I’m still sad.
I think I misled Andrea because I felt so much guilt about being gone for 6 weeks to get help. I led her to believe I would come back “cured.”
My life doesn’t look better, in fact, in many ways it looks worse. More messy, more in a state of limbo than before. If it were just me, I’d rather like it like this right now. If it were just me, I could go away for good and start all over. But it’s not just me. I’m a mommy.
And this is where it gets confusing.
I’m a mommy to a daughter who has always been concerned about my way of living and, in recent years, has tried to “parent” ME. I now see that I completely set her up to do that. I also married people who would do that. I’ve acted like a helpless child.
I used to think this story was cute: Andrea was 4 or 5 years old and answered the phone. The person calling had been trying to get ahold of me and said she was getting worried and Andrea replied, “I’ve been worried about my mommy for years.”
But now I’m realizing just how much stress I’ve caused her by being depressed. By suffering from chronic anxiety. By being preoccupied with my addictions and my acting out and medicating.
Andrea came out for 3 days to see me in treatment. Counselors later told me our work was a “beautiful thing to watch” as they guided us through communicating and her getting a crash course on addiction and co-dependency. I told her I couldn’t go back and change anything I’d ever done that hurt her due to my dis-ease, but that I would do everything I could to practice my recovery and make sure those things never happened again.
I also told her I needed her to step back and allow me to run my own recovery. To be in charge of my own life. I can’t do this with her giving unsolicited suggestions or judgments.
During that weekend she seemed surprised to learn these things but in an excited way. I was excited, too. It was difficult to not dance around with her, “Everything is going to be so much better! Life is wonderful!” Except for that nagging thought that would not stop asking me “when’s she going home again?”
She did go home. And now I’m home. And we’re left to figure out where our relationship stands because just knowing I’m actually the parent and SHE’s the child isn’t cutting it. We’re having a difficult time getting out of our rut. I’m feeling rebellious and suffocated and she’s feeling controlling and probably like she did not get her money’s worth! (so to speak).
They took her mommy away for 6 weeks (over Mother’s Day, over finals week, and moving home from the dorm week) and they sent her home the same?
I’M STILL SAD!
Only I’m not the same. When I went I did not believe there was any reason to go on. I had no value and was not worthy of a good, strong life. That thinking has completely changed. I deserve to be healthy.
“I deserve to be healthy. And so does Andrea.”
There’s our money’s worth right there.