When you say you love me…

April 25, 2009 by  
Filed under The Wind, Wendi's Words

(scroll down to read part 1 and part 2)
An Addict’s Mom  – Part 3

Bumps in the road.

There are good days.  And days that could be better. I know I need to stay positive and focus on what is good. I often default to “It is what it is” and hope that it is true that everything changes. And everything changes. Not just for me, but for everyone. For everything. Everywhere. Everything changes. Remember that… you might need to use it some day. With a few good days under our belt my son and I enjoy his freedom, I enjoy jail stories, learn new lingo, and with his wit and candor I am amused at how he shares his experiences. And in the midst of the lightness and simplicity of just being together, reality stabs me to say “you are talking to your beloved first born about his time in jail” and I know this is not how it is supposed to be. The other parents don’t talk about jail toilets and cellies with their kids, do they? No one knows what it really feels like when parents tell me about the accomplishments of their beautiful, talented children who are at the university becoming something frikken fantastic. Listen, I am happy for you. I am proud of your kid, proud of how well it worked out for you. I’m  dying inside, ok? Back at home I wonder how I will be able to hold it all together and figure out how to be the right kind of mom. If you think babies didn’t come with an instruction manual… try having a 25 year old addict coming home from jail. There is definitely no manual for this. I know I am not alone, and I know others have their pain and God knows that I don’t get a badge of courage for this one. I deserve one. But I know I’m not getting one. For so long I didn’t tell anyone the real story about my son’s addiction, his trouble with the law, or my anguish. Nobody wants to hear it anyway. And I when exactly would I reveal this interesting accomplishment? Right after I hear about the nuclear physicist their son has become, when they ask, “and how is Sean?” Under my breath I say to myself  “My son? Well he’s in jail again, because he is an opiate addict who has been to numerous rehabs. Oh, and did I tell you I have spent over $100,000 on rehabs that are a horribly inadequate and antiquated way to treat addicts…  just to try to help him get clean?” No, I haven’t shared the accomplishments of my son. Usually I artfully change the subject. And I try to keep from dying just a little more. The truth is that so many families are struggling with me, unable to share the horrors of how addiction has torn their family apart in ways they never dreamed when they held their babies in their arms and looked into those beautiful clear eyes.  Those parents who speak up are brave and powerful, and those who are willing to tell the truth about the pain of addiction are like a hand that reaches out of the darkness. I’ll grab that hand. Today is a good day. After a few bumps in the road this week, today is a big breath of air. Is it OK if sometimes I have to hold that breath just a little? Last night was hard. Very hard. And when life gets hard there is often a breakthrough in the making. Sean has hard decisions to make about drugs and the tests that he is going to go through. No one can do it for him. I am so very grateful for my friend Bruce Muzik who stayed up with Sean until 3 am, willing to work things through and really hear him. I learned so much. And watching them work through Sean’s fear together, I really felt the depth of my love for my son. Today Sean is bright, shiny and lifted up. He has shifted. One step in a long journey, and it is a step. img_0497 Before he left to go to my office, he turned back around and gave me a long hug. He says he loves me. I believe him. When you say you love me… The world goes still, so still inside. When you say you you love me In that moment I know why I’m alive. And this journey that were on how far we’ve come I celebrate every moment And when you say you love me That’s all you have to say When you say you love me, do you know how I love you? (from Josh Groban’s When you say you love me)
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28 Responses to “When you say you love me…”
  1. Adam says:

    I am so excited for him. It is encouraging to someone like me that is in the dark with his own problems. I just hope I can get the kind of help Sean got before it is too late and I lose my family and my life.

  2. Maya says:

    I read your story and the responses to your story because I too have a wounded son. He is 35 years now and is “managing”.
    What I remember for myself is, regardless of how wierd the world, or “good/bad” the upbringing, our sons are pivotal in this process of change. We are all in a process of change and evolution that is so much greater than I can even comprehend right now. As the mom, I see my son as a precious tender spirit, fragile and needing care and nurturing. And as I look again, from a higher perspective, I see him still as a precious spirit, becoming stronger and wiser with each attempt to move forward and upward in his life. I remember as a human race how resourceful we all are. I remember that it hasn’t always looked pretty. I remember that a good dose of humility is, ironically, what creates greater awareness of that greater picture, giving us more compassion and sharpening our ability to connect through our humanity of “being”.
    I celebrate your courage and Shawn’s courage. Thank you for sharing your journey of expansion.
    Namaste’, Maya

  3. Pierrette Lyons says:

    Wendi..I am so touched when I read your posts. My heart breaks for you, but at the same time I am so relieved that there is someone who feels the same way as me… and has the guts to say it like it is. I wish I were that strong. You are an amazing woman and a better mom. I hope that someday, maybe today, that you realize what you have given this world. Your spirit shines even though your heart is bruised and broken. I pray that your family has all the wonderful outcomes that you truly deserve. Thank you for sharing. It really helps me get perspective on my feelings also, since my 27 yr old (and all of my family) is going thru the same things as your Sean. Thank you for all you do, and all that you are.

  4. John Martinez says:

    As someone too familiar with addictions, I wish you and your son well on this journey.

  5. Bridgett says:

    I’m also a hypnotist. My recovering (I hope — he swears) son will let me hypnotize him, but he usually declines my attempts to take him for neurofeedback, accupuncture, etc. He doesn’t want to try a lot of different hypnosis, he just wants to do the shape-shifting session where he gets to be different animals. I do this one with him over and over hoping, believing, praying this gives him strength and courage to stay clean and come to terms with his life.
    When he was about 10 years old, I had a dream that I drove up into the drive and found him in the yard surrounded by lions. I got out of the car, in a panic, and told him to move slowly toward me.
    “don’t worry, mom,” he said. “They’re protecting me.”
    I hold onto that dream, and pray there are lions surrounding him, protecting him.

  6. Sandy says:

    Hi Wendi….

    I posted a very long winded writing on your “The Wind” blog…….it concerns me that you are taking so…much responsibility for your 25 year old son (please read my writing if you are so…inspired). You have been so….incredibly generous in spending 100K on your son’s rehab experiences and in continuing to stand by him (you are one fabulous Mom)……. I didn’t take the rehab route with my daughter’s opiate addiction(s)……..it’s been a whole lot of tough love, tears, sleepless nights and hard work…….

    You are amazing Wendi! You keep on keepin’ on girl! I am with ya in spirit and we are in this together…….I love that!!!!!

    Love to you, Sean and the rest of your family!

  7. SimoneSays says:

    Hi Wendi,
    Perhaps only another mother can understand the hole in your heart.
    A small piece of you has been ripped away; the small piece called “innocence”.

    Baby Sean, innocent Sean; the laughing, carefree youth of earlier years has been replaced in your memory. In essence, you are experiencing a real death…the death of the Dream.

    That Dream was your own picture and wish for the future life of your child. Even though picturing your son as happy, carefree and innocent is a good thing, we can only guide and love unconditionally. Once we have done that, we step back and release our treasured nestlings to the laws of gravity, the Law of the Jungle and so many other perils and pleasures that they must experience on their own.

    Wendi, I have the feeling that your guidance and your love were firmly in place to be able to give Sean all that he needed to live life to the fullest. You have been strong and vigilent for so long. You have been 100% “there” for him and he seems to know it.

    Perhaps it is high time for Sean to be strong and vigilent too. My daughter remarked to me once, “Mom, you have always been a rock and I know I can depend on you for anything. But I don’t always know that I can depend on ME and that’s why I test myself at times.”

    Sean holds within him many powerful cellular memories inheirited from you. My hope and prayer is that he quickly understands that he has your same extraordinary ability to turn his life around; just as you did when you were down and desperate with only $10 to feed your kids.

    In Celtic, Sean means “God is great”. Since we are all god-like by possessing the spark of the Creator within us, the name Sean could also mean “Sean is great.”

    To you and your cherished son: may Sean allow his greatness to possess him.

    from my heart to yours,


  8. Carolyn Webber says:

    First I’d like to say that I am a big fan; I have quite a library of your cd’s. Thank you for all your help.
    Secondly, I validate your pain. Nothing hurts more than the fate of our children.
    Wendi, Sean does not have to live a life of “hanging on by his fingernails”.
    I, too, am an alcoholic/addict. Twleve and a half years ago, I entered the program of AA. It was the most important decision I ever made in my life. I found unconditional love, support and the arena to grow into a mature, useful human being. I learned the nearly impossible task of being able to “look at myself”.
    Twenty-two months ago, my beautiful, compassionate, intelligent 22 year old son died of a misdiagnosed benign brain tumor. Because of my program of AA, I did not drink. But even more profoundly, I forgave.
    The NA program in our small Canadian town is amazing. These young people have clean and sober dances, sport teams, camp outs, etc. And never have I seen so many beautiful, focused young women.
    Sean can live a useful, joyful life.
    By-the-way, this is the first time I have ever posted a comment online. Your story moved me very much. Kudos for your courage Wendi – Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mariah Lohman says:

    You have done all that is right and possible as a loving, careing mother. Sean has a story that needs to be told, it may come out in bits and pieces or may take days for him to get through. Maybe Sean can’t tell you everything because he has blocked it out from himself for reasons even he doesn’t understand. Please encourage him to spill on you with any thoughts or words that come to mind and don’t analyze him but try to see through his own eyes the purpose that led to his actions. As he rants and rages somewhere the bits and pieces will slip out that form the true story, from Sean’s eyes it is hard to talk to a mom that knows so much and can change so many with hypnotism, remove yourself from being the super mom that you are and listen to your son as a common cellie…a careing person he could talk to without being analyzed or judged. Everybody has a story that must be told, from being in a SCI Sean knows every word he speaks is analyzed to infinity and compared to others. His story is unique, it is not like any other and that I believe is the only way it can finally be heard, with Sean in total control of how it is told. I learned this from a person in prison that I didn’t even know but met through a friend that asked me to get involved because he felt I was the only person who would be able to help. We both spilled our guts to each other and when the truth came out it was from the heart, after almost 10 years in prison he finally wrote to his parents to spill his guts on them, he was afraid all this time they would reject him but to his supprise they said it’s OK we still love you no matter what you are. Please write me directly if I can fill in any blanks, I’m just and ordinary person with a high school education.
    All my best to you and yours,

  10. Jeannine says:

    Hi Beautiful Lady Wendi,
    I am so sorry you are having struggle, You like me a single mom & a mom our children are our most enduring “work”. As helpers we are often prodded to learn to receive help as well.
    Two things,that you know already yet sometimes we need to hear it from someone else. 1 have found that when I process the things that come up for me in relationship to my child, when I seek help from a colleque to clear my stuff, it always positively effectts my child. They are great motivations for us to seek our own shifts so that we might help them : )
    Also I had mentioned to you at IHF about the Neuro Pathway Restructuring process that I trained in with Debra Fentress. I would be more than happy to help, yet Debra is the expert here, she tested it out working with addicts with great success.
    Let me know if you want more info , Blessings Jeannnine

  11. R.A.L. West says:

    One more thought for Sean….maybe a highly-qualified and intuitive homeopathic physician.
    Also, just recalled I program I inquired about several years ago when my partner’s adult stepchild was having huge addiction issues: all I can recall was that the facility was located in rural Oklahoma and a cornerstone was the use of a detox method of which you may have heard: many days of saunas with doses of natural vegetable oils and niacin….it’s proven to remove stubborn substances from the body, including the fatty tissues (which fasting doesn’t really touch). It was popular many years ago in the LA area for general cleansing and rejuvenation. More recently, I’ve met a couple of chemically-sensitive people who belive it has saved their lives. This OK facility: I haven’t a shred of information or contact – the daughter in question never went. I found it originally as a classified ad in a So CA newspaper. Could be worth googling, asking etc. Again love, RAL*

  12. R.A.L. West says:

    Dear Wendi,
    Just received your email today with these posts. I am profoundly sorry to hear of your experiences with your son’s addiction. I was whisked back in time to 16 to 25 years ago. That interval was the length of time it took my beautiful boy (firstborn/onlyborn)to finally get free of cocaine and crack use, spiced with a gambling addiction. A very “tough” inside rehab program is what ultimately helped him move on…I didn’t even LIKE the program…..seemed somewhat prehistoric for my sensibilities, AND, it worked for him (a headstrong Aries).
    At age 46 he finally has a stable and reasonably successful life. He still smokes tobacco and is very overweight. He is way intelligent, with a loving heart and many fine qualities.
    It’s taken me along time to reach some peace with accepting that we each choose our own path in life; that we cannot hijack the paths of our children, no matter how well-intentioned we may be.
    I bid you have hope and intention for the most positive outcome for Sean, to the highest good of all concerned.
    I agree with the comment about trying some acupuncture for body balancing; Reiki is amazing for almost anything, and can be done at a distance if that might be less confronting for Sean.
    I HIGHLY suggest a dedicated Ho’oponopono practice for you!!!! I have also very recently begun two practices which I find awesome and hugely effective for clearing and repatterning at profound levels: The One Command as taught by Asara Lovejoy: wwww.onecommand.com – you can learn all you need with one book and CD combo for about a $25. investment.
    Second suggestion is Anne Taylor’s work at innerhealing.com Joe V. says she’s one of his supports. She has excellent recorded materials for sale; as well as personal appointments by phone…all modest prices. These two ideas are for you, at this point.
    I send you my deeply-felt concern and support. You KNOW absolutely EVERYthing
    is coming up to be healed at this time on our magical planet…you are not alone; and the collective consciousness reaching out across this amazing internet is real and can be truly felt when one can be still.
    All blessings to you and your family. With great love, RAL*

  13. Nancy says:

    Wendi-I just finished reading your blogs regarding the struggles you are going through with your son and his addictions. My heart goes out to all of you. I have been through something similar with my husbands brother and then my husband himself. We are in a better place now but it took a long time to get here and it wasn’t always an easy road. What I can say is that I never lost site of the fact that whatever the Universe was going to dish out to me I would be able to handle it. It wasn’t just me after all that I had to take care of. I had four young children to protect from the ridicule and the embarrassment of it all…and then there was the money thing. It always seemed to appear when we needed it…but we always needed it. Through it all we loved and supported and sometimes held each other up despite the hardship, ridicule, guilt and feelings of failure. We have made it so far only to be closer, living with more gratitude than most families these days. This will not be easy for any of you. There will be days of loneliness, days of fear, days of triumph. So what do you do? You take one day at a time…step by step…and you live through the loneliness & fear and celebrate the triumphs. I am confident that of all people in this world you will figure this out. Life has prepared you for this…remember that love is the most healing energy of all. Please let me know if I can assist in any way possible. Sending you all healing energy. Love Nancy @energizespirit

  14. Angela says:

    Wendi, please see e-mail I just sent you. Know that your pain/frustration/fear is shared by many and all of us would hold you and Sean close and tell you both how loved you are if we were with you. AS

  15. Barbara Gordon-Lantto says:

    The best piece of advice that I can give you : is for you to get into a Alanon group and stick with it. Find one you relate to and like. Stick with a group at least three times before you try another. All groups are different and have thier own personality.

    You need to find a way to “let go”. It is the best gift you could give your son. Other than that, I am a CDP” and Counselor, licensed.And experienced.

    There are clinics that can help your son. But he has to want help.

    Feel free to contact me by email BARB

  16. Leia Cantrell says:

    I wonder if this is just a blip on the screen of our many lives and maybe your son wished to experience a life where he dabbled in drugs. We have so many lives and we want to experience so very, very much from all these lives. If our hundreds of thousands of lives are meant for our enrichment, knowledge, experiences, then your son is having a most wonderful journey…at a higher level, he is testing himself and experiencing self at this level on drugs.

    When we look at our lives in 3rd dimension, we feel the complete utter pain of life. But if we look at our lives at a higher perspective, we are here for the adventure, for the journey and for the memories. We never die, we live on to experience another day, another life, another journey.

    Your son is a beautiful, wonderful being of light and love. This is his journey and experiences and the day will come where he will say to himself, “job well done, job well done.”

  17. Jared Campbell says:

    Hi Wendi,

    I remember when we talked last year in Hawaii about this journey Sean was facing.Really glad to hear he was open to Bruce and ready to start again.

    My intuition is that EFT could help him a lot if he does this on a daily basis and particularly if EFT is used on his values to free up the negative charge on these ( both the core ones he moves towards, and those he seeks to avoid)since these are driving his behaviors.Keep trusting yourself on how to best support him and yourself .Hope to hear from you ,love and hugs, Jared

  18. Lisa says:

    Dear Wendi,
    I think sharing your story is very helpful to all of those out there that are going through the same all-consuming concern for one of their own. My best friend lost her 39 year old that died last month at Passages Malibu. He got there the day before afer several stints in other re-habs; but so much damage had been done to his heart from years of chemical dependence of multiple substances. She also has a 23 year old grandson that has been in and out of jail, re-hab, has DUI’s and has suffered some serious injuries in car accidents and still goes on abusing. She and her whole family have been through all types of therapy, etc and it is clear to me that this thing we call the addicted brain continues to not get enough press. I encourage you to use your influence to get others to focus more on the addicted brain and hopefully, the focus can be on finding the answer to that issue rather than criminalizing the addicted.

    Best wishes to you and your son. Keep up the good work.

  19. Lisa says:

    Dear Wendi,
    I think sharing your story is very helpful to all of those ot there that are going through the same all-consuming concern for one of their own. My best friend lost her 39 year old that died last month at Passages Malibu. He got there the day before afer several stints in other re-habs; but so much damage had been done to his heart from years of chemical dependence of multiple substances. She also has a 23 year old grandson that has been in and out of jail, re-hab, has DUI’s and has suffered some serious injuries in car accidents and still goes on abusing. She and her whole family have been through all types of therapy, etc and it is clear to me that this thing we call the addicted brain continues to not get enough press. I encourage you to use your influence to get others to focus more on the addicted brain and hopefully, the focus can be on finding the answer to that issue rather than criminalizing the addicted.

    Best wishes to you and your son. Keep up the good work.

  20. phillip says:

    Just ran across your posts regarding son Sean’s addiction. Deja vu! I, too, was addicted, for years, to Vicodin and Oxycontin. You’re correct – it’s the pain of withdrawal that keeps us on the drugs. Imagine the fluX3 and you get an inkling. I finally had enough of it, and quit. It was easier than I thought it would be, once I made that committment. I developed a short but very powerful affirmation which I clung to, and it worked! Even the withdrawal symptoms were very minimal. I’ve been clean now for several years. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us!

  21. Dear Wendi,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very sorry for what you and your son are going through. Please don’t blame yourself. I believe more in nature, not nurture. You have done your very best to raise your son, we just have our own paths to follow. We have our own free will.

    I had a dear friend who passed away from a heroin overdose and too many people I know have passed away from alcohol addiction, which I think is as heinous as any other drug out there. You’re right – rehab doesn’t work like it should. My friend who OD’d said only 30 percent, or less, of the Hazelden graduates stay clean. Quite the business, rehab, dontchathink?

    I hope this doesn’t seem trite, but this Louise Hay quote does give me strength when I need it: “Out of this situation only good will come. This situation is being resolved to the highest good of all. All is well and I am safe.”

    Our society as a whole is so very ill. There is a book by Anne Wilson Schaef called Society as an Addict, our children are just a reflection of that. We are all connected.

    Many blessings to you, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Again, thank you for sharing your story.


  22. Bonnie says:

    Your words resonate with me, as I went through this with my son and his alcoholism and drugs; I know the pain of hearing other parents brag about their childrens’ bright futures, knowing my son will have a mediocre life, at best, because of his addictions. I know the pain of struggling until you are bone tired, and going over and over in your mind trying to find out what you could have done differently. it is a comfort to know I am not alone, and I admire your courage and bravery. I always felt less of a person because of it, but reading your story reminds me that no one is immune to the pain of addiction. I will pray for you and your family; but I really felt the need to thank you for being brave enough to share your story. May God bless you.

  23. silverlining says:

    Wendi -

    and anyone else dealing with addiction –

    Over a year ago I found out that my husband of 17 years, unknown to me, had become a drug addict, both prescription and street drugs. I now have a very different view of addiction than I did in those early days.

    Although the addiction is hard on the addict, this illness is often devastating for the family members.

    I know that one thing has brought me to sanity and allowed me to continue to support my addict in a loving way while growing my own spirit – this is a group called Nar-Anon. It is a non-profit group whose only membership requirement is that you have a friend or family member who is an addict. You will find love and people who truly care -

    May you all have love and light on your journey -

  24. Dela says:

    Wendi, I read this post directly after my 21 year old told me that the only drug she ever does is Vicodin “sometimes” because of her anxiety. I am actually a bit stunned and processing all this in this moment. Thank you for sharing this most personal part of yourself…your courage and connection here lifts me and even more your commitment to love.

    I consider you an amazing being and teacher and I celebrate and honor you and your son as you continue on your paths. No one knows where this is leading, and loving, thanking and forgiving yourself keeps you closer to the Inspiration you need to continue the journey. I do the same. I am single mom with 3 biological kids and one foster teen.

    You are not alone and you are not to blame.

    Be free and know that you are Love. Be the Love that you are. Thank you.


  25. Norman Wolfe says:


    I am glad you posted this link and I am thankful for Gregg to have made the introduction.

    The other comments reflect my experiences as well. It is a courageous person who can share their vulnerabilities to allow the rest of us to exprience and know our own. For it is there that we meet and know our humanness.

    I want to share a small story of a dear firend of mine from many years ago. She also had a son who was addicted and living on the streets. SHe had a younger daughter and did not allow her son in her home if he was on drugs.

    One day he came home and asked if he could stay, knowing the rules of being free from drugs and not bringing any of it into the home. He stayed for two weeks and then had to return to the streets.

    She took home to the corner where he hung and hugged him, saying I love you, you will always have a home whenver you are ready, and left him on the corner.

    I do not know if I would have that type of courage, that type of love that is so pure she was willing to let him live his life as he chose, as he needed for the moment.

    2 years latter he came home again, but this time he was ready to get clean, which he did. Re-eneterd school and eventually became a drug counselor, which he is doing to this day, some 20 years later.

    I hvae come to believe it is not up to us as parents to know the path our children will take, it is only up to us to love them along their journey in whatever way we can.

    And from what I read from you, you have certainly mastered the art of loving your son on his journey.

    I am glad to know you


  26. Charles Goodrich says:


    You put so much of yourself in your posts. It is difficult for me to write you because I know you much better than you will ever know me. I hope I never have to say I know first hand what you are going through. I have no advice. I just have a little story.

    Two weeks ago I attended a small oratorical contest given by the local Optimist club. They give small scholarships to students and opportunities to compete for more scholarship money. A 14 y.o. girl spoke how her optimism would not let her follow the path of her sister. Her sister has been in and out of jail and rehab. I know this 14 y.o. girl is an inspiration to her class mates. She is for me. Wendy, you present yourself as an optimist. You have inspired many.

    I hope your son acquires and uses the skills he needs to succeed.

  27. Don Pelles says:

    Wendi — you are a smart, tough, resourceful person and I have never liked, respected, and admired you more than since you started writing these.

    • wendi says:

      Wow, thank you. I am so touched by what you just said. I feel inspired to continue giving my journey to you and all those who share these feelings with me. Thank you, deeply. Wendi

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