Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fathers Day and a Very Personal Decision

Today I have two very personal things I want to discuss and in that I want to express more thanks to people than it is possible to express either here or in person but I want to give it all I got.

First of all, happy Father's Day to my Father. My father died in 1982, I was 26 years old. When I look at myself I guess I can thank my dad for my gray hair, for being 5'11" the same height as he was and probably countless other genetic "hand me downs". But, the most important gift he passed along to me was wisdom. My father was a wise and thoughtful man. My father was a patient man, that I see now as one of the traits of wisdom. Sometimes when issues are especially difficult I can hear words or phrases from him in my mind. I am still learning lessons from my dad. It is the most amazing thing to a see dead man become smarter and smarter every day he lies in that grave.

An Update On My Son (family) On Fathers Day

This is going to a long update because there is a lot to say.

This has been a very hard week for Mom and I, maybe one of the most emotional weeks for both of us since this whole nightmare began. It has been hard between us together and hard alone. You all know what happened on the outside from reading, I may get too personal but this involves what happens to a father and mother trying to make a life or death decision.

Right up front I know some of you may agree with our decision and some may disagree. As I have learned through all of this there are few absolute rights and few absolute wrongs. The reality there is only life and those cards are dealt one day at a time no matter if you are an addict or just a lifer. We welcome and value comments either way.

We knew our decision was a life or death decision. We also knew without saying that each of us had to make that decision for our own self even before we could articulate what our feelings were inside. I don't know how mom made her decision but I am going to share what I went through and what we have done together this weekend.

I struggled, I didn't have an answer for this problem, I sought help. First I want to thank everyone that commented on my posts this week. I have read them over and over so many times I can almost quote your comments and impressions. This is one of the reasons blogging has helped me more than just about anything during this period in my life, all of you. I hope one day I can repay all of you with the right words at the right time as you have for me.

Also I spoke personally to others. I spoke with someone close to me that in her younger life she was a user and she was also a stepmother to an addict. She knows my son. I am going to share a thought that made an impression on my decision. She said, "Your son is a very smart person but I do not think he may have what he needs to be homeless and make the decision to turn around. He is a thinker and needs guidance, without some guidance and influence he is the person that will give up because he is impatient." Another person I know that is also struggling with addiction in his family said nothing other than, "How is Alex?" His point to make a special effort to inquire about my son in the midst of all of his issues actually said more than a here's what you ought to do type response. We went to dinner Friday night with friends, she has a son that is 31 years old and has been an active addict since his early teens. Just needed to be around someone of our own kind. It is easy to vent and be relaxed without explaining bizarre behavior.

Most importantly I want to thank my oldest daughter. Yesterday was a tough day. Mom was crying, I was angry there was nothing constructive happening other than I had taken out one window in the house and had a new one installed. We didn't know what to do and it seemed that there was no way we could get to an answer alone. Our daughter came over and mediated plus she had a vested interest in this, after all this is her only brother. She brought calmness and wisdom with her. What followed was a 3 hour discussion and an issue solving exercise that she suggested.

Leave him in jail, bail him out, throw him out of the house into homelessness, what are we going to do. We knew this was a decision that could have repercussions maybe for the rest of our lives, not just his life.

Ultimately in considering everything, including finding out that one of his dealers was actually considering bailing him out. Our daughter's counsel over 3 hours came down to if we don't do something then he will die. He may die anyway but you cannot leave options on the table never to be explored. Our daughter said, Alex is making deals with the devil, the devil needs some competition. We need to become Alex's devil. Give him a clear choice. She suggested we develop a list of specific behaviors that he must sign off. She said make it clear he does have a choice, that we a now OK with his using and leaving. Part on good terms and maybe one day in the future our paths may cross again, maybe not. We have become OK with our life. The physical part of our decision I want to share now.

Right or wrong we bailed him out of jail but on our terms. We exerted the control we needed on our life. I know we can't control him but we operate best when we have structure and this helps us, if it doesn't work for him that's OK. We are still at the same place.

Our daughter suggested our son be required to sign off on the expectations we have before even being bailed out. It was really quite odd. We made a list and had to pass it to the corrections officer to give to Alex to read and sign. The officer watched it all and I could see him reading over the shoulder, grinning, he then put his hands up and told our son, "Hey, we have nothing to do with this, this is between you and them." Pointing to us on the other side of the glass.

We made it clear homelessness is his next step. We wanted to put that reality in writing not just another threat delivered in anger. Below I am going to post his conditions that he initialed every line and signed and dated in full at the bottom. This "contract" will be posted in our home where we all can keep it in the forefront of our thoughts. Here is the deal our son made with the devil. I don't know how this will work but we hope to be a better devil than his drugs and dealers. His signed this deal with the devil.

___________ You will come clean on all activities that has occurred in our home.

___________ You will turn over every paycheck to dad and money will be allotted to you based upon a predetermined budget.

___________ You will supply a list of your dealers along with phone numbers and addresses, which will be turned over to law enforcement.

___________ No driving will be allowed until a letter from the state of Kansas certifying your license has been re-instated.

___________ No alcohol of any type will be consumed at any time.

___________ No drugs of any kind, including marijuana will be used at any time.

___________ You will attend and participate in family counseling with Dad, Mom and any other family members that is required or wants to attend.

___________ You will begin an active recovery program. (simply “not using” is not sufficient)

___________ An active job search for a second job will take place and a second job will be used to pay all debts.

___________ You are not allowed any contact with, (names omitted but specifically name every person we know he did drugs with) or any other known or unknown active addict, dealer or users.

___________ There will be no stealing or “borrowing without permission” from any person, home or commercial establishment.

___________ Monday through Friday the doors to our home will lock at 10:00pm. You shall be in the house before the doors lock unless work schedules require adjustments. Adjustments must be arranged in advance.

___________ No in and out to smoke or anything else after curfew time.

___________ Weekend door schedules shall be set at the discretion of Dad and Mom.

___________ At any time you may be required to produce receipts, signed papers or and other documentation necessary to justify your expenditures or whereabouts.

___________ I understand that violation of this agreement may result in us contacting law enforcement with charges being filed against you for violations of the law.

___________ I have read this agreement understand and agree to abide by each condition that has been listed. Additional conditions may be added at any time at the discretion of (names omitted).

When we got home, the four of us discussed every point on this list and told him the work on some of these points needs to take place over time such as lists but behavior issues begin NOW.

There is no way to know the future. He may or may not have a future but Dad and Mom wish to be have a future and we have realized our current life will not allow us that wish. Changes in us and him have to happen, one way or another. But we have to be able to live with ourselves and with our decisions. Today we feel like another beginning. (been there before but that what hope does to you)

Friday, June 18, 2010


It rips your guts out to do what you have to do when parenting an addict. And it really seems strange to talk about parenting a 22 year old man. But his actions are of a child and he treats us as parents that are suppose to provide for him so I really don't know what else to call it. Someone please, if you have a better term or phrase enlighten me.

Spoke with my son last night and he was begging and pleading to be allowed to come home if he could find someone to bail him out. I held my stance, he cannot live in our home again as long as he is the way he is as an active addict. He tried everything he knew to say including the homeless issue. Mom didn't even come straight home from work last night because she could not deal with the phone ringing constantly from jail. He doesn't seem to get that this time was a breaking point for Mom too. Mom is having a hard time, she can't even talk about it but I think she is processing and will come out better this time.

I need to read Truth # 7 again:

7. Homelessness May Be The Path He Chooses

Mom works in downtown Kansas City. When you drive down there you see homeless people with signs and some of them living under the bridges. They are dirty and hungry. They very likely are addicts, alcoholics or suffer from a mental illness. The one common denominator for all of these men and women living alone and homeless is that at some point in their life they had people that loved them. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends to someone. That doesn’t change their situation. They made choices that got them to this point. They can make other choices, and there are people and organizations to help them change. The key is, they must make the decisions. If our son makes the decision to live this way, it will hurt me terribly but he will do this until it is time for him to change, I cannot change him or those circumstances. It will not help him for me to give him a bed in my home if he continues to live the lifestyle.

Even though I wrote these truths that I have come to believe, I still have to go back to re-enforce what is reality for us each day.

The fairness issue is one I struggle with each day. I know that life is not fair and live that reality each day but rationalizing is hard when dealing with an addict. As an example, in our family our son has cousins the same age. These young adults are not addicts, they are going to school, working and some have even graduated college and preparing to get married. They are living at home. With the economy and schooling and a multitude of other reasons it is perfectly legitimate for them to live in the family home. This is not unique to our family it is a reality all across our nation. In fact many parents are praised, not just in our family, for helping out their adult children 20-25 years old get on their feet after college and while they look for a job or get established in a job to build the money for buying their own place. As the parent of an addict you are not afforded the same respect when you try to care for a sick young adult that is addicted. Comments of, "Why are you letting him live with you?" by others hurt you. I guess from the outside it is hard for some people to understand that it is possible to love an addict. We love our addicts just as much as we love our other children. We love our addicts just as much as other people love their non-addicted children. I think that is why it is especially hard for us to treat this disease the way we must to ensure we all come out on the other side healthy as possible. If I could go back to living where I believed that addiction was just a choice by people with poor character it would be easy to kick him out. But when you understand that addiction is a disease of the brain then it is awfully hard to turn out a sick child with no place to go.

For those that don't know, SS DD, Same Shit, Different Day

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Jail I Go

It is almost comical the level of stupidity that an addict reaches.

Yesterday our son got arrested in a neighboring county at a large discount store that he had been told to stay out of because of past actions. Mom paid his bond and sprung him because of upcoming court dates. (can you say enabling) Dad and Mom are not at the same place on this. At least it was only $150.

Today Mom e-mails me that he is in jail today in our county. I don't know the whole story (doesn't really matter or worth caring about) but what she said was he was speeding and got pulled over and outstanding warrants. Mom says no bail today, he can just sit. (Real story I called the sheriff. Charged with: open container, driving on a suspended license, 3 outstanding warrants in two jurisdictions.) (Sheriff ask me if I needed bail amount and I told him, no, you picked him up you get to keep him, this ain't no catch and release. He just laughed.)

But in our county I am sure his car is in jail too so there will be tow charge and storage. I don't know what to do with the car. I will probably get it out and hold it for sale if he doesn't pay the charge to me. No sense in me losing the money to a tow company when I could put it in my pocket instead. (to get the car out of tow lot, $100)

Tell me from an addicts perspective what does follow the rules mean. We had that discussion last night when he got home. Addicts have got to be the stupidest f..king people on the face of the Earth.

The one thing he did listen too; I told him to never call me from jail again. He didn't call me. I guess I did reach him at some level!!!

????? Is it too late for an abortion if the fetus is 22 years old? ;-)
Maybe those online medical coding schools will provide the discipline and needed health education he needs.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Nice Dinner

I wanted a relaxing dinner so I rushed home and cooked.

Taking a cue from Syd, he has been making me long for the beach, I boiled some shrimp, roasted corn on the cob and did a light salad and opened a bottle of wine. This is Mom's favorite meal.

To take it further and try to get that laid back beach feeling even though we are almost 1000 miles from the closest beach I set a small table outside under the tree. We ate outside, the breeze was gently blowing and the sun was playing peek-a-boo behind the clouds. But, what really gave it the true beach feeling I used a quart of Pennzoil 10W - 30 motor oil as the table decoration.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Our son moved back into our home. He and his girlfriend had to give up their apartment so they both went back to their respective parents.

I can tell you it wasn't something he did with excitement and to be fair we weren't excited either. But sometimes you do what you have to because you have too. Plus, our son had a job but no transportation. For a couple months he has been bumming rides to get to work. When he was really stuck he would call his sister or his mother. That was nearly a 60 mile round trip for us to take him to work and then another 60 miles if he couldn't find a way home. Oh the endless joy of living in the country. But truth is we knew work was a good thing for him so this sacrifice was minor in comparison to what we had been through in the past with him.

Finally, I got to where I didn't like everyone having to drive him around so far so I bought him a $1000 beater car. A small price to get my wife back in the evenings so we can relax together.

Today was the day to get the car licensed. We started the day off with a drug test, he passed. He told me go ahead test anytime. Funny thing, he took a picture of the test results, sent them to his sisters and his girlfriend. Said he hasn't had many that looked like that so he was going to make sure everyone saw it. Took him to get his paycheck, he paid for his insurance and then it was off to get the license plate. He was so proud to have that plate. It was actually something he paid for and was his own to go and physically put on his own car.

He seems to have goals now which is something I haven't seen in him for many years. My fingers are crossed but my eyes are open. I am a firm believer nothing good will ever happen in all of this without having goals. But that is kind of one of my life motto's, without goals life is just something that happens to you not because of you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sad Ending

This morning when I arrived at work a friend informed me that her friend's son had died of a heart attack.

This friend of her's was someone that she had sent to my blog because her son was an addict. She said her friend's son had been clean for 6 months but had sustained damage to his heart from his drug use. Yesterday evening he suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 25.

I am sorry for this mom. I did not know her personally but as all of you that read these blogs I feel a special kinship to parents with children addicted. To this dear Mom, you are in our thoughts.

This is a harsh reminder of the damage that is done to the addict from this disease.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A New Partnership Posting

The Partnership For A Drug Free America has posted another one of my essay's. This is one that you may remember, many of you commented that you really liked.

I really do read the comments and listen to you ALL. Thank you all so much for your wisdom.

I'm Sorry Officer, I Didn't See The Sign

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Thief

update: Just got an e-mail, has removed the plagarized post and banned Karter Sperry. Less than 24 hours, very good Helium.

I am so angry. I write on here to try and help others and to help myself. It irritates me when I found that someone has stolen my work and it using it to make money for themselves.

Yesterday I was searching the internet and found an article written by a Karter Sperry on Helium is a site where writers can published their work and get paid for their writing based upon the number of stars they receive. Mr. or Ms. Sperry plagiarized my letter to my son and published it as their own work. The stolen work can be found here: .

He copied my work from this blog location here:

It is shameful when someone will steal your writings and make money from them. Even with a copyright notice you must be vigilant. You may want to check your writings also. The way I found this is to copy a paragraph of your article and go to plaragrism checker such as: enter the copy paragraph and look for links.

I have no problem and it actually warms my heart when fellow bloggers use words from my blog to help others and I haven't found a single blogger that didn't credit "Dad and Mom". But Mr.or Ms. Sperry angers me!