Punishment Surely Works

I knew the minute I saw the “Inmate has been discharged” on the prison message system that we were in deep do-do. Or More do-do…..

As I posted in this blog, I knew that 47 days in jail with 21 of them in solitary confinement, hadn’t brought my son to a place of clarity about treatment or a forward motion on fixing his life. I also realized that getting out on a Saturday afternoon without a home or car or even a job; was not going to be in his best interest. But to a jail with 100’s of inmates, one less to deal with, probably sounded good to them.

I mean I can understand the courts not knowing what to do with him but after 2 years of delays due to covid; to let him out thinking he was somehow cured and suddenly responsibly, is ridiculous.

What I didn’t anticipate, is that he would spend almost a month in Vegas with ‘professional gamblers” yet scavenging around for a room and food too.

So, now, after a few weeks of my horrible dreams of mafia leaving him in the desert, with a surprising(?) new addiction of gambling; here I am- no solution in sight and only envisioning more problems for him.

Meanwhile, I do still agree with Gabor Mate, that the “correctional” system doesn’t correct anything:

This is a great interview by ‘The Clearing Maia Szalavitz” that I may have shared before. The transcript is pretty long, so if you don’t have time to read it here are my favorite takeaways:

"We've been using punishment to try to treat a condition that is defined by its resistance to punishment."

"Treatment that is punitive, shaming, and humiliating is not good for addiction … All those tactics are aimed at making you hit bottom and experiencing consequences and all this stuff like this, because clearly the problem is that you just haven't suffered enough yet.

If you're willing to persist despite negative consequences to get your drugs and you lose your house and your car and your friends and everything else like that, why is another punishment going to help?
It is not."

https://www.theclearingnw.com/blog/tough-love-and-addiction-interview-with-maia-szalavitz

I know my son is suffering. I also know what his coping skills for ANY EMOTION are. Yesterday when I tried to talk to him about his friend being buried, he deflected to: “The good news is, ****( the ICU guy) was given 3 days to live, and he’s s driving around in a truck today”.

“Yes, yes son that’s amazing”.

I’m tired.

Carry Yourself Darling

No, no one said that to me. What they really said was:

“What exactly is your deal?

You look like you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders…..

I mean it can’t be THAT bad……

Just tell whoever’s bothering you to go away…..

Have you gained weight?
You look….different…..

Your hair….. it’s so thin….”

And what I’d like to say back is:

“Do you know what’s it’s like to wake up and not dare look at your phone for a missed call?

“THE CALL?”

Do you know what’s it’s like to fix coffee & breakfast when you know your son has lost over 100 lbs and probably hasn’t eaten since a week ago when you sent him a hamburger while he was stranded in Vegas because his “friends” got arrested?

Do you know what’s it like to struggle with the simple choice of getting your son a $54 hotel room until morning when the bus leaves to take him home?

Do you know the reason you struggle with it is due to the risk of having the hotel call you and say there are loud people in the room and now a dog and now it’s a $450 cleaning fee added to your credit card.?

Do you know what’s it’s like to have your son say security keeps escorting him out because he stinks & isn’t gambling and only has one shoe on?

Then have him say that he can’t stay outside for longer than 10 minutes or his fingers go numb?

Do you know what’s it’s like to finally convince him to  Uber to the homeless shelter only to have him send a picture saying it was closed & he was running from some guys who jumped him?

30 long minutes of imagining my boy being beat & stabbed in the darkness of Vegas’s back street while trying to get the Uber driver to go back?

Then ubering him to the shuttle to which he didn’t make the 6 am run.

Then, Suddenly he texts his ex-wife that he loves her and isn’t going to make it because he can’t move, his lips are blue and has no where to go and no shoes to get there. 

Do you know the feeling of your son being in a large city somewhere between the Uber dropoff and a slow cold death?

21 phone calls made to resources throughout the night, hundreds of texts begging for help, 3 Uber rides, a missing person report after 30 minutes of trying to call 911 into a different state…..

And a quick suitcase pack to drive the 6 hours to possibly identify my firstborn son’s body.😭

4 hrs later an airport security policeman calls and said: “He can’t sleep here, he needs to get on the shuttle or leave…..”

Relief.
Anger.
Sorrow.
Sadness.

Naranon go-ers would cringe.

“Go to bed they say.
Give it to God. ” They say with pierced lips…..

But they’re not me.
And my son is not theirs.

So I look at the rising sun, and I drag myself to the shower to actually start my day…….

So you see dear co- worker…..
I may not look like I came from a spa, but I surely just climbed out of hell and I’m damn lucky to have shoes on………