like he is doing well, now just needs to focus on the job. It is hard living with an adult... for both of you! But it beats the visiting room.❤️ Praying for you both!
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  #30  
Old 08-15-2019, 12:33 AM
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Default Adjusting to living with someone is never easy

I have no where else to vent, so this thread ends up being the good and the ugly. I appreciate the comments and advice, because I don't have anyone else in my life right now to understand what any of this is like.

Last night he got back from visiting the girlfriend. I told myself not to say anything for a few days, but I didn't take my own advice and brought up that we failed to communicate. He spent almost twice the amount I had budgeted after gas. I can admit when I am not clear about something, but he can't. It ended up badly with him saying how he hated it here and me saying move out, with him replying I should call his PO and tell her I want him out.

Today, I was calmer and asked him when he had time to please sit and talk. He is frustrated by living in one room. He feels that everything he does is wrong according to what I say or that he is in my way so that he doesn't even want to use the kitchen or the living room and stays in his bedroom. He is an invader in my space. He has talked to the counselor about it and she told him to let me win sometimes. He says he can't do that when he knows he is right.(He will have to learn that skill or he will never keep a job, IMO, but I didn't say it.) His point is he knows how to communicate and listen because not listening in prison would be a bullet. I listened. I didn't argue. (It's a different kind of communication. Rules that you can follow are easy compared to interpreting what people are saying and what they mean. Yes, I can tell a client the law, but that isn't the same as communicating intent and nuances and now a judge will look at their actions.) Anyway, I can understand that he comes out of his room and he feels like that is when I bring things up and he understood that I was trying to give him the privacy of his room so waited for him to come out to tell him anything. A circular problem.

I also acknowledge that the timing has been really hard on me as I never expected to learn that I have stage 3 kidney disease 2 weeks after he was released, that the bones in my knees are deteriorating requiring PT, and that none of it explains the past few months of me not keeping food down and next stop is a gastrointestinal, (with all the added expenses for all of these things).

I concentrated on making sure he knows I love him, that I know he loves me, and that my goal is only to make sure that after all this he can even the playing field and get a real chance at the life he would like to have. He commented that it will be easier when school starts next week, to which I agree, and when he has a job. (My impression is that he applies for a job and waits to hear about it before considering applying elsewhere.)

I hope things will calm down and I really hope he gets the job he is waiting on, for both our sakes. I truly hope that we both do better on the communication, though I suspect I will be giving more than he will, which is part of being a parent.
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  #31  
Old 08-15-2019, 06:00 AM
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‘Call my PO’. was manipulation. Sorry, it just was. At best, you call the PO and he moves in with GF. At the least, you feel guilty and get off his ass. I agree, come on school! I’m sorry you are having so many health issues, please try to set financial limits with your son and try to focus on something other than him. I’m one to talk, as I sit here on Prison Talk.�� I just wanted to reach out to you because your posts have hit home with me and I am praying and cheering you both on. Pray! Pray! Pray!
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  #32  
Old 08-18-2019, 07:20 PM
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Call my PO. was manipulation. Sorry, it just was. At best, you call the PO and he moves in with GF. At the least, you feel guilty and get off his ass. I agree, come on school! Im sorry you are having so many health issues, please try to set financial limits with your son and try to focus on something other than him. Im one to talk, as I sit here on Prison Talk.�� I just wanted to reach out to you because your posts have hit home with me and I am praying and cheering you both on. Pray! Pray! Pray!
I agree, it is manipulation. I think some of what he says is intentionally manipulation and some is not intended but is the result of habits of communication in prison that he refuses to recognize or is incapable at this point of seeing as being not normal in the real world. His response is I don't know how to communicate. And, I can feel that component of a teenager rebelling against a parent is also there.

It's hard. It's emotional for me. It's disappointing. And, for now, I am not engaging in it because I can't fix it and really feel he needs exposure to life before any change can happen.
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  #33  
Old 09-01-2019, 07:45 PM
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Default 3 month update

He has a job!!! In a metal fabrication business. They build stuff with metal that is shipped all over the world. Big things. I don't really know what. He works 2 days a week, 18 hours. He could work 5 hours on Saturdays too, but he says he needs the time for school work. It sounds like they would happily hire him for more hours if he has the time, which hopefully means he can make more money during school breaks and summer. He gets up at 5, to be to work at 7. He packs his lunch the night before, sets up the coffee pot, eats breakfast, and get himself to work.Not sure why he gets up so early (I was always the type to get up, get dressed, full makeup and be to work within 1 hour), but it whatever works for him.

He is in classes 5x over 3 days a week, plus an online class Then Sunday he spends half the day at his 103 year old grandmother's doing stuff for her. She still lives on her own, with some assistance. He owes me 21 hours a month to cover his rent. He needs to learn time management. I worked and went to school full time. His sister worked full time while she got her BA and right when she started teaching she had a baby girl. Now she is teaching high school full time, getting her Masters at John Hopkins and raising the 4 year old on her own. But, I haven't said anything because I know it won't do anything good. I also know that doing too much is not healthy either, especially for him right now. I think, though, that he had so much time in prison to do his 1 or 2 classes by mail, that he will need to learn how to fit things into a tighter schedule. I suspect also that all those A's he got in prison won't be as easily attained in real life and he will have to adjust to those expectations and the level of school work required.

He still sees everything I say as a criticism. We still suffer from poor communication. He makes statements, gets angry at my responses no matter how I present them. I really feel like I am living with a teenager. The whole I am grown up and know more than you do mom and I should be able to live on my own but I am tied to your apron strings and its your fault attitude. He has said it's just wrong for a 30 year old man to live with mom - he should be living across town and show up to help me out as needed and have dinner once a week and not be living with me. I think he is so busy resenting it and being angry that he is failing to see the positive aspects. Too bad there isn't an adult child, former inmate exchange program.

Now that he has a job he has set up a budget to pay current utilities and car insurance to me; pay his own expenses, and pay toward what he owes me. He got his financial aid so he paid about 1/3 of what he owes me. He doesn't like owing anyone (especially me, which he resents while appreciating that he had help). I honestly don't know how those who are released and don't have help can afford to find a place to live, a job, transportation, and parole fees and requirements.

Yes, he is doing well on all the fronts that the world, society, and parole judge. As his mom, I think he has a lot of emotional issues that I wish he would get help with, but all of which he thinks is just me and not him. How much of that is 7 years incarceration and how much is drug use for 12 years starting in his early teens, I don't know. He has convinced the counselor to release him. good on the parole front. But I think, even after he is off parole, it will be silently looking over his shoulder.
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