I neglected to express gratitude to someone who is no longer in our lives, but to whom I ultimately, almost single handedly credit with being the person responsible for saving my Prince's life.
It was one year ago today. The Friday before winter vacation. My life and the life of my family had become completely unmanageable. The Prince was at the height of his addiction. We had applied for a PINS petition. We were waiting to be called before a probation officer. He was drunk and high all day, every day. He was barely attending classes. I can honestly say now, as bad as things were, I had no idea how far away my Prince had really gone.
He was high the night before. He was trying to bust into my room. We had a vicious fight where I was trying to keep him out and he was trying to get in. My little guy was hysterical crying. This was a typical evening in our house back then. The fighting, the screaming, the crying, the drama. I told him he was punished for the vacation and to be sure his ass was in the house immediately afterschool. That he should not F with me. Yeah. Right.
Late Friday morning I was sitting at my desk and my cell phone rang. It was the Prince's girlfriend at the time. The Toxic Princess is what I liked to refer to her as. I was surprised to see her number come up and thought maybe he was sorry for his behavior, he was working it out with the Toxic Princess and he was calling to apologize. Wrong. Wrong. and Wrong. When I picked up the phone, the TP asked me if the Prince was home sick today. I said no, he was at school as far as I knew. She informed me that she thought he was home, and she thought there was a party going on at my house.
I thanked her for the information, left work and went to my house. There was in fact, a party going on. 7 or 8 kids, the air thick with marijuana smoke, empty alcohol bottles strewn about, cigarette butts, etc. As usual, I am going on and on, as I am sure I have written this story in a post from last year. Long story short, I flipped out, he flipped out. I threw all the kids out and he took off. Told me to go F myself and he ran away. He stayed away for the whole weekend. When we finally got him home, we had signed him into a psychiatric institution on a dual diagnosis, where he detoxed, which helped us fast track the PINS petition, which helped us to get him into the program he is in today.
I sometimes feel like maybe I should have waited it out, and had the courts send him into residential. Maybe it would have been more effective. Maybe not. I will never know for sure. What I do know it has been an incredibly rocky year. A roller coaster doesn't begin to describe the ups and downs, peaks and valleys that we have gone through. I have never felt so out of control or helpless in my entire life. He has had many relapses but he keeps getting back up. My old therapist told me once that what is important is not how many times he falls, but that he keeps getting back up. I look back on this last year with such mixed emotion, things are not perfect, not by a long shot. I do not want or expect perfection. But things ARE better. Progress, not perfection. I needed a little distance and perspective to see that. I believe he has stopped cutting himself. My life is more manageable. I sleep at night. I feel safe in my home for the first time in a long time. I feel hope for my Prince. He is talking abut a future. Maybe it is not the future I would have chosen for him, but I have also learned to let go. He has to fight his demons, he has to make his choices. He is the one who will have to live with them.
I do not think our battle is anywhere near over. I do not fool myself into believing it is even close. I know there will be many more relapses. I am also certain he will end up in a residential center at some future date. But we made it this far one day at a time. And I discovered I can let go and still love him. And I will keep on loving him and letting go.
For all of this I send out gratitude to the Toxic Princess. I have never told the Prince how I knew about the party going on. I know that her motivation was selfish, she was jealous of a girl that was getting high and hanging out with the Prince (a girl my son said was "just like him") , and she may have broken his heart, and damaged him, but I do credit her with setting events in to motion that forced me to find the strength to do what I had to do to help save this Prince's life. I will be eternally grateful to her for that.
Detachment allows us to let go of our obsession with another's behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves. We can still love the person without liking the behavior. -Al Anon, S-19