Monday, November 12, 2012

Why Me?

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. 


Anonymous said...

It's the guilt and blame that torture me. I blame myself...what if I had noticed earlier maybe I could have stopped it, what if I hadn't punished him too hard that time he hurt his sister, what if I had spent more one on one time with him, though we had a very close relationship. And if I don't blame myself, then I blame my husband...he should have disciplined him more, kept him in check when he reached that rocky age as a late teen, should have helped out more with the parenting, stopped giving him everything he wanted. The list goes on. None of the other children have a problem, so we must have done something right. Before this crisis started a year ago, we had a happy family. We were confident in our parenting. All that has been blown away as we hold on for dear life during this treacherous storm. As the family implements the boundaries for him and recovery for ourselves, we are finally finding peace and only pray he does too.

Donna said...

For me, its guilt, blame and utter internal torture. For me the addiction has gone on for 18 yrs, almost half of my son’s life. I have always been there for him and I feel probably I am the enabler. As my health fails, his keeps on thankfully . But just last week I put a boundary up that he has never heard from me, yet I constantly feel; Is it the right decision, What if?, Being alone out there is scary and causing me lots of sleepless nites, but yet my inner voice is telling me that it is the right thing. I don’t have peace internally but our home is back to normal without fear and anxiety. I pray that my son finds his way back to reality and away from the evil of drugs and all that comes with that.
I know I am not alone, but yet it is me here feeling this way.

Momma said...

Thanks again, for putting my feelings into words. So many things I could have done differently, I don't know which ones would have changed my Son2's path, maybe none.

One of the hardest things now is giving any advice. I have an acquaintance whose high school son is getting into trouble and using marijuana. I'm not even sure what to say, except tell our story and give her places to go for help, and to tell her it's not her fault... and give her a link to your blog ;)

Thanks for what you do for us POA's.

Anonymous said...

WHY ME? is a question I have often asked, yet it, I think, stems from the expectations I had of my son. Like you Ron,I was actively involved in my sons schooling, extra activities, family holidays and lots of adventures together to create lasting childhood memories. I expected my son to grow into a productive responsible adult, one who I could be proud of and he himself, proud of his achievements. Alas, that was not the reality. However, I now believe that there is in the worst of fortune, the best chances for a happy change. If a person has suffered more than their share of difficulties in life, perhaps they are being prepared to serve some greater purpose that will require the wisdom acquired through the trials of life, and hopefully these life lessons can be positively used to fuel future growth. In your case, Ron, you are doing so much good with your speaking at schools to students about the dangers of drugs. I wonder if you would be doing this if you hadn't experienced the trauma with your son.

Syd said...

A why question is elusive when it comes to answers. We cannot redo the past. No sense in my even asking myself why. But I use the past to help me learn what did not work. And I do my best to stay in this day. You are a good fellow.