broken hearted

broken hearted

His Mom's picture
6 comments Editor's Choice

I have a 28 yr old son who has been using the better part of the last 12 years. He as been in and out of jail for burglary, petty theft, etc. This is his way to get his pills. The last time he got out he came home and did okay for a few months then started stealing from us to support his habit. We kept giving him another chance until we were out of town and he stole his stepfathers safe with his prescription pills and coin collection worth thousands of dollars. This was the last straw. We moved forward with pressing charges and told him we would not support him any more and that he was no longer welcome in our home. A friend bailed him out and he got in trouble again. Someone bailed him out again. He just got arrested again about a week ago for a felony punishable by life and is being held on a 50K dollar bond. Of course he says this is his wakeup call as he always does. My question is do I just sit here and let the cards fall where they may knowing that he could very well get a life sentence. Or do I fight to get him a lesser sentence that will probably still be no less than 10-15 yrs? I finally undertand that I need to let him reap what he sows but this is serious. I don't know what to do! I want my son back!

User Comments

Nana Banana's picture

Dear Broken Hearted Mom,

Good for you for reaching out for help. That is so scary but you've come to the right place. So many parents have shared similar stories about their children and have been able to connect with other parents who have "been there." It sounds like you are really struggling and feeling a lot of pain.

As a person in long-term recovery, I can tell you that addicts are masters of manipulation--I certainly was. I would say and do anything to be able to continue to use. If I were you son, I would be saying exactly what he is saying, hoping that you would feel sorry for me and come to my rescue. I can't imagine how painful it must be to think about him spending such a long time in prison. I also can't tell you what to do. What I can tell you is that the Partnership's toll-free helpline (855-DRUGFREE) is a great place to start.

Keep the faith and know that you are not alone.

B Here Today's picture

Dear Broken Hearted,

Your story is all too familiar to so many parents and loved ones of addicts. Some may say that yes, you should leave your son to face the consequences of his actions. Others might tell you to do everything in your power to give him a chance to prove that he means he's ready to get help. The truth is only you can search your heart and know what is right in your circumstances.

I hear your plea to have your son back. I'm sure he too would give anything to be "normal" again. But the thing about the disease of addiction is that it irrevocably changes everything it touches. Although addiction seeks to destroy, we each have the power to not let that happen.

While you are powerless over the conditions of your son's life, as well as what his future holds, there are two things over which you have a great deal of power. First, you have the ability to get help for yourself that will teach you deal with how the disease of addiction affects you. Coming to this site is a great beginning. Finding a 12-step group for loved ones of addicts and alcoholics and meeting with those folks face-to-face is a must.

Second, you absolutely have control over letting your son know that you love him. No matter what happens, he will always be your son. Loving him unconditionally, even if it doesn't feel like it to him, is a great gift.

I wish you peace and pray that the Serenity Prayer gives you comfort, that you receive the wisdom to know the difference between what you can control and what you can't.

Blessings to you,

Ron Grover's picture

Dear Broken Hearted,

I know how you must be agonizing, I am also the parent of an addict.

The decision is yours, at the end of the day you are the one that lays awake at night wondering if you did the right thing. My answer is as if your son was my son. I have read your question and thought long about this answer.

I am a person that learned very hard that addicts must face the consequences however with everything in life there are exceptions.

Straight up, I would fight for a lessor sentence. A life sentence is harsh for anything other than the most heinous crimes. I don't know what your son did but I do see crimes by addicts need to be punished however the crimes of an addict are also the symptoms of the disease. Recovery or remission of the disease changes people, I know that for a fact, my son spent much time in jail for crimes but today he is 2.5 years clean and today I'd trust him with anything.

In short if he gets 10-15 years in prison we don't know what he will be. He could be exactly as he pleads, he has seen the light, or he could be a monster. We never know. My crystal ball always clouds when I try to see the future. I choose to believe in people and believe in redemption. Of course I have been burnt before but life is too hard to live it believing in inherent evil.

End of story. I would let my son sit in jail, would not pay bond but I would fight for the lessor sentence.

Be Strong. Take care of yourself and if you just want to talk feel free to contact me and we can exchange phone numbers.

Ron Grover
teamplayer [at] aol [dot] com

Tori's picture

I agree with Ron. My son is also facing several felony drug possession charges and even though I'm not naive about what he is I believe that addiction is a disease and will drive a person who would normally not even think of doing anything remotely illegal to criminal behavior to feed the beast. Once again people like us need to push for drug reform laws. I wouldn't bail him out but I would take the money and fight for a lesser sentence. Just my humble opinion.

prolific12's picture

I am new to the site, however I would try and get a reduced sentence. Addiction is not something your son asked for in his life. It is a disease/disorder that causes people to do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. I believe that treatment rather than punishment is the answer for drug offenses. I would not support him in anyway that supports continued use of the drugs, however helping to minimize the consequences gives you a way to show your love and support without directly supporting the using.

LuBen's picture

Im not sure I agree, our daughter is an addict going on over 10 yrs. She has been in and out of jail, when she is out we have no idea where she is, she does not contact us, unless she is desperate and tries to get us to let her come home or ask for money. When she is in jail, I know where she is..I have a weird peace about me. I have in the bast bailed her more, we have sent her to rehab, no more. She couch surfs with "friends" all of which have arrest records. I disagree, she made this choice, she choose to do the drugs and to continue to use, she chose to lose her home, son and family. I love her but will not enable or support her in anything other than getting help.