And he was. And is. He and his brother who joined us 3 years later. For the last 14 years it's been pretty much the three of us against the world. Unfortunately, I didn't know that while we (I) were keeping the dangerous world at bay, the snakes were already in the cradles and my protective stance was merely keeping them there:
- Maternal depression during and after pregnancy
- Multiple childhood trauma
- Untreated/incompletely treated chronic pain
- Broken, divisive, acrimonious relationships between parents
- Repeated brain injury
- Abandoning our spiritual beliefs and community when we needed them most
- A history of mental health issues on both sides of the family
My Son smoked marijuana for the first time when he was 11. By 13 he was smoking it regularly, and by 17 had tried 'everything except needles and pills.' Now at 22, even that small exception has been removed, though he insists there are still lines he hasn't crossed. He is loving, creative, helpful, gorgeous, masculine, fit, funny. And he is banned from his grandparents house, not to be trusted around cash, intermittently estranged from his father, couch-surfing, under-employed.
Son2, the other light of my life, also uses drugs and struggles. But Son2's drug use hasn't led to fractured family relationships, to years of feeling bullied and manipulated and powerless. Son2 is an important part of my life, but this is not his story. Perhaps there's another blog waiting for me to tell that story. Perhaps, given our more open communication & his amazing skill with words, I'll tell it with him.
This is, mainly, my story. The story of My Son's Mother. A story of love and loss and, I hope, a story that will help other mothers and sons and daughters find their way from addiction back to connection.