>Yesterday was a terrible day but don’t give up reading just yet because there is a surprise ending.
My day began when I was awakened by the sounds of my son’s labrador, Georgia, having violent diarrhea all over my bathroom floor. You’ve never heard diarrhea like this and it was everywhere. And it stank to high heaven. The one saving grace is that she’d run into the bathroom instead of letting loose on the carpet. Good Dog!
I leaped out of bed from a dead sleep yelling, “OUTSIDE!”, and we both tore down the hallway together towards the back door. She vaulted out into the darkness and I groaned when I saw it was 3 in the morning.
I’m a labor and delivery nurse and I work 12-hour shifts. I had to get up in 2.5 hours to get ready to go to work and by the disgusting sounds going on in the backyard I wasn’t going back to bed anytime soon. Poor dog must have gotten into something very rotten to have been that sick.
So I resigned myself to not going back to bed at all, cleaned up the poo that was everwhere, and did some serious self care. Self care is very difficult when your heart is breaking but essential lest you fall completely apart and into despair and depression.
I turned on my magic anti-depressant light that sits next to my computer and spent time writing which always makes me feel better. I ate a nutritious breakfast and took ALL my supplements including the Calcium, (can they make those horse pills any bigger?), and my new addition, Ginko Biloba. After the light therapy and a nice cup of tea to wash away the pill taste, I worked out on the elliptical for 30 minutes until I was good and sweaty. I showered, gave myself a good hair day, and off to work I went.
My heart was heavy but I have to say that I haven’t felt physically better in a long time.
At work, I got to see a new little boy born into this world. The parents were wonderful, devoted and married which isn’t as common as you’d imagine. They were both terrific and watching that dad cut that cord flooded my mind with blessed memories and ironic conflict. It just happened they were Christians and so is the doctor and after the birth the three of them consecrated in prayer that little boy’s life to the Lord. I hate to admit it, but I had to leave the room because it was too much for me to take. The rest of the day was very hard. I would hide in the storage room and cry wracking sobs and then go out and smile, smile, smile.
The serious issue at hand was our son’s cell phone–the last remaining strand of what was once a strong cord of childhood dependence holding him to us. That phone was our final tangible connection to him and his lifeline to us. But we could see by the usage that the phone was our enemy too. Should we choose the comfort of knowing our son could contact us at any moment so we can swoop in to save him or should we choose to cut him completely loose and play the last card we had to try to shake him awake?
My husband and I were tormented by this decision. What if? What if? What if? Most of these what ifs revolve around dark and frightening images in our minds of our beautiful boy lying dead or dying somewhere and us not being able to lift even a single finger to help him.
A few posts ago I mentioned 1-800-RUNAWAY. This is the number for the National Runaway Switchboard. Their website is http://www.1800runaway.org. I had never heard of this organization until just days ago but I definitely want to let people know about them.
Basically, you register yourself and your runaway with the NRS. Parents can leave messages and contact numbers for their runaways. Runaways can call the switchboard 24/7 and speak with a counselor, get assistance to resources, and receive those messages from home. Runaways can also leave messages for the parents if they choose and the NRS will contact the parents with the message. They also provide trained reunification counseling services if the runaway requests it.
I called at the end of my work day and spoke with a very nice woman about our situation. During that conversation my husband and I decided to leave a message there for our son and to disconnect his phone.
Together my husband and I sat down and called our son and told him that we were cutting off his phone and about the important services at 1-800-RUNAWAY and that when he was ready to stop living like this there is a message for him from us waiting at that number. We told him that we are here for him but until then he’s on his own.
It was actually a fairly long and emotional conversation, but we stayed very calm throughout. We did our very best to speak in low voices and convey our love and concern and worry while at the same time maintaining our firm resolve to not enable him in his folly in anyway.
We try very hard to not react in anger or bitterness. We must fight against our perceived right to be angry and bitter if we are to win this war. I know nothing, but I know that this is critical! Our former attempts at bullying, shaming or humiliating our child in our efforts to bend him to our will have never worked and always backfired on us. The only thing that does seem to “work” at all is maintaining a rational, loving response. Trust me, I want to make my child hurt like I hurt. I want him to know and understand how I suffer because of his foolishness, but I am convinced that I must put this desire on the altar of God and leave it there forever. I hope I have the strength to adhere to my convictions about this.
I texted him the information about 1-800-RUNAWAY just in case he forgot, and then we cut off his phone.
You’d think I’d feel bad, but I don’t. That’s the big, fat surprise. I feel free. Tomorrow might be a bitter day, but today was a good day. I felt good all day. I had moments of deep sadness and I cried off and on a few times, but overall I feel overwhelming peace. I actually have a sense of peace despite the grief which I thought was impossible. We’ve cut the cord and we’ve consecrated him to God now.
I do hope though that tomorrow isn’t a bitter day because I’ve scheduled a full 1.5 hour deep-tissue massage in the morning to help kickstart my healing process. My body has carried so much grief and pain and anger for so long and I’m so ready to start releasing some of it.