Monday, March 29, 2010

Unasked and Unanswered Questions

When John came home from jail I was bound and determined that he not go back. I KNEW he could do what he needed to do and avoid a conviction, the possibility of registering as an offender, and more jail time. He just needed a little help from me. Well, at least it was my theory.

And so when he would go out and spend the night with friends I would ask him where he was, what he was doing, when he was going to be back. If he was making less than wise choices, while I did not forbid him to go (he is/was 19), I pointed out that he'd be safer staying home and that he was taking a big risk by hanging out with them. If he chose to skip his assigned group counseling session, I indicated that he was violating his probation. When he refused to go to school, I again suggested that his choice was unwise if he wanted to remain "on the outside." I warned, reminded, and even sometimes borderline nagged. I often said, "Well, at least I'm not the one who will end up back in jail. I'm doing all I can."

And you know what? Every single one of those words was wasted. He's going to have a hearing because he did violate his probation and most likely will be convicted and spend time in jail. I completely wasted my time, energy, words, vocal cords, mental energy, etc.

And now Mike is out of jail and spent the weekend who knows where. He didn't sleep here. He popped in and out to use the shower and get stuff, sometimes with a friend, sometimes greeting us, sometimes not. But this time, I didn't ask. Sure I had questions, but I didn't bother. Yes, if he violates his probation, he will go back to jail, but me telling him that 1,204,236 times won't make a difference.

So I'm trying to keep my mouth shut and let him live. He is 21. He has a full time job. If all he wants from a family is a spot to put his stuff, a shower and a washer and dryer, and an occasional meal, that's not tough to provide. As long as he is leaving our stuff alone and not causing a problem, I'm going to let it go. But it's not going to be easy for me. I have a big mouth. I have a need to nag. It's my nature.


J. said...

I can only imagine how hard it is not to comment because that is what I would want to do to. I am not looking forward to having adult children!

GB's Mom said...

I know how had it is not to comment, but really I am learning not to for my own sanity. I just can't afford the emotional energy that I waste trying to control things I can't.