A little over five months ago, I made the long overdue decision to stop enabling my adult son’s drug addiction. I packed up his belongings, with my husband’s help, and we drove to his apartment. It was around 10:00 PM Sunday night. I didn’t want to wake my grandson and I didn’t want a confrontation. We placed his belongings underneath his truck and drove away.
I immediately called him, and left a voicemail message when he didn’t answer. I also sent a text and contacted him through Facebook Messenger. As an extra step, I notified his wife through Facebook Messenger as well (despite the fact we hadn’t communicated in two years).
The next morning, he called to say that he went to his truck to drive to our house and noticed his bags. He asked what was happening. I told him that I left the voicemail message, which he said he didn’t receive because his cell phone service had been terminated (his payment was past due). Since only four hours elapsed from the last time he called me to when I left the voicemail, I presumed he was lying. (Maybe Sprint does shut off service on Sunday nights. It really didn’t matter.) The more revealing indication was how completely calm he was. I expected him to be fuming when he saw what I did, unless he had had some time to absorb the shock.
I told him it was unfortunate he didn’t receive the message and repeated what I said the night before, “Son, I love you but I can’t do this anymore. Your choices are clear and I’m not going to fight you anymore. It’s taking a toll on me, negatively impacting my marriage, and I have to save myself. If you decide to get clean, call me and I promise I will be there for you.
As much as I love (my grandson), I feel it’s unfair to show him the kind of life he could have and then keep taking it away. It’s going to kill me to be away from him but I no longer believe I’m having a positive effect. He’s young, perhaps he’ll forget us and this won’t be too difficult for him. If and when you and his mother decide to do the right thing for him, I’ll be there. Until then, I wish you the best, I wish you nothing but happiness and joy.”
He was quiet. There was silence for a couple minutes and I wanted to end the call before my emotions consumed me. I said, “I have to hang up now. I love you son, so very much. Goodbye.” When I put down the phone, my husband walked over and put his arms around me. I surrendered to the pain through screams and sobs. There will always be a part of me which recalls that day as a hallucination, an event so appalling it couldn’t be real.
Since that day, my life has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. I’ve felt like a terrible mother who ruined her baby boy then turned her back on him. His addiction had to be my fault, it’s always the mother’s fault. Maybe I could have done more for him, been more understanding and accepting. Did I try hard enough? If only I had waited awhile longer, then he would have turned his life around. It’s possible he could still get clean, for his son’s sake.
I can usually carry those feelings and still function. However, when I consider the ramifications for my grandson, I’m petrified! I’m a selfish person for abandoning him the way I did. My husband and I were his only source of stability. I’ve been his only caregiver for most of his life. Why couldn’t I hold on a little longer for him? His life will be completely different now, and not in a good way. Whatever tragedy happens to him is my fault, I’m the only one to blame.
The potential inevitabilities of what could go wrong hurled me to the edge of my sanity. I trapped myself inside a labyrinth of anxiety and depression. Instead of looking for a way out, I began to feel comfortable in my suffering.
To be continued….—-
Photo by Pixabay.com