I had been compromising myself for so long it became second nature. The resulting problem, I didn’t notice when I was approaching my limits. Hindsight is less ambiguous and I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how I would do things differently if given the chance.
The weekend after my son and grandson came to stay with us tested my patience with my adult child like never before. I understood that he wanted my approval for the decisions he made and that was probably why he lied to me when he suspected I wouldn’t support his choices. He was supposed to have dinner with his brother (son number three) on Friday, July 20 and said he would be home late. He didn’t come home and he didn’t contact me until the next day.
When he called just before noon on Saturday, he told me he had decided to spend time with his wife instead of go to dinner with his brother. They spent the night together but also had a “huge fight”. He admitted he was upset and “scored some coke” to feel better. He told me he had also been drinking and he was “too [email protected]*ked up” to take care of his son.
When he asked if I would continue caring for my grandson, I responded, “Clearly you already know the answer, especially since you haven’t been in touch for the past 24 hours.” I was outraged, but happy to be able to provide a safe place for my grandchild, all while being terrified for my son. It was extremely confusing.
My son wanted to know if my grandson has asked for him. I was torn between answering honestly and saying what I thought he needed to hear. I decided the truth was best and told him my grandson had not asked for him, but since we (my husband and I) weren’t doing anything different from a regular day, perhaps he thought my son was at work. He told me he was with friends and might not be back that night. Around 6:00 PM, he texted to say he would be back in the morning.
I did what I could to not let my emotions get the best of me, especially since I didn’t want my grandson to see me distressed. There were so many feelings all at once: anger, anxiety, fear, dread; just to name a few. I wanted to yell at my son for being an irresponsible parent. However, I also tried to recognize that he made a good decision to stay away from his son while under the influence.
The week had already been particularly wearisome and I was once again in an uncomfortable situation without a clear path forward. I contemplated how far things could go before my exasperation led to a breaking point. The moment was much closer than I realized.
To be continued…–
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