Friday, September 5, 2014

Living in our truth...

I have a friend, a dear dear friend, who I truly do love.....but I haven't spoken to her in over a year. I'm not mad at her or hurt by her. I just can't do it though. I wrote about her journey just about a year ago. Her daughter got strung out on heroin after a short bout of prescription pill use. Her parents came to get her and forced her to come home and then proceeded to detox her by giving her shots of tequila and bumming Vicodin from friends and letting her smoke pot. Then she was deemed cured and that was that. Again, I love this family....but the dad drinks alcoholically, the mom eats alcoholically, and I feel like I am judging.....but I see what I see and I can't, at this point in my life, watch and act like everything is fine. I. just. can't. I don't have the energy. Thinking about it makes me feel like I am smothering and I feel guilty, like I am the shittiest of friends. But I can't do it.

We don't  live our life in secret. For whatever ungodly reason, I choose to lay it all out there for all to see. I remember when Molly was little and couldn't read yet, but was at the age where she *should* have been able to read.....I knew something was wrong. I knew she didn't learn like other kids and she was starting to feel the pressure of not being on the same timetable as her friends.We started talking about how to handle it. Bless her heart, she listened and she believed what I told her and then she applied it in her little life.....Be proactive. You be the one to let them know you aren't able to read out loud...yet. Don't get caught or found out while trying to hide your reality. Hold onto your power,  lay it all out there and let them know what your truth is." And that is how we do it around here folks. Hiding takes so much energy and if you get caught, if your secret accidentally gets revealed.....its humiliating and shameful. If I share my life with someone, its on my terms.

Today little one and I went to her first counseling appointment. We did it our way. We answered the questions honestly. This was about little one and we kept the focus on her. During my private conversation with the counselor we talked about the long generational history of substance abuse, depression, and anxiety and also my fear of labeling her, conveying that "we all have struggled so quite obviously, you will too!"  This took so much courage for her, my shy, private, little sweet thing, but she walked in and explained what she has been struggling with, she let the counselor know it was a "mutual" decision to come in. She wasn't being forced. When we left the office, you could see the relief in her body.  In the way she walked and carried herself and in the smile and in the statement, "I really liked her."

Sometimes I feel like I want to look away. Its too much disarray to look at, to acknowledge, to feel responsible for. But I know if I do that, I won't be moving forward. I will be standing still, allowing the darkness to hold me captive. I refuse. I pray each morning....God shine light on what I need to see today.

In other news....Molly got a tattoo on her forearm that is really something. Whew! She asked if I was mad...of course not. A little overwhelmed with the idea of this being on your beautiful flawless body until your dying day, but no, I'm not mad. The dad said, "With all we have been through, tattoos are nothing."

My big boy son got a huge job promotion. He has to move across the U.S. but his salary will be doubled and they will fly him home 4x a year, pay his rent for the first 6 months, pay all moving expenses, and he is now the director of the IT dept for the company he works for. His story is amazing... he's only had 3 years of traditional schooling in his entire life. 8th, 9th, and 10th grade. He is totally self taught. Yes, I am proud of him.

My girl has a few sober days, but she left tonight. We will see how it plays out. Her time here is winding down I think. Today sitting in that dr.s office with little one, I thought of my girl and how 11 years ago I brought her into this same facility's  pediatricians office to ask for help and how we DIDN'T receive a referral to the child psychologist, and  how I didn't know to ask for one. Instead we received a firm lecture and a good dose of guilt. I do wonder if she had been dxed earlier and treated effectively, if we would be on this same path that we have been on for so long now? I don't know. All that I do know is that God has a plan. I may not always understand it, but its there and its what gives me any hope at all these days.

Dear God, help me to be gracious and merciful and love people as you do.


Anonymous said...

Friendships can be so complicated. Unlike family, friends come and go. And that is OK. We change and so do our friends. Sometimes they come back into our lived and sometimes not. As we say in Al Anon, "Take what you like and leave the rest". Take what you can learn and then leave it. Place it down for now.

I would love to see a picture of your daughters tattoo! And the news about your son is wonderful. :-)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one that has problems with certain friends. While mine is not exactly like yours I do avoid certain old friends that are just too judgemental. I've learned to deflect and I tell myself it's ok to not lay everything out there for certain people. Just last night I met with 2 friends and was not completely forthright in our ongoing addiction battle. I try to be rigorously honest each day but some people I have learned to be careful around. I don't know if this is right or wrong but it's what I do now. Thank you for sharing so much on your blog, it helps me so much.

Honey said...

I look forward to reading your posts Annette. I especially related to the sentiment about sometimes wanting to look away. I too sometimes just want to drop my head.

My meeting today was a Discussion about God's Will. I am learning to have Faith that there is an order to all of this.

Thanks for sharing!

beachteacher said...

Beautiful post Annette -- and it resonated with something I just experienced with a close family member-- my sister in law. I'm much the same as you & have been honest about our journey with our son's drug addiction and the huge volume of resulting horrible side effects. I haven't advertised it to others--of course-- but I don't lie about it and have been honest- even though it's not always easy to do so.
Ironically- our nephew,..a HS valedictorian, Ivy League college person--had a big "problem" with the same drug of choice as our son-- but for a very long time- his mom wouldn't ever even reveal to us what drug it was-- and said he's not actually an ADDICT . His life deteriorated,...became very unlike it had been -- he dropped/flunked out of college, etc. --it was awful. We were all very worried about him--it was a terrible time-- at the same time pur D was also continuing to unravel. Thank God -- and I do ! , ...our nephew got help medically-- pulled out of his depression, stopped his drug use-- and even went back to and graduated from that same Ivy League school. Not long after-- he came out and let everyone know that he's gay --and his life has gotten better and better since then. Today he's happy and about to marry a wonderful guy that we all love-- this December.
So- here's how the secret part comes back into this story. They're now about to mail out wedding invitations--and unknown to me-- he's cut one cousin and her mom totally out of his life--and I'm thinking they won't even be invited to the wedding. That aunt and her daughter were always very close to him growing up -- and into his early adulthood- and have no idea why he won't have anything up do with them now. But he used to do drugs with his cousin -- and thinks she's still doing it - I don't know if he even knows that for sure or not. But his parents-- nor him-- will let his aunt know any of that -- because that secrecy/stigma reigns over the whole thing. As a POA -- I'm also thinking that the cousin's addiction would become obvious to her mom if it really was still happening-- but whatever. I said to my sister in law -- why don't you just tell her (the mom of the cousin) why he can't be near his cousin-- that she's a trigger for him ? All I can say is-- wow-- did my comment ever set off a firestorm -- she said she can't talk to me because I was stressing her out etc.. I'm sorry for this long comment-- more like my own post-- but wow-- what a difficult bunch of ripples such secrecy can cause. And that's within the same family-- people who love my nephew-- whether he used to do drugs or not. I think it's all sadness that could have been avoided with truth. And the aunt that's the mom of the drug using cousin -- she's cut out too-- just for association. 😟

Anonymous said...

I got chills a few times when I read this. Again, thank you so much for laying it all out there for the world. I, too, am all about honesty... I've had my run ins with secrecy and it ALWAYS ends badly! I figure, lay it all out and those who are meant to will stick around. I am sorry for your struggles, but you are so right I think in what you said in the last blog post I read. You said something about everyone having problems, just some are very good at hiding it. I think that's true. The people in the world who are up front, like you, are the ones who end up helping others get through their problems.

Syd said...

I am honest with people but realize that my doing a fifth step with everyone I meet is not a good idea. I keep it real and authentic. I have learned discretion is sometimes required when dealing with the outside world.

I like so much how you interact with your family. You are a great mom.