Friday, March 17, 2006

The choices we make

He took off a month ago today after I began calling the other parents and informing them of the party that went on in my house that afternoon instead of their little angels going to school. We figured he would cool off and come home when he was ready. We were shocked he stayed away as long as he did. I knew where he was most of the time because his girlfriend and another mother kept in touch with me the whole time. He called me Saturday night to tell me he was safe. He might have been "safe" but he was as high as a kite on G*d knows what. He started cursing and ranting at me and I told him if he was going to abuse me and speak to me like that then I would hang up on him and he continued, so I hung up. Was this the right thing to do? I don't know, but I did what I thought was right.

We had decided that if he was to come back home things needed to drastically, drastically change. He needed to get clean and stay that way. He needs help. He needs to learn some self control. I called the local pysch hospital because I knew I could get him admitted there against his wishes as a a minor on a dual diagnosis. He didn't know that this could be done. He knows that rehab is voluntary. So on Sunday, while he was still out running the streets, I went to the hospital and gave them my insurance papers to get him "pre-admitted" and began the process.

By 5 p.m. Sunday he still hadn't called back or come home so I decided enough is enough. I called his gf and told her to let him know that since he had been gone for 48 hours now I was going to be forced to call the police and report him missing and chances are the police would pick him up and no body wanted that to happen. I told her to tell him he had 1 hour to get home and if he wasn't, I was making the call.

He called me shortly thereafter and came home, nervous, dirty and exhausted about 2 hours later. We decided, since everyone was raw, emotional and exhausted, that it would be best to not discuss anything that night, that we all needed a cooling off period, and then we took him to his grandfathers house for the night and we would all meet there in the morning to discuss the next move.

Monday afternoon, my mother, my husband, and I drove over to his grandfathers house to basically do an intervention. We all took turns speaking, trying desperately to get through to this kid that he was out of control, on a dangerous path of self destruction and that he was destroying his own life, and tearing the family apart in the process. We lied to him and told him that we were just going to go to the hosp. for an evaluation. He refused. It took us four hours, but he finally agreed to go. He honestly didn't think we could sign him in. All we had to do was get him in there, wait a few mins in the waiting room till there was someone available to speak with us. Once we got back past the doors, he would be locked in and couldn't get out. But the few minutes turned into a few hours of waiting and he was getting very agitated and we were all getting very stressed. He still didn't think he was going to get kept there.

They finally called us in and we told them what had been going on, and then he was given an opportunity to tell his story and he was growing more and more agitated with each moment and he was getting angry and belligerent and a little teary too. He was clearly scared. The doctor came in and he was absolutely rude and horrible to her and she was flabbergasted. She explained to him how serious this all was and he still didn't get the bigger picture. She decided to admit him, diagnosis: possible mood disorder, conduct disorder, depression, alcohol and substance abuse, etc. We were home free. He was livid, stating to go crazy. We had to wait a bit longer as the insurance company suddenly decided that hospitalization would not help this kid, so we had to fight with them for another hour. They kept us in separate rooms while we waited, I didn't want to be around him, he scared me.

Finally, he was admitted. They made him give us all of his personal belongings, and his shoelaces (!) and they had two large security guard type guys help get him upstairs where he would be living in the adolescent unit for the next week or so. He glared at me and told me he hated me and would never forgive me for doing this to him. I wasn't sure I didn't believe him.

I knew in my heart that I was making the right decision. I know that I can not stop him from abusing drugs and alcohol, and from cutting school, but I also know I can not sit by idly and let him destroy his life and his family. I may not win this, I may not stop it, but I will go do kicking and screaming and knowing I have done everything in my power to help him.

The next morning, he was further evaluated by the medical staff, and drug tested. As suspected, he was positive for cocaine and marijuana. By the time I got home from work and went to visit him that night (we were allowed to see him for one hour each night and 50 minutes each afternoon at a designated time), he was clearly having withdrawals from something. He was nervous, itchy, and seemed to be crawling out of his own skin. He couldn't sit still and was twitching all over. The doctor has started him on a mood stabilizer that morning, so I feared it was that, but the nurse told me it was withdrawal and it would pass. (And they say marijuana is non-addictive!!!)

While he was in the hospital I tore apart his room and the basement where he usually hangs out. I found many empty liquor bottles, beer bottles, little straws for snorting cocaine, empty plastic baggies with coke and weed residue, and lots of paraphenelia. Everywhere I looked, I found something, behind walls, behind furniture, in the speakers, inside the printer, shoved under the couch. I am torn between thinking it was a cry for help, or if he was just living in such a drunk and drug induced stupor he just didn't care.

He was still in denial about the extent of his drug use. They called it "minimizing". He has always openly admitted to the weed, but he was adamantly denying the coke. We said to him, look, we have long suspected, we had heard it from reliable sources, we found evidence and it is coming up in your urine. Still- denial. Deny, deny, deny.

They gave him hours of group therapy each day, a bit of individual therapy, and put him n a reward based system, a point if you make your bed, take a shower, etc. We visited him each afternoon and evening. Only parents and grandparents are allowed to visit. We made it a point to make a strong family connection and stand united and each day or evening we were always up there. You would be surprised how few visitors the other kids/patients had. It was sad. We tried to emphasize this to him, that he had a solid, strong, albeit more than slightly dysfunctionl, yet loving family who loved and supported him no matter what. His moods changed often from visit to visit, day to day, and you never knew what to expect when you got there.

We started to discuss the discharge plans and we were able to get him to agree to attend the partial outpatient program at the hospital for one week. The hosp was only a short term facility and the insurance normally wouldn't allow more than a week or 8 days. He was released a week later and discharged directly into the partial program.

Ok, I know this is totally long winded and I don't think I have any regular readers, although I set up a few links to the blogs that I read regularly. But I was hoping someone out there can offer some insight as to their own experiences. I will keep trying to get up to date with my story but hope for some comments to know someone is listening and maybe cares.

Have a great weekend and lets all hope for a sober st pats!


Mary Christine said...

I am probably not the kindest commenter you could have. I have been through this from both ends. Both as the alcoholic kid and as the mother of one. Your anger is palpable. This will not help you or your family. It is understandable, but it is something that you are going to need to work through or it will destroy YOU. It sounds like your son is in a safe place for now. What can you do for YOU? Alanon? Therapy? Do something towards your own recovery.

kel said...

I am not looking for kind, I am looking for honest,and I cant tell you how much your honesty means. I know I need to take care of me, but cant focus long enough to do so. Thanks for istening.