For those who have read my stories over any period of time, you are familiar with my belief in silver linings, no matter the trial. And I have had enough trials to believe that if one looks hard enough, the silver linings are there.
I am trying to find a silver lining in my latest crisis. But they are elusive, and the clouds are black as night. “My last nerve may be a very patient fella” but it is frayed and I fear that it will break before the storm is over.
My son has been going downhill over the past two years. It started with an exposure to marijuana by a friend, which has led to chronic lying, vandalism of my home, “stealing me blind” and emotional abuse. Out of fear of reprisal, I have made many bad decisions, going from ignoring the behaviors to stomping down hard–with punishment to me and my house and possessions. But I have never been consistent. Fear will do that to one.
Last year he threatened to harm my husband. He was admitted to a psychiatric center and the experience was absolutely terrible. He was exposed to pills of all kinds, drugged up with Xanax and sent home on bipolar and schizophrenic medications without one conversation with the psychiatrist. The experience soured us to the point that we stopped all attempt to get help through the medical community.
But the behaviors, while they waxed and waned, never resolved. He stole all my pain meds from the four surgeries I have had over the last 2 years and has continued to victimize me. I considered rehab, but my husband is so sour on psychiatry that we have fought non-stop over it. We don’t see eye-to-eye on any part of this whole ordeal. A win-win for my son, or so he feels. But really a terrible loss of time spent in indecision and divisiveness. Meanwhile, school are D/F’s and he incurred 5 days of ISS last month for chewing tobacco in class. I will spare you the ugly details at our house from that.
Six weeks ago he quickly went south. And asked to return to a psychiatrist, as his anxiety was driving him crazy. I was in a panic. Return to a psychiatrist? He must be at his last limits of tolerance to ask for this. He felt that his drug use was due to his psychiatric issues and anxiety, and I agreed, hoping that perhaps I was viewing my first silver lining.
The psychiatrist refused to prescribe any anti-anxiety medications, instead told me she thought he was bipolar and began a drug that required food. My son has a textural eating disorder, and he only eats if the food is the right texture. I should have asked for another medication. My son wanted a quick fix, and this was a several week process before any effect would be noticed.
My son doesn’t do “wait”. Anyone who is anxious cannot wait, it is the nature of the illness. I quickly saw that this was not working; in fact he was worse. After the first three days, he developed some side effects and refused to take the medication. By now I was suspicious that his visits to certain friends were lies, and he was really with drug dealers. I arranged for him to be admitted to a psych center for evaluation only to be told by his psychologist that she couldn’t agree that he met criteria at present. How I wish I would have pursued it.
I was right.
Last week a close friend blew his face off. At least the official story is suicide. My son feels it was a drug related murder made to look like a suicide. He was devastated. On Wednesday I received a call that he had left school with someone. My son said it was for the friend’s funeral. That night he started bout after bout of hysterical crying. He couldn’t stop, and relayed the graphic account of the funeral (open casket if you can believe it) and how 30 of them got together for a memorial. We stayed with him until he finally passed out a couple of hours before I had to go to work.
In retrospect, piecing together the actual events, the funeral was the weekend. The memorial was a drug affair Wednesday afternoon, and my son was picked up by his drug dealer and snorted a variety of medications that led to bouts of hysterical crying that night and the following day.
I began to get suspicious that something terrible was going on with him during that night. His thinking was disordered and he made many statements that he was a failure and worthless and, pardon me, a fuck up, and he wanted to kill himself but didn’t want to make us sad. I got home the next day after he cried all day with my husband to hear that all of a sudden he went out for a football game.
Who sobs hysterically for 24 hours then goes to a game? He wasn’t at a game. Ergo, was this behavior drug related and, now that I think of it, who has a funeral at 11 am on a Wednesday for a teenager when no friend would be able to attend? My husband bought all this “hook, line and sinker”, but I realized that I have been fed a pack of lies for months now as it all became clear to me. He wasn’t just doing a little marijuana now and then, he was on heavy drugs and I was about to lose my son. My husband wanted to try “natural” medicine. I wanted to take him right in, right now. I had hit my wall.
One day too late.
I received a terse call from the principal for me to urgently come to the school. When I arrived, police cars were parked in front of the school. I have experience with enough tragedy that any sign of police cars make me extremely anxious. I already knew that he must have been caught with drugs. I was wrong. He was caught selling drugs.
A “Class A” felony.
He was released into my custody. Rather laughable as he was obviously beyond parental control. The police interviewed him for 5 hours without food before they called me. Without me there. Alone. I saw that he was beyond the point where he could control himself. I was so afraid to take him home. School security followed me home and the whole time all he would say was that his life was over and he was running as soon as he got out of the car, he was going to OD on Tylenol but before that kill the kid who turned him in.
It was time. It was two years beyond time. It was my fault that he was at this point. If I had been a better mom, if I hadn’t had so many illnesses, if cancer hadn’t sucked the life out of me, if I didn’t have all these meds of my own to tempt him..if ..if
Getting him into treatment was very frustrating. I got him into a center only to be told that they actually didn’t have a bed for him. I called my ER at my hospital and was rudely told not to bring him there without an admitting physician calling them first. Finally a psychiatric center told me what to do. Just go to any ER, they must treat him and they would call a psychiatric social worker to triage and do an intake assessment and find a bed for him.
By that time I was half insane myself. I had a crazy son I was trying to keep in the room who was threatening me and my mom (who-bless her-stuck it out with me and stood up to his threats with such grace and dignity that I will never forget her courage). I took him to my local ER, a wonderful place who has always treated us well, and they got him a bed at Crittenden, a children’s psychiatric hospital in the area. He admitted to taking 6 prescription and illegal substances over the last week. A very “dirty” urine.
My son has divorced me as his mom. And I may have permanently ruined our relationship, as I used his confidences and told them everything. He feels betrayed and alone. He has no idea what the future will actually hold. Our home has been determined to be unsafe for him. Along with this we will need to deal with Clay County court system, one of the hardest in the state. I was told that there was a very real possibility that he would be removed from our home and put into state custody. At the very least, a secured long-term drug rehab program.
If it will help him, I will accept whatever he needs. But I cannot talk to him about it as he just lays in bed in utter despair. Having his freedom and friends permanently removed will just kill him.
I have sobbed until I don’t think I can cry anymore. I am so broken over this. This little soul was entrusted to me by God. How can I have screwed him up so badly?
“Droughts today spring wells of tears to water tomorrow’s Oasis”–Me