It rips your guts out to do what you have to do when parenting an addict. And it really seems strange to talk about parenting a 22 year old man. But his actions are of a child and he treats us as parents that are suppose to provide for him so I really don't know what else to call it. Someone please, if you have a better term or phrase enlighten me.
Spoke with my son last night and he was begging and pleading to be allowed to come home if he could find someone to bail him out. I held my stance, he cannot live in our home again as long as he is the way he is as an active addict. He tried everything he knew to say including the homeless issue. Mom didn't even come straight home from work last night because she could not deal with the phone ringing constantly from jail. He doesn't seem to get that this time was a breaking point for Mom too. Mom is having a hard time, she can't even talk about it but I think she is processing and will come out better this time.
I need to read Truth # 7 again:
7. Homelessness May Be The Path He Chooses
Mom works in downtown Kansas City. When you drive down there you see homeless people with signs and some of them living under the bridges. They are dirty and hungry. They very likely are addicts, alcoholics or suffer from a mental illness. The one common denominator for all of these men and women living alone and homeless is that at some point in their life they had people that loved them. They are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends to someone. That doesn’t change their situation. They made choices that got them to this point. They can make other choices, and there are people and organizations to help them change. The key is, they must make the decisions. If our son makes the decision to live this way, it will hurt me terribly but he will do this until it is time for him to change, I cannot change him or those circumstances. It will not help him for me to give him a bed in my home if he continues to live the lifestyle.
Even though I wrote these truths that I have come to believe, I still have to go back to re-enforce what is reality for us each day.
The fairness issue is one I struggle with each day. I know that life is not fair and live that reality each day but rationalizing is hard when dealing with an addict. As an example, in our family our son has cousins the same age. These young adults are not addicts, they are going to school, working and some have even graduated college and preparing to get married. They are living at home. With the economy and schooling and a multitude of other reasons it is perfectly legitimate for them to live in the family home. This is not unique to our family it is a reality all across our nation. In fact many parents are praised, not just in our family, for helping out their adult children 20-25 years old get on their feet after college and while they look for a job or get established in a job to build the money for buying their own place. As the parent of an addict you are not afforded the same respect when you try to care for a sick young adult that is addicted. Comments of, "Why are you letting him live with you?" by others hurt you. I guess from the outside it is hard for some people to understand that it is possible to love an addict. We love our addicts just as much as we love our other children. We love our addicts just as much as other people love their non-addicted children. I think that is why it is especially hard for us to treat this disease the way we must to ensure we all come out on the other side healthy as possible. If I could go back to living where I believed that addiction was just a choice by people with poor character it would be easy to kick him out. But when you understand that addiction is a disease of the brain then it is awfully hard to turn out a sick child with no place to go.
For those that don't know, SS DD, Same Shit, Different Day