Monday, August 17, 2009

A Mother's Fear and "if only I had..."

The past two weeks have been a bit out of control. My job becomes a total stress fest with back to school registration. To make matters worse, we had commitments on the weekend.
That meant (God forbid) I could not be the usual "June Cleaver" mom who bakes and cooks scratch cooking for her family. Instead, I found myself picking up "bake it yourself" pizzas, foraging in the freezer for whatever I was smart enough to prepare and freeze for the nights I came home dragging my knuckles.

The dust has settled at my job, but my fear factor is still there. That is-- fear for my son.
How is B? Well, that's a million dollar question. I can't tell when he's using, most times. Sometimes, his eyes seem heavy and his mouth is dry and he won't stop talking. That's when I know he used heroin and he's coming down-- or so, that's what B says. It's been ten days since I noticed it, and he admitted he used.

Otherwise, my son has openly admitted that if he puffs "a hit of weed", he can sleep and it keeps him from using heroin.

I can already here the groans. I don't condone pot smoking! Living in California, it's legal and not too hard to get a card that allows you to buy weed at clinics. I think my son is still finding bandaids to try and stay sober.

Just last week, my son was lamenting, "if only I had an X-Box" and how it would keep his mind busy and entertained.

I reminded him that he's own three of them, and sold them all to buy drugs.

"If only I could just go to college..."

I reminded we tried that THREE times and he never finished.

"If only..."

There are times when I just want to cry and my heart aches in a way that parents of non-addicts cannot understand. Like this Friday, when I arrived home from a hellacious day at work. My son was in a great mood (he wasn't loaded, either), folding his laundry. He had tidied up around the house. The three of us sat down to dinner (which my husband and B helped to make-- BBQ burgers). We felt like a normal family, having a normal conversation about things in general.
B cleaned up the kitchen, without being asked. Later, the two of us sat in the living room and talked about pleasant things. We watched a little television together.

That's when my heart aches,, PRAYING, for a miracle. My son still knows and accepts that he has to move out at the end of the month.

That, my friends and family, rips terror into my heart. My son does not earn enough money to live on his own. My son does not have survival skills. At least, knowing that he's at home, where I know he's safe and sound I feel some comfort. Sadly, many parents of addicts say that knowing their loved one is incarcerated gives them a sense of knowing they are safe. Isn't that sad?

I wish I could complain about the typical things that 20 year old kids do-- like forgetting to lock a door, or finding dishes in the bedroom when they know eating in their bedroom isn't allowed. I wish I could just worry about mundane things, rather than worrying how my son is going to make it on his own. IF he finds a room to rent, that will leave him less than $300.00 a month to eat and pay utilities and everything else.

My husband and I are doing okay, in our marriage. At times, I just can't talk about my son and his addiction. If I do, any slight feelings of joy vanish in a nano-second. My fear factor creeps up and I just want to cry.

In the last eight months, my son has caused me so much worry and pain. His lies... finding the drug paraphanalia and all the drama that comes with addiction-- the debt, and my inability to believe anything he says. Then, there are days when my son opens up to me. He tells me things that I know are true, but they are painful to listen to. He tells me the "war stories" about drugs. It pains me to no end. I have photos of my son, hanging in various places in our house. I look at them, and wonder why my son took a different path down an evil and dark road. I pray every single day, that God would free my son of the bondage of addiction. Then again, my son isn't really trying to receive God's wisdom. B won't go to church. I can only hope that my son is praying. But, is my son listening or receiving God's answers?

I doubt it. There are days when my son blames me, or other circumstances as to why he's in debt or why he hardly has any friends. I can't begin to tell you how much that hurts me. It makes me sad to think of ANYONE yelling at my son, or parents not wanting my son anywhere near their kids. I know that it hurts my son's feelings. He tells me, so.

I can tell that B is feeling very scared about having to move out. I know that that cookie cutter answer is that my son needs to find BOTTOM and that he should be in a one year program.
I wish it was that easy! What will it takek for my son to reach bottom? Incarceration? I don't wish that on anyone. A dear friend is living that hell with her own son, and I canNOT imagine what it must be like. I don't want to know.

No matter what anyone says to me-- there are times when I want to yell "shut up and mind your own business" when they cooly and calmly say he needs to move out. That's easy for them to say! This is my son they are talking about?

I try to remind myself, and I pray to God, that my son moving out is all part of God's plan. I pray that good will come from this. I pray that my son will find a perfect place to live, that he can afford. I pray that B will learn how to manage his life.

...and then, I realize that my son has NO concept on how to manage money. He spends it as soon as he gets it. Worse, he borrows money from friends-- always paying it back-- but then he has to borrow more because he's living beyond his means.

It's a viscious cycle.

That's aall I have to say, because I need to get back to my desk.

No time to proof read again. I'm just typing and hitting SEND.

How am I? Dreading the end of the month, loving my son and praying that I will have the strength and courage to watch my son leave.

I will grieve for him. I already am.


Anonymous said...

I can't tell you what's right or wrong or what the miracle, magic wand, answer might be -- but I admire you, Debbie, for doing all you can to help him and for loving him throughout; for keeping your marraige intact; for just being you. You are an inspiration. Thank you.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Yes you are an inspiration and I can feel your grief and fear jump right off of the page. I have yet to send my son out of our home, just haven't been strong enough for it. I admire you and know exactly what you are feeling and going through. My son has no job, on probation and using, so if I tell him to leave, he has pretty much nowhere to go (no shelter in our town). I think for me, the only way I will make him go is if my husband and I can just not take it anymore, because I know sending him out would not "fix" him, only he can do it. God Bless and I will pray for B everyday as I pray for my son.

Madison said...

There are people out there who you can truly trust to give you wonderful advice. I will pray that you find them. Sometimes, they are at an Alanon meeting, sometimes at a rehab. If they have studied addiction or been an addict themselves (and have walked in recovery for years), listen to what they have to say. I learned a lot from listening, but it takes time and time is an addict's best friend. We did not stop the spiral until we were totally depleted-mentally, physically, spiritually, financially, emotionally. That's when we really started to listen to what was going to help us ALL survive. My heart goes out to you and every other parent living through this. Recovery is possible.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Hey, did I write this or did you? I can identify with ALL OF IT (except the husband part....I wish I had a husband by my side, I do have a long distance boyfriend and that helps).

This is my son too: "Sometimes, his eyes seem heavy and his mouth is dry and he won't stop talking." And the part about how he tells me the war stories I really don't want to hear.

I am so proud of you telling B he needs to move, but I also am so scared for you!!!! I am not ready to give K that same ultimatum. He's not capable of caring for himself, he has no job, nor license, no nothing....

Sadly I can also relate to the hearing from others that have no clue what's it like. I try not to get mad and defensive, but seriously they just don't get it.

I'm praying for you and B every day. I believe in miracles, I'm waiting for some!

ChaiLatte said...

Sending you hugs, Debby. I know your pain.

I would never tell anyone what to do, it's just not my personality. But, I do share that kicking our son out was the single most difficult thing I've ever done. And, it wasn't a cure all. We even regretted it, at first. It took 5 months of him being "on the streets," before he called us asking for help. I had feared that we pushed him further into his addiction by putting him on the streets. We thought a week or two and he'd be calling to come home- not so. BUT, we recently overheard him telling someone that he actually used less drugs while on the streets than when he was home. That single statement made me wish we had done it sooner.
He now has 51 days sober and is doing wonderfully.

I tell you this Debby, in support. I know the anguish you are feeling. I am not judging your feelings or your decisions. Only you can do what you feel led to do. Just remember that God is with B no matter where he is.

I will keep praying for all of you.

Anonymous said...

He may not have any idea what it's like to manage money , live on his own and be responsible but that doesn't mean he won't learn those things. Maybe this is the next step towards his own independence. I know you're scared for him because he's your "little boy" but he's got to grow up and he will.

On a side note, I lied in bed last night crying over my alcoholic brother. I wish he were in jail just so he couldn't drink or abuse his pain killers. At least then I knew he'd be safe and fed. It is sad. I wish he'd stay sober, I miss my brother.


Susan M DeAngelis said...

Addiction is so frustrating. There's no pill or treatment that is an easy fix. It's only Once Day at a time... and in early recovery for me -- it was one minute at a time.

Each breath felt like I was inhaling rasorblades.

Stay close, patient, but keep in mind -- You must put the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help your son.

You're in my prayers,
Sue :)