Coping with my son being homeless and still using is actually less difficult than I imagined. That is not to say I do not worry or I am not sad, but it is no more or less the same amount of worry and sadness I had for years while he lived at home and used drugs.
I feel an emptiness at home. Before, while he was still here, we had all the stress and drama, but I missed my son very much then. I say I missed him while he was here with me in the family home because then it was a constant reminder to me that I no longer have my son or my so called normal family. Every time he would be high or coming down or aggressive or passed out, I was sad and missed my boy, because the person I was living with was not the kind and loving son I once had and knew that I could still have. Oh how I missed him, though I could see him before my eyes every single day!
Now I no longer miss the son I use to have because when he is not around I am not being constantly reminded how my true son is lost inside the addict. Now I am feeling the emptiness in my home, though it is not exactly the same feeling as missing someone. It feels strange to know that when I go to sleep at night no one else is still up or downstairs. Therefore the house seems bleaker in a way, almost scary at first. I say scary because now if I here a noise at night, I can not ignore it and go back to sleep in the comfort of knowing that it is my son who is downstairs watching tv. When I come home and my daughters are still at school, it is strange to know that I am the only one here.
Some days I worry why he has not contacted me, but then when he does I am quickly annoyed and disappointed in the nature of our conversation so feel the urge to just hang up. Other days I forget to call him and when night rolls around a sudden feeling of guilt overcomes me that how on earth could I have not been thinking about my homeless drug addict son today!?
There was also this enormous fear within me that if I ever allowed my son to be homeless that he would crumble and succumb to depression and heavier drug use and even possibly suicide. I was very wrong in that fear and he seems to be managing very well. I have written before how this is almost a disappointment to me, yet it is not to say that I want my son to be wondering the streets depressed looking for a better fix and possibly ending his life! NEVER! My disappointment is rather that before those things would happen my son would be overwhelmed with fear of the undesirable elements that being homeless could bring, that he would then "wake up" feeling remorse perhaps, feel the need for sobriety, and seek out help. The fact that he is coping well being homeless is good in the fact that it shows me he is emotionally stronger than probably both of use thought, as well as resourceful. These are very positive indications. I worry that the negative indications to his being so well adapted to homelessness may be that he enjoys the freedom which enables him to continue living a lifestyle of drugs, denial and lack of responsibility.
A pleasant surprise to all of this is that I am aware that I am actually accepting that I have done much good for my son, and though we all make our own mistakes, I am really not responsible for his drug addiction. I am not responsible for his drug manufacturing arrest. I am not responsible for him ultimately becoming homeless. I have tried my best to raise him for nearly 19 years, providing him with love, nurture and support, even during the last 6 years of his ever increasing drug habit. Despite what my son and my ex husband tell me, it is NOT my fault! I am actually starting to really "get" that and believe it!
Perhaps it was foolish of me or just naively hopeful, but I had hoped that once my son was no longer in the family home, and especially once the holidays were over, I would feel new motivation to clean up the house as well as our lives. I envisioned myself with a burst of new found energy and determination to make this the home it once was, and bring back some normalcy of routine to my daughters. Unfortunately this has not been the case. Although I am feeling more and more aware that I really am not the cause of all this, and I no longer have to be the kicking post for my son's rage and anger, I find myself still lacking in energy and motivation.
So many emotions and varying states of mind, some expected, some not so expected, which illustrate just what a very long journey we have been on and still have before us. I am holding on the the mental picture I have of my family being whole again one day. A family no longer torn apart by addiction. A family which has overcome so much emotional, physical and situational hardships yet still worked through the issues and found new healthier relationships within the family at the end. I see happy faces and new additions to my family in the future. I see my children as three happy, well functioning. emotionally strong and healthy young adults one day! This vision is what keeps me here!