I’m obviously not a parenting expert. If I’m being honest I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. My experience shows my that I suffer from something that most parents suffer from….guilt. Guilt is something that will chew you up, cause you to make decisions that will forever impact the lives of your kids. I thought that I was supposed to make my kids happy, especially after the past as it pertains to my own addictions and behaviors.
My son was a victim of my mom guilt on many levels. At the end of the day I had created a spoilt ass entitled brat out of him, why? Because I felt guilty if he was not happy.
I was actually afraid of him, afraid of what I had created with him, afraid of his future. Something had to be done. Was it too late? How would we make it through this?
We had already been through so much. He went from living a somewhat normal life to having parents who were strung out, to having no rules, nobody looking after him. Then having his mom, his main person, shipped off to treatment, coming back and trying to parent sober and both of us growing up together. Times were hard. Fear set in. Then I realized I had to do something different, and I’m still learning what that looks like 9 years later.
I think the scariest part of the whole scenario is that I have made a child who is genetically pre dispositioned to suffer from addiction, and he is already showing signs with small scale stuff.
In light of it all I find myself drawing closer to God, talking to God more, begging God. I’m not begging for his happiness. I’m begging to be the right parent for whatever the situation calls for. One would think in this case my home would be filled with chaos, a fearful mom, a rowdy kid.
That’s not what it looks like. It looks like a rational mom and a kid that communicates very well. He is not as dishonest as it seems he would be. I’m sure there is some manipulation involved but for the most part we have no secrets. He still gets himself up in the mornings for school, holds down a job, has good grades. He does not look like someone who can’t control what they are doing.
After an incredible Easter trip with all my boys though I became aware, pretty early on, that he was making really bad decisions and loosing the ability to care what I think. This lasted all weekend. My husband never noticed.
By Sunday morning, while he is hitting his weed cart right in front of us, I broke. I let him know that when we got home we would be having a discussion. There were a million things I wanted to say to him but I knew that only one thing would be said.
It went like this. “I don’t trust your decisions but they are yours to make. Tomorrow I’m taking the tags off your car, turning them in and canceling your insurance.” That was it. He will spend the next week in sulk mode and eventually it will lift and he will be more willing to have ore open dialog about the whole situation.
And here is the key, this is what I know. as long as I do what I say I will do then I no longer have to suffer more fear and more anger. I can trust God with the rest and let it all play out. His car means everything to him, his freedom, his ability to have whatever he wants and do whatever he wants. But that is not why I am taking it. I am taking it because if he chooses to make bad decisions then I can assume no risk. His liability is then his alone.
The parts of me that want him to have his freedom are the selfish parts of me that don’t feel like being inconvenienced by having to take him places and get him to school and pick him up. See I’ve grown accustomed to my freedom as well.
There is a lesson for me in this. If I cave to his wants, I get pissed off and scared again. That’s when I feel some type of way. When I cave I get emotional. And I always cave when things start looking better on the outside. So today I’m cancelling the insurance and turning in the tags. Because yesterday, I maxed out emotionally and I don’t desire this feeling anymore. I desire peace and nobody is allowed to take it from me, because nobody gave it to me.
I don’t know why I’m posting such vulnerability. I like it when my life looks perfect. I despise the enemy of addiction that befell my life. However, this is how I heal and this is how I think straight. Putting my problems on display only serve one purpose, to help those who are sick or suffering.
Behind this situation my son and I will have good communication. He will come to accept and understand that I have to do what I have to do to protect myself from his bad decisions. I know I can’t control him. I can’t lock in any outcome. I can’t force solutions. And even in light of my past I did not cause this and I can’t cure this. But I do know who can and will if I do my part and get out of the way. I don’t know what that looks like. For me it’s unknown.
Parenting will turn you out. It will cause massive amounts of worry and pain and I am not exempt from that and I know that. I can still hear a wise woman telling me though “Anything you do for them, they are hearing that you don’t believe they are capable of doing it themselves.” I believe that and I trust that. My days of enabling started stopping a few years ago and though I find myself making bad choices at times, still, I have the desire to keeping a forward motion. I do know enough to know this. If I don’t give consequences then the world will. That is something I can do for my son now. It hurts a lot more later in life.