Sunday, October 4, 2009

My son's life-- from beginning to now, Part One

It will be two years, this December, that my son revealed to me that he had a drug problem. Many readers-- and I appreciate each and every one of you-- might have jumped in on my story, having missed a lot of details on my journey as the mom of a drug addict.

I thought that I would try and write a synopsis-- highlighting, as truthfully as I can, who my son is:

B was born almost 21 years ago. I had been married to his father for 5 years, before I became pregnant. I had dated and lived with B's father for 4 years before we were married. I was 24 when I met B's father-- he was 34 years old.

I have blogged about this marriage. Suffice it to say, that I have owned up to my fair share of why the marriage didn't last. This story is about my son--

When B was 8 years old, his father packed up 90% of the house belongings and moved out while I was at Disneyland with my son, my brother (divorced) and his daughter. My brother ended up moving into the house, since he was looking for a new place to live.

Neither my son nor I had any foresight that this was going to happen. It was all planned out by B's father. After almost one year-- our divorce was final and I was forced to move out of the only home that B ever knew. His father and his new girlfriend (who happened to be my former employee and "friend") moved in.

I was completely broke. B's father had cleverly had me sign a Quit Claim Deed (I thought we were refinancing our home). He got the business, the house and I received zero alimony and zero child support. He had no assets, according to his attorney.

Life as a single mom was a struggle, that lasted a total of 11 years. Kids can, at times, go to the highest bidder. Life with dad was Disneyland. Life with mom was fun, but mom had no extra money for the things that kids want. In the meantime, I had found a contemporary church and I was beginning to re-learn about Christianity (I was raised as a Catholic and turned away from God for 20 years. I didn't like religion at all!) I was still not fully grasping the concept of being obedient to God, but I was beginning to find love and acceptance as I grew closer to knowing who Jesus is. My son also enjoyed the youth ministry and he willingly asked to be baptized.

Fast forward to my son being diagnose with diabetes at the age of 12. Not too long after that my son met a kid I shall call "MG". His mother was a meth addict, his father an alcoholic and those two were embroiled in a bitter divorce. I didn't want my son hanging out with MG, but we all know that kids will find a way to be together. When my son turned 13, I felt as though I didn't know him. Naturally, we began to lock horns. Me, being stressed out over finances-- well, I wasn't the pillar of patience, to say the least. My son would move in with his dad, when he couldn't get his way with me. His father would criticize how I raised our son...yadda, yadda, yadda.

When B was 14 years old, he broke his wrist. It was a nasty break, and I remember being in the emergency room. The doctors gave my son the maximum dosage of morphine, but B kept saying he didn't feel anything. B was prescribed vicodin. Little did I know that this prescription would ultimately trigger his brain's love of opiates. Years later, my son told me that he went through that bottle in 2 days.

High School was "interesting". My son, and his friends, would hang out at our home. I'd try my best to be the "nice" mom, allowing my son to invite a friend over for dinner. My own mother never allowed that, so I wanted to give my son what I didn't have.

I played by all the "good parent" rules. Curfews. Dinner at the table, no television and we'd talk. I always wanted to meet the parents of my son's friends.
My son had to check in with me, and he always did. He played the rules just fine.

In his sophomore year, he was busted cutting school with MG. I found out that MG's mom had picked them up from school and called in my son's absence as "me". My son admitted, to me, that he had smoked weed. His father picked him up, and said he'd deal with it.

For the rest of high school, my son bounced back and forth from dad's to mom's house. I was the Anti-Christ, and his dad was the cool guy.

I knew that my son was headed down a bad road, when his 3.0 GPA began to plummet down to a 1.5 GPA. My son began to miss a lot of school, and his dad always excused his absences. Once B got his first car (a used truck) he became scarcer at home. His father said he was just being a kid. I began to worry, but I was helpless.

I can honestly say that I rarely let my son know if I was dating someone. My son NEVER saw a man sleeping in my bed. I made sure of that (thank you, Dr. Laura Schlessinger). My relationship with my son was rocky, to say the least.

My son missed graduation by ten credits. In hindsight, I wish I knew then what I know now-- working at a high school in the counseling office. Now I can clearly see how I should have been more vigilant about my son's absences and poor grades. My son started using vicodin, then Norcos and then Oxycontin when he was 16 years old. He tells me, that I had searched his bedroom closet better, I would have found the weed, baggies and scale -- clearly showing that my son was selling weed in middle school. I had no idea, and I never suspected a thing. I always wondered how my son afforded new shoes or video games. He always said his dad bought them.

B finally finished up his credits 6 months after his class graduated and he got his diploma. I nagged him to death about it.

In January 2006, I married my husband "C". When we returned from our honeymoon, my son said he needed to talk to me. He told me he was using Oxycontin and that he owed some bad people money, or they would hurt them. Stupid me. I had never even heard of oxycontin. I paid the debt for him, and took it out of his trust fund.

Here's what I so regret-- I never took the time to learn what Oxycontin was all about! I didn't even know that blogs existed on this topic. I thought my son simply "quit" and all was good...

My son was living at his father's house. "Dad" really didn't have rules or curfews.
Then, in March 2008, my son told me that he was in deep trouble. That's when he told me his addiction to Oxycontin had gotten worse. I was beside myself. His father was beside himself.

I remember, vividly, seeing what a mess my son was. He was working at a golf resort and messing up, big time. He got fired less than two months into the job. He had spent every penny and was overdrawn by hundreds of dollars. His father paid all the debt and I was distraught over what was happening.

By the grace of God-- and I mean that-- I was led to a drug rehab center in my hometown. They didn't take our insurance, and I could not afford the $8000.00 they wanted for detox. The woman, however, handed me a phone number. It was a drug treatment center two hours north of here. Right then and there, I dialed the number from my cellphone and prayed. Yes, they took our insurance. Yes, they had ONE bed available.

I called the phone number someone had given me that same day. They said this man was an excellent drug counselor/intervention counselor. The man answered the phone, and said he could see my son that night.

I went back to work, and B's father called me. He said that B was having health problems and freaking out. I had no idea what to do. My boss took one look at me, and said "go!"

I remember calling B and telling him he had an appointment at 5pm. My son agreed to go, and one hour later he said he wanted to get help.

April Fool's Day, I remember leaving our home at 5am and picking up my son from his dad's house. His cousin came with us, for moral support. My son was a mess, and he kept popping pills. I prayed the whole way there.

My son was admitted, after his intake. We prayed over him, and we drove away. B spent 30 days in detox. About 10 days into it, my son freaked out when they stopped all meds and the withdrawals really hit. My son was sick, vomiting, diahrrea, panic attacks-- you name it. Still, C and I drove up each Saturday morning to sit through 4 hours of classes on addiction. I didn't know that my son had finally resorted to smoking black tar heroin. He was freebasing, and I didn't even know people did that! I was so naive.

C and I also went to NA and AA meetings and I began to read everything that I could.

My synopsis is getting longer than I had planned. I will try, tomorrow, to finish up the story-- share what my son has told me about the horrible things that have happened to him. He's been robbed, many times. He's overdosed, he tells me. He has relapsed more times than I can count.

To be continued--

5 comments:

Madison said...

You are a wonderful woman. B is fortunate to have you in his life. Your blog today gives a peek into the transition that loved ones go through. Even in our worst dreams, we can't imagine where drugs and alcohol will take us and how long the trip will last.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Debby,
First, huge hug.
Second, thanks for the comment you left me.
Third, thank you very much for sharing B's story in full (will read part two in a minute)
Fourth - Holy Cow! We have so much in common in scares me sometimes. I was going to list them all here but will share that it was because of Dr. Laura that I did not date for Keven's first 11 years and now I wonder if that was smart or stupid! But I do agree that you should never introduce a child unless the relationship is serious.

Prayer Girl said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story with us. I know that it will be a blessing to many. Through our pain and experiences, we can help others living in darkness and hopelessness.

PG

angelo212 said...

Sounds like my life story except mine is a bit more hideous. It kills me knowing what I put my mom through. The only time she had piece of mind is when I was in jail. She knew I was safe. Once I hit the streets she never knew if she would she me alive again. Damn it I hope this kid makes it before the jails institutions and that other thing happen. You use opiates long enough that is all there is. You can bet when the time comes to pay the piper the piper will be paid. This kids got you in his life and that will be his salvation.

Cheri said...

Debby,

We had a busy week/weekend, so I am just now reading your posts. Wow! So much of what you share here hits home with me, with either one son or the other.

Our oldest son, my stepson, wanted to bounce back and forth between his mom's house and ours. At eleven he moved in with us, but we didn't allow him to go back and forth like he wanted to. Nevertheless, it didn't stop the cycle. His mom still managed to undermine every decision hubby and I made in D's best interests. When he was eighteen and involved in a relationship with a friend we disapproved of, and when he was demanding no rules, he chose to leave home one night, after we told him that "no rules" was not an option in our home. He went on to make a shambles of his life for the next eight years or so. I will leave you with this word of encouragement, though; "D" didn't "get help," but he was covered in prayer all those years and finally God got hold of him again. At one time "D" was leading his friends to Christ, as a young teen, and I often wondered what happened to that young man! Anyhow, he and his wife now have three wonderful kids and are back in church. God is faithful.

We uncovered second son's drug use when he was nineteen and gave him an ultimatum. He chose to go to rehab. His outcome has been favorable, which I hope will also encourage you. But, like you, I was flabbergasted to find all the things that he did right under my nose that I was totally oblivious to. It wasn't until he was held at gun point for stealing money that my eyes even began to open. How did we miss all the other signs? Visine bottles, money that we couldn't explain, the inability to hold a job, just to mention a few; he had over six jobs in six months, right at the end.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Praying for you all,
Cheri and Wayne