Sunday, April 05, 2009

Controlling the Uncontrollable

One of my "12 Survival Tips" that I wrote for adoptive parents is not to attempt to control the uncontrollable. However, I still try and do it.

One of the things I want to control is how much contact our son who just got out of prison has with his siblings. We had a restraining order because he would not respect our wishes to not contact the other kids, but it has expired. He doesn't understand why we got it in the first place. Said "you guys must really be afraid of me" which isn't it at all. It's that he will not respect our boundaries. When we say "don't have contact with the other kids, don't call the house phone" he does it any way. And now he got ahold of some of their cell phone numbers and he is calling them and beginning to manipulate them.

Most of what he does is probably innocent. He probably misses all of us and wants contact. But what he always forgets is that once we open that a crack he stretches it until he is back in our home stealing from his siblings. He's inviting his law=breaking friends into our house. He's asking his younger siblings to cover for him by spraying cologne around the house while he smokes pot. He takes their bikes. He takes their electronic devices. And while they love him, they don't want to have to worry about their stuff and they do. And their anxiety level goes up so high when they know he is around.

John is in a vulnerable spot at this point. The next few months will be crucial for him. I don't want him to be sucked into some plan that Mike offers to him. But now that he has a way to contact John (John is here for Spring break, and Mike has contacted him through a siblings cell phone) I can't control that. And who knows what will happen.

It has never been about loving or not loving MIke. It is about keeping everyone else feeling safe. And while the kids in our home are not afraid of Mike, and neither are we, they are afraid of the people he hangs out with and the fact that he consistently steals our stuff. It makes them nervous It makes them anxious.

And it makes me anxious that I can't provide that kind of security for them. Is another restraining order a good idea? I don't know. I don't want him to be back to no contact. I'd like to be able to have him call Bart's cell when he is in a jam or when he just wants someone to talk to. But I don't want to have him calling his siblings on the house phone or on their cells. But i can't control that. So I may have to let it go.

1 comment:

Linda B. said...

I'm ignorant in this, but can a restraining order be written excluding Bart? I understand your fears for the other kids. They get torn up over loyalty, right or wrong, and not wanting their stuff gone. Anxiety over the top.