Friday, July 18, 2008

Practicing what I preach

It's one thing to philosophize about creating our own reiterate that we, only we ourselves, are responsible for how we live our life, that the choices we make will dictate what happens to us and that if we don't like what we're getting, we'd best get off our collective duffs and change things.

It's another to accept it as fact. Especially when you love someone, like your kid, and nasty things are happening to her -- some of which is NOT her fault nor because of any choice she made or didn't make.

And it's even harder to accept that I cannot fix it. Mom the magnificent is powerless over people, places, and things. The ice weasels have been out buying party supplies.

She is not a child..definitely a grown woman, quite capable of making her own decisions (actually, that applies to all of them). They're all where they are because of choices they made on their own -- two of 'em with men who we've tried to accept that they love and see something in that isn't quite apparent to our parental eyes (rather more the opposite, if you wanna know).

And one of them demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has a mean, cruel streak and anger management issues. Fortunately, I guess, the daughter who's with him (it wasn't physical abuse) is seeing things a little more clearly and is talking about finding another roommate. Her illness, however, which is NOT her fault and for which she in treatment, leaves her in a very vulnerable place financially and emotionally.

So I'm trying to suggest possible resources and encouraging her to talk with her doctor. But what I want to do is rush in, get her out, and unleash a mother's fury on the guy.

And I can't. And I won't.

I'm telling her -- just as I have for years, and just as I've told her sister over and over again -- you live one day at a time. You do what you can with what you've got. If you don't like where you are, you find ways to change it. You ask questions of your doctors, your friends, of social agencies, of nonprofits that are there to help. You fill out applications and follow directions. You keep on doing that until you get the answers you need, the help you need. You CAN do it. You ARE strong and resourceful and smart. You can do whatever you decide you need to do.

And I pray that they are all safe, that they are strong enough to handle the grief, the anger, the embarrassment, the endless probing questions, the illness, the fear, the loneliness.

You are NOT alone, I tell them. I am here to make suggestions, to listen, to love you, to give you pep talks, to say 'there there', to cry with you sometimes. I will always be here to do that. I will always want to fix it for you. And I will never be able to do that. But YOU CAN.

That's what I say.

And then the ice weasels turn up the boom box so I can't hear myself say it to myself.

But I know it's true. At my core, I know that only they can make things different. And I just pray for them and hope they are strong enough to get through it.

No comments: