Mom and I had decided we wanted his release to be a celebration. We went out to eat and visiting. I had not seen that Brooke for over a week and wanted to see her. Our daughter had said Alex was not welcome at her new home. I respect that but we called her to see if we could come by and we had Alex. They thought it over and called us back and said we could come over and bring Alex. That was the first time he had seen her house and she gave him the tour. Plus we all got to play with Brooke. She had grown so much since Alex had last saw her 6 months ago. He was playing the part of a proud Uncle. It was a nice visit.
We then went by my mom's. His incarceration had been hard on his granny. A few smiles and tears and time melted away.
We were as patient as we could be. 24 hours after his release, almost to the minute we had a talk. It was hard holding in all those things even that long but it was so good to talk and I tried to listen too. Mom and I discussed our boundaries with Alex. Tried to be clear and there was nothing directed towards him. Everything from us was about how we were to live our life going forward. We said we have not enjoyed our life for a long time and for the last 3 months we learned again what it was like to enjoy life. We released our stress of his safety and learned to live again. Our goal is not to go back to that life again, our life is too short.
He talked to us. We listened. Alex said he has learned to believe in himself. He said,"there is nothing in life mentally and physically tougher than prison, if I can do that time in there I can do whatever I really want to do and I never want go back to my old life either." He also credited me with saying something before he went that helped him through it all. He quoted back to me my talk to him about "trying vs doing" (http://parentsofanaddict.blogspot.com/2009/08/vacation-time.html#comments). He said he is no longer a person that tries, he said from now on in his life he is a do'er. It's almost hard to hold back tears when I heard that. Maybe they do listen sometimes.
We both talked about how hard this was going to be for us all. All of us changing at once. We offered our help. We told him we no longer would guess at what he needs and enable his death. We said we would help when he ask, but he must ask for help now. He is no longer a child he is a man and he "man up" and fulfill the role.
Went to the regular family Thanksgiving. Alex was welcomed with open arms and many hugs. Having such a supportive family is gold to us and I am sure for him too.
3760 holes is how many holes were in his perforated steel cell door once he was out of "the hole" due to being sick and quarantined. I don't know what you see in that useless fact but it tells me a lot about a small piece of his life for the last month.