My biggest fear, as with any mother, is something horrible happening to one of my children. The thought is unbearable. I had a dream last night that my son was walking along the edge of a building, lost his balance and fell. I saw him land far below on the concrete. I screamed. I woke up sobbing. It was horrible and I can’t shake the image. I wanted to go immediately into his room and just hold him close.
I know this dream probably came about because I am concerned about him. He is walking on the slippery edge of addiction….Almost taunting and tempting it. Playing around with alcohol, even though he knows he shouldn’t. He knows he has a risk of becoming an alcoholic, he has grown up with it. His father is an addict, it’s the reason we are no longer together…in fact, addiction is rampant in his father’s side of the family. I believe my oldest son has escaped this legacy, as he has seen what addiction does and is not at all interested in drinking…my youngest son, however, has gone the total opposite direction. He enjoys alcohol way too much. He tells me all the time that he doesn’t want to be like his dad, and I have told him that it’s always a choice to take that drink, that I can’t always be there to stop him or monitor him. He has to learn to do that for himself, or avoid it all together. He came home drunk last night…it was the first night he has gone out with friends in several weeks and the first time he has been drunk in even longer….I wanted to trust him, to believe that he would make the right choice….. I was disappointed, to say the least.
While living with his father the past year and a half, he had a really rough time. He and his dad had several small altercations, which eventually led to a major altercation involving the police and ultimately led to him coming back to live with me. That night, they were both drunk and things got very out of hand, this is when my son realized that he needed to get out of there and he called me at 2am, very upset. When I picked him up at the airport a few days later, he had a black eye and several bruises all over his body….inflicted by his father.
Since coming back home, he has been doing much better. He is focusing on his music again, he has been helping around the house and has, over all, been very pleasant. But, he still plays on that slippery ledge sometimes, when he is out with friends or when alcohol is around…it seems he just can’t help himself. I’m not talking about just having a couple of drinks…I recognize the difference between enjoying a drink, and having a potential problem. I lived with an addict for 23 years…and unless he puts a stop to it now, I see him heading down that same path. I don’t know how to help him. I guess I really can’t. It’s something that he is going to have to figure out for himself and decide if it’s really worth it. He does have goals…go to college, join the Navy, record music, travel, go into engineering, buy a car. Hopefully, by focusing on those things he will decide that addiction has no place in his life and that if he chooses that path he will have no future. He’s such an amazing kid, smart, talented, handsome, a huge heart! He’s never been in any major trouble, just dumb things typical of young men his age…. I can only hope that he will not choose a path of self destruction and life long misery, that he will learn from his father’s mistakes, as well as his own…and choose something better for himself.
In the meantime, all I can do is love him, support him, and try my best to keep him safe from himself, until he decides that he is worth more than that.