I was talking to my husband, and I want to share some thoughts on the direction that I hope is where God wants me to be. I also want to give a response to what Fractal mom wrote. Where to start, first?
This blog-- I don't want to give it up. I have to say that my initial idea to start this blog was inspired when I saw David Sheff on the Oprah Winfrey show. He had published the book "Beautiful Boy" (which I read). I remember Oprah asking his son (Obviously the person who was the addict in the book) what he thought of his dad's book. The son said that he didn't realize just how much hurt he had caused his loved ones. For whatever reason, that hit home with me. This blog will, when my son is ready, be something that I hope he will read. I hope he will try to understand the other side of addiction-- the pain, the worry and the tears-- that I have shed for him, and maybe even myself. For the record, B knows about my blog. He hasn't asked to read it, yet-- and I don't think he's ready. I'd like him to be sober for at least one year-- truly sober.
I have to say that I never expected to tap in to a family of fellow blogger that I have met via my blog. Many of you I know by name-- Heather's Mom, Chai Latte, Barbara, Ron, Lisa C, Madison, Lou, Fractal mom-- just to name a few. If your name isn't listed here, it doesn't mean that you don't matter to me. I want to know your story , but I'll be honest-- sometimes, I just don't have the time to read each person's blog. Sometimes, the stories are so unreal to me-- and I feel so sad. You've been a support system to me, and I thank you for you comments and encouragement.
So that brings me back to Fractal Mom (whose name I will leave out, out of respect for anonymity).
FM-- you have no idea how much I think of you and how much I pray for you. Thank you, for sharing your story with me, via private email. Your story broke my heart. I cannot fathom the depth of betrayal that you have been through with your daughter. I can only thank God that my son hasn't done the level of things to me, that have happened to you.
But, FM, I want to respond to your provocative comment about my optimism-- what you perceive as optimism, is what I know to be HOPE. I thought of you, all during my church service, yesterday. I feel so very blessed to have the kind of pastor that is at my church home. Pastor M doesn't preach. He teaches. He has a gift, and I take pages of notes. Rarely, do I ever leave church, not feeling as though his message spoke directly to my heart. It's quite the opposite, where I feel Pastor M has read my mind and my heart. I jotted a few notes down, FM, as I listened to his message called, "How to Control Your Anger".
I am not here to judge you, FM. I've never met you. You are dearly loved with fellow bloggers, I can tell. You want to share your life experience, and I think you don't mean any harm. You have told me that you are a Christian, so please allow me to speak to you as a Jesus Loving, Bible Believing, Far-from-perfect Christian-- I feel your anger and your pain by the way that you write. I pray, often, that you will be able to release your pain and your hatred towards what your daughter has put you through. I really mean that.
You see, I have every reason in the world to be one angry and unforgiving woman. My BFF reads my blog, and she would tell you that I'm telling the truth. I have been terribly hurt and been the victim of some of these things--
- I have seen my father hold a knife over my mom's neck, while he pinned her head onto a cutting board. I was about 8 years old.
- I have been thrown against walls, beaten with thick leather belts until I wet my pants.
- My mother was a willful woman, with a short temper, who could cause great pain with a wooden cooking spoon or a long reed tool used to beat the dust out carpets.
- At the age of 19, I married a man 13 years my senior. He openly cheated on me, telling me I was ugly, stupid and would never amount to anything. I stayed with him for 2 years, thinking I was unworthy of anything better. For years, I believed the cruel things he said about me, and my self-esteem was in the toilet. He ended up marrying my best friend, 7 months after I left him.
- At 24, I met the man who is my son's father. For a while, the marriage was blissful. But, after 17 years, his passive-aggressive nature began to belittle me in front of my friends. I recently found old videos, where he is calling me dumb a** and saying hurtful things to me. How blind I was, that I didn't see my friends eyes looking down and how they felt sorry for me.
- That man left me, for my employee and girlfriend. While I was at Disneyland with my son, his cousin and my brother-- he loaded up everything in the house and moved into an apartment. He cheated me out of our home. I unknowingly signed a Quit Claim deed (thinking we were refinancing our home). Less than one year later, I was thrown out of my home and he moved in with his girlfriend, and her family. My son would tell me all about the pool parties, and I'd cry alone at night. I felt so betrayed. My son was 7 years old. I received no alimony, no child support and I eeked by. I could not afford the attorey fees. Fortunately, at that time, I found Jesus. I tell people that God ripped the Cosmic Carpet right out from under me-- and he got my attention. I had become an angry and bitter woman. I lived a good life, financially. Little did I know my marriage was all a facade. He hid debts and money, and he was flat broke. Well, maybe. I suspect he had money hidden, but I will never know for sure.
- Eventually, I had to file bankruptcy. . I was bitter, of course and missing my house that I was taken away from me.
- Two years later, I had a Drive By Marriage. I don't want to get into details. Suffice it to say, he was a Con Man. He was an alcoholic, but naive me... I didn't know. The truth finally came out, when he got arrested. At that time, I was working to support three of us (son included), because he kept losing jobs. He left me $50,000 in debt-- mostly taxes. I paid it all back, but it took years.
- About my son-- he was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, when he was 10 years old. Now, he's a drug addict. In between that, B's father and I had different values in parenting. I cried a lot.
By the Grace of God, I learned to forgive:
- I learned to forgive both of my girlfriends, who betrayed me, and married my ex-husbands.
- I didn't become a victim to my dire financial situation. I got a second job, and prayed and prayed-- 11 years later, I am debt-free, with some savings and a great husband.
- I learned to forgive my father, and to make peace with him, for the beatings.
- I learned to forgive my mother for her willful ways and to appreciate the life skills she taught me.
How did I do it--- learn to forgive? It was when I finally got this:
I am a believer in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. If Jesus suffered and died on the cross-- humiliated and beaten beyond recognition-- to die for ME,and for my sins-- then who I am I to not forgive those who hurt me.
Period. No ifs, ands or buts...
It was through that revelation, that I changed from being a victim, and blaming everyone else for my sorrows, that I became Victorious.
One more thing, I jotted down yesterday--
"Because I go to church, I don't think I'm a perfect Christian nor a better Christian. I go to church to become a BETTER person. I don't sit in church to be seen. I go there to LEARN. The more I learn to read the Word of God, the more I understand that God commands us to FORGIVE. Once I learned to forgive, my flames of anger were extinguished. I am a work in progress, and I'm no better than anyone else.
So, Fractal Mom-- and anyone else who reads this-- my optimism is really me trusting in God's promise that he will never forsake me. Fear = not trusting God.
It is so hard for non-believers to understand this. It took me 40+ years to get this.
I live each day in hope. When I am angry, I pray to God to help me to not go into a rage. When I am afraid, I pray for God to fill me with his presence. When I sin-- and I am weak, and I sin more often than I want to-- I ask God to forgive me.
I will never be perfect. But, I refuse to fall victim and to sing that long forgotten tune "Oh, Woe is me!" I hate that song. I thank God that through all of my trials & tribulations in life, that I have learned to be strong in faith. While my heart broke, when I first discovered the truth about my son's addiction-- I have a support system that keeps me moving forward with hope, and joy. I have wonderful friends, and family. #1 - I have God, my church and many prayers being sent for me and for my son. I am thankful for that.
I have learned so much about addiction, in 19 months. I am not stupid, and I know that my son could relapse at any moment. He could die. I could die. I could get hit by a car, or suffer a heart attack. My son might be killed in a way other than drugs. My son could even go the route of stealing from me, or jail, or...or...
I refuse to become a victim to my son's plight. I want to laugh. I want to love. I want to feel joy. Know what? I am happy.
The next time I post-- the direction I pray my blog will go. I've prattled long enough.
James 1 (New King James Version)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.