Re­turn­ing home could be a trig­ger

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Go!sunday - Amy Dick­in­son Read­ers can send email to [email protected]­dick­in­son .com or let­ters to “Ask Amy” P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY, 13068.

Dear Amy: Af­ter a trau­matic di­vorce, my now 35-year-old step­son be­gan drink­ing and us­ing drugs. While liv­ing with us, he stole my car money from me, and even from his tod­dler’s piggy bank.

While ar­gu­ing with his su­per­vi­sor, he punched and broke the man’s jaw.

We spent thou­sands of dol­lars on fees to mul­ti­ple at­tor­neys. Our at­tor­ney got him a sus­pended sen­tence and pro­ba­tion.

Al­though we warned him, he failed a drug test and his seven-year sen­tence was re-im­posed.

My wife and I al­most got di­vorced af­ter she de­manded we pay an­other $3,500 for an ap­peal I knew was fruit­less.

In prison, he found Je­sus, which de­lights my wife. He is about to get out, and she wants him to tem­po­rar­ily live with us.

He must reg­is­ter as a felon with the po­lice.

I do not agree to his re­turn to our home. I have sub­stan­tial coin and cur­rency, and am a li­censed gun col­lec­tor.

Al­though my items are se­cure in an alarmed safe, I do not think hav­ing a con­victed felon liv­ing with us and chanc­ing a re­lapse is a good idea. What should I do? — Wor­ried

Dear Wor­ried: Your step­son should not re­turn to, quite lit­er­ally, the scene of his crimes. Your house­hold is prob­a­bly not the health­i­est en­vi­ron­ment be­cause he would be sur­rounded by trig­gers.

He would also be co­hab­it­ing with an en­abling mother and seething step­fa­ther, and this is a com­bustible sit­u­a­tion for all.

Re­search some half­way houses in the area to see if he is el­i­gi­ble to be re­leased into one. Lo­cal churches some­times spon­sor hous­ing for men newly re­leased from prison.

You and your wife should sup­port his ef­forts to re­cover and re-en­ter so­ci­ety. As a felon, his em­ploy­ment op­tions will be lim­ited, and this is where you might be able to help.

I hope your wife has learned that her en­abling has con­trib­uted to some of his prob­lems, since prop­ping him up has de­layed him ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the con­se­quences of his ac­tions.

He must work all of the steps of re­cov­ery and his mother can­not do this for him. You two should find a nar-anon.org meet­ing.

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