Thursday, February 23, 2006

A fragile peace (edit)

Two days ago I joined an on-line Nar-Anon group (support group for people involved with addicts -- it is a 12-step program). They have been good about helping me to calm down and relax. I also realized that I really have to deal with my co-dependency issues. My father is a recovering alcoholic and so I better go to Al-Anon (there is no Nar-Anon group locally) and get my #@*! together.

Yesterday the social worker called. She was processing and so was I. She asked how I was holding up, how was Hubby, Andrew and Brian. She shared difficulties ahead -- serious as well as practical. They have Evan in a great rehab center; he may be there 60 days instead of 30 (maybe). There is a family therapy portion, but they have no idea how we are going to participate, seeing as it is 1000 miles away and all. They are working on it though...this center and the local rehab counselor have worked together before. Maybe we can see her and maybe we could have some speaker phone meetings with Evan...they don't know. She said the rehab counselor told her that it was not going to be easy living with him. Living with a recovering addict is hard and we would need to go to Al-Anon (no Nar-Anon around here), make a commitment to therapy too. It is a lot to ask a foster family. And maybe Evan would benefit from a more independent living situation, anyway. But nothing is decided. Nothing can be decided until Evan is further along in rehab.

It was a good conversation and about an hour later the impact of it hit me. She's telling me that they might not send him back. I am not the real mother, or even the real aunt, who happens to have a whole lot of professionals helping her get help for her kid. I am the foster mom. The professionals are the ones who are in charge. I will get him back if they decide it is best.

I spent some time crying.

This morning I woke up feeling peaceful. I had a new found acceptance of the will of the universe. This was not about me, about whether I could prove to the social workers that I was good enough, or strong enough. Evan is being taken care of by a lot of people whom I really trust. If he is supposed to come back to me, he will. If he isn't, then he will still always be part of my life. I will always still love him, he just won't live here. An if he isn't supposed to be here, then he will be where he is supposed to be. And that is a good thing. Evan's journey has to be taken by Evan. I have to take my own, work on my own issues, and trust the social workers, the universe, the take care of Evan.

Such a good, calm feeling. I am trying to remember the first couple of steps in the 12-step program...isn't this at least two of them? This 12-step thing is right on track and I haven't even gone to a meeting. I don't have a sponser yet, but won't he or she be so proud that I have already mastered 2 steps?

I drove Andrew to school and came back and talked to Hubby. I started trying to tell him about my peace of mind..but he was confused. So I backed up and re-told him about the phone call. He interrupted -- he remembered that. I took a very deep breath and moved forward in my story. He's confused...what does this have with the phone call yesterday?

I take another deep breath..."Is it okay if I just tell the damn story in my own way?" Of course he says. now I rush through the highlights of conversation; I tell him how worried and anxious I was last night about whether I was going to get Evan back. I was just about to get to the calm, happy, accepting, new-found peace part of the story.

He interrupted again and said, "Well, maybe you are not the right person."

Okay…he’s the love of my life and all: husband of 20 years; the man who once threw his body between me and a tom cat determined to kill me (another story); the man who calmly agreed to kill every anesthesiologist in town when I was delivering a 9 ½ pound baby and was told the that they were all “busy" (yet another story). But why can’t he just listen to how peaceful and happy I am without pissing me off?

Oh yeah...this 12-step stuff is going to be a breeze.


  1. I can so relate to your conversation with your husband. Too well. I am glad you found the peace you deserve with what may happen with Evan. I will keep you all in my prayers.

  2. Maybe you should just skip on down to #3.

    We don't have nar-anon here either, I don't think. I've never seen it listed.

  3. Good for you! Do you ever read Pema Chodron's work? She's an American Buddhist nun, and I think she has some really great things to say. I'm currently reading "The Places that Scare You." :)

  4. When S tried to kill herself and we were forced to check her into a psych ward, we were suddenly nobody to her legally and had no standing with the hospital. Fortunately for us, they didn't treat us that way, but that was the cold stark reality and it was hurtful and terrifying. I am so sorry you are going through this!!


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