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Loving a Long-term Sentenced Offender For those whose loved one is serving 10+ years.

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2017, 12:23 AM
Nancia79 Nancia79 is offline
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Default Son sentenced to 15 years next week

I am broken. My 19 year old son who has a mental health history and who chose to go on a crime spree with three other teens just pled guilty to several robberies. Iím trying to stay strong. He could have gotten so much more time. I am so sad for my son. Regardless of the choices he made, this seems like a nightmare and not real. I feel judged as a parent. I feel guilt and shame despite doing the best I could when he was in my care. Heís been in and out of facilities and has struggled with mental illness. I couldnít force him to take his meds when he moved out. He went off them for two weeks and then I got the call. Sadly I wasnít surprised he got in trouble because I knew he wasnít taking his meds. He is opposite when he takes them and says he canít remember anything, also told me he was high when it happened. I cry myself to sleep thinking of him in a cell all alone and about to be sentenced. Christmas was so hard this year. Regardless of all of this we have a good relationship and we have been holding each other up throughout all of it. Iíll always make sure he has money, phone calls and mail. I just feel helpless and know it is out of my control. He is headed to a menís penitentiary and he is in my eyes a baby. I probably sound ridiculous. I donít care. Itís how I truly feel and that is helpless right now.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:15 AM
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Welcome to Prison Talk.

Your Son is very lucky that you will continue to support him during this nightmare. It will make his time inside much more survivable. Far too many prisoners are abandoned by their "friends & family", which makes their lives much more difficult, both during and after imprisonment. It may not seem so now, but this will end and he will be home again.

Stay strong and take care of yourself.
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:19 AM
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Nancia79 - please, you do NOT sound ridiculous at all! I am glad you found this community and decided to join; you will find many others here who are in a similar/same situation, and who can support you. Please keep on sharing and reading, and hopefully it will bring some comfort to see you are not alone.

I am sorry about your son's struggles and for how hopeless you feel....I know this may sound like a clichť, but I personally believe we humans can adjust to anything with time when there is no alternative. Please take care of yourself in all this; do not hesitate to speak with a therapist if it all becomes too much to bear. One day at a time is really the only way forward with this. Hugs
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:51 AM
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Your struggles are very common among parents with children sentenced for a crime no matter how long the sentence. I watched my own parents struggle with the same issues when my brother did his first bid - there's a shame about it, there's a desire to protect the man you see as your baby, there's a determination to stay strong and to stand beside your boy no matter what.

Know you are in familiar territory. Once you've been to visitation a number of times and can relax a bit, you'll be able to tell your fellow travelers in the lines going through security to visit your son. They will be women of a certain age looking terrified - for those first few visits, they are terrified and look it (heck, I was for my first few visits of clients at local jail), the pattern of flow for visitation is so new to them that the desire to comply as best they can makes them stick out like a sore thumb. They also may get irate when a bra or other staple of their wardrobe causes them grief. They also look around the visitation room quickly, constantly scanning, until they figure out where the inmates emerge, then it's all about waiting for their son, usually on their toes, hands clasped awaiting that first hug.

When you are going through this, I hope one of the other mothers reaches out to you. You are in a special club, after all, and you can learn and cope with each other. And when you are an old hand at this, I hope you are able to reach out to others and band together in strength.

Look, I can give you platitudes about how you did everything right and the system is broken when it comes to mental healthcare, and how we are incarcerating our mentally ill in prisons, rather than treating them, but you already know all of that. You've played the, "what more could I have done" card more times than humanly possible. You've also played the, "what did I miss" card right along with it.

All I can say now is that it really sucks.

Here's what you have to look forward to - you'll get to hug your son again. Your son is your son and he will grow up a bit in prison. Hopefully you live in a state dedicated to mental illness, and he'll have access to a psych unit if he needs it as a substitution for an inpatient mental facility. This will really help.

Please get involved in your local chapter of NAMI or some other organization dedicated to mental illness. It is a good place to put your energy from this when you can't put your energy into your son.

Please forgive yourself. You have done nothing wrong.
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Old 01-01-2018, 07:35 PM
careyon careyon is offline
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You absolutely do not sound ridiculous. Just reading your post, made my heart ache for you both. I know what it's like when they don't take their meds and I'm so sorry it end this way. It may be out of your control, but it is not out of God's control Pray, Pray, Pray for your son's safety, mercy and continue to be there as you have been. That's the most you can do and it will go a long way. Your prayers and support will make a huge difference for your son. They should give him his meds in jail. So make sure they do. It will help him manage during this season. So sorry you're going through this.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:28 PM
Nancia79 Nancia79 is offline
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Default Thank you so much

Quote:
Originally Posted by fbopnomore View Post
Welcome to Prison Talk.

Your Son is very lucky that you will continue to support him during this nightmare. It will make his time inside much more survivable. Far too many prisoners are abandoned by their "friends & family", which makes their lives much more difficult, both during and after imprisonment. It may not seem so now, but this will end and he will be home again.

Stay strong and take care of yourself.
Thank you so much, this truly helps me right now and I am grateful to hear from you today. The sentencing is tomorrow and I find comfort in knowing he will be home someday. Thank you for reaching out...
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:31 PM
Nancia79 Nancia79 is offline
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Default Grateful for your response

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarianna View Post
Nancia79 - please, you do NOT sound ridiculous at all! I am glad you found this community and decided to join; you will find many others here who are in a similar/same situation, and who can support you. Please keep on sharing and reading, and hopefully it will bring some comfort to see you are not alone.

I am sorry about your son's struggles and for how hopeless you feel....I know this may sound like a clichť, but I personally believe we humans can adjust to anything with time when there is no alternative. Please take care of yourself in all this; do not hesitate to speak with a therapist if it all becomes too much to bear. One day at a time is really the only way forward with this. Hugs
Thank you Sarianna! I am so glad I found this community as well. I already feel supported and knowing others going through the same thing really helps right now. I am definitely going to stay in here and share with others, and hope I can help others as well. Thank you for being there.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2018, 11:40 PM
Nancia79 Nancia79 is offline
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Default Blessings

Quote:
Originally Posted by yourself View Post
Your struggles are very common among parents with children sentenced for a crime no matter how long the sentence. I watched my own parents struggle with the same issues when my brother did his first bid - there's a shame about it, there's a desire to protect the man you see as your baby, there's a determination to stay strong and to stand beside your boy no matter what.

Know you are in familiar territory. Once you've been to visitation a number of times and can relax a bit, you'll be able to tell your fellow travelers in the lines going through security to visit your son. They will be women of a certain age looking terrified - for those first few visits, they are terrified and look it (heck, I was for my first few visits of clients at local jail), the pattern of flow for visitation is so new to them that the desire to comply as best they can makes them stick out like a sore thumb. They also may get irate when a bra or other staple of their wardrobe causes them grief. They also look around the visitation room quickly, constantly scanning, until they figure out where the inmates emerge, then it's all about waiting for their son, usually on their toes, hands clasped awaiting that first hug.

When you are going through this, I hope one of the other mothers reaches out to you. You are in a special club, after all, and you can learn and cope with each other. And when you are an old hand at this, I hope you are able to reach out to others and band together in strength.

Look, I can give you platitudes about how you did everything right and the system is broken when it comes to mental healthcare, and how we are incarcerating our mentally ill in prisons, rather than treating them, but you already know all of that. You've played the, "what more could I have done" card more times than humanly possible. You've also played the, "what did I miss" card right along with it.

All I can say now is that it really sucks.

Here's what you have to look forward to - you'll get to hug your son again. Your son is your son and he will grow up a bit in prison. Hopefully you live in a state dedicated to mental illness, and he'll have access to a psych unit if he needs it as a substitution for an inpatient mental facility. This will really help.

Please get involved in your local chapter of NAMI or some other organization dedicated to mental illness. It is a good place to put your energy from this when you can't put your energy into your son.

Please forgive yourself. You have done nothing wrong.
Wow, you truly understand what Iím going through right now and I really appreciate the insight on mental illness and care inside of there. I believe Oregon has some programs and I will definitively be doing some research. The system is truly broken and just didnít listen to me until the end when it was too late. Itís honeslty just not fair. I canít wait to hug him. The glass visits are coming to an end and soon Iíll be hugging my sweet boy. This feels like a bad dream. The sentencing is tomorrow. You sure did accurately describe the feelings of a mother of a child with mental illness, that described me exactly. It does suck but we'll get through it as a family. Also I know I will now with the genuine support from folks like you. Thank you so very much.
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2018, 10:03 AM
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milesofmemories milesofmemories is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancia79 View Post
I am broken. My 19 year old son who has a mental health history and who chose to go on a crime spree with three other teens just pled guilty to several robberies. Iím trying to stay strong. He could have gotten so much more time. I am so sad for my son. Regardless of the choices he made, this seems like a nightmare and not real. I feel judged as a parent. I feel guilt and shame despite doing the best I could when he was in my care. Heís been in and out of facilities and has struggled with mental illness. I couldnít force him to take his meds when he moved out. He went off them for two weeks and then I got the call. Sadly I wasnít surprised he got in trouble because I knew he wasnít taking his meds. He is opposite when he takes them and says he canít remember anything, also told me he was high when it happened. I cry myself to sleep thinking of him in a cell all alone and about to be sentenced. Christmas was so hard this year. Regardless of all of this we have a good relationship and we have been holding each other up throughout all of it. Iíll always make sure he has money, phone calls and mail. I just feel helpless and know it is out of my control. He is headed to a menís penitentiary and he is in my eyes a baby. I probably sound ridiculous. I donít care. Itís how I truly feel and that is helpless right now.
IF he spends his time at SRCI, I have a good bit of information about some of the programs there: honor dorm (which helps a lot of inmates who have anxiety about being in confined spaces), classes (treatment, recreational and educational) etc. Feel free to send me a message with any questions you have and I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can. I also know a bit about TRCI, but have currently have a friend in SRCI so the information you may need would be more readily available.

So sorry you're having to go through this with your son. Hugs.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2018, 11:36 AM
Nancia79 Nancia79 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milesofmemories View Post
IF he spends his time at SRCI, I have a good bit of information about some of the programs there: honor dorm (which helps a lot of inmates who have anxiety about being in confined spaces), classes (treatment, recreational and educational) etc. Feel free to send me a message with any questions you have and I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can. I also know a bit about TRCI, but have currently have a friend in SRCI so the information you may need would be more readily available.

So sorry you're having to go through this with your son. Hugs.
Hugs received!! Thank you so much...this is very helpful. I really appreciate you. He should be moved very soon, then Iíll know where heís at for a while. Blessings, Nancy
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