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I have not written anything in a while, but an incident has me very upset as a parent and a parent of an addict. My son, my addict has been sober for 8 months this time. I was actually able to tell him I am proud of him recently, and it felt very good. He’s taking care of his children, paying his bills, and even bought a car. His license is restored, his warrant is squashed, and he is actively participating in his recovery. He is required by CPS (Child protective services) to take hair follicle tests whenever they request them and urine tests weekly. On top of that, the doctor who prescribes his Suboxone requires a toxicology test done before prescribing his medicine. If he fails any drug test for CPS, he will lose his children. If he fails for his doctor he will be kicked out of his rehab programs.
When he started using, there was a whole group of friends that used together. I do not know nor do I care to lay blame on who started who doing what. It doesn’t change anything at the end of the day. Most of the group has gotten sober, but a few still choose to use. The thing about this group is that most of these young men have known each other since high school or in some cases elementary school. The hardest part of this whole situation is to watch them struggle with each other. Some holding on to the friendship, some pushing everyone away but in each case the decision is made by the party. All of them are adults and I refuse to choose who my son socializes with. The problem that has me upset is that how as parent’s can we determine who is at fault for our child using Heroin? Is it the first person that they used with, is it the first dealer that sold to them, or is it something we did wrong as parents? They say 1 of every 3 young adult between 18-25 right now will use heroin. So is it something that was in the formula for those kids, or the water?
Another parent of one of these addicts approached my son in a very negative way over her son still using. She put all the blame on my son and made serious accusations to my son. This upset me greatly because she had my son in tears over her harsh words. I feel that if anyone needs the harsh words from her is her son. He chooses to do what he is doing. My son informed her of his successes and she put each one of his successes down. Even told him at one point to go drink a detox drink so he can pass his next test, and informed him that she works in the medical field and knows that is what he is doing. I also work in the medical field and have studied extensively on ways to “cheat” the tests and by all accounts you cannot change the blood that flows in your vein. I have also looked at the hair follicle test and now know it is also impossible to cheat on. My biggest problem with all of this is why tear someone else down who is trying to do what is right? Why continue the hateful words until you have someone emotional? I don’t think I could ever do this to another human being no matter what.
I was commuting to work the other morning at about 6:30 am. The transit doors opened a few stops down, and stumbling in, came a drunken man.
The tattered man staggered to the corner seat, babbling all the nonsense that men babble when completely intoxicated. The nervous stares from the other early morning commuters were passed discretely.
As he pulled out a bottle of Vodka and lit his cigarette I shook my head. I was completely terrified. I was not afraid of the man, but rather the lingering potential that my own son could end up in the “walking dead lifestyle”. They are not too far removed from eachother’s lives as they both share the same illness.
Did this man, throughly in the grips of alcoholism, come from a good family? Did his dad play baseball with him and force him to finish his homework as a child. Was he told “Just say NO?”
I was jolted back to reality as the train stopped and the doors opened. The lost human potential rose from his seat and staggered back into the humanity of the commute.
The whispers and jokes between the other commuters started the minute he left. I turned to the woman next to me and simply said, “That is a sad sad story” She nodded in agreement. I wondered what her insight was.
I then said an extra prayer for my son and a prayer for that man.
My son, like many other sons, does things that are not good for his life or the lives of others when he is using.
For some reason my son loves to preach on social media sites. He rants. At times, he is more dramatic than an 11 year old girl. Sometimes I think it’s the opiates, other times I think it is steroid rage. He posts some really offensive stuff at times with no regards for the feelings of others. And yes…He was raised better than that! That is not guilt speaking, that is a fact.
My addict son was asked to leave the home years ago and has not been back other than to visit. So in essence, his life is his own; as are the choices he makes. His drugging blew up the chance of living here a long time ago.
The other day he was talking sh*t online. I was asked by multiple people “is your son ok today?” I read the nonsense and took offense (as does everyone else in my family) I texted and asked him to remove the vile post.
His response to me was basically “FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU. You don’t have a clue what you are talking about!! I don’t give a shit what people think”. Sounds pretty 12 step to me. (insert eyeroll here)
Well son, maybe I do, or maybe I don’t know anything, but my life was far more stable than yours when I was your age.
Over the years I have done a lot to “collaborate with recovery” and have been called “hardass” for the ways I have treated my son when he was using.
Today I do nothing for him nor will I try to manipulate his consequences. His consequences will rise up soon enough, as they always do.
I am both pissed off and sad. I wont take his phone calls nor will I allow him to visit. Im tired of his “attitude”. I am tired of looking into his dead eyes.
I am feeling pretty disrespected right now. Sure I get that his rants are the “drugs talking “ but guess what folks; Part of getting clean is making better choices.
Telling a father that has been their throughout your darkest hours to “FUCK OFF” is probably not a good choice and yes….with each of our choices there are consequences
I was getting out some gardening tools yesterday when I look over at the pile of my son’s belongings.
The pile has grown smaller over the years as addiction has helped toss his belongings. They have been sold, stolen, left in rehabs etc.
In the box was a pink toothbrush I had bought him. You may be asking why would he buy his son a pink tooth brush.
Well it was probably 6 years ago and my son had been in a constant cycle of recovery relapse then recovery relapse and then guess what more relapse….
I was angry and had yet to fully embrace the disease model of addiction. After all this heroin addiction was all about me. This was affecting my world, my life, my everything! I was #$%%^^ heated.
I remember him calling and asking me to bring a toothbrush to his latest rehab. “Yes son. I will bring your highness a toothbrush. I love bringing toiletries to rehabs”. I’d show him! I went out and purchased the pinkest, barbie toothbrush I could find.
His face was priceless as I handed to him. It was totally a WTF moment. Payback was accomplished , I was for this moment a little bit vindicated. Or was I?
Yesterday I didnt find the pink toothbrush quite as funny. It was a sign of my naiveté back then. Guess what? His addiction was not about me. It is a sickness. I thought would I have done this to another person suffering a disease? NO I wouldn’t.
I am still learning many years later and his addiction does piss me the $^*#$ off somedays. But I am trying. I accept far more these days but it truly is my work in progress.
Any parent of family member who reads this blog knows I have been writing and involved with addiction for a long time.
I was driving through my town yesterday morning early when a young man stepped out in front of my car. Thank god I drive like Grampa Walton and was moving along at my normal snail’s pace. The kid looked up and I knew immediately he was wrecked.
Fast forward a few hours and my son shows up for a visit. Now I try not to dwell on addiction when he shows up. I looked at him and knew he was not 100% sober. But to me he looked “OK”.
We had to cut the visit short as my wife and I were heading out to view some fireworks.
As we got in the car I asked her “what do you think” She looked at me and said “both me and his sister thought he looked not too good” His sister, the barometer who is never wrong w her addiction prognosis, thought he looked “F8cked” up.
Great…I am blind! I can see everyone else’s kid for what they are but when it comes to mine I am not sure what it is that makes me so stupid.
Granted my son was not “face down in his mashed potatoes high” but the consensus was he is still not sober. Blind Blind Blind! I truly am blind at times.
Oh well… nothing I can do about that other than pray.
Peace and strength and please enjoy your 4th of July