I will post this without using any names. Yesterday I received a call about the 17 year old nephew of a friend. His parents have been divorced for many of his 17 years. The boy lives with his mom and her husband. He has regular visits with his father, who, unfortunately, is an alcoholic, tho he used to be sober. The man squandered his inheritance from his mom's death and also his pension, so he has no money. In addition the man doesn't work…..rather, he is on disability…..yet he's not really disabled. He relies on his wife's salary.
But back to the boy. For the past 2 1/2 years he has been smoking pot and then into ecstasy, inhalants, and who knows what else.
Because the parents did not divorce "nicely" (for lack of a better word), the boy's father is very controlling and often blames the mother for anything the boy does. And the mother is reluctant to confront the father and often falls into the trap of being demeaned by her x husband for being a bad mother. And so as not to show a lack of trust for her son, she has believed the lies he has been giving her these past years. The boy has great charisma and can be very convincing.
There was a time when the boy was a sweet child with hopes and dreams. He was an excellent student and planned on a future. His future looks very different now. In the middle of the night his parents did an intervention on him with a team of men from a rehabilitation center. Needless to say the boy was furious. He will be gone a minimum of 60 days to a "wilderness" type rehab center in Montana. Hopefully he will return a healthier, sober man….and be able to remain so. The cost of the facility is about twenty five thousand dollars….not easy in this economy. There was a college fund which will be cashed in to pay for some of the cost. In the meantime the father is trying to figure out how to get his hands on some money…..understandably so. But he has resorted to trying to draw another family member in to help him and trying to get her sympathy vote. And that relative is in the midst of watching her son die a slow and painful death from cancer. Yet the boy's father doesn't take that into consideration.
So, WHY am I writing this? Actually I don't know other than to share a story which, I am sure, is familiar to others. And, I guess……to speak to others who have similar stories. If you know of a child going astray, desperate to make sense out of life, is there a way you can help? If you know of a parent who has an addiction problem, can you intervene? I think so often we tend to not want to get involved with other's problems, not wanting to be intrusive or nosey. I wish I knew of an easy way to alleviate situations like this boy's. But……it's almost as if he didn't stand a chance of being free from addiction (with his father's genetic line). And so I offer up prayers for all those are out there who are experiencing the same battle(s)…..be it the parents or the boy….that someone will touch them and assure them they are loved, supported and important in life.
I wish you a blessed and peaceful day…...
Rusty married her high school sweetheart, Jim. They have four children and seven adorable