While my son is incarcerated it gives me a chance to take inventory of where I am. It's so important to take time for ourselves for personal reflection but when you are dealing with an addict in active addiction the drama and crisis is never ending. There comes a point that between the emergencies all you can do is collapse. We've been at that point for 5 years.
I don't want to give the impression of us sitting around waiting to resume our life of crisis and drama. When my son entered jail he was clean and had a determination of sobriety that I had never seen in him before. In all of our correspondence it seems that determination is seated deeper. My hope is that he is what he says now.
At this point I am reflecting on our life for the last few years. How did we, not him, get to this point? What have I learned? It's hard but I have let go of my expectations of what he could have been. His life is his to make the most of and if he wants it he can make it. It is not my job to hand it too him. That would be cheating him of his dignity, pride and life learning. He will make mistakes, I did and I have never been an addict or alcoholic. Life is about discovery and mistakes are a part of healthy discovery. He's not a failure if he makes a mistake, he's human.
Just because my son suffers from a disease that does not justify me robbing him of the chance to discover life by being a helicopter parent. That's another point not just for parents of addicts. If you are always hovering above to shelter your child from the pain of discovery, you are also robbing them of the reward. Sure wish I would have followed my own advice 7 years ago when I was enabling my son's using.
I am tired of, and done parenting. I want to be a father. Looking back I can see as a teenager, as most teenagers, I resented my parents. They were the ones telling me "no". They were the ones I depended on and limited my independence. At that age I couldn't live on my own but in my mind I knew it all and could recite every mistake they were making as a parent. As I matured and began living a life of independence and responsibility a transformation from resentment to respect occurred within me. Dad and Mom the parents morphed into Dad and Mom the father and mother, people with knowledge and wisdom. It would be unfair for me to rob my son of that personal experience.
This is a time to charge our batteries. Our son could come out of jail a monster, I don't believe that but I have learned in all of this time anything is possible. I don't fear the possible, I am prepared for the best.
In the meantime, my mother is getting progressively worse with her dementia. We got her to quit her job effective Jan. 1. That has been a traumatic experience for all and now she is obsessing over her job. Soon it will come a time the car needs to go. It is very trying on my sister because she lives with mom and is the primary caregiver. She needs breaks, we have to make sure she doesn't assume the martyr role. It will be hard on us all. I am so glad Alex wants to fly straight. He probably can not fathom how much help that is to us and how much lighter the load becomes.