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The Day After

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It was an unusual day today, this first day of the new year. I experienced, I felt, I lived, emotions that I have kept buried. Fear, anguish and sadness were accompanied by tears, tears that have been locked away for years.

The thought of my son walking the cold streets of Portland by day and sleeping in a shelter at night left me a raw bundle of uncontainable emotion.

I called him this morning, he didn't answer his phone. I left a message marred by sniffles and sobs, one that I'm not so sure he would be able to decipher.

I tried to think of other things, busy  myself with distractions, but without notice tears would once again flow freely.

In between thoughts of my son there were times of levity. I thought of how I was dressed when the police arrived at my house. Green sweat pants, a purple Harley shirt and pink fuzzy socks were my attire of the day.  I hadn't blown dry my hair and it was a mess of frizzy curls. I hadn't put in my contacts, opting for glasses instead. Not my usual pulled together self.

I had to laugh, it seems each time the police have been called to my house, due to my son's actions, I've been dressed as if I was being featured on an episode of COPS, Sunday was no exception. As a matter of fact, it probably topped the list. Why is it when an emergency arises I'm always dressed as a bum?

I was able to visit with a neighbor and have a few laughs as well as a few tears, but it was good. She always knows what to say and how to make me feel better.

Then I cooked the southern New Year's Day tradition, black eyed peas and cornbread, did some house cleaning on the files of my computer and prepared for an evening with my daughter, Karli, and her family.

The day seemed to be looking up until my grandson asked me where Joshua was. I didn't know what to say. He asked again and I had to tell him that his uncle didn't live here any more but that he would still be able to see him. Josiah seemed satisfied with that answer, but it tore at my heart once again.

We got through dinner and were watching a bit of TV when my cell phone rang. It was Joshua. I steeled my emotions before I answered. He sounded like his happy self. He told me he had made friends, which scares the hell out of me, and that he was safe, eating and doing ok.

I told him that if he agreed to take his medication, go to counseling and work with the family we could talk about him coming home.

His answer was unexpected, but strangely relieving, he said that it would probably be two to three months before he considered coming home, that he wanted to use this time as a learning experience. I warned him to be careful of who he associated with, I cautioned him about drugs and I assured him that we would always be his family and be here for him.

I told him I would continue to try to find housing opportunities for him and a safe place he could call his own. He was appreciative but I'm not so sure he totally understood what I was saying. He seemed to be intrigued by living on the streets.

Although my heart is still broken and the tears are close at hand, I felt better hearing his voice and hearing that he agreed to stay in touch and call if he needed something.

I still know it's the only decision that could have been made for the safety of everyone involved, but it still hurts deeply. It's hard enough to let your children go off to college, just imagine how hard it is to have them live on the streets. 



Cloudia January 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM  

Wishing blessings for your son and for you, Hon

Aloha & Happy New Year wishes
from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >
> < } } ( ° >

Dazee Dreamer January 1, 2013 at 9:20 PM  

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers with your son.

Angelwithatwist January 1, 2013 at 9:46 PM  

OH darling I have been there. Only Doug was just turned 18 and I had dealt with his being gone for days and coming in and sleeping for 2 or 3 days for months. I knew he was doing something away from home, I knew it wasn't good. I made a choice and the next time he came home I told him it would stop. He agreed until he got fed and showered and sleep. Then he was back to same old routine. I stood my ground and refused to take him, he walked, I let him. He would call every other night, but he was homeless, crashing where ever he could. My heart was breaking into a million pieces but I refused to allow him home until he was clean or working towards that. As you know he is much better now, but it was scary for a while. Sending you lvoe and hugs.

The Bipolar Diva January 1, 2013 at 9:51 PM  

Thanks Angel, it is hard. I'm praying he doesn't get messed up with the street kids on drugs. His case worker seems pretty interested in helping him. I hope something works.

MarkD60 January 2, 2013 at 7:30 AM  

If you can change it, then you don't need to worry about it, because you can change it. If you can't change it, you don't need to waste time worrying about it because it won't do any good.

Outcast January 2, 2013 at 9:08 AM  

I really hope that things get sorted out Diva and that he starts taking his medication again, hopefully he's okay. Just stay strong and remember we're all here for you throughout this.

The Bipolar Diva January 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM  

Thanks Mark, that's kind of where I am right now. It's hard though.

The Bipolar Diva January 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM  

Yeamie, thank you and I'll try :)

The Bipolar Diva January 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM  

Nicole, it breaks my heart. sigh.

Classic NYer January 2, 2013 at 3:58 PM  

Sounds like a new year.

Actually, his making friends at the shelter is not a bad thing. If anything terrible goes down, he'll have some allies. But then again, shelters aren't necessarily all terrible. Remember, I lived in a shelter for a year and didn't get raped, mugged, molested, or forced into drug prostitution not once.

I'm glad he chooses to see it as a learning experience. That's a very mature thing to say.

UncleGlen January 2, 2013 at 5:10 PM  

I know full well it's hard Teri. And it's a one day at a time thing! This will be an emotional roller coaster everyday for you. Like you need that! I am sorry!

Kim Williams Jacobson January 3, 2013 at 3:48 AM  

My heart is just breaking for you, Teri. You and your family are in our prayers. I understand the feeling of being terrified that someone you love might be living on the streets. I will also pray that you won't lose contact with him.

The Bipolar Diva January 3, 2013 at 9:51 AM  

Kjake38, thank you very, very much. :)

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