Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm in a tug of war with my son-- can I let go of my end of the rope?

On Sunday, I devoured the message that our pastor delivered in church. The message was titled "How to deal with an angry person".

Wow. I took five pages of notes. I have anger issues. I know that it comes from years of physical abuse as a kid. My family members are all pretty much Type-A personalities. That includes me, by the way. If you were to sit at the dining room table, at Christmas, you'd be astounded at how much we interrupt each other. I am making a conscious effort to listen more and interrupt less. Consequently, I am more aware of how much my son won't let me finish a single sentence.

I won't transcribe all of my notes, here (though I should, as it really helped me to understand things). What I gleaned from this message was how my son and I interact.

My epiphany was that my son and are too much alike when it comes to communicating with each other. I tend to feel defensive when I am blamed for something, and I know I'm right. He does the same thing.

The other night, I was trying to communicate to my son that I am not happy with how much he lounges around the house...doesn't seem to have much focus on any one thing. He doesn't shower for days-- and that is something I cannot understand. I feel as though he is just existing-- he is not making an effort to go to "meetings". I'm sorry, but I feel "used".

The discussion went around in circles. I could not finish a sentence, without his fast talking excuses. He was pointing his finger at me. "I have the problem". Mentally, I'm thinking "YOU have the problem".

That's exactly what Pastor M said at church. He reminded that the reason we become angry is because of our ego-- our pride. We need to be right.

Bingo. My stubborn gene has been passed on to my son. Is this my mother's curse coming to fruition?

When friends and colleagues ask me how I'm doing, I understand that they are asking me "how is your son doing"? My newest response is "today is a good day for B". I've given him 5 random drug tests this month, and he's coming up clean for opiates. His THC level is still testing positive, but I'm going by information that it can take up to five weeks to stop showing as a positive. He tells me that he isn't smoking weed anymore.

I have to remind myself that I need to lower my expectations for my son. Yes, I admit, that I am an over-achiever-- by that, I tend to put a lot of perfectionism onto myself. It's taken 50 plus years for me to finally learn skills to remember to do things and to organize my day. I cannot expect my 20 year old son to have those skills. He's really about sixteen years old-- right when he started to use drugs...first weed, then cocaine and then opiates. I try to help my son, by showing him how I do things... and it doesn't work. He's not me.

I need to learn to let go of my end of the rope.

I have to remind myself to expect small victories for B.

His sobriety is at the top of the list.
Managing his diabetes and overall health comes right below that.

He still lies so easily-- or, should I say, he "embellishes".
He still lacks motivation.
He has very little focus.

Like this morning. Right before my bedtime, I let him take my car to the store to buy milk for us. He returned in the right amount of time, left my credit card and receipt (it all checked out) where I asked him to . I had already gone to bed, but my ears were listening for my car.
NOTE: Many parents of addicts must be gasping at my giving my son this much trust. Fortunately, he has never stolen from me. For that, I am truly thankful.

This morning, I noticed that ALL of my windows were left in the down position.

See what I mean? It's like his brain is on hold.

Drugs have really messed up my son's brilliant mind. From what I've read/heard, it can take years to get his brain to function normally again.

I hate drugs. I hate what they do to the addict and I hate what it does to the family.

One small victory-- my son is wanting to stay clean. He is talking with me and we are not fighting.

As long as I let go of my end of the rope.

God, help me.

1 comment:

Lou said...

I can relate to everything here. I find the feelings of parents are almost universal.
Don't take it wrong, but I think your son is acting suspiciously. Not showering is classic opiate behavior, as well as "lounging" and turning arguments "around". Perhaps the windows were left down to "air" out the car? Does he say he does'nt need meetings, he is not like those addicts there? I hate to say these things, but myself & most of the other parents here have been burned repeatedly. BTW, my son passed a lot of drug tests while using.
Praying I'm wrong, Lou