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A Mother's Love

Posted by Libby1959 on 30 October 2015.

I am a 56 year old mother to three sons and a step-daughter, all of whom live away from home now. I am married to Mark, who is not my children's father. I am a teacher, but I no longer work as I have full time custody of my granddaughter, who was born addicted to Heroin, Crack and Methadone, in January 2014. She is Paul's daughter, he is my eldest and first born son. He is now 33 and is a drug and alcohol addict, as is his partner, Lacey.

Paul has been using drugs since his teens; he started with cannabis but soon progressed to harder drugs. He smoked heroin for years but began injecting a few years ago. 

This summer, through the amazing generosity of a friend, Paul went into a 12 week rehab program, but he left after six weeks due to a disagreement with one of the workers. He now knows it was a really stupid reason to leave and bitterly regrets it, because within weeks he was using again. During those six weeks, I had such high hopes. I started to get to know my son as the man I had never none him to be, but always hoped he would be. Everyone loves Paul, he was always the life and soul of the party. He is polite, friendly, outgoing..yet he is motivated only by the drive to find his next fix. He has been in prison for theft several times. I'm sad to say that when he is in prison I have some peace. 

I don't understand where the addiction came from or how it happened to our family, but I have realised that you don't have to be a certain type of person, or a dysfunctional family, or a victim of abuse. Drugs truly do not discriminate and any of us can fall victim to this awful disease. 

I am trying to hard to stop enabling my son, but it is so difficult when he sends me a text, asking for money, telling me that they have no electricity and no food. I know in my head that he is lying but in my heart I am scared that he will be cold and hungry if I don't give it to him. It really is a unique feeling to be the mother of an addict; our instinct is to keep our children warm and fed, protected and safe, yet paradoxically, our efforts to do just that for our addicted children, puts them in extreme danger and only extends the grip that heroin has on them. 

Raising my granddaugther as my own child is also very challenging. I miss my job very much. I loved teaching. However, I know that I am doing an even more important job by raising Brooke, rather than her being adopted out of the family. She is not yet two and very innocent and happy, but she has some very difficult truths to learn about her parents as she grows older. My son's addiction has had and will continue to have far reaching consequences for many of us in his family.

I don't know how my story will end. I can only pray that Paul finds his way back to us all. It breaks my heart anew every time he falls, but I am out of resources, both financially and emotionally, and can't help him anymore. He knows he is loved, we send text messages most days and not all of them say, 'Mum, can you lend me 20 quid?', sometimes they are just a 'X' or 'love you, Mum', his way of letting me know that my Paul is still there somewhere, beneath the fog of his heroin addiction.. 

Comments

Notjustme
3 Nov 2015

Hi Libby

I just read your story- I am new to this blog but felt very moved by what you had to say. First of all I think you are doing so well in caring for your grand daughter- I have two grandsons of my own and know how precious they are. However, I also sense how lonely for you it must be and I would like to ask what levels of support you are getting for yourself?
My story is slightly different from yours and I want to avoid getting into that too much, but just let me say that cannabis has taken my son away from me. He no longer wants to be in touch with me and yesterday I went to his grandad's funeral and he wasn't there. When people asked me why I said I didn't know- which was the truth, but his dad said that he knew he wouldn't be there. In some ways I was glad he didn't turn up, but he is becoming more and more isolated from family and friends and I know he is very depressed. Like you, I want (have?) to help him but I don't know how.
This is just a little snippet.
I want you to know that you are not on your own- if you want to let me know how you are I'd be happy to listen. Take care x

Icarus Trust
11 Jan 2016

Hi Libby,
What a fantastic job you are doing bringing up your grand daughter as well as being there for your son. It must be so hard for you and I wonder if you have support for yourself. The Icarus Trust is a charity that supports the families and friends of addicts. If you feel we could be of any help please contact us and we could put you in touch with one of our trained volunteers. Sometimes talking through with someone who would understand what you are dealing with can really help.
You can contact us on help@icarustrust.org or visit the website www.icarustrust.org
Good luck with all that you are doing.

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