Torn. My daughter getting out of prison after 4 years. Do I let her come home?

by Connie
(Ilinois)

My daughter is 28. This is her second time in prison. She will be getting out in 6 months. I am raising her 2 children ages 5 and 10. She was always a "problem child" ever since I can remember. She got caught up in drugs and the whole lifestyle. She had a 5 year old and another on the way when she went in the first time for 1 1/2 years. When she got out then, I tried to make the transition as easy for her as possible. I told her all she had to do was stay clean, and take her time getting used to being home and being a mom. Well,I guess I only accomplished to enable her because she went right back to her old ways and within 6 months I had had all I could take. She was back on drugs, lying, disrespecting me and the rules I made clear. So I kicked her out, She ended up in trouble with the law again and this time got a longer time back in prison. She has been in 4 more years now. I am torn between letting her come home, after all she has done her time. Part of me feels this is the right thing to do, she needs love and support. Part of me also feels that I will be repeating a cycle of enabling her to do the same as before. If she has not changed her ways, this will only do her more harm than good, but more importantly, the kids will be disrupted from their stucture and will be hurt and will not understand if I have to tell mommy to leave again. There is not any half way houses near us, only homeless shelter about an hour away. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I am stressed out from thinking on one hand this and on the other hand that!

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Aug 01, 2016
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my daughter is in prison
by: allan

my daughter is also in prison,she got a four and a half year sentence and isn,t due for parole until December 2018. my wife and ihave been given full custody of our four grandchildren so when she is released the children will remain with us.if she wants to live with us that's ok but the children will remain in our care

Nov 04, 2015
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She got out and is now headed back.
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your reply. As it turned out, my daughter could not be paroled to my house because of a domestic battery charge from before. She was paroled instead to my other daughters house. Sadly it did not work out, she started the same ways that got her into trouble before and my oldest daughter made her leave. As of now, she is abscoded from parole and is wanted on several warrants and on the run. It breaks my heart, but I have realized that I can't help her. What I can keep doing though is take care of and protect the kids from the distruction she causes in her life. As the first person said, history is usually an indicator of how things will work out.

Nov 04, 2015
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Grandmother fed up with dead beat daughter
by: Anonymous

So you take her back in hoping things will be great for her children. She goes right back to the same thing again. It's time to stop enabling her. Think what is this doing to those children. Mother is in an out of their lives. The children suffer from her there in their life's..then gone...don't worry about her she grown woman. Think what it's done to those children..they can't help themselves. I went through the same thing with my 27 year old daughter. I got her son when he was borned she chose the wild life She didn't want him. When she got in trouble she ran to my home where the child was. I felt sorry an enabled her to stay an live free until she decided to go again. Now the little boy suffers from anxiety an very emotional crystal a lot because I let her in an out of our home. She doesn't want the responsibility of raising a child ..yet uses him to get back into my home. Prayers for you an the children. I don't have money for full custody or she would be out of our lives completely. Little boy loves her but can't stand his moms ways. That's such a shame she does that. I enabled her an to poor for an attorney to help me st her.

Nov 16, 2013
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To "Torn."
by: Angie Carter

This is a very difficult issue, but one that I have come across several times in working with family members. There is no easy answer, but I will share with you what some other parents have done in their situations.
Very often, history is the best predictor of the future. I have had parents whose child has completed their time in prison, but did no real "changing". If she has really changed you would be able to immediately know that. If there are a lot of unsettling feelings about how she will be when she gets out, maybe you haven't seen a real change yet (behavior, attitude, demeanor, conversation, gratitude, esteem, future plans, etc...)
Does she talk about her recovery and what she is doing and will do in order to stay clean and sober. Does she converse about going to meetings, getting a sponsor, living a clean and sober life and being around others who are going to do the same? Or is it more like --what she's going to do for a job, is she talking about going to school, staying busy, isolating herself and just working, does she say things like "I just need to find new hobbies and stay away from old friends"
These can all be good things but usually don't avail long term sobriety and clean time. Is she talking recovery?
I have experienced a number of parents who have went both ways, some decide to be the home plan, some do not. From my experience, it doesn't hurt to help a person out to get on their feet as long as they are doing EVERYTHING possible to keep themselves clean and sober. Meetings, sponsor, reading recover literature, working some type of recovery program, addressing spiriutality or tapping into something that can help sustain them.
You can have a conversation with her about all these things and you'll find out very quickly where she is at with it all. Recovery programs are what work best for most. (12-step programs)

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