Please understand that I know the place I write from today will change. I really did not intend for such dark and personal stuff to make it into this blog. I intended for it to be a bright place where I had it all together and ruled my court with such aplomb that I would be admired throughout my small corner of blogdom. But alas, though new life does rise, it is not always a pretty sight when it happens. Sometimes it is messy and confusing and exasperating.
On Wednesday, September 14th my son’s charges were expunged by the juvenile drug court in the state of Louisiana on Wednesday, September 14th. He received a certificate, a “keep it simple” bracelet, congratulatory handshakes and encouraging words from his probation officer, his counselor and the judge.
Like this new and clean roof topping off an old and apparently vacant house, the day presented me with an incongruent picture. Yes, my son did what was asked of the court (basically, most of the time, eventually) and completed the program, but underneath it all, there is still the decay and the dark and boarded up places that will not allow the light to shine in.
I wonder why anyone would put an expensive metal roof over a house that is clearly unlivable?
Next week he will turn 18, and if the darkness overcomes him again (and it will), he will face the adult court system. He is here now, at home. I don’t know if he will go back to work with his grandfather. I know that he can’t stay here and sleep all day and run the roads at night. I know that I can’t continue to give him money every time he asks for it, know I can’t continue to fall for his “poor me” act which is designed to gain my sympathy. I know I can’t stay up waiting for him to come in and then get up and go to work the next day. I know that I can’t keep obsessing over what he might do next.
I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking he is beside my bed and calling my name and he is not there. I get up and call to see where he is and when he is coming home because he is now later than he said he was going to be and I fall into worry and despair. We are a textbook example of a codependent relationship, he and I.
I keep hoping and praying for a miracle. I hear well-meaning people (family) tell me that their God, “your God, Annie”, is big enough to heal my son of this disease. They fuss at me for a lack of faith. And my heart breaks a little more, because I have not lost my faith. What I wanted to say, what I started to say, was that though God may not provide a miraculous and instantaneous cure for my son, I do believe He will continue to move (and has moved) with my son through this disease. I am no expert, but I have studied the problem; the disease, and lived with it long enough to know that there are very few “miracles” where addiction is involved. But knowing the facts of the enemy that you are dealing with does not mean one has lost their faith. My son faces a life-long battle. That is discouraging, but it does not rob me of my faith in God.
Some days I hope and pray for worse things, selfish things, I am so tired of the pain. I struggle now with resentment toward my son for continuing to stay out late, for continuing to expect us to finance his running up and down the roads, for continuing to live “on the edge” by staying here and hanging out with his druggie friends, for not considering the needs and wants of the rest of the family, for continuing to put me through this, for continuing to break my heart when all he has to do is decide to make better choices. And yet, it is not as simple as that.
Some days I valiantly fight self-pity and the tendency to be overly dramatic about it all. On other days I withdraw and wallow in self-pity like a pig in a sun-warmed mud hole. Some days I deserve the words of my exasperated husband, words that sting and echo through my ear for days—“that’s life, quit bitchin’ about it”.
And though I know better, there are times when part of me insists that it was true, what my son said two years ago when he beat on his chest and cried “mom, you don’t understand, there is nothing there.” At times, I think it is true of my own self. But it isn’t. We are both alive on the inside, the pain at least serving to bear witness to life.