Saturday, September 26, 2009

It's funny how we feel so much, but cannot say a word."

Another long silence, I know. This time, my silence will not be followed by good news. Justin has slipped. My fear was that once he started school and was among his old 'friends' again, that he would start using. My fears were not unfounded, as within a week of school starting, all of the signs were there again. I ignored them for awhile, hoping they would go away, hoping I was wrong, but they soon became too clear to deny, and the vicious cycle began again. I think it would have been better if he did not stop using for that short time, giving me a false sense of hope that our painful road had ended. To be given that much hope, to have a glimpse of my son again, only to have it taken away. Well, it would have been easier if things had just stayed the same. I really can't understand what is going on his head. It is so clear that his life is better when he is not on drugs, and yet...

Life has been busy, overwhelming really. I started a new job, and it's stressful and demanding. My marriage, once strong, is starting to show cracks under the pressure of our son's problems, and all of the other problems that seem to go along with living. My life seems to be falling apart no matter how desperately I try to hold everything together. I have so many feelings going on inside me stemming from the circumstances of my life: anger, sadness, betrayal, bitterness. The bitterness is the worst, turning me into someone I don't like. In the past, writing about my feelings helped. Now, my emotions are too confusing, too difficult to discuss with anyone, even in this space. I'm afraid to let the ugliness out. If people knew what really went on in my head sometimes...well we shouldn't go there.

The title of this post is from Sarah's McLachalan's "I will remember you."

"It's funny how we feel so much, but cannot say a word,
we are screaming inside, but can't be heard."

And that's where I am today. Silent screams.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And We're Back

A few days after my last post, my husband and I decided to take a family road trip. We told the kids they were going, like it or not. I have found that we have lost a lot of our parental authority over the past few years, and always seem to be compromising with, or simply giving in to our kids, forgetting that they are the kids and we are the parents. Our daughter, of course was happy to go. Our son, was not too happy about being taken away from his access to weed, and there were a number of, shall I say, disagreements about the trip. I remained adamant in my decision that he would join the family, reminding him that at least for the next few months, he is a minor.

I've been reading a book that a friend gave me called "Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind," and it has been tremendously helpful in my responses to Justin and his outbursts. I've succumbed to the understanding that I cannot control his actions, but I can control how I react to them. The book also helped me to understand that it is not my fault that Justin is making the choices he is. One of the main themes of the book is that teens are temporarily 'insane' for a lack of a better word. In the past, this insanity usually passed without too much difficulty, because the world was a different place. Today's world is saturated with sex, drugs, and violence, and we put our kids in the middle of it and expect them to be okay. We mistakenly believe that our teens can handle the exposure to this crazy world we bring them into, often with drastic results.

Another insight that I gained from the book was that parents have to let go of the past, and stop reliving our child's youth. If you have read a bit into my archives, you will see that this has been an issue with me. I just can't seem to reconcile what he was with what he has become. The author believes that parents need to stop mourning the well behaved child of the past, and deal with the present and work towards the future. He lays out what he calls the ten commandments of parenting. The first commandment is to behave and think dispassionately. I used this commandment in my reaction to Justin's refusal to go on the trip, and you know what, it worked. Typically, I would react to his outbursts and anger with my own outbursts and anger. This time, I remained calm and respectful, no matter what he threw my way. I repeated again and again that he was a minor and he would be joining the family. The angrier he became, the calmer my reaction. Many times, I just walked away. Incredibly, as the day of our departure came, he had his bags packed and was ready to go. I had no idea how he was going to behave on the trip, but away we went.

I'm happy to report, that although there were a few bumps along the way, a good time was had by all. We spent a week with my sister in Toronto, which included a trip to Canada's Wonderland. It was incredible to see my son smile and act like a kid again. We spent a couple of days shopping in downtown Toronto, allowing both of our kids to buy whatever clothes they wanted (I'm still afraid to look at the credit card bill). We listened to Johnny Cash on the 401, all singing along to our favourite Cash song, "A Boy Named Sue." We made memories - good memories, something our family has been lacking for a long time.

In a small cafe on the way home, somewhere between Montreal and Ottawa, my son leaned over to me and said, you know what mom, I think I might stop smoking weed. I've felt pretty good this past week, better than I have felt in a long time. I have been waiting to hear those words for four long years. At this point, I'm cautiously hopeful. We have only been back a few days, and although it does appear that he has remained sober, he also has not really left the house, sticking to watching movies. I have a feeling that he is afraid to go out with his friends, because he is worried that he will fall back into his old habits. He starts school on Tuesday, and that will be the true test as to whether or not he can stay clean. He has another appointment with his drug counselor tomorrow, and I think I will give the counselor a call ahead of time to ask him if he can talk to Justin about peer pressure and give him advice on how not to be so easily influenced by others. It's been so nice to not be fighting for the past couple of weeks. The peace I have been craving for so long has finally arrived. I'm praying that it will not be taken away, plunging us back into darkness.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.”

My sister gave birth to a baby boy last week. Holding the perfect little bundle, with his resemblance to my own son, was definitely a bittersweet experience. Memories rushed back to me, taking me back to such a happy time in our lives. Remembering what it was like when he was so innocent, and when I held such hope for his future. Seventeen years ago, holding my own newborn son in my arms, I would never had expected to be experiencing what I am today. I know that I can't torment myself with memories of the past, but instead, must accept our circumstances and continue to try to get my son back. I need to believe that the future will be better.

I am disappointed in myself; Last week, I was going to attend an al-anon meeting, and I did not go. Following Justin's incident with the cops, I had noticed some improvements in his behaviour. I was hopeful that perhaps we were at a turning point, and that he was beginning to see the problems his drug use were causing in his life. There has been a part of me that has been hoping that Justin's drug use is not as bad as I think it is, that maybe it really is just some teen experiementation that he will grow out of, and that he is not really an addict, just a teen gone wild. I was in one of my hopeful moods on the night of the meeting, and foolishly decided that I would feel out of place among the people who are involved with real addicts. And then, the truth hits me hard, like it did a few days after I thought he was improving. He wasn't improving, he was just getting better at hiding his use.

Justin attended his assessment with a counselor yesterday. I'm so relieved that he agreed to go. We have another meeting on Tuesday where we will all be present to discuss where we need to go from here.

I just keep taking it one day at a time, trying not to focus on the past, and instead continuing my search for our better tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

I was driving into town the other day, thinking about my situation and feeling very sorry for myself. I kept wondering, why me, why us, why is this happening to my family. I was feeling a lot of anger and bitterness because I felt like we had done everything right as parents and made so many sacrifices for our kids, and therefore we did not deserve what was happening. Lately, everywhere I look, there seems to be happy people. I search faces wherever I go, and wonder, are they as happy as they appear to be on the outside? My answer came to me the other day as I was driving into town. I had stopped the car at a red light and looked over at the car next to me. At first glance, it appeared to be a perfectly content family. Nice car, handsome father, car seat with a cherubic toddler safely buckled in. And then I looked at the woman in the passenger seat and realized that she was crying. Fat tears slid down her face as she gazed off into the distance. Pain was etched deeply in her face. I will never know what was causing her such sorrow, but it made me realize that appearances can be very deceiving. We all have sadness, regret, and situations that test us and sometimes break us. I am no more fortunate, nor unfortunate than anybody else. We may have periods where we sail blissfully through life, oblivious to the pain of others, not realizing that our turn will come eventually. No one gets through life unscathed. Bad things happen to good people, and we have to learn to accept our circumstances, one day, one moment at a time.

It's been a difficult few days around these parts. Three nights ago, Justin came home from a party. He drove my father's car home, and when he walked through the front door, I could immediately tell that he was stoned. I took the keys from him and called the cops. He knew that I had called and left home, yelling that he hated me and that he would never be back. I immediately regretted my actions, feeling that I may have driven him away, before he had the opportunity to receive treatment. The cops arrived and took his description. They found him about an hour later at a local teen hangout. He went with them willingly and they had a long chat and then they brought him home. During their conversation, Justin had mentioned that he wanted to become a firefighter. They took pity on him and decided not to press any charges. They carefully explained that a drug charge or a DUI would completely derail any hopes of being hired by the fire department. Part of me was relieved that he was not charged, and then there was the other part of me that realizes that my son always seems to get himself out of trouble without any serious consequences. I know, though, that his luck is running out. In a few short months, he will be considered an adult. If he continues to abuse drugs, he will eventually face charges. I would rather that he faced charges at seventeen then at eighteen, where it will remain on his record. The only good that came out of this was my father promised to never let him use his car again. I could not take the guilt, if my son killed somebody with his recklessness, and my father now understands how foolish he was to trust him. Since that night, the tension in our home has been thick. Justin is angry at me for calling the cops. I know that someday, he will understand and forgive me.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Some days are so difficult that I start to question why I chose to have children. The stress in my life is so incredibly high right now that I often find myself thinking about how different life would be if I had remained childless. I am ashamed to admit that there are days when I wish I had taken a different path. To remedy these feelings, I look through old photographs. And then, I remember. Justin's first fourteen years were the happiest of my life. My daughter, at twelve, still brings me so much joy. She is the reason that I get out of bed each day. I need to work hard to provide her with some sense of normalcy. As much as possible, we hide the anger, the tears, the fear, so she can look back at her childhood and remember something other than her brother's problems. I worry constantly that she may choose the same road as her brother. I do not think I could handle losing both of my children to drugs. I pray each day that my son will find his way back to us, his family, because then I will be able to look at photographs like these without tears - only smiles and fond memories.

This is me, my son and daughter exactly twelve years ago. I remember the overwhelming love and pride I felt as this picture was being snapped. Happy twelfth birthday daughter of mine. Happier days ahead.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Life continues to be a cycle of arguments and tears. I am a teacher, so being off for the summer gives me a lot of time and energy to focus on the addict in my house. I'm dreading the fall, as I'm not sure how I am going to balance his problems, which are mounting by the day, with my workload. I'm starting a new position at a new school, and this position requires me to begin working on my Master's degree. I know I am taking on more than I can handle, but teaching jobs in this province are slim. If I turned down this job offer, there would not be any other options, other than substituting. It's interesting how life has to still go on, even as it is falling apart around you. I am watching my son destroy his life with drugs, and yet lunch needs to be made, laundry needs to get done, and bills need to be paid.

Driving in the car the other day, Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' came on the radio. I have heard the song so many times, and yet it was like I was hearing it for the first time. Before all of this, life was good, easy even - I was one of the lucky ones who sailed through life without any catastrophes. Now, I know what it feels like when a landslide hits. It feels as though everything I have spent my life building is falling down around me. I am desperately trying to hold things up and fix things and put things right again, but the landslide is too powerful and out of control. The landslide that is my son's addiction has brought me down, and I have lost myself. I don't even recognize my own reflection in the mirror.

"Can the child within my heart rise above."

I don't think so. My innocence is destroyed, and most days I feel like I am a hundred years old.

"Well, Ive been afraid of changing, cause I've built my life around you."

I have built my life around my children and they are getting older, making their own choices in life. It's difficult to let your children go in the best of circumstances. To detach from your child, when they can not take care of themselves, is almost impossible. But, it is what I must do. It can be a very dangerous thing when you love your children more than you love yourself. It's a mistake to build your entire life around somebody else, because people let you down. My son has let me down. I have to begin building my own life. It's so much easier said than done.

"Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides. Can I handle the seasons of my life."

I don't know. I really don't know.

August 10th cannot come quickly enough. Right now, he is saying he will go to the appointment willingly, and accept the treatment they believe he needs. I know that his moods can change quickly, though. Good days can be followed by days that are soul crushingly awful.

I've found an Al-anon meeting close to me - I think I am going to go. I think I need to go.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These

I watched the film Terms of Endearment last night (I know, there isn't enough sadness in my real life). In one scene, the Debra Winger character is trying to talk her husband out of raising their three kids after she dies from cancer. She says to him on raising kids, "As hard as you think it is going to be, you end up wishing it was that easy." That pretty much sums up nicely where I stand on raising children these days. I knew there would be challenges, especially during their teenage years, but honestly nobody told me it would be this hard. You expect your children to make mistakes; you don't expect your children to end up addicted to drugs. And, when it happens, you find yourself in such despair and confusion, that you end up in situations that you never would have expected to find yourself, days so hard, you contemplate getting in the car and just driving away, leaving it all behind.

Around the time we first began to realize that Justin was using drugs on a regular basis, we had a monumental fight. I wish I could say it was the worst day of my life, but unfortunately, there have been others since. I had caught him (for the third time that week) smoking weed out of his bedroom window. When I confronted him, he said something along the lines of "I'll do what I want, when I want." The anger I felt in that moment was frightening, and I lost control. It is a terrifying feeling when you realize that you can not control your actions; I now completely understand temporary insanity. That night, was the closest I have come to being violent toward my son, fortunately, I took my anger out on an inanimate object. I picked up his television and threw it to his floor, where it smashed violently on the hardwood. I was crying and yelling "why are you doing this to us," over and over again. I can't even really remember my son's reaction, I was so caught up in my own emotions. My husband, hearing the crash, came running down. Realizing his wife was, well losing her shit, he wisely led me away from the situation and into our bedroom. I lay on the bed, sobbing, listening to the music on the clock radio which was quietly playing. It took me a moment to realize what song was playing; It could not have been more appropriate: Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These. Strange Days Indeed, Mr. Lennon, strange, strange days.

Justin finally got the date for his assessment: August 10th. On this day, following a three hour assessment, it will be decided whether he should receive in or out-patient therapy. Justin has shown some more remorse for the stolen jewelry; however, I question whether he is just saying what he knows we want to hear. He has promised to pay them back in full, but I'll believe it when I see it. Actions speak louder than words - this old saying is so truthful, especially when you are dealing with an addict.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Collateral Damage

There are so many troubling aspects to drug addiction. One that we are dealing with with right now, is how the addiction has consequences for everyone around the addict. My husband and I have been struggling with how to cope with our son for four long, desperate years. Not only have we fought with our son, but we have fought with each other many times, especially when we disagree with what course of action to take. Of course, the stress, fear, and grief over the situation also builds up, and we tend to take it out on each other. We have survived seventeen years of marriage, with many bumps along the way. Sometimes, I wonder if this trial will be the one our marriage could not survive.

Our daughter has suffered tremendously because of her brother's addiction. We have tried to hide as much as possible from her, but I am ashamed to admit, it hasn't always been possible, and she has witnessed far more than any child should ever have to. In the beginning, when she was much younger, any confrontation with my son would result with her in tears, hiding in her room. Four years later, and she has become accustomed to the turmoil in our house. Confrontations do not seem to bother her, and she simply ignores her brother and our arguments. I'm not sure which reaction is more troubling. We are working on having her talk to a professional about the feelings I know she is holding deep inside.

With Justin's latest disaster, the consequences have spilled over to my parents. Justin admitted that he took the jewelry. He owed a drug dealer money, and he was desperate. He sold everything at a pawn shop, including his great grandmother's wedding band. My parents went to the pawn shop to try to retrieve some of the items, but some of it had already been shipped to a gold melting shop and the other pieces had been sold. They are all gone, thousands of dollars worth of jewels, sold for $250.00. The thought of that ring, that had such sentimental value to my mother, being destroyed, is unbearably sad, especially knowing that my child is responsible. Justin has not shown a tremendous amount of remorse, he is simply making excuses for his actions, as he always has.

If there is any good to come out of this incident, it is that everyone now knows how deeply troubled my son is. There is no more hiding, and no more excuses. My parents, my sisters and their husbands - everybody knows. It is both a relief and a burden. My family has been incredibly supportive over the past couple days. They are very worried about Justin and they want to help. The damage of drug addiction just keeps extending its ugly reach, leaving me to wonder where it will end. My parents, being the amazing parents that they are, do not care about the lost jewelry. It is the lost grandson that they are crying for.

I asked my son if he ever thinks about how many people are willing to give him second chances. I asked him if it ever amazes him how people are still willing to believe in him. I asked him how many people he will hurt, before he realizes that his addiction is not just causing him to suffer. My questions did not receive a response, other than a single tear sliding down one of his cheeks. It was the first sign of any feeling, other than anger, that he has shown in a long time. Right now, that single tear is my only hope.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Step Forward, A Million Steps Back

My Dad called this morning.

Dad: Do you remember when Justin had some friends over at our place last week, you know when your mother and I were out.
Me: Yes
Dad: Well, we have a problem.
Me: Lay it on me. (stomach tightening in fear)
Dad: Your mom just noticed that her jewelry is gone. All of it. Do you think that either Justin or one of his friends may have...
Me: (Through tears) Yes, dad. Yes, I do.

It's just another day in my life with an addict.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mother, heal thyself

There seems to be a common theme among many of the people who have commented on my blog. It is a truth that I am just beginning to understand - I can not help my son, until he is ready to be helped. That does not mean that I am going to give in and allow him to do as he pleases. In fact, it means the opposite. I am tired of being an enabler. I am tired of allowing him to manipulate me. I am tired of trying to kill his addiction with kindness. It does not work, and I have four years of misery to prove it. We have some very hard decision to make in the coming weeks. He is on the waiting list to be assessed for the CHOICES drug treatment program. We should be getting the call within the next couple of weeks. I will not be able to force him to enter the program, but I can enforce some serious consequences if he refuses to go. Consequences that scare me, but we can not continue to allow him to rule our home the way he has been.

I have realized that as my son was replacing everything in his life with drugs, I was losing myself too, just for different reasons. My life has become a vicious cycle of taking care of an addict, and I was no longer taking care of myself. Like my son, I was slowly losing interest in all of the things I had once enjoyed. I have been in a depression, of this I am sure. In the last four years, I have gained ten pounds a year. Yep, do the math. That is a lot of extra weight to carry around. I view this weight both literally and figuratively. It is also forty pounds of stress, worry, guilt, shame, and fear.

I kept telling myself, that as soon as my son was able to get his life on track, I would get mine back too. Four years later, and despite our best efforts, his life is still spinning out of control. I can't force him to battle his demons, but I can battle mine. It is time to start healing my own mind, body, and spirit. It is time.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Skeletons In The Closet

One of the first things I questioned when deciding to begin this blog was whether I should include identifying information. Initially, I decided to not reveal too much, and not to use full names or photographs. However, this decision has been weighing on me, mainly because of the reasons for which I made that choice. There are so many complex issues to deal with when you have an addict in your home, and one of them is deciding how much of the problem to reveal to the outside world (friends, family, acquaintances, etc.). We have taken the approach of hiding as much as possible from everyone we know.

I come from a very close family. My family members love my son deeply. I did not want them to be as worried as we are. However, recently, I had to divulge a lot about the situation to my father, because my son had been using his grandfather as an unknowing enabler - my father was giving my son money, paying his cell phone bill, and letting him use his car. Of course, he had seen concerning changes in his grandson over time, but he had no idea how serious his problems had become. It was very painful for me to tell him what has been going on in his only grandson's life, because I knew he would be deeply concerned. And, I was right. I think I watched my dear father age 10 years in that 10 minute confession.

So, although the reasons for withholding information from my family may have been noble, in terms of trying to protect people who love our son from the pain we have been experiencing, I can't say the same for the reasons we have not told anybody else. Simply put, we are embarrassed and ashamed of our son's addiction. We are afraid that people who do not know us well, and do not know that we have raised our son in a loving home, would blame us for our son's problems. And so, the skeletons have remained firmly hidden in the closet. Until now. I have decided that the next time someone asks me how my son is doing, my answer will no longer be, 'he is fine.' He is not fine, in fact, he is about as far away from fine as he can be.

I believe that it is in times of great hardship when you discover who your true friends are. Sometimes, when you are in the deepest darkness imaginable, it can be difficult to see anything clearly. However, I know that when the light returns, I will be able to look around and see who is still by my side, and perhaps that will be one blessing to come out of this nightmare.

It is time to let go of the shameful feelings. It is time to let go of the guilt. Skeletons begone - I am shining a light on the dark recesses we have hidden for far too long.

Hello, my name is Hannah and my son is an addict.

*photos to follow once I figure out how (;

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eyes Wide Shut

For the last few months, I have been using denial as a coping mechanism. I tell myself lies, so that I can sleep at night. I tell myself that my son is just finding his way, and that his problems are not as serious as I think. I tell myself that all teens go through this phase, and that very few end up with problems as adults. I tell myself that everything will work out okay. I tell myself that I need to give my son some space, so that he can work things out on his own. I tell myself these things so that I do not have to face the issue, and so that there will be some peace in my home. Deep down, my eyes were always open to the truth. It was just a truth that I was not ready to admit.

Denial can work, but only for a short time. When you are dealing with an addict, the ugliness will find you, no matter how deep into denial you are. I can't deny that my once athletic son is starting to look skeletal. I can't deny that he is pale with dark circles under his eyes. I can't deny that he appears to have lost his lust for life, and that he thinks everything is pointless. I can't deny that most days he leaves the house without even showering. I can't deny that he is angry and that he is in pain. I can't deny that he is also using denial to deal with his problems: Everything's cool mom, just leave me the fuck alone. Everybody does it. Weed is just an herb, it's harmless. Weed did not cause me to lose interest in sports, I just don't like them anymore. Weed is not causing me to be depressed, it's helping. Drugs are not ruining our relationship, you are mom, now get the fuck out of my room and out of my life.

Searching through his possessions today, I found something that is forcing me out of denial. I found evidence that my son is not only using drugs, he is dealing too. Just when I think things can't possibly get any worse, they do.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Addicts

Many times over the past few years, I have struggled with the question of what could we have done differently as parents to prevent the problems we are having now. I clearly remember having a conversation with my husband, probably when my son was about ten, regarding drugs. We truly believed that we had nothing to worry about, because we thought we were doing everything right as parents. I have always strongly believed the old cliches that children learn by example and therefore as parents we need to practice what we preach. Neither my husband nor I smoke, use drugs, or drink (other than the occasional glass of wine/beer). We also believed that another safeguard against drug use among teens is to keep your child busy. To that effect, we had our son involved in every sport imaginable. For many years he played on basketball and soccer teams. He snowboarded in the winters and took sailing lessons in the summer. He was an amazing mountain biker, and this was a sport that he enjoyed with my husband. We had the drug talk - many times. We were loving, present, and involved with our son, and yet here we are.

Perhaps, one thing I would change was how I reacted when I first realized my son was using drugs. It happened one month before his fourteenth birthday. I was picking up his jeans off the bathroom floor, and out fell a small bag of weed. I was shocked, but not panicked. I have never been naive about drug use and teens. I experimented and so did my husband. I was mainly worried that he was starting so young (I smoked my first joint at a party at about sixteen). But, overall I figured this was some teen experimentation that would not turn into anything serious. My husband and I confronted our son, and he admitted it was his. We had the drug talk (again) and grounded him for two weeks. I thought that was the end of it. We quickly realized that it was just the beginning, and I really can not get into everything that has happened over four years in one post, but it has been a nightmare. Over time, our son was no longer our son. He has lost all ambition and motivation and one by one he has dropped every hobby and sport he has been involved in. His life now revolves around weed (getting money/smoking/eat/sleep/repeat).

Later, I will get into all of the strategies we have tried to get him off this track to nowhere, but for now, my advice for parents of preteens/teens would be this: when you find that first evidence of drug use, take it seriously. Don't assume that all teen experimentation is just that. I think that some parents (including myself at one time) have this belief that these problems only happen to teens from certain types of families. They think if they do the types of things that we did, they will be immune to these problems. I wish it were true, but it is not. No family is safe. In the parent support group I attend, the other parents are a very diverse group from every occupation and every parenting style you could imagine. I now know that a two week grounding was not enough of a message to my son that drug use in our home will not be tolerated. I wish I had more answers, because I would not wish the hell we are going through on any other family. I will talk about more later about one other regret that we have, that is, being more of an influence on our son's peer group. You can not underestimate the power of peers during the early teen years. All of the values and morals you thought you had passed on to your child can easily be tossed aside with the influence of one friend. Until then, hold your children as close as you can for as long as possible. My son is still physically under our roof, but I miss him so much.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another Night, Another Fight

It is immediately apparent when my son is stoned. He has walked in the door. Stoned again. Now I must choose. Do I confront him and begin another battle where there are never any winners, or do I go to bed and silently cry myself to sleep? I'm so tired of the fighting. So. Fucking. Tired. If this were your son, what would you do?

To Hell (not yet back)

Where to begin. I'm a wife and mother of two, a twelve year old daughter and a seventeen year old son. For the past four years, our son has taken our family on a dark journey to hell with his continuing addiction to weed. Anyone who says that weed is not addictive or harmful needs to spend some time with my son. I'm sure they will reconsider. Perhaps, to some, weed can be a harmless habit, but for others, it is not. I'm beginning this blog as a way to put my emotions down and as a place where hopefully others will visit and offer advice. I will chronicle our family's trials and hopefully, in the not so distant future, this will be a brighter spot to share our triumphs. I'm not sure where this journey will take me, but I lay awake each night staring at the starry sky wondering how it will all end. I'm going to end my first post with a poem I recently wrote about my son. I will never claim to be a good writer, but I like to write nonetheless. Writing has remained the one thing that has been calming and helpful to me during these tumultuous times and I have always admired poetry for its ability to say so much with so few words.

Little Prince

I ache for the simplicitiy of the past,
my charming prince, with trusting eyes, dimpled knuckles, an eager smile.
When a challenge was a scraped knee, or the dragon dream
you'd cry out for comfort,
and I, your adoring queen, would effortlessly oblige.

Too fleetingly, a morose replacement,
with an icy stare, bruised fists, and an eternal scowl.
Battles that break me.
No longer able to rescue, the queen turns to demon, unrecognizable.

In your room, on a quest for traces of innocence shattered.
Success? Not exactly.
Awaiting your return, knowing that words will fly like daggers,
grievously wounding those in their path.
Once thrown, impossible to sheath, the damage, irreparable, I fear.

Unforgivable rage turns to soundless tears, mourning all that we have lost.
Agonizing silence, again.
The drawbridge has been lifted, leaving insurmountable walls, defensive moats.
A peaceful kingdom no more.

Oh, to return to the days of glorious castles and beautiful queens, dragons so easily slayed.
This time, little prince, I would never let you go.