Anyone who is a parent knows that there are times when we have to make tough decisions for the best interests of our child. Sometimes the consequences of these decisions are painful, for both the parent and the child, and can drastically, and forever, alter relationships. Last night, I was put in the position of having to make one of those hard decisions.
I think most everyone who reads my blog knew that I was going to Monterey, California to visit my son for two weeks, before I left on the Alaska cruise. I had really been looking forward to spending the time with him. Unfortunately, since the time I arrived here, Tuesday night, I have been miserable. My son is on a path of self-destruction, and I had to take steps to intervene.
Before I even got here, he kept saying he didn’t have any money. I understood that. He does not get paid a lot of money as a Marine. So, I was prepared to buy groceries, and other things to make it easier for him while I was here. However, a lack of money does not explain what I walked into Tuesday night. The first thing I noticed when he opened the door to his house was an overwhelming smell of urine and feces, as well as rotting garbage. Upon entering the house, it was very obvious that he has been living in squalor. I cannot even put into words how disgusting and unsanitary everything was.
The next morning, he had to go to work and was going to be gone for several hours. The night before I had asked him to take us to the grocery store so I could put some food in the house, and he told me nothing was open. So basically what that meant, was that he was going to leave me, an insulin-dependent diabetic, in house where there literally was no food. Obviously, that was not acceptable. He ended up going to McDonald’s and getting me some breakfast. When he left for work, I was left in the foul smelling, unsanitary house.
After he got home from work, I asked him several times to clean the kitchen. I tried to explain to him that if he wanted me to cook anything the kitchen needed to be sanitary. In the end, he put a few dishes in the dishwasher, leaving most of them in the sink. The majority of the dishes had probably been in the sink for a couple of weeks. He claims that in the two weeks that they piled up in there he had no time to wash them. In fact, he said he never had time to do any cleaning in the house. However, he had time to party, he had money to buy alcohol, and he had time to hang out with his friends.
In the hallway of his house he has duct taped blankets to the floor to hide the fact that the floor is ruined due to animal urine and feces. Even the room I am staying in has areas that have been stained by animal urine and feces. There were beer bottles and beer cans everywhere. There was also trash piled up everywhere, even in his own bed.
Anyone seeing this would know that there’s something seriously wrong with him. No one in their right mind would choose to live in squalor. So last night, I made a decision. I contacted people in his command, and had them come to document the living situation. Obviously, he’s going to have to face serious consequences. However, I could not leave here without taking drastic steps to get him help.
From what I understand, this is not the first time someone has had an issue with his house, nor was it the first time someone from his command had to come to his house about the living conditions. I was told that “he fell through the cracks”. I have been assured that appropriate steps to get him help will happen, and if he does what is required of him this will not ruin his career with the Marines.
He is very angry with me, and probably will be for a long time. I can live with his anger, as long as he gets the help he needs. I will give him credit for something; he did tell me that as angry as he is he will not treat me disrespectfully or badly.
Tomorrow morning, at 6 AM, I will be heading to Phoenix to stay with some friends. There are certain consequences that my son will have to face that cannot be implemented as long as I’m staying in house. This is because where he is living is considered base housing/government housing and they cannot confine him to base and leave a civilian in the house.
I am beyond tired. Every part of me aches, especially my legs. I think I am mentally and physically exhausted. I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor, and to be quite frank, I’m looking forward to sleeping in a bed. I think I feel depressed. Not in a bad this is a depressive episode depressed, but more like it is depressing that my son was choosing to live this way, and I had to be the one who turned him in.