I'll never forget the day we got our first phone call from the police. I heard my husband, Mark*, speaking to an unknown caller in a serious tone. "I see," he said. "Yes, I'll be right there." When Mark hung up, he delivered the blow: "David's been arrested for possession of marijuana at school. We need to meet him in the police office at school."
Drug possession? My head reeled. David was only 15. How could he have been arrested for possession? I didn't even know he smoked pot. As soon as I formulated the thought, memories started to surface. Actually, Mark had caught David smoking once or twice in the previous two years. But those seemed like isolated instances that we had addressed in appropriate ways at the time. Nothing to get overly concerned about.
I was wrong. David's arrest was the beginning of an ongoing journey through drug addiction and rehabilitation. Like cockroaches that had multiplied beyond the point of staying hidden from the light, David's arrest signaled a problem that had gotten out of control without us even knowing it. Initially, I felt angry for being forced to travel down this road. People with drug problems were not the kind of people I wanted to know. I resented the time I had to spend bringing David to see his probation officer each month, plus the daily meetings he was required to attend.
"For every hour I invest in dealing with your problem," I threatened through gritted teeth as I walked with David out of the courthouse the first time, "you will spend an hour doing what I need you to do!" Somehow I wanted him to pay for the grief I was feeling inside.1