Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Looking at it all...

I ended up deleting my last post. I wrote a very long post, last night. I was filled with a combination of hurt, feeling misunderstood, criticized and judged. I had to empty my feelings out, which manifested into a very long post. Each comment remarked that I had "said a lot".  So, I read it again. Yes, it's was long, because I think some comments hit a nerve with me. So, I deleted it. I realized I was highly emotional when I wrote what I did.

I feel as though my blog is headed in a direction that isn't working for me, at this time. I read  the six comments from the post that I just deleted (and from a few previous posts as well), and it gave me pause to realize some important things.
  • I'm discovering that I'm starting to take comments too personally.
  • I'm feeling as though I need to defend my faith, to those who are not familiar with Christian beliefs.
  • Sometimes, I read comments and I feel as though I'm being judged. I hurts, dammit. (Pardon my "French".)
I've come to realize that, yes, we parents of addicts are all at different points in our journey. Many of you are miles-- years ahead of me.Some of you are just beginning your journey, feeling lost and confused. Me. I feel as though I am in the middle of my journey.Maybe I have much to learn, but I'm blogging from my heart.  It's a vulnerable feeling.

I, sometimes, feel as though some commentators don't give me credit for being pretty aware of what co-dependence is. I pretty much understand what enabling is.I'm not perfect. I make mistakes based on a mother's heart. Sometimes I am weak, and can't say no. Other times, I'm strong and say no.

So, I wonder. Is this really the direction I want my blog to be?  To feel as though I need to defend my beliefs in God?  I think what hurts me the most is when I read comments that I interpret that I'm being advised that I cannot force my son to follow God.I hurts, because I don't do that.  I pray for my son.  But, I have never forced my son to go to church. Never. See? That hits a nerve with me. I get these ideas that people, who don't know me, must perceive me as some religious zealout? My blog is faith-based. I've never sugar-coated that.  Somehow, last night, I felt ... it's hard to describe. It was a combination of feeling weary about defending my faith... feeling as though I'm doing it all wrong. Then, when I read a comment that I read on another blog-- someone who made a very snippy comment that I interpreted as-- well, if you're not following the Al-Anon way, then you're basically an idiot. That's how I interpreted it.

Bottom line-- there is not just one way to deal with being the parent of a drug addict. There isn't a steadfast rule we must follow.  Those of you who are miles....days...years ahead of me... please try to remember what it was like for you when you first found out your daughter/son/husband/wife became an addict.  Maybe my path of learning is by making mistakes. Maybe I need to find out what does or doesn't work, on my own. Al-Anon has worked wonders for many folks. It hasn't for me.  I don't judge those who swear  it's "the only way". Please don't judge me for not feelin' it. Maybe it's where I live, and I'm not fortunate to have found the right Al-Anon group.  I'm still searching. 

While I welcome helpful advice, I'm  finding myself taken aback at comments that point out what I should have done "their way" or differently.  Now, my defense mechanisms are turning on and my insecurities and doubts are starting to resurface. I think what hurts most, is when I feel as though I must defend my faith and beliefs about God.  My blog was originally  supposed to be my way of letting my friends and loved ones know how much son is doing. At times, my blog been a wonderful way to learn new perspectives or resources. I have always hoped that my blog would touch someone else's heart.

But, last night, something snapped in me. I just felt-- out of sorts.I have some thinking to do again.  Suddenly, I'm not enjoying my own blog the way that I once did.  I almost wonder if  I should  go private, so that I can journal without feeling judged. I guess I'm more of an "encourager" to people. Today,  I'm feeling discouraged ...or misunderstood...or unfairly judged. Maybe I'm just tired and stressed.

It's how I'm feeling right now. This, too, shall pass. When I feel this way, this is when I back away and sort things through.

12 comments:

Mom of Opiate Addict said...

Again Debby, I don't think you should have to defend your beliefs or any actions you take with your son. If a comment strikes something positive for you, take it and leave the stuff that you feel is hurtful. I too am in the middle of my journey and often feel like I am walking in quicksand in the dark, trying to figure out my own way. I love the blogging world but there is no right answer to how we should handle our situation. If there was, then there would be a cure for addiction and there isn't. I believe in God also. I hope you are feeling better soon about this whole thing. God Bless and have a wonderful Thanksgiving...Renee

Anonymous said...

Hi Debby,

I'm sorry you are feeling hurt and judged. I read your last night's post, as I do every night. I feel disappointed when you haven't posted. I realized today that reading your posts has been my own personal therapy.

My son is 28 and in a methadone program. He's been taking methadone for 2.5 years, and he no longer uses heroin. He has earned 5 take-home bottles a week, so he has to go to the clinic only twice a week. It has been wonderful to see him slowly work on no longer lying, getting up just a bit earlier, moving away from the people, places, and things that were associated with his old life. But he still lives at home, and he hasn't yet looked for a job. You could say I'm enabling him. I am enjoying his sobriety and his gentle, intelligent company. When he was 5, he repeated kindergarten because we'd been living in another country and he wasn't ready. His teachers called it "the gift of time". That is what he is receiving again.

I think the bloggers who responded to you last night all hold you in high regard. I did not read the comments as judgmental, but just as the "from the heart" comments of people who are doing their best to live with the challenges that both addict and family members face.

I have read your blog every night for a year. It is the first thing I do after dinner. It has given us all strength. I know I could do things differently, but I have no doubt that seeing my son healthy (he has just given up smoking) and hopeful is worth it. Just go on being who you are.

Warm regards,

Katie

Madison said...

Debby, I think every single person's comments have value. You might pitch out somebody's comment as irrelevant right now - and remember it a couple years down the road as very meaningful. Don't try to please this motley crowd. Stick with God. When I read this blog, more than any other blog, you get comments, you get hurt and then everyone runs to your rescue. This always makes me smile. Not that you might be hurt, but that everyone piles in on the commenters. You don't have to apologize ever again for where you're at about anything. This is your blog, your life, your son, your future. Just get up, ask God for wisdom and hold your head high. Addiction is a highly emotional issue. People who love addicts are all different, each one living through the worst season of life. People who are addicts are not that different. They all have one thing in common, addiction. There aren't alot of diverse definitions of the way addicts behave based on how they grew up or whether they're rich, poor, tall, short, male, female, funny, nice, or mean prior to becoming an addict. The disease is very similar. So, I say, listen to everyone willing to give you a name and a number. Don't take comments as attacks. Embrace diversity. And keep loving God. In this blogworld, your voice is important. If there is anything in this comment that you find hurtful, forgive me. Stay strong. Have a blessed holiday.

Prayer Girl said...

In meetings (AA, Al-Anon, maybe others) they say, "Take what you need and leave the rest." You can do that with comments too.

No one can judge you unless they are walking in your shoes and are you...which no one is!!!

Don't judge yourself harshly either. I find so often that we do that.

Take care of yourself and let God guide you in regards to your blog just as I feel sure He guides you in everything else.

PG

Barbara said...

Hey Debby, I care about you and your son and your blog. I hope you keep writing from your heart.

This is off topic but my favorite thing about your blog is your relationship with B. It literally brings tears to my eyes sometimes....tears of being touched by your closeness and also selfishly tears of envy that my son is so self-centered and that our once closeness has evaporated (but hopefully will return when he's better).

LisaC said...

Debby,

I hope you continue to blog. Your faith in God is an inspiration to me and helps me as I work on my relationship with Him.

I've posted and commented both on the fact that each family's journey is anecdotal and individualized. I strongly believe that, and although I appreciate everyone's comments and support, I know that sometimes my actions and decisions are going to be viewed by others as enabling, being codependent, etc. Oh well.

Your relationship with B is full of love and hope and caring. My brother's daughter is 27 and after 10 years of using, she is 15 months clean; and their relationship with her is starting to become the type of relationship you dream of, with your adult child. And just last night (we are here at their house for Thanksgiving) my brother said to me, "Don't give up hope on Bryan. We never gave up on Alisha even when we wanted to." Your relationship with B is also an inspiration.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Fractalmom said...

Debby. I am sorry you are feeling like this.

As far as your religion goes, I too am very religious. And, I know how it feels to have people make fun of you for it.

With particularity however, I do feel that for an ADDICT, they do play games. They DO manipulate.

I pray that your son is truly in love with Christ, and not manipulating you. but, being an addict, it IS a possibility. I think that is what people are trying to warn you about. The manipulation ability of addicts.

I too have been deeply hurt by comments. My position has not been popular to say the least. I have been castigated quite vitriolically by some of the most popular bloggers on my personal ideology and my personal feelings.

This made me not want to blog at all, believe me. And it brought many tears to my life.

Also, I was really put down because I do not feel that Nar-Anon really helped me at all. All I ever heard was how I had a problem too, and I kept saying "you know what? I don't have a problem, I have a child who is an addict and SHE has a problem!"

But, over and over I was told "you have to work your program!!"

So, I quit going.

I looked and looked for a support network out there that was simply PARENTS OF ADDICTS.

Parents, by their very nature are enablers. That does NOT make us co-dependant. that makes us PARENTS.

This generation of addicts is just so different, and I think a different treatment modality needs to be invented for the parents.

Addicts have lots and lots and lots of places to get clean. Addicts have lots and lots of people on their side.

Parents of addicts, on the other hand, have virtually NOTHING except what we have built here, in the blogging community. We have each other.

And, yes, many of us are in different places. We do try to give you the benefit of our years of dealing with our addicts, but YOUR journey is YOUR journey. Each of us deals with the addict/child differently.

Some, have children who are both mentally ill and addicts. Their dynamics are totally different than ours.

Some (one) have an addict who is a diabetic.

Some have daughters, some have sons.

Some have grandchildren involved which changes the formula even more.

Don't stop blogging, and dont' stop your faith, or proselytizing about it. A strong faith in God is essential to surviving this in my opinion.

And, ultimately, the only choices you have are the choices YOU make for YOUR family.

the rest of us had to do it, and right or wrong, we had to live with the outcome. Some of us made a LOT of wrong decisions LOL, and I am certainly one of them.

you WILL need support through this. We ARE out here for you.

Put on your tough coat and ignore or delete the comments that offend you. Realize that none of us walk in YOUR shoes, although we may walk the same road.

Go in peace to Love and serve the Lord.

dawn

Annette said...

I emailed you. I hope you are feeling a little better this morning. Feeling attacked in bloggerland is awful. I don't think anyone, I know I didn't, meant to hurt your feelings.

I hope you have a wonderful day today! ((HUG))

Cynthia Newcomer Daniel said...

((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))

Cheri said...

While I welcome helpful advice, I'm finding myself taken aback at comments that point out what I should have done "their way" or differently.

Debby, there is not a "right way" or a "wrong way" to walk through this desert. There are no perfect formulas for anything in the world of parenting. That's a lesson that we learned on our journey through addiction.

As I read the comments left by the other bloggers on this post, I see that you are an encouragement to so many. I would hate to see you not be around.

I also understand the need to pull back and sort out your emotions and feelings.

You are in our prayers,
Cheri

Angelo said...

I think you write very well expressing your feelings. I also think your doing very well as far as not being a co-dependent. Please keep your blog and work on your taking things personal. We all have things that need to be worked on. Even sober people have there faults. I hope you had a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Angelo

Anonymous said...

Debby, I read your last post and yes it was long but this is your blog. You can say whatever it is you want to say. But I don't think that you should have to stand up and defecnd what you believe in just because others disagree or don't understand. I jsut wish the comments of others didn't hurt so much.

MH