Daily Archives: March 23, 2010

I’ll Stand By You

“Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don’t be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
’cause I’ve seen the dark side too” – Six months ago my daughter’s boyfriend died. She called me to her bedroom and when I opened the door she said, “Mommy, please don’t be mad at me. Phil is dead.” My mind started racing. Why would I be angry? Who is playing this terrible joke on my daughter? She burst into tears and started sobbing uncontrollably. I was in denial. How could this be? He just had dinner with us last weekend.

“When the night falls on you
You don’t know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less” – Phil had been addicted to Oxycontin. It was the reason for their break-up many times. I had no idea. A week before she had put her foot down and said she couldn’t deal with it anymore. It was the drugs or her. He chose her. He went off cold turkey. And died four days later from complications of withdrawal. The only people who knew he was quitting were her and two of his closest friends. Because withdrawal symptoms mimic the flu that’s all his parents thought he had. A common flu.

“So if you’re mad, get mad
Don’t hold it all inside
Come on and talk to me now
Hey, what you got to hide?” – She felt guilt. She felt anger. She felt tremendous loss. The pain she felt doesn’t even begin to describe. Her first love. Gone. At age 17. She withdrew from me, from us, from life.

“When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
’cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you” – I wanted to be there for her. She was so lost. And so was I. But she pushed me away. Angry and ashamed. She felt that I would never trust her again. She felt she could never trust herself to make good decisions again.

“And when…
When the night falls on you, baby
You’re feeling all alone
You won’t be on your own” – I wanted to be there for her. I wish I had been there for Phil. He was such a bright, amazing young man. He treated my daughter like she was a princess. He was funny and smart and kind. So gentle with her little brothers, setting up train tracks, admiring their pictures that they drew. How could I have not seen it? Or even suspected? I used to teach teenagers. I know what to look for. I was completely in the dark. And my daughter was shouldering this burden all on her own.

“I’ll stand by you
Take me in, into your darkest hour
And I’ll never desert you
I’ll stand by you”¬†– She has worked through much of the pain. It still hurts. But it’s getting better. She talks to me more. She’s even made a major shift¬†with friends and who she spends her time with most. She was tested recently with a friend going in the same direction as Phil. When I asked what was going on she said, “I have to worry about me. They have to want to quit. I can’t do that for them. So we don’t hang out anymore.” Such a hard lesson for her to have to learn. Such a horrible way to have to learn it.

“I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you
Won’t let nobody hurt you
I’ll stand by you” – I hope she knows that no matter what she’s dealing with I’m here for her. There’s nothing she can do or say that will ever push me away. Nothing. Ever. She’s my sweet, adorable angel. Forever my daughter. Forever the light of my life. I want to protect her. I never want her to hurt that way ever again. But if she does, I’m here to hold her, share in the tears and boost her up when she needs strength.

(Educate yourself. I had no idea this new favorite drug among teens was so highly addictive. And so easy to obtain. Nor did I know that withdrawal should only be done under medical supervision. If you have teens or pre-teens in your home and your school offers drug education seminars for parents, GO! Even if you think your children are immune to such temptations. You may learn valuable information that could save one of their friends.)

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Filed under Lessons Learned, Problems