July 6, 2011

Mourning the Loss of Normalcy

For years I have been mourning and not for my dead, it is for this boy for whatever corner in my heart died when his childhood slid out of my arms.” ~ William Gibson

When I immersed myself in therapy years ago, I learned the process of discovery, realization, mourning, and moving on.   In evaluating the different relationships and experiences in my life, I learned how to accept the reality of certain situations, mourn their abnormality, and then create an opening to move on with my life.

Writing this post today, I am in the anger stage.  I know that anger was not listed in the process per se.  However, my anger is a form of mourning.  Over the past couple of weeks, I have started to come to grips with the fact that my relationship with Brandon, will never be the father-son relationship I committed it would be.  And, I am pissed about it.

I have made a significant, conscious, unrelenting commitment to my children that, as their father, I would unconditionally love, support and be there for them.  And, while I enjoy and cherish all the cool things I have with two of my kids, I cannot help but feel the disappointment, the loss, and the abnormality of the third relationship.  Because it is not normal, I am angry about it.

I never really appreciated my mother-in-laws emotions when we would start to pack up the car and head back to Michigan from New Jersey after a week’s visit.  She would spend weeks planning our visit and would be in tears as we headed up the driveway.  While we always don’t get to see much of our children, they are always in our heart and our thoughts.  When they are around, there is this awesome energy seeing them be who they are and see them grow and develop.  And, although we raise them to become independent, inspiring people, it crushes us when they are not around.

If only it were that exciting and rewarding in Brandon’s world.  There is nothing normal or fun or inspiring about his growth and development.  His life is a series of missteps, betrayal, hurt, and underdevelopment – not much to celebrate.  And, when he is present we are hopeful for his progress and enjoy his being around –under certain circumstances – there is that guarded feeling that this could be a hoax, a temporary situation, or the last time we see him.

I am grateful for all my experiences.  I am even more grateful for the gifts I have received through and with my children.  I am hopeful that each of them discovers and celebrates all those components in their life they desire.  I am also disappointed, a bit angry, and very burdened by the pain Brandon has gone through, that he has caused, and the challenges it has put on our relationship.  Finally, I am grateful for the experience and the lessons of 100 Pedals.  Were it not for that exercise, I would not be in the mental and emotional condition to be strong through this stuff.  The mission was to be strong for Brandon when he is present and even stronger for myself when he is not.  I look forward to the opportunity to share with Brandon my strength – I simply wish the situation were so much different at this point.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.