I live in a small coastal town near a small city in South Carolina. We are bound by the ocean to the east and rural areas to the west and south. There is one NarAnon group in the city and no others anywhere within reach – not for us and not for the smaller towns and cities in surrounding counties.
I work in a women’s recovery house and sometimes the parents call – especially the moms. Due to HIPAA, our privacy regulations are extensive and I usually cannot tell the parents any details about how their daughter is doing. I talked to one mom who was sobbing on the other end of the phone, “What do I do? Will it ever be better?” I was heartbroken.
I want to create a resource for parents but I don’t know how that looks yet. In the meantime, I’ve discovered a website called “In the Rooms.” I just joined and it looks great. You can attend a video NarAnon meeting, participate in meditation sessions, chat with other people and even get a sponsor. If you have never checked it out, I recommend that you do. And if you’re there, look for me, “One Mom Talking.”
Lastly, if you have suggestions about how to build a program or network for parents, especially in rural areas, please share!
I only have a few minutes, but I did want to write about this: I had a knock-down, drag-’em-out, screamfest with my daughter two nights ago. I mean a cussing, yelling, door slamming, and crying kind of thing.
Finally, she opened up a bit. It hurt, but it was healthy. She told me, point blank, how I dropped the parenting-ball during the years when my boys were starting to party. She said that me and her dad both turned a blind eye to what was happening in our own homes – and in doing so, we failed her as parents. And we failed the boys too. She said that she raised herself during the years when it was worse. And then she said, “So check it out, Mom — this is me leaving the nest!!”
In the end though – like the story of grief I posted a couple of days ago – when it was all said and heard and understood – things were a little better. She gave me a real hug for the first time in a year. And we both agreed that if this type of interaction is necessary now and then for us to communicate honestly with each other about hard things, then it is. And we’ll get through it.
I’m sad for her, and for me, and for us. We’ve all lost a lot. And the truth is, she is right about what she’s saying. But she also has things to learn … about forgiveness, and the choice of love, and how families can heal. So we keep on walking.
One Mom Talking – signing off for today. Make it a good one!
First things first: I want to wish all you Moms out there a wonderful, restful, peaceful, loving Mother’s Day! Even when I’m not showing up here on the Blogs, I keep you all in my prayers.
Update: Life has been busy, that’s for sure. And things are looking up these days for my family…
- DAN is doing GREAT! Last month I went to visit Colorado, saw the judge, got the restraining order lifted and, for the first time in eight months, got to spend time with Dan. I gave him so many hugs! He’s being promoted in his job and planning to apply to college for the fall. I know that an addict can slip at any time, but I’ve allowed myself to fully accept Dan’s recovery right now. He looks fantastic, has a great outlook on life, and is succeeding in all his programs. It’s amazing how a life can turn around in God’s hands. Amen.
- AL has 80 days clean! He is still looking for work, but he has also managed to stay in his sober living home and manage his life. He’s had some bumps in the road, but as far as I know they’ve not included using. I still worry about him a little … but each time we talk my worry lessens. It almost seems too good to be true that both boys are in recovery mode and staying there.
- LYNN is starting to open up. She asked me if she could go to church with me tomorrow — first time since we moved last July! I’m so happy. We’ve been getting along better. And she did really well on her ACT exam for college.
What else can I say? I’m working two jobs – which is a little nutsy – but I’m also getting back on my financial feet somewhat. I’m doing a 13-week program at my church “Financial Peace University.” It’s time to put that piece of my life in place. In the meantime, the warm weather is settling in here in South Carolina, and an hour on the beach today did a lot to calm my over-active brain. Now prayer and sleep, and a new day tomorrow.
God bless your Mother’s Day!
My daughter is still struggling with our move. When we lived in Colorado, she had reasons why she wanted to leave that place and those circumstance. Now that we are in South Carolina, she has reasons why she believes Colorado was better, or why South Carolina is not the best place, or whatever. You get the idea.
I figure it’s time for her to learn something we all learn at some point or another: “Wherever you go, there you are.” Perhaps addicts learn this more clearly than the rest of us. Whether in our homes, motel rooms, or on the streets, they still are who they are. And sometimes the only way for them to learn that is for us to take that hard stand and draw those firm boundaries.
One blog friend has had to do this recently. It’s painful to read the stories from those who are just getting to that point with their addicts. I’m grateful to be past that right now; and yet clearly aware that I might end up there again someday. Relapse is the unforgiven friend you hope never shows up on caller i.d.
One of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, says it this way: “Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.” Dr. Wayne Dyer reminds us: “Heaven on Earth is a choice you must make, not a place we must find.”
It’s all about the journey. Wherever you go, there you are. My daughter will learn in her own time; as we all do. So be the blessing you want to see in the world. I love you all – God bless!
Posted in Addict Child, Addiction, addiction daughter, Healing, Heroin, Parent of addict, Parenting, Recovering Child, Siblings, Spiritual Growth, The Ongoing Story
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Do you ever get tired of decisionmaking? Sheesh.
This is a heavy topic for me right now because I’m stuck in a state of indecision … because I feel like this particular decision holds heavy weight for many people. I expect the truth is that it holds heavy weight for me. I don’t have a clear perspective. I’m a recovering codependent — used to thinking that my decisions have the ability to keep things together…or break them apart not only for me, but for those close to me as well.
What’s this all about? A move. I want to move. We’re not talking two towns over or even to a neighboring state. I want to move almost 2000 miles from my current location back to where my mom and dad and sister and cousins and other friends live. I want to be on the coast, at the ocean’s edge. The place on this earth that my heart cries for. I want to move there with my daughter, who wants to be near the women in the family and who yearns for a new beginning after a couple of very difficult years. I want this.
I want to be near my mother as she ages but while she’s still vibrantly alive. I don’t want to wait until the doctor calls and suggests I come take care of my mother on her deathbed. I don’t want to wait for that.
And yet … my boys are 18 and 20 — not so independent yet. Especially Dan, who is doing great in recovery so far. Three weeks out of rehab and still clean. A job pending. Court appearances still to come. Al, 18, his life on solid ground for the first time in a long time. He could actually join in the move or not, but Dan has no choice because of court. He cannot move, probably for a year or two. He would have to stay back with this dad. And when I talked with him he said, “Don’t move away! I already have no friends…” (He can’t socialize with his old friends due to their partying and his addiction). “I can’t imagine you not being close by!”
And on top of that my job — where I finally have a boss who is teaching me and encouraging me and helping me to grow in our business and become more of the leader I want to be.
Here I am. Stuck. Trying to think of a way to make everybody happy and to move forward without any negative consequence. Or to stay put … again … so that I will not bear the responsibility of initiating potentially hurtful change. But in that, sacrificing my own yearning. And my mother’s. And my daughter’s.
Ah yes — awake at 4AM and singing, “Clowns to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am: Stuck in the middle with you.”
So here we are…December 26, 2009…one day past Christmas. The best I can do right now is one long deep sigh.
Christmas Eve was a good day until I started getting ready for church. Was it that my daughter refused to go to church on Christmas Eve, for the first time ever, saying she thought it would just make her angry? Was it that Dan, my oldest, in past years would have been the one to encourage the other two to join me whether they liked it or not, just because it would make me smile? Was it that Al, the 17 year old, left a movie early to join me, not only to make me smile but because he is beginning to understanding something about God and Faith?
For all of these reasons, and because I realized I didn’t have a Christmas outfit this year, I started crying as I got ready for church. And as I drove to church. And when me friend, Beverley, gave me a hug and said “how are you?” once I arrived at church.
Understand, I don’t have a problem crying in church; I’ve done it many times. But on Christmas Eve I was singing, on stage, in front of everyone. Not a good time for mascara down the cheeks.
Honestly? It was because Dan is in rehab and my deepest gut says that he’s still not quite ready to fight his addiction…a reaction that seems to be playing out as true. He has continually been texting his brother to bring suboxone to the rehab center for him. That would be illegal and against the center’s rules.
Tonight, I’m tired of being the mother of an addict. Tonight, just for this night, I don’t want to be that anymore. If you’re in my shoes, you know what I mean. Tomorrow I’ll get up and continue to pray for my son. But tonight … one long deep sigh.