Part II: He’s Under House Arrest, and I’m the Warden

I never expected to find myself in law enforcement

Susan McCorkindale
4 min readSep 10, 2023


Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

When I arrive in Virginia, it’s freezing. It doesn’t matter what I put on, I can’t get warm. Rob and I have lived in Florida a little more than a year, and somehow I’ve already managed to forget how warm April in Virginia isn’t. I’ve packed utterly and completely incorrectly. Linen pants, shorts, open-toed flats, a few tee shirts and one pair of jeans which I live in and complement with a sweater I stole from my son.

Hey, if you don’t want your mom taking your things, don’t do stupid stuff. At least that’s my feeling.

I have a lot of feelings.

Anger, for one.

Anger at my son for getting himself into this situation. At God for my kid’s lifetime of abject loneliness that led to this situation. At the first attorney I hired for not doing more to get him a bond hearing in under two weeks. At myself for hoping against hope that my son would do well living on his own so that I could get on with the rest of my life.

Fear, for another.

Fear that my son will go to prison. Fear that I’ll go broke trying to keep him out of prison. Ten thousand to the first attorney. One hundred thousand to the new attorneys. Twenty-five thousand in taxes that had to be paid when I took the hundred grand out of my retirement account. A thousand plus bucks a month on the therapy he’s required to have weekly. To say nothing of what I’m spending on groceries.

Silly, right? To throw groceries into the equation? But it’s the truth. He has nothing else to do all day but sleep — and when he’s not sleeping, he’s eating. In fact, the other day my Truist app greeted me with, “Susan, you’ve spent more on groceries in the past 60 days than you have in your entire life!” If that thing ever greets me with what I’ve spent on wine, I’ll be off to Betty Ford.

Who am I kidding? I can’t go to Betty Ford. I can’t go anywhere. My son is under house arrest and I’m the warden.

As angry and frightened as I am, as much as I ache from missing Rob and have begun to think my life with him in the warmth and sunshine was just a…