Soon after my son turned 18, he announced that he was moving out. I knew by the look on his face not to challenge his decision. That was 28 years ago, and with the exception of three or four brief times, he has not wanted to be a part of my life. During his brief pop-ins, he would wreak havoc, and just like that, be gone again. I didn’t have Al‑Anon then, and so I got caught up in the doubts, fears, and shame. It was agony. There is a hook in being a mom, and Al‑Anon is where I found the courage, strength, and wisdom to unhook myself from my son’s unacceptable behavior.
Miraculously, I was led to Al‑Anon where, ever so slowly, I began working the program with a Sponsor. The more I learned, the more I wanted, and that kept me coming back. As a result, I’ve been given guidelines for living a healthy life, and a toolbox filled to overflowing with every possible tool I would ever need to keep me out of the problem and in the solution.
Two weeks ago, after seven years, I heard from my son via e-mail. Although cool in tone, his words conveyed that he wanted us to have a relationship. Being cautiously optimistic, I responded simply and affirmatively. His third e-mail, however, showed his colors, and as a direct result of living the Steps, I was able to stand in my own truth. I was happy to learn that he was well, and I was looking forward to building a healthy relationship, but after receiving that e-mail, which was riddled with assumptions and conditions, I truly did not see how this would be possible.
Today, because of the Al‑Anon principles, I am able to love him right where he is now, with no resentments. I have also been given the clarity to acknowledge the risks to my well-being. Today, with my Higher Power’s help, I am willing to do the next right thing.
Lo and behold, by trusting my Higher Power and knowing that more is always revealed, several days later I received a response that was warmer in tone and included an apology. This is a first, and a miracle in the making.
By Rosemary B., Arizona
The Forum, August 2016
Reprinted with permission of Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.