I could say it’s been a pretty ordinary week – nothing particularly unusual has happened, just the usual hellish day-to-day grind with my delinquent son, but I have responded to it in a different way. I’ve come out of denial – stopped blaming the drugs, because it is he who has made the choices. Three times now he has been clean when he left prison, and has claimed a guilty conscience, gusshed apologies and made promises, then chosen to go back to his previous life, thereby making life miserable for everybody.
I don’t think he is a very nice person, and anyone who heard the full story would probably agree with me.
My daughter Claire told me that only a few hours ago he claimed “Mum’s turned her back on me just when I’m recovering. I’m better now than I’ve ever been.” He only says that when he’s in a really bad way. She tried to point out that he was extremely drunk and in drug withdrawal, but he continued to be in denial.
The police are always nice to me. There’s no reason for them to be anything else, but I’m grateful anyway.They are also gentle with Paul, and even manage to be polite to his sister Laura, although she has tried their patience with her regular accusations of crimes against her person and her purse. I just wish they weren’t so under-staffed. I made an emergency call to them tonight and it was an hour-an-a-half before they showed up at the address I gave them, because it’s Friday night – the beginning of the weekend, and they were busy.
By the time they got there (Claire’s home) Paul was long gone, even though he was in such a mess he could hardly walk. He’s been recalled back to prison. The arrest warrant was issued a couple of days ago, but he and his girlfriend are thinking of going on the run. He’s so wasted on drug withdrawal and alcohol consumption that I don’t think he’s up to it, but I’ve seen him like this before, and he could wind up dead if he doesn’t get arrested soon. He’s very unwell – unwell and unwelcome in most places he goes. His charm slips somewhat when he’s been drinking, but now he’s main-lining cocaine and has become totally obnoxious.
I hope the police pick him up soon. His girlfriend is a drug addicted liar who’s backed up all his stories – including the one about them having rented a place in Ilfracombe (she lives in sheltered accommodation in the same town as me) but she is also a very vulnerable young person. He is already damaging her, and maybe when he’s in prison she’ll move on.
I don’t want Paul anywhere near me or the rest of my family, particularly my grandchildren.
Paul said that this time, if he goes to prison, he will come out a better man. He will make us all proud of him. He has since suggested that he may become a professional shoplifter.
I rest my case.
©Jane Paterson Basil