Mother's Heartbreak

A Story of Addiction & Loss

Category: tough love (page 1 of 4)

Tough Love: Take two

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Matt.   I sit and allow myself the luxury of the dream.    You are that tow-headed boy again.   You are laughing and jumping in the waves.  Your laugh is so precious, like music to my ears.   The innocence of life.   The simple joy of jumping the waves.  Running into the surf, crashing into the waves, now such a treasured memory.   I look back trying to understand what happened.   How did that innocent boy change into the angry man you are today?

I sit watching that boy and his dog and allow the happy memories to wash over me with the surf.   I feel the sun on my battered body.  Feel the healing power of the warmth and light bathing my soul with a peace long forgotten.   Memories of happy times.   Summers by the sea.  Birthday parties and family barbecues.   Bike riding, football games and high school graduation.   Where did it all start to change?   Years of happiness now overshadowed by years of ugliness and pain.   I watch as the surf slams into a sandcastle and wash it away like it never existed.   That sandcastle is our life before your addiction.   So little of it resembles what it used to be.

I sit until the sun goes down and a chill fills the air.   In the past I would have walked back to our precious home.   The dogs would greet me and together we would wait until you joined us.  You would grab a bite and we would grab the leashes.  Soon we would be surrounded by yapping and jumping.  Once again headed to our favorite spot.  The dogs would run free and we would sit and share your day.  A mother and her son sitting by the sea enjoying each other.   The best of friends.  Today the harsh reality of your addiction follows me as I drive by what was once our home.   So filled with happiness, now a casualty of your demons.   I can’t help myself.  I stop my car.  I close my eyes and see you washing your boat.   I see that smile and watch as you climb down to greet me.  I can almost imagine feeling your arms wrapping around me and the whisper of your kiss on my cheek.   I break out of my fantasy and realize what I’m feeling are  tears running down my face.

I drive home leaving a piece of myself behind.   The sea is our connection, our happy place.  The changing current mimics our changing lives.   The riptide constantly pulling us farther and farther from safety.  Your addiction slowly drowning both of us.   I keep throwing the life line and you keep losing your grip.

Returning home is bittersweet.   Reality awaits me and right now I hate reality.   The last time I saw you I was cussing and shaking and spitting mad.   The words spewing out of your mouth were vicious and vulgar.   You and I reached the lowest point of our lives.  A mother and her son being torn apart by your demons.  That day I felt trapped in a hell I never want to visit again.   I’m still embarrassed at how your behavior brought out the ugliness in my soul.  Your demons stealing both my soul and my son.

I knew your call would come.   What I didn’t know was the guttural response it would produce.  The sound of your voice, once so welcome, now caused my heart to race and my throat to close like I’m being slowly strangled.  I am breathless.  Punched in my gut.   I hear the words, “I’m ready to leave, I want to come home”.   “I need a ride”.   I’m torn.   I want to be that Mom.  The one who always runs to your rescue.  Who always picks up the pieces of what you left behind and tries to put them back into a neat little package.   I’m just not that Mom.   You broke me.

“Matt, find a ride yourself, I can’t do it this time”.   “I’m not ready for you to come home”.    Your silence is deafening.   I can feel your disbelief coming through the phone.   “WTF am I supposed to do?”   “You know how far it is from home, you brought me here”.    “Yup, I did.  You cussed me out and snorted drugs off my dashboard”.   “You locked me out of my car as I made an ass out of myself in front of a police officer”.   “Oh yeah, I remember”.    “Call your friends”.

I hang up the phone and immediately feel like a piece of shit.   Addict’s Mom guilt.   It gets me every time.   Here’s my precious boy asking to come home.  I keep seeing that tow-head running toward me with arms extended.   I need to see the man, the addict.   I must find a way to stay strong and save what’s left of me.

I’m on edge.  Pacing.  Once again beating myself up.  How could I be so cold.   I keep reminding myself that you have a disease.   You are battling for your life and here’s you mom acting like some cold bitch.   Oh God, I grab my phone and dial your number.   I’m in tears as it just rings and goes to voicemail.   I leave you a pleading message.  Once again I am a mess.   My job is to save you, it’s what I do.   I’m still on the phone as the dogs start jumping at the door.   I turn to see your face.  Clean shaven.  Bright, clear beautiful eyes pierce my soul.   I am gone.   You drop your bag and I feel your arms circle me.  “God Mom,  I’m so sorry”.   “I can’t believe I treated you like I did, forgive me”.

So it begins again.   This life of chaos and helplessness that briefly turns to hope.   The rollercoaster that briefly allows you to think you have the power to get off.   I feel it again as I’m pulled back into your addiction by a mothers love.   Strapped in tightly holding my breath as we are climbing to new heights.   I allow myself to think maybe just maybe this was the “magic time”.   The one referred to in the books I’ve been reading.   Beautiful Boy and Addict in the Family have become my bibles.  My go to reference books that make me feel like I’m not a crazy, horrible mom.   This time I have a twist in the ride.

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“Matt, you can stay here until you find another place”.   The words are out before I even know they are said.   You look at me like my head is spinning.  Your smile gone, your eyes dark.  I see the cloud coming in.   You are not getting your way.  I have to start to save myself.   “It’s too hard on me to watch how you live”.   “I can’t see you day after day doing nothing to better yourself”.    “You need to find a job and a place to live”.   “I will always be here for you just not under the same roof”.

You walk away and I crumble inside.   Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall and no one could put him back together again.   I’ve been Humpty.   My heart broken and shattered.   Now I am responsible for putting my pieces together.   For me to heal you must go.   I’m trying to be that parent.   The tough one who does the right thing.   That tough love, let them hit rock bottom thing that every parent in my books has been able to do.   So now in front of you I am tough.  Behind closed doors I am Humpty.

I watch as you pack.   A friend you met at NA has offered to share a house with you.   I keep telling you how great it will be for you to become independent.  You look at me like I have lost my mind.  “You are welcome here any time”.   I’m trying to stay light and positive.  Pleading for both our lives.   I know I can not continue to be slowly destroyed by your addiction.   I must save myself to continue to save you.   We need a break from the ugly, daily chaos that has slowly wrapped us up.  You are no longer you and I am broken to my core.   Inside I want to wrap my arms around you and protect you from yourself.   I am fighting my internal battle.   Enabling is what I do.  Making life comfortable for you has become second nature for me.  I am a fixer and I have spent years trying to fix you.   I am slowly realizing that the fixing can only be done by you.   At least that’s what I’ve been told.  I tell you Kahlua will be fine with me.  She has become my dog through your addiction.   She is old and needs care I know you will not provide.  She looks at me with pleading eyes.   No worries old girl, you are safe with me.

A few months pass.  Life is starting to find a routine again.   You visit and we are starting to enjoy being together.   I feel like the rollercoaster is on the up swing.   I’m allowing my heart to feel that we have finally found a way out of the grip of your demons.   The fantasy that you are becoming the Matt I so desperately need you to be and I am returning to  the sane version of me plays over and over in my head.   I need this so badly.  I continue to watch closely for signs.   I listen for those words.  I look at your beautiful eyes.   I follow after you leave to assure myself you are safe.   I am so wrapped up in my fantasy I don’t hear the demons beating on your door.

The day is sunny and warm.  No warning of the storm that is about to slam into our lives once again.   You were home.  You were happy and clear.   You walked Kahlua.   It felt like a normal Saturday afternoon in a normal family.  You hugged me as you were leaving.  “Mom, you were right to do this, I need to be a man”.   Oh how my heart soared.   Yes, yes, yes.   My brain is shouting.  I am high-fiving me, myself and I.   We did it.  We did it.   The celebration in my brain is so loud I don’t hear Ray screaming.   “Get in the car”.  “Get in the car”.   He is running to grab the keys, his phone to his ear.   What, what.   My once celebrating brain now confused and frightened.  “It’s Matt, he had a seizure”.

No, no, no!  My mind is screaming.  Disbelief flooding my body as we race to the Emergency Room.   I’m screaming at Ray for details.  He knows nothing more.   Where, when and how are questions whirling in my head.   Never once did your addiction enter my mind.  My heart is in my throat choking the life out of me.  I am shaking so uncontrollably  that Ray puts his arm out as if I’m a child trying to stop me from flying through the windshield.   I remember that sandcastle being slammed over and over again until only pieces remain.  I am that sandcastle.

I jump out of the car and run past the ambulance.   I can feel you there.  The triage nurse looks up and immediately knows I’m your mother.   She calls back.  Before she hangs up the phone a doctor is by my side.   Oh God, Oh God, Oh God.   Flashbacks of another E.D,  Of my colleague, Terry telling me I had to do this.  “Mare, you can do this”.  With me crumbling in her arms.   I can’t breath.  I follow like a lamb being led to a slaughter.  I have no idea what I will find beyond those doors.   The doctor can say very little.  You are an adult and protected by HIPAA.  I overhear seizure than cardiac arrest as I approach your room.   I feel my knees start to buckle as my breath is vaporized out of my lungs.

You are conscious.  Breathing on your own.   My Mom brain leaves as my Nurse brain takes over.   You vital signs are in normal range.  Your cardiac rhythm is slow but steady, no irregular beats for you.  Your color is pale.  You are smiling and looking at me as if this is all just a joke.  The Doctor and Nurse are at your bedside.

I grab your hand.   “Tell me what you did”.   You look away.  Ray and Mike have walked into your room together and stand beside me.   I grab your face in my hands and start to sob.  “Do you think this is a game?”   “Do you see what you are doing to me?”   “How many more times do you need to almost die before you kill me?’  You are getting red.   The embarrassment of my behavior making you uncomfortable.   “Tell them to tell me or I will walk out and never look back”

Cocaine.   I’ve just been shot in the head.   I close my eyes and see it explode into a million pieces.   Blood is everywhere.   I can’t speak or breathe.  I see myself slap your face and walk out of your room.  I leave you with Ray and Mike.   I am drowning in your addiction.  I hang onto the wall as I walk out.  My sobs are like that of a wounded animal.   The nurses look at me as I sit outside holding the pieces of my heart in my hand.   All at once it hit me.   You have crossed that line.   Being a nurse and seeing your battered body, knowing you had rods and screws holding your spine in place gave me the excuse to believe you weren’t that addict.  You were just abusing pills to combat your pain.  How naive I have become.  My love for you placed blinders over my eyes.   Denial has been my survival until this moment.   My theory now shattered at my feet along with my dream of ever returning to who we used to be.

I sit alone as the sun goes down on another day robbed of joy by your addiction.  I wonder how much more my heart can take before it stops wanting to beat.  I hear the rumble of the wheels as the roller coaster pulls up along side my bench.  I feel the pull of a force begging me to ride again.   The harness secures my place as the engine slowly starts to move.   I close my eyes.   We are on the beach.   You are laughing and jumping into the surf.   “Mommy, mommy please stay with me”.   “Don’t let me go”.   A mothers love has no boundaries.  My heart will not give up.  I say a silent prayer to Jesus for sparing your life.  I grab the bars and am whipped away once again.

Tough Love From A Tender Hearted Mother

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Matt.   You really did it this time.  It takes a lot to upset Ray and he is pissed.   The fact that you were going to let me go to jail and risk my nursing career just about blew his mind.  I keep telling Ray you are sick.  That you need help but your actions and attitude really aren’t helping my case.   I planned to spend this week relaxing in my garden, but now I have to put the fires caused by your addiction out and try to keep this family together.

I’m in the kitchen drinking coffee staring out the window.  I’m so lost in my thoughts that I don’t realize you are up.  I can’t even bring myself to look at your face.  I’m still having a hard time believing that after all we have been through together and everything I’ve done to help keep you safe that you would throw me to the wolves.  I’ve read about  tough love.  How parent’s throw their addicts out.  Turn their backs.  No home, no food, having nothing to do with their once loved kids.   I’ve read that the only way to save an addict is to let them hit rock bottom.   The problem with tough love is I’m not tough.  I loved you and all I cared about was getting you straight and keeping you that way.   I knew my back was against the wall.  I never though Ray would say those words.  I just didn’t know if I was strong enough to kick you out and your rock bottom scared me to death.

You brush past me without a word.  My heart is breaking.  Where are you? What happened to my funny, loving son?  Who is this stranger living in your skin?  My mind asking questions as my lips remain silent.  I’m trying not to cry.  I’m so emotionally beat up.  All I want is my son and my life to be normal.  I’ve forgotten what those days were like.  The days before the demons became your love.  When life was full of joy, before the chaos and drama starting chipping away at our lives.  I wanted it all back.  I wanted to grab you and shake you and rid your body of the poison slowly killing us all.

“Hey Matt, we need to talk”.   I wait for your response.  Nothing.  You are ignoring me.  Your demons have control.  I say it again, “Matt, we need to talk”.  You look at me with glassy eyes.  My heart sinks.  “Matt, this has to stop”.  “You need to get into a rehab or find another place to live”.   There, I’ve said it.  Those words I never thought I’d say.   Out of my mouth and floating between us like poison gas.  I hold my breath and wait for your reaction.  You look at me and smile.  “You can’t throw me out,  you have to evict me”.   “I looked it up”.   You continue to gloat as you make a cup of coffee and float downstairs.   I’m sitting there in shock.  I grab my laptop and google eviction.  I’ll be damn, you were right.  Holy shit.  How can this be.  I own this house.  You’ve never paid a dime to live here.  Just do your drugs and eat the food.  This is crazy.  Now I have to pay court costs to get you to leave.  My brain is reeling while my heart is relieved.  The perfect excuse.  No tough love.  I can’t be blamed by anyone.  For me it’s a win/win situation.  I did what Ray wanted.  Told you to leave.

Ray comes home expecting you to be gone.  I decide to play my I don’t know what you’re talking about game.  To slip into my pretend world.  I pretend we are just like any other family.  We had a misunderstanding and need to work it out.  Ray starts to question me.  I tell him we talked.  I share the information about kicking someone out that has lived at the residence for years.  I tell him this is your home.  You hear him come in and stupidly decide to come and challenge him.  Oh God, I’m looking at you willing you to shut your mouth.  My eyes pleading for your silence.  This is not the time to be cocky.   I feel the anger building.  You are high and mighty, untouchable.  Your words are ugly.  “F*** you, you can’t make me leave.  I live here”.   I hear the words and start to slowly die inside.  You are out of control and Ray is done.  I’ve never seen Ray so angry.  He pushes past you,  grabs a backpack filled with your stuff.  “Get the hell out”.  He is screaming, you are screaming and I am disappearing.   I watch in horror, tears flowing as Ray grabs you and throws you out the door.  Oh God,  I can’t do this.  You are my baby.  I have to save you.  I grab Ray and his eyes tell me to back off.   This is between you and him.  I’m sobbing and pleading for us to calm down and take a breath.  These ugly people are not who we are. Dear God, you look at me hate spewing from your eyes.  Ray slams the door and pushes past me.  I hold myself,  sobbing as you get into your truck, give me the finger and leave.

I continue looking out the window tears streaming down my face.  My mind is reeling.  How do you choose between two men you love.  One is your child.  You’ve loved him from the first moment the stick turned positive.  Dreamed of his life.  What he would look like and who he would be.  Never once did I think my beautiful boy would turn into a man capable of such turmoil.  Never did I dream that my son would grow up to be an addict.   Ray comes to me.  I cannot speak.  Just shake with the sobs racking my body.   He sits and tells me he’s sorry.  He’s trying to do the right thing.  He’s trying to save me.  “You can’t see what he is doing to you”.  “You are consumed by his addiction”.   “You aren’t tough enough, you still see the little boy,  not the grown man who is slowly killing you”.   “Let’s see what happens, Maybe this will open his eyes”.   I still can’t respond.  I need every ounce of energy to breathe.  I know Ray is trying.  I know he’s supported every decision.   Put up with Matt’s chaos and always tried to help.  Right now none of that matters.  My heart is broken.  I feel dirty and hateful.  I know I will not survive.

The first night I am once again on the couch.  Me and the pups.  A bottle of red and bones.  I try to call you.  I need to know you are alive.  Need to hear your voice.  To tell you I’m sorry and thinking of you.  And once again, your voicemail is all I get.  Hopelessness wraps me up.  In all the years of our struggle I never felt so defeated.

I am a mess.  I haven’t slept in weeks.  Laying there night after night wondering where you are.  If you’re still alive.  What have I done.  I hate myself.  I call Mike.  Ask him if he’s heard from you.  Nothing.  He’s trying to be strong, but I know he is thinking the same thing.  He will drive around and look for you.   I try to stay busy.  I check my phone constantly.  Every call sets my heart racing.   I go through your stuff.  Same old game. Searching for poison.  Hoping you have left some behind.  A reason to contact me.  Nothing.  Your demons have full control.  I sit and smell your clothes and cry.  “Mom,  Matt slept in his car last night”.   “At least he’s alive”.  “Ok Mike,  I’m going to make some calls.  Let’s put him in a motel until I can find a place”.    So Mike and I team up to find you a place to put your head.  I keep thinking about this tough love bullshit.  Well, I just can’t do.  Let them say what they want.  I don’t give a damn.  Everyone telling me to throw you out has never lived my life.   How do you handle not knowing where you’re son is.  Yes, he’s an addict.  He’s done terrible things.  He’s still my son.   All the tough hearted parents writing the advice books, well good for them I think.  Good for them.  They’re not Matt’s mom.  They haven’t watched his struggle.  They haven’t seen the glimpses of my Matt that sneak out and touch my heart.

Weeks go by.  You are now staying with a friend.  Of course I am paying rent to keep you safe.  I can finally sleep knowing you are not on the streets, cold and hungry.   People have told me I did it all wrong.  Just enabling from afar.  I say addiction is not a black and white disease.  What works for one addict doesn’t work for another.  Tough love is not all it’s cracked up to be.  It was tougher on me than you.  But you already knew that.  You played the game.  Acting hurt and hateful, killing me with your eyes as you left.   Knowing my heart was putty in your hands.   Knowing I loved you too much to be tough.  Knowing I would find a way to keep you safe.  My sweet boy knew he was loved too much by a mother who was too soft for tough love…..

Hey Mom, What’s Up With Matt….

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Matt,  in my mind you are safe.  Just for this night I can close my exhausted eyes and let sleep take over my brain.  I tell myself this is a start.  You were willing to finally go.  After all the screaming matches we had about you needing rehab it took your peers to convince you how messed up you really were.  At this point it really didn’t matter how you got there,  just that you were there and for tonight my heart and mind would find peace in beautiful sleep.  No laying awake worrying or constantly checking my phone.  No more jumping out of bed when I hear a car pass by.  Just for tonight I kept telling myself,  just for tonight sleep…

I woke to the phone ringing.  I couldn’t believe the time.  Almost noon.  I couldn’t believe I’d slept that long.  Ray was long gone and I never heard a sound.  Even the pups still lay beside me in lazy slumber.  Looking at the phone as if to say how dare anyone wake us.  I didn’t remember ever sleeping that deep.  Not since you came home and your addiction took over my life.   I answer.  A voice I don’t recognize introduces herself as your counselor.  Would I be interested in a family meeting.  Absolutely.  She tells me you are being detoxed and I can not visit or speak to you until the day of the meeting.  She gives me the date and I tell her I will be there.  I hang up feeling relief.  My mind once again reliving the day.  The hell you put me through.  I really didn’t want to talk to you yet.  I still had to calm myself down.  I still could not believe the ugliness that took over my sweet boy when you didn’t have your pills.  I was getting an education in addiction that I really didn’t sign up for.  I wanted my normal son.  I wanted my normal life.  My mind and body still feeling the aftermath of your fury.  I needed a mental health break.  Just a few days not consumed by your addiction was all I could think about.  You were where you needed to be and for once I could just relax and enjoy being home.

I tried to be normal.  To do normal things.  The laundry, grocery shopping,  walking the dogs, but that little voice kept breaking thru.  Go look, go look.  You don’t have to worry about him finding you in his stuff.  Go look.  Ok, so now here I am.  I want and need a break from your addiction, but with you away the time for my searching is just perfect.  Don’t have to calm my racing heart.  Don’t have to depend on the dogs barking to alert me to your return.  It’s just me, myself and I plus your demon pills.

So much for normal I tell myself as I carry the ladder and a flashlight to your space.  How convenient for me that you lived in my finished basement.  I didn’t even have to leave the house to play spy mom.  So now I take my time.  Lifting ceiling tiles and looking.  Dumping drawers and emptying boxes.  Taking my time and finding pieces of a life I had no idea you lived.  The more I searched, the more I found.  My shocked brain kept saying WTH you weren’t raised to be this kind of person.  To hang with these kind of people.  Oh my God.  I sat and realized I was pretending all along that you weren’t one of them.  The addict who hung out with the bad boys.  The addict who lied and fought for your demons.  I felt like I’d been slapped in the face.  Reality.  Addiction the four letter word.  My son is an addict.  I never found your pills but I found so much more.

I sit in stunned silence.  Finally seeing you and your addiction for what is was.  Dirty, ugly, deceitful.  My little sweet boy had grown into a man with a horrible disease that made him do horrible things.  I felt the tears and the tightness taking hold of my body.  Damn you,  my mind is screaming.  The phone startles me.  Hey Mom,  I can’t get Matt.  What’s up with him.  Something isn’t right.  Do you know where he is.   Oh God, Mike.  My mind is saying,  while you’ve been away serving our country busting the drug cartel your brother has been giving them business.  My mouth doesn’t move.  Now the all familiar heart racing, throat tightening that has become my bodies automatic response takes over.  Mike,  we need to talk.

I will never forget the look on your face.  I could feel your anger as I told you about the dirty little secret.   WTF Mom.  Why didn’t you tell me.  WTH were you doing.  I had a right to know.  Mike, my eyes are pleading with you.  I couldn’t put you at risk.  You were gone.  Out to sea dealing with your own life.  What could you have done.  I try to defend my decision.  Please Mike,  I can’t battle both my boys.  I did what I thought was the right thing to keep you safe.  You could not be worrying about your brother and do your job.  You needed a clear head.   I was pleading for my life.  Once again your addiction was the poison hurting our once close family.   Where is he Mom.  Is that why the beach house is gone.  Is that why he lives with you.  All these questions deserved answers.  I felt so guilty for keeping our secret.  No more Matt.  No more secrets in our family.  I needed all the help I could get.  Maybe your brother could get through to you.  Maybe just maybe we could work together to save you.

Mike knows everything.  No more dirty secrets.  He knows you have an addiction to pills.  He knows all the horror we have lived through these last years while he was away.  He is both shocked and saddened that you have lost so much and still use.  He knows about the family meeting.  He is coming.

Your big brother wraps me in a hug as I cry letting the years of grief, worry and uncertainty rush from my body like wave after wave hitting the sandy shore.  The release of loving a son with a horrible disease.  The relief of having someone who loves you as much as I do know our journey.  I pray you will understand my need to come clean.  The burden of your addiction has broken both my spirit and my heart.  I need backup.  I need help.  Forgive me Matt.  I need all hands on deck.  Your demons must be stopped and I’m tired.  Your brother will step up and join the fight.  He never had a fear of rollercoasters….

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…..

 

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