Bordering Boundaries

Piggy-backing on my last post, I know that boundaries are good. I know I have to set them but that is much harder said than done. First of all, you have to know what the boundaries are. That alone is tough. I can enforce them, once I know them, but it’s not like walking around your backyard to decide where to put a fence. It’s so I much harder. And, I think they are fluent. My boundaries need to move with the need at the time. For example, if JoDee is in active addiction, like I believe she is right now, my boundaries may be that she can’t cross over into our house, our lives, our wallets. We may be in the “Don’t even think about asking us for anything country.” That part I struggle with. I know that when she is actively using is when I should help her the least, because it enables her to continue to be sick but that is so difficult. I see her as sick. Helpless. Floundering. In danger. Turning your back on your child when they are at such a low point is so difficult, but I can’t see it that way. What looks like turning my back is actually giving her a helping hand. Words I have to repeat to myself frequently.

If we are being honest, and I am nothing if I am not brutally honest, boundaries are good for everyone, not just the addicted. It has helped me see that even with my other two, and with AC’s girls. So often we don’t want to say no to something because we don’t want to disappoint our kids. But isn’t being disappointed part of life? If we aren’t teaching our children how to deal with and contend with disappointment and changing atmospheres as adolescents how in the world are they going to figure it out as adults? Let me tell you, I can tell you first hand that I deal with many adults that I think to myself, this person has never heard the word no. Or had to look at things from someone else’s point of view. Those sorts of adults are easy to spot. I think that the generation coming up now, our future Presidents, may have more of these types of adults than any generation before it. Life has become one large Reality TV show instead of just being reality. It’s about making sure our kid has what that kid has that the other kid has. It seems like we gauge how much we love our kids is determined by how much stuff they have, how many electronic devices, and how little they have to do. And I’m guilty of it too. Society at large is guilty of that.

The thing is, if JoDee said I am going to commit suicide, I would be doing anything within my power and something’s that probably aren’t, to make sure she is safe.  In this situation, she is committing suicide slowly using drugs and impulsive behavior, and I am unable to do anything productive to help. There is no way I can convey the complete helplessness I feel. There is nothing to compare it too. It ruins everything. There is no joy in anything that happens. There is often this blanket of angst that hovers over our lives that just prevent anything from being enjoyed. I know JoDee is in a bad place right now. I don’t need to talk to her daily, which I don’t, to know that. It’s a mother’s intuition, and unfortunately, it’s also practice from years of being the mother of an addict. It’s not much different than being able to smell the snow in the air before it starts. Her seasonal job ended, her money is all but gone, she needs to pay rent and she is still standing at the end of that dock, one toe in the water, trying to decide if she is going to jump or not. I have a feeling she may have jumped. I think she is barely treading water. From my point, behind that damn looking glass all I can do is watch.  I can’t stand it. I feel like the noose is around my neck but she is about to jump off the chair to end my life. Knowing you are about to suffer the worst pain of your life, and someone could prevent it but doesn’t is enough to drive a person insane. I know it’s making me crazy.

Last night I had probably one of the worst dreams I have ever had in my life. My arms were cut off, my ears were filled with cement, my eyes sewn shut, my mouth glued and sealed, and one leg removed. I was forced to balance on one leg. If I fall, JoDee dies. I teetered and tried to balance. I couldn’t ask for help or see anything around me, and I didn’t even feel the pain but I could feel the anxiety, and fear, and terror that I wouldn’t be able to stay standing. JoDee’s life depended on me and I was going to let her down. In slow motion, as I watched myself from above, I started to collapse. I could hear the muffled scream from my impenetrable mouth and just before I hit the ground, I was awake. Sweating. Panicked. Trying to figure out where I was. AC was already awake. I was convinced JoDee was dead. I could feel it in my gut. I tried calling her, but it was 4 in the morning, she didn’t answer. I didn’t expect she would. Using or not, she sleeps soundly so she wouldn’t have heard the phone anyway. And, given the current state of affairs, she isn’t responding to anyone, as I believe she is up to her neck on the run. Those sort of dreams stick with you. I will carry that burden with me all day. And I have a busy day today, Jay J has senior pictures (yes I am late, I know I’m mother of the year), I have to finish a project for work, my house might actually be the source of the eboli outbreak it is so disgusting and I won’t even talk about the need to change sheets or clean the bathroom.  I have all of those things on the list, but what I am actually going to do is Jay J’s senior pictures and then probably crawl in bed with the blanket over my head and try to figure out whose life this is anyway. How did my JoDee, the blond spark of life who tried to walk into pre-school by herself “because I all growed up now”, is a wreck less, self-loathing, attention-seeking, loveless person. By loveless, I don’t mean she isn’t loved, it means she doesn’t realize how important that love she does have means. She doesn’t understand that the grass is not greener in other pastures. She doesn’t understand that she doesn’t have to keep searching for someone to love her unconditionally because she has it from her family, from someone else close to her, from friends her addiction has alienated and from people who don’t even know her personally.

If that isn’t enough, I have the exhausting task of kicking Despair to the curb over and over. Despair, remember closely related to Heroin Addiction, wants me to creep back in. Despair is tag teaming us with her addiction. While JoDee is trying to fight off her pull to use, I am trying to fight off my pull to be taken over by the darkest of moments. But I can’t do that. I cannot. I can’t say that every moment of every day I am fighting with guns a-blazing, because I just can’t do that. There are days that I am just not able to do it. On the whole, I have shifted my energy from fighting to keep JoDee cleaning, realizing she needs to do that herself, to fighting to keep myself sane. And being sane means keeping Despair away. I relapse, as does anyone fighting anything, but as tiring as it is, and that I want to give up so often, I don’t have just myself to worry about. In some ways I am jealous of JoDee. She wakes up every day and thinks about herself. I wake up to think about JoDee, Jay J, Jared, AC, SC, OC, my grandmother whom is ailing and I am caring for, my mom who is helping with my grandmother too, my parents in SC (Eh… I only think about how I want their life! Ha), my friends, my job, basically the things every responsible member of society thinks about. It’s immature and irresponsible of me to think only of myself, but I want too. Though, again back to the honesty thing, I spent enough time in my twenties thinking of myself and relying on others so I have probably met my quota.

Bottom line, the struggle continues. As I sit in my kitchen, with my kitty in my lap, I try to make a pact with myself to do have of the things I have on my list before I allow myself to start wallowing in self-pity. It’s a reasonable goal. The least I can do, is change the sheets on my bed, before I crawl in them for a pity party because it’s very likely, I may never come out.

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