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Loved Ones in Prison

Old 12-15-2007, 08:21 PM
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Hi, Ray. Thanks for asking. On Thursday I did my first face-to-face with my XAH in a year. It was so much easier than I expected, but it was so much harder, too.

He looked good. Like he did years ago. He had gained weight. His skin had good color. His hair was short (the way I always liked it.) And he didn't do any of the things that push my buttons. He didn't beg, he didn't cry, he didn't apologize. I saw glimpses of the man I used to know...a man with some confidence and some pride. It clutched at my heart.

I totally understood why we get back on that merry-go-round again and again. I found hope creeping back in whether I liked it or not. I had to keep telling myself, "but you have seen this phase before, and it never lasted....."

I came home encouraged for him, but horrendously sad. I think it took seeing him looking so well for it to sink in just how low addiction had taken us....the hurt we inflicted on each other and our children...the stupid waste of it all.

I know the sadness will lift in a day or so. It always does. The Christmas miracle I am hoping for this year is no more hurt. No more guilt. For him, for me, for our boys.

We pay a high price for our lessons, don't we girls....

((Hugs))
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:47 PM
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I know exactly what your saying, Babs. I've been on the merry-go-round
for too many years. Hope the sadness lifts soon for you.

Originally Posted by Babs View Post
We pay a high price for our lessons, don't we girls....
((Hugs))
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I've paid with my health, my children, and my retirement. (had to spend my
401K to pay the bills while he's been in prison). My children are doing so good, they are smart, make good grades, my oldest daughter is in the National Honor Society and the beta club, my son is good at sports, my youngest daughter just made the county honors chorus and math team. I just hope I'm not doing more damage to them by letting AH come home. They are one of the reasons I'm so adamant about him leaving if he doesn't do well. And I don't want to play detective or mother to him either. I'm having lots of thoughts here... LOL
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:30 PM
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You sound good, Ray. Much more upbeat and confident than a few weeks ago. Although you have had financial difficulties since he has been gone, you have found a new sense of peace and calm in your home and a new sense of strength and capability in yourself. Concentrate on that stuff.

It sounds like your kids are doing great, too. I know that the situation in my home brought me much closer to my sons. We talk a lot about their Dad and choices in life, and boundaries and enabling and forgiveness and many other things we never talked about before. Your kids will be your allies in this situation. My sons have no problem pointing out when I am slipping back into old unhealthy behaviors. They help keep me straight and focused and in the moment. I don't mean that it becomes an "us against him" scenario but we are, in fact, a family and we all work through these issues together. They can sometimes see things that I can't see.

One way or another, we will all live through this phase of our life. I keep telling myself that I did what I had to do at the time, and I will continue to do what I have to do in the future. We all do the best we can with the light we have to see by, and when we see better, we do better.

I hope you have a wonderful, loving and peaceful Christmas, Ray. Keep those angels around you.

((Hugs))
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Old 12-16-2007, 12:09 PM
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Thanks Babs. Here's a special angel for you.

http://www.ragerlaw.com/PostcardImag...ndleLights.jpg

(Sorry, I tried to attach picture, but link is all i could get.)


I agree our kids sometimes can see things we don't see. Looking back,
as we've talked, they saw a whole lot more than I thought they did.
I thought I had somehow shielded them from things, but they saw anyway.
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:17 PM
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Thanks, Ray, she's beautiful. Angels are always welcome here!

I thought I had shielded my boys, too, but I think that is a fantasy we tell ourselves so we don't make ourselves too nuts. How can they NOT feel the hurt and anger.....I don't know about you, Ray, but I was hardly subtle.....sigh.

My oldest son is still hurting. He won't go to a meeting or anything, so I try to do a little "stealth Al-Anon" when I am talking to him. He is starting to move away from his resentment, but I am afraid it will be a long time before he can really forgive his father. He is a very solitary person, socializing with few and trusting fewer. His pain is what I regret most from the whole thing.

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Old 12-16-2007, 05:32 PM
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Yeah, I was hardly subtle either. My oldest daughter sounds alot like your son. She holds the most resentment towards her father, and doesn't have a forgiving attitude right now. She won't talk to him on the phone either. My middle child, my son will talk to him, but he's a jokester, and will make wisecracks about his father and drugs and how he deserved to be where he is etc.... its his way of dealing with things. My youngest daughter is daddys girl .

Well, I'm trying to make sense of something I learned today, and what to do with the info, if anything for the time being. I was at the grocery store, and
ran into the wife of AH's best friend. A friend he did drugs with for the past 7-8 years ... they didn't either work for the longest while. This friend and the wife live in the friends parents basement, cause they don't work, etc. I'm pretty sure AH hid out there alot when he was absconding for a failed drug test before being arrested for probation violation and sentence activated, and
sent to prison. Well, the wife asked how we were doing, and told me they got a Christmas card from my AH. And how he writes them, etc. Well, that
just ticks me off! Alot. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and keeping contact with the old druggie friends is not changing in my book.
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by happysoul View Post
...but it also keeps me on my toes knowing that my own behavior is being watched too.
I find that encouraging....it means they are seeing our recovery! What better lesson to put in front of a kid....that we can have challenges and that we can overcome them and become better, more loving people. Thank God there is something good coming out of this!

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Old 12-16-2007, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rayofsunshine View Post
Nothing changes if nothing changes, and keeping contact with the old druggie friends is not changing in my book.
I gotta agree, Ray. My XAH is in a half-way house but is going back to work with the same three guys he got busted with.....all have been in jail, one has been in 6-month residential rehab, one had his children taken away from him. Great way to start back into society. Funny, how they feel strong enough to put themselves right back in the middle of their temptations.....we'll see how long it lasts.....
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:20 PM
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I have never felt tied down by him. When we were together he was like a best friend. Thats why I miss him. Like all our friends thought that we would end up getting married. His mom even wanted us to get married later on in the future. Me and him know almost everything about each other. He was my best friend. I want him back. I miss him. Well I have to go.
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:39 PM
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Hi Sadness, I know it sounds hokey, but these things have a way of working themselves out. If it's meant to be it's meant to be, but if it's not then don't force it. Go out, hang out with your other friends, try to forget about it. Take a wait and see approach. I truly believe that there is more than one "perfect" guy out there for us. But we have to keep our eyes open and the blinders off or we can't see that.

Speaking of guys... my best friends brother took me out to dinner this weekend. We have know each other since we were 16. That's more than 20 years but who's counting. He lives in my neighborhood and we talk on the phone occassionally, get together every once in a while... anyway, he took me out to dinner. After dinner we got into this long conversation... anyway, he told me he wants to be more than friends. He wants to see me more than just once in a while. We even had a conversation about Andrew's dad and what would happen if I ever got married again and adoption and etc etc. And so on and so forth. We even kissed. Nice kiss. It didn't even gross me out like I thought it would.

I'm freakin' out. I don't know if I can take it. I'm totally freakin' out because, well, there is just so much on the line. I mean, he is my best friends brother. I like him. We have been friends for YEARS. But man oh man. Scarey stuff. He's a good guy.

Anyway, as usual, Andrews dad called the next day. He must have 6th sense or something that as soon as I start to even think about dating someone he picks up the phone to remind me that he is still skulking around. He left a message saying he was doing better (nevermind that the poor soul could barely talk) he wants to come over for Christmas and wants to know what to get his son. I dunno... how bout LEAVE US ALONE?!
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Old 12-17-2007, 06:31 PM
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Hello-Kitty, I do think addicts have a 6th sense and do things that push your buttons, especially if you're not buying the lies anymore.

My AH called Friday asking if he could call back Sunday since he didn't call the week before. I said ok(reluctantly), thinking he would call my house phone sometime Sunday afternoon. Well he calls my parents house right after church while we are all trying to eat lunch. Just to talk to ME again.. he talks for a few minutes and wants to speak to his son, so he says I LOVE YOU, and I say ok here's your son. You know after talking to our son, he has to ask me "What you can't say you love me in front of your family? and "What are they trying to do break us up?" I told him he needed to quit acting like every think is just peachy between us because its not and I wasn't discussing on my parents dime (collect call) and hung up."

I'm am getting really tired of the drama and think I am probably making a mistake letting him come home. The parole board has not contacted me yet,
do they normally before release?

I'm not hiding stuff this time and acting like everything is wonderful when its not. That means to the probation people, family and friends.
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Old 12-18-2007, 08:15 AM
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Ray, sounds like you need a hug today, Girlfriend. ((((((((Ray)))))))))

We have shared some very intimate feelings here over the last year and a half or so. If I had to guess, it sounds like you are making sure there is plenty of armor around your heart. While they are gone, we have challenges, but we basically can live without hurting all the time. You are looking forward to his coming home about as much as anticipating a root canal.

A year ago August, I had just come home from an Al-Anon convention where I had heard a wonderful AA speaker. He said that when he and his X-wife were having trouble, he prayed about it. He said his prayer went something like,

"God, if we are meant to be together, keep us together.
If we are meant to be apart, move us apart.
If I am not meant to know yet, give me patience and peace."

I knew I needed to do something to ease my pain, so I thought, "it can't hurt." I decided to put our relationship into higher hands. I didn't want it to drive me crazy anymore. Because, as he pointed out in his talk, it isn't the not knowing that makes us sick, it is the NEED to know.

By the way, when I came home from that convention, I prayed that prayer fervently that Sunday night............and it was the following Monday morning that they took my XAH away to jail. Hmmmmmm. Maybe it was just coincidence, but you will never convince me of that.

You can't find out how it is going to work out until he actually gets home, but you have put yourself through a whole lot of pain worrying about it in advance. I know we don't give advice here, but I highly recommend that prayer.

Sadness, that might be a good prayer for you to try, too. Let a higher power sort it out for you.

Y'all have a great day.

I love you guys,

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Old 12-18-2007, 11:42 AM
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hey Ray. Everything is going to be ok. Have you written down your boundaries and house rules that you will follow when he comes home about the behavior you will accept in your house?

I did that and I made D read and sign it. And that is the only reason I was able to get him out of my house with "relative" ease once he broke the rules.

Set boundaries for yourself. And then be true to yourself and your boundaries and everything will work out fine.

Oh. And I kept going to church after he came home. Boy oh boy did that throw him for a loop. I played the "born again" card. He hated that. It became my ace in the hole. I would say to him, what would Jesus do! LMAO. I think it really freaked him out. But hey. He was the one that told me he found God when he was in prison. I guess he must have left him there though because when he got out the mere mention of God and Church would set his hair on fire. I loved it.

Also, I quit hiding stuff and lying about what was going on to my friends and family. It was hard to do, but I forced myself to talk about the situation to people. It helped me be accountable to others for enforcing my personal boundaries about the behavior I would accept in my home and around my children.

BTW, yes the parole board normally contacts you and comes over to make sure your home is a safe drug free environment before they release the inmate.
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Old 12-18-2007, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Babs View Post
You are looking forward to his coming home about as much as anticipating a root canal.
You seem to know me so well. LOL

Thanks for the prayer, Babs. I will try that. (Although, I'll have to pray really
hard to get through the keep us together line. Right now, it makes my stomach hurt. LOL) Seriously, I love the idea, and I trust my God to work it out, and this is a good prayer for asking. And it sounds like you got an answer quickly to yours -- no coincidence there.

The closer it gets to his release, the more I am worrying. I will try to
"Let Go and Let God".


Hello_Kitty, thanks for the reminder about the boundaries... I was thinking of those earlier this week and how I needed to write a letter. I like the idea of
him signing it too. And you've made a good point about not hiding stuff and lying to friends and family. I'd decided I'm not going to do that either. I started by calling his parents last night and letting them know about him still writing his old druggie friends. In the past I would have kept quiet and let everyone think things were A-OK, while I suffered silently. I want to be accountable too, in being able to talk openly to others and enforcing my boundaries.
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:48 AM
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My XAH was in jail 7 times. The first 6 times they kept him no more than a week and then he was either allowed to bond out or they released him. This last time, it never even occurred to me that they would keep him. I was
totally panicked! I thought he was going to be out in a few days and walk back through my front door. Ray, I was terrified.

I was terrified of going back to living the way we had. I was terrified that I was going to go totally off the deep end and do something to him that would land me in jail. I changed the locks. I looked into a restraining order. I went to a divorce lawyer and paid the money on the spot. I was living on pure fear-induced-adrenalin.

Do I know how you feel? Ah, yes, my friend. Only too well.

But then, of course, they never let him out. That was 16 months ago. If I had known then that he was going to be sent away for such a long rehab, would I have still divorced him? Would I have waited to see how it turned out? I don't know. I know I was so afraid at the time that I did everything I could think of to protect myself and my sons physically, legally, financially and spiritually.

But now, after seeing him 16-months clean......I have to wonder.

I don't think you are wrong to give your marriage one last chance. You know the odds, and you know the options. But you also know that you did everything, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING humanly possible to give it one last shot. There will be nothing on your conscience.

Keep your angels around you, Ray--Forgiveness, Gratitude and Faith.

((Hugs))
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:23 AM
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Babs, if you did what was right for you at the time, then you did the right thing. I hope you aren't second guessing yourself?

My ex was clean for 2 1/2 years in prison. And then 2 1/2 mos when he got out. Actually, not even 2 1/2 mos. I just didn't figure things out for that long.

I love what I just read on a different thread. "more will be revealed..."

That's my motto for life I think.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:49 AM
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Second guessing? Moi?

Actually, I am not. I did do what was right for me at the time.

Number one, I really don't think he would have made this much progress if I had still been hovering around enabling him. The last time he was in rehab, he just hunkered down and stuck it out to the end because he knew full good and well that I was taking care of everything for him and that all he had to do was play the game for a few months and then he could go right back to his old life and his old habits and his old secrets. Which, of course, is exactly what he did.....He did fine until he was released from probation and didn't have to do weekly pee tests anymore. Then it was right back to the meth pipe....and I went right back to insanity.

This time he had to do it all by himself. I wouldn't sponsor him. I wouldn't send him cigarettes. I wouldn't visit. I divorced him legally, and I divorced him physically. He was on his own. This time if he wins the fight, the victory is totally his.

I have "played the tape all the way through" many times since I saw him last week. I would have to see him maintain his sobriety for a l--o--n--g time before I could ever trust him again.

My life now is too good to ever think of going back to what it used to be, but it doesn't mean that I am not still grieving.

Mwah!
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Babs View Post
The last time he was in rehab, he just hunkered down and stuck it out to the end because he knew full good and well that I was taking care of everything for him and that all he had to do was play the game for a few months and then he could go right back to his old life and his old habits and his old secrets. Which, of course, is exactly what he did.....He did fine until he was released from probation and didn't have to do weekly pee tests anymore. Then it was right back to the meth pipe....and I went right back to insanity.
This is exactly what I fear is going on with AH. He's playing the game for a few months (18) and will do well for the next 9 while he's still on parole, then its right back to insanity. His dad mentioned the Christmas card to the druggie friend to him... guess what, there's really a simple explanation. :chatter
He hasn't talked to them the whole entire time he's been in there... somehow they found out where he was and his address there, and wrote to him. He just simply turned around and sent them a christmas card, thought nothing about it. Has no plans to go around them when he gets out. (Don't know about ya'll, but I just don't buy it.) Cause when he called just now, I had to hear all that again, plus how its my fault the kids don't have anything to do with him. I ended up hanging up on him cause he started yelling about what "I" should be doing. This is petty stuff that is causing me so much grief, I think it's because I don't want to live with this drama anymore.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:50 PM
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The first thing an addict who is serious about not using has to change is the people, places and things that they hang around with. Any recovering addict will tell you that. Your AH knows that too. It's the first thing that we learn in recovery.

Set those boundaries...
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Old 12-22-2007, 09:29 PM
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Trust.....ah that elusive thing that takes so long to build up and can be destroyed in a heartbeat..... Although my XAH looked and sounded really good last week, I just don't know if I could ever really trust him again. It just hurts too much.

The boys and I talked about their Dad and Christmas, and we decided to go visit him (even my older son!!!) We can't take him out because I am not his sponsor (and have no intention of being) so we are going to take a picnic to eat with him at the half-way house. I think it will be good for my sons to see their father looking and sounding healthy and it will be good for the X to know that we support his sobriety.

I don't know, maybe I am just sending him mixed messages, but I found that I couldn't just ignore him at Christmas when he is doing so well. When he isn't living in my house, and can't inject his drama in my life, it is a lot easier to be supportive. The main slogan I live by anymore is "No guilt, no drama!" NGND !

Here is that hug for you, ((((((((((Ray)))))))))).

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