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.


  1. I'm so sorry Hannah. So very sorry. He is fortunte to have a mother like you though. Some parents live in denial for years or even forever and that does nothing, but exasperate the problem. Now that you are aware you can take positive steps to help yourself which will in turn help him.

    Don't let his guilt trip get to you. All addicts use it. It is a coping mechanism. My husband blames me for his drinking 100%. He takes no responsibilty for himself whatsoever. We are all responsible for our own actions! Even addicts!

    Hang in there. I am sending you warm thoughts of care and concern.

  2. Thank you for your support, Gin. Yes, guilt has been a major issue for me, and I'm trying to let it go. Strangely, it's been easier to blame myself than to accept that he has willingly made these choices for himself.

  3. Your son thinks that he is fixing himself. He is wrong. If you think that you can fix him, you are not right either. Your life is what you can save, I'm sure that it has been suggested that you get yourself to some meetings. Your long sad blog will get shorter and maybe printed on something besides black.

  4. My heart really goes out to you. I had this long comment prepared and I was ready to post it but realized that you need support, first. Advice second. BIG HUG, darlin'. Any friend of Cat's is a friend of mine.

  5. Hannah, I don't think that there is much that can be done to help your son right now. But it might be good for you to take care of yourself. I didn't have the pain of an addicted child but I lived with active alcoholism for over 30 years and finally found some peace through Al-Anon. It might be worth a try for you to check it out.

  6. Hi Hannah,
    If you have ever had a family member, close friend, or other loved one who was alcoholic, Al-Anon could help you.

    It will help you learn how to help yourself and would, in the process, give you many tools for coping with this very difficult situation with your son.

    Welcome to the blog world. Our blogs are helpful to each other. Please visit my blog, I will welcome you.


  7. Al Anon saved me from myself and my need to fix others. It is not easy but it certainly was easier than what I was doing before it.

    Hang in there, I hear you.

  8. :( Oh I am sorry to read this post - welcome, welcome - although it is a sad welcome.

    My gut is telling me though, after reading your story - it is not just pot.

  9. I have to agree with sydney. The change is far too drastic. As Lceel said right now you need to know you're not alone. I'm here, I've been there in my addiction as well. Sending positive vibes of strength and courage dear friend, you will need all you can get in the days to come. Denial never made the problem disappear, just gave it substance to grow. Now that you're out of denial the real work begins. (Hugs)Indigo

  10. Although nothing can be funny in this situation, the following might come close:

    I was so touched by your sad blog (yes, on black background) that I printed it out to show my wife in the other room. Then I figured I'd first comment to you--and whose comment do I see? One from Prayer Girl (PG), my wife!

    So maybe God will show me someone to give the printed copy of your blog--tomorrow.

    Everyone has commented so well here I cannot add more than my prayers that you be good to yourself as much as possible. And I offer a prayer of thanks to cat for sending a few of us over here to visit with you...a good Mom, who did, and is doing her best in this world so cruel to young people.

    (At least in my day we did it with class, as I lay there in an alley along the Ohio River Front in Cincinnati, with a broken pint Muscatel bottle in my rear pocket, the wine saturating my clothing, as what it was....)

  11. I know you are right Carol, but as a mom, it is so difficult to not try to fix things. I have realized that he can not be helped until he wants help (it has taken four years to reach this conclusion), but that does not make it any easier to accept. I am trying to work on myself, though it is a struggle when I know my son is suffering.

    Lceel...thank you for your support. At this point, support is all I have to cling to.

    Sydney and Indigo,
    I have been suspecting this for some time too. It's just weed that we have been continuously finding evidence of, so we assume that is his only drug. But, yes the signs are definitely there. Denial is rearing is ugly head again, perhaps. Thank you both for your comments.

    Prayer Girl,
    Thank you. I am very quickly beginning to see how supportive and helpful the blogging community is. I'm wishing I started this blog a long time ago. I am looking forward to reading through yours and my other visitors' blogs.

    Steve E.
    That is a funny coincidence. Sometimes the world does work in mysterious ways. Thank you for your prayers. We are in desperate need of as many prayers as possible. It is such a difficult and confusing world out there, one that is so very hard to raise children in.

  12. Dear one,
    You blog reminds me of our household a year and a half ago. Painful and raw. I'm here praying for you, hang in there.
    I'm a member of Al Anon. Son #1 is an alcoholic, he's only 21. Son #2 is impulsive and could not stay away from pot...busted 3 x's last year and expelled from school.
    Son #1 wants to be sober but continues to slip. #2 has been attending AA and Al Anon...his life has changed drastically.
    And I for one, have been an Al Anon member for 1.5 yrs. and intend on going for ever. It's changed my life!

  13. Thanks for the input, Syd. I am realizing that there is not much else I can do for my son, until he accepts that he has a problem.

    Cindy, you are so right. Our house is indeed a painful place right now. Best of luck with your sons - we are raising children in a very complex and difficult world. It is so easy for people to get lost.

  14. Well, the comments have said much. You can read my blog, I've been on this journey for a long time.
    First, pot doesn't make people skinny..meth, heroin, cocaine, crack make people skinny

    Second, set some boundaries..don't let your kid say fuck to you. Go to AlAnon to learn how to do this

    Third, intervene NOW, while you still have time. Force him into therapy, rehab, behavior modification will lose control when he turns 18.

    I hope I don't sound cold, but I'm weary of reading of so many families. Our stories are all the same. Sadly, I welcome you to the brokenheartedmom's club.

  15. hiya! popped in via cat.

    this is sad to read. especially since it's so real, and i can only wish you strength to cope and for your son to realise that there is an alternative...

  16. hi hannah. :-)
    reading your words gave me goosebumps. stated so elequently, my thoughts are with you and i hope that an intervention in some form -- God, metal health advisor, etc. -- will help guide your family through this. maybe by showing your unconditional love and support to him, he will become who he once was, only stronger.

    smiles and warm blessings,

  17. Welcome to the blog fellowship Hannah! It's so good to see your words, because they help me to see the fullness of the disease in myself and in my loved ones. Thank God for this gathering of beautiful people who are seeking to be together and heal through the recovery process.

    My prayers are with you and your family today!

  18. Thank you Lou. I have taken a quick peek at your blog, and am looking forward to spending more time there tonight. Your post 'then and now' was especially hard hitting. It's exactly how I feel about my son's situation. It's so hard to remember how things were, when you had so much hope for your child's future and then realize how things have turned out. I look through old photographs as well. It is both painful and cathartic at the same time. Thanks for the advice. We are presently exploring some serious interventions. Fingers crossed.

    Jess, thank you. I'm glad to know my words might help others. One thing my son has not yet realized is how deeply he is hurting so many other people.

    Shadow and Jessie. Thank you both for your words of support. I'm amazed at the outpouring my blog has received in such a short time.

  19. Came over from Cat's blog.
    I am so sorry for the pain and anguish you are going through. Kudos to you for writing about it. I hope it helps.

  20. Hi Debbie,
    Thanks for visiting...the support is so greatly needed and appreciated.