This journey of creating a better grownup life is hard.
Someone recently asked me why I share the details of my journey with the public.
Because when other ACOAs share about their journeys, I learn. I’m inspired.
I feel called to share, too. For me, it’s an important part of my journey.
The milestones in my adult child of an alcoholic healing journey are complicated because, well, this is all complicated stuff.
Two days after I called Mom with the I-forgive-you message, the late-night phones calls started again.
Drunken. Angry. Ones.
Unbelievable, I whispered as I read her name across my phone on call #1.
She’s probably just drunk.
But what it if it’s an emergency.
Adult children of alcoholics, you know how it feels to have this emotional dilemma when an alcoholic parent calls at night.
Third ring. I answered.
“Jody, it’s your mother.” I knew she was medium-level wasted by word two. Medium level means she still has an hour or two of drinking before she calls it night and passes out.
“You know I don’t talk to you when you’ve been drinking.”
I hung up.
This prompted several more calls that I did not answer.
Wonderful, restful exchange as I settled down on a Sunday evening, which has always been my biggest anxiety night of the week.
A few years ago, I drew the boundary line with Mom and phone calls.
I told her I won’t speak with her when she’s been drinking – no matter how little. Period.
Of course, this new boundary made me a cold, heartless, terrible daughter in Mom’s mind. It took two weeks of not answering my phone when she called at night for her to finally stop trying to reach me during her drinking fests.
I hadn’t received a call from her when drinking in almost a year – and that was very good for me.
But she took the forgiveness call as removal of that important boundary, apparently, and the phone calls began again. That made me almost regret telling her that I’d forgiven her. She’d made it about her, which it wasn’t.
The drunken phone calls STILL upset me. See, I know she’s drunk every night but the phone calls and the voicemails (which I promptly delete without listening to them) are unpleasant reminders. For a moment or two, when those calls come, it feels as though I’m inches away from her. I’m alone, sick and helplessly, hopelessly stranded outside of the glass room while Mom hurts herself.
Every time I take a step forward in my journey, I’m challenged to not to take two steps back.
This is NOT an easy journey but journey I will continue with growing hope.
I hope you are well on your journey.
Take good care.
Two inspiring things from the internet this week:
- I’ll always be grateful for the internet’s ability to connect people from all corners of the Earth. A few years ago, a young woman in the UK, Sarah Peet, contacted me. She was in a bad place still coping with her alcoholic parents but beginning her healing journey. Now, she’s busy building her own great, grownup life. What a gift to have these sources of inspiration.
- “Letting Go” by Ben Sollee is my current fav song.
“Forgiveness is a falling leaf
In the changing of the years
As it settles down to the cooling ground
Let it go
Let it go
Let it go”