Thursday, February 16, 2006


Why can't he just come when he is supposed to be punished? Why does he have to push the envelope? Why can't he ever do the tight thing? When is that moment? When he decided he will just do what he wants, regardless of consequences? How much longer can I keep up the pissing fight? No one really wins. Can you be taught to respect? Do I need to increase the legnth of the punishment now? Will he even listen? Will he just keep grumbling around the house? Grunting and sneering at us? Its miserable. He is miserable and makes us all miserable. It is not fair. Are they all like this? Is it something I have done? Am I complete failure as a mother?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How do you know when you are over-reacting?

This is a question I have been asking myself daily for the last year. What defines age appropriate behavior? Where is the line drawn between experimentation, abuse and addiction?

Early this fall, ironically not long after the illustrious James Frey made his first appearance on the Oprah show touting his controversial "Memoir" of drug and alcohol abuse and his long hard journey back from it, I was forced to make a decision regarding my sons own substance abuse. It seemed to be progressing and nothing we were doing at home seemed to be helping. We were already involved in a day treatment type of program that involved family group therapy sessions, weekly drug testing and individual counseling for my son. He failed, terribly, each and every drug screen, he refused the individual sessions, and refused to participate in the group sessions except to sneer at the rest of the group, vocalize his voracious hate of the program, its leader and those of us in the room. Expensive toys started to disappear, he was cutting classes on a regular basis, he was suspended for days and almost weeks at a time, he appeared high most of the time, stumbled in drunk often, he was belligerent and thought nothing of telling us to go fuck ourselves when he wasn't getting what he wanted, especially when he was drunk. The boy, is one nasty, nasty, drunk. We heard from a few different people he was using cocaine, we found an empty little plastic bags with traces of a white powder that looked a lot more like cocaine than it didn't.

It appeared it was time for more drastic action, we applied for what is known in my county legal system as a "PINS" petition on the advice of his current drug counselor, and separately from a pychiatrist that I know and trust. A PINS petition is an acronym for a "Person In Need of Supervision". The process is long and bureaucratic as with anything else in the overly swamped Family Court Division of the judicial system. The process begins when you arrive at the Family Court Building, you wait until the doors open promptly at 8:30 a.m. where in order to enter the building, you are subjected to having your $350 Coach bag rummaged through, put through an x-ray machine checking for weapons or other contraband, your cell phone is taken hostage from you because it contains a camera, and then you must then proceed through the metal detectors, get felt up by the "court officer" before you are permitted to begin your walk of shame down a long dank hallway until you arrive at the last door on the left hand side of the hall, its lead paint chipping, a yellowing piece of standard copy machine paper with "PINS" scribbled on it in crooked letters with a black sharpie.

You enter into a dreary cement room that is painted the muted shade of vomit green that I recall the basement walls of my high school were painted, and what I assume is probably the wall color in prison. The room is no larger than a prison cell itself, with a single crusty, stained Plexiglas- I assume bulletproof, window in it which although it is a beautiful bright autumn day, make you you feel as though it is the dead of window during a thunderstorm. Or perhaps it is your own depression, sadness and guilt of your current situation that compounds that feeling.

You are instructed via more sharpie written notes on the wall to sign in, have a seat and please wait to be called. After what feels like hours, although it is actually more like 15 minutes; pass, an unhappy, poorly dressed, underpaid civil servant sticks her head through a door and asks what are we here for. I bite my lip to resist the temptation to tell her I am here for the champagne brunch and instead, tell her that I need to file a PINS petition against my first born son, head hung low, and unable to meet her eyes.

She hands me a small booklet to fill out, asking the relevant questions about my son: name, rank and serial number, followed with a questionnaire instructing me to answer as truthfully as possible by checking the box that best describes the frequency of the various delinquent behaviors that my son partakes:

Does your baby boy abuse any of the following substances:

Alcohol, Marijuana, Nicotine, Cocaine, Heroin, OxyCotin, etc.

Is your child still attending HS, is he failing his classes, is he truant, has he ever been suspended, does he meet curfew, has he run away, or threatened to run away, is he dishonest, does he fear consequences, has you child ever been issued a summons, is he verbally abusive to his teachers, are there any outstanding warrants against him, is he verbally abusive to you, have you ever been afraid of him, has he been or threatened violence against you, have you ever had to call the police for a domestic incident involving him, has he gotten into physical altercations with his peers, has he stolen anything from you or shoplifted from a store, does he come home intoxicated, stoned, etc... the list goes on and on.

You review the questions and answers feverishly, and you are deeply, profoundly saddened, by the frequency in which you are marking the little box marked "almost always" and you can actually feel your heart sink a little deeper into your chest, as you notice the number of little boxes that are left unchecked for the column marked "never", and although you still had so many doubts that maybe a PINS petition was a little bit harsh on the drive over here, you suddenly realize, that although this piece of paper that you are about to sign giving Family Court the power to make decisions regarding your child, may drive and irrevocable stake between between you and this man-child that only a short time ago, cuddled up next to you in bed, and proclaimed, that he was never getting married because he never wanted to leave me, may be the one thing that saves his life.

Friday, February 10, 2006

I just realized something.....

... I hardly ever laugh any more. I mean, sometimes when I am out with friends, some one will say something that will make me giggle and smile, but I havent had a good, geniune belly laugh in as long as I can remember. Sometimes I read things that really make me laugh, but I have been in a situation that I am with someone and they make me laugh. I guess that is one of the things I use to define intimacy. Laughter.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I don't even care that it is the weekend...

Well, my mother was transferred to a heart specialty hospital yesterday. Any minute now they will be taking her into the cath lab to do an angiogram to determine the exent of the blockage and therefore the course of the treatment. Fortunately, the hospital she has been transferred to is less than 10 minutes from my job so I can sit here and blog for a bit before going back up there to wait, wait, wait....
So I was thinking of doing one of those list of things I am grateful for and that will maybe cheer me up.... Here goes.....
I am grateful that I have a job that pays well and doesnt expect a terrible lot from me as long as my work is done.
I am grateful that although my in a stoned ranged screamed F You, I hate you, etc., at me last night, I am trying to be thankful for his good health and my good fortune at having a child that could be so much worse.
I am grateful that I have I still have my parents, thought they are both so ill, and always have their love and support.
And thats all I can summon right now.
Does anyone even read this?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Since November 2004.....

> my Dad, who had suffered a massive paralysing stroke 11 years ago, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, (in a nutshell, we found some amazing docs at Sloan Kettering that were able to operate and his prognosis of 3- 6 months and inoperable has been proven wrong as he is still with us and fairing rather well 14 months later).

> I have discovered my son has a substance and alcohol abuse issue.

> I have learned that my husband is a closet alcoholic, drinking a bottle of vodka that he hides somewhere in the house a day.

> I had decided to file for a divorce and then rescinded my decision when things just got so hairy I didnt think I could handle them on my own. Alas, we are still married, living under the same roof, but in seperate bedrooms and we are more like roomates than a couple.

>I have allowed a work relationship to develop into a platonic friendship and develop further into a friends with benefits kind of thing. I know this is a bad thing as it is going nowhere fast and Im not sure Im capable of the Booty Call thing, but cant handle more than that now.


Some days I just need to be held and have a hard time asking for that one particularly simple need to be met, or maybe I just have a hard time accepting the fact that while I have a large circle of friends, I guess there is just no on in my life that loves me in a romantic way that cares that I need to be held and is willing to hold me.

How sad is that?

So my mom has been in the hospital since Saturday morning, congestive heart failure, turns out she is an alcoholic as well. Who knew? I mean I know she drinks too much, she drinks wine nightly, and apparently she drinks too much of it. Well, as they admitted her to the hospital, the next morning she was shaking, apparently from the DTs. So they are treating her for that as well as the CHF and they have discovered blockage, which means they will go in tomorow and do the angiogram and hopefully correct it with angioplasty. If it more than that they will have to transfer her to a hospital that is better equipped to deal with things such as stents and bypass etc. She is already saying she will learn to control her drinking as opposed to getting sober.

My back and neck hurt. I am tired. Tired of illness and sandess and depression and the loneliness and the silence and the noise and the pain and the dysfunction.

I want to go home.