You will never know how much these words gave me peace and strength today. Your words echo what I deep down already knew , but was stifled in FOG. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your wisdom. I will come back to read this many times I am sure.Earthishard, I am so sorry for your heartache. I know the frustration of watching a beloved child go off the rails and being absolutely powerless to prevent it. It is like trying to stop a train wreck. Over, and over and over again.
We love them and want the best for our children.
If love could save them, we would have no need for this forum.
I also have not heard from either of my two for months now. My home is way more stable, but that unanswerable question lingers in the back of my mind as to how they are doing.
When I start to worry and fret, I say a prayer and ask God to watch over them.
It calms me and helps me to pick myself up and carry on.
I ask in faith and hope they find their way.
We all have our journeys, including our adult children. Who knows why they are walking the path they are on.
I just know that the choices my two were making while in my home were dragging us all in to the pit with them.
I want to share this thought with you.
You did not turn your back on your son.
It is his choices that you reject (and rightly so) not him.
Addiction and drug use, would have us stay desperate and broken to perpetuate the cycle. It becomes an illness that infects everyone involved, the addict as well as family who try with all of their might to stop the insanity of it.
The issue is, that it is up to our beloveds to figure out that the consequences of caving to addiction and drug use, are not worth using.
I have seen the ravages of meth up close and personal. It is an insidious drug. I have also seen people overcome using. My niece in recovery told me that the best thing her parents did, was to make her leave. She said that was the only way for her to get clean.
This testimony keeps me going on the path.
One day, I had a talk with a nephew, who uses meth. I asked him if he knew where his cousins were. “They are finding themselves”
He went on to tell me that I should “just build a little place for them in the back of my house.
“If Uncle were alive, he would do it, because he loved them.”
That stung for a moment.
To the core of me.
I took a deep breath and replied that I loved them too, enough to know that their using was no good for them, and affected us all so badly....
This conversation got me thinking about how an addict thinks, and wants us to think. That our housing them, feeding them while they use is loving them.
Addiction wants us to stay involved, entangled, giving our all.
Addiction takes and takes and takes.
Stealing precious time and resources, stealing our peace, joy, decimating us to despair, to the point where we don’t know what to do. To the point where we think if we stop trying, helping, enabling we are turning our backs on our beloveds.
I am not denying your feelings, not at all. I know this feels like you turned your back on your son. It felt the same to me, when I first made my daughter leave at 18. I still go back to that moment and wonder “If I had done this, or that”
My home had a revolving door for years between my two daughters. From them begging to come back, to rearranging our small home to fit everyone, then an episode would occur, (you know the drill) and I would turn them out.
It was around three years ago that I finally realized my helping, was not helping. Still, there is this huge void when we reach the understanding that we have tried everything and the only rational alternative is to have our adult children leave.
It feels horrible, like the ultimate defeat.
All the stages of grieving rolling through like dark storm clouds.
I understand and am so sorry for the pain of it.
I believe in what Maya Angelou said, that words and thoughts have power.
This is why I write to you here and encourage you to try to switch that mind frame of turning your back on your son.
What ran through my mind in repeating those words is this.
Turning my back on my daughters..........
I turned my back on my two, every day that I walked out of my home to go to work while they feigned illness. Okay, reality check, they were ill because they were not high, tweaking, coming down. I was blind to that then. They slept all day. If a friend phoned, they were instantly cured, went out and partied. Giddy and talkative with friends, moody and unpredictable with us, they displayed unacceptable disrespect, played mind games and blame switched. Punched holes in my walls.
They negated a “conventional life” for drugging and partying, yet, reaped the benefits of their parents working and paying the bills.
I turned my back to the fact that their choices were destroying the peace in my home, because I thought that turning them out was cruel, that they would just get worse, I couldn’t imagine them being homeless and I didn’t want them to suffer.
In this, I turned my back on myself. Sacrificed time and energy to try to make things right. Swallowed down the hurt as they saw my increasing resistance to their living in my home, then triangulated their father against me, as he was softer and more willing to keep trying.
When I realized that I didn’t want to go home, because it was no longer my sanctuary and filled with the chaos of their choices........I knew I had to turn around and face the reality of the situation.
I was forced to look at it by a hysteric episode with my younger daughter circling my home in a rage screaming and swearing at the top of her lungs.
Talk about a rude awakening.
That was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back.
It was a harsh lesson, up close and personal, in living color of what was happening ....the behavior was just so outrageous, there was no alternative but to see it for what it was.
Full blown, undeniable addiction and drug use.
Destructive and earth shattering for me.
Just another Tuesday.
That event helped me to say no, the next time she casually mentioned that she was “coming home”.
Did I feel good about that?
Nope, it broke my heart.
Just as you wrote, I felt like I turned my back on her.
But I knew I couldn’t go another round.
She asked to come home again, right after her father passed.
In all of my grief and vulnerability, I summoned up the courage to say no.
Because love says no.
I hugged her and told her that I loved her, but that she just didn’t get well at home, she needed to go to a DV shelter, or rehab.
She stared at me in disbelief and told me it wasn’t fair.
She was angry.
I was already a shell of myself from dealing with two off the rails daughters, empty from the ordeal of hubs illness, hospitalization and death.
I cried my eyes out.
It was a loss on top of loss on top of loss.
But I stood firm.
By the grace of God.
The night of hubs scattering of ashes, she decided to invite her cronies to my home, party in my backyard, then got into it (again) with her boyfriend and the police had to be called (again). It was horrendous, disrespectful and completely typical of a series of incidences we had endured over the years.
I was left to face it without my husband.
Enough is enough.
There is only so much any of us can take.
I couldn’t turn my back to it any more.
So I turned around and faced it for what it was.
My daughters choice to abandon the morals and values we raised them with, recklessly endanger their own lives and relentlessly try to drag us all down with them by their insistence that “family sticks together” when all along they were sticking it to us with their addiction and use.
Sorry, I am venting. I am coming close to the two year date of my husbands passing.
Reeling those tapes again is hard, but it snaps me back to understanding that it was really that bad.
That I tried everything, like you Earthishard.
Until the day I die there will be moments where I will be stumbling and second guessing myself, wondering if I did enough.
That is the heartache a mother bares, when dealing with this.
Learn and grow.
I have to remind myself that I did not turn my back on my two.
I faced their addiction, that horrible beast and defiantly said “You may have your grip on my daughters, but you can’t have me”.
Addiction cannot trick me anymore in to thinking that I have a say in what my adult daughters choose. It cannot trick me in to thinking that when my daughters come to me, they want help.
But I also realize that I have to keep building my toolbox and keep my guard up over my own heart. It is a lifelong task.
Life is short, and I want to live peaceably.
By telling my daughters that they need to go elsewhere and get real help, I am freeing myself
from the destruction of addiction and pushing them towards recovery.
You did not turn your back on your son, you are pushing him towards recovery.
We have learned, you and I, that our beloveds do not get well in our homes.
That is a proven fact.
So, we face that .......and fight every nurturing urge in our bones to keep trying, even though we know it hasn’t worked.
What we have done is turn around and faced the horrible truth of addiction and drug use and said “No more”.
“Not in my home”
I believe that is why my daughters and maybe your son have gone no contact.
They know they cannot fool us anymore.
I am hoping that this knowledge will help them to stop turning their backs on themselves.
In the meantime, we have our own mission.
That is to find every ounce of strength to rebuild ourselves.
One step at a time.
While there is life there is hope.
So today, instead of thinking of all the terrible things that may happen to my two, I choose to wish and hope and pray for them to truly find themselves.
I am working on my own acronyms to help me fill that void of not knowing how my two are doing.
What I wish for them, I must strive to find in myself.
You too, and anyone else following along.
Be the change.
W.isdom, I.nsight, S.elf-care, H.ealth
H.ealing, O.vercoming, P.urpose,E.nlightenment.
This is tough stuff, Earthishard.
I am touched by music too, songs have helped me release the sadness that builds up inside.
Bottling it all up is no good.
Some days, I just need a good cry.
Then I do my best to pick myself up and carry on.
I truly believe that each time I pick myself up, I am championing the cause for my two.
I am leading by example, and showing them there is a way out of the darkness into the light.
Everybody hurts. It is so true.
It is no small task to pull ourselves up and out. But we are worth the effort.
Please take care of yourself and know you are not alone.
Be very kind and gentle with yourself.
Find ways to nurture your soul.