Friday, August 6, 2010

Those Eyes

It never ceases to amaze me how my son continues to try and manipulate people. We came home from work on Wednesday and he had used. He'd been caught by his girlfriend and she kicked him out so of course he was at our house. He was trying to be normal but you other parents know that you can tell. It's the different tone in the voice. It's the body language. But most of all it's the eyes. Those eyes that are nothing more than pin points even when standing inside away from the sun.

Events on my part had been building to a head. His violation of our contract was a message to us that he was not serious. Most of the time in the past my temper had gotten the best of me when dealing with him and when he was high. That's the problem I have to work on. I had been contemplating how I was going handle the issue in a calm way. He helped me with the decision.

On Tuesday he had to report to his probation officer. One of the conditions of his probation is that he attends at least 2 NA meetings per week and he has a signature page that he has to get signed. Well on Wednesday evening he said he was going to a meeting. Of course he had used and was still high. The straw the broke the camel's back was him going to a meeting.

I said, "You won't go to a NA meeting for yourself, you wouldn't go to a NA meeting because we ask you to and when you signed our contract, but when your probation officer says go or go to jail you decide to go. Well I'm glad you are going but I know for a fact how you feel about yourself and us. I'm glad you hold your PO in so much high respect, more than yourself or us. I understand with your actions today you have made your choice. You cannot live here any longer."

Mom really put it in perspective. He said he used because he had a really rough day and was overwhelmed. She told him, "When it was tough, you didn't call me, you didn't call your dad, you didn't call your girlfriend, you didn't call your sister, you have no sponsor to call, you called one person, you called Keri your dealer. Maybe she will take you in, you should go live with her." He had a look of horror on his face when she said that.

He left for his meeting. After the meeting he called and ask he could at least spend tonight till he found someplace to go. Mom's response was, "No, your clothes are in your suitcase on the back deck, good luck." He tapped on the back door and mom went outside. I don't know the details but she spoke with him alone for a couple minutes and she came back inside and he was gone. I am proud of her.

I believe Samantha's letter from my last post gave mom and I enough strength to do what was needed. Thank you Samantha and to all of you all that write.


jackandaisy said...

hi mom and dad,

you have no idea how proud i am of you and the inspiration you provide by sticking to your agreement. i gain immeasurable strength from this post. really, even though i know you are far from happy right now i beleive you did and are doing the right thing. i hope i am this strong when i need to be. but trust me, samantha's letter and now this post helps me so much. i know what you talk about when you mention the eyes. my son doesn't use heroin but he uses benzo's (whatever they are) i don't even know, nor do i care. but they erase his soul and i believe the eyes are the window to the soul. so he has an emptiness that is heartbreaking to see. i wish you peace today and in the days ahead. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your son.


Dad 4 Truth said...

How sad. I remember those days so clearly - you will always relive them.

I address what you are experiencing in my last post. There are options.

In prayer for your family.

jackandaisy said...

mom and dad,

i had one more thought. on the outside looking in, i see your son as much stronger than you do right now. he is smart and capable and able to procure dangerous drugs from dangerous, stupid people. i say this b/c i know the same is true for my son. when he is "out there" i worry as if he is a helpless soul. and the truth is that he isn't that helpless. he manages to go into one of the most dangerous counties in the united states and get drugs. how helpless is that? i hope you will remember to point this out to me when/if my son is there again.

with love


Erin said...

Sorry to hear about last night..... and yes I know the pin point pupils only too well..... My son and I went to a new counselor this past Monday night and before we left he said to my son that conquering the addiction is the easy part, but learning how not to self medicate when things in your life are stressful or go wrong is much more work. They will be focusing on getting to the deeper issues as to why he chose to self-medicate so long ago. I was happy to hear that as in all the out-patient programs that he has been in the root of the problem was never really addressed.

I think that it was so great that you and your wife were able to stand strong with him last night. I am slowly learning that my son needs to own his own recovery. None of this is easy. I hope you both have a great weekend.

A Mom's Serious Blunder said...

Oh those eyes...they cut through me like a knife. The way they try so hard to act and look normal would be comical if the reality was not so tragic and pathetic. I feel for you Ron. I am right there with you...I can almost taste your current reality. I am praying and watching, I learn so much from you. Thank you for letting me in. It helps me...I am not sure you really understand how much.

Fractalmom said...

that was an incredibly hard and strong thing to do. perhaps you have just raised Alex's bottom, and he will now hit his bottom and get fed up with what he is doing and get sober.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. The road ahead is rocky and difficult, but so was the one behind you.


GG said...

Wow, that's big. Good for you and Hang In!

kelly said...

Dear Ron and Mom,
From your comments to me on my last blog, ( which I read daily), I know you practice what you preach so to say. But, it's NEVER easy. You've set your boundaries, you are holding true to them for your own sanity and that is to be admired.
What gets me is, they, not just your son, but a lot of them, automatically think Mom and Dad will take them in.
I guess they feel entitled to our roof over their heads... and it's just not so anymore.
Keep fighting the fight for both of you and him.
Big Hugs

LisaC said...

You inspire so many people; and of course, no one says the right thing to do is the easy thing...but I believe that you did the right thing. And I agree with Dawn, although the road ahead is rough, the road behind has been equally as rough, so now is the time to exercise your love and strength for Alex which is what you just did. You demonstrated your love for him by not enabling his choices and behavior. Wow! Just typing these words gives me goosebumps because I know how difficult last night was for you both.

I'm so glad that you and Mom are a united force, taking care of each other through this time. I hope I don't sound condescending when I say, "I am so proud of you both." You really are great parents and you help all of us, even when that is not your intent.

VJ said...

I put my child's "stuff" out on the curb "three" times. Each time he appeared to be doing great and then he would break the family agreement and we would once again put his "stuff" out on the curb. It took us from age 16 to age 23 before we finally sought outside help, we later learned that 7 years is the average time it takes families before they seek outside help. That's why I call myself an "average" parent in my profile! :)

Anonymous said...

Sigh...Sorry to hear about this.

Annette said...

Oh Momma!! I am SO proud of her and I know fully what courage and determination that took. ((HUG)) Big hug to her...and you too dad.

Anna said...

I hope he learns something from this experience. I think he will learn unless he is mentally ill. In any event you do not have to live with someone who is torturing you. I know a man who let his son stay in the garage until he found another place to stay. It was cold outside, so he let the kid stay in the garage where he could not steel but would not freeze. These decisions are gut wrenching and sad.

Samantha said...

Wow, I must say how admirable you two are. It's a complete God thing that I for some reason sent you and email on boundaries and the next day they were challenged. That's a really hard situation to be put in, and trust me it's even harder to stand your ground when there are so many emotions involved; especially your own child. But the saying goes..."eventually you get sick and tired of being sick and tired".. hopefully your son will get to that point sooner than later. When the addict starts to realize they're losing their only means of support, they'll start to realize that maybe they need to change, and the best part being that they'll WANT to change (or have the willingness to do so). Stay strong.

Barbara said...

It really is "insane" when you think about it. Making the choice to use because you had a "rough day". My son loves that excuse. But don't you think they are smart enough to know that using does not make a rough day better (well, maybe for a few minutes!) it makes ALL OF LIFE more complicated! HELLO! Its hard for my to wrap my mind around how powerful the pull of the opiates are for these addicts.

Tell mom I said "job well done". I know that was not easy for her.

Unfortunately "the eyes" aren't a give away for me anymore cause his meds make his pupils constricted and he always has kind of a glazed look. Its kinda sad.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Cool. It sounds like you and Mom are on the same "page" and that is always a powerful place to be with a person you love. Relive these days with pride and conviction. You are two wonderful people who deserve a life to live...what you guys did in my humble opinion was cool- very, very cool. Now, get on with your cross-country trip...we will need pictures:)

Tori said...

Maybe it is a good thing that he was mandated to N/A - you never know what someone might say that will help him. I have been reading a lot. Jakes Mom suggested Addicted at ten. I am almost done with the book and it is amazing. I try to keep reading books where addicts finally get it and go on to have great lives. It gives me hope. So far everyone I have read they ALL go to meetings. I just wish my son would go. As always your family is in my prayers.

Syd said...

I am sorry but I believe that he does care about you. He is just manipulating again to get past the PO. Addicts/ alcoholics live by manipulating. Best wishes to you and mom.

Guinevere said...

If getting free of addiction was a matter of being "smart enough," I'd never have become addicted in the first place. I have no doubt that Alex is smart. Addiction is a disease that hijacks us and distorts our ability to function. When it's active, our intelligence isn't any match for it, and it will bend us backward and blind us in order to get us to support it.

I agree with Syd, I believe he does care about you; but the caring in itself is distorted by the disease.

That said, it's good to read about a family that is taking care of itself. It's great that you're able to be so honest about your heart-rending experience. Thank you. --G

pinafive said...

I'm so so sorry about this. You are being very strong. I've commented before, I am a 31 year old woman struggling with alcoholism. I relapsed last friday, stopped again on tuesday. There IS no excuse.. what Mom said is right - he has so many people to call, and so do I.. yet we don't. I've used the "I was feeling emotional/stressed/depressed" excuse too many times to count.

I drank for five days in February, and four days in June, and these past few days - other than that I have been sober since December, and it angers me that I could have had 9 months up by now.. but I stuffed up.

Your son is so deep in his addiction - I hope that you do realise he loves you. I adore my parents and if I could stop for them, I would (in fact I did stop drinking on tuesday for them - I was so down on myself that I didn't really care at that point, but I knew they were incredibly worried).

pinafive said...

ps: obviously my pupils don't get pinned but my mother says I only have to say "hello" on the phone and she can tell if I've had a drink. I used to be in such denial about people knowing. I shudder to think what co-workers thought when I came to work smelling like booze.

The Interventionist said...

An other excellent post, which I reposted to my blog. Thank you so much for sharing, Mom & Dad. I have linked our blogs both on blogger and facebook. Thank you again.