Originally, my son was advised to start packing his things and sorting through them before he moved. The idea being that even if he did not have a place to move into by the deadline moving date and not able to take most of his belonging, he would leave his room with boxes to take later and boxes to leave and store. Needless to say, it did not happen that way!
My son thinks I have no right to go through his belongings and pack for him, I told him he has relinquished any such rights. He does not like having his privacy invaded. Well, neither did I when he repeatedly searched my room when I was out or went through my handbag and purse or stole from my bank account. So I will, and can, sort out his room, it is my house.
OK, so I thought I was strong, I thought I told him a thing a two. Then came the moment I started and it was fine at first, but the more I cleared out, the harder it became.
I threw out two and a half large black rubbish bags of "stuff". Of course a lot of it was just that, rubbish, but some of it was "stuff" I don't think he needs any more. He will be very angry with me when he realises that I have been making my own judgement calls on what to keep and what not to keep. In all honesty though, I did not dispose of that much.
What a painful task, made all the more painful by my 9 year old coming and telling me what a great job I am doing, I rejected her enthusiasm because it was not a job I wanted to be doing. She climbed up onto my son's high bed and she had the cat with her. She was enjoying herself, while I was not.
Most times I can keep my tears at bay, until I need to speak, then the flood gates open. So when my older daughter came and asked my if I was ok, I said "This is hard, hard to see how my son got from this (holding up an old battered and much loved Dr Suess book) to this (holding up some drug paraphernalia)"....the tears started mid sentence, but then I got back to work and did not cry again.
The things I found, I knew about, but to see them again and in a different context was brutal. How do you internalise the change that takes place within your much beloved child? An unhealthy and painful change? A change you, as a mother, are suppose to stop from happening or help them through it and get better?
Memories and flash backs, regrets and gratitude, pride and disgust, heartache and hope....just a few things that raced through me in a matter of seconds with each and every thing I picked up. There amongst the Dr Suess collection, the Legoland photos of us together, the letters and cards I have given him, the stones and crystals he collected, the souvenirs of our trips together, the books on so many different subjects.... were the lab equipment, piles and piles of chemical diagrams, empty bottles, debris from his opium poppies, shopping lists, bongs, pipes, grinders, razor blades, my credit and bank card details, repeatedly placed in different parts of his room, diary type of scribbles of lists of what drug he took and when.....
Notebooks filled with chemical compounds :
- Benzoyl Cloride
- HydroBromic Acid
Then there were the lists such as this "wishlist":
- New Bong
- New Vaporiser
- 500-1000 gm Etizalam
That was one list! Not the typical list of a teenager. Also not the typical life of a "typical" drug user. My son sure did put his heart and soul into the drug chemistry of his drug taking!
On one page of many notebooks and loose pages, there I found something so sad, yet unsurprising to me. On one page he deviated from the cold and clinical aspect of his drug lifestyle. On one page he betrayed his true feeling.
"Sleeping by the river
Hoping it wont flood,
It will make you shiver
Like ice was your blood
Plastic bag on my head
Keeps out the rain,
Wishing I was dead
Because of this pain
Walking around town
Frown on my face,
I look at all the people
But they see right through me"
I threw away all the drugs I found (not much was left behind) and the bongs and the pipes and papers and many lists and chemical note books. I threw away vial bottles and filters. I threw away a lot, yet not all. I am not done by any means, but I do think my son should come and do some packing for himself, or should he? This is something I am still struggling to decide.
Ironically, my son phoned me last night, on the day I spent so much time in his room. On a day that I was sad because I realised that it has been 12 days since I seen him last, the longest I have gone without seeing him. Only once in the interim have we spoken, and it was not pleasant.
Last night he called, and though I could tell he was under the influence of something and wanted to ramble on about nothingness, I could also tell he was lonely. I listened to an almost entirely one sided conversation, no arguing, for 40 minutes. I miss him and I love him. More than my feelings of love, sorrow and loss though is my feeling and hoping and wanting for his recovery. His recovery, and a new beginning for him to have a life worth living would be the best gift I, as his mother, could ever receive.