Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jail and Bail

Almost a week has passed since my Facebook post mentioning my day last Tuesday getting  my oldest son, Rob, out of jail.  I purposely delayed this post to more balance reason and my frustration with this problem going on for two years now.

There's more to this story he's not telling me, but last Tuesday he was arrested and jailed for probation violation.  Not having any information to make an informed decision on what to do, I put on my "Dad Fix It" hat, and spent eight hours and several thousand dollars to get him freed.  For all this my thanks was, "Thanks, but I figured I'd just wait out the time till my court date in jail."  I was so angry I couldn't see straight, but its a gift I've a very calm exterior.

Rob was dicharged from the Air Force for failing an alcohol rehab program.  And, I think that was his goal to be kicked out.  From what I've seen since his return, he abused alcohol, but wasn't addicted.  Another factor in his discharge was his injuries incurred in his military work climbing poles to install wiring.  He'd fallen a few times really screwing up his shoulders making it impossible to continue in that work.

Because of his work injuries, he was working through the Veterans Administration beauracracy to get a medical retirement, finally coming though a few months ago.

His first night home, and after I had gone to bed, he took my truck to go somewhere at 2AM.  He drove maybe a block down the street before hitting a neighbors parked car.  The police conducted alcohol testing finding Rob was well under the legal limit for DUI, but the arrested him anyway, finally issuing a citation for blocking a thoroughfair or something ambiguous like that. 

Their action is similiar to drivers flashing their lights warning oncoming drivers they are approaching a speed trap.  While the flashing light warning in most states isn't illegal, some police issue "Impeding a police investation" citations for it.

About now the story gets murky because Rob will lie to avoid confrontation in facing reality.  You may recall my refering to him as a 32 year old juvinile.

He was put on probation and orderred to pay the probation costs on a monthly basic.

Rob's first year at home was curious and a little disturbing.  He's never had a sense of family, so his spending most of his time in his room wasn't too much of a surprise.  After the first year and my pressing to find out what was going on in his head and why he hadn't found a job yet, it came out he'd burned through $20,000 savings with basically nothing to show for it but drinking, playing online video games, and reading fantasy novels. 

I'm almost finished, but I have to tell you the irony of this whole thing.  Tom, my youngest son, has schizonphrenia and I always assumed it would be Rob to care for him after my death.  Turns out Tom is quite self sufficient, living about a mile away, working as a security guard which he likes, going to school to get his electricians license, and living his own life.  Could it be Tom that ends up taking care of Rob in small ways?

So, the bottom line in all this with Rob?  We had a talk, with him getting weepy.

If he screws up and I lose that bail money, I'm handing him a tent and sleeping bag and wishing him well as I send him on his way.  No, its not the money, but his not fulfilling his adult responsibilities.

Lastly, he has a year to become self sufficient, getting a job to live his own life.  December 2010 he's gone living with the life he's accomplished during this next year.

I"ve rightly painted a negative picture here of a girly man, but he's a real nice guy willing to do anything to help others.  He just needs to learn to help himself.


  1. I think you've handled this in a very wise way. Rules and a goal. A little tough love is sometimes necessary. I'll be rooting for you and your son, hoping it all works out. Cheryl

  2. Lots of good thoughts coming your way! I hope things are going better!