November 16, 2018

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.


Dad and Mom said...

I really don't think you will ever get rid of those feelings. You are a parent and parents take on more than is possible most of the time.

Don't blame yourself and your relationships. We have been married 33 years, our son is a heroin addict. I went to the ball games, I took him fishing, I taught him to ski and he became an accomplished wakeboarder. I didn't teach him how to shoot up oxy, I didn't show him how to smoke black tar heroin. But he learned anyway.

It really isn't about our failures as parents. It is about weaknesses. It is about a trigger in our son that goes to extremes in anything they do. It is about a sickness that occurs after the first time.

Sometimes love for our sons isn't about "what if", it is more about "what is".

Her Big Sad said...

I share those feelings. It's not your failure. It's not mine.

But we struggle with that. My husband still says...

"It happened on my watch."

Wishing you a peaceful day today.

Anonymous said...

Hello from someone else walking this terrible path. I also share those feelings that my son's issues are my fault. I wasnt enough of a disciplinarian...I ignored many, many warning signs. Although I lurk on many blogs of parents of opiate addicted kids I'm not sure if knowing that there are so many of us makes me less alone, or much much worse.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Anon, boy can I relate! I ignored signs too and fell into a common single mom trap: I felt guilty that he didn't have a dad so I gave in to him way too much.

As for knowing there are other parents out there, I know what you mean about that too. At first I was discouraged to read all the blogs because it showed me I am most likely just at the beginning of this journey. But ultimately the blogs I read have become the most important part of my day. I get strength and hope from other parents, and lots of understanding! Its one of those things you can't really understand unless you are living it.

I will add your son to my list of people to pray for. I just started praying again and have no idea if it helps but it can't hurt.

Thanks for your comment, I hope you come back often.

banditlove said...

I am impressed with your involvement. Every parent wants the best for their children but some don't make the time.

I can tell you've researched, went to meetings, and been very into the treatment process.

The family part of treatment is important. Unfortunately, a lot of parents don't complete their end of the deal.

I really enjoy reading your blogs and I'm learning a lot about addiction through the eyes of a parent. Thank you for sharing!

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Bandit, thank you so much!!!!!

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

I was a single mother also. My son's father and paternal grandma are the ones that got my son into opiates. I had NO idea! My son's father was never really involved with my boy. I met my husband when Zach was 7 years old. We were involved in his sports, fishing, camping, etc., and he had his paternal grandfather and my husband. My son found his paternal GM deceased about 3 yrs ago (was living there) and found his father deceased exactly one month later to the day, from opiate abuse. I did not teach my son to do drugs, but I sometimes still beat myself up for letting him be with his father, for him to teach him. I just had no idea, so I have tried to stop the blame game, it isn't our fault! It wasn't my mother's fault when I used and experimented with alcohol and drugs in my youth and I remind myself of this when feeling guilty. Please know you are a great mom:) I just found your blog, but love your comments on mine. I am here if you need to talk.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Mom of OA, thanks for sharing your story. Its always interesting to hear the behind the scenes of how our kids got started. Very, very unfortunate that his dad was also using and died from it. Too bad things like that don't work as lessons better, but young males are so it seems. Thanks for being here, it means a lot to me!!!

sathya said...

Nice post!
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