Monday, March 28, 2011

"The Truth Does Not Change According to Our Ability to Stomach It." Flannery O'Connor

I was having coffee with a good friend this morning and we were discussing the works of Flannery O'Connor.  We have both, only recently, begun to dig into a bit of her work.  But, I like what I've read so far.  I like her bold, direct, truthfulness.  I don't think she was mean spirited;  I think she just cut to the core of an issue. 

Life is so hard.  It is hard when addiction is present.  But, it's hard with cancer, cystic fibrosis, mental illness, learning disabilities, physical disabilities are present....the list could just go on.  We all have a cross to carry, of one sort or another. 

So, why should we hide?  Why should we whisper about the things with which we struggle?  Doesn't that just create another level of work?  I write under a pen name to respect my son's privacy.  But, as for me, I'm taking off the mask.

My son is an addict.  I feel a lot of guilt over worrying more about his grades and how he appeared to others than I did about whether or not he felt totally, unconditionally loved.  He has ADD and I worried more about his impulsiveness than I did about hugging him for a bright idea that popped out of his mouth.  I worried more about his language than I did about listening to the ideas behind those words.  And, for all of those things and more, I am so sorry.  I can't take them back.

Today, I don't know how he is doing in his sobriety.  I try to only focus on myself.  But, I am praying for a chance to make up for all of my previous mistakes.  I want the opportunity to rebuild whatever kind of relationship that I can.  My son is an addict.  That means that he is different than before.  Not good, not bad, just different because of what he's put into his body and because of the experiences he's had. 

I am different too.  I am different because of this road I have traveled.  I am different because I have given him up to God.  I am different because I am accepting this cross.  I want the chance to love him again.  I want the chance for us to hang out without him worrying about drugs and alcohol.  I want the chance for him to start to dream again.  I want the chance for him to find something he can be passionate about. 

But, if he doesn't, then I will keep walking down this path.  It is all too big for me alone.  I must rely on God to give us the answers that we can't even imagine.  Today, my prayer is for the faith to keep walking, eyes straight ahead, faith in my heart and prayers on my lips.  And I say a prayer for Henry.


Piper Burch said...

I call it walking with blinders on!! I know you can relate to that b/c of your love of horses! Don't they use blinders when they race?? I'm not sure!
We just keep on putting one foot in front of the other!
I love this blog!! I love what I have learned from this blog!

Bristolvol said...

I just found your blog. I am the mother of an addict daughter. I love Flannery O'Connor. My all time favorite story is "A good man is hard to find". It is so profound, I will never forget it. It reminds me of the journey of an addict into demise. Happy go lucky starting out, not knowing what they are getting into, just like the characters in the story.
I am also walking in your shoes.

PursuingtheSummit said...

Your story and your experiences help me so much as a parent to remember to be present and try to anticipate problems and my own reaction to them so I don't go over the cliff with my kids. Right now I am trying to remember to really listen, so that there doesn't come a time (or maybe I can minimize it's inevitable arrival) that he no longer WANTS to tell me stuff because I have a habit of not really listening. God forbid.