Thursday, January 26, 2017

Grace, Wisdom and Empathy

WORD FOR THE DAY
Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
JOAN CHITTISTER
Trying hard to hold on to this today.  

The Secret Keeper is in the hospital. You may think that now that we are divorced that it’s not a big deal…not my problem. In a way, perhaps…  But my girls are left dealing with an extremely ill father. All the years we try to protect our kids from the reality of a very harsh world. All the time spent building a life that is moving towards goals of college educations, decent jobs and lives of their own. Somehow, you don’t think that will include you daughter sending you a picture of a little plastic packet that looks like it contains grains of sugar. If only it was sugar. If only it was salt meant for the hardboiled egg that was packed for a mid-morning snack at a stable job that is, if not enjoyable, at least supplying a livable wage.  That’s just not their world.

Their world still contains the chaos of an unpredictable addict that makes it hard to decide where self care and care for the addict begins and ends. I can be there for them but only so much. I cannot take over and make choices so that they do not have to face this. It is my default. I find myself having to weigh sentences and thoughts at every encounter. I have to stop myself from saying “No, you should do this” or “Okay, our next step is…”

My baby, who is not a baby, comes home and tells me about an encounter with a social worker who is telling her options and facts. She stops and looks at her with concern and pity and says, “You are his primary?” She answers with the affirmative. The social worker questions again, “How old are you?” “Twenty” my girl replies. They talk more of Medical Power of Attorneys, HEPA forms and etc, etc, etc…

Honestly, I had to stop myself from running out the door. I had to sit calm and supporting because that is what a mom does. I could do it because of what I have learned over the last couple of years. I could take this one day at a time…..one hour at a time…..one conversation at a time.

The Secret Keeper is still incoherent and my girl went to his apartment to get him a few things. What she found was an apartment containing 4 gals, two of which were sleeping in his bed, all high as kites. The official roommate, Sarah, had to be woken so she could retrieve the Secret Keepers wallet and truck keys out of HER purse. Now his addict roommate is texting my girl to see if she can borrow her dad’s truck to make a court appointment that he had promised to take her to. LORD, I want to go slap that fucking bitches face! Doesn’t she see this is just a kid!!!  Ha, a kid my ass.  She’s handled this with far more grace, empathy and wisdom than I ever would or could. And remembering that reminds me...Sarah, too, is a very sick person.

I pray for my kids today. I pray for strength, courage and love. I pray for their mental health instead of letting my fears bury me. I pray for their father, who was and is a good man, but who is very, very sick. I reach out for support and sometimes find it  and sometimes don't and remember that it is my Higher Power I should be looking to. Humans, me included, just seem to let even the people they love the most down.
  
Namaste

4 comments:

  1. I hope your daughters have resources and counselling so they can set good boundaries with their father and his addiction chaos.

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  2. I struggle with my kids living their own lives without my input. It is so hard. I do encourage you to share your experience, hope and love.

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  3. As a mom, I can understand what a terrible position you are in. How stressful this is to you. Our first instinct is to protect our children. I'm so sorry your kids are going through this and I hope, as Debra states, that they are getting the support they need to help them get through this.

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  4. NAMI has been a wealth of help. Luckily, two years ago, we took a class called family to family that really helped a bunch. Plus some Al-Ateen meetings had her setting boundaries before I even knew what that meant. Thanks ladies­čĺť

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