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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Living in Fear

I had a moment this morning in which I though, "It is as if I am just waiting for my son to die". Terrible, isn't it? It is not a thing I want, it is not as if I am waiting for it eagerly. Obviously not. I am leaving in fear and that fear always makes me fear that, "maybe now is the time I will have my nightmares become reality". The fear paralysis me. If I am not doing something to spend time with my son, or feel like I am doing something to help him, I am petrified and immobilized!

                    

Yesterday I took my son to the bank and to Taco Bell. He was obviously high. I asked him on what, on heroin. It apparently is not a nice high he likes and he was slurred and sedated but still anxious and feeling "bad". I know that people can sense that there is something not quite right when they look at my son or he speaks to them. I am ashamed yet not ashamed at the same time. I enjoy his company, yet I am frustrated because it is not the company I most enjoy. I enjoy being with him, knowing he is safe and alive; however, I secretly wish that I was spending time in his "real" unaltered" company.

Last night I had numerous emails from my son. The police still has his phone so we can only communicate via email. The last email was at 4:45 a.m. confirming our plans for today. I was picking him up at 10:00 am, we were going out to breakfast and the going to One Support to discuss housing. http://www.onehousinggroup.co.uk/sites/default/files/Essex%20Floating%20Support%20service.pdf

I emailed him this morning saying that I will leave at 10:00 am but if he could please e-mail me when he woke, so I know he is awake and ready! So I waited til 10:20 am and then left home. When I arrived I buzzed from outside the building because it is a secured building and you need to buzz the tenants or office to open the door. I buzzed repeatedly about 30 times. I know what the buzzer sounds like since I have heard it before. It is loud and prolonged. I was getting increasingly anxious that he was not responding to these loud and persistent noises! I buzzed the office. They went to check on him. Well the staff member was upstairs for about 10 minutes. I was getting more and more scared. Imagining the staff giving him mouth to mouth and trying to resuscitate a limp and lifeless body. The body of my son. Why was he taking so long? Is he calling the police and paramedics? What was going on? I was feeling weak in the legs and the tears were welling up. The man came back down and he said that there is no one there! I said that is impossible. Did he go inside the flat? No he only knocked! I explained that my son was expecting me and he emailed me in the early hours of the morning and he would not have gone out and that he needs to go inside and check on him. He said he will go to the office and check the fob key records and see if he has left the building! I was left outside in the cold, as the cold inside me grew. I was crying by this point, the tears flowed freely, I felt my neck getting wet from their flow. Finally the man returned and said that he will go upstairs and go inside the flat! I continued to wait outside, fearing and imaging the worse. Finally, after what he seemed like an eternity he returned, smiling that he is ok, he is out cold, snoring in his bed, but out cold! I was relieved. He saw how shook up I was and I told him that I often fear that one day I wont have him in my life anymore. He offered me a cup of coffee and I sat in the office and chatted and when I was no longer shaky I left. He assured me that he would go up and see my son later and also tell him I was here.

                                      Image result for dark cemetery

As soon as I arrived home at 11:30 I emailed my son and explained what happened, in short omitting all my fears. I asked him to email me when he wakes up. It is now 2:30 pm and still no email. I have been sitting on my sofa with my laptop, looking at my emails vigilantly. I have had the TV on to create a feeling of life around me. I have mountains of chores to do but my fears continues to paralyze me. I should not allow this to happen because I still have my two daughters at home to care for...yet it seems impossible while my son is on the brink of oblivion.

                                            

Friday, 2 October 2015

Squatter

I am not sure what I should feel at the irony that I am trying to protect my son from not becoming homeless, when I had him leave the family home nearly two years ago and therefore made him homeless. At the moment he is squatting in his flat and waiting for the date when bailiffs will put him out. He was given a date to move out, Sept 13th, but has refused to leave, under advice from the council.

When my son was homeless nearly two years ago it was because he refused to try to help himself when I gave him a month to leave our home. I was at the end of my tether and had no choice but to put my two under age children's emotional health and safety above my son's who was 18 and in the eyes of the law, an adult.

                                      

I do not think that either my son nor I could accept homelessness for a second time, though I accept that many people in my son's predicament have been homeless many times in their lives. I think my son and I also appreciate that over the last two years his drug and alcohol use has not improved, and in fact deteriorated at times. He has also had more than one psychotic episode and had numerous visits and admissions to the hospital, two of which were into the mental health unit. Something that did not happen whilst at home. He is in a different place now and he has experienced many unpleasant and scary things such as homelessness, so the reality of what it is really like is not so simplistic or romantic anymore.

It has been my mission since I returned from my summer holiday abroad with my daughters to make my son a priority now while he faces the stressful eviction process. Unfortunately my son has no hope and lives in atrocious conditions, which makes me remember scenes from the film "Trainspotting". There is mold on food and drinks due to dishes with food and cups with tea being left half eaten and half drunk for days on end because my son is too intoxicated from a variety of substances to remember they were there. His oven is burned to a crisp due to cooking ready meals and then passing out until the food turns into charcoal. There is food, banana skins, rotten food, cigarette butts, rubbish etc all around the floor and flat. His flat is so neglected and so is his health and it is a sign of his drug use but also his feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.




                                                                  A mug of tea.


                                   
                                    Above and below is the chicken breast I brought him once.


               
                                                                     The kitchen.



I clean up as much as I can to ensure that he will not become ill. I arrive sometimes to find raw rice spilled all over the floor but what is even worse, he was once eating raw wet rice, perhaps thinking he had cooked it but he did not. When I brought this to his attention, he just said it was fine The following day he was ill vomiting and diarrhea, I told him I think it is from the rice, he did not think there was anything wrong with what he ate.





On some days my son can hardly speak or keeps his eyes open.  On another occasion he was eating porridge oats (oatmeal) that he had just wetted and had turned into something that resembled wet cement since they were not of the instant variety and needed to be cooked. On other days he is reasonably focus and we get some work done, but all in all he is hiding from the inevitable.

We had plans on Sunday afternoon to go to a blues and jazz open mic session at a local ale house and my son was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately when I got there he was too out of it and I refused to go. First of all I said that I would not take him anywhere in such a state. Secondly I told him that he would more than likely be refused service at a pub. Thirdly it would not be fully enjoyed by either of use. That day I cried and swore, pleading that he stop this life and find a reason within himself to change because he has the potential of a nice life.

Two days later when I went over, he told me he didn't take as much substances "for me" because he wants to go out. I was happy to take him out and treat him to taco Tuesday and run some errands because staying indoors all day and always having me come over to pack and clean is not the best life. I understand that my son can not live without any substances because everything in life and the world seems to bring him some level of anxiety. So even though there were still jobs to get done (though he had managed to keep his kitchen clean after I got rid of the filth), a bit of normalcy like going out to lunch and sitting in the sunshine sounded like an excellent idea. Yes, my son took some benzos before I arrived, he was slightly sedated but not to an "abnormal" level, if that makes sense. I could tell, but I am sure that most people would not know. I can not deny my son a relationship with me in which we do not do "normal" things because he is an addict; I love him and want him in my life. I enjoy his company when he is not inebriated or aggressive. I can be here for him in good times and bad and hopefully keep reassuring him that things will get better when he is ready to make some needed changes. I can show him that I will never give up, providing him with the security and peace and mind that he will not go through difficult times alone. Maybe eventually he can make the decision himself to create a different life in which he is no longer dependent on substances to exist. I said to my son that he is not living his life, he is not even existing, he is some some limbo land between the two. He said that was a very true statement. I will live every day in fear that he will no longer exist, but also live each day in hope that he will begin living and get out of his agonizing limbo.

                                       

                                                   Taco Tuesday lunch with my son.