Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Evan, drugs, and his room

Evan and I have a major disagreement.

Here's the deal. He takes things into his room. Like the other boys before him, telling him that he is not allowed to leave towels, dirty dishes, scissors, wrapping paper, thermometers, cold medicines, etc. in his room does not stop him from doing it. Unfortunately, saying things like, "Evan, we seem to be low on towels. Would you please look around in your room and bring out any in there?" Does not produce results either. He insists that he does not have anything in his room. If we ask if we can go in and look with him he is offended and angry and refuses. (Please remember that he is huge. He is willing to stand firmly in front of his door and argue with us until we go away.)

So Hubby and I have just given up on asking. If we are missing things and have reason to believe they are in his room, we go in and get them. I don't search his room. I don't go through his drawers or read his papers. I just look on the surfaces.

We have not talked to Evan about this for a very long time. The conversations about them have not gone well. He simply insists that we must not go in. We have told him that we will if we think we need to. He insists... In the end we just don't argue (we will negotiate on many things, but we DON'T defend our authority as parents). So over the last few months he has either believed that we don't go in, or has failed to notice that dirty dishes, etc. just disappear periodically.

So that's the background.

Monday evening after taking him to the alternative high school for the first time, I went into his room to get the thermometer I thought was there. I did not see it, but I did notice a prescription bottle on the floor. I told myself not to pick it up, but I did.

It was old and empty. It was a prescription for codeine for me which he stole last winter. I quietly lost it (the proverbial it, not the bottle). Fortunately Monday night was also my Al-Anon meeting so I was able to have a good cry and get myself pulled back together.

There are a couple of different explanations for why the bottle was there. It is possible that he was going through his old book bag, or something, and found it and dropped it. Of course, given that he was jonesing (is that you spell that), it is also possible that he found his "just in case" stash and used.

Which do you think is more likely?

Yesterday our counselor insisted that I tell him about finding the bottle. I told her that my being in the room was going to be the real issue.

It was. He cried. He ranted. He protested that I did not understand. He needed to know that his room was his and that I would not violate his privacy.

I told him that I was happy to compromise. I would promise only to go into his room if he was there, of course he would have to promise that he would let me.

He cried. He insisted. He said that I did not understand. He said that I should just ask him to get things. I should trust him.

I pointed out that in this particular case, he had proven himself untrustworthy. I pointed out that I was NOT searching his room.

He cried. He protested. He said that he did not understand why I was not willing to compromise.

The counselor pointed out that I had offered a compromise.

He cried. He insisted that he needed to know that I would never go in his room, especially when he wasn't home and then not even tell him about it.

The counselor pointed out that I had offered a compromise.

He cried. He said we did not understand.

I offered another compromise. I would stand outside the room, with the door open, while he looked. I could then be certain that he had actually looked behind the bed. From there I can also see nearly all the surfaces and could point out things to him.

He cried. He said that we just did not understand why this was so important to him. He said he did not want to talk about it anymore. He said that either I should leave the counselors office or he would.

The counselor sighed and said, "She also wants to tell you that when she was in your room yesterday she found an old prescription bottle for codeine."

He shrugged and said nothing.

I had never intended to "confront" him about the bottle. It was old, and it was empty, and I had told him before that as long as he went to school and followed the rules, I was going to assume he was not using. I never said he would be in trouble if there were old, empty bottles in the house.

So I left him alone to talk to his rehab counselor. He came out having made some good decisions. Some may be a bit extreme, but in light of his likely usage on Monday, I told his social worker that I am not arguing.

So now all this recovery work is supposed to be kicking in, and I guess it is. I am not as upset as I would have been before. Still, I am sad. I can't quite stop thinking about it. I can't quite stop hoping that if he did use it was just a stumble and not the beginning of a slide.

Oh I know that no matter what happens I will be okay. I know that my happiness, well-being, serenity, whatever, does not depend upon him. I can handle whatever might happen without, as Evan would say, "freaking out."

But it makes me sad. I've been dealing with sadness and anxiety because he will be leaving in four months.

I don't want to loose him sooner.

And one more thing...his extreme and intense need for me NOT to go into his room has left me wanting to search it from top to bottom. What is in there that he so very much does not want me to see? I'm not though. At least if I stay in control of myself I am not.


  1. I'm so sorry you are going through this! It's so frustrating when our kids go down the wrong path and there's nothing we can do about it.

    Just like you reminded me the other day, horse...water...sigh.

    I know it probably doesn't help much, but know we are thinking about you.

  2. Anonymous5:15 PM

    HIS room? In YOUR house? I don't think so.

    Evan needs to know (be reminded) that he is living in YOUR house and as such, has NO RIGHT to privacy.

    There IS no discussion - if Evan "insist" on his (confused) right to privacy, you may want to tell him that he can have all he wants when he moves into his OWN place.


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