Friday, January 30, 2015

Driving While High/Stoned/Drunk

Everyone knows the danger of driving while intoxicated, high or stoned. Maybe just call it driving under the influence, no matter the intoxicant.

As a parent, we of course got our son a car when was in high school just as many other parents do every day. He was a good student and we wanted him to have the chance to be mobile and date. We were good parents.....????

What happens when you get your child a car and you know they are addicted to drugs or alcohol? They will drive. They will drive under the influence. Do not fool yourself dad and mom, it will happen.

Just like us, they will drive that car you technically own. Your name is on the title, the insurance is likely in your name. Your child is under 18, or maybe that car is in your name when your adult addicted child is driving under the influence.

What difference does it make? I can't stop them from using, I can't stop them from driving under the influence.

My story, my son drove under the influence. I began to realize one day he was going to have a serious accident under the influence of drugs. The car was titled to me. He was over 18 years old and driving a car titled to me and the insurance was in my name. I knew he was an addict and I knew he was PROBABLY driving under the influence.

What if he had an accident and hurt himself or hurt someone else? I knew he was driving under he influence. How much ownership did I have if he did hurt someone? How much of it did I own financially and morally?

I come to the realization that morally I would suffer long if he hurt someone. I owned that, I knew he was an addict and I gave him the keys, even though he was not using at the time, it was "his" truck.

What would my financial liability be if he hurt someone seriously and the vehicle and insurance was in my name and I knew he was an addict? For me, I am not an attorney, but it isn't a stretch to see an attorney putting financial culpability on my actions and negligence.

Dad and Mom, what should you do if your child is addicted to drugs and driving "your" vehicle?

What I did was take MY vehicle back. Told my son that I could not allow him to expose me to that much risk if he was using drugs and driving under the influence. I was NOT prepared to risk losing my retirement, IRA, house and everything I own because he was driving under the influence and I knew he did that regularly. I told him I could not live with myself if he killed or hurt someone seriously while he was driving under the influence.

He wasn't being punished. I established my own boundaries. I didn't say YOU can't drive my car. I said I would not assume that risk of him driving my car. "I" means boundary, "You" means rule. I established a boundary, I would not allow someone that I know that drives under the influence to drive a car I owned and put me at risk, morally and financially.

Took the truck away and it sat parked for two years until I sold it. I told my son he could buy the truck from me simply by coming up with the money to have titled in his name and to do that he needed to buy insurance and pay property taxes. We all know if an addict can  scrape up that much money it isn't going to the county and state to register a vehicle.  LOL

Do your want real evidence my scenario and logic is real then read this article published in The Kansas City Star on Wednesday January 28, 2015.

"Family of Man Hit by Teen Driver Sues, Cites Drinking Issue".

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 20, 2009

I just read that Annette posted about her hitting the mark of 800 blog posts. Congratulations Annette, thank you for sharing your life and wisdom.

Her post made me remember that my blog recently celebrated an anniversary. On January 20, 2009 I began writing this blog.

When I think back I recall why I began writing. I began writing because there was nothing left for me to try. I had gone to counseling, rehab, gone to Nar-Anon, NA, AA, and Al-Anon meetings, I had talked to friends and talked, screamed and cursed at my beautiful wife, nothing worked for ME. I began writing to save my life.

The lesson learned for me was that each of us must keep working to find our own answers for ourselves. Writing was my answer.

Six years later, thank you all for reading. Thank you all for commenting. I owe you all a debt that can never be repaid.

There are people reading this blog since I began writing. I know there are parents just now finding that they are not alone in this terrible journey. For all of us we do what we must and hope that peace can find us in some way. I hope that in some way I have shared my experiences that have helped someone.

I don't know what the future holds. Today my son is clear and sober. There was a day when we did not believe there was hope. Do not write the end of the story until the story is finished.

Where there is life there is hope.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

You Are NEVER Alone

My last post was about a son that was buried. A mother wrote me to tell me about her loss.

My heart ached and a shiver run up my spine thinking about how close and how many times we feared that we would bury our son.

Evidence to the title of my post comes in many ways.

Last week another mother that said she had been reading my blog for years wrote a personal e-mail to me. In that e-mail she told me how she lost her son under similar circumstances in February 2013. She told me how their lives were shattered and to this day they are heartbroken. She told me how they still feel guilty and feel they are damaged irreparably.

With all of those feelings this mother's final thought and message was to put her contact information in that e-mail and ask me to forward it to the mother who lost her son last week. She wanted to make sure this mother had someone that was walking in her shoes to talk to if she needed someone.

No matter where each of us are in this journey, WE ARE NEVER ALONE.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tragic News

Today a son was buried.

A regular reader of this blog messaged me to tell me that last week her son died from an overdose. She found him in their home.

I cannot fathom the pain and grief a parent experiences in this reality. There are no words in the English language to express the hurt we all feel for a family experiencing this heartache.

Hugs go out to this family. There is nothing more I or we can do. The monster takes life from not only a young man but from an entire family.

Every day parents of addicts live with this fear. For a parent, every second of life is lived on a razor thin edge. It is so tragic as young people fall to this scourge. My heart aches.

If love was enough to stop the monster addiction would be nothing more than a memory.