A Mother looks back
“My life began before I was born! I am a descendant of Irish and Maori – pretty good recipe to an easy life, huh? I thought my name was either Number 7 or ‘the youngest’ because, I think, it was easier for the hundreds of family and friends to remember. We had a very busy household: football, Rotary, business, yards for horses, etc. Mum and Dad also took in foster kids who were kicked out of home due to their parent’s alcohol abuse. Dad taught Dale Carnegie courses and was involved in many community activities.
Before grew up, I married the most handsome newcomer in town. He was a high-jump champion. He drove a groovy sports car. He used to say that the only reason he got accepted into the family was that he played football for our local team.
A few years later, I was with three small sons under five, and a husband who had decided to choose a life of alcohol over his boys. I thought my life was unmanageable enough until my eldest son began to show all the signs of an addictive personality. Let’s just say that our address was not unknown to the local police and I had barristers’ phone numbers on speed dial. My job was to keep my boys ‘safe’, you see.
My life became more unmanageable after nights of either not sleeping, or driving at all times of the night with the two younger boys in the car, looking for my eldest. When I did sleep, my phone was under my pillow, my car keys at the ready, and credit card handy to pay the inevitable cab driver who would front at the door with my eldest son in tow. After thousands of dollars and years of stress it all became too-oo-oo much. I could see that I was enabling inappropriate behaviour, and I wrote a love letter explaining that I had marinated them in love long enough and that they needed to leave the nest. It took about two more years of unmanageable behaviour until the eldest hit rock bottom with a thud. That day was when he finally surrendered, and accepted that he couldn’t get sober-and-clean by himself. (He had accepted that he had a problem and had tried to give up by himself many times.) That was the day that we all got our lives back.
On the last day of December, after extreme drama, we found a rehab centre that would take him in. Finally, we could all sleep. I not only knew he was in safe hands, I knew he was also surrounded by angels who had all been through similar journeys. Peace was finally known to my family, really for the first time. Because I became healthy as well and we created our boundaries, love was restored. My youngest son and I would talk for hours, about how this journey has been a huge growing experience for us, as individuals, and had repaired a great deal of the damage, even though it left its scars on all of us, including the other son.
The 12 steps of Al-Anon have been pivotal in restoring our physical and mental health. Al-Anon has given me a safe place to expose the years of worry and damage, and it aided me in my understanding of my role in this illness. The 12 steps have been a miracle for my son, finally giving his deep-seated anger towards his father a place to rest. His internal core is so-oo-oo calming to be around. We look forward to our time together and sharing insights.
My heart explodes with love when I hear my three big sons laugh so loud that the houses shakes. I am a happy, stress free and grateful mum now. My life has been transformed to one of expectation, where miracles can happen at any time and that hope, love and support are the perfect marinade for a miraculous life.”