Thursday, May 24, 2007

Set me free, why don't you...

Last night I dreamt of being on a cruise with my family, and that I was able to leave the ship and take what appeared to be a "magical" train and I was able to visit different countries and sample different varieties of food and culture. It was a long, vivid dream, as most of my dreams are, and it ended with me being with a man in Jamaica and we were shopping and he took me to a place where only residents were allowed and they were angry with him for being with me and with me for being with him, and he was being oppressed and he got angry with me and I can remember chasing him and asking how long he was going to stay angry with me, and we were by the ocean, and it was really rough, and then I woke up, late, as usual.

I have dreams like this, ones that usually involve the ocean, being very rough, and very intimidating when I am feeling very overwhelmed with life. But the odd part of this particular dream was the love I felt for this man and my inability to keep him happy. Which I guess is just a part of my codependency issues. I am struggling greatly with being alone. I know that I am responsible for my own happiness and that I can not expect or need a man in my life to complete me. But what about loneliness and someone to share with? Someone to tell me "G-d bless you when I sneeze?

It has been a difficult week. Last Saturday at NA, it was a "pitch" meeting. A member would start and be given an opportunity to share that would be timed and should not exceed 4 minutes and then they were to choose who was to share next. Someone "pitched" to the Prince. At first he said he did not want to share and he had nothing to say. These people are wonderful and they weren't having it, they encouraged him and asked a few questions and he shared a little and I was really proud of him. Of course I wanted someone to pitch to me, but I guess as the "mom" I don't get to share.

During the smoking break, he started talking to some younger guys that were there. I went back in and he stayed outside with them for quite awhile. I was getting a bit annoyed, because I thought he should come back to the meeting. I THOUGHT. Key words. I even want to control how he conducts himself at meetings. After the meeting he told me he wants to start coming by himself from now on. Of course I took this as he is planning on getting high with one of these new kids, or that he plans on sneaking out of the meeting to go get high or something of that nature. I still do not trust him at all and I realize I have made absolutely no progress at all in my ability to let go. I may talk the talk, but I do not believe in myself or in him at all.

At this meeting, a young man shared about how his one year anniversary is coming up, and how he subconsciously thinks deep within himself, that it is like a graduation of sorts, like, "Hey, I stayed clean for one year, now I can be rewarded and go get high". Thankfully, from coming to meetings and working his program he came to realize that it isn't like a graduation. He is STILL an addict. He will ALWAYS be an addict, and he has to keep on not using, and keep on coming to meetings and then and only then, can he achieve success in his sobriety.

This got me to thinking about alot of the stuff that I don't like to think about with the Prince. I have seen some stuff on some my space accounts that he wrote making reference to how the party is going to be "ON" when he is finally "free" next month. He also made some comments to be regarding members who have 10 or more years of sobriety, and how he could not even imagine that. I told him he doesn't have to ever think about staying clean except for one day at a time. He said he knows he will relapse again. He just knows it.

When the Prince first started his program, I did alot of research and reading on addiction and treatment models, etc. To be honest at first I did not have alot of faith in twelve steps because I didn't know enough about it and not being a religious or even spiritual person, didn't think it could work for people like us. The program he attends does not use twelve steps. There is alot of hocus-pocus lingo out there stating that rehabilitation for adolescents has come a long way since its inception. That currently, treatment is different for adolescents than it is for adults. I agree that 30 days residential treatment and then into meetings does not work for kids. Absolutely. Kids need long term care, not necessarily residential for all kids, but a long term treatment plan that involves therapy, education, family involvement, positive reinforcement, etc. But I have since come to believe that, while the Prince has benefited from the program in alot of ways, he has maintained sobriety, albeit with many relapses, I am not so sure this will help him to achieve long term sobriety. I don't think he can do it without the twelve steps, and he has since told me he will go to meetings but he wont do the steps.

He will be 18 in 3 short weeks. He will age out of his program at the end of June. He will have to do some summer school in order to graduate. The we will need to put a follow up treatment plan into place. We have discussed him seeing his old therapist, who we all have seen in my family and I respect and trust him immensely, he will go to an alternative HS program for disaffected students for the summer with a small teacher to student ratio to get the last few credits he needs in order to graduate, and he will attend meeting 3-4 nights a week as apposed to going to intensive outpatient treatment a few afternoon a week. It all looks really good on paper. He will presumably get some work. He needs to get a job. He has made beyond no effort to do this.

Manipulation. He is the master. He has been bugging me for the last week or two for a day off. He will call me at night and say, "Hi Mommy," and I know he wants something. He only calls me Mommy when he wants something. The program is in "crisis" mode for the remainder of the week, which means, they sit in a room all day and do nothing, no group, no activities, no nothing. This is because one of the younger kids (younger meaning new to the program) did something unacceptable and wont own up to it so the entire group is punished for it. He is furious about it, he didn't want to go today. I worked from 8 a.m. yesterday until after 7 p.m. last night without even taking a break for lunch. I have working these hours all week. I was tired and not in the mood for his BS I told him he was going and it was off the table for discussion.

Prince Charming turned into the Beast. He got nasty and hung up on me. Whatever. This morning when he came over, he came in my room and immediately started. I didn't have the fight in me so I told him to do whatever the F he wanted to do, that I just don't give a damn anymore, go to school, don't go, I don't care. He got loud and in my face, just like the old days. It confirmed my feelings that we cannot live in the same house anymore because I just cant take the emotional abuse. So, bottom line, he didn't go. He wins. Just like he always does.


Tab said...

No one wins in those battles Kel.
This entire post is like looking at crossroads..only it is up to you which way to go from here my friend.You have been by your Prince for so long doing soo soo much to try to help him.I can hear in your words its just about time you start helping yourself maybe??
I don't blame you for feeling alone..maybe you are being prepped by the universe for someone special down the road,so you best be prepared by doing things for you that help you.Your Prince is old enough now to figure it out for himself..He knows very well how much you love him and support him..don't let him abuse that.
UGH..I hate ever sounding like I am giving you advice Kel..I don't ever mean to sound as if I know what is best for you ..non of can know that.But we all share outhere from personal experience..and hopes for serentity and good health.
I am right beside you through this transition in your life as best as I can as a blogger buddy.And it really is looking very much like a transition...let yourself exhale !
Sending you lots of love and encouragement to face this beautiful day with all you need to smile at yourself and believe in its reflection:)

pat said...

After reading your post, I could almost see myself in your words. Always helping. Always wanting to do the right thing. Never sure exactly what the right thing is. I wish someone could just get inside my head with a leaf blower and get rid of the clutter.

Just do the best you can. As much as we want to help or fix our child, it is really up to them to fix it themselves. We are just there for guidance. Trying to determine what exactly is defined as guidance is the hard part.

ME, myself, & I said...

feeling alone is something we all struggle with, especially when we and our family are going through sooo much drama. I can tell you from personal experience (watching my father and ex-stepmother go through recovery) that you are not alone... there is another family member in the group going through these same emotions. But besides that unknown person... there is your higher power standing near you holding you up... wrapping loving arms around you. You are not doing any of this alone... he is there... rely on him... you'll be ok... (hugs)

Syd said...

Kel, it sounds as if you made a good decision to tell him to get out and leave. It isn't about winning which I'm sure that you know. It's about how you feel and the fact that you can't control your 18 year old son. If he wants to blow it and get high, there isn't anything that you can do. It's up to him. You have to take care of yourself and protect Kel.

vicariousrising said...

I agree with what everyone has said here about the Prince not winning here. And until he realizes that he is losing and creating a path of destruction in his wake, there isn't much more you can do.

I am so sorry that he is manipulating you and it hurts so much. He really just is in over his head and I hope for both your sakes he realizes it instead of swimming further into the depths.

Be good to yourself. Don't forget that you are worth saving too.

Alan said...

Kel, don't beat yourself up for your reaction. Regardless of his age, he is responsible for what he does when it comes to his recovery. In fact, you win by relieving yourself of the burden of responsibility for someone else's actions.

Hang in there.