A Mothers Request

….. she stood in the crowded court room, alone.  With shaking hand, she held the crumpled sheet.  With all eyes on her, she read….

“Thank you to the court for hearing me today.
I am the mother and one of the emotional and financial victims of the defendant, my son. 
Less than a year ago, I found myself in a similar court room awaiting the outcome of my sons latest run in with the law.  I stood before the Judge and stated that if he was released, I would not and could not take Joshua into my home or be financially responsible for him.  I also stated my serious concerns that if release into the public, the pattern would be repeated.  He was being set up for failure. 
Upon his release, I watched an all to familiar pattern repeat itself.  Released sober and with determination to do right, he got a job and found a place to stay.  Concerned of the measures he might resort to for the basic necessities of life, I paid the rent and provided other small bits of financial support at great sacrifice to myself.  Within a week, Joshua had succumbed to temptation and had lost his job.  Over the following weeks, in brief moments of sobriety and desperation, I witnessed him calling his parole officer, explaining his situation and requesting help.  I helped him with phone calls and letters to programs.  I even provided him transportation to an out of state program for an interview, risking my employment.  By this time, it was obvious he was using, and was not eligible for the program.  There was nothing new about what happened over these months.  It has been repeated many times over the years.  In record time, he had spiraled down into his familiar ways; using, lieing, manipulating and stealing.
My son is bright and charismatic, but he is an addict of at least 18 years.  He has a substance addiction, but also a mental and life style addiction.  He has no knowledge, skills or ability to function as a productive, law abiding member of society for any length of time.  I accept my role in his lack of coping skills and have done everything in my power to get him on the right track but that is not going to fix the problem now.  My son is an adult.  I can not take him back to his teenage years and re-educate him.  I can not afford to put him in a private facility that he can walk out of.  And I can not watch him be released back into society to prey on others, as well as myself.
I implore the court to hear my request.  If the court decides to give my son another chance, give him a real chance.  Do not be lenient.  His success requires being educated with basic life coping skills, cause and affect, respect, etc.  Something long term, in-house and strict I believe is the only chance to overcome all his addictions.   He’s been in enough little 2 – 3 month drug rehabilitation programs that he could probably teach one.  He needs to be taught the basics of being human and he does not have enough respect or fear of me, for me to take the job.
Please consider my words for my greatest fear is not that I will be standing in court in another year, but that I will be standing in the morgue.”
My heart died a little as I watched her leave the court room, head dropped, quietly sobbing.  What has addiction done to our families? our communities? our nation? our world?  How many heart broken parents must stand before their God, their community and their children and make such a wish?
Addiction comes in so many forms.  From the simplest addiction to chocolate, addictions drive our actions.  Please take a moment and do a self inventory.  How do your additions, no matter how small, effect your life? your loved ones?  Now, more than ever, if believe in the following:
Do as you will, but harm none.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a big advocate for individuality and self expression.  But we can be ourselves and still be human.  The above are fantastic, rulers to measure our actions by.  Authored long, long ago and since nearly forgotten, these statements need to see a re-birth into mainstream.  I know the world will never achieve the sought after vision of “one big, happy place all working together and helping each other”.  But why can’t we do our part.  If we don’t get it started (even if it’s just in our small circle).  It will never have a chance.

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