Flashbacks.....

The pictures go through my mind and smack me with reality. For 14 years, Cliff has taken me on the ride of my life. I've gone along unwillingly, unknowingly, kicking and screaming for a good portion of the ride. I must have had my hand stamped that allowed me to ride this ride as many times as I wanted. Just when my stomach would gather itself back together and my head would quit spinning, the regurgitation would start all over again.

Cliff became more bold or more addicted; enough to begin to leave trails and residue behind that took my breath away each time I found something questionable. I questioned myself repeatedly about what I was seeing if it was something other than needles. After all, I was a "Pollyanna" and in my naivete lifestyle I just wasn't sure at times what it was or how it might be used. I didn't have anyone to ask because I didn't know anyone who'd been a user, lived with a user or loved a user.

The years go by....he drifts in and out of my life and my thoughts. He's lived with me and he's lived in rescue missions. I teasingly told him, during one of his better clean times, that he could write a book about the shelters in the Detroit area. We laughed as we discussed how he could give the "highs and lows" of each residence, scoring them according to the best mattresses and food. We called it "A Visitor's Guide to Detroit's Shelter's and Missions." Funny, but in a sick sort of way. You look for reasons to share laughter and have moments of closeness no matter how sick it may seem. We don't have memories to discuss of wonderful years in high school and his winning touchdown. We have only a few moments of trips taken that were untainted by our ghostly family member, the needle.

Years later, the visions of him lying in a heap by the house....totally out of it. A junkie at my door in a suburban neighborhood. Worrying about the appearance to the world and scared to death about the life of my son. Another year near my birthday, seeing him lying in a hospital bed following an overdose. Feeling so surreal, listening to the beeps of the monitors while Cliff is hooked up to needles of another sort to sustain his life. Still scared to death about the life of my son. Years of walking around with my heart in my throat...waiting, waiting and expecting the phone call to say that Cliff was gone.

No matter how old he is, no matter how many people tell me "he's an adult now", the ties that bind are thicker than any other relationship I've ever had. He is my flesh and blood. I'll never give up thinking he'll make it. I'll never stop praying for a spiritual intervention that takes hold forever. I'll never forget the images that are planted in my memory that won't let go of nearly every phone number I've ever had.


The mind...it's a terrible thing to waste.

7 comments:

BHM said...

Oh, Laura. Aren't we good at hiding it? This is so sad, and so familiar. My husband & I came home from dinner one fine summer day last year and Andrew was dope sick and laying on our front lawn.Our neighbors are so nosy... who cares.This is about you and your son. Instead of pointing a finger they should be thanking God they are not in this hell.
Check out my links..you will be uplifted by the people who have turned their lives around. Heather was a meth addict,Pam a crack addict who lost her child.Pat is very wise & you can ask her anything. Many stories...

Of course our babies are going to make it Laura.God has a purpose for them.

cedrorum said...

I came over from bhm's site. You write powerfully and honestly. You will help many people with that. And you are right to not give up on your son.

mother of drug addict said...

I think that you have the right attitude, Never Give Up on them, but you may have to distance yourself from them at times just to keep your sanity.

Keep writing, trust me it helps!

Syd said...

Your love may be the thing that your son can ultimately count on--it will always be there. That's a powerful thing.

pat said...

I could have written this post. I have felt the same way and have seen the same thing. Before his last rehab, I found Josh sitting upright in the family room with his head hanging to the side and barely breathing. I thought he was dead. I yelled and shoved him until he opened his eyes. I often wonder if I did not find him would he have died that day? I use to have terrible vivid dreams about his death especially when he was out on the streets. I worried that he would die out there alone and end up in the city morgue within ID and I would never even know he passed away. It does not matter how old your child is, your child is your child and it is especially difficult when your child is a heroin user.For years no one knew my son was an addict because I hid it so well. I was afraid he and my family would be judged. That fake sort of living took a lot of energy and it made us all sick. Today, I no longer hide. My son is a good person with a horrible disease. Let the world judge me. I really do not give a damn. The situation is what it is.

Heather said...

Laura,
If you want to see the miracles that God can bring about, go read the section of my blog called "The Dark Days." I'm clean from meth since September 14, 1999. Never lose heart. My family and loved ones prayed for me for 27 years before God honored their request.

Much love to you,
Heather

Shadow said...

there's that thing called hope... that makes us believe that next time things will be better... and hopefully, one day they will be.