April 28, 2010
I will be posting an update this weekend, much to tell. I am tired and need to do some pretty heavy self care for the next few days.
April 27, 2010
I was raised in pure chaos. A life long friend of mine once told me that my family reminded her of the Adams family on Acid. My mom had 6 kids, 5 with one husband and then me with my dad at the age of 42 (she must have had a little screw loose:) My father was an alcoholic as was my mom's previous husband. My mom was a binge drinker and there were many physical altercations between my mother and father when I was younger. My dad was full Canadian and came to the US and taught himself to speak English (too bad he stopped teaching me French at age 2). He was a Chef and he and my mother opened three successful restaurants at different times. Each time he would sell them somehow behind my mom's back, take the money to Reno, gamble it all and fly back to Montreal. This happened at least twice that I remember leaving my mother often with no car or money. We would then have to apply for welfare and my mother would find work in the restaurant industry. She often walked back and forth to work, but always found work and worked hard...when she wasn't on a binge. I remember wishing on falling stars when I was young, blowing three kisses and wishing my mom wouldn't drink that night and thought it worked. She didn't start drinking alcohol until the age of 38 when a doctor told her to sip wine for her stress. Wow, little did he know what that would lead to! She was the type of drinker that could go months without a drop and then go on a week binge with complete blackouts at the end of the night. Sometimes she would only go a couple of weeks in between, no steady pattern so nothing was even remotely predictable. She would often buy soda and chips, cookies, etc., and I always knew that was her payoff for us because she was gonna drink her bottle of Seagram's straight from the bottle with a water chaser until she passed out. She was a MEAN drunk, awful with the tongue. When she was sober she was the sweetest woman on earth, many referred to her as Mrs. Clause:)
My father was in and out of my life until the age of 15 when he was dying from cirrhosis of the liver. The doctor told him he would recover completely if he just wouldn't touch alcohol again. Dad was a beer drinker (case a day sometimes). You couldn't tell when he was drunk because he stayed that way all day. It was not a sloppy obvious drunk, just a regular guy who drank lots of beer to the outside eye. He chose to leave the hospital, get on a plane to Montreal and died two weeks later in his homeland. I remember crying very little, didn't even go to the hospital as I was by then dating a 21 year old drug addict. My mom and dad both tried calling the cops to stop my relationship with this older man child but to no avail. Back then if a girl was willing or they didn't catch you in the act, nothing they could do...sure wish it would have been different it would have saved me years of heartache.
Growing up with my half-siblings was a huge chaos fest. My oldest brother was 26 years older than I and then on down. I have 4 nieces and nephews that are at least 6-10 years older than me. My oldest brother died of alcohol at age 59. He was clean for at least 15 years, had a good job, lived on a river and fished daily (his passion). He relapsed, lost everything and died several years later after much struggle.
My second oldest brother died 4 days before he got out of prison for stealing a car when he was drunk (they said heart attack, but mom always swore he was offed). This about killed my mom and the entire family. His name was Larry and he was born with mental and physical disabilities. He was a sweet soul and very funny, but again an alcoholic.
My next brother, Joe, has used every drug and drink possibly known by mankind. I once saw him melt down Actifed and shoot it in his arm. He has been beaten almost to death, lived in and out of prison for years, had two strokes, homeless for years and is now in a shared living home that provides him assistance. He once stole all our living room furniture for heroin. He is doing better than he has in many years but at a huge cost to his health and mind. He did well for about 12 years raising his twin boys and other son until he relapsed.
My sister died in February of this year after being diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer only 6 months before. She also struggled with drug addiction and alcohol. She gave her son up for adoption to his paternal grandpa and his wife when he was 6 and never got over it. She has two girls that now each have a child but always had a strained relationship with them. She was often abused by men and drunk a lot of the time. She moved from California to Washington, met a nice man and married. She was on prescription pills (way too many including morphine) for fybromyalga when she was diagnosed. We threw a fund raiser and got her and her husband moved into a small house where we live in California. It was the worst death I have ever witnessed nor care to.
My last sibling, brother Dan, is the one I have brought up in my posts often. He has never lived on his own, is bipolar and that went undiagnosed for years. We all thought his actions (talking to himself or traffic, anger outbursts, sleeping jags, etc.) were from drugs. His preferred drug is Meth and I have been told by his psychiatrist that he uses that because it actually calms him and the disease for short periods. That is why they call it self-medicating sometimes. But he is truly an addict and is institutionalized from being thrown in prison for violating parole for using. That is what he has spent the majority of his time in prison for. Such a shame the mentally ill have to be shoved in prison when they aren't hurting anyone but themselves.
There was a lot of fighting and verbal abuse. I became the "fixer" of the family, calling in sick for my mom's work at age 10 when she was drunk, getting in the car with her driving drunk (and in wrong lane) thinking if I was with her she would be safe, always trying to make things go smooth so she wouldn't want to drink, etc. It was a lonely life for me at such a young age and I made a lot of fun of myself and made jokes to try and help me get through. I didn't have any self-esteem and still struggle with that to this day.
My mom enabled my other brothers (never the girls) so bad. Mom always taught us it was Christian to help others, even to the point of giving them the shirt off your back. She often took in stray friends that were on the streets, fed them, gave them shelter. I always admired her for the love she showed to everyone that came her way, but now see that sometimes she could have shown it less and in a different way.
I did drugs in my youth. I smoked pot from the age of 14 until I was 18 years old. I did Meth on a steady basis (daily almost) for two years, maybe three when I was in my early 20s. I had severe panic disorder and was agoraphobic. I had situational attacks in the stores, etc. I wouldn't go back to those stores out of panic. I became pretty much home bound and still using Meth!!! My ex (my son's dad) said we were going to stop using as he was supplying it all. I stopped, he didn't.
I started going to junior college and got my AA degree as a legal secretary so I could try and support my son. I built my own home, and neighborhood, through the CHIP program for lower income families and it was a nice little home. I finally was able to move out of my mom's home when I was 26 years old. I lived with her until then for financial reasons for both her and I. By then my son was 6 years old. At age 5, his father and I split up, or I guess I should say I kicked his father out. He was a full blown Meth user along with other drugs including opiates. He stalked me for over two years. I always felt that my son should have his father in his life (probably because mine wasn't around much). This was a mistake of a young girl who tried her best at the time and I forgive myself now for it, but it took a long time. My son had necrosis of the hip at age 4/5 and had to wear a brace that made him walk funny. All the kids teased him and I tried to protect him, even putting him in play therapy hoping that would help him. He overcame it and can walk fine and has no pain. Shriner's are a blessing on a side note!!
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. To date he has asked his probation officer to get into the State funded rehab because he failed a drug test and was going to be violated for a second time. He entered on 4/23/10 for 60 days. No matter what his motives for getting there, I am hopeful that he will at the very least add more to his recovery foundation and hopefully will keep building on that. It is his journey and I must let go. I know I have a ways to go to find my peace in this life, but have had more peace due to my boundaries, etc. in the past few months. 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.
April 22, 2010
April 21, 2010
Well, first things first. I spoke to my doctor on Monday and after talking to the oncologist/hematologist, they do not think at this point I have any type of blood disease or cancer, but that my protein levels are high from infection. I have chronic sinus problems, so I will continue to flush the sinuses, have surgery in the next couple of months and re-check the blood protein in 6 months or so. I kept myself pretty busy this weekend with the Rodeo, tried to stay present and enjoy myself as much as possible. My husband and I were very nervous off and on all weekend but I managed to have a good time for most of the weekend.
We had lots of drama over the past week. Not just the medical tests, but my brother took off for a couple of days on a manic episode and my son struggled at the Rodeo to remain clean. I held myself together, didn't get up in it with either of them. I told my son he could not stay with us at our house unless he was clean/sober and only until Rehab in May. It is hard to accept the fact that my son has a SEVERE addiction problem with not just opiates but all substances, and my brother also does also along with his mental illness. My son did not stay with us on Saturday night as he was drinking with some friends and my husband and I enjoyed the evening to ourselves after the Rodeo. We attended Rodeo again on Sunday and by Sunday night my husband, myself, my brother and my son, along with my step-son and his GF, sat down to a nice dinner, nobody was intoxicated or using.
I kept most of my boundaries in place, kept some peace in my mind and spirit in spite of the drama. I know I will only get better at this. I know my boundaries will grow and I will "do what I say, say what I mean" as I continue to travel through this journey, just taking me some time to get there. I am not perfect, never will be, but I have grown so much in the past 6 months alone.
I have missed you all so much and have been trying to keep up with reading and commenting through all the distractions. I noticed how much toll the stress over the past few years has taken on my body. I have been practicing body scans and am amazed at how tense my whole body is, my shoulders, jaw, even my tongue. Just amazing what not looking at ourselves and our own issues can do internally. I never thought I had a problem, that it was always the addicts, but I have come to realize I must work on myself, it is the most important thing now. It has to come first, I have to come first. I finally believe that I deserve that...sure took a LONG time getting to that realization and I am not always convicted in it.
I really want to start working my steps, seriously, not just reading through the books, etc. We only have a couple of members at our local Al-anon group where I live and none of them feel right to me as sponsors. I am wondering if anyone knows if the online Al-anon can hook me up with a sponsor and if anyone has had that experience? I know it is not the same as up close and personal, but at this point I would like to get started. Let me know your feedback.
Saying prayers for us all.
April 16, 2010
I walked out of the doctor's office thinking I knew what he had said but as is often the case, had many questions arise as the night wore on. Basically my "M Spike" was high which means I have a high protein level in my blood. He showed me some other stuff that was on the tests that were negative and said he was going to call his blood specialist colleague to make sure no further tests were needed. He kind of beated around the bush and I am sure he didn't want to alarm me. He never even said "blood cancer", but I knew from a time my mom was checked. He didn't seem like he was too concerned.
On the way to the doctor my husband had informed me that something small was missing out of his truck and he had a blow out with both my son and brother. When we got home I had a talk with them and my husband seperately. I went for a walk with my brother and son and came back as we all sat down to dinner with my step-son who just moved back to town. Tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. My husband is angry, I don't blame him. My son and brother are upset, each saying they don't know what he is talking about and that neither had the opportunity to take the item missing and adament that they hadn't. At this point, I am just fed up and scared. I started to cry, my husband started to cry, we are scared.
Tension is still high today in the house. I am at work, called my counselor and the doctor to try and get more info. He is out of the office today of course, but his nurse tried to assure me that if he thought it was anything real terrible he would have dealt with it yesterday.
We have a busy weekend as it is time for the annual Rodeo in our town (one of the largest 3 day rodeos). We have box seats and have gone for years promoting my husband's business. Neither of us wants to even deal with it but my step-son hasn't been able to go in three years and the box is paid for. Might be a nice diversion? UGH!
I am praying and trying to stay present. My son is still on track for Rehab, but no bed until 5/4/10. He is meeting all the boundaries (except this thing missing that he swears he knows nothing about and may very well not). Please place us on your prayer list, although I know that many of you pray for us anyways, I could use just a little extra I think right now.
I have been reading, just not feeling like blogging for obvious reasons. Miss and care for you all.
April 13, 2010
Appreciate Everything and Everyone
Look upon every experience you’ve ever had, and everyone who’s ever played any role in your life, as having been sent to you for your benefit. In this universe, which was created by a divine, organizing intelligence, there are simply no accidents.
I felt the need to do a gratitude list today in writing. I do them usually every day in my head but think I will start putting them in writing sometimes.
Today I am so grateful for:
1. My son's laughter in my home
2. My brother's continued efforts in becoming well
3. My husband for all that he is and does
4. Having all my limbs and senses
5. Having employment & health insurance
6. My home, bed and all the comforts it provides
7. My blog community
8. My personal counselor
9. My Al-anon meeting
10. Really super clean drinking water from the tap
11. Nature, just happening and being effortlessly
12. My renewed relationship with the Lord
13. Eating with my family and praying before dinner at the table every night
14. Learning to trust myself
16. That I have progressed so much in the past three years
17. I lost almost 10 lbs in a little over a month
18. Feeling free to speak my truth
April 12, 2010
So as an update, my son is still at our house. He went to his probation appointment this morning and checked in with his drug and alcohol counselor. The counselor advised him that he has not received the funding and it could be another week..ugh! Things have been going pretty well with him at the house. He has been taking small amounts of suboxine, which I have dispensed to him. I would rather do that than deal with him detoxing in my home, he can do that in rehab with medical professionals. He has been following the rules/boundaries to date.
As for me, I find that when I step back, bite my tongue, realize when I am heading into saying or doing something that goes against my own recovery, I feel uncomfortable, almost anxious. I belive it is because I am so used to behaving in a codependent way, that when I catch myself and don't, it leaves me feeling somewhat uneasy, anxious and kind of lost and alone. I know this is probably normal and will pass as I progress. I am going to a meeting tonight, found that I look forward to my weekly Monday night meeting, no matter how small it is (sometimes 2-3 people).
I hope you all have a fantastic week. I pray my son is able to get into rehab sooner rather than later, that the funding is provided this week and he will be ready to go. I pray for all your loved ones who are struggling also, that they may seek out recovery and obtain restored health. Peace to us all.
April 7, 2010
April 6, 2010
We sat down with my brother and had a discussion with him. We are not ready to make him leave as he has put out way more effort working on himself and his future than not. We are very open and honest with him about his mental illness and monitor it with his medication and his psychiatrist. We will discuss this weekend's episode with his doctor at his next appointment.
If you read here you know that I told my son I had to have proof of him entering a prop. 36 rehab program before he could stay at my home until the bed opens up. I got a phone call on my lunch hour from my son's drug and alcohol counselor. They are setting him up for rehab, but not sure when the funding will be released. He said he is hoping for the next couple of days but not to hold him to it. So in the meantime, my son will come and stay with us, without use of his cell phone, our phone, no visitors and no going into town without us. That is just until he leaves for rehab assuming that happens. I will hold tight to my boundaries, I know I can't live for him or do it for him, but I won't have the phone ringing off the hook or people coming to my home that he has been affiliated with. I am nervous about my peace. I know this is temporary and I can shift my boundaries if necessary, but it still makes me very uneasy. I feel as though I need to support him in his efforts to recovery, no matter how or why he gets there.
I have been seeing a sinus specialist and he did some tests on my immune system. They called today and said they received the results of some blood tests and need more. They now want a standard CBC but also one to check my lymphnodes. O.K., that panicked me, probably because my anxiety level is already so high and of course I am assuming the worst.
I went to a meeting last night and that was helpful. I am just so anxiety ridden today that I just cried for no apparent reason. I am at work and my co-worker is taking off starting tomorrow for three weeks. I have to pick up the slack and my boss is sick and irritable (mean). I must get myself into a space of healing. I will go home and read and I have a counseling appointment tomorrow night.
I am thinking of Her Big Sad and Peggy. I pray we will all find peace no matter what is happening around us. Thanks to you all for always commenting and rallying around when I need it, I thank God for each of you.
April 4, 2010
I changed my username from Mom of Opiate Addicted Son to Mom trying to Detach with Love, so it is still me if you see that name.
Overall, we had a lovely weekend and our dinner was nice. I hope you all had a fantastic Easter and thank you as always for your support, it helps me so much.
April 2, 2010
Posted earlier todayMy son just called me and asked what we are doing this weekend. I told him we were going out of town on Saturday and would be back Easter Sunday afternoon. He advised that he is going to ask his drug counselor to go to rehab (prop. 36) but that he would need a place to stay for a couple of days. I told him I didn't think it was a good idea for him to stay with us, that I was at work and we would have to discuss it later. I told him I did not want him coming home and detoxing in my home. He stated he has some suboxone and he isn't detoxing. I again said I didn't think it was a good idea and we would have to talk later. As I was trying to tell him that I want to be supportive but need to be sure he is serious about going into a program, he hung up as his feelings seemed hurt and he was mad. Seems like manipulation to me. I am conflicted between feeling like I am being manipulated/used and feeling sorry and sad for my boy. I just don't think he is ready?? This sucks, my fear is rearing its ugly head and I just want to pick up the phone and call him, tell him how much I love him and how much I want him to work it out. I just need to know that he knows I love him so much. I have acted out in anger so many times with him over the past three years and I just am feeling vulnerable right now. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I know I need to let go right now, but I feel like I just abandoned my son:(