Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who's dance?

Yesterday, my partner phoned me at work to tell of another older woman and her struggles with addicted children. This woman recently had surgery and allowed two of her sons (in their fifties) to move back home so they could support her. Well, one almost started the house on fire whilst high on crack, unable to lay aside his drug use while trying to support his mom as she heals.

She actually has four boys, all hooked on drugs, and this dance has been going on for decades. Thinking about this families history just fills me with sadness. I had met one of these men a few weeks ago. Again, my partner had pointed this man out to me at a function we were all attending. When it was over, I had gone outside and ran into him as he was lighting up a smoke. I introduced myself and eventually steered the conversation into something about me being into recovery. The conversation lasted about another 10 seconds and then he excused himself, goto into his car, turned up the radio, and enjoyed the remainder of his smoke. He has avoided me on other occasions where we have crossed paths ever since.

My partner then asks me to call the woman, that she is looking for help. She has asked the crack addict to get out of the house and he is refusing. My wife recounted the days events in the house and what happened when she dropped in to drop a plate of cookies off. High drama, indeed.

I thought about the request for help, knowing that both men living in the house with the mom are addicts, both are very angry and verbally abusive of my spouse. I asked my partner to phone this woman back and tell her to call the police if the son won't leave on her request.

When I got home from work everything was on hold because my spouse was still expecting me to phone this woman, that she wouldn't call the police. So I called her and she asked me to come down and just be there until the addict moved out, so that she would feel safer. When I again suggested that she call the police, she quickly thanked me for the call and hung up.

What did happen is she went to a friends house to spend the night, the man moved out sometimes during the night, and all's well that end's well. It solved itself, she got to be safe, to protect her kids and the drug use continues.

I believe I did the right thing in suggesting that the police intervene. These men need to be held accountable for their actions. I have been second guessing myself for the past day and a half. Did I do the right thing? Am I just a coward for not wanting to put myself in the middle of all that drama? Is that what my Higher Power wanted me to do? The what ifs keep pouring in.

It is what it is. If I step back and look at that families history, the current events are just part of a pattern that was set a long time ago. I am powerless over that dance. I can't make them stop. I don't have to accept the invitation to dance with them!

Photo Credit: fofurasfelinas


Shadow said...

you're right. it's a very personal choice to put yourself into the middle of such a volatile and toxic dance. and the choice is yours and there's nothing wrong with what you did.

Lou said...

Hank, the woman (sadly) doesn't want the dance to stop. All the details of this post point to that, starting with her asking the sons to move in. It sounds like your wife just wanted to help, and you did the right thing. You went above & beyond by trying to establish a rapport about recovery.

Annette said...

I can hear you. I know if it were me all of the same what if's would be going through my mind too. The facts are though, that your first responsibility is to keep yourself healthy and safe. I think you were wise to not jump into the middle of another's family's drama. Calling the police was the rational thing to do. It shows your health in your program that you sugessted that and didn't try to be the savior.

Just my .02

Cat said...

I think taking care of ourselves is the best option and being healthy enough to make that choice is a good thing!

Indigo said...

You did the right thing, without a doubt. The mother has to learn to not enable that behavior. I would of suggested calling the police myself. Addicts can and will become defensive and unruly. It wasn't going to be productive to put yourself in harms way, when this woman was unwilling to do what needed to be done.

Mary (MPJ) said...

It sounds like you did a great job of taking care of yourself, keeping yourself safe, reaching out to the addicts in need of help and letting the mom know what she could do to take care of herself.