The Long Journey

I haven’t written in a while for various reasons.  Work got really busy even though I am not traveling.  One or both of the boys have been under foot for one reason or another.  In the case of 21 it is simply scheduled breaks in the semester.  Call me old and senile but I don’t remember having this many breaks when I was in college.  Oh, well.  Having Easter weekend off gave him an opportunity to introduce us to his first ever girl friend.  Okay, we know her from the college band plus she has been riding with him to and from school for 2.5 years now.  Everybody has told them the same thing:  It is about time.  21 must have been biding his time as she, in the summation of MrsL, “kissed all of the toads before finding her Prince.”

It is 26 that has really had us worried and afraid these last few days.

I’ve noted on here my concern for him moving out of sober living so quickly to move in with a younger guy fresh out of rehab as well.  I’ve also chronicled our distrust of his former girlfriend (now a friend with benefits) as she continues to try and drag him back in to a relationship he doesn’t want.  Both situations created a maelstrom last week that nearly tipped him over the brink.

We’ve sensed and he has admitted some drug use again…pot and Xanax mostly…but some opiate use (thankfully no needles which is why he hasn’t been putting money in the bank from his job).  When he was out here last week I found suboxone and Xanax in his backpack and confronted him because MrsL and I are both committed to our own continued well being.  The final nudge to confront him came when he didn’t notice the windows above him were open and I heard him talking about his roommate trying to get set up to deal drugs out of the apartment.

He absolutely broke down and went in to that old refrain of “I wanted to tell you but was afraid” which in the past would have caused a huge fight.  This time I sat and listened which actually gave him some calm.

I didn’t go in to the “I told you so” routine with the roommate issue.  He knows he underestimated both of them living together.

Over the few months out of sober living, this young man has slowly inched back toward his drug use finally diving head long into the abyss the past three weeks or so.  He nearly go himself in a really bad situation with a dealer who “fronted” him some stuff that he split with another kid who disappeared leaving him owing $1500 to the dealer.  26 is not sure what he told him Mom but she gave him the money (the kid is a member of a prominent family in the area known for founding a chicken fast food franchise).  He then went to a different dealer and got more stuff (the stuff that was the scourge of 26’s addiction) fronted to him and has it all in the apartment.  That is why he went and got suboxone to fight the urge to use.

I didn’t go in to lecture mode like I have in the past about his future and doing the right thing and the thousand other one liners that only made things worse.

The former girlfriend is now just showing up at his apartment or work unannounced with her kids in tow because she has no money.  He feels bad for her kids.  He cries when he talks about them and how “innocent they are and don’t deserve the life they have.”  She knows how to manipulate him with those kids.

He knows he needs to get away from both of them but didn’t know how.  He told me that afternoon that he was more ready than ever to put all of this behind him and didn’t want to go back down that path again.  I could truly see the desire to move own in his eyes and hear it in his voice.

I listened and when he asked what he should do to handle the situation I asked him what he thought he should do…wanting to hear what if anything he was willing to do.   He had already been quietly talking to his roommates Mom about taking over the lease.  He had already been looking for other apartments but knew he really couldn’t afford them on his own.  He asked if he could move home.

MrsL and I have always said our boys were welcome home anytime.  However, somehow this time felt different.  I asked him if he thought that was the best thing because we live in the suburbs, jobs would require more walking than he does now, and there would be rules.  Specifically, his job would be to find a full time job and he would not be sleeping in till noon and staying up until 3.  He had to go back to work the next morning so we took him back to his apartment to confront his roommate and start the process of moving out…to where we didn’t know.

He found a party going on in his apartment and freaked.  Apparently he went to the former girlfriends place after walking around for an hour or so…which had us both on edge.  He asked to come home immediately after work Thursday and we agreed to pick him up.

We met up with MrsL, 21, and his girlfriend for dinner.  After dinner 26 wanted to walk home, in the past that was a way to hook up with someone for drugs, so my radar went off but we let him walk home.  He showed up in an appropriate amount of time and sat on the porch smoking for a few minutes then walked in with this huge smile on his face.

“I just had an epiphany.  Remember I told you that (we’ll call him Larry because he reminds me of Larry from the Three Stooges in appearance only) Larry called me a couple of weeks back.”  He could sense that both MrsL and I were puzzled by our looks and continued.

“Well I thought I told one or both of you.  Larry went to work for a bank and was recently promoted to branch manager.  He bought a house and called to ask me if I needed a clean start somewhere he would rent me a room for $350 a month plus give me a full time job.  What if all of this shit was supposed to happen this way.”

Larry is his fraternity big brother that cut away from 26 when he went down the drug path BUT has always told him when he is clean, sober, and ready to move on he would be there for him.  We know Larry.  He is a great young man so we are both happy and a little nervous.  Not to mention he was born, raised, and will never move away from 26’s all time favorite place in the world…Charleston, SC.

He was beaming.  Larry has also rented a room to 26’s first roommate from his time in the fraternity house…who is a Marine Reservist.  We will call him AJ.  Larry and AJ have never been in the hard drug scene.  Sure they both probably smoked pot at some point but now have full time jobs…not to mention AJ is a Marine subject to drug testing at any time.

When I took him back yesterday morning for work we had to go by his apartment.  26 came down physically shaking and obviously furious.  His roommate must have continued the party all week after 26 left for work Thursday morning.  The lock on his room had been picked.  There were needles and spoons in his room and his bathroom and the apartment was completely trashed.  26 said his roommate had abscess wounds on his arm and had probably not slept in 3 or days.  The roommate was supposed to drive home to see his Mom at some point yesterday so he wanted to stay and clean up the apartment and start getting ready to move out.  We, hesitantly, agreed. I haven’t heard from him this morning so hopefully he got a lot accomplished.

So, after 21 leaves today to head back for his last 3 weeks of his junior year of college (damn that has gone fast) MrsL and I are heading to 26’s apartment to start packing him up and get him out of that situation. He has applied for the job in Charleston and is excited about moving on. I’m sure his roommate will be there but we will play nice and be done with it all. 

The roller coaster never stops!


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