He was in rehab over the holidays.
Four days after he was admitted, it was my birthday. Enough said.
He was still in the orientation phase when Thanksgiving came. He was one of two kids that weren’t allowed a pass to go home for a few hours on the holiday.
I just did not want it to be Thanksgiving. We were going to my sister’s house for dinner. My sister and her husband were the only ones that we had told about our son. We hadn’t even told my parents. They tend to be judgmental and I just wasn’t ready to deal with their thoughts about it when I was still trying to deal with my own. I didn’t even know exactly what I was going to say when someone asked where my son was.
We went to visit him at the facility a few hours before the scheduled Thanksgiving dinner. We took him some Cheetos and a piece of pumpkin pie. Two things that he loves to eat. We played a couple of games with him and he really seemed to have moved past his mad at us phase. I think it was because my daughter and her husband were with us, but it was still nice to have a pleasant time with him for a few hours.
When we hugged him goodbye, we told him we loved him and he said he loved us, too. Wow, Thanksgiving was becoming my new favorite holiday! I think he was very sad that he was in there alone on Thanksgiving and that brought out the love in him.
I cried on the way to my sister’s house. This wasn’t how the holidays were supposed to be.
We had a good meal and no one really pried into the reason my son wasn’t there. We just said, “He really has never been into Thanksgiving, you guys know that.”
They all accepted that answer because of the fact that he has never eaten Thanksgiving dinner. He has always been a very selective eater. We have even brought him his own food like pizza or chicken tenders to Thanksgiving dinner in the past, just so that he would have something to eat.
Some of my sister’s family asked her why I looked so sad and she told them that I was just having a hard time with something right then.
I was glad when it was time to go to my oldest son’s house to see him and his family for Thanksgiving. We played some games with them and had a good time with our grandson.
About one month later, it was time for Christmas. He had progressed enough to be allowed a pass for a few hours on Christmas Eve and for the whole day on Christmas.
I went to family group therapy by myself the week before Christmas Eve because my husband had to work. When I walked my son back to his building after therapy, I told him that I was excited that we were going to get so much time together on Christmas Eve and Christmas. I asked him if there was anything special that he wanted to do. I should have known better than to ask that.
His answer was, “Listen to my I-Pod and play the X-box.”
I said, “Well, we are going to be doing a lot of family things, so I don’t know how much X-box time you will get, but you might be able to play it for a couple of hours or so.”
Then I heard about how that was stupid because he had a lot of X-box time to make up for since he has been in rehab for 6 weeks. He didn’t want to go visit relatives or grandparents and have to have everyone ask him how he was doing. I told him just to tell them that he was doing fine and then he said, “So, you want me to lie to them? I am not fine. I have been going through hell in here!”
He wanted to know “who knows” where he is and I told him that no one in my family knew, except my sister. He said that when he saw my parents on Christmas, he was just going to tell them himself. That would have been great. I knew that I was going to have to tell my parents so that he wouldn’t shock them on Christmas Day.
I asked him if he really wanted to come home for Christmas and I told him that I hoped we could make it the best Christmas that we could. “Christmas is going to suck this year no matter what. There is no way it can be a good Christmas since you stuck me in rehab.”
When I tried to talk to him about all of the things that he had just said, he told me not to “go all therapist on him” and that just because I put him in rehab, it wasn’t going to change anything, especially his desire to smoke marijuana.
I stopped trying to talk to him and just left.
I was so excited.
Now I couldn’t wait for Christmas to come.