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The Day My Son Survived

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October 25, 2011, this is the day my son lived. I'm not much of a writer but this is my story, my life, my cross I carry. 

Rewind two years, 2010.  I have three sons, at the time twenty-three, twenty-one, and fourteen. My husband and I had anticipated a much needed second honeymoon (to celebrate twenty-five years of marriage) ALONE.  Our oldest son had recently moved out, our middle son employed and dating a girl, our youngest son about to start his last year of middle school, playing in a garage band and happy. I thought life was pretty good. I was so surprised by the events to unfold and it knocked the wind out of my sails.

Our middle son has had issues, but I had no idea how deep the scars actually went. He was a straight A student from the time he started school until the day he graduated high school. The problem lied in his social acceptance, by his peers. He struggled to make friends, and his older brother (which I never knew this) teased him and made fun of him, in front of cousins, friends and everyone. Because of this constant belittling my middle son had no friends, except kids who did horrible things. He felt accepted by these kids and was influenced by them. Needless to say, he was doing things I never dreamed, getting into trouble with the law and drugs. He had my husband and I fooled. He hid things well, and it wasn’t our lack of trying to find if he was doing these things. We searched his room, car, book bag whatever we could to find any evidence of drugs. Nothing. He maintained his "Honor Roll" status through everything. That is until he went away to college where he failed miserably, then we knew something was wrong.  Then 2011, he started a community college (was doing fairly good), still dating the same girl but then around March things took a turn for the absolute worse.  Our son’s girlfriend’s mother had passed away, and instead of seeking his love and support, she shut him completely out.  She didn’t want him around her or her family.  My son didn’t turn to his family, he turned to people he thought where his friends, and all they did was offer drugs or find drugs for him.  He turned from us to, what I consider the most evil drug, heroin.  His behavior was off the chart.  He lost the will to take care of himself, his appearance went down the drain, his self-esteem, everything.  He didn’t care about his family.  He lost his job and didn’t listen to anyone or anything, he was an "addict.” He didn’t care that his younger brother, who was only fifteen and highly influenced, saw him.  My husband and I talked about making him leave our home, but the only place he had to go was the streets.  I knew doing this would kill him that much quicker.  My husband and I knew if we turned our backs on this child, he would never seek the help he so desperately needed.  So we did a lot of praying and soul searching and put him in an outpatient program (we sought inpatient but due to our insurance had to start with the out-patient).  While the outpatient was intense, he just didn’t hit rock bottom.  He failed.  October 25, 2011, the day our son lived and I won’t forget.

October 25, 2011, here is how that day unfolded.  Pretty much a normal day, my youngest son, now a freshman in high school, had parent/teacher conference after school.  So after I was done at work, and my husband was done at work, we were going to meet at the school, meet the teachers, get grades, and then treat both our sons to dinner. This however, did not happen.  I went straight to school and found my son, but my husband wasn’t there.  I didn’t think much of it, I thought he got tied up at work with a meeting or something.  I went ahead and started the conferences myself and tried numerous times to call my husband. My husband didn’t respond to text, except when I was with a teacher, which I couldn’t accept.  I feared that maybe his elderly mother or father had gotten injured by this time. Not the case whatsoever.  For whatever reason my husband went home that day, instead of directly to the school.  Call it Gods intervention (which I do wholeheartedly) or what you will.  My husband found our son, in the bathroom, blue and not responsive.  My husband has been a coach for hockey, basketball, and baseball and had to learn CPR.  Thank God (again) his life-saving instinct kicked in.  My husband performed CPR and saved our son.  My husband finally called and confirmed that our son was in the ER, but he was alive. I thank God, but we knew this was a desperate cry for help.  The next day my husband and I searched the Internet for a facility that could help our son.  We both knew he could not stay in the area (too many demons).  I found a facility that had the most caring people.  Not only did I move my son out of the area, I moved him twelve hours away through four states.  I knew this was his only fighting chance, get him away from his environment where he couldn’t leave and come home.

November 2011.  We drove to Louisiana and dropped off our son, boy was that a struggle.  Our son fought us every mile we drove.  He told us he could do his recovery at home.  NO!  We checked him in the facility, not knowing if our medical insurance would cover his care or not.  I guess at this point, did it matter? Not really he needed help, help I could not give him, except support.  I was desperate and so was he.  The insurance did cover some fourteen days but then the rest has not been covered.  He was in an intense thirty-day inpatient treatment plan, so there were no phone calls for the first seven days and thereafter just one per week.  Monitored of course. We finally got to see him, for an intense family week, were we confronted him and he told us everything.  From the moment he walked into the family room, I saw a changed person.  He looked happy.  He was taking care of himself, shaving, wearing nice clothing (not the dirty, holey messes he was wearing before) which we had to bring more as he didn’t pack correctly.  He had his self-esteem back, partially.  He looked great and happy.  To date he has had ups and downs, but in all he is getting through this with the lords help and some great counselors.

Something as intense as this could tear a family apart.  I thank God everyday for a strong marriage and a strong husband and family.  When I am down, I turn to my husband and he can bring me up and vice versa.  Our youngest son, while only fifteen, is so mature and he talks openly about the drugs and how this experience could have resulted in the death of our middle son.  Our youngest doesn’t like drugs and isn’t afraid to speak his mind about them.  While he does this I know he has had to go through a lot at his young age.  The good news is that our youngest son and myself have recently started seeking treatment to help deal with these events.  I am thankful that at fifteen he doesn’t put up any resistance to this and just goes with me.  He is such a great kid.  My oldest is dealing with all the past hurts, as well.  He is going to college and is in a committed relationship with a wonderful woman, who I love dearly. 

I deal with a lot of emotions day in and day out, but with prayer and my family I know I will pull through this time in my life.  If my story can help anyone, it’s worth every word.

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