Friday, May 9, 2008

One baby step forward, a giant step backwards

Addiction is a disease. I need to remind myself of that. This morning, I felt as though I have forgotten how serious my son's problem is-- and that I could be slipping back into denial.

My son's disease goes far beyond making it through detox. The physical symptoms and pain of not giving his brain the drug that it craves has passed. My heart is sad, because his disease is showing far beyond trying to resist any urges to use drugs.

My son has no idea how to survive in this world.

The reason that I say this is that he spends money faster than he can get it. He can't hold on to money. He was given his weekly stipend on Monday, and it was gone in two days. The stipend was a number that he figured out, with the help of my best friend. It was a sum of money that would pay for one tank of gas, food, and a small sum of pocket money. I found out that B called his father and told him he overdrafted his checking account. B's dad called me, sounding angry and frustrated, and saying that he could not afford to help our son-- and he asked me to call him back. (He wants me to help pay for my son's inability to manage money...and I won't.) A short while later, I found out that B's father had deposited $150.00 into B's account.

I wanted to scream!

My son is addicted to driving around in his car. He cannot help himself, because his father would give B his gas credit card and let him fill up the tank. B's father would complain to me the hundreds of dollars in gas that B would spend in a month. My response was very simple. "Don't give him the card. He needs to be inspired to get a job." Still, B's father kept bankrolling B's gas expenses and continued to pay his car insurance.

There was nothing that I could do about that. It's been hard for me to hear my son blame me for making his father pay all of his expenses, and I wouldn't help out. I can just hear B's father complaining about that to my son. I know I was doing the right thing-- because I am not an enabler. I learned that from my mother, who made me earn money for anything that I wanted. She never gave money to me.

Therein lies a huge problem that I am powerless to do anything about-- the relationship between my son and his father is so deeply codependent that I am worried sick about it. There are days that I feel angry at B's father. Yesterday, my frustration and anger hit the roof, and I ended up with an intense headache.

I don't want to blame his father, but I can't help myself. I want to disengage from this man more than anything else. I have chosen to focus on identifying my own codependent relationship with my son, and to find a way to find a healthier relationship with him. It has become apparent to me, my husband and my friends (who are helping my son) that B's father is enabling and endangering my son's chance of recovery. B's father cannot see that our son needs to suffer the consequences of his choices. B needs to find out that when he spends all of his money, he will be eating Top Ramen soup. He needs to find out, for himself, that he can't drive around because he won't have money to fill up his tank. The painful reality is that if our son chooses to start using drugs again, there is nothing we can do to prevent that. Only B can choose to have a successful recovery from his addiction to opiates.

It's so obvious!

I feel sorry for B's father. His codependent relationship with our son is lying to him. He thinks that he is helping his son by paying his debts. He doesn't want his son to ruin his credit. I don't either! But he is stunting our son's maturity and ability to learn how to survive in this world.

This morning, I am physically exhausted. At 10:00, last night, I was awakened by a phone call from B's treatment center. It was a patient who was in detox at the same time as my son. The woman was wanting to talk to him. B told me that she was re-admitted because she relapsed back into her alcohol and drug addiction. She apologized (I met her a few times before) for waking me. The phone rang once again, at midnight...then one more time at 2am. The Caller ID was from the treatment center. There went a peaceful night's sleep-- it scared the heck out of, because calls in the middle of the night are rarely good news.

What the heck is going on?

I sure need my support group meeting, tonight.

Heavenly Father-- once again, I need to remind myself that you are in control of all things. You know my worries, because you have heard many prayers being said on behalf of B. I trust you, Lord, with all my heart. Forgive me, Father, for letting my worry become greater than my trust in you.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Again, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray the Lord grant you peace. It's hard to "let go and let God" when the situation is as delicate as this. I pray for B that he not be swayed or tempted. That the Lord peels back the stifiling scales of his addiction from his eyes and heart. I pray for DH, that he has patience and supports you. Also, for EX husband, that he learn how not to enable this habit.
I hope this is a good weekend for everyone. That you all find rest and restoration.

Hope and prayer and hugs,