Sunday, April 1, 2012


The folks who run the rehab facility where Tim is currently a resident warned us that visiting might be difficult. In fact, they suggested quite directly that we leave him in peace as much as possible. But today he was short of cash and clean laundry, so off we went. And we learned that the challenge of holding the boundary when your teen-age son expresses his heartfelt desire to come home is every bit as hard as we were warned it would be.

He wants his high school experience back. (Never mind that it contributed directly to his overdose on morphine painkillers a few short months ago.) He misses his bed. (An understandable objection from a kid who is used to having his own room.) He is bored. (The tutoring hasn't started yet, and he is distracted from reading by all the noise in the house.) He isn't learning from the program, which he feels is repetitive with the program at his last residential facility. (It's only been a week; the guys he's with are newbies, too, and whatever the practical lessons they will teach each other about how to stay sober in the drug-addled society beyond the walls of the house haven't really begun.)

Right now, Tim wants out, and he knows we could make that happen, so he is trying every argument he can think of. And, I think he believes them. In his place, I would probably feel as he does. As his parents, we want to see him happy. I fend him off, trying to use rational arguments--a great failing in my parenting repertoire, it turns out. But he does need to give this time. Intending to stay sober just isn't enough. He needs to have peers who will support him, despite himself. He has to learn how to identify and enlist friends who will help him achieve what he needs to achieve, however he feels in the moment.

And, right now, he needs his parents to do the same thing, no matter how crummy it feels to us.

1 comment:

  1. Justin .... Had no idea. So Sorry he's going through this, ... and all you are again as well.