Friday, November 7, 2008

An real email that I sent to my son today

I am desperate to have my son back. I am grieving for the son that I lost to addiction. I have heard your point of view, and I have listened to a lot of blame being put on me. I feel frustrated and helpless. At times, I feel as though I’ve lost my son. I am trying, hard, to learn how to help you but I also have to set boundaries.

Please try to understand the pain and heartbreak that I am feeling about the person you have become. What I’m about to write could, potentially, make you mad. You might totally disagree with me. I am asking that you “listen” to me, as I spell out what I see:

I wish that I could record the way that you talk to me. The actually WAY that you talk is loud and fast. I feel as though I am constantly interrupted. Inside my head, I am screaming “listen!!!” Sometimes, I feel worn out and defeated trying to have a conversation with you. I feel dominated and overruled, and then I just don’t want to talk anymore. To me, I feel like the faster you talk the less I believe what you are saying. Can you understand that?

I am frustrated with how unreliable you are about showing up on time, or returning calls. An example is our trip to San Francisco. Yes, I heard why you were two hours late— and, I predicted that would happen. When we got to San Francisco, you left me in the middle of my lunch. You said you’d return in 10 minutes. 20 minutes later, I had to go find you. I was left, locked out, of your apartment. You didn’t answer your cell phone. Finally, someone let me into the apartment. Yes, you apologized…but why did you do that, in the first place?

So many times, you say that you’ll call me right back. The call might come back a few hours later, or not at all. Can you understand that?

I have also observed that you have a hard time prioritizing taking care of important things, and I don’t know why. As an example—bank overdrafts. It makes me sad at how many HUNDREDS of dollars you have lost to bank overdrafts. How many times have your father and I made bank deposits to bail you out of this? You promised me that you would not use your bank card as a debit card. You agreed that ATM withdrawals are the only thing you would do—still, I got a frantic call from you to bail you out again.

Last night, I did not mean to make your friend cry—the more I think about it, why did you put me on speaker phone? Besides, I wasn’t blaming your friend. YOU are the person who gave her your debit card!

Last night, I had a moment of feeling so hopeless. I laid in bed, wondering how you could go through $100.00 in groceries, a $50.00 grocery gift card, a $20.00 BART ticket and $30.00 in cash and an additional $60.00—in five days!

My heart is filled with disappointment that I cannot see you getting a handle on how to manage money. That’s when I am reminded that “addiction” is a terrible demon. Last night, I thought back to when I was with “Steve”. I didn’t know the depth of his alcohol and drug addiction for a long time. In retrospect, I can see why we fought so much. We fought because his lies, manipulation and irresponsible behavior did not rest with me. I grew tired of my working so hard, while he couldn’t keep a job. We were always broke, and he was always in need of money to get out some debt he had gotten himself into. I am not the type of woman who can accept that kind of behavior! I wasn’t raised to be that kind of woman.

So, that’s why you and I have problems getting along. I am so deeply hurt and heart-broken over this. We don’t see eye-to-eye because we have different values. I am trying to live my life in “The Spirit” and I want to please God. I see you living your life in “The Flesh”. I used to live my life that way, and it only brought troubles into my life. That’s why I had problems in my relationships with men and getting along with people. It was too hard for me to keep up with my lies.

I am horrified at the stories you tell me—about people who want to kill you. I am torn between believing it, or fearing it. You tell me these things, so casually. Do you have any idea that terror that puts into me? I could not bear the thought of you dying at a young age. No mother expects to outlive their child. It tears me apart.

Most importantly, I pray that you truly mean what you said to me, last week. You said that you wanted to finally be honest—to yourself and to everyone else. I praise that! It is so true, what the bible says—the truth will set you free! Addiction breeds a life of lies and manipulation and evil. You know that, and you’ve admitted it to me. I do believe that sin separates us from God. When we finally learn to be honest with ourselves… we are being honest with God. I believe that God will bless us for that. I have personally experienced God's Grace and Mercy. I have learned to like the new “me”, now that I am trying to live my life with honor and integrity.

Right now, I feel that my trust account with you is in overdraft. Somehow, I still feel as though I serve a purpose to you, as a mom, when you need something. My joy, as your mom, is to help you by sharing my wisdom in Life Skills. But, I feel as though it’s my checkbook that you rely on as my motherly help. I’ve done the best that I can, but I’m so nervous about believing your promises.

I pray for you, every single day, without fail. But, right now, I am feeling beaten down and tired with your daily drama. I am already skeptical about you coming here for even a day. It would be smart for you to re-pack your boxes of things and to wash your clothes that is in my garage. I had fantasies of lovingly pressing them, and hanging them up for you. I visualize taking you back to the City, and spending a nice day with you.

But, you pattern has been to shatter my hopes to do nice things for you. I have a fear that you’ll come down, and find all kinds of distractions and reason why you won’t take care of these responsibilities. I have a fear that your cell phone will keep ringing and you’ll need to run off to take care of something with “a friend”. Those kinds of calls put terror into my heart—I can’t help but wonder why you have to run off.

I swore that I wouldn’t write you a long letter—but I can’t help it. There is so much pain, disappointment, hurt and fear inside me. I have bottled it up so well, that people marvel at how strong I am being. The truth is, I feel as though there is a dam inside me. I am the mother of an addict and I want my son back! I want that beautiful baby boy that I raised to morph into a young adult son who can focus on the most important priorities in his life—his recovery, a job, honesty and finding a way to manage his money.

One last thing—you said to me that your treatment center tells you to be “self” in your recovery…that you need to put “the program” as what’s most important—before your family and friends. I would like to offer you a different perspective:

Your recovery should be the most important priority in your life. But, don’t forget that your friends and family love you, and have suffered through your addiction, too. We have been deeply wounded by all of this. Please don’t shove us way back in a closet, only to be pulled out when you need something from us.

I believe in you, son. I only wish that you believed in me and my love for you.

No comments: