repost: ten times filtered

Via Anna at Storm in a Wine Glass comes one of life’s hair-shirt adventures most — if not all — of us have lived through at least once. This one was played out by her “normal teenager” son Bambino. It’s fair to say that, for Anna, the dèjá vu was pretty freaking overwhelming:

I was once a teenager too. I knew this was coming. I was roughly Bambino’s age the first time I chugged vodka from a bottle a friend and I had nicked from her parents (and later filled up with water). So it’s not like I was going around thinking Bambino is some little angel who will only taste alcohol once he is of legal age. Hah! That’s a lie. I didn’t see this coming. I did and I didn’t. I think I just didn’t see it happening this way, so brazenly and violently right in front of me. I feel so stupid I can’t even begin to tell you. But I can tell you how my heart was breaking when I last night checked in on Bambino before bedtime and tried to ask him if he’d felt like he couldn’t stop once he started. It was a stupid thing to ask and I don’t know what answer I expected. I got all this so very wrong.

Although Joy and I have three dogs and no kids, I feel it’s insightful of me to add that I used to be a kid and, like most of the folks around me the last 8½ years, I got my alcohol-based training wheels off at an early age due to family environment. No wonder Anna’s concerned, to say the very least.

Read the whole thing. She does a terrific job of parsing out her heart on the situation and weighing truth against her beliefs.



2 thoughts on “repost: ten times filtered

  1. I’m so keen to hear others’ perspectives on this because the one thing I find near on impossible in all of this is to separate my alcoholism from what happened. That is, I am trying to navigate what’s either a “normal” teenage episode or something dark that he’s inherited from me. Obviously he has grown up seeing me drink. So is this a result of that or would this have been likely to happen regardless. But perhaps that thinking is useless and sends me into a “what if” series of thoughts that won’t lead anywhere. I think I need to keep all those thoughts close though and maybe it IS way more serious when the child of an alcoholic does this as opposed to a child who had parents who drank in a “normal” manner. But rather than pointless “what if” thoughts, I need to focus on “what now”. Many, many conversations to be had with Bambino and I need to find a way of sensibly and calmly dealing with it. EESH. Mega EESH.


  2. i·ro·ny
    a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
    plur whenal noun: ironies
    “the irony is that I thought he could help me”
    synonyms: paradox, incongruity, incongruousness
    “the irony of the situation

    Honestly, this series on Bambino has been simply the gift that keeps on giving — so many different directions to turn. I can only imagine what your husband and you must be experiencing, although it’s clear that you are both giving the very best of your hearts to your son. I guess part of my prayer today is that one day he will, of course, thank you for the profound grief you are in turn dragging him through today. No Xbox? Really?
    The only challenge(s) I see here are purely from my own perspective, of course. The first thing that popped into my mind when you described how sick your son had gotten was that I had only gotten just as “ill” — shall we say — in June 1972 when the Stones played Fort Worth, Texas. Fortunately, it was out in the parking lot after the show… and enough living in the past. Probably my point is something like that really great show and all the alcohol is not what ended me up in therapy 20+ years later.
    Many people believe specifically alcoholism is genetic; I just don’t go there. My experience in being with addicted people is that the vulnerability for addiction can be genetic, if we care to look at it that way. People tend to turn from one addiction to another to another… from one form of medication to another to another, until they finally find something that will finally either destroy them or “cure” them.
    So what’s the difference between between being cured or being healed? Joy and I moved to Indianapolis from San Diego in October, 1989 and I promptly came down with bronchitis. Having lived most of my live in either Southern California (with a few years in Southern Texas), bronchitis was something I had never experienced. Fortunately, a doctor friend of mine gave me a script of pills, which I took faithfully and aggressively, and the bronchitis issue was resolved. I was cured. It was as though bronchitis had never happened.
    Now on the other hand, there were a few things I needed to honestly deal with to overcome my constantly seeking addictions to somehow “deal” with the legitimate pain in my life – pain that had much more to do with father wounds and mother wounds… pain that had its roots deep in verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Even deeper than that, however, was a belief system that supported and drove my actions and reactions, my choices, if you will, even though little felt to be as such.
    The reality was I desperately needed to choose to deal with the real problems supporting and driving my addictions: anger, fear, pride, and – yes – dreadful self-image. I began my healing journey in 1994 and after almost 9 years in A.A., that’s where I am today. Giving up alcohol was no big deal, right? After about 72 hours it’s all out your physical system and after that it’s all what you believe to be true – about yourself and your Higher Power. I’ll go to A.A. so long as my wife of 31 years (today!!) feels she needs to go. I love doing the website and I’m on the board of the non-profit organization that owns the building that hosts all these meetings in this part of Indy.
    But – and this is important to me – when I do one of the readings at the Sunday morning meeting we faithfully attend, I no longer introduce myself to everyone by saying, “Hi, my name’s Greg. I’m an alcoholic.” Now I’m saying, “Hi, my name’s Greg and I’m in long-term recovery.” None of the old-timers scowl at me anymore, and I am pretty much treated like everyone else. And I live my recovery very much one day at a time.
    I say all of the above to say simply this: I need to deal with very base issues, not the symptoms. I had to learn how to do that. I will always need to deal with something – that’s just the world we live in. Choices in my life are based purely on what I believe to be true, and only my Higher Power has the lock on that whole thing. That’s why he’s my Higher Power.
    Hang in there, Dear One. In many ways, your journey has just begun.


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