So as I am trying to stop the codependent and enabling behaviour patterns in my relationships (especially with my son) I get a phone call 3:20 Thursday afternoon. It is of course was my son, no one else calls me except bill collectors! My son had a small accident and was phoning me from the office of his supported housing complex. I need to take him to the doctor, now. Well my son often loses track of time and others people's reality, so he did not consider that it was just the time his youngest sister gets out of school. Also I had finally, made an appointment for my other daughter and I to go to the dentist and she was meeting us there at 4:00. My answer was no, I can not drop everything and take you to the doctor. What is the matter anyway?
As it turns out he was pushing back the lip of a nearly opened tin can of potatoes, when somehow he managed to cut his right hand on the palm just under the thumb. I still don't know how he cut it exactly, because you would have to slip or fall on the can to get such a cut! Apparently the staff cleaned it up for him and bandaged it, but it was bleeding a lot and he was told he needs to see a doctor (by the staff of his accommodation). Well as bad as I felt, I could not put my daughters on hold, again, because of their brother. I informed my son that I have a few things to do and once I have finished I will go and get him and take him to the doctor. What else could I do? I had no idea how bad the cut was, but he was not alone and he would be ok. I am terrible at making appointments and after months of my daughter asking for a dental appointment, she finally had one, and if I cancelled because I put my son as the higher priority, then who knows when I would make another appointment?
When we were finished and I took the girls home, I went to collect my son, who was by then back up in his flat resting and waiting for me. Well, that is not all he was doing, that was perfectly clear as soon as I had laid eyes on him. Even he knew what he looked like because as soon as I saw him he apologised for the way he looked. He was sky high on opium! The poor boy could not help himself, the pain of the cut was just too much to withstand, so he made himself a nice little cocktail with some poppy pods he still had laying around his flat! Man, it has been a while since I had seen him like that, heard him talking so much and with a different affect. I did not like it and I certainly did not miss it.
As we talked to the receptionist at the doctor's office, it became more and more embarrassing to hear him go on and on. The poor woman could not understanding everything, I wondered if she could tell if he was high or thought that maybe he is "challenged" in some way!
We got in to see the nurse, which was very lucky because it was near closing time! When she asked what happened, my son started to talk about how he made half a can of potatoes last night and saved the other can for tonight.....I interrupted him to say he only needs to tell her how he cut it. My son snapped at me and told me he will tell the nurse the way he wants to tell her! Fine. Well unfortunately the nurse could only do so much and she sent us to the hospital to get it either stitched or glued because the cut was too deep!
So here we were, yet another trip to the hospital! I was sad for my son, but I also did not want to be in his company because he was talking so much, thanks to the opium, and I do not like seeing him high. I was in fact feeling quite anxious and could feel the pressure building up in my chest. When we arrived at the hospital, I asked how long of a wait there will be and they estimated 2 and 1/2 hours. By this time it was nearly 7 pm and my daughters had been home for hours with no dinner. I had no choice but to leave him there on his own. He was stunned. I told him that he can call me from the hospital phone when he is done and I will come get him and take him home.
As with other experiences when I have went out to help my son, when I return home it is business as usual and I assume the role of mother to my daughters as if I was living a double life. No questions or discussion about their brother, nothing. Straight into the kitchen and I began to cook. We ate, watched TV, got my youngest ready for bed as per usual. Then the call come, he was ready to go.
I tucked my little girl into bed, told her what a very good girl she is for going to bed while I go get her brother from hospital. I assured her that I will not be long and I will come in and check on her as soon as I come home.
I told my older daughter that I will be back soon, unless I run out of gas, and if I do I will call he. We had had a very poor week with hardly a penny to get by on. I had been driving below my empty line all week and I was crossing everything possible NOT to run out of gas on each and every journey I made!
As I drove up to the hospital emergency room I could see my son, waiting outside for me. He was still high, because the good doctors gave him some codeine, that on top of the poppies he took earlier was doing a nice job of keeping the buzz going.
After a few moments in the car and after telling me how they glued his cut and bandaged his hand he started asking me to take him to the little liqueur store he frequents were he can get some strong cider for cheap. I was adamant that I would not "help" him and that I was taking him home. He was high enough and he had court in the morning so he just needed to go home and get a good night sleep. He agreed with that statement. however, he started to go into detail of why he needs the drink and that it was not for now, it was for tomorrow and that he can't help himself, he NEEDS it. I still would not take him to the store he wanted to go to and I continued driving him home.
What happened next was just unbelievable! As I made it clear that I was not stopping for drink, he opened the car door and put his feet out as if he wanted to stop my car Fred Flinstone style! All that was needed was some smoke coming off his shoes! I tried to stop but it was too late. He jumped out of my moving car and thank goodness there were no other cars around or I would hate to think what might have happened. My son shouted that he was sorry but he NEEDS to do this! I shouted back at him, "That's it" I am finished with you! I will not come to court, I will not call, I am finished!"
I could not believe this was happening. Even worse is that I did not believe that my son "needed" the drink because he had opium, pills at home, pills from the ER, and who knows what else, so why did he need ONE can of cider??? It made no sense.
I came home, checked on my daughter, my other daughter commented on how quick that was, and I said, "Yes, because your brother jumped out of the car before I had a chance to take him home!" She was surprised and asked me to clarify that, but then that was it, no more discussion.
Then I sat with my laptop in the living room and watched a bit of TV with my daughter as if it were just any other evening, I heard some strange noises from the front of the house. I was afraid and did not know what to expect. When the noise settled down a bit I went to see the front door and saw that there was a note pushed through the letter box!
The note was hardly legible. Basically it was an apology with lots of "I am sorry"'s and "I love you"'s and "you don't understand, I had to do it". There was also the plead not to stop loving him and not to stop being there for him! I felt incredibly sad, and I am not proud to admit it, but I did not call him to tell him I loved him too.
I went to bed sad. Sad that I felt I had to keep to my promise that I was not going to have contact with my son after such behaviour. I felt sad that my double life at home does not allow me to talk openly about my fears, but then again it would not be appropriate to talk to children about the issues I face with my son. I felt sad that I was so alone in all this chaos and that my son would be just as alone in his chaos if I severed ties. I felt sad because I wished I could reach out to the only person I can openly discuss my life with, but then realised that we were not really friends any more and contact was becoming less and less frequent. I wanted to cry, instead I closed my eyes and escaped...until morning would wake me.