Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mother of the year award

I have a new friend. Well, maybe she is more like a quasi-friend. She is the mother of one of the prince's friends. Well, I think it is one of his quasi-friends. They are probably more like drug and drinking biddies than friends. We have always communicated often regarding our kids and their whereabouts, and since the recent lost weekend when they cut school at my house, her son ran away too, although he came home a day sooner than mine, well, we have spoken every day on the phone ever since. Sometimes about the kids other times just about random things. We somehow seemed to have forged a friendship.

Anyway, I have a trip to Las Vegas planned this weekend with a group of my girlfriends. We have started what has become a tradition to go away for a quick weekend each spring. It has been planned and paid for since September.

I seriously contemplated canceling my much needed and greatly anticipated weekend away with a group of my friends that completely love and accept me and never judge me, in light of the recent events with the prince. I really fear what will happen at home with out me there to take care of things. His father barely speaks to him and when he does its usually a growl, I fear some kind of confrontational issue that will lead to my son taking off on a drinking and drugging binge.

And then, I decided. I'm going anyway. I cant change him and he still chooses to do whatever it is he thinks he can get away with. I received another call today from the dean at his HS. He is suspended tomorrow for cutting classes again. OSS- Out of school suspension which means I have to inconvenience my dad and ask him to watch him tomorrow, which means I have to worry all day about him stealing liquor, pills and/or money from my parents house.

So I was talking to my new friend this morning about the princes latest antics and my worries over the weekend and she suggested I leave my cell phone home for the weekend. I will be gone for 3 days and 2 nights. Any major emergencies will wait. If someone dies, they will still be dead when I get back. I am seriously seriously considering it.

Does this make me a really bad mom?

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Partial Program

He was released on a Monday morning, one week after he was admitted into the hospital. His mood on Sunday afternoon the day before he was to be released was horrible. He was nasty and belligerent. He was so bad that I opted not to go up Sunday night to see him. I think he was really nervous about being released.

I stayed home and finished up his room so that it would be ready when he came home the following afternoon. He had a double dresser in there that did not hold any clothes at all, it was filled with papers and garbage and all sorts of crap. I went through that and every other inch of his room and in all I think there were 15-16 full bags of garbage that I threw out. I threw out anything that didn't seem to have any kind of sentimental value attached to it. I dragged the dresser to the curb. Cleaned out his closet. Ewww. I don't even want to elaborate on some of the things I found in there. Its amazing and disgusting to see the lack of control one has over their bodily functions when they are constantly wasted. I bought a new computer desk and moved the computer into his room so when came home, I would now be enforcing a "bedtime". No more staying up and wandering the house watching TV and playing on the computer in the basement till he feels like sleeping. Effective immediately, 11 pm means doorsto the outside will be locked, no more going outside for a cigarette, and he must be in his room for the night. Time to enforce some kind of normalcy and structure. I also procured new bed linens, pillows, and a comforter set as his were disgusting from lack of washing, vomit stains, etc. It looked like a new room when I was finished, everything in its place. No where to hide drugs, booze or anything else. In my mind, a clean and organized room would help him to stay clean. And yes, I know delusional I sound.

Monday morning his father went to the hospital to sign the discharge papers and to get him admitted into the partial outpatient program where he would be attending from 9 to 4 for at least the next week. He would be getting 2-3 hours of education there each day, which would be paid for by my school district, and the rest of the day would focus primarily on group therapy, etc. He would be transported by bus each morning and afternoon. I left work a bit early so I could be there when he got home. I also had my mother meet me at the house, just in case. I was a little nervous to say the least.

When he got home, you could see how anxious he was. He had been taking a mood stabilizer which he said was making him tired. He had mixed feelings about his room, he was a little pissed that I threw away all of his stuff, but all in all I think he was pleased and a little impressed with it. He did make a nasty comment about how I was lazy and I would never keep it up like that. He clearly doesn't know me very well.

His girlfriend came over for a few hours. They watched a movie in the den. Same thing the next night. On Friday I spoke to the social worker at the program who informed me that they didn't think he was ready to return tot he HS, an opinion we all shared, and that they fought the insurance company and got another week. My son was ok with this. He got his first ever clean urine. I wanted to frame it. Things were looking up.

We let him go out for 2 hours on Saturday evening, he was home in an hour and a half. I wasn't happy with his choice of people to go out with, known drug users. Big time. But he seemed ok when he got home and although I wasn't sleeping any easier, things have been calmer and quieter than they have been in years. Seriously.

Later the second week, when I inquired about the current weeks drug screen, the results weren't as good. It seems this test was positive for THC. Meaning one of two things: A. The first test was a false negative.... Possible because realistically not enough time had gone by for him to be clean considering the amount he smokes. B. He was smoking over the weekend. (I really didn't want to believe this). I also realized how unbelievable depressed he was that week. Its a hard call, was he depressed because he was still in withdrawal, or was he always depressed and was using the drugs to self medicate? But no doubt, he was depressed, to the point that it scared me. He was also fighting with the girlfriend. I called the shrink and we decided to start him on an antidepressant in addition to the mood stabilizer. On Friday, we were still all in agreement that he wasn't ready to return to the HS, that he was at extemely high risk for relapse and nobody felt confident in his ability to stay clean on his own if he was to go back into that environment. The insurance company allowed two more days, and then he would have to return to the HS. Just f-ing wonderful.

We had met with the probation office regarding the PINS petition during this time. He was officially in the system now and if he didn't stay clean on his own, he would eventually have to go before a judge who would order him into either a long term day treatment or residential substance abuse program. We want him in day treatment. Problem is because it is substance abuse, even though he is a minor, it is voluntary and we can not make him go, his home school can not make him go. The court can. But it takes time. You have to work the system. I liked the PO. She was tough, she talked to him alone and scared the crap out of him. She has heard his name, knew he did some small time dealing, and knew he was knee deep in the drug culture of our little corner of the world. I was hopeful.

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!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A true losss....

So sad to hear that Dana Reeves passed away this morning. A true lady, a great loss. And I feel so sad for her little boy...

Friday, March 03, 2006

The spring is coming...

Haven't posted in a few weeks, because I have been overwhelmed with what has gone on since my last post. There doesn't seem to be anyone out there reading this anyway, but still, I did decide to do this for myself and to sort of journal the events of what has been going on. It seems to be taking the form of my older son, the Prince.
Well, while he was still on punishment from when I found the home made bong, and the empty beer can shoved behind my couch last week, when he left for school Friday morning, I told him that I would be leaving the house open and that he was expected to let himself in right after school where he should plan on staying for the weekend. He had been in the process of breaking up with the princess all week, and I suspected he was high and or drunk the day before when I got home. Friday while I was at work, my cell phone rang at around 1 p.m. and it was his girlfriend calling. I was surprised to see her # on the caller id, and thinking it was my son calling I picked it up quickly, and was surprised again to hear her voice, and not my sons when I picked it up.
She asked me if the prince was home sick from school, and told me that she didn't want to upset me, but that he didn't go to school, and that she thinks he was home at my house having a party and that some girl kept picking up the phone at my house and they all sounded high. Nice. In a perfect world, I would have liked to have thought she was just trying to get him in trouble because of the new chick that he had been hanging around with, but I know my son, so I immediately left my office and headed home. Sure enough, when I got there, there were 6 or 7 kids in my house, drinking, smoking pot and cigarettes, trashing my house, and they had made a Molotov cocktail which was sitting on my kitchen table. I lost it. I went completely berserk. Screamed like a mad woman using language I didn't think I was capable of and basically told them to get the F out of my house and to never darken my doorstep again. The prince actually seemed slightly humbled and cleaned up and seemed to realize that he was wrong. That is until I started calling the other kids parents to inform them of their children's activities that day.
At this point my son freaked out, told me I was "Fucking everything up for him" and told me if I called the little sluts parents, he was leaving. I told him that he should do what he had to do, but that I was calling, as it was my responsibility as a parent and an adult to do so. So I did, and he did. He left, stayed away for three days.