Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Worried

I've never lived with my mother. Well, not since I was 2. My mother is a recovering addict you see. I lived with my grandparents until I was almost 6 and then my dad and his new wife took custody of my older brother and I. I lived with them until 15 when I went to live with my grandparents again. At 18, I moved out onto my own.
I visited my mom on occassional weekends growing up and during some holidays. But it wasn't regular, as few things are with addicts. There were times when she didn't show up to pick me up for visitation. And once I reached a certain age, I didn't want to be with her because she was always drunk or high. I was basically alone at her house. Can you believe my very first memories of my mom are her hitting a bong in a smoke filled circle and visiting her at a detox clinic when she was getting clean from heroine? They are pictures really but I remember them. I remember my mom bending over to say hello as we stood on a concrete shuffle board.
She never meant to hurt me. She was just a victim of her disease. An addict is a very selfish person - not seeing the need or pain of others. When she did pay me attention she was always loving and supportive - it just didn't happen often.
We had a fallout when I was 20. After years of holding all my opinions to myself she called me at a bad time on the wrong day and began to complain of all her problems. This was a rough patch in my life and I was having some issues of my own. Basically it all ended with me yelling at her that she never called me to ask me about me - only to use me as a sounding board for her horrible life. We didn't speak for 3 months.
So many times in my life, the addicts I've known, have announced that they are "getting clean". And I have hoped beyond hope. After so many failed attempts you don't build up hope any more.
So needless to say, when my Mom announced 5 years ago that she was going to clean up I took it with a huge grain of salt and didn't hope for much. But she surprised me and stuck with it for 30 days. Then 90 days. And before I knew it she was 1 year clean. I was so proud but even then I felt skeptical. After her 2nd "birthday" I finally began to believe that she was going to beat this disease. My heart swells with pride when I think of how hard mom has worked. It's an everyday struggle to determine why you behave the way you do and what to do about it. Getting clean is far more complex than so many people realize - which is why so many people fall of the wagon (just like so many dieters quit - it's hard work).
But for the first time in my life, my mom and I have developed a relationship. Over the last five years we have "met". We have discovered many things about each other and while we still have trouble communicating sometimes, I feel I can talk to her about my concerns in life. I always knew she'll always love me but now I know she'll also support me and understand me no matter what.
But over the last few weeks she's been seeing a man from her past. I don't know him. I don't know of him. She mentioned him briefly in a phone conversation a few weeks ago when she told me she was camping in the mountains with him. This spontaneous behavior, especially with a man, is unlike the behavior of my mom in the last 5 years. It uneased me. My sister-in-law told me this is a man from mom's past that mom seeked out. Mom hasn't been involved with a man in a long time because frankly, in getting clean you need to concentrate on yourself too much to worry about a sexual/emotional relationship. So we're thinking mom must be lonely.
Today I spoke with my mom and she mentioned that she's going to the mountains with her "boyfriend" in a few weeks. Boyfriend? They've only been seeing each other for a few weeks so that's got me skeptical.But what's scaring me the most is that s-i-l says this guy drinks. It TERRIFIES me. Recovery is a fragile state. I'm truly horrified at the thought of my Mom slipping. The effect it would have on her would be treacherous. She has worked so hard.
But my mom is a very spontaneous spirit. I know she'll go full force into this thing - balls against the wall. Hell, she's probably paying for the cabin in the mountains. The last thing she needs is some guy mooching off of her.
I've been praying several times a day and occasionallly crying at the thought of losing my mom again to the devil in the bottle or the devil in paper - choose your demon.

Comments:
You've got emotions running high at Waste Management today!

Let me first just say that I pray nothing bad comes of this. I know how delicate any relationship w/a recovering addict can be.

Second of all, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support and advice you gave me when I was going through this with my mother. I don't know if I would have made it through that with my sanity intact if there wasn't someone nearby who could relate and tell me "I know how you feel".

If there is anything I can do...
 
I'm sorry, both of you, that I can't relate. I have no experience in this matter and I don't know any addicts, or if I do, they've kept it hidden from me thus far.

But if you ever feel like talking about ANYTHING!!! I'll listen. I can be pretty good at that.

Also, my ::huggles:: are always free.

::huggles::

See?
 
Lol at Bobi.

I don't have experience with addicts either but I can imagine, and I know your Mom. I think the most difficult thing about this, in my opinion, is that she doesn't take critisism very well either. Whether it's to help her or not. If I were you I would try to delicately express your concern. Start out by telling her how proud you are of her and how much you love her and want the very best for her. Then segway into your concern. Let her know you'll support what she does but that you want to make sure she's safe, you know........

She's gotten a little better at listening, maybe it's worth trying.
 
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