December 6, 2009

Learning Unconditional Love


I have had a hard couple of days. As noted in an earlier post, my son came back into our home on Thursday night. I advised him that he needed to have employment within three weeks and if he didn't, we would re-evaluate to see how much effort he had put into the job hunt and go from there. We have yet had the time to sit down all together (my husband, son and I) to discuss other boundaries. He is pretty aware of our rules and regulations, but a few things have changed. I did tell him that once he found a job, he would need to give us at minimum 40 percent of what he earns to put towards his fines so he can get off probation possibly earlier. I told him that in six months we would re-assess the living situation to see how things were going and that we still needed to sit down and discuss a few more things. That all went well...UNTIL about 20 minutes after that conversation of course.

He was watching some TV in his room when all of the sudden he comes into the kitchen and advises me that he might come home later with a black eye, out of no where mind you, while I am humming away doing the dishes. Anyways I bit just a little and asked him what he was talking about, and he mumbled something about a friend of his .....blah, blah, blah....I tuned out. He then went into his room and started riffling around in his drawers, agitated and all jacked up. I know this because our house is too small and not so sound proof. So instead of just heading off to the shower so as not to spill the blood from biting my tongue off, I proceeded to yell at him to stop slamming and shoving in the room. He started making kind of fun at me, bad move. I went off and basically told him I was sick of the drama, sick of the opiate use, sick of all that went with it. I grabbed his hamper full of clothes and a backpack and took it to the front porch. I advised him he need not bother to stay there as it obviously had never helped him in the past and it wasn't helping me or my husband by having him there. After a bit of an argument that I am sure you can all play out in your heads, I got real quiet. Too bad it took me 10 minutes of acting out my fear to do it, but better late than never I suppose. He came into the living room and apologized for being such an ass. He left shortly thereafter, I never asked him about what the looming "fight" was over. Didn't hear anymore from him last night.

This afternoon he stopped by with some new girl and advised me that he did not get into a fight. I didn't really respond and tried to be polite to the young lady he brought into our home at no notice. He showed her the house and was being very friendly, BUT he was obviously high, to me and my husband. I did not make a scene, he grabbed a few things and was in the living room trying to make small talk. I at one point had finally had enough and told him in a low tone that he was not to be in my house in that shape. He tried to change the subject for a minute and then he and the girl left, on nice terms. Not gonna see him tonight either.

I am sad tonight. I hate seeing him high. It is one thing to know he is probably out there getting high, but I can tune that out and let it go much easier than having to see him and deal with him when he is high. It is just so damn devastating.

Anyways, I got on with my day, shopped, watched a movie, ate a healthy dinner. My husband and I had a lovely time Friday night on our date, had a most excellent dinner, did a little shopping and then tried our luck at the little Indian Casino in the town nearby. I actually won and we walked out a bit over "even".

I read a couple of paragraphs out of a book I have and want to share them below. The book is great, but not for everyone. I take what speaks to me out of this particular book and leave the rest. If anyone is interested in the title let me know.

"Unconditional love means keeping your heart open at all times. To do so, you may need to let go of the expectations you have of other people, of wanting them to be anything other than what they are. It means letting go of any need for people to give you things, act in certain ways, or respond with love. Many wait for others to be warm and loving before they are."

"When you experience uncomfortable barriers or boundaries between yourself and others, it is a sign that you need to transmit more love to others and to yourself. You may not choose to live with them, be close to them or around them all the time, but they will still benefit from your broadcast of love. Some people try to put on a brave or strong front, acting in ways that say 'I will not be vulnerable or hurt'. Yet, that very act creates fear and pain, attracting even more negative action from people that then requires an even braver exterior."

I apologize for the length of the post. These two paragraphs are just the pages I turned to and they spoke to me tonight. I hope you all have a joy-filled week!

Renee

17 comments:

Lou said...

After a time, I knew when my son was high the minute I saw him..he would have certain mannerisms. Like you, I got to where I could not stand seeing him like that. It just hurt too much.

The quote is a perfect example of detachment with love. Because I don't allow myself to be disrespected anymore, does not mean I don't carry my son in my heart every second of the day.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel exactly. I hate to see my son high, too. He is in another city in school right now, and I almost think it is easier to not see him at all than to see him high and be dealt another blow. This is the hardest thing my family has ever been through. Prayers to you and your family.

Dad and Mom said...

It is OK to love the person and hate his ways. I also believe it is possible to separate the two.

Chic Mama said...

Oh I'm sorry, there just is no let up. I really feel for you. I think this is such a cruel, painful disease. You have to do so much work to stay sane....reading certain books etc while 'they' seem to be oblivious of the destruction left in their wake. Or maybe I'm wrong? If I am I'm sorry.
I think about you a lot and hope one day your life is smooth and without all these pressures.

Fractalmom said...

Renee, I am so sorry. You DID however, set boundaries,and you DID stick to them.

that is a strength.

you are looking at the positives.

you ARE letting your son know that while you obviously love him, you will not tolerate the drug habit.

hang in there and big hugs to you.

It's a long and hard road for everyone. I'm not sure which road is harder, ours or the addicts, but I know it sucks!!

Tall Kay said...

I loved the quote...it spoke to me too. I still struggle with separating expectations and healthy boundaries. You are doing a good job of taking care of yourself, even in tough situations. You're in my prayers.

LisaC said...

While my son is in rehab, I feel more calm and collected; but I have real concerns when he is done. If he makes the wrong choice, I don't want to witness it. If you could email me the book title and author, Renee, I'd appreciate it. Send to lisac@enxco.com. Your strength is amazing. You are an inspiration to me.

Barbara aka Layla said...

You're doing a great job as a mom under these circumstances, Renee. I'm just sorry you have to be in them in the first place. I'm glad to hear you had a nice date with your man. Love the quote. You're in my thoughts today (and every day)

Madison said...

Keep thinking and praying and adjusting boundaries until your home is livable for you. You know for me there are only two boundaries. I get to live in a safe and drug free space. That simplified things in my house. I know other parents who have long lists of boundaries. In our family, long lists resulted in stressful negotiations. One of my deepest wishes was that everyone in my family would grow strong enough to say to everyone in their path - no drugs in my world. That started with me. I was so tired of being controlled by the fear of what may happen if I set those two simple boundaries. They have brought enormous peace to my husband's life and he deserves that. Hang in there.

Sherry said...

Renee -

What really struck me as I read your post was how much better you are getting. I know its painful, but knowing that you are helping others with their journey through this, has to help! I'm really thankful for you and the others, because you are giving me the tools I'll need when J gets out of Rehab. I'll say another prayer for you and Zach!

Brian Miller said...

intriguing paragraphs...its so hard to balance between unconditional love and putting expectations on someone out of love...not caring enough to have expectations, is not love, it's neglect...maybe thats just me...

Annette said...

Oh Renee, I can so relate to all of this. H came home a couple days ago just before a huge now storm hit, with a black eye and few details. I didn't press it...whats the point?

I love the paragraphs your shared. For me unconditional love is such a fine line to walk before I end up falling into enabling behaviors. I don't have that line totally clear in my head yet. I am learning though.

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Thank you all so much. I struggle so much with the uncondtional love thing because it is a line that can get blurred so easily by emotions. I learn every single day from you all, truly. I feel like a stronger person thanks to each and every one of you. I like the idea of keeping the boundaries to a minimum Madison, thanks for that suggestion.

You guys are great!!!!

Syd said...

Renee, the quotes are great. I think that you are doing the thing to not have your son there when he is high. Stay strong. Your actions may save his life.

Her Big Sad said...

Good for you Renee. It is so hard, but you stuck to your personal boundaries and made it plain - you love him, you do NOT love what he's doing!

I can hear/see when my daughter is high too. It makes me literally ill to think about that poison inside of her.

Prayers continue. I liked your quotes at the end from your book. We can do this, all of us. I'm finding so much strength from others here, and you are one of them! I know you may not feel strong, but you are walking through this strong, and I'm glad you had a nice time with your husband too. That's important! Hugs!

Doc in Al-Anon said...

Our aching hearts... Thanks for sharing. I was so impressed you were able to keep your vision, get back on track, and then later in the day even keep the focus on yourself. Sometimes I just have to pick myself up and dust myself off after my own imperfect behavior, and think 'move along', 'move along'...

ChaiLatte said...

Hi Renee,

Loved those quotes you included- I need to print those. Can I tell you what a strong person I think you are? You are dealing with so much.

As you know, I miss my son dearly- BUT, if the truth be told I'd rather he not come around, than to come around while he's high. So, in essence we have established those boundaries and I am glad that he's respecting them. When my husband and I are feeling really sad we remind each other that if he's not clean, then it's actually better for all of us this way.

Praying and wishing the best for YOU.