My oldest called yesterday. He is on a trek west. I have no idea what that means. Just going west to see things he’s never seen before. Of course, this is on the cusp of getting out of a 7 week residential treatment that was only supposed to last 4-6 weeks. But out he is one week later than he was supposed to be, and on his way with his new girlfriend to see the sights. His company continues to pay him disability which allows him the ability to travel while his ex works to support their son. Do I sound bitter?
He called me to check in. I haven’t asked him to check in. I am supposing he wants me to take the call so that I can reassure everyone else that he is fine and dandy. After I have spent many evenings discussing how to handle this situation, how to respond to him, and whether or not I should head 2 1/2 hours to his treatment center next week to participate in a family orientation. I guess I won’t have to worry about that decision any longer.
When the call first came in, I ignored it. I didn’t pick up the phone because I was actually amazed that he had called. I am looking forward to getting to the point where he can no longer stun me. Mostly I ignored the call because I had no idea what to say. I know I’m very angry about this whole turn of events. I know he is nowhere near the bottom of this spiral, and I don’t intend to spiral downward. But there’s the phone call.
I returned the call. No answer. Until I had walked into a shoe department, and then the return call came. This time I took it. Walked out of the shopping center to do so, and there was his voice. My lost 37 year old son who thinks what he is doing is of no real concern. He has an apartment from which he will be evicted, an unpaid power bill that has resulted in the power being turned off, and furniture, including a brand spanking new washer and dryer.
S: What’s going on?
M: For real? You are calling me to ask what’s going on?
S: Yep. Stayin’ in touch like I said I would.
M: I’m working to keep my life together. Whatsup with you (some sarcasm and mostly anger in this response)?
S: Just going west to see some cities.
M: J, Don’t call me anymore. I can’t do this anymore. I don’t understand what is going on with you. I think this is insanity to the 10th degree. I don’t know why you wasted 7 weeks in a treatment center, spent well over $3000 for your own room and board. I don’t know if you are supporting your son, or wishing he didn’t exist. I don’t know if you are sending money to your ex-wife, or expecting her to do all the work to keep a roof over your son’s head and food on the table. I don’t know anything about you. I’m tired of being hurt and angry because of your completely self-centered life. Don’t call me. Call your sponsor. I’m done. I will have a heart attack if this continues. Don’t call me anymore.
S: Oh, ok.
That was it. Bye. Then I lost it. Sat in the shoe department of Dillard’s and cried my eyes out. One lady asked if it was allergies. I responded, no, children.
I came home and walked around my house, picking up things, folding clothes, getting my table organized. I talked a lot to me. I’m not thrilled with sharing my pain (except on anonymous blogs), never have been. Probably no one is, really. But there I go thinking everyone feels like I do. So that part likely isn’t true either.
I only called one person. My minister, who has an uncanny ability to make me feel better by focusing on things completely outside myself or my problems. I did some good with myself — the talking, I mean. I talked about how important many of the responses I’ve gotten here on VN are. How many others have walked in my shoes, and cried, and then stood up to walk again. I talked about how he is lost in his own sad world right now, and the choices he is making are those that are purely selfish because he can see no one else right now, and perhaps never has. I talked about the fact that I could make some selfish choices too, and an important one is the ability to keep myself healthy by refusing to participate in his rather sordid life.
I also thought about how I don’t want to talk about this anymore right now. I don’t want to open up to people to give this info to because I’m so tired of my life being centered around a son who is totally centered around himself. Tonight I will attend my first Al-Anon meeting. I simply couldn’t go last night. The pain was raw, the wound was gaping, and the energy level was below negative. Today I awake with the desire to get off this roller coaster for good. I know it will take work and awareness to do that. I am guessing it will have to come from support from others who have endured this type of burden. I am ready to go there.
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