Monday, February 20, 2012

A Candid Interview in my Son's Own Words About Suboxone, Relapse and Sobriety

My son is sitting across from me, and I am going to type his own words.He just returned, home, from work and he handed me a cash receipt for gas that he put into his car. He says he wants to be accountable for where his money goes.  He has $5.00 left.  He says he is feeling better, and had a good day at work. Here is my son:

Mom: Can you briefly explain why you feel suboxone is going to help you with your sobriety?

Son: The main reason, #1, it fills that void...that craving. It stops the craving. It makes me function, just as I would on opiates or as you (mom) would.

#2. It's a "leash" with a blocker in it. It gives me a minimum 12-hour window to consider whether to use or  not.

Mom: So, what happened? Why do you think you relapsed?

Son: There are multiple reasons. First, plain boredom. I had lost my X-box. I hadn't worked in a while. I had too much time on my hands and I hadn't taken my sub for over 12 hours. Just being in a dark place, at the time, just added up.

Mom: Why hadn't you taken your sub?

Son: That was accidental. I just fell asleep and I normally take my sub before bed.

Mom: What happens if you don't take your sub?

Son: By that morning, it had been over 24 hours, so I was feeling withdrawals and cravings and knew that I could technically use.

Mom: Can you describe that deciding moment to use.

Son: Two Words. F**k it.

Mom:  What did you use?

Son: Oxy.

Mom: How did you feel?

Son: About the same. I had enough of the suboxone left in me, that it didn't really have much effect at all.

Mom: So, why not stop right then and there?

Son: I guess since I had already messed up, I wanted to get loaded one more time and then stop.

Mom: How long did you use?

Son: A good month, off and on. I kept trying to get back on to suboxone, but could not wait the 36 hours induction period. I kept getting precipitated withdrawals and would immediately run for an opiate to counter-act it.

Mom: What are precipitated withdrawals?

Son: It's when you still have an opiate agonist in your system... I guess that's what you call it. And, the active drug in suboxone basically boots out and empties out all the opiate receptors, which puts you into maximum withdrawal, times 10. Absolute hell.  You won't die from it, but you wish you had.

Mom: What did it feel like when you took a sub too early?

Son:  Imagine ice water being poured over your head...your entire body...frozen. All the hairs on your arms, legs, neck standing on end. Your muscles in your legs and arms start....just.... like creepy you have bugs under your skin. You cannot sit still. You vomit, uncontrollably. Shivering, shaking, panic. The panic is the worst part, by far. Knowing you can't do a damn thing about it. Then you (mom) would come home, and I'd have to put on a facade that everything was okay, or go to work.

Mom:   So, what was the turning point to come clean again?

Son: I was burning through my cash, with no explanation. My lies were getting...just, I couldn't keep track of the lies. I could see it in your (mom) eyes. I was really getting dark. My mood was getting very dark, every day. And... you confronted me. And, I saw my chance.

Mom:  How are you feeling right now?

Son: Optimistic. Hopeful. Ashamed. Scared. But, I feel normal again.

Mom:  What did you learn from this?

Son: I learned that I got no enjoyment from using, like I thought I would. I romanticized it so much, thinking it would know.... help me work better, give me confidence like it used to when I was younger...but, the truth is, it did nothing. Subs are the way to go. I wish I had never done them (oxy). They say you learn from your relapses, and I've had a few, but this one was profound for much work it was to be in that lifestyle. It took everything from me, in a manner of weeks. Money, friends, trust and for what?

I used to function. I lived to use and used to live. Subs negate the living to use and using to live, and instead give me back a normal functioning life.

Mom:  How long do you plan to use suboxone?

Son:  Honestly, I'll stay on suboxone as long as I need to. There is no downside to long-term. Like Dr. Junig says, if it ain't broke, why fix it?  If these work, then why not?  You know...

Mom:  What do you say to people who believe you should just quit everything, tough it out and go completely clean and sober without suboxone, methadone...or any kind of medication?

Son: I'd say hold your breath and see how long before you have to inhale and that panic sensation kicks in, fight or flight.  That's what it feels like when that craving is gnawing at your brain.  That's what I feel every day-- and if all it takes is a suboxone to stop that, why wouldn't you? It's either that or risking jails, institution and death everyday.  Or, how about a diabetic? Could a diabetic keep the sugars down without insulin? Could they just do it with diet and exercise? Back in the day, that's how they did it. Now there's insulin which takes away all that hardship. The point is, is it wrong for the diabetic to take the insulin because it's the easy way out? There's no side effects, is there? Suboxone is the same thing-- it's insulin for opiate addicts. Why wouldn't I take my medicine?

I guess if you've never been there, you just don't know-- especially opiate addiction. It's a 24/7 nagging at your mind...consciousness and for me subs turn that off and give me a chance at a normal life.
(Mom's note: My son has Type 1 Diabetes and is insulin dependent. What an ironic analogy)

Mom:  Those are the only questions I can think of, for now.  Is there anything else you want to say to this reader audience? Or to me?

Son:  I'm sorry for all the lies. All the Bull Sh**. But... I hope I can learn from this and do it right. Thank you for all the support you give my mom. I know how much you all mean to her, and for helping her through this and in turn helping me.

Mom: Thanks, son.

Mom: I just thought of one more question.  What advice would you give a parent who is going through this, at the beginning of this horrific journey?

Son: It depends on the addict, obviously, if it's a long-term addict... I think suboxone is the answer. To do an induction at a doctor's office. To at least give them a shot at it. I think that everybody deserves a chance. I know I've had more than one.

Mom:  I just thought of something else? Why didn't methadone work?

Son:  Because you can still use on methadone, and most people do. The problem with methadone's a drug that allows you to continue using, care-free. In the end, it's near impossible to kick. Harder than the drug you were trying to get clean from in the first place. I met more drug connections at my methadone clinic, than I did anywhere else.

Mom:  What do you say to those who believe that NA (12-steps)  is the answer to sobriety?

Son: I say that I met my best drug connect, ever, an NA meeting during my first stint at sobriety. It can work for some. Most, even. But, it's not a one size fits all program.

Mom:  Would you ever try NA again?

Son: Probably not. Honesty has always been a huge struggle of mine. I need to learn to be honest with myself, before being honest with another-- sponsor and such. NA is the program that demands brutal honesty.

Mom: What's wrong with brutal honesty?

Son: I've been an addict since I was 11 years old. Lying, manipulating...something I was good at. I did it for half my life and it's something that's not easy to break.

Mom:  How can you learn to be honest?

Son: With practice, I guess. They say "one day at at time". I gotta realize that you aren't my enemy.

Mom: Anything else?

Son: I want to thank Dr. Junig and Subox Forum for their support, without which I would not be here right now. Clean and sober. Again.

Thank you, son, for your candid answers.  I hope that this interview will touch people's hearts, and educate them from an opiate addict's point-of-view.  Your comments/feed back are appreciated, and my son will read them.

Coming up next, articles from Dr. Junig, of Suboxone Talk.   

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Codependency Cycle

Now that my son has come clean with his relapse, I have heard the whole ugly story.  I have learned to sit and listen to my son talk, and have learned to swallow my horror, pain and hurt while doing so. To most people, I appear to be okay.  I'm not. I'm devastated.

To all you moms of drug addicts-- you understand the tendency to want to rescue our addicts.  It is so deeply ingrained in us, that everything we have learned from "Mothers of Drug Addicts School" flies out the window.

I'm trying to write blog posts are that aren't so long.  So I have to skip through most of the details. When my son confessed to me, how he slipped back into using oxycontin, the emotions that went through me were so complex-- hurt, anger, disappointment.  Then I got hit with feelings of relief, that it's out in the open.  Anger, frustration and disappointment came at me, as well.   Then, the need to rescue my son becomes so overpowering.

Now, I know that I can't fix my son's problems.  I know all about letting him suffer the consequences.

But, what do you do when you see your son's terror of withdrawals?  This is, I believe, what holds my son back from working on his own sobriety without any kind of drug-- be it methadone, subutex, suboxone or legal marijuana.  My son is so afraid of withdrawals, that he works himself up into a total state of panic.  I react, by taking on the panic myself.  My sirens go off, and I want to help.

B was terror-stricken that he had 24 more hours to go, before he could resume taking his suboxone.  Apparently, this is crucial, or he could go into full-blown withdrawal.  His decision was to hole up in his bedroom, take some Valium (and that disappoints me), sleep through it all until it was time to take his suboxone.  He was determined to sell his iPhone to get his X-Box out of hock, so he could play video games to distract him.

I reminded him that he couldn't do that, as his step-dad made it clear that if he brought home his video games before paying rent he owes (from two weeks ago) that he'd be upset.

So then my son tells me he can  buy a used (old model) Playstation for $29.00 and return it within 7 days for a full refund.

What did I do?  I went to the store, where his friend works, and found out it's true.  So I "rented" the old game console, bought a used game for $5.00 and told myself it would help my son get through detox in his room.  B's friend, who works there, said he'd refund the money paid to my credit card so I considered it a "rental".  The plan was to tell my husband when he got home, that night. 

My husband went through the roof, today, when he found the console in B's room.  C doesn't yell, but he was very upset. That makes me feel terrible.  What backfired on me, is that I told B he needs to come clean with C and tell him all that's been going on.  This morning, B was all set to tell his step-dad the truth-- and I was going to tell him about the game console, that we'd be turning tomorrow for a full refund.  Only, C saw it in B's room and it hit the fan with me. Honestly, I wasn't hiding this from my husband, as I knew he'd see the charge on the credit card.

In retrospect, why didn't I call my husband to ask him for his blessing?  Two reasons-- I didn't want to have this discussion over the phone, while he was at work.  I wanted B to tell him the truth. Secondly, I didn't want his blessing. I just wanted to do it.  I admit that.

Is this enabling?  Yes, it is. I'm guilty.  Coincidentally, someone just left a comment on this post , where I list the signs of codependency.  Here's a portion of that list. I have highlighted, in bold red, what I think I did wrong:

Enabling is defined as reacting to a person in such a way as to shield him or her from experiencing the full impact of the harmful consequences of behavior. Enabling behavior differs from helping in that it permits or allows the person to be irresponsible.

  • PROTECTION from natural consequences of behavior.
  • KEEPING SECRETS about behavior from others in order to keep peace.
  • MAKING EXCUSES for the behavior. (School, friends, legal authorities, work, other family members)
  • BAILING OUT of trouble. (Debts, fixing tickets, paying lawyers, providing jobs)
  • BLAMING OTHERS for the dependent person's behavior. (Friends, teachers, employers, family, SELF)
  • SEEING THE PROBLEM AS THE RESULT OF SOMETHING ELSE. (Shyness, adolescence, loneliness, child, broken home)
  • AVOIDING the chemically dependent person in order to keep the peace. (out-of-sight, out-of-mind)
  • ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL. (Planning activities, choosing friends, getting jobs)
  • MAKING THREATS that have no follow-through or consistency.
  • TAKING CARE of the chemically dependent person. Doing what they should be expected to do for themselves.
My husband is very upset with me, and I feel terrible about it.  At the time that I made this decision, I had rationalized it as "not costing anything" and as a way to help my son get through a crucial period to get back on track with his suboxone.  I had every intention of telling my husband, but he came home feeling worn out and like he was fighting the symptoms of becoming ill. The next day, he wasn't feeling well, and I had to leave the house for an extended period of time.  This morning, B has returned back to work and he isn't here...  so things didn't go as I had planned.

I made the wrong choice, and now I have to deal with my husband being upset with me.  This is so hard, because C can make all logical decisions. It's easy for him to see things in black and white.  As B's mom, the grey areas take over.  I don't want to enable my son, and in many ways I don't.

I blew it.  I know this will blow over, but I need to remind myself about enabling.  I'm so quick to see it with other parents, because I work at a high school. I shake my head at parents who bring their high school kids forgotten lunches and homework.  I need to get a big mirror and take a look at myself.

To me, this is the hardest part of being a parent of a drug addict.  It breaks our female/mother's hearts to see our child suffer.  The instinct to rescue is so strong.

I'm going back to make my best effort to return to Nar-Anon meetings.  I'm kicking myself enough as it is, but I need to admit I was wrong to my husband-- as soon as my defense mechanisms go away.  I just need for him to calm down.

I hate being in trouble. But then, who doesn't?

--------------------------------------UPDATE ON MY SON-------------------
B says that he made it, and took his suboxone with the recommended 36 hour waiting period.  He says he feels better, and is ready to go back to work.  B says the reason he avoided doing the interview on this blog is because he wasn't clean-- and he was too ashamed to admit it to me.  He will be ready to do so very soon, and I think it's high time (no pun intended).  I'm hoping that sharing the truth about what led to his relapse might help others. We shall see.

PS: I said I'd write shorter posts, but today's is a FAIL in that department. I type 90WPM and I just can't help myself. Sorry.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rough Roads for my Addict and His Mom

I was re-reading my post from yesterday.  It's wordy, yes I know. I can see that I was trying to process the revelation that after six months of sobriety, that my son has relapsed.

I am often told that I'm a strong woman, who is handling this so well.  Please don't be fooled into believing  it. 

Today, I am very sad.   I fear for my son.  How I wish I had the financial resources to send my son off to a rehab facility for a very long time-- up to a year.

The source of my strength is not my own. I find strength in my Christian faith. For today, I am drawing deeper into my faith for God's wisdom, Grace and comfort.  

Psalm 28:6-7

New International Version (NIV)
 6 Praise be to the LORD,
   for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
   my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
   and with my song I praise him.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Relapse. Redemption. Hope. Pain.

He relapsed.

There. It's out in the open.

I was going to continue sharing my own testimony, but I told B that I have to share this on my blog.  I'm not sharing this for pity or sympathy. I'm sharing this so that I can keep my blog real. B says that he's okay with my sharing.

For at least a week, I've had that mother's sense that something didn't seem right.  I'm a whiz with numbers, and have the mind of an accountant.  I love checks and balances, graphs and charts.  I'm good at handling money-- but I wasn't always that way. When I continue on with my own story/testimony, you will understand how I had to learn to manage my money better.  My son was broke, and it didn't make sense.  I know how much much he earns, and I know what his fixed expenses are.  He was in the negative and when a person is a drug addict, that is not a good sign.

But, this post is about my son's addiction.  He was doing so well, which is honestly why I wasn't blogging so often.  I've always written on this blog, and kept in the back of my mind, that his sobriety could be compromised at any moment. I believe that I was trying to prepare myself for the possibility that he'd relapse. Again.

What happened?

He used oxy, again. His old "friend".  The drug that eventually led to using heroin. Same opiate family.

I asked B why?

His answer was that he was feeling depressed. For the first two weeks of January, he only got one day shift.  Business is very slow in the restaurant biz this time of year.  His X-Box is at the pawn shop, because we wouldn't buy help him to put gas into his V-8 engine Jeep.  I've heard addicts say that is' very dangerous to feel boredom.  B was broke, had no X-Box and spent day after day at home, watching television.   That's when he ran into Miss J.  That was his connection, several years ago.  He says that Miss J offered him oxy in exchange for hauling her around to do deliveries.  (Yes, it has occurred to the danger in just that-- what if they'd been pulled over. That's a felony to possess oxy.)

So why did you use?  I still wanted to try and understand what made him relapse.

His answers: I was bored. I had money. She was there. I had forgotten to take my suboxone that night before.

Could you feel the effects of the oxy?

No. Not at first.   A few times later, I started to.  But, it wasn't the same as before.

Dear God.  I hate that drug. (Are there any addictive drugs that I don't hate?)

I can't blame B's father, anymore than I can blame Bobby Brown for Whitney Houston's drug addiction.  However, B's father did exactly what I asked him not to do.  He gave my son cash.  That's when I began to get a very bad feeling.   In two week's time, B was given $240.00 in cash.  His father would say that it was for this and that.  I just knew differently. I didn't see my son producing the "items" his convinced his father that he needed the money for.

I won't get into the very long and convoluted stories that led up to my son finally coming clean with me, today.   I just knew.  When I saw that his HDTV was gone, that was all the confirmation that I needed.

How do I feel about this?  Heartbroken of course.   Yet, somehow, I knew.  Yesterday, I had an ominous feeling that came over me.  I had to urgently write my son an email and text him to read it.   I was busy at work, but I sensed that my son was despondent. The point of my message to him was to let him know that I could see that he was holding back on a secret. I could see the anxiety in his eyes.  I told him that there is a Darkness that wants to grab ahold of him and hold him back.  I reminded him that there is also a Light, and that he needed to see that path.  I was trying to tell him that I understood the grip that addiction has on him.  Today, B told me that email came at a point he was actually having suicidal thoughts.  He was despondent over what he'd done.

Thank you, God, for prompting me.

Right now, B is in his room and is detoxing. 

He's not feeling well at all, and he is angry with himself for relapsing.  He says he didn't use enough so that he's in full-blow addiction.  I don't think I'm deluding myself by saying I can believe that.  Believe me, when B was in his full-blown addiction, he was like a zombie who couldn't eat food.  Those of you who've seen this know all about the leg spasms and kicking, shivering, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, runny nose, sneezing and they look horrible.  He says that he cannot begin taking suboxone until tomorrow morning, lest he go into full-blown withdrawals. 
NOTE:  If I felt he was in full-blown withdrawals, like he was four years ago, I would check him into a hospital. He is not in that kind of condition. 

It's all so complicated, and I that's all I want to share, at this time.

To sum this up-- why don't I throw my son out?  If he had stolen from us to buy the drugs, I would. If I had found the drugs, or paraphernalia, I would have.  I think he's suffering enough as it is.

I do hope that, after a lengthy talk with his father, that W finally understands that giving an addict cash is not a smart thing to do.  I have W's promise, that if he wants to help my son with something like a car repair, new set of tires, new shoes-- things that he needs-- that he could get the money to me, and I'd make sure it gets to where it's supposed to be.   B has also agreed that he hands over his paychecks to me.  I make sure his bills are paid. He seems relieved, as he says having cash isn't a good idea.  He is very remorseful.

I reminded B that if we ever do find drugs, or he ever steals from us (which he never has) he's gone.  He looked so shaken, and I believe that he knows he's very lucky to live with us.

There is no right or wrong answer on what a parent should do, when their addict relapses.  I believe that B regrets it and wants to get back on track.  I continue to tell B that he needs a support system. He needs a sponsor. He needs to have a support group of people who have been through the same things he has, but are clean and sober. 

I'm surprisingly calm-- what good will it do for me to fret or go into a panic mode?   I reminded B that I cannot rescue him.  He is angry at himself for losing his TV and that he might not save the money quick enough to get his X-Box out of the pawn shop.  But, we both agree that they are just "things".   If he truly gets himself back on track, and stays clean, then he can afford to buy them again.

I can only watch from the outside-- because I do not know what it's like to be addicted to drugs (nor alcohol, which my son isn't).  I don't know what withdrawals feel like, but I've had enough addicts tell me that its worse than I could ever imagine. 

I feel sorrow that my son has an addiction that is so dangerous and precarious.  While people judge Whitney Houston as having been an drug addict-- she was someone's daughter, mother, friend and a famous public figure.  Only Whitney knows what was really going on with her struggle for sobriety. I'm deeply saddened that such a talented and beautiful woman, who appeared to have it all, fell victim to her addiction. 

I thank God, every day, that my son is alive and doesn't have a criminal record.  I pray that he will not test the blessings he's been given. 

I also pray that Miss J will be arrested and stopped from the years of drug dealing she has gotten away with, in our hometown.  I'm sorry, but I feel like I hate her. I've never met her, I don't know what she looks like, but I hate what she represents. Greed & Evil. 

I feel as though my post is a bit choppy, and I wanted to write something much different. Instead, I just had to write my thoughts as they come. 

I continue to live in faith that God has a plan. I thank him for his Grace and Mercy. I do not want to become frantic nor bitter about B's relapse. It is what it is.  As long as I don't enable him, I pray that this is going to be a turning point for him. 

I will pray for him, because tonight will be a rough night for him.  He is in his room, hoping to find sleep and waiting for the time when he can take a suboxone.  So, here I am, one of those mom's who is watching their child suffer from a terrible disease called Addiction.  Tomorrow, B will tell my husband the truth, and he will call his father to tell him the truth. 

I keep reminding my son that he's as sick as the secrets he keeps. Had he admitted the truth a week ago, he would not have stressed himself out by trying to hide what I already suspected.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sins of the Parents (Part 3)...are they passed on to our children?


It's been a challenge to find time to continue sharing my personal testimony with the faceless friends, those who stumbled onto my blog and to myself.  My husband asked me why I have taken this direction on my blog.  That's a good question, considering that I originally started this blog to share updates on my son's initial stint in a drug rehab facility.  Over time, my blog became a place where I would purge my feelings of anger, helplessness, frustration and despair.  It took a while, but eventually I began to cultivate some regular supporters-- and I will never forget how much I appreciated that.

Today, my blog is taking on an entirely new flavor.  Gone are most of the rantings of a mother who couldn't cope with my son's drama.  It's interesting that, with my new direction, most of my past supporters have stopped commenting as well.  I've found peace with that. I'd like to think they've stopped visiting my blog because I seem to be coping just fine with my son's addiction, and his struggle to maintain sobriety. I wish I could say that's 100% true. I still have my moments when I am afraid for my son. I have my days when I feel frustration at my son's procrastinations.  I still feel resentful when my son isn't truthful with me.  I can still see addictive behavior.  So, yes, continued encouragement and support is always appreciated.  

I do want to say that I do read every comment, and every email that is sent to me privately.  I want you to know that my heart aches for you. I do say prayers for you. For now, I have no intention of abandoning my blog.  It is my hope that the audience I reach are those of you who are needing hope and encouragement.  I'm here to give it to you, as best as I can. 

Why am I sharing my testimony?

If anyone has completed their 12-step program, sharing your testimony is a requirement.  At my church, we have a Celebrate Recovery program-- and if you can find one, I highly recommend it.  Yes, it is Christian-Based, but I make no secret that I am a Jesus loving Christian.  Likewise, when someone becomes a Christian, it is recommended that we have a 3-minute testimony (story) to share on how and why we became a Christian.  I've honed my story down to that, and have shared it with plenty of people. They are usually amazed at my positive attitude when I share some highlights of what I've been through.  Here, I'm not honing down my story.  I'm being honest with all of you--and myself.

Another reason I am sharing my testimony, is that I can see so many of my own traits in my son.  Some of my own traits that I've passed on to my son make me cringe. This is why I'm sharing my story...  (To read Part 1, click here.)

I had been living on my own by the age of 18.  I never returned home, because I managed to make ends meet. Fortunately, I inherited my mother's work ethics, and her ability to scrimp and save money.  I had a social circle of friends that found plenty of time to party, and I fit right in.  At that time, I was a travel agent, so I got to jet-set all over the world.  Good times. Great memories.

Relationships with my parents:

My relationship with my father wasn't the best. I was bitter, and unforgiving towards him, for all the beatings and physical abuse our family had endured.  He went on to remarry a much younger woman-- but that was short-lived.  He never married again, but lived with a few women.  I tried to bond with him, but it never quite happened.  My father became a Christian around 1983, and he mellowed with age. I believe he regretted a lot of things that he had done, and he wanted me to spend more time with him. He died in 1986 of cancer.  Shortly before his death, I decided to forgive him and I am glad that I did.  It wasn't until after his death, that I found out that my father had been sexually abused as a young boy, by his uncle.  I believe that explains why my father had so much rage inside him-- and it didn't help that  he killed the "enemy" in World War II.  What a pity that he never quite found a way to let go of that.

Mom and I had an on again-off again type of relationship.  I loved her, but I didn't like her. She was very controlling and highly critical of me.  In retrospect, I believe she was living her life vicariously through me. She wanted me to be successful, because she so believed it would be a positive reflection on her.  Why do parents do that?  I never felt as though I could meet up to her expectations.  I never had that mother-daughter relationship that I've seen so many of my girlfriends have with their own.  I could write a book on my mother-- I'd title it "The Mother's Book of Guilt"...or something like that.

Part 2 (Marriage to my son's father)

I was 24 years old when I met my son's father.   I fell deeply in-love with B's father (I will call him "W").  He treated me with kindness and generosity.  After my miserable first marriage, I felt liberated.   W wasn't controlling at all, which was in stark contrast to my first husband-- who was possessive and jealous, and unfaithful.   I can still clearly remember the time that W told me that he loved me.  This was the first time, in my life, that anyone had told me that I was loved. Ever.  I remember that I started to cry.  It took a while, but I finally mustered the courage to tell him that I loved him. From then on, we told each other that all the time. I was euphoriant!

W had his own businesses, and was fine with me continuing my social life with my girlfriends. Eventually, I got into horses and I would travel all over the state of California to compete in horse shows. Life was good!

It was an adjustment for me to accept his offer to move in with him and his widower father.  I grew fond of the old Scotsman.  We married four years later, and had a wonderful honeymoon to England and Scotland. I'm going to fast-forward a few years later, where his father sold his home and the three of us moved to a beautiful place in the country.  It was my dream house-- swimming pool, acreage for my herd of three horses.  In looking back, I led a very privileged life.  My son was born five years after we were married, in 1988, and I was smitten with my newborn.

Sadly, cracks in our marriage weres beginning to show.  Shortly before I got pregnant, W told me he didn't love me anymore.  I was devastated.  Now that I look in that rear-view mirror of life, I can see that we had grown apart.  I had become my mother-- willful, controlling and negative. Bottom line, I had become self-absorbed and I couldn't even see it.

My rear view mirror reveals to me that, at first, I loved all the freedom that W allowed me to have.  I finally realized that it was to W's benefit.  With my being busy with my own projects, he could spend all of his time in his race car fabrication business, while running another retail business.  I began to feel abandoned.  It became profoundly noticeable, to me, when W wasn't attentive to me during my pregnancy. I went to all of my doctor appointments alone. I went through labor alone.

During my pregnancy, my mother had become angry at me for something really stupid.  Therefore she didn't speak to me for the last three months of my pregnancy, and refused to come to my baby shower nor to the hospital while I was in labor or when my son was born. Consequently, I came home with a newborn and had nobody to help me learn how to care for my son. W took off to work on his race cars. My mother was nowhere to help. I do believe that it was at this point, that our marriage had taken a turn for the worse-- and so had my life.  This is when I began to throw my own pity party.

So, here I was with a young child.  I got to be a stay-at-home mom, thank goodness.  B became the center of my universe.  My horse shows came to an end. Some of my friends, who didn't have children, abandoned me-- or so I felt.  Maybe it was I who had abandoned them?  Who wants to hear me talk ad nauseum and child rearing?

By the time B was 2 years old, I'd grown a bit weary of watching Sesame Street and I felt my son was ready to have a social life.  W wanted me to go back to work. I found a woman who ran a private day care, and so I decided that I would work at W's retail store-- to help him out, so he could spend more time with the race cars.

A new chapter in my life was beginning-- and this one was huge.

Part 3 to come. I've written enough, for today.

Update on my son:
I don't make claims on my son's sobriety.  That is, I'd like to think he's clean.  All signs indicate that he is-- he has a hearty appetite. He's on suboxone, and that seems to be his key on staying clean. He's still working at the same job, and he loves it.  He struggles with finances, but that's mostly because he eeks by on working an average of 30 hours per week as a busser at a restaurant.  We continue to collect rent of $400.00 a month from him. That may sound steep to some of you, but it's less than the average $500-$600.00 he'd pay for just a room.  That rent provides him a room and board.  We continue to pay for his medical insurance and doctor visits, which exceeds the rent he pays.  His attitude remains very loving and respectful towards us.

He is, though, far from ready to fly from the nest. If we were to kick him to the curb, today, he'd be living in poverty.  Such is the dilemma for so many parents-- whether their kids are drug addicts or not.  Unemployment is still a major concern, and my son's work has called him "off" for the last two weeks.  The cost of living, in our part of California, is astronomical.   So, for now, I continue to ask my husband to let B stay-- as long as he continues to pay rent and sets aside savings-- and, of course, no drugs.

His drug friends, of the past, are out of his life.  He still doesn't go to meetings, and I've stopped suggesting it.  He's working his own program, and that is what I have to let him do.

Thank you, if you are still reading this.  Once I finish my story-- which will take 2-3 more installments, I hope that my purpose for doing so will make sense to any of you who are still following me.