Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My "Soul Talk" to me-- the mother of a drug addict

I am not happy with myself. That is not to say that I'm not happy. I've had to talk a hard look at myself and I had a conversation with my soul-- that inner person that lives inside my heart...my thoughts... my "being".

I miss my fun-loving self. I realize that I've become a recluse, at home. I'm so starved for my quiet time-- "me time" that I have become territorial when anyone distubes my sanctuary...my home. Consequently, I find myself lacking patience with my son. I tune out his chatting to me by becoming fixated on my lap top.

I'm busy. I'm trying to solve a problem (uploading or editing a picture).

What has happened?

I think that the root of my problem is that my son's addiction has taken over my life. For most of last year, I spent months agonizing about my son's sobriety. I had to battle my motherly tendency to NOT enable my son.

I have learned to hate the word co-dependence. I've read books on it, but my son has used that label to push my buttons... "mom, you're a co-dependent".

That's it! My son has learned how to push my buttons. I have a lot of them--


My son seems to have found where they are, and he knows how to push them.

I was looking at photos of my son, that are hanging in my hallway. I still see that precious beautiful boy. I realize that I am collapsing around feelings of dsappointment for how my highest hopes for my son didn't happen.

Who knew that my precious boy would start smoking weed in middle school? Sadly, I missed all of the signs. This morning I was remembering a time when I found a box of baggies. I remember asking my son while they were in his car... I cannot remember his excuse. Little did I know, until my son recently told me, that he was dealing weed and (according to him) making a lot of money.

I remember noticing his collectin of video games... new (and expensive) shoes, that I could not afford... new clothes-- and being told that his dad bought them. Little did I know that drugs paid for these.

I've tried not to blog much about the stories my son has admitted to me-- about the supposed tens of thousands (he claims $100,000) he's made dealing drugs, over the years. My son was telling me this recently, and I asked him -- "where is it? what have you got to show for it?"

He paused. "Up my nose".

Sad. So sad.

My hopes and dreams for my son was that we would be close. I never had that with my parents. At times, I feel we are close. Recently, I feel we are not on the same page.

I have stopped asking him to come to church with me. I can't make him.
I have listened to him say hurtful things like I'm "too religious" and his friends don't like talking to me, because they feel that I preach.

That's a button my son loves to hit-- INSECURITIES. Most times, what he says isn't true, or he has exaggerated it. Still, it makes me cry-- alone. I don't show it, but it hurts very deeply.

I feel as though my JOY button is broken. I've become so serious, arouind my son. He says I'm grumpy....testy... bitchy. I probably am.

I have deep-seeded anger towards where my son's life has been. He has a long way to go.
Already, he lost his new phone. It's been less than a week. He got it back, but he had to back-track to where he left it.

He's overdrawn. Again. His check to the IRS bounced. Why? Because he's taking money out with his ATM from places, other than his bank. It's not for drugs... $10.00 here and there.

There goes my HIGH EXPECTATIONS button. I have tried, every way that I can, to teach him how to manage his money.

Let my son makes his own mistakes. Let my son learn from his mistakes.

Yes, I know. But my JUDGMENTAL button gets pushed and I become really irritated with his lack of responsibility.

I know that what I need to do is to let go of what I have no control over. As a God loving, Jesus Believing Christian... I know that I need to lay all of this at the foot of the cross. I know that God has a plan. I know that God feels my pain. I know that nothing is impossible for God to do.

Yet, somehow, my soul feels weak and I want my joy back.

I love my son and I know that he needs to live with us to learn life skills. But for how long?

Will he ever learn?

Then, there is still my fear of his addiction calling him back.

I try to keep a positive attitude. But, I think I'm heading into a meltdown.

I haven't been blogging on a regular basis. I need to do that, more.

It feels good to unload what I've carried for too long.

I have to get back to work. I'm sitting in the library of the high school where I work. This is where I come to blog-- not from my desk, during work hours.

I am tuning out dozens of high school kids who are acting plain silly. That's just how they are-- despite their beards and muscular legs. My son still acts like he's in high school.

More later....

I'm still trying to sort out my feelings. My soul is feeling tested right now.

I have run out of time to proof read or edit...so here is my entry, in the raw.
(Yeah, I'm a perfectionist... it comes from insecurities and a mother who was just like I'm starting to become. God help us all.)



Dad and Mom said...

Not long a go I had a long inner discussion with myself. I was unhappy with "my lot in life". this wasn't what I pictured this wasn't what I wanted and I didn't like it.

My soul searching went on for a long time and I became angry, I was frustrated and I wanted "out". None of those options would satify me or solve any problems.

After lots of lots of thought my resolution came down to 2 phrases:

I am aware

I must change

I didn't put aside all of the emotions of a father but I remebered I can only really change myself and maybe have a small influence on the conditions that would allow someone else to change, if they wanted too.

I don't know if it helps you but for me it works. I remind myself regularly that I am aware and I must change.

Gloria said...

I’ve had similar problems with my son. Who did take drugs at one point, and drank a lot, but has since cleaned up. Thank God. We set up some systems that would keep him out of trouble with losing things, overdrawing his bank account, and so on. First, he only takes cash out of his ATM – and has to do it from an ATM for that bank, not an ATM at a store or another bank, so he doesn’t incur any additional charges that wind up overdrawing the account – even when he’s doing his best to watch his money, those little, often unseen, charges can add up. Not to mention the overdraft fees. So, when he’s out of cash, he’s out of money. And he knows it. He also used a non-bank debit card for a while – you put cash on it and use it like any other debit card, but you can’t get overdrawn. I think they’ll let it get up to $8.00 more than you have, or something like that, and there are no charges even then. You just have to put more money on the card before it can be used. To put more money on the card you have to go to the location and give them cash (unless you get your pay check automatically deposited there.) I got one from a check cashing place. Re the phone, get a case that attaches to his belt. Eventually he’ll get used to putting it back in the case.

It can take a long time to get your head straight again once you’ve stopped taking drugs. Especially when you started as a teen and didn’t really have your head on straight to begin with – i.e. didn’t yet have a lot of life skills, were somewhat confused about who you are, and so on. Did you know that one night of binge-drinking (for a guy that’s 5 drinks in one sitting) impairs critical thinking for a month? You can imagine what drugs do – even if someone tests positive, it takes a long time to get yourself together. Especially, also, with opiates. They don’t destroy the brain, but it does take a while for it to get back to normal function.

I really admire how you’re handling things. It’s wonderful that you recognize that you, too, can change – not just your son. I know your son’s already been through a rehab program. I don’t know the details of it because I can’t access your very early blogs, but if you can possibly get him into a good long-term (it takes several months) residential drug treatment center you can get a lot of help to make the whole process easier. He’ll be there for a while, but they can do wonders. They get a lot more of the drugs out of the system, get them in good physical shape so their body feels good, work on life skills, and get them on a program that will help them stay sober once they leave. At the end of a program like that you could have your sparkling beautiful boy back – ready to tackle the world.

By the way, your husband sounds wonderful. Very patient with what both you and your son are going through. And he has some good points – a 20-year-old isn’t going to start acting like a 30-year-old just because he’s stopped taking drugs. But it sounds like your son is really trying and, for the most part, he’s winning the battle. That’s fantastic. Also, re cooking meals, you might put your son in charge of that a couple of nights a week. It’ll give him something creative to do as a family member. Good luck to you!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I am enthralled by your words because I relate SO MUCH! I also have a son that was (is?) addicted to heroin/OC and he started suboxone yesterday. I have a million questions for you and am going to take some time right now to go back through your blog and read more before I ask them in case the answers are there. If you would like to be invited to my private blog please let me know at barbaralegere@gmail.com