How many times did you give your child money and worry they were just using it for drugs?
Oh gosh. I’ve actually taken him to his dealer. Actually, his dad and I both have taken him to his dealer because he said they would kill him if he didn’t show up. We didn’t understand these people. We were told if we didn’t give him sixty dollars to go pay his debt, they would literally kill him, not realizing until we got there that he was actually buying the drugs. He wasn’t paying off a debt. And when I took him, I remember him telling me to get down on the floor of the car so the dealer didn’t see me because the dealer was a boy that I knew. I got back home and I said, “Don’t you ever ask me to do that again.” This was when he still lived at home. Now looking back on it, I should have known better. But I knew nothing about heroin or drug dealing or any of that stuff. We kicked him out of the house after his senior year in high school. He went to live with another set of twins. They were actually distributing marijuana at that time. Jack would come home with bundles of cash. One time I found a bundle in my tennis shoes. And these boys were having it shipped from California to a pack and ship place. Jack would go pick it up and take it back to the dealer, so he was considered a runner. They would give him a cut. Then they would distribute and sell the drugs. We couldn’t figure out where he was getting all of that money. He finally opened up and told us what he was doing. Then we kicked him out of the house and he went to live with people who exposed him to heavier drugs. He told us he started using heavier pills. I don’t know what he meant by that, whether it was Xanax or what.
I can’t say that I ever gave them money knowing it was going towards drugs. I would do things like go to the pawn shop and buy back my items if they were still available. I would also buy back my husband’s items and put them back before my husband realized they were gone.
As a parent, you always worry about that. I think it’s safe to say that Brady probably used some of the gas money I gave him for weed. Or pills. He had a job. So it wasn’t like I was giving him a lot of money. But I’m sure that I probably contributed to some of his purchases. And in the back of my mind, I probably thought that he might go buy some weed with it. But you have to fight through some of that. He needed gas money. And one of the agreements we had was if he kept a job, I’ll make sure he had gas to get there. And … I can’t search his pockets all the time. I don’t have a money detector to find out if he really has money in his pockets or under his mattress.
I don’t have enough hands to count.
I think I would say I probably wouldn’t have done it differently because withholding money wouldn’t have changed things. She would have gotten money some other way. And that’s whole other dark side that you don’t want to go to, you know— selling yourself or whatever. I don’t even want to think about that.
Well, I was telling you earlier they would berate me and never let up for 20 here, 20 here, 20 here. I probably knew they were using the money for drugs. I just wanted them to stop asking and leave me alone.
So I said to Bailey, “Remember the other day how you felt so scared and worried that you had done something wrong?” She said yes. And I said, “OK, you know how I gave you forty dollars a couple days ago? I have to share with you that I also feel scared and worried that I did something wrong by giving you money – and I worry whether I am getting hustled.”
We talked about PTSD or whatever you want to call it. I told her I feel really good about how she’s doing right now, and I’m really proud of her.
Travis: Did Tyler ever steal from us? Yes. Did we ever give him money that he used for drugs? Yes. Did Tyler steal us blind? No. Did I have to put locks on my doors and on my bedroom and on his bedroom? No. In Tyler’s addiction, I think he respected his mother and me and the very last people on earth that he wanted to steal from was us. Now, did we find that $20 was missing? Yes. Did we find a necklace that we gave him ended up in a pawn shop? Yes. Those things happened.
Shelly: We gave him money but over time we learned.
Travis: Where we held out the most was when he was homeless in Florida, begging for me to send him money every day.
Shelly: So Travis would order him a pizza and the pizza man would deliver it to Ty.
Christy – I can’t even count how many times. One time Tyler told me “Like a dummy, I paid for everybody’s drinks in the bar last night. So I don’t have any money left.” He was very creative. There were times at the very end where we knew the addiction existed and we really limited with how much we gave him. We were asking a lot of questions. Instead of giving him money to buy gas, we would take him and buy him the gas or buy him the clothes or whatever it was. In person.