It seems these days there is not one family that can say they haven’t been affected by drug abuse or drug addiction. I’ve seen how it can damage a family when a child is on drugs and the fear a parent has every day, that fear is unstoppable and you hold it in every moment of every day. I was that parent, I was the mom that had a teenage son that started abusing drugs and it was a fight daily to go to work and seem normal. Unless you have been in the shoes of a parent who has had a child that was addicted or abusing drugs – let me make something clear; it’s not the way the child was brought up or if the child is good or bad. You can be the best parent and love your kids and discipline them, teach them right from wrong and they STILL can get involved with the wrong crowd and succumb to peer pressure.
I’m going to tell you a little about what I have personally seen and dealt with, hopefully this will help a mother or father out there that is going through something similar. My son was a straight A student, played sports, well disciplined, good manners…you name it and he was an all around good kid. Yes, I had issues with him getting into fights and silly boy things, but overall he was a good kid. When he was in Middle School is where it all started, the notorious 8th grade. I warned him that hanging around the wrong crowd will lead him down a road that could possibly take his life. Choose wisely who your friends are and hang around like minded people that wanted to make something of themselves. Well, that went right out the window, he was all about the fun crowd by 10th grade.
You will see signs that something is going on, you’re not crazy – trust your gut feelings. A mother’s intuition is dead on! I knew something was up with my kid, so I started playing private eye. I tracked his phone, I looked for clues in his room….don’t be afraid to do that Moms and Dads – it’s YOUR house, not theirs! Your rules, not theirs! If they don’t have a job then get prepared, you’re fixing to have your house on lock down! Why? Cause – they are going to steal from you. Trust me, they will. They will take anything of any value out of your house. Seriously, I’m not playing here. If you notice things getting gone, you better start being a nosey parent and get involved ASAP!
My son would leave school and start hanging out with his friends; I’d be at work tracking him and have to leave, go get him and take his butt right back to school. I’m not playing, I literally did this more than once! I would drop him off at school, turn out of the school parking lot and pass his friend coming in to school that was picking him up. Dude got right out of my car, stood around a minute then got right into his friend’s car. I would track his phone and see where he went, go to that location, pick him up, take him back to school all why I’m texting my boss I’m going to be late for work. Kids are sneaky and if you think your child is a precious little angel and they would never lie to you….then you are in flat out denial. Oh yes they will lie to you, straight dead to your face and not blink. They will lie to you even when they are caught dead in the act…they will lie. When they are abusing drugs then the lying gets worse. It’s all worse, your family will be pulled from one extreme to the next. You will do one of two things; you will fight for your kid and do everything you possibly can to help or you will turn a blind eye.
Let me tell you about being a mom, you LOVE that child, you don’t want to put him in harm’s way. You try to protect that kid with everything you have in you. But, you got to be tough. Parents, that means you are not their friend. You are their parent, you guide your child through life, not hang with them. They have enough friends, they need someone that is going to hold their feet to the fire and let them know there is consequences for their actions. What did I do? I played the good mom for about 2 years. I would hire the best of lawyers to get him out of anything he did, I didn’t make him work, I was a crutch to him. I wanted to believe that he would wake up and get on the straight and narrow, but honestly, tough love from you is the only way you are going to help them.
I finally had enough with my child, I had electronics, cash, and pure drop cords ripped apart for the copper inside stolen from me. You have to stay strong, don’t budge. If you say no to your child then keep it NO! Don’t let them wear you down till you give in. Stand your ground. Now back to my kid – I loved this child more than you could imagine, I wanted his record to stay clean because one day he’d wake up and do right. I didn’t want to put him in jail because I was scared of what might happen to him in there. I honestly didn’t know what to do. It’s scary, you are ALWAYS on edge, scared to death you are going to get that call that your child is in jail, or dead. It can be such a heavy burden you will feel like you are going to crack. It will hinder your relationship with your other children, cause you are so focused on this one child. Your work will lack, everything in your life will take a back seat to your kid. Cause the fear of losing that child is so overwhelming that you put him in the forefront of your mind and there is little room for anything else.
I lived this life, I watched my kid go from straight A’s to dropping out of school, to rehab and to a productive life. Not all parents can say this. I am among the blessed ones. So what did I do? I finally hit a point that I was so tired of “this new normal” life and I was so scared of him overdosing, jail was looking really good. He’d be off drugs, he wouldn’t be stealing from me….maybe a little jail time would straighten him out. So when he stole from me, I threw him in jail. I did not waiver, I stood my ground and something was changing and it was changing right now! I was tired of the stealing, the lies, the moments that he would act out and even punch holes in the walls. I was tired of seeing this kid that looked like my kid, but my kid was no where to be found. If it took me throwing him in jail then so be it!
After he sat in jail awhile, I talked with the DA and asked that he be mandated to go to a Christian Rehabilitation Center that was 6 months. He had to complete it, which was going to be tough with a 1 in 4 graduation rate. So I knew that he had to be ready to get his life straight and away from drugs. I left him in jail for about a month and I talked to him about his options. Well, there really was no option, he either went to rehab or stay in jail. I saw in his face that he was serious and he was willing to put forth the effort to graduate from this rehab. He had hope in his eyes that he had a second chance at life.
I got him out of jail and dropped him off at this rehab, and let me tell you it was no 5 star resort. It was more like a 2 star…if that. There were strict guidelines here and he had no choice but to follow. I saw him go from this kid I didn’t recognize back to my son. I saw him reading his Bible, I saw him talking about the Lord and I saw him transform to a young man. I saw determination in him to complete this rehab. Half way in he had an accident working and nearly cut off 3 of his fingers with a table saw. They rushed him to the hospital and I came up to be there with him. Because he was in a rehab he could not get any pain meds, the only think he could take was a Motrin or Tylenol. I saw them put numbing shots inside his fingers as he laid there taking the pain. I nearly fainted, I could barely watch him suffering in such horrendous pain. Made me appreciate what Jesus did at the Cross a whole lot more! I wondered if this was it, was this the devil trying to pull my son out of this rehab and would he continue or drop out? To my surprise this young man continued the rehab and even continued working!
Notice his fingers in this picture…he guarded those things with his LIFE!! He surprised us so much that even his stepdad said, “If this is the kid you were fighting for, I don’t blame you!”. him and I were married in 2010 and both of us dealt with both our kids on drugs from day one – and we are still together today…8 years later. That is a lot of prayers and a lot of tears.
My son graduated and he stayed clean and has become a parent and is a productive citizen. I don’t know why the Lord allowed our family to go through this, but we did. Not every parent can say that. I know…..my own husband lost his son and others in my family has lost their child to drugs. It is something that can hit every family, no matter what your financial status is, it can affect every one. And getting through such a thing, whether there be triumph of a child beating the odds, or losing a child….one thing is there – God. You pray without ceasing, you hurt from all sides and I know there are a lot more families dealing with this very thing. Don’t give up…..fight for your kid! Set boundaries and rules and make your child adhere to it. Don’t be naive and think your kid would never do such a thing….ummmm….yeah they will. Trust in God and fight the devil-because the devil seeks to destroy. He roams this world with his many demons and tries his hardest to take your kids, your joy, your life, your freedom and drag you to a devils Hell. Fight – Don’t give up, persevere and stay on your knees.
I am proud of my son and how far he has come, I wish I had been tougher sooner, but in the end he graduated high school, has a child and has a work ethic like I’ve never seen. That work ethic – determination -whatever you want to call it….he has to and I’m proud of him! That little boy that I loved grew up to be a young man I admire. And lastly, I thank God. I thank God for his grace and mercy. I thank God for his love that never stopped and I thank him for his eye that never stopped watching over my son nor I. For I am just a woman, but He that sits on the Throne is the Ruler of All and I am so glad I am counted among his children,