Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Comment To My Partnership Post

Below is a copy and paste comment from someone that read my essay on hitting "bottom". She commented her personal experience and it is a powerful testimony.

Pat Nichols says:
February 21st, 2010 at 4:41 am

Here’s a true story for insight on the truth about “hitting bottom.”

In my second year of answering our local parent hot line a lady called and asked me if I was the same person who was answering this phone line last year. I said I was and she informed that I had spoken to her last year about her son; she then asked me if I would meet her in person, as she wanted to discuss her situation in person.

I have spoken to over two hundred parents and not one had ever asked me to meet with them so I hesitated to say yes. I thought to myself, was she angry about what I had told her? Was she holding me responsible for her “situation?” I attempted to get more information but she said she had to explain in person. I said yes and we greed to meet in the morning at a local restaurant. My curiosity was running wild and I didn’t sleep that night.

I arrived early and waited nervously. Shortly before
10:00 am she arrived. She sat down and thanked me for taking my time to meet with her. She began by telling me that I was one of the must understanding and helpful persons she has ever talked to regarding her son.
When we last spoke I knew everything you told me was what I needed to be doing but my husband and I decided we would wait as we wanted our son to graduate high school. He had a scholarship to a college in Texas. We didn’t want his use of drugs to be on his record and if the college found out he might lose his scholarship.

In March my son attended a fraternity party and they rented the third floor in a hotel. My son was high on LSD and I was told his last words were, “I can fly, I can fly” as he dove throw a third floor window to his death.

I wanted to meet with you in person and ask that you never stop taking parents calls. Please tell my story. Tell the parents not to wait. At this point she quit talking, she lowered her head. Her hair covered her face but I saw her tears fall on the table. Tears began to roll down my cheeks and I felt a sense of sadness I had never experienced before. Her head raised and she stared out the window. I waited; she turned and looked at me. I promised her I would never stop taking calls and her story will help many parents find the strength to take the necessary action to intervene on their child.

This experience made me focus on the fact that we, as parents, need to “raise” our children’s “bottom” by intervening early and often. No one knows what the bottom is or when it will occur. It is different with every child.

What does this say to me? As parents we try over and over to fix, intervene and sometimes do the wrong things, but the idea of giving up because it seems anything and everything we try to do is wrong, so I should just give up and completely detach. Some may want to employ this strategy but that strategy has consequences too. My advice, there is enabling and there is harm we as parents can do but I also believe in never letting our addict forget that they are loved. Tell your addict you love them and believe in them, those positive words may not mean anything today but you can never know the future.


Kat said...

Absolutely made me cry. Thank you for sharing that.

Barbara aka Layla said...

Ron, I agree with you on this.

The scary thing sounds like this young man died of a drug that is a "party drug". I think we are used to dealing with the day in day out of addiction and can forget that drinking too much ONE TIME, or a drug such as LSD can also lead to death.

PS I've heard this same story before but can't remember where I heard or read it, about a college kid on acid jumping out the window saying he can fly, Very sad, but very unusual. Much more likely to die driving drunk or OD on something. I speak from experience, I did lots of LSD back in the 70s/80s.

Annette said...

It is such a muddied line between enabling and loving...very confusing to me. And my gut instinct is not all that accurate in these situations. But I so agree with you about sending the message of love and acceptance of the person. That there is something most definitely worth investing in inside each of our children.

Fractalmom said...

It sounds to me like the parent was ignoring and enabling her son's drug use.

It sounds to me like their wasn't a thing in the world that would have stopped that from happening anyway.

It is possible that by confroting her son, he may have stopped? confrontation can be useful, but can exacerbate the situation, however, it can also just make the situation out front and open. It can give a parent the option of saying We know what you are doing and we do not approve, nor will we allow it in our home.

this is a sad story. no happy ending.

I'm glad you and others are able to love your addicts.

Mine has just done too much damage to our family. I'm just not sure that I love her anymore. And I certainly don't hope for doodly squat. All I ever got from hoping for her was disappointment. Call me jaded, but it is what it is.

and it wasn't because I wasn't supportive either. I did the walk for 8 years before I finally gave up, finding her shooting up in the bedroom, 4 months pregnant with 1/4 Pint (who just turned 3).

We all walk our own path.

Her Big Sad said...

I hate trying to discern whether to let go, or hang on, from a detached but loving distance. Ugh. This story is so sad.

Heather's Mom said...

What an emotional story to share. We don't know "what she told her to do" (that she didn't do). But one obvious point is if your child is abusing drugs, it should be addressed and not swept under the carpet.
God bless.

Syd said...

Detaching with love is a good thing. Just detaching and cutting someone out of our lives is not the message of the program that I know. I'm glad that you continue to express your love of your son.