Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tough Love...For the Greater Good...

I am finding it hard to find the words to describe the feeling I have at this moment as I drive away from leaving my own flesh and blood in an Emergency Homeless Shelter.  We found ourselves here in front of a large home in Anaheim.  It is situated in a busy neighborhood.  A black lab runs freely around the nearby cul-de-sac dragging it's front leg that is lame.  A mailman is delivering the mail.  We make our way into the "shelter" home to find it neat and tidy but not clean.  The decor is dark wood paneling a look I remember from the 70's with a dark wooden floor that has dirt and leaves that has blown against the baseboards and collected there in a neat line.  The large family room sports a big television and cloth sofa and love seat with a teal and peach tropical print from the 80's.  The "manager on duty" was very nice and shared that she has been homeless for 4 months and will be moving soon to another home.  A small frail lady comes around the corner speaking loudly "WHO IS HERE?" she shouts.  Her large eyeglasses have slid down her small nose and her long gray hair is matted to her head.  She seemed disoriented and awkward as we introduced ourselves.  She in a flash turned and disappeared behind a wall. 

Taylor looked at me in amazement with fear in his eyes.  I knew with every  fiber of his being he wanted to bolt for the door.  I hugged him and he was staring me in the eyes begging me not to leave him there.

Tough love. 

Our hand was forced by his lack of self control.  The abyss of his addiction has plunged us to these measures.  Last night he was hospitalized for the 8th time in less than a year.  He shoplifted a bottle of gin and consumed nearly 750 ml.  He grew horribly ill and we feared his body could not handle the flood of this poison.  A week ago he tried to cut himself and was hospitalized.  Hours after his release he was gone.  He got high and intoxicated and was found wandering the street 3 miles from home.  He was arrested on 1 count of "under the influence of a controlled substance".  Saturday night he stole money from us and came home yet again high and drunk.  We told him that enough was enough and we needed him to make a choice to get help or move out.  

Sunday he got enraged when he wanted money and his father said "NO".  He became physical with his dad and we knew that come Monday we needed to find a new plan to help him help himself.  We called his Care Coordinator that was assigned after his first incident last March and he was to interview with Phoenix House this morning for re-hab placement.  Before I could even tell him - he had slipped out to the store and stole the bottle of alcohol.

He was held last night and transferred this morning to a county evaluation center.  This is the place that decides the fate of all people who have medi-cal or no private insurance.  We were told that they are an emergency psych assessment facility and they do not feel he meets the criteria to receive help.  He needs drug and alcohol treatment.  We know this.  The drug and alcohol treatment facilities will not take him because he is on meds for his mental health!  No one will help us help our son - yet again.

We stood firm and told him - NO MORE.  We could not have him come home again and run the risk of getting us evicted due to his behavior.  We owe it to the other 3 kids to provide them with a safe, calm home.  Not one where Taylor's unpredictable outbursts sends the little ones crying or puts any of them in harms way.  We can't do it any more.  Taylor breaks all the rules and pushes past all the boundaries.

He was left with no choice other than to agree to an Emergency Homeless Shelter as he awaits placement in a Crisis Residential Treatment Home.  It could be a day - or two weeks.  This place will then treat him for up to 3 weeks while he awaits a bed at a county run drug and alcohol rehab facility.  He goes to court in a week and they may mandate rehab or jail. 

It breaks my heart to know he thinks we are turning our back on him - but it is quite the opposite.  We are doing what has to be done for the greater good.  I only pray that one day the God shaped hole in his heart is filled by the Holy Spirit and he can see we acted out in love. 

I can only pray that a day or two or perhaps a week to a month in a homeless shelter will make him realize that the rules at home were not so bad...  Perhaps 30, 60 or 90 days now will allow him to live for years and years to come not bound by the ugliness of addiction and lack of self control.

A broken hearted mom...

"How blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

I do not expect anyone to understand what choices we have made - as they have not walked a day in my shoes.  I respect that everyone has an opinion and we are all entitled to that.  Please extend kindness and grace and say a prayer for us...