My Addicted Son/I didn't Cause It, Can't Control It/Can't Cure It

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Life with a heroin addicted child

I just read a book by David Sheff called My Beautiful Boy..a fathers journey through his addicted sons life.  I think it would be awesome to write a book but my thoughts jump around too  much.  I have always been that way.  But it talks about his sons addiction also became his addiction..not literally, but emotionally, physically and every other way there is.  Its like reading your own life story with different names, different cities, etc, etc.

My son is in jail right now..he stole a purse from someone at the YMCA because he needed money for cigarettes and food.  He had been asking me for money and I had been giving him as much as I could because, he was after all, out of rehab, trying to find a job and staying with a friend who was also out of rehab and hey attended meetings together as well as AA and NA functions.  Come to find out that not only was I giving him money, so was his brother, his dad, and a friend of his.  Thats not a good sign.

He worked at a local restaurant here for about a week.  When I asked him about it, he said he couldn’t work there because of the alcohol and people doing drugs.  When he got out of rehab, he was practically handed a job.  My dentist knows the owner of a local uniform company and he gives kids like Tyler a second chance.  He told me to tell Tyler to apply and he would give him a shot so I told him about it.  His response was that the bus doesn’t go that far (he was living about 20 minutes away).  He doesn’t have a drivers license so he can’t get around other than the bus.  I called the bus company and they run almost door to door.  He told me that just because I found out about that job doesn’t mean its a God-send and that I don’t know anything about the job or what they do.  Well, I have no doubt its probably not a glamour job.  But its an honest job in a reputable company..the company I work for uses them.  That was the end of that.

The book talks about how the parent goes through guilt, how did it happen to may son when I have 2 sons that went through the army and came out as wonderful young men.  My youngest son is living with me now and enrolled in school full time to be a physical therapist.  The whole reason he went into the army was for the GI Bill.  I can’t afford to send him to school and he also didn’t want to rack up a zillion dollars in student loan debt.  My middle son, the addict, can never live with me again.  He is almost 26 years old.  I have said before, he is an expert liar and a thief.  He will look you in the eyes, if he can, and tell you he is clean and be high as a kite.  But a long sleeve t-shirt in the middle of summer begs a different story.  When he is using he looks dirty, even showering on a regular basis.  I don’t know why that is, but it is.  I believe that he started using this time because of a girl.  There is a girl that he is madly in love with who has a special needs son.  She just came out of rehab and Tyler saw here kissing another guy after an AA meeting.  They always go out for coffee afterwards.  He is obsessed with this girl and he got her addicted to heroin.  When he got out of rehab, he didn’t work the program.  He was more interested in this girl.  An addict can never lose sight of his sobriety, it has to come first and foremost above anything else.  I realize that a relationship ending is painful, everyone has been there.  Most of us deal with crying and fumbling through the days until, as time goes on, the wounds heal.  Addicts don’t want to deal with these emotions, or any emotions I don’t think, just numbness.  Anyway, I wrestle with guilt on letting my youngest son live with me while my middle son cannot.  But then again, its not like I haven’t given him chance after chance and he ruined it every single time.  The stolen items, stolen debit card, the lies, smoking in his bed high and then falling asleep..the amount of burn holes in his comforter, on his pillow, on the mattress made me realize that we were lucky the house didn’t catch on fire.  One time I got up to get ready for work and the stove in the kitchen was on and it was on high..had been all night.  He had come in high, fixed himself something to eat and never turned the burner off.  One time while doing laundry and getting ready for my youngest sons graduation, my fiance went downstairs to get something out of the dryer.  One of the things he found was a used needle.  For some reason, it had been in Tyler’s jeans although God knows why you would put a needle in your dirty clothes.  He didn’t get to go see his brother graduate because he was on house arrest.  I dont’ remember why, but I think it was because he got an OVI.

Its amazing the amount of denial a parent goes through..I remember telling myself it was just a phase.  I didn’t know for a long time that he was addicted to drugs (expert liar) and I am pretty naive when it comes to drugs.  What I know can be put in my pinky fingernail.  What I know now can fill a room.  Thats still not a lot, but its better than what it was.  Also to come along with it are the sleepless nights, almost like having a newborn again without the joy.  I have had so many sleepless nights and filled myself full of guilt.  I feel guilty about everything that I do or don’t do for him.  I feel guilty because my son lives with me but he can’t.  I feel guilty when he wants money and I can’t give it to him.  There are times when I could but I won’t.  And there are times when I am just plain mad at him.  I’m mad that he didn’t work the program and stay on course to stay clean.  I’m mad that he lets drugs win.  I’m mad that he doesn’t care more for his life than that.  I’m mad that I didn’t know and I’m mad that there is nothing I could have done about it.  I have learned this the hard way.  There is nothing I could have done about it..its not my choice for him but I don’t get to choose the path he goes down and the same with my other 2 sons.  The same as my parents didn’t get to choose what path I got to walk.  I can’t wish him to be clean, I can’t make him be sober, it’s all up to him.  Him and God..God has a plan for him and I hope at some point, he lets God take over and run his life.  There are no amount of rules, regulations, curfews or anything else that matter to an addict.  They will do what they want when they want.  But I love him to the moon and back.  I told him in a letter that I sent to the jail that I am his biggest fan, and I am constantly in his cheering section and I am hoping that, someday soon, he joins me there.

What I’m not going to do is let his addiction run my life.  I know he is safe for now because he is in jail and then ordered to go back to rehab.  So at least 30 days in jail, then 90 days in  After rehab, I am hoping he goes into transition housing.  A place where they can live after rehab, still at the facility, still their rules and curfew, but more like living on your own.  After the first couple of weeks, he can get a job.  He told me that going to transition rests on what I am willing to do for him.  Since he can’t get a job, he will have no income so he will need my help.  Going into transition rests on what he is willing to do for himself.  I didn’t cause this, I can’t control this and I can’t cure it.  I will never give up hope..ever.

Submitted: July 15, 2015

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