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Sadness,grief and regret over sons incarceration

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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 and all
After a few very anxious weeks leading up to Christmas Day, Christmas day went well thankfully for us all and things were calm and peaceful. He won’t talk about his Christmas in prison last year. Although inwardly nervous , he outwardly made an effort and seemed to enjoy the family time … only 8 of us, and it was close family. His young nephew was a real ice breaker!! Since coming home, making food is his safe place, learnt from the cottages he lived in for 4 months, so he did most of the cooking.
As the day progressed I relaxed more but it was still hard to completely relax wondering how he would be the next day. Again, no obvious outward signs, apart from being pretty tired as it was fairly emotionally draining readjusting. He has started projects to do with his cars so has plenty to do and keep busy rather than sit around too much.

We just take one day at a time as he reconnects with family. He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to rush out seeing people,

thinking of you all , all the time

Nameless 1

Hi everyone I had posted on here a few years back about my sons drug addiction and incarceration .Wish I could say a few years on all is good.I have 3 sons,the eldest and the youngest are my troubled ones. They are both men late 30s early 40s.The youngest one lost me my long term home, but I can learn to live without a home as painful as this was but I can’t live without my sons he ended up doing a stint in jail and today he is working got himself a nice rental place,from the outside living the dream put his life together.,through different issues I realise that’s not the case so I’m waiting for more heartache with this one.. A mum’s intuition is usually correct. While that is in the back of my mind let’s say on simmer the eldest one is spiralling .He has mental health issues due to his constant use of drugs, he was the homeless one if you recall my previous posts. I’m sorry this sounds like a story I’m just trying to give an insight into previous posts.I had my first zoom meeting with Nar Anon as I have no one no family a few friends who have their own families and not much time to see my grief over and over again so I tend to hibernate. And not say much anymore .I’ve just left my full time job after 10 years as the older I get(I’m in my 60s now) the harder it is to cope.This son has become more abusive swearing cussing when things don’t go his way.I’m very afraid for him.He is saying things he never said before like I’m done mum I can’t live like this mum.I’m trying so very hard to get him into WHOs and Nar Anon but it has to come from him I can’t make him.He has pawned all his good things I have provided to make his life more comfortable as he has his own place now.I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD with severe anxiety and severe depression.I’m feeling so worn down so very alone so full of fright of what’s to become of my family.Their dad remarried years ago and wiped his troubled sons from his life which was when the drugs started. When this happened.so it’s only been me and my sons after 17 years of marriage I walked away with nothing thinking whatever we had will go towards his 3 sons.Nah his new wife with her 5 kids and their daughter reaps the benefits.Stupid me.To all you parents out there struggling with kids addiction please know I get you.And my heart breaks for each and everyone of you suffering this pain.Thanks for letting me vent.

Hi July Nameless JoeDee 123justme and everyone posting/reading ☺

You poor souls going through these heart tearing ongoing it seems often times which we all can only hope that it's for shorter than longer periods of time.

Just want you all to know the following ☺

I can't say this as 100% fact because simply I don't know for sure but am willing to guess there's a great deal of people that are reading here and as with us feeling some sort of pain empathy compassion or understanding towards what you poor Mums Dads family/friends are going through. Not at all a life that anyone would choose and not a good one for addicts either. There are no wins while they have hold of people creating severe & such damaging consequences. Truly heartbreaking 💔 What's encouraging is hearing of people kicking the evil substances and starting to rebuild. Somehow something in their minds have over ridden such powerful grips.

I'd think the power in love from parents and elsewhere can go a long way towards helping changing that mindset. Support as most know is mammoth when the chips are down.

I know as much as I want to be here for you all more often I find it so very sad what you're going through and have some understanding to how it is for a drug addict not that I've been one though close at times I've seen/heard first hand some of what goes on

Also have said before and again thank you July for starting this thread ☺ and for other very brave people opening their souls and saying how it is. Hopefully it sheds some pain tho I imagine it'd be so hard saying it too. Good on youse anyway

I can't speak for dear July here but what I can say is she's always welcomed and talked to new people here going through same which I hope and imagine must be of great comfort to all concerned.

I haven't read back much yet, have to pick my times but it's sounding like Nameless there's some good progress with your son that's fantastic to hear. I think it's wise to remain on alert well not fully relaxing god knows you've been through the hards it'd be very difficult to trust again. In time that maybe easier. For now I guess it's about reintegration back with family and towards a better life.

Hi 123 ☺ you're included with everything mentioned. Such a nightmare going through all this and 2 sons geez. Thank you too for talking about it all.

Really am so sorry for all your pain dear people 🤗 hugs

Thank you Kindly for your understanding with kindness. I have been requested to submit a letter to the court for tomorrow morning regarding my son and the urge to get him into rehab. Can anyway advise what I put in said letter?Son told me only this morning he is ready to accept rehab.This was before the huge blow up and abuse I received after this conversation.yes he needs help.If any one has gone through this needing to write a letter to the judge can you please assist in how I do this and what way is the best way for me to say everything I need to to help my son get the help he needs.Appreciation Thank You Kindly

Hi 123justme.

I just saw this … we have written a letter. I will just put down a few things and send it short my so keep checking here to read my reply. Hopefully admin is quick in checking do you have it before tomorrow


Hi 123 just me

Who asked you to write the letter and what information have they asked for ?


Hi 123justme

Also, where is your son now and what are the circumstances leading up to you having to write a letter to the judge.
So sorry to hear of the situation

When we wrote to the judge it was a letter of support to help him get a CCO and help for mental health and to say we would support him at home had to include what he had gone though and why we felt at CCO would help
We Googled “writing letters to the court” and got suggestions

You have to start by saying who you are and address and that you are his mother

Then you briefly say the background …eg … has spent… has done… his hardships with mental health and that influence in his actions etc

Then say all the good things about your son before all this am happens.

Then you indicate how you feel the problems started, but not condoning anything, just observations

(Do you have any letters or reports of support dor him getting rehab… from doctors of psychiatrists ? )

Then say why you feel Rehab would help…

( has he done rehab before?

Then say how you have kept in contact and supported him and something about how you wish to support him

in rehab by encouraging him and visiting him etc while he is there and afterwards.

( Do you have a good relationship with him?

I’m not clear what will happen to your son if he doesn’t go to rehab?
Just a few ideas as I don’t know all the circumstances .

When our son was in remand we tried to get rehab but no one would take has he was a security risk as he didn’t get bail as he had broken bail twice already!! Many other places were already full. He had the opportunity to go to rehab while he was arrested and out on bail but didn’t want to go. Then after that he did . Covid delayed everything and his mental health and drug use made him totally confused and not able cope with the whole process.

My biggest fear is that after parole this will happen. I have so much hope and proud of his effort so far but don’t want to be naive. I don’t know how is now he is feeling as he never speaks about that. 18 months holding it in . We hear the okay, amusing, interesting stories …not the hard stuff if then and now. that’s all.
He is good at showing you what he wants you to see. It’s just when he gets frustrated if you wonder if there is more underneath.
Thanks for coming back and looking for support. I usually check in everyday. No one had written for a while and I missed checking yesterday so glad I saw your post today.
Thinking of you . Hope the above helps.


Hi 123justme

i will keep checking to see if you have any more questions


Hi July and 123Just me,

July…I am reading through old lists again in this thread . You have helped so many people including myself . I hope all is going okay.
I love what you wrote

Apart from all of this our relationship has remained close, he is very affectionate and loving with me , I think and hope its because of the continued love and support I have showed him during his lowest point , I have learned that I cannot control him or live his life for him , I can only love him and be there for him “

I have hung on to those words!!

Also when you said

”The whole experience has definitely left some permanent indents in my life as well as his. An example is when I saw a prison van leaving the courts, which is right across the road from the hospital where I work , I began to get very upset and teary, it really made me anxious and shaky. I thought I would be over that , but no... it still affects me .
Anything on tv about prisons or someone in trouble for the same crime my son did , I find myself becoming upset , I think thats normal... I sometimes wonder if I have post traumatic stress disorder”

. I mentioned this to our Counsellor and he agreed my husband and I did.

123..I read back over your old comments from 2017 as well

”but you know what ?no matter where I am ,what I'm doing ,they are in my mind.I find myself regressing to when they were younger to my happy times.Is that normal? “

You never stop this long and caring about them . It is exhausting. Even when they seem to do well you analyse everything and on high alert.

I love the poetry!!

To all reading this in years to come, I have the greatest sympathy for anyone going though this.
As July says, don’t give up and keep loving them!! You mean so much being there and they need to see that you won’t give up and they are valued.
We are all great mums and not failures or else we wouldn’t be writing on this forum!!


Hi 123justme

Just wondering how everything worked out for you with the letter etc?Thinking if you