Returning home could be a trigger
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.