Little Ones Lost – Part II


Part two is about my other son, Jude.  Jude, like his brother, is brilliant.  Unlike his brother – Jude was always very compliant.  He was my “easy” child!  Always warm, snuggly, compassionate and friendly toward everyone.  Unlike Creed, Jude had lots of friends and was very popular.  Jude was a gentle giant – he was always bigger than most of the other kids – but he never hurt a soul.  His little sister, Willow, adored him and he was her protector and her defender.

One time – we thought Jude had missed curfew.  We weren’t sure what to do, he had NEVER been punished because he had NEVER done anything wrong!  Turns out, he was sound asleep on his bed…he had been home the whole time.

In 10th grade Jude became more withdrawn and quiet.  He would start to defy us.  His grades slipped.  He started to display anger that we had never seen before.  I wrote it off to puberty and to the new school.  I was so wrong!

I picked up Jude’s back pack one morning and a funny pipe rolled out of it.  My husband knew it was for marijuana.  I confronted Jude and his response was, “Yeah – it’s mine…so what!”  I was stunned!  We immediately started home drug testing and lots of conversations.  Things got worse…much worse.

Soon he was suspended and then expelled from school.  We now know that the school knew he was using before we did!  He broke through our basement door and stole a change jar, we pressed charges.  He tested positive for drugs in the juvenile court officers office.  We attempted to have him committed.  I was very lucky, our insurance company was trying to help us – “The bill is paid…100 percent…just get him help!” was their response.

It took us three attempts to get him committed.  Finally, after he tested positive for cocaine and I had done all the leg work the judge filed the papers.  The facility we finally got him into, private pay, claimed to be a dual diagnosis facility…they weren’t.  It came out that a neighbor boy had sexually assaulted Jude when he was 6.  I had no idea!  They weren’t allowed around the kid who did it.  The facility sent him home early – they couldn’t deal with him.

Jude went into court ordered treatment and the therapist was great!  Jude didn’t want help.  He was now burning himself to feel anything.  He was using again.  My husband and I often slept with a dresser against the door to alert us if he tried to enter.  We had to padlock the door after Jude spread dirty cat litter in the bed.  He had dropped out of school.

On Dec 31, 2011 Jude threw a brick through the truck window and then went after my husband.  Jude is 6’3″ and weighs 280 – my husband is 5’11” and weighs 190.  My husband finally had to swing his fist.  Both were arrested.

Jude was sent to Juvenile Detention – he was now charged with a Class B Felony (for the earlier break-in), possession of controlled substances, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. 

Arrangements were made for Jude to go live with his father – that is what he had wanted all along.  His father is a real piece of work and spent his time with the kids telling them how mom robs him (child support) and what an evil person I am.  He had Jude convinced that I was a horrible person.

My husband, Jude’s step-father, was fined 290.00 for disorderly conduct and another 300.00 to fix his window.  He wrote a letter to the court on Jude’s behalf begging them to give Jude one more chance.  Hold the charges one more time – if Jude lives with his father, stayed clean, got a job and went back to school – the charges would disappear at age 18.  If not, then Jude would have to live with the consequences.

Jude graduated high school in May.  He completed 18 months of High School in just 5 months.  He is working in food service.  He is clean and sober.  His father is unemployed and so Jude is supporting himself and his father.  He came down to visit us in Oct, I paid for a hotel room, and he is the Jude I used to know.  He is coming back from the brink.

Jude admitted to me one day that he had plans for his Dean of Students at the school – but it would have had “heavy repercussions.”  Yes – my sweet and darling Jude almost became Adam or Eric or any one of the other kids that perpetrate school violence. 

I was blessed…or lucky.

Joan

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