Trail of Sorrow
For months we walked a line between addiction and grief with uncertainty, and not knowing how to navigate one within the other, life blurred. In the center of tremendous sorrow, came defeat and surrender to addiction. My words and advice fell into the barren land of drugs. Nothing I’ve said has stuck. In truth, we don’t find emptiness at the end of hope; we find a hollow tunnel. My son is stuck, spinning in a wall of pain that never ends. To find the exit, he will have to turn around and fight his way back.
A short week ago, he decided to move out. No surprise as we told him our way or you can’t stay. We’ve had theft, lies, job losses. You name it; it’s probably happened. Refusal of therapy is the worst. The loss of a girlfriend and an unborn child is devastating and requires help: no N.A., counselor, nothing. We hoped and gave our best effort without creating an open atmosphere of our acceptance of his choices.
Today, after a few days of no contact, he calls and says he slept on the street. I offered to pick him up, but he caught one bus after another (all free right now) and took four hours to get close to home. I picked him up in front of our grocery store. He looked a mess. We bought pizza, he came home and ate, showered, and fell asleep. We can save the difficult conversation for tomorrow.
My loss tonight is the unknown. As parents, we never know a child’s true rock-bottom. It appears the dirt is soft down there, and it is easy to keep digging. We try and try merely to lose these battles over and over again.
I’ve heard parents wish their own life to end, and I’ve listened to them wish their adult child’s life would end. It breaks my heart every time. There are no words to encourage a broken soul into hope; it’s all been said. They’ve experienced this towering beast of addiction for years.
We are the voice of insanity- functioning within a cycle of repetitiveness. We flap our little flippers in hopes we never drown by the hand of a child we love. Most days, we embrace sadness and anger. On a rare occasion, we bask in the light of forward motion. Yet, we cannot trust our footing. When they fall, we fall.
Challenging the Plunge
I have heard many people debate the subject of helping an addicted love one. From a hardline stance of no enabling, to downright belief that enabling doesn’t exist, I’ve heard it all. Ten years we have watched this merry-go-round turn. We watched jail, prison, jail sentences come and go.
Listening to, ‘I’m done, mom, I’m done with this life,” -to living the instant replay, I am tired. I am no longer in a place of not knowing what is right on our part, and I am in that final destination that says, “It’s on you.”
Our son has lived in Wisconsin until a year ago, but another child in peril was here. So combining the many years of their choices, I have nothing left. I throw in the white towel to Jesus and say, “Here you go.”
I am approaching a time in my life that I want for me. Call me selfish, but shouldn’t it be expected? I’ve given all my being to raising and loving kids well into adulthood, and my role must evolve. I can no longer relinquish my health and mind to their hands. It was never supposed to be that way.
However, here I sit in the prison of their choices. They each hold a piece of my heart, and that is enough.