Friday, March 23, 2012
Does It Bother You?
The first time I was asked if something bothered me was when a foster mother asked me if it bothered me to see my son being handcuffed and taken to juvenile detention. My response was quick and easy... "NO." She looked at me rather funny. "You have no idea how many times I have seen this," I replied. It didn't change her feeling of how I SHOULD be feeling.
It really puzzles me how people who haven't been down our road feel they have the right to decide how we should feel. Yes, she was his foster mother...for less than a year at that point...and I'd been doing this for 11 years, had been in front of every judge in our county, and had seen my son in handcuffs more times than I can remember. No, it doesn't bother me. It's not a reflection of my parenting. I didn't make the choices that landed him in jail. He owns these choices.
In the past 6 weeks or so we have received numerous phone calls from the police, our son's biological brother and various other people about his latest illegal activities. We have even gotten a few phone calls from our son, usually wanting money. He knows we don't pay bail money, so for a few days he sat in jail. He is currently up on felony burglary charges, and he may have some car theft charges coming, and possibly some more burglary charges.
When I see our son's brother's name come up on the caller ID on my phone, I groan. I groan because I know that our son has done something else to his brother that is causing his brother problems. Right now we work with his brother on how to file the appropriate charges with the police. Our son dropped off a flat screen TV and surround sound at his brother's house as "payment" for money he stole from his brother. We all know the TV is stolen and we don't want his brother charged with receiving stolen property, so we navigate that system to help his brother.
I got a text from my husband today telling me that the police are looking for our son. It doesn't bother me. In some respects, I'm numb. I've been through this too many times to get worked up each time this happens. Actually, I expect this to happen. My prediction is that he will be in jail/prison before his 19th birthday in June. In a twisted way, that thought is comforting. I will know where he is (he is currently house hopping - living with whoever will take him in until he burns the bridge with them) and that he is being fed. He does "well" in jail. He needs the structure in order to be successful in his life. They may treat his Bi-Polar disorder there as well. If they don't, he's at least contained.
So, no, none of this bothers me. It does bother me to see him throwing his life away, but it doesn't surprise me. He could have done something incredibly amazing with his life, but each day he slips further and further away.