In my last column, I did not know whether my son was dead or alive, but my motherly instinct told me that he was somewhere but I did not know where to start looking. I took to Facebook and posted that my son was missing, and if anyone knew of his whereabouts to please call me. I was a bundle of nerves and my mind was swimming as I felt desperation and panic overpower me. When I spoke to the police I did not know if I should make out a missing person report. They told me that since my son was a minor and if I did not make the report that would be considered negligence.
The next day I was staring out the window for hours. Where is my child? That night I received a tip from his friend, he had contacted her to ask for a ride. Thankfully his friend knew how worried I was and called me. She indicated that my son told her where he could be picked up. I immediately called our local police department because he was in a different city. The police department then called me back and said that he was nowhere to be found. Under the circumstances, I contacted his father and he went to the exact location to where my son was supposed to be present. He took off running upon seeing his father. His stepmother, clothed in pajamas and slippers, chased my son until the police could detain him.
I met his father and stepmother at the police station. There, I spotted my son in handcuffs and ankle shackles. I looked at my son, my child, my baby who I stood by and protected. The dispirited look in his eyes consumed me with an expression of indescribable hatred. Again, all I could do was cry! I saw the police question him, and he had blamed me and his father for his transgressions. In reality, addicts will blame anyone but themselves until they recognize a problem exists. Nonetheless, after what seemed to an endless interrogation, my son was hospitalized for a few days. He was hateful and conceivably going through withdrawal. I visited him in the hospital that night to show him my love and support. He hated me despite everything I did. I was able to reach the family my son was staying with when he ran away and to add to an already dreadful situation, they also blamed me for my son’s actions. In the end, the brief hospital stay seemed meaningless.
The time was now to weigh all available treatment options. His father and I decided on an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). During the entire ordeal, I realized that my son did not want to be “clean,” he loved getting high and had told me so. His father and I knew his addiction was extreme, and we did what we could with grounding and administering home drug tests. With much sadness, I removed my son from my home and a few months later, he was removed from his father’s home. My son was now homeless and panhandling. Was he cold? Was he eating? Was he using IV drugs and if so, with clean needles? The worst fear in my mind was the thought that we had given up on him. I was trying to put everything in perspective and in all honesty, as long as my son had a heartbeat there was always hope!
Somehow it feels like I should make the next move. As a mother who cried all the way to work and all the way home, I needed to figure this out because a father and mother should never have to bury their son!
Stay tuned for the next article in this series later this week.
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