Halfway There Starting Right Here

Susan Creamer Joy

Susan Creamer Joy
Paris, Iowa,
September 30
Retired Domestic Space Cadet/Current Arbiter Of Midlife Dysfunction
Not often
Artist, Poet, Writer, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Lover, Seeker, Follower, Listener, Communicator, Found, Forgotten, Sainted, Sinner, Struggling, Sentient, Surviving...So far, so-so....... Unless otherwise noted, all of the artwork accompanying these posts was created by and is the property of the artist.


Susan Creamer Joy's Links

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 7, 2010 9:09AM

UNRAVELING IN REAL TIME - What Will The Neighbors Think?

Rate: 53 Flag


They came again this morning.  It was early; just after eight a.m..  


But I did not hear the metallic creak of the wrought iron gate that tops the steps outside our front door; that rusted yawn that signals to me the presence of friend or enemy; the sound I count on in the absence of a working doorbell.


The dogs, whose Bremen Town-substitution is unreliable, were scattered about the house and yard and failed to alert me.  And so I continued to strip the sheets from our bed and to carry on my mundane ritual with the drowsy acceptance of early-morning normal.


It wasn't until I reached for a dropped pillow slip and glanced out the window of our upstairs bedroom that I noticed them.  There, lining the arc of our horseshoe driveway like a convoy of mutant, navy-blue beetles, were four police squad cars.


To someone else this sight might be alarming.  It might seem extraordinary or in raw juxtaposition to their experience of a sane reality. They might immediately assume there has been a horrible mistake or that a faulty address had led these misguided officers of the peace to their door.


To someone else this scene might seem surreal, and although I still have empathy for and a distinct memory of that innocent and flustered reaction, it is remote .


It has been a long time since I have been like someone else.


In the eight years that my son has been a prescription-dependent drug addict, scenes like this one have unfolded with uncanny regularity.  The felony of prescription fraud is not lightly regarded among those sworn to uphold the law and to protect the righteous, nor should it be.


I don't fault them their obligation to carry out their duty.  They are following orders.  I just wish they would get their facts straight and perhaps exercise a little more diplomacy and tact in executing their job.


But this morning I did not make it to the door in time, and because it took me too long to notice them and to answer a doorbell that does not ring, all but two of the six officers scattered to surround the house; leaving the two who did not to the task of ringing the door of the neighbors who live directly behind us.




In the past I have dutifully accepted the attendant shame and humiliation of such public maneuvers because I had no choice.  My son was guilty and plagued by felony warrants for his arrest.  This was his last known address.  This is where the police and probation officers, where the swat teams and detectives routinely surfaced.


Of course, the shattered irony of today comes because he has been in custody for the past ten months.


 I was hoping that the days of high drama and the sweeping, public method of execution were behind us.  Do they not have the same computer access that I do?  Could they not attempt to uncover this fact before they rushed my home and badgered my neighbors with questions?


Although our neighbors have no doubt witnessed and wondered about the frequency with which we were graced by the local police in the past, they have had the decency not to query us about it.  We maintain a friendly and polite relationship, purposely downwind of intimate.


But now they know the truth.


By the time I opened the front door of my house, the two uniformed spokesmen were returning to their vehicles.  They told me they did not think anyone was at home, which is why they had gone on to question our young neighbors about what they knew.  


They told our neighbors that my son was a felon with three warrants in two states.  They asked them if he had been around; if we were sheltering him.  They admonished them on the severity of consequence for withholding information should they think to do so.


From my drawing table as I look through the French doors of my studio, I have watched the young mother as she played with her small son and toddling daughter on the greening carpet of their front lawn, and with every observation I am taken back to that time when my son and eldest daughter were those exact ages.  


In the temperate months, seduced by the dewey air and earthy pleasures outdoors, they frequent their yard with its colorful scramble of plastic balls and battered toys.  I am lured by the high, pebbled laughter and my eyes follow the trail of their chatter with my heart in sound conspiracy in spite of my best efforts to shut them out.  They are a window to a past I hold onto with fierce but weary pride.  


It was a past that perhaps held the best of me and of what my life could ever be.


Several times the young mother and I have spoken of the age difference between her son and daughter and their dispositions bearing a striking similarity to mine so many years ago.  We shared collusive chuckles at how easily smiling came to our sons and how innately protective they are of their younger sisters even at that fledgling age.  


I assured her that this propensity for watching over both of his younger sisters still remains paramount for my son all these many years later.


Now that the facts of his iniquity have been made known to them, I will not mention this to her again.  I would not want to face the awkwardness that will exist between us as she silently prays for an end to any such similarities between her little boy and the recollections of my own. 


But they remain our neighbors, and as they exist in all their burgeoning happiness, it is with an incursive and galling shame that I am necessarily confronted by the realization that although my early walk through motherhood began with the same sure-footed and deep nurturing; that I sang to my children the same mild lullabies and blanketed the close of each day with the gentle grace of bedside prayers and soft kisses,  I am sadly at this moment not able to bathe in the peace of having successfully completed that passage nor in the joy at seeing a reflection of those years in the young family next door.


Every time my eyes wander through those doors, my heart digs into the soft cache of remembering the bedtime stories and bruised knees and whiffle ball games in the summer twilight of the backyard, and I am reminded that the present end does not fit my past dreams for it and that my son is not the only one whose body and soul are now confined.


He is confined by law.

I am, by love.


This morning I told the police of their mistake; that my son is currently in prison and will be so for some time.  I watched them watch me and wondered, as I always do, what were they thinking?  Did they look for the cracks within my maternal countenance?  Did they assume that surely I must have some radical deficit that could yield or enable such a damaged offspring?  Were they suspect of my veracity based on this present circumstance?


Where did I go wrong?


Routinely, I ask myself those questions and I certainly don't fault anyone else for doing likewise.


Regretfully, I don't have any answers.


But blessedly, the neighbors need not know that, too.

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
idiots.. nothing but idiots.
I am so sorry, so very sorry.
I wish I had a magic wand and could change it all for you.
Rated with hugs
They were what? There to arrest him, again? I would be furious!

The writing is wonderful, the inspiration however sucks. Wow!
You so beautifully write for grieving, heart broken mothers everywhere. Your ability to capture the terrible depths of love seared by pain always blows me away.
"He is confined by law.
I am, by love."

That just sums it up.
Well written and heart breaking.
I fully expected to read that they blew your door down because you failed to answer it in time.

Incredible that they would invade your privacy to serve a warrant on someone who is already in jail. Sheesh.
I feel your shame, and know it comes whether or not it should...the facts remain, our sons made choices which have implications which reach out and touch those who love them. We swallow our pride, again and again. The incarceration of them forces us to endure a wholly different kind...imprisoned by circumstances beyond our control. Every action they make has a reaction for us too.
How horrible. I wouldn't be surprised if they are back despite the revelation. Cops, for the most part, don't get it.
It's not your fault and this really pisses me off. A simple check with the hometown police or even a simple check on the computer which list all felons and they wouldn't have had to upset you or your neighbors. I read the other day where a woman came home and there was a note from the police stuck in her screen door. if said only "Sorry, we had to kill your dog. We came to the wrong house". What? Idiots all. Keep your head up my friend, you did nothing wrong and your neighbors know it.
With Bonnie on this. r for great writing through pain.
Very sad.

I just read recently that Portugal (PORTUGAL!) has decriminalized ALL DRUGS - five years ago now - FIVE YEARS! If a person is caught with drugs, they get a ticket, comparable to a traffic ticket, and are advised to take therapy - but the therapy IS NOT MANDATORY - no repercussions if you decline. And the country has not fallen apart, nor drug use increased, nor the sky fallen in...

The event you described so heart-breakingly would not take place in the backwater CIVILIZED land of Portugal.
I'm sorry this happened to you. I bet if the neighbors read your blog they would know how lucky they are to live next door to someone like you...
Three things I love about your blog:

1. The art. Breathtaking, striking, colorful images.

2. The sentences. Susan, you can write. Not in the "knowing the difference between a verb and a noun" way, but you can REALLY write. Your sentences are complex, yet elegant. You are descriptive without trying to be. The writing is natural. You flow.

3. The editing. There is not a grammatical error, spelling mistake, or typo in this piece. You care about putting your name on something.

I applaud you.

Now, sending an assault team after a guy who's already in prison? Well, they'd never do that on 24.
Good writing about bad things. Is there anyway you can contact the lawyer to get your name off the police "list"?
You would think that they would have checked their records, before going out to search for him, once again. To disturb the peace among your life and the neighbors, that it so wrong. You would think that maybe there is some kind of rule (??In lack of the better word I can't think of), that when they make such a mistake that they some kind of action taken.
You might be able to find something about online.
Sorry to hear that your morning had such a disruption.
I do hope that your day is getting better..
Truly moving story.

The little snippet that so struck me was the phrase "soft cache of remembering."
May those young parents next door retain their innocence for as long as possible...
May the sunlight today bathe you in peace.
Beautiful, heart-wrenching piece.
Susan, my heart breaks anew for you every time I read one of these finely wrought laments. You carry your burden with courage and grace.
Bonnie- That is what I thought the last time they were here about four months ago when I told them the exact same thing! I don't get it.

Linda S.-I try not to hold it against them. They are just doing their job and are usually very gracious when I finally do speak to them. I just wish the bureaucracy were more ordered and organized.

trig- Well, basically, yeah. I was more stunned at my internal emotional response than anything. I thought I'd become impervious to this sort of thing, but evidently, the wound runs deeper than I'm willing to admit to myself.

Elisa R.- Ditto on the friendship, amiga! That "guilt that never sleeps" can be a tough one, but we all manage to handle it. There are just sometimes days like this when I wish I did not have to carry as much of it. But writing it out helps.

angryangel- It just goes to show how universal our suffering and basic sentiency is. I regret that anyone would be able to relate to this, however.

ladyfarmerjed- I suppose it is not so much as 'well-written' as 'heart-written'. With writings this personally devastating, I don't often feel I have anything to do with it. It needs to come out, so I open the door.

Patrick H.- What is even more regrettable is that this is not the first time they have done this since he has been incarcerated. Someone is not doing their homework.

Buffy W.- How right you are on all counts! I was telling my husband that it is not so much I am shocked by this or not used to it as it is that this forced confrontation of shame and consequence keeps happening at random and unexpected times. I walk on eggshells these days.

Sheba M.- I would not be surprised at a return visit either, since it has happened a couple of times since his incarceration already. There is definitely a communication issue here.

Scanner- "Sorry we had to kill your dog?" OMG! Blessedly, all my canine offspring are here and accounted for, but what a senseless tragedy for that poor woman! There are glitches everywhere. I don't fault the police who show up as much as the system that sends them here needlessly.

Jonathan W.- I hope they won't return. I don't know that they were annoyed with me for enlightening them on their error, though, because they went to the neighbors before talking with me. Actually, I have to say they were gracious, if not outright apologetic. It is just a job.

Myriad- Portugal is looking better all the time!

caroline marie- Thank you for that thought. They are lovely people. I just don't want them to now be afraid of us or look down on us or our son. I'm hopeful that will not be the result, but the embarrassment remains for us regardless.

Shawn P.- Thank you so much for that, my friend! If there is good to come of all this, I'm happy it comes in the form of art and communication! The whole point of any writing is to communicate ideas, opinions and situations that others may or may not have experience with but can still understand vicariously. If I can do that, I will be happy.

Oryoki B.- I think it is just that things cycle repeatedly through the system until they are satisfied. You can't satisfy every warrant from jail. It's frustrating and more complex than I ever imagined.

fireeyes2- I wish there were some recourse, too, but it is all part of that thing called 'consequence'. The cards are no longer solely in our hands. But the day is getting better! Thank you:)

Brassawe-Ah, that soft, lovely little cache. Most of the time it holds nothing but wonder. Right now the contents are all bittersweet.

Just thinking- Most days it does my heart good observing the simple innocence of their young family. It is only when I am forced to consider the state of mine by direct comparison that I find it a bit raw. But they are lovely and I pray light and happy things will always belong to them.:)

Matt P.- Actually, I hate having to write these pieces. I hate having to live them. But when the walls begin to crash down, it seems my recourse to sanity and strength comes in writing out whatever it is I am faced with at the moment. Unfortunately, these moments come with unnerving frequency lately. I apologize for that.
Your writing is wonderful. Your story is so sad....
Listening. Hearing. Wishing I could do more.
susan, you're as brave as can be, and kind and good.
neighbors will know and love you because of who you are and all that goes with you.
I read your posts on this subject with horrendous chills. I'm bracing myself for my own daughter's arrest. I don't quite feel the pain that you do yet, but I'm sure it's coming. It's like watching a huge boulder falling on you and you're helpless to move out of the way.
Susan, please don't ever apologize for anything that you write on this subject. Your ability to write about it, and sharing it here, is one of the most humanizing things there is.

Your being "confined by love" is both unalterably true and unbearably heartbreaking. I don't know who it was who said that a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child, but I have never doubted it for a moment.
Brie- I think of it as 'momentarily sad' but that a happy ending is still within reasonable expectation:)

anna1liese- You are here, my friend. That is more than enough:)

dianaani-Bless you! This all happened yesterday morning, so when I read that elegant and gracious post you wrote about our art exchange and saw the face of my lovely Rita smiling back at me, it took me out of a stony, black hole and reminded me how precious friendships truly are. I am so grateful:)

Conrad C.- I pray it does not come to that for you or for her. If it were only easier to get the kind of help these lost but lovely kids of ours need. So much of it is woefully inadequate only you don't find that out until it becomes obvious just how deeply it failed. In Griffin's case, it came too late, but there is ALWAYS the hope that whatever pain is present to him today, he will embrace and learn from. We can only put this behind us if he can. It is a vulnerable spot to be in for sure. My heart is with you.

Jeanette D.- That is so eloquently stated, and the truth of it has been realized within me in spades! Writing is both cathartic and often the surest tether I can find to peace, or at the very least, stability. I just regret that this same theme keeps spilling out in all it variations. I would love to write about more uplifting subjects and try to in between assaults by reality. Thank you for your beautiful words.
We are the sounding boards..so no apologies necessary. I raised 2 boys..one lots of problems, (not drug or alcohol related) one did alot better getting thru those ruff years. The one with problems? I did not take anyone elses advice..you, within yourself, know what he needs..and alll you can do is what you think is right and continue loving him, even when he is unloveable. I stuck with my faith and loved him..we do not get a trial run at parenting, we all make mistakes. Going outside of your family (other than to a professional) is a huge mistake! If I had taken the advice given me by well-wishers, he would be in jail. And he tells me, to this day, our love is what got him through, he was depressed, bullied terribly and acted his anger out for years..6 yrs ago met a girl on line with 2 kids(now my grandsons, Nicolas and Noah) fell in love, lived in Ariz for awhile with her then had Shelby my 2 yr old gd..in all of this and the love, he changed. They joined Army, all now live in Korea(I love my SKYPE, and wrote a story with pics if you want to check it out).They are now expecting Aiden, their son who is now 5 days overdue and he just became specialist and is leader of his platoon.. I tell you this because love will win out..do not give up. I cant even imagine how hard it is for you with your given circumstances..here's wishing you the best.
I am sorry you have had to endure this, too. I know how your heart is breaking for your son, and this just adds to it. You did not go wrong. You love your son, warts and all. He is human and we all have some fraility, his is just obvious. As for your neighbors, no one should judge until they have walked in your shoes! Your painting is hauntingly beautiful, and I know that it helps you get through this rough time! R
Susan, you know how I feel and I can't imagine the pain and embarrassment - and your bravery and eloquence in the face of it. Allow me to also emphasize and endorse every word of Shawn Pavey's comment.
Cindy P.- Thank you for telling me these things. You know, several years ago I had to take my car in for repairs and met another gentlemen in the waiting room. We began a three-hour conversation wherein he told me all about the life of his troubled son. I mean, three hours worth! My son, Griffin, was just beginning to spiral out of control and exhibiting the same behavior. But the bottom line was that this man's son found his way back to whole. He married, had children and ran a construction company. The cautionary advice was that this did not occur until this young man was in his mid-thirties. In other words, time is necessary along with experience. I can't tell you how many times a day I recall that conversation. It keeps hope alive in my soul! Now I shall also remember your own story. Thank you so much for sharing it with me, Cindy. Honestly.
libmomrn- I don't imagine there are many of us parents who do not sometimes question are value as such. Griffin's circumstances simply cause me to question it more often and earnestly. Thank you so much for reminding me that I am not alone and that these misgivings are often unnecessary and wrong.:)

Cranky Cuss- The salvation for me in surviving these occasional brushes with the darker side of reality is the outlet I have for expressing them. And the more effectively I can do that, the less I feel that it is all in vain. A greater purpose will come of it all and benefit everyone in the end. I know you know.....
I found this so sad. I'm sad that you are haunted with the meloncholy reveries, motherly guilt, and the ignorance of the authority we are supposed to trust.
There were so many lines that struck too close to home for me:
"They are a window to a past I hold onto with fierce but weary pride. "
"It was a past that perhaps held the best of me and of what my life could ever be."
"...I am necessarily confronted by the realization that although my early walk through motherhood began with the same sure-footed and deep nurturing; that I sang to my children the same mild lullabies and blanketed the close of each day with the gentle grace of bedside prayers and soft kisses, I am sadly at this moment not able to bathe in the peace of having successfully completed that passage nor in the joy at seeing a reflection of those years in the young family next door."
Last, but not least: "He is confined by law.

I am, by love."

I am so looking forward to meeting you tomorrow!
Patricia K.- Oh I am, too! And tomorrow our conversation will be bright and colorful! It will be a lovely day! See you there, Patricia!
Bonnie- It might just be easier to move! :) After myriad's comment about Portugal, that sounds like a reasonable destination:)) Thanks for the advice, though!
Tenderly woven through your love and pain.
""He is confined by law.
I am, by love."
I really admire your courage. ~R
to make a crass comparison, it's kinda like a president and the economy: parents don't get to claim all the credit when it's good, nor should they get all the blame when it's bad. anyone with a kid knows how you feel; it's all a question of degree. really excellent writing, a deserved EP. and the art piece is simply brilliant.
Sad and strong. Tremendous writing.
Fusuna- I am thinking it is not so much 'courage' as instinct, but support like yours certainly makes me feel very brave and hopeful:)

femme forte- Well said and a wonderful reminder on all counts!

Scylla- There is pain and there is its adversary, fortitude. I know you are well acquainted with both. Thank you for reading this.
I am awestruck by your calm.
Linnn- I suppose my other option would be hysteria, but that's just not my style. I am a pacifist and a hopeful person at heart:) At least on most subjects and life events!
"I am confined by love." I will never forget that line. It is the mantra of the mother. I'm sorry this happened, Susan, but there is no reason for shame. This was meant to be on the cover and I am glad it is.~r
Joan H.- Thanks so much, Joanie. It was a bad day altogether, but today is much better! The sun is out, and I'm moving forward:) You bring even more light to the day, dear friend!
What a wonderful explanation of parenthood and I'm going to use the phrase, "purposely downwind of intimate". It sounds so Texan. I'm constantly impressed....
Marty's H.- Insight can come from the darndest places, as you well know. I'm glad I appealed to the Texan in you:)
Oh Susan, many of us here seem to have been held hostage at some point by sons making poor choices. We get it, I get it. After another police car left here last week, I couldn't stop thinking about how I have become one of 'those' people... well, yes and no, right? Best to you.
I'm sorry this happened to you.. I wish people would understand that drug addiction happens, in families with bad parenting and in good families in spite of good parenting, to blame your self would be like blaming the sky for being blue... we cannot make choices for our children they make their own..prescription drug addiction can happen to good people who get injured and are prescribed too much medication and medications that are too strong.. I know this happens because it happened to my father.. me thinks we all worry too much about what the neighbors think when in actuality you might be surprised to find bigger scarier skeletons in the house next door.
I have no words.
But you are in my thoughts.
There is a common statement about most of us being one "event" from homelssness or at least financial trouble. I feel I am one event from this story. I can only hope that I will be as poised and elegant about it as you if that shoe should drop.

I would like to suggest that perhaps having our stories out in the open with the neighbors is a good, rather than an embarrassing thing. This sort of thing happens, to all kinds of kids, to all kinds of parents. All it takes are a few bad choices rooted in some labryrithian twist of the brain we can't begin to understand. It used to be that families would hide their "crazy" folks, their gay sons, their pregnant daughters. Maybe if we bring them all out of the closet there can be an increase in compassion and support, rather than an increase in whispered scoldings behind the hedges. I have hope that your neighbors are those that would offer the support you need and deserve.
mypsyche- Oh geez..... I'm sorry to hear that, but this is when I realize we need to take ourselves off the hook a bit more readily than we do because I know that you work like anything to make your world and your family safe, sane and alright. But we can't choose for our kids and just by virtue of the fact that those kids belong to us, so do we inherit the emotional ramifications of their choices. Thank goodness we have one another to buoy us up. I'm with you, too:)
white and black- I think you are right about tolerance and compassion. Most people are willing to give it when they can understand why. Our neighbors are terrific people. I am sure they will continue to outwardly be kind to us because we've given them no reason not to be. But their children are babies, and I do recall myself as a young mom seeing wayward teens for instance and believing that it would never happen to MY kids because I wouldn't let it! Thinking back on that kind of immature hubris embarrasses me. I no longer judge others (to the best of my ability). Compassion is much lighter.
Vanessa S.- No words are required. You are here with your lovely, smiling avatar! That is quite enough:)
kh3333- I hope not, but if you are, it is not the end of the world. Just an adjustment to a different experience of it. And you are so right about disclosure. It helps in the long run. I just try to keep the dirtiest aspects from too much exposure lest stories begin circulating that cause further damage to my son on a local level. But healing begins with honesty and exposure. Thank goodness there are places like OS from which to comfort and heal.
Beautifully written with your whole heart. A good friend of mine has a son in Folsom. The petty mean beaucratic stuff, from visiting day to lack of information if prisoner is sick, is so inhumane. I know she feels the same as you. I'm going to send her your story. It will help her.
Janice W- Please do share this story. I know it helped me enormously reaching out and learning that I am not alone in dealing with this unusual circumstance. The whole purpose of writing about it, aside from a personal purging, is to reach others who face similar darkness. Thank you.:)
Your writing and your art are beautiful, but I am so sorry you are dealing with this.
Thanks, Sweetfeet! I was sorry, too, yesterday. Today I am reminded that there is a reason for everything and a way to redeem even the most inexorable grief or shame and transform it. People like you enlighten me to this. :)
The adrenaline junkies were denied their fix and couldn't blame anyone but themselves. At least you weren't shot and killed by their bungling incompetence.
Susan, I'm so sorry. As others have said, however, its no reflection on you. We raise our kids the best we can. They make their own decisions. We can all see and feel the deep, deep love you have for your son.
Fine writing. Tight. Complete.

I'll not address the ridiculousness of the situations you've been forcibly put in and just say kudos to your solid writing.
The police are far worse where I come from.
Fred- No, no gunfire was exchanged. Although I did consider letting the dogs out!

trilogy- Most days I agree with you, too. It seems mainly when life triggers the dark reality that I question my worth. But I'm good today. The best I can be/feel under the weight of this ridiculous plight:)

Beth M.- Thanks, Beth! I really appreciate that:) Writing is my sanity and balm, so its good to know I can sometimes do it well!

Gabby A.- I wanna leave my pj's on all day:) You know what I mean...
Ahmed A.- I don't doubt that for one minute. I should count my blessings. Thank you for that reminder:)
They keep coming back for the same reason.
This cannot be just an accident.
It's deliberate harassment.
"purposely downwind of intimate" -- you have a wonderful way with words. So few words -- say so much. I am so sorry for your experience.
What a beautiful, artful piece. Thank you for writing it, although I'm so sorry that you are having to experience it. My son is in jail awaiting transfer to prison, so I know the incredible heartache, along with the inevitable hope (that this will be the magic bullet) that you are experiencing. You've written of it so well and reading your words has helped me this morning.
God bless you and your son, Susan.
I know you speak to knowing those cars outside so well. but that does not mean that you do not feel the pain from it.
I hope that at some point the sun shines brighter for you.
Cindy R.- Ah, you work it out of your system through tears and words and move on. And I learn much about valiance from you, my friend.

XJS- Outwardly it would appear like some sort of harassment, but there would be no purpose if it were. My husband and I have nothing to do with it, have never been in trouble with the law nor have our other kids. I think it is more a question of poor communication and bad management. I'm sure they don't like wasting their time anymore than we like having them repeatedly turn up here. At least this is what I choose to believe.

Laura L.- Thank you for your words. Honestly, the only truly bad experience is the one you don't learn from or convert to something of benefit. It'll be okay.

Unbreakable- Then you know. I am so sorry you are also feeling the blows from the underbelly of maternal love. We need to talk.

JD- The sun is shining right now and you just made it even brighter:)
I started reading enraged at the cops. Then my feelings turned to you. I'd say I can't begin to imagine your pain, except that you've done a good job conveying it here. I wish I could offer you something - solace, anything. Well, here's a shot. If an artist needs lemons to make lemonade, you've been given an orchard. And this is some (bitter)sweet stuff you've made here.
Luminous M.- Thank you! The way things are going, I'm going to have to open a lemonade stand! For artistic angst:)
You are an extraordinarily brave woman and a very fine writer. Love to you and your son.
ladyslipper- I don't know how brave I am, but I'll gladly suck up the compliment about my writing:) Thank you!
"Outwardly it would appear like some sort of harassment, but there would be no purpose if it were. "
Susan, many times the cops do not need a reason a reasonable and decent human being like you would understand.
The average sort of type of person who seeks out a job in LE and especially as a cop are devious and have personal axes to grind such as being a coward who might have been bullied in school or elsewhere, etc.
Over the years, from the things I've seen and read about them doing to humans, I both mistrust and have no respect for most of them.
Yes, there are some "good" ones butt, they quickly get the "message" from the others about how it works.
I have no criminal record, own a business and home and, due to my distrust of them, I am refered to as a "cop hater".
In truth, I hate what they do to people like you and how they act.
I guess all you can grasp is, "this too shall pass".
XJS- I totally appreciate where you're coming from. Believe me, I have seen both sides of the police, the good and the bad; and I guess for me it has come down to feeling about them as I feel about good and bad in general.
It only takes a minority of bad to obscure a majority of good because the bad is usually much louder and gets more play. Some cops have mistreated us. They came into our home with preconceived notions and acted horribly towards us. Most of the time I could dissuade them from that behavior by being nice. Once they realized I was not the 'enemy', they were gracious.

There will always be some who are mean and arrogant no matter what you do or say. I found this to be most true in the small, country jails where they resent 'outsiders'. But they are likely idiots in their free time as well, so being decent to them won't change their attitude and being obnoxious to them will only give them a reason to be more hostile towards me.

My philosophy is always that if there is a chance to bring out the best in someone else by displaying the best in myself, then I'm going to try that first. Stupidity and evil will be its own undoing in the end.

Besides all that, I don't want to make more trouble for my son than he's already made for himself. I'm sure you understand, but thank you for sharing your opinion with me. :)
"I don't want to make more trouble for my son than he's already made for himself. I'm sure you understand,"

That, I understand completely, Mom
My neighbors used to tease me about the crank whores that came out of my son't 5th wheel in the early morning. Yes the cops nothing like them knocking, more like banging on your door. I understand every word and as always you say it so well.
Expressive. Sorrow. Heartbroken. These words came into my mind while reading.
Susan, from what I've read, no one thinks you did something wrong or were a bad parent, and no one believes that you deserve this. And your son doesn't deserve prison as much as he deserves actual help and healing. By apologizing for topic you are are acting from the notion that this is your fault - that no one and nothing else is involved. While sensetive, good humans are eaten up by and obsessing over "their fault" bullies running our judicial and other civil systems have no one tagging and holding them accountable. That part is not your job. Mercifully we have Bonnie and Lawless Lawyer and many other capable, hearty souls for that. But please, stand by you at least half as much as you stand by your son. Love you with your frailties and imperfections as you do your son, and act on and speak from that. No matter what, you deserve respect. In a very black and white world I know we don't see mature behaviour modeled often, but being proud of yourself and loving yourself even with full ownership of your transgressions, well, that's Maya Angelou, isn't it? I see that in you, too. Don't apologize - own knowing full well that God's grace is with you and your son and others like you even if the people of the world can't see that - yet.