Friday, September 22, 2006

Here comes the Judge....

I share an office with a woman who was hired about 5 months ago. We have become friendly. I respect and like her. She is in her mid-40s and a widow. She has a grown daughter. She has been looking to meet men on the internet through the personals, like yahoo or something like that. Yesterday she received an interest or a wink or something from a really nice looking man, late 40s successful, blah blah blah. So we got to work writing a clever witty response. Anyway, long story short, I started asking her about the kind of guys she has met on the site and she said not many good ones. That most of them were nothing like what they claimed to be, and a lot of them very either alcoholics or recovered drug addicts, and she wants no part of that.

I'm not sure if she saw my jaw drop when she said that. But is this really the way the world looks at people in recovery? That they want no part if an intimate relationship with them? That they aren't worthy of second chance?

When the prince first started using, and it was basically pot and alcohol back then, he was in the ninth grade, and as a result he failed every course including gym, with the exception of English for the year. He would have to take 2 or 3 subjects in summer school to catch up a bit and be allowed to go onto the 10th grade. Of, course he failed summer school as well. I honestly don't think I thought he was doing drugs yet, that would come shortly after.

Well there was a big meeting at the school and we had to make a decision. He could go to the altern. HS program located in the building or he could stay back in the 9th grade. The Alt. program was an inclusion class, it ranged from 10-12th graders the ratio was small, maybe 10:1 or something like that. It was for the kids that didn't fit the "traditional" education model. These kids weren't given homework, because they wouldn't do it anyway, they didn't have to take gym, because "these" kids didn't like to change into sweats or shorts and run around and play. They read the sports pages and wrote a paragraph in order to satisfy the state ed requirements for physical education, they watched the movie instead of reading the books. These were the f-ed up kids, mostly the kids on drugs, on probation, and other problems like that. But there were two classes, one for the kids who had a learning disablilty like my son, and the one for those that didn't. They led me to believe that these kids were not all on drugs, that some smoked a little pot, but half of the HS did, so what was the worry?

After much deliberation, I decided it was probably better to let him go into the Alt. program then to keep him back a year. The district more or less told me this was his best shot at graduating HS. They would push him through. All I could think of was, would any girls date him or want to go to the prom with him if he was in this class.

I clearly remember how I felt that day, I knew he would be judged, and I think that bothered me almost as much as his failing. I can also remember times during the last few years when I would be somewhere and meet someone who has kids in the HS and I wouldn't want to say who my son was cause I know what his reputation is like up there, and I know lots of the other parents didn't want their kids any where near mine.

But I know its a disease. And I can only pray he will keep the desire to stay clean. He seems to making a lot of progress these last few weeks since the relapse on the cruise. We had a family session on Tuesday and she couldn't stop saying how incredible he has been doing, that he is staying awake all day, he is participating for the first time since he started and he is finally dealing with some stuff and opening up.

We started talking about the family dynamics and how unfortunate the relationship is between the prince and his dad. His father spoke briefly and said how the kid needs to respect him and how the prince needs to accept that he is the authority figure, and so on. I interjected that he needs to start seeing the prince as a human being, that in a few months he will be a man, and he needs to learn to accept that and accept the prince and try to save the relationship now, while there are professionals willing to help.

She said there is work that has to be done with the prince and his dad and she is willing to put it on table and "go there" but she needs to know his feelings about it, is he willing. It is all about his father and his active alcoholism. He says he is willing to try. She wants me to sit out for the next session, and try to get them working. It will be ugly I am sure.

So, wow, I am all over the place on this post today. I wanted to say how sad I found my friends comment to be and that I know people are ignorant, but how much it hurt me and I didn't say anything about it, but it hurt me.

Does this make any sense at all?

Have a great weekend all.


Anonymous said...

You always make sense, Kel, in your thoughts and your feelings. I "get" where you are at with the Prince and his Dad. I still say the same thing--stick close to Tab and others and MAYBE check out some Al-Anon--just MAYBE?????
Yes, unfortunatley many "normies" out there still think "once an addict, always an addict." They believe we can't recover and that it's just a matter of time until we relapse again. Or they think that we have become some kind of religious freaks if we are in a 12 step program......but not ALL "normies" are that way.
What matters is that you get better and your son gets better and your husband gets better and your other son gets better.

Anonymous said...

Boy can I relate to this post Kel.
Every bit of it,,
It all comes with living with addictions and or alcoholism around truly does.And the best thing for you and I ? We do not judge..because we know the people we love who use/drink,are good people with some bad habits to deal with.You believe in your son.
That is what matters Kel.We can work at getting rid of the stigmas in our society by being cool about our personal affairs but never ashamed.

As for the Dad ..that is going to be a very big challenge for you to let go of ..I just know it.WHy..
been there too.Long story short...
I hope you can find a comfortable place to be on the sidelines Kel because if there is one thing I have learned about my son and his biological Dad..there is nothing I can do for them.I support my son
but I do not need to stand up for him anymore.He has a voice and has recently used it very well to express himself openly with his Dad.

You have a great head on your shoulders Kel.I also sense a spirit thirsty for knowledge and adventure!
Get yourself some support how ever you feel fits for you..a book ..a meeting..but do something.
Alcoholism can where us out.
Inspiration and wisdom renews our eforts in life and makes a difference in how we deal with everything.I don't attend Al-Anon meetings but I do read an Al-Anon book called the Courage to Change.
I love it!!! Maybe try to find some Al-Anon lit'..give it a thumb?

YOu are fab Kel.
Life is crazy at times isn't it?
Let's make sure we don't go crazy with it for too

Thanks for sharing you
beautiful human you!

Anonymous said...

*I forgot to note that my son's biological Dad is also an alcoholic.

Anonymous said...

*alcohol can wear us out..
not where us out..geesh I need to reread my comments before posting them