‘When Did it All Begin To Fall Apart?’ A Son’s Addiction, And A Mother’s Guilt


By Katherine Ketcham

Original Source: washingtonpost.com

Something has happened to Ben.  His beautiful red hair, the color of brick dust, is cut short — so short that the overhead fluorescent lights seem to shine off his scalp.

I look in his eyes, and I see distance. I want a hug, his big arms wrapped around me, my head turned to the side, buried in his chest. He’s nearly a foot taller than me. I would hold on tight, repeating the words I always say after a big hug when he starts to pull away, and I hold on: Sometimes, I don’t want to let go. Maybe he will say what he used to say, “I love you, Ma.”

Maybe we will be as we once were once upon a time, a long time ago.

He holds himself still, stone-like, and I see how these five weeks in treatment have narrowed and chiseled him. Is he breathing? I wait for the sigh; it always comes. This is a boy who holds his breath in excitement when he reads a book or plays a video game; he looks up, the chapter finished, the game over, takes a deep breath and then releases it with all the joy of the journey contained in that…click here to continue reading