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My Son-DUI and More. What a week.

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    My Son-DUI and More. What a week.

    I hate to post this here, as I'm sure to be beaten up by the anti-drunk-drivers. I always figure that, whatever it is, I'm not the only one agonizing. So I post for the ones too shy, too scared, too whatever to post. I'm not a fan of drunk driving, but I am from the old school and I have done it before. I wish more ppl would take taxis...Anyway, here is my story.

    I was in MN at a meeting this weekend, I drove up there alone. It is a long way to Minneapolis. Got a text message Sat. afternoon. 19 yr. old son went out Fri. night, was drinking, wrecked into a pickup full of 5 21 year olds, possibly drinking also, but I have nothing to say about that except when you're 21 and out at 2 a.m., you are usually drinking. The pickup rolled 4 times, my son just had a concussion, lacerated scalp. totaled car. I excused myself from my meeting, called him, said "Jake, you kill yourself driving drunk, you rip my heart from my body. But if you kill somebody else, you rip ANOTHER mother's heart out. How do any of us live with it, if you do that, son?"

    Part of me felt like Jeffrey Dahmer's mom. (I think I'm weird, b/c I've always felt sorry for that woman.) I couldn't get info on the status of those other 5 kids that were in the wreck. Couldn't change anything at home so I finished up my meetings, left MN at 1:00 on Monday.

    All the way home, no firm word on those kids' condition. Get home, same thing. Finally thought to call my insurance company Wed. night. They told me one boy was still in a coma. First I'd heard of THAT. That would mean he'd been in a coma for 5 days!

    I went insane, and stayed that way all night long. I have never been so scared in my life, b/c the longer a coma lasts, the greater the chances of permanent brain damage. I was way out in worst-case-scenario-land. Was convinced my son had done what Hulk Hogan's son did, left another kid in a vegetative state from recklessness, a nightmare that I have discussed with my kid a thousand times. I couldn't even talk to my friends b/c I couldn't bring myself to say the word "coma". Thursday a.m. I finally talked to La Mem Chose. She kind of talked me down off the ledge.

    I talked to my best friend then, she's a "fixer", helped me think of what to do next. With HIPPAA regs etc., and insurance companies warning you not to speak to other victims, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get info in these situations!

    Then later Thursday a.m., I made contact with one of the parents. The boy (I still don't know his name) WAS indeed badly injured, lacerated liver, punctured lung, but unlike SCI or TBI, these are all things 21 year olds recover from. Nobody was ever in a coma at all! He was out of ICU, up walking around and eating Wendy's salad all that time I was crying and puking and going crazy! Every time the phone or doorbell rang, I thought they were coming for my son for vehicular homicide and that we were the lucky ones-somewhere a mother's heart was breaking.

    I know. Drama queen LOL. It was so horrible.

    Every cell in my body literally aches with relief. I hope my son loses his license until he is 25. Could well happen, OK punishes under-aged drunk drivers more severely than those of age. Which is counter-intuitive to me, but whatever. We are well-insured and ultimately this will be a costly but not permanently maiming incident for all involved. Turns out there have been 3 accidents at that spot-THIS WEEK.

    Thank God for al-anon. Thank God that He sent me to al-anon, somewhat randomly, a month ago, when I saw trouble looming. It was a coincidence, but I'm not sure there is such a thing.

    Sorry if I sound like a religious fanatic. Weeks like this remind me why I used to go to church. (They also make me wonder why I ever wanted kids...)

    The thing is, I know too much. Since I got SCI'd, I've seen what can happen in the blink of an eye. Recently a woman here, mom of a SCI/TBI young man, posted in defeat. After fighting like a rabid dog for 5 years or more, she conceded that her son would never live independently, due to brain damage. Now this woman and I don't always see eye to eye, but I respect her absolutely. She exemplifies a mother going above and beyond, and refusing to quit. Seeing her post her realization was so hard (yeah, it's all about me.) But it did drive the point home to me, that the brain is a fragile instrument and kids treat them like baseballs.

    Then there is the problem of my son. Of course, I want to comfort him and protect him because that is my first instinct. I really believe that reaction is exactly that-instinct. But I know I MUST let him suffer the natural consequences here, and they will be significant. I can't deprive him of the learning curve that is the natural outgrowth of this incident. Any interference on my end will likely do exactly that. He MUST LEARN.

    So off he goes, into the legal system. I'm cool with that, as long as everybody's brain is intact.

    I woke up today panicked, then remembered...I don't have to panic. All is well, for now.

    Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

    I shudder when I think of our 'old school' behaviour. It came up last night while watching the news of two Vancouver area RCMP officers facing DUI charges in separate instances this week. One of the officers killed a kid on an oncoming motorcycle. I reminisced about my bartending days when I would send off-duty RCMP officers out to their vehicles completely wasted. We used to be pissed off, not because these drunks may kill somebody, but because they would never be caught. We were jealous that we couldn't drink and drive without worrying about being charged! That's how crazy we were.


      I'm sorry about the wreck.
      So glad no one died or was permanently disabled.
      I'm assuming this is the same son you were upset with last month.
      He's sure making life hard on himself and you.
      You'd think seeing your struggle would make him think more on what could be.
      I pray he's learned his lesson.
      Maybe if he took a trip through the morgue.
      I saw that on tv where drunk driver's visited the morgue
      where teenagers died from dui.
      Teenagers have it hard nowadays for sure.
      But he just doesn't seem to care or realize how bad things could be.
      I'll pray Bethany.
      I honestly hope he gets it together before it's too late.
      God bless y'all & the boys in the other car.


        Wow betheny, you've had your fair share of worries this week.

        I'll keep your family in my thoughts this halloween weekend.


          Good luck & all you can really do is pray that he learns a lesson.

          My brother has given my mother the same ride your son has. He has gotten 2 DUI's(years ago) and is still paying for them. My brother is 27 and clean now..has a family & good job, but still isn't able to get his license back or if at all. I hope your son doesn't have to experience that.
          Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.


            Betheny, I am sorry for all your trouble. Sometimes it gets a little too much. Just now I am happy I never had money for my children to have a driver's license, they still don't have 26 and 23 years old.
            TH 12, 43 years post


              Bethany thats a hard lesson to learn I know from the kids point of view. I had a DUI at 21 and thought oh well I got caught. Well five years later after forgetting all the trouble and money issues with that one and yes I did drink and drive tons of times after that. I drank the night of my accident and I havent come to terms thinking that it really had anything to do with it. I swerved to miss a deer in the road at 230am after a friday night. I woke up hours later in the hospital and I am a T8 now. Just remind him that it might not be someone else that will not walk away from the accident either. Thats if his accident and seriously injuring those other kids didnt do that already.


                Oh Betheny, what a week. I commend you for not stepping in and trying to fix this. Too many parents do this, and then wonder why their kids don;t learn. I really hope he learns from this. Some kids just need to be hit with a bulldozer before they get it.

                I am so glad no one was ir-recoverably hurt. And sorry you went through so much anguish before you found that out. Would have been fair had HE been going through it (and I suspect he was) but not you.
                T7-8 since Feb 2005



                  No judgments from me at all, just a hug and a shoulder for a friend.

                  Matthew 5:7
                  Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.



                    Bethany, so sorry to hear all this. Our children sometimes can have a hard time to grow up and become responsible. My daughter should have by now but nada. I emphatize with you and hope that Jake does settle down after this incident. I recall how I used to tell my daughter that I worried about her actions and the consequences she would/could get out of them but I guess that's all we can do. Having this accident and losing his license might shake him up to see things a bit clearer. I hope so anyway. I know what you mean about the Dahmer parents. The parents do become victims of their children's deeds and that is so sad since many don't see that.

                    Hope things change for you. You do need a break. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Don't forget, I am here for you. Call me if you need a shoulder.


                    Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. ~Victor Hugo~

                    A warrior is not one who always wins,
                    but one who keeps on fighting to the end ~ Unknown ~


                      Bethany, I haven't been here that long, but didn't your son just spend time in jail? Was it a dui also/, Gad, it was while you were going thru the m-i-l thing, wasn't it.
                      It reminds me of my youngest. He's driving w/o ins(he's 21 so ??) he's not at home now, but it just scares the hell out of me that he drinks and drives( Oh, it was only a few blocks) He'll either kill or maim somebody else or himself, and he'll come running to us, and my wife will hock the house for him. your story just tuged at my heart and made me think. scared.


                        Hopefully he makes it out on a deferred. That judge is going to put it on him especially with others injured. Thank God nobody was seriously hurt.

                        No judgments here either just best wishes.
                        Say what you mean and mean what you say because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

                        My Myspace


                          It's a shame that this stuff happens but hopefully he'll learn a lesson from it, glad no one was hurt seriously. I never got caught drunk driving till it was to late, the DA didn't give me man slaughter due to my SCI but man that guilt sticks with you forever.
                          C5/C6 complete

                          "I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me guaranteed..." - Eddie Vedder


                            Sweetie hang in there. I was mezerized when reading your post. My heart goes out to you and the other parents of the kids in the other car. I have a 23 yr old step son and an 18 yr old daughter. I shutter at their behaviour but know I did the same or worse it just sucks being on this side. Hang in there.


                              Beth & WFE, -for ya all