The first time my child reached his dimpled little hand out for mine, I was there. And I’ve tried to be there every time he’s reached out to me–and even when he hasn’t–ever since. Until, that is, my child became an addict. Addiction has made such a mess of things that I’m no longer sure if I should be within range when he reaches out (or even when he doesn’t).
I don’t know if my help is hurting this child of mine. I don’t know if I should stay silent or speak up. I’m not sure how to love without doing the things that seem loving, or where to put the dreams and conversations and hugs that have gone unused and are piling up. I don’t know how to fill my empty arms, or where to put my love for this child who says he hates me. My heart doesn’t understand this place where love and addiction meet–it’s all confused about what it means to be my son’s mom.
I cannot be there for my child in the way life intended, but my love will always be there whenever he reaches out–and even when he doesn’t.
“I mean, it is the most impossible love . . . it’s absolutely fine for me to teach you how to walk and talk, and then you grow up and head off in the wrong direction toward a cliff. And I’m supposed to just stand there and wave.” ~Because I Said So
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is from the book:
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