I was as addicted to my son’s addiction as he was to his drugs and alcohol, and I matched every one of his crazy moves with one of my own. Knowing that he stored booze in the cavity he cut out below his box springs, I placed a quarter “just so” against the box spring, knowing that it would topple if he went for his stash. Every night for months, I gently lifted the dust ruffle and checked to see if that damn quarter had deviated from its position. It never did, primarily because he was snitching beer from the fridge (Duh!). When he was out driving like a madman, I was hot on his trail, trying to track him down in the middle of the night. That was alien behavior to my husband who had removed himself from the whole dysfunctional drama in an equally unhealthy fashion: like a teeter-totter, he sat on one end, out of the picture; I sat on the other end, horribly enmeshed in the train wreck; and our addict son was smack dab in the middle, a most unhealthy fulcrum in a very sick family.
I couldn’t see my own crazy behavior because (a) I was too close to it (b) I was in denial (c) I was exhausted (d) I was confused (e) all of the above. The light began to cut through the fog when my non-addict son confronted me and told me that I was crazier than my addict son. “Man,” he said, “I see where he got it! You’re even crazier than my brother!” Did that statement open my eyes? Yes. Did I change my crazy ways? No, at least not immediately. But I did begin to look at my own involvement in my son’s addiction, and that marked a key point in my own return to sanity.