Monday, February 1, 2010
"Mom, I have a problem".
He told me that he was using oxycontin and that he was in trouble. He owed some scary people money, and he was afraid.
I'll stop right here.
I had suspected that my son was spiraling into behavior that seemed very strange to me. My son was living at his father's house. B's grades were below a 1.0 GPA. This is a kid who is very intelligent, and could easily earn a 3.0. I never expected my son to have a 4.0. My son is a lot like I was in school. I just wasn't academically motivated, though I never thought I was stupid.
At last, my son was about to spill the beans and reveal the truth behind his erratic behavior.
What I most remember about that night, was thinking to myself "calm down". I calmly listened to my son's story. I didn't blow up. I didn't get angry. I'd been working on my anger management problem, after all! My son was so relieved that I didn't get mad. I gave him the $300.00 he needed and took it out of his trust account.
What I did from then is very much a blur. In looking back, I think I froze with not knowing what to do. My son said he would quit using oxycontin, and I believed him. I never took the time to learn about oxycontin. I never took the time to learn about drug addiction.
I was in denial.
My son continued to use oxycontin, sell oxycontin and he earned thousands of dollars doing it. Now that I look back, I see all of the signs that my son was living way beyond his means. His father had no clue, either.
Here's Classic Mistake #1 that I made-- I blamed his dad. I blamed me. I questioned my ability as a mother. I blamed his friends.
Here's what I know now-- Addiction takes hostages. It's not my fault that my son is an addict. It's not my ex's fault, ether. My son's friends played a role in this, but nobody forced my son to chop up a pain killer and snort it. My son made that choice.
My deepest regret is that I stayed ignorant about drug addiction for as long as I did. Ironically, I work at a high school-- in the counseling office, no less! I'm not a counselor, but I am an assistant-- and I talk to students all the time. I talk to parents all the time. Often times, I see kids being busted for drug possession and/or alcohol. I see the cops handcuffing the students and driving off with them. I know when they are suspended, and I often know the parents-- or I eventually do. More often, than not, these very parents behave just like I did. They believe what their kids tell them. They think it's been nipped in the bud. They blame the school, their friends, their exes. I offer them my story, and they don't take it.
My next installment-- my own wisdom on what to do, and to not do, when you find out your kid is using drugs. I have a question for you--
What did you do when you first found out that your loved one was using? If you're an addict, reading this-- if you finally told your parent, how did you do it. How did they react?
Until then-- thank you for reading. Please know that you can email me, privately, if you wish at: firstname.lastname@example.org or please leave a comment.