letting each other go

Moving Forward and Learning to Let Go

Posted by Leo G on March 8, 2009

So it’s been months since I updated here. Mostly things have been hard. Bup isn’t using street drugs, but he is drinking and there have been several major negative consequences–more arrests, fines, a near-eviction, and the loss of a job opportunity–all directly connected to Bup and his behavior.

After the job interview disaster–a long story I’ll tell another time–I picked up the book Beautiful Boy by David Sheff. It was an amazingly honest and well-written book. And most importantly, it convinced me to find Alanon resources.

I first found stepchat.com which got me started. Online meetings and chat helped me understand that I am not alone and that there are resources out there that can help.

Then I started face-to-face meetings here in town. It was awkward at first, but I kept at it. Now I’m learning about detachment with love, boundaries, and most importantly, connecting and trusting a higher power.

And that’s good. Because on Friday Bup turns 18. That’s a relief and a source of anxiety. A relief because I won’t be financially responsible for him. In the past 3 years his behavior has cost at least ten thousand dollars in fines, legal fees, restitution, medical costs and miscellany. That’s a lot of money and until he turns 18, I am ultimately responsible to see that it gets paid. So after Friday, I’m free of that.

Of course, it also means that if he screws up again he doesn’t go to juvenile court or detention. He goes to county jail or state prison. And it means that I am contemplating my options, including asking him to leave my home if he is going to continue to drink.

I never thought I would be the kind of parent who kicks my kid to the curb at 18. But he needs to know there are consequences for his repeated breaking of trust, lying, and acting out. He needs to know that if he wants the freedom of adulthood he should also be ready for the responsibility.

And then I look at him. He’s not even 18. He’s smart but completely unrealistic and unprepared for adult life. He thinks he can get by on charisma and charm.

I blame myself a lot, but am trying to let that go too. I have been the best parent I knew how to be. I have tried to balance compassion and discipline. I did not force him to use drugs…he could have made other choices.

So I am letting go. Letting go of Bup. Letting go of control. Letting go of guilt. I named this blog well.

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2 Responses to “Moving Forward and Learning to Let Go”

  1. benoit said

    I bumped into your blog by hazard. I just wanted to share a story… A few months ago I took my girlfriend to meet her dad – she had not seen him since he left home when she was 6. She is 32. They met, talked, cooked, and it was like they had met the week before. Peaceful. That day I realized time is not what I thought. It was like the separation, the pain, the absence, were not there. They still were there, but the presence, the present was also there, and so it atoned for the past.
    My girlfriend has spent 5 years on heroin. She gave birth to a boy when she was 18, and on drugs. She got herself out of heroin to try and be able to deal with him. She kept selling drug, and ended up in jail for 4 years. Not before giving birth to a second son, whom the father took with him. The day she was out of jail, he brought him back. Here your son. Goodbye.
    And then she took him. Found a love for him that she thought was gone. Worked a bit. Got closer to her family. Did her garden. Found some peace. Met her father again. Learned to be happy.
    She tought me a tremendous lot – I am a brat, spoiled by life and yet never happy. She taught me about peace, and hope, and joy despite whatever is in the past – and i wanted to share.
    The love you have for your son is so obvious. I wish you and him to go to that stage where you can look at the past with peace and love in your hearts.

  2. Lauren said

    Still reading sweet Papa, and thinking about your Bup often. Xoxoxo

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