Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What does a mother do?

So, last night B called and asked if I could give him a ride to his car. His car is parked at the repair shop. He said he wanted to park it in a place where he could sleep.


In a nano second, my inner voice told me to forgo stopping at my sports center for my water aerobics class. I told him I was heading to where he was (40 minutes drive) and we would “talk”.

When I spotted him, he was without a jacket and it was cold outside.

“What happened to your jacket?”, I asked.

“Dunno. I think I lost it.”

“What happened to your things?”

“I stashed my backpack in some bushes”.

I was reminded of the book, “My Beautiful Boy”.

So this is what it’s come to? My own beautiful boy… my only son… my child that I so desperately wanted, has been wandering around in a seedy section of town, hanging out in a park where shootings are known to happen…

What would you do? Seriously. I’m asking you moms—what would you do?

I had already called my husband to tell him what to expect. He was very reluctant to help B. I understand. B isn’t his own son. He cannot love him the way that I do. He loves me, but my son is simply MY son.

My son looked sick (he still has strep throat), very tired and he was happy to be warm.

The shortened version from his is:

“C” charged my son his last $20.00 that I gave him and bought beer with it. She’s an alcoholic and (I would guess) a heroin addict, in recovery. B has been taking her to a methadone clinic while he had his car.

Sweet (sarcasm, here).

B slept on a kitchen floor, in a tiny old house with cockroaches. How “bottom” is that?

In the few times I’ve spoken with her, she talks like a woman who has been through some pretty rough patches in life. She is loud and … she sounds like some who is/has used drugs. B said that “C” flies off the handle and it was brutal staying with her.

Thank you, Jesus. Have you caused this suffering for my son’s benefit?

B went on to say how scared he was. He realized that he had no place to go. He was afraid of sleeping in the park, or under a stairwell. My son, who prefers to wear ironed Polo shirts and designer jeans and expensive shoes… he was seen just a glimpse of the kind of life that is in store for those who use drugs. Untreated addiction leads to people losing everything—possessions, family, marriages, and hope.

I brought B home and the three of us talked. I don’t know what to say. I am so shattered by what happened this weekend. I want to trust B, but I cannot.

My husband does not want B to stay with us. He’s right. Yet, there is something that makes this very hard for me—actually, two things—my son is sick with strep throat, and he’s a diabetic. B said that what scared him is that he had to panhandle yesterday. He realized that if he had a low blood sugar, he had no way to get food inside him.

But my husband is telling me that B cannot come home until he is clean. That’s what I had to tell B, right as he was falling asleep. He says that he understands.

I don’t. This is what addiction has done. It tears people’s lives apart.

Right now, B is sleeping in my car, that is parked in front of the school where I work. He had to wake up and leave with me at 6:30am. I bought him some juice, water and Starburst candies for low blood sugar. I gave him enough money for a bus pass. He plans to go to our local community college. He still wants to register for college.

His phone is dead and his charger is at “C’s”. That’s a bummer, because it’s our only lifeline to him.

As I went into my work building, B asked if he could stay in my car to fill out the school paperwork. 30 minutes later, I went to the car to check if had gone. I opened the unlocked door and his body popped up from the back seat. It scared both of us.

That’s all I have to report.

I could really use some parental wisdom here. What can I do?


Heather said...

Debby, I just stumbled across your site. I just have to leave a comment. I'm not even sure what to say except that I am touched by the level of your ongoing care and concern for your son. And that you are bold enough to put your story out there.

Anonymous said...

Debbie, my son is in the same situation. I will not throw him out in this cold. He is in a clinic, on methadone, (it was me that added a comment about methadone the other day) and they test him to make sure he is not using. I can't advise you, and I can't know for sure that I am doing the right thing, but I will not turn him away. I give him money for the clinic and feed him. His brain is beginning to heal and he is starting to procrastinate less. There is hope.

goddessdawnie said...

I am NOT a parent, so please take any suggestions from me with a grain of salt, but I can understand both your desire to help and nurture your son and your desire NOT to support his addiction. Are there any shelters near you? A shelter would allow him to sleep in a warm, supervised, safe place. I, personally, would supply him daily with food but not cash.

Sometimes you have to reach rock bottom before you can stop the freefall long enough to climb back up. I pray for you and your son.

My Daughter's Addiction said...

I feel your pain..My teen daughter is a heroin addict in recovery.

The suboxone will help him with his withdrawals and then his cravings for oxy's. If he doesn't continue to take the suboxone he will go right back to the oxy. If you could just get him to take it 3 months straight he would begin to change and start thinking more clearly about what he's doing and about his future. Don't give up on him.