Thursday, December 3, 2009

Swiss Cheese Drama Stories

When I posted about my son's most recent drama, I was being more on the "tongue in cheek" side. This is a side of me I haven't revealed, much, on this blog. I'm usually very serious and my "release", if you will, is to write with a fury to get my frustrations or anger on a computer monitor.

I have a general rule of thumb on how I handle drama-- or a crisis. I give myself 24 hours to process it all. I find that once I allow my knee jerk reactions to calm down, I can think more clearly.

Today, I see the holes in the Swiss Cheese stories from my son's crazy life. Again, I'm not asking for advice. I'm writing them down as a release:

If you missed my "Cast of Characters" (from yesterday's post) , here they are again:

B = my son, age 21
M = my son's roommate, since September 5th, until November 29th, 2009...not quite 3 months. Alcoholic, former oxy addict, but now freebasing and IV use of heroin. Bipolar, not taking meds, age 24. Split from my son's apartment, but still on the lease with all of his belongings still in the apartment. Paid 80% of his share of December rent. M has a jail record-- not clear exactly for what.
C = my son's most recent "best friend"; they've known each other since middle school. Age 21.
D = "platonic girlfriend" of "M".  Moved into my son's apartment the same night that "M" split to go into a 5 month rehab, locally.  Now, she's on the lam from the law.
Mom = Me. Age 54. Happily remarried, God-loving mom. Full-time employee.  Struggling to not be an enabler to my son, but hampered by a devoted love for him.
I have come to fully accept that, at this time, my son has very few  friends left. Those who are in his life, use drugs. Drug addicts use each other, because addicts are selfish. It's how the disease works. Those who are no longer associating with my son, don't use and want nothing to do with being around a drug addict. I can sense that my son is sad about this. But , he also knows what I know and we don't discuss that much.

Regarding C-- my gut reaction about C being beaten up in a home invasion, yesterday,  was out of shock-- and then compassion for him. I'm a compassionate person, and it pains me if someone I personally know has been hurt.-- I'm just not apathetic, as it's not my nature. I haven't been jaded, yet, about my son's life that's out of control. I hope I never am.  I also thought of C's parents, last night-- the horror of their son being injured and in jail in an orange jumpsuit.  How painful! Lucky for the parents that when the crime happened in their home,  they were at work. Been there, done that. My son was carjacked four years ago. No mom wants to see their own kid injured.

Despite my fondness for C-- and  I didn't know of his secret life-- I now know that he's a drug dealer. That's the sad reality. My son had no business associating with him. But, my son obviously lacks enough common sense and moral values to see this.   My husband hit it right-- drug dealers destroy people's lives. I won't get into all of what my son had to say about his friend "C's" secret life. The way I see it, this young man was motivated by greed. He was in it for the money. He got robbed, he got beaten and he's facing felony charges. I can only hope that this will turn this kid's life around, but he needs to pay the consequences of his choice of crime. In some ways, I think B feels that way-- but it's a little lopsided. Like I said, B shouldn't have associated with C at all. I suspect that my son was benefiting from C's financial gains. C was B's loan shark.  It's stupid.  The whole thing makes my head shake, with disappointment.

The girl "D" who the police are looking for? She doesn't officially live in my son's apartment. For some cryptic reasons she sometimes stayed at the apartment with "M". She doesn't have a key to the apartment. The police showed up at my son's apartment, looking for her there. B says he hasn't seen her since the day before the crime.  The police had no legal papers to search B's apartment. My son, willingly, allowed them in. If he had drugs in there, do you think he would have?  I doubt it.  

I have come to be more pragmatic about my son's drama. Quite bluntly, when you swim in a cesspool, you come out covered in poop. As long as B continues to hang out with his drug homies, he will continue to be sucked into the drama. One day, his luck might run out and he'll end up in the slammer-- just like his friends. I don't wish it on my son, but there is nothing I can do. 

I don't get sucked into my son's dramas, all the way. Like I said, I process it all and then start seeing all the holes in the tales.  Then, I move on. I go on with my life, being a wife and my job.  My son's drama doesn't paralyze me. It just makes me sad, and it gives me more fodder to pray about.

Wanna know the Swiss Cheese Tale of what supposedly happened yesterday? Go get a cup of hot cocoa. This is my son's version:

Apparently, D and a girlfriend showed up at C's house (his parents) to buy some oxy. The two girls beat him with a closet rod. They stole $5000.00 in cash and his pills. Of course, I'm wondering how they knew about the cash-- as the police are...which, I am guessing, is why my son was questioned.

C called the police to report he'd been robbed-- and told them why. D'oh! The police found pills and they took him in.

Now, is this one of those stupid criminal stories?
"Hello, PO-LEECE", I was robbed of my drug money and I want to file charges!

Sorry. There are holes in this story. Maybe, one day, I'll hear the truth. Maybe I won't.

For the record, if my son was involved in this I'd really be floored. My son is a manipulator and can tell some tall tales, but-- I don't think he'd do that to a friend...shady as his friends are... plan to rob someone, that is. 

Regarding my son and methadone--

I am accepting that my son needs to follow his decision to try it. I'm not an addict, so I can't understand the difference between suboxone and methadone. I mean, I've read about both.  I've talked to people on suboxone with success stories, and other who are still taking it after five years. The same goes with methadone-- I've heard good and bad stories. I don't think neither suboxone nor methadone are going to be his magical pills. Yes, I'm highly suspicious why my son feels suboxone doesn't work for him and he needs methadone. Of course I take into consideration that his use could be worse than he's lead me to believe. Actually, I believe my son about as much as a wolf in sheep's clothing. I take what he says with a grain of salt. I know my son's not a saint. He's a drug addict.

Ultimately, it is my hope and prayer that my son will go into a one year program. Believe me, I know the different options-- from Teen Challenge America to Rescue Mission.

It's just in God's hands that my son will make that decision.

As far as my son's apartment-- he has to figure out what to do. The lawyer (which didn't cost me a penny) was a service my son could use as a  way to ask his own questions and to gain knowledge. I don't think that's enabling.

For the record, I am going to ignore comments pointing out my enabling-- in other words, I'm to work on not taking that personally--lest, I slip into trying to defend myself.  It's a touchy subject for me, I admit. But, you don't know me. You don't know my son. I don't give all the details, so you might jump to conclusions because I don't want to ramble on and on. My posts are long enough, as they are. Believe me, I do pray about things, talk them over with my husband and think them through very carefully. I think I'm intelligent enough to think things through.  If I make a decision that a therapist says is "enabling", I'll own it.  I doubt anyone can say they've never enable their kid, at one time or another. They just won't admit it.

Still, my prayers are for my son and his friends. I keep praying that God will sever all of those friendships and that my son will finally figure out to stay away from the cesspool and to clean up his life with people of much better character.  I've said to my son, before, and he's nodded in agreement-- once you find that path of sobriety, and learn the value of integrity-- good and lifelong friends will follow you again. 


Barbara aka Layla said...

Ha, I laughed outloud at the "call to police" because stuff like that has happened and the caller just doesn't quite get it :)

The dramas of an addict life are so far fetched sometimes they would not even make a good tv show because people wouldn't believe them...but we all do! Its crazy. I should tell one of K's stories one of these days that I still don't know if it was real or a lie....

Hugs to you. I've been reading but I don't know if I've been commenting. I'm spacey this week (head cold, addict son, you know..the usual for this season)

Fractalmom said...

Debby. I'm sorry. I can see some similarities in your son's drama and the drama stories my daughter used to sling on me.

I guess I am just scared for other parents. I wanted so badly to believe her each and every time she played me.

It took me over 8 years to learn. And, they were baby steps.

And, I enabled. Alot.

it's only now, 11 years later that I have gotten to the point I am.

And sometimes, I know the pain you are going to go through, the hopes dashed, the sick stomach for years, the headaches. I just wish there was a way to spare everyone, but there isn't.

Again, I apologize.


Dad and Mom said...


Do what is right in your head and in your heart. That's what truly is right for you. All the rest of us do the same. We all just offer help and help is like a cafeteria line, take what you like and leave the rest. After all, what you don't take may be the next person in line favorite.

ChaiLatte said...

Hi Debby- you keep posting away girlfriend! It was SO fun getting together with you last week. Remember how I said that you seem more serious on your blog than in person? Well, it dawned on me that in our hour together we barely talked about our sons! We were too busy laughing, and sharing about the "normal" parts of our life. I think you are a doll and I think your blogging helps you release stuff- because it's obvious that in person you're not holding anything in/back because you are funny, upbeat and just a true pleasure to be around. Please- do tell- you have made garbanzo beans a part of your diet now, haven't you? : ) Love, hugs, and prayers- always.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

It is such a personal thing we each go through but reaching out for us is so important. Sometimes I know for me it feels like I am just completely raw and can snap at any moment. As Codependents, we all like to give advice:) That is our lesson, to be supportive without necessarily giving advice, just sharing our own experiences. We all understand.

Anonymous said... cool is it that Debby and ChaiLatte were able to get together in person? I feel like I know some of you, despite never seeing you. Thanks for posting, all of's helpful, and yes, it really does help to know you're not alone and that the craziness is something that others do understand and empathize with.

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

xoxo, Chai Latte! You are so sweet! Yes, folks, we did get to meet. The hour flew by so fast, that we need to have a relaxing time together, when we both aren't working.
Just knowing that we share a commonality as mother's of addicts is all we needed to understand.
Thank you for your kind words. I can attest to the fact that Chai is lovely-- inside and out. A lovely Godly woman, who is amazingly strong and intelligent.

Can't wait to see you again,


Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

Fractal mom-- I wasn't referring to you, as in singling you out. I admit, that I'm very sensitive about being criticized about how I parent my son. But, what parent isn't?
I get you. I'm sorry for what you've been put through. How I pray I won't have to suffer that long-- and that your journey will finally end with peaceful rest of your worry. I truly mean that.

Heather's Mom said...

Can I tell you how the evolving swiss cheese stories (I love the analogy) have been the stories of my life with my daughter the past year!
I was always like, what? huh? who? how? huh????? and little by little I'd get more and more of the story, usually involving the police/hospital/walk-in clinic/car damage (never fully getting how they got there). I had read your other posting, but didn't have time to comment (too busy on YouTube today!), but when I read this one I actually called to my husband and read your son's version out loud to him.
I am sorry you are going through this, and you and your son are already in my prayers. But thank you for sharing this story!

Midnitefyrfly said...

My heart really aches for anguish I know I caused as a drug addict. I know that I have to accept responsibility for the actions, because I made the choice to use, but it is so hard to look the drug addicted me in the eye.

The horrible awful stories I made up for sympathy... to get money... to portray myself as only a victim...

At some point I realized that every second gave me another chance to make a different choice.

Eventually, one little better choice at a time, it got better.

It may be a long long roller coaster ride, with scary parts and then fun ones. You are still entitled to enjoy the ride when you can and to get off when it is too scary.

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I just stumbled across our story and just wanted to give you a little better idea regarding the difference between methadone and suboxone.

Both medications are opioids--synthetic opiates. Suboxone has another drug added--naloxone--to discourage the crushing and misuse of the medication. In addition Suboxone has a ceiling effect--a dose at which it ceases to be more effective if increased past. Methadone does not. Studies have shown that, in general, pts who need more than about 60mgs of methadone to control their symptoms don't do well on Suboxone, and the average needed dose of methadone is 80-120 mgs. Suboxone and methadone are really targeted at two different populations, with some degree of overlap. Suboxone is targeted to those with lighter habits of shorter duration. Methadone is targeted to those with heavier, longer habits. They both work in basically the same way however.

Some people find that suboxone makes them feel depressed, anhedonic (unable to feel normal pleasure), etc. We don't know why this is--some feel it may be due to the effects of the naloxone addition or the fact that buprenorphine itself is a partial opiate agonist and may possibly decrease the brain's production of natural endorphins. However, once the pt. is stabilized on the medication, neither drug will cause a high or euphoria, so there is no reason to assume that your son wants methadone so he can get high on it, etc.

Some folks only need short term treatment with MAT (medication assisted therapy) and others need long term treatment due to permanent impairment of the brain's ability to produce endorphins caused by long term opiate abuse. Many loved ones try to urge their family members to leave treatment before they are ready and this leads usually to disaster. The relapse rates for those leaving methadone treatment are 90% within the first year. However, for those who remain IN treatment, the success rate of Methadone treatment is higher than any other treatment for opioid addiction, by far.

I wish your son all the best and hope things go well for him.

Sherry said...

Hi Debby -

I've discovered in my life and in observing other's lives that we attract the type of people that reflect where we are in our life. When I was smoking pot regularly in my 20's, my friends also were pot smokers.

Drug addicts either sell drugs, steal or have someone enabling them to obtain drugs. I don't make a distinction between any of them being better or worse than the other. They are all trying to get what they want (perhaps need).

Have a great weekend and I pray for peace for you and healing for your son!

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby,
Keep on posting. My son is a drug addict and after spending a wonderful weekend in California with him, he has ignored us this week.

My biggest hurdle is with my husband, it doesn't matter what my son does it's not good enough. This creates alot of stress for me. I love my son as I do my husband, but I feel caught in the middle. I know its an issue I have to deal with. I am 51 years old and don't want to spend the rest of my life in constant stress. Life is too short.

Looking forward to your next blog.

Mother of Opiate Addict.

Angelo said...

Looks to me like B told the females where the money was. I guess he didn't get his cut or he'd be high today. Not sure how C let 2 females do him like that. There's not a female alive who's going to get my drugs and cash. I see why B was good friends of C's. He had the oxyies and probable gave them up until B got paid on payday. This whole mes is just a day in the life of a drug addict. My life. B is still very young. A long term treatment would do him good. Look up the "Salvation Army" . They have treatment facilities all over the place. It's free.

Cheri said...


You are truly doing so well. You are yours are in my prayers.

You said, "Still, my prayers are for my son and his friends. I keep praying that God will sever all of those friendships and that my son will finally figure out to stay away from the cesspool and to clean up his life with people of much better character."

My son is sober over three years, and I still pray for the set of friends he hung out with when he was using. (It one of the few healthy choices we can make when forced into this circumstance.) He has since developed a whole new healthy network of friends, just as you are praying for B.

Keep on keeping on!