Mother's Heartbreak

A Story of Addiction & Loss

Tag: opioid addiction (page 1 of 2)

Lost in Paradise

IMG_0271

Matt.

We made it to the house we’ve rented in The Keys.   I listen to the excited voices of Ray and our friends.   I feel nothing except lost.  It’s been one month and eleven days since you left.   My life has become a before and after movie.   I replay the scenes over and over in my mind.  Searching for that missing piece.  Still not able to believe you are gone.  Life before you died was full of hope.  Full of promises and joy.  Dreams of your future, a wedding and grandchildren washed away with the outgoing tide.  Life now is unbearable.   This pain is constant, crushing my shattered heart.

The house is beautiful.  The perfect location.  I find myself going through the motions of living.  I find my mask and secure it to my face.  Trying desperately to hide my grief.  I listen to Ray and our friends.  Smiles and plans of sunshine filled days.   Kayaking and biking.  Everything I once loved to do in this beautiful place brings no joy.  I am numb.  The walking dead.

Sleep continues to elude me.  I toss and turn listening to the sounds of the sea.  I lay in the dark silently crying.  I wonder where you are.  I wonder if you know that you’re gone.  I wonder how I will every survive the rest of my life.

Days are spent pretending I’m ok.   I find myself drawn to the back of the house.  The turquoise sea surrounds me.  The sun kisses my cold skin with warmth.  Nothing can penetrate the ice surrounding my soul.  I stare out at the beautiful water and remember your smiling face.  I look for signs of your presence.  I think of this trip.  The planning.  The joy.  The excitement I would feel at seeing you again.  I close my eyes and see us walking together by the sea as we’ve done so many times before.   I feel like I’m trapped in a nightmare.  This did not happen.  You could not be gone.  My mind has become an enemy.   Never quiet.  Always replaying the scenes from our journey.  Forcing me to relive every moment.  Every decision, every fight.  I constantly rethink every little thing.  Hindsight continues to slap my face.   I beg for a redo.  I beg to wake up.  I beg for this to be a horrible mistake.

I sit in the warmth of the sun thinking of how things should be.  You should be spending the day at the beach enjoying your new life and I should be the happiest mom on earth.  You told me how blessed you were to be living by the sea.  I felt that blessing spread to me thinking you found your peace and I could finally take a breath.   Try to pray.   There is nothing left to pray for.   My years of prayers went unanswered.   I feel abandoned by God.

I’m surrounded by beauty but all I can think of is you.  I stare out at the sea and remember the words.   Those words that pierced my soul spoken by the man I trusted to keep you safe.  “People die here everyday”.   Those words run through my head like hot lava spitting from a volcano.   Smoldering and destroying everything in its way.   Were you not a human being?   A wonderful man with a horrible disease.   A loving son and brother or were you just a meal ticket for this man who tossed you away?  The more I remember those words, his I could care less attitude, his I’m too busy to talk about Matt when he finally returned my call, the more I want to scream.

I feel my grief changing.   I feel the hopelessness starting to fade.   An ember has started and a raging fire has erupted in my soul.   Who the hell does J think he is?   How can the state of Florida think that running sober living homes like he obviously does is acceptable?   What happened to you will never be right with me.  Florida, you pissed off the wrong mom.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

My first call is to the Florida Office of the Attorney General.   I filed my complaint on the website but that is not enough for me.   I want to talk to this woman.   I want her to know what is going on in her state.  I want her to know that parasites are making a living off addicts.   I want her to know that your mother is outraged and won’t  accept your death quietly.

My next call is to The Department of Health and Human Services.   Next the Governor’s Office.   Your story is being told.   Tears and sobs escape with each phone call.   They are listening.   I feel a strength come over my being.   Like you are here rooting me on.   I owe this to you.   I let you down.  I live with regret everyday.  I had no idea you were flying into a death trap when I bought your ticket to Florida.  Now you are gone and I’m left behind.   The lone wingman.   The one Musketeer.   You and I had a bond like none other.   A bond that even your death cannot sever.   Memories of you flood my mind and break my heart.  Your laugh, your smile forever tucked safely away in my heart.

My ringing phone brings me back to reality.   Your story found it’s way to FARR.   Florida Association of Recovery Residences.   They have begun the battle against the J’s.   Those who prey on the people coming  to Florida for help.    We plan to keep in touch.

Our time here is over and I’m torn.   I want to go home and I want to stay.   A piece of my heart will remain in Florida.   Because of you I have a permanent bond with this state.  There is so much left for me to do.   I feel your spirit.  Your energy by the sea.  I close my eyes and see you standing on the beach you loved.   One of your last pictures before you died.   Joy radiating from your face.   Happiness finally found you only to be brutally ripped away.   You deserved so much more.

Its cold and grey when we land in Philly.   The weather mimics my soul.   We pull into the garage.   The house is silent.   There are no wet noses or wagging tales.   No “Hey Mom, Welcome Home”.   Just a dead silence that takes my breath away.   I drop my bags on the floor.   The memories of another homecoming flood my brain.   You were there.  The dogs on your heels.  Hugs and kisses.  Barking and wagging.  You were so proud of how you cleaned the house.  I remember your beaming smile, “Mom, everything’s done”.   “No dishes or dog hair”.   I remember your laugh.  “Bet your surprised”.

The cold slap of reality brings me back.  I am home and you are gone.

 

 

 

Navigating My Way Through The Turbulence Of Reality

3BC49597-032B-4CE0-B506-38A24D99C282

Matt.   The day is finally here.   The day I looked forward to for months.  The day I’d be able to hug you again.  To visit your new life.  To see your handsome face and see that famous grin.  I counted down the days for months.  The tickets were bought before you left me behind.  This trip we planned and I looked so forward to now filled with agony and despair.

Counting down the days until February 10th.  You remember.   Ray and I were flying down to Boca to spend the week with you before heading to The Keys.   You and I would walk on your beach.  I planned on stocking you up before we left.  Going to the grocery store and buying all your favorites.   Plans forming in my mind.  Lunches and dinners together.   Seeing where you called home.  Meeting your friends.  You were going to take us to meet your boss.   You were going to show us around Boca.  I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.   Anticipating how I would feel seeing you in person after six long months.

Now, I’m dreading this trip.   I will be going to Boca, but not to see you.   This trip has turned into a nightmare.  You are no longer there.  Your cold body flew home on a snowy January night.  Your urn sits on my mantel along with every picture I could copy off your Facebook page.  My joy shattered.   My original  plans blown away on that cold January day.

Ray and I head to the airport.   The silence is deafening.   There are no words.  Nothing can be said to erase this ache in my heart.   Tears flow as I try to tell myself to be strong.   I need to do this for you.   One final act of love.  I must retrace your steps.   I must hear your story.   I must bring home whatever you left behind.   It’s all I have left of you.   The remnants of your life cut short by the disease that killed us both.

The airport is crowded with smiling faces.   Families waiting to fly off to warmer climates.   I watch and have to fight the screams trying to escape my soul.   My brain replaying your flight home.   The cancelations, the delays, the endless wait to see if that body was really you.   Denial was my savior until I saw you with my own eyes.  Your still, cold body.   Until I touched your face and ran my fingers through your hair my fantasy of a mistake allowed me to function.

Our flight is called.   We stand in line waiting to board.   I feel like I’m being led to a slaughter.   People rush past.   I’m struggling through the quicksand that surrounds my body.   Fighting to put one foot in front of the other to board the flight into the nightmare that has become my life.

We are seated.   I’m struggling for air.   Ray senses my distress and grabs my hand.   In my mind I’m running up the aisle.   Screaming to be let off this flight.   This is not the way things were supposed to be.   Suddenly we are airborne.   My throat is closing.   My heart is racing.   Ray adjusts the air above my head.   Sobs are escaping.   Racking my body.   I dream of disappearing.

Landing in Ft. Lauderdale we are met by friends.   They supported you on your journey and were the first ones who came running when the news of your death spread.   A cloudless, blue sky greets us.  The day is sunny and warm.   My body is  freezing.   My swollen eyes are hidden behind dark glasses.   Even the warmth of the sun can not penetrate the ice that surrounds my soul.

Foolishly, I allow myself the fantasy.   You are waiting for us.   I imagine how you would look.   I scan the crowd for you.   I imagine your face, your smile, the sound of your voice.   I crave being wrapped in your hug.   Oh God,  please help me walk through this hell that has become my life.  Tears run down my face as the over whelming waves of reality hit me in my gut.   You are not here.

The Boca Raton Police Station is located in the heart of Boca.   We pull into the parking lot.   I feel the grief grabbing my throat.   I am silently being strangled.  I am telling myself to get out of the car.  My legs have turned to rubber as I struggle to move toward the door.   The door that will lead me to the truth.  The door that contains the information that will yield the final blow to my heart.

We are met by the detective assigned to your case.  I find it hard to make eye contact.   His eyes are full of pity.   His eyes were the last ones to see your lifeless body.  His eyes and hands touched you before I knew you were gone.  I want to reach out and touch his hand to my face.  I want to connect to this man who covered your handsome face in that hotel room.

He shares the facts of your last hours on earth.   He tells of your relapse.   Your distress.   Your being dumped at a hotel by the man who cashed my checks and lied to me about keeping you safe.   I sit there listening and feel a power come into my being.   The more I hear, the more I want to know.   Grief is replaced with anger.   I want to hear the ugly, dirty details of how you were tossed away like a piece of garbage.   How instead of getting you to safety,  this man disregarded your distress and left you to die.   I feel you there.   Giving me strength.   Pointing me to this new journey.   My wingman,  now my angel guiding me along this unfamiliar,  jagged, ugly path.

Your possessions are now brought into the room.   Paper bags marked evidence hold the last of you.   My hand shakes violently as I try to sign the release form.  My signature unrecognizable and damp with my tears.   There is nothing left to tell.

The sun blinds my swollen eyes.   I get into the backseat and hug your clothing to my heart.   Sobs come as my dam breaks.  My anger replaced with overwhelming pain.

Our next stop is Deerfield Beach.   Crossing the bridge from Boca to Deerfield,  I hear your voice.   You could not hide your excitement.  “Mom,  I found a job”.   “I’m going to be welding”.   “Got hired on the spot.”    I could see your smile over the phone.   The pride returning to your voice.   Your excitement found it’s way to my heart.   Oh God,  thank you.   My prayers answered.

The stopping car brings me back to reality.   I take a deep breath and walk into the door of Precision Aluminum.   We are greeted by your boss who’s face says it all.   Still shocked that you are gone.   He walks us through the shop and shows us where you spent your days.   He tells us what a great guy you were.   How you fit right in and felt like one of the family.   He tells us how your death has deeply affected your co-workers.   I am numb.   I picture you sitting on your bench.   You posted pics of you wearing your welding mask that proud smile spreading across your face.   Your head wrapped in your trademark bandana.   My fantasy interrupted by his voice.   He takes us outside and shows us your car.    He tells us he admired you riding your bike miles to get to work.   After riding through several soaking rainstorms he offered you a car.   I remember seeing your first post.   You standing in front of this beautiful Camaro.   You called her your baby.   A sob escapes as I open the door and see your shirt hanging over the back seat.   Your bandana tied around the mirror.   I am no longer in control.   The sobs of a wounded animal escape my soul.    My brain losing the fight to keep me sane.

Ray leads me to the car.   I am gone.    I hold your bandana to my face.   Steel and sweat fill my senses.   Your smell finds its way to my shattered soul.   Your scent so welcome,  I clutch all I have left to my heart and try to silence my screams.

We head to the beach you loved.   The one you told me so much about.   Spending weekends hanging out with friends.   Swimming in the warm surf.   I picture you walking toward me as I walk alone.   I need to be where you were.   I need to feel the sand that you felt and walk into the surf where you played.   I need to feel you.  My grief, now as powerful as the surf begins to pound my brain and is slowly transforming into anger.

I google the address where you lived.   I picture myself walking up to the man who tossed you away like a piece of trash.   I want him to see my face.   I want him to meet your mother in the flesh.   The women who believed his lies and signed the checks.  I want to dare him to say the ugly  words he spoke as I sobbed.   I want him to repeat what he told me when he finally had the balls to respond to my screaming messages.   I want him to look at your broken mom and tell me that “People die here everyday”.    Those words forever branded in my brain.   People like you.   Those he vowed to help.    His so called clients not worthy of saving.   I picture myself squeezing his throat.   I want him to know how I feel everyday.   I want him to experience the terror of not being able to catch your breath.   I want to watch the color drain from his face.   I want my face to be the last thing he sees as I say your name.

I am out of control.   Ray has called ahead knowing that I am breaking.   We are leaving Boca ahead of schedule.   I can take no more.

We hit the seven mile bridge.   I open my eyes.   I’m surrounded by a turquoise sea.   I hold tight to your shirt, roll down my window and drink in the sea air.   I am physically broken, mentally spent.    I look ahead at the vastness surrounding me and feel you with me.   “Hey Mom, are we there yet?”   You were always in such a hurry to reach our next destination.   “Mom,  how much longer?”   I see you as a little boy always curious.  Your little tow head in my rearview mirror.   Oh Matt,  I am so lost.   I have no idea where I am going.   Where my next journey will lead.    Right now I need to learn to breath.   To learn to accept the ending to your journey. I close my eyes and hear the gulls crying.    I listen and hear your name.

 

 

Fighting My Way Through The Fog

IMG_1086

 

Matt.  Today is unbearable, empty.  There is nothing left to do.  Last week my mind shrouded in grief had to function.  There was no choice.  First, I had to get you home to Delaware.  Flight after flight was canceled because of the snow storms.  I wondered if that was you.  Your last joke on me.  I remembered how you loved the snow.   I close my eyes and see You, Me and Mike racing out the door into the newly fallen snow.   The dogs on our heals.  Boys in the bodies of men squealing with laughter as we slammed each other with snow balls.  Darting through trees or whatever cover we could find.   Not a care in the world.  Just a mom and her teenage sons.  The age of innocence before any thought of drugs would enter our perfect snow covered world.  Soaked and exhausted we would drop to the ground and spread our wings.  Snow Angels.  Three in a row.   Matt, your angel is forever gone.  Blown away by the wind of your demons, never to return again.

Writing your obituary and planning your memorial service were the most painful events in my life.   Trying to find words to describe your life.  What does a mother say about her son’s life.  How do you describe the tow headed little child who held your heart in his hands?  How do you describe the man, the struggle and the demons?  How do you put the last seven years into a word document when you can’t breathe and comprehend that this is reality?  You and Mike should be going through this.  Not me and Ray.  You were supposed to live.  You were supposed to be here when I left to stand by your brothers side and say goodbye to me.  Not the other way around.

So now what is left for me?  My life revolved around saving you.  You are gone and I am left shattered.  A wine glass thrown against a wall.  There is no putting me back together.   I sit alone curled up by the fire.  The pups feel my grief.  I am dark, unreachable, untouchable, numb.   Grief has swallowed me up.  I sit and relive every moment.  Memory after memory floods my foggy brain.  I dissect every decision made during your addiction.   I torture myself wondering what I missed.  What I should have done differently.   I have become my personal punching bag.

My life now lived in a thick fog.   My heart not allowing the truth to find my brain.  I don’t understand  how my heart can hurt so deeply and still beat.  Sleep is sporadic.   The couch has become my bed.  Ray must sleep.  I toss and turn and cry.   When sleep comes it’s short and sweet.  My reprieve from the reality of your death. Waking is punishment.  Every morning my grief lies in wait until I stir.  Opening my eyes allows a slice of reality in as I see your smiling face staring back at me.  Grief gut punches.  The cold slap of reality.  There are moments where I can briefly forget that you are gone.  Moments my brain protects my heart and I pretend you are busy.  You will call when you can.  I allow myself to think you are on the beach enjoying the warmth of the sun while I’m freezing in this cold.  Then the wave hits sucking my breath away and I crumble like the sandcastles we built by the sea.

My denial laughing at me.  Those books written by parents of addicts.  The one’s I though knew what they were talking about.  The one’s that became my bibles.  The one’s where their children lived have been transformed to an ashy mess burned on a dark, grief filled night.   Those books are full of lies.  Addiction does not always have a happy ending.

My heart remains shattered with no end in site.  The pain of losing you hurts so much more than the pain of bringing you into this world.   At least I knew when that pain ended I would hold my precious baby in my arms.  This pain has engulfed  my world and will never have an ending.

Memories of your childhood flood my brain.  My mind has become a movie projector.  Both good and bad flood my brain taking my breath away.   Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.  You and I would laugh dropping to the ground singing that song.  All the King’s horses and all the King’s men couldn’t put Humpty back together again.   Call me Humpty.  Shattered beyond repair.

 

There’s No Screaming In The NICU

IMG_0902

There’s No Screaming In The NICU

Matt,  I fell asleep that night before we had the chance to speak again.   I remember setting my alarm before closing my eyes.  I said my nightly prayer asking Jesus to keep you safe.  I had no reason to worry.   You sounded perfect.  I was planning on touching base in the morning before my day got too busy.  It was my weekend to work.  Those back to back 12 hour shifts just about killed me.   It was Saturday and you had plans to meet your friends and spend the day at the beach.  In my mind it was just another weekend.  You were loving the fact that while I was freezing in January you were able to enjoy the heat.  You would send me pictures trying to give me a taste of the beach as Delaware was hit with daily snow.  I was counting the days before I saw you again.  Ray and I booked a flight in February.   We were coming to spend a week with you in the sunshine of your new home.  I couldn’t wait to see you in person and feel myself being wrapped in that bear hug you were so famous for. You and I spoke about spending the days enjoying the beach.   I would meet your boss and the people you now called friends.  We would stock your fridge with food  and go out to lunches and dinners.  Visiting you was the bright spot in my cold and dreary winter.

I remember waking up to the strangest sensation.  I was enveloped in a cool breath.  I was startled as I checked to make sure Ray and the dogs were all breathing.  I remember sitting straight up in bed.  The room completely dark.  This sensation lay on my chest and in my throat.  A chill I could not explain.  There was no pain.  I wondered if this was what a heart attack felt like.  I remember looking at the clock.  It read 4:50.  The chill continued to work its way through my chest.  I felt like I was surrounded by ice.  I remember feeling the sensation of a breath in my throat.  It would not move.  I opened my mouth and let it go.  A warmth then surrounded me.  I was shaking.  My heart was racing.  I was too startled to fall back to sleep.  I’ve never felt anything like that in my life.  I got out of bed.  Grabbed my scrubs and went downstairs.  It was too early for Ray to wake.  He usually slept in on Saturday mornings.  I just needed a hot cup of coffee to start my day and take away the chill that followed me.

I left the house earlier than usual.  I planned on stopping by Dunkin Donuts before heading to the hospital.  I tried to forget how I woke and focused on getting that much needed coffee.  Without warning, my vision became blurry.  The earlier sensation of a breath that was not mine enveloped me again.  I started to panic.  My mind now racing telling me to pull over.   I was terrified that something was happening to me.  Once again my heart started to race and that breath was caught in my throat.  I sat in my car and closed my eyes.  I kept telling myself I was ok. I sat until my vision cleared and my heart stopped racing.  My clock said 6:20. When I finally made it to get my coffee the girl taking my order joked and said I looked like someone who had seen a ghost.

It was another busy day in the NICU.  Weekends were usually short staffed and that Saturday was no different.  I kept thinking I wanted to call you but my three sick babies kept me hopping.  I was able to forget about my two unexplained episodes and focused my attention on helping parents care for their premature babes.  I kept checking the time.  I still had not been able to step away and call you.  I though it was funny that I didn’t hear from you but I figured you were enjoying the day with your friends.  Lunch time was getting close.  I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the cafeteria so I suggested that my coworker and I order out and try to cover for each other so we could at least eat.  We just placed our orders when the Unit Clerk buzzed me and told me Ray was out front and I needed to come.  I remember laughing and thinking about the irony.  Thinking he brought me lunch right after I ordered.  Oh Well, I’ll just eat my lunch for dinner.

Rays face was not what I expected.  Red, swollen eyes.  Tears starting to fall again as he sees my face.  My brain automatically thinking it must be his father.   His mother died 5 months before and his father was lost without her.  I grabbed Rays arms.  “Oh God, Ray is it your father?”  He looked directly in my eyes.  His pity is palpable.  He grabs me by both arms.  “No, it’s Matt, he’s dead”.    I am surrounded by a thick fog.  Sounds and sights are muffled.  My breath is sucked out of my lungs.  I am trapped in a vacuum.  I am falling down the rabbit hole.  I am disappearing.

Suddenly I hear the guttural screams of a wounded animal.  Louder and louder she screams.  No, no, no, no.  The sound breaks my heart.   I’m thinking, Oh God, a mother must have just lost her precious baby.  Oh God, someone please help her.  Tell her she must stop screaming.  This is the NICU.  Her screams will scare the babes and their mothers.  My brain is in survival mode, refusing to let me understand those screams are coming from my shattered soul.

I am surrounded by nurses.  I see tears falling everywhere.  Hands cup my face and a familiar voice tells me to breathe.  Breathing something once so natural feels foreign to my lungs.  There is no air.  I tell Ray it must be a mistake.  Matt must have lost his wallet.  It couldn’t be him.  He sounded perfect last night.  My denial is keeping me alive.  Please call his roommate.  He would have called.  It can’t be Matt.  Ray walks away and makes that call.  I sit and remember our last conversation.  Our last words, “Love you, Mom”.  “Love you, Matt”.  I remember your promise.  “Mom, I love you too much to hurt you that badly”.    Matt I want to scream.  I want to wake up from this nightmare.

Ray returns.  His eyes give me the answer I don’t want to hear.  I remember being walked to Ray’s car.  A co-worker on each side holding me up.  My legs have forgotten how to work.  My body is numb.  I am buckled in like a child.  The words, “I’m so sorry” float around the car.   Ray grabs my hand.   There is nothing left to say.  I am destroyed.   My wounds are invisible to the human eye.  My heart and soul are shattered.

Oh God. Mike. I must tell Mike.  How do I tell your brother you are gone.  Mike answers on the first ring.  I can not speak.  Sobs escape from my throat.  Mike, Mike, Mike.

We arrive home.  The day is cold and grey.  The weather mimicking my heart.  The dogs greet me with wagging tails.   I sit as they lick the tears falling from my eyes.  They have no way of knowing that I want to disappear from this pain that has taken over my heart.  I’ve read about broken heart syndrome.  Now I’m living it.  I will my heart to stop beating.  I want to be where you are.  I want to follow you.  I call your number.  I need to hear your voice.  I still deny that you are gone.  The constant ringing is killing me.  No more “Hey Mom, what’s up?”   Oh God, how do I do this?  How do I continue to live without you?

I sit on the couch as darkness falls.  I can’t move.  Ray sits and gives me the details that I don’t want to hear but need to know.  There are calls we need to make.  The detective on your case is kind and gentle as he tells me the story of your last night on earth. He tells me your time of death was 4:50 a.m.  My mind is going wild.  Remembering that cold breath waking me from a sound sleep.  Was that you Matt?  Did you come to me to say goodbye?   You are now lying in the morgue in Boca Raton.  We must make arrangements to bring your lifeless body back to the place    you were loved.  Home.

There was no sleep for me that night.  I watched as the snow fell and talked to you.  I looked at your beautiful pictures and could not believe there would be no more.  I remember staring out the window asking questions that would have no answers.  I started to write you a letter.

Matt,

I sit here all night in the dark looking at your picture and telling myself to breathe.  Matt, you told me this would never happen.  You would never hurt me like this.  You promised and I believed.  We were both so foolish to think you could stop slowly killing yourself.  Your new life in Florida was supposed to be a fresh start away from the demons you wrestled with most of your life.  I am so proud that you tried to live a clean life.  You fought a battle against all odds.  But to know I will never hear your voice, touch your face or be able to tell you how much I love you is just too much for my heart to bear.  You and I fought this battle together and I torture my mind wondering what could have been done to change this outcome.  When I spoke to you for the last time, you sounded perfect.  I’m happy I told you that I loved you.  It’s pouring out tonight.  The angels crying for your broken mother.  I sit in the dark talking to you.  Oh Matt,  your struggle is over and mine is just beginning.  I prayed for Jesus to keep you safe.  I never thought this would be how your story ended.  I am making arrangements to bring you home.  I need to see you,  to touch you one last time.   Know that you are loved.  Know that your family is broken by your loss.  I wish you loved yourself enough.  Matt, my most precious child.  Even though you were a man you will always be my tow headed little boy.  Mommy….Mommy…Don’t let go.

The Ugly Reality Of Rehab…

 

 

IMG_0776

 

Matt,  I remember sitting in my car watching Mike’s tail lights fade away.  I sat and let the tears flow.  I had no control, I gave up trying to pretend that things were going to be ok.  The sobs came in waves and as so many times before I felt that familiar throat tightening making me feel like your demons were slowly strangling the life out of me.  I had no idea how much time had passed.  A knock on my window startled me, bringing me back to my brutal reality.  Hey lady, are you ok?   What, what,  A security guard knocking on my window.  Am I ok, really, do I look like I’m ok.  I’m sitting in the parking lot of a psychiatric facility sobbing my brains out and this idiot wants to know if I’m ok.  Sure, I’m just peachy.  My youngest son is a patient in this wonderful place.  An addict.  His addiction is killing my family.  My oldest son just ripped him a new one and scared the hell out of the child who works here as a counselor.   Sure, I’m just great.

I drive home in silence.  Still stunned at your behavior. I realize that you are sly, but I would hope someone who professes to be a professional in their field would see right through your facade.   Mike was right.  These so-called experts were putty in your hands.  We were so screwed.    Ray is waiting for me.  He looks at my face and doesn’t even have to ask.  I pour a glass of red and sit.  Slowly trying to calm myself as I tell the story of our first disaster  of a family meeting.  Saying it out loud, I start to hysterically laugh.  The look on the baby counselor’s face was priceless.  I have no control.  My tears have turned into gulping laughter.  Ok, my mind is thinking.  This is it, she is having her much earned nervous breakdown.  Oh God, how I would love to get my hands on the notes from this session.   Crazy, psychotic, dysfunctional family.   No wonder the younger one takes drugs.  Oh God.  I am so totally hysterically out of control.   Ray is looking at me like I’ve lost my mind.  Telling the story was such a release of pent-up emotions.  I finally calm down.  Ray and I sit in silence.  I am spent and he is thinking he’s married a nutcase.

I’m off the next day and planned on just staying put.  My eyes are showing the signs of tears and stress.  These days I don’t recognize the person staring back at me.  She is a ghost of who she was.  Addiction was a family disease.  I saw the poster but never truly understood until I lived it.   I remembered the good times.  Before your addiction made us crazy.   Happy times, God, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time.   The ringing phone brings me back.  I don’t recognize the number.  Hello.  Mom.  Matt.  Mom, I just wanted to let you know I’m getting out on Friday.  What.  Matt, you’re not ready to get out.  It’s only been ten days.  Who thinks you’re ready.  I talked with the shrink twice.  He thinks I’m ready.  WTH.  A real shrink thinks that after ten days you are ready.  I’m ready to scream.. Matt,  you are no way ready to come home and face the world.  What follow-up plans do they have for you.  Mom.  I’m leaving.  Are you picking me up or not?   I hang up.  I can’t breathe.  What the hell is going on here.  How can anyone think that ten days is enough when you’ve been an addict for years.  Stupid people, stupid system.  I talk myself down and grab my phone.  My heart is beating in my ears.   The receptionist puts me on hold.  The child counselor answers.  I try to remain calm.  I try to come across as a sane person.  I tell her I disagree with their plan.  Matt is not ready to come home.  He needs to stay in a place away from drugs.  He lies.  He knows what to say and how to say it.   How can you be so gullible.   Of course I know about the Hippa Law, I’m a nurse and I’m his mom and you are just plain stupid.

My next call is to Mike.   WTH are the first words I hear when I tell him the news.  He agrees with me.   Mike, what are we going to do? He can’t leave there.  I can’t keep running on this hamster wheel.   Running in circles and getting no where.   Mom, take a break.  I’ll get him.  I’ll talk to him.   Mike and I run different scenarios back and forth.  Both of us reeling from the news.  Both of us pissed that you have managed to get your way.  Do I let you come home.  Do I give you an ultimatum.  Stay in or stay away.  Tough love was something I read about.   Letting your kid hit rock bottom.   The streets or rehab.  Oh God.  Was I strong enough?

Discharge day.  My nerves are shot.  Mike is picking you up.  I try to eat and vomit into the trash.  The dogs follow me as I pace.  They know something is off.  I don’t have a clue of what to say to you.  In the past I always had my speech prepared.  Today I am a shaking mess.  I am at a loss for words or ideas.  I know you need intense help to beat your demons.  This is a sad joke.

The dogs run to the door letting me know you have arrived.   They greet you with happy barks and tail wagging kisses.   They have no clue as to where you have been.  They have no idea that you coming home is not a good thing.  They are just happy to see you.  For a second I want to be like them.   Just happy, greeting my pack member.  Pure blissful happiness.   Mike walks in behind you.  I give you a hug and tell you we need to talk.  A plan needs to be made.  We can’t keep riding this roller coaster.  I can’t do this anymore.  We sit. Mike and I tell you that you need to be serious about your addiction.  Mike and I talking while you shake your head and agree.   I look at you and know that your mind is not here.  You, my sly fox, are playing us like you play everyone.   Mike.  Stop.  He’s not listening.  Forget it.  You get up and go downstairs.  Mike and I sit dumfounded.   We are crazy and you are just as cool as you can be.  Mike shakes his head, I start to cry……

 

Older posts

© 2017 Mother's Heartbreak

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑