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Sadness,grief and regret over sons incarceration

Community Member

Hi, I am new to this but  need to talk to someone, anyone, I am a mother of 4 children , three adults ages 25, 29,32 and a 10 year old son from from second marriage. My eldest son was convicted of  a crime and is now in prison,he is 32 and the whole experience has devastated me , sitting through the trial I cried the whole two days everyone was looking at me  obviously knowing I was the mother ,then his sentencing was a day I shall never forget I had to write a letter to the judge about my son, about his drug use, about his father not being in his life since we divorced and his downfall, I also wrote about  how I loved him would stand by him, I'm sorry I failed him  and he turned to drugs too take away his pain, but underneath all that was a wonderful creative boy who just took a wrong turn, the judge  starting reading my letter word for word out to the court room, I looked at my beautiful boy and there were tears running down his face, I think he finally realised what he has done not only to himself but to me as his mother, that image is burned into my memory ,for once in my life I could not protect my child and it killed me, his sentence was given and they took him away, he will be released about september. I cannot tell  anyone and the stress is unbearable,I have to lie to people to excuse his absence , he is clean and sober now and has turned this life around he is doing all the courses to correct his life while in prison and is deeply regretful of his choices, I do not excuse his behaviour  but I am his mother and I have to stand by him, I look at all the other families visiting in prison and it is so sad it affects the whole family. This is the first time I have said this out aloud it is so hard to live with this "secret",I just don't know how to live with this.

570 Replies 570

Hi July Nameless Bella & readers ☺

Nameless just wanted to tell you how incredibly happy I am to hear your sons back home and wow such good news back on the straight Rd. What an ordeal and such deep heartache for all people going through this including victims of the cursing gear

You and July and of course other lovelies are giving so much solid support and help here which no doubt would be helping many people. Thanks ☺

Bell hi darl it's cruel them not communicating with youse in these circumstances for about a wk would be from hell amidst the constant pain and concern people would be going through let alone the stress and change in circumstances. Your lives having such painful upheaval is more to cope with. You amazing people do though because you're quality parents.

There's a great deal which lets hope in time will improve of changes in the legal system and situations like this to for example. Possibly support groups might consider working towards pushing for change that no doubt would be a long tho a worthy effort.

I hope you've had that video/call by now hun. It'd be terribly hard them not wanting to have contact 8f that happens but certainly understandable Nameless it being easier to focus on surviving there adjusting and coping with freedom being taken away amidst no doubt endless other emotions and changes to deal with.

I'm glad Bella you're finding help and some comfort from reading through here. It's an important thread which I hope and think will continue to grow.

So glad you're with a friend I wondered after posting if you had anyone for support.

I agree Nameless it can be a good thing telling people. Best choosing ones that matter and treat you with respect. You don't need closed judgemental harping. Supports mammoth in any situations.

Hoping you went ok with the lovely Dr and eating. Alternatively maybe some shakes that give the bodies whats needed but still suggesting eat some solids too

I'm not always here due to needing to pick my threads in hard mh (mental health) as the empathy levels peak making it harder to get to recovery or not daily posting.

Girls know I care very much as people here and readers many too would. I'll will be around when I can.

It's incredible just how much strength we have when it's needed especially parents would know that.

Hold strong good people and it's ok to cry. Stress needs an out.

Hi demonblaster

Itd always lovely to get your positive encouraging posts . I hope all is going well with you!!

Hey Bella I hope you are feeling less teary and sick . A good walk does clear the head and you need to find a thing that will help distract you from the busy thoughts… mine was song writing and photography .
I hope and finished the letter and have spoken to him you know he is now .

thinking of you


I have finally spoken with my son after 12 days of nothing, he is in isolation due to Covid demands. He is sharing with someone else and seems to be getting on with him ok. I can book a video chat after the 11th. It broke my heart to hear that he was in his court clothes for 4 days before being taken to where he is now and was without his anti depressants for that time as well and that is something that you aren’t supposed to stop abruptly. But it’s all sorted now. I’m really hoping that after the isolation period there will be more for him to do like courses etc to occupy him. I’m starting with psychology next week as I’m just not coping. I normally want time to slow down but at the moment I want the next 17 months to zoom by just so I can have him home again

Hi July Nameless Bells if that's ok ☺ and readers

Glad to hear there's a few positives there Bells amidst of course the heartache 🤗 that's a safe warm hug virtually if you're not a hugger hun, same goes for anyone reading going through this horrendous ordeal.

I can only imagine how good yet no doubt highly emotional call that would have been. Roll on the 11th that'll be great seeing eachother. I imagine that'd be of course emotional but also a comfort to you both.

Wow huge relief he's getting on with his cell mate.

Also stoked you've gotten onto a psychologist it certainly would put a loving family member friends etc in a turmoil of pain and worry. They can teach you coping strategies and listen too. Being able to talk without judgement is a boom same as here and as we all know supports mammoth in hard times. They also I'd think know of other resources for support as well. Well done making that first step.

Self cares vital. I know so often dear parents step back for their children. The best help & support anyone can give is when they're in as good as possible shape.

I hope youre able to get at least some quality sleep as we know plays a large part with our coping abilities.

It might be a little early to touch on you time but if you're able to take time out when you can to give your mind a rest from pain with distraction by even simple things like as our good lady Nameless has suggested a walk can be very refreshing. Surprisingly activity even gently can bring on energy to the wariest of bodies.

I've found at times having a pen/cil- then you can rub out if need be and paper just see what comes out. Doesn't have to be a masterpiece it's a form of release or write down some things you like or get/have pleasure from. That can be a good go to when need be. Even 10 minutes is a break and change of focus.

This 17 mths hun- ouch tho the good is every day turns into a week/month etc. Time can be our friend when it goes so fast.

Anyway dear lady wishing you and your son every chance for recovery.

Hope the suns shining in your part of the world unless you prefer rain then no doubt that'll happen sometime too ☺

Best to youse and all concerned ⚘

Hi Bell890,

It is a scary, difficult time but part of making them realise that what they have done is serious. This is needed to hopefully start the process of change and to want never to go back to prison. I’m glad he got in with his cell mate. When my son was in the quarantine stage he had no contact with anyone and struggled with that. Then he was sent to prison for remand and stayed there when sentenced. The prisoners mostly look out for one another and there be someone who will want help the new guys. My son did that when he was more settled. Just tell him not to make trouble. There is more to do as a sentenced prisoner … courses jobs etc and motivation and incentives to behave well toget parole. Make sure you set up where you can send money once a month.
Will he be moved again do you know.

There are many nice guys who as a result of loss and disappointments or trauma in their life end up on anti depressants/ medication due to mental health issues and turn to other behaviour and people and ways of coping that end them up in trouble. The whole process is draining and traumatic for us as parents especially if the arrest is in your own home and your house is searched .

I’m glad you are seeing a psychologist. There is not much help for families before release, then that is more for the prisoner if on parole / ex prisoner if straight release.

Kerp telling him you love him and that you haven’t given up on him and keep writing even if he doesn’t write as much.
take care



Thanks demon blaster for the e courage bent to us all !!

Nameless 1

Hi everyone

I was just wondering how everyone is going. It is now just over 4 months since my son came out on parole. 4 months to go. Lots of little steps, some frustration , but mostly all positive. He has remained going along the right path, and has good support from the parole officer and a programme called kickstart. As he has progressed well he doesn’t have to see the parole officer as often or have as many urine tests. His girlfriend friend has been wonderful despite a few frustrations with him adapting to non prison life . He finds it hard to communicate but is gradually improving ..so he can be very closed… we were warned of this… and getting into new routines was hard . He has only just started to re connect with friends through soccer but otherwise spends a lot of time at home in the evenings and with his girlfriend. So it is good he is going to soccer and training. It took a while to feel comfortable shopping and and still doesn’t like to go out on his own. This last week has seen an improvement there though.
Time with family is pretty good now which is wonderful .
He learnt some valuable lessons in prison though and is a very different person to the one that went in that was a mess!!
I still feel quite anxious at times learnt behaviour perhaps… as I couldn’t bear him going someone and getting tempted again. He said he won’t ever go back to what he was doing and he is trying g hard to stick to that .

I look forward to hearing others stories . Stay strong


Community Member

It's been a year since I posted. Over that time, I have kept to myself, visited him regularly and provided money. Being an ATM, some things never change! His sentencing took place not that long ago and we now have an end date to work with parole in about a year's time. He looks well, I feel has matured but there's still some way to go and work to be done. Looking at rehab and other programs he can do so if anyone is aware of any please let me know.
Last year I was devastated, I still am. No one wants to see their kid go off the rails like this. He is a bright young man, who ruined his future by mixing with the wrong crowd, alcohol and illicit substance abuse. The combination of these is toxic. I also think his head space is damaged and doesn't fully comprehend the consequences and actions that have not only harmed him but caused untold misery to those close to him.
Nameless1, I share the same concern as you. I feel anxious thinking about what will become of him when he is out. I hope he never returns to his old habits only to find himself behind bars again! Only he can help himself. We can do and say so much on the outside. He has to come to the realisation, that there is a wonderful life he can lead on the outside, if only he makes that correction and turns his life around 180 degrees. I pray and hope he does.
He is still a young man and I keep telling him to put the time inside behind him and to look ahead to the future. I hope the next year goes by quickly. He doesn't ever want to return to prison. I believe him and that he has learned his lesson. But for whatever reason if he returns, god forbid he will lose my support completely. I can't do this; I will turn my back on him! I have sacrificed my whole life as a single parent for my kids. Yet, I carry the burden of guilt, feeling and blaming myself for being a failed parent. I lost partners and a best friend due to this. I can’t commit to a relationship. I got so stressed that I landed myself in hospital. Stress is a killer! It was a life changing event. I now focus on myself and self-care. I am putting myself first. What I can't control or have control over I won't worry about or worry less about. I need to get into set routines, have a plan and to follow it.
Anyway, I just thought I'd return here to provide a bit of an update. I am taking each day as it comes. I hope you all are going well and looking after yourselves. Take care and god bless.

Hello everyone ,

I have not been on here  for quite some time, I guess I still have no answers and I just carry on with life as best I can, my son is still in active addiction and I have not seen him since last Christmas, his 40th birthday was in June, I text him to try and see him but he just said "maybe " and I  never did see him . It hurts me so deeply ...I am still his mum ...I love him ..I'm in a constant state of anxiety and depression . I did get a call from him the other day and he left a voice mail ..It said "Hi mum, I'm ok , I love you ". My heart yearned to hold him and just to hear him made me cry . Above all the chaos and madness ....  I can't let go of him . Despite his addiction , his 2 prison terms and his isolation from family... he's mine and oh how I miss him .  I will never come to terms with this nightmare but of course I will also never give in. I still lie in bed at night and think of ...what if ? I would give anything  to get him healed and in recovery but I also know deep down that this addiction has captured him and kept him hostage and his demons are stronger than me . It worries me I will go to my grave heartbroken , I'm still that person with two faces ...the public one and the alone one , I am my own worst enemy as I can't stop the internal back and forth dialogue in my head and the  worst part is knowing I can't make it better ... its torture.

Take care





Community Member

I am currently lying in bed with the rona. It's knocked me hard! I reread some posts on here to refresh my memory on posters situation. Is your son still in? It's a long thread that is 7 years old! Time goes by, yet our children's mis endeavours have hurt us no end and continue to do so. My son has another year to serve for what would have been easily avoidable. Seems like what he did wasn't much but fuelled by drugs, alcohol, bad circle of friends and a hot head has landed him in this situation. He is in his early twenties, prime of his life but wasted inside. Reading what you wrote about your son, mine is similar. Still a little boy inside, intelligent and loving but with a tough exterior and only god knows what goes through his mind. I can only pray and hope he changes but somehow, I feel he may not. It must come from him!
He calls me at least once a week. Now in another prison I can't see him as often as I want. It's a long trip, a day trip in fact or possibly overnight. In much better conditions though, food and surroundings so that is a plus.
His sentence is mine. Time ticking away, day after day getting closer to his release. His mother is living abroad, who I have encouraged to move here to be closer to her kids. Sadly, she is incapable of looking after herself, by that I mean work and earn a living to support her.
It's tough on us parents. Like you we revisit our past thinking what could we have done different. It's torture as you put it, a lifetime sentence! But I can tell you that we need to put them aside for once. Consider our own wellbeing and self-care. I got terribly unwell due to the stress and worry of it all. There was no one to look after me and that is when I decided it was time, I put myself first. I've since been in a much better mental and physical health. Our kids are lost, and did they care about us or how their actions would impact all those around them? We must live our own lives. What we can't control we shouldn't worry about. I still put up with some of his nonsense, I am still an ATM sending him an allowance and will pay for his rehab cost. The financial cost alone has been high! But when he comes out, I will stop supporting and enabling his behaviours. Should he slip up again he is on his own and I won't be there to support him anymore. It will just mean that he has not learned anything. Sorry, this isn't helpful, and I do hope things work out for u and everyone in a similar situation.