Sunday, April 16, 2006

Visiting Evan, part III

I am still "processing" various moments of the family counseling session. I want to write a clear post...but that is not going to happen.

Moment One:
Evan talks about being ashamed of something. There is something that he never told me. He tells me, with anxiety and tears. It is banal. His tears and anxiety seem completely over the top. I realize later that that is the issue. He is ashamed now of having been ashamed then. He should not have wanted to hide this thing. He wishes he had been proud.

Moment Two:
Evan expresses fear of rejection, fear that we might kick him out. The LA rehab counselor tells him that we will not reject him. "Beth is not your mother."

All my co-dependency issues are triggered. It seems to me that the counselor is setting Evan up to confuse boundaries with rejection. Evan cannot live with us if he starts using again. I tell the counselor that what he said might be confusing. I say that Evan has our unconditional love, but not unconditional rent. Counselor says he likes that way of putting it.

Moment Three:
We end up discussing how long Evan may stay with us. I talk about hoping he makes it to August 16. The counselor is surprised, worried. Does he have to leave then? Will he have to live by himself? We discuss the possibility of him staying longer. I tell Evan he cannot drift and stay but if he wants to plan to stay he can.

It all feels sur-real to me. Stay longer? Heck,I have been wondering if I could manage to keep him until the end of summer.

This morning the idea that he will stay feels terrifying. I feel like I have given him permission to stay until he hurts us. I wonder what I am doing? Why am I bringing a recovering addict back into this house? What about Andrew and Brian? This is not a story with a happy ending. All sorts of possibilities flash through my mind. I could call the social worker and tell her that I don't want him back at all. I could tell her that I know I said he could stay into the next school year, but I want to take it back. She would talk him out of it and would allow me to seem like the good guy.

The anxiety and panic pass. I feel calmer now. I remember that Evan never did anything horrible. He was using, but it was quiet. He never stole. He never acted crazy. He never frightened anyone. All he did was hide in his room and protest that he could not go to school. I am not bringing a monster into the house.

How long will he be here? Well, as long as being here is promoting his eventual independence. If it is enabling dependence, then he will have to leave.

If things go well, and he stays another year that would actually be good for Andrew and Brian. Even if Andrew does not like him, it will be easier for him to live with him then to start over with another kid. We will take it one day at a time and see how it goes.

Next: Evan comes home

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. My partner and I are finishing the adoption class soon. We moved from Georgia to NY last year, because we wanted children, and we wanted to be an acknowledged family. I've seen a ton of homeless gay youth, and I'm thankful that you have made that number smaller by three. Thanks for sharing...


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