The Wind

April 18, 2009 by  
Filed under The Wind, Wendi's Words

(Scroll down to read part 1) Part 2 – An Addict’s mom

The Wind

Last year when my son was in jail, and I used to sit on the beach and stare at the waves and wonder how it happened. How did I do this? How did he do this? How did I fail him? “I listen to the wind of my soul…” The Wind Cat Stevens played in my headphones, and the words to THE WIND would take me to the depth of my soul’s longing to go back and make it different. I loved him. How could drugs take my son away from me and shred his life. “I swam upon the devil’s lake…” The words float through my head as I stare at the ocean and try to imagine how it must feel to be trapped in your own body with all the guilt, blame, anger tormenting you every minute. And then I try to imagine how he must think about having his life back. He hurts. And the drugs take away the hurt. The devil’s lake. Last year I thought it was over and that this would be the new beginning that we hoped for. After I picked him up, his commitment was solid. He knew he was not like them… the inmates who kept coming back to jail over and over, unable to ever make good of their life. He was different. He is different.
He is not like them, the degenerates, the poverty stricken, the homeless, uneducated criminals who have no regard for others. Please tell me he is not one of them. Last year I hated myself every time I had to stand in a line to get visitation privileges so I could talk through a glass window with a phone that has a 12 inch cord. Do you know why it has only a 12 inch cord? So you won’t strangle yourself! I knew that this image of my son, my baby, now at 6’4” starting at me through glass would be the image that would haunt me the rest of my life. I hate him for it. I hate myself for letting it happen. There must have been something I could have done. I hate myself for hating myself. That last sentence makes me cry. “I listen to my words, but they fall far below…” Things didn’t go well after Sean got out. More rehab, more sober living houses and watching him surrounded by a lot of addicts who all have a hair trigger. Chin up girl, you can do this! (but really that feel more like a ?) 
Yes, I will be the wind beneath his wings. After all, I am the great and powerful Wendi. I can help people to do anything, to make their life be like WOW. But wow, this is different in a million ways. And here just an arm’s length away, all the hugs and kisses and love can’t heal what is so badly broken. I hate this drug culture. I feel bad for using the word hate so much. I don’t think that we should hate anything, it is not healthy. I am scared to look in the deep, dark scary place in my soul where that hate lives. I am scared. Gotta shore up the dam a bit. A year later and I have to do this again. I have to go shove my ID into that little slot, take shit from a condescending, indifferent woman who will coldly tell me where to go. I am not one of them! But she, and everyone in the jail will treat me like on of them. I am falling apart in ways I don’t really find very attractive. I hope the dam doesn’t break. I have worked really hard to make it sturdy. Hold tight. Chin up, chest out.

My Son

April 17, 2009 by  
Filed under The Wind, Wendi's Words

An Addict’s Mom – Part 1

My Son

Tomorrow I will go to the Eldorado county jail to pick up my son for the 2nd time. I am nervous. When I gave birth to my son, I made a lot of great choices that would create a foundation for a baby to grow up healthy and strong and bright. Everything was in place- I read all the books on how to give him the best of everything… I made sure he had the best foods, the best childcare, involvement in school, great family connections, love and dedication… And after spending his 25th birthday in jail, I am on my way to pick him up. They will take away all my belongings and coldly tell me to walk down the hall and follow the blue line. img_0489 I will look at him through a tiny window at midnight. The guards will treat me with indifference. I will see his face across the room as we wait for them to process his papers. I will imagine what it will feel like for him to be hugged for the first time in months. I will cry, and be the most confused, sad, angry and scared that I have ever been in my life. After a lifetime of loving my child, this moment was never, ever in the plan.
Watch your head
It is not the first time. A year ago, I picked him up from Jail. My beautiful son- the tall, handsome, creative genius with an unbelievable ability to inspire others- is an addict. Just like most addicts, he started doing vicodin in school as a recreational way to get high. Vicodin is just the start and it changes the brain in such a way that you have to increase the dosage just to avoid withdrawals. As you work your way up to Oxycontin you become a horribly addicted opiate addict. The withdrawals are severe and intense. You increase your dosage to avoid the physcial pain and hate yourself more and more as you spend every hour of your day managing your addiction. And after getting high with vicodin because it feels good, your life is deeply and profoundly changed forever. In the last 4 years my life has been a constant struggle to try to figure out how to make him stop. I have sacrificed so much, we all have. As he battles with an addicted brain, and the pain and guilt of having hurt so many people, he reaches for anything that will numb his pain. Opiates robbed his brain of the  ability to feel good or just plain happy on it’s own. His brain depends on opiates to feel what we consider to be a natural state of happiness. He hurts. He openly tells me how horrible it is to steal to get money for oxy. He hates it and lives with his guilt every day. In jail the first time he, and all those drug addicts that surround him, sit and deal with the sentence that is greater than any judge could impose. The fear of how you will deal with reality without drugs. The guilt of knowing that you have hurt those that love you so deeply… and that it will probably happen again. Sean battles with his fragile state of going back to life without having any new tools, thoughts or direction to release his demons. Jail doesn’t provide much in the way of personal growth. When the phone rings and I see that same number on the caller ID I am excited to talk to him. I listen to the recording telling me that this is a call from an inmate at the Eldorado County correctional facility. I have that recorded voice stuck in my head. I love to hear his voice. He sounds so hopeful and so ready to make his life into something remarkable. How did this happen? I loved him, cared for him, read to him, hugged him, woke him up each morning with loving words, held his dreams in my heart, and tried and tried to do my best. He has been in jail for 3 months this time. Jail. Correctional facility. Correction, yea right. What is it correcting? My fear is that despite his overwhelming desire to never, ever go back to drug use,  it could happen. Families of addicts know that you hold on hard to your dream of having a happy, healthy child who has learned from the depths of hell, that it is time to live without drugs. And these families also know that your holding on for dear life. Literally. I am holding on-  to a thread of hope. Addiction makes you something you never thought you would be. And involves everyone and everything in your life. Tomorrow I will go pick up my son. I will hope, pray, and scream from the depths of my soul that this is the last time he and I share this special moment together. I am certain this will be the last time I see him in jail. I am certain this is the last time he will do drugs. And yea, I am scared.

Bear