You can count on Mom

I got a call last week from the oldest son wanting me to pick him up because he was hurting and hungry.  Many emotions swam over me at once-panic, dread, sorrow, heartache…my child has been in trouble for so long and it’s impossible for me to turn my back when he clearly needs me for the most basic essentials.  I drove about a half an hour to a sketchy part of town and waited for him to come out to my car.  The first thing I noticed was how gaunt his face looked.  His pretty blue eyes did not shine and he was very pale.  He was looking far older than his mere twenty-one years.  He put his back-pack in the trunk and off we went.

Not knowing what to talk about, I left it up to him to speak first.  He started telling me about how bad his legs hurt and how his head had been throbbing for days.  He looked like a lost puppy.  I didn’t bother asking him if he was hungry, instead driving straight to a drive thru.  He wanted a double western bacon cheese burger.  I got him the large combo and he was done with the fries within five minutes.

We got to the house and I suggested he shower and take a long hot one to wash away some of the filth that had surely attached itself to his wounded legs.  He happily obliged.  As he showered, many questions went through my head:

  • what am I going to do with him?
  • how long will he stay?
  • is he going to try to break into the garage again?
  • when are they going to have room for him at rehab?

I needed to get some laundry done and seeing as I’ve been house sitting for my mom, I could do it at her house.  I told him that if he wanted to sleep here  he should get me the sheets and blankets off his bed because I hadn’t touched anything since he’d left previously.  His friend had given him some skateboard guts so that he could put his back together and he wondered if I’d take him to the skate shop so they’d put it together for him.

We got that done and I wondered if he’d turn around and sell it for drugs.

He left for awhile, happy, because he had a functioning skateboard again.  It’s nice to see him with a genuine smile, even if it’s small because he’s exhausted.

Please don’t go get meth.

I got all of his bedding and clothing washed and left it folded in a bag in his room.  I didn’t want to do too much because I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t want to be disappointed.  And, as sorry as I felt for him, I didn’t want to bend over backwards just to be shat on again.  He didn’t come home that night but showed up the next morning, put his sheets on his bed and promptly went to sleep.  I asked him one time if he was doing alright and he said sleepily, “I haven’t been in a bed in so long.”

I checked on him periodically but he slept for almost five days.  He got up to use the bathroom occasionally and I gave him a gallon of cran-raspberry juice to keep by his bed so he wouldn’t drink out of the container in the refrigerator.  I didn’t see or hear much from him but I was content knowing he was safe and not in jail.

He wasn’t getting beat up by the police.

I assume that those five days were spent detoxing from meth and who knows what else. He swears he has not, nor will he ever, use heroin.  Who knows.  I told him they make that shit with so many chemicals that he may have inadvertently used it at one point.  Of course, that’s a great way to get people even more hooked, right?

His legs are infected and draining. I brought him some antiseptic liquid that his supposed to clean the wounds and relieve some pain but if they still look the same tomorrow I’ll have to get him in to see a doctor.  I’m not quite sure why the hospital spent thousands getting him cat-scans but wouldn’t bother to bandage his bleeding legs.  He went directly to jail after the hospital and staph is a popular infection to pick up-especially having open wounds.

I try to make sense of the nonsensical and it leaves me frustrated.

For now, he is at home and I’m thankful.  Relieved.  He’s my firstborn.  I had so many dreams and desires for him as I cradled him all those nights, years ago.  My only wish now?

Stay alive.


I didn’t post the other pictures showing the infected areas because they aren’t pleasant.

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My Rocky Bottom

The oldest boy texted his dad informing him of his latest arrest.  Apparently,  he tried running from them, well, biking from them.  He didn’t get far before he was tackled, body slammed, and face planted into the asphalt.  He said his fingers got pretty messed up and somehow his leg had incurred an injury which he says was a cut to the bone.  They took him to the hospital where he received a cat scan which revealed a concussion and they wouldn’t stitch his leg wound.  And now I ask, How far down is rock bottom?

California has had its teeth pulled regarding drugs.  An individual can walk up and down the street carrying meth, a pipe, various other drugs and their paraphernalia with nothing more than an officer checking for felonies and then being transported to the jail overnight and released the following day.  It’s nothing.  It doesn’t count.  The state voted to reduce drug charges to misdemeanors so now they are nothing more than the equivalent of a traffic citation, only there don’t seem to be any fines.  How would they pay them, anyway?  California would rather make up the difference on me for not having my dog licensed on time.  $300 for failing to register your dog vs. getting a talking to by police for carrying meth.  Make sense?

These kids need help.  No, I don’t want to see them in jail, but I’d wager that most of them are dealing with psychiatric issues that need to be dealt with and I’d think the state could come up with a few rehab facilities that are set up like jails only not actually jails.  Keep them confined but get them clean and feed them.  But our governor would rather waste billions on a stupid bullet train that will never get built.  It’s hard to feel hopeful for the future when you see these young people with no options who will continue to spiral down until their crimes turn violent and they end up in prison or dead.  I’m no bleeding heart, but damn, there has to be something.

This has been my morning-well, in actuality, the past five years of my life.  Worrying about my oldest son who seems hell-bent on self-destruction with no way to get him on the right track.  He’s brought the criminals around who have inhabited the garage next door.  Saturday I discovered a blanket thrown over the outside security light and a blanket on the grass covering a block of cement that I’m sure someone was going to use to break the back door.  I called the police about it and they sent a giggly woman who spent a grand total of two minutes checking it out.  She happily returned to flirting with her partner before they drove off.

I didn’t realize that the rock bottom being referred to was my own.

Wino

Day 4

I haven’t had a drink since Monday night when I decided that I really need to let my liver have a vacation.  I came to that conclusion after my second martini.

Wine is my favorite drink;  red wine, to be specific.  I follow wine people on Instagram-they’re always cheery with a full glass in their hands wearing their fancy dresses and high heels that I’d break my neck in.  There’s a certain alluring quality to the image.

The reality is, I don’t have occasion to wear the fancy dresses or high heels.  I drink to quiet my mind and have a sense of peace, even if it only lasts until I refill my glass.  I’d like to say it hasn’t become an issue.  I’d like to say that I don’t think about it a thousand times throughout the day.

I’m overwhelmed with the chaos my oldest son has brought to my house.  His drug addiction and the “friends” who follow him are inescapable.  I have mothers and aunts showing up at my door looking for their kids.  “I have no idea where they are,”  I say.  Because I don’t and I really don’t care.

His drug addiction has infested my house like a bad case of roaches and no matter what I do to try to rid myself of them, they multiply and hide in the shadows.

Have you ever heard what comes out of an addict’s mouth?

“Fuck the police.”

“I stabbed my mom’s boyfriend in the head.”

“I’m not afraid of guns.”

“I hate you and wish you’d never been born.”

One of the many reasons I’ve become so fond of having a glass in my hand-It settles these conversations;  quiets them enough so I can get through my day.  But lately, the drinks have become the louder voice and infiltrate any quiet I manage to get.

So I’m taking a break.  It’s hard.  Real hard, I won’t lie.

I have a restraining order against my son and between that and everything else he brings, I’ve been a bit stressed.  Understatement of the century, folks.  But I have other kids and they deserve more than a mom too buried in guilt and intoxication to take them out to dinner or to go buy book 4 in the series they’re reading.

I’ll do it because I can and because I don’t like to lose.

 

My son, the meth addict

I’m not sure how to start this;  I don’t know where to begin.  How do you tell the world that your son uses drugs?

 

My son is addicted to meth.

 

I returned from my trip to Vegas feeling refreshed, inspired, relaxed…

Those feelings didn’t last long.

I came back to my house after being gone a week-I’m not the best housekeeper, but I try.  I knew I was leaving my 21-year-old son in charge of the house-I spent the weekend cleaning.  I mopped, cleaned the bathroom, did the dishes, vacuumed, stocked the refrigerator…he was set.  I knew he would probably have a few friends over, which I dreaded, but I needed him to be around the house to care for the dogs and cats.  I didn’t ask him to do anything but make sure they were all fed, could go out to relieve themselves, and keep the house locked up.  I don’t think this was too much to ask.

While I was gone, I would text him periodically to get a status report.  I wanted some peace of mind.  He’d respond when he felt like it to say, “Yes, the dogs have food. Yes, I locked the house.  Yes, I have not been abducted by aliens.”

The floors were covered in black footprints, the sink was full of dirty dishes, there were clothes strewn about (not his, but stranger’s clothes), and the door was not locked.  I found a broken meth pipe in my kitchen sink as well as two miniature plastic baggies.  I looked inside the refrigerator and found that someone had broken off one of the cubbies on the door.  I don’t know what the hell happened.

My son and I spend more time arguing and fighting than we do having any sort of meaningful relationship that a mother and son should have.  He’s lived in this house his entire life.  I would find out years later that some kids at school introduced him to marijuana in 6th grade. You can say all you want about marijuana-tell me how great it is for cancer patients, how it is the cure for all that ails you, that it will bring world peace.  But don’t try to tell me that it is not a gateway drug.  My experience with my son tells me the complete opposite.

Before I told my boy that he could stay in the house and have a couple of friends over, I had kicked him out.  I told him that he could stay next door in the garage (my deceased Grandmother’s house, long story) because I was sick of all of his drug buddies disturbing my household at all hours of the day;  it was nonstop.  Unfortunately, his living in the garage turned into hordes of people also living in the garage.  So now, instead of these undesirables coming to my door, they were frequenting the garage directly next door to me and entering the premises from both the front yard and the alley.  The garage had turned into a drug den.  I couldn’t catch a break-there were people walking and driving at all hours of the night in order to do God knows what besides just getting high.  There was even a mom who would drop off her 17-year-old son next door, and I’m quite sure she knew what was going on.

I confronted him.  I told him I was done, I couldn’t put up with this.  How could he bring his drugs into my house when he has younger siblings that live here with me (thankfully they are old enough to know better than to pick things up and put them in their mouths)?  Back to the garage, ye go!  We argued, it got animated.  I told him I’d call the police on him to which he replied, “Go ahead, I’ll slit my throat!”  He said that twice so I called the local police department and told them that my son was suicidal-they promptly appeared on my property and said they’d talk to him.  One officer was very smiley which I felt was inappropriate, given the circumstances.  They talked to him for less than five minutes and then left with no further contact with me.  Nothing.  That left my son free to return to the garage.

Sunday morning, my son showed up at the front door.  I asked him what he wanted and he said he was hungry.  Fine.  I let him in and he went to the kitchen where he proceeded to try to pour a bowl of cereal from an empty box.  He kept shaking it over the bowl and, of course, nothing came out.  I opened a new box and poured some for him, all the while taking mental notes of his strange behavior.   He began to take a bite full of dry cereal and said, “Hey, don’t you want any milk?  Your cereal is dry.”  He said it was fine but I poured some milk on it anyway.  He stood in the kitchen doorway eating his cereal as it spilled all over himself and the floor, which he didn’t notice or didn’t care about.

“You’re either drunk or high, which is it?”

“I’m not.”

“What are you on, you’re on something.”

“No, I’m not.”

He set his bowl down and went to his room and shut the door.  I went to check on him a few minutes later and caught him semi upright on his bed swaying from side to side. I took video as proof to show him later.  I told him to lie down and gave him a nudge so he’d roll on his side.  At this point I decided to call my husband and ask his advice and show him the video because he was acting out of character.  He told me I should call 911 because it seemed that he was overdosing on something.  Cue 911.

While the paramedics were tending to my son,  one of the officers asked me to go outside so he could ask me some questions about the events leading up to this.  I explained that he’d threatened suicide and nothing was done, and that I was at my wit’s end with this drug culture he’d brought into my house, into my family, and into the garage next door.  I’d spoken to this particular officer on a separate occasion pertaining to my son and he was well aware of the situation.  Out of all of this chaos, I was struck by his kindness.  He gave me some background information on some of the kids that were hanging out next door, gave me some advice, and above all, made me feel like I didn’t totally suck as a human being.

The ambulance whisked my son away to our local hospital.  It’s about a five minute walk from here but I’m sure the bill is in the thousands just for the gas to propel them forward.  I waited for two hours in the emergency waiting room before they found him a bed.  Sunday is a busy time in the ER, apparently, or at least this particular Sunday was.  One man decided that he needed his leg checked out.  He’d hurt it recently and could walk on it but it just didn’t feel quite right yet.  A mother brought her young son in whose head hurt-I don’t know if he fell or what but as she was standing in line, I heard him say with tears in his eyes, “Mommy, my head really hurts.”  Her reply?  “And tears help you how?  Why are you crying?  Stop it and go sit down.”  She was busy updating her social media while her son sat, alone, on the furthest chair he could find from her.

I was wondering who, out of the entire waiting room, was actually there for an emergency.  Were any of them waiting to hear about their son who was possibly overdosing?

So many thoughts go through your head.

If only I’d done things differently.

As a Mom, torturing yourelf isn’t going to help.  You didn’t force your child to use drugs.  It won’t change anything.  You have to move forward.

The doctor asked him if he’d used any drugs, he told me.  I’m thinking, “Are you kidding me?  He lies to me, his mom, do you really think he’s going to be honest with you?”  I wish I’d said that, but I didn’t.  They ran a urine test, did an EKG, blood tests…they don’t wait for the blood tests to come back, apparently.  The urinalysis showed marijuana and meth.  I told the doctor about the threats of suicide and he said, “Well, that was a week ago, we can’t do anything.”

I’m ready to scream at this point.  Nobody listens.  Nobody cares.

I’m witnessing first hand why there are so many homeless in my area.

 

To Be Continued.

 

 

 

My son, the Sailor

I traveled to Great Lakes, Illinois a couple of weeks ago to watch our son graduate Navy boot camp. I knew I’d be an emotional pile of Mom tears but I wasn’t ready for seeing my 18-year-old transformed from the young boy that had me hunting Pokemon at 9:30 pm in the park, to the man who stood before me in his uniform, tall and proud.  My son grew up in the blink of an eye, sadly.

The ceremony was beautiful, the parents were beaming, and we all shared one thing in common that day-our children were brand new Sailors!  I met many of Jordan’s boot camp buddies and their parents before we headed to the Navy exchange to buy a “Proud Navy Mom” t-shirt and hat.  I even bought two bumper stickers that I’m considering putting on my car that I swore would never have any stickers.  This is my son, after all.

I’m having a difficult time reconciling myself to the fact my boy has moved out and probably won’t be coming back other than on the occasional visit during leave.  He has his own life now out of state…away from me.  He’s busy and I don’t get texts back but I do know that he reads them.  When he has a spare minute he’ll “heart” one of my photos on Instagram which tells me I’m not completely forgotten in his new adventures.

I’m happy for him;  excited, really.  But that excitement is tempered with the bittersweet memories of my tiny baby boy and how I had him with me everywhere  I went.  I crave those times now, even more.

jordangraduation

I hugged him tight as I cried so hard.  He was gone for two tortuously long months.

jordandresswhites

We had to buy some Tide bleach pens because it’s very difficult to keep these white uniforms spotless.