The right thing to do

I’m so tired. I want to go back to the days when I was young enough to know everything – when everything was right or wrong and there were no blurred lines. There was nothing that didn’t fit into one box or another. It was so easy knowing it all, or to put it more accurately, being in a state of blissful ignorance.

My son has been on the run for just under a week, sleeping rough and hiding from the police. On Monday he was jumped by C.I.D. In the High Street, but somehow managed to convince them that they’d made a mistake, and he was Mark, my grandson. That’s how persuasive he is.

Paul said he would give himself up on Monday, but but when Monday came there was something he had to do, so he decided to defer his arrest until yesterday, which was Tuesday. But yesterday the thing that had to be done didn’t happen, so he convinced himself he’d give himself up today. I knew he wouldn’t have the courage – he’s just keep putting it off until he was either arrested or accidentally killed himself.

A couple of days ago he jumped/fell in the river Taw and had a lot of trouble wading out of the notoriously sticky mud. It was the second time it had happened in a few days, and it frightened him.He turned up last night because he was hungry – he was in a bad way, covered in cuts and bruises from running and hiding. Every day of freedom was putting him in more danger, physically and mentally, so I let him stay the night. I wanted him to have a decent sleep before I sent for the police to pick him up.

Yes, that’s right – I shopped him to the police. They’ve been searching for him in every nook and cranny since last Friday, and yet it took them three hours to arrive at my home this morning. I rang them, and after waiting an interminable time for them I called them back and gave them a telling-off. I told them he may wake up and leave at any moment, but they took a further hour to arrive.

Have you ever waited in a one-bedroom flat for the police to come and take your son back to prison? Have you ever tried to shut yourself in your bedroom for that length of time; feeling guilty, your stomach churning; unable to even read a book, because the words don’t make sense; waiting for the moment when you have to go into the living room and wake your son to tell him the police are in your hall, and they’re going to take him away?

As of this morning, I have, and I hope I never need to do it again, but I’m pretty sure it was the right thing to do.

©Jane Paterson Basil


36 thoughts on “The right thing to do

  1. Jane, I’m guessing it feels a lot like waiting for someone who isn’t supposed to live through surgery… How long will Paul be in this time? You’re a hell of a woman. You have my greatest respect. Be at peace now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It should be thirteen weeks, but I’m worried his probation officer may appeal, and he could be out in 28 days. I hope not.
      I need to get out of this flat for a few hours, but I’m not sure if I can…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I have a voluntary job at Oxfam – I go on Thursdays. I do an excellent job, because I know my stuff, and my friend Karen – the manager – stops me from falling apart.
          So no, I don’t work. It takes all the strength I have to fight my battles.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You might have problems accepting this today, but you absolutely did the right thing to ring the police. Paul needed to be somewhere he couldn’t do himself anymore harm. I’ve not been in that situation, but I know that anxious feeling from when my dad was dying and I’m so, so sorry you’ve had to go through it. You’ve done all you can for Paul – you’ve consistently done the right thing by him, really you have. Hugs to you, Jane and I hope your girls are looking after you well XXX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the fourth time he’ll have been to prison for one offense, and I’ve been with him at three of his arrests. I’m handing the torch to his girlfriend now.
      The girls are being wonderful, as always. I have a lot in my life to be grateful for 🙂 xxx 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can imagine how painful it is for you to do such a thing, I can relate because my mother needed to go through the same with my brother back then. I admire you for being strong and a good mother. Hope everything will be alright for your son. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

            1. It’s hard to stop yourself from having regrets about the past. I go to Families Anonymous, a support group for the families of addicts, and that helps me.
              All you can do now is take the best possible care of your own beautiful children – and I can tell you’re doing that. They are the future.
              When I look at my son all I see is a stranger. I watch my daughter Laura (also an addict) struggling to be free of the monster that possesses her. It’s heartbreaking, but I have two wonderful older daughters and five lovely grandsons, and that’s a consolation.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Jane, most parents if not all did better than their best to instill good manners, however, we now live in a more cruel world where environment greatly influence us all especially children. Looking at my brother and at how he became I cannot really say that my parents failed to do their job though maybe at some point they have shortcomings and are partly blamed. I must admit, parenting is the toughest job.Thank you for your kind words and hopefully everything will turn out well with your family. My prayers are with you.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I agree – it’s a complicated world with many difficult choices, and many evil influences. I’m sure your parents did all that they could – sometimes we are unable to prevent bad things from happening. Our children make their own choices, often regardless of good teaching. Thank you for your kind words and your prayers.

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a rough call, but, like many others here, I think it was the right thing to do. I have some family that’s gotten in trouble… it’s not only a learning experience for him, but better for you as well. You deserve at least a little time for peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry that you’ve had troubles like this in your family – the world seems to have gone mad.
      Thank you for your support – there was a time when I wouldn’t have dared post something like that for fear that people would consider me a disloyal mother, but my readers are more intelligent than that x


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