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.