October 18, 2009

Act II

Well here is the second installment on my story. Again, not sure what the length of this post will be but apologize for any rambling that may occur.

My son and I lived alone in our new little house that I helped build for several years. He was six when we moved in and his father started stalking me about that time. I was always torn, felt like his father should be there for him, even though he had told me if he couldn't have me, he didn't want his son in his life either. Just the thought of that makes me ill to this day. So basically for two solid years my ex would make calls to my house, leaving messages calling me awful names, telling me he had AIDS and that would mean I did also, etc. He would drive by my house and follow my movements in town...for two years. Meanwhile, he showed little love for our son who was still wearing the brace for his hip problem and struggling with all the adjustments; me working, school, his father not giving a shit, living in a new house alone with me, etc.

About this time, I got a job as a legal secretary and needed daycare. My mom usually watched my son but she had gone back to working also and was not able to do it. I turned to his other grandparents on the paternal side. This was a HUGE mistake but I had no crystal ball to foresee that. His grandfather got him involved in sports and took him to all his practices, etc. He was a pretty solid influence, but the grandmother and his father were not. His grandmother over the years would do his homework for him without my knowledge. She would pack him enough lunch for two people, enough to where the teacher called me to tell her to stop it. I spoke with her about it but she ignored it, so I started making his lunch, but she still sent one with him also. They spoke very evil of me to my son, which of course I thought there would be some of that, but not the degree I would find out about years later after the damage had been done. I tried very hard to never say negative things about my ex to my son, taking the high road I thought.

I met my husband when my son was around eight. He was a single father and owned a local business. He was loving, supportive, nurturing, all the things I was so unfamiliar with in my previous relationships with men. I actually resisted him at first, finding it all too "boring". I am so glad I hung in there, don't know what I would do without that man in my life, he was a pure Godsend. We were married five years after meeting and finally moved in together then. Our boys were close in age, mine being three years younger than my step-son. They got along pretty well and to this day stay very close.

When my son was about 13 years old is when the trouble really started. I suspected that he was having some problems as his grades were faltering and his general energy level was just different. I suspected he was smoking pot along with my step-son. I made them both go to some drug and alcohol meetings and we drug tested them on a regular basis. They did pretty well for a bit of time. My son got into trouble at age 15 for selling pot and having opiates on him at school (his grandma gave him vicoden for headaches). He received three year's probation and was put in a special school for 6 months that dealt with drug issues, etc. Around the age of 17 my son was drinking heavily and had left my home for his grandparents/father's house. His father still lived at home with his parents, never lived on his own. After a short while, my son was working and paying rent for an apartment that we owned for about 9 months, but still drinking very heavily. He passed his probation and moved to another town about 40 minutes away with friends. This is when his usage became severe. He started using Oxy, steroids, coke, etc. His father and grandparents enabled him. He ended up getting two DUI's and to this day still owes fines on this and does not have a license.

He moved back to town around the age of 20. He lived with his Dad and grandma (grandpa had moved out). They were both getting MANY prescription pain pills and allowing him to sell some of them so they could have extra money. Of course I had no idea any of this was going on at the time, no clue. His grandmother overdosed in April of 06 and his father followed one month to the day in May. My son was living at the house with them, had found his grandmother and his father. He also lost his dog about the same time. I would go over to that house (his grandfather let him live there after the deaths) and he would be so high that I couldn't even get him awake sometimes. He has driven himself or someone taken him to the hospital at least 5 times that I know of and given charcoal. I have watched this on at least 4 of the 5 times. No mother should ever have to experience that kind of scene, so painful and you feel so useless.

This all went on for awhile as I had my head in the sand a bit, didn't know what to do so just pretended it wasn't happening, it was just too painful. My husband and I took my son to our doctor and got all the meds to detox him, took time off from work and took him out of town. This didn't work. Sent him to Rehab but he relapsed as soon as he got to town. He lived with his grandfather after rehab for a bit, but stole some checks from him. His grandfather turned him in to the police and he ran to the Bay Area. Shortly after he came back to town and couch surfed for a few months. When I did see him or hear from him, he was always just loaded.

During this time my mom had become ill. I had always been afraid of my mom's death, probably because she was an "older"mom while I was growing up. She ended up moving in with my husband and I in 2006 and lived with us for a couple of years until her death in November 07. My mom was the backbone of our extended family. She had stopped drinking many years before and was a very loving person. She had a great bond with the Lord and her faith in God was so strong it was amazing to see. When she passed it devastated me and the rest of the family. Within six months my sister was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer and after moving her back here from Washington with her husband, she passed in February 09. My son stole some of her morphine from her house about 2 weeks before she died. I prayed to God for an intervention for him as I knew he was going to kill himself. Ten minutes after my prayer I received a call from an officer that he had been arrested. Power of prayer...answered in many forms.

My son was released in May of 09. My brother was also released at the same time. My son came home to live with us and is still doing so. My brother has had our assistance also. My son's behavior has been much improved from three years ago, BUT I know he is not really working a program. Sure, he passes his probation drug tests because he brings in some product that makes that happen. As of late, I have tried to set boundaries but having trouble following through at times. It is frustrating and makes me feel weak, but I am still learning and have come a long way. I know I have a ways to go to find my peace in this life. This blog has been a huge help to me and all the bloggers who read my blog and comment. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to grow, giving me support and just helping me feel stronger when I need it. I hope you all have a better feel for who I am and what I am about. Also a feel for my son and his story. We all have a story and as important as it is to tell it, it is also important not to stay stuck in it. I hope with each day I get closer to getting off the hamster wheel of co-dependency.



Madison said...

Wow. So much in here. Thank you for sharing. I know you know that none of this is your fault.

Gin said...

As much as others have helped you, you have helped others as well. And you still are! Your story is amazing!

Syd said...

Renee, thanks for posting your story. I'm glad that you told more about yourself. And like you wrote, it is important not to get stuck in the past but to move into this day.

Her Big Sad said...

Thank you for sharing this! And yes, so important not to get stuck. I've a long way to go on that one! I appreciate the opportunity to get to know you and your family a bit more through your shared story.

Chic Mama said...

I got stuck on the grandmother giving your son drugs...how could she? Sorry, I expect you've asked that so many times yourself.
I have gained so much from reading your posts, such an insight.
Take care

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Thank you all again for your comments. I hope you feel like you know me a little better by the two posts.

Chic Mama--Oh boy have I asked that questions a million trillion times. Just pure sickness I guess?

Anonymous said...

I have just come by through Flash 55 and read this Act II post. You tell an honest story ~ one riddled with pain; however, you seem to have an encouraging outlook. Certainly taking care of yourself and working your own program is paramount. I hope for you and your son that better days are ahead.

I've too had children in and out of rehab. All 5 of mine use to some extent or another. I dare say that I have not been the best example. I hope that the commitment to my program may become a positive influence ~ but in the meantime, it has made me a better me, for me.

Hugs to you,

Chef Kar

Gloria said...

Wow, it's my first visit to your blog and OMG you've had it tough. I've been feeling fragile all this week 'cos a dear childhood friend died last weekend, she was only 48. That was oh, so very devastating for me but reading your story . . the word perspective springs to mind. I know the pain of children who hurt you, there is no other pain comparable. You feel like your heart is actually, really breaking and wrenching into millions of shattered parts. God bless you and give you the strength to come through. I will return to come with you on this journey. And. . . thanks for sharing this with us. We appreciate it:)

Cheri said...


Thanks so much for being so transparent. There is so much here, again, that I relate to ~ the ex-family poisoning children against you and enabling bad behaviors; choosing to keep your head in the sand so as not to have to deal with things you know in your heart are happening; coping with a parent's death...

And the last thing you said is that we all have a story to tell, but it is important that we not get stuck in it. So very true.

Thanks again,

Mary said...

It seems like you are doing so well after everything that has happened in your life.I know I am struggling with acceptance at the moment, accepting my alcoholic for who he is and my own limitations.

Rhonda said...

I just found your blog and loving it. Have a 20 year old addicted son putting us through hell. My childhood was very turbulent also. I am hoping to somehow get through this with him but it is the worst hell anyone can ever endure.

Really enjoying reading your blog. I started with oldest first so am working my way through!