Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rules are Rules . . .

Well, now I feel like the creepiest mom that ever walked the earth. I know that I shouldn't, but I do. I know that I did the right thing in holding him accountable to the "house rules", I still feel very conflicted about the whole thing.

I did manage to sleep in this morning until 2PM. (I stayed up extra late last night for that very purpose.) Unfortunately, when I woke, I found that Nick had not sobered up as planned. Instead, he decided that the best way to avoid a hangover is . . .that's right, a little of the hair of the dog that bit him. (or in Nick's case, a LOT more.) As I walked through the kitchen, Jennifer winked and whispered to me that she had "lost" her keys. She really doesn't get it. Jennifer's just so crazy in love with my son, she has no idea how much she is enabling him. She seems to be content to cajole him with her sweet manipulations and baby talk. She doesn't realise that I was done with that bull shit years ago. I guess she thought I was going to congratulate her on her cleverness of hiding the car keys from him. Instead, I gave her a serious look and said, "You need to take him home - now." I don't think she was expecting that response. Moments later, Nick was upstairs to confront me.
Once again, for what seems like the hundredth time, I am explaining the rules to him. Very simply: You are welcome here, in our house, only on the condition that you remain drug free and sober. If you can't do that, you have to leave. I guess that's what bothers me most. It sounds like I am setting conditions on my love for him, and of course, that's the way he chooses to interpret it; But I'm not, I am setting consequences for his behavior and choices. So the two of them load up their stuff and they leave.

45 minutes later, as I am talking to Jasmin on the phone, I turn to see the two to them sitting silently on the family room couch. Nick, on the verge of passing out, Jennifer, snuggled up next to him. I end my phone call , and ask them which part of "go home" they don't understand?
Nick, being way past the point of talking, says nothing. Eventually, Jennifer explains that on the way home, Nick insisted that she make a pit stop at the liquor store. They argued and she hit a curb. The air bags deployed, and cracked the windshield of her car. Rather than throwing his ass out of the car, and going home to her parents house - which is what I would have done - she decides to have a gentle and loving heart to heart chat with Nick about his drinking. After she talks him into a state of sullen silence, she brings him back home to me! Why does she keep doing that?!?! All I could do was shake my head and walk away in order to avoid screaming out of frustration. I sat in the kitchen listening to her beg and plead with a mostly unconscious man. After a couple of cigarettes, I finally had to go down stairs and spell it out for her.

"Jennifer, " I said, "You're wasting your breath talking to him. He won't remember any of this when he sobers up. Take him home, and put him to bed. Check on him once in a while to make sure he's okay, and hasn't choked on his own vomit, and wait. If you insist on having a relationship with this guy, you better get used to waiting. When he is sober enough to talk, you can have your say, but the two of you can't stay here."

If I wasn't so weary from dealing with drunks and drug addicts for the past 18 years, I would have given her some really helpful advice. Like. . . 'RUN!! Get away from this guy as fast as you can because, a deployed air bag and a cracked windshield, is just the tip of the iceberg in a long list of things you will lose.' But I couldn't. Partly because, I was sure that she wouldn't believe me. But mostly because, I just wasn't up for reliving the past 18 years of Hell. Most of the practical, helpful advice that I could have shared with her, are things that I don't like to think about, much less explain to a naive, doe eyed , 18 year old girl, who believes she's in love with my son. I love him too. I know exactly what she sees in him, and more than anything, I want him to be loved by someone who appreciates him for his good qualities. Deep down, I do believe in love, but I know the cost as well.

So, yeah, I feel like a hundred different kinds of shit right now. I am going to do Kate's meme, but I think that I'll wait until to night, when I feel a little less frazzled.

Love ya,
Susan

1 howled back:

SPARSELY KATE said...

Thinking of you! you're a great Mum and a good person and you are doing the right things.