Why me, how many have wondered that? That simple refrain was uttered more often than I want to think about while Alex was using. There never seemed to be a satisfactory answer. We went to all the school functions, attended all the ball games, active in the schools and community, we read to him when he was little. Kept him involved in family activities, took him to the lake for wakeboarding, family vacations were a normal activity. We had family dinners together every chance we got. We supported his interests and bought him all the latest toys and games. Why me?
Of course that question was always expressed with a heavy heart. Too many times laying in bed at night Darlene and I would try to find the answer. What did we do wrong? Why are we being punished like this?
It has been a while since I asked that question with a heavy heart. But, the question has never left my mind. Lately I have been deliberating again on that question. With the benefit of time my thought process is quite different. In the past I was looking for an answer to the question. Today I have come to the understanding that the real question to ask concerning this should be, “Why was I asking the question of, why me?”
Why me is about a search of the past; as if knowing will change the present. Parents are problem solvers. Our “problem” was not ours to solve. Our question and problem involved us but our answer was always focused on Alex.
With the benefit of time and experience I see how much those two simple words derailed our own life. This was an exercise in futility. Searching for answers that meant nothing delayed our healing and supported our co-dependence. Why me allowed us to continue enabling because we took ownership in our loved ones addiction. Our role in the past must have contributed therefore without our active involvement in problem solving the “situation” will never right itself. I know this is convoluted thinking about addiction but it is a period all parents endure.
The learning process concerning addiction was one of the hardest things I have ever endured. Not because information and counsel was not out there, it was because it involved so much fear, love and the consequences are so dire. The world becomes topsy-turvy. Jail becomes protective custody, love is unconditional but loving actions become a no-no. Nothing seems to makes sense, we try to create sanity in an insane situation. Nothing seems to work the way it should. Why me, why am I having to go through this crap. What did I do to deserve this?
Why me leads us to believe there must be something or someone to fault. If only I could find the answer I could jump in our time machine and go back to fix our problem.
Many times I am ask, “What would you have done different?” Only a fool would answer with something like, I can’t think of a thing. There are many things I might have changed in the way I did things prior to addiction but that only leads to the “magic bullet” solution. Child rearing and addiction doesn’t subscribe to the magic bullet theory.
At some point as a parent we must allow our child to accept some responsibility in this situation. When I speak at schools I always ask every group if they have ever been told don’t do drugs. Every kid says yes they have been told. As parents we lament, they won’t even make their bed, it’s no wonder they wouldn’t listen to that simple commandment. So logically we assume it must have been something we did or didn’t do, why me?
This is a long post but it is a tough question. I am positive that I have not reached the conclusion of my thinking concerning this simple question. Maybe this is one of those life questions I face until I die, never an answer but always a question. The answer may simply be living for what happens now. The concrete on my sidewalk behind me is already cast and hardened.