Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Feeling Yourself Disintegrate"

Unfortunately, the other shoe is dropping with my son's situation. In a couple of different ways. First off, insurance isn't covering as much of his treatment as my wife and I were initially told they would, so it's kind of a financial nightmare at this point. In addition, our son called us last night and seems to have done a total about-face, saying he wants to come home on his discharge date (which is supposed to be 9/24), as opposed to staying out in Palm Springs to do his "transitioning."

His therapist called us and said he really wants our son to stay in residential treatment for an additional two weeks--which we'd have to pay for out of pocket--but that if he isn't on board, then we'd just be wasting our money. We're supposed to talk to our son tonight to try and figure everything out. If we can't get him to commit to staying in Palm Springs for additional treatment and his transitioning into a sober-living facility, I guess my wife and I will have to decide if we're ready to tell him that he'll be on his own out in California. That would seem to be the only other option, because we certainly don't intend to pay for him to fly home and put him back in a no-win situation, amongst people who are a negative influence and the dope houses that are just a short walk away.

So, after three weeks of relative calm, the stress is building again. Tonight's phone call ought to be interesting.

UPDATE: Our son called. We tried to explain to him that both his therapist and us want him to stay in Palm Springs longer, to get more treatment and more sobriety under his belt. He argued with us about it for about five minutes. Then he hung up on us.


On a brighter note, my wife and I took a wonderful four-day road trip to St. Louis this past weekend. Without kids. It was a trip to celebrate my 50th birthday and the purpose of the trip was to see two of our favorite musical acts: Kathleen Edwards and Bon Iver. In addition to being the opening act, Kathleen is also the girlfriend of Bon Iver's frontman, Justin Vernon. She has also become sort of a friend of ours. Our friendship developed from us having attended several of her shows over the years, talking to her after those shows, e-mailing back and forth, etc.

We had a great time, and the night was more like a religious experience than a concert. The highlight of Kathleen's set was her dedicating the last song to my wife and me. The song is a cover of the Flaming Lips' "Feeling Yourself Disintegrate," which is a song about addiction. When my wife and I heard the dedication--which was a total surprise--we both cried. What a beautiful, thoughtful thing for Kathleen to do. It was also a total fluke that someone I knew at the show happened to capture the dedication and song on his camera phone. The video isn't great--he wasn't super close to the stage--but the audio is fine. You can see/hear for yourself below. You can also watch Bon Iver's performance of "Perth," the opening song of their set.

We also had the pleasure of going backstage after the concert and hanging out for a bit. Getting to meet Justin Vernon was pretty cool. He's an incredibly nice guy, and he signed a setlist for us, too (see photo below).

All in all, it was a very memorable night.


  1. First of all, Happy 5 - 0 birthday to you !

    I am so sorry to hear that your son is not on board with what the treatment team says. I have been so hopeful due to these recent developments. Stand firm with your decisions and don't give up hope. The professionals out there have dealt with this before. I am hopeful they will get through to him.
    I understand the "roller coaster" ride. Fortunately our son never asked to come home. He is about 700 miles away. That has made "detaching with love" easier. He is about 3 months sober right now......this time.
    Praying for you and all our young adults.

  2. Dean. Not the post I had hoped to read after your positive comments of the past few weeks. But your Katleen/Bon Iver story is great toread (let alone experience).
    Happy and sad and back again. To quote a someone we both love....