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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Failed

I think, if I could, I would cease to exist. I do not see the point of this life, yet I do not want to die. I have postponed writing, though I find it cathartic, because I know the tears will flow and I am so tired of tears.

You must first understand me. All my life, from early childhood, no matter how my life and it's goals and dreams changed, one thing always remained constant: my desire to be a mother.

                                   

I will cut through the years of drama and get straight to the point, I have three children, I have failed them all and nothing is worse than that life sentence than having to watch my children suffer thanks to my inability to provide the life they needed to flourish.

My oldest is suffering the most, My middle child is clearly also damaged. My youngest will soon follow because of neglect and learning.

My two older children have both complained that they did not have happy childhood. They have emotional problems, possibly mental health problems, both have suffered and one still suffers with addiction (self harming for one, drugs for another) and both are socially isolated, one severely, the other mildly. They are unhappy. They blame me. My oldest does not live a normal life at all and it is my constant worry that one day I will lose him forever. My daughter is resentful and cold, not displaying any empathy for her family. There is a severe lack of warmth, communication, happiness and family cohesion. We are ALL depressed and I can see my youngest will soon follow suit as she is communicating less and less and has been neglected by me and been denied a normal childhood. She was 2 when her father and I split, she was 3 when her brother started using drugs, 5 when her brother was excluded from school,  6 through 8 when she experienced police involvement in her home, 8 when the police raided our home and made us evacuate, 8 when her family was dragged through the local papers, 9 when her brother was made homeless, 10 when her sister attempted suicide and now her brother has had another arrest, court, eviction and homelessness (all taking up much of my time). All these things came attached with countless number of appointments, service workers coming into our home, police in our home, emergencies, tears, arguments and hours of me being away from the home and leaving her alone with the tv and computer. Now it is no surprise that the TV and the computer are the main things in my little girl's life outside of school.

I have failed in my most important dream, motherhood. I have helped create 3 unhappy children that may all turn into unhappy and dysfunctional adults. I have failed them.

                           

We do not share in family meals, there is little chatter and even less laughter in our house. We have no extended family and very little friends. My abilities to deal with all is taking it's toll and the household is in a shambles. My children have few, if any friends (my son has zero) and my daughters rarely are involved in social activities. We never have people over because I have let the house deteriorate and there is a sense of shame and tension inside these walls.

So my son: homeless, drug addict who is now scoring heroin on the streets and on probation again. Possible mental health issues which makes every element of daily life almost impossible. He is alone and very unhappy.

My middle daughter: depressed, high achiever, self harmer (though that seems to be under control), insomniac, socially isolated, resentful, withdrawn and has erased her brother from her life.

My youngest daughter: well she has just missed out way too much and has been left to her own devises too much, not mentioning that she has been exposed to many serious adult issues from an early age.

I do not want to exist. I have failed. I have not created a life worth living and to make my life more of a crime I have subjected three innocent lives to a life of emptiness and unhappiness with no possible vision of change ahead.

I am tired, sad, very defeated and in so much emotional pain, that my dreams have crumbled before they had a chance to flourish and I see no point why I have existed at all.

Be careful what you wish you, they may come true. I wished for motherhood, never ever contemplating the difficulties that my children and I may encounter!

                           

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Living in Fear

I had a moment this morning in which I though, "It is as if I am just waiting for my son to die". Terrible, isn't it? It is not a thing I want, it is not as if I am waiting for it eagerly. Obviously not. I am leaving in fear and that fear always makes me fear that, "maybe now is the time I will have my nightmares become reality". The fear paralysis me. If I am not doing something to spend time with my son, or feel like I am doing something to help him, I am petrified and immobilized!

                    

Yesterday I took my son to the bank and to Taco Bell. He was obviously high. I asked him on what, on heroin. It apparently is not a nice high he likes and he was slurred and sedated but still anxious and feeling "bad". I know that people can sense that there is something not quite right when they look at my son or he speaks to them. I am ashamed yet not ashamed at the same time. I enjoy his company, yet I am frustrated because it is not the company I most enjoy. I enjoy being with him, knowing he is safe and alive; however, I secretly wish that I was spending time in his "real" unaltered" company.

Last night I had numerous emails from my son. The police still has his phone so we can only communicate via email. The last email was at 4:45 a.m. confirming our plans for today. I was picking him up at 10:00 am, we were going out to breakfast and the going to One Support to discuss housing. http://www.onehousinggroup.co.uk/sites/default/files/Essex%20Floating%20Support%20service.pdf

I emailed him this morning saying that I will leave at 10:00 am but if he could please e-mail me when he woke, so I know he is awake and ready! So I waited til 10:20 am and then left home. When I arrived I buzzed from outside the building because it is a secured building and you need to buzz the tenants or office to open the door. I buzzed repeatedly about 30 times. I know what the buzzer sounds like since I have heard it before. It is loud and prolonged. I was getting increasingly anxious that he was not responding to these loud and persistent noises! I buzzed the office. They went to check on him. Well the staff member was upstairs for about 10 minutes. I was getting more and more scared. Imagining the staff giving him mouth to mouth and trying to resuscitate a limp and lifeless body. The body of my son. Why was he taking so long? Is he calling the police and paramedics? What was going on? I was feeling weak in the legs and the tears were welling up. The man came back down and he said that there is no one there! I said that is impossible. Did he go inside the flat? No he only knocked! I explained that my son was expecting me and he emailed me in the early hours of the morning and he would not have gone out and that he needs to go inside and check on him. He said he will go to the office and check the fob key records and see if he has left the building! I was left outside in the cold, as the cold inside me grew. I was crying by this point, the tears flowed freely, I felt my neck getting wet from their flow. Finally the man returned and said that he will go upstairs and go inside the flat! I continued to wait outside, fearing and imaging the worse. Finally, after what he seemed like an eternity he returned, smiling that he is ok, he is out cold, snoring in his bed, but out cold! I was relieved. He saw how shook up I was and I told him that I often fear that one day I wont have him in my life anymore. He offered me a cup of coffee and I sat in the office and chatted and when I was no longer shaky I left. He assured me that he would go up and see my son later and also tell him I was here.

                                      Image result for dark cemetery

As soon as I arrived home at 11:30 I emailed my son and explained what happened, in short omitting all my fears. I asked him to email me when he wakes up. It is now 2:30 pm and still no email. I have been sitting on my sofa with my laptop, looking at my emails vigilantly. I have had the TV on to create a feeling of life around me. I have mountains of chores to do but my fears continues to paralyze me. I should not allow this to happen because I still have my two daughters at home to care for...yet it seems impossible while my son is on the brink of oblivion.

                                            

Friday, 2 October 2015

Squatter

I am not sure what I should feel at the irony that I am trying to protect my son from not becoming homeless, when I had him leave the family home nearly two years ago and therefore made him homeless. At the moment he is squatting in his flat and waiting for the date when bailiffs will put him out. He was given a date to move out, Sept 13th, but has refused to leave, under advice from the council.

When my son was homeless nearly two years ago it was because he refused to try to help himself when I gave him a month to leave our home. I was at the end of my tether and had no choice but to put my two under age children's emotional health and safety above my son's who was 18 and in the eyes of the law, an adult.

                                      

I do not think that either my son nor I could accept homelessness for a second time, though I accept that many people in my son's predicament have been homeless many times in their lives. I think my son and I also appreciate that over the last two years his drug and alcohol use has not improved, and in fact deteriorated at times. He has also had more than one psychotic episode and had numerous visits and admissions to the hospital, two of which were into the mental health unit. Something that did not happen whilst at home. He is in a different place now and he has experienced many unpleasant and scary things such as homelessness, so the reality of what it is really like is not so simplistic or romantic anymore.

It has been my mission since I returned from my summer holiday abroad with my daughters to make my son a priority now while he faces the stressful eviction process. Unfortunately my son has no hope and lives in atrocious conditions, which makes me remember scenes from the film "Trainspotting". There is mold on food and drinks due to dishes with food and cups with tea being left half eaten and half drunk for days on end because my son is too intoxicated from a variety of substances to remember they were there. His oven is burned to a crisp due to cooking ready meals and then passing out until the food turns into charcoal. There is food, banana skins, rotten food, cigarette butts, rubbish etc all around the floor and flat. His flat is so neglected and so is his health and it is a sign of his drug use but also his feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.




                                                                  A mug of tea.


                                   
                                    Above and below is the chicken breast I brought him once.


               
                                                                     The kitchen.



I clean up as much as I can to ensure that he will not become ill. I arrive sometimes to find raw rice spilled all over the floor but what is even worse, he was once eating raw wet rice, perhaps thinking he had cooked it but he did not. When I brought this to his attention, he just said it was fine The following day he was ill vomiting and diarrhea, I told him I think it is from the rice, he did not think there was anything wrong with what he ate.





On some days my son can hardly speak or keeps his eyes open.  On another occasion he was eating porridge oats (oatmeal) that he had just wetted and had turned into something that resembled wet cement since they were not of the instant variety and needed to be cooked. On other days he is reasonably focus and we get some work done, but all in all he is hiding from the inevitable.

We had plans on Sunday afternoon to go to a blues and jazz open mic session at a local ale house and my son was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately when I got there he was too out of it and I refused to go. First of all I said that I would not take him anywhere in such a state. Secondly I told him that he would more than likely be refused service at a pub. Thirdly it would not be fully enjoyed by either of use. That day I cried and swore, pleading that he stop this life and find a reason within himself to change because he has the potential of a nice life.

Two days later when I went over, he told me he didn't take as much substances "for me" because he wants to go out. I was happy to take him out and treat him to taco Tuesday and run some errands because staying indoors all day and always having me come over to pack and clean is not the best life. I understand that my son can not live without any substances because everything in life and the world seems to bring him some level of anxiety. So even though there were still jobs to get done (though he had managed to keep his kitchen clean after I got rid of the filth), a bit of normalcy like going out to lunch and sitting in the sunshine sounded like an excellent idea. Yes, my son took some benzos before I arrived, he was slightly sedated but not to an "abnormal" level, if that makes sense. I could tell, but I am sure that most people would not know. I can not deny my son a relationship with me in which we do not do "normal" things because he is an addict; I love him and want him in my life. I enjoy his company when he is not inebriated or aggressive. I can be here for him in good times and bad and hopefully keep reassuring him that things will get better when he is ready to make some needed changes. I can show him that I will never give up, providing him with the security and peace and mind that he will not go through difficult times alone. Maybe eventually he can make the decision himself to create a different life in which he is no longer dependent on substances to exist. I said to my son that he is not living his life, he is not even existing, he is some some limbo land between the two. He said that was a very true statement. I will live every day in fear that he will no longer exist, but also live each day in hope that he will begin living and get out of his agonizing limbo.

                                       

                                                   Taco Tuesday lunch with my son.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Dysfunction, is it Our Addiction

The term addiction is defined as:  the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity. Synonyms are: dependency, craving, habit, weakness, compulsion, fixation, enslavement. When I think of what is the biggest benefit an addict has when using, I would have to guess it is the immediate satisfaction they feel from the high, but the high may come from a variety of substances or behaviours. Most common addictions society thinks of, are of course drug and/or alcohol addiction, yet there are so many other types. On Wikipedia it did surprise me the types of addiction they refer to: substances, gambling, eating disorders, cell phone use, internet/computer use, tanning and exercise. In my opinion there are  so many other behaviours that can become an addiction, but the one I want to focus on is not the one that led me to write my blog in the first place (substances) but rather, I would like to consider self harm as an addiction, which many organizations have already acknowledged it as such.

                                           


On the "Addiction Care" website, they offer help from a far more extensive range of addictions. They cover alcohol and drugs but also: Gambling, Sex, Co-Dependency, Eating Disorders/Compulsive Over Eating/Bulimia, Spending, Exercise, Internet/Gaming, Work, and Self Harm. On the website they explain that:

Self-harming does make people feel better; the act releases endorphins, a brain chemical, which can bring on a sense of well-being and relaxation. Self-harm can be a way to get a release from intense emotions that can seem overwhelming and impossible to survive. A self-harmer might typically cut, burn or scratch themselves. The objective of self-harm might be to quell intense rage or anger or even to distract themselves from other physical pain.
Self-harming becomes addictive because there is a feel good factor. It appears to work. But of course the need to cause injury to oneself escalates.


I sometimes think that my daughters self harming is her addiction and she is getting the same sort of release from her self harming as my son gets from substances. She started self harming when her brother lived her and there was a lot of chaos and anger in the home. She has continued off and on though and many times we think she has "overcome" this problem, she then begins again. Her self harming started with scratching her head until it bled, then cutting, and then she began burning herself. The marks and scars on her are many. I was the most distressed by the burning since they eventually left large scabs that she would then pick. After the burning, blistering, healing, picking, process she would be left with these marks/scabs that resembled craters. No matter how many times I would search her room for sharp objects and matches, she would find a way, especially since all she would need is to break the blade out of a pencil sharpener from her school bag to start cutting again. I would hide knives, matches, scissors, etc but it got to the point where I would feel it is never enough because there will always be something I had not thought of. Even if there were no "tools" to harm herself with, she always had her fingernails to scratch the bloody skin off of her scalp. Just as my son would always find a way of getting his hands on any substance that would sedate him.

                                           

I understand how this could be classed as an addiction and interestingly enough my daughters behaviour at home is much like her brothers was in the sense that they seem to have addictive personality type behaviours. I am referring to some behaviours/feelings  that fits into addictive personality traits such as:

  • Need for immediate gratification, 
  • Low self worth.
  • Mood swings.
  • Social alienation and loneliness.
  • Constant stress and/or anxiety.    
  • Inability to control impulsive behaviour.
Also, her behaviour with me when she wants something is very much like the behaviour of her brother, an addict. She can be extremely:

  • Manipulative.
  • Controlling.
  • Dishonest.
  • Angry and threatening.
  • Relentless.
Then I began to realise that my daughter also seems to have a lot of attention seeking behaviours as well, but in a completely different way to my son's. Of course, both my son and daughter craved attention and love and acceptance in one way or another, as all human beings do. Sometimes seeking other people's attention and approval can manifest into a disorder as well. One of the theorised characteristics of people with attention seeking disorder is that they also look for immediate gratification in situations. In relationships they tend to use emotional manipulation on one level but displaying dependency on another level. There are many incidences when my daughter's behaviour is not in the realms of an attention seeking disorder, but are most definitely a young person trying to get attention! Of course we can also argue that the reason much of my daughter's behaviour mimics my son's is due to learnt behaviour or possibly even genetics.

Some people may argue that most of my concerns for what my daughter does or has done is ALL attention seeking. Self harm, an overdose suicide attempt (which she immediately induced vomiting), complaining of constant pains and generally feeling unwell, issues revolving around food and eating, refusing to go to school,  changing her mind on her sexuality more than once, refusing to cover up her neck and chest when covered in hickies, and others. Writing them down, I feel it unlikely that they are ALL attention seeking behaviours, but some I feel are. As I said though there are people out there, both professionals and lay people who I know would shake it all off as attention seeking.

                                             

Maybe the simple truth is that my children, the first two in particular grew up in a dysfunctional family in which impacted on their self esteem and sense of self worth which lead them to seek gratification in less traditional or socially acceptable ways. Perhaps they both suffer from the lack of a positive male role model and in fact rather than having NO male role model, their role model negatively affected their emotional development. Alongside this there was little, if any, extended family or social support system to help offer these children guidance, love and acceptance. In addition to this, the main female role model was emotionally and financially controlled, and though she loved and praised and praised her children it was not enough to alleviate the tensions and inequalities within the family. Perhaps her self doubt and frustrations overshadowed her trying to be a positive and loving mother she was/is. Perhaps these children, a product of an unhealthy and to some extent forced union, were just confused and ill prepared for life and they have tried to help themselves along in the only ways they found that worked for them.

                                             

Whatever the twisted and complex reasons that we are who and what we are, and why we have become this way we may never be privy to, and in some ways it is irrelevant. I can only try to help myself become a better person, stopping bad habits and fears and insecurities influence me and rather seek out positive people and positive solutions to better my life and my children's lives as well. I must try to stop the cycle of negative learnt behaviour and dysfunction. I will continue to love them and support as well as become frustrated with them and even angry with them, but at the end of the day I want them to learn that they ARE worth it and they deserve happiness and a healthier way of life. Maybe we have all become  used to and addicted to dysfunction since it has been our way of life for so long, but it is not what I am compelled to do, it is not my natural self,  I long for a life in which I can truly be myself living with the family I feel robbed of. Dysfunction and addiction have messed up my plan, damn it, and I want to find the power to reclaim my dream and make my kids believe in dreams too!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Roller Coaster Life of The Lonely Addict



There are many people out there who are alone, unhappy and lost. We all find different ways to manage these difficult and uncomfortable emotions. We all, at the end of the day, want to feel loved and to love ourselves and our lives. That is not always possible and we then want to make ourselves feel better, feel loved, or even at times, feel nothing. What easier way to do this then with self medicating with illicit and licit drug use to become comfortably numb. I can understand the need and the motivation which creates sympathy for my son; however, I can also see the destruction and chaos which creates frustration within me.

                                         

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it's ok to be an addict and I may not sympathize with them all. I know not all people are the same and therefore, not all addicts are the same. There are some addicts who slipped into addiction through over indulgence and "partying". There are some addicts who were almost turned into addicts from dealers who are in essence pimps who have no soul and deliberately get people "hooked" so that they keep coming back for more at whatever the cost. There are some who unintentionally became addicted to prescription medications and those who were socialized to drink and one day they realized they could not function without a drink. Not all addicts create a self medicated numbness; but, my son is such an addict.

My son's drug habit always seems to worsen when he has been rejected or had a negative experience, which is not surprising. My son does not go out and party and have fun while taking drugs. My son uses drugs to try to escape reality and in some respects he uses drugs in pursuit of happiness but he is starting to come to the point in his life where drugs no longer make him happy. That can be a positive or a negative. In a positive sense his realization that drugs no longer transport him to a happier plane could be the catalyst for him to seek out rehabilitation and a new direction in life in order to find happiness in other ways. It could also have negative repercussions in the fact that his realization that the drugs he is using are no longer giving him pleasure, he could then begin to experiment with other drugs and/or increasing the dosage in order to achieve a state of "happiness" and may in fact inadvertently overdose. I often fear the latter and every day wonder if my son is alive or dead. When I have tried to reach him and can not, my mind plays out different scenarios of finding him dead and my various reactions to his death. It is a horrible way for a parent to live, that each and everyday you wonder if you will ever see your child again, and it is more disconcerting when there are valid reasons for that fear.

                                           

My son is clearly unhappy and keeps finding it more difficult to achieve any level of happiness. When he reverts back to using drugs in attempt to erase his unhappiness, more often then not it will backfire on him. Just in the last three to months I can think of at least three such examples. During his last admission to the mental health unit we hoped for some help at last and all was going relatively well, until 6 weeks into his stay a new patient arrived. My son went out with this new patient one day and they scored some drugs (heroin, tranquilizers and synthetic cannabis). They were both subsequently discharged without any diagnosis or follow due to the fact that their discharge (as well as now the official reason for them being there in the first place) was due to drug use. After that my son regressed back to his secluded lifestyle of being indoors for days on end, being depressed, feeling rejected, feelings of self blame and therefore took more drugs.

Another occasion was when my son spent a lot of money on a variety of substances (quite a lot with the intention of putting some away as his stock pile) he became friendly with a young girl who is his neighbor in the supported housing where he lives. They started to get close and my son started to believe that someone could not only like him, but perhaps also love him. A few days of spending time together as well as taking drugs together, this young woman ended up in hospital since her heart could not cope with the amount of drugs in her system. My son panicked, flushed his stock pile down the toilet and called me up in hysterical tears fearing that this young woman may die and feeling responsible and so again the self blame, the depression, the anxiety all came flooding back to him. Luckily the girl was ok and was soon released from hospital.

                                             
   

Sadly the last example of my son's failed attempt at happiness by way of drugs may have very serious consequences. After receiving a large sum of money from the benefits department, my son was sensible enough to have me hold some money for him as well as kind enough to pay me back quite a lot of the money he had stolen from me in the past. He still had quite a lot of money left at his disposal. Even though he had a list of things he wanted to do with his money, like go to concerts, get a passport, buy a laptop etc he has spent the majority of it on legal and illegal drugs. When he first bought some drugs he spent a few days with a fellow drug user and basically that entire week is lost to my son and it is just a blur. Shortly after that week spent in a  drug induced haze he had a visit from the police with a search warrant. Not surprisingly the police took him in for questioning when they did find drugs in his flat. He was arrested for possession with intent to supply Class A and other classes of drugs. Of course with his past conviction the outcome is not looking very positive. The drugs have been taken away, well except for the "legal" one and he continues to use drugs.

Of course all this has been exasperated by his impending doom of eviction with no where to go. First the reason for eviction was the state in which he keeps the flat. Then it was for rent arrears. Both of which were addressed and the eviction was put on hold, but always a possibility when the manager seemed fit to continue with the proceedings. Then whilst in the mental health ward, I received a phone call from the manager of the flats saying that "since he is in the Linden Center, we are going forward with the eviction as it is clear that we can not offer him the level of support he needs". So sympathetic and understanding, not to mention the fact that she is obviously a very good manager of SUPPORTED housing, isn't support needed here?

Once my son was discharged and things seemed to be improved in some ways the housing manager did not say one way or the other what was happening with the eviction and my son was too anxious to ask! All the time though, my son lived in fear as to what was going to happen. Then after the incident with the neighbor, the eviction was put into full swing once again. This time he was told point blank that he will be evicted, it will go to court and he will incur court costs and the bailiff will come and put him on the street. The housing staff knew full well that my son had no where to go, and in fact that the homeless shelter would not even help him as he was still in arrears with them.

                                                   

This happened just before I went on a 2 week holiday with my daughters. Whilst on holiday I spoke to my son and he told me that he was advised by the support staff that it would be in his favour to resign his tenancy and avoid court, court costs and eviction because the local council would look unfavorably on that and he would be seen as making himself intentionally homeless. I agreed then that he should do as they advised. Upon returning home, it was my priority to assist my son with finding accommodation and the first port of call was going to the council. As we explained to them the situation, they informed us that the housing staff ill advised my son, and by resigning his tenancy, he is making himself intentionally homeless and he should have went ahead with the eviction and he would have had support from the council. Again, another blow to my son and all these blows feeds his feeling of hopelessness.

Next step, assessment for supported housing, to which I attended with my son and was told that his application will be put forward to the next panel meeting (2 months earlier this was suppose to happen but the man handling the application never submitted my son's application and therefore was not considered for supported housing on mental health needs even though he just spent 6 weeks in the mental health unit and was told that that was the reason for eviction)! I was optimistic to the point that every day that followed that meeting I went to my son's flat to clean up, sort out and pack up because I assured him that once his application is viewed at the panel meeting he may get a phone call telling him he can move.

Unfortunately, after I inquired (4 days after the meeting) we were told that no one at the meeting was "willing" to take on my son due to his past drug history! No alternative suggestions, no reassurance that something will be sorted; despite that one of the supporting documents to my son's application for supported housing was a letter from a psychiatrist saying that if he is made homeless again his mental health will surely deteriorate and the pressures of living on the streets will push him deeper into drugs and alcohol. No one was willing to take him on!

                                                     

Since then my son has been indoors once again and on the day we found out this news my son said to me, very sadly, that there is no point. There is nothing in his life and there is nothing that creates any semblance of happiness any more. He doesn't even understand how I can still love him. He has nothing, he is unhappy and the things that used to make him happy no longer work.

How long can a person continue to go on while they are constantly feeling rejected by professionals and society? I do not condone his drug use at all, but I do understand the motivation behind it. If people who are being paid to help and support vulnerable individuals, do not seem to give a damn if a young person who still has potential to become a thriving part of society, lives on the street or not...well then yeah, what is the point in his eyes!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Time to Re-Focus

I have spent far too much time away from the cathartic experience of writing. Too much time being overwhelmed without an outlet. Too much time focusing on my own pursuit of happiness and ignoring all the other aspects of life that needed attending to. Too much time hiding. It is time to burst out of the layers of fear, depression, loneliness and dysfunction and try once again to focus on my children as well as my writing to help speak out about the crazy world of addiction, dysfunction and parenting!

While I have never given up on my children, and they have always been my priority, I wrongly believed that my happiness is also important to giving me strength and posing as a positive role model. I see that my focus was wrong, I should not have wasted any time hoping for my personal happiness. At the end of the day, the more I pursued my own happiness the more negative messages I sent my children about life and the fairness of how we get treated or mistreated.

                                     

I wanted to be loved and to be desired. I wanted my children to witness that there is such a thing as happiness between two people and there are good men in the world.  All I did was show them that their mother was hurt again. Their mother is emotionally weak because she gives all of herself yet gets very little in return. I showed them how I am willing to be disappointed and rejected time and time again. How much I cried and hurt, how much I hoped and prayed that this time he will show up and things will be different. My love life is irrelevant, it is non existent. I have never been in a loving relationship. I have never had a man who was truly in love with me and the two men I have loved never treated me the way I deserved. I have showed my children very bad examples. This is not even speaking of what messages I have ingrained in them that their mother married a man she was not in love with and stayed with despite all the emotional abuse and financial and personal control he ensued upon us all. I have shown them a mother who has always felt sad and unloved and always dreamed of a happily ever after that is just not in my destiny. I should accept that. Instead I should be showing my children that I am strong and do not need anyone in my life to make me happy or motivate me or help me, I should have shown them all these years that I am capable of creating my own happiness and creating a life worth living; however, I must first believe that myself.

                                               
     

I met a man who saw us all for what we were. He saw that all first before we developed our friendship. He offered his support in the chaotic lives of an addict and that of his mother and sisters. He wanted to be there for my son and lend a helping hand as it is his profession and he had connections. He wanted to help us with things that I could not afford or do by myself, such as repairs. He spent time with us all and unfortunately all my children liked him, so much, and my son actually said he would like it if we "got together". My youngest daughter thought he was wonderful and acted so relaxed around him. Even my middle daughter, the one who seems the most suspicious of relationships, love, men, etc, thought he was "a nice guy". He knew our pasts, our faults, our vulnerabilities, way before we become lovers. It was so easy, so right. Then things became complicated as his issues, his fears, his immaturity and his own insecurities and selfishness came into the equation. He no longer helped with repairs. He no longer came around as often as he did before. He no longer tried to help my son. There were many broken promises. Months of playing me like a yo-yo and of me being an emotional roller-coaster were seen by my daughters.. It has only reinforced everything negative that my kids already thought of people and I am sure they were only more disappointed in their mother's foolish, girlish romantic dreams of happiness. Instead of making my children believe that they are the most important things in my happiness, I showed them I was not happy enough unless I was loved by a man as well. STUPID! Seven years of no social life, no dating, no relationship, after years of a loveless and lonely marriage; in all those years I only focused on my children. What a mistake to think otherwise.

                                         


I can not even imagine how many confused and wrong messages I have unintentionally been sending my children that will only add to their dysfunctional beliefs in their already messed up existence.

My son in the meantime has been in the mental health inpatient ward for 6 weeks, is being evicted from his supported housing accommodation, been rejected help from all the other supported housing, slipped back into drugs and been arrested again for possession with intent to supply. I am trying all I can to help and assist him, but my first reaction to many of these dramas was "I wish I had my friend in my life to talk to about all this", he was my first go to for support and advice. My ex husband has rejected his son once again when he was told that he is "unable" to help if his son is made homeless. My son's grandparents have also said the same thing, but with the additional, "I am sure everything will work out" and gave him socks!!!

                                               

My house is falling apart and without my friend's promises to be here for me forever and help me repair all the damage that is still in my home from when my son lived here and had drug induced rages (now a constant reminder and I wanted them repaired for emotional healing more than for aesthetic reasons). I have a room that is closed off because the roof is rotting and therefore creating damp and mold in side the room. My "friend" was going to replace that roof for me in January! The fence is falling down, my side gate is broken (the gate was another thing he was going to help me with). So since the big problems can not be addressed, I have stopped maintaining the house all together. Another negative message that I am telling my children. Surely I should want their health and happiness to drive me to  maintain my house for their happiness?

So now I will have to push myself to help my children, focus on them, focus on their surroundings, the messages I am sending them on their lives and futures so that they can have the best foundation and emotional health to start their own lives on their own. My own personal life is no longer an issue, I have learnt that very painfully. As hard as it will be because my own motivation and belief system is not as it should be.

                                                 
Focus!
I will write my blog to cleanse me and energize me. I will write my blog to organize my thoughts and emotions. I will write my blog to offer support and empathy to others in similar situations.

Focus!
I will begin writing letters and emails and kick up as much as fuss as possible until I get my son housed. I will try all I can to seek help and advice and motivate him to do all he can to stop him from going to prison for his last arrest. I will love him and fill him with hope for HIS future.

Focus!
I will try to encourage my daughter as she studies for her GCSE exams and praise her and encourage her to be all that she can be. No matter what my life's disappointments and failures, my inability to provide, that should not stop her from future education and she should travel and go to university and pursue her dreams.

Focus!
My youngest is still an adorable little girl, who I have discovered lacks confidence and feels bad about herself. I will focus on her as well as she is the one who gets lost and neglected with all the other dramas that go on in our lives. I will spend more time with her, listen to her, play with her and love her and tell her how amazing she is to build her up rather than have all my failed attempts at life and happiness teach her that life is pointless.

Their lives are not pointless, so I will re focus on them and forget about me because my time has come and gone and I blew it...end of story...but their stories are just beginning.

Next post....I will focus once again on my son's journey through addiction.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Love, love and more love.

Not really focused on addiction today. Not really wanting to be logical or thought provoking about the way drugs and alcohol took over my family's life and all the repercussions of that. Nor do I want to intellectualise the possible reasons why my son or anyone becomes an addict. Tonight I just want to write. I want the cathartic process to help me purge my emotions and to allow the tears to flow smoothly and with purpose. I want to write about, love.

A range of loves have just came to my head as I write: parental, sibling, romantic, friendship, but also the love of self, the love of drugs and unhealthy love. I believe every human being is born needing to be loved and there is an abundance of research on how the lack of parental love in childhood has negative impact on cognitive, developmental, emotional and social/psychological growth. So from the beginning we need to feel the warmth and fulfilment love gives us the best start in life and if we don't we are more prone to having an onslaught of problems in life!



I have written in previous posts that al I wanted for as long as I can remember is to be a mother and when I discovered I was pregnant with my first child my first reaction was pure joy. It was very unfortunate that the baby's father did not share in my joy and most of my pregnancy was spent arguing. Despite the negativity and arguments, I loved, I mean I really LOVED being pregnant and carry my baby within my womb. I talked to my unborn child and messaged it as it moved about and felt intense happiness within myself at the knowledge that I was indeed going to fulfil one of my most precious dreams of becoming a mother, and nothing, not even the baby's father would take that away from me. It seems, through people I have met and stories I have heard, that sometimes having one "good", loving parent is enough while the other parent may be absent or is emotionally inadequate. However it may not be the case if one parent is emotionally abusive, though I tried to love my children and nurture them and stimulate their development as much as I could, maybe the "energy" of the house as well as the negative behaviour from their father made it so my love was not enough.

My first child was an unplanned pregnancy and caused a lot of conflict in our relationship. We did stay together and tried to make things work. Our little boy could not have been more perfect. He was loving and kind and good natured. He suffered no terrible twos or tantrums. He always held my hand and was a joy to be with. When there were moments when he had to be disciplined, he stood in his time out corner and always listened carefully to my explanations why he was having a time out. He was so full of love and positive energy and lust for life that I felt that his loved deserved to be shared and that he and his sibling would benefit from sharing his love. I always wanted a big family, but I never thought that possible and did not want that with my husband, but I felt that having a little brother or sister would be wonderful for my loving boy.

Our second child was our only planned child. It took a while but we did get pregnant and funnily enough I can not remember the exact moment I discovered I was pregnant like I do with my first. Perhaps that is because the first pregnancy is such a  milestone or perhaps it is because the second pregnancy was somewhat clouded with worry when we discovered she had club feet and were told that that may be a sign of other developmental problems. Luckily there were no other genetic or developmental problems but it did make us worry.


Sibling love. It was there and it was good for a while, then as the years went on it changed and here we are now and those two have not spoken in 18 months now. I tried to love them both, both since I was the primary care giver to my son and the person he spent most of his time with, actually ALL of his time with, there was going to be some changes. Also with the added element of severe club feet to a new born, as well as regular physiotherapy and hospital appointments and surgeries, there was a lot of added stress.

                                    A picture from the internet which resembled our baby's feet.
                                                                                                                                                                           

So for whatever reasons (extra stress, tense relationship between parents, increased resentments, lack of attention) those early days have impacted on all of our relationships with each other; however, in the beginning despite difficulties there was love between brother and sister.

As far as the relationship now, well obviously living with a chaotic drug addict and having mom's attentions being fully consumed by the problems she faced, has taken there toll on the brother sister relationship. That as well as the early stresses and that dad was not a loving and affectionate and involved father have created a sibling relationship which now seems devoid of all love.

The bonds that my two older children have with the youngest seems different again and each seem to have more love for her, yet my son seems to be more interested in pursuing a friendship with her than my middle daughter does.

In http://www.education.com/reference/article/influences-sibling-relationships/ the author discuses a range of sibling issues as well as other relationships influencing sibling relationships, as well as only children. She says:  "In homes where fathers are affectionate and helpful there are more positive sibling interactions. On the other hand, conflict between mother and each child is associated with increased sibling conflict". She goes on to say: "Children's personalities, social and cognitive skills, self concepts, values and sense of self protection from the outside world are influenced by their sibling relationships". So this type of love is different from the love we get from our parents but is very influential in our development and creating how we understand love and relationships and the world to work.

I am a die hard romantic, I have written about my feelings of true love more than once, and believe that much of my inner conflicts and feels of self doubt are due to the fact that I have been unsuccessful in finding true love. True love, romantic love is a very big part of the culture we live it, It is very commercialised and engrained in us from the first fairy tales we hear as small children. We grow up feeling the need to find that one special person out there. We also grow up feeling that is we don't have such love in our live that we are failures. I sometimes go through moments where I feel I have failed myself and also my children by not being able to find true love, yet on a deeper level it is not as simple as failing to find something I want, it is an emptiness that is created by the biological and physical as well as spiritual need to give and receive love. Human beings need love. They flourish in a loving environment and in loving relationships. People are better people when they are loved, it is that simple. When we are not, than we become bitter, self absorbed, negative, self hating and we begin to languish.

                        


Friendship is a key factor to us as children, forming our identities and branching out into the world and leaving the close-knit unit of just our family that we had as infants, toddlers and young children. However, the role that friendship plays in our development in adolescents does not stop there. Friendship is vital to us as adults, especially if we come from less than loving families. Friendships offer us not only a special type of love but because we choose each other as friends, it is unique in its bond. We have similar interests and we like each other and we want to spend time together because friendship often give us a great deal of fun in our lives. On the other hand, we have all experienced the age old saying that you  know who your friends are when the chips are down! When life throws us conflict and struggle from all angles we need the support from friends especially if we are single, in a dysfunctional relationship. and/or have poor family ties.

I often turn to music for comfort and release and I find if we aren't singing about love, then we are singing about friends or if neither than we are singing about getting high or drunk!
There are so many songs about friendship! This song "Lean On Me" popped into my head last night after not hearing it for many years and the lyrics are very poignant:

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

Please, swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

If there is a load
You have to bear that you can't carry
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load
If you just call me

Writer(s): Bill Withers
Copyright: Interior Music Corp.
 


In times of sorrow, pain or when we are lost and confused, we need a friend to lean on. We need the support of our friends. Our friends will remind us that no matter what,  they will still be there and just as importantly, that a true friend will in turn be there for you despite their own problems. We do not need to feel weak or ashamed that we have "lost face" or are incapable of fixing our own problems, we are not in the least. I think that when we are "brave" enough to go to our friends with our demons then we are showing how much we love and respect our friends that we trust them. We are also opening ourselves to them and showing that we trust the friendship that we can put ourselves in a vulnerable position, "bearing our soul" if you like. I know we all have friends that serve a purpose, friends who are specific to certain situations, acquaintances etc, but while talking about friendship I refer to the real and true, tried and tested friendships that we may have, may only have one of, some of us may have had and lost or some of us are still hoping for. Our friends will not fix our problems, that is not what we want or need, sometimes we do not even ask for advise, we just want and need support, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on or sometimes we just want to go to our friends and let lose and have a bit of fun so that we can feel rejuvenated and refreshed and energised so that we can face our problems as a stronger person. Friendship, reciprocal and supportive friendship is like gold to us. If you are lucky enough to find love AND friendship, then you have found the whole pot of gold!

                  

The irony of love is that sometimes we need to have experienced being loved in a healthy way in a healthy home to be able to find healthy love later in life , but people who grew up in loveless or dysfunctional homes and who need love most, do not have the skills to find or maintain healthy and loving relationships/friendships. That is when we often turn to "things" to make us "happy" or actually to make us forget that we are feeling unhappy and unloved. "Things" such as: drugs, alcohol, food, shopping (retail therapy), money and status, just about anything that makes us feel good temporarily. If we did not experience healthy love, we sometimes are attracted to people who are unhealthy for us, treating us in ways we should not be treated yet because it is a familiar feeling and it helps "prove" our self fulfilling prophesy that we are "unworthy" and do not deserve to find happiness. This is way so many people stay in co dependent relationships, do not seek help if they are suffering from a dysfunctional family relationship or allow people to use them as objects of ridicule rather than including them in peer groups, or to be controlled by others. I can understand when my son says he LOVES drugs because in fact since his childhood he has had very little successful relationships within the family and in school and in friendships and he has never experienced any form of romantic love. So if he takes opiates that give him that "warm, fuzzy hug from inside" then, yes, he would want that again and again. If he has many unpleasant and unhappy memories and taking dissociative and sedative drugs  help blur his reality and impair his memory, then yes, he will want to use them again. The longer he relies on substances, the harder he will be able to create happiness without them, for obvious social and psychological reasons, but also from a brain chemistry point of view because the opiate receptors will rewire his brain so that pleasure will be associated with opiates rather than other "happiness". It will be a long process for my son to find other forms of love, to believe in love, to rewire his pleasure and happiness receptors, to trust others and make himself vulnerable. The reward would be friendship, love and happiness,that is the ultimate goal.
                                                                                                                                                                                        

So the bottom line wont come as a surprise to anyone, we all NEED to be loved from infancy throughout our entire life. Though our needs change and the types of relationships that give us love change, we all ultimately function better and thrive when we are loved and can love in a healthy and open way. We do not need to fear what love and friendship offer us, because it does not make us weaker or insignificant or shamed. We can still be true to ourselves and be responsible for ourselves but gain support and energy and respite from turning to those we love in times of chaos and conflict.

It may sound simple, but like another great song says, "love is all you need " and everything else will fall into place!

                              
                            
                             

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Simple Victories

Yesterday was a good day for my son and so today I will try to focus on the positives, rather than the negatives which is all too easy to do when living with addiction, mental illness and dysfunction.

One of the consequences of both my son's addiction and mental disorientation and anxiety has been the poor management of his limited funds, resulting in escalating bank charges. We all know what a vicious circle this can be: not enough money in the bank, unintentionally being overdrawn, results in bank charges, resulting in less money and so on and so on. This had become so bad for my son that he was being charged £58 a month from the bank and his incoming is only £72 fortnightly. The longer this went on, the more stress and anxiety it created. The initial discussion with the bank did not go well and more confusion and lost letters and hiding from the problem continued. The levels of anxiety were so bad that it created panic attacks and in fact some of my son's delusions during his psychotic episode were around money and banks calling the police on him.

                                            

Since becoming more lucid it is obvious that the two man fears of my son is his poverty and fear of the bank as well as his housing situation and fear of homelessness. It is something we have discussed with the staff at the mental health unit he is in and they have offered to write letters explaining his vulnerability and poor mental health if needed.

On a few occasions when I have taken my son out for a few hours we had planned to go into town and his flat and try to deal with some issues, but it always created such fear, anxiety and anger within him that we could not continue. Yesterday was a different story though. Together we went into the bank and my son said he only wants to go in and tell the bank he has lost his new bank card but still has his old bank card and would like to know if his old one is still active and also what is his balance. Upon investigation it was discovered that my son only ever had one bank card and never received a second one and that the one he has in indeed active and always has been. This confused my son, but I was secretly thinking, this is actually a good thing because it does illustrate his blurred reality. He was happy he had a card that worked and was all set to say thank you and good bye when I spoke up that there is one more thing they could help us with!

I told the woman who was helping us about the bank charges and my son's ongoing problem with managing his money and that he is not in education or employment, lives in supported housing and has mental health issues which has ended him up in our local mental health hospital which he is still in and if there is something that can be done to stop further charges and possibly come to an arrangement where we can pay off the charges in smaller increments rather than taking it all and living him without enough left over. She was very sympathetic and said she would go see if one of their advisors could speak to us. I knew that if we went into the bank with the plan to do this my son would become too anxious and when faced with it in front of others "on the spot" so to speak, it would be easier for him to manage.

We spoke to a lovely and understanding young man, and reading in between the lines of his comments, he has had his own personal experience with mental health issues and straight away got busy on his computer and told us he would explain everything when he finished. While working on my son's account we chatted a little and he was telling my son that his mental well being is priority for him and he does not need to be stressing about bank charges, I was hopeful that he would be able to help but was not expecting the end result when he finished! My son and I were blown away when he explained to us that there was £57 of charges being taken from his account today but he stopped that. If that were not enough he refunded the last two months of charges so in total he refunded £171 into my son's account! He also made a note in his diary to check my son's account weekly to make sure that no more charges are taken and that he stays in credit. He gave my son his direct number and name and told him to call or pop in whenever need be. Most importantly he continued to reassure my son that his emotional well being was paramount and that hopefully without this added worry hanging over his head he can focus more on his recovery. My son was so grateful, I have not seem him smile so big and so genuinely in a very long time! My son shook his hand and told this lovely man, "Thank you. I mean thank you, I am not thanking the bank, I am thanking you!". That made us all smile.

                                  

Earlier that day I encouraged my son to ask staff if he can see the worker from One Support (a floating support service offering help with housing, preventing homelessness and trying to increase life skills). My son said he did not have an appointment, and since this person only comes onto the ward once a week (Wednesdays) he probably couldn't talk to him and he just wants to go out. I gently persisted that he just ask and if he was indeed fully booked, he could ask to see him next week. My son gave me the classic, "yeah, yeah, ok" response. I was not convinced that he would.

As agreed I went to pick him up after lunch and when I got there I was told he will be a while because he was speaking to Brian from One Support. Great! Of course I will wait, well done I thought! So I was kept entertained by one of the other patients having almost the exact conversation I have with her all the time! The conversation usually revolves around cigarettes and will I buy her some. My son came out and we said our hellos and goodbyes and left. Once in the car he told me that Brian had phoned the manager at the supported housing in which my son is being evicted from and put some difficult questions unto the manager! Good, glad to hear it! Brian will also see if he can get a referral made to another supported housing which offers help to people with mental health issues, which is actually very near to my home. Again, good, glad to hear that as well! Brian also told my son not to worry because eviction generally takes 4 weeks and it will go to court and the court may indeed over rule the eviction giving the circumstances and that my son was not actually breaking any rules of his tenancy! Exactly, glad to hear someone is actually up to speed on things and offering my son some support. Let us hope that he gets a place in this housing scheme which offers a  higher level of support and that the eviction does not go forward or get accepted so that my son does not have on his permanent record with the council that he has been evicted from a housing project.

All in all a good day really. Small victories in some ways, but very big ones in other ways.

                        

And for me, well I still feel like I have contributed to having messed up kids with big problems to deal with and we have to deal with them alone (again something I am responsible for) but at the end of the day, I can not change that now. I have tried and failed over and over and over again to help my children and provide for them a happy existence. I have failed myself in providing the lifestyle that I would have liked and have failed to provide a loving and nurturing family that consists of more than just one very over wrought mother. And I have failed in realising my dreams and finding love and friendship with someone who will be there for me when I need them to be. But then sometimes I feel the joy of a small victory! Sometimes I am awestruck by people's random acts of kindness! Sometimes I have a moment in which I do feel loved. And sometimes thanks largely to these other small and infrequent moments, I become more hopeful in the future and believe, even if just briefly, that things will indeed work out for us. I must remember the good times with special friends and of course my children, because there have been good times and I have spent time with good people. Everyone has their battles and as I believe and always have, we have to be there for others while they are suffering even if we are  suffering in our own battles. We can not become consumed in only our problems, we are always capable of giving, that is part of the beauty of being human!

                          


Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Broken

Once again my son is struggling with the chaos of the system. Nearly three weeks ago he suffered another psychosis; i.e. a combination of hallucinations and delusional thinking which alters perception, thinking, emotion and behaviour. This again was proceeded by a seizure, but not all of his seizures resulted in a psychotic episode. The seizures themselves have never been investigated or explained and the psychotic episodes of the past have been "explained" as delirium tremens (vary unlikely given the total break with reality he had at that time and the relatively short period of time he was drinking heavily) to possible kidney infection and even epilepsy! These were all possibilities based on nothing other than the attending doctor's theory at the time. Of course whenever any of the seizures or psychotic breaks resulted in hospitalization, once my son gained clarity of thought and discussed his background with any of the nurses or doctors assessing him, the answer to "have you been using or have you used in the past any drugs" stopped any need for more assessments. The word "drugs" and in fact even "alcohol" can stop the medical and mental health professionals in their tracks, because their minds have then been made up that the sole case for every symptom is due to present or previous drug usage.

                                                                                                                                                                                      

On this occasion, as with many of the others, I was the first to notice my son was not quite right and it was the early signs of an episode. Luckily I had no problems getting him into my car to go to the hospital. However, there were a few issues getting him ready; e.g. he thought the salt container was his keys, a piece of paper was his shoe and he was struggling to get it on his foot and so on. During the car journey there I am surprised I could retain my composure and continue to drive as my son tried to stand up from the passenger seat and tried to "walk out" through the back seat.

Those 9 hours of waiting with him in the hospital emergency room, until he was placed on the ward of the mental health unit were very difficult for me. To sit with a loved one, your first born child, watching him have imaginary conversations and trying to fill up an asthma vaporiser with water and at times not knowing where he was, is a heartbreaking and emotionally exhausting experience. The emotional strain is even greater when you are faced with such an ordeal on your own and you are also aware that you have left your other children at home alone for hours on end with no way of knowing when you will be home.  Being alone with only a handful of local friends is difficult and I do not always find it easy to reach out to people for support because the friendships may not be long standing ones or indeed you may want a certain type of comfort or support only certain types of friendships can give. I luckily had two people to txt who lived close by to get some food to my daughters as we had nothing home and no money in the house.  For my own moral support, I took a leap of faith and reached out because I really needed to be comforted, unfortunately I got none. I understand that people are busy and have their plans in progress on a Saturday evening, but the situation with my son would clearly not be a matter of a day, but a lengthy ordeal and I am still very much alone. To make matters worse when I did finally get home, I had to face "normality" and the mess left for mom to clean up and not really being able to talk to my daughters about what happened. Firstly because my youngest is too young and secondly my other daughter still harbours so much resentment towards her brother she can not put that aside for a moment to offer her mother a bit of comfort. So I go home and felt very much alone with no one offering me a hug, a drink or something to eat. How utterly selfish of me I guess, yet, I would offer my help to anyone I loved regardless of my own feelings. Why is this so emotional for me, that it causes tears to flow as I write? It is not as if my life has been any different than now for the past 20 years. It is not as if I have ever been loved deeply by anyone other than those who are blood related to me. It is not as if my life has ever been easy. So why am I so sad, why is it not just the status quo and I can manage to deal with things without the unnecessary complication of sadness and loneliness? I must be damaged or just not meant for this world, this society, this life.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
               

I digress, sorry! So the relatively good news is that my son had no drugs or alcohol in his system upon getting to the hospital and all drug tests came back negative. So that has helped things being looked at a bit more seriously, as to just how seriously, that remains to be seen. We are nearly three weeks into his hospitalization and as yet the weekly reviews with the psychiatrist focuses mainly on medication, but also how my son is feeling. Luckily, because my son has developed such a high tolerance for many substances, the medication doses are not enough to sedate him as perhaps other patients seem to be. Also even though he was fortunate enough not to have any drugs or alcohol in his system, he was still using both as and when he could. If he would not have been in the hospital these past 19 days, there is no way he could have stayed away from alcohol, substances or over doing his prescribed medication for this long because he would have believed he needed it or he would get a seizure! Maybe the longer he stays in there he may just start believing that, in fact, he does't NEED to use or over medicate! However, that is not to say my son is not an addict and he will still need to face his addictive tendencies and find healthier ways to cope with his emotions and stressors. I take my son out of the unit about 4-5 times a week and unfortunately now that he is quite lucid, he often wants and does get a drink while he is out, because the belief is still there that that one beer will somehow help him. I will let him have one small or average bottle of beer, but on a particularly upsetting afternoon when he tried to buy a 750 ml bottle of 6.6% Leffe beer, (mind you we were only going to out of the hospital for an hour) I had to put my foot down and start giving him ultimatums. It worked and he put it back, however his mood towards me was not "good".

                                                      


Unfortunately, my son in this short time of hospitalization has been rejected, once again, by his father, witnessed the resuscitation of another patient when discovered after attempting to hang himself, the confirmation that his only friend and relative is me, as well as being told that in light of this hospitalization he will be indeed evicted from his supported housing scheme because they can not offer him the level of support he needs. Well done! Good support strategies! Though I was at first relieved that he is at least "safe" while on the unit, now I see that they are not really that safe at all from harming themselves. And while I thought that a hospital stay on a mental health unit without any drugs and alcohol in his system would help his housing situation, in fact it has damaged it and now we have the fear of homelessness one again! This kid never seems to get a break! Life does not seem to improve for any of us, and I feel ultimately responsible. A woman who can not support children financially, a woman who has failed in her own life to successfully create a loving and supportive family, a woman who is clearly unwanted, a woman who has children who are addicts and self harmers is one fucked up person and clearly had no right to bring three children into her lonely and messed up life. The world is not lacking in dysfunctional human beings, and it seems that I have added to the global force of messed up individuals.