not a death, but still grieving

jiggreenAugust 8, 2007

Today was the hardest day of my life, I had to put my 18 year old son into a residential drug rehabilitation program. The choice was so difficult to make, but I knew if I didn't do it, I would be posting here as the grieving mother of a son who either od'd, got shot, or was in a horrible traffic accident. I'm having a really hard time dealing with this "other" type of grief. I should have been out tonight purchasing clothes for my son to take away to school with him. Instead, I had to go shopping for rehab-appropriate attire (they make them wear button down shirts and ties). This was to be the month that I proudly sent my son out into the world to spread his wings. I am disappointed, broken hearted, angry and completely devastated. I don't know what to do or where to turn. I know I did the right thing in not enabling him anymore, but I still feel guilty. I can't stop from going into his room and laying on the bed crying. He's my golden child, my gifted, advanced placement kid with the super high SAT score. I don't know what I did wrong, or how I could have changed things. I don't know if I did the right thing by forcing him into rehab. The littlest thing sets me off crying...but part of me feels like it's not really acceptable to be grieving. That I need to just suck it up and get over it. I don't know how though.

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Jig, I just sent you an email. Please let me know if you don't get it. GardenWeb's email system isn't the best lately.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 9:11PM
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No, I haven't received an email yet, but maybe it just takes a bit of time?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:41PM
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It shouldn't. I'm in PA, too, and have had some experience with rehabs in the state, so I wanted to ask you about that.

Your feelings of grief are certainly understandable. There is much to mourn. But had you not acted as you did, you would risk so much more. It's a profound risk, one no mother should take.

Please do not add guilt to your pain. It's entirely misplaced. You did nothing wrong. You took a very hard step, but it was the right one.


    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 1:03AM
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Think of the future, when he is well, how good that will be to have your lovely son back again. Focus on that.

Trust your judgement.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 3:27AM
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Honey, tough love is very hard - but is the best thing you can do for your troubled child. Just PLEASE make sure he stays there long enough to get help.

Three months is NOT long enough for the body to overcome its need for the chemical it is addicted to. He will need to be there for AT LEAST 6 months and possibly a year, or he will have a RELAPSE.

He will want to be released sooner than he should be, and the program will want to release him, but DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult phase in his life.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 7:50PM
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You have done the right thing. Your son will go through all sorts of feelings, and you will catch the brunt of it. But in the long run, it will be so worth it. I had to go through this a few years ago with a loved one, and when I got home after he was admitted, I didn't recognize the wailing that was coming from me - like a wounded animal. Brighter days are ahead. Good luck and love to you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 10:37PM
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I wish my state allowed for me to place my child in rehab, but our laws state that at 17 years old, the person is an adult and unless they agree to go to rehab, there is nothing a parent can do. I so wish I was able to be brave as you are when my daughter needed more help at 17. She is now 20 and still in complete denial with legal, moral and financial woes from her addictive personality. If I had been able to place her in a facility, as you have done for your son, I know I would have all the same feelings you are experiencing....but I also would have hope for the future. Something I have less and less of, because my daughter refuses any help. So, hang in there and know you are a good parent, jiggreen. Being a good parent is the hardest thing we will ever do.......

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 3:54PM
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Oh my goodness, what a horribly difficult thing to do!

I agree with what everyone has said here. It took a lot of courage to do what you did, and you can be proud of yourself for doing the right thing in a agonizingly difficult situation.

Your disappointment is very understandable, and you are hurting terribly. I am so very sorry for your trouble. I hope your son gets all the help he needs and is able to start a new life.

Take care.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 11:36PM
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