Where is he?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Carri, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    As I get into bed tonight I know that my daughter just went to bed upstairs, my dad's in a nursing home, my sister is home with her husband, my best friend is at home probably watching TV, my brother is at his house, my nieces are tucked into bed...I know pretty much where my loved ones are and that's comforting to me as I get ready for bed. But my son, I don't know where he is. Homeless, sleeping where? He's 31 years old, so I don't need to know everything about his life, but to not have any idea where he is at night is hard. All I can do is pray for him, that he's safe, that he gets sick of this lifestyle, that if he overdoses someone is able to contact me, that he gets arrested so he's safe in jail. Not knowing is so hard. I've come a long way though, turning him over to God at night. Tonight I think I'll start praying for all of our "missing" adult kids, that they all find their way. Maybe there really is something in the power of prayer?
     
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  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Dearest Carri, I feel your love for your son through the poignancy of this post, I am right there with you, praying for my girl. Yes, it is hard not knowing.
    I have done the same, turned my two over to God and pray they find their way.
    I do believe prayers are powerful and join you in saying heartfelt prayers for our kids out there to be safe and may Gods spirit cover them and shine light upon pathways to their purpose and meaning. Prayers for warrior Moms and Dads, too, to keep the faith, have hope and build strength. May God watch over us all.

    Thank you so much for your prayer.
    (((Hugs)))
    leafy
     
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  3. Kalahou

    Kalahou Active Member

    I am with you, warrior sisters.
    It is not important that you need to know exactly where he / she is. We rest in peace, knowing that the higher power over all knows the very place they are and is watching over it. I too know the feeling to wake in the night in fear of where our children’s lives are. I try to breathe... and allow my mother’s heart to lift up our difficult children, to release them into the care of the almighty, and rest our souls in peace and gladness. No matter where our “lost soul” children may be, they are not lost, but are known in all their ways.
    In Hawaii’s night sky, the zenith star overhead is Arcturus, which the ancient Hawaiians named Hokule'a, meaning “Star of Gladness,” so called because it guided sea-goers home from voyages. The navigators looked to Hokule'a to chart their course. I am coming to see that no matter where our children may be in the dark night of their souls, when they reach the point to want to be guided to the right course, there burns a star of gladness, a beacon of hope for them to find their way and shine light on their path.

    Surrender to your sweet slumber, and rest safe in perfect assurance and power of prayer. You are going to be alright.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Oh Carri, I agree. Not knowing is simply the hardest. I often thought I would rather know something than not know anything, even if the something is bad.

    It's so hard.

    Then, in time, I often would think this: Is my want/desire/need/longing to just know he is "somewhere" part of my need to control, to be "sure" about something, to "gather my chicks" and breathe a deep breath knowing everybody is somewhere and is safe, at least for this minute?

    I don't know.

    There were times when I didn't know where Difficult Child was. Days would go by. At first it was sheer agony but in time, I was able more and more to let it go. I would still have moments when my heart would race and for whatever reason, I would give in to the anxiety of just wishing to know something, anything.

    In time, I would be able to relax while he was in jail, like you said. Who ever would have thought? The first time he went to jail I thought I would literally die, and by the last time, I was grateful for jail.

    It's amazing how we can change.

    And how they can too, if they decide to work for it.

    All change takes work. It doesn't "just happen."

    My mother and I were talking about our sons (my Difficult Child and my brother) who have addiction problems. Right now, my brother, who is 51 years old, lives with my 83-year-old parents. He works full time and drinks and helps them with the physical things around the house that they are increasingly unable to do. His drinking is progressing. My Difficult Child is now on a better path.

    My mother and father are struggling with my brother's disease and how to respond to it. They are having "sit down talks" with him, and have talked with him about rehab and detox and AA, etc. This isn't the first time. In the past, they would have these talks with him, or write letters to him, about once every year or two. Now, it's under their nose, and they can see that it's getting much worse.

    My mother said this the other day: I don't know how in the world you ever were able to let Difficult Child be homeless.

    I said: I know. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

    She said: I don't think I can do it.

    I said: I know. You can only do what you can do.

    I've talked with both of my parents about Al-Anon and have given them a couple of Al-Anon books over the years. They know I write on an online forum.

    I don't push it with them. They know very little about addiction and they are lukewarm about understanding that they need to know more in order to deal with all of this, right under their roof, in a healthy way. I can't make them see that.

    They aren't sick and tired enough. My mother even closed the conversation with this: Well, it's really not that bad. He does drink a lot but...well...you know, he still goes to work every day.

    My mother is terrified for her precious son. All wrapped up in her terror is her fear and her grief and her guilt and her shame. My dad just gets mad, because my brother "had so much potential" and my dad sees him as a failure (my dad is all about being successful). That comes through to my brother loud and clear of course, his father's only son.

    Addiction is so complicated. All of this is so complicated. As I told my sister, who lives right there, two miles away: Just step back.

    She is so stressed out with it all. Doing nothing about problems isn't in her vocabulary (and I get that, because that's exactly how I used to be).

    We can't fix other people. We can't make other people do things. We can't talk long enough and loud enough and cry hard enough to "make them see."

    They will see when they see and not before. It took me more than 10 years to see this myself.

    I have compassion for all of us, on this journey. You, Carri, my parents, my brother, Difficult Child, my sister, all of us who struggle and mourn and try so hard to deal with this awful awful disease...this mental illness.

    We just want them to be okay. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

    Warm hugs this morning. You're a true Warrior Mom.
     
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  5. TheWalrus

    TheWalrus I Am The Walrus

    For me, "not knowing" has always been a double edged sword. There would be times the not knowing would take my breath away, as my imagination would take off and picture her in the worst possible scenarios. Those times would hit me at night, like you, when I laid in my bed in my house, wondering where she was laying. Or in the middle of a happy occasion, that at one time she would have been part of and her absence is so strongly felt. Or on holidays, when the feeling of "family" is strong and I felt her missing like an amputee missing a limb.

    But often the "not knowing" was such a relief. Because I couldn't worry about what I didn't know, could take a break from thinking about her because it wasn't right in my face. I didn't have to spin my wheels trying to fix whatever situation she was in, wasting my time, energy, money and emotions trying to help someone who wasn't ready to be helped. I could enjoy normal, everyday life activities without guilt or fear. Ahhh...the unknown was often my friend...and I felt that made me a bad mother.

    Because now I know too much, have seen too much, have images in my mind that will never be erased and sometimes give me nightmares. I have seen things in my child that I will never forget and that will never allow me to see her the same way again, making me fear I will never be able to feel what I once felt for her, forever altering the fabric of our relationship in a way that I will never be able to feel comfortable in her presence. Knowing ended up being so much worse than what I had imagined, and I had imagined some horrible things.

    Ignorance was bliss for me. Knowing has been hell. That probably says some ugly things about me.
     
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  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ignorance IS bliss. Knowing, for most of us, is awful.
    The only thing it says about you is that you are a pretty normal Mom, dealing with a pretty abnormal situation.
     
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  7. so ready to live

    so ready to live Active Member

    Your post rings completely true for me-my son is 28 and gone again. sometimes it's days or weeks before we hear and he is angry now that we won't allow him home again. It may be awhile. In my warm house last night, during a snowstorm, I tried hard not visualize my fears. I have found helpful something I read months ago, simply written by a mom who lost her child (momentarily) at a playground.

    Is God in control? Yes.
    Does He know where my son is? Yes.
    Can He take care of him? Yes.
    Can He help me? Certainly.

    I repeat this at night to calm myself. After awhile I wonder if every time I awaken, someday, maybe my first and only thoughts WON'T be of him. They will never understand how we have hurt and worried. I'll pray for you tonight.
     
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  8. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    I'm sorry for your worry and your pain. I have panic attacks in my sleep because of this same issue. My husband would get up many times during the night to look out the window to see if J had come home yet. I would text him asking him if he was okay. He always answered me, which was helpful, but still did not stop the worry until he was home safe.

    (((((HUGS)))))
     
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  9. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Walrus, there's nothing wrong with this statement. Knowing is painful and tortuous, and sometimes we cannot escape the thoughts that have been placed into our innocent minds.

    My mother died four years ago. It was sudden, and we thought maybe a heart attack or a stroke. We didn't think an autopsy was necessary. Six months ago, my son entered rehab, and told me what really happened to my mother, his grandmother.

    He told me that his step-grandfather had gotten him into meth, and he was selling drugs to help his grandfather's drug business...

    He told me that his grandmother, my mother, had overdosed and had had a cocaine heart attack...

    I never knew...I wish I didn't know now. My mother wasn't a drug user. I wish I could erase it from my mind. Now I can never again see my mother as I had known her. I will never tell my sister. It would kill her.

    Ignorance is better.
     
  10. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Walrus, I'm so sorry to hear that about your mom. I hope that your son was embellishing. Also, I'm surprised he decided to tell you this since he's in rehab; I would hope they would have advised him to keep this to himself since it would only do you harm.

    The silver lining to my dad going in to a nursing home is that it's given me a new perspective on my son's lifestyle. My dad's situation is truly sad. Parkinson's disease is taking his life from him and us. He doesn't have a choice. My son has choices. He's been down the same path so many times, that he KNOWS where to go and what to do to change his life for the better. I wish my dad had some options.

    Thanks to everyone for your feedback. It really does help. This is such a safe place to share feelings. No one "gets it" like you guys do. Warrior Parents...I like that. We've earned the badge.

    Hugs to all...
    Carri
     
  11. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thanks, Carrie, but he was telling the truth about my mom. About a week or so of J going into rehab and "disappearing" off the face of the earth (he didn't tell anyone), I got a frantic call from step-sister. She had discovered what was going on at her dad's and they were all worried about J's status. She told me what had happened to my mother even before I asked her about it. It's just heartbreaking. I've never wished anyone ill will like I have this man.
     
  12. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    Well, I can sleep better tonight. My son's in jail. Again. Thank God, please keep him there, for me! Shoplifting and possession but he also hadn't complied with court orders to enter a drug treatment program. Chances are, they'll let him out on Monday, it's what they do. California justice system is a joke. Prop 47 was passed which means drug charges are misdemeanors. I drove around town today whistling, knowing that none of the transients I passed on the street were my son. It's like a holiday for me. A nice, long weekend.
     
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  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Enjoy the mental break.
     
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  14. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Enjoy your weekend. I hope you can get some rest.
     
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  15. JMom

    JMom Member

    Carri,

    Glad you got to rest. It was always a relief when my kiddo was in jail. I had to retrain Mt brain at night to say, if it's something bad, someone will come to me. Also if he is in trouble, in need, it was wait until morning and I will need the rest to face it. Hugs
     
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  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Carrie - I think not knowing where they are and if they are relatively safe is the worst. When my son was 19 he was in jail and I thought that was the worst thing (besides death) for a mother. Then my son was homeless and on the streets and that was much much worse.... So that eventually I too saw jail as a relief because at least he was relatively safe, had a place to sleep and food to eat.

    So get your sleep and rest while he is in jail!
     
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  17. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Yes, not knowing can be torturous for us as our imagination can run wild with all kinds of horrible scenarios.
    I suffered too much from this and the only way I could move beyond it was to accept that the very worst might really happen and for me that was my son could die alone and I would never know it. I had to make peace with that possible reality and once I did I was able to let go of the not knowing.
    I will always love my son but I was allowing his choice of lifestyle to hold my emotions hostage and was keeping me from fully living my own life.

    I used to wonder this of myself. How could I let me son be homeless? The simple answer is, I didn't as I do not have that kind of power. My son chose it for himself.

    You are so right COM, each one of can only do what we can do. Just as our d_c's have choices so do we.

    I remember telling my son so many, many times, "I just want you to be okay, I just want you to be happy". I have come to realize
    that "my" wants were more about me than about my son. I wanted his happiness to mirror what I had envisioned for him not what he has envisioned for himself.
    My son is a very gifted artist and while he is still basically homeless in that he does not have a permanent address, he continues to drift through the southwest but he is being creative with his art and managing to make some kind of living doing it. While he still struggles with the demons of his addictions he is okay. I have made peace with that.

    Yes, the not knowing can be better than the knowing. My son has shared things with me that I could have gone the rest of my life not knowing.
    I do not think wanting the "bliss" of not knowing makes you, me or anyone else a bad mother. I think when we get the point of realizing that we don't want to know is a turning point. It's a point where we start to separate ourselves from the chaos that our d_c's can bring into our lives. We never stop loving our children but we stop allowing them to manipulate our emotions.

    I do not see how this would say anything ugly about you. The only ugly thing about this is our adult children make choices to do things that we would not want for them. As I said before, my son has shared things with me, some really ugly and dark things. My having this knowledge only produced a dark cloud over me that I had to work really hard at letting go.
    There is nothing wrong with not wanting to know all that our d_c's do.
     
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