Putting my son in Rehab was undoubtedly the hardest day of my life up to that point. I have nearly died in childbirth and my father-in-law was killed in a terrible automobile accident, but I can honestly say that leaving my son at that rehab facility was the most heart-wrenching thing I have ever had to deal with.
Neither my husband, nor I could believe what was happening and where we were at with our son. My husband was a champion, though, and immediately began making phone calls to find out what our options were.
Our son may have thought that there was nothing that we could do about it, but we were not willing to leave it at that.
My husband spoke with our family therapist for recommendations on where we could get more help, with our bishop, and with several different rehab facilities. The therapist thought that based on the depression getting worse and our son’s statement that he was going to continue using marijuana no matter what we said or did, that he needed to get inpatient help.
What a hard decision!
We finally found a facility that our family therapist recommended, that our bishop recommended, and that seemed to be equipped to provide help with drug addiction, depression, and even medical issues. They had an opening coming up the next week.
Then, we had to get ready for his admission date. I had to secretly buy all new personal care items, make sure he had enough clothes, and pack his bag without his knowledge. Getting your child ready to enter rehab isn’t an inexpensive project and the entire time I was packing his bag, I was in tears.
We told him that on Wednesday, we were taking him to have his depression evaluation. He knew that his family therapist had scheduled one for him—and during our 3 hour admission interview with a therapist, medical doctor, and psychiatrist, he would be evaluated for depression -- so we were telling the truth on that part.
As we drove in separate vehicles to the facility, I just had to try to not think about what we were doing and where we were going so that I wouldn’t be in tears before we even got there. Our son just sat in my husband’s truck on the drive there with his head down, eyes closed, listening to his I-Pod, so he didn’t even know where he was.
We had to ring a doorbell to be admitted into the facility. There were 2 signs on the door that said, “High AWOL Risk Alert! Please keep all doors locked at all times.” I had this feeling of dread when I saw those signs and wondered what my son would think about them when he saw them. But, he walked in with his head down, which was his usual depressed manner, and did not even look at the signs on the door or see the sign on the building that said “Residential Treatment Building”.
At one point during the question and answer period, they sent us out of the room and just talked to him. I thought they were asking him questions about his marijuana use and wondered what he was admitting to. After the question and answer period with the therapist and doctors, they told us right in front of our son that they were recommending residential inpatient treatment to help him with his chemical dependence and depression.
He didn’t understand what they meant. I started crying and asked them to explain to him what that meant. When, he finally got it, he became angry, but sad at the same time. He had tears streaming down his face as he jumped up out of the chair swearing and saying how he felt about it. He asked us why we were doing this and when we told him that we were doing it because we care so much about him, he told us that he didn’t want us to care. I thought my heart was going to break. My husband was trying to be strong, but it was very hard for him, too.
When it was time for us to leave, we gave him hugs and told him that we loved him, but he wouldn’t respond. He had totally shut us out.
Walking out of that room and then out of the building was so painful. It felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest as I left one of the most important people in my life behind, knowing that he hated my guts for it.
In the parking lot, I just cried and cried on my husband’s shoulder. He was crying, but still trying to be strong for me. The sad thing was that he had appointments for work scheduled and I was going to be alone for the rest of the day.
I couldn’t handle it. I called one of my best friends. She asked, “How are you?”
I sobbed, “Bad.” And she told me to come right to her house. I cried and cried the entire time that I was driving there. I spent the rest of the day with her because I couldn’t bear the thought of going home to my house where my son would not be coming home from school, or would not even be home at all that night or for weeks to come.