Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by 200Meters, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    We are still here in the corridor. The pd, who has reappeared, just told us that the probation officer's recommendation is negative, that Youngest not go to the day center, and that he will go all-out to ask the judge to overrule / disregard it.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Sending prayers, 200Meters.
  3. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard


    Youngest will be released to our supervision. He will be under house arrest with the electronic ankle thinggie. He will have a window from 06:30-16:30, Sunday (a work day here) through Thursday to go back and forth between the day center in Jerusalem and our apartment out in the 'burbs. The day at the day center is 08:00-15:00. When Youngest is not at the day center one of us will have to be with him 24/7. This will entail quite a disruption to our (Mrs. 200Meters and moi) lives and routines but c'est la vie. We will manage.

    I will call the day center tomorrow. It is 18:47 here (Israel is 7 hours ahead of the US east coast) and they have all gone home already.

    Mrs. 200Meters is waiting on paperwork at the courthouse office. I am going to fetch the car from my (clear across town) office. Youngest has already been taken back to the hoosegow. I imagine the Prison Service will deliver him tomorrow and install the base unit for the electronic ankle thinggie.

    The pd was great. The judge (one we've not had before) asked us to speak about the three months ago thing. We said that the (painfully obvious, sez me) difference is that instead of sitting around gathering dust, Youngest will be getting the rehab, therapy, etc. that he needs at the day center, and we want to do our part to help him.

    Youngest has not been home since early March when those 2 plainclothes cop showed up with an arrest warrant and a search warrant.

    When we left the courtroom, Mrs. 200Meters and I just hugged each other.

    Wow. I am still in semi-shock.

    Youngest called me just now from the clink. I told him that he has been given an opportunity and now it is up to him.

    Hey, everybody, c'mere, yeah all of you...

  4. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    I'm so pleased for you and wish you all the very best of luck. It's the best outcome you could have had. Thank heavens you had a decent judge.

    I've been following your saga, especially today with baited breath. I hope he takes full advantage of the chance he has been given. Wishing you and your wife much strength to cope.

    Love, Esther
  5. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    It is almost 01:00 here. We drove out to the prison (not far from the airport) where Youngest had been remanded and brought him home. The electronic ankle thinggie technician came over (around 23:00) and wired Youngest up.

    Youngest is going sleep most of tomorrow I imagine and start at the day center next week. Mrs. 200Meters will stay home tomorrow.

    Call me 185Meters...zzz...:sleeping:
  6. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I am so glad you got the best possible outcome. Can I please ask what a Day Center is?
  7. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    A "day center" is a non-residential treatment facility where participants receive group therapy & other rehabilitative activities & treatment. Youngest will start on Tuesday. (Today was too late. Sunday is a fast day; the center is closed. Monday they have a field trip.)

    This Friday night & Saturday (until nightfall) is the Jewish Sabbath. Mrs. 175Meters & I will have decide who goes to synagogue when & who stays home to mind Youngest. We're invited to two weddings later this month; Mrs. 175Meters will go to those.

    So it begins...

    I thank everyone again for your friendship & support.
  8. Estherfromjerusalem

    Estherfromjerusalem Well-Known Member

    Wishing you good luck with everything. It's not easy. Maybe one day I will have the guts to write about my difficult child -- things have become difficult again this year after many long years of comparative peace and quiet (because he was in Australia, on the other side of the world, for nine years).

    I'll be thinking of you, 200Meters, and your wife, on Sunday. Hope it is an easy fast, for all of us.

    Love, Esther
  9. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    Hey all

    Well, Youngest is back. Our younger (and much bigger) hound was very excited to see him and stayed close to him his first night back. Our older (and much smaller) hound was like, "Eh, you'e back. Hi."

    Youngest has had a lot of friends coming & going, kids (note: I refer to anyone younger than me as a "kid". As Mrs. 200Meters says, that is an increasingly larger subset of humanity) that, except for one, are all from our neighborhood and whom we approve of & hope Youngest will become closer to again. We told him that until last night he could let his hair down, as it were, but that as of last night, when he had to go to bed at a decent hour & be ready for the day center this morning. The one kid that we're not so keen on is one of his former pot-smoking friends whom we have never liked. He did time in a closed, residential drug addiction treatment facility up north. I asked one of Youngest's neighborhood friends how this kid is doing & he said much better. Mrs. 200Meters & I still don't like him. Youngest has been fine. He and his best friend cleaned our yard & assembled a new gas grill that we bought (and which was waaay too complicated for me).

    We were out of our suburban apartment before 07:00 this morning and zipped into Jerusalem. We got to the day center just after 07:30. Youngest has to be there at 08:00 and no later than 08:15. We went to the day center at 07:50. There were two young men, who appeared to be a little older than Youngest (18.5), waiting. I imagine that neither of them has an electronic ankle thinggie since no adult was waiting. (I figure that since Youngest does have an electronic ankle thinggie, Mrs. 200Meters and i can't just drop him off and go. We have to wait until a staffer shows up and opens up the center.) One of the staff members whom we had met previously showed up just before 08:00. She greeted Youngest. I gave her a copy of last Wednesday's court decision & was off to work. It's now 13:50. I'll have to leave around 14:35 (after working only 6.25 hours, I'm supposed to work 8.5) to go get Youngest & take him home.

    Mrs. 200Meters is off to a wedding tonight. I won't even be able to walk the hounds until she gets back. It will take us a while, I imagine, to find our rhythm and get used to doing things differently as we babysit, I guess I shouldn't say that, as we mind Youngest.

    I wonder how Youngest's day is going at the day center...
  10. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    The wedding is tomorrow.

    Oh, right, and Youngest had a very good first day at the day center, or so the director told me over the phone. Youngest was in a good mood on the way home.

    Remember, the Great Pyramid started with one brick.

    I've got to figure out what to do with the spare time I will have coming home early. There is only so much laundry one can hang up, or take down.
  11. tamarann

    tamarann New Member

    Not making light of your situation (or anyone else's) but I laughed out loud at your dog/teenager shtick! I have been saying for years, "I shoulda had puppies" - trying to laugh through the pain. Thanks for confirming that I'm not the only one!
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    200 meters...how are things going? Hoping that no news is good news.
  13. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    Hi everybody. (Usually I would use an exclamation point after "Hi Everybody" but I am not in an exclamation point kind of mood.)

    I think I said in one of my previous posts that long periods between posts means that I'm not in the mood for posting and since I haven't posted in 5 months, you (plural) can draw the requisite conclusion. I apologize for being a sh!tty respondent/member.

    Lessee here…

    Easy stuff / relative good news first. Oldest & his ladyfriend are futzing along. They're working, more or less. They are not making any great strides forward but at least they are not retrograding. We actually saw them last night. Yesterday was Eldest's 23rd birthday. We had a lovely dinner at this restaurant.

    Driving to Netanya (where the restaurant is; near to where they live) gave us a chance to drive past the prison/remand center complex where Youngest is now residing, at least until his sentencing on Thursday (the day after tomorrow).

    Yeah, like I said, I haven't posted in five months.

    Youngest was asked to leave the day center in Jerusalem after about a month. One of the staffers told us that Youngest told them something like, "I am only here because I am forced to be here. I really don't have any problems that warrant my being here. Maybe I drink a bit much but I can stop that whenever I want." The staffer said that he wasn't really participating or opening up so he was booted. He clearly didn't take to the center's talk-about-yourself, touchy-feely kind of approach.

    After we had pushed the probation officer, who had opposed him going to the day center and was overruled, that Youngest should be given a chance, my wife and I had to eat a supersize helping of humble pie.

    The lawyer (same one, from the public defender's office) was not thrilled and the only thing left to do was proceed towards sentencing. A new probation officer was assigned the task of drawing up a pre-sentencing evaluation. She had to meet with us (with my wife & Youngest, as it turned out). Then the probation service asked for – and automatically received from the court, with no input from us – an extra month to formulate the evaluation. Then there were our autumn holydays when the whole of Israel just stops and nothing moves or gets done until afterward. Etc., etc., etc. The wheels of justice grind very slowly here.

    In the meantime, Youngest was back home under full house arrest, with either my wife or I in constant attendance. He had friends – anywhere from one to eight – over a lot. They barbecued. They drank (too much to our liking). They made noise which I found to be excessive but which probably wasn't (I am hypersensitive to any noise that I don't make or can't control. I looked at the Greenland tourism website once and saw where it said "Come hike a glacier, see no one all day and enjoy deafening silence. That appealed to me. A lot).

    My wife and I had to get used to doing nothing together outside the apartment and the yard. We didn't get used to it but since we had no choice, we shrugged it off. My wife started working from home.

    Eventually, the court gave Youngest 3 windows per week of 2 hours' duration each, on Sundays (a work day here), Tuesdays & Thursdays, from 14:00-16:00. My wife took him to a local gardening center a few times. Youngest does have a green thumb and is extremely handy with tools & stuff. I must give him credit; he fixed up our yard really nice.

    Sentencing was eventually set for Thursday, 30 January. By then it would have been about 6 weeks shy of a year since he was busted.

    Youngest found a girlfriend. She was good for him and could calm him down / rein him in. We actually liked her. Until they fell out and broke up.

    On Thursday, 2 January, a friend of his former girlfriend called him and started slanging on him. He got very upset and slanged back. Apparently she called him "adopted" in a very pejorative sense, and he got very angry. Then one of his ex's brothers phoned & he became livid. I heard cursing and threats of violence. He went out into the yard and smashed two plastic garden chairs against the stone retaining wall of the neighboring flat. My wife and I called one of his oldest and (formerly?) closest friends to come over and try to calm him down. That didn't really work.

    We sat down to eat dinner & watch a series on the computer. Youngest goes out into the yard. He does that all the time, to smoke, talk on his cellphone, etc. About 10 minutes later, the phone on the base unit for the electronic ankle thinggie rings. That is a direct, dedicated line to the Israel Prison Service house arrest people. I answered. The guy says, "Where is your son?" I said, "In the yard." He said, "Are you sure?" A little voice way in the back of my mind said, "Oh sh!t…"

    My wife and I ran out into the yard and checked the apartment. Youngest was gone; he had run off. In order not to forfeit the NIS 10,000 (about $2,887) we had pledged as a kind of bond, I had to call the Israel Police emergency switchboard (100 here, not 911) and report that Youngest had violated his house arrest by running away. Eventually police from the local station showed up as did two guys from the prison service. (The dogs were thrilled.) We told them everything that had happened, including about the phone calls. We were afraid that Youngest was going to the town where his ex-girlfriend lived and intended to do violence to her brother. They searched his room. Eventually they left. As the police were heading back to their cruiser, which they had parked down the block, they found the cut ankle thinggie lying in the street.

    Two more prison service plainclothes personnel came over later. These 2 were the ones who would drop by unannounced on periodic inspections. They found on his Facebook page that there was some "nature party" (as they are called here, marijuana and ecstasy are usually involved) somewhere in the greater Jerusalem area to which he was invited. So maybe he didn't go looking for his ex's brother?

    Cops came again at 05:00 Friday morning although I am not sure why. (The dogs were ultra-thrilled.)

    We spoke on-and-off that Friday (as we were cooking, cleaning and baking like every orthodox Jew does on Friday to get ready for the Sabbath which comes in at sundown) with the Prison Service. We also spoke to some of Youngest's friends and with Youngest. The Prison Service said that while it was going to be not good for Youngest, it would be less not good if he turned himself in (as opposed to being picked up by the police) and turned himself in to the Prison Service (as opposed to the police). Youngest had assured the Prison Service guy we were talking to that he would do just that but as the Sabbath came in (and we had to turn the phones & computer off), we hadn't heard that this had actually happened.

    My wife and I were on shpilkes the entire Sabbath. (When we showed up together at our synagogue, a few people who know what's going on noticed and asked if anything had happened with Youngest.) As soon as the Sabbath was over Saturday evening, we phoned the Prison Service guy and yes, Youngest had turned himself in to the Prison Service Jerusalem detention facility Friday evening.

    He was there until this past Tuesday, when he was moved to his present locale. We spoke with him several times and took him socks, underwear, sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc.

    The lawyer was furious at Youngest's stunt. He told us that Youngest was an idiot. Since he was 102% correct, we neither objected nor argued the point. He said that whatever the judge was considering in the way of a sentence would now be worse & will likely include actual jail time.

    This past Sunday we found out that the sentencing was being brought forward by two weeks and will be the day after tomorrow. Youngest is – of course – completely & solely responsible for his present imbroglio. Having to pay the price for one's [email protected]#$-ups is part of life. Having to deal with it when things don't go exactly as we might like is also part of life. However, the interminable delays for what were non-sexual, non-political, non-security related, non-violent offenses (Youngest is charged with breaking-and-entering, i.e. burglary, and petty theft) didn't help matters any, especially given Youngest's ADHD, ODD, etc. Apparently the phrase "Justice delayed is justice denied" has yet to percolate down to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court.

    So, on Sunday my wife was talking to Youngest, who was miffed (to put it mildly) at the prospect of being moved from the Jerusalem detention facility (across the street from the Jerusalem Magistrates Court). He was mouthing off against the lawyer. He was also complaining about the alleged inedibility of the food at the Jerusalem detention facility and that he wouldn't eat it and would likely lose weight. When my wife served him some cold reality, he cursed her. She (quite correctly, methinks) hung up on him. As this was happening, I was at a postal bank depositing NIS 160 (about $46.19) into his Israel Prison Service canteen account. (We think some of his friends have also deposited into his IPS canteen account). When I later told him how much I had deposited, he said (in Hebrew), "Oh, I see that you're not serious." Ungrateful little @#$%&!

    I spoke to him earlier today. He said that he didn't want us to come to his sentencing. (We'll be there.) He then said (in English), "I've arranged a visit for you here at 11:00 on Friday." When I said that his mother and I would have to juggle our Sabbath preparations to be there by 11:00 and be back here by the time the Sabbath starts but that we would and could do it, he said, "Not Mom, just you." I told him absolutely not. It was us together or nothing. He must not know me nearly as well as he thinks he does if he thinks I will allow him or anyone or anything else in G-d's good universe to play my wife & I against each other or drive a wedge between us. He started cursing me so I put the phone down.

    And that is where we are.

  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi 200meters. This restaurant sounds delicious! So glad you're back.

    You did every single thing you could and then some to insure that youngest had the best possible shot. And not only did he blow it. He set out to torpedo it, and with it, destroying any other reasonable alternative option for himself.

    I agree with you. Right now in his life he sounds entitled, ungrateful, manipulative and hard-headed. He's insuring he will learn only through suffering.

    I hope that you and your wife don't make this any easier for him. He is demonstrating that he needs life to be hard on him for now, in order to catch a clue. I am sorry. I know how hard this is.

    While I agree that long delays are incompatible with justice, it's not the Israeli system that has any responsibility here for his difficult time; it's him. Better that his situation is slow going, in my opinion. More time for him to learn.

    Would he have done one thing to help himself, I would have empathy. I don't. He is hurting his parents who have sacrificed greatly, worried no end, who love him with all their heart. I don't feel one bit bad for your son. He has to learn.
    How great for him that he has this interest and talent. This will be something to build upon when he settles down. It's interesting (and kind of wonderful) that he likes this meditative, nourishing pursuit, in light of the ADHD diagnosis. Last year I took a permaculture design course (online) which I loved very much through Oregon State University Extension. People from all over the world took the course and they lumped us together in sections based upon our geographical locale. Maybe he could do something like this. (There are other interesting extension courses too in horticulture in this program.)

    I don't mean to be mean to your son (well, kind of I do). I do believe he will straighten up. It seems like immaturity and that he's headstrong. But the sooner he is reined in by life the better for him and everybody else, in my mind.

    I am glad you are back. How is your wife holding up? I'm sorry this is so, so hard.
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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  15. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    Hi Copabanana!

    The stuff between the lines is the post I started writing yesterday but didn't have time to send.


    You are right and you are talking sense. But it still sucks

    My wife is holding up OK. We are both rather depressed ahead of tomorrow morning. My wife has already told the staff social worker at her very large institutional place of employment that she will need some time tomorrow. (I am writing this on my phone as I wait in the car for her.) I spoke to Youngest earlier today. He was actually in good spirits. I told him that even though we fight, we still love him. He said the same and did not object, as he has previously, when I said we would be at his sentencing tomorrow morning.

    I remember when we brought him home. I could hold him in one hand. Funny, but I never thought then that one day, his mother and I would be awaiting his sentencing for breaking and entering and petty larceny. It is not something that a parent normally looks forward to.

    I forgot to mention that at the meeting between my wife, Youngest & the new probation officer (so the latter could write a pre-sentencing recommendation), Youngest twice refused to take a urine test. He later told us that he wasn't using but that he considered having to urinate in a cup as infringing on his dignity. Our response was, "Yeah. And...? How is that relevant?" He is so mule-headed (no offense to our equine friends!) that he will act against his own self-interest. Or he doesn't care. I don't know which is worse.


    Last night after dinner, my wife & I took the hounds for a nice long walk. We love them dawgs.

    We were at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court by 08:30. We waited until just after 09:00. The lawyer came first & then a little while later, two Prison Service guards brought Youngest in handcuffs and anklecuffs. (I will never get used to seeing him that way.) We all went into court. We waited for the judge to finish the previous case. He told Youngest to stand and then read out his decision.

    He went over the history of Youngest's case and then sentenced him to one year's imprisonment minus some of the time Youngest has already served in detention and under house arrest. Given that this is Youngest's first (non-violent, non-sexual, non-political, non-security related) offense, he could end up doing as little as 5 or 6 months. He also dished out conditional imprisonment, the condition being that he not commit any crimes (misdemeanors or felonies) against property for at least three years following his release. Youngest also has to compensate the family whose flat he broke into and robbed to the tune of NIS 5,000 (just under $1450), payable in installments starting three months after his release.We should find out next week exactly how much time Youngest will actually do and at what facility he will do it.

    How do I feel? Apart from depressed at the fact that Youngest will be fitted for an orange jumpsuit? I think a little disappointed because I am concerned that Youngest will scoff at doing a "mere" 5-6 months and conclude, as he has his entire teen life, that he has, once again, played the system, successfully (see my very first post). That he will be saddled with a criminal record that will dog him (no offense) for the rest of his life does not faze him one iota. Youngest lives in the eternal present and can barely see next week much less 10, 20 or more years from now. I do not know that a "mere" 5-6 months in prison will effect any positive change in him. It is screamingly obvious to my wife & I that Youngest needs therapy and rehab but it is also screamingly obvious to us that Youngest will not seek such therapy and/or rehab. My wife told me that once we find out what prison Youngest will serve his time in, we should try to contact the social worker there. Sure, why not? But to use a Middle Eastern analogy, we can take Youngest to water, but we cannot make him drink. We are also afraid that he will meet members of Israel's organized crime families / organizations while in prison. I can see one of their members or soldiers telling Youngest to come work for them when he gets out. (Remember, Youngest dropped out of high school, avoided the military & has absolutely zero prospects.)

    At the risk of repeating myself, FEH!!!!
  16. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    A nature party? Too funny.
  17. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    They're called that, I think, because they are usually held in some out-of-the-way spot, in a field, the woods or the desert, under the stars, i.e. out in nature.
  18. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    When I read your post 200Meters, I am struck by this, what I see as the underlying essence and truth. Love.

    I adopted my son, too. At 22 months. All of it was love. And Faith. I thought not one second about the risks, burden, responsibility or potential for heartache. Just love and haven. He was me. He became part of me. Enclosed by me. No different than had I carried him inside my body, him a part of me, me a part of him.
    I was completely unconscious that by enclosing him within my life, myself, I would be taking into my own his future, his destiny. That there would be no way to separate him and his future, from my own.

    I had been a driven woman. Anything controllable, usable in myself, my capacity, I used to launch myself forward in life. And here I had taken in without consciousness this X factor. And this is what I've been dealing with this last 12 or 14 years. Like a oyster takes in a piece of sand, to become a pearl, I took inside myself my adopted son. And you too.

    All of this we're dealing with, I am learning to see as the greatest gift, and potential. Which is not to say it's easy.
    Look 200meters. Your Youngest is very, very young. And lest I add, drunk with his own intelligence, power, impulsivity, potential. He will learn. There is no other way. Especially if somebody is so audacious. I believe that your religion (which I share) offers a way to understand what is happening to our sons, and us, as well.
    This could happen, like anything could happen. Personally, I think that the rooting of love your Youngest has had with you and your wife will guard against this. I don't think Youngest will abandon himself to this extent. We will have to pray.
    This is NOT the case. You've already shared about his green thumb. His love of plants and nature. His genius as a builder. Between the lines, I see his confidence. His ambition. His sense of himself. I can see him doing any number of things. Powerful things. He may have cut off the conventional paths, but he seems not to be conventional.

    Do we know how he will go forward, do what he must do, to have a successful life? No. But there is a thrilling aspect to this story. When we forget our hearts are our between our teeth, we can feel this thrill. I can feel it.

    This child of yours is not the common sort. He's a wild side kind of guy, it seems. The people who founded your country were like him in their way, I think. Maybe less defiant. Who knows? Maybe more cautious and thoughtful, for sure. But there's real courage and will, behind youngest's defiance and seeming indifference.

    It's to pray and pray and pray that wisdom, patience and thoughtfulness kicks in, soon enough. And even if there's more stupidity, there's almost always the potential to turn things around.

    In my own situation, I see more and more that hope for me, involves tolerating how little control I have over my son's story and ultimately my own. And to see the lessons in that. Which brings me to presence and prayer. Presence with my own fear, pain, terror, despair, and calling upon, in myself, the Divine, to be with me through this all. What else do we have? Any of us? At any point? The rest is illusory. That's what I think now.

    That said, IT DOES SUCK.
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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear 200Meters. RN just posted today in this thread: Residential treatment coming to a end. She writes about her own son and his path the past decade or so, in order to reassure a mother whos son is having similar problems. Her son, now 24 or so, is DOING GREAT! I think you will take heart from her son's story, even though it is different in the particulars from your son's, is the same.

    The common bond between all of us is that our children have become stupid and have gone off the deep end. And then as a result we end up crazy with grief and fear, feeling we have lost control of our own lives and even ourselves. Because we fear we are losing our children. (Do I need to tell anybody how horrible this feels?) *You may not have gone so crazy, but I sure did.

    What we have to do now is to realize that we are NOT lost. That we have the tools within ourselves (and our faith) to navigate through this with hope, certainty, and optimism. Which you are doing, have done, since you came here to this site. Every step of the way you take your fear and deep concern and stick with your child, no matter what he does and where he goes. I admire you deeply.

    Be well, 200Meters. I hope you stay with us and don't disappear again for so long. When it's the hardest is when we need each other more not less.
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  20. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Active Member

    I know it is a separate system but my son was just released from jail and while he was in they got him on medications and had him face timing a therapist and set him up for additional services on the outside. It can't hurt to talk to the social worker or even some clergy and ask for intervention. If it doesn't work this time you may plant a seed that will bloom later. Since my son was released he seems to be making some positive steps. Cross my fingers. He is older now but had the same attitude as your son.

    "(disappointed because I am concerned that Youngest will scoff at doing a "mere" 5-6 months and conclude, as he has his entire teen life, that he has, once again, played the system, successfully (see my very first post). That he will be saddled with a criminal)"
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