Coping after adult son commits serious crime
Time is an amazing thing. In your case lay low, shop at the next town and over time people will see logic and say to each other "but they weren't to blame".
The other thing to remember is - you are not responsible for anything out of your control.
To care for yourself is very important at this time. Visiting your GP for a talk is wise now.
I would advise you not to uproot your family from town. Time will heal much of the adversity.
I am sorry for what you're going through.
Your son's actions are 100% on him.
There are helplines you can call 24/7.
My go to helpline for this type of thing is 1800RESPECT.
Available 24/7 all year long.
Please reach out for support outside your town.
This helpline is a confidential service that can link you with other services for everything you and your daughter in law and children are going through.
Are you able to communicate with her still?
Maintaining your relationships with her and your grandchildren is of paramount importance as you'll all be grieving similar things.
She can also call this helpline.
Please reach out here in this safe and supportive space.
I'm really glad you joined BB.
Hello K100, I agree with Tony and EM if you are able to shop in the next town would certainly be a better choice than shopping where you live and change the hours you normally leave the house.
You are not responsible for anything out of your control, as Tony has said, and you certainly had no idea this would ever happen and as he's not been there with you for 16 years it's not reasonable for the town to chastise you.
You may feel more comfortable using the phone for help as EM has suggested.
I am truly sorry for the position you're in and hope that we can hear back from you.
I really feel for you, it must be so devastating to not only come to terms with what your son has done but then to have to deal with the aftermath in the relatively small community also. Families of the victim always get such sympathy for the understanding that the crime has had on them as well, but there still remains little understanding/ consideration for the families of people who commit the crime sadly. I think the reason is that people assume that perpetrators come from an environment where crime is allowed or encouraged, rather than seeing it as a “it could happen to me” type situation. The way I see it is you have a couple of options, 1) go about your business as you would normally 2) go away for a period of time until things settle down and something new takes their attention, or go out less and have groceries delivered etc where possible to minimize encounters or 3) address it head on. I wouldn’t usually go for this type of method as I’m fairly non-confrontational by nature but if someone yells abuse at you, I feel like a simple “you think we’re not devastated by this?” has a way of showing a human face to this, that you don’t condone the behavior thereby knocking the wind out of their sails. I’m sorry, there’s no manual for this and emotions run high over this type of thing but public outrage will die down. I suppose you just have to consider which way you think is best until it does. On a personal note, I’m so sorry that this has happened, sending you a big virtual hug. It’s awful when the people we love let us down, but we’re all human and we all make mistakes.
Dear Juliet. Thankyou so much for your reply. It has helped me put things in perspective a little. I will “go to ground” for a while until things have settled. My son had a very happy normal childhood with us and was a beautiful, kind and loving boy. I cant understand why he has done what he did or why he changed but there was never anything in his childhood that would explain his actions. He had a strong family and extended family background, no financial shortage and he was very well loved by all with absolutely no form of abuse or mistreatment in any way. I have tried to stop blaming myself for his actions because I know he made his own choices. Though nothing will be the same for him or for us now and our relationship (which was close) is shattered. I feel so badly for his victims and I am ashamed that a child of mine could do those things. But thankyou again for your support, it is very much appreciated and has given me some hope.
Thankyou Geoff for your advice. The responses I have received have all had similar suggestions which make sense. I will avoid distressing situations and confrontations by shopping elsewhere and waiting it out until things settle down. It is disappointing that we are treated as we have been because my husband and I have been decent and hard working citizens our whole lives with no criminal history ourselves. But time will improve thing hopefully
thanks again, K
It is my pleasure and I’m glad it helped put things in a bit more perspective for you. I completely understand, my cousin grew up in a loving family with a close relationship with his sister and has a great loving family but has committed some serious drug crimes and more recently domestic violence charges. They are understandably devastated and wonder where they went wrong. But the reality is that children grow up and ultimately make their own decisions as adults. You can show them the way but the choices that they make are ultimately theirs and so they have to live with the consequences. I’m glad to hear that you are trying not to blame yourself. I can tell from your posts and your words that you are a loving mother and a caring person and this isn’t your action to bear. I know that your relationship with your son may feel shattered now but hopefully one day it can mend and you can all heal from this. People make mistakes in life, sometimes serious ones, but I like to think that people can learn from them and seek forgiveness.