It seems as if I am learning how to go through the motions of detachment parenting....but the consensus is that I have not yet given up the habit of surrendering my entire emotional space to my son.
I have surrendered my emotional life to playing out reactions not only to what my son does, decides to do or considers doing, but to a generalized fear, preoccupation, dread, and worry about what he could do, what could happen.
It helped me to see it this way: Listen to what your friends whose children are doing well say about their children. See that special glow that comes over them, the pride, the feeling of a job well done.
That is normal.
These parents have never had to learn to dissociate themselves emotionally from their children.
We have. For their survival, and for our own, we have had to learn that really crummy thing. We can name it whatever we want. At bottom, we have had to learn, and to act on, something it is impossible to do. For the sakes of our children, we are doing it.
And for me, for sure, it is a really hard thing.
For my children to be okay, I have to be that mom who does not help, advise, or buy them stuff. I don't get to have a generous spirit toward myself or my children.
Especially given the patterns in my FOO, especially given that I taught myself how to live my life based on not being my mother, this is a kind of spiritual devastation for me.
But it is what it is.
And it seems to be helping. To have taken on this new way of being, I mean. And that is all I know.
Every day, that is all I know.
There are parents who have never had to question themselves and their families and their life choices the way those of us whose children are not doing well have determined to do out of our own senses of honesty and integrity and willingness to question our parenting ~ our basic identities, even. We have not found reliable answers in how we have parented which could explain what happened to our families. We focus and determine to find that wrong thing that we did...but we never can find it.
It wasn't us. We could take responsibility in any of a thousand ways and it would not help our kids.
Our children, whether through some illness or through drug use or addiction or a weird combination of both, are in pretty serious trouble.
And helping turns into the ugliness of enabling.
And it is really hard to cherish ourselves and our people through what feels like a dangerous wilderness place where nothing makes sense.
But you are here with us, now.
Somehow, we get ourselves and one another through the places we cannot stand up through alone.
You can do this, Copa.
At least for now, there is no other choice.
But we are here. We have been where you are.
And we are still standing.