Tuesday, May 22, 2012


My son loves to claim that he has no freedom.  He says we treat him like he is two years old and that we don’t trust him to do anything.  He tells this to anyone who asks him what he likes to do for fun.  He wants others to believe that we keep him prisoner and don’t let him out of our sight.  Any chance that he has to make us look bad, he will take it.

What he says is not true, but he will never believe that.

As an oppositional defiant child, he thinks freedom is attained through defiance which "should" enable him to have all power and control over his life.  One of his control tactics is to wear us down until we are so tired of fighting with him that we slack off on the rules and expectations just to avoid a blow-up.    

But, we have been trying to stay strong with the rules and expectations, while encouraging him to find friends and new hobbies or activities.

We want to trust him.  We know that he needs to get out of his comfort zone and have experiences outside of our house—out in the real world that will help him know how to handle life as a recovering addict.  But, he rarely wants to go anywhere or do anything. 

Sometimes, I seriously wish he WOULD want to go somewhere!  Other than the time that he spends at school, he is at home with me almost ALL THE TIME! 

I admit that when he does go somewhere, my heart seems to drop into my stomach as I worry about him the whole time that he is gone.  Most of me is 99% sure that he is going to be just fine.  But there is that 1% that thinks, given certain circumstances, a screw-up could happen.  I don’t tell him that, though. I always act happy that he is going to go do something and I just ask him to check in with me, occasionally. 

Sometimes he gives me a hard time about my wanting him to check in with me.  Or, he scares me to death when he doesn’t check in and doesn’t come back when I think he is going to.  He hardly ever takes his cell phone with him so that I can call him and has even accused me of GPS tracking him with it.  (I don’t do that!)

Maybe my panic is more apparent, than I think it is, causing him to feel like I don’t trust him.  When I let my fears ramp up, it usually has more to do with terror than trust!  Any parent would worry about their child when they didn’t check in or come home when they were supposed to.  I just imagine that I have more to worry about than most parents do.

Anytime that I express any concern he twists it into the trust issue.  I can’t even be a normal concerned parent. 

One night, I was trying to sleep after we had a huge blow-up about us not trusting him.  My mind was racing and for some reason, I came up with another “poem”.  I generally am not a poet and have only just recently become a writer of sorts as I write about this whole teenage-son-drug-addict experience. 

But here is the second poem that I have written for my son.  This one could teach him how to have freedom, if he would be willing to take responsibility for it.

F—inding the strength and
R—ealizing that you can
E—njoy the things of life
E—very 24 hours
D—oing the best you can by
O—wning your feelings and
M—aking your own happiness.

He does not appear to be as impressed by my poems as I am, but I hope that even if he doesn’t get anything out of them, someone will--sometime, somewhere. 

I hope that someday, he will stop blaming us for his unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the way his life is going. 

He has to be the one who makes his own happiness and finds joy his life. 

But, don’t we all? 

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