Friday, March 27, 2009

The greatest defense is a strong offense - this isn't over yet

B came home, last night. He was gone for less than two hours. He said he went to a meeting, and he seemed "up". I didn't sense anything suspicious, as far as how he was looking or behaving. Then again, I'm no a mind reader nor an expert in addiction behavior.

What I am is a mother who loves her son. That's in my wiring. Being the mother of an addict, becomes a double edged sword. This is where I feel a tug-of-war between my heartfelt love for him, and my hatred for drugs and cigarettes.

I tossed and turned, throughout the night. It didn't help that I've been sick for a few days. Plus, I've been stressed at work. I have my own personal issues that I'm trying to deal with-- the way that God wants me to. Now, I'm feeling familiar instincts that my son is hiding something.

This morning, I called in sick and showered and got dressed. I woke B up, because he needs a ride to work. He seemed in good spirits. I had rehearsed a conversation in my head to him and I tried to consolidate it into a 2-3 minute window. I have learned that lectures just don't work-- if my tone sounds condescending, I'll lose him. So, I began to speak to B while driving in the car. Unfortunately things went awry-- within 30 seconds of my telling him what was on my mind, he became defensive and hurtful towards me. Hold that thought--

Let's back up to B's return to home base, last night. B apologized to me for lying about something (I'm not ready to share this yet). He says he hates it when he feels that I can't trust me.

Hmmmm, you're an addict. You've lied to me with a poker face. Why should I trust you?
(My thoughts, never spoken).

I explained to him that integrity is something that is priceless and it's something that I strive to maintain-- and a character trait that I hope people are speaking, in a positive way, about me. B said he didn't full understand what the definition of integrity meant.

Simplified, I told him it means that someone can trust whatever promises or answers that come out of your mouth is spoke in sincerity and truth. It means that when someone with integrity (like my husband) tells me he's going to do something, I know it's going to happen.

I told him, that our relationship isn't much different than a marriage that has had been damaged, because one partner has been unfaithful. He looked puzzled, and I explained about infidelity. I told him that it can take years-- if at all-- for the innocent party to feel they can trust someone who has been unfaithful.

I don't think he fully graped it. B thinks that "I'm sorry" should wipe the slate clean and fill my trust account back to square one. This is not like apologizing for forgetting to give me a phone message.... or leaving a door unlocked. B doesn't seem to grasp that collateral damage that he's left me with, because of his drug addiction.

He doesn't fully understand how many excuses and explanations he's given me, when I've suspected illegal activity with drugs. Later on, I would find out that I was right. He'd say "I'm sorry". Somehow, that isn't enough. His crying wolf is making it harder for me to believe what he says.

For the last few weeks, I have seen all the positive improvements in my son. It gave me such hope. Yesterday, I had this overwhelming sense that my son is carrying dark secrets. Have I been in denial?

When B returned home, last night, I went into his bedroom. I shut the door, and told him that I needed to review the terms of his living with us again. I told B that, while he was gone, I told my husband that B admitted he's been smoking weed. I told him that I suspect something isn't right, and I told him that B says he owes money to a cash advance place. I also showed my husband B's drug test, showing he was clean for opiates and dirty for THC. "C" said that he suspected that B was smoking weed. "C" is sick, like me, so I'm sure we have more to talk about, when he is feeling better.

I reminded my son that we live in a drug free house. I told him that he was "out" if he tests positive for opiates. I reminded him, that he has three weeks to clear the THC from his drug tests. I also reminded him that if I find any kind of drug paraphernalia-- foil, straws or weed/hash, then he was out.

B needs to realize that he's screwed if I throw him out. He has no car, no cellphone (he lost it), no money and his father doesn't live in the state anymore (and he won't take him in).

He listened, and agreed. I also said that on Saturday, we were going to sit down and figure out what debts he has. All of them. He has to agree to no longer cash his paychecks where he works. Either "C" or I will take him to the bank. I get the paycheck stub and he has to account for where his money goes. He agreed.

Let's go back to this morning-- B was not so agreeable. This is a huge red flag, with blinking lights and alarms, to me. B has deep dark secrets.

So he became offensive with me. He interrupted me, and began to say things like "my dad says that you are like (fill in the blanks)... you always (fill in the blanks).

FLASHBACK to seven years ago--

I was in a relationship with a man, that lasted for about 2 years. I wish I could erase this chapter in my life. Suffice it to say that this man charmed me, via my son. He became that surrogate "male role model" at a time when B's father wasn't very involved in B's life. He was a man who paid attention to me, when I was starved for affection.

It took a while for me to finally piece together that this man was an alcoholic and a drug addict. Naive me-- I couldn't figure out why cash came up missing from my wallet. Or why he was broke all the time. Or why I'd get this "icky" feeling about him...and I felt creeped out. His behavior was so different...almost like a stranger to me. Stupid me-- he was loaded. It took me a year to figure it all out. I'm going to stop dredging up those painful memories.

My whole point is, that when this... person (choking back anger and pain) felt my coming closer to discovering his dirty little secrets, he would turn on me and say hurtful things to me-- things like I have an anger management problem, I'm crazy, it's my fault.

In looking back, I now see that this is a familiar tactic that most addicts use. When the sober person (me, who is not an alcoholic nor drug addict...never have been) has exposed the addicts lies, they don't like it. They attack where it hurts. Sometimes, I was naive enough to fall for that trap and I'd defend myself. Now I know better... uh-uh, you're not going to take the spotlight off yourself by making ME the villain! No more!

My anger management problem stemmed from knowing I was being lied to. This man, I later found out, had four ex-wives. I also found out that he had warrants out for his arrest. He was driving MY car on a California ID card, because his license was revoked. That's just the tip of the iceberg. He's out of my life, now. I'm trying to forgive him, because it's what the bible tells me to do. I struggle with closure on that relationship, because he never apologized to me or admitted what he'd done to me. He left me financially broke-- but guess what? I am now debt-free!

That was a rabbit trail, I know. My point is, that my son underestimates my very sane and rational way of thinking that I acquired, after this chapter in my life. I'm not stupid. He is becoming, I think, a little too complacent in my love for him.

I cannot bear that thought that I will have to throw my son out. I pray that will not happen.
But, today, I'm feeling that my son needs to come clean with me. I offered to set him up with two pastors, that he knows-- two men who are youth pastors... wonderful pastors. I told B that if he had secrets to unload, and he wanted to talk to someone he can trust-- then I would arrange that for him.

One more thing-- last night, I told my son how much I want him to come to church with us. He said he couldn't because he felt "ashamed" and "unworthy" of God's love.

I reminded him that none of us are worthy of God's mercy. We are all sinners. I'm a liar, too. While I strive to be honest, I cannot say that I have never lied. I doubt anyone can make that claim.

B admitted to me that he doesn't know how to pray to God-- how to ask God for forgiveness. He held out his hands and asked me to pray with him.

I prayed that wonderful, healing prayer for forgiveness-- the one where we admit that we are sinners... where we thank God for sending his only begotten son...our Lord and Savior, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. I prayed that the blood of Jesus would wash us clean...and that B would tell God he wants to rededicate his heart to follow him. B repeated those lines after me.

I'm weeping as I'm writing this paragraph. The last time that I led someone in this prayer, was with my mother-- while she was dying, in her bed. One week later, I watched her pass on to heaven.

That prayer gives me comfort, that I know where my mother is. I pray that my son truly meant those words.

I'm dedicating and giving all of today's blog to God--

Lord, I relinquish my worries and fears to you, Lord. NOTHING is impossible for you. This is in your hands. I pray that you will fill my son with the power of your Holy Spirit...that you will convict my son's heart to know that you love him....and that your perfect light will expose the darkness that is trying to overtake my son's soul.

I will wait upon the Lord.

RIGHT BEFORE I WAS GOING TO HIT "PUBLISH NOW" the phone rang. It was "B". He sounds.... humbled? He asked if I could meet him for lunch. He wants to talk to me.

Here we go...

1 comment:

mother of drug addict said...

From a mom who is living this too, my advice is to trust your gut feelings. And maybe remind him that "weed" is still a drug. I wish you all the best. Stay strong. Kids can smell weakness and will pounce when you least expect it.