Mother's Heartbreak

A Story of Addiction & Loss

Category: Depression (page 1 of 8)

Really Rockford, Really!!!!!

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Matt,   Once again your addiction has turned our world upside down.   Mike should be home in bed, not fighting to get you admitted to a mental hospital.  I should be sound asleep not pacing like a wild animal in my darkened home.   I dial the intake number listed on their website.  No answer.  WTH.  How can a mental hospital not answer the phone in the middle of the night.  So the wait begins.  Ray has given up and gone back to bed.  Someone in this household needs to be able to function like a normal human being and right now it’s not looking too good for me.

So I wait and sit and pace until the sun starts to appear.  What the hell was going on?   How long does it take to admit someone who has attempted to end it all.   My mind is out of control.  I fight the urge to get into my car and see what the hell is happening for myself.  If this takes much longer I will have a breakdown and need one of their precious beds for myself.   Do you think we can share a room?  Do they have family suites like hotels do?   Ladies and gentlemen, this is the addicts wing.   This is where we put the addicts and their poor mothers who have now lost their minds.  I really don’t know how much more I can take.   I’m mentally and physically exhausted.   I can’t eat, barely sleep.   My face shows signs of constant stress.  I have forgotten how to smile.   Maybe I’m the one who should be admitted.  If anyone saw me beating the crap out of your dealer on my from lawn they would certainly vouch for my craziness.  I know most of my friends would.  “You’re crazy for putting up with his crap”.   “You’re crazy for letting him live with you”.   Yup just call me crazy.   Give me permission to lose my mind.   Let me find that rabbit hole and just keep sliding far, far away from here.

Headlights break into my thought.  ” Mike, what?”  I don’t even get the words out of my mouth.  “Mom, they finally admitted him”.   “Three hours, holy shit I never thought they would take him back”.    “They had me clean out his pockets”.    Pills spill out of Mike’s jacket and onto my table.   My brain screams as I see the shapes and colors all dancing across my table.   Matt, where in the hell did you get these? Enough to do the job you intended to do.   I relive beating your dealer.  My mind goes to a dark place.   If I could find him at this very moment I would force these pills down his throat and watch him die.   Yes, your honor.   I’m guilty.   I’m just the mother of an addict trying to save her son from the pusher trying to kill him.   Crazy,  yup that’s me..

So now I must wait to see you again.   There are rules to follow.   No visitors until the weekend.  No phone calls, no nothing.   I want to scream.   I’m no visitor,  my mind screams,   I’m his mother.   I try to play dumb as I once again dial the number I now have memorized in my brain.   I plead my case to deaf ears.  Please I just need to know he’s ok.  I need to know what he needs.   He is there with the clothes on his back.  I want him to be comfortable.   I need him to know I love him and I will not abandon him.   Please…..Nothing.   No information.  Thank you Federal Government for HIPPA..

My heart is in my throat as I sit in the parking lot waiting for Mike.  Never in a million years did I ever think your addiction would lead to me sitting in my car in the parking lot of a mental hospital.   In my fantasy world, you were just going to kick this, just like that.  What the hell was I thinking.   I was so lost in my thoughts that I never heard Mike until he hit the hood of my car.   “Mom, where are you.  I’ve been calling you for a few minutes, are you Ok?”   “No Mike,  I’m dreaming of a life that doesn’t exist”.   “A life free of the demons that are slowly making me crazy and killing our family.”   My tears start as Mike grabs my arm and leads me to the front door.

We have to sign in and show ID.  We sit and wait for our turn.   I stare at the enormous fish tank thinking how nice it would be to be a fish.   I hear a buzz then our name is called.   We are greeted by an attendant who leads us through a maze of doors.  He locks and unlocks doors as we follow him like rats.   I can feel that familiar throat tightening.  My heart starting to skip beats.  I feel like I’m being lead to an execution.  Last man walking.   We are left alone in a small room.  There is no air.   I can feel my guts starting to shake.   “Mike, please no confrontation,  I can’t take it.”   The door opens.   My heart drops.   You are there.  I want to run and wrap you in my arms, to tell you that I love you and it will be ok.   Your stare stops me.  Your anger is palpable.   You wear a shirt I don’t recognize.   You shoes have no laces, your pants no belt.   My mind is screaming.   Suicide precautions,   Dear God,  my son is on suicide precautions!  I felt like I’d been hit by a bat.  I feel the room spinning.  Oh no.  No you don’t.  My mind is screaming.  No passing out for you Mama.  Your demons are in the room.   Laughing.  That’s right Mama.  We almost got him this time.   We win, you lose.

Your counselor is young and naive.   You once again have used your charms to pull the wool over the eyes of those who are supposed to know.   Mike looks at me reading my mind.   He is polite but firm.   He tells the story of the last two years of the endless chaos, the nights of wondering if you were alive or dead.  The total mess our lives have become due to your using and lies.  The betrayal of everyone trying to save you.   My heart is silently breaking as I watch your brother pleading our case.   Trying to keep you in a place where you will be safe.    I watch your face.   My sweet, sweet fox.   The innocent lamb with the big bad wolf as your brother.  You once again have mastered the art of deception.   You are the victim.   I’m screaming inside my head.   I’m kicking and screaming grabbing this young, dumb so called professional and shaking the shit out of her.   Don’t you see!  Don’t you see!   He’s lying!   We are the victims.  Please, Please, don’t let him out.   You are supposed to be the expert.  Trained in the art of treating and recognizing the lying, manipulative behaviors of those in active addiction.   The hollow sound of her binder closing brings me back to the reality of the bullshit that just went down in this airless room.   I am numb.   Nothing we have said means anything.   You, my fox are an adult.   You are the one in charge.

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We are escorted out through the rat maze.   I crumble into a mess when I feel the air on my face.   Mike is pissed.   “WTF, Mom, WTF”.    I sit in my car and watch Mike pull away.   Mike’s too proud to let me see his tears.   I sit in my car.   I am numb.   Did this really happen?   My mind replaying the scene over and over.   I feel the sobs racking my body.  The familiar waves of helplessness washing over and pulling me down into the abyss.   I lost track of time.   I’m now sitting in darkness, the parking lot mostly empty.   My eyes are closed as I try to formulate a plan to fix this.   A loud thumb startles me as I look into the face of a security guard.   I roll my window down knowing my eyes are swollen and red.   ‘Lady, you ok?”   I smile and shake my head.   My mind screaming.   Do I look ok you stupid, stupid man.   I’m sitting alone sobbing in my car in the empty parking lot of a mental hospital where my son is a patient.   What the hell do you think?

Driving home I’m once again accompanied by me, myself and I.   We are having a conversation about what to do.   Funny, I thought my days of talking to myself were over, but here I was once again asking questions and answering them.   I don’t even look over at the car next to me.  Yup,  whatever you’re thinking about the crazy blonde driving the car is true.   Yup, she’s lost her mind…

The letter I write details our life through your addiction.   I leave nothing out.  No more dirty little secrets, nothing but the God’s honest truth.   Ladies and gentlemen this is the true story of Matt’s life.   This is not fiction, this is the reality of the disease of addiction and how it is slowly killing my family.   I could not make this shit up.   The letter is two pages long.   I send it to the psychiatrist that you’ve met once.   Another copy to your counselor and another to the social worker.   I say a silent prayer as I hit send.   My heart is afraid.

So here it is Thanksgiving.   I sent my letter two days ago and still no response.   My heart is in my throat as I pull into this dreaded parking lot.   Once again I’m led through the maze, but this time there are parents who look just like me.   Sorrow spilling from their pores as we follow like mechanical robots all waiting to see our children.    We are taken to the gym.   A big room filled with small tables.   I see you sitting  staring at me as I approach.   I kiss the top of your head before I sit.   We are told we have one hour.   My mind is pissed.   WTH is this prison.   It’s Thanksgiving and I am generously being given an hour to see my son.   “So you wrote a letter and sent it to everybody”.   Shit, shit, shit.   Those bastards ratted me out.   I try to stay calm, putting on that mask I’ve come to hide behind when I know the shit is getting ready to fly.   “Yes, I did”.   “They need to know the truth, I’m trying to get you the help you need since you have pulled the wool right over their eyes”.    You look at me and laugh.   “Don’t matter Mom, don’t matter”.    I try to make small talk while struggling to hold back the flood of tears threatening to fly out of my eyes.   You ask if I brought smokes.   Against my better judgement I hand you a pack.   You are restless and quiet.   Oh Matt, my heart is breaking.   It’s Thanksgiving.   We should be home.   I should be making stuffing as the smell of Turkey floats through the house.   You should be watching football and hanging out with Mike.   But we are here trying to act normal in the most un- normal place.    I’ve never felt so alone in my life.   It’s as if you can’t wait to get away from me and all I want to do is hang on to you.   My fantasy is to grab you and run like the wind.   To find the rabbit hole and fall and fall holding onto each other.   Laughing and hugging and flying away from the ugly reality that is our life.   I want to run into the Queen and grab her Axe and chop off the heads of your demons,  freeing us both from the grip they have on our lives.   I want to live in Wonderland and be happily ever after.   A guard appears and calls time.   I look around and see the sad faces of parents like me.   I look at you and smile through my tears.   They have begun to fall, I have lost control.   You give me a hug and walk away.

So once again, I’m lined up and led through the maze.   One door opens while another slams shut.   I make it outside before the sobs hit like a wave I can’t pull out of.   I’m drowning in my grief.   Thanksgiving,  my son eating with strangers while I sob all the way home.    Thanksgiving, sorry Lord, there’s nothing to give thanks for.

It’s Saturday morning.   I’m finally recovering from our visit.   Trying to hope my letter made a difference.   My phone rings and your picture pops up.   I grab it on the second ring.   “Hey Mom,  I’m getting out today”.   You sound like it’s just another Saturday, not like you’re calling me from a psych hospital.   I want to vomit.   I try to mask the horror in my voice.   “What, they think you are ready to leave, seriously”.    “Thanks Mom,  glad you’re so happy to hear from me”.   “You picking me up or not”.    “Matt, who said you’re ready?”   “I want to talk to your counselor”.     “Forget it Mom,  I’m discharged.   You coming or not?”

I pull up.   You are standing in the parking lot a smoke hanging from your lips.   Your shoes are tied and your pants are belted.    Well I guess the geniuses think it’s safe. Your possessions are in a brown bag.    My heart breaks when I remember the man you were.   The owner of a beach house.   The owner of a thriving garage.   Living with a beautiful girl.   Living the life by the sea.   Now you are left with the clothes on your back and whatever you hold in that bag.   God how I hate what this disease has done to you and me.   You open the door, take a last drag and throw the butt to the ground.   I put on the mask.   The mask I hide behind.   I hear the sound of the rollercoaster pulling up.   The sound of the breaks as it stops outside my car.   I feel the bar come down to lock me in place.   I feel my stomach start flipping as the coaster pulls out of the station.    I close my eyes and hold on as we climb and climb.   I feel each level.   Higher and higher.   I look over and see your smiling face.   The face I love so dearly.   A face that has become a master at deception.   I grip the wheel and pray……….

My Son Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest….

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Matt,   You really did it this time.  You had the balls to have your pill boy knock on my door.   What were you thinking, or not thinking I should say.   I still remember the shocked look spreading across his face as my punches kept coming.  I’ve never felt so out of control in my life.  Beating the person who brings you poison.  God, what a release.  It felt so good to punch and kick your demons.  Show him who’s boss, who’s in charge.   He’s the next best thing to punching the crap out of you.   That’s what I really want to do.  To duke it out with your demons.  An exorcism, like in the movies.  I want to wave a cross in your face.  Keep you tied up and safe.   I want you to stop destroying your life and dragging me down that black hole.   Dear God,  I can only hope no one saw my craziness.   Your addiction is turning me into someone I don’t recognize.   Never would I ever picture myself being the out of control mother that would be capable of physical violence.   Me, the nurse.  The care giver turned into a cussing, fist flying defender of you.   Oh Dear God what is happening to our lives.

Ok, so now how do we get past this?   How do we act like this never happened?  You are pissed.  Not talking.  Punishing me with your silence.   I tell you I did it to save you.  That one day we will look back on this and laugh.  One day when you are in recovery we will have a rip roaring belly laugh until tears flow and hugs are shared.  Forgiveness flowing from our hearts.  Me, forgiving you for the years of ugly chaos and you, forgiving me for pill destroying and running interference.   My dream of peace gets me through the next weeks of your healing.

You’re getting stronger and meaner every day.   You remind me of that caged tiger. Pacing from one end of his cage to the other.   Our home has become your cage, your prison.   I foolishly try to reason with you.  To get you to see my side.  I feel like I’m selling my soul to the devil.  I try to set boundaries.  To live here you must follow rules.   No pill deliveries.  No abusing.  You look at me with a piercing stare.  Your beautiful eyes, now cold.  Shark eyes, looking past my face into my soul.  I feel like I’ve been assaulted.   I look away.  A coldness settles in my soul.

I’m so worried about saving you that I forget about me.  I have a professional license.   All I need is for the cops to get wind of your activities and follow your supplier to my front door.   Those pills he tried to deliver where much stronger than those prescribed.   Your choice’s have once again threatened my sanity.  Now you’ve put my career in jeopardy.   The possibility of losing my nursing license is just too much to chance.   I tell you we must talk.  You sit and at least look at me.  I feel like I’m begging for my life.   “Matt,  if you stay there can be no more buying drugs”.   I hold my breath and wait.  You get up.   “No problem,  I’m going back to my friends”.   Just like that you pack.   I’m holding back my tears.  “Matt, please stop”.   I love you and want you to get well, please”.    I reach out for your arm.   You look back and tell me, “I’m not your little boy,  I’m not being told what to do by my mommy”.    Your words are like a slap.  I watch you walk out the door.   What’s left of my heart breaks again.   I close the door watching you pull away.   The pain of all these years hit.   I sit in the dark, alone with my memories.   My little boy.  My Matt. My tow headed shadow.   People would joke.   The doctor forgot to cut your cord they would say as you followed me every where.   What the hell happened to that boy.   Where did he go.  I listen and hear the laughter of your demons..

So now my sleepless nights return.  At least having you here allowed me to sleep.  Knowing you were under my roof and supposedly my control.   How stupid to think I controlled anything.   Now I lay in fear.   Fear of that phone call.  Fear of the police knocking on my door.   Fear gripping my heart as darkness settled.   My mind spinning with all the what if scenario’s dancing in my brain.  Why wasn’t there an off switch.   At least I could turn off for a few hours, but no, night after night your demons dance in my head.

You’ve been gone for two weeks.  It’s 2am I’m fighting the urge to just get up.  Stop the madness, knowing sleep will not come.   The headlights pierce the darkness of our bedroom.   My heart is in my throat.  Oh God,  my brain is getting ready.  This is it.  I leap out of bed jumping over Ray and run to the window.   You are in the driveway.  Stoned and screaming.  I fly downstairs and out the door.  You are waving a bottle.  I try to grab you.  Once again we are struggling for your survival.  I am on your back.  You have taken so many pills.   You tell me you want to die.  You can live like this no more.  Now, I’m screaming.  I don’t give a damn if the neighbors hear.  I’m sticking my fingers in your throat.  Puke Matt.  Just puke.  You are gagging as I see pills hitting the driveway.   More headlights.  Mike jumps out of his truck.   Oh God, how?   “Matts friend called, said Matt was threatening to end it tonight”.   Mike takes over restraining you.   His medical training  kicks in and his fingers replace mine.

I run into a startled Ray.  I’m screaming and violently shaking.  He doesn’t understand my craziness.  Seeing  you and Mike struggling in the driveway he runs outside.   So now at 2am your demons are making your family crazy.  We are battling for your life.  Mike and Ray finally calming you down while I’m calling for medical backup.  Calling all angels, my friend at Rockford.   I’m babbling.  “Help, help, help,”  She knows about your demons, she understands the distress call without any explanation.  “Get him here,  I’ll call ahead and meet you”.

I run back outside.  Neighbors lights are on and doors open.  I want to scream to leave us alone.  To scream into the darkness of night until I can scream no more.  We are struggling to get you into Mike’s truck.   You give up fighting and settle in.  I buckle you in and have a flashback of you sitting in your carseat and fighting being restrained and safe.  Have you always been this way?  Never wanting to be safe.  Fighting my attempts to restrain you.   I look into your eyes.  My tears falling onto your hands.  “Matt, we love you,  we will take care of this,  get you to safety”.   You look at me as a tear runs down your face.   “Mom, let go of him”,  I hear Mike’s voice as his engine roars to life.  “Let go, shut the door”.    “Mom,  I’ve got him, let go”.   You are no longer my babe sitting in a carseat.   You are a grown man  fighting for your life, fighting those who love you, fighting demons that have been unbeatable.   I stand in the driveway as Mike backs away.   Sobs wracking my body.  My two boys, now men.  I catch a last glimpse of your faces.   Matt, your eyes are closed.   Mike,  forever the big brother.   Determined to get you to safety.   Let go.   How does a mother let go?   Matt you are me and I am you.    I stand alone in the darkness.   Numb to the cold November night.   I look to the sky.   The night is clear, the sky full of stars.   Dear God, do you see what is happening?   Do you even care?   My son, on his way to a mental hospital.   Did you see him taking those pills?   Where are you?   I feel alone and abandoned.   I sit in the dark and google Rockford.   And so it begins.  Another ride on the roller coaster of addiction.   Chaos and craziness have become a way of life.   Hey Rockford,  do you have a bed for me?    This addict’s mom wants to be admitted.  Taken away.  No visitors.  No idea of what is happening in her world.   I want to be sedated.  I want Lala land.  I want to disappear into the sunset.  I want to be Alice.   I want my rabbit hole to be an endless ride through Wonderland.   I want to be The Mad Hatter.  To just be crazy or maybe The Queen of Hearts chopping off the head of whoever pisses me off.  I want to be anyone but   me,  the mother of an addict……..

Are you Matts Mom, Oh God Do I Want To Be

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Matt, there is no sleep for me tonight.  I am physically shaking.  I want to puke until there is nothing left and I disappear into thin air.  Everything back fired in my face.  I thought I was just so cool.  Grabbing your scripts and reporting the pill pushers.  I really thought the medical community would support my whistle blowing shutting down the practice and cutting off your supply.  Never did I think you would be let in on my plan and turn against the mom who is fighting to save your life.  Ahh, what did the mad little pill pusher say to you.  Your mommy ratted me out and now I can’t poison you anymore cause she might come beat me up.  Why didn’t they just tell you that they were not the right place for you and you needed to move on.  Why bring me into it.  Just shows what true assholes they really are.  If they cared at all I would have been willing to meet with them and work out a weaning protocol, getting you safely off the poison.  But no, they just cut you lose.  WTH was I going to do now.  You and your 90 Percocet and God knows how many Methadone in you hot pissed off hands.

I blow up your voice mail with pleading message after message begging you to please come home and once again let me explain.  Your mailbox now full, I start texting.  I can’t believe this is happening.  I am slowly going out of my mind with worry.  I start calling your close friends.  Tell them there is a family emergency and I really need to talk to you.  I get in my car and drive by all your hang outs praying I will see your truck and at least know you are still alive.  I search until dark.  My phone rings, my heart jumps, oh  God please let that be Matt.  It’s Ray.  I’ve been so frantic I never looked at the time.  Where are you, he asks.  I’ll explain when I get home.  Too much to say and I am barely holding onto my sanity.

I’m shaking as Ray tells me to calm down and breathe.  I grab the letter and tell him to read.  He like me is in shock.  Seriously, they think pushing pills is ok.  I can’t believe it either.  I tell him what happened and that I’m so scared.  You have not answered my calls or texts and are no where to be found.  I imagine the worst.  I can’t stop pacing and crying.  Your phone going straight to voice mail with the message that has been playing all day.  No more space for my pleading for you to come home.

I call out for the morning.  There is no way I could keep my head clear enough to save a critical baby.  Your addiction has seeped so deeply into my life that I become crippled with hopelessness.  I replay all of it from the very beginning.  Your addiction movie etched into my brain.  Still trying to figure out the grip the demons have on your soul.  You have lost so much and yet you continue to let the drugs steal your life away and impact me to the core.  I will never understand how or why this happened to us.  I look at your smiling face and question every decision made.  I was the greatest enabler.  I loved you so much and wanted such a better life for you.  Always fixing you and saving you from yourself was taking it’s toll on me.  So here we go again.  The roller coaster ride.  I rode it up thinking I once again saved the day and now I’m stuck on the downward spiral not knowing how this will end.  God, I wish I was stronger.  I wish I was one of those moms that could just let go but every fiber of my being knew I would never give up on you.

I stayed on the couch that night.  I knew It would be a restless night and Ray had to work in the morning.  So as we’ve done so many nights before, the pups and I curl up and wait for a sign from you.  My phone is by my ear.  One eye opening constantly checking.  I look at all the texts I’ve sent to see if you read them  Nothing, nothing, nothing.  This is crazy I think.  I get up and grab a bottle of wine.  Hoping to calm my raw nerves.  The dogs follow sensing my stress.  Wine for me biscuits for them.  I sit in the dark and remember the conversations we’ve had about my wine and your drugs.  Hey Mom, you’re no better than me.  You drink.  Every night you have a glass of wine.  So really you’re just as bad.  Really Matt.  Let’s make a deal.  I won’t have my glass of wine if you don’t take your pills.  Well, we all know how that worked out don’t we.  I could feel the wine warming my soul and letting my beat up body and mind start to relax.  My muscles were finally unknotting and I could feel much needed sleep coming.  Please God, let him be ok was my last thought before sleep overcame my frantic mind.

The sun shining on my face and the sound of Ray in the shower wake me.  God, I was so sore but all I could think of was you.  Checking my phone again, nothing.  Ray greets me with a kiss.  His eyes showing his pity for me and what I live with because of your addiction.  He doesn’t even ask what I’m doing today he knows.  Coffee and a shower and I’m in my car again.  Repeat from last night. I Drive by every place I know you frequent and some places I just take a chance.  Still no luck.  Hours pass and I feel the dread creeping into my mind.  I keep reliving our fight.  Beating myself up for causing another rift between us.  I miss us.  I want a do over and go back before the demons came knowing what I do now.  Life the way it should be, not the way it is.  I give up and go home.  Grab the leashes and walk.  They are the only ones who listen without offering an opinion.  I can say the same things over and over and they just look at me with knowing eyes.  Constantly supporting as if to say It will be ok mom.  He will be back.

Night falls and still no sign or call.  Now I’m calling my friends in the ER.   Hey, by any chance have there been any accidents or admits for drug abuse.  I take a breath and call my friend the detective.  I tell him what’s happened.  He calms me and reassures me he will keep an eye out.   There is nothing more I can do.  I am defeated by your demons.  They won, just like the laughter I would hear in my head.  They have you and I don’t.   My phone breaks the silence and brings me back to reality.  I do not recognize the number.  Excuse me a voice I do not know says, are you Matt’s mom.  Oh God,  this is it.  The call.  My heart now beating so loud It’s the only sound I hear.  My hand is shaking.  I grab the counter.  Yes, yes, I am.  Please is he ok.  Oh God, please.  He’s with me.  He was in the parking lot of our NA meeting and he is high.  I drove him to Meadow Wood and I’m getting him admitted.  Can you come.  Oh dear God,  I’m shaking and sobbing grabbing my keys and run right into Ray as he’s walking in the door.  He grabs my keys.  Between sobs I tell him you are safe and I must go.  I’m driving.  You will get killed.  I sob all the way holding myself as the sobs of relief rack my body.  My brain screaming he is alive.  Thank you sweet Jesus.  We pull up and you are standing between two of the most beautiful men I have ever seen.  I run to you and wrap you in my arms.  All the grief and anger forgotten.  Matt, I’m so sorry.  Please forgive me.  You look at me as tears run down your face.  Sorry mom, you smile that cocky smile that I love so much.  It’s ok, Matt.  It will be ok.  You are taken back to be admitted.  I dissolve in Rays arms.  The sobs are now of relief.  Ray drives your truck and I drive mine.  No music just quiet prayer.  Thank you sweet Jesus for saving my precious child.  Please guide me in how to be an addicts mother.  I pull up behind Ray.   Your truck back in the driveway.  You in a safe place.   All is well in my world tonight.  I look at the stars and whisper a thank you……

 

 

Smart Moms Do Stupid Things

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Matt,  I was a whole lot of stupid and a whole lot of smart all rolled up into one out of control mess.  So now I had everything I needed in my hot little hands.  The names and address of the poison pushers and all I can do is sob.  The image of your face, the hate in your eyes is branded in my brain.  You love your demons more than the mom who has loved you in all your ugliness.  The mom who will do anything to save you.  Who will fight you in a public parking lot, who will risk life and limb for her son.  Oh God, what got into me.  I am a desperate, crazed person.  Your addiction has changed me from a rational adult to this desperate nut case.  I look at myself in the mirror.  I take off the hat and let my hair fall, I stare at my reflection and I don’t recognize the person staring back at me.  Your addiction has taken it’s toll.  Baggy eyes from tears and lack of sleep.  Cheek bones sticking out, pain etched into my once happy face.  Eyes that no longer shine, a mouth that has forgotten how to smile.  The face of an addicts loving mother, full of pain and grief for something she can’t fix.  My heart is broken by the people we have become.  Our hugs have become punches, our laughter changed to shouting, pointing ugly fingers and saying ugly things.  I hate what we have allowed your demons to do.

Barking dogs bring me back to reality.  I see the scripts on my printer.  I grab them as I see you coming up the stairs.  Matt, I had to do it.  Matt, I love you and can’t sit back and allow you to destroy yourself.  Matt, let me help you.  Matt, I know you have back pain, but you are hooked.  Nobody needs this dose and volume of drugs.  They don’t care about your life.  You are nothing more than an income for them.  They are not doctors they are killers.  I realize I am screaming.  I hear my voice as I am becoming out of control.  I’m pleading for your life and you are staring at me with hate in your eyes.  I try to regain control, I need to get through to you, to break through the demon built walls and get into your drug damaged brain.  I have to reach you.  You continue to stare at me with that f**k you gaze.  Give me my scripts.  Matt, please I will give you a little more than I have been let me keep managing them.  I will be better.  Give me my scripts.  You come closer, the dogs stand between us.  They sense what I feel.  I am afraid.  My brain is screaming.  My son, I am afraid.  Your eyes are dead, shark eyes.  Looking right through me.  I feel like my soul has been stepped on.  I am sobbing as I give you those pieces of paper that are killing us.  You turn.  I am left in darkness.  The dogs comforting me.  I sob into their fur and pray.

I allow myself time.  I allow myself tears.  I allow myself anger.  Ok, now I’m pissed.  I grab the copies of your scripts.  Ok you f***ing doctor imposters.  You’ve pissed off the wrong mother.  I’m coming after you.  Ha, I’m a nurse.  I will do it the right way…I grab my laptop.  Delaware Board of Medicine.  I hit the file a complaint tab and feel such power and relief completing the form that will start the process of an investigation into the practice of these pill pushing pieces of s**t.  If I can’t go in there and beat the crap out of them for making you an addict then I’ll do the next best thing.  I will report their overprescribing to the doctors that oversee physicians in this state.  I hold back nothing.  I tell them how it’s a cash practice.  I send copies of the massive volume of pills you are given each month.  I report that there have been no scripts for physical therapy or any other means of pain control than the opiates you now live for.  I point out that Percocet and Methadone should not be prescribed together.  I report how they included a muscle relaxer into your mix of deadly drugs.  I am on a roll.  I feel my spirit lift.  The dread lifting.  I will do whatever I have to if it means saving you.  I hit the send button and do the happy dance.  The dogs wake as I am jumping around.  I have won the lottery.  The killers will be investigated and shut down.  Your monthly visits will stop.  I have saved us.  I am so happy I don’t realize how naive I was about the power of addiction.

Once again I am that cat.  The one that got the canary.  I can’t stop smiling.  I have a secret.  I tell no one. I am stupid with cockiness.  I have done it.  I don’t say a word to you as I continue to observe your behavior.  Now unemployed you spend most of your time underfoot.  I force you to walk the dogs with me.  I force conversation all the while knowing that your supply will soon disappear.  I suggest physical therapy,  acupuncture anything but drugs.  I sneak down when I hear you in the shower and search.  Pills, pills, pills, finding your supply and controlling is all I can focus on.

An unrecognized number appears on my phone.  I cautiously answer.  Yes, this is she.  Hello Detective.  You’ve received my complaint.  Hallelujah, my brain is singing as you watch from afar.  I walk outside to finish what I have to say.  Would I be willing to testify,  Holy Hell, Absolutely.  I will stand on the roof and scream about the no good pill pushers.  I am flying.  I am supermom.  I have pulled it off.  I saved you and all the lost souls who have become victims of this practice.

Weeks pass.  I hear nothing.  Your appointment coincides with your unemployment check.  Hey Matt, what are you doing today.  You look at me, I’m going out.  I’m an adult, get off my back.  Ok, now I know where your headed.  I wonder how much longer this will go on.  You are leaving as the mail is arriving.  Oh God, in my hand is a letter from The Delaware Board of Medicine.  My heart is pounding.  I run into the house ripping into the  envelope.  My eyes see the words but my brain is not comprehending.  What, are they F***ing kidding me.  We find no fault with the prescribing methods of this practice.  I am silently screaming.  Did you not see the dose and amount of killer drugs they were prescribing.  Did you not get the fact that it is a cash only business.  No paper trail of income, WTF…Are you in on the deal.  Do you f***ers get a kick back.  I hear you pull into the driveway.  You come at me like I am your prey.  WTF did you do Mom.  Who the F**K do you think you are .. They kicked me out.  You reported them.  Are you out of your mind you crazy bitch.  Now you are the one screaming and I am the one staring.   Matt, please I was trying to help.  You don’t need that poison, please I didn’t know what else to do.  Well you did it alright.  You push me out of your way.  I hear you throwing stuff, Matt please can we talk.  Get out of my way, get out of my life.  Hate pours out of you and onto me.  Matt.  I run after your car as you speed away.  Oh God, what have I done.  Why don’t I learn.  Please keep him safe.  this is all my fault.  I thought I was so smart and all I did was screw everything up.  I call your cell.  It goes directly to voice mail.  I leave you a pleading message.  Matt, I will fix this.  I will find you a real doctor.  I will find you real help.  Oh God, Matt if I didn’t love you I wouldn’t care about what you did.  Please Matt, please.  I hear the beep.  Time up.  Voice mail over.  I was pleading to a dead phone.  Oh God, what did I do.  I walk inside and see myself in the hall mirror.  My eyes are empty, my face full of sadness.  I stare at a woman I no longer recognize.   Oh God, Help…..

 

I Spy, You Lie, I Try to Save You…

IMG_0679Matt.   This is exactly what I meant by riding the roller coaster of your addiction.  Here I am thinking we are on the upswing of life.  You are working, being productive and I am out with friends celebrating my birthday.    I promised no Matt talk tonight as I come to realize your addiction monopolizes all my conversations.  My friends actually made me promise No Matt Talk tonight knowing how your addiction has overtaken my life.  We are happy, celebrating life between close friends when my cell rings.  I look and see it is you.  My friends send warning signs with their eyes.  Don’t they tell me,  just this once don’t.  I can’t help myself.  They have no idea what it’s like to have an addicted son.  One phone call can be the difference between life and crisis.  I smile and grab my phone apologizing as I walk outside.  Matt, what’s up.  I’m out for my birthday.  Mom,  oh God, I hear it in your voice.  My throat automatically tightens as I listen to the sadness in your voice.  Mom, I lost my job.  I hear your brokenness and the tears form in my eyes.  I turn away from the window hiding my grief from the group that moments ago was full of laughter.  What happened.  I don’t know.  I thought I was doing good.  My boss came to me when I was leaving and told me not to come back.  He said he was sorry but they have to let me go.  Oh Matt, I’m so sorry.  It will be ok.  We will figure something out.  I will be home soon.

I return to the table.  I try to pretend things are fine.  My eyes tell a different story.  I can’t stop the tears.  My friends try to be supportive but are upset that once again you have interfered with my happiness.  The party is over. Like someone threw a bucket of water on the bride.  I try to say I’m sorry.   I can feel the atmosphere change.  The roller coaster now on it’s downward spiral with me trapped in a seat.  I can’t stop my reaction as I cry all the way home.  Ray is quiet.  I can hear his thoughts.  We told you not to answer.  What were you thinking.  Every call from Matt was usually a problem dumped in your lap.  Just once we wanted a normal night.  Just once.

We are greeted by your glassy eyes.  Sorry Mom, didn’t mean to wreck your birthday.  You hand me a card and give me a hug.  My heart breaks for you.  We both had such high hopes.  Dreaming of you having your own place, meeting someone nice, a normal life.  Now the crash of reality hit again.  We are both reeling from the news.  We sit.  I notice your thoughts are slow, your words carefully chosen.  I observe your addiction and wonder if this was how you presented at work.  Matt, what happened.  I don’t know Mom.  Matt what did you take.  Nothing.  you have my f***ing pills.  You haven’t been to happy about passing them out.  WTH Mom, why do you always start about the pills.   Hey Matt, go look in the mirror.  See what I see.  Hear what I hear.  For God sakes couldn’t you stay clean for eight hours.  WTH is wrong with you.  Hey,  Screw you Mom.  You slam out of the room and go downstairs.  Well, my brain says.  Happy F***ing birthday to you….

I wake the next day.  You won’t talk to me.  Ok buddy,  I’m done asking you.  I grab my keys and leave.  I have your pills in my pocket.  I’m not trusting you alone in an empty house with a bottle of pills.  I drive very carefully.  All I need is to get pulled over with a bottle of drugs, label ripped off.  Bye, bye nursing license.

I pull in the parking lot of your now X employer.  I walk to the customer service desk and ring the bell.  A kid looking like he just got out of diapers answers my call.  Is this who you are replaced with my mind is saying as I try to keep my thought from  flying out of my mouth.  Hi.  I’m looking for Matt.  He was so great in helping me last week I wanted to tell him in person.   Oh, the stoned guy.  What, what do you mean.  Lady, he would come in stoned.  Customers complained everyday.  He had trouble working the computer and would disappear.  You must have caught him on a good day.  He laughed and I muffled a scream.  I will kill you.  Where are you getting the drugs.  I was pissed beyond belief.  In my mind I was strangling you.  Hey Lady.  His voice brought me back to reality.  He got fired.

I drive home in a fury.  Trying to remember the pills in my pocket.  Hell officer arrest me.  Going to jail would be better than living my life.  I’m almost home when I see you drive past me.  You are looking straight ahead.  You look right past me.  Well I’ll be damn.  I turn my car around and start to follow.  I grab a ball cap from my back seat and pull my hair up.  I stay two cars behind.  I scoot down so if by any chance you look you will not see me.  I’m a mom on a mission.  A spy guy.  I’ve watched enough TV to know how to follow somebody.  I am laughing to myself.  Dear God, this is what my life has come to, spying on my adult addict.

You turn into a small parking lot.  I go straight.  I give you time to go wherever you are going before I pounce.   I find your truck and park in the next lot.  Cute little townhouses.  The Perfect hiding place for pill pushers.  I pull my hat down and start looking at the brightly colored doors.  Ahhh, I think I found a winner.  Delaware Pain Management right there on the sweet little door.  My heart is pounding.  My brain is screaming.  It’s now or never.  I open the door.  I am greeted by glassy eyes.  All shapes and sizes.  All waiting for their fix.  Holy sh** my heart is so loud I can count my pulse in my ears.  I grab an empty seat and sit.  Trying to slow my breathing, stop the squeezing in my throat and the pounding of my broken heart.  This room is full of you.  Addicts.  All waiting for their monthly supply of demons.  How can this be.  Pill pushers in white coats making a living off people in pain.  I try not to look suspicious.  I’m the only one in the room not slouched in my seat.  I observe their behavior and try to fit in.  The woman next to me gives me a broken tooth smile.  Honey, what ya here for.  I hurt my back and these docs make me feel wonderful.  I come as soon as my welfare check comes.  She leans on me and tells me a secret.  Cash only she says.  I am trying to swallow the bile that is building in my throat.  My plan was to confront you but now I need to get out to get air.  I’m so lost in my own sorrow I don’t hear the door open.  You are standing there staring at me with such disbelief, such hate that I want to dissolve into the air.  You run out the door.  I see the scripts.  I follow you.  We struggle.  I’m jumping in the air trying to get those scripts away from you.  I want names and drug amounts.  I will fight you to the death.  I punch you in the face.  I grab the scripts and run to my car.  I’m breathless, sweating and ready to puke.  My doors lock as I peel out of the lot.  You give me the finger as I speed by.  I roll down my window.  I Love you Matt.

I’m driving and sobbing and laughing all at once.  Holy sh**,  Here we were two adults duking it out in the parking lot of drug pushing doctors.  Dear God, don’t let me show up on Action News or in a U Tube video.  What a mother will do to save her son.   I can’t stop the hysterical laughter.  I am out of control.  Grief, stress, anger and frustration all wrapped up in loud uncontrolled sobs.  I love you Matt.  I will fight you to save you.  I will never give up the fight.  You can hate me forever as long as you live.

I get home.  You aren’t here.  I run upstairs and copy your scripts.  Names and prescriber numbers.  Drugs and doses.  Everything I need to report the devils who dole out the demons.  I feel like the cat who stole the canary.  I was the coolest chick.  The slick mom, the sleuth.  I was so busy thinking about how smart I was that I forgot how smart you were.  I didn’t allow myself to hear the laughter.  Good try Mom.  You won this time but he is ours.  We will be back and you will be beat.  The sun went down, the room grew dark, my laughing turned to sobbing….

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