Thursday, August 12, 2010

You know what sucks?

Having your bosses daughter (who is the same age as my son) show up as an intern on the employee payroll
...I'm actually very happy for both of them. I have a tremendous respect for my former manager and I am glad his daughter is successful at this stage of life. It just hurts a bit because it's another reminder. I guess the trick is not dwelling on it.

Talking to your son and feeling like you're a million miles apart
...we talked this morning. It's all business. He needs more money (we are holding his savings while he's in rehab). Even though he's doing well, in a highly supervised program, I can't help but feel suspicious when he asks for money. I NEVER had this problem in the past because I always trusted him. Now I'm trying to navigate in the aftermath of lies, manipulation, and deceit. More learning is needed. God grant me the serenity...

Waking up in the morning feeling angry about nothing
...This week has been so strange. Feeling good one minute, angry the next, and general saddness whenever I'm alone with time to think. Most evenings I go to bed sad and wake up angry. I know I'm grieving. How I wish I could press the 'fast forward' button.

Struggling with my faith in spite a long and strong walk with God I'm one of those that is not supposed to struggle. I've been a leader within my Christian community for almost 3 decades. I am currently "on leave" from being the leader of a intra-campus Bible study at work. My faith has survived an abusive husband, a painful divorce, being a single parent with sole financial responsibility of my son, a demanding job, a broken engagement, depression. Somehow, I have managed to hold onto my faith though all these things. I think deep down I understood how I played a part due to poor deicions I made. But this one is different. I suppose that I believe that if I did my part God would do his. Intellectually, I understand Daniel has a will of his own that God will not violate. Yet, somehow, I feel betrayed and let down. I believe I'll live through this valley of despair, but I sure am feeling disconnected from  God right now.

OK, it doesn't all suck. A few things are pretty cool:
  • living in the northwest during a beautiful sunny day of 85 degrees
  • enjoying time alone when hubby's away on a trip (I'm an "I" in Meyer's Briggs type inventory. As an introvert, I re-charge by spending time alone)
  • being healthy enough to participate in a 50-mile bike ride (coming up in 2 weeks). It is good to have something to look forward to, and something to motivate me to workout (especially since I'm lacking in the motivation department these days).
  • having a husband that really loves me (I finally got it right - picking a good man!)
  • having a good job that supplies a regular pay check.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Biking helps

Friday we returned home from a week at the beach. Saturday my husband left on a trip and I found myself alone in a big house with way too many thoughts of my son, my life, and why I am not happy with the state of either one. I could not get myself motivated and ate more than I should have. I suppose I was wallowing.
Later that evening I learned there was an organized bike ride in our city scheduled for the next day. I decided to register.
So this morning, I ventured out alone to join a bunch of other crazy cyclists, spinning their pedals all over town. I elected the longest route (not that long, really: 35 miles). The ride ended at a big food event in downtown. So I decided to hang around and enjoy some food and chef demonstrations.
As a result of my spontaneous decisions, I had a really good day - the antithesis of Saturday!
So glad I decided to go for a ride. Hopefully, this will get my week off to a good start.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Better than expected

The 24-hour visit just ended. All in all, I have much to be thankful for, though I still find myself somewhat in limbo; cautiously hopeful and afraid to hope at the same time. 

Daniel was allowed a 24-hr pass to visit with his family. We brought him to our beach home (where we are staying for our annual summer vacation. Together with my parents and my husband, the five of us had a preciously-uneventful, playful, and relaxing time together. In the 8-weeks Daniel has been in rehab, he has learned some manners, improved his social skills, and demonstrated he can be helpful. These are dramatic improvements.

More specifically, he:
  • helped his grandma get in and out of the SUV
  • spent the entire time with us (not in his room)
  • helped set and clear the table (without being asked)
  • waited for Grace to be said before starting to eat (and thanked the person who said it)
  • served us dessert (and offered the last of the cheesecake to others)
  • asked if he could be excused (rather than simply disappearing)
  • played Bocce ball and went hiking with us
  • did his own laundry
  • conversed with everyone and when we were alone, asked how I was doing
  • went to bed at a reasonable time and did not sleep in
  • made his bed in the morning (without being asked)

Was he perfect? No. Was it warm and fuzzy? No. Did we have deep and meaningful conversation? Somewhat, but limited to his recovery. Did I cry when he left? Yes.
  • How did I do? Better than in the past. I:
  • didn't give him my opinion when I disagreed with something he said
  • caught myself before offering to wash his sandy clothes and offered to show him how to use the front-loader instead (which he did)
  • didn't nag him to dry his clothes, deciding that he would figure it out (and he did)
  • didn't complain that he chewed tobacco
  • didn't assume the responsibility for all the conversation and let there be silence
  • listened with genuine interest to the stories about rehab and his reflections about what he is learnng
Whew. I feel relieved that it went as well as it did and I am glad he is gone. I am both happy and sad when he is around. Now that he is gone, I can relax again. I hate to say that but it is true for now.

I don't know how much I should hope for. I have become fatigued with the bombs of truth that drop on a regular basis and so I really don't know what is around the corner. I know I am still coming to terms with who my son has become and I am full of saddness. I know that he will make favorable progress only if he continues to commit to recovery. And I know this is "early recovery" with a long road ahead. Indeed, I am cautious, sad, hopeful, and skeptical. And that is a good reason for treating myself to a massage!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Deep breath. It's visiting day.

It has been 60 days since my son has entered rehab and 3 weeks since my last visit.
That last one was not so fun, to put it mildly.
I always thought of visiting someone as a positive, fun thing.
Hmmm, not so much when the visiting place is a rehab center.

Today I am taking a step: visiting again.
This time, Daniel has earned a pass - a 24-hour pass - which means I can bring him to the beach. It's our annual vacation week here at our family beach home. My husband and my parents are also here. I'm hopeful this combination of loved ones will enable our visit to be light and enjoyable. I've had my fill of heavy and emotional. We are all due for some neutral, even boring, time together.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I will let you know how it goes.