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Old 04-16-2019, 12:57 PM
Shingar Shingar is offline
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Default I was hoping never to post again here....

So my son got out of prison about a year ago. He'd spent over 2 years in the State Pen for a home invasion that he participated in. He wasn't an invader...but he drove the car. That's just as guilty as doing the actual crime.

I started a lawn care company for him so he'd have income when he got out.

I was convinced he was done with being a drug user and criminal. At first things went well. Toward the end of the season last year he started making mistakes. I didn't put two and two together.....I guess I didn't want to believe he was back on drugs. He was. Speeding and other tickets followed. Then 2 arrests for possession within 3 weeks of each other. Each time I bailed him out. Each time I paid to have our work truck released from impound.

I had to drop him from the truck insurance. He can't work the business without being able to drive.....so we had to cancel 85% of our clients from last year.

This morning he posted on FaceBook.
“What is family? People you’ve just known forever? That’s what family is right? I’m confused”.

He posted this because the night before he came around to the house and asked me to buy him grow lights for a new business venture he wanted to start. You can imagine what that business is. He had plans to get his Medical licence and grow to sell. He wanted me to pay for the licence as well since he's broke....having saved no money from a lucrative season last year. It's illegal without a growers licence.....and those are hard to get for a felon. I told him no. He stormed out.

As to his question he posted on FaceBook......I messaged him my answer. I didn't want to publicly call him out as he had done to his mother and I .

Here it is.
----------------------------------------------
Family doesn’t mean NOT holding each other accountable for their actions.

Family doesn’t mean we have to tolerate or keep ourselves open to lack of respect.

Memories can be short. Let me tell you why we chose not to pay for your medical marijuana license or grow lights.

First….a medical marijuana license allows the person to grow plants for their own use. Based on the actions and behaviors we observed…and the things you talked about….it seemed that you were planning on using that license to grow and then sell it to others. That’s illegal and could land you back in prison for the remainder of the time you have on paper. We did not want to be a part of that. We love you too much to be a part of the reason you go back to prison.

Instead, we’ve been paying your court costs every month. $100 a whack. We’ve never asked for a dime of repayment.

When you were arrested and put in jail the first time I sold my motorcycle to bail you out. Over $5000….then there was the lawyer fees.
We paid for your lawyer that time. Thousands of dollars. Much…much more than a medical marijuana consult.

Then you racked up a bunch of speeding tickets that you couldn’t pay. Instead of seeing you go back to jail we paid them. We loved you and didn’t want to see you in such a terrible place.

You got arrested for that home invasion that you participated in. We took loans to pay for your lawyer. We hired the best lawyer we could find. He wasn’t cheap. We loved you and didn’t want to see you in such a terrible place as prison. You were facing 20 years……that lawyer was able to get you a plea deal with only a few years in prison. Money well spent we thought….and “he must have learned his lesson this time” we thought. We went to every court hearing…..every lawyer meeting because we love you.

While you were in prison we put money on your books every 2 weeks. If you asked for books or new sheets or care packages or the occasional extra money to spend at the prison store….we sent it.
We drove 2.5 hours each way many many times to the prison to spend a few hours visiting with you….then drove 2.5 hours home. We did it because we love you.

Your last year in prison we made moves to ensure you’d be able to make money when you got out. We figured you would have a hard time finding employment with a prison record. We wanted you to be self-sustaining. I bought mowers and all the equipment needed to start up. I told you that I didn’t expect you to pay me back 100%....but I would like 50% of my money back.

When you got out you needed a phone but you owed Sprint thousands of dollars for a phone contract you never paid on. I talked the bill collector down to $1500…and I paid it. I paid it because I love you and didn’t want to see you struggle so early after getting out of prison.

I went to work every day, Monday through Friday at 6am and got off at 2:30. I’d then drive out to where you were and help you finish the lawns for the day. Often we wouldn’t get home until 7pm…sometimes later. I did it because I wanted to see you succeed. That’s what families do. We spent many Saturdays doing mulch jobs and cleanups and bush trimming. Saturdays I used to relax and go on trips with mom…not that year. We wanted to give you every chance of success……

You wanted to go to Florida with a high school friend on Spring Break. It was the middle of the lawn care season…our busiest time, but I told you that you should go. I figured a little fun would be good for you. I worked my tail off for a week while you partied on a beach so we wouldn't get behind on our lawns.
You did drugs while there and got kicked out of the rental by your old friend and his wife. That friend called me weeks after and said you still owed him $300 for the trip. I knew you didn’t have it….so I paid him what you owed him. I’ve never asked you to pay me back. Not once. Because I love you.

We were kicking butt in the lawn care business. We were as busy as we could be. Some weeks we worked 6 and sometimes 7 days. The business was growing……so we bought a new mower. A $12,000 mower. Since you had not held down a job for more than a few weeks in a row prior to the Lawn Care business……your credit score was terrible. We talked about financing and making payments in order to help repair your bad credit. I decided that money would come out of the business account after you took out your 50% of the income…..so it didn’t affect your pay at all. We wanted you to succeed.

Then you got a ticket that was reported to the insurance company. Our truck insurance went from $166 a month to $256 a month. You didn’t notice a change in your pay because I was using my 50% of the income to pay the truck payment and the insurance as well. So instead of my 50% of the business income that was meant to pay myself back for the $9800 truck, $1800 trailer, the $6800 stander, the $1100 mower, the $600 blower, the $500 edger, the $600 trimmer, the 700 Kombi, the $300 bush trimmer, the $300 hedge clippers, and all the assorted tools, gas cans, lawn mower blades, oil, etc, etc. I was working for free last year…because I wanted to see you succeed.

Then the calls started coming in. Missed the backyard when he cut. Broke my fence with the mower. Left scalp marks on the front lawn. Put big mower in the backyard that left ruts in my yard. Ran over my PVC sewer vent pipe.

I should have known something was up….but I couldn’t believe that you were doing hard drugs. I mean…..we had everything going our way. Why would you do that and put the business in jeopardy?
Then more tickets. I paid them.

Then arrested for heroin possession (the 1st time). Jailed. I paid the bail and got you out. I got the truck out of impound. Well over a thousand dollars.

A few weeks later….arrested again for heroin possession. I bailed you out again. I didn’t want to see you in that place. You promised you’d go to rehab or check in to a sober living house. I believed you…..even after all the lies you had told me to that point. I believed you because I wanted the best for you. I had blinders on. I got the truck out of impound again. Another well over a thousand dollars spent.

Another ticket while driving the truck and trailer. This one for illegal lane change. Went to court with you. Was able to plead out and pay a fine. I paid it. You didn’t have any of the money you earned from the business. You’d spent it all. But the ticket was forwarded to the truck insurance company.
A few weeks later….a call from the insurance company. Our rate was going from $256 a month to $488 a month. I had to drop you from the policy. Not because I don’t love you…..but because with all the other bills I’m paying….I couldn’t afford it. Mom and I would like to retire before we get too old to enjoy life.
Without insurance….you can’t drive the truck. Your record would indicate that it’s just a matter of time before another speeding ticket or worse….an accident. If that were to happen I could be sued. That would jeopardize my retirement. So I couldn’t allow that. I still loved you…..but couldn’t take that kind of risk….and couldn’t afford the insurance. It’s not because I don’t love you….I do.

Then you asked if I would pay your rent if you checked into the sober living house. I hadn’t been that excited to write a check ever. I thought you were really trying this time. I went and paid the guy that day so you could move in that evening. I tried to pay him for a few months stay….but he refused and told me it would be week to week until you proved to him that you really wanted to be there.
The day after I wrote the check…the guy called me. Said that you had moved into the house the day prior and that night had smoked drugs in front of your roommate. The roommate turned you in because it was a threat to his sobriety. He had no choice but to remove you from the house. You’d already moved out by the time I got a hold of you. He said he’d rip up the check since you only stayed the one night. I was gutted.

It was that day. That was the day that I knew I couldn’t help you.

No matter how much money I spent…..you were the one that needed to fix yourself. I couldn’t do it. I realized that my money was just enabling you to continue with the drug use. I decided that from then on you’d need to take responsibility for yourself. It was a hard decision because I love you and didn’t want to see you struggle. But I realized…you weren’t a little kid anymore. You’re a grown adult man. It’s time you take responsibility for yourself.

So instead of trying to make us feel bad about not paying for your $150 license or the grow lights we know you intended to use illegally…..I’d say you owe mom and me a thank you. Tens of thousands of dollars of money intended for our retirement paid to lawyers, tickets and righting mistakes you made.

Your FaceBook posts didn’t go unnoticed.

“What is family? People you’ve just known forever? That’s what family is right? I’m confused”.

Family is mutual respect. Mutual giving. It’s a two way street son. It’s not giving you what you want because you want it.

If you don’t want anything further to do with us…that’s going to be your decision. I can tell you that we expect you to stand on your own two feet now….we will no longer take responsibility for the mistakes you make in life. That chapter is over. We hope you become the man we know you have the potential to be.
Even after all this…..we still love you.

You asked.

That’s what family is.
----------------------------------------------

Reading this back makes me mad at myself. How could I have put so much hope and faith into him knowing his history?

So now his mother and I wait. We watch the news every night and hope and pray that it isn't him that was arrested in the latest drug bust.

Every time the phone rings our hearts drop....is this a call from jail. The mortuary?

We know that if he doesn't change....he'll be back in prison serving out the time he has left on paper. Another 12-13 years.

We know we are helpless to change him. Only he can do it.

So I'm back on this forum. I'm depressed. I'm crying as I write this. A big man sobbing like a little baby over things I can't change.

As always....I hope this is my last post......but I have a feeling I'll be back for the support this board provides sooner rather than later. I should have never left. I should have stayed and not tried to forget. I was selfish.

I learned my lesson. But my God....what a toll it has taken.

Last edited by Shingar; 04-16-2019 at 01:40 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2019, 05:31 PM
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tglsmom tglsmom is offline
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Shingar – My heart is breaking after reading your post. There are so many similarities to what we have gone through with our son over the years (yes, we’ve written them all down like you have), and we’ve waited for the dreaded phone calls, spent thousands of dollars, and we’ve cried many tears. I know how much you are hurting. I read this to my husband as well and we were both on the verge of tears. We have felt many of the same feelings you are feeling now. It is so painful. I am so sorry you have to go through this.

I have too many thoughts to write here, but please, please don’t blame yourself. You were not selfish, you wanted the best for your son, and you gave it everything you had. That is not unlike most of the parents here. There does come a time, as you have realized, that we can’t do it for them. We can’t make them clean and sober and we can’t save them from the consequences of their actions. Sometimes they really do have to learn the hard way. When we finally pulled back and let the consequences of his actions prevail, our son ended up spending over 11 years in prison. It was super hard to do and some of those years were difficult, but I think and hope that it was enough for him to change his life for the better. He is now on parole, he’s sober, and even though I still worry, I know that it is completely up to him to do the right things. Without sobriety, he will certainly fail.

I hope and pray that your son will embrace a clean and sober life. You and your wife deserve some peace and, even though he doesn’t yet realize it, your son does, too. I hope things begin to change for the better very soon.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tglsmom View Post
Shingar – My heart is breaking after reading your post. There are so many similarities to what we have gone through with our son over the years (yes, we’ve written them all down like you have), and we’ve waited for the dreaded phone calls, spent thousands of dollars, and we’ve cried many tears. I know how much you are hurting. I read this to my husband as well and we were both on the verge of tears. We have felt many of the same feelings you are feeling now. It is so painful. I am so sorry you have to go through this.

I have too many thoughts to write here, but please, please don’t blame yourself. You were not selfish, you wanted the best for your son, and you gave it everything you had. That is not unlike most of the parents here. There does come a time, as you have realized, that we can’t do it for them. We can’t make them clean and sober and we can’t save them from the consequences of their actions. Sometimes they really do have to learn the hard way. When we finally pulled back and let the consequences of his actions prevail, our son ended up spending over 11 years in prison. It was super hard to do and some of those years were difficult, but I think and hope that it was enough for him to change his life for the better. He is now on parole, he’s sober, and even though I still worry, I know that it is completely up to him to do the right things. Without sobriety, he will certainly fail.

I hope and pray that your son will embrace a clean and sober life. You and your wife deserve some peace and, even though he doesn’t yet realize it, your son does, too. I hope things begin to change for the better very soon.
Like both of you, my husband and I could just about write everything you all have....except our son is still in prison. We too got a private attorney but his home invasion is costing him 7+ years in prison. I'm both scared and excited for him to get out in two years....I'm sorry for all of us!
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:09 PM
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I am sad for all of you - your wife, your son and you. It is so difficult to be the parent of an addict. We try to help them help themselves with no idea of where that line is between helping and enabling. We follow our hearts and help - and hope - until we can do no more. Then we wait --- and still hope that they will find their way forward (and that the phone ringing is anything but the jail, the hospital, or worse).

Look after yourself and your wife. Hang in there for each other.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:26 AM
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Shingar........
wow. Your response to your son's post was perfect. Even tho you are hurting, you have done the right thing. And for that I am glad. I too was an enabler to some extent. I didnt have alot of money to spare and after a few rounds of *helping* my son, I couldnt do it any more.
Yes you feel some guilt. But in reality, we shouldnt.
You might try a few Naranon meetings. Get some real life support, although PTO is a good spot too if you are on limited time.


Im so sorry. I just wanted to say I think you are doing the right thing. The best thing actually.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:05 AM
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I really love your reply to his entitlement and actions. He still has a lot of growing up to do and I'm supporting you 1000%. Excellent reply!
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:41 AM
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Your story is too familiar and heartbreaking Lifting you and your family in prayer. Stay strong and God Bless
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:48 PM
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Your post sums up the heartbreak of being the parent of an addict. Wishing you peace and strength through this. You cant love your son better you cant make him change all you can do is watch him hit his own rock bottom and then hopefully watch as he rebuilds his life.
What you cant do is enable him. Well done for taking the tough love stance.Much respect to you Sir.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:10 PM
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Painful epiphany, Dad. Our sons get damaged - somehow. As fathers, it's our job to fix them. When we fail we get damaged. I hope I don't go through what you have gone through. The arrest and prison sentence were about all I can take. When the time comes that my son releases I know plenty is stacked up against him (us). I think about it often.

You pursued everything you could to help him overcome knowing the odds. Doing anything less was not in your DNA. You are a very good and loyal father, which is a gift and rather rare. The message you just sent was proof of what kind of father you are. I am impressed. I hope that maybe, maybe your son gets the message. There is no doubt that everyone here who read your post got your message and understood perfectly. Wish you peace regardless.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:19 PM
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It is so sad to read the desperate cries of another broken parent. You did so much for your son and he still could not resist the haunting call of the drugs.
Such a slippery slope...they try and convince themselves they'll only drink or only smoke pot this time around.... it'll be different....and before they know it they're right back to the drugs of choice and you and I know it's all down hill from there.
God knows I wish we could LOVE them clean!

Like most addicts your son knows how to pull your heartstrings. His posting on facebook was the drug talking. Your son is definitely manipulating you and trying to saddle you with false guilt.

STAND FIRM you have clearly reminded your son of the true definition of family. I hope and pray your son's heart is stirred in the right direction if and when he reads your LOVING response. May God clear his mind and open his eyes before its too late.

I'm praying God gives you and your wife the strength to stand strong! I know it's much easier said then done but try not to be so hard on yourselves. You are a committed father who loves his son! When it comes to enabling or tough love all I can say is it's a double edged sword and there are no guarantees!
I know what you and your wife are going through and it is a level of hell! Always living on the edge with worry and concern for your child. Hoping and praying and dreading!

I will say if there was only one more thing I could tell my young son, who is no longer here, it would be I LOVE YOU! I'm pretty sure you do tell you son that you love him....and he know's it. I too told my son many times how much I loved him.... I wish I could say it one more time...it's never enough.

My heartfelt prayers are with you and your wife.
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