Fear’s Remedy

My grown son is in the kitchen fixing himself a meal. Then a bomb goes off somewhere in his mind. He accuses me of hovering over him. I’d only wanted to grab a headache remedy, but the scene escalates. No explanation seems to matter as he calls me names. My husband comes to my aid—he’s […]

A Chrysalis

A Chrysalis

I’m driving home when I spot him. On a busy street corner, a man stands astride his bike. He looks a lot like my grown son. The uncanny resemblance cuts a path across my broken heart, carving fresh tracks where I’d tried to forget. I’m hurting and there’s no end in sight. My son’s meth-use […]

All Alone Together

All Alone Together

The wall clock in my kitchen ticks way too loud. Maybe it knows I’m about to live the nightmare once again. One of my live-in grown sons (drug of choice meth), hasn’t slept in days. He’s growing testier by the minute, a volcano of unhappiness, ready to spew hot fury without warning. The other boomerang […]

This is Living

This is Living

I’d met a friend for coffee, my first outing since the start of the COVID pandemic. I was eager to escape the ongoing pressure of dealing with grown sons with addiction and mental health issues. Usually, this friend is willing to hear me unload all the difficult moments. But now, sipping lattes in Starbucks, she […]

Mother’s Day Cry Room

Mother’s Day Cry Room

Yesterday, my granddaughter brought home from preschool a potted petunia. She’d glued purple glitter on the pot’s sides, glitter that left a trail everywhere. When I asked her why her mommy got a flower, the five-year-old’s eyebrows scrunched up and she shrugged. “For Mother’s Day, I guess.” I was relieved. I hate Mother’s Day. Is […]

The Third Way

The Third Way

I can still feel the kneeler biting into my knees as I begged the pastor to pray for me. “I’m a failure at tough love,” I began. “No matter what I do, I can’t throw out my son.” For me and loads of other moms like me, “tough love” means “kicking him out” or “turning […]

Monster Meth

I pick up my adult son’s sunglasses—cradle them, really. Yesterday he showed them off to me—his grin so wide you’d think he’d won the lottery. These flimsy shades were from the dollar store, he said, but I like them. And he did. But today, he’d say those glasses are made out of plastic so cheap […]

But Is It Love?

But Is It Love?

On St. Valentine’s Day, my grown son offered to wash my car, even though legendary Oregon rain was in the forecast. I was thrilled by his gift—long-time meth use and ongoing mental health issues keep him unemployed. Besides, any mom will tell you that a kind gesture from your kid is worth its weight in […]