August 31, 2009

I'm Home, I Talked to Him

I got home from Wisconsin today. My son called and we talked for the first time in ten days. Got to hear straight from him what happened. He told me the same story he told me when he called me the day he got arrested.

Apparently they coerced him to say a few things he didn't want to say. He's been researching what may happen to him and the options are: out this week, in for 90 days, in for 6 months. He wants me to hire a lawyer. Ummmm...that would be a big fat NO.

He thanked me for the books I sent, it does make me happy that he's reading, have to take joy in the small things.

He said there are 100 guys in his area of the jail, 80 Hispanic and the other 20 a mix. K is the youngest white guy and also one of the biggest white guys. So apparently he is either looked to as protection or picked on.

He's in a cell with 5 Hispanic guys who speak Spanish in front of him most of the time. They are all in for murder or assault charges. Lovely. I guess its good that he hates it in there and feels nervous and has to watch his back, but still the thought of him with such violent offenders, he's just a kid drug addict...seems extreme. But there are lots of gangbangers in that jail so I guess its probably a typical arrangement.

Oh well. Too tired to really care about much tonight.

Trying to catch up on all your blogs.....

August 29, 2009

Open Letter to K

Dear K,

We have never met but you know of me as much as I know of you. One thing we have in common is your mother. Your mother is the most wonderful person I have ever met.

She has told me a lot about you, all the good things you have done like the time you were in wrestling and that you know how to fix up cars and I hear you are quite popular with the girls. She is so proud of you.

Yet, she has also told me of the other side of you. Don't be angry at your mom for telling me, she needs somebody to confide in sometimes and I've always been happy to listen. And yes, I am aware of your drug use. From what I hear from your mother it tears her up inside. She really wants to see her son back.

This has affected me too. I feel your mother's pain and I want to do anything I can to help her. But all I can do is be compassionate and understanding. At times your drug use has affected our plans to see each other.

Yes, I want to meet you some day, K. I hope to see the wonderful young man that your mom is always talking about. I'd love to sit down and talk about cars, music and whatever else comes up in our conversation. I'd love to see that smile your mom always talks to me about.

So do me a favor please, make your mama proud.

Your friend,


August 27, 2009

To all the moms and dads and addicts and all of us

I am so thankful for the support, concern and wisdom I find via blogging about my son's addiction.

We are all different, yet so many of us can relate to each other.

My heart hurts not just for the parents....but for the addicts. To be honest, I think I have more compassion for the sons and daughters of some of you than for my own son - because he just pisses me off sometimes!!! Its harder to have compassion when someone hurts you directly so many times, over and over.

But all of us are flawed. We all have issues and hang-ups, mostly caused by hurts in our lives.

I'm realizing lately how precious life is - the simple moments, the love, the gratefulness. I just wanted to say I am grateful for ALL OF YOU!

August 26, 2009

Man Points Gun and Demands Painkillers

When I saw the above headline in my local paper I had no doubt that I would scroll down to discover the drug was Oxycontin. Hard to know if the guy was an addict or just a dealer looking to make an easy $4,000 - $8,000 on the street. Either way I hate this drug so much! Even though my son's first choice is heroin, he uses Oxy whenever he can't get H. UGH! Its everywhere.

I ran across this article written in 2005 (it won't link but its on NPR) and got infuriated - why can't more be done about this? But what? Sure, I partied in HS myself and used just about every drug you could think of. The difference back then was that we didn't have ADDICTIVE opiates, everyone KNEW heroin was for hard-core druggies not recreational drug users. There was nothing like Oxycontin or Vicodin back then.

But this generation has HARD CORE SERIOUSLY ADDICTIVE DRUGS readily available to them. I guess some of the executives of the company who make it have already been sued, back in 2007. But a lot of good its done - its still out there causing people to get unknowingly addicted.

It just makes me incensed! I can't link but here's a small part of the article:

Fast-Forming Addiction
Prescription drugs are the second-most used drugs among teens, behind marijuana. Teens are doing stimulants, barbiturates and painkillers. Many don't realize how highly addictive and dangerous some of these pills can be -- OxyContin in particular.
"I was sick as a dog and I was in bed and I couldn't believe it. I was actually scared," recalls 17-year-old Ryan, a high school senior from Tewksbury, Mass.
Ryan, who asked that NPR use only his first name, is enrolled at a drug-treatment clinic at Children's Hospital in Boston. He says he first tried OxyContin at a party when he was 16. Kids crush up the 12-hour time release pills and snort them, so they get hit with all the opiate at once. Ryan says pot made him feel "weirded out." OxyContin just made him feel good -- warm and relaxed. And it's easy to get.
"There's always someone who has it," he says. "There's kids selling it. I know alone, like, 10 kids selling it themselves."
But just a week after he started using OxyContin, Ryan realized that if he didn't get a pill every day or two, he'd start to feel sick. So he kept using it. He says he had no idea how bad he was hooked until the next time he tried to stop.
"It was like somebody was inside of your head with a hammer," Ryan recalls. "You feel like you're going to die. Just laying there in the bed, sweat pouring off of you... Then five minutes later, you're freezing… then you'd be throwing up."


My son was expelled from school in December '08, his senior year. Graduation day was hard on me as I gave some of his friends cards to congratulate them, I've known them since elementary school. None of his long time friends got into drugs, sure they partied like most HS kids do, but nothing more serious.

When K intentionally took two handfuls of pills (Trazadone and something else - I don't even know for sure what and neither did he) those friends sat with me in the ER. They stuck by K for months after that watching him relapse time and time again.

Now they are pretty much out of his life. They don't even know he's in jail cause they kind of gave up on him, or just got tired of his druggie ways.

Anyhow, the point of this post was to say that K has been attending an independent study high school (show up once a week, grab some homework, bring it back). He missed so much that they dismissed him but allowed him to re-enroll with a promise not to miss any more. Well, he missed yesterday cause he's in jail!

I called his teacher and she said she found a way to give him a temporary leave of absence for 30 days. He only has a few credits left so this is GOOD NEWS.

I love how some people (like this teacher) care about and understand the kids that have problems to overcome. It made me feel great to hear the concern in her voice for my boy. He will be so relieved to hear this, he really wants a "real" diploma.

Now playing: Pearl Jam - Save You
via FoxyTunes

August 25, 2009

I Miss Him

The other I got a phone call from my son saying he was in jail again.

I was shocked because he'd been at court all could he get arrested there? Well, he managed it by falling asleep in the courtroom. The Bailiff woke him and arrested him for being under the influence.

Its exactly what happened back in December when all this really started to surface. I was on my lunch break at work and got a call from his school principal saying "K is in my office with the OC Sheriff for being under the influence at school".

He had fallen asleep in class. After the short-lived heroin high, you get very tired and sleep for a long time. He fell asleep standing up once!

So he's back in jail for violating his probation and who knows what else.

He hasn't called me. I miss him. He told my sister that he feels hopeless like he can't beat the addiction, like he's totally f'd up his life. Yet he insists he should not have been arrested for being "tired" and was NOT using. BS, I know he was using the night before, but the drug test they gave him in jail showed up negative.

Its a sad thing when you are glad your kid is in jail. But for now, I think its the best place for him. Strange thinking occurs when you have a kid like this...jail used to scare the crap out of me, now it seems like a safe haven to save him from himself.

I am still spending too much time worrying and thinking serious thoughts. My life is at a turning point. I am trying to work out a lot of things right now, including finding a job.

But the permeating factor in EVERYTHING is K and his addiction. Its like a huge cloud that rained all over my life, it seeped into everything and I am soaked in worry, sadness, anger, disappointment and guilt. Its so unfair!

I have to wonder, if addicts understood how deeply and thoroughly their actions affected the ones that loved them - would they still use? Would they try harder to get clean? My son says "just don't worry about me, don't let what I do bother you so much." Right. All I can say is "I hope you are a parent someday, but I hope you never understand how I feel right now."

I miss him. I wish he'd call me.

August 24, 2009

Needles, Pens and Spoons

When I first noticed that there seemed to be fewer and fewer spoons in our utensil drawer, the thought of drugs passed through my mind very quickly. I didn't allow it to stop long enough to look at it.

It also seemed like all of my ball point pens were disappearing. Odd. I tried to push that thought away too.

But, when the supply of syringes we use to give our diabetic dog her daily shots ran out earlier than they should , I could not ignore the ugly truth.

Sure enough upon a thorough search of his room I found all three items. Burned spoons, empty pens and used needles.

Its one of those moments when the world spins out of control and you pray that its a very realistic dream that you will wake from. It wasn't.

I am going to sell his truck while he's in jail...

K traded his car for a piece of junk truck while under the influence. Since them my family (well meaning but very enabling) paid to have the truck fixed so it will be driveable. We all HATE the truck. Its a monstrosity.

Well, K had his license revoked for a year and now that he's in jail again I think its time for the truck to go. He will be furious, he "loves" the truck. But who pays for gas, insurance and repair?

I also had his cell phone turned off today.

This time I can't be such a wimp.

I am also taking the doorknob off his door. I know some parents remove the entire bedroom door, but I don't want to do that (yet) partially because it will reduce the noise from his TV.

Any thoughts on the bedroom door issue?

The Mother of a Heroin Addict?

As I read the description of this blog its hard to believe I am talking about ME. This was not suppose to happen. You raise your child with love and do your best and hope that any mistakes you make will not result in any serious damage.

Then something happens and everything about life changes...your child becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol.

People say "its not your fault, you did the best you could". Al-Anon says the most important thing to remember is the three "C's": You did not Cause it, You can not Control it, You can not Cure it.

I believe those things on the surface but deep down inside of course I blame myself! How could I not?!? He's my son.

Sometimes I find myself envying other partents that have husbands or wives. Doing this alone sucks and I also blame myself for bringing him into the world with a good-for-nothing father that proved to be even more disappointing than my already low expectations of him.

Short story on that: At age 30 I got pregnant by my ex-boyfriend. I did not love him, he did not love me. It was a one-night-stand with someone I felt comfortable with and had previously dated for two years.

When K was born "Bio Dad" showed a bit of interest, but not much. He would visit him for once a month for a few hours. No child support. K would never quite get comfortable around his bio dad because once a month is not enough to really bond. When K turned 12 I was struggling financially and filed for child support (I asked nicely at first but he said "if you force me to pay you I will never see K again").

Well, that ticked me off. It took a year to get the paperwork through the system and then I started getting monthly checks and the monthly visits stopped. Now bio dad would see K on his birthday and Christmas only (both in December).

By this time K had figured it out and decided he hated his dad. Of course what he really feels is hurt, rejection, and less valuable to him than his precious paycheck.

So yes, I blame myself for a lot of the reasons K decided to take the drug route. I searched high and low (at church and the Christian ministry I worked at) for a positive male role model to take K under his wing. A few men said they'd invite him along the next time they took their sons fishing or dirt bike riding, but they never did. The pastor of my church even met with me to develop a plan to help K when he was starting to show signs of rebellion, but nothing ever became of the plan. I don't blame these men - they have their own families, why should they reach out to a lonely boy craving the attention of an adult male (pardon my bitterness, it just burned in my heart as I wrote this, it will pass).

So K started latching on to any male that would pay attention to him...they guy that served us bagels every Sunday who was super cool and nice, the men we met trap shooting at the gun club, and a few others. But of course they were just strangers being friendly.

Then when he was 17 he met Jon at the gym. Jon was so cool, totally buffed out, and he immediately became K's body building mentor. When I met Jon and his girlfriend K told me that they went to the local community college and they were both so friendly I was glad he had some nice friends...though it did bother me a bit that they were older.

Well, I am not blaming Jon, I am just explaining HOW K got into heroin. Jon and his girlfriend introduced it to Keven and that was it. He became hooked immediately. He started using last October but I didn't know how serious it was until December (denial?).

So a nice kid with a mom who loves him meets another nice kid who's mom and dad love him (Jon has caring parents, a nurse and a businessman of some sort). Heroin addiction isn't just for hardcore druggies. Its happening to our CHILDREN in nice middle class neighborhoods where you don't even have to lock your doors cause crime is almost non-existent.

I just wanted to get this post out of the way. Sort of an introduction to my son and how he got started. It only took ONE TIME. O N E T I M E.
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